Archive for the 'Romance' Category



05
Feb
08

Meljean Brook: Demon Night

Charlie Newcomb worked hard to get her life back together. But all that is shaken when she’s set upon by three vampires desperate to transform her beauty into something evil. Because Charlie is the vital link to something they want—and need. It’s Charlie’s flesh and blood sister, a medical scientist whose knowledge could be invaluable to the predators.

But to get to her, they must first get to Charlie, now under the intimate protection of Ethan McCabe. As her Guardian, Ethan is attracted to her vulnerabilities—as well as her strengths. The closer he gets, the more protecting her becomes not just his duty, but his desire. But will it be enough to save Charlie when the demon night falls?

Lovely, I think, would be the word to describe Demon Night. And sweet too—though not that way, Meljean never fails us on the hot sex part. ;)

I have raved about the worldbuilding in this series before, but I think that the pieces really come together in this book. Maybe it’s because I’ve read the previous books too, or maybe it’s because we’re probably about five, six hundred thousand words into the series, it’s just been that much easier to fall into Demon Night for me.

Ethan…I’ve described Colin as delicious, and Hugh as interesting, but Ethan…there goes a hero who is just too damn easy to fall in love with.

Like Ethan, Charlie has a past that she is not entirely proud of. I think the most significant imbalance of the book is here, that we got to see more of Ethan’s past than Charlie’s. An example: her singing, or its loss, isn’t touched on here.
In Demon Night, we have a demon who can and appears to have fallen in love. Which is one of the things I appreciate about this series, that it’s not all black and white, and makes it one of the few series to have passed my Three Book Test in the past year–IOW, the likelihood of me not sticking it through with the series has fallen pretty close to nil.

Demon Night rates 4 out of 5.

21
Jan
08

Michael Betcherman: Suzanne


Suzanne Braun had it all – the big house, the luxury car, the expensive vacations. Then her husband died, but not before making a series of reckless investments that depleted his fortune.
When a promising relationship with a well-heeled and aging suitor ends badly, the beautiful widow finds herself a social pariah, universally regarded as an unscrupulous golddigger. Her prospects look bleak when her late husband’s brother, Douglas, invites her to spend the summer at the family cottage on Lake Joseph, a playground for Toronto’s rich – and very rich.Suzanne heads north with one goal in mind: to return home with a wealthy fiancé in tow.

Douglas’ wife Catherine dreads her arrival. The two women have loathed each other for years and Catherine fears that Suzanne will set her sights on her brother Mark, a wealthy businessman who is returning to Canada after 14 years in Japan. She will do anything to keep her arch-enemy from entering the family circle.

An irresistible force is about to meet an immovable object.

It’s certainly an interesting concept, reading a book that’s constructed exclusively of emails. By the way, I didn’t read it as the author intended, as a couple of emails every day for three weeks, so this may have affected opinion of the book.

When one think of a woman who’s looking for a rich man to marry, one normally thinks of her as a shallow, money-hungry bitch. Suzanne doesn’t come across that way. To some extent, she still seems shallow, but she’s manages to be likeable anyway.

What makes Suzanne a good read is that Betcherman’s successfully given each of the correspondents their own voices, though I feel that some of the correspondents are rather stereotypical.

However, there isn’t very much emotional depth to the story, and curiously enough, I also find that the emails read more like proper, hand-written letters than emails.

Suzanne rates 3 out of 5.

Full disclosure: The author sent the book to me.

20
Sep
07

Away from Romancelandia…

…and there’s another HEA discussion that I missed. Damn!

Or not, because my opinion hasn’t changed.

I very much agree with Robin, that if the definition of a romance novel didn’t include the HEA part, then readers wouldn’t get dissatisfied with non-HEA endings in romances.

Because this is all about expectations: if you expect something and you don’t get it, you’ll be disappointed.

I do think the HEA requirement is restrictive. As long as it stands, I won’t ever write something that will be published as a romance–I try to convince myself it’s purely on principle because I think the HEA requirement is unutterably wrong though it might, just might, be because I’m still rebelling against laws and stuff like that.

But, I’m a little older, and I’d like to think a little more mature and wise than I was the last time I touched on this, so I’ll add this: readers have as much say as writers do in defining a genre, and if so many readers think that the HEA is such an important part of romance to them, then maybe it should be there.

Doesn’t mean I think it should be there though. ;)

03
Sep
07

Jaci Burton: Hunting The Demon

IN A WILDERNESS SEETHING WITH SIN AND SEDUCTION, THE CHASE IS ON.

Hunting demons for a living can have its moments. Especially when Shay Pearson’s latest quarry is the gorgeous bronzed surfer who just stepped out of the sea. Uncovering Nic Diavolo’s devilish side could prove Shay’s toughest assignment yet. Because while she’s acting as bait to snatch this sexy bad boy, Nic’s got a plan of seduction no woman—earthly or otherwise–can resist

Caught between two warring realms, Nic needs to stay alive long enough to figure out who his enemies are. That includes the beautiful hunter who won’t let him out of her sight. And something far worse: A force of evil with an almost unimaginable goal – possessing Nic’s very soul. But the hunt really heats up when a guy who’s hotter than Hades and a woman who’s afraid to love join forces, igniting an inferno of lust and longing that could send them into mortal danger…or straight into each other’s arms…

To be perfectly honest, I might not have picked this book up on my own. I wasn’t crazy about the first book in the series, and Hunting The Demon releases at a time when I just don’t have time to visit bookstores and such.

