Tag Archive | Gothic

Book Review-Seduction & Scandal

Seduction & Scandal
The Brethren Guardians (1)
Charlotte Featherstone
Harlequin
Mass Market Paperback
Published June 2011
382 Pages
Regency Historical Romance
ISBN: 978-0-373-77587-3
Author’s Website

Synopsis
With the scandalous nature of her birth to live down, Isabella Fairmont dreams of a proper marriage, even if a passionless one. She saves her deepest desires for the novel she dares to pen, wherein a handsome lord with dark powers seduces her. But then her courtship with an appropriate suitor is threatened by the sudden attentions of the reclusive Earl of Black, whose pale blue eyes and brooding sensuality are exactly as she described in her book.
Isabella tries to resist the mysterious Earl of Black.
Yet as he pursues her, with inexplicable knowledge of her past and kisses that consume her, Isabella fears she will succumb.
If only the earl could tell Isabella the truth. With very real, and treacherous, thieves endangering her life, Black will need to protect Isabella from the very people she trusts the most.

My Review
Summary 
Isabella grew up in Yorkshire, and after losing her family, her uncle takes her in. Her uncle was a marquis, and very wealthy and powerful. Isabella and his daughter Lucy have become as close as thieves for the past few years. Even after a few years Isabella still has a hard time going to all the constant parties and balls, when all she wants is to stay at home and write her story. Currently she is working on a story of Lord Death, who is sinful and handsome and irresistible, and ever since she had come close to dying, that image of him has stayed with her all of these years. Then at a ball, she sees the Earl of Black whose attention is focused solely on her. He is the exact image of her Lord Death that she has created in her novel and in her dreams. There is instant sparks of passion and desire from the first moment they lay eyes on each other. Jude, The Earl of Black, has come to London for a purpose. He has a heritage, has one of the descendants of the Three Templar’s, he is obligated to protect that which could bring evil to the world if its not kept hidden. He also can’t deny that Isabella is the one woman that holds his heart and soul in her hands, and he plans on making sure that whatever danger she is in doesn’t touch her, and that she will come to love him deeply as he does her.

My Thoughts 
This is the first time I have had a chance to read from this author. When I was browsing the shelves of the library, I was surprised to see this one on the shelves, since I had no idea that they had any of her books, so I knew I had to pick this one up. And Holy Moly, even after reading this book, I still feel the aftereffects….such a vibrant and stimulating romance that will give you shivers to the deepest part of you. There was so much intensity, I had no problem reading it from beginning to end without putting it down once. I had no idea that it would be so good, or I would have read it earlier. (I think I am going to have to buy the second one, that’s for sure–that’s how much I loved it)

Now from the first page, it begins with Isabella’s story of Lord Death, and when I started reading this, it made my toes curl with anticipation. I knew from the start, this story would be one hell of a ride. And it surely was. We see the friendship between Isabella and Lucy, then it jumps to the party where she meets the Earl of Black, and the connection they have from the beginning is very sensual and its just a look. Even though Isabella is already being courted by a normal and safe man, she can’t deny her feelings for Jude. She is very resistant because her mother had a passionate affair, and only ended up getting hurt in the end, so Isabella doesn’t want the same to happen to her. The Earl of Black has come to London for two reasons…one being his duty and loyalty to the Templar’s that has been in his family for generations. Also he needs Isabella, and his passion for her is so striking and I couldn’t help but be drawn in the story like bees to honey. There is also quite a bit of mystery and intrigue elements that play a part in the story, that only gets the blood pumping with excitement and a sense of danger. There were many aspects that make this for a intense and dynamic story.

Now lets talk a bit about the characters, whom I fell in love with both, even the side characters. Jude, the Earl of Black, has been born in a family that comes from the Templar’s, and therein lies certain responsibilities. I found Jude to be one the most breathtaking and sensual heroes I have read in a very long time. There is something so sinful about him, and tempting and makes me wish I could have traded places with Isabella at any time during the story. He is very Alpha, protective and domineering at times, but not overly too much, there is a certain balance to him, where he has another side to him, that is very tender and sweet with Isabella. I found him beyond charming. Isabella has always felt like death has always been close to her, and she isn’t carefree like she sometimes wishes she was. She has suffered a bit, and has a hard time even dealing with the wealth heaped on her and being in society is the last thing she wants to do. She is a writer and even though she doesn’t want to admit it, wants everything that Jude offers. I really liked Isabella, her characters was very endearing and very human at times. Its pretty easy to relate to her, I did think she could have had a bit more spine when it came to going after what you really want, but I understood her fears and her mistakes only made her seem more real. I had such a fun times getting to know the other four sub characters that are featured in the rest of the series. They gave a certain element to the story, that added a sense of conflict.

