29 January 2012

Sunday's Brunch; A hidden treasure on my shelves

These days I look forward to my Sundays. It means time to read, to watch a movie, to play some World of Warcraft and more time to read. I also have this innate need to keep you guys in the loop of what is going on in my corner of this Realm. This is why I came up with my Sunday’s brunch blogpost. In a laid back way I want to have a moment to catch up with you guys and today I’m kicking off.

One thing that got my panties in a – good – twist was the fact that last week the Midnight Breed series sang its siren song to me and I couldn’t refuse. I left Regin and Lothaire standing in the cold wind of my disregard – for now that is. Yes, I was in shock myself! The IAD series is one that I love to the ninth degree but for some unfathomable reason I had to open up Lara Adrian’s Kiss Of Midnight. I read the first chapter and was hooked, line and sinker. There was no way this story was letting me go but then again; did I want it to? Hell no! :)) My review will be up in the next week or so. I can safely say that I’m glad I still have nine books to go in the Midnight Breed series. If the opening story is any indicator, it will be one fantastic ride. And can I say; Tegan *heart*

I also read the third story of Lyssa and Jacob in Joey W Hill’s Vampire Queen series titled; Bound By The Vampire Queen. Oh men, it floored me again! My guest review will appear on Patti’s; Caught In A Fab Romance blog and is already up on Goodreads. I love this series something fierce and can’t wait to read Gideon, Anwyn and Daegan’s story! From what I got in Bound By The Vampire Queen I’m going to gobble it all up!

This weekend I’m reading Kele Moon’s novella; Packing Heat and boy oh boy, the title does the story justice! I’m also going to start in a book I highly anticipated. Lucian from Laura Wright’s Eternal Captive has been on my radar since Eternal Hunger! He and Bronwyn are a magnetic force that sizzles like no tomorrow *want*

Last week there was also a 50-60% off sale at fictionwise and I was so ready for some retail therapy but again I shocked myself and didn’t buy one single book. I was almost getting frustrated until I found a must pre-order note on my iPad. It contained four titles which I immediately pre-ordered at BookDepo:

Something About Witches
By Joey W. Hill

Lover Reborn
By J R Ward

Fever
By Joan Swan

Wicked as They Come
By Delilah S Dawson

So I have a few books coming in the mail *YAY* and a few more Sunday’s spend reading LOL.
I also tend to read tweets as I have dinner and catch up on what’s going on in blogworld. Sometimes you have the most pleasurable tweets to find and I backtracked a convo which originated from Jaci Burton. Can you guess? She got her fourth cover of her Play By Play series and dang, my not so sekrit cover hussy identity was purring in joy.


As I got the cover enlarged and took a close look instead of ravenously taking the picture in I noticed, and perhaps this is my durty side talking, but where’s the bulge in his pants?! I mean, with such tight pants there must be some form of…bump going on? Right?! Still, the sight of these four covers side by side is one of the most scintillating visuals I ever did see. And what a celebrating of the male form – hot, hot, hot!!

Coming up this week for me is a visit from Pearl, making banana bread with the group of 4-6 year olds at the kiddie daycare and spending some quality time with a 4 month old Buddha baby who charms me with rare smiles. He had me with the first one :) I will take Lucian to bed with me until I’ve finished his story, which I think he won’t mind *wink*

19 January 2012

Review: Carol Lynne - All Play And No Work

Publisher: Total E-Bound
ISBN: 978-1-906328-50-4
Genre: Contemporary/Gay/Ménage à trois
Book Length: Novel
Erotic Rating: Total-e-burning
Book one in the Cattle Valley Series
Read from my personal e-shelves

Cover Summary:

When a three man partnership becomes too much for their small Texas town, Ryan Blackfeather knows it’s time to head for greener pastures. With a new job awaiting him in Cattle Valley, Wyoming, he convinces his men, Nate and Rio to make the move.

A community built on tolerance, Cattle Valley’s one of the few places in the country where the residents won’t bat an eyelash at the threesomes relationship. Nate, Rio and Ryan fit right in. However, with Ryan busy in his new job as town Sheriff, Rio and Nate are left to wonder how they’re supposed to make a living. What use are a highly trained mercenary and a private detective in a peaceful community the size of Cattle Valley?


Review:

I was baffled by the speed of the romance development as I read on page 17:

The threesome landed in a pile of arms, legs, tongues and teeth. Nate couldn't get enough of these men. "Love you," Nate said, looking Ryan in the eyes. He then turned toward Rio, "I love you."
Ryan and Rio wrapped their arms and legs around Nate. "We love you. You're a part of us now," Ryan said.

