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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

Bound to a Spy: An All the Queen's Spies Novel
Sharon Cullen
Halloween in Atlantis - Alyssa Day

 Book two in the Bride Quest series brings us Burke, the man who tried to win Brianna’s hand with a troupe of performers in book 1, The Princess, though it was clear his heart was not in it. He had already given his heart to a woman three years prior to this poor attempt to win Brianna so when she charges him to go find this woman and win her, he does. What he finds is a spirited woman who is treated as a servant though she is directly related to the people of Kiltorren. She also hasn’t forgotten Burke and she doesn’t hesitate to speak her mind about what she thinks of his betrayal, abandonment, and the fact he has come to woo her cousin and not her. Or so she thinks. Lies told by the family to keep them apart come to light and her past with her dead mother's memory leave Burke with a challenge to prove to her his affections are real and that he doesn’t want a simple tumble in the hay, he wants forever. It was a cute story. Antagonists were really easy to hate; it almost had a stepsister and stepmother/ Cinderella vibe to it at times. The plot was slow at times and the character development could have been a bit more fast-paced. The story as a whole was enjoyable if a bit slow. There is one moment I found annoying though, near the end of the story when Burke goes to see his mother alone, Alys immediately jumps to the conclusion that he has come to his senses and left her after she promised him that she wouldn't doubt him again. I found her lack of trust in Burke a little frustrating.  He proved himself to her and the first moment of testing that trust, she let her doubts and fears lead to her doubting him.  I would have liked to have seen her trust in him more in that moment. Overall, it is a good story, not great, but good.

The Wicked Vampire (Last True Vampire series) - Kate Baxter

This is the first book by Kate Baxter that I have read and I got it through NetGalley. It was enjoyable, passionate (refreshingly so due to my most recent NetGalley reads), had strong characters, an interesting plot, a detailed conflict and villain, and the emotional turmoil that I am so hungry for in my romances. The characters had obstacles they had to overcome in order to get to their happily ever after, and it kept me hungry for more. I will definitely go back and read more from this series from the start since this is book 6 in the series. Loved Ewan, his character and personality appealed to me a lot, and Sasha was strong enough to be his match in everything, yet still have a vulnerability that Ewan had to win over in the end. Loved the whole story from start to finish.

Christmas at Two Love Lane - Kieran Kramer

This story was a sweet Hallmark romance complete with two people who didn’t want love. One was Deacon, a big successful New York playboy who didn’t want anything to do with love or commitment. He is in Charleston SC to help his aunt who raised him settle into her new condo and to fulfill her Christmas wish, for him to find a woman, but he has no intention of finding a real relationship. He is looking for some fun dates to pass the time who don’t want commitment either. In order to do that he goes to Two Love Lane, a local dating agency and meets Macy, a matchmaker that believes in finding everyone’s soulmate, not some quick hookups. She doesn’t have time for love either, she is too busy being happy with fixing everyone else up and doesn’t think she will find her soulmate for some time. Deacon annoys her at first, with his bossy demands for some Christmas flings, so she sets out to set him up with women she thinks could be his soulmate. Deacon wants none of that once he speaks with Macy; he wants to date her and only her and hopes to have his Christmas fling with her. Of course, as they get to know each other and Macy continues to try and set him up with women and ignore her own attraction to him they end up falling hard for each other. But once the secret plan that Deacon hatched with all of the women Macy set him up with comes to light he fears he has ruined everything and she feels hurt with the fact that he refuses to say whether he cares for her as more than just friends with benefits. In the end, Deacon comes to his senses and wins the only woman he wants in his life and they live happily ever after. The story overall was cute, the plot was interesting, and the conflicts kept it moving along. The passion was very tame, hence the hallmark kind of feel to the story. There isn’t anything wrong with that but if you want them burning up the page, Macy and Deacon don’t. They do have the hots for each other but those scenes stay pretty tame. Cute story and I liked the characters.

Dark Swan - Gena Showalter

This story had such strong characters. There was tension and strife between the two main characters that kept the action moving along and kept the reader engrossed in their story. The humor was so entertaining, as well. The conflict was well developed and the back stories of the triplets was laid out well and in detail helping the reader to understand the connection between the triplets and their sense of loyalty. Dallas was a womanizer I enjoyed watching being brought down a few pegs and snared in the end by his perfect match. The story overall was enjoyable and I loved the interactions between Dallas and Lilica a lot.

