zondag 30 mei 2010

Maggie Sefton - Dropped Dead Stitch

This is the seventh book in the Knitting Mysteries, and I thoroughly enjoyed it again.

Dropped dead stitch

Spring has sprung for the knitters of Fort Connor, Colorado, and the House of Lambspun. But for one of Kelly Flynn’s pals, things are coming apart at the seams…

Kelly’s friend Jennifer is a top-notch knitter – and a bit of a party girl. But she’s always stayed one step ahead of trouble, until the night a stranger follows her home. As Jennifer recovers from the dangerous encounter, she looks to Kelly and their other close-knit friends for comfort and support.

A retreat in the mountains, stitching and talking, seems to be just what the doctor ordered. So the gang heads up to a ranch in the picturesque Poudre Canyon. But they’re all in for a shock, because the owner of the ranch turns out to be Jennifer’s attacker. Now Jennifer has some hard choices to make – and when the man is found dead a few days later, Kelly does too. One of her best friends is the top suspect in a murder case – and few who were there are above suspicion. Kelly and crew will have to pick up the stitches fast before someone is left dangling…

After being raped one night, Jennifer refuses to press charges. For one, she doesn’t know the guys name, and second, she has the habit of picking up guys in bars. No-one would believe her, she would be dragged through the mud at the trial. So slowly she is recovering, with the help of a good therapist. Then her therapist is holding a workshop for women who have been the victim of sexual violence, and she wants to give knit and crochet sessions. Lisa is going as part of her internship with dr. Norcross, and she asks Kelly and Jennifer to help her teach the other women.

But when they arrive at Poudre Canyon, Jennifer recognises her attacker as the owner of the ranch, Cal Everett. She wants to leave at once, not being able to face him. But dr. Norcross talks to her, and she decides to stay after all, after dr. Norcross gave Cal a piece of her mind in front of Jennifer.

So Cal stays out of sight from the woman, and Jennifer joins the sessions after all. But only while doing needle work, the woman relax and share their stories. And then, just when they are about to leave, Cal is found dead. Was it an accident, he was pretty drunk last night, after having this fight with another rancher named Bill over money owned. Or did someone help him? And when Jennifer has no alibi, Kelly is determined to clear her name.

Steve’s business is failing, the housing market is very bad at the moment, so there are troubling times ahead for him. And Kelly is getting a little bored with her alpaca accounts, she wants to have something more challenging for her CPA skills. But Mimi and Burt are getting married, with the whole gang there to celebrate.

A great story again. I read it in just a few hours, just what I needed. But still I am not going to pick up a needle myself!

zaterdag 29 mei 2010

Lisa Kleypas - Married by Morning

This is the fourth book in the series about 4 Hathaway sisters and 1 brother. Lisa Kleypas is one of my favourite authors, and I loved this book lots. My book has a different cover, with white roses, very pretty too.

Married by Morning

He is everything she wants to avoid ...
For two years, Catherine Marks has been a paid companion to the Hathaway sisters - a pleasant position, with one caveat. Her charges older brother, Leo Hathaway, is thoroughly exasperating. Cat can hardly believe that their constant arguing could mask a mutual attraction. But when one quarrel ends in a sudden kiss, Cat is shocked at her powerful response - and even more so when Leo proposes a dangerous liaison.

She is not at all what she seems ...
Leo must marry and produce an heir within a year to save his family home. Catherine's respectable demeanor hides a secret that would utterly destroy her. But to Leo, Cat is intrguing and infernally tempting, even to a man resolved never to love again. The danger Cat tried to outrun is about to seperate them forever - unless two wary lovers can find a way to banish the shadows and give in to their desires ...

When he was young, Leo lost his fiancée to scarlet fever, and nearly died from it himself, as well as his second sister Win. But he survived, when he begged to be left to die. And insane with grief, he tried to kill himself with liquor, women, even opium. Till his family intervened in the nick of time and send him off to France with his sister, to watch over her recovery.
And there Leo found himself again, and regained his love for architecture, his chosen profession before he inherited the title of Viscount Ramsay and the estate that went with it.

So now, three sisters are married, it is his turn. Due to a strange clause in the titles of the estate, he will have to be married and sire a son within five years of inheriting. Four of those years have passed by, and if Leo failes to meet the requirements, they will loose the house they all so lovingly restored.

So his sisters organise a ball, meant for Leo to find eligible young woman to choose from. But Leo already has his sights set at Catherine Marks, his sisters’ governess and companion. But Cat has secrets of her own, and he is determined to unveil them.

As a young girl, Cat has sent by her dying mother to live with her grandmother and aunt, the mother of the father who left them. When she is fifteen, she finds out they run a brothel, and she is meant to become one of the whores. Frantic to find a means of escape, in her grandmothers desk she finds a letter from the halfbrother she never knew she had, to send for him when ever she needs him. And behold, Harry Rutledge rescues her in the nick of time.

She then is send to a boarding school in Scotland, where she stays for the next four years, and then teaches for another two. The headmistress wants her to start her own life by then, and tells her of the unusual family Hathaway, who are looking for a governess, to teach them the rules of society. So Cat goes, and is happy there, if for the Lord of the Manor who loves to argue with her, criticize her.

But then the time comes for Cat to be acknowledged as Harry’s sister, and to be brought about in public. The worst thing happens, she is recognized by the lecherous lord who purchased her all those years ago, and he wants to have her! But Leo saves her, and he wants to marry her. Not only to keep the mansion in the family, but because he is attracted to her. Although he has sworn never to fall in love again, never to grieve like that again, he cannot stop his feelings for Cat. But can Cat learn to trust a man, to love a man, and believe that this rake has changed his ways?

A good book, fast paced, with some nice love scenes, but one of the stars of the book undoubtedly is the ferret Dodger. I loved to read more about the other members of the family, but the focus is firmly on Leo and Cat. I will wait impatiently for the fifth and final novel in this series. Is there a man out there for Beatrix and all her animals?

vrijdag 28 mei 2010

Joanne Pence - Something's Cooking

This is the first book in the Angie Amalfi mystery series, and tells the beginning of the relationship between Angie en Paavo.

Something's Cooking

Life’s a banquet for Angelina Amalfi – a gourmet chef and food writer with enough sass and spunk for two. But things start to go really bad really fast when the man who’s been contributing unusual recipes to her column is discovered dead and Angie suddenly finds herself being stalked by a killer whose appetite was merely whetted by the first deadly course. One the plus side, Paavo Smith, the homicide cop assigned to the case is one delectable dish. But when more people start to fall all around her like ruined soufflés, ever-resourceful Angie realizes she’ll have to cook up a survival scheme quick before her personal goose gets cooked. This case may be too hot to handle and the stakes are high, for she’s about to take on deadly arms smugglers and lethal food fanatics. But if anyone can keep her cool, Angie can.

I am still not convinced that this is a real cozy, as Paavo is a cop and they work close together. In the end it is Angie who figures out the clue, but Paavo is close on her heels. It was a good story, though I had my suspicions about the murderer, and they did come true. I prefer to be surprised in the end.
And to be true, I do wonder why a gourmet chef and food writer would publish the recipes from some one else, which are truly dreadful. You won’t want your readers to make those things for real, do you?

I will read the rest of the series ofcourse, as I have been able to buy 5 more books in this series. And yes, glommer that I am, I will try to find the rest too.

Suzanne Enoch - The care and taming of a rogue

I just finished the first book in the Adventurers' Club series, and I have read the next one before (not my usual reading order), but I forgot to buy this one.

The care and taming of a rogue

How to tell if a man is an unrepentant rogue:
1. He has no patience for frivolous debutantes
2. He kisses you after a single dance
3. He makes you forget yourself and kiss him back . . .

After years away from London, Captain Bennett Wolfe is back - and alive, much to Society's surprise. Having been presumed dead, this rugged adventurer is now much sought after by every marriage-minded young woman . . . but Bennett only has eyes for the intriguing Lady Phillipa Eddison.

Phillipa would rather read than flirt, but she does know a thing or two about proper courtship rituals. A gentleman does not kiss a lady senseless, and he certainly does not bring his pet monkey when he comes calling. Lady Phillipa's never been so scandalized . . . or tempted. She simply must teach Bennett some manners - before she succumbs to temptation as wild as the man who offers it.

After a three year stay in the Congo, Bennett Wolfe comes back to London with his vervet monkey, only to discover he is presumed death, and the man who left him for death and stole his diaries, has blackened his name by writing his book for him, with himself as the leader of the expedition.
But Lady Philippa doesn’t believe this new book. She loved Bennett’s first two books and sees too much similarities. So when Bennett tells her he wants her, after just meeting her, she decides to teach him some lesson’s in manners and courtship, and help him mend his reputation. His monkey, Kero, also takes a liking to Philippa, and has a great part in this book, Her sister Olivia tries to save her and her reputation, but that is too late. She has already fallen for Bennett. Having never been courted before, as all the man fall for her beautiful sister, she likes the fact that a man she has always admired through his books, now is after her. And as she loves to set things to rights, she can’t stand aside when Bennett goes after the man who has ruined his changes to ever lead an expedition again.
Also the Duke of Sommerset plays a part in this. He is important in the African Society, and responsible for choosing Bennett to lead the expedtion. But even he can’t help him to restore his reputation. The Adventurer’s Club is introduced, and Bennett is made a member of it.

And after this book, I am very curious to the Duke’s story, but I suppose that will be the last book in this great series.

maandag 24 mei 2010

Maggie Sefton - Fleece Navidad

This is the sixth book in the Knitting Mysteries, and I read it back to back with the previous one.

