A Duke Like No Other

I need to preface this post with the following: I received the ARC of A Duke Like No Other (Playful Brides #9) as part of Valerie Bowman’s review team.

Although I no longer read much romance, Valerie Bowman is an author that I keep coming back to.  Her heroines are smart, funny, and independent.  They break the mold of proper behavior expected from young ladies in Regency England and I thoroughly enjoy reading about it.  That is why I enjoy these books so much.  They are plot-driven, and the romance is only a piece of the story.

General Mark Grimaldi has spent much of his life in service to the Crown as a spy.  Now, he is up for a promotion as Head of the Home Office, but there is a condition.  Mark must get married.  There is only one problem: he is already married.

Nicole Huntington Grimaldi has spent the last 10 years in France alone after a misunderstanding between herself and Mark.  She has no interest in returning home to England.  That is, until Mark shows up on her doorstep and asks her to come home to pretend to be his loving wife, so he can get his promotion.

I do not want to give anything else away, because there are some really awesome twists to the story.  Suffice it to say, there is mystery and intrigue and even murder!

I really loved the character development in this book.  The narration moved back and forth between Mark and Nicole and I really got to know them and their story, both past and present.  Both were extremely likeable characters.  As I said before, the book was very plot-driven and although there were sexy parts and romance, I did not feel as though there was nothing else happening in the story.  I really liked the premise of a second chance love story.  Nicole was no blushing virgin.  She knew what she liked and was not afraid to ask for it.

There was nothing that I did not like about this book!  I gave it a very solid 4 (out of 5) stars! I have read several books in her Playful Brides series and will continue to read the rest!

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Hiding His Witness by C.J. Miller

Let me preface this blog entry with an apology.  I have been reading quite a bit, but just haven’t gotten around to writing about it.  I promised this review to C.J. Miller last year!  I just recently got around to reading the book over the summer.  This is what comes from having hundreds of books at home to read.  So, here we go!

Hiding His Witness opens with main character Carey Smith walking home from work.  As she is passing an alley, she thwarts an attempted murder in progress.  When detective Reilly Truman arrives, he wants nothing more than to protect Carey.  However, Carey wants nothing to do with him, because, unbeknownst to him, she is already on the run from someone or something, and would like to maintain anonymity. 

What Carey doesn’t know is that the crime she has witnessed was perpetrated by a serial killer that the police have been looking to catch for weeks.  She is now a federal witness, and, as such, must go into witness protection.  The easiest place to hide out turns out to be a remote ranch owned by Reilly’s family.  What follows is actually a two-fold mystery.  Who is this serial killer that Carey interrupted?  Who or what is Carey running from?

I do not tend to read romances normally, especially Harlequin romances.  I overdosed on them when I was in high school and couldn’t get any romance myself!  With that being said, I actually really, really enjoyed this book!  C.J. Miller and I were roommates in college and I was so excited to see that she had written a book.  Her writing is both suspenseful and romantic without being cloying.  The plot is not romance or sex driven as are many of the romance novels I have read.  It progresses in a manner that leaves you wanting to read more, which I am looking forward to doing in C.J.’s next novels!  The sex that does occur is not gratuitous and fits in with the plot.  I found both Carey’s and Reilly’s characters to be well-developed and would love to read more about them!  I highly recommend this book for both suspense lovers and romance lovers.  4 stars!

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Look Again by Lisa Scottoline

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Look Again by Lisa Scottoline is a fast-paced thriller about a young single mom who discovers that her adopted son may be a child on a “Have You Seen This Child?” postcard. Ellen Gleeson, reporter for a newspaper in Philadelphia, receives one of these postcards in her mail one day and her life is never the same.  The child on the postcard, Timothy Braverman, more than resembles the son she adopted two years ago, Will.  Ellen fully believes that she legally adopted Will from a young mother who couldn’t care for his medical needs, however, his resemblance to the boy on the postcard is too strong for her to ignore.  As a reporter, her natural instincts to investigate take her on a heart-wrenching journey from Philadelphia, to New Jersey, to Florida, and back again.  Is Will legally Ellen’s or will she lose him?  With a fantastic twist at the end that you never see coming, this book is a highly recommended read for all mystery fans.

