Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Shackles of Honor by Marcia Lynn McClure

 
Cassidy Shea’s life was nothing if not serene. Loving parents and a doting brother provided happiness and innocent hope in dreaming as life’s experience. Yes, life was blissful at her beloved home of Terrill. Still, for all its beauty and tranquility…ever there was something intangible and evasive lurking in the shadows. And though Cassidy wasted little worry on it…still she sensed its existence, looming as a menacing fate bent on ruin. And when one day a dark stranger appeared, Cassidy could no longer ignore the ominous whispers of the secrets surrounding her. Mason Carlisle, an angry, unpredictable man materialized…and seemingly with Cassidy's black fate at his heels. Instantly Cassidy found herself thrust into a world completely unknown to her, wandering in a labyrinth of mystery and concealments. Serenity was vanquished…and with it, her dreams. Or were all the secrets so guardedly kept from Cassidy...were they indeed the cloth, the very flax from which her dreams were spun? From which eternal bliss would be woven?</
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This was my third time reading this book. I was in the mood for a little romance and McClure books are filled with romance. I like the setting for this, it has a regency feel to it and I’m always a sucker for an arranged marriage storyline. She is surprised one day to find her parents have arranged a marriage for her to a complete stranger. Mason comes across very gruff when they first meet and Cassidy immediately feels like he doesn’t want her. It takes her the whole book to realize differently. Mason is also full of insecurities and feels that Cassidy resents him taking away her freedom. The story moves along well and if you turn off your brain while reading it is a pleasant read. Mason and Cassidy have good chemistry and they have some fun moments together, some scenes are worth rereading. As much as I enjoy the story, there were a few things that bugged me. I didn’t like how Mason handled the situation with Gabrielle (his childhood sweetheart). He knows how insecure Cassidy is and still does nothing to prove his loyalty. He expects her to trust him, but I think actions speak louder than words. He can say he will never cheat, but if he then turns around and spends time with Gabrielle and continues to allow Gabrielle to flirt with him then I have a hard time believing him. I don’t blame Cassidy for feeling insecure and I think Mason did a poor job of reassuring her. I think the majority of their problems came from Mason not being clear about his feelings for Gabrielle and for not separating himself from her, at least until Cassidy was more secure in his feelings and her new position. As good as their chemistry was, their communication skills need some definite work. I was also confused about why they had to wait so long to marry. They had been betrothed to each other since she was a baby so it wasn’t like a big surprise. They both agreed to the marriage so I don’t get the delay. That was probably part of their problem as well. Overall, a fun read. I again loved the plot and there are some memorable scenes. Content: Clean. Some passionate kissing, but nothing more.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Under Currents by Traci Hunter Abramson

Genre: Action, Romance

Publication Date: March 2004

One Word Review: Good

Author Website: www.tracihunterabramson.com

GoodReads Synopsis
: Shaye Kendall, an Olympic-bound swimmer, has been in the witness protection program ever since she witnessed her boyfriend's murder. She now has a new name, a new life, and strict orders not to reveal her secret. But fitting into a community is hard when you can't tell people anything about yourself. She doesn't dare get involved with her new friend Matt Whitmore. The fact that Matt's father is a high-profile senator could give her the kind of exposure she doesn't need. How can you fall in love when you can never reveal who you really are? But when someone almost takes her life, Shaye recognizes that whoever is after her knows exactly who and where she is. Can she trust Matt to help her? Can she trust his family?

Kathy’s Review: I didn’t realize when I started this book that it was the first in a trilogy. I knew it was part of a series, but thought it was a stand-alone type book. I think it would have made a bit of a difference if I had known that going in. I really enjoyed the story and plot. I liked the idea of our main character going into the Witness Protection Program and what that kind of life would be like. Although the situation was serious, it was fun going along for the ride with Shaye. I liked Shaye and Matt. My only complaint is that she fell for Matt a little too soon after everything that had happened with her Ex. The book ends without any real closure, but luckily I already had the second book on hand and was able to dive in to that one. I think it’s a fun book and would recommend to anyone who likes a little adventure with their romance.

Bookworm Rating: 4

Reading Order:
Book One: Under Currents
Book Two: Ripple Effect
Book Three: Deep End

Monday, November 1, 2010

Royal Target by Traci Hunter Abramson

Genre: Action, Romance

Publication Date: October 2008

One Word Review: Good

Author Website: www.tracihunterabramson.com

GoodReads Synopsis:When CIA agent Janessa Rogers meets the royal family of Meridia on assignment, she expects to use her skills in linguistics and security to protect and serve, but she doesn't expect to find herself engaged to Prince Garrett Fortier, Meridia's most eligible bachelor, as part of the security plan. And she certainly doesn't expect to fall in love with him. Janessa resists her feelings, fearing conflicts in her personal and professional life, yet when the prince admits his feigned affection has become genuine she can no longer pretend. Matters of security, society, and spirituality make their unlikely romance even more complex, and escalating political intrigue gives Janessa an excuse to ignore the questions in her heart. But when a terrorist plot against the royal family endangers them both, Janessa and Garrett must face the challenges of loyalty to family, to country, to God--and to love.

Kathy’s Review: I enjoyed this story, I liked the plot idea and thought the story flowed nicely. It’s a fun book to curl up with on a snowy day. I liked our main character Janessa, she was easy to relate to. While she is a tough CIA agent, she doesn’t come across too tough. She and Garrett had good chemistry together and I liked how their story unfolded. I did think they fell in love a little fast; it drives me crazy when characters are declaring their love for each other when they’ve only known each other a few weeks. Just a personal pet-peeve. A fun adventure, I’ll definitely be checking out more of Abramson’s books.

Bookworm Rating: 4

A Daring Return by Kathleen Fuller

Genre: Regency

Publication Date: August 2009

One Word Review: Good

Author Website: www.kathleenfuller.com

GoodReads Synopsis: Eight years ago, Gavin Parringer left London after the woman he loved, Diana Dymoke, rejected him and married someone else. Suffering from amnesia, he has returned to England, unable to recall anything of his former life. He doesn't even recognize Diana, who is now a widow with regrets. Despite everything that has come between them in the past, Gavin finds himself falling in love with Diana for a second time. Diana also has feelings for Gavin, but she is afraid that if he remembers how harshly she treated him before he left London, he will have nothing to do with her. Thus, she keeps the truth of their prior relationship a secret. Yet when Diana's life is threatened and Gavin's memory returns, they both have to face the ghosts of their pasts in order to embrace a future together.

Kathy’s Review: This is the last in the trilogy and it was nice to see everything wrapped up. Each book followed two different characters as they found each other and fell in love. Diana and Gavin have been present in past books and it was interesting to finally get to their story. Diana hasn’t been a favorite of mine, for some reason I just didn’t relate to her. She does grow and has changed quite a bit by time her story starts. I was expecting a little more mystery, but there really wasn’t any mystery at all. I guess I was disappointed that there wasn’t more. Gavin’s amnesia added an interesting element and it was fun to see how he fell in love with Diana all over again. Overall, it was an entertaining read but not my favorite in the series.


Bookworm Rating: 3


Reading Order:
Book One: A Brilliant Deception
Book Two: A Clever Disguise
Book Three: A Daring Return
 
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