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review 2018-04-18 13:43
Legacy of the Diamond by Andrea Kane
Legacy of the Diamond - Andrea Kane

The black diamond, a gem of unfathomable wealth and beauty, has plagued the Huntley family for generations. It prompted the feud with the Bencrofts, it supposedly brought a curse upon the Huntleys...and now resulted in Aurora Huntley being kidnapped and held for ransom.

Slayde Huntley is more than happy to give up the diamond if it means saving his sister's life...Only it's not his sister that he saves, but Courtney Johnston, a sea captain's daughter whose ship had been attacked by pirates and whose father had been forced overboard. Aurora, on the other hand, had merely been in London for a short trip with a longtime family friend...



This book was a huge disappointment.

From the characters (the heroine and the hero's sister acted like children instead of young women and the hero was a curse-believing idiot for the better part of the story) to the suspense which could've worked if the story wasn't overburdened with the drama and angst of the characters. As it was, the big reveal of who the villain was, came as a huge surprise (the only plus of the book), while the motive ended up sounding rather idiotic, and the whole thing was resolved too quickly (a matter of pages).

It wasn't badly written, but was unfortunately weighted down by the characters and poorly developed suspense plot.

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review 2018-04-13 16:23
Adam by Jacquelyn Frank
Adam - Jacquelyn Frank

On Samhain in 2008, Jacob and Bella are killed in front of their daughter's eyes and nothing will never be the same again. Families, friendships and alliances are broken, while the crazy Demon bitch Ruth and her Vampire mate Nicodemous continue wreaking havoc...Until they accost Jacob and Bella's daughter, ten years after her parents' deaths.

But instead of letting the pair kill her and drench themselves in her power over the element of Time, Leah does what she's been planning for quite a long time...Travel back in time to fetch her father's older brother, Adam.


When I read this series in 2009, there was no Adam book on the horizon, so I mistakenly thought Noah was the last book, and I was rather perplexed at how the main story arc about the crazy Demon Ruth was never resolved.

It is resolved in this one, though the story left much to be desired.

First of all, the resolution and the final battle came across as rather easy, almost as an afterthought, which left a rather bitter aftertaste after all the trials and tribulations the heroes and heroines of the series have been through so far.
There was no imminent threat of danger, no edge-of-your-seat, bite-your-nails gripping intensity and suspense. It was pretty much a given from the start and it left me rather disappointed.

The second problem was the rather hole-y plot thanks to all the obvious tweaking of timelines. And somehow it didn't really make sense. If Adam disappeared in all the timelines, then why did Jacob and Bella die in the first place only for Leah to go back in time and fetch him, creating a different timeline?
And who was the mysterious Demon female helping our many good guys and gals?
In the end, there were many loose ends left dangling and many questions left unanswered. But I'm quite behind in my reading, maybe I'll get my answers in Ms. Frank's other works.

And the third problem was the two protagonists. I never really warmed up to Jasmine (I still hate her guts, to be honest). She was a bitchy and selfish creature lashing out at almost everyone (except Damien) due to her own insecurities and no one really took her up to task. Even at the end of her story, there were many apologies and quite a bit of groveling that was needed on her part, yet they never came.
I don't have much to say about her counterpart, her mate/Imprinted/Bonded or whatever you want to call him. Adam simply failed to make an impression. After many great heroes that came before him, Adam was rather bland and without much personality, if you ask me.
But that's probably due to the fact the story (rather short for the "final showdown") was overcrowded with new and old characters, tweaking of time, and final-minute information.
The result was a barely lukewarm and very rushed romance that quickly stepped over the line into unrealistic and unbelievable.

Still, it was good seeing old friends, learning that quite a few dreams would be realized once Ruth was vanquished...And I'm looking forward to seeing them in future books and series in the Nighwalker realm.

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review 2018-03-30 06:33
Loves Music, Loves to Dance by Mary Higgins Clark
Loves Music, Loves To Dance - Mary Higgins Clark

Darcy Scott convinces her best friend, Erin Kelley to participate in the research for a documentary on personal ads by playing and answering a few of them. A couple of weeks later, Erin is dead, strangled and wearing mismatched shoes after one of her dates and Darcy, guilt-ridden, decides to find the murdered, no matter how many dates it takes.


There were simply too many characters in this book, most of which had little to nothing to do with the main story arc and just inserted into the storyline to keep everyone guessing. Which would be a good thing if the fact every single one of those characters had to have at least one paragraph dedicated to them and/or their inner workings and/or their friends/family didn't make this story rather choppy.
It felt all over the place and this jumping sideways from character to character made for a rather poor reading experience. Especially in the last chapter, during the big finale, when the story kept jumping from the killer and victim to the rescue party and back. The choppiness of narration diffused the suspense too much.

The main protagonist, Darcy Scott, also left much to be desired, merely augmenting the problems of the story. She wasn't exactly TSTL, but she was an idiot. What did she think to accomplish by going on all those dates? She wasn't a detective, she wasn't law enforcement, and she had absolutely no skills or idea as to what danger she was putting herself into. Case in point, she failed to see the killer as the guy was right there, in front of her nose, because she was just so nice.

