Thursday, June 28, 2012

Marked by Elisabeth Naughton

THERON - Dark haired, duty bound and deceptively deadly. He's the leader of the Argonauts, an elite group of guardians that defends the immortal realm from threats of the Underworld.

From the moment he walked into the club, Casey knew this guy was different. Men like that just didn't exist in real life--silky shoulder-length hair, chest impossibly broad, and a predatory manner that just screamed dark and dangerous. He was looking for something. Her.

She was the one. She had the mark. Casey had to die so his kind could live, and it was Theron's duty to bring her in. But even as a 200-year-old descendant of Hercules, he wasn't strong enough to resist the pull in her fathomless eyes, to tear himself away from the heat of her body.

As war with the Underworld nears, someone will have to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Where to Buy

An intriguing take on Greek mythology and how some figures from it might still be playing a part in modern times. While at first glance they don't seem to have much impact on the normal, human world, it's shown by the end of the book that the things that affect them can and will affect the human world as well. The story is full of reminders that many things aren't what the appear to be at first, that actions have consequences, and that there's always a price to pay, especially where gods are involved. Nothing comes easily for the characters, and despite all they go through, by the time the book is over they've really only just begun.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

After the Storm by Janet Dailey

"You are still legally my wife," Rad pointed out bluntly. "All I'm asking is that you resume those duties once more."

Lainie stared at him. What a fool she had been not to accept his previous offer. But that refusal had been dictated by her pride, and now need had replaced pride.

What frightened Lainie was that she still loved him. She was beginning to wonder if she had ever stopped!

Where to Buy

**Warning: Contains Mild Spoilers**

This book runs high on emotions, mostly stormy ones, and does it pretty well. The basic scenario is fairly stereotypical - married couple that's been separated for several years is suddenly brought back together, first by a chance meeting at a concert, and then more deliberately due to her mother's illness. They fight and snarl at one another, but also have moments that show they clearly still get along quite well in some ways at least, and it's made clear that she still loves him, but he doesn't seem to love her - and so it goes until eventually they have their tear-filled and oh-so-touching happily ever after at the end when they finally admit/discover that they both love the other one and always have. (Apologies if that's rather spoilery, but isn't really all that spoilery since that's pretty much how every book of this sort plays out.)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Land of Enchantment by Janet Dailey

"Why don't you just admit you're homesick for the excitement of city life and stop trying to kid both of us?" Lije snapped. "I told you even before the subject of marriage was brought up how much this ranch meant to me. I love you, Diana, but I would never give it up, even for you."

Diana had to admit to herself that she had known this. Or had she subconsciously hoped that some day she might be able to persuade him differently?

Diana was a city girl, a glamorous model. She loved the bright lights and sophisticated life that she had been used to for so long. Lije Masters was a rough, tough rancher from New Mexico, a man of the outdoors. But the violent attraction that blazed up between them could not be denied; they met, fell in love, and were married … just like that. But then, inevitably, once the honeymoon rapture was over Diana found herself bored with the life of a housewife in the wilds. She had married in haste; would she now find herself repenting at leisure? Or would Lije tire of her first?

Where to Buy

**Warning: Contains Mild Spoilers**

A good example of how engrossing some of these old Harlequins can still be. Yes, it's a bit dated in some ways, though on the whole this one felt less dated than some of them, perhaps because of the setting, namely, a small ranch where things would probably be done in much the same way today as they were then, and where only the lack of modern technologies dates it. The characters and storyline also suffer somewhat from a fair bit of stereotyping and predictability that is characteristic of this type of book, but everything is given enough individuality to make the characters seem more real, and the situations they find themselves in more believable.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Grimspace by Ann Aguirre

As the carrier of a rare gene, Sirantha Jax has the ability to jump ships through grimspace-a talent which makes her a highly prized navigator for the Corp. Then a crash landing kills everyone on board, leaving Jax in a jail cell with no memory of the crash. But her fun's not over. A group of rogue fighters frees her...for a price: her help in overthrowing the established order.

Where to Buy

**Warning: Contains Mild Spoilers**

This book grabs ahold of you almost from the beginning, drags you into the story, and then hardly ever lets you go. There is action almost from page one, and only brief respites where the characters get downtime since the author doesn't spend a lot of time telling us about what they did day by day during a 3 week space trip, for instance, but keeps the momentum going by simply summarizing such lulls and then getting right back to the action. Jax's voice as the first person narrator is often quirky, sometimes snarky, and overall helps to both get you involved with what's happening on a more personal level, as well as doing more to hint at and illustrate Jax's frequent mental instability than if the author were simply to tell us about her mental issues. Instead you get to see them first hand by looking through Jax's eyes and hearing her often depressed, depressing, and frequently paranoid internal monologues.