4 Followers
25 Following
Melodious87

Tell Me a Story

Graphic Designer, painter, dreamer, fashion addict, unhealthy obsession with shoes and jewelry. Film lover and oh yes....books! :D

Burning Dawn (Angels of the Dark) by Gena Showalter. Can't wait! April 29, 2014. Anyone else excited?

My Ruthless Prince - Gaelen Foley I enjoyed this one quite a bit. I have to say it's one if not my favorite from this series and big improvement from the first three. Drake and Emily were quite a refreshing pair in the Inferno Club gang. Emily Harper is the first heroine in this series I actually liked and enjoyed. Pigs must be flying. :P I found her endless devotion, love and faith in Drake endearing and her bravery and strength and resourcefulness admirable and charming. She's described as everything pure and innocent but has a resilient spirit to back it up. I love that she was a perfect mix of shy innocence and courage and resilience. A heroine worthy of one of the brave Order agents and no shrewish behavior to be seen anywhere. Yay! Go Emily!

I'm usually not a big fan of childhood sweethearts falling in love or reuniting, but here I was charmed and smitten by Drake and Emily's long standing friendship and secrete longing history. They were each other's saviors and it was sweet and touching. And the whole 'forbidden to touch the woodsman's daughter' history made their dynamic and secrete devotion to each other that much more enthralling and addictive. They had the whole forbidden love and star crossed lovers kind of thing going which worked. It was believable and bittersweet and I wanted them to find their HEA just as badly as both of them did.

As far as the villains go I have to say Foley is losing her touch in that area. I didn't really find the evil corrupted Promeathians as menacing and Satanic as the author tried to paint them. I don't know it's something I guess I struggled with since the beginning of this series and made my interest slowly wane through each book. The Devil worshiping group of villains just aren't doing anything for me and I found my eyes glazing over and skimming over the parts where the evil cult would sit around discussing their scheming plots to userp each other. Meh.

Drake and Emily made up for parts I didn't find interesting. They have been through so much together and apart and it was wonderful to see them finally get their chance at happiness together. They were adorable and sweet.

I will say I was a little irked that Foley decided to waste the epilogue of this story as a set up for the next book instead of giving us a sneak peek into Drake and Emily's HEA ending. And the fact that it was used for Beau and Busy Body Nosy Carissa set up was even more annoying. What is it with this series and tiresome heroines? I'm a big fan of epilogues and I get a thrill when authors use it to show readers how the couple are faring after their happy ending. It annoys me when it's wasted on secondary characters that have nothing to do with the initial story just told. -__- Ever heard of a sneak peek? And the title of this is a little misleading because the hero in this isn't a Prince, literal or otherwise, so I'm wondering why GF chose that title?

Anyways, as much as I love Gaelen Foley I think my read ends here with this series. While this isn't bad I do think her older work is much stronger. To be honest the only thing that compelled me to read this was because I wasn't satisfied with how things were left off with Drake and Emily's introduction in the last book intrigued me. Their back story made me pick this up plus I had this book on my buy list for over a year so I couldn't quit it. I personally think this series has run it's course and the remaining 'agents' aren't all that interesting. And having a nosy snoop gossipmonger for a heroine just isn't inspiring me to pick up the next book. No thanks.

I'd recommend new readers to try her backlist before trying this series it's not her strongest or most impressive work. Her writing for some reason has lost that edge and passion her earlier work is known for. Her attention to detail and suspenseful plots is there but it's not the same. I was almost left wondering if she used a ghost writer for this series? Her writing voice isn't the same.
SPOILER ALERT!
Possession  - J.R. Ward

I really enjoyed this one! I enjoyed it so much I ended up taking it with me to work and reading it during my lunch break, I don't usually do that. :P  Great continuation of the Fallen Angel series and a step up from Matthius's book in both romance and plot. I loved the pairing in this even though I really wish Ward would step away from the 3-4 days  window time frame for the couple to meet and fall in love. I hate the rushed restriction Ward is putting on each of these books and how everything needs to happen and unfold in a matter of days. Why? Is there a reason for this? After all this is a game of good vs. evil, give the characters at least a week-2 weeks time to deal with and try to prepare for that crossroad.

