Review: Stroke of Enticement by Nalini Singh

Format: E-bookwildinvitation
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novella
Genre: Urban-Fantasy
Series: Psy-Changeling, #9.5
Publisher: Berkley
Hero: Zach Quinn
Heroine: Angelica Kildaire
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: March 5, 2013
Started On: February 11, 2016
Finished On: February 14, 2016

Angelica Kildaire (Annie) likes the independence she has carved for herself in her life. It has been hard won one, but it was the way she wanted things. Even though loneliness had a way of creeping in on her at times. That is until Zach Quinn walks into her life, making her crave for what she thought she would never want for.

Zach is a leopard shifter, and from the moment he lays eyes on Annie, he knows that he has found his mate for life. But convincing her of the fact? Well, that’s where the fun lies.

Though a novella, Nalini in her true craftsmanship, managed to wow me in all the ways that mattered. Zach is the kind of hero that every heterosexual female would fall for. Book smart, street smart, not to mention helluva sexy with a confidence that is nothing short of lethal. Zach epitomizes alpha heroes and then some.

Annie proved to be a match worthy of a man like Zach, and the journey to their happily ever after even though it was a short one, was what mattered the most. Loved it!

Recommended!

Final Verdict: Flat-out adored Zach and Annie. Nothing like the deep visceral bond of love. 

Favorite Quotes

“Hot date?” The voice was rich, dark, and completely out of place in her classroom.
Startled, she stood to face the man leaning in the doorway. “Uncle Zach?”
A smile that cut her off at the knees. “Just Zach’s fine.” Vivid aqua-colored eyes, straight black hair cut in a careless way, copper-gold skin and bones that spoke of an ancestor from one of the native tribes. “You called.”
And he’d come.

She was softer than he’d imagined, more luscious than anything he’d ever experienced. Cat and man both purred inwardly, and when her lips parted on a gasp, he swept inside to taste her. Sweet and tart, innocent and woman, she was his own personal brand of intoxication.
He bit her lower lip, sucked on it, let her gasp in another breath before kissing her again. “Mmm.” It was a sound of sheer pleasure as he indulged his need to touch this woman.

“Zach?”
“Shh. I’m looking.”
The husky statement made her body clench inside, her thighs tremble. She was wearing black lace…for him.
“Annie.” He groaned and reached up to unhook her bra. “I want to see.”

She sighed in unashamed pleasure and saw his eyes gleam as he bent down to get rid of his shoes and socks. “Now yours,” he said, moving to the bottom of the bed and tugging off her sandals one by one, following each removal with a long, slow look up her body.
By the time he finally got on the bed beside her, she was so aroused that she rose to claim a kiss of her own. When he nipped at her lips as he seemed to like doing, she nipped back. He raised his head, his hand closing possessively over her breast. “Do that again.”
Eyes wide, she did. He purred into her mouth. She broke the kiss to stare at him. “What was that?”
A feline smile. “Nothing.”

Breath coming in jagged bursts, she lowered herself onto him. He stretched her to the limit. But she wanted him inside her, wanted to possess him as absolutely as he’d possessed her. She drove down and shuddered. “It’s too much.” The angle was deep, the penetration intense.
He kissed her. “We’ll practice until you get used to it.” It was a husky promise as he laid her back down, bracing his body over hers using his hands.
“How much practice?” She wrapped her legs around the lean beauty of his hips, no longer shy with this man who treated her as if she was a goddess.
He groaned, pulled out a little, then thrust, as if he couldn’t help himself. “Lots.”

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | eBookMall | iTunes

amazingread

Review: Shards of Hope by Nalini Singh

Format: E-bookshardsofhope
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Psy-Changeling, #14
Publisher: Berkley
Hero: Aden Kai
Heroine: Zaira Neve
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: June 02, 2015
Started On: January 23, 2016
Finished On: January 24, 2016

Shards of Hope is the 14th book in the phenomenal Psy-Changeling series by Nalini Singh. The series has come such a long way since its first book was published in 2006. Nalini has managed to turn things around in a world occupied by humans, changelings and Psy; the majority trying to find their footing amidst the rapidly changing landscape of politics and power that shapes their world. Nalini Singh is a master at what she does; the world crafting, the storytelling, the romance that she pens so well and the adventure that you are guaranteed in each of these novels. I love her stories for the depth of characterization explored, the strong sense of justice and right and wrong that she explores in her stories. Of course, there are the heroes that one salivates over and the heroines who makes you wish you were as strong as them – but they are relatable in a way that makes the stories the sumptuous delights they are.

Shards of Hope begins 4 months after the fall of Silence. Silence refers to a protocol adopted by the Psy in 1979 in order to stop the madness that their race seems to prone to; the violence that strikes rendering their race to become mindless creatures that goes on a rampage of killing and blood lust. The Psy had done whatever they did back then, in order to protect the minds of a race with the enhanced abilities of the mind they are gifted with. Aden Kai is the leader of the Arrows, a sort of paramilitary group that exists to protect the Psy race. With the fall of the Silence, and even before that, the subordination that had been demanded of them for political gain had fallen apart, leaving Aden as the one whom all Arrows trust and would give up their life for.

When Aden and Zaira Neve are kidnapped and tested upon by forces unknown, thus begins a cycle of events that changes things for the Arrows as a group and for Aden and Zaira both in terms of what their relationship means to them and their future. Aden, the offspring of two Arrows who had seen nothing worthy inside of him had handed him over to the Arrow training facility while he was quite young, which was the norm back then. Zaira had been a victim of parental abuse which had nearly ended her life, not owing to them, but because she had stood up to them, which had ended in a blood bath brought upon by sheer rage. That rage that lives within her, the scars that defines her, are the very reasons why she puts up the walls she does when she is around Aden, to stop him from enticing her and convincing her that they belong together, in fact, that Zaira had belonged to him from the very moment their lives had crossed paths.

Aden is a hero inside whom the word honor echoes with every breathe he draws. It is that honor and integrity that is the selling point when it comes to him, when it comes to leading a group of lethal soldiers who could at his command, make the whole world bleed. Aden wants something entirely different for his Arrows whom he considers to be his family. With the fall of Silence, problems that they would never have anticipated comes to light, but Aden is determined that he would change the lives of Arrows from one where they exist only to fulfill their duties to a life that is filled with warmth, love and a sense of belonging. A tall order for a group of people whose conditioning from a very tender age had taught them just the opposite.

