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rendezvouswitharomance

Rendezvous With A Romance

I love paranormal and historical romance novels. I love talking about books and finding out about new authors and books to read. I also love supporting and promoting my favorite authors.

 

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Currently reading

The King
J.R. Ward
Born of Legend (The League: Nemesis Rising) - Sherrilyn Kenyon

This book was so full of adventure, humor, heartache, passion, and action. I loved finally getting to see Julien's story, and just like with Styxx, we didn't know the hell he was put through growing up and the hardships he had to overcome. This book was long, 836 pages to be exact, so unlike the others that seemed to go too quickly, this one took its time and told his story right. Ushara was a great partner for the scarred and distrusting Dagger aka Julien. Ushara and Julien's story was so passionate and the conflict and plot were so strong. I loved Julien as a character, he was so dynamic, complex, flawed, and lovable. He was such a humorous character with such dry witty sarcasm that I loved all of his dialogue; Kenyon did an excellent job giving him such a vivid personality on the page. The book is so full of great plot and conflict details. I definitely think the character development was the best part. They jumped off the pages and I'm glad that in the end, his birth family finally got to know some of the hell he had been put through and that the road to forgiveness and redemption was accomplished.  I loved the whole thing.

Born of Betrayal (The League: Nemesis Rising) - Sherrilyn Kenyon

The action keeps getting heavier and more intense as the war against the League continues on. Fain and Galene are two who have loved each other since they were kids and were promised to each other their whole lives, but the ruling family Anatole were up to their meddling in their lives and forced Fain to leave her right as they were preparing for their graduation. What Fain was unaware of at the time was that she was pregnant with Talyn when things fell apart. What surprised me with their story is his true feelings about Omira, Sumi's dead older sister. Up until this story, we are led to believe he truly loved his human wife, but that isn't the case and all that we thought we knew about Fain isn't even close to the truth. A lot of secrets are revealed as they fight together to find a traitor in their midst. Their love story was strong and I loved the hazing that Talyn kind of put him through. Especially when Fain finally puts the pieces together and Talyn in his dry dead-pan humorous tone tells his mom he has finally figured out that he isn't her boy toy but her son. Watching their relationship develop and their happy ending was so enjoyable and when Talyn and Felicia finally get to get married was so perfect. I loved that sequence of scenes so much. Over all things are going so well with this series and I love every intense moment of each book. I have two more to read before I am finally caught up. This is definitely one of my absolute favorite series of all times. On to Born of Legend.

Born of Defiance (A League Novel) - Sherrilyn Kenyon

Talyn and Felicia's story is different than the others in the series. For one, it's events coincide and run parallel with book 1, Born of Night, so it takes place at the very beginning. Also what throws it off is the fact that Talyn is Fain Hauk's full grown son and Fain doesn't know of him. Because of this Talyn has grown up as a "lack-Vest", which means one of his parents is unknown or in the case of Fain, an Outcast (a disinherited male). Because of this distinction, he is also looked upon as sub-par or a "mongrel dog" and treated with no respect at all. He is put through so much abuse and set backs yet he keeps fighting for the life he wants. Felicia is a female who was acknowledged by her father but her mother and father were not married, ever, so she also has a tough road a head of her just not as bad as Talyn. When they meet, Talyn contracts her to be his paid companion, he is tired of being alone and there is something sweet and innocent about Felicia that draws him in. They can't help but fall in love and fight for each other during this supercharged intense adventure where a government coup is started to overthrow the corrupt Andarian government and put Nykerian as heir and his mother as queen. The villains were bad, the conflicts were intense, Talyn did seem to take a lot of beatings that were intense and the fact that they can never legally be together (married) because his father won't claim him (yet) is tragic. It was a very enjoyable story and this couple, I think, deserve their happy ending so much more so than the other couples in the series. These two went through so much, some unbelievable (his countless beatings and tortures), and they remained hopeful for a future for each other. It was a good story.

