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Amanda Ryan

Archangel’s Kiss by Nalini Singh

Redonk Nutshell: Hunter-turned-angel Elena struggles to find her footing with her new status amid the threat of her consort’s covetous fellow Archangels

Book two in the Guardian Hunter series wins the award for “less cheesiest cover.”  In fact, I think this cover is kind of badass.  I can’t say that about any of the others, unfortunately.

Archangel’s Kiss picks up more or less right off where book one left us, plot-wise.  Elena wakes after a year-long coma to find that she’s not a) dead (yay!) and b) a vampire.  Instead, she’s sporting a pair of kickin hot wings.  Turns out her dear Raphael managed to turn her into an angel, a rare, if not unheard of, concept.  Which makes Elena one hot commodity.  And a huge target to Raphael’s enemies.

The main conflict in this book is the rising distortion of power of the Archangel of China, who has been reanimating the dead.  Lujian, the aforementioned villan, isn’t necessarily your average evildoer.  In fact, she’s not always bad.  She’s just a bit…off, a common side effect of having lived thousands of years.

Lujian invites Raphael & his consort to her Bejing home, a cunning dare disguised as a ball.  Elena works her butt off to re-train her newly formed body.  What we get is a lovely treat of some familiar faces, recurring supporting characters that demand our individual attention.  There’s Illium, the stunning blue winged angel with a charming sense of humor. Venom, the vicious and poisonous vampire with snake like eyes and movements. Galen, the grey winged angel that re-trains Elena with her blades. Jason, the dark and mysterious tattooed angel who serves as Raphael’s spymaster. Aodhan, the quiet and diamond like angel that doesn’t like to be touched.  And of course, Dmitri, Raphael’s right hand and confidante, a vampire several hundred years old that is constantly tormenting Elena.

The main points of book two are 1) Elena’s recuperation and 2) Lujian’s confrontation by the Cadre of Ten.  For some people, the focus of Elena’s orientation into immortality may drag or seem boring. I saw it as time well spent among Raphael’s infamous Seven. We get glimpses into their lives and their pasts, as well as delving into the horrific event that shaped Elena into who she is today.  Generally, the dark and morose tone continues on from book one, but this time Elena is an immortal.

And of course, there’s Raphael.  The pompous, gorgeous, and utterly terrifying Archangel that is slowly but surely evolving into something altogether different with his love for Elena.  It’s lovely to watch.  Hilarious, even, at times.

I enjoyed book two.  In fact, it deepened my affection for the series as a whole.   Jammed packed with action, humor, and some super smutty angel-time, Archangel’s Kiss makes a great sophomore book to the Guild Hunter series.

Archangel’s Kiss by Nalini Singh, 323 pgs, 2/2/10

Rating: B

Romance: 3/5      Raunch: 3.5/5

Angels’ Blood by Nalini Singh

Redonk Nutshell: Highly skilled vampire hunter is contracted by a powerful Archangel to hunt down a rogue supernatural killer

Here’s the low down on why I picked up this puppy.  I was intrigued by Archangel’s Blade, the newer release in Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series, but it’s the 4th in the series.  And I’m something of a stickler about following chronological order, if I can.  So I picked up the first, Angels’ Blood, from my library and began to devour what would gradually become a favored series of mine.

So. Here we go.

Angels’ Blood is the story of Elena Deveraux, a vampire hunter that works for the Guild: a  collection of specially skilled humans that track rogue vampires.  Vampires are created by angels, and the angels and their progeny are kept in line by the Cadre of Ten, ten Archangels that rule with ultimate authority.  When Elena is contracted by Raphael, the Archangel of New York, she is both terrified and intrigued.  But Elena is not easily cowed, even by a supernatural entity that has the power to crush her with the briefest of exhales.

“Power. This was a man she couldn’t take on and hope to win. A hotly feminine part of her appreciated that kind of strength, even as it infuriated her.”

Thus begins the elaborate dance between Elena and Raphael as they work together to track down what Elena is led to believe is an immensely deranged rogue vampire.  What Raphael doesn’t tell her is that it’s no vampire – it’s an Archangel gone off his rocker.

Elena is nothing but kick-ass at what she does.  She fears little, though she is haunted by her violent past.  Her ability to scent vampires makes her one of the best in her field, the primary reason Raphael chose her for his task of hunting down his fellow Archangel.  What Elena doesn’t count on is her unending attraction to the dangerous THING that is Raphael.  Raphael himself is something entirely “other,” and his own pull toward Elena not only intrigues him but also disturbs his Seven – the closest fellow angels and vampires he trusts with his life and his domain.

