Feb 7, 2018

ARC Review: WICKED ATTRACTION (The Protector, #2) by Megan Hart

A female bodyguard with enhanced abilities. A billionaire playboy committed to destroying people like her. A romance they didn’t expect…

Dive into the second book in this fantastic new series set in the near future from New York Times bestselling author Megan Hart!

Ewan Donahue has made a lot of mistakes, but making Nina Bronson want to leave him has been the worst. With the initial threats on his life out of the way, he doesn’t really need her protection, but hiring her to take care of him again is the only way to get her back in his life. When Nina shows up ready to work —and nothing else — Ewan’s determined to win her back. If he can break through the walls his earlier betrayal built, maybe they can have another shot at love. When it turns out that this time, it’s Nina who’s being targeted for danger and possibly death, Ewan’s the one who has to keep her safe.

Wicked Attraction is the second installment in The Protector series in which new dangers emerged, and things got more emotional and complicated for the main characters Nina and Ewan.

Poor Nina and Ewan... I had that thought many times throughout the book, especially at the very end. The title of the third book made me suspect the story was headed that way, but, still, poor Nina and Ewan. I had that same thought at the beginning of the book.

In the previous installment, Dangerous Promise, Ewan and Nina met and fell in love. They had a short blissful time together before the reality came crashing in, and Ewan's secret came out. Nina left after that. Soon afterwards, Ewan used trickery and hired Nina once again. That was the end of book one.

The beginning of Wicked Attraction revealed that Nina stayed with Ewan as his bodyguard. She treated it as any other assignment. For Ewan that was the only way to have Nina near him to try to get Nina's forgiveness and somehow repair their relationship. With the time period and the world they lived in described in the previous book, there was no need for detailed descriptions in this installment, so there little left to distract me from the relationship between Nina and Ewan. I liked that very much. Like I said in my review of Dangerous Promise, complicated and emotional love stories is one of the main reasons I love Megan Hart's books. Speaking of emotional, I have to talk about Nina here. Ewan was more-or-less his same likeable self as in the first book, though not so set in keeping the laws about enhancement tech as they were. Nina, on the other hand, was quite different from the woman I first met. I think I would call all of Megan Hart's leading female characters strong women, but Nina was on a whole other level. The enhancement tech had made her into a super soldier, a super soldier who at the beginning of the series was incapable of feeling any intense emotion. By the end of the previous book that changed -- she had started to feel too much. She was like that in this installment, too. It was strange from someone as fiercely strong as her. Unsettling, even, and sad because she was feeling negative emotions.

Luckily, though very slowly, Ewan won Nina back, and for a while they were happy. They were a couple madly in love, and they worked together to change the laws which would improve Nina's and other enhanced people's lives. However, living in a happy bubble couldn't last. This isn't the last book, after all. New shady characters entered the scene, and apparently the old shady characters weren't done with doing damage. The difference was this time around, the one in danger was Nina. It was a danger neither Ewan nor her enhancement tech could save her from. Like I said, poor Nina and Ewan.

All in all, Wicked Attraction was a great sequel to Dangerous Promise and a great lead-up to the final book. I couldn't be more ready to see these characters get their happy ending.

***ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.***

Until next time, happy reading!


Jan 7, 2018

REVIEW: Bad Boy By Elliot Wake

New Adult/ Contemporary Romance/ Psychological Thriller

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Summary On Goodreads:

Vlog star Renard Grant has nothing to prove: he’s got a pretty face, chiseled body, and two million adoring video subscribers. Plus the scars on his chest and a prescription for testosterone. Because Ren is transgender: assigned female at birth, living now as male. He films his transition and shares it bravely with the world; his fans love his honesty and positivity.

But Ren has been living a double life.

Off-camera, he’s Cane, the muscle-bound enforcer for social justice vigilante group Black Iris. As Cane, he lets his dark side loose. Hurts those who prey on the disempowered. Indulges in the ugly side of masculinity. And his new partner, Tamsin Baylor, is a girl as rough and relentless as him. Together, they terrorize the trolls into silence.

