30 January 2009

COLUMN: ATTENDING THE BOOK FAIR

A Book Addict let loose at the Book Fair

TPB = Trade Paperback / PB = Paperback / DH = Darling Husband / DM = Dream-Mistress

I had a date with my posse (Pearl, DM and Ash) while various other Realm board members would also be shopping at the Book Fair. I looked forward and the day started so freakin early for me. At 6.45 in the morning the alarm clock went off and I dragged my still sleeping body out of bed and headed for the shower. I washed up, toweled off, gelled my hair, took the blow dryer to hand and in result my hair got out of control with a wild mass of curls, which got gelled back into a manageable heap with gel No.2 Foundation, eye shadow and mascara got splattered on my face as my lips got moisturized with a lip-gloss, last but not least I got dressed as Ash got up and at it in the meantime. How Ash does it every time is beyond me…I wake up and need a whole hour or more to get ready…she gets up (without the morning moods) washes, dresses and is all chatty at the breakfast table *I’m glowering with envy*

Anyway, at ten past eight we took the car on the road and headed for DM with hardly to any traffic jams we arrived an hour later. Pearl joined us not much later and under the delights of coffee/tea we talked and well…talked. At ten thirty we headed towards AHOY Rotterdam where the book fair was held and upon walking through the doors of AHOY I turned into a Tansmanian Devil, hunting down the rows of tables stacking the English paperbacks. I’m not proud of this attitude and currently receiving treatment for it but, as many can confirm, it is useless with me. The weeks prior to the book fair I’m all angelic saying: “No, I’m going to be very selective this year, I still have to read books from last year!” and: “My creditcard could use a month off, in fact, it is screaming for a break so just those books which I absolutely need!” Some in my surroundings might say: “Who truly needs books?” but hey, why listen to a person who doesn’t understand the need to read books *evil grin* And I can always swat them with a pillow, right?

But back to the book fair. What can I say, upon seeing those rows of tables, stacked with many well known names my heart started pounding, my blood pressure and temperature increased, butterflies occupied my stomach, greed gleamed in my eyes and my wolfish grin said: “Mine all mine!!” All symptoms of a book-addict going on an overdose as some, or many, may recognize these symptoms *VBEG* We were under a deadline time wise and I skimmed the novels working my hips with one message: “Out of my way people, Leontine coming through.” *Blush*

Where DM, Ash and Pearl tried to read back covers and take it a notch down I was already checking out the next row of books. In retrospective not my finest moment but still I didn’t want to miss a single good book and this kept me going with a single-tracked-mind LOL

I was surprised by the names like Anna Campbell, Jeaniene Frost and Anne Bishop, all authors with novels of quite a recent date. Or at least, from Dutch perspectives since it isn’t always quick at picking up new author names. Of course I already had a majority of those authors on my shelves but Anne Bishop with Dreams Made Flesh in Trade Paperback edition was a golden find. This format is currently Out-Of-Print and since I have all my Anne Bishop novels in TPB size I was ecstatic to know I wouldn’t have a dip in height with a mass market PB. Perhaps another quirk of Leontine I was so focused on the books that I almost didn’t hear my name….I halted to a sudden stop and met an acquaintance from the internet…”Hi, hey, how are you doing….” After talking for a bit we started to do some more book shopping and not 2 minutes later…”Hi, are you from that book site? Is this novel…?” Uh, ok…..of course I love to do the book talk so we chatted for a few minutes and then I could focus back on the tables. You might think: “Single minded much??” Nah…not that much LOL I always have time to talk :D


So my cart filled, filled and well, filled some more until DM picked up the complete novels of Jane Austen. The same book we stumbled on the year before but it was and is a big book and…*sigh*, it was deduced in price too but still in relation to the other books an assault to the budget. Of course the book with its golden edged pages sparkled and, yeah, we each took a copy back home. My cart was overflowing so I looked at Ash’s cart and she had a neat pile of 9 books and I had to add my copy of Jane Austen in her cart since it didn’t fit mine anymore. It was after an hour of book lurking we wanted to take a seat in the lunch area and of course everything was taken. We took it to a wall and started making final decisions of what to keep and what not to. From the 25 books I had, 6 went back, it just was simple greed on my part which added those books to my cart instead of: "Would I really read this?" But still 19 books was shelf space I did not have anymore. Nevertheless, I have a theory: “If it doesn’t fit, I’ll make sure that it fits.” LOL

After two and a half hours of book buying, meeting Realm members along the way and even missed some we headed back to DM’s place. If you think we all went back home after that….nah, forget it. We talked the hours away and each time we say goodbye we all feel it still has been too short. We left DM around eleven that night and Ash and I rolled into our beds after midnight.

With 19 books to place in my bookcases you would think that was enough for that month….you would think *wicked grin* Since Proxis has a discount going on in the month January I also ordered some books there which coincidentally arrived the next day. The box contained 5 TPB and 2 PB, my DH looked at me and my bookcases and thought: “She is never going to get all those books on her already stuffed shelves.” Well, he thought wrong, they’re all shelved now and since my first gay romance books have arrived too I wanted my taste of them. But that is a completely different discussion ROFL

This year at the book fair was crazy and so much fun again and I will always love to go. Thankfully Ash, Pearl and DM are understanding of my behavior and pull on the reigns from time to time so I have one large shopping bag instead of two *hugs to posse*


If you all want to take a peek at what I bought, at the sidebar of my Blog you’ll find a section called: New Books, here is where I post my books bought that month.

Hugs,
Leontine

29 January 2009

REVIEW: SHANNON MCKENNA - EDGE OF MIDNIGHT

Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Brava (August 1, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0758211856
ISBN-13: 978-0758211859


Summary:
Shannon McKenna creates characters readers never forget--and in her latest novel, Sean McCloud must protect the woman he has never stopped loving: Liv Endicott. Years ago, Sean had to send Liv Endicott away to save her life. Now he has to keep her closer, very close--for the same reason . . .

THE BREAKING POINT
On the very day an arsonist burns down Liv's bookstore in a small town in the Washington mountains, she finds fate has another shock in store for her. Amid the smoke, rubble and tears, Sean McCloud appears, calling her name. He's every inch the man he always was--the man she kept on wanting. But wanting is not the same as trusting, and she doesn't dare let him get too close. Yet a ruthless killer is gunning for Liv, and she'll die unless they join forces to unearth a chilling truth--and come together in a blaze of searing passion . . .

Review:
I have been blown away by the magnificent impact of this story as McKenna delivered top notch romance and suspense. I thought after reading Connor and Davy’s story I might have read the best of what this author had to give, namely Seth and his tale: Behind Closed Doors. Seth was my McKenna high and I wondered if she had it in her to rock my world again. With Sean McCloud’s story she gave me an answer that punched me in the gut with sheer rapture in a plot that reveled with its possibilities and a romance that soared! My mind is reeling with all I want to tell so I’m trying to make a coherent review!


With the previous novels in this series Shannon McKenna created a promise with Sean and she delivered big time! He is all I came to know of him but in Edge Of Midnight McKenna delves deep into his psyche and another Sean is revealed. The moment my heart truly fell for him was when he met Liv for the first time again and his idea of being chivalrous was taking of his t-shirt and giving it to Liv so she could use it as a hanky. That gesture did it for me, a bit helpless with female tears, my mind went all: “aawwhhh how sweet”, while my hormones went: “hubba hubba what a hunk-a-liscious view of pecs and abs!” The gesture as well as the scene was so hallmark for the man Sean McCloud is.

