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Monday, November 21, 2011

Make Mine Midnight by Annmarie McKenna


New Year's resolutions have never looked so good.

New Year's Eve. The party is rockin', and Claire is in her usual spot holding up the wall. It's all right. She's much happier scribbling in her trusty little notebook than mingling. Especially since those notes turn into the sexy erotic romances she pens in secret. Those two gorgeous gods across the room are perfect hero material and...oh dear, are they headed her way?

Mason and Hunter know she won't remember them as the scrawny geeks they were in high school. She also doesn't know they've been lusting after her for ten long years, waiting for her to meet a man and have a normal relationship. They're through waiting. The time has come to make their move--and show her exactly how much they've changed.

One night in the middle of a Mason/Hunter manwich, and Claire has enough research material to fill a hundred notebooks. Good thing she's got OfficeMax on speed dial to order more. Except suddenly her two hunks have this crazy idea that keeping her is selfish. Selfish? She may be mousy, but this mouse is about to roar...

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An unconventional love story between two men and one woman. While I doubt that such a situation would really work very well in reality, as few people would be able to share so readily and completely as the men in this story can, still, the author tells her story well enough that it's quite believable of all three of them. My main complaints here are due to the length of the story - it is so short that it feels rushed in many places. A much longer word count that would have given the author more room to tell these characters' stories more would have been welcome. True, we do learn all the essential parts of their backstories, but more development would still have been nice, particularly since they are fairly interesting characters. Still, the author did a good job in the space she had, and the story is a very enjoyable quick read.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Silent Knight by Delilah Devlin


In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Noelle Moyaux questions her gift of sight until a chance encounter with a mysterious stranger during the Christmas holiday sets her on a path to save his soul.

Magnus Thornton is a millennium-old vampire who has found evidence of an old foe's evil at work in the demolished city of New Orleans. Weary of the fight, he decides to greet the coming dawn after a night reveling in his favorite things-a bottle of Bordeaux and a willing woman.

What starts as a night of sensual delights, ends in a revelation of mutual discovery when Noelle quickly creeps into his heart. The ancient vampire, so jaded from life he never speaks, must now persuade her to flee the city before it's too late.






An intriguing story. While I'm sure a lot of the atmosphere of the story can only be truly appreciated by those who lived in New Orleans in the months after Katrina and worked to put their lives and city back together, still the feeling of desolation and weariness in the face of prolonged adversity comes through. While we get to learn at least the basics of Noelle's background and who she is, we never learn that much about Magnus, other than a few tantalizing glimpses that speak of a story that must be fascinating and compelling. What has he seen and lived through that has brought him to the point of being ready to meet the sun rather than face another night? We only get a general explanation that raises as many questions as it answers.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Mouth of Truth by Isobel Chace


"You may run, but you'll never escape!"
Domenico Manzu was like no one else she had ever met, and Deborah hadn't the remotest idea how to cope with him.

If she'd heeded her father's warning, she'd never have come to Rome. Now here she was, virtually kidnapped yet treated like a guest.

Domenico was a very charming villain. But Deborah knew that while he had captured her person, she'd be a fool if she allowed him to capture her heart!

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** Contains Moderate Spoilers**

I first read this book several years ago, probably sometime in the early-mid 1990s, and liked it fairly well for some reason then. Well enough that it stuck in my mind when most other books of this sort all ran together eventually in my head. Waxing a bit nostalgic earlier this year, I tracked down copies of a few of the old books like this I remembered, and read this one again. And, well, let's just say my opinion of it this time around was much lower.

Friday, November 11, 2011

The Twilight Before Christmas by Christine Feehan


Bestselling novelist Kate Drake is one of seven sisters gifted with amazing powers of witchcraft. Returning home in time for her northern California town's annual Christmas pageant, Kate catches the spirit of the season and decides to open a bookstore in a charming but run-down historic mill. Decorated former U.S. Army Ranger Matt Granite, now a local contractor, doesn't mind working in the undeniably eerie house -- not if it means getting closer to Kate. There's something about the quiet, sensual woman that powerfully attracts him.

When an earthquake cracks the mill's foundation and reveals a burial crypt, Kate senses that a centuries-old evil has been unleashed and that it's coming after her. Though Matt vows to guard her from dusk till dawn, Kate knows she will have to summon all of her and her sisters' powers to battle the darkness threatening to destroy both Christmas and the gift of soul-searing passion her hometown hero wants her to keep forever....

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Ms. Feehan has done a great job in this book of capturing the feeling of Christmastime in a small town, and that mood provides a nice, comforting background to a story that weaves together events from Sea Harbor's past that are now impacting the present. Even as the tension mounts as the attacks from the being in the fog increase, still the characters, Kate in particular, are able to take refuge in the good feelings present at Christmastime and concentrate on them for awhile when they need a break from the fear and stress the creature brings with it. The story of what and who the being is, what happened to him, and why he's terrorizing those in the present is artfully unfolded bit by bit throughout the book, rather like opening a present that someone has nested box within box to prolong the suspense (and enjoyment?) of unwrapping it to find out what it is.