Zaira’s story is one of heartbreak, but that of immense strength as well. A lesser woman would have crumbled and gone mad long back. But Zaira withstands the onslaught of rage that threatens to make her give into her baser desires. Zaira knows that if she ever were to consider Aden as hers, her possessive nature would be the death of the man Aden has to be for his Arrows. But in Aden’s arms Zaira finds solace, comfort and desire of the kind that she would never find elsewhere in the world. With every touch, every kiss that Aden places on her forehead, lips and her subconscious mind, Aden wins her over. Aden’s patience when it comes to Zaira is one that is worthy of noting. But then again, I wouldn’t have expected anything less from the man who would walk to hell on earth and back, not only for Zaira, but each and every man and woman who serves on his team of elite soldiers.

It is a testament to Nalini Singh’s incredible talent that none of the stories appear to be cliched versions of earlier books. It is that very reason amongst a multitude of others, that would always keep me coming back for more! The unfinished thread in Shards of Hope is one that intrigues me and I can’t wait to find out what is in store for the Psy, Changelings and the humans. According to Nalini, Allegiance of Honor, the 15th book in the series which is to come out this year is going to be composed of an ensemble cast. Can’t wait for June!

Final Verdict: Nothing short of amazing; bears witness to Nalini’s splendorous talent.

Favorite Quotes

Pushing off the wall without warning, she walked around the corner and into a small alcove hidden from the world by a heavy mass of overhanging vines as well as its position tucked in between two buildings.
“Zaira.” Aden followed her. “What—”
Slamming him against the wall, she pressed her lips to the strong, powerful beat of the pulse in his neck. Since she was already falling into the abyss, her control shredded, why deny herself the pleasure that was the flip side of the nightmare memories she could no longer stifle?
He shuddered, one hand sliding up to curve over the back of her neck. And then their mouths were meeting and it was wild and undisciplined, wet and hot, and she stopped thinking, the rage in her drugged into a haze of want focused on this beautiful man whose hunger for her seemed as feral as hers for him.

Chest rising and falling in harsh breaths and pupils dilated, Aden watched her mouth as if he’d devour her all over again.
Zaira was fine with being devoured. Fine. “I’m meant to be the out-of-control one,” she whispered.
He shot her a look that made her burn, made her realize just how much he kept contained beneath his calm, stable skin. It felt as if he’d shown her a secret, shown her a small madness within himself. She couldn’t stop herself. She pressed close, claimed another kiss, was claimed, that strong hand on her jaw and his body crushing her to the wall.
And Zaira realized that some prisons could equal pleasure, not pain.

“You are so beautiful.” The words came out raw.
Freezing, she looked up at him for a long, long time. “You mean it,” she whispered “You really do.”
He didn’t understand why she’d even question that, but he didn’t have time for a discussion. Not today. Bending his head, he kissed her. She opened for him immediately, one of her legs curling over his hip in a distinctively possessive act. Reaching down, he pulled up her other leg until she was locked around him, her arms wrapped around his neck as she held him to her.
“Mine,” she said on a kiss.
The single word branded him to the soul. “Yes.”

He didn’t ask again, just gripped her under the hip with one strong hand and pushed the tip of his erection into her passion-swollen entrance.
“Aden.”
Sliding his other hand under her neck to hold it gently but with unmistakable possessiveness, he said, “This’ll hurt.”
Kissing him again in answer, she spoke to him mind to mind. I choose this pain, she said. I choose you.

“You’re already mine.” It came out instinctively, from that primal, possessive core at the heart of her nature.
He pressed his forehead to hers, not fighting her hold. “I know, but do you?” His hair fell over his forehead to brush hers. “Deep inside, do you know?”
She didn’t understand his question, and the frustration made her pull at his hair. “Stop talking in circles.”
“A psychic bond,” he said, his mind touching hers.
She wanted to open so badly to him. “If you do that, I won’t ever let you go.” If the physical connection had sealed them together, this would turn that seal into an unbreakable glue. “Even my death won’t free you.” The psychic scars would be irreparable.
“Whether we bond or not, your loss would change me forever.” A quiet voice that held so much power it vibrated with it. “You are written indelibly on my soul, Zaira. Nothing will ever alter what you are to me.”

Slamming both hands palms down on either side of her head as the sound of his name on her lips further eroded his control, Aden used the leverage to pull back as much as he could, given her grip on him, before sinking deep into her once again in another hard thrust. She was wet, tight heat around his cock and silken, lithe warmth around his body.
“My Zaira,” he said, his voice so rough the words were almost unrecognizable.

He’d intended to give her romance tonight, too, but the bond pulsed with a visceral need he had to assuage. Realizing he was still gripping the ring, he pushed it into her hand. “Put it on me.” He was hers in every way that mattered—the ceremony would be for others, for their friends and those in their care. This was for them.
Kissing his jaw, his throat, she looked down and, picking up his hand, slid on the ring. “All mine.”
“Always have been.”

Groaning, he reached between them and somehow managed to undo his jeans, shove down the denim and his briefs. It took a little more effort to kick them off, but he was highly motivated.
Naked at last, he nudged aside the gusset of her panties. A single stroke of his finger through her wetness and her back arched, the sensations that came shooting back at him through the bond threatening to make his eyes roll back in his head. Then she bit him on the jaw and it was all over.
He thrust into her wet heat in a single, demanding push.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | ARe | eBookMall | iTunes

amazingread

Review: Archangel’s Kiss by Nalini Singh

Format: E-bookarchangelskiss
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Guild Hunter, #2
Publisher: Berkley
Hero: Raphael
Heroine: Elieanora P. Deveraux
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: February 2, 2010
Started On: December 13, 2015
Finished On: December 15, 2015

I can’t put to words how glad I am that I decided to start reading the Guild Hunter series. Even the fact that I am a tad late to the party is one that fills my heart with glee. All because of the fact that I have got a bit to catch up on, books that I can fall back on when most reads turn up lackluster and definitely not what I am looking for. It is ALWAYS good to have books that you can count on lined up, just in case, and from this moment on, the Guild Hunter series is going be that for me.

I am simply loving the experience of reading about Raphael and Elena. Most of the time, even when it comes to a series that you adore, we only get to see glimpses of a hero and heroine that we might have loved to pieces in one of the books of the series. But here, we get to savor all the goodness that is Raphael and Elena through a couple of books at least, their newly forged bond something so precious and fragile, yet at the same time one filled with the kind of strength that you know would take them places, through the extremely rough and turbulent times their relationship will be subjected to. To get to see their relationship grow in that aspect is one that makes me as a reader, feel privileged. Because an author has to be extremely talented to carry the same characters forward and always give the reader something interesting and exhilarating to read about. And without a doubt, Nalini Singh is definitely the kind of master who can weave such magic over her readers.