What we get is a fantastically bloody and sensual trip down paranormal fiction lane.  Angels’ Blood straddles the line between paranormal and urban fiction, incorporating the best of each into one.  Our characters are uber-alphas, each not taking any sh*t from anyone, including the other.  Which, of course, makes for some interesting discourse.

I liked Angels’ Blood, but it wasn’t rocking my world while I was reading it.  When I continued to read on into the series it grew on me, aging finely like an old wine in an ancient oak barrel.  I see myself re-reading the first now that I’ve read all the Guild Hunter books, and I’m imagining that I’ll enjoy really seeing how these two begin and evolve.

Violent, gritty and sensual, Angels’ Blood is a fun start to a wonderful series.

Angels’ Blood by Nalini Singh, 339 pgs, 3/3/9

Rating: B

Romance: 2/5            Raunch: 3.5/5

Treasure Me by Robyn DeHart

Redonk Nutshell: Intelligent and spirited woman gets tangled up with an adventurer on a quest to find a fabled treasure at Loch Ness

The 3rd in Robyn DeHart’s Legend Hunter series, Treasure Me is a fun, guilty pleasure of an adventure story between two very head strong leads. After discovering her fiance in the arms of her youngest sister, Vanessa Pembrooke decides to indulge herself with a trip to the Scottish Highlands in order to pursue her dreams of paleontology.  On her way there she crosses paths with Graeme Langford, a man who steps in as her rescuer when randy burly-men start harassing her in a pub.  Graeme poses as her fiance, and when dared to prove it, he allows the pub inhabitants to perform an old-school Scottish binding ceremony.  Unbeknownst to both Graeme and Vaness, the binding ceremony, though not acknowledged by English law, is official by Scottish law.  Thus, Graeme is committed to putting things back to rights once they’re out of harm’s way.

Vanessa, however, has different plans.

I really enjoyed DeHart’s first Legend Hunter book, Seduce Me.  Treasure Me has a similar tone, a girly sort of Indiana Jones adventure involving danger, archaeology and intrigue.  Vanessa is a breathe of fresh air, as far as heroines go.  She’s one of those people who are very intelligent and book-smart, but lack a bit of, er, world-smart. Ya know?  Her take on the world is very clinical and detached, yet somehow down to earth.  Graeme’s presence forces her to re-examine her view on things.   He’s the fire to her Bunsen burner.  *giggles*

Graeme blows hot and cold for me.  He’s not necessarily an uber-alpha, which is nice, though he has no qualms about taking over the reins when he wants to.  His younger brother on the other hand, lawd bless him, is a complete moron. Poor guy.  Easily seduced by a venomous tongue, Graeme’s younger brother goes from sweet boy to villian in a predictable and shallow plot “twist.”

Treasure Me is a fun read, a great quickie to pass a dreary day.  It’s adventure meets sensual awakening set against the lush backdrop of the Highlands.

Treasure Me by Robyn DeHart, 384 pgs, 3/1/11

Rating: C

Romance: 3/5         Raunch: 3/5

Touch of Enchantment by Teresa Medeiros

Redonk Nutshell: Heiress and witch in denial is accidentally transported back in time and into the path of a knight bent on seeking vengeance

Tabitha Lennox has inherited her mother’s penchant for magic, and she ain’t happy about it. She immerses herself in science and technology and sharpens her already brilliant mind, a move to counteract the whimsical and fantastical nature of her mother’s history. When her parents disappear during a plane ride over the Bermuda Triangle, Tabitha follows her mother’s pre-taped instructions to use a hidden amulet to help her control her erratic powers.  When Tabitha investigates the amulet she unknowingly activates it and sends herself back in time several hundred years.

Right into the pat of Sir Colin of Ravenshaw. Colin returned from The Crusades to find his family murdered and his land ransacked by his once friend in a desperate attempt to claim power.  When he stumbles upon a strangely dressed woman (chipmunk slippers? Really?) he isn’t sure what to make of her at first.  But when they’re captured and thrown together in prison, they strike up a bargain to help each other out.

What results is a friendship that evolves into a romance between two bull headed and intelligent people.  Tabitha is downright hysterical at times with her modern day quips, and Colin’s handling of her is remarkable, especially considering the time of the age and the persecution of things out-of-the-ordinary.