Liv is determined to live her life according to her own rules but has a mother who wants to rule every detail of her life. Still, she managed to make something of herself, she had her own bank-account, her own bookstore and was doing ok…until her shop got burned to ashes. As Sean and Liv come together the romance ignites and is joined by a spicy, steaming hot and tangible sensuality that I’ve come to expect after reading three novels in this series. Because if there is one thing that is always present in a McKenna novel is that unique intake on the erotic conversations between two bodies. There will always be a scene or two that will shine with the sexual creativity of a McCloud and subsequently rises my blood pressure in response.

Sean is a ladies’ man, a goofball and doesn’t know when to shut up. I could relate to Liv when Sean went all hot and heavy on her but most of all when he removed his mask and showed his vulnerable side. This is when they created those high-octane romantic moments together and held me captivated from first till last page. Not to mention the pillow conversations between them. It was going from funny to hilarious back to mind boggling lovemaking all in one scene. Their unique personality trades were evident in these moments and I got to know them all the better for it.

Besides the profound love story the plot was a stellar one and with unrelated events McKenna drives to a conclusion that reeled my mind with possibilities. The enemies in Edge Of Midnight were as creepy as they can get with one who was the brains of the outfit and the other was about doing damage control. While the plot was steamrolling straight ahead I followed it with heart thumping in my chest trying to catch up. There was no slowing down and it didn’t ask, this book demanded I sat down and keep on reading. Each page was vivid in imagination and while the enemies gained control everything leaped of the pages, the terror, the pain, the love and the hope, there was no filter between the words that I read and my emotions. Edge Of Midnight was that kind of evoking story.

So while the romance and plot intertwined itself I got to meet all the characters I came to love over the past three books again. Tam is one of those recurring characters that I love to meet. She is cutting-edge in her interaction but she made herself irreplaceable with her gruff yet loyal attitude. For those who have already read the previous books too, let me tell ya that Miles becomes more interesting with each book and he and Cindy are one of those significant secondary storylines what makes Edge Of Midnight so hard to put away. Not that I’m a fan of Cindy but their story is ongoing since Connor’s book. A secondary character that also aggravated me from the start is the mother of Liv. She gets under your skin and makes it crawl, I was glaring every time she entered the stage. Nevertheless, many recurring characters like Tam, Miles and Seth is what attached me so to these novels, like being a part of this family with the McClouds at the center of it all.

Behind Closed Doors, well actually Seth blew me away and while I was pleased to meet Connor and Davy it is chatter box Sean with his hidden sides and humorous attitude that pulled me back into the folds of this series. Along with Liv’s wit and big heart which mirrored there was more to Sean then meets the eye, this is why I will forever love their story. As all separate pieces started to fall in to place I rode the wave of love fused with McCloud testosterone and I took all the nail biting thrills with a voracious reader’s appetite.

Quote Sean (this one is probably only funny when you’ve read previous novels):
Sean wasn’t up to being anybody’s mentor, love counselor, cheerleader, or fashion guru today.


Quote:
Olivia Endicott, groomed to be a credit to the family name if she would only:
1) Lose that pesky fifteen pounds 2) wear the right shoes 3) dress like a lady 4) marry Blair Madden, and 5) work for Endicott Enterprises.


Quote:
Sean: “Do you want more?” he demanded […]
Liv: I think more might kill me.”
Sean: “Maybe,” he agreed. “But damn, what a way to go.”

27 January 2009

REVIEW: ELISABETH NAUGHTON - STOLEN FURY

Mass Market Paperback: 339 pages
Publisher: Love Spell (December 30, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0505527936
ISBN-13: 978-0505527936


Summary:
Oh, is he handsome. And charming. And sexy as all get out. Dr. Lisa Maxwell isn't the type to go home with a guy she barely knows. But, hey, this is Italy and the red-blooded Rafe Sullivan seems much more enticing than cataloging a bunch of dusty artifacts.

After being fully seduced, Lisa wakes to an empty bed and, worse yet, an empty safe. She's staked her career as an archaeologist on collecting the three Furies, a priceless set of ancient Greek reliefs. Now the one she had is gone. But Lisa won't just get mad. She'll get even.

She tracks Rafe to Florida, and finds the sparks between them blaze hotter than the Miami sun. He may still have her relic, but he'll never find all three without her. And they're not the only ones on the hunt. To beat the other treasure seekers, they'll have to partner up--because suddenly Lisa and Rafe are in a race just to stay alive.

Review:
The endorsement on the cover states that: “If you like Indiana Jones and Romancing The Stone, you’ll love…I haven’t seen either movies but I do know I loved Elisabeth Naughton’s Stolen Fury! I met a confidant, brazen and smart woman who is joined by a roguish thief with a killer accent. Together they form a dynamite couple on the hunt for the third and last Fury.
Immediately I was taken by the fluent, easy going writing style of Naughton that acquainted me with Dr. Lisa Maxwell in Jamaica as she explored a cave and makes a discovery. Upon giving a lecture at an auditorium she meets Rafe and my oh my it’s like fuel meets a match, they burn together…until Lisa wakes up the next morning.

If there is one thing that got me from the beginning is the inflammable interaction between Lisa and Rafe, they make their interaction a verbal duel that becomes enthralling to follow. Where I expected to receive more of an actual artifact hunt I got character driven storylines. For the main characters the drive to find all three Furies has an emotional background which becomes more evident throughout the story. The action is still substantial as multiple treasure hunters seek the possession of all three Furies too but there are no tombs to explore or chambers to unlock with ancient artifacts. Instead there is a romance driven adventure where the hunt for the third Fury is an exciting accelerant.

I fell head over heels for Rafe with his roguish charms and his calculated ways. He is an international art thief and he is a liar but has a heart for certain matters that made mine answer in return. He hides so much more than initially assumed and he is part of what made me flip the pages. Lisa is the kind of leading lady I want for a romantic suspense/adventure, she knows what she talks about so she doesn’t take crap from anybody. On top of that she is lithe of body ready to take on the physical strains of her work. Tough-as-nails but hiding her pain under layers of self-preservation, do I need to say more? Separate I truly liked the characters but together they elevate this story to another level.

While I thought Lisa and Rafe would do some actual tomb searching the plot is mainly about the possession of the Furies and if you don’t have them, then much is done to make it so. Various characters are introduced who are big players on the artifact hunting field and each do not shy away from bodily harm. Alan Landau is a head figure for the treasure hunters, he is as self-absorbed as they come and gives a dangerous edge to the tale. The high speed chases, the thrills of whether the leading couple would make it and the inevitable question: "Are the other characters what they seem to be?" The story took me from Jamaica to Italy, then to Miami, Chicago and the Bahamas. This added to the feel of being chased and kept a firm pace in the plot, which in case of Stolen Fury was a great addition to the reading experience. It all became a heady mix and I took it all in with bathed breath.

