Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Bound by Moonlight by Nancy Gideon

Paperback335 pages
Published July 26th 2011 
by Pocket Star
Series: Moonlight, #4
My Rating: 
Genre: Paranormal Romance

They swore they’d be together forever. Detective Charlotte Caissie is suddenly sharing drawer space and making media news with her shape-shifter lover Max Savoie. Knowing the reformed mobster is determined to be accepted by her peers, how can she ask him to return to his criminal roots to help her solve a complex case?

But those they trust the most . . . Going undercover to find the vicious serial killer who kidnapped a colleague’s daughter, Cee Cee is caught between the partner whose integrity she relies on and her fiercely possessive lover. In calling on Max to use his preternatural talents to aide a hated enemy, she crosses a line that strains their relationship to its limits.

Will do anything to tear them apart. With his secret spreading beyond those he can trust, Max is forced to make dangerous alliances to protect his family and his clan. The only certainty he has is his love for his human mate, until the loyalties that define them threaten to divide them forever.

My hat goes off to Nancy Gideon. The fourth book of the Moonlight series was just as wonderful as I expected to be. Max and Cee Cee have proven in that past that they are dedicated to one another, and each has had been broken open throughout the series and learned to trust in their love, and in each other. But they are once again put to the test in this novel.

Cee Cee's latest case puts her at odds with Max because it requires her working undercover. And Max and Cee Cee have just hit a bump in the road when Cee Cee reveals things she wasn't really supposed to, which leaves her wondering if Max is starting to doubt in her, and whether or not a cop and a Shifter with past mob connections can really have a future together. Especially now that Max is known to be something "other" by many members of the police force. Max and Cee Cee have been tested before, but this time it's a little different. Max knows there's danger coming from the north. He knows that the most important in his life is Cee Cee--but he has a family to protect in Oscar, and maybe even in Tina, and a clan that sees him as their king. As I was reading, I kept asking myself, what's in store for these two? Is their love and future always going to be challenging? 

But I will say this: I never once doubted that they'd find a way back to trust. That they'd figure out how to overcome the danger of Max being exposed by Cee Cee's colleagues, and that their love would prevail. Because Max and Cee Cee are just that deeply in love with one another. They might butt heads, and they might ask too much sometimes of the other, but they can always resolve the doubts and roadblocks that stand between them. In this book, Max proves he can give his mate space, and Cee Cee faces some ugly ghosts from her past. 

I'm really excited for the fifth book. Cee Cee learns something that has really piqued my curiosity, and I can't wait to see where Ms. Gideon takes that story line. That's the great thing about this series--you get a growing story arch that is just so much fun to read. And, each and every time, it's purely delicious. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Quote It!~13

Lately I've been highlighting a lot in the books I've been reading. But I haven't had a chance to share quotes with you, and so many of them are so utterly delicious that over the next couple of weeks, I hope to share some of those quotes with you. I'm going to start with quotes from Bound by Moonlight by Nancy Gideon. I'll be reviewing the book soon, and then I'll go back and share quotes from some books I've recently reviewed.

Excited? I am. I just love sharing quotes with everyone.
Are you ready? First off, let me just say, Nancy Gideon's Moonlight series is just amazing. I've read four out of the current eight books (book nine will be released this October) and I've loved every single one of them. It's the writing style as well as the story--the writing is just yummy to read. Very emotional, very telling, Ms. Gideon really knows how to use words well.

"You are royalty. You are my queen." She gave an unregal snort. 
"And where, pray tell, is my kingdom?" He placed her palm flat upon his chest. 
"You rule my heart."

He took a harsh breath. "I'm going to suck on your toes after I take them off you."

A small, mystified smile. "But you're the reason my heart beats."