I think my favorite scene, by far, is when Tabitha is asked to serenade a room full of people after she finds out Colin is betrothed. She gladly accepts and begins a stunning mash up of the best cheating heart songs from the 90’s and more.  It’s fantastic.

Touch of Enchantment is a wonderful, fairy tale-like story of fantastically gushy happy endings and swoon worthy romance. Our heroine is independent, intelligent, and funny as hell while our hero is brave yet remarkably vulnerable.  I really enjoyed this story.  It’s the second in a series, the first being the story of Tabitha’s mother & father (which has since been added to my TBR list).

Touch of Enchantment by Teresa Medeiros, 352 pgs, 1997

Rating: B

Romance: 4/5        Raunch: 3/5

In Total Surrender by Anne Mallory

Redonk Nutshell: Underworld boss meets his match when a Lady inserts herself into his life

Andreas Merrick is, in short, a bad ass.  He and his brother-from-another-mother run London’s underworld.  Andreas has taken over temporarily while his bro is on his honeymoon, and while under normal circumstances this wouldn’t be a problem, it becomes one when Miss Phoebe Pace enters the picture.  The Pace family owns and runs a successful carriage manufacturing business, and Andreas has been working behind the scenes to take them over (with the ultimate scheme to seek revenge against a totally different guy who has been also trying to seek ownership).  What no one knows is that Pace Carriages has been under the guidance of Phoebe Pace since her father began suffering from, er, mental instabilities.   When Andreas makes continual effort to see Mr. Pace, Phoebe inserts herself in his place.  What follows is a match of wills, a battle of sweet versus sour, kindness versus bullying.  It is, in a word, hilarious.

Phoebe Pace is a piece of work.  Brilliant, really.  She’s knowledgeable, witty, and whipsharp smart.  She’s not at all frightened by Andreas’s terrifying facade, which in turns irritates Andreas like nothing he’s ever encountered.  The term “kill them with kindness” is really the perfect way to describe their relationship.  Until things turn serious.  And more heated.

This was my first read by Ms. Mallory, and I would say over all I immensely enjoyed the first 2/3 or so of the book.  The last bit blurred and dragged for me, but this may be due to the fact that In Total Surrender is part of a series, and likely there were things going on that didn’t really mean much to me.  I was invested in Andreas and Phoebe and wanted to see how they made out in the end, and that’s what ultimately kept me going.  This book is worth reading if only for the priceless exchanges between the two, as well as Andreas’s internal dialogue with himself.  Priceless.

Overall, In Total Surrender was a fun read, though one that I probably would have understood more had I read some of it’s predecessors.  There was little romance (Andreas isn’t one for romance), and the raunch factor was artfully glossed over.  The focal point of this novel are the exchanges between our main characters,  and it definitely shows.

In Total Surrender by Anne Mallory, 384 pgs, 9/27/11

Rating: C

Romance: 1/5            Raunch: 2.5/5

Bad Boys Do by Victoria Dahl

Redonk Nutshell: Bad boy meets his match in a stickler for tradition good girl

Bad Boys Do by Victoria Dahl picks up more or less right where it’s predecessor, Good Girls Don’t, leaves off.  This time around we get Jamie’s story.  Jamie is the handsome bad boy, the guy that gets all the girls and is always finding himself in sticky situations.  Now, however, Jamie is ready to grow up and take on more responsibility in his family’s brewery business.

Enter Olivia, a smart yet safe brunette who is pulled into Jamie’s path.  They strike up a friendship that gradually leads to something more, and both Olivia and Jamie are forced to reassess what, exactly, they want.

Who doesn’t love a good read about a bad boy? Jamie isn’t your stereotypical bad boy, though.  He doesn’t actively seek trouble – it just seems to find him.  His good looks garner him attention, and his natural charm works both with and against him.  At heart, Jamie is a good guy, and Olivia is a wonderful complement to him. As for Olivia, she’s still coming out of her shell after divorcing her immature husband, and Jamie forces her to test her boundaries.

Their story is sweet and romantic, a lovely little read that is sure to bring a warm smile to your face.  I enjoyed Bad Boys Do.  I also look forward to the elder brother’s story next.

