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Saturday, May 16, 2009

Kinley MacGregor - Born In Sin

Genre: Historical Romance
Book 3 in the MacAllisters series
ISBN: 9780380817900
Releasedate: April 30, 2003
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishing Inc.
Format owned: HC Rhapsody
For sale at: The Book Depository Store

Though few can equal her skill with the sword, Caledonia MacNeely fights an unfamiliar shiver when she is offered in marriage to the infamous "Lord Sin." Though Callie fears this mysterious, unreachable stranger -- less for the dark whispers that damn him than for the heat of his touch -- she is under the order of the English king. And with the fate of her troubled clan hanging in the balance, she has little recourse.

Banished as a child, "Sin" MacAllister learned to despise his Scottish heritage. Yet now, to unmask King Henry's foes, he must return to the hated Highlands -- wedded to a bewitching lass whose flaming red hair matches the fire of her spirit. A cold, hard heart has always been the key to Sin's survival, but this beauty awakens in him a perilous need he's never known.
This is Sin MacAllister’s story. He’s the English-Scotsman out of the lot. Given to the Englishmen when he was still a child. With them he went to a cruelty beyon comprehension so he grew up to be the cold-hearted soldier and protector of the king today. Untill he comes across the task to wed ‘Callie’ a Scottish lass on English ground. Could she be the one to open him up?

What makes this novel standing out and rising above others in this genre is Kinley’s ability to write stories which reflect her unique sense of humor. She has a way to put the brotherly connection to words that make you instantly fall for them.

Kinley MacGregor had me highly entertained with this story. She has a brilliance to weave humor into the heavy set harsh reality of Sin’s traumatic past, but sometimes I found it got me out of connecting to Sin and I had the feeling I didn’t get to know enough of him to fully grasp why he was so closed off...

Callie is a fierce, proud and emphatic Scottish lass. She would putt herself at the frintline in a war to protect the one’s she loves. She’s all I would love to see back in a true Scottish heroine from way back then!

I do realize that Kinley’s MacAllister’s are written to entertain her readers, so in that way she definitely delivered again! She sets her characters – main, as well as secundary – down very well.

Though I enjoyed reading this story a lot, the one character who stuck in my mind was Ewan MacAllister. His story is next in line, and I would really love to see what she has in store for him.

With all the humor and funny situations, an underlying plotline also shows, which brings excitement and action in the mis. The easy way she uses humor in her writing – as both Kinley MacGregor and Sherrilyn Kenyon – shows that this is a major part of her personality. It brings a certain flair to her writing that I really love, it makes her novels all the more appealing to read and re-read.

There are two specific scenes in this novel that I kept with me for while after reading this novel. Both ofcourse with Sin and Callie at centre and are just heartwarming and hilarious at the same time. In my opinion they are a great example of this authors writing capability. I’ll give you two small hints; 1st – ‘Blood’ and 2nd – ‘Bull’. Are you intrigued? Best to pick up the book and read for yourself. You will be highly entertained and touched.

4 stars

Kate Holmes - The Wild Swans

Genre: Fantasy
A Stand-Alone Novel
ISBN: 9780505523839
Releasedate: June 13, 2000
Publisher: Dorchester Publishing
Format owned: MPB
For sale at: The Book Depository Store

King Richard had had it with frivolous females filling his ears with their foolishness. Yet for all his castles and dragon-slaying, he still needed a wife. Preferably one who wouldn't plague him with womanly whining. One who knew when to shut up. So why not lay claim to the sweetly saucy silent A MAN WHO REALLY LISTENS!

Princess Arianne had had it with meddling males making her life miserable. When her twelve brothers angered an ogre, she was the one stuck spinning nettles into shirts to save them from eternal servitude as swans. And she had to complete the task in total silence! To make matters worse, along came chatty King Richard, wanting to bed her, wanting to wed her. Rugged Richard made her virginal knees weak. But could even a king know a woman's mind--without her speaking it?

King of Avalon etc. etc. etc. – Richard – knows he has to marry, and as a king it should be a princess, but after months of meeting princesses, his ears nearly fell of from all the chatting about useless subjects they’ve been doing, he vows that he would marry the first person who know’s just how to shut up!


I was browsing my shelves for something to read, but it had to be different from what I’ve been reading lately. It was then that my eye fell on this novel. I bought it over a year-and-a-half ago becuase it appealed to me then, but never got around to reading it.

On the cover it says ‘A Faerie Tale Romance’ and it’s exactly that. Kate Holmes took a very well-known children’s faery tale and turned it into a humerous and wickedly fun to read adult faery tale. It totally brings flair on my bookshelves!

The Faerie Tale she uses in this novel is the one where 12 brothers are turned into swans by an old hag in the forrest after they broke into her home and ate her food. Their sister can turn them back by knitting each of them a sweater of nettles, gathered by the light of the full moon – but she has to do it without uttering a word; no singing and no one must know.....

When this event has occured, king Richard arrives at Ariane’s doorstep in the evening, all soaking wet and muddy footed. In that first meeting alone my heart took the leaps it did when my mum read me a bed-time faerie-tale story when I was younger.

