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review 2018-10-10 13:13
One Wild Winter's Eve by Anne Barton
One Wild Winter's Eve - Anne Barton

Lady Rose Sherbourne is quiet, proper and following the rules of the ton. No one would suspect there's anything remotely similar to passion under her placid exterior, but as she embarks on a quest to find out what happened to her mother, she discovers there's nothing more liberating than following one's heart...


I must confess, I much preferred the Honeycote portion of this series than the Sherbourne one. I simply felt there were things missing in the last two installments. Like spunk, spark, humor and passion.

Unlike her sister Rose was much more sedate and proper, but she was too placid, downright vapid at the beginning of the story. She captured my interest once she went rogue and sprung her boyfriend out of jail, but then almost immediately went back to huddling in on herself, fretting and feeling sorry for herself. She didn't appear to have much agency, most of her decisions were based on Charles, the hero.
Who was rather bland himself. I never got to really know him, beside in context of his puppy-like devotion to Rose and he also failed to have anything to do that would make him an individual instead of part of the couple with Rose.

The story only came alive once they were in the company either of Lady Boneville or Rose's family who at least brought some spark to the proceedings.

I liked the suspense sub-plot and would've appreciated it if it was developed a little further and more fully instead of only serving as catalyst to bring Charles and Rose together.

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review 2018-10-08 17:56
Once She Was Tempted by Anne Barton
Once She Was Tempted - Anne Barton

Benjamin Elliot, Earl of Foxburn, will do anything to prevent his best friend's younger brother from falling into the clutches of a fortune huntress. Which is what Miss Daphne Honeycote seems to be. Because Ben knows she's not the ethereal, innocent beauty everybody sees. Nope, Ben knows very well, what she hides underneath her clothes, because proof of it hangs in his study.

When her mother was ill, Daphne made a choice. She chose to pose for two rather scandalous portraits in order to get the money for her mother's medicine. Now that choice has come back to bite her in the form of the Earl of Foxburn and his blackmailing scheme; leave his friend's brother be or he'd reveal the truth.

But soon Ben becomes her ally, since Daphne has no idea what has happened to the other portrait, and Ben realizes his altruism toward his friend's brother was rather bogus. He wants Daphne for himself.


Yet another wonderfully told story. A little bit darker than the first book, mostly thanks to the hero and his broody, ornery, stubborn self, yet still packing quite a punch, even without the star-crossed lovers theme.

I loved Daphne. She might look all fragile and carefree, but inside, where it counts the most, she hid her worries and her pain, not letting anyone see it, until Ben came along.
Ben became rather annoying toward the middle, with his whining and feeling sorry for himself. I'm all for wounded, brooding heroes, I even adored his brutal honesty, but I couldn't stand his self-pity and pushing people away. And he almost succeeded in pushing the most important person away for good, only to pull his head out of his ass at just the right moment for everything to work out just fine. I wouldn't have minded a little bit more grovelling on his part, though.

The baddie was your regular spiteful asshole with a grudge, the bitch from the first book returned with a vengeance and once again failed to do any lasting damage, the supporting cast was perfectly placed and "proportioned", I was glad for Belle and Owen, I loved the character of Lady Bonneville and I hope to see more of her in the next two books, although I'm dreading the next installment a little, since it features more of Olivia, Huntford's slightly too self-centered sister (I'm growing tired of her droning on an on about her James).

This was a lovely story about self-discovery, courage and changes one is capable of under the right motivation.

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review 2018-09-13 18:05
The Mad Countess by Erica Monroe
The Mad Countess (Darkest Regency Book 1) - Erica Monroe

Claire has been in love with Teddy, her best friend, for ages, it seems, but he only wants to be friends. Which is good for her, since she's going to go crazy like her aunt and mother did—it's a family curse.
But it turns out, Teddy doesn't only want to be friends with Claire and he also has no intention of letting her go mad. He's willing to break the curse no matter what, even if it means cavorting with a coven of witches.


I only read one book by this author previously, and I loved it, so I expected the same mix of suspense, romance, drama and humor in this one. Sadly, I was disappointed. It tried, it sure did, but it failed to deliver.

I didn't really care about the main protagonists; they came across as rather juvenile for people in their twenties, I hated the hero's nickname of Teddy (what is he, twelve?), I disliked the heroine's woe-is-me attitude, and their romance left me cold. I didn't understand why they loved each other, since both came across as rather flat, boring characters.

Then there were the gothic/suspenseful aspects of the story, which also fell flat. It turned out there weren't really any ghosts, just a crazy woman locked up in a castle, the curse thingy didn't inspire much confidence, sounding really made-up, while the final banishing of the curse with the help of the coven of witches seemed more like it was added as an afterthought.

