Archive | September 2014

Top Ten Tuesday (37) Reader suggested –> Top Ten Books That Were Hard For Me To Read

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme was created and hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week there will post a new Top Ten list that one of the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All you have to do is link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don’t have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It’s a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers. So Come and Join in the Fun!! 🙂

Reader Suggested–Top Ten Books That Were Hard For Me To Read 

1. With This Ring by Celeste Bradley

This is a author that I have really enjoyed, but for some reason, as I was reading this, I couldn’t get myself to get into the story. I will probably try it again sometime but it was a huge disappointment.

2. Ripe For Pleasure by Isobel Carr

I had never read this author until this one, and I tried reading this one a couple of years ago, and to this day I still can’t force myself to try this author out again. Just a book and writing style that I couldn’t get into at all.

3. Black and Blue by Gena Showalter

This is the first book by this author I could get into. The first book of the series I loved, but for some reason, this story just couldn’t get to me…I have no idea why, and I think because I loved the first book so much I just expected myself to love this one. I do hope I can return to it one day.

4. The Ruin of a Rogue by Miranda Neville

This story was such a shocker for me, because I went into it, with high hopes and it was a big let down when I didn’t enjoy it.

5. The Witch Is Back by H.P. Mallory

This was such a fun series, but this installment, I didn’t really enjoy at all. The whole setup of it didn’t appeal to me, and I didn’t have much fun with the characters as I have with the other books.

6. Seducing The Governess by Margo Maguire

Margo Maguire is a hit or miss author for me. I never know if I will enjoy it or not…this one I didn’t like very much, unsteady flow and very choppy at time.

 7. Miss Wonderful by Loretta Chase

This one is a older title by Chase, and I have loved every other book by this author, so it really was hard for me to trudge through this one and just didn’t like it at all. Had a tough time forcing myself to read this one.

8. Knight of Love by Katherine LaRoche

 

Book Review-My Fair Mistress by Tracy Anne Warren

My Fair Mistress
Mistress Trilogy (1)
Tracy Anne Warren
Ballatine Books
Paperback
Published October 2007
411 Pages
Victorian Historical Romance
ISBN: 978-0-345-49539-6
Authors Website

Synopsis
He drives a hard bargain, but the pleasure is all hers.

London financier Rafe Pendragon has a reputation for ruthlessness, and exotic beauty Julianna Hawthorne is determined to clear the debt her brother owes him. Captivated by Rafe’s virile good looks, weakened by his intoxicating mix of danger and sensuality, Julianna boldly agrees to Rafe’s shocking terms: six months as his mistress. As Rafe’s intense green eyes pierce her body and set it afire, Julianna can only imagine what emotions his kiss may unleash.

Surrendering to the pleasures of seduction and carnal delight, Rafe never anticipated that love would be the cost of his bargain. When he realizes that a vindictive enemy may harm Julianna should their clandestine liaison be exposed, Rafe must choose between loving her and protecting her. To save his fair mistress, Rafe must risk what he has already lost: his heart.

My Review

When Julianna hears that her brother has been gambling, a big debt, that he is unable to pay off. She sets off to see Rafe Pendragon, one of the major financiers in London. When she goes to Rafe trying to work out a deal, he will only except one things: full payment of the debt or have her as his mistress for six months, and she agrees against her better judgment, but there is something about Rafe that calls to her. Julianna was married for five years before she became a widow, and since that time has never thought of another man, until Rafe. As he shows her the pleasures of the bedroom, they start to form a bond to each other, sharing deep secrets, and for the first time Julianna finds herself being able to share with Rafe what she can’t share with others, every part of herself. But Rafe has a enemy, a brother, who despises him. Afraid that if he continues a relationship with Julianna that her life may be put in danger….he has to decide what is the better course of action…choose to be with Julianna or set her aside for her own protection…

