Goddess of the Hunt by Tessa Dare
Stubborn Heroine Warning!

Lucy, I'm home! Lucy is the heroine of Goddess of the Hunt by Tessa Dare. And for those of you who don't like stubborn heroines, this book may just get on your nerves. However, if you can get past that you won't want to miss the emergence of another gifted writer. This is the beginning of a trilogy: Surrender of a Siren, in August and A Lady of Persuasion, follows in September.

This is one where the heroine has always been infatuated with her boyhood friend Toby, Toby is interested in Sophia and Jeremy is in lust with Lucy. There are a few funny moments and a few embarrassing moments and times when if Lucy had been a little less stubborn, certain things wouldn't have happened. Anyway, after a few mix-ups Lucy and Jeremy marry and the story does a slight change, because it is at this point that Lucy grows up. You are either going to hate Lucy or like her. The attractions between Lucy and Jeremy is great, though they both struggle with it, but this is a romance book after all and those two should have given up the struggle long before they did. In the end these two characters complement each other.

I loved all of the secondary characters and thought Sophia was funny. Incidentally Lucy wants to hate Sophia because she's everything Lucy isn't, but they become friends. And, I enjoyed that part of the story. There is also a very hot wardrobe scene.

I am looking forward to the next one, which is Sophia's story.

Number 1 in a trilogy
Time: Regency England
Sensuality Rating: Warm/Hot

Reynold deBurgh, the Dark Knight by Deborah Simmons
This is a hard one to write, a triply hard one to write. I really wanted this to be a good book, first of all because Deborah Simmons is one of my favorite authors and she has written one of my 10 favorite books. Secondly, she had some contract problems about three years ago and has been struggling ever since, trying to find a new niche. Thirdly, this brings back the ever popular de Burgh family. Maybe I was hoping for too much.

This book was boring, it had none of her trademark humor and much to my chagrin, some of her new mystery mode was thrown in. I wish Harlequin would have left her alone.

Bottom line, if you have read the other books in the deBurgh series, you will want to read this one about Reynold. If you haven't read any in the series, then you could probably pass on it.

Tear in eye.

Series: De Burgh series
Time: Medieval England
Sensuality Rating: Warm


The Notorious Bridegroom by Kit Donner
What a bummer! I made it to chapter 5 before I realized I just could not read anymore.

I know how hard it is to write, so I'm always eager to give a new author a chance. This book didn't work for me, not because of the plot, which was standard fair and in the hands of an experienced writer would have been just find. The heroine had the beginnings of the dreaded Too Stupid To Live syndrome and the hero was boring, even though he was a SPY. The problem was the writing, it wasn't smooth, it had so many adjectives that is was obvious she had a Thesaurus at her fingertips. And while I am a big fan of historical accuracy and getting into the feel of the time period, this book was filled with too many mundane everyday chores presented in a boring choppy voice. This was Beginning Writing 101 and should have been sent back for major rewrites. Cannot recommend this one. Sorry, Ms. Donner.

Time period: Regency England
Sensuality: Had the makings of Hot


The Twilight of the Queen by Susan Carroll

This author is one of the few that doesn't have a website, this is the publishing house

Warning: Series!!!

Yes, this is a book in a series called "Cheney of Faire Isle". In fact this is the 5th book and should be the last, however, I'm thinking there were some unresolved problems with Meg (a thirteen year old secondary character) so, maybe we will return to the Faire Isle.