Book 2 in the Guild Hunter series continues just days after Elena wakes up from the year long coma she has been in, healing from the severe injuries she had endured, injuries that would have killed her, if not for Raphael making her an immortal of his kind. While Elena is hunter-born which means she has the sort of strength that actually drew her into the realm of the archangels to begin with, as an angel, Elena finds herself at her weakest, trying to regain her strength in time to attend a ball that Zhou Lijuan, the oldest archangel in existence is throwing in her “honor”.

Raphael and Elena are completely new to the concept of the bond that they share between them, each thrown into uncharted waters when it comes to the love they have for each other. Elena and Raphael must strike to achieve that balance that would work for them, something not very easy to do when Raphael himself is alpha male personified, with a helluva lot of power in his hands. His love and need to protect his woman is one that wars constantly with Elena’s need for freedom, independence and her inborn need to assert herself as Raphael’s equal, someone worthy of sharing the title of his mate.

There is also the fact that Raphael and Elena both continue to be haunted by their pasts, not to mention the intricacies involved in archangel politics, each and everyone seemingly looking for ways to exploit Raphael’s weakness that is supposedly Elena. What made Archangel’s Kiss doubly interesting for me was the fact that Elena’s suppressed memories when it comes to her past, mired in darkness, blood and gore is one that kept materializing until we were able to bring together the pieces to identify the sort of monster that she had been dealing with. Her guilt that comes out of it plus her vulnerability which makes her turn to Raphael to keep the nightmares at bay were reasons I fell for Elena’s character, more so than before. The altogether strong, independent and put together Elena, finding in herself the strength to lean on Raphael made the story for me.

If I were to sound poetic about the whole thing, I would say that Raphael and Elena were waiting for each other, more so Raphael because he has been in existence for centuries. Raphael has found someone worthy of laying down his very life for, as he proved in the first book itself, and in Elena he has found the woman who would stand beside him, no matter what. I am just hoping that in the books to come, Nalini would show us why Elena’s entry to Raphael’s life came at such an opportune moment. I say opportune because her arrival seems to have heralded a deep wave of change in everything that is to do with the archangels. The way I see it, as with anyone that is left with too much power in their hands, the archangels too need a change in their power structure, something that would keep the checks and balances in place so to say, that would mean that they too would be accountable for their actions.

Though the story’s main focus as per the blurb was supposed to be on Elena and Raphael’s invitation to the ball that Lijuan was throwing for them in The Forgotten City of Beijing, China, this doesn’t materialize until we are almost at the end of the story. But I believe what happened prior to the event was needed to make the story appear more wholesome.

Now that I have discovered this series, I find it quite difficult to drag my mind and heart away from these books and turn my attention towards anything else, but trudge on I must. Quite a bad time for this to happen with a lot of deadlines right around the corner. One very striking point in the story for me was the entrance of Naasir into the picture, and oh what an enigmatic character he makes out to be! The following quote should suffice as to why he made such an impact with his entrance, which I am sure is a sentiment echoed by almost all readers when it comes to him.

All the angels were gone, but a vampire moved out of the shadows as she exited the house. His skin was a shade that drew the eye, inviting tactile contact—a dark, dark brown with an undertone of true gold. The color was so rich, so warm that it shimmered even as the moon slid behind a cloud, enveloping the Refuge in purest night. But his eyes, a brilliant, impossible silver, pierced the darkness as if it didn’t exist. Hair of the same shade as his eyes fell around his face, sleek and cut in jagged lines that accentuated the angle of his jaw.
“A tiger,” she whispered, watching him walk to her, though to call it a walk was a gross disservice. His stride was the fluid, silent prowl of the animal she sensed around him. “You have the scent of a tiger on the hunt.” Rich, vibrant, deadly.
“I am Naasir.” His voice was cultured, his words gracious, but those metallic eyes watched her with unblinking focus. “Dmitri asked me to assist you.”

The Guild Hunter series I believe is Nalini giving reins to the darker side of her uber talented mind, which is something I am eternally grateful for. For those that love a good urban fantasy series with a strong heroine and a melt-your-panties variety of hero, this series is definitely for you. Even if the stories are not about Elena and Raphael throughout, worry not. Because Nalini has assembled a cast of characters that would definitely win your heart over in more ways than one.

Final Verdict: Filled with darkness of the kind that is so well crafted that you can’t help but want for more!

Favorite Quotes

You can’t scare me, she thought to him.
A lie, Guild Hunter. I can feel your heart thudding like a trapped rabbit’s.
I’d be stupid not to be afraid. But I’m not going to back away from us just because you’re feeling a little extra snarly.
A split second when his lips stopped, then she felt them curve, his hand rising from her throat to cup her cheek. The white-hot burn of his power faded, was replaced by the erotic touch of his skin. Only you would ever dare say that to me.”

So tight and slick and mine.
Blatantly possessive, hotly male.
Her bottom rubbed against him with every undulation of her body, driving her to a fever pitch. “I need more.”
You can’t have my cock, Elena.
She trembled, tried to find her mind. “Why not? I’m rather fond of it.”
That got her another teasing brush across her clit. Sparks flared behind her eyelids, and she barely heard him through the buzz in her head.
You’re not strong enough to take what I want to do to you.

“Even if you fail,” he said, “I have every confidence that you’ll find a way to end my life before I stain the world with evil.”
Rebellion in those eyes. “We die,” she said, “we die together. That’s the deal.”
He thought about his final thoughts as he’d fallen with her in New York, her body broken in his arms, her voice less than a whisper in his mind. He hadn’t considered holding onto his eternity for a second, had chosen to die with her, with his hunter. That she would choose to do the same . . . His hands clenched. “We die,” he repeated, “we die together.”

They rose through lingering traces of angel dust, each fine mote kicking her further into a kind of heat she wasn’t sure she could survive. Groaning, she pressed her mouth to the uncompromising angle of his jaw, licking at his skin, sucking and tasting as he flew them home. Against her belly, he was hard, deliciously tempting. She wanted to close her hand around that heavy heat, but had to satisfy herself with biting kisses along his jaw.
He didn’t stop her, but his body grew increasingly more taut, his muscles electric with strain by the time they landed on the balcony outside their bedroom. She felt him slide open the doors, shut them after they entered. And then the archangel lost control.

Elena!
She couldn’t take all of him. He was too big, too thick. But I’ll have eternity to refine my technique. The sensual thought blazed out on an inferno of need as she loved her archangel, licking and tasting and sucking.
Brilliant white fire against her skin and she knew he was glowing, this lethal being she dared tease in the most intimate of ways. His response when it came, was starkly sensual. Your mouth—his voice sandpaper in her mind—is a little piece of heaven and hell.

