13 December 2010

Celebrate the love - Naughty Xmas style


I developed this Xmas card before November 22nd when my life turned upside down, leaving me to deal with a whirlwind of emotions. Still, I wanted to send it to you all and wish every naughty reader (and we know we are a legion on our own) a wonderful Xmas shared with loved ones, lively conversations and good food.

I also want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one who commented on the post; The loss of my soulmate. The warmth, hugs, prayers and sharing of own stories is much appreciated! I can't emphasize on that enough, even though I may not answer each e-mail, or reply to each comment, know that I read every single one of them and take in the comfort it brings.

I quote from Dr.J's comment here: "There can't be anything more devastating than losing the one person that made your life so complete. But you will find that there will come a day when your memories will be just as precious, your heart will resound with love for Henry just as always, and you will continue to miss him. But the awful sense of painful emptiness will not be so bad."

Many people tell me this in one form or another and it is my small light to guide me at this time. Right now all I can feel is the painful emptiness; reaching out my hand knowing I will never find his - never hearing his voice again or watching him being moved by a guitar or drum solo.

Come this Xmas I will remember the Xmas morning 14 years ago when Henry proposed to me, the promise he gave me in the love he felt and life he wanted with me and how he lit up like a thousand candles as I said yes. I will have my family surrounding me at Xmas and I'm glad for that comfort, my brother is even willing to watch Sex In The City 2! We will celebrate my brother and father's b-day the next day (second Xmas day here in the Netherlands) and then I'm off for a few days up north with my dogs and sister. 

Whether you've been naughty or nice...I hope you all have an incredible Xmas where small and big wishes come true!

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01 December 2010

The loss of my soulmate...


On November 22nd 2010 my life altered in the most profound way and I never saw it coming. For those who know me, know how much Henry and I shared together; the love, the difficulties, the mundane and the extraordinary. I found out what an absolute rare gift it is to be so loved by one man, to be the center of his life, his heart and though he wasn't perfect we fitted together at the heart and soul.

When his boss picked me up with the news Henry got unwell at work I instantly knew it was his heart since his father died at 49 of a heart attack. I think during that car trip I just about made every deal with God. Let him be alive, let me be able to care for him, let him be safe and sound, let us have a chance to fight or heal from whatever got him to the ER of the hospital! To arrive and be escorted to a family room to receive the devastating blow my husband died is something I still need to recover from. There was no sign Henry had a weak or damaged heart, he didn't have an unhealthy life style, he was just taken away from me and those near to him in one flash.

As a reader of romance novels the term soul mate is often used and though I knew so very early on in our relationship I had something special the love became something I got used to. Only now, after he died, I found out how much entwined we both were...how special and treasured the bond we have was. I have got no clue how to live on without him, how to deal with the loss of his everyday hugs. I even miss our arguments, those Mars/Venus moments and I even miss him rattling on about every rock band known to man kind. I miss him in the ordinary and extraordinary ways....

From the moment I heard the news about his death many have shared memories or pictures of him with me. I would've been lost without my family and my sister, Natascha, who has been my rock these past days, even though she had to deal with the loss too. Pearl and Marissa who were there lending me there strength and sharing in the pain. Janna, your messages are treasured! I want to thank each and all who has reached out through e-mail or via the ROOB blog announcement with their heartfelt comments! Each one has been appreciated in this time of loss.

As you all can imagine I need time to deal with the loss and the void Henry has left behind. I'm a widow at the age of 34...not something I aspired but something I need to accept in my own time. In the coming months my blog will not be as active as it was these last few years, perhaps it never will be but as one famous man once said; "I'll be back!" My passion for books hasn't died, it just can't be my no.1 priority right now. So for those who has send me their book for review, it will come, just not any time soon.

I hope everyone else had a wonderful thanksgiving or is preparing for the coming holidays! If you have a soulmate of your own, hug him, tell him how much you love having him in your life and I know it's difficult in everyday life but take time to romance one another. The first thing I told Henry when I saw his body was that I wanted to love him in life for another 50 years and I hate it that this is taken away from me, that Henry is taken away from me!

We can always find romance in books but it is the romance in real life that is a rare treasure to enjoy!

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22 November 2010

Getting creative - Blog Design for sale...

Many of you who come here know I love to get creative. I love creating buttons, badges, banners and I changed many times in my personal blog design in 2008-2009 but I finally found “my look”. It was then that I had no outlet for my creativity anymore and was searching for other ways. That is when the yellow brick road led me to a blog design program named Artisteer. Well a whole new world opened up to me! I always loved doing blog design but I don’t know how to write codes, work the HTML magic so to speak, but the frustration and grey hairs vanished with the discovery of this program. Now I could do what I do best, work on a visual level and I can tell you, I’m having a blast. So much fun that I created 3 new blog design, but, it’s just sitting on my computer…and I think it’s a waste.

 I’m not saying I’m professional, I’m not an artist of any kind but perhaps I can make some else happy? Who knows, right?! So here I have three blog designs and for a friendly price it can be yours…any feedback is appreciated, I’m still a grasshopper *wink*



Blogdesign info - click on the image for full screen size:
  • Price is 37.50 dollars
  • Title and subtext can be personalized at request.
  • I will install for free but I will need personal blog inlog information, or I can send you a .doc file / e-mail with the html codes so you can install it yourself!
  • I can make a blog button for 5 dollar more price.



Blogdesign info - click on the image for full screen size:
  • Price is 37.50 dollars
  • Title and subtext can be personalized at request.
  • I will install for free but I will need personal blog inlog information, or I can send you a .doc file / e-mail with the html codes so you can install it yourself!
  • I can make a blog button for 5 dollar more price.
Blog design info - click on the image for full screen size:
  • Price is 40 dollars
  • Title and subtext can be personalized at request.
  • I will install for free but I will need personal blog inlog information, or I can send you a .doc file / e-mail with the html codes so you can install it yourself!
  • I can make a blog button for 5 dollar more price.
All payments via paypal please.

I do recommend anyone who has an ounce of creativity to buy the Artisteer program yourself, the home edition is worth the investment in my opinion!

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Happy Monday for two winners



Commenter 12 won a choice in a signed copy of AWAKENED BY A KISS or THE PRINCESS IN HIS BED


Danielle Gorman said...
For me I just like it when my characters already know eachother. I like them to have some sort of past. May it be friends to lovers, enimies to lover, reconciliation, or past loves. I just want them to know eachother.

Lila, I can't wait to read this and now I super curious about the ugly duckling story.

Congratz Danielle, I'll e-mail you so you can give me your choice in book from Lila DiPasqua


Commenter 18 won the buttons boasting allegiance and a copy of A Discovery Of Witches will be send in the early days of 2011.


EVA SB said...
I think I have to choose 'Carrie' - the original.
It was one of the first horror movies I ever watched. I couldn't sleep for several days afterwards and it has made me nervous of horror movies ever since.

Congratz Eva, I'll e-mail you too for you addy!

