Thursday, August 28, 2008

Review: The Impostor by Celeste Bradley

Title: The Impostor
Series: Liar's Club
Author: Celeste Bradley
Read copy: Mass Market Paperback
Published: October 19, 2003
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
ISBN: 0312984863
ISBN-13: 9780312984861

It isn't easy moving about Society dressed like a dandy-especially when one is a ruthless spy. But that's precisely the latest mission for Liar's Club agent Dalton Montmorecy. Dalton is posing as Sir Thorogood, the elusive cartoonist whose scathing political caricatures have all of London abuzz. The true identity of Sir Thorogood is a mystery, and Dalton hopes that impersonating him will flush out the real menace before his cartoons do further damage to the Crown. Now, if Dalton could only find a way to get the irksome, yet oddly appealing widow, Clara Simpson, off his trail...

When Clara meets Sir Thorogood at a ball, she's certain he is an impostor-because she's the true Sir Thorogood. Secretly penning the cartoons under the frothy nom de plume, Clara hopes to save enough money so that she can leave her in-laws and find a new residence. Now she is determined to reveal an imposter's identity-and that means doing some undercover work herself. But pretending to be someone you're not has a funny way of making a woman do things she wouldn't ordinarily dream of-even if it drives her straight into the arms of her devilishly handsome adversary!

My rating:

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Review: The Pretender by Celeste Bradley

Title: The Pretender
Series: Liar's Club
Author: Celeste Bradley
Read copy: Mass Market Paperback
Published: June 16, 2003
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
ISBN: 0312984855
ISBN-13: 9780312984854

Rule #1: Never fall in love.

She had a secret she'd do anything to hide.

Agatha Cunnington, a headstrong beauty from the country, has come to London in search of her missing brother James. The only clue she has is a cryptic letter signed The Griffin. Agatha decides to disguise herself as a respectable married woman so that she can go about the city unnoticed. But for her charade to work she needs a suitable "husband," preferably someone tall, elegant, and rakish-someone like Simon Montague Rain.

He had a secret he'd do anything to hide.

Simon Montague Rain, also known as The Magician, is a member of The Liar's Club, a renegade group of rogues and thieves in the service of the Crown. When someone begins murdering members of the undercover cabal one by one, Simon is given the mission to bring in The Griffin, one of his comrades who is suspected of betraying his brothers. Simon goes undercover and infiltrates the home of "Mrs." Agatha Applequist who he believes is the Griffin's mistress. Before Simon knows what's happened, he finds himself irresistibly drawn to Agatha's soft, feminine charms-and he is tempted beyond reason to break the first rule of The Liar's Club: never fall in love.

My rating:

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Review: To Wed a Scandalous Spy by Celeste Bradley

Title: To Wed a Scandalous Spy
Series: Royal Four
Author: Celeste Bradley
Read copy: Mass Market Paperback
Published: Feburary 1, 2005
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
ISBN: 0312931166
ISBN-13: 9780312931162

Lovely, high born Willa Trent was an orphan, raised by a local, somewhat odd family in the country, who want nothing but the best for their girl. So when she drags the unconscious man she accidentally hit with a slingshot home, they arrange a hasty marriage and pack the couple off with best wishes. Armed with a groggy husband and a new future, Willa's pie-eyed optimism has no limits...until she discovers the secret, dangerous world of Nathaniel Stonewell, Earl of Reardon, a.k.a. "Lord Treason."

Though Nathaniel is reviled by most of England for his devious plot against the Crown, he is, in reality, a member of an elite cadre of secret royal defenders on a daring undercover mission. He must keep his secrets at all cost, especially from Willa. And yet, he is enchanted...though he stubbornly refuses to surrender to his passion. Far better, he tells himself, to turn his back on love than risk everything for it. Luckily, his bride has other plans...

My rating:

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Review: Shadow Dance by Julie Garwood

Title: Shadow Dance
Series: Buchanan
Author: Julie Garwood
Read copy: Mass Market Paperback
Published: December 26, 2007
Publisher: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 0345453875
ISBN-13: 9780345453877

Jordan Buchanan is thrilled that her brother and best friend are tying the knot. The wedding is a lavish affair–for the marriage of Dylan Buchanan and Kate MacKenna is no ordinary occasion. It represents the joining of two family dynasties. The ceremony and reception proceed without a hitch–until a crasher appears claiming to be a MacKenna guest. The disheveled and eccentric professor of medieval history warns that there’s “bad blood” between the couple’s clans, stemming from an ancient feud that originated in Scotland, and involving the Buchanan theft of a coveted MacKenna treasure.

Jordan has always led a cautious life and has used her intelligence and reason to become a successful businesswoman. So she is intrigued but skeptical of the professor’s claims that the feud has been kept alive by the grave injustices the Buchanans have perpetrated over the centuries. But when Noah Clayborne, a close family friend and a man who has never let a good time or a pretty girl pass him by, accuses Jordan of being trapped in her comfort zone, she determines to prove him wrong and sets out on a spontaneous adventure to the small, dusty town of Serenity, Texas, to judge the professor’s research for herself.

