28 September 2011

Guest Review: Andrew grey - Dutch Treat

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN-13: 978-1-61372-058-5
Pages: 200
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Categories: Novels, Contemporary, Andrew Grey
Format: eBook
Received e-copy from Rarely Dusty Books for review

When Michael accepts a company assignment overseas, he doesn't count on being dumped by his boyfriend on the way to the airport. The breakup is a bad omen--Michael's time in Europe would be one long misery of loneliness and corporate backbiting if it weren’t for his friendship with his coworker, Stephan.

When he finds out Stephan wants more than friendship, Michael is torn. Even if he chooses to risk his one bright relationship in Europe for a chance at love, when this project is over, isn't his only choice to say goodbye?

Here is the link to my guestreview of Dutch Treat @ Rarely Dusty Books.

Andrew Grey on the www:
website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Buy @ Dreamspinner Press

27 September 2011

Cover Gallery:*whispers* I found a new hawt series!

Last week when I was scouring the net for a particular cover I found another cover in the suggest section that captured my interest. I added the cover to my cover love folder and thought nothing of it. Until the next day when I wanted to add it to my cover gallery post. That's when I found the authors website and read the blurbs. Can I tell you all bells and whistles went off! As we are nearing the last quarter of 2011 I find more and more new-to-me authors and books I'm excited about. Joan Swan with her Phoenix Rising Series is among them!! Of course I immediately knew I had to give this new series and the, what I consider to be almost a traditional hunk cover, a spotlight of their own!

FEVER (Book 1 of the Phoenix Rising Series)

Coming in April 2012 from Kensington Brava

Firefighter TEAGUE CREEK is not the man he used to be. Six years ago while on a routine call, a warehouse explosion left him with burns over eighty percent of his body. When he awoke in a hospital, his injuries had miraculously healed, leaving him with the burning question: what really happened in that warehouse? Subsequent events added to his suspicions: forced separation from his engine company, interrogation by mysterious military personnel, restricted visitation with his wife and, ultimately, her suicide.

But the bizarre circumstances didn’t end there. Two years after his wife’s death, he has been convicted of murdering the first woman he dated since, incarcerated at San Quentin State Penitentiary and denied an appeal. He’s lost the daughter he lived for, Kat, and the career as a firefighter he loved. Believing the original warehouse fire is somehow linked to everything that’s happened since, Teague gives up on the system. Instead of fighting an invisible enemy, he scrapes together a plan to escape prison, reclaim Kat and flee to South America.

Doctor ALYSSA FOSTER is only two weeks away from attaining her loftiest goal to date: securing an attending radiologist position at one of the finest hospitals in the country. Her success means status, respect and proving her worth to her family. But Alyssa’s future is forever altered when she is abducted by one of her forensic patients, Teague Creek. Early on Alyssa realizes this is no ordinary man. He has a strange ability to create heat within his body, which he uses to both hurt and heal.

It doesn’t take Teague long to figure out he’s grabbed the wrong woman. Instead of a bargaining chip to use in exchange for Kat, he’s saddled with a witness. And she’s picked up on his developing pyrokenetic abilities. As the two reluctantly grow closer and she eventually believes his story, a bond emerges between them. And that bond only strengthens as Alyssa helps Teague both embrace his powers and demystify their origin. During their trek across California to find Kat, they both find themselves attracted to each other in ways neither of them expected. But that attraction may just get them both killed. Because this isn't about a missing little girl anymore. Someone wants Teague gone. And they're willing to do whatever it takes to get rid of him.

BLAZE (Book 2 of the Phoenix Rising Series)

Coming in October 2012 from Kensington Brava

Former firefighter turned ATF agent LUKE RANSOM knows how fast a situation can go from bad to worse, and when a simple child custody retrieval turns into a Waco-slash-Jonestown rerun in the remote Nevada desert, worse turns to shit. Paired begrudgingly with his ex, KEIRA O’SHAY, also a former firefighter but now one of the FBIs sharpshooters, Luke and Keira quickly deduce things aren't what they seem. Thrust into the depths of a conspiracy they’d suspected, but couldn't prove, they uncover a deeper, darker force at work, one that is somehow linked to the destruction of their former firefighting team and the development of strange paranormal abilities every team member has struggled with since the mysterious warehouse fire five years before that changed their lives forever.

What neither Luke nor Keira realize, is that their paranormal abilities are enhanced by the power of their relationship. When Luke and Keira come back together in BLAZE, their abilities strengthen, grow and expand. Keira's clairaudience blossoms with empathetic qualities and even a touch of clairvoyance. Luke's gifts come back full force and not only is he immune to burns, his skin is impenetrable, his bones unbreakable. Each utilize their powers toward the success of their mission, but don’t expect the bond their interconnected powers create in their relationship.

And when the shadow agency that has been tracking them decides they’re getting to close to the truth, repressed passions and unspoken regrets won't be the only thing keeping Luke and Keira apart. Now, they’re in a race not only to save a child's life, but to save each other’s as well.

Inferno (Book 3 of the Phoenix Rising Series)

JESSICA FURY once had everything to live for. Now, she lives for one purpose: revenge.
Five years ago, Jessica witnessed the death of her newlywed husband, QUAID LEGEND, when their hazmat firefighting team stumbled upon an illegal chemical stash in a government warehouse set aflame. Since her recovery, Jessica has slowly pieced together a plan to implement payback, and she's just one piece of information away from achieving that satisfaction when she receives the biggest shock of her life: Quaid may still be alive.

Recent events involving other members of her team in BLAZE turn up evidence that Quaid has been held as a prisoner in a secret military laboratory. Jessica utilizes her scrying abilities—using an item to view events at a distance or in the future—to help find and free Quaid from the custody of the shadow government agency, only to discover that all the experimental testing he's undergone over the years has wiped his mind clean, and he has no memory of her.

Utilizing the clustered paranormal abilities they developed within Quaid, the government scientists have created a powerful weapon for the U.S. military. When his former firefighting team rescues him from the secure facility, the government goes on an all-out mission to retrieve what they consider an extremely valuable element to national security.
With their past shadowed and their future threatened, Jessica and Quaid face the ultimate battles of freedom--one for life, one for love.

After reading all these blurbs I developed a serious case of 'me wants'! The blurbs do not only promise fantastic romance but also a plot with chills and thrills. A combination I can not easily resist ;)

Joan Swan on the www:
website | Excerpt Fever | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Pre-order FEVER @ BookDepo

26 September 2011

ARC Review: Jennifer Estep - Spider's Revenge

Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Pocket Books (September 27, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1439192642
ISBN-13: 978-1439192641h
Title:Spider’s Revenge
Series: Elemental Assassin #5
Characters: Gin Blanco, Owen, Finnegan Lane

Old habits die hard. And I plan on mur­der­ing some­one before the night is through.

Killing used to be my reg­u­lar gig, after all. Gin Blanco, aka the Spi­der, assassin-for-hire. And I was very good at it. Now, I’m ready to make the one hit that truly mat­ters: Mab Mon­roe, the dan­ger­ous Fire ele­men­tal who mur­dered my fam­ily when I was thir­teen.

Oh, I don’t think the mis­sion will be easy, but turns out it’s a bit more prob­lem­atic than expected. The bitch knows I’m com­ing for her. So now I’m up against the army of lethal bounty hunters she hired to track me down. She also put a price on my baby sister’s head. Keep­ing Bria safe is my first pri­or­ity. Tak­ing Mab out is a close sec­ond.

Good thing I’ve got my pow­er­ful Stone and Ice magic — and my irre­sistible lover Owen Grayson — to watch my back. This bat­tle has been years in the mak­ing, and there’s a chance I won’t sur­vive. But if I’m going down, then Mab’s com­ing with me...no mat­ter what I have to do to make that happen.

My Review

!!Warning: If you haven’t read the previous books this review may contain spoilers!!

A long time ago a prophecy changes the course of so many people and now the reader is given the ultimate showdown. With the beginning of Spider’s Revenge, Jennifer Estep immediately sets the tone for the rest of the story. There was no gradually easing in to it with easy banter between characters. No, this time I was thrown smack-dab in the middle of a tension rife scene instantly elevating my blood pressure. I got a taste of the diabolical scheming of Mab Monroe and the singular drive of Gin Blanco for revenge.

