Archive | February, 2012

Review: Fever by Joan Swan

27 Feb

Fever by Joan Swan
Kennsington (March 1, 2012)
Trade: $14; ebook: $11.99
ISBN: 9780758266385

Favorite Lines: “A pristine fantasy of him lying naked in the middle of a big, comfortable bed with her equally as naked, straddling his lap with a sexy smile on that beautiful face instead of that perpetual scowl. Her hair fell forward over her shoulders as she split the foil condom wrapper with her teeth. Popped the latex securely between those full lips. Rolled it over his extended length with her mouth. Seated it in place with a suction that made his hands clench the sheets and his body arc off the mattress.” (p. 22, ARC)

Dr. Alyssa Foster will admit to a bad boy fetish. . .

But when she finds herself face to face with a convicted murderer with a ripped body, a determination for freedom and an eye on her as his get out of jail free card, Alyssa knows she’s in deep trouble. . .. Not just because Teague Creek is a prisoner desperate for freedom, but because his every touch makes her desperate for more.

A man with a life sentence has nothing to lose. . .

Teague Creek has one shot at freedom, but his plan to escape with a hostage develops a fatal flaw: Alyssa. On the run from both the law and deadly undercover operatives who know of his strange abilities, he needs to avoid trouble, but every heated kiss tells him the fire between them could be just as devastating as the flames that changed him forever.

I did not finish reading Joan Swan’s Fever. It looked exciting and began with action, but the first several chapters are filled with prejudice that really bothers me. As a bi-racial woman, I find myself particularly sensitive to books which use racial slurs. A couple racial epithets, I can deal with but when there are more–even when they are part of character depiction–I’m insulted and turned off. I don’t want to know more and I just want to set the book down and walk away. As a matter of fact, that’s exactly what I did with Fever.

As the book begins we are introduced to a mixed race Asian heroine who is about to examine a Caucasian male prison inmate. She notices white supremacist tattoos on him and soon meets his escape partner who makes no bones about displaying his revilement of all races who are not white. These are graphic descriptions. We are also given vivid details of how he feels other races should be treated. It is disgusting and it makes me think poorly of the hero, who aligned himself with the white supremacist culture in order to survive prison. I understand it was his coping mechanism, but it really bothered me to see this side the hero knowing he is going to end up in a bi-racial relationship. I thought about it throughout the story. It made me question the validity of his feelings and wonder when in the future that aspect of his life was going to reemerge.

I eventually picked the book back up and skimmed through it. I was curious to know what happened, but the damage was done early in the book. The great characters that I met skimming the following chapters didn’t mean squat ’cause the tone of the book, in my mind, still revolved around the two inmates I met early in the book. The author killed the racism in a vicious way pages before I set the book down the first time and I didn’t see the racism in my skimming the second time I picked up the book. (Yes, skimming isn’t really reading, but I wanted to know what happened at the end.)

I skimmed through a sexy, romantic suspense. I think I could have really dug Fever had the racial slurs not been present. I’ve read other reviews of the book and know that I’m in the minority of people who feel this way. Others have gobbled the book up. Don’t let my opinion of Fever prevent you from reading it. It’s Joan Swan‘s debut book and the first book in her Phoenix Rising series. I’m hoping book two, Blaze, or book three, Inferno, will be a better hit with me. Blaze comes out in October 2012 and Inferno does not yet have a release date.


Review: Tempted by Blood by Laurie London

24 Feb

Tempted by Blood by Laurie London
Harlequin (Feb. 28, 2912)
Mass Market: $7.99; ebook: $6.99
ISBN: 9780373776450

Favorite Lines: “Her shirt was open, her breasts exposed. They didn’t sag much to either side, he noted. Instead, they proudly displayed an unmoving quantity of silicone beneath the taut mounds, too large for her waiflike body. What would she look like in forty or fifty years? A grandma with Playboy-size implants.” (p. 23, egalley)

Deep within the forests of the Pacific Northwest, the battle for supremacy rages on between two Vampire coalitions:

Guardian enforcers sworn to protect humanity, and Darkbloods, rogues who kill like their ancient ancestors…

He might be known for his effortless charm, but Guardian Jackson Foss is hiding a terrible secret. For months, he has battled the emergence of his dark nature—deadly urges that threaten to consume him. And those cravings only intensify when he meets Arianna Wells, the human he’s been assigned to protect. Smart and perceptive, Arianna doesn’t seem like a dangerous temptress. Yet she awakens in Jackson an unstoppable need that, if left unchecked, will brand him a traitor…a crime punishable by death.

But soon their bond may be Arianna’s only hope. For stalking her in the shadows is a merciless enemy—one who will stop at nothing to claim her completely…

Tempted by Blood is book three in Laurie London’s Sweetblood romance series. It’s a stand alone book, but the main couples from books one and two make appearances. Also, the events toward the end of book two impact Arianna’s life. It’s not necessary to have read previous books to know what’s happening, but doing so will build a deeper understanding of the battle which is being waged between the two vampiric forces.

The heroine is a smart and caring woman who has taken on the challenge of raising a teenage cousin. She has no idea that vampires truly exist or that her young cousin has a rare blood type that makes her irresistible to the darkblood faction of vampire society. Arianna becomes her cousin’s advocate when she learns of Jackson’s plans to wipe their memories of all knowledge of vampires. Arianna is much more than just a mother figure to her cousin. She is an independent woman who is sexually attracted to Jackson.

Jackson wants to be so much more than a man whore for Arianna. He tries to fight his attraction for the very human woman Arianna, but like a moth to the flame he can’t stay away. She is an excellent source of energy, but he is terrified of that he will drain her either of energy or blood.

I have to say that of all the books, Tempted by Blood has the weakest villain. Its evil vampire is rather lame and comes across more as a whiner and planner than a true source to fear. She is intelligent, but lacks oomph and power. She didn’t stand out as a bad ass.

Tempted by Blood is a paranormal romance which focuses on the relationship between the hero and heroine. Other things happen and teasers for future books are dropped, but that all comes secondary to the couple. Once the reader has discerned who the characters are from their inner thoughts and actions, as opposed to what secondary characters see, the focus is firmly placed on them becoming one. It wasn’t an exciting or mind stretching story, but it was solid. I wasn’t even surprised by any of the events in the book, but I’ll be reading the next book in the series.


Review: Assassins in Love by Kris DeLake

23 Feb

Assassins in Love by Kris DeLake
Sourcebooks (March 1, 2012)
Mass Market: $6.99; ebook: $6.99
ISBN: 9781402262821

Favorite Lines: “She turned, assessing her options as she did. One knife. (People were afraid of knives, which was good. But knives were messy, hard to clean up the blood, which was bad. Two laser pistols. (One tiny, against her ankle, hard to reach. The other on her hip, obvious, but laser blasts in a corridor–dangerous. They’d bounce off the walls, might hit her.) Fists. (Might break a bone, hands already shaking. Didn’t need the additional risk.) Then stopped assessing when she saw him. He wasn’t what she expected.” (p. 10, egalley)

Two brilliant assassins in a fascinating futuristic world need each other to finish one more job before calling it quits in the highly respected killing business. But it’s more of a challenge than either expected.

A series of mishaps plagues their every move, and if it’s not Misha helping Rikki with a bungled getaway, then it’s Rikki helping Misha to hide some damning evidence. They can’t seem to get anything right… except for the way they feel about each other.

Hmmm, how to describe book one in the Assassins Guild series written by Kris DeLake, aka Kristine Kathryn Rusch–the author of a ton of books. It’s a futuristic, action packed, sensual romance featuring two killers who make no apologies for doing their jobs.

The hero, Misha, is a by-the-rules type of man and the heroine, Rikki, is a fly by your pants type of woman. Both are great at their jobs as assassins. Their paths just seem to keep running a bit too close. Misha keeps getting jammed up by Rikki’s kills; he’s been arrested three times for deaths attributed to her. He is determined to find out if Rikki is out to get him.

