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Malinda

I love books and love to get lost in the fantasy. I'm always looking for a new good story to bury myself in. :)

Phoenix, AZ, United States | Member Since 2006

ratings
245
REVIEWS
229
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
51
HELPFUL VOTES
252

  • Immortal Ever After: An Argeneau Novel, Book 18

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 57 mins)
    • By Lynsay Sands
    • Narrated By Paula Christensen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (379)
    Performance
    (357)
    Story
    (356)

    Valerie Moyer doesn’t believe in vampires - until she is kidnapped by a fanged psychopath! After escaping her bloodthirsty captor, she’s through with creatures of the night. Until she finds herself under the protection of the darkly handsome Anders. Not only is she expected to accept that Anders is immortal, but also that she is the woman destined to be his life mate!

    CAROLYN says: "Ahhhhh a Vet & an Enforcer become life mates"
    "Another great installment for the series! :D"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was great! I love this series and have been wanting for Anders to have his own book for a while. He's just so dower that he really needed a lifemate to lighten him up and bring some joy in to his life.

    Valerie is certainly up for the job. She's smart and brave and doesn't sit around waiting to be saved...she saves herself a few times in this book (which is refreshing). She meets Anders when she's kidnapped by the rogue vamp. She manages to escape the Vamp and calls in the police. Anders and the other Enforcers come to investigate and find Valerie. She ends up staying at the house of Leigh and Lucian under the pretense of protection the Rogue. In all actuality, Lucian and the others realize that Anders and Valerie are lifemates and keep her around so they can get to know each other.

    With some time, Anders and Valerie get to know each other and become close. There are some issues to get past but with some effort (don't want to go in to too much detail) they're able to and I liked the ending very much.

    My only complaint... I thought the narrator made Anders sounds sightly nasally (like he's stuffed up a bit). But overall it didn't detract from the story enough to matter.

    I'd recommend this book (as part of the series or outside of it..Lyndsay does very well at including enough info to allow the books to be read on their own). 2 thumbs up! :D

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Against the Ropes

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Sarah Castille
    • Narrated By Lucy Rivers
    Overall
    (142)
    Performance
    (133)
    Story
    (133)

    He scared me. He thrilled me. And after one touch, all I could think about was getting more . . . Makayla never thought she'd set foot in an elite mixed martial arts club. But if anyone needs a medic on hand, it's these guys. Then again, at her first sight of the club's owner, she's the one feeling breathless. The man they call Torment is all sleek muscle and restrained power. Whether it's in the ring or in the bedroom, he knows exactly when a soft touch is required and when to launch a full-on assault.

    Jordy says: "I’m a sucker for strong Alpha males!"
    "Pretty good start to the series :)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    3.5-4 stars

    This was a pretty good story. I liked Makayla and Max and their story was good overall.This book had light BDSM in it, mostly just bondage and a bit of spanking. This is the first story I've read by this author and based off this I may try more of her work in the future.

    Makayla works in admissions in a hospital but has an EMT certification and graduated pre-med at the top of her class. She grew up with an abusive father and when he was gone, her and her mother and sister had a rough life until her mother met her stepfather who was a kind man. Makayla is trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life as she likes helping people but isn't sure if med school is how she wants to go.

    Max (aka Torment) is a MMA underground fighter. He has his own fight club but likes the underground circuit and hasn't made an effort to go legit. His day job is running a large company though and he's very successful. Max keeps most people at a distance and shares very little of himself but things change when he meets Makayla.

    Makayla agrees to help her BFF, Amanda, sell tickets for an underground MMA fight. She sees someone that she thinks snuck in without paying for a ticket and goes in chase. Soon she finds out that the man is Torment, a fighter and also the owner of the club. Torment seems interested in her but Makayla doesn't think that he's actually attracted to her. While there, Torment finds out that Makayla is a certified EMT and asks her to work in the club. Due to her background with an abusive father, Makayla has big problems witnessing violence and tends to puke when she sees violence so she refuses. Makayla was already pretty broke but when a debt collector starts harassing her over student loans that should still be on deferment (and apparently went off deferment years earlier than it should have without her being notified) her situation got much worse. With the threat of having her paychecks seized and her parent's home foreclosed on, Makayla is desperate to make some extra cash. When Torment shows up at her work and takes her out for lunch, trying to get her to work as a medic for the fights Makayla isn't sure if it's a good idea (especially with her aversion to violence) but agrees figuring she can not watch the fight and stay in the first aid room unless needed.

    While convincing Makayla to work for him, Torment also starts coming on to Makayla but since he's also trying to get her to be his medic, Makayla convinces herself he doesn't want her that way. They spend some times together but Torment doesn't share much of himself, concentrating mostly on finding out about Makayla. Because of this, when something happens that causes Makayla to be confronted with Torment's real name and the fact that he's rich and a successful businessman, Makayla is freaked about this thinking she doesn't really know Torment/Max. They do manage to get past this but there are a number of issues that they have to work through. To be honest, I liked Makayla but in a way she was TSTL in some of her actions and in general doesn't seem to do very well in the decision making area. I felt bad for Max at times because she was rather wishy washy. Max was a lot to handle so I could understand some behavior like this but eventually enough is enough. I was happy that she pulled herself together in the end. There are some major difficulties between Makayla and Max and things don't go smoothly for them. Thankfully they do manage to make it through their problems and Makayla and Max end the story starting their HEA.

