Sunday, 31 August 2014

Valley of Silence, 2006 (The Circle Trilogy, Book #3)

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I have always felt bad enough for Damon Salvatore and now Roberts has added one more vampire to that list. They are highly misunderstood by many and loved by only a few. Cian, the vampire, has lived almost a thousand years and was sired by the Queen of Vampires, Lilith. She abandoned him and now, after centuries of damnation he has joined hands with the other five to avenge himself and save the mankind. Moira,the scholar and the Queen of Gaell, takes this task upon herself to lead the army to the Valley of Silence to fight this battle. But will they win this war? The answer to that is obvious but the reasons aren't. They all had personal motives but had they been fighting for themselves, they would have never achieved what they did. Moira who seemed a bit weak in the first two books of this trilogy is nothing but a true warrior. She lives with the burden of deaths of her people on her soul. Torn between her duties and her emotions, she is holding onto something which can not stay in her life for long. A vampire and a human can't be together. It takes 8 years for the gods to realize that they are meant to be together. Cian receives a gift from Morrigan and build a life on it, with Moira. Though the guy has seen the worst of everything, his sense of humor is unscathed; sentences dripping with sarcasm.  This is the best book written in this trilogy. The letter written by Cian to Moria broke my heart, just a little. However, I am still to fathom one thing. How come there are no Orange groves in Gaell but plenty of Whiskey?

Monday, 25 August 2014

Dance of the Gods, 2006 (The Circle Trilogy, Book #2)

The chosen six; the sorcerer, the witch, the vampire, the scholar, the warrior and the shifter of shapes continue their pursuit of saving mankind. Larkin, the one of many shapes, is the perfect guy you would hope for. He is agile, strong, compassionate and there's not a mean bone in his body. He is the Lord of Geall  and has time traveled for medieval time with his cousin Moira to present day Ireland to be a part of Morrigan's army. He can turn himself into any living being. Oh boy! The real surprise comes when he turns himself into a dragon. The image that I get into my mind is not of some evil dragon breathing fire but a cute one. Nora's doing. Initially, when Nora projected King as the warrior, my reaction was - Damn! no romance for Larkin. But as Blair Murphy made her appearance, Nora balanced it all. She is as big a sucker for romance as you and I. Remember? Blair is a demon hunter. She had her first kill when she was thirteen. Real prodigy, huh! She prefers solitude because that's what she has known. Her father walked out of her life, the person she loved with all her heart walked out on her and all she had was her own company. But Larkin changed it all for her.
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     The fight between Morrigan's army and Lilith is to take place in three months. This book focuses on the second month of the preparations along with Blair-Larkin relationship. They go to Geall where the battle is to take place. They train Geallians to fight with them. Lora is being a bitch of the highest order. More than Lilith, I despise her. Cian is as usual has got amazing comebacks.

"There has to be a way to protect him if there's sunlight."
"Easy for you to say, Red." Cian rose to get a glass of whiskey. "Your delicate skin may burn a bit in strong sunlight, but you don't go to ash, do you?"
"Some sort of block, Hoyt," Glenna began.
"I don't think SPF-forty will do the trick," Cian countered.
(Dance of the Gods, 2006) 

See! You just can't resist his good humor. I like the guy already and couldn't wait to read the third and final part of this trilogy. As for others, Hoyt and Glenna are very much in love. Larkin and Blair are figuring it for themselves. Moira is being the princess. If you think she is fragile, you are in for a surprise. She will lead the army to war. Why she? Read the book. :D

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Morrigan's Cross, 2006 (The Circle Trilogy, Book #1)

     A sorcerer,a witch, a warrior, a scholar, a vampire and a shapeshifer come together to form a circle, a circle of six. Hoyt, the sorcerer, must unite them and they have until Samhain to prepare for the battle against the one known as Lilith. Morrigan puts Hoyt as the commander of this battle. He is intense and looking forward to avenge Cian, his twin who has been turned into a vampire by Lilith. He time travels from twelfth century Ireland and finds himself in his brother's apartment in New York in the present century. Glenna, the witch seeks them falls in love with Hoyt. Moira, the scholar and her cousin Larkin, the shapeshifter also time travel from Geall to play their part. And lastly comes the warrior Blair to complete the circle. Together they must kill the queen of Vampires to save the world and humanity.

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     Talk to me about humor. Cian has got an excellent sense of humor and many a times you wouldn't realize that you are smiling. This is the first book in the Circle trilogy and unlike Nora's other series this one can't be read alone. The story continues in the succeeding parts. This book focuses on Hoyt-Glenna romance apart from the battle, of course! The witch and the sorcerer, isn't that interesting? When I say that Nora's characters are everywhere, I mean it! They are present even in the twelfth century Ireland. We all have heard about legends. Some of us even believe in them. My grandma definitely believed in them. Anyway! Think of this book as something that happened and now is a popular legend. Ireland is famous for its legends and folklore and Nora experiments with them in this book. She plays with the myths. Maybe it's a lot to take in but then supernatural stuff never fails to intrigue me.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Island of Flowers, 1982

     The book starts with Laine Simmons's journey to Kauai islands where she hopes to establish a bond between his estranged father. It's been fifteen years that they have last corresponded. The onus of this estrangement lies on the shoulders of Vanessa, Laine's mother, who has used her own child as a security for her own future. But, the bad guy is dead, now. Kauai is similar to Laine. Both are beautiful, unexplored and primitive. She falls in love with the place and Dillon O'Brian, her father's business partner. Dillon is skeptic of Laine's visit to her father after fifteen years. But, who is he to judge? Nevertheless, he watches her like a hawk and monitors her every action.

