Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Review for "The Reckless One" by Connie Brockway

"Make love to me," she whispered.
"Love. Dear God. Yes, he wanted to make love to her, to love her, to give her some of the physical pleasure he knew this act could bring and in doing so find for himself that deeper something he suddenly had cause to believe existed.
"You have the most beautiful hands," she said. "I want to know what artistry they might work on my flesh."
His clasp on her chin became a caress. "You don't want this. It isn't going to lead to some blessed union, Favor," he rasped out. "I have nothing. Nothing at all to offer you."
"You have your name," she suggested in a whisper as fearful as it was hesitant.
"Dammit, don't you think I want to feel you under me, around me?" he ground out. "I want to drink your cries, I want to make you scream with pleasure. I want to take you. Now. Here...." (from page 285)

Wow....I think I need a drink, or better yet, a man like Raine Merrick! Surprisingly, I really enjoyed this book, and not only for the steamy parts! It takes place in one of my favourite historical settings, Scotland in the mid 1700's. Raine Merrick is a "political prisoner" in France, a place where he has come to realize that his father is is not going to ransom him, and that he will die in this hell. He has one chance and one chance only for survival....escape. But the Gods have smiled on Raine, the handsome, well-built Englishman with honey-coloured eyes and raven-black hair. A mysterious woman helps him gain his freedom, but then betrays him with her lies. Raine decides to return to his father's castle on McClairen's Isle in search of a treasure, a treasure he knows of from his Scottish mother. Surprisingly, it is not treasure that he finds, but the same woman who helped him escape the prison. But she is in disguise....why? Will she lie to him again? And why did he care? Why was he attracted to this woman, with her unique beauty and strong convictions? There was something about her, something in her past that connected them to each other, a past that would ultimately affect their future together.

I liked this book for its original storyline. Most historicals set in this time period deal with the war between Scotland and England. Connie Brockway deals more with the idea of the destructive nature of greed. Yet within this moral she intertwines a love affair that transcends cultural barriers. There is a definite connection between Raine and Favor and I liked the fact that he didn't succumb to his manly urges.... for although he was once wild and reckless, Raine grew up to be an honourable man, one who finally found out what it meant to be in love. If you are looking for a quick, summer read or a story that will make your heart soar, this is the book for you.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Blog Hop

Book Blogger Hop

Hello Everyone! It's Friday and that means time to blog hop! This week's question comes from "Books Are A Girl's Best Friend":

Do you use a rating system for your reviews and if so, what is it and why?

Yes, I do use a rating system. I use a "star rating" system. Take a look on the right sidebar of my blog. It isn't perfect, but it gives my readers a quick overall rating. I believe people really need to read the review itself to see what it was I found lacking in the book as well as what I found spectacular. Only then will the rating make more sense.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Review for "Lord John and The Brotherhood of the Blade" by Diana Gabaldon

Lord John is once again in the midst of a mystery. However, this time it is a mystery that has haunted his family since his childhood. Lord John's father, the late Duke of Pardloe, was found dead in his home, a gun in his hand and his reputation sullied with rumours of being a Jacobite sympathizer. Did the Duke kill himself? Lord John knows he didn't and is desperate to prove it and in the process, reclaim his father's honour.

I liked this book more than the first installment in the Lord John series. As the story moves between John investigating his father's mysterious death, John's love affair with Percy Wainwright and his preparations for war, the reader learns a great deal more about this nobleman. A large part of the book focuses on the growing relationship between Lord John and Percy, with well-written, tender love scenes as well as some rough and raunchy ones too. If you are a homophobic fool, this is not the book for you. Although Lord John finds himself growing more and more fond of Percy, he cannot dispel the feelings he still holds for Jamie Fraser. Lord John's unrequieted love for the Outlander Scotsman makes me feel sympathy for him, for it is a deeply felt love, one within his soul, one he cannot forget, even in the arms of another lover.