    Overall this was a pretty enjoyable story. I liked both Makayla and Max. Neither of them were perfect but I was happy with how things came together for them in them end. I'm curious enough about Amanda and Jake that I'll probably read book #2 in the future. I'd recommend this book. :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • One More Day: The Alexanders, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By M. Malone
    • Narrated By Eva Kaminsky
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (30)
    Story
    (30)

    Ridley Wells has no idea what to do with her life now that she's graduated from college. But when a friend is murdered and her apartment is trashed, she runs to the only person she trusts, her twin sister. No one will think to look for her in the rinky-dink Virginia town of New Haven. Of course, her luck lands her passed out in the grass in front of resident badboy and music producer Jackson Alexander.

    Malinda says: "Very good start to the series :D"
    "Very good start to the series :D"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    4 stars

    This was a very good story. I liked Ridley and Jackson and their story was an enjoyable romance with a bit of action. This is the first book I've read by this author and based on this I'm likely to try more of her work in the future.

    Ridley is in to plants and landscaping and has dreams of starting her own landscaping company. Ridley and her twin, Raine, grew up with a single mother that wasn't around a lot so they mothered each other and have always been there for each other. Ridley hired a man named David to find her father but then David died and weird things started happening. When someone broke in to her apartment she left town to stay with her sister for a while.

    Jackson is a widower with 2 young sons that he loves dearly. He's also a music producer and tried dating after his wife died 3 years ago but had very bad luck. Jackson has decided he'll never look for permanent again and just dates with no strings attached.

    Ridley gets to her sister's home in Virginia. She hadn't been there before but Raine sent her the alarm code info and where the spare key is. Unfortunately for Ridley, Raine's head of security had convinced her to change the code since then so when Ridley arrived she can't get in. She was very tired and hadn't eaten decent since she left for her sister's place a couple of days before and ends up passing out just as Jackson's 2 sons show up in her yard. Jackson's sons get him and Jackson, his brothers and some friends that were over visiting come to help as well. Ridley wakes up to a bunch of strangers but Jackson seems nice and thinks she's Raine, asking her why she's back early from her 2 week trip. Ridley wants to hide and Raine had changed her last name when she started modeling so there wasn't a lot to connect them so she lets Jackson and his friends think she's Raine. She accepts the offer of a place to stay the night since she's locked out. They try calling a locksmith but it's a holiday weekend and so they get no help there. Ridley tried calling Raine but can't get a hold of her so she decides to stay the night and then go to Raine's house as soon as she can.

    Jackson has always appreciated Raine's looks but had never been attracted to her as a woman but suddenly he finds himself very interested. Unfortunately for him and Ridley, he makes a couple of jerky comments that put them at odds at first. Jackson does apologize though and he and Ridley get to a happy place where they're comfortable being around each other. They both have an attraction and want more but hold off. Jackson holds off because he usually goes only no-strings attached and he's not prepared to give more. Ridley holds off because she doesn;t like lying to Jackson and doesn't want to sleep with him while he doesn't know who she if. She does tall him part of her story but not everything at first and things do grow between them. Jackson's brother Nicholas makes some problems for Ridley though due to a love/hate thing he has going for Raine. Despite those issues, Ridley and Jackson do come together, at first saying it's just for the night but soon realizing they can't let go and extending it further. Unfortunately there is some drama that causes problems for the couple as well as some danger to Ridley. Thankfully they come through things in one piece and get their HEA in the end.

    I enjoyed this story very much. Ridley was a really good heroine, I liked her very much. Jackson was a good hero but he did drop the ball at a crucial time which caused problems. I would have liked a bit more grovelling from him to get back in Ridley's good graces. Still, it was a very good story and I'm glad I read it. I'll probably read more of the series down the road. I'd recommend this story. Thumbs up. :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Untamed Magick: Pentacles of Magick

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Eliza Gayle
    • Narrated By Johanna Fairview
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    His perfect match - or the woman destined to steal his soul? Graelen Scott has lived his entire life under the shadow of a prophecy - a curse that gave him unlimited power guaranteed to seduce him to an early grave. When a Tarot historian shows up with stolen family cards and a theory of balance, all hell breaks loose. But his insatiable lust for the blue-eyed beauty clouds his judgment, making it difficult for him to separate fact from fiction.

    Malinda says: "Alright start to the series but ends in a cliffy"
    "Alright start to the series but ends in a cliffy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    2.5-3 stars

    Overall this was an alright story. It's hard to me to review because it was more sex than plot and ended in a cliffhanger. This is the first book I've read by this author and based off this I'm unsure if I'll try more of her work in the future. (Thank goodness this was an Amazon freebie)

    Rena is a historian that apparently specializes in symbols especially concerning the tarot cards. She was given an ancient set of tarot to research and she determined they were from Graelen Scott's family. Hoping to discuss with him some of the things she's found in the cards, Rena goes to see him.

