PLEASURE ME by Monica Burns
Copyright: March 2011
Publisher: Berkley Heat
Series: Works fine as a stand alone but the couple from KISMET make appearances in this one.
Source: Received from Publisher.
Youth and beauty are a courtesan’s greatest assets. At forty-one, Lady Ruth Attwood appears to have lost both, as her latest lover just abandoned her for a younger mistress. Struggling with the knowledge that she’s no longer considered desirable, she’s uncertain whether to be offended or flattered when a younger man makes her an unusual offer. In need of funds, she agrees. But then she does the unthinkable. She falls in love.
Despite his reputation as a man’s man, Baron Garrick Stratfield has never been with a woman. His physical impairment is such that he knows not even a whore will touch him, and he needs a mistress who’s willing to be kept without sharing his bed. But passion is just a delicious kiss away because his new mistress is wreaking havoc with his senses. Worse yet, someone is not only out to ruin his reputation, but frame him for murder.
First time reading this author. Not usually a fan of younger man/older woman stories (like it the other way, yes, I am a hypocrite, sue me *g*) but I was intrigued by the blurb and wanted to see what his terrible “secret” was. To be honest, not sure what the big deal about it was so I might have missed something? Although it felt kind of repiticious after some time when he kept worrying about his “deformity”. Another thing, her constant worries about her age and being older than him got a little old after a while.
There was just so much going on. How Ruth became a courtesan. Why Garrick was still a virgin at 29 years old. What shaped them the way they were and how they overcame it all to be together. On the flip side, I can’t say it wasn’t an engrossing read because it was as I couldn’t put it down until I finished reading it.
WHAT I DID FOR A DUKE by Julie Anne Long
Copyright: February 22, 2011
Series: Pennyroyal Green Series, Book 5
Source: Purchased e-copy for Kindle via Amazon
For years, he’s been an object of fear, fascination . . . and fantasy. But of all the wicked rumors that shadow the formidable Alexander Moncrieffe, Duke of Falconbridge, the ton knows one thing for certain: only fools dare cross him. And when Ian Eversea does just that, Moncrieffe knows the perfect revenge: he’ll seduce Ian’s innocent sister, Genevieve—the only Eversea as yet untouched by scandal. First he’ll capture her heart . . . and then he’ll break it.
But everything about Genevieve is unexpected: the passion simmering beneath her cool control, the sharp wit tempered by gentleness . . . And though Genevieve has heard the whispers about the duke’s dark past, and knows she trifles with him at her peril, one incendiary kiss tempts her deeper into a world of extraordinary sensuality. Until Genevieve is faced with a fateful choice . . . is there anything she won’t do for a duke?
Really think I’m getting burned out on historicals right now. Have heard the “buzz” about this and it’s either my mood or the hype not living up to my expectations. I think I need to move on to another genre other than historicals for now.
I had issues with the hero targeting the heroine for revenge because of something her brother did that she had nothing to do with. I had issues with the pansy brother who was willing to throw his sister under the bus to get the duke’s attention off him and on someone else. I had issues with the heroine, who was “so in love” with her best friend that she felt the need to confess her love for him…while in bed with the hero after they shared some good times. I had issues with the friend who felt the need to do this “test” on the heroine because he was a flaming coward. Yes, the hero was clever, the heroine was clever, they were just both clever together but nothing about this story wowed me until the last 20-30 pages and even then I wasn’t wowed, just felt a sense of “Thank God, it’s about time.”
I’ve come to the conclusion that one of two things are going on. Either I’m slipping into a slump already this year or I need a bit of a break from historicals right now. The second part is a huge thing for me as historicals are my first love but looking over my reads so far this year, I can only count on one hand the historicals I’ve read and actually enjoyed.
AFTER DARK WITH A SCOUNDREL by Alexandra Hawkins
Copyright: February 2011
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Series: Lords of Vice — Book 3
Source: Received from Publisher.
Notorious, handsome, and decadent, the Lords of Vice break rules and hearts with equal aplomb. But what if one woman is on to their game—and the player becomes the played?
