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atunah

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. 

Currently reading

Kit
Noreen A. Reilly-Harrington
Feversong: A Fever Novel
Karen Marie Moning

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.

Loving a Norseman by Kris Tualla

Loving the Norseman - Kris Tualla

I thoroughly enjoyed this story. First off, I was intrigued by the setting. Hero having lived in Greenland and making his way back to his home in Norway, gets shipwrecked near the heroines home in Scotland.

 

The sense of time and place came through wonderfully for me. As she heals him from his injuries, Grier and Rydar have to communicate without speaking the same language. That was so well done throughout this novel. The dialogue and how one picks up words here and there, it just very realistically done. I say this as a non native english speaker.

The reader kind of learns along with the hero, not just language, but customs, everything. This gives the couple a nice chance to grow together, which I like. Rather than insta-love.

 

I am looking forward reading more from this author. I just have the sense there is a lot of research going into these stories and it shows.

In the Prince's Bed by Sabrina Jeffries

In the Prince's Bed (Royal Brotherhood) - Sabrina Jeffries

I like Sabrina Jeffries usually, but I didn't like the lying and deceiving all the way through by the hero mostly, but some of it also by the heroine. 

It just kept me from being invested in the couple from the beginning and by the time the truth came out, there wasn't any time for me to like them as a couple anymore. It wasn't totally horrible, just ok overall. 

And the other thing that really bugged me was that the hero kept using seduction to make her not question anything when she had suspicions. It was constant. It seemed just icky at times.

Unraveled by Courtney Milan

Unraveled (The Turner Series) (Volume 3) - Courtney Milan

My least favorite so far of the Milan books I read. I am not sure if I can put in words or put my finger on why exactly. I read the first 2 in the series, so I knew some of the back story of Smite. I just couldn't really connect to him and his demons here. I felt bad for what happened to him, but still didn't get some of the motivations behind his actions.

 

I really didn't like how he got the heroine to be his mistress so quickly. An innocent even. Which considering she was raised on the road by a theater group, was a bit far fetched. I just didn't feel any "feels" for lack of better word between them. The whole thing felt just so icky, considering her desperation. Didn't make him look good there. 

 

The villain was a bit cartoonish.

 

Something was just off for me. Like I was standing beside the story while reading, rather then connected in the story.

The first half was also really slow and it didn't really pick up for me until the last half, or the last third.

I don't have to love every book by an author I like, so I'll be starting the Brother Sinisters series soon.

World After by Susan Ee

World After - Susan Ee

Oh no. I have to wait until mid 2015 for the next one. Oh no.................

Contact by Susan Grant

Contact - Susan Grant

Science Fiction Romance happens to be one of my favorite sub genres of romance, along with historical, historical paranormal and time travel. Heck, I love most romance subgenres :)

 

But finding well written non erotic titles in this sub genre is not easy. Now don't get me wrong, I don't mind reading some fluffy erotic earthling kidnap story once in a while, but often its all sex and no story. Just like I sometimes want fluffy historicals and other times more deeper and more researched ones, I want to read SF romance with world building and plot. 

 

And I hit the jackpot with this title. It has many of my catnips. :). I prefer the kind of SFR where Earth is either still there, or like earthlings having had to leave or such things. Like colonization of other planets. I guess I just prefer some connection still with humans.

 

Several things worked for me in Contact. Heroine is not of the wimpy kind, she is capable. She is a commercial airline pilot and shows humanity and willingness to look beyond the surface. Hero is also a wonderful character. Hard life, so seems cold and and closed off.

 

I loved the world building and the images it created in my mind. There are many other characters that are just as vivid as the main ones creating a full experience. 

 

I enjoyed the heck out of this one and I am sure I will have a let down now with not finding many more like this. And yes, romance readers want world building and plot and story and characters and emotions. I want it all and thank you to this author for creating all that in a Science Fiction Romance. :)

 

First of this author I read and now I will go through her back list. 

Christmas Moon by Elizabeth Lane

Christmas Moon - Elizabeth Lane

This time travel just didn't do it for me at all. And it didn't even have much to do with the plot holes, heck its a time travel. I love them and I am used to just feel the entertainment of them, rather than get all logical. 

