Red Hot Books
Romance and Urban Fantasy Reviews
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Review: Motor City Wolf
Reviewed by JenI really enjoyed the relationship between Greg and Fee. It was very sexy! Add to that, plenty of great secondary characters and action mixed with pack intrigue and danger... and I was firmly engrossed in the story. My only complaint was the reveal on who was try to kill Fee. It felt abrupt and out of left field, with a character I barely knew in the context of this book. The larger conspiracy ended up making more sense but I could tell that the identity of her would-be assassin was supposed to have more emotional resonance for me than it did. Maybe it would have if I had read the earlier books.
There's a good set-up on a future story featuring Greg's cousin, Lana. And I liked this one enough that I feel pretty sure I'll give that one a try too. 4 stars.
*ARC Provided by NetGalley
Monday, August 29, 2011
Review: By Grace Possessed
Cate goes back and forth with her feelings. She wants Dunbar, but she fears for his life because of the curse. He is just as torn because while he wants nothing more than to bed the lady, he knows that if they wed, his father will disown him. On top of that, he wonders if Cate has anything to do with an attempt on his life. But when push comes to shove, the king gives neither of them much choice in the matter.
I enjoyed watching Cate and Dunbar come together. And there was plenty of intrigue going on in the background. It was a little too historically complicated for me at times, but there was enough action and danger to keep me interested. That, and watching the relationship between Cate and Dunbar unfold. (I am such a sucker for a burr and a kilt.) I was also excited to see that David... a favorite of mine from the last book... appears to be the love interest for the last sister and will be featured in the next book. Yay! Almost 4 stars.
*ARC Provided by NetGalley
By Grace Possessedby Jennifer BlakeRelease Date: August 30, 2011Publisher: Mira
Sunday, August 28, 2011
Review: Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue
"He led her into a landscape of sensual lushness created by touch, by tactile sensation, by long drawn-out intimate exploration, capped by sexual revelation. He guided her on through valleys of pleasure colored by rainbows of glitteringly sharp delight, onto plateaus where untempered passion ran so luxuriously and deliciously deep that it swamped her senses and left her reeling."Moving on. There were moments I did want them to work things out. I wasn't beyond caring. And I was pleased when the two of them finally admitted their feelings. But on the whole, it didn't ring my bells. A little more than 3 stars.
*ARC Provided by NetGalley
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Review: Sin's Daughter
Reviewed by JenThis short story is the prequel to Eve Silver's Otherkin series. It features Kai, a soul reaper, and his lost love, Amber. Kai and Amber were happy and in love 50 years ago, when each was lured away to a separate location and attacked. Amber survived; Kai didn't. Each thought the other betrayed them and set up the ambush.
Kai went to the Underworld and was offered immortality to become a reaper. Amber kept running. She's been hunted her whole life, but she doesn't know why. She only knows that she is immortal and has been alive for a century.
Amber and Kai's paths cross again in the present day when he is sent to harvest the soul of a man attacking Amber. Seeing each other again, it's like no time has passed. But can they get over their suspicions of each other long enough to acknowledge their feelings? Can they work together to figure out who is after Amber and the truth behind her life on the run?
I liked this story. It was short, but sexy. And since these two already have a history together, their feelings were believable. Even though it's a prequel, I would suggest reading one or two of the full length stories before reading this one. That way, you'll already be caught up on the world building and you can focus on the love story and the action. You should read it before Sins of the Flesh, since Kai is incorporated into the story there. 4 stars.
Friday, August 26, 2011
More Fever Books
I am both elated and a little concerned. Karen Marie Moning announced this morning her plans for the future of her Fever series. She says, in part:
I think I am uncomfortable already. Which makes me kind of pissed off because I want to feel nothing but squee about this. Part of me knows I have to just trust that Moning knows what she is doing. After all, she rocked my socks off with the existing installments of this series.
I think I am going to practice some deep breathing exercises and resume my Google search of David Gandy photos. You can't go wrong with Gandy.
Review: Body of Sin
As this book begins, he is still trapped in the Underworld. And he must pass through a dozen treacherous gates before he can return Topside and reunite with his precious daughter, Dana. It's a task that's beyond his capabilities. Fortunately, it's not beyond Byrn's.