But when a routine Black Iris job goes south, Ren is put in the crosshairs. Someone is out to ruin his life. He’s a bad boy, they say, guilty of what he punishes others for.

Just like every other guy: at heart, he’s a monster, too.

Now Ren’s got everything to prove. He has to clear his name, and show the world he’s a good man. But that requires facing demons he’s locked away for years. And it might mean discovering he’s not such a good guy after all.


"An eye for an eye. I’d blind the whole world if I had to." 

Just as it was the case with Black Iris and Cam Girl, the last page of Bad Boy by Elliot Wake left me feeling emotionally drained and in urgent need of hugs, but as every emotional junkie/ masochist reader I'm addicted to this type of books. Books that make you feel and leave some profound impression on you.

First of all - before reading Bad Boy, I highly recommend reading Black Iris #1 and Cam Girl #2, because the stories and the characters are intertwined. Otherwise you'll feel out of the loop if you jump right on this one. Bad Boy is a story about Ren, one of the members of the vigilante group called Black Iris which is dedicted on getting revenge on those who have wronged women. But this is not your typical revenge story. The story is more complex and thoughtprovoking than that, where revenge only makes a small part of it. First and foremost, for me, it's a quite powerful and poignant story about everyday life and struggles of a transgender with the addition of gender and rape culture.

Without spoiling anything all I can say is that you should read Elliot Wake's books if not solely because of the writing which is outstanding. Whereas I adored Black Iris and Cam Girl and can't recommend them enough, when it comes to Bad Boy I'll have to agree with readers who said that the concept of the story was good, I liked it, but I wasn't exactly satisfied with the way the author concluded some situations. With this I refer especially to the ending which was in my opinion rushed and to some point anticlimatic. To sum it up- there were some parts I loved and then some not so much. That's why this time it's 3.5 stars.

Recommended to the fans of thoughtprovoking mindfucks!

“We’re all trapped by something. Freedom is an illusion. It’s the wind in your hair as you plummet off the cliff’s edge." 

RATING: 3.5 / 5 stars



Jan 4, 2018

REVIEW: Wildfire (Hidden Legacy #3) by Ilona Andrews


Paranormal Romance/ Urban Fantasy

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amazon /   b & n / kobo

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Summary On Goodreads:

Just when Nevada Baylor has finally come to accept the depths of her magical powers, she also realizes she’s fallen in love. Connor “Mad” Rogan is in many ways her equal when it comes to magic, but she’s completely out of her elements when it comes to her feelings for him. To make matters more complicated, an old flame comes back into Rogan’s life…

Rogan knows there’s nothing between him and his ex-fiance, Rynda Sherwood. But as Nevada begins to learn more about her past, her power, and her potential future, he knows she will be faced with choices she never dreamed of and the promise of a life spent without him.

As Nevada and Rogan race to discover the whereabouts of Rynda’s kidnapped husband and are forced to confront Nevada’s grandmother, who may or may not have evil motives, these two people must decide if they can trust in each other or allow everything to go up in smoke.


Ilona Andrews simply can't do wrong when it comes to creating a compelling, action-packed and breath-taking urban fantasy/paranormal romance story with a fair dose of humor and fierce, charismatic and lovable characters. They show that with their every next book, just as they showed it with the third installment of HL series. The book was simply addictive. Unputdownable. I've read it in one day.

These two authors are one of few authors who know the perfect receipt when it comes to my ideal uf/pnr romance book and they keep delivering it every time. The series is fairly new, but they've become one of my favs as soon as I've read the 1st book. One of the biggest reasons for that are kick-ass, witty main and secondary characters who never disappoint. And I can't finish this review without mentioning the main hero - the (in)famous Prime Connor Rogan who makes me think R rated thoughts...dayum... that guy is definitely my new Barrons. 4 stars because of the Rynda case which was a bit irritating in the beginning.

