Archive | October, 2011

Fairy Tale Twisted Romance Books for Halloween

29 Oct

Want a book that retells a classic fairy tale? Well, you’re in luck. There are tons of books available for purchase right now, both in paper and electronic formats. This Halloween, think of yourself. You’re kids will be getting plenty of candy, in addition to new costumes. You…well, you will be getting touched by sticky fingers. Pull a little joy out of Halloween by sinking into a romance. (BTW…I haven’t read all of the books listed below.)

An erotic re-telling of Goldie Locks.

Cinderella's Prince Charming is divorced, but he'll find his happily ever after.

Alice in Wonderland has nothing on a plus sized Alice who falls into an erotic Wonderland.

The classic Beauty and the Beast is retold with heavy dose of romance, sex and fantasy.

Review: The Crown on Your Head by Nancy Tillman

29 Oct

The Crown on Your Head by Nancy Tillman
Feiwel and Friends (Sept. 2011)
Hardback: $16.99 (32 pages)
Available as nook book: $9.99
ISBN: 9780312645212

Favorite Lines: “YOU WERE BORN TO SHINE.”

Every child is born with a crown. The crown is everything that gives us unique value. Our crown will always be with us wherever we go, whatever we do.

The Crown on Your Head is a book which shouts to the world children are special. In it a parent tells a child from the moment she (he) saw the child she knew he was special and would accomplish wonderful things.

Aimed at smaller children, The Crown on Your Head makes statements and then backs them up with a simple explanation most children will understand. Every colorful page of the book portrays a child living life to the fullest. If you’re looking for a short picture book capable of expressing your love toward a child, this may be the book for you.

Review: Isle of Night by Veronica Wolff

24 Oct

Isle of Night by Veronica Wolff
NAL (September 2011)
Trade: $9.99; ebook: $9.99
ISBN: 9780451234629

Favorite Lines: “He gave me a look that I prayed was more kindly uncle and less here’s a live one for me to deflower.” (p. 191)

Is life offering fewer and fewer options? Then join the dead.
When Annelise meets dark and seductive Ronan, he promises her a new life-if she has the courage to chance the unknown. Now, she’s whisked away to a mysterious island and pitted against other female recruits to become a Watcher-girls who are partnered with vampires and assist them in their missions. To survive and become a Watcher, Annelise has to beat out every other girl, but she’s determined to do so, because to fail doesn’t mean dishonor-it means death.

When I heard about Isle of Night at Book Binge, I knew I had to have it. The premise of the book is intriguing and while I’m not someone who visits the YA section of the book store, I’m not quite willing to let a good book pass me by. I wanted it bad enough to buy it right away. It started off interesting enough until I began to know the heroine. I didn’t like her.

She is introduced as an immature, but extremely intelligent girl; she’s a genius. Her decision-making skills aren’t the best. She makes poor choice after poor choice and never lets the possible consequences affect her decision-making process. Maybe it’s par for a young adult novel, but I found it to be distracting. Added to that immaturity is the heroine’s need to give silly nicknames. For example, her father is Daddy Dearest, her arch-enemy is von Slutling and a random guy is Mr. Harvard Premed.

For the most part, the idea behind the plot is pretty awesome. Girls on the verge of womanhood battle for the right to live as vampire caretakers. They learn all types of things, but the key is to survive. The school doesn’t encourage friendships, as you never know when you’ll be battling killing your friends. I was good with all that. I didn’t love the mean girls which filled the pages. It was Annelise and another girl against a school full of beautiful, fit Barbies out to get them. I just couldn’t connect to the world, especially when I didn’t particularly care for the genius heroine who kept making ignorant decisions.

Neither was I thrilled with the love triangle. First of all, love with a person who deceives you is never high on my love plots list. Love with a man who may kill you if you misspeak…not high either. Especially in a world where you will never be equal. In Veronica Wolff’s world woman can NOT become vampires.

You will not be vampires,” he assured us. “Never that. To be Vampire is a man’s destiny. But we cannot survive without you, my fair ones. You see, only you have the opportunity to be a part of an elite group. A group that ensures the survival of the coven. This group is known as the Watchers. And to be Watcher is a woman’s fortune.”

I just wish authors would get over the stupid love triangle BS. It’s been over done.

