Daphne's Adventures

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Spell of the Highlander by Karen Marie Moning
Sunday, February 26, 2006
Powerful. Sensual. Seductive. He is all that is shamelessly erotic in a man. In her sexiest Highlander novel yet, New York Times bestselling author Karen Moning stirs up a sizzling brew of ancient mystery and modern passion as she brings together a devilishly handsome Celtic warrior trapped in time . . . and the woman who’s about to pay the ultimate price for freeing him. Age-old secrets haunt them. Deadly danger and irresistible desire shadow their every move. It’s a relationship for the ages. And all that separates them is a mere thirteen hundred years. . . .

Jessi St. James has got to get a life. Too many hours studying ancient artifacts has given the hardworking archaeology student a bad case of sex on the brain. So she figures she must be dreaming when she spies a gorgeous half-naked man staring out at her from inside the silvery glass of an ancient mirror. But when a split-second decision saves her from a terrifying attempt on her life, Jessi suddenly finds herself confronting six and a half feet of smoldering, insatiable alpha male.

Heir to the arcane magic of his Druid ancestors, eleven centuries ago Cian MacKeltar was trapped inside the Dark Glass, one of four coveted Unseelie Hallows, objects of unspeakable power. When the Dark Glass is stolen, an ancient enemy will stop at nothing to reclaim it, destroying everything in his path–including the one woman who may just hold the key to breaking the ninth-century Highlander’s dark spell. For Jessi, the muscle-bound sex god in the mirror is not only tantalizingly real, he’s offering his protection–from exactly what, Jessi doesn’t know. And all he wants in exchange is the exquisite pleasure of sharing her bed.

Yet even as Cian’s insatiable hunger begins to work its dark magic on Jessi, his ancient enemy is about to obtain the final and most dangerous of the Unseelie Hallows–and the ninth-century Highlander must stop him from getting it. Nothing less than the very fabric of the universe and two passionately entwined lives are at stake–as Cian and Jessi fight to claim the kind of love that comes along but once in an ice age. . . .

Well I'm finally caught up on the series, and I must say, I wish I could go back and read this whole series for the first time ever. I read most of the series one after the other, and for some reason after Immortal, I just stopped. I guess I didn't want to read Spell because I was so blown away by the MacKeltar twins and Adam Black. And being a hardback, I threw away the cover of Spell without even reading the description. I had NO idea that Cian was a Keltar descendant. Had I known how good this book was, I woulda read it ages ago.

Here's what I love about Cian. The fact that he was trapped in a mirror for hundreds of years reminded me of Julian from Sherrilyn Kenyon's Fantasy Lover. But the difference between Cian and Julian was that Julian seemed like such a complainer. All he could talk about was his sad story and how he got stuck in the book. I felt so bad for Cian, and yes he wanted to take his revenge on Lucan, but he wasn't saying "aww poor me, my life sucks" the whole time. How he was able to stay sane in that mirror and keep his cool every time he got out is so beyond my comprehension, but that's why I love this guy so much. He had a temper at times, but was still in control.

I also loved the incorporation of the MacKeltar twins and their wives from the previous books. It's so good reading about them again, and KMM does a great job of keeping their relationships solid and alive. That's probably why I want to reread Kiss and Dark again. I loved the showdown between Cian and Dageus in the store, and how both of them hated each other on sight. I love how she uses Dageus' story to help explain how he knows so much about ancient spells and magic. And in the end, I loved that Cian still put Jessi's life first. I can't imagine how difficult that must be considering he's been a prisoner of that mirror for over a thousand years.

The ending was great to read too. We know that there will be more Highlander books to come. How exciting!! I can't wait. Love love love this book, and I love Cian MacKeltar! I just wish the book were longer, so I'm giving this a 4.5 out of 5.

Favorite scenes/quotes
~ Cian using Voice on Jessi but not working on her. "Remove that woolen, woman, and show me your breasts."

~ "Take your time, lass," he murmured, so softly she scarcely heard him. His next comment was deliberately beyond her audible range, a silky "I plan to with you."

~ Jessi licking Cian's back.

~ "Look, I've been thinking, what's your plan, anyway?"
"To bed you."
"No, I mean, your plan that might actually work."
"Ah, that plan. That would be to cross this room right now and kiss you until you start rearing off yoru clothing and begging me to f---"

~ "so that's why they're called Lucky jeans," he murmured.