One of the things I noticed was that the rekindling of information was kept to a minimum and was much more affective this time around. It didn’t hinder the pace of the actual story and only refreshed the memory. While first time readers might still enjoy the story I would say; why start with Spider’s Revenge? The major and some minor plotlines will have so much more punch to them if you start at the beginning!

The first half of the story I was going back and forth between familiar elements and a gradually increasing tension. I was intrigued by the suspense, got lots of acerbic witty dialogues between the group of characters and action filled scenes. It was something I’ve come to expect from Jennifer Estep. She has kept the Elemental Assassin series on a 4 or higher star rating for me and I was ready to be blown of my feet again in a roller coaster ride of plot, action and romance. Let me say that the first half of the book is only warming up the reader. It’s kind of going up the track in a roller coaster ride. Adrenaline starts to pump in your veins, butterflies grow to the size of bats fluttering in your stomach and you heart is slowly getting to beat a mile-a-minute for that moment you tip over. That’s how I experienced the first half as it prepares you for all the things that are to come in the second half and I got what I wanted; I was blown away!

I will look at Gin Blanco, aka The Spider, and see an assassin with heart. She can be lethal with the flick of a wrist and have no scruples about it. Still, over the course of this series some characters have niggled the way in to a small corner of her heart, making her care deeply about them. Ever since Spider’s Bite, Gin has been on a collision course where her deadly skills would threaten all she holds dear. In Spider’s Revenge the stakes are higher than ever before and it demands all of what Gin has to give.

Gin has a no-nonsense attitude, she has her own moral code and an inner core of steel. The fierceness of her love and loyalty is shown to the reader with the very select group of characters who love her and who have become her family. As always Finnegan ‘flirts-with-everything-that-has-a-skirt’ Lane brings humor to the story. Owen who was sexy from the first moment and surprised me in more than one way with his layered personality. The romance may not be the main course in this series but it struck a chord with me in the depth and beauty of it between Gin and Owen.

There are more supportive characters like sturdy, ‘I’ll have your back’ Sophia, who doesn’t say much but each expression or muffled sounds is quirky but meaningful. Her sister; ‘I’ll take care of you’ Jo-Jo is home, pure and simple. Bria is very much like Gin in love, loyalty and backbone. They all burst of the pages with their bold personalities and the dialogues between them speak of a very strong connection. Over the course of this series I got attached to this core group of characters. In Spider’s Revenge I got to become a part of their small family again and I didn’t want to see any of them hurt, or worse! In doing so it made fighting scenes filled with nail-biting tension. Because who were to say the good side wouldn’t lose a few in the end?

Gin was going to face her nemesis, Mab Monroe in the ultimate showdown which made Spider’s Revenge jam-packed with action and verbal taunting between the two powerful women. Mab Monroe was a worthy adversary and just a character I loved to hate. She reeked of power and evil but it made me root for every plan or fight gone right against her. She elevated the mystery in her scheming and raised the stakes in her raw power to kill. Even with all of the tension going on where lethal action ruled it was the love in all its forms and the family that gave it all meaning. I was tumbling from edge-of-my-seat moments to ones where I was gasping, crying or laughing. It is Jennifer Estep’s writing style that has the ability to let the reader absorb all that is going on and she made me live every moment with Gin & Co.

With each novel in the Elemental Assassin series I feel more invested. Even though major plotlines get resolved in Spider’s Revenge, believe me when I say that by the end you know there is room left for more. The kill or be killed fights and the increasing dangers coupled with the emotion rife interaction between the characters make Spider’s Revenge one whopper of an Urban-Fantasy no one should miss out on! I can’t wait to find out what the next chapter of Gin Blanco’s life entails!

4.5 stars

Quotes for you to sample:

1: In that moment, without a doubt, I knew that I loved owen—loved him with every bent piece and warped shard of my heart, black, brittle, and broken though they might be. The knowledge left me dizzy and breathless, and I had to grip the counter to keep from falling off my stool.

2: Genevieve Snow, Gin Blanco, the Spider; whatever I called myself, one thing remained the same—Fletcher Lane had fiercely loved me, and I’d loved the old man just as much in return. Enough to follow in his footsteps as an assassin. Enough to avenge his murder. And more than enough to take on this final impossible task of killing Mab Monroe.

Jennifer Estep on the www:
website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Buy @ BookDepo

24 September 2011

I haz a hawt date with Janna & Lis

It is that time again where the stars have aligned and me, Lis and Janna have the chance to spend an afternoon together. The moment we are in the vicinity of each other we kind of create a vacuum of our space and talk the hours away. The only one daring to come into that space is a waiter or waitress whom supplies us with food and drinks. Hey, what can I say; the body needs fuel and the vocal cords must remain well-oiled ;) This time we agreed to have a high-tea which I do at least a few times a year. I love high tea with its sweet and savory size one snacks. Shall I give you a visual? I feel I must *grin*

So can you see the three of us in a popular café in Utrecht; sitting at a table, nice fall weather for a change, sipping on tea and taking the taste buds out for a treat. You got that image…let me try to explain what happens in the eight or so hours we spend together:

When we meet up it is kiss, kiss, smooch, smooch and ‘how have you been’? We relay our personal life and since we haven’t seen each other since what…May, June, we have vacay’s to discuss. Which leads us to the upcoming vacay of Janna and me in NOLA & the GayRomLit. We comfort Lis cause she can’t come with us and promise her goodies signed by her favorite authors. A small band aid on the wound but she is a tough cookie, it will do for now.

After that it’s going to be books…

And books…

And *uhm* well, books!

And in between I give the big announcement where I tell them about the fact Kris is going to pop my YAOI hymen. Which is kinda, you know, a big deal *grin* I hope it doesn’t hurt *cringe* So I need insiders info from Lis and Janna about their first times.

Since we’re on the topic of visual delights we will talk mancandy andTumblr. Of course I have my iPad with me so I can show them what I have accumulated over the last three months *naughty grin* Do you want a glimpse as well? Really? I would’ve never guessed *wink*

Here’s something for you:

After that it will probably be more books, blog world adventures and personal stuff. But I can tell you this; those hours go by in the blink of an eye and before I know it I need to go home to take care of my furries.

I hope you all have a fantastic Saturday as well! Lis and Janna are going to make mine!

23 September 2011

Review: Amy Lane - The Locker Room

ISBN-13: 978-1-61372-012-7
Pages: 250 pages
Cover Artist: Dan Skinner/Cerberus Inc.
Categories: Novels, Contemporary, M/M
Format: eBook
Read a copy from my personal library

Xander Karcek has only wanted two things in his life: Christian Edwards and basketball—the man he loves and the game that let him escape a childhood he’d rather forget. His two obsessions have served him well. He and Chris beat the odds and stayed together through high school, college, and right on to the NBA.

But life under fame’s microscope isn’t easy, especially when two men are pretending to be frat-buddies so the world doesn’t know they’re the next best thing to married. Their relationship survives the sacrifices they make and the lies they tell to stay together, but when their secret is exposed, the fallout might destroy them when nothing else could.

Chris and basketball are the two things holding Xander together. Now the world is asking Xander to make a choice. Is there an option that includes a future with the man he loves?

My Review

I picked up this book for one reason; I needed to get my reading focus back! I was all over the place in my reading. I was starting books which couldn’t hold my attention and this wasn’t necessarily the stories fault. Experience taught me that a story from Amy Lane has always been able to draw me in and keep me engaged throughout the entirety of it. The Locker Room was no exception. I will not attempt to try and explain what it is about Amy Lane’s characters that affects me some much, just the fact that they do.

Normally I’m a reader who loves a complex multitude of storylines but The Locker Room kind of swallowed me up with its simplicity, intensity and romance! I have no review notes save the names of the main characters and a quote. That’s it! The Locker Room is about falling in love and doing everything for each other. To conquer difficulties and bigotry but also soaring in the love you feel for the other half of your heart and soul. There is also love for the basketball game and making hard choices. It was all revolving around Xander Karchek and Christian Edwards. Their life, their love and the game they played brought enough emotional tension for me to be completely invested.

