Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Review: Tempest's Legacy

This series just keeps getting better and better.

Jane True has finally realized what I have known since book one: Anyan is the man. That's right. THE MAN. Jane now accepts that she has a massive crush on him. And probably always has. The only problem is that he has been gone for two months. She hasn't seen him since the end of the last book. And when he does show up again, it's to break the news that her mother is dead... a victim of one of those terrible testing facilities we learned about in Tracking the Tempest. Jane joins with Anyan and Ryu as they investigate the murder and try to ferret out other similar compounds.

I loved this book. There was so much delicious angst. Ryu and Jane still have a lot to resolve. And it isn't all pretty. Also, we now have her feelings for Anyan in the mix. I've thought Anyan's feelings for Jane have been obvious since the beginning, but there are a lot of hurdles to overcome and it's all quite a ride.

The part of the story featuring the compounds is pretty disturbing. And it really hits home as a character we know and love gets caught up in it all. But this is such fantastic storytelling. I couldn't put it down. Even as dark as it gets at some point, there is still this fantastic humor infused throughout. Jane's internal ramblings and constant interjections from her libido make me laugh out loud. Plus, it's so satisfying to see how she has grown. Our little halfling has come a long way, both in power and personal growth.

But if I don't get some payoff on this sexual tension soon (you know the one I mean) -- I think I may just implode. Seriously. It's killing me. 5 stars.

Click to purchase: Amazon or The Book Depository
Tempest's Legacy
by Nicole Peeler
Release Date: January 1, 2011
Publisher: Orbit

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Review: Tracking the Tempest

I am officially in love with this series. And Jane True -- I am seriously, completely in love with her too. She is utterly believable as a woman who finds herself immersed in the new and strange world of the supernatural. Someone who has been isolated and alone... now finding herself in a relationship with a sexy and attentive new lover. She is funny and smart and really makes this series a captivating read.

This installment picks up a few months after the where the last one left off. Jane and Ryu are still seeing each other, but living apart. She goes to visit him in Boston for Valentine's Day and ends up in the center of his investigation of a halfling infirit who has gone on a killing spree. The halfling takes a shining to Jane, which is the first complication. The second, comes when some of Jarl's henchmen insinuate themselves onto the case.  There is great action, murder and mayhem in the backdrop of fantastic character growth.

We're introduced to a wealth of great new secondary characters in Ryu's crew. But once again, Anyan totally steals the show. (Wake up, Jane!!! He is the man for you!!!) There is so much going on between him and Jane just under the radar... they had me on the edge of my seat.  This is quickly becoming one of my favorite series. Almost 5 stars.

Click to purchase: Amazon or The Book Depository
Tracking the Tempest
by Nicole Peeler
Release Date: July 1, 2010
Publisher: Orbit

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Twincest: Yea or Nay?


WARNING: This post contains coarse language and seriously adult content.  It's not for the faint of heart or easily offended.

Let me start off by saying this post is not meant to slam anybody. Everyone is entitled to their personal taste and if yours is different from mine, I completely respect that and invite you to share your opinions below.

I like to consider myself pretty open-minded about different romance sub genres. I don't love everything --most people know that BDSM isn't my cuppa tea. But there's "not-my-cuppa-tea" and then there's "Holy shit! Is that guy really fucking his brother?" Yes, folks, I just read my first twincest story. And I've got to tell you: I don't get it. It was a m/m/m menage twincest story. And I like m/m books -- I really do. I think they are extremely hot. But the idea of a guy having sex with his twin brother is not hot. At least not to me.

I know there are lots of stories where brothers share a woman. Even that is kind of yuck for me, when I think about it. But I always figured it was kind of like a sandwich with the not-related person in the middle. No sibling-bits touching. But apparently that is not always the case. These brothers penetrated each other; they sucked each other off; and they had a whole dom/sub thing between them to boot.

I've never felt like such a prude in my life as I did reading this. I just kept staring at the screen, thinking I must be missing some integral part of the puzzle. Then I went on Twitter and asked around, to see if I'm the single Amish spinster in the corner, wearing granny-panties, who's not down with the latest thing. I was reassured that I was not alone. But obviously, there is an audience for this. There are people on Goodreads who read the book and loved it. They never said a word about the fact that these brothers are humping each other --or that it bothered them in the least.

So I'd like to hear from you guys. Does twincest titillate you? Does it gross you out? Please give me your perspectives. (I will not judge you!) And if you are an author who writes twincest books, please know I am not trying to insult you. Your input is welcome here too.

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Review: Tempest Rising

I truly, thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was original and unique. It was sexy and funny. It was unpredictable and smart.

The story centers on Jane True, a 20-something misfit living in a small Maine tourist town. She works at a small bookstore, takes care of her sick father, and has an abiding love for the sea. Jane has been an outcast in the town her whole life. Her mother made big waves, first when she appeared out of nowhere, then disappeared in much the same way when Jane was a child. But things only got worse when Jane's high school sweetheart drowned. The community blamed Jane for his death and she suffered a breakdown she has only partially recovered from.

She finds solace in the water. But when she finds a body during a late night swim, her world is turned on its ear. The dead man isn't human and that discovery is quickly followed by the revelation that she isn't entirely human either. Quickly, Jane finds herself immersed in the supernatural world and thrown together with Ryu, the vampire investigating the murder of the man Jane discovered.

This book has a little bit of everything. It's got mystery and intrigue surrounding the murder. It's got a great journey of self-discovery as Jane learns who and what she really is. It has hot sex. It has action. And humor. As many good things as it has going for it, I have to say that Jane's internal dialogue has got to be at the top of the list. Her voice is just fantastic. I get her pop-culture references, her sarcasm... the arguments between logic and her libido.

This is definitely a hit for me. While the book had a clear ending, it obviously has more story to tell. And as much as I liked Ryu (and I really did!) I am all about Anyan. He and Jane simply must become more than friends down the road. I'm telling you... he's the one to watch. 4 1/2 stars.

Click to purchase: Amazon or The Book Depository
Tempest Rising
by Nicole Peeler
Release Date: November 1, 2009
Publisher: Orbit

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Review: Vamped Up

I'll be honest. When I started reading, I was already annoyed because I couldn't find a decent summary description on this book anywhere. I don't like spoilers, but I do want at least a general idea of what I am about to read.  I'm off-topic already, but it had to be said. Now, let me give you the basics.

