Review: Into Dust

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Into DustInto Dust (The Montana Hamiltons, #5) by B.J. Daniels
Published by HQN Books on July 26th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 368
Goodreads
four-stars

FINAL DECISION:  Action packed and very intriguing romantic suspense. There is more suspense than romance, but I enjoyed this one enough to want to read more of the series.  A warning that the story is not self-contained.

THE STORY:  When Cassidy Hamilton, youngest daughter of potential US President, is almost kidnapped off the street, she is saved by cowboy Jack Durand. The two end up on the run trying to find out who wants Cassidy.  The truth strikes close to home for both Cassidy and Jack as it appears that family might be at the heart of the danger that both are in.  The conspiracy that the two tumbled into is decades old and people will kill to bring the conspiracy to fruition.

OPINION:  I really liked that the book began with immediate action.  The book was very focused on the suspense portion of the story.  There is a romance, but I wouldn’t read the book for the romance alone because the focus of the story is the mystery suspense.

The book is filled with overlapping stories and points of view which makes the book a big puzzle.  I thought the book was filled with tension and drama and I worked to figure out who was being deceptive and who was honest.

The suspense story is definitely the highlight.  There is a lot going on here and I think it might have been even better if I had read the other books in the series.

The romance between Jack and Cassidy was pretty predictable at first but wrapped in a very tension filled and dramatic storyline.  I was completely surprised by how their romance ended up.  The story is not complete here and the twist at the end might end up disappointing those looking for a pure romance.  I ended up being completely enthralled by the story and definitely will be reading the next book to find out what happens.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This is the first book by B.J. Daniels that I have ever read, I thought it was good and I now want to read the Montana Hamiltons series from the beginning.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  INTO DUST is the fifth book in the Montana Hamiltons series. I have not read any of the other books in the series, but I was able to figure out most of what was going on. I suspect that the book would be even better if I had read the other books in the series.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4 stars.

four-stars

Review: The Angels’ Share

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Angels’ ShareThe Angels' Share (The Bourbon Kings, #2) by J.R. Ward
Series: The Bourbon Kings #2
Published by NAL on July 26th 2016
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 432
Goodreads
five-stars

“Timing, like fate, is everything.”

–the Note from the Author

FINAL DECISION:  One of my favorite books of the year.  THE ANGELS’ SHARE interweaves the individual stories of the various siblings in a compelling dramatic and amazingly mesmerizing way.  I couldn’t put this book down and my only regret is that I have to wait for the next book in the series.

THE STORY:  This book picks up immediately after the events of THE BOURBON KINGS.  The head of the family, William Baldwine has been found dead after the discovery of his embezzlement from the family company and the personal family fortunes.  First believed a suicide, suspicion begins to fall on the oldest brother, Edward, who was almost killed by William leaving Edward in pain, scarred and a shadow of his former self.  Edward also struggles with his attraction for Sutton Smythe, the new head of the family company’s rival and the woman Edward has wanted for years.  This story, along with the youngest brother Lane’s struggle to grasp the scope of the family’s financial problems and save them all are the focus of this book but there are other ongoing stories.  Gin, the sister continues her self destructive ways, loving lawyer Samuel while agreeing to marry a man she hates for money.  Now Maxwell, the mysterious brother who has been gone for years, has returned as well.

OPINION:  I came to this series after reading and enjoying Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood paranormal romance/urban fantasy series.  I actually like this series more.  After reading the THE BOURBON KINGS last year, I returned to the BDB series with a better appreciation of the multi-narrative technique that Ward uses in both series.

In THE ANGELS’ SHARE, the multi-narratives give this book the sense of a saga, a soap opera, a complex story that slowly reveals itself.  By slowly disclosing the individual stories of these characters, their complexity and humanity is revealed.  By giving readers the personal viewpoints of the various characters, we can understand them even when they are not particularly likeable.

The organizing narrative again comes from Lane.  Lane is becoming the family head after the death of his father.  With the strength of his love for Lizzie, Lane is changing and growing into a role that should have been his oldest brother Edward’s.  I adore Lane who is becoming a truly admirable man as the story progresses.  His honest struggles and mistakes make him eminently likeable and I still love his weakness for the practical and grounded Lizzie.

