Cold-Hearted Rake (Lisa Kleypas)

24431358Title: Cold-Hearted Rake

Author: Lisa Kleypas

Series: The Ravenel’s #1

Date: October 27, 2015

Blurb:

A twist of fate . . .

Devon Ravenel, London’s most wickedly charming rake, has just inherited an earldom. But his powerful new rank in society comes with unwanted responsibilities . . . and more than a few surprises. His estate is saddled with debt, and the late earl’s three innocent sisters are still occupying the house . . . along with Kathleen, Lady Trenear, a beautiful young widow whose sharp wit and determination are a match for Devon’s own.

A clash of wills . . .

Kathleen knows better than to trust a ruthless scoundrel like Devon. But the fiery attraction between them is impossible to deny—and from the first moment Devon holds her in his arms, he vows to do whatever it takes to possess her. As Kathleen finds herself yielding to his skillfully erotic seduction, only one question remains:

Can she keep from surrendering her heart to the most dangerous man she’s ever known?

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Review Day! 

This week I started reading the new series by one of my favorite Historical Romance authors: Lisa Kleypas! 

Those who have enjoyed series like The Wallflowers, The Hathaways and The Stokehurst among many others, will certainly know who this author is, and those who have not read them, should definitely give these series a try. Lisa Kleypas stands at the very top of the Historical Romance genre, and each one of her books is a delight of charming romance and great historical context.

Needless to say, the minute I learned that Kleypas had a new series out, I went for it at once, so today I bring you the review for the first book: Cold-Hearted Rake and later in the week we’ll take a look to book #2, Marrying Winterborne

More information, visit the author’s page: http://www.lisakleypas.com

Image result for cold hearted rake

So, the review! ———-

The Ravenels Series takes place during the Victorian era, when England is is struggling with industrialization and most aristocrats are seeing their centuries worth of agricultural wealth dwindling away. Readers of Kleypas will be pleased to know that the story happens some 30 years after the events of The Wallflowers, and we are going to be seeing some of the beloved characters of that series take part in this one as well.

The main characters in the book are Devon Ravenel and Kathleen Ravenel, dowager countess of Trenear.25685080

Devon is a good character. He is bold, rakish, self-assured, enjoying the good things in life and refusing responsibilities as best as he can. However, things go awry for Devon when he is saddled with a (bankrupted) earldom and all this means: hundreds of tenants, thousands of acres of land, and four young ladies, all of whom depend on him to bring prosperity and security.
Needless to say, it is not an easy task. Devon takes on his new appointment with aplomb and does whatever he can to fulfill these responsibilities. I thought the transition from irresponsible rake to concerned lord was a little rushed and abrupt, but regardless of that, the change works for the better. Devon becomes a more likable character and of course, his new-found sense of honor comes a long way to endearing him to the lady of the house, Kathleen. Devon also has had a difficult childhood, somewhat dark not unlike those of other Kleypas heroes like Westcliff, Merripen and Nikolas Angelovsky. However, I would say this backstory was not exploited enough in his case, and it could have yielded far more interesting results if the author had brought it forward a little more.   

30653412Kathleen is our heroine. She is the young widow of the late earl, and, of course, she buts heads with Devon every step of the way when it comes to ruling the estate. Her impetuousness is meant to be conflicting and sparking, to create friction between the two leads, and it does. The problem is, it doesn’t seem to have a good base. At the beginning of the book Kathleen has been married for a really short time, so it makes no sense that she will react so viscerally to Devon’s actions. With Kathleen, she seems to go from an utter dislike of Devon to an ardent love, and again, the process is fairly abrupt. I have to confess I was not charmed by her character, because it seemed as too volatile and a little unfinished. Her interactions with Devon were good, but there were many rough edges to her characterization that did not quite make sense.

Overall, the story of Cold-Hearted Rake was enjoyable and easy to read. It has a good flow, good chemistry between the leads and the subplots introducing the secondary characters are all well-crafted and interesting enough to leave you wanting to know more. I don’t see this book becoming one of my favorites of Kleypas (she has a lot to choose from after all), but I concede it was a quick, and good read.

My rating:

3 stars

 

“One of Many”

 Not a book I particularly loved or hated. But not one I’m likely to come back to in the future either.

Dark Promises (Christine Feehan)

Title: Dark Promises

Author: Christine Feehan

Series: Dark Series/Carpathians #29

Date: March 15, 2016

Blurb:

Lovers challenge destiny and risk their lives in the new Carpathian novel by the #1 New York Times bestselling “queen of paranormal romance.”*

Gabrielle has had enough of battles, of wars, of seeing Gary Jansen, the man she loves nearly lose his life when it isn’t even his fight. Once he was a gentle and very human researcher. Now he’s a fearless and lethal Carpathian warrior with the blood of an ancient lineage coursing through his veins—a man Gabrielle still needs and desires and dreams of with every breath she takes. All she wants is a life far away from the Carpathian mountains, far from vampires and the shadows cast by the crumbling monastery that hides so many terrible secrets. But Gabrielle soon learns that promises made in the dark can pierce the heart like a dagger.

