25 November 2008

COLUMN: BOOK-ADDICT AT THE OB/GYN




Now this actually happened last year but it still makes me roll my eyes just thinking about it LOL

Last year I had to go to the hospital and as experience taught me you better have something to read with you cause there might me a slight waiting period *said in sarcastic voice*. Without really looking or feeling odd about it I threw a novel in my bag and got going. So there I was early in the afternoon, reporting with the assistant and she told me to take a seat. So I looked around and the waiting area filled itself with round bellies in all shapes and sizes as time went by. The assistant came, the OB/GYN had an emergency so it might take a bit before she could go ahead with the appointments. In my head I thought of all the things I could have done in the mean time but hey, the woman had to look at my womb, tubes and ovaries if my x-chromosomes were still doing the thing as it's supposed to…or not LOL

So the pregnant ladies started buzzing about 3-D ultrasounds and how it was THE thing to do these days, what were the best products to use and what had to be in the nursery. They looked at me…then at my belly, gave me a smile and went on with their conversation, I laughed and took out my novel to combine pleasure with the necessary waiting period. It was Angela Knight with her Master Of The Moon and well, anyone who has read her knows she can write hot...
scintillating hot, and I had a wicked smile on my face that rivaled a true she-devil. *insert evil laughter here* The leading lady, Diana London is one of the Direkind and was going into heat and at page 10 the main couple already lit up the pages like a bonfire. *hello* I was sitting in the waiting room of the OB/GYN with mothers-to-be in front of me ROFL So I got as comfortable as I could and read a few pages more. So the wicked smile remained and suddenly the buzzing of voices quieted down and I looked up and 4 ladies where looking at the cover of Master Of The Moon.



Well I couldn’t call it flat out looking at the cover but more like stealing glances now and again. She-devil that I was, I put the book at eye level so they could *cough cough* look there fill. I could almost hear certain thoughts invade my mind, “jeez, how can a woman start reading that porn at the OB/GYN?” or “who is that guy on the cover, *yummy* can he extinguish my raging hormone fest going on right now?” or ”Is she a 100% in the head department, who reads that stuff in a waiting room?” Ok, it might not have been THAT bad but the condescending vibe was there as they oogled the cover LOL At that moment I just kept on reading and the ladies went back to the kiddy talk and 20 minutes later I got called in.

I remembered this for I had a new appointment at the OB/GYN yesterday and took Anne Bishop with me. Saetan, Daemon and Lucivar are a threesome I just can’t get enough of *heart beats a bit faster just thinking about them* Apparently I made a sighing noise or something for the guy sitting across of me had this smirk on his face like he caught me with a vibrator or something and all I did was squint my eyes a bit in anger, *pervert!* At that moment my name got called. Many people read at the OB/GYN, magazine’s of modern parenting, birth cards, information on pregnancy, birth and the weeks after…the targeted magazine’s of parents or parents to be. I wonder what is so freaking weird if one takes a book out of her bag and starts reading something else, does it make me the spawn of the devil for not catching up on the latest formula for babies?? Is it just the curiosity of people that makes them look and often judge or is it just me that has a “weirdo vibe” around myself?

I have never been embarrassed of the genres I read, I read in many and I just love the Romance genre. You will not catch me with a fabric cover that hides the bookcover from everyone’s view, you don’t like it?? Bad luck! When service men come to our house to fix things they see 2 big bookcases in my living room with many books in the historical, paranormal, suspense and contemporary genre, they sit right next to my Fantasy and Thrillers and well Nathan Kemp is well represented in my covers, half naked most of the times for my personal pleasure of course *VBEG* And those guys look at it too, they always make non-verbal comments with a look or a smirk…HATE that, it makes me want to scream: “ For the love of the Lord above, speak your mind!”


Hhmmmm, I think my inner Amazon speaks today ROFL I’m just wondering if I will ever strike up a conversation with a woman that will say: “Hey, I read {fill in blank with an author name like Angela Knight} and liked/loved her. Have you read…?” That will probably happen when pigs fly or something but hey, I can keep my hopes up and as for my trip to the OB/GYN, my womb is still there, as for my fallopian tubes and ovaries LOL

Until next Column {which will be about my TV watching habits}, have wicked fun reading and take care!

Hugs,
Leontine


REVIEW: LORA LEIGH - KISS OF HEAT

Paperback: 240 pages
Publisher: Ellora's Cave Publishing Inc. (November 1, 2005)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1419953400
ISBN-13: 978-1419953408


Summary:

Sherra and Kane - Snow Leopard Breed
Sherra has kept the natural mating heat breeds and their mates experience under control for far too many years. Its been ten years since the lover she was torn from in the labs returned. Ten years that’s she’s been forced to confront him nearly on a daily basis. And the heat is growing out of control. The woman’s emotions and fears are tearing through her. Now, she won’t be able to run from her mate much longer as old fears and deceptions begin to fade away beneath the love and aching need she never forgot for one man.


 
Review:
Kiss Of Heat with its 236 pages brought me sheer reading pleasure again in the Romantica genre. Though I haven’t read much within the Romantica [yet], I consider Lora Leigh one of the characteristic authors of this genre. The sultry blend of an erotically steeped bond between a male and female, along with a continuity in world and plot development provides a heady effect for the reader. I feel like a CD on replay of the same tune but up till now Lora Leigh has delivered enticing Breed stories!

Sherra has survived soul shattering events, like all the Breeds, but the loss she had to endure is something that will probably resonate with many female readers and from the moment this slice of information was dropped in a previous Breed novel I wanted to know so much more. Now in Kiss Of Heat Sherra and Kane step up to the plate and reveal their story. Stubborn pride and strong minds clash together in every way possible until buried emotions well up again and reveal another truth….

Sherra is a Feline Breed, an Amazon with the attitude to match and she is going into heat, desperately needing the touch of her mate. So many years ago she shared one night with Kane and in that night she unknowingly claimed him as her mate. So much has happened since then and all she gets from Kane these days is a pain in the ass. Nevertheless, her body burns for his touch, his scent and stamina.

Kane has a natural arrogance which makes people instantly sit up and pay attention. He needs Sherra with a ferocity that borders on insanity and now that Sherra is in heat it might provide him with an opportunity to get intimately acquainted again. Still, there is one incident that stands between them like the Grand Canyon and they both need to work on building the bridge!
Though I sometimes
 wanted to pound some sense in both Kane and Sherra I let the story capture me in all its facets. The profoundness of their emotions gave a two sided view of what happened. To see Sherra and Kane grow towards an overall understanding was a touching experience that left me with a full heart and a trembling lip. Of course with the progress in emotional awareness comes the mind blistering eroticism and though Kiss Of Heat emanates quite a bit of sexuality it stays well within the norm of acceptable. It is one on one, male with female and though the scenes were explicitly described it only heightened the emotional state of the starring couple.

While Sherra and Kane are dallying around each other with bared teeth there is also a sniper on the loose within the compound and has everyone on edge. Moments of close calls pump up the adrenaline, both with me as with the characters. And there are many recurring characters with Seth and Dawn who raised my interest, along with Tanner and Cabal in there indulging threesome’s. The courageous girl from Elizabeth’s Wolf, Cassie, is also a member of the group and it felt as though Kiss Of Heat and Elizabeth’s Wolf overlap each other in time frame.

All in all the Breed novels are an enticing interlude between the other genres I tend to read. With around the 250 pages I can easily go through a Breed novel in one sitting or afternoon and it provides a satisfying, in-depth novel to sustain my craving for a well rounded reading experience. As always Lora Leigh delivers plot wise an ending that only triggers the hunger for the next one.

Kiss Of Heat is another worthy episode to the Breed series that rapidly is becoming a cherished series on my shelves.