Highly recommended to every urban fantasy/paranormal romance fan!




Jan 2, 2018

ARC Review: DANGEROUS PROMISE (The Protector, #1) by Megan Hart

A female bodyguard with enhanced abilities. A billionaire playboy committed to destroying people like her. A romance they didn’t expect…
Dive into the first book in this fantastic new series set in the near future from New York Times bestselling author Megan Hart!

Nina Bronson used to be all human -- until the experimental surgeries and internal technology that saved her life and enhanced her as a soldier also forced her to leave the army for private service. Now she and her peers are facing slow, painful deaths unless their technology is upgraded, and the one man keeping those upgrades illegal and unavailable is an obnoxious billionaire. A man too gorgeous for his own good.

A man she’s supposed to guard with her life.

Ewan Donahue is the public voice speaking out against the enhancement procedures of injured soldiers. But when his lobbying leads to death threats, he needs someone to protect him around the clock. He doesn’t want to rely on an enhanced soldier—Nina’s tech goes against everything he stands for. But he really doesn’t want her to be beautiful like she is. Doesn’t want her to suffer like she will.

Doesn’t want to succumb to the searing desire he feels for her. 

As a series of attacks on his life send them to a remote cabin, their close proximity brings them together in ways they never imagined. They know they must prevent the need simmering between them, resist each other at all costs. But when tensions are high and danger is close, passion burns hottest of all…

Dangerous Promise is a science fiction (I think) romance set in the near future written by Megan Hart. I read it because Megan Hart wrote it — it's as simple as that. I didn't even have to read the full summary to know I would be reading it. All I needed to know was that one of my favorite authors wrote it.

Science fiction and futuristic stories don't find themselves on my reading list often, probably because authors tend to set their books in a future time that's far from something to look forward to, but I wouldn't let that deter me here. The disturbingly near future Megan Hart created in this series is bleak: a lot of species are extinct, synthetic food seems to be on the main menu for most people, while real food is something only the rich can afford, humans have messed around with the Moon, and caused damage on Earth, and the United States now called the North American United States have been in, surprise, surprise, yet another war.

Nina Bronson was a soldier who got severely injured in that war and died, but she didn't stay dead. Enhancement technology was implanted in her body, and she survived and became stronger, faster, she became a super soldier. However, that technology had become illegal, making necessary upgrades impossible, so the tech which had saved her life would end it an a matter of few years.

Being enhanced meant Nina had to leave the army and work in the private sector. She worked as a protector, and her newest job was being a bodyguard of Ewan Donahue, the man most responsible for making the enhancement tech illegal. Ewan was less than pleased to have Nina as his bodyguard, but the threats on his life called for having someone extremely capable to protect him, and Nina was the best. Neither of them was satisfied with their arrangement, but they were determined to push through: Nina was a necessity for Ewan, and Ewan was a job for Nina.

Like the time the story takes place, the relationship between Nina and Ewan was cold in the beginning. It was nothing surprising given their backgrounds. What was also nothing surprising is that that changed because of all the time they spent together which really was all the time. They would have friendly talks, other times they would argue. With each attack on Ewan that Nina stopped, they became closer. Despite himself, Ewan was becoming more and more attracted to Nina, and that attraction wasn't one-sided. They danced around it a lot. It wasn't until the plan to find out who was after Ewan led them to Ewan's secret property away from anyone that they finally acted on it. That's when it got complicated and more emotional.

Complicated and emotional love stories is one of the main reasons I love Megan Hart's books, and Nina and Ewan's is apparently so complicated it needed a series to be told. Having read this book and about a third of the second installment, I can see why that is. Staying together won't be easy for them. That was clear from the beginning. The story is told from both Nina's and Ewan's perspective. What we find out about Ewan and what Nina wasn't aware of is Ewan's involvement in the development of the enhancement tech, and his reasons for lobbying to make it illegal. That was why his attraction to Nina was unwelcome, and once he developed feelings why he was afraid of Nina finding out about it. For the first time he was with a woman who made him think about forever. Sadly, he was having a hard time figuring out how to make it happen. It was the same with Nina. They were in love. Away from the world and their regular lives, everything was perfect in their little bubble. But the bubble burst. Reality and hidden truths came crashing in leaving them with heartache.