Rikki, on the other hand, could care less. Every time she is hired to “off” someone she researches the target. She doesn’ t kill people so heirs can inherit property or because of silly feuds. She only takes cases which involve people who deserve to die. So when Rikki is hired to kill a high ranking official, she knows that she is being set up. It’s the perfect time for the rule loving Misha to help Rikki. He can also help her examine the role he played in her past.

Assassins in Love is a quick read that sometimes made me wonder how the heroine managed to thrive as an assassin. Rikki came across as bumbling and irrational at times which interrupted the flow of the story. Every time she did something like a novice, I rolled my eyes. I mean she’s caught on film, doesn’t always observe her environment and leaves a witness alive, all of which add up to a not so proficient killer. I don’t know how she’s been so successful that she’s considering retirement.

Despite my issues with the heroine, the passion filled story was a fun and light read. (Odd that a book about death avoided becoming dark.) It doesn’t portray an overnight type of love, but one in which a couple meet and separate, before reuniting. Through that time they simmer in a mixture of wonderment, lust and distrust. Unintentionally, Rikki and Misha take time to weave together the bonds needed for a lasting relationship. The story makes it simple to follow Rikki and Misha through time because it is divided into three, clearly marked sections.

I don’t see myself re-reading Assassins in Love; it’s not one of my favorite books of the year. However, reading about the worlds DeLake envisions made reading the book worthwhile. In DeLake’s world, people travel on spaceships similar to the way people travel on cruise ships today. Credit card implants are used as currency and real meat is a thing only the rich can afford. It’s not calm like Robyn Carr’s Virgin River series. It’s not dark like Jory Strong’s Ghostland World series. It’s not silly, funny or scary. It’s different in a way that makes it slightly better than an average romance.


Review: Redwood Bend by Robyn Carr

22 Feb

Redwood Bend by Robyn Carr
Harlequin/MIRA (Feb. 28, 2012)
Mass Market: $7.99; ebook: $7.99
ISBN: 9780778313106

Favorite Lines: “My God, he thought. Did she take nothing seriously? Here they’d romped the night away in complete carnal pleasure and at first light he’s caught naked in her bed by her children! They’d be in therapy until they were twenty. But of course they hadn’t seen anything…He was covered, Katie claimed to have slept in the other room and the clothes he’d left on the living room floor the evening before were neatly folded on the top of the chest of drawers, his boots standing politely on the floor. Even the dresser drawer where she kept all the extra condoms was closed; no wrappers on the night side table.” (p. 150, egalley)

Katie Malone and her twin boys’ trip along the beautiful mountain roads to Virgin River is stopped short by a tire as flat as her failed romance. To make matters worse, the rain has set in, the boys are hungry and Katie is having trouble putting on a spare. As she stands at the side of the road pondering her next move, she hears a distinct rumble. The sight of the sexy, leather-clad bikers who pull up beside her puts her imagination into overdrive.

Dylan Childress and his buddies are on the motorcycle trip of a lifetime. But the sight of a woman in distress stops them in their tracks. And while the guys are checking out her car, she and Dylan are checking out one another.

In one brief moment, the world tilts on its axis and any previous plans Katie and Dylan might have had for their futures are left at the side of the road.

If you love the calm world created by Robyn Carr you are going to love her newest book Redwood Bend. Carr excels in writing feel good romances about people looking for and achieving successful second chances in life. Book 16 in Carr’s Virgin River series introduces us to a well-rounded widow raising twins who is ready to reenter the world of dating. She meets a child movie star turned business owner on the verge of disaster who rocks her world.

Dylan isn’t looking for love. He’s a love ’em and leave ’em type of man. Until he meets Katie and discovers a bond in a place he never expected–a single mother of twins and in Virgin River.

