zondag 30 juni 2013

Nora Roberts – Irish Rose

The second book in the Irish Hearts series, published in 1988.
Genre: contemporary romance
Cover: generic. My book has a different cover, as I have the duology with the first two stories.

Irish Rose photo n65658_zps4a5f6000.jpg

Erin McKinnon. A bold beauty, she accepted Burke Logan’s loveless proposal and his cool promise of security and wealth. But could this ravishing Irish Rose win her heart-hearted husband’s love?

After reading Irish Thoroughbreds, I knew I wanted more of this series. I like the story line, of an Irish girl going to America where she meets and falls in love with a rich American horsebreeder. And this story is more of that.

When Erin McKinnon’s cousin Adelia and her husband and children are coming to visit from America, Erin is excited about it. She is also jealous, as she wants more than the small village of Skibbereen, and she wants a loving family like her cousin has for her self. What she does not know is that a friend and neighbour of Travis and Adelia is with them. And Burke Logan is instantly intrigued by the fiery Erin. He recognizes something of himself in her, the want for more, for new things, for riches.
Erin is working on the farm with her parents, but also as an accountant for the three small businesses in the village, and as cleaning lady in the Inn where the Americans are staying. She does not want them to know that, but Burke finds her in the kitchen doing the dishes the next morning.

Burke offers Erin a job working for him as his accountant, as his former accountant has just been sent to prison for embezzling his money. He needs someone to clean up the mess, and make sure all the payrolls and bills are paid in time. And he knows Erin is qualified for that, as he has been asking around about her. After some thinking, Erin accepts the job offer, as she longs to go to America. She will be living with her cousin, and travel to his estate every day. Erin does make it clear she is not interested in becoming his mistress, she is there to do his accounts and that it is. But there is a very strong attraction between them, and when Burke finds another man admiring Erin, he reaches his limit, and takes her home with him.

Burke has had a though childhood, and he is every inch the self made man. He knows if he loses this fortune, he can make another. He has kept himself aloof from other people, having few friends but Travis and Dee, and even after he marries Erin, he tries to keep distant from her. Erin would never have slept with him, let alone married him, if she did not love Burke, but this distance is driving them apart. Especially after what happens at the races …

I enjoyed this second book in the series. I like and admire Erin, for daring to take the leap and leave family and friends and everything that is familiar behind to travel to America. To accept a job from a man she hardly knows. But the pay is more than she will ever be able to make in Ireland, and of course she has Travis and Adelia to fall back on. And Paddy is there to look out for her as well. She does fall for Burke hard and fast, and is determined to make him love her back. But Burke does not know how to show his feelings, nor does he trust in them. And so he showers her with gifts and luxury, while Erin wants nothing more than to hear those 3 words.

The intrigue at the race track was well done, though not difficult to figure out.

All in all, a nice Nora Roberts romance, ideal for a cold afternoon to relax with.

7 stars.

Autobuy author

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© 2013 Reviews by Aurian

zaterdag 29 juni 2013

Shelly Laurenston – Big bad Beast

The sixth book in the Pride series, published May 1, 2011.
Genre: paranormal romance
Cover: I like it.

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Seeing is deceiving. And Ric Van Holtz, the wolfishly sexy hero of Shelly Laurenston's sizzling, wildly entertaining new tale, is nothing you expect - and everything you want...
When it comes to following her instincts, former Marine Dee-Ann Smith never holds back. And this deadly member of a shifter protection group will do anything to prove one of her own kind is having hybrids captured for dogfights. Trouble is, her too-cute rich-boy boss Ric Van Holtz insists on helping out. And his crazy-like-a-fox smarts and charming persistence are making it real hard for Dee to keep her heart safe....
Ric can't believe his luck. He's wanted this fiercely independent she-wolf from day one, but he never expected teamwork as explosive as this. And now is his last chance to show Dee what she needs isn't some in-your-face Alpha male - but a wily, resourceful wolf who'll always have her back in a fight...and between the sheets.

I have been looking forward to this story for a long time, ever since I first encountered Dee-Ann Smith on the pages of my first Shelly Laurenston novel, she intrigued me. She is really cold heart and a killer. All the shifters are predators of course, but she is a killer. She has been a marine, and now she has joined the Group. The attacks on hybrids are escalating, and they need to find the money. Cut that off, and the illegal pit fights will disappear. To her dismay Dee-Ann will have to work close together with Dez from LAPD and Malone as representative of the cats’ agency. She prefers to work alone, but her boss, in the form of Ric Van Holtz, leaves her no choice in this.

Ric Van Holtz is a wolf shifter, one of the rich and famous Van Holtz’s and a genius in the kitchen. He is also good at investing money, and has been in love with Dee-Ann Smith since he first met her at age 6. Of course she has no clue and Ric knows he has to work slowly to seduce her and make her his mate. It does drive him nuts that she has no problem at all to barge into his highly secured home to give him her reports, but he also loves seeing her at his home. When Dee-Ann is injured one day, he insists on driving her to her home, and is appalled at the apartment she has rented. As it has been taken over by some very feral rats, he insists that she uses one of his spare bedrooms until she rents another place. Dee-Ann never did spend much time at the flop she rented, usually sleeping in the hotel with her friend, one of the Reed brothers, but now she is embarrassed and has no choice but to accept Ric’s offer.
Every opportunity he gets, Ric makes food for Dee-Ann, as she does not take well enough care of her self, and is too skinny for a wolf shifter. Dee-Ann really loves his cooking, but is indeed not interested in feeding herself when she is on a case.