It was the rawest, most primitive way to possess a woman, but his hunter pushed up on her elbows, gave him a challenging look, and said, “I’m waiting.”
He slid into her in a single hard thrust. Her scream echoed off the walls, but it was a scream that held equal parts demand and need. Gripping her hips tight, he pulled out almost fully, then slammed back in. There was no mercy in him any longer, but Elena didn’t ask it from him.
Learn to fly fast, Elena, he said as he pushed them both to a final, blinding peak. Then we will dance in the sky.

She pressed her lips to Raphael’s jaw. “But you, you’ve always been the rain, the wind, inside my mind. I taste you when I sleep, when I wake, when I breathe.”
If Jason hadn’t landed then, Raphael would have drawn Elena inside, taken his fill of her own unique scent. As it was, he ran his hand to close over her nape, brushing his mouth over the sweet curve of her ear. I will taste you tonight, Elena . Be ready for me—I won’t stop until you scream your pleasure.
He heard her heart hitch, her breath catch. But his hunter had never yet backed down from a challenge. Anytime, angel boy.

Her scream echoed into his mouth. He kissed her through the taking, through the raw, almost painful emotion of their joining. He kissed her until she gasped for breath, until her eyes went blank with pleasure, with passion, with ecstasy. And then he kissed her as she came down from the peak.
“Again,” he whispered into her mouth.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | eBookMall | ARe | iTunes

awesomeread

Review: Angels’ Blood by Nalini Singh

Format: E-bookangelsblood
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Guild Hunter, #1
Publisher: Berkley Books
Hero: Raphael
Heroine: Elieanora P. Deveraux
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: January 1, 2009
Started On: November 30, 2015
Finished On: December 12, 2015

Angels’ Blood is the debut book in the Guild Hunter series by the oh-so-talented-author-that-she-literally-takes-your-breathe-away, the one and only Nalini Singh. The praise comes backed by the thousands of fans who adore her books, of which I am definitely one. Her Psy-Changeling series is what got me hooked on her writing, the vivid beauty that is Nalini’s world building and of course the emotions that can go from zero to hundred with just a flick of the right words at the opportune time, which makes her books a treat in all the different ways that matter. Compared to the Psy-Changeling series, I would say the Guild Hunter series is a whole different ballpark. The Guild Hunters is darker, edgier and holds more fascination the part of me that actually wants darker reads of romance. By darker I don’t mean books that go into taboo areas, but by darker I mean books that explore sides of characters that are not generally accepted by the larger population of romance readers these days.

Angels’ Blood tells the story of Vampire Hunter Elieanora P. Deveraux (Elena), who is summoned by Raphael, the archangel of New York himself in the quest to hunt down one of their own, an archangel. Armed with little information to hunt and shut down the archangel who grows into a more formidable enemy by the minute, Elena’s frustrations are doubled by the fact that her response to the beautiful Raphael is far from what she projects it to be. There is an answering need that flares to life and grows stronger by the second, every single time the same desire burns in Raphael’s eyes that makes Elena breathless with wanting. And there is also the teeny tiny fact that Elena herself walks a thin line when it comes to her own life which hangs in a precarious balance given how unpredictable Raphael can be.

I love Nalini’s books for various different reasons, one of them being the fact that she gives each hero the space to be true to themselves. While most of us get pissed off about heroines who turn into doormats, I hate it equally as much when a hero changes the essence of what he is, all just to suite the sensibilities of the heroine. That is just plain wrong in my opinion, as the hero loses out on what makes him stand out, what makes him essentially himself, and I also believe that it is an author’s way of taking the easy way out rather than being true to the character that is crafted. Raphael is a hero of the kind I am talking about. Demanding, ruthless and powerful; Raphael has little choice but to be all that and more. Any sign of weakness and it would be the blood of thousands that would line the streets and he has no intention of letting that happen.

When Elena walks into his life, Raphael responds to her on a level that frightens, even him – if there ever was an instance where an archangel would feel fear, that would have been it. But there is also a beauty to that savagery inside of him. And then there is the loyalty offered to him by his closest, without him demanding any of it. That alone tells a story of the kind of man he is. Elena, while she struggles with giving into her needs when it comes to Raphael, at first refuses to see beyond the obvious. But slowly and surely, Elena starts to see a man who not only would be able to handle ALL of her, but a man worthy of being handled by.

There are so many things I want to know about when it comes to Elena, Raphael and the rest of the cast of characters that makes up the series, which I am 100% certain would have been the case with every reader upon starting this series. I bet that this story just skims the surface on the depth of the characters that Nalini has brought to the table. Raphael and Elena with their pasts mired in blood, Raphael’s more so in a way that made me want to curl into a ball and just weep. The fact that these two survived insurmountable odds to become the warriors they at present are serves as a testament to the strength of their characters.

Nalini’s descriptions of her world settings always comes with the right touch; not too much, and neither too little. I could almost envision the angels, their ethereal beauty as their wings take flight.

Absolutely recommended. If there is one paranormal/urban-fantasy romance author you should be reading, it is undeniably Nalini Singh.

Final Verdict: Ms. Singh’s world building continues to amaze and awe! Beautiful craftsmanship.

Favorite Quotes

The bald way he pointed out his power, and her lack of it, made her fingers itch for a blade.
“You shouldn’t look at me in that fashion, Elena.”
“Why?” she asked, prodded by some heretofore unknown suicidal streak. “Scared?”
He leaned a fraction closer. “My lovers have always been warrior women. Strength intrigues me.”

Lust in her throat, brutal and demanding. “But then, we both know about my self-destructive streak.” Stepping away, she put her back to the wall and faced him, willing her body to stop readying itself for a penetration she’d never allow. “I have no desire to be your chew-toy.”
The lines of his face might’ve been starkly masculine, but at that instant, his lips were pure temptation, soft, bitable, sensual in a way only a man’s mouth could be. “If I were to splay you out on my desk and thrust my fingers into you right now, I think I’d find different.”

His lips touched hers and she moaned. The hands on her hips tightened as he lifted her without apparent effort and began to kiss her in earnest. Fire traveled through the raw eroticism of the openmouthed kiss to curl her toes, coming to pool in the vee between her thighs. “Hot,” she whispered when he let her breathe. “Too hot.”
Ice silvered the air and it was a cool mist that surrounded her, seeping into her pores in a stroke of possession. “Better?” He kissed her again before she could answer, his tongue inside her, his body hard and perfect and—
Nothing else mattered.

He changed his hold to accommodate her. “Why should I kill you when I can wipe your mind?”
“I don’t want to lose my memories.” Even the bad ones, they were what made her who she was. Now, today, she was a different Elena to the one who’d never known what it was to kiss an archangel. “Don’t make me forget.”
“Will you trade your life to keep your memories?” A soft question.
She thought that over. “Yes,” she said quietly. “I would rather die as Elena, than live as a shadow.”

“Is that like a cat marking its territory?”
Raphael followed her gaze, flaring out the affected wing. “Michaela isn’t used to being denied.” Picking up a fancy cloth serviette, he came to her. “Wipe it off.”
The urge to rebel against the command smashed up against her need to rub that bitch’s mark off his wing. Stupid possessiveness won. “Turn around.”
He did so in graceful silence. Standing, she dampened the cloth with water before touching it to his wing. She was very careful not to get any of the sticky stuff on herself, but her caution appeared to have been unnecessary. “It’s coming off easy. Not like the one you dusted me with.” Even now, the light caught on stray flecks embedded in her skin, flecks she was sure Michaela had seen.
“I told you—yours was a special blend.”
Something warm and melty spread through her body. “Marking me, angel boy?”
“I prefer to do that with my cock.”

“No. I’ve never taken Michaela up on her offer.”
“Why not? She’s hot—tits and ass are all men ever see.”
“I prefer lips.” He bent and bit down a fraction too hard on her lower lip before raising his head. “And yours are quite succulent.”
Michaela’s, she thought on a crashing wave of pleasure, were nicely shaped but thin. But—“I’m not buying.” She didn’t change her position. “Who the hell cares about lips?”
“If you were on your knees with your lips wrapped around my cock, I would care a great deal.”

“You don’t strike me as the sharing type.” Her voice was raw.
“No. If one went to another man”—he began to pull out with slow deliberation—“there were dozens ready to take her place. It mattered little to me.”
She was almost beyond thought now, her entire being focused on the point where their bodies joined. What reason remained collapsed under the heady, seductive force of his words.
“If you take another lover, Elena”—he thrust back in, making her gasp—“what I do to him will become a nightmare etched in human memory.”

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | eBookMall | ARe | iTunes

awesomeread

Review: Shield of Winter by Nalini Singh

Format: E-bookshieldofwinter
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Series: Psy-Changeling, #13
Publisher: Berkley
Hero: Vasic Duvnjak
Heroine: Ivy Jane
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: June 3, 2014
Started On: May 21, 2015
Finished On: June 06, 2015

Shield of Winter is the 13th book in the Psy-Changeling series. The book that comes after the most explosive title in the series, Heart of Obsidian. Shield of Winter tells the story of one of the most enigmatic characters of the elite group of soldiers of the Psy race, the ones that carry out the covert operations as required.

Vasic Duvnkak is an assassin, a soldier and an Arrow. With the volatile changes that had been happening to the three races living on Earth, the Psy world as Vasic has known it is rapidly changing, bringing along with it regrets of the kind written in blood, a conscience mired by a past that cannot be changed. Vasic is drifting further and further away from the roots that had kept him grounded, and until the inevitable end of his life, Vasic is willing to do whatever it takes to continue protecting his race, albeit minus the allegiance to the corrupt elite.

Ivy Jane is an empath, empaths being the Psy that had been brutally and viciously hunted down when the Psy world was initially established. Ivy becomes part of the group that is rounded up by Kaleb Krychek in order to save the Psy from an illness that has been ravaging the minds of Psy, rendering them mad beyond help. Ivy is helpless in the face of the sickness that seems to be accelerating its way through the NetMind, the bio feedback mechanism that is crucial for the Psy to survive.

Ivy and Vasic are both newbies to the world of sensation that had been forbidden for the Psy for so long. Vasic more so than Ivy because of the conditioning, training and torture that he had been subjected to when he had first been entered into the training academy for the Arrows. When Vasic chooses Ivy as the empath that he would protect till the mission ends, Vasic finds in Ivy, for the very first time in his life, a woman who makes him want. Want something more.

The journey of discovery that these two embark upon is a beautifully sensuous one, one that only an author of Nalini Singh’s caliber can deliver. The bloody turn that Psy’s world takes doesn’t detract from the connection that springs forth between Vasic and Ivy, a love that is beautiful in the way it develops.

Though Shield of Winter doesn’t obviously live up to the splendor that is Heart of Obsidian, it nevertheless gives fans of the series a read worth sinking their teeth into. Vasic is the type of hero that we all would love to cuddle, pet and call our own. Not because he’s the cuddly, warm and fuzzy type. But because he is just the opposite. Reserved, a touch cold and aloof, Vasic is the type of hero that makes women want to claim them as their own. Vasic is downright delicious. Though a virgin, Vasic’s focus on “matters” at hand makes everything doubly more so sensual!

Ivy is just the sort of woman that a man like Vasic needs. A man on the brink of crossing over, not caring much about how or when his end arrives. But in Ivy, Vasic finds the sort of strength he never thought he was capable of, the strength and will to focus on living than the inevitable end of the cycle of life. Vasic’s back story is one that would make even the hardest of hearts thaw. Ivy’s equally horrific, but made a trifle bit better owing to protective parents. Beyond the romance, there is of course always the fascinating world that Nalini has created with this series, that in itself a reason enough  to get lost in these books!

Recommended for fans of the Psy-Changeling series. Nalini writes beautifully. That is one reason why these books are not to missed out on!

Final Verdict: In the fall of Silence, nothing will ever be the same ever again. Great storytelling, as always!

Favorite Quotes

Ivy bit down on her lower lip, released the swollen flesh . . . and tugged the top off over her head. Raising one hand to pull back strands of her hair that had curled over her face, she didn’t attempt to hide herself from him, the plump mounds of her breasts cupped by a confection of ivory satin and lace. “That’s not Psy issue,” he said, fighting every single cell in his body not to push the delicate fabric aside and look his fill.
Ivy’s own breathing was unsteady, her breasts rising and falling as if in invitation. “No,” she admitted in a husky tone. “I’ve always liked certain textures against my skin.” Raising one hand, she pushed off a strap.”

Ivy’s breath was a sob. “Don’t ever give up.” Using her free hand to cup the hand he had around her wrist, she bent her head to press a kiss to his knuckles. “Promise me.”
His entire body in shock at the sweet, hot caress, he nodded. For her, he’d conquer even the dark numbness that had been eating him alive for years. “I promise.” He touched her hair. “Ivy, I was trying to protect you.” He’d never intended this bond to form, never intended to cause her pain. “From the terrible things I’ve done, the destructive choices I’ve made, the broken mess inside me.”
Ivy shook her head, her expression haunted. “It was too late the first day we met. You’re inside me, and I’m inside you. It’s done.”