    Graelen is a witch, one of 4 brothers (2 sets of twins) that are all witches. They are the focus of an ancient curse that they all fear. Their powers have a dark taint to them and if combined, their powers could cause great damage. Due to their fears over the curse, Graelen and his brothers all live in far apart locations.

    To be honest, there wasn't a lot of details about the curse but these's something in it about women being their downfall so the brothers distrust women. When Rena shows up, Graelen feels that she's the woman that the prophecy told about and he treats her like an enemy from the beginning. The fact that he's attracted to her is just more damning in his eye. Rena has no idea why he would have a problem with her and tries talking to him about things she found in the deck of tarot cards, things that told the story of the family curse. Rena is very attracted to Graelen but tries to focus on her research...at first at least. They're at odds for the first part of the book but that doesn't stop the in bed action that goes on...frequently. While this is going on, Cash (Graelen's twin) shows up and causes more issues just as Graelen is starting to believe that Rena may not be his enemy and may be able to help him. The story ends with Graelen realizing that Rena is supposed to be his and asking her to stay. She agrees but only for now so the story ends with a HFN, pretty much giving us a cliffhanger for both the romance and non-romance plot lines.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Midnight Pleasures with a Scoundrel: Scoundrels of St. James, Book 4

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Lorraine Heath
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen, Antony Ferguson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (427)
    Performance
    (375)
    Story
    (380)

    On a quest to avenge her sister's death, Eleanor Watkins never expected to fall for the man following her through pleasure gardens and into ballrooms. But soon nothing can keep her from the arms of the sinfully attractive scoundrel, not even the dangerous secrets she keeps. Strong, compassionate, and utterly irresistible, James is all she desires. But can she trust him enough to let herself succumb to all the pleasures that midnight allows?

    DARA says: "Great finish to the series."
    "Really good addition to the series! :D"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    4-4.5 stars

    This was a really good story. I liked Eleanor and James and their story was very good with some and unexpected twists that kept me interested until the end.

    Eleanor is a young woman with an agenda. Her parents have both died, leaving the family with little money. Eleanor's sister went to London to have a "season" and try to find a husband the year before but returned troubled and later killed herself. When Eleanor found out the reasons for her sister's actions she was determined to make the guilty party pay, even if she has to go to London and make him pay herself.

    Swindler is an inspector with the Scotland Yard. This is his dream job because he has a deep passion for seeing justice done. He was orphaned young and grew up in a group of child thieves (growing up with Luke, Jack and Fannie from the first 3 books). Swindler has remained close to his childhood friends to this day. Swindler has had an infatuation with Frannie since they were young and thought when she married Sterling (in book #3) he'd never find a woman for himself.

    Eleanor knows the man who was responsible for her sister's plight and when she gets to London she starts following him, looking for info so she can proceed with her plan of revenge. She happens to be following him late at night in an area of town that's not necessarily safe for a lady alone when she's almost accosted by some other men who think they can carry her off for some fun against her will. Swindler was sent to follow the lady by his boss and happens to be close and save Eleanor from being taken against her will. Swindler is following her because Lord she was following got rather freaked out by her following him and asked the Scotland Yard to look in to it. Swindler didn't think she could be a real threat to the Lord but does his job. After saving her, he decides it's easy to keep an eye on her if he plays court on her. He goes to see Eleanor the next day and is rather distressed that his normal reserve has escaped him. He finds that Eleanor affects him greatly and he doesn't want to worry about his case so much as getting closer to her. Regardless of his concerns, Swindler pays court to Eleanor and they end up spending much time together. He's very surprised to find that the more time he spends with Eleanor, the more his previous infatuation with Frannie disappeared until he can only think of Eleanor. Eleanor wants to trust Swindler with what is going on but fears that he'll stop her or report her and she won't be able to do what needs to be done. She grows to care about Swindler a lot though and wishes things didn't have to go the way she's sure they will.

    To be honest, there's a rather unexpected twist that comes in to play...a couple twists actually. Something unexpected happens and it brings about other things but I can't really talk about it without revealing a very important twist. Lets just say that things are difficult for the 2 MCs because of their lies in the beginning but that doesn't mean they didn't develope true feelings for each other. I understood Swindler's reasons behind his actions and liked the way he handled things. Eleanor was a very good female lead and I liked the way she was with Swindler and in general. Regardless of their shaky start, I enjoyed seeing them work their way to something together that could last and seeing how the crime drama part of the story played out as well. Overall I thought the story was very interesting and engaging and I loved how it ended and seeing them get their HEA together.

    I really enjoyed this story. The MCs were likable on their own and I loved seeing them get together. The story was really good with enough intrigue and suspense to keep things interesting. Overall I really liked this book and I think it's my favorite of the series so far. I'd recommend this story. Thumbs up. :D

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Surrender to the Devil

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Lorraine Heath
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (518)
    Performance
    (466)
    Story
    (472)

    Frannie Darling was once a child of London's roughest streets, surrounded by petty thieves, pickpockets, and worse. But though she survived this harsh upbringing to become a woman of incomparable beauty, Frannie wants nothing to do with the men who lust for her, the rogues who frequent the gaming hall where she works. She can take care of herself and feels perfectly safe on her own-safe, that is, until he strides into her world, and once again it becomes a very dangerous place indeed.

