Thursday, May 31, 2012

Review: Conquered by a Highlander

Reviewed by Jen
 
There are two things that are important to Colin MacGregor: his clan and his job as an agent of the king.  Both play a role in his latest mission. He must infiltrate the home of a traitor and uncover his plans.  Geoffrey is part of conspiracy to help overthrow the pro-Catholic king to put a protestant sympathizer on the throne.  Colin needs to find out who is aligning with Geoffrey and what the king needs to do secure his interests.  After all, the MacGregors are Catholic and a protestant king would make them targets. Colin ingratiates himself with Geoffrey and his men under an alter-ego... one willing to fight for their cause.

As soon he arrives at Dartmouth, Colin meets Geoffrey's cousin Gillian.  She has been banished to her cousin's custody to raise her bastard son away from her noble family.  She puts up a brave face but she is miserable.  Geoffrey hates her son and he wants her in his bed.  Only her guard George keeps her and young Edmund safe --not only from Geoffrey, but all of his men who lust after her.

The relationship between Colin and Gillian develops very, very slowly.  He really falls for her son before he falls for her. And that is important because that little boy is her everything.  It was very sweet, but it took forever for these two to so much as kiss.  Too long.  In fact, I felt the urge to skim a little, though mostly it was because of all the political stuff wrapped up in the story.  I had a hard time keeping up with who all the players were and honestly, I didn't really care. I just wanted the damn romance to happen.

I did like the characters.  Colin is a strong and capable Highlander whose heart softens beautifully for Edmund.  Gillian is a strong woman, who does whatever is necessary to protect her child.  Like I said, likeable and sweet, though not very hot.  There's a little bit of lovin' toward the end, but not much. 

Geoffrey makes a good villain. And I like that he is smarter than he appears.  I also liked George, who had his own morality and loyalties.

I should point out that this is book four in Paula Quinn's Children of the Mist series.  But it works just fine as a standalone.

Rating: C+

*ARC Provided by NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon
  Conquered by a Highlander
by Paula Quinn
Release Date: May 22, 2012
Publisher: Forever (GCP)

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Guest Post: Thea and Viv's Big Adventure

This contest is closed. The winner is Julianne.



Welcome to Day Two and more adventures with Thea and Viv. The theme for this second day is Transportation and a chance to introduce you to our heroes. Now-transportation is a BIG theme in WOLF LINE, like there’s a really big boat as the setting for this story: a cruise ship. Kinda like this one:


Yes, for anyone who has already read others in the Granite Lake Wolves series, you know there’s a pun in that title, just like there are in all the story titles. One is obvious, I hope—but there’s more than one line being pulled in this story!
Like—don’t let the names fool you, but the fellow being called Mark Weaver in this scene is actually Jared: playboy extraordinaire first met in WOLF GAMES. Only after a pretty exciting morning he’s suddenly thrust into this meeting with Keri Smith who’s acting as a troubleshooter during her BFFs maiden voyage as Cruise Coordinator.
Welcome aboard, trouble!
~~*~~
The late arrival was dark haired, the strands long enough to lie tousled around his shoulders like some bad-boy rock star on tour. Mmm, she liked bad boys. His leather jacket hung open, his chest moving rapidly, and Keri hesitated.
Chest heaving? Slightly panting—as if he’d been running? “Did someone escort you to the ship, Mr. Weaver?”
His eyes widened, then his grin flashed and her belly warmed. Damn, that face of his should be labeled a dangerous weapon. “No, but I sure could use an escort to my room.”
“You’ll get your sleeping assignment in a minute,” Chad cut in. “First, sign here.”
Keri shook herself, stepping back in self-defense.
Mark winked her direction then leaned over the table to add a swirl of chaos to the bottom of the page. “There you go, love.”
Chad choked for a second before handing over a key. “Your room is on the port side, toward mid ship. You can get extra linens and supplies from the hall storage, and your first shift starts at eleven hundred hours. Report back here and you’ll find your team leader, who will get you fitted up and give you last-minute instructions.”
Mark tilted an imaginary hat at Keri, ignoring Chad completely. “You going to be around? Help me find my sea legs, that kind of thing?”
Keri continued to retreat until her back hit the wall. “I think we’ll end this conversation now, Mr. Weaver. Find your quarters.”
His dark eyes sparkled for a second before he dropped his gaze, stroking his way down her body. She should feel insulted. She should turn and demand he treat her with more respect. The words wouldn’t come, mainly because what she really wanted was to strip right there and ride him like a Harley. Feel his power rumbling between her thighs and—
Sweat broke out on her brow, cooling instantly in the air-conditioned room. Mark was out the door before she figured out how to respond further. Keri avoided the blatant question in Chad’s eyes and raced away, slamming through the door that led the opposite direction from where her mystery man had gone. All thoughts of why he’d been chased aboard were lost in the disastrous new revelation that had overtaken her.
This was not good. This was so not good. The situation had gone from troublesome to tortuous in less time than it took for the average wolf pack to consume a prime-rib dinner.
Keri stopped to lean her forehead on the nearest wall. She hit with more force than intended, which was moderately excruciating but somehow appropriate.
In fact, she repeated the move. A couple of times.
Bang. Bang.
The resulting pain made her screw up her face. Bang. She was supposed to be there for her friend and act as a troubleshooter. Bang. Not be the one to cause chaos right under Tessa’s nose. Bang. Not discovering her mate in the midst of the hired help.
~~*~~

Oops? Okay, this is going to be a tricky cruise. Not as tricky as this one, but still:

Hope you’ll come along to see exactly why Jared is being called Mark, and why Keri is reacting to her mate, and yet Jared doesn’t seem to be…
Leave a comment here, and then head over to the Book Binge to see what Thea is up to. Tomorrow you’ll find us both hanging out at Smexy Books to talk about our heroines and take on the next part of the adventure.
~~><~~

THEA AND VIV'S BIG ADVENTURE is brought to you by Thea Harrison and Vivian ArendNew York Times and USA Today bestselling authors with a love for both travel and writing. They have joined together for the nefarious purpose of celebrating their next Samhain Publishing ebooks.
Thea’s DEVIL’S GATE releases June 5. The novella returns readers to the world of The Elder Races. Available at: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Samhain Publishing
WOLF LINE, #5 in Viv’s bestselling Granite Lake Wolves, is available June 12. Available at: Amazon | Barne’s & Noble | Samhain Publishing

~~><~~

Comment for your chance to win:
Information re: Grand Prize can be found at Thea or Viv’s

DAILY PRIZE: One commenter here at this blog will win their choice of one of Thea or Viv’s backlist Samhain ebooks from either the Elder Races or Granite Lake Wolves series. If you’ve got them all, you can gift this to a friend!