And she isn’t the only one in search of answers in the corners of the unknown…

Trixie Joanes has come to the Carpathian mountains in search of her wayward granddaughter, fearing that she has been lured there by something unspeakable. Instead, Trixie has stumbled into the path of a desperate man and a woman in love and on the run. And they’re all fated for the lair of a mysterious ancient with revenge in his soul and the undying power to make bad dreams come true.

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Review Day! 

 

Wow! It’s been forever since I did one of these. Ever since I started the blog I’ve learned quite a couple of useful things. Like the fact that authors are not supposed to review other authors’ books (as per Amazon TOS), and many other interesting tidbits. So now I’m only reviewing books I was already fan of before I started writing. Or books I read and enjoy specifically as a reader and nothing more. For today, we have the latest Dark Series book by Christine Feehan, Dark Promises

Dark Promises is not the first Feehan book I’ve reviewed here (check here for #28, Dark Ghost) and I’ll say again, I am fan of this author. I wait her books eagerness and I’m not afraid to admit that at this point there is nothing she can do that will make me drop the series (except killing Mikhail, Feehan, that is NOT allowed!).

That said, however, I struggled with this book. I’ll tell you why.   

The Review ———-Dark Promises ('Dark' Carpathian)

The book follows the path left by Dark Ghost, takes us to the Carpathian Mountains where the series started and shows us some more of the Carpathian world. For those fans of the series, you all know what this world is all about, and for those who don’t, here’s the summarized version: Carpathians are a race of beings that can fly, shapeshift and control nature. They feed on the blood of the humans but they do not kill. The Carpathians are almost extinct because of a particular trait of their race: each member can only have one partner for life. The males are the darkness, the females are the light. If the males do not find their mates in time, they risk being overcomed by the darkness in their souls and turning into a vampire, a mindless killer whose only purpose is to murder humans.

For Dark Promises we have not one, but two parallel stories (I’d go so far as to say there’s 3), which mean we have more than 2 main character.  Let’s start with the easy ones, shall we?

Two of the main characters are Fane and Trixie Joanes.

Dark PromisesFane and Trixie are already familiar because of their involvement in Dark Ghost. Fane is the Guardian of the Gates to the mysterious monastery that holds a group of Ancients too close to turning to be in the outside world. These Ancients keep to themselves and seclude themselves in the monastery in the hopes that, if they do succumb to the darkness, they won’t be able to harm anyone before their cellmates end them. Fane is funny and endearing, sexy and with a great sense of humor. Truly, his and Trixie’s pairing was a joy to read and I kept laughing non-stop through their scenes. Trixie is Teagan’s (Dark Ghost lead female) grandmother. She is feisty, sassy, sure of herself and yet vulnerable. She had a very difficult past but she didn’t let it bring her down, and instead made a good life for herself and her family. I really enjoyed reading about her. The problem was, these two didn’t have much time on the spotlight. 

That honor belonged to the other main couple (or threesome?).

Gabrielle Sanders and Aleksei are the other two. Aleksei is one of the ancients from the monastery. He is hard, domineering, dangerous and pretty much all we are used the Carpathians to be. Perhaps he takes it a teeny-tiny bit beyond (some hints of BDSM here and there), but nothing too radical. Personally, I had no trouble with him.

Gabrielle was the one who ruined the book for me. Gabrielle, for those who remember her, is sister to Joie, another leading girl, and was turned into Carpathian earlier in the series, after being stabbed almost to death. While she was still a human, she fell in love with Gary Jansen, another human that helped the Carpathian people. Fans were really eager to see how the relationship of these two would end up, specially after Gary was turned a couple of books ago, when he almost die in a fight. Needless to say, expectation was high. The problem is, as I mentioned before, Carpathians have one and only mate for life. They cannot have another or take another, and it’s against their law to take a partner that is not your mate. Gabrielle didn’t get the memo. Her obsession with Gary and with rejecting what she had become bordered on fanaticism, and her childish actions didn’t allow me to empathize with her situation. I kept seeing a three-year-old, spoiled brat set on her favorite toy, without any regard for the damage she left behind. With her selfishness, she hurts Gary, Aleksei and herself. The dynamic of her relationship with Aleksei is shattered at the very beginning because of her obsession with Gary, and sadly, it never recovers.

