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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Donna Grant - Highland Mist


Genre: Historical
Book 1 in the Druids Glen series
ISBN: 1-58608-832-7
Releasedate: July 2006
Format owned: eBook
For sale at: The Book Depository Store

Laird Connall MacInness was born to a clan that for centuries has been charged with the guarding of the sacred Druids. 'Tis a duty he has always met with a willing heart, until the day his sister, a Druid priestess, goes missing, and the very Druids he has protected refuse to help him find the last remaining member of his family. Then a 300 year old prophecy places a Druid priestess in his hands for safekeeping. 'Tis the chance at revenge that he's been waiting for, but is he willing to pay the cost his revenge will demand--the loss of his mate and the future of Scotland?

A willing lass…
Glenna MacNeil wants only to be free, to find the purpose of her life. When she is told to look for the dark laird that would free her, she eagerly goes with the powerful laird who fights her clan, not realizing she has set in motion events that will change the course of history.

The first novel in a new series, a new author for me and normally that means getting used to a new style in writing, new storylines to get used to but funnily enough this time around I just eased into the story straight away!

It’s a story easy to read, you pick up on moods, emotions, scenes straight away. I’ve seen the movie Mists of Avalon a few times and I had a particular feeling with that movie and whilst reading this lovely novel by Donna Grant she made me have that same feeling ~ eventhough ofcourse the storylines are very different.

Connall and Glenna are great characters. It’s nice to see how Glenna grows from a timid; scared lady to a strong powerful Druid in control. Connall I don’t see as a real me Tarzan you Jane Highlander. You can really sense his longing for a family where love leads the way. A bit thickheaded needless to say, but nonetheless loveable!

What I love most about Donna’s writing is when in scenes words were spoken by the characters, they actually had the “aye’s; nay’s ; and most important “ye’s”. I always “hear” different voices with the characters as I read a story and when a Highlander-novel is written in such a way the Scottish burrs actually come automatically. The Scottish language used by Donna is adding such a great Highlander feeling that it makes your heart flutter by just reading the sentences.

The storylines themselves were typically Druid/Highland making it for me a good novel in between my paranormal/fantasy books which are more heavyset. This series is definitely a keeper on my shelves to balance the heavy dramatic action filled novels with the lighter set A-list authors like Donna Grant.

It’s a good solid start in a new series and promises a lot for the books still to come!

3,5 stars

Christine Feehan - Twilight Before Christmas

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Book 2 in the Drake Sister series
ISBN: 0-743-47628-X
Releasedate: December 2003
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Format owned: MMPB
For sale at: The Book Depository Store


Bestselling novelist Kate Drake is one of seven sisters gifted with amazing powers of witchcraft. Returning home in time for her northern California town's annual Christmas pageant, Kate catches the spirit of the season and decides to open a bookstore in a charming but run-down historic mill. Decorated former U.S. Army Ranger Matt Granite, now a local contractor, doesn't mind working in the undeniably eerie house -- not if it means getting closer to Kate. There's something about the quiet, sensual woman that powerfully attracts him.

When an earthquake cracks the mill's foundation and reveals a burial crypt, Kate senses that a centuries-old evil has been unleashed--and that it's coming after her. Though Matt vows to guard her from dusk till dawn, Kate knows she will have to summon all of her and her sisters' powers to battle the darkness threatening to destroy both Christmas and the gift of soul-searing passion her hometown hero wants her to keep forever...

When Matt and Kate meet again in a near accident they set things in motion. With danger luring around every corner and seem to aim to destroy everything that comes in its way they soon discover there might be more between them than the eye can see.

After hearing so much about Christine Feehan – say it due to her Carpathian-series – I decided to start reading some of her work and I was fairly surprised by this novel in her Drake Sisters series. Although I haven’t read the first one, the anthology Magic in the Wind – I don’t feel I missed an important part of the series. I do want to read Sarah and Damon’s story, but for now I’m contend with reading the next few novels!

There is something special in the way Christine was able to describe and write about the sisterly bond between the Drake Sisters. I think this is due to her being part of a big family as well. Being close to my own siblings this was a part that instantly got me hooked onto the story and felt such a homey-contendness with it. It made me snuggle up on the sofa and cuddle up with my cats while reading on.

This was a novella – and with that the story was in my opinion cut a bit short. I feel that more could have been putt into the story to make it a bit more flowing. At some point I found it a bit rushed through all they had to go through. This is a series about witches and with that it automatically falls into the paranormal genre. However what touched me more was the contemporary romance that was developed in the line of events. Having said that, the Drake Sisters charmed their way into my heart.

It’s like your reading along with a special part of life, like you’re allowed a glance in what they experience along the way.

This is one of those series you can just read the next novel striaght after the previous one without it getting boring or too much if you know what I mean. So I’m straight away diving into Oceans of Fire – Abigail’s story. I can’t wait to read about her and the Dolphins!

