Posts filed under ‘awesome quotes’

2009 TBR Challenge (April): Cast in Fury

This is April’s TBR Challenge review:

Cast in Fury (Cast series aka The Chronicles of Elantra, book 4) by Michelle Sagara

This review is coming in under the wire! I made the mistake of putting off starting this book until this week. When I finally started reading it late Monday, I realized in a moment of panic that is was almost 500 pages long, and the Challenge reviews were due on Thursday. When I bought this book in ebook format, I made the mistake of buying it in Adobe Digital Editions, which can only be read on my computer. I reconsidered my TBR pile.

This month’s theme was fantasy/uf/sci fi, and I have a few that fit the bill, but these genres being what they are, most books were not quick, short novels. Also, I really had my heart set on catching up with Kaylin’s story. I’ve really enjoyed this series, and it was featured in one of my early posts.

Here is how I described the series in that post:

Kaylin lives in a world where many different races must live together: humans, the winged Aerians, the feline Leontines, the Dragons, (ETA: the hive-minded Tha’alani) and the fey-like Barrani. Out of a tragic childhood, she has built herself a new life as a Hawk (police). When Severn, her childhood companion, reappears in her life, her past and her present come together dramatically.

This world is so rich, and I love how Kaylin —a young heroine, at 20 years old, has grown and matured over the course of the series (though she still has a long way to go.) So, I powered on thru, stayed up each night reading, and am so glad that I finished it on time.

Here’s the description for Cast in Fury:

When a minority race of telepaths is suspected of causing a near-devastating tidal wave, Private Kaylin Neya is summoned to Court — and into a PR nightmare. To ease racial tensions, the emperor has commissioned a play, and the playwright has his own ideas about who should be the focus . . .

But Kaylin works her best magic behind the scenes, and though she tries to stay neutral, she is again drawn into a world of politics . . . and murder. To make matters worse, Marcus, her trusted sergeant, gets stripped of his command, leaving Kaylin vulnerable. Now she’s juggling two troubling cases, and even magic’s looking good by comparison. But then nobody ever said life in the theater was easy . . .

Cast in Fury by Michelle Sagara

I was a little leery about how compelling a storyline built around the writing of a play would be, but I shouldn’t have worried. The cynic in me immediately thinks, “I get the ‘power of the written word’, but would a play really magically fix the racial fear and violence?” However, the focus is less on the supposed panacea of the play, and more on the playwright and his individual growing understanding about the telepathic and hive-minded Tha’alani as he writes the play.

Also, the main action of the book revolves around the Leontine issue of Kaylin’s sargeant and father-figure Marcus’ arrest and murder trial. Marcus confesses to killing his friend, and there are witnesses. But, Kaylin knows there is more to the event. Her search for the real killer, and the fallout from her pursuit comprise most of the novel’s action.

A big part of each novel is about the investigation of a main mystery. In Cast in Fury, everyone knows who the “bad guy” is. It’s the complications that arise from the group deemed “bad” that make this story so interesting. Are they irredeemable? What does it say about the people who judge them to be “bad” or “evil” from birth? Can environment change their path? Each thread that unravels from this story leads to deeper questions, that transcend the novel.

Severn, as usual, is by Kaylin’s side, mostly silent, but always ready to defend her with his chain and daggers. We only get glimpses into his character, but one of my favorite passages of the book is so telling of his devotion to Kaylin.

Awesome quote:

He waited.

His whole life, the life that she had known, he’d been damn good at waiting. He’d told her once that he was so good at waiting because she was so bad at it, as if they were two halves of a whole.

Seven years, he had waited for her. And she had gone on in painful, furious ignorance.

For reasons revealed in book 1 of the series, Cast in Shadow, there is a gulf between them despite their deep tie. Only time will tell if either of them can breach it.

The only disappointment I had with Cast in Fury is that the mysterious Lord Nightshade was far too scarce in it. He is lovely and dangerous. He is an outcaste Barrani who is magically tied to Kaylin. She bears his mark, in the form of a tattoo of the deadly nightshade flower on her cheek, and she is the sole possessor of his “true” (secret) name which gives her a hold over him. I’m never sure of Nightshade’s motives, and he can’t always be trusted, but his interplay with Kaylin is always fun to read.

For those who are fans of the series, here’s what the author has to say about its future:

I have a series of events that are unfolding entirely in the background (with a little in the foreground in Shadow and Fury), and those events will culminate in closure for Kaylin.