The trials of dating a woman with children from both the woman and man’s point of view is given in a sometimes hilarious fashion. The children in Carr’s book are actual characters with quality page time which doesn’t take away from the romance building between the hero and heroine. For the most part the lives of the characters revolve around the children. It doesn’t make for an exciting story, but it does make an excellent finding love story when you’re not a virgin twenty something.

Redwood Bend is a traditional romance which focuses on two people facing their own fears before combining to form a strong relationship. It features steady pacing and a passionate grown folks type of love. It’s what I’ve come to expect from Carr.

I love the down to earth romances Robyn Carr writes. While I haven’t read all of Carr’s books, I do read them whenever I want a comfortable contemporary romance to warm me. I was not disappointed with Redwood Bend.

Review: Darkness Bound by Stella Cameron

21 Feb

Darkness Bound by Stella Cameron
Grand Central Publishing (March 1, 2012)
Mass Market: $7.99; ebook: $7.99
ISBN: 9781455500154

Favorite Lines: “He pulled the lid off a container in the refrigerator and extracted several pieces of raw bacon. As soon as he set the cream on the table he began to chomp through one slice after another.

“Ick,” Leigh said.

“Ick, what?”

She widened her eyes innocently and said, “I didn’t say that.” “Yes you did.”

“Okay.” After what he’d done to her ego, why should she save his feelings. “Eating raw bacon is awful. Jazzy likes that, but he’s a dog.”

Niles looked at the final slice, dropped it into the sink and turned on the disposal. While he washed his hands he gave her an odd, sideways glance. “I eat when I’m uptight.”

“So do I. Usually fudge or cookies.”” (p. 156, egalley)


After her husband’s tragic death, Leigh Kelly arrives on Whidbey Island determined to start over. Yet the tiny town of Chimney Rock is not as peaceful as it seems. Women have been disappearing, and Leigh can’t shake the feeling that she’s being watched . . . especially at night. Soon, she’s experiencing visions she can’t explain and fighting her attraction to a handsome stranger who seems to know her most intimate desires.


As the leader of the Team, a pack of werehounds forced to hide their very existence, former special ops soldier Niles Latimer is desperate to prove a man’s heart beats beneath his predator’s body. And Leigh—the mysterious beauty possessing powers she doesn’t yet understand—may be the one woman who can help him. But Niles isn’t the only one who recognizes Leigh’s true identity. Something evil is waiting in the woods—and the hunt has begun . . .

I best know Stella Cameron as the author of contemporary romance and suspense. Darkness Bound is my first glimpse of Cameron as the author of a paranormal romance. She’s published other paranormal romances, but Darkness Bound is the first book in her Chimney Rock series. The idea behind the book is excellent and once I read the blurb on the book I had to read the story. Unfortunately, Darkness Bound didn’t win me over like I thought it would.

Expect to be introduced to a world within the human world. On small Whidbey Island live humans, werehounds, werewolves, fae, witches, vampires and other paranormal creatures. They live along side their human neighbors, but are on the verge of a paranormal war. In this world, the werehounds are the good guys and the werewolves are evil. Most of the paranormal community is power hungry.

Into this world comes a beautiful widow–Leigh Kelly. She is destined to mate with the leader of the alpha werehounds, a man named Niles Latimer. The werewolves want to stop that from happening, but they also want something more. Something that has to do with other women on the island. Sounds good, right? Well, it was until it wasn’t.

It felt like it was written by two people. The first half of the book hooked me, but when the author should have been reeling me in I slipped the hook and swam away.

Darkness Bound is filled with cliches and just way too much going on. A vampire feasting on the blood of his Bride in a white room. Check. Power hungry fae queen looking for more territory. Check. A friendly pet who is much more than animal. Check. There are many other familiar to the paranormal community plot devices that irritated me. All the newness of the book’s werehound exploration died with the introduction of WAY too many paranormal creatures.

The heroine, who I really didn’t care too much for anyway, became TSTL and random shenanigans began to occur. For example, while at a potentially dangerous moment in time the hero tells the heroine to stay put.

“How can you do that?”