Bad Boys Do by Victoria Dahl, 384 pgs, 9/27/11

Rating: C+

Romance: 3/5              Raunch: 3/5

My Lord and Spymaster by Joanna Bourne

Redonk Nutshell: Former pickpocket hopes to root out the traitor in the London underworld in order to prove her father’s innocence, unintentionally enlisting the help of the man who put him in jail

Ah, book three in Joanna Bourne’s Spymaster series.  The good news is that you don’t necessarily have to read these in chronological order in order to understand what’s happening. I can speak from experience on this one.

Jess Whitby was raised on the streets as The Hand to London’s most notorious crime boss. When her merchant father showed up and reclaimed her, Jess was reshaped into a presentable woman and Lady.  Now an adult, Jess finds herself desperate to prove her father’s innocence against the claim he is the notorious “Cinq,” an English man slipping secrets to the French. The only way Jess can disprove it is to get her hands on information held by people working against her – Captain Sebastian Kennett, British Intelligence, the British army, etc.  She starts out convinced that Kennet, the man who brought the proof of her father’s betrayal to light, is actually Cinq.  She comes up with a plan to steal documents from him, but her plan goes awry when both he and she end up victims to a band of street ruffians.  Sebastian takes Jess under his wing, more or less, while she recovers from her knock on the head.  Thus begins the intricate dance of “are they or arent’ they, ” a game of whether or not these two are friends or enemies.  Jess wants to help her father, but Sebastian is convinced her father is guilty.

We get to see some recurring characters – Doyle, Adrian (yay Adrian!) – who all happen to know Jess in some way or another.  The attraction between Jess and Sebastian is only amplified by their shared acquaintances, as well as the increasing danger each are encountering as they dig deeper into documentation around her father’s supposed treason.

I enjoyed My Lord and Spymaster.  Once again, Bourne writes a romance that happens to also be a mystery and adventure.  The sexual tension between our two characters winds up predictably, but I didn’t really mind since there was so much else going on.  Jess is stubborn in her quest, leading her to make several decisions that put her neck on the line more than once.  If a rescuing hero isn’t your thing, then don’t bother picking up this book.  We start and end with a rescue of our heroine by our hero, both instances a result from her bad decision making.

Regardless, it’s a fun read.  The history is fascinating and Bourne’s storytelling is top notch.

My Lord and Spymaster by Joanna Bourne, 324 pgs, 7/08

Rating: C

Romance: 2/5       Raunch: 2/5

Mistress by Marriage by Maggie Robinson

Redonk Nutshell: Husband who has banished his wife to “Courtesan Court” considers divorce despite their intense attraction

I picked up this book (bundle, actually – these three books are currently available as an e-bundle) solely because of the buzz it generated via SmexyBooks, Smart Bitches Trashy Books, etc.  I wan’t sure what to expect, having never read anything by Maggie Robinson.

Our story is about Edward Christie and Caroline Parker, spouses for several years, though living separately.  Edward banished Caroline to a townhouse in the notorious “Courtesan Court” after discovering what he believed to be infidelity on her part.  He visits her once a year to partake in his marital duties, then leaves her.  Caroline is a vivacious beauty, a woman with a tumultuous past who has grown tired of her strained relationship with her estranged husband.  They both agree that divorce would be best, though scandalous.

The problem, however, is that they can’t seem to shake their intense attraction from each other.  Edward is cold and devoid of emotion while Caroline wears her heart on her sleeve.  They drive each other to insanity, which ultimately ends up creating sparks in the bedroom.

During the process to collect information in order to petition for divorce, Edward discovers information about his wife he’d never known, and his world suddenly shifts around him.  He realizes, albeit too late, that he loves her and he wants desperately to keep her. He has only to convince Caroline, and unfortunately Caroline has her mind set against him.

Okay. I had to adjust my expectations while reading.  Some authors have a romantic way with words that weave an intricate and dreamy web of exposition. Other authors throw it out there, raw and unbridled.  That latter is Maggie Robinson.  There is little sugar coating in her tone, and once I got past that I found myself settling in just fine to watch the story unfold.  Her main characters are complicated creatures.  It’s a lot of fun watching them struggle with the unwelcome attraction they each share toward the other.  Edward’s Achilles heel is his wife, and it drives him nuts.  It’s ultimately why he wants to rid himself of her.  Caroline is just tired of being jerked around on his emotional chain, and she’s finally at a point where she can admit to herself it’s time to let it go.

What really takes this sensual story the extra mile is the intricate ties our main characters have to each other.  It goes beyond physical, and it takes the span of the story for our hero and heroine to realize it.  It’s lovely.  What we get is a sensually charged story of two people at ends rediscovering each other.   I enjoyed it.  I look forward to checking out the other books in this series.

