Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Review: Matthew

Reviewed by Jen
It's only been a few weeks since someone killed Matthew Graham's parents and kidnapped his youngest brother. But now he is the head of the family, doing his best to run the family ranch and raise his brood of brothers and sisters. One of the tasks that has fallen to him is a trip to Houston to claim some extra acreage his father was planning to use to expand their property. But when he arrives, Matthew is stunned to find that he must be married to get the land for his family. In a moment of weakness, he lies --claiming to be married to a woman named Hannah. Only, the officials give him 30 days to produce that wife or the deal is done.

It's pure luck that allows Matthew to run into Hannah Foley at the market. He feels an attraction to her, but he honestly lays out his situation to her and asks her to wed. Fearing it's her only chance for a husband, Hannah accepts his offer and they are married within the week.

It's really kind of nice watching Hannah come into the fold of the Graham family. She helps fill some of the hole left by their parents' death and they give her the family she always dreamed of as an orphan. Of course, Matt and Hannah's marriage of convenience becomes more over time. The sexual connection happens right away, but real feelings begin to surface as they get to know one another better.

There were times I got frustrated with both characters. Hannah takes a lot of crap before she stands up for herself. And Matt... if I had to read his internal monologue about establishing dominance one more time, I may have found a way to jump into the book and kick his shins. But the sex was good and both characters managed to do alot of growing over the course of the book.

There was a good mystery surrounding who killed the Graham parents and some shady dealings with the land entitlement. I liked villain reveal and the circumstances in which our couple eventually prevailed. I was surprised that the author opted to leave a few threads open... not everything was wrapped up into a neat little package. But this leaves her some elements to incorporate should she follow up with a story on Matt's sister and the mysterious inspector. Almost 4 stars.

P.S.  That cover is smokin' hot!

*ARC provided by author for review

Click to purchase: Amazon 
by Emma Lang (Beth Williamson)
Release Date: February 1, 2012
Publisher: Brava

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AAD Author Spotlight & Giveaway: Beth Williamson

Another AAD author is joining us today!  Beth Williamson is a lady who loves her cowboys and her romances range from sensual to scorching hot.  Her newest book, Matthew, is out today under her other name Emma Lang.  Please help me welcome Beth to the blog! 

Jen: You write under two names: Beth Williamson and Emma Lang. Why? And is there anything markedly different between the books under one name or the other?

Beth: It's not multiple personalities, I swear! LOL. The truth is rather boring - I write under two different names due to a publisher request. My writing style is the same, regardless of the pen name, and the books are generally in the same genre - historical western. I try to make it as seamless as possible - with one website etc.

Jen: Clearly you're a woman who loves her cowboys. What is it that really pulled you toward the cowboy romance genre?

Beth: Oh yes ma'am, I do love my cowboys. Fer realz! I grew up watching westerns, the classics, y'know? Like John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. These were tough men with hard lives, but had a code of honor that spoke to me. I also have a weakness for the way a man looks riding a horse or wearing chaps. The broad shoulders, the narrow hips, the swagger. Oh yeah, baby, bring it!

Jen: How do you approach writing those really hot love scenes?

Beth: They have to fit within the story, first of all, I don't just throw love scenes in for the same of having one. If I try to force one, you can tell right away. I let the characters lead the story and the sex. Then, of course, I have to feel what they feel - I react to the heat just as a reader does. ;)

Jen: I've always wanted to ask a romance author this. The right language can make or break a love scene. There are some authors who are all flowery with "white lightning" and "velvet sheaths"... while other authors use words dirty enough to make an HBO executive blush. How do decide on your, er, anatomical terminology? It's got to be a conscious decision, right?

Beth: Yes, it's a conscious decision. Sometimes it's driven by the genre I am writing to - if I know it's going to be scorching hot, well then the words are going to be more explicit of course. If I'm writing for a broader appeal, I will tone it down and use only slightly explicit terms. Hee.

Jen: I just finished reading Matthew. How many books do you have planned for the Circle of 8 series? Will Olivia & Armstrong be next?

Beth: I have 8 books planned - one for each Graham sibling. Olivia and Brody Armstrong are book 2! It releases July, 2012 from Brava just in time for AAD. That book, wow, that one was intense.

Jen: Do you enjoy writing full length novels more, or novellas?

Beth: Oh, tough question! When I'm writing a novel, there is more opportunity for growth and a character arc. A novella takes more careful planning because of the short length. I definitely have written more novels than novellas!

Jen: Do you have a favorite among your published works?

Beth: I knew you'd ask me that. LOL. I think I have three favorites - The Treasure because Ray and Lilly are based on me and hubby. Ruthless Heart because I simply adore Grady and Eliza. And I also love The Stranger's Secrets - my heroine is disabled and tough as hell - every time (and I mean EVERY TIME), I read that book I weep. Powerful books - all of them.

Jen: What are you working on now?

Beth: I am working on a prequel to the Malloy series, THE FORTUNE, it's the story of John & Francesca, parents to the Malloy brood. I also have another stand-alone book, FIND ME, I'm going to bang out after this one. Oh and I need to write Caleb's story for The Circle Eight. Wait and then there's the other new series my agent is pitching that I've written book 1 for... Um, yeah, I'm super busy. LOL. I'd like more hours in the day please and thank you.

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

Beth: My books are very character driven - they tell the story not me. I don't include big flowery descriptions or sweeping vistas. It's a journey that involves real people with real problems and real love. There's intense emotions, humor, hot sex and generally, a cowboy.

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

Beth: Having fun! I love weekends for authors/readers where you can relax and have fun. No pressure but to get to know each other and break out the good times. I've never been to New Orleans either so I expect the city will just add to the fabulous adventure!

Thanks so much to Beth for visiting today. To learn more about Beth Williamson, you can find her on her website. And in the meantime, you can enter to win a copy of Matthew! Just enter the Rafflecopter form below.  This giveaway is International.

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Monday, January 30, 2012

Review: She Tempts the Duke

When his father died, 14 year-old Sebastian was next in line to become the Duke of Keswick. But his power-hungry uncle locked him and his brothers away in the tower, with plans to kill them. He would have succeeded, if young Mary had not overheard his plans and set her young friends free. The boys ran for their lives. Now, more than a decade later, they are back --and ready to reclaim the birthright their uncle thought to steal.

Sebastian spent much of his time away as a soldier and is now horribly scarred. But when they meet again, Mary sees past that. Unfortunately, she is now betrothed to another man, which becomes problematic as she and Sebastian become drawn to each other. It's not the only problem, though. Sebastian's issues extend beyond physical scars. He believes himself a monster and has a hard time letting anyone in. Beyond that, he is so single-mindedly focused on reclaiming his estate, that he is blinded to the other things in life that could give him happiness.