4 stars

REVIEW: JORDAN SUMMERS - RED


Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Tor Paranormal Romance (November 4, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0765359146
ISBN-13: 978-0765359148

Summary:
Gina Santiago is a member of an elite tactical team in charge of protecting the world. She’s devoted her life to apprehending the most heinous criminals that prey on society—and now she’s after the worst one yet.


On her own, with no backup, the trail takes her to a dusty, tight-knit town on the fringes of society, where everyone’s a suspect. Even the sexy sheriff, Morgan Hunter, isn’t telling her everything. Gina knows he’s trouble, but she’s inexorably drawn to him.

The closer Gina comes to finding out the secret of this sleepy little town and its big bad sheriff; the closer she comes to catching the predator, the more scared she gets—because she’s beginning to realize that she has a secret too. A secret that will change Gina’s life… and make her the killer’s prey.


Review:

It is with the very first chapter that the author, Jordan Summers, gives one helluva calling card by throwing me into the mind of one very dangerous usurper. Chills crept up my spine as the usurper had his way with his victim and it instantly obtained my undivided attention.

After a war of gigantic proportions life as we know it is over and the government has new rules with its newly formed republics. The author took me into an alternate future world that feels both authentic and provides a thoroughly set up background for the characters. And what I feel is just as important, it is all explained with a natural and fluent writing style that makes it easily accepted and understandable.

Red a.k.a Gina Santiago is a tough and hardened member of the International Police Tactical Team (IPTT) but also a bit of an outcast within the force due to her quirks. Unknowingly a discussion leads her to the road of self discovery and brings her to the town of the Sheriff, Morgan Hunter. War and responsibility for his town makes Morgan a rough around the edges but essentially a good guy. The heat they generate together adds another kind of spice to this tale. If the suspense didn’t already kept me spellbound to the pages it would be the raw attraction Red and Morgan feel for each other. The instantaneous combustion of wills add a fiery vibe and that in combination with the appealing suspense creates a potent story that inevitably draws you into this world. The cast is completed with a few well drawn secondary characters like Red’s grandfather, Robert Santiago, Mike Travers, Raphael Vegas and the M.E. Jim Thornton. Each bring their own voice to telling this tale and I gradually wanted to learn more about a few of them.

The whodunit concept kept me on edge throughout the complete story and though I got a fairly good hunch in the last third of the novel I couldn’t help myself but flip the pages in anticipation of getting it confirmed. From early on Jordan Summers introduces characters to this story that make you wonder if he or she would be the one. While the Paranormal suspense takes up better part of this tale there was no doubt in my mind of the attraction Red and Morgan feel for each other. The emotions sizzle under the surface, biding its time to erupt full force and staking its claim! It is even further enhanced by the secrets that lie between them, waiting to be shared so that a greater understanding of things can occur. This is where the careful growing of trust, the personal insecurities and the usurper who reeks havoc of blood and menace play their part. This is also a thing I would like to mention, this novel contains a bit more details on the violence but this is what makes the villain so creepy and what makes chills and thrills a part of the reading experience.

Certain things will get closure in this first book of the Dead World trilogy and then there are a few things that in the overall story arch is still ongoing. I feel that this will undoubtedly be pick up in the sequel of this trilogy, Scarlet, and I for one am looking forward to the release of this novel. I thoroughly enjoyed the first taste I got of Jordan Summers in the Paranormal Romance genre! She manages to provide the reader with realistic world building, nail biting suspense and a vibrant romance between a hero and heroine one can only root for. To do this in a crowded published genre is an accomplishment al on its own. Kudos to Jordan Summers.



REVIEW: SHANNON MCKENNA - OUT OF CONTROL

Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Kensington (April 1, 2006)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0758205635
ISBN-13: 978-0758205636


Summary:

In Behind Closed Doors and Standing in the Shadows, Shannon McKenna introduced the McCloud Brothers: intense, rugged, super-sexy, and deliciously sensual. Now, Davy McCloud is about to meet a woman he can't trust--or live without . . .

Disillusioned P.I Davy McCloud has learned the hard way not to follow blind impulse when it comes to women. He'd rather play it safe, and keep his life simple, calm and uncomplicated. But he's prepared to make an exception when Margot Vetter shows up to teach at the gym next door. The luscious, mysterious woman stirs a hunger he hasn't felt in a long time, as well as a fierce protectiveness he can't quite explain, expecially when her background check reveals she's hiding secrets--secrets of the ugly, deadly kind.

Margot is at the end of her rope. It's bad enough that she's broke and on the run, framed for a murder she didn't commit. Now, she's being terrorized by a malevolent stalker. The only person she dares to turn to is buff, scarily gorgeous Davy McCloud, a man who seems like nothing on earth could intimidate him. But Davy has questions of his own, and the closer she gets to him, the more Margot discovers that she can't hold herself back from this enigmatic, sensual man in any way.

Neither of them expected passion to flare this quickly--or to drag them into a danger as real as their love. Margot's past has finally caught up with her. And for Davy McCloud, life is about to get more than complicated . . .
It's turning deadly . . .


Review:
Davy is the oldest of the McCloud tribe, he is righteous, honorable and poised…until he met Margot Vetter.

Margot Vetter is an aerobics instructor, the days when she had a career in web design, a two hundred dollar haircut and quality clothing caressing her skin felt like a life time ago. Thanks to her former boyfriend she witnessed torture and death and was now on the run from the law. In a spurt of the moment she walks up to Davy and asks for advise on her stalker problem and from that moment on Davy was lost in the chaos of Margot life.

From the moment I met Davy in Behind Closed Doors I wondered what kind of woman would make him loose his balanced attitude and now I know. A “stubborn as hell”, “doesn’t accept crap from no one”, but still needs somebody to lean on woman named Margot. I witnessed a colliding of two control freaks that also hold on to a level of stubbornness that could aggravate them and me in the process. Though, I must say, it never failed to deliver fireworks, both verbally as physically.

After the death of his parents his extraordinary youth is filled with the responsibility to take care of three younger brothers and Davy is now a poised, in control man. He allows himself few attachments and he doesn’t reserve them for women. What he wants is mutual gratifying sex and just leave without the strings of emotions attached. What he wants with Margot is a civilized, sensible arrangement between two consenting adults.

Margot on the other hand just wants to survive. She is a “tell it like it is” woman with a down-to-earth attitude and humor. She tries to remain strong, a survivor but deep inside her, in a place where not many reach her, she is desperate and in need of a partner. Someone who’s right alongside her in this heap of trouble she’s in.

Davy and Margot bring the best, and sometimes the worst out in each other while a seriously twisted enemy is on the hunt. From the get-go Davy is invading Margot’s personal space and the more she push/pulls him, the more Davy has the need to get under her skin. But whenever Margot hits a personal string Davy retreats and shuts down. Obviously he has a few barriers of his own to battle with as Margot crowds his thoughts and feelings.

The vigorous banter between Davy and Margot was at some points off the charts enthralling, and it often led to a push-me-pull-you seduction of bodies. Nonetheless, it sometimes felt like the communication was a constant battle between them, many actions and opinions that needed a constant explaining and it sometimes tipped the scale to become annoying. What I really missed in the end was Davy sharing his feelings regarding the death of his parents because throughout the novel it is quite an issue between them as a growing couple. Other’s inform Margot of past events or circumstances and while this is fine I missed Davy opening up a bit about his past towards Margot. In my opinion a missed opportunity to create even more emotional depth between them. In the end I understood that Davy was more a - let my actions speak for them as I cannot find the words to express myself - kind of guy and the conclusion of the story left me fulfilled.

There are more things which protrude in this story, besides the vibrant characterization, it is Faris. There is a mind who is leading him that is so twisted, bend on power and deliberate in causing death and pain, that at moments it chilled me to the core. But most of all it was the skill of Faris and the enjoyment he took out of it, what kept me flipping the pages. The suspense is top notch again and delivered in a pace that completes the story as a whole.
Recurring characters like Raine, Miles, Connor and Erin play a part in this novel but it is Sean and Seth who have a larger secondary role to play and I did not object to this. Seth is my ultimate favorite coarse guy of the lot and the intention of Sean with the bridesmaids is forever branded in my memory. Also there is one scene in the end with Sean and Margot that again intrigues me to no end and makes me wonder what makes Sean truly tick. The male bantering is there again and adds to a certain familiarity in McKenna’s novels of the McCloud series. Pure male magnetism dripping from the pages and it is something I lapped up as a reader and can’t get enough of.

The romance had a bump here and there, the suspense fits the story like a glove and the characters unique in their diversity. Again I enjoyed to read a McCloud novel!

Quote: Margot and Davy:
She looked him straight in the eye. “Most guys don’t propose to a woman before they express their feelings for her.” Davy stroked the hair away from her cheekbones. “I figured all that gooey emotional stuff was automatically implied in a formal proposal of marriage.” His voice was low and cautious.

Quote Margot and Davy:
He rolled his eyes. “Tone of voice is subjective. Another way for women to whip themselves into a frenzy over significant issues.” She shoved him until he rolled off. “Welcome to Planet Female,” she said sweetly. “Enjoy your stay. The first stop on our tour will be Insignificant Issues. Please open your guide books to page 317.” He clapped his hands over his eyes. “Oh, God, why me?”


Quote Sean:
Sean shook his head. “This is the last time I try matchmaking.” He muttered. “That shit can get you killed.”


Quote Faris – He isn’t supposed to be funny but this quote just made me smile:
Bridesmaid: Romantic isn’t it?” She gestured at the newlyweds.
Faris: “Terribly, I keep looking for Disney birds and butterflies.”


20 November 2008

COLUMN: HOME SWEET HOME




I’m blowing on all my horns and whistles cause finally….FINALLY my Blog fits me right here *pounding on chest* Ten months or so ago a dear friend, Pearl, transferred herself from Weblog to Blogspot and I thought, nah, not going to happen. Leontine, I said to myself, you haven’t got all that much time left to set up a whole new Blog next to Myspace, Livespace and Weblog! But I did see possibilities for a new addition for our ROOB website, blogging is a hot thing to do with authors and we didn’t want to miss out on the fun. So in June Pearl gave me a Blogging 101 and I got going for Realms On Our Bookshelves, added a splash of color, a header, pimped the sidebar and we got rolling. As I was playing with the Blog of Realms I saw lots of opportunities to release all my inner creativity and then, many months ago on a Saturday, I was in an impulsive mood and deleted my Weblog with one click. A window pops up: Are you sure you want to delete your Blog??? “Yes” my mind roared. So gone were all my lists, my reviews, images and so on…and then I started thinking, did I just erase a year of energy in cultivating this Weblog to do what? Start a complete new one? Well, by that moment I didn’t have any choice left, I had deleted my Weblog and went to Blogspot.com. opened a new blog and got going. Now thankfully I already had a header just about finished, I knew how to work the page elements so my first draft was quickly created. I wanted something new and different though and started to work with my banner.

Now anyone who works with photoshop knows how much time it can take to create something like a banner. Do I choose to do something easy? Heck no, it always needs to link back to the passion for reading & books, also exude my personal flair and I loved those handwritten backgrounds I saw somewhere. So I thought why not add all the authors that are on my shelves…so I opened up another background layer and started to add the names of authors, each time adding another layer to my Header banner. But then I wanted certain author names to pop out of the banner with a shadow, stroke, outer glow and gradient overlay, in short…the whole package. I had the names in different font sizes too, so it would look more playful. I think I had myself about 40 layers or so and I practically got crazy from looking up the author names in all the layers. About two and a half hours later I finished up and added the header as you now see it to my Blog. In the mean time I started to add my reviews and let me tell ya adding a 115 reviews is a lot of work…I had a window open for amazon.com as I needed product information. My photoshop was open to do some last minute tweaking of images or shrinking covers to the right size. I had photobucket open and of course Realms On our Bookshelves website too since I have a lovely overview of my reviews there. I was dancing between many internet pages and programs to get the look of review posting as I have today LOL

That is when I started to read my reviews of waaaaaay back when I started and had multiple eek moments or a blush of embarrassment would glow my cheeks warm. Oh how far have I come *ROFL* I solemnly promised myself right there and then that if I would re-read Moning’s Highlander series and Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter series and a few more that I would re-review them! Anyway, I got crazy for a week and added just about every review I got and then thought, ok, reviews are check. That’s when my attention focused on my side bar, it needed some images, I’m just a visual kind-a-gal. My All-Time favorite novels needed to be showcased in a frame, so for a while I had my All-Time favorite novels displayed in a central line going down and demanded another 2 hours in photoshop. But last week I thought, nope, it ain’t working and had myself a creative moment again and added them in a gif flash element. This way my scroll finger got some more resting time. As I wanted all my page elements to have a self made header I got to work again on a Saturday and I think I had myself 4 different styles of headers. *Banged head to wall* I wanted the text to come out smooth and with a transparent background. I think I totally spent 2-3 days on the subject and then brother dear comes in, looks at want I want and says, “look sis, you can save them in PNG, that way you get what you want.” That was when my eye started twitching…

Have I already told you about the background of this Blog?? *scrolls back to read* nope…well I found this awesome Blog: http://gayabo.blogspot.com/ and this became my guru on all things HTML and how to pimp your Blog!!! This is how I found out how to adjust the background of the Blog with an image…well, I think I switched about a dozen times in images and the flow from header to background was just not to my liking. So after the, god knows how many tries, I decided to create one on my own. I wanted to do with the background what I did with my banner, but IMO text upon text is not the best of ideas. I just went for it, I think I added about 70 layers of author’s names to the background and worked for 5 hours straight, safe to say I was pooped by then. While the background worked for my Myspace it didn’t do the trick for my Blog and I was ready to pull hairs! So I left it for a day or two and started with a fresh look. That is when the opacity option finally blinked into existence and my current background, which I still love to bits, is at an opacity of 10% which gave the whole look I wanted and at those times I pound my chest in sheer rapture of accomplishment LOL

As I visited my round of other review Blogs in those months I noticed that they had a line with links added beneath the header, I wanted it too and went to my guru Blog again and though I had a few mistrials it was rather easy to do, along with adding a page element above the blog posts, adding an avatar to the post title and many other tiny things you can do with the HTML template version of the Blog. So the days turned into weeks, weeks into months and now I am ready to open a virtual champagne bottle to toast the final outcome of it all. I don’t want to know how many hours I spent in photoshop, looking for images on google, I don’t need to replay my own thoughts when things went south and I learned to save my HTML template as a backup if things DO go wrong.

I love to add my reviews to this Blog but I vaguely remember that a Blog is kinda like an online diary so I have three things I like to post regularly about: of course my reviews, and next to that I’m hoping I can frequently place a column/diary post on my ups and downs of life as a book addict. Also I have a thing in mind called reviews/books from the old box, there are so many books that I have read in Dutch but haven’t reviewed yet, if only to think on all my Nora Roberts books, Elizabeth Lowell with her Medieval trilogy, Anne Rice with her Witching Hour trilogy, Dan Brown with the obvious titles, Katherine Neville with The Eight and recently the sequel got published, and my old time favorite historical novels that I read as a teen-ager. Many will know the symptom: Too much to do, so little time but I hope to shape it all into the fact where I frequently post on this Blog and keep you all updated on my personal thoughts and feelings!

