Monday, October 15, 2007

Catherine Kean - My Lady's Treasure


A legendary treasure waiting to be found, a treasure so valuable that one has schemed, betrayed loved ones and killed for to get it, but sometimes the real treasure does not consist of gold and coins...

This story takes you back to medieval England, back to a time where the legend of King Arthur's treasure is still very much alive. You immediately get introduced to Lady Faye Rivellaux, a headstrong penniless widow, who lives at Caldstowe Keep thanks to the grace of Lord Torr Lorvais. She has vowed to protect the child of her best friend, but now the little girl has been kidnapped and she has to pay ransom to get the girl back, but all she has to offer to the kidnapper is a gold cup.

Brant Meslarches is a fierce, scarred warrior who has just returned from the crusade, during this crusade his brother was murdered and now he has to deal with his inner turmoil. He is determined to leave no stone unturned to accomplish his brother's dream, namely to find King Arthur's legendary treasure. Against his will he has to collect ransom for an acquaintance, he is astonished when this beautiful bold lady shows him a gold cup as ransom. Finally Brant has prove that the treasure exists!

They need each other to achieve their goals, so they make a deal. He will help her find the girl and she will join him on his quest to find the treasure. But they soon discover they are in danger, for they are not the only ones hunting the treasure ...

From the first chapter Catherine Kean pulled me into her book and I could not put it down. This story is an easy and delightful read. Basically the plot is simple with only one major subplot, but it is refreshing, original and very well written with an astounding surprise at the end. It speaks of love, trust, commitment and betrayal.

Ms. Kean writes with such an intensity that you hold your breath in anticipation of what will happen next. She describes things so vividly that you can actually picture medieval England, the scenery, Caldstowe Keep and its population. With great detail she has captured the daily life and traditions of the people in the dark ages.

She has a gift to bring her characters to live, in this story she focus mainly on the hero and heroin, page by page you get to know more of Faye and Brant. Their relationship is built up very slow, you see the subtle changes, from mistrust to trust, but right from the start you feel the chemistry between them. Their encounters leap off the pages and are always sensual and interlaced with passion and that made me devour the pages. Their relationship is so believable and moving that my heart cried out for them when they got separated due to misunderstandings and lack of faith in each other.

This story does not really have strong secondary characters, except for Torr. He is an intriguing man of great strength and just like Faye and Brant he has his own secrets to protect, but there is definitely more to him than meets the eye.

Catherine Kean delivers a medieval story so enchanting, dazzling and full of passion that it will keep you at the edge of your seat. Faye and Brant's quest will take you on an emotional roller coaster ride and will keep you flipping the pages till there are no more pages to flip. Ms. Kean sweeps you off your feet with the intensity of her writing and I cannot wait to read her next novel!

4 stars

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Jean Johnson - The Master - Sons of Destiny Series 3


The Third of Sons shall meet his match:
Strong of will and strong of mind
You seek she who is your kind
Set your trap and be your fate
When Lady is the Master’s mate

Eight mage-brothers who were born in four sets of twins, all on the same day two years apart each time, are known as the Sons of Destiny. They fulfil the Curse of the Eight Prophecies, written by the seer Draganna over a thousand years ago. They were exciled by the Council of Mages of Katan to Nightfall Isle to prevent the fulfilment of the eight prophecies. But now with two fulfilled prophecies and the fourth already on it’s way, the thirdborn of the eight mage brothers stands not the ghost of a chance to get away from his destiny.

Lady Serina, a great mage and obsessed mathematician, cannot believe her luck when she, by chance sees Dominor at the slave market. He is the answer to all her prayers, she needs a powerful mage from abroad to participate in a mating ritual to undo a permanent spell that was cast long ago. To secure his co-operation she conveniently conceals a major detail of this ritual. She is sure he is competent and powerful enough to perform this mating ritual with her and of course it doesn’t hurt that she is attracted to this very tall, handsome, sexy stranger. But what will he do if he ever finds out the whole truth?

Taken captive and far away from his home Nightfall Isle, Dominor is sold as a slave at a slave market. His humiliation is complete. The beautiful Lady Serena buys him and offers him a deal, he is to aid her in a mating ritual in exchange for his freedom and powers. As an arrogant and dominant male he wants to be in control of his own life again so he agrees, but he cannot help feeling that this beautiful, clever Lady has not told him the whole truth about this mating ritual. He also cannot shake the feeling that she might be destined to be his wife. Has he finally met his match?