A Season of You: A Cloud Bay Christmas Novel - Emma Douglas

This is the fourth book in the St Martin’s Holiday Romance set and it was enjoyable. Cute. Festive. Real. Passionate. Entertaining. And with a great ending. Mina has loved and lost before and she thinks she wants nothing more to do with love or men, even though she is still in her early twenties. Will has loved Mina from afar but has decided to keep his feelings to himself for she has already been through the loss of her husband, but when she has an accident outside of his distillery he rushes to her aide and goes above and beyond to show her that he cares. She is leery of him but she is attracted to him, so on Thanksgiving when he proposes a "project" where they enjoy each other’s company up until Christmas Day where they will then part ways with no hurt feelings, she can’t see why not. She does like kissing him, and drawing him, and imagining him in her bed so she agrees to his deal. Their relationship has highs and lows, drama and a few tense moments especially when she breaks things off with him a week early when he almost gets hurt. She feels like she can’t go through losing another man she cares about and if Will isn’t willing to change his dreams or life’s work then she has to cut her losses. How she wins him back in the end was sweet and well choreographed to earn his forgiveness. This one was enjoyable and sweet.

Deck the Halls: A Darling, VT Christmas Romance Novella (A Darling, VT Novel) - Donna Alward

This story has a Hallmark in the making movie vibe to it. It is sweet. It is innocent. It is a story of forgiveness and acceptance. Of healing and love. It was cute. I would have liked to see a bit more passion, but the storyline and character development were steady and real. George didn’t see his worth, though he was steadily rebuilding his life. He was filled with guilt and heartache and when he sees his dead best friend’s twin sister show up in his new life, he isn’t exactly pleasant. Amy though doesn’t give up and they strike up their old friendship and George does end up revealing the details Amy wanted to know how her brother died. Along the way, sparks fly and George pushes her away in a self-preservation moment and thinks he really screwed up something good when she doesn’t show up for a few days. The town pulls together to prove to George that he is seen, he is appreciated, respected, and that people do care about him. In the end, Amy comes back and shows him that she still wants to fight for him and for the future she sees them have. Overall, cute but tame. A  Hallmark holiday movie in the making. Read this as part of the St. Martin's Press Holiday Romance Blitz.

Soulbound (Dark Arts Book 3) - Bec McMaster

The third and final book in the Dark Arts trilogy brings everything to a head and the couple I have very much looked forward to getting to know, Sebastian and Cleo. From the moment they grace the pages as secondary characters in books one and two they grabbed my attention so I was super excited to finally get to read their story. They deserved a happy ending the most, I think, and I loved their story from start to finish. The demon and its machinations come to a head in this one and the final battle to save not only London but Drake, if possible, was epic. The first two couples play big roles in this one, as well as Lady E, the mother I loved to hate Morgana, Remington Cross (who by the way is the first book in the spin-off series that will be coming out in the future-YAY), and a new tantalizing character by the name of Malachi Gray. He has some depths to him that I hope to explore in the spin-off series; he stole the pages he was on. Very yummy. The conflict was strong.  The struggles Sebastian and Cleo face to have a real marriage added an emotional tension and turmoil to the piece that just kept it entertaining and intense. When she finds the ticket, that scene and the subsequent confession by Sebastian in the library was so well crafted I had to read it twice. So good. Loved it. Love Bec McMaster’s way of story-telling and I am super excited to see what she has in store next.

The Princess: The Bride Quest #1 by Claire Delacroix (1998-08-10) - Claire Delacroix

This story took some time for me to get into. The concept was good. The story was sweet. The characters were interesting, Luc more than Brianna, and the conflict was strong. You don’t see who the villain was until the very end. Brianna was a bit silly and spoiled acting in the beginning until Luc starts to see the real her. It was like once he saw her depths was when the reader was also able to see that how she behaved, in the beginning, wasn’t the real Brianna. I did have trouble sticking with this one though. There weren’t a lot of tense moments or emotional turmoil until the very end, when their love and the seal to the one Keep Luc wanted from the very beginning, was revealed. The best part of the story was the mystery of who was the murderer, where the real Rose was located, and who was next to die or be harmed. I did enjoy the mystery and watching the characters solve the crimes committed. I needed more from my female lead character and the passion was kind of lacking until after the marriage. This definitely has an old romance vibe about it. Less passion more fairy tale, which is enjoyable, but a bit tame.  I have read the Bride Quest II trilogy and enjoyed them, so I will definitely see what the other two books in this original Bride Quest series has to offer.

