Monthly Archives: November 2013

Review: XXXmas Ale by Liz Crowe

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2Stars

The most important thing in a romance or erotica novel is the relationship between the main characters. In XXXMAS ALE, those characters are Blake, a good looking but honorable warehouse supervisor, and Dani, the new assistant brewer. At the annual holiday party, Blake meets Dani for the first time and it’s lust at first sight. What ensues is a dispassionate sex scene in the brewery.

Blake is given good characterization and the reader does get a good feel for who he is. Dani, on the other hand, is given barely any personality. What are her motivations other than having sex with a hot guy? If their relationship was going to be merely a one night stand to scratch the lust itch, then the story would be fine, but that is not the case. Ms Crowe tries to force the possibility of a lasting relationship and it falls flat.

Perhaps the story would’ve been better if it was more than 14 pages in length, but as it stands now, XXXMAS ALE didn’t live up to its synopsis.

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Filed under Breathless Press, Contemporary, Erotica, Review, Romance Novel

Review: Sapphire Dreams by Pamela Montgomerie

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5Stars

“Sapphire Dreams” is the first historical time-travel romance from established paranormal author Pamela Palmer. Writing as Pamela Montgomerie, she weaves a story about Brenna Cameron, a young woman who is transported 300 hundred years into the past. There she meets Rourke Douglas who captains a pirate ship off the coast of Scotland. Together they must choose whether prophesy controls their fate or their choices.

The narrative is immersive. The lead characters are dynamic and thoroughly interesting. Brenna is a fighter and will not simply wait around for a man to rescue her. She is strong, but retains her feminism. This makes her an easy to like character with a good balance of vice and virtue. She can hold her own without becoming a harridan that can often happen to strong-willed heroines.

Brenna’s counterpart, Rourke Douglas, is sexy and the cover model on the novel’s cover does him little justice. He is thoughtful, caring, and even when the reader meets him for the first time, there is an innate honor to his character. Rourke encapsulates the most common traits of a near perfect mate plus retains his humanity and vulnerability.

The most Impressive element of “Sapphire Dreams” is Montgomerie’s use of descriptions. Her vivid use of adjectives paints a beautiful picture of the Scottish landscape which gives the readers wonderful feeling of atmosphere and a world larger than the scope of the novel. The reader will feel as if they’ve been to present day Castle Stour and its 17th century counterpart.

To put it simply, “Sapphire Dreams” is pure magic. If you are a fan of paranormal romance or straight historical romance, this is not a book to pass by. The next time you are at the book store look for “Sapphire Dreams” by Pamela Montgomerie. You will not be disappointed.

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Filed under Berkley, Paranormal, Review, Romance Novel, Time-Travel

Review: To Tempt a Scotsman by Victoria Dahl

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4Stars

Is there anything sexier than a Scottish accent (besides nearly all the other accents of the United Kingdom)? It is no wonder that in Victoria Dahl’s novel the hero is from Scotland.

To Tempt a Scotsman” is about Lady Alexandra Huntington, a young woman who suffered through exile after a terrible scandal that resulted in a man’s death. Collin Blackburn is the half-brother of the man who died in the duel over the beautiful and brazen Alexandra. His quest for revenge has led him to Alex and attraction blooms almost instantly.

Dahl is able add humor and desire into the courtship between Alex and Collin. Their story is endearing and the themes are relatable. The element most used is that of unworthiness, a common theme and universal feeling.

The major flaw of this novel appears a bit after two-thirds of the story. Collin is a jealous man. For a significant part of the book, Collin turns into a very detestable character with few redeeming qualities. Readers can become frustrated at his behavior and beg the heroine to leave his sorry rear in the dust. As an author you never want your readers to ever root for your hero’s failure. Personally, I don’t know if I’d forgive the hero’s many, many missteps; particularly when he believed Alex was a loose woman after indisputable proof proved otherwise.

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Filed under Review, Romance Novel, Scottish, Zebra

Review: Ten Ways to be Adored When Landing a Lord by Sarah MacLean

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4Stars

Following the events of NINE RULES TO BREAK WHEN ROMANCING A RAKE, Lord Nicholas St. John is named “A Lord to Land” in a popular ladies’ magazine. When his friend Simon, Duke of Leighton, asks him to find his missing sister, Nick jumps at the chance to escape London and the mayhem of matchmaking mamas.

When his mission leads him to Yorkshire, Nick meets Lady Isabel by saving her life. Isabel knows where the duke’s sister is hiding. She is in Minerva House, her house which takes in women in trouble despite not having the money to afford proper upkeep. Due to the financial difficulties, Isabel must sell her collection of marble statues. Nick happens to be one of England’s leading experts in Hellenistic statuary. What a crazy random happenstance!

What follows is a well told, if generic, plot revolved around trust and ultimately Isabel’s fear of love leading to the same unhappy fate of her parents.

TEN WAYS TO BE ADORED WHEN LANDING A LORD suffers from a very common ailment that, unfortunately, is becoming more prevalent. The secondary or background love story is more intriguing than the main one. A pairing between a gentleman’s daughter and a Turkish Muslim mercenary in the Regency era is far less common, thus making it more memorable and special for the reader.

In the end, the story is solid. The characters are likable and the prose is easy to read and enjoyable.

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Filed under Avon, Regency, Review, Romance Novel