23 December 2008

REVIEW: GINA ROBINSON - SPY CANDY

Paperback: 332 pages
Publisher: Zebra (November 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1420104721
ISBN-13: 978-1420104721


Summary:
LIVE AND LET SPY
From her sensible shoes to her dating choices, bank officer Jenna Jarvis has always played it safe. But her fantasy life is a whole other story. And now Jenna's got a golden opportunity to play a real-life secret agent, courtesy of her generous best friend and a fantasy spy camp set smack dab in the red-hot center of the Arizona desert...

The stay starts off with a bang—literally—as a car explodes to greet Jenna and her fellow covert trainees, each of whom have a spydentity based on an iconic undercover agent. But it's the real-life operatives who capture Jenna's attention, particularly super-buff ex-CIA agent-cum-instructor Torq Toricelli. Confidence boosted by playing a bold-as-brass hot babe, Jenna might just have a fighting chance with Torq—if she can make it through camp in one piece...

A few near-misses have made it frighteningly clear that someone is taking this fantasy way too seriously. Jenna's mission: find out who's gunning for her fellow spies—and live to die another day...

Review:
Perhaps it is a bit of misfortune for Gina Robinson to get me as a reader of her story, Spy Candy. I stumbled upon her debut novel and on impulse ordered it along with the rest of my books. I was teased upon reading the summary: woman (Jenna) is going to a fantasy spy camp where she meets hunk-a-liscious ex CIA agent annex instructor Torq Toricelli. In real life Jenna is an ordinary bank officer who gets to play the vamp every man notices and starts howling at the moon for. I was in the mood for light hearted and fun filled adventure and thought I was set for it with Spy Candy.

Okay, it is light hearted and it definitely had some fun filled moments but there were a few things so off for me it rapidly diminished my reading pleasure.
Reason 1 - Though this has nothing to do with the author or her novel it is a reflection of my interest. From page one the referrals to Bond movies missed its effect on me, I can place the “shaken, not stirred” comments but who the heck is Money Penny, Octopussy or 006. Referral to certain actions of characters or events in the Bond movies also was lost to me as a reader. It created a distance between me and the characters of this novel simply because of the fact I never seen a Bond/007 movie.

Reason 2 - The story heavily leaned on the spy business and the author was very descriptive about a multitude of aspects. It made me feel like I was volunteering for a spying 101 and though it made the Spy Camp aspect more realistic the only thing I truly wanted was to get more of the vibe between Torq and Jenna. With the plot that comes and goes it quickly became hard for me to keep on reading and invested enough to care about the outcome of this story. I even had to refrain myself from starting to skim the pages, impatient as I got to just be finished with this story! Perhaps it was due to the high octane of “Bond vibe” that it just completely missed the bull’s-eye with me.

Reason 3 was something that took a while for me to figure out but I suddenly realized that I was reading a story with a first person narrative. Now I can say it is due to the smooth writing style of the author but it is more likely that I was so distracted that it took me a while (100 pages or so) to notice it. With a first person’s point of view it is always a gamble. Do you like this person, does his/her emotions pull at your own strings and can you relate to him/her? Well to make an understatement: It felt like I came from Mars when Jenna came from Venus. Her love for Bond is so alien to me it literary alienated me from the story.
While this review emphasizes on the Bond gap it created between me and the story I feel that the plot was okay but not generating any sense of urgency to find out how it will all end. Robinson was definitely going for playful fun! The cast of camp characters was diverse with nerds, buff and tough wannabe heroes, and true to the core gentlemen. Along with the camp combat instructors who were all ex army, ex Special Forces, ex CIA and stuntmen to top it off.

The two who got the most attention were Torq and Fry, Torq as the mysterious, hot male whom radiates danger but also knows how to flirt. And Fry as the Texas drawling Casanova, whom mostly had a laid-back attitude of sensuality. Jenna seriously tries to be a sensuous Bond-girl and her side-kick in her camp adventure is Emma. They both wield their alternate persona’s into the hot guy zone of Torq and Fry to find out about the final test to solve a kidnapping. In the meantime someone is taking the spy camp thing a little too seriously and starts creating havoc with some dangerous accidents.

