Sunday, June 29, 2008

Review - The Flame and the Flower

Title: The Flame and the Flower
Author: Kathleen Woodiwiss
Publishing Date: 1972
Genre: Historical
Rating: B
Sensuality: Warm

Heather Simmons is found on the docks of London one night by sailors looking for a woman for their captain’s pleasure. Heather has run away from her cousin who tried to rape her. She manages to flee from him after he falls on a knife and kills himself. Heather thinks these sailors are the police and has no choice but to go with them to see the magistrate. (Yes, Heather is desperately naïve.) The Captain, Brandon Birmingham believes that Heather is a prostitute, one because she was walking the docks by herself at night and two she is wearing a gown only a loose woman would wear. He inadvertently rapes her thinking that her resistance is part of a game. Once he realizes she was a virgin, he begins to wonder a little bit who she is. He decides he wants her for his mistress. He actually has a fiancée back home. Heather has other ideas and escapes him. One thing leads to another and Heather ends up married to him and they travel to the Americas where Brandon owns a plantation in Charleston. The remainder of the book is spent there.

At first, I really hated Brandon and was fully prepared to hate the book as well. Brandon is the type of man who thinks he can have what he wants, when he wants it, regardless of who gets hurt in the process. This is very evident when once he has realized Heather was a virgin and it doesn’t stop him from taking her again against her will. He is also a control freak with a God complex. I know. There is not much to like about him. Heather on the other hand is terribly naïve with a very tiny backbone. She has a hard time standing toe to toe with Brandon. In the first part of the book he walks all over her, controlling every aspect of her life. In her helplessness she accepts her fate. Part of this is due to their age difference. Brandon is 35 while Heather is 18. While, I usually enjoy a heroine with more spunk, I still liked Heather for her sweetness. She was only eighteen after all and as she grows older in the story, she grows stronger too.

Brandon over time has a complete change of character that is for the better. He becomes the hero that you want to root for in the end. He realizes what a treasure he has in Heather and starts to court her and treat her accordingly. I think it’s just dessert for him that after he is married to Heather he was always faithful to her because he was ruined for other women. It served him right. I loved how he always protected Heather from the insults other women would throw at her. He would stand by her side and not let them belittle her. When Heather and Brandon do finally admit their love for one another, wow! The pages sizzle. This happens not too terribly close to the end and they work together to solve a mystery at the end of the story. Aside from the big misunderstanding in the beginning, (and a small one in the middle) there aren’t anymore and they learn to trust one another and work together. The ending more than made up for the bad start at the beginning of the book.

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Reading all night long

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Review - Kushiel's Dart

Title: Kushiel’s Dart
Author: Jacqueline Carey
Publishing Date: 2001
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: B-
Sensuality: Warm

First let me start off by saying that Kushiel’s Dart is not a romance. There are relationships in the book, but they are not the main focus of the story. The story is told in the first person point of view by Phedre no Delaunay. Phedre is a very unique character. She is marked with a red dot in one of her eyes. What this means comes to light early in the book. The story begins with her childhood. Her mother sells her as a slave to one of the thirteen houses of Namaa. Essentially this means she will become a whore. In this unique society, a whore does not have negative connotations. She is revered and blessed for her service. At ten years of age she is sold to a nobleman. In his household she is trained to become a spy. To listen to what is not said and put together pieces of a puzzle. This is her story.

Seeing how I am a huge fan of romance, I was a little disappointed with the lack of romance in the story. Don't get me wrong, Phedre does have many relationships with people, but there wasn’t much romance to them. Kushiel’s Dart can be divided into three parts. The first part of the book revolves around Phedre’s childhood and her growing up coming into womanhood. The second part of the book is when Phedre’s life is turned upside down and she is betrayed by someone close to her. The third part of the story is when Phadre becomes and emissary to the Queen and her country is at war.

