Saturday, August 11, 2012

REVIEW: A Lady by Midnight by Tessa Dare

Series: Spindle Cove (#3)
Genre: historical romance
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A temporary engagement, a lifetime in the making...

After years of fending for herself, Kate Taylor found friendship and acceptance in Spindle Cove--but she never stopped yearning for love. The very last place she'd look for it is in the arms of Corporal Thorne. The militia commander is as stone cold as he is brutally handsome. But when mysterious strangers come searching for Kate, Thorne steps forward as her fiance. He claims to have only Kate's safety in mind. So why is there smoldering passion in his kiss?

Long ago, Samuel Thorne devoted his life to guarding Kate’s happiness. He wants what's best for her, and he knows it's not marriage to a man like him. To outlast their temporary engagement, he must keep his hands off her tempting body and lock her warm smiles out of his withered heart. It's the toughest battle of this hardened warrior's life...and the first he seems destined to lose.

Please note: I was fortunate to have been granted access to an e-arc of ALBM in Edelweiss by HarperCollins. The book's expected publication: August 28th 2012.

Absolutely LOVED A Lady by Midnight!

Since this book is not officially out yet, I'm going to try my best to keep this review spoiler free.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Colin Kept Me Up All Night badge

Release day today. Get your copy now! :)

Carrie and I have both written reviews for AWTBW, here and here (I had to keep mine short though, as I didn't want to reveal too much at the time I wrote it.). Colin and Minerva's remarkable journey may just be one of the best reads of 2012 for me, and it is definitely one of my most favorite stories of love.

It will leave you laughing and crying, and you will have made the happy book noise by the time you reach the end of the story. It made me run through a whole gamut of emotions, practically an adventure in exploration onto itself. The book is filled with genuinely laugh-out-loud moments, it features some of the best verbal sparring matches ever written, and one of the sweetest, honest, and delightful road to self discovery and true love. 

Tessa Dare always delivers, and you all should give her books a try. 

One of my favorite quotes:

Friday, March 9, 2012

REVIEW: A Week to Be Wicked by Tessa Dare

Genre: historical romance
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary can be found in Diana's review here.

Be still, my fluttering heart. My feelings are having feelings right now. Thank you Colin and Minerva for sharing your story. Or rather, thank you Tessa for writing their story!

As this epic love story just needed telling.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

REVIEW: The Runaway Countess by Leigh LaValle

Genre: historical romance
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Summary can be found in Diana's review here.

Sizzling hot from start to finish!

I can hardly think after all the emotions. The feelings. Oh, how these feelings and thoughts are still resonating within me even after hours I had put my tablet down. And it was a struggle to put it down. I kept going back, wanting to re-read my favorite parts and just soak in these moments LaValle created.

LaValle's voice is very distinct and I'm kind of in love with the way she can string words together and create these profound sentences that unravel in such a moving way. Her voice. Her characters. Her characters' voices.

Both Lord Radford and Mazie are incredibly well developed. The way they speak, their personalities, so defined and complex. Love how they are so very telling in how they express themselves by their actions and words and words they choose not to say.

The chemistry between Lord Radford and Mazie is undeniable and present and so very real, it hurts in the most delicious way.

One thing that I absolutely loved about Radford and Mazie is that neither lost themselves, they stayed true to their character from start to finish! None of the OOC business to suit the plot. Mazie and Radford were all about learning who they were and learning to trust in that, whatever they were to be and become.

[SPOILERS under the cut!]

Monday, March 5, 2012

REVIEW: The Runaway Countess by Leigh LaValle

The Runaway Countess by Leigh LaValle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Her heart longs for justice, but her body clamors for sin. 

The Runaway CountessOnce the darling of high society, Mazie Chetwyn knows firsthand how quickly the rich and powerful turn their backs on the less fortunate. Orphaned, penniless and determined to defy their ruthless whims, she joins forces with a local highwayman who steals from the rich to give to the poor. 

Then the pawn broker snitches, and Mazie is captured by the Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire. A man who is far too handsome, far too observant…and surely as corrupt as his father once was. 