At the beginning of the story Xander Karchek is a teenager who has to scrape by in life for food, warmth and a place to stay safe. He has one love and that is basketball. It is on a fateful night he plays basketball where he meets Christian Edwards. Chris is coming from a warm nest with loving parents but the moment those two meet on that basketball court the magnetism between them is evident. They come from opposite backgrounds and while Xander struggles with this fact, in the end, it didn't matter! From that first moment they were kibble and bits, red and yellow M&M, Ben and Jerry…you get my drift. At first they became inseparable friends but over time it developed in to true love. The love burned fierce inside Xander and Chris, they never doubted that love, or the connection they felt. They were each other’s first and only love which grew deeper over the years. It was the outside world that caused trouble and then some.

Xander and Chris bring out the best in one another and over the course of the years I saw that connection grow so strong. I think it is a remarkable feat to have almost fifteen years pass by in 250 pages. It never felt rushed and always with a flowing writing style and animated dialogues. Some periods got more attention than others but in every significant moment Amy Lane put focus and detail. At some points I thought it almost went too easy. Xander and Chris are stars in high school and college basketball and then go pro. It is the secrecy about their love for each other that brings a high voltage tension to the story. It brings difficult dilemma’s to the forefront yet it simultaneously showcases the strength of their romance and their bond together. This kind of romance sweeps me off my feet and makes my heart go pitter patter.

The Locker Room resonated with me in the message that real love can conquer it all. It might not be easy, it sure as hell wasn't easy for Xander and Chris. Yet they have a tenacity, a love stronger than oak and a small group of family and friends to opposite the darkness, dangers and bigotry. Both these men are very sympathetic and become a powerful pair. I was just completely engulfed by the maelstrom of feelings portrayed by these two life-like men! There was no secondary storyline or plot, it all revolved around Xander and Chris’ life and it was enough.

Chris and Xander were personable, passionate and sympathetic from the first moment I met them. Gradually the emotions became more complex to deal with and I was nailed to the pages how this couple would come up at the other end. I love it how this author has the ability to keep me focused on just two characters sharing their tumultuous ups and downs with me. Amy Lane excels in complex emotions, fantastic developing relationships and awesome characters.

4 stars

Quotes for you to sample:

Chris’s mouth was on his again, and he let go of Chris’s hand and wrapped his arms around that smaller, more slender body and pulled his friend, his savior, deep into whatever haven he could give. Don’t leave me, Chris. Don’t let me leave you. I need this. I need you. I’ll do anything, move the world, move out of my mom’s place, get an apartment, pass all my classes, anything, just stay here, right here, forever.

Amy Lane on the www:
website | Goodreads | Twitter | Buy @ Dreamspinner Press

21 September 2011

Review request: S.E. Jakes - Bound By Honor

Format: eBook
Genre: Kink/BDSM, Red Hots!!!, Men In Uniform, Gay Contemporary
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Publication Date: 03-01-2011
Length: Category
ISBN: 978-1-60928-373-5
Series: Men of Honor
Received eCopy from author for review

To escape the past, you have to take a leap of faith.

A promise forces two men to bare themselves…completely.

One year ago on a mission gone wrong, Tanner James failed to save the life of Jesse, his Army Ranger teammate. Before dying in that South American jungle, Jesse extracted a promise that won’t let Tanner rest until it’s fulfilled—no matter what it costs him.

Damon Price loved Jesse, but problems in their relationship had come to a head right before Jesse left on his final mission. Now a reluctant Dom and a man still in mourning, he’s not happy when Tanner appears at his BDSM club. And even less happy with Jesse’s last request—that Tanner sub for him for one night.

After a rough start, Damon realizes that the tough soldier, despite his protests, aches for someone to take control. And Tanner senses a hesitance, an insecurity in Damon that makes him wonder if he’s simply a placeholder for Jesse, or if their tentative connection could grow into something more.

For Jesse’s sake, they agree to try one weekend together. Then duty calls, and a series of attacks that have been happening near the club hit too close to home, making both men wonder if giving their hearts is a maneuver fraught with too much risk…

Warning: Contains rough language, rougher sex and warriors who fall hard for one another.

My Review

Without much fanfare Bound By Honor arrived in my mailbox for review yet I found out it had quite a story to tell! It is a story of strong male characters who have a history which left me with a lump in my throat. It is a story of rich emotions where each male appealed to me in a different way. It is also a story where the supportive character almost took the spotlight…almost. For Damon and Tanner hold their own as they embark on a journey together. It encompasses sensual pleasure and emotional pain, along with strength of the soul and vulnerability of the heart.

It all started with Tanners promise to a dying Jesse he will go to his partner Damon after one year and do a D/s scene with him. It is with that very request that Tanner and Damon face each other for the very first time. As they were standing across from each other in one room, both dealing with a multitude of emotions, I got my first taste of the wonderful dramatic tension S.E. Jakes can deliver. In different ways both men were so deeply affected by Jesse’s death that the moment just made me fall for them. Here you have two commanding men yet their emotional turmoil just screamed off the pages.

Damon Price is ex delta Force with a rough and tough past. He is a co-owner of a BDSM club called CRAVE and a Dom. First and foremost I initially saw a man grieving over the loss of his submissive. A man in such emotional conflict with himself he makes mistakes. Gradually his actions, his personality traits made more sense to me as his backstory unfolds. I really fell for Damon the man but not all that much for Damon the Dom. The thing I love most about D/s is the psychological interaction between a Dom and his submissive which heightens the overall eroticism. I like being in the minds on both sides to get that emotional impact of a scene. What I found in Bound By Honor is definitely a fiery sexual chemistry but not necessarily an intricate D/s one. I felt the D/s was on the lighter side and had a different function, especially for Damon which made sense as his past is slowly revealed.

Both men came with issues and Tanner James has hidden desires to deal with. He always considered him a natural top but one scene going terribly wrong and Tanner gets a fierce wake up call. Damon uncoveres all of Tanner's most deepest and darkest desires for him to understand and acknowledge. The difficulty lies in the fact Tanner never thought to have submissive desires. His mind is struggling but his body knows exactly what it wants. His whole sexual identity is shaken up and brings inner conflict full of doubts, fears and new found pleasure. This welter of feelings is written all over Tanner’s inner dialogues and mannerism. In doing so S.E. Jakes deepens the character development to where I truly get to understand Tanner.

I got the notion the plot was used as a tool to reveal more of Damon and LC’s past. It was very interesting at first with the attacker and it incorporated a theme I don’t encounter much. While the set up captured my interest the plot was quickly abandoned to pop up in the last chapters. So the subtle suspense was quickly lost which could’ve been a great asset to the story. S.E. Jakes really focused the story on the emotional development and in this she sure as hell delivered. Because next to two stunning men, delivering a battle of wills and scorching passion, there was another man who irrevocably drew my attention. This was LC.

It was a good thing LC had enough appearance in the story to be a fantastic supportive character but not enough to draw away the attention from Damon and Tanner. Each time that man opened his mouth I was all focus on what he was saying. When certain aspects of his past came up my heart was bleeding for him. The verbal sparring he had with detective Paulo McMannus set my blood on fire and all I wanted was more. So you can guess my glee when I found out book #2 in this series entails LC’s story!

From the get-go the magnetism between Damon and Tanner hummed with an overload of conflicting raw emotions which I couldn't wait to unravel. The D/s element may not have been completely satisfying to my own preferences. The plot may not have added a nail biting suspense but S.E. Jakes delivered a few fantastic and distinctive characters and an intense romance. I am more than ready for more!

3.5 stars

Quotes for you to sample;

1: LC stared at him, and Tanner, in turn, stared at the floor for a long moment. And then he opened the door and realized he’d been anything but prepared for Damon Price. Tanner was big and broad and strong, stood six foot three and turned heads wherever he went. But Damon—he was well over six foot five, with jet black hair and chiseled features. He stood, hands at his sides in a deceptively casual stance, dressed in full black leather and looking like a fucking badass.

2: “I’m not good for anyone right now,” LC started.
“Yeah, see, that kind of line will only make the boys fall harder for you, trying to prove you wrong.”
“Are you one of those boys?”
“I happen to be, yes. And I’ll try as hard as I need to, because the thought of having you in one of those rooms…that’s part of my nightly jack-off fantasy.” Paulo had the nerve not to blush and LC felt his cheeks heat. Dammit. “You’re getting shy with me now?”
Would Paulo tell him the fantasy if he didn’t tell him to stop? Did LC really want to hear it?