~ "You'll have my clan name and a battle. 'Tis Keltar," Cian spat. "And yours?"
"Keltar," Dageus spat back.

~ Jessi keeping a mental diary of her days with Cian. Her marrying him, them picking out names for their kids, etc.

~ "You saw my ancestor's arse?" Drustan said frostily. "His bare arse? had the man any clothing on at all?" He began reaching past her again, for the doorknob.

~ "I will rue for all eternity every moment of suffering I've caused you. The entire time I'm burning in Hell, I'll regret each tear I made you weep. But if Hell were the price for twenty days with you, I'd condemn myself again and again."
posted by Daphne @ 5:32 PM   6 comments
Valentines Gift
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
So Benny got me a gift this Vday, which really surprised me. It's basically a short romance book called "Knights of Passion," which he custom ordered. What's neat about it is that the characters are us.. Daphne and Benny. I know I should read it ASAP, since it's super short, and Benny will want to know if I read it right away or not. But a part of me is kinda scared to read my name on every page. Call me crazy, but when I read, I like to live vicariously through the heroines. And because Benny and I are so different from the characters (physically) I feel like it's weird to read about "Lord Hawcrest" when his name is Benny. I really don't know if I want to read my name associated with sexual scenes. Is it weird? I mean, I know I'll read it eventually, but I'm scared. Hahaha.
posted by Daphne @ 9:09 PM   2 comments
Almost Heaven by Judith McNaught
Sunday, February 12, 2006
In this classic novel of two willful lovers caught in a breathless adventure of deception and betrayal, #1 New York Times bestselling author Judith McNaught has created a powerful and unforgettable masterpiece.

The Countess of Havenhurst possessed a rare gentleness and fierce courage to match her exquisite beauty. But her reputation is shattered when she is discovered in the arms of Ian Thornton, a notorious gambler and social outcast.

A dangerously handsome man of secret wealth and mysterious lineage, his voyage to Elizabeth's heart is fraught with intrigue, scandal, and a venomous revenge.
Destined for each other, yet wary of each other's motives, Elizabeth and Ian engage in a dance of suspicion and passion that tests the very soul of their star-crossed love. As a twisting path of secrets takes them from London's drawing rooms to the mysterious Scottish Highlands, Elizabeth must learn the truth: is Ian merely a ruthless fortune hunter at heart?

Oh yah.. I said I'd finish this by February 11, and well, I finished at 2am, so technically I finished on Feb. 12 but whatever. This book was long. I'm not saying that in a bad way, but man, I can't believe how long this story was.

Let's start with the good... I really loved the beginning of this book, just the H/H meeting and having that immediate connection and attraction to one another. I loved how Ian turned Elizabeth down when she asked him for a dance, and then how he changed his mind after she stood up for him in the card room. And then how he asked her to meet him in the woodcutter's cottage the next day, man oh man was my heart pumping that entire time! I was almost afraid to turn the pages to find out what would happen. JM just seems to do a great job of keeping your mindset in that time period, so you realize how scandalous and exciting it was for Elizabeth to meet with Ian in private.

I loved seeing Alexandra and Jordan Townsende appear in this book, and how they helped out Elizabeth. All I gotta say is that I still love those two, and Jordan is such a good husband to Alex. I think Alex is a better heroine than Elizabeth, mostly because Elizabeth was a little stubborn and a bit too proud. Now moving on to Ian Thornton... oh boy, this man is all that and a bag of chips. I really loved all those scenes where he would be laid back, and give that slow lazy smile. And how about his unusual gift of high intelligence. Very dreamy I'd say. But like Elizabeth, he was pretty stubborn.

Which brings me to the bad part of this book. The misunderstandings between these two were a bit annoying. Sure it happens, but back and forth and back and forth... ugh!! Stop already! First misunderstanding: The notes. So how long does it take before the H/H realize something fishy is going on when both claim they received a note from the other but did not send one? I would've questioned that from the get go (i.e. what did your note say? who gave you the note? what was the writing like? etc etc) These two just kept arguing back and forth and when Ian finally realized the handwriting wasn't hers, he should've been more pissed off that someone tried to mess with them.

