Archive for the ‘4 Klovers’ Category
DEATH’S RIVAL: A JANE YELLOWROCK NOVEL: Book 5
ISBN: 0451464850 (Mass Market Paperback)
ASIN: B007P7ESS6 (Kindle)
This fifth book in the Jane Yellowrock series finds Jane in a very tricky situation. Leo Pellisier, the Master Vampire of New Orleans, is under attack and Jane is responsible for finding out who is challenging Leo’s position. Her work is complicated by the appearance of a vicious plague that is spreading through the vampire community.
Jane Yellowrock is a kick-butt, vampire-killing skinwalker who shapeshifts into Beast, a large, powerful cougar. I continue to love the glimpses into Beast’s mind and thought processes; it is one of my favorite parts of the Yellowrock series. As Death’s Rival commences, Jane is very isolated; at the end of Raven Cursed she lost her best and only true friend, Molly, and has broken up with her boyfriend. But this turn of events does not last, and Jane recruits a new tactical team to help her unravel the mysteries of the plague and Leo’s challenger. I love these new characters, a set of brothers who are as different as night and day. Eli is an ex-ranger and all strength and brawn. Alex is a brainy computer expert. Both characters are wonderfully developed and I thoroughly enjoyed their addition to the story. What I did not care for was the escalation of the dark aspects of the novel. Some readers may be offended by the elements of rape in the storyline and the ending is certainly not a happily ever after conclusion. Jane is challenged and struggles on many fronts with her life, her past and her relationships. I am hopeful that the next book, Blood Trade, will help resolve some of these issues.
THE BITE BEFORE CHRISTMAS
Lynsay Sands and Jeaniene Frost
ISBN: 978006202260 (Mass Market PaperBack; Avon; October 2012)
ISBN: 9780062014078 (Hardcover; William Morrow; October 2011)
ASIN: B005DIB72E (Kindle)
This collection of two Christmas themed novellas combines the blockbuster talents of Lynsay Sands with a story from her popular Argeneau family with that of Jeaniene Frost who lets us visit with Kat and Bones from her Dark Huntress series over the holidays.. and even holidays don’t go smoothly for these two!
The Gift by Lynsay Sands:
Teddy Brunswick, the beloved police chief of Port Henry, is no stranger to vampires, but all he wants this Christmas is to not feel like a charity case at someone else’s holiday table, so he retreats to a remote cabin, only to be snowed in by a blizzard. While checking the road to determine his chances of driving out, he meets Katricia who is staying in the cabin next door. Teddy doesn’t realize Katricia is a vampire or an Argeneau, and his immediate attraction to a beautiful girl half his age is disturbing to him. Katricia realizes immediately that Teddy is her life mate. Now how to convince this human that they weren’t meant to be together! I was so happy to see Teddy get his happily ever after. The romance develops quickly due to the limitations of the novella format; I think I would have preferred a full length novel for Teddy. We really don’t get a chance to know Katricia in the depth I would have liked and the story ended too soon for me. The best of the two novellas in my opinion.
Home For The Holidays by Jeaniene Frost:
I was very excited about this novella because I absolutely LOVE Cat and Bones and their interplay together. This novella takes place a few weeks after the events in One Grave At A Time. In the middle of his birthday party, Cat and Bones receive a phone call that Annette, friend and Bones’ former bed mate has been attacked. Troublemaker Ian is also front and center in this novella, and we also learn more about Bones’ mysterious past. The story has intensity and Cat and Bones find their love for each other tested. The story, while very much in keeping with the Dark Huntress world, was a little dark for me; I guess I like my Christmas stories to be a little more upbeat. That being said, Frost brings all her normal magic to the story, and the information we learn about Bones will carry into later novels. I would not recommend this story for readers not familiar with the Dark Huntress world as they would miss a lot of the nuances between characters and events.
If you enjoy a little bit of vampire in your Christmas, this anthology is sure to please.
