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Friday, September 30, 2011

Lovership of the Stake by J Morgan

Lovership of the Stake by J Morgan
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publications
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (219 Pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Foxglove

Joan Ravell thought she'd pretty much had her life figured out until a hit squad shows up interrupting that carefully laid out delusion. Next thing she knows, she finds herself drawn into the first Vampire war in three thousands years. That wouldn't be so bad, but her dead lover turns up unabashedly alive, truly blowing her world apart. Fighting emotions she'd locked away ages ago, Joan must team with the one time love of her life to unravel the ancient secret that now threatens not only the Vampire race but the entire world. Can the world survive a tension that's been building for over three thousand years? Oh, and then there's the Vampires planning to bring back the ultimate evil. Just another small problem to deal with when you're the original Queen of the Damned.

In this, the fifth and final book in J Morgan’s riotously funny Love Bites series, many of the threads that have connected the books are finally brought to a satisfactory end.

When you’ve been around more than three thousand years, you tend to make a few enemies along the way. Joan Ravell is one of the original vampires, and she has made lots of people angry in that time. Still, she has noticed that lately people keep trying to kill her. Joan is more than ready to take on all comers, but just when she is sure things can’t get stranger, her first and only love shows up to save her from the latest wave of assassins.

Since Joan watched Draken Ragul die three thousand years ago, she is stunned to learn he is still alive, and even more shocked to learn he has been following her for most of those three thousand years, staying in the background but watching over her.

When Joan discovers there is a plot to destroy her family, she decides to find the one behind the plot, and stop it once and for all. To do that, she and Draken must join her family in the hunt for the First Fallen, stay alive and stop the total destruction of the world as we know it. Then there’s the little matter of the love Joan still has for Draken, and her determination not to be hurt again. After all she has spent three thousand years trying to get over losing him and their baby, and now everything is up in the air for her.

Can this motley group of assorted vampires, humans and other beings get ahead of the one responsible for all the chaos? Can they find the First Fallen and prevent the end of the world? Can Joan forgive Draken for not being dead, and admit her love?

I love the humor and sarcasm Mr. Morgan injects into his writing, and the multitude of pop culture references continues to make me laugh at his sense of the absurd. The characters are all so much larger than life, and in this book, we are reunited with those we have come to know and love from previous books: Demetrious, Eli, Lyssette and the rest of the Ravell and de Mecini clans all make appearances here.

Joan Ravell has done everything in her power to forget the love of her life. She has spent three thousand years trying to get over her loss, and now here he is, back and complicating life for her. I love Joan, with her self absorbed and egocentric attitude. She is ready to kick butt and take names later, a strong and determined woman. I enjoyed her snarky and sarcastic take on life, and enjoyed watching as her love for Draken slowly surfaced to change her forever. I also had to laugh as Joan continued to name drop about the many historical figures she was involved with through the years, and her effect on each one.

Draken Ragul has been watching over Joan since his ‘death’ three thousand years ago. The proverbial tall dark and gorgeous hero, he still loves Joan with all his heart. He is loyal and regrets the pain he caused by leaving her alone all this time. I loved watching as he tried to convince Joan to take another chance on him and their love. He had his reasons for staying hidden, now if he can just stay alive long enough to explain, maybe he will earn forgiveness.

There is lots of action and humor in this story, along with a sweet romantic reunion. Joan and Draken get their happy forever after, and with it comes a marvelous surprise for them.

I was sad to see the end of the Love Bites series. But be warned, he promises to continue with the next part of the saga with the first of five books in the upcoming Bite Marks books, carrying on where the Love Bites series ended. I recommend this series for those who like laughter, sarcasm and a lot of romantic silliness in their lives.

Ordinary Angels by India Drummond

Ordinary Angels by India Drummond
Publisher: Trindlemoss Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (310 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 books
Reviewed by Orchid

Zoë Pendergraft falls in love with an angel, frees a soul from necromancers, releases a ghost trapped in the Void, and saves his living grandson from demons. Most of Zoë's friends are dead, but she doesn't mind because they died long before she met them. Then one Tuesday night an angel takes her salsa dancing and turns her world upside down. Grim reality closes in when she discovers a body in her company's boiler room and Higher Angels accuse her best ghost friend of murder. Knowing she's the only one who can stand against them, Zoë resorts to lying, stealing and summoning, all while trying to determine if the tempestuous love she's feeling is real. In the end, getting blood on her hands forces Zoë to question herself, and her angel to question her.