Kate Holmes uses the ‘men are from Mars; women are from Venus’ in such a superb way, blends it into this fairytale, giving me the time of my life reading it. As it’s a faery tale historical facts might not be accurate and eventhough the writing sometimes is somewhat rough around the edges, its’all forgiven and forgotten when I turned the last page and let out a long sigh with the Happily Ever After! I was a bit sorry to see it ending where it did though. It would have been more satisfying to read on about the return of the boys at their father’s home.

King Richard etc. etc. etc. captured my heart straight away. Regal with a boyish charm and a typical male outlook on things, which comes perfectly to light with his thoughts being blended into this story. What else can a girl do but fall head over heals? Though he has many friends his relationship with John Paul is exquisite! (for those who are wondering – yes it is his uhm.... manhood...).

Princess Arianne is a young woman who took over her mother’s role in the keep when her mother passed away. Her absent minded father is not able to run the keep, leaves it all up to her. Beneath the weighing responsibility I sensed a girly girl who loves to sing and enjoy life, which came to surface again towards the end of the novel.

Arianne cannot say a word till she finishes knitting the sweaters. That fact, combined with the ‘men are from Mars; women are from Venus’ concept gives this story the oh so recognisable miscommunications between men and women. And as Arianne has difficulty explaining herself Richard has to dig deep and beyond his manly ways to try and understand her.

If you want something ‘dreamy’ to read, this is definitely a novel I would recommend. It gave me such a springtime, butterfly feel good feeling that I just know I will re-read it sometimes and therewith Kate Holmes achieves something not a lot of authors achieve with me as a reader.

Alinea Quote
‘My horse threw me,’ he said. That was close to the truth anyway.
Her equally perfect left brow quirked upward to join the right. Her more that perfect lips twitched with amusement as she let go of his chin and silently stepped back, eyeing him with exactly the same expression Nurse had used whenever he’d told a fib.
Richard blushed ‘.... all right then, I fell off.’
She smiled with an irritating trace of smugness. ‘It was right after everyone else got lost, you see, and – Well, they did!” he said defensively when her smile widened. ‘I’m the king, you know. They’re supposed to follow ME, not some damned bug hart, with as nice a rack as – What? What?!’
She was laughing at him. Outright laughim at him!!!

4,5 stars

Alexis Morgan - Dark Protector

Genre: Paranormal
Book 1 in the Paladins of Darkness series
ISBN: 9781416520368
Releasedate: April 7, 2008
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Format owned: MPB
For sale at: The Book Depository Store

Devlin Bane will die for his cause -and die again if he must. A Paladin in a centuries-old war against the Others, dark creatures that prey on mankind, Devlin is destined to fall in battle and reawaken again and again in his ceaseless fight. And with each death, the Paladin loses another piece of his humanity, slowly becoming one of the monsters he was born to kill.

At his side is Dr. Laurel Young, charged with watching over her Paladin and reviving him each time he meets his death. And as Devlin edges ever closer to darkness, she readies herself for her ultimate task: to destroy the Paladin should he ever become one of the Others. But as the war rages on, Devlin and Laurel are irresistibly drawn together in forbidden passion, and soon find themselves pitting desire against duty. Having sacrificed his life to the cause, will the Paladin also sacrifice his heart?

Alexis Morgan takes us on a journey into the world of Paladins. She created a band of brothers who captured my heart and made it thumb with a warm longing to be the savior of one of these men.

These are not hard balls, but men on the brink of losing themselves into something which takes away their humanity, giving their handlers the power to kill them as soon as this happens. That fact gives these men a certain masculine vulnerability which is implemented in this first story in this series very well, opening the reader up to a new world.

I, for one, was happily surprised with this story. Never in my wildest imagination did I expect such a hidden treasure on my shelves, addicting me to the world where Paladins and Others fight for existance.

It’s written with a certain flair, easing you into a story. From the first page on you get to know the world and built up straight away and Alexis Morgan does it really well-structured. She combines rules and storylines very good, but leaving enough details out in the open that you instantly want to grab and read the next novel in line.

Laurel Young is a handler at the research centre where they care for the wounded and dying/dead Paladins. She could keep distance from them, but she’s the kind of docter that takes a personal interest and cares deeply for her patients. She’s emotional, strong, willfull and stubborn as well, making her a lovely person you would want to get to know.

Devlin Bane is the Paladin this story is all about. On the outside he’s acting all tough and built such a wall around his heart to protect himself, not easy to penetrate, but for some reason Laurel see’s right through him. He finds himself on the brink of crossing to the other side which makes him scared and vulnerable. One of the many reasons he doesn’t want to let Laurel come close, but for some reason he’s powerless against it and before he realizes it, he’s standing outside her door....

These two together work out really well, showing passionate but sweet blooming love with a jolt of suspense – a man hired to do some damage in their world – lingering above their heads.

The band of brothers that we get to meet is greatly described and the one’s that came to play small parts immediatly held my attention. Trahern grabbed my heart instantly (though I have to admit when Baraq came to scene – OH...MY...GOD!).

I read this story in a time when I was a bit averse to the whole ‘warrior-like-men stuck together’-series, because lately we’ve been overflown with the concept, but Alexis Morgan took the concept, gave it her unique twist introducing Paladins with their new set of rules and reminded me why I loved it in the first place.

Needless to say that the Paladins of Darkness swooned me off my feet!

4 Stars

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With spring in the air, my blog assistant decided to dress a bit more appropriate...

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Torn between the good stuff and the yummy stuff....

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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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