An Amazing Spy Story! A MUST READ!

a spy unmasked

A Spy Unmaksed by Tina Gabrielle

Overview by Amazon:

London, 1820

The mission did not go quite as Robert Ware–known in society as the new Earl of Kirkland–planned. A spy in the service of His Majesty, Robert is a “guest” at a masquerade party as he retrieves vital information for a murder investigation. Until he’s quite unexpectedly interrupted by an exquisite, masked woman with glittering green eyes. And a pistol she has cocked and aimed right at him…

Lady Sophia Merrill has defiantly taken up justice’s shining sword, determined to expose the brigand who murdered her eccentric but brilliant father, and stole his latest invention. Now she must masquerade as Robert’s betrothed in order to infiltrate the Inventor’s Society and find the killer. But the undeniable potent attraction between them not only imperils the investigation, but Sophia’s reputation… and both of their lives.

I LOVED this book. What made this story so excellent was the amazing plot the author developed, with rich characters and complicated emotions. It was such a great story to read and it had me dying to know what happens!

Lady Sophia has been unsuccessfully trying to find out what happened to her father. He died under very mysterious circumstances and she is seeking revenge for the heart breaking loss she has endured. Her father, although a noble, was a scientist and was deemed the ‘Mad Marquess’ by the ton. That nickname stung to the sensible Sophia and she has shunned ton events for many years. She is still young and very beautiful, but realizes the life of a lady is not her calling. She has her own inventions she likes to tinker with in her father’s empty laboratory, but the death of her father cannot go unavenged.

She meets Robert one evening at Lord Delmont’s ball. Robert is investigating Delmont as he thinks the Scientific Club he belongs to is up to nefarious deeds, possibly selling military secrets. Robert works for the Home office and is officially a spy. His speciality is safe cracking. He is shocked to find himself being accosted by Sophia while investigating the safe at Delmont’s house. It’s an interesting introduction as neither is willing to explain what they are after. They are caught and together they flee the house before they are unmasked.

Sophia refuses to be left to the side lines, so Robert’s superior contrives a plan that the two should pretend to be engaged in order to secure an invitation to a Scientific Club week long get together at Delmont’s country estate. Robert is livid at this plan. He wants nothing to do with Sophia, for a couple of reasons. One he finds her distracting and rash, two he has taken a vow of celibacy and she tempts him and three, he wants to work alone. Robert is overruled and off the two go to the country party.

Sophia wants revenge and information, but she never imagined she’d have to pretend to be engaged in order to get in the game. She finds Robert a mystery. He’s handsome as sin and she appreciates his intellect and cunning. She quickly realizes however, that Robert is going to insist she sit on the sidelines and chat with the other wives at the event, rather than sleuth around with him. This does not sit well with her and I totally loved the sparring the two do over who will take on which deeds.

Being at the Delmont’s is a challenge for Sophia as she firmly believes that he is responsible for the death of her father. She despises the man and it gets even worse for her when Delmont takes a sexual interest in Sophia and wants to seduce her. Being under his roof is torture enough. This is where Robert shows what a good man he is. He is very protective of Sophia, although he rebels at the thought of her being ‘his’ permanently. He has a past that torments him. His demons and memories stop him from establishing deep relationships and even superficial sexual ones. He has to focus on his job or drown in memories that haunt him and taunt him when he looks at Sophia and knows that he isn’t worthy of her.

As they investigate over the week, there is plenty of time for them to spend together and get to know one another. They find that they like each other. She admires him and thinks of him as the kind of man she would have liked to marry if her life wasn’t the way it turned out. Robert finds Sophia to be a strong and intellectual woman that he is compatible with on many levels. They share a few kisses, which raises the temperature of their relationship and starts to make the fake engagement feel a little bit more real.

Sophia and Robert’s investigation doesn’t turn up the information they hope for. They spend time with an odd assortment of characters that belong to the Scientific community and try to figure out what special skill each has that the mastermind and Delmont want. There are a few close calls and when Sophia comes under suspicion by Delmont, Robert is her avenging angel and rescues her. When Delmont tries to get rid of Sophia through extremely dangerous means, Robert once again rescues her.