ONE STOLEN KISS
Young, tender, and highly impressionable, Lady Regan can’t help but be intrigued by her brother’s wayward friends—the wickedly charming Lords of Vice. One man in particular, the dashing Lord Hugh Mordare (known simply as “Dare” among the ton), utterly captivates her—in spite of his reputation as a notorious womanizer. But when she steals an innocent kiss from Dare, Regan is swiftly packed off to boarding school, safely away from danger…and desire.
ONE SWEET SEDUCTION
Five years later, Regan returns—a proper lady and ravishing beauty. Miss Swann’s Academy for Young Ladies has taught her how to behave in polite society. But all the training in the world cannot extinguish her love for Dare. Now, she hopes to beat the master of seduction at his own game—by daring Dare to love her in return. This time, both of their hearts are on the line…and winner takes all.
Here we are, back with the Lords of Vice. I have to be honest and say that after a while, since I read these back to back to back, whenever the term “Lords of Vice” was mentioned, I rolled my eyes because it’s said so many times in all the books. I get it. They’re the Lords of Vice. Wooo to the hooo. Can we just call them by name now? It’s so repetitive and I think I need to stop reading series/trilogies back to back like this because I’m finding I’m not enjoying them as much as I want to. It becomes a nitpicking thing to me to find similar phrases and/or a game of “See how many times Lords of Vice are mentioned on one page or how long I can read before it’s mentioned again.” Pure silliness on my part but it amuses me.
This one opens up when the heroine is 15 and the hero is in his early to mid 20s. At one point he’s got her in his lap and he’s thinking the following to himself:
As far as Dare was concerned, he had earned a hefty reward for resisting Frost’s tempting little sister. Two years ago, he had managed to keep his hands off her, had he not?
That gave me a slight ick factor moment because he had these thoughts about her when she was 13. Yes, I know it’s a historical and they married young but still…knowing it and accepting it are two different things and it just creeped me out a bit.
Anyway, they share a kiss, big brother Frost comes in, turns all icy on them and sends his sister away because while he’s part of the Lords of Vice and Dare is a friend of his, no way does he like the fact that one of the Lords of Vice is messing with his sister. Five years later, Regan finds her way back home by way of bending the truth. One, because she missed her brother and her home and two, because she was twenty now and she wanted to seduce Dare because she’s always loved him.
What ensues next is Regan doing whatever she can to get her way, Dare “pretending” he’s just looking out for his best friend’s little sister & Frost acting like the King he seems to think he is and making everyone around him his pawns. Throw in a few batshit crazy family relatives on Dare’s side and you have a riveting tale on your hands because you just have to see how it all plays out.
I will say in book 1, I thought Frost was a douchebag. In book 2, I thought he was an ass for the way he spoke about Sophia & in this one, at the beginning I thought he was an arrogant jerk but by the time I reached the end of the book, he seemed a little more human to me, not as icy/cold as he has been described. I’m still intrigued enough by this series to wonder if he will get his own book and if he does, I hope it’ll be by someone who will knock him on his ass and have him questioning everything he thinks he knows.
TILL DAWN WITH THE DEVIL by Alexandra Hawkins
Copyright: August 2010
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Series: Lords of Vice — Book 2
Source: Bought Kindle copy from Amazon.
Notorious, handsome, and decadent, the Lords of Vice break rules and hearts with equal aplomb. But even the wickedest of men is no match for a virtuous woman…
SOMETIMES IT TAKES A ROGUE…
Few women can resist a man like Gabriel “Reign” Housely, the Earl of Rainecourt. With divine good looks, delectable charms, and delicious wealth, he would seem to be every marriage-minded mother’s dream match for their daughters. But not so, given the mysterious death of his first wife. Fortunately for Gabriel, he has no plans to seriously court any of the London ladies ever again. That is, until he shares one unforgettable dance with a mysterious stranger…
TO CAPTURE AN ANGEL…
Exquisitely beautiful though decidedly modest, Lady Sophia usually shuns the festive ballrooms of London society. But when a man who calls himself “Reign” enters her life—seemingly from out of nowhere—and shows her true kindness, her wary young heart begins to melt. Of course, Sophia would be shocked to learn the truth about Reign’s past. But when scandal strikes, this devilish stranger may be her only salvation…
So far my mood this month is calling for historicals. I’m reading what calls out to me when I browse through my TBR and e-TBR. After reading ALL NIGHT WITH A ROGUE and having such a strong reaction to it, I felt I should give her Lords of Vice series another try and read this one.