What I liked about the story was that Phadre was prized for her uniqueness instead of ostracized. Phadre’s growth over the story was also very pronounced and she was a very strong, courageous character. I loved her friendship with Hyacinthe, The Prince of Travelers and wish that there would have been more screen time with them together. There are a whole cast of interesting characters in this book. One who stands out more than most is Jocelyn Verreuil, a Cassiline Brother sworn to protect Phedre. Their relationship is unusual to say the least; a priest sworn to celibacy and a spy trained in the arts of physical pleasure. At first meeting, they are at odds with one another, to say the least. Then when they are thrown together through dire circumstance, they come to respect and love one another.

I did have trouble keeping track of all the different characters of the court. There is a long list of nobles and keeping them all straight was an exercise in futility. The names after a while would blend together. Other than that, the mythology of Phedre’s world and the political intrigue was very interesting and kept me turning the pages. Kushiel’s Dart is just the beginning of Phedre’s story and the ending is left open with a few things unsettled. Kushiel’s Chosen is the next book in the series that will continue Phedre’s story.

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The Book Smugglers

Friday, June 27, 2008

I've been tagged

Katie(babs) tagged me for this one. Here's how it works: Get yourself to the nearest book, flip to page 123, and copy the 5th sentence out here...

"I'm on it, sir. I just swept your office clean. Nothing found," Trance said.

Well, that was totally boring. This was from Unleashing the Storm by Sydney Croft. Believe me there was the potential for a very titilating sentence.

Since I happen to have two books with me, I will do the other one too. Maybe it will prove more exciting.

I will forget who I am and relinquish all my dreams and be obedient if you buy fuel for my hearth so I am not cold.

Well that was a little better, sheesh! It's like squeezing blood from a turnip.

That was from Secrets of Surrender by Madeline Hunter.

Who hasn't been tagged yet? Please, whoever wants to participate feel free to jump in.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Review - Lover Enshrined

Title: Lover Enshrined
Author: J.R. Ward
Publishing Date: June 2008
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: B
Sensuality: Hot

Lover Enshrined is the sixth novel in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series. It features the vampire warrior Phury along with the continuation of the battle between vampires and lessers. Phury has agreed to become the Primale of the Chosen. This means he has to willingly bed his first mate Cormia along with forty other Chosen and try his hardest to impregnate them all to provide the brotherhood with new warriors. The problem is Phury is deeply depressed and a drug addict. About five months have past since book five Lover Unbound took place and Phury has yet to mate with Cormia. While Phury is wallowing in depression Cormia is discovering a whole new world. She mainly keeps to herself feeling out of place away from the Sanctuary.

I really felt badly for Phury throughout most of this story. I really thought the other brothers let him down and weren’t there for him in his time of need. It is such a shame too because in all the other books Phury was always there for everybody else. As a matter of fact he has spent his life putting everyone else’s needs before his own. I just wish that in his time of need his brothers would have shown their support of Phury instead of turning away from him and letting him deal with his drug addiction on his own.

As much as I was bothered by the brothers’ treatment of Phury, I still enjoyed this book and couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. Even though I may have wanted Phury’s story to be written differently, Ward is still an exceptional story teller. Each and every character felt very individual and even small secondary roles were portrayed with striking details. The details are in the way each character would think and act and how they express themselves. She makes all her characters seem so human, yet you can’t help but feel for them and with them as they go through their ups and downs.

There was a lot happening in this book with multiple storylines. Cormia and Phury had book space, but it wasn’t always together. I would have enjoyed the romance more if they would have spent more time together. John, Blay and Quinn had a lot of air time. I enjoy their part in the books, John especially. There is a unique twist with the lesser. Also we learn more about Rhevenge. I am not sure what to make of him. I am thinking he is not really my cup of tea, but we shall see. I definitely plan on reading the next one. I hate to sound like a fan girl, but Ward is a master storyteller. Where she leads, I will follow.