Overall I think I have found a new favorite author, that totally had me from page one. Its been a while since I have read such a intense romance that is very dramatic and sensual and is so enthralling your reading those pages as fast as you can, just to know what will happen next. I love the way Featherstone weaves such a compelling tale of sizzling chemistry, deeply rooted characters, vivid details,  and a compelling love story that is heart wrenching!!! BREATHTAKING!!! A MUST READ FOR ALL!!

First Line 
The first time I met death, it was at a ball and we danced a waltz.

Favorite Quotes
“Would you let me, Isabella?” His voice dropped as he pressed closer, the moment intimate and wildly exciting. “Would you let me learn everything about you? Discover you as I want?” His gaze, blistering with intensity, burned through her skin, warming her to the very core of her being.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lucy caught her gaze, and then her eyes widened as she looked beyond Isabella’s shoulder. Following her cousin’s stare Isabella turned in her chair, and gasped, then looked down at the planchette and the hands that were over top her.
Black 
“Wherever you are,” he whispered for her ears only, “I will find you, and you will be safe with me,”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“I don’t know what you want from me.”
“You don’t?” The button came free and the bodice gaped open in the black, the sleeves sliding off her shoulders. He pressed in, and she felt his lips against the bones in her neck, then lower, as he pressed soft, silken kisses along her spine above her corset.
“I want you, Isabella. Heart, body and soul,”

My Grade 
5 Blossoms

Heat Rating 
Steamy 

Other Books In Series 
Pride & Passion
Temptation & Twilight

Book Review-Lair Of The Lion

Lair Of The Lion
Christine Feehan
Leisure Romance
Paperback
Published Sep 2002
366 Pages
Historical Romance
ISBN: 978-2-8439-5048-9

Synopsis
THE BEAUTY
Impoverished aristocrat Isabella Vernaducci would defy death itself to rescue her imprisoned brother. Though fear formed a fist around her heart, she’d even brave the haunted, accursed lair of the lion–the menacing palazzo of legendary, lethal Don Nicolai DeMarco….

THE BEAST
Rumor said the powerful don could command the heavens, that the beasts below did his bidding … and that he was doomed to destroy the woman he took as wife. It was whispered he was not wholly human–as untamed as his tawny mane and slashing amber eyes.

THE BARGAIN
But Isabella met a man whose growl was velvet, purring heat, whose eves held dark, all-consuming desire. And when the don commanded her to become his bride, she went willingly into his muscled arms, praying she’d save his tortured soul …not sacrifice her life….

MY REVIEW 
Summary:
Isabella is in desperate need to save her brother who has been captured and tortured, and goes to the only Don she knows that is powerful enough to help her. Full of courage and strength she heads up to his valley, rumored to be ridden with lions, she knows she could very well perish, but desperation and fear for her brother keeps her going forward until she makes it to his home…his lair. After meeting the rumored beast, Don Nicolaie DeMarco, she makes a pact with him, his help in rescuing her brother in exchange to marriage with NicolaeIsabella knowing that she doesn’t have much choice, other than letting her brother die, she agrees and with that agreement a desire is awakened in them both. Although Nicolae is lethal, Isabella, even though she fears him at times, starts to see the good parts of him, and slowly starts to fall in love with him, and put all her trust in him despite the danger that he poses to her….in her mind Love is powerful enough to conquer any curse that could destroy them….

The Hero (Nicolai De Marco)
Nicolai, has been born into a family that was cursed, and has lived with the beast of the lion within him all of his life. Ever since his father turned on his mother in a moment of rage and where the beast overcame him, destroying his mother and almost his son as well…Nicolae is determined that he finds a way to break the curse, especially since Isabella is the first woman who is more loving and gentle and doesn’t deserve to be torn to pieces by her husband. Hoping that she will be enough to save his soul….


