31 January 2010

Show And Tell; January

January has been a weird month for me personally and somehow it sneaked up and scrambled with my reading mojo. It’s like I’m swallowed whole by my TBR pile as it has so much of the good stuff on it and I want to read everything. Whether it is my attention that is scattered all over the place or just too much to do in one day I have got no clue but I want my mojo back. You think if I put out an ABP it will be found again? So my monthly show and tell is going to be short, I’ve read and reviewed 5 books *sigh*

ROOB ARC Jennifer Estep – SPIDER’S BITE

Courtney Milan – PROOF BY SEDUCTION

Erica Hayes – SHADOWFAE

Lora Leigh – AIDEN’S CHARITY

Tina Donahue – DEEP, DARK, DELICIOUS.

There were two books that really made my January month and those were SPIDER’S BITE and SHADOWFAE. Both hold such different UF vibes, protagonists and supporting cast that I opened the book and was lost in a different world. Loved them both for it. If there is one thing I need to do right now is first read and then do everything else that comes with it and I’ve got a few top-notch reads coming to me in February that will get the job done, hopefully :)

I have a ROOB ARC of Shayla Black – DELICIOUS waiting on my e-reader.

I have Erica Hayes’ ARC of SHADOWGLASS on my shelves waiting to be read this month too :)

I have received Lora Leigh’s – NAUTI DECEPTIONS, Rogue piqued my interest from the first moment I met her and can’t wait to read her story.

February is also the release of Nalini Singh’s Archangel’s Kiss, Singh always delivers for me and can’t wait to meet Raphael again!

And if there is one debut novel I am looking forward to then it is L.J. McDonald’s BATTLE SYLPH. She gives me a C.L. Wilson vibe all over again.

These are the releases/ARC’s I remember at the moment but of course my TBR pile has much of the good stuff too, like the series of Meljean Brook or Larissa Ione, Stephanie Tyler’s HARD TO HOLD – TOO HOT TO HOLD & HOLD ON TIGHT, or how about Joss Ware with BEYOND THE NIGHT, Jill Myles with GENTLEMEN PREFER SUCCUBI. I could go on for ages what is on my TBR pile, like any of you out there I guess. So I’m going to let my reading preference go wild and see where it takes me in February!

Last but not least for this month’s Show And Tell I’m going to give you a peek in my mailbox and what has arrived in it:

Received for review: Allison Brennan – ORIGINAL SIN.

Allison Sinclair – DARKBORN

Jill Myles – GENTLEMEN PREFER SUCCUBI & SUCCUBI LIKE IT HOT

Donna Grant – DANGEROUS HIGHLANDER

Stephanie Tyler – HARD TO HOLD – TOO HOT TO HOLD & HOLD ON TIGHT

Joss Ware – BEYOND THE NIGHT

Jennifer Ashley – PRIDE MATES

Marjorie M Liu – SOUL SONG – EYE OF HEAVEN & THE FIRE KING

Nina Bangs – ETERNAL CRAVING


* Bought at a bookfair;

Judi McCoy – ONE NIGHT WITH A GODDESS

Minette Walters – THE DEVILS FEATHER

Elaine Fox – BEWARE OF DOuG & HELLO DOGGY


* I got a few pressies this month too;

From Marissa Belle Andre – WILD HEAT

From Amy C – Gail Dayton – NEW BLOOD


* And of course I had to feed my e-reader too:

Jessica Lee – DESIRE TO DIE FOR

Thanks to Marissa’s pimping, Joely Sue Burkheart – THE ROSE OF SHANHASSON & THE ROAD OF SHANHASSON.

Samantha Kane – THE COURAGE OF LOVE

Deidre Knight – BUTTERFLY TATTOO (read so many fabulous reviews of this one)

Mary Hughes – THE BITE OF SILENCE


* Bought these with a discovered gift certificate in the early days of January *go me*;

MacKenzie McKade – SIX FEET UNDER

Ana J Evans – CAPTURED

Nalini Singh – CRAVING BEAUTY

Madeline Urban and Abigail Roux – WARRIOR’S CROSS (after reading ErotRomReader Janna’s review I had to add it to my e-book pile)

And this concludes my MB. I hope to get back to my old self in February guys (((hugs)))

PS: Did I almost forgot to a migraine tortured brain...I haz got some hawt covers to share ;)


DEFEAT THE DARKNESS (Bk 6 in Paladins series)


by Alexis Morgan

ISBN: TBA

Publisher: Pocket

Release Date: March 2010

Hard-eyed and hard-bodied, Hunter Fitzsimon isn't what Tate Justice expected in a tenant for the apartment above her garage. Terse and intensely private, Hunter's mission is to protect a narrow stretch of the barrier between Earth and Kalithia against the Paladins' ruthless enemies -- a job that would be much easier without his sexy landlady nosing around. So when she follows Hunter into the woods late one night, he decides to teach Tate a lesson with a passionate kiss that brings her to her knees...and unexpectedly ignites red-hot desire deep in his soul. But the warrior's dark and dangerous world is no place for his fiery lover. Does possessing Tate mean turning his back on his brethren...or will Hunter forsake the woman of his dreams for the harsh duty he's always known?
Haunting Magic

Book 4 Devon Falls Magic Series
Author: Raine Delight
Genre: Contemporary/Shape shifter/Paranormal Romance


Rodrick Dracon is the twin heir to the Dragon Inn. When he finds himself longing for a mate after being footloose and fancy free, he finds himself drawn to the most obnoxious, brassy woman he has ever met: Jaxon Sinclair. She is the one woman who doesn’t melt when he goes by or hangs on his every word. She is just aggravating and down right sexy as sin! Soon the sparks fly, passion goes into boiling and Halloween approaches. Can this wolf shifter get this woman to heel before the full moon? Will Jax turn the tables on this ladies man and tame the wolf?
Paperback: 304 pages

Publisher: Signet (April 6, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0451229584
ISBN-13: 978-0451229588

Third in the chilling saga


Countess Selene is the Shadow Guard's only female member. She sacrificed herself to save the people of London and is now under a sleeping spell in the Tower of London, guarded by Raven warriors. When she awakens on a dark street with a blade in her hand and a dead prostitute at her feet, everything changes. Now she must face an ancient enemy, with only a reclusive, secretive warrior to trust...
It has already been out there but I still loved the covers enough to share!
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28 January 2010

Review: Lora Leigh - Aiden's Charity


~purchase a copy here~
~author website~

Line: Twilight
Series: Wolf Breeds
Book Length: 228 pages
Book Type: Trade Paperback
Publisher: Ellora's Cave Publishing
ISBN: 9781419954467

Genre: Erotica
Main Characters Aiden And Charity
Book Origin: Personal Library

Cover Summary:
Book 12 in the Wolf Breeds reading order.
The forces of survival and destruction swirl in the darkest corners of men's minds. The nature of the beast cannot be harnessed, and survival is the purest of all instincts. Survival of the species itself goes soul deep.

But can the human heart accept and adapt as easily? Can Charity bestow the love and the acceptance that has always been a part of her, to the man whose very survival depended on the hardening of his heart, of his soul? And can Aiden maintain that cruelty now, in the face of the sacrifices she made? Only time and nature can tell…


I can’t help but riding a double-edged feeling regarding Aiden’s Charity. At one hand I read this story in the blink of an eye with all of the sultry hallmark attributes of a Lora Leigh Breed novel. Yet on the other hand it are those very hallmark attributes and very little progress in the overall story arc that made this story not all that impressive. The beginning is very good, intense and immediately grabbed my full attention with Aiden who tries to keep his body in check so he is unusable for the stud service the scientists want him for. Now everyone who reads this series knows the atrocities performed by the scientists on the Breeds and all I wanted for Aiden and his pack members was to break free. But with the arrival of Charity events take an unexpected turn, she initiates body contact with Aiden and their lives are forever altered...

The beginning promised to be something good but after Aiden and Charity meet up again after the prologue the story slides back to the usual Breed continuation. Charity is in heat, Aiden goes all protective on her and they both don’t want the mating bond, which I found out is initiated differently from the feline Breeds. Along the way Nikki, the doctor at the Breed compound, has the opportunity to discover new information with Charity being in heat and of course there’s the imminent threat of the scientists attacking via their coyote soldiers. It all comes together in a nice, flowing, but non to overtly exciting addition to the Breed series. I ended the novel with a feeling of; nice but why was this written and what did it add to the series? Besides a scintillating mating going on and some intriguing character introductions I didn’t feel we got any further in the overall story arc, and this is something I am not used to when I’m reading a Breed novel. At least the beginning and the end of each novel thrust the overall storyline in to new territory.

So I wasn’t impressed with the development to say the least but on the other side I enjoyed the body heat Aiden and Charity created throughout the pages. It is Lora Leigh sexing like only she can give it, including a swelling knot that enhances the orgasms. You’ve gotta love those extras she giving her men. The mating heat increases in tandem with the back and fro denial of their mating bond, neither of course can be denied but strong minds don’t bend easily. For all is said and done Aiden is the kind of Wolf Breed where, once you’re in his inner circle, he will give his all for you. And Charity the kind of woman who has her heart at the right place and is willing to fight for what she believes in. Together they made the romance about forgiveness and acceptance that was encompassed by their searing lust for each other. It completed the picture of a Breed falling for his mate and vice versa.

Aiden’s Charity, for all its faults, read like clockwork and if there is one thing I will remember it for is the introduction of the Winged Breeds and Keegan. The instant he touched ground in all his mysteriousness, he gave me glimpses of his omnipotent mind and I was his for the taking. I have got no idea who he really is, what he is doing, or how he affects the string of events in the overall story but I want more, much more of him. He is the kind of character that instantly demands attention by simply being there in a scene.

While the set-up of the romantic conflict gave me the feeling of ‘been there, done that’ it simultaneously eased me in to a comfort zone that made me snuggle deeper on the couch and simply enjoy a Breed novel. The passion that saturated the pages made me read Aiden’s Charity in one sitting and witness two likable characters join their lives for now until eternity. Maybe this entry in the Breed series may not have been the most impressive one but it overall still made me enjoy the ride provided by Lora Leigh.

Quote Aiden:

“Charity,” his voice was a hard rumbling growl. “You can only push me so far. You can only deny me so long. Combine the two, and your time will shorten immeasurably. Do you understand me?”

Quote Aiden:

His hands went to his shirt, releasing the buttons slowly as he fought to maintain control of his breathing. Her scent was rich and evocative, filled with power of a mountain storm, the heady fragrance of honeysuckle. His cock was like a staff of burning iron, throbbing beneath the restriction of his jeans, pleading for the tight confines of her honey-rich cunt. She would be wet, slick and hot. Her channel would clasp him like a wet velvet fist, dragging over his sensitive flesh as he thrust in and out. He swallowed tightly at the thought

3 stars

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27 January 2010

Cover Discovery: Lauren Dane - Inside Out (Cope's story)


Sometimes you wake up to the best of news and this time my inner cover lover was purring with delight. My visual senses got one of the most sensual wake-up calls in a long time :) Lauren Dane has some of the best covers out there that caresses the visual senses. The teasers she put out there for Cope's story are fantabulous and I'm counting the days until his release. When we had Brody's Beefcake night she dropped a little bomb telling us Cope has a chinese dragon on his back. My jaw dropped to my keyboard when I saw Inside Out's cover reveal at Lauren Dane's blog. This is made of pure awesome and lovin' it up. Perhaps many of you already had the premiere of this cover last night and it is at these moments that I truly hate the time difference. But anyone who knows me a little also knows I don't need much of an excuse to place some hot cover candy on my blog so without further ado, here's Cope and his cover for INSIDE OUT:



~author website~

WORTH THE WAIT
Ella Tipton is a survivor. In the wake of an attack that left her nearly dead, she’s spent each day putting her life back together. Once vibrant and outgoing, she’s needed to reclaim the best parts of who she was while retaining the hard won lessons. There hasn’t been room for any romantic entanglements, even if she were ready. Still, it didn’t mean she had to stop sneaking looks at Mister Tall, Dark and Tattooed himself.

Security professional Andrew Copeland isn’t quite sure when his jones for the lovely and decidedly skittish Ella developed. He’s known her for years, has watched her triumph over the pain she’d been dealt. Cope is no stranger to women, but he knows the nervous flush he gets every time he talks to her is different than any attraction he’s had in the past. Determined to get Ella to let him in, Andy does the one thing he can think of to get close: he offers her hands-on training in self-defense.

While Ella’s sure he’s just being nice, the prospect of being able to touch him and gain the tools to push away the last vestiges of her fear is more than she can resist. Soon enough, Cope shows Ella his feelings are far more than friendly and re-ignites something deep inside her. Before long desire and love turn them both inside out.

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26 January 2010

Series Discovery: Addison Fox - Sons Of The Zodiac


There are some days when I think I have it all thought out, wake-up - which is always good to do if you want to start the day - get some breakfast, do the household chores, walk the dogs and for today it was writing a review of a novel I really needed to do, since it already had been a week ago since I read it *gasp*  For some weird reason I choke up if I need to write a  review of a book read longer then a week ago. Of course when I hooked myself up to my virtual life (<- does this make me a nerd?) this morning I got sidetracked. First by e-mail, then by twitter, and then I made the mistake to look up some info on amazon and after that all hope was lost. I got really sidetracked from my schedule as the 'Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed' feature lured me with shiny new covers and book info. This is how I found the following debut author and her new hawt, hawt series. From amazon I started to google her name; Addison Fox, and found her kewl website that made my addiction purr like the zodiac sign I am, which is Leo. And, since the first story is of the Zodiac sign Leo and my name is Leontine I think I can read the clues and pre-ordered this book faster then hubby could say; "Don't ya have enough on the shelves?" I hope you all get intrigued as much as I was with reading the following information:



Book 1: The Sons of the Zodiac
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Signet; Original edition (March 2, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 045122938X
ISBN-13: 978-0451229380


Millennia ago, the Goddess of Justice created a race of fierce Warriors, each imbued with a special power of the Zodiac, charged with protecting humanity from the darkest of evils.

Charming, proud, and impulsive, Leo Warrior Brody Talbot is fighting what may be his final battle. Enyo, the Goddess of War, plans to fulfill an ancient prophecy to destroy humanity by harnessing the dark power of the Summoning Stones of Egypt and there's only one person who knows enough about the stones to help Brody diminish their strength.

Since her father’s murder, museum curator Ava Harrison has continued his research of Egypt’s ancient treasures. She’s just landed the exhibit of a century, displaying the Summoning Stones at New York’s Natural History Museum. Used to working alone, Ava is suspicious of the arrogant archeologist who’s been brought in to ensure the stones safekeeping–but his presence ignites an unexpected blaze of attraction.

Never in all his centuries has Brody met a woman who enthralls him like Ava. But, bound to protect her, he struggles to deny his passion as they are drawn into a dark and dangerous final reckoning between good and evil.

(I'm sorry girls I just had to throw in some eyecandy. Who wouldn't with the prospect of these warriors?)

The warriors known so far:
Leo: Brody Talbot
Scorpio: Kane Montegue
Taurus: Quinn Tanner

The Muse of THE SONS OF THE ZODIAC SINGS is Addison Fox:


Addison Fox can’t remember a time when words weren’t a part of her life. An avid reader, her love of the written word started at the tender age of 1 with The Owl and the Pussycat by Edward Lear (a poem she could recite by heart to any family member who would listen). Dr. Seuss, C.S. Lewis, Judy Blume and a host of others quickly followed until she discovered THE CLAN OF THE CAVE BEAR by Jean M. Auel while writing a paper at the library in the 7th grade. Although not a classic romance, Ayla and Jondalar’s love story moved her firmly to the romance section of the bookstore and she hasn’t looked back!

Her debut novel, WARRIOR ASCENDED will be published by NAL in March 2010. WARRIOR ASCENDED launches her series, The Sons of the Zodiac, about an immortal band of Warriors, granted the powers of their astrological signs and charged with protecting humanity. The series blends sizzling paranormal romance with the myths of the ancients. Addison lives in Dallas, Texas.

Addison Fox's website
Pre-order WARRIOR ASCENDED
Follow Addison Fox on twitter


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25 January 2010

Review: Courtney Milan - Proof By Seduction



~purchase a copy here~
~website author~

Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: HQN Books (January 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0373774397
ISBN-13: 978-0373774395

Genre: Historical Romance
Main Characters: Gareth, Jenny and Ned.
Book Origin: Via Netgalley Harlequin provided me with an E-ARC

Cover Summary:
She is his last chance for a future of happiness.
Jenny Keeble has never let her humble upbringing stop her. She’s made her way in the world as a fortune teller, one who convinces her clients her predictions are correct by telling them what they most want to hear. Business is good… until she meets her match in the form of Gareth Carhart, the Marquess of Blakely, a scientist and sworn bachelor.
He just doesn’t know it yet.