In the end I'll say this was another Megan Hart book I really liked reading. Dangerous Promise did what any first book in a series should do, and that is to make me want to read the sequel. I not only want to continue reading, I am anxious to find out what happens with Nina and Ewan. Wicked Attraction, here I come!

***ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.***

Until next time, happy reading!


Dec 30, 2017

REVIEW: Archangel's Viper (GH series, #10) By Nalini Singh

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Author's Page:

Urban Fantasy/ Paranormal Romance

Summary on Goodreads:

Enter New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh’s breathtakingly passionate Guild Hunter world with the story of a woman who isn’t a vampire or an angel…or human…

Once a broken girl known as Sorrow, Holly Chang now prowls the shadowy gray underground of the city for the angels. But it’s not her winged allies who make her a wanted woman—it’s the unknown power coursing through her veins. Brutalized by an insane archangel, she was left with the bloodlust of a vampire, the ability to mesmerize her prey, and a poisonous bite.

Now, someone has put a bounty on her head…

Venom is one of the Seven, Archangel Raphael’s private guard, and he’s as infuriating as he is seductive. A centuries-old vampire, his fangs dispense a poison deadlier than Holly’s. But even if Venom can protect Holly from those hunting her, he might not be able to save himself—because the strange, violent power inside Holly is awakening…

No one is safe.


“They let you drive now?" he said in a wondering tone of voice calibrated to get under her skin. "I leave for a couple of years and miss kitty's first steps. Did anyone take photos for the baby album I sent you?"

"It's full of pretty pictures." Holly bared her teeth at him in a caricature of a smile. "Honor is a little concerned about how I keep drawing you with your head cut off," she said in a deliberately thoughtful tone, "but an artist must follow her instincts.”

If you ever read one of my reviews of this series you are more than aware that this is one of my favorite uf/pnr series out there and that since book #5 I've become an obssessed fan-girl a hardcore fan of the potential next couple Aodhan & Illium. I might even say that I started that theory or was one of the first fans that saw the potential, so of course that after every next book I'm religiously praying that Nalini Singh will finally succumb to my dirty mind and that the next installment will be theirs, but the 10th book is actually Venom's book, so tough luck poor Purple, maybe next time. :'( xD

But, despite slight disappointment I was still fairly excited for this book, because Venom, a centuries-old vampire with his seductive viper's eyes has definitely been one of the most intriguing GH characters. I got even more excited after I read that he'll find his partner in Holly, Uram's mysterious creation. Unforutunately, when the book was finally published I was still in the phase "I've lost my reading mojo", so it took me some time to give it a chance, but when I did - I could not stop.

Without spoiling anything, my impression of this is installment is that the story was good, uber action-packed and suspenseful, but I'll have to agree with other fans who also described it as a bit lacking, especially in the romance department. The parts I've enjoyed the most were their witty and snarky dialogues that never failed to entertain me. That's why 3.5/ 5 stars. In the meantime, my never-ending prayer for Aodhan's & Illium's book as in mm couple book continues...

RATING: 3.5 / 5 stars



Dec 18, 2017

ARC Review: MICHAEL'S WINGS: An Original Sinners Collection by Tiffany Reisz

Griffin has just popped the question—yes, that question—and Michael doesn’t have an answer. He flees town for New Orleans to see his confidante and sometime-Domme, Mistress Nora. Will a weekend of beignets and beatings help him untangle his knotted-up heart?

Thus begins Michael's Wings, the eponymous novella that kicks off the latest entry in Tiffany Reisz's LAMBDA Literary Award-winning* Original Sinners series.

