Book Review: Chained by Elise Marion

51trbu9hbll-_uy250_As acting high lord of the house of Toustain, it’s Lady Gwendolyn’s job to manage affairs of Dinasdale, and that includes managing her new unruly prisoner, Caden Maignart. Unfortunately it looks like the only way she’ll be able to manage him is to have him chained up in her bedchamber. 

After thirty years of peace, tensions are mounting between Daleria and Dinasdale again. After receiving reports of Dalerians massacring a Dinasdale village and Gwen’s brothers vanishing after being attacked, Gwen won’t take any chances with the Dalerian intruders found on Dinasdalian land. But she quickly realizes just throwing them into the dungeon won’t work, not when one of them is willing to stir up as much trouble as he possibly can to be freed. Chaining him up in her bedchamber keeps him secure, but it causes a whole new set of problems. Like how she can’t hide her thoughts and feelings from him. Not to mention the growing attraction she feels towards him, despite him being the enemy and her being engaged to another. 

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Book Review: A Most Unconventional Courtship

2606798“Do you not recall last night?” The hidden speaker came into view at last. There was a moment of crowded thought and he realized his mouth was hanging open.

“I remember nothing of it at all, and I’m sure I’d remember you.” He would have to be dead not to, he thought, studying the tall, slender figure standing in front of him, hands on her hips and an expression of exasperated disapproval on her oval, golden face. A  veritable Greek beauty, he thought.

There is an instant attraction between Benedict Casper Chancellor, Earl of Blakeny and Alessa, an independent woman in the Greek town of Corfu. Alessa hates everything he stands for– conservative, high society England. It was the very thing her father ran away from all those years ago. But when Chance realizes English relatives of Alessa are looking for her, he wants to acquaint her to her family, and bring her to England where he could court her properly. He was convinced the life of an English noblewoman would be better suited for her than her life full of hard work and responsibilities. But Alessa isn’t willing to give up her independence. yet, especially when her aunt says Alessa cannot bring her two orphaned wards to England with her and then kidnaps her to save her own reputation. Chance will do anything to get her back, even becoming a pirate. 

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Boyfriends for Sale: Anti-Valentine’s Day Edition

anti-valentines-day-metal-playlistWe’ve all gotten sick of the hearts and flowers at one point or another. Eventually the retail exploitation of “love” is nauseating and the splashes of red and pink is migraine-inducing. No, you don’t want to watch The Notebook with a glass of champagne this Valentine’s Day. You want to watch The Walking Dead with a shot of whiskey. Well, Valentine’s Day haters, there are love stories even for you out there. Continue reading “Boyfriends for Sale: Anti-Valentine’s Day Edition”

Book Review: Love Fortunes and Other Disasters

In Grimbaud, love is on everyone’s mind. From the annual ritual of getting a completely true love fortune from Zita’s charm shop to the statue of Love in the square, that is just about the only thing that matters in the town. This is great for those who have found their matches and live happily ever after. For those who are fated to be single forever, not so much. They quickly become the social outcasts in the town and join the Spinster and Bachelor villas.

For Fallon Dupree, a spinster fortune is just another reason that she’s an outcast in Continue reading “Book Review: Love Fortunes and Other Disasters”

Scandal, Mischief, and Heartbreak in Lady Falls

22588876For Raven Wells, nothing can be better when a nobleman rescues her from a cruel orphanage when she is ten. But little does she know that her benefactor, Lord Trent, really has a less altruistic motive than what she believes. In reality, his only reason for taking in the fiery and head-strong Raven is to ruin a man named Philip Warrick, who had betrayed him long ago. Seven years later, as Trent finally puts his scheme into play, Raven becomes in danger of ruining herself when she finds herself falling in love with Philip Warrick. Continue reading “Scandal, Mischief, and Heartbreak in Lady Falls”

Tempation and Twilight

Iain Sinclair, Marquis of Alynwick , is a rake if there eer was one. Aside from his loyalty to the Brethren Guardians, he loves no one. That is, no one but Elizabeth York, a blind beauty that he had had an affair with and then thrown away, something he wished he could forget forever.

Elizabeth no longer see Iain Sinclair as anything but a mistake, and one not to be made again, no matter how attracted she is to him. But she longs to solve a mystery that has bewildered her for years. An ancestral diary talks about a veiled lady who she wants to learn the identity of, and she’ll even let Ian help her to do it.

This is definitely a book worth reading. Full of passion, love, and whispered promises, it’s one of my favorite steamy romances. Both Elizabeth and Iain are great characters and the passion between them was so sweet. The devotion Iain has for Elizabeth is sweet without being sappy and cliched,  and I liked the lengths he would go to right wrongs, which were by no means small. Elizabeth had good reason to be angry at him, and I’m glad that was never undermined.. Definitely a good story for anyone who enjoys hot and sexy romances.