But… Cast in Silence is about the missing six months of Kaylin’s early life. Cast in Chaos is what I refer to as my Refugee book. I very much want to write a Dragon Court book, and I would like to write a book about the Aerians; I would like to write a novel about the Wolves, and in particular the Shadow Wolves. I need to write a book about the fiefs (this last will become clearer after Silence, about which I will say no more). I would like to write one book which sees Kaylin actually leave the city. I’m not sure if his would be on holiday, but given her life, I kind of doubt it.

Book 4, Cast in Silence will be published in August 2009. I can’t wait to read it and find out more about the mystery of Kaylin’s lost 6 months between leaving the fief (and Severn) as Elianne, and showing up in Elantra as Kaylin.

Michelle Sagara is very prolific, and also writes under the names Michelle West and Michelle Sagara West.

April 16, 2009 at 2:46 pm 13 comments

Just finished reading . . . Scandal by Carolyn Jewel

Scandal by Carolyn Jewel

Scandal by Carolyn JewelSometimes, I have my reading short list planned out: what I’m currently reading (usually 2 or 3 books/audiobooks) and what’s next on deck. Right now, it’s Raven’s Shadow and Queer Wolf for my current reads, with Mr Cavendish, I Presume by Julia Quinn (my TBR Challenge book) and Years by LaVyrle Spencer up next.

Then, yesterday (Tuedsay,) I received a package in the mail from Lea, who had noticed I’d been wanting to read Scandal. She popped it in the mail, and, when I opened the envelope last night, the beautiful cover struck me. “Just a few pages,” I thought . . .

Here is the book description:

The earl of Banallt is no stranger to scandal. But when he meets Sophie Evans, the young wife of a fellow libertine, even he is shocked by his reaction. This unconventional and intelligent woman proves to be far more than an amusing distraction — she threatens to drive him to distraction. Unlike the women who usually fall at Banallt’s feet, and into his bed, Sophie refuses to be seduced. And soon Banallt desires her more than ever — and for more than an illicit affair.

Years later, the widowed Sophie is free, and Banallt is determined to win the woman he still loves. Unfortunately, she doesn’t believe his declaration of love and chivalrous offer of marriage — her heart has already been broken by her scoundrel of a husband. And yet, Sophie is tempted to indulge in the torrid affair she’s always fantasized about. Caught between her logical mind and her long-denied desire, Sophie must thwart Banallt’s seduction — or risk being consumed by the one man she should avoid at all costs . . . 

I first saw Scandal over at Katiebabs’ Babbling about Books and More, back in November, long before it was released. After reading her post, it went up on my upcoming books list. Since then, I’ve read a number of reviews (mostly raves.) What I found interesting, was adjectives like “quiet,” “reflective,” “seething with emotion” (click to see Kati’s review-ish post) to describe the mood of the book. These words were very apt.

The book takes place over almost 4 years, jumping fluidly back and forth between when Sophie and Banallt first meet — she is married to the dissolute Tommy, he is Tommy’s compatriot in whoring, drinking — and the present action — they are both widowed, she is penniless, living with her very protective brother, and he is recently returned from an extended continental trip, forever changed by their last meetings three years earlier.

My only complaint about the book (and it’s a nit-picky one, but I’ve got to voice it anyway) is that we never find out anything about Banallt’s first marriage — other than that he loved her and was unfaithful to her— or even how he was widowed. (Or did I miss that?) It wasn’t necessary for character development, but might have given some insight into his character, and I found it a little distracting when his widowed status was mentioned that the late countess was a complete cypher. However, this one small issue did not detract seriously from my enjoyment of the book.

Most of the book’s action is of an interior sort. From the beginning of the book, Banallt knows he wants to win Sophie. Sophie, utterly shattered by her disastrous marriage to Tommy, has built walls around herself as impregnable as the castle she dreamt of as a child. She knows Banallt has feelings for her, but she can neither trust him to remain faithful, nor trust her own ability to allow herself to be loved again.

Carolyn Jewel’s beautiful prose called sharply to mind Elizabeth Hoyt’s To Seduce a Sinner. (My review of it here.)Like TSaS, Scandal was able to capture an incredible amount of emotion in the simplest of scenes, like when Banallt sees Sophie for the first time in 3 years:

Awesome quote #1:

Anxiety pressed in on Banallt, which annoyed him to no end. What he wanted from this moment was proof she hadn’t taken possession of his heart. That his memories of her, of the two of them, were distorted by past circumstance. They had met during a turbulent time in his life during which he had perhaps not always behaved as a gentleman ought. They had parted on a day that had forever scarred him. He wanted to see her as plain and uninteresting. He wanted to think that, after all, he’d been mistaken about her eyes. He wanted his fascination with her to have vanished.