Here is what others had to say:

Cupid's Chokhold
Karen Knows Best
The Book Binge
Dear Author
The Good, The Bad and The Unread
Ramblings on Romance
The Happily Ever After
The Reading Spot
Lesley W's Book Nook

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Contest Pimpage!

Because I just can't help myself, I have entered an awsome contest to win a bag of books that the super-duper, awsome blog The Book Binge is holding. It ends in five days so hurry up, time is a wastin!

Faefever teaser #5!

The release of Faefever is less than three months away! I am chomping at the bit to get my greedy little hands on this juicy morsel. Without further ado here is this month's teaser. Enjoy!

"No. Not even if Hell freezes over will I offer you sex with me in exchange for anything. Got it? Some things are non-negotiable and that's one of them."

"It is merely coitus, a physical act, the same as eating or voiding waste. Why attach such importance to it?"

"Maybe for a Fae it's merely a physical act, and maybe for some people, too, but not me."

"Because sex has been so stupendous in your brief life? Because you have had lovers that have made your body burn, and set your soul on fire?" he mocked.

I notched my chin higher. "Maybe I haven't felt that, exactly, yet, but I will one day."

"I will give it to you now. Ecstasy that you would die for, but I will not permit it. I will stop before that happens."

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Iron Hunt

This book is the start of a new urban fantasy series, The Hunter Kiss by Marjorie M. Liu that I am eagerly looking forward to that releases in July. It may already be in stores. I have loved Liu's Dirk and Steele series and I am looking forward to trying out her newest series. Gena Showalter is having a contest on her blog where you can win a copy of The Iron Hunt and a tote bag. There also is a brief excerpt for the book.

Here is the summary:
Silver smoke winds around my torso, peeling away from my ribs and back, stealing the dark mist covering my hands and lower extremities…tattoos dissolving into demon flesh, coalescing into small dark bodies. My boys. The only friends I have in this world. Demons.

I am a demon hunter. I am a demon. I am Hunter Kiss.

By day, her tattoos are her armor. By night, they unwind from her body to take on forms of their own. Demons of the flesh, turned into flesh. This is the only family demon hunter Maxine Kiss has ever known. The only way to live—and the very way she’ll die. For one day, her demons will abandon her for her daughter to assure their own survival—leaving Maxine helpless against her enemies

But such is the way of Earth’s last protector—the only one standing between humanity and the demons breaking out from behind the prison veils. It is a life lacking in love, reveling in death, until one moment—and one man—changes everything… Excerpt

Monday, June 23, 2008

Guess that Book

I thought I would have a little fun this week and play a game. I am posting an excerpt from a favorite book of mine. All you have to do is read the excerpt and figure out what book it's from. I think this one is pretty easy, at least I hope so. If you haven't read the book, after reading the following passage I am sure you will want too! Hee, hee, hee, I know I am sooooo eeeevviiiillll! I'll be happy to give hints if you need them, but I don't think you will. Have fun and happy reading!

He re-covered the car as tenderly as a mother covers a sleeping infant. Wordlessly he fished his keys out of his jeans pocket and held them out to her.

She took them, then looked down at her clothes. “I’m wet.”

“I know,” he replied. “I’ve been looking at your nipples.”

Her mouth fell open, and she quickly clamped her hands over the pertinent portions of her wet T-shirt. “Why didn’t you say something?” she demanded hotly.

He made a scoffing noise in the back of his throat. “What, you think I’m crazy?”

“It would serve you right if I drove your truck without changing clothes!”

He shrugged. “After you let me see this, plus your nipples, I guess I owe you.”

She started to argue that she hadn’t let him see her nipples, that he had looked without her permission; then she remembered that she had seen a lot more than his nipples that morning and decided not to bring up the subject.

Like he was going to give her the choice. “Besides,” he pointed out, “you saw my cock. That has to be worth more points than nipples.”

“Hah,” she said. “Value is in the eye of the beholder. And I did tell you to cover up, if you’ll remember.”

“After you’d watched for how long?”