The conclusion was satisfying, but ample foreshadowing kept it from being much of a surprise. The ending of every book in this series has been abrupt, but I've always written that off to the cliffhangers. Here, even with solid resolution, the book still ended hard and fast. But with the introduction of Bryn's brothers, I have a feeling the author will find more story to tell. 4 stars.
*ARC Provided by NetGalley
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Review: Sins of the Flesh
Reviewed by JenI am so glad I stuck with this series! These books just keep getting better and better. Mal, Alastor and Dagan still haven't solved the mystery of their brother Lokan's death. Alastor and Dagan are each mated to a Daughter of Aset. And now, it's Mal's turn.
Calliope has no idea who or what Mal is when she approaches him in a bar. She only knows that she needs to feed from the energy of a man and she'd rather use sex than blood to get her fill. Since Mal is essentially sex on a stick, he seems a perfect candidate. The two are already starting to get down to business when she finally gets a sense that he is more than human. She can't get away fast enough.
Their paths cross again when they both go after the same witness to Lokan's murder. (Mal doesn't recognize her at first, since she is no longer wearing the disguise she had on at the bar.) The two of them face off, each trying to get custody of the man. And in the heat of battle, Calliope bites Mal, which not only amps up her strength but ends up creating a tasty bond between them.
Neither one of these two wants to fall in love. Mal is a man-whore. Who wants to give that up? And Calliope is a control freak, who is unerringly loyal to the Daughters of Aset. But it was hard enough for them to ignore their attraction before the blood-tie. After the bite, they are fighting a lost cause. I enjoyed the progression of their relationship and I really, really enjoyed the sex. Rraw.
A good thing about this series is that each books builds on the one before. And FINALLY we find out who is behind Lokan's death and why. I can't say I was really surprised. (I has my suspicions beginning in the last book.) But nevertheless, it was a pretty great moment when we reached the climax at the end. (*spoilers*) "He was alive. His name was Lokan Krayal, and he was alive." Hot damn!
A little more than 4 stars.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
THAT Looks Different!
Obviously, there's a new design here at Red Hot Books. And I can't tell you how excited I am. All the credit goes to Rachel, otherwise known as Parajunkee. I lucked out and won a free web design from her on Twitter. If you like what you see, she does stuff like this for a living... so go check her out!
I'd love to hear what you think! Is there anything you like or don't like in particular? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Review: Sins of the Soul
Reviewed by JenThe hunt for Lokan's killer and the search for his body continues in this second installment of Eve Silver's Otherkin series. This book picks up just days after the last one left off. Dagan, Alastor and Mal are no closer to figuring out who killed their brother. But they haven't given up.
Alastor is following a lead when his path first crosses with Naphré. She is a Topworld Assassin who has turned her back on her heritage as a Daughter of Aset... the sworn enemies of Alastor's father, Sutekh, the Lord of Chaos. Things aren't going well for Naphré. Her mentor, Butcher, has betrayed her and taken a job to kill her. Naphré manages to turn the tables, but just as she buries his body, Alastor shows up. He knows Butcher could have information about who killed Lokan, so he harvests the man's soul to bring to his father for answers. But Butcher's soul belongs to another deity and she wants the soul that is due to her.
There is an immediate awareness and attraction between Alastor and Naphré. Both characters are strong, but stoic. They have both known deep loss, but keep a tight reign on their emotions. Neither is looking for love, but they can't ignore what is growing between them. I liked these two much better than Dagan and Roxy. It's probably one of the reasons that I liked the book better, as a whole. Neither was reckless or full of bluster. Neither was obnoxious. But when push comes to shove, both can and do kick ass. The burn is a slower build between them, which is good. It feels like it takes forever to get to the consummation, but the payoff is good.
Another plus for this installment is the fact that the world building is already in place. It makes the storytelling less cumbersome and the book moved much faster. There was a lot of action and intrigue surrounding all the different gods and factions. The ending was pretty abrupt, though. And while the state of our couple's relationship is resolved, there is virtually no movement in the mystery of Lokan's murder. Yep, it's another cliffhanger. That would really annoy me if I didn't already have the next book lined up to read. 4 stars.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Review: Sins of the Heart
Since then, Roxy has joined the Daughters of Aset, which serve one of Sutekh's greatest enemies. With the group, she has found the first family she's ever known. But when Dagan's brother is mysteriously killed, his investigation leads him to cross paths with Roxy again. What does Lokan's murder have to do with the Daughters of Asat? How is it related to the little girl Roxy saved on her last mission? And how does anyone kill a demi-God in the first place?
