31 October 2010

Giveaway: Begin 2011 with A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES


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

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

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

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




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




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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

27 October 2010

Review: Cassie Ryan - Seducing The Succubus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3.5 stars

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26 October 2010

Tairen Soul giveaway winners


First comment counted as the entry for the giveaways

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

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

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

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

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

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

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25 October 2010

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5 stars

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

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

You can still take your chances in the Tairen Soul series giveaway + goodies and a copy of Crown Of Crystal Flame + goodies giveaway!
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21 October 2010

Guestblogpost + Giveaway: Letters from Sinners

website Olivia Cunning - Twitter - Facebook -  Website Sinners - Sinners Biography - Purchase - Backstage Pass excerpt - deleted scene: Strip Guitar Hero (OMG!!) Flash your favorite of the Sinners

Letters from Sinners

In my debut novel, Backstage Pass, you meet the members of the rock band Sinners. They’re a little bit bad and whole lot naughty, but they care about each other. Since they’re on the road together for weeks at a time, they’ve grown close. Like a family. They do give each other a hard time (they’re guys!), but behind all the teasing is genuine affection. When Brian, their lead guitarist, falls for a human sexuality professor (Myrna), so quickly he likely suffered from whiplash, the other guys in the band tease him, but ultimately they want his happiness. Myrna made it clear that she just wanted a weekend of non-strings attached sex with Brian, but he’s the romantic type and can’t let go that easily. Yes, a romantic rock star. It’s true. After their weekend together, Brian wrote a set of letters to Myrna, but he misplaced them. Or so he thought.

Found in the inside pocket of bassist Jace Seymour’s leather jacket...
_____________________________________________________________________________

Dear Myrna,

I know it’s dumb to write this. You won’t ever read it. You were pretty clear that you didn’t want to see me again. It’s only been three days since you left me in Des Moines, but I can’t think of anything but you. Our weekend together was wonderful. Making love to you... amazing. I doubt you realize how inspiring you are. I’ve never heard music in my head while buried inside a woman’s body before. There’s something special between us. I know you don’t see it. Or feel it. But I do. I also know I said I was okay with a no-strings encounter, but...

Let me tell you how stupid I am for you. I saw a woman behind the stadium today. She was wearing one of those skirt suits like you wear and for a moment, I thought it was you. She looked like you from behind. Maybe, I thought, maybe you changed your mind. Maybe you looked up Sinners’ tour schedule and you came looking for me. Maybe I did mean more to you than a good time. Maybe... Maybe I’m an idiot. Okay, no maybe there. I am an idiot. I scared the hell out of that chick when I hugged her from behind. She thought I was attacking her and almost sprayed me with mace. Luckily, Sed calmed her down. She turned out to be some news reporter. Not you. Not even close.

There’s only one you, Myrna. I hope that writing this helps me forget you, because right now, I need a lot of help.

Yours,
Brian

(and written on the back side of the letter)

Hey, Myrna! I just found this letter that Brian wrote. He hid it under his mattress in his bunk. Not a very good hiding place, if you ask me. That’s also where he stores his good magazines. We all know that and borrow them without asking. Anyway, he’s been moping around for days. If he doesn’t knock it off, I’m going to find your address and mail this to you. You either need to break his heart or love him forever. There’s no middle ground with this guy, you know.

Trey

Oh my God. What kind of idiot gets this stupid over a woman he hardly knows? I’ve never been this stupid over a woman. And I never will be. Not ever.

Sed

Whatever, Sed. Remember, Jessica?

Trey

No.

Sed

Certified Grade A, Sex Professor Myrna-

If you did to me what you did to Brian, I’d be equally idiotic. You are a seriously fine woman with some amazing skills. I’m still jealous of whatever it was you did to Brian in the Jacuzzi. Thanks for letting me watch, in any case.

Eric

Don’t worry, Brian. I’ve got your back. I’ll keep your letter safe. One day, when Myrna comes back to you, I’ll return it.

Jace
______________________________________________________________________________

Dear Myrna-

It’s been two weeks since I last saw you and I still think of you. Constantly. It usually doesn’t take me this long to forget a woman. It can only mean that you’re the only one for me. Trey gave me your work number today. He looked it up on the internet and said I should call you. I think he’s worried about me. I really am in a funk. I can’t compose anything. You’re my muse. I need you.

I don’t know how many times I’ve read the little slip of paper with your number on it. I have it memorized already. And I know your last name now. Evans. I wish you would have told me yourself and that you would have given me your number voluntarily. Because you didn’t, I’m not sure if I should call you. I want to hear your voice, your laugh, that sexy little sound you make in the back of your throat when I please you. I’m just worried that you might say things I don’t want to hear. Things that will make it perfectly clear that there’s no chance for us. I’m not sure I’m ready for that.

I think I’ll wait for a while. Maybe I’ll be able to forget you if I wait a little longer. Yeah. And maybe Trey will enter into a monogamous relationship. Both are possible, but less likely than Sinners opening for Neil Diamond.

Yours,
Brian

(and written on the back side of the letter)

You got that right. Monogamy is for suckers. Neil Diamond? Where did that come from? Will you just call her, buddy? She likes you. She must. I mean, what’s not to like?

Trey

WTF, dude? Seriously. It can’t be that good. Can it? I know a hot set of triplets I can set you up with. How about that? Triple your pleasure. Triple your fun.

Sed

Um, yeah. It’s that good, Sed. If you don’t call her, Brian, I will. I still wanna tap that.

Eric

I’ll hide this letter for you, too, Brian. I do think you should call her, though. I like her. She’s... Myrna.

