Wednesday, December 25, 2013

and to all a good night

I hope all of you are spending the day doing whatever makes you happy (mine is going to include lots of food and time with friends). Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Dark Wolf Running by Rhyannon Byrd

In Rhyannon Byrd's latest Bloodrunners romance, passion and secrets collide and only their love will save two werewolves and their pack.

With his sharp gaze locked on the most magnificent female he'd ever seen, Wyatt Pallaton did his best to hold himself back. Of course, Elise Drake was hardly just any female. Fiery and cool, strong, yet at the same time achingly vulnerable, she'd turned his entire world on its head.

No matter how bloody difficult it proved to be, he was done letting her pretend he didn't even exist. Done with letting her fight her own battles. Done driving himself slowly into this maddening state of frustrated desire. One way or another, things were about to change.

Come hell or high water, she was done running…


Sometimes I just can't stop myself from thinking too hard during a romance book. Obviously I'm not supposed to sit around yelling at the screen about how the hero should "LISTEN TO THE DAMAGED HEROINE, IDIOT" but it still seems to happen more often than it should.

Starting that way probably makes it seem as if there's a whole lot wrong with Dark Wolf Running but it's actually very good. Wyatt is a great hero for the most part, full of (what he thinks are) unrequited feelings for Elise but tortured by his past. He's incredibly gentle with her but is at the same time relentless in pushing her not to settle. It would be so easy for both of them to settle actually, to just exist in those specific moments when their lives fell apart, but together they're so much more than that.  Their back and forth relationship results in some spectacularly firework laden sexy times, and except for that whole yelling at Wyatt part, the ending is satisfying but also builds up anticipation for the next book.

Overall Feeling - B

Series - ...4) Dark Wolf Rising (available for FREE on Amazon & Nook!) 5) Dark Wolf Running

*Title requested from NetGalley*

Monday, December 16, 2013

A MacKenzie Family Christmas by Jennifer Ashely

The Mackenzies gather for a clan Christmas and New Year's in Scotland. In the chaos of preparations for the celebration--the first of Hart and Eleanor's married life--one of Ian's Ming bowls gets broken, and the family scrambles to save the day. Daniel busily runs a betting ring for everything from the time Eleanor's baby will arrive to whether Mac's former-pugilist valet can win a boxing match to who will be the first of the many guests to be caught under the mistletoe. Ian begins a new obsession, and Beth fears the loss of one of his precious bowls has made him withdraw once more into his private world.

After all the hype and hooplah I've heard about the Mackenzie family I absolutely had to pick up "A Mackenzie Family Christmas" when it popped up as a freebie on Amazon. I'm not sure if it's inspired me to go back and read the whole series (The Duke's Perfect Wife is on my list though - I love Hart!) but it did do a great job of acquainting me with the personalities and back stories of all the brothers.

Each one may have already found their match but the legacy of their father's neglect and abuse remains strong. Even Ian, understood by so few but completely enamored with his wife and children, remembers what it's like to be shuffled away and forgotten. The heart of the story finds itself though, in the brothers' present and future - the lives they've made and the happiness before them. It results in a great Christmas story because even when people are afraid or worried you know it will all work out in the end.

Highly recommend, even for other n00bs like me :).

Overall Feeling - B

Series - 1) The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie 2) Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage 3) The Many Sins of Lord Cameron 4) The Duke's Perfect Wife 4.5) A MacKenzie Family Christmas

Monday, December 9, 2013

Hidden Passions by Emma Holly

Sexy fireman Chris Savoy has been closeted all his life. He’s a weretiger in Resurrection, and no shifters are more macho than that city’s. Due to a terrible tragedy in his past, Chris resigned himself to hiding what he is—a resolve that’s threatened the night he lays eyes on cute gay cop Tony Lupone.

Tony might be a wolf, but he wakes longings Chris finds difficult to deny. When a threat to the city throws these heroes together, not giving in seems impossible. Following their hearts, however, means risking everything...

I love Emma Holly and her Hidden series, and I would possibly even go out on a limb here and say that a story existing within another story made this coupling even better. Chris and Tony spend so much of their time in the shadows that it results in an incredibly intimate relationship. The story is so much about why they can't go public, or at least why Chris feels he can't go public, that how much each is willing to take in the name of love becomes the focus. I think because the angst is more than just unnecessary drama it really works not only for me but for the story itself.

And I can happily say that even though it's her first full fledged M/M romance I wouldn't say Holly treats anything different in this book. There are lot of sexy times between Chris and Tony, which if you've read any of the previous stories in this series you wouldn't be surprised by, and their HEA is satisfying and dosed with a bit of sudden action. A great read!

Overall Feeling - B+

Series - 6) The Faerie's Honeymoon 7) Hidden Dragons 8) Hidden Passions

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

November in Review

As you can see below, November was a super quiet month for me book wise. I'm not sure what made me so busy, besides a weekend trip to NJ, my birthday, and Thanksgiving all happening in the same month....which now that I think about it does sound like a lot. Go figure.

Well hey, the books I read I enjoyed and I even found time to take pictures for Christmas cards. Yay Christmas! But is anyone else concerned about the fact that it's less than a month away from it being 2014?

Me at the Ice Skating Rink in the Sculpture Gardens

A Tale of Two Dragons by G.A. Aiken (A+)
Kinked by Thea Harrison (A)
Hidden Passions by Emma Holly
"Like a Wolf with a Bone" by Shelly Laurenston
Big Bad Beast by Shelly Laurenston
Dragos Takes a Holiday by Thea Harrison (A)
Woman in a Shiek's World by Sarah Morgan (A)
MacKenzie Family Christmas by Jennifer Ashely
A Billionaire for Christmas by Janice Maynard (B+)

I'm going to say the two favorites this month were A Tale of Two Dragons and Woman in a Sheik's World - completely different from each other but both very good. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

A Billionaire for Christmas by Janice Maynard

USA TODAY bestselling author Janice Maynard takes readers to a holiday hideaway in her new Billionaires and Babies book.

All business, all the time, is billionaire Leo Cavallo's motto. So two months of forced relaxation is certainly not the CEO's idea of a Christmas bonus. Then he meets his neighbor, the irresistible Phoebe Kemper, and a storm forces them to become roommates. Suddenly, the holidays are looking a whole lot brighter.

But beautiful Phoebe isn't living alone. She's babysitting her infant nephew. Somehow, playing temporary family is surprisingly appealing. But what will Leo choose when it's time to go home?

Holiday serials tends to have a couple things going for them: a for sure happy ending and plenty of Christmas cheer while you get there. A Billionaire for Christmas is a bit different in that while you definitely get a satisfying happy ending, getting there things get a little dark.

Leo shows up at Phoebe's mountain cabin mostly involuntarily; he doesn't want a holiday away, health scare or no health scare, and no matter how picturesque things appear he'd just like to get back to business. Phoebe on the other hand has deliberately chosen to separate herself from the rest of society. She was burned - and burned hard - by a previous dedication to the bottom line and when Leo shows up and talks himself into a room in her home she's not sure what to do. Together both of them find ways to heal from their pasts, though I felt like Phoebe's reaction to Leo's health scare was a bit over the top. There's a lie of omission and then there's not talking about something because they don't want to talk about it - sometimes that's not personal. 

All in all a good read and a nice addition to anyone's holiday roundup.

Overall Feeling - B+

Series - None