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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Hero of the Week: Constantine Draegon

I think it's pretty much general consensus with those of us in Romancelandia that the Tortured Hero is the best one to read about. There's just something about a man with a tortured past being brought low by love that makes our hearts melt and our spirits sing.

Constantine Draegon from Rene Lyons' The Daystar definitely fits the bill.

We first meet Constantine in Midnight Sun. I was immediately intrigued by his sarcastic, broody attitude and couldn't wait to read more of him. His dark sense of humor called to me, and his often gruff - almost mean - comments and standoffish personality made him that more lovable.

When The Daystar was released earlier this week, I snatched it up as fast as I could, unable to wait for more of Constantine. I wasn't disappointed, either.

Born in the 13th Century to 2 very unloving, cruel parents, Con fought through a nightmarish childhood, doing his best to become the best warrior he could, partially to prove himself to his cold parents, and partially so he could protect himself from the brutal lord his parents sold him to.

At the age of 15 Con is forced to make the toughest decision of his life: Kill, or be killed. Angry, bitter and disillusioned, he escapes his prison and is taken in by a lovely woman who sees great potential in him. He eventually goes on to Crusade and then becomes one of the most feared warriors in history: A Templar Knight.

But something goes terribly wrong. He and 50 other Warrior Monks are captured, and after spending three years in a French prison being tortured, are burned to death. That should have been the end, but sadly, it was only the beginning. For Constantine had lost his faith in God, though it hadn't stopped him from killing in the Lord's name. And so, upon his death, the Archangel Michael damned him and four others, piercing them through the heart and taking their souls. But God, in his mercy, offered them a chance at redemption. They were sent back to Earth with a precious burden to guard, a new set of rules, and immortality. They were sent back as Vampires, knowing if they made even one mistake, they'd be sent to Hell.

Do you see now how he captured my heart? I just wanted to wrap him up and put him in my pocket. And through each page I read, he just captured me more.

Just to show you a bit of what I saw:

He just had a look about him that screamed, “don’t fuck with me”

It was clear he wanted to bite her
God forgive her, but she wanted to know what it would feel like to have Constantine take her blood.
He must have been reading her mind, since he let out a sound horrific enough to chill her blood. She’d almost reached the door when his voice cut through the quiet.
“Lex,” Her name was a harsh curse falling from his lips. She stopped and turned back to him. “Lock your door.”

“I wish I could take it all away. I wish I could just make it all go away.”
He ran a hand through her hair, loving the way it flowed through her fingers. “You do.”
She shook her head. “No, I don’t.”
“Yes, you do.” He assured her. He took her cool, wet cheeks in his hands. His callused palms pressed against the smoothness of her face. “Whenever I’m near you the past doesn’t matter.”
Lex laid her head in the crook of his shoulder. Her heartbeat thundered against him. He held her close as she trembled. Close enough that she touched his goddamn heart.
“I love you, Constantine.”
He wanted to tell her he loved her too, but the words died on his tongue. She seemed to accept his silence with the quiet grace he’d come to treasure about her. He hoped she knew what was in his heart and his mind.
When Lex slipped back into sleep, she stopped shivering. Constantine closed his eyes and prayed. He prayed to God with everything he was, hoping the Lord granted him this one boon—just this once.
“Dear God, please don’t take her from me.”

Dangerously close to crying, Lex swallowed down the lump of emotion that leapt up into her throat. “Swear to me you won’t ever forget your oath to God. Don’t give up on the hope of Heaven, Constantine. Please.”
“No matter what happens, be assured that I’ve already seen Heaven. I see it every time I look at you.”
Lex didn’t even try to hold back the tears. “If things go badly and I’m—taken—know that I’ll still be with you for as long as you want me around.”
He pulled her head down until their lips were practically touching. “Forever, elf. I want you forever.”
That was all the ”I love you” Lex needed.


Do yourself a favor and read this book pronto, I promise you, you won't regret it!

And just because I know you want to see it, here's his picture!

Enjoy ladies!



Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning

Darkfever opens approximately three and a half years after Spell of the Highlander ends. MacKayla O'Connor's life is good. Or so she thinks until something extraordinary happens... When her sister is murdered, leaving a single clue to her death - a cryptic message on Mac's cell phone - Mac journeys to Ireland in search of answers. The quest to find her sister's killer draws her into a shadowy realm where nothing is as it seems, where good and evil wear the same treacherously seductive mask. She soon is faced with an even greater challenge - staying alive long enough to learn how to handle a power she had no idea she possessed - a gift that allows her to see beyond the world of man, into the dangerous realm of the Fae. As Mac delves deeper into the mystery of her sister's death, the ruthless Vlane - an alpha Fae who makes sex an addiction for human women - closes in on her. And as the boundary between worlds begins to crumble, Mac's true mission becomes clear: find the elusive Sinsar Dubh before someone else claims the all-powerful Dark Book... because whoever gets to it first holds nothing less than complete control of the very fabric of both worlds in their hands.

If you are expecting Darkfever to by like KMM's highlander books, you will be disappointed. It's not like her past books. First, its first person point of view. I thought I'd have issues with it, but I didn't. Second, no romance. It's more of a paranormal suspense.

I liked the book though. I had a few issues with it. Mainly because I have questions the book didn't answer, but will probably be answered later on in the series.

Who is Jerricho? Will Mac learn about her heritage. Not just she's a sidhaseer (or however you spell it) but who her real parents are. Will they cross paths with the MacKelter's? What was in Alina's journal?

I like Mac. Since the story is told from her point of view, we understand why she's trying to find Alina's murderer. She wants to know what Alina's last message was about and she wants to understand why Alina was murdered. She goes to Dublin and is thrown into a world with things she didn't think possible.

Jerricho. Meh. I don't feel anything for him right now. I guess because I have this doubts about who is really is.

I'm looking forward to the rest of this series. I have to say KMM did a pretty good job of going a different direction.

I give this a B.

Dylan's Take:

Hero: Jericho Barrons (I'm assuming)
Heroine: MacKayla Lane
Grade: B-

Hmm...Izzy already gave you guys the run down (in italics) about this new series by Karen Marie Moning. I started it the night before last but I only read the very first chapter...last night, I finished the book and I think the reason I read it so fast (for me anyway) was because I was really nosy to see what was going to happen next.

I'm not sure how I feel about Jericho yet, I don't hate him, but I also don't think he's all that right now, I hated that he called Mac, Ms. Lane ALL THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE DAMN BOOK, that bothered me more than a little but me and Barrons come from two totally different worlds, I live in the world that Mac USED to live in and I love it, so I can see why Mac was so hesitant to believe anything Barrons was telling her.

This first book really did a good job of being mysterious because I WILL be reading the next book and I will be wondering what exactly Jericho is, I want to know why all of this is coming to past and I want to know what happens next.

This book was totally different from any other KMM book that I read but I thought she did a good job, it hooked me from the beginning of the book and I like Mac's voice, though I'm not a big fan of first person in books, Mac's storytelling voice was easy to follow and I felt like she was sitting right in front of me, telling what happened. It was good stuff.

Very suspenseful and though there was no romance at all, I was still feelin' this book. The pace was good, the story as a whole was great and I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.

Yeah, give it a shot.

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Monday, November 27, 2006

Romance Care Package!