My Fair Mistress is the first book in this trilogy, Tracy Anne Warren, is one of those authors you can enjoy her stories over and over again. My Fair Mistress is a prime example of what makes me love romances, especially the historical genre. She brings characters to life, and in my opinion, this is one of her best works. Although I will say there hasn’t been a book of hers that I have read that I didn’t enjoy immensely…but there was something so sensual and poignant about this story. Its not your typical mistress romance…in fact upon reading this, you see more of a slow and sweet romance story that just pulls at your heartstrings. Rafe is a illegitimate son of a Lord, but his father died, and his brother kicked his mother off the property that she was living at, and as Rafe was making a name for himself in the financial world, his brother sought revenge. Rafe will do anything to protect those he loves. What he doesn’t expect is to fall in love with his mistress, but he finds Julianna a woman of beauty and caring, a woman that doesn’t deceive, and she is like a breath of fresh air for Rafe. But soon his past starts to take over his future, and will he be able to find a future with the woman that he truly loves and would do anything for?

I found myself falling in love with Rafe and Julianna with each chapter. In the first half of the story, there is quite a few bedroom scenes, but nothing too explicit, just sweet and charming, and even though its sensual there is a sense of friendship and affection forming between the two, scenes were they are playful together (those were my favorites) just seeing a emotional connection form with the physical.  One of the things I really admired about this story, was the focus on the emotional bond between these two, the love story was the priority, and it was so tender seeing these two come together. They go through some rough patches, but when I finished it…I had the feeling of pure satisfaction and I wanted to read it again I loved it so much. Overall a winning romance that stole my heart, and a story to win yours!! EMOTIONALLY RIVETING!!

My Grade
5 Blossoms

Heat Rating
Warm

Other Books In Series
The  Accidental Mistress
His Favorite Mistress

Book Review-Lord and Lady Spy by Shana Galen

Lord and Lady Spy
Lord and Lady Spy (1)
Shana Galen
Sourcebooks Casablanca
Paperback
Published September 2011
376 Pages
Regency Espionage Romance
ISBN:  978-1-4022-5907-4
Authors Website

Synopsis
He’s Getting Tired of Deception…

Baron Winslow Keating is honor-bound to finish one last mission as an elite spy for the Barbican group even though he just wants to go home and be with his family. But after years of secrecy and absence, his daughters hardly know him, and his wife has given up on him.

She Wants to Try a Little Intrigue…

Lady Elinor has had enough of domestic boredom. She contemplates an affair with a rakish spy, only to discover a world of intrigue and treachery that she never knew existed. Even more shocking, her neglectful husband is suddenly very attentive—quite the jealous type—and apparently there is much more to him than she ever knew.

My Review


Lady Sophia, also known as “The Saint”, is a spy  and has loved doing this work since she was a kid. Her father guided her to this point, and even though she has been married for quite some time, she loves the life of a spy, the danger and the intrigue. But when a fellow spy steals her plan to capture a traitor she is outraged, but then she learns that she will be getting retired, with Napoleon sent to Elba. The last thing she wants to do is return to her boring life, and average husband. Lord Adrian, has worked hard to become a well known spy, but after succeeding in his mission, his boss, tells him he needs to make a life with his pretty wife and get some hobbies. Adrian would do anything to get back into the business. When both Sophia and Adrian receive a note, to meet at midnight, neither one of them suspects, that both of them have been chosen to solve a murder investigation, and the one that wins, gets back into the Barbican group again. Adrian is shocked to learn that his wife, is a fellow spy and a pretty admirable one at that, and a woman!! At first Adrian and Sophia can barely stand each other, but as they work together to solve the murder, they start to fall in love… and will they choose a life of a spy or to be with each other…

Lord and Lady Spy is the first in this hilarious espionage series by Shana Galen. Now Galen has been one of my favorite authors for quite some time. When I recently had the chance to read Love and Let spy, I was beyond intrigued with the set up of the series, and I was just waiting on pins and needles to read Adrian and Sophia’s story. From the beginning, you sense very strong similarities to the movie “Mr. and Mrs., Smith” and in fact there are many common denominators, that made this a fun and tantalizing read that kept me on the edge of my seat, and a page turner….PAGE TURNER!! Yep you heard me folks, a story to keep you guessing, laughing your head off, enough heat to send shills down your spine and a exciting plot to keep you more engaged than you can handle.