Born of Fury - Sherrilyn Kenyon

It has been many many years since I have dived into the sci-fi fantasy world that is The League. I worried that I wouldn't be able to remember all the characters and plots but they jumped off the pages as if they were alive and well and have just been waiting (not so patiently) for me to return to their world. Dancer Hauk is a founding member of the Sentella, a group of assassins bent on destroying The League, a corrupt government /military group that terrorizes the universe. He would love nothing more than to find himself knee-deep in certain death rather than take his nephew on his Endurance test. His nephew hates him and the last time he went on an Endurance test was his own when his older brother died; now he is expected to take his dead brother's cantankerous son and not kill him. Sumi is sent to find dirt on him and the Sentella and if she succeeds, her boss will free her daughter from League custody. But she can't do it once she meets Hauk. He is too honorable a male. When her secrets come out she knows he will kill her but she can't kill him and in fact, defends him and his nephew and niece from mercenaries who were sent to kill Hauk. Their passions flair once the truth comes out and Hauk is tired of being pledged to his dead brother's wife (a cultural requirement that he has yet to fulfill), and when he finds out that Sumi desires him for who he is and doesn't care about his scars, he can't stay away. Once back home on Andaria, they have the fight of their lives; they have to save her daughter, save Hauk from the mercenaries, and save Sumi from Hauk's dead brother's widow who doesn't want him but doesn't want him happy either. It was a great story and I loved their adventure and love story a lot. I loved seeing all of the old gang with all of their kids. I'm diving right into Born of Defiance next and am excited.

Shadow Reaper - Christine Feehan

I loved, loved, loved book 2 in Feehan's new series. I have been anxiously waiting for its release ever since book 1, Shadow Rider, came out and I fell in love with the Ferraro family. Mariko was Rocco's perfect match. A great blend of passionate, strong, and vulnerable. Ricco has held secrets from his family ever since he was 14 years old, all in order to protect them. Now as an adult, he has grown jaded and lost. His playboy persona and celebrity status no longer satisfies him and when he is in a car accident he and his family wonder if he had become suicidal. He doesn't even know the real answer to that question, but he wants out of the way his life has been going and so he sets out to find a rope model for his Shibari art. He hopes that his art will be able to save him and that maybe he will find a woman who can accept him with all of his baggage, even if she isn't his "shadow soul mate". What he doesn't expect is for the last applicant to be a Shadow Rider that he is pretty sure has been sent to kill him. He is intrigued and hires her anyway. Mariko has a rough and tragic past, one she doesn't realize until later is connected very closely to Rocco's secrets from when he was 14. She soon discovers that she cannot kill him even if it is to save her brother. He draws her into his world and they slowly seduce each other using his art as the catalyst. They grow closer and they definitely know how to steam up the page. The conflict was strong and the villains weren't easily seen. Feehan wove together a complex conflict with ties to both of their pasts and when the entire Ferraro family is attacked they all ban together to seek justice and to find her brother. I loved it and I absolutely hate that I now have to wait an unknown amount of time before book 3 comes out. I am hoping it is Emmanuelle's story!!!  Love this series so much and I highly recommend it.

Too Scot to Handle (Windham Brides) - Grace Burrowes

I love Grace Burrowes take on the Regency romance and I love revisiting the Windham family the most.  With that said, I honestly had trouble getting into this one. The characters were good; overall, out of the two main characters, I think I liked Colin the most. The plot was just there, nothing dramatic happened, they came together very easily; no misunderstandings took place, they came out quickly to say "I love you", the villain was a tiny bit weak, though the prank on Colin was well devised and added a flair to the story. I also liked how the villain was so conceited; Grace Burrowes did a good job with his dialogue, he came across as both annoying and selfish, which was good. I liked the orphans a lot; they had well-developed character traits and were fun anytime they were on the page. I don't know what it was about this one, but I couldn't get into it. I've read 33 books by Grace Burrowes and I think this is the first one I can say didn't grab me and keep me interested. The romance was sweet and everything seemed to fall into place perfectly for the couple. When you all read it, when it comes out in July, I would love to hear back from you as to what you think, if you have read Grace Burrowes before. It did end well. There was a twist at the end when it came to the villain though I do think he/she/they got off easy. This wasn't my favorite of Burrowes but it was good.

