Tag «Heat: Warm»

Series Review: The MacLearies by Terri Brisbin

 

Series: The MacLearies
Author: Terri Brisbin
# of Books: 4 + a novella (Taming the Highlander, Surrender to the Highlander, Possessed by the Highlander, The Earl’s Secret)

The Novella is book 4.5 in the series: One Candlelit Christmas

Complete?: Yes
Genre: Historical Romance, Highlander Romance
Heat Rating: Lukewarm

Thoughts:

To be truthful, I only read the first 3 books of the series. The Earl’s Secret is sitting on my Kobo waiting to be read but I probably won’t get to it soon, if ever.

I LOVE highlander romances. I’m not sure why but I think it has something to do with the mix of action and romance. I like the suspense and fighting that these books often have. So because of my slight obsession, I have read a lot of highlander books which may be why I’m not the biggest fan of this series.

There is definitely suspense in Taming the Highlander but I felt like the plot was a mash-up of stories I have read before. I also found that there was a mash-up of Scottish dialogue as well. Some characters would talk one way and another from the same area would have a different way of talking. I just felt like it wasn’t consistent in writing style, especially when Rurik–a secondary character in the 1st book with a notable dialogue–gets his own story in Surrender to the Highlander and his dialogue changes again.

Rurik’s story was actually a disappointment for me. I loved him in the first book and was so excited to read the second novel. I enjoyed the plot more in Book 2–it wasn’t as predictable and based on the plot summary on Goodreads wasn’t what I thought it was going to be. I just didn’t really care for Margiet and I think that stopped me from enjoying the book.

Book 3, Possessed by the Highlander was actually my favourite. I had never really cared for Duncan’s character before this book but once I read it I realized what a sweetheart he was. Both characters are strong and I liked the plot for this one as well. I also didn’t mind the love-at-first sight bit either.

I’m not sure where The Earl’s Secret comes in. From what I can see, it doesn’t have much to do with past characters and is just set within a notable setting in the books. Thanks to Ms. Brisbin, I have been told that The Earl’s Secret and the novella feature the descendants of the first three novels and are set in Regency times. As I said before, it didn’t grab my attention so I will conclude the series here.

Conclusion:

I’ve read a lot better and a lot worse in terms of highlander fiction. If you have the time and want a “cleaner” highlander novel, you might want to check out this series. I, on the other hand, will stick to my other favourites (see them in the “similar books” below!)

Rating: 3/5

Similar Reads: In Bed with a Highlander by Maya Banks (McCabe Trilogy), Laird of the Mist by Paula Quinn (MacGregors Series) and The Highlander’s Bride by Michele Sinclair (McTiernay Brothers Series)

Synopsis for Taming the Highlander (from Goodreads):
Lady Jocelyn MacCallum had always believed she would marry for love. But the price of her brother’s freedom was to become fearsome Connor MacLerie’s new bride — a bargain that could cost Jocelyn her life. From the moment she looked into Connor’s sternly handsome face, Jocelyn began to hope that the rumors surrounding his first wife’s death were false. His reputation was as wild and untamed as the Scottish moors. Would she find a way to reach the man beneath that forbidding exterior?

Series Review: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

     

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: #1
Series: Vampire Academy
Author: Richelle Mead
# of Books: 6 (Vampire Academy, Frostbite, Shadow Kiss, Blood Promise, Spirit Bound, Last Sacrifice)

There is a spin-off series, called Bloodlines.

Complete?: Yes
Genre: Young Adult, Vampire, Romance
Movie Review: Catch my thoughts on the movie here!

Thoughts:

As you can see, this is one of my favourite book series that I have ever had the pleasure of reading. It has everything I look for in a book, strong female lead; romance; action; superb plots with twists and great secondary characters. I devoured the first four books over my March Break and then counted the days until the next one came out.

I recommended this series to my roommate and after reading Vampire Academy (Book 1) she wasn’t sure what the big deal was. I thought it was great when I read it (and then reread it…twice) and I couldn’t understand why she felt like that. But then I thought about it and came to this conclusion: the first book was great but comparing it to the rest of the series, it doesn’t have that much action, romance or anything that makes the series as awesome as it is. But you get a taste of the characters and the world Mead creates (which is unlike any other vampire book out there so don’t discount it because of your Twilight thoughts/experiences!) and you want to see where it goes.

