Eisenhower's romance book discussion group, The Red Feather Society, meets on the second Monday of each month from 7:00 - 8:30 pm. We read a lot of books and love sharing what we've been reading with each other. Please join us.
Red Feather Society
The June meeting of the Read Feather Society marks its return to the second Monday of each month.
This month we were surprised with a bunch of free gifts from Joyee Flynn and Laura Kaye.
You Slay Me by Katie MacAlister
If you're not sure about paranormal romance this is a good series to see if you enjoy the genre.
Aisling Grey is sent to deliver a package to a client. It sounds simple enough but mayhem seems to follow Aisling from one place to another. Her client is found murdered and she meets a mysterious man named Drake who vanishes without a trace along with her package. Wanted for questioning by the authorities Aisling is determined to find the real killer and hunt down the hunky yet infuriating Drake. Her search brings up more than she bargained for along with the revelation that she is a Guardian, like guarding the gates of Hell type of guardian. Full of humor and sarcastic wit Katie MacAlister creates a series that is not to be missed.
Find You Slay Me in the Library
Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet by Darynda Jones
Our reviewers enjoyed this book more than last one. Charlie is still recovering from traumas from the previous book. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is something that she is suffering from and this is preventing some of her powers from working properly. Even though the author tackles some tough issues it was still written in a funny manner that is well paced, and has some killer lines: “No. I’m still pissed at you. Just because you’re hot doesn’t men I’ll forgive you.”
Find Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet in the Library
For those of you who could not join us in October here are the books we talked about. Remember that Red Feather meets the 4th Monday of the month at 7:00pm at the Eisenhower Public Library District.
Sunrise with a Notorious Lord by Alexandra Hawkins
The Lords of Vice are back with Christopher Courtland who is looking for a feminine challenge. Enter Miss Isobel Thorne whose one brave deed piques Courtland's interest and the game is on. Their battle of wills also brings in some of our favorite characters from other books and as everyone knows it is always great to catch up with old friends. We love that Alexandra Hawkins characters have depth with real background details (and not just the main cast). She delivers spicy love scenes that are consistant throughout her series and we look forward to more of her stories.
Kiss of Steel by Bec McMaster
Heroine Honoria Todd just wants to keep herself and her siblings safe from the "blue bloods" - aristocrats infected with vampirism in an alternate version of Victorian London. Blade, rogue blue blood and ruler of Whitechapel, wants Honoria to use against an enemy, and for himself. Our two leads are both deeply flawed, but are logical with each other, which is refreshing. The book is a little long, and obviously sets up the next in the series, but the world is fascinating. The steampunk elements are window-dressing, this is a paranormal romance.
Riveted by Meljean Brook
Third book set in the same world as her other Iron Seas steampunk novels. These have been getting better and so far Riveted is the best. Our hero is maimed via volcano and now has steampunk prosthesis (the cool kind) but is reviled by his town as he is now polluted himself with tech. Our heroine hails from a society of women hidden for hundreds of years. This secret comes into light by our hero who is looking for his mother who was from their society. The relationship is believable and they are great together.
Wild for You by Sophia Knightly
Cop Clay is on the hunt for a stalker who is after his best friend's sister. Too bad she doesn’t know her brother has sent him to watch over her cuz he's kinda cute. Things in their relationship are not cut and dry and it's kinda weird to have a relationship when the guy wont take off his shirt. An embarrassing tattoo causes much strife in therelationship and questions arise. Could Clay be her stalker? Beauty shop owner’s brother is Clays best friend. Is the stalker one of her clients? Fast-paced action complete with obligatory stalker kidnapping = Cop fail. If you enjoy this book, read about her brother's book Sold on You (contemporary romance no kidnapping/suspense).
Tempting the Bride by Sherry Thomas
The Fitzhughs are back! Seen in Ravishing the Heiress Sherry gives us the story of Helena, a strongheaded member of the ton who runs her own publishing house...and is in love with a married man! David is an old friend of her brothers and has loved Helena forever. Unfortunately for him his rakish ways don't put him on her radar and to her David is a villian of the first order. That is, until David sacrifices himself on the altar of matrimony in order to keep the scandal of Helena's affair with a married man a secret. Helena is trapped to wed a man she loathes when a carriage accident causes her to lose her memories of David and her secret love. Will David be able to start anew with Helena? And what will happen when she gets her memories back? Yes it sounds like a clichéd soap opera but it is written very well. Sherry Thomas gives us a great love triangle that shows readers that nothing worth having is ever easy.
