Monthly Archives: March 2012
ORDER A COPY: Tool Belt Defender (Harlequin Romantic Suspense)
Publishing Date: January 1, 2012
Paperback: 224 pages
Rating: 3.5 stars
“It’s party time.”
That’s the “invitation” shoved under her door. It’s got Brittany Grayson fearing for her life…and her sanity. She’s sure the monster who once held her captive for months is dead, so why his chilling words in the note? His menacing face in the window? And why won’t anyone–even her lawmen brothers–believe that somehow he’s after her again?
Brittany just wants a normal, independent life in Black Rock. Romance is out of the question…although she’s okay as friends-with-benefits with Alex Crawford, her hunky, marriage-phobic contractor. Alex, a single dad, has his own good reasons not to fall for Brittany. But none of them matter when the race is on to find the killer who’s kidnapped her
Brittany Grayson survived being kidnapped by a serial killer. The Professional kept her locked in a cage for almost three months, each day promising her the “party” they would have when he finished collecting the rest of his victims. Now she is free, and home and safe, or is she? When she sees someone looking in her window one night, she isn’t sure if it is a figment of her stressed mind or a killer. She knows that The Professional was killed when she was rescued. So how could he be sending her notes and leaving her little gifts, unless there is a copycat killer on the loose who wants to complete The Professional’s failed party.
Alex Crawford is new to Black Rock. He left his law firm in Chicago to spend more time with his six year old daughter, Emily, and help heal after his wife’s death. When he meets his neighbor Brittany for the first time, there was an immediate attraction. Alex isn’t sure if he wants to be involved with anyone right now, but he falls into an easy connection between himself, Brittany and his daughter.
As Alex and Brittany try to navigate the new relationship that neither are sure they want right now, the danger from the copycat killer grows.
This is a sweet romance, and the little daughter Emily is an adorable character. If you are looking for a suspenseful thriller, you should look elsewhere. The killer was very obvious. The romance between Alex and Brittany was enjoyable so I would recommend this if you are looking with a nice, contemporary romantic story.
Received ARC from Netgalley.com, courtesy of Harlequin Books.
He’d told her he was just interested in having a friend, some companionship to fill the lonely hours of the day, but after spending the evening with her, he recognized that he wanted more from her.
She was so different from the wife he’d lost, so filled with life and with that core of inner strength that radiated from her eyes. She drew him, stirring a simmering passion that he hadn’t expected.
“I was serious about that web page,” he said when they reached her porch. “I’d like to hire you to get one up and running for me.” They stopped at her door.
In the faint spill of light from a nearby streetlamp, her eyes glowed as she gazed up at him. “Are you sure you aren’t just trying to be nice?”
He grinned at her. “I’m a lawyer. When it comes to business I’m not nice—I’m a shark.”
She laughed, that low throaty sound that swirled warmth inside his belly. “Okay, then, why don’t I work something up tomorrow while you’re working on the deck and before you knock off for the day, we can talk about it?” She turned and unlocked her front door.
“Sounds like a plan.” He agreed.
“Thank you, Alex, for a terrific night.”
“No, thank you.”
For a long moment they remained standing far too close together, their gazes locked. He realized he intended to kiss her and saw the dawning realization take hold of her, as well.
He took a step toward her and she didn’t retreat. Instead she raised her chin, her lips parted slightly as if to welcome him.
He took the subtle invitation, gathering her into his arms as his mouth met hers. He’d intended only a sweet, soft good-night kiss, but her lips held a heat that transformed his intent, his initial desire.
Pulling her closer, he deepened the kiss, tentatively touching his tongue to hers. Her arms wrapped around his neck as she returned the kiss, leaning into him in surrender.
He wasn’t sure who broke the kiss, he or she, but they broke apart and she gave a shaky laugh. “I’m not used to my friends kissing me like that.”
“Sorry,” he replied. “I don’t usually kiss my friends that way.”
“Don’t apologize. It was the perfect ending to a perfect night.”
ORDER A COPY: The Werewolf’s Wife (Harlequin Nocturne)
Publisher: Harlequin Nocturne
Publishing Date: March 20, 2012
Paperback: 288 pages
Rating: 3 Stars
The legacy he must obey…
The child she must save…
The man who threatens to fulfill her every fantasy…
and break her heart.
Alpha wolf Ridge Addison left his wife in Las Vegas, vowing to put their one reckless night of passion behind him and return to his clan. Thirteen years later he needs a divorce so he can become pack leader. Yet he’s never forgotten the sensuous witch whose life he saved…or the knee-buckling kisses he still craves.
