Category Archives: Book

Book Review: Playing by Her Rules (Sydney Smoke Rugby, #1) by Amy Andrews

4 gems

playing by her rules

I’ve read a couple of book by Amy Andrews, but so far Playing by Her Rules is my favorite. It shows one of my favorite tropes in the romance genre: second chance romance.

Matilda Kent is a style columnist at Standard, but that’s not where she wants to remain. When she accidentally lets it slip that she was involved with the Rugby God; Tanner Stone, she gets tasked with writing a six part feature on him. Being part of the “elite” feature team is what Matilda wanted, but she is not happy with the strings that are attached to the promotion, namely Tanner Stone, the man who broke her heart back in the day. Despite everything, Matilda is determined to be a professional and do the piece, and in the process extract her revenge from the man who broke her heart.

Tanner ‘Slick’ Stone is the captain of the Sydney Smoke rugby team. The man every man envies and every woman wants in her bed. All he wants to do is play rugby, but when the suits from above decree that Tanner has to do a six part feature series for a journo, he is not so happy. But when he finds out the journo is Matilda Kent, a.k.a. his Tilly, he is more than happy to do it, even if it is under the pretext of apologizing to her for his dickish move in the past.

Tanner is one of my favorite heroes of the year. He made a mistake when he was younger, and like Matilda even I wasn’t willing to forgive him, but with each passing page, he won me over. Tanner is the kind of guy who is innately good from the inside and has a strong moral compass. His is quite a rag to riches story. The boy who came from very little to the man who owns the world. Despite his success, Tanner never appears to be snobbish or arrogant, which I loved the most about him. He is proud of his success and all that he has achieved and even enjoys it, but he does not rub it in your face. The various things that you learn about Tanner in the book will definitely make you fall in love with him. Initially I was very wary of him due to his past actions, but the man he became overshadowed his one mistake and I found myself forgiving the man and begging Tilly to do the same.

Tilly too was a great character. She is a strong, independent woman who wants to go far in her career but unfortunately couldn’t. When she is offered a chance, even though hesitant at first, she takes up the project with panache. Her history with Tanner changed her a lot. His actions highly affected her life and not in a good way. She is aware of her shortcomings, but she doesn’t cry and moan about them. She does not want to see Tanner and remember all the good things about him, but he is a force to be reckoned with.

I loved the banter between Tilly and Tanner. They were so good together. Tilly had a big fat wall built around her heart, but Tanner methodically keeps breaking it down. You could see the chemistry between them oozing from the pages. Their dates / interviews were so fun, especially the soup kitchen date. The playful side of their relationship comes forth in that particular episode. There are tiny things that are the most fun in the book. Like the twitter chats of Tanner, his fans and sometimes Matilda, the story behind how Tanner got the name “Slick”, their past despite the big bad ending. The most fun characters in the book are Hannah Kent, Matilda’s grandmother and Lincoln, Tanner’s teammate.

Tilly’s gran was the best side character in the book. She loves her granddaughter, but does not spoil her. She gives you a shoulder to cry on, but she doesn’t give you pity, only the truth and the facts. She is the catalyst that finally brings Tilly and Tanner together, so I love her even more for that.

Lincoln was the quintessential funny guy , who is an unapologetic playboy who loves to make double entendre jokes. I can’t wait to read his story. The man is gonna fall hard and I already love the woman who will bring him to his knees.

While the majority of the book was enjoyable, one thing that irritated me was the constant reference to Tanner’s “ouzo essence”. It was mentioned so many times that it just got on my nerves. Other than that the book and I had a #definitelylove situation.

If you need another reason to love Tanner, I just loved, loved, loved what he says to his Tilly.

This isn’t maybe love or probably love or even definitely love anymore. This is forever love, and I want that to start right here, right now. Today

This review was first published on The Ever Romantic Arts


Stealing the Groom (Stealing the Heart #1) by Sonya Weiss

3.5 gems

stealing the groom

Stealing the Groom was a very fun and entertaining read, not to mention a feel good novel. It was well written, it was humorous. The only problem I had, was with a bit in the end.

