Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Fear The Darkness by Alexandra Ivy

Caine sees himself as protector for the prophet Cassandra. It’s obvious from the start of the book how into Cassie Caine is. Cassie is equally as smitten but Caine holds her off for a little while, wanting to wait to take their relationship further until Cassie is out of the present danger and is able to have a clear head. The teasing and flirting is enjoyable. When the two finally do get together, they go up in flames. It’s nice seeing Cassie try to protect Caine even though he thinks that he is the only protector. The Dark Lord, whether as the voice coming out of the witch & minion Sally or in the solid blonde teenager form, is particularly nasty in this book and even though I disliked Gaius, I can understand a little bit why he made the deal with him. The Dark Lord wants to capture and use Cassandra to see his future and anticipate any attacks. It was good to see the bad guys/girls get what they deserve. It was nice to see familiar characters from past books like Styx, Levet, Viper, Dante, etc.  I can’t wait to see how Levet’s story with Yannah plays out in the future. I love how characters from all of the previous books were littered throughout this book and were shown working together to defeat the Dark Lord. The battle royale at the end was very cool. For future books I’m most anxious to read about Santiago and Nefri, as well as the vampire Roke. Nefri interests me because of her part in previous books by this author. I’m not really that interested in a book with Gaius as a hero because after the disregard and disrespect he showed toward women in this book, it would take a miracle to redeem his character.

Desire The Night by Amanda Ashley

Kiya (a werewolf & daughter of an Alpha werewolf) first meets Gideon – the vampire hero – while they are both captives of the witch Verah. I liked how they both worked together to free themselves. The beginning of the romance is very flirty and like a fantasy for Kiya – the strong, sexy, wealthy vampire devoting all his time and attention on her and taking them to different places. After that, it’s all about being on the run from their enemies – Verah, Kiya’s restrictive and possessive father, & her evil arranged fiancĂ©. I enjoyed how the setup was a little different from the author’s normal setting and characters. I liked that Kiya, being a werewolf, was on equal footing with Gideon, and that Gideon saw her as an equal and respected that and let her fight her own battles. Although I did not like when Kiya was captured and made to submit by her enemy, I did like that in the end she was the one to face him in a fair fight and avenge herself. Gideon helped at the right times and backed his woman up but didn’t demand to be in charge of every situation, in spite of being a strong Alpha male character. So many times, an Alpha hero will try and run roughshod over the heroine and impose his will and have things done his way. I loved that this was not the case with Gideon. He left most of the important decisions at the end of the book up to Kiya. I would very much enjoy seeing this author write more books about heroes and heroines who are both paranormal from the start of the story and being equal.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

All Summer Long by Susan Mallery

Rating: 5 stars

This book is #9 in a series but this is the first book by this author that I've read. I think it works as a stand alone book.

Clay is one of three brothers. He left home young and made a career for himself as a model & got married. He's returning to his hometown a widower and looking to make his new business in town and put down roots in the community. Charlie is an only child - her father died years ago and she is enstranged from her prima ballerina mother. Years ago she was date raped in college, and while this hasn't stopped her from living her life (she is a full-time firewoman), she hasn't been in any kind of intimate relationship with a man for 10 years. When Clay and Charlie meet, they are able to talk and form a personal connection. Charlie asks Clay to work on her intimacy issues with her so that she can heal emotionally. Her goal is to be more together emotionally so that she can make plans to have a child. The learning curve of seduction for Charlie & the interaction between her and Clay is very sweet. In the end they both kind of heal each other. The sub-plot involving Charlie's mom coming to town was good too - realistic and not too syrupy. I would read more books by this author.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Consent To Love by Abby Wood

The heroine - Ana - is a waitress whose main ambition is to get promoted to cook. She can't help drooling over Native American man Kane. At first Kane is reluctant to get involved with Ana because of the different cultures and because he's been burned before in a previous relationship. Once they do become involved, they make each other better people. Kane encourages Ana to explore her srtwork, and Kane learns how to trust. The love scenes are not for the faint of heart and are very explicict, but the story and characters are interesting. I loved how the hero & heroine grew throughout the story and I liked the ending.

Blazing Midsummer Nights by Leslie Kelly

Mimi works hard at her job in her father's company in hopes that he will recognize her hard work and eventually give her the company. Her father is a chauvanist. Rather than promote her or assure her that she'll inherit the company from him when he retires - he tries to hook her up with one of his golden boy executives. Mimi thinks he's ok, but there is no spark with him. However, when firefighter Xander moves in the apartment next to hers - they have sparks and generate heat from first sight. Xander is very sexy, & very sweet. He gives Mimi everything she really needs in a partner. The main conflict in the story was how/when Mimi would tell her father that Xander was the man she was dating and actually interested in. The story was cute & very sexy. The supporting characters were fun and lended interest to the story. Another great story by Leslie Kelly!

Midnight in Austenland: A Novel by Shannon Hale

I read the previous book and enjoyed it, but I really loved this one. I thought that the main character - Charlotte - was a little more easy-going and likable. I thought that was also true of the guy who ends up being Charlotte's real romantic interest. I also liked the mystery element of this book that the first book didn't have. The "hero" that Charlotte is first paired with is supposed to be kind of a Mr. Rochester character (even though that's not Jane Austen). She's attracted to him but she has a more easy and flirty relationship with the character who is supposed to be her brother. I liked him. He was supposed to be a kind of Henry Tilney type of character.

I think the re-curring characters in this series were fleshed out a little more and made the book more enjoyable. Lizzie was more likable in this book than she was in the last book - more fun. And I liked how her story resolved at the end of the book. I would love to read more books with this setting and these recurring characters.

Forever A Lady by Delilah Marvelle

For some reason, as I was reading this book, I felt as though the book description gave me the wrong impression.

For about 70% of the book (or so my Kindle tells me) everything was very "Gangs of New York". Not a traditional romance at all. You meet the hero first and he is such a tender-hearted, yet strong character. I loved the hero. I felt more sympathetic to the hero right away, while I just couldn't relate to the heroine at all and she came off as being a little cold. The hero was very upfront w/ the heroine right away, letting her know he was seriously into her and wanted a serious comittment with her. This was understandable given his background and yet her sense of panic was a little understandable given her background.

There was a little sub-story near the end about a child killer on the loose & I thought that would be a major plot point, tie in with the characters, and maybe be resolved at the end but nothing comes of it.

I gave it the 3 stars because I did find it very engrossing and couldn't stop reading it.