A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book and my comments here are my honest opinion.

The Christmas Cowboy Hero (Heart of Texas) - Donna Grant

Donna Grant is known for her Scottish Warriors, Dragon Kings, Fae Assassins, and Druids. Now she is tackling hot cowboys with military backgrounds. In the first book of her new series Heart of Texas, we meet the East family and more importantly we meet Clayton East, an ex-Navy SEAL who has been hiding from his past and his family. He is called home when his father has a stroke due to their CPA embezzling all of their money and someone stealing a lot of their cattle. He comes home to solve the mystery and then leave again. What he doesn’t expect to find is the sister of a teen who was part of the cattle rustlers. She is a mix of strength and vulnerability, loyalty and loneliness, and has the bluest eyes he has ever seen. He strikes a bargain with her teen brother; come work for him to pay off the debt for the lost cattle and he won't file charges against him. Abby has been raising her two younger brothers ever since their mother walked out. She is exhausted and stressed and at a loss as to how to fix her brother’s latest mistake. What she sees in Clayton is a wounded man who carries around a lot of guilt. He is also very easy on the eyes and she is definitely attracted to him. With her brother working at the ranch she finds herself spending more time there and with Clayton. Sparks fly, passions flair, and walls are let down to reveal the scars beneath. Along the way, they work together to find out who stole the cattle and how the money was embezzled. It was a really great story. Loved it from beginning to end and really didn’t want it to end. I wanted more but I wasn’t left needing more. It was perfect. Their story was a great blend of passion and a story of getting to know each other and letting the other in. Great. Can’t wait till there is more. 

No Other Duke Will Do (Windham Brides) - Grace Burrowes

The next Windham adventure takes us to a three-week house party (man sometimes I wish I lived in that era with the Season, house parties that lasted weeks rather than hours, and all other events the aristocracy got up to). We are dealing with Charlotte Windham and Elizabeth Windham, daughter of Tony and Gladys, can’t recall whether they had their own book. They are cousins though to my favorite group of brothers from The Heir, The Soldier, and The Virtuoso. Elizabeth is an on the shelf spinster and she hates that she has to go to this party whose sole purpose is to put marriageable young ladies and bachelors together in hopes that marriage might come about. Julian, the Duke of Havers, really doesn’t want to put on this house party for one it costs too much and he really can’t afford it and two he isn’t looking for a wife. His sister though has set out to get him married. When he meets Elizabeth her frankness and blunt speech about not wanting to marry and that she will not be setting her sights on him is a breath of fresh air. He finds with her he can simply be himself, speak what is on his mind, and not worry about being trapped into a marriage he doesn’t want. She finds him appealing for the same reasons, so they strike up a friendship and in each other’s company can let their guard down. This, of course, leads to frank discussions about wants, past deeds, and opinions. The more time they spend together the more they come to like each other, and when they give in and kiss they come to see the benefits of a sort-of friend with benefits type deal, friends are allowed to kiss friends. Kissing leads to other deeds and love blossoms. The co Flickr was decent, the villain shows up uninvited and ingratiates himself into the house party. The villain hates Julian and wants to ruin him. Julian owes him a lot of money and when his sister's engagement is announced he calls in his debts. The story was enjoyable. I did think that Julian fell in love a bit too quickly or realized too soon that he loved her, but that small detail doesn’t detract from the enjoyable read. The different types of characters at the house party and the events that did for entertainment was interesting to watch and made me wonder if this is house the house parties back then progressed. Overall enjoyable story and strong main characters.

With This Christmas Ring - Manda Collins

This short book was a sweet holiday treat. Five years ago Merry walked out on their betrothal without a word or explanation but Alex suspects that his conniving grandmother had a hand in sending the only woman he has ever loved and still loves away. On his return from Paris, he plans on seeking her out but what he doesn't expect is to find her on his doorstep with a baby in tow. He sees this as the opportunity he needs and he uses it to his benefit. His grandmother is a horrid woman and she doesn't hold back her insults when Merry shows up with Alex to present the baby girl to his cousin, Will, and to give him the news the wife he left shortly after marrying her died giving birth to her. The story was an easy read and was enjoyable. I loved every moment.