And that was it. They were a threesome in love. Can I say; huh? How did that happen??!! Only to find out on page eighteen that Rio and Nate were on the road to meet Ryan at their new home in Cattle Valley. This was all moving very fast for me as I’m a reader who wants to witness a certain progress where the attraction develops in to love. The romance between these three men wasn’t very believable but for some reason the entertainment level while reading the pages was very good. It was largely due to the voices of the three men, a bit over the top but still they are very likeable. So I kept on reading.

Rio, Nate and Ryan move in to a house in Cattle Valley and it is a setting that made me smile. Like a utopia for gay people; Just about everyone is gay there and felt very idyllic. The author provided just enough information for me to conjure a picture in my mind how the town looked like and who the people were inhabiting it. I could definitely read the signals for future stories and that this would be a series.

Rio and Nate are very touchy-feely with each other and when they aren’t horny they are pulling pranks like a cherry bomb (blowing up a mailbox). Nate felt very young adult in comparison with Ryan and Rio, who were the established couple at the beginning of this story. When Ryan chastises Nate it feels very much like a grown up setting boundaries for an adventurous teenager. The chemistry and dialogues between the three was effortlessly flowing and while I wasn’t emotionally involved they did appeal to my playful, wicked side.

The eroticism is off the chart hot. The libido of this trio is more than healthy and is set ablaze by the instant attraction they feel. The pages are filled with sexual heat, light-hearted dialogues and a touch of humor and it juices up the story in a good way. Even though there was a certain degree of entertainment to All Play And No Work there was also nothing present for me to sink my teeth in. From early on the relationship was established and there was nothing really challenging that relationship. So the first half of book one in the Cattle Valley series reads like a fluffy erotic romance that gives a slice of life from three likable characters. The author didn’t really add depth, layers or much conflict to the relationship. Halfway through I wondered if anything would happen that would present any form of a challenge when a minor plot came in to play. It provided a bit of much needed intrigue and excitement.

As an erotic story, All Play And No Work is enjoyable but the romance is shallow at best. What worked in the end was the charismatic threesome with their animated dialogues and combustive sexiness as they set up house in a utopian town to satiate their ravenous appetite.

2.5 stars

Quote:


Rio glanced over and winked. "First place I find, I promise we'll stop for a little R and R."
"Rest and relaxation, that's not exactly what I had in mind," Nate said, trying to tuck his hard shaft back into his pants.
Rio chuckled, "Well, I was thinking more along the lines of rimming and riding."
"Oh fuck, I like that idea a lot better."


Carol Lynne on the www:
website | Cattle Valley website | Goodreads | Twitter | Buy @ Total E-Bound

16 January 2012

Review: Sloan Parker - Take Me Home

Publisher: LooseId
ISBN: 978-1-61118-687-1
Genre: LGBT Suspense
Length: Novel Plus
E-copy provided by Author for review

Cover Summary:
Aspiring television writer Evan Walker has been in love with his best friend since high school, but Kyle doesn’t do boyfriends. Never has. Never will. Evan knows it’s a bad idea to give in to desire when he wants more than a friend with benefits. He has a new dream job. Now all he needs is the dream partner.

Kyle Bennett is a mystery novelist with a severe case of writer’s block. He needs a change. He has three days on their cross-country train trip home for the holidays to figure out how to tell Evan he’s staying there for good. He also has to write the overdue pages for his editor. Only, he’s a little too distracted by the close quarters in their sleeper compartment—and Evan’s ass—to get much done.

The sparks that fly between them are hotter than ever. Good thing they have a real-life mystery to focus on: why people all around them, including Evan’s new boss, want to get their hands on a journal that once belonged to Kyle’s grandfather.

When a blizzard traps them in the mountains, Kyle and Evan steam up the train’s windows and must finally face their true desires.

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


Review:

If there is one thing an author can instantly hook me with it’s a family secret in the suspense plot. Add the plot device of a journal everyone is after and I’m rubbing my hands in anticipation! At the center of how the plot would turn out were Kyle Bennett and Evan Walker. They are friends going on lovers and in the early chapters it became evident that they’re battling with their hidden desires and this intrigued me enough to see how it all would play out between them.

At first glance Kyle and Evan are opposites attract. Kyle is a flirt and a one-night-stand kind of guy. He has two bestselling novels on his name and currently working on his third. Evan on the other hand is a firm believer in long-lasting relationships and is more serious than the outgoing Kyle. Evan is also a struggling screenwriter who works in a restaurant and is getting over his ten year relationship. Both guys have realistic flaws and are in a different stage of their lives yet circumstances throws them together again, stirring dormant feelings.

Even though they have their differences it’s an essential magnetism that lures them together. It’s a synergy that speaks loud and clear regarding the depth of their feelings for one another. Still they had this push pull dance where there were moments I wanted to yell at them to get over the trust issues. But that was my frustration because Sloan Parker builds up the sexual tension, lets it crest in some small way and then goes back to the trust issues. I wanted ‘steam up the train cart’ & roaring hot sexing but I had to be patient. Sexual tension is just that without emotions at the foundation of it and it was an interesting, emotion rife process to see Kyle and Evan get to that place of trust.

The mystery and secrets played its own part and gave of a subtle danger. It didn’t have the effect of heart-in-throat dangers but it was more my curiosity that was involved. The journal and the choices of Kyle’s grandfather made me wonder the why of it. Did he have regrets and was there a true treasure. The conclusion of the mystery was no surprise in the whom but was a surprise in how it was all resolved.

Sloan Parker has written an engaging story from start to finish with two flawed and dynamic characters. The sexual energy is, well, let me just say a train ride suddenly looks very adventurous! Kyle and Evan managed to capture my heart and simultaneously fog over my glasses! The characters, dialogues, sexiness and mystery are all deftly blended by Sloan Parker in a story, once started, you’ll want to finish!

4 stars

Sloan Parker on the www:
website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Buy @ LooseId

11 January 2012

Review: Lena Diaz - He Kills Me, He Kills Me Not

Format: ebook, 362 pages
Published August 9th 2011 by HarperCollins Publishers
ISBN 0062114557 (ISBN13: 9780062114556)
Received a copy via NetGalley

Cover Summary:
A Serial Killer’s Lone Surviving Victim Turns the Tables and Becomes the Hunter

Amanda Stockton lost everything in a brutal attack by a fledgling serial killer. Forced to play his twisted game of chance, she watched in horror as he plucked the thorns from a rose, one by one, chanting, “He kills me”, “He kills me not.” Refusing to let a sick game of chance decide her fate, she escaped, but left her friend to die in her place. Haunted by survivor’s guilt and unable to bear the flinches and curious stares when others catch sight of her ravaged face, Amanda withdraws from the world around her.

Years later the discovery of another body signals the return of the killer. Forced to face her past or become the killer’s next victim, Amanda works with Police Chief Logan Richards to stop the killer before he kills again. As Logan begins to close in on a suspect, he’s horrified to discover the killer who attacked Amanda is the same one he once let go because of a rookie mistake. Can Logan forgive himself in time to save Amanda? Or will his guilt destroy her last chance to win the game?


Review:

This was a story where the beginning was full of promise. There was a creepy villain, there were harrowing dangers, a whodunit plot to solve and highly intriguing characters. Everything worked in grabbing my from the first chapter where the fear was protruding from the villains victim. As the plot opened with a bang there was also the introduction of Logan who was a commanding man and Amanda, a courageous woman battling her inner demons. I was hooked and settled for a thrill ride in the romantic suspense from Lena Diaz.

However, after that strong opening the story gradually faded for me in to a blend of niggles, irritation and a weakening presence from the villain. It even lead to a few moments where I had difficulties continuing reading and all in all it took me three weeks to finish this story. I think this was a huge indicator that Logan, Amanda and the plot failed to keep me invested.
Amanda Stockton is a survivor of a serial killer and ever since she’s ruled by her need for safety. She lives almost like a hermit, works at home and barely has a social life. Her personality was a combination of courage and terror. I think the author really did a good job of portraying her as a victim getting her life back after a horrendous ordeal. Amanda is likable in her personality, understandable in her fears and shows backbone in various decisions. I feel her characterization was the strongest in this story.

Then you have Logan; the smart, dependable yet commanding, sexy police chief. He is the blue print of a romance hero whom made me look forward to the electrifying attraction simmering between him and Amanda. He was very focused and charming to begin with but as the story continued he morphed in to this man who wallowed in his guilt and responsibility. I call it the ‘woulda-coulda-shoulda-syndrome’. At the start of the story the situation was explained why there was guilt but gradually the emphasis on this emotion was too much for me to bear. I love a flawed hero but I also want to see the progress and I didn’t really get that with Logan. In this case I wanted to slap Logan across the face telling him to grow a pair.