The characters were all nice but besides Jenna and perhaps Emma no one particularly leaped of the pages. While Jenna and Torq had their moments where a spark was actually created it didn’t reach more than vanilla sensuality. And while some scenario’s breached a smile on my face - mainly when Jenna attempted to be the cool and sensual Bond girl - it could not elevate the pleasure of reading. In the end what really made my mood plummet is the lack of conclusion in the romance department. The romance was already paper-thin and though it had a spark and even chemistry between the main couple there was no true scorching desire and the ending retained no real closure or real sense of a future for them as a couple. Heck, he didn’t even reveal his true name and there was no declaration of feelings. In the final pages she went down on him with her Bond fantasy in mind!

While I feel I’ve penned down a review that leans toward the negative I will say that if you enjoy a fun filled suspense romp with a rich “007 energy” this might be an entertaining read. Or if you are an absolute Bond-lover whom is in search for a light humorous read I would say: “Give it a try!” It just couldn’t rock my boat with so many things off for me and in the end it just missed its mark!

Quote Torq:
“But the real world of spying and special ops is no Bond fantasyland. You’ll have no special gizmos, no rocket-launching bagpipes, piano-wire garrote watches, laser-firing cameras, or machine-gun-firing BMW’s to get you out of the scrapes.”


21 December 2008

REVIEW: ELIZABETH AMBER - RAINE

Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Kensington Aphrodisia (March 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0758220405
ISBN-13: 978-0758220400


Summary:
As A Lover, His Skills Are Legendary...

The middle brother, Raine, is both sensual and stoic. Scarred by once taking a wife who could not accept his carnal needs, he wants no part in another marriage. But duty commands that he fulfill his promise to wed King Feydon's second daughter, Jordan...

But In Matters Of The Heart, He Has Much To Learn...

The loyal satyr begins a search that leads him from Tuscany to romantic Venice, where his beautiful bride awaits, unaware of what passionate delights fate has planned for her. Raine is careful not to reveal his powerful satyr sexuality, for fear of driving yet another woman away. But unbeknownst to him, Jordan is no ordinary woman and was born with an insatiable appetite for love. And as Raine's heart begins to melt for her, how long will he be able to hide his true nature when Jordan seems to want him so fiercely?

Review:

If there is one author who has the ability to broaden my horizon in the Erotica genre than it is Elizabeth Amber! She sets the stage formidably as Jordan is being put on display for a group of physicians in a theatre. There I found out that Jordan is no ordinary woman and has to endure this kind of treatment on a yearly basis. Instantly I knew it would take an exceptional man to accept and love the sum of all Jordan’s parts.

And that exceptional man was found in Raine, if I would say he is a bit aloof it would be an understatement but shallow waters can hide such deep and surprising currents. He made a lasting impression with his serious perseverance of protecting Jordan and in what he feels is right. But he is no goody-two-shoe in any way, the first moment he set his eyes on Jordan his body stirred to life and almost instantly acts upon it.

Jordan has been different all her life and it’s the world’s perception of her difference that creates an internal emotional struggle that divides her sense of self. After diverting even more cruel intentions she bumps into a man that stirs her body to life in many ways. A bold proposal speaks of the indomitable spirit Jordan possesses and I was intrigued by this woman. Though life’s difficulties can weigh down on a person’s shoulders Jordan seems to have retained a certain sense of humor and eagerness to experience life to its fullest.

The interplay between Raine and Jordan was both invigorating as it revealed much of their inner nature. The commencing of their relationship is one of earthly eroticism but they also hide certain aspects of themselves. With Jordan it is not so much as that she does not accept herself, it is her environment that reacts and acts in a way that would humiliate any woman. And Raine, well, he has a bit of the same problem only experienced it in a somewhat different manner. Throughout the story there was a natural acceptance between the central couple and the gaining of trust was beautiful to witness.

The plot causes appropriate nuisance here and there that tests Jordan and Raine separately and as a couple. They both just fit each other so well but their hearts need to open up and amend to their true feelings before any kind of happiness can result from it. In this, Raine is like other erotic-romance stories. It is the extensive knowledge of myth, time period, exuberant characterization and most of all her unique theme’s laced within her novels that Elizabeth Amber makes such a distinctive impression on me.