I am happy to say, that after the 2nd book (Frostbite) my roommate got it and was hooked into the series. Frostbite is actually my favourite book of the series. I’m not too sure why, but I think it is because it’s the point where the series begins it overarching plot that continues over the rest of the series. It also introduces Adrian who is one of my favourite characters.

Rose is such a strong character and so is Lissa. I actually thought Lissa was the main character after I read the plot summary but I am glad Rose is the POV because she is such a fascinating character. Lissa is still a vital character in the series and we do get to see her develop throughout the books.

I also love the other characters in the series which makes the spin-off series (Bloodlines) even better because Richelle Mead takes fan-favourite characters and gives them their own stories in this new series. The Bloodlines plot is completely separate from this series so don’t feel like the Vampire Academy Series doesn’t get concluded–because it does and does so in a great and satisfying way!

Conclusion:

Vampire Academy was the first book series that I can remember crying, laughing and shrieking in delight about. It is refreshing in a world of vampire series, beautifully written and has characters that you can’t get enough of. I highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys action and romance series. (I also recommend that you get you hands on as many of these books as possible when you read because you will want them right away!)

Rating: 5/5

Similar Reads: Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Covenant Series) and Bloodlines by Richelle Mead (Bloodlines Series, a spin-off of Vampire Academy).

Synopsis for Vampire Academy (from Goodreads):
St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger…

Rose and Lissa become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy’s ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. But they must be careful lest the Strigoi—the world’s fiercest and most dangerous vampires—make Lissa one of them forever.

Book Review: A Black Tie Affair by Sherril Bodine

Synopsis (from Goodreads.com):

Fashion curator Athena Smith will do anything to get her perfectly manicured hands on the Clayworth family’s celebrated couture collection for her exhibit. So when she’s called in to make sure the gowns are the real deal, she’s ecstatic…until a dress she’s examining turns out to be loaded with toxins (talk about killer threads!) and Athena faints, only to wake up face-to-face with the One That Got Away, notorious Chicago bachelor Drew Clayworth.

Drew still believes Athena betrayed him all those years ago, and he’s sure he can’t trust her. But when the priceless gowns go missing, she offers to help track them down. Reluctantly allied in the quest, Drew and Athena are soon stunned by the barely restrained passion still sizzling between them…and memories both bitter and sweet. Is their new partnership just a business arrangement? Or is this something more than…

Review:

I wanted to read this book because on the Goodreads Page it stated that fans of Jennifer Probst would love this one. Not sure who feels this way, but I sure didn’t. This was nothing like a Jennifer Probst book!

Therefore, it’s no surprise that I wasn’t overly impressed with this book. I’ve never read Talk of the Town which is set within the same universe (just before the events of this book) but it isn’t required to read it before this one.

I was hoping it would be more suspenseful with the crime but it wasn’t. I’m not even sure the crime was fully resolved (if it was I missed it completely). The romance built slowly and it was mostly mild sexual tension until the last few chapters.

I liked the characters enough. They were well developed, but I found that I was more interested in the secondary characters, like Athena’s sisters and Conner than I was in Athena and Drew.

I feel like this book would have been better as a short novella. It felt like it dragged (which is something to note considering the ebook is 170 pages in length–not very long at all) but it mostly just built up everything for a sequel (which I gather is All I Want is You). I plan on reading the sequel, but not with as high of hopes as I had for this one.

Conclusion:

If you want a quick, warm romance about reuniting with the love of your life, this is the contemporary romance for you.

Rating: 2.5/5

Shorthand Stats:
Genre: Contemporary Romance; Second Chances
Heat Rating: lukewarm
Recommended for: quick contemporary reads
Similar Books:

Book Review: Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella


Synopsis (from Chapters.ca):
Lottie just knows that her boyfriend is going to propose during lunch at one of London’s fanciest restaurants. But when his big question involves a trip abroad, not a trip down the aisle, she’s completely crushed. So when Ben, an old flame, calls her out of the blue and reminds Lottie of their pact to get married if they were both still single at thirty, she jumps at the chance. No formal dates-just a quick march to the altar and a honeymoon on Ikonos, the sun-drenched Greek island where they first met years ago.

