Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Fear the Darkness (Guardians of Eternity, #9)Fear the Darkness by Alexandra Ivy
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Guardians of Eternity are trying to stop the apocalypse and with the help of Cassandra, a prophet whose sisters are mated with other Guardians and Caine, a full blooded were who is protecting Cassie and has been a pain to the Guardians in the past, they hope that they can prevent the Lord of Darkness from coming through the veil where it is being held prisoner.

The Dark Lord had been banished beyond the veil and kept there by The Phoenix (Abby) for several years, however over the past few months The Dark Lord has been trying to come through and allowing other dark creatures through as well. She created twin babies to use as a vessel for her return and has succeeded in capturing the girl child and currently looks like a young cheerleader.

As Cassie and Caine are on the run, they feel they can be more helpful on their own then with the other Guardians, as they feel the Guardians would just hamper their progress, however even as they try their best to stop The Dark Lord from finding the boy child, he is taken and reunited with his twin to become the Gemini that helps The Dark Lord become powerful enough to come through the veil.

The Guardians along with The Phoenix stand against The Dark Lord at the rift to fight to the death to prevent her from coming through. Cassie has another vision in the middle of the chaos showing that in order to win the battle they must tip the balance in their favor. She believes she knows just the person to help in that matter and sends a message to Levet, the small gargoyle who has little magic but can see through all illusions.

This is a great book that the action does not stop from start to finish. I enjoy this series and this book is a wonderful addition to the overall story arc. I have enjoyed watching Caine through several books and was very curious about Cassandra. They are a perfect match for each other and the attraction is very believable. The characters that come back in each book are a joy to see again and I am looking forward to more.

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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Tucker's CrossingTucker's Crossing by Marina Adair
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A wonderful story about love and forgiveness within a family.

Shelby Lynn Harris moved to Sweet Plains, a small town an hour from Austin, three years ago, after leaving her husband (Preston Van Warren) and landing on Silas Tucker’s porch. Shelby was desperate for a safe place, a place where she could regroup and since Silas was her son’s grandfather, she was hoping he would help. Silas was more than willing to help as he was sick and needed care; he gave her a job as a nurse and a place to stay.

Cody Tucker is Silas’ son and the father of Shelby Lynn’s son, Jake. He left town years ago and promised he would never return because of his father. He did not even go to his father’s funeral however after the reading of the will, he knew he had to come home as he did not want his brothers (Noah and Beau) having to come anywhere near the ranch. The will stated that someone would have to live at the ranch, and he decided he could work there while running Tucker Industries, his business in Austin.

Cody is surprised and confused to find Shelby Lynn when he walks into the house. He could not believe she was living and helping the father he hated. They had a relationship ten years ago and after they shared a night of passion the relationship disintegrated when misunderstandings and supposed friends interfered, leaving heartache behind. Shelby Lynn ended up marrying Cody’s best friend Preston and lived a miserable life until moving to Sweet Plains.

Cody is even more surprised when Shelby’s young son comes into the house; he knows right away that Jake is his since they look so much alike. He is hurt and angry with Shelby for keeping Jake from him for so many years so the beginning of a reunion starts out rocky. As Cody, Shelby Lynn and Jake try to sort out their relationship, strange things are happening on the ranch, things that are making the ranch be unprofitable.

As the story unfolds, we find out the reasons Cody hated his father and why Shelby Lynn and Jake have such a different relationship with Silas. Cody has to come to grips with the fact that his father was flawed and was truly sorry when he died. Shelby Lynn also has a past that she must deal with, and when the past threatens Jake, she protects him with everything she can and is touched when she finds that she does not have to fight alone, as Cody is there to help. I loved the small town setting; the characters are funny and quirky and made me laugh out loud. Those ladies and their competition over food are truly hilarious. A great debut and I am looking forward to reading more stories.