Jace
______________________________________________________________________________

Dear Myrna-

I’ve looked everywhere and I can’t find the other two letters I wrote you. I hope the guys didn’t find them. Talk about humiliating. I’ve decided I’m going to call you tomorrow. The past four weeks without you have been hell. If you agree to visit me in Oregon, I’ll be in heaven. If not... I don’t even want to think about that. I got you a kinky surprise just in case you agree to visit. I think you’re going to like it.

Yours,

Brian

(and written on the back side of the letter)

Finally!

Trey
Sed
Eric
Jace
______________________________________________________________________________

Giveaway: One lucky commenter who will answer Olivia's question will win a signed copy of Backstage Pass. The giveaway is international *thanks Olivia*. I will announce the winner on October 30th 2010.

Question: Have you ever received a love letter? Did it win your heart?

20 October 2010

Review: Olivia Cunning - Backstage Pass

Webiste author - Purchase - Facebook - Twitter

Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (October 1, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1402244428
ISBN-13: 978-1402244421
Book #1 in The Sinners series
Book Origin: Personal Library

Cover Summary:
Five stunning guys, one hot woman, and a feverish romance...

For him, life is all music and no play...

When Brian Sinclair, lead songwriter and guitarist of the hottest metal band on the scene, loses his creative spark, it will take nights of downright sinful passion to release his pent-up genius...
She's the one to call the tune...

When sexy psychologist Myrna Evans goes on tour with the Sinners, every boy in the band tries to seduce her. But Brian is the only one she wants to get her hands on...

Then the two lovers' wildly shocking behavior sparks the whole band to new heights of glory...and sin...

My Review: Olivia Cunning’s debut novel BACKSTAGE PASS is erotic decadence from the first word and I couldn’t get enough of it. She nailed the rock and roll scene for me, including the sex, the roadies, the wild crowds at concerts and the wild magnetic streak with the band members. Let me introduce you to The Sinners. The lead singer and uber sexy ladies man Sedric Lionheart. Drummer and voyeuristic Eric Stick. Jace Seymour is the bassist and his kink is BDSM. Then you have equal opportunity lover and Guitarist Trey Mills and last the lead male of BACKSTAGE PASS is guitarist and composer Brian Sinclair. He finds his muse in Myrna and their sexual antics inspire him to exquisite tunes. 

If there is one thing that ruled BACKSTAGE PASS then it would be the incorporated topic of the sexual liberation going on with Myrna. I’m talking about multiple partners, casual nudity and the mind blowing, toe curling, down-and-dirty sex play between Myrna and Brian. The romance development was a lighter side of the story yet it never felt fake or under developed. The romance was an ever present underlying current but both Myrna and Brian are two very pleasure driven characters who love to explore, receive and give said pleasure. Even though perhaps half of the story contained eroticism it was always interesting, diverse and heightening the emotional journey of the main couple.

Myrna is a woman in her mid thirties who is intelligent, has an inquisitive mind but also has commitment issues and has struggles with her carnal self-image. While I loved Myrna as a leading female character, how she opposites Brian and handles his life style, I struggled along with her in regards of her sexuality. Myrna’s inner conflict is focused on her sensual audacious attitude, which coalesced with her ingrained believe of her ex-husbands statement she was a whore. So at times when Myrna struggles with her self-image it could opposite with her actions because she would not let her ex-husband win. Myrna is definitely a woman who is trying to take back the reigns over her own life and I can only say that Brian is one helluva a man to do it with!

Brian “Master” Sinclair with his nimble fingers had me from the first introduction. He is a romanticist, wears his heart on his sleeves and gives all of himself. When he is down, he really is down and when he is happy the whole world will now it. His animal magnetism roars and I wasn’t prepared for its effect. From the way he got inspired to compose to his burning love for Myrna, it made him a man I couldn’t get enough of.

Of course the introduction and getting to know each band member, Sedric, Eric, Trye and Jace play a significant supporting role and they proved to be a tantalizing appetizer that only made me eager for more on all of them. They epitomized the heart of rock and roll and the acerbic bantering, including some hefty sexual innuendo going on between them allowed me to experience their bond all the more.

The thing that really brings something unique to my book world is the rock band/tour scene. I think the atmosphere and life of performing, touring, groupie mentality and sex was done with a wild edge yet never became raunchy. There were also moments where personal details, thoughts and feelings showed the human face behind the rock gods each Sinners band member is in the public eye. The mix of characters, storylines and backdrop development was written in a flowing pace that got me reading chapter after chapter in the blink of an eye.

Olivia Cunning gives us a rock band to close in to our hearts with their kinks, flaws, exuberance and their passion for the music. BACKSTAGE PASS is an erotic smorgasbord and I became the latest Sinner groupie, clamoring for more of the band members and their stories.

4 stars

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18 October 2010

Party + Giveaway: Calling all Tairen lovers to teach Tairen newbies…


To all those who know what ‘Ver reisa ku’chae. Kem surah shei’tani’ means…
To all who witnessed the courtship of a Tairen Soul…
To all who draw red at the sight of Vadim Maur…
And to those who highly anticipate the conclusion of the Tairen Soul series…
You are wanted to guide those who are still unaware but fascinated to the world of the Tairen.

In a mere eight days Crown Of Crystal Flame will be released and various peeps tweeted on twitter that they haven’t heard about or read this series *gasps in shock* I saw it as an opportunity to one; Have a release party *grin* and two: Bring together those who love this series to teach those who want to know more about the Tairen Soul series. Then I got to thinking, who would be available of the fey to teach our newbies their first lesson?

That’s when I found Gaelen and Belliard available to explain a bit about being a Lu’tan:

Gaelen and Belliard discuss….

Gaelen and Belliard you are the first and second Lu’tan of your Fey’reisa. If it would please you both could you each tell us 5 things about the Fey behind the blood sworn Lu’tan?

