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Friday, September 30, 2011

Review: The Wedding Affair by Leigh Michaels

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca  
ISBN: 1402244215
Pages:384 pages
Genre: Romance/Historical/Regency 
Challenges-100+ Reading Challenge, Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
Buy this Book: Amazonclip_image001_thumb_thumb, Powell's, Indiebound clip_image0013_thumb_thumbclip_image0014_thumb_thumb



Summary from publisher:

You're invited to the wedding of the year!

The Duke of Somervale, whose sister's wedding is the event of the ton, is fighting off debutantes and desperately needs help from beautiful, stubborn Olivia Reyne. But she is engrossed with problems engulfing her dearest friends and family. The last thing Olivia needs is to be embroiled with a duke whose dark gaze makes her forget herself entirely...

Discover a new side of a beloved author as Leigh Michaels draws you into the glittering, glitzy world of Regency England and an affair you'll never forget.

My Review:  

This was the first book that I read during the readathon. It was so good. It simultaneously broke me from my previous reading slump and set me off on a roll that I am still in 73 books later.

This book focuses on three couples—as many of Leigh Michaels’ books do—Penelope and Charles, Olivia and Simon and Kate and Andrew. I loved all three couples but I became so engrossed in Penelope and Charles’ story that I had difficulty focusing on anything else.  At first, I was completely into Olivia’s story and really didn’t see the point of Penelope but as the book went on I found myself sucked into her story with Charles. Their story was heartbreaking. One misunderstanding in the beginning of their marriage created a domino effect that threatens to destroy their marriage. It’s terrible to watch and you spend most of the time wanting to bash Charles’ head in. Olivia and Simon and Kate and Andrew were just as interesting but I gravitated more towards Penelope and Charles.

I have read two of Leigh Michaels other books (The Mistress’ House and Just One Season in London) and this one far surpasses those two in just about everything—even though I liked them quite a bit. I initially wasn’t too big of a fan of the three stories in one book type of thing but it was done so well in this one that I couldn’t help but love it. I didn’t mind the jumping around between couple so much because all three couples held my interest equally and the storylines for all three were interesting. I also think Michaels maintained a really great narrative flow with the story in this one.

This was one of my favorite books of the many that I read in September. I would read it again just to experience Charles and Penelope’s story again.

Rating:

*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.

Review: Up A Dry Creek by Avery Flynn

Publisher: Evernight Publishing  
ISBN: 9781926950518
Genre: Romantic Suspense  
Challenges-100+ Reading Challenge, Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
Buy this Book: Amazonclip_image001_thumb_thumb, Powell's, Indiebound clip_image0013_thumb_thumbclip_image0014_thumb_thumb



Summary from publisher:

Claire Layton expects the usual busy Saturday night at Harvest Bistro to be killer on her stilletto shod feet. She never imagines there’d be an actual murderer on the loose at her restaurant in rural Dry Creek, Nebraska. But when she discovers a customer dead in a dumpster, the killer demands she find the victim’s phone and flash drive or face fatal consequenses.

Jake Warrick, a cocky and mind-numbingly hot private investigator, becomes Claire’s unlikely ally in the search. Jake just wants to solve the case and get out of this hick town, but the diminutive and curvaceous Claire turns his plan upside down as they uncover a more complex crime than they ever imagined. The two bicker and banter like Tracy and Hepburn caught in a whirlwind of intense sexual attraction as they try to find the killer before it’s too late.

My Review:  

I had one hell of a morning. My computer kinda crashed. It would still turn on but it would turn on, blue screen, and turn off. Techy people fixed it for me. I lost most of my posts and anything that wasn’t backed up. I’ve had a terrible morning.

I really liked this book quite a bit. Claire was a great heroine. She was spunky and intelligent. She was also self-sufficient which I really liked. She had an MBA and ran her own business.  Jake was the typical sexy-cop hero. He was one of the best cop-style heroes I have ever come across because he is not completely prototypical. Yes, he is a good cop but we also get to know his family and what makes him the man he is. I do have to admit that I didn’t like him very much at the start but as the story went on I liked him more and more. Especially because he developed such an amazing chemistry with Claire.

