Monthly Archives: February 2013

Highlander Most Wanted (The Montgomerys and Armstrongs, #2) by Maya Banks

Highlander Most Wanted (The Montgomerys and Armstrongs, #2)Highlander Most Wanted by Maya Banks
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Title: * Highlander Most Wanted
Author: Maya Banks
Series: The Montgomerys and Armstrongs, #2
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Format: ebook
Date/Year: March 19, 2013
Reviewed by: ElaineReads

*This book was provided to me by NetGalley for review.

Summary from the publisher:

In Highlander Most Wanted, a reclusive woman content to live in the shadows shows a Highland warrior the true meaning of love.

Genevieve McInnes is locked behind the fortified walls of McHugh Keep, captive of a cruel laird who takes great pleasure in ruining her for any other man. Yet when Bowen Montgomery storms the gates on a mission of clan warfare, Genevieve finds that her spirit is bent but not broken. Still, her path toward freedom remains uncertain. Unable to bear the shame of returning to a family that believes her dead or to abandon others at the keep to an imposing new laird, Genevieve opts for the peaceful life of an abbess. But Bowen’s rugged sensuality stirs something deep inside her that longs to be awakened by his patient, gentle caress—something warm, wicked, and tempting.

Bowen seizes his enemy’s keep, unprepared for the brooding and reclusive woman who captures his heart. He’s enchanted by her fierce determination, her unusual beauty, and her quiet, unfailing strength. But wooing her will take more than a seasoned seducer’s skill. For loving Genevieve, he discovers, means giving her back the freedom that was stolen from her—even if it means losing her forever.

My Musings:

This is the second book in Maya Banks The Montgomerys and Armstrongs series and it is very much a sequel. The book could be read as a stand alone, but I don’t recommend it. To really appreciate the relationships in Highlander Most Wanted, you should read Never Seduce A Scot first. Many of the same characters appear and it is like a visit with old friends.

Bowen is the younger brother of his laird. He has been sent to take the McHugh Keep because of the crimes they committed against his family. Unbeknownst to him, even more terrible crimes have been committed to a captive of the McHugh’s . . . Genevieve. She has been tortured and abused by the McHugh laird’s son for almost a year. Bowen is her only hope of rescue and he doesn’t even know she exists.

Bowen is an honorable man and believes nothing is as important as protecting those who are unable to protect themselves. Genevieve has had no one to champion her and has lost her faith in everyone around her. She is shamed by what has been done to her and only wants to be left in peace.

So, of course, they fall in love.

One of the things I like about Maya Banks’ heroes is that they are not afraid to admit when they fall in love. Many times, the men recognize their feelings before the women do. It does not matter how alpha they might be, when they fall for a woman, they fall hard.

Genevieve was raised in a strong, loving family and that is what has enabled her to survive the past year in captivity. However, she no longer feels worthy of any man’s love and is too ashamed to want anything but to hide herself away.

Considering her sense of shame, an issue I had with the book is how easily Genevieve fell into a physical relationship with Bowen. Although there were moments when she felt threatened, they were quickly overcome and she lost herself in his arms. That’s not a direct quote, but the sentiment was definitely there. I just find it hard to accept that after a year of rape and torture by multiple men, she is able to relax enough to enjoy herself with Bowen.

Obviously, this is not an light romance, but so much more. The strength both characters show makes you love them all the more.

Genevieve and Bowen had a lot to overcome and just when you thought everything was going to work out, there’s a twist in the plot. Don’t worry. They get their “happily ever after,” but it doesn’t come easily.

If you enjoy Highland romances with strong male and female characters, this is a series you do not want to miss. Maya Banks writes in a variety of genres and this is one of her best.

The setup for the sequel is hinted at and I have already preordered the book. Highland Ever After is due out on September 24, 2013 and I cannot wait.

Ratings:

Overall: 5
Sensuality level: 3

This review was originally posted at Seductive Musings.

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Filed under Historical, Realistic, Romance

Wolf with Benefits (Pride, #8) by Shelly Laurenston

Wolf with Benefits (Pride, #8)Wolf with Benefits by Shelly Laurenston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Title: * Wolf with Benefits
Author: Shelly Laurenston
Series: Pride, #8
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Brava
Format: ebook
Date/Year: March 26, 2013
Reviewed by: ElaineReads

*This book was provided to me by NetGalley for an honest review.

Summary from the publisher:

Ricky Lee has no plans of getting serious about anyone, but he will protect Toni Jean-Louis Parker. Not just because he’s been hired to do so, but because it’s the right thing to do. And if that means traveling around the country with one complicated She-jackal, dealing with chocolate-eating wild dogs, instigating trouble between his brothers, and having the most amazing sex he’s ever had…well, who said his job didn’t have perks?

Toni doesn’t know how she keeps getting herself into these situations. But even she has to admit there’s something about Ricky Lee Reed that she finds kind of interesting…and downright sexy. Now they just have to survive long enough to figure out if what they have is worth fighting for…

My Musings:

I am a long time fan of Shelly Laurenston’s books, especially this series. I consider them some of my comfort reads. I know if I ever need a book that will cheer me up, all I have to do is choose one of these.

Wolf with Benefits is no exception.

Toni Jean-Louis Parker is surrounded by geniuses. Her entire family is extremely gifted either in the fine arts or in academics. What they cannot do is manage their lives. That has always been Toni’s job. She spends all of her time arranging things for her siblings and parents and has never had the opportunity to have a life of her own. She is driven and stressed simply because it is necessary in order to deal with the arrogant personalities in her family.

Oh, did I mention they are all jackal shapeshifters?

Enter Ricky Lee Reed. Ricky Lee is a member of the Tennessee Reed wolves and a more laid back wolf you have never met. He lives to be entertained. And he finds most everything entertaining, especially Toni and her family.

Toni’s experiences with her over achieving, arrogant, self-centered family makes her perfect for managing the shifter’s star hockey player Bo Novikoff. Nobody gets along with Bo and the team cannot win without him. Toni finds herself responsible for arranging a match with Siberian bears in SIBERIA! Bears who just happen to hate canines.

Well, obviously she needs protection and Ricky Lee is more than happy to look after her. Might he have an ulterior motive for following a sexy she-jackal around? Well, of course he does.

I had my doubts about this book at the beginning because so many new characters were introduced, it was difficult to keep track of who was who. After a couple of chapters though, things settled down and the plot and characters became as endearing as those in the other books in the series.

Speaking of the other books, this is not a book or a series that can be picked up at random. These books need to be read in order. Characters from previous books show up on a regular basis and you really need to know their stories. This book in particular felt like old home week in the shifter world.

Fortunately, reading all of these books is not a hardship. Most of the characters are shapeshifters and the way their animal traits influence their human personalities is hysterical. I particularly like the lion males with their “it’s all about me” attitude, not to mention their obsession with their manes.

Read this book, but more importantly, read all these books. If you want a funny, enjoyable read with plenty of hot sex, you want these books.

By the way, can you tell I really, really love these books. I think you will too.

Ratings:

Overall: 4
Sensuality level: 3

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Filed under Contemporary, Humor, Paranormal, Romance