3: Paulo fingered the edge of the gun that stuck out of LC’s side. “Pushing me away as hard as you can because you’re scared.”
LC laughed a little. “You’re wrong about that.”
“You’re trying to forget someone and not succeeding.” Paulo pressed both his words and his body against LC. “No, that’s not true. You’re scared you were succeeding. Because in my apartment, you came more times than I care to count and not once did I hear you calling out anyone else’s name but mine.”
Paulo’s eyes glittered—half anger, half lust and all determination.

S.E. Jakes on the www:
website | Goodreads | Twitter | Buy @ Samhain

20 September 2011

Cover Gallery: A new psy/changeling & more testosterone

Tangle Of Need is all about Riaz and I'm already loving him. Nalini Singh mentions on her blog that this cover model is Riaz *thud* I'm not liking the rest but the cover model has a high-octane rawr factor!! Why do I have a sudden deja-vu feeling regarding the male cover models from the 80's? Something about this model triggers it...must find out why now ;)

I don't have a blurb summary yet so for those who aren't familiar yet with this series *gasps if you are* Here is some series info:

1. Slave to Sensation
1.5 "The Cannibal Princess" - free short story
2. Visions of Heat
3. Caressed By Ice
4. Mine to Possess
5. Hostage to Pleasure
5.5 "A Gift for Kit" ~ free short story
6. Branded By Fire
7. Blaze of Memory
8. Bonds of Justice
9. Play of Passion
10. Kiss of Snow
11. Tangle Of Need (2012)

Nalini Singh on the www:
website | Psy/Changeling series info | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Pre-order @ BookDepo

Book four in The Bounty Hunter series.
No summary available yet :(

Lorie O'Clare on the www:
website | Facebook | Goodreads

MARCH 27, 2012
The fifth book in Monica's Highland Guard series

Robert the Bruce consolidates lands and loyalty in a bold war for Scotland’s independence, as his elite team of warriors, the Highland Guard, fight for king, country . . . and love.

Magnus MacKay is the ultimate Highlander: tough, proud, able to master any terrain and to best his enemies. Called “the Saint” for his refusal to discuss women, as well as for his cool and steady leadership, Magnus hides a painful truth. It isn’t virtue or piety that keeps him silent, but a wound of love and loss that cuts so deep he cannot bear to speak of it. But when the woman who refused him is betrothed to his friend and fellow Guardsman, Magnus is tested by love’s battle cry.

A wild and innocent beauty, Helen chose family duty over her desire for Magnus. Now the anger in his eyes mirrors the tormented regret in her heart. But as deadly subterfuge stalks the King and his Guard, Helen vows to right her youthful mistakes with a woman’s determined spirit. Still, Magnus harbors secrets and an iron will not to weaken to temptation—or heartache—again. But as danger looms, it’s the kiss not of a saint, but of a sinner, that can save them.

Monica McCarty on the www:
website | Highland Guard series info | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Pre-order @ BookDepo

How I am loving the cover goodness of Monica McCarty's Highland guard series. I love the premise of this series but can't give you any more details since I actually still need to read book one in this series *shameface* But look at those purty covers *gleaming eyes*

That was all for this weeks cover gallery folks!

19 September 2011

ARC Review: Ilona Andrews - Silver Shark

Format: ebook, 96 pages
Release date: September 16th 2011 (first published September 14th 2011)
Language: English
Series: Kinsmen #2
Characters: Claire Shannon, Ventur
Received eArc from author for review

Claire Shannon is a Kinsman, a woman gifted with enhanced mental capabilities. Her skills and her life were taken over by the military to fight in war that has raged on her home planet for decades. But as the war ends, she is forced to hide her abilities in order to make a new life for herself as a civilian. It’s a new persona, a new planet and new job that has her crossing paths with the powerful and alluring Venturo Escana. Is she strong enough to hide her true nature from her perceptive new boss? And as they grow closer, will she even still want to try?

My Review:
From the moment I read the first page Ilona Andrews pulled me into a world which was fascinating to say the least. The prologue introduces you to the society structure and the different humans inhabiting the worlds of Uley and Rada. The first chapter leads me into a war torn Uley where I met Claire Shannon. By the end of the first chapter I followed Claire on a trip to a new planet as she was exiled.

The first chapter gives rapid information as I quickly tumbled from one moment in to the next. I got the notion of a war going on for too long in a bleak and dreary world and as I got in to that setting the war was ended with the flip of a page. I understood that the initial chapter was there to introduce Claire in her world yet I could've used a battle of some form to give me a sense they were defeated. However, from the moment Claire got deported I practically inhaled this story!

Claire Shannon is a skilled warrior, trained to use the bionet as a grade A psycher. She knows how to kill but not how to cook. She is focused, empathetic but also very lonely and the city of New Delphi engages many of her senses that weren't used to such a lascivious world. Sight, smells, emotions. Life is lived different in New Delphi but I loved to see the adaptability of Claire!

The first time Claire meets Venture Escana the air is electric with the zing of attraction. Even though the story focuses on Claire's journey the mannerisms of Venture signaled he wasn't ignoring Claire! He is the kind of intense character who breaths leadership. Potent virility combined with a commanding presence and a fierce intellect made this man instantly on the receiving end of my unwavering attention.

The romance might have a minor role in Silver Shark but the attraction between Venturo and Claire is all the more palpable. Together they have incredible verbal and nonverbal communication which warned me passion could explode of the pages at any time. There were secrets to uncovers, battle skills and prowess to match which made there beginning relationship very combustible.

Even though Silver Shark is a sci-fi romance it wasn't bogged down with unnecessary information but rather flowed with an imaginative writing that appealed to the imagination. It resulted in a swift pace where all the story elements were given in the right dose but it is the writing style of Ilona Adrews that gave all those elements more depth. Settings became more lush, emotions more intense, dialogues more lively. I was trying to read slow and absorb every nuance of the storytelling but somehow I still was going to fast!

Sample of the imaginative writing style
Directly in front of them the ground dropped down. Far, far below silvery waters of an ocean lay placid, tinted light pink and the yellow to the left, where a golden globe of the sun set, cushioned in soft clouds. Above the clouds, the cosmos spread, vast and glorious, with bright stars melting into the glow of nebulas and distant galaxies.
To the right, past the gulf of the ocean, another cliff rose, naked rock wall topped by a lush jungle. Twin rivers spilled from the cliff, wrapped in feathery mist. Between them the massive tree waited. The purple lanterns glowed, beckoning her.

In the span of 96 pdf pages I was given vivacious major and minor characters. The secrecy plot created personal havoc where I got two of the best scenes in this story. One scene was rife with grace, fortitude and strength in combat and the other scene was one of smoldering passion erupting in a fierce need. Both scenes were so vivid, so intense and brimming with the spirit of both main characters I could only want more. This is why the ending felt abrupt. I was so in to Claire and Venturo to a point I was ready to go with them wherever they needed to go. The bluntness of the ending however was lessened by the epilogue and I felt very satisfied. It wasn’t picture perfect but that would not have been believable in the time span of the story, so the author does get kudos from me for doing that!

Ilona Andrews could write many more novella's or even novels set in the Kinsmen universe. The ground work is all there setting up a vastly interesting world with fascinating characters! All that is left to say is: The worlds Ilona Adrews writes are the ones I love walking in to and explore!

4 stars

quotes for you to sample;
1: "Do you like it here?" he asked with genuine interest.
"It's very beautiful," she said. "Very bright." Too bright. Too vivid. Too many smiles. Men that were... that were...
"We try to live life to its fullest," he said.
He didn't intend anything sexual by it, but inside her shields, his words triggered an image of him naked. It flashed before her, stunning in its shamelessness. She wanted to touch him.
I'm losing my mind.

2: She looked at Venturo Escana on the screen. It was as if some vital part of her, the one that was female and craved male contact, sex, and love, had withered. Somehow this man managed to resuscitate it without doing anything at all. And he felt nothing except pity for her. The irony made her laugh.

3: Venturo leaned forward, the fire roaring around him.
If he was fire, she would be ice.
Glacial mist shot from her. Claire charged into the depth of the inferno. His fire licked her ice barrier.
They collided.