Fleece Navidad

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas for the knitters of Fort Connor, Colorado, who are furiously working on their holiday projects. And it's not a stitch too soon, because some unfortunate residents will be feeling a deadly chill instead of holiday cheer ...

Kelly Flynn and her friends have transformed the House of Lambspun into a winter wonderland - complete with a new mascot, an actual lamb named Annie. But their most rewarding project is helping the town's librarian, Juliet, teach children how to knit.

Juliet has extra reason to be joyful this year - she is in love. But just as Juliet finds happiness, death finds her, leaving her not-so-festively facedown in her trademark Christmas cape. Suspicion falls on a knitting newcomer - a lonely widow with a puzzling past. Some believe she was sweet on Juliet's wealthy boyfriend, but Kelly and her knitting crew aren't convinced. It's up to them to separate the lion from the lambs - before someone else gets fleeced ...

I like this one a lot too, but this time I knew the plot long before Kelly finally figured it out. Which takes away some of the joy in reading for me. I like to be kept in the dark as much as the heroine. But as usual, I enjoyed meeting all the previous characters, Kelly's friends, and learning what goes on their lives. The relationship between Kelly and Steve is going well, and even Carl learns how to behave.

So, gimme the next one!

Maggie Sefton - Dyer Consequences

This is the fifth book in the Knitting Mysteries series. The former one stopped with a bit of a cliffhanger, which continiued in this one.

Dyer Consequences

With spring on the way, it's time for the knitters of Fort Connor to start dreaming of warmer days - and lay aside their wool in favor of cotton and silk. But there's still a chill in the air, and Kelly Flynn worries that some of the last icy daggers of winter may be pointed at her ...

Kelly has a spring project in mind that's a bit more involved than her usual scarves - rehabbing an alpaca ranch. She and her boyfriend can't wait to begin - but someone has different ideas for keeping Kelly busy, including slashing tires and cracking windshields. Kelly's scared, but she's hoping it's just random vandalism.

All that changes when House of Lambspun, the local knitting shop, is trashed and a young woman is found dead in the basement, drowned in a tub of dye. Although it seems like a burglary gone wrong, Kelly suspects there's more to the story. And as disturbing incidents pile up, she must pick up the stitches of these crimes before the killer strikes again ...

This one was a good one. I totally had no clue who the murderer was, till Kelly found out herself. Lots of suspense, some romance, lots of humor. Great book, great series. And they all have recipes and knitting patterns inside. Not that I have any idea how to read a knitting pattern, nor any inclination to learn to knit, but it still is fun reading about it. How Kelly strugles to learn everything, and when she finally finishes something, has to learn something new.

donderdag 20 mei 2010

Donna Fletcher - Irish Hope

This is the second book in the Irish Eyes series written by Donna Fletcher.

Irish Hope

Hope is a privileged decendent of the high king, but she's impetuous and adventurous to a fault. Rather than settle for an arranged marriage, she strikes out on her own, disguised as a young boy, desperate to experience life and love-no matter the risk...It falls to Colin of Shanekill to find Hope. He can best any man in battle and charm any woman in bed-but he has never known true love. During his search he takes a young boy under his protection, never realizing that the woman for whom he searches walks beside him. As they travel, Hope comes to love Colin as no woman has. Desire tests her resolve and her deception becomes more difficult to maintain. Now, as she approaches her destination, she faces a choice: reveal her true self to Colin, or deny her passion-and risk losing her only chance at love...

I don't have much time to make a good review of this book, which I loved. Donna Fletcher makes her characters really come to life, with their good points and their faults.

I am late for bed now, and should be doing a lot of things as I am leaving for a few days tomorrow after work. Will be a while before I can finish the reviews I will place when I am back, cause I have to leave the next day again. I'm taking some cosy's with me, a historical romance and one paranormal romance (or two)...

maandag 17 mei 2010

Joanne Fluke - Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder

This is the first book in the Hannah Swensen Mystery series. I am really into cozy mysteries at the moment. I bought this one over a year ago, with some other first books from different authors. With the thought that if I liked the first one, I would buy the rest. Now the problem is, I really did like this one. And that means, there are 13 more to find and buy!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder

No one cooks up a delectable, suspense filled mystery quite like Hannah Swenson, Joanne Fluk's dessert-baking, red-haired heroine whose gingersnaps are as tart as her comebacks, and whose penchant for solving crimes - one delicious clue at a time - has made her a best-selling favourite. And it all began on these pages, with a bakery, a murder, and some suddenly scandalous chocolate chip crunchies. Featuring a bonus short story and brand new, mouthwatering recipes, this new edition of the very first Hannah Swensen mystery is sure to have readers coming back for seconds ...

Hannah already has her hands full trying to dodge her mother's attempts to marry her off while running The Cookie Jar, Lake Eden's most popular bakery. But once Ron LaSalle, the beloved delivery man from the Cozy Cow Dairy, is found murdered behind her bakery with Hannah's famous Chocolate Chip Crunchies scattered around him, her life just can't get any worse. Determined not to let her cookies get a bad reputation, she sets out to track down a killer. But if she doesn't watch her back, Hannah's sweet life may get burned to a crisp.

