Thursday, July 28, 2011

SixSix by Opal Carew

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This is one of the hottest books I've read in a long time. It's NOT for people who think monogamy is required, and the sex is VERY VERY explicit. Don't read it if you don't want to read about people having multiple partners, one right after another, or at the same time, or sex with strangers. That said, I thought it was fantastic. It suited my kink fantasies nicely. I was a little bugged at times by Harmony's double standard with poor Aiden, but I did understand where she was coming from. A dear friend recently told me that we're sometimes ruled by our emotions more than logic, and she was absolutely right. I think that was what happened to Harmony, and somehow, realizing that made me feel better about her.



I think the realism of the book suffered a bit when it came to how quickly the men recovered & were able to perform time after time after time in rapid succession, but hey... it isn't called 'fiction' for nothing. Just smile & enjoy it.



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Monday, July 25, 2011

Edge Of Hunger (Primal Instinct, #1)Edge Of Hunger by Rhyannon Byrd

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


I really tried to like this one... I love this author, but I'm not feeling the characters (nor do I particularly like them, apart or together) and at the almost-half-way point the book is really dragging for me. Skipping this one and hoping book 2 in the series is better. Take the 2 star rating for what little it's worth, since I didn't finish the book.



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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tempted At Midnight (Mayhem in Mayfair, #4)Tempted At Midnight by Jacquie D'Alessandro

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I almost didn't finish this one because the hero & heroine spent a good chunk of the book looking for reasons to dislike each other, to the point that it got annoying. I have to admit that I thought the whole female vampire ruse was kind of lame, too. But hoo boy, can Jacquie D'Alessandro write a steamy love scene that'll make you tingle! The ending made up for the characters' earlier stupidity, and I'm glad I read it because I had been looking forward to Logan Jennsen's story since he was introduced in earlier books.



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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Swagbucks!

I just have to crow for a second... I've gotten $200 in Amazon Gift Cards from Swagbucks in just a little over a year, with almost no referrals and very little effort. :)

The Unclaimed Duchess (Billingham Bastards, #2)The Unclaimed Duchess by Jenna Petersen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I'd give this one 4 1/2 stars. I wasn't expecting to like the hero quite so much (despite my adoration for the name Rhys), but he ended up being very endearing. Anne is a terrific heroine, very likeable, intelligent and patient. I have to admit I don't really like drama that's all tied to social standing, but while I think it's ridiculous, I do understand that it would have been a big hairy deal back in the day. I read this one cover to cover without feeling like I wanted to skim any of it (which has been happening to me a lot lately).



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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Vampire Mine (Love at Stake #10)Vampire Mine by Kerrelyn Sparks

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


Love At Stake series #10. I think I'd give this one 2 1/2 to 3 stars. It wasn't terrible, but not one of my favorites of the series, either. I liked Connor much better in other books, and the chemistry between him and Marielle was just...meh. Maybe part of what didn't grab me was the abundance of religious stuff. That may make this a good book for Christians to read, though, as long as they don't have a problem with an angel getting it on with a vampire.



Also, I thought the cover was pretty awful. Sure, he's eye candy, but that is NOT Connor.



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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Serendipity (Serendipity, #1)Serendipity by Carly Phillips
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received an ARC of this book through Goodreads First Reads in exchange for an honest review.


I'd say this was a winner. The main characters were likeable and intelligent, and Faith and Ethan had pretty good chemistry. Mostly-reformed bad boy heroes always score points for me, and I know they do the same for a lot of other readers. I really liked Faith and Ethan's honesty with each other, even when it wasn't easy. There was some predictability in the story and there were a few moments, especially near the end, that pushed my tolerance for angst, but I thought everything got wrapped up nicely. The very end sets up the next book in the series.


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Monday, July 11, 2011

Deeper Than Midnight (Midnight Breed, #9)Deeper Than Midnight by Lara Adrian
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mmmmmmm... HUNTER! He was just as delicious as I expected him to be. Corinne was a great heroine, too. Lots happening here, especially with Chase (cannot WAIT for his book now) and Dragos, who continues to elude the Order. A great installment to this must-read series.


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Friday, July 8, 2011

So Into You (Cajun, #8)So Into You by Sandra Hill
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

My tolerance for angst has limitations. Grace's reasons for pushing Angel away were really stupid and I completely lost patience with her. I wasn't thrilled with Tante Lulu's character, either. Part of me liked her quirkiness, the other part of me was turned off by her over-the-top antics. I'm disappointed because I usually really enjoy romances where best friends fall in love.


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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

One Magic MomentOne Magic Moment by Lynn Kurland
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reviewed for TwoLips Reviews, LLC

3 1/2 kisses, zero peppers (sweet romance)


Tess Alexander, who is Pippa’s sister from One Enchanted Evening, is a historian, specializing in the medieval period. John de Piaget recently bought the auto repair shop in the small town near where Tess lives. He has some very important secrets, so he has always kept people at arm’s length. If someone starts asking too many questions about him or his past, he immediately ditches them and cuts off all communication. In Tess’s case, he’s uncomfortable with how much she knows about the medieval period, but he’s also attracted to her so he treats her rudely in the hopes that she’ll leave him alone. Although they dislike each other right from the start (making me worry that I was going to be enduring yet another book filled with endlessly annoying bickering between the hero and heroine) they eventually start to thaw toward each other. Danger has a way of bringing people closer together… and it seems time travel does, too.