Happy Monday Everyone!

Imagine if you will, that you have a friend that wants to check out what's got you so wrapped up in romance novels, so much so that you have an entire blog dedicated to books and what you're reading and then spend most of your time reading other book blogs or posting on your romance novel board. She asks you to pick out 5 of your most favorite romance novels and lend them to her so that she can read them and see for herself, the world that has you so captivated and excited about.

What books would you put in your Romance Novel Care Package for your friend?

Would you put in the first book of one of your favorite series, or would you just pick one of your favorite stand alones? What are you going to give her to wet her feet into the whole world of romance reading? A contemporary filled with Contemporary Heroes that are totally swoonworthy, or a historical with Dashing Dukes and Elegant Earls, or would you have your friend jump right into the world of viscious vampires who are out there trying to save the world from evil Lessers and fighting the good fight?

How about a new author that just came out or would you stick with the staple core authors that have been tried and true?

You have 5 choices of your favorite books to send over to your friend to woo her into reading romance novels, which books are you going to choose to put into your care package?



Saturday, November 25, 2006

I'm In No Mood for Love by Rachel Gibson

Hero: Sebastian Vaughan
Heroine: Clare Wingate
Category: Contemp
Page Count: 359/paperback
Buy It: Here, or here.

What is Clare Wingate doing? One minute she's suffering in a pretty-in-pink gown she'll never wear again, and the next thing she knows it's morning . . . and she has the nastiest hangover of her life.
To make matters worse, she's wearing nothing but a spritz of Escada and lying next to Sebastian Vaughan . . . her girlhood crush turned sexy, globe-hopping journalist. Somewhere between the toast and the toss of the bouquet she'd gotten herself into a whole lot of trouble.

Clare had the right to go wild-after all, she'd been knocked off her dyed-to-match shoes after finding her own fiancé in a compromising position with the washing machine repairman. Clearly her society wedding is off.

But Sebastian pushed all the wrong buttons-and some of the right ones, too. Clare is in no mood for love-not even for lust-and wants to forget about Sebastian and his six-pack abs ASAP. But he isn't in the mood to go away, and his kiss is impossible to forget.

Ever since buying and reading Sex, Lies, and Online Dating, just about a year ago, I've been dying for Rachel Gibson's next book, I'm In No Mood For Love. It's the second in a series she's writing about 4 girl friends who are all fiction authors. And I wasn't disappointed.

Clare is a historical romance author and she loves her job, even if her mother tells all her friends that she writes woman's fiction and refuses to call it what it really is. Clare's completely happy with her life until the day of one of her best friends wedding when she runs back home and finds the Sears repair man riding her fiance on the floor of her walk in closet.

The next morning she wakes up with a huge hang over and not really remembering to much. But when she looks at the bed she's in and finds her self naked except for her pink thong in a hotel room it's obvious she didn't spend it alone. But before she can escape he's there, the worst person she could even think up. The boy who teased her, hit her and tricked her every chance he got grew up to be a very handsome man. Sebastian is a girls wet dream, with his green eyes, wicked smile, and body to drool over.

After a very embarrassing conversation with Sebastian, mostly cause she didn't remember anything and Sebastian is still teasing her, Clare escaped with what dignity she could. Then went home to face her reality. She cleaned house-so to speak, and decided to stay clear of men for awhile. But before Sebastian is off they share a hot kiss. And a few months later it's a make-out session in her mother pantry, and about a month or so later they stop lying to themselves and give in to the passion burning between them.

After mistakenly thinking they could rid themselves of each other after a night full of hot kinky sex they decide to just be friends that have sex, no strings attached. Great for Sebastian that cannot handle the R word or C word (that's relationship or commitment if you weren't sure), and great for Clare who doesn't mind a few multiple orgasms with Mr. Right Now while she waits for Mr. Right.

But when Clare finds herself in love with another man that doesn't love her back, she takes a stand. And that's when it gets really good. But I'm not gonna tell you the rest. You'll have to go read this to find out how Sebastian reacts, what he does, what she does.....and a lot more.

This book is full of men reading romance, men getting drug around shopping by a shopaholic, a father and son finding a relationship that had gotten forgotten, kick ass girl friends, some sexy banter with our H&H, a lot of laughter (even some tears for me) and that's not even mentioning a flipping fine hero and an awesome heroine.
So go get the book and read it!

Quote from Sebastian (after Clare asks if he heard what she said to him):

"Yeah. You assume I don't see myself married because I want to 'conquer' lots of different women and eat their Lucky Charms and Tasty O's."

....then after he corners her in her mothers pantry

"I want to talk about eating you like a Tasty O. I want to talk about all the things I want to do to you. Then we can talk about all the things I want you to do to me."

Oh wait.....the parts I didn't like? Hmmmm, even a favorite like RG had something that bothered me. There was something on page 182 that really irked me, read the book and see if you can figure it out. lol. And the ending? A little perfect but hey it's a romance novel right? What do you expect? All around though, it was a great book. I can always count on RG for a great read. Now I cannot wait till next year for Maddie's book!!!

Dylan's Take:


Alright, Nicole already gave you the low down on this book and I've got to 100% agree with her. This book was sooooo good. I read Sex, Lies and Online Dating a while ago and loved the book, thought it was so good and thought Quinn was an absolute hunk of a detective.

I think I liked this one more.

The whole friends from their youth storylines are my favorite. I loved the whole, I knew you when you were younger and you used to pull my braids and make fun of my glasses and yet you still love me now. It's such a good storyline. I frickin' love it to pieces and this book certainly didn't disappoint me at all.

Sebastian Vaughan, what a frickin' stud. I loved this guy, he's a man's man who hates shopping and women that cry, he also hates cliches and hates that the fact that he hates shopping and women that cry makes him a cliche too. LOL. There were times in the book where I thought that he was being an ass, but men are asses sometimes and I got over it.

I really liked Clare too. She was awesome, she's like me...she looks and sees the best in things and can be a total pushover when it comes to guys. She's blind to her loved ones faults and she's just an all around good heroine. I loved that she wrote romance novels, I loved the way she fell in love with Sebastian and I just loved this story.

I loved the characters, the girls are great and I loved watching Sebastian and his father, Leo try to rebuild their relationship as father and son. I just loved watching that relationship grow into something solid and strong at the end, it was really good...just all around good. And reading about Sebastian in the sack??? Yeah, it was awesome. Loved him and loved it!

The story as a whole was very light, entertaining and just well written in my opinion. This is most definitely one of my favorite Rachel Gibsons and I am totally pimping it to all who want to read a really funny and sweet book.

Holly, Grace, Izzy and Daphne...get on this book, it was cute!

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Friday, November 24, 2006

Knight of Darkness by Kinley MacGregor

Hero: Varian Du Fey
Heroine: Princess Merewynn of Mercia
Category: Paranormal Romance
Page Count: 377
Grade: B

From the Publisher:

For countless centuries, I've been the assassin for the infamous Merlin, even though the woman who birthed me sits at the right hand of our enemy, Morgen le Fey. Now both my mother and Morgen have decided that it's time I take my place on their side of this conflict.

Normally, telling them no wouldn't be a problem, except for the fact that the good guys I protect think that I'm an even worse demon than the ones we fight. Hmm, maybe they're right. I have to say that I do enjoy maiming anyone who gets in my way.