Have a great monday :)
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19 November 2010

Review: Lila DiPasqua - Awakened By A Kiss

Website Author - Purchase - Facebook - Twitter

Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Berkley Trade; 1 edition (August 3, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0425235564
ISBN-13: 978-0425235560
 
Intro cover summary:
Three classic fairytales—“Sleeping Beauty,” “Puss in Boots,” and “Little Red Riding Hood”—cleverly retold with enough sensual twists to prove wickedly ever after does exist…

My Review: Sleeping Beau: Five years ago, the notorious rake, Adrien d’Aspe, Marquis de Beaulain, was awakened by a sensuous kiss—and experienced a night of raw ecstasy that was branded into his memory. Years later, he spots his mysterious seductress—and this time, he has no intention of letting her go…

With SLEEPING BEAU I got my first taste of Lila DiPasqua and I was instantly enamored. I must admit I’m not an avid reader of soiree settings and nobility but DiPasqua blends a decadent time period of the French sun king with vivid characters, intrigue and spine-melting passion in to such wickedly charming stories.

Adrian is a notorious lover of the fairer sex but as the story develops he surprised me with his depth of character. Catherine is a sensuous and spirited woman, she knows how the world works and yet also has a healthy defiance of it. The unexpected recognition of each other delivers a push-pull of erotic provocation and is a significant aspect within the romantic progress. The cat and mouse game where Adrian pursues Catherine with an ardent fervor of a man wanting to relive that one night filled with sensual rapture. There is also an abundance in enlivened dialogues between the main couple that set a wonderful pace in the story telling and rapidly made me flip the pages.

I was entertained with SLEEPING BEAU, which turned out to be a sexy historic novella and was wondering what more Lila DiPasqua had in store for me.

3 stars

Little Red Writing: Nicolas de Savignac, Comte de Lambelle, has been assigned by the King to uncover the secret identity of the author writing scandalous stories about powerful courtiers. He never expected his investigation would lead to his grandmother's house, or to a ravishing woman who would stir his deepest hunger…

With LITTLE RED WRITING I found out what was in store for me. The longest of the three novella’s and with a theme I loved from the start. Three sister, from whom one writes confronting stories about the debauchery of entitled men. In Sleeping Beau it was revolving a lot around the sexual attraction and though that is plenty present in Little Red Writing I enjoyed it even more with the secrecy plot weaved through it.

Nicolas “le Loup” is potently male, a bit shrewd when a Musketeer needs to be and devilishly charming. Anne de Vignon has crashed and burned once in the romance and has erected walls around her still very romantic heart. She is audacious, intelligent and passionate. Nicolas and Anne are instantaneously attracted to one another and it is known to the reader with hot bouts of sensuous encounters. The back and forth innuendo is glossed over by polite conversations but it is this kind of verbal sparring that makes the attraction sizzle outside of the bedchamber. Add the conflict that lies within discovering the truth, which caused quite some tension in the ending, and the romance took it up a notch for me.

LITTLE RED WRITING is pure naughtiness and turned out to be quite the bed time story!

3.5 stars

Bewitching in Boots: Elisabeth de Roussel, daughter of the King, is accustomed to getting what she wants—and she wants Tristan de Tiersonnier, Comte de Saint-Marcel, an ex-commander of the King’s private Guard. A recent injury has forced Tristan to leave his distinguished position, but Elisabeth is determined to make him see he's every bit the man he once was—and more than man enough for her..

Lila DiPasqua saved the best for last with Elisabeth ‘s daring plan to seduce Tristan. I get excited when a woman takes matters in her own hand and in the process aggravates the hero to no end. BEWITCHING IN BOOTS is a story of 85 pages but from the get-go I reveled in the chemistry between the two leading characters. Elisabeth is feisty, smart and has a take-charge attitude which clashes head-on with Tristan’s commanding confidence and blunt attitude. From the moment she appears on his doorstep he practically roars no in her face to every request and she defies him each and every time.

The dance between Elisabeth and Tristan is taunting them both but when the turnaround comes it is hello to the erupting lust. The interplay changes between them in the bed room, there Tristan’s commanding air can teach Elisabeth quite a bit about pleasure and it set the pages on fire. Even with the fast paced storytelling I was engrossed in their character dynamic and the question whether or not Elisabeth would succeed in her plan.

BEWITCHING IN BOOTS is a clash of fiery will power and erotic delight. A story after my own heart!

4 stars

All novella’s in AWAKENED BY A KISS are based on a rich historic backdrop, a dash of fairy tale origin and an intense sexual attraction from which the deeper romantic feelings grow. The emphasis lies on the eroticism rather than an intricate romance making it light-hearted, entertaining and sensual storytelling that steams up the pages. Debut author Lila DiPasqua, created a very unique voice for herself which I enjoyed immensly.

Anthology overall rating; 3.5 stars



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18 November 2010

Getting acquainted with Karen Moning's FEVER series & read-along @ Fiction Vixen

When I read the announcement that Mandi, Tori & Fiction Vixen were going to do a read along of the FEVER series and have discussions of the books I was in doubt. Would I, Should I but most of all, could I? These last 6 weeks I’ve turned in to a tortoise reader and I have a few requests I still need to read and review. But then I thought about it and I realized how long ago it was since I read Darkfever. I’m one of the peeps who’ve read every single Fever book in its release week, so that means I read Darkfever in 2006 o_0 I’m definitely in need of a refresher course ASAP. So I decided to hop on the reread/along train and go for it.

When I thought about rereading the series I realized I didn’t have to review it anymore but could write down some of the juice parts/quotes I would find in each Fever book. I will grab every opportunity to celebrate the awesome writer Karen Moning is, how much I adore the characters and world she has given me to visit over and over again. Of course I was curious and I had to reread my review of Darkfever as well and OMG, I was suddenly confronted again with my state of mind after reading it! I wanted a Dageus-type hero, I wanted scorching sexing, I wanted sweep-off-my-feet romance and Karen Moning gave me something else…

A large part of what my first, frantic reaction to Darkfever was:

My review in 2006: Ok, this book should come with a warning! Or maybe it's already out there and I just didn't pick it up. Have you ever read the previous books of Karen Moning and expect the same? Well, forget it! Longing for a delicious dark Fae or Highlander as a hero? Dig up your magnifying glass. Do you want romance, passion and plundering bodies? Give the snooze button another hit! For Karen Moning turns into another direction and yet you read an original Moning story all the way!!

Mackayla is an average 22 year old with normal wants and needs, but with one phone call her life takes a dramatic turn. Her sister and best friend Alina was murdered in Ireland and she leaves Mackayla a message which doesn't make sense. It doesn't take long for Mac to decide to go to Ireland and figure out what her sister tried to tell her.

With this first book in the FEVER series Karen Moning takes us further into the realm of the Tuathé de Danaan, the Seelie and Unseelie. From the very first page I wandered into Mackayla's world, feeling her emotions, despair, andgrief, but also her determination to find that what destroyed her sisters light. With every page the suspense is building up, question's rise with Mac as she develops a new perspective of the world and you hope that she finds her answers. V'Lane and Barrons make me want more. V'Lane as a death-by-sex Fae (God I love that expression of Mac) makes a woman throb for everything a male body has to offer (How can Karen Moning do this to us!! I wanted plundering wild passion and hungry devouring bodies as only she can write it. She puts us on a diet and ladies, I'm starving!) Then there is Barrons, he's so mysterious about who he is and Karen Moning gives us just a few hints of information, talk about torture!!!

All my comments on this book is given with a wink because with her unique and rich writing style Karen Moning gives us an Urban Fantasy novel of world class and although I missed the romance aspect a little bit she fills it up with an amazing fast paced story, an incredible heroine and a quest of mega proportion's in a world that's just not the same anymore.

