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Atunah's Romance Haus

I love to read and I love to read Romance. Any kind of romance. Although, I always come back to Historical Romance. I'll also read Urban Fantasy, Historical Mysteries and Historical Fiction. 

The Madness of Viscount Atherbourne by Elisa Braden

The Madness of Viscount Atherbourne - Elisa Braden

Just a tad too much lusting in this one too early, with not enough tension buildup. Much better in that regard in the second half.

Overall good though, page turner. Will read the next.

White Balance by Anslie Paton

White Balance - Ainslie Paton

There were lots of errors in this book like odd sentences and repeated words and comma instead of apostrophe, etc. Those kind of things. Threw me out a bit. Story was pretty good though.


Just disappointed in the lack of editing.

The Dirt on Ninth Grave

The Dirt on Ninth Grave - Darynda Jones

Tough one. I was not too happy about the last one. Not yet liking where this story is going at this point.

I loved this series in the early books. That kind of humor just works for me with still having serious tones throughout.


I really didn't like some parts of this book, loved some poignant scenes at other times, sometimes liked the humor banter with the group, other times it felt just not true. Left me a bit cold.


And most of all, for me this book is a perfect example why 1st person is not my favorite thing at all. I usually don't like it at all, but lots of UF is written in 1st, so I don't have much choice. But this story in this book especially, highlighted to me the big shortcomings with it. I needed the POV of the other characters. It was like half of the story was missing without that. I don't want to put spoilers down, but it just didn't work as much for me, partly of the 1st person in this particular installment.


It worked fine in the early books. I think I get fatigue much much faster with a series that is in 1st person. At some point I just feel closed in and the character starts to annoy. But it is what it is.


This and the last book is not up to what the early books were. I might continue, or I might not. We'll see.


Origin In Death by J.D. Robb

Origin in Death - J.D. Robb

Out of all the books in series so far, this has been the most terrifying to me. And there have been some ugly and horrible murders in other books. But this story creates a deeply human horror in me that will stay in my head a while I think. And even with that, it was probably one of my favorites in the series.


When many series go off the rails after so many installments, this one just keeps going and getting better and better.

Cold Hearted Rake by Lisa Kleypas

Cold-Hearted Rake - Lisa Kleypas

Oh dear this is difficult to review. First I am so so happy to have Lisa Kleypas back to writing historical romance. 

Issue I have here is that the hero starts out so unpleasant and wimpy and just changes on the flip once he lusts after the heroine. I had such a hard time warming up to her and just really feel their actual romance, beyond just lust. He wants her, in bed. But I just don't get a sense of why he "likes' her.

Then of course enters Winterborne. And from that point on all my feels go there.
That moment when Winterborne sees Helen for the first time, that one brief glimpse, told me more about the character of Helen through Winterbornes eyes than the whole book managed to convey about the actual heroine Kathleen. I don't know how to explain it. It was the same when one moment Helen looks into Winterbornes eyes later when she helps him pick something up. That look, so much potential and feels.
I never really got a sense of the essence that are Kathleen and Devon. But with just a couple of looks and lines, I am fully invested in a secondary potential coupling.

I kept writing Katherine instead of Kathleen in this review, that is how much I never got her. :)

I do like the cast of characters over all, if I look at it as a assemble cast book. Love West the brother of the hero, love the twins and the servants. But as a romance between 2 people, it just didn't work for me as well, with those particular people.

Overall I liked it, just not the couple in this book as much as the other parts. Their ending and HEA was a bit rushed, but oh boy the set up for the next book really really intrigues me. Looking forward to some meat to dig in. :)

Very much want the Winterborne book now.

The Highwayman by Kerrigan Byrne

The Highwayman - Kerrigan Byrne

This had a lot of my romance catnips. Tortured, scarred, brutal and cold hero, sweeping, all enduring love. Great side characters. A heroine so endearing in her inability to give up on love.


Its the kind of sweeping adventure type romance with the overcast of the dark underbelly and villains that I devour. I loved every moment of this journey.

I love historical romances that take me on a emotional roller coaster like this. 


My first by this author and will not be the last.

Enemy Within by Marysol James

Enemy Within (Unseen Enemy Book 1) - Marysol James

I did like the the story and the writing and if it hadn't been so short I would have rated it higher. Problem for me was that it just had chunks of story missing, lots of skipping way ahead which took all the emotion and tension out of the heavy issues. Like reading a book with chapters missing. That is what it felt to me, especially towards the end. It was quite a let down.