I really liked Sophia. Despite her handicap, she refused to let it define her. She was a very strong, independent woman. I also liked Reign. He put out this image of who he was when it really wasn’t him. Both had a shared past that Reign didn’t know about when he first met her and by the time he did, I could see he was already hooked and he didn’t care about it. He just wanted Sophia.
I don’t know, maybe because I read them back to back, I noticed similar things happening. Sophia’s brother tries to trade in/marry off his sister to cover debts he can’t pay off. (Mother of heroine in book 1 tried that too, she had a gambling problem.) Reign jumped in to save the day. Well, not really, Sophia had already escaped her locked bedroom and was outside the house when Reign came to save the day. (Hero in book 1 went to save heroine from clutches of creepy dude too.)
Overall, although there were a couple things I did not like in it, this one was much better for me than the previous book.
Next up, Dare’s book!
ALL NIGHT WITH A ROGUE by Alexandra Hawkins
Copyright: February 2010
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Series: Lords of Vice — Book 1
Source: Discounted at Amazon for $2.99 for Kindle so bought it. Also listed for same price for Nook.
Notorious, handsome, and decadent, the Lords of Vice prowl the glittering ballrooms of Regency London— breaking rules and hearts with equal aplomb. But even the wildest rogue must eventually meet his match…
IT BEGAN AS A FAVOR…
Seduce Lady Juliana Ivers and then cast her aside: Those are his sister’s instructions. Alexius Braverton, Marquess of Sinclair—known as Sin to the ton—is happy enough to oblige, especially when he catches a glimpse of his target. Juliana is completely unlike the empty-headed chits who barely hold his attention for a week. A true gentleman would leave her to find a worthy suitor. But then, a Lord of Vice would never claim to be a gentleman.
WOULD IT END IN FOREVER?
Juliana is expected to marry well to improve her family’s finances, even if she secretly longs to make a living through her musical compositions. A dalliance can only complicate matters, though not even practical Juliana can help succumbing to the aptly named Sin. But one unforgettable night will draw her into a scandalous affair—and a seduction begun as sport will soon become deliciously, dangerously real…
I don’t even know where to begin with this book.
Nicknames of hero & his friends reminded me a lot of Stephanie Laurens’ Bar Cynter series…Sin, Vane, Dare, Reign, Frost, Saint, etc.
Hero is basically whored out by his sister and told to seduce the heroine then dump her because heroine was so much younger than sister who feared she was going to lose the one guy who paid her any attention at balls.
Mother dearest is a compulsive gambler and to pay off her debt, she practically sold the heroine to some random titled idiot for the summer so she could play his mistress. If that wasn’t enough, she was saved from that only to be locked in a room & tied to the bed in her “cousin’s” house because creepy cousin has wanted to marry her since he saw her when she was 13 years old. Pervert. (Although creepy cousin is no blood relation, she grew up thinking of him as such so that just gives me a creepy vibe about what he tried to do to her.)
Hero comes in, saves the day blah blah blah but there is NO groveling, no confrontation with the harpy of a sister and nothing to make up for the humiliation of everything the hero and his sister put the heroine through and she, the brainless twit, just takes him back once he says “I love you”.
Blech. Spare me.
I truly need a WTF icon to use in books/reviews like this.
As I am a glutton for punishment, I’m currently reading Book 2, TILL DAWN WITH THE DEVIL, about Reign. Let’s hope his book doesn’t make me want to hurt him as much as Sin’s book made me want to kill him & his harpy of a sister.
ANIMAL MAGNETISM by Jill Shalvis
Copyright: February 1, 2011
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Source: Received book from Publisher
This alpha male is going to bring out her wild side…
Sunshine, Idaho, is a small and sunny town—the perfect home for man and beast. Well, maybe not for man, as pilot-for-hire Brady Miller discovers when his truck is rear-ended by what appears to be Noah’s Ark.
The co-owner of the town’s only kennel, Lilah Young has good reason to be distracted behind the wheel—there are puppies, a piglet, and a duck in her Jeep. But, she doesn’t find it hard to focus on the angry, gorgeous stranger she’s collided with.