Mistress by Marriage by Maggie Robinson, 352 pgs, Aug 2011

Rating: B

Romance: 4/5           Raunch: 4/5

Unclaimed, by Courtney Milan

“You’ve always been your own knight,” he said, “riding to your rescue.  I’m just the man who came along and saw how brightly your armor shone.”

Redonk Nutshell: A courtesan at the end of her rope accepts a deal to seduce a renowned male virgin

Jessica Farleigh has been through hell and back and is ready to be done with her life as a courtesan.  But to do that, she needs money.  So she accepts an offer (against her better wishes) from her former protector to seduce his rival, renowned writer Sir Mark Turner.  Turner is known for championing male chastity, his writing so popular that male “societies” have sprung up everywhere, like little support groups where the guys go to talk about their latest temptations and how they resisted.  Jessica believes it to be hook, line and sinker, and moves to Turner’s small home town to begin her charade of seduction.

Mark Turner, despite what everyone believes, is really just a man.   He has a wicked temper, when he loses it, and his appetite and appreciation for women is just like any other men his age.  The difference is, Mark has committed himself to being constantly in control of his basest emotions.  He refuses to fall prey to irrational action, a decision he made after witnessing his and his brother’s treatment by their mother.

It would be unfair of me to give too much away of how these two end up fitting together.  I can, however, tell you this – it’s simply splendid.  Who wouldn’t be fascinated with a male character that has become iconographic for his virginity?  I mean COME ON! What really makes this story work is Milan’s unflinching ability to write about the gritty and unpretty realities of human emotion.  Jessica is a damaged woman and Mark…well, he has his own issues as well.  The way these two end up involuntarily filling each others voids is poetic.  They don’t mean to fall in love. They don’t mean to forget themselves. No one other than Mark would have been able to reach through to Jessica.  And Jessica is the perfect woman to go toe-to-toe with Mark.

I effing adored this book.  It’s likely my favorite by Milan thus far.  I say “likely” because Trial by Desire still reigns supreme for me.  Unclaimed is almost perfection.  Poignant, funny, romantic…it’s a fantastic blaalance.

Unclaimed by Courtney Milan, 432 pgs,9/20/11

Rating: A

Romance: 4/5         Raunch: 3.5/5

 

 

Almost Innocent by Jane Feather

Redonk Nutshell: Illegitimate daughter of renowned parents falls in love with her married guardian

On a whim, I pulled this off the library shelf because a) I want to read more of Jane Feather and b) I liked that it was set in an earlier period of history than what I usually read.  So here’s what we get:

Magdalen is born amid a betrayal of her mother, who was French, to her father, who is English. Because of her illegitimacy, she is sent off and raised with supporters of her father. When she turns eleven, she is shuffled to the care of Guy de Gervais, a handsome and chivalrous knight.  Guy explains she is destined to marry his nephew, Edmund and she accepts it as her duty.  Though spirited, Magdalen knows her responsibilities and expectations leveled upon her.  As she grows up in the Gervais household she becomes even more enamored with Guy.  Guy is happily married and has a huge brood of nephews and nieces under his roof, and dismisses Magdalen’s attachment to him as innocent.  Which, honestly, it is.  But Magdalen is an old soul, and she knows in her heart she loves him.  On the night before her wedding to Edmund she professes her love for Guy and tells him her arrangement with her fiance is ill advised, but Guy dismisses her.

Years later, Magalden is grown up and married several years to Edmund. When a conspiracy unfolds to remove Edmund and Magdalen from the picture, Magdalen is removed to her husband’s land under Guy’s escort.  When Edmund is attacked along the road and presumed dead, a romance between Magdalen and Guy reluctantly unfolds.  When Edmund turns up over a year later, both Magdalen and Guy are forced to face their actions and emotions.

Lawd, I had a time of it getting through this one.  It started off intriguing enough, but from moment one the plot was one predictable cliche after another. Magdalen is a hard heroine to like, and while try not to hold that against her, I had a heck of a time sympathizing with her.  She’s just…meh. Bland.  In fact, most of the characters are.  By the halfway point of the book I found myself skimming through the pages.  In fact, the last quarter I didn’t really “read” at all.  It was the “epic” conclusion involving a kidnapping and rescue in which only one of her men will live.  And we all know which one it will be.

