Sunday, April 15, 2007


Supremely sensible Emmaline Dove wishes to share her etiquette expertise with London’s readers, and as secretary to Viscount Marlowe, Emma knows she’s in the perfect position to make her dreams come true. Marlowe might be a rake with a preference for cancan dancers and an aversion to matrimony, but he is also the city’s leading publisher, and Emma is convinced he’s her best chance to see her work in print…until she discovers the lying scoundrel has been rejecting her manuscripts without ever reading a single page!

As a publisher, Harry finds reading etiquette books akin to slow, painful torture. Besides, he can’t believe his proper secretary has the passion to write anything worth reading. Then she has the nerve to call him a liar, and even resigns without notice, leaving his business in uproar and his honor in question. Harry decides it’s time to teach Miss Dove a few things that aren’t proper. But when he kisses her, he discovers that his former secretary has more passion and fire than he ever imagined, for one luscious taste of her lips only leaves him hungry for more…

Cheesy!!! Yeah, I said it. This book was cheesy and silly and the heroine annoyed me with her guilt trips. I wanted the hero to go find some other woman..there were plenty in that story to interest him. Ugh! Didn't like it at all and it was more than the fact that we didn't see any real action (read SEX) 'til the end of the book. The author tried really hard to get us to know and understand the characters (the book is very character-driven) but she missed something along the way...a little something like 100 or so pages. What's the point of getting to know the characters if we're then treated to a WHAM BAM THANK YOU MAMN type of "courtship?" Can I get a chance to get used to the characters as a couple? Can I please see them truly falling in love?

I loved the hero, a stubborn and cynical divorced aristocrat (and did I mention very very sexy?). The heroine, on the other hand, was depicted as a whiny guilt-ridden prude with some serious fucked up family issues. Ugh!

The book felt rushed. I was still getting used to the heroine asserting some independence for herself and then WHAM love blossoms and they're a friggin' couple. I am so thoroughly disappointed by the author's latest effort.

Now, it wasn't terrible. It was not! But for Guhrke to write a book like this...well, then yeah..for her, it was terrible. I would expect this from a newbie writer. I was bored and yes, I yawned several times during the course of reading the story.

No reader puts an amazing book down every half hour. I did, therefore book wasn't good IMO. End of story.

Do what you must with this review. The folks at AAR gave it a great review.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Raven and the Leopard

The Story: Widow Anna Wren is broke. The Earl of Swartingham needs a secretary immediately and he can't seem to have any stick around due to his lousy temper. Anna becomes the Earl's secretary and soon finds herself attracted to the man. Upon finding out that he frequents brothels, a jealous Anna decides that if he's going to get any, he might as well get it from her, so she goes to the brothel and manages to convince the madam to have her entertain the earl. Lots of very hot sex ensues...of course, the Earl doesn't know it's Anna, until much much later....

The Verdict: I LOVED IT!!! LOVE LOVE LOVED IT!!! This is so far the best book of the year. It's not your typical secretary/boss story. Anna and the Earl, first off, are not exactly the most attractive of people. Anna is plain...very plain and the Earl has a scarred face. But who says you have to be smoking hot to have smoking hot love scenes. OMIGOSH! Talk about steamy! Their love story is very special and I'm tempted to reread it, despite the fact that I only read this a couple of months ago. I would recommend reading this before THE LEOPARD PRINCE, since it's book 1 of a series.

What you need to do: Seriously, just stop reading this review and go to Borders! Buy the book and thank me later.

The Story: Lady Georgina Maitland is 28 years old and the owner of a grand estate. Harry Pye is her land steward and one fine hunk of man. They get to know each other and begin an affair, falling in love soon after, but how can a love affair between the daughter of an earl and a mere servant survive the rules of society? Obviously it does or it wouldn't be a romance novel. There's a bit of a mystery as to some deaths on a nearby estate, as well as some secrets revealed about Harry and his family (and's not the typical...I'VE BEEM A DUKE ALL ALONG business that's shoved down our throats by several romance writers).

Verdict: I enjoyed it. Elizabeth Hoyt has quickly become a favorite author of mine; her writing is impeccable and you find yourself never skimming or skipping chapters merely to get to the end. You actually want to read every single page because every single page is pure pleasure. You experience each character's angst, each character's emotions as if they were your own. WOW! She's amazing and I cannot wait to see what awaits us next. THE LEOPARD PRINCE isn't as good as THE RAVEN PRINCE, but it was solid. The story will engage you and make you pant for more. LEOPARD PRINCE is BOOK 2 of Hoyt's PRINCE series. THE SERPENT PRICE will hopefully grace book shelves at the end of the year.

What you should do: Get some money and go to your nearest book store now. Don't wait 'til you find it at your local UBS. Just get it new. You won't want to throw it out. It's worth it. Trust me!!!

Are the Writers Sleeping on the Set of Grey's?