Duke/Cait/G.B.
I was pleasantly surprised with the shift in POV in this. We got much more of the heroine, Cait's POV and back story than we did both guys combined until much later on. There are obvious reasons for that but I liked that Cait seemed to more of a lead in this. She was sweet, compassionate, relatable and trying to live life to the fullest and break out of her own comfortable safety bubble.  And I LOVE that she was an artist. I thought Duke was sexy as hell. I wasn't sure what to make of him at first but I fell for the guy. He's the typical brooding silent, gargantuan Ward alpha male, and the guy pulled it off. So shmexy. I have a thing for towering gruff silent type heroes. I wasn't overly thrilled how they started off and Duke's motives behind pursuing Cait but we get more intel on him and what drives him and he starts to truly fall for her so he won me over. Plus their sex marathons were enthralling and very hot. His insatiable appetite for her was quite addictive and all kinds of delicious. Unf. There are some clever twists and surprises with these 2 and G.B. which I think was nicely handled, kept me in suspense and not wanting to put this down. And I do think G.B. was quite a departure from Ward's traditional recipe of characters, that was another surprise for me.

Jim/Sissy/Devina
Yes I want Jim and Sissy together. *ducks head* After reading this? I'm there. I want them. I honestly didn't think Ward would take it there even with the subtle and not-so subtle hints given all the hokey-pokey fuckery with Devina going on so I wasn't sure how serious she was about the potential of Jim with Sissy. But Sissy has intrigued me and I really like her. She's smart, patient, clear-headed, brave and wants her shot at helping Jim and Adrian in the war. The age difference doesn't bother me and Jim clearly is smitten with her (and is trying to fight it tooth and nail), and Sissy seems to be slowly coming around. It doesn't seem forced or contrived which is another plus. Sissy definitely has matured and seems wiser than her years given what she went through. And once again, for a male-POV dominant series, we got a lot more POV and reflection from Sissy in here which I liked. It was a nice shift in gears. This managed to squeeze tears out of me when she visits her family and thinks about all those she has left behind. Pretty heartbreaking. For someone who has officially 'entered' the series and now has a play and POV in the games she's a very well-rounded character with a lot of depth and maturity which I really liked. Kudos to Ward!

I will say I did not like how things left off between her and Jim at the end and I wanted to rip my hair out that Ward went there...again. Like it wasn't enough to have Devina play dress up and trick Jim into spending time with her thinking she's Sissy. Pathetic even for Devina. That was unbearable enough but to bargain with her to keep her away from the soul in play by sleeping with her AGAIN was pure torture.
Totally you have got be kidding me? moment. We were saved from this stupid shit 90% of the book until Ward pulls a fast one. How many times do we have to go through these mind fucks (pun intended) Ward? I will not and never will sympathize with Devina or her poor wittle OCD demon heart being crushed by Jim's brush offs. And him constantly having to go on fucking sprees with her as a 'sacrifice' is rage inducing and getting pretty damn tiring at this point. I honestly get enjoyment out of seeing Adrian and Jim hurl insults and barbs at her. I see that Ward is valiantly trying to humanize her in different ways with her OCD therapy, deep insecurity and falling for Jim. Guess what? Still ain't working. All that does is just razz me up more and wishing someone would just stab her in the <s>eye</s> heart with her stiletto shoe and be done with it. She's great as a villain, she's a total sociopath and I loathe her. But as a misunderstood 'I feel ugggggly' whiny woman? No. No no and once more with feeling....NO


And for all the BDB fans, there was a lovely JM sighting in this that was a nice little surprise. And yes Xhex aka 'Alex Hess' plays a small part in this story as well. I get a kick out of all these character cross overs and cameos between the 2 series. Hope Ward keeps it up! :P

I'm still trying to figure out who will be the next 2 souls in play as Ward playfully hinted at it being 'obvious'. Umm...Jim? Sissy? Eddie? I don't see how that would work. Given the title it's probably Jim or Sissy.

Ward has definitely managed to keep things interesting and fresh with the surprise twists and turns. And she seems to be shifting gears and changing things up a bit I noticed it in here and I hope this trend continues.

Great read!