We first met Eve and Ruan back in Intervamption and it was clear even then that they were on the path to get their own story. Unfortunately, this book really kind of skips over all of the falling in love parts. We've had a time jump of a few weeks since the last book and our couple is already involved in a serious relationship as this story begins. Ruan is a vampire and Eve is a human, which is causing some problems. Ruan wants to take her blood, but he knows he doesn't have the control to stop feeding once he starts. He's been having dreams about killing Eve and it's scaring him to death. His fears are driving a wedge between them, which is made worse by the fact that he won't tell her what's going on inside him.

Meanwhile, Savage is back and he still wants to take over as the leader of the vampires. His latest plan to accomplish that is to learn how to harness and control the powerful dark spirits that dwell within the Elders of the race. It's not as easy as he first hoped and eventually his nefarious plan brings him to Eve, who turns out to be much more than a mundane human.

It took me a really long time to get into this book. Perhaps, this is because so much of the love connection between Ruan and Eve happened off page. Maybe because I was frustrated by Ruan's unwillingness to communicate. I don't know.  The characters fell flat and I couldn't connect to their relationship. I just wasn't feeling the book at all, until about halfway-in... when we started to see the set-up for side character Dante's story. It wasn't a great sign that I was more interested in what happened to him than what was going on with our main couple.

Eventually, Eve and Ruan's story does get more interesting, as we begin to learn about their hidden pasts. But it took too long to get there. I felt like this book had potential that it just didn't reach. I liked the last book better and hopefully Dante's story will reel me back in to this series. He seems like a pretty tortured hero --and I'm such a sucker for those.  3 stars.

*ARC Provided by NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon
Vamped Up
by Kristen Miller
Release Date: December 7, 2011
Publisher: Avon

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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Review: Fate's Song


Reviewed by Jen
 
Kaelen is a Fae prince in exile. Once destined for the throne, now he lives among the humans, cut off from his kind, without his powers. He is being punished for killing a human in defense of a woman and her children. He must serve out his sentence until he finds his true mate and she loves and accepts him for who he is.

When Abagail stumbles over Kaelen's beaten body in the woods, she feels the need to rescue him. She gets him back to her cabin, to nurse him back to health. But the two of them are quickly overwhelmed by their attraction to one another. And it's from there that the inevitable plays out.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out who Abagail is to Kaelen or what began their connection. But I can tell you that despite the lack of any substantial surprises, I did enjoy the book. The sex was rockin' --hot, heavy, and all around awesome. Everything happens at lightning speed, but I can forgive that with destined mates stories more than with a standard romance. A short, sexy read. A little more than 3 stars.

*Review copy provided by author

Click to purchase: Amazon
Fate's Song
by Jessica Jarman
Release Date: July 7, 2008
Publisher: Total Ebound Publishing

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Review: Kiss of Frost

Reviewed by Jen
 
I don't know if I have told you this before, but you really can't go wrong with Jennifer Estep. I love her writing style... it's just so easy to settle into. Her first person narrative is always down-to-earth, believable, and fun. And this book is no exception.

The story picks up just a few months after the point where Touch of Frost left off. And I've got to tell you, my number one goal when I started reading was to determine whether I was going to love Logan or hate him. He really made me angry when he blew Gwen off. And by the time we were halfway into the book, I was ready to start making a voo-doo doll. But I'll get back to Logan in a minute.

The story takes Gwen and her classmates at Mythos Academy on a skiing trip for Winter Carnival. But it's no relaxing vacation for Gwen. Someone was already trying to kill her before they even left and the danger only intensifies when they reach their destination. Gwen tries to distract herself with parties and a new boy, but it's hard to ignore attempts on your life. Fortunately, Gwen's magic is growing, giving her better skills to cope with what she might face.

I'm not usually a YA reader, but I do like this series. It's satisying to watch Gwen start to grow and get stronger. Like I said before, I had a hard time warming up to Logan, seeing as how he had his tongue in another girl's mouth for a large hunk of the story. But I guess I'm coming around --a little. YA or not, I need this little love connection to pick up the pace. It's moving along, but very slowly. Fish or cut-bait, people!

Overall, a good read that opens new doors for the future of the series. 4 stars.

*ARC provided by author

Click to purchase: Amazon or The Book Depository
Kiss of Frost
by Jennifer Estep
Release Date: November 29, 2011
Publisher: Kensington

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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giveaway: Black Friday Book Bonanza

It's time for a new giveaway hop! The Black Friday Book Bonanza is hosted by Heather from Book Savvy Babe, Jenn from The Bawdy Book Blog, and Lisa from Alive on the Shelves. The hop features 76 different blogs, giving away great books and prizes.


I like to provide different options for prizes, so here are your choices:

Dream-Hunter Lydia has been charged with the most sacred and dangerous of missions: To descend into the Nether Realm and find the missing god of dreams before he betrays the secrets that could kill her and her kind. What she never expects is to be taken prisoner by the Realm’s most vicious guardian…

Seth’s time is running out. If he can’t hand over the entrance to Olympus, his own life and those of his people will be forfeit. No matter the torture, Seth hasn’t been able to break the god in his custody. Then there’s the beautiful Dream-Hunter Lydia: She isn’t just guarding the gates of Olympus—she’s holding back one of the world’s darkest powers. If she fails, an ancient curse will haunt the earth once more and no one will be safe. But evil is always seductive...

Lucy was once the beloved Goddess of the Moon, and she could have any man she wanted. But these days, the goddesses of the Etruscan pantheon are all but forgotten. The only rituals she enjoys now are the local hockey games, where one ferociously handsome player still inflames her divine blood...

Brandon Stevenson is one hundred percent focused on the game, until he looks up and sees a celestial beauty sitting in the third row. A man could surely fall hard for a distraction like that...

Once upon a time…the Blood Sorcerer vanquished the kingdom of Elden. To save their children, the queen scattered them to safety and the king filled them with vengeance. Only a magical timepiece connects the four royal heirs…and time is running out….

Nicolai the Vampire was renowned for his virility, but in a twist of fate "The Dark Seducer" had become a sex slave in the kingdom of Delfina—stripped of his precious timepiece and his memory. All that remained was a primal need for freedom, revenge—and the only woman who could help him.

In her dreams, a wanton vampire called to Jane Parker, drawing her to his dark sexuality and his magical realm. But for a human, all was not a fairy tale in Delfina. Jane was the key to Nicolai's memory…but exploiting her meant dooming the only mortal he craved.

Do any of these sound good to you? To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. The winner will be able to select one of the three books as a prize. The contest is open to all Red Hot Books followers in the US & Canada.  Thanks for entering & be sure to check out some of the other great blogs participating in the hop!