My biggest peeve with the book has nothing to do with the story or the writing. I always get a little testy when I pay the full price for an ebook. I hate paying $10 for an ebook, especially when the paper version is also priced at $10. If I do spend that amount of money I expect for there to be no issues with my electronic version. Unfortunately, the copy I received had a stupid error that irked me. What? Well, the first paragraph in chapter 12 has two of the same sentences. Mine says:

The Initiates had led me to the ground-floor foyer, where I stood, stripped led me to the ground-floor foyer, where I stood, stripped to my underwear.

I read that crap about 5 times before I realized that I wasn’t crazy and my eyes weren’t skipping lines. I’m even more irritated that the error isn’t in the paper edition, only the ebook. WTF? If anything, I’d expect it to be the other way around since fixing an ebook is simpler than recalling thousands of books, which just wouldn’t happen.

Anyway, I read the entire book. I think it got better as it progressed. I’m even interested in reading the next book in the series. Why after this predominately negative review would I do that? Because I want to know where the author is taking the heroine with one of the possible love triangle guys. I know, I’m punishing myself, but I’ve got to know what happens when a girl hooks up with a guy whom she can never be on equal footing with.

Book two, Vampire’s Kiss will be released in March 2012 and the third book, Blood Fever, will be released in August 2012. I’m not sure what’s going on because it sounds like a third “hot” guy is added to the menu.

IF YOU’RE GOING TO BE PARTNERED WITH A VAMPIRE, YOU HAVE TO WORK THE NIGHT SHIFT.

By her wits, blood, and sacrifice, so far Drew has survived the intensive training on the Isle of Night. As a second-year Acari, her ultimate goal is to become a Watcher, and now she has a shot at her first mission. Except nothing is as it seems. The vampire Alcántara is as sinister as he is sexy, Ronan is more distant than ever, and it turns out there are other vampires out there. Bad ones.

Ancient, bloodthirsty, and powerful, these undead are really old school. They’ve captured one of the Watcher vamps and are torturing him for information. The only chance to save him is to infiltrate a major summit the baddies are holding on their own island. There will be mortals there, serving as butlers, maids, and various hired help. Drew had better brush up on her skills as a serving girl, because she’s about to go undercover…

But, when their vampire prisoner turns out to be a gorgeous bad boy, Drew’s first mission quickly turns into more than she bargained for…–Veronica Wolff’s website; description of book two.

Winner: Bound by Blood

19 Oct

The winner is

Susan C.

I ♥ Covers: Devil’s Punch

18 Oct

Review: Prowl the Night by Crystal Jordan

18 Oct

Prowl the Night byCrystal Jordan
Kennsington (October 2011)
Trade: $14.00; ebook: $10.99
ISBN: 9780758261557

Prowl the Night is book two in Crystal Jordan’s Prowl series. It contains two erotic, romance stories. They are sizzling, so if you like your sex spicy and often, you’ll most likely love the stories included in the book.

Crave Me

Favorite Lines: “And even though she was in his lap, curled against the heat of his body, she was dismissed just that quickly for the more important aspects of his life. It was depressing, disheartening, and made her regret her impulsive need to find  comfort in his arms.” (p. 37)

As newly appointed heir to his Pride, Tomas Montoya struggles with both his new duties and his new mate. He craves the dark and dangerous pleasure he finds with Ciri but wonders if he can ever satisfy her need for more…

Crave Me is an emotionally satisfying, erotic story. It shows what comes after the instant attraction and destined mate story line. Watching two people learn about each other outside of the bedroom (or office) shows the need for there to be more than great sex. The best part is creating a workable, yet believable happily ever after for the hero and heroine. I’ve got to know they will succeed in the future. I got all that and much more with Crave Me.

I understand who the hero and heroine truly are as people. I watched the sexual chemistry between the characters burn with desire before they stroke, lick and pump each other to completion. Most importantly, I felt the two compromise as they discovered they could have everything they wanted only if they had each other. The short action oriented story line worked to more the story forward, but don’t expect to run from page to page. Most of the story is about the indecision and concern Ciri and Tomas feel. It is also hot, hot, hot from the first sentence to the last.