What didn't work for me was all the diaper changing, leaking breasts and all the baby stuff all throughout. There were numerous mentions of the leaking breasts, I kid not. Milk running down her shirt/dress, stinky cloth diapers, her being horny for the smelly hero. 

There really wasn't much of any other story other than the birth and the feeding and changing of the baby. All while stuck in a cabin with a smelly hot guy lol. 

I knew that the heroine was pregnant from reading the blurb, but I didn't know the whole book would be about almost nothing but all the baby stuff. At the end I just kept changing pages to get to the ending and see how its resolved. 

I was really hoping for more story of the mining community and more of anything really.

Point Of No Return by Tiffany Snow

Point of No Return - Tiffany Snow

5th and final book in the Kathleen Turner series.

 

Waffling between 3 and 4 stars on this one. Loved the first 3 books. 4th was dramatic. This last and 5th I had some issues that others have already mentioned better than I could. But overall I enjoyed the ride this series took me on. Page turners.


I am just left a bit sad like I knew early on I would. Not sure I want to read another triangle type series any time soon again, or ever. :)

Wishing for a Highlander by Jessi Gage

Wishing for a Highlander (Highland Wishes) - Jessi Gage

This was an uneven time travel romance for me. I love that subgenre of romance and I am quite able to suspend lots of reality so to speak in favor of pure entertainment when it comes to TT. 

 

What bothered me some here were some of the plot issues and character issues. The heroine went into TSTL for me when she first went back in time. She even went into shrew territory for me. Got better as it went on, but that annoyance lingered for me. I don't have many quibbles with the hero other than maybe being a bit naive. 

 

There were some odd time jumps, not time travel jumps, just missing story time that made no sense to me. The hero's Laird, who is shown to be on the edge of insane, wants to burn the heroine at the stake and is just horribly cruel, somehow gets back into the hero's good sides, but we never get to see it. He casts his heir the hero out of the family, he vows to murder the heros woman, sends folks to grab her, etc. And yet, out of the blue we are told they are invited back to the Laird castle and made up. It happens off page and just skipped over. It was such a huge part of the story all the way through that it just baffled me to just gloss over that. 

 

The other thing was Anya. Despicable being and we are just left hanging on that front. 

 

There was overall a lot of nice story, but the stuff I pointed out was jarring for me. 

The Will by Kristen Ashley

The Will - Kristen Ashley

This one is just bizarre. Usually its the hero that has "funny talk" in Kristen Ashley's books. At least the ones I read. Here though, we have a totally strange heroine. 

 

Its like you sweep a governess from Regency times, morph her with a 80 year old fairy god mother and let her spout life lessons out of a Anthony Robbins workshop. All while wearing high heels. 

Its just utterly bizarre. This is a looong book. I am at 38 percent and read 349 pages. This sucker is over 900 pages. For a contemporary romance. Holy moly I don't know how much longer I can take this heroine.

 

*********************

 

I had to throw in the towel somewhere at halfway through. I just can't take it anymore. 

True to the Highlander by Barbara Longley

True to the Highlander - Barbara Longley

Overall this was a enjoyable time travel romance. I liked that the heroine was different from other time travelling lasses, she is half native american. She also plays the violin, which she just happened to have on her when she went back to 14 hundred something. 

I forgot the write down the date before I returned the prime loan. :)

 

So she made some baskets, knew about plants, caught, killed and skinned rabbits to make furs. So the weaving into the story some of her heritage was interesting. But I think I would have liked to see that explored a bit more.

So the juxtaposition of the highland clans to the native american clans was a nice touch for a time travel. The way she explained to the highland clan where she came from and how the societies are similar. Since she couldn't come right out saying she is from the future. 

 

So overall it was quite enjoyable, even if a bit predictable. It read really nice with a great highlander hero and a lot of great side characters. And of course there is a villain. 

 

I am looking forward to the next one which will be about the cousin to this hero. 

The Beloved One by Danelle Harmon

The Beloved One - Danelle Harmon

Overall a 3.5

I love this setting, it starts in 1775 Boston area. I am always happy to find historical romance from this time. And I like when it combines the American setting with the English setting in one book. Everything was lush, the area, the people, the bits of battle we got.
The heroine is having a sort of Cinderella story. She is half native american and basically used as a servant by her two half sisters and father. When she meets the hero, he is seriously injured.

