Category Archives: Romance

Blood, Smoke and Mirrors by Robyn Bachar

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Even a bad witch deserves a second chance.

Wrongly accused of using her magic to harm, the closest Catherine Baker comes to helping others is serving their coffee. Life as an outcast is nothing new, thanks to her father’s reputation, but the injustice stings. Especially since the man she loved turned her in.

Now the man has the gall to show up and suggest she become the next Titania? She’d rather wipe that charming grin off his face with a pot of hot java to the groin.

Alexander Duquesne has never faltered in his duties as a guardian — until now. The lingering guilt over Cat’s exile and the recent death of his best friend have shaken his dedication. With the murder of the old Titania, the faerie realm teeters on the brink of chaos. His new orders: keep Cat alive at all costs.

Hunted by a powerful stranger intent on drawing her into an evil web, Cat reluctantly accepts Lex’s protection and the resurrected desire that comes along with it. Lex faces the fight of his life to keep her safe…and win her back. If they both survive.

Warning: This book contains one tough and snarky witch, one gorgeous guardian, explicit blood drinking, magician sex, gratuitous violence against vampires and troublemaking Shakespearean faeries.

Please Note: There are some small spoilers in this review. If you want no spoilers at all, please do not read this review.

This book went down the crapper so quickly after 40% that it damn near gave me whiplash. O_o The difference between the two parts of this book are SO VAST that I have separated them: Book I, Part I and Book I, Part II

Book I, Part I (the first 40%) of this book is pretty damn good. There are some points that I issue with, however:

Why is Cat qualified to become Tatiana?? Why is she one of the only few in the world eligible? The author never says.

Cat makes lots of decisions without thinking. She told Lex to screw himself about her becoming Tatiana…but then changes her mind a page later for no reason and runs to do it. No explanation given to the reader for the abrupt 180 change of heart.

WTF is up with Lex turning Cat in to be tried (before book starts)? That isn’t cool. And then for him to get back with her by only saying, “I’m sorry, I didn’t think it would go down like that” was total BULLSHIT. Where was he for the last 3 years as she struggled to get by? There was NO GROVELLING. None at all!! Are you freaking SERIOUS?! She became an Outcast because her bf betrayed her and he didn’t even have to grovel?!?!? We had the ‘I love yous” happening by 40%. I call Shenanigans. I also do not buy their relationship. At all. And BTW, I actually kinda hated Lex.

This is the biggest issue I had with Book 1, part 1: Cat is the daughter of a witch and a necromancer. Her father killed her mother and tried to kill her. Her mother/guardian is killed when she was scheduled to be out all night. Her father wants world domination and is willing to go through her to get it. She is the only one able to stop her father. Cat has super strong powers that even she hasn’t explored the limits of.

Did that sound familiar to you? If you’ve ever read the Kate Daniels Series by Ilona Andrews then it sounded really, really familiar. But don’t get your hopes up, it’s not in the same league.

Other than the items I listed above…book I, part I is actually a pretty good (and fast) read. I’d give it 3.5 stars.

Then we have Book I, Part II (insert ominous music here)

WTF happened here???! After Cat kills her father and becomes the Tatiana it feels like an entirely new and completely different book starts. The damn thing even changed plot points! WTF. The entire section with the vampire Zach Harrison holding Cat hostage was BS. Why the fuck was she there to begin with? She makes such STUPID decisions!! It is at this point that Cat goes from being a funny, snarky witch with a brain to a TSTL romance heroine without the sense God gave a Nat who finds herself in the middle of [something like] a love triangle with a vampire. Even though she and Lex ‘are in looove.’

*faceplam*

I’ll stop ranting about this section now because I’ll end up spoiling the entire thing…but let’s just say it was about 50% of the entire novel and it all SUCKED ASS. I was shocked and saddened by the way this great story wound up in WTFsville so quickly. I spent the rest of the book screaming and yelling at Cat to stop being TSTL.

And the ending. Can it get any more rushed than that??! The ending was so fast and rushed that I felt like I had whiplash.

I don’t think I’ll continue the series.

Waking Up Married by Mira Lyn Kelly

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Her first thought: “Who are you?”

It’s the morning after her cousin’s bachelorette party in Vegas and Megan Scott wakes up with the mother of all hangovers. Even worse, she’s in a stranger’s penthouse having woken up with something else as well—a funny, arrogant, sexy…husband!

Up until now, finding even a boyfriend had seemed impossible—been there, got the broken heart, sworn off men for good. Then a few martinis with Carter…no, Connor Reed and she’s gone from first meet to marriage in one night!

Megan wants a lawyer. But Connor’s shocking bombshell?

“I don’t want a divorce.”

This should have been a 4-5 star read but there were a few draggy moments in the middle that pulled the rating down.

For the most part…this is a rather cute story about finding the love of your life when you aren’t looking for it. The H/h meet in Vegas and wake up married…but that’s just the beginning.

Both characters have major hangups left over from childhood that has made forming permanent romantic relationships difficult (if not impossible). Watching them learn to trust and enjoy each other was a delight.

What started to feel flat for me was the constant effort by the heroine to “show her worst moments” so that she could run the hero off. It happened…two times to many for my personal enjoyment.

The other thing that pissed me off was the final Big Misunderstanding. (Spoiler, go to page two to see.) There were enough moments of foreshadowing for the reader to guess what the Big Mis was going to be. What surprised me was the execution of the Big Mis. I…just wasn’t feeling it.

So, the Big Mis. was a big FAIL for me.