Want Me

Favorite Lines: “His fingers were buried deep in her sex when she woke up. Her nipples were tight, her p**sy so wet she whimpered before she opened her eyes. His  arms held her back tight to his chest, but she twisted around as best as she could to look at him. Only to find that he was still deep in slumber.” (p.186)

Teresa Garcia has seen how loving and losing a mate can drive someone mad and she has no interest in experiencing that herself. But when she meets Rafael Santiago, she wants him like no other. Driven by desire, she hungers for his body with a fierce and feral passion…

Want Me features a heroine determined to resist the fated bonding common among panther shifters. Her brother was featured in previous stories written by Crystal Jordan as a villain, but there is so much more to his story than a man determined to have his way. The reason he turned out the way he did is explained in Want Me‘s short story. More than that, however, it is the story of a man comfortable enough to let his woman lead.

She is the heir to her Spanish Pride and outside of the bedroom he defers to her. It doesn’t make him weak or cause him to ever question his masculinity. She never thinks less of him and in the bedroom the two create magnificent sparks. Rafael knows what he wants, considers the pros and cons and then inserts himself in  Teresa’s life. She makes a major decision that he doesn’t agree with, but he never goes the caveman route. He allows her to be a grown woman and make decisions. He never closes the door on the relationship or acts petty.

The story is short, sexy and smart. It has no action, but the story doesn’t suffer from the lack there of. I can’t say I absolutely liked it as much as Crave Me, but it was okay. The sex scenes were really, really nice. 🙂

Review: One Salt Sea by Seanan McGuire

17 Oct

One Salt Sea by Seanan McGuire
Penguin/DAW (September 2011)
Mass Market: $7.99; ebook: $7.99
ISBN: 9780756406837

Favorite Lines: “I glanced at her, startled, before nodding and putting my own hand over it. We stayed there for a long time, listening to the distant music drifting from the house behind us, and watched as the tide rolled out. She didn’t say anything about my tears. I didn’t say anything about hers. Everything changes.” (p. 354)

October “Toby” Daye is settling into her new role as Countess of Goldengreen. She’s actually dating again, and she’s taken on Quentin as her squire. So, of course, it’s time for things to take a turn for the worse.

Someone has kidnapped the sons of the regent of the Undersea Duchy of Saltmist. To prevent a war between land and sea, Toby must find the missing boys and prove the Queen of the Mists was not behind their abduction. Toby’s search will take her from the streets of San Francisco to the lands beneath the waves, and her deadline is firm: she must find the boys in three days’ time, or all of the Mists will pay the price. But someone is determined to stop her-and whoever it is isn’t playing by Oberon’s Laws…

Book five in Seanan McGuire’s October Daye series continues the adventures of Toby as she is forced to investigate fantastical matters. This book takes the story under the sea, giving the reader an exciting new setting to learn about and a variety of new characters to meet. It is only in the water for a short time, but it was enough to excite me. One Salt Sea also closes several story lines, reveals origins and provides the direction in which the series will travel.

Like all the other books in the series, I loved it. I know I say it every time I review one of McGuire’s books, but it cannot be said enough. McGuire is an expert at writing detailed, action oriented stories without changing her characters. We meet the characters and instantly know when we stumble across that character later in the book or series how it will act or react.

I wasn’t thrilled with the role my beloved Cat King had been relegated to when I began reading One Salt Sea, but I’m more than satisfied with the conclusion. I won’t tell you what happened, but I will tell you McGuire has taken her usual zig-zag path to find the conclusion. You may think one thing is going to happen, but the details leading to that end are important and play a major role in my appreciation of the story.

The path McGuire traveled with Toby made me cry, not for a person that I think, you think, but for another person whom I grieved for the entire series. At times I felt like I cared more than Toby. However, in her defense one crisis after another occurs in every October Daye book.

In the end, I want more. I need to know how this series ends. Often I find myself setting aside a series after the third book. I never once contemplating doing so with October Daye. I know there will be something for me in the next book. I have faith that the author won’t try to shock me in a way that revamps the world and characters I’ve come to know over the course of five books. That deserves loyalty, which is why I’ll continue to pick up McGuire’s books. They are dependable reads.

Book six is titled Ashes of Honor and will be released in September 2012 and book seven is titled The Chimes at Midnight and will be released September 2013.

Book one

Book two

Book three

Book four