None of that had happened.

Banallt still thought he’d do anything to take her to bed.

Sophie lifted a hand to shade her eyes. “Hullo . . .” 

So much is left unsaid between Banallt and Sophie, but it is always clear that that does not mean it is unfelt. Some reviews have complained that Sophie takes too long to come around and trust Banallt, and that Banallt doesn’t try hard enough to convince her he’s changed from his rakish ways. However, I don’t agree. While I might have felt frustrated that she didn’t believe him sooner, it was in keeping with her character and experiences. And, for Banallt’s part, he know that if tries harder or is more confrontational with her, she would only think it was more lies.

She needed to change deep within herself, before she could open up her heart to him. Over time, she slowly thaws, and begins to see him in a new light. Even, at one point, literally seeing him as a stranger across a crowded room:

Awesome quote #2:

His looks forbade despite his smile. She’d never but once before seen a face so dangerously handsome. The darkness in his expression drew her in. What lay behind that unknowable face? Something about that smile said, Beware, I’ll break your heart. She was dying to know the color of his eyes.

— and then the puzzle was completed. Her world shifted under her feet; her stomach dropped a mile.

Not a stranger at all. Banallt.

The time in which she did not know him lasted hardly a breath, perhaps two, but so many details lived there. Claret coat, tan pantaloons, top boots, white shirt. From here, she could not see his waistcoat to judge wheter he had come tonight as a dandy or a Corinthian.

Of course it was him. How could she not have recognized him? Her knees went weak, because she had never until this very moment understood how his beauty spoke to her.

Mere looks become revelations in Scandal.

One of my favorite scenes in a book is in Jane Austen’s Persuasion. Captain Wentworth reenters a room filled with visitors, and hands Anne Eliot a letter he has written. He asks her to read it, and leaves. That’s it. But, there is so much restrained emotion in that scene, the reader knows (even before Anne does) that her life will never be the same.

Again and again I was reminded of the same kind of pent up emotion that Persuasion and To Seduce a Sinner had, buried under social conventions and manners. And yet, when Sophie and Banallt do come together, it’s a conflagration. The love scenes were scorching and full of physical as well as emotional heat.

Scandal was a wonderfully satisfying read on all levels.

I’ll definitely be hunting down Carolyn Jewel’s backlist.

  • Carolyn Jewel’s site
  • Excerpt from Scandal.

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Don’t forget to enter the Passing It On Giveaway. Go here to enter! Enter the drawing by midnight, March 14, 2009.

March 12, 2009 at 7:00 am 21 comments

Just finished reading . . . Islands by Samantha Kane

Islands by Samantha Kane Islands by Samantha Kane (M/M) EBOOK

This is the first book I’ve read by Samantha Kane, and what a winner it is.

Lieutenant Commander Gabriel Conlan, United States Navy Seabees, knows he’s not in Kansas anymore when he steps off the launch at the small island of Île Dorée and sees gorgeous Frenchman René Dubois waiting for him on the dock. The year is 1943, the place is the Pacific, and the world is at war. Free from censure on the island, Gabe has an explosive affair with René. But when the world intrudes, Gabe denies René and tries to forget the best sex of his life.

A former Capitaine in the French Foreign Legion, René is desperately lonely as the only westerner on his small Pacific island. When René sees the tall, lanky American step onto his dock he knows his life will never be the same. He teaches Gabe how to make love to a man, and falls unexpectedly in love. René will brave prejudice, Japanese Zeros and Gabe’s reluctance to find love at last.

I was intrigued by the Pacific during WWII setting, and Samantha Kane invokes enough war-time island color to make it feel authentic. (Sidenote: in SK’s Dedication, she mentions that her father served in the Pacific during WWII, as did mine. I grew up looking at black and white of  pictures him in his sailor’s uniform with his buddies.)

This was one of the most lushly romantic stories I’ve read in a while. Frenchman René was unabashedly straight-forward in his desire for American, Gabe. Their emotions were intense, the sex was sometimes tender, sometimes raw, but it was always steeped in their feelings for each other. 

