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Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Making of a Gentleman by Shana Galen

The Making of a GentlemanPublisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 1402238665
Pages: 384 pgs
Genre: Romance/Regency
Challenges-Read’n’Review Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge
Rating:  





 Summary from publisher:

Twelve years in prison has stripped him of his humanity...

Armand, Comte de Valère has lost the ability to interact with polite society, until his family hires him a beautiful tutor, and he starts to come alive again...

Saving him is her only chance to escape a terrible fate...

Felicity Bennett vows she'll do whatever it takes to help Armand fight back the demons that have held him captive for so long...

With Felicity's help, Armand begins to heal, until a buried secret threatens to destroy their growing passion...

My Review:
You know what happens when you save the best for last...you usually are very disappointed. I saved the best for last with The Making of a Gentleman but I was not disappointed at all.I loved this book. It was very Beauty and the Beast and we all know how much I love Beauty and the Beast.

Felicity and Armand have to be one of my favorite couples from all of the romance novels I have read this past year. They had this instant connection that was really lovely to watch. They were perfectly matched. Armand, mute and unresponsive to even his family, was instantly attracted to Felicity. I loved watching them get to know each other first as tutor and student and then as friends and eventually more. They were truly one of the sweetest couples I have ever come across.

This is one of those romances that I will keep coming back to. The development of the characters and the romance was perfect. It was not rushed at all. There was also plenty of mystery, adventure and intrigue to keep me interested.  I have added all of Shana Galen's books to my wish list. I am looking forward to reading more of her books.

*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Backstage Pass by Olivia Cunning

Backstage Pass: Sinners on Tour
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 1402244428
Pages: 384 pgs
Genre: Romance/Erotica
Challenges-Read’n’Review Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge
Rating: 





Summary from publisher:

Five stunning guys, one hot woman, and a feverish romance...

For him, life is all music and no play...
When Brian Sinclair, lead songwriter and guitarist of the hottest metal band on the scene, loses his creative spark, it will take nights of downright sinful passion to release his pent-up genius...

She's the one to call the tune...
When sexy psychologist Myrna Evans goes on tour with the Sinners, every boy in the band tries to seduce her. But Brian is the only one she wants to get her hands on...
Then the two lovers' wildly shocking behavior sparks the whole band to new heights of glory...and sin...

My Review:
I was a little worried about this one. I tend to prefer more plot and usually erotica is lacking in that. I was rather please that this one had just the right about of plot to pacify me and enough sexy times to be considered erotica.

I was thoroughly surprised by how much character development was in this book. I liked Myrna-aside from her terrible name. She was interesting and I did like her. Brian was atypical of a rock god. He was more likable than I thought he would be. His relationship with his bandmates was bromantic and quite adorable- and sometimes a bit dirty.

This book is not for the faint of heart--in case you couldn't tell by the term erotica. There are many graphic sex scenes and not all of them are vanilla. They were all tastefully done but if you are easily offended or shocked, don't pick this book up. But if you are like me and don't mind graphic sex scenes, this book is perfect.

*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Wicked Company by Ciji Ware

Wicked Company Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
ISBN: 1402222718
Pages: 624 pgs
Genre: Romance
Challenges-Read’n’Review Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge
Rating: 





Summary from publisher:

If Shakespeare had a sister...

In 18th century London the glamorous Drury Lane and Covent Garden theatres were all the rage, beckoning every young actor, actress, playwright, and performer with the lure of the stage lights. But competition and back-biting between theatre owners, patrons, actors, and writers left aspiring playwrights with their work stolen, profits withheld, and reputations on the line. For a female, things were harder still, as the chances of a "petticoat playwright" getting past the government censor was slim.

In this exciting and cutthroat world, a young woman with a skill for writing and an ambition to see her work performed could rise to glory, or could lose all in the blink of an eye...

In Ciji Ware's signature style, real-life characters of the day create a backdrop for a portrait of a glittering era, a love story, and a compelling glimpse into what life was like for a strong and independent-minded woman in an emphatically man's world.