Goddess of the Hunt - Tessa Dare 4.5 stars

Taking half a star off for all the unnecessary waffling that goes on in the last quarter of the book. The story had such a strong start and so much sexual tension and explosive chemistry between the hero Jeremy and the heroine Lucy I don't understand why Dare thought it necessary to force all that tension between them with all the constant misunderstandings, unspoken feelings, and distance. The couple deserved so much better than that. I'm a big lover of angst when it's necessary and adds to the story, here it came off like foot shuffling and stalling.

Lucy is not the kind of heroine I usually root for or have patience for given her stubborn headed personality but she really grew on me and I ended up loving her. Damn I really loved this girl! Her free spirit and fearless courage to go after the things she want I found charming and admirable. Her eccentric tomboyish reckless personality made me love and sympathize with her, she cracked me up countless times in here. Her struggle to try and be a 'lady' in order to fit in and a proper wife I found myself relating to in many ways and endeared me to her. The whole Toby drama was a little bit infuriating but I liked that she realized it was a girlish infatuation and accepted it and went after who and what she wanted with open eyes and an open heart....Jeremy.

Oh Jeremy. *sigh* There's just something about black-haired ice blue-eyed guys that make me all...
 photo tumblr_lgugh6mibY1qzwwa2_zpsb7b7168e.gif

Guh-guh-GUH. Weak in the knees and woozy in the stomach. Jeremy was no exception. His stony brooding personality yet incredibly vulnerable tender passionate heart made me fall for him instantly. Oh and the fact that he seemed to be the only one out of the 5 friends with sense and reasoning! lol Like a typical Dare hero (I'm sensing a pattern here) he carries some major guilt, shame and self-hatred over a tragic family loss. I thought his shame and self-recriminations while understandable were overblown in some areas like seriously get off the damn wood darling! but I'm just glad he had Lucy there to make him believe he deserved to love and be loved in return. He deserves a life of happiness and know what it's like to be loved and share emotions. Telling Lucy to stop loving him? Oh honey don't even. He made my heart ache with what he went through as a young lonely boy. :( I absolutely adored how Lucy fought for them, for her, for him and refused to give up on him. I have to say it was a refreshing change from the typical HR template.

As for secondary characters, I do want to read Miss Sophia Hathaway's book because she's a painter & a dreamer but I wasn't overly thrilled with her near the end of this. Like my friend Beanbag mentioned in her review of Sophia's book, she's selfish and I saw some of those selfish instincts come out more than once in here which irked me and raised some red flags for me. The whole letter fiasco for one and letting Lucy take the fall for it while she cowered behind her shiny new fiance. Didn't jive with me. And her whiny 'you're so lucky I hate you' teasing on Lucy's wedding day grated my nerves. I know it was meant to be chiding and playful but to me it came off self-centered and petulant. She reminded me of that one Debbie Downer in a group of friends who gives out insincere congratulatory wishes and is constantly giving you grief over your happiness. Like knock it off. You got your dreamy fiance now pipe down! And let's not forget that she jilts her said fiance at the very end to find her own happiness. You couldn't have done this before the announcement was made? The girl had plenty of time to cry off while she was busy moaning and groaning to Lucy that she wanted passion. Just saying. I hope she grows up some more in her own book.

Overall, great story and wonderful loveable couple!
Breaking Point - Pamela Clare 3.5 stars

Very first Pamela Clare book. I liked the captured/hostages on the run premise of the story, the adventure and suspense was fun and the isolated desert landscape and violent atmosphere in Mexico PC describes was point on. Their trek through the desert at night to cross the border was very realistic and nicely done. Zach and Natalie made quite a team, I thought the PTSD that both characters deal with was very well handled and very realistic. I do think Clare over did it with Natalie's tragic past. It was a little bit much and unrealistic for me. Six years ago Natalie lost her parents and her fiance in a car crash while rushing to get to the hospital after she was captured by a sociopathic hospital intern who drugged her and put her in a morgue locker because she witnessed his evil murdering plan. This all happened on the same day. Oh and this all took place during Hurricane Katrina. Too much. I understood what PC was trying to do by creating a back story for the heroine to come across as tormented yet strong and resilient but I don't think all of that was necessary. It painted her too much as a victim instead of a survivor. And it was never explained why she was at the hospital to begin with and an intern who decides to kill off dying old people?...Really??