There is also a subplot with Ric’s father, who is embezzling funds from the Pack, and he needs to take steps to end it. Ric really does not want to become Alpha himself, and his father thinks he is entitled to all that Ric has. As does his older brother and the two of them try to intimidate him time and again. What was fun, was seeing how Dee-Ann deals with those two. She stuffs his brother in a garbage chute!

I enjoyed this one very much, as I just love both main characters. Dee-Ann and her father Eggie Smith are feared by most shifters, and that reputation is deserved. She loves to fight, and does not mind having to kill the bad guys. She is good at her job and she knows it.
Ric has been raised mostly by his uncle Van, and his aunt Irene, and they did a great job. I loved him. Sure he is alpha as most shifters are, but not annoyingly so. He has enough patience not to chase Dee-Ann away, but let her hunt him instead, and that was brilliantly done.

I did love seeing all the other couples appear in this book, as their storylines and lives keep intertwining. For now I am done reading this series, but I am looking forward to the next book.

Again, lots of action, fighting, bloodshed, but also lots of humor, foodtalk and friendship. And some hot lovescenes as Shelly writes so well. Perfect series to relax with, and yes, it does make me laugh out loud.

9 stars.

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© 2013 Reviews by Aurian

vrijdag 28 juni 2013

Susannah Sandlin – Redemption

The first book in the Penton Vampire Legacy series, published June 12, 2012.
Genre: paranormal romance
Cover: creepy eye

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For vampire Aidan Murphy, life has never been so desperate. The vaccine used to treat a global pandemic has rendered human blood deadly to his kind, leaving them on the brink of starvation and civil war. In tiny Penton, Alabama, Aidan establishes a peaceful community of vampires and unvaccinated human donors. He dares to hope that they can survive – until his estranged brother descends upon Penton and begins killing the humans. Determined to save his town, Aidan kidnaps an unsuspecting human doctor … and finds himself falling in love for the first time in nearly four centuries.
Dr. Krystal Harris thought she was coming to Penton for a job interview, but Aidan Murphy has other plans. Infuriated by his high handed scheme to imprison her in the small town, Krys can’t ignore the attraction between them. But is it love? Or does her dangerous, charismatic captor only want to bend her to his will?

I have had this book on my shelves for a while now, but I was hesitant to start reading it. First, I don’t like the scary eye on the covers of this series, and secondly, I was afraid there would be lots of medical details in it. But as I won the third book in the series recently, it was high time I started the book, especially as some of my blog friends really love this series. And I am very glad that I read the book, as I loved it! It won’t take me so long to read the rest, promise.

Aidan Murphy has built himself and his cadre of vampire friends a good life in the little town of Penton, Alabama. He has bought all the land in the forgotten little town, so no one can come live in it, without his permission, and discover their secrets. They have a host of willing human donors bonded to them, to feed them and to take care of daylight needs. Humans they have taken of the streets and helped put their lives back on track. They are kept safe from other vampires, as a bonded human can only feed the vampire he is bonded to, and is poisonous to other vampire. And one vampire does not need much to feed daily.
Ever since the pandemic, the vampire Tribunal has forbidden new vampires to be made, as there are not enough unvaccinated humans to feed them all as it is. And so vampires who recklessly kill their prey, are not tolerated either. This results in a death sentence for Owen Murphy for killing some ladies of the night in Dublin, and leaving them for the human police to find.

One of the vampires on the Tribunal has been searching for his son, William Ludlam. And a sleezy private investigator has tracked him down to Penton, Alabama. Ludlam wants his son back where he belongs, and thinks it will be an easy case of go in, abduct him, and have him delivered at his feet. But when he hears more about the place, and that Will has bonded to Aidan Murphy, things are different. Especially when he finds out that the Tribunal’s former executioner, whom they all presumed death for some years now, is living there as well. And so a diabolical plot hatches in his head, and he sends for Owen Murphy in vampire prison. If Owen wants to keep living, he will kill Aidan and bring Will and Mirren back to him. And so Owen collects a small cadre of vampires and homeless humans to feed them, and sets out for Penton, to screw up Aidan’s little paradise.

One of his first kills, is the town Doctor, and with the upcoming battle, they really need a new one. Will is a wizard at the computer, and he has researched a lot of potential applicants for the job. But Krystal Harris is the best so far, without any family or close friends, and she has not been vaccinated. She also has a huge debt and needs the fat salary they are providing. And Will was right, Krystal is coming over for a job interview.
But before there is time for a job interview, Krystal is stopped in the middle of the road by a man needing her help with a wounded person. This was not how she imagined meeting Aidan Murphy, the hospital administrator. And why has he not called for an ambulance, but insists on her treating the man?