I've closed this book that left me wanting for more and now I'll eagerly await the release of Blood Fever!

4 stars

Without further ado I will give you the quotes I picked from DARKFEVER *grin*

At first I thought Mac to be a carefree girl and I really feared I might not relate to her. Since it was all written from the 1st person it is pivotal to get that connection or else much is lost for me. Next is a quote that made me feel that first connection with Mac. I have a similar relationship with my sister and could relate to all Mac felt:

Quote Mac – Those weeks remain forever foggy to me. I wept the entire time, vision and memory blurred by tears. My tears were involuntary. My soul was leaking. Alina wasn’t just my sister; she was my best friend.
The next is what made me laugh so much:

Tuatha Dé -> Mac’s version: too-ah-day

Another one?

Okay!

Sinsar Dubh -> Mac’s version: shi-sadu

One more :)

Side-seer -> Mac’s version: She-seer

Also one of the most frequent phrases of Mac is Petunia which means ass. She and her sister were taught not to cuss so they created code words for it.

Alright, on the next quote.

Aahhhhh it’s a good one – “and then we meet Jericho Barrons”:
The room had been full of books before, now it was full of him. About thirty, six foot two or three, he had dark hair, golden skin, and dark eyes. His features were strong, chiseled. I couldn’t pinpoint his nationality any more than I could his accent; some kind of European crossed with Old World Mediterranean or maybe an ancestor with dark Gypsy blood. He wore an elegant, dark grey Italian suit, a crisp white shirt, and a muted patterned tie. He wasn’t handsome. That was too calm a word. He was intensely masculine. He was sexual. He attracted. There was an omnipresent carnality about him, in his dark eyes, in his full mouth, in the way he stood.
Aren’t you a puddle of want after reading this cause I certainly was.

Another quote from Mac which triggered a grin from me:
Mythological race? Dark King? Magic? Was this all some kind of joke? Alina didn’t get into woo-woo stuff anymore than I did. We both loved to read and watch the occasional movie, but we always went for the run-of-the-mill mysteries, thrillers, or romantic comedies, none of the bizarre paranormal stuff. Vampires? Eew. Dead. Enough said. Time-travel? Ha, give me creature comforts over a hulking highlander with the manners of a caveman any day. Werewolves? Oh please, just plain stupid. Who wants to get it on with a man who’s ruled by his inner dog? As if all men aren’t anyway, even without the lycanthrope genre.
Uhm, what can I say, I felt slightly disconnected to Mac when she ranted about a highlander with the manners of a caveman – I would so go for that. Anyone else besides me?

I hear many talk about Jericho Barrons but on page 154 – “Hello V’Lane” *rowr*
Even today, after all that I’ve seen, I couldn’t begin to describe V’Lane, prince of the Tuathe Dé Danaan. There are some things that are simply immense, too rich to be contained in words. This is the best that I can offer; imagine a tall, powerful mighty archangel, frighteningly male, terrifyingly beautiful. Then paint him the most exquisite shades of chestnut, bronze, and gold you can possibly imagine. Give him a mane shimmering with strands of cinnamon gilded by sunlight, skin of tawny velvet, and eyes of liquid amber, kissed by molten gold.. The Fae was unutterably beautiful.
And the last quote is another one of Mac’s quirky humor I love so much:
We’ve got to find the Sinsar Dubh, Alina had said. Everything depends on it. What depended on it? I had a sinking feeling the answer to that question was one of those Fate-of-the-World things. I didn’t do Fate-of-the-World things. That wasn’t in my job description. I poured drafts and mixed drinks, wiped counters and washed glasses. After work I swept up.
After reading DARKFEVER for the second time I realize it instantly drew me back in to the world of the Tuatha Dé, of Mac, Barrons and V’Lane. I couldn’t get enough of the dry barbs coming from Barrons and the humor and resilience of Mac. The FEVER series might’ve been a complete turnaround in the romance storytelling of Karen Moning, it is her writing voice, her vivid characters and rich world building that remained the same and I fell hard and fast for it all!

Now I’m wandering over to Fiction Vixen to have a fantastic time and talk some more in their discussion on DARKFEVER. 

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17 November 2010

Review: Eve Langlais - Wickedest Witch

Author Website - Purchase - Facebook

ISBN 978-1-59578-764-4
Release date: october 25, 2010
Publisher: Liquid Silver Books
Originally written for for TRR

Cover Summary:
Evangaline is not a very nice witch, but ask her if she cares. However, she does have a healthy sexual appetite, and when an uncouth shifter starts appearing in her fantasies, it's not long before she makes her erotic mind play a reality. But everyone knows a wicked witch can't fall in love, or can she?

Ryker, a hot and muscled shifter, knows his size and dominating presence intimidates women, all except for one curvy witch he just can't get out of his mind. Set to a task only the two of them can accomplish, he discovers wickedness has its uses, especially in the bedroom.

Dealing with vamps, a wedding from hell and a cackling gnome named Rumpelstiltskin, will these two wicked beings survive and, even more disturbing, decide to stay together?

My Review: Of all the bars in town, the wickedest witch had to walk into his. When Evangeline meets the devilish shape shifter Ryker, sparks sizzle in the air. After a lame one liner, Ryker's attempt to get Evangeline into bed crashes and burns quickly. However, Rumpelstiltskin has a job for them, thereby throwing two people with a combustible chemistry together. A battle of wills ensues…

Eve Langlais entered into my book world with a story of two deliciously wicked, slightly evil characters who grabbed my attention with their quips and quirks from the start. Both Evangeline and Ryker have infamous reputations and they are unapologetic about it. They are both ‘in your face' direct which made their acerbic verbal sparring such a joy to read. I felt a devilish grin spread across my face more than a time or two and I love how they resonated with me.

From the first page, Evangeline showed me why she is called the wickedest witch and she remained a temperamental woman throughout the story. Even though I thought her giggles were out of character, it was just a minor discretion in the whole. Her thoughts on carnal pleasure, on love and on Ryker contained enough snark to make up for her incidental burst of giggles.

Ryker, now he is the kind of hero I can't get enough of; he is crass, sarcastic, big, bad and for the right woman, can purr like only a feline shifter can. He is unafraid to taunt Evangeline, to throw verbal barbs her way and deal with the consequences. Ryker gives as good as he gets and he turns the ride to their happily ever after quite a bit fierier.

What was also fiery was the eroticism, because with such a strong chemistry between the main characters I didn't expect anything less than hot and bothered between them and Eve Langlais delivers. It isn't in the diversity of the carnal play but in the hunger, the directness of their need and how they seize it that becomes so titillating to read. There is one moment on the hood of a car that was…WOW, sizzling!

Everything else was secondary to the developing relationship. The small supportive cast fleshed out the back story of the main characters. The mystery was nice but for me just a reason to thrust Evangeline and Ryker together. I must say that towards the end some corners were cut in the mystery and happily ever after solution which gave me the impression things suddenly happened a bit too fast, too soon. Yet what really stood out for me was the flavor and flair of the characters and with a ‘call it like I see it' writing style, it served the characterization well. This is what held my focus throughout the novella and because the author gave the humor, attraction and dialogues in spades, I didn't really miss anything else.

WICKEDEST WITCH is a good example of how well a novella can work when the chemistry between the hero and heroine leaps off the pages. Ryker and Evangeline are a deviously good pairing I couldn't get enough of.

