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review 2017-07-14 01:57
Quick Thoughts: Ravished
Ravished - Amanda Quick

by Amanda Quick



From the cozy confines of a tiny seaside village to the glittering crush of the a fashionable London soiree comes an enthralling tale of a thoroughly mismatched couple . . . poised to discover the rapture of love.

There was no doubt about it.  What Miss Harriet Pomeroy needed was a man.  Someone powerful and clever who could help her rout the unscrupulous thieves who were using her beloved caves to hide their loot.  But when Harriet summoned Gideon Westbrook, Viscount St. Justin, to her aid, she could not know that she was summoning the devil himself. . . .

Dubbed the Beast of Blackthorne Hall for his scarred face and lecherous past, Gideon was strong and fierce and notoriously menacing.  Yet Harriet could not find it in her heart to fear him.  For in his tawny gaze she sensed a savage pain she longed to soothe . . . and a searing passion she yearned to answer.  Now, caught up in the Beast’s clutches, Harriet must find a way to win his heart–and evade the deadly trap of a scheming villain who would see them parted for all time.

Really, the best part of this book was definitely Harriet!

While Harriet doesn't stray far from most of Amanda Quick's typical heroines, there's just something about her attitude about life, about her priorities... just her entire style is so, so great!  She's unconventional, like an Amanda Quick heroine, but she goes a step further by almost being an absentminded professor.  She's so obsessed with her fossils that something life altering could have happened, she reacts appropriately, but then gets distracted pretty easily with thoughts of fossils.

It's a little disconcerting, and while many might find a trait like this a bit annoying, I actually find it kind of amusing.

In comparison, Gideon, the Viscount St. Justin, is also the typical Amanda Quick broody male alpha.  He's a good man, but he's got all the broody alpha frustrating traits you can think of.  Of course, he's also misunderstood, and has endured a blemish on his reputation without anyone to stand by his side for the past six years.  It's no wonder he behaves the way he does at present, because, as Gideon explains, when no one will believe you, no matter how many times you try to explain yourself, you just give up and let people believe what they want to believe.

To be honest, while I didn't really like the way that Harriet and Gideon end up together intimately, the rest of their relationship is just lots of sweetness and fun.  I loved how Gideon would keep trying to intimidate Harriet, and she would just blow him off like an obstinate child; and the amusing thing was that he knew she wouldn't be cowed by his behavior, but he kept trying anything, probably to get her fired up or something.

The story of the Beast of Blackthorne Hall wasn't as much like the 'Beauty and the Beast' story as I had expected.  Instead, I loved the direction that this story went, because even despite not quite following in the fairy tale it is said to be a retelling of, it still holds an almost fairy tale like flow and ending.

Harriet is a wonderful and sweet person who never once strays from her belief in St. Justin's character.  And I love how she continuously defends his honor, constantly becoming outraged on his behalf whenever others try to make him look like the beast they think he is.  She has no restraint in her reactions.  She is so straight forward about herself, innocently responding without any qualms, without any underlying motives.

I loved when Gideon's mother asked her if she'd received any social polish after being in London for some time, and her response was a very unhesitant, "Well, no, not really."  Meanwhile, her thoughts kept straying back to fossils.

It was great being able to predict her responses, but then being pleasantly surprised when her thought process went in a different direction.

The main conflict of the story was pretty predictable, to be honest, which is not to say it took away any from my enjoyment.  In fact, I think I spent more time having fun with Gideon and Harriet's relationship and bickering dialogue.

Side characters were also fleshed out and very likable, though they didn't get as much book time as I would have liked.  Harriet's sister, Felicity, is lovely and fun; Aunt Effie was stern, but also amusing.  Mrs. Stone, what little we see of her, was frustratingly annoying, but comedic in a way.  I loved the introduction we get of Gideon's parents, not the arrogant upper crust stiffs I'd been expecting, but quite open, honest, and readily likable.

And even the young group of fossil organization members were cute.  The drunken kidnapping to Gretna Green was actually kind of fun.

All in all, Ravished is a wonderfully enjoyable book, with a few quibbles that I chose to ignore.  And as I'd stated already, Harriet is probably my favorite of the entire book!



Free Friday #4:

Page Count:  418
Cash Award:  $10.00

Updated Bank Balance:  $185.00






Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/07/quick-thoughts-ravished.html
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text 2017-07-08 01:57
Starting: Ravished
Ravished - Amanda Quick

It was a scene straight out of a nightmare.  Gideon Westbrook, Viscount St. Justin, stood on the threshold and gazed into the cheerful little anteroom of hell.


There were bones everywhere.  Savagely grinning skulls, bleached ribs, and shattered femurs were scattered about like so much devil's garbage.  Chunks of stone with teeth and toes and other odd bits embedded in them were stacked on the windowsill.  A pile of vertebrae littered the floor in one corner.






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review 2017-06-24 16:02
The Girl Who Knew Too Much - Amanda Quick

Romance fell flat for me but the mystery kept me reading, secondary mystery also fell somewhat flat and was resolved very quickly at the end, almost as an afterthought.