Winners from comments at all the tour stops will be announced at
Viv’s and Thea’s blogs on JUNE 13.


Question for today:
Which cruise trip would you take? Alaska, Caribbean or elsewhere?


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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Review: Victorian Scoundrel

Reviewed by Shelly
 
Blurb: It's 2010 and compressed natural gas has taken over the coal producing steam machines of the Victorian Age. Alice Windsor, Princess of York, follows her mischief-making cousin, Prince Edmund of Wales back to the past (1851) where Prince Albert is hosting Britain's Great Exhibition. Alice soon discovers Edmund has struck up a friendship with their great-grandfather, Prince Albert, and his mischief making entails leaving a dinosaur-sized footprint in history. She also meets Grayson Kentfield, Earl Swinton, and the Prime Minister, Sir John Russell. The Prime Minster finds her odd, to say the least. It's only when Alice falls for the handsome Earl Swinton does she realize the dangers of time travel. How can she give her heart to a man from the past while striving to stop Edmund from changing time with his forward thinking ideas?

Review: This is my first steampunk novel and first read from Stephanie Burkhart.  I will admit that this took a while for me to get started but once I did, it went relatively well. From the cover, I assumed along with time travel there would be some romance, and there was. Not because of the cover but I also assumed there would be some sex, there was - just not a lot, less than a page when it did happen. I thought there could have been more especially when main characters are involved. But I digress.  

The majority of this story is in a time travelled 1851 and while that might not seem like such a big deal – it’s all Victoria era ‘speak’.  There’s a lot of titles - “your Highness, Lord, Lady, Duke, etc.” – which may keep with the era, but for this reader it made for a bit of confusion.  Imagine a three/four person dialogue where titles are used. I admit to getting confused a few times and had to go back to see who was in the conversation.

I really liked the chemistry and subsequent relationship between Alice and Grayson. This was definitely not a quick romance, and although the passion/sexual tension was there the sex was non-descript.  Super disappointed there but I got over it pretty quickly. By the end, while still rooting for these two I really thought Grayson is hiding something. Burkhart has set it up (fingers crossed) for hopefully some answers in the next book. I’m also hoping that Alice continues to grow, especially a backbone as the series progresses – she seems a bit too dependent on cousin Edmund.

I gotta say that Edmund and Keira’s relationship has me the most curious as to where that’s going.  Edmund, as we were told a few times (13 if you’re counting but I’m not) is a bit mischievous and I’m waiting to see how independent Keira is going to deal with him.  But again, that’s gonna have to wait for the next book in the series.  

As I mentioned this book was written as the first part of a series and we’ll have to wait to find out if any of these characters have an HEA. With any luck we should find out what happens to some of the potentially wonderful secondary characters, Bryon and Edmund’s older brother, Richard.

Happy Reading Folks!

Rating: C+

*Book provided by author for review

Click to purchase: Amazon
Victorian Scoundrel
by Stephanie Burkhart
Release Date: June 29, 2011
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing

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Review: Complete Faith

Reviewed by Jen
 
Tommy is gay, but he is firmly in the closet. He's never been with another man --has never even been kissed.  His small Texas town is largely homophobic, with the exception of those who work with him at the Lost Cow Ranch and the congregation of the small church that they attend.  A gay couple runs the Lost Cow, and they are the only ones who know the truth about Tommy, until he is no longer able to hide his attraction to the pastor of their church.

Noah knows what it means to be an outsider. As an openly gay, black pastor, he's faced a lot of prejudice. But he has built his church into a sanctuary.  He's found a home --and a potential lover in the shy and sexy Tommy.  Noah makes his move on the cowboy, but he won't seal the deal until Tommy comes out to his family and friends.  The story follows the progression of their relationship as well as the struggles that the men of the Lost Cow must deal with in their bigoted community. 

When I started this book, I had no idea it was part of a series.  This is actually a sequel to Morning Report, a book featuring the romance between the men who own the ranch.  Several of the events of that book are referenced and while I didn't exactly feel lost, I knew I had missed something.

I had a little trouble connecting at the beginning. Maybe it was just because everything was so extreme.  The town was sooo backward. Tommy was soooo innocent.  And the guys who run the Losy Cow: a bit over the top. Sex all the over the ranch... very, er, free with their PDAs. (On a side note, I have to say the whole fisting thing was a little out of my comfort zone.) Moving on....

I liked the progression of Tommy and Noah's relationship, both sexually and emotionally.  I also liked that we saw their relationship develop within the context of their community.  I was a little put off, though, that the author introduced a scenario that made it seem like a particular sexual development would take place --and then it was completely dropped. Red herrings annoy me.  And this book had a few threads that ended up serving little purpose. It kind of meandered through tangential events to get to the climax.

The main relationship was the best thing the book had going for it, but the rest... I just had trouble buying it.

Rating: C-

*ARC Provided by NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon
Complete Faith
by Sue Brown
Release Date: April 30, 2012
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Review: Summer Days


Reviewed by Allison
 
Summer Days is the seventh installment of Susan Mallery’s Fool’s Gold series. In this book, we meet Heidi Simpson, goat girl extraordinaire & her grandfather, Glen. Glen is a sweet old man, but he seems to have swindled a woman out of $250,000 by telling her he was selling her the land & ranch that his granddaughter owned. Enter Rafe Stryker, said woman’s protective (& rich!) son who is determined to take Glen to court no matter how good the old man’s intentions were (he gave the money to a friend to get treatment for cancer). However, coming to a compromise will be easier said than done since his mother, May, is so generous that she is willing to share the house with Glen & Heidi until they can figure something out – but Heidi refuses to leave the one thing she’s wanted her entire life, a home in one place, up to chance.

I enjoyed this book quite a bit; I liked watching Glen & May fall for each other as well as Heidi’s exploration of home & family. It may have been my mood while reading, but I found it sort of difficult to like Rafe. He was sexy & he had his moments of tenderness & sound business advice, but he wasn’t a worthy guy until the end. I hated that even after he slept with Heidi, acknowledged that he cared, he still kept up with his evil development plan. Although, I did thoroughly enjoy how he “got his” at the end – every one got to kick his ass verbally & it made me love Fool’s Gold that much more! I think his brother, Shane, had the best wake up call that is reality for a lot of older siblings out there:

“Sure you worked hard to support all of us and we appreciate that. But the price is too high. You expect ownership for what you did, and no one wants to give you that.”

