Monthly Archives: August 2010

Bridal Jitters (Harmony, PQ) by Jayne Castle


Virginia Burch, a psychic archaeologist, can’t believe her luck when she meets Sam Gage, a ghost-hunter and owner of prime real estate in the Old Quarter of Cadence, above the Dead City. He offers her his space to live and start up her business. What follows is an even more intriguing proposal–to become his wife. Strictly for professional reasons, of course…

Their marriage of convenience would lead to a very lucrative business partnership, Gage & Burch Consulting. Until something throws a wrench into the plan: the undeniably sensual energy that exists between them–and a love so strong it could wake the ghosts below…

This novella (only 82 pages) is the beginning of Jayne Castle’s, aka Jayne Ann Krentz’s, Ghost Hunters series.  It sets the stage for the city of Cadence, 200 years after the Curtain has closed.

I am re-reading this series in preparation for the release of Midnight Crystal which will bring together her worlds of Arcane Society and Ghost Hunters.  This is not the best of the series because it is so short, but it does a good job of setting the plot line.  I really start to enjoy them when the dust bunnies make an appearance.


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Filed under Romance, Science Fiction

The Devil to Pay by Stephanie James


The Price of Love
Just as Emelina Stratton was about to break into an empty beach cottage, a man materialized out of the fog with a Doberman at his heel. Julian Cotter was as quietly lethal-looking as his dog. A man who exuded an aura of command that force Emmy under its sway. It was easy to believe the local gossip that he was a Mafia kingpin hiding out until things cooled off back East. But Emmy was desperate, and Julian could help her — for a price. Emmy was confident she could pay no matter what he charged . . . until Julian called in her I.O.U.

As I stated in the previous post, this book is supposed to be connected to Fabulous Beast because both male characters have the last name Colter.  That is the only connection, so they are actually stand alone stories.

One thing that stands out to me now is how young the characters are in her books.  Funny, I didn’t notice that when I originally read them 25 years ago!

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Filed under Contemporary, Realistic, Romance

Fabulous Beast by Stephanie James


Tabitha Graham thought she had found a soul mate when she rescued Dev Colter from a dangerous situation. She thought he was a kindred spirit: gentle, shy, and in need of love.

But Dev had a secret life that made him as dangerous as any of the fabulous, legendary beasts the bookstore owner had studied.When she fled from his sensual claim, his pursuit was relentless.
(from Goodreads)

This book has always been one of my favorite Jayne Ann Krentz novels.  It was originally published back in 1984 under her Stephanie James pen name.  I bought it new, so that should tell you how long I have been reading JAK.  She has been my number one favorite author for 30 years.  It doesn’t what name she is writing under, all her books are wonderful.

Anyway, I reread this book because I saw on Wikipedia that it is supposed to be part of a connected pair called the Colter books.  The male protagonist has the last name of Colter and so does the one in The Devil to Pay. It turns out that Wikipedia was wrong.  The books have nothing to do with each other.  It certainly wasn’t a hardship re-reading these books though, since I love them so much.

I particularly enjoy Tabitha’s lectures on the mating habits of mythological beasts!

And yes, I corrected the entry in Wikipedia.

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Filed under Contemporary, Realistic, Romance

Heart Journey (Celta’s Heartmates, #9) by Robin D. Owens


Helena, a renowned cartographer, is exploring Celta when she finds out she has a HeartMate. Yearning for a partner, she is drawn to meet him.

Actor Raz Cherry is dedicated to his career. Uninterested in long-term commitments, he ignores an oracle that foretells of his HeartMate.

Though passion ignites, their lifestyles clash. Only when mysterious thefts threaten their families can they overcome the obstacles on their journey to love. (from Goodreads)

The characters’ personalities are always different in these books, but I have always liked the main characters, just in different ways.  This book is an exception.  I do not like Raz.  He is selfish, self-centered, and although he does not want to intentionally hurt Helena, he will to keep from having to do something he does not want.

His fam is just like him.  The fams all tend to be selfish and self-centered.  Most of them are cats, after all.  His kitten (cannot think of her name) is worse than most.  She is actually hateful at times.

Of course, Raz does accept Helena in the end.  It wouldn’t be a romance otherwise, but I still don’t think he is a worthwhile hero.

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Filed under Romance, Science Fiction

Heart Change (Celta’s Heartmates, #8) by Robin D. Owens

PurchasedSignet D’Marigold’s lonely life is shaken when a prophet reveals she is a catalyst for change. But to accept her new life—and the charge of the noble child Avellana—means embracing a danger that may be fatal for them both. Especially when Signet’s attraction to her new bodyguard signals a secret enemy sworn to destroy them. (from Goodreads)

This is one of my favorite series.  It is one of the few scifi/romance ones that I read which is odd because I love science fiction and romance.  Anyway, Heart Change is actually a re-read for me.  The sequel Heart Journey is out and I needed to refresh myself on what was happening on the planet Celta.

This is not a light-hearted series.  Bad things do happen to good people, but things do work out in the end.  All issues may not be resolved in one book, but that is what a series is for.  At least there are no cliff-hangers.  Each book does have a resolution to the main plotline.

Both of the main characters in this book are likable which is always important to me as the reader.  There are a number of things working against them, but it all works out.

The secondary characters, who are old friends from previous books, have their lives expanded on and there is foreshadowing for future books.

Of course, the fams are an important part of the story.  I love them just as much as I do the dust bunnies in Jayne Castle’s Harmony series.

My only problem with this series is she takes way too long between books.