I have the new version, so I also have the extra short story, and I am looking forward to reading that one as soon as I have finished this blog. I love cookies, but I am the buying sort, not the baking sort. So those recipes are skipped. Unless I can type them over for someone? They sure sound delicious!
I really liked Hannah, from the first page on, and her cat. Joanne Fluke has a writing style that is really my thing. Fluent and witty, and Hannah is no pushover, but also not too stubborn or anything. Her sister and mother, and her co-worker Lisa also have a big part in this book, and I liked them too.

Hannah lives in a little town in Minnesota, where the winters are brutal and last months. She had almost finished her studies for her doctorate in English and her teachers license, when her father died and her sister asked her to come back home to help with their mother and her finances. When that was on track, Hannah decided to stay in Lake Eden, and she started a coffee shop / bakery. Which comes very handy...

When her delivery man Ron gets shot right in the parking lot behind her shop, Hannah just has to help her brother-in-law Bill, a police officer who just finished his training for detective, to find out who killed him. She is the one finding all the clues, follows up on them, and when they fall through, goes searching for more clues. And when you bring a person a bag of cookies, you have the perfect way to start a conversation and ask impertinent questions.

Along the way she discovers the secrets from other people, but she keeps those for herself. And her mother keeps trying to fix her up with men, the latest one the new dentist in town, the son of her best friend. The two mothers see the both of them wed even before they have met! But to her own surprise, Hannah likes Norman Rhodes, and he seems to like her. But when Bill's new supervisor arrives, she is immediately attracted to that man too!

So, a great mystery is solved, and the seeds for romance are sowed for the next novels ... I can't wait!

vrijdag 14 mei 2010

Jude Deveraux - Days of Gold

Days of Gold

SUMMARY: New York Times bestselling author Jude Deveraux returns to her roots in this sweeping historical romance with a dazzling story that spans two continents and unites two people who are separated by class, wealth, and education. In 1766 Scotland, the laird of the clan, Angus McTern, has everything he wants in life. Although his grandfather lost the family's land and castle in a card game when Angus was just a boy, Angus takes his duties seriously and is respected by all the men and adored by the women. That is, until Edilean Talbot shows up. Breathtakingly beautiful and born of privilege, Edilean represents everything Angus despises. Still he is as dazzled by her as everyone else is, and he can keep his feelings hidden from her for only so long. When she rejects him he is deeply wounded and, worse, humiliated before his clan. But then the day comes when Edilean needs Angus's help, to reclaim the gold she inherited from her father, which is on its way to America. At first Angus refuses, but her beauty -- and her tears -- so haunt him that he puts aside his pride and decides to aid the heiress. However, when Angus tries to intervene, he's accused of kidnapping and theft. To avoid being prosecuted, he's forced to leave behind all that he knows and loves and escape with Edilean to America. There they will overcome almost insurmountable obstacles as they are pursued endlessly by the man who claims the gold for his own. Despite all that tries to keep them apart, Angus and Edilean also find a love as wild and free as the land itself. The second book in the multigenerational Edilean Series that began with Lavender Morning, Days of Gold is filled with passion, humor, exquisite detail, and pulse-pounding adventure. Stirring and masterfully rendered, this is Jude Deveraux at her best.

This summary really isn't good, and I copied it out of the book itself. Who-ever wrote this, didn't read the book.

And I must say, I am a bit disappointed by the book. I was really looking forward to this story, a prequel to the first one in the series. But I never really started liking Edilean, and Angus is not hero enough for me. Not enough alpha, he doesn’t fight for her, or explains anything to her. Everything to protect her. He just runs. I like a man who takes charge, and an equally strong woman who keeps up with him, stands up against him. They spend so much time apart, and neither storyline is closely followed. No details, and I would have liked them to get to know them both better. Perhaps the next one will be better, and a contemporary novel again.

donderdag 13 mei 2010

Sabrina Jeffries - Dance of seduction

The fourth book in the Swanlea Spinsters series, it could not really hold my attention for long. The wrong genre at the moment I believe. The story itself is original enough, and Sabrina Jeffries writingstyle is entertaining as always.

Dance of seduction

She won't let a thief steal her heart ...It's difficult enough for Lady Clara Stanbourne to run her London home for reformed young pickpockets without having to contend with a criminal in business right next door! The mysterious Morgan Pryce is obviously dealing in stolen property, and she will never allow the handsome scoundrel to lead the children astray! Pryce is very much mistaken if he believes her a delicate rose he can wilt with soft words and passionate, unspoken promises. Now if only Clara could douse the fiery yearning the charming cad ignites inside her ...This bold, beautiful temptress is indeed a distraction -- and Morgan wishes he could tell the exquisite Clara the truth: that he is working undercover to break up a notorious crime ring. His mind should be on his duty -- not wondering how it would feel to hold Clara in his arms and taste the sweetness of her luscious lips. But now that she has entered into his most dangerous game, Morgan knows he must have her, despite the very real peril to his secret mission ... and to his heart!

