Sunday, August 31, 2014

Review: Beyond the Moon by Michele Hauf

I liked this book so much.  I started reading it this morning and couldn't put it down until I finished it.  This is the third book of Hauf's I've read, all three books being part of the Company of Vampires series.  I love these stories and these characters.  Vampires, witches, shifters, werewolves and vampire hunters, all living in Paris.

The characters are interesting, the stories are full of danger and romance.  Just the right blend of supernatural, violence and sex.

In this book, Verity, a witch is attacked by vampires and saved by Rook, a vampire hunter.  The two feel an instant connection, which baffles both of them.  Also, this connection they feel seems to be linked to the pendant worn around Verity's neck.  Years ago, acting on some inexplicable compulsion, Verity sensed a soul within a tree, and she carved it out and felt obligated to protect it until she found its owner.  Just so happens, many years ago, Rook made a deal with the devil that involved his soul being taken from him and buried in the ground.

But on the night of the attack, shortly after their initial meeting, the pendant is lost, and Verity is bitten by a vampire.  She has until the full moon to figure out a cure (her attempts at spells aren't working) or hope Rook can stake the vamp who bit her before she transforms.

So this is the story of Rook trying to reclaim his soul, and Verity trying to save hers, all while trying to handle the intense attraction they feel for each other.  Verity has a three date rule, but she figures out fairly quickly she wants more than three dates with Rook.  And discovering Verity is a fire witch, and seeing her perform with fire brings back some terrible memories Rook would rather not revisit.

I don't want to give too much away in this review, because part of what makes the story interesting is the way the backstory is gradually revealed.

Overall, this is a really great book.  I loved both Verity and Rook.
Lots of action, plenty of magic and some very hot sex.  I'd recommend this to anyone who enjoys steamy paranormal romances.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Review: Getting Off by Abby Green

This story is okay for a quick, cute, sexy read.

I almost quit reading after just a few pages though because I was bothered by the description of the couple's initial attraction to each other. I find it ridiculous when people first see each other and have some absurd physical reaction. Sweating, loss of breath, immediate sexual arousal so intense they have to leave the room. Really? That's a bit much. And her "vibrating clitoris" was mentioned three times in four pages (do editors not work on these stories?) - and this is all caused just from sitting at the bar stool next to this guy. Oh, and I did I mention this character has never had an orgasm before in her life, but she's that turned on by simply looking at a guy sitting next to her.

I thought the writing got a little better after that initial meeting. As I said, it turned out to be a cute story. New girl in the city meets a guy in a bar, takes him back to her place and has sex, but no orgasm. Evening ends awkwardly with each of them hoping to never see each other again. Then new girl walks into a bar looking for a job and guess who owns the place? And of course, they end up together again, and this time, guy is on a mission, as you might imagine. Had some very sexy scenes.

One other thing that bothered me though was the mention of Liam having some dark sexual history. For such a short story, it seemed unnecessary to introduce that storyline. He's a 29 year old attractive guy, working at a bar in New York City, he doesn't need to have a mean girlfriend in his past to provide him with a reason to have commitment issues.

As I said, story was okay, for a quick read.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Review: Breaking All Her Rules by Maisey Yates

This is a Cosmo Red Hot Reads and it is indeed red hot.

I enjoyed this novella quite a bit.  It's a short story about a woman who has spent her whole life focused on her work, trying so hard to please her family and be the "good daughter."  Then one day she shares a cab with a handsome cowboy, who looks very out of place in New York City, and accidentally picks up his phone instead of hers.

She tracks her phone back to his hotel and shows up to retrieve it, and standing there, looking at this cowboy with his shirt off, standing in his hotel room, she decides she's tired of always being the good girl.

I've said this many times in my reviews, but Maisey Yates is one of my favorite romance writers.  She creates the best characters.  Sometimes though, I think I like her characters because I always feel like I can relate to them on some level - not in the successful finance person sort of way, but rather the nice girl, focused on her work, too busy or uninterested in a "real" relationship, either avoiding relationships or settling for some that doesn't involve much effort.  And then someone walks into their lives and changes everything about the way they've always viewed relationships.  I like that idea, that someone might someday appear who makes taking a chance seem worthwhile.  Okay, I might get a little too caught up in these stories sometimes.

But I sincerely believe that the idea of meeting a man in a cab who makes a woman want to toss aside all her years of trying to follow all the rules is probably a woman's biggest fantasy.  The idea that it could be that simple, that one day he could just be there - this is why we read romance novels.  We know it will never happen, but isn't it nice to dream?

Very enjoyable quick, sexy read.  

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Review: Season of Storms by Susanna Kearsley

I liked this book quite a bit, which isn't that much of a surprise, being that I've liked everything I've read by Susanna Kearsley.  It did take me a while to get through this book, which was a bit frustrating.  I think part of the reason it took me so long to read was because I started it right before school started up again, so I was busy finishing up my summer errands and getting ready to return to the classroom.  Also, I felt like not a whole lot happened until about halfway through the book.  I felt like I was still being introduced to the characters and setting and realized I was almost at 50%, according to my kindle.

However, I did still enjoy the book, not everything needs to be a fast paced, can't-finish-quick-enough, thriller.

As is often the case with Kearsley's books, the setting is described beautifully. This book takes place at a villa in Italy with a lot of history and ghosts lingering on the villa's grounds.  There are quite a few interesting characters inhabiting these grounds.

Alex, the owner of the villa has decided to stage a play - one written by his grandfather many years earlier.  The play was never performed because the woman for which it was written - his grandfather's lover - died before the play opened.

Celia Sands, a young actress from London, has been offered the starring role, and just so happens to have the same name - though no relation - to the original actress cast for the part, many years earlier.

Rupert, the man who raised her is directing the play, and looking forward to spending time with Celia and directing her in her first starring role.  However, he seems a bit annoyed with the choice of stage manager, which is confusing to Celia as she tries to figure out what kind of history the two men have.

Then there's Madeline, an older actress, with whom Celia has a vague connection, clouded with her own guilt over what she feels was her role in breaking up Madeline's marriage.

Those are just a few of the characters.  There are plenty of others to round out the story, but no need give it all away in this review.  The mix of these people all in one place, working together to put on this "impossible" play makes for a very engaging story.  Maybe I took so long to read the book because I liked being around the characters and felt no rush to get away from them.

I was also pleasantly surprised that I was wrong in thinking I already knew what one of the big secrets was.  At one point, it seemed obvious to me, only later to discover that wasn't the case at all. I like it when the mysteries are not obvious.

Anyway, I enjoyed this book.  I'd recommend it to anyone who likes Kearsley's other books, enjoys a well written story with a bit of history, a touch of supernatural elements and some romance.

I received a copy of this via NetGalley.