    DARA says: "Very Sweet Continuation"
    "Very good addition to the series :D"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    4 stars

    This was a very good story. I liked Frannie and Sterling and liked seeing them get together.

    ***Alert, this might be considered spoilerish because I tell a secret os Sterling's***

    Frannie was an orphan (at least she believes she is) that grew up with a group of child thieves (2 of which were Luke and Jack from books #1 & 2). Her childhood friends have gone on to better lives and so has she, now working as a bookkeeper for Jack’s Gentleman’s club. Her friends are very protective of Frannie but she sometimes feels smothered by their attempts to keep her safe. Her only passion is a home she’s opened for orphaned or homeless children.

    Sterling is a Duke (the brother of Catherine, heroine from book #1) who was travelling around the world for years (before he got his title) and only recently returned. He is having issues with his sight getting worse as he ages and he fears that in a few years he'll be blind (that was the spoiler). Sterling left to travel while he still had good sight but that didn't sit well with his father which caused a rift between them. Unfortunately, they weren't able to work things out before his father died. Sterling knows it’s his responsibility to marry and sire an heir before he goes blind but he doesn’t look forward to it.

    Frannie meets Sterling at Catherine’s wedding. There’s an attraction between Frannie and Sterling but Frannie’s friends are circling protectively and try to keep them apart. Regardless of this, Frannie and Sterling end up chancing upon each other in the library. Sterling flirts some, not realizing just how inexperienced Frannie is with the relationships between men and woman. He ends up propositioning her to become his lover and Frannie surprises herself by saying she'll consider it. Frannie is attracted to Sterling but doesn't want to be with someone who won't marry her so she eventually says no. Sterling accepts this for the time being but plans to pursue her further. In the meantime, Jack and Swindler go about trying to warn Sterling off...with their fists. Sterling doesn’t let that deter him and intends to see Frannie again regardless of the objections. He understands that Frannie’s friends don’t want her to get hurt and he doesn't intend to hurt her but he’s not thinking about how her heart could be broken. I think he thought that if he made it understood it was only supposed to be temporary that her heart wouldn't get involved but that’s before he really knew her.

    Sterling and Frannie encounter each other a few different times and in the process he begins to learn more about her. He realizes just what a sweet and caring person she is and just how much love she has to give. As Sterling gets to know Frannie more, he learns more about her work with needy children and thinks even more of her because of it. He realizes he can't marry her and that she doesn't want to be a Duchess so he wants what he can get with her. He knows soon he'll have to marry some appropriate Lady to sire an heir on and he’s not looking forward to it. Sterling is sure whatever woman he marries won't be thrilled about his failing eyesight and he doesn’t look forward to what is sure to be an unhappy future. He knows he should start looking for his future wife but keeps putting it off. Sterling and Frannie grow to care for each other and eventually Frannie decides she wants Sterling regardless of their future and their physical relationship finally comes to fruition. It’s nice to see Frannie’s goodness rub off on to Sterling and it was nice seeing Frannie get some enjoyment in life. There are some difficulties and danger that have to be faced by Sterling and Frannie and it’s not easy for them. Thankfully they manage to come through alright and end the story with a HEA.

    This was a very good story. I liked Frannie (she was a really good heroine) and Sterling and liked their story. I didn't have any particular complaints about the story. It was pretty good and was interesting enough to keep me reading until the end. I’m planning to read the next book in the series. I’d recommend this story. :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Between the Devil and Desire: Scoundrels of St. James, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Lorraine Heath
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen, Antony Ferguson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (585)
    Performance
    (515)
    Story
    (511)

    The ladies of the town won't stop whispering about deliciously wicked Jack Dodger - once a thieving street urchin, now the wealthy owner of London's most exclusive gentleman's club. Olivia, Duchess of Lovingdon, would never associate with such a rogue. So when Jack is named sole heir to the duke's personal possessions, the beautiful, well-bred lady is outraged. Now, Olivia is forced to share her beloved home with this despicable man. But Olivia's icy disdain is no match for Jack's dangerous charm.

    Amazon Customer says: "It's sick how good this series is"
    "Very good continuation of the series :)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    4 stars

    This was a very good story. I liked Olivia from the start. Jack acted like a real jerk for the first part of the story but he did grow on me and I liked him as well by the end of the story.

    Olivia is the widow of a Duke with a 5 years old son who is heir to the title. She grew up being the dutiful daughter and her father married off a much older man (one of his friends) but she wasn't much more than a broodmare for the Duke to get an heir with and then pretty much ignore until his death (making her wonder if maybe she shouldn't have been so dutiful). Now she doesn't intend to re-marry unless it's for love.

