Welcome to Cozy Jo's Romance Review blog. This is where you'll find reviews and discussions on historical or contemporary romance books and maybe a few other bits and bobs thrown in for good measure.
So come on in, sit down and find yourself a good romance book to read.

Thursday, 31 December 2009

Goddess of the Hunt by Tessa Dare

Witty and entertaining debut
4 stars

Lucy Waltham has been in love with her brother’s friend Toby for most of her life. When she realises that he’s about to propose to another, she decides that it’s time to put her husband hunting skills to the test in order to win her man. But first she needs to make sure her kisses are up to scratch.

Jeremy Trescott, Earl of Kendall is appalled that Lucy seems determined to practice her seductive wiles on him. But when the innocent game sparks a smouldering passion neither can imagine what scandals the pair can create or what they will risk in order to win the others heart.

This was Tessa Dare’s debut novel and I was totally enchanted by it from beginning to end. Lucy was a headstrong, hoyden of a girl but she was charming and likeable and it was nice to watch her grow throughout the novel. Jeremy was, for me, the perfect hero: deep, mysterious and brooding while also being passionate and in need of the love of a good woman. I felt the pair were perfect for each other and I loved their interactions.

The conflict was real and interesting but it was the emotions and sensuality that made the novel for me. The sexual tension was built splendidly and the overall love story gave me wonderful butterflies in my stomach from beginning to end. The writing was very well done and there were plenty of witty moments that made me laugh out loud on some occasions. I can’t wait for the next book in the series. Surrender of a Siren, but do hope that the covers get a little better because they’re not to my taste at all! I would definitely recommend this book if you like Regency historical romances.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Fallen Angel by Mary Jo Putney

Sensual and intelligent Regency romance
5 Stars

It has been years since Nicholas Davies the half gypsy Earl of Aberdare last stepped foot at his country estate, driven out by a scandal that rocked his life and the lives of many others.

When he reluctantly returns, he finds many changes at the estate and in the village but the biggest change is in Clare Morgan, the little preacher’s daughter who insists he fulfil his obligations. In order to get her to leave, Nicholas offers Clare a scandalous bargain, totally shocked when she actually agrees.

From then on, neither can anticipate the problems the pair will face as they battle killers, mysteries, dark secrets and their growing feelings for each other.

I have never read Mary Jo Putney before but this book has really opened my eyes to this wonderful writer. I will definitely be on the look out for other books by her, especially the other books in the rest of the Fallen Angel series of which this is the first.

The depth of the characters of both Clare and Nicholas was wonderful to read and I loved that neither were stereotypical but had very real flaws. This made watching their relationship a delight and watching them fall in love was all the better for it.

I got totally absorbed in the book and couldn’t bear to put it down. The storyline was engrossing, interesting and brimming with intelligence while also being incredibly sensual and romantic.

If you like a sensual, well-written and intelligent historical romance similar to Lisa Kleypas or Sabrina Jeffries then I would definitely recommend this to you. It’s a real page turner and will take your mind off things for a while. 5 stars.

* This book was originally published in the 90s as Thunder and Roses. *

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Caught in the Act by Samantha Hunter

No redeeming features
1 star

Gina Thomas can’t believe the lengths she’s going to to help her sister. That’s how she finds herself dressed in the sexiest, skimpiest Hallowe’en costume and breaking into sexy lawyer, Mason Scott’s house to steal incriminating photos.

Mason can’t take his eyes off the sexy siren that walked through his door so when she offers him a fantasy, he can’t say no. But when Gina’s sister leads them both into serious trouble, Mason begins to realise that fantasy isn’t nearly as good as reality.

Goodness me this was a bad book. I liked the premise and the idea that by dressing in a costume you can turn yourself into someone you’ve always wanted to be but that was honestly about it.

There was zero sexual tension or chemistry between any of the characters and I’m not sure how we were supposed to care about them as they were so lifeless and flat. Gina was a dull character, Mason was stereotypical and the secondary characters were just pointlessly bland.

I am also happy to suspend reality in a story but when the gangsters showed up and people started putting themselves in totally ridiculous situations simply to create some drama in the story, I knew that this book definitely wasn’t a keeper for me. I honestly don’t feel that I can recommend this book to anyone, unfortunately. If you’re reading the Dressed to Thrill mini-series then you might want to give it a read to see how it fits with the other stories but other than that I would give it a miss. 1 star.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Better Naughty Than Nice

Slightly sizzling Christmas romance
4 stars

Blaze brings together it’s annual collection of short stories to keep you heated during the cold nights through the Christmas season. In this selection, Damon Claus, Santa’s naughty brother, decides to help some people have the ultimate naughty Christmas treats.

NO MISTLETOE REQUIRED – Vicki Lewis Thompson
Ten years ago Riley Kincaid broke Hayden Manchester’s heart but a little Christmas competition could be just the thing needed to get this pair back on track and enjoying every second under the mistletoe.

This was a fun, hot romance with a likeable couple that were likeable and relatable.

Ally Dauer is in charge of this year’s toy drive but to her mortification, someone keeps sending her adult toys. Firefighter Eddie Weston is out to convince Ally that maybe the best gifts can be shared this Christmas.

I really enjoyed this story and especially Ally. It was sweet, hot and enjoyable all round.

SNUG IN HIS BED – Rhonda Nelson
Viv Foster hates Christmas. Hank Bailey owns a Christmas tree farm. When they’re forced into each other’s company they realise it’s more than sizzling chemistry they have in common.

This story was a little slow with little excitement. It was fine but nothing special.

Overall this was a nice anthology and one that is worth a read over the Christmas holidays. The stories were all linked by Damon Claus, a storyline that lacked any real direction or purpose but it’s still a fun collection if you love Christmas and like your romance with a bit of heat. 4 stars.