Review: The Operator by Kim Harrison

Reviewed by Jen

It feels like it’s been a long wait since I finished the first book in the series. But it was worth the wait. I do think people who have not read The Drafter would I have a hard time jumping in with this second installment, though. It builds heavily on the events of book one which was very dense and full of twists and turns. [Read more…]

Review: Thane’s Redemption by Nina Crespo

thanes-redemptionReviewed by Joanna

This is an unusual book.  Not bad, but slightly conflicted as to its identity. It’s a romance involving a time-traveling rock band. Who are ex-military. And now deployed by an ancient being to fight deadly events in the future. If you put it like that, it sounds crazy, but it was interesting and definitely a brave attempt to bring something new to the genre. [Read more…]

Review: A Stolen Season by Tamara Gill

stolen seasonReviewed by Janell

I haven’t read a time travel book in forever. Maybe because I assumed they all involved Scottish Highlanders, and with the exception of Outlander’s sweet young virgin, I picture all Highlanders as big tough alpha roar!smash types. That’s not for me. But this book has a modern woman traveling back to the Regency era, and I am all about historicals, so I gave it a shot.

Sarah Baxter is the archeologist heroine in question. Her job involves traveling to the past for non-nefarious research reasons, or something. On one trip, she accidentally leaves behind a piece of equipment. She has to retrieve it because, you know, anomalies. During her retrieval mission (which is actually a stealing-it-from-the-guy-who-collects-oddities mission), she’s involved in a rainy horse crash which results in an earl’s death. And she loses the Important Object. [Read more…]

Review: Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon

dragonfly in amberReviewed by Jen

I am developing a love/ hate relationship with this series.  I care very much about the relationship that has grown between Claire and Jamie.  Diana Gabaldon has built this complex, passionate, beautiful love story surrounding these two people. It is the draw that keeps fans true to these books, decades after their story began.  Yet, my problems with this book began in the very first chapter and compounded over the course of the story. [Read more…]

Review: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

outlanderReviewed by Jen

This book has been sitting on my shelf for years.  I knew it was one of those iconic books that almost every romance fan has read at some point, but I was a little unsettled by the idea of the heroine having two different husbands in two different times. I absolutely hate cheating in my romance and I wasn’t sure if Claire’s infidelity was something I could get over. Then I started seeing the trailers for the new Starz series.  I watched the first episode, then spent the next two days reading.

The verdict? I could, indeed, get over the idea of two husbands. It’s actually quite well done and I found myself empathizing with Claire almost from the beginning.  [Read more…]

Review: Fast Forward by Juliet Madison

fast forwardReviewed by Janell

In this story, aspiring model Kelli describes herself as “tall, slim, with glossy black hair and a well-proportioned face.” She’s just about to turn twenty-five, she has a hot boyfriend who is about to propose, and she’s very superficial. She goes to bed on the eve of her birthday and wakes up on her fiftieth birthday, married to “chubby-no-friends William McSnelly.” Her name is now Kelli McSnelly. It is the worst. [Read more…]

Review: Collide

Reviewed by Jen

I didn’t really expect to like this book all that much. But it made me laugh. It made me feel. And boy, was it hot!

The story follows Emm, a 32 year-old woman, who has lived her life with the constant threat that she will go into a fugue state. She had a head injury in childhood, and ever since, she has had episodes where her mind leaves reality. In the past few years, though, she seems to have gotten it under control. Until she crosses paths with Johnny. She only sees him in a coffee shop, but she is instantly attracted. She learns that he was a star in some, er, artistic films in the 70s… which she promptly checks out. And before she knows it, she’s blanking out again. Only this time, the place she goes in her mind is one where Johnny is the star. She meets him, in the 70s and hops into his bed. Of course, when she gets back to reality, that only fuels her desire to meet him for real.

To say the real Johnny is stand-offish would be an understatement.  He is gruff, even rude to Emm. But when she goes into a fugue state right in front of him, he brings her into his home to help her out… beginning a dialogue between them. Emm is going dark, as she calls it, more and more. And every time, she is back in Johnny’s past. She is becoming more invested in him –in his life and in his bed. She has trouble separating her growing feelings for the Johnny in her mind with the Johnny who is present in her real-life. This is especially true, when she finally breaks down the barriers he places between them and they become a real couple.

The thing is, Emm is starting to question whether the past events are really just in her mind. Johnny is hard to read, but keeps giving off vibes that he knows more than he’s saying. And the proof just keeps growing.

I couldn’t put this book down.  Yeah, it’s got some similarities to other stories, but it acknowledges them openly. Even Emm gives shouts to Dr Who and The Time Traveler’s Wife. There are so many cultural references that really hit the mark –and the way Emm talks– it made her so relatable for me. And it was funny. Some of passages had me laughing out loud.

“I haven’t been this excited about an erection since my first boy-girl party in the eighth grade…”

“I made it through dinner without embarrasing myself, although everytime he wiped his mouth I wanted my cunt to be the napkin.”

Of course, aside from the whole time travel element, the biggest thing going on in the book is the sex. And wow! We’re talking hot. I’m not a big fan of using the “c-word” to refer to lady-bits, but even that didn’t cut in to the megga-watt hot factor going on in this book.  Believe me, by the time it was over, I was ready to have sex with Johnny and I don’t much care whether it was the 24 year-old version or the 57 year-old one.

I did feel kind of sorry for him, once everything was revealed.  I’m glad we got the ending we did, but the poor guy really had a rough road. And I can see why Emm got the initial reaction he gave her at the beginning of the book.

I’ll definitely read more Megan Hart in the future. And I’ll never look at the word “hooah” the same way. 4 1/2 stars.