    Jack was born in one of the poorer sections of London. He didn't have a good life or parents that cared about him so he ended up in a group of child thieves, stealing to survive and protecting the younger kids as much as he was able. Jack got an unexpected windfall when he was younger and used it to open a "Gentleman's club" where the rich men of London can go to gamble and have contact with loose women. Jack has grown rich from his business but is always looking for ways to get more money.

    When the story begins, Olivia's husband has just died. She's waiting for the reading of the will but is shocked and confused as to why the infamous Jack Dodger is there as well. The attorney makes it clear that it's a requirement of the will that they both be there. He then reads out a will that gives Jack just about all the property that isn't "entailed" as part of the titled holdings being saved for the heir, Henry, to come of age. All Jack has to do to get these riches is to agree to be guardian of Henry until he grows up of Olivia remarries. Jack isn't sure why this Duke would ask him of all people to be guardian of his son. Jack met him a few times but didn't know the man but the large amount of wealth being offered makes Jack consider the offer. Olivia is shocked and angry about the will and thinks her husband must have gone mad to do this not to mention that fact that he pretty much slighted Olivia in the will...leaving her just enough to live off of comfortably but much less than what most would consider right. Jack finds Olivia's anger fun and decides to increase his enjoyment by doing everything in his power to piss Olivia off, as if everything that's happened isn't enough and Olivia needs more stress to deal with. Jack doesn't care about anyone but himself though and goes about doing everything he can to make her life miserable.

    Olivia is horrified by the fact that Jack is her son's guardian and now owns the home they live in. She wants to leave but can't "legally" take her son away because Jack's his guardian. TBH, I think Olivia's late husband should have been ashamed of himself for what he put her through (Both before and after his death) and I can totally understand her being horrified by her circumstance because Jack goes out of his way to behave like a beast to her. Olivia does realize pretty quickly that Jack might not be such a bad guardian after all (after getting rid of a secretly bad nanny and getting Henry a puppy). She starts to accept Jack more and tries to make peace but it doesn't come right away because Jack takes great pleasure in torturing her. After a while though (and an unexpected sickness), the walls come down between Jack and Olivia. They start to respect each other and the attraction that was buried is now coming out in full force for them both. They do try to resist the attraction but this doesn't succeed for long. Jack was intending to marry Olivia off so he could get out of the agreement ASAP but as they continue to see each other, those plans don't seem like such a good idea any more. As Jack and Olivia are trying to figure their relationship out there's another twist that comes in to the plot that brings a bit of danger/suspense with it. Olivia and Jack go through a bit of difficulties but come through it alright and they start their HEA.

    I enjoyed this story very much. I liked how Jack and Olivia came together and was happy for them once they worked things out. In the beginning of the story, Jack's actions and attitude just pissed me off but that did stop and it was probably my main complaint about the book. Outside of Jack's early attitude I liked the book and am glad I read it. I'm planning to read the next book in the series. I'd recommend this story. Thumbs up. :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • In Bed with the Devil

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Lorraine Heath
    • Narrated By Susan Ericksen, Antony Ferguson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (937)
    Performance
    (825)
    Story
    (823)

    They call him the Devil Earl - a scoundrel and accused murderer who grew up on the violent London streets. A proper young lady risks more than her reputation when consorting with the roguishly handsome Lucian Langdon, but Lady Catherine Mabry believes she has no choice. To protect those she loves, she would do anything-even strike a bargain with the devil himself. Lucian desires respectability and a wife above all else, but the woman of his choosing lacks the social graces to be accepted by the aristocracy.

    SIMARA says: "Exceeded my expectations..."
    "Pretty good start to the series :)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    3.5-4 stars

    This was a pretty good story. I liked Catherine and Lucian and their story was good. This is the first story I've read by this author and based off this I'll probably try more of her work.

    Catherine is the proper daughter of a Duke but since her father's health has started failing things haven't been easy for her. Her brother fled to go "travelling" out of the country after a disagreement with their father and hasn't bothered to come back in years. Catherine has been managing alright but has worries about situations that are out of her hands.

    Lucian is an Earl but feels like he's a fraud. He was found on the streets as a child (around 6 years old) with no memories of where he belonged before then and was taken in but a group of street kids. He grew up stealing to get by until he made the mistake of committing a crime in front of witnesses and getting caught. He was saved by a man claiming him as his long lost grandson and Lucian went along with it but never truly believed it.

    Lucian is coming home from a gambling house late at night and is surprised to found Lady Catherine waiting to see him. They encountered each other in a memorable way years before but never spoke. Lucian thinks she's there for seduction as some "proper" women have shown up wanting to sleep with a man of such a notorious reputation. Catherine isn't there for that though and (after he steals a kiss) makes it clear she's come for different reasons. Catherine has heard the rumors about Lucian and thinks he's a bad man, someone that would do bad things without it bothering him. She's worried about a friend of hers that is threatened with imminent death but in a way that the law can't be brought in to help. Catherine asks Lucian to kill the man that's a threat to her friend but won't tell him who it is or why (in an effort to protect her friend) until he promises to do it. Lucian doesn't need the money and although he's intrigued by Catherine he's not willing to kill someone without a very good reason. They part company with no bargain struck but Lucian can't seem to put Catherine out of his mind. This is particularly bad for him considering he's intending to ask Frannie (a girl he grew up with on the streets) to marry him. When Lucian does get up the nerve to ask Frannie however; she refuses to marry him, claiming the pressures of what was expected of her as his wife (with him being an Earl) is too much for her.