In the essence what grabbed me the most about Raine is the acceptance between the leading couple of their differences. The courage to open up leaves either one vulnerable, it gives both the power to make the other reach the heavens or plunge in the abyss of being spurned. They did not only accept but also celebrated and enjoyed the uniqueness of one another and my heart leaped in response. Because is this not what we all want in the end, to be completely accepted and loved all the more for it? I know I do!

Along with the heat that singes the pages I was firmly set in the Satyr world. One scene included a wooden barrel filled with wine grapes, Raine and Jordan that contained a sensuality that made me reach for the ice cubes. I got to meet Nicholas again with his wife Jane. Lyon and his panthers just emanated a wicked picture of pure male delight and I loved to wander in the vineyard of the Satyr brothers again. Anything seems possible there as magic permits the very air and is a barrier between Earthworld and Elseworld.

Various erotic situations, between various genders are explored in Raine and I feel the explicit nature of it is done with emotion and is done quite tasteful. Raine and Jordan’s story stuck with me long after I closed their novel and my Erotica shelf isn’t complete without the novels from this author. I can only compliment Miss. Amber for delivering another scorcher of tale that gives depth to the genre!

4 stars

REVIEW: MARLISS MELTON - TOO FAR GONE

Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Forever (November 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0446509264
ISBN-13: 978-0446509268


Summary:
Ellie Stuart's life ended the day her children were stolen from her. Driving on a Virginia backroad, Ellie was ambushed by two men who violently pulled her from her car and drove off with her three sons inside. Devastated, Ellie begs the police to bring her babies home. But the authorities wonder if this stressed-out single mom may not be telling the whole truth about what happened that day...

Navy SEAL Sean Harlan agrees to help Ellie find her children, but vows to keep their relationship professional. He's got no room in his life for a woman and her kids--no matter how beautiful she is, or how desperate their situation. But when a sinister organization begins pulling strings behind the scenes, the investigation suddenly targets Sean. Can he and Ellie rescue her children and save themselves? Or are they already...
TOO FAR GONE

Review:
Ellie Stuart and her three sons, Caleb, Christopher and Colton are getting some much needed structure and peace in their lives. After a fluke marriage and struggling years of getting by she finally has a chance to settle down. From the get go Sean Harlan has taken an interest in the three boys but is refusing to acknowledge the attraction he feels simmering between him and Ellie. He is a player and has one strict rule, a single mother is hands off…

Ellie has a good place with her three boys now and she even picks up on studying again but the Navy Seal who drops by stirs up an interest she can well live without! Until her three boys get kidnapped and a chase against the clock begins…

When I opened Too Far Gone and started to read the first pages I didn’t expect that I would remain on the couch for an entire afternoon to read this novel in one sitting. Marliss Melton effortlessly stirred my emotions as I followed Ellie and Sean’s journey with universal themes like family bonds, motherhood, love and survival. Add a secret society and a conspiracy to it and my eyes never wavered from the pages save to get something to drink.

Ellie and Sean met in the previous book: Don’t Let Go (Book 5 in the Navy Seal series) so they are already acquainted with each other. This book picks up after Sean Harlan a.k.a Harley comes back after a tour of 6 months as a Navy Seal. Melton vividly describes the divided emotions of a mother thinking first and foremost of her sons and a man who doesn’t want to get involved romantically with a single mother. However, he enjoys being with her sons and can’t deny the heat they both generate in each other’s presence.

While the romance carefully casts its first tendrils between the central hero and heroine the suspense lock and loads when the three boys get kidnapped and a desperate Ellie is left behind. After that Harley and Ellie are single-minded to get them back, no matter the costs. This is where the author introduces a character with such a calculated mind the chills caused goose bumps all over. The introduction of a sinister organization hit the interest button with me. Characters are wrongfully accused and I felt the injustice and the powerlessness of it all emanating from Sean and Ellie. It only added to the urge to keep reading, turning the pages in the single desire to find out if the bad get punished and if Ellie gets reunited with her sons once more.

Ellie has an indomitable spirit of a mother willing to go the distance but needs a shoulder to lean on and Harley is more than willing to provide it. This is where the romance gradually builds up and crests into passionate moments between them. The feelings of growing love, anguish and strength are very believably portrayed between the leading couple. While getting her three sons back is the no.1 issue it also ignites the feeling of seeking a release of all those pent up emotions. Of allowing yourself to rely on another person, to know you’re not alone in this.

A secondary cast of Navy Seals, FBI agents and a journalist trying to help, play their part. They form a supportive backdrop that sets off both the romance and the heart-in-throat moments that exudes from the plotline. In addition to the primary love story a seemingly secondary one is blossoming between Skyler and Drake, it also captured my attention as their part is a key element in the story. I hope that Marliss Melton will continue this at some point in her Navy Seal series! There was definitely a sparkle and sizzle there!

In conclusion I feel that the romance and suspense storyline are executed with finesse and it makes Ellie and Harley come alive for the reader. The plot is a wonderful example of multiple character angles that enhances the sense of urgency to solve the kidnapping. It gradually ups the pace and kept me hunkered down on the couch.

With an attention-grabbing story Marliss Melton has hit the bulls-eye with Too Far Gone!

REVIEW: ANN WARNER - DREAMS FOR STONES


Paperback: 265 pages
Publisher: Samhain Publishing (October 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1599989743
ISBN-13: 978-1599989747

Summary:
It takes courage to be human. And it especially takes courage to love, knowing that love inevitably opens the door to loss. But what is fascinating about this human conundrum is the hopefulness with which most of us manage it.


So we live forever saying farewell.

But we also live with the possibility of wonderful new beginnings. As an author, that's what pulls me in for closer examination. Come with me then and meet Alan, a man who has given up on love, and Kathy, a woman who has learned to let go of love too easily. It will take all the magic of serendipity, old diaries, and a children's story to heal these two.


Review:

Alan is a professor in his early thirties who tries to live a steady life but the loss of his wife has a firm grip on his emotional balance. He is up for tenure at the USD, where he teaches, but is told in a very blunt way that if he doesn’t write a work of fiction he might as well give up on the tenure. In that same time frame he is told that his writing class will be taught by an editor of a small publishing house and he needs to share his office with her.

This is where Alan meets Kathy and while they don’t have an instant vibe of attraction there is still something beneath the surface that demands exploring. After her break up with her fiancé Kathy slowly allows herself to get wrapped up in the life of Alan. They become friends while under the surface feelings try to arise…

But Alan comes with a package and her name is Meg. However, for feelings to become acknowledged the heart must heal and for that to happen one must find the courage to accept and let go.

The first thing that comes to mind after reading Dreams For Stones is that it is a multi faceted heart wrenching story and it reminded me of certain novels from Nicholas Sparks. At first it felt like I got a prelude into the life’s of both the main characters, Alan and Kathy. Both of them have endured emotional pain and are gradually picking up their lives again. This is where they meet and I wondered how they would come together when they both have issues of the heart that still needs time to heal.

In a languid pace the story unfolds because Dreams Of Stones covers a longer time span and this is something I don’t get to read often. It covered about 18 -24 months which makes the growth of new emotions as old ones heal very authentic. They did not immediately fall in love but the author portrayed beautifully how two people can still feel but are hesitant to act upon it. How pain and angst of something new can disturb progress in a relationship. And then in the end when Kathy is ready to acknowledge her feelings she collides with the reserved attitude Alan has in exposing his feelings.

The reader in me also wanted progress, wanted the butterfly feelings of falling in love but that is not the case with this novel. The author’s gift is in appealing to the reader’s emotion with heart breaking events and thereby showcasing the resilience of the human spirit. It made me empathize with not only Alan and Kathy but also with Grace, Frank and their young daughter, Delia. I understood how it must feel for Alan’s family to see him suffer so much and the excerpts from the diary of Emily Kowalski is effectively intertwined with the main story.