At least until my mother gives me a simple choice: join Morgen's Circle of the Damned or see an innocent woman die. I'm all for saving the innocent, but Merewyn isn't as innocent as she seems. And she's none too fond of the fact that her fate is in my dubious hands. Personally I'm all for taking the easy way out, but leaving her to Morgen is rough, even for me. Now the only way to save both our lives is to face the evilest forces ever known-my mother and Morgen. And two people who know nothing of trust must learn to rely on each other or die: provided we don't kill each other first.

I liked this book more than I remember liking Sword of Darkness and I can tell you rightly so that I hecka liked Varian a whole lot more than I liked Kerrigan, though I liked Kerrigan well enough.

Since I put up the whole summary of the story up there in italics, I'll just get on with what I liked and didnt like about the book.

Alright, first up what I liked about the book, there was plenty to like about the book.

There was fierce Varian, man of steel Varian, soldier to the core of his blasted soul, he walked on both sides of the fence (not the gay fence, the good and evil fence) and he was hated on both sides equally. So that pretty much left him all to himself, all alone the whole of his life. His Father, who was Lancelot hated him because of the way he was conceived in deceit and all that junk and he also hated him because of the dark magick that was in his blood thanks to his freak of a Mother, Narishka. And his mother, hated that there was goodness in him, thanks to his father, so imagine if you will, the kind of life this little boy must have suffered through in his childhood. Think the worst of it, because that's exactly how Varian lived his life. All alone, all rejected, unwanted with googly eyes (sorry inside joke, haha). So knowing this you know that I had a soft spot for him, being the tortured hero that he was.

What I liked about Varian is that he didn't care what others thought of him, he was so used to the cruelty of others (dude this is Cian ALL over again, except Varian wasn't a vampire, but a man, a sorcerer like Hoyt, I love it!) that he preferred his own company to that of others. And though he was hated by all, he continued to fight the GOOD fight because he didn't want to bow down to his Mother and others, he didn't want to prove everyone right. Everyone thought that sooner or later he was going to turn evil and fight on their side of things and because people thought that of him, he didn't want to give anyone the satisfaction of being correct. So he fought his dark instincts, he fought his own personal demons because he didn't want his Mother to be right about him.

What's not to love right?

Varian was the bomb, I loved him.

On the other hand, Merewyn was just a heroine. A forgettable one, she wasn't one that's going to stick out in my brain when I look back on my bookshelf and see the book laying there, I'm not going to remember much about Merewyn besides the fact that she was an ugly hag with a hump back when we first meet her, aside from that, yeah she's forgettable. She was kind and she learned her lesson and blah blah blah, she used to be shallow and now she's not because living among the Adoni where vanity was all they knew, it's taught her that she's got to look on the inside for people's real worth and well, yeah blah.

The three brothers that they travelled with in the book were a bunch of retards that I didn't really care for, they reminded me of the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, I thought he was retarded too...just like Derrick, Merrick and Erick, all just blah.

Blaise on the other hand, I loved this man. I was mad at him in Kerrigan's book but he made up for that because I understood why he did what he did and now everything is all sunshiny with the two of us, we're chummy. He makes me laugh and I'm so glad he was in this story. His sense of humor was a bright part of this book and I enjoyed reading his dialogue very much. I hope to see more of him in later books.

As far as the book goes, the book was all over the place, it reminded me of frickin' Alice in Wonderland with all of the talking rocks and the attacking rocks, the pits of despair and the still waters that blow things up if touched, you know all that kind of weird junk. But despite all of those things, the book was hecka funny and I enjoyed it.

One thing I didn't believe worth a damn was Merewynn and Varian's first kiss. She just got done puking her guts out, all over Varian and then in the trees. Not two minutes later, after she's all cleaned up and what not, she asks Varian to kiss her. He does and he loves it, says she tastes sweet and all that sweetness...YEAH RIGHT, her breath is karate choppin it's way through everything disgusting cause she just tossed her cookies, her breath isn't everything sweet, it's gross...let's be real now, Varian...she tasted like ass and rotten milk, that's what she tasted of. *rolls eyes*

But aside from that, the book was funny, it did it's job which was to entertain me, not once did I get bored in the book or want to do something else or put it down or whatever, since I still don't the King Arthur story worth a damn, I wasn't bothered by the changes KM did in her little rendition of the whole Arthurian tale, that was all secondary to me...the characters were humerous, exasperating when they needed to be but all around fun, I'm not mad that I read this book and I don't think you will be, unless your Holly and didn't care a lick for Sword of Darkness, but if you liked that book well enough, you'll like this one too...it certainly hasn't made me want to stop reading the series, that's for sure.

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Hero of the Week: Jordan Townsende

This week is a goody week for me because we voted on one of my favorite Judith McNaught hero's for this week spotlight Hero.

Jordan Addison Matthew Townsende.

Man of many titles, lands and riches. Husband to one young and very naive woman, named Dylan I mean, Alexandra. What I liked most about Jordan was that throughout his book, Something Wonderful we see the change in Jordan from the beginning of the book to the end of the book. In the beginning of the book we meet Jordan and he's 18 years old and he doesn't have a very high opinion of women, thanks to the women in his life, mainly his mother and the wives of the men that share his bed from time to time. You can tell that because he's a man of privilege, he's very intelligent and he's very cynical.

Mild cynicism marred the youthful handsomeness of his lean features as Jordan watched his mother and her newest lover cross the lawns and saunter into the arbor. A few moments later, his father emerged from the same hedge maze, looked about him, then retrieved Lady Milborne, his current paramour from the bushes.

"Aparently, my mother has found a new lover," Jordan drawled sarcastically.

"Really?" Lady Harrington asked, peering out the window. "Who?"

"Your husband." Turning fully torward her, Jordan studied her lovely face, searching for some sign of surprise. When he saw none, his own features hardened into an ironic mask. "You knew they were in the maze together and that accounts for your unprecedented interest in MY bed, is that it?"

She nodded, uneasy under the unrelenting gaze of those cool grey eyes.

..."Poor little Catherine," he said dryly, reaching out and brushing his knuckles against her cheek. "What a miserable lot you women have, from the day you're born, anything is yours for the asking and so you have nothing to work for, and even if you did, you wouldn't be permitted to work for it. We don't allow you to study and you're forbidden sports, so you cannot exercise your mind or your body. You don't even have honor to cling to, for although a man's honor is his to hold to for as long as he wishes, yours is between your legs and you lose it to the first man who has you. How unjust life is for you!" he finished. "No wonder you're all so bored, amoral and frivolous."

That's the Jordan we meet.

As the saying goes, it's gonna get worst before it gets better. So yeah you guessed it, it got worst.

Jordan meets Alex, his heroine when she's trying to save him from being robbed and killed, he mistakes her for a boy and when she's fallen (but not dead, obviously) he carries her into a bedroom at the nearby Inn and attends to her.

Not too long after they part ways and little Alex makes an impression on him that there IS goodness in the world his hopes are dashed when Alex comes to his home on the heels of her enraged Mother, who demands that Jordan marries Alex for tarnishing her reputation. Her poor daughter was only trying to save him and he thanks her by ruining her chances at any sort of a decent marriage.

