Thursday, July 30, 2009

Joint Review - Danger in a Red Dress

Hey everybody! I have a joint review of Danger in a Red Dress by Christina Dodd that I did with Nath over at Breezing Through. Be sure to head over and check it out!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Summer Sizzler Contest

Hey folks! I have gotten wind of a really great contest that I want to share with you. Kimberly Killion is having an awesome Summer Sizzler contest.

She is featuring a basket of "New to You Authors" which includes 16 autographed books + a $25 B&N giftcard. I have read some of these books and can attest that this is a great haul.

Don't delay, go HERE to sign up for the giveaway.
The winner of the SUMMER SIZZLER will be announced on September 1.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Review - A Vampire's Claim

Title: A Vampire's Claim
Author: Joey W. Hill
Publishing Date: March 2009
Genre: Paranormal (Erotic)
Rating: B
Sensuality: Burning

A Vampire's Claim is book three in Joey Hill's Vampire Queen Series. A Vampire's Claim even though it is the third book actually takes place about 60 years prior to the first two books of the series. The first two books are about Lyssa and Jacob and you don't necessarily have to have read them to enjoy this book. Although, the first two books are good and you might want to read them anyway! This book is the story of how Devlin, an Australian bushman became Lady Daniela's servant.

Lady Daniela is a vampire and it is common for vampires to take a human servant that they give three marks. While all servants are given at least two marks it is a very special honor to be chosen for the third mark. A unique and very strong relationship forms between a vampire and her fully marked servant. She has to rely on this servant for protection while sleeping, nourishment from their blood and also physical and emotional companionship. Dani is a young vampire and hasn't ever had a fully marked servant before. When she meets Dev it seems their destiny is inescapably intertwined.

A Vampire's Claim is an extremely scorching hot read with most of the focus being on Dani and Dev's physical relationship. What first starts out as a sexual attraction, slowly evolves into a deeper emotional attachment that has both Dani and Dev worried. Dev himself is a damaged man who lost a wife and child tragically. He is no longer capable of loving on that level again. Dani is supposed to view her human servant more as a beloved pet than a soul mate. She worries about her unnatural attachment to Dev.

The world building takes a backseat to the sex, but what is there is good. Vampires live in a hierarchy and play dangerous political games. These games make it possible for Dev to showcase his talents in both bed and out. Readers will fall in love with the tragic hero and root for him to find peace. Dani is not as well drawn as Dev, but is still a worthy heroine for him. Fans of Joey Hill and readers who enjoy lots of imaginative sex won't want to miss A Vampire's Claim.

Here is what others had to say:

Dionne Galace

You can purchase this book in print format from Amazon.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Upcoming August Releases!!

Dark Queen Series #4

Troubleshooter Series #15
Romantic Suspense

Masters of Time Series #5
Time Travel

Vampire Queen Series #4

School of Gallantry Series #2

Dirk & Steele Series #9

Romantic Suspense

Final Prophecy Series #3

Romantic Suspense

Fever Series #4

These are the books I am looking forward to next month, what about you?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Review - The Conqueror

Title: The Conqueror
Author: Kris Kennedy
Publishing Date: 2009
Genre: Medieval
Rating: A-
Sensuality: Hot

Guinevere de l'Ami finds herself facing marriage to a man she has no desire to marry after her father passes away. As his heir, she comes with vast lands that many noble men want to acquire. There is much political unrest currently in England. King Stephan is slowly losing his loyal vassals to Henry. Guinevere tries to run away to an abbey the night one of her neighboring lords tries to forcibly wed her. On her way to the abbey she is rescued by an unknown knight. The knight turns out to be none other than Griffyn Sauvage. Their father's were once good friends, but a treasure came between the two men and Gwyn's father took Griffyn's home from him. Griffyn had made a vow to take it back one day and soon he would at the war's end. Complications arise when Griffyn finds himself inexplicably drawn to Gwyn. She is the light in his dark existence.

I read this book because of Holly's and Wendy's reviews. I happen to really enjoy the medieval genre and I haven't come across any recently published books that have caught my attention. I am so happy to say that The Conqueror lived up to my expectations and actually managed to surpass it! This is Kris Kennedy's first book and hats off to her, because it is a great read!

I really enjoyed the connection that Griffyn and Gwyn form for one another at the beginning of the story. They are both amazed by their attraction to the other and they easily express their affection and act on it. They don't play any games when it comes to expressing their feelings, but there is plenty of conflict in terms of politics. The angst in this story is derived from each person's loyalty to a different king. While some readers may find Gwyn's loyalty excessive, I found it in keeping with her personality. It kept my heart thumping along this intense ride.

