June 25, 2008

Wuthering High by Cara Lockwood

Wuthering HighWuthering High by Cara Lockwood

Miranda has to admit she did get into a bit of trouble but she still thinks that sending her off to the Bard Academy is a bit extreme. At first glance, Bard Academy - nestled on Shipwreck Island of the coast of Main - gives boarding school hell a whole new meaning, the school is surrounded by a forest which the students are advised to avoid unless they want to die a most painful death; the dorms are always cold, the lights keep flickering, forget about getting internet or cell reception!

And Miranda keeps getting into trouble, be it because she's late to assembly or because her closet light keeps flickering on... or because small fires keep erupting somewhat around her... thankfully, a weird boy named Heathcliff keeps showing up to save the day, he seems to be a bit confused and keeps calling her Cathy and it's quite obsessed with Wuthering Heights but still, he's cute.

But things are not what they seem at Bard Academy... not even close!

I can't say how much I adored this book I was in reader's heaven when I started. Miranda is an entirely likable character, smart and funny and nice. And the rest of the characters are equally well written, especially Heathcliff who, again, had me swooning.

I won't say much more because I don't want to spoil it for you, but you have to read it!

starstarstarstarstarPersonal Favorite

June 19, 2008

Princess on the Brink by Meg Cabot

Princess on the Brink
Princess on the Brink (Princess Diaries Book 8) by Meg Cabot

A very quick way to sum up the Princess Diaries Series is to say that is about a girl, Mia, who we met when she was 14 and her father told her she was actually Princess Amelia heir to the throne of Genovia a small country in the way of Monaco. Mia never wanted to be a princess and most of the time she does not like being one but, through the course of the books, she grows a little each time.

By the time we get to Princess on the Brink, Mia is now sixteen she has a boyfriend, Michael, whom she loves and things seem to be going okay, until Michael announces he's moving to Japan for a year or more and so the book begins.

Mia has one week to convince Michael not to go and she's fairly willing to do whatever it takes to get him to stay... until she finds out some things aren't exactly as she was imaging them. There is a classic Mia-blow out and well, can't say what happens next.

I will say though that Princess on the Brink still made me laugh like all the others PD books made me laugh and that, thankfully, Mia finally seems to be growing up and leaving behind her whinny self which made books six and seven a bit of a trial at some points. Meg Cabot still has that same humor and you still like Mia and when she finally sees, she sees it fairly clearly and tries to makes things right. That's the thing about Mia, she might blow it but she always tries to make it right which makes her so endearing and likable... however, Mia might just discover that sometimes it is too late.

I really liked it, I can't wait to get Princess Mia and Princess Forever, this last one out in December, and see how this story ends.



June 18, 2008

Lover Enshirned by J. R. Ward

Al right, by now you are living under a rock if you haven't heard of the Black Dagger Brotherhood before, but, just in case you just came out from under it I'll recap.

The Black Dagger Brotherhood is a band of powerful vampire warriors who fight to protect their race against the Lessers - for the most part generic evil dudes with occasional splashes of personality - who are on a never ending quest to destroy them. There is one book for each of the Warriors so far :Dark Lover - Wrath; Lover Eternal - Rhage; Lover Awakened - Zsadist; Lover Revealed - Butch a.k.a Dhestroyer; Lover Unbound - Vishous; and they all brings us to Lover Enshirned - Phury.

I strongly recomend to read all books in order, as it will make more sense. As it stands, I'm going to assume you guys already did this and know what I'm talking about.

Phury is Zsadist's twin, he has a hero complex, a Red Smoke addiction and he's in love with his twin's shellan (wife) Bella. And he also happens to be the newest Prime Male of the Chosen (for more ont hat read V's book Lover Unbound), which means he's married to them all (they are about 40) and has to knock them up. His first mate, is Cormia, a beautiful girl who never really wanted the post but now can't help but feeling atraction and affection for Phury but here's the thing, she doesn't feel like sharing him with her 39 sisters, she wants him all to herself.

Phury and Cormia's story is one of people who fight against ideas they have of themselves, who they are and what other people expect of them, it's actually a quite nice love story; certainly it has a better ending thant the love story in Lover Unbound; but, when it comes down to it, they take up a really small part of the whole of the book.