Maneuvering through a close-knit community in which everyone knows everyone else’s business, Jordan never anticipates the danger and intrigue that lie in her path, nor the threat that will shadow her back to Boston, where even in familiar surroundings, her life is at risk.

A powerful thug who rules by fear, a man who harbors a simmering secret, and an unexpected romance that pierces all defenses–beloved author Julie Garwood weaves these dazzling elements into a brilliant novel of romantic suspense. Shadow Dance is a searing tango of passion and peril.

My rating:

Review: The Devil's Web by Mary Balogh

Title: The Devil's Web
Series: Web
Author: Mary Balogh
Read copy: Mass Market Paperback
Published: December 26, 2007
Publisher: Dell
ISBN: 0440243076
ISBN-13: 9780440243076

The last time Madeline Raine had seen James Purnell, she had been but a chit of a girl, and at his mercy. Purnell had held her helpless in his arms - but protectively above the abyss of her own dangerous hunger for him.

He had left her then, not taking her innocence but taking her heart, as he vanished from England. Since then Madeline had reigned as society's most dazzling and heartless beauty, making all men pay for one man's rebuff of her.

Now James was back, more handsome and arrogant than ever. And Madeline steeled herself not to fall under his spell again. But she soon discovered that the melting power of passion ignited by love would not easily die...

My rating:

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Review: Acheron by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Title: Acheron
Series: Dark-Hunters
Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
Read copy: Hardcover
Published: August 5, 2008
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 0312362153
ISBN-13: 9780312362157

Eleven thousand years ago a god was born. Cursed into the body of a human, Acheron spent a lifetime of shame. However, his human death unleashed an unspeakable horror that almost destroyed the earth. Then, brought back against his will, Acheron became the sole defender of mankind.

Only it was never that simple. For centuries, he has fought for our survival and hidden a past he’ll do anything to keep concealed. Until a lone woman who refuses to be intimidated by him threatens his very existence.

Now his survival, and ours, hinges on hers and old enemies reawaken and unite to kill them both.

War has never been more deadly... or more fun.

My rating:

Monday, August 4, 2008

Review: Murder List by Julie Garwood

Title: Murder List
Series: Buchanan
Author: Julie Garwood
Read copy: Mass Market Paperback
Published: March 1, 2005
Publisher: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 0345453832
ISBN-13: 9780345453839

When Chicago detective Alec Buchanan is offered a prime position with the FBI, it is the perfect opportunity to leave the Windy City and follow in his brothers’ footsteps to the top echelons of law enforcement. But first he must complete one last assignment (and one that he is not too happy about): acting as a glorified bodyguard to hotel heiress Regan Hamilton Madison. The gorgeous exec has become entangled in some potentially deadly business. Someone has e-mailed her a graphic crime-scene photo–and the victim is no stranger.

Regan suspects that the trouble started when she agreed to help a journalist friend expose a shady self-help guru who preys on lonely, vulnerable women. In fact, the smooth-as-an-oil-slick Dr. Lawrence Shields may be responsible for the death of one of his devotees, which was ruled a suicide. Hoping to find some damning evidence, Regan attends a Shields seminar.

At the gathering, the doctor persuades his guests to partake in an innocent little “cleansing” exercise. He asks them to make a list of the people who have hurt or deceived them over the years, posing the question: Would your world be a better place if these people ceased to exist? Treating the exercise as a game, Regan plays along. After ten minutes, Shields instructs the participants to bring their sheets of paper to the fireplace and throw them into the flames. But Regan misses this part of the program when she exits the room to take a call–and barely escapes a menacing individual in the parking lot.

The experience is all but forgotten–until the first person on Regan’s list turns up dead. Shock turns to horror when other bodies from the list start to surface, as a harrowing tango of desire and death is set into motion. Now brutal murders seem to stalk her every move–and a growing attraction to Alec may compromise her safety, while stirring up tender emotions she thought she could no longer feel. Yet as the danger intensifies and a serial killer circles ever closer, Regan must discover who has turned her private revenge fantasies into grisly reality.

My rating:

Friday, August 1, 2008

Review: The Hollow by Nora Roberts

Title: The Hollow
Series: Sign of Seven
Author: Nora Roberts
Read copy: Mass Market Paperback
Published: May 6, 2008
Publisher: Jove
ISBN: 0515144592
ISBN-13: 9780515144598

In the small village of Hawkins Hollow, three best friends who share the same birthday sneak off into the woods for a sleepover the evening before turning 10. But a night of pre-pubescent celebration turns into a night of horror as their blood brother oath unleashes a three-hundred year curse.

Twenty-one years later, Fox O'Dell and his friends have seen their town plagued by a week of unexplainable evil events two more times - every seven years. With the clock winding down on the third set of seven years, someone else has taken an interest in the town's folklore.

A boutique manager from New York, Layla Darnell was drawn to Hawkins Hollow for reasons she can't explain - but the recent attacks on her life make it clear that it is personal. And though Fox tries to keep his professional distance, his interests in Layla have become personal too.

My rating: