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Prince of Swords
Prince of Swords
Price: $3.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Averagely entertaining, August 11, 2012
This review is from: Prince of Swords (Kindle Edition)
This held my interest sufficiently to finish the book in one day. The characters didn't particularly endear me (though Fluer and Robert were sweet if not very typical characters), the plot was okay as was the writing. I didn't find the dark hero all that dark or intense, I couldn't really feel the conflict within him in relation to Jessamine. Overall okay book. For Anne Stuart works that I loved with dark heroes that fit the role, try Moonrise and Ice Storm.


By Royal Command
By Royal Command
Offered by Harlequin Digital Sales Corp.
Price: $0.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read but conflicted about love triangle, August 7, 2012
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This review is from: By Royal Command (Kindle Edition)
I'm conflicted about how I feel about this book. I definitely found it was well written with interesting characters and intriguing backdrop. The conflict I have is with the story.

The cover is misleading with the statement "Two Brothers, One Woman..", really the story is about the two men Katrin fell in love with. And there lies the crux of my conflict with the book. Here you have two strong male leads, who both have equal face time in the book. The first half is about Katrin's relationship with Eomond while the second is about her relationship with Rafael (who does not even appear until the latter half of the book).

As is my habit, I read reviews before I started reading the book and more often than not reviewers mentioned Rafael with really only a brief mention about Eomond. So in my mind, I was already thinking Rafael is the hero that the heroine ends up with. And then I picked up the book, started reading it and the pages were dominated by Katrin and Eomond. I could easily have fallen in love with Eomond as a hero. I actually found Katrin and Eomond's relationship much more intense than her relationship with Rafael.

And then the second half of the book, Rafael appears and Katrin's attentions are immediately diverted. I wasn't exactly sure how that could have happened, seeing how Katrin and Eomond's relationship had developed. Although for the most part in both cases, it seemed to me that Katrin's pull towards both men were based on lust rather than emotional depth. I could just imagine how frustrated I would have been if I was rooting for Eomond when Rafael made an appearance.

I suppose I'm a little spoilt with romances, I like it a certain way. I want to know that the person the heroine ends up with is the one she truly loved most because of the person he is. In this case, I'm not sure. I think it was more circumstances more than the person that dictated how Katrin felt in the end, which made me feel somewhat cheated for the guy she does eventually end up with.

Despite all that, it was still a very good read. I suppose the way the story was built is a little different, which deserves some points. I would be eager to read more of this author's works.


The Duke's Tattoo: A Regency Romance of Love and Revenge, Though Not in That Order (The Horsemen of the Apocalypse Series Book 1)
The Duke's Tattoo: A Regency Romance of Love and Revenge, Though Not in That Order (The Horsemen of the Apocalypse Series Book 1)
Price: $2.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Fun Sunday Read, August 5, 2012
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I've been frustrated lately over books, I keep picking something up but then putting it down as something is always missing. I finally picked something up to break that streak! This was an enjoyable short read. I read it in less than a day on a lazy Sunday. The plot was unique, the characters interesting and there is plenty of humour as well as moments that will pull at your heart strings. I laughed out loud several times throughout the book. Especially loved Ainsworth's "love letter" to Prudence, it was totally unexpected in its succinctness, especially after he laboured so hard on it.

A lot of reviewers commented that the book dragged for a while after the "big misunderstanding" so I was expectantly waiting for it. I must have been in a good reading mood as I read the book and didn't find pacing was off at all. The "big misunderstanding" was nothing new, it's been done and overdone for historical romance novels, but I didn't feel the book dragged. My interest level was kept level pretty much throughout.

I also enjoyed the sneak peak to the next book in this series. Looking forward to it!


Rift Walker, The (Vampire Empire, Book 2)
Rift Walker, The (Vampire Empire, Book 2)

4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Sequel to The Greyfriar, July 17, 2012
4.5 stars. This was even better than The Greyfriar! The plot line was more intricate with the different political alliances, betrayals and intrigues amongst and between humans as well as vampires. We find out more about Adele's power and her relationship with Gareth deepens.

I was surprised with some of the revelations, some characters you thought were "good" turn out to be something else. I also found the writing improved from the previous book. The overall story seems a realistic portrayal of the ever-changing loyalties of those in power to protect themselves selfishly as well as thinking they protect the greater good. I liked how the author is playing the reactions to the Greyfriar/Gareth by Adele's most trusted circle, it adds another level of uncertainty to her court.

I love the scenes and banter between Gareth/Greyfriar and Adele. They are devoted to each other and yet conflicted due to what they are, not just human/vampire but Adele's power, her training and how she can change the course of the human/vampire world at the expense of the person most important to her.

There is a lot of violence but there is the understated romance and some scenes that made me laugh out loud. Some scenes did shock me. There was also a heart wrenching scene where Adele lost control of her power and she and Gareth both realized she had the power to kill him.


Greyfriar, The (Vampire Empire, Book 1)
Greyfriar, The (Vampire Empire, Book 1)

4.0 out of 5 stars Different Take on Vampire Para Genre, July 15, 2012
4+ stars. I enjoyed this and read it in one sitting. I loved the setting, the characters and the world building. Characterization was excellent, primary and secondary (I found Senator Clark and Lord Kelvin hilarious). This has a lot of action, but also deals with court and political intrigues with romance built in but it's a slow burning one.

The alternate world created by the authors was intriguing and I liked how the authors put on a different take on the vampire mythology and what we are so used to seeing in today's vampire paranormal genre. It made the book different.

The writing was just okay for me despite the fact that I loved the creativeness of the authors.

Definitely going to be reading the rest of this trilogy.


Pure Healing (A Novel of The Pure Ones Book 1)
Pure Healing (A Novel of The Pure Ones Book 1)
Price: $2.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Introduction to a New Series, July 12, 2012
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This was an enjoyable read, I liked all of the characters, and I hope that the author continues this series for us to read more about them. Good enough world building and I liked the writing. Characterization was pretty good, though I'm not sure how characters over two millennia old can be so clueless about other people's emotions.

That aside, when reading romance books, I generally like to have the main focus on the protagonists and having too many POV's from secondary/tertiary characters typically irritates me. In this book, we meet the Dozen, comprised of the Queen, her Elite Guards and her Council. We pretty much get most of their POV's at one point or other throughout the book, along with the antagonist. But each of their chapters are very brief and I enjoyed the introduction to them, hopefully as a set up for future books. I am really looking forward to the advancing of the story line with the villain, especially since the villain also seems to know the secrets of Dalair, who I think is probably the most interesting of the Dozen.


Shadow Kin: A Novel of the Half-Light City
Shadow Kin: A Novel of the Half-Light City
Offered by Penguin Group (USA) LLC
Price: $7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Good Dark Fantasy, July 8, 2012
I enjoyed this one. I normally avoid books that have an overall 3.5 star rating like this one does, but the premise really intrigued me so I gave this a go. The beginnings of it hooked me and within the first few chapters I had already resolved myself to thinking this is a 4-star book.

Minimal world building, just enough to set the story/series. Good writing and good characterization, especially in the part of Lily. I really felt for her, the way she grew up, her isolation, pain, fear and desperation that drove her and kept her with Lucius. The chapters involving Lily and Lucius were always dark and very intense, more so than any other time in the book, even when compared to chapters between Lily and Simon. I liked how the author made the Lily and Simon's powers complete opposites, one embracing shadow/dark/night while the other draws strength from the sun. It made for an interesting dynamic between them as their personalities were also tied to that. The tension and chemistry between them was somewhat lukewarm, I thought, but I think only because of the greater intensity between Lily and Lucius in their scenes.

I did get confused the first few times with the switch in point of views. This book is written in first person in both Lily and Simon's POVs until I recognized that there's always a blazing sun image at the start of Simon's POV and a crescent moon for Lily (read e-book version).


Heart of Brass (Signet Eclipse)
Heart of Brass (Signet Eclipse)
by Kate Cross
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.99
63 used & new from $0.01

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Steampunk-Based Romance, July 6, 2012
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The premise and the beginning made me think it would be one of those books that I would keep rereading every once and a while but although I eventually changed my mind, I still thought this was an overall enjoyable read.