I always enjoy a scarred/ tortured hero. Sebastian's physical and emotional damage makes him so vulnerable, while he presents such a detached and powerful exterior. Mary is loyal and true, fiery and brave. She is a worthy heroine to help him heal and to find joy again. I really enjoyed the love scenes and the way the author dealt with the scars. But I wish that it had not taken Sebastian quite so long to see his own feelings for Mary... feelings obvious to the reader from the very beginning of the story.

It was a little predictable. But between the love story and the danger brought on by the threat of Sebastian's displaced uncle... I still enjoyed the ride. Lorraine Heath also does a great job teasing us with the backstories on Sebastian's brothers, who will have books of their own as she continues the trilogy. Mmmm. More tortured heroes to come. 4 stars.

*ARC Provided by NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon
She Tempts the Duke
by Lorraine Heath
Release Date: January 31, 2012
Publisher: Avon

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Review: Mask of the Gladiator

Reviewed by Jen
I've been a sucker for sexy gladiators since the first time I laid my eyes on Andy Whitfield in his Spartacus loincloth. So I had high hopes for this story. Unfortunately, it didn't quite live up to its potential.

The story surrounds the widowed lady Livia. In a moment of abandon, she does the nasty with a sexy gladiator. She has no idea that he is the man her uncle is about to force her to marry. Titus is actually a senator, who went undercover as a gladiator as part of his plan to overthrow a dangerous ruler. The rest of the novella follows their unexpected relationship and the unseating of the emperor.

The story is very short... about 50 pages or so. And I just couldn't feel much for the characters. The sex was just ok; the speed of their falling in love was extremely unrealistic; and the political elements just didn't excite me. The novella wasn't bad, but it was superficial. Not great for me. A little less than 3 stars.

*ARC Provided by NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon
Mask of the Gladiator
by Georgie Lee
Release Date: January 30, 2012
Publisher: Carina Press

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Series Reading Order: The Disillusionsists

This is the reading order for the Disillusionists series by Carolyn Crane:

*Denotes short story/ novella

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Shameless Giveaway Winners

First of all, I have to say thank you so much to everyone who took part in the Shameless Giveaway Hop.  There was such a huge response from readers and I hope all the other participating blogs enjoyed the experience as much as I did.  A hop is only as successful as those who take part... Without you guys, it couldn't have happened.  An extra thank you to my co-hosts Brie and Michelle.  You ladies are awesome.

As for the winners... First prize goes to Georgia McMillan. As an international follower, she wins the book of her choice from The Book Depository.  Second place goes to Lori at Romancing the Darkside.  She chose a book from TBD as well.

Did you all enjoy the hop?  Tell me if it was a good experience for you --and if you'd like to see another one.

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Review: The Protectors - Damon

Being a social worker can be dangerous business when vampires are part of the equation. And that's becoming clearer to Nicole every day. More and more often, she is encountering human foster parents who are stealing and selling the blood of vampire children. And they'll do almost anything to protect their dirty secret. So a group of vampire warriors has been called in to help train Nicole and her co-workers in self-defense. Almost immediately she is drawn to one of the men.

Damon swears he'll never take a human mate, but he knows Nicole is meant to be his. She fires all of his protective instincts, and it's only a matter of time before they give in to their attraction. But at the same time their passion is heating up, so is the danger to Nicole. It seems someone thinks she is doing her job too well. Her vigilance is putting a crimp in the blood trade and now a hit has been put on her life. Damon must find a way to keep her safe as he struggles with his instinct to make her his own.

The book felt a little awkward in the very beginning, but it quickly grew on me. I liked both main characters. Damon's reluctance to make Nicole his mate was understandable once we learned his backstory. And in the meantime, we were treated to some good sexual tension --and eventually, some hot sex.

The villain reveal wasn't a very big surprise, but I enjoyed the journey.  The ending felt a little bit rushed --I would have liked to see the events play out-- but I was happy with the resolution. Plus, the secondary cast of vampire warriors provides fertile ground for future stories.  Almost 4 stars.

*ARC Provided by author for review

Click to purchase: Amazon
The Protectors - Damon
by Teresa Gabelman
Release Date: November 27, 2011

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Friday, January 27, 2012

AAD Author Spotlight & Giveaway: Darynda Jones

Obviously, I am in love with the Charley Davidson series. So much so, I stalked approached author Darynda Jones, to get more deets on these amazing books.  Check it out: 

Jen: Give new readers an idea of what the Charley Davidson books are about.

Darynda: First, thank you so much for having me!!! The Charley Davidson series is about a female PI who just happened to have been born the grim reaper. Because of her supernatural status, she is often called upon to solve cases for both the living and the dead. It makes for an interesting day. She is shoved into one messy situation after another and she handles it with more sass and bravado than she probably has a right to.

In the meantime, she is dealing with the intensely hot Reyes Farrow, a being that is part human and part...well, not. In the first book, First Grave on the Right, he seems vaguely familiar to Charley, and she sets out to ascertain exactly who and what he is. But she soon discovers he is surrounded by danger and a darkness that she never dreamed really existed. Falling in love with him would be a mistake, but Charley never claimed to be the most sensible girl in designer underwear.

Jen: One of the things I love so much about this series is the humor. Is the snark something that comes easily to you or is it hard to be so funny?

Darynda: Admittedly, with the first book it was difficult. I had to really think about it, to put it there on the page purposely. Now, as I work on the fourth in the series, it kind of flows out of me. I hardly think about it anymore, a fact for which I’m grateful.

Jen: Think about Charley as you first envisioned her and compare her to the character she has become. Has she changed much from your initial vision or has she stayed true to your original idea?

Darynda: What an interesting question. She has stayed 100% true to my original vision. She is exactly what I wanted and continues to amaze me with her antics.

Jen: Other than Charley and Reyes, which character in the series would you like to develop more?

Darynda: Mr. Wong. LOL.

Jen: Will we be seeing more of Donovan?

Darynda: In the fourth installment, yes. I’m not sure how visible he will be afterward, but he is so much fun, I can’t see ditching him entirely. I have such a great storyline for him in Fourth Grave, I'm excited to write it.

Jen: How many books do you have planned in the series? Do you have (or have you always had) an ending in mind?

Darynda: The series is ongoing, so we aren’t sure how many there will be right now, but as far as an ending goes, I do have one in mind. I hope we know for certain which one the last will be, because I have quite the plot lined up for our girl, Charley. She will never be the same again.

Jen: Could you explain to readers where the short story "For I Have Sinned" fits into the series?

Darynda: That’s a toughie. I actually wrote it after writing Third Grave Dead Ahead, but because it came out in between books one and two, they dubbed it Charley Davidson 1.5. However, there is one line in the short story that will throw readers. I’ve had several emails because of it, so sorry readers! It will all make sense after Third Grave!

Jen: If you could Hollywood cast Charley or Reyes, which actors would be closest to the mark to how they look in your mind?

Darynda: It’s so funny, because for Charley, I have so many actors I think could play her to a tee. Everyone from Mila Kunis to Emma Stone. As for Reyes, he was originally based on actor Jason Behr and I believed then, as I do now, that he could make a stellar Reyes. A lot of my readers don’t see him as aggressive enough, but I’ve seen some of his darker roles. Trust me, he could handle it. :) It actually sold to CBS, so here’s hoping they do something with it! I would love a TV series!

Jen: Becoming a writer has been a long journey for you. Now that that you've published three books, to such positive reception... what has been the most surprising part of your success?

Darynda: Well, the success, actually. I was utterly floored by the reception and so very, very grateful. I never expected the books to be so loved by people. I adore writing Charley and the fact that I can continue to do so thrills me to no end. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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

Darynda: Besides New Orleans? (Excuse me while I drool…) I would have to say being surrounded by such an amazing lineup of authors. I mean, honestly. It will be like paranormal heaven. I get giddy just thinking about it.

Jen: Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions. I've really loved your books and I can't wait to see what happens in Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet

Darynda: LOL, thank YOU so, so much!!!! I appreciate this opportunity so much!

The awesome folks at MacMillan are providing a free audiobook of Third Grave Dead Ahead to one lucky winner in the US. Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. In the meantime, be sure to check out Darynda on her website and on Twitter.

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Review: Third Grave Dead Ahead

Reviewed by Jen
Just when I thought this series couldn't get any better, a new Charley Davidson book comes along and shows me just how very, very wrong I was. This story was absolutely amazing, taking me on a thrill ride from the very first page until the very last. Now that the book is over, I'm left stunned, satisfied, a little shaken-up, and mostly desperate... for the next book to come out.

As the story begins, Charley is fighting to stay awake. That's because every time she closes her eyes, Reyes is there. He is as hot and sexy as ever, but he is also pissed as hell, since Charley bound him to his corporeal body. Now he can only come to her when she sleeps, and his body is stuck in prison. But we'll get back to Reyes in just a minute.

Despite her lack of sleep, Charley is keeping busy. She is working a PI case, searching for a missing woman. But she is a multi-tasker and there is plenty more on her plate. From the mysterious Mistress Marigold to the bikers who have taken over the asylum where Rocket lives. From more problems with her Dad (who I'm liking less and less) to constant surveillance by Garrett Swopes. And if all that weren't enough, Reyes ends up breaking out of jail, sending her on the hunt for the man he was convicted of killing --a disgusting S.O.B. who is very much alive.

If that sounds like alot, that's because it is. But Darynda Jones weaves it all together into this seamless masterpiece of action, suspense, humor and heart. The book is funny. It's really funny. Charley's snark and wit made me laugh out loud over and over again. But the dynamic between Charley and Reyes is what makes the book sing for me. I love him. And I love how he loves her, despite an extremely boneheaded plan that ended up hurting Charley terribly.

As for the ending... I'm not going to say much, but there is a great twist... and big betrayal. I'm just blown away by the whole book. And I can't wait to see where the Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet takes us. 5 stars.

*ARC Provided by St Martin's Press

Click to purchase: Amazon
Third Grave Dead Ahead
by Darynda Jones
Release Date: February 2, 2012
Publisher: St Martin's Press

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Review: For I Have Sinned

Reviewed by Jen
Darynda Jones put out this free little novella to share with her fans on the Heroes & Heartbreakers website. It gives us the story of a recently deceased woman who is drawn to Charley. Unlike the novels, which are told by Charley in the first person, the novella is told from the perspective of the ghost. I liked this, because it gives us an outside perspective on Charley, herself.

There's not a lot going on here, but there is a little bit of Reyes in the story and a peek inside Charley's psyche where he is concerned.  You certainly don't have to read this one to enjoy and understand the series, but it is a little something extra for fans.  It's labeled as book 1.5 in the series. But it was written after book 3 and references an event in that book.  I suggest reading it after Third Grave Dead Ahead. Almost 4 stars.

For I Have Sinned
by Darynda Jones
Release Date: March 1, 2011

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Review: Second Grave on the Left

Reviewed by Jen
I am completely, totally, 100% crazy about Charley Davidson. This book picks up right where the last one left off, taking me on yet another ride filled with mystery, action, snark, angst, and sexual heat. If you are not reading this series, you should be.

In this installment, Charley puts on her PI hat to help her friend Cookie search for a missing woman who Cookie knew in childhood. It turns out that Mimi is one of half a dozen people from the high school who have met an unsavory fate in a short period of time. And whoever is behind it all, has a long reach, because Charley finds herself in real danger more than once over the course of her investigation.

In the meantime, the sexy and mysterious Reyes is back... albeit in pseudo-spirit form. Charley is just as drawn to him as ever. (And frankly, I think I might be nursing a major crush on him, myself.) Unfortunately, he is in deep trouble. Demons who have escaped hell are holding his body captive. They're torturing him, hoping to draw Charley out... to capture her and the portal to heaven. Charley only cares about saving Reyes. But he doesn't want to be saved. He'd rather let them kill him than risk them getting to Charley. So she is on another race against time, to save the life of the man she can't live without.

I am completely captivated by the whole Charley/ Reyes dynamic. It's so... epic. Even though they have been sleeping together since the very beginning of the series, the author makes their relationship this amazing tension-filled powder keg. I don't know how they're going to make it work, but I want them to...  SO MUCH.

Charley is a phenomenal heroine.  She is powerful and brave and loyal and so damn funny.  The great supporting cast is back. Though I'm not feeling the love for Charley's dad right now, Cookie, Uncle Bob and even Garrett continue to pull their weight as great characters. But it's Reyes who steals the show. Seriously. I'm going to stop gushing now. 5 stars.

Here's a little clip from the audiobook:

Click to purchase: Amazon
Second Grave on the Left
by Darynda Jones
Release Date: August 16, 2011
Publisher: St Martin's Press

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Review: First Grave on the Right

Reviewed by Jen
Funny. Fresh. Action-packed and a little dirty. I absolutely didn't want to put this book down. I loved the heroine. Charley Davidson is a snarky, brave, and hilarious woman who happens to be the Grim Reaper. She's also a P.I. and a consultant for the police department.

Obviously, Charley's a busy woman. But as the story begins, she is experiencing some super-sexy dreams that may be a little more real than she first thought. It appears her dream-lover is the same guy who she met once in a life-changing experience as a teenager and she has never forgotten in the years since. But who is the mysterious Reyes? How is getting into her dreams? The answers lead to even more questions. And in the meantime, Charley has her other responsibilities to deal with as well.