We hope everyone enjoyed their summer and want to share what we've been reading over the past two months. We would also like to remind you that the Red Feather Society has been meeting on the 4th Monday of the month. We hope our readers can make it to our new meeting time. If you cannot but still would like to participate please leave comments about what you are enjoying in the romance genre so that we may share them with others. Thanks!
An Afternoon with a Scandalous Marquess by Alexandra Hawkins
This book had been set up so much in the other books that by the time it was written, it was almost a non-book. You knew that the h/h were together in the other books (he’s fallen and had a relationship with the Madam). The dialog felt rushed. A little disappointed. Normally has very, very strong heroines in her books. Not so much this one. Part of the Lords of Vice series.
Bridesmaid Lotto by Rachel Astor
Book 1 in the series (McMaster the Disaster). Mom enters her into a lotto to be a bridesmaid for a famous celebrity. Heroine doesn’t know this. Brother-in-law is also a celeb and heroine has a crush on him. He likes her because she’s not “Hollywoodfake.” Lots of humorous disasters. So far this is only available on Kindle.
How to Drive a Dragon Crazy by G.A. Aiken
It's no secret that we all love G.A. Aiken's series. This book has been a long time coming and while it was well received by all of our readers some thought it was about 100 pages too long. Izzy and Eibhear finally get their own book. This story is set about 10 years later, and both characters have matured and gone through a lot of battles. With much interference from friends and family they finally get together. One of the great parts of this series is that you always get to see your favorite characters from other books and this title doesn't let you down.
Ravishing the Heiress by Sherry Thomas
Millicient (Millie) has been brought up in a very specific way. She never complains, she is to keep her thoughts and emotions to herself and she is GOING to marry her family into the aristocracy no matter what. So at young age she marries Fitz, an earl whose poverty has forced the (unwanted) match upon him. Since they are both so young Millie asks him if they can wait for the wedding night (for 8 years) to which he agrees. Over those years they become best friends but never lovers. Now the 8 years are up but before they make their marriage official Fitz's first love breezes back into London as a widow. Will he decide to go back to the first love he was forced to abandon or will he make Millie his wife in reality? This book was a breath of fresh air. The story and characters were fully developed and you really felt for both of them. Too often the hero gets the short end of the stick but Sherry made you feel how unfair both their circumstances are. A truly engaging read highly recommended.
Sins of a Virgin by Anna Randol
Madeline was once a spy for the crown, but with the war over she's now dropped from the payroll. The world thinks she's a courtesan, in reality she's untouched but not totally innocent. What she does need is money. She waltzes into White's with an outrageous proposal: to auction off her virginity to the highest bidder. Gabriel is a bow street runner who has spent the past seven years hunting for his sister's killer. Now as Madeline's bodyguard he finally has access to members of the ton who are potential suspects. The manhunt is on; after seven years the killer has struck again. Can Gabriel keep Madeline safe? Does she even need him too? This was a fun read, not too steamy yet full of secrets and lies. I really enjoyed how Madeline as a former spy can take care of herself but was also able to not be too proud to ask for help when she needed it. Recommended read.
Even though there has been a drought that has hit most of the country I can safely say that there is no lack of excellent romance titles to quench your thirst. Read on for the good the bad and the ugly.
The Claimed by Caridad Pineiro
Interesting twist on vampires—they feed on dark & light energy. Intimacy on the 1-10 scale was maybe a 2. Book was all about bonding. But, it’s book 2 in the series. Surprisingly well written. Wallbanger at the end—spoiler alert………………… No closure because they’re continuing the series.
How to Woo a Reluctant Lady by Sabrina Jeffries
Reader finished two of them in the series and loved both books. Grandma’s edict: marry or else. Loved the VERY strong no-nonsense character. It is always a pleasure to go back in time with this author.
When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James
Beauty is exiled to marry the “Beast” who refuses to marry. But he keeps her around so that his divorced (the scandal!) parents can develop their romance again. In the process of teaching Beauty to swim, they develop romantic feelings for each other (OK, they have relations). Hero and heroine have great verbal exchanges. They fall in love gradually, which makes the story very believable.
Glitter Baby by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Heroine falls for an older guy, but she suffers a traumatizing event that sends her into seclusion for six years. After she leaves, the actor can’t write any decent work. He signs on to “write only” with her. However, the relationship can’t help but develop. It's a blast from the past since it was from the 80’s, but so well written that it works even today.