3,5 stars
Saturday, December 27, 2008

Helen Scott Taylor – The Magic Knot


Genre: Paranormal
Book 1 in The Magic Knot Fairies series
ISBN: 0-505-52796-0
Releasedate: January 27, 2009
Publisher: Dorchester Publishing
Format owned: MPB
For sale at: The Book Depository Store

When Rose discovers she is the Cornish pisky queen and her father is a dark druid who has imprisoned her people in portraits, the race is on to discover the fairy lore needed to release her people before her father destroys the piskies forever.

She seeks help from the sinfully sexy Irish fairy twins, the O’Connor brothers. Niall’s faint air of menace flutters dark thrills of anticipation through her, but does he want to kiss her or kill her when she accidentally touches his Magic Knot and forges a mystical lovers’ bond with him? And can she resist the seductive glamour of his mischievous brother Michael?

With the survival of the Cornish piskies in her hands, Rose must escape from a vampiric, winged fairy, outwit The Queen of Nightmares and surrender her mind, body and spirit to Niall to release her hidden inner fairy. The Tarot cards warn he will stab her in the back, but when she’s in his arms, the last thing on her mind is death.
When you start a job checking someone’s accounts you don’t expect being thrown in a world where leprechaun’s and fae exist but that is exactly where Rose is headed when she sets foot in an Inn in Cornwall, owned by the flirtatious Michael O’Connor and watched over by his twin Naill O’Connor.

After doing her job she was determined to go search for her father. However, events throw her into a world she never before knew existed, and into the arms of the Irish man with a brogue in his speech and a stubborn attitude that is hard to pierce!

The blurb to this novel got me hooked straight away. Knowing myself, and my love for Ireland, I just knew from the start this book would intrigue me, captivate me and lure me into the magical world of Irish lore. My feelings were correct. I picked up this book, started to read and didn’t stop till I read the last page, closing it with a sigh of pure ecstatic, heart-warming bliss.

With this debut-novel Helen Scott Taylor knows how to enthral you and keep your mind focussed on the two absolutely gorgeous Irish twins. Often with twins you see they complete the perfect package and Michael and Naill do precisely that.

Michael is the flirtatious one, the light hearted one, the one to make you grin shyly and blush heavily each time he speaks to you – every time he comes to pas in a scene, your heart starts fluttering with desire and want for a man like him in your life, uncomplicated and making you feel special in your own uniqueness.

Naill on the other hand is the more serious one, the one with the responsibility complex and control factor. Dark, brooding and dangerous he is the one whom you have to dig deep into to reach (extremely stubborn as well). He’s the one you have to work for but once you have him, he won’t let go.

Rosewyn “Rose” is this sweet girl, who has gone through quite a lot in her life, had to work herself up to where she is now – only to find out that what she thought was her life – is in fact not her true self. A bit insecure about her own strength, but in the end taking a stand in her new “me” and accepting what she knows in her heart to be true.

The secondary characters in this novel are there for world building and explaining the plotlines. Quite a few come to pass but it does not take from the story. Their background is briefly mentioned and explored, but the storylines concerning them leave enough open to make this world into a series and have a completion enough for those readers who seek an ending to each novel in a series.I’m intrigued by a few and would love to see their lives unfold in a full-length as well. Therefore I am so pleased with the knowledge that a follow up to this one is currently being written with Michael in the lead!

There is a lot of sensuality in this novel, the heat between the characters sparkle off the pages. It is not the main focus in this novel, but in all fairness I did not miss that at all. The storyline is about Rose, finding out who she is, what the magic knot stands for and the truth about her tarot-cards are such a strong plotline that it is indeed what should get the main focus. There are in fact scenes that are really steamy and make me long for more of those in the coming novels especially concerning two specific characters, which I’ll leave unnamed to not spoil the good stuff! Because The Magic Knot is such an easy read to get into, you get hooked on the story fast and it stays with you for the remainder of time.

Helen Scott Taylor is able to make her characters come of the pages and become alive in your mind. She’s able to make them touch your emotions. You instantly like the ones with good intentions and absolutely dislike the one’s you know who are there to spoil the fun! It reads like a spiced up fairytale. A stunning debut for an author who instantly became a permanent addition to my bookshelves!

4,5 Stars

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With everything new, I ofcourse, had to get used to the idea of making, owning and maintaining a blog but I have to say, now that I’ve got the hang of it, it’s quite fun to do. Let me introduce myself, I’m Natascha, in my early 30’s and from a little place called Winschoten in the Netherlands, I’ll be your host on this blog.

As an avid reader you’ll find that most of my blogs will maintain reviews, books, topics about books, writing and such, but as I am a diverse person myself, it will include many other topics on things that I find interesting in life. So welcome to my world, and happy blogging!
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