So you can just imagine the kind of jerk Jordan turned into. He wasn't very nice to his new bride, he made plans that would have embarrassed and ashamed Alex and chipped at her self worth. He did all of this because of the way he was brought up. He was brought up thinking that he had a duty and he was to see to it. All his life, he'd been disappointed by women, his mother, the women who shared his bed, they were all shallow and cared for nothing and no one. There wasn't anyone in his life that could have shown him the positive side of life.

All he knew growing up was harsh and cold reality. The magnitude of his calling as the future Duke of Hawthorne. He was pushed and bullied by his father to be this hard and unyielding man and it was no wonder that he was so far gone by the time Alex came into this life that he didn't even realize the gem he had by marrying Alex until it was almost too late.

She changed him and shared her world with him and it was the little part of Alex's world that helped him through the hard times of trying to escape the bad guys who stole him. It was the goodness he saw in Alex and the goodness she shared with him that kept him alive and kicking, Alex and the goodness in her was what gave Jordan something to hold on to and something to look forward to returning to.

She gave him something to fight for.

It was a long road back home and and an even rockier road once returned. He had a lot of making up to do but you can see in the book how much he fought for her. His struggle with his feelings, his struggle with the facts presented to him, you saw all of that and you felt for him even though you were kicking him in the knee caps because he was always doubting everything around him. His past and his childhood were so engrained in his mind that he had a hard time coming to grips with trust and love.

But at the end, you saw the growth of Jordan Townsende as a man and you saw the goodness you knew from the beginning was inside him come out. And the strength it took to finally be at a place where he loved openly and with all that he was was such a reward because Jordan Townsende was one hunky ass hero.

My first hero, the one that captured me, the one that hooked me on romance novels in the beginning. He's my first hero love.

It was quotes like these that sealed Jordan's hotness in for me.

"Oh, Alex," he wept rocking her in his arms like a baby, "how will I go living without you? Take me with you, he whispered. "I want to go with you..."

Oh holy goodness, this whole scene, which I would post for you but I really want you to read the whole of it for yourself in the book because gosh it's a good scene, one of the best scenes, one that had me bawling buckets like a baby, it was so good. All the promises he makes just so that she doesn't do the unthinkable and leave him, all the things he says to her to make her realize the goodness she's brought into his life, all the places he wants to take her, the things he wants her to see with him...oh gosh it was such a good scene.


"My pride was hurt that you left me in the middle of the night," he admitted.

For someone as powerful and prideful as Jordan to even ADMIT this to Alex endeared Jordan to me because the Jordan from the beginning of the book would never have admitted such a thing and yet, here he is, admitting it to her. *sigh*

The change in Jordan from the beginning to the end and all the sweetness in between is why we voted Jordan for this week's Hero of the Week, his sexy grey eyes and dark hair helped his cause a whole lot as well and because we know that you're dying to see it...here's our picture of Lord Jordan Townsende, Duke of Hawthorne.



Monday, November 20, 2006

Valley of Silence by Nora Roberts

Hero: Cian Mac Cionaoith
Heroine: Queen Moira of Geall
Category: Paranormal
Page Count: I forgot and I don't have the book here with me.
Grade: A

The battleground has been chosen for the final showdown between those selected by the gods and the minions of the vampire Lilith. But there is one vampire who dares stand against her. And his love for the scholarly queen of Geall will complete the circle of six-and change the face of eternity.

Finally the war has begun.

It took three books to get here but we're finally here, where the big showdown happens. I enjoyed this book immensely and it took me a lot longer to get through both of the previous books but Nora Roberts certainly delivered with the last installment of The Circle Trilogy on both counts. The war finally happens and we see that the little battles they've won and lost to Lillith in the previous books helped them in the war.

This book was a great read for me because I was finally gifted with my love, Cian's book. And I loved that he was what he was and he didn't apologize for it and he did what needed to be done, even if Moira didn't care for it. She may have been the Queen to everyone, but to him, she was just a woman, he was trying desperately not to love because he didn't want her to die on him and he be left with only memories of her...so he kept her at a safe distance but when she approached him for something more, he was perilous to stop her because he wanted it so much. I loved it!

Their romance, their relationship, their story was my favorite in the whole series and I enjoyed the heck out of it. I loved how Morrigan was extremely proud of each of the Six and how she rewarded each of them. I loved how she didn't forget Cian. I loved her gift to Cian, now some maybe most of you might not, so I'm warning you now, Mailyn you probably wouldn't like it one bit, but that's okay because I did...

...I loved the old man who was telling the story and I loved the children who were listening and I just loved the way the whole story ended, it was just so friggin' great.

I loved how they both did what needed to be done, but they were both honest with each other, I love you and I know you love me so give me the words, and the words were given with no hesitation, they didn't shy away from their love for each other, once Cian stopped fighting and I loved how even though she was the Queen, she was Moira first and foremost and she loved everyone with all that she was.

She cared.

Moira as a heroine was great to read about. She was smart, she felt she had to earn her people's respect and she did. She did what needed to be done and when things got ugly for her as a Queen, she didn't hide away behind her friends or her court, she took responsibility for her actions where her people were concerned and she went and did what she felt she needed to do. What I loved most about Moira is that, though she was Queen and she had certain responsibilities to uphold, she didn't and wouldn't let anyone tell her who she could love and spend her private moments with. Cian was the worst person she could have aligned herself with privately but that didn't stop her from following her heart and sharing as much time with Cian as she possibly could.

Cian, well you guys already know how much I love this man...I don't want to ruin the story for anyone, so I'll just discuss why I loved Cian so much with anyone that wants to discuss this story and the ending with me, but just know that Cian is top notch for me, I frickin' LOVED him. I loved how he stood by Moira's side even when no one wanted him to, I loved how fiercely he loved Moira and I just loved him as a person...he was changed, he was a vampire and yet he wasn't like the evil vampires that Lillith made. He was so much stronger than that. I loved that about him.

I loved Cian and Moira as a unit, I loved how Cian didn't hesitate to tell Moira when she needed to buck up and handle what needed to be handled. I loved how he didn't shy away from being honest with her. When she was being retarded about killing, he killed for her in front of whoever was around, be it the six of them or the entire land of Geall and didn't apologize for it as he walked away, he let her know when she was being stupid and when she was great, he let her know that too. I loved his honesty. It was refreshing and made me love him all the more.

This book was really great, I'd recommend it, I loved the way it all worked out...I loved the way Cian and Moira came together at the end and I rejoiced when they were back together, I just loved it.

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Friday, November 17, 2006

Guess My Book..

I did this on my blog and I've seen a lot of people doing it on theirs but I thought it would be something fun to do here on SF's book blog. Maybe we can get it going on a weekly basis. Just for some fun. But I was thinking we would change it up a bit, do a certain author at a time, and post a couple more sentences. We'll start with Susan Elizabeth Phillips and go through her books first. So here it is.....

The Rules:

1. Grab the nearest book.

2. Open to page 123.

3. Find the fifth sentence.

4. Post the text of the next six sentences on your blog along with these instructions.

5. Don't you dare dig around for that "cool" or "intellectual" book on your shelves. (I know you were thinking about it.) Just pick up whatever is closest.