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Monday, August 13, 2012

Moonglow (Darkest London, #2)Moonglow by Kristen Callihan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

London 1883
Daisy Margaret Ellis (Craigmore) had been in morning for 366 days and she is done. She believes she has wasted plenty of time on a husband that she hated. She is ready to wear colors and do something infamous and mysterious, so she sets her sights on a man she does not know, but who will hopefully fulfill her needs. Unsure if she can go through with her plan she is surprised when the man is killed in front of her by a creature that looks surprisingly like a wolf. She is rescued by Ian Ranulf, who is the Marquis of Northrup, but not before she is injured by the creature.

Ian Ranulf was at one time, attracted to Daisy's sister Miranda and tried to turn her against Archer before they were married. Ian and Archer were good friends at one time until Ian's father died and blame was laid on Archer who had brought Ian's father into a secret society called the West Moon Club. The club was obsessed with immortality and when Ian's father wanted to leave the group a demon named Victoria tried to burn him alive and scarred him badly, making him weak and unable to lead his clan. Ian comes from a family of werewolves or Lycan and should have lead his clan however he had left the clan years before when his wife and son died. Ian let his younger brother Conell take over, however many in the supernatural world are unhappy with Ian's decision.

Daisy is what is considered a "nose", a person with exceptional smelling abilities and knowing her husband would never provide for her after his death, started working with a perfumer to make a future for herself. She developed a signature perfume however someone took the recipe and sold it to other men to purchase for their ladies. This seems to be the connecting piece between the women who are being targeted by the crazed beast around London. Ian notices that the beast (who he knows is a werewolf) has the smell of sickness about him and that could be why he has let the wolf side take over his body.

The Society for the Suppression of Supernaturals (SOS) has a duty to be kept informed of all supernatural beings and their activities. The SOS, along with most supernaturals want Ian in control of his clan, he is the true alpha and they do not believe his brother Conall is a good choice and his right hand man Lyle has made some suspicious choices.

As Ian and Daisy investigate the murders, they seek help from others in the SOS and visit a man named Lucien who is a GIM, ghost in the machine, an individual that has chosen to live forever after taking over another body. GIM's are the spies of the supernatural world. Ian ends up employing a GIM to spy on Conell to find out if he is hiding the werewolf in order to frame Ian.
The story is steady and fast paced with wonderful suspense as it comes to a roller coaster ending when they try to find who is behind the attacks, who is hiding the sick werewolf and why the werewolf is attacking these women. The conclusion is surprising and fascinating as they search for answers. As Ian and Daisy fall in love they must find the courage to fight one more conflict to find true happiness.

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Carolina Home (Dare Island, #1)Carolina Home by Virginia Kantra
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Heartwarming story about family and love

Family is the central theme of this wonderful story. Matt Fletcher’s family has lived on Dare Island for several generations raising families and living off the land. He is busy running his own fishing business and raising his teenage son, Joshua, with a little help from his parents who run an Inn on the island. Allison Carter is the new teacher on the island and just happens to have Matt’s son in her class. She likes to meet all the parents of her students; especially those students that she feels need a little extra attention. It is not that Joshua is a bad kid; just that she feels he can do so much more than what she has seen so far.

Despite what others think, Allison believes she has finally found a place to put down roots. She escaped her overbearing parents who have more money than sense and has lived in several different places until she found this place. Since she has been here she has loved the fact that she feels like she belongs here.

Causing more family drama, Matt’s brother, Luke, comes home from Afghanistan with his daughter in tow, a daughter (Taylor) who is now 10 that no one knew about until her mother recently died. Luke gets her settled with his family and leaves again for Afghanistan leaving a frightened young girl who is unsure of the Fletcher family and who is quieter than she should be as she is holding on to some difficult secrets.

A wonderful family drama surrounds the romance between Matt and Allison as Matt meets Allison’s family and Allison gets to know Matt’s family. Matt’s hesitancy becomes apparent as they struggle to form a relationship as he does not believe Allison is here to stay. Matt has always felt responsible, not only of his parents and his son Joshua but now he has the addition of a niece his brother left behind. The family all comes together when Matt’s mom Tess is in an accident, strengthening the bond they have and making room for Allison and Taylor in their tight knit family.