Have you ever read a book in which characters were completely mismatched? Where the hero and heroine belonged to anyone but each other? I have and, boy, did those books piss me off! Fans of Grey's Anatomy, myself included, should get used to that feeling because apparently George and Izzie, best friends forever, had sex a couple of weeks ago and are supposedly going to fall in love. What utter bullcrap! Can you imagine? It's like picturing a brother and sister getting it on. That's the kind of relationship the two have and now the writers are going to take that relationship, shit on it and give us a big piece of crap! Excuse the vulgarities but I'm pissed. The show used to be one of my favorites and perhaps I'm taking it all too seriously (btw..does anyone else get pissed off by Grey's constant use of the word?).

There are friendships out there that are simply meant to be friendships, despite the whole WHEN HARRY MET SALLY factor, and George and Izzie have always had a sort of brother/sister relationship. Sorry, if I'm not a fan of their "love story." Was this love story necessary? And WHY won't the writers see that not every one should "hook up" with each other on the show? This isn't ALL MY CHILDREN!!!!

Some people are not meant to be together; some are not even meant to hook up together. Maybe I feel this way because I've never fallen in love or had sex with a friend I've regarded as a brother. At this point, I'm going to wait 'til someone over at Grey's wakes up. Hopefully, they'll have George come out of the shower one episode and then we'll realize it was all one big nightmare.

And SERIOUSLY...get rid of that idiot Jane Doe and give me more McSteamy. Jerks!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

The Prince Series - Reviews Coming Soon

I am speechless. Elizabeth Hoyt is officially one of my favorite authors (although she's only at Book #2). Hoyt's writing keeps you enthralled from the first page. I don't think there are many authors out there like her. Many novels I read start out slightly boring (I'm not going to lie here); the authors are slow at getting to any real action. Long-winded and stale chapters abound...not so with Hoyt. She gives the reader something to sink her teeth into from the very first sentence. I absolutely adore her; I am absolutely stunned by the caliber of writing. Is she really another more seasoned writer writing under a different name? Can this last book really be her second? I am impressed....tremendously impressed. Reviews to follow, but if I were you, I'd get these books and read them asap, even before I post my reviews. They're keepers! Get thee to a book store NOW!!!

Surrender to a Scoundrel

Do you ever want to read a simple book? Not a "Hi, I'm an idiot" kind of book, but the kind with which you can tumble into bed and not have to really think, merely relax and enjoy. Julianne MacLean's books strike me as such...simple and uncomplicated. Don't get me wrong; both her heroes and heroines quite often manage to do something so completely stupid or asinine, I want to throw the book out the window, but overall MacLean's books keep me seated and occupied for two to three hours. Of course, as is the case with simple books, I often forget the gist of the story a few days after finishing it. But do I care? Nope, because for those two to three hours, I enjoyed myself and was able to put aside my worries, concerns and didn't have to think. I like books like these...that stop me from thinking. I do it overly too much and that has lately been quite a problem for me.

MacLean's latest effort is decent. The book concludes the American Heiresses series that MacLean began a few years ago. To be honest, I'm glad. No offense to the lovely American women gracing the novels, but it's about time to move on and begin another saga. MacLean is very talented and, at times, I feel she is capable of so much more than what she has written thus far. I'm hoping and keeping my fingers crossed that she write something much deeper, something less simple, but until she does so, I'll enjoy those moments when I can sit, read and shut my brain.

Surrender to a Scoundrel is the story of Martin, the brother of the hero of To Marry A Duke, and Eleanor Wheaton, a prim and proper widow. The two have a history; he saved her life when they were both children. Not only that, but she managed to get him kicked out of school by mistake when they were in their teens. Of course, she has an inferiority complex; thinks he doesn't even remember saving her life or her name (he does) and he thinks she looks her nose down at him for no reason (her reason: she's secretly been in love with him for years). They meet ten years after the second incident.

The story confused me a bit because..well, I was expecting the heroine to fall in love with a scoundrel. The hero seems anything but. He was a rake in his youth, but seems to have matured a great deal due to the usual big secret which comes out in the middle of the novel. I'm starting to get a little sick of the big secrets both heroes and heroines seem to be sporting these days. Fortunately, the secret isn't mentioned every two pages. I've read a lot of books like these and I always end up putting them aside and selling them to a used book store. Of course, the hero uses this big secret to push the heroine away. What else, right? It irked me a tad, but I liked how he eventually realized he was being an idiot. The heroine didn't shut the hero out of her life or her bed for very long. Now this I like a lot. One way to get me to stop reading a romance novel is by making the heroine play games with the hero...even the "you don't really love me" speeches turn me off. Fortunately, Julianne MacLean must be aware of this because there was none of that here.

I'm very happy to say that the story was centered around the characters..despite the secrets, the villains and what not (yes, there are villains). MacLean kept her focus on the love story and what a pleasure to actually see an author tackle that one.

I've been away from romance novels for a while. I was tired of the same tired old plots, the same secondary characters stealing the story away from the leads. Luckily, MacLean did not disappoint me. She didn't blow me away, but she didn't disappoint me either.