Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Mischief by Amanda Quick (1996)

Description: Imogen Waterstone had always prided herself on being a thoroughly independent young woman. But now she needed a man, and not just any man: one with an implacable will and nerves of iron. That's why she invited Matthias Marshall, the infamous Earl of Colchester, to her home in Upper Stickleford. For who better than the legendary explorer to help her lay the perfect trap. her scheme was simple, really: She planned to let it be known that when she inherited her uncle's collection of antiquities, she also inherited a map to a fabulous ancient treasure. She was certain that her enemy would risk financial ruin in pursuit of the mythical artifact. And to make doubly sure the scoundrel took the bait, the strong-minded beauty expected Colchester to set himself up as the ruthless lord's rival and pretend that he was out to seduce Imogen so that he, to, could get his hands on her map.

Yet in all of her plotting, Imogen never anticipated Coldhester's violent reaction to her request... or her own electrifying reaction to him. With his powerful build and the swath of silver in his midnight dark hair, Matthias was more than magnificent. And as he entered into her charade, acting out the part of spellbound suitor for all the world to see, Imogen found herself in the thrall of true passion at last.

But to Colchester it was no act. Indeed, to the formidable earl's surprise, he found himself succumbing to the charms of the most amazingly forceful opinionated, stubborn woman it had ever been his misfortune to meet. yet just as he decided the time is ripe to reveal his own motives for going along with Imogen's scheme, there emerges from the labyrinth of London society an undreamed of threat - sinister enough to endanger the one woman a man like Colchester could ever love.

Review: Impressions play a large part of this novel. What one person sees or hears can be much different than what the truth really is. It also is a novel about how truly dysfunctional families can be and their aftermath. A most interesting read.

Score: 3.5 out of 5

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Highland Knight

Highland Knight by Hannah Howell (2001)

Description: When Cameron MacAlphin learns the identity of the golden beauty tossed before him as a debt payment, he can't believe his fortune! For cat-eyed Avery Murray is the perfect weapon to use against Payton Murray - Avery's brother - who dishonored Cameron's own sister. Yet his plan to deliver the same insult and avenge his clan is thwarted by spirited Avery herself, who tempts him to forget everything but the passion coursing through his blood. Still, a knight of the Highlands owes his allegiance to his clan before all else - even his heart.

Avery is outraged at her captor's accusations against her brother. Though he makes no secret he intends to use her to avenge his sister's lost honor, he adds to her fury by vowing to take her by seduction not force. Worse, she knows deep inside that this virile knight stirs her as other man ever has. Courageously, passionately, she gives him freely what he vows to take - her body and her heart, knowing that she can lose all on the chance of everlasting love...

Review: Fate has brought these two together, but can they stay together? Due to his sister's lies, Cameron believes it is his right to dishonor Avery to avenge her supposed honor. This plan goes awry (as often happens in Howell's novels) and it becomes more seduction than anything else. Many truths are discovered along with love. This was a good read that leaves the reader satisfied.

Score: 3.5 out of 5

Monday, April 28, 2008


Surrender by Amanda Quick (1990)

Description: The allure of a moonlit escapade can be impossible to resist, especially when accompanied by a striking new suitor. For Victoria Huntington, who longs for risk and hunters who had previously tried to woo Victoria, Lucas appeared disinterested in Victoria's vast fortune. Their wild, midnight rendezvous gave way to love, but love soon gave way to danger. After a hasty marriage, Victoria finds herself being stalked by dark secrets from her past. Now these ghosts from long-ago threated to ruin her life, her honor, and the one man she truly loves.

Review: This novel is a story of temptation and how hard it is to not surrender to that temptation. The characters were well written and I really did like most of them. There were some moments when I wanted to slap Victoria, but all in all a good read. Definitely worth a second read.

Score: 3.5 out of 5

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Seduction by Amanda Quick (1990)

Description: Meet Julian, Earl of Ravenwood, an untamable man with a legendary temper, and country lass Sophy Dorring, the strong young lady determined to conquer him.

People in town thought Julian was the devil - his first wife's untimely death aroused suspicion of foul play and it was rumored that Julian had drowned her in Ravenwood Pond. Now indomitable Sophy is to wed Julian in a marriage of convenience. While Julian is marrying so that he can produce an heir, Sophy has more passionate goals in mind: vengeance and love. Sophy hopes she can use him to find the man responsible for her sister's murder while she teaches the dreaded devil Julian to love again.

