Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Review: The Pleasure of Your Kiss

by Teresa Medeiros
Rating: 3/5

pleasureofyourkissAshton Burke is a legendary adventurer who has spent the past ten years roaming the globe to forget the girl he left behind. His devil-may-care life is interrupted when he's hired to rescue his brother's kidnapped fiancée from a sultan's harem. Too late, he discovers she is none other than Clarinda Cardew, the very same girl who made off with his jaded heart a decade ago.
The last thing Clarinda wants is to be trapped in a palace of sensual delights with the man whose irresistible kisses still haunt her sleepless nights. Although he vows he is only doing his job, Clarinda quickly realizes that allowing Ashton to rescue her may put her yearning heart in even greater peril. In a journey that takes them from the delicious intrigues of a sultan's court to the glittering ballrooms of London, Ashton and Clarinda resume the steps of their dangerous dance only to discover the most seductive pleasure of all may be love itself.

This is book one in the Burke Brothers series by Teresa Medeiros. I rather enjoyed her Kane Vampire books, which manage to both mock vampires and be vampire books. In Regency England. But to be honest it was only book two that made me want to read this book. So was it worth it?

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Review: How To Entice an Earl

by Manda Collins
Rating: 2/5

howtoenticeanearlLady Madeline Essex is the last of the unwed “ducklings” in her family—and by far the most outspoken. But when she boldly enters London’s most notorious gaming house in search of fodder for her novel, even her sharp tongue can’t save her from the horrible crime she stumbles upon there. As luck would have it, first on the scene is the last man she wants to see her vulnerable. The one man who could tempt her heart…
Christian Monteith, the new Earl of Gresham, isn’t much for card rooms and gaming hells. But as a favor to his former commanding officer, he's investigating a gamester for espionage on the night that Maddie ventures in looking more enticing than he's ever seen her. Suddenly, his feelings for his friend aren't so friendly anymore. And when her curiosity brings the impetuous novelist to the attention of a madman, Christian will stop at nothing to protect her—from a sinister plot that is far more dangerous than any stolen kiss…

This is book three of the “Ugly Ducklings” series. In book one Cecily uses a stolen dance card and falls for the Duke of Winterson. In book two, Juliet uses it and lands Alec Deverill. So In book three we should be charmed as the final wallflower of the cousins borrows the dance card and falls in love right?

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Retro-view: Sea Swept

by Nora Roberts

seasweptA family conflict is set to make waves . . .
After years of fast living and reckless excitement, Cameron Quinn is called home to help care for his adopted brother Seth, a troubled young boy not unlike Cameron once was. Dark, brooding and fiercely independent, Cameron's life changes overnight as he has to learn to live with his brothers again.Old rivalries and new resentments flare between the passionate Quinn boys as they try to set aside their differences. But when Seth's fate falls into the hands of Anna, a tough but beautiful social worker, the tide starts to turn. She alone has the power to bring the Quinns together - or tear them apart . . .

Well if you read my new year’s wrap up post then you’d know that I read my first Nora Robert book last year. This one was published in about 1998, so it definitely qualifies as a retro-view on release age. Anyway, Sea Swept is the first book in the Chesapeake Bay trilogy, later becoming the Chesapeake Bay Saga when we (and by we I mean the readers of the time and not me – I was 6) couldn’t resist the temptation for a grown up Seth to get his story.

Nora Roberts is the undisputed Queen of Romance. You might not particularly like her books but you have to admit 200 published books so far, is the kind of effort that deserves respect no matter the genre. So I picked out a book from my library thinking that it was only a couple of hours and it couldn’t suck that bad.

Well I liked it. I was converted. I’ve read all my Nora books so far from my local libraries (it’s complicated) and when I first read Sea Swept it was in a two book omnibus with Rising Tides called the Quinn Brothers. As soon as I finished I started book two. This book and series more than any other of Robert’s work created a world that was immersive and realistic.

So lets look at the plot and characters. Cameron competes in boat races for money. He drops everything (including a woman) to race back to his injured father and is just on time. Despite his past, Cam is loyal to the bone, he never really considers any option but taking in Seth and looking after him. He literally threw a woman naked out of his hotel room (okay so that one’s also a chance for us to learn how attractive and good with the ladies he is) so he could go to his father. When push comes to shove he’s a good guy.

Anna Spinelli. I love this woman, she’s a social worker and she still cares. But more than that she was one of the best female characters I’d read until then (and still) that had a satisfying career and it was important it was still just a career. She didn’t define herself as career woman or nothing, she didn’t think having a relationship or potentially children would make her less. Anna knew just like I do that she’s awesome and she’s also a woman, and a social worker they are not why she’s awesome, they just make it better. Anna was also a troubled teen, she and her mother were raped, and then her mother died from injuries that happened, but after lashing out and ending up in juvie her caseworker helped to get her head on straight. Which inspired her career choice later on in life as she wanted to impact others the same way.

Something I greatly appreciated in reference to this is that Anna didn’t need Cam to “fix” her rape issues with his magic penis. And that was a breath of fresh air. Too often the reason the heroine has remained traumatised after something like that is that the men in her life weren’t trying hard enough, because the hero is gentle and then after sex she’s “fixed”. I hate that, because it says that a) if you were psychologically scarred by rape, then you’ve picked the wrong men in your life since or b) trauma can just go away. And to me the prevalence is why I call it the “magic penis” because it’s just not real. But Nora Robert is too cool for that.

Seth is a cutie. You can see the way that mistrusts those around him at first and opens up under the unique attention and brotherly bond that the Quinn Brothers give him. Really they were the best people for each other.

Ethan and Phillip. Such opposites in character despite such similar upbringings. I liked the little hints for Ethan’s book. I liked Phillip, despite that he’s is so alien in comparison to Cam and Ethan and their philosophies in life. I really loved the camaraderie between the brothers, it had a real sibling feel to it and it seemed to me like a realistic look at brothers and family.

So after all of that the plot is really very simple. Ray Quinn dies, leaving his adopted sons to look after his foster son/adoptive son. Cam meets Anna and love ensues.

So, complaints?

Actually yes. There is no epilogue and without it the resolution Cam and Anna’s lives is too little, I know there are some people who dislike epilogue’s because they feel unnecessary and in this case we do get most of that resolution in Rising Tides. However I’m retro-view Sea Swept not the whole Chesapeake Bay Saga, the ending is almost too quick for a HFN, let alone the kind of HEA I like.

And I’m a hypocrite as my other complaint is that the whole Chesapeake Bay Saga should have had more that four books!

Final Verdict: This book holds up against time and the extensive Nora Roberts catalog (at least what I’ve read) as a great read.

Currently Listening: Out of My Limit – 5 Seconds of Summer