It is all highly irregular, but Krystal cannot deny her assistance when needed, she does take her oath seriously. The clinic is much bigger than she expected, and supplied with the latest machines and such in medicine. She is convinced that Mark will live, but is still surprised that there is no ambulance or sheriff called about the attack.

Aidan is very attracted to this woman, and not just because he has not fed yet. Could she really be his mate? Whatever the case, he knows he cannot let her leave again, the town needs her. But enthralling her does not work for long, and does not last, and she does ask a lot of questions of him. She is certainly not happy to be locked up in the basement, no matter how luxurious the room is. Still, when she needs to do her job again, she cannot refuse. And when she finds out that she is living amongst vampires, she does not get hysterical, but merely curious and doubting it is real. And then there is that strange attraction to Aidan. Is it Stockholm’s syndrome? Or is it real?

After extracting a promise from Krystal that she will stay the month, she is given her freedom and a house of her own in town, just a few doors from Aidan’s. She is making friends with Jennifer, the resident nurse, and Aidan’s fam. The human who is bound to him, and feeds him when he rises for the night.

But the fight against Owen escalates, and no one is safe …

I really enjoyed this story. Krystal is a strong woman, who has been through a horrible childhood, and she does not intend to be commandeered by a man ever again. And now Aidan with his mindgames is trying to do just that, and she won’t have it. She came to Penton as she wanted to start a rural practice in a small village, to make some friends amongst the villagers, and to earn enough money to pay off her scholar debts. She does not believe she is beautiful, but Aidan thinks differently.
And then there is Aidan. Who is still feeling guilty about his wife’s death, 400 years ago. Although he was not the one who killed her, he could not safe her. He has really built a good life for himself and his followers and their humans, and he does what it takes to keep it that way. That the Tribunal has found out about it, is not good, they will feel threatened if they know the real amount of vampires bonded to him and his lieutenants. So he dares not kill Owen until he knows who is backing him in this. He does not intend to claim Krystal as his own, but circumstances make him act. And the mate bond is hard to fight.

The story is filled with action, but also gives Krystal (and the reader) the time to learn about this world, and Penton. Bits of Aidan’s history are explained throughout the story, not all in once, and I enjoyed that. How the humans really live their voluntarily, and feed the vampires, they are happy. The vampires are ruthless to each other, and the bad guys don’t care at all about the humans they are killing. This is kind of stupid as they are starving already. They should take better care of their food supply. I am looking forward to reading the stories of Mirren and Will in the future books. They are intriguing characters.

8 stars.

Autobuy author

I won this book on a blog

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© 2013 Reviews by Aurian

donderdag 27 juni 2013

Shelly Laurenston – Beast behaving badly

The fifth book in the Pride series, published June 1, 2010.
Genre: paranormal romance
Cover: hot

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Some men just have more to offer. Like hard-muscled, shape-shifting Bo Novikov--part polar bear, part lion, pure alpha. . .

Ten years after Blayne Thorpe first encountered Bo Novikov, she still can't get the smooth-talking shifter out of her head. Now he's shadowing her in New York--all seven-plus feet of him--determined to protect her from stalkers who want to use her in shifter dogfights. Even if he has to drag her off to an isolated Maine town where the only neighbors are other bears almost as crazy as he is. . .
Let sleeping dogs lie. Bo knows its good advice, but he can't leave Blayne be. Blame it on her sweet sexiness--or his hunch that there's more to this little wolfdog than meets the eye. Blayne has depths he hasn't yet begun to fathom--much as he'd like to. She may insist Bo's nothing but a pain in her delectable behind, but polar bears have patience in spades. Soon she'll realize how good they can be together. And when she does, animal instinct tells him it'll be worth the wait. . .

Only one more book to go in this series, and I am looking forward to that one, as the new main characters in that book, play a nice part in this one. Can any man really tame Dee Ann Smith? But this is the story of Bo Novikov and Blayne Thorpe.

Bo Novikov never forgot the female wolf dog who ran screaming away from him when he was 19 and she 17. So when he picks up her scent again in New York City, he accepts the crappy contract that is offered him, instead of the millions and other benefits other ice hockey teams are offering him. Bo is a hybrid too, a lion-bear mix, with OCD. He lives and breathes his precious schedules and cannot abide messy things. So he is in for a big shock with Blayne, who is incredibly messy and chaotic and cannot stop talking. But Bo doesn’t care, she amuses him and she is his. She just doesn’t know it yet and he senses that he will have to tread carefully or she will run again.

When Blayne finds out her best friend Gwen is about to replace her on the roller derby team because she just is not mean enough, she is determined to ask Bo Novikov for training advice. She will skate for the championship with her team! Bo is the most ruthless sportsman out there, totally brutal to both his opponents, his own team and his fans, so if anyone can teach her not to be so nice, he can. Bo is totally flabbergasted by the question, first she ruins his schedule, and then she wants him to change it to fit him in? And in return for training her, she will teach him to be more social, and make some friends. Bo is perfectly happy with his life as it is, he does not want to change, but he does want Blayne. And so he agrees.
But when she keeps being late as she wears watches that are pretty but don’t tell time, he has had it with her. She is driving him crazy, he does not care about her reasons and excuses, they had a deal. So when Blayne does not show up that evening for practice, her last chance, he goes to her house to tell her off, only to find her wounded and sick. Not only does he take care of her, without taking her to a hospital as she refuses to go, he cleans and cleans up her whole apartment while she is out cold.
To his own surprise, Bo wakes up the next morning on the floor instead of the couch, with Blayne snuggled up against him. And he likes it, but he has to go to a meeting with his agent. It takes a lot of yelling to get Blayne to hurry up, but Bo is relentless. When Bo later coerces Blayne to go out on a real date with him, the bad guys really ruin that.

There have been dead hybrids found all over town and New Jersey in the past few months, and the Group knows that they have Blayne’s name on their grab list. They have been using those hybrids for illegal dog fights. And so the Van Holtzes have tasked Dee Ann Smith with guarding Blayne, without telling her. Of course Blayne is not stupid and figured that out long ago, but she is hurt that they try to keep it from her. She really can take care of herself, something the kidnappers find out in a brutal way. Both Bo and Blayne are severely wounded, and Bo just manages to call for help from the bears in town. When contacting his uncle, a former Unit sergeant, he orders them to bring them both to Maine, where the bear hospital will take care of Bo and his little female. They will be deep into bear territory, where they will be safe. The Van Holtzes are very upset that they have lost Blayne, as she is friends with almost everybody they know.

When Blayne finds out that she has been chipped like a house pet, she is furious. How dare they! And so she refuses to go back home with them, when they finally have tracked her down. If they want her to come home, they will have to get her father to come and get her. She will stay with Bo’s uncle. And Bo makes the rash decision to stay as well, and to hell with the finals in two weeks. He never thought he could do that, but for her, he will walk away from the game. And did she not tell him he should relax and take a vacation?

This book actually had a bit of a plot, next to the romance part. But I really did like the romance a lot. It took a while for them to get into bed together, time for them to become friends first, and get to know each other. And they do fit together surprisingly well. I really dislike Blayne in the other books, because of her way to cheery and friendly disposition, she tires me out, but I did like her in this one. Bo understands her, and he takes her seriously. And when all her friends become big-brother-protective of her, she won’t take it, and of course Bo is never afraid. After all, he is the biggest baddest predator of them all.
I really enjoyed their time in Maine, where Blayne winds everyone around her little finger, even though bears usually really hate canines. They want her happy, and they want Bo to play with their team against the Canadian team, for a “friendly” little game.

This book has a perfect mix of action, fun dialogues, quirky characters and events, and some hot love scenes. I really enjoyed it, and think that this series is getting better with each book

9 stars.

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© 2013 Reviews by Aurian

woensdag 26 juni 2013

Jean Johnson – The Tower

The first book in the Guardians of Destiny series, published May 7, 2013.
Genre: fantasy romance
Cover: nice, but the female heroine is covered from head to toe in magical tattoo’s.

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In a fertile valley undisrupted by the aether-shattering death of the old Aian Empire, the Tower and its Guardians have entertained generations of wealthy mirror-scrying mages while adventurers from around the world risk their lives for fortune and fame. But on the one day the Tower stood unguarded, an intruder tried to seize the magic powering the vast structure. Now, locked out of the Tower's innermost chambers, Kerric Vo Mos must brave the deadly traps keeping trespassers at bay in order to reclaim control.
Unfortunately, Kerric wields a pen far better than a sword, and the way into the Tower's sanctum is treacherous. Only the help of an experienced player like Myal the Mendhite can get him to where he must go. But mutual respect will not be enough. Passion must also be employed, along with armor and weapons, as they embark on a perilous quest past monsters, riddles, and other dangers that even the Tower's most dedicated viewers have never seen before.

I really enjoyed it, that this book started with a scene from the Sons of Destiny series. It brought me immediately back to this world, even though it has been years since I read the series.

I don’t know how to describe this book, other than that it reads like one big computer game. Guardian Kerric is locked out of his Tower when someone tries to take over the Fountain, and he has to reconnect with it. He can’t do it alone, as the whole Tower is riddled with traps that are used as entertainment for adventurers, which are broadcasted all over the world through the scrying mirrors. But now that the Tower has locked itself down in defense, those traps are turned lethal. He also does not want to take a whole team with him, out of fear that they will tell about the Towers secrets. But he does not one warrior, preferable a female who does not find him unattractive, as one of the levels will be the Seraglio and they will have to make love to get out again. Kerric is a small man and a great mage, but he is not really a fighter, although he does know how to use a sword. He needs a partner for this endeavour, who is not only a fighter but smart and who can safe them both if necessary. There are some traps that will just knock him unconscious as he is a mage. And so he makes a list of the 5 most likely females that can and will help him out. But fate makes him run into the Painted Warrior Myal the Mendhite, and she agrees to help him. He dares not wait until the next morning after they have rested, for fear that other mages will try to take over the Tower from him, they will have to go immediately.