“Only long enough to call Mrs. Kulavich and get your number,” she said self-righteously, because it was the truth. So what if she’d had to chat with Mrs. Kulavich for a minute? “And you didn’t seem to think it was important enough to cover up. No, you waved it around like you were starting a race with it.”

“I was enticing you.”

“You were not! You didn’t know I was looking.”

He arched an eyebrow.

She threw the keys back at him. “I wouldn’t drive your truck now if you begged me! It probably has cooties in it! You lech, you disgusting … disgusting penis-waver—“

He fielded the keys with one hand. “Are you saying you weren’t enticed?”

She started to tell him she hadn’t felt even a twinge of enticement, but her tongue refused to utter what would have been the biggest lie of her life.

He smirked. “Thought so.”

There was only one way to recover the upper hand. J--- put her hands on her hips, letting her nipples thrust against the thin wet layers of bra and T-shirt. Like a laser-guided missile, his gaze homed in on the front of her shirt. She saw him swallow.

“You don’t play fair,” he said thickly.

She smirked in retaliation for his smirk. “Remember that,” she said, and turned to leave the garage.

He slipped past her. “I go first,” he said. “I want to see you stepping into the sunlight.”

Her hands clamped back in position over her breasts.

“Spoilsport,” he muttered.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Review – Visions of Heat

Title: Visions of Heat
Author: Nalini Singh
Publication Date: 2007
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: C-
Sensuality: Hot

Don’t hate me, but I did not like this book. I had an incredibly hard time finishing it. I don’t know if it was me or the book. Seeing how this series has been very popular amongst romance readers, it’s probably just me then.

Visions of Heat is the second book in Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series. It features Vaughn D’Angelo, who is a sentinel in the DarkRiver leopard pack. Vaughn himself is a jaguar changeling who was accepted into the pack when he found himself orphaned. He meets Faith NightStar and is immediately attracted to her against his will. Faith is an F-Psy, which means she has the gift of Foresight. She has made a very lucrative living for the Psy, predicting financial success of certain business endeavors. Recently Faith has been having strange experiences and she wants answers. The only problem is she knows she can’t trust anyone. She seeks out Sasha Duncan, the DarkRiver Alpha’s mate for answers. Sasha is a Psy who has gone rogue, so-to-speak. Her story was told in the first book Slave to Sensation.

For me, the biggest problem was that I could not get into the characters. It wasn’t that they weren’t likable, because they were. It is more like they were flat and boring. I just wasn’t riveted by them. I think the main reason for this is because over and over we are told of how much an animal Vaughn is, how close the cat is to having control and yet I didn’t really see that acted out. Basically it was all talk. Come on Vaughn, walk the walk buddy.

I have to admit I am totally confused as to what exactly is the NetMind. If anybody who has read this book gets “it”, please fill me in. I am clueless. The suspense part of the story was forgettable and seemed not quite fully developed.

The one aspect I did like about the book was Faith’s relationship with her father at the end of the story. I like how he turns the table on Faith and shakes her view of him up a bit. That was a nice twist I didn’t see coming. I will be reading the third book in this series Caressed by Ice because I just received it. Let’s hope I like it better than this one.

Here is what others had to say:

The Book Smugglers
Thrifty Reader
Dear Author

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Review - Unlawful Contact

Title: Unlawful Contact
Author: Pamela Clare
Publishing Date: April 2008
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Rating: A-
Sensuality: Hot

Sophie Alton is a journalist for a Denver newspaper. She has been following a piece on female inmates, specifically Megan Rawlings. Sophie has scheduled a meeting with Sophie and on her way discovers that Megan has runaway (illegally) with her eight month old daughter. Sophie gets an anonymous tip that Megan’s brother, Marc Hunter, might know where she is hiding. He has spent the last six years in the state prison for killing a man. Sophie sets up an interview with him. During the interview she is kidnapped by Marc during his escape. Sophie doesn’t realize who Marc is right away. He was her first love, whom she gave her virginity to twelve years ago.

