Thursday, March 13, 2008

Morning Light

Morning Light by Catherine Anderson

Crusty Clint Harrigan (of the same Harrigan clan as Anderson's Sun Kissed), is, at 37, a Catholic cowboy who's sworn off romance. The arrival of a cute Catholic clairvoyant in his hometown of Crystal Falls, Ore., challenges his resolve and his skepticism. Seer Loni Kendra MacEwen, still a virgin at 31, is shocked when she bumps into Clint at the grocery store. He's the dream cowboy she's had visions of her whole life, and she has recently connected those visions to visions of Trevor, an endangered boy who (along with his protective Saint Bernard) was lost in the Shoshone Wilderness Area after a river accident killed his mom and stepdad, an Oregon senator. Loni tells a resistant Clint he's the only one who can save Trevor, and soon the hunt is on. Though pillow (and saddle) talk threaten to overwhelm the action, veteran romance queen Anderson infuses the plot with all the warm and fuzzy woo-woo of TV's Ghost Whisperer.

I like Catherine Anderson's writing style and with Morning Light I loved the plot and the characters. Yes you hear a but coming up. In this book, there are so many religious references that its like reading a christian novel. Initially, I chalked it up to the the characters being a little pious, I could handle that but then it got way out of hand. The praying before you sleep, the saying of prayers before meals, even in public places. The constant retotic about how her psychic powers were a gift from god and etc etc etc. OMG!!!! I don't know if Catherine Anderson is religious and trying to force her beliefs on her readers. Ms. Anderson, if you want to write about psychic abilities, take the god factor out. Oh and having your characters preach about celibacy but having them give in to temptation isn't passion, its being hypocritical.

Like I said, I did like the plot and characters but the religious overtones that permeated the book later on, killed all semblance of enjoyment.

Overall Rating : 2/5

Hard to Handle (SBC Fighters, Book 3)

Hard to Handle by Lori Foster

After Fate deals Supreme Battle Challenge (SBC) fighter Harley Handleman a sucker punch, his uncle secretly hires a pretty lifecoach to get Harley back in the ring of life. Anastasia Kelley has actually known Harley for years, but never as well as she's going to now. Hot for his fighter's form, she has trouble keeping it professional, especially since Harley doesn't know she was hired. And when Anastasia turns the tables on him, it's as if he's been hit below the belt. But that's also where is uncontrollable lust for her burns.

Book 3 of Lori's SBC Fighters series and this series is running strong! Harley introduced in the 2nd book is definately a character to fall in love with. As with all the SBC Fighters, he's strong, protective and sexy. Anastasia was also a delightful character, smart and sassy. Along with strong secondary characters, most definately including (music guy), this is almost the perfect book.

I can't wait for the next SBC Fighters novel.

Overall Rating : 5/5
Sizzle Factor 4.5/5

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Simon Says

Simon Says by Lori Foster
Dakota Dream has been hired by her stepfather, Barnaby, to find Simon Evans, an extreme fighter preparing for a comeback fight with Dean Havoc Conor (introduced in Causing Havoc, 2007), and arrange a meeting. Barnaby claims to be Simon's long-missing birth father. When Dakota shows up at the gym, Simon is instantly attracted to her but rejects her request to see Barnaby. Dakota is desperate because Barnaby is threatening to burn her mother's last letters to her unless she produces Simon. As things heat up between Dakota and Simon, she keeps secrets and he feels betrayed. Foster shapes a fun sequel, thanks to Dakota, an interesting character with a big heart, good head, and checkered past. The second in the series reads reasonably well as a stand-alone, although this sort of plot about lying has been done to death in romances, and there are some flaws. Foster fans, however, will deem all glitches irrelevant. Chelton, Mary K.

Lori Foster's books are light, funny and HOT, those are her trademark signatures. Simon Says is the 2nd book in her SBC fighters series. The first book was Causing Havoc. I loved the character of Simon, he's strong, sexy and so very alpha and meets his match with Dakota Dream, a gal who has spunk written all over her.

Very enjoyable and HOT read. I highly recommend this to all Lori Foster fans and I can't wait for more in the SBC fighters series.

Overall rating : 5/5
Sizzle Factor 4/5

The Bridal Quest

The Bridal Quest by Candice Camp
Lady Irene Wyngate has sworn she'll never marry, keeping suitors at bay with her caustic tongue. But there is one man she can't scare: Gideon, long-lost heir to the Earl of Radbourne. He was kidnapped as a child and grew up tough on the London streets. And though he's been restored to his family, he is still more at home in gambling dens than stately ballrooms.