Fool’s Gold still charmed my pants off & I loved Heidi’s friends, Annabelle & Charlie! They were interesting characters, fun to watch banter & scheme, & I really look forward to each of their books.

All in all, Susan Mallery made me smile & I can’t wait to read Summer Nights.

Rating: B-

*ARC Provided by NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon
Summer Days
by Susan Mallery
Release Date: May 29, 2012
Publisher: HQN Books

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Review: Darkness Becomes Her

Reviewed by Jen
 
I haven't read all of the Offspring books, but the series is clearly one with extensive world-building that has grown more and more complex over time. But I think this book does a great job of getting down to basics and focusing on a fantastic romance.

Lachlan is a man who lives in something of a self-imposed exile, ever since he accidentally killed his mother while astral projecting. His father died a short time after her death and now the only thing left in his life that matters is his brother Magnus. As our story begins, Magnus is trying to pull his brother back out into the world and tells him about Jessie, the woman he is hoping to start a relationship with. Lachlan suddenly gets a vision of Magnus dead at Jessie's feet --and knows he can't stop until he finds a way to keep his brother away from her.

Jessie is a woman on the run from her past. Ever since she witnessed her uncle killing her father, her life has never been the same. And now that he is out of prison, she knows he is hunting for her. Jessie knows she carries the same Darkness in her that her uncle does, but she doesn't know what it means. Suddenly, he finds her and in a violent showdown, nearly kills Mangus. She is able to save his life, but only by using the dark gift that she knows will infect him too. He slips into a coma as he recovers.

Lachlan decides to help Jessie hide from her uncle as she tries to figure out how to defeat him. He thinks there is much more between her and Magnus than there really is. And he feels like he can find some redemption in saving his brother's girl. But it becomes much more difficult to be honorable as he starts to fall for her.

Usually I cringe from adult virgin heroines, but here, Jessie has a good reason for her chastity. She is afraid her Darkness would harm her lover. And I was very excited to learn that our hero is a virgin too. Once you toss in the virginity with her fears of hurting him and his fears of betraying his brother... it's like the perfect storm of sexual tension. I really, really enjoyed the progression of the romance here.

As for the paranormal element of the story, I felt like this was the clearest explanation I have seen in this series on the origins of the characters' supernatural powers. And for the first time ever, I finally understood what "darkness" is. It's all still a bit convoluted, but I felt like I "got it" enough to be able to enjoy the book.

There were lots of twists and turns and I laughed out loud a few times too. The book had heart, danger, and sex appeal. My only complaint was that it ended before we could see the repercussions of the relationship. Hopefully, the next book will fill in those blanks.

Rating: B+

*ARC Provided by Avon

Click to purchase: Amazon
Darkness Becomes Her
by Jaime Rush
Release Date: May 29, 2012
Publisher: Avon

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Monday, May 28, 2012

Review: Dark Frost

Reviewed by Jen
 
I have yet to meet a Jennifer Estep book I didn't like.  And this one is no exception. In fact, I think it's the strongest installment in the Mythos Academy series so far.

Only weeks have passed since the events of the last book.  Winter break is just wrapping up and Gwen is unsure where she stands with the sexy Spartan, Logan. They haven't seen each other or spoken during the break.  Just as they reunite at a museum for a school project, the building is overrun with Reapers.  They're searching for the ancient dagger to free the god Loki.  And leading the charge, is the masked woman who killed Gwen's mother.

The battle is bloody, but Gwen and her friends survive and the head Reaper gets away.  The whole thing really drives home for Gwen how important it is that she find the dagger first, to keep Loki locked away.  The story follows her efforts to uncover the weapon her mother hid all those years ago, while struggling with her fragile relationship with Logan.

Once again, Logan manages to piss me off with how he treats Gwen and I was really about to write him off for good this time.  That is, until we learn his Big Secret.  Granted, the secret wasn't so big that we all hadn't figured it out already, but through his willingness to eventually share his vulnerability, we finally see him grow.

There are some engaging subplots, surrounding Gwen's friend Daphne and the return of that Frenrir wolf we met in the last book. But the main theme of the story is really Gwen's journey of self-discovery.  It's painfully clear at times how young she still is.  It's frustrating to watch her blame herself for things she can't control --and make everything all about her.  But that is the way of a 17 year-old, I guess.  The important thing is that she is growing... not just as a person, but as a powerful being.  What she learns to do with her powers here is pretty bad ass.

Estep's writing style is always a win for me. It's such easy reading, the books always fly by. There's a lot of action and some major developments in the overall series arc.  Stuff I did not see coming.  I'm looking forward to see how Gwen will manage to live up to her potential in the next book.

Rating: B

*ARC provided by author for review

Click to purchase: Amazon
Dark Frost
by Jennifer Estep
Release Date: May 29, 2012
Publisher: Kensington

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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Review: A Night Like This


Reviewed by Jen
 
This was my first Julia Quinn book.  I found it delightful and fantastic and I can't wait for a chance to jump into her backlist to catch up on all that I have been missing.

The heroine of our story is Anne.  She was born a gentlewoman, but a horrible event in her past cast her out from her family.  Now she makes her way as a governess.  It's been years since she's even entertained the idea of love.  After all, her romantic notions are what got her into trouble in the first place.  But from the moment she catches Daniel's eye across a crowded room, her fate is sealed.

A relationship between Daniel and Anne is wholly inappropriate.  He is an earl and she is governess to his young cousins.  But he, too, has been cut off from his family.   A bungled duel put him under a death threat that forced him from the country for years. He has only just returned to the fold.  And Anne has made his homecoming even sweeter.

Anne knows they can never have a real future, so she fights her feelings. But Daniel is relentless in his pursuit. He is so charming and determined to win her.  The evolution of their relationship is sweet and believable.  And when someone starts making attempts on their lives, it ups the stakes.  Is it someone from Daniel's past or is Anne's old life coming back to haunt her?

The pacing is so good, the book felt like it just flew by.  It had a steady rhythm of romance and action and light-hearted fun. The love story sets the main stage, but the book is made richer with a developed cast of secondary characters, from the trio of girls Anne cares for, to Hugh --the man Daniel shot all those years ago.  I was engaged from the first page to the last.

It wasn't even until I was finished that I realized this is the second book in the Smith-Smyth Quartet series.  This works completely as a standalone --though I am happy to know there are more books to come.