Read more »

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Review: Her Christmas Pleasure


Reviewed by Jen
 
I'll warn you right off the bat, this novella is short; it's not even 70 pages. But it's a sexy and satisfying read in that small package.

Celia is the widow of Damien's best friend. He made a vow to her husband before he died to take care of her. But he never expected to fall in love with her. Damien is the son of servants... not nearly good enough, he believes, for a lady like Celia. So after years of loving her in silence, he makes plans to move away.

Celia has come to care deeply for Damien, but only recently has desire come into the picture. And once they share a kiss under the mistletoe, she can't deny her feelings any longer. But is too late for them? And can she convince him that he is more than enough to make her happy?

OK, we already know the answers, but I still enjoyed the ride. I'm always a sucker for a hero convinced he's not good enough for the heroine. Oooh --and did I mention the hot sex?? Good stuff. The story might have been even stronger if it were longer, but as it is, I liked it well enough. Almost 4 stars.

Note: This book is the 2nd in Karen Erickson's Merry Widows series, but the two novellas are completely unrelated.

*ARC Provided by NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon
Her Christmas Pleasure
by Karen Erickson
Release Date: November 28, 2011
Publisher: Carina Press

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Review: Pride & Passion

Reviewed by Jen
 
Let me start out by saying how much I enjoyed this book. It spared me many of the frustrating tropes I usually find in historicals. The heroine isn't a ninny or a virgin. The love isn't instantatious. And there is no great misunderstanding. It was a solid romance, with good sex, and enough danger to kick it all up a notch.

We first met Lucy back in Seduction & Scandal. She is desperately trying to find her former lover Thomas, who she had thought died in a fire. But not only is he alive, but he is somehow wrapped up in a nefarious group, trying to obtain ancient artifacts of the Templar Knights. Adrian, the Duke of Sussex, even claims he saw Thomas kill someone. But Lucy holds out hope she'll be reunited with the man she thought she loved.

Sussex is on a mission to make Lucy his own. It's made very, very obvious from the beginning that he is hiding a secret. (And it doesn't take a rocket science to determine his true identity.) But no matter how much he pines for Lucy, she doesn't return his affections. It's really kind of sad, but the thing is... she can't love him because he hides who he really is. He presents himself with a mask of propriety, but once he begins to allow his mask to fall and his passion to shine through, Lucy doesn't stand a chance.

Even though the "big reveal" of Sussex's secret was no surprise, it was still very poignant. I just wanted to step inside the book and give him a great big hug. How could it take Lucy so long to see what was right before her eyes?? The love story is good... and the sex is hooooot. All this with the backdrop of the mystery set up in the last book. Who is trying to steal the ancient artifacts? And how far will he go to get what he wants? I feel very certain I know the identity of the villain's lover, but I change my mind every five minutes about who the big bad really is.

I really liked the b-plot story surrounding Elizabeth and Alynwick. I'm already in a tizzy waiting for their book to come out! Especially since this one ended on a cliffhanger. How am I supposed to wait until July to find out what happens??

4 1/2 stars.

*ARC Provided by NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon or The Book Depository
Pride & Passion
by Charlotte Featherston
Release Date: November 15, 2011
Publisher: HQN

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Review: Fate's Edge


Reviewed by Jen
 
The Edge series has turned a corner for me with this book. Don't get me wrong - I enjoyed the first two. But in each installment, I felt like I had to work for it.  Now, for the first time with this series, I was able to jump into the story with both feet from the beginning. Maybe it's because I am already familiar with the world building and many of the characters, but I don't think so. I think it's more of a change in focus. This book felt much more honed in on our main couple and their adventure, while the introduction of new characters and POVs were more of a gradual trickle than an overpowering flood.

This is Kaldar's book.  He was introduced in Bayou Moon as Ceri's rouge, conman cousin. He is gorgeous; he is glib; he's charming; and he is nursing a serious desire for revenge against the Hand. It's been two years since the Spider and his agents killed off half the Mar family, but Kaldar can't let go of what happened. He is working for the Mirror now and as the story begins, he is granted a mission with the potential to give him the vengeance he covets.

Audrey grew up in a family of grifters. She possesses magical lockpicking skills but she wants to lead a legitimate life now. Her dad pulls her in for one last heist, but this is no small-time job. Unbeknownst to her, they are stealing a magical device that both the Hand and the Mirror would kill for. Retrieving the item, is Kaldar's mission. But by the time he tracks the theft to Audrey, she no longer has it. The two of them have to work together to find the device before it falls into the wrong hands.

Audrey is perfect for Kaldar. In many ways, she is a female version of him: smart, slick, and changeable. She calls him on all of his b.s. They were an easy couple to root for. But it took for-ever for them to get together. I understood the internal conflict and the reticence, but I would have liked even just a few more crumbs along the way... maybe a little bit more fooling around would have helped me soldier on until they accepted their feelings.

But while the relationship was a slow burn, the action was anything-but. The story really moved from the beginning here and it had a lot of heart (in no small part, thanks to the large roles Jack and George played.) The kids were a big, big win for me. Even though he is only 14, I can easily see George carrying off the lead in his own book someday. Jack too. And Lark's going to figure in somehow. It will be epic. But I digress...

We've got a great new villain, with ties to the Spider. And while our big bad from the last book is down, he's not out yet.  And though Kaldar isn't my favorite hero (that would be William) and Audrey isn't my favorite heroine (that would be Rose)... I still think this may be the best book in the series yet. It's a great blend of the new and the familiar. It's got heart. It's got action. And it's got a raccoon called Ling the Merciless. How could it not be a winner? 4 1/2 stars.

*ARC Provided by Ace

Click to purchase: Amazon or The Book Depository
Fate's Edge
by Ilona Andrews
Release Date: November 29, 2011
Publisher: Ace

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AAD Author Spotlight: Diana Castilleja

AAD author Diana Castilleja joins us today for a guest post. With more than a dozen ebooks currently to her credit and her first print book released in 2008 to rave reviews, Diana has kept busy since she started writing professionally in late 2004. Diana currently resides in central Texas with her husband and son. When not focusing her energy on her family and her writing, she loves to travel and haunt bookstores. Please help me welcome her to the blog!

Hi everyone! Thank you Jen for letting me come and talk about Angie with you and your readers.