Broodingly handsome, Gareth is appalled to discover his cousin has fallen under the spell of "Madame Esmerelda," and he vows to prove her a fraud. But his unexpected attraction to the fiery enchantress defies logic. Jenny disrupts every facet of Gareth's calculated plan— until he can’t decide whether to ruin her or claim her for his own. Now, as they engage in a passionate battle of wills, two lonely souls must choose between everything they know . . . and the boundless possibilities of love.



Courtney Milan has proven to be one of those authors who can deliver a story for me that I start in and hours later can close with an utter feeling of romantic satisfaction. Her prose provides a flow in the story that is both easily read and certain phrasing comes across as befitting of the time period. Yet most of all I really enjoyed her descriptions that could instantly set the tone or describe unique character traits. Like the following; ‘his eyes were those of a lion; tawny, ferocious and more than a little feral.’ It instantly added a raw, unpredictable edge to Gareth that was contradicting his rigid attitude of propriety and responsibility.

If there is one thing that I can say about this debut novel is that Milan excels in characterization. Especially the three who took such a prominent role in PROOF BY SEDUCTION. The first on that really wooed me with his personality is Gareth, I just can’t help but love a man who knows he is imperfect but can’t help himself from acting or responding in a certain way. His upbringing is part to blame and Gareth is stuck in a pattern of behavior that will need a stubborn woman to shake him out of. As I gradually read the chapters I was more and more enamored by Gareth, his social skills are a nightmare, yet he is also passionate and most of the times so very formal in his behavior. The alternation between these intriguing sides of him was a heady mix to take in as a reader.

Now Esmerelda aka Jenny Keeble was a heroine I mostly liked. She matched her intellect and wit with Gareth and it delivers heated dialogues. Their clash of gender is at times so hungry for connection, to draw one another out of their shell and it takes a better part of the story to lay it all bare for each other. Jenny is confronted with her decisions, her actions and the repercussions from it. She has to make amends and Gareth saw straight through her fake persona of Mme. Esmerelda. For all her bold, courageous ways there was an occasion or two where I felt she was a little haughty, like she had all the wisdom to teach Gareth what to do and how to do it.

As Gareth and Jenny developed an intricate relationship with each other I felt that it wouldn’t have happened the way it all did, had it not been for Ned. He is the kind of supportive character that adds a unique point of view to the story. He is young enough for stupid mistakes, serious enough to show the incredible mature man he is going to be with still the loyalty and eagerness of his young age. He is this vibrant character who I cherished throughout the story and I was ecstatic to find he is going to have his own story. Because if there is one thing that Courtney Milan has given him in Proof By Seduction is a buildup of character that screams to be explored further.

Along with the characters that made a lasting impression on me I found out this author managed to make the chemistry express itself mainly via interaction and body language but is very mild on the actual love making. In this day and age the heat level can be far more scorching but this story was more reminiscent of the more older historical romances. Though I’m not a fan of ballroom settings it was the prose of Milan that fueled my imagination with rich colored fabrics, environment and dressed-up people. She made the scenes exhilaration to explore from a society ball to the working class house of Jenny.

What else leaves me to say then; PROOF BY SEDUCTION is a debut novel told by emotion-driven characters that you will like from the get-go.

Quote Gareth:

He hungered for human connection. For contact, skin against skin. Soul against soul. And with Jenny, his most private name on her lips
4 stars


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24 January 2010

ARC Review: Tina Donahue - Deep, Dark, Delicious


~purchase a copy here~
~website author~

Line: Moderne
Series: None
Book Length: Novel
Book Type: eBook
Publisher: Ellora's Cave Publishing
ISBN: 9781419926655

Genre: Contemporary Erotica
Main Characters: Rafe Zayas and Eden DeCarlo
Book Origin: E-ARC provided by author

Cover Summary:
A wickedly sensual feast…

Eden DeCarlo may have narrowly lost Miami’s best chef competition and the prize money she desperately needs, but she has caught the eye of dangerously virile Rafael Zayas, one of the judges and a wealthy restaurateur. Despite her vow not to let any man derail her life, Eden’s captivated by Rafe’s imposing masculinity, then challenged by the business deal he offers. He’ll invest in her new venture if, for one month, she can satisfy his culinary expectations and the sexual attraction they both feel.

Dominant and unashamed, Rafe knows what he wants when it comes to carnal pleasure and will spare no seduction to have Eden in all the ways he demands—naked, wanting, submissive.

Within thirty days, he will teach her the delights of yielding to passion, relinquishing all control to him and fulfilling her deepest, darkest and most delicious desires.


This is my first erotica story where I encountered the chef persona, and I didn’t get one, I got two. Eden DeCarlo lost Miami’s Master Chef Competition by an hairs breath and now she is desperate for another solution to solve her money problems. This is where Rafael Zayas comes in to play. He is a chef too, rich, famous, talented, gorgeous and one of the jurors of the competition. He makes her an offer that is very hard to resist; 31 days he will be the guest in her bed and breakfast and she will give him all she’s got as an chef and as a woman. If she succeeds he will finance whatever venture she wants, may it be a B&B or a restaurant, it is up to her to chose.

If she agrees it will be as followed; everything he demands, she will obey.

If there is one thing I can say about DEEP, DARK AND DELICIOUS then it is that it’s a sultry and spicy erotica novella. The set-up of the story with the proposal is almost to be called a classic yet Rafe and Eden give their own enticing spin to it. It is with an easy and flowing writing style that I unnoticeably succumbed to the challenges and demands, the fears and dreams, and the pain and joys of the two main characters . From the first page Tina Donahue creates an electrifying heat between Eden and Rafe that drew me in like no tomorrow. All the wicked, the forbidden and the fantasies were just around the corner for Rafe and Eden. I was just as eager as they were to explore the limits of what they desired.

Now along with a playful eroticism there was of course the food; how my mouth watered at some of the dishes fully described with aroma and spices. I wish I could cook, I really did. I would definitely cook a few native Cuban dishes just to experience the luxurious taste of them. Between all the courses presented, the devious yet sensual mind of Rafe I had a double-edged feeling regarding Eden. While Rafe was my hero from start to finish in his provocative mind-set yet caring ways, Eden was a woman I was empathetic too and yet her ego as a chef prevented me at times to fully get a feel for her. She has a passionate though guarded and vulnerable side that made me root for her every time she exposed herself to Rafe and I loved her self-assured attitude and confidence. It is when that confidence feeds her ego and makes her think she is the best, the greatest, and no one can equal her skills that diminished her likability for me.

The romance was smoothly entwined though a bit rushed with Eden struggling with abandonment issues and Rafe coming from a warm loving family to opposite that. I really liked the vibe of the Zayas family with a meddlesome brother named Victor who can be annoying and endearing at the same time. Of course a big family party emphasizes on their tight knit relationship and allows Eden to taste the other side of family life. Throughout the story of a man daring a woman to go outside her comfort zone there is the ever present sensual tension between them that fuels every action and dialogue between the main couple. Give Eden her BFF, Trish Luna, and everything is present for an erotically charged, nicely developed story that will give some pleasurable hours of reading time.

Deep, Dark, Delicious is a passionate treat for many erotica readers!

3 stars

Quote:

Rafe reached her. She caught his scent, a sun-baked fragrance more caressing than the summer’s night air—warm, sultry, virile. Her legs went doughy. She locked her knees.

If he noticed, he didn’t let on, though his attention did sharpen, a handsome predator homing in on his prey. Lips turned up in a direct smile, he offered his hand. “Eden.”

His vibrant baritone embraced her name with stunning familiarity, disconcerting her further. She shook it off. After tonight, she’d see him on TV or in print advertisements, nowhere else. She’d make certain of it regardless of her lust. She cleared her throat and slipped her coolish, damp fingers over his. His palm was dry and rough, betraying his humble origins. “Chef.”

“Rafe.” His smile brightened with his gentle admonition, saying he enjoyed being in charge.
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22 January 2010

Guestblog & Giveaway: Tina Donahue - Real Men Do Not Want Super Skinny Woman. . .