It was a really nice story, with a good ending. Morgan thinks he is unworthy, not a gentleman, and totally not a man Clara will ever want to be with. But he is very wrong. He is the first man she has ever been attracted to. And when he tells her things about his past, she sees right through him. He doesn't want to believe her, but when her life is in danger, he knows she is worth every sacrifice, and that she was right about him after all.
Yes a good ending, and I am curious about the next novel, but first I will read some other genres.

Bertrice Small - Crown of Destiny

I read this book in just over 5 hours, really couldn't stop. A good thing I have the day off today, as it was 1.30 a.m. this morning when I finished it.
The sixth and final book in the World of Hetar series.

Crown of Destiny

A hundred years have passed since the Faerie woman Lara last saved the world of Hetar from the darkness. Her youth and her beauty remain as always. The passing years, however, have taken many of her friends and kin. Her influence has waned. Those who remember her heroism in times of peril are few. Even her great-grandson, Cadarn, Dominus of Terah, denies her strong magic.
And all the while Lara's son, the charming but nefarious Twilight Lord, Kolgrim, waits patiently for his moment. But Kolgrim will not make his father's mistakes by waging war. His way is more subtle, and sinister. Despite Lara's formidable powers she fears there is little to be done. Yet before all is lost she will fulfill the long-ago prophecy of her daughter Anoush to unite the world of Hetar.
And as the darkness falls Lara finds that more than ever she needs the wisdom, the love and the support of the great Shadow Prince, Kaliq. While her youngest daughter, Marzina, will prove to all that she is more than just her mother's daughter. In her greatest trial yet, Lara and Kaliq will finally meet her long foretold destiny together.

As I said, the book kept me captivated. If you want to read this series, you must start with the first book, as the story just continues with Lara's life. Bad things keep happening to her, but always for a good reason, and each book is an ending in itself, so luckily, no cliff hangers. Bertrice Small has been my favourite author for over 25 years now, and I guess she always will be. Her historical novels are more erotic than some erotica I have tried, and well before the genre was this popular.

As is usual for Bertrice Small, there is a lot (too much?) telling what happened before, lots of descriptions of what they are eating and drinking, and wearing. And of course, love scenes. Although the word love doesn't always apply here.

The worlds of Hetar and Thera have mostly forgotten about Lara, their believe in magic is gone. They pursue riches, and pleasures, and not much else. Cruelty in the name of entertainment is highly appreciated. So the time has come for Kolgrim to find his destined bride, and start his reign of darkness over the whole world. And although Lara tries, she cannot stop him this time. So the creatures who are good magic are forced to flee the world, to go to Belmair and other places, or else they will be killed and their magic consumed by Kolgrim.

I liked the ending of this long fantasy series, but not the real end of the book. And now I am wishing there will be more, what happens with Marzina and her fight for good and light. Will the people of Hetar and Thera change? And miss Lara? I would even be pleased with a novella or anthology story about what happens next, when the magic is gone from the world.

woensdag 12 mei 2010

Joanne Pence - Cooking most deadly

I finished this fourth book in the Angie Amalfi series a bit late yesterday evening, and I must say, it was kind of scary in the end. So what I dreaded became true: nightmares! I was the one being stalked in my dreams. Of course, that does say the book was good, that I kept dreaming about it ...

Cooking most deadly

Although food writer and dilettante chef Angie Amalfi is ready to start thinking about cutting a wedding cake with her delectable homicide detective boyfriend Paavo Smith, Paavo's got other things on his mind -- mainly, the grisly murder of two San Francisco women. While he combs the city for clues to the brutal slayings, Angie begins a quest of her own: searching for a little gem of a restaurant for a magazine review. She discovers three grumpy old men who make a mean marinara, but seem to know nothing about how to run a business. At least not a culinary business. As Angie deals with the diamond-in-the-rough eatery and her sisters' unwelcome wedding advice, Paavo's inquiry points to Angie as next on the killer's hit list. The ever-game Ms. Amalfi takes off her oven mitts to join the investigation. But Angie's leaping head first into the stewpot for sure -- because a murderer with a vendetta is more than willing to give one nosy chef her lethal just desserts.

The last sentence of the book made me laugh, really great finish. I don't have the next few novels though, my next books are number 11 and 13, and I don't want to skip the relationship development between Angie and Paavo. So I won't be reading on for now. I am thinking of ordering the rest of the series, if they are still available somewhere. They are pretty old already.

maandag 10 mei 2010

Joanne Pence - Cooking up Trouble

This is the third book in the Angie Amalfi cozy mystery series. Not my usual thing, not to start with the first book in a series, but it didn't really matter what happened before. I like my cover better than this picture though.

