Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Recent Reads

The Serpent Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt

Why this one: I adored her first two

Level of Heat: Ohhhhhhhhhh yeeeaaaaaaa

Amazon blurb: Lucy Craddock-Hayes thought the man lying in the ditch was dead, but he survived the assault. With the help of her servant, Lucy brings the gentleman home, and learns that he is Viscount Simon Iddesleigh. As Simon slowly recuperates, he finds himself falling in love with sharp-witted and surprisingly sharp-tongued Lucy, but he also knows that the longer he stays, the more likely it is that his quest for vengeance will endanger Lucy and her family. Delectably clever writing, deliciously complex characters, and a delightfully sexy romance between two perfectly matched protagonists are the key ingredients in the third book in Hoyt's superbly crafted, loosely connected Georgian-era Princes trilogy.

My thoughts: The first time I met Elizabeth Hoyt, was in the elevator. I gushed, I followed her way past my floor in full gushing mode. I made an idiot of myself and gave my roomies lots of laughs. If I had read The Serpent Prince before I ran into her in Dallas I probably would have followed her off the elevator, down the hall, into her room and just sat on the bed and not wanted to leave, I loved this book that much.

Simon is just not that nice a guy in some ways. He is bent on revenge for the murder of his brother and nothing is going to stop him. He makes a great anti-hero. There is something you don’t like about him, yet he is so compelling, so riveting, you just have this attraction to his character. You don’t see this kind of character all that often so when you do – Wowzers – he makes an impression. And what really sold me on Simon and on this book, was how he was completely wrecked for the heroine. I’ve mentioned before how I love this in a romance book; when the hero is so gone for the heroine. Simon says that Lucy is his salvation and you really get the feeling that she is. This otherwise urbane, dissolute, revenge seeking anti-hero really needs the heroine to keep going.

And Lucy is also a great heroine. Not quite as memorable as Simon, but I think she was a great match for him. Although somewhat innocent, she still has a lot of sense to her. And I love how Ms. Hoyt captures the atmosphere of the time. I love a good Georgian setting and this is a Very Good One.

I know this is going to be a book I read over and over. I’ve already placed it on my Top 100 of all time Romance books

Grade: 5 out of 5

Mine Till Midnight by Lisa Kleypas

Why this one: heh, heh – I don’t think this needs any splainin’ It’s Lisa Kleypas.

Level of Heat: She’s had hotter, but this one is just fine

Amazon Blurb: When an unexpected inheritance elevates her family to the ranks of the aristocracy, Amelia Hathaway discovers that tending to her younger sisters and wayward brother was easy compared to navigating the intricacies of the ton. Even more challenging: the attraction she feels for the tall, dark, and dangerously handsome Cam Rohan.

Wealthy beyond most men’s dreams, Cam has tired of society’s petty restrictions and longs to return to his “uncivilized” Gypsy roots. When the delectable Amelia appeals to him for help, he intends to offer only friendship—but intentions are no match for the desire that blindsides them both. But can a man who spurns tradition be tempted into that most time-honored arrangement: marriage? Life in London society is about to get a whole lot hotter….

My Thoughts: Cam Rohan blazed onto the scene in The Devil in Winter. It didn’t take much for him to captivate all of us and I think many of us were counting the time until this one came out. I had an ARC but I didn’t want to read it too far ahead of everyone else. But with it’s eminent release I decided the time was right. Now I’m not even nearly the first to post their thoughts on this book.

First up – it didn’t knock Dreaming of You off it’s pedestal but then it would take an EXTREMELY rare book to do that. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed this one.

I think Amelia made a fine heroine for Cam after we all thought that he was going to end up with Daisy. I much prefer Amelia. I enjoyed how she was the spine in her family and took care of all of them after the death of her family.

And Cam – oh he was delish! I’ve read a number of books with heroes of Gypsy heritage and he is right up there now on the top of the list – well, he shares it with Nicolas from MJP’s Thunder and Roses. I loved how he so quickly became so protective of Amelia and her family.

To me this seemed a bit different than Lisa Kleypas’ other series. I’m not sure how to put it, but it seemed more like a first chapter of a continuing story and I almost expected the words “To Be Continued” to be on the final page. I found that very intriguing and smart.

I can’t say a whole lot more other than I love, just love her books, her writing and her personally and this book only adds to the love.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

'til later


Holly said...

Completely agree about TSP. I was pleasantly surprised by it. And you're absolutely right in saying Simon is the perfect anti-hero (why did I just snicker thinking of Eve Dallas telling Roarke his old flame was the anti-her?).

I haven't read the LK yet. I picked it up at the SoCal Blogger meet, but haven't been in the mood. Soon, hopefully.

Kaitlin said...

I really enjoyed it too. I never understood what the whole thing with Cam & Daisy was in DiW. It never really jelled with me.

I liked this book a lot. I like how Cam was towards Amelia. At first he's fighting the whole thing, but once he realizes he's fallen, he doesn't whine about it. He just goes with the flow.

And that first love scene (fans self). Um, wow! :)

Dev said...

I need to read Elizabeth Hoyt ~ I haven't yet, but I've seen such good things about her. I haven't read MTM yet ~I hope to read it by the end of the month.

sula said...

oooh, both excellent reads. I loved TSP and Simon was a delicious anti-hero wasn't he? I too love how he was completely wrecked by Lucy. It's not often in a romance novel that we see the hero propose to the heroine only partway through the book for no other reason than that he's crazy for her. Usually it's gotta be some sort of arranged marriage plot or they got caught making whoopie plot or he happened to be with her in the garden alone plot. But not Simon, no he just proposes to her flat out. LOVED that!