We spend more time with the lessers (which is always WAY boring), with Rhevenge and Xhex (Whom I don't like, I find her boring too); and with Quinn, Blay and John Mathew all three whom I actually like alot and like reading about but they completely steal the show.

I think that, as a romance novel, Lover Enshirned it's a bit unbalanced; as a urban fantasy it fares better. Still, it is a quite enjoyable read and I will probably be getting Lover Avenged if only because something I was waiting for happened in LEn and I want to know what follows.



I would still tell you to read it, but only if you are already a fan, it's not a good place to start the BDB.

June 16, 2008

Lola Carlyle Reveals All by Rachel Gibson

LOLALola Carlyle once was a famous model and now is a successful lingerie designer, but when her ex boyfriend publishes some embarrassing photos of her on the internet, all Lola wants to do is escape. So she takes her dog, Baby Doll, and goes off to the Bahamas where she can relax. Max Zamora, on the other hand, wasn't there to relax, he was on a mission as a an undercover agent for the US Government.

They would never have met if not because Max steals the yacht were Lola was sleeping and is determined to get it to Florida.

From the start, Lola and Max have a rocky relationship but they come to respect and admire each other in one heck of a thrill ride as they try to reach safety. But once they are back on their normal lives, they still can't get out of each other's minds... but really, how much in common do a swimsuit model and an undercover agent have? Well, enough to make sparks fly.

I think this is one of my favorite books by Rachel Gibson, it has all the trademarks of her books: likable characters, good plot, good dialogue and sizzling chemistry. It also deals with the very serious subject of bulimia but in a way that it isn't preachy and yet it was quite real.

starstarstarstarPersonal Favorite

June 14, 2008

Book Review: Kiss an Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

I had never read Susan Elizabeth Phillips before, but for some reason I was drawn to Kiss An Angel. I wasn't disappointed.

Daisy Deveroux is a spoiled rich girl, her mother was a super model and when she dies Daisy finds herself a bit adrift and spending more money than what she has, which is why, when things get bad, her father decides that what his daughter needs is an iron hand and convinces this guy Alex Markov to marry her. They have to stay married for six months or her father won't help her to stay out of jail.

Alex isn't happy either but he owes a mysterious favor to Daisy's dad so he agrees and marries Daisy... and then tells her he's a circus manager and that they are going to be on the road until winter hits and they make it back to Tampa. At first, Daisy is horrified, but soon enough she starts to like the circus and the animals and begins to crave a place for her self among Alex's circus family and in Alex's life.

I adored this book!

Both Daisy and Alex, not to mention all of the others circus performers, are very vivid, they are essentially good people but they are also quite flawed. Daisy isn't dumb, she isn't even an airhead though sometimes in her life she has come across as one, she's just a bit lonely and hasn't always made the best choices. Alex isn't your average hero, he has a temper, he can be mean, but at the same time he isn't a villain.

Another thing that works in this book? The sexual tension. It is so hard to find stories were there is good tension between the characters, but this book has it. Not to mention a truly well written dialogue. There is true warmth in this book and it's just something to be enjoyed.

I did have a few problems with the book though, particularly after re-reading it a few times, and they mostly have to do with Alex's 'legacy' I thought that was a bit over the top and it annoyed me more and more each time I read it. 


June 11, 2008

Airhead by Meg Cabot

AirheadImagine one moment being an average teenage girl with a crush on your best friend and then, next thing you know, you wake up in the hospital, people are looking at you funny, your voice sounds weird and for the first time in your life you don't want a sundae and a cookie... oh, and when you look at the mirror it's not your face you see but that of the world's hottest teenage supermodel.

Well, that's what happens to Em Watts in Meg Cabot's newest teen book Airhead.

I won't spoil it for you, just say that it doesn't involve any type of Freaky Friday body change experience, instead it revolves around a premise that, though a bit far fetched, is quite original and wholly entertaining.

Airhead is a book like I hadn't read in a while, it has that warmth and lightness and fun that's classic Meg Cabot, and it comes across better than it has in the past few books (Pants on Fire, How to Be Popular) which were good but I think they lacked a dash of the old enchantment from earlier books (think Mediator series or 1-800).

