Our Week in Books – Week 19, 2013

 Tracey

Having had a very expensive trip to New York with lots of shopping I surprisingly found little time for reading! We were so exhausted from all the walking! So what have I read in the week since getting back?

I started reading Ambersley by Amy Atwell on the plane but couldn’t really get into it – probably just too tired. I left it for a bit and didn’t go back to it until much later in the week, having read other books in between. It started off a bit slow and I struggled with the concept of how I knew the book would ultimately end; that the child and grown man we see interacting together for the first third of the book, then end up together in the girl’s adulthood. I know age gaps in this period of history are not uncommon but it just felt a bit weird, and I think it’s probably another reason why I didnt finish it in one go. Having said that, when I did go back to it and we got past childhood stage, the story picked up pace and I ended up enjoying the romance. We were introduced to various characters who get their own story later on and I will probably look to read them at some point – 3 stars for me.

I was clearly in the mood for some more historical romance and picked up His Wicked Kiss by Gaelen Foley. This is the seventh book in the Knight Miscellany series and brings home the mysterious Lord Jack Knight who in previous books had only been mentioned in passing. It was another enjoyable story in the series and has a good plot and romance, although Eden Farraday did get on my nerves a bit at times. You do not need to have read the series previously to know what is going on but as we get reintroduced to the characters and their partners from those books, it is nice to have the background info. This could definitely stand alone though – 3.5 stars

And yet more historical romance! Slightly Shady by Amanda quick was my next read. A light historical romantic suspense which was a quick easy read. I again found the heroine to be a bit of a pain in the butt at times – I don’t know what is up with me this week! The suspense aspect felt more believable than the romance for me, but overall I enjoyed the story – 3 stars.

A Bite to Remember by Lynsay sands was next and was a return for me to the world of the Argeneau vampires. This book focuses on Vincent and Jackie Morrissey (a mortal PI who knows all about their world). As with all the books in this series this was very good. I always love the Argeneau men and Vincent is no exception. Marguerite, the interfering matriarch of the Argeneau’s, features heavily in this book as well and I love her and her interference. This can easily stand alone if you have not read any of the others but why start with this one – go get the first one and work your way through! – 4 stars

I am currently reading Hunter by Jacquelyn Frank and loving it, in fact I feel the need to get back to it – review to come in the next couple of weeks 🙂

 Grete

Well my reading rate has been down again but I have a good excuse – I’m in the process of giving up smoking!  It’s a very weird thing but I’m having to learn how to do things without an ever present cigarette in my hand – everything still feels a bit wrong but I’m getting there 🙂  So lets see what I’ve read over the last two weeks (including while a certain review partner was off gallivanting in NYC!)

I re-read Full Blooded by Amanda Carlson and it was as entertaining as the first time.  Jessica McClain is a great character and I love her starting story!  I went straight into book two, Hot Blooded and actually was a bit disappointed with it.  It was still enjoyable but it seemed to turn into a bit of a slog towards the end.  Full reviews are coming, anyway.

I had to wait my turn to read The City by Stella Gemmell as Tony got there first – he did an excellent review which can be found here.  I thought I might have a slightly different opinion to him as a female reader but actually, I agree with him completely – 4 stars for me too.

I then picked up a recently arrived book which had me intrigued from the moment I first heard about it – The Shambling Guide to New York City by Mur Lafferty.  I absolutely loved it and highly recommend it!  You can read my full review here

My fantasy nose was twitching again so I picked up The Dragon’s Path by Daniel Abraham.  This is a book I’ve been meaning to read for ages and as book three is sitting there looking at me imploringly, it was incentive enough.  Full review is coming but suffice to say it’s a fantasy on an epic scale with the sense of a full world and history behind it.  I’m half way through The King’s Blood which is book two, and is proving a little slower going but still as enjoyable.

And there we are, all up to date!  Same time next week? 😉


Our Week in Books is a regular blog post from Tracey and Grete, catching up on everything they’ve read recently.

My Scandalous Viscount

 A member of the secret Inferno Club and a ‘lady of information’, a spy with secrets to keep and a woman who cannot resist poking her nose into other peoples business. Viscount Beauchamp (Sebastian Walker) and Carissa Portland are an unlikely pairing who end up married because Carissa just cannot mind her own business.

