I’ve been a bit scarce lately and I haven’t really meant to be but I’ve been reading some great books lately and since it’s been quite a while since my reading mojo has been this strong, I’ve just been going with it. Normally my ‘thought’s are longer then these, but I’m behind so I’m going to have to do my best to be succinct – and I’m sure failing miserably!
Branded by Fire by Nalini Singh
Why this one: I’ve really enjoyed this series and it was a given that I would read the next book when it came out
Steam Level: Best have a glass of COLD water with you when you read this one!
Blurb: When a brilliant changeling researcher is kidnapped, DarkRiver sentinel Mercy, a cat, and SnowDancer lieutenant Riley, a wolf, must work together to track the young man—before his shadowy captors decide he’s no longer useful. Along the way, the two dominants may find that submitting to one another uncovers not just a deadly conspiracy, but a passion so raw that it’ll leave them both branded by fire.
My Thoughts: You can tell a book has hold of me when I go to the lengths I went to, to read Branded by Fire. I took it to
What I enjoyed about this one is it’s a changeling/changeling match so we didn’t get too much into the Phys net storyline. I still find that confusing even after all these books. I really liked the fact that Mercy was such a strong heroine. While I still enjoyed them quite a bit, in a couple of the previous books the somewhat physical helplessness of the heroines got to me a bit. But in this one Mercy is more then capable of holding her own against Riley.
I’m loving this series and this one is no exception. I think it’s my favourite so far!!
Grade: 4.5 out of 5
Bound By Your Touch by Meredith Duran
Why this one: I adored her first book, The Duke of Shadows. When I read it, I knew it was special and this is an author who I want to read more of. She was on my list of books to get in DC and get it I did!
Blurb: Silver-tongued Viscount Sanburne is
But Sanburne’s golden charisma masks a sharper mind and darker history than she realizes. He shocks
Steam Level: *blinks eyes* I can’t remember – how can that be? But I do know the whole book was very satisfying so it must have been a good temperature
My Thoughts: It took me a while to get to her first book, The Duke of Shadows. I’d had it on the TBR pile and when I finally read it, wondered why I took so long!
I didn’t wait with this one.
Though Bound By Your Touch didn’t have quite the angst level of Duke of Shadows, I still enjoyed it immensely.
I love the relationship between these two characters. Sanburne is almost an Adonis and
They are a case of opposites attract. Lydia refuses to hear anything bad about her father, even when the evidences starts coming in that he might not be the ethical person she’s always believed him to be. Sanburne, on the other hand, hates his father and has made it his life’s work to become an embarrassment to the family name. If he had a few too many ‘woe is me’ moments, well, that just made him more interesting and one of the final scenes more interesting.
The dialogue between them is wonderful; I love a book with well written banter between hero and heroine and if you do too, this is one to get!
What stands out for me about Ms. Duran’s books is her writing. It’s almost lyrical in nature and follows in the mode of some of my favourite authors, Laura Kinsale, Jo Goodman. I don’t know how to put it other then she writes ‘rich’. And richly written books are too far and few between these days! I had barely finished when I knew I’d have to add her next one, Written on Your Skin to my pile and read it soon!
Grade: 4.75 out of 5
The Fire King by Marjorie M Liu
Why this one: I received an ARC and it just ‘called’ to me. After the success of Branded by Fire, I was in the mood for another Paranormal.
Steam Level: Can a book be considered steamy when there is no “love” scene? Why, in this case I think it can.
Blurb: Long ago, shape-shifters were plentiful, soaring through the sky as crows, racing across African veldts as cheetahs, raging furious as dragons atop the
Zoufalstv. Eptoivo. Asa. Three words in three very different languages, and yet Soria understands. Like all members of Dirk & Steele, she has a gift, and hers is communication: That was why she was chosen to address the stranger. Strong as a lion, quick as a serpent, Karr is his name, and in his day he was king. But he is a son of strife, a creature of tragedy. As fire consumed all he loved, so an icy sleep has been his atonement. Now, against his will, he has awoken. Zoufalstv. Eptoivo. Asa. In English, the word is despair. But Soria knows the words for love.
My Thoughts: I read the first book in Marjorie M Liu’s Dirk and Steel series, Tiger Eye and loved it and didn’t read any more of the series. Now I’m wondering why on earth not???
I was curious going into this book how it would work since it’s book 7 in the series and the only previous one I had read was the first. I have a few minor questions, but overall, I had no trouble following the story.
Karr was a creature from thousands of years ago. A Chimera, a result of two different kinds of shape shifters whose kind had been hunted and killed. But they fought back and Karr was a Warlord of the Chimera who had asked to be killed when he did something unforgiveable. But instead of dying, he was in some kind of suspended animation, coming back to life when his tomb was uncovered. The leader of Dirk and Steele sends our heroine, Soria, to where he is being held as she has a knack of speaking every language out there and is probably the only one who can communicate with this person from centuries past. But it seems that while there might be any Chimera left on earth, there are still shape shifters and they have more then a passing interest in Karr. He and Soria must outrun them to hope to keep Karr alive.
I really enjoyed this book! It didn’t bother me not having read the intervening books. I do have some of them and you can bet I’ll be tracking them down.
