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- Books are my life--plain and simple! :) My genre of choice is romance, of almost any kind. I love reading, I love sharing my thoughts on the books with others, and I'm always up for recommendations and book conversations! Please, feel free to find me on any of the various websites I frequent, or drop me an email! If you are interested in me reviewing your book (Or you just want to ask me a question), please email me at: The_Book_Queen[at]yahoo[dot]com.
There are not enough words in the English language to describe this book. I'll keep it simple: I LOVED it! Easily one of my favorite books I've read this year! Highland Obsession had everything-- passion, lust, love, and even a bit of action.
And boy, was the sex hot, hot hot! Warning: if you are not into explicit love scenes and threesomes, then tread carefully while reading this book, because it's full of it! I personally didn't mind it, and in fact I found myself enjoying it, even though I'm not usually one for a romance novel with multiple partners in the bed at one time. But in HO, it was handled wonderfully, and instead of reading like a cheap porn (which some authors, unfortunately, end up doing), it still had all the great components of a true romance.
And it's all thanks to Dawn Halliday's amazing writing skills-- the characters were very well developed, and they connected, not only during the sex (no pun intended, of course!), but also during every day conversations. They worked through their problems, of which there were a few along the way, they didn't just let it go and then suddenly "make up" a few days later with sex.
Even though I knew from the very beginning that Cam wasn't meant for Sorcha, despite the fact that they'd had a great friendship...and later became lovers, I realized that what they had was important for the development of the rest of the book. They cared for each other, of course, and the passion was there, but they were meant for someone else. Because they already had that deep connection, it didn't bother me when Alex (Cam's best friend) decide to share Sorcha one night. I knew that even though all three of them weren't going to be together, it still meant something-- to all of them, in a way. Alex and Cam had been friends for so long, they were practically like brothers. And even though Sorcha was Alex's, Cam was a part of her past, and to a point, her future, even if it would only be as friends. That's what made this whole story so good-- because Dawn knows how to show the different kinds of loves, and how trust is really needed in a relationship.
As for the rest of the story...well, it was pretty good as well! I would hate to give too much away, so I won't go into specifics, but let me assure you-- if you love a good historical romance, and you don't mind the erotic undertones, Highland Obsession should be at the top of your list for this year! Halliday has captured my attention as an author, and now whenever I see her name on a book, it's instantly going into my cart! They say that you can only get better with practice....well, HO was already pretty close to being a perfect read, so I can just imagine how good her future books will be! One thing's for sure...I can't wait until Cam's story, but I just wish I didn't have to wait so long (2010!).
5/5 STARS! Utterly delightful, sexy, and romantic, Highland Obsession is only the beginning of what I'm sure will be a great little series. And be sure to look out for more of Halliday's books, published by Ellora's Cave, along with the wicked historicals written under her real name, Jennifer Haymore (A Hint of Wicked is out now!).
Until Next Time,
Until Next Time,
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Seven years ago, tragedy ended the troubled marriage of Camille and Jack Vermillion. Now, as head of the Truth Project, her life safe and orderly, she focuses her lawyerly skills on freeing wrongly incarcerated individuals on death row.
Jack paid a bitter price for his mistakes. No longer a high-powered corporate attorney, he's now pastor of a small church in Blood Bayou. Unsure of her own beliefs, Camille is highly skeptical of the conversion of this man she hasn't seen in seven years.
Then tragedy strikes again. Jack's sister is murdered, apparently by a prisoner Camille has set free. To prove his innocence, Camille must return to Blood Bayou. But that means facing the hostility of the town — and Jack.
And as She Works to Find the Real Killer, Someone Is Determined to Stop Her...by Any Means.
I have to be honest: when I first started the book, the story line was a bit dry, and it moved slow, too slow for my tastes. It wasn't enough to make me want to put the book down, unfinished, and it didn't make me hate the book in the end, but I think it's only fair that I say this, in case others happen to find themselves thinking the same thing, wondering if they should read the book. And here's my answer: yes. I don't regret reading this book, it was good. Maybe not at the top of my favorites list, but definitely not on my least favorite either.
Moving on. After the story line picked up, I started to enjoy it. The characters were interesting, and Young did a wonderful job at making them seem real. They had flaws, they had pasts, but they knew what mistakes they may have made, and weren't wimpy or annoying. Good characters are a must for a good book, they're what holds the rest of the book together!
The one thing that confused me a bit was how Young started the book out telling us about a murder mystery in this relatively small town, and it's Camille's job to help figure it out. But suddenly, less than a fourth of the way through the book, the mystery element kind of...disappeared, and suddenly it's all about Camille and Jack's rekindling of their previous relationship. Now, I like a good suspense/mystery that the author combines with a romance story, but the melting of the two elements in this particular book weren't the smoothest. Sorry, Karen, it's nothing really against your writing, maybe it's more of my own particular opinion on what I like to read in a book? It's hard to explain...
However, as the story continued, I found myself enjoying it more and more. Jack and Camille's connection started to grow (again), and there were more than a few parts where I found myself chuckling (always a good thing). Most importantly, the mystery came back, with a powerful kick, adding drama and suspense back into the story. After they started putting more of the 'clues' together, I instantly knew who the killer was, but even figuring it out before the big climax didn't take away from the enjoyment of the book.
If there is one thing I would have liked a bit more of in the book, it's the back story of Camille and Jack. The author touched on it, briefly, a few times, but it always left me wanting a bit more. Jack was an alcoholic when they were married, but it finally became too much for Camille and she divorced him. After he sobered up, he became a man of God. (PAUSE) Wait, how did that happen? Don't get me wrong, I know it's possible, and I think it's great, but I would like to have read a bit about it! Talk about a strong, but previously tortured hero... So why not give us a little nibble of what he went through? And I know this was suppose to be more of a lite Christian novel, which means no 'R' rated sex scenes, but I wish they'd had a bit more passion along the way, even if it was only kisses. Even sweet, innocent ones are better than nothing!