Irene isn't attracted to Gideon, or so she says when matchmaker Francesca Haughston asks for her help to civilize him for marriage. After all, he is a true rogue with a dubious past—a handsome rogue, she has to admit. But as she reluctantly begins to yield to love, wicked family secrets come to light…with devastating consequences for the reluctant lovers.

I love Candace Camp's books. She typically writes period novels and recently started on a series centering on Francesca Haughston, a widow who is on the verge of financial ruin but keeps herself above water by matchmaking.

Her latest match is Lady Irene Wyngate and Gideon, the Earl of Radbourne. I won't go into detail but it was a delightful read and I was constantly cheering for both Irene and Gideon. Even more fun was seeing more of Francesca and the duke. As enjoyable as this book was, I can't wait for Francesca's story.

Overall rating : 4.5/5
Sizzle Factor : 3/5

Queen of Dragons

Queen of Dragons by Shana Abé
This story is the third in Shana Abé's engaging Drákon series, the follow up to "The Smoke Thief" and "The Dream Thief". The Drákon are a race of people who appear human but have the ability to turn into dragons or smoke, although these abilities are gradually becoming less common amongst the Drákon. The previous two books have identified two different communities of Drákon, the first living at Darkfrith in England and the second in Transylvania.

The heroine of this story is Princess Maricara of Transylvania, the child bride of the ruler of the lost drákon tribe. That ruler, Imre, was killed in "The Dream Thief" and the Princess was left to rule alone at the age of fifteen. As the main part of this story starts, Maricara is nineteen and is troubled by her own people and by various English Drákon attempting to find her castle in Transylvania and being killed on the way. She decides that she has to leave her brother in charge of the community and to travel to Darkfrith in England to warn the Drákon there of the existence of Dragon Hunters.

Once she arrives, however, she discovers she's meant to marry the Alpha of the Darkfrith group, Kimber Langford, Earl of Chasen. It's also clear that the Darkfrith Drákon have plans to annex the Transylvania Drákon and can't be trusted. Maricara doesn't understand or abide by their rules which have been created to avoid detection and she has a problem in that she seems to sleepwalk into her dragon form, causing carnage. Can she and Kimber protect the Drákon from those hunting them down, and who is behind their pursuers? And can Maricara learn to accept her apparent role as wife of the Alpha in England?

Initially I loved the world that Shana Abé created, a world where dragons masqueraded as humans and heard the song of jewels. But currently I'm lost. I have no idea where this series is going or what exactly she's trying to accomplish. Queen of Dragons seems like a transition book, where she's planting the seeds of a greater story arc to come. The problem here is that it has not been done very well.

I was less than interested in Kimber and Maricara's romance. moreover there's so much unexplained that I was confused about their whole courtship. Why exactly does Kimber need to subjugate the entire dragon population of Transylvania? Less and less dragons are able to turn, but has anyone actually does any research into this? It doesn't seem so, they just accept it as fact. The dragons keeping such a tight reign on their community because of tradition, Kimber's parents leaving the colony? The list of questions just keeps piling and eventually I didn't bother.

I'll probably give the next book a try but if that doesn't pick up the pace, I'm giving up on Shana's Dragons series.

Overall rating : 2/5
Sizzle Factor : 2/5
(Library Copy)

Hot Mama

Hot Mama by Jennifer Estep
By day, Fiona Fine is a successful couture designer, catering to the high society players of Bigtime, New York. By night, she's Fiera, a member of the heroic Fearless Five who can create and manipulate fire with her bare hands.

Fiona's personal life, though, isn't so hot. She still misses her fiancŽ, who was killed by ubervillains a year ago. Still, men admire Fiona's smoking assets, and she decides to get back in the dating game- especially after she meets Johnny Bulluci. But this notorious playboy has plenty of secrets to go along with his sexy smile. And, with two new ubervillains in town who are intent on raising hell, Fiona's love life might just crash and burn.

This was a fun, fast and enjoyable read. The humor in the book goes very well with its story line of Superheroes parody. Initially Fiona Fine takes a little getting used to, she comes off as bitchy and cold, but as the story develops you start to see why she's the way she is and that she does have a softer side. Johnny Bulluci however takes no time to fall in love with and very quickly you just want the both of them to get on with it and they don't disappoint.

A highly entertaining read, I only had some problems with certain plot lines where Johnny is too bullheaded to listen to reason and constantly seeks revenge. Also as superheroes, they are kind of misfits. In one scene, Johnny and Fiona have the ubervillain down but instead of dealing with her they engage in an all out fight allowing the villain to escape. Furthermore the book enforces the view that superheroes protect and should not seek to kill the villains hence the conflict between Johnny and Fiona. Personally, I have no problems with vigilantes, Batman does it and that's good enough for me.

Overall rating : 4/5
Sizzle Factor : 4/5
(Library Copy)