Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Review - SEALed with a Kiss

I won this book in a contest over at The Book Binge and I am so glad I did because it is a wonderful story.

Title: SEALed with a Kiss
Author: Mary Margret Daughtridge
Publishing Date: April 2008
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: A
Sensuality: Hot

Jax Graham is a Navy SEAL whose ex-wife has recently passed away. They had a four year old son from the marriage whom the wife had custody of. Because Jax is out of the country on missions a lot, he isn’t sure what the best thing for his son would be. So he takes 30 days of leave to figure it out. He heads down to North Carolina to spend time with his son. A hurricane hits the coast and Jax has to evacuate the beach house where they were staying. They run out of options and eventually stay with Pickett, who Jax met briefly one afternoon on the beach. Pickett is a therapist at the local naval base and also has a private practice on the side. While together during the storm, they realize they have a mutual attraction to each other.

I loved SEALed with a Kiss for so many reasons. First of all, even though it is a story about a Navy SEAL, no one is shot at, no one is running for their lives and there is not one dead body in the whole book. The main focus of this story is the emotional development of Pickett and Jax’s relationship. It is about the emotional processes that people go through when confronted with change. This book provided so much insight into the human mind and how men, women and children process emotions and information differently. I found it quite fascinating.

Both Jax and Pickett have baggage. They both have issues that they have dealt with all their life since childhood. It is so great to see them work through it and overcome these issues with – get this - conversation. Neither one makes assumptions that usually lead to misunderstandings. They actually TALK about their problems.

I loved Jax. He has to be inducted into the hero hall of fame. Jax is great because of how wonderful he treats Pickett. He thinks about things he can do for Pickett to help her or he likes to buy little things for her just to be nice. He listens to her and is always aware of her presence in a room. He loves all her feminine curves and her expressive face. He loves her and wouldn’t ever think of changing her, even when she goes into “Queen Pickett” mode. I love how he makes sure his son is always very careful around Pickett so that he doesn’t accidentally hurt her. There are just so many little things that add up to make a big impact.

Pickett was a heroine that I could relate too. Who hasn’t had feelings of inadequacy when it comes to family? Jax is there to support Pickett and encourage her to confront her family when they treat her with anything less than respect. Pickett has courage, honesty and is much tougher than she gives herself credit for. This story is about two normal people, with normal problems, that are fortunate enough to have found an extraordinary love for each other. I am just tickled pink with this book and I am so glad I read it.

Here is what others had to say:

The Book Binge

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Review - Hot Target

Title: Hot Target
Author: Suzanne Brockmann
Publishing Date: January 2005
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Rating: A-
Sensuality: Warm

Cosmo Rictor, a US Navy SEAL of Team Sixteen, is taking a month of leave time to care for his mother after she falls and breaks both of her wrists. While on this “vacation” he contacts his former captain Tom Paoletti to see about a temporary job at Troubleshooters Inc. Tom has just the assignment for him. J. Mercedes Chadwick (Jane) is producing a very controversial WWII movie involving homosexuality. She has received several death threats the FBI is taking very seriously. The production company HeartBeat hires Troubleshooter Inc. to provide protection for Jane.

At first Jane repels Cosmo and quite frankly, I don’t blame him. She is a selfish manipulative bitch. She screws up big time at a press conference and she and Cosmo go head to head about it afterwards. I thought to myself, “Oh no! How is Brockmann going to fix this? These two are supposed to be lovers, yeah Cosmo thinks Jane is hot, but she is a total bitch. Cripes! How is this going to work?” Well, I needn’t have worried. Brockmann pulls Jane’s head out of her ass and makes everything better – much better. Jane’s abrasiveness and sarcasm turns to quirkiness and sensitivity. She becomes a charming, likable person. When they finally do get to their happy ever after, it is very touching and sweet. It’s a totally big sappy *sigh* moment.

In addition to Jane and Cosmo’s relationship there is a side story arc with Jules, his former lover Adam and Jane’s brother Robin. Robin and Adam are playing the lead roles in Jane’s production. They are both vying for Jules’s attention in a twisted love triangle. This was absolutely riveting and heartbreaking to read. Jules has appeared in previous books in this series. He is usually a funny upbeat character, but in this story we see how sad and unhappy he is with his life. Robin and Adam each have problems of their own and compound Jules’s unhappiness. This story arc is not completely wrapped up at the end of Hot Target. Not to worry, Jules gets his happy ever after later on in this series.

Here is what others had to say:

All About Romance
Rosario's Reading Journal

Monday, April 28, 2008

Faefever Teaser #3!!!

Just in! I have received another excerpt from Karen Marie Moning through her newsletter. Enjoy!!!

"I wasn't kissing him," I said, dabbing at Barron's lapel.

He knocked my hand away. "Then why was his tongue in your mouth? Was he conducting a clinical test of your gag reflex?" He smiled, but not nicely. "How is your gag reflex, Ms. Lane? Are you a hair trigger?"

Barrons likes to use sexual innuendo to try to shut me up. I think he expects the well-raised southern belle in me to think eew and back off. Sometimes I do think eew, but I don't back off. "I'm a spitter, if that's what you're asking." I flashed him a too-sweet smile.

"Didn't look that way to me. I think you're a swallower. His tongue was halfway to China and you were still taking it."


"Implies emotional investment. The only investment I have in you, Ms. Lane, is my time and I'm expecting a big payoff. Tell me about the Sinsar Dubh."

(Note from Karen, I was going to end it there but I thought I'd give you a little more....)

I glanced at my hand. It had come away from his lapel wet. I angled it in the light. Red looks black at night. I sniffed it. It smelled like old pennies. Gee, blood. No surprise there. "Have you been in a fight? No, let me guess, you saved a wounded dog again?" That was the excuse he'd used last time.