This story basically follows up after the first in the series where Charles is presumed dead. I loved the first one. Here I just had issues with Charles. He turned into a whiny boy feeling guilty about everything and just kind of immature. Considering his standing in the military, it was just a bit too much. And he doesn't really stop until the end either.
I was just wanting to throw him into a "Take That" music video at some point. Kneeling in the rain screaming "Why, Why, Why me".
Also annoying how easy it was for the horrible half sisters to deceive him and how he just believed the fake letters so easy.
He was wimpy.

Someone need to tell him to snap out of it. I guess that is what his older brother the Duke Lucien did back home in England. So thankfully even though I didn't like this hero very much, I really liked the other brothers and they saved the day.

Overall it was a very enjoyable read. Nice cast of characters and I am now very intrigued by Andrew, who's story is coming up in the next. The ending left me wondering.

The bombastic finish of this one was just grand and entertaining. I always love when historicals incorporate some sort of "contraption".

I am looking forward to Andrew's story and hope for more contraptions. :)

An Unwilling Bride by Jo Beverley

An Unwilling Bride - Jo Beverley

I did not find this an easy or always pleasant read. And I mean this in a good way mostly This is not a fluffy regency with a romancing hero and a sweet lovable heroine. 

 

The way the hero and the heroine are being thrown together and basically blackmailed into marrying is not pretty. And the thing is, it never really gets pretty and takes a long time to even get bearable for them. 

What that does it gives a lot of character insight. These two just don't get each other at all. Things are said and taken not in the intended way all the time. There is no magical understanding between them, no trust, no love. Heck, they don't even like each other. 

 

So how do we go from all of that to a HEA? The hard way and I found a very interesting way. 

 

The heroine is from humble upbringing, a teacher in a girl school. So we see her like a fish out of the water being thrown into the life of a Marques and his father the Duke. There are more details here about the running of such big houses. She notices things that are usually not commented on in historicals. This all helped so much in giving me a sense of the time. A sense of confusion of rules of society, some of the wastefulness.

I just got the sense of a lot of research going into this. 

 

The hero is a bit hard to like, but then so is the heroine. They are so very different and it doesn't get just brushed under the rug once she is brought into the hero's world. That huge gulf that seems to be between them takes a lot of pain and work to get past. They don't "get" each other and they don't know each other. So every time they get a step closer, they tend to take 2 steps back the next moment. Its obvious early on that both have incredibly witty and educated minds and they find great joy bantering with each other. There are some of these dialogues that are amazing to read and its like watching tennis match. 

 

There are some things in here that might totally turn off some readers. For one, the hero's mistress still plays a role even after he is engaged and then married. Not in a sexual way, but still. The other is the actions of the hero towards the heroine are at some point not very "hero" like. But I found in the context of the whole novel, it fit. And I usually don't like such actions in romance novels, but the author made it work within the story of the two. The hero does have quite a temper, which is always highlighted.

 

 

I do appreciate the author not going all PC when re-publishing this story. 

 

This story has made me think. 

 

I wouldn't read this if I needed a light and fluffy fairytale type romance novel. Everything in its time I say. I like to switch it up. 

 

The Devil of Clan Sinclair by Karen Ranney

The Devil of Clan Sinclair - Karen Ranney

I am never let down by Ranney. 

 

In this one the hero and the heroine have to overcome quite some obstacles to be together. They meet and fall almost instantly in love, but her father a wealthy American, wants a title for his daughter and is not about to let her marry a Scot. 

 

So they are apart with her married to someone else. Hero is an inventor of an ice machine and pines for her. 

 

She then blows back into his life as a widow and then the even bigger problems between them start. She does something pretty despicable, but she does it for the family of her dead husband. 

He also later does something pretty bad out of being hurt by her. So they both act against each other in pretty horrible ways, out of hurt. 

 

Its how they find their way back to each other that is the meat of this story. Quite the flawed people in this one. 

 

Only thing I didn't like was the somewhat abrupt ending. I would have liked to see it more "finished" for lack of a better word.