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summer of two wishes

Summer of Two Wishes Blog Tour

Publisher: Pocket Books

Publishing date: August 18, 2009

Whose wife was she?

Macy Lockhart’s life shattered in a moment with the news that her husband, Finn — serving in the military overseas — has been killed in the line of duty. Their ardent and devoted marriage is over, leaving Macy alone, empty, directionless. But while she tries to sustain herself with memories of Finn, the quiet, strong man who made her and their small Texas ranch the center of his life, it is wealthy Wyatt Clark who slowly brings joy back into her life. Her love for Wyatt may be less romantic than the breathless passion she’d once shared with Finn, but she vows to cherish him, and their marriage is happy and as solid as a rock. Until the day that Finn, miraculously spared from death, returns home to claim his bride….

How can a woman choose between the two men she loves? And how will she make the right choice — for herself and everyone involved?

Macy and Finn were deeply in love, living their life happily on a ranch in Texas.  Then Finn enlists in the military after 9/11, and is killed thereafter by a roadside bomb in Afganistan.  Dead inside, Macy is completely devastated.  After three years, Macy has slowly crawled out of the dark with help from Wyatt Clark, whom she marries.  Soon after they are married, Macy gets word that Finn is alive and is on his way home to her for a happy reunion.  Macy is now faced with a difficult decision: should she be with her first husband, or second?  Either way it will tear her apart, since she loves them both.

One thing I can definitely tell you about this book is that it is completely filled with tension.  Which was London’s ally with this book, because it pulls you along, waiting to see what happens next.  It was so hard to see which man Macy should be with.  I thought I’d want her to clearly choose one over the other, but I loved them both, flaws and all.  That’s one great thing London does with Finn and Wyatt: they both have their good points, and they both have their flaws.  That made the book more realistic for me.  Warning for the reader: the sex scenes are pretty hot!

Rating: 4/5 stars

DarkHungerBlogTour

dark hunger

Dark Hunger by Rita Herron- 2nd book in the Demonborn series

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (Forever Romance)

Pub date: August 1, 2009

1st book in Demonborn: Insatiable Desires

Next book (book 3): Forbidden Passion

HE’S EVERYTHING SHE FEARS…

Reporter Annabelle Armstrong will go to any lengths to deliver a story, even track down Quinton Valtrez, a man she believes is a coldhearted assassin. Yet the truth about the darkly sensual Quinton is even more shocking…and the overwhelming desire he ignites is one she vows to resist.

SHE’S EVERYTHING HE CRAVES

Quinton has fought his demonic powers since he was a child. Now using his gifts for the good of national security, he can’t let himself be distracted by the beautiful, determined Annabelle. But his need for her is sudden, fierce—and could soon cost Annabelle her life. For a wicked enemy is out for vengeance, a demon who wants to draw Quinton into a life of pure evil and is willing to use Annabelle as bait. To save her, Quinton must achieve the near impossible: tame the sinister force that is both his inheritance and his curse before it claims him forever.

Annabelle Armstrong, a reporter for CNN, feels that Quinton Valtrez is hiding something; she feels he is an assassin and plans to prove it.  When finally meeting him however, she is very strongly attracted to him.  Quinton is a half-breed demon who supresses his dark side in order to live a good life.  He uses his gifts to help Homeland Security hunt down paranormal predators.  He also finds himself attracted to Annabelle, much to his chagrin.  They soon learn of an upcoming attack that they both wish to prevent, so they team up in order to stop it, all the while fighting an irresistable mutual attraction.

This book is basically about the age old fight of good vs. evil, but done in an interesting way.  I don’t usually read romantic suspense, but I decided to give this one a shot when it was offered up as a blog tour through Hachette Book Group.  The romantic subplot  is at the forefront of the novel, superseding the suspense and fantasy portions, which made it much easier for me to enjoy.

Rating: 4/5 stars

SeduceMeBlogTour

seduce me

Book one of The Legend Hunters

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (Forever Romance)

Publication date: August 1, 2009

Fielding Grey is the second son of the Marquess of Eldon and fortune hunter by night. He’s on a mission for the Legend Hunters—a group of wealthy, titled, and heart-breakingly gorgeous men, each of whom are after the find of the century—he has his eyes set on obtaining the illustrious Pandora’s Box. But before he finds it, he encounters an equally alluring treasure—the woman bold enough to look inside.

Esme Worthington can’t resist taking the tiniest peek inside when fate drops the real Pandora’s Box in her lap. Thus, she unleashes one of Pandora’s irresistible curses: the curse of lust. Now, both Esme and Fielding must deal with this passionate curse—or blessing?—before unknown implications of Pandora’s Box overpower them both.

What do you get when you combine the legend of Pandora’s Box and steamy romance?  You get Robyn DeHart’s latest book Seduce Me, the first book in her new Legend Hunters series.