"I had a nosebleed."

"Nosebleed, my petunia."


"Ass, Barrons. As in you are one."

"The Book, Ms. Lane."

I looked into his eyes. Something very old looked back.

Man, I soooo can not wait for this book!!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Review - Your Mouth Drives Me Crazy

Title: Your Mouth Drives Me Crazy
Author: HelenKay Dimon
Publishing Date: July 2007
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: B-
Sensuality: Hot

Kane Travers, Kauai Police Chief has been forced into a vacation after a drug bust goes bad. One morning he discovers a naked woman has washed up onto the beach in front of his bungalow. He brings her inside to find out what happened to her and assess her injuries. Annie Parks went to Hawaii for some nefarious reasons that she is unwilling to disclose to Kane. The only thing that comes out of her mouth is lies until she feels she can trust this handsome Hawaiian hunk.

I had a few problems with Your Mouth Drives Me Crazy and most of them stem from the heroine. She was just too sarcastic and dishonest throughout most of the book for me to really relate to her. If the author would have toned it down a little more, or balanced it better, I would have enjoyed the story more. Annie’s life is in danger and she has been rescued by the Police Chief. Does she let him help her? No, she fights and nit-picks with him almost the whole time. When she finally does realize she should have trusted him, she is in a world of trouble and it’s almost too late. Had Annie and Kane trusted one another and worked together earlier I would have liked the book better.

Luckily for Kane, he liked Annie’s feistiness. He found it refreshing and made him see the joy in life again. Okay, good for him. Kane was a good guy, just a smidgen bland for my tastes, but overall a nice hero. I will say that I enjoyed the very ending after the bad guy is caught and Kane and Annie profess their love for one another. It was a very sweet profession of love and humorous to boot.

The suspense played a large part of this story. It fell flat for me because the villain was a joke. I didn’t get his motivation at all. I think he was just bad for the sake of being bad. Why he did what he did at the end I didn’t get at all. I’ll let it slide because Kane and Annie’s relationship was the bigger focus. If you are looking for a good suspense plot, look elsewhere because this is not it. Humor is so subjective. Sometimes a book has me laughing out loud and other times it has me rolling my eyes. Your Mouth Drives Me Crazy fell somewhere in between. So, I’ll give this one a B-.

Here is what others had to say:

The Good, The Bad, The Unread
Dear Author

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Went Shopping Tonight!!!

I stopped at Borders tonight and picked up three books. Here is what I bought.

Another fellow blogger introduced me to this erotic romance series and it sounded pretty good. I thought I would give it a try.

A storm’s rage. A woman’s desire.

A man with the power to set them both free.

He can summon lightning at will. Emerge unscathed from the center of a tornado. Strip a woman down to her barest defenses through the sheer force of his sexuality. He’s gorgeous, dangerous, and the target of parameteorologist Haley Holmes’s latest mission. Haley has been dispatched to the Louisiana bayous to investigate the phenomenon known as Remy Begnaud–a man with a gift he never wanted: the ability to control a storm’s fury. But even a woman trained in bizarre weather phenomena has no defense against the electrifying power of the ex—Navy SEAL...a power his enemies would kill to control.

With her agency monitoring their every move, Haley’s job is to seduce Remy, gain his trust–and help him harness his extraordinary gift. But who will protect her from this voracious lover who’s introducing her to a new world of erotic thrills—a man who grows increasingly insatiable with each new weather event? Haley knows a big storm is approaching—and with it will come unexpected delights. But so, too, will the storm unleash her greatest fears: an enemy bent on destroying Remy. And her worst fear of all—falling in love with this magnificent man, then having to betray him.

This series has been so awesome I had to run out and the new release as soon as possible! Although it's about a ghost and I am somewhat sceptical, I still have complete faith in Kresley Cole. She leads and I will follow.

Bestselling author Kresley Cole continues her seductive Immortals After Dark series with this tale of a vampire shunned even by his own kind and a beautiful phantom, bound together by a passion they cannot resist.

Néomi Laress, a famous ballerina from a past century, became a phantom the night she was murdered. Imbued with otherworldly powers but invisible to the living, she haunts her beloved home, scaring away trespassers -- until she encounters a ruthless immortal even more terrifying than Néomi herself.

To prevent him from harming others, Conrad Wroth's brothers imprison him in an abandoned manor. But there, a female only he can see seems determined to drive him further into madness. The exquisite creature torments him with desire, leaving his body racked with lust and his soul torn as he finds himself coveting her for his own.

Yet even if Conrad can win Néomi, evil still surrounds her. Once he returns to the brutality of his past to protect her, will he succumb to the dark needs seething inside him?

This book one of a new paranormal series by Gena Showalter. I read the book Catch a Mate by her and really enjoyed it. I thought I would give this series a try as well. She has back to back release of this series coming out in July and August. I like that there isn't a long wait between books. Isn't the cover sexy? The tatoo makes a nice addition to his sexy back (wiggles eyebrows).

His powers—Inhuman
His passion—Beyond immortal . . .

All her life, Ashlyn Darrow has been tormented by voices from the past. To end the nightmare, she has come to Budapest seeking help from men rumored to have supernatural abilities, not knowing she'll be swept into the arms of Maddox, their most dangerous member—a man trapped in a hell of his own.

Neither can resist the instant hunger than calms their torments . . . and ignites an irresistible passion. But every heated touch and burning kiss will edge them closer to destruction—and a soul-shattering test of love . . .

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Review - Blue-Eyed Devil

Title: Blue-Eyed Devil
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Publishing Date: March 2008
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: A
Sensuality: Hot

Blue-Eyed Devil begins with Gage and Liberty’s wedding (the couple from Sugar Daddy). Haven is Gage’s little sister and she is about to marry her boyfriend Nick. Haven’s father doesn’t approve of Nick and cuts them off with out a penny. Haven doesn’t care about wealth and privilege; she just wants someone to need her and love her for who she is. Haven learns soon into her marriage that she has made a mistake. For two years she is married to Nick cut off from her family. Then one terrifying night, her life changes drastically and she calls Gage for help.

She files for a divorce from Nick and tries to pick up the pieces of her life. She starts working for her brother Jack as an assistant manager of a real estate firm in Houston. It is there she runs into Hardy Cates. She is drawn to him like metal to a magnet. She wants to try and resist the attraction she has to him but she is unsuccessful. When Hardy wants something he goes for it. He doesn’t back down, never gives up until he gets what he wants. Haven never stood a chance.

Hardy is everything I love in a hero. He is sexy and masculine with confidence in abundance. He knows what he wants and goes after it. Even though he is physically strong he never uses that against those who can’t defend themselves. He is nothing but gentle with Haven, even when he is pushed to his limits. He listens to Haven, focusing all his intensity on her. I could go on and on, just trust me he is great.

Haven has hang-ups about sex and men. All of this is because of her past relationship with her husband. She feels like a broken woman and is afraid she won’t ever have a normal relationship with a man. She needs someone who will be patient with her while she works through her problems. Hardy is just that man.

I loved the development of Haven and Hardy’s relationship. This book is fantastic. I enjoyed every minute reading it. After I was finished with the book, I went back and started rereading my favorite passages. I have nothing negative to say about this book. I am a gushing fan girl. Lisa Kleypas is a literary goddess.

Here is what others had to say:

Biblioharlet's Bookshelf
The Good, The Bad, The Unread
Ramblings on Romance - Kristie J
Ramblings on Romance - Katie(babs)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Review - Klondike Fever

Title: Klondike Fever
Author: Kate Bridges
Publishing Date: April 2008
Genre: Western/Frontier
Rating: B
Sensuality: Hot

Lily Cromwell has struck it rich. She is known in the Yukon wilderness as “Klondike Lily”. She has taken her gold and boarded a coach set for Dawson City to look for her sister. On the same coach, Dylan Wayburn, a Mountie officer disguised as a drunken drifter, is after a band of outlaws. He knew Lily from their childhood when she was a breakfast maid for his family back in Vancouver. Shortly after the coach sets off they are attacked by the very outlaws Dylan is hunting. Dylan and Lily manage to get away but they loose all of Lily’s gold to the robbers.

Klondike Fever is a nice, sweet road romance. Dylan and Lily each have their own set of problems to deal with from their past. At first Lily does not trust Dylan. Some of the reason for this is an incident that happened between them when she worked for his family. As they travel on their journey, they learn to trust one another and seek comfort from each other. The romance was well developed and believable.

Even with the short length of this book the characters were well drawn. There is an interesting secondary character, Otis who travels with Dylan and Lily. He adds a bit of color to the story with his fatherly advice for the “newlyweds”. Even the villain was well drawn without being a typical caricature.

As much as I liked this story, I didn’t exactly love it. It was very well written, but I typically like a little more passion or heat in my romance. There wasn’t anything that really stood out to make the story memorable for me. After a day or two, I probably won’t remember much of the story. I don’t really think that this is a reflection of the writer, maybe more my own personal tastes.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Review - Driven

Title: Driven
Author: Eve Kenin
Publishing Date: September 2007
Genre: Futuristic
Rating: A-
Sensuality: Hot

Raina Bowen is a truck driver. I know, an unusual occupation for a romance heroine, but trust me, it works. It is 70 or 80 years into the future (I am not sure of the exact year) and the world as we know it no longer exists. There have been a couple of nuclear wars that have wiped out most of the population. Most of which now reside in the barren northern wasteland. Raina is in a race to be the first to deliver goods to Gladow Station. If she succeeds, she will win a nice fat prize of fifty million interdollars, enough to provide safety for her and her sister Beth. She is counting on a man named Wizard to provide her with special passes to allow her access to the only road to Gladow Station. She is waiting to meet this Wizard at a truck stop. Wizard finally does appear, he ends up in a nasty confrontation and Raina comes to his rescue and has to change her plans. Now Wizard and Raina will pair up together to outsmart the bad guys.

Wizard is quite an interesting hero. I have never read one quite like him. At first I wasn’t sure what to make of him. As the story progressed, I found myself falling in love with him just like Raina did. Wizard is genetically enhanced. He was raised in the most inhuman way possible and has no understanding of human emotions. Think of him as a walking and talking computer. Yet he is not a droid; he is completely human. Little by little, as Raina’s humanity surrounds him, he finds himself experiencing emotions. It is very fun to watch him discover feelings such as fear, humor and passion.

Raina is just the opposite of Wizard. She is very emotional, expressive and passionate about everything. She tries to hides a very soft core behind a wall of hard armor. She has been on the run her whole life unable to trust anyone and it is the only was she knows how to protect herself emotionally. She is a very compassionate person but tries so hard not to be. It’s a battle she inevitably looses.

If I had to have a complaint, I would say the villain was one-dimensional. He was very evil, but we don’t know why. I guess evil doesn’t need a reason to be evil, it just is. Driven is not your typical romance novel. At least not the ones I have been reading. If you are tired of the same old thing definitely give this one a try.