Rating: A-

*ARC Provided by Avon

Click to purchase: Amazon
 A Night Like This
by Julia Quinn
Release Date: May 29, 2012
Publisher: Avon

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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Review: Improper Relations


Reviewed by Jen
 
A widow of a loveless marriage, Hannah has never known passion.  Her husband left her penniless when he died and she was forced to become a ladies' companion to his aunt in order keep a roof over her head.  Her life is as drab and unremarkable as the plain and unflattering clothes she is forced to wear every day. All that changes after an unexpected encounter in the library.

Hannah has always been intrigued by Leo, a handsome cousin by marriage.  So when she accidentally witnesses his tryst with a maid, she can't look away.  And Leo knows it.  As soon as the maid leaves, he calls her out of her hiding place and makes her an offer: a sexual education and pleasure like she has never known.  Curiosity and attraction create an intoxicating blend she can't ignore.

The story follows the course of Hannah's lessons in sexual pleasure and her inevitable fall for cousin Leo.  It's a hot read.  Hannah is likeable, though a bit downtrodden. It's not an epic romance. The story is short and the time we have with Hannah and Leo is basically spent, uh, en flagrante delicto, so it's kind of hard to feel the love.  But I did feel the heat.

I enjoyed watching the spark in Hannah build into a fire and though the ending was a bit rushed, it left me feeling satisfied.

Rating: B-

*ARC Provided by NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon
  Improper Relations
by Juliana Ross
Release Date: April 23, 2012
Publisher: Carina Press

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Friday, May 25, 2012

Review: A Blood Seduction

Reviewed by Jen

I should tell you this right off the bat: I found this book disturbing.  I did not like the hero. I did not want him to end up with the heroine.  I did not like the world in which it was set.  And I almost did not finish it.  The writing was good. The author definitely drew me in and made me feel things.  They were just things I'd rather not feel when I'm reading a book.

The heroine is Quinn. For a while now, she has been plagued with visions of a shimmer in the atmosphere and glimpses of a dark world that mirrors her own.  Through a series of events, she and her brother Zack are pulled into that alternate world and what they find there is horrifying.  It's a city designed to be a vampire haven.  The vamps run the show, keeping humans as slaves. Quinn and Zack are separated almost immediately and Quinn spends the rest of the book fixated on how she will rescue her brother.

The vampire who captures Quinn is Arturo.  His vampire species feeds on emotion as well as blood.  Arturo's delicacy is fear, though others feed on pain or other emotions.  Right away, Arturo realizes there is something different about Quinn. She is immune to his mind control, which makes her interesting.  We learn Arturo is planning to make her into one of his blood and sex slaves, using her once every four days to slake his desires.  Obviously, Quinn's not on board with the plan --and frankly, this was point I started to worry about whether I could get behind Arturo as a hero.  (After all, he'll be using his other slaves for the same purposes on the other days of the week.)

There are times he is less of a turn-off than others.  That is to say, he is sexy and seductive and he doesn't seek to hurt his slaves. But if that's the best thing you can say about your hero, there's a problem. I can just imagine the internal monologue: He's not as bad as the other vamps.  You know, like that Christoff guy who puts a spiked sleeve on his dick before he rapes his slaves. The guy who gets off on their pain while he, er, gets off.  Yeah, Arturo would never do that. Quinn should totally fall in love with him. Um. No.

Arturo wants her to be his property.  That never changes at any time.  His allegiance is --and will always be-- to his sire, Christoff (see spiked dick sleeve story above.)  And he is willing to put Quinn in that monster's hands.  He is willing to lie to her, to betray her.  But he won't rape her. Wow. There's a ringing endorsement.  He doesn't beat her, but he'll stand by while others do.  He is simply less horrible than the other horrible characters.  That is just not a good enough reason for her to have any tender feelings for him, nor any loyalty, and certainly not any sexual interest.

The entire vamp culture was for me, in a word, irredeemable.  And just when I thought there was a shred of something decent in Arturo at the very end... there wasn't.  He wants Quinn. He doesn't love her. He doesn't put her before the monsters all around him.  He unabashedly does what serves himself and his master.  I am baffled how anyone could root for a relationship to develop between him and Quinn in this book or any other to come.

The constant abuse of the humans in this world included rape, beatings, forced feedings, burning, draining, slave auctions and gladiator games.   And it's completely unapologetic. I just... didn't enjoy it.  But if you like the idea of a dark world like this one, the book may suit you better.

Rating: D




*ARC Provided by Avon 

Click to purchase: Amazon
  A Blood Seduction
by Pamela Palmer
Release Date: May 29, 2012
Publisher: Avon

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5 For Friday - May 25

Wow! Is it Friday already?  It's been a busy week for me, which I guess made the days fly by.  The hubs is back from his trip to Miami.  Baseball season has (thankfully) come to a close for my son. And now the kids are spending the long weekend with Grandma in New Orleans.  So PARTY AT MY HOUSE.  Of course, by that I mean "more time to read."  Let's get to it!


5. My plan to read Armed & Dangerous this week was a success. It was so good! Now, I am putting all my Ty & Zane excitement into the next book.  Stars & Stripes comes out August 13!! I am beside myself that it's releasing so soon.  The publisher is changing. I don't know what's up with that, but here's the blurb:

Special Agents Ty Grady and Zane Garrett have managed the impossible: a few months of peace and quiet. After nearly a year of personal and professional turmoil, they're living together conflict-free, work is going smoothly, and they're both happy, healthy, and home every night before dark. But anyone who knows them knows that can’t possibly last.

When an emergency call from home upsets the balance of their carefully arranged world, Ty and Zane must juggle family drama with a perplexing crime to save a helpless victim before time runs out.

From the mountains of West Virginia to a remote Texas horse ranch harboring more than just livestock and childhood memories, Ty and Zane must face their fears—and their families—to overcome an unlikely enemy and bring peace back into their newly shared world.

4. The book trailer is out for Gena Showalter's latest!  Wicked Nights is the first in her new Lords of the Underworld spinoff series, Angels of the Dark.   The cover is smoking-hot, no?


Wicked Nights is out June 26th.


3. Biting Cold is still more than two months away but Chloe Neill is already gearing up for the next book in her Chicagoland Vampires series with her new cover reveal.


House Rules is scheduled for release in February 2013.


2. Most of you know that I have not read the 50 Shades books, but that doesn't mean that I couldn't enjoy this dramatic reading from the cast of Snow White & the Huntsman.  Funny --especially when Chris Hemsworth realizes what he's reading and tosses the book away in horror.