4 stars

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15 November 2010

Review: An unexpected raw romance -> Alyssa Turner - Bittersweet

Purchase - Facebook

Received .pdf copy from author for review.

Cover Summary:
An intimate tale of love, sex and loss.

What happens when the line between love and despair is blurred? Sabrina must find out if she has room in her heart for both. Her devoted, disabled husband has planned a Valentine’s Day to remember. Her biggest surprise – that unrestrained passion can heal her deepest wound. If Sabrina can let ecstasy wash away her pain, she will have been given the most valuable Valentine’s gift of all: a love that endures through eternity.

About the author,
Alyssa Turner’s writings address a woman’s desire to really have it all – including the things she’s not supposed to want. New to the erotic romance scene, Alyssa enjoys painting pictures in her literary works with a creative use of metaphor and detailed visual imagery. Her publishing credits include, Two For One, a featured story in Best Women’s Erotica 2011, edited by Violet Blue, print publication in November 2010, Bittersweet, Xcite Books e-publication September 2010 and Criminal Behavior, a Mainstream Erotica monthly finalist.

My Review: I’ve been surprised by a few erotic romance writers in the last few months and Alyssa Turner is one of them. I have to admit though that I’m a reader who loves the details in a story. Prolonged scenes full of sensualism, heated dialogues or really delving in to the mind of a character is what brings me to my reader’s happy place. Still, even though Alyssa Turner only gave me a 53 page long story she gave me all of that in the core and with an intensity I love. In mere pages I understood there was a combustible spark between Keith and Sabrina, igniting some fierce emotions. Over a period of time it resulted in a deep love, even if the trope was one of a newly appointed professor at the NYU and his student, which felt a bit corny at first.

I was quickly fast forward to the time where they were married for years but catastrophe had struck in the form of a car accident which left Keith paralyzed from the waist down. Because the story is told from Sabrina’s point of view I initially got to understand how it affected her and how she now perceived their once strong relationship. It is then that Keith comes with an outrageous proposal. Since a while he has a new assistant, Evan, and Keith wants him to give to Sabrina what he can’t anymore.

Well, up till then I was engaged in the story. Curious how this situation would play itself out. It is only pages later that Keith explains his reasoning behind his proposal that Evan should take his place. From there on out there were such conflicting emotions in me. At one hand I understood that Keith and Sabrina had a different outlook on life but what about their love? At one hand I got titillating new emotions blooming with Sabrina but also her devastating pain and a love that is tried and tested. The rawness of the emotions washed over my via the writing voice of Alyssa Turner. I had some initial reluctance to accept the new budding feelings from Sabrina and yet, the proposal, the choices made, it was all born from the love Sabrina and Keith feel.

Keith who is this strong driven personality is stuck in heart breaking circumstances. I got his desperation, his endless love for his wife and his happiness at finding a part lost between him and Sabrina. In between there is Evan, never diminishing the love between this strong pair but supportive, promising a new beginning and to feel a spectrum of emotions again for the first time. The somewhat unorthodox relationship exposed individual wants and needs which captivated me in both its intricacy and its simplicity. Like Keith said to Sabrina:

“That’s what you think you should be doing. Sometimes you have to let your instincts take the lead. There is nothing wrong with your sensibilities or what they are telling you.”
“Stop trying to make this sound so easy.”
He sighed, twisting a lock of my hair around his finger. “But it is, Sabrina. It’s as simple as we make it.”
I’m not saying BITTERSWEET is a perfect story. The quickness of storytelling diminishes some of the flow. Some scenes could’ve used more elaboration to create a deeper connection to the characters. Even though I would’ve enjoyed to have the author explore Sabrina’s double edged feelings even more in this novella I believe the saying “sometimes less is more” fits this story to a tee. What captivated me from the get-go are the conflicting emotions due to a terrible situation. It evoked such strong emotions with me! Alyssa Turner places her characters in the most devastating situations and still manages to let love shine in all its facets. The title is very apt for the story because even though I was torn in two it is the dose of realism that lends a beauty to the story and it struck a chord with me.

I was crying and smiling by the end for the three characters I loved to meet for this short time. Alyssa Turner evokes powerful emotions with her novella; BITTERSWEET. I hope to hear more from her!

4 stars

Quote Sabrina:
Though I would never freely admit that he had the upper hand, he knew when I’d been outdone and preferred to take his spoils in the sound of my pleasured sighs. Disputes always led to sex. Arguments equaled passion. With Keith, it was an outright brawl every time; one that made my eventual submission a delectable turn-on for both of us.
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12 November 2010

Column: I've got the fever for & more

I’ve almost been absent from my virtual world for seven days and I can tell you, I didn’t like it much. Last friday started with me getting ready for a weekend away with Pearl to my sister, Natascha. My bag was packed, pillow included because I can sleep everywhere but I need my own pillow for my head to rest upon :) A quiche was made for Saturday night dinner, books for Pearl and Natascha were packed to give and my e-reader was charged to the max. It was stormy weather when Pearl and I left but chatter boxes that we are those three hour drives go by in the blink of an eye. Although we arrived around 0.30 AM did we do the sensible thing, drink our cup of tea and go to bed? Heck no, we talked, and talked and oh yeah, talked some more and we hit the mattress at 4.30-ish. Of course Natascha was up at 8 AM walking her dog Bodhi, who enamored both me and Pearl with his utterly charming behavior. Saturday and Sunday was filled with lots of laughter, lots of talk, some TV watching, lunching in the city and to my shock, very little reading. Yes, when we are together we are not ashamed to have a reading hour or two, it is ingrained in our system, we need to have it to function properly.

So when I got home on Sunday evening I was tired, talked to hubby for an hour and decided to go to bed. Monday was about catching up in the household, a dreadful job but I have to do it *sigh* Then I had to edit my review of SAFE WORDS and post it on my blog. I can still get a bit sad thinking about how the story was a letdown for me :(( But then Tuesday hit and my neck started to cramp up which is a BIG sign for a tension headache episode…I can try anything, from hot showers - to massage - to keeping a very low profile but by nightfall I was already having a splitting headache. *deep sigh* I know by now what I was in for. A day of excruciating headache, then a day of nausea and throwing up and then a day of having a head that feels all muscles have been bruised. Medicine can help to a certain degree but often it doesn’t so I try to ride it all out…

I’m always so happy when I feel myself again and catch up as quickly as I can with everyone and everything in my virtual world. So today is an awesome day, no headache, hubby came home from work at 7.30 AM saying he got the day off due to safety measures taken with the stormy wind outside YAY and he’s taking me in to the city for some shopping :) I never say no to hubby and I shopping. It is going to be a wonderful prelude to a weekend where I got some awesome reads on the agenda. Today I will finish Wickedest Witch, which is a hot, funny read. My Friday night date is the final novella in Awakened By A Kiss and the Saturday is all focused on Clare London’s 72 HOURS and Sunday is my re-read afternoon with Karen Moning’s DARKFEVER. Mandi/Tori at Smexybooks and Sophia at Fiction Vixen have planned a FEVER re-read session which I’m planning to attend! On those days I will also have a FEVER quote post (the quote post is an idea by Pearl) since I have already reviewed each book. We can never have too many tantalizing quotes out there of this series!!