    Lucian is determined to get Frannie to marry him as he's been in love with her since they were kids. He ends up putting together a bargain with Catherine where she will teach Frannie all the things she needs to know to be a Lady and he in turn will kill her target for her (although planning to murder a man isn't an easy thing for him to contemplate). This ends up putting Lucian and Catherine in close contact a number of times and with her lack of supervision, Catherine goes places and sees things she really shouldn't. As she spends more time with Lucian, she start to see the man beneath the rumors and realizes not the bad man she thought he was...and maybe is even good (to an extent). To be honest, I thought the story ran a little too close to cheating for my comfort. I guess it could be considered more of a love triangle but it really wasn't when it came down to it. Lucian was never engaged to Frannie (and their relationship was more friendly than anything real) but since that was always the aim it was a bit weird for me that Lucian and Catherine came together during that time. Catherine totally fell for Lucian though and convinced that he loved Frannie more than anything, she's determined not to get in their way so Lucian could be happy. Lucian knows he has feeling for Catherine but convinces himself they don't matter because it's supposed to be Frannie (even though he doesn't want Frannie sexually). With the denial of feelings and everything that went on there is some drama and tense times when I was wondering how things would turn out. Thankfully things come together and Lucian and Catherine end the story starting their HEA.

    I enjoyed this story. I liked both Catherine and Lucian and liked their story overall. My only real complaint was the almost/kind of cheating type behavior in the story. I'm planning to continue with the series. I'd recommend this book. :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Lair of the Lion

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Christine Feehan
    • Narrated By Abby Craden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (158)
    Performance
    (130)
    Story
    (136)

    Rumor said the powerful Nicolai DeMarco could command the heavens, that the beasts below did his bidding... and that he was doomed to destroy the woman he took as wife. It was whispered he was not wholly human - as untamed as his tawny mane and slashing amber eyes. Impoverished aristocrat Isabella Vernaducci would defy death itself to rescue her imprisoned brother. She’d even brave the haunted, accursed lair of the lion - the menacing palace of legendary, lethal Don Nicolai DeMarco.

    Karen says: "Wish I had read the reviews before purchasing"
    "Very good PNR :)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    4 stars

    This was a very good story. I liked both Nicolai and Isabella and their story was pretty good, keeping things suspenseful in a way that had me forging on in to the story to see how things work out.

    Isabella is the daughter of a Don (an aristocrat and ruler over a certain amount of territory) but her family has fallen on hard times. A neighboring Don has been after her hand in marriage and their family's lands and wealth. He managed to get Isabella's brother in jail and the rest of her famil is dead so Isabella had no one to turn to. In desperation she travels a very dangerous journey to see Don Nicolai DeMarco to beg for his help for her brother. There are fearful legends about the Don but he's the one man with the power to help her.

    Nicolai is a Don and the leader of his people. Unfortunately, he suffers from a curse that has been part of his family for centuries. One of the aspects of the curse is that he's destined to kill his future wife out of jealousy...something that's happened over and over to his ancestors. He wishes for a way to end the curse but doesn't hold out any real hope.

    When Isabella arrives at Nicolai's home she is welcomed inside but there are strange things going on that make her worry from the beginning. When she gets an audience with Nicolai she implores him to help her brother, offering to do anything required to gain his aid. Isabella is thinking she'll have to live a life of servitude as a maid for the Don (or something like that) so she's understandably surprised when Nicolai agrees to save her brother if she agrees to marry him. Isabella is disturbed by the Don, she's attracted to him but there's also some strangeness about him that brings her more questions. Regardless of her qualms, Isabella agrees to become Nicolai's wife. She ends up with a bit of whiplash when the Don suddenly tries to send her away. Issues tied to the curse end up keeping her from leaving and Nicolai admits he was trying to send her away for her own safety and now he doesn't have the strength to send her away again. They tentatively start their relationship but Isabella is a bit high spirited and makes it quite clear to Nicolai that she didn't appreciate his attempt to send her away and wont accept that type of behavior from him in the future. Nicolai growls a bit over this but doesn't seem to mind that Isabella isn't a biddable woman.

    Isabella's arrival does set some things in to motion. Nicolai has dealings with the bad Don to get Isabella's brother freed but that brings some danger along with it. Also, the curse is being driven by a malevolent being that seems intent on causing as much trouble as possible which puts Isabella in danger numerous times. And on top of it all...there is apparently a traitor in their midst that is sending info to the Don that wants to invade. Things aren't going well for Nicolai and Isabella does her best to make sure he knows she believes in him and to try to work through the issues that keep popping up. As Isabella and Nicolai spend more time together they fall further in love with each other and even when Isabella finds out about the curse she is willing to do what's needed to save Nicolai, even at risk to herself. Nicolai is conflicted about all that's going on and doesn't want anything to happen to her, the problem is that because of the curse he might be the biggest danger to her. Things are tough and I have to admit that I liked Nicolai but Isabella is the one who stayed strong throughout and brought them all through the difficulties. I liked the way things culminated and was happy (and relieved) to see Nicolai and Isabella get their HEA.