The actual sexual encounters were something I would consider mild, not explicate in nature or overly frequent, nevertheless, when it finally happens it really finally happens! It is an eruption of all kinds of pent up emotions making it all the sweeter for me to read. However, it is the back and fro sexual energy humming between Lisa and Rafe that was through the roof and so significant for their growing feelings. It is what juiced up the interaction, which I couldn’t get enough of, and it created a contrast in why they were secretive towards each other about their motives.

There were three supporting characters whom leaped off the pages: Shane Maxwell, the twin brother of Lisa, Peter Kauffman, owner of the Odyssey Gallery and Hailey Roarke, the ex-wife of Rafe. Each conquered my heart in their own special way as they are just such intriguing, heartwarming and vivid characters. They belong with Rafe and Lisa just as much as the Furies did. Especially in the end Peter Kauffman caught my attention with some interesting thoughts and feelings on his part.

The interplay of characters, the plot, the romance, the suspense, it effortlessly blended together and with the smooth, easy going writing style of Elisabeth Naughton she made Stolen Fury one fabulous calling card! I can’t wait for book two and three to be released.

Quote Rafe to Lisa:
“We aren’t playing it any way.”
He nodded. “Gotcha. So we go in. I tell your racist father how you jumped my bones in Italy, try to sidestep your mother so she doesn’t think we’re still all hot and heavy, we get the loot from the attic and run for the sun. Works for me.”

Quote Rafe:
Whoa. Back the grave train up, Colonel Sanders. […] Admiring her looks and centerfold curves was one thing, feeling a stirring in his chest was a whole other ball game.

Quote Rafe to Lisa:
“Real men don’t wear thongs.”

26 January 2009

REVIEW: JET MYKLES - HEAVEN SENT: HEAVEN

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Loose Id, LLC (July 30, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1596325127
ISBN-13: 978-1596325128


Summary:
Desperate to save his familyʼs hotel, Tyler sinks his hopes and whatʼs left of his money into a new venture: a nightclub at the hotel. Everything rides on The White Roomʼs success—without it the hotel will go under. Tylerʼs nervous, but Lady Luck smiles on him, in the form of mega-popular rock band Heaven Sent signing on to play at the club.
Tylerʼs a huge fan of the group, but even so, heʼs not prepared at all to come face-to-face with the painfully gorgeous lead singer, Johnnie Heaven. But, the bomb that goes off in his brain canʼt be lust. Sure, Johnnieʼs probably the most beautiful person heʼs ever seen, but Tyler is straight. It has to be a misguided form of hero worship that heʼs feeling—has to.
When Johnnie learns that Tyler shares his obsession with video games, he invites Tyler to his room to play. Of course, Tyler jumps at the chance. Who wouldnʼt snap up the opportunity to spend time with his idol? He and Johnnie have a great time together, but Tyler soon discovers that Johnnie aims to introduce Tyler to a whole new level of game play.
Review:
To save his father’s hotel Tyler Purcell signed one of the hottest band to perform at the grand opening of a daring venture, luck is at his side. Johnnie Heaven, Brent Rose, Darien Hughes and Luc Sloane form Heaven Sent arrive at the Weiss Strande Hotel and Tyler tries very hard to remain casual.
As Tyler and Johnnie find a common passion the evenings are quickly filled with hours of playing the Playstation 2 game, Final Fantasy 10. It is in those hours that another passion is revealed…
This is a reviewer writing about her first experience in gay erotic-romance and I knew at the end of this 140 page novella that it would definitely not be my last. As I already was confronted a time or two in the mainstream Erotica with male on male passion I came to the discovery the theme fascinated me. From there the decision to buy Gay romance or erotic-romance was swiftly made. With the story Heaven in the Heaven Sent series by Jet Mykles gave me a band with 4 ultra-hot men and I intimately got to meet Johnnie Heaven and Tyler Purcell.
Johnnie is a drop-dead gorgeous man who – with the flick of his fingers – can have dozens of women warming his bed. There is a natural born aura of sensuality about him that will aim for instant attraction. Tyler Purcell is a 5 ft 11 inches attractive man whom is in control when it comes to his job as a manager of his father’s hotel but his love life isn’t all that exhilarating…until Johnnie evokes feelings that demands a response.
The author portrays two men who like women but find something rare with another man. I loved the dynamic in the romance department, Johnnie is experienced and this shows in the take-charge behavior while Tyler is overwhelmed with feelings he never expected to experience. The confusion is true to the character Tyler is and what made the romance development all the more palpable between them as a couple. From the start I felt there was an invigorating energy simmering between them that kept me bound to the pages. An energy that contained a directness, one that responded to physical dominance and this emphasized on the feeling that I was reading about two men in a developing relationship.
In Heaven Jet Mykles is very couple and erotic driven but still manages to intertwine a good dose of emotion within her stories. Bound to the 140 pages I was amazed at how the author - with a single event - could shift the story into a deeper level of connection between the two men. Of course the carnal scenes have a major role in this story and I was surprised at how natural I perceived it all. Besides the fact it was between two men it held standard lovemaking. A kiss between a man and a woman or two men is still all about tongue and lip action, it evokes the same response and has the same goal in the end. The visions of Tyler and Johnnie in an erotic entanglement together burned my mind and caused my heart to pound like a beating drum while my eyes ate up the words like there was no tomorrow. I can honestly say it was every bit as titillating as straight sexuality can be.
One of the things I would have loved to see, is more room for background information and development of the characters that would result in an even more intense reading experience. I thought when I read the synopsis that the band would take a much bigger part in this tale. All four of them got introduced in the first chapter but only Luc received more attention in one or two scenes and there is hardly to any interaction between the four of them. I feel that the band, the World tour as the hotel is more of a background setting than anything else. Something that belongs to the lifestyle of Johnnie and Tyler causing nuisance within their building relationship. There is also a family situation that will give an emotional surge between Johnnie and Tyler steering them onto new grounds.
Heaven gave me a delicious first taste in Gay erotic-romance, with enough emotion and romance to get me enthusiastic for the other band members and Luc definitely left his calling card for his story. Johnnie and Tyler together both showcased the beauty of love as Heaven was also induced with a recognizable fantasy. Who didn’t at one point in her life dream of being swept away by a famous and gorgeous celebrity who rocked your personal boat?
The 140 page counting story delivers an engaging tale of discovery, love and lust. In the end I became a groupie for more tales on the band members. This newly discovered Heaven Sent series proves to be amusing quick reads with unique details to stand out.
Quote Tyler about Johnnie:
The voice of an angel – or a seductive devil – spoke to him.



REVIEW: JET MYKLES - HEAVEN SENT: PURGATORY

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Loose Id, LLC (July 30, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1596325127
ISBN-13: 978-1596325128


Summary:

Tall and sleek with gorgeous red hair and deep, dark eyes to drown in, itʼs no wonder that famous bass player, Lucas Sloane, stars in so many dewy-eyed teenagerʼs dreams.

Reese used to be one of those teens—back when Heaven Sent was the house band for the local club, Purgatory. Back then, it was easy to get to know Luc, even become friends with him. But he took it too far, worked up the courage to confess his love to Luc—only to be soundly rejected.