For more info on the FEVER re-read go here or here

So my week has been with ups and downs but I look forward to some great reading time!

What's on your to-do list this weekend?

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08 November 2010

Review: Chris Owen/Jodi Payne - Safe Words

Author Website CO / JP - Purchase E-Book - Facebook JP - Twitter CO/JP

About Safe Words, A Deviations Novel
by Chris Owen and Jodi Payne
350 pages / 79700 words
ISBN: 978-1-61040-044-2
Ebook zipped file contains - html, lit, Adobe and Sony optimized pdf, prc, epub, also available in paperback
Book Origin: Personal E-Book Library

Cover Summary:
In Safe Words, which picks up where the Deviations series left off, Tobias, Noah and Phan are all working on finding their place, both at Bradford's club and in their personal lives. They're all living together, and Tobias has taken on the roll of full-time Dom, which he loves, but finds incredibly challenging.

While Noah finds comfort in the new state of things and is looking forward to deeper submission, Phan is finding it harder to strike a balance. Too many changes happening too fast are making Phan act out, and neither Tobias nor Noah are sure how to deal with it. Life is not perfect for Bradford, either, as he discovers new feelings for his sub Nikki. Can Tobias help his friend, manage his job teaching the other Doms, and his relationships with Noah and Phan, or will the house that he's built for himself fall down around their ears?

The Deviations series includes: Deviations Submission, Deviations Domination, Deviations Discipline and Deviations Bondage. 

My Review: From the first novel in the DEVIATIONS series the author duo Chris Owen and Jodi Payne captivated me with a triangular developing relationship. Not only did they give me some high quality BDSM that rocked the eroticism, but also intricate characters who got under my skin very quickly. I thought it all ended with book four; BONDAGE, so color me surprised to find out my favorite BDSM series got a fifth novel release. Of course I immediately bought it and fired up my e-reader, eager to become a part again in the emotional journey of Dominant, Tobias and his two subs, Noah and Phantom. All I discovered while reading however was that the continuance of this series with SAFE WORDS wasn’t up to par with its previous releases.

It isn’t that Tobias, Noah or Phantom are suddenly different, or that the eroticism fails to heat up the pages. Neither is it the love, for it is evident from start to finish this threesome has something unique going on. I think a part of what diminished the magic in SAFE WORDS is that at the end of book four; BONDAGE I knew Tobias, Noah and Phantom could concur any minor difficulties left to deal with in this ménage. By then they were so deeply in love, their communications skills good and the major problems were solved. That left very little within SAFE WORDS to deal with which showed in the first hundred pages. The day to day activities were at the forefront. It was getting up, making breakfast, having a morning discipline for Noah and Phantom, getting to work together, discuss work related problems, go home, have some sexing, cuddling and go to sleep. It was monotonous and the storyline became tedious for me, lacking the depth in which previous struggles were solved.

Tobias, Noah and Phantom still have that intricate connection though but save one issue for Phantom and a short clash between the three of them, that connection wasn’t challenged much. For lovers of this series it still gives a nice return to the three men with their vibrant personalities. Men who I’ve become very attached to over the course of this series. Tobias is ever the even tempered, giving man who loves to be a Dom. He has his hands full with his two subs, Noah and Phantom. Noah is a man who enjoys the challenge and he is a steady influence on Phantom. Phantom on the other hand is a live wire of emotions and body movement. Each of these three men has his strengths and weaknesses but together they are a unit and their interpersonal connection is translated in the dialogues which is full of humor, passion and everything else they feel.

Every ingredient in the DEVIATIONS series was present but subdued. I can’t say there was bad writing or that that characters had a completely turn around in their behavior. Even the sex play was spine-tingling and there was also some character growth in the latter part of the story. Still, I can’t deny I missed something. Whether it was an intense romantic development, more struggles within the ménage or a higher level of engaging storytelling, I can’t pin point my fingers to the exact thing that made this entry feel so off for me. Perhaps it comes down to the fact that by the end of SAFE WORDS I felt I could’ve done without it and still feel absolutely fantastic about this series. Now I feel let down while the characters are still so very dear to me.

Whatever magic Chris Owen and Jodi Payne possess it isn’t really happening in SAFE WORDS creating a story I could’ve done without in this series.

2.5 stars

Quote Smexing in the hallway:
Noah pinned Phan with both hands and worked Phan's cock with a practiced tongue in the ways he knew from experience drove Phan wild. Little tricks like pulling away and letting the cool air in for a moment before swallowing him deep again, or digging his thumbs into the hollows under Phan's hip bones.

Phan was more than a lover; he was Noah's closest friend, and Noah wanted it to be good, wanted Phan to feel how much Noah cared about him with every muscle in his body.

Phan's legs started to shake right about the time that the words dried up and Phan's hands dug in harder, clinging. With a gasp and a long groan, Phan started to come, his whole body giving a long shudder as he released pulse after pulse into Noah's throat, moaning and whispering Noah's name.

Noah waited for Phan to finish, swallowing everything his lover had to offer and then gently licking and kissing his way up Phan's body until they stood toe to toe. "Hell, yes," he said softly and then kissed Phan gently, curling his arms around Phan's waist.

Phan leaned, holding on. "You didn't have to do that," he whispered. "But I'm awfully glad you did."


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04 November 2010

New winners galore!


I've tried and tried for ways to get in touch with the previous two winners of the Tairen Soul party but they haven't returned any of my attempts. So I have Decided after more then a week to pick new winners with random.org:

*The winner of the first prize: (1) Complete set of Tairen Soul novels, collector cards, + Fading Lands T-shirt
Spav said...

Since I haven't read the series yet, I would like to win the prize #1.
Posted badge on my blog sidebar:
* and the winner of the second prize: (2) copy of Crown Of Crystal Flame, collector cards, Steli mug


Natascha said...
I'd like to put my hand up for:

(2) copy of Crown Of Crystal Flame, collector cards, Steli mug

I've got a post ready for tomorrow on my blog, flashing the badge and ofcourse, promoting Crown Of Crystal Flame! I've had the pleasure of reading the first 3 books, the fourth is on my next to read list in awaiting this release.

For those who are new to this series and are going to start: You are so lucky to have the whole series still laying ahead of you!!!

I also have a Sinners giveaway which means the winner will receive a signed copy of Backstage Pass, and random choose the lucky:

Mika said...

Well, I never received a love letter. I'm not a big romance-turned person (except in books) and it would probably have no effect on me. Only if it was incredibly well written!

:D
Mika

I will get in touch with you today for addy's so the authors can send you all the prizes. Congratz and happy reading everyone! 

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03 November 2010

Guestpost: THE PRINCESS IN HIS BED….Where did you get your ideas for that?

THE PRINCESS IN HIS BED

A Fiery Tales Collection
By Lila DiPasqua
Berkley (Sensation)
ISBN: 978-0425237007

OUT NOW!