Once again, Diana Gabaldon is amazing in her descriptions of historical accounts, with gripping battle scenes that make you feel the explosions of the cannons as they tear through the air. I did find the story to be a bit convoluted at times, with many names and connections to be remembered. However, I truly enjoyed the personal insights into Lord John's life...his relationship with his older brother Hal, his growing love for another man, and his sense of honour. This is an interesting and engaging book, written with wit and humour and full of details of 18th century London society. I will surely be reading the third and final installment.

Friday, August 20, 2010

This Week's Blog Hop

Book Blogger Hop

It's friday and it's time to hop around all of those wonderful book blogs out there! This week's question is :

How many blogs do you follow?

Well, this number is increasing every time I go on the internet! Right now I am following 24 different blogs. But I know that as soon as I finish this post and head over to the link for this hop, I will have added several more to my list! There are so many creative and informative book blogs out there that I could be on this computer 24/7. However, I do have to feed those three kids of mine at some point! Happy following!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Review for "Lord John and The Private Matter" by Diana Gabaldon

London, 1757, brothels, molly-houses, a dead soldier, spies, an Irish apothecary, treason, adultery, a woman in a green dress (or is it a man?), an escape upon the high seas, and a gay man as the lead character....how could I not read this book!

Lord John has made a shocking discovery while using the privy at a gentleman’s club. The man his cousin is betrothed to has a sore on his “private member”. Shocked and worried about a resulting scandal in his family, Lord John makes it his mission to confront the Honourable Joseph Trevelyan. However, being a major in His Majesty’s army, Lord John is called upon to investigate a fellow soldier’s death and possible act of treason. Investigating both matters at once, Lord John is led from “the drawing rooms of the nobility” to the seedy streets of London and a molly-house he frequented in his not so distant past. He finds himself in the midst of treachery and murder where two mysteries suddenly entwine themselves, both of which he is determined to solve.

Diana Gabaldon is an amazing author whose research is so impeccable that she sweeps you into the adventure with her rich, vivid descriptions. Those who loved the Outlander series will surely enjoy the plights of Lord John, although you will miss Jamie and Claire. However, since Lord John is in love with Jamie, he does think of the Scottish hunk in several spots throughout the book. Here is one such thought:
“Grey took comfort in the imagined vision – a long-legged man striding over the high fells of the Lake District, face turned up toward sun and scudding cloud, wind blowing through the richness of his auburn hair, plastering shirt and breeches tight against a lean, hard body.”(pg.14)
Yes, my Lord, I miss him too!

It was interesting to get a closer look into the character of Lord John, a gay man who always acts honourably and with a strong loyalty to his family and country. Always the gentleman, he is described as a lean, handsome man, whose sense of humour is revealed in his banter with others and with himself throughout the book. However, there is another side to this nobleman, which we find out as we enter the seedier parts of London’s night life where pieces of his past are revealed. True fans of Diana Gabaldon’s style, depth and wit will be rewarded with a great story where seemingly separate events are intricately and cleverly woven together. If history mixed with a mystery is your thing, you will not be disappointed with this tale.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Blog Hop

Book Blogger Hop

Hey, have you joined the BLOG HOP? It's a place where book bloggers can support each other and share our love of the written word. This event is hosted by Jennifer at Crazy-For-Books. If you would like to participate, click on the link and sign up on her blog.

How many books do you have on your "to be read shelf"?

Well, it is getting larger and larger! I am a "one book at a time" kind of gal! If I finish a book and it is part of a series, I go and get the next one right away and read that. But since I've been going to the new public library near my house, I've begun to accumulate anything that is in at the time that I may like. Also, since I started blogging this year, I have discovered many books that I may like through the recommendations of you out there in book blog land!
I think I am going to need a bigger shelf soon!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Review for "Rebellion" by Nora Roberts

A fiesty woman who isn't afraid to punch, kick, yell, scratch, and yes, bite. I love a heroine with a little attitude! Isn't this what every man in the 1700's wants? I don't care what anyone says, I believe most men, even today's men, are enticed by a challenge, and taming a hell-cat is certainly a task.