Ilona Andrews on the www:
website | Excerpt Silver Shark | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Buy @ Barnes & Noble

18 September 2011

Entangled, a Paranormal Anthology for breast cancer awareness

Ghosts, vampires, demons, and more! Entangled includes ten suspense-filled paranormal short stories from authors Cynthia Eden, Jennifer Estep, Edie Ramer, Lori Brighton, Michelle Diener, Misty Evans, Nancy Haddock, Liz Kreger, Dale Mayer, and Michelle Miles, plus a Seven Deadly Sins novella by Allison Brennan.

Stacia Kane contributed the foreword. Formatting and cover art were also donated to the project by Lori Devoti and Laura Morrigan.

All proceeds go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Stories include:

HALLOWEEN FROST by USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Estep (author of the Mythos Academy, Elemental Assassin, and Bigtime series) — It’s Halloween at Mythos Academy, but Gwen Frost and her friends are in for more tricks than treats when they run into a mythological monster intent on killing them.

THE FAT CAT by Edie Ramer (author of Cattitude, Galaxy Girls) — In a battle for the souls of seven women, a wizard has the god of war on his side; all the witch has is a fat, black cat.

MEDIUM RARE by Nancy Haddock (author of the Oldest City Vampire trilogy) —What’s spooking the spirits of St. Augustine? As the witching hour of Halloween approaches, ghost seer Colleen Cotton must team with a by-the-book paranormal investigator to locate the one ghost who can save the city’s specters. If she fails, her own great grandfather’s spirit may be lost forever.

SWEET DEMON by Misty Evans (author of the Witches Anonymous series) —When Chicago’s vampire king insists Kali Sweet join his empire, the vengeance demon must rely on her ex – the half-human, half-chaos demon who left her at the altar three hundred years ago – in order to escape the vamp’s clutches.

SIAN’S SOLUTION by Dale Mayer (author of the Psychic Visions and Blood Ties series) — When a vampire discovers the human man she loves has been captured and hung in a blood farm, she goes against her own kind and risks everything to save him.

A BIT OF BITE by Cynthia Eden (author of NEVER CRY WOLF and ANGEL OF DARKNESS) — A killer is stalking the streets of Crossroads, Mississippi, and it’s up to Sheriff Ava Dushaine to stop him. But when suspicion falls on werewolf alpha Julian Kasey—Ava’s ex-lover and the man who still haunts her dreams—Ava knows that she’ll either have to prove his innocence…or watch the whole town go up in flames.

SINFULLY SWEET by Michelle Miles (author of the Coffee House series) — When Chloe bakes a little magic into her pastries, she attracts the attention of Edward, the sexy half-demon, half-witch, who’s come to warn her those who murdered her sister are now after her.

A NIGHT OF FOREVER by Lori Brighton (author of A Night of Secrets and To Seduce an Earl) — Who is Aidan Callaghan? Mary Ellen James is intent on uncovering the truth about the mysterious man, but as she soon finds out, some things are best left buried in the past.

FEEL THE MAGIC by Liz Kreger (author of the Part of Tomorrow series) — Jenna Carmichael’s magical attempt to rectify Jessica Manfield’s birth identity takes an unexpected turn when the past comes back to haunt her.

BREAKING OUT by Michelle Diener (author of the Tudor-set historical suspense novel In A Treacherous Court) — Imprisoned in a secret facility, powerful telekinetic Kelli Barrack and two other ‘special’ inmates grab a chance to escape, only to confront their worst nightmares on the outside.

GHOSTLY JUSTICE, an all-new Seven Deadly Sins novella by New York Times bestselling author Allison Brennan (author of the Seven Deadly Sins series) — Demon hunters Moira O’Donnell and Rafe Cooper are dragged into the dangerous world of nocturnal predators to find “Ghostly Justice” for a virgin sacrificed to an ancient blood demon.

Entangled ($2,99) on the www:
Amazon, Amazon UK, Amazon Germany, Barnes & Noble, All Romance, Smashwords

My thoughts

This is not going to be my usual review of an anthology since I haven't read all of the shorts. Still I think it is important to get awareness out there how many women are affected by this dissease. The idea for this anthology is a wonderful one. All proceeds go to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation so that hopefully one day a cure can be discovered. Stacia Kane delivers a fantastic, but also an emotional foreword. I related to it in a slightly different way but I know how life can throw you an unexpected curveball and the strength it takes to deal with that.

I did however got confronted with a scare once. Last year when the docter told me I had to go to the hospital for a mammogram because of a lump in my breast I was horrified! It turned out okay but still, those hours in the hospital my late hubby and I were frantic with worry. Too many women still die of breast cancer and I can't even begin to imagine the fight a woman has to go through to have a chance at survival. That's why ever effort, big or small, needs to be applauded!

The authors of Entangled all deliver a Halloween short. Some are endearing or suspensful, some are hot and the one short I read, I just loved. Last year Jennifer Estep managed to draw me in to a new world where Mythos Academy resides. There I met Gwen whom I liked on the spot...isn't there a bit of a geeky outsider in all of us?? In Halloween Frost I got a bit of humor, a kill or be killed fight and dialogues between Gwen and her friends I can't get enough of. With 20 or so pages it is but an appetizer of a story. Yet for those who love this series or for those who are curious, Halloween Frost definitely gives you a taste that will make you long for more!

PS: I want a kick-ass sword with a personality too!!

Quote Jennifer Estep - Halloween Frost
I fumbled with my scabbard and finally pulled Vic free of the soft leather.
―About time you remembered that you were carrying me, the sword said, his purplish eye gleaming in the semidarkness. ―Now, let‘s kill us a prowler!
―Shut up, Vic! I said and raised my sword.

Allison Brennan, by far, delivers the longest story which I consider a novella. It's around 80 pages and linked to her Seven Deadly Sins series.

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17 September 2011

Review: Lorelei James - Rode Hard, Put Up Wet

Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: Samhain Publishing (August 1, 2008)
Series: Rough Rider, book #2
Genre: Western, Red Hots!!!, Ménage & More, Cowboys
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1599988364
ISBN-13: 978-1599988368
Copy from personal library

...Workin’ up a hot, sticky sweat is pure pleasure with a hard-ridin’ cowboy…or two.

Struggling stock contractor Gemma Jansen swallows her pride and tracks down circuit rider Cash Big Crow to offer him a job managing her ranch. Cash agrees on one condition: theirs won’t be strictly a working relationship. She’s the boss during the day, but once she’s corralled in the bedroom, Cash calls the shots. Despite concerns about their age difference, Gemma consents.

Cash suspects the sexy widow hides an untapped wild streak. He intends to loosen her tightly held reins of control—even if he has to break out his horsewhip to do it.

But Cash is in for a surprise. Gemma proves a rough and ready participant in any leather-n-lace game Cash dreams up

Between riding herd on his wayward daughter, Macie, and rowdy cowboy Carter McKay doggin’ Macie’s every boot step, Cash struggles to hide his true feelings for Gemma – except this time, Gemma’s grabbed the bull by the horns and she’s playing for keeps.
Summer’s going to be a hot one at the Bar 9.

Warning: this book contains: explicit sex nine ways ‘til Sunday – including ménage a trois, inventive use of ropes, naughty girls getting spanked, stubborn men getting hog-tied, graphic language and whoo-wee! hot nekkid cowboy action.

My review:

In the world of rodeo it is still an old school boys mentality and Gemma has a hard time making money as a provider of broncos for the rodeo tournaments. Now she has to make hard choices and decides her first step towards change is offering Cash Big Crow a job as a foreman at her ranch…

Marcie is spending the summer with a father she has hardly seen in her life and as they both settle on Gemma’s ranch she meets up with artist Carter McKay. They light up like an Olympic fire but with both their issues is there enough to hold up in the end when things matter the most?

Lorelei James is on the fast track to become a household name in my reader’s world for her deliciously scorching cowboy & cowgirl action and erotic romance. Rode Hard, Put Up Wet is a double treat as the story involves two couples, namely; Cash Big Crow and Gemma Jansen and Cash’s daughter Marcie with Carter McKay. From the rodeo set background of Long Hard Ride I was taken to the ranch of Gemma where she’s trying to make a living for herself. In Long Hard Ride, part one in the Rough Riders series, I could already feel it sparkling between Gemma and Cash and I settled down with Hard Ride, Put Up Wet to catch up on all I met.