Sophia is confident and smart. She can go back to her life after this party and resume her activities; however she doesn’t want to let one experience pass her by. She pushes Robert to his breaking point and the two share a night of exquisite love making. The scene was so well written and it came at the perfect point in the plot that it makes so much sense that these two would reach out for each other and stop trying to fight what in inevitable.

They are caught in the action by the house guests and the sham engagement must become a wedding in truth. They leave the party and head directly to London to be married. Robert shares his dark past with Sophia and tells her that they will not consummate the marriage and she can get an annulment. He can’t live with himself if his work puts her in danger. This does not sit well with Sophia and after a few days of wedded bliss, she storms the castle. She is in love with Robert and cares for him deeply. It’s such a relief when her feelings are returned.

The mystery of the Scientific club and Sophia’s father’s death is still not resolved. They become partners in crime and investigate together. They finally figure out what is behind the club and the illegal activity that must be stopped. The major surprise is who is the mastermind.

I was so surprised when I read who was behind the betrayal. It was moments like this that made the book so amazing. The saying ‘the truth shall set you free’ is very accurate about this ending. Robert is freed from his past and Sophia has the resolution she so desperately wanted. The icing on the cake was the fact that they found each other and now have the rest of their lives to spend together.

I adored this book. The plot was a great page turner. It had me guessing from one moment to the next what evil lurked around the corner, whether Robert would kiss Sophia and who was the mastermind. This book is everything you hope for in a historical romance novel – love, a great mystery, adventure and a very satisfying ending!

A Fun, Sweet Christmas Treat

viscount xmas temptation

The Viscount’s Christmas Temptation by Erica Ridley

Overview by Amazon:

Certain individuals might consider Lady Amelia Pembroke a managing sort of female, but truly, most people would be lost without her help. Why, the latest on-dit is that rakish Viscount Sheffield is canceling the fête of the year because he hasn’t time for silly soirees. He doesn’t need time—he needs her!

When a flash of lightning destroys the venue for his family’s annual Christmas ball, Lord Benedict Sheffield intends to enjoy a relaxing holiday for once. But after twelve days of beguiling Lady Amelia’s guerrilla tactics, he’s up to his cravat with tinsel . . . and tumbling head over heels in love.

This was a fun, quick read. I totally fell in love with Amelia. She’s such a great character and I loved her organizational mind. It’s really a mystery why she is on the shelf as she is so much fun to read about.

I loved how she brazenly took over the preparations for the Annual Sheffield Christmas ball. She is always a few steps ahead of Benedict, but he enjoys be led around by Amelia.

This is a novella, yet there is enough substance and depth that a full length book could have been developed around these characters and I would have loved that as I really enjoyed this story.

It’s like a sweet, Christmas confection. Sugary, light and satisfying.

A Wicked Riverboat Adventure!

her wicked captain

Her Wicked Captain (River Rogues Series) by Sandra Jones
Overview by Amazon:

She played right into his hands.

The River Rogues, Book 1

Possessing uncanny people-reading skills like her mama, Philadelphia “Dell” Samuels has spent thirteen years in her aunt’s rustic Ozarks home, telling fortunes over playing cards and trying to pass as white. But the treacherous Mississippi River childhood her mama dragged her away from finally catches up to her on a steamboat captained by her old friend Rory Campbell.

Known to his crew as the Devil’s Henchman, Rory is a gambler in need of a miracle. Following the cold trail of his boss’s wife and bastard daughter, Dell, Rory has only one goal in mind: saving his crew from the boss’s cruelty by ruining him. The only one who can defeat the Monster of the Mississippi is the man trained to take his place. Rory’s convinced he can lure his boss into a high-stakes game against a rival, and with Dell’s people-reading skills, the monster will lose everything.

Under Rory’s tutelage and protection, Dell agrees to the tortured captain’s plan. Passion and peril quickly bring them together as lovers. But when Rory’s plan goes awry, the lives of the innocent depend on Dell’s ability to read the situation correctly—and hopefully save them all.

Warning: There’s not enough moonshine on the Mississippi to keep this fortune-teller from saving The Devil’s Henchman, a high-stakes gambler—and her childhood friend—from his boss’s cruel attentions. Touches upon issues of child abuse, revenge, and redemption.