In the meantime birthday's has come and gone, I added another year to my age, America has elected another president, a financial crisis has hit the Netherlands, The euro/dollar balance tipped the scale like 30 cents, in favor of the dollar, I have read dozens of books and reviewed just as much, we had a meeting with Realms and celebrated ROOB's 2nd anniversary. Yet, here I am, in my new Blog home. I thought that after the first two weeks I could say hi and hello to everyone but I proven myself wrong, it took me five months but I finally can say: " This is truly The Realm Of Leontine!"


Hugs,
Leontine

REVIEW: SHAYLA BLACK - WICKED TIES

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Berkley Trade (January 2, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0425213617
ISBN-13: 978-0425213612


Summary:
She didn’t know what she wanted until he made her beg for it…

Morgan O’Malley has seen a lot of kinky things as the hostess of a cable sex talk show. But she’s never met a man like Jack Cole before. A self-proclaimed dominant, he’s as alpha as a male can get–and good for Morgan to have around when an obsessed stalker ratchets up his attempts to get to her.

Though Jack is a bodyguard, Morgan feels anything but safe in his presence. Because slowly and seductively, Jack is bringing her deepest fantasies to the surface. And when he bends her to his will, what’s more shocking than her surrender is how much she enjoys it–and starts to crave his masterful touch. A willing player in Jack’s games, Morgan knows that his motives aren’t pure, but she has no idea how personal they are…

 
Review:

I would like to give a shout out to all women out there who want a touch of the wicked, the forbidden and the enticement of a man named Master J. If you’re in the mood for a scintillating hot Romantica story then Shayla Black will give it to you like no other in Wicked Ties. It is with the very first sentence in her book that she hit a home run with me.

Quote:
Have you ever wanted to put yourself in the hands of a man whose sole purpose is to give you pleasure?


Upon reading this sentence my fantasy went into overdrive only to have it rivaled by Shayla Black’s writing skill and her astounding imagination! To conjure up moments of high voltage erotic scenes that still contains enough emotion is what gives this novel its depth. Morgan is confronted with her deepest hidden carnal secrets and it is the gradual process of acceptance that takes the reader into the world of Dominant/submissive. It allowed me to come familiar with the Dominant/submissive dynamics and it forged a bond between me, the reader, and the main characters, Jack Cole and Morgan O’Malley.

The journey of Jack and Morgan is not only one of erotic pleasures but the emotionally charged backdrop is just as well fleshed out. Jack as Master J is a bodyguard with his own company and he is contacted by the talk show Morgan hosts. When Morgan meets Jack to discuss the Dom/sub scene she is attacked by her stalker and before she has any idea what to do Jack has taken control over the situation. He takes her to a cottage in the swamp of Louisiana so he is on familiar territory to protect her.

Jack dares Morgan in such a way it becomes imperative for Morgan to answer the call, to finally reveal her most inner sensual desires and accept that what gives her pleasure. It is the step by step earning of trust between them that amplifies the impact of reading Wicked Ties. Both Morgan and Jack need to come to term with certain issues before they can truly become a Dominant and a submissive in every way possible. It is a delicate balance the author creates, the starring couple needs to hit rock bottom before the bond that is forged will gain in strength and a HAE is possible. With the combustible energy that is created between them it will scorch the fingertips as you’ll turn the pages. The dynamics of a Dominant as well as a submissive is portrayed beautifully and came across as life-like. All the elements of erotic driven scenes, romance, suspense attribute to the complete joy in reading this novel and I for one will be forever treasure this story.

Jack won me over by a land slide but there were two secondary characters that add something of their very own to this story. Brice, as Jack’s grandfather, just made me smile with his wicked gleaming eyes full of humor and then there’s Deke. As I write this review for Wicked Ties I know his story is told In Decadent and I’m clamoring for it! He adds a sharp edge to the relationship of Jack and Morgan but will also tug at your curiosity what he is all about.

While the erotic scenes are vividly described with equally erotic words they never are perceived as crude. Though this is of course a matter of personal taste and speaks to each reader’s comfort zone! I think that if you desire a read that takes the sensuality a big step further then you’re average romance novel but still contains romance, Wicked Ties is the way to go. The very sub-genre Romantica is created for luscious stories like this one!

Praise for Shayla Black in her high-octane lascivious read, Wicked Ties. Morgan O’Malley and Jack Cole are unforgettable together!

Quote Jack:
Do you want a man to see inside you, all the way to your fantasies, the darkest ones you don’t even tell your friends about, and make every one come true?


4.5 Stars

19 November 2008

REVIEW: DEBORAH SMITH - GENTLE RAIN

Paperback: 345 pages
Publisher: BelleBooks (November 15, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0976876078
ISBN-13: 978-0976876076

Summary:

Kara Whittenbrook is an unlikely heiress. Down-to-earth and lovably quirky, she’s never fit in with the stodgy Whittenbrook clan of Connecticut. Growing up at her parents’ rainforest preserve in Brazil, she has a quaintly off-beat view of life. Now her beloved parents have died in a plane crash, and Kara’s learned a stunning truth. She was adopted.

Her birth parents are Mac and Lily Tolbert, and they’re mentally handicapped. They live and work on a backwater cattle ranch in northern Florida. The ranch owner is a handsome, part-Seminole cowboy named Ben Thocco. He’s running out of time and money to save the ranch and care for the likable bunch of handicapped ranch hands he employs, including his own baby brother, Joey.

Kara, using a fake identity on the advice of her lawyer, arrives in Fountain Springs, Florida, and meets Ben and her birth parents under some very unusual circumstances.


Review:

My praise for A Gentle Rain goes beyond words as it left me with a rainbow of emotions when I closed this book.

When Kara stumbles upon secrets of her past it is up to her if she wants to find out more. And Kara does find more….when she arrives at a ranch in Florida owned by Ben Thocco she gets acquainted with its colorful people. In a matter of days Kara is a part of this new world, with a new job and new people to get to know. And a mare that has taken a liking to her and proves to the rest of the world what Ben Thocco, his brother Joey and Ben’s crew: Mac, Lily, Miriam, Bigfoot, Roy, Dale, Cheech and Possum all along knew. Still choices need to be made to uncover the secrets of the past or to let it remain in the past as love and family are found in an unexpected place…

I’m still pondering on words as this emotionally gripping story leaves me with blurry eyes, a warm heart and a grin on my face all at once. I believe this to be the strength of Deborah Smith’s writing, she’s able to tell a story of the heart, of people that I can meet just by stepping out into the world. The romance soars high in A Gentle Rain but it is the characters that Deborah Smith portraits that drew me into their lives and emotions. Ben had me from the moment he appears in the story! It’s just his down-to-earth behavior with a sense of humor that is purely his own and his loyalty to those he cares for that just had me at his hello. His past reveals itself in layers throughout the story and gives a reaction with Kara that just keeps me on the edge of my seat wondering when it all will be in the open, how will they react and above all, will love prevail!

This book is told from two perspectives, from Ben’s side and Kara’s and it took me a moment to feel the rhythm of it, but then it adds a dimension, a depth to it that I highly appreciated. I do feel that Kara was the center of this story and her growth as a person was one I enjoyed from start to finish. I could relate to Kara so easily and there for felt her journey as she felt it, with all the high and low points and many endearing moments. Those moments were often related to the crew on Ben’s ranch. Mac and Lily paint a beautiful picture of two people who simply love one another and that love has nothing to do with how smart you are but is just plainly something you feel in the heart. Joey, in all the trials of life he gives the lesson that all things should be savored in life, even the smallest pleasures can reward you with the brightest of smiles. Each character there on the ranch has such an outspoken personality that they, in their own way, make a lasting impression. From shy and quiet to brash and bold they possess a zest for life that teaches Kara to embrace life in all its possibilities.