And Kerric is right, once they are in the Tower, and progressing nicely along the traps and levels, they find out they are followed by 5 others, mages and warriors, determined to loot the tower and take it over from him if possible. But being the Master, Kerric is not powerless to stop them, and he will do whatever is necessary.

During their adventure, Kerric and Myal get to know each other, and respect each others skills. They both save the others life a few times, and know they can rely on each other. And with every riddle that Myal solves, Kerric will award her a kiss. After all, they need to get familiar with this for the Seraglio soon. Myal does not really care about bedsport, being a very tall woman and tattooed all over, most men don’t really like her. But Kerric seems to really like her body, and his kisses sure are nice.

I really enjoyed reading about their adventure in the Tower, all the levels and dangers they had to pass. Think of a video game, or when Harry Potter and his friends had to play chess and catch a flying key, that sort of things.
Myal has no magic of her own, but her tattoos are magical, and she can turn them on to become very strong, or tall, or be able to walk on the walls to get past a fire pit. It was really fun, and their relationship developed nicely through it all. I have never read a romance between a tall woman and a short man, but they made it work. Including the neck pains and using footbenches.
Myal is a bit shy at first, and she has admired the Master of the Tower before, from a distance, as he never dates any of the adventurers that come to pit their skills against the Tower. But she really likes the man Kerric, capable and caring and fun to be with. Myal sure is though and a good fighter, but she is also really smart, and has lots of ideas for future runs. I liked her, and how she is respected amongst the town people and her fellow adventurers.

They still have to find out what exactly was trying to take over the fountain, and I am looking forward to reading the next book. I just love this world that Jean Johnson has build, filled with magic based on science, and different races of humans. And now I really want to re-read her Sons of Destiny series!

8 stars.

Autobuy author

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© 2013 Reviews by Aurian

dinsdag 25 juni 2013

Recommendations from Karin and Maia

In order to bring some more variety to my blog, I have asked my best friend Maia, and my new friend Karin from Austria to give us their recommendation of the month. They will tell us how many books they have read in the past month, and which they have enjoyed the most, and which one they do recommend to you all.


I have read 10 books in the past month, and the 3 books I enjoyed the most are:

1. Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh

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2. Sleight of Hands by Mark Henwick

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(Aurian: I have never heard of this author before, but the blurb is intriguing!)

3. Relentless by Cherry Adair

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The one I can recommend to all Aurian’s readers is:

Nalini Singh – Heart of Obsidian

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Step into New York Times bestseller Nalini Singh’s explosive and shockingly passionate Psy-Changeling world…
A dangerous, volatile rebel, hands stained bloodred.
A woman whose very existence has been erased.
A love story so dark, it may shatter the world itself.
A deadly price that must be paid.
The day of reckoning is here.

From “the alpha author of paranormal romance” (Booklist) comes the most highly anticipated novel of her career—one that blurs the line between madness and genius, between subjugation and liberation, between the living and the dead.

(You can find my spoiler free review here).

Short summary of thoughts, why this one:
I think Singh outdid herself with this book. She has been constantly building the story up to a point where one would think she can do no better – but she can. She made an utterly dangerous, coldhearted abused hero into someone almost loveable. She didn’t magically turn him into a pacifist or something alike but the reader understands his actions and actually I could identify with a lot of the things he did.
I also loved the heroine. She recovers remarkably well although not without setbacks from a seven year torture. The Protocol never took hold of her, she is reasonable, passionate and fierce.
I feared that with this book the story would come to a natural ending and I wondered what Singh would have left to tell – now I know that I still want to know more about the world of the Psy and the Changelings.


I have read 6 books and 4 novella’s in the past month, and the 3 books I enjoyed the most are:

1. Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh

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2. Can’t get enough by G.A. Aiken (in: Everlasting Bad Boys)

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3. Captain Corcoran’s hoyden bride by Annie Burrows

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The one I can recommend to all Aurian’s readers is: Can’t get enough by G.A. Aiken (Shelly Laurenston). I’ve read and enjoyed Heart of Obsidian immensely, but Karin’s writing says it all. That’s why I want to ‘push’ one of my favourite authors to the front.

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Even for a dragon, Ailean the Wicked has a bad reputation. For 150 years he's been renowned for his fighting prowess, but now he's got a new conquest in mind - a gorgeous dragoness known as Shalin the Innocent.
Ailean suspects he's anything but. And while he's saving her from her enemies, he plans to prove that, even in human form, a bad-boy dragon can show a girl a good time that's truly off the scale...

Shelly Laurenston/G.A. Aiken is my favourite go-to writer when I want to reread. Because I had an exam this month, I did not have time to dive into many new books, which is why I grabbed one of her stories, to relax with. This is a novella, the third part in a series, but chronologically the first part. Shelly first told the story of the grandson, the second book was about the son, and in this one the father of the Cadwaladr-clan of Dragons.

I am a big fan of her dragon stories. They are filled with humor, violence, love, loyalty and the stories are delicious. In this novella we get the story of Ailean the Wicked and Shalin the (not so) Innocent. Both the lovestory as the dealings with the family are funny and loving.
Combined with the humor and the little connections to the other stories, this makes a fun read.

Thanks for the recommendations ladies! I have also loved and read Heart of Obsidian, and Maia, after reading all Shelly Laurenston’s shifter books I will borrow your dragon collection soon!

So readers, tell me, have you read these books? Do you want to?

© 2013 Reviews by Aurian

maandag 24 juni 2013

Kim Harrison – A perfect blood

The tenth book in the Rachel Morgan series, published February 21, 2012.
Genre: urban fantasy
Cover: I like it.

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Ritually murdered corpses are appearing across Cincinnati, terrifying amalgams of human and other. Pulled in by the FIB to help investigate, former witch turned day-walking demon Rachel Morgan soon realizes a horrifying truth: others want to create their own demons, and to do so they need her blood.
She’s faced vampires, witches, werewolves, demons, and more – but this time Rachel’s toughest challenge might be humanity itself.

This book just picks up where the previous one ended, so I really recommend reading this series in order. And I wish I had reread bits of the previous one, to get better in the story from the first page.
Rachel Morgan is ousted as a demon, and that after everyone thought she was dead. Which means trouble at the DMV, as a dead person cannot get a drivers license, and without that, she cannot get a car on her name. This means she needs the bodyguard her parents hired to protect her, to drive her everywhere. Not that she thinks Wayde is a good bodyguard, and he certainly doesn’t trust her to defend herself. Of course, being cut of from her magic does make her more vulnerable. But the spelled silver string around her wrist protects her from the demons sensing her still being alive, and as she kind of made a hole in the Ever After, making their habitat leach out, she has reason enough to stay in hiding.

Both the FIB and the IS want her to give them a list of all the different demon curses she can twist but Rachel has no intention at all of giving them a list like that. They will only use it to blame all demonic action on her. They can just get some books from the library and make their own lists.
But now some people are trying to duplicate demons blood and change witches into demons, with the intention of using them to wipe out the whole of Inderland, and the IS and the FIB will need her help to track them down. And if she does not comply, they will just blame it all on Rachel and be done with it.
So Rachel has not really a choice but to help them, especially as she is a target for this HAPA group. They hate all the other species, and want the earth for the humans. When they do track down the kidnappers, pure incompetence lets them escape, and Rachel gets caught. Where is her bodyguard when she actually needs him? Or is it more than incompetence, and does HAPA really have friends and allies in high places?

This book sure has a lot of action going on, but there is also some quiet time to think for Rachel. And is she really getting closer to Trent Kalamack? I really did not like him from the first time he appeared in a book, but somehow, he manages to redeem himself here.
Still, I don’t trust his motives one bit. Of course this also makes me want to read the next book asap but it will take a lot of months before that one is published in paperback. I did enjoy getting back with the main characters, Rachel, Ivy and Jenks, and detective Glenn. I do wonder what will happen to the relationship between Ivy and Glenn though; something did happen here that was not good. Jenks is still the boss over his enormous brood of pixie children, and I enjoyed the interaction with Biss, the young gargoyle, and Belle, the wingless faery living with them. Rachel finally got her pack tattoo, and she is actually happy about it. And I think it looks gorgeous.

Action, magic, evil humans, danger, different paranormal species, relationship troubles but also some fun moments make this a captivating story.

8 stars.

Autobuy author

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

© 2013 Reviews by Aurian

zondag 23 juni 2013

New additions to my addiction

Stapel boeken

Here is a list of the books I received in the last few weeks, some have been read already:

From Bookdepository:
Kylie Logan – Mayhem at the Orient Express
Jennifer Ashley – Tiger Magic
Jacquelyn Frank – Forever
Maggie Sefton – Cast on, Kill off
Rachel Hawkins – Hex Hall
Rachel Hawkins – Raising Demons
Rachel Hawkins – Spellbound
Lori Austin – An outlaw in Wonderland
Darynda Jones – Death, doom and detention
Jean Johnson – The Tower

Secondhand books:
Deborah Harkness – A discovery of witches
Deborah Harkness – Shadow of Night
John Grisham – The confession

Mary Balogh - Dark Angel/Lord Carew's Bride
Mary Balogh - The secret Pearl
Mary Balogh - Slightly Dangerous
Sara Bennett - Led astray by a rake
Jo Beverly - Lady beware
Jo Beverly - St. Raven
Jo Beverly - An unwilling bride
Jo Beverly - To rescue a rogue
Jo Beverly - Something wicked
Connie Brockway - A dangerous man
Gayle Callen - Never dare a duke
Janet Chapman - The seduction of his wife
Jillian Hunter - The sinful nights of a nobleman
Jillian Hunter - Wicked as sin
Madeline Hunter - Lady of sin
Linda Jones - Big bad wolf
Vanessa Kelly - Sex and the single earl
Julia London - The dangerous gentleman
Julia London - The hazard of hunting a duke
Julia London - The ruthless charmer
Julia London - Wicked angel
Julia London - Highland scandal
Cathy Maxwell - Bedding the heiress
Cathy Maxwell - The Marriage ring

© 2013 Reviews by Aurian

zaterdag 22 juni 2013

Maggie Sefton – Cast on, kill off

The tenth book in the Knitting Mystery series, published June 5, 2012. But I have to wait a whole year for the paperback version.
Genre: cozy mystery
Cover: lovely.