The rest of the book for these two is all about sex and domination, with Aleksei trying to impose himself on the woman he believes betrayed him, and Gabrielle unable to accept the fact that she was wrong in clinging to Gary as she did. In the middle of it all, Gary remains the saddest victim. He loses everything because of what Gabrielle did, and now is in real danger because of her selfish actions.

The only saving grace of this book was, as I said above, Trixie and Fane. Other than that, it was a no for me.

My rating:

3 stars

“One of Many”

 Not a book I particularly loved or hated. But not one I’m likely to come back to in the future either.

About a Vampire (Lynsay Sands)

Justin Bricker's storyTitle: About a Vampire

Author: Lynsay Sands

Series: Argeneau/Rogue Hunters #22

Date: September 29, 2015

Blurb:

In New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands’ new Argeneau novel, a vampire accustomed to seducing every woman he meets finds the one determined to resist him…

With Immortal good looks and scorching charisma, Justin Bricker has yet to meet a woman he can’t win over. His potential life mate should be no different. But instead of falling into his bed, Holly Bosley runs away and ends up mortally wounded. To save her, he has to turn her. And then Bricker learns the shocking truth: Holly’s already married.

Holly wakes up with a bump on her head, a craving for blood, and a sexy stranger who insists they belong together. She needs Bricker’s help to control her new abilities, even as she tries to resist his relentless seduction. Choosing between the world she knows and the eternity he offers is impossible. But Justin is fighting for his life mate—maybe even his life—and he’ll break every rule to do it…

separador

Review Day! 

A new week, a new book.

This time allow me to introduce to you Bestselling Author Lynsay Sands who combines humor, action and romance in her widely successful books saga.

About a Vampire is book #22 of  the Argeneau/Rogue Hunters Series, a Urban Fantasy, more Science-Fiction than Paranormal, Romance series. By now you probably know I have a thing for vampires. Actually looking back probably a 90% of the ongoing series I follow have some sort of vampiric content. Sands’ books are no different, except perhaps in the fact that she has two things that set her apart from the rest:

Number 1: She provides a scientifically plausible explanation for the vampiric characteristics of her characters. I’m actually quite amazed by the way she has treated this topic, because it’s fresh, believable and (what makes it even more interesting) possible!

Number 2: Her books have a big humorous component. Even though the latest installments on the series have shown an increasing level of action (opposite to the first books, where there was hardly any), the books have not lost their laugh-out-loud core that identifies the saga.

At the beginning, I must confess I only wanted a simple, enjoyable vampiric series to pass the time. I really didn’t think she would hook me as she has, so good work Ms. Sands!

More information, visit the author’s website: http://lynsaysands.net/

So, for this book! ———-

 

Atlantis was a fabulous city with incredible technological advances. They developed a way to treat sickness and injury at its core through the use of nanotechnology. The nanos implanted in the hosts are programmed to heal diseases and treat overall body decay, and they need extra blood to be able to perform at full capacity. In Atlantis, this was never a problem, since they had blood banks. But then Atlantis fell…

Fast-forward three thousand years in the future, the descendant of the Atlanteans live among us as a hidden society of immortals. Time has changed them and they have evolved to adapt to the new world they were thrown in. They are stronger, faster, more durable, and with the ability to read and control human minds. They blend in with the rest of the world, have their own rules and laws, and the most important one is that if one of them finds a person whose mind he cannot read or control, that person is intended to be his or her life mate. The only person in the world they can love and live with. They only person in the world for them.

The main characters in About a Vampire are Justin Bricker and Holly Bosley.

Justin is a character that fans of the series have been looking forward to for a while now. Since he was introduced about ten books ago, he’s made a place for himself with his quick wit, youthful charm and funny remarks. Needless to say, I was excited about his book. Sadly, Justin disappointed me greatly. He’s shallow, selfish and overall a little bit of a jerk. He’s been thrown up with a married life mate, which I understand can be frustrating, but he manages the situation awfully, all the time thinking in sexual terms I got quite tired of because they weren’t even possible with the plot. His whole development as a character was poor, and, even though the ending was ok, by them I was already too disappointed to care.

Holly is no better. While she’s slightly more developed as a character that Justin, there are things about her that still make no sense. She is always confused, never seems to be sure of anything, and even when she is sure about something (like the fact that she wants to keep her marriage together) it comes across as naive stubbornness, because she doesn’t have a plan or an actual goal. Everything is pretty vague about her and I couldn’t find a quality that actually grounds her as a person.