Guess my book:

The idea was so absurdly simple that she should have thought of it right away. She looked over at her suitcase and frowned at the scratch on the side. That suitcase had cost something like eighteen hundred pounds when she'd bought it less than a year before. Flipping open her cosmetic case, she riffled through the contents looking for a cake of eye shadow approximately the same butternut shade as the leather. When she found it, she unscrewed the lid and gently dabbed at the scratch. It was still faintly visible when she was done, but she felt satisfied that only a close inspection would reveal the flaw.



Thursday, November 16, 2006

The Trouble With Magic by Madelyn Alt

Equal parts amateur whodunit, supernatural fantasy, and quirky romance, The Trouble with Magic -- the first installment of Madelyn Alt's Bewitching Mystery saga -- features Maggie O'Neill, a woman at a crossroads of what has thus far been an uneventful life.

Single, almost 30, and recently terminated from a lousy collections job, Maggie's life in small-town Indiana is at a standstill -- until she fatefully meets Felicity Dow, the owner of an upscale antiques and fine-gifts shop. The two women hit it off immediately, and Maggie is hired on as Felicity's assistant. Felicity -- who happens to be a witch and the head of a group that investigates paranormal encounters in and around northeastern Indiana -- introduces Maggie to an exciting, consciousness-expanding world that includes Wiccanism, spirits, and ghosts; but before Maggie can even finish a full day of work, the estranged sister of her new boss is found murdered in her home, and the good-hearted witch is tagged as the prime suspect. With rumors running rampant and circumstantial evidence piling up, Maggie must somehow find the real killer before Felicity is figuratively burned alive at the stake.

Although fast-paced, lighthearted, and charmingly witty, Alt's The Trouble with Magic tackles some weighty topics (religious intolerance and persecution, the karmic Rule of Three, etc.) with both subtlety and style. This debut novel in the Bewitching Mystery saga is not only a page-turner of the highest order but also the beginning of what should be a highly entertaining paranormal-powered series. Paul Goat Allen

It started off good. But half way, I started skimming the book. I just lost interest in it. It was when Maggie tried being all super sleuth to find out who really killed Felicity's sister.

There was one part when the dectective calls Maggie asking her on a date. She points out he is wearing a wedding band. "Oh I forgot I had it on. My wife divorced me how many months/years ago." Which was true. But still, if some guy said that to you in real life, wouldn't you not believe him? I know I would think "Yeah right buddy, likely excuse." But I guess Maggie is a witch too, she knows he's telling the truth. I don't know.

So meh.

Grade: D+

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A Great Big Welcome to Our Newest Addition!

Please join us here at Sanctuary's Finest by welcoming the latest addition to our Sanctuary's Finest team.

A long time friend of ours, Daphne has been added to the ranks here at SF and will be adding her reviews, thoughts and just her lively self to the blog soon. We're really excited by this addition because it means that our team is growing and since we love Daphne we thought it'd be great to have her blog with us.

Daphne is 24 years old and lives in Southern California, not too far from myself. She's a tiny little cutie and I've had the pleasure of meeting her and think she is extremely beautiful, on the inside and the outside. She's got a major love affair with Luc Martineau from Rachel Gibson's See Jane Score and she's a Drustan girl (BOOOO, haha). She's the biggest perv in the smallest itty bitty body and we all love her to death, me most especially since she's a USC graduate! haha...GO TROJANS!

So, please help us welcome our friend to Sanctuary's Finest, we know you'll love her just as much as we do!

Just because I know you'd enjoy this, here's to you sweetie pie. A little welcome to our world.

Just for you.



Hero of the Week: Cian Mac Cionaoith

Okay so it's been a heck of a long time since we've last had one of these and I promise, dear readers, that I will work harder to get one of these out every week, as doing this I remember how much fun I used to have trying to woo you lovely readers into reading the book of the spotlight hero of the week.

Anyway, this week's Hero of the Week goes to a hero who was damned by one greedy, power hungry bitch, named Lillith. She approached said hero and seduced him and when they were in the throes of passion, she revealed unto him who she was and though he fought her, she was much too powerful for him to defeat so he fell to this ugly nasty bitch who I hope to all that is holy gets hers in his book.

I'm not quite finished with his book (which by the way is Valley of Silence by Nora Roberts, the third and final book in The Circle Trilogy, well duh but yeah that's his book), but I'm so enchanted with this hero's character and his book that I couldn't wait to make him the spotlight of the week. So here he is, in all his glory.

Cian Mac Cionaoith.

He's brother to Hoyt the Sorcerer and part of the Circle of Six that the Goddess Morrigan has chosen to take on the evil Lillith and her Vampire Army. As he IS a vampire, he's considered a traitor amongst the Vampire World, but he's loyal to his human brother and their cause. He's also the sexiest vampire this series boasts of. From the jump, I was drawn to Cian, though he played his role in the shadow of both Hoyt and Larkin. He's quiet, mean and rude and ruthless in his training. He goes easy on no one, feels nothing but annoyed tolerance for everyone, even his brother...because developing feelings for others isn't worth the empty ache they'll leave inside him once they're done with this life and he continues with his, being the immortal vampire that he is.

So he has lived a solitary life, enjoying the company of scores of women, but in the nine hundred years he's lived the life of an undead, he's loved no one....until Moira.


For a vampire who lived in the shadows most of his undead life, it was good to finally see him come out of the shadow and be apart of the story instead of in the shadows of the story. To see the world through Cian's eyes was sobering. The way the people that he was fighting FOR and WITH, feared him and were repulsed by him made my heart hurt for him. When I read about how people cringed away from him it hurt me because I knew he was used to it. He was used to the cruelty of humans. And the way the humans treated him as if he killed and plundered his way through them nowadays made me mad on his behalf because his reasons for not feeding from humans was sweet and he was such a lonely spirit. If anyone needed someone in their corner, someone to care for him, it was Cian.

My favorite scenes from Cian Mac Cionaoith's book were these memorable ones:

..."I find that a very human sort of choice."

"Do you?" And the words were a shrug. "I find it merely an impulsive--and painful--one."

He slipped out to make his way to his own room on the northern side of the castle. Impulse, he thought again, and, he could admit to himself, an instant of raw fear. If he'd seen the arrow fly a second later, or moved with a fraction less speed, she'd be dead.

And in that instant of impulse and fear, he'd seen her dead. The arrow still quivering as it pierced her flesh, her blood spilling the life out of her onto her dark green gown and the hard gray stones.

He feared that, feared the end of her, where she would be beyond him. Where she would go to a place he couldn't see or touch. Lilith would have taken one last thing from him with that arrow, one last thing he could never regain.

For he'd lied to his brother. He had loved a woman, despite his best--or worst--intentions, he loved the new crowned queen of Geall.


"Damn it." Cian slammed down the cup, then scowled at the blood that splattered on the maps. "You humans crowd me with these feelings. You push them at me, and into me without a single thought for how I can survive them."

"How can you survive without them?" Larkin wondered.

"Comfortably. What difference does it make to you what I feel? She needed someone."

"Not someone. You."

"Her mistake," Cian said quietly. "My damnation. I love her, or I would have taken her before this for the sport of it. How, I'm not sure, but I love her otherwise I wouldn't feel so goddamn desperate. And you repeat that to anyone, I'll snap your head from your shoulders, friend or not."

