zaterdag 30 oktober 2010

C.L. Wilson – Crown of Crystal Flame

The fifth book in the Tairen Soul series, published in 2010.

Crown of Crystal Flame

A Song of Love won her heart.

A Song of Darkness haunted her soul.

A Song in the Dance would seal her fate.

Seers had long foreseen an extraordinary destiny for Ellysetta Baristani. Already she had won the heart of the Fey King - the magnificent Rain, ever her ally, eternally her love. She had saved the offspring of the magical tairen and fought beside her legendary mate against the armies of Eld. But the most powerful - and dangerous - Verse of her Song had yet to be sung. As the final battle draws nigh and evil tightens its grip upon her soul - will Ellysetta secure the world for Light or plunge it into Darkness for all eternity? As she and Rain fight for each other, side by side, will they find a way to complete their truemate bond and defeat the evil High Mage of Eld before it's too late, or must they make the ultimate sacrifice to save their world?

As disappointing the previous book was, so filled with highs is this one. A glorious conclusion to a great fantasy series. An ending I never could have predicted. I loved every page of this book. I smiled and I cried and I just kept reading even when sleep called for me. I just had to know how this all would end. There is just no way I can summarize this book as I usually do. To much happens. And I don’t want to spoil anyone’s reading pleasure.

Yes, I am still in a readers high after finishing this book. The cover says it is the conclusion of the series, but luckily C.L. Wilson has left a loose thread that may very well become a new book. I really want to know what happens to Mellisande. So please write that one. Soon.

If you like a great romance, a great fantasy epos, and lots of magic, Light against Darkness, and the best of heroes, main and secondary characters, you should read this series. But read it in order, as the story just continues.

Lynn Viehl – Stay the night

The seventh book in the Darkyn series, published in 2009.

Stay the night

Stay with her …

Legendary outlaw and immortal vampire Darkyn lord Robin of Locksley has stolen countless works of art, evading human authorities for the past seven hundred years. The prince of thieves also tends to steal the hearts of women – until the night he meets the woman who steals his.

Stay on him …

Undercover federal agent Chris Renshaw has no time for an affair with Robin. She’s hoping to snag an elusive art thief, using as bait the priceless Maiden’s Book of Hours. When it’s stolen, Chris has no choice but to join forces with Robin to recover it.

Stay the night …

Although Chris and Robin mistrust each other, the sexual tension between them grows ever tauter. As they cross Europe to rescue the book –and those the thief would hurt- they’ll have to choose between losing each other and losing everything valuable to them.

FBI Agent Chris Renshaw is working undercover in Atlanta to catch a world famous art thief, known as the Magician. He leaves no traces, is wanted in 22 countries, and he is responsible for the dead of her partner in Chicago a month ago. She is posing as a wealthy art dealer, owning a gallery of forged paintings supplied by the FBI, and one extremely valuable book.

The Maiden’s book of Hours, over 500 years old, and worth over 5 million dollars. They just know the Magician will come for it, and when he does, the FBI will catch him this time.

Trying to lure him out, Chris goes to a hotelbar, waiting to picked up by the right man. As the Magician has pulled his stunts for decades know, they believe him to be an elderly man, so when a young and extremely handsome man tries to pick up Chris, she knows it is not her quarry. She isn’t into casual sex and one-night stands, but there is something about this man, Rob, that appeals to her, and she cannot resist his invitation to spend the night with him.

Of course she doesn’t know the Rob she left that morning sleeping peacefully is the man she is looking for. Robin of Locksley, a famous thief for centuries now. And he is furious that she dared leave him while he was asleep! No woman has ever done that to him! He slept in her arms and she just walked out! He is determined to find out everything about her and sets his seneschal, Will Scarlet out to do so. And when he gets the answer she is an FBI agent looking for him, he is even more furious about the deception, and plans to have his revenge on her.

But then he gets a visitor, and the rules tell him to offer his hospitality to the Italian Contessa at his door, and her people. Robin and the Contessa visit the gallery where Chris and her men are waiting for him together. Chris is jealous at first at seeing his beautiful escort, and doesn’t know how to react. But while they are in her little office, the fire alarm goes off. Someone beat Robin to his target, the book is stolen and the store is covered in ice, imprisoning the visitors and the Contessa. Robin knows immediately his old enemy is at it: Guy of Gisbourne, who got banished from America by Michael during the latest feast. But then the Contessa reveals her treachery: she has taken his entire jardin prisoner, and demands of Robin that he follows Guy to get her the book. It used to belong to her sister Beatrice, and she wants it back!

Robin has no choice but to take an unwilling Chris with him to Rome, to where Guy has fled. His Kyn powers have no effect on her, he cannot influence her. He tries telling her the truth about the Darkyn, but she refuses to believe him. Thinks he is delusional, totally in the thrall of one of the role playing computer games that are all the rage. His fangs? They have to be fake. Until he finally proves to her they are real …

So they follow Guy to an abandoned palazzo, where the Contessa again fools them all. She plans to release her sisters tears an the world again …

In the meantime, Michael and Alexandra are in England for a meeting with all the other seigneurs and the high lord, to discuss the possibilities of open war with the Brethren. The Brethren have been murdering the Kyn in France, Italy and now Spain. Hundreds have died, hundreds more are fleeing wounded and dying. And at this “le conseil supérieur” the men will decide what has to be done, while their woman will have to play at being at court. Really nothing Alexandra looks forward to.

But then she discovers there is a hospital with twenty wounded Kyn underneath the castle, and she is needed there. No care is being given to the wounded, whose wounds will not heal, burn victims and shot victims alike. Immediately she takes charge, and starts helping those who can still recover. Nicola and Gabriel are still in Europe rescuing more captured Kyn and sending them to England.

It was a compelling book to read, the last in this series. I had way to much storylines to relate them all, some loose ends coming together, not in the least that one of Luisa and John. I do so hope they will turn up in the books of the Kyndred.

I took me a long time to start this books, as I dislike my childhood hero Robin Hood used for a Darkyn character. I prefer to keep my memories intact, and not have different stories about him in my head. But the worst of it was in the previous book. Still, I did not really come to like him, he was very overbearing and quickly insulted. I liked Chris for standing up against him, but also never came to know the real her. I just wanted to get back with the pieces of Michael and Alexandra. I though that story was more important.

The ending was a very big surprise, and a good one. O, there was also a gay lovescene in this book, so be warned.

vrijdag 29 oktober 2010

New addition for my addiction

Mmm I squeled with delight when I opened this envelope! I didn't know it was already in the mail.
Nalini Singh - Play of Passion.

Now I really don't know where to start, I was saving the C.L. Wilson for tomorrow, and I need to read the Lara Adrian book, and ... and ... pfff. Very good timing to take the week of!

donderdag 28 oktober 2010

Bertrice Small – The Border Vixen

The fifth book in the Border Chronicles series, a very good series. Published in 2010.

The border vixen

Dugald Kerr, the laird of Brae Aisir, has lost his male heirs in the raging border wars. He has but one inheritor remaining: a beautiful headstrong granddaughter knows as Mad Maggie. There are many eager to wed Maggie, for with her comes the profitable right to exact tolls at a famous safe passage through the border hills, which has been under the protection of the Kerrs for generations.

Keenly aware of the covetous interest in his lands, the laird announces that any man who can outrun, outride and outfight Mad Maggie will win her and her inheritance. His proposition causes more chaos than resolution, for feisty Maggie’s reputation proceeds her, and the one man to take up the challenge is roundly defeated.

But young King James V learns of the laird’s problems and dispatches his cousin Fingal Stewart into the borders to wed the heiress without delay so that the valuable pass may be protected. But the laird insists his conditions be met, and the heated contest of wills between Fin and Maggie brings out the fire in them both. But there are those who will stop at nothing to gain control of Maggie’s inheritance … even if it means getting rid of Fingal Stewart and his border vixen.

Her grandfather is almost seventy, really old for a Border Lord in those times. Maggie is 17, and should have been wed years ago, but she is not even betrothed. She has no interest in a husband, as she is convinced she can rule the keep and the pass by her self and her loyal clansman. But the clan needs heirs to secure the position of the Kerrs, and so she reluctantly agrees to find a husband. None of their neighbours interests her though. She needs a man she can respect. Which means, a man who can beat her in the contests her grandfather has announced.

Only one man wants Maggie as his wife, as he has lusted after her and her heritage for years. When she is his, he will beat that wilfulness right out of her, she will come crawling to him at his demands! But Maggie is not interested in Ewan Hay at all, he is just a bully, and a third son, so of no importance. Maggie beats Ewan Hay in the footrace, and he just gives up the contest. She has made an enemy out of him, and he is even more determined to tame her.