There are forces that don't want these questions answered and that puts Dagan and Roxy in grave danger. Of course, danger + sexual tension is bound to equal explosive sex... which, of course, leads to deeper feelings.
It all sounds really cool, but there were a few things that were off-putting. Initially, my problem was Roxy with her lame urban slang... calling Dagan "white boy" and "vanilla bean." Really? Then, I got a little annoyed with the repetition.. from the 10 times I heard about the toffee or coffee-with-double-cream color of her skin --from her bronze eyes to her dark ringlets-- once is enough. But I think the bigger problem was that I just couldn't see why these two fell for each other... or perhaps more accurately, I couldn't feel anything but lust between them. Don't get me wrong, I like lust. The sex was hot, but I never burned for these two to make their way together.
The intrigue surrounding Lokan's death did get more interesting to me over time. And by the time the book ended, I was pretty engrossed in that story. Unfortunately, I didn't get much in the way of answers, since it ended on a cliffhanger. I've heard that the books in this series get progressively better, so I'm going to give the next installment a try and see where it all goes from here. 3 1/2 stars.
Series Reading Order: Otherkin
Monday, August 22, 2011
Review: Queen of the Sylphs
Wow. This book had me on the edge of my seat from the very beginning to the very last page. It is somewhat of a departure from the previous installments in the series. Each of the first two books focused on the love story of an individual couple with the backdrop of the rich complicated world the author has created. But not this book. This book features all of the characters we already know and have come to care for, without a central love story. It feels a little different, but I still loved it.
The beginning of the story slightly overlaps with the end of The Shattered Sylph. Leon, Ril and Lizzie have not yet returned to Sylph Valley. The sweet, but slightly dim couple that Leon and Ril rescued early in the last book, are now settling in. Gabralina is so happy that she writes to her old friend Sala to share her happy news about falling in love with Wat and finding a new home. Sala appears in the valley shortly after, ready to share in Gabralina's new life.
Leon, Ril, and Lizzie return with an angry Justin in tow. And it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that there is going to be serious trouble from that guy. Especially since he has the power to control Ril and he is still in love with Lizzie. While we wait for that shoe to drop, it's really Sala who reveals herself to be the villain. And what a villain she is. Sociopath is too kind of a word. She orchestrates deaths, rape, and misery, all for her own selfish gain. Watching the destruction of poor Claw is heartbreaking. Gabralina's eventual devastation actually made me cry. Sala isn't traditionally malicious; she is a pit of evil... a soulless void. And in that, she is frightening and gruesome.
The story doesn't only center on the mayhem surrounding Sala. We see the continuing repercussions from the events in the last book, with the rise of a new queen and her new hive. We see Solie and Heyou grow as a couple and deal with their inability to have children. We lose some people we've grown to love and we gain new characters who will no doubt become beloved as well.
This book took my emotions on a roller coaster ride and I honestly had no idea what would happen. Which was awesome. The world building is fascinating and consistent. The characters are many, but are clearly defined and emotionally resonant. The story builds beautifully on the previous installments, making it a treasure for fans of the series. But I don't know how clear it would all be to a newcomer to the books. I suggest checking the series out from the beginning. It's worth it. I can't wait to see what happens next. 5 stars.
*ARC Provided by NetGalley
Small Blogs, Big Giveaways
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hosting other giveaways now? a tour giveaway from Stacey Thompson Geer on the 24th + 3 other contests still open one for a DVD of Something Borrowed, My 300 Follower Giveaway and another Tour Giveaway for the Gift of Illusion.Red Hot Books
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hosting other giveaways now? August giveaway will be running from August 1st – August 30th. This month the winner will win two books though instead of one. And they will be able to chose from three genres. It will be international – anywhere Book Depository delivers to.Can’t Put It Down
hosting other giveaways now? it ends when my Facebook page gets 150 Likes.FEAT. AUTHORSNicola Marsh
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Sunday, August 21, 2011
Giveaway: Storm's Heart
This contest is closed. Mary is the winner.