After they parted, Abigail tried banishing Ridge from her memory. Now her heart belongs only to her son. But when the boy is kidnapped, she knows she alone can’t save him. Though Abigail’s body still aches for Ridge, she’s willing to give him his freedom in exchange for his help. But who will shield her heart from the only man she’s ever let claim her, body and soul?
After Ridge Addison rescues Abigail Rowen from being killed by her jilted lover, Abigail and Ridge enjoy a drunken night in Vegas resulting in a wedding by Elvis and hot sex…at least until Ridge goes “wolfie” right in the middle. Considering he never mentioned his werewolf status to Abigail, she freaks and zaps him with magic.
Now thirteen years later, Ridge is now the alpha of the northern pack and needs to set an example to his pack by having a family of his own, and to do that he needs to start by officially divorcing Abigail.
Ridge shows up just as Abigail receives a call that her son has been kidnapped and she as two days to rescue a vampire and bring him to a designated location to exchange for her son. Abigail then makes an agreement to sign the divorce papers if Ridge will help her rescue her son.
As they pursue the kidnappers, old feelings begin to stir and the question becomes will they pursue each other when all is said and done.
Although the kidnapping/rescue part of the story was interesting, I had a hard time with these characters, especially with Abigail. She is a centuries old witch who admits that she has been an obsessive person, especially with relationships over the centuries, and now strives to overcome that personality flaw. She does this so well, that she has no feelings. She flip/flops between feeling a rekindled interest in Ridge, and wanting to be in control of her own life. She has big control issues, but then folds into the strength of his arms. She flip/flops from one sentence to the next. So of course after centuries of being obsessive over losers…I mean, lovers, the one man who would be good to her and her son, she won’t make the commitment to even though she keeps talking about how good he is. I will absolve her of the status of Bitch since I thought she was hiding the son from Ridge, but since she was involved with the long-time loser up until her night with Ridge, she really did think the kid was his and not Ridge’s kid.
And while I enjoy the strong, thoughtful and considerate hero who has overcome his own bad childhood to want those things he missed out on, he was a little too…I don’t want to say wimpy, but he could have been a little more aggressive when Abigail was all flip/floppy, but obviously wanted him.
There was also many references to other characters we should have known if we have been following this series (I checked and found these books on-line), not so much that you couldn’t follow this story, but enough that I felt a little left out.
Now, I have read another Michele Hauf story, but that one involved a vampire and the one thing about this story I had a BIG issue with was the fact that when werewolves bond with their mate, they do it in werewolf form (see beginning of the story) , that toes the line a little too close to bestiality for me. I mean, I’ve had my werewolves change their mouths in order to bite and mark, but the full-on fur treatment…hmm, too much. Sorry, I’m out!
Received ARC from Netgalley.com, courtesy of Harlequin books.
“No, we don’t need to talk,” she called, opening the door a crack and gifting him with a flash of heat from inside. “It never happened. I’ve moved on. You’ve moved on. We’re all good. Life goes on. Goodbye.”
Ridge blocked the door with a fist. He pressed against the weight of the tiny witch trying her best to defeat his strength. “I happen to have a piece of paper that says it did happen.”
“Signed by Elvis, even. It’s a little wrinkled, but it’s legal. Elvis was his middle name. The guy who married us was an actual ordained minister, can you believe that?”
“Well, tear it up!”
That would be the obvious action. But Jason had checked online and their nuptials had been recorded in the Clark County Marriage Bureau of Las Vegas. The receptionist, appropriately Priscilla Lisa Marie Jones, had signed as a witness. Richard Addison’s marriage to Abigail Rowan was legal, whether or not he had the paper to prove it.
“Maybe I don’t want to tear it up,” he said, trying a new angle. It wouldn’t serve his purpose to barge in and demand. And he didn’t want to walk away with another scar. Kindness never hurt a man’s position. “I did save your life.”
“And I am very thankful for that,” she said through the slightly opened door. He couldn’t see her, but could feel her determination; she was putting all her weight against the door. Did she hate him so much she couldn’t give him a few minutes? “Really, I am thankful for the rescue. I don’t think I ever said it to you while sober.”
“I don’t need your thanks.”
“But you need to keep me as your wife? What’s that about?”
“That is not what I want from you.”
“Then tear the damn thing up and leave me alone.”
“What if I want to convince you I’m worth a shot?” He winced. It was a means to get him inside, and talk rationally with her. He wasn’t seriously considering keeping her as his wife. But he had to play the witch carefully.
And protect his balls against sudden blasts of magic.
“Please, Ridge, we don’t even know one another. You know nothing about me.”
“I know you like vodka.”
“Used to like vodka. I haven’t gone near a drop of that devil’s brew since that night.”
“That bad of a memory, eh?”
“Something like that.”