So Ewan decides to go to the King himself, and ask for Maggie as his wife. But King James is no fool, and he doesn’t trust the tale Ewan tells him. He sends his own cousin, Lord Fingal Stewart of Torra, as Maggies husband-to-be, to take control over the pass, and more importantly, the income from it. Lord Fingal is an unimportant and poor man, owning his sword and a house in Edinburgh, but renowned for the loyalty he and his family has always owned the King. He has been a mercenary for years, and a big strong man. So he will be able to beat Maggie in her contests, and gain her respect. He really wants that, because he already likes Maggie, and she is a very bonny lass.

Maggie realizes she has to obey the King, and the marriage has to take place immediately, but the bedding will have to wait till after the contest. And that she manages to postpone for a few months. Time to get to know each other, and for Maggie to show Fingal how things are done in the Borders. He is impressed with her knowledge, for she has managed the keep for a few years now, even the accounts.

The safe passage between England and Scotland has been guarded by the Kerr family for over 500 years. Her English uncle though has delusions that he shall marry Maggie himself (she will be his third wife) so he can control the whole pass, and not just the 8 miles of it on English soil. Maggie has no intention of doing that of course, and her grandfather dislikes his English cousin Edward Kerr greatly. So he will never permit that to happen. And now the King has made the decision for them.

For a few years, all is well. Maggie and Fin get along great together, they have two boys to guarantee the succession of the Kerr family line, and even have been to Edinburgh to visit the King.
But now England and Scotland are at war again, and Fingal has to join the Kings army. Against his wife’s wishes, she just knows there will be trouble coming from it. And indeed there is trouble. Her husband goes missing, presumed death after a minor battle the Scots lose. Ewan Kerr enters the keep with an lie, and takes over. He still wants to marry Maggie, and know he will use any means in his power to get what he wants. But Maggie keeps refusing him, believing her husband to be alive, he will come back to her! Until he threatens the lives of her children and her beloved grandfather, she no longer has the choice to refuse him.

Of course, Fingal saves them all just in time, but that is not the end of it. Ewan Hay will never give up his dreams of having Maggie in his bed, at his mercy.

I totally loved this book. Bertrice Small has a writing style I really like. The descriptions of everything, the food on the table, the clothes, the furniture, the daily life. And of course the great pieces of true history, what happens with the Kings of Scotland and England.
Her heroines are down to earth, and strong. They will always survive, but not lead an easy and pampered life. Common sense prevails and they will do what is necessary. And her heroes can see the value of such a wife, and treasure her. The lovescenes are well written and inventive. I hope she will write dozens more, and I will always keep buying them.

woensdag 27 oktober 2010

New additions to my addiction

Yesterday two books from E-bay arrived safely home.

Donna Fletchers - Whispers on the Wind
Joanne Pence - Courting Disaster

It was midnight when I finished my book, so that review still has to be written. I dreamt all night about it, which means it was a good one :).

dinsdag 26 oktober 2010

Jayne Castle – Silver Master

The fifth book in the Harmony World series, published in 2007.

Silver Master

Fleeing a lurid scandal, matchmaker Celinda Ingram arrived in Cadence City desperate for a new start. Known for her strong para-resonator abilities, she is able to match up clients by reading their psi waves. It’s this talent that sets her body tingling when security specialist Davis Oakes shows up at her office.

A formidable psychic himself, Davis is trying to track down a powerful relic that Celinda supposedly bought as a toy for her pet dust bunny. Trying to wrest the ruby red object from the suspicious duo nearly drains Davis of the energy he’ll need to keep his growing desire for Celinda in check – and to keep her safe from those who will do anything to possess the relic …

Another great story about a couple with new and different psy-powers. Celinda is a powerful psychic, who can see the psy waves other people have, kind of like an aura I guess, and so can see which couple are a perfect match. She was driven out of Frequence City when she rejected to help a powerful guild man, almost the new boss of the Frequence City Guild, her services. She could she he was twisted, evil, and mad. So he took revenge by abducting her and destroying her reputation. The added threat against her family kept her quiet and made her leave her home town for Cadence City. She has been trying to build a new life there. A new job with a top matchmaking agency, a pet dust bunny called Araminta to spoil, and a little apartment.

Then one day she gets a visit from a police inspector, called Detective Alice Martinez, and a very expensive private investigator, who is working for the Guild. The other day she bought a very inexpensive reliq at an antiques store, because her dust bunny wanted it. And now it seems to be stolen from the Guild vault, and naturally, the Guild Boss wants it back. But just as Celinda is handing it over, her dust bunny grabbed it and ran of with it. So that took care of that part. The moment Celina sees Davis Oakes in her office, she knows he is her very own Mr. Perfect. Davis also feels the strong psy waves between them, and he asks her out to dinner that very same evening. When they get back to her apartment, after a strange encounter with a would be car thief, and find it burglarized, his mission changes. He will be her new bodyguard and accompany her to her sisters wedding the next day as her boyfriend. Until the artefact is found, Celinda is in danger. She has no choice but to trust Davis. Though she is not thrilled about introducing him to her large family.

They do seem to like Davis though, and are happy that after the scandal four months ago, she has found someone new. But then Benson Landry arrives at the hotelroom to threaten Celinda some more. Somehow, the mad doctor who is after the artefact himself, has gotten hold of Landry and gotten his help in retrieving the artefact from Celinda. But Davis saves the day, and in doing so, tells her brother the truth: why she left town, and what really happened four months ago. Lucinda doesn’t want to spoil her sisters wedding, and convinces them to keep quiet for the time being.

Later that night, on their way back to Cadence City, they run in trouble with a lot of Ghost Hunters, hired by Landry to catch them. They escape in some catacombs at an old ruin Celinda visited many years ago with her family, and there she finally sees what Davis is capable of: pulling silver ghost light to de-rezz the ghosts the enemy makes, and going invisible to knock them unconscious. Unfortunately, burning that much amber exhausts him, and Celinda barely manages to get him aboveground and in the car again. Davis is falling into a coma, just like a few months ago when he rescued a little kidnapped girl, and Celinda has no choice but to use the relic with her own particular psy-talent to heal his para senses.

Back in Cadence, they still have to unravel the loose ends: find the docter who is after all of this, and the ghost hunter who pulled that double ghost on them. Davis promises Celinda that the Guild will take care of Landry … But in the end, she just has to do it all herself.

Celinda is pertinent that the relic will not end up back in the vault, it has so much potential to heal psy-disturbances, she wants it handed over to a medical laboratory for testing. Of course, the other use is as a weapon, and she is afraid that the Guild will just lock it away. But there are so few people who will be able to use the relic, so few people with her particular talent. So now she just has to convince Mercer Wyatt of that fact ...

Of course, the dust bunny’s stole the show a few times. Davis has his own dust bunny called Max, and he surely hits it of with Araminta. Will there be little dust bunny’s in a few weeks? The fact that she suddenly eats more than a grown man seems to imply that it is her mating season …

I loved Celinda, she is a very strong woman, who will not be denied. And Davis, after he got burned by a matchmaker once, he certainly has no belief in them anymore. But Celinda is just perfect for him, and he cannot get her out of his mind. He wants her as his wife, and he will do anything to convince her of that fact.

A great mix of romance and paranormal suspense, with lots of humor and great primary and secondary characters. I really loved it, and will read the next book in this great series very soon. Of course you can complain that it is all the same format, and of course you are right, but it works, and I love it. The writing style, the characters, the surroundings, the new psy powers invented. It is just the thing I like.

New addition to my addiction

Suzanne Enoch - Rules of an engagement reached my house today. I sure have loads of books to catch up with! Luckily, I took next week off from work ...

maandag 25 oktober 2010

New addition to my addiction

It finally arrived today, a book I have been waiting for a long time:

C.L. Wilson - Crown of Crystal Flame

This one will be devoured this month!

zondag 24 oktober 2010

Susan Sizemore – Primal Instincts

The tenth book in the Primes series, published in 2010.

Primal Instincts

Tobias Strahan leads the elite vampire squad known as the Dark Angels, protecting the city's paranormal denizens. It's the perfect job for an übermacho Prime . . . until clan heiress Flare Reynard stirs an obsession in him that refuses to fade. Flare's mother - desperate for a grandchild - has made Tobias an intriguing proposition, and it's soon clear to Tobias that Flare is nothing like the spoiled princess he'd assumed her to be. She's smart as hell, wickedly funny, and loyal, and Tobias knows deep within that she is his bondmate - the bondmate every Prime searches for.

Flare has every intention of providing her clan with children - but on her own terms. That means a donor and a clinic, not a wild tumble with the most potent Prime of them all. Flare knows it's a mistake to get close to a warrior like Tobias, since their searing connection puts her heart, his loved ones, their entire world at risk. But logic is no match for fierce, instinctive desire. . .

