Monday, June 30, 2008

Recent Reads

Well, came back from a very enjoying three days of camping in the mountains with a cold. Not just any cold, but a summer cold. Ugh!

So amidst the headache, stuffy nose, and feelings of misery, I decided to catch up on my reading list and see what I could do in diminishing my TBR pile. Here are quick reviews of what I’ve discovered (or re-discovered):

The Darkest Pleasure
By Gena Showalter

This is the third book in Gena Showalter’s newest series, the Lords of the Underworld Trilogy. Harlequin released the trilogy back to back – how I think all series books should be released! – with The Darkest Night in May, The Darkest Kiss in June, and The Darkest Pleasure in July. And yes, I know it’s not quite July yet, which made me especially happy to see The Darkest Pleasure on the bookshelf! This is a series that puts a different twist on the myth of Pandora’s Box. If you love a fast-paced, action-packed, sexy read with an interesting, never-before-seen plot, eat-your-heart-out alpha heroes, and heroines who don’t back down from danger – or the men who represents it – then this is the series for you!

Reyes is a man possessed. Bound by the demon of pain, he is forbidden to know pleasure. Yet he craves a mortal woman, Danika Ford, more than breath and will anything to claim her – even defy the gods. Danika is on the run. For months, she’s eluded the Lords of the Underworld, immortal warriors who won’t rest until she and her family have been destroyed. But her dreams are haunted by Reyes, the warrior whose searing touch she can’t forget. Yet a future together could mean the death of all they both hold dear …

Worth Any Price
By Lisa Kleypas

Once again, I re-discovered my love for historicals. Lisa Kleypas has always been a favorite author of mine. She writes engaging, very sensual, very sexy stories that transport you and every time. Kleypas, along with Stephanie Laurens, in my humble opinion, are two of the handful of authors who pioneered HOT historicals set in the English Georgian, Regency, and Victorian Eras. If you enjoy historicals and have never read a Lisa Kleypas book, you’re certainly missing out!

What is the price of love? Nick Gentry is reputed to be the most skillful lover in all England. Known for solving delicate situations, he is hired to seek out Miss Charlotte Howard. He believes his mission will be easily accomplished – but that was before he met the lady in question. For instead of a willful female, he discovers one in desperate circumstances, hiding from a man who would destroy her very soul. So Nick shockingly offers her a very different kind of proposition – one he has never offered before. He asks her to be his bride. And he knows that this will be much more than a union in name only. For he senses what Charlotte does not yet know – that her appetite for sensuality matches his own. But what Nick learns surprises him. For while London’s most notorious lover might claim Charlotte’s body, he quickly discovers it will take much more than passion to win her love.

The Very Thought of You
By Lynn Kurland

Okay, what more can I say. The mere mention of the author’s name says it all. Lynn Kurland is the standard for a satisfying read, every time. She’s an author who hasn’t given in to the demands of romance trends. She stays true to her stories, which are sweet, tender, historically accurate, and very satisfying love stories. Her stories will touch you, make you laugh, make you cry, and make you care for each individual character that is portrayed. I admit, I read love hot romances. The hotter, the better. Lynn Kurland is the ONLY author I read that doesn’t do HOT, and I’m not left feeling bereft and wanting more. She layers layers of sensuality with witty and engaging dialogue, and memorable characters that stay with you long after the book has finished. After putting down a Lynn Kurland book, I always sigh, thoroughly satisfied. I dare you to read a Lynn Kurland book and not enjoy it!

Alexander Smith had found success in the world of corporate takeovers – but not happiness. That had always escaped him … along with true love. Then, at the MacLeod Keep in Scotland, he found a pirate map that miraculously answered his yearnings – with a journey to another time. And when he was captured in Medieval England by Margaret of Falconberg, a fierce beauty hidden in knight’s armor, he rediscovered his own chivalrous – and passionate – heart …

Surprise Read:

By Colette Gale, An Erotic Novel of The Phantom of the Opera

This was an enjoyable, surprising read. It takes the tale of The Phantom of the Opera and puts an erotic twist on it. The story is definitely one you’ve never heard before. It is the story of The Phantom of the Opera as it’s never been told before. This book is for all the women who thought Christine should have stayed with the Phantom.


Lexie O'Neill said...

Dear Mai,
My first response got deleted--aargh!
Anyway, I wrote that two of the authors you listed are among my faves--Lisa Kleypas and Lynn Kurland.
I love how Lynn writes sweet (while I don't right scorchers, I can't keep all the details out:).
Which causes a problem when my son sneaks and "proofreads" for me.
Thanks for the ideas,

Anitra Lynn McLeod said...

Ooo, sounds like some great reads for my vacation! Thanks for the heads up!

Savanna Kougar said...

Mai, wonderful reviews. Yeah, I was on the phantom's side! LOL.

Hey, if you're ever lacking on the TBR pile. Doubtful as that is, and ONLY if you're truly interested, I'll e-send either of my two books. And, if you find anything redeeming for a decent review, I'd appreciate one.
Don't worry! I won't be offended if you're not interested, don't like my writing, or don't have time! Believe me, I understand!

Helen Scott Taylor said...

Thanks, Mai. Such great books to enjoy. I was wondering about picking up the Phantom of the Opera book. I saw a brief summary of it the other day. Like you, I'm a historical fan. I have so many books on my tbr pile, half of them historicals.

Mai Christy Thao said...

Okay, so the cold from h*ll just got worse. Ugh! I can't even talk now and my throat feels like it's been carved out of my neck.

Lexie, have you read Lynn Kurland's latest fantasy trilogy, Star of the Morning & The Mage's Daughter? It's one of those triologies that deals with the same hero and heroine throughout, and don't end until the last book. It's VERY good. The third book won't be out until next Spring. I can't wait!

Anitra, you're very welcome!

Savanna, I'd love to take a look at something of yours. I'm always up for reading people I know

And Helen, you should definately give the Phantom of the Opera book a try. It does a good job of following the original storyline, but adds an interesting plot twist and a new ending. It also deals with the desires Christine have for the phantom and for Raul.