My recent Purple Sword release is WOLF BROTHER'S LEGACY: RESURRECTION. This story was one of the hardest stories I've ever had come to me to write. It originally was written in 2006-07 and discussed at RWA in 2007. After a request, a submission and a full rewrite of the entire story (a large undertaking since I had to change characters around, reconnect the hero and heroine and actually remove a villain *gasp*).... It was rejected. Completely. I know... I wasn't heartbroken though. Just kept plugging along on it, until I got it right where it needed it and resubmitted it to PSP in 2010. Doesn't it have just the most awesome cover? Let me give you a bit on the book...
Angie Merrick is dying. Agony unlike any she's known fills her body and steals a little more of her life every day. Not one doctor can help her, but when modern science has failed, a light of an extinct Native American people lures her back to her first love: research of the Jahehn. An ancient talisman was once one of her greatest searches, and becomes the perfect distraction when there is nothing left but waiting to die. With her life being ripped to shreds in more than one way, Angie seeks one last connection with a people she helped to reveal to the scientific world.

Except death is not stalking Angie. A timeless pact created through the spirit world is demanding her compliance and unknowingly fighting it is causing her seizures. The search for the talisman takes her to the one place where she could find answers and possibly not die from powers she doesn't understand.

She could live if those who fear exposure hadn't decreed Angie must die by the very spirit their pact was sworn to protect.

Now as you can guess, it's a shifter book.... Sexy wolves, only it's not what most expect. There's a lot of Native American influence that I took into account when I started this idea. It originated with three brothers, except the brothers weren't the beginning. The beginning started decades before, when they were still babies. Resurrection is Angie's story, the catalyst for the rest of the series to happen. It's the revival of old legends, myths come to life, and challenges to reality that science simply can't explain, and Angie is a scientist at heart.

Also, if you've read any of my Shadowed Souls Vampire books (Kiss Series), you'll have met Houston. This is his background, though he's not in this at all. In fact, unless something really goes haywire in the mixing bowl, no vampires will ever show up in the Jahehn books, but as we've found, they're not shy about popping into other stories.

When I realized Houston was his own world, I wanted to build that world, show his legacy, and that's how the Wolf Brother's Legacy began.

Thanks so much to Diana for stopping by today.  If you'd like to get to know her better, check out her website or her blog. You can purchase Resurrection at Amazon.

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Review: Killing Rites

Well, we finally know for sure who the Black Sun's Daughter is --and Jayné has some really tough decisions to make. Now that she realizes she is carrying a rider within her, her first impulse is to get it out. But things are much more complicated than a simple possession. This entity has saved her bacon over and over again. Jayné must struggle with the true nature of the spirit and she questions the right course to take.

Ex is a big force in this story. Aubrey and Kim have been phased out. Chogyi Jake is still recovering and is absent through the first half of the book. Only Ex has been at Jayné's side as she comes to terms with the source of her strength. And he is the one who introduces her to the priests who set out to perform an exorcism. The priests are a big part of Ex's history and in spending time with them, Jayné learns alot about what has shaped Ex into the man he is today.

I've been waiting and waiting for Jayné and Ex to make the connection I've always thought was simmering beneath the surface. The guy is clearly in love with her, but just because his heart is in the right place, that doesn't mean he has all the right answers. This book is markedly different from the last in that the lion's share of it is an internal struggle, as opposed to an external one. Jayné has to figure out her true nature; who she can trust; and what she wants for her future. Not every question gets an answer and that's frustrating. So many things happened in the last book. This one is more about her realizations. Ex and Chogyi Jake have important roles and even the old vampire Midian shows up, but mostly it's just about Jayné --and the Black Sun's Daughter.

It was slower, but good. It was important for the series. But I wish I had the next book in my hands to read. I want to see what Jayné will do with what she's learned. And I want her to get with Ex, dammit. (My patience is not without limits.) 4 stars.

*ARC Provided by Pocket Books

Click to purchase: Amazon or The Book Depository
Killing Rites
by MLN Hanover (Daniel Abraham)
Release Date: November 29, 2011
Publisher: Pocket Books

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Review: A Scottish Love

Reviewed by Jen
 
Life pretty much sucks for Shona. She married a man she didn't love, who withered away before her eyes and left her a penniless widow. Her brother, Fergus, was crippled in the war. And she has had to sell everything she owns to take care of him and her companion, Helen. The only thing she has left of value is the family's ancestral castle, and she must part with that too, or else she'll have to become a beggar.

As if all that were not bad enough, her long lost love, Gordon, has come back in her life. Her father talked her out of marrying him before he went off to war and time has not softened their feelings for one another. But even as they are still drawn to one another, neither can get over the wounds of their past.

So Shona works to sell the castle to an American family... a horrible lot of people, while suffering mostly in silence. It's dreadfully depressing. And it's made worse when she begins to see that a lot of her heartbreak is of her own making. Even the love scenes are tempered with sadness and loss. Yes, the ending is happy, but for 90% of the book, I was ready to toss Shona off a cliff (or maybe toss myself off one) to end all the misery.

The book is well written, but it was a downer for too long for me to really enjoy. Even the ancient love story of the ghosts in the castle had a terrible ending. Not quite 3 stars.

*ARC Provided by NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon
A Scottish Love
by Karen Ranney
Release Date: November 29, 2011
Publisher: Avon

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Review: By Honor Betrayed

Reviewed by Jen
 
Tom has been Conrad's manservant for years. And they have developed a deep friendship that goes beyond the difference in their stations. There is an unspoken thread of something even more between them... a quiet, intense longing that neither has ever acted upon. The two serve together in the 18th century Royal Navy... so if they were to ever give in to those feelings, they could hang for their actions.

The ship's captain starts to catch wind that there may be more to the relationship and tries to separate the men. But his actions only force Tom and Conrad to confront their feelings. From there, the story follows the two of them as they try to find their footing as lovers, while knowing the risks they are taking.

The story was pretty short and we see very little of the men together. Most of the book deals with their obstacles as opposed to their actual relationship. The couple of love scenes we get are just ok --they were brief and didn't have all that much fire or romance. Meh. I wasn't really blown away by this one. 3 stars.

*ARC Provided by NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon
By Honor Betrayed
by Alex Beecroft
Release Date: November 7, 2011
Publisher: Carina Press

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Guest Review: Last Breath

You may remember, several weeks back, Red Hot Books hosted a giveaway for Last Breath by Rachel Caine. The winner, Katie from Bookishly Yours Reviews, agreed to provide a review in exchange for the book. Here is what she had to say:

After 10 books, you’d think that a series would be standing on its last leg, scrambling to find something else to shock and entertain readers, but not Morganville Vampires! Last Breath, the 11th book in the series, is just as amazing as the very first book, if not better.

