Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Mini’s: The Temptation of a Good Man by Delaney Diamond & Behind the Mask by Carolyn Crane

18808252Can true love be found after one night of passion?

Celeste Burton goes out with her girlfriends to celebrate turning thirty and winds up spending an unforgettable night with the man of her dreams. One week later, as a favor, she attends a wedding with a friend as his date and is shocked when she sees Roarke again.

Roarke Hawthorne despises cheating. Cheating tore apart his family years ago. When the physics professor sees the woman he spent the night with show up at his sister’s wedding on the arm of his brother, he knows he should keep his distance. But because of the night they set fire to the sheets in his hotel room, he can’t resist the urge to be close to her–nor can he resist the temptation to have her back in his bed. ~

My thoughts: This was a freebie novella on Amazon and pretty darn good. Roarke came on a tad too aggressively for my tastes but when you’re a single mom turning 30 – why not go for a night of passion with a really smart, hot dude? Happy birthday Celeste! lol

Despite their connection and hot night of smexin – Celeste panics and bolts the next morning but they meet up again when she agrees to be the fake girlfriend at a family wedding for a friend of hers, Derrick. Of course drama ensues when it’s revealed that Derrick is the brother of Roarke.

Drama ensues, of course, but I really liked how it all turns out – even with Derrick. As with most novellas, I wished for a little more. Especially when it came to Roarke and Celeste's daughter. They’re both science geeks and I think it would have been cute to see their relationship blossom instead of being told. Even so there was a nice resolution and epilogue.



When her long lost sister--a prostitute--is won in a card game by a brutal drug cartel, Zelda knows what she has to do: take her place. Save her. Focus on infiltrating the shadowy group on behalf of the Associates, and try not to think about why she left the spying game years ago. She’s slept with dangerous criminals before; she can do it again.

Hugo Martinez is one of South America’s most lethal and wanted men, a legendary mercenary living on a windswept mountain. Even at the height of the war he wasn’t in the habit of taking women captive, but the American whore has seen his face. And he and the orphan boy need a cook. He shouldn’t want this woman, but there’s something so unusual about her…

Little by little, Zelda finds herself falling for her captor…but is he the killer she’s been hunting all these years? ~

My thoughts: It took me a little while to find my groove with this book. I kept setting it aside. Zelda, an Associates agent, while on and undercover mission to save her sister, keeps bringing up the “Friar Hovde” incident and “Kabakas” I know it was meant to refer to traumatic and pivotal moments in Zelda’s past but to me –I got frustrated. Whenever an author doesn’t tell me what the incident is – for most of the book - I stop caring at a certain point.

But once I committed myself to reading this book and Zelda connects with Hugo – a very brooding, possibly dangerous, hero things just take right off.

I loved Hugo. LOVED. I know he’s supposed to be all dangerous and scary but the misguided kindness he shows Paolo, an orphan boy he cares for, and the tenderness he exhibits whenever he is with Zelda (even if she doesn’t know how to handle that tenderness) made me swoon. He was not at all what I expected.

“She was at home with hard men, cold men. Men who paid her, maybe even hurt her. She was steel for such men. But tenderness melted her. Made her alive.”
I found him to be less of a dangerous hero and more of a lonely one who just cut himself off because it hurts less than losing the ones you love.

Zelda and Hugo make a wonderful team. Both scarred and broken but longing for love and connection. I was happy to see them both get what they wanted and needed from each other without changing who they were.

This is the 4th book in Crane’s Associates series and things got real messy with the gang in this one. Choices had to made – allegiances declared and not everyone came out the winner. Good stuff! I highly recommend this series.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Review: Ward Against Destruction (Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer, #4) by Melanie Card

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00032]Ward de’Ath used to the think that nothing could be more terrible than death. Now he realizes there are worse things. Like his never-ending hunger for blood. Even if he conquers the unbearable cravings that drive him headlong toward destruction, he’s a wanted man with a bleak future.

Assassin Celia Carlyle learns she is the only one who can protect Ward from disaster. She loves him–she wants to help him, but no one can tell her how to save him from himself. And the confusing voices in her head scream to let him go.

But Ward's dark trials keep mounting. A malevolent evil is rising in the land, threatening to unleash horror upon the world. The only way Ward can defeat it, and have the chance to marry Celia, is by accepting his fate and becoming the one thing he swore he would never become. ~

Source: e-arc provided via Netgalley by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Review: I’m a big fan of the Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer series, so I was a little shocked that this was the 4th book in the series and I had somehow missed book #3. O_O I’m on a really tight review schedule this month so I thought I would try to see if I could jump in without missing too much.

It seems like A LOT happened in the last book but Card did a fantastic job recapping (and I know the characters pretty well at this point) so I had no trouble catching up. I wouldn’t recommend starting the series with this book though. This really should be read from the beginning and in order to get the full effect of the story arc. There is a lot of background you need to know about the magic, necromancy and players from this world.

Ward and Celia are pushed to the brink in every way in Ward of Destruction. Their powers, relationship and skills are put to the ultimate test.

What I enjoy most about this series is the character dynamics. Ward isn’t your typical hero. He’s quiet, a little awkward and extremely honorable. There’s no alpha, controlling crap but he’s rock solid as a friend and sure and steady when it comes to doing what needs to be done even under pressure. Celia has shown the most growth. She was a cold assassin when she first met Ward. She’s still a badass but now a badass with direction, purpose and honor.

For those of you that have read this series, you know that Ward and Celia’s romance is a slooooow burn. In fact, it’s so slow, I would recommend this series to readers who aren’t in to romance focused YA (this is categorized as YA but the characters are a little older so I guess technically it could be NA). There’s progress in this book  but I have to say I found the conflict between them annoying and dragged out. If they would have just had one freaking conversation everything would have been resolved. There were a lot of assumptions on their part as to what the other felt. While I understood it – I wanted to shake them both. It just went on too long. But the resolution is worth it so I’ll brush it off as a minor quibble.

I don’t know for sure but this feels like the last book of the series. All of the big story arc’s are wrapped up – but things are left open enough for Celia and Ward to continue their adventures.

The Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer is a fun, fresh series with lots of action, dark magic, a touch of romance and I hope there are more Ward/Celia stories in the future.