I want to say that this book is not a romance in the traditional sense.  Lane and Lizzie are together at the beginning of this book and no one else has a happy ending at the end.  I usually avoid giving spoilers, but those readers who insist on a very traditional read will not find that here.  Instead, there are multiple romances in this saga, all of which change and are exposed here for good or for bad.  The mistakes and miscommunications and successes of these characters in relationship to one another is the focus. Life and relationships are complicated things, changing and molding these characters.

Edward, the oldest brother, goes through the most growth in this book.  After being abused and tortured by his kidnappers in South America, Edward has spent years in pain and pitying himself.  Having abandoned everything that was important to him before, he remains angry.  After an experience that has fundamentally changed him, he doesn’t know how to deal with those changes and how even to integrate those he loves from his life before.  Instead, he wallows in a half life.  Now a suspect in his father’s death, Edward is being moved from his stasis. He has two women in his life now — Sutton, who he loved for years but believes that he can now never be good enough for, and Shelby who never knew him before and has no expectations of him. Things are changing for Edward and by the end we see that he has a lot of secrets that have yet to be revealed.

Gin, the sister, is in trouble.  Engaged to marry a man who she hates because she fears the loss of the family fortunes, she continues her self-destructive ways.  Much of Gin’s story remains a mystery but even for her there are bright spots.  In fact, there is scene between her sometime lover and often nemesis Samuel that is my favorite in the book.  The incredibly deft hand that Ward uses in crafting that scene made it one that both warmed and broke my heart reading it.  The question of how these two people who love one another so much managed to mess it up so badly remains concealed for another day.

We are finally introduced to the mysterious sibling Maxwell. He only has a small appearance in this book, but he clearly has secrets of his own.

Ward has interwoven these stories in such a way that I was sucked into the stories and couldn’t put this book down.  I read through much of the night with the “just one more chapter”. When I reached the end of the book, I was both incredibly satisfied and incredibly anxious for the next book in the series. I am addicted this dysfunctional family and I have to know what happens next!

WORTH MENTIONING:  The “angels share” refers to the amount of bourbon that is lost during the aging process though evaporation.

CONNECTED BOOKS: THE ANGELS’ SHARE is the second book in The Bourbon Kings series. This series consists of the stories of the Bradford family heirs to the Bradford bourbon company.  The stories of the siblings (and their friends) are intertwined in each book.  While a reader could skip the first book in the series and catch up here, this is a family saga where each book builds on the prior one and leaves much to be resolved in later books.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 5 enthusiastic stars.

five-stars

Review: Dead of Winter

Review: Dead of WinterDead of Winter (The Arcana Chronicles, #3) by Kresley Cole
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on January 6th 2015
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 303
Goodreads
five-stars

FINAL DECISION:  My favorite of the series and it made me accept a well written love triangle as much as I dislike them. A perfect blend of emotion, drama and action, this book grabbed me and never let go.

THE STORY:  This book begins right after the events of ENDLESS KNIGHT.  Evie, one of the powerful Arcana is involved a game to the death with the other Arcana characters.  Now seventeen, Evie lives in a post-apocalyptic world without plants and only a few animals. The world is lawless and filled with danger and death.  Evie is on her way to rescue her mortal lover Jack while being emotionally torn between Jack and the Arcana Death himself.  Now Evie has to confront the devious Lovers to save Jack.

OPINION:  I really dislike love triangles. The fact that Cole made me believe and enjoy this one is a testament to how good this book is. (I have no idea how this is going to work out in the end).

A book about love and hate and the mistakes we make in the past coming back to haunt us. I found this book the most complex and sophisticated of the series.  Evie is torn between two men. I absolutely loved the interaction between the three characters as they traveled and worked together.  Evie’s choice is not obvious and I like the ambiguity as to which choice is the best.

The characters of this series are growing and changing and the relationships are complex and dangerous and the motivations of these people are not clear.  I am impressed by how deep and complex the mythology is in this series.  I hope that Cole has a great resolution because this series is raising my expectations with every book.