Rachel Caine does something different in Last Breath; she gives first perspective voices to characters other than Claire. Shane, Michael, Amelie, and Eve each have a section which proved to be a very interesting look inside what these characters are feeling after eleven books with them especially Amelie since she’s such a closed off character.

There’s so much I can give away because, as always, so much happens in these books! There’s some shocking twists along the way, new characters, and an enthralling new layer to the history of the Morganville vampires. Let’s just say, Rachel Caine can really write a story.

If you haven’t read this series yet, I highly recommend them. They’re thrilling, funny, and heart-warming. And definitely not your average vampire story. And if you love this series, then Last Breath is a can’t-miss! 5 stars.

*ARC Provided by NAL

Click to purchase: Amazon
Last Breath
by Rachel Caine
Release Date: November 1, 2011
Publisher: NAL

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Shameless Giveaway Hop Sign-Up


Is your blog a little too racy for some people's taste? Maybe you like to look at pictures of half-naked men... maybe you like to read a little erotica... maybe, just maybe, you visit your favorite blogs when your kids are not in the room. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. In fact, you're in just the right place.

The Shameless Giveaway Hop is open to anyone who wants to give away a book or a book related prize. It doesn't have to be dirty. It can be anything from YA to a book of randy limericks. Whatever floats your boat. There aren't alot of rules. We just ask that you have your post up by 12:00am on Friday, January 20, 2012. Keep it up through 11:59pm Friday, January 27, 2012. And include the button & the link to the full list of participating hops. That's it. --Oh. And if you want to include a man candy photo in your post somewhere, nobody will complain. (We might even be grateful.)

Bloggers and authors are all welcome to participate. Just sign up in the linky below.

--Jen (Red Hot Books), Brie (Romance Around the Corner) & Michelle (Michelle's Book Blog)

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Review: Vicious Grace

Sometimes over the course of a series, you think you've got things figured out. When I started this book, I knew who I thought Jayné was and was not supposed to be with; I thought I knew there was more to that tattoo than a drunken night of debauchery; and I thought I knew what it meant for Jayné to be the Black Sun's Daughter. But still, I wasn't prepared for how it all went down.

As the story begins, Jayné is happy in love with Aubrey. The two of them are training with Ex and Chogyi Jake, when Aubrey's ex-wife Kim calls for help. Something strange is going on in the hospital where she works and she's out of her depth in how to handle it.

A really long story short, a big bad was trapped beneath the hospital decades ago and now it's on the verge of breaking out. But it seems Jayné's Uncle Eric was actually working to make that happen before he died. Over the course of the book, Jayné learns some shocking truths about Eric. She makes big sacrifices; she suffers loss; and she loses an innocence that she didn't even know she had.

There were a lot of twists and turns. And even when those things I thought I knew came to pass --sort of-- it didn't feel like I expected. It was sadder than I thought it would be and more emotionally resonant. (And I'll admit, there were definitely some developments I never saw coming at all.) There was also a lot of action and some really gripping scenes, especially in the climax at the haunted hospital. Each installment of this series draws me in more and more. 4 1/2 stars.

*Review copy provided by Pocket Books

Click to purchase: Amazon or The Book Depository
Vicious Grace
by MLN Hanover (Daniel Abraham)
Release Date: November 30, 2010
Publisher: Pocket Books

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Get to Know Me Better!

I'm doing a blogger interview over at Paranormal Haven today! Come check it out.  I'm talking about my favorite books, sexy men, and my hometown. (That's kind of the same thing I do here, now that I think about it....)

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Review: Darker Angels

The more I read of this series, the more I like it. This second installment picks up about six months after the events of Unclean Spirits. Jayné, Aubrey, Ex, and Chogyi Jake have spent that time learning as much as they can about the evil-fighting legacy that Uncle Eric left behind. But a call for help on Eric's old cell phone has the crew jumping out of research mode, into a mission in New Orleans.

Karen Black is a former FBI agent who worked a case with Eric years ago. It was serial killer they were after, but more than that, it was man possessed by an evil spirit, a rider. They captured the man, but the spirit got away. Now Karen says she has tracked it, but needs help capturing it.

Jayné has grown some since she began walking in her uncle's footsteps, but in many ways, she is still an unsure young woman. She second guesses herself and her choices. She is sometimes rash and pays the price for it, but her heart is in the right place. I find her likeable, but her youth and inexperience are parts of her character that can be frustrating.

There are a lot of twists and turns in the story. And I ended up confused by the particulars of the demonology from time to time. But it was a good story, with a distinctive New Orleans flair. Once again, the secondary characters give the story an added layer of depth. I like Aubrey, but I still maintain that Ex is the man for Jayné. And we're beginning to learn that he thinks so too. I liked it alot. A little more than 4 stars.

P.S. I'm still fixated on the title of the series. Jayné must be the Black Sun's Daughter... It's got to have something to do with her mom, right?

*Review copy provided by Pocket Books

Click to purchase: Amazon or The Book Depository
Darker Angels
by MLN Hanover (Daniel Abraham)
Release Date: September 23, 2009
Publisher: Pocket Books

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Review: Beyond the Darkness


Reviewed by Jen
 
There are two different kind of series out there: the kind where you can jump in at any point, and the kind you really need to read the early installments to appreciate the later ones. This book falls in the second category. Beyond the Darkness is my first foray into the Offspring series. It's book 5. And I was lost for a long time. In many ways, this book is clearly a continuation of an ongoing arc. Our hero and heroine met in a previous book; he saved her life, told her they has a psychic connection, and then left her.

As this book begins, Petra is still pining for Cheveyo, but is resolved to move on with her life. But then Pope comes to her, saying he needs Cheveyo's help and only she can find him. It seems Pope also saved her life (in one of the previous books) and the lives of her group of... friends(?). Petra and the others are descendants of people enhanced by the essence of a being from a parallel universe. They've all got some kind of special gifts. Petra is a healer.

If you've read this series before, I'm sure all of that made perfect sense, but I had a hard time following along.

Anyway, Petra contacts Cheveyo, but the bad guy sees her with Pope, so now she is stuck with the two men until they can eradicate the threat. Cheveyo and Petra are soul mates, but he believes he cannot be with her. His life's mission is to police the otherworld/ supernatural beings that make their way over from the other side. And having her in his life would constantly put her in danger. So he pushes her away. Then gives in a little. Then pushes her away again. And again. And again. It was really frustrating. He is just so rigid and single-mindedly focused on his mission.  It took a really long time before these two get together, and when they do, it's actually quite good. Unfortunately, we lose ground every time we gain it.