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Wedding bells are ringing in Fort Connor, Colorado, and the House of Lambspun knitters are abuzz with excitement. But when a murder interrupts the wedding planning, Kelly Flynn will have to solve this crime fast to ensure the killer doesn't wind up on the guest list...
Kelly Flynn's knitting pal, Megan, is about to get hitched, and Megan has found the perfect seamstress, Zoe Yeager, to create the bridesmaid dresses. But Zoe is harboring a secret. Bruises on her face show a troubling side of her marriage, and just after she finds the courage to leave her husband, she’s shot dead.
Zoe’s husband is a key suspect, but there are others who might have had designs on her death. It's up to Kelly and her knitting pals to use their sleuthing savvy to solve the case. They'll have to stitch up all the loose ends before they can don their dresses and escort Megan into the land of happily ever after...

Reading the new book in this series, is just like visiting with friends. I was not lost for a moment, and it was like I finished the previous book last week instead of a year ago. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Earlier, Kelly and her boyfriend broke up, and now they are slowly finding their way back to each other. They met unexpectedly over business in Denver, and started going out to dinner together. Kelly’s friends keep urging her on, telling how they are meant to be a couple, but I love how careful she is now, how she takes her time to be sure she can trust him again, that he won’t turn into the jerk who broke her heart last time. So yes, they do come back together at the end of the book, and I was happy with that. It all flowed naturally, and believable.

But this is a mystery as well, and a good one, but I have to admit, I guessed the truth very early on.
Zoe Yeager is the seamstress chosen by Megan to design her wedding dress, and the bridesmaids’ dresses. All lovely bold colors instead of the usual pastel ones and Kelly really loves her dress. But when fitting the dress, she notices the ugly bruise on Zoe’s face. Later Mimi tells her, that Zoe’s husband regularly hits her, and she has been trying to get Zoe to leave him for a long time now.
The next day, Zoe comes running into the House of Lambspun, Mimi’s shop for all things fiber related, where Kelly regularly comes to knit or to do her accounting work on her lap top. Zoe is totally stressed out, and it appears that she finally did leave her husband after he forcefully forbade her to go on a trip to New York she won with one of her wedding dress designs. Mimi is very happy, and immediately mobilizes whomever she needs to get Zoe to the secret location of the women’s shelter in town.

Still, Kelly is not so sure that Zoe is a nice person, having witnessed the way she treats her older sister Vera. And now there is this other seamstress, Leann, who accuses her of stealing her dress design to win the contest. Zoe used to work for Leann before she opened her own shop, taking a lot of Leann’s customers with her.

And then Zoe gets murdered in the church parking lot, while she should not even have been there alone. She is supposed to be accompanied by one of the shelter volunteers at all times, to protect her from her abusive husband. Ofcourse everyone thinks the husband did it, especially as he was drunk without an alibi, but soon the evidence begins pointing at Leann. Mimi is in tears, as Zoe, Vera and Leann are all friends of hers, and she asks Kelly to look into things. She is so good in sleuthing and just asking questions of people to get to the truth.

Of course Kelly agrees, and with Burt’s help, she begins to unravel the case, thread by thread. She doesn’t believe for a minute that Leann is guilty….

A good mystery, a nice amount of catching up with Kelly and all her friends, and I loved the little romance part. If I ever am able to visit America, the Rocky Mountains are on my wishlist, and I will for sure visit Fort Connor and Lambspun. Yes, the shop portrayed in the book is real. The murders are not ;)

And if I have any knitting fans amongst my readers, there is not only a recipe in the back of the book, but also a knitting pattern to the shawl from the bridesmaid dresses.

9 stars.

Autobuy author

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

© 2013 Reviews by Aurian

vrijdag 21 juni 2013

Bella Andre – The look of love

The first book in the Sullivans series, published June 13, 2011.
Genre: contemporary romance
Cover: I have the new edition, nice but not exciting.

The look of love photo n389746_zpsaf870cac.jpg

Sometimes one look is all it takes.
Chloe Peterson has vowed never to make the mistake of trusting a man again. Her reasons are as vivid as the bruises on her cheek. So when her car skids off a wet country road straight into a ditch, she’s convinced the gorgeous guy who rescues her must be too good to be true.
As a successful international photographer, Chase Sullivan has his pick of beautiful women. He’s satisfied with his life – until he finds Chloe and her totalled car on the side of the road in Napa Valley.
With every loving look – and every sinfully sweet caress – the attraction between them sizzles, and Chloe can’t help but wonder if she’s met the man who may be the exception to her rule …

I’ve been reading reviews about this series for a long time, and one day I decided: I am going to buy the first one, and read it myself (thanks Riverina Romantics blog!). I did enjoy Bella Andre’s hot shot series, so I already knew I like her writing style. To my happy surprise, this series was just (re-?)issued in paperback, and not too expensive, so I pre-ordered the first 5 books in the series. And I have to say, I really enjoyed meeting all the Sullivans at the start of the book, and am looking forward to reading their stories.