Em is a totally likable heroine, smart and funny and mature-yet-age appropriate. Airhead has some really laugh out loud moments and some more quiet, sweet ones. The mix and contrast of Em's world and Nikki's world was amazingly well done.

The only sad part is that now I have to wait a whole year for the sequel "Being Nikki".

Go pick up Airhead.



Confessions at Midnight by Jacquie D'Alessandro

Confessions at Midnight by Jacquie D'Alessandro bring us back two characters we meet during Sleepless at Midnight: Daniel Sutton, Earl Surbrooke and Carolyn Turner, Viscountess Wingate. Then they were secondary characters but now they take center stage.

Daniel has been attracted to Carolyn for years, since they very night he met her, which also happened to be the night she announced her betrothal to Daniel's childhood friend Edward. Now, Daniel doesn't think himself the most moral of people but he does draw the line at seducing a friend's wife so, for years, he stays away.

When they met again, almost ten years have passed - it happens during Sleepless at Midnight - Daniel has spent the last ten years going from one affair to the other, while Carolyn had a very happy marriage and then a very crushing loss when her husband dies suddenly three years earlier. Carolyn is just starting to re-enter the world of the living and Daniel finds himself smitten all over again.

Daniel is determined to have Carolyn this time... and Carolyn might not be adverse to it!.
Thrown in a scandalous book, lots of pets and some friends - not to mention a psycho killer, and you got the makings of Confessions at Midnight.

I loved it. Daniel and Carolyn's story is deep and sweet and very, very touching. Daniel and his servants - especially Samuel - are so funny, and the whole pet thing? he won me over in two seconds flat. Carolyn on the other hand, she is smart and passionate and understandably guilty after surviving her husband but it doesn't become this oversized guilt overwhelming the story, I think it was handled beautifully.

Also, another refreshing note, Carolyn was truly happy in her marriage, it wasn't like in some other books when the heroine isn't really happy until she meets the hero. Carolyn once had it all and her wonder at finding that she can feel again and be happy again, are a joy to read about.

Solid, good book



June 6, 2008

A Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson

Countess Below StairsWhen the revolution hits Russia, Anna’s family doesn’t fare well: her father dies in battle, her mother is torn by grief and yet tries to do the best she can, and they are all in danger. Soon Anna and her family find themselves making the long journey to England – with the help of Anna’s governess – determined to make a new home for themselves.

There is only one problem: money, and the lack thereof. Anna’s family lost almost everything in the revolution and the few jewels they had left were lost. For Anna, the solution is pretty simple: She’ll get a job and support her family. Everyone tells Anna she can’t, she’s a countess! But Anna reasons that no money means no food and she’s willing to do anything – honest of course – to secure her family’s well being.

That’s how Anna finds a job as a maid at Westerholme, home of the new earl of Westerholme, Rupert, who’s just being released from the hospital after being wounded in the war (The WW1) and he's about to marry a rich heiress – partially because he truly thinks he loves her and partially because he does need her money.

Anna and Rupert like each other immediately, of course, everyone likes Anna and everyone likes Rupert, yet this time is different…

I won’t say much or I’ll spoil it for you guys, I’ll just say that I really liked this book, it’s the first by Eva Ibbotson I’ve ever read so I can’t compare to her other works but, as for this one, I can say that it’s a warm, enchanting romance; light and sweet.

I liked both lead characters a lot, Anna has that quality some heroines have, you know the ones, they are so sweet, so full of virtues, such paragons of everything good that you think it’s going to be impossible to actually like them – let alone believe them – but Anna’s optimism and good sense (even in her naïveté) shine through and you actually do like her and do root for her and her family. Rupert on the other hand is a very honorable and kind man, he’s trying desperately to do the right thing for himself and for his family, he just happens to realize he isn’t in love with her fiancé and that it might very well be too late.

I found the antagonistic characters well done in a way that, though silly to my thinking they made sense to themselves and as a reader I appreciate that. Friends and family add depth to the story, they all had stories to tell, some of which were glimpsed at in an unobtrusive way that added to the story without feeling like it was dragging on and on.