11 September 2012

ARC Review: Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed by Anna Campbell

Author: Anna Campbell

Title: Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed

Series: Sons of Sin #1

Source: Grand Central Publishing via NetGalley

About the Book: Will a week of seduction...

Desperate to save her sister's life, Sidonie Forsythe has agreed to submit herself to a terrible fate: Beyond the foreboding walls of Castle Craven, a notorious, hideously scarred scoundrel will take her virtue over the course of seven sinful nights. Yet instead of a monster, she encounters a man like no other. And during this week, she comes to care for Jonas Merrick in ways that defy all logic—even as a dark secret she carries threatens them both.

...Spark a lifetime of passionate surrender?

Ruthless loner Jonas knows exactly who he is. Should he forget, even for a moment, the curse he bears, a mere glance in the mirror serves as an agonizing reminder. So when the lovely Sidonie turns up on his doorstep, her seduction is an even more delicious prospect than he originally planned. But the hardened outcast is soon moved by her innocent beauty, sharp wit, and surprising courage. Now as dangerous enemies gather at the gate to destroy them, can their new, fragile love survive?


My Thoughts:

When I saw that Anna Campbell had a new historical romance out I absolutely knew I had to request it. I was not wrong, not in the least. The book is written very much in the Tradition of Claiming the Courtesan and Untouched. In fact, as soon as I figured that out, I could pretty much tell where the story was going and just about how it was going to unfold. I was also right about all that. Even so, what kept me tethered to the story were the same things that kept me very invested in those two other stories: the writing. Ms. Campbell does some beautiful writing. How can the following passage not draw a smile:

"You're just playing with me."
"Most definitely, tesoro. But your dilemma is your own fault. You're so irresistible."
"Command your willpower, Mr. Merrick. Defeat this weakness."
"I try, dear lady, I try."
"I'll bite you," she said savagely
"I'll bite you too before I am done."

From beautiful descriptions to heartbreaking tenderness, Ms. Campbell does it very well, and this book has it in spades. I loved the dialogue, when I was not smiling at some funny exchange - or the occasionally cheesy Romancelandia line - I was all caught up in the descriptions, or catching my throat at the haunting tenderness of it all - and mind you, I knew exactly what was going to happen. But I am not complaining about her formula, bot just because it works for me, but also because each set of characters to creates to play out the drama are wonderful.

I loved Sidonie and Jonas. Loved them. I loved that as much as possible, Sidonie tried to remain true to herself - and she never once tried to lie to herself. She wouldn't give herself to him when she did not want to or feel like she could afford to; but the moment she decided she wanted him, that was it. No prevaricating, no waiting for him to make another move, etc.

Another thing I loved about her was her perceptiveness. She could see through Jonas to the quick. Smart and beautiful and true. I started a bit when she referred to Jonas as a wanton in her private thoughts, and then decided I loved it very much! I never hear guys described as wanton in HRs, although the girls are always the virgins and they are the ones with oodles and oodles of debauching experience.

I also enjoyed Jonas' character very much. The vulnerability about him, and the fact that like Sidonie, he did not try to lie to himself. I'd wax more poetic, but my hands are getting tired of typing. :/

Finally, I also very much liked how true love did not make everything run smooth. Even after the admission of love, there were Sidonie's hopes and dreams and plans to consider, and Jonas' hang-ups to stand obstacle. I loved that they did not just vanish, and that the couple had to attempt to work through them.

I wasn't sure what rating to go with after I was done, but in the end, I settled on five, I had a roaring good time reading it, and will definitely revisit it. What more can you want? This makes me 3 for 3 with Ms. Campbell!



04 September 2012

Review: Unlawful Contact by Pamela Clare

Author: Pamela Clare

Title: Unlawful Contact

Series: I-Team #3

About the Book: When a young woman disappears, journalist Sophie Alton investigates and is led to the woman's brother, a convicted killer who is running from the law. Together, they follow a dangerous path toward the truth-and unforgettable passion.

My Thoughts:

Definitely the best of the I-Team series so far. I really don't know why I put off reading it for so long, despite all the assurances from my friends that I would love it. Go figure.

Shy, bookish, orphaned Sophie Alton lost her virginity to her high school secret crush one starry night at a school party(?) the first time he deigned to speak to her. The next day he was off to military school. They lost touch until twelve years later. By this time, Sophie is an investigative journalist who's covering/interested in the story of a drug addicted young mother who suddenly vanished with her baby during a supervision. she gets an anonymous to that leads her to question a prison inmate, who happens to be Hunt, the high school secret crush/cherry picker and also the brother of the young lady who pulled the vanishing act. He uses her to orchestrate his jailbreak, and what follows is a race against time to find the sister before the bad guys can get to her, and also avoid the cops, to keep Hunt from being sent back to jail.

I loved Sophie!! I didn't like Tessa from book 2, but really liked Kara from book 1. Well Sophie has none of the annoying traits of Tessa and had all the good bits of Kara magnified. She was a good balance of all girly (hot pink vibrators), slightly silly (not wearing boots in winter because they didn't look good), sensible, and smart. Marc Hunter was....awesome. Move over Reece, I think I just found a new favorite I-Team guy! I thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed myself with this one.

As stories go, this one was a teensy bit syrupy, with none of the over-the-top cheese from the previous books. Ms. Clare erred on the side of cute with this one. Me likey.

Hmm... I wonder if we're ever going to have an I-Team Peep's Children Grew Up and Are Having the Hots for Each Other series, what with all the kids these people are popping about. I for one am gunning for Kara's son with Julian's daughter and Kara's daughter playing older woman to Hunt's son, LOL!!!

1. Extreme Exposure - 4/5
2. Hard Evidence - 3/5
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