What I truly was in awe of was how Deborah Smith gave voice to challenged characters who want to live life on their own terms making me fall for each of them. A Gentle Rain is told with a love for the contemporary romance genre and that though it holds moments of true pleasure, humor and love, it also is a story with moments that are painfully real which gave some blurry eyed moments. This gave a true feel to this tale and a human face to the emotions of the characters but also swept me away in all their thoughts and feelings that particularly reverberate with me. The love between Ben and Kara is simmering, carefully testing the strength of it and shines when they each come to know one another making me curl up on the couch with another cup of tea, knowing I will not close this book until I read the very last page.

With A Gentle Rain Deborah Smith gives us a novel where the background of Florida is a canvas for a breathtaking romance story between a man and a woman. Each has a past that entwines them in the present and gives them and their family a chance for a love filled future.

REVIEW: JENNIFER ASHLEY - THE CALLING

Mass Market Paperback: 357 pages
Publisher: Love Spell (May 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0505526875
ISBN-13: 978-0505526878

Summary:
Created at the dawn of time to protect humanity, the ancient warriors have been nearly forgotten, though magic lives on--in vampires, werewolves, the Celtic Sidhe, and other beings. But now one of their own has turned rogue, and the world is again in desperate need of the IMMORTALS.

He burst into the battle, his leather jacket billowing and his huge silver sword flashing. Amber had no idea why this windswept warrior would rescue her, but there he was--fighting the same demon who'd killed her sister. Though he was a stranger, she immediately sensed he'd come to protect her. And with the first touch of his lips on hers, she knew he was bound to her, his body meant for her. Yet the shadow of evil is spreading quickly, and more death will follow unless they can discover the secrets of...THE CALLING.



Review:

I highly anticipated the first novel in the immortal series and after finishing the last page I was glad that it answered to all my expectations. Jennifer Ashley gave a grand opening with her novel in the immortal series! After been fed bits and pieces waiting for the release you dive right into the action with this novel as Amber and Adrian meet through a vicious demon. Jennifer Ashley creates a world that you’re immediately a part of, trying to find out what the hell is going on, when the main characters are doing the same. With each chapter I irrevocably got drawn into the Immortal world and I loved being there!

There is an evil rising, which is not very spectacular, but the fact that it’s emotionally tied to Adrian is what gives an epic and dramatic feel to it. You just don’t want it to be so and if it has to be so the reader in me wants it to be saved. Adrian to me was an incredible character, everything I wanted a Immortal demi-god hero to be: all powerful, arrogant, sensual and almost tortured to the soul! Amber was a joy as a heroin but next to Adrian lost a bit of her strength as a character, her wiccan powers just didn’t have that kick-ass bite to them. But the passion that simmered between Adrian and Amber blew away any doubt about them not belonging together.

There were also very strong secondary characters in this first novel, Ferrin as a snake/ sword / magical attribute of Adrian, loved there interaction. Valerian as one of Adrian’s best friends…he added a flair of humor that was much appreciated by me and Sabina with her sharp comments as Ambers best friend added a bite to it. Of course there was also Septimus as an evil vampire with elegance and long forgotten rules of etiquette, he almost gave evil a decant face…..hey, I said almost!

Jennifer Ashley made a statement with her talent as passion, action, good and evil whirl into a tapestry of a novel that shines a bright future for this series. The end answers to my romantic heart in a heroic way and leaves an interesting cliff hanger for Robin T Popp to develop a second novel on that I’m very eager to read!

Adrian:
“ Sweetheart, when vampires tell each other scary stories, they’re about me.”



REVIEW: MELANIE JACKSON - THE SELKIE

Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Love Spell (February 2003)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0505525313
ISBN-13: 978-0505525314


Summary:
From the Deepest Ocean

While the technology of the war to end all wars had changed the face of Europe, some things stayed the same; the tempestuous Scottish coast and the surrounding sea remained a place of unfathomable magic and mystery. Sequestered at Fintry Castle by the whim of her mistress, Hexy Garrow spared seven tears for her past -- all of which were taken by the waves.

Came the Deepest Love

Joining the water those tears completed a ritual, and that ritual summoned a king. He came for Hexy -- and for something Hexy didn't know she had stolen. He was a man of myth, whose eyes held the dark secrets of the sea, whose silken touch was the caress of the tide, and whose nature went against all Hexy had held to be true. And he'd come not to collect her for the ocean, but for himself.

Review:

The legend of the Selkie is intriguing and whispers of long forgotten magic, the very thought of such a Selkie man wets my appetite for this story. Starting in this novel I immediately was taken to a time period that was unusual for me and couldn’t get into the story as I thought I did. I read the pages but couldn’t get a feel for the characters, all the individual aspects of this novel appealed to me but just missed the factor that binds it all together and lifts it up to a reading experience which I crave so much.

Having said this I must say that the legend on its own of the Selkie was a tremendous asset to this story, I could feel the research that the author had done on the subject. Hexy and Ruairidh are endearing together and the Scottish brogue of Ruairidh adds a authentic feel to the character, though they interested me again I have to say I couldn’t relate to them as a hero and heroine of an epic love. Because of all these bumps in the road of the storytelling it was my stubbornness as a reader that gotten me through to the end.

Melanie Jackson missed the boat on this one with me.

REVIEW: KIMBERLY RAYE - A STRANGER'S KISS

Mass Market Paperback: 359 pages
Publisher: Love Spell (December 2001)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0505524627
ISBN-13: 978-0505524621


Summary:
Alex Daimon is the incarnation of desire, the embodiment of lust, the soul of carnality. For centuries he has existed to bring down the just and the wicked alike, to corrupt the innocent. Thus comes he to the bed of Callie Wisdom, the young heir of the witch who bound him to Darkness?and the girl is ripe for possession.

He means to do what he's done so many times before--seduce and destroy. But looking into her crystalline eyes, Alex wishes that Callie might see some end to his curse. And introducing her to passion, Alex wonders if this time, instead of his kiss drawing his victim down into darkness, her love may not raise him up to the light.


Review:

This is a delicious book to read, from the beginning the story is taking you into their world, hopes, dreams and fears.

The ultimate battle between good and evil, the passion, it all is excruciating and intensely build up that it makes you turn every page with anticipation. Alex in on the edge evil, Callie is a fierce woman who fights for those she loves. Their interaction is like a sensual, sizzling dance with a nice finale that makes you close this book with a content sigh. This is my first book of Kimberly Rayeand as a writer she’s made a very strong impression, with her imagination she created a story that leaves me wanting for more….

Quote:
The incarnation of desire, the imbodiement of lust, the soul of carnality... his kiss was the stuff of dreams, his touch meant unending extacy... he was: The Incubus!


REVIEW: EMMA HOLLY - PRINCE OF ICE

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Berkley (November 7, 2006)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0425212599
ISBN-13: 978-0425212592

Summary:

Humans like to call them demons, but the Yama are an old and civilized race, far too civilized to fraternize with lesser beings. It is only through subterfuge that a quarterhuman infant, one Xishi Huon, is raised side by side with the Midarri heir, whose own peculiarities make her his soulmate—at least until the whispers of their unnatural fondness get her banished to an orphanage.

Coming of age as a courtesan, Xishi excels in the erotic arts. But when Corum Midarri becomes her new owner, the relationship will test the limits of her gifts. Corum is the Prince of Ice now and not the sensitive boy she knew. If he succumbs to the temptations of her human touch, their love will defy every convention his kind holds dear. If he doesn't, his uncontrollable sexual needs might drive both insane.