Ember - Paula Quinn

The second book in Paula Quinn's Rulers of The Sky series was an enjoyable story. We met Garion in book one when he was a small boy, the boy Marcus had to protect from Patrick White. Helena is the daughter of Patrick White and she watched as Garion in Drakkon form killed a lot of her half brothers and sisters in vengeance against killing Thomas White. When this story takes place, Garion and Helena are both grown and Helena wants vengeance against the Gold who killed her extended family.  Garion has grown into a recluse who simply wants to live in peace, but when his sister is threatened by the Bane, he hops on a plane and heads to her rescue.  Once there he meets Helena and they are both surprised by the other.  Helena didn't expect the Gold to be socially awkward, shy, and guilt-stricken by his actions 14 years ago.  Garion doesn't expect to be drawn to the enemy. I enjoyed watching them get to know each other and as they grow closer villains start to arrive.  When he breaks his promise to her and shifts shape into his Drakkon form and turns her to save her life, she has to come to terms with his reasons and decide if he had lied to her the entire time they knew each other, or if he simply couldn't fathom a world without her in it. The story builds steadily in the beginning and I enjoyed watching them grow close, but once he is Drakken and taking her to Norway, things seem to become a bit rushed.  She "hates" him for turning her into what she has hated her whole life and he is questioning his vow to suppress permanently his other half.  I would have liked for the story to continue a bit slower than it did once they were in Norway.  They needed to learn to trust each other and she needed to come to terms with being Drakken.  It doesn't take long till they are throwing snow at each other and kissing passionately, and I would have liked for that portion of the story to go a bit slower.  The ending was good; the final battle was well written.  The final page of the story was rushed; I would have liked to have had more at the very end. Overall, I really liked book 1 more, but book 2 was enjoyable and I liked returning to Quinn's take on dragon shape-shifters. I look forward to book 3 and am curious who the villain will be in the next installment and who will be the Drakkon it focuses on, maybe Jacob?

Addicted to the Duke: An Imperfect Lords Novel - Bronwen Evans

This was an entertaining adventure about a woman, Hestia, who has been in love with Alex for the past 4 years, ever since he saved her from Turkish Pirates.  Alex has done everything he could, except marry someone else, to push Hestia away, going as far as to let her catch him with another woman in a very compromising way. He does not believe he deserves her due to the fact that he had been held captive by the same Turkish pirate, who kidnapped Hestia, for two years, having to do things he is ashamed of doing in order to survive.  But when her father is presumed dead by a cousin in order to claim the title, Alex is the only man she can think to go to for help.  He agrees to help her find her father and they set off for the Mediterranean to face both of their demons and their attraction for each other. Alex has ulterior motives for helping Hestia, he was to seek vengeance from the man who enslaved him, though he keeps that a secret from Hestia. He has every intention of fighting his desire for Hestia but being on a confining ship for weeks on end inevitably leads to passionate encounters. Hestia wants to win Alex, but she comes to realize she really doesn't know who Alex is and he refuses to enlighten her about himself and what he went through while enslaved.  She sets out to prove to him that love can heal and the past does not have to control the future.

I enjoyed the story, it had highs and lows in the emotional turmoil category, though my one frustration was that as Hestia learned that Alex didn't truly care for her the way she thought he did (supposedly) she comes to the conclusion to step back only to wake the next day ready to fight for him again.  It was like one minute her heart breaks at finding out he loved another woman (going as far as to call out the other woman's name in a drug induced state) and coming to realize he didn't love her and never did to back to being optimistic about her chances to win him.  I would have loved for her to actually stick to the notion that he didn't love her, but rather was in love with another woman, and to let him come to realize he did and fight for her.  She seemed to be the only one truly fighting for a relationship and the few moments when he realizes how much he cares for her, he doesn't act on it (when he thinks he is going to lose her to men from his ship who try to kidnap her). I wanted Alex to at some point fight for her, but she, in the end, rescues him from the Turkish pirates and is strong for the both of them, which is cool in a way, but I needed the two characters to be a bit more equal in the ability to fight for one another. I understand the demons Alex faced and I understand why he thought he was unworthy of her love, but he seemed to only show his passion and love for her while they were having sex. Afterward he kind of steps back into an aloof manner.