Second misunderstanding: The Robert murder thing. Okay first she's pissed b/c she thinks Ian caused her brother to suffer, then Ian's pissed b/c he thinks she ran away with someone. I don't get why Ian was so mad at Elizabeth after she gave her testimonial. Aren't you a bit relieved she wasn't with a lover, that she left b/c she hadn't seen her brother in over 2 years? Okay yah Ian's mad b/c Elizabeth really believed he was capable of doing those things Robert accused him of, but can you blame her? You didn't tell the truth, you thought if you told her she wouldn't want to marry you anymore. Shame on you for having no faith in your love.

The difference between this misunderstanding and the one in Something Wonderful, was that when Jordan believed Alex was betrayed him, he was upset/very sad but he didn't treat her like crap. I was so mad when Ian told Elizabeth to "shut up." That seemed a bit harsh.

Anyway this was still an enjoyable read, just a bit frustrating. I hate seeing that much pain happen to two good people. I'm glad they both had their talk in the end and admitted that they both wronged each other; and start over. I think I'm giving this one a 4 (almost 4.5) out of 5.

Favorite Scenes/Quotes:

"You're here because we're already half in love with each other."

Elizabeth and Ian reading side by side and holding hands.

"What is it you want?"
"What did you just say?"

She raised her eyes to his. "I said I want you, only I'm afraid that I--"

Elizabeth thinking babies were made by husband and wife kissing in bed.

Ian Thornton has no peers.

The whole scene when Elizabeth tries to cook breakfast for Ian... I know it wasn't funny, I felt so bad for her, but I just enjoyed reading that. It was very emotional.
posted by Daphne @ 9:01 PM   4 comments
Valentines Day
Benny and I celebrated the Saturday before the real Vday. We've been together for almost 4 years now, so this is the 4th time we've gone to the same restaurant. I guess I just can't bring myself to break the tradition, even though I actually wasn't even in the mood to go out this year. As always, it was a beautiful evening, and we dined outside, right by the marina.

Now despite the wonderful dinner it was, I really have to say that this year I really felt Vday was overrated, and I feel bad Benny forked over Mr. Benjamin (well he used his credit card but same thing) to pay for dinner.

The first time we went here was right before we got together, back in the days of our cat and mouse flirting days. I remember us waiting almost 2 hours to get our table, despite having reservations. But it didn't matter back then, yes we were a little annoyed that it was taking so long, but gosh darnit... we were so nervous that night, the only thing I kept thinking about is if our date would end in a kiss.

This year, complete opposite. We DID care if we had to wait a long period of time, therefore we made our reservations at 5:30. Okay, very smart because by the time we left the place was packed, and we were seated right away. But, a part of me is thinking, dang 5:30... what are we? senior citizens? Who the heck eats dinner at 5:30?!

I also remember during our first dinner, I could barely touch my food, I was too excited to eat. This year, I made the mistake of arriving at Benny's place really late (around 1pm) ... so we ended up eating lunch around 2.... that only left 3 hours until we had to eat again. By the time we left at 5, Benny said "man, are you even hungry?" and I said "sure, I could eat." He said "haha that's because you're my little food monster!"

Okay, I said I could eat, not "I'm starving so much I can eat a horse." I really wasn't that hungry, but I told myself I would try to eat everything since it was going to be an expensive meal. We ordered oysters as an appetizer and we both ordered steaks. To my surprise, and embarrassment, I ended up finishing my filet in like 15 minutes, while Benny was only halfway done with his. Not to mention I ordered coffee and banana bread pudding topped with ice cream and sauteed bananas for dessert. Wow, I guess he really was right.. I AM a little food monster.

Anyway, like I said, I had a great evening, but when I reflect on it, it just seems like an extravagant and overrated holiday. I felt like we had to go out for the sake of going out, and I'd rather we had more "just because I love you" dinners then this Vday cliche stuff.
posted by Daphne @ 1:18 PM   3 comments
Let the adventures begin
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Well, I've finally signed up for this. I can't wait to start sharing my silly tales.

posted by Daphne @ 2:09 PM   6 comments
Who Is Daphne?

Name: Daphne
Home: California, United States
About Me: I love to read, especially romance books. I love to play, especially computer games and puzzles. I love to dance, especially lindy hop. I love my family and friends.
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