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Search tags: Marsha-Canham
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review 2018-04-24 18:04
The Iron Rose by Marsha Canham
The Iron Rose (Pirate Wolf series Book 2) - Marsha Canham

Juliet Dante, daughter of the notorious Simon Dante, comes to the rescue of an English envoy ship about to be blown to smithereens by the Spanish. On board is the twelfth duke of Harrow, Varian St. Clare, who saves Juliet's life and then gets knocked unconscious by a blast...Only to wake up on board of Juliet's ship, the Iron Rose and bound for the secret island where the pirate wolf reigns...


I liked this one. The story flew nicely, the tempo was spot-on, increasing with each and every chapter, the action sequences were gripping, the sea battles intense (especially the heart-wrenching last one), and it was nice seeing old friends again and learning of their life beyond their story.

The only major problem this book had were the two leads. There was a glaring imbalance of power between the two from the beginning. He was injured and then spent chapter upon chapter coming across as a weak, spoiled English aristocrat, while she, unlike her mother, spent the majority of the book in full bitch mode.
I like my heroines strong and spunky, yet Juliet's bravado and obstinacy truly grated on my nerves. There's a difference between a strong, self-assured and resilient woman and a pig-headed, obstinate, unbending bitch.
I didn't like her, and I especially didn't like the imbalance of power between the two in their "romance", as the hero was forced to do all the work, while she kicked and spat almost the entire way.
I wished there was an apology scene or some grovelling thrown into the mix in the end.

Granted, I didn't care much about the two protagonists or the romance aspect of the story, but the rest more than made up for it. I'm also looking forward to Juliet's brother's stories.

P.S. Something else pricked me in this story—the glaring continuity error of Lucifer, the hulking black, scimitar and loincloth loving behemoth Simon Dante rescued all those years ago. In Across a Moonlit Sea Lucifer communicated through sign language and grunts, since, according to Simon, the Spanish had cut out his tongue. In this book, the man spoke without problems. Which one is it? Was the tongue thing a lie? Or is the speaking part in this book a mistake?

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review 2018-04-23 12:15
Across A Moonlit Sea by Marsha Canham
Across a Moonlit Sea - Marsha Canham

Simon Dante, a French count with a British mother, prefers to spend his time on the deck of his ship, Virago, battling the Spanish on the high seas, instead of being a man of leisure in the court of Queen Elizabeth. Then one day, he's betrayed by his fellow sea hawk and left to die in the circle of six Spanish zabras.
Dante and his crew put up a fight, remaining afloat long enough for a merchant ship, Egret, to sail by, captained by Jonas Spence and helmed by the man's daughter, Isabeau "Beau" Spence.

Sparks fly immediately between Dante and Beau, mostly thanks to the "unorthodox" way his crew come to stay on board the Egret, and later due to the palpable attraction between them. But they've both been burned before, so trust doesn't come easily...Even as they sail toward England and embark on a quest to help Sir Francis Drake in ruining King Philip's plans of war.


I love Marsha Canham's books. Simply love them. The narration is evocative, painting incredible vivid pictures of characters and their surroundings no matter which era the story is set in. This one was no different...The sea was brilliantly blue, the storms frighteningly loud, the battles at sea gripping (you could smell the gunpowder and hear the thunderous roar of cannons), and the battle of wits between the two sexes intriguing, engrossing and inspiring even though the outcome was predictable.

The set-up might sound formulaic—Marsha Canham always pits two headstrong leads against one another with the hero always towering over the heroine, at the peak of physical condition, dark, handsome and extremely arrogant and his heroine loving to antagonize him, matching him word for word as they both try to fight the passion and attraction blazing between them—but each story is an entity of its own (even if they're part of series or trilogies) with characters so distinctly different (albeit similar in physical descriptions), and romantic couples never encountering obstacles and woes similar to those before them (except for the fighting against the inevitable part), that the reader notices the initial formula or template, and then promptly forgets about it as they're swept along.

This story was no different. Both Simon and Beau were strong, self-sufficient characters, stubborn and afraid to trust the unknown, but they both became even stronger as a couple. Their verbal battles were amusing and rather arousing as they served as foreplay for what was to come. But even as they succumbed to the inevitable, they never lost those individual character traits that made them tick, keeping up with the battles of wits and words long after their fates were already set.
I loved them separately and I loved them together; the sparring and the loving equally wonderful to read.

Then there was the supporting cast (with an additional romance thrown into the mix) with two motley crews of seamen, friends and confidantes, a father talking to his daughter about itches that might need to be scratched, a hulking Cimaroon with his two gleaming scimitars, a gunman with unsteady sea legs constantly falling in love...And added to all that was Sir Francis freaking Drake.

The action sequences were breathtaking and intense, culminating in the singeing the King of Spain's beard in the port of Cadiz serving as backdrop to a much smaller battle brewing in the peripheral vision since the prologue.

This book offers a remarkable mix of a wonderful cast of characters, intense battle sequences, and a delightfully epic romance.

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review 2017-02-17 05:15
Excommunicated Warrior Monk
My Forever Love - Marsha Canham

I read this for my Series Headway pick.

This review is for the original My Forever Love and not the revised Dragon Tree.

"A man can lose his way in this world so easily," he said softly. "He can see horrors that make him question his sense of worth, his sense of well-being, his sense of what is right and wrong. He can be overcome by greed, by lust, by the lure of another man's possessions. He can have everything he owns, even his name and his reputation taken away from him in the blink of an eye. But the one thing, the only thing a man cannot have taken away from him is his honor. That, he has to give away."

Oh how I miss historicals that actually feel like historicals and have research and setting to them. Canham did an excellent job placing me in the times, this is a little brutal and gory with the what the heroine faced in her marriages and the fighting scenes, but medieval times were a bit like that. The first half was a little slow and I started shipping Marak and the heroine for awhile because of much more flushed out their relationship was. While the setting, scene, and secondary characters were vividly painted, the romance fell short. The hero and heroine's relationship felt more like insta-lust and then their bonding felt pretty rushed at the end. Separately, the heroine with her black widow ways and fighting spirit and the hero with his excommunicated warrior monk status, were fascinating but together their romance lacked spark.

The author addressed the romance issues in this and has heavily revised the story, I'd recommend reading the newer version if you have choice.

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text 2017-02-17 02:59
Reading Update: 40%
My Forever Love - Marsha Canham

His eyes were rife with emotion, and in that single glance, she saw the full, haunting depths of a self-imposed loneliness that allowed him to hold nothing close to him. This she saw and recognized because the same fears were present in her own breast. A dog, a horse . . . these were safe because they loved unconditionally and asked nothing in return. They did not know how to deceive, how to hurt, how to lie or cause pain. They did not know how to take something that had been full of hope and beauty, and twist it into ugliness, fear, and pain.

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text 2015-08-23 01:59
The Pride of Lions By Marsha Canham 99 cents
The Pride of Lions - Marsha Canham

Forced into an unwanted marriage by a reckless game of chance, how was the spoiled and pampered Catherine Augustine Ashbrooke to know the handsome stranger with the brooding midnight eyes would make her the pawn in a dangerous game of his own? 

Alexander Cameron may have won the highborn English beauty in a duel, but not even the lure of long-forgotten desires could keep him from his meeting with destiny. He had no choice but to carry his reluctant bride off to the Highlands, to a world of ancient blood feuds and a brewing rebellion--a world where fiery passion and breathtaking courage would prove that even legendary warriors could lose their hearts.

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