Bel : There is no greater honor than serving as a lu’tan, a bloodsworn champion, to the Feyreisa. I willingly and joyously offer up my life for hers and dedicate myself to her protection, in this life and in the death that follows until the Gods call me back to my next life.
Gaelen (glances at Bel): The honor is great, aiyah, but I for one don’t intend to fulfill my oath in death for a long time yet. There are still too many Eld in need of killing, (grins evilly) and I am all too happy to help them greet the Darkness they serve face-to-face.
Bel (sighs): You do love to act so fierce and bloodthirsty.
Gaelen (snorts): It’s no act. Besides, you feel the same.
Bel: Oh, aiyah. But I don’t run around beating my chest and bragging about it. I just slit throats and move on.
Gaelen: Fear is a weapon as sharp as your sword. Did your chatok never teach you that? Mine did. Shannisorran v’En Celay knew the value of instilling fear in the enemy. You weren’t born at the time—I was just a small boy—but I grew up with the legends of Lord Death. All he had to do, they said, was step on a battlefield, and the half the enemy lost control of their bowels.
Bel (rolls eyes): And you believed that?
Gaelen: Every word.
Bel (sobering): Truly?
Gaelen: Truly. Even after his met his shei’tani, he saved all his kindness for her. The man had a look that would freeze your blood in your veins, and his way with a sword…well, let’s just say I’ve never seen his like since. Probably never will again.
Bel (snorts in disbelief): You mean there was a Fey born better with a sword than you? And you admit it?
Gaelen (shrugs): When it comes to Lord Death, there’s no shame in admitting he could best me. Indeed, if he were still alive and we met today, I’ll wager even now he could wipe the floor with me.
Bel: It’s a shame he died in the Wars, then. We could use another swift blade.
Gaelen: Aiyah. (breathes deeply, then smiles.) But you and I aren’t too bad a substitute.
Bel (raises brows): You and I? You mean you include me in your exalted company as a swordsmaster of reknown?
Gaelen (sniffs and examines fingernails): You have some small skill.
Bel (laughs): My head swells with all these compliments.
Gaelen: I could still best you, handily, of course.
Bel (still laughing): If it pleases you to think it, by all means, cling to your illusion. But one day, vel Serranis, we may just put it to the test.
Gaelen (grinning evilly): I am at your service, vel Jelani. Just say the word.
Bel: Well, then… (pulls his swords free; cobalt eyes flare with challenge; teeth flash in a predator’s grin)…Word.

I first met Belliard in Lord Of The Fading Lands and he had me at this moment:

Quote:
Bel to Elly: "The gift is more than what it appears. As with all Fey courtship gifts, it is also a symbol. The deeper and more layered the meanings, the finer the gift. Rain has given you his magic Kem' falla, the essence of himself. An eternal fivefold weave of it, embraced forever in a fragile Celierian vessel. Strength wedded to vulnerability, magic to mortal craft, him to you. it sings so many different songs. It is a very fine gift, indeed."

Belliard sings a very unique song to my romantic heart and claimed it from the get-go. Now Gaelen, oh Gaelen *deep sigh* is the tormented fey if I ever saw one. A bad-boy with his own kind of honor burning in his heart and I couldn’t resist him. He conquered his place forever!

Now next to many excellent characters you will meet in the Tairen series, the beautiful or stark settings you will get to visit there is also a Tairen who can make me chuckle, smile and laugh out loud at many given moments...

It is Steli who found me too and wanted to say a few things.

Tairen Steli talks about Steli….

Q: Steli, Can you grace us mortals in telling us a 5 things about yourself?

1: Grrrowl…Steli is chakai, First Blade of the Fey’Bahren pride, very fierce.

2: Steli loves Ellysetta-kitling. Though Ellysetta-kitling looks like Fey-kin and has not yet found her song, she smells much tairen. Ellysetta-kitling does not yet know the ways of the pride, but Steli will teach. Steli is good teacher.

3: Steli’s song is brave and fierce and free. She loves to fly and hunt. She has no mate—she needs none—but if Ellysetta-kitling can save the pride, perhaps one day there will yet be a tairen born worthy to be mate of Steli-chakai.

4: Steli love to swim in Tairen’s Bay and dry her wings and fur beneath the heat of the Great Sun. Steli remembers before, when the pride was strong and the tairen many, the makai would lead the Fey’Bahren pride across the Fading Lands to the waters of Tairen’s Bay. Much was there to eat and long the days of play, and tairen would fill the skies with the fire and song of their mating flights. Too long has it been since the pride flew to the waters there, but one day—when Ellysetta-kitling saves our young—we will return.

5: Steli does not like knocking! Not at all!

Giveaway: Thanks to the generosity of Cheryl I have awesome prizes to give away:

(1) Complete set of Tairen Soul novels, collector cards, + Fading Lands T-shirt

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


What you can do: What I would love you to do is take the Tairen Soul badge to spread the word about this amazing release and post it on your blog/facebook/forum board. In the event you don't have a blog but do have a twitter account, twitter the following: Come join the Tairen Soul party where I'm a teacher /or student to an awesome series http://www.leontine1976.blogspot.com/

Leontine’s Book Realm

If you have a preference for a certain prize, say so in your comment.
This giveaway is open internationally and the winner will be announced on October 26th!

Now I’m not the only one who is passionate about this series and I’d like for everyone who has read this series to comment and tell (without spoiling) the tairen newbies what they absolutely need to know heading in to this series. Let us spread the force of the Tairen Soul *grin*

My tip would be; Buy Lord Of the Fading Lands and Lady Of Light And Shadow together. Reading them consecutively will give you a fantastic taste of this series and allows you to really submerge in this world.

