Author: Rhiannon Held
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Andrew Dare is a werewolf. He’s the enforcer for the Roanoke pack, and responsible for capturing or killing any Were intruders in Roanoke’s territory. But the lone Were he’s tracking doesn’t smell or act like anyone he’s ever encountered. And when he catches her, it doesn’t get any better. She’s beautiful, she’s crazy, and someone has tortured her by injecting silver into her veins. She says her name is Silver, and that she’s lost her wild self and can’t shift any more. The packs in North America have a live-and-let-live attitude, and try not to overlap with each other. But Silver represents a terrible threat to every Were on the continent. Andrew and Silver will join forces to track down this menace while discovering their own power and their passion for each otherSilver is an adult urban fantasy novel like no other. First and foremost, it tackles one of the most unique ideas I've come across in my reading of werewolf lore and I just loved the manner in which this was executed. It was told mostly as a murder mystery, but it contained heavy character development as well, switching between the perspectives of Andrew and Silver. In all honesty, it is them who drive this novel forward, with their scarring pasts and struggles to make a better future for themselves and their romance is very subtle and truly beautiful to see play out.
While I truly enjoyed reading Silver, with its plot twists and dark tale, I did think it could have benefited from a little more emphasis on the world-building. It isn't shabby in the least, but I would have liked a few more details. Furthermore, I found that some scenes, while definitely contributing to some of the character qualities that Andrew and Silver possessed, could have been cut out entirely. In my opinion, they didn't do much for the novel and made it a little chunkier than it could have been. Lastly, and most probably my biggest qualm, was the unrealistic situation when it came to the villain. I found it a little hard to believe that the villain was so preoccupied with a beautiful woman that he didn't hear his prisoner break free of his chains on the floor below and make a racket while crawling up the stairs towards him...you see what I mean?
Yet, overall, Silver was an excellent tale. As a character, Silver can often come across as insane due to her situation, but the ultimate way in which this was dealt with and the fact that Andrew was able to see her inner strength despite that just made me fall in love with the romance - and this book - even more. If you're looking for an unique take on werewolf lore or are just another fan of Adult Urban Fantasy with a tinge of murder mystery and a hint of romance, this is just the book for you! :)
Title: Tempting the Best Man (Gamble Brothers, #1)
Author: J. Lynn
Rating: 3 Stars
Madison Daniels has worshipped her brother's best friend since they were kids. Everyone thinks she and Chase Gamble would make the perfect couple, but there are two major flaws in their logic. 1) Chase has sworn off relationships of any kind, and 2) after blurring the line between friends and lovers for one night four years ago, they can't stop bickering. Forced together for her brother's wedding getaway, Chase and Madison decide to call a truce for the happy couple. Except all bets are off when they're forced to shack up in a tacky 70’s honeymoon suite and survive a multitude of "accidents" as the family tries to prove their "spark" can be used than for more than fighting. That is, if they don't strangle each other first…Temping the Best Man is not a novel I would have normally picked up off the shelves, but it was exactly what I needed at the time - mindless entertainment. Not only was it a ton of fun to read with the cute banter between Madison and Chase, it was also a very sweet and steamy romance. I reserve books like this for those times when I just need a quick get-away or escape and this story worked out beautifully.
Nevertheless, that being said, there were quite a few qualms I noticed when I finally stepped back from the romantic euphoria that surrounds this story. For one, the ending never directly addresses many of the misunderstandings that occurred during the last couple of chapters in this novel and felt like an ultimate cop-out in that sense. Furthermore, I never understood, until just before the ending, why Maddie constantly told Chase he wasn't like his father because to me, he definitely seemed like it. You see, Chase's father more-or-less slept with other women during his marriage to Chase's mother and by being a playboy, Chase never shrugged off that image either. Yet, Maddie always insisted that Chase wasn't like his father and it was difficult to see this until the ending.
Ultimately though, I read this book for a purpose and that purpose was fulfilled wonderfully. I had a lot of fun reading this and wound up sitting up for a considerable amount of time, flipping the pages of this one rather frantically. If you're a fan of romance, I am confident you'll adore this novel much more than I did. It's a definite comfort read and the ideal book to get you out of a reading slump and back into reading more serious pieces of fiction!
Title: On Dublin Street
Author: Samantha Young
Rating: 4 Stars
Four years ago, Jocelyn Butler left her tragic past behind in the States and started over in Edinburgh. Burying the grief, ignoring her demons, and forging ahead without any real attachments has worked well for her so far but when Joss moves into a fantastic apartment on Dublin Street, her carefully guarded world is shaken to its core by her new roommate's sexy older brother. Braden Carmichael is a man who always gets what he wants. And what he wants is Jocelyn in his bed. Knowing how skittish Joss is concerning any kind of relationship, Braden proposes a sexual arrangement that should satisfy the intense attraction between them without it developing into anything 'more'. An intrigued Jocelyn agrees, completely unprepared for the Scotsman and his single-minded determination to strip the stubborn young woman bare... to the very soul.I think the first thing I need to point out about this novel is that the synopsis is utterly misleading. Very misleading. You see, more than a simple, steamy romance, On Dublin Street is really a story of grief and its impact on a young girl. In fact, for much of this story, there is no romance and the romance which eventually emerges in this tale is one that only furthers the character development.
I am not a huge fan of mindless romance novels, but On Dublin Street really made me appreciate and ponder over the walls people put up and why they put them up. Furthermore, I've never understood the whole friends-with-benefits situation, but it actually makes sense in this novel! So many cliches which I thought I hated and could never come to terms with were all shown in such a positive light where they worked for this story. It's important to point out that doesn't happen with every tale, but situations like seeing a therapist or exploring the stages of grief or even cliched occurrences like jealousy and what-not were actually necessary and only strengthened this tale, making me love it all the more.
Overall, the romance in this novel is beautifully written and slow-to-burn, the characters contain an immense amount of depth and personality, the friendships are tight and the bonds that this novel contains are ones for life. I loved the amount of growth that Joss went through in this book and she's a character who surprisingly made her way into my heart. In addition, this is one romance I'll be re-reading again and again, simply because it has an addictive quality to it