René has lived on his own at Île Dorée for a long time, and when Gabe walks into his life, he is bowled over. “Instant love” is a tough sell for me, but René’s profound emotions for Gabe are so much more than what often stands in place of relationship development in many novels. Samantha Kane writes him so believably, that his feelings for Gabe make perfect sense. He is open, emotionally honest, and vulnerable, without being needy.

Gabe, on the other hand, fights his feelings for René, aware that if his homosexuality is discovered, it could ruin his military career. But once he gives in to his desires, what starts as a brief affair, turns into something much more profound.

Awesome quote:

Mon ange,” René said on a breath, low and soft, and full of meaning. Those two words told Gabe how much René wanted him, how desperately. They told him how good it would be between them. Those two words were filled with need, and hope, and desire.

Goddamn it, Gabe thought fiercely, and then a little softer,  Goddamn it. Because he couldn’t ignore René’s need, his hope. Those were feelings he understood, he shared.

A wonderful, romantic book. My only complaint is that it was too short. I would have loved to stay on Île Dorée with René and Gabe much longer. I know I will reread and revisit the island again.

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In my book bag . . .

I went to the bookstore yesterday, and picked up these new releases:Deathwish by Rob Thurman

Deathwish (Cal Leandros series, book 4) by Rob Thurman

Angels' Blood by Nalini SinghAngels’ Blood (A Guild Hunter Novel, book 1) by Nalini Singh

 

I can’t wait to crack them open!

March 3, 2009 at 7:00 am 19 comments

2009 Re-read Challenge (February): A Companion to Wolves

A Companion to Wolves by Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette

A Companion to Wolves by Sarah Monette & Elizabeth Bear

This was one of my favorite reads of last year, and was so compelling and thought-provoking, I knew right away that it would be part of the 2009 Re-read Challenge.

Here’s the back cover description:

What lengths will you go to — for your honor and for the love of your wolf?

In a harsh northern land, the towns of men huddle close around the walled keeps of their lords. those keeps, in turn, look to the wolfcarls — men bonded to huge fighting wolves — for their safety, when the trolls and their wyverns come down from the icy mountains to prey on manflesh.

Isolfr is a young nobleman who is called to the wolf pack. His father is hostile to the wolfcarls and refuses to send his sons, but Isolfr is deeply drawn to the wolves. When the konigenwolf, Vigdis, comes to visit with her human brother Hrolleif, the young man chooses to disobey his father and answer her summons.

Young Njall (who takes the name Isolfr when he becomes a wolfcarl) grows from a sheltered, privileged young man, to a warrior and leader in the wolfheall, male-only enclaves where the wolfcarls live with their wolves according to a pack culture. It is not an easy path, and some of the wolfheall’s practices make for uncomfortable reading. However, the violence (which is sometimes sexual in nature) never feels gratuitous. Rather, it serves to unflinchingly mimic the wolf pack culture.

Some of my review touches on things I mention in my Best of 2008 post, but my opinion about some points have changed since I’ve re-read the book.

Here are some things that really stood out to me upon reading A Companion to Wolves for a second time:

The idea of “honor” and the decisions Isolfr must make to keep his.

Awesome quote #1:

Are you ready, Njall?”

“I suppose,” he said and then in a low-voiced rush, “Ready for what?”

“To attend the tithing. To become a man of the werthreat if you should be chosen. To defend Nithogsfjoll, keep and steading, with your life.” She sighed and pushed an escaped tendril of wheat-fair hair behind her ear. “It is not the path to manhood I would have chosen for you, but it is an honorable path.”

“Father said . . . ” But he could not speak the word “nithling” to his mother. He blushed and mumbled at his boots, “Father said it was my choice, but I fear I have chosen wrong.

She kissed his brow swiftly and said, “You must decide what your honor is, Njall, and hold to it.”

Isolfr’s father is homophobic, and disapproves of the male-centered lives the men of the wolfhealls. So when Isolfr decides to become a wolfcarl to help protect his family and village against the encroaching trolls, his father disowns him and cuts him off from the rest of his family.

Isolfr is chosen by the wolf Viradechtis, a future wolf pack leader. His bond with her quickly becomes the most important thing in his life, and he’s willing to do anything to keep, care for, and protect her.

