Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Romance Review: The Chief by Monica McCarty

The Chief
by Monica McCarty

Ballantine Books
ISBN: 9780345518224
Release Date: March 23, 2010
from the author's site: 

An elite fighting force like the world has never seen...

Scouring the darkest corners of the Highlands and Western Isles, Robert the Bruce handpicks ten warriors to help him in his quest to free Scotland from English rule. They are the best of the best, chosen for their superior skills in each discipline of warfare. To lead his secret Highland Guard, Bruce chooses the greatest warrior of all.

The ultimate Highland warlord and a swordsman without equal, Tor MacLeod has no intention of being drawn into Scotland’s war. Dedicated to his clan, the fiercely independent chief answers to no one—especially not his alluring new bride, bartered to him in a bid to secure his agreement to command the deadliest fighting force the world has ever seen. The treacherous chit who made her way to his bed may have won his hand, but she will never claim his heart.

Although her husband’s reputation is as fierce as his manner, Christina Fraser believes something softer hides beneath his brutal shell. But the only warmth she feels is in their bed, in the glorious moments of white-hot desire that disappear with the dawn. When Christina’s reckless bid to win her husband’s love goes awry and thrusts them into danger on the eve of war against England, Tor will face his ultimate battle: to save his wife and open his heart—before it’s too late.

my thoughts:

The Chief was a book club selection for my Romance book club this month.  This was my first book from Monica McCarty, but I'm already looking forward to the rest of the books in this series. I'm definitely thinking I'm going to need to read her previous series too. 

Tor was a bit of a frustrating character initially because of his refusal to admit to his feelings for his wife, or any feelings for that matter. Thankfully Christina is more than a match for this bull-headed Highlander. The Chief is full of emotional ups and downs and a surprise or two. I can't wait for the release of The Hawk later this year. 

Monday, June 28, 2010

Romance Review: Vanished by Maureen Child

by Maureen Child
Silhouette Nocturne
ISBN: 9780373618040
Release Date: February 2009
from the author's site: 

Forever fated to defend humanity against demons, immortal Guardian Rogan Butler has given up all hope of finding peace. But when a beautiful American unexpectedly appears, with all her self-assurance and charm, the winds of danger—and a soul-deep recognition—reawaken the warrior's long-buried desire….

Alison Blair came to Ireland duty-bound to tell Rogan of a sinister premonition, only to be rebuffed. Then evil strikes when her sister mysteriously disappears, and only Rogan can protect Aly from a fate worse than death. Can this brooding warrior be her Destined Mate—the key to a forgotten past, and to her future? 

my thoughts: 

Vanished is a great read. I've read Maureen Child's other Guardian books and I've enjoyed each one. I was really excited to see this story take place in Ireland. Ireland is one of the countries that it's great to fantasize about traveling to, plus who doesn't want to read about a hot Irish hunk?

Alison and Rogan are another great couple and watching their love grow was beautiful. Alison's just tenacious enough to deal with Rogan's stubbornness. I really enjoyed reading Vanished and I plan on reading more from Maureen Child soon.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Romance Review: Body Check by Deirdre Martin

Body Check
by Deirdre Martin
Berkley Jove
ISBN: 9780515134896
Release Date: February 25, 2003

from the author's site: 

Janna MacNeil is a publicist on a mission to change the image of the bad boys of hockey: the Stanley Cup Champion New York Blades.

Ty Gallagher is a captain on a mission— to get his team to win the Cup again... at any cost. His determination is legendary, as well as his unwillingness to toe the corporate line.