I always say that I am not a huge fan of mysteries, but I find myself reading them more and more often.  That being said, it takes a special kind of mystery to keep my attention and this was definitely it.  With short, fast-paced chapters and non-stop action this book kept my attention from beginning to end.  As a mother, Ellen’s predicament really tugged at my heartstrings.  This is the second book by Lisa Scottoline that I have read and I will definitely be reading more.  I highly recommend this book for fans of mysteries, thrillers, or just a good story.  Four stars!

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For the Love of Lisa by Callie Norse

For the Love of Lisa follows a couple, Lisa and Greg, and their daughter, Maggie, as they buy the Victorian House of their dreams.  Strange occurrences, such as a blood-like substance appearing in the hallway, have Greg spooked, but he soon forgets about it after Lisa is diagnosed with a terminal illness.  When Lisa passes, she has a request for her best friend, but the request seems to anger whatever is haunting the house.  Greg and his new lady friend take it upon themselves to investigate the strange occurrences.  Will they find out what is causing problems?

I ended up really enjoying this book.  I’m not usually fond of mysteries or horror stories, because I am a huge wimp, but this was just scary enough.  There were some minor issues, like a few grammatical errors, but everything else was well done.  The biggest problem I had with For the Love of Lisa was that sometimes the descriptive sentences were redundant.  For example, when Norse describes the love scenes with Greg and Lisa, sometimes she has written something like, “Greg did not want his emotions to get the better of him, but emotions were rising.” Sometimes I felt the plot started going in odd directions, but just as I wondered where Norse was going with it, all of my questions were answered and things got back on track.  Overall, this book was well-written and enjoyable, especially if you like a good mystery.  3 stars!

 

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H10N1 by Marsha Cornelius

This was my pick for the WorldLitCafe review this month and I was pleasantly surprised.  I really enjoyed this book.  The story opens with doctor Taeya Sanchez, who is working with the CDC to try to stop a new flu pandemic.  This particular flu has been biologically engineered to wipe out most of the human race.  After she loses her position at the hospital, she decides to sneak away in the middle of the night.  While trying to steal a van, she unexpectedly meets a rogue supply runner with plans to steal the same van.  What follows is an adventure across the country, with two people that hate each other trying to keep ahead of the gangs and looters. 

I really enjoyed this story, although I was expecting it to be more about the actual pandemic than the aftermath.  The characters were well developed and the action kept me wanting to read more.  Rick and Taeya were both extremely likeable and I was rooting for them to get together the entire time.  Whether they do or not is something I will let you, the reader, find out for yourself.  This was a rollicking adventure across the United States, with Rick and Taeya trying to keep one step ahead of the flu, the looters, and the riff-raff that remains after most of the human population has been weeded out.  I highly recommend this to lovers of action and medical thrillers.  4 stars!

 

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March 31, 2012 · 4:54 pm

Creatura by Nely Cab

Isis is a young woman who hasn’t slept for three months.  Her dreams are haunted by a terrifying creature who comes closer and closer, yet can never be seen clearly.  One night Isis decides she will face up to this creature and get it to come to her.  The creature turns out to be a god named Daniel, who is less threatening than he appears to be.  Humans are not allowed in his realm.  However, the forbidden connection between Isis and Daniel cannot be ignored.

I know I said this with the book I read last month, but I am not usually one to give bad reviews.  However, I had a very difficult time getting through this book.  It wasn’t necessarily the plot, which had very interesting points.  For me it was more the language.  The descriptive paragraphs had poor grammar and the dialogue was old-fashioned and stilted.  Honestly, I wondered whether the book had been translated from another language or if English had been the author’s first language.  I did some research on the author and saw that she was born in Mexico, so I suppose English could be her second language.  I do not want to make assumptions, though.

I found the premise of the book interesting, if not a little bit overdone.  Girl meets a god.  They fall in love.  Love is forbidden.  Not exactly a new plot, especially with all the young adult books being written about the supernatural lately.  The book took a while to get interesting, but once it did it was a little easier to get through.  I give this one 2 stars out of 5.

 

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