This was an excellent start to the series. I loved just about everything about this book. I loved how the murder mystery sometimes took precedence over the development of the romance. Sometimes the mystery is secondary to the romance and I love it when the mystery is more of a primary focus. This murder mystery was definitely interesting and melded very well with the romance storyline. But that’s not to take anything away from Claire and Jake as out main couple. They had intense chemistry and the tension between them was through the roof.

Rating:

*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 Events (September 30th)

I have read a grand total of 74 book this month. Holy crap! I didn’t even realize it was so many until I counted. Most of them were great. There were two duds. All in all September was awesome.

 
Cupcakes: Strawberry Rhubarb


Reviews posted this week:

  1. Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M. by Sam Wasson
  2. After All is Said and Done by Belinda G. Buchanan
  3. The Cat Letters by Lexis de Rothschild
  4. Tears of Gold by Laurie McBain
  5. Venetia by Georgette Heyer
  6. Sylvester or the Wicked Uncle by Georgette Heyer
  7. Lord and Lady Spy by Shana Galen
  8. Never Been Bit by Lydia Dare
  9. Mocked by Faith by Michele Richard
  10. Waiting For Robert Capa by Susana Fortes
  11. Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star by Heather Lynn Rigaud


  This week's question is:

Q. What book that hasn't been turned into a movie (yet) would you most like to see make it to the big screen, and who would you like cast as your favorite character?

Outlander! It would make a spectacular movie. Jamie would be amazing (played by Francois Arnaud, Henry Cavill or Chris Hemsworth). I am actually quite shocked that it hasn’t been made yet. I like to blame it on Diana Gabaldon’s stance on fan fiction. Fan fiction (and other fan creations that I believe Gabaldon doesn’t allow as well) does tend to create a rabid fanbase that leads to movies being made.

Book Blogger Hop

                                               This weeks post.

“In honor of Banned Books Week, what is your favorite “banned or frequently challenged book”?”

I make it a habit to read Banned Books. I don’t like anyone telling me I can’t read something. Parents should focus on parenting their own children instead of parenting everyone else’s kids.

My favorite banned book of all time is To Kill A Mockingbird. How does anyone in good conscious ban this book? They are all morons. If they want their kids to be as ignorant as they are, that’s their business. But to ban one of the best books ever written for language (in a book about racial injustice..c’mon.) is a sin in my book. Obviously, those who banned had not read the book or they would have known what the book was about and why the language was used.

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Banned Books: How do you feel about the censorship of the freedom to read? Do you think the education system needs to be more strict on what children are exposed to in books?

I think the banning of any reading material for any person of any age is wrong. Yes, I know there are books that are too mature for children of younger age groups. But I do not think it’s the responsibility of anyone but the child’s parent to police what any child reads. If I had children, I would have a hard time restraining myself from throwing a haymaker of a fit if someone took a book away from my kid if I gave them permission to read it.

If anything, schools should be less strict because kids nowadays are more sheltered than ever. I remember books for young kids being written about true to life subjects when I was growing up in the early to mid 90’s—most were very real to life. These books talked about issues that kids (and teens) would soon be experiencing in life. I think most of them today would be banned. How do they expect kids to grow up and figure things out if they only have watered-down reference points? Let them experience some reality on safe paper before they experience it in dangerous real world.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Review: Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star by Heather Lynn Rigaud

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark  
ISBN: 1402257813
Pages:432 pages
Genre: Jane Austen Adaptation  
Challenges-100+ Reading Challenge, Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
Buy this Book: Amazonclip_image001_thumb_thumb, Powell's, Indiebound clip_image0013_thumb_thumbclip_image0014_thumb_thumb



Summary from publisher:

Heather Lynn Rigaud is a debut author coming out of the fandom for Jane Austin's Pride & Prejudice. Her novel, Fitzwilliam Darcy, Rock Star was Internet phenomenon, inspiring tee shirts, CD's and thousands of loving fans. Available for the first time in print, this sexy, adult romance is ready for a wider audience. 
Fast music, powerful beats and wild reputations on stage and off have made Slurry the band of the year--and the media's newest bad boys. Described as temperamental by their kindest critics, they've just lost their latest opening act and their red-hot summer tour is on the fast track to disaster.

Fitzwilliam Darcy, Slurry's tall, dark, and enigmatic virtuoso guitarist, knows that this is no time to be picky, but he never expected what was waiting when he, Charles Bingley and Richard Fitzwilliam crashed the Meryton Public House. 