ORDER A COPY: The Slayer: Book Two of the Legend Chronicles
Publisher: Zebra Books
Publishing Date: April 1, 2012
Paperback: 345 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Brothers Winchester, Remington, and Colt know the legends—they were trained from childhood to destroy demon predators, wielding the latest steam-powered gadgetry. It’s a devil of a job. But sometimes your fate chooses you…
Winn Jackson isn’t interested in hunting nightmares across the Wild West—even if it’s the family business. Unlike his rakehell brothers, Winn believes in rules. As sheriff of Bodie, California, he only shoots actual law breakers. That’s what he’s doing when he rescues the Contessa Drossenburg, Alexandra Porter, a lady with all the elegance of the Old World—grace, beauty and class. And then he sees her fangs.
Alexandra isn’t just some bloodsucking damsel in distress, though. She’s on a mission to save her people—and she’s dead certain that Winn’s family legacy is the only way. Luckily, aside from grace and class, she also has a stubborn streak a mile wide. So like it or not, Winn is going to come back with her to the mountains of Transylvania, and while he’s at it, change his opinions about vampires, demon-hunting, and who exactly deserves shooting. And if she has her way, he’s going to do his darnedest to save the world.
Winchester (Winn) Jackson is the Sheriff of Bodie. He left the life of a Hunter behind him long ago, but now his brother Colt needs Winn’s help in finding the three parts of the Book of Legends so they can close the gates of Hell which the Archdemon Rathe is trying to pry open. When Winn is approached by the beautiful Lady Alexandra Porter, the Contessa Drossenburg, to help her find the missing portion of the Book of Legend, he knows he could use her resources to locate the missing portion of the book which was last seen in Europe; but can bring himself to work with the vampires without worrying about becoming dinner.
The Vampiric Royal Court has sent Alexa to do whatever necessary to bring back Winchester Jackson to help find the Book of Legend. They believe that the Jackson brothers are the Chosen from the prophesies. The vampires don’t want the demons taking over the earth any more than the Hunters since the demons plan to destroy the humans; the vampire’s source of food.
But the Darkins are more plentiful in Europe then in America, and include werewolves, fae, elves, dragons, trolls. Even the Hunters play be different rules than the Hunters of America. Winn and Alexa need to learn to work together and trust each other quickly since there they are alone against a whole continent full of enemies, all looking to get control of the book and the Chosen.
The race to the Book of Legend heats up as time is running out to force closed the gates of Hell in this second book of the Legend Chronicles.
This second book in the Legend Chronicle trilogy starts off a little slow. We know from The Hunter that Winn and Alexa show up and assist Colt and Lily during the events of their story, so we spend some time seeing events we have already witnessed, just from another point of view.
But once we leave the United States and get to Europe, things certainly pick up as just about every supernatural faction is racing against Winn and Alexa to get to the Book. Since everyone is out to get them, they can’t trust anyone, but they will find some unusual allies.
Although we once again find ourselves traipsing around in dark tunnels with booby traps, it is not the majority of the story, and we do have more of those interesting steampunk inventions.
This was definitely more exciting than Book 1 and I am looking forward to the big showdown in Book 3.
Check out our review of The Hunter (Book 1).
Received ARC from Kensington Books. Thank you.
He stepped closer, putting his hand on the wagon behind her. His chest was close enough to her that he couldn’t even feel a current of air slip between them. She inhaled sharply and stared up at him, both defiant and glorious. Win let his mouth curve up into one of those legendary, devastating Jackson smiles his Pa had passed down to each of his boys.
“You know if we go in there together, you aren’t going to be able to keep your hands off me.”
Alexa gave an outraged gasp at Winchester’s audacity and firmly fisted her hands at her sides to keep from slapping him. She swore silently to herself in Russian, Hungarian and French. He was as arrogant as any male vampire. “You, sir, overestimate the power of your charms.”
The light of challenge ignited in his eyes as he leaned in farther, the scent of male and leather invading her space and teasing her excellent preternatural sense of smell.
“Oh, I highly doubt that,” he said in a soft rumble that set off sparks along her nerves and tightened the coil of awareness spiraling through her yet another notch, perhaps two. The intensity of his focus on her, like a hungry animal sensing its prey, made Alexa squirm. Then he came closer.
The firm ridge of his sensual mouth skimmed over her cheek and below the lobe of her ear, the bristles of his beard lightly abrading her skin, making it even more sensitive.
She could deny it all she wanted, but the animal magnetism of Winchester Jackson was far more addictive than all the power, prestige and wealth of the vampire nobility she’d been surrounded by her entire life.