Why you will enjoy this book:

The Setting – the southern United States is often a historical romance novel setting, but not like this. We find our heroine Philadelphia (Dell) living in squalor in the Ozarks. She travels along the Mississippi River to Memphis on The Dark Enchantress. These steamboats travel up and down the rivers, captained and crewed by a host of characters. It’s a fascinating look at America in the South and the lives of the people who lived on the steamboats and made their livings on these floating gambling palaces. From cities to backward towns, this book shows a different side to the American South – sometimes it’s beautiful like the Spanish moss draping on big trees and sometimes it’s as ugly as the moonshine still and barren earth of the Ozarks.

The Characters – If the name Philadelphia wasn’t clue enough that this was no typical heroine; we learn very quickly that she has endured a tough life. She has the gift of being able to read people and tell fortunes. Her skills as a reader are sought after as she can help a gambling crew pick up on ‘tells’ and help them fleece their opponents. She is very hesitant to leave the only family she has had for years, even though brewing moonshine and the threat of marriage to an old goat is stomach turning. She embraces the new adventure and sails away on the Dark Enchantress to a new life run by her step-father. Dell is a product of an affair her mother had and it turns out she is half black. It’s still dangerous times for black people in the south, so she does everything she can to keep her heritage hidden.

Rory is the boy she left behind when her mother whisked her away to get away from the gambling life and her step father. When Rory shows up as captain of the ship and whispering dreams in her ears, she is enchanted. She remembers a close bond as children and as a woman she feels attraction. Rory has been sent by Quintus, her step-father to retrieve her mother, but finds her instead. Rory has the swagger of a captain and a gambler, but he loathes the life he is forced to live and sees Dell as the final puzzle piece in his grand plans for revenge and escape. He doesn’t expect to fall for her and to care so deeply about her safety and happiness.

Quintus is the evil step-father who runs the gambling racket. An extremely dangerous man who is a threat to everyone’s safety. He is an abusive man who converts young children into gamblers and thieves. The plot to bring him down was exciting, because the author makes you dislikes him so much.

The Plan – the plan is to get rid of Quintus and his empire. It takes a while for Dell to trust Rory (although getting hot and steamy with him on the riverboat doesn’t hurt). There are so many lives at stake and many players in the drama. Dell must lie and cheat in order to get Quintus to trust her. She quickly realizes why her mother took her away from this life. Rory’s plan is long in execution. From the moment they arrive in Memphis the games being in earnest. Even though the plan was multi-faceted, it didn’t drag on the story or the plot, as the sub plots and secondary characters kept the action moving along. The revenge scheme becomes entwined with the romance of Dell and Rory. The fate of one will be the fate of the other.

This book was an exciting read about gamblers and revenge. Dell and her wicked captain are exciting characters and I enjoyed the journey they embark upon together. Both characters are well developed and the plot moved along at a good pace filled with action and all the drama of a great poker showdown.

The Amazing Suzanne Enoch and Samantha Jellicoe

suzanne enoch

Suzanne Enoch

From Amazon Author Page:

A lifelong lover of books, Suzanne Enoch has been writing them since she learned to read. She is the author of two well-received Avon Regencies, The Black Duke’s Prize and Angel’s Devil, and five Avon Romances: Lady Rogue, Stolen Kisses, By Love Undone, Taming Rafe and Reforming a Rake. Born and raised in Southern California, Suzanne lives a few scant miles from Disneyland with her collection of Star Wars action figures and a Cairn terrier named Katie (after the heroine of her first Regency). She’s still looking for her own hero, and hopes he will be handsome, titled, and just a little wicked. Meanwhile, she’s currently at work inventing him in her next historical romance.

Check her out at her website: http://www.suzanneenoch.com/

Suzanne Enoch is one of my very favourite authors. She writes outstanding historical romance novels and I am always pre-ordering her books. It’s like Christmas when they appear on my Kindle on release day. She develops plots that are engaging, often with mysteries and adventures with amazing characters. While I adore all her historical novels, one of my very favourite series of hers is the Samantha Jellicoe series. There is something so captivating about these books and Sam is such a special character. I have read and re-read these books so many times and each time I fall in love a little more with this prickly, self-sufficient and smart woman. I keep hoping that Suzanne Enoch will write at least one more book in the series as I need to know what happens to the infamous Sam. But for now, here is an overview of the series and why you should read these books!