Someone has killed three lawyers. And Charley has to work with their ghosts and the police department to solve the case. Plus, she is trying to help one of her P.I. clients escape an abusive husband. It's amazing she has any time to rest, much less have a down and dirty affair in her sleep.

I liked so much about this book. Charley really is hilarious with her sarcasm and wit. But beneath the surface, her character really has a lot of depth. The entire Reyes story had me at the edge of my seat and as for the direction it took... well, I never saw that coming. I'm really curious as to how it will play out.

There's also a great cast of secondary characters like Charley's uncle Bob, her best friend Cookie, and sort-of nemesis Garrett. They each helped make the story richer.

It was really good.  I predict that this series and I will have a very happy future together. 4 1/2 stars.

Click to purchase: Amazon
First Grave on the Right
by Darynda Jones
Release Date: February 1, 2011
Publisher: St Martin's Press

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Review: Firelight

This book doesn't fit in one simple category. It's historical... with elements of the paranormal. It's gothic, dark, dangerous and romantic. It was completely enthralling and I absolutely could not put it down.

It's been three years since the mysterious Lord Archer first met Miranda. She captivated him with her fearlessness and fiery disposition. Now he has made arrangements with her father to marry her. Miranda doesn't realize that Archer is the same man she encountered that night in the alley all those years ago. He is simply an imposing man, who wears a mask covering his entire face.

No one knows what lies beneath Archer's mask. But Miranda falls for the man underneath the disguise. And he falls for her. The love story is only the beginning, though. Archer is working tirelessly to find a cure for his disfigurement. He's part of a mysterious organization of immortality questers. Someone is gruesomely killing off his associates and framing him for the crimes. Archer is full of secrets, which are slowly revealed over the course of the book.

The slow unraveling of Archer's story is amazing. It's second only to the phenomenal love story between him and Miranda. Kristen Callihan takes sexual tension to an entirely new level. I have never hungered for a single kiss between two characters as much as I did in this book. Just a kiss and I was breathless.
Slowly, she cupped his cheek. The air grew heavy, her chest tightening with each draw of breath. Archer closed his eyes, seeming to steel himself, and she knew he meant to pull away again. The idea of it slashed at her breast. Suddenly, everything became quite simple.

Her hand slid to his neck as she closed the gap she could no longer tolerate. Archer's eyes snapped open, and a tremble ripped through him. "Don't..." The protest died as her mouth fitted to his.

A shock of feeling coursed through her limbs at his touch. His breath caught sharply as though he too felt the shock. His body grew taut as a bow, quivering with barely held restraint. And she knew then that as much as he desired it, he feared touching her.
Every tiny piece of Archer that is unveiled was like a small victory. Every touch, every emotional connection between him and Miranda was a gift for my greedy eyes. And believe me, I felt greedy... for every crumb. In most books, I would frustrated or annoyed at how long it took for the couple to get together, but here, it's done so well, it's like magic.

I did have a little trouble keeping all the men straight in Archer's club, especially when we were dealing with fathers & sons and courtesy titles mingled with real names. But it wasn't too overwhelming. The villain, once revealed, was not a huge surprise... but the "why" part of it was something I didn't see coming.

Archer is a fantastic tortured hero. Miranda is the one happiness he has found in so many long, miserable years. And she is a worthy and loyal heroine. She has secrets and strengths of her own, like an ability to wield a sword and to control fire.

The book is really quite extraordinary. It's different... something shining, sparkling, and unique in a sea of familiar and predictable paranormal and historical romances out there. I loved it. 5 stars.

*ARC Provided by NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon
by Kristen Callihan
Release Date: February 1, 2012
Publisher: Forever (GCP)

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Review: The Capture of the Earl of Glencrae

I'm so glad I did not give up on this trilogy. This installment is far and away the best book of the three. Like the first two, it was still long, but the pacing was so much better. Even though it was continuation of the ongoing kidnapping storyline, the book avoided the redundant feeling of its predecessor. And the hero is the strongest and most interesting character in all three books.

We first met Dominic in Viscount Breckenridge to the Rescue. But then, we only knew him as the man intent on kidnapping one of the Cynster sisters. His efforts failed, of course, in both that book and the next. So when this book begins, the only Cynster sister remaining is the youngest, Angelica. Instead of hiring someone to do the deed this time, Dominic decides to do his own dirty work. He never expects how easy Angelica would make it for him.

From the moment Angelica sees Dominic at a ball, she knows that he is the man for her. Even after he kidnaps her, she is willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. He explains to her that the kidnapping plot is all a ruse to trick his mother into believing he has ruined a Cynster. She is extorting his cooperation. Angelica quickly agrees to go back to Scotland with him and help in any way she can.

I enjoyed their love story. Angelica is strong and determined and she never wavers. Dominic is a great hero. He is stalwart and loyal to his clan... a gentleman... and still a sexy beast. The love scenes are steamy. The romance is fulfilling. And the adventure is never dull. Plus --we get a fabulous epilogue, treating us to the weddings of all three Cynster sisters. Thumbs up! A little more than 4 stars.

*ARC Provided by NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon
The Capture of the Earl of Glencrae
by Stephanie Laurens
Release Date: January 31, 2012
Publisher: Avon

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Guest Post & Giveaway: T. P. Boje

This contest is closed. The winners are Tawn, Persephone and Avadonja.

Paranormal YA author T.P. Boje is joining us on the blog today to share a guest post on the inspiration behind her Afterlife series and give away three copies of her book, Beyond. Please help me welcome her!

Have you ever wondered where you go when you die?

Meghan is 16 when it happens to her. She wakes up on a flying steamboat on her way to a school run by Angels in a white marble castle. She meets Mick who helps her through a difficult time in a different world filled with heavenly magic. One day she finds a mirror in the cellar of the school and goes through it. She ends up back on earth where she meets Jason. But Jason is in danger and Meghan knows something important.
Soon she will have to choose between the two worlds.
The one she belongs to now, and the one she left.

Have you ever wondered where you go when you die?

Haven’t we all at some point? I used to do it a lot as a kid. Is heaven for real and what is it going to be like once I get there? What kind of a body will I have? What will I look like? Will all of my family come with me? Will I meet my grandmother there?

When I was a child I remember reading Astrid Lindgren’s “The Brothers Lionheart”. To those who don’t know it, it is a book about two brothers that both die and goes to the country Nangijala, a land in "the campfires and storytelling days". Here the brothers experience great adventures. Together with a resistance group they lead the struggle against the evil Tengil, who rules with the aid of the fearsome fire-breathing dragon Katla. It is really a very beautiful book and I remember how it made me look upon death in a totally different way. Like it could actually be a new adventure.