I heard this author recommended so much and I really love the story and the emotional punch, at least at the start and when stuff isn't being skipped. But looking at the authors books they are all this short, some even shorter. More like novellas. Kind of sad as I was so hoping to have found a new author and now I don't know if I want to continue reading the series, even though I want to know about the other characters. But I don't want more of this abruptness and feeling of missing chapters. Just baffling to me really the last chunk of this one.

Not a word from the heroine anymore at some point which was so out of place considering the treatment. Just bam to treatment, skip days, week, months, I have no clue and then end.

I just didn't really get a real satisfying HEA and I felt cheated of it with all this build up. I kind of like the HEA/HFN to be on screen so to speak, not mostly off screen. It makes a romance feel incomplete when reading.

Sigh. Could have been so awesome. Sadface.

Eighth Grave After Dark by Darynda Jones

Eighth Grave After Dark  - Darynda Jones

So far my least favorite of the series. Some stuff just seemed off. I can't explain it better. Some stuff seemed rushed. The last one was so fantastic that this was a bit of a let down.

And some stuff just seemed like it was dropped or rewritten mid book and other events didn't make sense base on actions of previous books.


A couple of times there was like a repeat of something that had already bee explained a few pages earlier, like the author forgot she already "told" us.
The explanation of why she had to give the bottle to the baby was one such instant.


And all this buildup with the big meanie and then a couple of pages and it was done. Well for now, but lots of characters felt neutered to me here.


I do still love the characters and the end at least gave me some intriguing possibilities.

I just missed a lot of the stuff here that I loved in the other installments. The cases, the mysterious stuff that getting more shocking the more they found out about it. I don't know, it was just lacking a bit of heart.

I've Got My Duke to Keep me Warm by Kelly Bowen

I've Got My Duke to Keep Me Warm - Kelly Bowen

Another great new to me author, can't wait to read the next. Really enjoyed this one ad it got me out of a reading slump I had been in. The theme, the plot, the characters, it all worked for me and it was a total page turner. Awesome hero and heroine. And the side characters are well fleshed out and not just fillers.

Tough subject was handled in an interesting way with wit and humor sprinkled through, along with deeply felt pain.

The Courtesan Duchess by Joanna Shupe

The Courtesan Duchess (Wicked Deceptions) - Joanna Shupe

This one was a surprise to me. I am always happy to find a new author in historical romance, just happy authors still write in the sub-genre. We lost so many jumping to other sub-genres or other genres all together.

I really enjoyed this one. I am not usually a big fan of historicals where the couple is already married as I like to see them getting there so to speak. The journey. But it still had all that as the hero basically ran right after the wedding not even staying for the wedding night. So they didn't really know each other and I still got the journey. And a interesting one at that.

This is such a readable book. Not the best word to describe, but I can't find a better one. One of those where I can start reading and I am quickly in the story and want to keep turning the pages eagerly. One of those. I rarely put it down until I finished.

As infuriating the hero and his actions were, I never got the feeling that he didn't deserve his HEA. I think that was important considering how careless he was abandoning his bride and not looking back. It was still believable. Same goes for the actions of the heroine, pretending to be a courtesan.

It all sounds and is far fetched, but it worked for me here. Again, readability and believability in the characters and their journey is a must when I read romance.

It is also very sensually written. The combination of the sensuality and steam with the emotions of the characters added to the motivations of the characters.

I am moving on to the 2nd in the series right away.

Legacy of the Highlands by Harriet Schultz

Legacy of the Highlands - Harriet Schultz

I've had this book on my to read shelf for some time now. Moved it to the top recently and I had only wanted to read a sample to see how I would like it. I read straight through pretty much to a couple of 100 pages. So much for sampling :)

It just started so strong out the gate that I just needed to know. Page turner for me for sure.


The suspense was really well done here and I liked the change of scenery from many of the other romantic suspense that I read.

I don't like putting spoilers in reviews so I'll just say that I was really captivated by the scottish suspense part going back to the 14th century.
I did look some of the things up as I was intrigued. But then anything scottish is like catnip to me :)


I wasn't sure how a romance would work between the leads, considering the heroine just lost her husband. It worked though. The dead husband is basically dead at the start, so there wasn't this bonding with the reader, or it would have been an issue for me. That isn't a spoiler as its in the blurb.