My Review
I love Ciji Ware. Her books are always amazing. The are romantic and historically detailed while being entertaining. I loved Island of the Swans, adored A Cottage by the Sea and I was looking forward to this one.

I loved the heroine. Sophie was intelligent, creative and strong willed. I loved watching her journey as a playwright just as much as I loved watching her romantic journey. The main at Hunter was an interesting character on his own but I loved watching his journey with Sophie as they moved from friendship to romance.

I was a bit frustrated with this book at times. It seemed as if Sophie was a bad joojoo magnet. If bad things could happen, they would happen to her. I felt so bad for the girl. She could not catch a break. It did illustrate very well the plight of female playwrights but that doesn't mean it did not make me want to tear my hair out.

Ciji Ware is one of those rare authors who never has a misstep. Every book of hers is extremely well-written, historically detailed and well plotted. I have yet to come across a book of Ware's that I dislike. This was definitely not one of them. A Cottage by the Sea is still my favorite but this one is a very close second.  

*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mr. Darcy's Obsession by Abigail Reynolds

Mr. Darcy's Obsession (Pride & Prejudice Continues) Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
ISBN: 1402240929
Pages: 368 pgs
Genre: Jane Austen Adaptation
Challenges-Read’n’Review Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge
Rating:





Summary from Publisher:
What if...Elizabeth Bennet was more unsuitable for Mr. Darcy than ever...

Mr. Darcy is determined to find a more suitable bride. But then he learns that Elizabeth is living in London in reduced circumstances, after her father's death robs her of her family home...

What if...Mr. Darcy can't Help himself from see king her out...

He just wants to make sure she's alright. But once he's seen her, he feels compelled to talk to her, and from there he's unable to fight the overwhelming desire to be near her, or the ever-growing mutual attraction that is between them...

What if...Mr. Darcy's intentions were shockingly dishonorable...


My Review:
I can usually depend in Abigail Reynolds to write the best Jane Austen adaptations out there. She never disappoints. Never. Not once. This one was no exception. She finds the little moments where Austen could have made a different decision and follow that road. She always gives us a new perspective in the story we love so much but, all the while, never takes us too far from the Pride and Prejudice that we love so much.

I loved Abigail's version of Pride and Prejudice in Mr. Darcy's Obsession. In this one, Mr. Bennet has died leaving the Bennet girls in an even more tenuous position than they were already in. Mr. Darcy was never given the chance to propose (and be rejected) by Lizzy and he was forced to move in and find someone more suited to his social station.

I loved what Reynolds did with this one. She managed to make me love Mr. Darcy even more because of his kindness and nobility. He loved Lizzy (or at least was attracted to her) even when her situation worsened even further. I did not think thatch could get better than he was in Pride and Prejudice but the Mr. Darcy's Obsession  Darcy did. I especially loved what Reynolds did to the other P&P characters. Jane was forced to marry a shopkeeper, Lydia was still stupid, Georgiana was awesome and she gave Mr. Darcy a really intriguing family.
*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.


  

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Jane and the Damned by Janet Mullany

Jane and the Damned: A Novel
Publisher: Avon A
ISBN: 0061958301
Pages: 304 pgs
Genre: Jane Austen Adaptation
Challenges-Read’n’Review Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge
Rating: 





Summary from Publisher:

Aspiring writer Jane Austen knows that respectable young ladies like herself are supposed to shun the Damned—the beautiful, fashionable, exquisitely seductive vampires who are all the rage in Georgian England in 1797. So when an innocent (she believes) flirtation results in her being turned—by an absolute cad of a bloodsucker—she acquiesces to her family’s wishes and departs for Bath to take the waters, the only known cure.

But what she encounters there is completely unexpected: perilous jealousies and further betrayals, a new friendship and a possible love. Yet all that must be put aside when the warring French invade unsuspecting Bath—and the streets run red with good English blood. Suddenly only the staunchly British Damned can defend the nation they love . . . with Jane Austen leading the charge at the battle’s forefront.