This companion collection to fan-favorite The Angel also contains six previously-published stories starring Mistress Nora's favorite angel and Griffin—his master, his true love, and the sexy-as-hell bane of Michael's existence.

*The King (LAMBDA Literary Award 2015 Winner — Best Gay Erotica)

There are many reasons I love The Original Sinners. I won't go over them now because I've done that so many times, I've started to sound like a parrot. Suffice to say one of those reasons is that over the course of eight books, and who knows how many novellas and short stories, I've grown to love each and every one of the main Sinners, Michael and Griffin included, of course. The beginning of their romance was my favorite part of The Angel, so I couldn't be more glad that over the years since that book came out Ms. Reisz has been giving us stories about the couple with updates on how their relationship was progressing. Michael's Wings is a collection of those stories. Five of them used to be available on the author's website or elsewhere, one still is, and one story is new. They cover the start of Michael and Griffin's relationship, their first fight, the break, and their engagement. There is also one story without Michael, which chronologically comes first, so I'll start with that one.

Griffin in Wonderland takes place six years before the series' first book. In the story Griffin had left rehab too early, partied hard, punched an asshole, passed out and woke up hungover and with a man's boots on his chest. The man in question was Kingsley and he had some good advice: Griffin needed a new hobby. I do so love the stories where Kingsley invites people in need of a new hobby into his kingdom. His notorious townhouse and the kinksters in it are so much fun to read about from the perspective of a newcomer which Griffin was here. He was in Wonderland, and he was Alice, and by the time Kingsley with Eleanor's help demonstrated what his new addiction could be, Griffin had a heady feeling without having taken any substances and his mind was made up: he was in!

Seven years or so later, Griffin met Michael and they fell in love. Gauze takes place during this amazing book named The Angel, just after Michael and Griffin finally declared their feelings for each other. Griffin's gift to Michael — beautiful tattoos to cover ugly scars were fresh so his wrists were wrapped in gauze. It was a sight that led Michael down bad memory lane. Luckily, Griffin was there to bring him back to reality that was almost too good to be true: Griffin and Michael were officially a couple. And as the thoughtful master that he is, Griffin made sure Michael had a good association with gauze from there on. Like everything with these two characters, it was super sweet.

A Better Distraction , The Theory of the Moment and The Couch take place shortly after The Angel when Michael and Griffin were still figuring their relationship out.

In A Better Distraction they learned to communicate better. The previous weekend there was an incident, and ever since things were awkward between them. It was high time to put an end to the awkwardness. Plus, Griffin needed a distraction, and what better distraction than his beautiful sub. While Mick worked on his school assignment using Griffin as the subject, Griffin revealed something from his past which was pertinent to their current situation. The air was cleared and everything was right between them.

In The Theory of the Moment Griffin met Mick's mom Melissa, and it's actually told from her perspective. Over the lunch where she was going to conduct an interrogation to find out what she could about her son's boyfriend, she actually learned something very important about her son that allowed her to understand him better. Griffin painted an amusing picture of the kinky world he and Mick lived in for Melissa, and made it clear he would always be there for Mick. All in all, it was a beginning of a beautiful friendship.

The Couch marked Mick and Griffin's first fight. Michael wanted to blame the couch, their new, very expensive couch, but he couldn't. Not really. After the fight Griffin went out, and Michael was left in the apartment to freak out. What Micheal did whenever he was freaking out about something concerning his relationship with Griffin was talk to Nora, so that was what he did. His wise mentor calmed him down, and Griffin came back. They made up on the couch, of course.

