10 December 2012

Guestpost: L.A. Witt - O Come All Ye Kinky

Thank you for joining us on the O Come All Ye Kinky virtual book tour! For two weeks, anthology editor Sarah Frantz and her merry band of authors will be stopping by some of your favorite blogs to spread kinky holiday cheer! How, you ask? Well, if you don’t know what candy caning is yet, pick up your copy of O Come All Ye Kinky from Riptide Publishing today and see how these authors get into the holiday spirit.

Whether you’ve been naughty or nice, follow our tour for the chance to win one heck of a stocking stuffer—a $100 gift card to The Stockroom, where kinky dreams come true! Leave a comment on the post below by Dec. 16 and you’ll be entered to win.  Check out the complete tour listing to see all the places we’ll be stopping by to chat about BDSM, the holidays, and all eight steamy stories, and comment on each post to earn more entries.

*Holds up mistletoe*  Look at that—our lovely host today is under the mistletoe! You know what that means—a big kiss from the entire O Come All Ye Kinky group for hosting us today! We hope everyone enjoys today’s post from L.A. Witt.


“Riptide Edits, Revisited” by L.A. Witt

Yes, it’s that time again: time for L.A. Witt to wax sarcastic about the Riptide editing process. I truly love Riptide because their editing is insanely awesome. But it’s also brutal. And considering I’m midway through my fourth Riptide edit as I write this, with several more planned for next year, I think it’s only fair that I get to poke fun at them for it.

Though O Come All Ye Kinky is a winter holiday-themed book, it actually had some ties to Halloween, too. You see, a lot of the editing took place in October. And I thought that was rather apropos. I mean, that’s the time of year when slasher films are at their most popular. When we twisted people flock to the theatres and Netflix (or, if you’re particularly nostalgic, Blockbuster) and then shovel candy into our mouths while people are hacked, shot, sliced, diced, mutilated, impaled, boiled, grated, zested, minced, and chopped to death in true Hollywood fashion.

The edits for O Come All Ye Kinky were obviously not as time-consuming for the authors as a novel would be. 10,000 words is naturally only going to take so long to edit compared to 100,000 words. Now, for our poor (yeah, right) editor Sarah Frantz, it was likely the equivalent to editing a novel, because she still gutted every story with novel caliber brutality.  Except instead of….well, let me put this more appropriately.

Being the author of a standalone novel during a Riptide edit is sort of like playing the lead role in something like Silent Hill. You’re just a meek, vulnerable human, haplessly wandering into this terrifying landscape of hell and horror, and in spite of all the danger and chaos, you just hope you make it out in one piece. And I haven’t actually seen Silent Hill, so I have no idea if the main character makes it out in one piece or gets turned into a hellhound’s chew toy, but I can say on good authority that Riptide authors do generally make it out alive. I think a few have gone missing, but search parties haven’t given up yet and the majority of us just leave with stitches, third degree burns, and/or 1980s earworms.

A collection of short stories is a little different. It’s more like House on Haunted Hill.  Eight strangers suddenly find themselves trapped inside a dark, scary place, and the forces of evil slowly pick them off one by one in progressively bloodier and more twisted ways until only one of us remains. While one unfortunate character is sliced to ribbons with razors and then dunked repeatedly into a vat of lemon juice, another is put on a rack and forced to watch Justin Bieber videos.  We all suffer separately, and yet together, united in our agony, while Sarah watches us on closed-circuit television and cackles like a madwoman.

In the end, whether it’s one or eight of us, the result is the same: all our gristle and bones are put back together, tied up in neat little bows, and presented to our readers. In this case, it’s just in time for the holidays. Ta da! O Come All Ye Kinky.

So does that mean I’m comparing Sarah to the evil forces behind Silent Hill or House on Haunted Hill?

Not really.

Judging by that cackling I hear going on backstage, I’m more inclined to compare her to that sadistic clown thing in Saw, but with better hair.


Here’s the blurb for my story, “Candy Caning.”
Nate is dreading the annual Christmas visit with his family, during which they will ignore or insult his partner and Dominant. Stephen tries hard to take Nate’s mind off the trip with the promise—and threat—of a three-foot-long candy cane. It’s a race to see if Nate’s resolve or the candy cane will shatter first.

And here’s what you can expect to find in the anthology as a whole:
Christmas is a time of love and joy, and the New Year is a time of renewal. But they are also times of stress and strife, family drama, pressure and heartache—a potent mix of high expectations and conflicted emotions. Add in power exchange relationships, kinky gift swaps, and unconventional love in a sometimes unforgiving world, and you have a formula for a sizzling anthology of stories that tug at your heart.

From Ava March’s forbidden Regency love between men, to Katie Porter’s scorching hot contemporary tale of two women discovering holiday happiness, everyone will find a favorite here. Pervertible toys abound: Lambda Literary Award finalist L.A. Witt’s candy cane, Jane Davitt’s wrapping paper and tape, and Alexa Snow’s Christmas candles all please and delight. Newcomer Elyan Smith and fan favorite Kim Dare both celebrate New Year’s Eve with romantic flair and kinky fireworks, while bestselling author Joey W. Hill’s poignant story of discovery and commitment will lead you home.

Whatever your desires, we invite you to explore new fantasies and old with these eight kinky tales of holiday happy endings.

20% of all proceeds from O Come All Ye Kinky will be donated to the Domestic Violence Project of the National Leather Association–International. (If you buy the book, digital or print, from Riptide’s website, more money goes to the charity because we’re not paying third-party vendor fees.)

You can find out more about the anthology and all the stories
here.


About L.A. Witt:
L.A. Witt is an author of gay erotic romances, and has been recently exiled from Okinawa, Japan, to Omaha, Nebraska. She resides there with her husband, a telekinetic goldfish, and two incredibly spoiled cats. It’s unclear if the exile was the result of the mostly classified “Aquarium Incident,” or if she’s actually being hidden, for her protection, from the Polynesian Mafia and her arch nemesis, erotic romance author Lauren Gallagher. Should you encounter Lauren, don’t tell her L. A. is in Omaha. You can find L.A. at her website, her author blog, her personal blog, on Twitter and Facebook. Everywhere, in fact. Lauren shouldn’t have any problems finding her.


28 November 2012

Review: Tiffany Reisz - The Prince

Paperback, 400 pages
Published November 20th 2012 by Mira Books
ISBN 0778314103 (ISBN13: 9780778314103)
Language: English
Genre; Erotica
Series: The Original Sinners #3
Characters: Nora, Søren, Kinglsey, Wesley and Griffin
An ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley.

Summary (Goodreads):
Keep your friends close and your enemies closer...preferably in bed. That's always been Kingsley Edge's strategy with his associate, the notorious New York dominatrix Nora Sutherlin. But with Nora away in Kentucky, now it's Kingsley's chance to take her place at the feet of the only man he's ever wanted -- Søren, Nora's on-again, off-again lover -- until a new threat from an old enemy forces him to confront his past.

Wes Railey is still the object of Nora's tamest yet most maddening fantasies, and the one man she can't forget. He's young. He's wonderful. He's also thoroughbred royalty and she's in "his" world now. But Nora is no simpering Southern belle, and her dream of fitting into Wesley's world is perpetually at odds with her dear Søren's relentlessly seductive pull.

Two worlds of wealth and passion call to her and whichever one Nora chooses, it will be the hardest decision she will ever have to make... unless someone makes it for her...

Review:
Over the course of my life as a reader I sometimes feel blessed to be there when certain authors find their way in publishing their stories. The impact they give me with their writing style, their characters and emotions is a treasured connection. On a rare occasion an author resonates on such a visceral level words are not enough to convey what their stories do to me. This is certainly true for me regarding, Tiffany Reisz. She aims for my heart with her vivacious and intricate characters, she searches for my boundaries with whom they are and thrills me with the plotlines.

