Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Celebrate the Author - Helen Bianchin

It's February and time to celebrate another Author's birthday. Helen Bianchin is my favorite Harlequin Presents author. Her stories are based in Australia. I love her descriptive writing style and her belief in the ultimate love. They are passionate, involve alpha males and strong heroines, and are absolutely great reads. All of her books are definitely on my reread list.

You can read my reviews of two of her other books that I reread last year for Celebrate the Author - here.

A brief biography and a listing of all her books are at Fantastic Fiction.

The book I read this month is her newest one (March 2009).

Title: The Italian's Ruthless Marriage Command
Publisher: Harlequin
Published: 2009
Pages: 192
Genre: Series Romance

Taylor has been taking care of her 4 year old nephew since the death of his parents. That is until Dante comes to share in that care according to his brother's will. He suggests they move in together in order to provide the best care for their nephew. Taylor has been leery of men ever since a stranger attacked her two years ago. However, Dante awakens desires and feelings in her that she thought buried long ago. At first Dante sees Taylor as a caretaker for the boy. However, he soon realizes that underneath that cool exterior is a passionate woman. Will he be able to break through the barriers she has erected?

I loved this story. It didn't fail to disappoint - lush descriptions, alpha hero, strength in a heroine that I always enjoy reading about, and passion - sizzling passion.

Happy Birthday Helen and congrats on another fantastic book!!!

Rating: 4.5/5
Pages: 192
Completed: 1/25/09

Monday, February 23, 2009

On Mystic Lake - Kristin Hannah

Title: On Mystic Lake
Author: Kristin Hannah
Publisher: Crown
Published: 1997
Pages: 322
Genre: Women's Fiction/Romance

I have never, in my short time here on Blogger posting my thoughts on books, given a low rating to a book...until today. I feel so bad doing it, but I just didn't particularly care for this book. It wasn't the writing...I think Kristin Hannah has a very descriptive writing style...some of the emotions pulled me right into the pages. I felt deeply for Nick and his loss, trying to reach out to his daughter but failing, and the depths of despair that you can sink into by the actions of others. Your actions definitely affect your loved ones.

However, the romance in this story just didn't sit will with me. At the beginning of the book, Annie's husband asks her for a divorce - he is in love with someone else. She begs him to take three months to reconsider. During that time - she has her own affair - hence the basis of the story. I just can't read about infidelity like that. I mean, if there is infidelity and they decide to divorce and then get on with their lives - that is okay for me. But to base a romance on it - just doesn't do it for me. There is so much of that in the world today, I don't need to read about it in my HEA romances.

You can read more about this book and my full review here.

This was my first time reading Kristin Hannah's books - but I am not letting this particular book stop me from picking another one to read. I just don't know which one. LOL.

Rating: 1.75/5
Pages: 322
Completed: 2/20/09

Sunday, February 22, 2009

If You Dare - Kresley Cole

Title: If You Dare
Author: Kresley Cole
Publisher: Pocket
Published: 2005
Pages: 349
Genre: Historical/Romance
Series: The MacCarrick Brothers Trilogy

Kresley Cole has written a trilogy surrounding three brothers who believe their family is cursed. "Not to marry, know love, or bind, their fate; Your line to die for never seed shall take. Death and torment to those caught in their wake;" While the story is about Court and Annalia - the curse is the underlying mystery. It is what binds the three books together.

After Pascal orders his death, Court escapes and gets his revenge by stealing Pascal's fiance, Annalia. Lady Annalia despises Court as much as she does Pascal - however, there is this underlying attraction to the Highlander that she can't quite explain. No matter how much she desires Court, nothing will stop her from returning to the evil Pascal - for if she doesn't, her brother will be killed. Can Court break the curse and keep Annalia by his side? Will the rescue attempt for her brother keep her from Pascal's clutches? And what of the death warrant that Pascal has issued for both Annalia and Court?

I enjoyed this book - the underlying mystery kept me interested to see how Court and Annalia could have their "happily ever after." I love alpha Highlanders - and Court definitely fits the bill. Even though Annalia irritated me in the beginning of the book, I grew to like her strength and her realization that she had a narrow view of Scots. The passion was sizzling - slow to build but powerful in the end!!

You can read my full review here.

Rating: 3/5
Pages: 349
Completed: 2/18/09

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Virgin River - Robyn Carr

Title: Virgin River
Author: Robyn Carr
Published: 2007
Publisher: Mira
Pages: 416
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Virgin River Series - Book #1

I can't recommend this series enough. For those romance lovers out there that like a little intrigue, teary-eyed moments, to-die-for heroes, and overcoming struggles, then this is the series for you.

Robyn Carr has created the wonderful town of Virgin River and placed in its midst memorable characters that draw you into their lives, a local bar that has you pulling out a chair to sit down and listen to the gossip, and real life struggles of the town's inhabitants.

Mel is a midwife looking to escape a violent tragedy and she comes to Virgin River with misconceptions about the town. Seeing that it was not the place that was presented to her when she answered the ad for a doctor's assistant...she makes the decision to leave in the morning and go to her sister's in Colorado. However, an abandoned baby, the bar owner, and several patients of the local doctor have her changing her mind. Will she stay? Will she be able to let go of the past and reach for a future full of friendship, love, and a town that wants her to stay?

You can read my full review here.