Alexa couldn’t seem to stop herself, against her better judgment. The warm touch of his mouth as he nibbled and kissed along the column of her neck sent ripples of desire coursing through her, making the ichor beneath her skin flow like honey. And when he came back up, his mouth at her cheek, she turned and deliberately held them a whisper away from a kiss. “Maybe you just can’t resist me,” she whispered, her lips brushing enticingly against his.
Winchester growled, the sound of it vibrating straight through her. He was lethal animal magnetism and she was doomed. He crushed his mouth to hers in a kiss that demanded everything of her. Like a forest fire it roared through her, all heat and intensity, and left nothing but fragile ash and smoldering coals behind. The slick sensual slide of his tongue tasting her made her recall exactly what a heartbeat felt like; the sensation moved through every cell of her body like one gigantic pulse, beating from the very center of her being.
ORDER A COPY: Hunted
Publishing Date: April 24, 2012
Paperback: 333 pages
Rating: 5 stars
Ready Or Not…Moira Dunne is a witch–the quantum physics kind. Time and space are her playthings. Which might explain why her one-night stand from a hundred years ago has turned up to “claim” her–and request her family’s assistance with the war he’s brewing. But the more she learns about Connlan Kayrs, the more she comes to think this is normal behavior for him.
There’s Nowhere To Hide…When Conn and Moira tumbled on the moonlit grass, Conn hadn’t meant to mark her as his mate for all time. She was only twenty! But it wasn’t easy to wait for her. It was even harder to forget her. So when he finally returns for his wicked-hot witch, he’s ready to let the sparks flying. Even if he burns up in flames.
Moira Dunne is the seventh daughter of the seventh daughter which gives her the potential to be a very powerful witch. Powerful enough to eventually take a place on the witches’ Counsel of Nine. But when she is marked as a mate by vampire Connlan Kayrs after a night of passion, her family requested that she have the century needed to properly train her in the arts of magic.
Even though the Realm is already fighting the Kurjans (evil vampires) and the demons and need all the allies they can get, the century is up and Conn has come to claim his mate, even if taking her out of Ireland starts a war with the witches.
Moira is now a member of the counsel’s secret service, and she does not intend to leave Ireland right now. Someone has been kidnapping member’s of the Nine and she needs to find them. She also fears her uncontrollable attraction for Conn, since he didn’t seem to have any problem leaving her alone for a century.
Their future has an even larger problem–someone is working hard to influence the Counsel to leave the Realm and team up with the demons. If the counsel agrees to leave the Realm, Moira will be torn between duty to her people and her loyalty to Conn.
This is another exciting addition to the Dark Protectors series, and brings in the fun element of witches to our current group of supernaturals.
I love the way that Rebecca brings in the idea of science to explain magic through quantum physics, and manipulating matter on a subatomic level. Makes you think “Hmmm…ok, maybe that could work.”
She has already used science to explain the differences between human and vampires on a chromosomal level. This is major part of continuing plot line of the dangerous Virus-27 which the evil Kurjans have invented in order to destroy the chromosomes which seals the mating bond between the vampires and their “gifted” females. The virus was created so that the Kurjans can destroy the bond and take the gifted females for their own mates.
She also continues to tease us as we try to find a cure for those already infected with the virus, including shifter Katie who cannot shift since being infected, and who is becoming increasing agitated over her predicament. This is leading us up to the next book which features Katie and Jordon.
We also meet some interesting new characters, including Moira’s sister, Brenna. I am hoping we will see more of her in future books.
Anyone who hasn’t tried the Dark Protectors series, you will have time to catch up with the series before Hunted is released in April.
He exhaled, taking a step forward into her space again. Sage and power swirled around her in the scent of male. “I’m done waiting, Moira.” One large hand smoothed through her curls, clenching to tangle at the nape of her neck and tugging back.
Her neck stretched and her hands reached out for balance, grabbing the shirt covering his broad chest. She opened her mouth to protest.
Firm lips slid against hers. Heat seared her, shooting down from her mouth to her core. She swayed toward him, opening her mouth to allow entrance. Like the soldier he was, he dove in, all purpose, all blazing fire, his lips capturing hers as his tongue took control. The brand on her lips began to burn with desperate need.
He growled low, grasping her waist and tugging her flat against him. His mouth devoured hers, his tongue claiming every inch, the hand on her hip clenching with restrained power.
Her knees weakened. Her heart pounded desire for him lit her on fire. Need spiraled deep into her womb. She craved.
Releasing her, he lifted his head, his fingers spreading out to cup her scalp. Desire shot silver through the green of his eyes. A muscle ticked in his jaw. “Let’s go to your cottage, Moira.”