This book is not a traditional romance but very enjoyable nonetheless.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This book ends on a cliffhanger.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  DEAD OF WINTER is the third book in the Arcana Chronicles. This series should be read in order.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 5 stars.

five-stars

Review: Endless Knight

Review: Endless KnightEndless Knight (The Arcana Chronicles, #2) by Kresley Cole
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on September 2nd 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Goodreads
four-stars

FINAL DECISION:  This book introduces the love triangle of the series, and I hate love triangles.  At the same time, the story is getting more complex and the motivations of the characters more murky.

THE STORY:  Evie has come into her powers as the Empress — who controls plants and uses poison as one of her weapons. She and the other Arcana characters are engaged in a battle to the death for immortality.  Evie is determined to thwart the game by forming alliances and then not killing her allies.  But before she can do that she must destroy Death who is after her.  When Evie and Death meet, Evie discovers that Death might be more complicated and attractive than she expected.

OPINION:  This book is about the murky and often hidden motivations of characters.  Things are not simple in this world and Evie is learning that things are not black and white for any of the characters.  Friends betray and enemies have justifications. Evie herself realizes that her own history is far more complicated than she imagined.

This book also introduces the love triangle between Evie, Jack and Death. It is a testament to the book that it is difficult to choose between Jack and Death both for the reader and Evie.  Death is a significant character in this book as some of his history and motivations are exposed.

I felt that the characters are developing well.  I don’t want to give away too much of the plot but things get more complicated and Evie has more allies, more enemies and more complications in her life.

There is significant action in this book and more Arcana characters meet their ends.  I believe this book was more consistent in its flow, and the reason I gave it a 4 is because I really dislike love triangles. Your mileage may vary.

WORTH MENTIONING:  This book ends on a cliffhanger.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  ENDLESS KNIGHT is the second book in the Arcana Chronicles series.  It should be read after the first book in order to understand whati s going on.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4 stars.

four-stars

Review: Desired by a Lord

Review: Desired by a LordDesired by a Lord (Regency Unlaced 5) by Carole Mortimer
Series: Regency Unlaced #5
Published by Smashwords Edition on July 22nd 2016
Genres: Historical
two-stars

FINAL DECISION:  This one was barely okay for me.  The characters had too much insta love and lust and the personal obstacles were no real obstacles at all once the external threat was resolved.

THE STORY:  Mrs. Emily Marsden comes to take her deceased husband’s place cataloging the library of Lord Alexander Whitney. Xander certainly didn’t expect a woman, especially not one so young and attractive.  Emily is hiding from her family’s scandal and also blackmail. The two are attracted to one another as the blackmailer follows Emily.

OPINION:  This novella didn’t do anything for me.  The characters were okay but not that memorable.  Their relationship seemed based primarily on sexual attraction and although interesting characteristics were introduced, they were quickly resolved without any real conflict. This was a story that I won’t even be able to recall in a couple of days.  The most memorable parts were the villain and the butler.  There was nothing wrong with the characters, they just were bland.

WORTH MENTIONING: Although there are highly sexual situations in this book, there is no actual intercourse.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  DESIRED BY A LORD is the fifth book in the Regency Unlaced series. It can be read as a standalone.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 2 stars.

two-stars

Review: Rock Wedding

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Rock WeddingRock Wedding (Rock Kiss #4) by Nalini Singh
Series: Rock Kiss #4
Published by Tka Distribution on July 19, 2016
Genres: Contemporary
Goodreads
five-stars

FINAL DECISION:  As the final book in the Rock Kiss series, this book is a beautiful gift to fans of the series while also providing a compelling second chance at love story.

THE STORY:  Abe Bellamy and Sarah Smith’s marriage fell apart under the weight of Abe’s drug and alcohol problem.  Their relationship almost destroyed Sarah, but she has learned to live without Abe and has become more confident, more independent and more mature.  After finally achieving sobriety, Abe realizes that he alone was at fault for the end of his marriage and he wants the woman he loves back.  Sarah, however, doesn’t know if she wants to risk herself again with Abe.

OPINION:  ROCK WEDDING is truly a wedding bonanza with multiple weddings in the book.  Fans of the Rock Kiss series will be pleased.  ROCK WEDDING lives up its name as it has four rock weddings in it.  As the final book in the Rock Kiss series, this book is a beautiful gift to fans of the series while also providing a compelling second chance at love story.