When the persistent publicist and the stubborn captain butt heads, it's hard enough to crack the ice. But they may end up melting it instead...

my thoughts:

With this last playoff season I can to the realization that I love hockey (Go Blackhawks!). This new found love of hockey meant that I absolutely had to read Deirdre Martin's books. I've been aware of them, but previously hadn't felt any pressing need to check them out. I've been slowly buying her New York Blades series one by one and this weekend finished reading Body Check

Body Check had me glued to my seat, turning the pages. Janna and Ty are so good together, even if Ty is a bit thick and needs some convincing. Individually they are great characters too, they both really give you a reason to care about them, you genuinely want to see them happy. 
Hockey fan or not, Body Check is a great Romance and I recommend it highly. Now I'm on to Fair Play, I can't wait. :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Romance Review: Alpha Wolf by Linda O. Johnston

Alpha Wolf
by Linda O. Johnston
Silhouette Nocturne
ISBN: 9780373618033
Release Date: January 1, 2009
from the author's site: 

When Dr. Melanie Harding starts practicing veterinary medicine in a small town, she has no intention of buying into the area's absurd werewolf legends, and is angry when she has to save the life of an ordinary dog shot with a silver bullet.  But the dog's handsome, secretive--and really hot--owner, Major Drew Connell, soon convinces her of the existence of supernatural attraction.  He is one sexy shapeshifter.  But it's not the mysterious experiments being conducted by Drew and others at a nearby army base that provoked the resurgence of werewolf tales.  If not shapeshifters, then who is attacking both animals and people?

my thoughts:

I love Silhouette Nocturnes. I'm a huge fan of Paranormal Romance, so I was really excited when the Nocturne line was released. Every month I know I can buy 2 great new Paranormals, sometimes from an author I already know and love, sometimes from a new author I haven't read yet. Linda O. Johnston is the latter. Alpha Wolf is the first book I've read from her and I really enjoyed it. 

Melanie and Drew are a bit stubborn and slow to see that they belong together, but that's what makes watching it happen so sweet. The secondary characters are and interesting group. Some, like the others on base with Drew are characters you want to see again. However other characters, like the townspeople and tourists, are a far more frustrating bunch. 
Overall I'd call Alpha Wolf a fun, quick read. However I will let you know that if you're looking for a copy you will need to go through someone who sells used books since this title is no longer in print. Or if you prefer you can take a look at one of her other titles, I know I'm looking forward to reading more from Linda O. Johnston.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Romantic Suspense Review: Cold Midnight by Joyce Lamb

Cold Midnight
by Joyce Lamb
Berkley Sensation
ISBN: 9780425230244
Release Date: August 4, 2009
from the author's site: 

Kendall Falls, Florida, is a small town with a big past — and even bigger secrets.

Ten years ago, Kylie McKay suffered a brutal assault that ended her professional tennis career and sent her running from everything— and everyone — she loved. Now she’s back in Kendall Falls, determined to build a community tennis center and keep her eye on the future. But someone from her past has other plans ...

When Kylie’s construction site is vandalized, the man Kylie once left brokenhearted steps in. Detective Chase Manning has no doubt that Kylie’s life is in danger — and he’ll do anything to protect the woman he once loved. Even if it means ignoring their intense desire in order to catch a killer before he reaches his breaking point …

my thoughts: 

Joyce Lamb really kept my attention with Cold Midnight. With as easily distracted as I am by the computer these days, it's really saying something that I ignored the internet to read this book. 

Kylie and Chase are great characters and they were easy to care about. I love reunited lovers stories and this was another great one. This was a true Romantic Suspense; there was plenty of Romance and plenty of Suspense. I spent most of the book trying to figure out "whodunit" because it seemed like everyone around Kylie was acting suspicious and guilty. 

I strongly recommend reading Cold Midnight. And once you're done with that one be sure to check out True Vision the first in a new trilogy (I'm still reading that one, review to come soon). 

Friday, June 18, 2010

Romance Review: Tsunami Blue by Gayle Ann Williams

Tsunami Blue
by Gayle Ann Williams
Love Spell (Dorchester)
ISBN: 9780505528216
Release Date: March 30, 2010
from the author's site: 

With her badass rain boots, her faithful dog, and the ability to predict the monster tsunamis that have reduced the US to a series of islands, Kathryn O’Malley isn’t afraid of much. Cut off from all society, she takes to the airwaves as Tsunami Blue, hoping to save something of humanity as the world around her crumbles. But Blue should be afraid—because her message reaches the wrong ears.