Here is what others have said:

Cupid's Chokehold
Thoughts of an aspiring writer
Renee Reads Romance
Dear Author
Jace Scribbles

Monday, April 21, 2008

Romantic Times Convention Coverage

I didn’t go to the Romantic Times Convention in Pittsburgh but I have been following the coverage throughout various websites the past week. It seems a lot of very interesting things happened over the course of the week; a few of them involving the police, if you can believe that. I just thought I would compile a grouping of links for those of you who are interested.

First off the official blog of the RT convention can be found here. They actually have three videos hosted by the authors Marianne Mancusi and Liz Maverick. The videos are a hoot you have to watch them! I myself was mystified by the costumes for the Fairy Ball.

Next up Smart Bitch Sarah attended the conference and has a series of posts about her experience. She has the dirt on an argument that broke out between to well known authors plus lots of pictures. (The juicy gossip is in the last link).

Romantic Times Day!
JR Ward, Jessica Anderson, Humor and Cussing
Lunch: Tasty WTF, Mmm mmm.
Breakfast with Lisa Jackson
Overheard at RT
Using Historical Facts Without Crossing the Line into Plagiarism
Blind Items from RT
I can has pictures? You can has pictures!
Chag Sameach and Thank you
More Blind and Not-So Blind Items

Next we will head on over to The Good, The Bad The Unread where author Lynne Connolly reports on her RT experience.

RT 2008: First Impressions
RT 2008: Romantic Times Day Two
RT 2008: And on the third day….
RT 2008: Go for the Burn!
RT 2008: And so to the cover model contest!
RT 2008: The last day… and a bit of model madness

Author JC Wilder has several posts about her experience at the convention.

RT: Day One – Camping
Day 2 – The Battle has Begun!
Day 3 – The Shame Continues…
Day 4 – The Lull Before the Storm
RT – Comment on previous statement
Now approaching the finish line…
RT…the last gasp…
RT – the pieces that get stuck between your teeth

This is a really neat reporting of the convention by a Pittsburgh magazine. Melody Platz an aspiring author writes about her experience of the RT convention over the week. Her account is gossip free, but gives a good indication of what to expect if you are thinking of attending.

Melody Platz's First Day at the RT Convention
Thursday's RT Convention
Friday at RT
Saturday, April 19th

If I come across any other links, and I am sure I will, they will be added to this post.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Review - Blood Bound

Title: Blood Bound
Author: Patricia Briggs
Publishing Date: 2007
Genre: Science Fiction (non romance)
Rating: B+
Sensuality: Kisses

Blood Bound is the second Mercy Thompson novel. The first book Moon Called focused on the werewolves in Mercy’s world, the second novel focuses on the vampires. Since Stefan (Mercy’s vampire friend from Moon Called) helped Mercy rescue the local Alpha’s kidnapped daughter he has called Mercy asking her for a favor. He wants her to be a witness for him while he investigates a new vampire who has recently arrived in town. Mercy agrees to help him. What they discover is that this is no ordinary vampire, he is a sorcerer possessed by a demon. In other words, he is pure evil.

Mercy’s voice is great. I love getting the story through her eyes. She is very matter of fact about things and has just the right balance of sarcasm without being overly cynical. She has great faith in herself and others. She knows that there is evil in this world, but even when the odds are against her she never gives up.

She still has Samuel, her first boyfriend growing up, and Adam, the local Alpha competing for her attention. So far, she hasn’t been able to make up her mind, though, I think she is leaning in one direction. It is interesting to see her struggle with her feelings for both men. Who will she choose? If it was me I would have a tough time deciding because both are dominant men who want nothing more than to protect Mercy. Yet it seems Mercy is the one who does the rescuing – at least in this story. I can’t wait to read the next installment of this series.

Here is what others had to say:

The Reading Spot
Avid Book Reader

Friday, April 18, 2008

Review - 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover

Title: 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover
Author: Linda Wisdom
Publishing Date: April 2008
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: D
Sensuality: Hot

Jasmine Tremaine (Jazz) is a 700 year old witch with a penchant for trouble. She has the bad habit of using her magick for her own benefit, usually when she looses her temper, which is forbidden. As punishment, the High Council has banned her from their “witch world” casting her into our mortal world. She lives in Los Angeles has the fun job of banishing curses for people. She also is a chauffer for All Creatures Limo Service. This world is inhabited with all kinds of magickal creatures, werewolves, elves, vampires etc. Speaking of vampires, her ex-lover Nick Gregory, who she hasn’t seen in thirty years, needs her help. Over the past few years vampires have been steadily going missing. Nick wants Jazz to help him solve the mystery of the missing vampires. She doesn’t want anything to do with Nick, because every time she helps him she winds up in jail.

50 Ways to Hex Your Lover is quite a silly, whimsical read. There are quite a cast of eccentric secondary characters starting with Irma, the ghost who haunts Jazz’s 1956 convertible Thunderbird sports car. Jazz also owns a pair of bunny slippers, Fluff and Puff who are indiscriminant when it comes to food. Then you have Dweezle, the owner of All Creatures Limo Service, who looks like a big green olive with three arms. There is quite a bit of world building but it all felt a bit shallow to me. The impression I came away with was only superficial. A more in depth look into Jazz’s world was needed to claim my attention. As it was, my mind would wander and I found it difficult to keep the pages turning.

Jazz’s personality comes across as a little abrasive with some attitude. She does show a sweeter side sometimes, too. She has been hurt by Nick in the past but she can’t help herself for being attracted to him. She doesn’t want to have these feelings for him and she tries to fight it. Nick just wants Jazz and has no qualms about letting her know. The story focuses mainly on Jazz. We only get into Nick’s head a tiny amount. I would have liked for there to be more on the relationship between Nick and Jazz. The world building seemed to be more of the focus of this book, rather than the romance. I was looking for something light-hearted but what I got was more slap-stick or screw-ball comedy. It’s just not my cup of tea.

Here is what others had to say:

Ramblings on Romance

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Review - The Last Twilight

Title: The Last Twilight
Author: Marjorie M. Liu
Publishing Date: February 2008
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: B+
Sensuality: Warm

The Last Twilight is book seven of Marjorie M. Liu’s Dirk & Steele series. This book features Amiri who is a shape-shifter that changes into a cheetah. We first met him in the second novel Shadow Touch. Amiri works for the Dirk and Steele agency. This security agency is a front for “unusual” individuals like Amiri. I think of these individuals as similar to the x-men characters. They all have a super-power of some kind. Amiri is sent on a mission to Africa to protect Rikki Kinn, a doctor working in an Ebola virus hot zone.

The best word to describe this book is intensity. From the first chapter things are harrowing and never let up. So many devastating events are happening and things seem pretty grim and hopeless. Never-the-less, as dire as things become, Amiri and Rikki never give up hope. I am not sure how I feel about this story. On one hand it is very riveting, a hang-by-the-seat-of-your-pants ride, if you will. On the other hand, my God, could anything more go wrong for these two people? Thank goodness, this is a romance and is true to the happy ever after. I did have my doubts though.

Rikki and Amiri’s romance is desperate and touching to say the least. If any two people needed someone to love and trust it is these two. Rikki is a truly strong heroine in every sense of the word. She never once ever thinks of giving up when things seem impossible. She completely kicks ass! I love Liu’s writing. I think she is very gifted and this story is a true testament to her talent. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. My one complaint is that she add a touch more humor or light-hearted moments to balance out the dark mood. I can’t wait to read the next installment in this series.

Here is what others had to say:

The Book Binge
I Just Finished Reading

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Sexy Book Covers

I seem to be noticing a trend. I tend to like books with covers that have nekkid couples on them but in shadow (ooohh, mysterious). I like that the lovers are in an intimate embrace that seems tender yet sexy as all get out. Also, with the image set in shadow it doesn't seem quite so graphic. I love the bicep with the tatoo around it and how they are holding each other. (In the voice of Borat) Niiiice, veery niiiiice.

In this one I like how he is centered between her legs and is gripping her upper thigh. Not to mention how he has his head buried in her neck. It's pretty gosh darn sexy, if you ask me.

Last but not least we have the nekkid couple making out in the rain on a beach. Whoo-yah! What could be sexier, I ask you? In this one the woman is the aggressor. I love it! I like how the man has his head thrown back in the throws of passion too. He will take it and he will like it!

So there you have it folks. On a side note, I picked up the middle book At the Edge only because the cover caught my eye. I am sorry to say the book was a DNF for me. So, the marketing ploy worked. Sadly, I was unable to rant about how good it was however.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Review - Thunder and Roses

Title: Thunder and Roses
Author: Mary Jo Putney
Publishing Date: 1993
Genre: Historical
Rating: B+
Sensuality: Warm

Thunder and Roses is the first book in the Fallen Angels series. School mistress Clare Morgan, the daughter of the local Methodist desperately needs the Earl of Aberdare’s help. The Earl, Nicholas, was once a good friend and pupil of Reverend Morgan so she seeks his help. The local mine, which is on the Earl’s property but is managed and run by another, has fallen into ill repair. The over-seer has allowed the maintenance to languish, thereby causing too many accidents at the mine resulting in needless injuries and deaths. She comes to the Earl with the hope that he will help improve the conditions at the mine. Nicholas though, has changed a great deal and won’t help her unless she will become his mistress for three months. He demands her reputation for his help. Clare agrees to his conditions and a bargain is struck.

Thunder and Roses is a very well written story. The characters are vivid and multi-dimensional. Clare struggles internally with her physical attraction to Nicholas. She has to come to terms with the fact that she is only human and not a saint. She tries so hard to be the perfect person, but she knows she is flawed and can only ask to be forgiven. She is a strong woman who wants so badly to do the right thing. I loved that she could see through Nicholas’s gruff demeanor and see that he had been injured by people he loved and trusted. She made sure, as their friendship grew, that he could always count on her and she never once betrays him.

Putney did a great job of showing how Nicholas evolved as a person throughout the story. Nicholas started out as a self-absorbed man that would lash out at others like a wounded animal. Yet he realized, through Clare, that there were others far worse off than him and he could make a difference in their lives. In the end he decided to become a better person and put his trust in Clare.

The only problem I had with this story was that it took me four days to read it. For me, that is a long time. For some reason, I could not stay focused on it. Now, I think this probably had to do with what was going on in my life this week, rather than the actual book. The romance between Clare and Nicholas was beautifully written and their happy ever after was very convincing. I highly recommend this book.

Here is what others had to say:

All About Romance

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Linda Howard’s Upcoming Release Death Angel

Does anyone have any information on her new book Death Angel? I have that it will be released June 24th of this year, but I have yet to find a summary of the book. I have been to the Random House website but they don’t have much information. I really wish Howard had a website. Here is one sentence I got from the Romantic Times magazine in the publishers previews section:

After she’s visited by a Death Angel, Drea swears revenge on those who tried to kill her.

So that’s all I’ve got. Anyone have anything to add to that measly bit of information?

Friday, April 11, 2008

Review - Flashpoint

Title: Flashpoint
Author: Suzanne Brockmann
Publishing Date: April 2004
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Rating: B+
Sensuality: Warm

Flashpoint is book seven of Brockmann’s Troubleshooter Series. This is the story of Jimmy Nash and Tess Bailey. Tom Paoletti, a former US Navy SEAL has started his own business Troubleshooters Inc. – an agency designed to help anyone in need (secretly specializing in covert operations). Nash and Tess are assigned to Larry Decker's (Deck) team to retrieve a laptop from a known Al-Qaeda terrorist who has died in an earthquake in Kazbekistan.

The beauty of Brockmann’s stories is the complexity of her characters. In the beginning of this book it was very hard to like Jimmy Nash. He is so afraid of emotions and feelings that he closes himself off from everyone around him; even his best friend Decker. He is afraid of intimacy with a woman and only has one night stands and lots of them. This is typically not the type of hero I like to root for. But, he is not one-dimensional. He also tends to collect a motley crew of unfortunates and does everything he can to help them. He is a complicated man who doesn’t think he deserves any chance at real happiness. It was a joy to see him grow emotionally through his relationship with Tess and Decker; to become the kind of man you can really stand up and cheer.

Tess was a pleasant surprise. She has a lot of courage and was very resourceful in tight situations. I was with Nash, always underestimating her and then she would turn around and surprise me (Nash too). I liked how she didn’t play games and she forced Nash to be honest with her and himself.

Even Decker, who is portrayed (at least through Nash’s eyes) as a stand up guy, makes some really poor, bone-headed decisions. I just had to shake my head at his lack of pitiful judgment. But, then he goes and surprises me by learning from his mistakes and he fully redeems himself. Decker and Sophia Ghaffari begin their story arc in this book and I wonder if they will eventually get their own book. Sophia is another great character. She is so strong and courageous. She really stunned me by surviving what she has gone through and her willingness to help Decker’s team. Another great addition to the Troubleshooter series. On to the next book we go.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Contest - SEALed with a Kiss

Over at The Book Binge they are holding a contest to win a copy of SEALed with a Kiss. Holly has reviewed it here and the author Mary Margret Daughtridge has written a guest post. Be sure to check it out! The book sounds really good and after reading the review and guest post I can't wait to read it myself.

Review - Moon Called

Title: Moon Called
Author: Patricia Briggs
Publishing Date: February 2006
Genre: Non Fiction (non romance)
Rating: B+
Sensuality: Kisses

Moon Called is the first book in a series of books about Mercedes Thompson, a walker or “skinwalker”. She can change into a coyote and has some of the physical attributes that come with it, such as advanced hearing and smell. This is different from a werewolf. In Mercy’s world, it is very similar to ours today with one big exception, it is inhabited by werewolves, vampires and various Fae, such as witches, gremlins and trolls. Mercy was raised by werewolves in Montana and has been around them all her life. Now she is a VW mechanic and has the local Alpha werewolf for her next door neighbor.

This is Mercy’s story and it is told in first person from her point of view. I like stories told in the first person. I don’t mind being privy to only one person’s thoughts. I like the mystery of figuring out, by reading through other peoples’ body language, what the other characters are thinking. I like the subtlety with which I am told the story. Mercy’s voice is an enjoyable one. She seems like your normal average woman, with the exception of her walker abilities. She doesn’t have super human strength. She has problems with her mom and she had heartache when she was a teenager. She is a likable person without any kind of attitude or chip on her shoulder, although she gives out sarcasm in small doses. She likes to help people and is a nice person without coming off as sickeningly sweet.

There are two possible love interests, maybe three, in this story. First there is Adam, her next door neighbor and the local Alpha and then Samuel, her former boyfriend and son of the Alpha of the pack who raised her. Stefan, a local vampire, with whom she is helping restore an old VW van. I have a feeling he wants to be in the running as well. So Mercy is a popular girl and everyone can’t help but like her. The world building is good and we are just starting to learn the characters through Mercy’s eyes. We get to learn all about the werewolf culture and solve a mystery to boot. Moon Called is wrapped up at the end with no devastating cliff-hangers. I am curious to see where Briggs will go next with Mercy’s story.

Here is what others had to say:

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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

One Word Meme

I was tagged by Nath for this one word meme.

ONE Word Answers (okay, but my answers aren't really one word)

You're feeling: tired
To your left: bookshelves
On your mind: not enough time
Last meal included: beer
You sometimes find it hard to: be motivated
The weather: clear and warm
Something you have a collection of: shoes
A smell that cheers you up: new car smell
A smell that can ruin your mood: poop
How long since you last shaved: last night
The current state of your hair: needs to be brushed
The largest item on your desk/workspace (not computer): pile of junk
Your skill with chopsticks: very bad
Which section you head for first in a bookstore: romance
Something you're craving: Reeses peanut butter cups (the easter egg kind) I just polished off a bag last week and I wish I had more.
Your general thoughts on the presidential race: I hate politics
How many times have you been hospitalized this year: zero
Favorite place to go for a quiet moment: quite moment, what's that?
You've always secretly thought you'd be a good: cosmetologist
Something that freaks you out a little: snakes (and it's more like a lot)
Something you've eaten too much of lately: Easter candy
You have never: traveled outside the United States
You never want to: loose control to where I hit someone else

Ana, tag your it!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Review - Conspiracy Game

Title: Conspiracy Game
Author: Christine Feehan
Publishing Date: November 2006
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: B
Sensuality: Hot

Conspiracy Game is book four of the GhostWalker Series. Jack Norton is a GhostWalker. That means he is a BADASS! No seriously, he has been genetically enhanced to be stronger, faster, and smarter than a normal human. He also has some psychic abilities. His twin brother Ken, who is also a GhostWalker has been captured by rebel forces in the jungle just outside of Kinshasa, Africa. He is able to set his brother free, but ends up being captured by the very same people who were torturing his brother. After a few days he manages to escape and work his way to the town. There he runs into Briony.