The highlands of Scotland is the setting for this historical romance, one filled with desire, hatred, love and war. Bringham Langston, the fourth Earl of Ashburn, is a wealthy Englishman, yet his true loyalties lie with the Scottish cause. Serena MacGregor is a true Scot....loyal to those she loves and passionate about her people and their history. Her hatred of all things English began when she was only a child and watched her mother attacked by a band of Redcoats. When Serena's brother brings home the handsome Bringham, he is stunned by her beauty and her sharp tongue. Bringham's noble title and dedication to Scotland does nothing to hinder her loathing of his heritage. But Bringham is not a man easily discouraged. He is determined to fight not only for Scotland and the bonnie Prince Charles, but also for the love of the beautiful and fiesty Serena MacGregor.

I enjoyed this book. It was a quick, easy read set in a time and place I love. Love, sex, war, battles, and yes, men on horses and in kilts! I enjoyed the banter between Bringham and Serena and the way she made his pursuit of her a difficult one, although she did let him kiss her without much of a fight! The attraction between the main characters is undeniable from the start, with some extremely steamy scenes that will cause you to have a sudden urge for a cigarette! Here is a quick excerpt for your enjoyment:
"He found it almost unbearably arousing to have her inexperienced hands undress him. With his eyes closed he traced kisses over her brow, her temples, her jaw, while his body tensed and hardened from the hesitant movements of her fingers. It was torture of the most exquisite kind. He realized that he was moving slowly not only for Serena and her innocence but for himself. Every instant, every heartbeat they shared here would be remembered."(pg. 230)
Having read several other historical romances of this period, this novel focused more on the romance and less on the battles and plight of the Scottish for their independence. But if your looking for a good summer romance, this is the book for you.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Review for "Until You" by Judith McNaught

"Until you, I never knew what true love was...."
"Until you, my life was never complete."
"I was nothing, until you."
Every true romantic has dreamed of having these words whispered to them in the throes of mad passion or tender love making. And so has Sheridan Bromleigh in Judith McNaught's novel ''Until You".

After the death of her english-born mother and younger brother, Sheridan spent her childhood roaming the American countryside with her father and the many strangers that they met along the way. Life was fun, exciting and unpredictable. That is, until her father decided to pay a visit to his spinster sister-in law in Richmond, Virginia. When aunt Cornelia took one look at Sheridan, she was flabbergasted and outraged. Her neice had grown up to be a tomboy who could swear in two languages and roamed the countryside dressed in pants and boots in the company of an Indian and a Spanish vagabond. She didn't look like a female or act like one. So it came to be that Sheridan was left in the care of her aunt, where she learned to dress, speak and act like a proper lady.

With the help of her aunt, Sheridan becomes a teacher in a school for wealthy young ladies. She is then hired to escort one of her students to England to meet her fiance. But the young heiress, a spoiled Charise Lancaster, escapes off the ship and elopes with a young stranger. Sheridan is then left to figure out how she will explain events to Charise's fiance. Meanwhile, Charise's intended, a not-so-wealthy Lord Burleton, has been killed in an accident by Stephen Westmoreland, the Earl of Langford. Feeling responsible, Stephen makes his way to the docks to explain the dire news to the fiance of the man he killed. But another accident ensues, and Sheridan is hit by a cargo net loaded with crates. She awakens in Stephen Westmoreland's mansion with no memory. She doesn't know her name, what she looks like, or where she's from. All she does know is that this beautiful man keeps calling her Miss Lancaster.....

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Sheridan is a fiesty, brave, red-headed beauty who is a romantic at heart. She realizes that she is falling in love with Stephen and that she wants that fairy tale ending....she wants her lover and husband to need her, want her, enrapture her with deep kisses and deeper words. Stephen is bitter about love in the beginning, believing that women only want him for his wealth and stature in society. Having been burned once, he is reluctant to open himself up to the notion of true love. But I so wanted to see Sheridan catch this gorgeous Earl. Although he tries to fight it at first, Stephen can't help but be attracted to Sheridan and her innocence, natural beauty and strong spirit. Sheridan and Stephen's steamy encounters leave not only the characters breathless, but the reader as well. This story left me with my heart all a-flutter and a feeling of hope.....hope that true love will always triumph, even for we tell-it-like-it-is, fiesty gals!
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