I want to show a little love to my followers by giving away one of the best books I have read this summer. If you haven't read Thea Harrison's Storm's Heart, now is your chance! Here's the blurb:
Able to wield thunder and lightning, wyr sentinel Tiago Black Eagle has ruled the skies for centuries. His massive build and thunderous power make him one of the wyr's best weapons. And he's the one sent to protect Tricks, heir to the Dark Fae throne, when she's almost assassinated in Chicago. Soon Tiago and Tricks will fall prey to the stormy hunger that engulfs them-a passion that will shake the very foundation of all the worlds.
You can check out my gushing review if you want a little more info.
If you'd like to enter, just comment below. This giveaway is open to all Red Hot Books followers in the US and Canada. The contest will close at 7pm EST August 29th! Thanks for making blogging fun!
Review: The Gladiator's Master
I enjoyed this book a lot. You may have picked up on the fact that is was highly sexy, but it had a real story too. The characters were empathetic and fleshed out; there was action and emotion. It was everything you'd hope for in a m/m gladiator book (<--I don't get to say that every day.) If it sounds like your cup of tea, I'd definitely recommend it. Yum. 4 1/2 stars.
*ARC Provided by NetGalley
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Review: Enemy Lover
|**Hot Cover Alert**|
Reviewed by JenWhat a difference one book can make. Enemy Lover isn't perfect, but it's a big improvement over "Broken Souls." This book had a lot of action, a lot of heart, and a lot of really hot sexy times.
Destiny or not, Jamie has no plans to mate with Damian. She saw him kill her brother years ago and she has hated him ever since. But he is the only one who can help her fight a curse laid on her by the Morphs. Despite her protests, the two end up working together to hunt for an old book of magic that could contain the spell to save her. And of course, that time spent together lays the groundwork for the development of their relationship.
The sexual tension between these two is off the charts. Poor Damian wants to sleep with Jamie so badly. But over and over, he pushes down his needs, to please her. The man deserved to get lucky way before he did and frankly, I thought he had the patience of a saint.
Enemy Loverby Bonnie VanakRelease Date: November 1, 2008Publisher: Harlequin Nocturne
Darkfever Movie: I Die!!
I didn't read Twilight before the movie came out. I've never been a fan of Harry Potter. Honestly, until I got word that they were making The Hunger Games into a movie, I've never really been all that excited about a book adaptation before. Then I heard that DreamWorks has bought the rights to all five books in Karen Marie Moning's Fever series.
To say I love this series would be an understatement akin to saying I love McDonald's french fries or I love Charlie Hunnam without a shirt on. It is one the very best series I have ever read. I laid in bed at night after reading Dreamfever, trying to figure out who the beast was. I took a vacation day to stay home and read on the day Shadowfever was released. I cried like a baby for the first 20 pages of that book and made my co-worker read the series just so I could talk to someone about it.
I'm still trying to cast Acheron in my head. And now Barrons? V'Lane? Christian? I must have done something really good in a previous life. A Dark Hunter tv show. A Darkfever movie. And a male-stripper movie with almost every hot guy in Hollywood getting naked. Thank you, entertainment gods. I love you.
Friday, August 19, 2011
Did Somebody Say "Full Frontal?"
I don't normally post about movies or anything else that is not book related. But you know I do have a soft spot for man-candy. And I'll be damned if I didn't just hear about the man-candy movie of the century.
It's called Magic Mike and it's a Steven Soderbergh movie about male strippers. Sit down for a moment while I lay out the cast:
Oh yeah.. and this guy is playing the ex-stripper who owns the club:
I'm going to go sit in the corner and rock back and forth until this movie comes out.
Review: A Midwinter Fantasy
Meanwhile, Jayden, one of Lily's orphan children has run away and she asks Mace to find him. On his journey, he reconnects with Sally, a woman who he shared a tumble with in the first book. They instantly reconnect and it's quickly apparent that she will be the woman who has his heart. The people in her village have ostracized her for her affair with Mace and their cruelty extended to her son... who seems to be traveling with the bandits who have Jayden. Now Mace is on a mission to save both boys, while he hopes for a future with the woman who could finally be his soul mate.
Be aware that this story is a peek into the future. The series jumps back 13 years for the next full length book, Queen of the Sylphs.