Other than the technological devices and having women in offices of authority, the world building was minimal. Both Arden and Luke were interesting characters. I loved the beginning part of this book before Luke realizes who he is. There was a lot more tension and intrigue between the characters with Luke's assignment of killing Arden and his confusion when he couldn't compel himself to it. After Luke realizes who he is, most of that tension and intrigue went away for me. The story then focuses on the relationship between Arden and Luke. There are a couple of mysteries, including a "who dunnit" storyline that fills in the book.

Good characterization, including those of secondary characters, who we are sure to see in future books in the series. The book includes an excerpt of the beginning of the next book that comes out later this year. That intrigued me enough that I'll be watching out for it.


Ravishing the Heiress (Berkley Sensation)
Ravishing the Heiress (Berkley Sensation)
by Sherry Thomas
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.99
103 used & new from $0.01

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Have a Box of Tissues Ready!, July 3, 2012
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I've been anticipating this book for months since I read the excerpt from Sherry Thomas' website earlier this year. Millie and Fitz's story was the only one I was interested in of the Fitzhugh Trilogy and the first book ("Beguiling the Beauty", where they both appear as secondary characters) only made their story all the more intriguing for me.

I shed tears several times throughout the book. I am a big Sherry Thomas fan and her books, characters and their relationships always carry a depth and intensity that makes me go through an emotional upheaval. This book continued that and for a good part of the book, the pain, desperation, longing and confusion were the primary emotions felt by the characters. I don't know how many times I felt for Millie and her heart breaking, feeling the responsible party in ruining the happiness of Fitz and Isabelle and thinking Fitz will never love her. There were definitely moments of joy, amicable companionship and laughter during their 8-year marriage after Millie "saved" Fitz from his self-destructive ways soon after their wedding.

Fitz and Millie's story is told like many of ST's novels, where the story line flits back and forth, wherein you go back in time and the back story with the momentous events throughout their marriage are told along side the present. Although I liked reading about their past, I think it took too much of the book and I wanted more of the present.

Millie's character was definitely the stand out character for me in this book. Often, I find the male leads more interesting, but in this case, I concur with Fitz' statement in that Millie is "the greater part of me, the better part of me". That's a perfect way to describe Millie in terms of their relationship. From the very beginning, even when they first met and she was only sixteen, Millie was the stronger of the two. Despite her heartbreak over Fitz, she kept her poise, and instead of sinking into depression like Fitz did, she was the rock that pulled him out of his pit. Without her (and not just because of her inheritance), they wouldn't have been able to achieve the great many things they eventually did build together during their "pact". I loved her quiet strength and her utter selflessness, couldn't understand how Fitz could be so blind!

Overall, I liked the book, I'm not sure if I was expecting too much since I've been waiting for it for months, but I was rather let down somewhat. I read somewhere that this is one of or the favourite of ST's books that she's written. For me it doesn't compare to her earlier works (I loved "Note Quite a Husband", "Private Arrangements" and "His at Night"). The ending was a bit rushed and too much time was spent on the past, I wanted more of the present (yes, I said that already)! I also didn't like it when the scenes cut to Helena/Hastings storyline, I know this is a built up to the next book but I felt like I was being robbed of Millie/Fitz since there was a lack of that already!
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 5, 2012 8:45 PM PDT


Winter Garden (Winter Garden series)
Winter Garden (Winter Garden series)
by Adele Ashworth
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.99
60 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Different Historical Romance, June 23, 2012
3.5 stars. This was different from your average mill historical romance. Although the story setting is within the guise of a spy mystery, it's predominantly a love story.

At first their meeting seemed innocuous enough with Madeleine arriving at Winter Garden to assist Thomas in uncovering a smuggling operation, but you soon learn from Thomas' point of view that there's more to it than that and more to Thomas than what Madeleine knows/has been told. I was definitely more driven to finish the book to unravel the mystery of the latter (Thomas/Madeleine relationship) rather than the former (smuggling operation).

I found this book different because in this relationship Thomas was the insecure one due to his injuries but I think his insecurities relates only to Madeleine. Madeleine is the confident one in their relationship, thinking she knows what she wants (Thomas) and pursues it, she's effectively the one that seduces him.

In the end though, after the mystery of Thomas is unravelled, I didn't really understand the need for the subterfuge.


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