Marc is true hero material. From reading the above passage you wouldn’t think it and that is the beauty of this story. You may think he is morally corrupt, but that is what people have chosen to think about him, not what is the truth. This story slowly reveals the true Marc and what is discovered is wonderful. One of the best things about Marc was his absolute devotion to Sophie. In his eyes Sophie can do no wrong. He cherishes her so dearly and his love for her is so obvious with his actions and thoughts. Sophie is one lucky lady to have such a wonderful man. Sophie is no slouch herself. She is a very intelligent woman, a bit naïve, but smart none the less.

Clare does such a fantastic job of making the reader understand the characters and why the react the way they do. Sophie and Marc’s are opposites. Sophie is the good girl and Marc’s the bad boy. I loved the relationship between them because their feelings and the situation were so desperate. They had to grasp at whatever little happiness they could find in the present moment, with no guarantees what tomorrow would bring. It made for a harrowing, nail-biting read. I kept wondering how everything would possibly work out in the end. I had no need to worry, because it all does work out fine, but the journey to the happy-ever-after is one fraught with peril and uncertainty.

Here is what others had to say:

Ramblings on Romance
The Book Binge
The Good, The Bad, The Unread
Dear Author

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Status update

I bet a few of you are wondering where I have been since the posts have dwindled down to a slow trickle. Well, I think I have lost my mojo. No, that's not quite it. It's just that I have been busy. I have been busy at work and busy at home. Actually, I think the problem is I am actually having to work, at work. Then, when I get home my six year old daughter hogs the computer until her bed time, which is a prompt 8:00. Then, I have to sweet talk my hubby into letting me have some computer time.

I was planning on posting the review of Unlawful Contact today, but when I got home I realized that my review is on my work computer. So look for it tomorrow. By-the-way, I just finished Lover Enshrined and I think I am out of my reading slump. Whoo-hoo! My thoughts on it will follow shortly (translation - I will get to it next week).

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Review – Sweet Savage Love

Title: Sweet Savage Love
Author: Rosemary Rogers
Publishing Date: 1974
Genre: Historical (Western)
Rating: B-
Sensuality: Hot

Wow, the drama! Where should I begin with this book? I have to say, this was quite the read. On the one hand, I loved it. On the other hand, I hated it. It is a difficult book to rate because the writing of the story was so compelling and griping and yet, at the same time, the main character, the hero Steve, was not at all likeable. So in the end, I will do the best I can to summarize my thoughts of this sweeping saga.

At the beginning of the book, America is in the middle of its Civil War. Steve Morgan is an officer of the North sent to Louisiana for duty. While there he fights in a duel with a higher ranking officer and shoots and kills him. His punishment is execution. He is offered another alternative and that is to work as an off-the-record agent of the United States. He will basically be known as an outlaw and deserter while secretly working on extremely covert and dangerous missions. His own safety will be in his own hands.

Four years down the road, he is given a mission to intercept a wagon load of gold being transported to Mexico. On this mission he meets Ginny Brandon, the senator’s twenty year old, head-strong daughter. She catches his eye and try as he might he can’t seem to stay away from her. When the mission takes a turn for the worst, Steve kidnaps Ginny to save his own hide. What ensues is an epic love story of high drama and intrigue.

Sweet Savage Love is a long, emotional rollercoaster of a book. Ginny was an amazing character. Her personality leapt off the pages of this book. I loved her. In the beginning of the story, she was a young girl with silly spoiled ideals who grew into a strong compelling woman by the end. The journey she traveled to go from one to the other was a dark, brutal one. It was hard to read at times, but I admired her will and drive to survive and get what she wanted.

Steve on the other hand was not so great a character. He made some bad choices that I found hard to forgive in a hero. Steve was not even hero material, in my humble opinion. He was cruel and mean to Ginny and always ready to think the worst of her. You name it, he did it to her. Personally, Steve was not my cup of tea, but to Ginny he was a God. One thing that I did like about the book was how true each of them stayed to character. Neither one ever made any excuse for their behavior. They just accepted each other for who they were, warts and all.

