Review A Bride by Moonlight by Liz Carlyle

 

Title:  A Bride by Moonlight

Author: Liz Carlyle

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

 

Passion and secrets simmer behind the elegant façade of Victorian London in another deliciously intriguing novel featuring the dangerous men of the mysterious St. James Society. Royden Napier, Baron Saint-Bryce, is tall, dark, and ruthless—and on the hunt for a dangerous beauty . . . On the eve of her escape to the Continent, bold, beautiful Lisette Colburne accepts a proposal she dare not refuse: masquerade as the future bride of the steely-eyed Royden Napier and help him solve his most dangerous case. Soon Lisette is in even greater danger—of losing her heart to the one man with the power to destroy her . . .

Estranged from his aristocratic family, the enigmatic Napier has forged a reputation as Scotland Yard’s most relentless police commissioner. He’s vowed to bring Lisette to justice—but with every forbidden kiss and every tantalizing touch, he finds himself becoming less convinced of her guilt . . . and more certain he must have her. But when danger touches Lisette, can he save her?


Review:

This is the first time I’ve read a book written by Liz Carlyle.  After I finished it, I immediately wanted to read The Bride Wore Pearls, which features Lazonby and Anisha, two of the secondary characters from A Bride by Moonlight.  I enjoyed Carlyle’s writing style, and I’m always up for a good historical romance, which in the case of this title is Victorian England. While I have a few quibbles about the pacing of this book, I did like the characters immensely, especially Napier. Lisette was harder for me to warm up to, but considering all the baggage she has been dragging around since the death of the father and her sister, that was understandable.

Lisette blames Lord Lazonby for the deaths of both her father and her sister.  Having returned to London from the States, where she was raised by her aunt and uncle, she has dreamed of only one thing – revenge!  She has drawn comfort and strength from the thought of getting back at Lazonby, for plotting to make him suffer as painfully as she has.  He stole everything from her, and she is going to collect her pound of flesh.  When attempts to reason with, and then bribe, the straight-laced assistant police commissioner, Napier, fail to propel him to arrest Lazonby, a man he considers the vilest of criminals, she sets out to destroy Lazonby’s life by herself. 

A murder forces them together two years later,  and Napier believes that Lisette might be the murderer, but in a switch of loyalties, she and Lord Lazonby are now providing air-tight alibies for each other.  Napier is skeptical, to say the least, and he’s determined to get to the bottom of both the murder and his two chief suspects’ sudden friendship.  Before he gets far into his investigation, he discovers that he is now the heir of a prosperous estate.  Estranged from his father’s family for his entire life, he has no interest in getting to know his grandfather, Henry Tarleton, Viscount Duncaster, or any of his other relatives, better.  He is forced to visit the estate to investigate the suspicious death of his uncle, though.  In an attempt to foil the matchmaking machinations of his scheming aunt, and to keep Lisette right where he can see her, he forces Lisette to pose as his betrothed.  Once he arrives at Burlingame, he begins to question everything he  believed about both his family and Lisette.

I loved Napier.  What a hottie.  He’s analytical and capable, and he doesn’t give a fig about his inheritance.  He loves his job with the police, and has no intention of giving it up.  His superiors aren’t going to give him a choice about the matter, though, and he is urged to do his duty and take up his rightful position in society.   Though Napier is also stubborn and can be harsh, he also has a heart.  He treated Lisette coldly, though respectfully, at the start of the book, but by the end, he was the first to accept that his feelings for her had changed, and that he couldn’t live without her.  I loved that about him.  Once he realized how he felt, he also realized that he had to tread carefully.  Lisette’s drive for revenge left her twisted and emotionally fragile, and he was terrified of pushing her away from him. 

Once I understood Lisette, I liked her, too.  She is so strong and so fierce, and she won’t let anyone hurt her again.  Losing her family, and then being shuttled off to America, away from everything she had ever known, almost destroyed her.  Her aunt and uncle only agreed to take her in because they were paid to do so.  As time passed, causing Lazonby’s downfall kept Lisette going.  All of her dreams, all of her emotions, were cast aside for her all consuming need for revenge.  I believed that Lisette was ruthless enough to murder a man in cold blood, just as Napier did, and that made her a very interesting heroine, indeed!

The romance between Napier and Lisette developed slowly and realistically, given their mutual suspicion of each other.  As they spent more time together, though, it was obvious that they were a perfect match.  They complimented each other, and gave strength to each other.  Their attraction was unrelenting, and after they got to know each other better, their mutual respect made the romance work for me.  They still didn’t trust each other, and they were keeping big, big secrets from each other, but with the foundation of respect they had built, I knew that they could overcome all of the other obstacles in their lives.

The mystery is fun and I didn’t see the major plot twist coming.  My one quibble with A Bride by Moonlight is that it felt too long, especially near the end. 

Grade: B

Review copy provided by Bewitching Book Tours

About the author

A lifelong Anglophile, Liz Carlyle cut her teeth reading gothic novels under the bedcovers by flashlight. She is the author of over twenty historical romances, including several New York Times bestsellers. Liz travels incessantly, ever in search of the perfect setting for her next book. Along with her genuine romance-hero husband and four very fine felines, she makes her home in North Carolina.

Review: Redemption Erica Hayes and Giveaway! Win a Kindle Fire!

 

 

 

 

Title:  Redemption

Author: Erica Hayes

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

 

Japheth the Tainted is on the hunt for a mysterious demon vampire. But meeting her face-to-face might disarm his warrior spirit—and spark an unquenchable passion with apocalyptic consequences.

