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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

When Darkness Ends (Guardians of Eternity Book 12)
Alexandra Ivy
Power Game (GhostWalker Novel, A)
Christine Feehan
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.
Lord of Lies - Amy Sandas

Book 3 in Amy Sandas' Fallen Ladies series was just wonderful.  Passionate, adventurous, emotionally gripping, and a just plain wonderful story.   I loved it.  I think book 3 is my favorite in the series so far. The chemistry between Portia and Dell was fantastic.  She was such a strong female character who was well-developed.  The plot was strong and the conflicts fit the story line.  It coincides with the same timelines as book one (Emma's story, Luck is No Lady) and book two (Lily's story, The Untouchable Earl), so you revisit their stories a bit but with a different perspective.  The author doesn't lose clarity, and details from all three plots are not lost. They merge and play out well side-by-side. This was a great story and I highly recommend the series. This was a Netgalley read.

Wed to a Spy: An All the Queen's Spies Novel - Sharon Cullen

The first book in a new series by Sharon Cullen takes us into the Scottish court of Queen Mary. Queen Elizabeth has sent three of her spies to Mary's court in order to keep tabs on her. One such spy is Simon, a man who dedicated his life to Queen Elizabeth and now just wants to retire to his country estate with his younger sister. But Elizabeth forces him into yet another mission. While in Queen May's court, he meets Aimee, a French woman who was sent to spy on Mary for her Aunt in France. She hates that she is forced to leave her home and the man she loves but she does it with the hope of returning to France to marry her love. What she wasn't expecting was for another meddling monarch, Queen Mary, to force her and Simon into a marriage, one that neither wants. Once married their adventure truly begins and it takes them into hiding during a coup, on the run to England from an angry Queen Mary, and then into Queen Elizabeth's court to fight for the right to their happy ending. Their story was enjoyable, passionate, exciting, and emotionally stimulating. I liked it a lot and enjoyed watching them grow to first trust then love each other deeply. They were well matched and I look forward to seeing what the series has in store for the other two English spies. This was a Netgalley read.

Enchantment of a Highlander - Madeline Martin I received this copy as part of the NERFA contest put on by First Coast Romantic Writers. This one was difficult to get into. It starts off with Alec asking Celia to be his mistress within 5 minutes of knowing her. Their second meeting has Celia, a virgin, walking up to him and they have sex even though they still do not know each other. It moved too fast in the beginning. It didn't make sense as to why they jumped right into it, especially with her leery of strangers due to her past. And he took her virginity and it wasn't until he was seated all the way in that he stopped and asked her again to be his mistress. That was a bit late for asking her. So the beginning made it difficult to get into at first. Things could have developed slower and it would have made for a stronger beginning. The plot does pick up the pace and the emotional tension between the two spikes once she believes he has died and gives into her desires for him. Once that happens things move along and the story became more engrossing. I liked their journey and the fact that both were willing to sacrifice their own happiness to keep the other safe. I liked the character development even if it started out rough. The characters do become stronger and the conflict was strong. Overall, the story as a whole was good.
A Duchess in Name (The Grantham Girls) - Amanda  Weaver

I received this book from the NERFA contest put on by First Coast Romantic Writers. The book starts off slow and I had a bit of difficulty getting into it, but it quickly picks up in the tension between our two main characters and the plot develops well. Andrew believes his new wife had an active hand in trapping him into marriage in order to become a duchess. He goes through with the wedding to protect his sisters, but then immediately leaves for Italy after he drops Victoria off at the ruin of his family seat. Their wedding night was a bit difficult to watch and the fact that he leaves without saying goodbye just adds to the conflict and difficulties they need to work through in order to have a happy ending. Instead of falling apart, Victoria picks up the pieces and starts to put the ruin back together into a home. She decides that the house represents the independence she so desired. She does write her husband in hopes that they can somehow make a real go of their marriage but he stands fast in his hatred of her, and she doesn't find out why till near the very end of the story. As secrets become revealed and the few encounters between the two in the beginning just adds to the emotional tension. It definitely draws you into the story and when they do have their happy ending it was just so sweet and romantic. I enjoyed the story and was definitely engrossed in their relationship as it developed, fell apart, and at the end come back together stronger than ever. Loved it.

Burn: Elemental Hearts Book 1 (Volume 1) - Jayelle Morgan

I was provided this book through the 2016 NERFA Contest put on by the First Coast Romance Writers. I have not read or heard of this author until I was provided a copy, so I went in not expecting much. I was wonderfully surprised. I loved it. The characters are strong, the plot is well developed, the conflict is strong, and the passion was perfectly hot (pun intended). Brooke is a strong heroine and Levi is a passionate hero. The story had highs and lows, some humor, action and adventure, and some emotional turmoil that kept me turning the pages. I very much enjoyed this book and will definitely be keeping an eye out for a book 2.

The Bad Luck Bride (The Cavensham Heiresses) - Janna MacGregor

The story starts off a bit slow but the conflict and plot are well developed, and the reader is pulled into Claire and Alex's complicated relationship. The emotional turmoil and struggles the couple has to face to have their happy ending draws the reader in and you can't help but feel for Claire. Alex definitely digs himself a big hole and he has a lot to atone for in order to win Claire's trust back once all of his secrets are revealed. I very much enjoyed their story. The characters were strong, the plot was compelling, and the development of the relationship with its highs and lows kept me turning the page. I very much enjoyed the book and recommend to any who loves a great historical romance.