With the previous novels in this series, The Siren and The Angel, Tiffany Reisz has introduced me to phenomenal characters and storylines which blow me away each time. With The Prince I got to return to these beloved characters and I couldn't wait to find out where the story would take me.

The Prince is a story told in three timelines, the past with Søren and Kinglsey at St. Ignatius all boy school. The present, North; with Søren, Kingsley and Griffin, and the present, South; with Nora and Wesley. I love this kind of storytelling where the author begins with separate story threads and gradually intertwines them. It builds the anticipation, it tantalizes the curiosity and especially the timelines of the Past and the North kept me begging for more. I think the main whodunnit plot is cleverly done where the culprit's identity is cloaked in mystery for quite some time. The viciousness lies is in the warning signals which told me this person was very dangerous. The shock of the ending still has me reeling and let me warn you that The Prince has a cliffhanger ending.

The past storyline gave me a dose of Søren and Kingsley I reveled in. As adults their characters already kept me in thrall and as I love to dig in the past how they came to be it gave me exactly what the doctor ordered. I was spellbound by the back and forth emotions zinging between Kingsley met Søren, how their relationship developed and how they explored their desires. With them pain and pleasure, domination and submission is eroticism at its best. The only thing that niggled me on various occasions was the fact young adult Søren acted just like the adult Søren in the previous novels, and this surprised me. Like there is no growth in his characterization except his external circumstances and his level of experience in sadism, which seems already impressive as a young adult.

The present is full of mystery, of great dialogues between the steadfast cast of characters and in this timeline Nora and Wesley also surprised me. In all their wants, needs and absence of kink it surprised me how little I was invested in their relationship. I love Nora, I love Wesley, I love them both as they lived in Nora's house but now, in Kentucky, it just fell flat for me. Nora always makes me care and get invested in the men whom capture her heart but it just didn't feel right for me. Like a part of Nora wasn't into it.

I might have a few things that didn't work as well for me but on the level in which Tiffany Reisz gives the reader a story I still couldn't tear myself away from the pages. The emotional and sexual connection between various characters was equally intense creating a moving portrayal of their relationship. It swept me off my feet and made it hard to touch ground again! The characters are multi-faceted and have such distinct voices that over the course of the three novels they've come alive for me.

Tiffany Reisz has an exceptional gift to write characters whom get under your skin and inserts plots in her stories which blind sight you as it unravels. The Prince reveals the past of one of the most mysterious characters I've come across in years and gives a present to sink your teeth in.

4 stars

Quote:
Kingsley; Nora could hurt his body in beautiful ways. But only Soren could tear open his soul. 

Tiffany Reisz on the www:
website | Goodreads | Twitter | Buy @ BookDepo

27 November 2012

Is there a therapist in the house?

I’m in need of a therapy session with those whom still venture to my blog. I need to admit, out loud, that I’ve fallen of the grid and I have a hard time accepting that. I’ve wracked my brain how others do it, even with jobs and kids and social life. You deserve a freakin’ award, or something, because I can’t seem to find much time these days to even read or review, let alone post something *sniffles*

I have AWESOME books waiting for me to be reviewed. I can’t seem to find time to have hour long phone calls with friends, I can only glance at twitter, facebook is a complete disconnect, and I miss it something fierce! Now I understand why some people call it an evil day job. I love working, love the energy it gives, the laughs and creativity and on various occasions frustrations. However, I hate it that it leaves me with so little time for online social life or actual reading time. I can’t seem to figure out how to make time for something I love to do; blog!

The books I’ve got waiting for me to be read and reviewed!! Lauren Dane with TART, Kele Moon with STARFISH AND COFFE, Kresley Cole with SHADOW’S CLAIM, Erica Hayes with REVELATION, Anne Marsh with BURNING UP, Shiloh Walker with STOLEN, Katie Porter with various titles. Jeebus, it’s a bookgasm right there sitting on my shelves!

Can I say I´m very frustrated, my body needs the thrills of reading a book. And then there´s the complete disconnect with one of my fave genre´s; M-M romance. The last time I read about two men generating heat was too long ago for my taste!! So I’m sitting here, being very frustrated…can you tell?! I need bookgasms to function, damnit!! I also hit emotional rock bottom the last couple of weeks as my second year without Henry came to close. The shock has subsided, the sting from the grief is gone but the feeling of missing him is something that can still rob me of my breath and leave me empty inside. It didn’t help that I had a week long reconstruction of my kitchen going on at the same time. My house upside down and strange men coming in and out. Have I ever told you how my stress level is going from ten to a hundred in sixty seconds when something needs to be fixed up in my house. While I’m happy now with my new kitchen it took some serious zen breathing to get me through it.

I personally cannot wait for the holiday season to commence. Two weeks of blissed free time for me. The first week will be all about family time. For some one on one time with my sis, seeing my brother happy with his girlfriend in his new home and catching up with my parents. There’s nothing like family for some great down time. And then it’s me retreating in my bear cave where I can pick up on drawing again, reading books, watching some of my favorite TV shows…it will be heaven!!

Now that I’ve vomited my frustration in a blogpost I want to ask; Anyone have some advice for me regarding blogging?

PS: There are various tweeps whove contacted me about Pearl. Yes, she’s still alive only also extremely busy with work :)

PPS: I came along these covers and info this morning. Me definitely wants!!


Authors:
Laura Wright and Alexandra Ivy

Cover Artist:
Tricia Pickyme Schmitt

Goodreads:
Raphael/Parish (Bayou Heat,#1-2)
Bayon/Jean-Baptiste (Bayou Heat#3-4)
Talon/Xavier (Bayou Heat, #5-6)

09 October 2012

ARC Review: Sylvia Day - Reflected In You

Paperback, 432 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by Penguin Group (USA)
ISBN 0425263916 (ISBN13: 9780425263914)
Language: English
Title: Reflected in You (Crossfire, #2)
Trilogy: Crossfire #2
Characters: Gideon Cross, Eva Tramell
Genre: Erotic Romance
Review copy received from publisher

Summary (Goodreads)
Gideon Cross. As beautiful and flawless on the outside as he was damaged and tormented on the inside. He was a bright, scorching flame that singed me with the darkest of pleasures. I couldn't stay away. I didn't want to. He was my addiction... my every desire... mine.

My past was as violent as his, and I was just as broken. We’d never work. It was too hard, too painful... except when it was perfect. Those moments when the driving hunger and desperate love were the most exquisite insanity. We were bound by our need. And our passion would take us beyond our limits to the sweetest, sharpest edge of obsession...

Review:

I am one of the readers that hasn’t jumped onto the “Fifty Shades” bandwagon for various reason and backs away when a book is pitched as the next Fifty. However, that all was ignored when I read Bared To You and utterly fell in love with Gideon and Eva. The emotional rawness between them struck a chord with me and I couldn’t wait for the sequel, Reflected In You. The need to know how these star-crossed lovers would get to their happy ever after was as visceral as breathing. So the moment my review copy became available I started reading and couldn’t stop until the final page was read.

Reflected In You begins where Bared To You ended and it quickly drew me in to the lives and love of Gideon and Eva. Gideon is still master of his world and Eva is included in that. He is still gorgeous, his sexual prowess are still off-the-chart intense, he is still emotionally twisted but he also tries very hard to make the love work between him and Eva. Eva is aware of her strengths and flaws, she wants to do things in her own way and this clashes with Gideon’s need to control. Her insecurities play a big part in this story and will be recognizable for many readers. She is vibrant, fun but also just as emotionally twisted as Gideon.

All these insecurities were magnified by the feelings Gideon and Eva were battling with. Because their love is as dark as it is intense as it is passionate and it is imbued with a raw hunger that is undeniable. I can’t even begin to phantom how Sylvia Day found the words to relay the depth and intensity of the romance to the reader, the fact is, she did! The effect of her writing skill made me get that feeling if Gideon and Eva can work through their issues it will be an everlasting love. Or if they don’t, it will be a catastrophe of the heart and soul, devastating two people. To match the emotions there is the physical fire between this couple. The stamina of Gideon and Eva is mind-boggling but scorching to read! All they feel is poured in to the moments when they have wild ‘I can’t get enough of you’ sex. The steam almost rose from the pages, either that or my glasses fogged over! The eroticism, Sylvia Day imbues in to Reflected In You matches the rawness of the love between Gideon and Eva. It is an addictive combination I couldn’t get enough of.

