The twenty-second book I read in 2014 was Lord and Lady Spy by Shana Galen. I finished this book on 3/31/14. This is the first book I have read by this author. I rated this book 3.75 stars out of a scale of 5. This is about Lord and Lady Smythe, a husband and wife who are both members of an elite spy group known as the Barbican, a division of Britain’s Foreign Office. However, neither one realizes the other is also a spy.
After both are dismissed from the Barbican group due to the war ending, they find themselves presented with a mission that will allow one of them back into the group, but only one. As they work together to solve the case, they learn to rely on each other in a variety of ways and discover a deep love for each other.
(SPOILER ALERT) While I didn’t like that in the end the villain gets away and is not brought to justice for his crimes, it looks like there are more books in this series according to the author’s website (This appears to be the first in the Lord and Lady Spy series). So I guess I will just have to read further into the series to see what happens to our dastardly villain.
Other than that, I thought this story was quite well written. The reader could feel the emotion of the characters and the story was well-paced and charming. Overall was a good read and I look forward to reading more by this author.
Link to author website: http://www.shanagalen.com/
Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lord-Lady-Spy-Shana-Galen/dp/1402259077/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1396303985&sr=8-1&keywords=lord+and+lady+spy
The twenty-first book I finished in 2014 was What Price Love? by Stephanie Laurens. I finished this book on 3/30/14. This is the 13th book in the Cynster family series by Laurens. Previous books in the series were discussed in earlier blog posts this year, specifically 2014 – Book #13, 2014 – Book #12, 2014 – Book #10, 2014 – Book #6, and 2014 – Book #4. I’ve rated this book 3.5 stars out of a scale of 5. This book tells the story of Dillon Caxton, cousin of Felicity (Flick) who was the heroine in Cynster book #4 A Rogue’s Proposal. Dillon was still a young man in Flick’s story, but in What Price Love? he has grown into a responsible and trustworthy man. Priscilla Dalloway is trying to help her twin brother escape from the serious predicament he is currently in, and in the process she must obtain the Dillon’s help.
Since his part in Flick’s story, Dillon has redeemed himself in the eyes of his family and has proven himself to be trustworthy. Now the Keeper of the Registry, he holds the one thing that Priscilla believes will help her brother. As she attempts to flirt her way into getting Dillon to do her bidding, Dillon finds himself not only curious and suspicious about her motives but also drawn to her personality and her courage. When she finally entrusts him with her brother’s secret, he devises a plan to help her brother and also to put a stop to the villain’s evil plan. What Dillon doesn’t plan for, however, is her stubborn nature getting in the way of them getting married.
Dillon ends up having to fight for his lady’s hand for about the last 100 pages of the book, fighting the whole time only against the lady herself. This was one of the only things I found frustrating about this story is that Priscilla for some reason failed to ever see how much she meant to Dillon. I understand that at first she might have been hesitant but based on their interactions and how close they were, I find it hard to believe she could be that obtuse and not see that Dillon truly cared for her.
Overall though this was a very good book, especially exciting towards the middle when the villain’s plan fails. I also liked seeing Dillon return for his own story and seeing how much he matured between Flick’s story and his own. Great addition to the series!
Link to author website: http://www.stephanielaurens.com/
Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/What-Price-Love-Cynster-Novels/dp/0060840854/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1396205336&sr=1-1&keywords=what+price+love
The twentieth book I finished in 2014 was Below the Surface by Karen Harper. I finished this book on 3/28/14 (again on a technicality at 12:20am). This is the first book I’ve read by this author. I rated this book 3.75 stars out of a scale of 5.
Brianna Devon resurfaces from her dive off the coast of Florida to discover her twin sister, Daria, and their boat have disappeared. With the threat of sharks and an oncoming storm, she is stranded 4 miles out in the ocean with little hope of being saved. Luckily for her Cole De Roca is also shored by the oncoming storm on a nearby island. When Brianna washes ashore unconscious, he knows he must get her help immediately.
After Brianna awakens and begins searching for her missing sister, she uncovers a wealth of things she never knew about the twin she thought she knew like the back of her hand. And after Daria’s body is discovered in their sunken ship at the bottom of the ocean, Brianna refuses to believe that Daria simply fell victim to the storm. With a wealth of motives from various people in their lives, Brianna believes that Daria may have been murdered. But as Brianna begins to dig deeper into Daria’s secret life to try and discover her killer, she becomes the new target. Cole must now protect Brianna at all costs as he discovers life wouldn’t be complete without her.