As for the writing, there's some cute playful banter and wisecracks which was fun. I do think it shaded into the cheesey area for me a few times. I guess you can say I didn't find the writing very original as far as the sexy talk and flirting moments. But the thing I wasn't so crazy about was the excessive internal dialogue that runs through every other line or paragraph with exclamation marks no less i.e. Get a grip girl!, Oh Zach! and G-ddamn you Cardenas! It became very repetitive and at times too cheesy because it's used endlessly. Everyone internalizes but do we all do it so enthusiastically? And constantly? lol

I thought the epilogue in this was really sweet, touching and cute. I really liked Zach and Natalie made a wonderful heroine to his hero. They call each other their 'hero' and I think that was very fitting and so accurate. I'm not sure what to make of the I-Team men. Gabe and Julian almost tempted me to read their stories. Their ribbing and teasing of each other and Zach was fun but at times I thought the macho talk to be too much. It's a pet peeve of mine when authors try excessively hard to portray the male players as big alphas with all the swagger, macho talk and chest thumping, it just comes across as painful stereotypes rather than genuine. Less is more in some cases. And Gabe being able to scale walls like Spider man and jump down from a helicopter onto a slick roof with a prosthetic bionic leg?? LOL Yeah right. Too much. That helicopter scene was fun and hilarious but completely unrealistic.

All in all it was a good read. I wasn't amazed by it given all the hype that follows this series. Naturally I was expecting something....more. That extra juj wasn't there for me.

Possession  - J.R. Ward
I really enjoyed this one! I enjoyed it so much I ended up taking it with me to work and reading it during my lunch break, I don't usually do that. :P Great continuation of the Fallen Angel series and a step up from Matthius's book in both romance and plot. I loved the pairing in this even though I really wish Ward would step away from the 3-4 days window time frame for the couple to meet and fall in love. I hate the rushed restriction Ward is putting on each of these books and how everything needs to happen and unfold in a matter of days. Why? Is there a reason for this? After all this is a game of good vs. evil, give the characters at least a week-2 weeks time to deal with and try to prepare for that crossroad.

Duke/Cait/G.B.
I was pleasantly surprised with the shift in POV in this. We got much more of the heroine, Cait's POV and back story than we did both guys combined until much later on. There are obvious reasons for that but I liked that Cait seemed to more of a lead in this. She was sweet, compassionate, relatable and trying to live life to the fullest and break out of her own comfortable safety bubble. And I LOVE that she was an artist. I thought Duke was sexy as hell. I wasn't sure what to make of him at first but I fell for the guy. He's the typical brooding silent, gargantuan Ward alpha male, and the guy pulled it off. So shmexy. I have a thing for towering gruff silent type heroes. I wasn't overly thrilled how they started off and Duke's motives behind pursuing Cait but we get more intel on him and what drives him and he starts to truly fall for her so he won me over. Plus their sex marathons were enthralling and very hot. His insatiable appetite for her was quite addictive and all kinds of delicious. Unf. There are some clever twists and surprises with these 2 and G.B. which I think was nicely handled, kept me in suspense and not wanting to put this down. And I do think G.B. was quite a departure from Ward's traditional recipe of characters, that was another surprise for me.

Jim/Sissy/Devina
Yes I want Jim and Sissy together. *ducks head* After reading this? I'm there. I want them. I honestly didn't think Ward would take it there even with the subtle and not-so subtle hints given all the hokey-pokey fuckery with Devina going on so I wasn't sure how serious she was about the potential of Jim with Sissy. But Sissy has intrigued me and I really like her. She's smart, patient, clear-headed, brave and wants her shot at helping Jim and Adrian in the war. The age difference doesn't bother me and Jim clearly is smitten with her (and is trying to fight it tooth and nail), and Sissy seems to be slowly coming around. It doesn't seem forced or contrived which is another plus. Sissy definitely has matured and seems wiser than her years given what she went through. And once again, for a male-POV dominant series, we got a lot more POV and reflection from Sissy in here which I liked. It was a nice shift in gears. This managed to squeeze tears out of me when she visits her family and thinks about all those she has left behind. Pretty heartbreaking. For someone who has officially 'entered' the series and now has a play and POV in the games she's a very well-rounded character with a lot of depth and maturity which I really liked. Kudos to Ward!