Review: A story about the truth and how different versions of it can cause so much pain. From the beginning, it was assumed that Julian was some kind of monster, but it turns out he really isn't too bad. The mystery surrounding Sophy's sister's death was most interesting. A captivating read from the beginning. This is one of those stories you will want to read more than once.

Score: 4 out of 5

Saturday, April 26, 2008

One Moonlit Night

One Moonlit Night by Samantha James (1998)

Descirption: Forced to leave her home in the vicarage, proud and resolute Olivia Sherwood has hired on at Ravenwood Hall where preparation for the new earl's arrival is underway. At first glance Olivia sands transfixed by the sashing gallant with eyes dark and gleaming in the moonlight. Though his origins are shadowed in secrets and Olivia knows better than to trust a man she's never met... she is intoxicated by him.

Crossing the threshold of his new home, Dominic St. Bride, the Earl of Ravenwood, sees suspicion in the faces of everyone surrounding him- for his staff knows of his illegitimate birth and dubious background. Yet, the radiant face f beautiful servant intrigues him. Although the familiar wariness flares in her eyes, Dominic senses a smoldering desire there as well and he determines to claim her. But can his passionate soul win the unlikely devotion of a defiant maid - thereby redeeming him with her unconditional love?

Review: When Dominic St. Bride comes to Ravenwood manor, it begins a most interesting story. From the beginning, we see how much the gypsies (Romany) people are mistrusted due to how different they are. That prejudice sets the tone for the entire novel and it plays an important role in how the main characters interact. James created some interesting characters and some rather annoying ones. The blind sister Emily drove me crazy. She was a constant irritant throughout the story. Overall, a nice little love story about how love conquers all.

Score: 3 out of 5

Friday, April 25, 2008


Masquerade: A Blue Bloods Novel by Melissa De La Cruz (2007)

Description: Schuyler Van Alen wants an explanation for the mysterious deaths of young vampires. With her best friend, Oliver, Schuyler ravels to Italy in the hope of finding the one man who can help-her grandfather. Meanwhile, back in New York, preparations are feverishly under way for the Four Hundred Ball, an exclusive gala hosted by the city's wealthy, powerful and unhuman - a true Blue Blood affair

But it's at the after-party, a masquerade ball thrown by the cunning Mimi Force, that the real danger lurks. Hidden behind the masks is a revelation that will forever change the course of a young vampire's destiny.

Review: I hate to say it, but this series continues to be nothing but a superficial look at the upper class that has to do with vampires. At times, it is a little creepy. The relationship between Jack and Mimi just leaves me feeling uneasy most of the time. I was interested to see where we will be lead, but at times I found the story to be tedious. We are left with a cliffhanger at the end, but if you read carefully enough, it really isn't that shocking.

Score: 2.5 out of 5

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Dreaming Volume 1

The Dreaming, Volume 1 by Queenie Chan (2005)

Description: When twin sisters Amber and Jeanie are accepted into an exclusive Australian boarding school, their future looks bright. But the school's halls harbor a terrible secret: students have been known to watder into the surrounding bushlands and vanish... without a trace! No one knows where they went-or why. Buts as Amber and Jeanie are about to learn, the key to the school's dark past may lie in the world of their dreams...

Review: This was a most interesting manga. First of all, it was set in Australia in the bush. Not only is the location different from most manga, but the story too was different. It was eerie, but vastly fascinating. Basically, the story revolves around mysterious disappearances at a boarding school in the middle of nowhere. I did guess some elements, but I really am most interested to see where this story goes.

Score: 4 out of 5

Friday, April 4, 2008

Only For You

Only For You by Hannah Howell (1995)

Description: As wild as the rugged north county where she was raised, Saxan Honey Todd has sworn to avenge the murder of her twin brother. Recklessly, she gallops across the English countryside in pursuit of the man she believes to be his murderer: Botolf, Earl of Regenford.

As hard and unyielding as the armor he wars in battle, Botolf is irresistibly drawn to the impetuous beauty who has come to wage war against him. Saxan stirs his passion to the point of madness... but to love her would be madness indeed.

Now, as a desperate enemy stalks him and the greensward runs with innocent blood, Botolf brings Saxan to his castle... as his bride. But Saxan needs more: to fight by Botolf's side and triumph over the danger that surrounds them - as the beloved mistress of his very heart and soul...