With this said, I did love the story and their adventure.  The characters were strong and the plot was enjoyable.  The conflict and villains were formidable but not over the top. There were surprises and twists along the way that did keep me turning the pages to the very end.  The ending was great and the epilog gave me both the nice wrap-up to the story and teased me about what is to come next.  I liked it.

Beauty and the Highland Beast: A Highland Fairy Tale - Lecia Cornwall

I received this book through the Heroes and Heartbreakers e-Book Club. It has been on my TBR list for some time and I thought this would be a cool way to get me to sit down and read it.  I loved it.  It had a good mix of passion, drama, high emotional tension, a villain you don't really see coming until the end, and two very strong lead characters.   I really liked Dair's character, he is tormented and definitely has beastly traits though he is a real man with real demons.  Fia is a sweet and very innocent woman, also scared and dealing with her insecurities when she meets Dair at Carraig Brigh.  Their story develops well and slowly, it isn't rushed, and it keeps you turning the pages.  Their passion and chemistry were wonderful to watch unfold and the ending was perfect.  There really isn't anything I didn't like about the story.  If you like a Beauty and the Beast type of story, then definitely give this one a try. I don't think you will be disappointed at all.

Kraw's Secret - Deborah Cooke

Kraw's Secret is another short story that focuses on a minor character, this time the Viceroy to the King and Queen of Incendium.  His family has kept a dark secret and it comes out through the ShadowCaster that Acion delivered to the king in Wyvern's Warrior. The story builds up and Kraw is very fearful of how the king will perceive the betrayal that Kraw's ancestor perpetrated several generations ago. I expected more of a reaction than what the king actually gives, the hype was more intense than the aftermath.  We are also introduced to Kraw's nephew who will become his apprentice, and we can see that there are already sparks between him and another dragon princesses.  That was the highlight of the story for me, the rest left me feeling disappointed.  There is no romance and it doesn't really hint at what the long-term plot of the series might entail (besides one of the future romances). The story was ok.

A Vampire's Soft Embrace - Caris Roane

A new series by Caris Roane is the spin-off from her first Blood Rose series.  This one takes place after the last one and focuses on blood roses that have the ability to go back in time and the warriors that fall for them.  This first book was enjoyable, I liked the two main characters, they were strong and passionate on the page. The plot centers around the fact that Emily has loved Devyn for years, but his guilt toward's his brother's death and the fact that Emily was engaged to his twin brother, he cannot bring himself to give in to his own feelings for her.  So part of the conflict centers on Emily's battle to win Devyn and break him of his guilt.  The second part of the conflict focus on a mastyr vampire and a dark fae who have some how found a way to create Invictus pairs. Emily and Devyn have to team up to defeat this new enemy and along the way they find passion and love and Devyn is finally relieved of his guilt. It was a cute and enjoyable story.

Blaze - Donna Grant

I always love returning to the Dragon Kings world; throw in the warriors and druids, Rhi and Balladyn, and you have a great story. More hints are being dropped as to the true nature of Ulric and Rhi's Dragon King. He talked!! To Rhi when she was eavesdropping in on the mating ceremony at the end. So excited that he might be making more of an appearance. I am worried about Balladyn though; he really does love her, so I am not sure how DG will handle that triangle when it comes to a head. Anson and Devon were a cute couple and I enjoyed their adventure and love story. There were no gaps in the plot, no dry spells while reading, it flowed well from beginning to end, and kept me interested the whole time. But that is what I expect from a DG novel, they are never dull or unsatisfying. Love the world she has created.

The Temptress (The Bride Quest) - Claire Delacroix

I had difficulty getting into this story at first. I did not like Esmeraude. She was naïve and silly and her schemes were not well thought out and she found herself in trouble. Her idea that if she lost her virginity her appeal to the men who simply wanted her for her land would go away was naïve. How she thought that her husband wouldn't mind that she wasn't chaste was silly for that era. She came across as sometimes spoiled, over indulged and sheltered.