She sucked in a breath, her eyes widening on him. Was there anything more intriguing to a woman than a strong man who wanted her? Memories of what his man could do with his hands, with his mouth, flushed through her mind until her body ached. She ran her hands down his flat stomach to curl around his leather belt. They’d had one night. It wasn’t like she’d practiced sex this last century. “Not a good idea, Conn.”
Because she didn’t know what to do. “I don’t want you.” She lowered her chin.
“Liar.” His eyes softened in what had better not be understanding.
Then he cut his gaze behind her, a frown settling between his masculine brows.
“What?” She released his belt, an odd tingling running over her neck. The air changed. Her skin heated. Matter shifted and energy zapped. Oxygen swirled. A passage opened. “Conn—”
Invisible claws dug into her flesh and ripped her away from him.
ORDER A COPY: TIES TO THE BLOOD MOON– edited version
Publisher: Self published
Publishing Date: November 1, 2011
EBook: 300 pages
Rating: 4 stars
Genevieve is a teenage girl who moves in with her aunt in Alaska after the death of her mother. Soon after her arrival she learns the things she was raised to believe only existed in fairytales are in fact a big part of her history. When it gets to be too much she seeks refuge in the arms of her new boyfriend, William, only to find out he’s not who she thought he was either.
When Genevieve Labreck goes to Alaska to live with her aunt after the death of her mother, she quickly learns that Alaska is very different than California. The kids are friendly but they are definitely hiding something from her. There is something odd about her new friend Luna and her twin brothers, and even the beautiful William, who makes her pulse race whenever he smiles at her, seems to be hiding something. But by then Gen starts to notice changes about herself as well, she needs some answers.
More odd things happen the night of the bonfire when her teacher tells the tale of the return of the Adlet Werewolf Princess who will finally return peace to the Adlets, the lycan and the vampires, and it becomes clear that there is more to Genevieve’s past than her Aunt has told her. With the help of her new friends, Gen goes on a trek to retrieve the Crest which has been hidden away, so that Gen may take her place as the Princess.
It won’t be an easy adventure since Zane, the leader of the lycan, wants to rule and force the lycan, werewolves and vampires to fight in his army to dominate the humans as well. He’ll do whatever necessary to get rid of Genevieve and take her place. Worse yet, it seems he is getting information from someone in the know. Is Gen putting her faith in the wrong people, is the traitor one of her new friends, or worse, her new love, William?
This is one of those stories you need to stick with. The first overwhelming thought when you start the story will be “this is a cheap Twilight knockoff,” as I am sure any werewolf/vampire/new girl love triangle will now face from here on out. I had some issues with the characters, beside the “twilight” flashbacks, (including the picnic that William takes Gen to in the meadow full of flowers…hmmm, I’ve been here before…) The great love with William was really quick. Her friend Luna was hugging her one moment and then yelling at her or giving dirty looks the next. (I think they have pills for that.) There was also a part where they were waylaid on their adventure and were brought to a house where the gentlemen and his friends draw guns on Gen and her friends, and then seemed surprised when they turn into werewolves. There was never any real explanation of what these guys wanted if it wasn’t about distracting the werewolves from their quest. Left me more with a “WTF was that about” feeling? Especially considering the werewolves were supposed to be protecting her and she’s the only one going “something’s not right here,” and they’re going “no worries.”
So I did make a lot of noises and groaning when I started, but not enough to stop reading. As I kept reading the story did get better and as I moved past my feeling of twilight flashbacks and started to get into the story, I was truly enjoying it. Enough to be pissed off when the story ended I was left with a preview of book 2. There is no information yet as to when book 2 will be released.
I gave it four stars because after a rocky start, it did pick up and it is not a bad first novel.
Received an ARC from the author. Thank you.
His eyes narrowed slightly as he gazed at me, like he was thinking. “I want to show you something.” He held out his hand gently taking hold of mine. “Come on.” We went outside and he placed his arm on the small of my back as we started climbing on the large rocks directly above the cave. When we neared the top it leveled off somewhat into a path.
“Close your eyes.” His voice was like velvet. Without even asking why, I just did it. For whatever reason I felt a connection to him unlike anything I had ever experienced. I couldn’t explain it, I just knew in my heart he wouldn’t let anything or anyone hurt me.
He took my hand and guided me a short distance. “Okay,” he whispered softly next to my ear. “Open them.”
The view before me took my breath away. We were standing on a large flat area of rock on the top fo the back side of the cave and above us the sky was a series or blue, red and green curtains of light, dancing and waving. The colors had made the sky into moving art, like a symphony but with light instead of sound.
We sat together. I was speechless as I watched, and I could feel William watching me as I peered at the lights. After a few minutes, I started rubbing the back of my neck. It ached from constantly looking up. William removed his jacked and laid it behind us, then gently pulled me back. His touch caused my stomach to swirl with butterflies.