His head jerked up and he glowered across the branches at Leigh. “I told you to stay in the car.”

“I’m getting bored. I want to help. This is my place.” She pointed to the chunk of tree he held up by a couple of snags. “That’s huge, Niles. It’s bigger than most trees. you’re tossing it around like a match-stick.”

“I’m strong,” he said. There was no point making up some elaborate story.

She opened her mouth to speak but crossed her arms instead.

“What?” he asked.

“I know how strong you are. Or maybe I don’t. I wonder how much I don’t know about you.”

“Your timing for an inquisition is great,” he said. “What don’t you think I’ve told you? Isn’t it enough to know I’m a–”

“I’m being stupid,” she said, cutting him off.”–p. 212

Yeah, you’re being stupid. You’re getting bored, so you hop out the car and begin lobbing stupid questions at the man who stands between you and danger? Leigh came across as insipid and when she began to glitter a nail was pounded into Darkness Bound‘s coffin.

In the end, I was irritated when I finished Darkness Bound. I know the hero of book two, Darkness Bred, will be Sean–a werehound who had a lot of page time in this book. I don’t know who the heroine is. It better be the Leigh’s twin sister. We met her and learned that her husband was conniving. We also know that he’s up to something more than emotionally beating his wife down, but are left hanging as to his true intentions. I wondered about that entire story line as I read the final pages of the book.

So while tons of other story lines resolved themselves, I really didn’t care. I had formed no bond with either the hero or the heroine. I just wanted to know how the book ended. I sighed a lot. That said, I’ll be looking for the next story to come out. I want to know what happens to Leigh’s sister.

Books I Want Releasing in March 2012

20 Feb

Dying Wish by Shannon K. Butcher (March 6) ♥

Jackie Patton has been rescued by the Theronai from her captivity and torture at the hands of the Synestryn, only to learn that she’s a potential match for the Theronai warriors who need a woman to literally save their lives.

Forced to choose, she unexpectedly selects Iain, a cold-hearted warrior who doesn’t want to be saved. Iain is convinced that it’s too late—that his soul is already as dead as his former betrothed, killed by the Synestryn. Still, he is the only man Jackie feels a measure of peace around and the only one she wants. But is Iain indeed beyond saving?

Eventide: The Dark Ind Chronicles by Elle Jasper (March 6)

Newly-bitten tattoo artist Riley Poe feels herself changing in unimaginable ways. Eli Dupre, her vampire lover, has seen the change in her and fears for her humanity. His rival, Victorian, tells her she must see the patriarch of the vampire cult that attacked her to save her soul. In the vampire cult’s fortress in Romania, Riley will face her worst fears-and the dark powers threatening to destroy her. And she’ll have to do the one thing she’s been determined not to do—put her trust in Eli.

Fair Game by Patricia Briggs (March 6)

They say opposites attract. And in the case of werewolves Anna Latham and Charles Cornick, they mate. The son-and enforcer-of the leader of the North American werewolves, Charles is a dominant alpha. While Anna, an omega, has the rare ability to calm others of her kind.

Now that the werewolves have revealed themselves to humans, they can’t afford any bad publicity. Infractions that could have been overlooked in the past must now be punished, and the strain of doing his father’s dirty work is taking a toll on Charles.

Nevertheless, Charles and Anna are sent to Boston, when the FBI requests the pack’s help on a local serial killer case. They quickly realize that not only the last two victims were werewolves-all of them were. Someone is targeting their kind. And now Anna and Charles have put themselves right in the killer’s sights…

Oracle’s Moon by Thea Harrison (March 6)

As a second daughter, Grace Andreas never had to worry about the intrigues of the Elder Races. But when her sister, Petra, and Petra’s husband are both killed, Grace inherits the Power and responsibilities of the Oracle of Louisville, as well as her sister’s two young children – neither of which she is prepared for.

Yet, she is not alone. Khalil, Demonkind and Djinn prince of House Marid – driven by his genuine caring for the children – has decided to make himself a part of the household both as their guardian and as an exasperating counterpoint to Grace’s impudence toward the Elder Races.