Amelia Snyder and Chad Walker have been best friends since they were kids. Their grandparents were best friends long before they were born, so they were practically born into this friendship. And Amelia takes her friendship very seriously. There is no way she will let her best friend marry a gold-digging “barracuda.” So she devises a plan. To groomnap her friend.

Chad Walker does not believe in love. Not since his mother left his father and his father squandered all their money trying to win back his ex-wife and subsequently drank himself to death. Chad believes that love can only bring pain and heartbreak, so there is no way he is marrying for love. But for his business, he’ll do pretty much anything. Even marry a woman he doesn’t love. His marriage to Claire is nothing but a business deal mutually beneficial to the both of them. But with is best friend groomnapping him, without any further plans, let me just add, his wedding looks like a no go.

As Amelia and Chad spend a couple of nights together, they start feeling things they have never felt for each other. And when with a twist of fate, Amelia ends up being Chad’s bride, they touch the fine line of friends and lovers. Chad is determined to not cross that line, because there is no way he is willing to lose Amelia. And Amelia is on a mission to loosen Chad up, teach him a little spontaneity and maybe even make him acknowledge that they could be more than friends and still be good together.

I really enjoyed the chemistry between Amelia and Chad. They obviously had feelings for each other that neither of them recognized but the rest of the world did. So, it was really nice to watch them both figure it out too. I do wish there was a little hot action between the two, because I loved them together.

Stealing the Groom was a fun and flirty read. This book shows you that opposite do attract and they are on fire together. Amelia was always the flinty, spontaneous, spur-of-the-moment woman, whereas our dear old Chad was a strict, by-the-book control freak with a planner and a to-do list in hand. He did need to loosen up and Amelia was the perfect person to teach him that.

But I do have a bit of an issue with the ending. The author just finished of it off with no bang. I wanted the making up part to go on just a bit more. The author has also paved the way for two more books featuring Amelia’s sisters and Chad’s best friends. I look forward to those books.

If you want a good, humorous, fun, feel good book, do not hesitate to pick up Stealing the Groom . It is worth your time.

Stealing the Heart series

  1. Stealing the Groom
  2. Resisting Her Rival
  3. Stealing the Bachelor

This review first appeared on The Ever Romantic Arts.

Book Review: Running Wilde (Wilde Security #4) by Tonya Burrows

4 gems

running wilde

Let me tell you, when you start a Tonya Burrows series, don’t ever think that the first book is the best or the second or the third is the best. Because this woman writes nothing but the best. Each book in the series is better than the previous one. And that holds true for Running Wilde too. Vaughn may just be my favorite Wilde brother, but I have a feeling Tonya is going to change that with the eldest Wilde brother, Greer (don’t tell Reece. He still believes he is my favorite. Don’t worry Reece, I still love you).

The protagonists of this novel, Vaughn Wilde and Lark Warren are characters we have met already. Vaughn being part of the ever-naughty twin duo Cam-Vaughn and Lark as Libby’s best friend in Wilde For Her. In Wilde for Her, Lark and Vaughn hook up and have a short-lived, intense relationship before Lark disappears. This book starts with Vaughn finding her.

While Vaughn and Lark’s story starts in Wilde For Her, there is enough back story in Running Wilde that one can read it as a stand-alone. But to exploit the book to its optimum, it’s better to read the whole series. There are certain nuances that you miss out on otherwise.

Vaughn Wilde has been looking for Lark Warren for months now. After an explosion nearly killed him, Lark disappeared. While they had a good thing going, Vaughn can’t figure out why she would leave without any news. But as he starts to search for her, he realizes that there is a lot more of Lark than a hot body and a sarcastic sense of humor. That woman has secrets a mile long.

Lark Warren has been running for five years. Every few months, she picks a new place and a new name. The horrors of her past can’t be farther enough. She never stays in one place for too long, never forms any everlasting relationships. After all it’s only going to hurt once she leaves without a word. And she always leaves. Except with Vaughn Wilde, she forgets her rules and falls head over heels in lust and maybe even a little bit in love with him. But the moment she thinks, she can be happy, her fears and her past drive her away from him.

Vaughn is determined to find Lark and surrender her to the authorities for identity theft. Except he can’t forget the three amazing weeks he spent with her before her disappearance. Not to the mention the ever-present palpable chemistry between them.  But Vaughn has also brought with him the very people Lark is running from. She is determined to run away, he is determined to keep her close.

There was nothing predictable about this book. Which is one of the things that I love about Tonya Burrows. Till the end I couldn’t figure out who Lark was or what her past was like. But it unravels slowly and steadily through the novel. Lark and Vaughn had a love-hate relationship going with  sarcastic banter thrown in. I just loved it. Vaughn and Lark and right up there with Shelby and Reece as my favorite couples. They had great chemistry and their back and forth was too much fun.

I really felt for both Lark and Vaughn. Lark’s past really was a horrible one and I could understand why she did what she did. But I did get a little annoyed when she just plain refused to trust Vaughn and share her problems with him. No matter how understanding Vaughn was. That man went all out for her. He would have given her the world and then some. There was such passion and longing inside Vaughn. He may have had a hard exterior, but the man was just a sweet little teddy bear. He really was a sweetheart. He is the kind of man who would have carved his heart out for the woman he loves. After the first time, I really felt like Lark didn’t deserve him, but she redeemed herself in the end.

Tonya being the sneaky woman that she is, also threw into the mix our very own Marc D’Angelo from the HORNET series. We find out something totally unexpected about him. So listen up HORNET readers, make sure you pick up Running Wilde, or else you might just miss Marc’s secret.

Of course, Tonya being Tonya left us in suspense about Greer. I can’t wait to read about him. I have a feeling he is going to trump all the Wilde brothers to become my ultimate favorite. Hurry up Tonya!! I’m waiting.

Other books in the Wilde Security series:

Wilde Nights in Paradise

Wilde for Her

Wilde at Heart

This review first appeared in The Ever Romantic Arts 

Happy New Year 2016!!



Amethyst, Garnet and Sapphire wish you all a very Happy New Year!! Cheers!


Book Review: Love on a Summer Night (Pine Harbour#4) by Zoe York

5 gems

love on a summer night

Oh boy… This was by far. The. Best. Book in the series. #TheZanderEffect was in full swing in this book.

Zander Minelli has found his way back home to Pine Harbor after dedicating 20 years of his life to the army. In six months he’ll be out and needs to figure out what his future will be. What better place to do that than home sweet home. While on this two-week leave from the army, he meets the most delicious kind of woman, Ponytail Girl. She is beautiful, smart and has lots of questions on how to use deadly weapons and kill people. Fortunately for Zander, she also shares  his love for apple pie.

Faith Davidson is a widowed, single mother and a full-time author. She is ready to dip her feet back into the dating pool. Her only conditions: no tattoos and no bad boys. Only stable, boring men. While spending her time writing at the neighborhood diner, Greta’s, Faith encounters a tall, dark and handsome biker dude, who has her blood boiling and thinking dirty thoughts. He also happens to speak the language of weapons quite fluently, so she racks his brain for all the available knowledge. There’s just one catch. The hot as hell guy is the exact type of man Faith did not want; tattooed-bad boy. Except the attraction is strong and somehow they end up bumping into each other everywhere they go.

Zander and Faith were such amazing characters. Both strong in their own rights. Though they had instant attraction, there’s was by no means an insta-love story. Their relationship developed over the two-weeks Zander was in town and then later, when he was away. I loved seeing the way in which Zoe York dealt with the long distance relationship. A long-distance relationship is not easy, and Ms. York made sure that she included the difficulties that come with it, rather than making it all hunky dory. She also didn’t make Faith and Zander’s relationship full of fights, which I must say is very well done.

Faith was no meek woman, but after the death of husband in a skiing accident she has grown a lot more reserved and overprotective about her son Eric. She dulled her life, suppressed her desires, so that Eric wouldn’t have to grow up without either of his parents. She got a lot of help from her mother too. Faith, Eric and Faith’s mother shared  a very good relationship. Her mother too is a widow and knows how Faith feels.

Zander is indeed a tough, responsible guy. He loved his family, but the army is his life. He is in a dilemma when the book starts as to what to do with his life after his army stint comes to an end. But when Faith enters the picture, his priorities shift. He wants to stay with her and Eric, rather than being gone for months at a time. The six months they spent apart from each other while Zander was gone was difficult for both of them. The best thing about Zander was that he never took Faith for granted. He knew what her insecurities were, dealt with them in the best away possible. He never rubbished her fears, but rather coaxed her out in the open.