DARK ONES BOOK 10: A TALE OF TWO VAMPIRES
Paranormal Romance/Vampires/Time Travel
Mass Market paperback
Iolanthe Tennyson is exploring an Austrian “haunted” forest when something unexplainable happens and she finds herself back in the eighteenth century. Nikola Czerny doesn’t know what to think of the strangely dressed woman he finds though she is frantic to convince him that she is from the future and knows his daughter. What’s more, she knows how he dies and wants to change history to save him.
Katie MacAlister always delivers sexy, hysterically funny stories, and her Dark Ones series is one of her very best. After nine previous stories of vampires, it amazes me how she continues to find unique situations in which to place her hero and heroine. One thing that is very different in this novel (beside the time jumping) is the fact that the Dark Ones have not figured out all about their race as of yet . Nikola doesn’t know about Beloved’s or what a relationship between a Beloved and a Dark One will mean. This adds a nice new twist to the story. I also somehow found my heart particularly warmed by the care the characters showed for each other. It was much more than a passionate love; there was a sweeter nuance to the relationship.
In spite of the fact of this being tenth in a series, it could be read as a stand-alone book without a problem. If you’ve never read a Dark One’s novel, but like the tv shows where the hero and heroine have a great chemistry and funny banter going on, try A Tale of Two Vampires. I think you’ll like it.
BLACK DAGGER BROTHERHOOD BOOK 6: LOVER ENSHRINED
Performed by: James Frangione
ISBN: 978-0451222725 (Mass Market Paperback)
ISBN-13: 978-0739496589 (Hardback)
ASIN: B001O15JQE (Unabridged Audio)
ASIN: B000UZNS0Y (Kindle)
June 2008 (Mass Market Paperback)
June 2008 (Hardback)
December 2008 (Unabridged Audio)
June 2008 (Kindle)
Signet / Signet Bookclub Edition / Recorded Books / Signet
Paranormal / Vampire
Phury has been featured in all of the previous books of the Black Dagger Brotherhood – passionate, loyal, yet deeply troubled, who through the previous books one gleans that Phury also has gotten himself hooked a bit with addictions to drugs. When one of his brothers asks to be relieved of the duty of Primale for the Chosen (A vampire to sire and propagate the vampire race keeping the Brotherhood’s bloodlines alive with the Chosen women) he agreed to sacrifice himself for the duty. Some 5 months later Phury’s first mate the Chosen woman Cormia was not pleased and in trying to be considerate Phury did not pursue or complete the consummation. Cormia has since observed and realized that though Phury is definitely kind and she has warmed to him, he is also deeply and emotionally scarred. As the war between the Lessening Society grows much more grim, Phury must decide between duty and love.
*** While I have been completely enraptured by this series, and have really liked Phury in the previous books, he totally infuriated me in this one. Needless to say, I wanted to strangle him for at least three-fourths of this book. And yes, I also got out of sequence with the storyline but will go back and correct the reading order.
However, while Phury and Cormia’s story was the focus of LOVER ENSHRINED, the secondary story lines were so powerful with John and Xhex; Blay and Qhuin; Revenge, Tor, and of course the revelation of the Omega having a son were what kept this from being a very low rated book. With all these new revelations popping into the scene Ward just keeps the excitement sizzling and the action at an all-time peak with thoughts of a new and more powerful threat to the Brotherhood.
Bottom line: As much as I wanted to whack Phury throughout the better part of LOVER ENSHRINED, he did redeem himself by the end of the story and LOVER ENSHRINED should not be overlooked for the set-up and preview of the new direction of story lines planned.