The romance was one with the ‘forbidden fruit’ theme. Amanda is a victim in Logan’s active case and it became a push-pull between his ethics and his warm-blooded nature. Because it took me so long to read this story I never got that love vibe. Attraction simmering just beneath the surface ready to ignite, definitely! Yet this did not evolve in to a romance, the love was “just there” at a certain point between Logan and Amanda. I must admit, this might be due to the long intervals between continuing this story that I didn’t pick up on it. As the author drives home in plot and romance there was an emotion rife moment which got nipped in the butt again by the wallowing of Logan. He was in a frame of mind that it was best to let her go and then a page later it was; ”Perhaps she really does love me?” That’s when I was so done with him.

In those initial chapters the mystery began with a murder and the villains point of view. I was fascinated and I wanted more. I love the unforgivable villain whom I could love to hate and it had all the signs but then the plot got beaten to death with dialogues, police procedures and more dialogues where they wondered whodunit. Besides the ending there was very little action which could’ve infused the plot with chills and thrills, keeping me more invested in the outcome.

So there you have it; characters who had their good and bad personality traits and shared beautiful or hot moments but just couldn’t completely pull me in to their story. A romance which only sizzled on occasion and a plot that fizzled after an exciting beginning. Add a three week period of picking up this book, reading a few chapters and then still failing to grab me… Well, the sum of all the components told me one thing; I truly struggled with Lena Diaz’s He Kills Me, He Kills me not.

2 stars

Lena Diaz on the www:
website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Buy @ Indiebound

09 January 2012

Review: Kele Moon - Defying The Odds

Publisher: LooseId
ISBN: 978-1-61118-693-2
Genre: Erotic Contemporary
Length: Novel
Series: Battered Hearts series
Received e-copy for review

Cover Summary:
When struggling waitress Melody Dylan gives a handsome, lonely stranger a simple gift she has no clue her life is about to take a drastic turn.

The stranger ends up being Clay Powers, a famous UFC heavyweight fighter. Clay’s large build and dangerous fists have always intimidated. People in his hometown keep their distance and Clay is fine with that. Everything changes when a new waitress at the local diner buys him a piece of pie on Thanksgiving. Touched by the gesture when it’s obvious she can barely afford to survive, her warm smile and lush body churn up powerful feelings that leave Clay wanting more from her than pie.

Melody is running from her past and the small, country town of Garnet is the perfect hiding place. With an ex-husband after her and scars from her abusive marriage etched deep, the last thing she expects is to fall for a man who makes a living with his fists, but she can’t resist Clay or the tender connection they share.

Finding love in the most unlikely of places, the passion is undeniable, but Clay and Melody know their haunted pasts and unpredictable futures leave the odds stacked against them.

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual situations, graphic language, and material that some readers may find objectionable: violence.


My Review:

Defying The Odds is a completely different story than anything I read previous of Kele Moon. Instead of dark, complex and tormented, Kele Moon delivered a sweet and heartwarming romance in a small town setting. I let myself be enveloped by the seasons spirit and the warmth which emanated from the familiarity among the group of characters. One simple gesture between two people ignited a whirlwind of feelings and the romance blossoming makes my heart flutter in response. Usually I do the dark, tormented bad-boys but sometimes a genuine good guy, even though he is rough-around-the-edges, woos me into falling for him. Clay is such a character!

Kele Moon hits the bull’s eye again with a charming and personable cast of characters. Clay is a renowned MMA fighter whose physique makes people want to avoid him rather than to confront. He is big, he is gruff but his actions towards Melody speaks volumes of what kind of man he is at the core; caring and charming. Melody is a woman many will emphasize with as the battered ex-wife of a brutal man. She wants to create a new life in Garnet and she works hard at the diner to have sufficient funds for all the things she needs. I rarely grow tired of reading about women who want to take the reins back of their life and find the strength to deal with the emotional healing process. Melody is the epitome of such a character and I just liked her. She is kind, passionate and with enough attitude to show she has backbone. Melody and Clay both also have a certain down-to-earth personality trait which made it so exciting to watch them dream. To see them reach out for what they’ve always wanted; love. Oh, and of course at various moments they have plenty of mad monkey sex.