Now, six years later, Lucʼs back in town for a visit and more gorgeous than ever. Much to Reeseʼs surprise, Luc not only apologizes for the way he treated Reese, he also comes onto him! Seems Lucʼs discovered the pleasures of being with a man and wants to know what itʼd be like between the two of them.

But Reese canʼt. He just canʼt. He lives the straight and narrow. He teaches high school math. Heʼs got a girlfriend. A normal life. He canʼt be gay. Of course, itʼs really very hard to deny the man who defines beautiful to Reeseʼs artistic mind.


Review:
After the first story in this 2-1 novel I thought I quenched my first taste in gay erotica. To my astonishment the band members of Heaven Sent didn’t let me go and while I wanted to pick up a suspense novel I was drawn back to the second story which was all about Luc. So I gave into the need and once more opened up to Heaven Sent’s second story, Purgatory.


With the prologue I got a back-story and found out Luc wasn’t always the confident gay man with the flirtatious smile and wicked gleam in his eyes. He shared a life altering moment with Reese and yet he ran away from it…and Reese. Until the band decided to visit their hometown for a week or so. This is where Reese and Luc get reacquainted again…


That electrifying moment between Reese and Luc sizzled from the pages and there was an almost cut-to-the-chase attitude from Luc’s perspective. Luc is at ease with himself, with his sexuality and his wants and needs while Reese keeps throwing obstacles in their way and with good reason. I loved the push and pull they created with each other, there was a rhythm that said: Be at ease and yet heightened every feeling between them with the bright colors of daring to fall in love. Luc with his larger than life persona meets Reese with his mediocre life and hidden pent up feelings and desires. Combined the complement each other and provide a challenge for on another, which delivered a well paced romance that was easily to read.
It seems a recurring theme to have one who is accepting of his nature while the other has a hard time dealing with his feelings and coming out. The romance has its ups and downs and de sensuality is something that added a heat to it which was evident from the get-go of this story. Unknowingly I was already halfway through the story before I looked up again. Not only did Reese and Luc please me with their masculine love dalliance but the setting of the band, in their hometown, learning a bit more about the conception of Heaven Sent in their home court club Purgatory was something I thoroughly enjoyed. Johnnie and Luc are very present as band members while Brent and Darian are almost lost in the background. I hardly get to know them as more then two people with a comment here and there to the main players.


If there is one thing I keep wanting is more background and character information, it keeps the tale light-hearted, fun-filled, definitely erotically charged and laced with emotions but sometimes lacks in depth. It results in an easy-to-read story that made me smile and even laugh at a time or two and the end is thriving on a combination of passion and a heart throbbing moment. While I’m not blown of my socks here Jet Mykles does provide a change of venue. She knows how to give voice to male on male romance with lively and colorful characters in a romance driven story.


Heaven Sent, which contains both Heaven as the story Purgatory, is with its original concept a welcome addition to my Erotica shelf. I look forward to Heaven Sent 2: Hell and Faith and meet up with the band and all the surrounding characters again.


Purgatory is Luc’s story and the promise he contained in Heaven was entirely delivered by the end of his story!


Quote Luc to Reese:
Luc stared intently at his face. “Because I’m comfortable with you. I like being around you. Because you look at me like there’s no one else in the world and make me feel that. […] Because when I’m near you I start to see the colors that you see.”




23 January 2009

COLUMN: A FRUSTRATED BOOK BUYER



Standing on my soapbox I want to share my frustration with other booklovers:

Ms. Bookseller in the United States Of America,

I will not disclose the booksellers name out of respect for privacy in general and I know if she reads this she will know this letter is for her and the introduction to the letter is about her. So I will call her Ms. Bookseller instead.

Backstory

March of 2007…

Once upon a time I was recommended to Ms. Bookseller by a certain person, she said she had met someone wonderful online who would sell Rhapsody books. So I contacted her with enthusiasm and Ms. Bookseller said:”Please give me your list and I’ll start hunting for your paperbacks and will buy at Rhapsody for the hardback copies you want!” Now this is something you don’t have to say twice to me, for checking out the website of Rhapsody was like taking a kid into a candy store…such wonderful treats I found. As I live in the Netherlands Rhapsody is off limits and the general shipping fee is always something to take in consideration. I loved the perk of an M-Bag shipping fee for 10-25 dollars at the time and have an amount of books shipped at once. My craving for books went berserk…

I will say my list was extensive but every time a Paypal request came from Ms. Bookseller I paid within 24-72 hours. We already heard about the upcoming changes in the international shipping methods and they [post office] would take out the M-Bag option, at that time I had filled about 3 M-Bags. I received one M-bag but the other two filled with books were still sitting at Ms. Booksellers place. She wasn't on time with those last M-Bags and so the expiration date came and went for the M-Bag option and this is when all the trouble started.

I received a Flat Rate Box [this was the new option of shipping] in August of 2007 after I already started to inquire when the rest of my books were coming but then…..

And I’m paraphrasing here:

Leontine: “When will I have the rest of my books shipped Ms. Bookseller?”

Ms. Bookseller: “Soon Leontine, I’m in a bit of a heap right now family wise but as all will calm down it is the first thing I’ll do.”

Leontine: “No worries Ms. Bookseller, we all have adversity from time to time.”

6 weeks later….

Leontine: Ms. Bookseller, when can I expect my books, I can’t wait to taste some authors from my pile of books in your house.”

Ms. Bookseller: “ The Holiday’s are coming up and family is all coming home, I will send you all your books first thing come New Year.”

Leontine: “ It is not like I have nothing to read but I’m a book-addict to the core I love to have my precious at home!”

January of 2008….no books

Leontine: “New Year has started Ms. Bookseller, I really like to have my books now….it has been almost a year since I gave you my list!”

Ms. Bookseller: “ I know Leontine, but the Holidays have been so busy and house chores had to be done etc etc.”

Leontine: “Ms. Bookseller, perhaps you needs another way of working, perhaps you can devise a system among your buyers that works for you and allows you to ship faster!”

Ms. Bookseller: “I’ll think on it, I want to start with a clean slate very soon!”

So finally in March 2008 I received my second last FRB filled with books (I think it was a total of about 12/13 hardcovers and paperbacks) and Ms. Bookseller was like she said; starting with an almost clean slate. A promise from her: If the buyer orders before every first of the month the order at Rhapsody is placed on or before the fifteenth of every month and upon arrival it will be shipped immediately to the buyer.

What happened next I can only blame on temporarily insanity from my part and said to Ms. Bookseller:

Leontine: “Ms. Bookseller, Since I’m expecting my final FRB soon I have an order for Rhapsody can I place it?”

Ms. Bookseller: “Of course, thank you for your vote of confidence!”

A partial from the e-mail:

Below are the following prices for the current books that they have listed.

Lara Adrian
$12.99 Midnight Rising
$12.99 Midnight Awakening
Kresly Cole
$10.99 If You Desire
$10.99 If You Deceive
$11.99 Wicked Deeds On A Winter's Night
Laurell K Hamilton
$15.99 A Lick Of Frost
Alyssa Day
$11.99 Atlantis Awakening
Heather Graham
$12.99 Blood Red
Bertrice Small
$13.99 The Sorceress Of Belmair

The Rhapsody Total before shipping is $114.91. Rhapsody had a special on shipping when I placed the order which was an order over $25.00 the cost for shipping is $2.49.
The final cost is $117.40.