Let me leave you with a quote that made me shiver in delight:

C.L. Wilson – Queen Of Song And Souls:

Quote Rain:
Spirit spun from his fingers in wild waves, and the river around them blazed with fiery light. Hands, teeth, tongues, lips, wings, talons, spirit bodies – both fey and Tairen – caressed and tormented her, claimed and plundered. Gone was the gentle lover. He poured out upon her his magic, his essence, the blazing need of his soul, the primal core of him that existed when all else was stripped away; pure, dominant, male energy, unyielding and fierce, aggressor and defender, protector and conqueror, the darkness to her light. Ours, his Tairen hissed. She is ours. Our mate. Our female. Our pride.

Website C.L. Wilson - Countdown Release party - the amazing Tairen Soul cover artist is Judy York

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16 October 2010

Promo: Hello hotties of the Raines of Wind Canyon trilogy

I found the promo of Kat Martin's upcoming trilogy in my mailbox and just had to give a shout out. Aren't those covers yummy *grin*

They were known as the “no-account Raines boys” but they’ve grown into successful, honorable men and everything they have, they’ve fought for tooth and nail. Now each of the three brothers has one last obstacle to overcome to claim what’s eluding them: love.

website author - pre-order Book Depository - Facebook

Excerpt of AGAINST THE WIND

Cover Summary:
Unable to resist trouble the "no account Raines boy", Jackson Raines finds himself entangled with the high school beauty who humiliated him so many years ago. Enemies of her dead husband bring trouble. And despite their history, Jackson is the one man who can save her and her daughter ...

Secrets don’t stay buried long in cattle country. Sarah Allen,the beautiful girl who humiliated Jackson Raines in high school, is back in town. Not so long ago, she couldn’t wait to leave Wind Canyon, Wyoming, in her dust. But recently widowed, she has nowhere else to go and finds herself on Jackson’s ranch.

Despite everything, Jackson is reluctant to get rid of her. He can’t resist trouble, and Sarah brings her own special kind. Enemies of her dead husband show up on the ranch making threats, thinking she has something they’re owed. They’re not taking no for an answer, but what they will take is the one thing she has left—her daughter—and Jackson may be the only hope she has of getting little Holly home alive.

pre-order Book Depository

Cover Summary:
Once one of the “no-account Raines boys,” Gabriel Raines has pulled himself out of poverty by his bootstraps to become a successful businessman—one who has become the target of revenge…

Once one of the “no-account Raines boys,” Gabriel Raines has pulled himself out of poverty by his bootstraps to become a successful businessman—one who has become the target of revenge…

You can’t fight what you can’t see. And Gabriel Raines can’t be sure just who’s setting the fires in his new real-estate development. When two fires hit back-to-back, he knows it’s personal, but any number of competitors or ex-employees could be the arsonist.

The police suspect Angel Ramirez, a local teen who’s been in trouble before. But Mattie Baker, a volunteer at the Family Abuse center, just can’t believe the kid she’s been working with would go back to his delinquent ways.

Determined to convince Gabe that she’s right, Mattie must get close to him and find out who’s putting their neighborhood in jeopardy. And just as the arsonist’s flames continue to burn, they find a heat developing between them. It might just turn into a full-fledged fire…if they can survive long enough.

pre-order Book Depository

Cover Summary:
The most unsettled of the “no-account Raines boys,” Devlin Raines has long been protecting his heart from injury. But his latest case—and client—forces him to lay everything on the line…

The most unsettled of the “no-account Raines boys,” Devlin Raines has long been protecting his heart from injury. But his latest case—and client—forces him to lay everything on the line…

At thirty-two Dev is “mostly retired” from Raines Investigations, content to run operations from his sprawling Arizona home. But Dev has never been able to say no to a beautiful woman, so when Lark Delaney comes to him for help, the former U.S. Army Ranger from Wind Canyon gets back in the game.

Lark is sexy, successful and dedicated to tracking down the baby girl her sister gave up for adoption. It should be a straightforward case, but it’s not long before Dev uncovers a shady adoption ring and worse—the child’s parents have been murdered and the little girl has been taken.

As the case grows dangerous and Lark needs him more than ever, Dev can’t ignore his growing attraction for her. He also can’t trust his judgment with women or the emotions he’s long since buried. But there’s a chance, if he gets this right and saves Lark’s niece, that he’ll end up saving himself, too.

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15 October 2010

Review: Tere Michaels - Duty And Devotion

Website Author - Purchase - Facebook

ISBN: 978-1-60737-554-8

Genre: LGBT Erotic Contemporary
Length: Novel
Series: Related Titles: Faith & Fidelity and Love & Loyalty
Book Origin: Personal Library

Note: For convenience, these three titles have be grouped together under Faith, Love, and Devotion. Duty & Devotion is the sequel to Faith & Fidelity

After their happily ever after in Faith & Fidelity, Matt and Evan move forward to a new chapter of their lives – inside the bedroom and out – with some surprises in store for both. Evan struggles with labels and feelings even as he wants to give in to his baser desires. Matt, now the ideal househusband of Queens, New York, has his own set of struggles – who is he now? What does he need and want?

A visit from his friend and one-night stand Jim Shea (of Love & Loyalty) throws everything into disarray as Evan’s jealousy and unease push Matt’s buttons – and not always in a good way.

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Male/male sexual practices.

My Review: Note: The ending of Faith & Fidelity is the prologue of Duty & Devotion, something that instantly put me back in to the story and I appreciated it. 


In DUTY AND DEVOTION the relationship between Evan and Matt continues with several issues to deal with. Not only is there the jealousy issue of Evan, especially when Matt’s one-night-stand shows up; Jim Shea, it also deals with Evan coming to terms with himself and Matt dealing with being the family man. Duty And Devotion is all about the emotional progress of Evan and Matt as a couple. Love does not guarantee a solid relationship and irritations cause friction.