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Filed under Romance, Science Fiction

Waking the Witch (Women of the Otherworld, #11) by Kelley Armstrong


The orphaned daughter of a sorcerer and a half-demon, Savannah is a terrifyingly powerful young witch who has never been able to resist the chance to throw her magical weight around. But at 21 she knows she needs to grow up and prove to her guardians, Paige and Lucas, that she can be a responsible member of their supernatural detective agency. So she jumps at the chance to fly solo, investigating the mysterious deaths of three young women in a nearby factory town as a favor to one of the agency’s associates. At first glance, the murders look garden-variety human, but on closer inspection signs point to otherworldly stakes.

I have been reading this series since Bitten was originally published.  It was probably one of the first paranormal romances I started following.  Due to this, I have watched Savannah grow up.  It’s amazing  how invested I can become in a character and begin to think of them as real people.  I don’t believe this story would be nearly as good to someone who did not know her as a child.

This is definitely a series that needs a re-read from the beginning.  Unfortunately, there are so many short stories interspersed as either part of the series or side stories, I am not quite sure what order they should be read.  I expect I could get some help on Goodreads or LibraryThing though.

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Filed under Mystery, Paranormal, Romance

Into the Crossfire (Protectors, #1) by Lisa Marie Rice


Former Navy SEAL Sam Reston keeps to himself. His world is dangerous, uncertain, violent…and there is no room in it for the helpless and weak. Then the most beautiful woman in the world moves in next door to him . . . .

Nicole Pearce’s life is complicated enough—with an ailing father and a new business to worry about—and the last thing she needs is to get involved with a secretive, hard-bodied, hardheaded neighbor. Yet Sam leaves her breathless—her body tingling with erotic desire—and it takes every ounce of her fabled control to resist offering herself to him, no strings attached. What she doesn’t know is that Sam Reston is on an undercover assignment . . . and she’s about to step into the crossfire.

Never has Sam ached for a woman so badly, and he’s never fallen in love before. Now that Nicole is in grave danger, he will become her shield, and guard the tempting body he longs to touch and taste. Because a terrorist plot hatched half a world away is heading to their doorstep—and it can only be derailed by one man and one woman. (from Goodreads)

I started reading Lisa Marie Rice when I discovered her Midnight series.  I have read and re-read those three books several times.  Since then, I have purchased and read everything else I could find by her, but none of them have lived up to the Midnight ones.

This book does!

It’s ironic that I love the alpha males so much in reading.  I expect I would laugh in their face in real life.  Nicole is not a wimp by any means.  She was brought up with the classic silver spoon, but when the necessity arose she walked away from that life to care for her father.  She is not stupid either.  She knows she is in over her head with the terrorists and is willing to rely on Sam to help her.

My only problem is that I do not want to wait for the next book in the series.  Hotter Than Wildfire is due out in March 2011.

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Filed under Erotica, Mystery, Realistic, Romance

Nauti Kisses (Nauti) by Lora Leigh in Nauti and Wild anthology


This is supposed to be the last story in the Nauti series and does a good job of not leaving any loose endings.  There are no characters still hanging out there waiting for their own stories.  Having said that, I don’t want the books to end.  I love all of Lora Leigh’s work and this series is not exception.

Rogue’s brother John and Sierra are the leads in this story.  After a extremely blurry (in John’s mind) night of passion, Sierra starts avoiding John.  She won’t return his calls or see him for any reason.  John, who has just broken up with his fiance, decides to leave town and start his life over.

A year later, he finds out that Sierra has been attacked and nearly killed.  She is sent to John for protection until the bad guy can be found.  Of course, the bad guy follows and Sierra is in danger again.

The book brings back the McKays, their wives, and children.  It was wonderful to see them all again and really makes me want to re-read the series straight through.  There are so many characters in these books, I almost need an annotated list.

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Filed under Erotica, Realistic, Romance

The Perils of Effrijim (Aisling Gray) by Katie MacAlister in Death’s Excellent Vacation anthology


I love the Aisling Gray series, if for no reason than the character Jim (Effrijim).  Jim is a minor demon in the “magnificent” form of a Newfoundland dog.  In this story, Jim is supposed to stay with his girlfriend Celeste while Aisling and Drake are on vacation.  Unfortunately, things don’t work out as planned.

I bought this book for the Sookie Stackhouse story (see previous post).  I had no idea an Aisling Gray story was included.  I am not crazy about anthologies because normally I only read one story from the entire book.  It is wonderful to find others by authors that I follow.  Sometimes when I start reading a new (to me) author, I will discover I already have some of their works in previously purchased anthologies.  Always a nice surprise.

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Filed under Humor, Paranormal, Romance

Two Blondes (Sookie Stackhouse) by Charlaine Harris in Death’s Excellent Vacation anthology


Pam and Sookie go on “vacation” to run an errand for Eric.  In the process, they end up having to work briefly as exotic dancers.  I don’t really have a problem seeing Pam doing that, but Sookie has so little self-confidence, I am surprised at how easily she took to it.

This story involves just Sookie and Pam.  It would make absolutely no sense to someone who was not following the series already, but I have a feeling it is going to be important to the story line later.

I have mixed feelings about short stories as part of a series.  I am thrilled to get anything new to read while waiting for the next book, but I find it hard to keep track of the in-between stories.  I can’t really shelve them with the series because they contain stories by a number of authors.  How do I number them, so I know there is something in between two books?  I use half numbering now (3.5 for example), but if the books are not shelved together that does not really help.

I think Charlaine Harris recently released a collection of all the stories, but that means I am buying everything twice . . . not to mention, it is already out of date with the release of this new books.  Problems, problems, problems.

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Filed under Fantasy, Paranormal, Ramblings, Romance