And then my absolute favorite quote from the sexy, Cian Mac Cionaoith...

"Moira." He kept her hand in his, then laid hers against his chest. "If it beat, it would beat for you."


And THAT dear readers, is why Cian Mac Cionaoith is this week's Hero of the Week. Here's a picture of him...sexy, huh?

Until next week...



Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Beyond Innocence by Emma Holly

Her Black Lace books books have won legions of fans and now author Emma Holly brings her own special brand of sensual adventures to traditional romance with her first novel,BEYOND INNOCENCE. The author easily surpasses other authors of erotic romance in this book filled with multi-layered characters, a plot with meat to it and steamy love scenes that are not just page fillers but actually advance the story.
When Florence Fairleigh travels to London in 1873 to meet with her recently deceased father's solicitor, little did she know that the meeting would have far-reaching implications that would affect her life forever. Originally thinking to secure a position as perhaps a governess or teacher, Florence is, instead, thrust into London's social whirl in a plot to encourage a marriage for young Freddie Burbrooke, in the hope of settling him down and sparing him society's censure. In the process, Freddie's brother, Edward, earl of Greystowe realizes he has feelings for his brother's intended-feelings that deepen and finally are reciprocated. But can a true and lasting relationship be built on a foundation of lies? - Review by Barbara O'Neill

I finished this book in Vegas. Since my mind is at a blank right now, I'm gonna keep this simple. I liked the book. I liked Edward and how he tried to control him self around Florence. I liked Florence. She was innocent, but she wasn't stupid. I like how Edward tried to protect Freddie from scandal.

Grade: B+

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Girl's Night by Stef Ann Holm

Hero: Vince Tremonti
Heroine: Jillene McDermott
Category: Contemp
Page Count: 376
Grade: B
Buy It: Here or here.

All Jillene McDermott needs is a little breathing room, and the only place she can find it is the bathtub. Her coffee bar, Java the Hut, is on life support, and raising two daughters alone is a full-time job, so quiet moments in the tub are a rare treat.

Knowing their mom deserves some happiness, Jillene's daughters Claire and Faye, write her a personal ad. But their good intentions go wrong and Vince Tremonti, the town's most famous son, has to step in as Jillene's "boyfriend."

Vince is a crime writer who is back in Blue Heron Beach to rethink the grim reality of his career, and he can't afford to get involved with anyone, much less a young widow with a ready-made family.

But thrown together, the two can't deny the mutual attraction and they realize there is more between them than a summer fling. Suddenly, lattes are not the only thing steaming in Blue Heron Beach.

Have you ever read a book and thought to yourself (or out loud, lol) 'they would NEVER say that!'? Well I know I have and that was one of the most refreshing things about this book. Jillene said exactly what she thought. And not in an annoying think before you speak kind of way. Just in the honest truth, lets not have lies complicate things way.

Here's an example:
"I can't." She put her fingertips over her mouth, a mouth bruised from kisses. Shoving herself off the counter she shook her head - a burning embarrassment on her face. Her speech stumbled and was just as unsteady as her legs. "Not with my girls just outside the door. I can't believe I let this happen. They'd never approve of what we were doing."
Vince didn't try to touch her further, but his voice was low and quiet. "They're the ones who threw us together, Jillene."
"Not for this." She buried her face in her hands but with no inclination to cry. "Don't you understand? They don't want a lover for their mother. They want a new dad."
The tick of his wristwatch on the windowsill was the only noise in the room for long, drawn-out seconds.
"I can't be that."
Her chin shot up. "Of course not."
"There will be somebody for you. You're a wonderful-"
"I hate your bullshit, Vince." She surprised even herself with the outburst of indignation.

See it's not that she's some big strong smart mouthed woman. She is just a regular woman that doesn't want any run arounds. She's a mom, she's a business woman, she's plain old a woman. And I loved her.

Vince is great too. He is a true crimes writer and is in a whirlwind of hurt and confusion when he stumbles upon Jillene. He has succeeded immensely in his profession until he picks a new case to write and his world crumbles. He soon finds out that he didn't really pick this case but the killer choose him. Through different events we see how this killer layed everything out from day one and his first kill so that Vince could write his book. He doesn't care that he's in prison, or that he is awaiting the death penalty, he just wants to be famous with a book on him written by Vince. Now Vince is stuck, he is contracted to write this story, and yet how can he? The only time his decisions aren't hunting him is when he is with Jillene and even her girls.But at 42 can he really change his ways? Can he dig his way out of the hole he is in?

This book was sooo great. It had funny stuff with Jillene's 10 and 12 year old girls, hot stuff with Jillene and Vince, a great sub plot with Vince's dad and his lady love, and everything else that went along with a widowed woman trying to save a struggling company and Vince trying to find his way in his predicament.

This is my second book by Stef Ann Holm and I can't wait to read more. Go get something by her, anything and enjoy. Although not related in a series here is the link to Leaving Normal, my first book by her that I also loved.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Dance of the Gods by Nora Roberts

Hero: Larkin Riddock
Heroine: Blair Murphy
Category: Contemporary, Paranormal
Page Count: 316 pages
Grade: A

From the Publisher:
Second in the new paranormal Circle Trilogy.

With one vampire determined to rule the earth, the Circle of Six prepares to battle for their lives-and their hearts.

Whoa dang.

I really liked this book, a lot better than I liked Morrigan's Cross and I liked Morrigan's Cross a lot. There was more of a romance in this book but it didn't take away from the overall story being told and I thought that was just awesome. The story continues with Larkin and Blair, their journey to be together and their journey to his world, to his time and this story was just frickin' awesome.

This is the story of Blair Murphy, the warrior from our days who is like a Buffy the Vampire Slayer because she IS a vampire slayer. She's mean and she's tough and she's used to working alone but since coming to meet the Circle of Six, she has adapted to working with others and getting others opinions before acting. She's part of a team now and it took some getting used to but she has grown to love her teammates with every breath she takes. She trusts them all completely and she has friends and for once in her life, she's got a family. People who know her and still love her. People who take her as she is...who embrace what she is and care about her. Then there's Larkin.

Charming and handsome, Larkin. On the outside, he's a fiercely handsome man who is quick to make others laugh and who can charm the socks right off of any woman, so long as she's willing to make him a meal because boy can this man eat. Inside, he's a determined fighter, he cares about others and their needs and wants. He's everything a woman could ever want in a guy, loving, caring and open about it all but no wuss...and he can change into whatever living thing he wants...he wants to soar through the sky with the dragons? POOF, he's a Dragon and you can ride that bad boy whenever you want. You need a spy to get the inside scoop on the enemy? Well, just ask Larkin, he'll turn into a sewer rat and run his little heart around and find out just what you need to find out.

I mean, seriously...what more could you ask for?

They're on the brink of war and everything is up in the air as far as if they're ready or not, but Blair's faith in the Circle and Larkin's faith in his hometown soldiers make a believer out of me in that they'll defeat Lillith and her evil minions and that the good will prevail over evil. It was good to see Blair and Larkin's journey together through her time and then on to his. The way their love came together, with Blair's doubt and Larkin's steadfast faith in love and in them, it was just so great to read and be apart of.