The romance also contained almost insurmountable problems for the main pair to overcome. The words “trust me” and “wait” frustrated me as much as it did Eva. Trust is very hard for Eva and her reactions to what she witnesses is easy to understand. The actions of Gideon cause for major suspicion and riddle the plot with many questions. The plot development is tautly written but gave very little information up to a point I was a very frustrated reader. It was the kind of frustration where I wanted to get to know how it all connected, which wasn’t bad, but the need to know why and how drove me insane at some points. The first person narration contributed to that as well. I loved seeing it all from Eva’s point of view and through lots of dialogues I got a connection with Gideon as well. But Gideon was keeping secrets, many secrets. And it took a long while for me to understand him. I will say that the effect from the plot is definitely in the tail and the impact it had was one sweet ride and connected everything for me. The romance, the angst, the individual actions, it suddenly all made sense to me and I felt a new degree of investment for the cast of characters in the Crossfire trilogy.

Gideon and Eva is whom it all revolves around but there is an equally well-defined supporting cast. Cary, who is also twisted up inside, is one I adore. His humor and friendship with Eva enriches the story in a unique way. Mark, Steven and Shawna add depth to Eva’s work and social life. Victor, Monica and Stanton are family for Eva to fall back on and the love between them is evident. They are all engaging characters the reader gets to care about.

There is nothing in, Reflected In You, that was less than stellar. It takes a gifted author whom portrays flawed by fantastic characters and a gripping storyline for me to read the entire book in one sitting. I just couldn’t let go of Gideon and Eva, they resonated with me, up to a point where I ignored the outside world in favor of the story told.

Reflected In You feels like a written vortex where the characters suck you in with their romantic ups and downs and will not let you go until the last page. The emotional and sexual hunger Gideon and Eva have for each other borders on an addiction but it is just as addictive to read!! January 2013 can’t come soon enough!

5 stars

Quote Gideon: Cursing under his breath, he cupped my face with cool hands. “I go out of my way to make sure you don’t have any reason to feel jealous, but when you do get possessive, I like it. I want you to fight for me. I want you to care that much. I want you crazy about me. But possessiveness without trust is hell. If you don’t trust me, we’ve got nothing.” 
Quote Gideon: “Doctor.” Gideon set on ankle on the opposite knee and settled back, creating a picture of unyielding decisiveness. “The only way I’m keeping my hands off her is if I’m dead. Find another way to fix us.” 
Quote Gideon: ”What you and I have together shouldn’t be draining us like this. It should be the one rock-solid thing we both can count on.” 
Quote Eva: His kisses were gifts. He kissed with everything he had, with powers and passion and hunger and love. He held nothing back, giving everything, exposing everything. 
Quote Gideon: “I’d rather argue with you, Angel, than laugh with anyone else.” 

Sylvia Day on the www:
website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Preorder @ BookDepo

08 October 2012

Belated winners; Blogfest


Due to the flu I didn't have much energy to pick winners. So my apologies for that. I picked the winning comments via random.org.

  20$ GC Abby September 29, 2012 7:25 PM

  Book of Choice Tina B September 30, 2012 5:00 AM

  Handcrafted, silver bookmarker Judith September 29, 2012 3:26 PM

  Handcrafted, silver bookmarker amandawk September 29, 2012 8:10 AM

The winners will be contacted as soon as possible. Enjoy your prizes!!!

06 October 2012

Up Close & Personal interview with Aaron by J.P. Barnaby

When I was contacted by J.P. Barnaby if I wanted to do an interview with Aaron I took this rare oppertunity with both hands. His story is so gripping, so rife with emotional turmoil and inner strength that I wanted some one on one time with Aaron.

But then the flu wreaked havoc in my body and was unable to think straight and asked J.P. Barnaby to ask him questions instead. Thankfully she did!!

An Interview with Aaron Downing 

Aaron sits quietly on the couch near a window where rain gently spatters against the glass. He watches the rain with a fascination I don’t think I’ve ever seen on his gentle face. His blue eyes turned to me as I approached with his mother, and he took a series of slow deep breaths. Chest rising and falling with practiced determination, he smiled a little distantly as I sat down on the couch opposite and took out my notebook and pen.

JP Barnaby: Hi, Aaron.

Aaron: Hello.

JP: You know you don’t have to do this, we can do something else for the tour.

Aaron: No, He said it would be good for me to help support the book. It was a really big step for me, I need to, how did he put it, ‘keep my momentum’.

JP: Okay. Then, why don’t we go ahead and get started. Do you want your mom to stay?

Aaron: She can, if she wants.

JP: Aaron, let’s start with why you chose me to tell your story to. Why did you come to me that night and whisper to me about your monsters in the dark?

Aaron: Because I knew that you would understand. Everyone has their own monsters, and I could see that you and I have a lot in common. I figured if anyone could do justice to my nightmares, it would be you. I could see in your heart that you could make me better, and I needed that so badly. I know you lost a lot of sleep because of me, and I’m sorry about that.

JP: That’s okay, sweetheart. It wasn’t a complaint. Tell me about Spencer.

Aaron: Spencer saved my life. My parents were at their limit. I was at my limit. If Spencer hadn’t come along when he did, I could have ended up in an institution and I wouldn’t have survived that. While I hadn’t had the courage to kill myself at home with my parents, I could have found it if I were sent away from them.

JP: Have you heard anything from Juliette’s family since they moved after the attack?

Aaron: No. I heard that her brother Ben moved away because he couldn’t handle her death, but I haven’t heard from her parents or anything. Maybe talking to me is a reminder that I’m alive and Juliette isn’t.

JP: If you could say anything to them right now, what would you tell them?

Aaron: (sigh) I’d tell them that I’m sorry I was so gullible and tried to help that van driver. I wouldn’t tell them that maybe it’s a mercy that she died because then she wouldn’t have to live with it. Actually, I’m not sure I’d want to talk to them at all. I don’t think I’d say anything they’d want to hear. Nothing is going to bring Juliette back. I miss her every single day. I think that she would have liked Spencer, and she would have been happy we found each other. But I… No… I don’t have anything to say to them.

JP: For those who have never had one, can you tell me what you experience during a flashback?

Aaron: It’s like… almost like having a dream you can’t wait up from, only you’re awake. You can’t control what’s happening. You can’t wake up. You just keep seeing it in your head like a distorted movie. Usually it jumps around, flashes like some kind of psychodrama thriller. When it’s over, it feels like it happened all over again, like I’ll never escape it.

JP: Have you been back to the garage just to—
Aaron: No. I can’t imagine myself ever going back there for any reason. Ever.

JP: Let’s go with something a little lighter. How’s school? Aaron: School is great. The app is up on the freeware sites and has almost a million downloads. Dr. Mayer said that he wants us to help out on the IT part of the college website and reprogram some of the areas that student before us screwed up. He said it’s harder to rewrite someone else’s code, and wants to give us the opportunity to practice and give us some hands-on experience.

JP: I think that’s enough for today, Aaron. Is there anything else you want to say?

Aaron: I want to say thank you. You helped me not be so scared all the time, and you helped me find Spencer. If there’s anyone who is reading this interview, someone who has gone through something horrible in their life, please know that it gets better. Eventually, with treatment and support of those who love you, the nightmares will come less often, the memories will start to fade into white noise, and you’ll be able to live again. It may not be the same life you had, but it will be a life you can shape into something new. Don’t ever give up.

JP: You’re welcome, honey, and I think that’s a great message that people need to hear.
Thank you for talking to me.