Those are just three of what I considered the yummiest moments in the book. A small tease, let's say *grin* For more, I suggest you grab this great series and sink your teeth into it. You'll not regret it.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Review: Break the Sky by Nina Lane

Published July 29th 2014 
by Snow Queen Publishing
My Rating: 
Genre: Contemporary Romance

A sizzling hot, new SPIRAL OF BLISS spin-off novel from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Nina Lane 

“Do you ever let go, storm girl?” he asked. “Ever lose control? Ever surrender?” 
“Never,” I whispered. “I never surrender.” 
A smile of both promise and warning curved his beautiful mouth. 
“You will.” 

Atmospheric scientist Kelsey March is under siege. Her tornado research project is on the skids and she’s fighting conflict in her university department. So when irresistible bad boy Archer West suggests a hot, wild fling while he’s in town, Kelsey is unable to resist his sexy offer. 

Kelsey and Archer embark on a intense, exhilarating affair. But soon their differences and private battles encroach on their desire, and Kelsey discovers that Archer is a storm she can’t control.

I've often lamented (though perhaps not on the blog) on how difficult it is to find stand alone novels in romance. Everything seems to be connected to a series. So Nina Lane's Break the Sky sounded like the perfect fix to my stand alone reading need. It's connected to another of Ms. Lane's series, but I was fairly certain I could read this without feeling like I was missing something (or spoiling future reading for myself) and I was right. 

I thought this book was really good. It had a good amount of erotic romantic moments, a great plot line and characters that were fun to read--and somewhat thrilling to read as well. Kelsey isn't a broken heroine in my opinion, but one who is living a life that isn't quite her. She's living it by choice however, not because she's running from anything, but because she felt it was time to put aside the wild child she'd always been, and live up to her legacy of strength. I liked that about her...but I also wanted her to be herself. I think what made her so easy to relate to is that everyone one of is always trying to be live up expectations that don't necessarily fit us, and we all have reasons for doing so, just like Kelsey does. So I was delighted when Archer came along, and gently nudged Kelsey to be herself. 

He was a great hero. Tough, demanding, sexy, but with a goodness and clear sightedness that let him see right into the heart of Kelsey. He challenged her, and he was challenging himself in Mirror Lake. Archer had gotten his life cleaned up, but he had yet to mend fences with his brother Dean. And although Archer's reasons for visiting Mirror Lake aren't to mend fences, it's clear that he does want a family, the family he never felt he was apart of when he was growing up. Helping Dean out didn't seem like merely an excuse to stay close to Kelsey, but to stay close to the family he's always felt wasn't entirely one he belonged to. 

Filled with honest emotion, some gripping storm chasing, erotic fun and moments of sadness and tenderness, this was one read I was not disappointed with as themes of family and responsibility and the realities of life are handled with a straightforwardness that this reader found new and engaging. 

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Review: Wonderful by Jill Barnett

Paperback336 pages
Published September 1st 1997 
by Pocket Books 
(first published 1997)
Series: Medieval Trilogy, #1 
My Rating:     
Genre: Historical Romance

After too many years on the battlefield, Merrick de Beaucourt is looking forward to a simple life of peace and quiet with a docile wife at his side. But when he finally fetches his bride-to-be from a secluded English convent, he finds he needs more than his knight's spurs to bring order to his life.

When she was betrothed at fifteen to the legendary English knight she had never met, Lady Clio of Camrose believed that love was something magical. But her youthful hopes faded as she languished in a convent for six long years, never hearing a word from Merrick.

Weary of war, Lord Merrick finds little peace guarding the wild Welsh borders, and even less with the wife whose trust he destroyed. But as Lady Clio comes to understand the dark knight she so blindly wed, she sees a chance to make her dreams come true. Amid the enchanted mists that envelop Camrose Castle, they will battle together to discover a place where all things are possible, even a love that is rare and wonderful.

I don't know if it's just me, but I find it hard to find historical romances that are set during medieval times. I know they are out there, but I can't always seem to stumble upon them as easily as I do everything else that I love to read. So when I learned about this series, I immediately picked up the first book. 