I will say I did not like how things left off between her and Jim at the end and I wanted to rip my hair out that Ward went there...again. Like it wasn't enough to have Devina play dress up and trick Jim into spending time with her thinking she's Sissy. Pathetic even for Devina. That was unbearable enough but to bargain with her to keep her away from the soul in play by sleeping with her AGAIN was pure torture.
 photo the-office-14_zps5a6d23b3.gif

Totally you have got be kidding me? moment. We were saved from this stupid shit 90% of the book until Ward pulls a fast one. How many times do we have to go through these mind fucks (pun intended) Ward? I will not and never will sympathize with Devina or her poor wittle OCD demon heart being crushed by Jim's brush offs. And him constantly having to go on fucking sprees with her as a 'sacrifice' is rage inducing and getting pretty damn tiring at this point.
I honestly get enjoyment out of seeing Adrian and Jim hurl insults and barbs at her. I see that Ward is valiantly trying to humanize her in different ways with her OCD therapy, deep insecurity and falling for Jim. Guess what? Still ain't working. All that does is just razz me up more and wishing someone would just stab her in the eye heart with her stiletto shoe and be done with it. She's great as a villain, she's a total sociopath and I loathe her. But as a misunderstood 'I feel ugggggly' whiny woman? No. No no and once more with feeling....NO.


And for all the BDB fans, there was a lovely JM sighting in this that was a nice little surprise. And yes Xhex aka 'Alex Hess' plays a small part in this story as well. I get a kick out of all these character cross overs and cameos between the 2 series. Hope Ward keeps it up! :P

I'm still trying to figure out who will be the next 2 souls in play as Ward playfully hinted at it being 'obvious'. Umm...Jim? Sissy? Eddie? I don't see how that would work. Given the title it's probably Jim or Sissy.

Ward has definitely managed to keep things interesting and fresh with the surprise twists and turns. And she seems to be shifting gears and changing things up a bit I noticed it in here and I hope this trend continues.

Great read!
Comanche Moon - Catherine Anderson
What I loved:
-The attention to detail and accuracy to the Western trail made the story so vivid and engaging. Brava Anderson!
-Hunter's endearing relationship with little Amy and his nieces Blackbird and Pony girl was adorable. I loved how such a rugged brawny Warrior like Hunter was so gentle, patient, protective and boyishly playful with these kids. Adorable, enchanting and stinking cute!
-The continuous use of Comanche language and Western slang was so realistic and wonderfully handled. The Comanche dialogue in particular was great and came off very real. The voice inflections, pronunciation of things and mannerisms just leaped off the page. The attention to detail Anderson paid as far as the Comanche culture and particular traditions was brilliant. I could picture their conversations, traditional Indian garments, lodges, friendly banter, war garb vividly. I especially loved how Hunter was depicted, the epitome of an alpha male in physical presence and spirit. The sights, sounds, smells of the Indian campsite were beautifully described down to every pebble and wrinkle. I loved it!
-Loved when this FINALLY happened  photo pocahontas6_zps63e392b3.gif
-The hero and heroine overcoming their prejudices and intolerance of each others race and accepting each other. Loretta in particular who started out as a haughty intolerant little thing learned a few things which was a Yureka! moment. She finally came to understand that love and acceptance should overcome hate and vengeance. I really liked how she finally had the courage to stand up for what's right and defend Hunter's people. This quote summed it up beautifully:
"She realized now that there no good or bad, no right or wrong, just people fighting for their lives. Wonderful people, who lived and loved and laughed."


What I didn't love:
-The story was severely weighted down by the continuous meandering never-ending back and forth between the hero and heroine coming together than drifting apart. It just made for a very long winded story that dragged out too long to come to an ending. It was understandable in the first half, but in the second half having Loretta constantly leaving the hero and flip flopping over reasons they can't be together got very redundant and contrived. First it was because she didn't love him, then it was because they were from two different worlds, then it was because she wanted to be his only true wife, then it was because she feared marital intimacy with a man, then it was because she couldn't live in the same camp as her parents murderers then it was because Hunter wanted her safe away from him while he seeked revenge on the tosi tivo who killed his loved ones.... @_@I'm dizzy just typing this out.