Elizabeth Bennet, the fiercely independent and talented lead singer of Long Borne Suffering has serious reservations about joining such a trouble laden tour with the bad boys of Rock and Roll, but the opportunity is just too good to pass up!

On the Slurry tour, the music's hot, but backstage is an inferno.

My Review:  

This is one of those sequels that I knew would either really appeal to me or really tank terribly. I was morbidly curious as to how well Darcy, the epitome of gentleman in my book, could be turned into a rock star and if it would translate well to a novel. Turns out, pretty damn well on all counts. 

The book starts out really interestingly. Darcy, Richard and Charles are seen in a “Behind the Music” style interview. It gives us a bit of backstory to the band Slurry and their history. Lizzy, Jane and Charlotte are all members of a band Long Bourne Suffering (fricken hilarious) and are selected as the opening act for Slurry. As is probably predictable (and it should be considering what book this is an adaptation of), they all begin pairing off. Jane and Charles were every bit as sweet and adorable as they were in Pride and Prejudice. But Jane had a bit of an edge and, let’s be honest, she needed one. Charlotte and Richard were also paired off. I did a Perfect Stranger’s Dance of Joy with that one. I shipped them hard in Pride and Prejudice and their story was fairly heartbreaking here. Richard, hardcore manwhore, enters into a friends with benefits relationship with Charlotte and it, of course, turns into love but not before Richard decides to distance himself from Charlotte by, of course, lousing around with other women. They were my favorite. Lizzy and Darcy themselves came a close second. Lizzy spends most of the book hating Darcy which is typical. The way he induces Lizzy’s ire will surprise most Austen fans. They are the same Lizzy and Darcy we love, with the same chemistry but different in their presentation.

Okay okay I know the idea of Lizzy and Darcy being rock stars is kind of ridiculous. It is. I know we are all imagining Darcy in his Regency Darcy uniform prancing about on a stage with a guitar. But it works. Fan fiction can take any character you can think of and make them new again—if it is done well. And it done very well here. I am a huge fan of Twilight fan fiction—and I am going to use that as an example because well everyone knows Twilight. Some of the best stuff I have read have taken Bella and Edward out of the craptastic world of Twilight and into different careers, lifestyles and pairings—and most of it is done better than anything Stephenie Meyer could ever come up with. It requires a suspension of belief and temporary amnesia but if you are willing, you usually end up being rewarding with a really great reading experience. This was the case here. Seeing Darcy and Lizzy as rock stars brought out the characteristics we already love in them but in a different way.

Rating:

*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.

Review: Waiting For Robert Capa by Susana Fortes

Publisher: Harper Perennial  
ISBN: 0062000381
Pages:208 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction  
Challenges-100+ Reading Challenge, Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
Buy this Book: Amazonclip_image001_thumb_thumb, Powell's, Indiebound clip_image0013_thumb_thumbclip_image0014_thumb_thumb



Summary from publisher:

Artists, Jews, nonconformists, exiles. Gerta Pohorylle meets AndrÉ Friedmann in Paris in 1935 and is drawn to his fierce dedication to justice, journalism, and the art of photography. Assuming new names, Gerda Taro and Robert Capa travel together to Spain, Europe’s most harrowing war zone, to document the rapidly intensifying turmoil of the Spanish Civil War. In the midst of the peril and chaos of brutal conflict, a romance for the ages is born, marked by passion and recklessness . . . until tragedy intervenes.

Already published to international acclaim, Waiting for Robert Capa is an exhilarating tale of art and love—and a moving tribute to all those who risk their lives to document the world’s violent transformations.

My Review:  

I walked into this book expecting to love it. Actually hoping to love it. I very rarely do that for fear of being disappointed. I’m sad to say that I was disappointed with this one.

I am always interested in novels that are based on real events and real people. When they are done well, it can be amazing. This one focuses on the romance between Robert Capa and Gerda Taro. I knew nothing about either of these photojournalists before I began reading. But I quickly became engrossed in their story. Their love story was turbulent and it was interesting. It was my favorite part of the book. But the part that I thought I would love fell short. I liked the rich historical detail. The writing style worked well here. It was short and full of sentence fragments and half-formed thoughts. It almost felt like camera flashes. But I really had trouble with all of the time jumping. I kept getting taken out of the story because I couldn’t figure out where I was.

