Monday, January 31, 2011
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Friday, January 28, 2011
It's rare I like the first book in a series but it does happen from time to time and this was one of those times. Cat and Bones are a great couple. They make me laugh, they make me cry and my favorite thing is that they work togather. Bones tries to protect Cat but she'll have none of that weak girlie stuff. She's a fighter. This series has a the good stuff. It has a great story, humor, other characters that make the story great, excellent adult scenes (raise eye brows here!) and two great main characters. What are you waitting for? Read the snippet from the first book in this series and go get it already!
Half Way To The Grave by Jeaniene Frost
Half-vampire Catherine Crawfield is going after the undead with a vengeance, hoping that one of these deadbeats is her father – the one responsible for ruining her mother’s life. Then she’s captured by Bones, a vampire bounty hunter, and is forced into an unlikely partnership.
In exchange for help finding her father, Cat agrees to train with the sexy night stalker until her battle reflexes are as sharp as his fangs. She’s amazed she doesn’t end up as his dinner – are there actually good vampires? Pretty soon Bones will have her convinced that being half-dead doesn’t have to be all bad. But before she can enjoy her status as kick-ass demon hunter, Cat and Bones are pursued by a group of killers. Now Cat will have to choose a side … and Bones is turning out to be as tempting as any man with a heartbeat.
Four strawberries without a doubt for Jeaniene Frost! Go grab this book, a blanket and some hot chocolate (add what you will to yours!) and relax and wait for more snow that they say is coming our way. Have a great week!
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Shadowfever, Karen Marie Moning, Bantam Dell, January 2011
"Evil is a completely different creature, Mac. Evil is bad that believes it's good."
MacKayla Lane was just a child when she and her sister, Alina were given up for adoption and banished from Ireland forever.
Twenty years later, Alina is dead and Mac has returned to the country that expelled them to hunt her sister's murderer. But after discovering that she descends from a bloodline both gifted and cursed, Mac is plunged into a secret history: an ancient conflict between humans and immortals that have lived concealed among us for thousands of years.
What follows is a shocking chain of events with devastating consequences, and now Mac struggles to cope with grief, while continuing her mission to acquire and control the Sinsar Dubh--a book of dark, forbidden magic scribed by the mythical Unseelie King that contains the power to create and destroy worlds.
Shadowfever is the culmination of events in the wild roller coaster of MacKayla Lane's life. For those familiar with the series, Mac is the ultimate heroine and her transformation from naive, sunny Georgia transplant to hard core, ass kickin Sidhe Seer. She survives the loss of her sister, the betrayal of her fellow Sidhe seers and the constant machinations of Barrons, the Fae, V'lane and others. Her sense of strength and perseverance over the near destruction of the world inspire and drive the reader to push for answers to the never-ending supply of questions each book in the series raises. As much as I'd like to discuss particulars, there are too many of my acquaintances who haven't finished this capstone piece and I don't want to give anything away. (I will say, I cried all through chapter one with Mac in her greatest grief!)
Karen Marie Moning seems to have found a niche - incorporating fantasy, romance and highly intricate drama. Her characters are truly multi-dimensional, displaying the duality of good and evil. Exploring themes that are often graphic, emotional, by far more gritty and real than her previous series with their slight paranormal bent (Fae-light, if you will), her Fever series may not be for the faint of heart. Mac Lane defines survivor. Jericho embodies mystery and pain in a sexy package that leaves readers panting for more. Her greatest gifts drive the mystery from book to book, answering tidbits and leaving more questions than answers. Thankfully, Shadowfever manages to answer the greatest mysteries with some satisfaction. The tension, having built over the last four installments, continues to wind tighter and tighter until the fevered (no pun intended) pitch at the end. The final showdown with the Sinsar Dubh, the Seelie and Unseelie, the Keltar and the Sidhe Seers explodes on the page and leaves the reader exhausted, sated and hopefully finding some peace.
I happily give this frustrating, angst provoking, sexy dark epic tale a delish 5 chocolate covered strawberries and will always bank on KMM for her fabulosity!
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Happy Tuesday everyone. The weather people are saying we are going to get about 5 inches of snow tomorrow, but I am not getting excited yet because they have told as that before and so far NADA. The review that I have for you this evening is from a new to me author and if you get the chance check her out.