Marilyn Rondeau, for www.ck2skwipsandkritiques.com
ISBN: 978-1612185934 (Paperback)
ASIN: B0087JZF24 (Kindle)
ASIN: B009TBGND4 (Unabridged Audio)
October 2012 (Paperback)
October 2012 (Kindle)
October 2012 (Unabridged Audio)
Montlake Romance / Montlake / Brilliance Audio
Leonie of Bosewood like her mother, carries Faerie blood in her veins, a secret she keeps to protect her own life for most in the eleventh century feared the unknown and the unusual usually opting to destroy that which they feared. Sandwiched between the human and Faerie worlds Leonie must guard her heart…no matter how strong the temptations. As the king’s emissary, Philippe le Peregrine has watched Leonie grow from gangly girl to alluring woman. Unfortunately, with each encounter, his attraction grows but because of a secret past, he has condemned himself to a life of lonely celibacy for fear of harming the woman he loves. However, when powerful forces force them to unite against a sorcerer intent on conquering the world, Leonie and Philippe realize that only together would they be strong enough to combat an evil threatening destroy them and all humankind.
*** I have been a great fan of Delle Jacobs for many, many years, and in my opinion she has only gotten better with time. Jacobs work has always been both intriguing, highly original and extremely creative. She has the talent to mix high action with creative scenarios and sprinkle just enough sensuality to make you continue turning the pages from the moment you start till the very and most times surprising end.
The heroine Leonie, a half human, half faerie lived a careful life in that she always had to be aware of trying not to be obvious of her healing power when her kind heart saw suffering that she knew she could cure with her touch. Leonie had always noticed Philipe and though he was a huge man, she was attracted and had loved him it seemed forever. However she thought he didn’t like her based on how he paid scant attention to her. (Very few knew of his vow to never love again or the curse put on him by the evil being that killed his first wife.)
Jacobs threw in a big wrench to wreck the romance when a very evil incident happened to Leonie in the woods making her extremely fearful of Philipe which made for a lot of animosity between the two. However, even with the distrust that bore ill feelings between both characters I thought Philipe was a wonderful character and I found the discourse between he and Leonie traveling together was fraught with some laugh out loud moments (especially in the caves)!
Overall, you have magic, good versus evil, action and political upheavals in a magnificent Medieval Fantasy. Loved every moment and highly recommend this book.
Marilyn Rondeau, www.ck2skwipsandkritiques.com
MISTRESS MATCHMAKER #2: FOR DESIRE ALONE
ASIN: B009AZ3IB4 (Kindle)
November 6, 2012
Samhain Publishing, LTD
Historical Regency / Erotic
Mariah Desmond put her future in the hands of her protector convincing herself she loved him. After his unexpected demise, she discovered he lied and had only left the barest provisions for her future. Forced into seeking a new protector, Mariah turns to her good friend, Vivian Manning who holds infamous parties where wealthy men come to find a mistress or at the very least, a sexual encounter. The last person Mariah wanted to see was the face of her late lover’s best friend, John Rycroft who upon spotting her, dragged her bodily out of the party.
*** From that point on FOR DESIRE ALONE just got better and better. The sensualness and pure attraction between the two protagonists grew exponentially as long-held passions and attractions ran free allowing Mariah and John to shed all their inhibitions. Mariah felt her future was secured with John which was why John’s change of face in denying that they could have anything but that moment between them hurt her so much.
John had always held back his feelings for Mariah, partly in loyalty for his best friend but mostly because of dark secrets in his past. He knew from experience that the things he desired most could be used against him. John’s past had been awash in abuse from a father who was working on bringing him back under his thumb.
Along with some very carnal bedroom, dining table, walls (you get the picture) scenes, FOR DESIRE ALONE is a veritable buffet of steaming sensuality, which will have you squirming in anticipation of discovering what else Ms. Michaels has in store for the reader.
Bottom Line: This is Book 2 of the Mistress Matchmaker series and it definitely stood on it’s own – so well, that I think I just may have to find Book 1 to see if it holds up to the same high expectations as Book 2 – which I am highly recommending!