*ARC Provided by NetGalley

Collide
by Megan Hart
Release Date: June 21, 2011
Publisher: Spice

Review: Spell of the Highlander

Reviewed by Jen

We’re not done with the McKeltar Highlanders just yet. Karen Marie Moning introduces us to a new member of the sexy clan, Cian. He was born in the 9th century and was probably the most gifted and powerful of the Druid line. But he met a Dark Sorcerer named Lucian who tricked him into friendship and trapped him inside a Fae mirror for over 1000 years. Now the mirror has been stolen and sold to a college professor. Lucian sends his goons to retrieve it –but not before the professor’s assistant, the lovely Jessi, crosses paths with it. When her life is on the line, Cian tells her how to free him from the mirror to save his life.

Of course, enchanted mirrors and the Fae are a tough pill to swallow, but Jessi becomes a believer quickly as Lucian sends more threats to her life. And despite his dark edge and penchant for taking charge, she can’t help but being drawn to Cian. The two go on the run; Cian determined to protect Jessi. They only have to elude Lucian for three weeks, until Halloween. If Lucian doesn’t reclaim the mirror by then, the curse is broken. Unfortunately, Cian can only stay outside of the mirror for a few hours at a time before it reclaims him until the next day.

The couple decides to go to Scotland, to hide on MacKeltar land. And there, they run into Dageus and Drustan. Cian reluctantly seeks their help as Lucian closes in on him. In the meantime, the relationship between him and Jessi reaches a fever pitch. But he is holding a secret that will likely ruin any chance they have at a future.

The end of the book sets up the events that take place in Moning’s Fever series… which takes place five years after the conclusion of this story. We hear from the Fae Queen, an overview of what is to come in the dark days ahead.

I liked this book, though not quite so much as Kiss of the Highlander. It feels like every hero has to be more powerful than the last…. Enough already. The love scenes were very hot. And I was pleasantly surprised at the tenderness we see from our tortured Cian. One other little peeve: enough with the virgins already, sheesh! A heroine doesn’t HAVE to be a virgin in every book. Let’s change it up just a little every now and then m’kay?

Review: The Immortal Highlander

Reviewed by Jen

This a great book for many reasons. It’s a fun romance on its surface, but it’s also a treasure trove of Easter Eggs for fans of both the Highlander and Fever series.

Adam Black is our male lead.  As a member of the Seelie (Light) Fae Court, he’s got a tie in to just about every one of the previous Highlander books.  But in the last installment, The Dark Highlander, he pushed the Fae Queen too far, when he advocated for the life of Highlander Dageus MacKeltar.  As punishment for his insolence, she makes him human. Not only that, she makes him invisible to the humans around him and takes away his ability to see other Fae.  He is completely alone.. until he runs into Gabby. She is a sidhe-seer, someone who can see beyond Fae glamour. She can see and hear Adam… in all  his sexy glory.  She fights her attraction to him. But who could resist such a seduction?

As Adam works to regain his immortality, the two travel to Scotland and team up the MacKeltar clan.  At the same time, Darroc, another member of the Fae court, is plotting to kill Adam. He doesn’t want Adam to interfere with his plan to break the covenant between man and Fae.  So Darroc calls forth “Hunters,” from the dark Unseelie realm to find our couple and dispatch them.

If you are a fan of the Highlander series, you can’t miss this one. Adam finally gets to feel what it’s like to be one of the humans he is so enamoured with.  We get to see or hear about past heroes like Drustan, Dageus & Circenn… even Grimm’s family gets a shout out. And for fans of the Fever series… this book is essentially a primer for all that we see in those books.  We learn about the sidhe-seers and their relationship to the Fae, the Hunters, Darroc, and the series of events that lead almost directly to Darkfever.

I liked this book for the love story at face value –but LOVED it for its place in Karen Marie Moning’s rich and complex world.  5 stars.

Review: The Dark Highlander

Reviewed by Jen

The MacKeltars are back.  The sexy 16th century Highlander twins are now living in present day.  Drustan, our hero from Kiss of the Highlander, is happily married to Gwen in Scotland, awaiting the birth of their twins.  But Dageus is having a rough time.

Just three years after the gypsies put his brother in an enchanted sleep, a fire in the castle killed him. Dageus couldn’t live with that, so he used his Druid powers to go back in time and save Drustan.  Using time-travel for personal gain broke the vows of the family’s covenant with the Fae and as a result, Dageus is cursed.  Inside of him, he carries the souls of 13 evil and powerful Druids who want to take over his body. His father is so upset with what has happened, Dageus leaves his home and travels ahead to the time his brother would awaken.

The only thing that keeps the demon spirits at bay inside Dageus is… you guessed it… sex.  So he has alot of it.  But he never gives his heart. Until he meets Chloe. When the young lover of antiquities finds out he’s been stealing ancient texts, he takes her prisoner in his home.  But she isn’t a prisoner for long. They quickly fall for each other, despite their differences.  Dageus is working to find a cure for his curse –which leads them to Scotland and eventually back in time.  All the while, their passion is growing and so is their love.

I didn’t love this one quite as much as Kiss of the Highlander. To be honest, I think I was a little put off by Dageus rejecting women like Katherine in the beginning: 30-something year-old women with world experience… good enough for a tumble, but the 20-something year old virgin is the kind for marrying.  Not that I have a problem with Chloe as our heroine.  It just rubbed me wrong.  Maybe because I am a 30-something year old woman with world experience.

I also like my Highlander books set in the past better than the ones in present day.  But the love scenes were solid and Dageus was verra sexy. It was also great to spend time with all of our familiar characters from the last book.  4 1/2 stars.