I know that this book would have been a lot better for me if I was up to speed on the series when I started. I don't know if I would have loved it. But it would have been better. Even still, I would have had to contend with the frustration brought on by Cheveyo's martyrdom and Petra's character as a whole. Did I mention she is a beautiful cosmetologist & masseuse in training, whose inner self is an orphan princess?

This one just wasn't great for me. A little less than 3 stars.

*ARC Provided by NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon or The Book Depository
Beyond the Darkness
by Jamie Rush
Release Date: November 29, 2011
Publisher: Avon

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Review: Rush of Darkness

Raine is half vampire, half psychic... recovering from a kidnapping marked by torture and rape. Her body is back in shape, but her powers have weakened, and she holds on to the anger and need for revenge inside her, to go on. Her plan is to kill the demon-like Cassus who murdered her sister. But every time she goes after one, she risks her own life.

Seth is the human who rescued Raine from her captivity. He works along with the Watchmen --warriors who fight evil -- though he was once a rouge vampire-killer himself. Those were years he spent taking his own vengeance after vamps killed his family and tortured him to the brink of death. But he has realized now that not all vampires are evil. In fact, he has been drawn to Raine ever since he saved her.

He manages to track her down and becomes wrapped up in her mission. She is attracted to him too and it's obvious these two are meant to be together. But here's the thing... the woman was gang raped by a bunch of evil entities not very long ago. Yes, she took her mind to another place for the worst of it, but these wounds are still fresh. It's understandable that she would be wary of giving herself to a man. Yet Seth essentially challenges her... telling her she'll give in to him. This bothered me. But his plan works. He's not a total brute, thankfully. The guy has his own history of being attacked and violated. He has a lot of his own issues to work through.

Together, Raine and Seth learn to navigate through each other's extensive emotional issues, while working together to hunt down the bad guys. There's heavy sexual tension and some solid love scenes as payoff.

In the meantime, there is extensive world-building at play. After all, this is book 7 in the Primal Instinct series. But the author does a really good job, bringing new readers up to speed on the mythology. There were moments here or there where I was little fuzzy, but for the most part I felt like I knew what was going on. It was enjoyable even for me, as someone with no history with the series.  I just wish a little more care had been paid to Raine's post-rape recovery.  Almost 4 stars.

*ARC Provided by NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon or The Book Depository
Rush of Darkness
by Rhyannon Byrd
Release Date: April 1, 2011
Publisher: HQN

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Review: Unclean Spirits

Unclean Spirits puts a new twist on the standard urban fantasy fare. Yes, it's got vampires, lycans, and demons of a fashion, but the ideology is different. Here, otherworldly spirits can transcend out of their own world into ours and latch on a human. They become "riders" --taking over their host's body and wreaking havoc.

Jayné knows nothing about riders or magic. But when her Uncle Eric dies, she inherits his home and his money; his secret life is an unexpected part of the deal. Eric fought the riders. When he died, he was trying to take down the leader of a powerful group of the creatures, Randolph Coin. Jayné gets a crash course in reality as she begins to meet Eric's associates. And it's only a matter of time before she takes up her uncle's mantle and seeks revenge on his killer.

Jayné may not know everything about her uncle's world, but she is not totally naive. She manages to take a lot of shocking information in stride. She has to let go of her old life and embrace her new one, which takes strength. And while the whole shtick about the pronunciation of her name (zha-NAY) got a little old, I found that I liked her. She grows a lot over the course of the book.

I also enjoyed the secondary cast of characters. While Jayné makes a little love-connection with one man, I get the feeling that her true intended is going to be someone else entirely (yes, Ex, I am talking about you.) There is a tiny bit of sex - enough that it wasn't left out entirely, but I probably would have enjoyed a bit more. And speaking of supporting characters... I really ended up kind of fascinated with the vampire Midian and I wonder what the future holds for him.

I liked this book. And I liked the ending. There is good resolution, but the door is opened wide for future installments. I still don't get the series title "Black Sun's Daughter," but maybe that will be explained in the coming books. A little more than 4 stars.

*Review copy provided by Pocket Books

Click to purchase: Amazon or The Book Depository 
Unclean Spirits
by MLN Hanover (Daniel Abraham)
Release Date: December 2, 2008
Publisher: Pocket Books

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AAD Author Spotlight & Giveaway: Mia Watts

This AAD project was my first introduction to Mia Watts. But I have a feeling she'll be making a repeat appearance on my nook. She has more than 30 books listed on Goodreads --and that's not even counting the ones she's published under her other name. I really enjoyed her sexy m/m book Faking Perfection. Today she joins us to answer a couple of my burning questions:

Jen: You write under two names: Mia Watts and Katie Blu... why?

Mia: Well, I started life as Katie Blu a long time ago and some unforeseen issues stopped me from writing for a while. When I was ready pick up my pen again, I thought a fresh start was in order, so I began writing male/male. I really love this genre. The topic is fun and exciting. The fans are incredibly supportive. But when I mixed the male/male with male/female, I started getting letters. Since I'd begun as a male/male author, and had the fan base behind it, changing up my pattern really upset people. That's when I decided to resurrect Katie. Now Mia can focus completely on male/male, while Katie takes on the male/female titles.

Jen: What attracted you to the m/m genre?

Mia: A challenge. I had an editor at Ellora's Cave (Helen Woodall) who constantly pushed my boundaries. If I wrote sweet, she wanted it steamy. If I wrote steamy, she wanted it naughty. It was a natural progression from her to wonder if I could pull off male/male too. All that was happening at the same time as my conversation with two friends of mine at the time. They amped up the dare and after a visit at Carol Lynne's house, I tremblingly began writing one. I was hooked.

Jen: I've always wanted to ask this question of a woman who writes m/m: What kind of research did you have to do for those (scorching hot) sex scenes?

Mia: Oh, my gosh! So much! When I began, I was still married. I asked him a lot of questions, but he's not a forthcoming kind of guy. Other than being told that orgasm "feels good" and getting a shrug when I asked "what is the progression of sensation", I knew I'd have to take some risks. My first one was to find a man who knew the kind of detail I'd need, without being wigged out from the question. I went to Rod Castille. He's a very nice guy, and an author, so when I asked him about sex, male orgasm, penis sensations etc, he didn't treat it as anything other than what it was. I'll always be grateful to him for that.