This book confused me plain and simple. Maybe it’s because I’ve been reading so much this month and I have reader’s fatigue but no matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t get into this book. The historical detail was choppy at best. I can deal with time period jumping but when it’s excessive, it tends to be overbearing. I also thought the language was a bit stilted. Sometimes it was lovely but at other times it felt a bit choppy. I’m not sure if it was because this was a translation but the writing style just didn’t work for me. I did like that I got a real sense of what it was like to be a photojournalist in the 1930s but I just couldn’t get into the story or the writing style.

Overall, this one was a bit of a disappointment for me. Readers interested in the history of photography, journalism or Robert Capa and Gerda Taro, would love this book but it just wasn’t for me.

Rating:

*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, September 28, 2011

Guest Post: Michele Richard, author of Mocked by Faith

I’d like to give you a look into the society my characters grew up in, in the hopes to give you a better understanding of why they are the way they are.

The Gate is a gated community mostly sheltered from outside influences. The men work or own businesses on the outside of their society. That is why their clothes, appliances, and cars are still modern. They bring them in. The wives live much like the women of the 50’s. It’s not that they can’t work, but it is preferred they do it inside the protection of The Gates. Most choose not to.

Their faith follows closely to Christianity. Ancient scriptures that are denounced by the Catholics are still in effect. Where the Catholic Church dropped three of the seven Archangels, members of the faith still retain their standing. Here are a few verses or passages from the prolog that will show you why they believe what they do:

As in the beginning, Adam & Eve Genesis 2, when God created Adam, he created Eve to complete him. The same holds true today. No man is fulfilled until he has taken a wife. A wife chosen by the entity that created him, his father. Only then would the two be forever in the grace of God.

A wife shall place her husband above all other men. A wife’s place is beside husband in and outside their home. She must trust him to lead them both in life, love, and prayer.

A husband shall love his wife above all others. He must protect, love, and lead his wife. He’s sworn to provide all her needs, financial, emotional, and spiritual.

The couple shall be fruitful and multiply. They will remain as one until the end of their days.

Peter 3:2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.

Peter 3:5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands,

Peter 3:7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

Now I knew this would make some women unhappy. They like their women to be strong, independent, and even willful. Unfortunately for them that is not how this story is depicted. Yes Alexia Cross is willful in her own way, but you will have to wait until Mocked by Faith – Healing the faith to see it.

Justin is flawed from day one. Half the time you want to hug the stuffing out of him and the rest you want to strangle him. You don’t fully see them maturing until the second book. That’s where they learn the most of battling to stay together.

These two know nothing about each other until they say “I do” so it’s a journey just getting there.

Both felt unwanted: Alexia because her parents couldn’t find anyone worthy. Since she was not involved in the search she didn’t know about that. Justin on the other hand made mistakes causing every girl’s parents in his English community to reject him. Together they are a match made in heaven.

Yes, they will have a lot of obstacles thrown at them, it will serve to make them grown and learn how to live and love together.

I hope this helps you understand my newest book a little better.

Thank You

Michele Richard

Review: Mocked by Faith by Michele Richard

Publisher: The Writer's Coffee Shop Publishing House
ISBN: 9781612130545
Pages:221 pages
Genre: Fiction  
Challenges-100+ Reading Challenge, Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
Buy this Book: The Writer’s Coffee Shop, Amazonclip_image001_thumb_thumb, Powell's, Indiebound clip_image0013_thumb_thumbclip_image0014_thumb_thumb



Summary from publisher:

For Alexia Cross and Justin McNear, things are not what they seem. Both were born and raised in hidden, gated communities. A place where time virtually stands still and marriages are arranged by parents before a child's 18th birthday.

Alexia is destined to be her community's first spinster. In a last ditch effort, a husband is found. The only complication? He has no idea he has been betrothed. Will his history of dating outsiders help or hinder his relationship with his future wife?

Justin McNear searched outside his church for the woman of his dreams.

Returning home after failing, he knows he needs to rectify his life and his faith. Can a woman he's never met make him whole again?

Will this couple end up mocked by their own faith? Follow Alexia and Justin through the trials and tribulations of finding, falling, and surviving each other's love.

It's never easy saying "I do" to someone you don't know.