Their family and friends are horrified. Fliss, Lottie’s older sister, knows that Lottie can be impulsive-but surely this is her worst decision yet. And Ben’s colleague Lorcan fears that this hasty marriage will ruin his friend’s career. To keep Lottie and Ben from making a terrible mistake, Fliss concocts an elaborate scheme to sabotage their wedding night. As she and Lorcan jet off to Ikonos in pursuit, Lottie and Ben are in for a honeymoon to remember, for better . . . or worse.

Review:

I have read most of Sophie Kinsella’s novels and have enjoyed them immensely so needless to say, I was excited for this one. I only became hesitant when I started to read some people’s reviews here and saw the low star rating.

As a fan, I can understand why people might not like this one because of the characters. They are flawed in some way that makes you not like them. I did not care for Lottie at all. She is everything I dislike in a “heroine” but without her, the story wouldn’t be what it is. I actually really liked Fliss–I thought she was hilarious and I wish that more of the story was from her perspective. Without spoilers the love interests were also flawed but I feel like main issue was that all the characters in this are stubborn and set in their ways and that is what frustrates the reader.

Why I gave this book the rating I did was because I did enjoy it despite my initial impressions of the characters. It made me laugh and I enjoyed the plot and all the shenanigans that happened along the way. Like I said before, Fliss really made this book for me, but I can understand why some people might not like her or get her style and humour.

The only thing I disliked about the book was the lack of an epilogue. I’m sure it is implied about how things end, but I really could have used that last bit of closure (hence the rushed ending tag because I felt like I was lacking that closure).

Conclusion:

So if you enjoyed I’ve Got Your Number, don’t mind stubborn characters and can find humour amidst bitter and frustrating situations, you will enjoy this latest offering from Sophie Kinsella.

Rating: 4/5

Shorthand Stats:
Genre: British Literature; Chick Lit; Comedy; Romance
Heat Rating:  lukewarm
Recommended for: anyone who enjoys Sophie Kinsella’s novels or British Humour
Similar Books: I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

Book Review: Before you Go by Clare James

PLEASE NOTE: This is now a part of a connected series. This review will be updated appropriately shortly! (May 12, 2014)
 Synopsis (from Goodreads.com):
Paralyzed by the past and terrified of the future, Tabitha Kelly is broken.
After a public sex scandal at her college, Tabby moves to a new city with a new school, convinced she can start over. But she soon realizes the changes are not enough. Tabby must take action to help her heal and move on from the past.
And though it sounds crazy, she believes a one-night stand is the best way to take back what’s hers.  If she can choose where, when, and most importantly, who … maybe she can regain control.
First, she needs a willing participant.
She finds more than that when she meets Noah Adler.
Unfortunately, she can’t go through with it. And when she tries to forget about the plan—and the guy—it becomes impossible.
Noah quickly weaves his way into her new life and her heart.  But as he comes dangerously close to discovering her secret, Tabby’s at risk of losing it all.

Review:

I’ve been on a New Adult binge lately and this was just one of the many I have devoured in the last few weeks. Unfortunately it wasn’t one of the best I have read, but I definitely enjoyed it.

What stopped me from giving it 4 stars was the fact that it seemed rushed in parts. Despite the book only being ~115 pages on my Kobo, it still felt like a full novel. It was just that in some parts, things I would have liked to have seen more developed were over quickly (mostly stuff with her mother) or appeared suddenly. The ending I thought was also a bit rushed and I would have liked to have seen a cleaner finish (maybe some more about Jules and Foster??) but I was satisfied with what was given.

I liked the characters and I liked the plot. Both Tabby and Noah were relatable and I could see the chemistry between the two. Their feelings weren’t “love at first sight” which is a major bonus for me and it added to the realistic and believable storyline presented. I could easily see how the situation Tabby was in could happen in today’s society and I appreciated how it was handled.

UPDATED (May 12/14): There is now a sequel that will focus on Jules and Foster called More. I will probably read this though it will be at the bottom of my “to-read” list for quite some time.

Conclusion:

I would recommend this to anyone who wants a quick New Adult read filled with characters coping with their past and a cute couple. It reminded me a lot of J. Lynn‘s book Wait for You only shorter and lighter on the subject matter but I book I also recommend nonetheless.

Rating: 3/5

Shorthand Stats:
Genre: New Adult; College; New Student; Emotional Abuse
Heat Rating:  warm
Recommended for: 18+
Similar Books: Wait for You by J.Lynn