I lay on my back with my knees bent, watching the colors change and move. William lay on his side with his head propped on his hand, staring at me. I tried to act like I didn’t notice, but I’m sure my trembling hands and quivering lip told him otherwise…
I felt completely intimidated by him. He was perfect in every way, something I could never be. I kept giving him sidelong glances, and every time he was still eyeing me. He must have noticed because he suddenly flashed that sexy smile of his again, revealing a dimple I didn’t recall seeing before. A burning flush flew over me, I promptly lowered my eyes and smiled.
He slowly inched closer until his face was right next to mine. My heart sped up until I thought a heart attack was eminent.
He placed his hand on my chin and softly turned my face toward him. His hand was like ice at first, but quickly started to warm up until it felt burning hot. His gaze danced back and forth between my lips and my eyes, and mine did the same. I wanted him closer to me, which made my heart ache. Somehow, I knew that nothing he did would get him close enough to satisfy me, and he would always leave me wanting more. It was as if a part of me physically needed William, and I had never felt that way about anyone before.
He inched his way closer, but just before our lips met, his expression turned hard and he quickly sat up.
“What…what is it?” I quickly sat up.
He creased his brow and pursed his lips. “Shh,” he said, not unkindly, cocking his head to the side. He paused briefly. “We should go.” He grabbed my hand and pulled me to my feet. “Come on,” he said with an urgency in his voice.
ORDER A COPY:Eternity’s Mark
Publisher: Brava Paranormal Romance
Publishing Date: February 28, 2012
Paperback: 281 pages
Rating: 2 stars
Sacred blood flows in Hannah MacPherson’s veins; she’s just too hardheaded to realize it. After losing a husband to the Iraq war, she’s squirreled herself away in a tiny town where she snarls at any man who gives her a second glance. But Taggart de Gaelson knows more about Hannah than she could ever fathom. As her assigned protector, Taggart’s grown tired of Hannah ignoring his messages from Scotland—and now he’s come to retrieve her.
The balance of the Continuum depends on a race of sacred creatures who maintain the strength of the portals. Only Hannah’s touch can release the hatchlings from their eggs. Sworn to protect Hannah from others who lust for control of the beasts, Taggart must win her trust. But as he battles at her side, can he protect his heart?
What Hannah MacPherson doesn’t know yet is that she is the last living Guardian of the Draecna. The only one who has the magic to hatch the magic dragons who guard the portals between worlds. When Taggart de Gaeson arrives in her small town to bring her to Scotland, she tries to explain she is not interested in leaving her home or the grave of her beloved husband, and she no interest in some castle she’s inherited in Scotland.
When Taggart finally convinces Hannah that she needs to accompany him to at least see Taroc Na Mor, he figures once she arrives she will fall in love with the lands and then he can explain to Hannah what fate awaits her and her duties as the Guardian of the Draecna.
As guardian to Hannah, Taggart is supposed to keep his hands to himself, but as they travel toward Hannah’s destiny, it is getting harder and harder to resist her.
This story started off well and I had high hopes for it, but the more I read, the more I felt like this whole story was being shoved down my throat. This review will contains some spoilers which I try not to do so you might want to stop now.
BE WARNED SPOILERS BELOW!!
When we meet Hannah, she is still in mourning for the last four years for her husband who was her childhood friend and love. Locals were trying to set her up and she was angrily declaring she wasn’t interested in moving on EVER!! Then after Taggart shows up, her friend finally slaps her with the reality of Hannah’s beloved Jake never really loved Hannah as much as she deserved and he was more concerned with himself, and Hannah finally goes “hmm, maybe you are right.” Then Taggart uses magic and allows her to have a final conversation with the spirit of her dead husband who pretty much says he’s heard her yelling at him every day for going off and dying on her for the last four years now and that it’s time for her to just move on already. And like a flip of a switch, she’s over her dead husband and ready to move on.
Most stories don’t give you all the good secrets from page one, but you would think that since Taggart is bringing Hannah to the castle to be the Guardian of the Draecna, he might have started telling her something before she just came face to face with a dragon, and then once she swallowed the dragon thing, he might have started open up with some details about dragons or her responsibilities or any dangers, but he never gives her any information until its always too late.
And let’s not mistake lust with romance! Taggart’s obsession with Hannah’s body parts and his constant arousal which makes him keep jumping into cold pools of water, was a big part of that shoving it down my throat part of the story. I didn’t feel any growing connection between these two and since there was no “fated mate” part to this story, it just felt so forced. And the “forbidden” part for Taggart to be with Hannah who he was supposed to be guarding, turned out to be more of “officially, it’s not a good idea.” One point is his favor, Taggart does tell Hannah he a hybrid before he sleeps with her. Hybrid meaning his dad his human and his mother is a dragon…you figure out the logistics of that…I’m not even going there!! And ohhh, did I mention..he was hatched from an EGG!!!