This first book in the Heart series by Nicole Bradley is off to a strong start.
Charity Parris is going home. She is a survivor of an abusive marriage that cost her the life of her unborn child. Her ex-husband is now in jail and she is going back to New York to start her life over. Charity comes from a strong, close-knit family. Her mother is a district attorney and her father is the police chief at the precinct where she is now a detective, along with her brother. While her family may not understand why she stayed in her marriage, they are there to support and help her re-build her life.
Josh Muldoon is Charity's brother's best friend and a fellow detective. He is also the brother of her best friend and her teenage crush. Josh has had a long time crush on Charity as well but stayed away from her because she was his best friend's little sister.
Charity and Josh are made partners and have to investigate a murder case that is more than it originally appears. Can the partners learn to trust each other not only with their lives, but with their hearts?
This story has all of the elements to make it great -- strong lead characters, a good story and interesting secondary characters. I loved the extended families and see the potential for many more books based around the two clans. The mystery keeps you guessing until the end and the story line will draw you in. The only problem with this book is there are several disjointed scenes that interrupted the flow of the story. I think with some tighter editing on the next books, this series will be successful. I give Wounded Heart 3 chocolate dipped Strawberries.
This review was originally written for The Romance Reviews and can be found at:
Monday, January 24, 2011
Never know how much I love you... Never know how much I care... When you put your arms around me... I get a fever, that’s so hard to bear...
The Flu may be going around, but I have the Fever, Fae Fever! I have just started Karen Marie Moning’s Shadowfever and can’t wait for Jenn’s review of it later this week. To get you warmed up, I thought we would chat about the earlier books in Moning’s Fever series. I was really lucky that I did not have this series recommended to me until last year. That way there were 4 books already out and I zipped through them. I have been waiting for Shadowfever to come out for more than six months and I was not sure I was going to make it.
Darkfever is the first book in the series centered around MacKayla "Mac" Lane a young (22 year old) woman who leaves a small town in the U.S. to travel to Ireland when her older sister is murdered and leaves a cryptic message on her cell phone.
In Dublin, Mac meets the mysterious and very hot Jericho Barrons, and learns more about the deadly Fae, beings that most of humankind don't even realize exist, but that Mac can see in their unrevealed and often gruesome form. The book takes you through all of Mac’s emotions grief and regret over the death of her sister, determination to find what destroyed her, and intrigue with the world she is learning about and her special role in it. On the romance side of things Moning begins the development of good sexual tension between Barrons and Mac and introduces us to the gorgeous V'Lane a death-by-sex Fae.
The first book is a great foundation for the other Fever books and Moning does an exceptional job with creating this world that contains both very disturbing and dark elements and laughter and humor as our unlucky heroine is able to laugh at herself and the situations in which she finds herself. Moning builds suspense in many ways throughout the story and I could not get enough. I became so invested with the characters that I wanted to read the next book as soon as I finished this one. In fact, I had to go out and buy it the next day.
My recommendation is that you get all the books in the series before you started reading them, so you don’t have a panic attack wondering what is happening with your favorite characters while you are waiting for the next book to be shipped. Read the first book, and you will see that this is definitely a Fever that needs to be fed. I give the whole series 5 chocolate-dipped strawberries!
Reviewed by Cat Devon
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Romance, drama and love – what a great recipe for Jean Adam’s Yesterday’s Dreams. This is the first of a two-part series set in Patiki Bay, a small seaside town in New Zealand. Yesterday’s Dreams comes together into a smooth read with a mysterious handsome hero, a strong heroine and a love story that transcends a decade.
The book actually begins when Kane returns ten years later to find Emma nearly unchanged. Kane, however, has found success as a motivating speaker with a worldwide business. With Kane’s return comes a whirlwind of memories and unrequited dreams that Emma had hoped to leave behind. While she is fighting the attraction, Kane is embracing it. The author excelled in allowing the relationship to mature more naturally as the storyline rolled along. It was refreshing, and perhaps a bit more realistic, for the couple not to immediately fall into bed on their first moment of reuniting.