Lilah has lived in Sunshine all her life, and though Brady is just passing through, he has her abandoning her instincts and giving in to a primal desire. It’s Brady’s nature to resist being tied down, but there’s something about Lilah and her menagerie—both animal and human—that keeps him coming back for more…
I don’t want to jinx myself but so far this month, (yes, 17 days in), I’ve read more books (17 of them) than I had most of last year when I tallied my monthly reads each month. I’m not kidding when I say it’s been a while since I’ve been in the double digits, months, in fact. I know the why of it, things here were a bit with my daughter’s health issues but I think *knocking on wood* we’ve finally turned a corner and have started moving in the right direction and making progress. I’m not saying we’re closer to the end of the tunnel yet, we still have a lot to do before we get there but…we’re making progress and for that, I’m thanking God every day.
I started this late Friday night and by page 8 I was giggling. The scene with Brady, Lilah and Abigail the duck was hilarious. I have no words for how much I loved this book. I loved everything about it and it was such a cute & fun story. The chemistry was to die for. I couldn’t put it down once I started and I found myself staying up until 4am reading it until I reached the end. I love Jill Shalvis’ humor. For those looking for a fun sexy read, ANIMAL MAGNETISM is it….it’s a must-read!
I’m hoping we will see more books in the future…namely Dell and Adam’s stories. Pretty please??
HERE TO STAY by Catherine Anderson
Copyright: January 25, 2011
Series: Coulter/Kendrick/Harrigan Series #12
Source: Received ARC from Publisher
Mandy Pajeck had a tough childhood — an abusive father, a mother who left, and a younger brother, Luke, who depended on her when she was just a child herself. Now twenty-eight, Mandy remains devoted to Luke and feels responsible for the accident that took his sight. When she meets handsome Zach Harrigan and his mini guide horse, she thinks she’s found the ticket to her brother’s happiness — and maybe her own.
Of the five Harrigan siblings, Zach is the hellion who parties hard and takes nothing seriously. But lately his life has felt empty. So, employing his skills as a horseman, he begins training a mini guide horse for the blind, never expecting that the project will lead him to beautiful, tenderhearted Mandy. She’s everything he’s ever wanted in a woman. But though she’s charmed by Zach’s patience and compassion, she can’t bring herself to fully trust him. And when Zach urges her to confront the truth about her mother’s disappearance, the secrets they uncover are so shocking that even Zach’s steadfast devotion may not be enough to win Mandy’s heart.
Read more like a General Fiction book than a Romance Book. Story was more focused on the relationship of the heroine and her 19 year old blind brother than it was on the heroine and the hero. Am really sad to say that as I used to love Catherine Anderson’s books but the last few have just not done it for me. Find them boring at times and the romance between the characters taking a back seat to whatever “issues” are going on in the book.
Also, not that I have anything against praying but I noticed God and praying was mentioned several times throughout the book. At one time, during a discussion of praying, I found myself checking the spine to make sure it wasn’t labeled Christian Fiction and I had somehow missed it. I’m not one for CF books…find them too preachy at times and that’s not what I want in the books I read.
The brother was a brat. That’s all I can say about him. A spoiled brat. Yes, he was blind but that he refused to help himself and made his sister do everything for him because he wanted to “control her” just made me want to take a bat to him. There was nothing good about the messed up relationship they had.
The heroine was a wuss. She let him get away with too many things without calling him out on it.
The only redeeming quality about this book was the hero. He made this book for me.
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
Mom arrives tomorrow at noon and we all can’t wait. Haven’t seen Mom since May when we went to TN for my nephew’s graduation and the last time she was here in NC was two years ago. We had some snow today and ended up in Raleigh a day earlier. Didn’t want to deal with the icy roads tomorrow in coming to the airport so we’re at a nearby hotel for tonight and tomorrow as we also have an appointment at Duke Saturday morning.
In my blog-hopping tonight, I found two more challenges for next year that I’m interested in.
First one is The Forbidden Bookshelf’s Erotic Reading Challenge.
For this one, I’m going for the Scorch Challenge where I have to read 20 books for this challenge.
Second one I’m doing is My Overstuffed Bookshelf’s 100+ Book Challenge.
With less than two weeks to go in 2010, I know I won’t reach the 100 goal this year, I’m at 85 right now, but I have high hopes that I’ll make it next year.