Organized around the weddings of the other couples in the series.  Making the weddings of the other couples central to the story makes them not only a treat for fans but also a lens through which Abe and Sarah take stock of their relationship.  Serving as both reminder of their own broken marriage but also the promise of a new life together, the weddings serve as important tent poles in Abe and Sarah’s relationship along with giving series fans the joy of seeing their favorite couples married in their own unique ways.

Abe and Sarah have a rocky past to overcome.  Abe was mired in grief and drug and alcohol abuse during their marriage.  Unable to love Sarah as she deserved but unwilling to be apart from her, Abe made Sarah miserable until he broke her heart with his verbal abuse and forced her to leave him.  Sarah knows that she should not trust Abe again because he only endlessly disappointed her, but he now claims to be sober and know that she is the woman for him.

Abe is a recovering addict who used his addictions to hide his grief about the death of his baby sister. After losing his wife, he begins the long road to sobriety.  He now recognizes that he needs Sarah and that their breakup was his fault.  Now that she is free, he doesn’t intend to lose his chance with her.  I liked that Abe took complete responsibility for his actions.  It is often difficult to make an addict a hero but Singh has done a good job reforming Abe and the length of the time period covered by this book can give readers some security that Abe has turned the corner.

Sarah has completely changed since her marriage.  She wanted her marriage to succeed so much and believed herself so unimportant that she allowed herself to be completely malleable.  Once her marriage was over she allowed herself to be swept up in another relationship that she really didn’t want.  But then she began to become her own person.  She opened her own business and began to use the strength that allowed her to survive her difficult childhood.  I love that she no longer takes any gruff from Abe.  I loved her sweet vulnerable character with a spine of steel.

This couple is hot together as is true of all the couples of this series.  Plenty of really sizzling sex scenes that are always accompanied by an emotional component that makes them relevant.

I give this book an extra credit because I love that all the couples of the series are involved in Abe and Sarah’s journey.  It’s like one of those great summary epilogues but expanded into a giant buffet of goodies for fans.

This book was so good that I immediately went to each of the other books in the series to read my favorite parts and I completely re-read the first book in the series ROCK ADDICTION to remind myself of how far these characters have traveled.

I’m going to miss these characters (although Singh has promised a spin off series about Gabriel Bishop’s brothers) but I am thrilled that they got such a great send off.

WORTH MENTIONING: A bit of a spoiler for those who might have sensitivities as ROCK WEDDING discusses the aftermath of a miscarriage and stillbirth.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  ROCK WEDDING is the fourth book in the Rock Kiss series.  It can be read as a standalone although Abe and Sarah’s story is mentioned throughout the series and various characters from the series make significant appearances here.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 5 stars.

five-stars

Review: Poison Princess

Review: Poison PrincessPoison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles, #1) by Kresley Cole
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on August 19th 2014
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 369
Goodreads
four-stars

“The beginning is nigh….”

FINAL DECISION: The book has a great prologue, then a little bit of a slow part while the story begins to spin out, but the ending is fantastic.

THE STORY: Sixteen year old Evie Greene seems to have a charmed life. She’s popular, has a handsome and nice boyfriend and is smart.  But she has been having frightening nightmares and has so many delusions that her mother had her committed to a mental institution. She meets Jackson Deveaux, a Cajun boy from the wrong side of town and the two argue and strike sparks off of one another.  When it becomes obvious the Evie is not having delusions but rather visions. When the world is hit with an apocalypse, Evie and Jack must find out the meaning of Evie’s visions.

OPINION:  This is not my normal reading material.  Although there are romantic elements, there is not a straightforward romance in this book. There is no resolution, no HEA — at least not in this book.  But I am always looking for good books regardless of format or genre.

This book begins with a rocking suspense angle.  I was dragged immediately into the drama of the story.  Then the story goes back to the time before the apocalyptic Flash that begins the Arcana battle.  I thought the worldbuilding and concept was amazing.  I haven’t read a similar concept so I was captivated and my brain was engaged in trying to sort out the players. The agendas and motivations of the various characters remain opaque throughout this book.