What I liked most about One Magic Moment: seeing Tess and John eventually warm up to each other. Lynn Kurland has a writing style I can’t help but love. This is a sweet read, so I can share it with my mother and know it won't embarrass her to read it. I always enjoy revisiting characters from previous books in the series, and this book has lots of that. I especially like the way time travel is handled in this series, and the fact that characters are usually able to pass from one time to another with relative ease. I also liked that big chunks of the story were split between the past and the present, instead of just one character traveling to the past. What I didn't like so much: I know I said this was a positive point (and it really is for many readers) but it's a sweet read, so there are no bedroom scenes at all; nothing beyond a few kisses, and even that didn’t happen until very near the end of the book. I already knew to expect this from Ms. Kurland, but my own personal taste is for a lot more heat. A lot more time was devoted to their bickering and not enough to their loving.  Also, I was frustrated that Tess didn’t tell him what she knew about her sister and his brother once she realized what his big secret was. I really think it would have made everything so much easier for him, but I suppose it would have changed the story too much. Finally, the bickering! I find it hard to cheer for a relationship when the characters are treating each other so stupidly.


Fans of this series will probably really like this installment; others who aren’t familiar with the series might have problems keeping all the names and characters straight. It can be read as a standalone book, but I’d recommend reading at least some of the previous books in the series first.


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Dangerous in Diamonds (The Rarest Blooms, #4)Dangerous in Diamonds by Madeline Hunter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Reviewed for TwoLips Reviews, LLC

4 1/2 kisses, i pepper (m/f)


Dangerous In Diamonds is the final book in the quartet and my favorite so far. I still need to go back and read the first two books in the series. The Duke of Castleford is wealthy and debauched. Daphne owns the Rarest Blooms, growing and selling fresh flowers to people in London. Castleford inherits property upon the death of the Duke of Becksbridge, which includes the property where Daphne lives and runs her business. Becksbridge was a pompous bore, and neither Castleford nor Daphne liked him.


Latham, the new Duke of Becksbridge, also has a very bad history with her and with Castleford. Castleford is not used to women being able to resist him as Daphne does, but she’s not completely immune to his charms either. He is sly and maneuvers a way to keep her in London and close to his home. Daphne is flattered to be so ardently pursued, but she would never admit it. She gives him reasons for why she’s avoiding him but not the full truth. I should note that she isn’t bitchy about it, which I really like. He proposes and she says no. It takes him a while and some pointers from his friends to realize she won’t want him unless he reforms and stops getting drunk and whoring.


I was looking forward to this book since I finished the third book in the quartet, and I wasn’t disappointed. I loved Castleford and Daphne. He’s arrogant and a little clueless at first but he’s caring and not cruel or truly indifferent. She’s intelligent and likeable. The revelations about her past aren’t surprising but they’re handled well. He says several times she’s no fool and he’s right, and it makes her very real and fun to read. Madeline Hunter’s Dangerous In Diamonds will appeal to anyone who likes a fast-paced, engrossing historical with deep emotions and true friendships. This is one for your must-read list.


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Sinful in Satin (The Rarest Blooms #3)Sinful in Satin by Madeline Hunter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reviewed for TwoLips Reviews, LLC - 4 kisses, 1 pepper (m/f)


Celia Pennifold’s mother was a courtesan, and she never told Celia who her father was. Now the question burns in Celia’s head and she feels like she must know. Jonathan Albrighton’s uncle tasks him with finding out if Celia’s mother left any important or potentially damaging information about past lovers. Celia inherited a house from her mother after all the outstanding debts were paid.  She’s surprised and dismayed to learn that Jonathan is renting a room in the house, but after a half-hearted attempt to get him to leave, she accepts his presence and even starts to acknowledge their mutual attraction. Later she discovers he’s the bastard son of an aristocrat and assumes he would ultimately want her for a mistress only, not for a wife.


Celia starts a business, a practical extension of her friend’s flower business. Her home is closer to town, so it would be a distribution center of sorts. It’s obvious that Celia suffers the stigma of being her mother’s daughter. She doesn’t want that life, even though she was prepped for it and sort of keeps it as a backup plan if all else fails. Her now-married ex-boyfriend stops by and says he misses her. He tells her he paid her mother for two years with her then she left town and now he means to collect. Jonathan doesn’t want her to go to him and seduces her, taking her virginity. They enjoy each other then she learns of his mission and it hurts her. Saddened, he leaves the house.


The dramatic espionage part of Sinful In Satin was a little draggy and confusing and detracted from the story at times, but in the end it managed to make the whole story come together.I loved the passion and tenderness between Celia and Jonathan. I liked how realistic and practical Celia was. She accepted the practical side of her mother’s legacy, and while she had resisted following that path herself, she still kept her mothers lessons in mind, knowing that her station might make it necessary to give in to it eventually. I felt the same way about the realistic ending. It was just the right amount of comfortable happiness without being overly perfect and sappy. I also enjoyed the friendships between the men and between the women, which makes me want to check out the other books in the quartet.


Historical romance fans will want to check out this series for an enjoyable, quick and somewhat light read. The next book in the series from Madeline Hunter is Castleford’s and I already like his character so that should be fun.


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The Reluctant Vampire (Argeneau, #15)The Reluctant Vampire by Lynsay Sands
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'd say 3 1/2 to 4 stars on this installment of the Argeneau series. There wasn't necessarily anything wrong with it, but the story seemed a bit thin and not quite as good as previous books in the series. It's still worth reading, and I'm definitely looking forward to the next book in the series. It looks like Port Henry's police chief Teddy is getting his own story, and that should be very interesting.


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Saturday, July 2, 2011

Yours for the Night (Courtesans Tales, #1)Yours for the Night by Jasmine Haynes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Outstanding! All three stories in this book by Jasmine Haynes were very well written and enjoyable. Very steamy, lots of non-vanilla sex, but not so much that it detracted from the stories. I loved it.


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