As expected from a typical Zoe York book, the chemistry was sizzling between Faith and Zander. They made a really good couple who shared a certain ease with each other. Every time they came together, sparks were flying. It was beautiful to see how caring Zander was towards Faith. He took care of the minutest details. He made her feel special and loved.

while Zander and Faith’s relationship was amazing, what was even better was Zander and Eric’s relationship. Now that took the cake. That man was meant to be a father. #ZanderEffect. Oh man!! The way Zander dealt with Eric, such love and care, I doubt even his biological father would have been capable of that. Zander was friend, a mentor, a comrade, a father, everything humanly possible to Eric. And the relationship all three of them shared together, Faith, Eric and Zander, a perfect family.

A special mention should also be given to Jake and Dani. They finally got married and man, oh man, their wedding vows…. I would be lying if I said that I didn’t shed a few tears. It was just PERFECT!! Everything about this book was just plain amazing. There was nothing wrong that I could find about this book. Since it was an ARC, there were a few typos, but even those were disregarded in favor of the awesome story-line and beautiful characters. I know that every time a new book by Zoe comes out, I say it’s my favorite, but THIS BOOKS WAS PERFECT! This was absolutely mesmerizing in the beauty of the relationships depicted and the story touched my heart.

I’m crossing my fingers that the next book in the series, which is Dean’s book was will as amazing as this, if not better.

This review was first published on The Ever Romantic Arts.

Book Review: Witness to Passion (Guarding Her Body #1) by Naima Simone

4 gems

witness to passion

Fallon Wayland hates birthdays. After all nothing good has happened to her on any of her birthdays. On her tenth birthday her dad stood her up because he was on a business trip, on her fifteenth birthday, her mom took her puppy to the pound and on her eighteenth birthday she kissed her childhood crush and got rejected. If you think all this was bad till you hear what happened on her twenty-fifth birthday. She gets dumped by her boyfriend on twitter, witnesses a mob hit and gets fired from her job. And now her life is all turned around.

Shane Roarke has avoided his baby sister’s best friend, Fallon for the past seven years after sharing a hot as hell kiss with her. But now that Fallon’s life is in danger, he can’t stay away. I doesn’t matter if just seeing Fallon turns him on. Her life is more important than his need to stay away.

With Fallon’s life endangered at very turn, Shane takes it upon himself to keep her safe. With both of them cooped up in a safe house, desires flare, clothes come off and hearts are at risk. Even when the clothes are flying off, danger is creeping in. Fallon and Shane need to survive if they must have a chance at love.

Fallon and Shane have a love-hate relationship, more hate than love. Being rejected does not sit well with Fallon after all. After avoiding her for almost eight years, when Shane shows up at her doorstep ready to be her knight in shining armor, she is skeptical.

“If you were truly ‘here for me,’ you would have a Kahlua in one hand and Henry Cavill’s number in the other. Since I’m not having drunken phone sex with Superman, there must be another reason you’re darkening my living room.”

Their banter is what made me love Fallon and Shane. Their back and forth was fun and oozing chemistry.  Both came from similar emotional backgrounds. While Fallon’s parents had money and never love to give her, Shane’s mom had loads of love, but was reckless and self-involved. They never tried to see the people behind the masks, and now that they do, they might not survive long enough to act on it.

The suspense in this book was good. I figured out who the traitor was once a couple of hints were dropped, but otherwise this book was majorly unpredictable. The characters were strong, the sex was hot and Addy, Shane’s sister and Fallon’s best was friend was super fun.

Witness to Passion was a good blend of romance and suspense. The action in the book kept me on my toes, and the author did not disappoint.

This review first appeared on The Ever Romantic Arts.

Book Review: Wilde at Heart (Wilde Security #3) by Tonya Burrows

4.5 gems

wilde at heart

I was so happy to receive an early copy of this book, ’cause since the day I finished Wilde for Her,  I was looking forward to Reece and Shelby’s story. And Tonya Burrows didn’t disappoint.Wilde at Heart was by far my favorite book in the series.