Then there was the research. I tried watching guy on guy clips, but I don't think I was ready for that. I talked to a couple of male friends who would talk about their boyfriends and the kinds of issues they came across in their community and in society generally. I read and read and read. I asked a very helpful gentleman about his experience with cross-dressing. More specifically, what happens when a man who tucks himself is wearing pantyhose and gets aroused. That, I used in She's Got Balls.


There's so much I don't know and can't possibly understand. But there's always a way to TRY to understand and treat each other with the respect they deserve. I hope I do that.

Jen: When I was going through your titles on Goodreads, I was very entertained. I think my favorite names were : She's Got Balls, Open Sesame, FU, and Eat Me. Fabulous! Tell me about the process of selecting the titles for your books --and which one is your favorite?

Mia: Ha! Well, firstly, thanks! I have a confession to make. I SUCK at titles. No, seriously. I suck. What used to happen was I come up with a title and it got shot down (rightly so because of the massive suckage). I'd submit three or more emails with more than ten title suggestions each and those got shot down too (I mentioned how hard I suck at this, right? I wasn't kidding.). Then I'd get a little slap-happy because I've exhausted all my other options and throw out ones that make me laugh. Of course, those are the ones the bosses liked. :) I'm getting better at suggesting titles. I mean I should be with over 40 titles (across multiple pen names), and I know what things the bosses will like. The process is getting easier.


My favorite? She's Got Balls. Really. I don't think I can beat that one. OMG, LOLing the unintentional pun. I will say that my Handcuffs and Lace series will all have "Balls" in the title and it should prove to be very entertaining over the next couple of years.

Jen: You do PNR, contemporary, m/m, menage... do you have a favorite genre to write?

Mia: Hm. Yes. Regency. I've got some titles coming out that are shape shifter Regency. Feral Lust is male/male (Mia Watts), and Prey Tell is male/female (Katie Blu). Both of those are at Resplendence Publishing. I'm even dabbling in sci-fi soon. However, I think the audience prefers my police and military stuff best.

Jen: Do you have a favorite genre to READ? Who are some of your favorite authors?

Mia: I like reading male/male a lot, but I do read other genres too. I think it's good to clear the brain sometimes. I adore Bronwyn Green's work. I sent her fan mail before we were ever friends. That's a story we still laugh about, because I'm a big dork. I love Jude Devereaux's older stuff (she changed voices, sadly), Julia Quinn is an autobuy. I have a lot of favorite stories and storylines that I could read and reread. Elisa Adams has a older woman, younger man story that I love love love. I don't see it on the Samhain site where I bought my copy, but I'm hoping she rereleases it.

Jen: It seems like the m/m genre is growing in popularity among conventional heterosexual romance readers. What are you thoughts on it becoming more mainstream?

Mia: I actually wouldn't mind that at all. I think there's a huge misconception that tends to get fostered in my genre, and that's that homosexual men are all about sex all the time. I know I write hot, but the emotional story is so important. That journey is more about the person than the package hanging between his legs. Mainstream would mean that instead of seeing male/male relationships as a hot, erotic taboo, they'd be seen as a loving couple walking through life together... with a lot of mutual chemistry.

Jen: What are you working on now?

Mia: This is a trick question!! I put out a lot of books. I write full time so a 7am-3pm writing schedule means I get a lot done. Add that to the speed in which I type and that I write my stories in a linear fashion (meaning I write from beginning to end) without skipping, and you can guess that I get through my projects fairly quickly. So, as of 10/17/11 when I'm doing this interview, I am working on an uncontracted "Ellora's Cave for Men" Quickie story. No title yet, but it will be a Katie Blu version.


Mia Watts

Jen: When people see your name on a book, what should they be expecting?


Mia: When they see Katie Blu, I hope they're thinking "Quick, sexy, and fun." When they see Mia Watts? Wow, that's tough because I've been evolving lately from strictly humorous to an emotional counterpoint. Hm. A reviewer once said I was "poignantly humorous" I love that. My friends say I'm "irreverently funny" and often cross the line where others would stop. When readers see Mia Watts... "Poignantly funny, irreverent and hot." Sort of like a new tag line. LOL.

Jen: What are you looking forward to most at AAD in New Orleans?

Mia: Are you kidding? AAD is a blast! Stella does such an amazing job every year and I can't wait to see what she does with New Orleans. I don't think that town will be the same after we leave it. I can't wait to see all my writer friends and talk to the readers again. It's always like coming home.

Jen: Thanks so much for sharing your work with me. I really enjoyed it.

Mia: Thank you for having me, Jen! I look forward to meeting you at AAD next year.

Mia is giving away one of her books. The winner can choose any of her titles currently available under the name Mia Watts or Katie Blu.  Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below.  In the meantime, you can learn more about Mia on her website or chat with her on Twitter.

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Review: Faking Perfection

OK. I'll admit it. The temptation of a priest is one of my very favorite tropes. It's so forbidden, so angsty. This book ratchets that up another notch by serving up that temptation in the form of another man. And holy wow, was it hot.

Father Garth is a man devoted to his faith. But a stolen kiss in the dark with another man turned his world on its ear three years ago. He never knew who it was that kissed him that night, but in his fantasies, it was Eli, a man from his congregation. He's never allowed himself to really explore his feelings; he's just repressed them over and over.

Of course, the man was, indeed, Eli. And now, he is coming forward with his feelings to Garth, hoping they can have a future. This puts Garth between a rock and a hard place (*snicker*) as he tries to figure out his true feelings about Eli and the church.

When these two get down to business, it is scorching hot. Stomach-clenching, face-flushing, slap-your-mama hot. Hell, even the prologue is hot in this book. There were a few moments where things were a little too heavy-handed, mostly when we got into the rights-and-wrongs of intolerance in the Catholic faith. I understand why it was there, but it was the only part of the book that didn't sing for me.

Faking Perfection has great sexual tension, believable emotional conflict and damn fine sex. (*fans self*) A little more than 4 stars.

*Review copy provided by author

Click to purchase: Amazon
Faking Perfection
by Mia Watts
Release Date: March 23, 2011
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Review: Before the Fall

In this prequel to Ascension, we get a close-up look at what it was like when the walls fell between Hell and Earth. The story is told from the perspective of Zach, a retired soldier of the Order who is being called back into service to help deal with the slaughter to come. He's being summoned to meet with the rest of the army. But before he leaves, he knows he must find Shanna, the love of his life.