But when an attempt is made on Grace’s life, she realizes that Khalil is the only one who can protect her – and offer her more than a mortal man…

Now or Never: Wizards of Nevermore by Michele Bardsley (March 6)

Tormented by nightmares of a woman’s death, Sheriff Taylor Mooreland is shocked to find the woman from his visions chained to an altar in the woods. He barely knows her, but something compels Taylor to protect the mysterious Lenore Whyte no matter what. Even if it means dealing with magic.

Nightborn by Lynn Viehl (March 6)

The High Lord of the Immortal Darkyn has sent his most trusted warrior, Korvel, to retrieve a coveted scroll that’s rumored to contain maps to Templar treasures and the secrets to eternal life. Uniting with Korvel to recover the dangerous artifact is Simone Derien, the daughter of the scroll’s guardian, and a woman with many deadly secrets…

Assassins in Love by Kris DeLake (March 6)

Two brilliant assassins in a fascinating futuristic world need each other to finish one more job before calling it quits in the highly respected killing business. But it’s more of a challenge than either expected. A series of mishaps plagues their every move, and if it’s not Misha helping Rikki with a bungled getaway, then it’s Rikki helping Misha to hide some damning evidence. They can’t seem to get anything right… except for the way they feel about each other.

Dire Needs by Stephanie Tyler (March 6)

Rifter leads the pack, embracing the lifestyle and ethics of an outlaw biker even as he battles an ancient enemy who has become a new, powerful force. But with his Brother Wolf raging inside him, howling to be unleashed, he needs to satisfy his hungers. And when he meets a drop-dead gorgeous blonde drinking alone in a bar that caters to both human and inhuman, Rifter’s primal instinct is to claim her.

Gwen has her own desires, long unfulfilled. She hopes a passionate night with the leather-clad, Harley-riding biker will ease her suffering. The seizures that have wracked her body her entire life are incurable—and they’re killing her.

But none of that will matter if Rifter can’t stop the growing threat to them all–trappers who are determined to enslave humankind and use the Dire wolves as part of their nefarious plan.

Outfoxed by Marie Harte (March 13)

Grady Chastell, Shifter extraordinaire, wants to take a mate—the delectable Gabby Easton. She’s sexy, kind, and has the extraordinary ability to shift into two animal spirits, cat and fox. There’s just one problem.

Gabby won’t take him seriously.

He’s at his wits’ end trying to convince her to give him a chance when trouble comes knocking at his door. Before he knows it, he’s unwittingly party to one whopper of a lie that finally has Gabby where he wants her…but will she feel the same when she realizes she’s been duped?

It will take all his cunning, the help of the pride, and a good bit of mutual trickery to convince his foxy lady to forgive and forget. And more, to love him—the cat born to be hers.

Born to Darkness by Suzanne Brockmann (March 20)

Dishonorably discharged, former Navy SEAL Shane Laughlin is down to his last ten bucks when he finally finds work as a test subject at the Obermeyer Institute, a little-known and believed-to-be-fringe scientific research facility. When he enters the OI compound, he is plunged into a strange world where seemingly mild-mannered scientists—including women half his size—can kick his highly skilled ass.
Shane soon discovers that there are certain individuals who possess the unique ability to access untapped regions of the brain with extraordinary results—including telekinesis, super strength, and reversal of the aging process. Known as “Greater-Thans,” this rare breed is recruited by OI, where they are rigorously trained using ancient techniques to cultivate their powers and wield them responsibly.
But in the depths of America’s second Great Depression, where the divide between the haves and the have-nots has grown even wider, those who are rich—and reckless—enough have a quick, seductive alternative: Destiny, a highly addictive designer drug that can make anyone a Greater-Than, with the power of eternal youth. The sinister cartel known as The Organization has begun mass-producing Destiny, and the demand is epidemic. But few realize the drug’s true danger, and fewer still know the dirty secret of Destiny’s crucial ingredient.
Michelle “Mac” Mackenzie knows the ugly truth. And as one of the Obermeyer Institute’s crack team of operatives, she’s determined to end the scourge of Destiny. But her kick-ass attitude gets knocked for a loop when she finds that one of the new test subjects is none other than Shane, the same smoldering stranger who just rocked her world in a one-night stand. Although Shane isn’t a Greater-Than like Mac, as an ex-SEAL, he’s got talents of his own. But Mac’s got powerful reasons to keep her distance from him—and reasons that are just as strong to want him close. She’s used to risking her life, but now, in the midst of the ultimate war on drugs, she must face sacrificing her heart.