Though Cam and Jude were the most fun Wilde brothers and they are, except, Reece is better. He is adorable, sweet and sexy as hell. Reece and Shelby together were amazing together. Tonya Burrows had me laughing from the very first page. And considering that the heroine was Shelby, this book was guaranteed fun.

Shelby as usual spoke her mind and was fun as always. She is an independent young woman who knew her strengths and weakness. People never gave her a chance to be anything other than the flighty, reckless girl that she was. She tried so hard to be the responsible adult, but people’s views including that of her sister Eva and the Wilde brothers, including to some extent Reece, never changed.

While I loved Eva for the kick-ass woman that she was in Wilde For Her, I strongly disliked her in this book. She never really understood Shelby and she didn’t try to. She was always the first one to point out Shelby’s shortcomings and reprimand her. She was also the very last person to believe Shelby could make a sane, responsible decision. True Shelby was impulsive, but even behind her impulse she had good reason.

While I loved Reece for the kind-hearted, geeky nerd that he was, I was sometimes disappointed with him for his behavior with Shelby. He too never saw behind the mask of Shelby’s impulsiveness. He tried to change her from what she is to what he thinks she should be. But on the other hand he also didn’t want Shelby to change. His complexity and duality made for an intriguing read.

This book was suspenseful, fun and mostly unpredictable. There were two tracks working parallel in the story- one was Reece’s blackmail and the other was Shelby’s. While it was easy enough to guess who had a bone to grind with Reece, I honestly couldn’t predict who the villain in Shelby’s life was till the end. The sex as usual in Tonya Burrows style was hot has hell. Burrows has made sure to pave a footpath for both Vaughn and Greer Wilde. Tonya Burrows made sure to throw us crumbs about the upcoming books. I can already feel the fun and intensity in Lark and Vaughn’s book.

The surprise element in this book for me was Reece. In the previous books he came across as uptight and snobbish. But in this book Reece truly shined. He was just a lot more shy and reserved than his brothers. Trying to shoulder the weight of his brothers took a toll on him. Shelby was the perfect woman for him. She brought out the fun, geeky, artistic guy that he was. But what really threw me was the fact that Reece was a virgin!! I NEVER and I mean NEVER expected that. Thank you Ms. Burrows for surprising me!

Wilde at Heart truly encompassed what both Reece and Shelby were, and they were incredibly wild. This book is undoubtedly my favorite book in the series. Can’t wait for Vaughn and Greer’s story to come out.

This review first appeared on The Ever Romantic Arts.

ARC Review: Magic Shifts (Kate Daniels#8) by Ilona Andrews

5 gems
 magic shifts

First off, thanks a lot to Alexis Nixon and Ace Publishing for allowing me to read this book.

Now this is what I felt like when I got a mail telling me ‘Why yes, you can obviously have an early copy of Magic Shifts. You didn’t even have to ask.’ (okay she did not say that, but you get the idea)

fangirling hard

and yes i did this too…


There are going to be some spoilers of Magic Shifts in this review. They will be minor in the grand scheme of things, but any Ilona Andrews fan knows that any spoiler is a big spoiler when it comes to the Kate Daniels series.

It’s been a couple of months since Curran stepped down as the Beast Lord and Kate claimed the city. The suburban life is as good as their life can be, though it’s an adjustment. While Kate and Curran are happy that they don’t have to get sucked into the Pack politics anymore, Curran misses the challenge of making the Pack run like a well-oiled machine.

When the Pack offers them an ailing Mercenary Guild, Curran has found a new challenge for himself. Except the Guild is in shambles, the Clerk is gone, there’s no one to man the tables so to say, and all the mercenaries have a bad attitude to boot. The mercenaries don’t need Curran coming in and saving them, but then again Curran never cared much for what others wanted.

This time around Kate and Curran are supposed to save Eduardo, the were-bison form the Pack. With no sign of Eduardo, his fiancee, George, is in a turmoil. So she goes to the two people she knows can help her. True to their nature, Curran and Kate do everything in their power to help George and save Eduardo., sometimes going above and beyond to help them. With hoards of ghouls in town and the strange gigs the Kate and Curran are doing for the Guild, they know that their unknown enemy is one of the strongest they’ve ever met.