Zoe talks to dead people. To be more specific she talks to the spirits of dead people who have not yet moved on. This allows her to feel comfortable with the unusual events in her life, such a sharing a house with a her dead grandmother. One thing it doesn’t prepare her for is looking up from her desk to discover that the new office mailman is an angel. A really gorgeous angel.

Alexander has interfered with the mailman’s life so must take his place. He doesn’t bargain on meeting and falling in love with Zoe. His superiors bring him to task; interfering with a human’s life is forbidden in the angel society.

Another twist occurs when Zoe’s spirit friend Henry disappears, along with the collection of keys Zoe has given him over the years. From this point on Zoe’s life revolves round searching for Henry, falling deeper in love with Alexander and helping him fight his case with his superiors. Another problem is Grandma. She doesn’t like Alexander, or rather, she doesn’t like angels.

Ordinary Angels is an unusual book. Set in the paranormal genre, it has humour, danger and spicy romance. Zoe could be described as feisty. She allows no one to get too close to her, except for her best friend. Somehow Alexander breaks through her reserve. Her feeling for him at first confuses her until she admits her love for him. But how can an angel and a human possibly have a relationship?

Alexander is naive when it comes to how humans behave. At times he finds Zoe’s explanations unfathomable, but this doesn’t stop him falling in love with her. Aware his superiors decision could change his whole future he tries to distance himself from Zoe without success.

Unfortunately, Alexander’s confusion made him weak. He relies on others and doesn't succeed as a strong male character. Zoe tends to overshadow him, and this detracted slightly from my enjoyment of the book.

Ordinary Angles encompasses the love story of a couple from two totally different backgrounds. Both have their own problems with the relationship and with their lives. Their problems inexplicably entwine with each other to end in a surprising climax which ties up all the loose ends.

It's a book I felt was worth reading for the humour and the intrigue as Zoe followed the clues to find Henry. Quite a pleasant read.

Always the Wedding Planner, Never the Bride by Sandra D Bricker

Always the Wedding Planner, Never the Bride by Sandra D Bricker
Publisher: Abingdon Press
Genre: Contemporary Inspirational
Length: Full Length (319 Pages)
Heat Level: sweet
Rating: 4 books
Reviewed by Fennel

As a wedding planner, Sherilyn Caine should have the perfect wedding experience...

After all, she just landed her dream job at the wedding destination hotel, The Tanglewood. The rest should be a piece of cake for Sherilyn's Type A personality.

But while everything else goes smoothly, her own wedding plans start to sink right before her eyes. One way or the other, Sherilyn is determined to make this wedding work—until the latest development threatens to call the whole thing off. Is it possible that Sherilyn is allergic to her fiancé?

Always the Wedding Planner, Never the Bride, is the second book in the Emma Rae Creation series, but stands alone well if you haven’t read the first book of the series. This is not a fast paced fact at times it is a bit slow.

Don’t take me wrong, I enjoyed this book, because I was in the mood to be carried along with the light-hearted read.

Initially, there are a few too many occasions when I was catapulted out of the story while I tried to work out word choices and sentence constructions. On the other hand there is some wonderful phrasing, such as: ‘…wearing a fine Italian suit, polka-dotted with rain-drops.’

Ms Bricker plants her heroine, Sherilyn, in a new job back in her home town and skilfully threads in a back-story mystery which you know is going to come back and bite her heroine. It’s the way she achieves this that delights and surprises.

The author gives her hero, Andrew Drummond IV, and Sherilyn plenty of insecurities they both have to work through, sometimes alone and at others as a team, learning to strengthen their relationship. It is the way Ms. Bicker balances the inner and outer conflicts of her main characters and brings in a huge cast of secondary characters to help move the story forward.

After reading Always the Wedding Planner, Never the Bride, I will happily go looking for the first book in the series and keep my eye out for the next one.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sweet Justice by Christy Reece

Sweet Justice by Christy Reece
Publisher: Ballantine
Genre: contemporary, suspense/mystery
Length: Full Length (400 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 5 Books
Reviewed by Sunflower

Honor Stone is a young, idealistic FBI agent when her path collides with Seth Cavanaugh. For a girl who has never walked on the wild side, the dark and dangerous Seth is a temptation she can’t refuse. But then Seth walks out the door and out of her life. Five years later, Honor is an operative with the elite Last Chance Rescue organization and Seth is a desperate ex-cop searching for his missing niece—one of many young women who have mysteriously vanished from college campuses. Going undercover, Honor will attract the maniacal cult leader behind the kidnappings and find a way to work with Seth—while steering clear of the passion and need that’s just one touch away from explosion. Seth knows he had all the right reasons for the wrong he did five years ago. And from the moment he sees her—and takes her in his arms again—this former undercover man will risk everything for one more chance with Honor.

