31 March 2010

March Show And Tell

I’ve had a great month and the last week has been weird but all will be told in the upcoming post; A funeral, a road trip, an invitation, a party and one awesome surprise. First of all my dad surprised me earlier this month with the announcement he was giving me two new floor to ceiling bookcases, which meant lots of drilling, sawing and refurnishing my guestroom at the same time. I had hubby smack on a new coat of wall paint so that it would become a nice refreshed looking guestroom with more shelves for me to place my ever growing book pile on. Of course hubby and I had a flaming argument in the store when the wall paint color came out all wrong...I thank the Lords above for hubby’s knowledge in how to change the color. I do not do construction well but still the results is making me happy. When we came home from a weekend spend at my parents we had energy left and I thought; “Why not start the book move now?” Oh how I made a miscalculation there…I thought a few hours would do the trick but I’ve only sorted out the living room bookcases and placed those books in alphabetical order. The bookcases in the guestroom with two third of my books still need sorting out, for now I’ll share just a few pics…

My livingroom bookcases as was...

A portion of the books leaving livingroom bookcases and moving to guestroom bookcases....

Brand spanking new bookcases to fill...how long do you think that will take me :)

Now I have something to reveal to you all, a new man who has been relentless in feeding my book addiction. A man who comes to me through the bitter cold winter weather, and now through spring time storms and showers. Of course if he is so wet I offer my shower, washing machine and dryer so he doesn’t catch a cold *grin* Last week my last book of March arrived and he was soaked, I took a picture of him on my bed and just had to share this view with you all. I’m not selfish…I can share!

These are the books he brought to me in March:


Shiloh Walker – FRAGILE (4 stars)

Shayla Black – DELICIOUS (4 stars)




Monica McCarty – THE CHIEF


Pearl gave me an anthology: WHAT YOU CAN’T SEE

* E-Books:

Chris Owen/Jodi Payne – DISCIPLINE / BONDAGE

Cherise Sinclair – CLUB SHADOWLANDS

Carol Lynne – ALL PLAY NO WORK

I won Mia Watts – FREEZE FRAME (Thank you Janna from Erotic Romance Reader)

As you all know I’m trying to read more and this is going very well for me if I say so myself ;)

March: Danielle Trussoni – ANGELOLOGY (review on the blog))

Barbara Monajem – SUNRISE IN A GARDEN OF LOVE AND EVIL (review for ROOB)

Chris Owen/Jodi Payne’s DEVIATIONS series – SUBMISSION / DOMINATION / DISCIPLINE / BONDAGE (reviews on the blog)

Mia Watts – Mind F*cked (review TBA)

Shiloh Walker – FRAGILE & BROKEN (review this week on the blog)

Nalini Singh – ARCHANGEL’S KISS (review TBA)

Now last but not least, to finish this month’s overall post. Some cover candy:

Have a great day everyone!

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30 March 2010

Double Trouble part one: Shiloh Walker - Fragile

~purchase a copy here~
~author website~

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Berkley Trade; Original edition (February 3, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0425225798
ISBN-13: 978-0425225790

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Connected novel with BROKEN
Main Characters: Luke Rafferty and Devon Manning
Book Origin: Personal Library

Cover Summary:
Six years after trading in his combat gear for hospital scrubs, Luke Rafferty is faced with things just as heartbreaking as those on the battlefield. The abused children being brought in by the pretty redheaded social worker tug at his soul like nothing he's ever known.

For Devon Manning, being a social worker is a rewarding job, but also a constant reminder of her own troubled youth. Devon takes everything one day at a time-unable to form a relationship with anyone except the children she rescues.

When Luke meets Devon, he thinks he might have found what he's been looking for, but in order to get the life he wants, Luke has to break through Devon's emotional barriers and make her realize that his healing touch might be just the complication her life needs...

My Review: When I read Pearl’s review of Shiloh Walker’s BROKEN I knew I was in big trouble because Quinn pushed so many hot buttons that I went up in flames. Still it was FRAGILE I needed to read first and with this story came Luke Rafferty, a character who had his own way of charming me and I realized very soon Luke and Quinn were double trouble in the best of ways for me!

Shiloh Walker, who is a new-to-me author, enters my book realm with the story of ex-Ranger Luke Rafferty and social worker Devon Manning. This author doesn't hold back and from the first page emotionally sucker punched me with the scene of long lost twin brothers who are reunited at the age of eleven. Then I was quickly taken twenty years forward were Luke decided to quit the Rangers, which was another turn point between both brothers to end up another six years later where Luke works in the ER of Rudding Memorial Hospital. This is where Luke meets Devon Manning.

From the moment I met Luke Rafferty in this story he has been romancing my heart. He is the kind of man who sticks by you in tough situations, who is nice, loyal, gentle yet with a rough edge. While I thoroughly enjoyed him and while I loved his interaction with Devon, I just like my heroes a little more damaged, darker and tortured. That is why Quinn, his twin brother, pulled every heartstring I have. Opposite of Luke there was Devon Manning, she had a tough childhood before she ended up with her adoptive parents, the Mannings. She is strong and vulnerable, passionate yet also guarded and a driven woman altogether. Devon is the kind of woman with scars on her soul but still has a strength that radiates from within, that is something that captured me and made me like her so.

Shiloh Walker gave life to characters where I say; It was instant attraction, that is what I had with the characters, and they pulled me in to a story that was layered with not only a searing romance, intense dialogues or a mind-boggling good chemistry. It is also the suspense that was effectively intertwined within the romance development which enhanced both aspects of the story. The strength of the plot lay with the faceless nemesis who could attack at any time. Shiloh Walker gave a few signals that danger was on the lure but never the nemesis' POV, she never gave away too many clues which made the tension sky-rocket. I was on a constant edge what would happen next.

The tension factor did not only play on my nerves, it was what it did with Devon and Luke that made me feel it in the first place. Devon had a lot to endure and while the fear was eating away at her there was an inner core of steel that I got to admire. Luke at the other hand witnessed the emotional and physical deterioration of the woman he loved and I could empathize with his anger, his feelings of incompetence not being able to protect. The suspense had twist and turns where Shiloh Walker made me believe one thing and then in the end manages to completely catch me off guard with the actual revealing of the evil mind behind it all.

Over the course of the story the romance grew from the flirtatious falling in love to a deeper, lasting connection with the powerful force of erotic chemistry spicing it up. It is the kind of story which just made me read on and on, unwilling to put the book down, and for me it is a testimony of the incredible writing voice Shiloh Walker possesses. The only reason this book isn't getting a higher rating is purely out of personal preferences in characterization and I'm missing Luke and Quinn's father for some reason. He was such an influence as the boys grew up but he's completely out of the picture in the actual story. Still I know, without a shadow of a doubt, this author will hit my bulls-eye sooner rather than later!

Shiloh Walker holds nothing back and gives the kind of characters who come to matter to a reader, who you experience every high and low with, every angst and joy and who make you ecstatic when they reach a place that is called happily ever after. FRAGILE is undiluted romance suspense that made this author an instant keeper on my shelves.

4 stars

Quote Luke:
“Devon, look at me.” She didn’t want to. But there was something so gentle, so compelling about his voice. Reluctantly, she turned her head and met his eyes. […] “Don’t write me off,” he murmered. Too late, she thought sourly. Too fricking insightful, she thought again. Just more proof of why she didn’t need that man in her life. Those eyes of hers showed too much and not enough, all at the same time, Luke decided. He could tell, just be looking at her, that all she wanted to do was kiss his sorry ass good-bye. But there were also unspoken secrets, a guardedness that made him want to smash down the walls she erected. “Don’t write me off,” he murmered again, and he had to close his hands into fists to keep from reaching her.

Quote Quinn:
“Yeah, like I’m any kind of poster child.” Quinn smirked, but then it softened into a real smile. “You’re the best friend I ever have, Luke. Only decent thing mom ever did was give you to me.” (<- My heart lay at his feat when I read this)
Coming Thursday Double Trouble, part two; BROKEN, will be up on the blog :)

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24 March 2010

Interview: Q & A with Erica Hayes and Giveaway

The moment I read the short story HELLCURSED was the moment I fell head over heels for the world and characters whom I got to meet. Now that I have read both SHADOWFAE and SHADOWGLASS I can say that it was an adventure to read her books so far and that is was definitely not for the faint of heart ;) So when I read SHADOWGLASS I had to e-mail Erica Hayes, not only is Indigo an incredible leading male, she pulled something off regarding his character that mesmerized me. You might want to know, but I don't want to spoil the fun of finding out...do you see me in front of pc now with a devilish gleam in my eyes and horns growing out of my head *grin* Still, I had some questions I just wanted to ask her and ever so coolly, and with a fun streak, Erica accepted my invitation :D

1. What are the most important ingredients for you writing in the Urban Fantasy genre?

Most of my favourite UF series are high-concept. Meaning that they've got that one big yet simple idea that makes the whole world work. Vampires in high school, a telepathic waitress, exorcist gets possessed by a demon, or whatever. I think if you can describe your world in a few sentences, you're off to a great start. For my series, the concept is that the city's infested with fairies and vampires, and ruled by a demon – but humans don't know, because everything's hidden behind magical glamour.

The other ingredient is imagination, I guess. You need to explore your world to the last little detail, even if it doesn't all go in the books. And it's not just thinking of cool settings or weird creatures. You need to have a cunning streak to think up all the juicy bad stuff that could happen to your characters, so they've got a chance to impress. UF is a plot-driven suspense genre, really, so the worst trap you can fall into is making things too easy for your heroine.

2. The quirks of Erica Hayes are…?

I talk to myself. I sing when I think no one's there. I walk around the house muttering and waving my arms when I'm trying to sort out plot points. My house is like a one-woman insane asylum, complete with spidery handwriting and paper stuck on the walls. Until my husband gets home, whereupon I turn into a domestic love goddess.

3. When the characters give you a hassle what do you do? Massage, rant to friends, eat a pound of chocolate?

Chocolate's always welcome! I've been known to have a binge when the writing's out of sorts. But often for me the best remedy is just to have a little break, go do something else for a few hours, and then keep writing. Leaving it for too long just makes me feel even stupider.

4. The best surprise writing SHADOWGLASS was…?

That I could make the whole thing work. Umm, trying not to give any spoilers here… you know, the business about Indigo and Ebony… That was a risk, especially for a major character. If people don't like Indigo, the book will have problems. Luckily he seems to have struck an attractive note so far :)
If the book was a pure romance, I probably wouldn't have gotten away with it. Hooray for urban fantasy, where characters can be bad!

5. If you could go on a date with any of your characters, who would that be and why?

Oh, gosh. I love 'em all. But none of them are harmless. Most of them would probably kill you once dinner was over. Either that, or you'd be the dinner. But Indigo would be a hot date. He's funny and sexy and a little crazy and dead sexy… did I mention that? Hell, let's skip the date and go back to his place :)
I think I'd take my chances with Kane, too. He's a bit like chocolate fudge. You know it's bad for you, but you just can't resist…

6. If demon lord Kane would read a book which one would that be?

Kane's more of a TV guy. He reads gossip magazines. He's tried a few romances, but he doesn't understand them. He'd probably be better off with a Jackie Collins or a Sidney Sheldon, with loads of glitzy women, backstabbing and hot meaningless sex. He'd get that :)

But never fear. Kane's learning his lesson. By the time the series ends, he might even find himself a lady…

For those who haven’t read SHADOWGLASS yet, can you reveal a few random juicy facts about Indigo and Ice?

Random juicy facts… well, they're a pair of dirty thieves, aren't they? And being fairies, they like to steal shiny things. Ice, who's a waterfairy, has a diamond fetish. The only thing she wants more than stolen diamonds is Indigo, a frosty metalfairy thief whom she idolises. She lives in hope, but she always makes an idiot of herself in front of him, and he always brushes her off.

Indigo is a problem child :) He's gorgeous, of course, as befitting a hero. A little weird, maybe – his skin is dark blue, and he's got blackmetal hair and copper claws and silvery wings… who doesn't love guys with wings? But he's got some dark and dangerous secrets he'd rather not share with anyone, especially a cute sweet girl like Ice.

Here's a little excerpt to show the kind of thing that goes on between Ice and Indy. He always seems to show up right at the worst moment. This one's late at night in a nightclub, and Ice has just done something really embarrassing with a vampire :)
"Ice? Are you . . . Is everything okay?"

So improbable that for several seconds I refused to recognize that velvet-steel voice.

So riveting, my heart clogged in my chest, thick and silent.

So typical, I had to laugh, my forehead still smearing the glass.

Bleeding, crying, half drunk, and terrified. Could I possibly be any more unattractive? . . . Hang on. . . . Nope. Don't think so.

Not that I care, of course. I'm over him, remember? I sighed. "Yeah, I'm just great, Indigo. Thanks for asking."

"My pleasure." His voice dripped over me like a molten shower, and his iron-drenched shadow swallowed me, teasing dark shivers from my skin. I swallowed, edgy. I forget how big he is, not just taller than me but also solid and unfragile, like a fairy rarely is. Indestructible. An uneasy metalfae anomaly.

I craned my neck sideways. There he stood, shoulder leaning lightly on the glass, his reflection a dark blue shimmer in a halo of silver. His glamour flickered, a neon-lit ghost, and for an instant, I glimpsed his overlay, bland, unassuming, smaller and plainer than he really is, his rich cobalt tones blanched to ordinary chocolate human skin, his blue-black hair muted. Look away, whispered his glamour, don't see me, and for a moment my gaze obeyed and slid lazily off him like oil. I blinked, and the effect dissolved.

Awkwardness crunched in my mouth like popcorn. Why does he do that? Fairies don't glamour-whip fairies. It's not fair.

I sniffed, sticky. God, he was such a show-off in those clothes. Anyone else might look a bit girly in slashed-off sleeves and metal jewelry, but there was nothing girly about Indigo. Not even with those perfect lips that looked carved from silver. Inky skin, bare arms strong and light, rainbow titanium bracelet wrapping his left forearm, steel-gray shirt just tight enough to show me curves I'd dreamed about licking. Straight muscle-hugging jeans—god, that fairy's thighs could kill you. And those wings, sharp like silvery glass and as dangerous.

He said nothing. Just stood there and smelled good, warm steel and fire.

Sure. I was over him, all right.
Thanks Leontine for having me here today! You can find out more about my books, watch trailers and read some excerpts at ~website~

Giveaway: Erica has also been generous to send one lucky commenter a copy of SHADOWGLASS. Just leave a comment or a question for Erica and a way for me to get in touch with you (if e-mail is not part of your profile).

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23 March 2010

Guest Blogger: Shelley Munro talks Alice In Wonderland

Shelley Munro has arrived here in my book realm and she talks about vibrating condoms, that instantly perked my attention to be honest *grin*, Alice In Wonderland and what would you do with a condom factory...? My mind is still thinking on a vibrating condom though LOL Welcome Shelley Munro, I hope you will enjoy your visit here, grab something to drink, something to nibble on and get comfy in your favorite chair!

Thanks for having me to visit today to tell you about my book Fancy Free. My name is Shelley Munro and I write contemporary and paranormal romance for Samhain Publishing and Ellora’s Cave.

There’s a bit of a story behind Fancy Free. My husband and I were flying home from San Francisco aboard an Air New Zealand flight. I was browsing the in-flight magazine and an article about new products caught my attention. One of the items was a vibrating condom. Immediately my mind seized on the idea and the possibilities.

“Oh, look at this,” I said to my husband in a loud voice. “Let’s buy one. What a great idea for a story,” I added.

My husband shushed me when I attempted further discussion because people were looking, so I went into daydream mode, and by the time we landed in Auckland, I had a plot mapped out about a heroine who inherits a condom factory.

Fancy Free is a fish-out-of-water story because the heroine knows nothing about condoms or managing a condom company. While she’s not a virgin, she’s not very experienced either and the reality of owning a condom company is like entering a foreign world for her. The hero, on the other hand, knows his product intimately. They are a complete contrast to each other and this contributes to part of the conflict in Fancy Free.

One of the ultimate fish-out-of-water stories for me is Alice in Wonderland, and it’s no coincidence the heroine in Fancy Free is also called Alice. Both Alice characters struggle to find their feet under extraordinary conditions. My Alice is thrust into the condom making business (oops, no puns intended) and has no idea what she’s doing. It’s a scramble to gain her feet, and her inappropriate attraction to James, the manager of Fancy Free isn’t helping. When someone is out to damage Fancy Free and send them into bankruptcy, Alice must decide whether to embrace her new position or to leave and resume her safe, normal life.

Here’s a quick excerpt:
Alice nodded vigorously and reached for a glass of water. The tremor of her right hand brought a self-conscious frown. “I’m fine. Please continue.” What on earth was she doing here? She pushed a lock of hair off her face and wished she could fan the fiery heat from her face. And she still didn’t understand why her godmother had left her the condom company at all. When she’d attempted to ask her parents, they’d brushed her off with excuses about church and religion. Even the lawyer Mr. Bellbooth had said he wasn’t sure of her aunt’s reasons, but did it really matter? An unladylike snort emerged.

“Is something wrong?” James asked in a husky voice.

“I’m fine. No problem.” She barely halted the telltale shiver of bliss at the sound of his voice. As one, everyone turned to stare at her and that heightened her awareness of the wretched man. This was ridiculous. How could an almost virgin run a condom company? She had no experience to draw on. She could hardly count her one time at university as experience. The heat in her cheeks intensified even farther when she sneaked a look at the photo on top of the folder. Half expecting a voice to shout, “Off with her head,” she swallowed and wondered if they’d notice if she ran from the room. Oh dear. Her gaze wandered to the photo again without waiting for her brain to give permission.

The condom was a delicate violet color and had tiny raised dots all over the surface. It looked like an alien creature with chicken pox. There were certainly alien appendages attached. Hard to say what that round bit did. Dragging her gaze from the photo, she turned her attention to James’ run down of the product and the current state of play. Tests. Trials. Okay. She supposed that made sense. They had to know if they worked properly.

But how did they conduct the tests?

Her mind went into overdrive as she visualized a typical condom trial. A man and woman naked on a huge bed while a man dressed in a white coat stood with a clipboard, snapping out pertinent questions and ticking off the questions in his survey. How did the latex feel? Did it fit to the penis correctly? Was it too thick? Too thin? Was it big enough to catch semen? Did it stand up to vigorous thrusts? Is there significant loss of sensation?

A tight band constricted Alice’s chest, affecting her breathing. Her bra felt way too tight. She furtively tugged at the underwire of her bra while a wave of heat engulfed her body. She squirmed about on her chair, warmth growing in her nether regions because of her sexual thoughts. Alice bit into her bottom lip. Questions. She had them, but nerves and uncertainty made her hesitate. A sharp inhalation did nothing to steady her. This was stupid. She had a vested interest in this condom company and had every right to ask questions. “Um, how do you conduct trials?”
Available from Ellora’s Cave.

Shelley Munro lives in New Zealand and writes contemporary and paranormal romance for Samhain Publishing and Ellora’s Cave. You can visit Shelley at ~website~

The Giveaway:

I'll give away a download from my Ellora's Cave or Cerridwen Press - the winner can choose which title they'd prefer. (ends 3/29/2010)

Do you enjoy fish-out-of-water stories? Imagine yourself in one of the Alice’s shoes: How do you think you’d manage if you found you’d inherited a condom factory or had fallen down a rabbit hole? BTW, has anyone seen the new 3D version of Alice in Wonderland yet? 

22 March 2010

Review: Shayla Black - Delicious

~purchase copy here~
~author website~

Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Berkley Trade; 1 edition (March 2, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0425232425
ISBN-13: 978-0425232422

Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Main Characters: Luc & Alyssa
Book Origin: Book provided to ROOB by Pat Rouse

Cover Summary:
He can’t control his desire.
Luc Traverson’s entire future is planned out—but there is one very sexy obstacle in his path: Alyssa Devereaux . She’s a former exotic dancer turned strip club owner and restaurateur. Recently, Alyssa and Luc shared one night of wild abandon that left Luc terrified by his loss of self-control—and Alyssa desperate for more.

And that’s just the way she wants it.

Fulfilling a promise, Luc is the guest chef for Alyssa’s restaurant debut. The sight of her makes Luc wild, so how can he survive a week without letting loose and ravaging her—especially when she’s begging for it? Luc’s desire for her explodes when he realizes he isn’t the only man desperate to have her. But one of the others is deadly. And that’s not the end of Alyssa’s secrets…which are as dark and mysterious and enticing as her fantasies.

My Review for ROOB: After two years of waiting the anticipation for DELICIOUS was sizzling through my book loving heart. With book #2, DECADENT I already received an appetizer of Luc and Alyssa, so when the opportunity rose to review DELICIOUS I never hesitated. If there is one thing that Shayla Black knows how to deliver, it is an opening line that intrigues, entices and sets the tone for the story to come. In DELICIOUS it was the same way:

Quote Luc; I’m going to sink inside you so deeply, you won’t ever forget I was here.

Who doesn’t want more of Luc after that? I was most definitely ready and as Shayla Black unfolds his story she lays it all bare for the reader with emotion and passion-laden scenes between the main couple. The writing style is vivid and flowing which made it easy to lose myself in the dialogue and the undercurrents of hidden feelings. I was grabbed by the depth of Luc’s desires, anyone who has read DECADENT knows of his wish to be a father. Now I found out to what extend he is willing to go to see that wish come true. Only life can sometimes throw a curveball, and though it makes no sense, it can make the wrong thing so very right for a person.

Luc is the kind of hero that appeals to all my feminine senses. There is a side of him that is sophisticated, deeply caring, talented and successful but at the core he can also be raw and commanding, letting his inner caveman rule. All of the above is framed by that sexy-as-hell attitude that can make a woman go weak in the knees. The sum of all Luc’s characteristics made him a hero of magnitude and one I will never grow tired of.

The curveball in this story is Alyssa Deveraux. She is the owner of one of the most notorious strip clubs in Lafayette, Louisiana and is opening a restaurant to change venues for herself. She is tired of stripping and all that comes with the territory, she wants more for herself and works hard to get there. Alyssa is all woman. She is smart, determined, tenacious, pragmatic but underneath it all she is vulnerable and just as susceptible to love as the next woman. A heroine that is a mix of toughness and sensitivity that made me like her from the moment she walked back in to Luc’s life, ready to create some mischief.

The individual doubts, fears and problems of Luc and Alyssa collide in their heated dialogues. It is at one moment tender and the next a scorching collision of their passion. The emotional growth is both an erotic and a romantic journey. Shayla Black alternates their pulse pounding, wild and wanton lovemaking with a gradual deepening of understanding between Luc and Alyssa. I realized that each doubt and fear stemmed from an experience that deeply affected them personally. Luc’s desire to become a father plays a significant role in this story. This part is very emotional and the development appealed to my romantic heart. However, I feel that this development was also an easy way out of their problems and will not surprise the reader very much. I saw it coming a mile away and while my romantic heart fluttered, I simultaneously rolled my eyes with the predictability of it.

Shayla Black evened out the predictability with a solid suspense thread that gave the overall story an edge of danger. It was cast in a supportive role but it was always right there to create havoc or tension for Luc and Alyssa. Another tension factor was Tyler, the bouncer of Sexy Siren. Tyler is annoying and always in Luc’s face taunting him by being charming and smooth with Alyssa. He is a factor in this budding romance that stirs the emotions even more than they already are. Let’s hope Tyler will eventually receive his own love story. For those who have read the previous novels in the Wicked Lovers series, you remember Kimber’s brothers? They’re back, at least Hunter Edington is, and he has my vote to become a hero in his own romance. He is gruff, distances himself from the people around him and has a grudge against Luc. I instantly wanted more of him!

There is much going on in this story, from bittersweet moments, to funny conversations, to hot bouts of passion, all spiced up by a hidden threat. I cannot go without some sort of an emotional connection to the main characters, preferably to the point where I live and breathe every moment with them. That is one of the things I love most about a Shayla Black’s novel. She knows how to connect me with the characters yet keep the story easy to read. The pages flew through my fingers and before I knew it I was in romantic bliss wondering who was going to be the next Wicked Lover.

Shayla Black delivers a steamy erotic romance of depth where Luc and a dessert are a lethal combination. The signature storytelling of Shayla Black is present and thriving in DELICIOUS; enriched with a surprising plot, charismatic and recognizable characters, emotional depth and searing eroticism. Who could want more in an erotic romance is beyond me!

Quote Alyssa;
Luc was everything she remembered—full of finesse, power, steel covered in silk, insistent—and more. Never had a man’s kiss alone made her wet and aching, made her long to be closer to him in every way. She ran her hands down his body, feeling every bulge of his shoulders, every ripple of his chest. Her palm flitted down his sixpack— and kept descending. Oh, so slowly, she dragged her hand over his erection. He hissed in a shocked breath, breaking the kiss, and hardened beneath her touch. Smiling, she reached for his fly.

4 stars

19 March 2010

DEVIATIONS week: Chris Owen & Jodi Payne - Bondage

~purchase a copy here~
~author website Owen - Payne~

Written by Chris Owen and Jodi Payne
279 pages / 132000 words
ISBN: 978-1-60370-196-9, 1-60370-196-6
Available file types - html, lit, pdf, prc, paperback

Genre: M/M Erotica
Main Characters: Tobias, Noah, Phantom & Bradford.
Book Origin: Personal E-Book Library

Cover Summary:
Noah and Tobias come back from Paris with a renewed contract and a deeper personal bond. Too bad things don't go as smoothly at home. When they get back, they face a crisis that might just threaten their contract, and their personal intimacy.

The crisis has a ripple effect, but Tobias and Noah finally learn that they can evolve with it, instead of collapsing. They experiment with scene after scene, making them longer, deeper, which allows them to explore more than they've ever dared. They even explore moving in together.

When Noah is forced to face the danger of his job, he starts to question why he became a cop. Tobias is also questioning his job. Soon enough, their external life is changing enough that they're forced to lean on each other to sustain them. Can they achieve a comfortable balance between their outside life, their scenes, and their love?

Chris Owen /Jodi Payne: #3 in DEVIATIONS SERIES – BONDAGE - 4,5 stars:

!!!This review contains what I believe to be spoilers!!!

My Review: I cannot write this review without giving away – what I believe to be – a major spoiler. In BONDAGE everything comes together regarding Tobias, Noah and Phantom. I’ve grown with these men from a budding gay D/s relationship & friendship, getting to know each other, going through the motion in the individual ups and downs, and gradually something more blooms between the three of them. The previous three novels somehow prepared me for what was about to happen in BONDAGE and while I was not surprised it created a huge dilemma which made me wonder how the authors were going to handle it. And with it, I mean one Dom, with his two subs. I was pulled in to a three-way relationship and my instant worry was how this was going to work romantically, how each character will get what he needs, and once again I was amazed in the creative ability Owen and Payne showed to make this relationship work.

Throughout each novel there was no doubt Phantom still had emotions for his former Dom Tobias, and that there was a unique connection between them. The friendship between Phan and Noah also strengthened with each day, so with these ties connecting the three characters together there was already a foundation for what was to come. Phan needed to do some rigorous emotional healing and a choice needed to be made by Tobias and Noah. With that choice made things inevitably shifted and that the situation was becoming far more difficult was to be expected. Tobias now needed to take care of two subs, each with their individual desires and approach from him as their Dom.

It, once again, showcased the formidable dialogues between Tobias, Noah and Phan. Each being very honest in revealing their feelings, how difficult this sometimes may be. It made me understand each of them on such an intimate level my emotional strings were inevitably pulled. The issues rose from Tobias needing to make choices in what he has time for in his day-to-day life, Phan dealing with vocalizing his needs and knowing he is wanted, and Noah furthers his exploration in this relationship. Ever single action was trying to bring them together in this threesome, it wasn't the easiest way to love or be in a relationship and they were well aware of this fact. Still, Tobias, Noah and Phan were determined not to let the difficulty hold them back. They would make this work on their own terms and let no-one come between what felt good for them.

I loved watching their advancements, their struggles, the unleashing of their passion, and I say watching because the evocative writing style made me see it all in the mind’s eye. The erotic pictures of Tobias, Noah and Phan going at it together - as well as separately - are permanently burned in my memory. Over the course of this novel this threesome had to undergo some changes, making some life altering decisions to head for an ending that was so good. I hated to leave them, I knew it was the perfect place for the men to be but I wanted to stay with them just a little longer knowing I could never experience this series a first time again. I knew that Tobias, Noah and Phantom were rock solid, having an incredible time together, completely devoted to one another and would work out all that life would throw at them. Leaving them as I read the final page was bittersweet and I knew the DEVIATIONS series earned their spot on my keeper shelves.