My Review: 

I reviewed Mocked by Destiny and loved it. It was a gold star review. If I had a rating better than gold star this one would have gotten it but since I don’t it will likely b a gold star book. But just know, I wanted to create a ranking to accommodate it but couldn’t.

I started this book and didn’t put it down until I was done. And considering I was reading on my hated Sony Reader, that’s something. I loved both Alexia and Justin. They were heartbreaking at times. Very heartbreaking. To the point of tears. There were times that I wanted to shake both of them but I had to love them both. They were thrown into a marriage with people they did not know and expected to adjust to it immediately.

I was borderline fascinated by this book. The religious community that Justin and Alexia both fascinated and angered me. It mostly angered me. The role that women played in the community put me in a rage state. But I was still interested by the lifestyle that the people in the community lived. I also have to admit that the arranged marriage was right up my alley. I am a historical romance fan after all and it was really interesting to see Alexia and Justin adjust to each other as painful and problematic as that process was.

Rating:

*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.

Review: Never Been Bit by Lydia Dare

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 1402245130
Pages:384 pages
Genre: Romance/Historical/Regency/Paranormal/Vampires  
Challenges-100+ Reading Challenge, Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
Buy this Book: Amazonclip_image001_thumb_thumb, Powell's, Indiebound clip_image0013_thumb_thumbclip_image0014_thumb_thumb



Summary from publisher:

The glittering world of high society is the playground for the rich, titled, and reluctantly undead...

Alec MacQuarrie's after-life has become an endless search for pleasure in an effort to overcome his heartbreak and despair. Wandering through the seedy world of London's demimonde, he's changed into a dark and fearsome creature even he doesn't recognize until he stumbles into a magical lass he knew once upon a time and sees a glimpse of the life he could have had.

But the ton is no match for one incorrigible young lady...

After watching each of her coven sisters happily marry, Sorcha Ferguson is determined to capture a Lycan husband of her very own. When she encounters Alec, she decides to save her old friend from what he's become, all while searching for her own happily-ever-after.

Over his dead body is Alec going to allow this enchanting innocent to throw herself away on an unworthy werewolf, but that leaves him responsible for her, and he's the worst monster of them all...

My Review: 

I will not tell you how long I have been waiting for Sorcha and Alec’s story but it has been a long time. Sorcha was always my favorite of the witches and I had my fingers crossed that she would end up with Alec.

Sorcha was every bit as awesome as I thought she would be. She was spunky and fun and I just loved her. I did hate seeing her compare herself to Cait at every turn because Alec was once in love with her. I also loved Alec—I knew I would based on how awesome he was in the previous books. I have been so anxious to get over Cait and move on to Sorcha for the last couple of books. I especially liked that he was one of those sad and broody type characters without ever actually being sad or broody.

I loved this book as I have loved all the books in both of Lydia Dare’s series. Sorcha and Alec had such an amazing chemistry even though it was somewhat bickersonish. I do have one slight question…where are Lily and Simon from A Certain Wolfish Charm? They are my favorite couple in the whole group and I feel as if, and I could be wrong, that we haven’t gotten an update on them in a while. I also wanted to know what happened to Oliver, Lily’s nephew. I was hoping that he would get a book of his own in the series or a future one. I really loved him in A Certain Wolfish Charm. But, nevertheless, this one was an amazing read and it was, perhaps, my favorite of the series.

I will continue to stalk Lydia Dare’s books like the rabid fangirl that I am. I cannot recommend the Westfield  Wolves and Regency Vampyre series enough.


Rating:

*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, September 27, 2011

Review: Lord and Lady Spy by Shana Galen

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 1402259077
Pages:384 pages
Genre: Romance/Historical/Regency  
Challenges-100+ Reading Challenge, Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
Buy this Book: Amazonclip_image001_thumb_thumb, Powell's, Indiebound clip_image0013_thumb_thumbclip_image0014_thumb_thumb



Summary from publisher:

No man can outsmart him...

Lord Adrian Smythe may appear a perfectly boring gentleman, but he leads a thrilling life as one of England's most preeminent spies, an identity so clandestine even his wife is unaware of it. But he isn't the only one with secrets...

She's been outsmarting him for years...

Now that the Napoleonic wars have come to an end, daring secret agent Lady Sophia Smythe can hardly bear the thought of returning home to her tedious husband. Until she discovers in the dark of night that he's not who she thinks he is after all...