-There was little to no love scenes in this which I found surprising and very underwhelming. It's a Western Romance and Anderson doesn't hold back in the gruesome graphic moments a 12 year-old girl is gang raped yyyyet...no love scenes?<__< Really?? I found that odd and disappointing. There's pretty much only one full love scene that is quickly rushed through with some oral sex Hunter finally persuades her into and then glosses over the important parts following it. It's safe to say I felt gypped considering the amount of time it took for these two to finally get there. All the other lovemaking moments are alluded to through FTB or Loretta reflecting back on it which at some points I found confusing.

-Loretta's constant continuous lack of faith and unreasonable fear in Hunter really put a damper on the love story for me personally. Every time something goes slightly off kilter this girl is barreling down on Hunter shrieking animal! heathen! and tries to run away. It just got very tiring. She quickly believes the worst of him when something goes wrong and uses it to flee and that grated. I was never crazy about this romantic trope where the hero is chasing after the heroine and forcing her to stay with him and it happens here in 90% of this book. So much so I had trouble believing if Loretta could ever come to truly love Hunter and not resent him.

- This didn't read like a romance story when more than half the plot the heroine is scared shitless, spitting, biting and running away from the hero. This is quite a popular one amongst CA's work, but I don't think this is her best work or most 'epic romance'. Far from it. It's riddled with contrived angst, repetitive dialogue and an unnecessary heavy plot. Anderson dragged out the story too long and stretched the couple too thin with all the stifling tension, misunderstandings, mis-assumptions and lack of faith between them. It dulled the shine off moments that should have been sweet and magical. Their tender moments were very fleeting and sometimes came off very forced, on Loretta's part in particular. That's not my thing when the prudish heroine has to be persuaded, cajoled and tricked into giving in. Meh. I can sympathize with heroines being raised a certain way and what they expect and don't expect when it comes to intimacies but honestly? Reading about a heroine freaking out every time her guy tries to cop a feel, see her naked or kiss her there isn't really fun. It's not romantic nor sexy. I believed Loretta loved her man in the last few chapters with the lengths Loretta went to for Hunter and his people but at that point I was mentally exhausted. It was like beating a dead horse with a stick with the number of times Hunter's honor was questioned by the gullible naive Loretta. All the stalling just screamed as last minute foot shuffling to find contrived reasons to prolong these two from coming together. I just started to feel manipulated when the misunderstandings kept going on till the near end of the story.

Way too much of this:
 photo tumblr_lrxgfcZS911qiodlo_zpsa73f15fe.gif

 photo tumblr_m2tujcM1zo1r52vcw_zps47cdbcc3.gif

 photo let-me-love-you-giraffe_zpsf2850009.gif

 photo Getthemawayfromme_935d751e2ef2936c7c0d255a10347354_zpsa0645927.gif

 photo 78GxP_zps8bec273f.gif

 photo annakarenina_zpsddddc9a5.gif

 photo pocahontas1_zpsb6063a01.gif

Moral of the story...
 photo Pcahontas_zps55e9329a.gif

Three Nights with a Scoundrel - Tessa Dare 3.5

Characters: 4 stars
story: 3 stars


This one is hard to rate. Really liked the hero and heroine in this. But it took a while to get into their story. It took me a while to actually fall for them as a couple or believe they're in love. I don't know why...
A Week to Be Wicked - Tessa Dare What an adventure! My very first Tessa Dare read. Took me long enough. This book has been sitting in my TR list for years. I ended up enjoying this. It was a slow start I was worried because it took me a good while to get into it but once the story picks up where our hero and heroine are catching rides across the country to make it to Eidenberg is when things started to get really interesting. The dialogue was snappy and had some great witty moments. I honestly had the hardest time relating or connecting to the characters and story until half way in. Everything seemed so expected and cliche but that started to change near the middle. It took a while but I'm glad it happened. I thought Colin and Minerva made quite the team and I adored how hard Colin, the self-renowned rake, fell for the odd bluestocking Highwood girl Minerva. :P And I got to give a shout out to Miss Dare for some seriously sexy pexy sex scenes. Like DAYUM. Holy moly. Everything I want in love scenes Dare catered to. And then some. Oof. Good Lorrrrd Colin. *fans self* There were a handful of incredibly sexy passionate moments between Colin and his little scientist Minerva and tender sweet moments as well that made up for parts that I found lacking in the first half. The last 2/3rds of the story were sweet, poignant, incredibly sexy, tender and had me melting. Also something I wasn't a 100% sold on was Colin's 'big dark secrete' that was used to justify his rakish ways and why he can't sleep alone and teased endlessly throughout the story. I found it contrived and pushing to draw sympathy from readers. He survives a carriage accident as a young boy, his parents die in the crash and he's stuck in the wrecked carriage for an entire night. Because of that he can't sleep alone and still carries guilt and shame over the accident. I thought his PTSD and claustrophobia was handled really well but using that tragic incident as away to draw sympathy for his floundering ways was pushing it too far and contrived for me. And given his nightmares it seemed to allude to something more but it ended up just being the accident. So I did think Dare dragged it out and teased it for all it's worth.

