Monday, February 28, 2011

Driftwood Cottage by Sherryl Woods

Driftwood Cottage was another nice visit to yet another perfect imaginary town that I wished I lived in, Chesapeake Shores. This is book five in the series but picks up directly where A Chesapeake Shores Christmas leaves off so to get the best feel of this book, it is probably a good idea to read at least the Christmas story, the others you can probably do without but are enjoyable, easy reads as well.
Driftwood Cottage finds the very stubborn Connor O'Brien who became a divorce attorney following the divorce of his parents when he was young. His mother walked out on his father and moved away to New York and he hardened his heart towards her and love in general. Connor had had a pretty good life going with his long time, live in girlfriend, Heather. But after the birth of their son, little Mick (named after Connors father) she realizes she wants the piece of paper securing them in marriage even though she has known all along how Connor feels about marriage and she decides to leave him.

Heather moves to Chesapeake Shores to be near Connors large extended family for little Micks sake and to open up her own quilting shop. The O'Briens are a very loving, meddlesome family that do whatever they can, in small, subtle ways to try and get Connor and Heather to reconnect. The love between them has never been a problem, Heather thinks it is just Connors insecurities about marriage. As our story progresses, Connor makes a life changing decision after Heather has a bad accident but their road to happily ever after is still bumpy. They finally do get to their HEA with Connor coming to terms with his fears and Connor helping Heather realizes her own insecurities about marriage.

Overall, this is a sweet, easy book. There is nothing spectacular about it, just something to curl up with on a nice summer day and enjoy. Everything is a bit to know, not much money problems, everyone loves everyone and sort through everything it seems with ease. If you enjoy that, this is an excellent book for you. For me, this is about a 3 1/2 stars book. I look forward to more from this large, nosy family when I am in the mood for a light contemporary book to take me away from my own crazy life.
I received this ebook via

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Admiral's Penniless Bride by Carla Kelly

What an excellent book for a monthly Harlequin! This is a very sweet, tender story of Admiral Sir Charles Bright and his desire to marry quickly to get his hen picking sisters off his back. After almost his whole life at sea, he is a bit unused to what all happens back on land but when he glances up from his table at the hotel and sees the obviously down to her last penny, Sally Paul, he knows that they can help each other. After an initial refusal to his proposal, Sophia, as Charles calls her, accepts and they move to his newly purchased home...which basically used to be a whore house for the old lord and there are um, detailed paintings and statues and books everywhere. Charles is sure she will run out at this point, but Sophia surprises him and believes that they can just change the decor.
There was so much realness to this book which I very much enjoyed. I loved how these two didn't just fall into bed, but their attraction slowly built up as did their respect and love. I loved how Charles and Sophia both hired down on their luck people to help in their home, him some old sailors that otherwise would have a tough time finding work, and her, the governess she meet on the mail coach and some young girls that need a safe place. I loved the relationship between their new neighbors and how delighted they were to feel welcome. The only thing that kept this from being a five star read for me was....the big misunderstanding. I'm not a fan of them to begin with and I was bummed it was thrown in here. Sophia has some secrets that she does not want to reveal and when they finally are, Charles blows up and leaves no room for clarification. Thankfully, we get out HEA but I would have liked an epilogue, just a short one but other than that, this is a really heartwarming book! I will definitely be checking out more books by Carla Kelly! 4 stars

Monday, February 21, 2011

The Seduction of His Wife by Tiffany Clare

This was yet another interesting read following Tiffany Clares debut novel, The Surrender of a Lady. (Seduction can be read as a stand alone as there is just a mention of the couple from the previous book). Reading the back of this book you would expect to read a story about a couple that had to marry at a very young age due to parent pressure but you find out quickly that our heroine, Lady Emma, had a crush on her husband Richard Mansfield, Earl of Asbury forever. They marry when she is just fifteen, he does he duty to consummate the marriage and takes off for twelve years with not one word to Emma. Then Emma just 'happens' into a brothel where Richard is and he recognizes her and is immediately in lust with her and decides to return home and be a husband, esp in the bedroom.
This is where the packaging of this book is a bit off for this book, to me anyways. This is very close to an erotic historical, which is fine, but it is not marketed that way and will probably upset people not expecting such descriptive/vulgar terms that are not normally present. I found it a bit hard to swallow that Emma just let Richard right back into her bed and then they are constantly there, which is fine, but I just wanted a bit more story. I wanted more of their back story, some flashbacks to them as children to help develop their storyline. Richard is patient with Emma and her shyness, but as Emma paints nudes (which she discovers is her passion a few years after Richard leaves, not before as the cover blurb seems to suggest) this is also a bit off for me.
All that being said, I shoved aside what I thought should have happened and enjoyed what I read. It really is well written, very steamy, with a few doses of humor. I am looking forward to Emmas sister, Abbys, story in The Secret Desires of a Governess as her departure was a bit odd, again to me anyways, but should be explained more in her story. There is a nice, steamy side story with Emmas other sister Grace and Richards friend. Even though I did not love this book, it was enjoyable and I am going to keep reading more from Ms Clare. I do love the covers, they are beautiful! And, even though this one did not quite live up to the back cover blurb, it is still a good, if erotic, historical romance. 4 stars