*Warning* There is rape in this book, not once, but multiple times, by multiple people.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Review – A Passion for Him

Title: A Passion for Him
Author: Sylvia Day
Publishing Date: 2007
Genre: Historical
Rating: C
Sensuality: Hot

Let me start out by saying I was really looking forward to reading A Passion for Him. Amelia and Colin were the secondary romance in the previous book Passion for the Game. I fell in love with them from that book and couldn’t wait for them to get their Happily Ever After. Unfortunately, A Passion for Him did not live up to my expectations. I almost think it would be better to have not read Passion for the Game first.

Amelia Benbridge’s first love was Colin Mitchell, a stable boy who worked for her father. They grew up playing together when she was seven and he was ten years old. One night Colin takes a bullet meant for her and she believes him dead. Colin knows that unless he makes a new life for himself they will never be able to be together, because they are stations apart. Amelia is the daughter of a Viscount. So Colin sets off to become a spy and amass wealth and a foreign title. Then he will be able to return for Amelia and make her his wife.

First, let me start off with what I did like. I thought both Amelia and Colin were likable people. Amelia is a passionate woman who is not afraid to go after what she wants. Colin is the same in that aspect and I think that is what causes problems for this couple, too much of the same temperment. Colin is very protective and has a very capable air to him. He is good hero material.

Now, for what I had problems with. First off, the pacing of the book was to slow for me. It took me forever to really get into the story. Secondly, the story was told partly in flashbacks that were from the previous book Passion for the Game. I felt a little cheated having read those passages again, since I already read them. I wonder if I had not read the previous book would the story pacing still have felt slow. Thirdly, the prose was just too flowery and over the top for me. I don’t recall that from her previous books but it jumped out at me in this book. Having high expectations for this book, I was disappointed to say the least.

Here is what others had to say:

Dear Author

Monday, June 9, 2008

Review - Warlord

Title: Warlord
Author: Elizabeth Vaughan
Publishing Date: 2007
Genre: Fantasy
Rating: A-
Sensuality: Hot

Warlord is the third and final book of The Chronicles of the Warlands Trilogy. This trilogy is about the relationship between Xylara, Queen of the Xians and Kier, Warlord of the Plains and their struggle to combine their two cultures. This trilogy should definitely be read in order and you can read my reviews on the first two books Warprize here and Warsworn here.

In Warlord, Lara is the main focus of the story and since Lara and Kier have already established their relationship, and what a loving, passionate one at that. Here Kier and Lara must separate and the romance takes a backseat. Lara must come to the Heart of the Plains before the council to face a trial to determine whether or not she is worthy as the Warprize. The custom states that Lara is to not have any contact with Kier. She will be courted by other Warlords and be allowed to chose one of them if she so desires. Of course her mind is already set on Kier, so the reader doesn’t have to worry about that.

What really stands out for me in this book is that Lara is such a wonderful heroine. That she is extremely strong as a person. She is so very courageous and brave in her own unique way. No, she can’t wield a weapon as well as the firelander’s can, but she is no less fearsome in her words and actions. I just love how she handles the rudeness of the Warrior Priests.

We see the reappearance of some of the characters from the first book. We also learn a little more about Marcus and his secrets. That was very interesting. This was a beautifully written story. I would have liked to have had Lara and Kier interact together more in this story. Other than that it was a fantastic ending to a great trilogy.

Here is what others had to say:

Dear Author
LesleyW's Book Nook

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Review – Only With Your Love

Title: Only With Your Love
Author: Lisa Kleypas
Publishing Date: 1992
Genre: Historical
Rating: B-
Sensuality: Hot

Celia Vallerand is sailing to America from France with her new husband, Philippe when their ship is attacked by pirates. Her husband dies trying to save her life and she is taken prisoner. She is to be a present for the leader’s brother. The pirates sail to their own private island, which serves as a place to hide their stolen goods. This is when Celia is given to Andre, a big nasty fat man with a penchant for roughing up the women he sleeps with usually ending in death.