Solomon’s, a secretive gentlemen’s club, hire Viscount Fielding Grey, an artifact hunter, to find the legendary Pandora’s Box.  Fielding is skeptical about the existence of the box, yet agrees to do the mission.  The men of Solomon’s fear that the box will fall into the hands of the Raven, a shadowy artifact collector who also happens to be Fielding’s uncle.

In the meantime, the Raven finds the location of Pandora’s Box yet believes scholar Esme Worthington has the key to open it, so two of his men kidnap her and drag her with them to the location of the box.  Fielding also gets to the location to see the two men with the box, and Esme held prisoner.  Fielding rescues both Esme and the box, and we find out Esme does in fact have the key to open it.  Esme’s curiosity gets the best of her and she opens the box, coming away with a bracelet with the curse of lust.  Esme is soon using her newfound lust on Fielding.  Struggling with their mutual desires, Fielding and Esme both flee and prevent the Raven from releasing the rest of the curses on humanity.

I happened to see someone pimping Seduce Me on their blog awhile back, and promptly put it on my TBR list.  So when it was offered as a blog tour through Hachette, I jumped at the chance to read it.  After all, it was one more book I could knock off my TBR list.  I love Greek mythology, and combining it with historical romance is even better.  I had a great time reading Fielding’s and Esme’s adventure together.  It was like Indiana Jones meets romance.  The adventurous aspects of the book didn’t outweigh the romantic aspects, so they meshed quite well together, creating a very interesting and fun read indeed.

It was great how Esme and Fielding both come to understand and love each other, despite what they each see as their faults; Fielding with his uncle, Esme with her bookish ways.  You may also need to fan yourself after some of Fielding’s and Esme’s interactions.  I suppose the book isn’t called Seduce Me for nothing, is it? *grin*  Of course there’s more than one reason, but the title is a good one on many levels.

Rating: 4/5 stars

tamed by a laird

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (Forever Romance)

Released July 1, 2009

From Amanda’s website:

Baroness-in-her-own-right, Jenny Easdale is ready to accept her fate. She’s agreed to marry a man she will never love—yet not before slipping away for one last adventure. Following a traveling minstrel troupe, she’s whisked into a world of intoxicating freedom. Then, all too soon, she finds herself in danger—from a vengeful political plot against Scotland and from the man who has come to take her home. 

Dutybound to return with his brother’s wayward bride, Sir Hugh Douglas is not prepared for how her quick wit, courage, and laughing eyes touch his warrior heart. Now, as the merry minstrels play matchmaker and passion sparks between Hugh and Jenny, the conspiracy against Scotland builds…and threatens all they hold dear.

I really loved this book.  Tamed by a Laird was my introduction to Amanda Scott, and she didn’t disappoint.  Unlike most Scottish romances that I’ve read, this one is very Scottish in speech.  Sometimes I had to slow down and sound everything out in my head so I could make sure I understood what the characters were saying.  It was almost like reading another language, which was neat.  But that had nothing to do with how it was written, so I don’t mean to push you away with talk of how I couldn’t understand what I was reading.

I loved how the heroine Jenny was both naive and strong at the same time.  It made her a much more realistic character, and also lent to some of the tension between her and the hero Hugh.  Hugh constantly tries to tell Jenny not to be so naive about anything, that danger can lurk around any corner.  And in the case of the situation(s) the characters find themselves in, he was absolutely right.  I was very satisfied with Tamed by a Laird throughout.

After finishing the book, although I felt all the loose ends were tied up and everything was resolved, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was missing something.  When I read the author’s note to the reader at the end of the book, I read that Tamed by a Laird is the first book in a new trilogy.  I’m happy that I get to spend more time with these characters.  The next book is Seduced by a Rogue, with its release date to be January 2010.  Also by reading the author’s note, I realized just how much effort was put into researching all the places and characters mentioned in the book.  And believe me, it certainly seems to be pretty extensive.

I could not put this book down!!

Rating: 5/5 stars

To read the prologue and first chapter, click here.

first night bigger

Publisher: Tom Weston Media

Released: December 31, 2008

From Tom’s website:

Alexandra O’Rourke, aged 16, is not a happy camper. It’s New Year’s Eve. She should be partying in San Diego with her friends, but instead she is stuck in Boston, with just her younger sister, Jackie, for company. As if that wasn’t bad enough, she is being haunted by Sarah, the ghost of a seventeenth century Puritan. Oh, and there is the small matter of the charge of witchcraft to be sorted out.

Armed only with big shiny buttons and a helping of Boston Cream Pie, the sisters set out to restore the Natural Order. Can Alex solve the mystery of the Devil’s Book? Can Jackie help Sarah beat the sorcery rap? And can they do it before the fireworks display at midnight? Because this is First Night – and this is an Alex and Jackie Adventure.

