The Most to Lose by Laura Landon

Historical Romance

The Most to Lose is the second book by Laura Landon that I have read. I enjoyed the first one and when another came up on Amazon Vine. I did not hesitate to ask for a copy.

Here is the Amazon summary:

“Some day, when you have the most to lose…I’ll take it all.”

 

Jonah Armstrong, Earl of Haywood, and the Duke of Hadleigh were best friends until a scandal involving Hadleigh’s fiancée destroyed their friendship. Three years later, Jonah returns from the Crimea as a war hero and London’s most eligible bachelor, setting the gossip afire and fanning Hadleigh’s long-simmering rage into an inferno. Hadleigh has not forgotten his old friend’s betrayal, and now that Jonah has returned, he will take his revenge. 

 

Lady Cecelia Randolph has loved Jonah Armstrong for as long as she can remember. The moment they share a passionate kiss, she dares to hope that he feels the same for her and that his attention is driven by more than his desire to taunt her brother or his desperation for her dowry. It isn’t until Hadleigh’s quest for vengeance nearly destroys her that she realizes that Jonah loves her enough to risk everything to protect her.

 

 The Most to Lose has a very interesting plot.  I really did not see how some of the problems would be resolved.  Of course, I knew there had to be a solution if there was to be a HEA.  I did wonder why the two who knew the truth about one of the characters waited so long to reveal it.

I liked both Jonah Armstrong, the Earl of Haywood, and Lady Cecilia Randolph.  Jonah is a character with a lot of strength and a strong sense of fair play.  Cecilia believes the best of the people around her, is very plain spoken and does not see what a wonderful person she is.  Cecilia’s brother, the Duke of Hadleigh, is an ass.  He is driven by anger and will do anything to get revenge for what he thinks is a past wrong.  Cecilia’s good friend, Lady Amanda Radburn, is as outspoken as Cecilia and loves to take potshots at Hadleigh.  The dialog between the four characters keeps the story moving. 

 The Most to Lose is a good well-written and fast paced historical romance.  I did have to suspend disbelief part of the time but it is fiction so it did not impede my enjoyment of the story.

Montlake Romance published The Most to Lose by Laura Landon in 2012.

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The Marriage Trap and The Marriage Mistake by Jennifer Probst

Contemporary Romance

I received both The Marriage Trap and The Marriage Mistake from Edelweiss.  The books are the second and third in a series.  I haven’t read the first book but that didn’t make any difference in following the stories. At the heart of each story the main character uses a love spell found in a book.  They write what they want in a husband, do the spell and then burn the paper in a fire that is part of the spell.  The theme in both books are marriages that do not start as love stories but end up with a HEA. The love spell brings  exactly what Maggie and Carina asked for in a husband.

Here is the Goodreads summary for The Marriage Trap:

In order for his sister to marry, Italian billionaire Michael Conte has to find himself a bride – and fast! When he learns that photographer Maggie Ryan is going to be in Milan, Michael hatches a plan to introduce her to his family as his “fiancée.” Never mind that Maggie is confident, independent, and a control freak. Never mind that she’s everything he doesn’t want in a wife… and everything he wants in his bed!

Convinced that Michael is in love with her married gal pal, Maggie agrees to keep up the ruse if he’ll keep away from her friend. Besides, she’s not attracted to charming, ridiculously hot billionaires who drive her nuts. Once they’re in Italy, however, everything changes – and the sexual tension between Maggie and Michael goes from simmer to naked nuclear meltdown!

Both Michael and Maggie are great characters.  Both have run from the mutual attraction.  When you add the characters from Michael’s family you have a great mix.  Watch for how Michael’s Mother influences the story.  She is really sneaky.  This is a fun, interesting book that would make a good weekend read.  The characters in the next book play a part in The Marriage Mistake.

Here is the Goodreads summary for The Marriage Mistake:

Carina Conte has had a crush on her brother Michael’s best friend, Max Gray, since she was a teenager. Now she’s earned her MBA and come to work at Michael’s new venture, America’s fastest-growing bakery empire. But some things never change: her family still treats her like a child. With three drop-dead gorgeous siblings, she’s still the ugly duckling of the bunch. And Max, the company’s new CEO, still barely notices her.

Max knows Carina Conte is strictly off limits. But hot-blooded lust wins out at a conference when the two share a scorching one-night stand—and are busted by her mother! Now, forced by old-world Italian tradition into a marriage he’s not ready for, Max is miserable—and Carina is furious. Her new husband is about to realize that hell hath no fury like a woman transformed.

This is another quick fun read.  Carina and Max have a long history.  It is fun to see Carina try to ignore her feelings for Max and as Max is realizing his feeling for her.  Some of the time lines in the book did not mesh.  I think it was probably because this was an arc and had just not gotten everything edited.  The characters from the first two books were a part of this story.  Michael’s and Carina’s Mother is also at it again in this story.

Both are feel good stories and enjoyable reads.  That book with the love spell is still out there so there may be another story or two in the series.

Gallery Books published The Marriage Trap and The MarriageMistake you Jennifer Probst in 2012.

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Stacking the Shelves November 3, 2012

Welcome to my Stacking The Shelves post!  Stacking the Shelves is hosted by Tynga’s Reviews so follow the link and check out what other stacked on their shelves this week.  

Stacking The Shelves is all about the books I am adding to my shelves each week letting me share with you my excitement for my newest books.

 

Won:  

Warrior Prince  by Nancy Cohen– I was the grand prize winner in her Blog Tour Contest.

From Edelweiss:

One Good Earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah MacLean

From Amazon:

To The Princess Bound by Sara King

Barefoot in the Sand by Roxanne St Claire

Wyvern (Elfhome) by Wen Spencer

Blue Sky (Elfhome) by Wen Spencer

From Netgalley:

Wicked Wedding of Miss Ellie Vyne  by Jayne Frenisa

Checkmate, My Lord by Tracey Devlyn 

From Barnes and Noble:

Silent Night (A Lady Julia Christmas Novella) by Deanna Raybourn 

         
         
         
         
         
         
         

 

   

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Book Beginnings on Friday November 2, 2012

 

Book Beginnings on Friday is a meme hosted by Gilion at Rose City Reader. Anyone can participate; just share the opening sentence of your current read, making sure that you include  include the title and author so others know what you’re reading.

 

 

My book beginning this week is from and All The Stars by Andrea K Host.

 

“Madeleine Cost’s world was a tight, close space, a triangular tube tilted so her head lay lower than her feet.”

 

It does not sound like where I want to live.  Here is the Goodreads summary: 

 

Madeleine Cost is working to become the youngest person ever to win the Archibald Prize for portraiture. Her elusive cousin Tyler is the perfect subject: androgynous, beautiful, and famous. All she needs to do is pin him down for the sittings.

None of her plans factored in the Spires: featureless, impossible, spearing into the hearts of cities across the world – and spraying clouds of sparkling dust into the wind.

Is it an alien invasion? Germ warfare? They are questions everyone on Earth would like answered, but Madeleine has a more immediate problem. At Ground Zero of the Sydney Spire, beneath the collapsed ruin of St James Station, she must make it to the surface before she can hope to find out if the world is ending.

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Elfhome by Wen Spencer

Science Fiction

Elfhome is another great journey in the world Wen Spencer has created.  This is the third book in the series and can be read as a standalone but I recommend reading Tinker and Wolf Who Rules first. 

Here is the Goodreads summary of Elfhome: 

Book Three of the Elfhome series, the follow-up to exciting Wolf Who Rules and the award-winning fantasy-SF novel that started it all, Tinker.Elfhome.  A world of powerful magic, beautiful elves, man-eating trees, frost-breathing wargs, and god-like dragons.  Pittsburgh.  A city that has been stranded deep in virgin elfin forest to stave off an invasion by the merciless oni.  Its population of sixty thousand humans and a handful of elves are pitted in war that will only end in genocide.  Winter is coming.  Supplies are running low.  All political ties are fraying.  Hidden somewhere in Pittsburgh’s crumbling neighborhoods, a vanguard of oni are growing in number and attacking from the shadows. 

And children are disappearing.

Girl genius Tinker was once a human orphan, growing up on the Pittsburgh streets.  Now she’s an elf princess with all the bells and whistles.  She rules over a melting pot of humans, elves, half-oni, and the crow-like tengu.  Prejudices are rampant, pitting even the elves against each other.  Hoverbike races, concerts of rock and roll fused with elf music, and artist communes of human and elves are proof that Pittsburgh can be a place where races and species can meet and meld in freedom. 

Tinker is determined to make her city a place of such freedom.  She’s going to have to kick butt and take names.  And she has to do it quickly.  Seven elf children are already missing — and the oni eat their prisoners when they outlive their usefulness. 

Tinker uncovers ancient secrets and a web of betrayal as she searches for the children.  The oni will stop at nothing to win, so neither can she.  At five foot nothing, Tinker’s greatest weapon has always been her intelligence.  Politics, she discovers, is a battle of wits, and she’s heavily armed.

There is so much in Elfhome it is hard to know where to start so I will just pick a place.

PlotPittsburgh, which had been the gateway between Earth and Elfhome is now stranded on Elfhome.  The gate between the two worlds was destroyed and has not been re-opened.  There is more that one race around Pittsburgh and trust between those who should be allies is almost non-existent.  While the oni look like the main enemy, maybe they are not.  There are others hidden in plain sight that are not what they seem.  Building trust while keeping from being wiped out is a big part of the plot.

Characters: All of the characters from previous books are back and a few new ones show up as well.  It is really hard to say who is the main character in the book.  The characters from different groups are a big part of moving the plot.  Tinker and Oilcan are both back.  Oilcan plays a much bigger role.  A whole group of young elf’s play a major role.  I love the names (Fields of Barley, Cattail Reeds, Rustle of Leaves and Merry) define what they are and what they can do.  Tommy, the half-oni, has a deep sense of honor, a need to protect his extended family but still works to help those who do not trust him or his kind.  And there are all of the elves who are interesting side characters. The characters and their action truly drive this story

Worldbuilding:  Now that Pittsburgh is entirely on Elfhome new things are coming to light. Dangerous and deadly events from Elfhome’s past are revealed as still dangerous today.  The world around Pittsburgh just get more and more complex.

Writing:  Wen Spencer knows her craft.  Like all of her books Elfhome is very well written.  The tension builds, the story moves and while all problems are not solved characters do get the good or bad that they deserve.

I loved the book and hope that the wait for the next one will not be as long.  There are two short stories available as ebooks and Baen has a short story that goes with Elfhome on the Baen web site this month (October, 2012).  Wen Spencer also has other books.  You would not go wrong reading any of them.

Baen published Elfhome by Wen Spencer in 2012.

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The Heart of Matter: Odyssey One by Evan Currie

Science Fiction/Space Opera

The Heart of Matter: Odyssey One is a book I received from Amazon Vine.  It is the second in the series and while it can be read as a stand alone I recommend reading IntoThe Black: Odyssey One first (follow the link to read my review).  The Heart of Matter lingered on my TBR shelf for a while, not because I did not want to see what happened next but because of the size of the book.  This is a trade paperback that is over 600 pages long.  A book of this size is just uncomfortable to hold and read.  Once I started I did not want to put it down but still wished it were not as bulky to hold.  If you have an ereader it might be the way to get around that problem and make it easier to read.

The story is very good however I do think it could have been edited down a little.  Evan Currie wants his readers to know how everything works and that is where some of the explanations could have been shortened or edited out without damaging the story.

Here is the story from Amazon: 

After an epic maiden voyage that introduced Earth to a larger universe—and a cosmos full of terrifying new enemies—Captain Eric Weston and the crew of the NAC spacecraft Odyssey have spent months cooling their heels under their admiral’s watchful eye. But when Earth’s newest ally, the Priminae, strike a defense deal with the North American Confederacy, the Odyssey finally receives her orders: return to Ranquil, the Priminae’s war-ravaged homeworld, and lend badly needed support against the invading Drasin.

 

Weston and his crew are hungry for action, yet once back on Ranquil, they realize not all is as it seems. Yes, the Drasin are a formidable foe, but Weston suspects a powerful unseen force is waging the war that could alter forever the face of the universe. Determined to unmask the mysterious puppet masters, Weston and his motley crew defy NAC protocol and venture into deep space…where they will discover an enemy unlike any they have ever faced. The long-awaited follow-up to the spectacular Into the Black: Odyssey One combines old-school space opera with modern storytelling to create an exhilarating new sci-fi adventure.

 

This is an action driven more than a character driven story and the Odyssey is again in the heart of the action.  The first part of the book sets the stage for the action in the last half.  Look for action, drama, surprises and lots of tension.  Like any good Space Opera just as you think all is lost something happens to save the day.  Don’t look for the action to solve the problem.  In fact the Odyssey discovers new elements that change the landscape and leave a cliffhanger for the next book.