Without realizing it I became a part of both Alan and Kathy’s life’s. The day to day rhythm along with the tribulations of their heart got to me. There is also a solid secondary cast. Charles, as a best friend, is a solid antagonist to the serious Alan. Elaine, the sister of Alan, gave a different perspective of her brother. But also Grace and Delia, Kathy’s co workers at the publishing house: Jade, - Columba and Polly, they all add their voices, deepening and complementing the overall story of the main couple.

Though I needed to get used to the perception of the romance development between the hero and heroine in Dreams For Stones the author still manages to make me care about the outcome of this story! A significant other story line is the diary excerpts of Emily Kowalski and what at first seems to be just coincidental becomes so very important near the ending. The last chapters made me fill a bucket of tears and while I felt the ending was more of a new beginning for Alan and Kathy I was satisfied to leave them where they were, knowing they would be okay.

A moving story that will touch your heart as two people find the courage to grab a new chance at a lasting love. Ann Warner has the ability to stir my emotions with a true to life novel.

19 December 2008

COLUMN: MY TV WATCHING HABITS




The month December so far has been a road trip of new and old TV series and the revival of an old love named: Knight Rider. First of all this month I’ve seen more of my bed than any other month this year due to a heavy case of the flu and a mind splitting headache this week. What does one do if one listlessly lies on the bed…right, out come the DVD’s and I vegetate before the TV. Thankfully I have a brother who has shelves upon shelves full of TV series on DVD and a trip gotten me CSI, House, CSI Miami, Transformers The Movie (nostalgia on my part) and NCIS. As my mother got me a sister and brother only 21 months and 40 months younger than me we grew up just about in the same era of toys, cartoons and TV series.

So when my brother told me Knight Rider raced itself into the 21st century I was all game and my oh my KITT got a facelift *big grin* Because, let's face it, this series is all about the car and the interaction of Michael with KITT. In coincidence I saw David Hasselhoff as Michael Knight again on a local network and let’s say the technology is definitely improved. I saw Haselhoff do a spin kick with his mile long legs and he missed his enemy by also a mile…it was short of hilarious.


Knight Rider intro text:
"Knight Rider. A shadowy flight into the dangerous world of a man who does not exist. Michael Knight, a young loner on a crusade, to champion the cause of the innocent, the helpless, the powerless. In a world of criminals who operate above the law..."























KITT tribute 80’s: Click HERE or for the new Knight Rider intro: Click HERE

The new Knight Rider is more of this day and age with nowadays enemies we can relate to again and the intro is just as addictive as the Knight rider of the 80’s. I’m sure going to follow the adventures of KITT with the voice of Val Kilmer and Justin Bruening as Mike Traceur. Cast link click HERE

So while I was fighting a flu bug I got reacquainted with Knight Rider, got my dose of CSI again and that sarcastic doctor named HOUSE is one I still have to catch up with. What really blew my cap off was the fact that the teenage series everyone talked about the next day at school, and yes, I’m talking about Beverly Hills 90210, also got vamped.


In Jan. 2009 this series is going to be broadcast on a Dutch network and of course I’m going to watch the first episode, just to satisfy my curiosity if it still has the same vibe. Though I have received a grey hair and a wrinkle at the eyes here and there since then, a big part of its attraction to me in the 90’s was the fact that every episode had a concluded teenage dilemma or problem to solve. I’m not really in sink with what troubles the teenagers of this day and age and I wonder if it will hit it off with the targeted audience. As I got hooked up on the World Wide Web I ended up on a site where the original cast of 90210 has pics of then and now….if you want to watch a horror in stills, be my guest and click on the link. This is so NOT how they were embedded in my memory LOL Also a rumor caught my ear that Jason Priestley, Shannon Doherty, Jenny Garth and Tori Spelling are going to return in the vamped 90210…one has to wonder in what capacity.