Darkest Knight by Karen Duvall (March 20)

After the warrior she loves saved her from a murderous gargoyle, Chalice watched helplessly as Aydin turned into a gargoyle himself. Now, free from the curse that enslaved her, Chalice pledges to join her sister knights in The Order of the Hatchet—and do whatever it takes to regain Aydin’s humanity…and his love. What she encounters within their hallowed sanctuary is pure intrigue.

Someone—or something—is murdering her sisters in their sleep, provoking fear and suspicion among the order. Meanwhile, Aydin, unable to stay away, starts haunting Chalice’s dreams, urging her onward. Ultimately, Chalice will be faced with an agonizing choice—one that will tear away at her newfound identity and force her to choose between duty and desire…

Deadly is the Kiss by Rhyannon Byrd (March 20)

Tasked with protecting humanity from harm, the last thing Ashe Granger was searching for on his mission was his destined mate. Then, a mysterious darkeyed beauty reluctantly offered him shelter. A spark of danger—and a soul-deep recognition—ignited a burning, carnal need…

Since her family’s exile, Juliana Sabin had borne full responsibility for their safety. So when evil struck, she
had no choice but to ally herself with the sexy guardian vampire. Now, months later, Ashe is back and tempting Juliana to reveal her darkest secrets…and desires. For the killer stalking the shadows isn’t acting alone—and he won’t rest until his deadly cravings are fulfilled.

Sacrificial Magic by Stacia Kane (March 27)

When Chess Putnam is ordered by an infamous crime boss—who also happens to be her drug dealer—to use her powers as a witch to solve a grisly murder involving dark magic, she knows she must rise to the challenge. Adding to the intensity: Chess’s boyfriend, Terrible, doesn’t trust her, and Lex, the son of a rival crime lord, is trying to reignite the sparks between him and Chess.

Plus there’s the little matter of Chess’s real job as a ghost hunter for the Church of Real Truth, investigating reports of a haunting at a school in the heart of Downside. Someone seems to be taking a crash course in summoning the dead—and if Chess doesn’t watch her back, she may soon be joining their ranks.

As Chess is drawn into a shadowy world of twisted secrets and dark violence, it soon becomes clear that she’s not going to emerge from its depths without making the ultimate sacrifice.

Sins of the Son by Linda Poitevin (March 27)

When homicide detective Alexandra Jarvis sees a photo of Seth Benjamin on a police bulletin, she knows that Heaven’s plan to halt Armageddon has gone terribly wrong. As the only mortal who knows of Seth’s true nature, only she can save him. Aramael was a hunter of Fallen Angels until a traitor forced him into earthly exile. Now, with no powers and only a faint memory of Alex, his mortal soulmate, he will stop at nothing to redeem himself-even if it means destroying Seth in the name of the Creator…

Blood on the Bayou by Stacey Jay (March 27)

As best as she can determine, Annabelle’s attack by a group of fairies has infected her with paranormal ability she did not previously possess, including being able to mentally move objects and heal wounds. Her new abilities appear to have few negative side effects, aside from creepy dreams. But would that change if she stopped injecting herself with the mystery drug delivered to her by the even more mysterious Tucker, one of the Invisibles?