Here, Isolfr reflects on his new life and the choices he’s made —

Awesome quote #2:

He couldn’t explain, couldn’t find words that even got near the tangled lump of fear and sated pleasure and shame and delight, power and weakness, the terrible feeling of having come adrift from what he had been and not knowing how he was going to become what he had to be — for the wolfthreat (the wolf pack), for the werthreat (the men in the wolfheall), for his family, for Viradechtis. One made choices in going to war, and sacrifices. Because one had to. Because the alternative was not to stand between Halfrid and Kathlin — and even his father and Alfleda, and those who wouldn’t forgive his choice — and the cold north and the trolls.

“No on will force you to remain with the wolfheall, Isolfr,” Hrolleif said. “Though we will mourn you if you go, and none so more than Viradechtis. And I for one think she’s chosen well.”

Hrolleif’s voice trailed off, embarrassed, and Isolfr realized that the wolfsprechend was babbling, trying to make things all right. Finally Isolfr took pity on the man and answered, because there was nothing else he could say, “She’s worth it.”

For Isolfr, Viradechtis and protecting his village and family are worth any price.

One of the more though-provoking aspects of the book is its depiction of sexuality. Sexual expression — how people express themselves as sexual beings, sexual orientation — a person’s innate gender preference of a sex partner, be they of the same or opposite sex or either), and sexual choice (IMO, these are three different things.) While I read ACtW, the term I kept thinking of was . . .

Sexual fluidity.

While Isolfr’s father labels the wolfcarls as “nithling” (what seems to be a pejorative term for homosexual,) things just aren’t that straightforward.

The author’s identify Isolfr as heterosexual, but when he participates in the wolfheall’s mating rituals, it has little to do with “straight” or “gay”.

SPOILER ALERT!! This review is difficult for me to finish without spoilers, so if you don’t want to read some spoilery quotes and comments, just skip to the links at the bottom.

Awesome quote #3:

It is time for you to learn,” Hrolleif said gently, “what happens between werthreatbrothers when a bitch is in season.” His mouth quirked. “And at other times as well.” He leaned down, still gently, his blue eyes full of kindness as well as heat, and kissed Isolfr on the mouth.

This time it was not a chaste kiss. Hrolleif’s mouth was strong, demanding, and Isolfr found himself parting his lips, welcoming Hrolleif’s tongue into his mouth, his hands coming up to steady himself against the wolfsprechend’s shoulders.

He knew the heat in his lower belly as it started to kindle and spread, had felt it many times before in Alfleda’s bed at the keep, and sometimes in the dark of the roundhall as well. He and Sokkolfr, he and Frithulf, had helped each other, as boys do.

But this was not what boys did.

Isolfr, and some of the other wolfcarls do have women lovers. Yet, within the wolfheall, Isolfr knows his future will include a committed consensual same-sex relationship that mimics Viradechtis’ with her chosen wolf consort.

While some mating practices of the wolves (and thus, the wolfcarls) are violent, there are also moments of tenderness. One of my favorite parts of the book is when Isolfr realizes that Skjaldwulf (unlike many of the wolfcarls) doesn’t want Isolfr to gain position within the wolfheall. He want’s Isolfr for himself.

Awesome quote #4:

But then Isolfr felt something, or Viradechtis gave it to him, with the smell of sunlight that was her love and regard, and the sharp sulfur of hot springs that was Mar’s name. And he almost choked on the scent, because what she gave him was Skjaldwulf, filtered through Mar, and it was unmistakeable. Although Mar (Skjaldwulf’s brother-wolf) would be quite pleased to be consort, Skjaldwulf didn’t want to be wolfjarl.

He wanted Isolfr, and he would take the damned job that went with it, if he could win it, if that was what it took.

He (Isolfr) felt raw — had felt raw since Eyjolfr had accosted him, and it was worse now, knowing how Skjaldwulf felt, knowing that there was something in him that was . . . even mentally, he choked over the word “desirable.”

For me, this book really threw my expectations out the window. The characters were who they were, regardless of any kind of sexual “designation.”

Pack and family dynamics.

Some of the most dramatic parts were Isolfr’s interactions with his father. His father’s rejection was heartbreaking. Isolfr must follow his own path doing what he feels is right, and hope that eventually his father will understand the choices he’s made.

The Pack dynamics are just as fascinating. Because Isolfr will someday be a wolfheall leader, he studies the relationships between the wolves and the men, and finds he has a talent for keeping peace and harmony within the sometimes fractious wolfheall.

The authors’ talent for writing great action scenes.

I can appreciate a good battle scene, but can sometimes get impatient for the story to get back to the relationships and character development. Not so, with ACtW. The scenes were just enough to be satisfying, and really exciting.