Kane holds the key to helping Emma out of the financial difficulty in which she has become immersed but Emma has a difficult choice to make in allowing him to help her. It is when she is forced into a corner by a corrupt bank executive that she turns to Kane for help. Her ability to ask for help exemplified her character and strength. The characterization was executed well.
The unique storyline in this love story is the introduction of their daughter, the very part of Kane that he unknowingly left behind all those years ago. Emma has been raising their daughter as a single mother but when Kane learns about her, he wants to know her. In the midst of a big storm, Emma learns to lean on Kane. The action during the storm lifted the books momentum at a point when I wondered what could keep the book going since resolution seemed nearly imminent. But the author packed in more emotion that solidified the book as a keeper and let the ending define the book.
RATING: Four Chocolate-dipped Strawberries!
This review was originally written for The Romance Reviews and can be found at: http://www.theromancereviews.com/viewbooksreview.php?bookid=1197.
Saturday, January 22, 2011
At the same time Lily struggles with her version of history, Thor lives with the belief that she left him when he needed her most. Her return calls up old feelings of anger and regret, lust and love, of the relationship he thought was perfect. And when Lily explains the truth behind her leaving, Thor is determined to turn their reunion into forever and never let her go again. His determination, and the acknowledgement that he was at fault, captures the reader who cheers him on in his pursuit of his lost love.
Untamable has a realistic storyline with characters to which the reader can easily relate. The theme of reconciliation is also one that calls to the romantic-at-heart who will not be disappointed in this story. Untamable is short and sweet... worth four chocolate-dipped strawberries.
This review was originally written for The Romance Reviews and can also be found at http://erotic.theromancereviews.com/viewbooksreview.php?bookid=1235.
Friday, January 21, 2011
Thursday, January 20, 2011
The anthology takes place in Whispering Cove, Maine, a small seaside village, where a ten-year high school reunion is bringing back the students who have all left town after graduation. Though they have each found some level of success, they have yet to find love.
Great secondary characters – the town’s grandfathers – have turned into matchmakers as they prepare for the return of their grandchildren. During a poker game, the men place a wager on which of their grandchildren will be the first to the altar, and the first to give them some great grandkids. The grandfather sub-plot is truly at the crux of what makes this anthology a winner.
In Wicked, the hero Braydon Mitchell is a sexy freelance writer who has spent the past ten years sailing around the world. He is returning home because of concerns for his grandfather’s health but Braydon also plans to mix in some fun and attend his high school reunion. But he certainly has no plans to put down anchor in the small town in which he was raised by his grandparents until he meets his grandfather’s sexy doctor and things change.
Danica Kent has returned as Whispering Cove’s town doctor after medical school and residency in the city. She provides care to all her patients but has a special place in her heart for the town grandfathers who suddenly seem to be up to mischief. A house call to one of them brings her face-to-face with Braydon, her high school crush, and she suddenly feels like the clumsy, dorky girl she was back then. Her reinvented self falters as she works to gain hold of her self-esteem in the face of Braydon’s return. Readers will appreciate and relate to how down-to-earth the heroine is.
Though it’s a short story, the reader watches not only the evolution of a sweet relationship, but also the blossoming of Danica’s spirit, as they discover a connection to one another. With a splash of humorous moments and some hot tantalizing encounters, Wicked is a good read. When sexual sparks flair between them, Danica and Braydon begin something that neither can predict how it will end. But I guarantee the hopeless romantics will not be disappointed.
Wicked In Whispering Cove gets 4 chocolate dipped strawberries.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
So the big ole full moon theory strikes again! I am the firmest subscriber to this theory - more than just tides and animals go nutty around full moons....just ask any nurse or doctor, they'll tell you! So, in honor of the fact that tonight will no doubt be a crockpot of hot mess...have a quick nibble of something oh so delish! Mmmmm, mama loves her some eye candy!
In honor of our continuing Diversity Week highlights, allow me to bring up a story I read about a year ago by Alisha Rai. Glutton for Pleasure was my first of her works and let me tell you - I am sold, a true blue fan girl now! Ms. Rai knows how to spin a story that feels real, rings true, has great characters with real flaws and smokin' hot lovin! Yep - definitely a big ole fan girl! So without further ado....