With one of the oldest supernatural creatures in town wreaking havoc in Atlanta, Kate and Curran don’t have much time to play house or just be. For them, it’s a race against time to save a friend’s life and keep Atlanta whole without losing their lives in the process.

Let me just say this: Holy sh*t! This book was bloody awesome. Kate and Curran are in full form, fighting death, vanquishing enemies, saving friends and meeting Roland for dinner when they have some free time. While I love all the books in the Kate Daniels series, Magic Breaks wasn’t my favorite. I was disappointed with the lack of Curran for half the book, but that is not the case in Magic Shifts. I also forgot how much I loved Kate the Mercenary rather than Kate the Consort, and I was reminded of that in this book. Kate kicked ass in this book. Totally and completely kicked ass.

Magic Shifts took me thorough a whole concoction of emotions. I obviously loved Kate’s kick-assery. Put Kate and her sword together and there’s bound to be magic. I enjoyed Kate being the family woman. Interacting with Curran and Julie, making them breakfast, asking about their day. And when Kate went up to her neighbour and told her to leave Curran alone, all I thought was ‘You go girl’.

Kate’s sarcastic humor is an unsaid favorite. But what I loved most in this book was that there was a point when I wasn’t sure if Kate and Curran are gonna make it. And not like in Magic Rises. I honestly thought they were on the verge of being over, but then they found their footing and worked their way through their problems. Then there was a point when I was crying my eyes out and saying ‘NO! NO, YOU CAN’T DO THAT! That’s so unfair. What am I gonna do now?’ That was a total *headpalm* moment with me literally crying buckets. That was also the epitome of Kate’s strength and to some extent her powers.

I was also glad to find out that all the characters I thought would leave with Kate and Curran did leave with them. Yayy me!! Some were unexpected, but all were welcome. Christopher makes an appearance in this book too and like always I enjoyed Kate’s interactions with him. Saiman too graces us with his presence, and honestly, that man needs to stop doubting Kate. When is he gonna realize that Kate is THE BOMB?  Watching Julie turn into a mini-Kate was fun in itself, but she too is getting stronger with each passing day. I’d love to know her role in defeating Roland in the future books.

As with all the Kate books, there was her trademark humor, her banter with not just Curran but also other people. Her intrinsic loyalty towards her family and friends. Walking into trouble headlong and saving lives. This book has all the elements that are present in the classic Kate Daniels books by Ilona Andrews.

There’s not a single thing in Magic Shifts that I didn’t like or that I’d like to change. This book, for me was perfection. I have already read it twice and when it comes out tomorrow, I’m gonna be reading it again. This book is Ilona Andrews at their best.

This review also appears in The Ever Romantic Arts


Book Review: Rock Hard(Rock Kiss #2) by Nalini Singh

4 gems

rock hard

I’ve been looking forward to Charlie and T-Rex’s story since I read Rock Addiction. We already got a hint as to how Charlie and Gabriel’s relationship would be in that book. And boy, oh boy did I love it? Heck yeah. Rock Hard is my favorite book in the series. Rock Hard tells the story of a sweet, shy and invisible mouse, Charlotte Baird and a hot, strong, T-Rex of a man, Gabriel Bishop.

Charlie’s previous relationship was an abusive one. And she didn’t get out unscathed. Since her relationship with Richard ended, she has been living in a perpetual state of fear and apprehension, still plagued by the nightmares of that horrendous relationship. She was never an outgoing person to begin with, but after what Richard did to her, she just closed in on herself. The only person who knows who Charlotte really is, is her best friend Molly. But when her new boss, Gabriel Bishop pushes her far enough, she realises that she too has the strength to fight back.

Gabriel Bishop is a successful business man, and he was a successful rugby player. His kind of success doesn’t come without a lot of determination and a spine of steel. The man knows what he wants and how to get it. When he meets a closed off, shy, buttoned up Charlotte, he is tempted to break down her walls and reveal the beautiful woman beneath.

Now Gabriel Bishop is the kind of alpha male that I love. He never pushed too hard, just hard enough. I loved the way he coaxed Charlie out from her shell. It takes her a while, but she comes out on the other side, stronger. Gabriel always knew that Charlie was hiding a painful past, but he never coddled her. He never tried to patronized her. He treated her as his equal, like the strong woman that he knew she was.