Flirting with Danger
flirting with danger
Overview by Amazon:
In her dazzling romantic suspense debut, USA Today bestselling author Suzanne Enoch brings us a thrilling tale about a thief who needs to prove she’s no murderer and the millionaire who loves her.
Samantha Jellicoe is a thief and proud of it. Raised to appreciate the finer things in life, Sam has no trouble divesting the wealthy of their treasures. This all changed, however, the night she attempts to steal a valuable item from a Palm Beach estate. Before she knew what hit her, a bomb goes off, a guard is killed, and Sam ends up saving millionaire Richard Addison. She’s a good thief and will own up to her jobs, but if anyone thinks to tie her to murder, they better think again.
On any other night, having a one hundred plus pounds of female fling herself at you is a good thing. But on this particular night, Richard Addison is mad as hell. Not only did he just have his gallery blown up-with him about to enter it-but the woman who rescued him didn’t stick around to offer any explanations. When the dust settles, Rick knows the only person with answers to his questions is the mystery woman. And if she thinks she can hide from him, she better think again.

Why you will love this book:
This book introduces us to the amazing and fearless Samantha Jellicoe. She is one of the very best cat burglars in the world. Pulling heists since she was a teenager, she is now fully a woman and one with a plan to pull a few more gigs and get out. She robs the wrong house and the wrong man one night. She meets Richard Addison as an explosion tears through his Palm Beach house. And so the cat and mouse games begin between the two. To say that Sam has a healthy mistrust of people is an understatement, yet something about Rick makes her carelessly want to be around him. These two are on a mission to find out who really robbed Rick and who is setting up Sam. Working with a sidekick isn’t her style, but considering Rick is a billionaire with all the toys and bells and whistles at his disposal, it isn’t a bad place to lie low until the heat passes. Yet the heat is just getting started as Rick and Sam have scorching chemistry. They verbally spar and physically combust when they are together. She frustrates the uptight British aristocracy in Rick and Sam wants to see how far she can bend Rick. They make a great team and solve the mystery together with some very tense moments. This book just whets your appetite for more of Sam and Rick and the excitement they create together.

Don’t Look Down
Dont look down

Overview by Amazon:
Samantha Jellicoe is no ordinary thief. At least, not anymore. She promised her significant other, British billionaire Rick Addison, that she’d retire from her life of crime. So no more midnight break-ins . . . no more scaling estate walls . . . no more dangling from the ceiling. From here on in, it’s intimate dinners with Rick in posh Palm Beach followed by rock-your-world sex.
Who’d have thought that doing the right thing would turn out to be more deadly than her former life of crime? When the first client of her new security business is murdered, Sam is determined to find the killer. Now if only she can manage to stay out of jail, resist her former “associate’s” lucrative job offers, and keep Rick from sticking his nose into her business, she might just manage to stay alive. Because trouble isn’t just walking—it’s running—to catch up with her.

Why you will love this book:
Now that Sam has been identified by the police, she is no longer running rackets. Rick has kept her out of jail and she has to live up to her end of the bargain. So she creates Jellicoe Securities to keep herself busy while Rick is playing with his billions of dollars. The secondary characters are just amazing in this series. From Tom, Rick’s best friend who instantly hates Sam (the feeling is mutual) to her father figure Stoney, to Rick’s ex Patricia to Samantha’s office assistant Aubrey. Everything about Sam is tinged with humour. Her hatred of coffee, calling Rick, James Bond including the ringtone on her phone, to her obsession with Godzilla movies. She is priceless as a character. So fun and yet so dangerous. There is one scene in the book that will never let me eat chili and nachos without thinking of Sam and Rick…use your imagination as it’s as hot as you are thinking it is! Sam spends her time investigating a fellow rich patron in Palm Springs with the typical results – danger, car accidents and Rick going full alpha male. Sam’s rich, quips keep the dialogue and story rolling and she’s adjusting to life with a ‘boyfriend’ who uses words like ‘I love you’. Of course Sam sucks Rick into walking the fine line between law and crime, while he pulls her more firmly into his world.