Inspired by “The Emperor’s New Clothes,” “The Ugly Duckling, and “The Princess and the Pea,” Lila DiPasqua spins three sexy tales that give new meaning to the term bedtime story…

The Marquis’ New Clothes: To save her cousin, Aimee de Miran must retrieve a jeweled ring from the most sinfully seductive man at court, the Marquis de Nattes. But to search his considerable wardrobe she’ll have to get very close to the notorious rake…and soon she finds herself very close to him indeed, with his clothes—and hers—utterly forgotten…

The Lovely Duckling: Reputed for his carnal skills, Joseph d’Alumbert prefers amorous encounters without emotional entanglement—until a quick-witted lady stirs tender feelings and hot desire. Emilie de Sarron suffered burns to her body as an infant, and keeps her scars—and her heart—well hidden. But Joseph is determined to peel away her inhibitions, one slow steamy kiss at a time, to reveal the beautiful swan inside…

The Princess and the Diamonds: Princess Gabrielle can’t sleep at night. There is something hard in her bed. No, not just the stolen diamonds tucked under her mattress, but the handsome Marquis on it….whose carnal talents she can’t resist. But he threatens her secret mission, and worse, she stands to lose far more than the diamonds---her heart is at stake….

“…Strong-minded heroines you can relate to, breathtaking carnally gifted male leads…DiPasqua writes with a comfortable elegance and grace, and in turn, crafts a sexy collection that readers will love.” – Fresh Fiction.

“Ripe with steamy affairs, these lusty stories are hot enough to warm the coldest winter night.” – Publishers Weekly

Read an excerpt of THE PRINCESS IN HIS BED – http://www.liladipasqua.com/princessbook.html

Read an excerpt of AWAKNED BY A KISS— http://www.liladipasqua.com/awakenbook.html




About the Author:
Lila DiPasqua writes wicked & witty historical romance for Penguin/Berkley. She lives with her real-life hero husband and three children and is a firm believer in the happily-ever-after. She loves history and enjoys traveling. She has been to four continents so far. Her novels, AWAKENED BY A KISS, and THE PRINCESS IN HIS BED are featured in Doubleday as well as Rhapsody Book Clubs. To learn more about Lila and her books, visit http://www.liladipasqua.com/

Guestpost: THE PRINCESS IN HIS BED….Where did you get your ideas for that?

I get asked this question a lot. The short answer is: I get ideas for my stories from a variety of places. I’ll hear a conversation on the train. Or see a commercial on TV that will trigger something in my imagination. Oh, and then there are history books. . . They’re a great source of inspiration, too! Suddenly, I’m seeing characters forming in my mind and bits and pieces of scenes playing out in my head!

As for my November historical romance release, THE PRINCESS IN HIS BED (Berkley Sensation), I’d like to share with you how it all came about.

You see, last year my agent landed me a two-book deal with Berkley. It was the summer of 2009. In fact, it was the day before the RWA National Conference in Washington D.C. I flew down to Nationals and got to meet my agent and editor in person for the first time.

It was all so incredible! I was reeling and totally on cloud nine.

I knew that while I was at the conference, I was going to be having a meeting with my fabulous editor to discuss what to do for book two. Book one, AWAKENED BY A KISS (out now!), was already done. My editor loved AWAKENED BY A KISS so much, there were practically no changes to it from the version my agent submitted – that included the title! What you find on the shelves when you pick up AWAKENED BY A KISS – with the exception of one scene my brilliant agent convinced me to drop and about five sentences added here and subtracted there–is the book I wrote from start to finish. Originally.

So, there I was at Nationals, knowing that I’d have to toss out some ideas to my editor. She wanted three more fairy tale retellings (Fiery Tales) in the next book (just like AWAKENED BY A KISS). Which fairy tales should I pick for THE PRINCESS IN HIS BED? And how was I going to twist the fairy tales to make them my own?

On the plane to Washington, I already knew I wanted to do The Emperor’s New Clothes. And, no. I wasn’t going to have my hero parade down the street naked and have people laugh at him (like in the original tale). Definitely NOT sexy. :) In my mind’s eye I could see Adam de Vey, Marquis de Nattes forming. He was very smart and very sexy—tall, dark and oh so wickedly handsome. He loved the finer things in life; he had a penchant for expensive clothes and beautiful women. And an abundance of both!

That’s when Aimee de Miran popped into my mind. His perfect match. A countess, a widow. And the only woman Adam couldn’t have. Why? A couple of reasons, actually. First, she was married to his good friend—that is until 3 years ago when Aimee’s husband passed away. Second, she doesn’t like him. At all! She believes he’s as big a womanizer as her late husband had been. Her husband had broken Aimee’s heart with his infidelities. Another libertine is the last man she’d ever want. Throw in a newly arrived wardrobe for Adam, accidentally drop an important ring into his pocket and add a desperate Aimee who must seduce this master of seduction in order to get close enough to search his pockets and locate the ring. . .and well, let the fire and fun begin!

On my next blog stop, I’ll talk about my inspiration for The Lovely Duckling (my Ugly Duckling story!). Check my blog at http://liladipasqua.blogspot.com/  to see where I am tomorrow! Trust me, this is one story you want to hear. My inspiration came from the most incredible women. :)

Question: What are you favorite story lines in a romance? Enemies to lovers? Marriage of convenience? Secret baby? A Cinderella tale? Maybe an Ugly Duckling story? Let’s talk romance!

One lucky commenter will win a signed copy of AWAKENED BY A KISS or THE PRINCESS IN HIS BED---winner’s choice! GIVEAWAY OPEN WORLDWIDE.

02 November 2010

ARC Review: Evangeline Collins - Seven Nights To Forever

Website author - Purchase

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Berkley Trade; Original edition (November 2, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0425236838
ISBN-13: 978-0425236833

Cover Summary:
She offered him one week of pleasure. No more and no less...

Some sacrifices are more difficult than others. Left destitute after her father's death, Rose Marlowe has debts to settle and a younger brother to support. But she also possesses an unmatched beauty-one that could command quite a price...

Now, every month, Rose secretly travels from her country home to spend one week at a decadent London brothel, where she's become a sought-after prize. Elegant and accomplished in the art of pleasure, she spends her nights fulfilling the fantasies of the gentlemen of the ton while denying the wish buried deep in her heart.

Then one night a wealthy merchant gentleman walks through her door. Handsome, kind and compassionate, with a lonely soul that matches her own, James Archer is not her usual client. Falling in love with a client, never mind a married one, is unthinkable. Yet Rose can't help but lose herself in his arms as one night becomes seven-and seven nights lead to a chance at forever...

You can find my review -here

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01 November 2010

ARC Review: Nalini Singh - Play Of Passion


Author website - Purchase - Facebook - Twitter

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Berkley; Original edition (November 2, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0425237796
ISBN-13: 978-0425237793
Book #12 in the Psy/Changeling series

Cover Summary:
In his position as tracker for the SnowDancer pack, it’s up to Drew Kincaid to rein in rogue changelings who have lost control of their animal halves—even if it means killing those who have gone too far. But nothing in his life has prepared him for the battle he must now wage to win the heart of a woman who makes his body ignite…and who threatens to enslave his wolf.

Lieutenant Indigo Riviere doesn’t easily allow skin privileges, especially of the sensual kind—and the last person she expects to find herself craving is the most wickedly playful male in the den. Everything she knows tells her to pull back before the flames burn them both to ash…but she hasn’t counted on Drew’s will.

Now, two of SnowDancer’s most stubborn wolves find themselves playing a hot, sexy game even as lethal danger stalks the very place they call home…

My review can be found -here-  

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31 October 2010

Giveaway: Begin 2011 with A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES


Website Author - Facebook - Twitter - Excerpt

Cover Summary:
When historian Diana Bishop opens a bewitched alchemical manuscript in Oxford’s Bodleian Library it represents an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordinary life. Though descended from a long line of witches, she is determined to remain untouched by her family’s legacy. She banishes the manuscript to the stacks, but Diana finds it impossible to hold the world of magic at bay any longer.