On the other hand, Bayard carries the story well. He is a strong character, stubborn, passionate, and when needed, fierce. I enjoyed watching Bayard court Esmeraude and their interactions do strengthen and the plot grows into an enjoyable story once they reunite after the Isle of Mull. She is definitely headstrong and Bayard has his work cut out for him. Their story really picks up once at Airdfinnan and I like how she made him work for it. They ended up being equally matched in the end. The conflicts were good, the villain dastardly, and the conclusion perfect. It wasn't my favorite in the series (I think book 2, The Beauty, stands out more for me), but once I got used to Esmeraude it became enjoyable.

The Most Dangerous Duke in London (Decadent Dukes Society) - Madeline Hunter

This is the first book by Madeline hunter that I have read. I got it as part of the review team for Sabrina Jeffries, Ava Stone, Deb Marlowe, and now Madeline Hunter, so I didn't know what to expect. I was pleased with the story. Adam was a bit hard to get into as a male character. I knew he came back to London to seek revenge/justice for his dead father and I remember hearing him say something about using the proposal to Clara as a possible means to get that revenge. I knew, in the beginning, he wasn't that serious about a real relationship with her, but I am not sure when his scheming to get close to her in order to learn things turned into true feelings. Even his internal thoughts weren't always clear as to whether he was still using her or falling for her. When did his fake attentions turn into real ones? She was a strong female character and I liked her independence and spirit. Their story was enjoyable and passionate. The moment in his study where she learns that she has fallen in love with a man who might not be able to put the old hatred between their families aside to be with her poignant. How she stands up to her family to get him his truth at the end was also enjoyable to watch unfold. Overall, I did enjoy this story and will read more by this author.

Wyvern's Warrior - Deborah Cooke

Book three was enjoyable. I initially didn't like the concept, it came across a bit cliched in the sense of trap them in a room, make a bargain of if they sleep together then the other will do X, and rush right into it. The initial build up was slow but once they are in the Hoard and start to interact the story and plot line does become more enjoyable. I liked Acion and Thalina, and once she defends him against her father and they escape their romance becomes quite touching. Once on Cumae, when Acion goes off to give his report to the Hive and Thalina goes to his rescue, that was I think my favorite part.  It was touching and passionate. It was a quick read and I liked how it unfolded overall.

The Pleasures of Passion - Sabrina Jeffries Book four in the Sinful Suitors brings us Niall and Brilliana "Bree"'s story, and it is a bit heartbreaking at first. They are already in love, young and in love, and Niall has just fought a duel and killed the man who raped his sister (who we met in The Study of Seduction). He asks Bree to run off with him to Spain but she can't because of her sickly mother. He is skeptical of her reasons, he doesn't understand why she won't leave with him if she loves him. She worries about his true intentions for he has yet to speak to her parents or introduce her to his, their courtship has been secret, as she worries whether he has any intentions of actually marrying her. Seven years later, Niall has received a pardon and has returned home, bitter and cynical for he believes Bree never truly loved him. Within a year of his departure, she marries another man, who is now dead. She believes that he fought the duel over a light-skirt and indeed didn't truly love her. They are both cautious to trust the other but when they are partnered up to catch a counterfeiter it is hard to keep their hands off the other, especially as the secrets they both have are revealed to show that they did, in fact, love the other and still do. It was an enjoyable story. I do think that Bree took a bit too long to trust Niall again because seven years is a long time to hold on to the possibility that he had a mistress when he was courting her. He goes out of his way (other than share the real reason for the duel) to prove to Bree that his love is real and that he stills wants her for a wife. I liked that they did, in the end, get their happy ending and the passion between the two of them was steamy. Her Aunt was a great character and I loved it whenever she was on the page giving Niall hell and in the end helping him protect Bree from the counterfeiter. In the end, this was another enjoyable story by Sabrina Jeffries. This was a Netgalley read but also received it through the review team for Sabrina Jeffries.