And you know I agree with you on MTM. *g* Cam...sigh. I love me a good Gypsy hero. He and Amelia fit together, I thought, and Kleypas does sexual tension well. I have to admit that a few of the kissing scenes in this book seemed hotter than some full-on sex scenes I've read in other books. Go figure. lol.

Kristie (J) said...

Sula: They both were very good weren't they. I haven't been reading a lot of historicals lately but between these two and the Jo Goodman book and the one I'm just about finished - well I may just have to go back to them! And yea, I just love when the hero is so gone for the heroine, that he really needs her. I really got that sense with Simon.

Oh Dev, yes you really do need to give her a read. She is such a bright new star. All three of her books have been keepers for me.

Kaitlin: I think Amelia turned out to be much better with Cam and I'm glad it turned out this way. And she does write wonderful love scenes doesn't she? I often skip over or skim the real fast, but not with Lisa's books.

Holly: I think you do have to be in the mood to really enjoy a book to it's fullest. That's another reason I was a bit tardy getting to this one. Like I said to Sula, I just haven't been reading as many historicals this year as in previous years. But when one is in the mood for them - and it's a good one - it's a great reading experience.

Rowena said...

Gosh, I'm seeing great reviews up everywhere for Cam's book, I cannot wait!

Lori said...

I have TSP sitting in my TBR pile. I loved the first two, just haven't quite gotten to the third one yet.

And I really enjoyed MTM as well. A couple minor bothers, but overall, a really good read. Cam was an unexpectedly softer hero than I expected, don't you think? Not really a beta, but not a hardened alpha, if that makes sense... I liked him a lot. A lot.

Kristie (J) said...

Lori: I understand what you mean. He wasn't bitter about how he must have been treated nor was he hard like say Derek. I wouldn't call him Beta - but he wasn't exactly, totally alpha either.
And as much as I loved EH's first two books, I loved TSP even more.

Rowena: Yep, this is a good one. NOt the best one I've read, but this reader *g* was quite happy with it.

nath said...

I'm happy you enjoyed both books as much as you did :D Based on your and Holly's reviews, I'll be picking up TSP tonight after work :P Hopefully, I'll like it as much as you did :D

I also preferred Amelia more than Evie... (wasn't it Evie? Daisy is Lillian's sister no?) I think that Cam needs someone who can stand on her own...

Rosie said...

I was so happy to read high caliber historicals back to back. I really liked both of these.

lisabea said...

I swear I'm working on my review of MTM...But, I went back to read all this other Kleypas, and now I'm in a Lisa Kleypas love fest. There are so many to love...

And Simon, TSP? I was slightly bothered by his inability to come to terms with his brother's death. He seemed resistant to redemption or forgiveness. Of course, love prevails in the end. He reminded me a little of St. Vincent of Devil in Winter (which I just reread, so he's fresh in my mind). The self absorption, the willingness to have this delightfully innocent heroine regardless of what a bad match, etc.... How 'bout that Christian, though? He could be intriguing later.

Kristie (J) said...

Lisbea: I can see what you mean by Simon's inability to let go, but he was such a complicated character. He was raised to think he was the 'bad son' when he really wasn't. Add to that the fact that he had almost a love/hate relationship with his brother - he loved him but his brother's 'goodness' compared to his perceived badness, complicated his feelings. Add to the fact that he wasn't around to help his brother when he was killed - and the way it was done and everything that went along with it.
(I love discussing books!)
I'm not sure if she has anything planned for Christian. I think her next series will be 4 soldiers returning from the colonies. But yea, he'd make an equally interesting character wouldn't he?

Rosie: I think my faith in them is coming back!! I have read 3 most excellent ones in the past month or so.

Nath: LOL - Evie went with Sebastian in Devil in Winter. It was Daisy that Cam kissed in the hall. And you really do need to get to TSP - 'tis a great book!

ReneeW said...

I'm reading The Serpent Prince now and I'm only on page 25 and loving it. You describe the hero perfectly. He is very compelling and I was late for work this morning cuz I couldn't stop reading. Hoyt is an amazing author. I don't have the LK yet but I will soon I'm sure.

I started working on my top 100 books and came up with a list of about 125 books that I love. Whew. Need to pare it down but it's going to be tough. Then sorting them in order of preference will be a real problem.

Tumperkin said...

I did love The Serpent Prince but I've got to say that I wasn't crazy about Lucy. I just didn't really get why Simon was so crazy about her. I think EH's heroes are always a lot more compelling than her heroines. Simon was fab though and I adore her other heroes too, Edward in the Raven Prince and (to a lesser extent) Harry in the Leopard Prince. Out of the three books, I definitely liked RP best. The scenes between Edward and Anna at Aphrodite's Grotto were - hawt!

CindyS said...

Geez, I was at the bookstore tonight and didn't pick up the Holt. You know 'anti-hero' gets me everytime!! I bought the Kleypas - had to get them to go and find it.


Kristie (J) said...

Cindy: Oh you really do need to get TSP!! I know you like your Anne Stuart heroes. And while Simon wasn't a Stuart hero, he really was a very rich, conflicted, not always good in fact with a strong touch of badness hero!!

Tumperkin: I think it was Lucy's country innocence that so attracted Simon. She wasn't nearly as strong as him though and it was Simon who made this one so compelling. It's hard to choose which one I liked the best of her books; they were all so good and delicious. And yeah - the grotto scene in TRP - with all that silence. Her books are different than many historicals and they seem to have things about them that set some readers off. But it just makes me love 'em even more!

Renee: I can hardly wait to see what you think of the whole book when you're done!! It gets much better as you read along :)