The story begins with seeing each side of Adrian and Sophia living their separate ,secret, spy lives. Then they are both being retired, and having to learn to be husband and wife again. But when they learn that both have been spy’s, for the same group, for years, they take it out on each other. And what a hoot they were to see…I could watch these two go at it for hours. Adrian has worked very hard to get into the barbican group, and has loved every moment. He does care for Sophia, and misses the intimacy they had when they were first married, but missions he was sent out on, kept him from building anything substantial with her. Sophia is reluctant to give into the temptation that Adrian offers, she has suffered grief and pain, and even though she was kept busy with her spy work, she is afraid of getting hurt again by working with Adrian. Both Adrian and Sophia are very stubborn, talented, and tend to argue more than getting along, except in the bedchamber..then there is pure harmony and bliss. LOL What a adventure this story was, and I just couldn’t get enough of it. I do love a good historical espionage romance, and Shana Galen is the queen of this genre. A story that will sneak its way into your hearts, and completely engrossing from beginning to end. A love story that comes to life with vivid detail, exciting scenes, wit evident on each page!! STIMULATING!!

My Grade 
5  Blossoms

Heat Rating 
Steamy

Other Books In Series 
The Spy Wore Blue
True Spies
Love and Let Spy

Quickie Book Review-The Healer by Allison Butler

The Healer
Allison Butler
Escape Publishing
E Book
Published October 2014
Acquired: Netgalley
Medieval Historical Romance
ISBN:9780857991911
Authors Website

Curb your Outlander cravings with Allison Butler’s seriously sexy Scottish novel about an English woman, a Scottish Laird, a case of mistaken identity and a love that will surpass all barriers.

An outcast in her own home for as long as she can remember, Lynelle Fenwick will do anything to earn her father’s approval. Including exaggerating her healing skills, and setting off alone to rescue her step-brother from a band of raiding Scots.

Living under a curse that has haunted the Closeburn Clan for years, Laird William Kirkpatrick, will do anything to save his sole surviving brother. He may not believe in curses, but his clan does, and the growing number of graves seems to support their side.

Having banished all healers from the clan for trickery, he has no choice but to allow an Englishwoman, claiming to be a skilled healer, into his home and into the room of his wounded brother.

Enemies by birth and circumstance, they can only succeed together. But blood runs deep, and tensions high. What matters the desires of a heart?

My Review

So when  I first saw the cover of The Healer….I was WOWZED!! I just want to look at that back all day…very yummy. I love my highlander romances, and when I was able to get a chance to read this, I was super excited to try this author out. Allison Butler is new to the writers world, and this is her second book. I have yet to read the first, but definitely that is in the plans in the near future. The Healer is a powerful and riveting story that had me from the beginning. Laird William has lost most of his family and has blamed all the ‘healers’ for it. He only has one surviving brother, who is injured, when he meets Lynelle, he watches her every move as she starts to care for his brother. She agrees to live in his home for a time, to aide his brother in return for her step brothers freedom. But chemistry begins to burst between these two, and before long they share a tender passion that develops into a sweet love for each other. This story had me from the beginning, and even though it is a shorter book, it didn’t feel like it was too rushed like short romances tend to be most of the time. The author did a great job with the pacing of the story and well developed characters. The setting was fabulous, and it was obvious that the author had done her homework as the details was pretty accurate in a historical point of view. I loved seeing a bit of history come to life within these pages. A phenomenal read that completely captivated me!! STUNNING ROMANCE!!

My Grade 
5 Blossoms

Heat Rating 
Warm

Lusting For Covers (133) A Tale Of Two Vikings

Lusting for Covers is a meme found on TBQ so come and join in on this fun meme!!! 1- Take the graphic (left) to use on your post. Remember to give credit to the original host (TBQ). 2- Choose your own book cover that you’ve fallen in “lust” with in the past week. It can be new, old, a reprint, or even a book that is not yet out– it’s all up to you! If you find a cover that catches your eye, then showcase it on your blog, and let others see the pretty covers out there. 3- Copy the direct link to your own L4C post into the comment section on my post (when in doubt, use this link and then scroll down to find the post), and allow others to come and see what you picked! (OPTIONAL): 4- Besides posting the picture of the book cover you chose, it’s nice to provide the book summary, title, author, or a website link for the book. It’s not required, but it can help you readers’ to add more books to their own list! A brief “Why I choose this cover” is also appreciated, but not required

Has an eye for the ladies, loves a good fight. Splits his sides over rude jokes. Won’t ask directions no matter how lost he is . . . even in a longship, for the love of Odin! Sound like anyone you know? Maybe every man you know?