Marilyn Rondeau, for www.ck2skwipsandkritiques.com
SECRETS OF JENKINS BRIDGE
ASIN: B0089QNJ28 (Kindle)
June 6, 2012 (Kindle)
Soul Mate Publishing
What FBI agent Mitchell Donovan, discovered when he was called out to a car accident was his former high school sweetheart, Katherine Delaney, the girl he’d left behind 13 years ago. Plenty of things just were not adding up as he delved deeper into the case. What made Katherine drive off the road in practically the same spot her husband , once Mitchell’s best friend, had been killed. More questions evolved especially after Katherine’s daughter Aly went missing at the same time of Katherine’s accident. Mitchell, was intent on finding out what secrets her dead ex-husband carried with him to the grave as well as what Mitchell’s own father had to do with any of it. Undercover for a reason, Mitchell had to answer all those questions along with trying to bring a dangerous mobster, to justice.
*** THE SECRETS OF JENKINS BRIDGE was a quick read at 151 pages, but stellar, none the less. Author Donna Shields packed quite a bit of action and romance in this short novella which made the pages fly. The twists and turns were well done, and though the paternity of Aly was easily deduced, the rest of THE SECRETS OF JENKINS BRIDGE, came out very well orchestrated at the most opportune times.
The only point I seemed confused over was why the FBI would assign someone in as close a relationship (Mitchell and his father), whether estranged or not, to investigate his own father. For some reason, that particular point knowing about all the legal ramifications it could cause would not be the greatest idea. If in fact, the father was involved with the Mobster Mitchell was planning to take down it it would cause problems.
In so far as the romantic angle of Mitchell resurfacing so many years after he had abruptly left town not knowing his girlfriend was pregnant, I wish the author had spent a bit more time fleshing out that old history. However, the romance was sweet and the other relationships involved in the story were well played out.
Bottom line: Definitely a good read and the twist involving Katherine’s dead husband was played out very well.
INN BOONSBORO TRILOGY #2: THE LAST BOYFRIEND
ISBN: 978-0425246030 (Trade Paperback)
ISBN: 978-1410444493 (Lg Print Hardback)
ISBN: 978-1455806959 (Unabridged Recording)
ASIN: B0074VTHQ6 (Kindle)
May 1, 2012 (all versions)
Berkley Trade / Thorndike Press / Brilliance Audio / Berkley
Owen Montgomery is the one person of the family’s construction business that does the number crunching, organizing, and keeping the work flow moving at a regular pace. He is overly obsessive compulsive with lists and schedules but he never figured that the lovely Avery McTavish would be throwing a wrench into his well ordered life.
Avery’s pizza place is right across the street from the inn, allowing her a first hand view of the progress the boys are making on their mothers newest dream project, as well as a fabulous view of the boy she’d never quite gotten over from her childhood crush. Innocently announcing when they were little she would be marrying him, and in fact actually getting her first kiss. It was all innocent then, but times change and those innocent thoughts are far from what they’re feeling now.
*** Picking up this second book in the Inn Boonsboro Trilogy was like coming back home to a warm and snug place you just want to cuddle up and visit with old friends. I am a relatively new fan of Nora Roberts – have a vast assortment of her books, as I collect series with the greatest intention of getting around to read them. In her novels and especially this series, I have found a place I really want to sit and spend some time. Ms. Roberts writing invites you to sit a spell, look around and just enjoy people who are friends, lovers, and just plain wonderfully artistic and sympathetic folks you want to get to know a little bit more.
I’ve read reviews that the author put too much emphasis on the surroundings, i.e. design elements that were used to bring an old ‘lady’ back to her former glamour. Personally, that is a big pull for me as from my earliest childhood, I ‘traveled‘ in my minds eye through the talent of gifted authors who let me see the world, smell the smells, taste the food, and see what I could never hope to see growing up in a blue collar environment. I lived vicariously through the books I read.
In THE LAST BOYFRIEND I was happy to see Owen and Avery finally see what had been missing in their lives and rediscover themselves in each other. As in the first book, I am wholly entranced with the resident ghost “Lizzie” and discover the mystery of who she is, and why she remains. And I can’t forget Clair’s boys and the numerous dogs who all hold a piece of my heart. Based upon the sheer enjoyment I am getting from the first two books in this series, it’s a foregone conclusion that I will be picking up the final book to discover the answers. No doubt about it, I’m loving this series!
