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Archives for : Romance

Hereafter

Tara Hudson’s new novel, Hereafter, promised to deliver an enticingly unique young adult book, different from the rest of the watered down love stories on the market. Unfortunately, it didn’t deliver.

Amelia, a ghost who doesn’t remember anything except her first name and parts of her death, wanders around aimlessly, as do the first 50 pages of the book. I forced myself to continue reading, waiting for the book to pick up and deliver the fascinating read that would have me on tender hooks. After finishing the 400+ page book, I’m still waiting. The story seemed contrived and lacking, although the book cover is hauntingly appealing.

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by HarperTeen.

Previously published at Living Peacefully with Children.

The Goddess Test

Debut author Aimee Carter’s new book and beginning of a new series, The Goddess Test (Harlequin Teen), goes on sale next week. The book pulled me in at the beginning, having been the teenage girl taking care of a mother dying of cancer. The concept of Greek mythology in modern day life is appealing and one that I enjoy.

However, the book left a lot wanting. The focus on Kate’s self-sacrifice over-shadowed any further character development, for either her or the rest of the cast of characters. Multiple twists in the storyline are abrupt without any foreshadowing too look back on, leaving the reader feeling that the author changed her story mid-book. The chosen tests are not connected to the subject matter and left me shaking my head at their inclusion.

I can only hope the author does some further development before the release of the next book in the series.

Disclaimer: A copy of the book was provided by HarlequinTEEN.

Previously published at Living Peacefully with Children.

Hunting Human

Beth Williams is haunted by memories and running from a past that she neither understands nor which she can classify as rational or sane. Once a promising young architect with a position to begin graduate work, a celebratory trip to Europe and the resulting death of her best friend and foster sister, Beth now moves about from place to place. Finally, having found a place as a barista and staying in the same city for longer than usual, a charming man walks into her solitary life and her carefully and tentatively held world begins to implode.

Amanda Alvarez’s debut novel, Hunting Human, is a well written werewolf novel. Her shifting is descriptive and more realistic than many books in this genre. However, the romance side of the book seems forced and a bit out of sync. Overall, it was a quick, fun read and would appeal to most readers of paranormal romance.

Disclaimer: A complimentary copy of the book was provided by Carina Press.

Previously posted at Living Peacefully with Children.

Kade

Nine months ago, Kade Ryland was investigating a fertility clinic for the FBI. Now a baby sharing his DNA has shown up and he discovers that the other agent who had worked the case disappeared. It’s a race to find his previous partner and figure out how and what happened in Delores Fossen’s novel, Kade. Answers aren’t easy to come by or easy to accept, and what Kade and Bree find out will change their lives forever.

Kade is a different kind of romance novel. The main characters don’t have sex and never have. They focus mainly on the case and marginally on their child. The fast paced story line drives to the finish but the ending twist seems rather pat and more typical of a romance novel. I have to call out the marketing team on the book’s cover: someone dropped the proverbial ball.

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

Hidden Paradise

Lou Connelly is a young widow and Jane Austen scholar. Having lived alone in her despair for the past year, two dear friends ask her to come review their new period vacation retreat…one in which guests are encouraged to find pleasures where they may. Forced to choose between living in the past or living in the present, whatever the decision, Lou will never be the same.

Janet Mullany’s Hidden Paradise is an intriguing mix of historical fiction and erotica. Without being hard core, the sex scenes are definitely hot and steamy with switching partners and even a brief male/male experience. The decent plot holds a driving book full of orgasms and humor.

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

The King’s Damsel

Forced into servitude at court by the man who bought her guardianship, Tamsin Lodge must serve the young Princess Mary Tudor. Her guardian’s plot to secure a a position with the king and better his financial status is not the only plot afoot, and even the young princess is not safe from the dealings throughout the kingdom. Her loyalty for her mistress, along with her life, will be tested as she enters the games being played by a cast which includes King Henry VIII and Ann Boleyn. In order to save those around her and hold onto her beliefs, she must sacrifice herself.

Kate Emerson’s historical romance, The King’s Damsel, proves provoking among the romance genre. With history weaved in, the book is a fast-paced story with more drama than romance and more political manipulations than errant love scenes. While a romance novel in essence, this will appeal more to fans of historical fiction. An enjoyable read with an ending which finishes a bit abruptly, The King’s Damsel shares a view of 1500 England aristocracy.

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher.