Affair by Amanda Quick

Charlotte Arkendale was quite sure she knew all there was to know about men.  After all, she’d made a highly lucrative career out of steering marriage-minded woman way from untrustworthy members of the opposite sex.  But nothing in Charlotte’s considerable experience had prepared her for the arresting stranger who appeared on her doorstep to apply for the position of her new man-of-affairs.

He claimed to be a respectable gentleman-discreet, unassuming, ordinary to the point of being dull.  Yet something about the set of Mr. St. Ive’s broad shoulders and the unrelenting determination that smoldered in the depths of his amber eyes warned Charlotte to be wary.  For the strong-minded beauty was already embroiled in a wealth of danger.

Two months earlier, Miss Drusilla Heskett had become one of Charlotte’s clients.  Now the woman was dead, murdered in her own home, and Charlotte feared that the killer may have been one of the suitors she herself had advised Miss Heskett to reject.  Still, with the right man by her side, Charlotte was certain she could uncover the truth and bring Drusilla’s killer to justice.  But was the enigmatic St. Ive’s Mr. Right…or Mr. Wrong?

What a predicament he was in!   A dedicated man of science who worshiped at the alter of logic and reason, Baxter St. Ives couldn’t bloody well believe that he was actually masquerading as a man-of-affairs to get close to a maddeningly independed woman.  Hunting down a murderer under false pretenses was one thing, but discovering himself at the mercy of a fierce and highly illogical passion for his new employer was throwing his life into chaos.  It was enough to make a man lock himself in the sanctuary of his laboratory and never emerge.

Instead, St. Ive’s decides to conduct an experiment, a risky scientific exploration into the reckless alchemy of desire.  But even as the daring St. Ives sets out to seduce Charlotte, the mystery that surrounds them deepens.  For a twisted killer is still on the loose in london, plotting to part the lovers…or see them joined together forever-in death.

I liked this book.  Quick writes a good mystery and thrill in Affair.  She makes her romance novels more interesting through the thrill or detective work which she creates.

I liked the liaison between Baxter and Charlotte.

Affair is intense, suspenseful and romantic.

Blue Moon by Laurell Hamilton

The eighth book of the Anita Blake series was an intense book to read.  Hamilton brings Anita to a knew danger and level of power she doesn’t know how to handle.

In this book, Blue Moon, Anita is out in a new terriotry helping her once fiance Richard get out of jail for attempted rape.  She knows he didn’t do it but with going down there they are getting into a hole new heap of trouble.

I have to say that this book did not lack for any action, and that is action in the fighting sense.  Werewolves, men, witches, vampires, and Anita all were battling it out.  Hamilton is very descriptive in these parts and leaves you with knowing what is going on in the fight.

Another thing she is doing well is the relationships that Anita seems to be acquiring.  It is not to say that it is all sexual because it is not.  The relationships go between the pack and pard.  She is the leader in both of these which is unsual for a human but she is defying reality.  Which I like because it is interesting to see Anita’s powers grow.

Anita is gaining powers between Richard and Jean Claude.  She is able to heal with concentrating on sexual desire.  I find it funny that she cannot conjure that up for these wereanimals.  Later on in the books that is not a big problem.

Anita is changing as a human and she is a little less with every act.  But that does not stop Richard from finally beginning with her.  At first I was yay! they finally got there but after I thought he was still an ass for what he puts her through.  Not always my favorite character.

In Blue Moon it is the last one where there is not a lot of plot with the police which I miss but the plot does continue on.  With Richard’s problem you are pulled in and it keeps flowing even when you think that it is going a little slow.  Through the story you wanted to know what was going to happen, which I knew but it still had me entranced.

Blue Moon is a good story in Hamilton’s series but it is now going towards the darker side of desire and sex which Anita will start to be aligning herself with as the series continues.

Play Dirty by Sandra Brown

Brown is known for her romance.  Play Dirty brings that intrigue and thriller aspect to the plot and characters.

After five long years in federal prison, Griff Burkett is a free man.  But the disgraced Cowboys quarterback can never return to life as he knows it before he was caught cheating.  In a place where football is practically a religion, Griff committed a cardinal sin, and no one is forgiving.

Foster Speakman, owner and CEO of SunSouth Airlines, and his wife, Laura are a golden couple.  Successful and weatlhy, they lived a charmed life before fate cruelly intervened and denied them the one thing they wanted most-a child.  It’s said that money can’t buy everything.  But it can buy a disgraced football player fresh out of prison and out of prospects.

The job Griff agrees to do for the Speakmans demands secrecy.  But he soon finds himself once again in the spotlight of suspicion.  An unsolved murder comes back to haunt him in teh form of his nemesis, Stanly Rodarte, who has made Griff destruction his life’s mission.  While safeguarding his new enterprise, Griff must also protect those around him, especially Laura Speakman, from Rodarte’s ruthlessness.  Griff stands to gain the highest payoff he could ever imagain, but cashing in on it will require him to forfeit his only chance for redemption…and love.

Griff is now playing a high-stakes game, and at the final whistle, one player will be dead.

I was impressed with Play Dirty it grabbed my attention and wouldn’t let go.  At first when I was reading I got to the middle and seemed like it should be done.  But then something big happens and the action takes over.

The plot is intense to read.  When one of the characters is killed you suspect the other one of murder but did they do it.  It was intriguing to see how the plot panned out.  You didn’t know the murderer then you found out but it didn’t make sense.

Play Dirty brings many surprises, tragedy, and romance to the pages.

Dark Rider by Iris Johansen

There are some books out there that get your heart pumping and Iris Johansen is one of those authors that can do that.

From the moment she heard of the arrival of the English ship, Cassandra Deville sensed danger.  But she never expected the sensuous invader who stepped out of the shadows of the palms and onto the moonlit beach.  Bold, passionate, electrfiyingly masculine, Jared Danemount made it clear he had every intention of destroying her father.  But the Duke of Morland hardly knew what to make of the exquisite pagan creature who offered herself to him, defiantly declaring that she would use his desire to her own advantage.  Still, he could no more resist her challenge than he could ignore the temptation to risk everything for the heart of a woman sworn to betray him.

She has as style that makes you feel for the characters and the situations they have to go through.

Cassie and Jared are a pair who find the pleasure with each other but neither wants to committ.  Each are going against what they believe with begin with each other.

I love how the story is set in the tropical paridse and then follows to London.  You get to see how both of the characters react to each environment.  It was interesting to see how each of the characters changed to either masks themselves within the situation or to show their regards to the rules.

The plot is thrilling to read and the antics which go on are humorous, sensuous and enduring.  An enjoyable book to read.

Trust Me by Jayne Ann Krentz

An incredibly love story that left me smiling.

Desdemona Wainwright thinks Sam Stark looks much too calm for a man who has just been left at the alter.  The males in her theatrical family would be letting their feelings explode.  But she was hired to cater his wedding, not to save it.  Desdemona marches into Stark’s den to demand the much-needed payment for the canceled reception-not to fall in love.  But the self-controlled, steel-willed man behind Stark Security Systems, a multi-million-dollar consulting firm, does have the cold, logical brain of a computer-along with the muscular, sensual body of a medieval knight.  He is Desdemona’s exact opposite.  And don’t opposites attract?

Sam Stark cannot understand what is wrong with treating marriage as a business deal.  He ex-fiancee, stately blond Pamela, and seemed so perfect so reasonable.  This hoyden with wild red hair and huge turquoise eyes, insisting he write a check for hundreds of uneaten miniature asparagus tarts, is a different type: temoermental, volatile, and likely to drive a man crazy with her moods-or with desire.  But Desdemona has the professional catering skills he needs for his business.  It never occurs to him that she might not accept his offer to be his no-strings-attached, stand-in wife.

Desdemona has other plans for herself and Stark.  She thinks involving him with her staff, made up of her relatives and other out-of-work actors, will give him a sense of family.  He thinks he’d rather spend his time with computers, but all too soon his private life and his business affairs are under siege.  Desdemona is breaking down the walls around his heart-and someone is trying to get into his files to steal a top-secret computer program.  Stark’s suspicions soon center on the people Desdemona holds most dear, as intrigue and murder swirl them all.

I loved this book.  It was cute, humorous and enjoyable to read.

I loved how Krentz has a simple beginning but escaltes into a dangerous situation as the pieces begin to drop.

The family dynamics are very real and loving.  Each character is recognized by their abilities and flaws.  And as a plot goes this one was fascinating to read about.

Trust Me is a book you will want to pick up.

Heaven’s Price by Sandra Brown

Blair Simpson embraced a life most people merely dreamed about.  She devoted her nights as well as her days to dancing-in the chorus line of Broadway musicals and in occasional high-paying TV commercials.  Nearly thirty years old, she had never considered another career, believing that dancing was what she’d been born for.  Now an injury has sent her to a small town for six long months of recuperation.  All around her are couples her age who are raising families and building dreams together.  And there she meets a man who forces her to come to terms with a part of herself she has long denied.

From her first encounter with her new landlord, Sean Garrett, the powerful sexual attraction between them catches her off guard.  For the first time she’s unable to lose herself in her dancing, as Sean’s passion and tenderness urge her to open her life to him.  Sean is a contractor who restores old houses-and what he most wants to build is a future with fiery, raven-haired Blair.  But Blair’s own passion for dance has ruled her for so long, she may not be able to break its hold-even if it costs her the love she had thought she’d never find.

I thought Heaven’s Price was heartwarming and really incredible steamy scenes between the two characters.  Brown opens up the story with an amazing scene between the two.

I really liked this story for the sole purpose that it was about the creative side of a person, artistic nature.

Heaven’s Price was a joy to read, even with some sappy love scenes but a very enduring story.

Burnt Offerings by Laurell Hamilton

Oddly enough I still have found myself enjoying Hamilton’s work.  The characters are progressing and new ones are coming forward but something was missing in this book.  Burent Offerings didn’t really have a great plot.