1. And finally, the Tumblr Photo of the Week.  (If you click on it, it gets bigger.)

(**Photo removed to prevent copyright infringement**)


Have a great weekend!

XOXO
Jen

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Review: Mind Magic

Reviewed by Jen
 
Simon is a mage-in-training who has been told his entire life that the different supernatural species should never mix.  But when his mind hears the cries of kidnapped werewolf cubs, he simply can't ignore them.  Simon tracks down the children and saves them from a demon feeding on their energies.  It's not until he returns the cubs to their alpha, however, that things really start to get interesting.

Gray is wary of Simon when he first arrives at the keep, but his son is so enamored of his rescuer that he knows he must give him a chance. There's also an undeniable sexual attraction he must contend with.  Simon is intent on going back to his life and his mage apprenticeship, but he has formed a connection with Gray's son.  And when the boy suffers lingering effects from his attack, it's Simon he calls to again for help.

Simon's selflessness and dedication to the children turns him into a friend of the pack.  He ends up working with the wolves to find the demon who kidnapped the kids. In the meantime, he explores his feelings for Gray and tries to figure out where his loyalties lie among the supernatural species.

I liked the beginning of the book and thought it was an interesting premise. Simon's a likeable guy and the sexual tension with Gray was pretty hot. But then it went from zero to 100 in about five seconds. That is to say, Gray and Simon went from flirty looks to naked on the floor before my eyes could even focus.  A little more build would have been nice, and I thought it was crazy how fast Gray threw out the "mate" card.  The pacing of the relationship was uneven and it detracted from my connection to the characters.

The villain was easy to spot from the first time we met him, which was disappointing.  What made it even worse, was that once his identity was revealed, we were left with huge hanging threads.  I needed a better explanation on how and why he did what he did. Not only that, but what was the deal with the Mage Council?  What was the villain's connection to the demon?  Was Simon always a target?  I could go on.  Basically, I felt like the conclusion was weak and in great need of more development.

There were some things I liked. The sex was hot.  The world-building was interesting. And the writing was conversational and engaging.  But overall, the book didn't live up to its promise for me.

Rating: C-

*ARC Provided by NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon
  Mind Magic
by Poppy Dennison
Release Date: April 23, 2012
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

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AAD Author Spotlight: Shayla Black

She's a New York Times best-seller and she knows how to spice things up! Please help us welcome Shayla Black to the blog today!

Jen: I really enjoy the Doomsday Brethren series! It seems like forever since we've heard from these guys. Can you give us a little hint about what we can expect in Embrace Me at Dawn?

Shayla: More of everything! More adventure, more heat, more eye-popping moments. As I’ve been writing this book, I’ve said, “OMG, did that REALLY just happen?” more than once. I’m super excited about how this book has been shaping up.

Jen: I know Anka is supposed to be with Lucan, but will poor Shock ever find his own happiness? (Clearly, I am convinced he is one of the good guys.)

Shayla: Shock definitely has a story to tell…eventually.

Jen: When we get to Bram's book, will we get the backstory we missed on him and his mysterious mate?

Shayla: Yes! In fact, you’ll get a little bit about her in EMBRACE ME AT DAWN. There’s a lot there that the reader—and Bram himself—doesn’t know.

Jen: Can you tell us a little about Project Alpha?

Shayla: Not too much, as I haven’t started writing yet. But they will be very sexy romantic suspenses about a very different breed of soldier facing a whole lot of danger to both the world and their hearts.

Jen: You write so many different kinds of romance books, with varying degrees of heat and sexual adventure. Do you have a favorite kind of book to write? Stand-alones, series, spicy, romantic?

Shayla: No, I really just write what’s capturing my imagination. Contractually, I have to write books in a certain order, but I made the decision to write each of these books because they grabbed me and made me smile or cry or clap or squirm in my chair. I can’t write something I’m not excited about.

Jen: At what point in your career did you finally feel like you'd "made it" as an author?

Shayla: I wouldn’t say that I really feel that I’ve “made it” even now. My job is to sit in front of my computer every day and type out the stories in my head. I truly enjoy the interaction on my Facebook fan page and the role play pages for both the Doomsday Brethren and Wicked Lovers series. Hitting the New York Times was a definite thrill. But I’m always aware that my job isn’t really about what I’ve written in the past, but what I’m going to write now and tomorrow. I simply think in terms of maintaining good work habits and hopefully more readers finding me so that my career can grow.

Jen: I'm sure you get a lot of feedback from your fans. What effect does fan response have on you personally and as a writer?

Shayla: Some emails from fans have touched me deeply. I’ve been told that I’ve saved relationships and helped people through personally difficult times. People have written to tell me that they’ve discovered things about themselves by reading my books or that they’ve found a deeper connect with their partner by reading my books together with them. I’ve had hate mail, love mail, and prison mail. People have told me what I’ve done right and wrong, in their estimation. In all cases, I figure that if I made the reader feel something, I did my job. I used to let negativity bother me, but the truth really is, not every book or every author is for every person. Every author has themes and characters that resonate for them. Some readers will understand them and others won’t. Frankly, there’s a book and an author for every reader out there. It may or may not be me. I accept that. The best thing I can do for the readers who do like what I write is to continue to be me and minimize the distractions. Trying to cater to readers for whom I’m just not their cup of tea is a waste of everyone’s time..

Jen: What is the draw for you to attend fan events and reader conventions?

Shayla: I love opportunities to connect with readers. Many writers are introverts, but I’m a people person, and I take many chances every year to meet readers and just have fun. Attending conferences like this are a great way to meet new people you’ll instantly have something in common with: love of books!

Jen: What are looking forward to most about AAD in NOLA this summer?

Shayla: The people, the parties, and the fun! It will be my first time to AAD, and I’m planning to make the most of it.

Jen: Thank you so very much for visiting the blog! I can't wait to meet in New Orleans!

Shayla: Thanks for much for having me here. I’m looking forward to meeting in New Orleans, too.

To learn more about Shayla Black you can visit her website or follow her on Twitter.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Welcome Allison!

As I first told you yesterday, two new Associate Reviewers are joining Red Hot Books.  Now Allison is here to introduce herself. Please help me welcome her to the blog! And if you haven't met Shelly yet, drop by and say hi!

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Hello, readers! A little about me:

I was born in Wisconsin but am a solid Ohioan at heart, I love Fall in the Midwest! I've been married to the love of my life for four years & look forward to building a family with him. He's from Peru so we speak both English and Spanish at home. My mom is a French teacher, so I grew up with English & French at home - no surprise I love listening to & learning new languages!

I worked at the Public Library for most of my professional life but have recently moved into the corporate world & work as an site integrated planner for CoverGirl; essentially I'm the one who says what mascara to make, how much, & when. I'd try to explain more, but every time I try I literally see eyes glaze over.

My hope & dream is to one day own my own coffee shop/ bookstore so I can do the best of my two favorite jobs I've had - make pretty coffee drinks (I make a mean cappuccino!) as well as talk about & recommend books to people! I have always taken joy in making other people's days & I've found that it's pretty easy to do with a cup of joe & a great book.

I've been reading since I taught myself at age four & haven't stopped since. I have always been & will always be a hopeless romantic so romance is my main genre. Paranormal, Historical, Contemporary, you name it - I like to swoon. A few of my favorites are Lisa Kleypas, Katie MacAlister, & J.R. Ward. I'll branch out occasionally to see what all the fuss is about (I loved The Help!) but no matter what, a well written romance is my idea of the perfect mental vacation. I've considered my own blog but never had the time, so I'm really excited Jen asked me to a part of her blog & hope everyone enjoys my reviews!

Feel free to contact me or follow me on Pinterest or Twitter as I'm on both way more often then I should be!

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Review: Ruined by Rumor

Reviewed by Jen
 
Roxana has been waiting five years for her fiance George to return from the war so they could be married.  But his homecoming is nothing like she expected and he calls off the wedding just weeks before it's scheduled to take place.  What is only supposed to be a moment of comfort from her brother's friend Alex, turns into a scorching kiss -- which puts her reputation in jeopardy.  Alex steps up and offers to marry her right away to save her from the scandal.

Roxana has no idea that Alex has been in love with her for years.  He's terribly shy and has a difficult time socializing.  He would never intentionally risk her reputation, but the chance to marry her is a dream come true.

Unfortunately, Roxana is a bit of a twit.  She refuses to stop mooning over George, even after she agrees to marry Alex and goes forward with the wedding.  She doesn't even really love George. She loves the idea of him.  And she doesn't really see Alex, only his shyness and awkward social skills.  She annoys me.  As for Alex, I did like him, though he had a complete meltdown about 3/4 of the way through the book that I thought was completely out of character.

The biggest roadblock these two face is their inability or unwillingness to communicate.  If either one of them actually came out and spoke honestly to the other, they would have saved themselves (and me) so much trouble.  George's true nature and the reason for his decision to call off the engagement were so painfully obvious that by the time it was revealed on-page, all I could do was roll my eyes.

The story wasn't bad, but it was predictable and somewhat cliched.

Rating: C


*ARC Provided by NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon
 Ruined by Rumor
by Alyssa Everett
Release Date: May 21, 2012
Publisher: Carina Press

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Welcome Shelly!

I am excited to announce that Red Hot Books is expanding.  Two associate reviewers are coming on board.  Shelly is here now to introduce herself.  Please join me in welcoming her to the blog! Click here to meet Allison.

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I love the written word. I appreciate and enjoy books that make me think and even better, make me wish to be part of the story. Since my mother introduced me to Harlequin romances as a teenager, I’ve since graduated ‘up’ or ‘over’ (however you’d like to say it) and haven’t looked back since.

Folks, I’ve never written a book and trust me, you don’t want me to. The good thing is, I can spot proper English and know how to write smokin’ hot reviews.

I enjoy most genres of romance/erotica but I do have a bias to good IR (contemporary and historical), mf/ mfm /mmf contemporary and/or historical or any book that catches my eye (especially if the cover is super delish).

My name is Shelly. I was born on a small isle in the West Indies moved to Texas as soon as I could and never left.

If you’d like to say hi, please don’t be shy.

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Review: Lethal Rider

Reviewed by Jen
 
Without a doubt, this is the best installment in the Lords of Deliverance series so far.  Ever since she introduced us to the Demonica world back in Pleasure Unbound, Larissa Ione has seamlessly woven all of these amazing characters and threads of storylines together into a giant ongoing masterpiece of action, betrayal, romance, epic world-building, and mind-blowing sex. Each book builds on the last. Each leaves me excited, satisfied, and still wanting more.

It's been eight months since the events of Immortal Rider, and Regan is just a couple of weeks away from delivering her baby. Thanatos has been drugged and immobilized all this time. But suddenly, he is able to overcome the drugs and make his way to her.  He is drawn to his child, though he has no idea that is the case until he comes face to face with Regan. He is enraged and yet still attracted to the woman who took his virginity.  Unsure of where his feelings for her will land, he kidnaps her from an Aegis stronghold and brings her back to his home.

Regan struggles to convince Thanatos that she never intended to rape him. That she was drugged.  That she was trying to save the world. But his forgiveness is slow in coming. The story follows the two of them as they try to sort out their feelings for one another and protect their unborn child from Pestilence, who knows that destroying the baby with break his brother's seal.

Both Thanatos and Regan have some serious issues to overcome. But I really enjoyed their journey.  Regan has never had a place she truly belonged and it's gratifying to see her finding a home with the new family she is creating.  Thanatos has some major secrets and he's a very dangerous guy. (He is Death after all.) But he is such a softie underneath it all. All he wants in life is a family.  Well, that and to get laid.  Ione has got some serious skills to make pregnancy sex sexy.  Having been nine-months pregnant twice, myself, I can tell you that is no small feat.  Yet she does it, so big, big props for that.

I love that we're still seeing old familiar characters like Eidolon and the UG folks, front and center in the book.  Not only are we getting updates on their lives, but they are part of the ongoing plot.  In addition, there are major developments in the Demonica world, from an overhaul of the Aegis --to Pestilence and the overall horsemen arc-- to dire straits for our friend Reaver.  Oh Reaver, I love you so.  As much as I am looking forward to Reseph's book, it's Reaver's story I am dying for.  Reaver and... Harvester? Anyone with me?

I loved it.

Rating: A

*ARC Provided by NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon
Lethal Rider
by Larissa Ione
Release Date: May 22, 2012
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Review: Armed and Dangerous

Reviewed by Jen
 
There are times that too much anticipation can spoil a book's potential. Believe me, I anticipated the hell out of this book -- ever since I finished the last page of Divide & Conquer... knocked out of my blissful stupor by Ty ditching Zane with only a note left behind on the pillow.  I stewed over their future, then stumbled across the news that Madeleine Urban was leaving the longtime writing team behind the amazing series. What would this mean for Ty and Zane? Would the series change?  Would it become something less than the action packed, steamy hot, love /sex/ angst fest that I loved so much?

