Review: A Devil of a Duke by Madeline Hunter

Reviewed by Jen

Eh. I struggled with this book. It wasn’t bad necessarily, but it didn’t grab me. In fact, I had to push myself to get through it, largely because I didn’t connect with the characters or feel any real spark between them.

Amanda is a daughter of two thieves who is trying to make a respectable life for herself. She is serving as a lady’s secretary and is using her skills and her smarts to find success. Unfortunately, someone has kidnapped her mother and is now blackmailing Amanda into stealing stuff to keep her safe. First it was something in a museum… now it’s an object in a private collection. The owner of the house is out of town, but the only way she can access it is through the home next door… and she’ll seduce the man who lives there to get inside. [Read more…]

Review: The Counterfeit Mistress

counterfeit mistressReviewed by Janell

In the years following the French Revolution, French nobility escaped to London. Gavin Norwood, the Viscount Kendale, was in the English army fighting against the Revolution. His company got ambushed when they were betrayed by a woman, and now he dreams of revenge while mistrusting women everywhere. He spends his leisure time building a private army and following a French woman around town.

Marielle Lyon may or may not be a spy, but she certainly acts shifty, skulking around town and delivering papers to men in back alleyways. She also may or may not be impersonating the niece of a French aristocrat. The point is, no one really knows who she is or what she’s doing, and that makes her suspicious, so Kendale keeps spying on her. [Read more…]

Review: Tapestry

Reviewed by Jen

As a huge Sherrilyn Kenyon fan, I couldn’t wait to read Tapestry for her contribution. But I was surprised to find, I enjoyed all four novellas in the anthology.

The first, “To Kiss in the Shadows,” by Lynn Kurland, was a historical romance.  Lianna was once beautiful, but her face was marred by pox. Her family is dead but she is living as a ward of the king.  She holds great lands that will one day go to her husband.

The women of the court are not kind to her; they merely tolerate her and sometimes taunt her about her appearance. They are all clucking about the arrival of eligible bachelor Kendrick of Artane. But it’s Lianne who catches his attention and they become fast friends. And when his brother, Jason de Piaget, arrives –there are definite sparks.  The cruel women go so far as to poison Lianna in their jealousy. But they can’t stand in the way of her happily ever after.

The second novella was “An Interrupted Tapestry,” by Madeline Hunter.  This is also historical.  In this story, Lady Giselle goes to an old friend, Andreas, to ask for a loan. They have not seen each other in many years, but were close in their youth. Giselle’s brother has put the family in poverty with his bad deals. And it isn’t until he goes missing that she realizes just how bad things are.  Giselle and Andreas are instantly attracted to each other, but think their life circumstances prevent them from being together.  Andreas decides to help Giselle find her brother and in the course of the search, they find their feelings for each other too difficult to ignore.

The third novella is Kenyon’s “Dragonswan.” It is set in the Dark Hunter universe and features an Arcadian Dragon named Sebastian. He is in present day America to recover a tapestry made by his sister. He needs it as a ransom to free his kidnapped brother. He meets Channon, a historian, and they are instantly attracted to each other. They sleep together and become mated by the Fates.  Sebastian brings her back to his time and their feelings for each other grow as she learns more about what he is and the problems he is facing with his own people and his enemies.

Finally, our last story is Karen Marie Moning’s ”Into the Dreaming.” This was my favorite story in the book.  We meet Jane, who has dreamed of her Highlander love Aeden for her entire life.  What she doesn’t know is that Aeden has been a prisoner of the Unseelie King for 500 years and has become the king’s hand of Vengeance.  Aeden has a month to fall in love in the mortal plane and be loved in return. If that happens, he can live a normal life again. Only, he has belonged to the king for so long, he doesn’t even know who he is anymore, much less the terms of the deal. He doesn’t remember Jane either.  She goes back in time to try to save him. It sounds complicated,  but it is an easy and very enjoyable read.

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this anthologies. Most short story collections have at least one stinker, but I really liked them all.

4 stars.