Once again, today is the day to post reviews for books from our TBR pile that Keishon has challenged us to.
Now I almost feel like I’m cheating with this first book. I know the rules say the book can come out in 2007 or before – but 2007 wasn’t really that long ago. But…. I console myself with this a caveat.
One of the symptoms of this addiction called book buying for me, and I know others, is buying a number of books in a series before ever trying one. I’ve done this a few times with different authors with varying results. With the Dark series by Christine Feehan, I purchased about five before actually trying one, only to discover they weren’t my cupa at all! Mind you I bought them used at a UBS – with a refund for books I had traded in, so I wasn’t really out that much money.
But on other occasions I go right wild. Such was the case with the Sons of Destiny series by Jean Johnson. I bought the first one, The Sword because it appealed to the shallow me who liked the cover. Mind you I also read a pretty good review of it somewhere so between the review and the Really Nice Cover, I was hooked. And not only did I buy it – I bought it in trade size which is quite a bit more than pp, although not so much when buying on line I’ve discovered. I still hadn’t read it when the addiction took over and I bought the second one, The Wolf, again in trade size.
Another symptom of this book buying addiction is justifying. We can find any excuse to justify buying books. So as more of this series came out, I justified the fact that I was going to keep buying by telling myself I already had the first two, I couldn’t stop now could I and I was still liking the covers. So I was up to having bought the first four – in trade size before even reading one!
So while is book was just published in 2007, it seems like I’ve had it longer.
Now onto the review(s)!
The Sword by Jean Johnson
Published: January, 2007
Can a book be called adorable? Because if it can, this is the perfect word to describe The Sword. This is a series about four sets of twin brothers living in a mystical, magical realm who have been banished to their own island because of a prophesy. Most important of all, there can be no women on the island because the prophesy states that it is a woman who starts the prophesy ball rolling. When Morganen, the youngest brother brings a woman through his scrying mirror in order to save her life; a woman in danger of being burned to death, Sabre, the oldest brother and our hero is not exactly a happy camper. He wants her sent home – ASAP. Kelly, the heroine, is from present day times here on earth and has been rescued by devious yet loveable Morganen. He has decided that it’s time to get the prophesy started with his oldest brother.
Kelly and Sabre battle each other and reading about them is a real hoot. Kelly also decides that a castle that’s been lived in by eight guys needs a lot of work and it’s also a real treat watching her order these tough magical brothers around. They each have their own distinct personality and their own prophesy to look forward too.
Now the conflict comes in because someone from the mainland doesn’t want these brothers around and sends horrid and evil creatures to take them down and it’s great reading seeing how they all use their unique talents to thwart said evil creatures; along with taking advice from non-magical Kelly.
I adored this book and was mighty glad that sometimes strange reading symptoms take over and I have the next three to look forward too.
I found the world building to be believable and while if I sat down and concentrated I might have found some of the brother magic a bit questionable as to when it worked and when it didn’t. But I didn’t, I just enjoyed the journey – and a very enjoyable journey it was!
Grade: 4.5 out of 5
I figured since I had time, I’d dig deeper into the TBR pile for the next one. I have more Harlequin books than you can imagine so I decided I’d start reading them too finally. I consider Harlequins to be the cotton candy of romance books. They’re light and fluffy though not very nutritious. But when you’re in the mood for it – it really fits the bill
So the first one on the list is an old one.
Gabriel Hawk’s Lady by Beverly Barton
Published: December 1997
She has moved on now to single title books but before she did she wrote quite a few Harlequin books.
For a light, fluffy, cotton candy book, this one was pretty good. Gabriel Hawk is a former CIA agent who operated under cover in some Central American country. He gave up working for them when he couldn’t save a missionary and his wife, who was also the daughter of the countries king from being beheaded by rebels.
Now, four years later, Rorie, the sister of the missionary has hired Gabriel to take her back to the country, now in even worse shape, to rescue her young nephew. Gabriel does NOT want to take this young innocent with him, but she insists and manages to pass every test he puts before her, thus earning his respect.
This is typical Harlequin, the tough but tortured hero, the young innocent virgin heroine. It’s also pretty clichéd, but then one knows that going in when reading a Harlequin. And this is one of the better ones. I was in the mood for cotton candy and this one fit the bill.
Grade: 3.5 out of 5
The Wolf by Jean Johnson
Published: April, 2007
Can a book be called adorable? Wait – I already did that. OK then, I need to do it different this time.
I was so pleased with The Sword, right after reading GW’sL, I dove right into this one. And I’m very pleased to say I enjoyed this one just as much as her first book. This one is the story of Wolfer (I know – groan worthy name – but don’t let it distract you - besides he can shape-shift and his main form to shift to is a wolf) the twin of Sabre, the hero of The Sword and his destined mate Alys. Before they were banished Wolf’s family and Alys’s family were friends and there was a special friendship between Wolfer and Alys. Years later however, things have changed for both of them. Wolfer has been banished along with his brothers and Alys has come under the thumb of her very evil uncle. She manages to escape and flees to Nightfall Isle – the home of the eight brothers. Wolf is delighted to see his old friend but also confused that he feels a whole lot different for a grown up, matured Alys then he did for his childhood friend.
It turns out that her evil uncle is the one behind all the attacks and once again they must all ban together to defeat their enemy.
This one was just a charming and delightful as The Sword and while not laugh out loud funny, I did find myself smiling in quite a number of places and I was glad I was on the late shift at work so no one was around at breaks and lunch so I could keep reading this delightful tale.
The first two are out in PB now for anyone not wanting to pay trade sized prices and I already ordered The Cat, the fifth book in this series. In trade size of course though. I have to be anal about these books.
One thing I should also mention is that Ms. Johnson can write mighty fine and mighty hawt love scenes - just in case anyone is wondering that is. These first two were Very Steamy.
Grade: 4.5 out of 5So - once again I had great success from my TBR pile. I'm loving this!!