For witches are not the only otherworldly creatures living alongside humans. There are also creative, destructive daemons and long-lived vampires who become interested in the witch’s discovery. They believe that the manuscript contains important clues about the past and the future, and want to know how Diana Bishop has been able to get her hands on the elusive volume.

Chief among the creatures who gather around Diana is vampire Matthew Clairmont, a geneticist with a passion for Darwin. Together, Diana and Matthew embark on a journey to understand the manuscript’s secrets. But the relationship that develops between the ages-old vampire and the spellbound witch threatens to unravel the fragile peace that has long existed between creatures and humans—and will certainly transform Diana’s world as well.

When I was contacted by Viking/Penguin Publicity if I wanted to host a giveaway for A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES I was instantly grabbed by the blurb. Not only am I glad I've got a chance to review this book I can also make one commenter very lucky with a gorgeous set of buttons boasting allegiance to each of the magical species in the but when a finished copy becomes available (somewhere in January) this will also be send to the winner. So your new year starts with a chance to dive head on into this new world and meet the characters!!




The authors says about herself: history professor by day, wine blogger in the evening, novelist at night.




Thanks to the generosity of Viking/Penguin this giveaway is international and will run from October 31st till November 7th and the winner will be anounced November 8th. Leave a comment with telling me which is your favorite Halloween movie.
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30 October 2010

A High Tea, a M/M reading threesome & a BDSM surprise


It felt like ages ago since Janna (Erotromreader) and I got together and talked some serious smut, preferably M/M smut :) So we e-mailed, nailed a date (October 29th) and brainstormed on where to go and what to do. We just wanted to sit our behinds in a chair and talk the hours away so I thought a high tea would be just the thing. We had it all figured out until Janna got acquainted with Lis, a fellow M/M lover who happened to live in the city we were going to, this is where a twosome became a threesome and I looked forward to meeting Lis as well!

Of course at the central station of Utrecht I was looking at peeps and totally didn´t recognize Janna at first *headdesk*but Janna found me and from that moment we talked a mile-a-minute. We did as we said, we got to the Brothers café, we sat down and we didn’t get up for five and a half hours. Only an hour in to our conversation did Lis walk up to us and I think the employee’s at Brothers café got a taste from the force of book loving gals in conversation. We talked from DRM on e-books, Dutch publishers and their adjustment to e-books – or better said, lack thereof, the delaying of book releases in Europe but of course lots and lots of M/M smut too. We talked favorites, firsts and what’s on the e-reader. In the mean time we changed tables for our high tea and next to the inspiring convo’s we had our taste buds acquainted with fantastic tasting scones, sandwiches, éclairs, brownies, quiches and more. I had a great time and before we knew it, it was around five thirty PM, time to ask for the check since high tea was technically over at four thirty PM.

Lis walked us to the station, we said our goodbye’s with the promise of a new date in the near future. Janna and I decided to get a drink while waiting on our trains and that where she let me play with her shiny new precious – her iPad. Personally I’m really not a gadget person, some things just need to get the job done but I don’t need all the extra’s that come along with it. But the iPad, oh my, Janna knew what to present me with; apps of bookcases, the options how to read an e-book but also watch vids, make notes and I have to tell you, I was thoroughly seduced! Janna definitely was in her evil pimp mode *grin*

I don’t know how the next bit of news came in to the conversations but I could hug the life outta Janna for giving it to me. I know it was about favorite BDSM series. Or how a series, centered around the same couple, can give such incredible depth in development, even though each book is between 100-200 pages. One of my all time favorite is Chris Owen and Jodi Payne’s DEVIATION series and this is where Janna gave me a whopper of a surprise – book #5 in this series was recently released. SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

Can you all guess what I did when I got home? LOL

It was an eventful day with a few new ideas and adventures in the works and when I got home I was tired but smiling ear to ear. Janna, it is always a pleasure hooking up with you, may many more dates follow and Lis, I foresee many more real life book talks *grin*

Did anyone else ever get to meet bloggy friends in real life? And did you feel that instant connection and hit it off with so much fun and laughter? Please share the stories :)

Announcement: Even though I tried to get connected with both winners from the Tairen Soul contest I haven’t heard back yet. If they haven’t contacted me before noon tomorrow I’m going to draw new winners.

My second announcement; Yes as you may have already noticed I have the blog warning page up that this blog contains adult content. I think in the end it is the best way with all the juicy quotes, pics and books I’m reviewing…

My third announcement: Janna has a great blogoversary giveaway going on to celebrate her first year in blogland!

~click here if you want to enter the various giveaways!~

27 October 2010

Review: Cassie Ryan - Seducing The Succubus

Website Author - Purchase - Facebook - Twitter

Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: Berkley Trade; Original edition (October 5, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0425236846
ISBN-13: 978-0425236840
Book #1 in Sisters Of Darkness series
Book Origin: received from publisher for review

Cover Summary:
First in a sexy new series featuring four succubus sisters fighting demons and desires.

Jezebeth is living out the centuries as any succubus must-seducing men to survive and corrupting souls to make her quota with her queen, Lilith. But, when she's attacked by a bounty hunter demon, it's a handsome human who saves her.

Noah Halston is a horror writer who owes his life to Lilith. Now he must pay up by eluding the fearsome beasts of hell while escorting a very attractive and tempting succubus safely to Lilith's lair-or else he will forfeit his soul to an eternity of torture.

Trouble is, if he spends too much time with the all too tempting Jezebeth, he may just lose his heart-or, even worse, his life.

My Review: When four succubi sisters stopped Semeizas it triggered the possibility of cataclysmic events that none of them expected. Now the four sisters need to play their part to prevent events from happening and find their way back to their queen, Lilith. Along the way they will be tested, tried and accompanied by a chosen male. Jezebeth find herself in the middle of a demon fight when she is rescued by Noah and together they go on an action filled chase to reach the safe haven of Lilith’s lair.

Cassie Ryan kept my attention with a strong minded succubi Queen, ominous powerful archangels, prophecies, an exciting chase and it is all voiced in a pleasant storytelling. There were two surprises for me in SEDUCING THE SUCCUBUS. One, I found a group of archangels who hit all the right notes; vigorous, sensual, handsome, dressed in leather and strong personalities. These angels, even the female Gabriel, captured my undivided attention. The second surprise was the woman on woman erotic play. Lilith and Gabriel together really could make the sexy and sensual exploration of each other become titillating good, but even more so, feel very natural to their personalities.

The story is told in two major storylines, one where the archangels were giving background information on unfolding events and allowing me to understand the interconnected relationships they have or had among one another. While the second storyline of Jez and Noah’s chase and romance was intertwined with all that went down in heaven and hell it did not captivate me very much. The problem I had with these two separate storylines is not that it didn’t make a coherent story, it was. Yet the archangels; Uriel, Gabriel, Raphael and Michael, the impossible romance between Lilith and Uriel, and trying to understand the bigger picture of what is going on kept my attention way more than the chase and attraction developing between Jez and Noah.