He squeezed her nape. “Kiss me,” he repeated.
Ivy licked her lips, slid her hands up to his shoulders, and confessed. “I don’t know what I’m doing.”
“Neither do I,” he responded, the glittering silver of his eyes on her mouth. “Arrows learn by repetition and practice until the basic skill is honed, at which point we begin to specialize.”
The words should’ve been dry, but they made her breasts swell, her nipples so plump and tight the lace of her bra became abrasive. Because he was talking about repetition and practice when it came to intimate contact. Kissing. Touching. Sex. Her lips parted and he lowered his head.
“Do it again, Ivy,” he murmured, his breath mingling with her own. “Repetition—”
“And practice,” she completed, and brushed her lips over his.

When Vasic broke contact, his forehead pressed against hers and his breath jagged, she caressed his cheek, kissed the clean-shaven smoothness of his jaw. Never had she felt so alive, so pleasured. But below that was a sexual hunger brutal in its ferocity, hard and dark . . . and then she knew. It wasn’t her desire she was sensing. It was his.
Body melting even further, she kissed his jaw again. “I’m picking up your desire. Do you mind?”
“No.” He kissed her again on the heels of that statement, one hand on her lower back, the other on the side of her neck.
Then he licked his tongue against hers.
Her brain exploded.

“Vasic.” Soft breath, Ivy’s lips on his throat.
Fingers tightening into fists, he stood in place, his head bowed slightly and his arms trapping her. Instead of fighting to escape, she kissed his throat again, licked out with her tongue to taste him. It made every muscle in his body go tight, the tattered vestiges of the psychological brainwashing he’d survived attempting to overlay the pleasure with pain, but he didn’t move.
“Vasic,” she whispered again, her kiss damp this time, the sensation going straight to his rock-hard erection. “My Vasic.”

Turning toward her, he braced himself with his palms on either side of her head, his bare skin inches from her, the heat of him smashing against her hungry skin. And his fury . . . that was a stunning thing, the storm in his eyes molten silver.
“I can’t give you what you want.” It came out ice-cold, but those eyes, those eyes . . . “I thought—” He shook his head. “You can’t change the core of a man, Ivy. You can’t take a man christened in blood and make him into something better.”
Ivy narrowed her eyes, furious at the way he continued to see himself. “I don’t want you to change. Haven’t I made that clear?” Rising on tiptoe, she fisted her hands in his hair. “I want you. All of you. Even the part that infuriates me.”

Chest heaving, Ivy stared at him, the suspicion on her face making something twist deep inside him, the strange emotion at once gentle and fierce. “Wait for me in your bedroom,” he said, taking what he needed because Ivy had said he could have it. Have her.
Ivy had fought for his right to have her.
She never denied him, never punished him by withholding the touch he craved—her touch—and he planned to take terrible advantage. Now and always. “I need to make sure everything is secure before I join you.” The mattress on his bed was hard, would discomfort her. “I want you under me, naked and aroused and mine.”

A lazy, affectionate smile that caught at his heart and refused to let go. “I flaked, huh?”
“You needed rest,” Vasic answered. And then he kissed her.
Ivy responded with the lush generosity that had already made him an addict. Sliding her arms around his neck and bending one leg at the knee to cradle him between her thighs, she surrendered her mouth to his desires. And he took, devoured. He hadn’t understood how starved he was of touch until he met Ivy. Now, she was the only one who could ease the piercing ache of his need.

His fingers curled around her nape. Are you going to be mad at me for this our entire life?
She nodded. You should’ve waited for me.
I never dared dream of you, Ivy. I never thought a man like me deserved such a gift.
Petting his chest, she said, You’re my gift, too, you know. I’m so glad for you every instant of every day. Even when I’m really, really angry with you.

“I need to ask you some highly personal questions.”
Judd reached down to pack the snow into a ball. “I’ve been hoping for a long time that someone else in the squad would get to the point where a discussion like this would be necessary.” Rising, he threw the snowball with a fast arm. “Ask.”
“How do you control your telekinesis while intimate with your mate?”
“I broke a damn lot of furniture at the start, including two beds.” A curious glance. “What are you doing?”
“Traveling around the world.”

“This will likely hurt.” He didn’t like the idea, but it was a biological fact they couldn’t escape.
Ivy wrapped her legs around his hips. “Love me, let me love you.”
He gritted his teeth, guided himself to her, and began to push. She was slick and hot and so tightly stretched around him that he felt he’d rip her open. “Ivy.”
Clutching at his shoulders, she gasped, “So . . . you’re built in proportion, then.”
The unexpected words gave him the breathing room he needed. Kissing her on that sweet, soft, generous mouth, he said, “Unfortunately.”
A sensually feminine smile. “I have a feeling that won’t be the correct description once we begin to do this on a regular basis.”

“Leaving them tangled around her thighs, he squeezed one cheek with a blatantly possessive touch, then dipped his hand between her legs. “You’re liquid.” Crushed rocks and sexual heat, that was his voice.
Ivy’s answer required no thought. “Because it’s you.”
Movement behind her, the back of his hand brushing her buttocks. The sound of a zipper. Fabric being pushed down. And then he was gripping her hips to tilt her farther forward as he pushed into her with relentless focus. Making incoherent sounds of need, she was hardly aware of the world altering between sand and the wall and back over and over. Every cell in her body was focused on Vasic, on feeling the thick intrusion of him stretching her flesh.
This position permitted nothing else.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | ARe | eBookMall | iTunes

greatread

ARC Review: Montana Actually by Fiona Lowe

Format: E-bookmontanaactually.png
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Medicine River, #1
Publisher: Berkley
Hero: Josh Stanton
Heroine: Katrina McCade
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: January 6, 2015
Started On: May 19, 2015
Finished On: May 20, 2015

Dr. Josh Stanton’s move to Medicine River County, to a town called Bear Paw comes from the need to quickly pay off his student loans. The move from Chicago hadn’t come easy for Josh. The relationship that he has just gotten out of, after being burnt from the brunt of it all doesn’t make it any easier to bear. Josh comes from a family of prestigious surgeons. The fact that he had chosen to specialize in ER medicine and lands in a town which requires he divide his time between the clinic and the ER isn’t an irony lost on him.

