Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Drums (Southern Seas Series #4) by Gwendoline Ewins

What it’s about

1825, Polynesia. Amelia Yorke is a destitute teacher with a petunia in a flower pot outside her dingy cottage in Sydneytown. Guy Richmond is a botanist seeking orchids in the rainforest and heir to vast lands in New South Wales.
They are from different worlds and should never have met, yet come together on the deck of a sailing ship overlooking a spectacular tropical lagoon.
As drums on the beach threaten, a man desperately paddles for freedom: he is overtaken and soon the aquamarine water of the lagoon is stained by blood.

The Southern Seas Series tells the stories of people who find themselves - for all sorts of reasons - on remote coral islands in the 1800's. They include men and women, daughters and sons, adventurers, seafarers, missionaries, traders, teachers, botanists, artists, beachcombers.

Kathleen’s Review

Story Rating ~ 4.5 Stars
Hero Rating ~ 5 Stars
Heroine~ 5 Stars
Romance Rating ~ 4 Stars
Heat Level ~ 2.5 Stars
Ending ~ 3.5 Stars
Overall Rating ~ 4.5 Stars

I have to say it and I’m saying it LOUD, DRUMS was a FANTASTIC READ that took me on a HUGE ADVENTURE!

Amelia Yorke is a 33 year old spinster, who has no family left alive. She has agreed to travel on a ship to Avatel, one of the Polynesian islands, to marry a man she’s never met. She is taken there on a ship called The Morning Star. When they are close to the island they spot a man in a raft that is in danger of crashing into the coral reef.  He manages with all the strength he can muster to paddle through the waves and beyond the coral reef to make it safely on board The Morning Star. Shortly afterwards they all see a tragic and violent event take place that will change Amelia’s life course once again.

Guy Richmonde has been traveling among the Polynesian islands for four years searching and researching rare orchids. He’s been living on the Island of Avatele for a while and made friends with a lot of the people living there. One night the chief of the local tribe was taking a new bride. The drums were playing a joyous tune and everyone was celebrating, dancing and drinking Kava. He leaves the celebration early to go exploring for more orchids. After a time, he notices the drums are beating a different tune and it’s not a joyous sound anymore. He decides he rather take his chances on a raft he’s made from driftwood, instead of staying on Avatele any longer. He spots a light off shore and figures it’s a ship, so he paddles for his life across the treacherous waves and past the coral reef, barely making it on board The Morning Star. This part of the story had me totally engrossed and there was no way I could have put the book down.  

With the drums still beating a violent tune, the captain of The Morning Star decides it’s time to set sail and leave. The captain then sets a new course and starts the voyage back home.

The Voyage back was AMAZING! They had to make a few stops at small tropical Islands to restock supplies. Gwendoline Ewins did an OUTSTANDING job of describing these settings. I could TOTALLY envision the water color, the coral reefs and pools that are situated in the lagoons. The sea creatures they encounter and the rare orchids they find while exploring. This was my favorite part of this read and I felt that this was where the Gwendoline’s writing talents REALLY shined through.

As the story moves along, we find out about Guy’s past, and his back story really tugged on my heartstrings and also explained why he was such a solitary man. As days pass, Amelia and Guy really get to know each other. It was not an instant attraction and I really LOVED reading about them getting to know one another. 
“A Moment ago I lost a physical battle I should never have fought to keep you against you will,” he admitted. “I will never forgive myself if I bruised you because in reality the only battle I am interested in fighting is the battle for our life together. I love you, Amelia, Just as you are, with all your struggles to survive in a harsh world with little protection, with a heart that has come into bloom before my very eyes. I want you. I need you Miss Amelia Yorke of Sydneytown, with every breath in my body and every thought in my head. I know you need me – and can only pray you will come to want me too.”
 There were  also some wonderful secondary characters we met along the voyage and also more when they finally made it home. The story does continue on once they are home and lots more happens that made the read even more interesting. 