The portrayal of this gay romance relationship felt very true to real life. I was so involved with these two men up to a point where I even irritated myself about Evan’s behavior, connecting me with Matt’s point of view who wanted to give this relationship his all. Evan really pushed me away and reeled me back in. I wanted them to have the love they deserved and Evan’s doubts where quite the obstacle to deal with. At the other hand Evan’s insecurities as a lover, as a man, and how the outside world would perceive him made him who he is. Tere Michaels really gives an in-depth look what makes the main men tick. It’s done more through inner monologues then dialogues but it still results in a rounded relationship. Both men are distinct in their characterization fully realized personalities who become very real in the mind’s eye. It’s one of the reasons I connected to this story, I cared about what happened to Evan and Matt from start to finish.

The focus of this story is definitely on relationships. Not only between Matt and Evan but also between them and the kids, between Evan and his cop partner, between Matt and his friend Jim. Each emotional connection interconnected them and fleshed out this story to a well rounded one. Friends and family have a supportive place yet have an essential part to play. While it created quite the impact throughout the story the development where the grandparents made certain decisions regarding the kids unfortunately felt like it was left hanging in the end. On the other hand, Jim Shea and Griffin Drake were the two friends whom I liked from the beginning. Jim is a retired cop, quick of mind albeit a bit gruff and pushes some major buttons within the relationship of Matt and Evan. It is Griffin who brought some humor to this story with his Hollywood looks and quick wit. Their romance is told between Faith And Fidelity and Duty And Devotion in Love And Loyalty.

Tere Michaels balanced the emotional depth, the smoldering passion, family and work life to give a full flavored M/M story. DUTY AND DEVOTION gave me an intimate picture of two men taking chances, loving each other, and building a life together that befitted them and the children. This author really put her mark on the genre with a soul searing gay romance.

4 stars

Quote:
“I think this couch just makes me horny.” “How does the bed make you feel?” Matt blinked. “I think it makes me feel...surprised.” “I want you to come upstairs with me.” “In a minute.” Because Matt needed to take care of something first. He put his hand on Evan's chest—scars, heartbeat, muscles—pushed him back enough to reach the fly of his jeans. He held Evan's gaze, and he liked what he saw: still some shyness, still some fear but mostly—this time it was mostly lust. And maybe something more.




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12 October 2010

My 1st YA love -> Review: J.P. Barnaby - Enlightened

Author Website - Purchase - Twitter - Facebook

Enlightened (Mar 2010)
Little Boy Lost Series #1
Self-Published
Book origin: Won a copy at Fiction Vixen

Cover Summary:
Little Boy Lost is the story of Brian McAllister, the boy next door.

Brian goes to school, does his homework, and helps his foster parents around the house. Brian also has a secret. He is in love with his best friend. In Crayford, Alabama being in love with another boy is the worst kind of sin.

In this first book, Enlightened, Brian and Jamie discover just how deep their emotional bond runs, and at what cost. From fumbling through their first sexual experiences to shrouding every aspect of their relationship from everyone in their lives, Brian and Jamie battle for the one thing that is truly theirs - love.

What will they do if their secret is discovered?

My Review: I will be the first to admit I don't read much within the Young Adult genre but when I won ENLIGHTENED I was intrigued by this coming of age M/M story. I don't think anything could've prepared me for the reading experience I was about to have. What I found so intelligently written was the teenage angst of an almost seventeen year old exploring his gay sexuality and romantic feeling towards his best friend. There is no over-embellishing of the drama or emotions but a very sincere story that won my heart over with the soul-deep first love blossoming between Brian McAllister and Jamie Mayfield.


The story is voiced from Brian who is an orphan living with his foster parents, the Schreiber's, in a small town in Alabama. From the sparse young adult novels I've read it is often difficult for me to connect with the adolescent protags. It was because of the life-altering discoveries Brian and Jamie made, the repercussions of being found out and the way they dealt with it all, that really made me find that connection. The struggle is a universal one; discovering who you are and want to be, only Brian is gay...in a very small and religious town. Of course not exactly the perfect setting to freely explore one's sexual self but it does such a fantastic job of becoming a platform for all those angst's, doubts and those many questions that riddles Brian and Jamie.

ENLIGHTENED delivers such a beautiful m/m coming of age story where I found the realism of the story something that resonated with me from beginning till end. It pretty much revolves around the daily life of Brian but the themes in this story infuse it with attention grabbing inner struggles. The blossoming of an intense first love, those tentative first passionate steps, the joy and fear that accompanies each new step and the ever present angst for discovery, it blended in to something so profound I yearned for Brian and Jamie to reach a happy forever together.

It didn't take long for me to be absorbed completely by the two protags and enjoy the fluent and emotive writing style from J.P. Barnaby. The author takes her time to set-up the story but at a certain point things start to happen rapidly and I almost couldn't believe what I was reading and then the story was over. Leaving me utterly shocked. J.P Barnaby provided a cliff hanger of gigantic proportions which left me at such an emotional high that I stared at those last words for a few minutes, almost not believing this is where it ended. There had to be a book two, I just knew it would not...could not end like that.

I found out that ABONDONED will hopefully be released soon so I'll say this; Go out, buy ENLIGHTENED for the heart-rendering beautiful tale it is but know that reading it is to crave book two; ABANDONED! Brian and Jamie's journey is long from over and I need to be there every step of the way! This young adult M/M story is impressive in its sincerity of the themes handled!


4.5 stars

Quote:
Then, in the lightest of touches, soft but unyielding, his lips pressed against mine. My eyes closed, and I felt a rush of emotion, sexual tension - something – building within me. As his mouth molded over the contours of my lips, we reveled in the untamed surge of passion that flowed between us. The kiss was delicate, sweet, and lingered just long enough to make me want more. I had waited my whole life for my first kiss, and while it wasn’t exactly how I’d pictured it in my youth, it was perfect. His lips were warm and smooth as they moved against mine, causing a swelling tension in my stomach. The rain continued to pound the tree house roof as my arms nearly ached to go around him. I was scared to break the spell that had enveloped us. It was everything that a boy’s first kiss should be.
Only it wasn’t with a girl.