Awesome quote #5:

He screamed, and the trolls were screaming, and the force of blows struck and blows parried made his arm ache and rocked him from side to side. He looked up once to see a trellsow looming over him, and saw her fall when Hrolleif took her head with a stroke that confounded understanding. Other than that, there was blood, and he fought now beside Frithulf, now beside Ulfgeir, and then beside wolves and men whose names he barely knew, men of Thorsbaer and Bravoll and he knew not where.

The author’s have taken an often used plot device (the animal/human bonded companions) and breathed new life into it. Recently, they’ve announced two sequel’s to ACtWA Reckoning of Men and An Apprentice to Elves. I can’t wait!

Only one warning about this book: the names of the men can be quite confusing. The mass-market paperback does have a “cast of characters”, but even then I felt compelled to make notes on this list to help keep everyone straight. I honestly don’t remember if the hardcover library edition I read last year had this list, but either way, be prepared to have a lot of names with Ulf-, -ric, -olfr, etc.

This is a book I know I’ll be re-reading again and again.

  • Publisher’s site.
  • Sarah Monette’s site.
  • Elizabeth Bear’s site.
  • Excerpt for A Companion to Wolves.

Note: Much thanks to AmyC at Romance Book Wyrm, who also read and reviewed ACtW this week. We had much fun emailing back and forth, and it really helped me to articulate some of my thoughts about the book. Her review is excellent. Go check it out!

February 28, 2009 at 7:00 am 22 comments

Just finished reading . . . Lord of Scoundrels

Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta ChaseLord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase

I was worried I had read/heard so much hype about this one, that I’d be disappointed.

I wasn’t.

Here is the back cover description:

They call him many names but Angelic isn’t one of them…

Sebastian Ballister, the notorious Marquess of Dain, is big, bad, and dangerous to know.  No respectable woman would have anything to do with the “Bane and Blight of the Ballisters” — and he wants nothing to do with respectable women.  He’s determined to continue doing what he does best — sin and sin again — and all that’s going swimmingly, thank you…until the day a shop door opens and she walks in.

She’s too intelligent to fall for the worst man in the world…

Jessica Trent is a determined young woman, and she’s going to drag her imbecile brother off the road to ruin, no matter what it takes.  If saving him — and with him, her family and future— means taking on the devil himself, she won’t back down.  The trouble is, the devil in question is so shockingly irresistible, and the person who needs the most saving is — herself!

I loved Jess. She was such an original character: confident, unconventional, and funny.

As I’ve said before, I love a tortured hero, and Dain is surely that. While at times I wanted to shake him out of his pity party, his growth and journey to accepting himself and Jess’ love made for a great read.

Loretta Chase writes great dialog, and the scenes with Jess’ grandmother Genevieve, crackled.

Awesome quote #1:

The Challenge is to pry Bertie loose from Dain and his circle of oafish dengenerates,” Jessica said severely.

“It would be far more profitable to pry Dain loose for yourself,” said her grandmother. “He is very wealthy, his lineage is excellent, he is young, strong, and healthy, and you feel a powerful attraction.”

“He isn’t husband material.”

“What I have described is perfect husband material.” said her grandmother.

“I don’t want a husband.”

“Jessica, no woman does who can regard men objectively. And you have always been magnificently objective.” 

I think that what makes this scene so great, is that it sets up the readers expectations that it’s going in a certain direction (in this case that “All women want a husband.“) and then stands it on its head.

And then, a little later in the same scene—

Awesome quote #2:

. . . I tell you Dain is a splendid catch. I advise you to set your hooks and reel him in.”

Jessica took a long swallow of her cognac. “This is not a trout, Genevieve. This is a great, hungry shark.”

“Then use a harpoon.”

In the end, though, it really goes back to the characters. I love seeing how Dain’s and Jess’ relationship changes over the course of the book. Once Jessica understands Dain, she has such a great way of addressing his insecurities and self-loathing.

In a shift that takes this story from good to great, Jessica doesn’t just coddle and humor Dain. She makes him take that next step and trust himself and trust in her love.   **SPOILER**  She can’t do it for him. She gives him the push for him to do it himself, and, eventually, for his son. **END SPOILER**

This is the first book I’ve read by Loretta Chase, but it definitely won’t be the last! Are there any in particular I should read next?

February 4, 2009 at 7:00 am 20 comments

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