Welcome to another story featuring Last Chance Rescue, where the men and women of this agency put their lives on the line to save the lives of others. Their courageous acts of bravery give families hope that they will see their missing loved ones again. There's nothing they won't do, a place they won't go to help. If you're not familiar with the Last Chance Rescue, welcome to this intense ride. If you have been here before, welcome back.

Honor Stone needed a chance. Once an FBI agent, she has now joined LCR and a mission brings her face to face with her past: Seth Cavanaugh. Honor never imaged she'd see Seth again, not after the way they broke things off years ago. But Seth has a family member missing, and he needs Honor and LCR's help to find her.

Seth has been through hell and back himself. He was a cop on an undercover assignment when things came crashing down for him. He had to prove his innocence to his family, to Honor, and to many others. His life has never been the same. Leaving Honor behind was the hardest, and it's something he's never forgotten. Nor has he forgotten Honor. And now, being side by side with this woman again, old feelings resurface. But surrounded in the face of danger, rebuilding their relationship is the last thing he should be thinking about.

Sweet Justice is dark, gritty, and intense. The villains are pure evil. Ms. Reece uses masterful skill to create such a depth. There's no holding back. I must warn you this book isn't for the faint of heart. There are scenes in this novel that made me cringe and wince, but the fast paced adventure keeps building and building until the explosive climax of the book.

The reader is taken on a journey through many places, including a place called Tranquility, which frankly, is anything but. The unspeakable acts that go on there are anyone's worst nightmare. This is where the LCR team comes in handy. But there's a price to be paid to stop these people. I sat, biting my nails and eyes glued to the pages and I just had to keep reading.

If you want an edgy suspense novel, Sweet Justice is it. And if you haven't picked up other novels in this series, there are plenty before this, and there will be more released in the coming months.

Double Dog Dare by Jennifer Johnson

Double Dog Dare by Jennifer Johnson
Publisher: Turquoise Morning Press
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (202 pages)
Heat Level: sensual
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Sunflower

When Cheris McDowell wakes up in a hotel room next to the husband she doesn’t remember meeting, she decides the only practical solution is a quiet divorce. Too bad the rest of the world disagrees. As an Internet advice guru, Cheris ought to know how to fix the mess she woke up to, but when her own web master conspires to keep the marriage going, Cheris is at a loss. Geoff Arrowood III, her new husband, isn’t helping the situation. He’s way too charming and looks a little too good in a Tuxedo. Will Cheris choose a little storybook madness or the sensible advice of the wisdom she’s followed all her life?

Cheris doesn't do spontaneous. She doesn't do one night stands. She most certainly doesn't do eloping with a man she just met. But apparently, she did. She woke up married and she doesn't even remember the event!

Cheris is the type of woman that doesn't dream of that sort of thing. She feels that she doesn't belong in the kind of life that Geoff lives. He's got a great family, somewhat well off, and Cheris sees that as beyond her reach. She grew up a fairly rough life, and has bettered herself. I really liked Cheris' character. She is honest, a good person, and tries to live her live as best she can considering her past. She and Geoff are perfect together, she just doesn't know it yet. The whole town sees it, but it takes Cheris much longer to warm up to her husband.

Geoff is irresistible. He's charming, sweet, funny, and all of the characteristics a romantic wants to find in a hero. His whirlwind marriage to Cheris was interesting. He seemed so unusually calm about it all that it made me wonder.

The characters in this novel are memorable. I loved Geoff's family. His sister Janie, who is actually friends with Cheris, and speaks highly of her. Geoff's mother and father are great, especially his mother. Everyone is ecstatic that Geoff has found someone and settled down. If only they knew the truth.

Double Dog Dare is a sweet and funny contemporary story. I enjoyed it very much and had many opportunities to smile and laugh. If you love a heartwarming story about falling in love, Then I dare you -- double dog dare you even, to get yourself a copy of this great book.

Darn Good Cowboy Christmas by Carolyn Brown

Darn Good Cowboy Christmas by Carolyn Brown
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Length: Full Length (379 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 books
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Born and raised in a traveling carnival, all Liz Hanson ever wanted for Christmas was a home that didn't have wheels. After she was old enough to date she added one more item: a sexy cowboy.

She's about given up on Santa ever bringing either one when her father dies and leaves her an ugly house and twenty acres in Texas. Then rancher Raylen O'Donnell walks onto her property...

A story with a cowboy always hits the target, but add a little Christmas flair and a saucy heroine and you have a winner.

I know when I open a book by Ms. Brown, I’m in for a great time with characters I’ll never forget. This book is hot, humorous and a great time. I love a book where there’s a little bit of misunderstanding and a lot of longing. Ms. Brown delivers.

Saying Raylen is hot is an understatement. He’s smoking hot. He’s got Liz’s best interests at heart—oh and he really, really wants her. Did I mention that? Yeah, he does. Can I just mention the scene where he brushes her hair was Ms. Brown describes it quickly, but being one who likes having her hair brushed by her DH, I could literally feel the same things Liz felt and it gave me shivers.

Liz is...original. She grew up in a family who participated in a traveling carnival. To say she’s happy to have a house without wheels is putting it mildly. I loved her independent streak. I could relate to her because I could feel how much she wanted to do things her way and how much she struggled each time she was around Raylen. I mean, how could she not fall for the hottie in the cowboy boots?

I loved the cast of secondary characters and can’t wait to read their stories. The ending was fantastic and had me sighing and wishing it was Christmas (instead of wet and dreary like it is right now).

Grab a copy of Darn Good Cowboy Christmas and fall headlong into the Christmas spirit!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Clockwork Fairytale by Helen Scott Taylor

A Clockwork Fairytale by Helen Scott Taylor
Publisher: Smashwords
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Young Adult
Length: Full Length (187 pgs)
Heat Level: sweet
Rating: 3.5 books
Reviewed by Water Lily

Plucky, seventeen-year-old Melba was raised like a boy to pick pockets and run messages in the poor outer circles of Royal Malverne Isle, but she longs to move up the criminal hierarchy and become a spy. When nineteen-year-old Turk, a spymaster and local folk hero, accepts her pledge to join his gang, she thinks the Great Earth Jinn has heard her prayer. With his exotic, dark southern looks and wealthy lifestyle in the inner circle, Turk fascinates her. Yet he is not what he seems—he is really a monk working undercover for the Shining Brotherhood. The Brotherhood has secret plans for Melba, plans that make her a target of the evil Royal Victualler’s foul magic, plans that challenge Melba and Turk’s beliefs about life and duty, plans that tear them apart, just as they discover what it means to fall in love.

Melba is a perfect Cinderella-type character. Stolen as a child and hidden in poverty, she’s been raised as a pick-pocket and told to pretend she’s a boy. She’s cunning yet innocent, pretty (though camouflaged with dirt), resilient, and completely unaware that she’s a princess. She is easy to root for. Once her basic needs are taken care of and she’s able to accept her femininity, her focus naturally turns to matters of the heart. She doesn’t care about being Royal. People are what matter. She’d happily give up everything for love.

Master Turk is at once Spy Master and apprentice. He’s handsome, resourceful, magically gifted and bright, but not always wise. Those he’s most loyal to are not necessarily deserving of that loyalty. He’s been raised to be obedient while breaking the law. He’s a monk attracted to the thief he’s charged with transforming into the Royal Princess. So, what does a monk do when he’s falling in love? Why give up love for the greater good, of course. But what, exactly, is the greater good? And will that greater good keep Melba safe?

Vittorio, the Royal Victualler, lusts for power. Denied a father’s love as a child, he can’t seem to stop desperately seeking his father’s recognition as an adult. The past has taught him the being good doesn’t work, so now he embraces evil. There are moments when Vittorio seems almost human, but mostly he’s been corrupted by the dark powers he tries to harness to achieve recognition, power and glory. However, the respect and adulation he strives for continues to remain just out of his grasp.

The world Helen Scott Taylor created is rich and fascinating. It’s a world of Garbage Kings, the Shining Brotherhood, Foul Jinns, and clockwork creatures animated by apple spirits. I was drawn in almost immediately. Melba and Turk are engaging characters and Turk’s conflict is compelling.

My only real complaint? The prologue is a bit of a spoiler. It makes the story too predictable and isn’t necessary. I’d recommend reading it at the end or not at all.

Despite that, A Clockwork Fairytale is a sweet, fast, fun read perfect for the YA market. I’d give this book to my twelve-year-old daughter without hesitation, knowing she’d love it.