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11 October 2010

Creative: Flashing my new status as a Sinners groupie...

My friday night and part of my saturday I was consumed by a debut novel titled; BACKSTAGE PASS, introducing me to the Sinner rock band. On the cover it states; Sex, Love and Rock 'N' Roll and that is what I got in the kind of dossage that was toe curling good.

I loved meeting Sedric, Jace, Trey, Eric and Brian, each has the kind of kink I can't get enough of and they jam the night away like nobody's business. I wanted to be among the crowd and flash my cardboard that says; I Heart The Sinners!

So okay, I'm not sixteen, eighteen or even twenty anymore and I doubt my hubby can lift me up on his shoulders for a better view of the stage, but hey, my inner rock chick loved the vibe of the Sinners on tour and their concerts.

I could not put Backstage Pass down, I think I read 210 pages on friday night and this book proved to be one hot date! On saturday I finished Backstage Pass and knew I was a goner for this series, wrote my review and I now can't wait for Olivia Cunning to drop off the letters from the Sinners.

So when I updated my goodreads status I wrote: "The Sinners have a new groupie", and that is when the influx of creativity hit me. I made badges...for me and those who like to flash their love for a particular band member or the band as a whole. Of course that certain band member did have to approve you as a groupie...just sayin' ;)

~Below is badge for the whole band, so if you want them all or can't chose...this is the badge to go for LOL~

The Sinners

~Individual band member badges~

The Sinners

The Sinners

The Sinners

The Sinners

The Sinners
If you copy and paste the image will link to the profile page of the Sinners band members on their website!

Update: Today Olivia Cunning has posted a great short story on the blog of Casablanca Authors' blog titled: Sinners Trick, Sinners Treat

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08 October 2010

Review: Jacqueline Barbary - Savage Sanctuary


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Author: Jacqueline Barbary
On sale date: Jun 21, 2010
Category: Gay/Lesbian
Male/Male
Paranormal
Shifters
eISBN: 9781426890215
Book Origin: Personal e-Library

Cover Summary;
Sexy bad boy shapeshifter Michael O'Dare grew up on the streets. When government soldiers finally captured and imprisoned him, he became a collared slave, never again allowed to be human. His escape allowed him to return to human form and head for freedom in the Western Territories.

Robert Hamilton-Scott had lived by the code "You're careful, or you're caught" for too long to take chances now. The one risk he takes in his carefully controlled life is offering temporary shelter to shifters on the run like Michael.

Robert knows it's definitely not safe to want the sexy renegade he's giving sanctuary to—passion is dangerous for a shapeshifter. As the soldiers close in he must choose between the careful life he's built or life on the run with the man who has captured his heart.

My Review: Michael O’Dare is a shape shifter rescued from the longest captivity in a government facility. He’s brought to the Hamilton-Scott sanctuary which is part of a network to free captured shifters. Robert Hamilton-Scott takes care of Michael as he recovers from his horrific ordeal but never expected to feel such a connection to another man. However, it doesn’t take long for trouble to knock on Roberts’s door.

SAVAGE SANCTUARY by Jacqueline Barbary is my first read from this author and it was an enjoyable one but with flaws. I don’t know if the author is going for more stories set in this world but I sincerely hope so because the battle between the government creating shape shifters and the Rebellion counter-acting them holds enough intrigue for me to hope for a more thorough exploration of this set-up. The three things that really stood out in this novella was the fiery combustion between the two men, which ignited quick and fiery. The plot, which contained enough intriguing facts to keep my attention and the character development of Robert that held an interesting twist.

One of the elements that really underwhelmed me though was the characterization of Michael. He endured gruesome and debasing testing in a government facility, he is a gangster by origin, and he supposed to be feral, savage and dangerous. I expected a mountain lion, growling and roaring, but by his actual description and behavior I got a kitty-cat instead. From the moment Michael opened his eyes he never lashed out, there were never big trust issues that gave struggles between him and Robert or a danger emanating from him that instantly put me on edge. Michael fell quite easily for Robert and albeit at first it was very sexual driven, emotions were eventually a part of the interaction.

Robert Hamilton-Scott was every bit a caring beta man who had to discover his own strength and potential. His character growth is what I enjoyed from the start. His family history and his way of life is very much a part of who he is. He was so single minded on what he was taught that he actually forgot to explore his own self. To see him come in to his own contained a promise of what this author can do within the range of a novella and I look forward to more of this in her storytelling.

Something that was rather confusing was the working of the shape shifting itself. Those with the ability to shape shift physically leave their human body behind to take an animal form. Every time such a shape shift was described I crunched my brain where their human bodies would go. If the body ceases to exist, how does it get to be claimed later again? Does the physical body completely disappear? And if so, where does it remain? Many questions that didn’t get much answer within the story and it just didn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense to me which threw me out of the story.

The voice of Jacqueline Barbery is easy to absorb and many pages were devoted to the simmering attraction between Michael and Robert. The romance contained a quick pace where the feelings, the pull of the sexual attraction, created some erotic charged moments. The plot fueled the story with some risky moments that made both men realize they had something more going on besides that chemistry. All in all Michael and Robert fit together, they draw out the best in each other and give challenge where it is needed. The story heads towards a tension filled ending where I found my interest piqued for where this battle is going. I think this story arc can deliver some wonderful novellas with hopefully some overall stronger characterization and world building.