My Review:
 
Vampires...I've been borderline obsessed with them for many a year. Ever since I developed an inhuman crush on Spike from Buffy. Then it was Jasper from Twilight and it just got worse from there.  I never thought that Jane Austen as a vampire would be any form of attractive but it was.

I loved Jane (like I always do). She was everything that I had imagined her to be. She was strong and intelligent. As a vampire, she was epic awesome. She was, for lack of a better term, kick ass. I think Mullany captured the Jane that I love so much absolutely perfectly. I have read many books where Jane Austen is the main character but none have captured her as well as in this one.

This was also one of my favorite versions of vampires that I have ever come across. It does get a bit gross at times when Jane describes the taste of each individual's blood (Jane tastes like apricot) but it never gets too graphic. It does get a tad bit violent but I like fictional violence.  I also liked that there was a touch of romance to balance it out.

I did not think that I would ever be convinced of my beloved Jane being a vampire. Ever. She's my Jane. It would take an amazing writer to be able to convince me that Jane Austen could ever be vampire and Mullany must be an amazing writer because I was completely convinced.

*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Elizabeth, Captive Princess by Margaret Irwin

Elizabeth, Captive Princess: Two Sisters, One ThronePublisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
ISBN: 1402229976
Pages: 352 pgs
Genre: Historical Fiction/England
Challenges-Read’n’Review Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge
Rating: 





Summary from Publisher:
In July 1553, sibling rivalry looms perilous, even life-threatening, between the daughters of King Henry VIII. Their brother King Edward is dead, his successor Lady Jane Grey has been beheaded, and Queen Mary Tudor has just won possession of the throne. But her younger half sister-the beautiful and vivacious Princess Elizabeth-holds the hearts of the people. Despite Mary's health fading fast and her power beginning to crumble, she won't give up the throne, determined to rule to the absolute end as her father did before her. In these treacherous times, when all about her there is secrecy and deception, Elizabeth must rely on her faith and courage if she is to survive her ordeal and rise to fulfill her destiny. With grace and elegance, Margaret Irwin continues the story begun in Young Bess, giving readers an intimate peek into the world of that most enigmatic of Britain's monarchs.

My Review:
I normally gravitate toward historical fiction novels with at least some romance. It is very rare that I find one without romance that I like.

Usually the historical fiction that I read and like has some element if romance. It's just what I like. I like romance in almost everything I read. Very rarely do I like a book where there is no romantic storyline or a romantic storyline where the couple I like does not end up together. This is one of them. It has no romance and I still love it.

I love Queen Elizabeth. She is my favorite historical figure that was not known primarily for being an author or writer. From the moment I read her speech at Tilbury, I fell in love with her. I have, however, never found a book that portrayed her in the way that I wanted to see her portrayed as a strong woman and monarch. Usually I find that books tend to focus on romance with her. I was happy that this one didn't.

I did not expect to love this book so much because I am usually disappointed by the portrayal of my favorite historical figures in historical fiction. I found Irwin to have created an Elizabeth just as I had imagined her. Headstrong, brash, and charismatic. It was borderline perfect. I was so happy to find that this was part of a series. I will definitely be catching up.

*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.

Mr. Darcy Takes the Plunge by J. Marie Croft

Mr. Darcy Takes the Plunge
Publisher: Rhemalda Publishing
ISBN: 098274370X
Pages: 344 pgs
Genre: Jane Austen Adaptation
Challenges-Read’n’Review Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge
Rating: 





Summary from Publisher:
A pun-filled tale featuring Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice characters with some added or addled, missing or missish, modified or mortified, healthier, wealthier, or wiser. Impeccable comportment is mandatory in Regency England, a society governed by strict rules of conduct. The immaculate image of perfectionist Fitzwilliam Darcy is somewhat tarnished when he and his traveling companions arrive, hot and sweaty, at Pemberley and decide to take a fateful plunge into a scummy pond. An embarrassing encounter on the estate's lawn leaves a long-lasting impression on Jane and Elizabeth Bennet, who are new acquaintances of Georgiana and Anna Darcy. With both families in London for the Little Season, Darcy finds himself thrown again into the path of perky Elizabeth Bennet, but a handsome army officer just might blockade further advances. This romantic comedy is a lighthearted adaptation of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, featuring a softer, sweeter, sillier side of Austen's beloved characters.