So I paid again via Paypal, immediately this time!

In the mean time I received my last FRB filled with books from the list in 2007 and that is when I went from being patient to severely pissed. At my introduction e-mail with Ms. Bookseller I clearly stated that with my used paperback wish-list I wanted them with hardly to none reading creases or I would rather buy them new from her. Well, I received damaged paperbacks with severe reading creases and the spine slanting to one side, ok, I was disappointed but they were used books so with pain in my heart I put them away. It was when I took out the hardcover trilogy of Monica McCarty that I turned into a she-devil….not only was the paper cover severely torn up, even the hardback itself was dented, wrinkled, bent or damaged and I paid new price for them!! So ok…in my emotions, which is not always the wisest idea, I wrote her an e-mail:

Ms. Bookseller:
April 10th 2008 Quote e-mail Leontine: I just wanted to tell you my FRB has arrived and what a disappointment it turned out to be. The only novels that were in the vicinity of new where the B. Small novels and I could cry myself a river. Truly, Nalini Singh was well used and one that I could throw in the wastepaper bin. Tamara Leigh has a tear in the pb cover and the saddest part of all was the highlander trilogy of McCarty. You cannot honestly say that this is the state in which Rhap sends it out to you for all the tears in the covers and the bending of the boards made me incredible sad. I bought these novels at new price from Rhap Ms. Bookseller but have a feeling of receiving well used/trashy second hand novels. As I have waited so long I cannot tell you the disappointment I felt, finally getting the novels I longed for and then this…. it is like going from an extreme high to a deep low for me. I feel like my loyalty has been punished!
I will wait for my other FRB but am seriously doubting now if I want to continue ordering from you if this is the state the novels are going to be in. I don’t mind paying the new price, nor paying shipping fee that allows the books to get here in the best state possible but this, no Ms. Bookseller, I don’t want to pay a total of hundreds of dollars for second rate books. I know you do your best but I’m honest in my feelings and I don’t have the money to replace the novels each time they are damaged like this.

I will wait on my next FRB to make a final decision.

Best regards,
Leontine

Let me be honest, the e-mail I received in return didn’t lie about her feelings either…I was a high-demand buyer and she lost more money than she could afford to give me the novels in the state I wanted them. I didn’t even responded to this accusation since I always paid her the price she wanted for the used and new books and I never asked her to lose money on the books bought for me. Also she warned me about the state of the McCarty paper covers in a previous mail… I must admit that this is true but that e-mail was from a while back and I forgot that at the moment of book distress but even the hardbacks were damaged themselves!!! I truly felt that after all that waiting I should place my books onto my shelves in a good condition and pick them at will to start reading them. The disappointment rode me hard and I even let others see the books…would they accept such books???

My last order of books as mentioned in this post was supposedly to be shipped in one FRB. Since April 2008 I have laid low…tried to give her space and I received two packages throughout the summer. But and this is where my furious attitude is coming from…I still haven’t received 3 hardback novels:

Kresly Cole
$10.99 If You Desire
$10.99 If You Deceive
Heather Graham
$12.99 Blood Red

And in the meantime the hardcover version of If You Desire is OOP at Rhapsody. It is not the money….nor even really the books…it is the fact that it has been two years of excuses, and the last 5 months even of total silence. The effort it takes to *for-crying-out-loud* receive my books, the e-mailing, the promising, the constant excuses, accepting money…but not ordering books….oh no, why should she!? No, she has to spend the money for personal matters or whatever. One of the reasons she admitted that got her into trouble in the first place and thereby delaying the shipments of books.


Letter

Ms. Bookseller,

Final Notice!

After months and months of asking, asking again, pleading and getting frustrated it is obvious all my effort didn’t work, so this is my final notice via my Blog for my last three books. I know I can be impatient but you are trying the patience of a saint. And since I’m not a saint I am feeling bitter feelings of regret for ever taking the advice from someone on your personal saint list, - as I am by now probably on your evil reincarnated list. I’m tired of the excuses and wondering if you ever bought the hardcover copies at Rhapsody with my money in the first place. Are my hardback novels even in your possession?…..because I wonder why not send them to me if you do?

We nullified our buyer/seller relationship at the end of March or early April of 2008, this is 9/10 months ago….so I ask myself: “Are those books handwritten??” Perhaps I should send the authors a request if they can enlighten me on whether they handwrite every book? I can be empathetic up to a point I feel used and you have used me, my money and most important MY TRUST to pay for whatever you had to that was so pressing at the time.

While the money was pouring in I was your best friend but as the months sped by and I became demanding you shrouded yourself in a silence that made me wonder if you took a vow of some kind. Perhaps you live in the middle of nowhere where the nearest post office takes a survival of the fittest journey? All I asked was for a sign that you received my e-mails, a message that said, ok I finally created the 8th world wonder and have shipped your books.

When I look at my bookcases and see the missing novels on my shelves I get angry, it is hard earned money that paid for those novels! And in return of that money I want pleasant reading hours, perhaps Kresley Cole’s Highlander novels are treasures but this is something I wouldn’t know because: “YOU HAVE NOT SEND ME THE NOVELS HAVE YA!!!” Ok, taking a deep breath and trying to get poised again…1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8, oh who am I kidding?

You know what is said in the Netherlands, Ms Bookseller? If my letter has crossed with the fact that you did send MY books you can consider this letter as non-written. Though I don’t think that after 10 months it is ever going to happen but please, feel free to prove me otherwise. And I suddenly realize in two months I can have a freaking anniversary for crying out loud!
Still, let me also express my hope here:

I hope you never, NEVER get treated as a buyer the way you’ve treated me!

And I hope never to hear from you again save a package with my novels, which I doubt will arrive after this Blog Column. But in hindsight, not sending books seems not all that hard for you to do is it??!!

Leontine

For those who know who I’m referring to as Ms. Bookseller, I would like to keep her name off the record, you never know, on top of not getting my books I can get a slander suit as a dessert.

Stepping of the soapbox as I have vented my anger and though this is not my usual posting I had to get it out of my system!!

PS: I wrote this column on 1/14/2009 and scheduled it for publication on my Blog at 1/23/2009 Apparantly there are now rumors floating that my books are on the way but with Ms. Bookseller I will see it before I believe it and will let you know when and if my books arrive on my doorstep.

Hugs to all who wanted to read my ranting!!

15 January 2009

COLUMN: KRESLEY COLE - SECOND CHANCES


Second Chances:
My first time with a Kresley Cole novel was when I set out to buy her first in the MacCarrick trilogy, If You Dare but ended up with A Hunger Like No Other. It was in a period I discovered the Paranormal genre, I just read Karen Moning and Sherrilyn Kenyon and was in search for something new. Well, I kind of OD-ed myself on vampires, immortal warriors and clans of seductive, ultra testosterone alpha-males. I enjoyed myself with Lachlain MacRieve and his Emmaline Troy but I was a bit jaded at the time so I thought: Niiiiiice, but that was all.