Christmas in Suite 37A is 2014 Original Sinners Christmas story, and it's set during The White Years. Since the books in The White Years are primarily prequels, and have only small parts depicting the lives of the Sinners after The Mistress, I was glad this story started with Griffin visiting Nora and others in New Orleans. It was great to find out how happy they are in their HEAs, and I can't say how much I loved the scene where Griffin hugged Søren, saying "Cuddle me, big guy." Hilarious! Griffin, however, wasn't in the best of spirits at the beginning of the story. He was visiting Nora because he couldn't stand to be home without Mick. Mick had gone to Rome to spend a semester abroad, and they were on a break. With his relationship with Mick in question, he went to Nora to hide out at her place. Of course, Nora nudged him in the right direction. Griffin reached out to Mick, and Mick responded. Back in New York Griffin went to great lengths for his Michael to show how much he missed him, how much he loves him, without pressuring him. It was wonderful, sweet, and... magical.

Michael's Wings is the new novella. Griffin had popped the question, and ordered Mick not to give him an answer right away. As is the tradition, Michael flew to New Orleans to talk about it with Nora. Micheal figured it was better to obsess over his answer at Nora's than to obsess over it at home. He knew he did the right thing when he found himself in the dungeon with words The floggings will continue until morale improves hanging on a wall. His Mistress knew how to make her Angel feel better, and knew which questions to ask to help Michael find out what he truly wanted. After a thorough flogging and wax play his morale had indeed improved, and his answer was crystal clear. Decision made, he went back home and waited for Griffin to tell him what that answer was, and he found a perfect way to do it.

This year I reread The Red Years which includes The Angel, and it was better than the first time, and the second time. I could say the same about the stories from this collection. I've said this before, but it doesn't hurt to repeat it: I've always gotten more than I expected from these shorter stories. That's not an exaggeration. Every single one was better than I expected, and believe me, I expected a lot. They've been quite helpful in getting to know the Sinners better, and understanding their actions, especially in the beginning. Now they're a great and I guess the only way to find out what's going on with the Sinners, so I hope there will be many more of them in the future.

***ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.***
Until next time, happy reading! 


Nov 28, 2017

Review: THE SHADOW AND THE STAR by Laura Kinsale

He is a man of dark secrets—wealthy, strong, majestically handsome—the master of the ancient arts of a distant land. Scarred by a cruel childhood, he has sworn only to love chastely ... yet he burns with the heat of unfulfilled desire.

She is innocent and nearly destitute, yet she possesses a beauty as incandescent as a heavenly orb. And she is drawn to this powerful stranger by a need she cannot deny.

Never has such passion so consumed a man and a woman. But by giving his heart freely, the Shadow risks everything he believes in. And to follow her enigmatic warrior means the Star must enter his world of intrigue, vengeance, and desire—and surrender to the most dangerous love there ever could be.

In January, 2015 I fell in love with a book, a book so beautiful it was more than enough to make me a fan of the author who wrote it. Since Flowers from the Storm I've only read three more novels penned by Laura Kinsale, in part because knowing I still have several of her books left to read comforts me, and in part because I'm a bit of a chicken -- Ms. Kinsale's books are beautifully written, but not always easy to read. In all honesty, I started reading The Shadow and the Star way back in May. After only a few pages, I decided I wasn't ready to find out what the main characters would have to go through to get their happy ending. Once November came, I figured it was high time I read the novel Laura Kinsale declared as her favorite book she'd written.

Now, I feel silly for waiting this long to read it because it exceeded my high expectations. It's been too long since I loved a book as much as I loved The Shadow and the Star. I was on the brink of tears when I finished it, not because it was a sad ending, but because I didn't want to let it go. 449 pages, yet it ended all too soon. Not even an epilogue was there to comfort me.

That was four days ago. Ever since I've been trying to find the right words to express what it was that once again made me fall in love with Ms. Kinsale's storytelling, but I'm afraid whatever I come up with, doesn't seem enough. Lets just say it was everything, okay? The Shadow and the Star reminded me of the time I first read this author. What wonderful and nerve-racking reading experiences! Laura Kinsale's heroes and heroines have mountains of trouble to conquer before getting to their happy ending. I normally breathe a sigh of relief when I get to the last page and find the main characters in a good place at last. This time was different. I was about halfway through when I finally started believing that no matter what happened, it would be alright in the end, and I realized that even when it seemed like a chasm was opening between the main characters, Samuel and Leda, Ms. Kinsale was actually very slowly bringing them together. Their 449 pages long journey was an emotional roller coaster: heartbreaking mostly, but also heartwarming, at times frustrating, and even though I was often dangerously close to crying, there were parts I found amusing, and instances when I would just laugh out loud.