As I grew up I never thought much about life after death and if there really was one or not. I was busy living my life and thinking about my life here on earth. But then one day not many months ago a thought just popped into my head. What if we have to go to school when we die?

As it so often happens, the thought wouldn’t go away again once it had come into my head, and I started playing with the idea. If it is true that we leave our bodies here on earth, then we must have some new body on the other side, right? And it would probably take some time to get used to that new body. And how about going through walls and doors and stuff? I mean if we become spirits then we would have to learn how to do all those things, right? And what about flying? That is not something that comes to us easily. We would have to practice first, right? And someone would have to teach us. So eventually I started imagining this school that we all had to graduate from in order to be let into heaven, and soon Meghan popped into my head and started walking around on that school - that just had to be run by angels. She soon made some friends and fell in love (as it often happens when you are sixteen). And that was when the problems began. Because the boy was still human, living on earth, so how could they ever be together?

That was when I realized that a book-series was born. And just like the book “The Brothers Lionheart” from my childhood, it was about how dying is only the beginning of the next great adventure.

Does the Afterlife series sound like something you would like to try?  TP is giving away two ebooks and one paperback of Beyond. Just leave a comment to enter.  You can learn more about TP and her books by visiting her website.

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Review: Thread of Death

Reviewed by Jen
This novella was great way to tide me over until I could read By a Thread. (**WARNING** This review contains spoilers from the events of Spider's Revenge.) The story picks up just a couple of weeks after the end of the last book, and it gives us a peek inside Mab Monroe's funeral.

Gin has just barely recovered from her fight with the powerful elemental, but she feels like she must attend the funeral to give herself closure. Unfortunately, the other attendees are basically a who's-who of Ashland's underworld. And the word is out that Gin is the Spider. So this is no quiet service. Someone is gunning for Gin and she has to fight for her life, with even greater implications than usual.

Among the cool things we get are multiple POV's, which is unusual for the series. I liked getting outside impressions of our heroine. I also liked that this book begins to set up a villain for future installments and it sparks some intrigue surrounding my beloved Owen. The story is short, but it's not filler. I expect to see the implications from these events play out in future novels. Good stuff. 4 stars.

*ARC Provided by author for review

Click to purchase: Amazon
Thread of Death
by Jennifer Estep
Release Date: January 31, 2012
Publisher: Pocket Books

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Elemental Assassin: Short Stories & Novellas

Reviewed by Jen
Jennifer Estep has provided a wealth of wonderful short stories to fill in the blanks of her Elemental Assassin series. Most can be found free on her website.  Here's a breakdown:

Poison - One of three prequels to the first novel.  It's told from Finn's perspective.  It seems Gin's foster brother wasn't always her biggest fan.  In this story, Finn is 15 and Gin, at 13, has just come to live with him and his dad.  He is jealous that his father has decided to train Gin to be an assassin instead of him.  But Gin really saves Finn's bacon when he gets into a tough spot, cementing a friendship that will last them a lifetime.

Web of Deceit - This is the second prequel story. It is told from the point of view of Fletcher, Gin's adopted father and mentor. He watches as Gin undertakes her first solo mission as an assassin. She is 16. The target: two brothers who are kidnapping teens and pimping them out. It's nice to get to know the old guy a little and see the love he has for Gin.

Spider's Bargain - The final prequel to the first novel follows Gin on one of her hits.  In this case, she's going after a dirty cop named Cliff Ingleas.  Cliff has been forcing sex out of vampire hookers and has most recently raped and beaten a 13 year-old girl. When she learns what he has done, Gin decides to kill him for free.  The events of this story are referenced in Spider's Bite.

Web of Death - This story takes place between the events of Spider's Bite and Web of Lies. Gin has retired from the assassin business and is in the process of moving into Fletcher's old house, when she comes across a female vampire prostitute being attacked.  Taking down the two male vamps who were doing the attacking gives Gin the first real excitement she's had in her life since she left the killing business.

Wasted - This short story takes place in between the events of Web of Lies and Venom.  And it's told from Finn's point of view. When a beautiful woman passes him over to start up an affair with his boss, Finn knows something is up.  Sure enough, she has less than honorable intentions and Finn makes it his own mission to keep her plan from succeeding.  A cameo from Xavier helps set up the main story arc regarding Roslyn in the next book.

Tangled Dreams - This short story takes place in between the events of Venom and Tangled Threads. And here we get a tale from both Devereaux sisters.  Gin is injured saving a mother and daughter from some carjackers and comes to Jo-Jo for help.  We learn what healing is like from Jo-Jo's perspective, but more importantly, we learn a little more about her other gifts (like prophesy.)  When the surviving carjacker tracks Gin to the house, Jo-Jo takes care of him herself and calls her sister to clean up the mess. Sophia picks up the rest of the story, giving us a closer look at her elemental gifts and how they are different from her sister's.

Tangled Schemes - Here we get a story from Bria's point of view and it takes place just before the events of Tangled Threads. Bria is trying to track down her sister and learn the identity of the Spider, obviously having no idea that they are one in the same.  We get her perspective on why she came to Ashland and even a little bonus conversation with (the weenie-toad) Donovan Caine.  Bria gets herself in a tight spot as she continues her investigation, but manages to come out of it all ok in the end.

Spider's Nemesis - Here we see the murders of Gin's mother and sister from Mab's point of view.  The story starts where Tangled Threads leaves off and Mab is contemplating who the mysterious Spider is.  She remembers the first time she met Gin's mother as well as the meeting with the great-aunt who foretold her death at the hands of a Snow girl.  Pretty cool to see the pieces all fall into place as Mab slowly figures out who her nemesis really is.

Thread of Death - Reviewed here.

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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Review: Perfection

In the world Kris Cook has created with his Eternally Three series, immortals live among us. But they need a certain sexual energy to sustain their life force. An angel must join with a jinn and a human in "tripling" and share energy. (By the way, a "tripling" is exactly what you think it is.)

This story follows Micki, a human woman who is searching for her missing brother. She knows something is wrong, thanks to a cryptic message he left her, asking her to bring his flash drive to a club and give it to a man named David. It turns out that the club is a hedonistic house of flesh. And once she arrives, she has trouble remembering her mission. All she can think about is her erotic attraction to the two men who remind her of the dirty sex dreams she's been having. --And wouldn't you know it? One of them is a jinn and the other, an angel.

Apparently, David's a big muckety-muck in the supernatural world and he has assigned Jared and Bradley to watch over Micki. And boy, do they ever. But the mind-blowing sex reveals there is something special about their tripling and the woman in the center of it. As the book progresses, we see Micki, Jared, and Bradley fight the agents of the Dark who hope to harness their power, search for Micki's missing brother, and have lots and lots of sex.

The menage action is seriously hot. Dirty, sweaty, slutty, look over-your-shoulder to-see-who's-watching-you-read hot. Micki is the clueless human, learning to embrace her carnal side... Bradley, the do-right angel... and Jared, the damaged jinn who is trying to redeem himself for past mistakes. It's a fun supernatural sexcapade, with a fairly straightforward conflict to anchor the dirty bits together. And they were good dirty bits --but I had a few nitpicks. One: You have to accept a lot of the supernatural parts of the story at face value, without a lot of world-building. Two: It bothered me a little how easily Micki jumped into the nasty with two strangers in a public place, no matter how hot they were. And three: As good as the sex is between among them, they all fell in love really fast.

It was fast, fun ride, though... as long as you don't try to take it too seriously.  A little more than 3 stars.

*Book provided by author for review

Click to purchase: Amazon
by Kris Cook
Release Date: September 1, 2009
Publisher: Siren

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Friday, January 20, 2012

Review: Heiress Without a Cause

At 28, Madeleine is a spinster, firmly on the shelf. But there is more to her than the prim and proper exterior she shows the ton. For the past few weeks, she has been assuming an alter-identity as an actress to live her passion on the stage. Obviously, when Ferguson -a newly minted Duke- asks her to help his younger sisters come out into society, he has no idea she is anything less than the model of propriety.

Then Ferguson visits the theater. He is taken by Madeleine's alter ego and quickly figures out her identity. He is torn between wanting her for himself and wanting to keep her innocence intact. I'll bet you can guess which desire won out.

Madeleine's adventure was only supposed to last for a short time, but she is drawing in such a crowd, the owner of the theater begins blackmailing her to stay. She must team up with Ferguson to continue her charade and keep her identity a secret. This, as a passionate affair grows between them.

What I liked about this book is that the hero works out his feelings for the heroine very early on. Usually, in historical romance, the revelation that the hero is really in love doesn't come until close to the end of the book. Not the case here. Ferguson doesn't ever hold back his feelings for Madeleine. That doesn't mean he is perfect. He's overbearing and autocratic at times, though not nearly as much as he fears he is.

My biggest complaint was with Madeleine. Her reticence to accept a future with Ferguson was just... stupid. She explains her reasons, but they simply do not wash for me. I also found her to be reckless at times, and a little selfish. I didn't dislike her, but I wasn't always on board with her decisions.

The sex was definitely good. And bonus points for use of the word "manroot." I'll probably check out the next installment when it comes out. 3 1/2 stars.

*ARC Provided by NetGalley

Heiress Without a Cause
by Sara Ramsey
Release Date: January 23, 2012
Publisher: Spencerhill Associates

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Shameless Giveaway Hop

This contest is closed. The first place winner is Georgia McMillan.  The second place winner is Lori A.


Welcome to the Shameless Giveaway Hop! The amazing Brie at Romance Around the Corner and Michelle at Michelle's Book Blog are my co-hosts for the big event. But the three of us are just the tip of the iceberg. More than 80 blogs and authors are taking part and you can find a different prize at every site.

As one of the hosts, I feel like I need to go big for this giveaway. And I like to give choices. So here are your options.

Prize #1: Lothaire by Kresley Cole (Hardback)
US Residents Only

Driven by his insatiable need for revenge, Lothaire, the Lore’s most ruthless vampire, plots to seize the Horde’s crown. But bloodlust and torture have left him on the brink of madness—until he finds Elizabeth Peirce, the key to his victory. He captures the unique young mortal, intending to offer up her very soul in exchange for power, yet Elizabeth soothes his tormented mind and awakens within him emotions Lothaire believed he could no longer experience.


Growing up in desperate poverty, Ellie Peirce yearned for a better life, never imagining she’d be convicted of murder—or that an evil immortal would abduct her from death row. But Lothaire is no savior, as he himself plans to sacrifice Ellie in one month’s time. And yet the vampire seems to ache for her touch, showering her with wealth and sexual pleasure. In a bid to save her soul, Ellie surrenders her body to the wicked vampire, while vowing to protect her heart.


Elizabeth tempts Lothaire beyond reason, as only his fated mate could. As the month draws to a close, he must choose between a millennia-old blood vendetta and his irresistible prisoner. Will Lothaire succumb to the miseries of his past . . . or risk everything for a future with her?

Prize #2: Choose any three paperback books from the list below
US Residents Only

  • Burn the Night by Jocelynn Drake
  • Feast by Merrie Destefano
  • Hard Spell by Justin Gustainis
  • Neon Graveyard by Vicki Pettersson
  • The Fall by Guillermo del Toro & Chuck Hogan
  • Diary of a Mad Fat Girl by Stephanie McAfee
  • Darkest Heart by Thea Devine
  • Ghost on Black Mountain by Ann Hite
  • The Princess in His Bed by Lila DiPasqua
  • The Courtesan's Secret by Claudia Dain
  • Queen of Kings by Maria Dahvana Headley
  • Lure of the Wicked by Karina Cooper
  • Blood of the Wicked by Karina Cooper
  • All Things Wicked by Karina Cooper
  • A Lady's Lesson in Scandal by Meredith Duran
  • Sacrifice: Mortal Path by Dakota Banks
  • How to Worship a Goddess by Stephanie Julian
  • The Ravishing of Lady May by Charlotte Lovejoy
  • Dragon Warrior by Janet Chapman
  • Moon Sworn by Keri Arthur
  • A Fiend in Need by Maureen Child
  • Kitty's Big Trouble by Carrie Vaughn
  • Lord of the Vampires by Gena Showalter
  • Lord of the Wolfyn by Jessica Andersen
  • Lord of Rage by Jill Monroe
  • The Darkest Surrender by Gena Showalter

Prize #3 - The Book of Your Choice (Up to $10) from The Book Depository

I am going to select two winners. First place winner gets to pick first. Second place can select from among the remaining prizes.  To enter: just fill out the Rafflecopter form below --and don't forget to check out the other sites participating in the hop!

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Review: Banshee Charmer

Mac is a cop who investigates cases involving the supernatural. She, herself, is half-banshee. Her latest case involves what appears to be an incubus killing a string of women... and when someone close to Mac becomes his latest victim, the investigation gets personal.

The sexy Aidan is working by her side to solve the case --and of course, it's only a matter of time before the two of them get horizontal. Aidan is the best thing the book has going for it: he's hot and sort of mysterious. And the sex is good. There is nothing wrong with Mac, necessarily, but her character wasn't given much depth and all of her actions were pretty much in reaction to the events in the book.

The story was entertaining, but very predictable. Not only was Aidan's identity transparent from the first time we saw him, but I even figured out his relationship to the killer early on as well. This book is clearly the first in a series, but the ending felt abrupt. Yes, the murder arc was solved, but the stuff between Mac and Aidan was left wide open. It didn't end so much as it just stopped.

I think the series has potential, especially if the author is not quite as heavy handed with the hints on the next go around. Perhaps future installments will give us bit more character development --and hopefully, more of that hot sex. 3 stars.

*ARC Provided by NetGalley

Banshee Charmer 
by Tiffany Allee
Release Date: January 24, 2012
Publisher: Entangled Publishing

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Downside Ghosts: Short Stories & Novellas

In addition to the full length novels, Stacia Kane has written four short stories/ novellas in the Downside Ghosts series.

The Brave Tale of Maddie Carver is a prequel to the first book and gives us a small peek at the events of Haunting Week as it began to unfold. It does not feature any of the main characters from the novels. Instead, we see the terror and destruction through the eyes of an old witch, who is near death, herself. It's only 10 pages, but it's free and a treat for fans of the series. (Note: I had to read the ending twice before I understood what happened. But it made sense after I gave it some thought.)

Rick the Brave was published as part of the anthology Home Improvement: Undead Edition. It comes chronologically after the events of City of Ghosts. It's told from the perspective of Rick, an electrician who has been hired to work on an old house that Bump is having renovated in Downside.  Terrible is there to oversee his work.  But the job gets more complicated when ghosts start showing up.  And Terrible has to call in Chess to help take care of the problem.

It was interesting to see Chess and Terrible from an outsider's perspective... especially from the point of view of a "normal" guy.  Of course, the story can't have the same emotional resonance as a full length novel.  Chessie's perspective is sort of the touchstone of the series.  But the writing and the dialogue are consistent.  And even if all that weren't true, Chessie's small confession to Rick about Terrible makes the whole thing worth reading. 
"He's my family," she said finally.  "He's everything."
Sigh. Swoon. At least Chess finally sees the good thing she's got.  Please don't let her screw it up again.

Home is, without a doubt, everything a Downside fan could want.  It gave me all of the warm and fuzzies I experienced at the end of City of Ghosts, but bigger and better.  The plot essentially follows Chess as she works a debunking case where the so-called victims deny the ghosts exist.

But what makes the story so damn good is the fact that Chess is finally happy.  She is in love. And she doesn't screw anything up.  We watch her revel in her relationship and her joy, and we celebrate along with her.  Terrible is there and he is so solid and wonderful.  One of my favorite heroes of all time.  It was perfect.  I would not change one single thing.

Click to purchase Home at Amazon  

Finding Magic is reviewed here.

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Review: Horizon

I could have never predicted the course this book would take. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? Honestly, I feel torn over the answer. In one way, it's amazing. Sophie Littlefield isn't afraid to make some really bold choices. She stays true to her characters and her world, even when it hurts. But that's the thing... sometimes, it really hurts.

The story picks up a couple of months after the events of Rebirth, which was a little disappointing for me. A lot has happened since Cass and Dor rescued Smoke. And there were times I felt like I had missed something. Our characters are now ensconced in the camp at New Eden. Smoke is in a coma. Dor is a new relationship. And Cass is losing ground. Just like we saw her regress into her old sexual habits in the last book; she is slipping into other self-destructive behaviors here. It's hard to watch. This character is so very damaged, and it would be so easy for Littlefield to fix her. But she doesn't. Not in the predictable fashion. Not in a way that will ease readers or soothe us.

Despite outward appearances, there is still something between Cass and Dor. At times, it's hard to decide whether that's right for her or not. And once Smoke wakes up, things get even more complicated. I kept waiting for Cass to make to her choice. And waiting. And waiting. But the conflict and uncertainty linger for almost the entire story. It's almost easy to forgot this is a zombie book.

Speaking of zombies, the Beaters are evolving; they're getting smarter and threatening New Eden. That forces the community to start searching for a new home. We're reminded of the brutality of this new world and ever-present danger our characters face. The whole book is gripping. And exhausting. And heartbreaking.

It took me a while to reconnect to it all... especially in the beginning, with the time jump and unexplained events that happened between books. Some of the blanks were filled in over time, but I felt a little disjointed. The story really hit its stride about half-way in... And it pummeled me with one poignant moment after another, especially in some of the scenes between Cass and Smoke.

I wish I could find the right words to explain how I feel about how it all ended. It was not what I thought it would be. It broke my heart, as I came to the same realizations Cass did... And then as the events unfolded, I felt a knot form in my stomach that still hasn't eased. It made sense. It was honest. It ends with loss and with hope. It's an amazing series that needs to be read in its entirety. It's heavy reading, but the journey is worth it. 4 stars.

*ARC Provided by NetGalley/ Harlequin

Click to purchase: Amazon
by Sophie Littlefield
Release Date: January 24, 2012
Publisher: Luna Books

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Review: City of Ghosts

The heroine is a lying drug addict with divided loyalties. The hero is ugly. And most of the dialogue is in a bastardized version of the English language. He calls her Chessiebomb for God's sake. It should be a disaster. But somehow, some way, the Downside Ghosts series has wormed its way into my heart... and this installment is the most powerful one yet.

Things blew up between Chess and Terrible at the end of the last book --and things are still a mess between them. Chess wants to make things right, but Terrible is avoiding her like the plague. She's keeping busy, though, with her latest assignment from the church. The elders pair her with another investigator to solve a series of grisly murders in Downside. The Lamaru are tied in somehow --and the situation is so serious, Chess must take a blood oath of secrecy.

The investigation is complicated; the discoveries are gruesome. And once again, Chess finds herself a target. Since all the madness is happening in his backyard, Bump takes an interest. And because her binding oath won't allow Chess to keep him informed, he pairs her with Terrible again. Only now, instead of a friendly partnership, things are strained and miserable between them.

It's so devastating to see what has become of Chess and Terrible. His heart is clearly broken and he obviously still loves her even though he doesn't want to. There are moments between them that are so poignant and gut-wrenching, they left my chest feeling hollow. Chess and Terrible are both so destroyed by what has passed between them... I just wanted it to be fixed so badly. But at the same time, I had all this left over anger and angst toward Chess for creating the situation in the first place. Then I swing back around and remember the kind of life Chess has lived; what she has had to endure just to survive... the void in her life where most people have known love. It's such a mess. It's masterfully done. Truly.

The investigation wields some disturbing results. There are great twists and turns and I never saw the ending coming. Plus -- I have to say that the resolution between Chess and Terrible was so very, very satisfying.

This series won't be for everyone. But it most assuredly is for me. 5 stars.