Review:

Quotes:
He wore only light sleeping trousers, but his body was fever hot. He was tired of this desire business already.

The question of pain or pleasure lost all meaning. This was transformation. This was worlds crashing down and being born anew.

How to explain the Jama’s with their intriguing rules of etiquette? Emma Holly has created a fascinating world filled with Jama’s and Rohn (servants). There are stong Chinese influences through the story as Jama’s are sensitive to chi….human energy/life force. Human’s are considered inferior to their race but the carnal pleasure of the human Chi is beyond measure. Emma Holly has given the male Royal Jama’s a period of heat which can only be sated by a unique dna match. When a Jama Royal finds his mate his eyes turn black….these are just a few rules within the Jama world and Royal houses. This is a story of just such a prince…..

As Corum and Xishi ride a storm of emotions the past catches up, revealing all its evil. Hatred shows it’s ugly face when Corum and Xishi are desperately searching for the truth….

The past and present are perfectly entwined in this story, with a plot that is mildly surprising. Though emotions are forbidden with the Jama it thrives within this story. The fantasy released by Emma Holly shows a daring approach to that what is already out there. The vivid and erotic imagination made me feel like a teenager with a Kama sutra book, the sensual images she creates are definantly original, explicate and either you’ll love it or hate it. Emma Holly gives the reader a world with different characters which makes it a adventure to read and a fantasy for passion that thrives highly in the imagination of the reader…


REVIEW: KAREN RANNEY - WHEN THE LAIRD RETURNS

Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Avon (April 2, 2002)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0380813017
ISBN-13: 978-0380813018

Summary:
The second book of The Highland Lords series takes place thirty years after One Man's Love. I couldn't wait, frankly, to find out what happens to the MacRaes.

Alisdair MacRae has heard about Gilmuir Castle all his life, from tales his parents, and the other members of the clan have told him. He's grown up with feeling a tie to the land, and to the fortress, but he never thought that he would have to nearly beggar himself in order to buy back land that was rightfully his.

All his plans are destroyed the minute he steps onto MacRae land. First, he thinks he hears ghosts, but discovers that the voice is only too corporeal. The woman he sees turns out to be the same woman he finds himself married to less than a day later. So, a man who was on his way to decline an earldom finds his life suddenly altered in ways he couldn't have envisioned.

Iseabal Drummond, on the other hand, is thrilled to be married. Of all the suitors her father has considered for her, none was young and healthy. Also, it appears that this new husband has a kind nature and gentle temperament. There's only one thing wrong. He doesn't want her.

How they learn that Fate might well have had a hand in their meeting and their marriage is the story of When the Laird Returns. I like to think that Gilmuir had a part in it, too.


Review:

Alisdair MacRae sails to Scotland for Gilmuire, the place of his family. He finds it in ruins and taken by his neighbor and clan enemy, Magnus Drummond. He rides up to Drummond’s place wanting Gilmuire back, tha land belonged to the MacRae and will do so again. But greed shimmered in Drummonds eyes as the price is a large sum…..plus Alisdair needs to marry his only daughter. Alisdair feels cornered, he did not intent to get married any time soon but his Scottish blood and pride lives strong within Alisdair and so he agrees.

Iseabal is ashamed for the way she’s presented to her new husband but at least he has all of his teeth and hair….a big improvement on all the others. The moment they are wed they leave for his ship, the Fortitude, they will sail to England where Alisdair has to renown a Earl title. A tremble of fear blossoms in Iseabal’s heart, will she ever see her Scotland back? Alisdair is not like any man she’s ever known, he treats her kind and fair. In the days sailing to England hope floats and a longing for his caress craves within her.

Then, just as she relaxes a little, her hopes are crushed when she overhears a conversation were Alisdair is saying he’s going for an annulment. To make matters worse Drummond is planning an evil plot for greed and hate thrives within his heart.

Two people, both with their own hopes, fears and plans for the future, come to learn that the heart draws its own plans…..now they must find courage to claim it!

A lovely story placed in troubling times of Scotland where the tartainplaid and bagpipes are forbidden. The fight of Culloden still bears it’s scars on the people and it’s land when it struggles to survive. The story of Alisdair and Iseabal flows in a pleasant pace and focuses on the thought and feelings of these two as they try to manage their new life. Alisadair is a proud Scot with strong ideas for his future and Iseabal is an endearing woman who tries to find a voice for her feelings and thoughts. The growth of their love sparkles with their interaction as secondary characters pass by swiftly. They each have a purpose to the love story of ALisdair and Iseabal. We also get to meet the MacRae brothers and obviously they are men whom scream for their own story.

Karen Ranney writes as a spring breeze, warm and full of promise!

REVIEW: DELILAH DEVLIN - INTO THE DARKNESS

Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Avon Red (June 26, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 006136343X
ISBN-13: 978-0061363436


Summary:
A woman's hunt for pleasure knows no rules . . . and no boundaries.

Escaping from a tragic past, Natalie Lambert arrives in New Orleans and falls victim to a series of strange, unearthly attacks. Now, for the first time in her life, Natalie aches with sexual desire. Confused, frightened, out of control, she struggles desperately to understand a world that is transforming around her. But soon she will be powerful and magnificent in ways she could never have imagined . . .

A ruggedly handsome Cajun policeman, Detective Rene Broussard has come to rescue Natalie in her time of greatest need. And when he inexplicably wakes in bed beside her—both burning with a lust impossible to deny—he doesn't care that a dark and vengeful enemy has brought them to this moment. All that matters is the irresistible curve of her body, the heat of her passion . . . and the forbidden pleasures the night promises.

With one sharp, sensuous, biting kiss, he will be hers for life . . . and beyond.


Review:
I had a great time reading this novel that is packed with wicked pleasure, erotic positions and hot sizzling passion created between interesting and bold characters.

Almost nothing is left to the imagination in this novel but Delilah Devlin captured the passion with words that conjured both the heat and dynamics between Rene and Natalie. This reverberated through me and swept me into a delectable New Orleans which is a perfect place for this story to unfold.

The journey Natalie starts as Rene and his partner take her to the precinct is on with filled with danger and erotic experiences which feels like a blazing fire through the veins of Natalie. Cop Rene and Natalie meet, they conquer and devour as darkness is right on their trail.
The characters are very carnal but strong and nicely developed personalities with each adding to the plot and story. As a vampire the bite adds another level of sensuality that Natalie, as a new Born into her power, has problems handling. This gives room for some explaining of the world and eased me into it all, learning as Natalie learned it too.

Opening this book is entering a sensual world filled with well written fantasies, refreshing vampires with their own rules and the road to romance and love is a difficult one for live altering decisions must be made and in the end you ask: will love truly conquer all?
Delilah Devlin made chocolate unnecessary with her new novel: Into the darkness!


3.5 stars

REVIEW: DEIDRE KNIGHT - PARALLEL ATRACTION

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Signet (April 4, 2006)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0451218116
ISBN-13: 978-0451218117


Summary:
Exiled alien king Jared Bennett is fighting for his people's freedom. Now his rebel force has the one weapon that can turn the tide against their enemy: the key to the secrets of time. With victory at hand, only one human, Kelsey Wells, has the power to change everything. Kelsey is unable to deny the fierce attraction to Jared Bennett, but is unaware of the truth: although Jared is exactly what he says, he hasn't told her everything. And when the future crashes into the present, Kelsey must decide if his deception will cost them the love that should have been their destiny.


Review:

This story has been refreshingly new to me with Jared Bennett as a king of an Alien race and in exile on Earth, leading a war against the Antousians. Hurt and bleeding Jared finds himself in the company of a woman and with no other choice he leaves valuable information inside of her. This is the start of something bigger, something that started a long time ago which is slowly revealed and forever changes the lives of Jared and Kelsey.

