Review: Knight of Love by Catherine LaRoche

knight of loveHero: The hero has a complicated name. He is Wolfram von Wolfsbach und Ravensworth, also known as Wolf, the English Earl of Ravensworth. He first meets the heroine when he’s undercover as a blacksmith in Prince Kurt’s court, where he finds her being publicly whipped for a small infraction to the amusement of the Prince. Barely able to contain himself, Wolf watches and then volunteers to carry Lenora upstairs where he gives her a large knife for protection.

Heroine: Despite appearances to the contrary, Lady Lenora Trevelyan is not a damsel in distress. She is resourceful and determined to make her escape on her own… no knight in shiny armor needed. She successfully escapes her abusive fiancé, Prince Kurt von Rotenburg-Gruselstadt and is galloping toward freedom and safety with the English/German diplomat… and gets captured by rebels just days down the road. The head of the rebel camp is none other than the blacksmith who gave her the knife.

Review: The hero is an unusual mix of beta and alpha characteristics. He’s very flowery in his language, chivalrous, and believes in love at first sight, but is also skilled at war, believes in civil rights of man (and woman,) and carefully controlling to ensure all is in his favor. For my tastes, I would have had less flowery language and more determined wooing. Wolf arranges a wedding to Lenora in order to protect her – this battlefield wedding is hardly legit as she didn’t give her consent. Still, he consummates the marriage in a forced seduction that evening. It is a heartbreaking (and erotic) experience for both of them which makes it successful. That night destroys what trust Lenora had in him. Now she’s plotting a new escape… but it’s harder to break the touch of silk than the touch of iron. There’s also an erotic scene where Lenora is in full control of Wolf and that is also successful as it is healing for both. I felt the story fell short when it changed locations from Germany to England. It was a night and day difference and the smoldering passion cooled quickly. Definitely a memorable read.

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: Knight of Love

Review: The Fire Lord’s Lover by Kathryne Kennedy

by Zarabeth, guest reviewer

This book is the first in a series to come by Kathryn Kennedy. It is a historical romance set in a world of humans and elves- essentially our world with this overarching control by these magical elven lords. Daily life is no different from other historical romances so don’t let that turn you off from this wonderful beginning.

I call it a wonderful beginning because as much as Kennedy makes a valiant effort to provide closure at the end of this book when it is most obviously a series. In fact I do believe she tried a little too hard to bring an end to the story.

Besides the last bit I was very happy with this story.

Cassandra, our heroine, is betrothed to the Fire Lord’s son Dominic. We meet her at her boarding school “preparing” for her wedding. In fact she is finishing her training as an agent of the Rebellion with one goal (I promise this is not a spoiler): assassinate the Fire Lord and end the reign of tyranny. Dominic, who we aren’t sure if we are to hate or love, is simply prepared to marry his betrothed and produce an heir while keeping as much distance from her as possible. He is unsuccessful and gladly so for only together can they save the world as they know it.

There is a lot of internal angst and miscommunication in this one. In general I am not a fan of these plots but I thought Kennedy did a very good job with it. She manages to keep me interested in and compassionate for both characters’ conflicts. I never wanted to put the book down and get away from them or pummel them over the head. This is an achievement.

I also enjoyed the fantastical touches- dragons, magic, other worlds, and living plants work together to form a unique and wonderful universe. I look forward to the sequel.

Rating: 4 Stars

Buy: The Fire Lord’s Lover (The Elven Lords)

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Review: Blue Knight by Tracy Cooper-Posey

Reviewer Side Note: Romantic suspense is not something I usually read because it’s hard for me to read things geniunely scary. Vampires? No problem. I don’t expect to ever run into one in a dark ally. Crazy wackos? Greedy and powerful bad guys? They’re a little more likely.

The Story: A small group of U.N. delegates are held hostage by the Insurrectos in Vistaria (tiny island nation off the coast of Mexico) for weeks without hope of rescue. Olivia is smart, pretty, but old enough to want more than a one night stand, which makes her invisible to Daniel. The man seems to bed down with everyone but her and she decides to let him have it when Daniel tumbles into her hotel room from the window stark naked from an interrupted liaison with the woman next door. Her disinterest piques his interest and soon the two are playing a dangerous game that could get them killed… because all the Insurrectos need for a game changed is one confirmed American or to find the spy amongst the hostages.

The Silly Theory: I want point out right now that the theory I said I had on Twitter was so far off base as to be in another galaxy. Had I read the first two books I wouldn’t have had this theory I am sure, because I thought it was possible that Nick was Daniel when Daniel wasn’t acting as spy. Wrong… oh so wrong… so funny too.

Review: Blue Knight is book three in the Guns ‘n’ Lovers series. For me, because I hadn’t read the first two books in the series. It took me a while catch up with all the side characters and subplots and because it kept switching back and forth between the recently overturned government and the hostages. Eventually I managed to pick everything up, but I didn’t really have a connection to those side characters and hurried through them to get to the heart of the story: Olivia and Daniel’s romance… which is hot and spicy and a little terrifying!

It would have lacked the heart pounding intensity had the parts I was uncomfortable reading not been in the novel (interrogation scenes and real scare factor from the bad guys.) I come out of the novel with more gratitude for delegates who go to these unstable places than ever before… I’m way glad you have the guts, because I definitely don’t. Yikes!