It took me a while to get into the story, as it continues were the previous book left off, and it has been a while since I read that one.

Tobias has convinced al the Matri’s from the Vampire Clans to flee Los Angeles to their safe houses. Their enemies are intent on outing them to the public, using terrorist methods. Francesca Reynard, also known as Flare for her fiery temper, is refusing to go with her mother back to Idaho. She wants to stay in Los Angeles to get pregnant in the vampire clinic. Her mother is not happy with that idea, but as it is the only means to get a grandchild, she complies. But then she senses the attraction between Francesca and Tobias, and seizes the opportunity. She blackmails Tobias to get Francesca pregnant, the natural way for vampires, or else she will destroy the Dark Angels. And Anjelica is powerful enough for that.

But the attraction between Francesca and Tobias cannot be fought, they are bonding, even though neither of them wants it. Tobias has a war to fight, an army to lead, he cannot use the distraction Francesca is in his life. And Francesca just wants to be free to lead her own life, she despises the arrogant Vampire Primes. And now she is falling for the über-prime? No way! But instincts and nature take over, and they get to know each other in the progress, coming to terms with it. In the mean time, the war continues, and Tobias has to agree to use Francesca when necessary. He leads a very mixed team, not only with vampires, but also were-animals, mortals, witches, fae, you name it. Most vampires don’t know much about the other immortal races, and Francesca realises she has to learn to cope with all of them too, as she and Tobias just can’t stay away from each other.

I really liked the story, just couldn’t concentrate very much on it. I would have liked Francesca to fight a little more, to show some backbone, but the bonding just took over her free will concerning Tobias. But I liked both her and Tobias a lot, and it was fun to read about the other warriors again, and Tobias’ mortal stepdaughter Saffron. I’d like to read more about her some day.

New addition to my addiction

Yesterday is was perfect weather to stay home, snuggle on the couch with a cup of tea and some munchies, and of course, a good book.
But helas, I had made an appointment with a friend, so I had to go out by train. And I can tell you, waiting for a train for over 20 minutes on a windblow platform, was cold! Too cold to read even. But I had brought some great chocolate cake with me, she made the tea, and we had a cozy afternoon.
And I left her place with this book:

Sex and the Single Witch, an anthology with stories by Theresa Alan, Holly Chamberlin and Carly Alexander. Three unknown authors to me, but I just had to have it because of the title.

vrijdag 22 oktober 2010

Joanne Fluke – Plum pudding murder

Book 13 in the Hannah Swensen series, published in 2009, but I wait for the paperback version to be published. Strange though, my cover is green, not yellow like this one. Of course, there are lots of recipes in this book too. As I always skip those, the book is actually a lot thinner than it looks …

Plum pudding murder

The Cookie Jar's busiest time of the year also happens to be the most wonderful time...for Christmas cookies, Hannah's own special plum pudding - and romance! She also gets a kick out of 'Lunatic Larry Jaeger's Crazy Elf Christmas Tree Lot', a kitschy carnival taking place smack-dab in the middle of the village green. But then Hannah discovers the man himself dead as a doornail in his own office... Now, with so many suspects to investigate and the twelve days of Christmas ticking away, Hannah's running out of time to nab a murderous Scrooge who doesn't want her to see the New Year.

There really are a lot of storylines running through this book. Norman’s mother is acting strange lately, cancelling appointments with both Hannah’s mother Dolores as Norman, making excuses, and just not telling anything. So Dolores asks Hannah to find out what she can. A bit later Norman is also worried about his mother, and Mike is even suspecting her of shoplifting as he sees her leave the mall at closing time almost every day, laden with shoppingbags.
Dolores asks Hannah to join her in business class, as Carry can’t come with her, again. There they learn about bad business, paying in cash instead of checks so you can keep your books better. The teacher even gives out homework assignments, the books from a bankrupt corporation to study why they went bankrupt.
Norman wants to give Hannah a Christmas tree, even though she suspects her cat Moishe will just demolish it. And of course, she is right. So Norman and Mike have to make the tree catproof, after he demolished her great-grandmothers handmade ornaments.
In college, Hannah almost runs into the one man she hoped never to meet again …
Her cookies are best sellers at the Crazy Elf Christmas Tree lot, so Hannah and Lisa are very busy baking batches of cookies and cakes, and Hannah invents a new Plum Pudding, not the original English one, which doesn’t taste all that good, but a version with actual plums in them.
And then, the murder investigation. Her mother finds out the deceased was married to one of her friends, who has no alibi, so Hannah finds herself promising to find the real killer, as Mike will of course think the wife did it for the money.
But there are the investors to think of, the fiancé and other ladyfriends, so suspects a plenty. Luckily Andrea and Dolores help Hannah with the investigation by asking their friends and acquaintances what Hannah needs to know.

This time, I knew who the murderer was even before the murder took place. But that didn’t make the reading any less fun. Hannah still cannot decide between Norman and Mike, though she knows she will never be certain if Mike will be faithful to her, and Norman really loves her and wants to make her life easier. She feels comfortable and secure whenever she is with Norman, but still she cannot choose. Norman really is a saint to wait this long and so patiently!

Hannah and Lisa bake loads of new cookies in the Cookie Jar, and they sure sound delicious! But I am very sure I could not live in the cold of Minnesota winter, where you have to plug your car in a heatersystem to keep it alive, and dress in many layers to keep from getting frostbitten.
I love all the characters in this series, they are well written and funny and just normal people. I can just see them when I close my eyes.

What I am not so happy with is the fact the book ended with a real cliffhanger. The one man Hannah never wants to see again, is in her house, at Christmas Eve dinner, invited by her baby sister. And then the story just stops. I need to know what happened back then, and what will happen next! And it will take ages for the next book to be published in paperback. I am so very tempted to read the ebook now.

Off to bed now, and there I will think on which book to start reading tomorrow in the train to visiting my friend. After all, there is plenty to choose from!

New additions to my addiction

Yes, again some books found their way to my house today.
Tamar Meyers - Splendor in the Glass ( now I only need one more!)
Sally MacKenzie - The naked Viscount
Cherry Adair - Black Magic
Anthogoly: Burning up, which I bought for the Nalini Singh story in it.

Laura Childs – Tragic Magic

The seventh book in the Scrapbooking Mysteries series, published in 2009. Scrapbooking tips included!

Tragic Magic

Carmela Bertrand, owner of Memory Mine scrapbooking shop, and her best friend Ava Gruiex, owner of Juju Voodoo, have a big project ahead of them. Melody Mayfeldt is converting a New Orleans mansion into a haunted house for tourists for a creepy fix. She needs Carmela's crafty touch to make Medusa Manor come to life – and evoke the dead - in time for an upcoming horror convention.

And what a horror! No sooner do they begin than Melody’s body comes crashing through a tower window. And it was no accident. Someone wanted that local ghost hunter-turned-entrepeneur dead. Now Carmela's in some deep gumbo again as she tries to find out why, and stick it to the killer before he strikes again.

Carmela and Ava are at Medusa Mansion, trying to come up with ideas to make it the perfect haunted house. A coffin with a vampire, witches heads on the walls, ghosts, spiders, you name it. Just when they are about to leave, they hear a noise inside the house, and the next thing happens is a big explosion and a burning thing is thrown out of the third floor tower window! It is their friend Melody, who was supposed to meet them there, but (they tought) never showed up. Of course she didn’t set herself on fire, she was murdered, and before she knows it, everyone is roping Carmela into investigating the murder to figure out who did it and why. Her boyfriend Detective Edgar Babcock gets the case, and he just focuses on the husband. But Carmela and her friends just know he didn’t do it! Garth and Melody loved each other very much, and had a great jewellery store going together, called Fire and Ice.

Then there is that strange man who gives ghosttours to tourists, and what about that man who also wanted to buy Medusa Manor? And Melody’s silent partner, Olivia Wainwright, who first hires Carmela and Ava to keep doing their job in Melody’s memory, and now seems uninterested in it? Isn’t she just a bit to close to Garth?

On the personal front, Carmela is still busy getting a settlement from Shamus, her almost ex-husband. Everything finally seems to get together, until his sister Glory makes problems again. But in the end, the papers are signed, and Carmela is a free woman. Not only Edgar Babcock is very happy with that fact, also her previous boyfriend, restaurateur Quigg Brevard seems to be very interested in her again.

The shop is still going well, and Carmela is always inventing new things to teach her best customers, who keep coming back for more crafts and ideas.

The end of course is very exciting and suspenseful. I did not sea that coming! No, I won’t spoil the plot for you! You’ll have to read this fun series for your self.

