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Posts Tagged ‘Quirky Secondary Characters’


(Eternity Gambit, #1)

Genre: Romantic Comedy with Paranormal Elements

Cover Blurb

Being the Devil is a job no one wants. The hours are terrible, the workload unbelievable and frankly, customer service is a nightmare. You’re blamed for everything and liability is no joke when you’re the Lord of Darkness. As a result, turnover for the position is fairly high. The current Lucifer is the seventh lucky one to lose the ultimate lottery and land the title.

Truthfully, there’s very little evil to be instigated.  Free will and a bad history of twisted mythology takes care of all of it–so the guy behind the black onyx desk is generally just the unhappy Archangel left filling out paperwork and doing his best to keep the Big Boss happy. And for Lucifer, forget about dating.  It’s a long, dry run, unless you’re into the women that might be into you–and frankly, the current Lucifer isn’t too turned on by ladies wearing spider web stockings and red Jell-O in their hair.  Not that he blames a few of his predecessors with embracing the Goth hooker thing, but–an Angel has to be true to himself.

So when Lucifer accidentally bumps into a mortal woman who makes him rethink the wisdom of not applying for that maintenance position in Purgatory, it’s a roller coaster ride.  Love can make anyone crazy. And Lucifer is determined to see if he can make it snow in Hell if it will polish up his wings enough to win the girl and get himself fired.

Release date : 8 August 2014

♥♥♥♥♥♥

When I received a copy of this book from Renee Bernard, I was rather intrigued by the curious comment that accompanied it…”It’s NOT a historical romance but I’m hoping it makes you smile”.

This book was not only a complete departure from anything Ms Bernard has ever written before, but also a complete departure from anything I’ve ever read before. Well, did it make me smile? YES! Did I enjoy it? YES!  ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT!

I love Ms Bernard’s imaginative and fun take on the generally accepted idea of hell. She has created a unique world populated by a wonderfully diverse group of offbeat characters.

Lucifer (Luke) may be CEO of H.E. LLc., but whoever heard of the Devil loving ballet or treating his demonic workforce with respect even allowing them office parties and karaoke machines! Caring, sincere and honourable, this Prince of Darkness is seriously flawed.

The romance is sweet and funny (definitely no hot, sweaty sex) as Luke woos the no-nonsense Jayne in a charmingly old-fashioned way…flowers, dinner, dancing. Luke has such an endearing quality and I adore the scene where Jayne spots the spider plant he has acquired because she told him he needed some greenery in his office.

I realize it’s a bit puny but I’m assured these things grow. And the red coffee cup is a nice touch of color. Do you…like it?”

Jayne’s reactions to situations and her inner thoughts are priceless.

Is there a remote infinitesimal chance I just tried to pitch PR services to Lucifer, Prince of Darkness and Overseer of Hell?

The secondary characters – Luke’s Personal Assistant, Malcolm…love his demonic humour; the poker playing Archangels Azrael, Uriel and Michael; Jayne’s best friend, Eliza…her idea of a fun day out never involves shopping; Jayne’s mom, the kind of mom everyone should have – all serve to enhance the story.

The dialogue sparkles and there are plenty of great one-liners like this…

So cry in your cocktails all you want, Lucifer, but I don’t think eHarmony is taking applications from the ninth circle of Hell these days.”

There were moments that had me giggling…the Archangel of Death playing a game of miniature golf; Archangel Michael giving a performance worthy of an Oscar. The overall light tone of the story lends the more poignant events a greater impact.

How I imagine Luke…

 “Hi! I’m Satan! Would you be my girlfriend?”

How I imagine Jayne…

Gee, Mom and Dad! I’m dating Satan!  Want to give me your blessing?

Memorable moments:

Oh, man… If the Marlboro Man, Fabio and the guy who played Thor were put into a blender, they could be this guy’s ugly sidekick. 

“A-a demon? Really?” Jayne couldn’t help the shock that crept into her voice. “I mean, sure—demon. Why didn’t I guess that?”
“Granted, we don’t physically resemble our bad image in the press.” He shrugged as if casually discussing baseball scores. “But what an inconvenience that would be! Sulfur fumes and maggots would make it awfully hard to function, don’t you think?”

“Are you…humming to yourself, sir?” Malcolm asked.
“Hmmm. What?” Lucifer looked up from his desktop and the productivity reports of Hell’s various departments. “No. I’m the Prince of Darkness, Malcolm. I don’t hum, whistle or sing.”

Devil to Pay probably isn’t perfect but it was so entertaining, romantic and funny that I really didn’t notice. Now I’m anticipating more hi-jinks at H.E. LLc. with the future books in the series.


REVIEW RATING: 5/5 STARS

SENSUALITY RATING: SUBTLE

My sincere thanks to Renee Bernard for sending me a copy of  Devil to Pay in return for an honest review.

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*Book 2 of the SCHOOL OF GALLANTRY series*


Setting: London, England, 1830

Official Blurb

DESPERATE TIMES…

It’s been months since Lady Charlotte Chartwell’s philandering husband met his untimely end at the hands of an angry mistress. But as miserable as he made Charlotte in life, his death proves to be an even harsher blow. For not a farthing of his fortune or estate have passed on to her, and as a ruined widow, she is destitute, penniless and utterly without hope.

LEAD TO DESPERATE PLEASURES…

Then, as Charlotte is considering the worst, a man steps into her carriage. His intentions are quite indecent at first, but the more he learns about her, the more an unfamiliar—and undesirable—emotion creeps over him. Could it be compassion? Never! For this is Alexander Baxendale, third Earl of Hawksford. He is known throughout the ton as the Lord of Pleasure, dedicated to passion, ruthless in his pursuit of sensual gratification. Yet never in all his exploits has he met a woman who could intrigue him as Charlotte does. Can this mysterious beauty make him hang up his title and see to her pleasure alone?