With one of the Inferno Club teams in Germany and an investigation into the Order occurring in England, Beau has his hands full trying to juggle Order business. The last thing he needs is a wife who will not do anything he asks and seems to be keeping secrets of her own.

I absolutely loved this story which takes place during the timeline of the previous book (My Ruthless Prince) but is set in England. If you read that review you may remember I commented on there being more plot and less romance. This story turns that around a bit and while we have a good suspense storyline, the romance element is strong – much to my delight.

Carissa and Beau have been touched upon in previous books and it was great to get their story. If you haven’t read any previous books you could be forgiven for thinking everything was a bit fast and I do recommend reading this series in order as it makes much more sense when loose ends are tied up.

Beau is a romantic at heart and I totally loved him, but as I have said before I am a sucker for romance. There is the obligatory falling out, which I knew was coming practically from the moment they were married, but true love always triumphs. Carissa is, like all of the authors heroines, strong willed and refuses to be ruled by any man, and despite her good intentions she just cannot help but poke around. It is endearing however rather than irritating.

The story arc relating to the Prometheans is all tied up in this novel but we are introduced to two new spies who will have their own stories and I cannot wait.

I’m unsure what the storyline will be for the future books, other than a good romance, with the loose ends being tied up but knowing Ms Foley, there will be an excellent sub plot in there somewhere.

If you love historical romance I really cannot recommend this series highly enough, I absolutely love it – please, please start at the beginning though with My Wicked Marquess.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: Gaelen Foley
  • Series: The Inferno Club (5)
  • Buy on Kindle (UK)Buy from Amazon (UK)

Twenty shades of steamy stories!

You don’t have to read Erotica to find steamy sexy stories!  Since 50 Shades of Grey exploded onto the book scene there has been a renewed interest in books from the erotica genre. A whole new group of people who may not have picked up a book in years, are now reading again. Anything that gets people reading has to be good!

What I want to bring to your attention is, if you are looking for a story where the sex is hot hot hot, you do not need to buy pure erotica to find it. Have a look through some of my reviews on this website and you will notice I refer to sex a lot in them – yes, I enjoy a good sex scene as much as the next person.

 While I enjoy an erotica novel, I often find that the story line is not very strong and too often the book relies simply on sex. I do like a good story with sex which is where your more mainstream novels come along. Surprisingly historical fiction can be one of the best for steamy sex scenes and definitely leave you needing a cold shower to cool down; what those Regency men and women get up to behind closed doors – phew! Authors who I would recommend if you want to delve into this genre are,

If your tastes go a bit further afield, have you considered paranormal romance? This can involve anything and everything from vampires to fairies to werewolves to ghosts.  Authors I would recommend as having excellent story lines as well as excellent sex scenes are,

  • Sherrilyn Kenyon – Start with Fantasy Lover from her Dark-Hunter series!
  • Larissa Ione – Read her Demonica Series before the Lords of Deliverance.
  • J.R. Ward – I highly recommend her Black Dagger Brotherhood series – Dark Lover is the first book.

 If you fancy branching out your reading check out the above authors book reviews on this site. we try to ensure there are no spoilers so should not ruin the book if you decide to read it.

Of course, mainstream novels do not generally go down the route of BDSM and group sex (well not the ones I have read anyway!) so if it is that aspect of erotica you are particularly interested in stick with it, otherwise consider branching out into territories unknown, you might discover a whole new world!

Devil Takes a Bride

Devlin Kimball has spent 12 years grieving for his family and is finally coming close to what happened that fateful night, ensuring he can have his revenge on the ones responsible. His only relative left – the Dowager Viscountess Strathmore faithfully pays his bills thinking he is gambling his life away.

Lizzie Carlisle is companion to the aforementioned Dowager Viscountess and is nursing a broken heart, choosing to hide herself away in the country. When his aunt dies, Devlin and Lizzie are unexpectedly thrown together – can Devlin carry on with his need for revenge while ensuring Lizzie is not pulled into the dark side?