LEFT TO DIE
Performed by: Alan Nebelthau
ISBN: 978-1420102765 (Mass Market PB)
ASIN: B001BBYMCO (Kindle)
ISBN: 978-1602852754 (Lg Print HB)
ASIN: B001L4EF28 (Unabridged Audio)
August 2008 (Mass Market PB)
August 2008 (Kindle)
September 2008 (Lg Print HB)
November 2008 (Unabridged Audio)
Zebra / Zebra Books / Center Point Large Print / Recorded Books
In LEFT TO DIE the action takes place in the lonely woods around Grizzly Falls, Montana, where four nude bodies have been discovered tied to trees and left to die from the elements. Detectives Selena Alvarez and Regan Pescoli have been hoping for a career-making case, but this case is a nightmare. Even when the FBI is called in to assist, Selena and Regan still have nothing to go on but a killer’s cryptic notes, and the unsettling knowledge that there is much more to come unless they can find the “Star” killer.
Jillian Rivers is on a mission to discover whether the cryptic message hinting that her first husband, presumed dead, is really alive. Driving the winding road as another storm approaches, Jillian loses control of her car after hearing the retort of a rifle. Waking up after tumbling over a cliff, Jillian wonders if her life is over freezing to death at the bottom of a ravine, or has the publicized “Star” killer selected her as his next victim.
*** LEFT TO DIE was a total thrill ride from beginning to end. It has much to recommend it with a fully fleshed out cast of characters; plots as well as sub-plots galore. And because this was an unabridged audiobook and there was so much going on throughout the story, I would be tempted to listen to it again. Additionally, the performance by Alan Nebelthau was very good with decent voice overs, even if I prefer women who can sound more like a male character than a man can perform a woman’s voice. However, there were enough voice change inflections that after a while his weak female voices overs really didn’t matter.
What I found interesting which Ms. Jackson did was to let one of the serial killers victims survive. She then gave us a very small speck of insight into the killer’s background which may or may not be a hint into determining what might be the trauma or life experience that would motivate a person to commit such a heinous act. Along with that, Jackson keeps you guessing with the addition of Zane MacGregor who appears to be Jillian’s savior. Naturally, this is all part of the serial killers MO in causing a crash, then ‘rescuing’ his victim so that he can mess with their heads before showing them what true evil and intent looked like. Jillian was by far my favorite character and for obvious reasons as the crux of the story revolved around her and being snowed in with MacGregor who she had to rely on for her very life.
Bottom Line: LEFT TO DIE as a whole was exceptional – great plot; good action; fabulous secondary characters and subplots.
June 2012 (reprint of a 1994 novel)
Mass Market paperback
This novel is actually comprised of two novellas of approximately equal length. The first, Debbie Macomber’s Family Affair was first published in 1994 in the anthology Purrfect Love. The second was a novella that Debbie chose as the winner of a writing contest: The Bet by Darlene Panzera.
Family Affair was a lovely traditional contemporary romance full of mistaken identities and delightful encounters between hero and heroine that will bring a chuckle. I was attracted by the cover blurb which described a skirmish between the cats of the hero and heroine. How can someone not want to pick up a book that promises the story of a cat named Dog? You will enjoy the tale of Jack’s determined pursuit of Lacey in spite of her attempts to maintain a distance between themselves.
The Bet was a contemporary western romance that had several elements that seemed better suited to a historical western. The story was based on a saloon where the patrons stayed busy making crazy bets on most everything. They had already ruined Jenny’s life once before and now bets were being tossed around about who would marry Jenny first to gain control of her land and the possible gold mine on her property. This was the aspect of the story that felt most “Old West” to me versus contemporary western. Our hero, Nick puts down a huge bet that HE will marry Jenny. Jenny is suddenly tripping over Nick everywhere she goes and they both begin to see the valor and willingness of the other to put in hard work for the things they hold most dear. The Bet was a nice romance with a number of interesting supporting characters. There were several different story lines entwining together which made things a little rushed for the shorter novella length, but loose ends were tied nicely by the close of the story.