Rating: 5/5
Pages: 416
Completed: 2/17/09

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tallchief - Dinah McCall (Sharon Sala)

Sorry for the repost - but this book was for the TBR challenge that I am involved in and the review shouldn't have been posted until today!! This is my DIK book that was the theme of this month's challenge.

Title: Tallchief
Author: Dinah McCall (Sharon Sala)
Publisher: HarperTorch
Published: 1997
Pages: 375
Genre: Contemporary Romance

I picked up another great book. I think I'm on a roll - LOL. Tallchief is one of those books I won't be able to forget anytime soon. Morgan Tallchief is a hero to die for. Alpha male yet tortured soul - he was so real that he seemed to step off the pages and into my home (boy, don't i wish!!!) Even though Kathleen was pursued by a life-threatening danger - she had an inner strength and would do anything to protect her family. Wonderful, wonderful writing, the scenes were so well written that you felt like you were standing there watching while the story unfolds - tissues are a definite must for this awesome read.

A brief synopsis - Morgan at seventeen had it all - especially a love that comes only once in a lifetime. Until the day his love, Kathleen, dies in a fire! This tragedy has left Morgan to live a life that has no meaning - unable to feel again. Until sixteen years later, while standing on his porch, he watches as Kathleen walks back into his life. Is it real...or is his mind playing tricks on him?

You can read my full review here.

This is definitely on my keeper shelf as well as my reread shelf.

Rating: 5/5
Pages: 375
Completed: 2/8/09

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Dead Sexy - Amanda Ashley

Title: Dead Sexy
Author: Amanda Ashley
Publisher: Zebra
Published: 2007
Pages: 353
Genre: Paranormal/Vampire/Werewolf

Dead Sexy has it all - vampires, werewolves. and vampire hunters - oh my. Although not my favorite book of Amanda Ashley's - it did have good suspense and intrigue. Regan is a vampire hunter called in to help with an investigation of bizarre killings. However, they only one to able assist her on finding the killer is the Master Vampire of the city - Santiago. Soon, Regan becomes the next target of the killer and Santiago does everything he can to keep her safe.

From the blurb on the back of the book: "She intrigues him, fires his hunger, and unleashes his desire, but before he can enter her world, or she his, they must confront a vicious, elusive killer who is an enemy even to his own..."

As much as I loved Santiago, I just didn't connect with Regan. She dwelt too long on her aversion to Santiago's having to drink blood to sustain his life. However, the romance between them will warm the heart and the suspense will have you intrigued until the end of the book.

You can read my full review here.

Rating: 2.75/5
Pages: 353
Completed: 2/12/09

Friday, February 13, 2009

Tribute - Nora Roberts

Title: Tribute
Author: Nora Roberts
Publisher: Putnam
Published: 2008
Pages: 392
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Nora Roberts does it again with her 2008 novel, Tribute. I loved the characters in this book - both the main characters and the secondary ones. Ford is an absolute awesome hero - slightly nerdy, unflappable humor, sexy green eyes, just a great all around guy. Cilla is a heroine that has some insecurities due to the way she was brought up - but she has an inner strength that pushes her to seek her own security and happiness.

However, while she is discovering who she is, an evil begins stalking her and with cruel and intimidating acts tries to frighten her into leaving. Will Ford and Cilla find out who is stalking her? Will Cilla let her heart learn to love again?

You can read my full review here.

Rating: 4/5
Pages: 392
Completed: 2/11/09

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Daring the Moon - Sherrill Quinn

Title: Daring the Moon
Author: Sherrill Quinn
Publisher: Kensington Brava
Published: 2009
Pages: 245
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Werewolves

Daring the Moon is Sherrill Quinn's debut novel with Kensington Brava. And what a debut it is!! It is fast-paced, heart-wrenching, passionate, with suspense and intrigue thrown in. Ryder is the tortured alpha hero, and Taite is the strong-willed, brave heroine. I loved this book - it is on my reread list.

Taite is being stalked by a werewolf and her friend, Declan, convinces her to seek out Ryder, a British horror writer who is an expert on werewolves. Little does Taite know that Ryder is a recluse living on a remote island so that he can live with the beast inside him, unable to harm others. The only way to keep Taite safe is to "convince her to trust in an attraction that's deeply dangerous, and wilder than she ever guessed..." (quote from blurb on back of book).

You can read my full review here.

NOTE: Brava is Kensington's line of books that are considered erotic/sensual stories. There is graphic language in this book.

Rating: 5/5
Pages: 245
Completed: 2/2/09

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sizzle and Burn - Jayne Ann Krentz

Title: Sizzle and Burn
Author: Jayne Ann Krentz
Publisher: Putnam
Published: 2008
Pages: 359
Genre: Suspense/Romance

I really enjoy the Arcane Society series. Sizzle and Burn is the third installment and it is a great read. Raine is an attractive, intelligent heroine, but her latest romantic encounter ended in disaster when she revealed her psychic abilities. Zach is the strong, silent type of hero. "Surprisingly, he isn't repelled by her [Raine's] powers: in fact, he has his own...While Raine hears voices, Zach sees visions, and within hours of their meeting, Raine experiences an intense, thrilling intimacy - mental, emotional, and physical - that she never dared to expect."

This is definitely a romantic suspense with a little paranormal abilities thrown in. I enjoyed the sizzling passion between Zach and Raine. Despite both of their independence, they had to rely on each other to find the killer that has targeted Raine - and come closer to defeating the Nightshades.

You can read my full review here.

Rating: 3.75/5
Pages: 359
Completed: 2/3/09