The relationship was bumpy at best, awkward at worst. It started about the middle of the book so the entire beginning was just senseless stalling, and from then on it was sex-based alone. There were a couple of moments of actual talk but they never transpired. The actual things that make a couple were overlooked in favor of the sweaty stuff. Not nice, if I wanted to read sex I’d go for Erotica. Overall it was a bad book for me, and the only thing remarkable about it is probably the humor I mentioned earlier. Although dulled by a bad plotline, I still had a couple of laughs. Too bad it wasn’t enough to make up for the rest of it.

 

My rating:

3 stars

“One of Many”

 Not a book I particularly loved or hated. But not one I’m likely to come back to in the future either.

Dragonbane (Sherrilyn Kenyon)

Title: Dragonbane 

Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon

Series: Dark Hunters Series #26

Date: August 04, 2015

Summary:

Out of all the mysterious boarders who call Sanctuary home, no one is more antisocial or withdrawn than Maxis Drago. But then, it’s hard to blend in with the modern world when you have a fifty foot wingspan.

Centuries ago, he was cursed by an enemy who swore to see him fall. An enemy who took everything from him and left him forever secluded.

But Fate is a bitch, with a wicked sense of humor. And when she throws old enemies together and threatens the wife he thought had died centuries ago, he comes back with a vengeance. Modern day New Orleans has become a battleground for the oldest of evils. And two dragons will hold the line, or go down in flames

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Review Day! 

It’s finally that time of the month! First, a little introduction, shall we?

Today’s main dish is a recent release by Bestselling Author Sherrilyn Kenyon!

Dragonbane is the most recent installment (#26) of one of my favorite Romance series, The Dark Hunters. I love, love, love these books and have read them all, some of them several times over. The Dark Hunters is a Paranormal/Urban Fantasy Romance series that incorporates elements of classic mythology (gods, demigods, demons, etc.) and uses them with a mastery and knowledge of the field that it’s quite remarkable. As a mythology junkie myself, I must say I am very pleased with what the author has accomplished in this series. Sure, she takes some literary liberties (don’t we all?), but even so, she manages to keep true to the legends and accepted historical facts quite well.

Also, the characters are just superb, and the world-building skills that this author displays are definitely top of the line.

More information, visit the author’s website: sherrilynkenyon.com

So, let’s get to it! ———-

First, let me say that I’ve been waiting for Dragonbane for an entire year. After a couple or so-so books within the series, Kenyon released Styxx two years ago, which was as much a masterpiece as it gets.

And after that “Son of No One” which was also quite good. So I was really excited for Dragonbane, not only due to the precedents, but also because it featured a rather elusive character that readers had seen on and off throughout the whole saga: The Dragon Maxis Drago.

So I actually entered this endeavor with high spirits!

The main characters in this novel are Maxis and Seraphina, a dragon and his wife (not spoilers, all of this is in the SK page!).

As I said before, Maxis I already knew. He always had a mysterious air to him and he developed quite nicely in his own book. He is a good Romance Hero. Strong, protective, a little dominant, but also kind and forgiving. He gets into quite the deal of troubles but he manages to get out of them elegantly enough. I wouldn’t call him an easy-go-lucky kind of guy, but I’d say that overall he has a rather mellow personality, which is refreshing in a genre that can quite easily cause a testosterone overload problem. I didn’t have an issue with him.

He was quite well-crafted in his image of the tired warrior that now only wants peace. And hopefully, someone to share that peace with.

 

Seraphina on the other hand was a little harder to cope with. Here we have a character who, supposedly, due to her unconsciousness, fear and inability to compromise, caused her husband to be deeply hurt. She has a trail of “youthful mistakes” that already ruined her marriage once, and that you are supposed to believe, even though there are quite the number of holes in the theory. For instance, even though she claims to love her husband, she doesn’t hesitate to punish him cruelly for whatever mistake she thinks he’s committed, and she justifies her actions by saying that she “didn’t mean for it to be so bad”.

That wouldn’t be a problem, though if her arc of change was clearly visible to the reader. Readers are forgiving. If let’s say, she was a completely different person at the end than the one at the beginning of the relationship, then the readers could separate the “immature” version of the “mature” version. However, when we meet her at the beginning of the book, she is basically the exact same person from the flashbacks. Under this circumstances, her sudden willingness to compromise and work for the relationship with his husband is not believable.

I was actually disappointed in their interactions, because they didn’t feel real to me. Seraphina’s personality is not very defined, and as such, the pairing doesn’t quite work.

I won’t get into plot this time because, since this book is part of a series, there are several things involved in the plot development. I’ll only say that, although it’s a little bit complicated, is fairly easy to follow compared to some of the previous books. Also, the plot is quite unobtrusive towards the main relationship, which I always value in a Romance novel, although in this particular time, since the couple didn’t work for me, I don’t really care for it.

My rating:

3 stars

“One of Many”

 Not a book I particularly loved or hated. But not one I’m likely to come back to in the future either.