So it was about 7-8 months later I stumbled upon No Rest For The Wicked and I ordered it. Now I had to refresh my memory and re-read A Hunger Like No Other while I waited for the mailman to deliver the second novel. Can I say lightning struck when I read how Lachlain was bound to the wall, underneath Paris, sensing his mate. It was love at second sight…suddenly we connected and I baffled myself with the memory of my initial response to this novel. It doesn’t happen all that often that upon re-reading I totally get swept away, it is either there or not but my oh my the memories are scorching now LOL

So I had to write me a review about A Hunger Like No Other and while I was writing No rest For The Wicked arrived. I was in euphoria and I immediately opened up to see what the story entailed. Well, for me NRFTW was a bit like HP and the Triwizard Tournament but then for adults. I loved The Hie, the hunt for the relics which was delivered with nail biting suspense and the romance, those Wroth brothers will always do it for me. With reading the final pages of NRFTW I knew I was sold for this series and Wicked Deeds On A Winter’s Night was just released so I had me some more Immortals After Dark coming.

Since I only read English novels for like three years or so I feel I have a marathon on books to catch up with and feel like I’m always behind everyone else. Nevertheless, with the IAD series I am one of those people who are figuratively looking over Kresley Cole’s shoulder asking: “Are you finished yet?” Since I always want a copy of the next IAD mass market paperback I pre-order it with a local book website and after I finished it I usually give the copy to my sister since she has to read the series too LOL And then I go to my other bookseller, Sandi to order me a hardback copy of the novel. I don’t know if this is a Leontine quirk or many more have this pattern of behavior but I have to get my precious in hardback edition *wicked grin*

Now, I co-own a website with my sister, Realms On Our Bookshelves, and for our second anniversary Kresley Cole had send us her complete IAD series in paperback, SIGNED. Can I tell you my tongue was hanging on the floor with a puddle of drool dripping from it, not a pretty sight, I know, but I truly had an honest-to-gods-truth Lord Of The Rings “my precious” moment. Can you see me sitting on the couch with feverish gleaming eyes looking at the signed copies. Mine all mine was my motto but since it was for a contest I had to give the prize away. The person who won loved the books and converted to an IAD lover and joined the club :D So mission acomplished there mmwwaaahhahaha

So when I read the post on our Realms forum that Kresley Cole hosted a contest I had to know what the excitement was all about. I already have Kiss Of A Demon King on pre-order, the other books on the shelves and KOADK in the spotlight as my January Book Tip but to go all out in the creativity department is something that I always love to do. Now I never know where everyone gets those hunk-a-liscious pictures which they place on their banners so I make do with what I got, and in result I got all in the mood for Rydstrom Woede and count the day’s until I have a copy of his story in my hands.

So thank you Kresley Cole for hosting such a wonderful contest I enjoyed entering and hope my banner adds to the joy of your release!

Fact: Did you all know that Woede in Dutch means rage, fury, anger and wrath.

Hugs to all,
Leontine

REVIEW: ANNA CAMPBELL - TEMPT THE DEVIL

Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Avon (December 30, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0061234931
ISBN-13: 978-0061234934

Summary:

Any man in London would worship her. Yet Olivia is, quite frankly, bored of them all. Despite her many dalliances, she's never felt true passion, never longed for any lover's touch . . . until Julian, London's most notoriously wanton rake, decided to make her his mistress.

From the moment he first saw her, Julian knew he must possess her. And when he discovers her greatest secret, a scandal that could ruin her reputation and end her career, he knows just the way to use this damaging information to his most delightful advantage. He offers Olivia a deal with the devil: he'll keep her secret . . . if she allows him the chance to show her true ecstasy.

But Olivia must be careful, for Julian has a secret of his own: he will not rest until she is completely, shamelessly his.


Review:

With the openings scene of Tempt The Devil, where the Earl of Erith, Julian Southwood meets the reigning courtesan of de demimonde, Olivia Raines, the sparks start to sizzle from the pages. Sometimes when two people meet an electrical current awakens that inexplicable draws them together. No force will stop them though the two people in question might not even realize for what it is. The introduction of the Earl of Erith to Olivia Raines holds the beginning of a non-stop emotional ride fueled with dominance and surrender but most of all, it contains a seduction in its purest form.

I was pulled into a liaison that from its inception was an entanglement of wills, temper and pride with secrets to uncover from both sides. I often speak about the courtship of trust between the leading couple in my reviews but I must say that in Tempt The Devil this excelled. The story of Erith and Olivia lured me into the intimacy of the bedroom which became a platform where they told their striking stories. Don’t think for one second that these were bedtime stories. The physical was often functional as to bare the steep emotional scars or to emphasize when trust was gained. The innate characters of Olivia and Erith provided for a continuous verbal clash that was invigorating to read.

I totally fell for the charisma of Julian Southwood, Earl of Erith. He exuded an arrogance that matched his confidence, virility and strength. With these traits he appealed to my femininity but it was with his determinate way of wooing Olivia that appealed to my romantic beating heart. Olivia is as mysterious as she is strong-willed and bend on doing things her own way. I quickly figured out what the foundation of Olivia’s secrets was and instead of wanting to find out the details from those secrets I was spellbound by the journey of her as a woman. While they are both flawed in their own way, together they achieve a fragile bond that becomes stronger with every step forward. As a challenge presents itself they will not back away from it and with that, they changed the rules of the game.

The plot speaks of life’s journey, the choices made, the consequences, perhaps the regret and what was lost on the way. They are such identifiable theme’s that it didn’t miss its effect on the reading experience as a whole. Tempt The Devil is almost exclusively about Olivia and Erith. There is Perry, Leo and the daughter of Erith, Roma as additional characters whom all reflected something from the personal lives of the primary couple. The story didn’t need much more, I was solely focused on the building relationship between a courtesan and a rake. Tempt The Devil takes the essentials from a romance, like physical attraction, courting one another, working out issues, falling in love, insecurity, verbal sparring etc and magnifies this by 10 on the intensity scale.

So it is safe to say I was mesmerized by Erith, his deep founding need for Olivia and her response to that need. There is a delicate balance between all the struggles, the zealous interaction and the progress of love. Never once did I feel I wanted to skip a page, never did I get bored with what the characters were going through, not once did I feel it was over the top or unbelievable. I felt the joy when Olivia wrapped herself around Julian in a protective gesture of comfort…or when Julian understood there was more to Olivia then he first thought. Again I completely yielded to a story of two star-crossed lovers that found ultimate bliss when they least expected it.

Anna Campbell knows how to write historical romance and every time she delivers one that packs a raw and passionate-laden punch. She makes me feel in tune with the characters, the personal growth, their fierce sensuality but most of all the moments where Olivia and Erith bare their past towards each other are moments that became an ultimate celebration of love. I can’t help but be swept away into this emotional maelstrom each time I read a Campbell novel. This tale is not so much about the splendor from the regency era as it is about the intricate characters living in the regency era whom capture the attention.

Claiming The Courtesan will always be my favorite but I feel you can’t go wrong with a historical novel from this author, it will simply be a matter of how much the story or characters appeal to the personal tastes of the reader. Tempt The Devil is a more than a worthy addition and one for the keeper shelf!

PS: Upon reading the final page I screamed for an epilogue, another page that would tell more, but instead Anna Campbell invites you to let your imagination soar. And so I did…

Quote:

The connection was electric, powerful, more emotional then physical.