What really makes The Conqueror stand out from the masses is the interesting subplot with the treasure that Griffyn and Gwyn's families have guarded for centuries. Neither one of them fully understands what it is they are guarding and as they are discovering clues about the treasure so is the reader. I also enjoyed Griffyn's relationship with his friend and Alex. I liked that Alex was multi-faceted and he brought a depth to Griffyn that was needed to balance out the story. Kris Kennedy has the ability to really draw the reader into her story with a creative plot and likable characters. I highly recommend this one for fans of the medieval genre.

This book can be purchased in print or kindle format from Amazon.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Blogger Meet and Greet: Need Your Input!

Hey everybody! I am guest blogging over at AccessRomance today. Please come and help me brainstorm for a fun blogger meet up.

Oh yeah!! The picture is a hint of my idea!!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Dreamfever release in less than 30 days!

Yes, yes, yes!!!!! We are in the home stretch people. Dreamfever will be released in less than 30 days. I know the book I have posted for Nath's Re-read Challenge is Outlander (one of my absolute favorite books), but with Dreamfever coming out next month, I feel the need to re-read Faefever. I realized in my excitement about the excerpt for Dreamfever in RT Magazine, I forgot to post the excerpt from Karen's newsletter. According to Karen it will be the last one too. Maybe this will tie you over in the mean time.

I kicked the table at him. It crashed into his shins. I picked up a lamp from the end table. Flung it straight at his head. He ducked again. I grabbed a book. It thumped off his chest.

He laughed, dark eyes glittering with exhilaration.

I launched myself at him, slammed a fist into his face. I heard a satisfying crunch and felt something in his nose give.

He didn't try to hit me back or push me away. Merely wrapped his arms around me and crushed me tight to his body, trapping my arms against his chest.

Then when I thought he might just squeeze me to death, he dropped his head forward, into the hollow where my shoulder met my neck.

"Do you miss fucking me, Ms. Lane?" he purred against my ear. Voice resonated in my skull, pressuring a reply.

Monday, July 20, 2009

My brief take on RITA 2009 Winners

The biggest conference concerning the romance industry just took place in Washington DC last week. I unfortunately was not able to attend, as so many other fellow bloggers were. Let's just say I lived vicariously through them with their lovely recaps with lots of photos!

At this conference they hold an award ceremony. I don't really know a whole lot about the process for the selection of these books. I do know that the RITAs are an award that is given to writers from writers. There are several different categories. Here are this years nominees and the winners!

Best First Book

No Good Girls by Jean Marie Pierson
Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs WINNER
Passionate by Anthea Lawson
Private Arrangements by Sherry Thomas
Strangers In The Night by Kerry Connor
The Secret Soldier by Jennifer Morey
Your Roots Are Showing by Elise Chidley

I hadn't actually read any of these books. No surprise there since they are all from debuting authors. I have heard of Private Arrangements by Sherry Thomas and had it checked out, not once but twice, from the library and never managed to read it. It was heavily pimped by Dear Author and other bloggers (I can't remember specifically who now...)

Contemporary Series Romance

A Mother’s Wish by Karen Templeton WINNER
Adopted: Outback Baby by Barbara Hannay
Antonides’ Forbidden Wife by Anne McAllister
Falling For The Lone Wolf by Crystal Green
Last-Minute Proposal by Jessica Hart
Texas Heir by Linda Warren
The Children’s Doctor and the Single Mum by Lilian Darcy
The Cowboy’s Christmas Miracle by RaeAnne Thayne
The Right Mr. Wrong by Cindi Myers

I am not really a big fan of category books and once again I haven't read any of these books. (LOL, I am sure you will see a recurring theme here.) I know some people are thrilled that Karen Templeton won this award. The ladies at Book Binge, The Good, The Bad, The Unread and Wendy the Super Librarian have pimped her books before.

Contemporary Series Romance: Suspense/Adventure

A Sexy Time Of It by Cara Summers
Cold Case Connection by Kathleen Long
Danger Signals by Kathleen Creighton WINNER
Lethal Attraction by Diana Duncan
Strangers In The Night by Kerry Connor
Tall, Dark, and Lethal by Dana Marton
The Man Behind the Cop by Janice Kay Johnson
The Secret Soldier by Jennifer Morey
Twin Targets by Jessica Anderson

Jessica Anderson is the only author I have read out of this group, but I haven't read this book.

Young Adult Romance

Hell Week by Rosemary Clement-Moore WINNER
How to Hook a Hottie by Tina Ferraro
Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs

It's interesting that there are only three finalists in this category. I wonder if that was because that was all to choose from.

