28 November 2011

Dragonquest (Dragonriders of Pern, Book 2)


I enjoyed this one much more than the first one. Again, it was a little slow for me, getting into it, but once I did, wow! I felt a little more connected with Brecke and F'nor than I had with Lessa and F'lar in the first book and I think the author let us in on their feelings a little more than she had in the first book. Yes, I know this is a science fiction book, but I still want a love story and an HEA, and the author delivered one here. There were a couple of scenes that were much more emotional to me - I even teared up once.

(I received this book through BookCrossing.)

25 November 2011



I finished this a couple of days ago, but with Thanksgiving this week I haven't been online much. It was enjoyable for the most part, and I like the author's breezy writing style. I don't know that I would want to vacation at Austenland myself, it seemed like the majority of the time spent there would have been incredibly boring.

Jane Hayes is an American who has had a succession of disappointing relationships. She secretly yearns for a Mr. Darcy, and no man she meets ever lives up to that ideal. When an elderly relative passes away, she leaves Jane a paid vacation at Austenland, an immersion experience where women live out their Austen fantasies. Jane isn't totally thrilled at the idea, but then decides that this may be the perfect opportunity to get her Darcy fixation out of her system and then find a "realistic" man. 

Other guests at Austenland include Miss Charming, who cracked me up, the way she tried to talk like an Englishwoman, with her "what-whats" and such. The gentlemen seemed a little boring, though Mr. Nobley, the most Darcy-like, piques Jane's interest while annoying her at the same time. Then Jane meets Martin the gardener, a breath of fresh air, not to mention exciting as, being a servant, he is not supposed to speak to or interact with the guests. I think if I were Jane I'd have found myself drawn to him as well. 

The ending was a little unexpected to me, and while the scene at the airport was amusing, I would have liked it to end a little differently...this is a little spoilery so stop here if you don't like that...

I would have liked to see Jane get on the plane and go home, leaving both Martin and Mr. Nobley behind, to start the rest of her life fresh with the possibility of meeting a new man who she can better appreciate now that she's gotten enough Austen and Darcy to last her awhile.

(I received this book through BookCrossing.)

18 November 2011

Code of Honor (Love Inspired Suspense No. 143; Secret Agent #3)


Selena is a nurse, who works in a clinic for low-income/poor families, and has currently been in Argentina helping to run a clinic there. When the clinic is attacked and many of the staff, along with villagers, are killed, she makes a desperate phone call to her long time friend, Brice, who flies in and whisks her safely back to Georgia.

Brice and Selena met in college, and a romance might have happened, but Brice was eager to join CHAIM, a covert Christian agency that protects and helps Christians in need. Being a part of CHAIM, of which Selena's father is also a part of, means a relationship is off limits. So they have been the best of friends since then.

Now they're thrown together as Selena's father places Brice in charge of protecting her while he's out of town, as it becomes clear that her life is in danger.

I had a few issues with the story that sort of got in the way of my enjoying it. Selena and Brice have been close friends since college, yet she keeps secrets from him that put her life at risk. She has suspicions about the raid in Argentina and what the attackers were after. But she keeps her thoughts to herself and leaves Brice in the dark. Diego, who went to Argentina with her, was killed in the attack, and Brice wonders if Selena were in love with him. We never really learn the nature of her relationship with Diego, we never know if they were just friends or romantically involved.

I knew long before the book ended who the bad guy was, but it took Selena much longer to figure out, though Brice wondered. Although Brice was actually suspicious of everybody.

Part of it may be that missionary/drug cartel/guerrillas plot lines just don't appeal to me, so even without my issues with the characters I may not have loved the book.

I guess basically this was a decent, fairly enjoyable read, but nothing particualrly memorable for me.

(I purchased this book at a library book sale.)

13 November 2011

Stakes & Stilettos (Immortality Bites, Book 4)


With this entry in the series, we're back with Sarah Dearly and her master vampire boyfriend, Thierry (and in this one I finally found out how to prounounce his name properly when he enuciated it for someone who said it wrong - note to author, you could have done that in the first book!).

As we know from Sarah's previous book, she has been looking forward to going to her home town to attend her high school reunion. But at the reunion, she is confronted by a former classmate, who she doesn't remember but who she apparently treated badly. The classmate is now a witch, and she curses Sarah to be a nightwalker - an ancient race of vampires who could not go out in the sun without burning up, and who crave blood and kill to get it.