Cooking up Trouble

Chef Angie Amalfi can't wait to take off from the city for a week to help devise a delicious vegetarian menu for a lovely new B&B in scenic northern California. The not-yet-open-for-business Hill Haven Inn will be the perfect place to take her budding romance with her homicide detective boyfriend Paavo to the next level! But the situation awaiting them turns out to be less than ideal - with battling investors, rumors of ghosts, cold drafts, a leaky rood ... and an owner whose idea of haute cuisine might be acceptable for farm animals. And when a furious rainstorm traps everyone inside, it becomes painfully apparent that there's a murderer among them ... and that the only recipe being concocted in the Hill Haven kitchen is one for disaster. But Angie's determined to solve the case and salvage her romantic getaway ... or die trying!

It took me a while to get in the spirit of this book. Cozy mysteries are usually a bit fluffier. This one was dark and dreary, with the ghosts and the neverstopping rain and just plain odd people. Not much cooking or romance between Angie and Paavo either. I will read the next book I have, but I am not sure at this point if I will buy the rest of the series I am missing. And that for a glommer like myself!

zondag 9 mei 2010

Susan Sizemore - Scandalous Miranda

This is the third book in the MacCleods of Sky Court series. A whole family of spies.

Scandalous Miranda

Lady Miranda Hartwell does not care what society thinks -- and if she wishes to employ a male personal secretary, she will! Of course it was not her specific intention to hire one as devastatingly handsome as Andrew "MacGregor." And she certainly never dreamed she'd be so attracted to this fiery cauldron of secrets -- who seems oddly, intriguingly familiar...
Andrew MacLeod is ready to abandon his life as a master spy, until he is talked into accepting one final assignment. Protecting the lovely, independent Miranda will not be easy, for the lady must notice how he is always there to rescue her from the increasingly troubling "accidents" in her home. And surely she can feel the heat of the passion she inspires within him -- which may prove a fatal distraction, now that he's drawn the unsuspecting beauty into a most dangerous game...

It took me a while to finish this book once started, but I am glad I did afterall. I love Susan Sizemore's writing style, her colourful characters.

A year ago Lady Miranda was in Italy, where she was accidentally shot. What she doesn't know is that she accidentally walked in on a secret agent's mission of catching an english traitor. She gets shot, and left for dead. But Andrew pretends to be a brigand called Dante, and nursed her back to health. The shot hit her in the head, and she had the most horrendous headaches and migraines, with black outs and everything, and she is left blind.
But on the day she thinks her vision is returning, Andrew is called back to England. So he makes arrangements for Miranda to head back to England, to her home, where here 3 aunts will take care of her.
Her recovery is slow, but she manages. The headaches are fewer, and the nightmares finally subside. What Andrew does not know, is that Miranda has fallen in love with "Dante", and plans to return to Italy. But the reappearance of Miranda in society, also gets the attention of the traitor. And when he keeps trying to have Miranda murdered, Andrew is sent back to her, to protect her, and to find out finally who the traitor is.
So, with Miranda as bait, they pretend to be engaged. But when Miranda finally discovers that Andrew is Dante, she is not easily placated by him. He lied to her! His guilt is in the way of their happiness, unles Miranda can convince him they should be together.

Yes, a good book afterall, and I will definitely read more of Susan Sizemore's older books.

zaterdag 8 mei 2010

Maggie Sefton - A Killer Stitch

This is the fourth book in the Knitting Mystery series. And I loved it. Read it all in just a few hours. Unfortunately, don't have the rest of the series yet.

A Killer Stich

Tis the season for knitters in chilly Fort Connor, Colorado: scarves, sweaters, mittens - and murder. Amid the seasonal cheer of her local family of cowboys and yarn weavers, Kelly Flynn's intent on trying to separate innocence from icy deceit ...

The House of Lambspun has been bombarded by holiday knitters. In the midst of overflwoning bins of sumptuous yarn, an unexpected winter romance buzzes in chorus with the spindles of shy new spinning instructor Lucy Adair. But when a rancher is foud dead in Bellevue Canyon, avid knitter and sometime-sleuth Kelly Flynn quickly puts festive pastimes aside.

With his reputation for lovin' and leavin' the ladies of Fort Connor, it seems a little strange that the victim's final admirer was a fiancée ... none other than the hopelessly bereaved Lucy Adair. Unluckily, Kelly also finds herself linked to the prime suspect in the case - a rejected former lover of the playboy rancher. Charged with keeping both spinner and spurned from going over the edge, she'll discover more than a few secrets tangled on this triad's bobbin ...

A great story, with an unexpected culprit I can say this time. And Kelly finally bought the mountain ranch she fell in love with, but is it really cursed? Only the next novel will answer that question for me. But things are heating up a bit with Steve I believe. So, write on mrs Sefton, I want to know more.

Don't know what to read now. Another cozy mystery series, or back to my usual historical or paranormal romance? Will think about it over making dinner. And my next blog will tell what I have decided on.