With the prologue Deidre Knight captured a revealing moment between a youthful king and a young woman where she created the foundation for an engrossing love story!! Though I’m not an avid reader of futuristic elements in a story, Parallel attraction compelled me to read on for Jared is the kind of man that keeps a woman’s attention. He is a warrior, a king, but with a gentler side and he has moments where things are so new to him he gets confused. Together with Kelsey he experiences many emotions and their dynamic is one I loved from the first moments luring me into this story with a love that crosses the barriers of worlds.

The set-up of the Refarian world and their people is well described and Deidre Knight plays with a timeline theory and still manages to keep it understandable for the reader, this is important because it is key to the plot. The Refarian people are different in a lot of ways, still they vibrate a beauty which makes me immediately relate to the feelings of Kelsey for this amazing man that captures her on such a deep level and grows into something more than she ever imagined she could feel. With a supporting cast of characters that leaves a strong impression but never takes the attention away from the main couple it adds to the impact of the story.

Because of the compelling story telling of the author you’re open to a lot of information, accepting it as a part of this world. With a plot that holds me in its grip it kept me flipping the pages, wondering what twist Deidre Knight would give it and I can say she surprised me with a theory that adds a whole new dimension to it making me eager to know the how and why of it all.

The imagination of Deidre Knight is one that I enjoyed from start till finish, giving me something new and exciting to look forward to as other warriors will certainly want their own story told!





REVIEW: CHERRY ADAIR - EDGE OF DANGER

Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books (June 27, 2006)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0345485203
ISBN-13: 978-0345485205


Summary:
Even the deepest peril couldn’t keep him away from her.

As an anti-terrorism operative in T-FLAC’s classified paranormal unit, the intrepid, ruggedly handsome Gabriel Edge protects the world from the forces of evil. So when an ingenious and extremely volatile invention is stolen from a covert lab in Arizona, Gabriel zeroes in on the brilliant young scientist who helped to create the device. From Gabriel’s first contact, Eden Cahill leaves an indelible impression.

Using a mysterious telepathic power as ancient as his Scottish heritage, as well as his seductive physical charms, Gabriel must infiltrate Eden’s mind to uncover the secrets she so desperately protects. But Gabriel is in a bind–for the only way to penetrate Eden’s memories is through one shared intimate encounter that will trigger revelations, shatter lives, and just might save humanity–all at a terribly steep price.


Review:
After heard about this trilogy from others I couldn’t wait to get my hands on them. It combines aspects that, for me, defines a good novel. Romance, suspense and paranormal influences. Gabriel Edge is a T-Flac Psi wizard and Eden Cahill is a scientist working on a AI project. When Eden’s colleague is murdered, the AI project stolen, it’s up to Gabriel to extract the knowledge from her brain how to build such a robot.

What makes this book so good is the science versus magic, this aspect creates a dynamic between Gabriel and Eden that sizzles hot between the pages. When Gabriel abducts Eden to his castle she is confronted with a different world and the responsibility for the return of Rex the robot weight heavily on her shoulders.

The story never gets boring or lost its pace for if the passion between Eden and Gabriel didn’t make me turn the pages it was the mystery and danger that did. Add an ancient family curse to it, prohibiting Gabriel to claim true love and a butler, who’s stuck in his old Scottish ways, that gave this novel a bit of an extra bite.

The evil that slumbered never lost his threat and remained unknown to me for quite a while. This gave Gabriel and Eden, as characters, space to develop a connection that resulted in funny and sparkling interaction. The way that Gabriel had to extract the knowledge from Eden made a passionate dilemma. So when evil rises the suspense had all the more impact for choices must be made.

In the end I loved the fact that Gabriel has two more brothers waiting for me because there’s a curse to break and an even stronger evil makes itself known. The story has a HEA but there are also storylines that leaves you wondering how it all will be solved in the end. Though this novel was a joy to read the overuse of the word fuck/fucking came close to be a serious irritation point while reading Edge Of Danger.

All in all Cherry Adair delivered a new and exciting episode in the T-Flac series. She showed me that her talent and imagination is a wonderful addition to the paranormal suspense romance!

 

17 November 2008

Review: J.R. Ward - Black Dagger Brotherhood - An Insider's Guide

Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: NAL Trade (October 7, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0451225007
ISBN-13: 978-0451225009


Summary:
This is a book no Black Dagger Brotherhood fan should miss—an insider’s guide that will seduce readers as powerfully as the sexy band of Brothers and the world they live in. And also included is an original short story about stars Zsadist and Bella!


This comprehensive guide features insider information on the Brotherhood, their dossiers, stats, and special gifts. Readers will savor interviews with their favorite characters, deleted scenes, exciting material from the J.R. Ward message board and the answers to their burning questions. They’ll learn what it’s like for J.R. Ward to write each installment of the series, and in a fascinating twist, read an interview with the author—conducted by the Brothers. Plus readers will get a sneak peek at the much anticipated next book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, Lover Avenged.


Review:

Father Mine made me fall head over heels again for Zsadist with his crass attitude that hides a deep well of emotions. With a new girl in his life old wounds are ripped open and he has no clue in how to deal with these changes, with the emotions and to do right by Bella. The feelings of insecurity that comes along with first time parenting is identifiably described by Ward but when applied to the world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood various aspects just have other consequences.

It is the Brotherhood I fell for 2 years ago, sharing each other’s joys and pains, standing strong together while the romance between a Hellren and his Shellan overcome obstacles and grow stronger. Nevertheless, much has also changed, if only to look at all the beloved characters added to the world of the initial six brothers. Though it is an element in this novella it is all about Zsadist and Bella growing comfortable with the new situation and it is not going as easily as one might think.

Father Mine is poignant, endearing, and rich in the BDB vibe. Though it has 81 pages it is a well rounded story and packs in depth and emotion, especially as an addition to previous full length novels. Every reader of the series can revel in it and the only complaint is, more…I wanted much more. Get tissues ready for once starting in this novella you’ll likely to read it in one sitting! J.R. Ward starts this Insider’s Guide with a spectacular bang.

From reading the novella I tumbled into the BDB dossiers and started reading the interviews and from tears on my cheek I went to full blown laugh out loud moments. I just loved the interviews with each Brother, each exudes his own personality, questions answered in their own way and it was a treat to read:

Quote:

Q Wrath – What was your last dream?
A: None of your damn business


Q Rhage – Where are you?
A: in my bed. Naked.


While those larger than life vampires made me sigh and giggle it is the craft comments that nurtured another part of me as a reader. Namely, the curiosity I have what makes an author tick, how does the creative process go when writing such books and Ward even had some comments on all the reactions to her books. For me it gave an in depth view of J.R. Ward as an author and though I still feel that the romance is subdued the last two books I can understand the process a bit more. Also Ward says she writes Urban Paranormal Romance and this would fit the bill more than just Paranormal Romance!

The Insider’s Guide is filled with juicy tidbits, from deleted scenes, where one with Phury and Cormia just rocked and made me feel: ‘Yes, this is what I wanted and needed in LEn.’ Slices Of Life where fun to read and the collection of quotes from each novel where like an appetizer for the real deal. I loved it all, what protrudes for me personally was the Brother’s on the board section. Who doesn’t love the interaction between those males of worth? I have two favorites: Valentine’s Day, oh how I laughed about that one and the one that grabbed me the most was: The Ceremony. Now that I read LEn it added so much beauty and affection between Phury and Cormia and I’m always moved with how the mating ritual is executed.