As with the first two books, the story is narrated by Sarah, but there are a few "Interludes", told in third person from Thierry's point of view, which give us some backstory on his life. I kind of wish there had been more of these throughout the book.

This was a very enjoyable read, with several plot twists and turns, and without wrapping up the nightwalker curse plot, which will continue in the fifth and final book. I have really loved this series and definitely reccomend it to fans of this genre.

(Purchased at Half Price Books.)

09 November 2011

Night Embrace (Dark-Hunter, Book 2)



Our hero this time around is Talon, who appeared as a secondary character in the previous book, Night Pleasures. I wasn’t sure what I thought of him at that time, but I really liked him from the beginning of this book. Talon had a horrible childhood, but grew up to marry Nynia, the love of his life. But everyone he loved was murdered, his mother, aunt and uncle, his wife. He was betrayed by his cousin, and then his sister was murdered in front of him, just before he himself was also slain. Artemis then made him a Dark-Hunter. He was also cursed by a god, so that anyone he loves will die. So he has buried all feelings deep inside, and just does his job, has the occasional one night stand with a woman, then goes back to his home in the swamp, alone.

Sunshine is an artist, married and divorced young, who lives above her parents bar, and is not interested in another relationship right now. She’s a little unconventional (her whole family is), a little forgetful, a health food nut, and is friends with Selena, having a booth near hers where she sells her artwork.  Once she and Talon meet, they are irresistibly drawn to each other, even though neither wants a commitment.

I liked Sunshine, but I’m not into reincarnation, and I didn't particularly care for the idea that she was Talon’s wife, Nynia, reincarnated. I can understand how that plot line couldn’t really be removed though, as it would change too much of the story. Once Sunshine recovers her memories of being Nynia, she worries that Talon doesn’t love her as much as he loved Nynia, or that he doesn’t love her for herself because he is still so devastated over having lost Nynia. And then the whole thing with her grandmother, which just totally came out of left field to me and brought home the fact that Talon and Sunshine were fated to be together but also made me feel fate had been manipulated a little…

With Mardi Gras approaching, Acheron has brought in reinforcements as Daimon activity will increase, so we meet Valerius, who has ties to Talon from before they were Dark-Hunters, and the cold-hearted Zarek, who had been banished to Alaska until he was called in to help out here. Zarek was a very interesting case, and I hope that he will have his own book at some point in the series.

Overall, I very much enjoyed this book, and am eager for the next one to be in my hands.

(Received through BookCrossing.)

04 November 2011

The Prodigal Patriot


First line: Today was a glorious day to be outside, Sally Reid decided as she went about her morning chores.

Publisher's Synopsis:  Sally Reid's family decides on a dangerous course when the Tories of Maple Notch, Vermont, chase Patriot families from their land. They make  a home in a secluded cave nearby and farm their land by moonlight, working hard and waiting for the day when they can safely return home.

When Josiah Tuttle discovers their secret and offers to help, Sally doesn't know if she can trust him. After all, Josiah's father is one of the Tories who forced her family into hiding.

The Tuttles have already lost one son to the hated Patriot cause. How can Josiah both honor his grieving father and protect the woman he loves? When called upon to take a stand, which side will he choose? How can Sally and Josiah battle through the barriers separating them from love and forgiveness?

It took me a bit to get interested in this story. Sally is a sweet enough heroine, living with her parents, two brothers and a young sister in 1777 Vermont. Josiah and his brother and parents are neighbors and friends, for as long as Sally can remember. But the community is in unrest as loyalties are divided between the king and independence, and Sally's and Josiah's families are on opposite sides.

Then tragedy strikes both families, taking a son from one and a father from the other, as tensions escalate. Sally, her pregnant mother, and her two youngest siblings are forced to abandon their home after being threatened by the Tories. But they are determined not to abandon their land, and make a home in a nearby cave, hiding out by day, working their land in the evenings before the moon is too bright for them to be easily seen.

While the first two-thirds of the story move along slowly, the last third suddenly caught fire and became a page turner. I won't say exactly why as I don't want to be spoilery...but in the end it was a pretty gripping read.

(I purchased this book at a library book sale.)