It is one of my favourite cozy mystery authors, and I love her characters. Filled with humor and New Orleans, it really makes me want to visit this great city. Even after the hurricane. The craft things are very clearly explained, even wants me to visit this shop and see all the different papers and attributes. And me, without a creative bone in my body! You really don’t have to like scrapbooking and crafts to enjoy this series.

donderdag 21 oktober 2010

New addition to my addiction

Only one book found the way home today:
Tamar Myers - Nightmare in Shining Armor.

woensdag 20 oktober 2010

Jayne Castle – Ghost Hunter

The fourth book in the Harmony World series, published in 2006. And I sure do love this cover, don’t you?

Ghost Hunter

Where deadly energy ghosts lurk in the ruins of an ancient alien civilization. Where dust bunnies prove to be loyal pets. And where a ghost hunter will discover that a woman's heart is the most dangerous adversary of all…

Local Guild boss and powerful ghost-hunter Cooper Boone is everything botanist Elly St. Clair could ask for - the handsome, strong, and silent type. Maybe too silent. For when Guild secrets threaten her career at the college, Elly has to call off their marriage - and leave small-town life behind…

But starting over in the thriving metropolis of Cadence City isn't easy, especially when one of Elly's new friends disappears in the eerie catacombs beneath the streets. Cooper turns up just in time to help Elly investigate. And as the mystery deepens and dangerous ghost myths and legends come to light, Cooper makes it clear he intends to stick around - and this time he's holding nothing back…

Six months ago Elly broke off her engagement to Cooper Boone, the new Guild Boss of her home town, Aurora Springs. He has been involved in Guild business way too much, coming late on their dates, or even cancelling them altogether. Does he really want her, or is she as the daughter of a powerful Guild family, just the perfect little wife for him? He sure doesn’t show he is attracted to her, never does more than kiss her goodnight. And now there are rumours that he as fought a Ghost Hunter duel with another of her suitors. Archaic as that is, she is secretly thrilled with the thought of two men fighting over her, until Cooper explains it was just Guild business.

So not only did she break off the engagement, she quit her job at the university and went to town, where she started a little herbal shop. She has no great psy-powers, like a Hunter or a Tangler, as everyone else in her family. But she does have a feeling for plants, like she can feel their potential. As it is not a normal psy-power, it is kept secret from everyone. Her little shop sure thrives though, and she makes a lot of friends in the other shopkeepers on Ruin Road, most of whom are ruin rats and antique dealers.

Elly gets a makeover, more modern clothes and hair, and Cooper sure doesn’t know what he sees! Gone is the shy academic he knew, here is a dazzling and very sexy young woman.

Then one of her friends goes missing, and Elly is concerned. It is not like Bertha to stay to long underground, not when they had an appointment. So when her mother tells her that Boone is coming to town, Elly immediately seizes on it as an excuse to ask for his help finding her friend in the catacombs. And it sure is a good thing she did, when they find Bertha. There is a blue ghost attached to Bertha’s sledge, and there are just a few very powerful Ghost Hunters who can do that, and who can vanish those ghosts. What did Bertha find underground, that she is such a huge risk? So again Guild secrets threaten to ruin Cooper’s plans of courting Elly again. Before Cooper became Guild boss at Aurora Springs, he was a Guild investigator, someone who fights Ghost Hunters, and especially “blue freaks” who went bad. Murderously bad. So it is up to him to find this man and stop him.
Enlisting the help of Mercer Wyatt and Emmett London, het sets out to do just that, not knowing the plot is thickening around both Elly and himself.

But it does bring the two of them together again, investigating, and sharing Elly’s little apartment. Talking to each other of their pasts, their families, and finally they sleep together. Can Cooper really learn to open up to Elly, and not consider everything Guild business and more important than her?

A great story again, and the world building of Harmony is being extended. There are more than just the four main city-states, there are little villages and towns too. And Elly actually discovers an underground rain forest, for which her psy-powers are made for.
I loved the ending of the book, where Inspector Martinez makes an appearance, and of course getting a little peak in the life of Lydia and Emmett.
A really great secondary role is written for Rose, Elly’s pet dust-bunny. She likes to wear Elly’s bracelets and even brings her special flowers. And of course, she is a great bodyguard.

I really want to read on with this series, but I have received so many books I have been looking forward for, I am going to read something else first. I am still hesitating between two books, but you’ll find out soon enough which one has won.

New additions to my addiction

Only three more books reached my house today:
Joanne Fluke - Plum pudding murder
Tamar Myers - Baroque and Desperate and Larceny and Old Lace

dinsdag 19 oktober 2010

New additions to my addiction

I have ordered a large amount of books at The Bookdepository last week, and I was very pleased to find the first shipment on my doormat today. As they ship each book in its own bubble-envelope, I almost couldn't open my front door.

Susan Sizemore - Primal Instincts
Laura Childs - Tragic Magic
Sabrina Jeffries - A hellion in her bed
Lara Adrian - Taken by midnight
Bertrice Small - The border vixen
Tamar Myers - 8 books

For the observant reader, yes I did buy The border vixen earlier. But that copy got waterdamaged, and I was very upset about it, so I just had to have a new copy. Lucky for me, with the currant exchange rates, it was a lot cheaper.

I spend a large part of the weekend re-arranging my bookshelves, with the help of my friend Freya, who was salivating over some very nice 3D-covers. My boyfriend asked: you have all those books still to read, and you still order more? Well, what can I say, I am a bookaddict!
If all my favourite authors keep writing new books, I keep buying them.

maandag 18 oktober 2010

Jayne Castle – After Glow

The third book in the Harmony World series, published in 2004.

After Glow

Dear Reader,

Welcome back to my other world – the rules are a little different here.

Life is complicated for Lydia Smith. She’s working at that tacky, third rate museum, Shrimpton’s House of Ancient Horrors, trying to salvage her career in para-archeology – and dating the most dangerous man in town. Just when she thinks she might be getting things under control, she stumbles over a dead body and discovers that her lover has a secret past that could get him killed. Just to top it off, there’s trouble brewing underground in the eerie, glowing green passageways of the Dead City.

Of course, all of these problems pale in comparison to the most pressing issue: Lydia has been invited to the Restoration Ball and she hasn’t got a thing to wear.

If, like me, you sometimes relish your romantic suspense with a paranormal twist, join me for After Glow.

Sincerely, Jayne Ann Krentz writing as Jayne Castle.

It really was a good idea to read this book right after I finished After Dark, as the story just continues were it stopped.

Lydia gets asked to visit an ex-professor of the university who claims to have some answers to her Lost Weekend, 7 months ago. But as she arrives at his house, he is dead, overdosed on Chartreuse. Just after she called the cops, Emmett London arrives. Searching for her, as he has important news. Some one just tried to kill Mercer Wyatt, the Guild Boss, and Emmett has been appointed Acting Guild Boss. A job that well may become permanent if Wyatt doesn’t survive his wounds.

The same police detective as in the previous book arrives on scene, but this time they are not really murder suspects. After all, it was not a murder. But later that night, Lydia wants to go back to the dead man’s house to search for a clue about what he wanted to tell her. All they find is an old milk carton, secured with a small Illusion trap. When Lydia de-rezzes it, there is just an old newspaper clipping inside it, about a student who disappeared in the catacombs 15 years ago.

So now they have 2 mysteries to unravel. Who tried to kill Mercer Wyatt, and what was Professor Maltby trying to tell Lydia?

Emmett is using the whole power of the Guild to find out the first thing, and stumbles upon a former mistress of Mercer, before he married his current wife, Tamara (who also used to be Emmetts fiancée before she scorned him when he planned to stop being Guild Boss). Now Mercer is also planning to retire, so does Tamara have a motive? After all, the only thing she wants is to be a Guild Boss wife, with all the power and prestige that comes with it.

When the tabloids find out about all this, they have a field day with this so called lovers triangle. What will they do if they find out Emmett is Mercers illegitimate son?

Being acting Guild Boss has other obligations: Emmett will have to go to the Restoration Ball, and with a date, tomorrow. So he asks Lydia, who has absolutely nothing to wear to such a grand occasion. After being told she can send the bill to the Guild, she takes her friend Melanie with her to go shop for the perfect dress. And of course, she succeeds.

But then she is cornered by the tabloids, asked if she is the Mystery Mistress of the new Guild Boss. Cornered, she tells them they will be married this very same afternoon. And as that was Emmett’s intention already, he complies with her scheme, not knowing she is also using it to keep him from being challenged for leadership of the Guild. After all, she now has Guild Boss wife rights! Unfortunately, their wedding night is disturbed by a very large ghost on their balcony, which Emmett has to de-rez, causing him to “burn amber” and collapse for a few hours.

Lydia is collecting information about the missing student and his close friends, who all seem to have died shortly after his disappearance. Strangely enough, their bodies have never been found either, and none of them had any close relatives.