Toste and Vagn Ivarsson are all that and more—a lot more. Identical Viking twins, they came squalling into this world together, rode their first horses at the age of seven, their first maids during their thirteenth summer, and rode off on longships as untried fourteen-year-old warriors. And now, having seen only thirty and one winters, they are about to face Valhalla together. Or maybe something even more tragic: being separated. For even the most virile Viking must eventually leave his best buddy behind and do battle with that most fearsome of all opponents—the love of his life.

Book Review-The Trouble With Being A Duke by Sophie Barnes

The Trouble With Being A Duke
At The Kingsborough Ball (1)
Sophie Barnes
Avon Books
Paperback
Published September 2013
351 Pages
Acquired: Library
Regency Historical Romance
ISBN: 978-0-06-224507-6
Authors Website 

Synopsis
Sometimes happily ever after…

Anthony Hurst, Duke of Kingsborough knows the time has come for him to produce an heir. But first he must find a bride. When he meets the most exquisite woman at his masquerade ball, he thinks his search is over…until the breathtaking beauty runs off. With few clues other than her figure, her scent, and the memory of her kiss, Anthony must find his mystery lady.

…needs a little bit of help.

Isabella Chilcott can scarcely believe it: she is finally at the Kingsborough Ball. As a child, she dreamed of dancing a waltz here and now, thanks to a gorgeous gown she’s found in the attic, Isabella is living her fairytale fantasy. And she’s waltzing with the Duke of Kingsborough himself! But she must escape before he discovers her secrets…for she is not who she pretends to be, and falling in love with Prince Charming is the last thing she can allow herself to do…

My Review 

Anthony Hurst, is the Duke of Kingsborough and after seeing his family still suffering the effects of his fathers death, he knows it is time to step up and be the man he was born to be. So he convinces her mother that they need to host one of their famous balls, and they proceed with the preparations, and Anthony sees his family feeling more vibrant than ever. Isabella has always dreamed of going to the Kingsborough Ball and when she hears that they will be hosting it again, she finds herself dressing in her mothers only gown that would be suitable, and attends not knowing what to expect, knowing that even though this is the last place she should be, but can’t resist…then she finds herself waltzing with the Duke himself, a man that only has eyes for her. Isabella, is almost engaged to a man she doesn’t love, but feels a duty to marry him for her family’s sake, but after leaving the ball, she never thought she would see Anthony again. Well Anthony is determined to find the one woman he desires more than any other, and he will find her and have her as his duchess…no matter what it takes.

The Trouble With Being A Duke is the first book in this series, after reading the second and third books, I was really wanting to reading Anthony’s story. This series is about a ball that has a Cinderella centered theme. I would definitely consider this story a fairy tale romance, but with some other differences that relates a little bit with Sabrina. I didn’t know how much I would like this one, when I started reading it, but once I really got into the story…I was hooked instantly. I think this is my favorite book from this author so far. At the beginning of the story Anthony practically falls in love with Isabella on sight, or lust…but it does turn into love and at first I was thinking that you just can’t fall in love that quickly, but when you see his devotion to seeing through this, when it would be all easier just to give up, you see his commitment to Isabella and willing to fight for her when no one else will. Isabella is the daughter of a carriage driver, and the man she is suppose to marry is her father’s boss, she knows her parents love her, but she also knows that this is her duty, even though her fiancee makes her feel smothered and a prisoner. When she is with Anthony, you see how she starts to flourish, and wishes for something more from her life. It was quite fun seeing these two work through the roadblocks and I love seeing a man fight for the woman he loves…he does have to get a bit creative at times, and these two were a pair.

Overall a winner of a regency romance…a story to capture you heart and bring the magic of the Cinderella Fairy Tale to life, with unique elements to pull you in further in the story. A Sweet romance to fall in love with!!