GOODREADS GIVEAWAY: Three signed copies of Aaron are up for grabs – make sure to enter the Goodreads giveaway by October 15th. (Giveaway open to US residents only.)

If you’re outside of the US and would like a signed bookmark from Aaron, please request one from http://www.jpbarnaby.com/#bookmarks

Want to see the rest of the stops on the tour? Click here

LEONTINE'S BOOK REALM GIVEAWAY: Open to all. One copy of AARON, e-book format of your choice via Dreamspinner Press. Giveaway ends on October 12th and winner will be announced on October 13th.

About J. P. Barnaby:

As a bisexual woman, J.P. is a proud member of the GLBT community both online and in her small town on the outskirts of Chicago. A member of Mensa, she is described as brilliant but troubled, sweet but introverted, and talented but deviant. She spends her days writing software and her nights writing erotica, which is, of course, far more interesting. The spare time that she carves out between her career and her novels is spent reading about the concept of love, which, like some of her characters, she has never quite figured out for herself.

Website: http://www.jpbarnaby.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/JPBarnaby
Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/JPBarnaby

02 October 2012

ARC Review: Kresley Cole - Poison Princess

Format: Hardcover, 384 pages
Published October 2nd 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for YA
ISBN 1442436646 (ISBN13: 9781442436640)
Language: English
Title: Poison Princess
Series: The Arcana Chronicles #1
Genre: Young Adult
ARC provided by author for review.

Summary (Goodreads)
#1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole introduces The Arcana Chronicles, post-apocalyptic tales filled with riveting action, the dark mysticism of Tarot cards, and breathtaking romance.

She could save the world—or destroy it.
Sixteen year old Evangeline “Evie” Greene leads a charmed life, until she begins experiencing horrifying hallucinations. When an apocalyptic event decimates her Louisiana hometown, Evie realizes her hallucinations were actually visions of the future—and they’re still happening. Fighting for her life and desperate for answers, she must turn to her wrong-side-of-the-bayou classmate: Jack Deveaux.

But she can’t do either alone.
With his mile-long rap sheet, wicked grin, and bad attitude, Jack is like no boy Evie has ever known. Even though he once scorned her and everything she represented, he agrees to protect Evie on her quest. She knows she can’t totally depend on Jack. If he ever cast that wicked grin her way, could she possibly resist him?

Who can Evie trust?
As Jack and Evie race to find the source of her visions, they meet others who have gotten the same call. An ancient prophesy is being played out, and Evie is not the only one with special powers. A group of twenty-two teens has been chosen to reenact the ultimate battle between good and evil. But it’s not always clear who is on which side….

Review: 
As a woman who dabbles with Tarot cards on occasion I was instantly intrigued by the blurb of Poison Princess. As an avid reader of the Immortal After Dark series I already knew I love Kresley Cole’s imagination, but would she be able to deliver in the Young Adult genre? Well, that question was answered in the first chapter because the premise was instantly raising a multitude in questions and spine-chilling tension. The scene was set with an invitation by Arthur for Evie to come into his home for some food. After the flash, food was scarce and all he wanted was Evie’s story. And what a story it was.

Via the first person narrative Evie came to life in the most intimate of ways. Her every thought, feeling and inner dialogues portrayed a young woman who was confused but wanted answers. I was irrevocable drawn into Evie’s world. The mystery of her nightmares created a fantastic tension and evoked an ominous feeling about what was to happen. In the beginning Evie tried desperately to hold on to a sense of normalcy. I got a glimpse of what her life was before her nightmares. Classes, boyfriend, conversations with friends, partying but underneath it all there was that warning which lied within her nightmares. The nightmares are violent and dark giving me the shivers as Evie experiences them.

The days leading up to the Flash was riddled with questions and warnings which made rhyme nor reason for Evie. I was absolutely riveted to the pages with all this hair raising tension of what was to come and the questions I wanted to have answered, just like Evie. Jackson, was another mystery I wanted to unravel. His Cajun good looks, his chip on his shoulder, mannerism and his accent, it all completed a picture of a young man who knew life could be rough. After the Flash he could be overbearing, wanting things his way but he also wanted to protect and keep Evie safe. There is so much more to Jackson than meets the eye.

Kresley Cole gave the cast of characters tremendous depth, are well-defined and just leap of the pages. The rich, imaginative descriptions created a setting with a grim atmosphere and I could feel the desperation radiating from the characters who survived the Flash. I could sense the fear and the determination from Jackson and Evie, who travel together to find Evie’s grandmother. The dangers emanating from various sources was spine-chilling and made my heart beat faster during various scenes. I couldn’t get enough of the stage set by Kresley Cole and the characters who had to deal with this new world and its dangers.

The fantasy element of the Arcana is masterly done. From the get-go, Kresley Cole gradually introduces the reader in to the what the Arcana entails. Enough is explained to understand and yet at the same time there is so much mystery surrounding it, I kept hungering for more information. Throughout Poison Princess a steady supporting cast was introduced. Selena, Matthew, Finneas, I have a feeling they are here to stay and while some hold my favor over others they add interesting possibilities!

Evie’s interaction with Jackson sizzled and there’s definitely an inexplicable push-pull there between like and dislike. The attraction brims with a sensual tension and there is a promise for deeper feelings but I feel the romance is merely beginning at the end of Poison Princess. The gripping story instantly hooked me with the back and forth in timeline. It might take some readers getting used to but after a while it creates a layered storytelling that appeals to the imagination. The road trip lost somewhat in tension in the middle but picked up after a few chapters. The ending was mind blowing good and it will make one scream for more!!! It showed the incredible development Evie already went through in Poison Princess and it boggled my mind where she is going to. I’m very eager to find out!

Kresley Cole gave us another memorable cast of characters, living in a richly envisioned post-apocalyptic world with one of the most engaging heroine´s I´ve met in 2012. Evie will take the reader on an unforgettable journey!

4.5 stars

Quote Jackson-Evie:
“I asked you a question. Why you want to switch?” “Fine. Because when you drove by us Monday, you were leering at me like a registered SO.” “A blonde pulls up her skirt and bends over for me? I’m goan to pay attention.” My eyes darted. Had anyone heard that? Under my breath, I snapped, “I was not bending over for you!” “You been leering at me just as much, girl.
.
Kresley Cole on the www:
website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Buy @ BookDepo

28 September 2012

Blogfest Partay!!

What is it? BlogFest is a blog run of sorts. A list of participating blogs will be provided on September 28, each offering a fantastic giveaway for readers to enter. Each blog will link to another, pulling readers through the fantastic party we'll have set up for them!

Grand giveaway: For the past two years, we have picked one blog visitor that won a great big box of fun prizes. This year, every blog that you mark on the tracking site earns you one entry. Each participating blog also gets to choose one visitor and that person earns 10 entries. One winner is chosen to win the box of awesomeness.

Click here for a full list of the partcipants.

Michelle Santiago
Sharon Hamilton Author 
Jennifer DeLucy's Blog
Can We Talk About... 
J.C. Martin, Fighter Writer 


I love participating in the Blogfest. Each year I have a topic I want to share with you next to giving away the good stuff! This year I want to share a bit of my bday bash with you all. Even if it’s a month ago I have pics I thought would be fun to share. You see, each year I have a few gals over who love to read just as much as I do. We always give each other books and this was my book haul this year:








My Giveaway *CLOSED*:
(due to flu winnners will be picked later this week)
* One $20,- Gift Certificate of your choice (and where I can pay with CC)

* One book of your choice up til the amount of $7,99 (and where I can pay with CC)

* Two chances to win a handcrafted, silver bookmarker.



All you have to do is leave a comment what's on YOUR bday wishlist! Oh, and leave a way for me to get back to you!! That's very important if you win ;) Winners will be contacted and have to reply within 72 hours.