I very much liked the plot of this book, it was a good suspense story with a wealth of possible suspects. The conversations tended to be a bit choppy at times and there were a few loose ends that weren’t ever tied up (who was the second guy that Daria was meeting at that bar?) but overall this was a good story and I had a lot of trouble putting it down. I plan to read more by this author in the future.
Link to author website: http://www.karenharperauthor.com/
Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Below-Surface-Karen-Harper/dp/0778324966/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1363631021&sr=1-1&keywords=Karen+Harper+Below+the
Read more Romance novels!
I thought this was an interesting posting by Bobbi Dumas on why women should read more romance novels and some recommendations.
The nineteenth book I finished in 2014 was All Night with a Rogue by Alexandra Hawkins. I finished this book on 3/25/14. It is the first book in the Lords of Vice series by this author, as well as the first book I’ve read by this author. I rated this book 3.25 stars out of a scale of 5. This book is about Lady Julianna Ivers and her encounter with the seductive Alexius Braverton, Marquess of Sinclair. Sinclair (aptly nick-named “Sin”) has a reputation for debauchery and has seemingly set his sights on Julianna. Little does she know that 1) the main reason he is doing this is because his sister asked him to ruin her and 2) he apparently does not take no for an answer.
This was one of those novels where the seductive hero convinces the heroine that a romp in the sheets is apparently worth losing her once precious reputation. And even after repeated attempts at saying no, with the right man “no” really means “yes” and he just seduces her anyway. How awful of a precedent to set. And then to make matters worse, Julianna gets trapped by not one but two absolute horrible men who (on separate occasions) hit her and tie her up and basically plan to have sex with her against her will. Honestly this story was at times quite awful in its depiction of the human nature. Plus Alexius and his sister both have what i would call slightly (in his sister’s case slightly is an understatement) sociopathic tendencies. And don’t even get me started on Julianna’s mother who basically sold her daughter to a man to pay for her own gambling debts.
With that said, it was hard to put this book down as depraved as the story line was it was also quite fascinating. While I would warn off any sensitive souls, I think I will continue in the series to see how it develops.
Link to author website: http://www.alexandrahawkins.com/
Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/All-Night-Rogue-Lords-Vice/dp/0312580193/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1395792717&sr=8-1&keywords=all+night+with+a+rogue
The eighteenth book I finished in 2014 was Sometimes A Rogue by Mary Jo Putney. I finished this book on 3/23/14. It is the fifth book in the Lost Lord series by this author (the third and fourth were discussed in earlier posts this year – 2014 Book #3 and #8). I rated this book 4 stars out of a scale of 5. The book is about Miss Sarah Clarke-Townsend (sister of Mariah from Book #1 of the Lost Lords series) and Bow Street Runner Rob Carmichael.
Sarah and Mariah are twins separated at birth who very recently reunited. When Sarah discovers a group of men have arrived to kidnap Mariah, Sarah bravely takes her place in an effort to protect her very pregnant twin sister. Rob Carmichael arrives at the Ashton residence not long after and is dispatched to rescue Sarah from the kidnappers (Free Erie, a political radical group trying to rid Ireland of English rule). What follows is an exciting and never dull tale full of adventure and intrigue. As Rob and Sarah fight their way back to England, and eventually fight for each other, they fall deeper and deeper in love with each other.
I absolutely loved the pace of this book, at no point did I find it too slow or dry. However, be prepared for a lot of plot twists including an earldom, a surprise child, and the return of a previous villain. The ending of the book was a little rough as with Rob visiting his other estates, Sarah has to defend the house from villains on her own and in the process kills two of them. She surprisingly does not go into hysterics, which I find a little unrealistic for a gently-bred lady but more power to her.
Overall this was a very good book, one of my favorite from the series. I would definitely recommend it.
Link to author website: http://www.maryjoputney.com/index.html
Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C6BFTXY/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00C6BFTXY&linkCode=as2&tag=wordwenches0b-20
The seventeenth book I finished in 2014 was The Haunting of Josie by Kay Hooper. I finished this book on 3/17/14. I rated this book 2.75 stars out of a scale of 5. This was the first book I’ve read by this author.
Overall this was a cute story and a quick read. Since it was so quick though I thought it went a bit too fast and the plot/characters were a little underdeveloped for my tastes. This story is about Josie Douglas who retreats to a quiet country house to complete her research in trying to vindicate her father. She becomes infatuated with her landlord, much to her dismay, and also becomes involved in the mystery of the ghost who wanders the house she’s staying in.