Definitely not my favorite read of Ms. Feather’s, though I haven’t given up on her.

Almost Innocent by Jane Feather, 432 pgs, 1990

Rating: D

Romance: 2/5                 Raunch: 3/5

Fairest of them All by Teresa Medeiros

Redonk Nutshell: A legendary beauty disguises herself in a hideous costume to deter suitors in a competition for her hand, and inadvertently falls in love with one of them

Fairest of them All  is the story of Holly, the legendary beauty who’s father wants her wed and holds a tournament to find her a husband. Never one to back down from a challenge, Holly decides to adorn herself as a hideous frump of a woman.

Sir Austyn of Gavenmore is on the hunt for a plain and simple bride, preferably one with a decent dowry. He travels to compete in the tournament for Holly’s hand.  He has heard tales of the woman’s beauty, and when she is revealed to be…er…lacking…it doesn’t deter him in the least.  In fact, his family is rumored to be cursed by beautiful women, so Holly fits his needs perfectly.

Austyn wins the tournament easily, and when he takes Holly back to his home in Wales, Holly is determined to keep him at bay through desperate theatrical shows she think will make him regret his winnings.  What she doesn’t count on is being drawn to Austyn simply for him being him, and when her hag costume beings to weigh heavily on her, Holly realizes she needs to come clean. When Austyn learns of her deception (and believe me, he does), he locks her in the highest tower of his fortress.  Regardless of the distance between them, both physically and emotionally, the connection that had been made between them in the few weeks they had together bound them, and Austyn can’t keep himself away from her.

I enjoyed Fairest of them All. It was a sweet fairy tale spin set in an early English time period.  I’m pretty sure I tore through this baby in a day or so.  An easy, fluffy read that left me with a happy smile on my face.

Fairest of them All by Teresa Medeiros, 372 pgs, 1993

Rating: B-

Romance: 3/5          Raunch: 3/5

A Kiss to Remember by Teresa Medeiros

Redonk Nutshell: Mistaken identity, amnesia, and desperation collide between a Duke and a gentlewoman hoping to cling to her childhood estate

I love Teresa Medeiros, so it hurts me to admit that I had a hell of a time getting into this book. It dragged a bit for me to the point where I actually put it down and came back to it weeks later.  The good news is I’m glad I came back to it because I ended up really enjoying it.

Basically, we start out with a young boy, Sterling Harlowe, who is more or less “sold” to a rich relative so the relative can pass down his Dukedom to a male heir.  Fast forward, and our little boy has grown into a dark and notorious libertine.  When the estate his estranged mother becomes entangled in a bizarre claim by its tenant, Sterling takes it upon himself to make the trek to the house himself to, more or less, toss it’s inhabitants out on their arse.  What he doesn’t count on, however, is being attacked by a tree limb and knocked unconscious.

When Laura Fairleigh comes across a handsome man lying asleep in the woods she finds herself reflecting back to fairy tales and wakes him with a kiss.  When the man can’t remember a thing about who he is or where he comes from, Laura grabs the opportunity to inform him of their engagement.  You see, Laura is desperate to hang on to her home, an estate which supposedly will remain hers if she marries before her birthday, otherwise it will fall into the hands of The Duke of Devonbrooke.  Laura takes the man to her home and nurses him back to health, and in the three weeks leading up to their marriage, Laura and and he end up having something resembling a genuine attraction to each other.

A problem arises, however, when Sterling takes another blow to the head upon their exit from the chapel after their wedding and remembers everything.  Laura, to her horror, realizes she hasn’t wed a nobody but instead her archenemy.

What dragged for me was the beginning, the part where we get an idea of how dark and unconscionable Sterling is.  Laura, and her family’s introduction dragged for me as well.  It wasn’t until Sterling starts to assume his role as Laura’s dream rescuer when things began to pick up.

The best way to describe what happens when Sterling’s memories return? A trainwreck.  And I couldn’t look away. You can’t help but root for Laura, despite the blatant deception she attempted. In a way she gets her own comeuppance since she unknowingly besotted herself with her nemesis. Regardless, it’s fun to watch these two wade between what emotions were real and what were imagined.

Overall, I ended up enjoying A Kiss to Remember.  Despite the slow beginning, once the action got rolling it trekked along at an unstoppable path through the end.  The character development was stellar.

A Kiss to Remember by Teresa Medeiros, 368 pgs, 2001

Rating: C+

Romance: 2/5                     Raunch: 2/5

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