"The Crystal Crib" - Sonja has traveled to Iceland to broker a business deal for her aunt. But when she arrives in Vidar's office, instead of her aunt, he is shocked to see her. It turns out that Vidar has been the guardian angel tied to Sonja's soul her whole life. He saved her life as a baby and has been linked to her ever since. But with her return to Iceland, she is drawn back in the feud between her father and Vidar's. At first she seems to be just a pawn, but it's slowly revealed that she is much more.
The connection between Sonja and Vidar is sweet and sexy. The story is set on the backdrop of Norse mythology, which is fun and a little off the beaten path. Nothing too deep, but entertaining.
As a fan of the Sylph series, obviously the McDonald selection was my favorite. Taylor's wasn't bad. But I think Hieber's story may be a miss for readers unfamiliar with the previous books. Almost 4 stars.
*ARC Provided by NetGalley
Thursday, August 18, 2011
Review: The Shattered Sylph
The more I read of this series, the more I like it.
Six years have passed since the events of The Battle Sylph, but the transition feels seamless. Solie is still queen of what is now known as Sylph Valley. Heyou (**cringe**) is still at her side. Lizzie, Leon's daughter, is now 18 years-old. She is still in love with Ril, her father's battle sylph. But he closed himself off to her emotionally after he was injured at the end of the last book. And she believes he has no feelings for her beyond friendship.
Of course, she's wrong. Completely, utterly, wonderfully wrong. When Lizzie is kidnapped by slavers, Ril joins her father and Justin (a young suitor of hers) on a mission to find her. Ril is the only one who can track her, because years ago, he imprinted himself on her in secret. He made her his master out of his love for her.
The slavers put Lizzie in a harem for battle sylphs who need an outlet. But when none of them wants her, she discovers that it is because they see her as mated to Ril. And when the two of them are reunited, it's just spectacular.
The world-building in this series is just enthralling. The sex and sexual tension are awesome, but the book is also wonderfully romantic. There is plenty of action, great secondary characters, and impressive continuity. Ril is a fantastic tortured hero... and I have such a weak spot for those (especially when they're done right.) My only niggling complaints are the same ones I had for the last book... dumb names for the sylphs and the youth of the heroines. Even aging Lizzie six years, leaves her only at 18. These are not YA books... would it kill the author to make the girls 20 or 21?
Again, these complaints are small ones. I really, really enjoyed this book --and I love this series. Almost 5 stars.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Review: The Battle Sylph
Imagine a world filled with elemental beings, subjugated to human masters. These beings are called sylphs. Each female sylph has a special gift: power over healing, water, air, fire or water. The males are warriors... battle sylphs. Humans can open a portal to the sylph world and if the sylph sees someone worthy of being a master, they'll cross over. But the battle sylphs are being tricked. They see lovely young women in the portal... but when each battler crosses over, the humans kill the female lure and force the battle sylph into the service of a man.
The king's men planned that very scenario to lure a battler for the prince. But the young woman they kidnapped for the sacrifice was more resourceful than they expected. Solie turns the tables and manages to claim the sylph for her own. And instead of subservience through a bond of hatred... her sylph worships her... wants nothing more than to please her.
They make their way out of the kingdom and band with others wishing to live in a new way. In this makeshift community, the sylphs are tied to humans, but they are otherwise free. The many constraints of the kingdom don't exist. And as Solie and her battler grow closer, it creates lasting repercussions not only for them, but for all the sylphs around them.
The author has constructed a rich and complicated fantasy world. But I didn't have any trouble following it. And the more I read, the more I liked it. The secondary characters were every bit as interesting and engaging as the leads, maybe more so... and there were no points that I felt bored or anxious to get back to another POV.
I had only two complaints about the entire thing. Primarily, I wish Solie were older. She's only 17 and while it's very common for 17 year-olds to be sexually active, it was hard for me to think of her as a woman or a romantic lead. This is even more true with Lizzie --a side character who is even younger and clearly the intended love interest for the next book. (I pray there is a serious time jump.) --The second minor complaint... the battler's name. I never could get past her calling him "Heyou." I get it, but it annoyed me.
Please know that both these peeves amounted to very little in the grand scheme of things. I liked the book a lot --and I'm off to read The Shattered Sylph to see what happens next. 4 1/2 stars.
*ARC Provided by NetGalley