Quote Erith:

The moment when she touched his cheek still rang pure as a silver bell in his heart.

Quote Erith to Olivia:

“Every man desires you.
“They desire the courtesan. You desire me.”




REVIEW: MEGAN HART - TEMPTED

Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Spice (January 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0373605196
ISBN-13: 978-0373605194


Summary:I had everything a woman could want…
My husband, James. The house on the lake.
My life. Our perfect life.
And then Alex came to visit.


The first time I saw my husband's best friend, I didn't like him. Didn't like how James changed when he was around, didn't like how his penetrating eyes followed me everywhere.
But that didn't stop me from wanting him. And, surprisingly, James didn't seem to mind.

It was meant to be fun. Something the three of us shared for those hot summer weeks Alex stayed with us. Nobody was supposed to fall in or out of love. I didn't need another man, not even one who oozed sex like honey and knew all the secrets I didn't know, the secrets my husband hadn't shared. After all, we had a perfect life.
And I loved my husband.
But I wasn't the only one.

Review:
With closing the book of Megan Hart’s Tempted I feel cheated out of a blissful happily ever after, that everything worked out, that man and woman are happy, in love and can’t get enough of each other. If there is one thing that stood out from everything else is that the story of Anne is something that could happen to anyone. There is a level of realism woven into this story which makes every character so understandable but also created an ending that broke my heart into a thousand pieces. Even as I’m writing this review I want to cry a river for Anne, James and Alex. I wanted them to be happy in a way that worked for them but actually I wanted a happily ever after that worked for me, that what would make me close this book with a blissful sigh of romantic closure.


Instead Megan Hart gave me a woman, Anne, whom is married with James for six years and though she has it all there are things stirring underneath the surface of her life. When Alex came from Asia to stay with them for the summer all longings where bared and it turned into a force to be reckoned with. Besides the blossoming triangular relationship there is another major thing going on in Anne’s life, and this is the thirtieth wedding anniversary of her parents. She and her sisters are planning the party but Anne isn’t the only one sporting with problems.

13 January 2009

The Smutty Society members:

For those who dare to flaunt their Smutty attitude!

This Society is a work in progress!

~Members~
If you do't want your link up here, please e-mail me via contact button!

Leontine from Leontine's Book Realm
Mandi from Smexy Books
Has from The Bookpushers (They have a great post about covers, check it out here)
Susi Sunshine from The Geeky Bookwurm
Marissa from Marissa's Booklair
Viction Vixen from Viction Vixen
Tiffany from Kindle Vixen
Patti from Sleepless in New Orleans
Jamie from Confession of a Book Junky
Ferishia
Erotic Horizon from Erotic Horizon
Cecile from All I Want And More
Clair from Book Bitch
Brundé from BOOK JUNKIE
Minx from Loose Knickers And Window Lickers
The Book Vixen
Larissa from Larissa's Life
Monica from Bibliophilicbookblog
HAWK
Bucke Eye Girl from Buck Eye Girl Reads
The Pleasure Chest
Pearl from Pearl's World Of Romance
Marissa from Marissa's Book Lair
Buried By Books
Redd (Neena) from The Forgotten Hollow
Evelyn Applegate from Evie's Whsipered Words
Holly from The Book Siren's Review
Amora from Amora's Place
Mamma Kitty's Books
Vixen JAD from Flip Romance
Diana from Book of Secrets
Steph from Fangs Wands And Fairydust
Ang from PNR Booklover
Stella Exlibris
Harris Channing
Dren from Dren's B-Spot
Sorchamowbray
Tena from >Crazy Book Slut
Evolet from Beefcakes And Babes
Rayna from Naughty Edition Reviews
Lori from Romancing The Darkside
Jowanna from Pimpin' Reads
Tammy from News and Reviews from the Hearts Of The Dragons Den
Laurielu from Bona-fide Reflections
Kelly from DemonLover's Books And More
Blue Shedevil from Rage, Sex And Teddybears
C.S. Maxwell

Grab the badge at the left sidebar and leave a comment to be added to The Smutty Society :) Each Smutty researcher of course needs a research assistent, slap a name on him and put him to good use I'd say ;)



11 January 2009

THE CALLINGCARD OF NEW BOOKS IN 2009


January 2009:
I am always lurking on the world wide web for new authors and though my list of books to buy each month is already longer than I want, I can always squeeze in some more. I have 5 sub-genres of Romance in which I frequently buy:

* Paranormal * Fantasy
* Historical * Suspense
* Erotica

I have stumbled on a few Historical novels and one Paranormal novel from authors I really want to give a go in 2009. They are giving a callingcard I can hardly resist and have to accept. I will add to this list as I stumble on to more authors whom are new to me, or perhaps are debuting this year. So this list will remain active throughout the year!

My Historical Finds in January 2009:


Donna Russo Morin - The Courtiers Secret:

Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Kensington (January 27, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0758226918
ISBN-13: 978-0758226914

Summary:

For many privileged young women, Versailles is a paradise. For others, it is a gilded and bejeweled cage of oppression. Jeanne Yvette Mas du Bois is unlike most courtiers and the flavor of decadence tastes bitter upon her tongue. When Jeanne saves a Musketeer's life, she is mistaken for a man and admitted to an inner circle where she learns of an assassination plot against the Queen--and falls in love with a man she can never have. Now, with the Queen in jeopardy, and her own double life making her privy to the tangled intrigues at court, Jeanne is in a powerful yet increasingly perilous position. Jeanne fights against an arranged marriage to a weak, ineffectual, effeminate man of her father's choosing; she fights against a small, dedicated group of Musketeers to save the life of the Queen of France; and she fights for the true love of her life.



The Pleasure Palace – Kate Emerson:

first novel in
Secrets of the Tudor Court

March 2009

Release Date: February 3, 2009

Pocket Bookstrade paperback

ISBN 978-1-4165-8320-2

$16.00 includes maps, family trees, and a reader's group guide

Summary:

The story: Jane Popyngcourt was brought to the English court of Henry VII as a child to be a companion to his daughters—the princesses Margaret and Mary. With no money of her own, Jane could not hope for marriage, but as she grows into a seductively beautiful young woman, she receives flattering attention from virile young courtiers and even from the handsome new king, Henry VIII, who has recently married Catherine of Aragon. Then a dashing French prisoner of war, cousin to the king of France, is brought to London, and Jane finds she cannot help giving some of her heart—and more—to a man she can never marry. The Tudor court is filled with dangers as well as seductions, and there are mysteries surrounding Jane’s birth that have left her with deadly enemies. She must follow a perilous path in her search for answers and risk even more to have a chance at happiness.


Dawn Halliday - Highland Obsession:

Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: NAL Trade (August 4, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0451227018
ISBN-13: 978-0451227010

Summary:

DESTINED FOR ONE MAN… SEDUCED BY ANOTHER…

The Earl of Camdonn is consumed by his passion for beautiful Highland lass Sorcha Stewart. Cam draws her into a secret world of erotic bliss—until Sorcha’s fierce loyalty to her clan leads to an arranged betrothal of her father’s choice. Cam watches in despair as the object of his desire is torn from his arms only to marry his childhood friend, Alan MacDonald.