The first one is about Chase Sullivan, who is a famous photographer. After celebrating their mothers’ 70th birthday, Chase is on his way to his brother Marcus’ country home. Marcus owns a very successful vineyard, and Chase has arranged a photo shoot at the premises for the next week. And while Chase will be staying in the guesthouse, he as also arranged a sexual interlude with Marcus’ manager Ellen. But the weather is getting worse and worse, and when he spots a woman walking on the road, and a car in the ditch, he just has to stop and offer his help. Chloe is on the run from her abusive ex-husband, and she really doesn’t trust Chase’s offer. Her husband also started out looking too good to be true, and in the end, he was. And Chase is even bigger and stronger looking! But still, there is something about him that calls to her, and she really does need some help. It is too far and too dangerous to walk to the next town and arrange her car to be picked up. Not like she has the money to spare either.

Instead of taking Chloe to the nearby hotel, Chase decides to take her with him. His brother’s guesthouse has more than enough bedrooms, and he just feels the need to protect her from whomever she is running from. After he saw that bruise on her cheek, he became instantly protective. Even though he has been tiring from his habit of sleeping around, that does not mean he is ready to settle down! But still, there is something about Chloe that makes him rethink his life.

At first Chloe thinks that Chase is just another rich man used to doing as he pleases and getting what he wants, but even though she can tell that Chase is interested in her, he does not touch her or pressure her into anything. And when they find the naked woman waiting in his bed, she just has to laugh about it all, though Chase is kind of embarrassed. He completely forgot about Ellen, and now he is only interested in Chloe. So, exit Ellen, who does not really seem to mind. When Chase later walks into the bathroom while Chloe is having a bath, he wants nothing more than to join her, but he manages to restrain himself. But not enough to leave to room right away. She sure is a sight to behold! And Chloe doesn’t know what is happening either, but she is not afraid of Chase, and even flirts with him. Still, nothing happens, and she is even a tiny bit disappointed by that.

The next day, she finds Chase in the vineyards, working on his photoshoot, and she is invited to stay and watch. She can’t go anywhere until her car is repaired anyway, and Chase has asked one of his other brothers to take care of that. Chloe finds herself really enjoying the day, and makes friends with some of the models and other staff quickly. Still, dinner with Marcus and Chase afterwards is great as well, until Marcus starts asking questions she is not ready to answer. So when she escapes to the bathroom, Chase really takes Marcus to task for that. But Marcus, as the oldest Sullivan, is protective of his siblings, even though they have outgrown that need. And he offers to have looked into Chloe and her past, but Chase refuses. She will come to trust him eventually, and tell him all about herself and who hit her. He won’t pressure her for answers.

That attraction between Chase and Chloe is off the charts, and soon they give into it. And wow, those love scenes are hot! Bella Andre sure knows how to write those.

This book is completely about the romance, the main characters and their interaction. Chloe’s past is told in little bits and pieces, and there is not really a plot to follow. They spend a few happy days in the vineyard, working at the photoshoot, and spending the evenings and nights together. Even though the smexy times began fairly early, they did take the time to learn about the other. Chase knows she is the one for him, and even though he knows she is not ready for a new relationship, he will wait for her, but he will not give up on her. Chloe thinks she can handle a fling, before she starts her own life again, she thinks she has to be able to make it on her own first, to stand on her own two feet. But love comes knocking on your heart when you least expect it, and she does not want to lie to herself anymore. She has fallen for Chase.

Her husband was a controlling jerk, constantly belittling her and telling her what to do and how to act, and she just accepted that. Until she did no longer, and he took away her quilting stuff from her. That is when she had enough, and got out. But even know they are divorced, he wants her back, and he doesn’t shun violence to get her back. Which is why she was running away that night. And now she has met Chase, and he is offering her everything she has ever wanted out of life, a loving family. How can she say no to that?

I enjoyed it, Chloe is becoming really free, and is enjoying herself with Chase, not afraid to ask for what she wants, but still not willing to accept more from him than what she is comfortable with. Still she is easily persuaded to stay, and as she is needed to help out at the set as Alice gets sick, that was understandable. She had fun, and was needed and appreciated. Nothing was waiting for her outside the gates of the vineyard.
Chase was very patient, he did not push, he let her set the pace. He is a light-hearted hero, although he is very alpha, he is not overbearing, and I liked him. His life is a success story, and I don’t think he has ever fallen in love or had his heart broken. All it took to fall in love was one look between them.

It is a really nice entertaining and sweet contemporary romance story, with hot love scenes. Indoors and outdoors. I do recommend it.

8 stars.

A blogger made me buy it

Autobuy author

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

© 2013 Reviews by Aurian