There is also some magic to three days in this story. Everything was happening for three days. The spell lasted for three days…She didn’t speak to him for three days…She was kept locked away for three days… She couldn’t hatch the egg for three days. So the story jumped around a lot in three day periods. There was also a great war, but we saw nothing of battles or fights, just jumping around three days later.
And don’t even get me started on the ending…ugh!!!
Received ARC courtesy of Kensington Books. Thank you.
The refreshing breeze kissed at her cheeks and Hannah relaxed with a sigh. This was so much better. Her body cooled down and she stripped off her clothes, piling them beside the bag.
“Yeeeoowww!” Hannah screeched as she slipped her foot into the icy water. She had forgotten how cold spring water could be.
A resounding roar shuddered across the hillside. The ground trembled beneath her feet and the surface of the pool rippled into a thousand rings. Hannah ducked her head and sidled against the wall of the cliff. Earthquake?
She dug her toes into the slippery ooze coating the base of the pool. Lurching along the slime-coated limestone, her heart sank as she realized she’d never manage to make it across the trembling foundation to her clothes.
A great scaly head appeared over the rim of the ledge. Huge iridescent eyes glowed in the half-light of the shadows; heavy lids narrowed, the golden orbs swept from side to side with a watchful gaze across the quaking pool. The beast had twisted horns at both the top of its head and where its great jaws hinged at its mouth. Its scales shone in the light shimmered every color of the spectrum. A long flowing beard trailed down from its lower jaw, snaking down the front of its tiled chest. The creature kept its great muzzle shut; two enormous fangs protruding from under its smooth green lips and curled down from its upper jaw. She remained motionless, clutching a jutting-out bit of rock. My God, I wonder how many more teeth are in that mouth.
Hannah eased in a quiet deep breath. Breathe, Hannah. She had to stay calm. Surely this creature obeyed the basic laws of any large animal. As long as she didn’t make any sudden moves, maybe it wouldn’t eat her. Hannah slid her hand along the frigid slab of stone around the edge of the pool. Maybe she could reason with this thing. Get into its mind and let it know that if it ate her, she’d just give it a bad case of heartburn.
She focused on a particularly greenish scale right between the beast’s golden eyes. Nothing. Velvety darkness filled her mind. Gritting her teeth, Hannah strained and concentrated harder. Still nothing. Dammit! Why couldn’t she get inside that scaly head?
Holding her breath, Hannah inched her way deeper into the shadows. She squeezed her eyes shut and projected her thoughts with a decidedly mental scream. If ever she needed Taggart to be able to read her mind, that time was now. “Taggart! Get your ass down here! You’re not going to believe what just slithered up the side of this mountain! It’s a …It’s a…damn if it isn’t a freakin’ dragon!
“Gearlach!” Taggart roared, pounding down the trail and rounding the corner of the cliff.
“She screamed,” Gearlach explained with a defensive flip of one curled claw in Hannah’s direction. “I was merely responding to the distressed call of our beloved Lady Guardian.” Gearlach cocked his horned head and gave Hannah a slow wink of a glowing eye. “And by the way, dragons are mythical creatures made up by drunken humans who couldn’t explain their sightings of Draecna.” Gearlach pounded his scaly chest. “I’m real. I am a sacred Draecna.”
ORDER A COPY:Too Wicked to Wed (Lords of Midnight)
Publishing Date: November 1, 2011
Paperback: 349 Pages
Rating: 5 stars
Outspoken and independent, Lady Alexa Bingham enjoys the heady freedom of making all her own decisions, even though the challenges of overseeing her family’s country estate are daunting. But when a chance encounter with London’s most notorious rake awakens a secret longing for adventure, she accepts her aunt’s invitation for a Season in Town . . . only to find that breaking the rules of the ton has serious consequences.
The Earl of Killingworth uses his rakehell reputation to hide the fact that poverty has forced him to work for a living. As the owner of a gambling den and brothel, Connor has no time for glittering ballrooms or innocent young ladies. But after a reckless wager leaves him with a new business partner, he is forced to take a risky gamble . . . Will the cards fall in their favor? Alexa and Connor begin to play a dangerous game of intrigue and deception as they seek to outwit a cunning adversary who wants to put them permanently out of business. But if they are not careful, it is the flames of their own fiery attraction that may destroy them.
