Tag Archives: 9.25 out of 10

Dukes Prefer Blondes, by Loretta Chase

14 Jun

Recently the lovely Keira reviewed this novel at Cogitations and Meditations, and after reading her wonderful review, I just had to look it up, with a view to checking the price, perhaps snag it.

Turns out, I already owned it.

I am not exactly sure how long this book has been on my digital TBR pile (frankly, I’m a little afraid to look too closely at these things), but, probably from the first time it was offered at a reduced price.

Long story a bit shorter, this meant I could start reading it on the spot, without budget guilt.

Reader, beware: while there’s very little explicit language, the bedroom door is open.

Dukes Prefer Blondes, by Loretta Chase

I didn’t realize it until I was already a few pages in, but this novel is connected to Ms Chase’s Dressmakers trilogy¹. The heroine, Lady Clara Fairfax, is an important secondary character in the first two books.

Our hero, brilliant barrister Oliver ‘Raven’ Radford, may be not-so-distantly related to a duke, but he’s not what one would call a great catch for the daughter of a Marquess.

Or, perhaps, that’s exactly what he is.

Here’s the blurb, from the author’s site:
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Rock Hard, by Nalini Singh

9 Mar

Rock HardI don’t think it’s a secret that I’m a fan of Nalini Singh. I absolutely adore her Psy/Changeling world, and I have really liked both of her recently self published contemporary romances.

So of course I’ve been ansty as hell, waiting for the third title in the Rock Kiss series to come out–and boy oh boy, did Ms Singh knock it out of the park!

Reader beware, though: I received an ARC of this novel. There’s violence in the heroine’s past, and though very little of it is retold on page, you may want to take this into account when you read. Also, there is graphic sex and cursing.

Rock Hard by Nalini Singh

The very beginning of this novel happens concurrently with the beginning of Rock Addiction, so a reader who has recently read the latter will recognize a few scenes and conversations between Charlie and Molly, her best friend. However, both novels can be read as standalones; Molly’s appearances in this novel are few and brief, firmly establishing how close the relationship between these two women is, yet not taking anything away from Charlie’s own story.

Here, have a blurb from the author’s website:
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The Kraken King, by Meljean Brook

23 Feb

The Kraken KingI have said before that I am quite the fan of Ms Brook’s Iron Seas steampunk romance series. I have all the novels in print, on my shelf, where it makes me happy to look at them. I also have all the short stories released by themselves in my phone, so I can get a quick Iron Seas fix every so often.

And yet, to date I have only reviewed one of the stories set in this world.

I know, I suck.

I probably  should start with the novel that started it all, The Iron Duke, but I have found myself utterly captivated by the latest full length novel published, and so here we are.

The Kraken King, by Meljean Brook

This novel was originally published as a digital serial starting in April 2014, with the print book coming out in early November. At 568 pages, this is by far the longest of the four novels so far released in the series. Let me tell you that not one of those pages is filler–between action, characterization, and setting, every word matters.

As I said, this is the fourth full length novel, but it is actually the tenth story set in the Iron Seas world. I believe that new readers could read this story without getting lost, though obviously fans will get a lot more out of it, particularly when it comes to some secondary characters. Still, one of the things Ms Brook does best is that she manages to provide enough information about the world within just a few pages so that even a reader utterly unfamiliar with the world can quickly grasp the gist, filling in the blanks as the story progresses.

The blurb from the author’s site:
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The Year We Fell Down, by Sarina Bowen

13 Feb

The Year We Fell DownI do not believe that I had heard about Sarina Bowen for more than perhaps a week before DAJane posted her (now famous) money back guarantee on this book. Of course, in the face of such enthusiasm, I immediately bought it and then…

Waited for a bit.

Which I regretted pretty much as soon as I started reading it, because it truly was all that–and then some.

But see, it’s new adult and told in first person and with alternating points of view.

As I wail loudly (and more often than I like to admit, these days), I don’t like NA or first person. I don’t like either of those things, not a bit.

I don’t, I don’t, I don’t!

Until, that is, a talented writer shows me how it’s done, and then I inhale three novels and one novella one after the other, barely pausing for things like work or sleep. (Fortunately, I mastered the art of one-handed eating, getting dressed, etc a very long time ago) (because of holding books, you pervs, get your minds out of the gutter)

Where was I? Ah, yes.

I bought it on DAJane’s recommendation, waited a month, inhaled it and then bought the next three books in the series the same day, and proceeded to binge on them. Which brings me to this review.

The Year We Fell Down, by Sarina Bowen

Oh my, the good book noises from this one were pretty epic. I loved both characters, despite the fact that this is NA–and very much NA, as the protagonists are both still in college. The novel starts on ‘move-in day’ in a fictional Ivy League college in Connecticut, from the point of view of our heroine, Corey.

It took me about three pages to be hopelessly into the story, Corey’s stupid ‘hope fairy’ be damned. By the time we met Hartley, half way through the first chapter, I was already all the way into the book, and I didn’t surface until the very last page.

Here’s the blurb, from the author’s website:
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Between Love and Duty, by Janice Kay Johnson

19 Jan

Between Love and Duty, by Janice Kay JohnsonBetween Love and Duty

This novel is the first in a trilogy about the MacLachlan brothers, Duncan, Niall and Conall. The three books were released back to back from February to April 2012, and it’s with some distress that I realized I don’t have the other two.

I cannot believe I have never before written a review for one of Ms Johnson’s books. No, it’s not that I have read all of them; it’s that I have like those that I have read, so very much.

Please be aware that this review is long, even by my standards.

Here is the pretty crappy back cover blurb, from my print copy:
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Private Arrangements, by Sherry Thomas

16 Jul

Private ArrangementsThis slightly tardy review is my contribution to this  month’s TBR Challenge, hosted by the wonderful SLWendy. This month’s theme, “Lovely Rita” (aka, RITA nominated books)

Private Arrangements, by Sherry Thomas

This book has been languishing in the old TBR mountain range for YEARS–seriously, at least four or five–which, it turns out, is a freaking crying shame. The writing, the sense of period, the language, the characterization–they are all so very polished, this reader would have readily believe that Ms Thomas had published a dozen titles prior to the release of Private Arrangements.

However, I see now, though I didn’t realize it when I first started seeing this book praised pretty much everywhere online, is that it is Ms Thomas’ debut novel. Frankly, unless someone made a point of telling you this while giving you the book, you would not know it.

A warning, though: this is a book about estranged spouses who are very much bitter against each other. If you, like me, have lived through relationships that turn acrimonious to the point of poison, you may be a tad leery about books like this one. I know I was doubtful that I could believe in any sort of reconciliation between the two protagonists,  but Ms Thomas does an excellent job a making me care about these two people and their journey to happiness.

Here’s the back cover blurb:
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The Witness, by Nora Roberts

3 May

The Witness, by Nora Roberts

While I’m not as ardent a fan of Ms Roberts as other long time romance readers¹, I definitely enjoy her writing—many of her titles of the past decade grace my keeper shelves. As of May 2012, she is one of two writers I’ll buy in hardback, budget be damned, so it was pretty much a given that I would buy The Witness as soon as I possibly could (and amazon made it not only easy but cheaper than most everywhere else, so…).

The Witness is the 200th published novel by romance genre grand dame and standard bearer, Nora Roberts. Informal research confirms that there aren’t many people in history who can claim to have done as much²—and I’ll add that this novel commemorates this milestone with a bang (or three).

Here is what the cover jacket says: Continue reading