Carter and Marcie’s story was smoking hot with all the intensity coming from two people in their twenties. While Cash and Gemma’s story was a sensually wicked ride but possessed an endearing warmth which defined their romance from the younger couple. With the double romance going on I felt that the scale tipped towards Marcie and Carter in page space when I had my heart set on Gemma and Cash. Leave it up to Lorelei James though to write separate romances and yet intertwine it beautifully to deliver a hundred percent pure erotic romance.

Cash is a native Indian who had to deal with a rough childhood and becoming a father at a very young age. He is fighting the prejudice of a lazy Indian, he is feral, he is a take charge kind of guy and at the other hand there is also a gentle side and the need to be loved exactly as he is. At the present he is making amends with his daughter and finally finds himself in a position to discover if the sparkle between him and Gemma can become a searing flame.

Gemma is forty eight and knows what the world has to offer, she has her head on straight and will tell it like it is. She is so sure of certain things but when it comes to Cash, being 10 years her junior, she nurtures a few insecurities. This is Gemma’s moment to seize the courage and find out if a new relationship is in the cards for her.

Carter McKay is an artist, one of the McKay boys, and at the same time he feels an outsider with his own family. His artistic temper gets him in to trouble on more than one occasion but when discovering the vision of his dreams he cannot resist the lure…he has to paint her, sculpt her, and set free his artistic energy.

Marcie had to be responsible from a very young age and with a nomadic mother she never really got to grow any roots. Temperamental, caring and with a few homey characteristics she settles on Gemma’s ranch for the summer. She is ever searching for love, for belonging…but will she recognize it upon finding it?

With a dialect infused writing Lorelei James brought me to the home of Gemma where I got a bit of ranching, nicely developed romance and loads of hot skin on skin action. While it was all fun and games the first half of the story, the second half provided the emotional depth I am always searching for. Quiet moments spent together, ranching side by side and planning a future for the ranch give Gemma and Cash substance as a couple with their sensuality as a catalyst.

It is with Marcie and Carter that I almost felt the pulse pounding need for each other blast from the pages. At some point I thought they needed to crawl in each other’s skin before either could be satisfied. They can’t get enough of each other, their need, their hunger, it drives them to erupt in fierce sex play. They want to mark each other as something deeper is blossoming and connecting them. I kept flipping the pages to read on and on with this quartet, they interconnect at various levels to supply me with a satiating read from back to back.

Rode Hard, Put Up Wet is a character driven story where the erotic and romantic progress comes first place. Trevor, Colt, Channing, Keely all do a fly by at certain moments drawing the complete picture of a original cast of characters whom become more dear to me with each novel read. It is one of the reasons I love reading a series. I enjoy the recurrence of previous characters, they add a feeling of familiarity to the novel which I absorb with eagerness. Gemma and Cash, along with Carter and Marcie gave me more than plenty of reasons to return quickly to this distinctive cowboy series.

Lorelei James knows her cowboy’s and gives them remarkable stories!

4 stars
Quote Carter: So Kane was there when you rode Miss. Montana hard and put her up wet?

Lorelei James on the www:
website | Facebook | Goodreads series info | Twitter | Buy @ Samhain

16 September 2011

Review: Lorelei James - Long hard Ride

Paperback: 287 pages
Publisher: Samhain Publishing (February 1, 2008)
Series: Rough Rider series, book #1
Genre: Western, Red Hots!!!, Cowboys
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1599987430
ISBN-13: 978-1599987439
Copy from my personal library

...One lucky woman…three sexy cowboys…she’s in for the ride of her life!..

Channing Kinkaid itches for a change; a wild western adventure with an untamed man. Determined to shed her inhibitions and embrace the steamier, seamier side of life, she sets her sights on hooking up with a real chaps-and-spurs-wearing cowboy.

Enter Colby McKay—bull rider, saddle bronc buster and calf roper. From the moment he sets lust-filled eyes on the sweet and fiery Channing, he knows he’s found the woman who’s up to the challenge of cutting loose. What rough and rowdy cowboy could resist a no-holds-barred sexual romp with a sassy young thing starring as his personal buckle bunny?

Intrigued by Channing’s bold proposition of horsing around on the road, Colby impulsively sweetens the deal; sexual escapades not only in his bed, but in the bedrolls of his rodeo traveling partners, Trevor and Edgard.

Although Channing’s secretly longed to be the sole focus of more than one man’s passions, Colby’s demand for complete submission behind closed doors will test her willful nature.
Can Channing give up total control? Especially when not all is as it seems with the sexy trio? Or will the cowboys have to break out the bullropes and piggin’ string to break in this headstrong filly?

Warning: This title contains the following: lots of explicit sex, going strong long after the cows come home, graphic language that’d make your mama blush, light bondage with bullropes, ménage a trois, and – yee-haw! – hot nekkid cowboy man-love.

My review:

What can I say about my experience before reading a Lorelei James novel in her Rough Riders series? It kind of went as far as “Howdy Ma’am" and that was about it. The whole cowboy theme always got a lukewarm response from my side, I envisioned heroes with the sturdy tenacity of Clint Eastwood saying: “Go ahead, make my day” riding their stallions in to the sun set with a background music from the movie: Once Upon A Time In The West. I guess that’s what I got from a father whose no.1 movie has been and always will be Once Upon A Time In The West and a husband who loves just about all Clint Eastwood movies. How was I supposed to know they could be so hot…hunk-a-liscious and adventurous? I was as lily white as they come in the cowboy themed novels...until Lorelei James.

I entered the world of Lorelei James with Channing Kincaid going Coyote Ugly on the bartop and it immediately set the playful erotic tone of Long Hard Ride. It was a long time since I just had plain old fun while reading a book, wicked fun, but fun nonetheless. I think it had a lot to do with the frame of mind Channing had. Go wild and loose for once without holding yourself back, without thinking of what everyone else might say or do and without shying away from new experiences. Channing’s attitude was showcased with Lorelei James’ tell-it-like-it-is kind of writing which leaves little to nothing to the imagination and this had a refreshing appeal to me.

There are four characters who occupied the main storyline: Channing Kincaid – Colby McKay – Trevor Glanzer and Edgard, while the last one in a lesser capacity but when he does pop up, he makes an irrevocable impression. Channing is a woman who wants a taste of the wild life, she is high-spirited, perky and daring. The perfect companion for the three bad boys of the rodeo circuit, and Colby McKay takes the lead with his far and wide known sexual escapades. He and Trevor are confident, tough and charm the skirt of the bucklebunnies kind of cowboys working the rodeo circuit in the season for prize money. Edgard is a part of, yet remains on the outskirts of this quartet.

It all started out as a sexual liberation for Channing that gradually grew in to much more. A woman at a cross road in her life, slowly coming to terms with the woman she always was but afraid to show to the world. James combines both emotional depth with exhilarating sexuality of one woman with multiple partners. The men are downright vigorous male exuberance walking in jeans and boots calling women shug and darlin’. I will say that not every man can get away with calling a woman darlin’ or shug but believe me, when men like Colby and Trevor speak like that it is perfectly acceptable. Using this kind of dialect gave the story a realistic perception and drew me even more in with emphasizing on the feeling I was discovering a new world. Colby, Trevor and Edgar all gave something to Channing but there was also a connection between them as three men, stemming from the fact they share a life on the road.

The erotic part contains a variety of M/F, M/M/F threesome to M/M action. While the sexuality is intense and ever present it also holds a naughty fun nature and is seasoned with an abundant in emotions. The romance development is what balanced the erotic scenes and there was one element concerning Edgard that was so heart tugging it nearly made me break out with the waterworks. Each of the guys have their own issues to work out which is delivered with compassion and understanding. Because with the arrival of Channing in their midst a shift in the group occurs that will bring a change and Lorelei James described it so, that upon each layer shed it gave me more clarity of how it was all working between the three men. In extension of that it was also evident Channing had a strong attraction to one of these men she was rolling with, wanting more than just a week of sexual freedom and experimentation.

The bonding between men on the rodeo road was fascinating for me to follow. With the backdrop of the rodeo circuit being new to me I ventured in it with the excitement of a promise to make new discoveries. The feel among the participants of the rodeo, the camaraderie, the caring for each other, the connecting, it is all portrayed with such steep knowledge and emotion from the author that I felt a part of being on the road with this group. It made me instantly connect and attach myself to this series and its inhabitants, knowing I would want to find out how things would go for supporting characters like Gemma and Cash. The secondary cast involves a variety of characters who made the backdrop of the rodeo so lively, so real, that I hope to return soon to this newly discovered world!

With Long Hard Ride Lorelei James whetted my appetite for more and I can say with enthusiasm that cowboys, cowgirl and bucklebunnies have conquered a place among my bookshelves with their yeehaw spirit!

4 stars

Quote Channing:
She always acted tongue-tied whenever she got within licking distance of Colby and his equally sexy traveling buddy, Trevor Glanzer.

Quote Channing to Colby:“This is starting to scare me,” Channing muttered.
“Nuh-uh. This is starting to excite you. So do we have a deal?”

Lorelei James on the www:
website | Facebook | Goodreads series info | Twitter | Buy @ Samhain

13 September 2011

Cover gallery: From a new steampunk to historical

Coming next spring from Pocket/Simon & Schuster.

It's time to meet Criminy Stain.

Hot guys. Top hats. Steampunk. Carnivals. Vampires.
Corsets. Krakens. Dirigibles. Freaks. Villains.
Bloodthirsty rabbits.

All that and more.

Edit to add - Delilah Dawson gave me the link to her blurb. *seriously drooling now*

WICKED AS THEY COME, the first in the Blud series.

When Tish Everett forces open the locket she finds at an estate sale, she has no idea that a deliciously rakish Bludman has cast a spell just for her. She wakes up in a surreal world where Criminy Stain, the dashing proprietor of a magical circus, curiously awaits. At Criminy's electric touch, Tish glimpses a tantalizing future, but she also fore...sees her ultimate doom. Before she can decide whether to risk her fate with the charming daredevil, the locket disappears, and with it, her only chance to return home. Tish and Criminy battle roaring sea monsters and thundering bludmares, vengeful ghosts and crooked Coppers in a treacherous race to recover the necklace from the evil, Blud-hating Magistrate. But if they succeed, will Tish forsake her fanged suitor and return to her normal life, or will she take a chance on an unpredictable but dangerous destiny with the Bludman she's coming to love?

Delilah S Dawson on the www:
website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Pre-order @ Book Depo

Whose addiction isn't humming in the veins when reading this? I don't need much to get excited but what is given really needs to pique my interest!! Job well done for Delilah S Dawson!! For some reason it screams adventure to me and I don't know about you but Crimeny Stain...if that is a characters name I want to get to know him!! If it is a he...there's not much info around yet!!

What do you all think of the cover. I'm going gaga over it. Especially the guy, jeez, talk about mysterious much!! I want to know who this guy is, now!!

Book #1 in the MAKE ME series:

Lacey Walsh has had an extremely bad day. Not only did she catch her boyfriend porking his secretary after business hours, but upon fleeing the scene of the affair, she finds herself crashed into a guard rail and trapped by blankets of snow. There’s only one solution to her problem -- Mike’s Wrecker Service. Contacting owner and Adonis, Michael Gilchrist, may or may not cause more turmoil than relief. She’s lusted for the gorgeous Dom ever since she first laid eyes on him. Trouble is, he doesn’t do vanilla and she’s not a submissive...or is she?

Michael has hungered for Lacey ever since they shared a casual drink and conversation at the local bar. She’s smart, beautiful, and everything a man -- and Dom -- could possibly ask for. Unfortunately, upon learning of his sexual preferences, she split and never looked back. Being around her will surely be hell and he doesn't know why he’s willing to torture himself. Still, he can’t help but notice her reactions to him, or the fleeting glimpses and blush-stained cheeks as he rescues her from the snow and ice.

When Michael finally gets the opportunity to push Lacey’s boundaries, she responds in a way neither of them anticipated. Their newfound connection is strong...until a flame from Michael’s past returns, shatters the fragile trust he and Lacey have only just developed, and threatens to destroy something neither wants to surrender

Aline Hunter on the www:
website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

The moment I saw this cover I thought the artist was a resident in my imagination cause this is what a sexy shower scene looks to me. Plus, did you see the biceps on that man? I can totally see them wrapped around me *cheeky grin*

Ashton Burke is a legendary adventurer who has spent the past ten years roaming the globe to forget the girl he left behind. His devil-may-care life is interrupted when he's hired to rescue his brother's kidnapped fiancée from a sultan's harem. Too late, he discovers she is none other than Clarinda Cardew, the very same girl who made off with his jaded heart a decade ago.

The last thing Clarinda wants is to be trapped in a palace of sensual delights with the man whose irresistible kisses still haunt her sleepless nights. Although he vows he is only doing his job, Clarinda quickly realizes that allowing Ashton to rescue her may put her yearning heart in even greater peril. In a journey that takes them from the delicious intrigues of a sultan's court to the glittering ballrooms of London, Ashton and Clarinda resume the steps of their dangerous dance only to discover the most seductive pleasure of all may be love itself.

Teresa Medeiros on the www:
website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Pre-order @ Book Depo

I have to confess the historical trend of ladies with half open corsets and...stuff have never done it for me but this one just speaks to me. the hair, the dress, the look in her eyes and the background give it a rich and lush vibe I enjoy. Don't think I will pick it up to read but from all of the historical romance covers I see fly by on twitter this one just grabbed my attention.

That's all I have for the cover gallery this week. I'm 3 weeks away from going to NOLA and the GayRomLit. *sings; I'm so excited!!* My to-do list is still not under control *screams* as in; I still need to find a dress, peejays - cause the one I have will not be fit to flash fellow GRL ladies LOL and an SD card - I will be shooting pics at every possible opportunity. I need to find a way for my handbag luggage to become a Mary Poppins bag so I can fit in all the things I want!! By the time Janna and I will be on our plane to NOLA I will be zen again ;)

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08 September 2011

ARC Review: Nalini Singh - Archangel's Blade

Format: Mass Market Paperback, 310 pages
Published: September 6th 2011 by Berkley Sensation
ISBN: 0425243915 (ISBN13: 9780425243916)
Language: English
Title: Archangel's Blade
Series: Guild Hunter #4
Characters: Dmitri, Honor, Sorrow, Venom, Illium, Elena Deveraux, Raphael (Archangel)
I received an eARC from the author for review.

The severed head marked by a distinctive tattoo on its cheek should have been a Guild case, but dark instincts honed over hundreds of years of life compel the vampire Dmitri to take control. There is something twisted about this death, something that whispers of centuries long past…but Dmitri’s need to discover the truth is nothing to the vicious strength of his response to the hunter assigned to decipher the tattoo.

Savaged in a brutal attack that almost killed her, Honor is nowhere near ready to come face to face with the seductive vampire who is an archangel’s right hand, and who wears his cruelty as boldly as his lethal sensuality…the same vampire who has been her secret obsession since the day she was old enough to understand the inexplicable, violent emotions he aroused in her.

As desire turns into a dangerous compulsion that might destroy them both, it becomes clear the past will not stay buried. Something is hunting…and it will not stop until it brings a blood-soaked nightmare to life once more…

My Review

With each story Nalini Singh has always managed to sweep me away into another world and make me fall in love with her characters. But then there are those rare stories which just takes the reading experience to a whole other level. Archangel’s Blade is sheer perfection where every story element comes together and blows my emotions out of this stratosphere! There wasn’t a moment my attention faltered or where I felt a tinge of disappointment because plot or character development didn’t work for me. The intrinsically layered story allowed the characters to soar in their journey where rip-roaring action and soul claiming passion ruled. I was encompassed by Dmitri and Honor's trials and tribulations from page one!

Dmitri is dark, unforgiving, arrogant, he is brutal and has strength to match it, and Nalini Singh keeps him that way. He is called Raphael’s blade for a reason. I would almost call him an anti-hero but his backstory just sucker punched me. It doesn’t make Dmitri all of a sudden a goody-two-shoe but it deepens his persona in a profound way. He is complexity to the nth degree and is a challenge no woman can ignore! Complex men don't make for easy loving and Honor is about to find out how true this is.

Honor is a blend of fierce temperament, courage and vulnerability. She had to overcome a vicious attack and is now taking back the reigns of her life. Honor is the kind of character who can completely take me in to the moment and let me feel her fear, her potent fury, her passion and her strength. She shows Dmitri her own claws even as she feels the fear. She owns her sensuality again even as Dmitri challenges her boundaries in this. Everything about Honor spoke to me.

