Friday, May 14, 2010

Review of "Flirting with Forever" by Gwyn Cready

I actually finished this book a few days ago, but kept putting the review off. Not because it's a bad review, or a bad book, but because I just wanted to be blah for a few more days. I feel better now. So on to our review!

Disclaimer: I received this book from the author/publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. I did not receive any money for a review, or anything else.

Type: Romance, Time Travel, Historical-ish (that's a type, right?)

From the back of the book: " Art historian Campbell Stratford is about to make a name for herself with her scandalously sexy tell-all "fictographies" of famous seventeenth-century artists, but she's more intimately familiar with her subjects than her eager readers can imagine. Thanks to a time portal she accidentally discovered, she has caused quite a stir in the Great Beyond. To save their reputations, the Guild protecting dead artists convinces playboy Peter Lely, a portraitist to the king, to sabotage Cam's latest project. A few hours posing on Sir Peter's modeling chaise leads to a night of seductive passion - then Cam returns home and discovers his betrayal. But before she can turn her angry pen on her love, Sir Peter makes a surprise visit to the future and transforms Cam's twenty-first-century life into chaos of classic proportions. "

I have to say, I think this was my first experience with a hero/leading man named Peter. I wasn't sure I would be able to handle it, to be honest. I'm a huge fan of strong, interesting, mythical sounding names... and Peter seemed so.. ordinary. That, or I was constantly afraid of imaging Peter Griffin from Family Guy. But you know, I have to give the author some major credit here - I really connected with Peter as a character, and I even grew quite fond of the name. The name fit him, and he was/is quite the strong character, so I now see the name Peter in a different light.

In my early semesters in college, I took some Art History classes, the first just to fill a requirement, and the second because I enjoyed it so much. Since then, other than an occasional trip to a museum, I've almost lost my love of art. But after reading this book, I've found it again. Describing the painting process Peter used, or what was going through his mind with each stroke, made the whole process very sensual.

On a similar note.. Hoobah! Talk about sensual (read: sex) scenes! Whew. I actually took this book to work with me to read on my breaks, and I know I was blushing like crazy during the.. delicious scenes. The painting scene was wonderful, amazingly described, and frankly, I want to run out and find me a painter and hopefully get the same feeling Cam got to experience... lucky girl.

And on to the evil villain - the sister. Ahh, what a good evil person she was! Sure, there were some definite cliched moments, but they were perfectly so, at least in my opinion. She was so b**chy, so hateful, so mean.. I just wanted to smack her. I was a little disappointed with how she turned out in the end, however. I wanted her to... well, if I said any more, it would be possibly spoilers, so no more!

And my last, but certainly not least, point was to mention the only con about this book for me. I had trouble getting into it, and it seemed a little confusing in the beginning. I believe this was because this was the first book by this author I have read, and therefore missed a little more explanation that would have been present in a previous book. But things made sense in the long run, and I'm glad I stuck with it and kept reading.

Final verdict - FOUR shirtless hunks out of FIVE. I really did enjoy this book, despite the occasional confusion. I do hope to check out more by this author - I think this author's idea of time travel and such is fascinating. Hope you all get to check out "Flirting With Forever" by Gwyn Cready!

Happy Reading!
~!~ Morning Glow

Monday, May 10, 2010

Review of "Love in the Time of Dragons" by Katie MacAlister

Well, another book positively inhaled. "Love in the Time of Dragons" came out last Tuesday, and I've been searching for it since then. Finally managed to find it at Borders, which is a 30 minute drive, btw, but dang was it worth it.

Darned Disclaimer: I, the reviewer, bought this book on my own. The book, nor any monetary compensation, was given for me in exchange for a review.

Type: Paranormal romance (the Dragon kind!)

From the back of the book: " Tully Sullivan is just like any other suburban mom - unless you count the days every ear that she zones out and turns base metals into gold. Those are weird. And now she's woken up in a strange place surrounded by strange people who keep insisting thet they're dragons - and that she's one too. But not just any dragon. She's Ysolde de Bouchier, a famed figure from dragon history.
Tully can't shape-shift or breathe fire, and she's definitely not happy being sentenced to death for the misdeeds of a dragon mate she can't remember. All Tully knows is that she wants her son back. So she'll have to find a way to solve the crimes of a past she has no memory of living... "

Sounds good, right? It was! But then, this is Katie MacAlister we're talking about. I wouldn't expect anything less. While I love everything she does, her Dark Ones and the Dragons series are the best. And "Love in the Time of Dragons" is no exception. In her Dragons series, we've had Drake, wyvern of the green dragons, Gabriel, wyvern of the silver dragons, and now Baltic, who is a Light dragon - a whole new ball game here, folks. While this book has classic Katie Mac elements, at the same time, this feels so different. These two - Baltic and Tully/Ysolde, are fighting to find out their past, and to keep their lives. Despite this being a novel of the Light dragons, this part of the series may be taking a slightly darker path.

Baltic has been the Big Bad through the whole series, though he didn't really make an appearance until May and Gabriel's books. But here he is in his own book, and this time, maybe he's not as bad as we think. Oooh, I just love stories where you get to see things from the supposed-bad guy's point of view. And Baltic definitely isn't a goody two-shoes sort of Dragon (are any of them?), but he's not the horrible creature every thinks he is.

I loved Baltic's character, and Tully, and Brom - Tully's son. Normally, reading a book where the heroine already has a child or is pregnant is not my thing. But Katie MacAlister even managed to get me to enjoy that! Brom is such an interesting character, and adds an equally interesting dynamic to Baltic and Tully/Ysolde's relationship. Speaking of Tully/Ysolde... I can't imagine what it's like to forget everything about your life, and only get glimpses of it through visions or dreams. Entire decades, or maybe even centuries, of her life are missing. Which is also an interesting twist to the story - to know someone, in this case - Baltic, but at the same time, you don't.

There are a few things I wish could be tied up in this story - like who the heck Gareth really is? And what he is. If this was mentioned in the book, I managed to miss it. There were also a few other points (all spoilers, so I won't mention them here) that were left hanging out there - a cliffhanger ending, darn it. But Katie MacAlister has already mentioned she's working on the second Baltic and Ysolde book, so thank goodness for that.

I give "Love in the Time of Dragons" FIVE hunky shirtless men out of FIVE. Trying out a new rating system based on the suggestion of a good friend. I love Katie MacAlister and all she does, obviously, but this book left me with a whole different feeling at the end - and it's not a bad one. I'm eagerly awaiting the sequel.

And speaking of eagerly awaiting - in the back of "Love in the Time of Dragons," there's a teaser for the next Dark Ones book - "In the Company of Vampires." Katie has already revealed the cover and stepback cover (so gorgeous!!), but I've been awaiting this book for years - it's Ben and Fran's story, from her Goth Faire YA books. In the next Dark Ones installment, Ben and Fran are re-united, and I say it's about time! I about pulled my hair out after reading the teaser - I can't wait until November!

Upcoming releases for Katie MacAlister:
"Cupid Cats" - anthology with Vicki Lewis Thompson and Connie Brockway (July 2010)
"Deaths Excellent Vacation" - anthology (August 2010)
"In the Company of Vampires" - Ben and Fran's book (November 2010)

Happy Reading!