Zach tried to tell Shanna about his history months ago, but she thought he was crazy and ended their relationship. And convincing her to come with him takes some arm twisting. But it's only a matter of time before she is unable to deny what is right before her eyes. All the nightmare creatures Zach tried to tell her about are real, and they're hungry.

This is a fast paced short story with a lot of action. And it really does a good job filling in some of world-building in the Dark Breeds universe. We're treated to one good love scene and a pretty big cameo from Kyana, the main heroine of the series. Not bad for just 70 pages.

There was only one part that wasn't a win for me... the plot device that cements our couple together at the end. I would have believed in their future even without it and it felt a little trite. (**sigh**) I still liked the story though. It's worth picking up, even if you're not familiar with the series. 4 stars.

*ARC Provided by NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon
Before the Fall
by Sable Grace
Release Date: November 8, 2011
Publisher: Avon Impulse

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Friday, November 11, 2011

Review: Dark Vow

I'll say this about Dark Vow, it's definitely not like anything else I've read. The world is led by 10 Lords of various skills (such as Warrior, Carpenter, Hunter, etc.) Each man answers to a specific Lord, learns that skill and builds his life around it. A woman takes her husband's Lord.

Jaines is married to a man who follows the Smith. She and Lance work together in their gun smithy, creating weapons and ammunition for their small community. Lance is out of town when a Bounty Hunter enters the shop, wanting Jaines to engrave his gun. Bounty Hunters follow the Arcane Lord. They manipulate magic. And Lance has always told Jaines to stay away from the Arcane. But the Bounty Hunter offers her so much money and inflames her pride enough that she takes the job.

It quickly becomes apparent that with her contribution, she has turned the gun into a magical weapon... the only one that can kill an Arcane. But the deed is done. Unfortunately, when Lance returns, the Hunter shows up at their home and uses the weapon to kill her husband. With Lance's death, Jaines begins her quest to find the Bounty Hunter again and have her vengeance.

In her journey, she meets Obsidian, a man with intimate knowledge of the Arcane. With him, she learns just how sheltered she has been. She is exposed to some really hard truths about the world and her own life.

I found that I really did like the book. The world building was easy to understand and Jaines was a relatable character with some pretty solid motivation. I felt her grief and her need to avenge her husband. And as she started to develop an attraction toward Obsidian, I could see that too. They have good chemistry.  However, I did have trouble with how fast their relationship turned into "love" and how it ended up casting her feelings for Lance in a less valuable light. Maybe with more time, I could have gotten on board with the depths of their feelings. But as it was, it didn't entirely ring true.

I'm still glad I read it. It was a good change of pace and an interesting story... kind of hard to categorize (maybe alternate history/ fantasy?) -- but good, even if it doesn't fit into a neat little box.  Almost 4 stars.

*ARC Provided by NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon
Dark Vow
by Shona Husk
Release Date: November 14, 2011
Publisher: Carina Press

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Series Reading Order: The Black Sun's Daughter

This is the reading order for The Black Sun's Daughter series by MLN Hanover (Daniel Abraham):

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Review: Immortal Rider

One of the things I like best about Larissa Ione is that her books are unpredictable. And there is always so much going on. And they are so freaking hot! (I guess that's more than one thing, but let me gush for a moment.) I enjoyed Eternal Rider, but it took me a little while to get into. Not the case here. This story reeled me in from the beginning and didn't let go.

Limos is the only female among the Horsemen of the Apocalypse. She is as beautiful as she is deadly. She is also a virgin. Limos was promised to Satan as his bride when she born. She wears a chastity belt that attacks anyone who tries to get in her pants. And if she ever allows herself to give in to an attraction to another man, it's bad news for the object of her affection.

Arik's been part of the Demonica world for a long time. He is Runa's brother and part of the military force that fights deadly supernaturals. He is drawn to Limos, and as the book begins, he finally gives in to the temptation to kiss her. That's when everything goes to hell. Literally. Satan's minions set out to torture him... the curse saying that if he screams Limos' name in agony, she'll have to return to the Underworld and take her place at Satan's side.

This is only the beginning of a long journey for these two. Of course, Arik makes it out, but one obstacle after another is thrown in their path. Not the least of which is Limos' own shady past and the looming damage it could do if it comes to light. Pestilence has a hand in all the madness. And there is a great side story featuring the angels Reaver and Harvester.

Oh! And speaking of great side stories... I loved, loved, loved the direction Ione is taking with Thanatos. I feared his story was going to be predictable with the nature of his seal, but I was dead wrong. The great b-plot stuff just wasn't there in the last book, but it definitely is here --and it's a big win.

I will acknowledge: it takes forever for the sexual payoff between our main characters. But there is plenty of sexy action going on throughout the book. I won't spoil the details, but... wow. The whole thing was really good. And I. Am. Dying. For the next book. Almost 5 stars.

*ARC Provided by Grand Central Publishing

Click to purchase: Amazon or The Book Depository

Immortal Rider
by Larissa Ione
Release Date: November 22, 2011
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Review: Too Wicked to Wed

Reviewed by Jen
 
Lady Alexa finds the life of a proper lady of the ton both boring and constrictive. But she finds ways to bring a little excitement into her life. Like dressing up in a man's clothes for a poker game among gentlemen. It's there she wins half of Connor's brothel from his drunk friend.

Alexa and Connor have met before... shared a couple of fiery kisses. And now with her winnings, she is thrust into his orbit in a way neither ever expected.

Connor is having a string of bad luck. His brothel has been robbed --someone is targeting him and his business. Someone even takes a shot at him, and it's only because of Alexa's presence and quick thinking that he survives. The two escape to his country home for safety and it's there that their mutual attraction begins to grow into something more.

Alexa is a great heroine. She is smart, capable, and she is not afraid to get her hands dirty. Connor needs a little work in the hero department. He fights his feelings for Alexa tooth and nail --and even when it's clear that he's in love with her, he can't bring himself to admit it. But the two of them make a good match.

Despite the fact that it took Connor a while to come around, I enjoyed the romance. I especially liked watching Alexa break down Connor's walls. The passion between the two of them was pretty good as well. There is plenty of action and mystery surrounding the plot against Connor and his business. (Though I think the villain reveal --and especially the motivation-- was pretty weak. It was probably the only part of the book I didn't like.) 4 stars.

*ARC Provided by NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon or The Book Depository
Too Wicked to Wed
by Cara Elliott
Release Date: November 1, 2011
Publisher: Forever

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