The Fireman Who Loved Me by Jennifer Bernard
Grandma decides the heroine needs a REAL guy so she bids on a fireman. There is a bait and switch where the hero substitutes for the auctioned fireman. Heroine goes on that date, but she doesn’t treat him well (big reader disappointment). Whole side story that doesn’t need to be there. Grandmother has to set the house on fire to get the h/h together again. But, the steamy scenes are really good.
Dark Sins and Desert Sands by Stephanie Draven
She’s a Sphinx. She has a tremendous power that can destroy. He’s been tortured and turned into a Minotaur. Hero needs the heroine to help him find who branded him as a traitor. Reader was surprised by how good the book was to read. Has meaty issues (betrayal, honor). Love scenes were HOT. Very impressed.
Lawe's Justice by Lora Leigh
Crazy experimenting created the Breeds. Lawe is one of them, and his group is trying to find and protect others like him. Heroine is human, and he recognizes she’s his mate. He wants to own her, protect her (he’s part wolf). She doesn’t want to be owned. Bedroom scenes were really good. Loved how they fought. But other readers said read the first few books in the series to get the really juicy stuff.
Thief of Shadows by Elizabeth Hoyt
Of the four books in the series, reader felt this was the weakest one. When hero is around other adults, the stick goes up his back side. He has no people skills. Roles are reversed: heroine is sexually experienced, hero is still a virgin (!). Readers loved this part. Ends in a very satisfactory way.
American Vampire by Jennifer Armintrout
Heroine is slutty. Hero is looking at how soon he can eat her (but he’ll kill her, so how will he hide the crime?). Both are flawed characters, but you can’t stop reading the book. Ending is soft, but writing is really good.
We're back again and can't wait for you to take a peek at what we have been reading this past month. Lots of different genres were explored so take a look and we hope you find something great to read on these hot summer nights.
More than a Stranger by Erin Knightly
I thought this book would be really good. It dragged for me. You don’t even get a kiss until halfway through the book. If you want any bedroom action in a book, don’t pick up this one. Only the last 50 pages are worth reading.
Distracting the Duchess by Emily Bryan
The heroine is an artist who mistakes him for her next nude model. He’s a spy trying to uncover secrets her father left behind. But he does what she wants in order to keep his cover. He’s also being told to marry her sister. She finally gets outraged at his shenanigans. She gets involved in trying to find the secret key to her father's past. I like that the heroine wasn’t ditzy, but still strong within her era’s limitations.
Coveted by Shawntelle Madison
Three words; OCD hoarder werewolf, need I say more? Loved the heroine: an outcast werewolf who cannot stand dirt (hard to do when you’re wolfy). She also seeks out Christmas ornaments like her life depends on it. As a werewolf, she can’t defend herself and is kicked out of the pack because of her illness. A really good first novel with lots of elements of comedy. Pick it up and read.
Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
Well here we are. Finally writing something about the much-discussed book of the year. If stringing together of words to form sentences that don't make you cringe is something that you value in your reading material then this book is not for you. It's not even about the subject or the plot, it's the inner dialogue of the main character that will cause the reader more pain than Mr. Grey is able to dish out. Three out of three readers agree: this is a badly written book which you should not bother reading. If you are interested in the genre there are better writers out there than this.
Coming up Roses by Catherine Anderson
Heroine had an abusive husband. He dies, and she buries him under the rose bushes. The hunky neighbor’s dog ends up digging up the rose bushes! They meet, and sparks fly. However, he ends up rescuing the heroine's daughter from a well full of snakes. He gets bitten, and she takes care of him while he recovers. Lots of plot twists. Reads fast, and has funny moments.
We had some really good books this month so take a look below and we're sure you will find something to your liking.
A Week to be Wicked by Tessa Dare
I have tried Tessa before and found her writing unable to keep my attention, but after getting this title at the RT convention in Chicago I decided to give her another try. I have to say that I am glad I did and am actually eagerly awaiting her next book. I really enjoyed the character development and the story. The characters are total opposites and the author does a great jobwith their bantering. The prim and proper heroine is a lady of good breeding but loves science and geology. When she makes a huge historical discovery she asks the hero to run off with her to present her findings and the adventure begins. This one is not to be missed.