I liked Evie as a character.  She discovers that she is one of the Arcana which are depicted on the Tarot cards. She is naive, immature and spoiled as the book begins, but her experiences begin to change her.  By the time the book ends, she has had an epiphany that makes me want to jump into the next book of the series.  I liked how Evie develops.  I like that she doesn’t start out as a 16 year old with a 30 year old’s mind. I believed her development.

Jack, the romantic interest as this book begins, is cocky and annoying and oh so attractive to Evie. A definite bad boy who has secrets of his own, he and Evie spend much of the book arguing and fighting with one another.  As two very different young people in a horrendous situation and forced together, they are merely developing their working relationship.  He is funny and annoying and I ended up liking him very much as well.

Once the prologue of the book ends, the book is a little slow for a while as the past is recalled and then the terms for this new world are defined and new characters are introduced. Then the book really takes off in action. The final third of the book was just extraordinary and the ending made me want to immediately turn to the next book in the series.  I’d give 4 stars for the beginning, a 3 for the middle and 5 stars for the end. I’ve averaged all that to give the book 4 stars.

This book is not complete in itself as it is clearly intended to be only the beginning of a long journey.

WORTH MENTIONING: This is a young adult novel, but it has plenty to interest adults and in fact, I think it skews toward older teens rather than younger based on content.

CONNECTED BOOKS: POISON PRINCESS is the first book in the Arcana Chronicles.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 4 stars.

four-stars

Review: Lover at Last

Review: Lover at LastLover at Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #11) by J.R. Ward
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood #11
Published by NAL on March 26th 2013
Genres: Paranormal
Pages: 608
Goodreads
four-stars

FINAL DECISION:  I was happy that Qhuinn and Blay finally got their HEA but I thought this story lacked something perhaps because the most dramatic parts of their story took place in other books sapping some of this book’s emotional core.

THE STORY: Qhuinn has loved his friend Blay for years but has denied the attraction afraid of adding being gay to his other perceived “imperfections”.  Despite the fact that he has impregnated the Chosen Layla, Qhuinn finally has reached the point of admitting that he wants Blay. At the same time, Blay has apparently moved beyond his own attraction to Qhuinn after years of unrequited love. Blay is in a relationship with Qhuinn’s cousin.  Despite the relationships pulling them in different directions, Blay and Qhuinn cannot deny the passion that exists between them.

OPINION:  After being thoroughly engage in Qhuinn and Blay’s story in the last couple of books, I was a bit disappointed by how things went in this book.  First, I think that if you haven’t read the other books in this series, this book fails to make the romance compelling.  I think the most dramatic and emotionally compelling part of their story took place in prior books and without those portions here, the angst just dragged on rather than move the story forward.

I felt the story was “Q&B don’t talk to one another”, sex, “Q&B don’t talk to one another”, sex, etc, etc. until “I love you” and HEA. What I didn’t like was that it felt like the two always loved one another, Qhuinn had made the significant breakthrough in admitting his feelings in the previous book and all that was keeping them apart at this point was lack of saying “I love you.”

Despite that, there were moments between Qhuinn and Blay that I really liked and the longtime connection between these characters gave depth and significance to them finally finding their path to one another.  I’d give a 5 to their entire journey together, but only a 4 to this book alone.

Of course, there is not only one storyline in this book.

The continuing storyline about the Band of Bastards attack on Wrath’s reign is accelerating in preparation for the next book of the series which revisits Wrath and Beth’s relationship.  The intriguing relationship between Xcor and Layla also continues here. A new relationship appears on the horizon between the drug dealer vampire Assail and his “burglar”.  Finally, someone from Qhuinn’s past unexpectedly reappears and thus a new storyline is born.

Overall, I enjoyed this book. I will reread it later and perhaps my opinion will evolve after I get over some of my expectations disappointment.

WORTH MENTIONING:  The Lesser Society has made a welcome reappearance after being mere fodder for the vampires to kill in the last few books.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  LOVER AT LAST is the eleventh book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. This series has intertwined stories which cover a number of books. A single book has multiple viewpoints.  Qhuinn and Blay’s story takes place over a number of book merely culminating here.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.

four-stars

Review: Irresistible

Review: IrresistibleIrresistible (Horsemen Trilogy, #3) by Mary Balogh
Series: Horsemen Trilogy #3
Published by Berkley Books on October 2nd 2007
Genres: Historical
Pages: 320
Goodreads
two-half-stars

FINAL DECISION:  This book was just okay. I enjoyed most of the relationship and story but I couldn’t relate how Sophie reacted to being blackmailed.  Her irrational behavior just bothered me throughout.