Briony is special too. She has always been an outsider of her adopted family. See Briony, cannot be around others without experiencing their emotions. Other peoples’ emotions cause her pain so debilitating, that she has nose bleeds and migraines. Briony also has enhanced strength and other physical and psychic attributes. Her family owns a circus and she and her brothers have a world class trapeze act. They have been asked to come perform in the city of Kinshasa for a substantial amount of money. How can they refuse? After a performance Briony heads away from the city to the jungle to get away from all the emotions of the other people. There she meets Jack and helps him get to safety.

Conspiracy Game was an enjoyable, guilty pleasure read. Perhaps a bit cheesy, but call me a mouse with a full tummy, because I lapped it up hungrily! Here is a passage between Jack and Briony that just showcases “the cheese” to perfection.

He actually snarled, like a wolf. She heard the growl of anger and his hand caught hers and forced it between his legs to rub over his aching, full erection. “Does it feel like I don’t want you? I can’t think straight with wanting you, and damn it, it isn’t all about sex either. Whitney may think he overdosed us with the right pheromones, but it’s a hell of a lot more complicated than that. My need of you, this, monster of a hard-on, comes from my heart, not just from lust.”

Jack is the quintessential protective and over-bearing male. He wants nothing more than to make sure that Briony has everything she needs and wants. His first priority is always for her safety and comfort. If not careful, Jack would completely take control. Fortunately, Briony has no problem standing up to him. She has good judgment on which battles she chooses to pick too.

I really enjoyed both lead characters and the plot of this story. The plot is well thought out with unique world-building. What kept this story from getting a higher rating was the repetition of certain points in the book. I felt like the author kept repeatedly telling me the same thing over and over again. After a while it began to grate on my nerves. Also note that this book does not have a conclusive ending. I am assuming that the next book in the series will continue where this book left off. As it stands, the next book is centered around Jack’s twin Ken.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Enter The Duke of Shadows Sweepstakes

Okay, Ann Aguirre is having a contest over at her blog. She absolutely loved the book The Duke of Shadows and wants to let everyone know about it. I figured I may as well enter the contest. I haven't read the book yet, but because of all the publicity it has been receiving, I definitely will in the near future.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

A Fire in the Heart

Title: A Fire in the Heart
Author: Katherine Sutcliffe
Publishing Date: March 1990
Genre: Historical
Rating: C-
Sensuality: Hot

Bonnie Eden is an orphan. She witnesses the brutal murder of her father and winds up in Caldbergh, a British workhouse that basically uses children as slaves. Her daily existence is a harsh, grueling one that she longs to escape. As Bonnie flees for her life in a storm with a life threatening fever, she manages to crash through the front door of Braithwaite, the home of Damien Warwick. The cruel caretakers from Caldbergh are hot on her heels. Rather than send her back to that dreadful place, Damien lies and tells them she is not there. He takes it upon himself to have her nursed back to health.

I didn’t know they were still publishing bodice rippers in the early 1990’s. A Fire in the Heart had just about all the pet peeves that push my buttons in a book. First off, it had the thirty-three year old hero lusting after an eighteen year old heroine. Hmmm, I am not buying that a thirty year old would be interested in an immature girl. This brings me to my next pet peeve; the story had a bitchy little brat for a heroine. (Actually, I am being rather harsh here, because in the end Bonnie does finally grow up, but it took about 200 pages too long, in my opinion). It also had a hero who has been cuckolded by a previous love and therefore he believes that all women are not to be trusted. Forced seduction that very nearly borders on rape is the norm when reading the ‘love’ scenes. Throw in a couple of villains, a duel, an unknown pregnancy and lots and lots of angst and you have just about all that is cliché in a romance bundled up neatly for your reading pleasure, (or not, as the case may be).

Wow, I can’t believe how harsh I am being with this review. I love Katherine Sutcliffe, but this book just annoyed the hell out of me. She is such a talented writer that I hate – absolutely hate - that I didn’t like this book and was disappointed by it. What amazes me, though, is that as much as everything about this book annoyed me, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. What does that say about me? Hey, if you are more tolerant than I am, and you love a good bodice ripper, then this one might be for you. For those of you who have your hot buttons, you might want to steer clear.

Here is what others had to say:

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Saturday, April 5, 2008

New FaeFever Excerpt!

Okay, here is the latest teaser from Karen Marie Moning in her upcoming September 30th release Faefever, the third book in her Fever series. I cannot wait for this book!!! I will have to start a countdown. September 30th cannot come soon enough.

V'lane's knuckles grazed the base of my skull where Barrons had branded me, his eyes narrowed, and he inhaled sharply. "You think to allow his mark upon your body but refuse mine?" he hissed. He closed his mouth over mine.

The great, leathery winged, demonic Unseelie Hunters are especially terrifying to sidhe-seers because they know where we live inside our heads. They instinctively know exactly where to find the small, frightened child in us all and exploit it.

The Seelie princes know where we live, too, but it's the grown woman they're after. They hunt us in our own bodies, tracking us without mercy into the darkest corners of our libido. They seduce the Madonna; they celebrate the whore. They serve our sexual needs tirelessly, gorging on our passion, amplifying it, and slamming it back at us a thousand-fold. They are masters of all our desires. They know the limits of our fantasies, take us to the edge and leave us there, hanging by shredded fingernails, above a bottomless gorge, begging for more.