Celia is saved from this fate by another pirate Captain Griffin, only he is not fat and nasty, he’s a gorgeous specimen of a man with piercing blue eyes and silky black hair. He promises to take Celia back to her husband’s family in New Orleans.

I had a few problems with this book, the main one being Celia’s instant attraction to Captain Griffin. It was hard for me to believe that a woman who had just seen her husband’s bloody dead body and a woman who had been beaten and almost raped would be mentally capable of dealing with feelings of lust at this point. It is too much of a stretch for me for this scenario to work.

What did work for me was the winding and twisting plot. There were a lot of surprises in this book. There were some that I saw coming and some I did not. This is what kept me turning the pages, not necessarily the characters themselves. Celia was just okay for me. She didn’t really leap off the pages. I felt that she was just a tad bit selfish for me to really like her. Griffin was a major jerk, but I liked him anyway. He was definitely selfish too.

*Warning* This book has a forced seduction scene that borders precariously close to rape.

Here is what others had to say:

Reading Adventures

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Review - Partners in Crime

Title: Partners in Crime (Two short stories)
Authors: Josh Lanyon and Sarah Black
Publishing Date: January 2008
Genre: GLBT (Mystery)

Title: Cards on the Table
Author: Josh Lanyon
Rating: B
Sensuality: Hot

Tim North comes home after swimming in his apartment complex’s pool to find a tarot card pinned to his front door. He thinks it might have something to do with a book he is writing on the unsolved murder of the famous actress Eva Aldrich. He wonders if it is a warning or threat of some kind. His neighbor Jack Brady, who he had gone out on a couple of dates with some six months ago, is a homicide detective. Tim decides to ask his advice even though they were on friendly terms he wasn’t sure how he would be received.

I liked this book. Tim narrates the story from his point of view. He is a very down to earth kind of guy, albeit a little reckless at times. I enjoyed how we get little snippets of who he is as the story unfolds. The story’s pacing is very well done. There was a very nice mystery involving a blonde bombshell from the 50’s that is interspersed nicely between scenes about Tim and Jack. I got a very clear picture of Jack’s personality through Tim’s point of view. Occasionally, I did feel that Jack’s words came off sounding a little cheesy. This is because I have a hard time picturing someone like Jack (a rough and tumble cop) talking sweet to Tim, his gay lover. When Jack was being very direct to Tim it was much more believable. I also liked how they talked through their problems, especially why Jack put their relationship on hiatus for six months. This was a quick, enjoyable read.

Title: Murder at Heartbreak Hotel
Author: Sarah Black
Rating: B
Sensuality: Hot

Peter Moon it the owner of Heartbreak Hotel, located in a small fishing town in Alaska off of Glacier Bay. Peter gets a call while at a bar in town to come home something bad has happened. His nephew has found one of Peter’s hotel guests murdered in the garden. Suddenly a relaxing vacation has turned deadly. Peter’s long time partner Sebastian appears the following day after the murder. Peter and Sebastian are possible suspects in the case.

Peter kind of reminded me of myself. I have always wanted to own my own bed and breakfast and have my own vegetable garden off the kitchen and make my guests delicious meals as they vacationed with me. Peter’s hotel feels more like a home than a business and his guests more like family than paying customers.

Peter did come across as a carpet at times, when it seemed he allowed Sebastian to walk all over him. I was worried about the romance angle of this story because Sebastian always leaves Peter. After staying with Peter for a while Sebastian gets the itch to move back to his shack in the wilderness and he has been doing this for fifteen years. This always causes Peter heartache. What’s to make Peter believe that this time Sebastian really wants to stay and won’t leave again? The author handled this problem in a satisfactorily way.