Curious to know what awaits for Thorne and Kate.... ;P
It Had to Be You  - Jill Shalvis 3.5 stars

Luke and Ali were cute. A refreshing change to the series. Just wish the plot was juiced up a bit, it started to lag and go nowhere half way in.

Also noticed a big typo at the end for the teaser for the next book. Instead of Leah's name in the intro, it says Zoe. :/ Wrong heroine.
This Duchess of Mine (Desperate Duchesses) - Eloisa James 2.5-3 stars

I feel like this book was missing a vital part of the story. The beginning was very jarring and haphazardly set up. I felt like I was walking straight into the middle of the story rather than the beginning. I just failed to understand how the estranged couple Jemma and Elijah, Duke and Duchess of Beaumont, who’ve been apart for 9 years go from almost strangers to a gaspy blushing lusty couple who can’t *wait* to jump into bed and get their swerve on in the very first chapter. Help me dear author and explain...what the hell happened??

It’s probably my fault for skipping the previous book. I didn’t realize it until half way into reading this. Oops. I thought I did. And I do have book 4, it’s been sitting in my bookcase for over 2 years since I got it. Oopsie whoopsie doopsie. My fault. I went into this thinking I had the overall back story of Jemma and Elijah based on the other books I read in this series, their story started to unfold in the side stories of the previous books. Looks like I should have read Isidore's book before this. This is definitely a book you can't read as a stand alone.

But even so, I really do wish EJ structured this story better. I came into this not as a new reader and I was still lost. There was no beginning to this just a long drawn out middle and an ending. The characters do finally manage to fill in *some* of the gaps of what happened that has our heroine returning from France to reunite with her husband. But the beginning seemed more like the climactic middle or ending which I found odd and left me floundering for quite some time trying to figure out how & why these two are acting like lovestruck blushing lusty teenagers. For a minute I thought I was reading a flashback to the earlier days of their marriage where Jemma is head over heels in love with her husband. But it's present day and Jemma still seems clearly smitten and in love with her husband. I was fine with that, I just wanted an explanation of the transformation. The last I remember she was upset and enraged by her husband for cheating on her with his mistress so she runs off to France and ends up staying there.

The thing that honestly had me finally picking up this book (besides boredom) was Elijah's heart condition and it being the 'catalyst' that lures the estranged couple back together. Naturally it was used as angst for the two but the thing I struggled with is truly believing they fell in love again, or more importantly Elijah loving Jemma. But I did end up enjoying their reunion and how fiercely Jemma fought for their future by finding a doctor to cure her husband of his irregular heartbeat. That was nice and made things go from tepid and dull to interesting. I just wish the interesting part happened a little sooner. Too much foot shuffling happens in here. More than half the book is focused on endless talks of chess (which I clearly don't have the head for) which started to get redundant and boring and of course...the fashion. Waaay too much droning on about fashion. I LOVE fashion like any other girl but the amount of fawning and cooing over wigs, shoes, embroideries and makeup was tiring. It started to give the characters' voices (Jemma in particular) a pretentious frivolous edge that got tiring and obnoxious after a while. I got tired with the number of times the words delicious and gorgeous were used in here to describe someone's slippers or domino. EJ is wonderful at painting vivid portraits of the lifestyle and culture pertaining to the historical time setting of a book. Here the rage was high wigs, ostentatious makeup, patches, hair powder and wide panniers. She pays great attention to detail which is admirable and most cases enjoyable and charming. I usually love her attention to detail but I wish she curbed it a little in here because it made the story drag on and become tedious especially when Jemma gets carried away daydreaming over someone's embroidered coat or dress endlessly. It started to get annoying after awhile.