Sensible, rule-driven Trent Carthwick, twelfth Earl of Radford, is certain the threat of the gallows will prompt the villagers’ beloved Angel of Kindness to reveal the highwayman’s identity. But his bewitching captive volunteers nothing—except a sultry, bewildering kiss. 

And so the games begin. Trent feints, Mazie parries. He threatens, she pretends nonchalance. He cajoles, she rebuffs. Thwarted at every turn, Trent probes deep into her one vulnerability—her past. There he finds the leverage he needs and a searing truth that challenges all he believes about right and wrong.

The course of true love never did run smooth. Very true, especially when it is made even more complicated when you find yourself falling in love with The Enemy. 'The Runaway Countess' is a stunning debut novel from Ms LaValle; it is thrilling and fraught with tension and intrigue, it is sensual and seductive, and it is sure to captivate your heart. I know that from the first chapter, I was very impressed with the crisp clarity of writing, of how the lush narrative allowed me to immerse myself in Trent and Mazie's world without diffidence.

[ETA] I highly recommend stopping by The Romance Dish blog to read about a very personal and deeply inspiring account of how The Runaway Countess came about. :)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

REVIEW: A Week To Be Wicked by Tessa Dare

A Week to Be Wicked by Tessa Dare
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When a devilish lord and a bluestocking set off on the road to ruin…Time is not on their side.

A Week to Be Wicked (Spindle Cove, #2)
Minerva Highwood, one of Spindle Cove’s confirmed spinsters, needs to be in Scotland.

Colin Sandhurst, Lord Payne, a rake of the first order, needs to be…anywhere but Spindle Cove.

These unlikely partners have one week
- to fake an elopement
- to convince family and friends they’re in “love”
- to outrun armed robbers
- to survive their worst nightmares
- to travel four hundred miles without killing each other

All while sharing a very small carriage by day and an even smaller bed by night.

What they don’t have time for is their growing attraction. Much less wild passion. And heaven forbid they spend precious hours baring their hearts and souls.

Suddenly one week seems like exactly enough time to find a world of trouble.

And maybe…just maybe…love.

If I only had one word to use for this awesomely delicious adventure, it would be 'revelatory'. I've caught myself surprised numerous times in my reading, which, needless to say, is thoroughly wonderful and satisfying. I was already more than halfway in lustlove with Colin and I already held Minerva dear, dear to my heart in ANTS, but AWTBW elevated that love for them to new heights.

Friday, February 17, 2012

REVIEW: A Night To Surrender by Tessa Dare

A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Welcome to Spindle Cove, where the ladies with delicate constitutions come for the sea air, and men in their prime are... nowhere to be found. Or are they? 

A Night to Surrender (Spindle Cove, #1)Spindle Cove is the destination of choice for certain types of well-bred young ladies: the painfully shy, young wives disenchanted with matrimony, and young girls too enchanted with the wrong men; it is a haven for those who live there. 

Victor Bramwell, the new Earl of Rycliff, knows he doesn't belong here. So far as he can tell, there's nothing in this place but spinsters... and sheep. But he has no choice, he has orders to gather a militia. It's a simple mission, made complicated by the spirited, exquisite Susanna Finch—a woman who is determined to save her personal utopia from the invasion of Bram's makeshift army. 

Susanna has no use for aggravating men; Bram has sworn off interfering women. The scene is set for an epic battle... but who can be named the winner when both have so much to lose?

(Just moving the review I posted on Goodreads to this blog ..)

How is it there's only five stars available? I'd pluck some more from the night skies if I could because this is just made of so much win. The kind that really awesome romances are made of. The kind that would engage your mind and not just yor heart. You know the one. Yup, that's the kind that would make you laugh out loud, swoon and sigh and grin goofily because your heart is just so, so full of love. I still have so much to say but I'm feeling indescribably happy and I'm just bursting with joy that review will just have to wait. Hehehe.

ETA - actual review

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

REVIEW: Cinder by Marissa Meyer

First read of the year! Glad it was a good one, this means many more good reads in the future, y/y? Yes!

The book: Cinder
The author: Marissa Meyer
Series: Lunar Chronicles #1
The genre: young adult, sci-fi, fantasy, romance
Recommended to: Fairy-tale lovers. Those interested in books set in an alternate universe. Actually, everyone.
Note: Keep in mind this is the first book in the series and the second book is not expected to be out until 2013.