Thankfully, this was a novella, so the "pain" was fleeting.

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review 2018-07-03 16:41
Return to Jenkins Cove by Rebecca York, Ann Voss Peterson & Patricia Rosemoor
Christmas Spirit (A Holiday Mystery at Jenkins Cove) - Rebecca York
Christmas Awakening (A Holiday Mystery at Jenkins Cove) - Ann Voss Peterson
Christmas Delivery (A Holiday Mystery at Jenkins Cove) - Patricia Rosemoor

***copies provided by publisher through NetGalley***

CHRISTMAS SPIRIT by Rebecca York
Chelsea Caldwell is right back where she started, seeing ghosts and being the talk of the town. Yet there's something sinister happening in the small town of Jenkins Cove, and Chelsea might just be the person to uncover it.


It felt like this book couldn't decide what it wanted to be. Romantic suspense, paranormal romance? Each separate classification would've worked, unfortunately, mixed together created an unfortunate mess.

The characters were bland and dull, the plot got lost in the suspense/paranormal/killer/ghosts mess, and the romance left me utterly cold.


CHRISTMAS AWAKENING by Ann Voss Peterson
After ten years, Marie Leonard is back in Jenkins Cove determined to discover why her father's been murdered...But she'll have to deal with skepticism by the local chief of police, the man who broke her heard ten years ago, and a killer determined to silence her forever.


Though this one also had some paranormal elements, it was a much more straightforward romantic suspense story than its predecessor.

Unfortunately, the suspense aspect was the only thing I enjoyed about this one, even though the villain's motive left much to be desired.
The characters were bland (the hero was a self-pitying fool and I simply couldn't stand his moaning toward the end), and the romance tepid.


CHRISTMAS DELIVERY by Patricia Rosemoor
Lexi thought Simon, the father of her preteen daughter, dead for thirteen years, but instead of dead, he's merely been through hell, thanks to human traffickers operating in the small town of Jenkins Cove.
But now, Simon is back, determined to make whoever the culprit is pay...


This second-chance quasi-romance left me utterly cold. The characters were dull and bland, I didn't care about their relationship in the past (since we never got to see it) or in the now (because they simply weren't that compatible).

The main suspense arc of this "series" was never that interesting, so the resolution (rather predictable in all ways) didn't bring much satisfaction.

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review 2018-05-24 18:50
Wolf Hunt by Paige Tyler
Wolf Hunt - Paige Tyler

Remy Boudreaux had loved and lost before, and decided never to do it again. Life is much easier spent in pursuit of easy hookups. Then he returns to his hometown of New Orleans for a week of training with the NOPD SWAT, and follows a tantalizing scent through half the city, only to end up in a crowded club, face to face with his highschool best friend (and crush).
Triana Bellamy had a major crush on her friend Remy back in the day, and she doesn't think twice at experiencing what she's been missing in the years they've been apart.

When things start moving too quickly, Remy pulls away, and Triana is devastated. But she soon has another problem to keep her mind occupied. Someone is demanding her mother hand over a wolf-pendant necklace, and the PI she's hired might've stumbled on information that might solve her father's murder...


This book was much more romance-focused than the previous ones, or maybe it just struck me that way, but I didn't mind, since I happened to like this specific romance. Especially since it was the hero's turn to be a stubborn ass, refusing to let himself love his heroine in fear of her getting hurt (and in the end she got hurt even when they weren't together).
I loved both Remy and Triana, him with his scarred heart and fears of being cursed, and her with her inquisitive mind and pride that prevented her from begging for scraps from a man who supposedly didn't care.
It was a little heartbreaking reading about their struggles (Remy really was an idiot), yet reading about their connection was simply adorable. I loved them to bits.

Then there was the suspense. It might not have been as prominent as in the previous books in this series, but it still packed a punch, especially once it became clear that all the little dangling threads were connected. The villain's motive for getting the (apparently insignificant) necklace was a little out there, but the story was set in New Orleans, where things like werewolves and other beings that go bump in the night (not to mention naked men calmly strolling down the street) barely raise an eyebrow.
And the action, mostly that last scene of wolves chasing the car during a tropical storm, was gritty, intense, and vividly depicted.

The story also had the requisite heaping of secondary characters who either provided comic relief and sarcasm (Remy's pack mates—even Cooper made an appearance) or important information on the werewolf lore and werewolf hunters (Triana's mother and the villains).
That last "prediction" why the Pack is suddenly gaining members (either in the form of soul-mates or additional betas and omegas) was rather chilling, but I'm looking forward to the direction this series is taking.

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