Billionaires Prefer Blondes
billionaires prefer blondes

Overview by Amazon:
Samantha Jellicoe is enjoying her new legitimate career and her romance with billionaire Richard Addison. Of course, this doesn’t mean she’s gotten over the urge to steal, but she’s been able to fight it off––most of the time. Then she spies someone she never thought she’d see again ––her father, Martin Jellicoe. Sam thought Martin had died in prison years before, but now that he’s back, she knows he’s up to no good. Her worst fears come true when a new painting that Rick purchased goes missing. Sam knows her father is behind it, but with the police focused on her checkered past, this won’t be easy to prove. Between keeping her father’s return a secret, searching for the missing art, and saving their reputations, Rick and Samantha’s relationship will be tested like never before.

Why you will love this book:
Sam and Rick are heading to one of her very favourite places in the world, Sotheby’s Auction House. Of course, in the past it was because she robbed it. While there watching her billionaire boyfriend Rick buy some art, she realizes that her long dead father, is not so dead and in fact there. So begins a cat and mouse game with a father who treats Sam like a pawn. The trouble starts right away for Sam, with Rick doing his usual yelling and bailing her out of trouble. This book has elements of sadness for Sam’s relationship with her father that is so warped, but it helps you understand why she is as skittish as times and so resistant to permanence, like the garden she has always wanted and Rick wants her to build. Rick, her version of James Bond, goes along with her on her adventures, and once again food associations make for great moments of humour. Peanut butter gets some of the best laughs. Sam’s father has brought her in with his new crew and they must pull off a very complex heist. The stakes are high for Sam and Rick as jail time is a real possibility. However, opportunity comes knocking at times when Sam isn’t looking and she is being offered the possibility of being a bounty hunter for stolen art. Rick of course is worried for her safety, but to Sam it’s perfect. The hunt, the lure and the glory without going to jail. That’s one more thing I love about Sam. She thinks great works of art should be in museums for all to see. A contradiction always, Samantha Jellicoe is just awesome.

Twice the Temptation
twice the temptation

Overview by Amazon:
Summer 1814 . . .

When Evangeline Munroe inherits the exquisite but supposedly cursed Nightshade Diamond, she considers it a bit of good fortune. Then she literally runs into Connoll Addison, Marquis of Rawley, the most sought after bachelor amongst the ton. Surely her immediate attraction to the rogue is bad luck. Could the diamond be more dangerous than she ever imagined?
Present . . .
Samantha Jellicoe thinks it’s good luck that has her—a reformed cat burglar—providing security for a museum exhibit. Then she discovers the Nightshade Diamond, with an accompanying note that says the thing is cursed. Cursed indeed! How else to explain Scotland Yard breathing down her neck, the appearance of an ex-boyfriend, and her lover Rick Addison suddenly testing the boundaries of their relationship? She needs to unload the gem and soon, or she may lose her dreams forever.

Why you will love this book:
It’s like getting two for the price of one. The first part of the book is a Regency romance of Rick’s ancestors and their experience with the Nightshade Diamond. It’s a great story and adds more background to Rick’s character. When we get to modern day, Sam is developing a part of Rick’s English estate for a gallery of a special exhibit. While testing the security, she comes across the Nightshade Diamond and the warning that it’s cursed. Sam takes a healthy dislike to the diamond, which makes practical Rick laugh. He can’t believe that Sam would run from a huge jewel. However, the two of them play practical jokes on each other, planting the diamond on each other with hilarious results. That’s the great thing about this series – the laughs go right along with the mind blowing sex and the snappy dialogue. Sam runs into many problems getting the exhibit up and running. Now that the elite thief has changes sides, she is now the target of other thieves. It’s a game of who can be the best. Rick predictably gets into the action and mucks around with Samantha to save the exhibit and the Nightshade Diamond.