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Morning Comes Softly

Sometimes the best things happen with some impulsive but necessary decisions, like when Mary Warner decides to give up her life as a lonely librarian in Louisiana when she answers a personals ad from a Montana rancher looking for a wife to help him raise three orphaned children. Even though she knows his interest is less in her and more in her ability as a homemaker, Mary can’t help but hope that she’ll find love.

I haven’t read many of Debbie Macomber’s books, but I know I definitely enjoyed this one. Ugly Duckling stories are definitely one of my favorites, as well as arranged-marriage-gone-right stories. However, not my favorite romance ever, because Travis was often a jerk, at least in the beginning. Granted, he had just lost his brother and sister-in-law and he had become the father of three. But the way he took out his frustrations on Mary– from mentally criticizing her looks to arguing with her made him a little too unlikable to me, even though he shaped up to be a gentlemen further on in the story.

I never had a problem with the secondary love story in this book, though. Logan is definitely a Prince Charming, but a little bit sexier. I wish they were the main couple instead of Mary and Travis, even though I eventually grew to like the chemistry between them.

All in all, I would probably give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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Passion to Protect

As he threaded his way through the trees, Jake’s prothesis caught a branch buried in leaf litter. Cursing the hurry that had made him lose his focus on his footing, he recovered from his stumble, then gritted his teeth and hurried toward the security light just outside the stable. Beneath it, he spotted the woman it still hurt to look at, even a dozen years after she had dashed his naive school-boy fantasies and kicked him to the curb. (pg 15)

After escaping an abusive marriage with her two children, Liane Mason returns to her home in Wolf River Lodge, only to find her first love Jake Whitaker staying at the lodge. Not wanting to see her high school swetheart any more than she has to, Liane avoids him at all costs. But when her ex-husband escapes from prison with a band of criminals, Jake is the only one she can turn to as they come looking for her.

This is definitely not the worst Harlequin Suspense novel I’ve read. I actually liked Jake’s character a good deal, and I wish there was more development in his back story. But unfortunately all of the characters are very two-dimensional, which is a problem in a lot of Harlequin Suspense books. In fact, my favorite character had to have been Sheriff Wallace, a man dealing with the death of his wife and a corrupt move he made years ago. Unfortunately, Liane’s character left some things to be desired. Between her playing martyr and breaking Jake’s heart for a second time, and her need to be saved by him a lot, it was hard to admire her for her strengths, and she didn’t have any personality, likable or otherwise, that wasn’t shaped by her exes. However, Thompson is successful in writing a story where love, despite all odds, can triumph.

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Enchanted By Nora Roberts

 As a long time Nora Roberts fan, I definitely have preferences over some of her stories. For instance I think she can be a little melodramatic in the supernatural ones, but I really like her stories about Ireland, especially the Born in Ireland trilogy. The Donovan Legacy series has a little bit of both.

Lovely, guileless Rowan Murray felt drawn to brooding Liam Donovan with a power she’d never imagined possible. And his breathtaking kisses convinced her he felt the same. But she soon realized her darkly enigmatic neighbor was as elusive as the mysterious wolf she’d seen lurking about her cabin. Liam was tormented by indecision. He understood he had no right to love Rowan, knowing what lay ahead. But the allure of her beguiling innocence overpowered his will until he could resist no longer. And he knew, if he was ever to make Rowan his, he had no chance but to reveal his incredible secret. (Courtesy of Goodreads)

Okay, first of all, this isn’t my least favorite Roberts book for sure. It’s still sweet and entertaining. I liked the interaction between Liam and Rowan, and like just about all of her books, I really enjoyed the story (after the prologue which was a little melodramatic with the supernatural introduction).  However, there were a few things that made me cringe. For instance, Rowan and Liam are cousins. Not first cousins, but cousins close enough to be able to trace the lineage. This bugged me a little because even though it’s not exactly incestuous, it’s still kind of gross. They did it because Rowan turns out to be a witch, too, but I don’t understand why the Donovan family is the only family with supernatural powers. Why couldn’t Rowan’s great grandmother just have been best buds with Liam’s great grandparents because they were both witches. It would take the creep factor out of the book completely. (Disclaimer: this is the last book in the Donovan series and I haven’t read the others, so it might have already been established that the Donovans are the only witch known witch family still alive.)

That being said, I really liked Rowan’s character. I thought she was pretty strong, and I liked how she didn’t let Liam control her at all. I also thought it was interesting how the guy she was supposed to fall in love with (the one her parents like) was actually a good guy too, and they just weren’t meant to be together. I have to admit, I like that because a lot of the time romances have the exes of the heroine be incredibly evil, which is unrealistic, even though it can make for a good story. I definitely prefer the more three-dimensional characters, however.  All in all, a pretty good read if you can look past the distant cousins factor.

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