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review 2018-03-25 10:41
The Dark Highlander by Karen Marie Moning
The Dark Highlander - Karen Marie Moning

In 1521, Dageus MacKeltar makes the choice that will forever change him...And his destiny. To save his beloved twin brother, and ensure Drustan has a future with the woman he loves, Dageus breaks the sacred MacKeltar vow of never using the stones at Ban Drochaid for personal reasons, and travels back in time, unleashing an ancient evil lurking between the dimensions.

With a ticking time bomb inside him, Dageus travels to twenty-first century Manhattan, hoping to find anything in the ancient tomes that might prevent him from turning dark and unleashing the evil inside him onto the world.

Then Chloe Zanders, lover of antiquities, walks into his life—well, more accurately, crawls underneath his bed—and he knows she's the one. Mine, his mind whispers, and he's willing to do anything to keep her. But first, they must fight to free him...


This, this is what I'm looking for in my romance novels. This, exactly this. This emotional rollercoaster-ish mix of drama, angst, danger, suspense, mystical and mythical elements, a pinch of magic, a story of love that would defy anything, scorching hot sex, and an alpha male oozing bad boy from his every pore.

Dageus is one of my favorite, if not the favorite, tortured hero of all time. Because you cannot get more tortured than what this guy went through. Living with thirteen bad consciences constantly battering against his honor and code, chipping away his every defense day after day, and still he endured, and suffered, and tried to do anything in his power not to go full-on evil, tried everything to make things right, and was willing to do anything, anything, even making the ultimate sacrifice, for those he loved.
It doesn't get better than this. Sex-on-legs bad boy with a heart of mushy gold, a protective streak a mile wide, and a code of honor and resolve of steel. It's always a pleasure, and an emotional effort reading his story.

But despite the fact he left everything behind, his time, his clan, even his twin brother, Dageus doesn't have to suffer alone. Fate has smiled upon him and given him a glimmer of hope in his darkest hour—his mate, Chloe.
She was the antithesis of him. A quirky, nerdy, self-conscious, self-deprecating virgin, yet with an unquenchable thirst of knowledge and a fascination and undying love of Celtic antiques. Since her hero was Celtic also an antique, what more could she want.
Unfortunately, on this re-read, I've discovered a little tidbit about her that quite bothered me. In a few scenes, she came across as quite selfish and self-absorbed. It seemed everything was about her, how she loved antiques, how she wanted to spend time reading all the texts in the Keltar library, how she wanted to know everything, yet refused to know the most important part of it all...What was wrong with her man and how she could help him.
Compared to Dageus selflessness, especially in the big climax of the story, this "difference" between them was rather glaring.

Still, I'm willing to overlook such hiccups since the story is so wonderful. Wrought with emotion and drama, filled with family reunions and old friends...And yes, because Dageus is the hero. The most perfect, tortured, lovable hero.

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review 2018-03-20 16:45
Beyond the Highland Mist by Karen Marie Moning
Beyond the Highland Mist - Karen Marie Moning

Thanks to a woman's pricked pride, two people from different points in time, find themselves embroiled in the battle of wills...And hearts.

Aoibheal, Queen of the Fae, decides to make her husband, the King, and her jester jealous by talking about the almost mystical prowess (both in the battlefield and the boudoir) of Sidheach James Lyon Douglas, third Earl of Dalkeith. Apparently his appendage and stamina are able to possess a woman's soul. And the Queen claims to have experienced in first hand. Which makes the King and the Fool rather peeved and intent on revenge.

Enter Adrienne de Simone, all the way from 1997, badly burned by a beautiful, deceitful man with a black soul, which makes her hate all beautiful men at large. So what is she to do, when she's thrust back into 1513 Scotland and wed, by proxy, mind you (!) to a devastatingly beautiful (both in and out) man?


This is the first book in Moning's romance Highlander series. I prefer her in the romance author guise myself, because I like my books to actually have a beginning and an end all in one book, but that's just me.

It's obvious, this is the first book, since it sports the many first-book problems. It looks like KMM was still looking for her voice, tempo, and narrative style with this one.

For starters, the conflict dragged on for too long (almost two thirds of the story) and in the end came across as more of a stubbornness issue on the heroine's part than anything else. There was nothing to the conflict really to start with. Sure, she was badly burned, but hating all beautiful men because of the action of one specimen is a bit over the top.

The second problem I have with this story is the fact, the romance doesn't really "register". It's there because it's written, the resolution comes across as plausible, believable and sweet, because of the length of the conflict, so in the end the reader wants the hero and heroine to be together just to end the idiocy of the conflict that's keeping them apart.
Unfortunately, the story is so focused on the conflict and heroine's trust issues that it never lingers overmuch on the characters, leaving the reader slightly bewildered to the fact why these two love each other so much in the end, when the reader barely knows them.

And the third problem is the antagonist, but that's just me, since I loved him in his own book that comes later in this series.

Still, the story is well-written, though slightly underdeveloped, overblown in places and rather plodding in others. It's set in Scotland (my favorite setting of them all no matter the time frame), it features a yummy Scottish, kilt-wearing laird that falls (inexplicably) head over heels for the first woman who resists him (novelty, I guess), and is filled to the brim with wonderful supporting cast.

It could be better. It should be better, but it could also be a lot, lot worse, so it gets three stars.

I like it and I won't mind re-reading it in the future.

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