Even though this book is about the Cheney sisters, I would really nickname it The Dark Queen saga. In this case the dark queen is Catherine De Medici. Catherine De Medici was one of the most interesting historical personages around (my opinion), she was a contemporary of Elizabeth I, when she was young her family was overthrown and she was almost murdered, she was married at the age of 14 to the Francis II of France. Francis will never get any award for being a wonderful husband, he flaunted his mistresses in front of Catherine, going so far as to hold one on his lap while he fondled her breast and doing so in front of Catherine. During his reign, Catherine was excluded from any kind of political control. If half of the rumors of Catherine are true, this was probably a good thing. Remember, she was a De Medici, so, she was very well versed in the art of political intrigue. She really gave birth to some awful children, three of her sons sat on the throne, she is rumored to have poisoned a number of people, she had a group of women called the "flying squadron" (sex in exchange for information type of women), her court was filled with intrigue and corruption and she is said to be responsible for the St. Bartholomew massacre of the Huguenots, although some historians disagree. She consulted with Nostradamus and was said to dabble in the Black Arts. Really an amazing person and she was real! Which leads us to the books.

This book, Twilight of the Queen is what I would call an historical fiction book with a touch of magic and a touch of romance. The romance in this one is between Lady Jane Danvers who has taken refuge on the Faire Isle and Xavier, the half brother of the Cheney sisters. I can't say too much about the plot, because it would really take too long. Let's just say that Catherine wants something and it is on the Faire Isle and she tries to use Xavier to get it.

Susan Carroll does a great job of blending historical fact with fiction, and her take on Catherine De Medici is very interesting. In fact, all five of these books are filled with wonderful historical things. This is a stand alone book, however, I really think that all books should be read, just so you can experience a very very interesting time in the history of France. This is a great series!

Also, even though I would say that this book is classified as historical fiction it has one of the greatest romantic last sentences that I've read in a long time.

Other books in the series: The Dark Queen (Ariane story), The Courtesan (Gabrelle's story), The Silver Rose (Miri's story) and The Huntress (Catroina's story). And, if you want to see a really great costume movie about Catherine DeMedici, check out the French film Queen Margot. It's full of great costumes, and even though it may twist some of the facts (what movie doesn't?), it is really quite a breath-taking film. And it has some of my favorite ugly-sexy actors in it.

Time period: Late Renaissance
Place: France and Faire Isle
Sensuality rating: Warm

The Devil in My Bed by Celeste Bradley
Lady Melody is panicking before her wedding. To calm her down, a family friend tells her the story of her parents' romance. But who exactly are they? We flashback to a foundling being left on the steps of a gentlemen club, where we will be entertained by three men in future books. (Sounds like a movie, ummmh.)

So begins the first in the trilogy of Runaway Brides, The Devil in my Bed by Celeste Bradley. I was really prepared to like this book, it had a promising beginning. But the more I read, the less I liked the hero Aidan. He was just too unforgiving. In fact, I didn't like the heroine either, she keep her secret for far too long.

I liked the character Melody, however, pet peeve: she's three not five. Don't have her doing five year old things and talking like a five year old. There were some funny moments in this book, like when the two bachelors were trying to deal with a three year old girl. I really had a hard time plowing through this one and wonder why other reviews I've read called this a rollicking romance. Am I missing something here? Maybe, it's because I just read a truly funny book not too long ago. And here is the difference between Celeste Bradley and Julia Quinn, Julia Quinn used modern language and I thought the book was so funny I didn't care; Celeste Bradley used modern language and it really irritated me. Funny is very subjective.

Since this is the first in the series, I will probably read the next ones, I'm just hoping they are better or I might just take Celeste Bradley off of my auto-buy list.

Very disappointing read.

First in Runaway Brides series
Time period: Regency, I think
Place: England
Sensuality Rating: Very Hot, I was surprised this came from Ms. Bradley


A Duke of Her Own by Eloisa James
A Duke of Her Own, is the final book in Eloisa James Desperate Duchesses series and it's one of the best. Even though this book stands on it's own, I would recommend that you read all the Duchesses books because the hero of this one Leopold Dautry, Duke of Villiers' story has been threaded through all of them.

If you are familiar with Ms. James writing style, you know that she usually has more than one story going on in her books, however, this one is devoted entirely to the relationship between Leopold and Eleanor. And thank goodness, there isn't too much about a chess game in this one, just Shakespeare. There were some wonderfully written detailed scenes in an orphanage that were really creepy. The one qualm I had with this one was that Leopold took an awfully long time to see the light and also an awfully long time to see through the character of Lisette The Lisette part of the book is what is keeping me from giving this book an A rating, I didn't care for the way Leopold lusted after Eleanor while he intended to marry Lisette (even thought that is explained away.)

