Category Archives: Romance

Lover Unleashed – JR Ward

Lover Unleashed by JR Ward is the 10th book in her Black Dagger Brotherhood vampire series. I do have to warn, however, that these vampires are nothing like Stephenie Meyers’ vampires (not that anybody’s vampires are like Stephenie’s). These books are not intended for younger audiences. You will not find them in the young adult section of a book store with all the most recently popular vampire books. This does not mean that they lack punch or staying power, by any means. Obviously, or she wouldn’t be up to book ten, now would she?

                These books are found in the romance section of the book store, which almost turned me off of the book. I wasn’t looking for love stories, or at least not entirely and when one thinks romance books, you think of authors like Danielle Steel or Nora Roberts. Both great authors and I have been known to pick up a book or two of each of theirs, but that wasn’t what I was looking for at this time.

                I bought the first book about a year ago at the urging of a friend. I seen, at that time, the books were already out to number six or seven, so I was already behind on this trend. Not knowing if I was going to like the books, I just bought the first one while my husband and I were in Everett visiting my sister. Forks, obviously, does not have the luxury of a large bookstore.

                I think that it may have taken me a day, maybe a day and a half to read the entire first book. It was that good and that addictive. I found myself on eBay hoping to snag the rest of set for a reasonable price. I found a couple, the rest I ordered from Borders online. So, next was a waiting game.

                The vampires in this series are a little different. They can feed on human blood, but it doesn’t really sustain them. They need a member of the opposite sex to feed from to really be sated. They are also able to eat normal food, drink normal drinks, as well as partake in any other human vice. Which they do quite often. Or at least some of the Brothers.

                Each book is mostly centered on one brother, who meets a woman/female that he falls head over heels for. Which is a typical romance story, but there are many twists and turns throughout the books. The Brothers are an elite group of vampires that are the protectors of their race. They fight a constant battle with the Omega and his lessers.

                A thing that I have come to like in this series is that in each book you get to see from a few different perspectives. And that the setup for books to come. You get to meet and know the Brothers through each other’s eyes. They become almost a family to you.

                This book is centered on the Brother Vishous’ twin sister, Payne. It starts out with her being paralyzed from the waist down from a sparring match with Wrath, son of Wrath. Also known as the blind king.

                There is only one doctor that Vishous or his shellan (wife) can think of that is skilled enough to pull off the miracle surgery that would be needed to save Payne. Enter Manuel Manello, MD. Tall, dark, and handsome and the rich doctor part is definitely not a flaw.

                In this book, there are a lot of emotional things going on. Payne has never been on this side for an extended amount of time. She spent hundreds of years imprisoned by her mother, the Scribe Virgin, who also happens to be the mother of the entire vampire race. You also get a deeper look into Vishous. Yes, we had a whole book mostly devoted to him already, but there were a lot of issues that were never really faced. Even in this book there are some things that are touched on, but not really solved.

                A new, rogue, group of vampires is also introduced. Their leader, Xcor, calls them his band of bastards. Nice, huh? I can’t wait to see how they become more in further books.

                Payne and Manny are on a whirl wind romance. Manny knows that nothing good can come of this, since his brain has been wiped by the vampires before, when he saved Vishous. He knows that it is bound to happen and besides, how much of a future can they have together? He’s already 45, and the lifetime for him is already half over and for Payne, not so much.

                I found myself upset for Manny. After all, he was in love with Jane (Vishous’ wife) and she “died” on him a year prior to this. Then his prize winning horse gets hurt; now he knows the love of his life won’t last. The guy really deserves a break.

                I would highly recommend this book. But, I would say start at the beginning with Dark Lover. That way you get the full impact of the Brothers. And like I mentioned before, it is for the more mature audience due to violence, language, and very graphic sex scenes.

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Then He Kissed Me by Christie Ridgway

**WARNING**My review may contain SPOILERS**

So, I received an advanced copy of this book and I did finish reading it before it’s release date which was this past Tuesday. I just didn’t get around to doing my review….I know, I know, bad Jessica. But, to be honest, it has been a really rough couple of weeks. My husband was diagnosed with a brain aneurism (that turned out to be TWO aneurism and a return trip to Seattle on the 17th) and so we spent days in the hospital, where surprisingly, my review was the last thing on my mind. No offense meant to the author, or to anyone else. I just thought I would explain a little bit, as to why I am putting up a review late.