Karr is my favourite kind of hero. Tortured, noble, alone; he has awakened in a time he knows nothing about and is truly a lost soul. But as a Warlord of his former tribe, he is strong and nicely alpha/
And I found the character of Sonia to be quite interesting. She had wounds of her own – physically as well as emotionally. She is still adjusting to the fact that she lost her arm from almost the shoulder down. I don’t know if this was brought up in a previous novel or not, but it’s finally explained how she lost it. She is still feeling quite a few phantom pains from it and dealing with everyone reactions to her. But Karr is probably the only person she feels safe with.
I mentioned earlier that there is no real love scenes between these two but there is A Lot of chemistry and I didn’t feel the lack of a consummated love scene. They came pretty close a few times and it was still pretty steamy.
Grade: 4.5 out of 5
Don't Tempt Me by Loretta Chase
Why this one: I read Nath's review and it intrigued me enough and it's been while since I've read Loretta Chase and she is one of my auto buy authors that I moved this one up.
Blurb: Spunky English girl overcomes impossible odds and outsmarts heathen villains.
That's the headline when Zoe Lexham returns to England. After twelve years in the exotic east, she's shockingly adept in the sensual arts. She knows everything a young lady shouldn't and nothing she ought to know. She's a walking scandal, with no hope of a future . . . unless someone can civilize her.
Lucien de Grey, the Duke of Marchmont, is no knight in shining armor. He's cynical, easily bored, and dangerous to women. He charms, seduces, and leaves them--with parting gifts of expensive jewelry to dry their tears. But good looks, combined with money and rank, makes him welcome everywhere. The most popular bachelor in the Beau Monde can easily save Zoe's risque reputation . . . if the wayward beauty doesn't lead him into temptation, and a passion that could ruin them both.
My Thoughts: Oh My Goodness!! I LOVED this book. I thought I'd come out right off the bat and let everyone know this. This book has it all!
Lucien, after seeing everyone he loved die in his youth, the final straw being Zoe's disappearance, has decided that he won't feel anything. He's lost too much and as a result has become cold and aloof, a master of whit and everything one would detest in a hero. But the reader knows that's not his real character. He is dragged kicking back into feeling when Zoe returns to the bosom of her family and needs help in becoming a part of society again. He's wildly attracted to her and her innocent yet very seductive ways.
And Zoe - what a wonderful character she is!! She's a mix of innocence and sensuality. She knows what she wants - Lucien - and goes after him even though she's not quite sure she is ready to head back into a cage of 'marriage' after living so long in a harem.
There were many moments in this book that had me smiling and chuckling and when I close the cover, I couldn't help but think "Well Done Ms. Chase!!" While not quite up to the same level as my all time favourite by her, Lord of Scoundrels, this one comes very, very close! This one gets a real thumbs up from this satisfied reader!
Grade: 5 out of 5
I ordered a number of old movies from Amazon (real old *g*). I watched the first of the list just the other day.
Why this one: I've been curious to see it for a while now
Steam Level: OK - *right, gulp* yup!!
Blurb: Those who believe British miniseries to be too proper and corseted may want to make an exception for Ken Russell's 1992, four-hour BBC adaptation of D.H. Lawrence's scandalous novel. Between the full frontal female nudity and empowering shed-rocking sex scenes, this is something for everyone to have a randy good time. To save you the bother of fast-forwarding, episodes two and three contain the very naughtiest bits involving the illicit affair between "loyal wife, good companion" Constance Chatterly (Joely Richardson) and Oliver Mellors (Sean Bean), gamekeeper to Constance's embittered, paralyzed husband (James Wilby). When he insists his wife take a lover and produce an heir to his fortune, he didn't have the lowly "wild man of the woods" in mind. Neither did Constance, but soon enough the woods are alive with the sound of heavy panting and frantic gropings up against trees. The production is impeccably mounted--no pun intended--and the performances (particularly by the daring Ms. Richardson) impassioned. Save for one dream sequence involving a black horse (a symbol of passion, one character helpfully explains), and the, at times, overheated musical score that threatens to overwhelm the lovers, Russell (Tommy, Altered States) holds his tendencies toward excess in check.
My Thoughts: First off - I didn't realize it was a four part mini-series from BBC so it was four hours long. I had a girlfriend from work over watching it with me and after the first love scene we looked at each other and thought his technique needed a bit of work - it was rather 'slam bang, thank you mam'ish. And then the second one - against a tree - well my girlfriend didn't think she'd ever want to try that. As for me - I'll keep it under consideration.
But he did seem to improve with time. And the frolicking in the rain scene was everything I promised her to entice her to come watch it with me.
All jocularity aside - it was a pretty good movie - mind you - no North and South - but I think I'll watch it again - only to further study the 'against the tree' scene (damn it - I couldn't put jocularity aside after all)
I thought Sean Bean did a good job of portraying the somewhat rough hewn Mellors and Jolie Richardson did a wonderful job of playing the sexually frustrated Lady Chatterley.
There was one scene that really 'got' to me - when Chatterley was describing how the lower class were - lower - and their soul purpose was to be on hand for the 'upper' class. He went on and on, meanwhile the servants were standing right there as if they didn't have any feelings of their own. He really was a grade A jerk and it made the ending even better after that.
I've only read the 'naughty' bits of the novel by D.H. Lawrence and that was when I was a very young and impressionable and 'exploring' the stuff that goes on between men and women.
And let’s face it – a movie with Sean Bean running nekkid through a field just has to get good marks for that alone!
One thing that kept it from getting higher marks - the music!! Normally I like the musical scores in movies, but in this one, the music was too loud and to overly dramatic and too distracting!
Grade: 4 out of 5