Historical Romance

Duchess by Night by Eloisa James
In Bed with the Devil by Lorraine Heath
Private Arrangements by Sherry Thomas
Seduce Me at Sunrise by Lisa Kleypas
The Edge of Impropriety by Pam Rosenthal WINNER
The Spymaster’s Lady by Joanna Bourne
To Seduce a Sinner by Elizabeth Hoyt
Where the Heart Leads by Stephanie Laurens

Now this category is loaded with award winners. It would be really difficult to choose among them. I have read the Kleypas and Bourne book. Both I thought were excellent. I haven't read To Seduce a Sinner, but I would have liked to have seen Hoyt get a RITA. She definitely deserves it. Hopefully, she will get another chance next year.

Regency Historical Romance

Duke Most Wanted by Celeste Bradley
Mr. Cavendish, I Presume by Julia Quinn
My Lord and Spymaster by Joanna Bourne WINNER
The Dangerous Duke by Christine Wells
The Edge of Desire by Stephanie Laurens
Three Nights of Sin by Anne Mallory

The only book I read out of these finalists was My Lord and Spymaster, which I LOVED and I am so happy that Joanna Bourne won the RITA!

Inspirational Romance

Deep in the Heart of Trouble by Deeanne Gist
Faking Grace by Tamara Leigh
Finding Stefanie by Susan May Warren WINNER
Love Starts with Elle by Rachel Hauck
Mulberry Park by Judy Duarte
The Convenient Groom by Denise Hunter
The Perfect Life by Robin Lee Hatcher
Where Love Abides by Irene Hannon

I am ashamed to admit that I have never read an inspirational romance. I haven't even heard of these authors. Maybe I need to set a new goal for myself. Food for thought.

Romance Novella

“All He Wants for Christmas” by Jill Shalvis in Heating Up The Holidays
“Blame It on the Mistletoe” by Terri Brisbin in One Candlelit Christmas
“Only You” by Jacquie D’Alessandro in It Happened One Night
“Our Day” by Jean Brashear in The Valentine Gift
“Penance” by Sharon Sala in Aftershock
“Snowy Night with a Highlander” by Julia London in Snowy Night with a Stranger
“The Fall of Rogue Gerard” by Stephanie Laurens in It Happened One Night WINNER
“Thicker Than Blood” by Meljean Brook in First Blood

This was another category that has a lot of award winning authors. I have read many of the authors: Jill Shalvis, Meljean Brook, Stephanie Laurens, and Sharon Sala, but I haven't read any of these novellas. I want to read the ones by Lauren's and Brook's.

Paranormal Romance

Dragon Wytch by Yasmine Galenorn
Mine to Possess by Nalini Singh
The Darkest Night by Gena Showalter
The Healer by Sharon Sala
The Undead Next Door by Kerrelyn Sparks
Thunder Moon by Lori Handeland
Seducing Mr. Darcy by Gwen Cready WINNER

I was surprised by the winner for this one. I know Nalini Singh has a huge fan base and I usually hear nothing but praise about her Psy/Changeling series. Her books are not for me as I can't seem to connect with the characters. I wasn't very impressed with Gena Showalter's book either. I do happen to enjoy time-travel books, but am less enthusiastic about Pride and Prejudice rip offs. I'll add it to the wish list, though and see for myself.

Novel with Strong Romantic Elements

Last Dance At Jitterbug Lounge by Pamela Morsi
The House on Tradd Street by Karen White
The Paper Marriage by Susan Kay Law
The Shape of Mercy by Susan Meissner
The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley
Tribute by Nora Roberts WINNER
Where Serpents Sleep by C.S. Harris

Bow down to the queen that is 'La Nora'. She once again walks away with a RITA. How many is that for her now? I will say I have heard very good things about The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley. That book is definitely worth a read too. Again, I haven't actually read any of these books.

Romantic Suspense

Killing Fear by Allison Brennan
Now You Die by Roxanne St. Claire
Scream for Me by Karen Rose
Stop Me by Brenda Novak
The Angel by Carla Neggers
Take No Prisoners by Cindy Gerard WINNER
Triple Exposure by Colleen Thompson

Again another category beefed up with heavy hitters. Karen Rose is an awesome writer and I am a total fan girl of this local Florida author. I haven't ever read anything by Cindy Gerard, but I have heard positive praise for her work. I will have to remedy this and read a book by her soon.