I am usually not that big into romance books, just for the romance of them. I don’t mind reading drama that has romance (ie: vivid sex scenes & torrid love affairs), I just have found that romance for the sake of romance isn’t my cup of tea. I have also found that most romance novels share the same basic outline: one person loves another who doesn’t want to be loved and in the end, they wind up together. Happily ever after. So, like I said, I like a book that isn’t all about the romance and has a whole separate storyline ahead of the love. But, in this case, I was interested in reading the book, because I hadn’t read a good chick-lit, love book in a while, and to be honest, just needed the happy ending.

In this book, which I found out is the second book in a series, we meet Stevie Baci. She is a limo driver (she owns her own company) and also is part of a family business of making and selling wine in Napa Valley. The opening chapter had my attention instantly and I wound up finishing this book in about a day and a half. Stevie is having to drive her ex around on New Year’s Eve with his current fiance. Ouch. To make things worse, there is a tall, dark, and handsome (not to mention instant attraction) brother of the bride-to-be to contend with. Jack, has a very bad reputation. For loving and leaving and a number of other things. He gets into her car and let’s her know that since she is now in charge of his sister’s wedding that she is now his new best friend. Because, he isn’t letting his sister’s wedding get ruined over a jilted lover.

The instant attraction between these two is wonderfully written. The fact that Stevie tries (and fails miserably) to have sex like a man and to keep things simple, is a strong basis in the book. She thinks that if she keeps telling herself that it’s just sex that maybe she won’t fall in love with Jack and that she may be able to salvage what is left of her life since he ex left her. She knows that in the small town they live in, everyone knows the nitty-gritty and they feel sorry for her. She doesn’t want their pity, so has decided to play the game with Jack in the hopes that with him around, everyone will see she isn’t mooning over her ex. And that she is fully capable of planning and executing a wedding for him and his bride-to-be.

But Jack and his sister have secrets of their own. Like being kidnapped and not ever wanting to go home. Or the fact that Roxie stole Stevie’s boyfriend knowing fully that he was already taken. Plus, Jack doesn’t want to admit that he is falling for Stevie. That although she shows the world a tough tomboy she is really a softie on the inside.

I really did enjoy reading this book. And now knowing that it is part of a series, I want to go and read the first one. AND can’t wait until the third one comes out in June. (especially since there was a teaser in the back of my book, to give me an idea of what is to come!)

All in all, if you like romance, I would say to give this author a chance. There is a story that goes along with the romance. The Baci sisters trying to save their winery, or Jack & his sister trying to escape their pasts. So, it makes it worth the read.

Here are some places to find/learn more about the book:

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8310766-then-he-kissed-me

http://www.amazon.com/Then-He-Kissed-Three-Kisses/dp/0425239179/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1294538473&sr=8-1

and here is a way to follow the author on twitter:

@ChristieRidgway

Until Next Time….Happy Reading!!!

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Crave by JR Ward

Hey there!! I know that I haven’t been on here in a while to update or blog about anything. Life has been pretty hectic (lost my job, got pregnant & put on bed rest, let off of bed rest, court for my brother….etc…) and for a moment, I wasn’t reading anything. Then by the time I started reading again, I felt like it was too late to blog about those books….which is wrong 😦 So, here I am back at it again. I hope I can be forgiven and that we can all be book buddies again 🙂

So, I bought a kindle. It is my new bestie. I pretty much take it with me everywhere….okay technically I do take it everywhere because once I got my iPhoneI downloaded the Kindle app….now I never go anywhere without at least 100+ books with me…huge nerd.

I downloaded the newest book from JR Ward, Crave. It’s from her Fallen Angels series. The second one in, after Covet. So far, I am definitely enjoying these books. I decided on them, because I got hooked into Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series about vampires and such. Totally would recommend those books to anyone….well anyone old enough to appreciate a really detailed sex scenes, anyways 🙂

Covet is the second book (as I already mentioned), these books are based on a final fight between ultimate good and evil with one human being the keystone piece who gets 7 chances to help 7 souls. He has to find the soul, and try to swing them either toward good or evil. At the end of the 7 souls, which ever side (angels or demons) has the most souls (4-3) is the victor. This means that they get total control of Heaven, Hell, and all that’s in between.