I love it when a book ties everything out in the end. I think that’s one of the things I found frustrating in this book, there was discussion of a villain who set hotels on fire but the question was never addressed and she never cleared her father’s name before the end of the book. I just found this disappointing as I felt like there should have been more resolution there.
Overall it was an ok book though and was a quick read at only 212 pages so if you’re looking for a quick and interesting suspense then this would be a good one. Be prepared to feel unresolved at the end though. I have heard that this is a good author so I will likely try another of her books but I wouldn’t return to this one I don’t think.
Link to author website: http://www.kayhooper.com/
Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Haunting-Josie-Kay-Hooper/dp/0553590472/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1395152100&sr=8-1&keywords=the+haunting+of+josie
The sixteenth book I finished in 2014 was Werewolf in Las Vegas by Vicki Lewis Thompson. I finished this book on 3/15/14. I rated this book 3.5 stars out of a scale of 5. This book is part of Thompson’s Werewolf series, some of which I have read previously to 2014.
This book is about Giselle Landry, a werewolf from San Fransisco who comes to Vegas in search of her runaway older brother who is next in line to become the alpha of their family pack. During the course of looking for her brother she discovers that he is currently involved with a human, the little sister of Luke Dalton. She decides to team up with Luke to try and find both of their siblings. While they look though a steamy romance develops and even though Giselle is against Were-Human mating, she can’t seem to resist Luke. The result is definitely a steamy read.
I really tend to enjoy paranormal romance novels. The creativity that goes into them to create an entirely different world is astounding to me sometimes. Overall I have enjoyed Thompson’s novels and her Werewolf series as a whole. This story specifically was a very sweet story, though I found the ending a little too neat and tidy considering all the problems that Giselle and Luke will have to face as a Were-human couple.
Link to author website: http://www.vickilewisthompson.com/
Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Werewolf-Las-Vegas-About-Novel/dp/045141568X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1395145358&sr=8-1&keywords=werewolf+in+las+vegas
The fifteenth book I finished in 2014 was Lead Me On by Victoria Dahl. I finished this book on 3/13/14 (only by a technicality since I finished it at 12:09AM). I rated this book 2.75 stars out of a scale of 5. This is the third book in the Tumble Creek series by this author, I read the first two previously (See 2014-Book #5 for discussion of the 2nd book in the series, the first in the series I read in 2013).
This story is about prim and proper secretary Jane Morgan (Jane is secretary to architect Quinn Jennings who was the hero in book #2 of the series, Start Me Up). Jane is trying to hide from her shady past and has completely change her appearance and personality so that no one who sees her would recognize the angry and wild girl she once was. And Chase is exactly the kind of guy she’s trying to avoid, a bad boy with tattoos and a disarmingly charming grin. But as Jane has to face a serious family crisis, she finds herself relying more and more on Chase despite her efforts not to.
This was a very steamy novel, to warn readers its actually a steamy series I should say. And to be honest (and I had this same issue with the second book in the series) the heroine in this story is awfully mean to the hero. The heroine has so many personal issues with herself and who she is and she basically makes the hero feel like trash and uses him for sex. While the story had a sweet ending and I find it admirable that the hero stuck around through all that and was obviously devoted to the heroine, I hate thinking that you can treat someone you supposedly love that badly and hurt them that much. That was disheartening for me and I think biased my opinion over the rest of the story.
Link to author website: http://www.victoriadahl.com/
Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lead-Me-On-Victoria-Dahl-ebook/dp/B009NEERG2/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1394725034&sr=8-5&keywords=lead+me+on
The fourteenth book I finished in 2014 was Heartstrings and Diamond Rings by Jane Graves. I finished this book on 3/11/14. I rated this book 4.25 stars out of a scale of 5. This was the first book I’ve read by this author.
This novel is about a woman who has been extremely unlucky in love and decides to try using a matchmaker. Her biological clock is ticking loudly and she’s in a rush to find her perfect mate and get to the altar before its too late (hey that rhymed!). When she goes to have a meeting with her new matchmaker, she encounters a man to her utter shock. Despite her initial panic she decides to give him a chance and what ensues is a fantastic romantic comedy.
I enjoyed reading this novel and found it to be of similar humor to Kristan Higgins, one of my favorite authors from a previous post. Also similarly, this story made me laugh out loud as well as brought me to tears, a telltale mark of an enjoyable book for me. I will definitely be reading more by this author in the future.
Link to author website: http://www.janegraves.com/
Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Heartstrings-Diamond-Rings-Jane-Graves/dp/0446568481/ref=la_B001H9VXT0_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1394554583&sr=1-8