There were a couple of times where I would liked to have experienced the action happening as it was happening, not being told afterwards.


It was a really good page turning romantic suspense am looking forward to the next which I think picks up 2 years from the end of this one.


Read this with my Scribd subscription

Wreck of the Nebula Dream by Veronica Scott

Wreck of the Nebula Dream - Veronica  Scott

Overall I really enjoyed this ride.


I have to preface this with saying that I went into this thinking it was a sci-fi romance. It was recommended to me as such. The cover kind of also implies it would be a romance.
It doesn't work as a romance though as there is almost no development of a couple and they go from barely having looked at each other to starry eyes and probing tongue. There is no sex going on, just kissing. :)


The POV is from the hero only so there isn't really much of the inner workings of the heroine. Not sure what else to call her, but again, this is not a romance. Its a fast action space adventure with some romantic elements. But barely.

So if I don't try to look at it what I thought it was, it was non stop fun and edge of seat for me. It was a fun motley crew that has to fight against odds after odds once the cruise ship space liner goes to the dogs.


What I found so great here was the way the author made me feel I was there, the urgency of fighting your way through obstacles and enemies. This read like a fun sci fi adventure movie for me and for that I loved it.


But now I have to go back and again try to find sci fi romance that actually is sci-fi romance. They are so hard to find.


I will be reading more of this author, I just won't be going in expecting sci-fi romance anymore. :)

Highlander in Her Bed by Allie MacKay

Highlander In Her Bed - Allie Mackay

A bit uneven. Some cute stuff, some over the top fluff, but also some stuff that really annoyed me. 


Ache by P.J Post

Ache (The Punk Series, Book 1) - P.J. Post

I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I started reading this book. Its set in the early 80's, which is a time I have many memories off. Oh do I ever :)


Right away I was intrigued by Connor the main character who takes us through the book from his POV. There is such a vulnerability there from the onset that I went from wanting to slap him at times and then just give him a hug. I got a sense early on that things have not been easy for him, yet there is a kind of unadulterated joy of life and being in the now that was quite something. He's young, confused, frustrated and of course often acts like he doesn't give a darn.

The way the 1st person is written really brings this character to life in a very intimate way. 


I was quickly drawn into this story and pretty much read it all the way through with just some pesky sleep in between.


What I really loved a lot was the smart dialogue between the characters.

Sense of time and place is also very well done. Connor is in a punk type band in the early 80's and we follow him from 16 to 18 in this book.


I am going to continue reading Connors story, Tonya's and everyone else. Its gritty, hopeful and lively all rolled in one. Kind of like a coming of age story.

Limelight by K. Ball

Limelight - Krista D. Ball

Contemporary romance with adult characters both in their 30's. Thank you very much :)
Hero is 37 and a famous, really famous actor.

The Heroine is a very successful writer, whose book was made into a movie. The hero is the lead actor in that movie and that is how they eventually meet.

The heroine has some issues with crowds which I thought was well presented. It also creates a interesting dynamic considering how famous he is and the fans.

What I liked is that even though the hero is the famous actor, its not a story of rich boy, poor girl. The heroine is successful and wealthy in her own right so there is no power gap between them.

There is a nice build up sensuality that is really sexy. Its not a super steamy read by any means and it was just fine the way it was. Sexy was definitely there.

I liked the fun interplay between them and how even though there was some shyness on the heroines part, she still kept her wit and head. The little tidbits about writer life and some extent of actor life I found interesting.

Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold by Ellen O'Connell

Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold - Ellen O'Connell

I'll have to mull this over some more before being able to write a coherent review.

But what comes to my mind is the word authentic. If felt authentic and real. The characters felt real and the sense of time and places was really strong.

It was also very romantic. There is a lot going on and I enjoyed everything, all the details of life. The difficult and the moments of sunshine. What complicated relationships between the members of the family.

And as quiet of a man Cord is, the way the story is told I get more of a sense of him than some other heroes that talk 10 times as much.


I have had this on my tbr for quite some time and I am really glad I finally moved it up. I am also glad that by now the author has a few other novels penned I can read. :)


When people talk about the gems in self publishing, this is what they mean. I don't re-read often, but I have a feeling I will do so with this one down the road.