Let's get right to it, then. This book was fantastic.  It was different, but not in a way that any fan has to worry about. It's different because Ty and Zane have grown into their love for one another.  The fear, the hiding --the denial-- they're all gone.  Left in their place is something tender and stirring. Still hot, but also very sweet.  The awesomeness is only compounded by the crossover of characters from Warrior's Cross.  It really took it all to another level.

I should back up.

The story begins just a week after Ty bolted on Zane.  He only planned to be gone a short time, but his boss has activated him for an off-book mission to bring informant Julian Cross into custody.  An old friend of Ty's boss says he is being framed for a series of hit jobs and only Cross can clear his name.  Zane is tapped to join Ty on the mission to find the illusive Irishman and bring him in.

When Ty and Zane first reunite, it's like nothing I've seen from them before.  The I Love You's were flowing like water.  They commit themselves fully to one another. And that's a good thing, because they need to have each other's backs for this mission. Cross knows that the CIA wants him dead and he'll do everything in his power to keep Ty and Zane from getting him to Washington.  Between his attempts to get away and the assassins who keep showing up, there is not a moment of peace to be had.

For me Julian stole the show, with his dry wit and bad-assness.  Scratch that. I loved Julian, Cameron, Ty and Zane. They all played off each other's strengths and weaknesses in this spectacular dance.  I loved watching Ty and Julian face off.  I loved seeing their respect grow for one another.  I loved the fact that I had absolutely no idea who the villain was until the last possible moment.  I was tense and excited and happy and nervous... all at the same time.

The characters felt as clearly defined as they ever did.  No one lost their "voice." The sex was still scorching hot and even with their new level of commitment, Ty and Zane are still... well, Ty and Zane.  They are dysfunctional people, but they are growing. They are still learning each other, and trying to get past their issues long enough to make it work.  In the process, we are treated to some great backstory that sheds a lot of light on what makes Ty Grady the man he is.

It was so good. Everything I hoped it would be. Now someone needs to tell me what Ty had hidden in that trench coat.

Rating: A

Click to purchase: Amazon
  Armed & Dangerous
by Abigail Roux
Release Date: May 18, 2012
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

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Diamond Jubilee Hop

 
Welcome to the Diamond Jubilee Hop!


Enter below to win. Beginning 5/21 thru 5/31 – Romance at Random will be randomly giving away some of their jewels of romance, to celebrate the UK’s Diamond Jubilee including:






  • 1 winner, 1 copy – Born To Darkness by Suzanne Brockmann
  • 1 winner, 1 copy – The Proposal by Mary Balogh
  • 1 winner, 1 copy – Darker After Midnight by Lara Adrian
  • 3 winners, 1 copy of WITCHFUL THINKING by HP Mallory
  • 10 winners, 1 copy of a PREVIEW from Net Galley of ABOUT LAST NIGHT by Ruthie Knox
  • 10 winners, 1 copy of PREVIEW from Net Galley of DEEP AUTUMN HEAT by Elisabeth Barrett

  • To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. (US Residents Only.) And don't forget to enter at the other fabulous sites on the tour!



    Read more »

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    Sunday, May 20, 2012

    Review: The White Swan Affair

    Reviewed by Jen
     
    It's been four years since her fiance's death left Hester heartbroken, alone, and totally dependent on her brother Robert. Since then, she's led a safe, albeit passionless, life. Her ordered world comes crashing down on her, though, when Robert gets arrested in a raid on a gay brothel.  Suddenly, her friends turn on her, her brother's business is ruined, and she has lost her home and protector.  Things look terribly bleak until Thomas enters the picture.

    Thomas is Robert's landlord, and he's held a silent affection towards Hester for years.  She feels the same, though neither is aware that the attraction is mutual.  When he learns of Robert's arrest, he takes Hester into his home.  He helps her get back on her feet and assists Robert by sending food and clothes to the prison. It's no time at all before Thomas and Hester give in to their attraction. But in close quarters, their feelings for one another grow deeper and deeper.

    Of course, Robert's legal troubles are a cloud that hangs over Hester at every turn.  Despite the stigma attached to his arrest, she refuses to give up on him. She devotes herself to saving him as he once saved her.  It's a commitment she pays for dearly, both in how she is treated by society and in how it forces her into the path of an unsavory villain.

    I enjoyed the story.  Hester is such a strong heroine.  She is so steadfast and forthright.  And Thomas is a really solid hero... devoted and loyal.  Theirs is not a relationship of misunderstandings or betrayals... and I liked that.  Their biggest obstacles were external ones, which gave their romance an "us against the world" kind of feel.  I also really like how the author dealt with Robert's homosexuality and took us through his ordeal.  I was surprised that his was the secondary romance in the book.  Surprised, but pleased.   

    There wasn't very much sex, but I found that I didn't really miss it.  Don't get me wrong, our characters are getting busy, but it happens mostly off-page.

    There's an interesting mystery surrounding Robert's smarmy barrister and what he's got up his sleeve.  The "bad feeling" he gave people was a little heavy handed from time-to-time, but I still enjoyed learning what he was about and the little edge of danger his side-plot added to the story.

    It was a little different. I liked it.

    Rating: B

    *ARC Provided by NetGalley

    Click to purchase: Amazon
    The White Swan Affair
    by Elyse Mady
    Release Date: May 21, 2012
    Publisher: Carina Press

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    Saturday, May 19, 2012

    Review: Diva and the Frat Boy

    Reviewed by Jen
     
    Nathaniel is not the kind of gay man who will ever pass as straight. He’s out and he’s proud, but it’s more than that. He doesn’t walk, he sashays. He wears lip gloss and half shirts. He is the stereotype of the over-the-top effeminate bottom, who bats his eyelashes and hangs a disco-ball in his bedroom. He is, essentially, the polar opposite of Greg.

    As president of the gay frat on campus, Greg doesn’t hide his sexuality. But he is masculine and conservative. He plays sports and studies law. He’s never been bullied or teased for who he is. He fits in and has never thought much about it.

    When Nat pledges to join Greg’s fraternity, Greg is wary about acting on his attraction to the younger man. Mostly, he worries about the imbalance of power in the relationship, as the frat considers whether to accept Nat among its ranks. But once they make their decision, Greg decides there is no longer a reason to hold back. And he makes his move.