The Heroine ( Isabella Vernaducci)
Isabella, has already lost her parents and the only family that she has left is her brother. Desperate to make sure to see him alive once more, she goes to the one man that is powerful enough to rescue him. Isabella, has lived in fear and on the run but even though his own people fear him, Isabella doesn’t fear him as they do, she sees him as the man that he is not the beast that he can become, and hopes that her love for him will be strong enough…


My Thoughts 
Lair Of The Lion is a single title by Christine Feehan, and as this is probably my favorite paranormal author, I couldn’t resist reading it, even though its not a part of any of her wonderful series, this still had the same ring of sensuality, danger and intriguing plot….and having just finished it, was a bit disappointed to see it end. I could hardly keep myself away from this one and read it in only a few hours. Lair of the Lion is a story that takes place in the Italian Alps, and is mixed with folklore and definitely goes under the category of “Beauty and the Beast” where two people are consumed by a inflaming passion that turns into a powerful love…such a remarkable read and I am so glad that I was able to read this one. Definitely gets a score of 5 for me…there was nothing about this story that I didn’t like….Feehan definitely held me captivated from beginning to end!!!


My Favorite Quote 
“You haven’t forgiven me yet, ” he observed thoughtfully. “I thought we had dispensed with your unfavorable opinion of me,” 
She managed her haughtiest tone “I see nothing in my behavior that would lead you to believe that. I was merely polite, as good breeding commands,”
“Really,” His voice low, one eyebrow shooting up. Nicolai simply reached out, almost in slow motion, his palm curling slowly around the nape of her neck. Fire raced through her body at the touch of his lips on hers. Every muscle clenched tightly. His lips moved against hers, a slow teasing of senses, awakening her to a world of sensuality. 


My Grade On This Book 
5 Blossoms

Book Review-The Scarletti Curse

The Scarletti Curse
Christine Feehan
Love Spell,
390 Pages
Published Mar 2001
Gothic Romance
ISBN:050552421X

Synopsis:
The Beast


Strange, twisted carvings and hideous gargoyles adorned the palazzo of the great Scarletti family. But a still more fearful secret lurked within its storm-tossed turrets. For every bride who entered its forbidding walls was doomed to leave in a casket.


The Bride


Mystical and unfettered, Nicoletta had no terror of ancient curses and no fear of marriage…until she looked into the dark, mesmerizing eyes of Don Scarletti. She had sworn no man would command her, had thought her gift of healing set her apart, but his was the right to choose a bride from among his people. And he had chosen her.


The Bargain


Compelled by duty, drawn by desire, she gave her body into his keeping, and prayed the powerful, tormented don would be her heart’s destiny, and not her soul’s demise.

My Review:

Nicoletta is the healer of her village, with astounding talent that is revered and feared among those around her. She is then summoned up to the “Palazzo” to heal a little girl, who is gravely sick as well as her unucle who is Don Scarletti. Having heard some viscous rumors about the man. Nicoletta fears him from the beginning, but there is something about him that puts a pause in her fears. Done Giovanni Scarletti has grown up being trained to be the leader of his people. He takes much responsibility on his shoulders, after Nicoletta heals him, he feels warmth and a sensual possesion of her and he knows that he must claim her. When he demands that Nicletta must marry him, she refuses him, yearning for freedom…not knowing that the power of love she will find in his embrace can be the most empowering freedom of all.

As this is the only one of the dark series (apart from the newer ones that I have yet to read)I feel in love with this one. The Scarletti Curse has a connection to Dark Possesion. This is definitely one of my favorites of Christine Feehan. Even though Giovanni has “Alpha” characteristics, there is also a gentle nature about him as well, that we see spreads throughout the book. Nicletta has a passionate nature in everything that she does, she aches for the freedom that she has been given most of her life. She has a strong will and spirit that just made me fall in love with this heroine. She has such spirit and not afraid to stand up to her man (which I love the spirited heroines the most :)]  She doesn’t want any man to dictate to her. Throughout this story we see these two strong willed characters go through a journey that definitely evokes a strong emotional response in the reader, and its pages are filled with danger, passion, intrigue and a love THAT CONQUERS NO MATTER THE DANGER definitely a read you don’t EVER want to miss out on!!!!

My Grade On This Book
4.5 Blossoms