After the Ball, Lydia and Emmett and his chief of security go interview the former mistress, and also find her dead, overdosed on Chartreuse. Conveniently, she left behind a suicide note in which she claimed to have tried to murder Mercer Wyatt. Another dead end.

As a new celebrity, Lydia is very much in demand at the Musuem, giving tours for groups. After hours, she is asked to give a VIP-tour for a bunch of “greenies”, a strange cult. Who then abduct her, and take her to the catacombs, where she is told a story about her Lost Weekend. The cult leader wants her to de-rezz an enormous Illusion trap, as no other tangler who has tried could do it. And after all, she has done it before, even if she has no memory of it. Her memory comes back, bit by bit, and Lydia knows he is lying to her. She was abducted by her body guards Ghost Hunters back then, who already were members of the cult. And she escaped through the curtain, to get away from them, not the other way around. But she stalls for time, knowing Emmett will find her. As he does with the help of Fuzz, her pet dustbunny. An alien creature looking like a piece of lint, with sex legs and four eyes, but being a predator instead of an innocent bunny. Fuzz found her all those months ago, and led her to safety. Something she has kept carefully secret all that time, except from her closest friends and Emmett.

Escaping from the cult, they do a major archeological find. Unraveling all the clues doesn’t take them too long, but will it be in time? Will Emmett save Lydia one more time in time?

A really good story again. Full of history and suspense this time. I especially loved the last half page of the book, where Fuzz gets his own visitor. Lydia finally gets her memory back, and knows she was right in suspecting the Ghost Hunters from the Guild. She did not neglect safety measures! She was set up. Their Marriage of Convenience is changed into a Covenant Marriage, which is permanent instead of only for a year.

Next to the suspense, there was some relationship trouble, mainly because Emmett cannot communicate with Lydia as he ought to do, but love wins. I like both characters, and Fuzz ofcourse. The usual humor is there, and Lydia is a really strong heroine, which I prefer.

So, bring on the next book in this series!

zaterdag 16 oktober 2010

Jayne Castle – After Dark

The second book in the Harmony World series, published in 2000.

After Dark

Dear reader:

Life is tough enough these days for Lydia Smith, licensed Para-archeologist. Seriously stressed out from a nasty incident in an alien tomb, she is obliged to work part-time in Shrimpton’s House of Ancient Horrors, a very low-budget museum. She has a plan to get her career back on track, but it isn’t going well. Stuff keeps happening.

Take the dead body that she discovered in one of the sarcophagus exhibits. Who needed that? Finding out that her new client, Emmett London, is one of the most dangerous men in the city isn’t helping matters either. And that’s just today’s list of setbacks. Here in the shadows of the Dead City of Old Cadence, things don’t really heat up until After Dark.

If, like me, you sometimes relish your romantic suspense with a paranormal twist, welcome to Lydia and Emmett’s world … the rules are a little different here …

Yours very truly, Jayne Castle.

Jayne Castle has created a very strange world for us to enjoy. Human colonists have settled on Harmony, a world behind a Curtain. But unfortunately, the Curtain has closed almost immediately, and the colonists are trapped. The world has previously been inhabited by aliens, and their artefacts are worth a lot of money. Those artefacts are protected though, by traps and ghosts. The people have developed strange powers during their two hundred year old colonization of the planet. Using amber, they can focus their psychic energy, and use it to do olmost every mundane thing. From opening a lock, to cooking, to starting a car. Only the most gifted among them are able to disable the traps, made by Illusion rez, or vanquish the ghost, who are really dangerous and could mentally fry a person.

Lydia is one of the Para-archeologists and a very strong ephemeral energy para-resonator, or tangler. When she became lost in the catacombs six months ago, and lost a whole weekend of her memory, she also lost her job at the museum, as her bosses thought she has lost it. The psychologists certainly thought so, but Lydia doesn’t agree with them. There is nothing wrong with her, perhaps just a little bit stressed, but she won’t break!

So to support herself, she has taken a job in a second rate museum, and is trying to find private clients, so she can go back to the catacombs to do the job she loves most. And then there is Emmett London, trying to hire her. They set of on the wrong foot, as Emmett thinks she is involved in the theft of the artefact he wants her to find for him. A family heirloom from old Earth, which she thinks highly unlikely. It probably is just early colonist.

But the intrigue continues, the family heirloom was not stolen, but borrowed by Emmet’s nephew, who pawned it, and sent Emmett the ticket for it. But the nephew and his girlfriend have disappeared, and Emmett wants to find them too.

When Lydia finds out, Emmett is not only a very powerful Ghost Hunter (a species she despises, as she blames her own bodyguards – ghosthunters for her lost weekend) but the ex-guild boss of the neighbouring city, things get exciting. How can she trust him, and work with him, when he cannot tell her everything about the job? Part of it is Guild business, and that will always stay secret. The guild polices it self after all.

Then the Guild boss of her own city asks Emmett to dinner, to discus business with him, and perhaps give him their only lead. The intrigue deepens, as Emmett was once engaged to the new wife of Mercer Wyatt.

Some one is trying to chase Lydia of the case, by threatening her with ghosts. Luckily Emmett is there to save the day (or night), and he is determined to protect her as much as possible as she won’t stand down or break their business contract. So he sleeps on the couch in her little apartment, kept company by her dust bunny. Soon people begin to think they have an affair, especially her former almost boyfriend from the university. The same one who fired her when he though he could no longer use her scientific papers to boost his own name in the academic world.

So far, the missing heirloom has caused the death of a close friend of Lydia, who left her his retirement fund. A unique vase of dreamstone, immensely valuable, and the key to were to find more. Is it also the key to find his missing nephew, and the traitor in the Guild?

Trying this book again, I cannot imagine why I didn’t finish it before. I could not remember a single detail, and was truly captivated by the story. I liked both characters a lot, as well as the secondary characters who were Lydia’s friends.

Emmett keeps making mistakes by not telling Lydia everything, and of course she won’t trust him. But there is that enormous attraction between them, and soon they have to act on it. And no, it is more than the energy buzz after rezzing a powerful ghost. That only lasts for about half an hour, and Emmett wants Lydia for good. Now to convince her of that fact …

Yes, a very good story, I really enjoyed it, and will continue with the next book in this series. As usual, I like the world building, the characters, the humor, and affection between the main characters. The lovescenes were few and short.

vrijdag 15 oktober 2010

No idea what to read next

Do you know that feeling? Thousands of books to choose from, both in paper and in bytes, and just not knowing what you will be reading next?

I have been staring at my shelves for over an hour, contemplating. What am I in the mood for? What will it be? Another historical romance? A paranormal, a cozy mystery? Or an oldfashioned contemporary romance novel? Nothing really caught my attention. So Freya, it really is time we re-arrange my collection I guess.

At long last, I have chosen for Jayne Castle - After Dark. I have tried this one before, but got stuck halfway. And I really want to read this series, as I am so very curious about the dustbunny's in the next books! So wish me luck and concentration, so I will get through this one.

Lisa Kleypas – Only with your love

The second book in the Vallerand series, written in 1992.

Only with your love

The newlywed bride of a Creole aristocrat, Celia Vallerand prays for deliverance from the bloodthirsty brigands who abducted her from a New Orleans-bound schooner. Though she believes her beloved husband slain and despairs for her own life, the shy French beauty fears above all the dashing privateer who pays a king’s ransom to claim her … and boldly risks capture to possess her. The most notorious pirate of the open seas, he is called ‘The Griffin’, a rugged and powerful renegade who arouses within Celia desires as dangerous as they are irresistible. But the magnificent adventurer is a man trapped in a perilous deception – and he guards a shocking secret that could deny him the love of the gossamer-haired enchantress who stirs his manly passions and enslaves his heart.

Just when Philippe Vallerand and his shy French bride Celia are about to finally consummate their marriage, their ship is under attack from pirates. Philippe leaves Celia with a pistol to kill herself if her cabin is raided, but when that time arrives, she just can’t kill herself. She wants to live! She kills one of the pirates instead, and is dragged onto the deck, where she sees all the crew and passengers slaughtered, including Philippe. She throws herself upon him only to be dragged away again, to see Philippe tossed into the sea, with the other bodies.

The pirate captain, Dominic Legare, decides to take her with him as a present for his brother André. So with the other looted goods she is stowed in the storage rooms in the pirates ship, with the rats and a cat to keep her company till they reach the pirate’s island.

Another pirate captain, ‘The Griffin’ hears about her claim to be a Vallerand, and he tries to buy her from his collegue. But as André Legare really wants to have the woman, he is denied. A fight over her ownership breaks out, and the Griffin wins. But Legare doesn’t play honestly, of course, so The Griffin rescues her in the nick of time from André’s deprived ideas of sex. They manage to escape the island, but as André is murdered, The Griffin knows he will never be safe of Dominic Legare’s revenge. Still he is determined to take Celia to her family, but not for nothing. He desires her, and he is determined to have her. After all, she is a widow now.