Before reading First Night, I had never heard of the First Night festival before.  Never being to Boston before (or anywhere remotely near there), I’ve missed out on what seems to be great fun.  For those of you who, like me prior to reading this book, have never been to this festival, it takes place on New Year’s Eve in several places, but Boston celebrates it on a higher scale, much like how Mardi Gras is celebrated most famously in New Orleans.

I found that I was pleasantly satisfied with First Night.  It was a fun and lighter read, which I expected, but you can also tell that Weston put a lot of effort into his research.  Everything was described with lots of detail, and the modern and historical aspects were meshed well together.  Weston spent time developing the time frames, and the characters as well.  Jackie and Alex, the two sisters in the story, were really well-developed and unique characters.  Which is nice, because I didn’t have to spend time trying to distinguish one from the other.  Sarah, the Puritan ghost, provides a lot of the humor through her words and even her actions, which made reading this book fun.

Rating: 4/5 stars.

Look for Weston’s next Jackie & Alex adventure, The Elf of Luxembourg.

Synarchy Blog Tour

synarchy2

Synarchy Book 1: The Awakening by DCS

Publisher: SVT Publishing, LLC

Released: May 22, 2008

From DCS’ website:

A plan is exposed, centuries in the making and so sinister not even the legend himself could have predicted the depth of its impact on the world.  In his lifetime Stefano Terenzio had a merciless ambition for absolute power.  Two generations later the shock wave he ignited was still being felt.  Now, as the world inches closer to 2012 sides are chosen, families divide and an epic battle begins that will determine whether mankind continues existing in a world of lies or shatters the chains that have held us prisoner since history was written.

I will die to see my will done, and it will be done.”

Shocking yet hopeful, Synarchy slowly unravels the tightly laced reality we have created for ourselves.  Blending the metaphysical with conspiracy, fact with fiction, debut author DCS has opened up a world that will force you to rethink everything you believe about your own.  The knowledge within provokes the question: do you really want to know?

It’s hard to describe this book without giving away too much plot information and spoilers, but I’ll do my best 🙂

The reader follows the lives of multiple characters, most of them being from the Terenzio family.  The Terenzios sort of remind me of a major Mafia family, in that they hold their territory with an iron fist.  But, many conflicts have torn the family apart, some turning traitorous against each other.

At the beginning we see Marcello Terenzio on his death bed, speaking to his grandchildren (they’re triplets).  He sends the triplets on a mission to uncover the truth of The Awakening and behind Earth, with The Brotherhood and traitorous Terenzios trying to stop them.

This book is very layered and complex.  Although it can sometimes be daunting to read a book so complex, DCS writes Synarchy so that doesn’t become an issue.  This is a great book filled with mystery, action, and intrigue.  It’s very detailed and a quick read.  I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!

Rating: 4/5 stars

Buy it at Amazon: Synarchy: Book 1: The Awakening

gauntlet

Publisher: Glass House Press

Released March 2, 2009

From Richard’s website:

Six hundred sixty tons of Semtex is detonated in a massive explosion in Libya – the last of a deadly stockpile.  The operation seems to have gone smoothly, but within minutes of the explosion, CIA agent Richard Lawrence discovers that one shipment of the explosive was hijacked en route to the destruction point.  Days later, a glory-seeking “Emir” broadcasts to the world that he is planning a massive terrorist strike against a major U.S. landmark.  And he gives a timeline of one month.

Now a desperate chase covers four continents, as the men bent on attacking the United States use every weapon at their disposal to evade the American authorities.  Time and again they prove willing to destroy anything – and anyone – standing in their way.  But Hamilton Turbee, an autistic computer mastermind at the secretive and newly created TTIC agency, discovers a way to follow their tracks.  His flawed genius gives the nation its only chance at stopping the attack…if the American leadership will listen.  As the enemies near their destination, and an attack becomes imminent, it is up to the TTIC team, still without a true leader, to stop the massion explosion that could destroy the lives of millions.

As the world watches in horror, the President asks TTIC two questions…

Where will the attack be?

And can it be stopped…

Gauntlet is all about international intrigue.  The reader follows the lives of several different characters throughout the book.  We follow Richard, a CIA field agent; Zak, Richard’s friend who is working undercover with the enemy; Indy, a Canadian who is oblivious to the SEMTEX issue while trying to keep drugs out of his country; Leon, the drug smuggler alluding Indy; Turbee, an autistic genius who works for TTIC (TTIC is the intelligence group that tries to thwart terrorist activities); and Yousseff, the villain of Gauntlet.

All of Aaron’s characters are in-depth, which is pretty awesome because there are so many of them to follow.  The character I was most intrigued with was Yousseff.  He’s so much more than the bad guy.  Yes, he may be ruthless, but he makes sure his employees and their families are well taken care of.  With so many characters and details to write about, this book still amazingly has a good flow, without everything becoming too confusing or hard to follow.

Can’t wait for any upcoming works by Aaron!

All in all, a great read of 2009.

4.5/5 stars

Buy it here: Gauntlet: A Novel of International Intrigue


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