THE STORY:  Mrs. Sophia Armitage, as the wife of an officer, followed the drum during the war became the friend of the Four Horsemen. Now a widow, Sophie resides in London and for the first time in three years, meets up with Nathaniel Gascoigne — a man that even a respectable wife could admire.  Now an opportunity for a special kind of friendship between the two arises and both are surprised by the intense passion that arises. Their fledgling relationship is threatened by the fact that Sophie has a secret — she is being blackmailed.

OPINION:  I liked how this book developed in the relationship between Nathaniel and Sophie. Two adults who want physical companionship begin to develop an emotional connection that they didn’t expect. They were sweet together and I liked them.

Unfortunately, the blackmail plot drove most of the action in the story.  Because of that Sophie’s continuing actions in giving in to the blackmail began to wear on me.  Not because I didn’t understand that she was afraid and wanting to be independent and used to hiding.  What I expected was that once the blackmail was revealed that she would gain a stronger emotional connection with Nathaniel by admitting her fears and anger. Instead, the story fell flat emotionally for me at that point.

I’m a big fan of Mary Balogh especially her restrained emotional intensity but I think this book was too emotionally restrained for me. On the other hand, I loved the ending where Nathaniel confesses his love for Sophie.  I thought that moment was almost perfect.

WORTH MENTIONING:  Fans of the series will know that there are four horsemen and thankfully although there are only three books, the fourth horseman gets his HEA in a secondary romance in this book.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  IRRESISTIBLE is the third and final book of the Horseman Trilogy. It takes place 2 years after the events in the first two books in the series.  Although characters from those books appear, this book does not rely on those books at all and thus it can be read as a standalone.

STAR RATING:  I give this book 2.5 stars.

two-half-stars

Review: Unforgiven

Review: UnforgivenUnforgiven: The Horsemen Trilogy by Mary Balogh
Series: The Horseman Trilogy #2
Published by Signet on July 12th 2016
Genres: Historical
Pages: 400
Goodreads
two-stars

FINAL DECISION:  Oh, I wish I could have liked this book but I ended up being annoyed with the characters lack of communication, continued antipathy toward one another and then how quickly all the past was so neatly resolved.

THE STORY:  Kenneth Woodfall has returned from war to find that the girl he once loved and then hated has just gotten betrothed.  Miss Moira Hayes fell in love with Kenneth and met him secretly until the long running feud between the families flared up again and she could never forgive him. She blames him for the death of her brother.  There is nothing but passion between Kenneth and Moira whether it be love or hate. When a snowstorm forces them to take shelter together, their lives are changed.

OPINION:  I really wanted to like this book after enjoying the first book in the series, but unfortunately, I just got tired of the antipathy between the characters.  Almost the entirety of the book consists of arguments and sometimes outright hatred especially from Moira.  Then at the end, she learns the truth and never acknowledges that she was a jerk. In the same way I expect heroes to grovel when they have been grossly unfair, I expected her to at least admit that she was wrong.  Nope, not here.  For me, when the conflict between the characters is so intense, I believe that it takes more than a couple of pages at the end to completely resolve the conflict.

I think the antipathy from Moira was just too strong during the book so everything else was overwhelmed. Their romantic moments fell flat because of it. Their first sexual encounter was strange and just didn’t work for me.

So what did I like?  I liked Kenneth who I felt was a much more well rounded and likeable character.  Despite Moira’s treatment of him, he was a nice guy most of the time.  I also liked the Romeo and Juliet family dispute part of the story. I also did like how Kenneth and Moira began to work through their relationship to try and have a marriage.  I just felt that the balance between hate and love was off in the entirety of the book.

WORTH MENTIONING:  The heroine has a miscarriage during the book for those who might be sensitive to the topic.

CONNECTED BOOKS:  UNFORGIVEN is the second book in the Horsemen Trilogy.  It takes place concurrently with the events in the first book and can be read as a standalone.

STAR RATING: I give this book 2 stars.

two-stars