Katrina McCade returns to her hometown after eight years of living it up outside of it. What brings her home back to her family is too shameful for her to reveal. The fact that she had been duped by the man she had been in love with, ready to share her life with is something that is proving quite difficult for Katrina to get over from. The last thing she needs is for the entirely too irresistible Dr. Josh to be her new tenant, a man who makes her stir crazy from desire one minute and makes a side of her she is not too comfortable with to rear up the next.

While the attraction between Katrina and Josh is inevitable from the start, what makes the story juicier is that neither of them wants to be in a relationship and thinks of their non-relationship as a sort of “people who can barely stand each other – benefits” sort of agreement. What neither of them bets on is finding things that they both like, respect and eventually come to love about each other. But the scars left behind from previous relationships prove to be not that easy to get rid of. However, it does deliver the sort of deliciousness that proved Montana Actually to be a book that was hard to put down.

Fiona Lowe makes it so easy to fall in love with every single aspect of this book. From the reluctant and very sexy Dr. Josh to Katrina to the whole bunch of secondary characters that brings the whole story alive; there is nothing I would change in any of it. The entire setting, how Josh who would like nothing better than for the nightmare he has been saddled with to be over, finds himself slowly settling into the pace of life at Bear Paw and finding it in his heart to accept and be accepted into a tightly knit community was a wondrous thing to watch unfold.

Every single character that appeared in the story was endearing and unique in their own way. The secondary romance included in the story was just the icing on the cake if you ask me. Fiona’s insight and sensitivity in handling a character such as Beau with his speech difficulties reminded me of Ellen O’Connell’s story Without Words. There is an emotional impact when characters such as Beau are delivered in the right manner that just makes a story that much more worth savoring.

The sparks between Josh and Katrina that emerge from the very beginning was a sight to behold and enjoy as well. Josh with his reluctant fascination towards a woman who makes him want to grit his teeth at times and then makes every primal instinct within him come alive at the very next second shakes him up unlike anything else. The pain that Josh holds in his heart from the life and relationship that he’d left behind is very real one, one that nearly broke my heart. But the delicious fun that Josh indulges in with Katrina, all in the name of just sex alone of course, was too fun to watch to dwell on the pain and heartache. And before I knew it, I was in love with Dr. Josh myself.Oh well, who am I kidding. I was in love with him the minute he stepped into the shower – with all his clothes on!

Katrina herself has got a past that rivals Josh’s. The fact that she had come back to her hometown after so long speaks volumes. Her heart had broken into pieces when her last relationship had ended with disillusionment of the kind she never thought possible hurting her soul. Katrina swears off men, especially doctors and the last thing she needs is to have lascivious thoughts about the town’s new physician. But that’s exactly what she ends up doing and more and it was sheer joy to see these two make their way towards their happily ever after.

While the story might seem all light, fluff and laughter, it was hardly that. There is enough emotion in it to practically sucker punch you over and over again. It takes a rare kind of book for me to shed actual tears and Montana Actually turned out to be one of those unique books with the ability to make me bawl my eyes out. Perhaps it was because I was in a pensive mood myself or because Fiona Lowe is that good; I’m going to go with the latter, I had to stop reading at a certain point and take a break because the emotional impact of it all was too overwhelming to continue. I don’t mean to scare any of you into not picking this up; let me reassure you that you would want to continue because there is definitely love and laughter at the end and of course the delicious sneak peak into the second book in the series to contend with!

It is tough to pull off a book with multiple characters and even plot in a secondary romance and make ALL of it work to give such a deliciously beautiful book. I for one am kicking myself for having waited this long to read this. Oh well. Life happens and my reading ambitions definitely have a way veering off track during those times. Last but not the least dear Ms. Lowe, keep em’ coming. For there is nothing more that reaffirms my belief that romance books are what keeps the world turning than a good book that engages all my emotions.

Final Verdict: Fiona Lowe effortlessly charms her way into your heart with Montana Actually. Recommended!

Favorite Quotes

Josh strode quickly through the door, filling the diner with his height, his breadth and his restless energy.
Light gray eyes—eyes that no longer looked like a red trail map—met hers. A flare of surprise burned in them along with something that made her shiver in a very good way. As fast as it had glowed brightly, it faded away leav- ing her wondering. In its place was the more familiar and slightly detached gaze.
She swallowed hard, determined to sound cool, calm and collected. “Doctor Stanton.”
“Nurse McCade.” He eyed the coffeepot in her hand suspiciously. “I hope you’re more in control of hot coffee than paint.”

One minute there was a safe and healthy distance between them, and then the old sofa cushions caved inward, rolling her sideways. Her shoulders bumped into his arm and then she fell across him. Suddenly, she found herself sprawled half on his lap.
“Sorry,” she spluttered as her body squealed in delight. “This sofa is a disaster.” She tried to move but the sucking cushions pinned her against him—a solid wall of muscle radiating heat. Heat that wove through her, taunting her with delicious quivers that danced and swirled before rushing straight to the apex of her thighs.

He groaned and, tantalizingly slowly, traced the outline of her top lip with the tip of his finger. Like a match to paper, she went up in flames as heat and joyful anticipation rocked her. She opened her mouth under his touch, her tongue licking the tip of his finger before her lips sucked it inside her mouth.
The black pupils of his eyes bled into the silvery gray. “Dear God, you’re killing me.” As he withdrew his finger, his other hand curved around the back of her neck and he kissed her.

The kiss was deliciously restrained and divinely decadent. Honor and lust—a kiss of the ages. A kiss any woman would envy.
A kiss that was driving her wild. She wanted to shake the control and unleash the passion.
Tingling from head to toe and desperate to really taste him, she opened her mouth under his, flicked out her tongue and invited him in. He didn’t hesitate. He branded her with his heat and his need for her, both giving and taking, and her knees buckled. She grabbed onto his shirt and he staggered backward, bringing her with him.

He waited for her to say or do something to tell him exactly what she wanted, but she stayed silent, so he lowered his mouth to hers.
He tasted salt, beer and restraint. He lightly nipped her lower lip.
She moaned, rose on her toes and opened her mouth under his, taking him in.
Thank you.

“If I didn’t think it would give you a swelled head, I’d tell you that the reality of you naked, even fuzzily out of focus, far outshines the fantasy.”
He grinned at her with dimples dancing. “I aim to please.”
“So do I.” She closed her hand around him, loving the hot and silken feel of him in her palm.
“Jesus, Katrina,” he moaned as his hands reached for her. “Too much of that and I won’t be pleasing you for another twenty minutes.”
“Where’s your self-control?” she teased.
“I lost it the moment I met you.”