 

Evan Currie writes a good fast moving story. The story reminds me of many of the classic science fiction stories.  The Heart of Matter has a strong hero, a great supporting cast, aliens that we can identify with and a enemy that is wants to destroy everything.  Behind all of that is a mystery that needs to be solved.  While the story is classic there are new elements that keep the plot new and fresh.

 

47 North published The Heart of Matter: Odyssey One by Evan Currie in 2012.

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Far From Perfect (A Love from the Heartland Novel) by Barbara Longley

Contemporary Romance

The blurb on the back says that fans of Jodi Thomas and Susan Elizabeth Phillips “will fall in love with the heartwarming and emotional tale.”   I am a a big fan of both and I agree.  Far from Perfect has just the same feel good reaction that both of the other authors produce.

Here is the Goodreads summary:

Noah Langford narrowly survived the roadside bombing in Iraq that killed five of his men and took his leg, leaving him haunted by flashbacks and riddled with guilt. When his stepbrother Matt dies in a car accident, the loss feels like the final blow to Noah’s shattered soul. But then he learns about the girlfriend and baby Matt abandoned years earlier, and suddenly Noah has a new mission…

Ceejay Lovejoy was nineteen and pregnant when her boyfriend walked out, disappearing from her life just like her parents did. Since that day, Ceejay has devoted herself to giving her daughter a better life, avoiding any man who could threaten that security—until the day Noah Langford shows up on her doorstep. His gentle spirit has an unexpected effect on Ceejay’s guarded heart, tempting her to take one last chance on love. But when a painful secret comes to light, it threatens to break the fragile bond growing between them…and to destroy a love powerful enough to heal them both.

I loved the characters.  Noah has PSTD but is working so hard to be able to live a normal life.  He is one of those people who want and need to take care of others but always takes the blame of anything bad that happens to the people around him.  Ceejay just does not trust.  She thinks that people will leave and break her heart so she had put up a wall to hide behind.  It takes a lot of work for the two of them to get together.  Far From Perfect also had a great cast of secondary characters who add depth to the story.

The title is a play on the town.  Perfect, Indiana sits on the banks of the Ohio and CeeJay’s goal in life is to leave because she thinks it is not the perfect place for her.  Noah certainly does not think he is perfect.  The word perfect plays a big part in the story.

The plot is well planned and written.  We know that there will be an HEA but the twists and turns keep the tension high.  Great character development plays a big part in the tension.  The writing is crisp and the dialog excellent.  Everything comes together and makes a great story.

There is a excerpt from the next book in the series at the back of the book.  After reading it I am anxious to visit Perfect again

Montlake Romance published Far From Perfect by Barbara Longley in 2012.

I received an ARC of Far From Perfect from Amazon Vine.

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Waiting on Wednesday October 31, 2012

 

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.


I am waiting for Unclaimed Bride by Lauri Robinson.  The book is already out but even though I pre-ordered from Amazon it will not be shipped until November.  Lauri is one of my favorite romance authors so I am really looking forward to her new book.


Here is the Goodreads summary:


Running from the past …she bumps into her future! Mail-order bride Constance Jennings steps off the stage in Cottonwood, Wyoming, and waits for her husband-to-be. But he never shows up, and instead several other men are vying to take his place!

Single father Ellis Clayton must be the only man in town not looking for a bride. But his young daughter’s habit of rescuing wounded critters means he ends up offering Constance a temporary shelter.

Having a woman around the house again is all too easy—especially seeing her bond with his daughter—but Ellis can’t seem to let go of the past.  Problem is, neither can Constance. And hers is about to catch up with her….


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Teaser Tuesday, October 30, 2012

 

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: 


  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers.

My teaser today is from Spinneret by Timothy Zhan.  This is a reissue.  The book was originally published in 1987.  Zhan set the book in 2016 and we are not even close to what the book says we can do but if you ignore that it is a really good Science Fiction Story.  I got the book from Netgalley.

 Here are my teasers:

 “From orbit Astra resembled nothing so much as a giant mudball on which someone had thoughtlessly spilled a bucket or two of pale blue paint” 

 ” I wish we had brought some paint,” he commented to the man beside him.” 

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Musing Mondays (Oct.29)

This week’s musing asks… 

Do you have people online that you often discuss the books you read with? Not just book groups, but individual readers who share the same taste in books? If so, what do you like best about this? If not, do you wish you did?

 

No, but what I do have are several other book bloggers with similar tastes that I exchange comments with.  Usually I will let them know when I really enjoy a book and they will do the same.  There are not long discussions using comments but it does give some feedback.

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