    This was a very enjoyable story. Isabella was a really good heroine and was very strong and usually pretty smart about everything (she got in a few binds she might have been able to avoid but she wasn't TSTL). I liked Nicolai as well...he was more the damaged hero and I thought well of him but ultimately I wish he had been more of a driving factor in the end solution. Still, the complaints I have were relatively minor and overall this was a very good story. I'd recommend it. Thumbs up. :)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Defiant: MacKinnon's Rangers Series, Book 3

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Pamela Clare
    • Narrated By Kaleo Griffith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (122)
    Performance
    (110)
    Story
    (110)

    Major Connor MacKinnon despises his commander, Lord William Wentworth, beyond all other men. Ordered to rescue Wentworth's niece after the Shawnee take her captive, he expects Lady Sarah Woodville to be every bit as contemptible as her uncle. Instead, he finds a brave and beautiful lass in desperate peril. But the only way to free Sarah is for Connor to defeat the Shawnee warrior who kidnapped her - and claim her himself.

    DARA says: "In a word......Exceptional!"
    "Great book and conclusion to the series :D"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    5 stars

    What a great story and ending to the series! Sarah and Connor were a wonderful couple and their story was so good it was hard to put down. I only stopped reading it long enough to sleep. :)

    Sarah is a young lady of high society, the granddaughter of King George and the niece of Lord William (who you'll recognize if you've read the previous 2 books). Sarah is in the colonies because she was wrongly accused of scandal and her parents wouldn't believe her, instead beating her and sending her away to the colonies to stay with the Governor of New York and an old family friend.

    Connor is the youngest of the McKinnon brothers. Their family were branded traitors in Scotland when there was a revolution against the non-Scottish King (King George) and all shipped to the colonies to live. Connor and his brothers were blackmailed by Lord William (holding a death sentence over their heads for a crime they didn't commit) in to lead a Ranger squad to help with the war between the British and the French. His older 2 brothers have been allowed to step down but Connor still leads the Rangers.

    The story starts out with Sarah on her way to see her Uncle, Lord William, in order to seek his help with her family issues. Lord William has always been kind to Sarah and she hoped that he might believe her about the scandal that took place and be able to help her with her future. Sarah is kidnapped along the way and taken captive by some Shawnee Indians. Soon after the attack, Connor & Joseph are sent after the raiding party to save Sarah. They figure out where she's being taken but the relations with the tribe are iffy so they're not sure how easy the rescue will be. Unfortunately, the tribe has suffered at the hands of the British and they feel that they need to take Sarah in order to satisfy the debt since the man that kidnapped Sarah lost his wife. He wants Sarah to replace his wife but isn't kind to Sarah at all so it's obvious she won't be treated well. Connor and Joseph try to get her freed but in the end the only thing Connor can do is to challenge Sarah's captor for Sarah. Connor wins the fight but the leader isn't happy about it and makes it a condition that Connor has to take Sarah as his wife if he wants to keep her and that they must consummate the union with a witness. Connor is a good man and he can't stand the thought of forcing himself on Sarah any more than he could live with her being raped by the man who kidnapped her. He give her the choice on how to proceed but explains how dangerous (and unlikely to succeed) and escape attempt would be. Sarah isn't happy about her position but realizes that she doesn't have many options and being with Connor is a small price to pay for them all to get out of there alive. She agrees to consummate the "marriage" but with it being witnessed Connor has trouble making things as pleasant for Sarah as they could have been.

    They leave the next morning but the tribe warriors aren't happy about their visit or the fact that Connor beat their warrior (who also happens to be their war chief). Connor and Joseph are sure they're going to be ambushed on the way home and they take a different route in an attempt to avoid the ambush party. They avoid them but can't escape when the warriors come after them. It's not easy for Sarah but she does her best to keep up with the men and not hold them up. They end up having to fight though and Sarah shows her bravery as she does what she needs to do in order to help them get through the fight alive. Connor and Sarah are a little distant at first because she's uncomfortable with the desire she feels for Connor and he thinks she's shying away from him because of their "wedding night" and so he tries to stay away from her. Soon they realize the mis-understanding and they know they shouldn't but they do end up indulging with each other as their headed back to the fort and safety. After some stressful travel they get to the fort and Sarah is happy to see her Uncle but is sad that her and Connor's time is over. Regardless of their attempts to not see each other any more (and not feel anything for each other) they have trouble keeping their feelings in check. Things aren't easy for the pair and when secrets come out things get even worse. There are some very difficult times in store for Sarah and Connor and his brothers and their wives even get pulled into things. Things look very bad for the couple but do turn out alright in the end after the unexpected happens. The ending of the story is wonderful and I was very happy to see Connor and Sarah get their well deserved HEA.

