Review: Daring to dream

Nora Roberts is a pro. When I picked up this book, I knew it’d be good but I also knew I was in the hands of one of the best writers of romance. Ever. So I paid attention.

Nora Robert’s good. For a lot of reasons.

One, her heroine Margo is outspoken, opinionated and makes a terrible mess of her life. Where I would probably create a woman that no one would like, Nora Roberts makes Margo appealing. She cares about her family, sacrifices herself for them and keeps her dignity by not throwing herself at the hero’s feet.

Josh is the hero and he too, could be disliked in someone else’s hands. He’s born in luxury, is gorgeous, flawless and a lawyer to boot. Again, Nora Roberts waves her magic with Josh and I loved him. He was quietly in love with Margo for years, never once letting her know or sharing his feelings out of respect for where she was at. And he helps her, when she’s stuck, without letting her know he did it. He’s charming, witty and still very much an alpha man.

Nora Roberts has a knack with families and relationships and this book was no exception. Margo has a chance to reconcile with her mother and make amends with her life. Things work out but there are mistakes along the way and realistic challenges that make this story not only realistic but a wonderful tale of fiction.

I particularly loved that the main plot in the story was the love relationship between Margo and Josh. The Templetons were easy to like and so realistic I could hear them talking.

If you’re a fan of contemporary romance, I’d highly recommend this one. Personally, I can’t wait to get to the rest of this series.

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Review: Archangel’s Storm

Archangel’s storm is another amazing book from the Guild Hunter series. Certainly one I wouldn’t want to miss. It has a fantastic, powerful hero, a misunderstood heroine and a great plot. I couldn’t put it down.

Jason is an amazing hero. He’s mysterious, tough and distant. Incredibly well portrayed, he not only grabbed my interest he managed to be romantic and kind without breaking character. I believed his tender moments and I believed his tough, distant, cold responses.

Mahiya is a woman who has suffered and has managed to survive by hiding her true self. She’s cautious and intelligent. It says a lot about Ms. Singh’s writing that she manages to create interest when both her hero and heroine are introverts. In someone else’s hands, these characters might have been doomed. With Ms. Singh, I couldn’t wait to find out more about them.

Their romance progresses gently and grows slowly, so we believe it. The reader can see the changes, the way the intimacy and trust grows between the characters. It’s an organic, natural thing that reinforces trust in the writer.

There is great danger, intrigue and mystery in Archangel’s Storm but, most importantly for me, there’s a great love story that had me glued to the book. If you’re a fan of Nalini Singh or if you like paranormal, check this one out. You’re in for a treat.

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Review: Only Enchanting

This is easily my favourite book from the Survivor’s Club. I loved so many, many things about it.

First the characters are delicious. Flavian, or Viscount Ponsoby, is a man devastated by his former fiancée’s choice to leave him. He was in the war and survived but endures mental scars that, he believes, made him a monster. He convinces Agnes to marry him because she’s calm, serene, predictable and innocent where he’s cynical and battle-weary. Agnes falls quickly in love with him but tries to keep her good sense in mind to prevent her from making the ‘foolish’ mistake of marrying him.

Still, they marry. And the resulting story of how they heal each other is wonderful. I loved every word.

Mary Balogh is a great story teller. She hints at their wounds with tiny tidbits early on that fuelled my imagination without letting the reader know the full story. Their secrets come out gently in the natural course of events and conversations.

I loved both characters from the start and the writing was superb, so there was little Ms. Balogh could have done to upset me but the plot only gets better and the twists only got me more and more into the book until I put aside my blog, my writing and our attempts at selling our house and simply read the entire thing.

I loved that there wasn’t a violent, physical danger. Here, the threats were all dealt with conversation. I loved that the characters didn’t know each other well before they married in haste. It was delicious to see them unravel their secrets and still come out whole and in love. I loved the writing. They sounded incredibly British and authentic. I loved the setting, the fact that they weren’t in London the entire time surrounded by the dreaded ton.

Only Enchanting is a book that I love and cherish already and I’ve only read it once. If you’re a historical fan or thinking of trying the genre or someone who loves romance but has never tried it, I would highly recommend it. It’s Mary Balogh at her finest.

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Review: ‘Darling Beast’

I love the theme Beauty and the Beast. It’s a favourite premise of mine, so I was thrilled to have Elizabeth Hoyt write it. I have read every book she’s written because I find she’s consistently awesome. Her characters are incredibly well written, fresh and new. The dialogue is quirky and fun and her books are over before I know it. She’s on my automatic-buy list. As soon as I get a new calendar, I write her release dates on it. She’s that good.

This book was no disappointment. Apollo Greaves is the ‘beast’. A monster of man who can’t speak. I loved that premise and wondered how could she ever make the romance happen when he was mute. How could she create tension? How could she put in her quirky romance? I won’t tell you how, but she does do it. In spades.

There’s also Lily, our heroine. A wonderful person who’s down on her luck and has to live in an abandoned theatre with her son Indio and their hilarious italian greyhound Daff. Lily was so easy to like, I was her best friend within a few paragraphs.

It’s no secret that I like dogs and Daff was a particular favourite of mine. She’s so funny and naughty and still realistic that I looked forward to every scene with her in it.

Touching and moving, Darling Beast is a great historical romance and another definite joy in my work week. I have to admit, I snuck read it and took it everywhere. Couldn’t stop reading until I turned the last page. If you’re a fan of romance or historical romance, I’d highly recommend this one.

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Review: Archangel’s Shadows

I couldn’t wait to get this book. Nalini Singh is one of my favourite paranormal authors. She has a way of creating amazing heroes. Men who are flawed but are still awe-inspiring and just a little scary.

Janvier is a little different from her usual terrifying heroes but he’s just what Ash needs. She’s a hunter recovering from a traumatic past and someone who won’t let a very grim future get in her way. I won’t go into specifics but I’ll say mention that, if life had dealt me those cards, I would have folded in. Ash, fights her way forward and I loved her for it.

We also get to see Raphael, Elena and the Seven which I adored. There are many characters that I truly love in this series and I was so glad we got to see bits of them.

The entire world that Ms. Singh has created is so appealing or maybe its just her magical writing. I don’t know. What I do know is that her next book in this series isn’t coming out until the summer and that’s a long time away.

If you’re a fan of paranormal romance, don’t miss out on Nalini Singh. She’s absolutely fabulous. You don’t have to follow this series if that’s not your taste, she also has another series on changelings that’s absolutely amazing. Click on the cover below and it’ll take you to her site.

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Review: Ain’t she sweet?

I love Susan Elizabeth Phillips. She has some of the best character dialogue I’ve read. It can be funny, poignant and deep without going over the top and sounding stuffy or pretentious. I have no idea how she does it, but she does and does so consistently.

So, when I picked up this book, I knew I was in for a good dialogue. It’s also got a premise that I love. Sugar Beth has returned to the town she took advantage of. She’s both broke and desperate but, worse, she has to face a man whose reputation she destroyed with a lie all those years ago. Colin Byrne.

Colin shows Sugar Beth no mercy and neither do her former friends but Sugar Beth won’t give up. Courageous and without any self-pity, she fights to win the money she needs for someone she’s trying to help. The arguments between her and Colin makes me want to pick up the book again and again.

Ain’t She Sweet? has that amazing dialogue I mentioned. It also has great characters and a fantastic plot. It’s not only a keeper, it’s one I reread anytime I need a pick me up. I’d recommend it to anyone who likes contemporary romance.

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Review: Match me if you can

I love a feisty heroine who fights for a dream and this story was exactly that. Annabelle is determined and a fighter. She’s desperate to keep her matchmaking business going and to try to stay ahead of the bills. In order to do that, she wants to get the city’s most eligible bachelor, Heath Champion, as her client.

Heath and Annabelle set off sparks from the very start. He’s determined to have things go his way and, at the beginning, she’s got the losing hand. But here is where her intelligence and quick wit come in and soon she’s turning the tables on the tough Heath.

One of my favourite parts of any book by Susan Elizabeth Phillips is the dialogue. It’s fast, light, and really funny. This book didn’t let me down. I laughed out loud at Annabelle’s attempts to keep the elderly clients in her business happy, as well as the jokes the other football players played on her house.

Though its a book in a series, there’s no need to have read the previous books. This one is certainly one to savour and enjoy. I’ll keep it among my favourites and re-read it slowly. If you’re a fan of contemporary romance with a little bit of humour, don’t miss out on this one. Susan Elizabeth Phillips is one of the best of the genre for good reason.

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Review: Dark Angel / Lord Carew’s Bride

I love Mary Balogh. I joked with a friend that I would happily read her address book as long as she wrote it. It’s a bit of an exaggeration but you get the idea. Anything that’s got her name on it is an automatic-buy for me. She’s really that good.

This book is no exception. Best of all, there are two stories in it so you get double your pleasure for the price of one. In the first one, we meet Jennifer Winwood who gets caught in the middle of a long standing feud between two men. I agonized for her because, back in those days, there was nothing worse a woman could lose than her reputation. Still, there’s a happy ending for her and it’s as beautiful as only Mary Balogh can write.

Then we meet Samantha Newman and hers is a story of the beauty and the beast–one of my favourites. I won’t reveal too much except to say that though these stories are short, they are anything but rushed and the quality that brings me back to Mary Balogh is there in spades.

Ah…historical romance. It’s love with history and it all happens in England. What could be better?

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Review: Command Performance

Command Performance is the 2nd book in the series about Cordina’s Royal Family but can be read as a stand alone. It’s actually the first book I read of the series and it completely hooked me in.

The book reads almost like a fairy tale. There’s a prince and a very normal girl who comes to his castle. There’s danger and there’s a love story.

Nora Roberts does a good job of making the heroine likeable. Eve is no Sleeping Beauty, simply waiting for a prince to kiss her so she can live again. She’s a working, self-reliant woman happy with her life and needing no one’s rescue. Though she’s definitely feisty, she’s not cocky or snobbish or rude. I loved her from the get-go.

Alexander is aristocratic and elegant without being stuffy, distinguished and confident. I had a crush on him from the first page.

Their story is simply beautiful. There’s danger and passion and a happy ending. I have no idea how Nora Roberts can manage to create such realistic characters and satisfying plot in under 300 pages, but she does it.

If you haven’t tried this one by Nora Roberts, I’d highly recommend it. You’re in for a treat.

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