Review: I have mixed feelings about this story. I did enjoy the overall story and the characters, just some things were a bit strange. The way Botolf and Saxon got together seemed forced and almost rushed. It seemed a bit strange to me. I think what was even more bizarre was the youngest sister. Perhaps if she was aged somewhat older I would have believed what her character was to be, but I think Howell went a bit too far with her. Overall, not a bad story, just not one of Howell's best.

Score: 3 out of 5

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Conqueror's Kiss

Conqueror's Kiss by Hannah Howell (2006)

Description: Jennet Graeme has witnessed terrible tragedy during the many years of strife between the Scots and the English. As Scottish invaders plunder her convent sanctuary, she defiantly resistes the blond warrior who claims her as his pize. But his brute strength is overpowering and Jennet is forced to rude with him through the lawless lands, tending to the wounded., protected and desired by a man she wants to hate... but cannot...

Sir Hacon Gillard is moved by Jennet's compassion and mercy. As a loyal knight he's pledged fealty to his king's command, even as he loses his heart to this remarkable woman. Merciless in combat... yet there burns within him a spark for something far beyond the heat of battle...

Review: I really enjoyed this novel. The story surrounded a most interesting part of the history of England and Scotland. The characters were developed well and I really cared about them. I could not put it down and had to keep reading until it was done. This book is one of those you will want to read over and over.

Score: 4.5 out of 5

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Highland Lover

Highland Lover by Hannah Howell (2006)

Description: A reckless need to break free of his family led Gregor MacFingal Cameron on a quest for a rich bride, only to fall prey to kidnappers and be tossed into a cold cell. He is soon joined by a frightened young woman who makes him regret his mercenary search for a wife. After a daring escape, he gladly joins Alana Murray's quest to rescue her sister, and soon temptation leads to seduction, with unspoken promises easily made, but harder to keep.

Alana knows the bond forged by danger and desperation has earned her an ally willing to fight for her sister's cause. But Gregor's tantalizing seduction leaves her breathless, and she seizes her one chance to experience true passion before an arranged marriage seals her fate - never anticipating the inescapable intensity of a man and a love that will change everything...

Review: This was not one of Howells better novels. I had a difficult time actually getting through this tale. Once again, we begin in a dungeon. It didn't' get much better from there. I really didn't care for the characters and just couldn't wait to get the story done. If you pass this one up, you really aren't missing much.

Score: 2.5 out of 5

Highland Barbarian

Highland Barbarian by Hannah Howell (2006)

Description: Sir Artan Murray was right when he decided that the dying old man who bid him collect his niece didn't know her at all. The furious woman facing him is neither "sweet" nor "biddable." She demands the brawny Highlander return her to the wedding party from which he took her. But Artan has no intention of allowing so spirited and bewitching a creature to endure a loveless marriage to a ruthless lord for her clan's sake. he aims to woo the lass and to show her that true love also yields unforgettable pleasure...

Cecily Donaldson knows a bond forged by danger and desperation cannot endure. But Artan's touch leaves her breathless, and she knows this to be her one chance to experience true passion before an arranged marriage seals her ate. Yet once begun, passion cannot be denied... not can a love with the promise to change everything...

Review: This was a most fun novel. I really loved the character of Artan Murray. The rest of the characters were well formed as well. The only real problem I had with the book was the character of Cecily. She was doing well up till the end when she reverted back to her original self. It didn't seem like she really would do that and just seemed like Howell needed another reason for conflict. I really could have done without it. Overall, this was an enjoyable read and I recommend it.

Score 3.5 out of 5

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Highland Hearts

Highland Hearts by Hannah Howell (2002)

Description: Contessa Tess Delgado suspects her Scottish uncle of supporting those who would overthrow King James II. But it is not until she frees Sir Revan Haylard from her guardian's dungeon that she realizes the extent of the plot - and the deadly lengths to which he'll go to silence her and claim her considerable inheritance. When Revan Abducts Tess in the course of his escape, she becomes his wary ally as well as his captive. For though Tess is loath to trust him and resistant to the desire he stirs in her soul, she cannot deny the destiny they share. Now, as they race against the traitors who seek to destroy them and betray the throne, Tess and Revan will risk everything for love of king, country - and one another...

Review: Another Howell romance that starts in the dungeons. This time we really have an interesting mix of characters. A most loyal, but secretive Scottish knight and a half-Spanish, half-Scot heroine. I really did like the characters, but Revan was starting to annoy me with his lofty opinions of marriage (they were not normal for the time). All in all, it was a fun read.

Score: 3 out of 5