Finished this the previous night, but I couldn't bring myself to leave a review after such a frustratingly abrupt ending. Yes, I'm frustrated. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed this enthralling story about a cyborg who must find her true self after her world turns upside down. The world that she lives in is not just suffering from a plague, but hangs in the threat of war. Whether Cinder's world finds peace again, rests in her hands.

The reason for my frustration is that it DID end with a cliffhanger that had me pleading for more.

The story is, of course, a retelling of the classic fairy tale, Cinderella. It's almost comforting to have those familiar elements woven into the story. However, I was still surprised at the twists and turns, and I was pleased to find myself immersed and lost in whatever path the story took me on.

The characters are quite simply charming.

Cinder is refreshing, I fell in love with her character right from the start. Witty. Strong. Independent. A real, true to heart girl.

Kai, next in line to be emperor of New Beijing, makes a perfect Prince Charming. Ever the gentleman, Kaito suits the swoon-worthy role and makes it his own while wearing a hoodie.

And can't have a Cinderella story without her evil step-mother and step-sisters. I won't spoil the fun of the interesting spin on the love-to-hate villains, but I happened to love it.

As for the fairy god-mother, well, again I won't spoil it. But I have to say, she is my favorite character no matter her form.

I loved the freshness and the direction of the story, and though the cliffhanger is leaving me hanging, I'll definitely hold on for the next installment of this wicked, steampunk-ish story that happened to break out of the mold of the classic Cinderella story and has left me quite thoroughly enchanted.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

2012 is finally here! Say what?

2011 just flew right on by, I almost can't believe it!

So I'm sitting here, now, trying to conjure up thoughts of what I want to post. I mean, it's the new year and all, I want my first post to start out right. A good start is being thankful of the past, eh? Well, I think so. Perhaps a recollection of the best, most relevant, adventure that I experienced in 2011 is in order.

Diana had called me to go on this trip with her for a book signing. I told her that I would think about it because I had exams to study for. I remember calling her back and saying that I'd go because how could I say no? The date was set.

And as soon as we were off, I realized that this was not going to be an ordinary trip to say the least.

Diana and I went on this journey to not only make it to our destination but to also just be us for a day. It was a day to leave everything behind. We were worry free, except for getting lost, which we did, get lost, I mean. Anywy, what kind of road trip would it have been if we hadn't? Not the kind of road trips Diana and I make, that's for sure. We did eventually make it to Costa Mesa where we met Tessa Dare, Zoe Archer, Sylvia Day and Suzanne Forster at their book signing.

The book signing was held at an adorable book shop called Toni's New & Recycled Romances. Loved the place. Shelves upon shelves of books. All romance novels. Walking in just felt amazing. It was beautiful. And I loved the quirky charm to the place, making the experience personal and intimate. The bookstore owner was kind and welcoming. And wow, meeting the authors, seeing them face to face and even chatting with them... It was amazing. Diana and I were even able to take some pictures with them. If you haven't already seen them, you could view them in Diana's epic first post of the year.

We had such an awesome time, we didn't want to leave. But when that time came, we left the book store feeling good and with an arm load full of new books to read. And they were all personalized with autographs!

We had such a fun time and are so thankful that we had such an opportunity. Hopefully, we can do it again.

Just think of the new year. 2012 is here and already happening. Oh, the possibilities...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

REVIEW: Marriage Made On Paper by Maisey Yates

Pretend marriage, real wedding night! 

When ambitious public relations expert Lily Ford signs a contract with hot-shot property tycoon Gage Forrester, she inadvertently signs her life away! A tough taskmaster, he wants Lily at his beck and call 24/7. 

Gage expects employees to go above and beyond. So, when he needs to generate some positive PR, his solution is completely unexpected – he proposes to Lily! All in the name of business, of course. 

This may be a deal struck on paper, but Gage is a stickler for tradition: his bride must wear white on their wedding night! 

21st Century Bosses Impossible, infuriating and utterly irresistible!

It was just an okay read for me.  I was hoping for more from the story,  but it just didn't deliver.