When Lady Alexa Hendrie needed help from Connor Linsley, the Earl of Killingworth, to find her brother, she didn’t know the meeting would change her life. Her attraction to Connor was dangerous for a young country girl. Especially a girl like Alexa who always manages to ignore the stifling rules of society which shackle young woman to drawing rooms and husband hunting. Alexa is too intelligent for that nonsense. She has studied finances, farming and all other unsuitable studies for young ladies. She has taken up the running of the family estate, and her good business sense has significantly increased the family holdings.
Connor, better known by the gentlemen of society as The Irish Wolfhound, is the owner of The Wolf’s Den, a gaming house and brothel. Connor is a self-made man, earning his own fortunes, after his father gambled away everything but his title. Connor is also a certified bachelor and rake. But he is enough of a gentleman to know he needs to keep his distance from the frustrating but intriguing young Lady Alexa.
After a game of chance has Alexa winning half of The Wolf’s Den, Connor and Alexa need to come to an understanding on their partnership since someone is desperate to destroy their business.
As they work together to find the villain trying to harm them, can a sweet country lass reform a rake so that they can begin a new type of partnership?
I love a strong heroine, and have been disappointed with most of the historical romances I have read lately. It seemed that although most of the historical heroines don’t sit around anymore wringing their hands waiting to be rescued, most are too busy waiting in the ballroom for the right husband to come along and they are too worried about having the proper lace to be all that interesting.
Alexa is more a modern heroine sent back to the past. She doesn’t want to sit around learning how to sew pillows and play the harpsichord. She learned how to manage the business of her family estate and to make it profitable. She’s smart and wants to be useful. Although she does have some issues with self-esteem (who doesn’t) due to the constant barrage of society and relatives telling her that her behavior as well as her sun-kissed looks are out of line with the current wants of the ladies of society. She is used to being dismissed by men as just being a woman and by woman as not being lady like. But she does not let that stop her from being herself.
Connor is a bit of a grumpy, lone wolf. He is too used to taking care of himself and seems a bit uncomfortable when someone shows him concern or friendship. Although he is quick to snap, he is still a likeable character and it is interesting to watch him soften up to Alexa.
There is the whole intrigue of who is trying to harm Connor’s business which kept the story moving, along, but to me the more interesting part of the story were these two characters.
This was a very enjoyable story. I had this cued in Netgalley for some time now and kept re-downloading it because it sounded so good. I am glad that I finally moved it to the top of my reading list since it was a truly enjoyable story.
I definitely will be reading Too Tempting to Resist which features one of Connor’s very charming friends. The next book comes out in April.
Received copy from Netgalley.com, courtesy of the publisher.
The Wolfhound gave a harsh laugh. “Nosy Little kitten, aren’t you? Seb ought to lock you in your room, before you stray into real trouble.”
Alexa fisted her hands and set them on her hips. “Ha! Let him try.”
“You have spirit, I’ll grant you that.” He paused for a moment. “Still interested in making a deal?”
“What is your price?”
Her face must have betrayed her surprise, for he flashed a rakish smile. “Haven’t you ever been kissed before?”
She sucked in a sharp breath. “O-of course I have.”
“Oh, I think not,” drawled the Wolfhound. “I’d be willing to wager a fortune that no man has ever slid his tongue deep into your mouth and made you moan with pleasure.”
“Why, you impudent whelp—”
Her words were cut off by the ruthless press of his mouth. He tasted of smoke and spirits—and a raw, randy need that singed her to her very core. She swayed and suddenly the Wolfhound swept her into his arms. With several swift strides, he crossed the carpet and pinned her up against the wall, setting off a wicked whisper of crushed silk and flame-kissed flesh.
Alexa meant to cry out, but as he urged her lips apart and delved inside her, outrage gave way to a strange, shivering heat. Her protest melted, turning to naught but a whispered sigh. As did her body. Against all reason, it yielded to his touch, molding to every contour of his muscled frame. Broad shoulders, lean waist, corded thighs—Alexa was acutely aware of his overpowering masculinity. The scent of brandy and bay rum filled her lungs, and the rasp of his stubbled jaw was like a lick of fire against her cheek.
She knew that she should push him away. Bite, scratch, scream for help.
And yet. And yet…
And yet, as his hands moved boldly over her bodice and cupped her breasts, she could not resist threading her fingers through his silky gray-threaded hair. Like the rest of him, the sensation was sinfully sensuous.
A moment later—or was it far, far longer?—the Wolfhound finally ceased his shameless embrace and leaned back.
“A man could do far worse on the Marriage Mart than to choose you,” he said softly. “For at least he will likely not be bored in bed. Indeed, I might even be tempted to swive you myself, if innocence as at all to my taste.”