There are some absolutely great things about this book. A heroine that is feisty and liberal minded, but who is also willing to hold to the ideas of honour that her father held her. Clio fully intends to marry Merrick, but she also plans to make him suffer for making her wait an additional two years before finally arriving back in England for their wedding. And she really does drive Merrick to distraction when all he wants is peace and quiet. He soon learns he's not likely to have that as Clio gets into one scrape after another.
Book Two 

What really made this book a solid romance for me was the way the characters interacted. Merrick was a stubborn hero who expected Clio to do as she was told, but Clio had never been good at doing what she was told. Moreover, her "ideas" gave rise to some really hilarious moments in the novel, which made was great storytelling because the banter between them is witty and sometimes infused with a natural smugness when one or the other of them gets the last word. The action towards the end, and the hardships these characters have to endure are realistic and solidified how strongly Clio and Merrick loved one another.

This book had moments that made me laugh, and moments that made my heart ache. Moments of laugh out loud fun combined with sweet romance and characters that are brightly painted make this a truly wonderful book to read.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Review: Seducing Lauren by Kristen Proby

Mass Market Paperback325 pages
Published August 19th 2014 
by Pocket Books
Series: Love Under the Big Sky, #2
My Rating:      
Genre: Contemporary Romance

In the second book in the Love Under the Big Sky series from this USA Today bestselling author of the With Me in Seattleseries, life in Montana gets spicy when a woman and her divorce lawyer sign off the papers—and sign on to love.

Now that his best friend, Josh, has happily settled down with his true love on a Montana ranch, small-town lawyer Ty Sullivan starts thinking that maybe single life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. And when Lauren Cunningham’s no-good ex-husband comes after her for an unexpected trust fund, Ty steps in to protect her. But soon he can’t help but think of her as more than a client. Lauren’s in no mood to jump into another relationship, so how can Ty convince her that her mistake wasn’t getting married, but marrying the wrong guy?

I absolutely loved this book. It was such great reading. There was a tiny element of suspense as Lauren's ex Jack is a wild card, and clearly has it in for Lauren. And there was big time romance as Ty, our hero, comes right out at the beginning and says he wants Lauren. It was a light, fun read, and one that by the end had in me in tears. 

Lauren is a great character. Playful, smart, strong, I don't think I've ever run across a heroine who has delighted me in quite this way. I loved that she was a romance novelist and that she did the things I've heard so many novelists do--complain about their characters, lose themselves in their work to the point they forget to eat, and even work round the clock to make a deadline. It kinda brought the genre of this book to life in a big way. I loved was that these characters are so crisp and alive. Lauren doesn't back down from Jack, and she embraces Ty's attention with an open mind. And Ty knows how to pay attention to a woman. He's a full package--super hot, sexy smart, sweet and protective, he made for pure romantic reading and I loved that about him. He looks after Lauren and takes care of her--from making sure she gets an under of protection from Jack to getting take out delivered to her home, he is book boyfriend material.
Book Three: Coming January 2015

The pacing was perfect, the sexy was erotic and romantic and fun, and we get to see Cara and Josh again as Lauren learns to let people into her life, people that are good for her like Cara and Ty's sister, Jill. She evens trusts them enough to share her secret--that's she the big time novelist who wrote their favourite erotic romance novels. Throughout the story however, there is the Jack factor. He's threatened Lauren, and we know without a doubt he's dangerous. And he is the center point of conflict for Ty and Lauren, who argue over his threats. I can't really say more without spoiling the story, so I'll just say some of the plot towards the end was enough to horrify me and make me cry. And that the HEA I so wanted was exactly what you'd expect from a hero like Ty: sweet, romantic, fairy tale magic. I was so not disappointed with this novel--it far exceeded my expectations, and I am now eagerly anticipating the third in the series, Falling for Jillian. I loved that we got to see just enough of Jill and Zack in Seducing Lauren that it's left me curious to learn more about them--I suspect they have history, but I'm not sure. I cannot wait to read it.

Kristen Proby has proved to be an author I can turn to for sweet, fun romances and I am glad I discovered her wonderful books.

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