Sunday, February 28, 2016

Review: Paris Winter by Imogen Robertson

I decided I wanted to read this after spending my morning at an art museum, in particular viewing a Caillebotte exhibit. I wanted to read a book set in France, something that involved art and this seemed like the perfect choice.

But I didn't enjoy this book very much. I never felt any sort of connection with these characters. I knew the story was tragic, and horrible things were happening, but I simply didn't care all that much because I felt like I never got to know or understand the characters. When the characters were plotting to get their revenge, I felt like I should be glad for them, but still, didn't care all that much. I felt very distant from the story, like I was observing from afar, but never emotionally invested in what was happening.

It took much longer than it should have for me to finish this book. At one point, I set it aside and read something else because this wasn't holding my interest.

I thought I'd really enjoy this book based on the description, but in the end I didn't.

I received a copy of this via NetGalley. 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Review: Her Werewolf Hero by Michele Hauf

This is such a good book. Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. There was never a point in the story where I thought it was okay to take a break and set the book down - that's how well-written and fast paced this is.

Bron, a werewolf, is a retriever, on a mission to retrieve the Purgatory Heart. What he does not realize is the heart is still inside a living person. Kizzy's a human, but her strong interest in the paranormal fuels her career as a photographer. She travels and posts on the internet what appear to be photos of paranormal landscapes. So she isn't all that surprised when she meets a werewolf and begins to understand that so many things she wanted to believe about the paranormal world are real.

Bron's not about to rip Kizzy's beating heart out of her chest. There has to be another way to save her and do his job. I loved these characters, and the chemistry they had together. Bron and Kizzy have both been in situations that now make them wary of relationships, but they can't deny their feelings for each other.

While there's lots of action and plenty of steamy
romance, the heart of this story is the theme of forgiveness. Forgiveness of those who hurt them and inflicted pain, as well as learning to forgive oneself. Bron and Kizzy are both haunted by events in their past. Mistakes made, and some bad decisions that caused harm to those they loved most. Because of the guilt, neither of them have been able to move forward with their lives. This story is very much about them finally learning to forgive those who hurt them, as well as themselves in order to learn to love each other.

Overall, really great book, which is what I've come to expect from Michele Hauf and the stories set in her Beautiful Creatures world. These are my favorite paranormal stories because there are so many different characters and always something new to learn about the people and creatures in this world.

I received a copy of this via NetGalley.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Review: Castelli's Virgin Widow by Caitlin Crews

I liked this book lot. Caitlin Crews write some great romances.

This book involves the same family from Unwrapping the Castelli Secret - which involved step siblings having a secret relationship. In this story, the other brother falls for his dad's wife after his dad dies. The wife was one of his dad's many young brides. The situation is strange, and their father sounds like a complete creep. He married her to help her out, but they don't have sex (hence the title) so it's supposed to seem like she's not really a gold-digger. But if you marry someone for money? Anyway.

Luca strongly dislikes Kathryn - his step-mom. But because she was his dad's wife at the time of his death, she inherited a part of the family business and he's forced to work with her and be around her. Soon it becomes clear that the animosity is largely due to his attraction to her.

The chemistry between the two is intense. This book is so sexy, steamy and the story moves quickly. I finished the book in one sitting.

For a moment though, I sort of hated this story. I notice with a lot of Harlequin Presents that their is a very specific formula, which for the most part is fine. But sometimes the "black moment" or the moment when everything takes a turn for the worse and begins to fall apart feels too forced and obligatory. This story was one of those instances. This character who had previously been so kind and gentle upon discovering the woman he was with was a virgin the first time they had sex, morphs into a complete jerk, throwing out wild accusations upon receiving another bit of surprising news. It didn't seem to fit with his previous behavior at all. It simply felt like, "oh this is the part of the book where things have to go badly" so character must act in bizarre way to fit formula. That part of the story made me very angry.

He redeems himself fairly quickly though, so my hatred went away equally quickly. By the end of the book, I was pretty much loving this story again.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. There are few things better than a good Harlequin Presents to provide the perfect weekend escape when you're stuck at home. This did exactly that.

I received a copy of this via NetGalley.