A huge part of the appeal in Archangel’s Blade is the interaction between Dmitri and Honor. Nalini Singh lets the exquisite sexual tension seep through in to the dialogues, the body chemistry and ultimately, the passion, which sets the pages ablaze! Watching that attraction evolve in to something so much deeper, essential and intense was quite the emotional roller coaster ride. The mystery brought external as well as internal struggles for Dmitri and Honor to deal with. It fused the plot and romance together to a point where it heightened the overall impact of the story. Early on there were small slivers of thoughts or feelings which made me connect certain dots and wonder about a possible plot twist Nalini Singh might have in store for us. My hunch gained more certainty as the story progressed and it drove home to an ending that had me in tears.

Next to Dmitri and Honor dealing with the mysteries and their sizzle and burn attraction there were a few other characters who I loved getting to know more. Sorrow for instance is a character with an acerbic tongue whom I liked on the spot. Venom , Illium, Jason, Raphael and Elena. They enlivened the dialogues even more with banter, humor or flat out arrogance or authority. They are larger-than-life personalities not of this world and they mesmerizes me. With each novel in the Guild-Hunter series I just fall more deeper for the core cast. It is something I love Nalini Singh for! She is able to put together such a memorable cast of characters and set them in a world you can’t help but want to go back to the moment you’ve finished a story.

While Archangel’s Blade absolutely wow-ed me it is partly because the writing voice of this author just makes me live and feel it all!

A sample of Nalini Singh's lyrical writing;

She’d taste of salt and wildflowers, intermingled with an earthy femininity that sang a siren song to the man beneath the civilized surface.


The tenderness of the moment destroyed him, singing to parts of him he’d thought long dead.

This is the kind of lyrical writing which bursts in to vivid imagery in my mind's eye or conveys the intensity of each emotion felt by the characters. This is writing where I have no hardships, at all, to connect to the characters. This is writing which plays my heart strings like a symphony and leaves me baffled by the end.

Dmitri and Honor's journey is one of sheer perfection where everything comes together and blew me away! Archangel’s Blade is unequivocally one of Nalini Singh’s bests stories to date!

5 stars

Quotes for you to sample:

1: “You don’t want to say that to me.” He allowed the cold, dark predator within him to rise to the surface, to fill his eyes as he lowered his voice to hold pure, silken menace. “I don’t play nice and I never stop when asked.” Raising his finger, he touched it almost delicately to her cheekbone, the violence in him a pitiless blade as a result of the memories that had suddenly begun to surface. “Do you want me to hurt you?”

2: Getting out, she took in the picture he made in that car, a gorgeous, sexy creature, his skin kissed to warm perfection by the sun, the stunning blue of his shirt an exotic contrast. “You look like some rich playboy.” If said playboys were sharks.


“And playboys prefer the glossy model type, in bed and out. It’s a rule.”

“While you’re in the library, look up a painting titled Asleep by Gadriel,” he said, slipping on a pair of sunglasses. “That’s my idea of the perfect woman.”

3: Yes, she thought. To look at Dmitri was to think of sex. Rich, dark eyes, black hair, skin of a tempting, warm shade between honey and brown, lips that spoke of pleasure and pain, a body that moved with a lethal grace that incited sexual fantasies of how he might move with—inside—a woman.

4: Honor had seen the photos, of course, but the reality of a fellow hunter with wings was surreal. “I know I’m staring,” she said into the hush that had fallen, “but, Elena, you have wings.”

5: Her body continued to smolder from the slow burn of his kiss, his touch. Not even the fact that they’d gone little further after her flashback could mute the impact of it. His sensuality was potent, as raw as it was sophisticated, as dark as it was patient.
Lulling her. Seducing her.

Nalini Singh on the www:
website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Buy @ BookDepo

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02 September 2011

Cooking With The Characters: Pastry chef Livvy

I am thrilled to have Livvy over because Sweet As Sin is the story which gave me the inspiration for this feature. There is a scene in the Sugar Shack that involves sexy times in the kitchen with various ingredients. The names Livvy gives her pastries apeal to all my senses! I'm handing over the floor to her for some sumtious cooking time ;)

The Sugar Shack operated at full speed, the break-neck pace of the crew inspiring as they scrambled to fill a rush order for a restaurant open house. Livvy paused to blot the sweat from her forehead and blews out a satisfied breath. Things were looking so good in her life. Not only had her business picked up thanks to the Dark Craving line but her life with John was better than she could’ve imagined. A quick glance at the clock made her smile. In just a few hours, she’d close up shop and head home to his arms.

A baby-faced culinary student scurried over. “Mrs. Murphy, I refilled the racks. There wasn’t any more peach marmalade until the delivery Friday so I used raspberry preserves. I hope that is okay.”

“Yes, Kim. Sometimes you have to adapt with what you have. Did you zest them up first?”
The student’s grin widened. “Yes ma’am. I used some blueberry schnapps to thin the mix. The flavor was really incredible. I might have to try that on toast.”

Livvy laughed. “Good girl. Come on, I’ll show you my recipe for the Double Chocolate Chip Stud Muffins.”

“Oh, those are your best seller, aren’t they?”

“Yep, right after the Chocolate Orgasm.” Livvy said pulling out ingredients. “But I have a confession. We’ve been making these muffins so long, I just kind of eyeball it now. So remember that. You may have to adjust things a bit when you’re doing this tomorrow by yourself.”

“Tomorrow?” The young woman gulped. “Me?”

“Yes, you. These are easy. You’ll do fine.”

Kim barely blinked as Livvy sifted and folded, mixed and measured. “Why do you use solid dark chocolate in the center? I’d think milk chocolate or fudge would creamier.”

A small smile lifted Livvy’s lips. “Because chocolate is like love. You can never have too much of it but sometimes, you need the dark so you can appreciate the sweetness. And not everything is smooth. You have to have something to sink your teeth into.”

Her student nodded absently, still watching the bowl. She was too young to appreciate the complexities of textures in baking or in life. Livvy slid the tray in the oven and glanced once more at the clock. Soon she’d head home to her new husband. She made a mental note to take home a couple muffins. Of all people, John would appreciate the dark and the light.

(all measurements are approximate)
1 cup butter
¾ cup sugar
4-5 eggs
1 cup plus one tablespoon bread flour
1 ½ tablespoon baking powder
¼ cup milk
½ cup chocolate chips
¾ cup powdered cocoa
20 squares of dark chocolate, 70% cocoa solids

1. Cream together the butter and sugar with a wooden spoon until white and fluffy.

2. Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well, and whisk for 5 minutes.

3. Sift the flour and baking powder, add to the butter mixture and fold until well-blended.

4. Add in the milk and the cocoa and mix for 1 minute. Fold in the chocolate chips.

5. Refrigerate the mixture for 2 hours.

6. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

7. Line muffin pans with paper liners, making 20 muffins.

8. Put a teaspoon of the muffin mixture in each case. Add a square of chocolate, then top with another teaspoon and a half of the muffin mixture.

9. Bake the muffins for 15-20 minutes until cooked through and risen. Top with more chocolate chips 2 minutes before removing from oven. Serve warm from the oven.

She was made for sin. Sin was something he knew intimately.
John Murphy is tormented by nightmares. A bestselling young-adult author, he writes the ultimate fantasy: stories where good always triumphs. He knows better. His past has shown him the worst in people—and in himself. When he moves next door to the sexy, vibrant Livvy—a woman completely unlike his usual one-night stands—he's driven to explore every curve of her delicious body.

Pastry chef Livvy knows that giving in to the temptation that is John Murphy won't lead to anything permanent, but she deserves a passionate summer fling. John discovers she's as sweet as the confections she bakes while Livvy slowly unravels his secrets. But what will happen when she uncovers them all?

Buy Sweet as Sin at Carina Press, AMZ, ARe, BoB or B&N
Inez Kelley is a multi-published author of various romance genres. You can visit her at her website, Follow Inez on twitter at @Inez_Kelley or on Facebook

GIVEAWAY: Inez Kelley has been so generous to offer two commenters the chance for an e-copy of Sweet As Sin plus lip butters in Sweet as Sin Buttercream and Chocolate Orgasm flavors.

Leave a comment for Inez Kelley or tell us which is your sinful dessert.

PS: I do not object to find links to the recepies in your comment if your answer what your sinful dessert is ;)

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