Larkin is one of those heroes that you'll fall head over heels in love with and want for your very own and Blair is one of those strong heroines who you'll admire. There are times when she does or say something that might make you roll your eyes at but she's not TSTL, she's a tough one and a smart one too and their story was wonderful. Dragon Boy and Buffy were the perfect couple and I can't wait to read the ending to this enchanting story, the grand finale is coming ya'll and I am just biting at the bit to finish this one out.

My favorite quote in the book, well one of them at least is this one by Larkin:

"Well that put a cork back in you right enough. Magnificent," he repeated. "In face and form, in your heart and your mind. Magnificent because of what you do every day, and have done for years, since you were all but a babe. I've never known another like you, and never will. I'm telling you that if a man looks at you and doesn't see what a wonder you are, it's his vision that's at fault, and not a bit of you."

If you read that in the context that it was written, it'll make your heart sigh just like mine did. I fell all the more in love with Larkin because of that little bit. This book was great and Doubleday better have my book at home when I get there, because I NEED to read Cian's book...FINALLY, Cian and Moira's story, the story that I've been looking forward to all series long, some come on Doubleday Book Club, bring on the Cian...

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Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Heathers Gift by Lora Leigh

Will she bring the gift of acceptance, or will she break the bonds that have been forged through the fires of hell?

Heather's job was to guard Sam's body. As part of the team assigned to the protection of the August family, she had taken her job seriously. Until a mad man learned she was Sam August's weakness. Until the past rose with deadly intent and surprising secrets.

Will Sam be able to deny his passion for this woman, or will the dark nightmares, and sensuous desires that rage through them both be the cause of his destruction, and the destruction of the woman he loves.

I had to hurry and read this one so I could loan it to Jazz when I see her.

This is the last of the Men of August Series. Well, there is a short story too.

This books answers who the stalker is out to destroy the August Brothers. Why the brothers gotta share their women. Some awful perverse shit happened to them.

Heather, like Marly and Sarah before her, thinks it's wrong. There is something wrong with the lifestyle they lead. She thinks it's just lust and an excuse. They all explain to Heather, the sharing, is the only way to ease the demons inside the men.

I think out of the series, I did like this one more. The sex scenes are hot, but the big scene was kind of a let down. I expected more. And I don't like this cover.

I give this one a B-/C+

Marly's Choice
Sarah's Seduction

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Monday, November 6, 2006

Book Reviews by Author.


Alicia Fields
Anne Stuart


Barbara Freethy


Candace Bushnell
Carly Phillips
Cassie Edwards
Catherine Anderson
Cathy Maxwell
Cecelia Ahern


Dean Koontz
Debbie Macomber
Debra Mullins
Diana Gabaldon
Emma Holly
Emma Sweeney
Eve Silver



Gaelen Foley



Iris Johansen


J.D. Robb
J.R. Ward
Jacquie D'Alessandro
Jane Heller
Janet Chapman
Jennifer Crusie
Jude Deveraux
Judith McNaught
Julia Quinn
Julie Garwood


Karen Marie Moning
Karen Rose
Kat Martin
Katherine Stone
Kathryn Shay
Kinley MacGregor


Laura Lee Gurhke
Leslie Kelley
Linda Castillo
Linda Lee Francis
Linda Howard
Linda Lael Miller
Lisa Kleypas
Lisa Marie Rice
Liz Carlyle
Lora Leigh
Lorraine Heath
Luanne Rice
Lucy Monroe
Lydia Joyce
Lynda Curnyn
Lynn Kurland


Madeline Hunter
Madelyn Alt
Maria V. Snyder
Marta Acosta
Maureen Child
Meg Cabot
Melissa Senate


Nora Roberts



Patti Berg


Rachel Gibson
Rene Lyons
roxanne St. Claire


Sandra Brown
Sherrilyn Kenyon
Sophie Kinsella
Stef Ann Holm
Sue Margolis
Susan Anderson
Susan Donovan
Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Susan Johnson
Susan Wiggs
Suzanne Brockmann
Suzanne Enoch
Sylvia Day


Tara Janzen
Teresa Medeiros


Vicki Lewis Thompson


Wendy Markham
Whitney Gaskell
William Goldman






After The Night by Linda Howard

Hero: Gray Rouillard
Heroine: Faith Devlin
Category: Contemp
Page Count: 327, pb
Grade: B-
Buy It: Here or here.

Faith Devlin: A poor, outcast child in Prescott, Louisiana, she'd always adored the town's golden boy from afar. But he called her white trash that sultry Southern night when his rich, respected father disappeared, along with her pretty Mom. Now Faith wanted to hate Gray Rouillard...not to feel a powerful surge of desire. But she couldn't quench her passion, any more than she could hide the truth about the past she had waited so long to unravel.
Gray Rouillard: Even when he raised hell, he did it with style. Reckless, charming, and backed by Rouillard money, Gray controlled the town of Prescott -- and Devlin was a name he never wanted to hear again. But when he gazed at Faith Devlin, all he saw was a swirl of tangled sheets and her silken flesh beneath him. To care for her was impossible, unthinkable...because Gray Rouillard planned to use all his power to ruin her.

Okay for some reason I've been having trouble putting together reviews lately. And this one was no better, so I'm warning you now this is the only way it was happening, and there might be spoilers. Well there will be, I couldn't explain myself without them.

What I loved: How funny Grey was with Faith after they got together. When they were in bed and she told him about the 'talking in French' when he was with another woman and not with her. So the next time they made love he purposely talked to her in french. I just loved how he was with her. For the most part. He cracked me the hell up in the bathroom "God damn woman! Can't you tell I'm busy in here!" (or something like that)ha ha ah.
I love Faith's red headed temper! She didn't back down, even when she was scared.
She rocked!

My Issues: (there are way more issues than loves) Monica has major issues, and they were never dealt with. She just gets to forget that she was pretending to be her mama for seven years and screwing around with a old family friend? And she said to Faith that she sent the notes and cat but would never do what Alex did. Yet didn't she go to her house with a gun that night??? Hello!!!! She should have been put into a crazy house.
Alex said he killed Guy by accident....ummm how do you shoot someone in the head by accident? And yeah he could have been lying but why did it seem that people still bought it in the end?
Grey never said sorry to Faith for calling her trash that one night. Never explained why he took his anger on her mother out on her.
And I didn't like how Grey cared so much about his crazy mother all through the book, at the expense of Faith, then in the end just told her to shove it basically. She was crazy from the get go.

In ending: Even though I had more issues than loves for this book it ended up being pretty good. It still had me intrigued the entire time. Even if I didn't like the way it was tied up. I really wish it had an epilogue, I wanted to see what happened with Micheal/Monica, Grey/Faith, and the mother, you know after the weddings. But Grey was hot, Faith was awesome so overall it was good.

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Seduction by Design by Sandra Brown

Hero: Tyler Scott
Heroine: Hailey Ashton
Category: Contemp
Page Count: 183
Grade: C+
Buy It: Here

Hailey Ashton projects an image that she's on top of everything, but no one realizes that she lives a life of quiet emptiness -- not ready to have a relationship, not willing to give herself body and soul to a man. Never able to compete with her younger sister, the thoughtless beauty of the family, Hailey opted to be the "good girl." But when she meets Tyler Scott -- her rich, attractive new boss -- she longs to be anything but good.