Celia fights him, but to no avail. And she even finds pleasure in his arms, something she never thought could happen. She loves Philippe! And still, there is something familiar about this man. His first name is Justin, but it doesn’t ring any bells and Justin seems disappointed about that fact. She wants to know his secret, but he won’t tell her till they safely reach the plantation of the Vallerands in New Orleans. There she finds out, that Justin is Philippe’s twin brother. How can that be? Philippe is the ultimate gentleman, kind, gentle, loves poetry and is a doctor. And Justin is a savage, a pirate, a scavenger, caring for no one but himself! She hates him!

When months later, Justin is delivered home by his crew, he is badly wounded, and Celia is compelled to care for him, to nurse him back to health. Her presence is the one thing that soothes him, she is the only one who can make him take his medicine and food. What is this strange bond between them? Maximilian and Lysette Vallerand are happy to have Justin back, especially when they have just lost Philippe. To keep him safe from the militairy, Justin will have to pretend to be Philippe, escaped from the pirates clutches. And that means, Celia will have to play being his loving wife! It doesn’t take long for that play to become truth, and Celia is torn with her own feelings.

The Dominic Legare tells them, Philippe is not dead, yet. And he will exchange him for his brother. Celia doesn’t want Philippe back, she wants Justin, but Justin will go through with it. He knows the island, he has made a plan to escape and take his revenge on Dominic Legare both.

Will Celia be able to convince Philippe to give her up to his brother? Or will he hold her to her marriage vows? She has changed in the past months, but for him time has stood still while being imprisoned.

I had this books lying on my shelves for some time now, as I am not that much into pirates. But I loved this story. The drama of the lovestories, and the historical facts, the life of Creoles in that time. To visit again with Max and Lysette, and find out more about their lives. The passion they all have. And how a good woman can change a man, make him want to live instead of uncaring for anything. Risking his own life because he doesn’t care if he dies or not, as long as he enjoys himself doing it.

Celia grows in her character, from a shy young woman into one strong enough to fight for the man she loves. Even in the roughest time, she doesn’t break, she survives.

Another great book by one of my favourite authors. I love her historicals, her contemporary not so much.

donderdag 14 oktober 2010

Jayne Ann Krentz – The main attraction

With the headache I am having, you need something easy to read. So I choose one of my old favourites, a contemporary romance. Mind you, it is written in 1987, so the hero is way too overbearing for my taste! The cover of my book is much nicer than this one, and it has a beautiful stepcover.

The main attraction

You can never go home again.

But Filomena Cromwell does – to small-minded Gallant Lake. Ten years earlier, mousy, overweight Filomena had left in absolute disgrace. Now rich and gorgeous, she wants her sweet, sweet revenge …

Soon she has her ex-fiancée, who cheated on her with an other woman, chasing her all over town. And he isn’t the only one. Filomenta lets Trent Ravinder catch her. Can she control the fireworks she’s set into motion?

Filomena is a short redheaded woman, totally the opposite of her big family. Shy and overweight in highschool, she never got a date to the prom. So when in her freshman’s year in college, the attracted the interest of Brady Paxton, she was quick to fall in love with him and become engaged. But the shock of finding him in bed with Gloria, her nemesis all through highschool, has cured her of that very fast. She fled Gallant Lake, vowing never to come back or to marry.

With a friend, who is also short, she set up a business, designing clothes for short women. And it has become a huge success. Travelling all over the world gave her confidence and style, she has lost a lot of pounds, and looks gorgeous. Especially in the outrageous sexy clothes they design.

So now Filomena has come back to town for her sisters wedding, determined to make everyone take notice of her, and to flaunt her success in their faces. And she succeeds. Brady and Gloria have difficulties in their marriage, and Brady is very eager to start again with Filomena. But of course she wants nothing whatsoever to do with him. When he sees the interest Trent Ravinder has in her, he sees a nice business proposition. Trent works for a large development firm, and Brady is determined to find out which piece of land Trent is interested in, so he can make his fortune selling it to the man.

But Trent is just on an extended vacation and not looking for a piece of land. The past year he has decided he needs a wife, and spent a lot of time looking for one. But no matter how much he dated, it never clicked. And now, when he first sees Filomena, he knows she is the one. Now he just has to convince her of that fact, and make her fall in love with him. Trent is just as big as the rest of her family, and Filomena really dislikes having a man tower over her, taking advantage of his physical strengths over her. So she does her best to evade him, even though her whole family seems to push them together. They are worried she will cause a scene, and think Trent will keep her out of trouble.

Well, so does he for that matter, he thinks she needs a man to handle her, keep her in check and such. But Filomena is not a pushover, and she won’t allow him to handle her life. He has a very strict sense of honor, she has to believe him on his word that he never lies, she has to trust him. But that trust certainly doesn’t go both ways, and in the end, that lack of trust, the demand she proves her love for him, is what almost puts an end to their budding relationship.

As I said, a nice romance novel. As it is written in the ‘80s, the man sure made my hair stand on end, with his highhanded manners. Just grabbing her, preventing her from walking away and stuff, I hate that. But for the rest, the story is filled with humor and love, and family. Just as I like my Jayne Ann Krentz books.

woensdag 13 oktober 2010

New addition to my addiction

Just discovered this one on my doormat, home with some kind of flu, never heard the book fall through the mailslot. Strange: bought in America, but posted in Switzerland ..

Donna Fletcher - Rebellious Bride

Lynn Viehl – Dreamveil

The second book in the Kyndred series.


Rowan Dietrich knows how hard life can be. After running away from her abusive home life, she struggled to survive on the streets. The brutal lessons she learned while there, still resonate in her mind and heart. Now she wants to start anew, find a job, and keep her identity as a Kyndred – as well as her ability to “dreamveil” herself into the object of others desires – secret.

She isn’t using her gift when world-class chef Jean-Marc Dansant helps her after a motorcycle spill. He’s genuinely attracted to Rowan’s own beauty and strength. But just as Rowan begins to find a life for herself, the GenHance corporation pursues her, eager to take her back where she was created. And a bounty hunter hired by a ruthless millionaire wants Rowan for his own sinister reasons …

Rowan is on her way to Boston, and just passing New York. She vowed never to come back, but her past is luring her in. She needs to visit her old places, the cemetery where the two old woman lie buried. Then she is in a freak accident, where her motorcycle gets smashed. In an ally, behind a famous restaurant. The owner, Jean-Marc Dansant insists he cleans her wounds, and then he offers her a job and a place to stay, until she has paid of her debts to him. He is the most gorgeous man she ever sees, and Rowan is very attracted to him, until he says something that makes her think he is gay. Which, of course, he is not.

Her new place is a little apartment above the restaurant, with only one other apartment, and a bathroom she has to share with the other resident. An other gorgeous man, Sean, who is also a mechanic and can fix her bike.

Rowan enjoys working in the kitchen, even though it is as the lowest of the low. She learns a lot watching Jean-Marc cook, and doing jobs for the other chefs.

Then there is this run-away child in the alley, which reminds Rowan of herself at that age, and she leaves food for the girl, hoping one day she will trust her, and let her help her. Little could she know the girl took her place when she ran away, twisted and tormented by their “father” the mega rich Gerald King. The man used Rowan to turn her into his lost daughter Alana, and now he is trying surgery to turn Taire into Alana. But just like Rowan, Taire has her own powers. Which shouldn’t be possible, for the Kyndred should not be younger than 20, or did the experiments continue after all?

It really is a strange story, and I was glued to the pages, finishing it. Rowan falls in love with both Jean-Marc and Sean, even though they are so very different. And both guys are really in love with her, as her dreamveil reveals to her. How can that be? A lifetime without love, and now two guys at once? How will she ever choose between them? Luckily for her, she won’t have to, as they are one and the same … With no memories of the other, they share the same body, only their looks are totally not the same. A freak accident no one can explain, made them into one.

In the mean time, her friends are worried sick that she didn’t contact them. And when Rowan finds out, Jean-Marc used his tricks on her, she is furious. And worried he might actually be a vampire. After all, he never eats, he is only around at night, yes he cooks delicious dinners but he never tastes it. So when she gets him to eat an apple in front of her, she is really relieved.

When at the opera one night, Jean-Marc runs into Alexandra, who at first mistakes him for Michael. Then later she realises he looks like Michael used to, before the torture and her surgery took care of that. He might be a relative of Michaels! If so, she has to find him, she needs his DNA to match it to Michaels, to look what it used to be before the change came over him. But all she knows is his first name, how can they ever find a person in such a large city as New York?