Jezebeth is matter-of-fact honest, she has a quick wit and humor. She is tough for herself but it is only to protect her more emotional side. She meets Noah Halston in a escalating bar fight and he is chivalrous, honorable, he uses his knowledge to create weapons to fight with and becomes quite the knight in shining armor. Both characters are very likable in all their character traits but they never leaped of the pages. They fit together, they have a certain chemistry, they have entertaining dialogues but for some reason it never went beyond me liking them. The romance never really took off and remained on the superficial side. Perhaps because they didn’t take center stage in the story, I felt they were more a part of the overall quest developing than anything else.

What made SEDUCING THE SUCCBUS an entertaining story was the quest unfolding, I loved the angle of the prophecy, the way the archangels and four succubi sisters had or are going to play their role in it. The good versus evil, the power of the free will and the scheming of those who are utterly selfish. The eroticism in spine tingling good, Cassie Ryan knows how to evoke the sensual chemistry between two characters and steadily increase the body heat with hot scenes. Where Noah and Jez attraction romance development lacked substance it is the forbidden love between Uriel and Lilith that pulled on my heartstrings.

The sum of the part in Cassie Ryan’s SEDUCING THE SUCCUBUS contains sexy archangels, a Succubi queen to care for, pulls pounding sensuality and a tension filled plot that whets the appetite for more. Let the games begin between heaven and hell! 

3.5 stars

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26 October 2010

Tairen Soul giveaway winners


First comment counted as the entry for the giveaways

Comment 15 wins the complete Tairen Soul series giveaway + goodies:
Lea said...

I've heard about this series before and it sounds like something I'd read, then I stumbled across your post and it sounds even more wonderful!

I'd love #1 please. I tweeted about it here http://twitter.com/AdiiLin/status/27815095070. Thanks for such a great giveaway! :)

Comment 38 wins a copy of Crown Of Crystal Flame + goodies:
PheadraMoon said...

Wow thanks for the giveaway! I hope to get a set of the collectors cards. This series is the best of the best and I recommend it to all of my friends. I posted your badge on my facebook so all could enjoy! Lots of luck peoples!

Congratulations to Lea and PheadraMoon I wish you loads of reading pleasure!! I will get in touch with you via e-mail for your snail mail!

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25 October 2010

ARC Review: C.L. Wilson - Crown Of Crystal Flame


Website Author - Purchase - Facebook - Twitter

Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
Publisher: Avon; Original edition (October 26, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062018965
ISBN-13: 978-0062018960
Book #5 in the Tairen Soul series
Book Origin: eARC received through NetGalley from publisher

Cover Summary;
A Song of Love won her heart.
A Song of Darkness haunted her soul.
A Song in the Dance would seal her fate. 

Seers had long foreseen an extraordinary destiny for Ellysetta Baristani. Already she had won the heart of the Fey King—the magnificent Rain, ever her ally, eternally her love. She had saved the offspring of the magical tairen and fought beside her legendary mate against the armies of Eld. But the most powerful—and dangerous—Verse of her Song had yet to be sung. As the final battle draws nigh and evil tightens its grip upon her soul—will Ellysetta secure the world for Light or plunge it into Darkness for all eternity? As she and Rain fight for each other, side by side, will they find a way to complete their truemate bond and defeat the evil High Mage of Eld before it's too late, or must they make the ultimate sacrifice to save their world?

My Review: Some books just rob me of words to adequately describe what it did with me, CROWN OF CRYSTAL FLAME is such a book. C.L. Wilson gave me a conclusion where joy and sadness, love and hate, courage and angst, laughter and tears fuse in to an action filled story that gave me an unparalleled reading experience within the romance fantasy genre. CROWN OF CRYSTAL FLAME is by no means a novel you can read as a stand-alone since it is an end game story where the truemate bond between Elly and Rain needs to find completion or else…, and the battle against High Mage Vadim Maur enters the last stage to claim the final victor.

From the first word C.L. Wilson plunged me in to high risk chases and tension filled battles where fey powers and Celierian tenacity clashed with the dark strength of the mages. There is a very fine line between death and survival, defeat and victory, and I can guarantee you there will be moments of angst, tearful goodbye’s and moments filled with utter relief as various characters make it through one ordeal or another. C.L. Wilson holds nothing back, the plot thickens to almost insurmountable heights with a rapid succession of unfolding events. It nailed me to the couch, every major and secondary story thread blended seamlessly together. I was completely absorbed in the story being told as to whether or not my most beloved characters would find peace, joy and love again.

The plotlines that were set-up in the former four books of this series and hadn’t found a conclusion do so in CROWN OF CRYSTAL FLAME. The signature beautiful and lyrical writing style of C.L. Wilson encompassed me; it set me on the grim battlefields, it made me soar like a Tairen, weave magic along the fey warriors and allowed me to feel the range of emotions coursing through the characters. This author knows how to bare the souls of the characters, let me witness all the good, the bad and everything in between that they have to give. Each character; Rain, Elly, Belliard, Gaelen, Shan, Elfeya, Vadim Maur, Melliandra, Lillis, Lorelle, the Dahl’reisen and the Tairen, to those new to the series they are just names. Nevertheless, to those familiar with the series know that each brims with a distinctive voice that allows them to come to life via the pages and in the mind’s eye. I loved them all; each of them gave the love, the friendship, the battles and even the darkness of hate or evil meaning and purpose. While the story, as each of the four preceding books, revolves around the completion of the truemate bond between Rain and Elly, it is each supportive character, each secondary storyline, that deepens this series to a rich and multi-layered reading adventure.

I cannot tell you much about the story plot itself since each reader who has longed for CROWN OF CRYSTAL FLAME should go in to it unspoiled and experience it all firsthand themselves. The tender courtship romance between Elly and Rain I got to read about in Lord Of the Fading Lands is no longer. Now it is a love, running so deep in the soul of the couple it demands the full and complete truemate bond. There are risks to be taken, the love needs to be expressed, the fear felt and the dangers are everywhere, Rain and Elly’s go rock bottom to aim for the completion of their bond and they took me along with it for every moment! Their romance is truly one of epic proportions that touched my heart to the very core but my heart also plummeted in fear for them and cried for them. This story is the culmination of everything that came to pass and it delivered a breathtaking read from an author who can wholly claim a reader with her characters, imagination, storytelling and high-risk plotting.

From the moment I read Lord Of The Fading Lands I knew C.L. Wilson was an author with a fantastic gift for writing. With CROWN OF CRYSTAL FLAME C.L. Wilson has cemented herself among the greatest authors on my shelves with exquisite storytelling, fantastic world building, heart-in-throat tension, larger-than-life characters and a romance that will keep you on edge till the very last chapters. I will love reading this series for the rest of my life!

5 stars

Quote:
The Fey did nothing in half measures. That intensity of emotion was part of their appeal. It made them the fiercest warriors, the staunchest allies, the most passionate lovers. The most devoted mates.

Quote Elysetta:
From the moment she had called him from the sky, he had taken care of her, looked after her, put her safety before his own. Now it was her turn to give back a fraction of that devotion. She loved him so. No longer because he was the hero of her dreams but because he was the man, flawed and yet so fine, who had won her heart. He was king, a great and noble leader of the immortal Fey, but he was also just Rain, her beloved, hers to protect. And she would protect him…just as fiercely as the tairen defended the pride.

You can still take your chances in the Tairen Soul series giveaway + goodies and a copy of Crown Of Crystal Flame + goodies giveaway!
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