Glutton for Pleasure, Alisha Rai, Samhain Publishing, March 2009
They’re craving something sweet. She likes it spicy.
Devi Malik knows how to heat things up. She does it every night as head chef in her family’s Indian restaurant. Her love life, though, is stuck in the subzero freezer. Now, with a chance to fulfill a secret fantasy with her long-time crush and his brother, it’s time to put her desire on the front two burners.
For Marcus Callahan, a love-’em-and-leave-’em attitude isn’t only a necessary evil of their kink. It’s a protective device. Lately, though, his brother Jace has been making noises about craving something more. Jace’s dissatisfaction with their lifestyle grows with every glimpse of sweet little Devi. Yet Marcus is too haunted by the pain of their shared past to give love a chance.
Despite their reputation for vanishing with the dawn, they discover one night with Devi isn’t nearly enough. And Devi finds herself falling in love with two very different men. It’ll take more than explosive sex to light up the shadows surrounding the Callahan brothers’ secrets. But Devi’s never been afraid of the dark…
Warning: This title contains two sizzling men for the price of one, ménage a trois, oral sex, anal sex, fun toys, great food, and creative uses for syrup and dressing rooms.
Alisha Rai's Glutton for Pleasure explores themes of interracial romance, child abuse, alternative relationships, the fears and pain men and women bring to relationships that have the power to hurt or heal. You mix two hot heroes with one spicy heroine and you have magic in the kitchen, bedroom, car, store, etc.! The relationship between Devi and the Callahan brothers is unique. I enjoyed the character's attempts to define her feelings for each man individually, as opposed to some stories which makes menage relationships seem like the two men are interchangeable or completely similar in their behaviors and motiviations. Even brothers have major differences with internal driving forces. And I really loved the way their emotions swept in and took them all by surprise - it's one thing to engage in an exotic one night stand and quite another to repeat it and discover that more exists beneath the surface. Okay - so this has most of my favorite things all rolled into one: M/F/M menage, rubenesque heroine, spicy indian food and, most of all, folks who get completely surprised by love sneaking up and smacking them between the eyes. Erotic writing at its best with sexual tension, well crafted storyline and characters with depth!
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
It's another Tuesday, I just finished having dinner with the family and now I am listening to them clean the kitchen while I drink a glass of wine and tell you about the yummy book I just finished. This was the first book that I have read by Marilyn Lee but let me tell you that it won't be the last. This book is an erotic feast and I am glad I took a bite.
Falling for Sharde, Marilyn Lee, Self Published, December 2010
After nine years spent in love with her boss, Jefferson Calder, Sharde Donovan is tired of being treated like one of the boys. During a long weekend at a remote cabin, she seduces him.
Upon their return to the city, Sharde is dismayed by Jefferson’s assertion that he wants nothing more than friendship with benefits. In an effort to make him admit he wants more, she does the unthinkable—starts to date his chief business rival.
Clayton Frazier, the handsome owner of Fra-tech has never made any secret of his interest in Sharde. After outbidding Jefferson to secure a lucrative government contract, he now has his sights set on Sharde—just as circumstances forces Jefferson to realize how much she means to him.
Sharde has been working for and with Jefferson for nine years, and in that time she has watched him give his heart to two women who both cheated on him. Neither woman loved him the way that she does but he just didn't seem to see her as anything more than a buddy. Well that is about to change. She goes away for the weekend with him to his cabin with seduction on her mind. Her plan is successful and upon their return she is sure that things will become more serious.
Unfortunately Jefferson just wants to be friends with benefits and keep things casual. During a conversation both say some things that they wish they could take back and Jefferson leaves Sharde only to end up picking up a woman in a bar and taking her home. When Sharde calls to tell Jefferson that she understands his reluctance to rush into another serious relationship the woman answers. Hurt that he could leave her and go straight to bed with another woman Sharde turns in her resignation. When Jefferson finds the resignation he tries to explain that while he did pick that woman up he did not sleep with her, too hurt to forgive Sharde tells him to go and leaves her job. It's not until Sharde is gone that Jefferson realizes exactly how he feels about her, but now it might just be to late because there is another man that wants her.