Now she’s the target of ruthless pirates known as Runners who want to use her special talents for their own profiteering—as soon as they can find her. Blue’s only shot at survival lies with the naked stranger who washes up on her rocky beach. A man who might just be working for Runners himself. Torn between suspicion and attraction, the two will have to navigate a surging tide of danger and deceit if they hope to stay alive.

my thoughts: 

Tsunami Blue is a unique and dark Futuristic Romance. I really enjoyed the story, despite the bleak world that Blue inhabits. Blue as a character is fascinating, as is her ability to predict tsunamis by speaking with the sea. 

Her developing relationship with Gabriel Black is suspenseful for the reader, because, like Blue, you aren't entirely sure what his game is and if he can be trusted. 
Overall I really enjoyed reading Tsunami Blue, it really kept me on edge and I had to know what was happening. I liked and cared about the characters and I really can't wait to see what else Gayle Ann Williams writes.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Romance Review: The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker by Leanna Renee Hieber

The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker
by Leanna Renee Hieber
Love Spell (Dorchester)
ISBN: 9780843962970
Release Date: April 27, 2010
from the author's site: 

With radiant, snow white skin and hair, Percy Parker was a beacon for Fate. True love had found her, in the tempestuous form of Professor Alexi Rychman. But her mythic destiny was not complete. Accompanying the ghosts with which she alone could converse, new and terrifying omens loomed. A war was coming, a desperate ploy of a spectral host. Victorian London would be overrun.  Yet, Percy kept faith. Within the mighty bastion of Athens Academy, alongside The Guard whose magic shielded mortals from the agents of the Underworld, she counted herself among friends. Wreathed in hallowed fire, they would stand together, no matter what dreams or nightmares—may come.  

my thoughts: 

Leanna Renee Hieber has very quickly become one of my favorite new voices in Paranormal Romance. Percy is such a sweet, gentle, and loving character and she really comes into her own in Darkly Luminous. Alexi behaves like his overbearing self but Percy quickly finds her own voice despite this. 

All of the mystery and suspense seen in Percy's first story are back. The Guard may think now that they've found Prophecy they can take a rest, little do they know that the real battle is just beginning. 

Everyone from book 1, The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker, returns and I was so glad to see them again. I just love everyone in these books and I'm really looking forward to October's A Midwinter Fantasy and Leanna's short story therein. I don't know if we'll see more of Percy and the rest of The Guard after that, but I know I'm looking forward to whatever Ms. Hieber releases.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Romance Review: Lucky Break by Carly Phillips

Lucky Break 
by Carly Phillips
ISBN: 9780373774012
Release Date: September 29, 2009
from the author's site: 

Long ago, as revenge on a Corwin who stole her son's fiancee, a witch proclaimed an eternal curse that every Corwin male who married for love would be destined to lose his love and his fortune ... 
Jason Corwin knows he should resist his attraction to Lauren Perkins. After all, it was one of her ancestors that came up with the curse that had haunted every Corwin male since. But after one night of mind-blowing sex with his supposed—and very seductive—enemy, he can’t bring himself to stay away. 

All Lauren wants is to sell her late grandmother’s creepy house and leave the past behind forever. But that's not such an easy thing to do with gorgeous contractor Jason Corwin whispering sweet, sexy somethings in her ear ... about staying in town. Then a saboteur and the promise of hidden treasure changes everything - and one lucky break just might put an end ... to the Corwin curse forever. 

my thoughts: 

I think I've mentioned numerous times how very much I love Carly Phillips' books and Lucky Break is no exception. It's a beautiful finale to a very fun trilogy. I love that a Corwin and a Perkins came together for this one. 

Lucky Break had a bit more suspense than the previous two books and that's fine by me. Events from Lucky Charm come back into focus and the history of the Corwin Curse comes into greater light.
After reading all three books in the Corwin Curse trilogy I don't know that I could pick a favorite. I loved watching all three cousins and their lovely ladies find their happily ever after and I highly recommend you check these books out for yourself.