This story is mainly about Serina and Dominor. Dom is truly an alpha male, handsome, sexy, arrogant, very competitive and all alone in a strange place that is called Natallia. Serina is very obsessed with her work, so obsessed that she forgets she has a social life as well. When she gets angry or upset she throws vases through her workroom. They are very different and at the same time very alike, Dom has finally met his intellectual equal and it turns him on. Their attraction just vibrates from the pages.

As the story develops further you see how Dom doesn’t feel the need anymore to compete with her all the time, he feels content with managing her life and just to be in it. Misunderstandings tear them apart, leaving them both alone to deal with their inner turmoil. I really felt for them, they are adoring characters.

Dom to Serina:

“Put yourself in my hands,” he promised her, “and I will give you pleasures untold.”

Serina to Dom:

“Stop teasing me, Dominor, and start pleasing me!”

In this volume of the Sons of Destiny Jean Johnson takes a whole new direction with her plot. The magical world gets explored much more in depth, she shows us how magic influences daily life and what happens when one cast a spell thoughtlessly. At the same time she gives us subtle clues on plots still to come in future installments. Slowly you see the development of a larger plot that probably has it's grand finale at the end of this series and how every character introduced to us, each in his or her own way, plays a part in it. Little by little all the pieces come together. For instance it turns out that Rydan, the gorgeous sexy, brooding sixthborn brother, already knows Serina and has a few other secrets of his own. I really like to know how powerful he really is, there is so much more to him than meets the eye!

So with this book Jean Johnson once again proves that she has a vivid imagination. She has created a perfect blend of romance, magic, destined mates and a touch of history. I love it! I have devoured every page as if it was the last one of the book. So far these series is a fantastic enthralling read and I cannot wait to read Evanor’s story!

Jean Johnson keeps you riveted to your couch with her new book!

4 stars

Paula Quinn - Lord of Desire - Risande Trilogy 1


A fierce warrior determined not to lose his heart again and a headstrong lady persistent to win his heart, let the battle begin...

Once he was called “The Passionate”, but nowadays lord Brand Risande has not a passionate bone left in his body. Betrayed and hurt by the one woman he loved with all his heart, Brand has vowed to never ever love again. Now this ruthless warrior is claiming the land he legally won in battle from lord Richard Dumont, but he can only posses the land if he marries Brynna, the daughter of lord Dumont. Reluctantly he accepts that he has to marry her, but he vows to never ever love her. Yet the second he set his eyes on the beautiful and headstrong Brynna he knows he is in trouble and has to stay calm and collected no matter what.

Lady Brynna Dumont is furious when she finds out she has to marry this total stranger that defeated her father in battle, but she loves her people and her land with heart and soul so she agrees to marry this feral warrior. She is highly surprised when she discovers that the savage man she has to marry is the same passionate man she once spied on and secretly fell in love with. But the man in front of her does not even posses a heart, he is as cold as ice. Determined and stubborn as Brynna is, she decides to fight and win his affection, but is it not labour lost to battle for Brand’s heart when it was taken long ago by another woman?

From the first chapter this book kept me riveted to my sofa, I could not put it down and I finished it in one sitting with a big smile on my face. You don’t get to read a story like this every day and it swept me of my feet. With her debut novel Paula Quinn throws you back in time to the year 1065 AD, with a great eye for historical detail she has captured a medieval England that only adds to the overall authenticity of the book. This lady certainly has done her research.

In Brand Risande, Paula Quinn has created a charming, handsome but complex hero, one that has to deal with his broken heart, lives by his code of honour and values loyalty above anything else. Your heart just cries out for him. Brynna Dumont is a beautiful headstrong persistent heroine that speaks her mind, a heroine who will not settle for a marriage of convenience. You will sympathise with her struggle to capture Brand’s heart that seems to be impossible.

The supporting cast of charming characters are deeply passionate and profound. You will be intrigued by Brand’s brother Dante, he is one sexy rogue and you will see him again in part two of this trilogy. William is this boorish guy you just have to love and then there is this person I hated instantly, need I say more? The dialogues are witty, full of humour and leap off the pages, especially the ones between Brand and Brynna are sensual and interlaced with passion. Paula Quinn writes so vivid, so intense that you completely forget the world around you and only want to read more of these engaging characters she has created.

Brynna to Brand and vice versa:

“I am not leaving Avarloch, of that you can be sure. And if ignoring you does not work, I could just kill you in your bed.”

“That sounds very tempting.”

With her debut novel Lord of Desire Paula Quinn has delivered the perfect fast paced medieval story. It is masterfully written and researched with characters of debt. This story will grab you and hold you tight in your seat to the very last page! I am looking forward to read Paula’s Quinn next novel, because this one left me breathless!

4,5 stars