This three-way took me to emotional highs, gave me laugh out loud moments, gave me an intimacy with the characters I enjoy so thoroughly in a story and of course this wouldn’t be a DEVIATIONS novel if there wasn’t an amount of sexual foreplay, the back and forth of teasing innuendo and the vigorous sex-play of a Dom with his two subs. BONDAGE took it up a notch and swept me off my feet as Chris Owen and Jodi Payne broadened my horizon with three men I will forever cherish.

Phan kissed back, pushing his tongue in deep and then retreating for a moment. Noah could feel him trying to push and shove them toward the other wall again, but the move more or less wound up as Phan rubbing against his leg. “Suck me, Noah,” Phan whispered. “Want your mouth around me, need to come for you so bad..." “How bad?” Noah asked, looking Phan in the eyes. “So bad I'll get on my knees and beg if that's what you want. I'll rim you, suck you, do anything Sir lets us, make you come so hard your eyes cross.” Phan started to slide down Noah's body, licking at his collar. “Please, Noah? Suck me, let me come in your mouth? Please?" Noah put his hand on Phan's chest to stop him, pushing him back into the wall. “You can do all of those things ... in a minute.” He slipped to his knees again, put his lips around Phan's prick and let him go. His hands slid around to Phan's ass and gave his cheeks a squeeze. Phan moaned, the sound loud in the hallway, and his hips twitched, the thrust shallow and more than likely instinctive. “God, yes,” he said, one hand stroking through Noah's hair to curl at the base of his skull. “Let me? Christ, so hot. Want to fuck your mouth." Noah swallowed him deep in response. It was such a turn-on to let Phan do exactly as he pleased—
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17 March 2010

DEVIATIONS week: Chris Owen & Jodi Payne - Discipline

~purchase a copy here~
~author website Owen - Payne~

Written by Chris Owen and Jodi Payne
189 pages / 85500 words
ISBN: 978-1-60370-013-9, 1-60370-013-7
Available file types - html, lit, pdf, prc, paperback

Genre: M/M Erotica
Main Characters: Tobias, Noah, Phantom, Bradford
Book Origin: Personal E-Book Library

Cover Summary:
Tobias and Noah explore their relationships more deeply than they ever have, not just with their own dominance and submission, but with their friends. As Noah helps Tobias through the loss of someone dear, he finds Tobias helping him, too, leading him through some intense sexual games, breaking down the last of Noah’s fears, and helping him face his biggest one. The cage.

Meanwhile, Tobias’ ex-lover, Phantom, becomes close friends with Noah as they discover and try to resist the simmering sexual tension between them. Their teasing turns to real support when Phantom reaches the breaking point thanks to the lack of a master in his life, something he desperately needs.

While Bradford works to become that master, Tobias and Noah go to Paris, where they see the sights, go to sex clubs, and re-negotiate their contract. Returning from Paris to their own lives brings then all sorts of new difficulties, from deciding whether they should love together to trying to figure out just where Phantom belongs in their ever-changing relationship.

Chris Owen /Jodi Payne: #3 in DEVIATIONS SERIES – DISCIPLINE - 4 stars:

!!!Warning: Small spoilers may be present in this review!!!

My Review: There was nothing stopping me now, I was so connected with each character that I had to find out how Tobias and Noah’s vacation to France would go. Aside from the fact that their initial contract was at an ending and negotiations would start again, Tobias wanted them to move in together and have a more long-term contract that would further reflect their commitment to each other. There are many things that can test the strength in a relationship and a personal loss rippled through the chapters leaving everyone grieve stricken.

I must emphasize at this point that I never read this many books consecutively in the same series or genre and I’m amazed how this author duo can keep me so highly entertained, never allowing the story to drag or becoming boring. After reading three novels I thought I would’ve been done with the male sexing, the bondage, the flogging or the staged scenes, but the authors delivered different venues to keep it fresh. Again the authors push my boundaries in the D/s scene. I have always said, and still riding a double sided feeling about it, that I don’t overly enjoy it when a Dom/sub change roles. So when I very subtly got to learn that Tobias, on occasion, liked to be topped by Noah my heart was in my throat.

This change can really diminish my reading pleasure but Noah was very reluctant too, he was a sub but at the same time his very sub side said to pleasure his Master. If this meant on a occasion to top his Master, he would try to do this. For me it was the way the authors handled it that made me accept it. Noah’s initial reluctance and Tobias explicit desires in how and what he wanted created a realistic exploration of another need. Again what shined through was the incredible communication skills between this couple, their willingness to lay it all out there for each other and truly have each other’s pleasure, both physical and emotional, in mind.

It isn’t out of the blue that Noah is topping Noah, it starts with a spontaneous moment and very slowly takes some small steps. For me that was a very good way to get a handle on Noah and Tobias switching. It didn’t affect their Dom/sub in essence, Noah would evermore be subservient and Tobias the Master who would protect and take care. It just added a bit of spice to an already very exceptional relationship. So once again Jodi Payne and Chris Owen kept me on my toes, pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone and making me believe in the love, in the D/s chemistry and in Noah and Tobias.

Besides a wild and lascivious trip to France there’s also Phantom, he has always been there in one way or the other but in DISCIPLINE he goes to the emotional brink and barely comes back from it. He is a character that is not only flamboyant, humorous and demands all the attention when he enters a room, there is more to him then he leads on to believe. There are deep emotional scars on his soul that needs purging, he needs something so rigorous that only those who truly love him can help him through it. Phantom holds a very special place in my heart, his personality is one that triggers a range of emotions, I was laughing about his exuberance, my inner hussy purred in his shameless sensuous side and my heart was touched on every level possible as he tried to heal what was broken in him so long ago.

There are no weak characters in this series, Bradford still remains a very dear friend to Tobias and is the only secondary character who returns in this story often. There are also characters who give voice to the D/s world, there’s the people working in Bradford’s classy club, Noah’s cop partner and a few more in their every-day-life who flesh out the supportive cast. Each one, over the course of this series, became a frequent face and broadened the lives of the leading characters.

DISCIPLINE tossed me through the emotional wringer again and I found myself coming back for more each time. Tobias, Noah and Phantom are characters who get under my skin with their distinctive personalities and their zest for life. Real life problems give a raw edge to the character development but also heightens the impact of the story as a whole. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

“You’ll get me,” Tobias promised, his gaze fixed on Noah’s hand and ass. His own cock was still heavy, swelling back to full hardness as he watched and hit every spot he had. “Talk to me,” he said, stroking over the head of his dick. Tell me how you want it. “
“Deep.” Noah breathed at him. “Want to feel it in my spine. Want you buried in me.“ His fingers moved faster, deeper. “Want you to crawl inside my skin.”
“I live in your skin,” Tobias said, his hand slowing, making his strokes longer and smoother. “I live in you, own you. You can feel me in you whenever you want, pet. I know you can.” Noah panted, his voice was soft and low, one of many indications that he was securely in his space. “If I close my eyes, if I just listen to your voice, I can.”
“Good boy,” Tobias moved closer and slipped one of his fingers in with Noah’s, stretching him a little and reaching for his gland. “Sir!” Noah gasped and arched, using the foot he still had on the bed for leverage. He exhaled in a long groan. “Master, please!”
“Please what, pet?” Tobias asked, draping his boy’s other leg over his shoulder. He held his cock and waited. “Please fuck me. Please, I need you, sir. Want you. Aches…” Tobias watched Noah grin onto their fingers, watched his body shiver. “Please!” Tobias tucked his hand away, pulling Noah’s fingers out with his own. “Good,” he said, lining up his cock and pushing in. “Love it when you beg for me.” Noah relaxed around him, letting him slip in, balls deep. “Oh, yes,” he panted. “So good.” His hand moved to grip Tobias’ shoulder and his ass tightened maddeningly around Tobias’ cock. “Deep, sir, please. Yours”
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16 March 2010

DEVIATIONS week: Chris Owen & Jodi Payne - Domination

~purchase a copy here~
~authors website Owen - Payne~

Written by Chris Owen and Jodi Payne
185 pages / 88000 words
ISBN: 1-934166-00-6, 978-1-934166-00-0
Available file types - html, lit, pdf, prc, paperback

Genre: M/M Erotica
Main Characters: Tobias, Noah, Phantom & Bradford
Book Origin: Personal E-Book Library

Cover Summary:
In this sequel to Deviations: Submission, Dom Tobias and Sub Noah are back, learning more about each other and their relationship, testing the boundaries of what they can and cannot handle, both together and apart.

Tobias works at becoming more comfortable and finding his balance as a full-time Master again. Meanwhile, his work brings out the true submissive in Noah, who faces some of his greatest fears, and his greatest secrets, confessing to Noah about a terrible time in his past.

He's not the only one who has a rough time. Tobias breaks down and shows Noah he's not all dominance, too, which sends shockwaves through their romance, leaving them to wonder if they can keep it together.

Chris Owen /Jodi Payne: #2 in DEVIATIONS SERIES – DOMINATION - 4 stars

My Review: After reading SUBMISSION I decided to read another novel but I couldn’t let go of Tobias and Noah, a sign for me that the first novel definitely left its mark on me. I decided to throw my “genre variation prevents boredom” rule overboard and just go with my need for more about these men. And more I definitely got…

With an established base line of trust Tobias and Noah head for an intensifying of their connection. Phantom, as Tobias former sub, stirs the deeper lying issues for both Tobias as well as for Noah. Tobias has a very intense and complex history with Phantom and has trouble pushing the envelope as a Dom with Noah. Noah on the other hand doesn’t feel a 100% secure in where he stands in his relationship with Tobias. In their D/s they both need to work harder to get what they need and a beginning of a romance relationship is formed throughout the weekends spent together.

I’m used to getting a submissive’s perspective but in DOMINATION I also got a very good taste of what it takes for a Dom to be a Dom. It would’ve been so easy for Tobias to remain indulgent towards Noah, to keep them in a safe and in a comfortable zone. Instead he needs to push boundaries, it is what Noah needs of him as a Dom. The variety in D/s, from flogging, to sensory deprivation, to elaborate scene play worked incredibly well in giving me a comprehensive notion of that side in their relationship. Next to these scenes there is also time for play, for humor and intimate conversations.

The magnetism between Tobias and Noah is tangible, it is vigorous, sensual, deviant and caring. The growing intimacy between me and the characters made me live it all with them. I was getting more and more in sync with not only Tobias and Noah but Phan kept pulling my strings, each time he entered the story my heart skipped a beat just because he was there. Phan also has to go soul deep to work through some of his issues and it becomes more evident that he isn’t just any secondary character. Then there’s the growing friendship between Phan and Noah that gave a humorous note that I cherished. The authors kept their focus on the interconnected relationship development and the eroticism which made it a very character driven and a powerful story.

Tobias and Noah can converse an erotic scene to even greater heights which made is so easy for me to feel how well they fitted together and how they gave each other the kind of release they sought after. Every time their sexual desires were satiated my heart was in my very parched throat, the heat level definitely was a scorcher for me and while Tobias was very good in staging a scene, Noah turned out to be a natural in his passionate reactions and role playing. The emotional pinnacle in DOMINATION was the coloring scene between the two men. This is where Tobias told the whole world – well at least those who were invited to the occasion - that Noah was his, his to protect, his to cherish and his to love.

DOMINATION gave me more romance, more of Noah and Tobias’ road to discovery in each other’s wants, needs and emotions. It gave me more of Phantom, more of the Dom/sub and an ending that made me grab for book three in a heartbeat. Chris Owen and Jodi Payne are an incredible author match who bring a small cast of characters to life whose journey is incredible to follow. Tobias and Noah are well on their way to become an unforgettable pair on my shelves!

Tobias; “Want you,” he growled, diving back into the kiss. “Take me,” Noah responded breathlessly. “Fuck me.” He shoved a hand in Tobias’ groin and gave it a hard squeeze. Tobias’ growl was part groan as he turned them both, holding Noah up as he took the three steps to the table. “Right here,” he promised, biting down on Noah's neck. He set Noah's ass on the table and began to fumble with the button of his pet's jeans. “Right here. Now."

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15 March 2010

DEVIATIONS week: Chris Owen & Jodi Payne - Submission

~purchase a copy here~
~website author Owen - Payne~

Written by Chris Owen and Jodi Payne
183 pages / 90500 words
ISBN: 1-933389-50-8
Available file types - html, lit, pdf, prc, paperback

Genre: M/M Erotica
Main Characters: Tobias, Noah, Phantom, Bradford
Book Origin: Personal E-Book Library

Cover Summary:
Tobias is a skilled Dom and Noah is a man in need of just that. He wants to sub badly, but has yet to find someone he believes in. Through a series of encounters in the world of bondage and discipline, we learn why Noah has trouble trusting, and why Tobias is reluctant to let himself love.

Still, Tobias can’t resist Noah’s charms, and the two of them set about making a scene for themselves, one that works for them and their unique set of problems. But can they stay together in a world where learning to love means accepting all of their dark secrets?!

As with some books and some authors I buy on impulse and this was the case when I saw Chris Owen’s name on the cover of SUBMISSION. Of course my impulse behavior caught up with me when I heard that it was part of a series and I had to go back and do some researching. SUBMISSION turned out to be the first novel in a series of four books revolving around the D/s relationship of Tobias and Noah. From that first novel; SUBMISSION, Tobias and Noah wouldn’t let me go. Their challenges as a Dom and sub, their growing feelings and their relationship hooked, line and sinker me and I was a goner for this series. It wasn’t long after I read the first novel that I bought Domination, Discipline and Bondage which I read all consecutively in one week’s time. That is why I’m doing a series review, highlighting every novel and my overall opinion.

Chris Owen/ Jodi Payne: #1 in DEVIATIONS SERIES - SUBMISSION – 3,5 stars:

My Review: Tobias is spending his forty-first birthday in a D/s club of which his very good friend Bradford is the owner. Tobias is a very well known Dom and hasn’t had a submissive for quite a while, this is where Bradford points out Noah, telling him that he might be interested in a scene with him. This is how Tobias met Noah and the scene they shared at the club was so good they decided they wanted more of that chemistry.

Until that point I was settling in to the writing rhythm of this author duo and very interested in how this D/s chemistry would play itself out. Color me surprised when Tobias and Noah started to negotiate a D/s contract where their individual needs and demands were discussed. It really threw my off and felt very clinical at first, it wasn’t like it was screaming instant attraction to me. I had to wrap my mind around the fact that at first it wasn’t about romantic feelings, it wasn’t about falling in love, it was about two healthy men with individual lives that could fulfill a need with each other. Tobias needed to Dominate and Noah needed to submit.

Because if there is one thing that is done elaborated is the scenes between Tobias and Noah as a D/s. With Tobias farm and stables they both have a considerable playground to fulfill their needs. The moment either of them hit a nerve or a boundary, emotions came flying with it and gradually I got to know two men who fascinated me. Chris Owen and Jodi Payne fulfilled my need for the intricate workings of a D/s relationship, they delved in to the individual psyche of a Dom and a sub but also let the chemistry between Tobias and Noah share the impact of a scene with the reader.

Tobias Vincent is a veterinarian, a hobby farmer, is wealthy, balanced and has been a Dom for most of his life. From everything in SUBMISSION you can tell that he has an incredible amount of experience in the D/S scene and has build quite a reputation for himself. Noah is a cop, late twenties, is still very much seeking for the Dom that can meet his needs and has a few issues to deal with as a submissive. From all that is going on between them I could feel their exploration of each other’s personality, them getting to know each other and the inevitable pushing of buttons. What was incredible arousing was the fact Tobias wanted Noah to talk to him during the scenes; what he felt, what he experienced, what he needed and that made the sex talk very hot.

The dialogues in SUBMISSION are very good and slowly reveal a part of Tobias and Noah personality and their hidden emotions. This story is very centered around these two but Owen and Payne didn’t have me clamoring for more. Bradford was a wonderful friend for Tobias and the introduction of Phantom Shaw instantly perked my attention. He was the former submissive of Tobias for a very long time and has a very outgoing personality and that is stating it mildly. He loves to provoke, to be in the center of all the attention and has no shame. I loved him from the very first moment in this story.

SUBMISSION was a story where I had to get used to certain elements as they were new to me. I had to get a feel for the characters, the lack of a certain romantic development and the abrupt ending. Still, I instantly new upon closing this novel that I found a series where romance would inevitably develop, that it would meet my needs in the D/s development, that Tobias, Noah and Phan were characters who were already very dear to me by the end and that the eroticism was off the chart good. I felt the irrevocable need to immediately explore this series further and see where Chris Owen and Jodi Payne were going to lead me. SUBMISSION is a promise to give it all to me over the course of these four books!

Tobias: “Now, tell me about submission.” He crossed to his chair and sat, leaning back expectantly. He was more than a little interested to know what Noah had been thinking; if nothing else, it would help his own thoughts to settle, to find direction. “It’s hard to know exactly where to start, sir.” Noah admitted. He licked his lips and squinted, and then went on. “Being your sub, I really only have on responsibility to you. It’s my duty to please you, sir. We have discussed in detail what this means to you, and it’s also spelled out clearly by our contract. I understand that it means putting your needs ahead of mine, but harder than that, it means rearranging my thinking so that when I do need to think about myself, it is in terms of you, and your pleasure, not my ego. Noah shifted his feet lightly and looked a little more nervous about what he was about to say next. “I was thinking about myself. I wasn’t thinking about you first. It’s a pretty simple distinction, and I overlooked it completely. I was focused all wrong, totally inward, paying attention to the pain and working through it. I thought at the time it would please you if I kept it together, if I would let you flog me until you had enough. It’s the same mistake I made before…while the pain is meant to help me focus, it’s not about me, it’s about you. That’s where I went wrong. It’s not about how long I can hold out – as you said – it’s about knowing what each sting of the whip does to me. You need to know how I’m feeling because that is something you are to have control over, not me. 

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14 March 2010

Coming next week:

I am on a reading spree this last week and was submerged in the DEVIATIONS series as I read one right after the other. I thought to do one series review to save time but you all know me, I rather write the longer reviews then the shorter ones. How much I wanted to do a more compact format with this one, it just didn't work out. So next week I'll have four reviews and dubbed it my DEVIATIONS week. Let's talk wicked, wanton and all the forbidden as i introduce you all to three incredible guys; Tobias, Noah and Phantom :)

Till next week!

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13 March 2010

Random things; Awards - Fanscream - Books

I received this *achem* award from Janna ~Erotic Romance Reader~ Marissa ~Marissa's Book Lair~ & JennJ ~Sapphire Romance Realm~

These are the rules: I’ll have to post seven items about me, only TWO of which are true. The others are “little white lies”. It's up to you to detect the truth :)

My and telling white lies, well, it's good that you don't see me IRL cause I would blush like there's no tomorrow LOL

1. On my schooltrip to London I met Prince William.
2. I once was an extra in a Dutch movie.
3. I quit smoking three years ago.
4. I hate to watch Nip/Tuck.
5. My first English book was Karen Moning - THE IMMORTAL HIGHLANDER.
6. I was wooed by my hubby with steamy, hot letters before we even went on our first date.
7. I gag at the thought of eating chocolate.

So tell me, which ones are me telling the truth??

My next award I got from JennJ too ~thanks hon!~

I would like to pass this award to Janna, she has a man in ropes in her header and it is a frickin hot picture, I never can have too many glances at her header but then again, Janna knows her way to some awesome hawt pics :)

The next award is given to me by Janna  ~thanks girl~

The first who came to mind is Cecile from All I Want And More, she has one sexy blog and is never selfish in sharing the smut, hussy talk and hawt looking men.

Then K.C from Smokinghotbooks came to mind. She cracks me up with her views on everything erotic, books and life related. You know we're doing SinCity (aka Amsterdam) when you're here for a visit!!!

And last but not least, Pixie from Pixie's Ponderings, she has frickin hot pics on her blog from Deviants Craving. Here's a sample of what you can find at her place

That concludes my award love for now.

Now I had me a bit of a fangirl moment today with the arrival of this package:

Thanks to AmyC I can now add a signed Anne Bishop book to my treasure trove of signed books. The dream I have is one day to attend a book convention in the US because in Europe we don't have these things on a grand scale, at least, not to my knowledge :( It may sound a bit book nerdy but I get all happy-happy when a book is personally signed to me. When AmyC told me she was going to meet Anne Bishop I was bold enough to ask her if she would get a copy for me too and have it signed. So Amy, Thank You, from the bottom of my heart you were willing to do this. Bishop fangirls till the end!! *Makes secret handsign*

Now it has been a while that I told you all what has been arriving on my shelves, so let me give you the 411 now:

Jennifer Ashley: PRIDE MATES
Alison Sinclair: DARKBORN
Pressie from Donna ~Fantasy Dreamer's Ramblings~ Nalini Singh: ARCHANGEL'S KISS

Rhapsody Hardcovers:


I bought and received more but this is what I can think of at the moment :) Have a great weekend everybody! I'm off to read the final chapters of Shiloh Walker's FRAGILE and then it's off editing final DEVIATIONS review; BONDAGE. 

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12 March 2010

Winners Angelology & Naked Edge

I'm on a reading streak with a funky mood picking out my books but not complaining here, they are goooooood! Right now I'm in the middle of Shiloh Walker's FRAGILE, after reading Pearl's review of BROKEN I had to get my hands on the first brother and get a taste of this author's writing mojo. It shouldn't have surprised me that Pearl's near perfect romance suspense reads nine out of the ten times will deliver it for me too. Luke and Devon are firing up the pages.