Maggie Sefton - A deadly yarn

I just finished the third book in The Knitting Mystery series, and I loved it. I will continue with the fourth one, and order all the other books so I can continue reading soon.

A deadly yarn

Kelly Flinn's finally feeling at home in Fort Connor, Colorado - especially when she's with her knitting buddies at House of Lambspun. But her friend Allison is ready to leave town - until someone cancels her trip, permanently.

Kelly and Megan could not be happier for their friend Allison Dubois - a young, talented, up-and-coming artist. Invited by a designer to join her New York studio, Allison is about to embark on a new life. But when Kelly en Megan arrive at Allison's apartment to drive her to the airport, they find her dead on the floor, apparently from an overdose of sleeping pills. The police suspect suicide, but Kelly and Megan aren't convinced.

Soon Kelly discovers that while Allison's career was on the fast-track, her social life was a mess. A bad news boyfriend, a jealous design sturend, and a mysterious man named Brian are all prime suspects in Kelly's book. Now it's up to Kelly and her crafty friends from the House of Lambspun to unravel this tightly stitched puzzle ...

I love reading cozy mysteries. Not only for the suspense part, but for a great deal the fact that you keep up to date with the main characters. What happens with them in their social life, with their friends. Kelly is a CPA for a large company in a big town, telecommuting at the moment. But she really wants to stay in Colorado, where she has inherited several properties. She really neads the income from her salary, but the workload is getting to big for her. Can she get enough consulting work to quit het big-career job?
She also loves to knit, is a fiber-hugger (which really sounds like fun, and almost makes me want to relearn how to knit), and plays softball in the evenings and weekends.

I like Kelly, and completely understand why she is not eager to start a relationship with Steve, although he is a really nice guy and honestly interested in her (and her big Rottweiler named Carl). So there is a little romantic angle in this series as well.

vrijdag 7 mei 2010

Maggie Sefton - Needled to Death

This is the second book in a nice cozy mystery serie.

Needled to Death

Now that she’s been knitting up a storm with the help of her new friends at House of Lambspun, Kelly Flynn can’t imagine ever leaving Fort Connor, Colorado. But there’s trouble in her adopted hometown – and not just with her new sweater project…

When Kelly volunteers to take a troop of tourists to visit Vicky Claymore’s alpaca farm, she discovers Fort Connor isn’t as sedate as it seems. Instead of a warm welcome, they find Vicky splayed out on her original hand-woven rug, her blood seeping into the design …

The police jump on the case, but Kelly can’t resist doing a little investigative work on her own – even if it means taking a break from the sweater she’s been knitting in the round. Because a murderer is lurking in Fort Connor – waiting for the right moment to strike again…

If you like cozy mysteries, and you also like knitting, this series is right for you! Lot of info over knitting, yarns, wool and stuff. If you don’t know anything about it, it almost, almost makes you want to learn …
And the mystery itself is a good one. I’ll be reading on with the next book in this series.

donderdag 6 mei 2010

Cherry Adair - Hide and Seek

This is the third book in the T-Flac series by Cherry Adair, published in 2001. I have started this book over a year ago, and stopped reading when the heroine did something very stupid. But I picked it up again today, and just continued where I left of, till it was finished. And I am glad that I did.

Hide and Seek

A steamy, heart-stopping thrill ride through the jungle as a woman living a lie is forced to trust the one man who can expose her secrets …

Posing as the spoiled girlfriend of an international crime lord, Delanie Eastman braves a remote mountain in South America to find her missing sister. The last person she expects to see is Kyle Wright, the man she had a torrid affair with four years ago. What is he doing so far from home? Though frightened and suspicious of this man who is not what he seems, Delanie cannot resist the dangerous attraction that draws her ever closer to him like a moth to flame.

Kyle is in the middle of his own secret mission and he’s not about to let the gorgeous, unpredictable Delanie ruin his carefully laid plans. He will guide Delanie out of the jungle by any means necessary – including seduction. But just one touch is all it takes to rekindle the intoxicating flame that still burns between them, igniting an arsenal of desire that could cost them their lives. For soon both are on the run, playing a lethal game of Hide and Seek.

woensdag 5 mei 2010

Suzanne Enoch - A lady's guide to improper behaviour

This is the second novel in the Aventurer’s Club series. And as usual with a Suzanne Enoch novel, I loved it.


The Rules: A lady should always make polite conversation . . . Theresa Weller understands the rules of decorum, and is appalled when Colonel Bartholomew James disrupts a perfectly civilized dinner. This rude, insensitive man is the complete opposite of everything a gentleman should be - but with one searing kiss, Tess can think of no one else. A lady should never lose her temper . . . Aggravated beyond bearing by a man who speaks his mind, Tess wishes there was a guide to men like Bartholomew. Surely, with such an assortment of handsome, polite suitors to choose from, Tess should not ache for him. And a lady should never pursue a gentleman. She invites him on carriage rides and dares him to dance, and almost makes him want to return to Society. Bartholomew knows Tess wants to be seen as a proper miss, but deep down, he knows she is precisely the sort to spark his desire . . . A most improper lady.