But DAMN I loved the ending! HAWT and romantic! Plus I love the fact that her back biting cousin and friends saw that gorgeous man in love with Megan.

IF YOU CLICK THIS LINK TO PAGE 2 A BIG ASS SPOILER/RANT WILL FOLLOW. DO NOT READ THIS. ALSO, VULGAR LANGUAGE

How Beauty Met the Beast by Jax Garren

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This is a hard book to review.

It’s a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I’m thinking that it is closer to the original than the Disney version.

How Beauty Met the Beast.

In this retelling Beauty is Jolie Benoit. Jolie is a burlesque dancer and the youngest daughter of a media mogul (ex: Rupert Murdoch). The Beast is Wesley “Hauk” Haukon, a severally burned and scarred ex-Army Ranger.

The story starts with Hauk and a friend being chased by some bad guys – part of a group that is run by Jolie’s father. In order to escape they drop by a (I hate to call it a strip club…) burlesque club that is run by a friend. Performing at this club is Jolie. Hauk gets a chance to see her perform and he is entranced.

After Jolie’s performance he goes to the back of the club to catch up with his friends when he runs into Jolie backstage. Jolie is changing clothes behind a white sheet. Hauk walks up to the sheet and they strike up a very short conversation that culminates in Hauk performing oral sex on Jolie through the sheet. They never actually touch or look at each other but Hauk brings Jolie to orgasm.

Afterwards Jolie is almost kidnapped and raped. Hauk saves her but she doesn’t realize that he is the same guy who ate her out via a sheet. The next day Hauk and Jolie find out her 12 y/o cousin Whitney was kidnapped at the same time. Hauk abandons his position in the Underlight for a time to assist Jolie in locating and rescuing her young cousin. It is assumed that Jolie’s attempted kidnapping (and attempted rape) and her cousin’s completed kidnapping is done to force her father in to publishing (via both TV news and Newspaper) some false story that would change the possible outcome of a major political event. The best example I can give is to imagine Rupert Murdock’s young granddaughter is kidnapped in order to have Rupert Murdock publish false information to influence the US Presidential election.

I really liked this book…but I also disliked it as well. I loved Hauk – he has been through so much and has so little. He’s such a great guy. I also liked quite a lot about Jolie. I loved that she had a gluten allergy and I loved that she was a burlesque dancer. She seemed to make her mind up quickly and didn’t come across as a helpless damsel in distress. I also loved the fact that she seemed to own her sexuality. She made no excuses for it and I ♥ that.
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Quickie: Submission (Various Authors)

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Control the day, surrender the night.

A collection of explicit erotica about the thrill of power games, erotic control and submitting to the passions of a lover.

The pleasure of surrendering to the will of another, or others, is unique. But who is really in control and who calls the shots? From the head games to the heart flutters and the shivers of pleasure on your skin, this collection of explicit erotica explores the fantasies and experience of female sexual submission.

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Quickie: Spell of the Highlander by Karen Marie Moning

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Powerful. Sensual. Seductive. He is all that is shamelessly erotic in a man. In her sexiest Highlander novel yet, New York Times bestselling author Karen Moning stirs up a sizzling brew of ancient mystery and modern passion as she brings together a devilishly handsome Celtic warrior trapped in time . . . and the woman who’s about to pay the ultimate price for freeing him. Age-old secrets haunt them. Deadly danger and irresistible desire shadow their every move. It’s a relationship for the ages. And all that separates them is a mere thirteen hundred years. . . .
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Quickie: Everything I Know About Love I Learned from Romance Novels by Sarah Wendell

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Straight from the heart of romance blogger Wendell, this inventive gift book provides the best wisdom about love that the romance genre has to offer. Laced with signature witty commentary and peppered with thoughts from bestselling romance authors and avid readers, these pages reveal that while romances are certainly steamy, they have more to offer than just a sexy hero.

It took me forever to finish this book, but I really enjoyed myself!

EIKAL (as it is fondly called) is a love letter (essay style) to romance books and their readers. It’s very much preaching to the choir but it could also (possibly) persuade non-romance readers as to the benefits of reading romances.

I would also find this book to be highly educational for a romance reader to give to a non-romance reader who is clueless as to why people love romances so much.

For me, I felt that the book forced me to seriously think about what draws me to romance books. I often find myself reading romances when I’m sad or stressed or depressed. I never understood or even questioned why – I just did.

Written in SB Sarah Wendell’s typical upbeat, comical and chatty style, EIKAL is very easy to read and rather funny.

Another great thing about this book is the enormous amounts of recommendations to be found here. I started reading this book forever ago but just finished. Why? Because I constantly found myself being side-tracked by new (to me) authors.

I lay my current Jennifer Crusie addiction squarely at SB Sarah’s feet.

As much as I loved this book, I can’t see someone who does not already read romances picking this up. I do see people who read romances buying this for someone who doesn’t understand.

Review: Just One of the Guys by Kristan Higgins

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Wow. This book? So depressing. Sooooo depressing.

I bought this book via a rec from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books…but actually from reading Everything I Know About Love I Learned from Romance Novels. Damn. This book makes me re-think any contemporary rec she/the site gives. Cause I pretty much hated this book. I wish I had bought it in DTB format so I could have thrown it against the wall! And I don’t normally have that reaction.

Let me digress.

This book is well written and a lot of people love it…but it’s not a romance. It’s chick-lit. And the fact that it’s being touted as romance burns me up.

Guess what?? There’s NO romance here. None. Zip. Zilch. Nadda.
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