My Review: 

I loved The Making of a Gentleman. It was one of my favorite books from last year. I was looking forward to this one. It had three things I knew I would love (1) Mr. and Mrs. Smith similarities (2) a marriage of convenience and (3) wicked humor. I wasn’t sure how much I was actually going to like the Mr. and Mrs. Smith take in a romance novel but I was excited to read it nonetheless.

Sophia was the epitome of “kick ass heroine.” She was just as strong and capable as any hero I have ever come across. Maybe even more. She was every inch her husband’s equal both as a spy and as a character. I liked Adrian but I would have liked him to be a bit more rakish or dashing. Sweet heroes are not exactly my preference but I liked him just the same. My favorite character was neither of the main characters but the butler, Wallace. Sophia and Adrian could have walked into the room dressed in space suits and he wouldn’t flinch. He reminded me of Niles from The Nanny. He knew everything before it happened (and you can totally tell he’s a big ol’ gossip too).

I loved the action, the romance and the mystery in this book. But my favorite part had to be the humor. I found myself chuckling throughout. I am also not usually a fan of spy storylines but I liked this one. I loved the take on Mr. and Mrs. Smith. It’s one of my favorite movies (the older one not the Brangelina one—I am a Jennifer Aniston fan). I did have one little complaint (and it’s something that really annoys me—I’m probably alone in this), the cover model looks nothing like how Adrian is described. Adrian is blond and the cover model clearly has brown hair. Yes, I do notice these things but other than that Lord and Lady Spy lived up to my (high) expectations.


Rating:

*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.

Review: Sylvester or the Wicked Uncle by Georgette Heyer

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 1402238800
Pages:400 pages
Genre: Romance/Historical/Regency  
Challenges-100+ Reading Challenge, Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
Buy this Book: Amazonclip_image001_thumb_thumb, Powell's, Indiebound clip_image0013_thumb_thumbclip_image0014_thumb_thumb



Summary from publisher:

Rank, wealth, and elegance are no match for a young lady who writes novels...

Sylvester, Duke of Salford, has exacting requirements for a bride. Then he meets Phoebe Marlow, a young lady with literary aspirations, and suddenly life becomes very complicated. She meets none of his criteria, and even worse, she has written a novel that is sweeping through the ton and causing all kinds of gossip... and he's the main character!

My Review: 

This was the Heyer I was most looking forward to. I had heard amazing things about this one from my Heyer reading friends. They said that I would love Sylvester almost as much as I fangirl Darcy. I was hoping they were right because I have been getting a bit bored with Darcy lately (I know…blasphemy).

I thought this book was absolutely genius. Our heroine, Phoebe, writes a novel in which our hero, Sylvester is the villain. Perfect. You can’t tell me that if Elizabeth Bennet was an author at the beginning of Pride and Prejudice that Darcy would not have been her villain. He totally would have. Phoebe had all the wit, charm and vivacity of Elizabeth Bennet with the added bonus of a bit of bad behavior. Sylvester was amazing. He was every bit as arrogant and obnoxious as I want to see in a hero. He definitely had the Darcy Complex. And the Darcy Complex is a good thing to have in any novel.

I loved this book with every fiber of my being. I loved the bickering between Sylvester and Phoebe. I am convince no romance is complete without bickering. The banter between them was witty and intelligent and you could sense the underlying attraction.  As always with Georgette Heyer, there was a generous amount of humor and adventure but it really was not necessary with a hero and heroine as amazing as Sylvester and Phoebe.


Rating:

*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, September 26, 2011

Review: Venetia by Georgette Heyer

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca 
ISBN: 1402238843
Pages:384 pages
Genre: Romance/Historical  
Challenges-100+ Reading Challenge, Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
Buy this Book: Amazonclip_image001_thumb_thumb, Powell's, Indiebound clip_image0013_thumb_thumbclip_image0014_thumb_thumb



Summary from publisher:

A young lady of beauty and intelligence facing an unbearable choice...

Venetia Lanyon is one of Georgette Heyer's most memorable heroines. Beautiful, capable, and independent minded, her life on the family's estate in the countryside is somewhat circumscribed. Then a chance encounter with her rakish neighbor opens up a whole new world for Venetia. Lord Damerel has built his life on his dangerous reputation, and when he meets Venetia, he has nothing to offer and everything to regret. As Venetia's well-meaning family steps in to protect her from potential ruin, Venetia must find the wherewithal to take charge of her own destiny, or lose her one chance at happiness...