Colonel Bartholomew James has come home from India severely wounded. While his legs tries to heal itself wrongly, he gets a membership to a secret club hosted by the Duke of Somerset. To what purpose, he has no idea. When his brother and sister show up in town, he tries to hide out at the club, he doesn’t want their pity. But when they start asking about his whereabouts, his grace tells him to get himself home, he is not supposed to expose the existence of the club to outsiders.

His brother (who is recently married) forces him to meet his inlaws at a quiet family dinner. Tolly sets out to be offending, to rid himself of his family obligations. They don’t need to know about his ordeal in India, his nightmares and his inability to take care of himself. But that plan backfires, when he meets the lovely Theresa Weller and she won’t take his bad manners, she gives back as good as he dishes out, and to top it of: she invites him to a ball to watch her dance! Intrigued as Tolly is, he even gets an invite to the thing to be there to watch her.

Tess has already several serious suitors wanting to marry her, but being a heiress herself, she has no hurry to get married. Or is she just waiting for the right man? Cause Tolly makes her feel alive, and his kisses …

But then the East India Company sets out to deny the existence of the Thuggees in India, proclaiming it to be rumours. As Tolly is the only survivor known, there is no one to back his story up, meaning his reputation is in tatters, and he is seen by his peers as a coward, a liar, who left his men to die because of a mistake he made. But despite her tendency to be a proper young miss, and avoiding any hint of scandal, Tess stands beside Tolly. Together they plan how to get his reputation back. But of course the Company won’t sit and watch, they have thousands of pounds to loose if the truth does come out …

I really loved this book. Original, and a good story. A strong, wounded hero, who gets his life back on track because of the woman he meets. And an equally strong heroin, who decides that after 13 years of propriety, she is due for some improper behaviour, and who finds out, she likes it.

maandag 3 mei 2010

New books for May 2010

This is a little list of new books which will be released this month. It will be nice to see if I actually get my greedy hands on them, and if I have the time to read them. Those are ofcourse some of my favourite authors:

May 2010:
J.R. Ward – Lover mine – BDB 8
Amanda Quick – Burning lamp
Cheyenne McCray – No werewolves allowed
Ilona Andrews – Magic bleeds – Kate Daniels 05
Suzanne Enoch – A lady’s guide to improper behaviour
Lisa Kleypas – Married by morning
Alexis Morgan – Vampire Vendetta
Bertrice Small – Crown of Destiny

J.R. Ward - Lover Mine

I thoroughly enjoyed Lover Mine, the 8th book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series.

Lover mine

In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there's a deadly war raging between vampires and their slayers. And there exists a secret band of brothers like no other - vampire warriors, defenders of their race...John Matthew has been through his vampire transition and taken to the life of the Brotherhood with a vengeance, but he still can't shake the nightmare of his past and is unsure of his future as a warrior hero. He's made a promise to honour the Brotherhood and their fight with the slayers at all costs, until the love of his life is kidnapped and he is forced to make a choice that could change his life and the Brotherhood's forever...

It is very fast paced written, and it seems like the cursing and the violence is getting worse. But the story line itself keeps captivating me. In this book the main part is for John Matthew and Xhex, but there are flashbacks to the life of Darius, his father, and Thorment which gave a very good and useful insight in the history of the Brotherhood.

Xhex has been kidnapped by Lash in the previous novel, and John Matthew is doing whatever he can to find her, even things the Brotherhood probably won’t approve of. But he doesn’t want them to know the truth about his feelings for Xhex. He knows she doesn’t feel the same for him, and is ok with that, as long as she is safe.
So when finally Xhex has escaped, can he suppress his warrior instincts enough to let her fight Lash on her own, as she so desperately needs to do? And can Xhex look at the future, enough to choose for life, instead of the past and the end?
The emotions John Matthew feels for Xhex, makes him get closer to Thor again, understanding what happened with the Male after his shellan was murdered.

Lash, the son of the Omega, is starting a drug imperium, to finance the Lesser Society. But when he asks his father to convert a female, just for him, he gets disowned, and replaced by the little punk he just recruted himself! Ofcourse he can’t have that, now can he.

The parts between Qhuinn and Blaylock are wrought with emotions, but as I don’t like reading about gay romance, I am not interested about those kind of details, which were minimal lucky for me. Qhuinn is kind of screwing every woman he meets, and Blay is tired of pining away for him, waiting for something that will never happen. So when a nice guy is paying attention to him, attracted to him, he decides to go for it. And then Qhuinn will have to decide: will he go on with his charade, trying to get the approval of the glymera by bonding with a female of worth (if any of them will have him) or will he go for Blay after all?

So, a book with a lot of story lines. But they all come nicely together, and let me crave the next book.