Click to purchase: Amazon
City of Ghosts
by Stacia Kane
Release Date: July 27, 2010
Publisher: Del Rey

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AAD Author Spotlight & Giveaway: Kris Cook

AAD author Kris Cook joins us today to talk about some of his sexy stories and to share one of them with you!  Please help me welcome him to the blog!  

Jen: Tell new readers about the premise of the Eternally Three series.

Kris:  Eternally Three's immortals need humans to survive. Think of electricity. It needs positive, negative and a conduit. So do the eternal creatures in E3. A human acts as the conduit for two immortals. The series is a mix of mythologies about immortal beings that include, jinn, angels, demons, ifrit and more. They live in secret among unsuspecting mortals in the modern world. There are three main factions of immortals - The Alliance, The Dark, and The Rogues. The first two are locked in an eternal battle with the very existence of humanity at stake.

So begins the first book of the series (Perfection) with Micki, a young woman looking for her missing brother. She stumbles into a stronghold of The Alliance and comes face to face with two warrior immortals. Bradley is militant angel all the way. Jared, a jinn, was banished for crimes against The Alliance a long time ago. Overwhelming desires are awakened in these three and their world is turned upside down. An ancient evil craves the immense power of the trio. Micki, Bradley, and Jared must beat incredible odds and surrender to love or they will be destroyed and all humanity with them.

Jen: Do you plan to keep writing in this world?

Kris:  I do. In fact, my next project to work on is Devotion, which is about David, an archangel, Brooke, a human female, and her dead boyfriend, Eric, who has been transformed into an immortal. Currently published, the series has two books and a novella - Perfection, book 1 - Captivation, book 2 - Lillian's Rogues, novella.

Jen: What drew you to writing menage stories?

Kris: I read a few of them and loved the sexual tension of the triangle. I know some menage books have the guys on board from the get go, but the ones that speak to me are when the guys have issues to work out to make the trio-thing work permanently.

Jen: The Eternally Three books are m/f/m, but you also write m/m/f. Do you have to change gears much when altering the dynamic of the threesome?

Kris:  Absolutely. Though I believe there should be a "bromance" of sorts with any m/f/m story to really work, in a m/m/f book there must exist real sexual desire and tension between the guys. I loved writing Three to Play. Clint's story was one that really touched me. Some of my friends’ experiences (many of which are tragic), inspired me to write Clint’s story. As you know, gay and bisexual teens, even now, are bullied at school. There is also a large amount that find themselves disowned and on the streets after coming out to their parents. The rate of suicide in GLBT teens is so high because of these pressures. Sorry, to go off on a tangent but I am passionate about this issue.

On a lighter note, I have a book to write that is planned to come out in mid-2012 that again is an m/m/f, Three to Dance. It's about two guys, late 20s and both bi, who have been friends since high school but have never gone to the bedroom together. Cole is an amazing dancer and Trevor is a up-and-coming director. Enter Sharon, an actress about to turn forty-one, who agrees to be the lead of Trevor's latest musical. She sees right through these two hotties facade. They are avoiding the intense desire and love between them. There's more, but I'm getting a little wordy and will leave the rest for the book.

Jen: There aren't very male authors in the romance genre. Do you have any thoughts on that?

Kris: I have to work hard. I don't want to write a book with a male bent or fantasy. My readers are female, primarily. My gender is male, yes. Thankfully, when the narrative gets too "male" I have some amazing women who read my book and are not shy to point it out. One of the best compliments I get from readers is when they write me or say to me something like "I had no idea you were a man. Your book doesn't read like a man wrote it."

Jen: Do you think readers are as receptive to male writers?

Kris:  Many are, thankfully. Of course there are those who have issues with reading a romance written by a man. But should I complain? No. Think of all the careers in the world where women continue to deal with bigotry and bias every day because of their gender. I've chosen one of the few careers where a man can actually get a small taste of gender bias. So, my job is to write the best romance I can that will reach and speak to the reader. I am grateful that many women are taking a chance on my books.

Jen: I read that Shayla Black encouraged you to write romance. What influence/ impact do your interactions and relationships with other authors have on your writing or career?

Kris:  I have many amazing author friends. I thrive on their advice, energy, and encouragement. I've been fortunate to have live chats, normally on Wed nights at 8pm, over at a site, www.righteousperverts.com (don't be intimidated by the name) that I started with some amazing readers and great authors. The founding authors are: Melissa Schroeder, Shayla Black, Sophie Oak, Heather Rainier, Corrine Davies, and Chloe Lang. We've had guests that include: Lorelei James, Moira Rogers, Eliza Gayle, Cat Johnson, Annabel Joseph, Cherise Sinclair, Bella Andre, and more.

Jen:  I understand you've recently left your day-job. Tell me about how it has changed your life to become a full time writer.

Kris:  I'm more stressed but thrilled to finally have achieved a life-long dream. Whatever your passion is, follow it. My motto is - Plan The Work, Work The Plan, and Don't Get Side-tracked. That last mantra is my toughest. LOL!

Jen: What are you working on now?

Kris:  Finishing up edits for Carnal Heat, the first book in a paranormal series (Supernatural Secrets) set in Savannah. It's about Anna, who, while trying to find her birth mother, discovers that she's from a family of witches from Savannah. A freak accident puts her face-to-face with Luke, a dangerous, solitary werewolf with a guilty past he wants to forget.

This series has witches, werewolves, vampires, and more. I went to Savannah with Melissa Schroeder, Joy Harris, and Ali Flores in October and fell back in love with the city. Hopefully Carnal Heat will be out end of Dec, first of Jan.

Jen:  Blogs and social media make authors so much more accessible to readers than ever before. Do you feel like Twitter/ Facebook/ chats, etc are a natural extension of what you do or something that takes alot of effort?

Kris:  That's a great question. Though I love the online social outlets, I'm terrible at them. My primary focus is with my reader buddies at righteous perverts but if you ask them how much time I spend there - they would tell you very little. My buddy, Melissa Schroeder is so much better at social media than I am. I enjoy face-to-face. That's why I love Authors After Dark. I get to meet readers in person.

Jen:  Have you attended many writer/ reader conventions? What have your experiences been like?

Kris:  Very little. AAD in Philly last year was my first and I LOVED IT!

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

Kris:  Meeting readers. I love the energy they have. It's amazing. I also enjoy meeting up with my author buddies, too.

Jen:  Thanks so much for sharing your work with me and for taking the time to answer my questions. I look forward to meeting you this summer!

Kris:  Thank you for having me as a guest here at Red Hot Books, and I also look forward to meeting you, Jen. Don’t forget to drop by the happy hour at AAD in NOLA that Melissa and I are hosting again this year. Drinks on us!

You to learn more about Kris, you can find him on his website and on Twitter.  You can also enter to win the book of your choice from the Kris Cook backlist. Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below.

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