Alan, newly returned to Scotland from England, marries the innocent and enchanting Sorcha, thinking he’ll be the one to introduce her to the pleasures of the flesh. But Cam, driven mad by jealousy and desire, abducts Sorcha on her wedding night. And as Alan fights to claim what is his, he is lured into a triangle of forbidden passion…

Kris Kennedy - The Conquerer:

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Zebra (May 5, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 142010652X
ISBN-13: 978-1420106527

Summary:

The Kinds of Wanting is a sensual medieval romance set in England during the civil wars of King Stephen’s reign. In it, a defeated king, a dying prince, and mysterious treasure converge in an emotional maelstrom in twelfth century England. At the center lies an intrigue that will rock a medieval kingdom and pit honor against greed, love against vengeance.

Griffyn ‘Pagan’ Sauvage is a reluctant hero. He has kept his vows simple: reclaim his beloved home, lost seventeen years ago in a coup of the English crown, and wreak his vengeance upon the man who stole it, John de l’Ami.

Guinevere de l’Ami, countess of Everoot since her father died two weeks ago, is committed to only one thing: redemption.

Then, one fateful night changes everything. A midnight rescue on the king’s highway results in a single night of passion and a despair-defying connection neither ever hoped to find.

Their reunion, a year later, follows betrayals and oaths and a bloody invasion. Misdirected loyalties, cold vows of revenge, age-old legacies and death-bed promises conspire to harden their hearts and threaten their last chance to ever trust in love again.

My Paranormal find in January 2009:


A PERFECT DARKNESS

Book 1 of the Offspring series

February, 2009 Avon Books

ISBN 978-0-06-169035-8

Summary:

A sexy stranger wakes Amy Shane in the dead of night with an urgent warning. He barely has time to whisper a few words before three men burst in and drag him away. But what Lucas Vanderwyck reveals shatters Amy’s safe little world forever.

Lucas and Amy share a connection beyond reality and a psychic gift—a gift that could get them killed. And as they share night after night of passion, as a shadowy government conspiracy tracks their every move, they will fight to save each other. To find Lucas, and the truth, she must use the psychic ability she abhors, strike up dangerous alliances, and risk not only her heart, but her very life.

Excerpt: HERE

Other debutes I found and perhaps are interesting were:

Elaine Levine - Rachel And The Hired Gun
Vanessa Kelly - Mastering The Marquess
Lavinia Kent - A Talent For Sin

Please if anyone reads this and has another author with a debut book coming out in 2009 or feels I might be interested in a particularly novel feel free to leave a comment!!

Hugs,
Leontine


10 January 2009

REVIEW: JEANNE ADAMS - DARK AND DANGEROUS

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Zebra (June 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1420104292
ISBN-13: 978-1420104295



Summary:
NOWHERE TO HIDE
Dana Markham is up against a cold-blooded killer who knows her all too well: Donovan Walker. Wanted for drug trafficking, armed and dangerous—he’s also her ex-husband. What she knows about him could land him behind bars forever…or put her and her young son in an early grave if Donovan finds them first. Dana’s one chance lies with a man she barely knows at all.

Tall and darkly sensual, Caine Bradley is an undercover FBI agent who’s been posing as Walker’s henchman. Compelled to work with Caine to lure her ex out of hiding, Dana must fight against her own raw, urgent needs. But is he who he says he is? Her passionate desire for him could be her salvation—or her greatest mistake…

Review:
This debut novel of Jeanne Adams proves to be more of a suspense novel with romantic undertones than an amplification of one another, heightening the overall impact of the story. From the first page I was thrown into the centre of all the action as mobster Donovan Walker sends out a team to recapture his ex-wife and son. The sole reason of his attention is his son, his heir, his legacy and he will leave nothing unused to get him back. Unfortunately, Dana and Xavier see it differently and entered WitSec (witness security) after Dana testified against him.

After years of a somewhat peaceful existence Dana and Xavier are attacked in their own home and Dana automatically shifts into a flight-or-fight mode. After activating her defense mechanism around the house she wants to bolt out of there like a bat out of hell with her precious son. But instead she stumbles onto one of the attackers and she points a gun into his face, only, he turns out to be an infiltrated FBI agent to unmask Donovan Walker.

From that point on Dana Markham, Xavier and Caine Bradley are on the run from a man bend on possessing the one thing that matters to him….a ten year old boy named Xavier. The theme of a mother and a child on the run from their enemies is one I like to read about, it highlights the resilience of a woman and the instincts of a mother going the distance for her child. Dark And Dangerous draws this picture with a high-risk chase as man, woman and child need to take it all with a tenacity to remain alive at the end of the road. The accent of this novel thrives on the suspense, the author gradually builds this up and raises the stakes a bit higher with every chapter I read. Adams adds and deducts my suspicion of certain enemies when Donovan Walker takes the lead. He is everything a criminal on a power-rush is meant to be. He has everyone cowering before him, making his presumption of being all powerful even greater. He has the money to back it all up and the evil intent to walk over bodies to get what he wants. Instantly I disliked him and the more I read, the more I wanted him behind bars or dead for all that mattered. An ideal antithesis for Caine and his dark knight persona, he is an FBI agent who has not all that much to lose which makes him dangerous to deal with.

While the suspicion is raised, a secret hide-a-way is revealed and a woman who has more than her share of experience in these situations has her son’s happiness at stake here. Dana possesses an attitude and sass to cope with a very perilous situation that could take a turn for the worse at any moment. The intimate relationship between Xavier and Dane is laced with love, humor and a bond that is hard to grasp as it comes from being in a high-tense situation for all those years together. It is done with both a feel for the angst and danger as it emphasizes on the unconditional love between a mother and a son.

Bit by bit the suspense got to me and succumbed me into a story where survival becomes an essential. There is also a budding attraction going on with a flavor for trust issues to work out. It never delves very deep into the emotional background and remains flirtatious until the last third of this tale. While I regret the loss of more in-depth emotions or body heat between Caine and Dana it did contain a common sense. Their safety comes first before the leading couple can honestly give into their feelings. There is an air of self constraint between them resulting from the knowledge they cannot let their guards down. Instead of the attraction bursting from the pages it is more of a poised attraction that is only released on one or two occasions.

Xavier is just as much a leading character as Dana or Caine is for that matter. He is street smart and holds his own in threatening situations when at the same time something can happen that shows he is just a kid hungering for safety. There are a lot of supportive characters though not many pop out, I enjoyed Chaz and TJ from the B&B along with Agent Sears and Trevain leading the FBI case against Donovan Walker. They are functional, they add their purpose without distracting the reader from the essential story. Everything came together in the last third of this novel, keeping me bound to the pages in a battle for ultimate freedom.

I was entertained and taken by the suspense in Dark And Dangerous but simultaneously the romance fell short for me and didn’t give me that intense satisfaction I crave as a romance reader. Even if the expectations for this novel weren’t entirely met, Dark And Dangerous is a nice, well-plotted, well-paced and a well-written story that contains hours of enjoyable reading.

Quote Dana:
“All I really have to do is live, love my son, protect him if I can, and die, Agent. I’d rather that be in a hundred years with a pack of grandchildren mourning my passing, but I’ll put myself on the line to save my son.”