Wednesday, June 17, 2009

June 2009

1. The Chocolate Run by Dorothy Koomson.

A contemporary romance set in the UK written by a British author. Very refreshing to read a story taking place in non-USA soil and learning some UK colloquialisms. And the main couple are an interracial couple, which I love. It's unfortunately not something you come across very often in romance, but a situation very important to me since my husband and I are an interracial couple. The icing on the cake is that The Chocolate Run is a great story. Every single character is on an emotional journey of self discovery in their own different way. It's about family and friendships and true love. There are funny parts and serious parts and sad parts and very insightful parts. Most of all, it's a wonderful love story. 

2. Bound By Your Touch by Meredith Duran. (ARC)

Having read and loved Meredith's debut novel, The Duke of Shadows (2008), I've been highly anticipating the release of Bound By Your Touch, but tried not to set my expectations too high. I had nothing to worry about. Meredith's poetic story telling voice and realistic, yet unique story premise and characters were everything I hoped for and more. The story wasn't as poignant as The Duke of Shadows, but the development and treatment of the relationship between Miss Lydia Boyce and the Viscount James Sanburne was equally captivating and satisfying. It was great to read about an intellectual, scientific woman in an historical romance. One who wears spectacles no less! 

3. Red Fire by Deidre Knight. (ARC)
A Gods of Midnight Novel, Book 1

The first book in Deidre Knight's new paranormal romance series with mythology based on ancient Greek and Spartan history. The lives of the Spartan warrior Ajax Petrakos and the daughter of a demon hunter, Shay Angel, are intertwined through an ancient prophecy that comes to fruition in this novel. While trying to stay alive from a dangerous and strengthening demon horde sent by a Greek God, they are racing to find a magical artifact that can break the binds of immortal life. Of course they fall in love along the way. 

4. Bitten & Smitten by Michelle Rowen.
I stumbled upon this book while sorting donated children's books for a book swap I organized for my daughter's elementary school. I didn't think it was child appropriate reading material, so I set it aside. When I finished sorting the books, I had about 20 minutes before school got out, so I started reading and was instantly hooked by the main character, Sarah Dearly. Sarah is on a blind date with a guy who bites her, but then gets killed by vampire hunters right before her eyes. Sarah has no idea vampires exist and gets thrown for quite a loop learning that she's now a vampire, too. Trying to get away from the vampire hunters who just killed her date, she crosses paths with a man who is on the verge of killing himself, who turns out to be a 600 year old vampire. He helps Sarah out and agrees to be her adoptive sire and teach her the ways of vampirism. Things quickly get complicated, but it's always entertaining with Sarah around. 

The story is told from the first person point of view, and it is so much fun hearing this story from inside Sarah's head. She's got this sarcastic sense of humor, but it's funny and light-hearted. At the same time, she goes through some serious and frustrating times in the course of one week and I often felt sorry for her. But then she'd do something amazing that made me think she's gonna pull through this vampire thing--she's got what it takes to be a survivor. And she does survive. Obviously since there are a few books after this one. A fun, light-hearted and entertaining story that has me wanting to find out what happens next to Sarah Dearling, fledgling vampire living in Tornoto, Canada.

5. Red Kiss by Deidre Knight. (ARC)
A Gods of Midnight Novel, Book 2 

The story of River Kassandros, the faithful servant of the Spartan warrior Ajax Petrakos from Red Fire who has been given the gift of being able to shapeshift into any weapon. At the end of Red Fire, River was in dagger form and got into the hands of the Spartan warriors enemy and was thrown into the deepest part of the Wilmington River. His Sparatan warriors are looking for him, as are the demons who cast him to the sea as the God Ares wants him back. However, someone else is going to be the one to find him. A woman named Emma Lowery.

I liked this one a lot--even better than the first one. I've seen some feedback from other readers who didn't like it so much. The hero grated their nerves, but I didn't find that at all. I thought the romance was good as was the plot. The components contributing to the whole series story arc were even better. 

6. Ashes of Midnight by Lara Adrian.
Midnight Breed series, Book 6.

I love this series. Another solid story from Lara Adrian in the Midnight Breed series. The romance between Andreas Reichen and Claire Roth was very sweet as they were past lovers that were apart for thirty years before crossing paths again in this novel. But I felt that the build up to their rekindled love was a little bland and there were times when I wanted Claire to be mad at Andreas and stay mad at him in order to prove to him that she was more important to him than revenge against his worst enemy. She was too easy on him. Not my favorite in the series, but still really enjoyable. 

7. The Confessions of a Duchess by Nicola Cornick.
The Brides of Fortune series, Book 1.

I picked this one up at Target on a whim because of the beautiful cover. Plus I have a new fancy for historical romances, so I figured I give this new release a go. 

I enjoyed The Confessions of a Duchess very much. The female lead in The Confessions of a Duchess is the Dowager Duchess of Cole, Laura Cole. Now living in the country on her grandparents estate in the village of Fortune's Folly, Laura will do anything to keep the scandals of yesteryear a secret. Then a medieval tax law is revived in order for the lord of the land to recoup some of his lost fortune. The tax law requires all single women--spinsters and widows to pay half their wealth to the lord within the year. The women protest in creative ways, while men flock to Fortune's Folly to find an eligible bride with a fortune to share. Laura's one time paramour, Dexter Anstruther, arrives in Fortune's Folly to find himself a wealthy heiress to wed and simultaneously--and secretly--investigate a murder for the government. Laura and Dexter struggle to get along all the while fighting their still present attraction for one another--and Laura adamant to keep things from their shared past a secret from Dexter. This story is almost a battle of wills between the two as they attempt to avoid each other and make sense of their emotions. Circumstances practically bring them together, but their love for each other since their affair four years ago never died... if only they both can admit it! 

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