★✩★✩★✩★✩★

WHAT A SINFULLY DELECTABLE TREAT!  LORD OF PLEASURE WAS JUST THE PERFECT TONIC FOR A COLD, WET MARCH DAY!

It’s original, funny, touching and sensual, with a delightful array of quirky, larger-than-life characters who stole my heart.

How I imagine Alex…

A woman could learn to fall in love with a man who not only saw to his family but also offered a struggling woman assistance without making it feel as such.

I know I fell for Alexander (Alex). I love his charm, his wit, his honesty and his protectiveness towards his family and Charlotte. The fact that he is drop-dead gorgeous and just oozes sex appeal, doesn’t hurt either!

How I imagine Charlotte …

Strong-willed. Intelligent. Tough. Yet still made of enough fine porcelain to make her fragile.

I like Charlotte. She’s strong and independent but with a core of vulnerability which makes her all the more endearing. She’s completely alone in the world, after her scoundrel of a husband dies under scandalous circumstances, leaving her penniless. She’s realist enough to believe that her dream of finding the sort of genuine love her parents had shared and a family of her own will never be more than a dream now.

Whilst I love the simmering sexual tension and steamy love scenes between Alex and Charlotte, I also look for moments of deep emotional connection between them. It makes their feelings for each other seem real. There’s one particular scene where they really open up to each other and the emotional connection is so strong.

“You came.” He said it as if she had bestowed him with the greatest of gifts.

♥♥♥♥

Seeing the compassion and tenderness in his eyes made her feel as if a new beginning was possible. And it was a wonderful, warm feeling, to say the least.

There are so many uproariously funny scenes in this book that I’m hard-pressed to pick my favourite. But I do love the scene where Charlotte interviews Alex for entry into the School of Gallantry with its racy, quick witted exchanges and tantalizing sexual tension simmering just beneath the surface. Here’s a snippet from one of their exchanges…

“Do you sheath yourself during your escapades, My Lord? Or is there a chance you could be unclean?”
Alexander genuinely laughed in response. “A man of my experience would never engage in any escapade without sheathing himself. I always come prepared. Rest assured, love, I am clean. Very clean.”
He stood and gestured toward the buttons on his trousers, trying to remain serious, though he felt anything but. “Does the school require proof?”

Of course, there’s much more to this scene but I won’t spoil the fun!

I love the secondary characters; Alex’s outrageous family, otherwise known as the ‘Hawksford Misfits’, his friend Lord Caldwell, with the mysterious ‘secret’ and, my favourite, Madame de Maintenon.

How I imagine Madame de Maintenon…

Ah, what can I say about the notorious Madame de Maintenon… she’s sexually liberated, delights in flaunting the stuffy rules of society at every turn and, ah yes, such a colourful life she’s led!

“…I once had the honor—and I do mean that—of pleasuring his father.” She eyed her. “And his mother. Though I ask that you keep that to yourself and not tell Maybelle or anyone else.” She winked mischievously and lowered her voice. “I was supposed to be in retirement, but the money was simply too good.”

I’ll let Alex have the final word….

Then she, he, and all of his sisters—and, yes, even his blasted mother—would all live excessively and happily ever after. The way a Hawksford damn well should.

Just as it should be!

If you want a richly entertaining slice of escapism, then LORD OF PLEASURE is just perfect!

VERDICT:  FANTASTIC! LOVED IT!

MY RATING:  5/5 Stars

SENSUALITY RATING: HOT

Read March 2013

The School of Gallantry series (click the book covers for more details) :

Mistress of Pleasure (School of Gallantry #1) Lord of Pleasure (School of Gallantry #2) Lady of Pleasure (School of Gallantry #3) Night of Pleasure (School of Gallantry, #4)

 

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Image

FAIRY TALES #1

Official Blurb

Miss Kate Daltry doesn’t believe in fairy tales . . . or happily ever after.

Forced by her stepmother to attend a ball, Kate meets a prince . . . and decides he’s anything but charming. A clash of wits and wills ensues, but they both know their irresistible attraction will lead nowhere. For Gabriel is promised to another woman—a princess whose hand in marriage will fulfill his ruthless ambitions.

Gabriel likes his fiancée, which is a welcome turn of events, but he doesn’t love her. Obviously, he should be wooing his bride-to-be, not the witty, impoverished beauty who refuses to fawn over him.

Godmothers and glass slippers notwithstanding, this is one fairy tale in which destiny conspires to destroy any chance that Kate and Gabriel might have a happily ever after.

Unless a prince throws away everything that makes him noble . . .

Unless a dowry of an unruly heart trumps a fortune . . .

Unless one kiss at the stroke of midnight changes everything…

★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩★✩★★✩★✩★✩★

After reading all the great reviews about this book, I was really looking forward to reading it. Unfortunately, I have to count myself amongst the small number of readers who found it disappointing.

I did enjoy the zany humour, the wonderful array of quirky secondary characters (particularly Kate’s ‘fairy’ godmother, Henry, with her deliciously wicked tongue), the royal menagerie and even the yapping rats. My problem was that I couldn’t seem to warm towards Gabriel and so the romance just didn’t work for me. Like some other readers, for me the love scene in the turret bedroom just seemed distasteful and it was more about like mutual lust than mutual love. Even Gabriel’s groveling came far too late to placate me.

Berwick, Gabriel’s half-brother, was the one who won my heart and I can’t wait to read his story in Storming the Castle.

Coco, Caesar and ‘Freddie’ – the three small, yapping, silky Malteses (aka the ‘rats’)

Overall, I was really disappointed with the first book in Eloisa James’s new series but I definitely want to read When Beauty Tamed the Beast.

RATING : ★★★½

[Read May 2012]

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