Speaking of annoying I thought Elijah's excuse as to why he kept sleeping with his mistress after marrying Jemma really tacky and patronizing as hell. Having Jemma understand was even more asinine and unrealistic. In the early days of their marriage, Elijah apparently was entranced by his young wife, couldn't stop thinking of her or making love to her every night but didn't give up his mistress. Why you ask? Because 1) he couldn't think of how to break it off with her, 2) what could he tell his poor mistress who had already shown up and spread her legs for him that very morning that Jemma caught them in his office? 3) And it was too late to do anything about it, they had an arrangement they already started and couldn't stop (oh yes you could have Your Grace). 4) He had a reputation in the House of the Lords he needed to uphold. 5) And hey, he's a man after all and couldn't say no. -__- Are you kidding me??! You honestly were worried what your mistress would think if you said no??! Wow. pfft. That has got be the dumbest and most ludicrous excuse I've heard. If I were Jemma I would have bopped him upside the head. And he's genuinely and sincerely guilt-ridden over it and apologizes profusely throughout the story I just found his reasoning behind this unsavory and cowardly. I would have been rolling my eyes instead of patting his chest. Lame Elijah, really REALLY LAME.

And I will say this if anything this book made me really want to re-read Leopold, Duke of Villiers book again. He's just marvelous. He's quite the scene stealer. I adored his book the first time I read it (and of course out of order :P) seeing him in here all pensive, brooding and jaded made him even more intriguing and the stand out character he is. He's not for everyone and self-serving but has his selfless moments and genuinely wants to find a woman who loves him. His adoration of Jemma and snarky personality and cold demeanor was very engaging. I wish I owned a copy so I could skim through it again.

Three Weeks With Lady X - Eloisa James Tobias is getting his own book? Interesting.

I thought this series was for sure finished.
The Player  - Jessica Bird, J.R. Ward This makes me wish I read this series in order. Would have helped before going into both Alex and Spike's books since I read them out of order. The set ups and first meetings makes it all the more worthwhile and the payoff would have resonated more for me probably. Really loved seeing the slow build up and tension between Alex and Cassandra in this. I'm thinking of doing a re-read of the last 2 books. I miss Spike!
The Rebel  - Jessica Bird, J.R. Ward 2.5 stars

First half I kept imagining ways to strangle bitch slap the heroine Frankie in this. Second half, I was just waiting for something more to happen. I was left feeling a little bit bored and a whole lot of underwhelmed by the overall story and pacing. And everything was resolved a little *too* easily and quickly for my tastes at the end. I have to say this is my first Jessica Bird/JR Ward heroine I wasn't a fan of and struggled to even relate to. Frankie made it very difficult to sympathize much less tolerate her until thankfully the second half where she became more human. The first half she was a real pill and honestly had me wondering how the hell Nate was attracted to her or even liked her. I struggled with that the most. Nate was wonderful and delicious as ever as the hero but I wasn't really convinced of his chemistry or enthrallment with Frankie. Their 'connection' seemed a little too contrived and forced in some moments for me. And the sexy times in this were near nonexistent which really surprised me. The sex scenes were really toned down and glossed over which typically isn't Ward's style even in Harlequin format. I was left feeling a little bereft by that. Hoping the next book is better....
When Beauty Tamed the Beast - James Griffin, Eloisa James 3.5-4 stars

Characters: 4 stars
Story: 3 stars


The Darkest Touch (Lords of the Underworld, #11) - Gena Showalter The Darkest Touch. Hmmm....wonder who this belongs to??

It's TORIN TIME!!!! Aaaaaah! One of my fav and original Lords. <3 Torin is getting his own honey bunny. About. freaking. time.

My heart did a little skip when I saw the title on my timeline. I'm scared to know what's in store for my lovely Torin. I hope the lucky lady is worthy of such a unique mysterious witty male.