Contemporary Single Title Romance

No Good Girls by Jean Marie Pierson
Not Another Bad Date by Rachel Gibson WINNER
Out of Time by Samantha Graves
Snowfall at Willow Lake by Susan Wiggs
Sweet Talk by Susan Mallery
Tall Tales and Wedding Veils by Jane Graves
Twenty Wishes by Debbie Macomber
Your Roots Are Showing by Elise Chidley

I am just going to tell you right now, that I really wanted Jane Graves to win for Tall Tales and Wedding Veils. I just love Jane's books. They are funny and touching all at the same time. She is not as well known as some contemporary authors, but she is just as talented.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Review - Lip Service

Title: Lip Service
Author: Susan Mallery
Publishing Date: June 2009
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: D
Sensuality: Hot

Skye Titan fell in love with the neighboring rancher's son when she was just 18 years old. Only her father put the kibosh on their budding romance and Skye was left with no choice but to leave her feelings for Mitch behind and marry the man chosen for her by her father. She had a daughter with him and they had a nice marriage, albeit a passionless one for several years until he died leaving Skye a young widow. Mitch did not take being dumped by Skye very well and left his Texas home to join the Navy. He became a SEAL and saved lives on a daily basis, until he lost his leg to an explosion. Now he is back on his ranch, bitter and angry with the world. He wants to make Skye pay for the hurt she has caused him only his passion for her still hasn't diminished over the years, nor hers for him.

Lip Service frustrated me dearly to no end. It has nothing to do with Mallery's talent as a writer. She is extremely competent, but if only her characters Skye and Mitch could be too, would this book have been a better reading experience. The first part of the book, Mitch is a complete and utter ass to everybody he encounters, his own family and of course Skye. He is bitter and angry and feels like he has nothing to live for. Skye is frustrating because she has no backbone when it comes to her father, Jed. She is constantly trying to prove herself to him, even though it is obvious to the reader that nothing Skye does will ever be good enough for Jed. She just needs to get away from him because he is a poison in her life. Skye needed to come to this conclusion much sooner than she did in the book.

The real kicker that made me want to throw the book at the wall came towards the end of the story. Skye finally manages to win Mitch's trust back and not two seconds later she is off repeating the same mistakes that she made eight years before. Once I could understand, but twice pushed me passed tolerance. I was extremely disappointed with Skye's growth in the story. On a positive note, I am curious to see how the plot with Skye's half-brother Garth will turn out. I am not sure I want to devote anymore time to this series, as the first two books have been less than stellar reads. Maybe I'll wait and see what the word on the web is about Izzy's book (#3).

Here is what others had to say:

Talk About My Favorite Authors

You can purchase this book in print or kindle format from Amazon.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Review - Angels Fall

Title: Angels Fall
Author: Nora Roberts
Publishing Date: 2006
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Rating: A
Sensuality: Warm

Something terrible happened to Reece Gilmore back in Boston, terrible enough to cause her panic attacks and doubt her own sanity. Trying to make a new life for herself she hits the road and is not sure where she will end up. She is just living in the moment trying to survive each minute, each hour. Her radiator in her car finally gives up in the quant town of Angel’s Fist, Wyoming. As she is walking down the street waiting for her car to get fixed she notices the sign in a diner window proclaiming a need for a cook. With only $200 in her pocket, she decides maybe it's time to stop running and get a job.

Not more than a week into her stay in Angel’s Fist as she is hiking a trail Reece witnesses a murder. When she reports what she saw the town Sherriff investigating doesn't quite believe her. There is no evidence of the supposed murder that she witnessed; no body and no signs of a struggle. Her only saving grace is that local recluse and mystery author Jamison Brody believes her. Strange events start happening and Reece begins to doubt her sanity. Brody and Reece start to build a trusting relationship and with each other’s help begin to decipher this murder mystery.

I am on a roll with my choice of romantic suspense books lately. Angels Fall is another one for the keeper stack. Reece Gilmore is a complex puzzle that readers will fall in love with. Sure she is a little bit neurotic with her tendency to check, double check and triple check the locks on her doors and windows. And sure she sleeps with the lights on and can’t handle small closed spaces, but that’s what makes her so unique and lovable. She wasn’t always like that but something horrific happened in her past. The reader doesn’t find out right away why Reece is this way and that is part of the intrigue to the story.

Brody is a perfect match for Reece. He is brutally honest with his opinions. Whenever Reece would start to have a panic attack he would not allow it. There would be no pity, or sympathy from his corner. He sees the inner strength in her, the courage that it takes for her to get up every day and face the world and he admires that. He only wants to encourage her to keep moving forward, not backwards. As soon as Brody takes the tough guy approach with her, it gets her back up. Reece not one to let him badger her, gives as good as she gets. Let the sparks fly!

I felt that the suspense and romance was perfectly balanced in Angels Fall. The romance was passionate and the suspense was thrilling. The town of Angel’s Fist is the perfect backdrop with its soaring sights and charming townspeople. I can see why Nora Roberts is the Grand Dame of romance.

This book was part of Keishon's TBR Challenge 2009. The theme for this month was wrongfully accused or just released from jail. This doesn't quite fit that description, but it had been lanquishing in my TBR since the book was first released three years ago. I don't know what took me so long to get to it!

This book can be purchased in print or kindle format from Amazon.