And last but not least, the excerpt from Rhev’s story, intriguing…very intriguing, ‘s all I’m saying! The only thing I did not read is the segment for writers but the rest was a true joy to read and for someone who doesn’t frequent the cellies board all that much a feast. Perhaps for those who are intimately acquainted with the message board of Ward a lot of things might be: ‘been there, done that’ but I reveled in it and will pick up this Insider’s Guide from time to time just to get my BDB fix again!

If you love to visit the Black Dagger Brotherhood then get this Guide and inhale that unique vibe that made this series so beloved by many readers!




Review: Anna Windsor - Bound By Flame

Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books (July 29, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0345498542
ISBN-13: 978-0345498540

Summary:
When Cynda gets hot and bothered, things start to sizzle.

Gorgeous flame-haired Cynda Flynn knows fire–its heat, its power, its magic. A fully trained Sybil warrior priestess, Cynda’s weapon is flame. But she’s unprepared for the passion ignited by Nick Lowell, an undercover cop in the NYPD’s Occult Crime Unit. He’s half human, half demon, and hotter than hell, with fathomless black eyes that ignite something buried deep inside Cynda, making her melt in all the right places.

Luckily, Nick has found a way to control his dark side, but he’s done it old-school–through steel-willed self-control. And after five years working secretly within the deadly Legion cult, he’s unbreakable. Or he was, until Cynda came along. Now it’s personal–and even his big bad love may not be enough to halt a terrible new evil snuffing out fire Sybils like Cynda. It’s nasty. And if it can’t be stopped, they’re all going to fry.


Review:

Bound By Flame hits it off with pulse pounding action, it erupts from the pages with blazing fury and threw me into the back alley where Cynda and Nick get attacked. One thing’s for sure, Anna Windsor knows how to make me sit up and pay attention from the first chapter, cause immediately a new threat is revealed that reeled me into the world of the Sybils again.

When the Sybils loose one of their own the pages seem to scream with emotion, the feeling of loss almost overwhelming but the Sybils possess a resilience that wills them to fight back, conquer that what tries to bring them down and they had me rooting for them every step of the way. At the heart of the Sybil community are three dynamic women, Riana, Merilee and Bound By Flame centers more around Cynda, the Fire Sybil. And boy does she burn up this story!
I thoroughly enjoyed to get more closely acquainted with Cynda and her fiery personality. It speaks of and is fueled by such passion, emotions and a caring heart. I love the manner in which the author portrays the females/Sybils in her stories, she knows what makes a woman tick and it allows me to feel a part of this Sisterhood, this clan of warrior women that fight the Asmodia, Astaroth and so on to keep mankind safe.


Nick is just about as different from Creed as apple’s are from pears. To see Nick in my mind’s eye meditate to keep his “Other” named Gideon in check is one of those character details I revel in as a reader. It makes every character come to life, become 3-D and I spend every available minute reading Bound By Flame. The dynamic between Nick/Gideon is humorous at times and at others a bit dangerous but without a doubt undeniable a part of each other. While Creed had to discover his “Other” Nick is almost comfortable within his own skin and then there’s Jake, he is wrapped in mystery and I can’t wait to sink my teeth in his story.

The romance is equal to the suspense and action-laden storyline but Cynda makes it sizzle, and well, Nick knows how to make Cynda sizzle. Just like with Creed and Raina, Nick and Cynda have a silent eye communication that adds depth to gestures, emotions and their growing feelings. Their thread so fragile at first but rapidly growing and gaining strength, it made me gobble it all up, gorging myself in their romance. When Cynda receives an ultimatum by her Motherhous it tore through me and I can only commend Anna Windsor’s for her appealing writing style that can irrevocably make me care so much about each character! Safe to say I was completely absorbed by the romance and the revealing plotline. It worked superbly together, neither had the absolute leading role but both enhanced one another’s impact.

It is Nick and Cynda whom light up this book like a match to dry wood, though the actual lovemaking is few, the level of sensuality is scorching the pages and makes their attraction all the more palpable. The problems rise quickly which sets them as a couple for multi life-altering decisions. This in combination with the plot at hand makes the tension rocket from the pages and I was NOT to be disturbed, NOT under any circumstances! The visual Anna Windsor gave me of the riveting events unfolding in the end made my pulse thunder and Nick and Cynda immortalized themselves as a romance couple!

If there is one major secondary character that had me from the first moment it is Andy and her story development is one I swiftly could decipher but to see it confirmed, oh my, what possibilities! With the last page read I could only hunger for Bound By Light and I know that it will not take long for it will be devoured, I can impossibly speak of reading because the need to know how things progress is a hunger that demands instead of asks. Unquestionably top notch writing from Anna Windsor!

Quote:
Just Cynda and Nick, Nick and Cynda, casting of heat like a star going nova.



Review: Lora Leigh - The Man Within

Paperback: 238 pages
Publisher: Ellora's Cave (February 28, 2005)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1419951076
ISBN-13: 978-1419951077


Summary:
Taber and Roni Panther Breed
Roni Andres had once loved Taber Williams until he broke her heart and left their small Kentucky town amid the shocking news that he and his ‘family’ weren’t exactly human. But he did something to her before he left. The mark he left on her now endangers her life, and the dreams she had of finding love after Taber. And Taber, part man, part animal, now has to face the fact that the woman he couldn’t forget knows exactly what he is.


Review:
The Man Within is the second entry in the Breed series and much still needs to be discovered about the mating and procreation of the genetically altered Breeds. Now that they’ve gone public with who they are the threat level towards them has increased from certain groups. Taber has known Veronica since she was but a young girl of 11 years old and has gotten her out of trouble more than once. Now she is a woman of 23 years and in one moment, one decision between them, it sets them on the path as mates…

I wonder if I’ll ever pick up a Lora Leigh novel and not be entertained from first till last word of the story! The Man Within is like a thunderstorm, all heat and lightning, electrifying the very air but not without danger. I was easily picked up by the sizzling connection between the main hero and heroine and led back into the world of the Feline Breeds.

Taber as a Breed has a dark past filled with agony but he still has undeniable feelings for Veronica (Roni) and I just love the characteristics Leigh interlaces with the Breed men. An enticing combination of man and feline. I relish in the way they go protective over their mates, the rumbling deep in their chest, warning anybody off, or the purr they have when they are excited or content. Taber has all the Hallmarks of his tribe including the potent sex drive, the barb and the territorial behavior.

Roni also had her share of difficulties in her past, including a good-for-nothing father that gets her into more trouble than she can handle. Because Roni and Taber already know each other for quite some time there is a foundation which to build upon, until things go wrong for the both of them. After that Roni shows her bold attitude when Taber wants to go Alpha on her. This only makes the tension both physical and emotional positively sizzle from the pages. It seems that Lora Leigh has the uncanny ability to make the physical a prolongation from the emotional and the other way around. A seamless intertwining of these two aspects allow a maximum effect on the reader from the 236 pages this tale counts.

Though the backdrop of the Breeds provide a highly intriguing storyline, it is the development of the romance between the leading couple and of course the carnal demands of the mating that forms the heart of The Man Within. I was swept away into the vibrant world that the author created and loved every minute of it. There is action, romance, depth, heat flowing from the pages, a world that is unique and will leave its mark with the reader. In the end there is even more plot development, small hints dropped that intrigues me to no end and instantly makes me reach out for the next Breed in line.

I know for sure that the Breeds will forever be a part of my reader’s world, how can one ignore the invitation to come back to this world after reading each book. I can wait for Elizabeth’s Wolf and after that the other 14 tales within this series.

Lora Leigh has delivered another emotion-drenched entry to her Breed series!

Quote:
Roni: In a few short days, he had given her the very things she had longed for the most: his heart to nurture, his soul to protect, his body to enjoy en love to her heart’s content.


4 stars