    Nat never dreams that Greg could want more from him than a quick sexual encounter. And the story focuses a lot on Nathaniel’s perception of himself, of Greg, and of what the two of them could be to each other. In many ways, the story is about the contrast between these two; whether these opposites can do more than just attract, but to find love long term.

    I have to admit, I didn’t enjoy this installment quite as much as I did College Boys. I think it’s because there were times that Nathaniel made me uncomfortable. I suppose there is some irony in that, because so much of the story is about how he makes everyone else uncomfortable by simply being who he is. And as I got to know him better, I realized how much of it is a defense mechanism. There were times he felt a little like a caricature, but not all the time. There were some poignant moments too, especially when we got a glimpse into his real life when we visited his mother’s home. Something about those glasses made him seem so vulnerable…

    It was interesting to see the stereotypes and prejudices that exist inside the gay community. As for the relationship, I liked it. The sex was hot and realistic. (I love that Greg carries lube in his pocket.) But the “Daddy” nickname didn’t float my boat. Still, a good story, and I will stick with series.

    Rating: B-  
     
    *ARC provided by author for review
      Diva and the Frat Boy
    by Daisy Harris
    Release Date: May 14, 2012
    Publisher: Siren
     

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    Friday, May 18, 2012

    Review: The Siren's Song

    Reviewed by Jen
     
    Gilly is on the run from the man who murdered her lover.  To get away, she hides aboard a ship.  Her escape plan might have worked if the vessel hadn't crashed into a reef.  Thankfully, the dashing pirate Thayer Drake saves her before she can drown.

    Drake is hard man... a true pirate.  He thinks nothing of grounding other ships to rob them of their cargo.  He looks out for Number One and he's good at it.  So when Gilly comes aboard, he tells her she must earn her keep by entertaining him.  Fortunately, she is an accomplished singer and he quickly becomes enamored of her talents.

    Gilly is attracted to Drake, but she is a woman with many secrets. She lies about why she is running and who she's running from.  And she tells no one of her of her serious addiction to laudanum.  Gilly is still mourning the death of her lost love, so she fights her growing feelings for the sexy sea captain.  It's a losing battle, though.  The more time she spends in his company, the harder she falls.  Likewise, he falls for her too. But for their own reasons, each pushes the other away.

    Their feelings become impossible to deny once the danger really kicks in.  Between the man hunting Gilly and a villain from Drake's past, their lives are in real jeopardy.  It's with the action and danger in the second half that the book picks up steam.  While this is definitely a romance, it's a little bit of a slow build and not very heavy in bedroom action.

    The characters are interesting. I like that we've got a heroine who is not a bright and shiny virgin. She has made bad choices in her past and she still struggles with addiction.  Drake has an addiction of his own, drowning himself in rum every night.  The events in his past that shaped him are slowly revealed --which really helps flesh out who he is as a man and makes him much more sympathetic.

    The story is the third in the Romancing the Pirate series.  It has some overlapping characters, but works easily as a standalone book.  I liked it well enough, but it didn't invoke any strong feelings.

    Rating: C

    *ARC Provided by NetGalley

    Click to purchase: Amazon
      The Siren's Song
    by Jennifer Bray-Webber
    Release Date: May 14, 2012
    Publisher: Carina Press



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    5 For Friday - May 18

    Happy Friday, friends.  It's been a crazy week at my house. The hubs is in Miami to visit his best friend and to attend some porn convention.  This makes me the Best Wife Ever, and gives me the green light to attend the book conventions of my choice over the course of the next year. Win-win.  My temporary single-mom status has made it hard to get much reading done, but tonight, you can be sure I am hunkering down with Armed & Dangerous and a glass of wine!   I've been dying to read this one and I didn't get to start it until late last night. Cut and Run is definitely my favorite m/m series.  With that in mind, let's get this party started:

    5. The Hop Against Homophobia is currently underway.



    If you aren't familiar with it, the hop is an effort from more than 250 m/m authors, reviewers and publishers to stand together and create awareness of homophobia.  There are some really great posts here and they're delivering a message that needs to be heard by everyone.  I urge you to check some of them out. You could also win some great m/m book prizes.

    4. I just found out that the uber-awesome Stacia Kane is releasing a prequel novella to her amazing Downside series.  It's called Finding Magic and it comes out June 4th. An early birthday present to me, perhaps?

    Before Chess Putnam was a magic-wielding Churchwitch, she was a student in the Church of Real Truth—with a keen sensitivity to magic, a strong rebellious streak, and a penchant for self-destruction. And in Finding Magic, a grisly ghost murder becomes Chess’s baptism of fire.

    When eighteen-year-old Chess Putnam is offered the chance to train with a special team of investigators known as the Black Squad, she feels torn. She’s never been a team player and hates how one male Inquisitor condescends to “the new kid.” But at her first bloody crime scene, she gets a taste for investigation—and is hooked on the high. Though the seasoned Inquisitors consider the series of ghost murders random events, Chess starts to detect a pattern. Is a psycho killer summoning ghosts from the City of Eternity and using them as murder weapons? As Chess gets closer to the dark truth, she puts herself in grave danger and risks losing everything she’s fought so hard for.
    I'm excited, but can I love Chess without Terrible? (And what's up with the blond hair?)

    3. Speaking of Terrible...

    I am so excited to be his champion in the VBC Alpha Showdown.  We're up against tough competition.  I mean, who doesn't love Kate Daniels? But Terrible fans, we need to unite! Come cast your vote Monday, May 21st.

    2. HBO has released its first trailer for Season 5 of True Blood.  Check it out:


    There was no doubt that the show would have to veer away from the books this season since they decided not to make Jason a were-panther and that is such a huge part of Dead as a Doornail.  But other than some left-over Debbie Pelt stuff, this looks like a main story arc completely independent of the Charlaine Harris series.  Personally, I hate the fact that they left the books, but I know some folks prefer the changes.  What do you think? Will you be watching next month?

    1. The Magic Mike release is only six weeks away! And Entertainment Weekly has a great spread on the sexy stars in its next issue.


    There's also a behind the scenes video from the cover shoot.  Click below if you want to watch it, but wait until you're done reading everything here, because the link will take you to the EW website.  It's worth it just to see how many times Channing Tatum can say "junk" in under 3:00.

    Warning: Joe Manganiello is not in this video.





    That's about it for this week. I need to go finish crying over the Grey's Anatomy finale.

    XOXO
    Jen

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