The Scott's Bride - Paula Quinn

It was so much fun watching Patrick MacGregor fall to the "curse" of love that all of his relatives before him fell. He has run from the ideals of his childhood and revels in his rogue and wandering lifestyle, so when he meets Charlie he knows he should run for the hills and not look back but he can't for the life of him leave. He knows what is happening and knows what she could mean to him but he keeps deluding himself into thinking he can handle it and leave once he has won her as a conquest. Charlie has no need for a man and in fact sees all men as the same; greedy, self-centered, and cruel beings. She knows Patrick is bad news but she can't stop thinking about him or wanting his kiss. Their journey was so enjoyable and I really enjoyed watching Patrick fall in love. His internal struggle and the fact that he convinced himself that he can resist falling for her was just fun.  The conflict was great. The villain was strong. There were surprises and suspense and emotional turmoil that kept me coming back for more. Loved it and love Paula Quinn's take on historical romance.

Hard Breaker: A Beauty and Beast Novel (Gargoyles Series) - Christine Warren

The final battle has arrived. The seven major demons are ready to take their place in the world. And the only thing standing in their way are the seven Guardians and their mates. This installment doesn't just bring us the next couple but one major bomb is dropped that the Guardians' seventh brother is already on earth and has been from the very beginning. This one though focuses on Baen and Ivy. Ivy has been doing her part in this war in England where she helps the underground resistance to smuggle out Wardens and hide them from the Order. She can handle herself just fine but when a Guardian swoops in to save her she can't help but eye him as some delicious side of hotness. What she can't abide by though is losing her independence and doesn't like that Fate has said that they will end up together. While Baen tries to win over his mate's doubts and alleviates her fears, he also has his hands full saving her from one attack or another. The whole gang comes back together in Paris where they will stage their final stand and stop Armageddon. This one had all of the fun tongue-in-cheek humor that we have come to enjoy from Christine Warren's gargoyles and their outspoken mates. It was a fun ride filled from beginning to end with action and adventure and the ride was fun to go along with. Their passion and the scene where they confess their love is so beautifully written. Loved Baen's declaration and he handled it perfectly. Loved it. I do hope though that there might be one more book in the series about the last Guardian and his mate that we just very briefly met in this one.

Shadow's Curse - Alexa Egan

I had difficulty getting into this one and staying interested. The passion felt stunted and rushed in its description. The villain was good and the conflict was interesting, but the plot just was hard to get into.  Not really sure what it was exactly that I found hard to get into. The characters were good, though the tension between the two could have been more developed. The passion could have been explored and drawn out; he was a womanizer after all so that aspect could have played more of a role (his reputation coming back to bite him, him being placed in a situation where she could misconstrue what was going on, etc.) in the tension and emotional development of their relationship. When he goes into Death to save her was a good scene, that added some emotional suspense to the plot. There wasn't anything bad about it; I was just a bit bored.

The Darkest Torment (Lords of the Underworld) - Gena Showalter

Showalter's Lords of the Underworld hasn't lost its appeal, even at book 12. You would think that it would get tiring or tedious but every book is fresh in the long term plot of the series. The war between Lucifer and Hades is building, and William and Gilly's whole relationship-nonrelationship came to a head in this one. I really hope Gilly didn't screw up everything, though I truly can't see how she and William will get together with what she did in this one. (Sorry, no spoilers, you've got to read). Pandora's role is changing. Galen, who was the villain for some time, is now looking like a straight up good guy. Baden definitely deserved a happy ending after all of the hell he suffered so I was so happy to witness his redemption and release from the guilt and demons that were plaguing him for so long. Katarina was a strong female character with her own dynamic personality and she certainly didn't take any crap. Their story was entertaining and enjoyable from beginning to end.  I'm looking forward to Cameo's story with Lazarus next and I really hope William and Gilly get their book soon. 

Lure of Obsession - Lisa Kessler

This one was such an easy read. I finished it in a day. It is very similar to the Paladins of Darkness series by Alexis Morgan, the Eternal Guardians series by Elizabeth Naughton, and the Iron Portal series by Laurie London. The characters were easy to like, the conflict was believable, the passion was great, and the love story developed steadily. I liked the role reversal with the fact that the man is the one who comes to know the paranormal exists rather than the female.  The women come into their muse at 18 where the Guardians don't come into their abilities until they cross path with their muse, so it is left to the women to induct the strong alpha type men into their world. It was a fun read and I'm glad I picked it up on NetGalley.