God Save the Queen by Kate Locke
This is the first in the series. One of those “What if” stories set in an alternate future, King George was a vampire and so was all of the ton. It's now 2012 and vampire Queen Victoria is still alive and the reigning monarch. The class system is going strong and not everyone has supernatural abilities. Those who are half bloods are there to protect the monarchy and the lowly humans are not happy with the system. It was a really fun read and I want to read more from this universe. Plays on all the British class ideas (royal inbreeding anyone?) Shapeshifters too! Werewolves from Scotland. Goblins are what happen when vamps and weres mate (age old question answered!)
Nice Girls Don't Bite Their Neighbors by Molly Harper
Sooooo...I started out really enjoying this series but I really think it should have ended after the third book. This fourth book has cemented the series into the "cozy vampire" category for me. (It kinda hurts me to even know such a category exists). Don't expect these vampires to actually seek revenge on a human who is trying to kill them. Cuz ya know that's not nice. The only reason to even read the book is to see the main characters get married and to introduce readers to a new character who is the lead of the next book. If you enjoy vampires who let their food walk out on them when they are lying poisoned and dying on the floor go ahead and read the next book. I however expect my long lived vampires to value their lives above their manners and snack on the unsuspecting human instead of letting them leave with promises to return with bottles of blood. Oh well.
Lady Maggie's Secret Scandal by Grace Burrowes
The latest in Grace's Regency series is a delight. Scandals and secrets abound as Lady Maggie attempts to hire an investigator to find something she has lost. If this item is found in the wrong hands it will spell disaster for her and her family. Benjamin is a Lord that has always found what the wealthy members of the ton pay him for and he keeps their secrets well. When Lady Maggie hires him to find her missing item the closer he gets to her secrets the harder he falls for her. Bravo Ms. Burrowes!
Lover Reborn by J. R. Ward
The 10th book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series was much better than the 9th, (it was a flop). The story was a little slow in the middle with character detail but don't let that stop you from finishing it. The rest of the book is well worth it and you really connect with the characters by the end. Don't worry if you start the book not liking Tohr (male lead) by the end of the book you will want to read his story again.
She Tempts the Duke by Lorraine Heath
This tale tells the story of a girl who risks everything to help the hero and his brothers escape a vengeful family member. When he finally returns to seek revenge he keeps his distance in order to smother any feelings that he has for her. Obviously it doesn't work very well. The story wasn't groundbreaking but a decent read.
My Lord Scandal by Emma Wildes
A historical title and you don't really get the plot until the end of the book. That detail has our reader frantically trying to finish the story so the author has done well. A hint of Romeo and Juliet as the two main characters are from families that have long standing feuds but are being pushed together by an outside force that is trying to reveal old family secrets...but for what purpose?
Undaunted Courage by Stephen E. Ambrose
This is not a romance but our review wanted to let others know about this great book. This is an American adventure of epic proportions. Our characters (Lewis and Clark) are on a journey across what will one day be known as America while they face overwhelming odds of survival. Their courage serves them well in the face of adversity.
Artemisia by Alexandra Lapierre
Didn’t like it at first, but it grew on the reader. Her relationship with husband starts to be a love story about 1/3 of the way in. She leaves him, something unheard of at the time, to pursue her art. Husband has issues. Reader is about halfway through, and racing to finish reading.
The Tattooed Duke by Maya Rodale
Big disappointment for two readers. The sex is almost non-existent until the end—but he’s been painted as a roguish adventurer with no restraints! It’s thick and frustrating because the characters go in circles.Meh.
My Lady Captor by Hannah Howell aka. Anna Jennet
Should have been a neat premise. She wants to ransom the hero to raise money for her brother’s ransom. The hero is seething that a WOMAN captured him. It doesn’t stop them from having sex with each other. Later he turns the tables and captures HER, too. And the plot goes on for ever. It took too long.
Breakaway by Deirdre Martin
The descriptions about the town was the best part of the book. Everything else was meh to wallbanger. Our main character gives her love interest the “marry me or else” ultimatum, and he leaves her. Three years later, he wants her back. Secondary mother character is very unlikeable. Heroine is a wuss. Her “I’m never going to be good enough” attitude is grating. Three out of three readers didn’t like it.
Real Men Will by Victoria Dahl
The main character thinks she had sex with him, but it’s really the older brother. They met at a trade show. Later they actually meet, and sparks fly. Just the right amount of tension and conflict. Women are strong characters.
Tempted Again by Cathie Linz
Good read though one fault of the book is that its pop culture references will age quickly. A few coincidences? Yes. But a lighthearted read.
The Principal's Office by Jasmine Haynes
Great premise, but unresolved issues. Our reviewer couldn’t finish the book. It suggests that it might be explicit, but is not really.