The intrigue at GenHance continues too. The chief of security has secrets of his own, it appears. And when the woman spy tries to seduce him, they strangely fall into love with each other, and in stead of killing her, he rescues her, but they can never be together, not for a very long time.

A great story, I am really looking forward to the next book in this series.

dinsdag 12 oktober 2010

Joanne Pence - To catch a cook

The eight book in the Angie Amalfi Mystery series.

To catch a cook

A Nasty Stew
Between her latest "sure-fire" foray into the food industry-video restaurant reviews-and her concern over boyfriend Homicide Detective Paavo Smith's depressed state, Angie Amalfi's plate is full to overflowing. Paavo has never come to terms with the fact that his mother abandoned him when he was four, leaving behind only an antique brooch to remember her by. But when the bauble vanishes, the jeweller who was repairing it is murdered, and Paavo's surrogate father is critically wounded by a would-be burglar, Paavo decides it's time to discover the truth about his errant parent's life and mysterious disappearance.

Gourmet chef and eager sleuth Angie smells a tasty mystery cooking. But what's bubbling in this pot is a lethal goulash of intrigues, betrayals, FBI deceptions, and murderous Russian mafia mayhem-an old family recipe for disaster for Angie and her policeman beau.

For Christmas Paavo gave Angie a beautiful cameo brooche that belonged to the mother he never knew. She dearly loves it, but the stone fell out. So she takes is to a famous jeweller to have it fixed. It is not worth much, but the sentimental value is huge. To her amazement, the jeweller tells her it is a priceless antique, museum quality, and won’t she sell it? Of course not, and she leaves it with him to have it repaired.

The very next day, her apartment is searched, Paavo’s house is searched and destroyed, and Paavo’s surrogate father, the old Aulis is being shot and his house is also ransacked. The jeweller is murdered, but nothing seems to be stolen. Then a famous Russian forger is found murdered too. What are they, who ever they are, searching for? What is the connection?

While putting Aulis’ house back together, Paavo finds a letter from his mother, leaving her children in Aulis’ care. With the new information Paavo is determined to find out what he can about his parents. He will not have Angie in danger if he can put a stop to it!

Angie too tries to find out stuff, the not official way, and she is also very successful. But the more secrets they uncover, the more the danger escalates. Is finding out the past really worth it all?

It all goes back thirty years, the cold war, the Russian threat. Student activists, and Russian smugglers, and a now famous Silicon Valley tycoon. Corrupt FBI-officers, stolen Russian art and technology. And Paavo’s parents were smack in the middle. His father was murdered, and his mother ran away, trying to save her children. And now, in the end, she is there to save Angie. But the intrigue can’t stop just there, so she has to run again.

A really great story, I won’t tell too much about, so I won’t spoil it. I really did not see this coming. Paavo learns a lot about his parents, and he is glad about it, but all the lies, the empty life he has lived before he knew Angie. He missed so much, and why? Angie tries to tell him, it doesn’t matter. She loves the man he has become, his parents don’t matter to her. But then she has countless relatives, and Paavo has none. He just needs to know his roots.

Driven out of their houses, they temporarily live together, and they both like it a lot, even Hercules the cat doesn’t mind. So, when will they take the next step in their relationship?

zaterdag 9 oktober 2010

Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Anne Scarborough – Deluge

Book three in the Twins of Petaybee trilogy.

InterGal Corporation has long desired to exploit the resource-rich Petaybee. But the planet and its guardians, led by Yana Maddock and Sean Shongili, along with their twin children, Ronan and Murel, have successfully thwarted every attempt by the Corporation to impose its iron-fisted dominion. Until now. With a bold move, InterGal’s military arm has dispatched an invading force to subdue the planet once and for all.

While their parents work to foil the assault, Ronan and Murel are captured and sent to a desolate prison world where an old enemy, Dr. Mabo, waits to continue her cruel experiments on the shape-changing siblings. The twins only hope of escape lies in the uncharted seas of the prison planet. But in the murky depths, something else is waiting …

In the previous book, Marmee is taken prisoner and her space ship is confiscated. While the adults are making plans to escape imprisonment, the children swim out the sea to ask the deep sea otters for help. They receive a lift to Marmee’s space station so they can ask her people for help. Unfortunately, they are too late as the station is being seized by federation troops and everyone on it is arrested and transported to the same prison planet, including all the children present and one space otter. So Ronan and Murel are captured after all.

The children are separated from the adults and transported to an island near the volcano. There they are starved and indoctrinated into joining the federation corps. Ronan and Murel manage to escape, but nothing good comes of it. They are almost eaten by giant squids, captured by a fishing vessel, and when they manage to get back to the island, very tired and hurting, Ronan is captured by Dr. Mabo, who at once begins her experiments on him.
Meanwhile, Sky is in the prison with the adults, where he meets Zuzu, the cat from Marmee’s first officer. Together they wreak havoc in the prison, saving Adrienne from being tortured. A soldier helps Marmee and Adrienne flee the prison, but then more things go wrong.
The alien space ship lands in the ocean, causing massive floods, and the volcano to erupt. So with the choice of drowning or burning to death, rescue is very much needed.

A really nice ending to a great series. I am very sorry this was the last one, as I enjoyed it all very much. I love the interaction with all the different animals, the maturing of the children. How Petaybee rescues Yana just in time, almost even before it happens Sean knows he has to hurry back home.

I really hope there will be more books, perhaps of the adult Murel and Ronan, and Sky of course. I wouldn’t mind visiting Petaybee myself, even though I am not much of a cold weather person.

Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Anne Scarborough – Maelstrom

Book two in the Twins of Petaybee trilogy.


The sentient planet of Petaybee has agreed to harbor a group of new refugees, workers indentured to the powerful InterGal Corporation. But the mission to collect the immigrants becomes a rescue operation when it is revealed that InterGal is doing nothing to help these survivors of a world devastated by a meteor shower. The telepathic, shapeshifting twins Murel and Ronan set out to persuade the frightened refugees to come out of hiding, leave their world, and bring along their sacred totem animals. But the twins have taken on more than they expected: the sacred animals include Manos, intelligent sharks who have lost none of their predatory habits.

When the Manos are released into Petaybee’s waters, a tragic misunderstanding threatens to ruin the entire resettlement operation. Now Murel and Ronan must smooth the waters before a maelstrom of revenge destroys Petaybee’s harmonious way of life.

Ronan and Murel are going off planet again, just after they came home. This time to fetch Ke-oke’s people from their awful home planet to come live on Petaybee. Marmee is taking them all in her spaceship. There is even a large tank of water to contain all the sacred Honus (sea turtles). Arriving at the planet, they find it under attack of a meteor shower, a Federation ship there doing nothing to save the people.

After rescuing the survivors, which is much more difficult than believed. They not only want them to take the Honus, they need to take the Manos too! And those are big killer sharks, who want to eat their rescuers. So when they finally are back home, they are relieved to let those animals free into the ocean. Only Ronan and Murel need to warn the deep sea otters of those new predators.

They come to late, as one of the little ones is eaten by the Manos, and Ronan is taken in revenge. The deep sea otters are shape shifters too, and sometimes they are aliens, although much much longer on Petaybee than the humans and other life forms.

Then InterGal strikes in revenge, arresting Marmee and her people, confiscating her spaceship and all of her belongings, and threatening to arrest all the Petaybeans they can find for kidnapping Ke-oke’s people and their livestock. What now? They have no space craft left, or fuel for that matter. How can they rescue Marmee from that awful prison planet she is being transported to?

A very good book again. I enjoyed it very much. Ronan en Murel are getting more and more grown up, and sensible. Their otter friend Sky is a delight, and so is their friend Ke-oke and his Honu.

I can’t wait to start reading Deluge, so this review is not going to be long, as I won’t wait.

vrijdag 8 oktober 2010

New additions to my addiction

Again two books found my house today:
Bertrice Small - The Border Vixen (which I really look forward to reading!)
Anne McCaffrey - Deluge.

So I can also finish the Twins of Petyabee series. Hmm so many books, so little time, so why do I keep buying more books than I can ever read?

Donna Fletcher - Remember the magic

Remember the magic

It's been 500 years since Sydney Wyrrd fled the Scottish Highlands, fearing her presence would bring harm to her beloved. Only through divine intervention – and the help of her friends and fellow witches Tempest and Michael - has she been able to return to 1564 … and to Duncan, the brave chieftain who captured her heart all those years ago.

Ever since the day she disappeared, Duncan has been haunted by thoughts of the beautiful witch who stole his heart. But believing he’d never again set eyes on Sydney, he promised to take the daughter of a nearby clan chieftain as his wife – a union that will benefit both clans. A man of his word, he can’t imagine breaking off his engagement – not even when Sydney returns. But for how long can he deny the passion she has reawakened – or resist the enduring love that still burns between them?