Recommended: For those who love romantic suspense, political thrillers, multiple POVs, and erotica.

Series Order:

  1. Red Leopard (Nick & Calli)
  2. Black Heart (Duardo & Minnie)
  3. Blue Knight (Daniel & Olivia)
  4. White Dawn (Garrett & Carmen) (To be completed)
  5. Silver Noon
  6. Golden Day

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Buy: Blue Knight

Review: Blood Born by Linda Howard and Linda Jones

by Marcia, guest reviewer

A war is looming and life, as humans know it, is at stake.  Vampires have been living hidden among humans for centuries, but now a group of them want to rebel against the ruling Council and come out in the open.  Life is difficult for vampires.  Most feel frustrated at having to hide in the shadows when their food (humans) lives openly.  The digital age has complicated things, forcing them to acquire identification and move around constantly.

Luca Amrus is at first unaware of the plans for rebellion.  He works as an executioner for the Council.  He is unique in the fact that he was born a vampire and as a result has unique powers and abilities.  He is old and very powerful.  He is able to live among humans easily because no one can remember him, not even most vampires, and can move around freely. He receives an urgent call from a friend of his, Hector, who serves as head of the Council, with a premonition that war and death are coming.  Hector sounds not just concerned, but frantic.  Luca flies from Scotland to Washington, DC, where the Council lives and works, only to find that Hector has been murdered.  Since the Council’s headquarters is very secure and Hector was very powerful, only a traitor on the Council could have arranged for Hector’s murder.  Luca sets out to avenge Hector and in so doing discovers a plot that dates by several years.

There are immortal warriors who live in a different plain of existence, but watch over humans and keep them safe from evil.  In order for the warriors to come to aid of humanity, they must be invited.  In this scientific age, no one believes in immortal warriors or vampires.  The warriors must try and make contact with their human decedents, called conduits, and convince them to ask for help.  In the meantime, the rebel vampires are tracking down the conduits and killing them in an effort to keep the warriors from entering this world.  They have also captured a young witch and her family, holding them hostage until the witch can learn how to lift the spell that keeps vampires from entering someone’s home without being invited.

In an effort to find the rebels responsible for Hector’s murder, Luca befriends and protects Chloe Fallen, a conduit.  Their relationship blossoms into romance while they move from place to place hiding from the rebels.

Blood Born is not without it’s flaws.  The plot moves slowly with the first third of the book taken up with introducing all the paranormal characters and explaining their powers and limitations.  There is a disjointed feeling to the story with a number of characters being introduced and then either dying immediately or serving no real purpose.  The flashes of humor are the most entertaining highlights of the story, but they are few and far between, illustrating the missed opportunities to develop a more ironic approach to the interaction between humans and vampires.  The action does increase toward the conclusion that also serves as a prologue to the following book, Warrior Rising.

Readers of the vampire genre may find Blood Born too tame and mundane for their tastes, but romance readers who are looking for something a little different may find it entertaining.

Rating: 2.5 Stars

Buy: Blood Born

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Review: The Traitor’s Wife by Susan Higginbotham

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By: Zarabeth, guest reviewer

The Traitor’s Wife is very much a crossroads between genres book. There are a ton of romantic elements, but on the whole I would not label this strictly as a romance. It’s very long and often difficult to read because everybody’s name is one of six names. This can’t be helped because it’s historically accurate. Like how everybody is named Jason and Brittany everybody was named Edward and Isabella etc. This book is very well researched with only a few things fibbed. On the whole it is a very convoluted story, but one if you can get into one you will enjoy. The following includes lots of spoilers:

It’s about King Edward the Second, his lifetime mostly with some overlap of his father and his son. His cousin, Eleanor, is his heroine. She marries Hugh, who is under her rank. It is supposedly a good match. They’re 12 and have many kids. During her marriage to Hugh she ends up being one of Queen Isabella’s ladies in waiting.

The king and Eleanor’s husband become very good friends (as in a sexual relationship). When it reaches the Queen’s ear she takes it out on Eleanor. The king and Hugh petty much run the country. During this time good things happen to Eleanor’s family and bad things happen to everyone else not her family. There are lots of traitors, rebellions, and beheadings. Then Hugh and the king and the other’s die as traitors…

Mortimer, the guy leading the rebellion, somehow managed to start a sexual affair with Isabella. The queen loves him and gives him whatever he wants and he manipulates her. She thinks it’s love but it is not. Edward’s son the new king, but Isabella and Mortimer are acting regents. They run everything and at first Edward the Third doesn’t care. Eventually he does care and there’s another uprising and in it they kill Mortimer.

Meanwhile now that Hugh is dead Eleanor falls in love and gets married to someone else… After Edward the Third is on the throne some random guy tries to claim Eleanor as his own and files a petition with the king for her to be his wife. Apparently, they had sex five years ago when she was drunk and he comes forward because in the new regime all her lands have come back to her. That makes her very very rich… and explains his sudden interest.

As you can see lots of things are going on in Traitor’s Wife, you’ll be kept on your toes.

Rating: 2.5 Stars

Buy: The Traitor’s Wife