I'm happy to introduce Tina Donahue to you all as she talks about curves and her latest release; Deep, Dark And Delicious. Let's celebrate our curves ladies. I know I did this morning as I shaked my hips on Shakira - She Wolf and BeyoncĂ© - All The Single Ladies :)

Today’s male-dominated beauty and fashion industry bombards women with images of ultra-thin models, the supposed female ideal for men. Excuse me. How can a model who has no hips and very little meat on her bones resemble anything but a prepubescent girl? Funny thing, many of the images of these skinny babes are Photoshop’d until their bodies and faces don’t even resemble humans anymore but life-sized Barbie dolls.

I’m no guy, but I’ve spoken to enough men who’ve said they don’t want a bag of bones in their bed. They want curves. A female’s succulent, soft flesh next to their body. Womanly hips they can grab onto. Full breasts they can hold in their hands.

I’ve never written my heroines as model thin. One, it’s not natural. Two, it’s unhealthy. In my latest release, Deep, Dark, Delicious, my heroine Eden is as curvaceous as Jennifer Lopez. Rafe, my hero, likes her that way. In a scene at her house, where’s he staying for 30 days to teach her the delights of yielding to passion and relinquishing all control to him, the issue of her curves comes up in a delicious way. Read on:

Rafe went to her side. With one arm around her waist and his other beneath her knees, he swept her into his arms.
Fragrant waves of her hair spilled over his shoulder and brushed the side of his face. She parted her lips on a joyous cry.
He cradled her close, nuzzling his nose in her neck. Her skin smelled of the croquetas and perfume. His ears buzzed. Contentment flooded him, bringing out his playfulness. “Hold on tight, I wouldn’t want to drop you.”
Her free hand slipped over his shoulders, her fingers fisting in his tee. To avoid contact with her bare skin, she settled the base of the beer bottles against his abs. His muscles jumped at the chilled bite of the glass. With a sigh, she snuggled into him as if to state her readiness for travel no matter how bumpy.
A second passed and another. When he didn’t move or even adjust his weight, she rubbed her nose against his cheekbone. “Are you trying to figure out how to make love in this position?”
He barked a laugh. She squealed as he pretended to drop her. He scolded. “See what happens when you ask too many questions?”
“I do.” She tightened her arm on him, her nails clawing his skin through his tee. “So what are you doing? Where are you taking me?”
He crossed the threshold between the dining and living room. “I’m taking you in every part of this house.” He stopped near the leather sofa and turned his face to hers. “I thought you already knew that.”
Her eyes dropped to his mouth, tarrying there before moving to the sofa, what she assumed would be their next destination. “I do,” she whispered, then added in a small whine, “but only in this house?”
She was bad. “No,” he said, his tone grave. “You said you have a guesthouse. I intend to use it. I noticed you have a pool and a fairly spacious backyard. We wouldn’t want either to go to waste, or for that matter any other part of your property, now would we?” He bypassed the sofa and crossed the living room to the front door.
“Whoa.” Her body curled into itself and him, a modified fetal position to protect her nudity. “Whatever you’re thinking, don’t. The front yard isn’t fenced like the back.”
“I know, but you have ample foliage that serves as a barrier so the effect’s the same. However, I wasn’t thinking about your landscaping or your fences.” He made his tone curious. “Why would you think I was?”
“Rafe.” Her voice rose a notch, just a shade short of panicked. “You can’t bring me out there in daylight. Tonight, if there isn’t a moon, it might be okay, but not now. Do you understand?”
“Forgive me, I don’t. You never allow yourself to go outside in the daylight? You have to wait for dark? You can’t tolerate a full moon? Are you a vampire? A werewolf?”
She growled through her laughter. “You know what I mean. You can’t bring me into the front yard while I’m nude. And you sure as hell can’t fuck me out there in broad daylight.”
“I wasn’t planning to. I just wanted to make certain your door was locked.” He glanced from the thrown deadbolt to her, offering a shrewd smile. “Just in case one of your young male neighbors decides to visit while I have you beneath me.”
She dug her nails a bit deeper into his shoulder.
Pretending not to notice the pain, he turned and headed for her stairway.
This time her body stiffened. “You’re going to carry me upstairs?”
“Unless you want to carry me.”
She laughed again, though briefly. “I should walk. I don’t mind.”
He climbed the first step. “You’re not that heavy, Eden.” At six-three, Rafe figured he outweighed her by at least sixty pounds.
A flush spread across her cheeks and nose. “I’m not a stick, if you haven’t yet noticed.”
He had, from the moment she arrived for the competition. Her beautifully developed body attracted
him first. Next, he’d become enchanted with her personality and talent. “Neither is Jennifer Lopez.” He took the fourth step. “Nor was Marilyn Monroe. Or Anna Nicole Smith, when she was the Playboy Playmate of the Year. I haven’t heard any men complaining about their bodies.”
She stared at him. “You think I’m built like those women?”
“Goddesses,” he corrected, turning his face to hers. “Just ask your young male neighbors. They’ll explain what I’m talking about.”
She arched one brow.
Smiling, he reached the landing and headed to their bedroom.
“Whoa,” she said once more as he bypassed the four-poster and went to a door on the right. “We can’t go out on the porch. The banister out there is wrought-iron. It’s not solid. All the neighbors have to do is look up and they’ll see everything.”
He studied her. “And that would bother you?”
A stew of emotions passed over her face. He saw excitement at the threat of discovery, fear one of the neighbors might possibly call the police and daring that it might be worth the risk.
Her voice shook with doubt and desire. “We could use it tonight.”
“But only if there’s not a full moon, otherwise you’ll turn into a she-devil and devour me, no?”
The tip of her tongue snuck out of her mouth to lick the line of his jaw. Once she’d marked him, she cooed, “Oh, Rafe, I fully intend to devour you, though I have no intention of waiting until tonight.”
His cock nudged his fly, wanting out of his clothing and back into the tight heat of her cunt or mouth. He inclined his head to the door. “I thought that was your bath. Where is it?”
Her seduction vanished beneath renewed curiosity. “Why?”
“I’m going to bathe you to remove all traces of your food and perfume. I want to smell your skin, nothing else. Once I’ve toweled you dry, I’m going to tie your wrists and ankles to our bed so you can’t escape what I have planned.”
Her words bounced. “What do you have planned?”
“You’ll have to wait to find out.”

Rafe obviously enjoys Eden’s curves and everything else that makes her a woman. But then, he’s a real man. :)

Deep, Dark, Delicious is available from Ellora’s Cave.
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For today’s readers, I’m hosting a scavenger hunt contest!!!
Rules: Periodically throughout the day I will post a question (four in all). Answers found on my website. Keep all of the answers until the last question has been posted. Then, email me your answers. The first reader to contact me with all four questions answered correctly will win.

Prize: A print copy of my novel Adored.
Winner will be announced: January 24th at this site and at my website.

Thanks for stopping by!

19 January 2010

Royal Fantasy Challenge Review: Erica Hayes - Shadowfae



~purchse a copy here~
~author website~

Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 1 edition (October 13, 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0312578008
ISBN-13: 978-0312578008

Challenge: Royal Fantasy Challenge
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Main Characters: Jade and Rajahni
Book Origin; Personal Library

Cover Summary;
Steal souls.
Live in hell.
Never die.

In a city infested with psychotic fairies and run by sadistic vampire mafiosi, life as a soul-sucking succubus rarely involves lacy lingerie, hot guys or great sex.

Enslaved by a demon lord, Jade must spend her nights seducing vampire gangsters and shapeshifting thugs. After two hundred years as a succubus, she burns for freedom and longs to escape her brutal life as a trophy girl for hell's minions.

Then, she meets Rajah, an incubus who touches her heart and intoxicates her senses. Rajah shares the same bleak fate as she, and yearns just as desperately for freedom. But the only way for Jade to break her bonds is to betray Rajah—and doom the only man she's ever loved to a lifetime in hell.