She wasn’t sure if she crawled up him or if he lifted her or if it was a bit of both, but suddenly her arms and her legs were wrapped tightly around him and her back was pressed up against the tiles.
All of her quivered with unmet need and her body screamed for him. “Fill me up.”
Snowstorm gray eyes gazed into hers, filled with match- ing need. “Now?”
“Yes, please, right now.”
He pushed up. She pressed down and beseeching muscles gripped him tight, so tight it was as if they were scared he might change his mind.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | ARe | eBookMall | iTunes

fantasticread

Review: My Beautiful Enemy by Sherry Thomas

Format: E-bookMyBeautifulEnemey
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: The Heart of Blade Duology, #2
Publisher: Berkley
Hero: Leighton Atwood
Heroine: Bai Ying-hua
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: August 5, 2014
Started On: October 2, 2014
Finished On: October 4, 2014

My Beautiful Enemy by Sherry Thomas follows closely on the heels of The Hidden Blade. I would say this once again, this time having finished the 2nd book that signals the end of this duology; you have to read The Hidden Blade first in order to really get into the characters Leighton Atwood and Bai Ying-Hua (Catherine Blade), whose tragic and moving pasts entwine both of them in a way that’d not be felt if you just end up reading My Beautiful Enemy as a standalone.

My Beautiful Enemy tells the story of Catherine Blade aka Bai Ying-hua, who is tracking the three jade tablets for the treasure it might unearth based on the legend of the monks that had been a part of Catherine’s life when she had been growing up. She seeks the tablets on behalf of her stepfather Da-ren, the closest thing she has left as family, to win his approval and perhaps be considered worthy of all that he had done for her.

Catherine is well versed in the art of fighting, she is like a lethal blade honed to perfection. But her life had not come without making a formidable enemy in its wake. The man who searches for her seeks vengeance of the kind that needs Catherine to be in her best form, something she has been hard pressed to achieve ever since the last encounter between them. Her journey takes her to London, the stories of a city that teems with life according to her childhood friend that fails to live up to her expectations. And then it happens; she crosses paths with that of her lover, the lover that she had poisoned trying to kill him, the man she’d searched for in vain after, the man who still has the ability to bring her to her knees, the only man she has ever loved.

Leighton hasn’t forgotten the young woman who had slayed his heart in the Chinese Turkestan 8 years back. His love for her had been swift, but it had been a relationship based on half-truths at best, which hadn’t served well for either of them when the time had come. Seeing a different version of the woman he has tried to forget all these years throws him for a loop, and Leighton is hard pressed to act normally and not let his fiance think anything untoward about his aloofness around Catherine.

Old habits die hard and before Leighton knows it, he is swept into his old role of taking care of Catherine, looking after her well being because Leighton would rather die himself than see any harm come to Catherine. My Beautiful Enemy consists of a lot of flashbacks into the entwined pasts of Leighton and Catherine, how they meet and how the beautiful man that Leighton is wins the prickly Catherine over with his gentleness, charm and the fact that when it comes to Catherine, his heart had never stood a chance.

For the most part, Catherine comes across as someone who is straightforward and assumes a no nonsense lifestyle. Though well versed in the etiquettes of what is deemed as proper behavior for a lady, beneath the facade that she presents to the rest of the world lies a heart filled with loneliness, an aching soul that yearns for nothing else but love. Her past had taught her to be wary, but when it comes to Leighton there is little fight left in her when she had already succumbed to his touch years ago. I didn’t like the flashbacks all so much. I felt that one reason why I failed to connect to both Leighton and Catherine as the story progressed was because all that had indeed connected them happens through flashbacks in the story.

My Beautiful Enemy is certainly different from the books that I have read from Sherry Thomas to-date. This tale doesn’t focus mainly on the element of romance between Catherine and Leighton. Rather I would say this duology focuses on the fated connection between Catherine and Leighton that spanned continents all those years back, the near miss of a meeting that should have happened between them and how years later, finally, Catherine and Leighton find their way towards each other.

I felt a trifle bit disappointed with the steam factor of My Beautiful Enemy, perhaps the reason why I felt that Catherine and Leighton’s connection didn’t touch me in the way it really should have. Especially, after having read the scrumptious scenes of passion that Ms. Thomas can weave in her romances; The Luckiest Lady in London will attest to this fact, needless to say I felt My Beautiful Enemy was a bit of a letdown in that sense. Point; I just didn’t fall as hard and fast in love with either Leighton or Catherine as I should have.

Entertainment wise, My Beautiful Enemy hits the spots. Emotional wise, thought I felt a bit disconnected from Catherine and Leighton, I was still swept away by the sheer magic that is Sherry Thomas’ writing.

And oh yes, this bit in the novel that describes my country, the Maldives, blew me away!

“There is a chain of tropical coral islands not far from the southern tip of India. And all around them the water is the exact color of the sky, and so clear you can see the fish swim. I want to take you there.”

I’d say Sherry Thomas has done a perfect job in describing a country renown for its beauty.

Recommended for those who love historical fiction and romance. Sherry Thomas is an author you ought not miss in this genre.

Final Verdict: A connection that defies time and distance; a love that knows not the span of continents.

Favorite Quotes

When he returned, one window of his room was wide open, the curtain whipping in the draft.
Someone with her skills could have easily closed the window behind herself, if she wanted to.
Instead, she had chosen to acknowledge her presence. Her invasion of his privacy.
And in doing so, reaffirmed the desire on her part that had set him on fire, like a city already ransacked.

Slowly she lowered the dagger, but the pulse at her throat grew ever more agitated. Her gaze landed on his lips. He held his breath, his heartbeat wild. He remembered the taste of her skin, the texture of her hair, the lithe shape of her body pressed into his. He remembered the whimpers of pleasure that escaped her, the glazed look in her eyes, the way she writhed and clung and took him ever deeper inside herself.
The parlor echoed with the sounds of their breaths.
She pivoted and walked out.
Behind her, the bead curtain shook and swayed, as restless as the desires of his heart.

She felt her lips tremble, her throat constrict. He’d gone back twice? “You must not have realized that I caused your occasional disability.”
“I have known it for years. The poison in your salve was extraordinarily powerful.”
She could scarcely believe it. The backs of her eyes prickled. “And still you looked for me?”
He exhaled. “And still I looked for you.”
Something hot and wet rolled down her cheek. “I left Chinese Turkestan in the winter of eighty-three. I never went back.”
He closed his eyes for a moment and let go of her. “I guess some things are not meant to be.”
Neither of them said anything more. And then the silence became that of his absence, a silence that she had come to know all too well.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iTunes | eBookMall | ARe

goodread