V'lane's tongue touched mine. Something hot and electric jolted through my mouth. It swelled inside me, filling me. I choked on it, and orgasmed instantly, as hot and electrifying as whatever he'd just done to my tongue. Pleasure ripped through me with such exquisite precision that my bones steamed and turned to water. I would have collapsed, but he took my weight, and I was in a dreamy, surreal place for a few moments, where his laughter was black velvet and his need was as vast as the night, then I was clear and me again.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Review - Thigh High

Title: Thigh High
Author: Christina Dodd
Publishing Date: March 2008
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Rating: B-
Sensuality: Hot

Jeremiah Mac, aka, Mr. McNaught, owner of Premier Central Banks, has a thief in his mist. He hates thieves and won’t abide by anyone stealing from him no matter how small the amount. Over the last several years during Mardi Gras down in New Orleans, his banks have been robbed for small, meager amounts. The local police have no leads as to the identity of the culprits. Jeremiah has his own ideas and believes that one of his bank managers Nessa Dahl is behind the robberies. He decides to take matters into his own hands and goes undercover to investigate these robberies and put a stop to it. He wants to pin the blame on Nessa. She, on the other hand, is New Orleans’s sweetheart and no one in their right mind would suspect her.

What I look forward to in a Christina Dodd novel is a nice steamy read with a good plot, a multitude of interesting characters, and witty banter between the hero and heroine with lots of sexual tension. Unfortunately, Thigh High did not live up to this expectation. First off, the story started out a little slow for me. We are introduced to a huge cast of characters, everyone from Nessa’s Aunts’ boarders, such as Dana the transvestite night club singer, along with Nessa’s co-workers at the bank and the eeevil Stephanie. Nessa is very popular within the city itself, so she knows pretty much everyone at the police department. I mean the introductions seemed to go on and on. In a way, I found some of this interesting and it did add depth to Nessa’s character, but it was a little too much and could have been scaled down some without loosing its impact.

Because of the nature of the story with Jeremiah believing Nessa to be the robber, I found his feelings toward Nessa illogical. Mainly because Jeremiah hates liars and he thinks Nessa is lying to him. More towards the end of the story, I found it hard to believe that he would love someone who he thinks is deceiving him. This is too bad, because I did believe into the fact that Jeremiah and Nessa make a good match. Nessa needs someone like Jeremiah to shake up her staid existence and vice versa.

I enjoyed Jeremiah’s character. I liked that he was a take charge kind of guy and pretty much steam rolls over anyone in his path. He is described as being a thug in a business suit. He is not a pretty man and has scars all over his body. I like that. I can’t abide by the men being prettier than the heroine. The sexual tension was well written and there is one scene in the bank vault that is HWAT! It’s sure to steam up the pages. The ending was wrapped up a little too cleanly for me. I would have liked for more grovel from Jeremiah. I thought Nessa forgave him too quickly. All in all, it wasn’t necessarily a bad book, I was just hoping for more.

Here is what others had to say:

Breezing Through (jointly with Nath)
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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

March Book Summary

Looks like March was a very productive month for me, with a grand total of 15 books. Here they are with links to the ones with posted reviews. Eventually, I will be posting a review for all of them.

1. Wonderful, Barnett (Medieval) Rating: B+
2. Laird of the Mist, Quinn (Medieval) Rating: C
3. Arousing Suspicions, Stillings (Rom. Suspense) Rating: B
4. Agnes and the Hitman, Crusie (Rom. Suspense) Rating: B+
5. Witch Blood, Bast (Paranormal) Rating: B
6. Pendragon, Coulter (Historical) Rating: B-
7. Kiss of Crimson, Adrian (Paranormal) Rating: B-
8. Sugar Daddy, Kleypas (Contemporary) Rating: A
9. The Spymaster's Lady, Bourne (Historical) Rating: A
10. Midnight Awakening, Adrian (Paranormal) Rating: C
11. Thigh High, Dodd (Rom. Suspense) Rating: B-
12. A Fire in the Heart, Sutcliffe (Historical) Rating: C-
13. Conspiracy Game, Feehan (Paranormal) B
14. Moon Called, Briggs (Science Fiction) Rating: B+
15. Flashpoint, Brockman (Rom. Suspense) Rating: B+

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Review - Midnight Awakening

Title: Midnight Awakening
Author: Lara Adrian
Publishing Date: December 2007
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: C
Sensuality: Hot

Midnight Awakening is Tegan and Elise’s story. Elise has left her Darkhaven society and moved into an apartment on her own in a run down part of Boston. With the death of her only son, she has nothing to live for except exacting revenge on the Rogues. Her special Breedmate gift is that she can hear other humans’ thoughts. Unfortunately, it is only the negative ones she hears. This gift does allow her to track and follow minions, humans who have become Rouges’ slaves. Elise kills one such minion but ends up out after dark. She has the blood of the minion on her coat and she attracts Rogues to her. Just before she is attacked, Tegan comes to her rescue.

I was really looking forward to Tegan’s story because the two previous books have hinted at his sad and tragic past, which Lucan was somehow involved in. I figured that the reader would get some more depth with Tegan’s character since his past has helped create who he is today - a big brooding alpha male with nothing to lose. Unfortunately, Midnight Awakening did not live up to my expectations.

Tegan is pretty much a jerk to Elise throughout the whole story. He says some really cruel and cutting remarks to her. I was willing to tolerate it for a while, because of the nature of his personality, but I was also expecting to see some change too. I kept waiting for him to grow as a person, but it never came. For me, it seemed like he went from pushing Elise away to all of the sudden, loving her. I did not believe this abrupt change in him.

Out of Tegan and Elise, I thought Elise was the stronger, more courageous person. I liked that she was not afraid to let Tegan know how she felt. I wish Tegan would have had more strength in conveying his conviction about his feelings for Elise too. Elise was one of the reasons I didn’t end up giving Midnight Awakening a lower grade. The plot also kept the grade afloat. I like the direction this series is going. I think Adrian is able to keep it fresh and unique without repeating the same plot devices. I give kudos to her for that. I just wish I would have liked Tegan’s story a little better.

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