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James

Miss Linnet Thrynne is a great beauty but when she is given the cut direct from the ton and her charming prince suitor due to her gown, which makes her look pregnant, she knows she needs to leave as no one will believe the truth. She hears of the Duke of Windebank who is infatuated with royal bloodlines and needs an heir as his son, the current Earl of Marchant, Piers, is impotent. He gladly accepts Linnets fathers arrangement of a marriage between Linnet and Piers as the Duke is more than happy to accept the baby. Of course there is no baby but Linnet decides to travel and try for the best with this new arrangement and just claim she lost the baby. But then she meets Piers.
Piers, a doctor, knows instantly that Linnet is not pregnant and tells her he refuses to marry her (due to a very strained relationship with his father) and he will not fall prey to her great beauty and charms. Piers is rude, arrogant, snaps at everyone and you are put off by him right away. But not Linnit. She is sassy and snappy and keeps right up with Piers sarcasm. She slowly begins to make her presence known in the castle by helping care for the feelings of his patients and making Piers realize that is more to caring for patients than just curing them of whatever ails them.

Watching these two fall in love was so much fun. Piers has his tough exterior but he has no problem falling deeply in love with Linnet but of course, lets her go when an epidemic breaks out with some very harsh words. Linnit has already professed her love to him at this point and leaves brokenhearted. When he finally realizes he loves her, with a bit of help from his slowly mending relationship with his father, it is almost too late and there is a bit more of a twist to the Beauty and the Beast theme. I did think the ending wasn't the best for this story. I understand the twist but I thought Linnit started acting stupid and then things were resolved a bit too quickly. The epilogue helped wrap up this happily ever after fairy tale but I wanted just a bit more. I can not wait for the next story! 4 stars

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Harvest Moon by Robyn Carr

Wow, Ms Carr as really outdone herself this year with her Virgin River books. All three have been excellent and the latest is no exception. Harvest Moon finds Kelly Matlock coming to Virgin River to recover and reevaluate at her sisters from a broken heart and Lief Holbrook moving there with his rebellious teenager daughter, Courtney. Lief has suffered his own heartbreak at the unexpected death of his wife and an ongoing battle of wills with Courtney and her natural father (who is just a slime bucket).
What is interesting about this story is that the story is just about Lief and Kelly and their romance and about Courtney and her struggles to find herself again. There is really no side story. I really enjoyed Courtney, which I was surprised about because I thought she was going to be a bratty teenager, which she is at times, but Ms Carr does a great job with developing Courtney. I really thought the therapy sessions were interesting and they seemed, to me anyways, like something that would really work in a real life situation. I thought Courtneys transition back to her old self was believable and I got teary eyed during a situation between her and Lief, when she realizes Lief does love her for her and her real father just doesn't care.

The romance between Lief and Kelly is also well done, but then again, Robyn Carr seems to do most things well :) They were attracted to each right away but as Kelly had not been with many men she held off a bit before continuing on with their relationship. And of course Courtney dislikes her and Kelly does not try to force a relationship but the ending between them was very sweet. I was surprised with what came of Kelly broken heart relationship and thought it was a nice little twist that I enjoyed. I am sad that it seems our time with Virgin River this year seems to be done but I hope there is more to come in this series and I hope they all keep up with the wonderfullness the author as done this year. Loved the great community feelings, the turned up heat factor, and the believable characters. For Harvest Moon, 4 stars.
I received this ebook via

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Lady Most Likely... by Julia Quinn, Eloisa James and Connie Brockway

This is a novel in three parts, as the cover says, with each author writing a short story but all within one storyline. I'm not a big anthology reader but this didn't do a bad job. The first story, by Julia Quinn, is a love at first sight sort and was sweet if a bit slow.
The second, by Connie Brockway, is about a young lady who loves her older brothers friend but as he is older, and a bit of a rakehell, her father refuses courtship and he goes to war so that he can fulfill his promise to the father to allow her a season before he courts her. It is four years later and they get reacquainted at the country event they are all at. Once again, not bad but a bit slow...not to much actual romance and I wanted to smack both of them on the head a few times.
The third is by Eloisa James and is again, a sort of secret love type. This one was my favorite for the heat and the fun. I wasn't quite sure if I believed that he loved her for so long but never mentioned it but....