    I loved this series and this was a great addition and conclusion of the series. Connor and Sarah were wonderful characters and their story great and very engrossing. I loved seeing how things turned out for everyone and was surprised (happily) at Lord William discovering that he has a heart after all (and used it!). I will warn you to have some tissues at the end (there were a couple places where I teared up) as it was wonderfully touching (I'm tearing up a little just remembering it). Overall this was a great book and great series and I'd recommend the whole series. 2 thumbs up! :D

    * note - I thought the narrator did a very good job on the accents.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Untamed: MacKinnon's Rangers, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Pamela Clare
    • Narrated By Kaleo Griffith
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (124)
    Performance
    (118)
    Story
    (117)

    Though forced to fight for the hated British, Morgan MacKinnon would no more betray the men he leads than slit his own throat - not even when he was captured by the French and threatened with an agonizing death by fire at the hands of their Abenaki allies. Only the look of innocent longing in the eyes of a convent-bred French lass could make him question his vow to escape and return to the Rangers. And soon the sweet passion he awoke in Amalie had him cursing the war that forced him to choose between upholding his honor and pledging himself to the woman he loves.

    DARA says: "The Perfect Historical Romance"
    "Great addition to the series :D"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    4.5-5 stars

    This was a great story. I loved both Morgan and Amalie and their story was really good and kept me engaged from beginning to end (and on the edge of my seat for most of it).

    Amalie is the daughter of a French officer and a woman of the Abenaki Indian tribe. Her mother died in birth and her father (being a military officer and not in a position to raise a daughter) sent Amalie to a convent to be raised. Amalie ended up leaving the convent and going to live with her father in the fort when he was ill and needed nursing back to health. Her father died in an attack by the British (and the Rangers) and Amalie has been stuck in the fort since then due to travelling being too dangerous.

    Morgan is the second brother of the McKinnon brothers. They were teens when their family was exiled from Scotland due to an attempted revolution against the British rulers. Their family was sent to the colonies (America during the settling times before it becomes a country) as traitors and his family has hated the British ever since. Unfortunately, a British officer (Lord William) used dishonorable methods to force the McKinnon brothers in to leading his ranger squad. Morgan wasn't happy about the situation but would do anything to keep his brothers safe.

    The British soldiers and McKinnon's rangers are in a battle attempting to attack a French fort but some things go wrong and Morgan is captured when he stays behind to help a fallen comrade. Morgan is very badly injured when he's taken captive and it seems iffy that he'll even live. The fort's commander, Bourlamaque, became Amalie's guardian after her father died. Amalie frequently helped the surgeon tend the wounded and Bourlamaque asks her to help tend to Morgan. Both the surgeon and Amalie are unsure about how ethical it is to save his life because everyone is very clear on the fact that once Morgan recovers he'll just be tortured for information and then turned over to the Abenaki Indians to be burned to death slowly over days. Despite Morgan's fate, they do nurse him past his fever to the point where they believe he'll live. Bourlamaque asks Amalie to nurse Morgan and spend time with him, hoping that Morgan will let information slip when talking with Amalie that he might not normally. Amalie agrees but soon finds that she's attracted and intrigued by Morgan. She doesn't want to be because this man could be the one that fired the shot that killed her father. But as she speaks with Morgan, Amalie starts to realize that he's a good and honorable man that doesn't deserve what's planned for him. She also realizes that war is hell on both sides and her side doesn't have the moral high ground she thought they had in the beginning.

    Because of some help and suggestions by Amalie, Bourlamaque changes his mind about Morgan's fate and decides to try to turn him to their side. Morgan really wishes he could turn traitor but knows he can't take the chance that something he'd do to help the French might hurt his family or his men (in the rangers). He decides to act the turncoat and get any info he can and escape at his earliest opportunity. He isn't given much freedom at first but gives the French some (out of date) info that would make them think that Morgan did switch sides (without a serious risk to his men). As he stays in the fort, Morgan and Amalie end up eating dinners together and spending some time together. Morgan tries not to encourage Amalie because he knows he'll hurt her when he escapes but it's hard when he wants her so much and she so obviously wants him as well. This causes some difficulties for Morgan, especially when Bourlamaque is surprisingly willing to let Morgan court Amalie and even encourages it. Morgan finds that he's soon tied in knots as he wishes he could stay but he has to return to his brothers and doesn't think he can take Amalie with him. To be honest, I didn't know how this would work out either but as the story progressed, things do work out so that Morgan and Amalie are able to stay together. Or course they have some major issues to get past even then and things look pretty bad for a while. Thankfully the mess gets worked out and Morgan and Amalie end the story with a sweet HEA.

    I found this story to be greatly enjoyable. I loved the characters (well except for the bad guys and Lord William who's kind of a jerk but has his good moments) and thought that Amalie and Morgan made wonderful MCs. It was also nice getting to see a bit of Iain and Annie from book #1 in this story. The plot was very engrossing and had me wondering what would happen next and how things could possibly turn out well. I'm no expert on historical accuracy but to me (a layman on the subject) the historical details seemed believable. I'm planning to read book #3 immediately so I can see Connor get his woman. I'd recommend this book. 2 thumbs up. :D

    * note - The narrator did a great job, especially on the accents.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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