The Turquoise Dragon by Jane Toombs

The Turquoise Dragon by Jane Toombs
Publisher: Divine Destinies
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Young Adult
Length: Short Story (68 pgs)
Heat Level: sweet
Rating: 3 books
Reviewed by Aloe

Cozz: A dragon who fears becoming an outcast lays a wrong color egg. It's not in her nature to destroy it. Is that alien machine outside her cave her answer?

Earth: What happens when a young woman born to die and an impossible beast fall in love?

Imagine finding an egg that is robin egg blue. That’s easy, isn’t it? Now imagine it’s HUGE!

Ms. Toombs does a very nice job of weaving a tale of fantasy that will capture a young one’s imagination. Her characters are sweet and kind, the grandfather is a crafty thinker, and you instantly find yourself rooting for the dragon.

Nahma’s parents have died and she lives with her grandfather. Her best friend, Gina, has a childhood disease which is terminal. When Nahma finds the blue egg, she hides it so she can she see what hatches. She only shares the knowledge of her prize with Gina.

The author could have gone a bit more in depth about why her parents and Gina’s are dead, but it was not essential to the plot. Just got my curiosity up and might have given a bit more substance to the story. It is a very enjoyable story even without that knowledge.

Along with the dragon egg, Nahma brought home a blue seed pod and planted it. When government officials come around to see the dragon and learn from him, Gina helps Nahma hide the seed pod.

The author uses the grandfather’s video skills and comic drawings to introduce the dragon to the world and keep the officials from confiscating the dragon. I thought that was pretty inventive and added to the story.

Gina has fallen in love with the dragon, Turk. But there is no way a blue dragon and a human can mate. Or is there?

If you want to know what Gina decides to do and how it turns out, grab yourself a copy of novella and read it. It’s light fun read for young ones and I enjoyed it, too.

Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish by Grace Burrowes

Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish by Grace Burrowes
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Historical, Holiday (Christmas)
Length: Full Length (404 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 5 books
Reviewed by Camellia

All she wants is peace and anonymity...

Lady Sophie Windham has maneuvered a few days to herself at the ducal mansion in London before she must join her family for Christmas in Kent. Suddenly trapped by a London snowstorm, she finds herself with an abandoned baby and only the assistance of a kind, handsome stranger standing between her and complete disaster.

But Sophie's holiday is about to heat up...

With his estate in ruins, Vim Charpentier sees little to feel festive about this Christmas. His growing attraction for Sophie Windham is the only thing that warms his spirits-but when Sophie's brothers whisk her away, Vim's most painful holiday memories are reawakened.

It seems Sophie's been keeping secrets, and now it will take much more than a mistletoe kiss to make her deepest wishes come true...

Alone for a few days in the family’s opulent ducal mansion in London, Sophie sets out to do one of her good deeds and ends up in a crowded stage station with an abandoned, crying baby. Its cries bring Wilhelm (Vim) Charpentier into Sophie’s life and her dreams and wishes long put away bubble up with new hope. This kind man who understands babies and looks at six-month-old baby Kit with affection and approval makes Sophie long for things no “decent” woman would admit to.

Twenty-seven-year-old Sophie Windham is the sensible daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Moreland. Her exemplary ladylike behavior and her charity work with both people and animals are well-known. But restlessness had prompted her to beg off going to the family’s country home in Kent along with her parents. She promised to travel with her three brothers who would be going in a few days.

As a savage snow storm brings all activity to a halt in London, Sophie ends up with two male houseguests—baby Kit and Vim who is stranded and without lodging while on his way to spend Christmas at this estate in Kent.

Sophie and Vim do not use their titles when they introduce themselves, so neither is aware of the others station in life. In the cozy servants’ parlor of the mansion with a demanding baby to tend, they get to know each other without the usual pomp and circumstance associated with lords and ladies. Even though the mansion is without servants or family, the six-month-old baby makes a super chaperone as Sophie and Vim tend Kit’s needs, cook, and do mundane household activities while unintentionally quietly fall in love.

In the quiet still of night, Vim wakes to the sound of Sophie singing a lullaby to the fretful baby in her room. A peace, sweet and warm, gladdens his weary spirit, quickens an erotic pleasure in his body, and brings to life emotions that are new to him.

His oppressive loneliness for his “half-family” in Cumbria and his dread of going to his estate and its responsibility (that he had avoided for so long) abates. A sense of well-being bubbles up. Vim decides this may not be the depressing Christmas holiday he’d feared he’d have at his Kent estate Sidling where he is known as Lord Sindal.