The flu slowly got beaten down and not 2-3 weeks later I’m back in the sack with the "mother of all headaches" as hormones rage through my body. I tossed and turned but of course I rode it out and took a get well day and hooked the DVD player up with Transformers, also nostalgia but IMO the movie has done right by the cartoon series! I loved then and still love now the voice of Optimus Prime ”Autobots….roll out!” Now we’re six days away from Christmas and I'm busy doing some major shopping, thank the Lord my body is cooperating again and hope 2009 will health wise be a much better year…the crew of BH 90210 isn’t the only one who gotten a bit older ROFL

One might think now that I spend quite some time in front of the TV but when I look at my weekly TV average it is not so much as one might think. I love the new series Eli Stone, still love to watch Law & order SVU and Criminal Intent 3 times a week before I go to bed and Grey’s Anatomy. I sometimes catch an episode of Men In Trees, though Ugly Betty was fun I can’t seem to catch the episodes on time. Samantha Who seems fun too but again, can’t seem to get a hold of when it is broadcast. Series that I’m totally done with are Desperate Housewives, Pushing Daisies got canned after the first episode, totally not my humor. On Saturday I try to watch Cold Case and The Closer if my agenda allows it. And on Sunday Supernatural is also something that I try to watch though the last 4-5 Sunday’s I have been a no-show LOL




My All-Time favorite series is Nip/Tuck, I can still remember my sis calling me from Ireland telling me about this new series. I saw the advertisement in the guides but I had other things to do. Until I zapped on the right network and an episode just started, I can still remember Christian Troy and Kimber in the shower….*hello, good morning and goodnight* Hubba hubba what a view and I'm not referring to the female in this screenshot LOL After that episode I called my sister and it remained a weekly affair for the both of us. When Sean McNamara went down on the Kimber doll all I could think was: “no you’re not, nah ah, not happening. Oh Gawd, he’s going for it, do I want to watch this!!” and all I could see was the dolls head bumping up and down. One of the moments my free spirit was actually a bit in shock. Another moment was when Christian Troy gave a voloptues woman the option: “Hey if you want to have sex with me you have to wear the grocery bag over your head.” I would have put that bag somewhere where the sun doesn’t shine but hey, each his own in the bedroom department *wink*

But also with this series I have to catch up on a whole season since the Dutch networks have decided to cancel it *prudes, all of them I tell ya –evil grin-* I have my eye set on buying the 5th season and catching up on some Christian Troy moves and seeing if Sean McNamara is going to have a midlife crisis with a barbie doll young woman *so cliché of the writers*


Well, December really was a TV month for me oposed to reading but I'm Baaaahaaaack as one freak said in a movie LOL The books on my TRP are: Once A Rake - Rona Sharon / Elizabeth Amber - Lyon / Lora Leigh - Nauti Nights and after that we will see what catches my attention ROFL To wrap up this column with a final tip from me, if there is one series I’m eager to see in 2009 it is The Mentalist.



Info:
THE MENTALIST stars Golden Globe Award nominee Simon Baker as Patrick Jane, an independent consultant with the California Bureau of Investigation (CBI), who has a remarkable track record for solving serious crimes by using his razor sharp skills of observation. Within the Bureau, Jane is notorious for his blatant lack of protocol and his semi-celebrity past as a psychic medium, whose paranormal abilities he now admits he feigned. Jane's role in cracking a series of tough high-profile cases is greatly valued by his fellow agents. However, no-nonsense Senior Agent Teresa Lisbon openly resists having Jane in her unit and alternates between reluctantly acknowledging Jane's usefulness and blasting him for his theatrics, narcissism and dangerous lack of boundaries. Lisbon's team includes agents Kimball Cho, Wayne Rigsby and rookie member Grace Van Pelt, who all think Jane's a loose.

Until next time, have a wonderful Christmas with family and friends close to you!

Hugs,
Leontine


18 December 2008

REVIEW: RONA SHARON - MY WICKED PIRATE


Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Zebra (November 1, 2006)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0821780573
ISBN-13: 978-0821780572

Summary:
First he gave her a wicked kiss…
Azure–eyed Alanis was by far the most exquisite treasure ever claimed by the black pirate known as the Viper, but his motives went deeper than his silken promise to ravish the feisty Yorkshire heiress. Commanding the waters of the Caribbean was his means to an end: reclaiming his birthright—and his blood debt against those who had betrayed him.