4/5 stars. All in all, this was a very good book. Just the right amount of mystery and a light touch of romance (I loved how the story shows you that love can be won, even after it's lost). Not too fluffy, but not too much hard core suspense either. Great for a quick read by the pool side! ;)
Here's the two books I received. One came last Friday, the other one came Monday, but I thought I'd just lump the two together.
Oh, and if you clicked on this post because of the other title 'Upcoming Giveaway', well, I'll explain more about that after the books. :D
Title: Highland Obsession
Author: Dawn Halliday
Release Date: August 4th, 2009
Publisher: Penguin Group
They were the unlikeliest of friends debauching their way through London: The Earl of Camdonn, a nobleman of vast wealth and power, and Scottish laird Alan MacDonald, a respected Jacobite with ambitions of his own.
But their friendship is destroyed when Alan marries the beautiful Sorcha Stewart—only to witness Cam kidnap her from their bedroom. Then Alan learns the truth: his bride was not an innocent. She took a lover before him—his friend—who taught her the ways of pleasure.
Now, Alan will do anything to get his wife back. Cam fights to redeem his honor, even as he refuses to give up his desire. Torn between love and duty, Sorcha must watch as the two men she desires go to war over her. And when the battle lines are drawn, all three lovers are lured into a triangle of forbidden passions...
Highland Obsession was sent to me by the wonderful author herself, Dawn (alias, Jennifer Haymore). I'm very grateful that she did, because I loved it! I won't have the review up for a bit, and I'll explain why towards the end of the post. ;)
Title: Blood Bayou
Author: Karen Young
Release Date: May 2009
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Blood Bayou was the book I received from LibraryThing's ER program for the month of April. I'm still reading this one, but so far it's not too bad. I hope to have my review up by the end of this week, but I can't make any promises....
Until Next Time,
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~4 books for the 999
~5 books for the Paranormal 999
Not too bad, I'm about half way on the first (Which surprised me!)and a bit less than that on my paranormal one (Which is odd for me, the paranormal lover. I wonder if I'm coming down with something...) If I want to finished them on time, I'm going to have to up it a bit this month though. I'm going to aim for 8 from each challenge, but that's sometimes hard when new releases keep coming out that I've been itching/dying to read!
I wasn't disappointed so much with the number of books completed, as it was the fact that I only completed two reviews through the whole month, and the one review, The Last Bridge, I didn't even write and post until May! Horrible month for me, but that's okay. I'll do better next time! ;)
If there is so many books, and so little time, then where does the time to write reviews fit in there, huh? ;)
The story itself was fairly dark, and not my usual type of book. However, it was still written nicely, and though I can't say that I hated it, at the same time, I can't honestly say that I was blown away by it.
If anything, my opinion on the over all book is almost neutral. It was okay, not horrible, but not amazing. Nothing wrong with it, but it just depends on the individual person as to whether or not they will enjoy it. I know many other reviewers that really loved this book, and that's fine-- I have nothing against them, because even though I didn't give it a 5 star rating, I can't pin point what it is that made me think "okay" and "not bad"after finishing it.
Maybe it just wasn't my type of book? After all, I usually prefer fantasy and romance, and this book had neither. True, Coyne tried to pull Cat's small love story in to it, but it didn't really work, in my opinion, and I think she knew that, which is why there was only a minimal amount. Maybe it's because Cat had so many things to over come and realize about herself, that there was no way for her to fall passionately in love right off the bat, without having to work towards that first? I hope that makes sense, it's hard to explain what I mean without spoiling too many things for future readers and/or taking up pages of explanation...
Again, I can't really say why this was only a mediocre book for me, so I don't want to try bashing something that I have no real problem with. Instead, here are the things that I did think turned out fine:
~The characters. Though I had my own troubles dealing with Cat's personality/attitude sometimes, they were believable, and I applaud Teri for making them seem so real. They were flawed, sure, and they had troublesome pasts, but that's how real people are.
~The writing. True, there were a few places where I thought the writing was a bit rough (not as in grammatical errors that you expect to find in an ARC, but the actual flow of the story), but I can't judge, I know that my own writing isn't always perfect either! Over all, it was an easy read, and I finished it in only a few days (in between the twenty other things I have to do on any given day). That by itself should show that it did have the ability to keep my attention, and I wanted to finish the book.
~The conversations. Cat had a bit of a sarcastic bite, and I enjoyed reading some of the humor, both between the characters and in the rest of the writing.
3/5 STARS! As a new author, Teri Coyne managed to snag my attention with the book, and as a first novel, she did a wonderful job. :) The story was very brutal, but honest, since things like that happen more than I'm sure we want to believe. And I'm sure that when Coyne has another book published, I'll check it out as well, to see what she plans to give the readers next time.
My Rating Scale
- 5 Stars= Fantastic. Perfect rating, and a must read for anyone!
- 4.5 Stars= Great--- highly recommended!
- 4 Stars= Good, a very enjoyable read.
- 3.5 Stars= Nice, quick read.
- 3 Stars= Okay, about average.
- 2.5 Stars= Eh....Not the worst, but below average.
- 2 Stars= Borderline fail...Something was missing!
- 1.5 Stars=I didn't like it.
- 1 Star= Major flaws.... Or not my cup of tea, depends on how you care to look at it...
- 0.5 Star= DNF or DNE (did not enjoy--- at all).
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