In this seventh book Anita finds herself stopping the arsonist that is destroying business.  Then meeting the master of beast called Padma and she is tangling herself up with the wereleopards.  She is becoming their Queen whether she wants it or not.

So the plot was interestings with meeting the new characters but it seemed to slow considerably down with the policework.  And with Anita’s aminator job that she has.  In fact this book doesn’t not even go into that job.  But I did like the interaction with all the characters.

The introduction of the wereleopards was fascinating to read.  Nathanial is a great character because of the trials he will be going through but seeing him develop is fun to read about.

The interaction between Richard, Jean Claude and Anita is still strained but that will be so for a long time.

So Burnt Offerings was interesting to read but I miss the intense work that Anita usually has with the policework.

Steamed by Katie MacAlister

Reading some of MacAlister’s books before will prepare you for this book. She has a quirky style of writing that will sometimes throw you.

Computer technician Jack Fletcher is no hero, despite his unwelcome reputation as one. In fact, he’s just been the victim of bizarre circumstances. Like now. His sister happens to disturb on of his nanoelectrical system supposed to be. In fact, they’re not sure where they are when…

..they wake up to find a woman with the reddest hair Jack has ever seen-and a gun. Octavia Pye is an Aerocorps captain with a whole lot of secrets, and she’s not about to have her maiden voyage ruined by stowaways. But the sparks flying between her and Jack just may cause her airship to combust, and ignite a passion that will forever change the world as she knows it.

As I said MacAlister has a unique style of writing. I found her latest novel, Steamed, to be similar in style with her wacky plots and intriguing characters which surrounded the story.

As I read the book, I found myself not sure what was always going on. There is a lot of dialogue and it grasps your attention but you then question what did you just read.

But there were funny parts and steamy scenes for the characters as they ventured through the plot.

Overall a strange book to read but enjoyable.

The Killing Dance by Laurell Hamilton

Anita Blake is back in The Killing Dance in the sixth book running for her life.  A contract has been placed on her life.  Edward is protecting her instead of killing her all the while Anita is battling the fight between Jean Claude and Richard.

I have to say as I re-read the book I remembered something about a contract on Anita but I couldn’t remember.  Re-reading it allowed me to revisit the story and I was blown away.  Hamilton is working hard on the plot with how the threats to Anita are going full force.  I liked that from the very beginning Anita is battling off the attacks.

With the books I have increasingly loved the character Edward.  He is one of my favorite characters because he is a bad ass that doesn’t care.  At the end of the book there was a line that got you wondering about him.  Of course I know where that is going to lead.  I am excited to read about his life as Hamilton continues to write.

Through the book you are learning more about the wolf pack and I find that it is interesting to see that Anita is part of the pack even though she is not one.  But the one thing I hate is how Richard is again that annoying way of him.  He is somber about killing and always getting upset.  This leads Anita to be drawn more towards Jean Claude.

Personally with the relationship I like Anita with Jean Claude more but as the series goes she changes with all the men that come into her life.

With the relationship of Richard, Jean Claude and Anita I found the change between them interesting because it is so powerful.  I like the change because it gives everyone power.  They are all stronger with each other.  And now the moment that has been stretched for a while is over.  Anita finally does the deed with Jean Claude and Hamilton can write the sex scenes.  But this one was not as graphic as her most recent ones are.  I liked it because it was yes hot but tamed in a way.  But now the relationship changes and that starts the motion.

Hamilton gives a write a great book with The Killing Dance.  Since I know what has happened through the most recent books of Hamilton I can actually say that The Killing Dance is still very tamed with sexuality but the action has not slowed down which is great to read.

An Unexpected Song by Iris Johansen

Through Johansen’s work I have discovered her stories to be focused on the adventure, with mystery and love all thrown into the mix.  An Unexpected Song is a softer side of love but still danger is behind every corner.

Taking the stage that evening, Daisy Justine had no idea that she was auditioning for her life.  Watching from the darkness beyond the footlights was the world-famous composer Jason Hayes.  The reclusive genius was seeking a new star to play the tragic heroine in his latest wrok, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Othello.

From the moment he heard her sing, Jason knew he’d found the star he’d been searching for his whole life.  But coaxing her from Geneva to the bright lights of Broadway wasn’t going to be easy.  For she’d made a promise to another man that she couldn’t break-nor disclose to anyone not even Jason.

Jason has only two weeks to change Daisy’s mind.  But the closer he gets to her, the closer danger comes.  For there’s more than just artistic temperament behind Jason’s legendary seclusion.  He, too, is harboring a secret, stalked by a killer who’d followed him for decades.  Now he’ll do anything to protect Daisy from the greatest threat of all-himself.

I thought the story was a very cute, sweet and romantic tale of two people not wanting love but gets it in the end.  I liked the mix of danger which follows Jason in the form a woman but switches when she is setting her target to Daisy.

Johansen is never not without danger and adventure which makes her stories so thrilling to read.

An Unexpected Song has all the qualities you need, romantic, undenying love and the power of music which is turned to love but with a twist of sabotage.