My Review: 

I love Georgette Heyer as any reader of my blog knows. I have been looking forward to reading more of her but haven’t had the chance until recently. Venetia was my next stop on my Georgette Heyer list after Bath Tangle—I worked my way to the one I was looking most forward to, Sylvester.

I liked Venetia. I didn’t love her. I tend to prefer my heroines with a bit more…spice to them. Venetia was nice. Too nice. She was the epitome of the sweet, virtuous and innocent heroine that can tend to be saccharine at times. I did understand what Heyer was doing when she introduced our hero the big bad rake, Demeral. He was bad…not too bad—this is Heyer after all…but bad enough that our heroine seems just that much nicer. I really loved the contrast and their chemistry was improved because of itt. If the hero had been as milquetoast as Venetia, there would have been problems.

This was a typical Heyer romance. Witty banter, sweet romance, some adventure, and some humor. It always works. Venetia is the first one that I ever found myself really engrossed in. I thought the chemistry between Venetia and Demeral was great and it was enough to sustain me through the times were I wanted to beat Venetia with a pointy shoe. I also found myself chuckling quite often—as I am wont to do with Heyer books because she has the exact same sense of humor as I do. 

If you have never read Heyer, pick this one up. It’s a great one to start out with—I wish I had. My first Heyer was a Why Shoot a Butler?--not exactly a good place for a romance reader to start out on. 

 Rating:

*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.

Review: Tears of Gold by Laurie McBain

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca 
ISBN: 140224245X
Pages:554 pages
Genre: Romance/Historical  
Challenges-100+ Reading Challenge, Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge
Buy this Book: Amazonclip_image001_thumb_thumb, Powell's, Indiebound clip_image0013_thumb_thumbclip_image0014_thumb_thumb



Summary from publisher:

New York Times bestselling author and Reviewers' Choice Award–winner Laurie McBain has sold more than 11 million copies of her romances around the world with lush, epic storytelling that has made her a favorite among generations of readers.

She has sworn never to love.

To many, she has a perfect life-freedom to travel the world, expensive gifts from wealthy men. But consummate actress though she is, Mara Flynn can never make herself believe the passion is real. One more job. That's all she needs to ensure her family's financial future. And California is just teeming with gold. There, her daring impersonation will fool everyone...except one man.

He has sworn never to forgive.

Mara didn't plan for Nicholas Chantale, though. He has hunted her from the steamy streets of New Orleans all the way to the blinding brilliance of California gold country, only to have his dreams of vengeance crushed when he meets her in the flesh. For though he was sworn to kill her, she was the love he would die for.

My Review: 

I loved Devil’s Desire. Bodice rippers are kind of my favorite type of romances. I think it’s because I used to steal my mother’s 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s romances when I was a kid and it kind of stuck with me.

Mara was one of the best heroines I have come across in a long time. It was easy to sympathize and relate to her. She also happened to be a con-artist but, surprisingly, it was done convincingly and it did not impede my ability to like her.  In the beginning (especially with that heartwrenching scene), I thought I was going to hate her but I ended up loving her. Nicholas was an amazing hero. He was an alpha man but also was quite gentle. I like my brutish heroes but I have been reading so many 70’s and 80’s romance novels packed with brutish heroes. It’s nice too get a break. The chemistry between Nicholas and Mara was off the charts. They also happened to be in near constant conflict—something I love and look for in a good romance.

This was so much more than I expected. I was expecting the average bodice ripper. You know conflict, conflict, drama, bodice ripping. And this one did have that, don’t get me wrong. But it was done in the midst of a really lovely and lush historical setting. I also think the chemistry between Mara and Nicholas was SPECTACULAR. In my humble opinion, older romances have the best chemistry. This is one of the few without any violence from the hero which is kind of rare in this type of romance. The action wasn’t also solely focused on the romance. There was plenty of mystery and action to go around.

I loved this book and Devil’s Desire. I very quickly went out and bought old copies of Laurie McBain’s books. Including copies of this and the other McBains I have reviewed.

 Rating:

*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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