The part I don't like about anthologies that are one long storyline, especially in a historical, is I get a bit confused by all the people. Its a bit hard to keep everyone straight when they go from referring to them by their title, then their last name or first name. Had to keep glancing at the back cover to make sure I was thinking of the right person. Overall, an enjoyable book to curl up with on a nice sunny afternoon, listening to the mounds of snow melt. 4 stars

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Heiress by Lynsay Sands

This was a very interesting book for me. The first half of this book takes place at the same time as The Countess but is told from a different point of view, Suzette and Daniels. Having read The Countess and really enjoying it, I really did not want to read a somewhat condensed version of it again with the more drawn out details of our couple Suzette and Daniel.
Suzette needs to marry quickly to pay off her fathers gambling debt but wants to find a land rich, money poor husband so that he will allow her to live her own life, separate from him. Imagine her surprise when she meets the handsome, titled, seemingly poor Daniel. The sparks are instant between these two and only continue to grow and lead to some very heated moments. They agree to head to Gretna Green, with Suzette thinking still that Daniel is poor (where in reality he has achieved considerable wealth) and Daniel hoping to get to know her better before he goes through with this marriage.
Now we finally get to about the second half of the book and all new happenings. I loved the second half of this book. It was funny, heated, and had a bit of suspense. I really loved Suzette and her boldness and how Daniel accepted her for that. He even compares her to his mother, who is a great character and would have loved more of her! That seems to be my biggest thought/complaint on this book. I wanted more! I wanted more of Daniel and Suzette, more of his mother, more of just their story without rehashing what I had already read before. I think that it is best if you read The Countess beforehand but wait a bit to read this one. Reading them back to back, I think, would be very frustrating. But having not read The Countess, might make this one a bit confusing in the beginning with what happens.
I hope that makes sense~lol. I would have given this 4/12 stars but I just can't get over the first half of the book so 4 stars for this one. Suzette has one more sister and I am hoping for her book soon as I really enjoy Lynsay Sands for her writing of a good story with humor, steam, and mystery!

Had to share this quote from Lady Woodrow, Daniels mother:

"Son, we women have it drummed into our heads from very early on that chastity is a must, that our virginity is the most valuable gift to give a husband. You men may run about rutting with every bitch in heat you come across, but we do not"

This is why I wanted more of her! Such a great mother that loves her son more than anything but is not afraid to speak plainly. Oh, and this is how Suzette describes that she gave herself to Daniel to another character:

"I let my betrothed drive his machine up my strait"

"He drove his nail up to the head"

"He buried his truncheon in my cloven field"

(Cleared up as clover field later on)

And she repeatedly refers to Daniel and his...maypole. LOL Cracked me up

I received this ebook via

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Eleven Scandals to Start Win a Dukes Heart by Sarah MacLean

I LOVED this book! I will not post a full review now, I will in April when the book is released by I just could not wait to read this. Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake was one of the first historical romances that I read and I fell in love with the book and the genre. I have been looking forward to Juliana and Simon, the Duke of Disdain, story and it lives up to the hope that I had for it. 5+++ huge stars.
Please write faster Ms MacLean!! :)

Pleasures of a Notorious Gentleman by Lorraine Heath

This is the follow up to Passions of a Wicked Earl featuring the middle brother, Stephen Lyons. His older brother is an earl, his younger a duke and he has always felt out of place and turned into a bit of a black sheep. His brothers purchase his papers for the army and suffers some serious setbacks when he finally returns home. He survived a horrible explosion that left an angry scar on his perfect face and wiped his memory of that time. So when our heroine, Mercy Dawson, appears on his doorstep with his son, he does the honorable thing by agreeing to marry her, even though he can not remember her. Stephen does not tell her this and Mercy has her own secrets as well about his son.
This was just another okay read for me by Lorraine Heath. The passion was great but the back and forth ness for the whole middle of the book just dragged for me. The do I tell her I don't remember her and the do I tell him the truth over and over was too much. I would have liked more story there. I have to try some of her previous works as many of my friends have recommended her and I just don't thing this series is clicking for me. I am looking forward to finishing up the series though with Ainsleys story. Overall, this passed a couple of afternoons for me but was not that memorable for me. 3 stars