I’m really liking these books, even though I’m not usually into books that have some kind of religious overtone. But, I like Ward’s style of writing. You can get sucked into a book and have a vested interest in the outcome and well being of the characters. Which is a sign of an excellent author from my point of view. Of course it helps that she is a NY Times best selling author 🙂

In Covet, Jim Heron (the chosen human) is off to find his second soul to save and to beat Devina (the head demon). This book kind of confused me because it was written from so many different points of view. One minute, I was in Jim’s mind, the next Devina’s, then Isaac (the soul to save), etc.

I did find myself bored a few times. I understand giving backstory and filling people in, really I do. But, everytime the flashback occured back to Iraq or Afganistan (cant recall which,  just that it was middle east and wartime) I would start skimming the page to get past it as fast as possible.

I like the depth of the characters, and the struggles and flaws of each one. It makes them all appear more real and more relateable. I do like the shifting points of view, as long as it’s not too many. In this book, I felt that looking through the eyes of some 6-8 people was a little much. I always wanted to get back to Isaac or Jim mostly, and sometimes Grier (the female attorny who falls for Isaac).

Overall, I would say this book was good. Not my favorite, definitely not the bottom of my list either. But, I was worried that when I began this series that it would be over quickly even though it said there was 7 souls to save or condemn. I figured it would be hard to read a book from the soul’s point of view and then watch them get condemned. What can I say, I’m an eternal optomist. 🙂 I was presently surprised by the ending of this book though. I didn’t see it coming. And since I am trying not to write out spoilers or kill a book for anyone, I have limited the actual details that I include in my reviews.

Until next time….Happy Reading !!!

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Hot Rocks & Big Jack

Okay, so these two books are different, sort of? LoL. Nora Roberts IS JD Robb, so these are still both relating, I promise 🙂 . I started reading Hot Rocks on Friday when I went to my sisters in Seattle. About two maybe three? chapters in…I began to get this feeling that I have read this book before….Don’t get me wrong, I reread books all the time…on purpose. I don’t like spending money on a book that I already own, unless it’s to give away on my blog or twitter 🙂 which I might just do with this set… 🙂 If anyone who reads this, likes JD Robb or Nora Roberts and ever read “Remember When” these are those books. As far as Ican tell. I’m in the process of moving and my Remember When book is in a box somewhere. But, what gave it away was the fact that in Hot Rock the store is called Remember When…see how quick I am? LoL.

But, in all fairness, I didn’t remember everything that happened in the book, and since it’s only about 250 pages, no big loss. The book starts out in a smal town…well by the discription, it’s bigger than where I live in Forks 🙂 , Laine Tavish is in her antique shop when a little old man comes in. He is sad that she doesn’t remember him and gives her a business card, then leaves. Next thing Laine hears are tires squeeling, a thud, and sees that the old man who was just in her store has been hit by a car. She rushes out to him, and he tries to talk. He winds up singing part of a song from her childhood memories and then she realizes she does know this guy. He’s her unlce Willie. Not really, her unlce, but you know the uncle by proxy that we all have? The one that has been friends with one of our parents soooo long, that to not call them uncle/aunt is an insult? Anyways, off point, LoL. He mumbles something about “He knows your here” and “Hide the pooch”. Needless to say she is completely confused. The only he she things Willie can be talking about is her father Jack o’Hara aka Big Jack (he, he…the other book title). But, there is no reason for Big Jack to instill fear in Willie, since Big Jack and Willie go back forever.

Enter Max Gannon. A stud if there ever was one. (I gotta pause here just to say that Nora Roberts/JD Robb can put a man together on paper! Ones that make you just want to drool all over yourself and rush to a cold shower…in a good way of course:) ). But Max, is a PI for an insurance company that is looking to recover about 30 million worth of diamonds. The inside man from the job was murdered, and from what Max has put together is there was 4 people in the plan for the heist: Willie, Big Jack, Myers (the inside guy), and Alex Crew (a VERY bad guy with no scruples). Max picks up Willie’s trail and finding him dead in a some po-dunk town, wonders what brought him here. Doing searches on all parties, he has found that Big Jack O’Hara had a daughter Elaine O’Hara….and well, well, well Laine Tavish (short for elaine? maybe?) owns the shop that Willie was ran down in front of.