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Cold ComfortCold Comfort by Ellis Vidler
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Clair Spencer has a quiet life living in the home her mother left her and runs a Christmas shop in Williamsburg, Virginia that she owns. Her calm existence comes to an end when she arrives home one night after closing the shop and is attacked in her driveway. Thanks to the neighbor’s dog that alerts those nearby, she is rescued but the attack leaves her with several injuries and many questions. After telling her assistant, Mary about the attack she is referred to Ben Riley by Mary’s brother Ray. Riley works in security and can be available to hire for the right amount of money and motivation.

At first Riley does not want the job, as he is still reeling from a job where a small child was killed. Even though he could not have prevented the outcome, he still feels horrible and does not want to get involved. However, he is curious about her and goes to visit the Christmas shop to see Clair and assess the situation. While he is there Clair is attacked again and as he saves her, he reluctantly agrees to take the job.

As Clair and Riley try to piece together why someone would try to kill her they make some startling discoveries and Clair realizes she has grown up with secrets and lies all her life. Together with the help from Riley’s group of friends who all seem to have a specialty, they try to find out who she is.

The plot progresses at a fast pace and we are hurtled toward an ending that has many twists and turns to keeps you guessing. Clair and Riley find danger as they discover the secrets to Clair’s past. Riley and Clair take comfort in each other during the most trying times however they fight the attraction as they both know that Riley is not the type of guy that is looking for a long term relationship. The ending is satisfying and I enjoyed this book immensely as Clair finds out who she really is and Riley starts looking at a future that could involved Clair.

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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Can't Hurry LoveCan't Hurry Love by Molly O'Keefe
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Victoria Schulman has become a shell of what she used to be, thanks to a husband who wanted a weaker woman to make him feel strong. She came home to claim her inheritance when her estranged father was dying and has decided to stay. She does not get the inheritance she wished for but her brother is willing to sell her the Crooked Creek Ranch after it comes out of escrow in a year. In the meantime she needs to pick herself up and learn how to run a ranch.

Eli Turnbull has been the ranch foreman for years. He expected to get something when Lyle Baker died, since the Baker family slowly bought his family’s land over several decades when they were in need of money. But all Eli receives is the prized Angus herd that he intends to sell as soon as possible. Eli is an extremely angry man and takes it out on everyone, including Victoria. He has offered her 2 million dollars for the ranch but Victoria sees this ranch as her salvation and a future for her son.

Selling most of the herd serves several purposes for Eli; it gives him money to buy the ranch (assuming Victoria will eventually sell), purchase some Stallions for the breeding operation he wants to start and takes away the monthly income for Victoria’s ranch, thereby hoping to force her to sell.

Although Eli and Victoria do not see eye to eye, he stays on as foreman since he wants to use the space and equipment for his breeding program. However when things come to a head with Victoria she fires him leaving him with nothing to do but make some decisions about his future and find the reasons for his anger.

Celeste Baker, Lyle’s ex-wife and mother of Luc (Victoria’s half brother) also decides to stick around after Lyle’s death although Victoria somewhat believes it is to see her fail since Celeste was never good to her while growing up. However as they spend time together, they form an alliance and start to become friends. Victoria throws out the idea of making the ranch a spa which Celeste loves and jumps to help with funding, they need additional funding so Victoria goes to Eli to see if he wants to buy some of the land he has coveted. He ends up purchasing several acres and as they work things out they become closer and find they have more things in common than they thought, they might even like each other.

As the story unfolds, we see that Eli deals with some of his anger and Victoria grows a backbone, and on several different situations stands up for herself, their mutual respect and growing friendship develop into love. The story is very good and we see two very different people deal with outside forces that seem to decide their fate until they realize they can make their own decisions and forge their own way in life.

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