My Review:
Jane Austen adaptations are kinda my thing...my specialty, if you will. I have seen all kinds. Funny ones, romantic ones, dirty ones, paranormal ones. I have seen them all. But I have never come across a punny one before and I am kind of on the fence about it.

There were some aspects of Mr. Darcy Takes the Plunge that I liked quite a bit. I loved the way that Croft took over Austen's story and made it her own. She was completely on point with all of the changes she made to Jane Austen's story. Nothing she did took away from the story that I already love and she has provided me with one of the best Drunk Darcys that I have ever come across (second only to Marsha Altman's). I also loved that we first meet Darcy as he is emerging grungy and dirty from a manky pond. Quite the nice reference to the 1995 Pride and Prejudice.

I had only one issue with this book. It was too punny. I like puns in moderation. When there are too many puns it starts to get a little too ummm cute. It kind of reminded me of Sex and the City. Carrie's puns were funny at first but after a while, my teeth started grinding in annoyance whenever she started with the puns. It was the same here. It was funny at first but it got a bit tedious after a while. That doesn't mean that I didn't like it but sometimes less is more.

I never thought I would ever say "pun" so many times in a review (or in life). Ah... there's a first time for everything.

*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Blood Trinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love

Blood Trinity: Book 1 in the Belador Series Publisher: Pocket
ISBN: 1439155828
Pages: 528 pgs
Genre: Fantasy
Challenges-Read’n’Review Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge
Rating: 






Summary from Publisher:
 Supernatural warriors bound by an extraordinary code of honor face an ultimate test of loyalty in the exciting new paranormal thriller from New York Times bestselling authors Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love.Atlanta has become the battlefield between human and demon. All her life, Evalle Kincaid has walked the line between the two. Her origins unknown, she’s on a quest to learn more about her past . . . and her future.When a demon claims a young woman in a terrifying attack and there’s no one else to blame, Evalle comes under suspicion. Now she’s on a deadly quest for her own survival. Through the sordid underground of an alternate Atlanta where nothing is as it seems to the front lines of the city, where her former allies have joined forces to hunt her, Evalle must prove her innocence or pay the ultimate price.But saving herself is the least of her problems if she doesn’t stop the coming apocalypse. The clock is ticking and Atlanta is about to catch fire. . . .

My Review:
I have been trying to get this review posted since 9am. My wireless is down at home and it's seriously disturbing my reviewing flow. I can't sit on my comfy chair, I can't drink coffee and there are loud children in this library (not that I would ever begrudge children their library time). But nevertheless, I will try my best review Blood Trinity in the best way possible.

I loved the world building in this one. I have never felt so immersed in a fantasy world as I did in this one. It was so detailed and intricate. I am usually not a fan of very detailed fantasy worlds but this one worked well. The characters were multi-dimensional and the story was interesting.  I did find that there were a bit too many characters at times. I sometimes had trouble keeping who was who straight.

I was a bit surprised that the romance was so sparse.  I thought that this was billed as a paranormal romance but to find so little romance was both surprising and a pleasant shock. I was glad to read an intro to this series without the pollution of romance (because that is all I would focus on). I found myself following the fantasy and adventure with rapt interest and found that I did not miss the romance at all. I do hope that there is much more romance in the next book in the Belador series but I would continue to follow this series either way.

*A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher for review. My opinion is my own and has not been influenced in any way and any monies made from associate or affiliate accounts are recycled back into the blog.
 

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