So I’m really glad that Jaci sent me an ARC (yes, she was brave, because my review was mean) because I think HTD improves on where Surviving Demon Island shone and at the same time, a lot of the little things that annoyed me about SDI aren’t in HTD.

In other words, it’s also a page-turner, but it’s a very rereadable page-turner; I’ve had to reread this several times, partly because I’ve been dragging on this review, and I think it stands up to rereading quite well.

The only part that didn’t stand up to rereading is Nic’s refusal to believe that Derek is his brother. Uhm, DNA testing? Sidenote: I would have liked to find out how a half-demon’s DNA defers from a human’s.

I do think that Jaci’s taken her handling of the h/h relationship to a new level in HTD, and I’d certainly rank Shay and Nic in my top 3 Jaci couples.

Hunting The Demon rates 4 out of 5.

03
Sep
07

Nalini Singh: Caressed By Ice

Explore new heights of sensuality in this return to the world of the Psy—where two people who know evil intimately must unlock the good within their icy hearts…As an Arrow, an elite soldier in the Psy Council ranks, Judd Lauren was forced to do terrible things in the name of his people. Now a defector, his dark abilities have made him the most deadly of assassins—cold, pitiless, unfeeling. Until he meets Brenna…Brenna Shane Kincaid was an innocent before she was abducted—and had her mind violated—by a serial killer. Her sense of evil runs so deep, she fears she could become a killer herself. Then the first dead body is found, victim of a familiar madness. Judd is her only hope, yet her sensual changeling side rebels against the inhuman chill of his personality, even as desire explodes between them. Shocking and raw, their passion is a danger that threatens not only their hearts, but their very lives…

Caressed By Ice is the darkest of the three books out so far in the Psy/Changeling series.

It’s a very tightly wound book, with breaks that let you glimpse the overarching storyline without changing the focus of the novel, which is, of course, Brenna and Judd.

Nalini is one of the rare romance authors whose series moves forward in every novel, and for me, that is a very big part of why I love her work.

Judd did come across as rather more one-dimensional than her previous heroes. He is Psy, and he is a Psy who seeks to hold onto Silence, which probably contributes to why I think he’s more 1-D. I did get rather irritated with his “I can’t do this..Silence that…” Can’t help but wonder if less would have been more in that respect.

However, whilst I do think that Caressed By Ice is weaker than the previous two novels, I still very much want the next book (hint hint, Nalini! *g*). After all, it’s highly unlikely that I’ll love all the books in a series equally, right?

Caressed By Ice rates 4 out of 5.

28
Aug
07

Sydney Croft: Riding The Storm

A storm’s rage. A woman’s desire.A man with the power to set them both free.

He can summon lightning at will. Emerge unscathed from the center of a tornado. Strip a woman down to her barest defenses through the sheer force of his sexuality. He’s gorgeous, dangerous, and the target of parameteorologist Haley Holmes’s latest mission. Haley has been dispatched to the Louisiana bayou to investigate the phenomenon known as Remy Begnaud – man with a gift he never wanted: the ability to control a storm’s fury. But even a woman trained in bizarre weather phenomenon has no defense against the electrifying power of the Ex-Navy SEAL…a power his enemies would kill to control.

With her agency monitoring their every move, Haley’s job is to seduce Remy, gain his trust — and help him harness his extraordinary gift. But who will protect her from this voracious lover who’s introducing her to a new world of erotic thrills – a man who grows increasingly insatiable with each new weather event? Haley knows a big storm is approaching –and with it will come unexpected delights. But, so, too, will the storm unleash her greatest fears: An enemy bent on destroying Remy. And her worst fear of all…falling in love with this magnificent man, then having to betray him…

This is a great debut for Sydney Croft, aka the writing team of Larissa Ione and Stephanie Tyler.

One of the things that really made the book for me is Haley and Remy’s ‘backstory.’ I won’t elaborate, because I don’t do spoilers, but it still makes me go Awwwwww….

And their ending was, for me, the perfect cross between Happy Ever After and Happy For Now. I think that they will have a HEA, but because the book spans only a short timeline, it’s enough Happy For Now for me to believe it. If that makes sense.

There were places where that I felt the secondary characters, namely Annika and Creed and Devlin, nearly overwhelmed the hero and heroine, especially the latter, whom I felt wasn’t as well-drawn as other characters in the story.

I also don’t think it was explained why Remy is called T-Remy, but I could have missed it because the sex scenes are mindblowing.

All in all, I can’t wait to read the next book–though sadly, Annika and Creed are not stars of Unleashing The Storm.

Riding The Storm rates 3.5 out of 5.

21
Aug
07

Dionne Galace: Skin To Skin

What Leilani wants, Leilani gets. That is, until she meets the enigmatic Oliver Clayton, her new neighbor. For some reason, Oliver seems to be intent on avoiding her even though he’s obviously interested. Leilani has tried to everything to get his attention, from wearing skimpy little outfits to walking a neighbor’s dog six times in front of his yard. Leilani wants Oliver…and she always gets her man.In the heat of the summer, the temperature’s not only thing rising. Luckily, Oliver has that pool in his backyard and Leilani knows just how to cool off…

I was going to say that Skin To Skin’s just good, clean fun, but there’s too much hot sex in it to be just good, clean fun.

So what’s Skin To Skin? It’s hot and sexy fun.

It has its flaws. I’m not sure what Leilani sees in Oliver except his hot bod, and I can’t help but think but Oliver being a cop is shorthand for Oliver being a trustworthy guy.

The ending is a little rushed, but it also has the type of ending that makes me smile. :D

Skin To Skin rates 3.5 out of 5.





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