My Grade 
4 Blossoms

Heat Rating 
Warm

Other Books In The Series 
The Scandal In Kissing An Heir
The Danger In Tempting An Earl

ARC Book Review-Twisted by Elisabeth Naughton

Twisted
Eternal Guardians(7)
Elisabeth Naughton
E Book
Published September 2014
Acquired: Netgalley
Mythology Romance
Authors Website

Synopsis
Nick –Leader of the half-breeds and the last true hero. He’s spent his life fighting a dark pull toward the gods. A pull he now knows is linked to his father Krónos and the Titan’s plan to escape from the Underworld.

But Nick’s hidden powers are coveted by more than just his father. Imprisoned by Hades, Nick battles every form of torture imaginable as the sadistic god schemes to break him. Only one thing is keeping him sane. One woman who gives him the strength to fight the relentless darkness. She has a dangerous plan of her own, though, and as Nick’s powers grow stronger, even she might not be enough to alter his destiny.

As the fate of the world hangs in the balance, Nick’s allegiances are tested. And no one knows whether he will choose to fight for good or succumb to the sinister lure of evil. Not even him

My Review

I received a ARC Copy in exchange for a honest review, thanks to Elisabeth Naughton and Netgalley.

Nick sacrificed himself so that, Isadora, both his and his brothers mate, could have a chance for freedom with the man she loved and their daughter. Even though he feels a pull for her, he knows he can never have a mate. Now he is kept prisoner by Hades, he is tortured and abused but there is one woman who keeps him anchored, the one who is in charge of his torture…Cynna. Cynna, lost her family, and has wanted justice for their deaths. So she made a deal, and has done some of the most terrible things, and has been in charge of Nicks torture sessions, and has despised every moment and is started to believe she is irredeemable. When a chance comes to escape, she takes it, and takes Nick with her, knowing that she can’t leave him there in that hellhole. From the moment of their escape, Nick, takes control of the situation, and passion ignites, and Nick is battling within himself, to stay in control, and only Cynna can center him. But soon he will have to choose to fight or give into temptation and the darkness that is spreading throughout him…

Twisted is the seventh installment in this amazing series by Elisabeth Naughton. The Eternal Guardians is a series based on a mythology theme. Nick is a special guardian, and very unique. He has spent his life protecting those from the wrath of the gods, and has been their leader. I have been watching Nick since the first few books in the series, and I have been waiting quite some time for his story. I will say that you can read it as a stand alone if you need to, but I would recommend you read the books in order if you can. I have yet to read books 4 and 5, so there was some things that kinda got me a bit lost, but I was able to catch on quickly to the story, and there is definitely history with Nick and some of the other characters that play a active role.

Twisted is pretty much what the title implies, there is so many “twisted” circumstances involved in play of the plot, but it works so well, and Naughton has really stunned me with her detail and being able to completely draw me into the story, that I had stayed up all night reading it, because I was so hooked. There is quite a bit of depth intertwined with the plot that really captivates you. In the beginning of the story you see both sides of Nick and Cynna. As they begin to delve deeper into their relationship, and certain aspects start to come to light, you gain a deeper respect for both of them as characters. They were such a solid pair, and even though I had a little issue with Cynna, for the most part I adored her. She became a endearing character for me, and I really started to like her even when I didn’t think I could or even wanted to. At times she seems to always be running away (which was very annoying and I wanted to scream at her and yell “what the heck are you doing girl running from that gorgeous man who adores you??) Crazy woman!! Anyway, you start to understand her character more and the reasons behind her running, and Nick, well he is great. He just keeps chasing her. Which was awesome seeing the way he never gives up on her, after all he has gone through, he isn’t willing to just let her go.

This story is pretty complex and has quite a few aspects that really put me through the emotional ringer, that resulted in a fully satisfying read that is fast paced and intricately written to endear the reader to this amazing talent of Elisabeth Naughton. This author will magically draw you into this world of mythology, suspense, passion, and loaded with plenty to satisfy your hunger!! RICHLY CRAFTED!!

My Grade 
5 Blossoms

Heat Rating 
Steamy

Other Books In Series
Marked
Entwined
Tempted
Enraptured
Enslaved
Bound