I found the beginning of the story very abrupt and confusing. I felt thrown into the story. By the third chapter, the story was flowing smoothly and my confusion was gone. The mystery plot is tight, but I thought took more of a backseat to Peter’s internal debate over his relationship with Sebastian (not that this was a problem for me). All in all, this was a nice, easy read.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

May Book Summary

Here are the books I read for the month of May. Again, I read 15 books. I seem to be developing a pattern. I was surprised to find that I read this many books this month, seeing how I was in a slump and wasn't motivated to read like I usually am. This summary doesn't reflect that at all. I am behind in my reviews, but all these reads will be reviewed.

1. Pursuit, Jennings (Romantic Suspense) Rating: B-
2. Playing Easy to Get, Cole, Kenyon, Black (Anthology) Rating: B-, D, A-
3. The Darkest Night, Showalter (Paranormal) Rating: C
4. Whitney, My Love, McNaught (Historical) Rating: B+
5. Ravyn's Flight, O'Shea (Science Fiction) Rating: B+
6. Coulter's Woman, Banks (Erotic) Rating: C
7. Get a Clue, Shavis (Contemporary) Rating: B+
8. Warswarn, Vaughan (Fantasy) Rating: B+
9. Slave to Sensation, Singh (Paranormal) Rating: B
10. A Carnal Agreement, Violet (Erotic) Rating: B-
11. Partners in Crime, Lanyon & Black (Mystery) Rating: B
12. Only With Your Love, Kleypas (Historical) Rating: B-
13. Warlord, Vaughan (Fantasy) Rating: A-
14. A Passion For Him, Day (Historical) Rating: C
15. Sweet Savage Love, Rogers (Western) Rating: B-

Monday, June 2, 2008

Review - Slave to Sensation

Title: Slave to Sensation
Author: Nalini Singh
Publishing Date: September 2006
Genre: Paranormal
Rating: B
Sensuality: Hot

Slave to Sensation is the first book in Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling Series. It features Lucas Hunter, the alpha leader of the DarkRiver leopard pack. In his world there are three types of people, the changelings – people who can shift shape to animal forms, the Psy - people who have special mind powers, who have been trained to suppress all feelings or emotions and then last but not least, regular humans.

Lucas has recently lost a member of his pack to a serial killer. He suspects that the killer is Psy because of a scent at the scene of the crime and how the murders are being covered up. He arranges a deal with the Duncan Psy family to build a multi million dollar housing complex. He is paired up with Sascha Duncan as a consultant to the deal. His goal is to get close enough to her in order to do some investigating of his own.

Sascha Duncan has been chosen to consult with Lucas for the project. Sascha has been hiding the fact that she has been able to feel emotions for a long time now. She knows that if she were found out by the Psy Council she would be rehabilitated. This means she would become, basically, a vegetable. She would rather kill herself than let that happen. When these two pair up with they can’t seem to fight their attraction to each other and Sascha is afraid of the consequences.

Slave to Sensation has well thought out, very in depth world building. It is a unique twist to the shape shifter romance with the addition of the Psy population. I liked that Sascha was very cerebral and Lucas very physical. It made for a unique pairing. Both characters were very likable and I was sympathetic to both the changelings and the Psy groups. I enjoyed Sascha’s interaction with the other members of Lucas’s pack. I enjoyed her surprise when someone would show her affection through touch. This was something that was lacking in her life growing up. One drawback for the romance though, was that Sascha kept denying Lucas’s love for her. She doesn’t exactly accept it until the very end of the story. I felt like it added unnecessary angst to an already problematic relationship.

There was a very large cast of characters, but I was not overwhelmed and somehow I was able to keep it all straight – all due to Singh’s talent as a storyteller. It did seem to me there was more of a focus on the Psy culture than the changeling culture and I wonder if that will change in future books in this series. All in all, this was a good start to a series and I am looking forward to more adventures in Singh’s world.

Here is what others had to say:

Rosario's Reading Journal
Dear Author
Reading All Night Long
The Book Smugglers