Born of Night
Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
Series: The League #1
Tags: SciFi Romance, space opera, assassins, princess, dancer, secret identity, tortured past, ragtag team
OoOoOoOoOo! Space Romance!!!
It's surprising that out of all of the OverDrive audiobooks I have read, the only other one about space is that dumb one by Jacquelyn Frank: Seduce Me in Dreams. Dumbest title ever, by the way. It feels grammatically wrong. I keep on wanting to say Seduce Me In My Dreams.
But this one was good!
It was a lot of fun.
When I first started reading and I got the gist of the hero's character, I said out loud excitedly, "He's The Duke!"
And by Duke, I don't mean the vast sea of dukes from regency romances (can't you see them all, bobbing in the ocean? They are chagrined!). I mean the Iron Duke from Meljean Brook's The Iron Duke.
Our hero is a hybrid of two humanoid species, despised by both, super strong with almost super powers, an assassin, with a long history of being abused, and has risen to the top of his profession to where he is untouchable...until some girl steals his heart.
Yep, that's our duke.
Not that it's terribly original. You can find a version of The Dangerous One in some form or another.
And what's with all the child abuse? My God, it's like it's the only backstory out there. If romance characters were real, I bet there would be a support group for them. Can't you just imagine all those dukes and vampires and aliens and shape shifters and billionaires and firemen and ex-cops and tattoo artists and rock stars, sitting in a circle, letting all their feelings out?
The book was enjoyable. High on the melodrama, but the hero was so sweet, awwwww. Poor guy. It's hard to be a kickass assassin sometimes. The heroine got annoying. She was one of those girly girls. Ugh. Not interested.
Major Obvious Plot Device was when she was wandering around his house, and found a box of videos marked "private."
Oh. So, that's porn.
Actually not. It was video surveillance from his childhood and adulthood that just happened to have all the significant moments in his life laid out for easy viewing. That time he was beaten for talking to a girl? Got it. The moment when his brother turns on him and shows his true colors? That one too. The moment right after sex where his lover rejects him? Yep yep and yep.
What is that? Why does he have it? Where did it come from? Why it is so easy to view? Why is it marked "private" if no one visits his house anyway? You're telling me that a guy who doesn't like to even think about his past managed to keep/make curated video archives of the top ten worst times of his life?
It should have had "Heroine Bait" written on the top of the lid because YOU KNOW she fell in love with him solely because she watched that. It helps too that the box exists. He never would have divulged that much information himself.
It was weird also that a few of those stories were repeated in their entirety. She watched it, and then he tells her about it later. A little too much.
It felt a little long, and the Heroine Bait was weird, but other than that it was a fun ride. Ragtag team! I think the next one will about his smooth talking friend!
RR: Twice Tempted by a Rogue
Series: Stud Club #2
Tags: Historical Romance, regency romance, big fella, hardened soldier, the moors, smugglers, tavern owner, woman business owner, widow, kickass heroine, childhood friends
Rating: super yay!
Usually I designate the Kickass Heroine tag to ladies with some sort of combat training, but the opening scene is her breaking up a bar scene by breaking a bottle over one of the guy's head.
I love this.
Let's start with the guy.
Our hero is the reluctant lord of a lemon of a Yorkshire estate. He got involved with those crazy dudes in the Stud Club by chance. Throughout the entirety of the first of the series, he follows the other two around, tossing out irreverent comments, offering to pound people, and taking naps at a spare moment. He grew up in an abusive home (let's get that support group going) and has since been on a mission to kill himself by running into fight or war he could find. So far, it hasn't worked, so he has come to the conclusion that Fate will not allow him to die. Despite it all, he's no great dramatist. He's not full of angst. He kind of shrugs it off with wry humor.
He's one of those guys I endearingly term as Big Fellas, tall and broad and hard and scarred. He's stiff from old injuries, not pretty. He's not a charmer, hasn't been with many women.
Enter the heroine.
She's the owner of a tavern, flinty, hard like him, and used to relying on herself. She gets shit done for the survival of herself, her loved ones, and the town and doesn't complain. She has a firm grasp on who she is and what she wants.
She also has been in love with our hero forever, since she was a girl. She is convinced he won't stay in town, and she's determined to get her chance at sleeping with him before he leaves.
He decides, in a moment, that he wants to marry her. They struggle together, him pushing marriage, her trying openly to seduce him, and it's delightful.
In the mix, we have talk of ghosts, a secret smuggling ring, a mystery on the moors, a dark past uncovered, multiple murder attempts, and the over arching mystery that spans the Stud Club series.
Rogues and rakes are all well and good, but I have a special place in my heart for the misfits, the recluses, the rough ones, the ones that aren't smooth talkers, that aren't particularly promiscuous. I've got a whole list of books with these guys if you do, too.
The thing I love about Rhys is that he's that, but he's also self assured. He's got an easy manner to him, despite his hard life, and bad luck. That takes some character, to survive all that.
And our heroine ain't no slouch neither.
I haven't yet decided if I'm going to reread the third of the series. The dude from it is annoying and SUPER angsty. But, y'all know how I love to complete my lists...
Pleasures of Passion
Series: Sinful Suitors #4
Tags: Historical romance, regency romance, Earl, widow, broken engagement, duel, gambling, counterfeiter, spy
I liked this one a lot more than The Art of Sinning, but I honestly can't remember much about it.
It was good.
When this showed up in my checked out line, after waiting weeks with it on hold, I was really hoping it was the second in the series. I really wanted to hear Barlow's story: stick-in-the-mud automaton inventor saves family friend from stalker with marriage of convenience!
Apparently that one's called The Study of Seduction, and it's only available in ebook.
Oh, well. Next on my list is a Highlander novel!!!
Taming a Wild Scot
Author: Rowan Keats
Series: Claimed by the Highlander #1
Tags: Historical romance, Highlanders!, witch, magic, bastard, secret ops, healer, burned at the stake, fake marriage
Let's please take a moment to bask in the glory that is this cover photo.
WHAT is she doing.
Is she playing the drums?
Is she counting his six pack by touch?
Is she giving him a breast examine, and slipped?
I think she is doing that game where one person puts their arms behind their back, and the other slips their arms through the gap below their armpits, and then pretends that their arms are the first person's arms, and waves them around a lot...
"Helloooo! Look at me! I'm a Highlander! I love bannocks and haggis! I once saw the Loch Ness Monster and she was THIISSS BIIIG!"
Onto the book.
It was fun.
It's kind of in between Lynsay Sands and Donna Gabaldon in Highlander seriousness (respectively, low to high). Not inundated with historical references, thank God. There's lots of mentions of Gaelic terms that I can't fucking find because I only heard them pronounced, and the Gaelic language is spelled in ridiculous ways.
The one I did find was leine (pronounced lay-nah). Our hero is always taking it off and putting it back on, and I'm like WHAT am I supposed to be imagining here??
It's a tunic. One of those long formless tunics you picture in the Medieval times.
I'm pretty much imagining him in Dobby's pillow case now.
He's so manly. (Meh.) He's always shoving her places, giving her orders, kissing her hard, fucking her hard...
She has fancy witch healing powers, so she's about to be burned at the stake in a hot minute.
He has a task to steal back some jewels from a baron, and blackmails her into pretending to be his wife, so that he has access to the keep. So, they fall for each other. Because that's what you do if someone blackmails you. And they're hot.
The hero is pretty opaque as a character, not a lot to him, so I am a little wary of testing more of Keats's novels, but if another comes my way, why not?