This is another thing Kele Moon has a knack for. Scorching the pages with heart-pounding, sexy-as-hell, eroticism. There’s a particular window scene that made me squirm in my seat. Which, let’s face it, is what a good erotic romance has the power to do! That the window scene didn’t turn out to fog over the windows is beyond me! Along with the sex play the conflict between Clay and Melody gained momentum towards the end. It may have been somewhat predictable but nevertheless it scored for effectiveness.

The small town setting inhabited enough interesting characters to make Garnet come alive for me. I had a push-pull with Sheriff Wyatt. He annoyed me with his showboat attitude but at the other hand endeared me with his loyalty and friendship. There is more to him, I can feel it, I just have to find out what! Now his sister Jules just rocked my reading world! Right from the bat Jules was an interesting female character with attitude but she knocked it out of the park for me as she hit my 'rare to find' humor button with her 80 dollar steak comment. Chef Hal, waitress Judy and later on, Romeo caught my interest in the best of ways. Kele Moon has more than enough for more stories in this series!

The storyline may not have been complicated or something that hasn’t been done is one form or another but there are three elements that make Defying The Odds so enjoyable to read. The characters; flawed, quirky and packing enough temperament to make them three dimensional. The MMA world also captured my interest and turned out to be such an enthralling yet dangerous world. I love more of that! And the combustible romance…so far, Kele Moon has never failed to affect me with how her characters find love and their significant other. I just inhale the romance this author gives me!!

4 stars

Quote:
Clay was lost.
He fell into the chasm, the pleasure pounding, the throb of it making white spots form in his vision. He fisted the sheets as his cock pulsed, filling Melody with the warm, sticky evidence of his pleasure. He shuddered and moaned in her arms, surrendering completely to the cataclysm of ecstasy.
It destroyed him.
It left him bare, exposed, and humble in the face of it.
He loved this woman.


Kele Moon on the www:
website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Buy @ looseId

08 January 2012

Cover Gallery - tha awesomesauce cover of Joey W Hill!


This weekend I stumbled upon two hot covers again and perhaps you might've seen them already. Lord know I'm not the quickest anymore with posting but I had to have these beauties on my blog as well. Both are very atmosperic with great mancandy and they are a feast for my visual senses!

In the Company of Witches by Joey W Hill
Book II of the Arcane Shot Series
Berkley Sensation
Paranormal Sensual Romance
May 1, 2012
Excerpt

All witch and part succubus, savvy businesswoman Raina has converted a Southern plantation house into an extremely profitable old-fashioned bordello. Because of her abilities as a witch, the demons under Raina’s protection can feed off the sexual energy of their clients without killing them—definitely a good thing for repeat business.

But when a rogue incubus shows up on Raina’s doorstep begging for asylum, the witch’s well-run business is put in jeopardy. The incubus has stolen an object of great power from Lucifer, and Underworld Dark Guardian Mikhael will do anything to get it back—even if it means incinerating the incubus on Raina’s porch to get the answers he seeks.

Not to be trifled with, Raina enters a dangerous match of wits with Mikhael to achieve their mutual goals—only to discover that the reluctant attraction between them is the most hazardous game of all…




The second in the BOUND BY MAGICK series:
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Berkley (June 5, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0425250822
ISBN-13: 978-0425250822

From the always fabulous Lauren Dane comes her new novel of a treacherous family legacy, a temptation just as dangerous, and an evil so depraved it can only be spoken of in whispers.

The life of Lark Jaansen, hunter in Clan Gennessee, has been shaped by violence and unrest and it defines her future. Well-trained and resilient, she met her militaristic match in Simon Leviathan, a warrior not of this world. Locked in mutual admiration, and a desire so hot it burns, Lark and Simon have something else in common: they love the dark, and as a shadow is cast over their world, they're each coming into their own.

A mysterious war has been waged among the Others. As witches and humans turn against each other, as fae retreat in fear, and as vampires rise, Lark and Simon discover that an unseen force is behind it. A single, hungry entity older than recorded history has returned to gorge on the magick of his victims. He is the Magister, nothing less than the end of time. Finding him is Lark and Simons first hope. Surviving him is their last.

03 January 2012

A belated Happy New Year...


I just wanted to wish everybody a belated fantastic new year! May all your dreams come true, surrounded by your loved ones and in health and hapiness!

I'm starting 2012 with a heavy case of the flu and hope that is my 'sick portion' of this year. I'm going through more tissues than I've seen in the last five years!! But I have my family and friends! I have a challenging job and a TBR pile filled with awesome books. I can't complain much ;)

Let's toast to another awesome year full of fantastic adventures, spellbinding reads and great convo's!!