A Touch of Minx
a touch of minx

Overview by Amazon:
Who says crime doesn’t pay?
A year ago, Samantha Jellicoe robbed from the rich and gave . . . to herself! Now, though, she’s using her larcenous skills for good as a private security consultant, trying to walk the high road for her sexy billionaire boyfriend, Richard Addison, and asking herself if there’s anything more torturous than tracking down priceless artifacts (only to give them back!).
So when the Metropolitan Museum of Art asks for her help, she’s only too happy to leap into the fray again: If nothing else, this adventure will help her avoid that little (not!) sparkly item Rick’s been hiding in his pocket, and postpone another kind of walk—down the aisle. It’s only when she’s targeted by a deadly adversary after the same treasure that Sam starts to think that “till death do you part” is maybe the lesser of two evils . . .

Why you will love this book:
Sam has been asked by the Met in New York to recover stolen art. She’s excited to undertake this adventure just as much as she is to try her hand at breaking and entering into Rick’s estates only to get caught and then have mind-blowing sex. Now that Sam can accept and return Rick’s love for her, Rick is ready for the next step. He wants to marry Sam. Both Tom and Stoney try to talk some sense into Rick – maybe Sam isn’t the marrying kind. She can barely keep her getaway pack out of her reach. We meet some really interesting characters in this book and receive an education on Japanese samurai artifacts. While Sam is pursuing lost artifacts and facing danger, she is also helping Tom’s daughter recover a missing doll. The more time she spends in the company of Tom and his family, she learns what family really means. It scares her to death considering the upbringing she had and that her own father is dead to her. The plot and art recovery is really well written and funny at the same time. It’s typically Sam hijinks with Rick running point guard for her. But this story goes a little deeper than the rest. Not only does Rick want Sam to be his bride and wife, but she will become his Marchioness as part of the British aristocracy. If anyone can handle all the crazy, it’s Sam.

This is the last book in the series and I DESPARATELY wish for more. I want more hijinks from Sam. I want wedding jitters and a few break and enters to calm her bridal nerves. I want to know more about where Sam and Rick go and what they do. They are such a great team and reading them is like spending time with great friends that you never get tired of being around. Give these books a read…they will have you hot, bothered, laughing and holding your breath with the adventure!

The Beauty and the Beast

hes no prince charming

He’s No Prince Charming by Elle Daniels

Overview by Amazon:

A wounded beast . . .

It took Marcus Bradley forever to find a suitable bride. And then he lost her-all because some meddling matchmaker with a crazy notion about “true love” helped her elope with another man. Now, to save his sister from a terrible marriage alliance, he needs a replacement-an heiress to be exact . . . and he knows just the woman to help him find one.

A spirited beauty . . .

Danielle Strafford believes everyone deserves a fairytale ending-even the monstrously scarred and notoriously brooding Marquis of Fleetwood. Not that he’s left her a choice. If she doesn’t help him secure a wife-by any means necessary-he’ll reveal her scandalous secrets.
A passion that will consume them both

The more time Marcus spends with Danielle, the less interested he is in any other woman. But the Beast must do the impossible: keep from losing his heart to a Beauty he is destined to lose.

There is a reason Disney and Brothers Grimm have successfully captured the interest and imagination of people for ages. We love stories like Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Hansel and Gretel. This story is a reimagining of Beauty and the Beast – although not a PG version! Something about a great, hurt beastly man who can only be tamed and healed by the love and care of an extraordinary woman is a tale that stands the test of time.

Elle Daniels has woven those elements into a clever and intriguing story. I really enjoyed the main character Danni. She must have been so much fun to develop and bring to life. She has charisma, intelligence and compassion. She truly is the beauty to the story. The story would not come to life and be so special if it was not for her perspective and faults.

Danni runs a very special bookshop. Called G. Green Bookstore, it looks like an ordinary shop, but it actually is a front for helping young ladies of the ton escape intolerable matches to men they don`t want to marry. Danni and her crew help plot the ladies escape and spirit her away to Gretna Green with the man they truly want to be with. She`s cupid for love lorn ladies who shiver with the thought of marrying some old goat for his title and estate.

Unfortunately she helps the wrong lady escape. She helps Marcus`s fiancé runaway with the barrister`s assistant. Marcus really could care less who his bride is, but he needs an heiress and fast. He tracks down Danni to her bookshop and confronts her. Not only does he threaten to expose her, he blackmails her into abducting a young woman and accompanying them to Gretna Green to be married post haste.