This book was a classic example of how women usually attach more emotion to sex then men. Now I know not all women do...there are some Samantha's out there but for the most part we do. This was a very well written story and I found myself very much invested in the characters and what happen with not just them but the secondary character's as well. I swear if Darbi doesn't get a book I am going to cry!!! I give this book 5 chocolate dipped strawberries, and a LARGE glass of ice water on the side because this book is scorching!
Monday, January 17, 2011
When you talk about romance among species, one femme fatale stands out- Anita Blake. Anita Blake is the main character of a wonderful series written by Laurell K. Hamilton. Most of the Guilty Indulgence Book Clubbers are completely hooked, some have finished the series which currently stands at seventeen books and counting, and some, like me, have passed third base at book thirteen and are sliding into home.
Some of the underlying themes include acceptance of who you are, the good, the bad and the ugly-whether vampire, necromancer, zombie, were, witch, or mere human, and secondly, there is much to be gained by working together in friendship and love with others who may look different and have different powers or strengths than you. It is not only the right thing to do; it lets you kick bad guy butt!
In the series, Anita Blake is an animator by day which is someone who can raise the dead, and by night she is a vampire executioner helping the St. Louis police department solve bloody murders and mishaps. Out of her work for the police and her crazy personal life among the preternatural, she ends up creating a veritable menagerie by helping every wayward were or supernatural creature that gets in the cross hairs of a bad guy. By the thirteenth book, she has wererats, werewolves, werehyenas, wereleopards, wereswans, and a werefox all looking to her for protection and leadership and all willing to sacrifice themselves for her. Add to that a few Master Vampires at her beck and call and she has quiet the entourage. She goes from being rather prudish and human-centric to having lustful encounters with werewolves, wereleopards and vampires, sometimes all at the same time. The books are full of diverse characters both good guys and bad guys as Anita travels outside St. Louis for work and the author shows you other venues and cultures both through current activities and flashbacks.
If you want to spice up your life and become enmeshed in a very diverse world, pick up the first Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series book, Guilty Pleasures, you won’t regret it. Without hesitation, I give Guilty Pleasures 5 chocolate dipped strawberries.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Saturday, January 15, 2011
The end of military week is upon us and we are going to finish it up by kicking it old school with the third book in Monica McCarty's Highland Guard series, The Ranger.
The Ranger, Monica McCarty, Ballentine Books, December 2010
Chosen to help Robert the Bruce in his quest to free Scotland from English rule and claim his crown, the legendary team of warriors known as the Highland Guard battles on.
Embedded deep behind enemy lines, Arthur “Ranger” Campbell is prized for his razor-sharp senses and his ability to blend into the shadows. But when Arthur infiltrates the clan of the chieftain who murdered his father, his heart is locked on revenge. Inside he faces unexpected resistance from the sweetest of obstacles—a honey-haired siren who is his enemy’s daughter.
Intrigued by this ruggedly handsome newcomer to her father’s forces, the vivacious, enchanting Anna MacDougall is a woman whose skill at uncovering deception rivals Arthur’s own. Though yearning for a quiet life with a good man to love, Anna is drawn to this mysterious knight whose eyes devour her but whose words push her away. As danger, treachery, and the threat of looming war draw them closer into each other’s arms, a warrior made of steel must make a choice from the heart: love or revenge.
Well she has done it again! McCarty has given us another strong story to continue her Highland Guard series. I didn't know how she was going to bring these two character's together since they start at such opposite sides, not only in the ongoing civil war but in a long standing clan war as well. I enjoyed watching the two character's romance develop and can't wait to see who she brings us next. While some of the inner dialog can seem a bit drawn out it is so worth reading when you get to the action parts and the love story. I can't wait for my next trip to the 14th century.
Friday, January 14, 2011
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Nikolai Steele, aka Renegade, is asked to help Mikayla as a favor to an old friend. The unique twist is that his friend is the very same person Mikayla has accused of the crime. He is adamant he is not the killer and Nik believes him. When Nik meets Mikayla, he is captured by “the fiery and determined beauty” and discovers that no matter how hard he looks, he can’t believe she is lying either. So instead of investigating her, they end up working together to solve the mystery.