Then he gave her nights of wicked pleasure…
Comfortably betrothed to a nobleman, Alanis never imagined the heady emotions involved in the true games of seduction–games this blackguard seemed to thoroughly enjoy playing with her. Swept up into an adventure that soon revealed a gentleman and kindred spirit beneath the ruthless veneer of a privateer, Alanis began to soften towards her enigmatic captor, as her pride and her heart fell under his erotic spell…


Review:

For any Historical Romance reader, My Wicked Pirate is one you’ll love to sink your teeth in and receive full satisfaction upon closing this historical treasure! And this is why:

The characters are diverse and distinctive from one another with Alanis and Eros leading the story. While Alanis is hungry for adventure, seeking the freedom to pursue this and see the world, Eros “The Viper” is a complicated, pensive, remote, multilayered man that deems himself irredeemable. He taunts the vested leaders of the world as a Pirate and when their paths cross a plot is set in motion that runs deep and will keep you focused on the desire to unravel both Eros and the plot. Because Alanis is very transparent in her wants and needs but is confronted with a man that intrigues her, makes her feel, provokes her but above all let’s her experience life in all its facets.

While Eros intercepts the ship Alanis is on it is evident from their first encounter that they set each other on fire, their very nature’s creating a vigorous spark set out to consume. The verbal sparring between them is quick, sharp and full of whit only adding to their incredible dynamic as a couple. Though Alanis is set for her fiancé a situation unfolds that gives her a choice, as her choice is made we get to visit Jamaica, Isle de la Tortue, the Kasbah of Algiers, Agadir in Morocco and Italy. The author easily conjures images of exotic places creating a fascinated canvas of an interesting time period. It does not distract from the plot or the personal trials and tribulations of the crucial characters but it adds a backdrop that enhances the feel of Eros’ turbulent past and Alanis’ desire to see the world.

Secondary characters like Giovanni, Niccolo and Greco from the crew aboard Eros’ ship, Alastor, prove to be a welcome addition with their somewhat playful side. Moreover, they have been with Eros for a long time as well as Sanah, whom I got to meet in Algiers. Though Eros calls himself a loner, it is friends in many places that refute this and speak of more to this man then the harsh cold inner nature he displays at times. All the characters had meaning and purpose in this story, from the grandfather of Alanis, to the fiend Cesar. It is with Rona Sharon’s elegant prose and poignant writing style that gives the characters an emotional-laden charge that reaches out to the reader and it did not miss its effect on me.

While the conspiracy thrives and drives Alanis and Eros to new directions, My Wicked Pirate is above all a Romance novel. And though this story is gradually set up the growth of feelings benefits from this, it feels natural, real and in the end delivers on the promise of all consuming feelings that blaze from the pages. I slowly savored the journey of this amazing couple. I emotionally empathized with them creating a stupendous final that had me tearing up and finally feeling like I conquered it all right alongside them.

The plot entails various courts, that of The Sun King of France, Queen Anne of England and torn up Italy with its Princes. Without revealing more then I already did Rona Sharon managed to give this time period a lush, vibrant feel with political intrigue and at the same time making it all about Eros and the woman who chose to love him. The intertwining of the past and present gave both Alanis and Eros a chance to grow and to overcome obstacles. It made me root for them every step of the way!

When I pick up a Historical Romance novel then this is the kind of story I love to read. Complicated characters that reveal a mysterious layer at a time and a complot that holds me spellbound to the pages with intrigue and madcap adventures. With the grandest adventure taking place in this tale is the journey of Love with the capital L. The one that makes hero’s out of men when they forsake all goodness and what makes women courageous and bold when the heart speaks so clearly.

With 400+ pages of historical delight Rona Sharon has set the bar high in this genre!

Quote: Eros “The Viper”
He glimpsed at his bed, then recaptured her gaze. Humor and challenge twinkled in his dark eyes. “What exactly did you have in mind – rough ravishing or prolonged pleasure? I’m game for both diversions.”


Quote Eros “The Viper”
“Don’t make me chase you,” Eros whispered softly in her ear. “I’m endeavoring to behave like the perfect gentleman. Do not tempt the beast in me.”


Quote Alanis about Eros
The man fascinated her. He had the mannerism of a Lord, the reputation of the Monarch of Hell, the body of a Greek god, the handsomest face, and when he was not pillaging – he attended balls at Versailles.