As a fallen angel, Japheth is determined to make his way back to heaven by staying pure and slaying hellspawn. With a new scourge of vampires unleashed by a blood-drinking demon, the Prince of Thirst, there’s plenty to be done. But Japheth is after one vampire in particular—the one they call the Angel Slayer.

Rose Harley never wanted to be a vampire, but the Prince of Thirst can turn even the kindest soul into a soldier of hell. Feeling abandoned by God, she stalks the West Village taking revenge on his angels—until she meets her match.

When Japheth and Rose encounter each other, the battle is fierce and charged with desire. But when they discover a common enemy—the Prince of Thirst himself—they form a dangerous alliance that could either cost them their eternal lives, or spark a love more powerful than heaven or hell


Review:

I don’t read many paranormal romances, and I’m not sure why.  I enjoy them on the odd occasion when I do pick them up, and Redemption was no exception.  This is the second book in Erica Hayes’ The Seven Signs series, and I didn’t have much trouble figuring out what was going on, even though I haven’t read the first book, Revelation (which has a zombie virus, so I will be reading it, hopefully soon!).  The series features the war between angels and demons and the prophesied end of the world.  I enjoyed how the angels were portrayed in this story; just because they are angels didn’t mean that they were “good.”  What was even better; Japheth, a Tainted angel, is working tirelessly for his redemption, so he can return to Heaven.  His fellow Tainted behave like fraternity boys; drinking, chasing women, and partying in between missions slaying demons and hellspawn, and trying to stop the Apocalypse from happening.

Michael is in charge of the angels, and he’s a ruthless jerk.  I hated him.  He’s power hungry and cruel, and he doesn’t hesitate to sacrifice his angels if it will fulfill his ambitions.  He sends Japheth to kill Fluvium, the Prince of Thirst, and recover the vial of wrath in his possession.  Japheth doesn’t know why Michael cast him out of Heaven.  He’s always been brave, righteous, and dedicated to serving God.  All he wants is to be let back into Heaven.  He lives a life a purity, distaining pleasures of the flesh, and obeying orders to the letter.  What does he get for his sacrifices?  A never ending hard-on and no sense of humor.  Poor guy.

Rose Harley is Japheth’s unlikely match.  Like Japheth, she’s been tricked, and now she’s a vampire, the slave of Fluvium.  He’s ordered her to steal Japheth’s soul, or he’ll throw her into Hell.  Terrified of the never-ending agony of Hell, Rose is determined to carry out his commands.  She’s killed angels aplenty – they don’t call her Angel Slayer for nothing.  When the two meet, however, they both discover that they have clearly met their match.  They are both fierce warriors, they are both driven to carry out their mission at all costs, and they both have preconceived notions about the other that are wrong, wrong, wrong.  Circumstances have fooled them both, and robbed them of their dreams.  Rose has lived through the horror of being a demon lord’s plaything, and Japheth is the casualty of another’s powerful ambitions.

I enjoyed the world building in Redemption.  I loved how the lines between the hellspawn and the angels blurred, leaving me wondering who was good and who was truly evil.  There is a large cast of characters, and I want to know more about several of them, both angels and demons.  I’m sure they’ll be back for future installments of the series.  What I really want is to see the characters I dislike meet their comeuppance.  There are several who deserve the wrath of both heaven and hell.

The pacing is blistering.  After all, Japheth is racing to complete his mission and put a stop to the Apocalypse, all at the same time.  He’s saddled with Rose, a vampire he doesn’t trust, but is forced to rely on.  He has nothing but contempt for Rose, and he won’t even consider that there might be more than he realizes about her turning into a vampire.  Nope, she’s hellspawn scum, and the sooner he finishes his mission, the sooner he can put an end to her cursed life.  Nice guy!  Maybe he’s not so righteous after all?

Though he took a while to warm up to, I did come to like Japheth.  His fall from grace was only possible because he couldn’t see the evil in those he served.  He was the ideal warrior – fighting for the faith he believed in with all his heart, making his betrayal that much more bitter.  It takes him a long, long time to come to terms with what he believes his fellow angels should be, and the reality of what they are.  I wouldn’t want to have to trust any of these guys, because I wouldn’t trust them as far as I could throw them.

The action is intense, and the sparks between Japheth and Rose are blinding.  As they begin to trust each other, their attraction for each other blazes out of control.   If only Japheth wasn’t trying to stay so pure! 

Redemption is a fun, action-packed romp through a nightmarish vision of the Apocalypse, where the lines between good and evil aren’t all that clear.  The romance between Japheth and Rose, two strong and noble characters who have had their faith and trust shattered, is hot and steamy and will leave you believing in their HEA.

Grade:  B

Review copy provided by Bewitching Book Tours

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More about the book:

Redemption
The Seven Signs, Book 2 by
Erica Hayes

Publisher: Berkley Sensation

ISBN: 978-0425258385

Number of pages: 330

Cover Artist: Kris Keller

Paperback: Amazon BN Book Depository

Ebook: Amazon BN iTunes

About the Author:

Erica Hayes was a law student, an air force officer, an editorial assistant and a musician, before finally landing her dream job: fantasy and romance writer.

She writes dark paranormal and urban fantasy romance, and her books feature tough, smart heroines and colourful heroes with dark secrets.

She hails from Australia, where she drifts from city to city, leaving a trail of chaos behind her. Currently, she’s terrorizing the wilds of Northumberland.

http://www.ericahayes.net

http://erica-hayes.blogspot.com

http://www.facebook.com/ericahayes.author

http://www.twitter.com/ericahayes

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2922003.Erica_Hayes