27 September 2012

Review: Laura Wright - Eternal Beast

Mass Market Paperback, 355 pages
Published August 7th 2012 by Signet Eclipse
ISBN 0451237722 (ISBN13: 9780451237729)
Language: English
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Title: Eternal Beast Series: Mark of the Vampire #4
Characters: Gray Donohue, Dillon
Received ARC from publisher via NetGalley.

Summary (Goodreads)
A Taste of Blood 
Ever since his abduction by the Eternal Order of Vampires, Gray Donohue has finally found his true calling: vengeance. He will stop at nothing to bring his fellow Impure vampires the freedom they deserve. Now if he could just release his primal need for the beautiful vampire who saved his life—and rules his thoughts and desires…

After nearly killing the senator she was assigned to protect, Dillon is now in mortal danger. The jaguar within her has been unleashed, and she can no longer control it. Sex is the only thing that can tame her shift. And Gray is the only man who can make her surrender to a passion strong enough to overpower her inner beast. But she doesn’t want to surrender—she wants her life back. Because she is determined never to belong to anyone, especially not Gray—the male whom destiny claims is her mate…

Review:
Ever since the first novel in the Mark Of The Vampire series, Laura Wright has been able to draw me in to an exciting world populated with a multidimensional cast of characters. From the first moment Dillon and Gray made their entry in to this series they pulled at my heartstrings. Their turmoil, their life force, their attitude, it all appealed to me. Gray and Dillon have their premise told during the first four books and it contained a promise for their own story. While Eternal Beast can be read on its own, as always, I feel the story will be that much richer if you’ve read the previous entries in this series. Not only for the romance but also for the ongoing plot.

Every time, Laura Wright puts two strong minded characters together the developing feelings go with challenges, fierceness, sharp-edged dialogues and full-blown passion. Gray and Dillon gave all that and more! The source of Dillon’s emotional damage is evil to the core and instantly triggers the desire for revenge. I wanted lots of pain for the villains to match their heinous acts! While Dillon was a victim she got out of it stronger, a warrior woman and I liked her barbed personality. She doesn’t allow people to get close to her but some of them eventually just do. Gray is gruff and has a single-minded focus on leading the Impures to freedom. His attraction to Dillon has been palpable from the moment they met. Even though it seems impossible for them to fall in love it is in each encounter the attraction is like a live wire of fierce emotions connecting them together.

The romance development is spectacular. So are the erotic scenes! The whirlwind of feelings, the slowly earning of trust, the chemistry ablaze with sexual energy, it drew me in and kept me anchored in the story. In Eternal Beast they put it all out there for the reader. Layer by layer got peeled away for me to see inside their hearts and I loved the connection it forged with me. Dillon and Gray have some of the hottest dialogues to draw each other out and to acknowledge what is between them. They both have their journey which made me flip the pages as fast as I could, wondering where it would lead to. Difficult characters such as them don’t “do” instant love. Through all the difficulties in both romance as well as the plot a love is forged so strong, so deep, that when they finally get to that high-stake moment of surrender, it becomes a toe-curling and utterly satisfying moment for the reader. Just the way I like it!

The plot was gradual, but this is something I came to expect from Laura Wright. She builds the tension to a height with explosive action scenes, obstacles to overcome and mystery. Sometimes the suspension subsides in favor of the romance but by the last third of the novel I was riveted. As the reader I knew much, how key characters were involved and what their plans were. However, it was a puzzle to solve how things were to play out, keeping me on the edge of my seat. Again, just the way I like it!

By now, in the fifth story, there is a rich cast of characters with the Roman brothers and their beloved wives, the Mutores, the vampire race and its Order. I’m especially liking the Mutores, shapeshifters whom never meant to be but with larger than life personalities. The taunting banter between them and the Roman brothers made me smile. Egos can clash but at the end of the day, they got each other’s back.

In Eternal Beast there is a riveting plot, steeped with a scorching sexual tension between star-crossed lovers who are guaranteed to capture the heart from the start. Another winner in this series!

4.5 stars

Laura Wright on the www:
website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Buy @ BookDepo

26 September 2012

ARC Review: Tiffany Reisz - The Angel

Format: Paperback, 416 pages
Published: September 25th 2012 by Harlequin MIRA
ISBN 0778313999 (ISBN13: 9780778313991)
Language: English
Genre: Erotica
Series: The Original Sinners #2
ARC recieved from publisher via NetGalley.

Summary (Goodreads)
No safe word can protect the heart.
Infamous erotica author and accomplished dominatrix Nora Sutherlin is doing something utterly out of character: hiding. While her longtime lover, Søren—whose fetishes, if exposed, would be his ruin—is under scrutiny pending a major promotion, Nora's lying low and away from temptation in the lap of luxury. Her host, the wealthy and uninhibited Griffin Fiske, is thrilled to have Nora stay at his country estate, especially once he meets her traveling companion. Young, inexperienced and angelically beautiful, Michael has become Nora's protégé, and this summer with Griffin is going to be his training, where the hazing never ends. But while her flesh is willing, Nora's mind is wandering.

To thoughts of Søren, her master, under investigation by a journalist with an ax to grind. And to another man from Nora's past, whose hold on her is less bruising, but whose secrets are no less painful. It's a summer that will prove the old adage: love hurts.

Review:
If there is one author this year whom has made an indelible impression on me then it is Tiffany Reisz. I consider myself a high maintenance, erotic romance reader. I want the complex rather than the fluffy. I want authors to seek out my boundaries rather than play it safe. I want characters to make thought provoking decisions or actions rather than be vanilla. Tiffany Reisz fits the needs for the extraordinary to a tee with her stellar writing skills and enigmatic characters.

The Angel is the sequel to The Siren and superseded my ever expectation. The sheer excellence in every aspect of the storytelling seeped in to my imagination and took me on a great journey. The deviant sexual tension and play between Nora, Søren, Griffin and Michael was arousing to read. The array of emotions and the character development made me laugh one moment, read breathlessly the next and cry in other moments. The layered characterization is stellar, each character was three dimensional in their personality and they became real to me. The past of Søren broke my heart yet at the same time forged a bond between the both of us and I didn’t resist the magnetic pull he had. He is intriguing, complex and somewhat disturbing but I came to love every aspect of him! Nora is diabolic humor, love and wickedness wrapped up in such a strong personality. I admire her, her outlook on life, who she is and the deep, abiding love she feels. Kingsley still has so much mystery surrounding him but I loved him for it. I love a good puzzle and this man definitely is one! I also got to meet Michael; his growth in ‘The Angel’ was amazing to witness and touched me in so many ways. His budding strength and sense of self endeared me. And then there’s Griffin, for all his sexy joker ways there is depth in his heart and soul. By the end of the story he had me wrapped up in his charismatic ways.

Each of these character claimed a part of me in a way where it leaves me changed as a reader. The writing style of Tiffany Reisz flows very well, is also evocative and draws you in from the very first chapter. And what a beginning it was. The secrets of Nora, Kingsley and Søren are a lure all on their own! In ‘The Siren’ there were hints but in ‘The Angel’ secrets are revealed which are bloodcurdling dark, intense and just very sad. I loved Tiffany Reisz for it. For giving me the truth, painstakingly real and once revealed, right in my face for me to deal with on my own terms. It connected me to Søren and Kingsley in a way ‘The Siren’ could not. The way, Tiffany Reisz advanced and explored their past was just a breath away from mind blowing fantastic! If, Tiffany Reisz didn’t already owned me as a reader, she does now. There are lots of story twists many readers will love.

One of those story twists is, Suzanne, the reporter who wanted to reveal all. Suzanne’s actions had quite an effect on me. At one moment I hated her, the next I sympathized with her and at the end I kind of liked her. The plot twist she fuels embarks the core cast on a journey, one I couldn’t get enough of. Nora spends lots of time with Michael and Griffin. The carnal pleasures are titillating and various descriptive scenarios I read was like it got plugged right in to my senses. Chills, thrills, hot flashes and squirming in seat as a result. The eroticism read sophisticated sexy yet tapped in to all the dark desires of the characters and they owned it. Which was another reason for me to love them something fierce.