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     For me, this book fails to create the magic. The purpose with which Laine visits Kauai somehow gets fulfilled but the effort shown is next to none. The establishment of a relationship with her father takes the back seat for Laine when she falls in love with Dillon; and this guy doesn't leave a chance to judge and mock her. Nothing major happens. The end seems foreign to me. After so many accusations, judgments and mockery, I couldn't get how she chooses to love and live with Dillon. Though we have been told that she spits fire, I am least convinced. Because I have read much written by Roberts, I can say this is not one of her best works.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

The Heart's Victory, 1982

     Cynthia Fox, a.k.a. Foxy has spent her childhood on racing tracks. Having lost her parents at the age of 10 in a car crash, the only family she has got is her brother Kirk. He is a Formula One Driver with an addiction for speed and races. He thrives on them and Foxy lives in a constant fear of losing him to this speed. Lancelot Matthews is a retired driver who is now in the business of designing racing cars. They have been in love for over a decade. He marries Foxy, Kirk's accident being the catalyst in the process. But the story doesn't end there. This book is about how Foxy deals with her fears and the role of Lance in overcoming those fears; different from what she usually writes.

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     Halfway through the book I realized I didn't know where Roberts was going with the story. Marriage in the middle of the book! The happily-ever-after, already. Now what? But I liked the way she had maneuvered the story and I hated the way Lance had proposed. The circumstances could have been better. Lance is being Travis, if you know what I mean. It's kind of refreshing to see Nora not ending the book with a promise of marriage. Nora's male protagonists are rendered with flaws like rudeness and dominance. Her characters are never too good to be true. So, I like them. The description of scenes from races and circuits are different. I told you! Her characters are in every profession.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Irish Rebel, 2000 (Irish Heart Series, Book #3)

     Oh! I wanted to write about this book as soon as I finished it and I did. An extra mark for one particular scene which set me in a fit of laughter. How I love the woman! Keeley Grant is the oldest daughter of Adelia and Travis Grant. Remember we met them in Irish Thoroughbred? She is smart, independent and rumor is she is cold. She hasn't given much thought to men until she met Brian Donnelly. He is proud, confident and a horse trainer of Uncle Paddy's caliber. I hope you remember him, Uncle Paddy! Brian has a gift with horses, an innate quality to connect with them. He tends. It is his nature. Keeley is self sufficient. She has her own business flourishing despite being an heir to The Royal Meadows. He comes to work at The Royal Meadows (from Ireland, no points for guessing!) and they fall in love with each other. How, when and why are for you to discover by reading the book.
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     In my opinion this book is the best in The Irish Heart Series. A few pages right before the end are brilliantly written. Set me in a fit of laughter at right three in the morning. I finished this book in one go, so no chances of it being boring. I developed a liking for Adelia Grant. Roberts didn't do justice with her in Irish Thoroughbred. You will also find Logans in this book. One thing I admire about Roberts's series is the way she portrays her characters. They are more than characters; people you know, love, meet every day and watch them grow old. It leaves one with a feeling of contentment knowing that the characters you read about in previous book are living happily together. And don't I like to see these people enjoying their happy-ever-after? One see Adelia and Travis fall in love in Irish Thoroughbred, happily married with kids in Irish Rose and old, gray and content in Irish Rebel; and one feels happy. I do! This book is as much about these people as it is about Keeley and Brian. I like it. It's the first series written by Roberts. I wouldn't be surprised if tomorrow Roberts decide to write a book about the life of Grant's other kids or Logan's kids, for that matter. 

Friday, 25 July 2014

Irish Rose, 1988 (Irish Heart Series, Book #2)

     It irritates me when people start finding reasons behind someone's love for them. Sometimes, the best way to reciprocate love is to expect the love offered by others. If I may say, Burke Logan is a jerk. I know, I know. Most of you wouldn't agree to it considering the kind of childhood he has lived. But, when the only thing you have wanted most in your life stares you right in the face, can you ignore it? Well, he tries too hard and fails miserably. When Burke Logan decides to go to Ireland with Adelia and Travis Grant, he doesn't know that he would get more than horses there. He is a gambler and prefers to live on the edge as for him life is, too, a gamble. He doesn't believe settling in one place for long. Three Aces has been nothing but a purse won in a gamble but then it goes on to become much more than that. Erin McKinnon is a 'woman after his heart'. She is ambitious and not happy with her present life in a small village in Ireland. This book follows the same trend as of the previous one of an Irish shifting her roots to America. Believe it or not but Erin is Roberts's own Elizabeth Bennet.

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     This book is written almost 7 years after and in a better way than Irish Thoroughbred. The idea, however, remains the same. Though more background story and plot twisting has happened in this book, I still don't like the way Burke asks Erin for marriage. The reason is not acceptable to me. Initially, the woman seems after money only. That is not the case but in the first few chapters, set in Ireland, it seems so. The incident right before a major race provides a little thrill. I think there's no profession left in which Roberts's characters have not excelled at. Reading about owning horses and racing them is as exciting as reading about making glass art. If you read Roberts enough you will know what goes in a profession. Right from owning ranches to running art galleries, her characters are everywhere.