While I’m not wow-ed by Jacqueline Barbary’s SAVAGE SANCTUARY it did contain enough promise with its sensuality and premise of the Government versus Rebellion that I’m interested in future stories set in this world.

3 stars

Quote Robert:
Robert forgot the bowl in his hands for long moments; then he got grumpy for having been so easily distracted by Michael’s sexy walk, by the smooth flow of muscles beneath his clothes, by the way his hair shone in the sun.
Rock star?
Fallen angel?
Devil?
His.
Hard to accept, but “his” rang truer than the rest.
 
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06 October 2010

Review: Kate Sherwood - Dark Horse


Website Author - Purchase/Excerpt - Facebook

Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Published: Jun 11, 2010
ISBN # 9781615814664
Word Count: 153,641
Book Origin: Personal E-Book Library

Cover Summary

Dan thinks about just driving, leaving the whole mess behind. He's got enough money. He could just arrange to get his stuff and his horse shipped to wherever he's going. Taking off is what he used to do when things got to be too much, and it worked pretty well, really.

Dan Wheeler thought he'd found lasting love and stability with his life and work partner, Justin Archer. But when Dan finds himself alone again, still working as a horse trainer for Justin's parents, he has to find a way to accept that his perfect life is gone forever.

Then he meets billionaire Evan Kaminski, who arrives to buy a horse for his younger sister, and Evan's lover Jeff Stevens, a horse trainer who seems to understand more than just Dan's job. Struggling to deal with all the upheavals in his life, Dan finds himself drawn to both Evan's mercurial passion and Jeff's quiet wisdom. Is Dan strong enough to take a chance on new love, or would it be better—safer—for him to be alone?

My Review: Men and horses are a powerful combination in my M/M reading but add a budding ménage to the whole and I’m eagerly reading the pages away. All the characters were introduced in part one of DARK HORSE where the foundation was given for the ménage between Jeff, Evan and Dan but it mainly focused on the changes coming and how various people were handling it. The premise, where Dan has to come to terms with a certain situation, was heart breaking to witness and Kate Sherwood leaves no emotion untouched. 

This is something I felt throughout the entire story. The difficult choices that had to be made and the emotions that came along with those choices. At a certain point in part one I cried on and off for three chapters long and it was a testament to how easily I got attached to all these characters. How I empathized and related to each of them in their journey. Not one character I met in DARK HORSE was flat, dull or two-dimensional, they each had a zest for life, even in the difficult moments they gave their all in an understandable way. It was definitely a strong element within this story.

Now DARK HORSE was told from a first person perspective and even while I was so touched with all that was give to me it also had a few downsides for me. First of all the first person narrative was Dan and for the better part of the story I understood Dan in his anger, hesitations and fears but there were also situations, mainly as the chemistry between the three men started to play a bigger role, that his second guessing and doubts started to get on my nerves.

For better or for worse, the first person POV really amplified the impact of Dan’s emotional growth but at a certain point in part two of the story I would’ve enjoyed a multiple POV where I would get the inner thoughts of Evan and Jeff too. It would’ve given me a more complete picture of where they all are coming from and what they wanted from this ménage. Now the dialogues had to tell me a lot and interaction wasn’t always the strong suit between Dan, Evan and Jeff. Still, even though the POV created a push-pull effect the attraction between this threesome is palpable from the beginning. The emphasis doesn’t lie on the actual sexing but more on the subtle, sometimes hesitated gestures, unspoken words or miscommunication. It builds a connection between them that brims with not only sexual attraction but something deeper, something that none of them expects or knows how to deal with.

Each of the men had their pros and cons. Evan was possessive and impatient but the depth of his love was immeasurable. Jeff is the indulgent and reliable older man but too subservient at times and Dan is aloof and somewhat uncertain in personal relationships yet full of passion for his work. Kate Sherwood took her time with telling this story, she allowed a natural coming to terms with the intense emotions from part one and then go from there in to a different set of struggles and issues that were budding in the first half of the story.

I was totally immersed in the lives of not only Dan, Evan and Jeff but also the supportive characters added to a well-rounded feel to the story. Chris, Tatiana and Robyn add to the character dynamic with banter, joy, sadness and an irrefutable connection to each of the main characters. Even next to them there are other characters who come and go, and still have meaning within the overall story. And then the love for the horses, I understand the profound connection one can have to animals and from Smokey to Chaucer, each horse gave this story more color.

When I’ve gone through the complex emotions and the unraveling of it like in DARK HORSE I want an ending that gives me that happy high were all turns out okay, but in this case I got a happy for now ending which instantly triggered the need for book two; Out Of The Darkness. I’m still uncertain about whether or not this threesome is going to work but with Kate Sherwood I know that I’m going to get a story brimming with well-rounded characters and a journey that will touch my heart in all the good ways.

4 stars

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04 October 2010

Guestblog/Giveaway with Kele Moon; Who would you like to take out on a date?



Today I'm so excited to have Kele Moon over. She is the debut author of BEYOND EDEN which has become one of my 2010 top 20 reads. Read my review here  Kele and I thought it might be fun if Eve, Danny and Paul would fill out a dating profile with the question to you; Who would you like to take out on a date? And don't be shy to pick Eve! I once made the daring move to claim Xhex *grin* I've added some profile pics to complete it all and I have to wonder; Does Eve think Jessica Rabbit is bad, or that she was just drawn that way? Have fun everyone ;)

Dating Profile

Name: Danny Carlow
Age: 28
Body type: Lithely muscular--cut and very sexy.
Hair color: Black
Eye color: Dark, almost black
Occupation: Retired Pro-Dom
Town/City: Tampa, Florida
Degrees in: Life
Hobbies: Are you sure you want the answer to that?
Sexual interests: Paul and Eve—anything beyond that is none of your business.
Describe yourself in 5 words: Sexy, cunning, intimidating, intuitive, unapproachable
Favorite quote: Vanity, definitely my favorite sin. ~ The Devil's Advocate
Favorite food: Freshly pressed Cuban sandwich
Favorite designer: Armani