2012 is the year of Tiffany Reisz with ‘The Original Sinners’ series which will seek out and perhaps step over your boundaries, aim for your heart and will give you new characters to fall madly in love with! The Angel claimed me from start to finish and marked me as a reader.

5 stars

Quotes: This whole book is quote worthy - the dialogues, OMG, so good!

Tiffany Reisz on the www:
website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Buy @ BookDepo

07 September 2012

Dear LoveLetter Magazine

Dear LoveLetter Magazine,

This year’s LLC experience has been one of my highlights in 2012 and I want to thank you for all your passion and the effort it takes to organize such an event. It was beyond my wildest dreams. When one of your organizers and I had a conversation I was encouraged to leave a card on the board with authors I would love to see in the future. I know I wrote down a few but when I got home I stood in front of my bookcases and I cursed my faltering memory because I forgot some of my most beloved authors.

I got in to a conversation with one of my friends, Pearl, about which authors I would love to see at the next LLC and that’s when it hit me. Instead of sending you an e-mail I thought it would be nice to send you a letter in which I could convey my author wishlist. God knows, I'm not a person who ever does short and to the point!

I will personally bake you all triple chocolate brownies if one or more...prefably more *wink* of these authors show up next year;

Kresley Cole – do I need to explain it? The Wroth brothers, hawt Lykea, humorous and fierce Valkyrie, wicked witches, Nucking Futs Nïx. If you can get her over to Germany a squee around the world will be heard originating from my little town!

C.L. Wilson – This woman’s imagination rocked the world of many a reader, including mine. She gave us; ’ Ver reisa ku’chae. Kem surah, shei’tani.’ And from there she took ‘epic romance’ to a whole other level with Rain Tairen Soul and Ellysetta Baristani. If this doesn’t convince you…she gave us spirit smexing!! I rest my case!

Anne Bishop - Like, C.L. Wilson this author effortless draws you into a world where characters touched my heart. I would be shocked if she wasn’t translated in German. Shocked, I tell ya!!! I would go weak in the knees to meet the woman who gave voice to Daemon and Jaenelle along with Saetan and Lucivar.

Tiffany Reisz – Please, PLEASE, tell me this author is on the translation list for this year?! This author needs to come to the LLC. Not only is she an intriguing author but let me introduce you to the awe-to-the-some Nora. Her leading lady in ‘The Original Sinners’ series. She rocks the sexy with confidence and attitude!! And we must talk Søren. He will rock your world with his edgy persona!

Delilah Marvelle – This author made me want a grandmother who was a courtesan too! I mean, a school of seduction for gentlemen. Yeah this pitch hooked me and I love the way she brings me to another time! She also has a sex thru history blog. Who said history was boring. Not me ;) Wouldn’t it be fantastic if she did a panel on sex thru history? Who wants to attend that, say I *grin*

Joey W Hill – The BDSM this author gives the reader is full of emotion and dark passions. Her vampires, angels and mermaids are characters whom explode of the pages and never left my reading loving heart. You want erotic romance authors at the LLC next year, she is one of the mistresses to go to!! I can’t even describe my anticipated reaction if I get to meet her. She has touched my heart in the most personal of ways.

Karen Marie Moning – She was one of my first loves as I began reading in English. The MacKeltars and Barrons…do I need to tell you ladies anything else? We could perhaps have a highlander in kilt walking around at the LLC. For promotional purposes of course. I personally wouldn’t have any problems with that *wink*

Lauren Dane – Aahhhh, the Brown Siblings. The wicked sexy this author gives with her heartwarming characters *dreamy sigh* Since erotic romance is conquering Euopre as well. This author should get an invite. Just saying *smiles*

Elizabeth Vaughan – I’ve read Warprize, Warlord and Warsworn years ago but to this day it still remains as one of my favorite romance fantasy trilogies. I think it would be fantastic if C.L. Wilson, Anne Bishop and Elizabeth Vaughan could do a world building panel. *Dream come true*

Shiloh Walker – I *love* the romantic suspense of this author…and her tortured heroes. Dear lawd does she do tortured! I will be utter fangurl waiting on my copy of BROKEN to be signed!!

And last but not least;

Laura Wright - The vampire world she created reignited my love for the vamps in the PNR genre. The vampires *rawr* very primal and toe curling sexay, the world is refreshing and starting this series (Mark Of The Vampire) only gives you a hunger for more ;)

I think, re-reading my letter, there's a lot of sexy going on in the descriptions LOL If you, who will or want to attend #LLC2013, have authors you want to meet, just comment with the names and let the LLC peeps know!

LoveLetter Magazine on the www:
website LoveLetter Convention | Facebook | Twitter

29 August 2012

Review: Antho Cherished - Lauren Dane with Sway

Title: Sway, book #1 in Delicious series
Genre: Contemporary  Erotic Romance
Format: Paperback, 368 pages
Published August 7th 2012 by Berkley
ISBN 0425247538 (ISBN13: 9780425247532)
Language: English
ARC received from author for review.

Summary from website author:
Levi Warner is an established, older man—wealthy, powerful, and above all, respectable. Then Levi meets Daisy, an uninhibited 24-year-old dance instructor and artist, not exactly the kind of woman Levi is accustomed to. But the young, free spirit, brings out something in him he only experienced in fantasies. When their scorching affair turns into something unexpectedly deeper, Levi finds himself torn between preserving his reputation, and exploring a wilder and much more satisfying kind of life.

Review:

The moment I knew Lauren Dane was going to write stories about the friends introduced in the Brown Sibling series I was all want for reading them. Add the BDSM element to the romance and I was full of readers glee. I don’t read May/December romances often but I was curious enough how Lauren Dane would deliver on this. What I got was exactly why I adore Lauren Dane’s stories. The sense of family and friendship, love, loyalty and passion, Lauren Dane effortlessly works these emotions into a signature romance that strikes a chord with me. Every.Single.Time!

With very little effort I submerged myself in the lives of this wonderful, enigmatic group of characters. Daisy, full of life and love for her art meets Levi, distinguished and successful in his work. From the bat their dialogues were a verbal seductive dance between two minds that loved the challenge. I couldn’t get enough of their chemistry, it sizzled the pages and made my spine tingle in anticipation for them to get all hot and bothered between the sheets. Lauren Dane has a knack for sexual tension and it was going on full force between Daisy and Levi.

The romance and the conflict born from the age difference was realistically portrayed. While the chemistry was very good and both characters new it, Levi struggled with his inner demons. This is also where the BDSM comes in to play. I would say the BDSM is light: some power exchange, use of toys, some spanking but what I loved so much about it was how it came so natural to the characters. Because Daisy wears her heart on her sleeve she is open about what she feels and that kind of honesty was refreshing to read. Instead of all the internal battles, Daisy wanted to explore what gave her such pleasure. And Levi was just the man to do it. Hot, in control and with the right equipment. The emotions were enough explored to resonate with me but I think it would have been even better in a full length novel.

Along with Daisy came a group of fantastic friends! The ‘Supper Club’ is a great setting for incredible conversations and for friends catching up. Lauren Dane combines art, cooking and music as a fundamental part in the lives of Mary, Jules and Gillian. I have a passion for the same things and it made the ingrained joy from the characters resonate even stronger with me and forged a connection that will last throughout this series! It made me extremely excited for each of the stories to come!

In Sway, Lauren Dane imbedded all I came to love from her. She evoked a gamut of feelings with her storytelling which make me ask for more each time. The new and recurring characters come alive with intensity, personality and humor. The romance is spine-tingling erotic and captured me from the start! Add the friendship and witty banter, which was utter recognizable, and I couldn't read the pages fast enough but wanting to go slow at the same time.

Sway is a great start to a new series which whetted my appetite for more!