Well, whoever wrote that backcover, did not really read the book. Duncan is not engaged but only thinking about it.

Ever since she left Duncan 400 years ago, Sydney kept thinking about him, missing him, loving him. Submerging herself in her studies with Tempest, the Ancient One, and others, she has learned much. She has travelled the world several times, but always returns to Scotland. Where she grew up, where she loved Duncan. Now she has been given the chance to go back for a second chance at love with Duncan, and she grabs it with both hands.

For Duncan, thirteen years have gone by. He lives, he leads his clans, but he has never been truly happy. He always kept loving and missing Sydney. He never married, as his sister wants so very much for him to be happy, to lead his clan and have children who will lead it when he is gone.
Then one day, on his daily walk in the forest, he sees Sydney again. Is she real this time, or just another vision of the past? But she seems to be aged a little, and she has a black wolf at her side, that never happened before. And if she is real, will she finally tell him why she left him? And will she stay this time?

At first the villagers are glad Sydney is back, as she has healed many of them in her time. And of course she keeps healing them now. But soon the talk of witch craft starts, and people start to fear her, accuse her of evil doings. How can Duncan protect the woman he loves, and his clan at the same time? His sister keeps sowing doubt in his mind and heart. Does he truly love her, or did she cast a spell on him?

Then, Sydney feels there is really dark magic at work. A warlock must be nearby, causing the troubles and strife in the village, as that makes his powers grow. And Duncan’s very own sister is under his spell, helping him, but thinking it is for the good of the people and her brother. So Duncan wishes for help to arrive, and Tempest and Michael, Ali and Sebastian and Sarina and Dagon arrive to help them. Together they unmask the warlock, but the evil has begon, and Sydney will no longer be safe in that time.

Will she leave Duncan again, or will he follow her this time?

I truly loved this book, have been looking forward to reading it ever since I read the first three books about the others. It is a lovely story about love and magic, and that love is magic, and wisdom. The message is simple: there is love for everyone, and love conquers all.

I liked all the characters I have met in the book, and am sorry there will be no more in this lovely setting. There is humor too, and passion. And of course the little fairy Beatrice.

A great series just to relax with, and to make you believe. Believe in love. And magic.

donderdag 7 oktober 2010

New addition to my addiction

Another book found my doormat today, one I am eagerly awaiting to read.
Anne McCaffrey - Maelstrom

woensdag 6 oktober 2010

Barbara Cartland – An arrow of love

An arrow of love

Threatened with the choice of marriage to the odious Dan Thorpe or being whipped into submission by her new stepmother, Melissa is in despair. Thankfully she takes the role of lady’s maid to her friend Cheryl, who must pay a most reluctant visit to her guardian, Sergius, Duke of Aldwick, a hero of Waterloo.
The deception unmasked, Melissa is soon engaged in a succession of verbal duals with this cynical woman-hater – even after she saves his life! Faced with fresh dangers and the threat of scandal, Melissa knows that Sergius matters more to her than anything else in the world …

Melissa’s parents were very much in love, but they were poor. Now her mother is dead, and their awfully rich neighbour is visiting every day, tempting her weak father with her magnificent horses and everything she can buy him. So her father succumbs, and agrees to marry her. Melissa is horrified, how can he put that woman in her mothers place! And after the wedding, matters get worse. Her new stepmother wants her to marry a man she loathes, or she will be whipped into obedience. Her father broke all his promises to her, as he is now under his new wife’s tumb.

Luckily, her best friend Cheryl needs her help. Her parents died last week in a carriage accident, and her new guardian, the uncle who ignored her parents after their elopement, wants her to travel to his estate, with only a lady’s maid as her companion. So she agrees to accompany Cheryl, everything to get out of reach of her stepmother and her loathsome suitor.

Cheryl doesn’t want to go to the Duke, all she wants is to marry Charles, her sweetheart for the last two years. Since he has made a promotion in the army recently, they can finally marry. They have been in love for over 2 years, and her parents agreed of the match. And as Charles is being send to India, she wants to go with him, not wait for years and years until he returns, if ever.

But the Duke has other thoughts. Love is nonsense, and she is much to young to marry. When the time is ripe, he will find her a worthy husband and not a young fortune hunter! As Cheryl is over distressed with this news, it is up to Melissa to change the Duke’s mind, however much afraid of him she is. For her friend, she will do what she can.

After saving his life, the Duke grants Cheryl her wish, after he has met Charles. So they are married and of to India, but what about Melissa? Cheryl no longer needs her, and her suitor has come to fetch her. He has her fathers written permission to marry her …
Then the Duke asks her to marry him instead, can she do that? Of will she wait for love after all?

A nice little book, one I enjoyed very much. But you really have to read Barbara Cartland in moderation, as both the hero and the heroine are so much alike in character and appearance in every book …

Sabrina Jeffries – Wed him before you bed him

The 6th book in the School for Heiresses series.

Wed him before you bed him

At eighteen, Charlotte Page made a life altering mistake. She wronged a man in an impulsive act that she came to deeply regret, though it led her to her present life as Mrs. Charlotte Harris, owner of Mrs. Harris’ School for Young Ladies. Unbeknownst to her, that man is now her anonymous benefactor, the mysterious “Cousin Michael”. His masquerade began as preparation for a devastating revenge, but became a labor of love. Now Charlotte desperately needs his help. Can he save her from disaster as his real self without revealing the ugly secret behind his charade? Or will the mistakes of both their pasts tear them apart forever?

When Charlotte was just 17, her father dragged her to the Kirkwood estate, because he wanted her to marry David Kirkwood, the heir to the viscouncy. So she would marry a title, and his friend the current Viscount Kirkwood would get his money. Both fathers thought it a good match, not regarding their children’s wishes. Threatening to put her on a boat if she didn’t obey him, Charlotte is forced to be nice to David. Only she really hates him after him naming her Miss Monkey, a hateful name that stuck with her all her childhood. David of course has long forgotten that episode, he just thinks he is too young to marry. Until he sees what a gorgeous young woman she has become. Then he really wants to marry her.

But Charlotte is wary of him. He has a reputation of being a rogue after all. And after living with her rogue and bully of a father, she really doesn’t want her husband to be just like that. So David has to convince her of his good characteristics if he wants her.

And just when he has managed that, Charlotte sees him in the most compromising situation with one of the servant girls who was flirting with him earlier. So back in London, she decides to write him a letter that will make him back off, so her father won’t punish her for it. But due to some strange happenings, that letter is published in a gossip newspaper. So David’s reputation is torn to shreds as everyone knows it is him. And Charlotte is forced to run away with Captain Harris, an other suitor of hers, to get away from her fathers anger.

David is livid, she has destroyed his reputation, and why? So he nurses his hurt feelings, burying the love he felt for her. But society keeps giving him the shoulder, and he cannot find a decent wife for years. Until his father commits suicide, and he is saddled with the enormous debts. He has to find a heiress right away. So he marries Sarah, the worst choice possible, as with her gambling and airheaded ways she ruins their marriage from the start. David buries himself in his investments, and his architectural hobby, just to keep out of her way.

But now Sarah has been dead for 6 months, the School is in difficulties due to the last scandals from her pupils, and the machinations of that nasty Mr. Pritchard next door, and Charlotte needs his help. He can’t wait with that till the mourning period is officially over. So David concocts a scheme, making Charlotte think that Sarah left the school a large sum of money, under certain conditions. But getting close to Charlotte is a mistake, as he can’t keep his hands of her, and that seems to go both ways.

Then the dead of is his wife is found suspicious and David is under suspicion of murder. He cannot drag his relationship with Charlotte in this mess, and what if she ever found out he is this cousin Michael? Surely it will kill her feelings for him for good. Was Sarah really murdered? And by whom? Even his own brother seems to know things he did not…

I really liked this book, it had some really unsuspected twists in it. Of course Charlotte has been the staunch headmistress in the previous books in this series, always there for her pupils and teachers. But now she is the target of seduction, and her own lessons fly right out of her head when David kisses her. And David, wow, is he ever hung up by his own actions. A plot of revenge turned into love, but he really is a control freak. I really did not expect Charlotte to give up her ambitions to become his wife.

I am not sure if I like David very much, he is not active enough when he should be. And very pushy when he should not.

Of course, the previous characters make an appearance in this book, which I always like. To know a little more what happened with them after the ending of their own book.

Unfortunately for me, the next book I want to read, The truth about Lord Stoneville, is no longer available at my bookstore, so I’ll have to search farther away for it before I can start that tempting series. He didn’t play that big a part in those books, but I am curious about him nonetheless.