Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Long live the Alpha male

Hello, my name is Shannon, and I am an Alpha-holic.

Yes, that's right, I do love me some Alpha males. Sweet, sensitive, and tender? pfft! Only if he is also strong, arrogant, sarcastic, protective, slightly possessive, lusty, and fully in charge (or at least tries to be.) When it comes to my reading habits, the beta guys never win. I need the likes of Roarke, Sam Donovan, and, well, any of the Brockmann men. These men with the tough exterior and the soft inner filling, they just do it for me. They are pure sex in a uniform/cowboy boots/leather/fur/fangs. Hey, if I am going to read for escapism, I want to read about the kind of guys I will never meet (and might not really want to get involved with in the real world.)

It is with big sighs and fluttering heart beats that I share two books with you.

Title: Dreaming of You
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Genre: Historical Romance

I know, I am really late to the party when it comes to Derek Craven. Now that I am here? My love for him is only outmatched by the size of his attitude. Mmm, baby. That is one amazing hero. Damn!

From Ms. Kleypas' website

In the shelter of her country cottage, Sara Fielding puts pen to paper to create dreams. But curiosity has enticed the prim, well-bred gentlewoman out of her safe haven -- and into Derek Craven's dangerous world.
A handsome, tough and tenacious Cockney, he rose from poverty to become lord of London's most exclusive gambling house -- a struggle that has left Derek Craven fabulously wealthy, but hardened and suspicious. And now duty demands he allow Sara Fielding into his world -- with her impeccable manners and her infuriating
innocence. But here, in a perilous shadow-realm of ever-shifting fortunes, even a proper "mouse" can be transformed into a breathtaking enchantress -- and a world-weary gambler can be shaken to his cynical core by the power of passion...and the promise of love.
I loved both the hero and heroine. Sara was sweet and innocent, yet sassy at the same time. I worried that she might be TSTL, since the book opened with her all alone in the slums of London, but she proved pretty quickly that she was more than a pretty face. Derek was so wary and closed off. You hurt for him. You wanted to comfort him. You wanted to smack him upside the head for ever being involved with that evil, crazy skank Lady Ashby. Seriously, that bitch was CRAZY! Derek is so Alpha. So prickly. So sexy. The way he completely held himself back from Sara, controlling all his impulses to try and protect her from his wickedness. Ugh! And when she leaves London and he pines for her.... pines! le sigh

If you love the Alphas like me, and have not read this, go out and get your hands on a copy of Dreaming of You. You will not regret it!

Grade: A- (There was a strange little lull in the story right after they get married, but the action gets moving again.)

Title: White Lies
Author: Jayne Ann Krentz
Genre: Romantic Suspense (with a big psychic twist)

From Amazon

As a level 10 para-sensitive, Clare Lancaster can tell for certain when someone is telling the truth. So Clare knows that her half-sister, Elizabeth Glazebrook, isn't lying when she says her husband, Brad McAllister, is trying to kill her. But Brad is murdered instead, and as the first person to find his body, Clare becomes the Stone Canyon Police Department's favorite suspect. With no evidence to tie her to the crime, Clare is allowed to return to her old life in San Francisco. But six months later, her father, Archer, summons her back to Phoenix. Her unique gift tells her not only that there is more to her father's new business "consultant" Jake Salter than he would like her to believe but also that she is in grave danger.
If you like your Alphas with a psychic twist, Jake Salter is your man. This man is hawt! Ms. Krentz has always fed my Alpha love. She may actually have been my introduction to that fine species of men. She continues to assuage my yearning with White Lies. Jake is a Hunter, a psychic detective, of sorts. He is passionate, arrogant, mysterious, sexy. Roawr! Clare is a strong, no-nonsense chick. Don't mess with her, and don't lie to her. She will know. I love the world JAK has created, the paranormal senses she has gifted her characters with. Human lie detector. A Hunter. These are well thought out skill sets. The reader was first introduced to them in her book Second Sight, a historical in which the Arcane Society mythology is established. White Lies is the second book in this "series". It is a pretty loose series since the books are jumping back and forth between historical and contemporary. The books share the mythos and the legends, but you can read each as a stand alone.

Grade: B+


Ana said...

You know, there is a part of me that rebels at the thought of the alpha male - how can I like such possessive, overbearing men? I just tell said part (aka my brain) to SHUT UP. I LOVE the alpha men. What can I say?

Dreaming of You? one of the best romance novels ever. Derek Craven le sigh - at the end when he breaks down and CRIES? *dies* There is nothing bettes than an alpha that can cry. ai.

Kristie (J) said...

LOL - I just love readers who fall under the spell of Derek Craven. Isn't he just fabulous? This is my numero uno all time favourite book - zoomed to the top when I first read it years ago and has stayed there ever since. Derek is just everything that is wonderful isn't he? I don't know if you were around during the whole Dreaming of You thing - but let's just say a lot of readers discovered the wonder of this book (although some actually prefer Sebastian of Devil in Winter!!!!)

Shannon said...

ana- I have to agree. There is this part of me (the rational, independent, feminist side) that rebels at the traits that make up the Alpha male. I think that is why, while I probably wouldn't touch them with a 10 foot pole in real life, I am fascinated by them in fiction.

Kristie- Oh, the crying! When he saw her standing there amidst the ruins of his club and thought she was a ghost. "You said you wouldn't leave me." I died a little!

Sarai said...

Um so I have the first one sitting in the TBR pile b/c her books drag me in and won't let me go. So I have to plan out a whole night to read her's.
As far as JAK I don't think I have read anything from her. Maybe I should give it a whirl

Shannon said...

sarai- I Love JAK. Her contemporaries are great. Her historicals (as Amanda Quick) are usually good. There are a few that are less than fantastic, but I usually like them. Try Hidden Talents or Family Man (JAK) or Deception or Seduction (Amanda Quick.) I will admit that her writing has a formula, but so long as you don't read a bunch of them back-to-back you should be fine.

Kristie (J) said...

Sarai!!! You haven't read Dreaming of You yet??? You must fix that. And I forgot to add - we have a visual of Derek now - Richard Armitage. Many of us agree that he would make a Most Excellent Derek. And Lisa Kleypas agrees too *g*

Jill D. said...

Sarai, for JAK I recommend Trust Me. JAK is a staple. Kind of like wheat in our American diet; she just gets the job done. Definitely a good writer along the lines of La Nora.

Shannon said...

Oh Jill, no! She can't be like wheat! Then I could not consume her novels. Damn wheat! Damn gluten!

The girl with Celiac scuttles off to enjoy a wheat free pancake and a JAK novel.

Jill D. said...

Shannon, It is too ironic that you just menioned Celiac disease, because I just read a book where the heroine has it called SEALed with a Kiss. It was excellent and I will be posting a review on it in the near future. It's ironic because I had never heard of this disease until I read about it in a romance novel, of all places.

Shannon said...

No way! Now I absolutely have to read that book. A SEAL and Celiac in the same story? Excellent!