4 stars

You can find the review of Maya Banks', Exiled here

Quote:
“What are you thinking, Levi?”
“I’m thinking you’re very young.”
She nodded. “I am.”
“I’m trying to find a way around that.”
“How about I explain to you that I’m twenty four, not fifteen. And that I’m perfectly capable of making my own decisions and choices.”
He took a deep breath and exhaled hard. “And I’m thinking I’m too old.”
“Too old for what? Do you have trapeze fantasies or something? And how old are you? Sixty? Eighty-four? Her mouth trembled as she held a smile back.
The pressure in his chest lessened.
“Eighty-three. Don’t age me before I’m ready.”
“You’re not too old. I’m not too young.”
She stayed where she was, his hands in both of hers. Those big brown eyes watching him carefully. Waiting for him. Christ. She had no idea what that did to him.
“I’m forty. I’m nearly twice your age.”
“So what?”
“Yeah. So what?” He took his hands from hers and touched her chin, tipping it. “I want your mouth.”
Her eyelids slid down a little and she took a deep breath. “Take it, then.”

Lauren Dane on the www:
website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Buy @ BookDepo

28 August 2012

Review: Antho Cherished - Maya Banks with Exiled

Title: Cherished
Genre: erotic romance
Format: Paperback, 368 pages
Published August 7th 2012 by Berkley
ISBN 0425247538 (ISBN13: 9780425247532)
Language: English

Summary via Goodreads:
Enticed to the island paradise where an enigmatic prince is living in exile, beautiful, virginal Talia is introduced to a world of forbidden pleasure where the prince's every whim is fulfilled and her fantasies are rendered in exquisite detail. But when the prince is summoned back to fulfill his duty to his struggling country, reality is thrust upon Talia all too soon. She returns home, heartbroken, convinced she was a passing fancy for an idle ruler and his most trusted men. Until the day they arrive on her doorstep, determined to have her back where she belongs.

Review:

Exiled was going to be my introduction to Maya Banks as an author and I looked forward to it. The blurb almost had an 80’s harlequin romance feel to it. Wealthy prince of an exotic land, an innocent woman whisked away to a place where they meet and romance would blossom. It made me a bit nostalgic but that feeling faded away quickly while reading the first chapters. Right then I didn’t know if Xander was going to be my kind of hero. I found him obnoxious in his demands and alpha behavior. I like it when a hero shows his devotion through his love but Xander pampered, Talia. She was to be treated like fragile porcelain, every wish of Talia should be fulfilled and it rubbed me the wrong way.

Talia was also a character I couldn’t connect with. She was somewhat clumsy, innocent, and the repetitiveness of her inner dialogues of what she was; whore, lover or mistress, was becoming boring really quickly. She signed a contract, knew what was expected of her, at some point I begged her to grow some sort of spine and just follow through on her promise she made in that contract! Also the fact that she instantly submitted her will to four men, without any emotional conflict felt very unrealistic.

The introduction of Xanders trusted confidantes, Sebastien, Nico and Garron, was interesting and they had enough characteristics for them to come alive. With all characters in play Maya Banks took some time to lead up to the night where Talia’s prized possession, her virginity, was to be taken. Of course as Alpha of the pack there was no question this was going to be Xander’s privilege. After that night it felt like reading a ‘red shoe diary’ story of sexual play between the handful of characters on a beautiful island. There was little to none emotional conflict or development. From beginning till end the characters remained the same only at the end the external conflict was solved and Xander and Talia professed their love. Too much sunshine and daisies for my taste to draw me in at any level.

The plot, where Xander was exiled from his country because rebellions took over his country, was nice in the set up but never did I feel any suspense or danger. And then the resolution, it made me roll my eyes as I read it. It was so easy, it almost felt like an afterthought and this added to the disconnected feeling I had regarding the whole story. I have no doubt the characters liked each other, there was definitely some fiery sex play between them but as a polyamorous romance it didn’t even came in the vicinity of hitting the bulls eye.

I’m not a fan of stories where all that is offered is romance fluff. I need a certain character growth and conflict for them to work through will it be able to give me a satisfying level of emotional gratification at the end. Plus it also left me with a double-edged feeling towards the happily ever after, Xander and Talia got their fairytale ending, but the three friends get what? Exiled just didn’t work for my across the whole of it.

2 stars

Tomorrow I'll have the second story; Sway by Lauren Dane up for review.

Quote:
“Fucking a beautiful woman,” Sebastien said sardonically. “Such a chore. I think we should ask for raises.”
Xander’s gaze sharpened. “You won’t be fucking her, Bastien. You’re going to worship her and pleasure her as you’ve never pleasured another woman.”
“I have no problem with that at all,” Sebastien said in a lazy voice that was full of satisfaction – and anticipation.

Maya Banks on the www:
website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Buy @ BookDepo

27 August 2012

Guestpost & Giveaway: Katie Porter - The Playboy with a Heart of Gold

The Playboy with a Heart of Gold
By Katie Porter

Jon from Inside Bet is super studly and awesome.

I’ll tell you a little secret: this is Lorelie [http://loreliebrown.com] writing this blog post and Carrie Lofty gave me that sentence as a joke intro when we were sketching out this post. But it’s true. Totally. And if he were real, Carrie would completely have a crush on him.

Well, who wouldn’t love a sexy man with deep pockets and a secret smushy side?

The thing is, Jon Carlisle grew up with money. Buckets of it. His family is rolling it, and it could have affected the way he sees the world. In a way, it has. Jon likes the good things in life. He drives an Aston Martin DBS, after all. Have you seen those beasts? One of the sexiest sports cars on the planet. When he takes Heather to a hotel, there’s no fifty-buck-a-night hotbox for a man like him. No. They go all out.

Heather stepped inside…and dropped her jaw. The suite was massive. To the left of the marble entryway was a half bath and a coat closet. Beyond there waited a full dining room and living room. The far wall was made almost entirely of windows. She walked deeper into the white, cream and gold opulence. The bedroom and master bath adjoined the living areas, with a graceful chaise situated beneath another bank of glass. They overlooked the pool deck far below.
She’d seen such suites as part of her work. The casino heads liked to show off their properties as a special treat to her firm.

To stay in such a place…?
Of course that’s fun to read. There’s whole series categories that are based on the appeal of a rich, sexy man who’s determined to sweep you off your feet with the better things in life. That’s the appeal of a Harlequin Presents, after all. (I love those things! Snack ‘em up in a night, sometimes.) A swank guy who’s got the means to support a girl isn’t just about being taken care of. Personally, I think the appeal comes from the idea of being exposed to a side of life that I wouldn’t have any chance of seeing otherwise.

But what’s even better? When that gold upper crust splits to reveal true worth. Jon’s entire paycheck as a F-16 fighter pilot? Goes to charity. It’s practically too good to be true, right? Well, I promise you Jon has plenty of flaws as well. He’s stubborn. And challenging. And he’d mow over most chicks who didn’t have the backbone to stand up to him. Heather doesn’t have that problem at all.

Thank goodness. Because otherwise we couldn’t have written the smoking hot book that we did.

Up next for Katie Porter, the co-writing team of Carrie Lofty and Lorelie Brown:

Now that both RT BookReviews 4½ Star Top Picks DOUBLE DOWN and INSIDE BET have been released, we're looking forward to the September 25th arrival of HOLD 'EM, featuring wild child Leah and a surprising reunion with a fellow pilot. The final two installments of the "Vegas Top Guns" series will follow in 2013.

November brings the m/m Christmas-themed CAME UPON A MIDNIGHT CLEAR, and in January, LEAD AND FOLLOW will launch the five-part “Club Devant” series of erotic multi-partner romances set in a hot New York City burlesque club.

Where to find us:

Katie Porter Books
Twitter: @MsKatiePorter
Or individually: @carrielofty and @LorelieBrown

GIVEAWAY: We'd like to give away a copy of DOUBLE DOWN or INSIDE BET (winner's choice) in any format. Just answer the question: What heart-of-gold move would melt you? Taking care of babies or puppies or working for Habitat for Humanity on the weekends?