Danni is thankful that this beastly man, with is horrible facial scars, doesn`t know her real identity. Instead of being repulsed by the man in front of her, who is most certainly dangerous, she is intrigued and surprisingly attracted to something about him.

The great thing about this book was the hijinks and adventure the characters get into. They kidnap an heiress, but of course it goes awry. They lose her, they are robbed, and they are forced to spend days together slogging through the wet English countryside. There were moments of danger and suspense, but also of signs that the beast was a man with a heart.

The time they spend together searching for their lost heiress, is not in vain. Danni comes to learn more about the elusive Beast and comes to realize what a good man he is. He is not doing a dastardly deed because he is a beast; rather he is protecting his family from a horrible fate.
Marcus lets Danni into his life more than he has ever let someone before. Marcus is a truly complex character. For the first part of the book he is drunk. He has deep, deep wounds that go beyond the scars covering his flesh, inflicted by the father who should have loved him. He seems to suffer from some form of social anxiety and that is when the beast shows up in appearance and behaviour. There wasn`t a lot to redeem him as a character at first, but as Danni gets to know him, we learn that he is a wounded person who is deserving of compassion and love.

When Danni and Marcus share some intimacies, he can`t believe that she would want him. He truly feels that she must pity him, as who would want to be with such a beast. It`s Danni`s kindness and compassion that is his undoing. This is where I loved how plucky and stubborn Danni is. She wants Marcus, but is afraid to reveal her identity, because then she will never know if he truly cares for her or wants her because she`s an heiress, but she wants him. And she is willing to fight for him.

When their bad deeds catch up with them, Danni has the strength to fight for what she wants. She has the tenacity to do the right thing and make difficult choices. Once again, this is why I loved her as a character. She truly is the beauty to his beastliness. Marcus may have forced Danni to do things she felt were against her morals, but in the end her love and devotion saved Marcus from his demons and his past.

I always like books where the characters are on a grand adventure. Even though this one had a nefarious bent to it, it was still a great rollercoaster of adventure and passion. Through Danni`s eyes, I didn`t see Marcus as the beast at the end. I saw him as a man who needed love to heal him and he found the one woman who could save him.

The Splendor of Eden – A Phenomenal Paranormal Experience

unexpected eden

Unexpected Eden(Eden Series, Book #1) by Rhenna Morgan

Overview by Amazon:
Paradise, love and power…and a prophecy with a price.

Most people believe Eden no longer exists. Lexi Merrill’s about to learn they’re wrong. A hard-working bartender with a self-sufficient backbone and a wary nature, she knows pickup lines like a second language. So, when Eryx Shantos barges into her world with too-smooth words and a body to back it up, she locks up her libido and vows to keep her distance.

Eryx has other ideas. As king of the Myren race, Eryx is duty-bound to enforce the laws preventing exposure of their existence to humans. Yet The Fates have led him through his dreams to Lexi, a temptation he doesn’t want to resist. The question is, is she Myren, or human – which makes her forbidden fruit?

When Eryx’s nemesis tags Lexi as his next target, Eryx insists on taking her home where he can keep her safe. Lexi had no idea “home” would mean the one-and-only land of creation…or that she’d trigger a prophecy that could doom her newfound race.

I usually read historical romance novels, but occasionally I get sucked into a paranormal romance series that is a great break from corsets and waltzes. The last series I read in this genre was by JR Ward, the Warrior Vampire series. When reading a paranormal book there is a lot of learning for the reader to do. The character usually inhabits a world different than our own and it takes a skillful author to impart this information while keeping a well-conceived plot moving along.

I was totally unexpected for this book. I didn’t know what to think the moment I started reading it, but it sucked me in so completely that by the time I finished the clock said 3 AM. Just as I love a Knight in shining armour, a bad ass man from another dimension is just as satisfying.
Eryx has been looking for Lexi for years. He dreams of her and knows that she is his mate. They meet at the bar she is working at immediately she recognizes that something is different about him and his companion. He pushes her to meet with him, literally stalking her in the process.