Let me start off by telling you all I LOVE Sandra Brown. I've never hated a book by her. I mean of course I like some more than others, but a trait I love of hers is that she can make me like the most unlikable. Also this particular book was published back in the early 80's so some of the ways the characters act and dress are off. But in saying that.....

Haily has been managing at a theme park for four years now and loves her job. She is efficient and dependable. She never has viewed herself as beautiful, passably pretty maybe but beautiful? No that's for her younger sister Ellen. Ellen has never had to stick with a job, or be very smart her looks and personality have always gotten her by. But Haily has always been the one to go to, the dependable one. Even as her parents were sick and passing away she took care of them and they asked for Ellen.

So imagine her shock when there is a young girl at the theme park that needs her help and the girls father ends up being her boss that she's never met. And further more he tells her straight out that he intends to seduce her.

Now this is not normally a set up for a book that I would like. The hero actually says "I am going to seduce you" during the second conversation they have and then goes on to tell her how great he is and that he is attracted to her so what's the problem.

Throw a young girl in the mix, 11 years old. She has never lived with her father but her mother just passed away so she is adjusting to loosing her mother getting to know her father and needing a woman to go to for motherly things.

This is our story in a nut shell. And although SB wrote the book well enough for me to get over the blunt way Tyler starts off with Haily I could not get over the way the daughter talked. I mean she was 11 years old and I personally don't know any 11 year olds that say "Gee" before or after everything they say. Uggg, drove me up the wall.

But over all? I liked. I mean come on it is Sandra Brown did you expect anything less from me? lol.

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Sunday, November 5, 2006

Morrigan's Cross by Nora Roberts

Hero: Hoyt Mac Cionaoith
Heroine: Glenna Ward
Category: Paranormal
Page Count: 321 pages
Grade: B

From the Cover Slip:

A battle is brewing between the forces of good and evil-- a war that will be fought across the planes of time ---as Lilith, the most powerful vampire in the world, gathers her dark minions around her.

The goddess Morrigan rises up to stop her--and with her, a circle of six...

The romance in this story is slim but for me the romance was secondary, there's a bigger story being told here and I'm mighty intrigued to find out what happens next. This is the first book in The Circle Trilogy and I really enjoyed reading it. I loved how Nora Roberts started the story with an Old Man telling the tale of the War to all those little kids and I just loved the way the whole story just flowed. It was set at a nice pace and though the romance was very slim in this book, I still felt the wealth of love flowing between both Hoyt and Glenna.

I loved how their love happened real quick like but it was still believable to me, because they didn't fight their feelings for each other, they didn't shy away from the problems that would come from them getting together, they knew right from the jump that whatever problems arose from them being together, they were going to face each problem head on and TOGETHER. I loved it.

I thought the immediate handfasting was cute and I just loved reading about these two. It was good, a good addition to the whole story.

I loved getting to know the others in the Circle, I loved meeting Cian and the complication that he was in the story because he was a vampire and they were forming all this to destroy just what Cian was. I loved how they all grew together to be this big happy family and I enjoyed seeing them struggle to trust each other, struggle to LIKE each other and yet at the end of the book, we saw them accomplish what they wanted to accomplish, to form a unit.

I thought this book was well written and it was just oodles of fun to read. Nora Roberts proved to me in this book that she is indeed worth the money she makes. This was a great read for me and I cannot wait to start the next in the series, though I long to read Cian's story. Of the three men in the story, figures I'd be drawn more to the vampire than anyone else. The Sorcerer was hot stuff and the Man with Many Shapes was another hottie, but for me, it was all about Cian, the vampire....the story really has just begun and I can't wait to read the rest of it.

Good job, Nora.

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Friday, November 3, 2006

Sunny Chandler's Return by Sandra Brown

Hero: Ty Beaumont
Heroine: Sunny Chandler
Category: Contemp
Page Count: 209, HB
Grade: B-
Buy It: Here, here or here.

Sandra Brown has won over fans and critics throughout
the world with more than fifty New York Times
bestselling novels. Her early works were hailed by
Rendezvous magazine as stories with “larger than life
heroes and heroines [who] make you believe all the
warm, wonderful, wild things in life.” Here is
the unforgettable story of a woman who returns to
her small hometown in the South—and finds
that the sins of her past are right where she left them.

Never. Sunny Chandler always said she’d never go
back to the tiny town where she grew up. It was just
three years ago that she was at the center of a notorious
scandal—and the good folks of Latham Green,
Louisiana, made it clear they’d never let her forget it.
So Sunny packed up and headed for New Orleans, and
now she wouldn’t give up city life for the world. But
when she’s invited to her best friend’s wedding, Sunny
has no choice but to go home. And with her return
come the whispers…the looks…the rumors she tried
to escape. It doesn’t take Sunny long to see that
Latham Green has nothing new to offer. Except
maybe Ty Beaumont.
The moment Ty and Sunny first meet at a party, he can
see she’s no ordinary woman. With her dazzling hair,
and eyes the color of gold, she’s a flesh-and-blood
fantasy—and Ty vows he’ll have her in his bed before
the week is out. Yet even when he turns on his southern
charm, Sunny makes it clear she’s not interested.
Sure, a night with Ty would be wilder than Bourbon
Street at Mardi Gras. But Sunny’s not in town to
become some good ol’ boy’s latest conquest, no matter
how sexy he is. Little does she know that Ty
isn’t used to taking no for an answer—and he isn’t
about to start now.

Soon what began as an innocent flirtation becomes
a tantalizingly slow, skillfully deliberate, and
overwhelmingly seductive pursuit that even Sunny
finds hard to resist. But resist him she will. For
Sunny is harboring an agonizing secret—the painful
truth of why she left Latham Green the way she did.
What she really needs now is a friend—and that’s when
she discovers there may be more to Ty Beaumont
than meets the eye. Despite his roguish facade, Sunny
comes to see he has a heart of gold. Still, she doesn’t
know if she can trust another person with her secret
heartbreak—not even the one man who may
be able to heal it.

I love Sandra Brown, especially the way she can write anything from a spine chilling thriller to a plain and simple romance. Well not really, cause there isn't much plain and simple about Sunny Chandler in this book.

Sunny's finally returned home after the scandal she caused all those years ago. And for nothing less than a wedding, her best friends. Quite ironic since a wedding is what caused the scandal to start with. Most likely it didn't help that she refuses to tell anyone why she did what she did, not her parents, not her best friend no one. So why one night, when the man that has been pursuing her since she came back to town, does she pour out her soul bearing all her secrets? Well no other reason except Ty makes her defy all reason. He's openly told her he wants to sleep with her, and in much more detail, that he's even bet on it with a buddy. So why can she not stay away from him? The more things turn against her in her home town the more she shares with him, and he really seems to understand. He's not judging her, and he believes in her. The more she gets to know him the harder it is to resist. And the more Ty pursues Sunny and the more she resists he realizes that there just might be more to it than getting her to bed, he just might be falling for her. And wouldn't that be bad with the secret she's holding on to.

This was a cute book, it was funny and a little sad. I was a little surprised with the scandal. Not the why of it, that's fairly easy to figure out. But the way she did it and her reasons for not telling. I liked Ty too, he was pretty arrogant but it worked as Sandra Brown has a way of doing with her hero's. It was a light fast read, nothing spectacular but still a good read.

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