All in all, this is a good book.

Part of Desperate Duchessess series
Time period: Georgian
Place: England
Sensuality: Hot


What Happens In London by Julia Quinn
Julia Quinn is an interesting author because she peppers her books with 21st century verbiage, however, in her case I overlook it. In her latest attempt, What Happens in London, there is that occasional word, however (and this is a big however;) the book was so much fun to read that I totally became immersed in it.

I loved this book, it was funny, witty and the repartee between the hero and heroine was pleasurable to read.

Harry grew up having a drunk for a father (and that part of the book was really touching), Olivia's problem (actually I'm not sure she had one). Anyway, Harry moves next door and Olivia spies on him and she's not very good at it, because he's on to her right away. And, here is where subjective comedy comes in, I had a laugh out loud moment during the spying scene, not a chuckle a laugh, a big laugh. And, I keep remembering the moment, so I continued to giggle when I was sitting at my desk later.

Once they finally meet in person, their relationship changes from dislike to love in a most fun way. I guess I would say this book is charming.

There were only two minor qualms, in the last portion of the book a kidnapping, chase, shoot-out is thrown in and my opinion is, hey Julia, you didn't need it! The other qualm was Harry's brother Edward. Edward was headed down the same path as their father, however, the resolution to his problem was not shown in the book. But, these were just minor humbugs and shouldn't keep anyone from reading this most enjoyable book.

This book is a most enjoyable read.

Time Period: Regency England
Part of a series
Sensuality Rating: Warm


Sleepless in Scotland by Karen Hawkins
This is why I love Karen Hawkins, I started this book Sunday and finished it on Monday. Her books for the most part do not drain my brain, they are what I would call fluff. Sleepless in Scotland is the fourth book in the MacLean Curse series.

Now, let me say, this book has one of my pet peeves (and this is a long list): TWINS! I hates twins to pieces! However, in this book they are not pretending to be each other, so it's ok. The hero, Hugh, is trying to save his brother from marriage and the heroine Catroina is trying to save her twin sister from ruining herself. Of course, everything back fires; Hugh and Catroina are forced to marry. After the wedding, the rest of the book is filled with getting to know each other.

There isn't any Mary Balogh angst or Julia Quinn comedy, it is a quick mediocre read and if you want to read the series, then you need to read this one. If you do, you will probably not remember it after a few days...nothing really bad, just a plain ol' read.

By the way, the curse is the guys can control the weather.

Not every book has to be mind blowing.

Time period: Regency
Place: England
Sensuality Rating: Hot


Mystic Warrior by Patricia Rice
Oh, woe is me. You know Patricia Rice as always been one of my auto-buy authors, I have all of her books or should I say, all of her historical/paranormal. She's one of those Signet regency authors and one of my favorite books of hers written in 1992 was Mad Marie's Daughter. This one however, The Mystic Warrior, took forever for me to read. This is the third and last in her series of Mystic Isle and in my opinion the weakest.

Maybe, I was just getting tired of the "in the hands of the Gods" or the hero not being able to control his powers or the heroine being cold. It just went on and on. There was a quest for a chalice that I didn't care about, a hoaky save the island with all of the islanders joining in, the heroine reuniting with her dead parents for a icky goodbye. The romance was one of those romances where the hero and heroine are destined for each other, they have climaxes outside of their bodies and they know when a baby is planted in the womb. Also, the hero is responsible for her father's death and he really is responsible for the death, it's not a pretend responsibility.

Enough whining, I just couldn't get into this book and the only reason I'm giving it the high rating I'm giving it is because I haven't given up on Patricia Rice. Yet.

Time Period: 1700's (French Revolution)
Place: France and Mystic Isle
Sensuality Rating: Hot, even the out of body sex.