Melbourne is the home of Fae creatures in all shapes and sizes, keeping their world a secret via fairy glamour. This secretive world includes a vampire mafia, mainly run by the rivaling Valentino and DiLuca family. And then there’s Kane a Demon lord who plays his own games and has Jade, a succubus, to his disposal. When faeries end up dead questions arise but when Jade and Rajahni find a way to freedom the search gets entangled with the schemes of many key players…

I was a bit restless how to start my 2010 reading year when I received word I won me an ARC of Shadowglass and in preparation for its arrival I took out SHADOWFAE to read. I don’t think my year could have started any steamier or erotically charged because this novel featured a pair of protagonists where one was an incubus and the other a succubus. Rajahni and Jade had this instantaneous magnetic attraction flaring to life and they drew me in to an alternative Melbourne where I had a great time as their story unfolds.

The questions of why the fairies die and how Jade and Rajahni were going to get free from the thrall were interesting, intriguing and subtle in its development throughout the story. The backdrop of an alternative Melbourne was refreshing and added its own sultry vibe to the whole but what really protrudes out of this story for me were the characters, the sexing and the ending. There were so many exhilarating characters to get to know, may it be main or supporting, friend or foe, it didn’t matter, Erica Hayes knew how to give each a distinctive voice that made them stand out.

Jade isn’t a hardcore, kick-ass, let me rid the world of all evil, character. She has to answer to Kane, whatever he orders her to do, she has to do it. Does this make her a spineless twit? Most definitely not. Does she like to follow orders; no. Does she struggle with being a succubus; yes. Though her nature compels her to follow those orders and perform sexual acts it also gives way for inner struggles and dialogues that made me get to know Jade so much more. Her strengths, her flaws and her regrets. Her humor is sometimes dark and there’s still a side to her that is insecure, mainly about one man and his feelings.

At first I thought Rajahni was all about male vigorous passion, dangerous seduction and his own personal needs to gain freedom. However, as the story progresses I get to see both the dangerous as a vulnerable, compassionate side of him, and the complete package was one that made him a hero worthy of the title. I reveled in how he could alternate those sides and be all in the face of a DiLuca one minute and the next be all gentle care for Jade. He really understood Jade on a level no one else did and it strengthened their emotional bond. Even though with all the sexing going on as their succubus and incubus nature demands, it made the love angle credible on a very personal side of their personality.

In many chronicles, series etc, I have a character that instantly has my heart and it was Kane in SHADOWFAE. He is all manipulative, power-play-hungry and at moments blunt and inconsiderate that made me wonder why on earth he appealed to me so. There are perhaps two or three times where he lowers his emotional walls and captured me with such heartfelt emotions I could only wonder what his story is. Kane doesn’t have an overly big part physically in the story but somehow the effect of his persona and the ties he has with Jade and Rajahni is felt through the chapters read.

Kane might not be a knight in shining armor but Dante DiLuca or Angelo Valentino were really creeping me out with their bloodsucking needs, selfishness and behavior. The bite is a painful one, with saliva and all, they seem to thrive on pain, on domineering and though they have power, they always needed more. So they scheme and plot away, and it felt like their bulldozer personalities would get away with anything. Of course, as it turns out, they’re going to meet their match…

I just mentioned the core cast of characters; various more add their voice of friendship, happiness, sadness, hate and together they provide for a well-drawn supporting cast. Each character is empowered by the imaginative and crisp writing style of Erica Hayes. The emphasis of Jade and Rajahni’s relationship might be on the erotically side but when the focus shifts to the emotions, Erica Hayes knows how to deliver it in a single frame of mind or heart and expand from that. I wouldn’t have minded to get much more of that. They also see the person behind the thrall, understand the difference between choosing to have sex rather than doing what is ordered. It is a fine line between the former and the latter and I’m glad because with that knowledge I could surrender to their burgeoning romance. I can honestly say that the sexual desires heightened the heat level in SHADOWFAE.

When the plotting and the scheming is done, when everything comes to a conclusion there is a twist in the HEA that I did not see coming and my initial reaction was one of shocked surprise. How was it going to work was my thought but with an epilogue the author shows me that it does. It might not be my kind of HEA but it most certainly was Jade and Rajahni’s, true to their characters to the very end and they made me feel and believe it from first till last page.

Erica Hayes has a unique voice in the Urban Fantasy genre that will instantly hook you to her characters, her world and the story to be told. She is a keeper on my shelves for sure.

Quote Jade:

Out of sight, over the horizon, rocketing into orbit better. More nourishing than stealing souls, more intoxicating than any fairy’s eery drug. It was like…

Like the difference between fucking and making love.

Oh, hell.

4 stars
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18 January 2010

Winner Beefcake Night: Brody - Coming Undone

















Thanks to all who made Brody's Beefcake Night so much fun. Without further do I'm giving you the lucky gal who has won herself the story of Brody. Ina, congratulations! Enjoy Coming Undone :)


List Randomizer


There were 32 items in your list. Here they are in random order:

1.Ina

Timestamp: 2010-01-18 15:43:59 UTC


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17 January 2010

Review: Paullina Simons - The Bronze Horseman



~purchase a copy here~
~author website~

Mass Market Paperback: 912 pages
Publisher: HarperTorch (October 1, 2002)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0061031127
ISBN-13: 978-0061031120

Genre: Historical fiction
Main Characters:
Book Origin: Personal Library

Cover Summary:
Leningrad 1941: the white nights of summer illuminate a city of fallen grandeur whose beautiful palaces and stately avenues speak of a different age, when Leningrad was known as St Petersburg.
Two sisters, Tatiana and Dasha, share the same bed, living in one room with their brother and parents. It is a hard, impoverished life, yet the Metanovs know many who are not as fortunate as they.

The family routine is shattered on 22 June 1941 when Hitler invades Russia. For the Metanovs, for Leningrad and for Tatiana, life will never be the same again. On the fateful day, Tatiana meets a brash young officer named Alexander.

Tatiana and her family suffer as Hitler's army advances on Leningrad, and the Russian winter closes in. With bombs falling and the city under siege, Tatiana and Alexander are drawn to each other in an impossible love. It is a love that could tear Tatiana's family apart, a love that carries a secret that could mean death for anyone who hears it.

Confronted on the one hand by Hitler's unstoppable war machine, and on the other by a Soviet system determined to crush the human spirit, Tatiana and Alexander are pitted against the very tide of history, at a turning point in the century that made the modern world.



With the Second World War breathing down the neck of Russia two people meet. One look is what it took to let them know inside their hearts it was the other they were meant for. But with a war raging against Leningrad’s city limits and events forcing them to make choices, the chance to love becomes as rare as the chance to peace for the people of Russia.

Alexander and Tatiana will have to find out if the sacrifices are worth the love that they would gain….

THE BRONZE HORSEMAN was my first encounter with Paullina Simons work and all I can say is that I will never look at Russia the same nor will the characters I met in this novel ever be forgotten. I do not easily pick up a novel of well over 600 pages, but sometimes a story demands to be read and through a recommendation I found myself introduced to Alexander, an officer in the Red Army and Tatiana the youngest daughter within a family living in Leningrad. Because of the vast set up it took me a while to be grabbed by the story but it is Alexander that held me spellbound from his first appearance in THE BRONZE HORSEMAN. His very nature appealed to me, wanting to know his past and present for the secrets clung to him like a second skin. It is the contrast that Alexander and Tatiana provide that intrigued me so much at first. He knows what life has to offer and Tatiana is the baby in the family and well protected, though she still possesses a spirit and strength. It soon becomes very clear that they have to overcome obstacles and this is written with a strong affinity for emotions. The author creates a life like relationship in a war torn country which had such an impact on them and the world around them.

Coming from the Netherlands myself I grew up with all the stories, both from school as from my grandparents, I never heard much about the involvement of Russia but with painstakingly clear colors Paullina Simons paints an overwhelming picture of not hunger but famine, of not being scared but feeling mortal fear. Of how some people rise to the occasion and some cower away in a corner, of loss and hope but most of all about love finding a way and survival. I was well in to a hundred pages along and still couldn’t completely find my niche but then there was this scene planted in my mind’s eye by the author of Alexander carrying the injured Tatiana for 6 km to the next train station to get her to safety. Such a small gesture but catalyzed by such profound love. It hit home with me and from that moment on I spent every waking moment wrapped up in their world. It is also the chain of events that kept me on the edge of my seat hoping, yearning and rooting with every obstacle they had to overcome.

The chemistry between Alexander and Tatiana is tangible from their first moment. That precious first look or first touch, that expresses more than a hundred words, it is like witnessing two halves encountering each other unexpectedly but irrevocably connecting. Forging a bond together in those first frail hours that essentially holds all that is to come. Their love is one that pulled at my heart strings and engulfed me with their sensuous passion but most of all their actions and feelings are so recognizable that I could not help myself but relate to their struggles and the choices they made. I feel that it is a talent all on its own if an author can keep a reader spellbound for so many pages and after that still leave the reader hungry for more.

This is first and foremost a novel focused on two people, Tatiana and Alexander. They have to endure through much, still it is their feelings, their hearts, in all facets that bring this story to life. Every character, from Tatiana’s family to Alexander’s fellow soldiers and leading commanders, each added to the intense experience of this novel but had a function of solely making Alexander’s and Tatiana’s love soar to greater heights. I think that everyone will feel a range of emotions upon reading THE BRONZE HORSEMAN. It is in the darkest times when one needs to hold onto even the slightest bit of light and Leningrad does have such dark times in the Second World War. It is a formidable background with Russian endearments, food and authentic words to make it all feel more real. And with that, Paullina Simons transport you back to a time and place where the reader meets all these incredible people. War can bring out the best and worst in people and so I got the meet them, each with their own reasons for their actions, each with their own story to tell. The riveting conclusion to THE BRONZE HORSEMAN is one that immediately invites you to open up the second book TATIANA AND ALEXANDER just to know how it all progresses.

This novel has been published a few years back now and only reached me a few weeks ago but I know now that THE BRONZE HORSEMAN, the first entry in this world renowned trilogy will never leave my shelves again. This is one of those novels that will stand the test of times!

4,5

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16 January 2010

Review: Julie Garwood - Shadow Music



~purchase a copy here~
~website author~

Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (December 30, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0345500741
ISBN-13: 978-0345500748

Genre: Historical Romance
Main Characters: Gabrielle of St. Biel and Colm MacHugh
Book Origin: Personal Library

Cover Summary:
For Princess Gabrielle of St. Biel, Scotland is a land of stunning vistas, wild chieftains, treacherous glens, and steep shadows–skullduggery, betrayal, and now murder. Prized for her exquisite beauty, the daughter of one of England’s most influential barons, Gabrielle is also a perfect bargaining chip for a king who needs peace in the Highlands: King John has arranged Gabrielle’s marriage to a good and gentle laird. But this marriage will never take place.

For Gabrielle, everything changes in one last burst of freedom–when she and her guards come upon a scene of unimaginable cruelty. With one shot from her bow and arrow, Gabrielle takes a life, saves a life, and begins a war.

Within days, the Highlands are aflame with passions as a battle royal flares between enemies old and new. Having come to Scotland to be married, Gabrielle is instead entangled in Highland intrigue. For two sadistic noblemen, underestimating Gabrielle’s bravery and prowess may prove fatal. But thanks to a secret Gabrielle possesses, Colm MacHugh, the most feared man in Scotland, finds a new cause for courage. Under his penetrating gaze, neither Gabrielle’s body nor heart is safe.



Gabrielle grows up in the loving embrace of her family and 4 guards, though her mother is sick and bound to her bed she still manages to tell Gabrielle all about her inheritance. She is after al a princess, it may be a small country but St.Biel is a content place to live and its history is rich for when the crusades started it was St.Biel that needed to be traveled through to get to the Holy Lands and with the wise King at the time made a pact with the crusaders. Crossing the country will cost gold but it will be send to the pope as a gift of devotion. But as the crusades died a rumor sparked to life; not all gold was given to the pope and a treasure was buried…

How Gabrielle was familiar with all these stories of treasures, the battle between St. Biel and England, the marriage between her mother, the princes and her father, the Baron. Though her mother died Gabrielle's love for St.Biel shined bright within her heart and her four guards from St.Biel where an ever reminder. When her father tells her she is to be married to Laird Monroe she prepares herself for the life as the wife of a Laird, little did she know that the journey to Scotland is the beginning of something unexpected…

I think anyone who has ever read Julie Garwood’s historical novels will recognize my initial outburst of utter joy and excitement that I felt upon discovery that she has returned to her roots. Not only a historical but also a highlander to boot, for me it is a much treasured theme and nostalgia of my youth rode me in waves as I received my copy of Shadow Music.

I took my time with it, wanting to savor every page, every character and every storyline. How did I get lost in the feelings of confusion? Because from the first page this story had a different vibe, which is not to say that that is a bad thing of course and I was set on giving it all my attention and time. I enjoyed getting to know Gabrielle, her guards and the history of her mother’s country only I got a bit restless at a certain point, when would the hero and heroine meet, when would the love story commence?? For me it felt like Julie Garwood took way too much time setting this story up, taking away time and pages from the main couple creating an almost stale and unconvincing romance.

The background story of the treasure was interesting, Gabrielle’s four guards: Christien, Lucien, Stephen and Faust were a joy to read and fabulous secondary characters. The greedy Barons with their own plans are a convincing lot and the woman in the shades one to watch out for. Colm MacHugh as the hero came across as this big gruff bear of a highlander with pride to match his build and a thundering voice to lure you in to a Scotland of long ago. He is an unadulterated highlander that I just crave to read about and especially the interaction with his brother and his neighboring Laird Buchannan made me smile.

The separate threads of this novel sometimes gave me that glimpse of Garwood skill I enjoyed in all her other historicals, though it was holding a promise but never truly giving it to me. When Gabrielle was exiled and Colm tried to do the chivalrous thing was for me the only true moment I could feel the talent of Julie Garwood as she once was. Colm and Gabrielle lack enough depth together, lack creating a delighted friction of two strong characters that sizzle into a passionate love which grabs me and makes me a part of the story. For me it felt that the background story and the secondary characters demanded so much time from the romantic pair, that there wasn’t enough time left for a breath taking romance to develop. And when I read a Julie Garwood historical I want a romance that can rival with all the legendary lovers of the past, endearing, passionate, bold and within their own way have a gripping punch to it.

Maybe it is unfair to Julie Garwood that I compare Shadow Music to her other historicals and I did try as best as I could to judge this book solely on its own, but when I closed the book I just thought: ‘Where did the awesome talent of Garwood go for the historical genre?’ The plot holds very little surprises, each character does play its part in the grant scheme of things that makes me interested enough to keep reading but all in all it is that Julie Garwood didn’t change for the better in my opinion, Shadow Music is at its best mediocre and at its worst a disappointment for those who’ve read other novels by her hand like: Ransom, The Wedding, The Secret and so on.

In the end, as I look back on reading this novel, I would say what I missed the most was the romance, the plot and the secondary characters held potential and they were meant to make the romance story of Colm and Gabrielle shine and this is something I just didn’t get nor feel.

Sometimes it just isn’t meant to happen and Julie Garwood just couldn’t create the sparkle of an endearing historical that nurtures the tale of a heart rendering love.  

2,5 stars

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15 January 2010

Review: Elizabeth Amber - Raine



~Purchase a copy here~
~author website~

Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Kensington Aphrodisia; Later Printing edition (March 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0758220405
ISBN-13: 978-0758220400

Genre: Erotica
Main Characters: Raine and Jordan
Book Origin: Personal Library

Cover Summary:
In this erotic historical paranormal romance trilogy set in the heart of Tuscany's centuries-old wine country, three half-Satyr brothers receive a letter that sends them in search of three endangered half-Faerie brides.

Handsome, stoic, middle brother RAINE has been wed before to a wife who was repulsed by his carnal needs. Each month at Moonful, these half-Satyrs change physically, becoming more powerfully potent. They're driven by the darker side of their natures to indulge in a nightlong ritual in a sacred gathering place ringed with ancient statues.

Though Raine wants no part of another marriage, he searches out the second half-Faerie, Jordan, in Venice. She turns out to be far different than he could ever have imagined, and she is living a dangerous lie.

Raine's traumatic childhood and a bad marriage have closed him to the idea of giving or receiving love. As the winegrape harvest begins, Jordan slowly reawakens his heart. But he finds himself competing with another nightmarish suitor who has gained an evil hold over this woman he is coming to love.



If there is one author who has the ability to broaden my horizon in the Erotica genre than it is Elizabeth Amber! She sets the stage formidably as Jordan is being put on display for a group of physicians in a theatre. There I found out that Jordan is no ordinary woman and has to endure this kind of treatment on a yearly basis. Instantly I knew it would take an exceptional man to accept and love the sum of all Jordan’s parts.

And that exceptional man was found in Raine, if I would say he is a bit aloof it would be an understatement but shallow waters can hide such deep and surprising currents. He made a lasting impression with his serious perseverance of protecting Jordan and in what he feels is right. But he is no goody-two-shoe in any way, the first moment he set his eyes on Jordan his body stirred to life and almost instantly acts upon it.

Jordan has been different all her life and it’s the world’s perception of her difference that creates an internal emotional struggle that divides her sense of self. After diverting even more cruel intentions she bumps into a man that stirs her body to life in many ways. A bold proposal speaks of the indomitable spirit Jordan possesses and I was intrigued by this woman. Though life’s difficulties can weigh down on a person’s shoulders Jordan seems to have retained a certain sense of humor and eagerness to experience life to its fullest.

The interplay between Raine and Jordan was both invigorating as it revealed much of their inner nature. The commencing of their relationship is one of earthly eroticism but they also hide certain aspects of themselves. With Jordan it is not so much as that she does not accept herself, it is her environment that reacts and acts in a way that would humiliate any woman. And Raine, well, he has a bit of the same problem only experienced it in a somewhat different manner. Throughout the story there was a natural acceptance between the central couple and the gaining of trust was beautiful to witness.

The plot causes appropriate nuisance here and there that tests Jordan and Raine separately and as a couple. They both just fit each other so well but their hearts need to open up and amend to their true feelings before any kind of happiness can result from it. In this, Raine is like other erotic-romance stories. It is the extensive knowledge of myth, time period, exuberant characterization and most of all her unique theme’s laced within her novels that Elizabeth Amber makes such a distinctive impression on me.

In the essence what grabbed me the most about Raine is the acceptance between the leading couple of their differences. The courage to open up leaves either one vulnerable, it gives both the power to make the other reach the heavens or plunge in the abyss of being spurned. They did not only accept but also celebrated and enjoyed the uniqueness of one another and my heart leaped in response. Because is this not what we all want in the end, to be completely accepted and loved all the more for it? I know I do!

Along with the heat that singes the pages I was firmly set in the Satyr world. One scene included a wooden barrel filled with wine grapes, Raine and Jordan in it, that contained a sensuality that made me reach for the ice cubes. I got to meet Nicholas again with his wife Jane. Lyon and his panthers just emanated a wicked picture of pure male delight and I loved to wander in the vineyard of the Satyr brothers again. Anything seems possible there as magic permits the very air and is a barrier between Earthworld and Elseworld.

Various erotic situations, between various genders, are explored in Raine and I feel the explicit nature of it is done with emotion and is quite tasteful. Raine and Jordan’s story stuck with me long after I closed their novel and my Erotica shelf isn’t complete without the novels from this author. I can only compliment Miss. Amber for delivering another scorcher of tale that gives depth to the genre!

4 stars
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14 January 2010

Review: J.R. Ward - Lover Unbound



~purchase copy here~
author website~

Mass Market Paperback: 528 pages
Publisher: Signet (September 25, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0451222350
ISBN-13: 978-0451222350

Genre: Paranormal Romance / Urban Fantasy
Main Characters: Vishous and Dr. Jane Whitcomb
Book Origin: Personal Library

Cover Summary:
In the shadows of the night in Caldwell, New York, there’s a deadly war raging between vampires and their slayers. And there exists a secret band of brothers like no other—six vampire warriors, defenders of their race. Now, the cold heart of a cunning predator will be warmed against its will…

Ruthless and brilliant, Vishous son of the Bloodletter possesses a destructive curse and a frightening ability to see the future. As a pretrans growing up in his father's war camp, he was tormented and abused. As a member of the Brotherhood, he has no interest in love or emotion, only the battle with the Lessening Society. But when a mortal injury puts him in the care of a human surgeon, Dr. Jane Whitcomb compels him to reveal his inner pain and taste true pleasure for the first time- until a destiny he didn't choose takes him into a future that cannot include her.



There are 500 pages of Vishous story and I didn’t really get what I needed from this paranormal romance novel. In the previous novels Vishous is portrayed as a smart ass, strong, bold and sure as hell of himself Brother but I couldn’t find this all back when he finally takes center stage. His story starts with a shocker in his lineage department which immediately grabbed my attention and I snuggled on the couch for prime brotherhood reading time .

V has his destiny revealed and he’s not in any way warming up to it. Still dealing with this he gets shot by a lesser and ending up in a human hospital finding a woman that makes him instantly growl: Mine. As Butch and Phury rescue him he demands that Dr. Jane is taken with him and arriving at his penthouse V doesn’t really understand himself but is accepting the emotions he’s feeling. V and Jane are discovering each other as Phury finds a darker side and John Matthew’s journey continues. Still destiny will not be so easily discarded and for every joy there will a price of pain. Will V take control of his destiny or will he submit?

As I close this book I felt like I was blown away by a hurricane of chaotic storylines, though the novel is starting strong I couldn’t relate to the romance of V and Jane. It was like they weren’t given enough time and space to tell their story as strong, almost overbearing sub plotlines take away your attention and this left me detached. V and his preferences in the passion department was something that could have been more developed as this is such a defining part of his character. It is briefly mentioned in a scene with a female but as things got interesting J. R. Ward seems to back out on it. I feel that the emotional turmoil of V would’ve been better served if the domination was more developed and this would come in to conflict with his feelings for Jane. I felt disconnected with their love, their journey and this frustrated me for I know J.R. Ward can deliver.

Instead what captured my attention was John Matthew and his pre-trans adventures, emotions and his interaction with Blaylock and Qhuinn. Also Phury whom got more interesting with every page and at the end of the story I felt that he was taking it over, dominating the story as you will. The Scribe Virgin made me feel a moment or two relating to her but most of the time I was riding on a do-not-like-her wave. Though J.R. Ward knows how to create a spectacular romance story that keeps me anchored while a lot is going on around the main couple, this is not happening in Lover Unbound. This is what I just missed the most and can’t help that this feeling over rides the better parts.

I enjoyed the interaction between V and Butch, giving some form of closure to their unfinished business, but I missed the whole prophecy direction which was such an interesting ending in Lover Revealed. Though the story bears enough quality storytelling for me to keep flipping the pages it is more likely that the story of Vishous will either work for you or won’t. For me it clearly didn’t with certain things I just missed and the ending was like a cold shower, others maybe see it as bold or daring as love will always find a way, I think it is an unreal ending and making me feel V deserves something more and better. Overall I enjoyed the story but not so much for the love quest of V and Jane but more for the sub plotlines, interaction between the warriors and world building and I, in any case, don’t want the secondary cast of characters to outshine the main hero and heroine.

This is definitely something different from J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood!

3 stars

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News Flash: C.L. Wilson's WINTER KING / Sherrilyn Kenyon - Otherworld

After a thousand and one years (okay, this is a bit exagerated)  I was looking up my Myspace acount I checked up on a few friends and found this tidbit of info on C.L. Wilson's Myspace page:

A blurb of her single title release THE WINTER KING:

When the heir of Summerlea stole Wynter Atrialan's bride and murdered his brother, the Winter King swore vengeance on the neighboring southern kingdom. Now, after three years of merciless war, Summerlea is crushed, and the conquering Wynter aims a final blow at his enemy's heart by demanding one of the Summer King's beloved daughters in marriage.

But the Summer King has a fourth daughter...one of whom he is not so fond. And she is is no sweet, helpless princess-in-a-tower. She is a fiercely passionate creature, with a nature as volatile as the dangerous forces of her weathergift, the power of storms.