Of course, a hot and yummy romance starts between them. At first, for Max, it’s all about finding the diamonds…what’s the harm in spending time with a beautiful woman while trying to solve a case. Side note: he gets 5 % of whatever part of 30 million he recovers.

It gets really crazy, when you get to read from Alex Crews point of view for a chapter or two throughout the book. Draws you right in and has you hoping that everything will work out and that we will get a happy ending. Crew is certifiable, total whack job. He doesn’t care who he has to hurt to get his diamonds. He wants all of them. He never intended to share them with the other 3 people. They were just pawns to get everything out. But, Big Jack knew who he was and went into the wind, figuring Alex would follow him & not Willie. And that’s how Alex finds Laine. And a new plan forms…a very nasty one if I do say so myself.

Now….on to Big Jack….

I know, I’m horrible. Just leaving you hanging at the end of that review, but I hate spoilers. And I want you to read it and be as into the books as me!

This one if with LT Eve Dallas who I freaking love!! She is so awesome. She is a kick ass cop. And let me tell you, when I first started this series…about 8 or 9 years ago now…Dallas was the reason I started to go to college to become a homicide detective. I wanted to be this person, you know? We all have our role models…mine just happed to be a fictional one…sue me…lol. But, I had a son a few years later and decided that a cop’s kid was not a good life to give my son. So, I changed my goals. Not complaining, mind you, I wouldn’t trade my son for the world. But, I still love reading these books, and living vecariously thru Dallas.

In the begining of this book, Sam Gannon (granddaughter of Max & Laine Gannaon from Hot Rocks) is just back from a two week book tour promoting her book…wait for it…HOT ROCKS!! lol. She talked her grandparents into letting her write the story about the boosted diamonds. Only 3/4 of the diamonds were ever recovered. Sam wrote the book more for the romance of her grandparents, but the diamond hiest was a big selling point for the book.

When she walks into her house, it’s trashed. All her stuff is thrown around and destroyed. She pulls out her ‘link (cell phone) and calls her BFF Andrea (who was supposed to be housesitting) and when Andrea doesn’t pick up she starts flipping out on the voicemail. About how if Andrea was going to throw a party fine, but at least clean up!! She is ranting about it, when she starts upstairs and smells something dis-gus-ting. She is saying that Andrea is dead the next time she sees her when she opens the bedroom door and sees Andrea laying dead on the floor.

The cops get called…my favorite crime fighting team….Dallas & Peabody. These books are from a little while before the Fantasy in Death book a just reviewed, and as such, Peadbody has just been promoted to Dectective and is trying to find her grove. She is trying out all manner of outfits to find her “detective style” it is pretty hilarious.

They review the scene and find out about the books. They think that Andrea is a bystander, not the target. That the diamonds are the target, and that the person had to kill Andrea because she came in during the search. That the killer had to know that Sam was out of town, but didn’t know that there was a house sitter. Surprise!

So Dallas starts poking around and finds out who all has the security system codes, going to the cleaning crew…she finds out there that the girl who usually cleans Sam’s house didn’t come into work this morning. Now, she begins to think…a set up? Maybe the cleaning lady and someone decided to go for the diamonds. But, it doesn’t fit. The cleaning lady has been in the house 2 times a month for at least 8 months or so. Plenty of time to find the diamonds if they were there to find. On a hunch, she calls the morgue for any Jane Doe’s that came in over the weekend…and hits pay dirt. A female was brought in, burnt to a crisp on Sunday morning. Harsh. Tina Cobb….just another innocent bystander…shame.

Now, Eve knows the diamonds are the root of it. She and Roarke put an air tight security on Sam to make sure nothing happens to her. Because the way that Dallas see it, if she was the killer, that would be her next step. Dallas has also figured that this person feels entitled to the diamons…someone like Alex Crews son. Who has fallen off the map since the he was like 7 years old. The mother went into the wind to try and escape from Crew, to protect her son.

Eve now has the problem of finding the killer, finding the diamonds, and finding a kid who is now grown up. I love it when it gets difficult. 🙂

Until next time…Happy Reading!!

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