Charlie has never been one to pick up a fight, but her boss drives her to almost committing murder. His murder. She just can’t understand why the man keeps pushing all her buttons, and she definitely can’t understand why he is so interested in her. After all T-Rex is a rugby god, a superstar with hoards of female fans, a successful businessman and hot to boot. So what does he see in a mouse like Charlie? The answer was quite simple. Gabriel saw beneath the protective layers of her. He saw the smart, sexy, talented yet vulnerable woman. And all he wanted was to protect her and have her. To call her his.

Unlike Rock Addiction, Rock Hard did not have a sex scene in every second chapter. I enjoyed the way Gabriel peeled off Charlie’s layers and showed us the woman beneath. It’s only when they both had established unwavering trust in each other, that they decided to consummate their relationship. It was a nice change of pace. The minimal sex scenes and abundance of emotions worked very well for me. Another thing I loved in this book was the smartly crafted, funny titles for all the chapter. Those itself were enough to bring a smile to my face.

Rock Hard was the prefect mix of good, strong characters, well-put together story-line and great writing. I look forward to going back to the boys of The Schoolboy Choir.

This review also appears on The Ever Romantic Arts.

Book Review: Midnight’s Kiss (Elder Races #8) by Thea Harrison


Midnight's Kiss

In the latest Novel of the Elder Races, two souls who have long buried their passions are about to be consumed…

Ever since their scorching affair ended years ago, Julian, the Nightkind King, and Melisande, daughter of the Light Fae Queen, have tried to put the past behind them—and distance between them. But when a war breaks out between Julian and Justine, a powerful Vampyre of the Nightkind council, they find themselves thrown together under treacherous circumstances…

Kidnapped as leverage against Julian, Melly is convinced that her former lover won’t be rushing to her rescue. But when Julian gives himself up to save her, they both end up Justine’s captives. Armed only with their wits and their anger, Melly and Julian must work together to escape. But will they be able to ignore their complicated history, or will the fiery passion that once burned them blaze again?

It seems that I have arrived at the stage where I am losing my appreciation for Thea Harrison’s writing. Or it just might be my irritation with vampire romances. To get to the point, though nice, Midnight’s Kiss did not impress me much.

Julian and Melly’s story was good. It involved political manoeuvres and suspense build up. Action sequences and group fighting scenes were written nicely and the thankfully enough the plot had more than just romance and sex.

What I had an issue with was that the characters weren’t exactly drawn with clean strokes. For Instance, Melly’s character imbibed different personas; but they didn’t sum up. She has the benefit of being brought up as the heir to her mother but at no point in the story did I see her proving her mettle. She had some backbone, yes but there is no way I would label her as a kick-ass heroine the author wanted to portray her as. How can I call a woman cool who calls her mother “Mommy” ??

Julian’s character though strong and driven lacked a certain amount of foresight that he should have gained during his tenure as a Nightkind King. He is loyal, driven and hot-tempered but his soul yearns for peace but this is a secret yearning of his.  The author makes his self-realization – an important part of the plot in the novel so; it can actually be accepted. On the other hand, I did not see much character growth in Melly.

I even had issues with the characters which were not occupying the centre stage. They were either established in certain relationships that sprang out of nowhere or they came up with some mystery moves that necessitated explanations which were missing. I wouldn’t be surprised if the author had been merely testing the waters to check if stories about secondary characters would be found interesting by the readers. Honestly, I find such developments annoying.

Another issue I had with this book was that few characters were portrayed very differently previously. I remember reading The Wicked(Elder Races #5.5). I genuinely liked that book and enjoyed it. I remember Bailey and Julian in that book. And the portrayal of both these characters had made me interested in reading their stories. While Julian’s different persona I can live with, Bailey’s depiction in this novel was not something that could I could align with her previous impression.

Nevertheless, I will credit the author for a few well written scenes. On the whole, while I found the last book just tolerable enough, this book was a definite step-up. The writing and plot-development was good enough to keep me interested in the series still. The good thing is that the next book in the series is about Graydon. I am happy with that. It will be good to read a Wyr romance once again.

For my review of Night’s Honor (Elder Races, #7) click here.