I've been reading what I wrote about Flowers from the Storm, and this part caught my attention: the main reason I fell in love with this book was Christian Langland, Duke of Jervaulx. I could say the same thing now, just with a different name: the main reason I fell in love with this book was Samuel Gerard. Tortured heroes seem to be a specialty of Ms. Kinsale, and Samuel was tortured as they come. He first appeared in The Hidden Heart as a boy in horrendous circumstances, to say the least. I haven't read that book, but that part of Samuel's life was covered enough not to feel important pieces of his backstory were missing. Besides that, there were chapters which were snippets from Samuel's past showing how he became who he was in the present time: from coming to Hawaii to live with Lady Tess, to being trained by their Japanese butler in ancient martial arts, deciding to marry Kai, Lady Tess's daughter, once she was old enough, and working hard to be a successful businessman and worthy of Kai. He had made decisions regarding his future and was focused on accomplishing his goals. In present time, Samuel and the Ashland family were in London for Her Majesty's Jubilee. There, Samuel, or the Shadow Warrior, crossed paths with Leda, and his life started going the way he never planned.

Leda's circumstances were bad at the beginning. She had been brought up as a proper lady, but after both her guardian and the first heir to her guardian's house died, she had to move and rent a shabby room in a dreadful neighborhood. She was barely making ends meet working as a showroom woman, and even that position she had to leave when her employer made apparent the dishonorable way of earning extra money. From there on her situation only got worse. Then one night a stranger broke into her room, only it wasn't a stranger at all, but Mr. Gerard, the devastatingly handsome, cold angel she had met just before she had to resign her job. She helped him, and chose not to disclose his crimes to the police, but only when she had to abandon her room without anything did she find herself in front of Samuel's house ready to accept his offer to become his secretary.

In the Ashlands' home Leda was welcomed with open arms. Bickering with Samuel about proper behavior aside, she was comfortable and safe. A true friendship was forming between them, with stolen glances, touches, words and thoughts alluding to stronger feelings. Leda was first to admit to herself she had fallen in love with Mr. Gerard. Samuel, on the other hand, was quite clueless in figuring out his feelings. The aloof, cold, calm, calculated man turned out to be none of those things inside. He was apparently in turmoil since he met Leda. His desire for her shamed him, though if he was being honest, he did everything to tie her to him. His mind was troubled -- he burned for one woman, and was planning to propose to another, not even realizing his feelings for Kai were those of a protective brother or that his vision of their life together was nowhere near to one of a happy, married couple in love. Oh, the man was deeply conflicted, it was painful to read. The mountain of trouble this hero had to conquer was in his mind. Luckily, despite his determination to stay away from Leda, his body lead him right to her -- a repeating theme throughout the book. It took an intervention from Lady Tess and Lord Gryphon to convince him to do right by Leda. However, with Leda's primness and apparent inability to be frank and open about anything but furniture, it would seem, and Samuel's reserved nature, these two still had a long way to go. I wouldn't say they succeeded at openness even at the end. That's why I wished there was an epilogue, to find them happy and laughing for once, especially Samuel. Yeah, Samuel's laughter would have been nice to wrap it all up.

What can I say in the end, except that Laura Kinsale is a freaking genius. The Shadow and the Star is so richly written, what I wrote about it is only a part of the story I didn't want to end. Ordering another of her books helped with the book hangover, though I'd feel much better if I heard the news Ms. Kinsale was publishing a new novel. In the meantime, I still have eight more of her books to read. Eight more heroes to develop an embarrassing crush on.

Until next time, happy reading!


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