Dating Profile
Name: Eve Everton
Age: 28
Body type: Fit, curvy
Hair color: Red
Eye color: Green
Occupation: Artist
Town/City: Tampa, Florida.
Degrees in: Fine Arts
Hobbies: Painting, working out, dancing, going to craft shows and street markets, fishing and hanging out with Paul and Danny
Sexual interests: Heterosexual, very adventurous, enjoys it rough and naughty. BDSM—submissive for the right Dom (Danny) and Dominant for the right sub (Paul). Significant M/M voyeurism fetish, particularly in regards to my soul mates Danny and Paul—but, I enjoy any aesthetically pleasing male on male action. (Don’t tell Danny that.)
Describe yourself in 5 words: Artistic, outgoing, bold, open minded, adventurous
Favorite quote: “In the end the love you take is equal to the love you make.” ~ The Beatles
Favorite food: Danny’s Picadillo
Favorite designer: I very rarely buy anything designer. Commercialism doesn't impress me.

Dating Profile
Name: Paul Mattling
Age: 28
Body type: Broad shouldered, muscular
Hair color: Sandy blond
Eye Color: Blue
Occupation: Business Attorney
Town/City: Tampa, Florida
Degrees in: Law
Hobbies: Running, working out, fishing, dancing, charity work, spending time with Danny and Eve
Sexual interests: I’m sorry, but I have to agree with Danny’s answer, more so, as a lawyer, I’d like to point out that Eve’s art isn’t necessarily reflective on real life persons, places or situations.
Describe yourself in 5 words: ambitious, considerate, strong, kind, misunderstood
Favorite quote: "Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional." ~ Anonymous
Favorite food: I don’t have a favorite food, I see it as fuel—but, Danny’s cooking is what I’m used to.
Favorite designer: Armani, mainly because Danny has a thing for them



Three lifelong friends find themselves tangled in a web of love, pain and dangerous secrets in this erotic Garden of Eden tale.


Tall, dark and handsome Danny Carlow has always gotten whatever he wants except for the two he wants more than anything—his best friends, lovers Paul and Eve. Determined, he waits like a snake in the grass, poised for the right moment to offer them a temptation too delicious to resist.

Artist Eve Everton makes the painful decision to leave behind her true love Paul for the Siren’s call of New York City. Ten years later with her life in shambles, she returns home. When Paul’s waiting arms aren’t available, Eve falls for Danny’s charm and finds herself a willing accomplice in the dangerous games Danny plays.

Former college football star, Paul Mattling is now a successful attorney with a bright future ahead of him. But behind those brilliant blue eyes are secret desires for a taste of the forbidden. Will he play it safe or will he give into Danny and Eve and bite the apple?

Excerpt: “You’re gorgeous, Danny Boy.”


“So are you,” Danny whispered, his gaze running over her in a hot, possessive sweep that made her feel as if he was touching her with a look. He stepped closer and Eve was so desperate she arched into him before he touched her. “I’ve wanted you forever—you’re the only woman I ever really wanted, Evie Girl. This feels too good to be true.”

She felt herself get weak, tilting her head to stare at him in disbelief. “Is that true?”

Danny leaned into her, one hand resting against the table, trapping her against the wood. He bent down, capturing her lips again as he pushed her palm against him, forcing her to feel the long, hard outline of his cock through the rough material of his jeans.

Eve could taste his pain then, the longing that came from a lifetime of waiting. She would never figure out how he managed to convey that much love and agony in a simple kiss, but he did. That was all it took for a love she had never expected to burst to life inside her heart, resting beside the blossom that had never wilted for his best friend. Eve was too far gone to ponder the ramifications of what he had done by dividing her heart in two because her body responded to the feel of his cock against the palm of her hand, making her throb for more than what he was giving her.

For the first time in her life, a kiss made her weak in the knees. She would have fallen if Danny’s arm hadn’t wrapped around her, anchoring her to him as his tongue pushed deeper into her mouth, as if knowing it was suddenly his to plunder.

The two of them lacked grace as they fell heavily to their knees on the hardwood floor. Their lips parted when Danny wrenched her shirt over her head. He tossed it aside and then tugged at her unhooked bra, pulling it off easily. Despite her body that was pulsing in need and Danny’s declarations, Eve still felt her nakedness self-consciously, being very aware of how beautiful Danny was and remembering the pristine girls he had dated in high school.

“If you’d been mine, I never would’ve let you go to New York without me,” Danny said in a raspy whisper. “I would have followed you.”

Eve closed her eyes, her heart jolting for a different reason. “Don’t talk about him. Not now, not like this.”

“You still love him,” Danny said knowingly, the pain evident in his voice.

It wasn’t in Eve to deny that, so she leaned into him instead, gripping at his shoulders and dipping her head down to lick at the curve of his neck. She savored the low groan of defeat from Danny as he ran his fingers through her long hair.

“Come here,” Danny said in a silken voice, using his grip on her hair to tilt her head back. Eve found herself looking into dark eyes swirling with lust and something darker, a wild possessiveness that had Eve suddenly thankful she hadn’t admitted she was still hopelessly in love with Paul. She leaned in closer to him impatiently and a smile tugged at his lips in response, making him look almost evil. “Love me or not, I’m going to make you mine.”

Eve shuddered, her eyes drifting closed. “If you say so,” she whispered and then parted her lips in a silent plea for more.

Giveaway: Kele will be giving away the winner's choice of a $25 gift certificate for Amazon or Barnes and Noble to one randomly drawn commenter who answers the question which character (Danny - Eve or Paul) they would take out on a date.

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