The arrival of Sophie’s three brothers changes the human dynamics. While the brothers interrogate Vim, they can see their sensible sister has a special affinity for this man and agree, they will travel to Kent together and concoct a story to keep the parents happy about Sophie and Vim’s meeting. Each of the brothers recalls that they have Sophie to thank for helping them in times of great need. She’d helped them get their lives on track to a brighter future—a future that had looked black until she stepped in with her intelligence and common sense to set things straight. Their loyalty to her runs deep.

Grace Burrowes writes with an understanding of her characters that make them totally believable. She shows how their flaws and virtues war for supremacy and she does it with incredible tenderness and humor. She creates dialogue that brings life to the story as she quietly moves the plot along as she ratchets up the conflicts then bit by piece eases the tension as the characters face troubles and overcome them. Each character comes to know him or herself better as work through old hurts and move on toward a happy-ever-after.

Ms. Burrowes’ secondary characters add a unique richness to the story. Some of them were primary characters in her other novels—The Heir, The Soldier and Virtuoso. If you’ve had the good fortune to have read them, you’ll find out how these characters are faring in life (like catching up with old friends).

Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish shines with love, sparkles with humor, and shows the breathtaking special love between a mature man and woman, the inexplicable love for a child, and family love that withstands all and supports unconditionally.

Grace Burrowes’ exquisite writing style is a joy to read. Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish, like her other novels, is a keeper.

Knight Everlasting by Jackie Ivie

Knight Everlasting by Jackie Ivie
Publisher: Kensington
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (177 pages)
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: 4.5 books
Reviewed by Camellia

In the heat of battle, a powerful Scottish laird takes a mysterious woman captive…

His Powerful Desire

When Aidan MacKetryck finds a flaxen-haired maid caught in the crosshairs of battle, he quickly saves her from certain death. But while Aidan expects gratitude, he is sorely disappointed—for the fiery lass makes it clear she wants nothing to do with him…

Her Dangerous Secret

Juliana D’Aubenville is in hiding from those who want her entire family to perish. Despite her attraction to the strikingly handsome Aidan, Juliana knows she must escape before her identity is revealed. The trouble is, Aidan refuses to let her go…

Their Forbidden Love

With each moment Aidan and Juliana are together, their desire becomes more enticing—and harder to resist. But just as Aidan tries to lay claim to Juliana once and for all, their darkest secrets are finally revealed—putting both their love and their lives in terrible danger…

“Rash, reckless, thoughtless” Laird Aidan MacKetryck rescues Jullianna D. Aubenville, but Julianna vows he stole her. Pressed close together to hide from the enemy, Julianna feels sensations new to her while Aidan’s body and mind ignite with a desire like he has never before known, testing his self-control to the limit.

Aidan, no stranger to women, attributes the super charge of sexual desire to their near-death experience. He never felt such a need to possess a woman and deems it to be unhealthy and unbelievable. He recognizes she is a well-born, but assumes she belongs to the MacDonal clan. He doesn’t know she is one of the hated English.

While Juliana doesn’t understand her sexual response to Aidan, she does know how to survive. She and the steward, who had been killed in the foray that killed many of Aidan’s men, had escaped Fyfen Castle when Julianna’s father and all the household had been murdered. She survived the cold winter in a leaky croft, foraged for food, and disguised her identity. Stubborn, head-strong, quick-witted, and with a wicked tongue, she stands her ground with the barbaric Highlanders and patiently waits to escape. She withstands the rigorous traveling, the culture shock, the emotional growing pains that change her from the sheltered, well-brought-up English young lady to a passionate, independent-thinking woman who loves the volatile Laird Aidan Ketryck in spite of herself.

Secondary characters add a viciousness to life at the massive, impregnable Castle Ketryck. The “Black” Ketryck, Aidan’s uncle, plots against Aidan, Dame Lileth Fallaine-Dumphat works her magic (scary!) that augments intrigues, while Lady Reina works her special magic with Julianna—adorns her with scents and clothes that mesmerize the people at the feast. The many castle inhabitants who get caught up in the uncle’s machinations and Aidan’s determination to protect Julianna at all cost create adrenaline-pumping events that hold the reader spellbound.

Jackie Ivie is a fantastic story teller. Her descriptions of extreme emotion, whether it is a fight to the death or love making that transports to heavenly ecstasy, give the reader a vicarious experience in the thirteenth century Highlands where life was hard and the people who survived lived only by embracing extreme measures. Ms.Ivie weaves superstitions, humor of the time, unique customs of the Highlanders, and the unending struggle to hold on to power into Knight Everlasting, as she assails the reader’s senses and revs up the heartbeat with sensational loves scenes. WOW!