Next to me finding back a reading rhythm that sustains my soul I'm having my guestroom revamped and my bookcases made. Next week it's going to come together and after that I'm having a book move. I'll be posting on that later. I know I have been dropping this info left and right but guys, I'm so psyched, for getting new bookcases as a pressie from my dad and as well as getting back my reading rhythm. I never saw it as a slump but in hindsight i guess it was :( Never want to experience one again, but most likely will...

So okay, I've occupied you all enough with my rambling, it is time to announce some winners of books.

The winner of a signed copy of ANGELOLOGY is....*drumroll*

Teresa from Italy - congratz girl!!

And I know Iz a bit late with drawing a winner of NAKED EDGE...but here goes...

Esther from Israel - congrat with your prize!!

I'll be contacting you soon for addy's :)

Have a great friday everyone! 

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09 March 2010

ARC Review: Danielle Trussoni - Angelology

~purchase a copy here~
~website author~

Hardcover: 464 pages
Publisher: Viking Adult (March 9, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0670021474
ISBN-13: 978-0670021475

Genre: Paranormal Litarary Thriller
Characters: Evangeline, Verlaine, Gabriella Lévi-Franche Valko, Celestine  Clochette.
Book Origin: A copy was offered to me by Viking/Penguin

Cover Summary:
A thrilling epic about an ancient clash reignited in our time- between a hidden society and heaven's darkest creatures
There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bore children to them.

Genesis 6:5

Sister Evangeline was just a girl when her father entrusted her to the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in upstate New York. Now, at twenty-three, her discovery of a 1943 letter from the famous philanthropist Abigail Rockefeller to the late mother superior of Saint Rose Convent plunges Evangeline into a secret history that stretches back a thousand years: an ancient conflict between the Society of Angelologists and the monstrously beautiful descendants of angels and humans, the Nephilim.

For the secrets these letters guard are desperately coveted by the once-powerful Nephilim, who aim to perpetuate war, subvert the good in humanity, and dominate mankind. Generations of angelologists have devoted their lives to stopping them, and their shared mission, which Evangeline has long been destined to join, reaches from her bucolic abbey on the Hudson to the apex of insular wealth in New York, to the Montparnasse cemetery in Paris and the mountains of Bulgaria.

My Review: What would you do if you found out Angel hybrids exist here on Earth and that they’re not anywhere near the cherubs humanity pictures Angelic creatures to be?

Evangeline’s days exist out of prayers, mass, devotion and preserving the books in the library of the Convent St. Rose. Then one day she finds a request in the daily mail, if the sender of the missive could visit the libraries archive to research a connection between Mother Innocenta and Mrs. Abigail Aldrich Rockefeller. She denies access but the two names fuel her own inquisitive mind and in her eagerness to uncover she finds much more than she bargained for.

Evangeline’s day-to-day life is turned upside down. Not only her past but her very family is intricately woven with the secrets of the convent and a sister present there.

I have absolutely fallen for the storytelling of Danielle Trussoni! ANGELOLOGY is intricately set up, it blends rich Biblical Lore, history and myths in to a story that demanded my unwavering attention. It isn’t a story that I could easily let go off, from the very first chapters I was absorbed by the secrets that taunted me as a reader to find out the how, why and where of it all. And with it I mean the connection between Abigail Rockefeller and Mother Innocenta at first, and from there it spiraled in to unfolding all the info that lead to that connection between these two strong characters; namely, the protection of the Lyre.

Evangeline is the center of ANGELOLOGY, everything revolves around her even though I didn’t find out until the very end to what extent. Evangeline is a character that I could instantly connect with, she is sharp-minded, young, devoted to what she does though a rebellious streak is also present. With the beginning I got drawn in to her day-to-day life but quickly the request of Verlaine teases her inquisitive mind. The story contains various strong female characters, not only Evangeline, but also her grandmother Gabriella Lévi-France Valko, Sister Celestine Clochette and Dr. Seraphina Valko, they all do not shy away from what needs to be done, they have passion for their convictions and make sacrifices for the greater good.

They are Angelologists, they fight the Nephilim – hybrids of Angels and the first Daughters of Men – and try to protect humanity against their powers. Their battle with their nemesis’ are both physical as focusing on obtaining Angelic artifacts of power. ANGELOLOGY is the story of obtaining and protecting such an artifact, it lead me from New York, to France in WOII and the mountains of Bulgaria back to New York. The story is divided in several Sphere chapters, with the first one I was quickly allowed to submerge in to the story but it is the second Sphere chapter that I struggled with. Not so much with the storytelling as that I got vast amounts of information, the back-story of how the Nephilim got to be, how they integrated so well with humanity and how they received gifts from their Angelic ancestors that advanced their race incredibly from the humans. Along there are myths such as Orpheus that also held significance and the hunt for the Lyre by the Angelologists was the focus of their group at that time. Celestine and Gabrielle in WOII were young, eager, smart and upcoming Angelologists and via their research, conversations with their mentors like Dr. Seraphina Valko I got to find out all I wanted to know about their group and the Nephilim they were battling. It felt like I got a course in Angelology 101 and while it captivated me it also demanded a constant focus. I had to considerably slow down my reading to absorb all the info given which made this part very intensive to read.

What it did provide was the fact that Danielle Trussoni really was able to delve in to her Angel Lore and she hit it home for me with her Nephilim, they are of ethereal beauty, of innate grace and sensuality yet possess a cruelty and hunger for power that turns them in the very evil of the world. The author also brings a love story to the plot that has substantial consequences, it is very subtle yet if you read carefully one of the discoveries Evangeline makes in the end wasn’t very surprising for me. After the second Sphere the story resumes a wonderful pace of revelations, in which Evangeline received help from Verlaine, nail biting moments as the leading group of characters/Angelologists chase clues around New York to discover and protect the Lyre. Every story thread interconnected in the end and amplified the absolute need to keep on reading.

Evangeline and Verlaine have chemistry, they’re both focused on solving the mysteries and secrets while the Nephilim up the ante and become a more visible threat. One Nephilim family gives face to their race and the creepy shills were joined by awe for their beauty and wings. Sometimes it felt that looking at them was like being a moth drawn to a flame. You knew you were going to get hurt yet you couldn’t look away from them. In most times, a fatal mistake to make. I was going through the suspense motions of the plot when I was suddenly confronted with a love angel between Evangeline and Verlaine. I liked the chemistry between them but I feel this romance needs further exploration and development for it to become convincing enough for me.

Sometimes a meaty book comes along that demands all of the reader, for me ANGELOLOGY was such a story. It demanded my attention, my curiosity, my emotions and every spare minute I could read. Perhaps individual the theme’s and topics are not original but this author concocted it in to an original story full of edge-of-your-seat scenario’s, characters who have a passion that demand their all and a fine line between good versus evil that founds a plot of puzzle pieces that fit in the very end.

ANGELOLOGY encompasses a story that needs to be experienced firsthand to get the full flavored effect of the atmospheric writing style, the compelling characters and the layered story is a treat to unravel. While not perfect Danielle Trussoni delivered a novel that will speak to a large group of readers and with a few open ended story threads the sequel already holds great potential! I can’t wait to join Evangeline in another grand adventure.

4 stars

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