Thursday, June 19, 2008

Fortune's Fool

Fortune's Fool by Mercedes Lackey
The seventh daughter of the Sea King, Ekaterina is more than a pampered princess—she's also the family spy. Which makes her the perfect emissary to check out interesting happenings in the neighboring kingdom…and nothing interests her more than Sasha, the seventh son of the king of Belrus. Ekaterina suspects he's far from the fool people think him. But before she can find out what lies beneath his facade, she is kidnapped!

Trapped in a castle at the mercy of a possessive Jinn, Ekaterina knows her chances of being found are slim. Now fortune, a fool and a paper bird are the only things she can count on—along with her own clever mind and intrepid heart.…

Ahhh another book in the Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms. I'm in love with this fantasy series. There might be romance aspects but honestly the reason to read it is to see how Mercedes twists well known fairy tales into her world of Five Hundred Kingdoms where the ever present Tradition tries to force ever one into one of the usual paths.

Another must read.

Overall Rating : 5/5

The Cat

The Cat by Jean Johnson
Amara is wary of mages––they chased her out of her homeland. Yet there is something about the mage Trevan of Nightfall that Amara can’t resist. But can he be trusted with her most fiercely guarded secret? Courting such a pretty yet prickly outlander won’t be easy, but Trevan is determined to try. She may be fierce, proud, and from a different culture, but after all, he is the Cat, and none but the most fascinating and challenging of women could satisfy him…

Like all the other books in "the Sons of Destiny" series, this is another winner. I don't know how Ms. Johnson does it, you'd think that after 4 books, this one, the fifth would be more of the same. But here's the best part, there is an over arching storyline and plot for the whole series and each book and each brother's bride we see more and more of this storyline. Even better is the way she brings the older characters into the fold. They are not merely background flavor but active participants of the story.

If you're just jumping on the wagon, start with book 1, The Sword, its the best way to enjoy the series.

I'm hooked on this series and have already pre-ordered the remaining 3 books. Now if they could just be released sooner.

Overall Rating : 5/5

The Lost Duke of Wyndham (The Two ukes of Wyndham)D

The Lost Duke of Wyndham by Julia Quinn
Jack Audley has been a highwayman.

A soldier. And he has always been a rogue. What he is not, and never wanted to be, is a peer of the realm, responsible for an ancient heritage and the livelihood of hundreds. But when he is recognized as the long-lost son of the House of Wyndham, his carefree life is over. And if his birth proves to be legitimate, then he will find himself with the one title he never wanted: Duke of Wyndham.

Grace Eversleigh has spent the last five years toiling as the companion to the dowager Duchess of Wyndham. It is a thankless job, with very little break from the routine . . . until Jack Audley lands in her life, all rakish smiles and debonair charm. He is not a man who takes no for an answer, and when she is in his arms, she's not a woman who wants to say no. But if he is the true duke, then he is the one man she can never have . . .

Julia does it again, this is one of the best historicals I've read in quite a while.
The premise is actually quite original, our heroine is held up by a highway robber who turns out to be the real duke of Wyndham. This obviously causes problems for the current duke, hence the title (The Two Dukes of Wyndham). A charming tale that I just breezed through and I can't wait the the sequel, Mr. Cavendish, I Presume (Two Dukes of Wyndham, Book 2)

Overall Rating : 5/5

Not Another Bad Date

Not Another Bad Date by Rachel Gibson
What does a gal have to do to get a good date in this town?

Adele Harris can't even begin to answer that question. She's had so many lousy dates that she's sure she's cursed. Why else would every man she goes out with suddenly act like he's lost his mind—and his manners? Adele thought life couldn't get any more confusing . . . until she learns the marriage of her seemingly Miss Perfect sister is on the rocks. So she goes back to their hometown to give her a shoulder to cry on, only to run smack into Zach Zemaitis . . . the one who got away.

Texans love God, family, and football, though not always in that order

Zach, a former pro star, knows all about football. As for the other two, well, he's doing his best. But when Adele comes charging back into his life—still all lush curves and beautiful, big blue eyes—he wonders if his best is good enough. After all, he did her wrong. Can a woman with her track record ever really believe that he's serious this time . . . or is he destined to be another bad date?

Another Rachel Gibson book, and this one is pretty good. Not memorable but good. worth a read, but nowhere near her best.

Overall Rating : 4/5

Dark Desires After Dusk

Dark Desires After Dusk by Kresley Cole
A seductive beauty he can
never have, yet can't resist...

Cadeon Woede will stop at nothing to atone for the one wrong that will haunt him forever. But once he secures the key to his redemption, the halfling Holly Ashwin, Cade finds that the woman he thought he could use for his own ends and then forget haunts him as much as his past.

A tormented warrior she
should fear, but can't deny...

Raised as a human, Holly never knew that some frightening legends are real until she encounters a brutal demon who inexplicably guards her like a treasure. Thrust into a sensual new world of myth and power, with him as her protector, she begins to crave the demon's wicked touch.

Surrender to dark desires...

Yet just when he earns Holly's trust, will Cade be forced to betray the only woman who can sate his wildest needs -- and claim his heart?

OMG. The world Ms. Cole created is chock full of immortals of all sorts, vampires, furies, witches, ghosts, etc. Cadeon is a wonderful character, tortured and in pain after centuries alone he finally finds solace after finding his mate.

I can't wait to read more of her Dark Desires series.

Overall Rating : 4/5
Sizzle factor: 4/5

A Game of Chance

A Game of Chance by Linda Howard

On the trail of a vicious criminal, agent Chance Mackenzie found the perfect bait for his trap: Sunny Miller. So Chance made himself the only man she could trust—and then arranged for her long-missing father to find out about them.

What Chance hadn't foreseen was that Sunny had reasons of her own for hiding from her father—and now Chance's deception had brought them both one step closer to the end of everything they held dear.…

I loved this book when I first read it years ago, so I had to get it again when it was reissued. I'm glad to say that this is a Linda Howard keeper.

Overall Rating : 4.5/5