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review 2017-06-12 09:27
All Night Long by Jayne Ann Krentz
All Night Long - Jayne Ann Krentz

Seventeen years ago, Irene Stenson found her parents corpses in their kitchen. The crime, ruled murder-suicide, has scarred her for life, since she couldn’t come to grips with the fact her father could’ve killed her mother, and so unable to put it all behind.

Now, Irene, an investigative reported with a small newspaper, receives an e-mail from her once-best friend, the one who was with her on the night that had changed her life, inviting her back into her hometown with promises of explanations about the past.

But instead of explanations, Irene finds more questions, when she finds her friend dead of a supposed overdose, while the very next day her friend’s house burns down. Something’s not right, but the local police denies any suspicions, yet Irene isn’t alone in her little investigation. Luke Danner, the owner of the resort Irene’s staying in, feels not all dots are connected, and knows Irene is right in the middle of the emerging picture.

Oh, wow. This is how you write romantic suspense, and this is what I’ve been missing lately in Ms Krentz’s novels.

Great characters, both scarred, both with issues not many people can understand or relate to, but they’ve each managed to find someone who does.
Both Irene and Luke (although we can only imagine what he went through) went through horrible experiences, and yes, those experiences have marked them, but didn’t put them out of commission, they’ve come back swinging and stronger for it.
And in the end, against all odds, both their diagnoses (hers confirmed, his not so much), despite his meddling family (which was the “weakest” part of the story, if you ask me, since it didn’t really “connect” with the overall plot), despite everything they found each other, that someone who can understand, who can relate, and who can help battle the demons when they struck.
Their chemistry was sizzling, and almost palpable, their romance rather believable, if a bit rushed, their communication both serious and funny...Boy, howdy, I loved them to bits.

But romance, no matter how strong the characters are, isn’t enough to make a romantic suspense novel. You also need suspense, and this one had it in spades.
Gripping, intense, edge-of-your-seat, keeping-you-guessing-until-the-last-page suspense. Nicely paced, well-written, well-plotted out, with many red-herrings along the way, and when the big reveal came (well, both of them), I just couldn’t. I absolutely didn’t see it coming, but in the end, the villain, the motive, everything made perfect sense.

This one truly had it all; wonderful, layered characters, great chemistry and romance, a good supporting cast, gripping suspense with loads of misdirection, and the main villain you won’t see coming.

More, please.

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review 2017-05-31 01:32
Brief Thoughts: The Perfect Poison
The Perfect Poison - Amanda Quick

The Perfect Poison

by Amanda Quick

Book 6 of Arcane Society



Plagued by rumors that she poisoned her fiancé, Lucinda Bromley manages to live on the fringes of polite society, tending her beloved plants—and occasionally consulting on a murder investigation.  For the notorious botanist possesses a unique talent: she can detect almost any type of poison, especially ones that have their origins in the botanical kingdom.

But the death of a lord has shaken Lucinda to her core.  At the murder scene, she picks up traces of a poison containing a very rare species of fern.  So rare, in fact, that only one specimen exists in all of England—and it was stolen from her conservatory just last month.  To keep her name out of the investigation and to find the murderer, Lucinda hires a fellow Arcane Society member.  Caleb Jones runs a psychical investigation agency.  A descendant of the founder of the Society, he is very good at protecting its secrets—and frighteningly good getting at the truth.  Immediately, Lucinda senses both a raw power and undeniable intensity in the imposing man.

But as a nearly overwhelming desire blooms between Caleb and Lucinda, they are drawn into the dark heart of a deadly conspiracy that can be traced to the early days of the Arcane Society—and to a legacy of madness that could plunge Caleb into the depths of his own tortured soul…

The Perfect Poison is probably the first historical in Jayne Ann Krentz's Arcane Society that I actually, really, really liked.  For whatever reason, I'm not entirely certain, since it doesn't stray far from the story lines of the previous two historical installments in this series.  Could be that, while I didn't really have any problem with the previous two books' characters, I didn't really care for them all that much either--I think it was the romances that didn't do it for me, even though I did like the characters as individuals.  This made them kind of 'meh' books.

But in this installment, the characters were great and I DID find that I really liked both.  Caleb Jones was not the typical, broody, alpha lord type, and he had a few moments that might have endeared him to me.  Lucinda was the typical strong, and independent, and eccentric heroine, but I also loved how readily she just stands up to Caleb in spite of his intimidating glowering all the time.

And also, the romance actually developed a little bit more ideally--it was definitely not a typical Amanda Quick formula, I'll give it that.

Meanwhile, the story line felt more substantial, rather than just being another add-on to the ongoing background conflict between the Arcane Society and that mysterious, secret cabal of rogue psychics.

As per usual, the book was addictive and easy to read; the side characters were also great.  And aside from some typical romance cliches here and there, I really didn't have a whole lot of objections pertaining to this book.

I DO like how we continue to see certain parallels between the contemporary books in this series, as well as connections to JAK's futuristic Harmony series.  It just gets me all excited!




In celebration of Memorial Day Weekend, the Booklikes-opoly Prison Library is accepting donations of up to 100 pages.

I read and donated 100 pages from this book to the Prison Library.






Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/05/brief-thoughts-perfect-poison.html
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