Within the same night, she agrees to bring them along to her ritual breakfast at Waffle House with her friend and father figure Ian. Things move very quickly at this point. We have learned some of Eryx powers – he can read minds, he can harness and control energy and he is extremely sensual. Although Eryx hasn’t explained that he is Myren and what that entails, a dangerous foe is upon them and they must make their escape from earth to Eden.

This isn’t all in Eryx mind, Lexi has been having dreams for years of a beautiful land with images that she has never encountered. Eryx believes that Lexi is one of the lost Myren and takes the supreme risk in bringing a human to his world, where the punishment for such an act is death.

It turns out that Eden is the home to Myrens, “a gifted race in existence for over six thousand years…they are deeply in tune with the Earth and the elements…their powerful minds and connection to the elements allow them to communicate silently with those they are linked to, levitate and command certain elements. Their women typically have more healing or nurturing gifts, where men tend more toward protective and aggressive abilities.” The entire new world is explained by the author throughout the book, but also in an extensive glossary at the end of the book. I didn’t discover this until the end of the book, but I had a good grasp on all the terms and situations, so it only reinforced what I had absorbed.

This new world is fascinating. There is a lot of Lexi and the reader to learn. They are essentially humans, but a superior breed who live for hundreds of years. Lexi hasn’t just attracted a Myren, she has attracted the Malran, the King of Eden. She has a million questions, but Eryx asks for her trust and patience. What works in his favour is that his presence is a balm to her. She feeds off his energy and thrums with unfulfilled sexual passion. She is scared and afraid of leaving her life behind, but her existence on earth was a struggle, foster homes, working two jobs and part time school. She is able to commit more because the alternative of Eden is so entrancing.

Eryx explains that he firmly believes that she is a lost Myren and he can awaken her and her powers. She agrees as she wants to belong and to be with Eryx. Before her awakening, Eryx and Lexi succumb to their passion. The sex scenes are blazing hot. Eryx is like a god. He uses words like ‘mine’ to show his commitment to Lexi and her sexual needs. With their relationship consummated, she is more determined to stay in this world. She undergoes her awakening and to the relief of all she is a Myren.

In some respects her awakening reminded me of the Twilight series, when Edward teaches Bella how to be a vampire. Eryx teacher her to fly, how to use energy and protect herself. She can now reach him and his family telepathically and must learn to control when she is sending naughty thoughts to Eryx so the whole network doesn’t know.

Eryx family is thrilled at the turning of Lexi. They share with her that Eryx is no ordinary Myren. He is Malran and she will be his queen. I liked how every time Eryx kept something from her, spikes of her anger have him grovelling and seducing her thoroughly. The kingdom accepts Lexi, although a dangerous plot is underway to destroy Eryx.

His enemy from hundreds of years ago, Maxis is a devious and clever villain. He is evolving and taking on more powers than he awakened with. He is intent on destroying Eryx’s lineage and claim to the throne. He’s manipulative, cunning and pure evil. Since this is the first book in the series, you know that he won’t be a quick fix for Eryx. He hatches numerous plots to gain the information and access he needs to bring about his plans. While this plot line will fuel more books in the series and it was a challenge to the Malran, it didn’t detract from the love story developing between Eryx and Lexi.

Eryx is definitely an alpha male. He is king, he knows what he wants and has the confidence to take what he needs. When Lexi becomes his mate, the seduction was different than any other book, but just as sensual, beautiful and meaningful. He honours her as his mate. When Myren are mated, they develop a mark of their lover on their body. It turns out that Lexi was exactly what Eryx needed as the symbols they bear are deeply symbolic to the Myren race.

I think what I liked so much about this book was that it was a fantastical read. A fascinating new world with strange clothes, food and rules. A love story that well developed. As Lexi grew into her powers, the pride that Eryx feels for her is more than love. She is his other half, his counterpart. Her acceptance into his world, life and bed was a whirlwind, but one that I greatly enjoyed. I will definitely continue to follow this series as I can’t wait to learn more about the fate of Maxis, the wellbeing of Eryx and Lexi and explore this wonderful dimension that the author has created.

Sometimes reading something different is good for the soul. I found that I couldn’t put this book down, despite the late hour because I was so involved in the characters’ lives, learning about Eden and entranced with the stormy passion of Eryx and Lexi.