Although this story is sensual at times, the heat level was a bit low. I enjoy a story that scorches the pages and even though this story did not bring a high level of heat, I loved it all the same. Coming from me this is a HUGE compliment. 

Drums does end on a happy note, however I felt it ended a bit abruptly. Also there was NO epilogue! I REALLY feel that an epilogue with a glimpse into the future would have gone a long way in giving this book a more conclusive ending.

There was one other thing that kept me from giving this book a full 5 stars. At times I felt that some of the thinking going on in Guy and Amelia’s minds was a bit repetitive. I found myself skimming over a few of these spots.

Overall I’m SO DARN HAPPY I read Drums! It’s a read that I KNOW will stick in my mind for many days and I HIGHLY recommend Drums to ALL historical romance lovers out there.

*A copy of the book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*

Want to know more about Gwendoline Ewins?

Crave The Night (Midnight Breed #12) by Lara Adrian

What it’s about

Born and raised to be an emotionless killing machine, Nathan is one of the most lethal Breed vampires in existence. A key member of the Order—an elite group of warriors charged with protecting both mortals and vampires—Nathan executes each mission with flawless precision and a total lack of mercy. Now he must pursue a powerful, hidden enemy. But Nathan’s hard discipline and training are no match for the fierce pull he feels toward a young woman he has no right to desire—a woman of wealth and high social standing who has long been promised to another Breed male, and who may also prove to be the key to rooting out Nathan’s elusive quarry.

Jordana lives a life of glittering privilege as a member of a prominent Breed family in Boston. Surrounded by fine things and fawning admirers, Jordana wants for nothing—until she crosses paths with a dark, intense warrior from the Order and finds herself swept into an impulsive, sizzling kiss that neither of them will forget. As much as she tries to deny her deep feelings for Nathan, Jordana cannot resist the craving to be near him, to break through his forbidding walls and see the man he truly is. But getting close to Nathan will thrust Jordana into a treacherous new world, forcing her to risk all she has and all she knows about herself and her past. And loving this seductive man could be the most dangerous temptation of all

Available August 5th! 

Dorsey’s Review

5 Stars!!
This series gets better and better with each new Breed book!! And this next generation is FABULOUS! I really loved Mira & Kellan's book Edge of Dawn, but this book was even better!!!!!!

Nathan is the son of Corinne and step son of Hunter. Nathan was created by Dragos as an assassin (as was Hunter) but was found & saved by Corinne and Hunter when he was 13 yrs old, he grew up in The Orders compound and is now one of The Orders most deadly warriors and as a Gen One Warrior he is lethal. 

Nathan is a killing machine. He's dark, cold, and unfeeling.....until Jordana kisses him. He does all he can to avoid her as he feels unworthy and unlovable. He's a killer and not the least bit civilized, which he's positive Jordana needs and deserves. 

Jordana is a Breedmate, she's had a privileged upbringing and is betrothed to a civilian chosen and approved by her father. Too bad she only feels a platonic friendship towards him. Nathan on the other hand.....ever since that first impulsive kiss she surprised both of them with, he's under her skin and she cannot get him out of her thoughts. As Jordana approaches her 25th birthday, she feels different and sort of disconnected as she has yet to discover her Breedmate gift, she is feeling separated and just off…...

As Nathan finally gives into his impulses and takes Jordana...and let me just say "WOW"....holy smokes Nathan is HOT!!!! He immediately feels regret and attempts to distance himself from Jordana. Then she is kidnapped, all his formidable fury is unleashed and he won't be stopped till he finds HIS Breedmate.

What a fantastic addition to the series, there a few surprises and an interesting addition to the storyline directly involving Jordana. I'm not sure which Warrior will be featured in the next book but it doesn't matter....I CAN'T WAIT FOR MORE!!!!

*A copy of the book was provided by Random House Publishing Group - Bantam Dell via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Want to know more about Lara Adrian?