The Scarletti Curse, Goddess of the Hunt, Goddess of Legend

Another catch-up post of long overdue reviews.

Title:The Scarletti Curse

Christine Feehan

Genre: Paranormal, Gothic romance

Publisher: Piatkus

Year Published: 2001

Stand alone or series: this book could be mistaken as the prequel to the Dark Carpathian series, but as I understand, the author asserts that this is a standalone

Why I read it:

The cover and the back cover synopsis caught my attention, and this was supposed to be one of the books for the 2010 Reading Challenge for books bought new in 2010

On the Back cover:

The Beast
Strange, twisted carvings and hideous gargoyles adorned the palazzo of the great Scarletti family. But a still more fearful secret lurked within its storm-tossed turrets. For every bride who entered its forbidding walls was doomed to leave in a casket. . . .

The Bride

Mystical and unfettered, Nicoletta had no terror of ancient curses and no fear of being chosen as Don Scarletti’s bride – until she looked into his dark, mesmerizing eyes. She has sworn no man will command her, had thought her gift of healing set her apart, but his gift is the right to choose a bride from among his people. And he has chosen her.

The Bargain

Compelled by duty, drawn by desire, she gives her body into his keeping, and prays the powerful, tormented don will be her heart’s destiny, and not her soul’s demise.

In my books …

This lushly romantic and darkly sensual novel grows on you the more you read it.  The various intrigue angles … of murder, treason, dark magic, fratricide and secrets that could kill adds to the thrill of the plot and heightens the mystery of the enigmatic hero, and kept me guessing the identity of the true villain in the story.

An utterly engrossing and superbly crafted gothic romance that blends mystery, magic and sensuality into one compelling package.

IMB Rating: 4.0, Really liked it

Title: Goddess of the Hunt

The Scarletti Curse, Goddess of the Hunt, Goddess of LegendAuthor: Tessa Dare

Genre: Regency Romance

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Year Published: 2009

Stand alone or series: This is the first of a romance series by Ms Dare

Why I read it: For one, the marriage of convenience angle has always intrigued me, and for another, I was casting around for another new author to try out, and the cover is eye catching

On the Back cover:

Ever the bold adventuress, Lucy Waltham has decided to go hunting for a husband. But first she needs some target practice. So she turns to her brother’s best friend, Jeremy Trescott, the Earl of Kendall, to hone her seductive wiles on him before setting her sights on another man. But her practice kisses spark a smoldering passion—one that could send all her plans up in smoke.

Jeremy has an influential title, a vast fortune, and a painful past, full of long-buried secrets. He keeps a safe distance from his own emotions, but to distract Lucy from her reckless scheming, he must give his passions free rein. Their sensual battle of wills is as maddening as it is delicious, but the longer he succeeds in managing the headstrong temptress, the closer Jeremy comes to losing control. When scandal breaks, can he bring himself to abandon Lucy to her ruin? Or will he risk his heart, and claim her for his own?

In my books …

The heroine falling for her elder brother’s best friend is one the tried and tested angles of romance writing, but Ms Dare created such vivid and engaging characters one can’t help but like the book.

The spirited, impish and slightly hoydenish heroine and the hero who suddenly found the best friend’s all-grown-up sister irresistible but tried to deny his feelings are familiar yet delightfully refreshing under the skilful story-telling of the author. Her rich descriptive, exquisite prose and  witty repartees are other reasons this book will afford any hours of enjoyable reading.

IMB Rating: 3.5, liked it

The Scarletti Curse, Goddess of the Hunt, Goddess of LegendTitle: Goddess of Legend

Author: P C Cast

Genre: Paranormal fantasy romance

Publisher: Berkley

Year Published: July 2010

Stand alone or series: the latest book in The Goddess summoning series

Why I read it:

Enjoyed the series and because I’m a sucker for anything Arthurian, even if this is quite an entertaining re-telling of that famous legend

On the Back cover:

After her car plummets off a bridge, Isabel, a world-weary photojournalist, struggles between life and death when she’s saved by the Water Goddess-with one tiny caveat: Isabel must travel to another time to seduce the legendary Lancelot du Lac away from Queen Guinevere.

The handsome knight is a dream for any woman in any century. But Isabel is the one who’s seduced by King Arthur. For Isabel, a deal is a deal. Now, the King watches as fate takes from him the mysterious beauty he has come to worship, knowing all too well that any interference on his part could destroy the kingdom he loves.

In my books …

The time travel romance angle is a favourite, and this time now, Ms Cast has turned the love triangle of Arthur-Guinevere-Lancelot into a happy ending, with lots of laughter, pop culture and a little bit of steamy romance thrown in.

Entertaining and warm romance that will bring tears of laughter to your eyes.

IMB Rating: 3.0, liked it