Wow, oh Wow, this book is amazing! There is so much going on right from page one that I was completely sucked in. The different facets of the plot move along at speed as we go from one to the other and back again. The murder mystery aspect is brilliant – we know who the guilty parties are right from the prologue but knowing when, how or even if they will get their comeuppance is something we are kept guessing with right until the end. I really cannot say enough how quickly and easily I was drawn into the story, it completely captivated me.

I love the description Ms. Foley puts into her books and this one is no exception, it was as easy to picture the characters and their interactions as if I was watching it myself. I loved all the characters in this book including the secondary ones – well except for the dastardly evil bad guys of course! But they too were very well written and easy to hate!

The romantic element was good and I totally fell in love with Devlin, I wanted to make him all better myself.

This is number five in the Knight Miscellany series and while I have not read any of the previous books it did not really matter. There is some follow on and I guess the preceding book has been slightly spoiled for me by what was mentioned here but it will not stop me reading it and all the others before that one too.

This is probably one of the best historical romances I have read. If I could give it more than 5 stars I would! While I love romance I think the addition of such a strong suspense plot is what made this extra enjoyable.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: Gaelen Foley
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)

 

My Ruthless Prince

Drake Parry, the Earl of Westwood has turned traitor and betrayed the Order and his fellow Inferno Club members. Emily Harper, a gamekeeper’s daughter who has loved him since childhood does not believe this and follows him to the wilds of Bavaria hoping to prove to them all, and herself, that he could never turn into what they said. On finding Drake it seems her worst fears have been realised, that this hard, deadly and furious man is not the one she remembered – is hope really lost?

Another great story from Gaelen Foley although I have to admit not my favourite. This is the second Inferno Club novel I have read but the fourth in the series. There are a lot of references to things that happened in previous books that have a big impact on this story, and with that in mind it would have been better to read this series from the beginning. I easily managed to pick up the threads of why Drake is where he is but I do think this may be why I did not enjoy it quite as much.

The plot very definitely overshadows the romance in this book although in all fairness there is no ‘do they or don’t they’ as it is clear they are in love from the beginning. While I do love my romance the plot was very gripping and I was on the edge of my seat throughout, it was very tense! It is clear there have been large chunks dealing with Drake and Emily in previous books and if I had read the previous ones I would be much more invested in the characters. Having said that, I love Drake which is probably a good thing as if I was even more invested it would have been even more intense and I would probably have been in tears!

My only criticism would be Emily – would a female, even a gamekeeper’s daughter really trek halfway across Europe alone and with little money in the 1800’s? That’s the power of love I guess, even if it does seem a bit far fetched!

Overall another great book definitely worth reading if you are a fan of Gaelen Foley or historical novels in general.

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Book Information
  • Author: Gaelen Foley
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)

My Dangerous Duke

The Duke of Warrington is an assassin for the Order, serving his country as he was raised to do. He has earned the nickname The Beast for his ruthless nature. When he returns home for a brief visit to his castle he finds his tenants, trying to avoid his wrath, have left him a ‘bed-warmer’.

Kate Madsen is an innocent woman abducted from her isolated cottage drugged to appear drunk, made to look like a whore and given to the Duke as a ‘gift’. The Duke soon realises she is not who she appears to be and together they try to unravel the reasons surrounding her abduction. Does it have something to do with the ancient curse affecting the Warrington line?

This story was really good, it immediately grabbed my attention with the opening chapter dealing with Kate just after she has been abducted. The storyline was very strong and action packed, moved along at a realistic pace and kept me engrossed throughout the entire book. I found myself reading at the oddest times (for me anyway) just so I could find out what happens next – most notably while I was cooking tea; I had one hand on the book and one hand on the spoon! In fact I was so focussed that I forgot to cook the vegetables!

It was really good to have a strong plot alongside the romantic element and if the author’s other books are anything like this I cannot wait to read them. This is a sexy intense historical romance novel with more than a hint of action, adventure and intrigue!  I cannot wait to read the rest of the books in the ‘Inferno Club’ series.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Book Information
  • Author: Gaelen Foley
  • Buy from Amazon (UK)