Saturday, April 16, 2011
Stock Up Saturday Reviews
A Twilight,Texas Novel, #4
By Lori Wilde
Release Date: March 29, 2011
Traditional meaning of pink and white roses: I love you still and always will.
Caitlyn Marsh owns the floral shop in Twilight, Texas, the perfect place for her given her long standing love of flowers. Raising her small son and running a business keep Caitlyn busy, but not busy enough to forget about her first love and high-school sweetheart, Gideon Garza. Eight years have passed since he left for Iraq, and Caitlyn finds herself alone and pregnant. She hires a private detective to find Gideon, and he tells her that Gideon has been killed in action. Shattered and heartbroken, Caitlyn manages to take each day as it comes, but she will never forget her first love. When Gideon rides back to Twilight on his motorcycle, she thinks she’s hallucinating.
Gideon joined the Army because he had no choice, but he joined the Green Berets and excelled at his job. Now eight years later, he is comes back to Twilight to attend the funeral of his father, who refused to ever acknowledge Gideon. Scarred physically and emotionally from war, Gideon is still trying to heal from all he has been through. Coming face to face with Caitlyn, the love of this life rocks his world. He still wants her, still loves her, but he doesn’t know if she will want a life with the man he has become. Can Gideon and Caitlyn heal the scars of their past and have the life they always wanted?
Small town romances are a favorite of mine, as are reunion stories and The Welcome Home Garden Club combines them in a cozy package. The ladies in Caitlyn’s garden club----the same gals who have been in the first three books of this series----are a delight, and their fondness for Caitlyn has them pulling for her and Gideon to find their happily-ever-after. And if two people ever deserved that happy ending, it’s Caitlyn and Gideon.
They were soul mates.
His mouth came down on hers with the weight of years behind it. He wrapped his arm around her waist, pulling her to him. She went up on tiptoes, greedily trying to get as close as she could.
They inhaled a single breath, tasting the rapture of each other.
Their story made me laugh, cry and cheer them on every step of the way. If you like small town romances and the enduring love of two soul mates, this is the book for you.
By Cheryl Ann Smith
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Release Date: April 5, 2011
Courtesan stories are popular in historical romance, though generally aren’t my favorite. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed most of the ones I’ve read; I just don’t actively seek them out, per se. However, I decided to give The School for Brides by Cheryl Ann Smith a try because it is a debut book, and I always love to try a new author. I’m so glad I did because this is not exactly your typical courtesan story (i.e. the heroine is a jaded courtesan)—it’s a refreshing twist on that type of story.
Miss Eva Black runs a secret school for brides. She takes in women who are courtesans and no longer wish to be, and teaches them how to be a proper wife. After they’ve learned that, Eva matches them with gentleman she has interviewed who seek a wife. There is a reason she does this—her mother was a courtesan whose spirit and health severely declined after her aristocratic lover (Eva’s father) passed away. Yes, they loved each other immensely, but since he was married and had other children, that didn’t leave much for Eva and her mother. Eva has dedicated her life to helping courtesans find long-lasting happiness through a respectable marriage.
Then one day, Nicholas Drake, Duke of Stanfield, knocks on her door demanding Eva give him his mistress back. Eva is shocked by two things—that the duke knows about her school, and that he would actually want his mistress back. After all, men like him went through women like water. Unfortunately for Nicholas, his mistress was matched and happily married weeks ago. This, of course, makes Nicholas furious—how dare the dowdy spinster take what is his! He promises revenge and gets it by buying up Eva’s mother’s debts and then calls in the notes. When Eva can’t pay, he demands she take his mistress’s place or she and her mother will be turned out. Because of her mother’s poor health, Eva has no choice but to accept his offer and become that which she loathes—a courtesan.
The School for Brides is a delightful historical debut featuring a spirited heroine, a sexy, arrogant duke, charming secondary characters, and several surprising twists. And I loved the twists. If this book is any indication, I see a bright future ahead for Ms. Smith. I really enjoyed this one and am definitely looking forward to the next book in the series!
by Melissa Mayhue
Release Date: March 29, 2011
Sexy Highlander Colin MacAlister has been cursed by the Queen of the Fae to feel and hear the pain of all the souls who have not found their soul mates. The only way Colin can be released from this curse is by joining with his own soul mate. Though burdened with the curse, Colin’s only concern is to save Scotland from the horrible English. That is until he wakes up in the 21st century … lying in bed naked and caressing the most beautiful woman he has ever seen.
Archaeology masters student Abigail Porter has just had a wonderful night out with her two best friends. Toasting to each other’s deepest wish over cocktails, Abigail makes a wish to find “the one.” A real man’s man. Believing the toast is just wishful dreaming, Abby is shocked to awake the next morning with a naked Adonis in her bed. And not just “in” her bed, but wrapped around her as if there is nowhere else he would rather be.
As Colin explains to Abby that he is from 14th century Scotland and needs to return there to save several of his family and friends. Colin is also so adamant that Abby used faerie magic to “wish” him to the 21st century. After hearing all of this, Abby is sure the man is deranged or at least delirious. There is no possible way time travel exists. Heck no! But Abby’s opinion soon changes when a seemingly insignificant person in her life turns out to be a villain determined to use Abby’s faerie magic for his evil purposes. Testing Colin’s theory of magic, Abby wishes both Colin and herself to 14th century Scotland to escape the villain. Unsure if their romance can survive the day-to-day routine when there is a 700 year time span, Colin and Abby both have decide if love is worth it.
This paranormal time travel offers up the best of everything -- a strong, intelligent heroine and an extremely hot Highlander who share a passionate romance in the 21st century and the 14th century. What’s not to love about time travel with a sexy Scot? The 8th book in the Daughters of the Glenn series, Highlander’s Curse is a delightful read that is sure to leave any Highlander-loving reader satisfied. No need to worry about reading the previous books in the series as this novel is easily read as a standalone.
Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 9
By J.R. Ward
Release Date: March 29, 2011
J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series has often been referred to as “book crack” and for good reason. In Lover Unleashed, book 9 of the series, Payne, twin sister of Vishous, meets the man destined to be her mate. After finally having escaped her mother, The Scribe Virgin, Payne is paralyzed in an accident, and there is only one person who can heal her: Dr. Manuel Manello, Jane’s (Vishous’ mate) former boss.
Manny has mourned Jane’s death for the past year, so when she appears asking for his help, to say he’s stunned is a massive understatement. But stunned is exactly the right word when he sees Payne for the first time, and all he can think and feel is “Mine.” When Manny discovers that Payne is a vampire, his feelings for her don’t change, but he’s almost certain they have no real future together. They say that love conquers all, but does that mean that a human and a vampire can find their happily-ever-after?
My Black Dagger Brotherhood addiction continues to be fed with each book in this series. Some books I love more than others, and while I enjoyed Lover Unleashed, it left some unanswered questions and introduced some new characters and side stories that left me hanging. Which, of course, means I’ll continue reading this series to find out what happens next. J.R. Ward’s writing style and incredible world building is unparalleled!
What good books have you read lately?