By now everyone will know that Dorchester has sold some of her top author contracts to AVON and C.L. Wilson is one of them. This is a bit of info I found on her Myspace page too:

Quote C.L. Wilson: Harper Collins / Avon acquired the rights to my current contract which includes TAIREN SOUL, THE WINTER KING, Bel’s book and Gaelen’s book. I’m working with Avon now to get TS on their production schedule so I can announce a release date. I’m very excited about the opportunity to work with Avon/Harper Collins.
I'm glad that the Tairen series and C.L. Wilson still has a publisher because after QUEEN I think the majority is pining for TAIREN SOUL. Only now I get to wonder, and this is the least important thing of the matter and I am so flashing you all my superficial 'oh-my-gosh-I-just-broke-a-nail' side but...will TAIREN SOUL remain the same cover?? I absolutely adore Judy York as a cover artist and she has become signature cover candy to wrap around C.L. Wilson's epic fantasy romance stories. I love the synchronism of it all, how each cover relays a bit of the actual story. I would be really sad to see a new AVON cover replace this one:




~author website~

Series info Tairen Soul

1. Lord of the Fading Lands (2007)
2. Lady of Light and Shadows (2007)
3. King of Sword and Sky (2008)
4. Queen of Song and Souls (2009)

As I wanted to pre-order me some more books I had to look up Nick's YA series and the title of the first release. That is when I stumbled onto the following anthology release. I have DRAGONSWAN already in a cute little booklet format but it is the story that ignited the torch for the Were-Hunters and don't mind a second edition. But it is the other two novella's that caught my eye, I've got a weakness for "the-child-of" stories, in which I get the sons and daughters of the original couple I read once upon a time. Knightly Dreams sounds like a nice story, a bit like a Grace stunt in FANTASY LOVER. So yes, you guessed it right, I pre-ordered it along with INFINTY & DARKNESS WITHIN ;)



This is the anthology that compiles all of the short stories Sherri wrote for Berkley. Original US Release: 2010-07-01. It contains:

Dragonswan which is the first Were-Hunter story every published. Scholar Channon MacRea has spent years studying the legendary Dragon Tapestry, devoting days and nights to deciphering the impenetrable Old English symbolism.

Then one evening the unnaturally seductive Sebastian appears. He claims to hold the key to solving the tapestry's mysteries... He also claims to be a dragon slayer trapped between two worlds.

For Channon there's only one way to finally uncover the secrets of the intricate embroidery-by following this stranger into a fantastic alternate world of magic, danger, and adventure.

The hero:
Sebastian
The youngest of the direct Drakos Kattalakis descendents, Sebastian was exiled from his patria after the death of his sister. Now he walks as a lone Sentinel, forever banished from his family and kindred.

The heroine:
Channon
Scholar Channon MacRea has spent years studying the legendary Dragon Tapestry, devoting days and nights to deciphering the impenetrable Old English symbolism. All she wants is to uncover the clues.
Fire & Ice The League story with Adron (son of Nykyrian and Kiara). Adron Quiakides was the fiercest of the League Assassins. As his father before him, none could touch him until the day he traded himself for a pregnant hostage.

Butchered and left for dead, he barely survived. That single act of kindness cost him everything and left him emotionally and physically crippled.

Livia typpa Vista is a noblewoman trying to escape a horrifying marriage her father is forcing her into. When she mistakenly sits down at Adron's table while fleeing her pursuers, she has no idea that by running from her fate, she meets her destiny.

The Hero:
Adron Quiakides was the fiercest of the League Assassins. As his father before him, none could touch him until the day he traded himself for a pregnant hostage.

The heroine:
Born into a restricted society, Livia has lived her entire life behind walls. Unwilling to spend another day in a cage, she runs one night and stumbles into the last man she expects to find. But trying to soothe that savage beast could be the very last mistake she ever makes.

Knightly Dreams Sparhawk is conjured from his book and finds himself alive in our world and in the hands of woman who is the only hope he has of escaping his death should he return to his novel.

The Hero:
Sparhawk
Sparhawk is conjured from his book and finds himself alive in our world and in the hands of woman who is the only hope he has of escaping his death should he return to his novel

The Heroine;
Taryn
Broken-hearted, Taryn doesn't believe in much. But when fate brings a character out of a novel and puts him in her world, she has a lot of rethinking to do about her life

~author website~
pre-order Infinity
pre-order Darkness Within 

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13 January 2010

Review: Jennifer Roberson - Daughter Of The Glen



~purchase a copy here~
~author website~

Paperback: 556 pages
Publisher: Kensington (May 1, 1998)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1575662892
ISBN-13: 978-1575662893

Genre: Historical Romance
Main Characters: Catriona Campbell and Alasdair Og MacDonald
Book Origin: Personal Library

Cover Summary:
Historical adventure and passionate romance unfold against the heather-strewn hills of a divided Scotland. A land of majestic castles and bitterly warring clans becomes the towering backdrop for the story of a man and a woman whose love cannot be denied-- not by a centuries-old feud nor by a betrayal so shocking it is remembered still, whenever bagpipes play their mournful songs of the Campbells and the MacDonalds...

LADY OF THE GLEN tells of a time and a place like no other-- when political treachery and royal intrigue ruled the day... a time when countrymen battled for their freedom and usurpers sought crowns. At the novel's center is a love story of breathtaking scope: a man and a woman-- enemies from birth-- know from the moment they meet that they will lie in each other's arms someday. But their love, for centuries forbidden, comes at the most dangerous of times.

LADY OF THE GLEN tells of Catriona Campbell's enduring love for Alasdair Og MacDonald, the second-born son of her clan's most powerful enemy, the Laird of Glencoe. It is MacDonald who alone shows the young Catriona kindness in a harsh and violent world. As the years pass, the heart proves stronger than the sword, and they boldly pledge their love...to handfest forever. While the Dutch King William conspires against the Scottish rebels who seek to return the exiled James Stewart to the throne, Catriona and Alasdair share a pssion that joins them forever-- although the lovers become pawns of war...and of history.



I am in silent awe as I close this book. It is Jennifer Roberson’s astounding knowledge of the Scottish time period and massacre of Glencoe that bears the foundation for the reader to meet the highlanders of long ago. The sound of the bagpipes echo through this story and subsequently through my heart and I saw it all in my mind’s eye. Like I’m the witness of all the events that lead up to the day that the earth ran red at Glencoe. Moreover, I felt it with every character LADY OF THE GLEN gave voice to and it turned out to be a more vibrant and life like tale then I anticipated.

This story takes you on a journey of a child growing up in to a woman, a strong willed. bold and courageous woman named Cat a.k.a. Catriona Campbell. Her older brothers tease her merciless about her boyish looks and at the age of ten she meets Dair a.k.a Alisdair Og MacDonald and for the first time is shown kindness and understanding. With that, the seed of love is planted though they will not meet again for a very long time. As Cat grows up many things happen that shape the woman she is to become and the politics between the lairds of the highland clans masterfully tells of all events leading up to the massacre of Glencoe.

Every character is born of highland blood and highland pride, with their unique code of honor I feel that the author truly captured the very nature of Scottish men and women of that time. With a huge body that is accompanied by a booming voice I believe MacIain is the very soul of what a Laird should be like. Breadelbane is a man of intrigue and political games that plans for his own pride and wealth no matter whom will pay the price for his scheming. But still, though each main and secondary character played his or her part, that which made LADY OF THE GLEN all the more riveting to read, is the story of Cat and Alasdair Og that will not be easily forgotten.

Jennifer Roberson’s passion for the events surrounding Glencoe provides a tremendously atmospheric setting for the love between Alasdair and Cat to reveal itself upon. The reality of this story, as much is based on actual history, gives its impact to all that occurs between the characters and in the end I just could not keep it dry. Also because of the fact that from the moment you read the first page in this book you meet Cat as a child and see her grow up in to this incredible woman. With that the author emotionally connected me with Cat and I felt like I experienced all the ups and downs alongside her.

Cat and Dair are both so very realistic in their characteristics that I almost forgot that they are born from the imagination of the author, though Alasdair Og has truly existed. It is over the years that the love progresses and ultimately grows into an adult love that demands acknowledgement. The Campbell’s and the MacDonald are rivalry clans of each other and they just don’t intermarry. But born from highlander blood it is not in Cat nor Dair’s nature to listen to what they should or should not do. Together they tell a story of where life can take you and that opportunities for love to be expressed is scarce in those days. I felt their story unfold, each occurrence, each revealed emotion that lead’s up to a magnificent final in the last 100 pages and their story made a lasting impression.

For me it took a bit of time to get in to the story but once captured my attention never wavered for one second and I would say this is not a light hearted read. As I closed this book I felt the same after seeing the movie BRAVEHEART, emotionally wrung out as the romance soared high but there was a price to pay. Hope, revenge, love, honor, their way of life (and perhaps it still is) speaks of an intensity and belief that many would seek. LADY OF THE GLEN will give it all to the reader if one holds a love for the history and the Scottish people. A unique Scottish Romance I will not likely forget anytime soon and with that makes it a classic on my bookshelf!

4,5 stars

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