Thanks again to Leontine’s Book Realm for featuring Katie Porter and Inside Bet!

12 August 2012

Sunday's Brunch: Books found & leaving + Nine degrees of submission

The last few weeks I’ve been struggling to find a reading rhythm that makes me read one book after another. The last book I read in almost one sitting was Kristen Callihan’s Moonglow and after that it was a few chapters here and there *sigh* I’ll get it back, I always do but with so many interesting reads on my TBR pile I want to snuggle on couch and just read for hours at a time.

In other news, since my birthday is in two weeks I’ve done a bit of book shopping and found two interesting new releases coming up. What kind of woman would I be if I didn’t share them *wink*

Alison Kent’s Undeniable. When I heard about this new series on twitter I looked up Alison Kent’s blog. I read the first sentence of the blurb and got weak in the knees. Very weak! “There was a time when Crow Hill, Texas’s notorious Dalton Gang ran wild.”


Oh yes, ranching, cowboys, hot men, strong-willed women and a family secret. Jeebus, what could I want more?!

Alison Kent on the www:
website | Goodreads | Twitter | Preorder@ BookDepo

Then, this week I did some link hopping and for the life of me I can’t remember how I got on Christina Ashcroft’s site but I’m glad I did!! A few years ago Angels introduced themselves in to the paranormal and urban fantasy scene and never left. Since then some angels have touched my heart in unexpected ways. Somehow I have a feeling Archangel Of Mercy will do the same. The whole blurb speaks to me; the impossible love, the tortured and arrogant archangel, the heroine discovering her powers, ancient forces at play. Yep, I’m eager for this release as well!

Christina Ashcroft on the www:
website | Goodreads | Twitter | Preorder @ BookDepo

With all these new books coming in I’m saying goodbye to other books. Yesterday I had a fit of the cleaning rage, doesn’t happen often but as a result I now have a stack of books who need new reading love. Below you’ll find a picture. If you want books, just tell/e-mail me and I’ll try to ship them to you ASAP! (first come first served!!)

click on pic for larger picture
Some books I found in my mailbox this week made me squee with glee. That’s why I need my reading rhythm back…I want to read these books soon!!

Squee - smoke jumpers *heart*

Kresley Cole's new series *double squee*

I also received book happy from Joely Sue Burkhart *love*
Speaking of reading. I started to read Cherished on Friday and I had my Maya Banks cherry popped with Exiled. I don’t have a complete disconnect with a story often but I had it with Xander and Talia. The story development just rubbed me the wrong way and the characters lacked depth and emotional development. I was ready for a movie-fest and give up on reading this weekend. But then I thought, Lauren Dane is next in this duology. With a kick-off on a highly anticipated series. Just give it a few chapters. Well, I can say those few chapters turned in to a hundred and ten pages before my eyes got droopy. The BDSM element is light but the chemistry, the friends, the romance and dialogues...it hit all my good spots for readers glee.

So today I’m going to finish Sway, then *does happy dance* finally I can read Eternal Beast from Laura Wright. With a WoW date this afternoon and some studying to do tonight my Sunday is filled to the max!!

Have a great Sunday everyone *blows kiss*

PS: Fun fact. When I researched the term of ‘nine degrees of’ I got a link to a page titled; Nine degrees of submission. Very interesting stuff!!!

10 August 2012

ARC Review: J.C. Daniels - Blade Song

File Size: 726 KB
Print Length: 257 pages
Publisher: Shiloh Walker, Inc. (August 1, 2012)
Series: Colbana Files
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Main Characters: Kit (half-breed), Damon (Cat shifter), Jude (Vampire), Es (With)
I received an eARC from the author for review.

Summary from Goodreads:
Kit Colbana—half breed, assassin, thief, jack of all trades—has a new job: track down the missing ward of one of the local alpha shapeshifters. It should be a piece of cake.

So why is she so nervous? It probably has something to do with the insanity that happens when you deal with shifters—especially sexy ones who come bearing promises of easy jobs and easier money.

Or maybe it’s all the other missing kids that Kit discovers while working the case, or the way her gut keeps screaming she’s gotten in over her head. Or maybe it’s because if she fails—she’s dead.

If she can stay just one step ahead, she should be okay. Maybe she’ll even live long to collect her fee…

Review:

When I read Blade Song I was caught in the middle of my likes and I cannot even say dislikes, but rather the inability of certain elements to truly pull me in to the story. The beginning was intriguing. I got introduced to the main characters and a plot was initiated with enough mystery to trigger my inquisitive mind. The more chapters I read though the more the story kept at a level of interesting and me really liking the characters. I found nothing really unique that set me on fire which would keep me completely focused on the story at hand.

The world building felt very formulaic with the witches, the shifters, vampires. This isn’t bad but if I don’t find anything to make them stand out; whether this is in culture, rituals, magic or even physique it remains basic ingredients. The world around them was nicely envisioned, especially the outdoors. Then the plot of kidnapped children and the Alpha cat’s nephew, Doyle was intriguing. The tension was good and definitely brought along enough action with it to get the blood pumping. It also was a tool to introduce the various races and supporting characters. In which T.J., Goliath and the Green Road witches were instantly likable. Strong women to the core, each have an enigmatic personality and Goliath, is a friend I would have at my side any day of the week.

The characters were the strongest element in Blade Song and something that J.C. Daniels excels in. I really liked Kit from the start. She has attitude, backbone, knows how to work her sword and her past brought a gritty side to the story I loved. Even though sometimes I felt the balance off in terms of a little too much focus on her weaknesses it was necessary. Her past has formed the amazon warrior she is today and a part of me liked the fact that her weaknesses were real and made her vulnerable. Each time she chooses to fight it is because her heart was also in it, that is something that truly resonated with me.

Damon is a cat shifter that was ordered to keep Kit safe during her job at solving the mystery of Doyle’s vanishing. He has a sharp tongue and a caring heart with a strong willed personality to make him stand his own next to Kit. If there is another thing I enjoyed from beginning till end is the sarcastic bantering and enigmatic dialogues between Damon and Kit. They were evenly matched and the fast paced interaction was titillating at various times. There was an attraction and a sultry heat was growing between them. This doesn’t have the main focus but as I loved seeing these two together it was an added bonus to get some hot and sexy time as well.

The challenges for Kit and Damon also lie in dealing with the vampire, Jude Whittier and the cat Alpha, Annette. I didn’t like them at the beginning and there was a sparkle of ‘loving to hate these characters’ at the end. Jude, he irked me in so many ways but his ‘I’m king of the world’ attitude really put him on the list of unlikable persona’s. With his scheming, Jude adds a tension to the plot and overall story that kept me on my qui vive. Towards the end the plot accelerates in action but the conclusion was a little bit easy. There was no ‘aha’ moment but the possibilities for future stories are interesting to say the least. I think Kit will surprise me in so many more ways in the future. I know Damon definitely surprised me in Blade Song!

So, while the world may not have the engrossing or contain the “pull me in’ factor, the plot was nice and the characters were the ones that kept me engaged. I loved the grittiness of Kit’s emotions, the power of Damon’s character, the friendship from the secondary characters and the evilness of Jude and Annette. Enough to make Blade Song an enjoyable read!

3.5 stars
Quote:
My sword arm is mighty
I will not falter.
I will not fail.
My aim is true.
My heart is strong.

I’m the descendant of some truly legendary badasses and I’ll damn well make myself wake up-


Quote:
She sent me back a smiley. Hey, don't let the sexy asshole bite you. I think that’s their sign they’ve accepted it.

Quote Damon;
“Your mouth was another problem for me,” he muttered, leaning in and licking my lower lip. “You fucking smart ass. Mouthing off from the get-go. I've never found a smart ass so appealing until I met you.”


J.C. Daniels aka Shiloh Walker on the www:
website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Buy @ ARe