Leery of trusting criminals with her health, Annabelle wishes she had someone she could talk to about the changes in her life. Enter Hitch, FBI agent and Annabelle’s ex, who’s back in Donaldsonville on an off-the-books investigation. Hitch suspects that there’s a government-funded illegal lab that’s developing a controversial fairy-killing spray that could adversely affect the existence of every living thing in the delta—including humans. And Hitch and Annabelle will have to find a way to work together if they’re going to find a way to shut it down.

Deliverance by Dakota Banks (March 27)

A demon’s assassin for centuries, Maliha Crayne has gone rogue, determined to save a life for every one she’s destroyed in order to free herself from an eternity of enslavement, damnation, and excruciating torment. But as the powers that sustained her in the past fade, she is wary of trusting those closest to her-especially her lover, Jake. Should Maliha listen to her heart or the alarms going off in her head? Then her closest friends begin to disappear, one by one. Amid her anger, suspicion, and sorrow, she feels her life spiraling out of control.

Worse still, a beautiful, Renaissance murderess is recruiting Maliha as her new assassin. Maliha is turning into a lethal puppet with an evil Immortal pulling the strings, forced to kill innocents or see her missing friends die horribly. Suddenly trapped in a moral no-man’s land, Maliha is damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t…and time is rapidly running out.

Highland Avenger by Hannah Howell (March 27)

Once, Arianna Murray Lucette believed she’d met the man she could always rely on. She was wrong. Now she is fleeing for her life, and when her enemies attack a ship bound for her only refuge, she believes all hope is lost. Until she awakens on Scotland’s shore to a pair of the most entrancing blue eyes she has ever seen.

When Sir Brian MacFingal first spots the sun-streaked beauty on the beach, he mistakes her for dead. Soon, however, he discovers a woman more full of life and vitality than he ever dreamed possible. But though he knows he is fit to defend her life–even at risk of losing his own–can such a raw warrior as he ever be worthy of her love?

The Kingdom by Amanda Stevens (March 27)

Deep in the shadowy foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains lies a dying town…

My name is Amelia Gray. They call me The Graveyard Queen. I’ve been commissioned to restore an old cemetery in Asher Falls, South Carolina, but I’m coming to think I have another purpose here.

Why is there a cemetery at the bottom of Bell Lake? Why am I drawn time and again to a hidden grave I’ve discovered in the woods? Something is eating away at the soul of this town—this withering kingdom—and it will only be restored if I can uncover the truth.

Bear Meets Girl by Shelly Laurenston (March 27) ♥

He’s big, burly, and way smarter than your average shapeshifting bear. He’s also about to get trapped by own his game. . .

Lou Crushek is a reasonable, mellow, easygoing kind of guy. But once someone starts killing the scumbags he works so hard to bust, that really gets under his fur. Especially when that someone is a curvy she-tiger with a skill set that’s turning Crush’s lone-bear world upside down–and bringing his passion out of hibernation. . .

As a member of an elite feline protection unit, Marcella Malone has no problem body-dropping anyone who hunts her kind. But Crush is proving one major pain in her gorgeous tail. The only reason she’s joined forces with him is to track down the wealthy human who’s got her entire species in his ruthless sights. It sure isn’t because Crush’s stubborn and contrary attitude is rubbing Cella in all the right ways. . .

Wanted: Undead or Alive by Kerrelyn Sparks (March 27)

Phineas McKinney thought New York City was tough, until he was attacked by Malcontents—evil vampires who consider mortals to be snacks. Saved by the good vampires, Phin swore to devote his now undead life to stopping the Malcontents. He’s got his job cut out for him when word comes that their enemy may be hiding in Wyoming. What does a city boy like him know about horses and campfires? Good thing he’s got Brynley Jones with him . . . if only she didn’t hate every vampire on earth.

She’s a werewolf princess . . .

Bryn believes vampires are seductive and charming, and that makes them dangerous. So she’s more than a little annoyed about teaming up with Phin, even if he is the only bloodsucker able to make her inner wolf purr. But as they hunt down the new leader of the Malcontents, danger threatens . . . and Phineas and Brynley discover a passion that will rock the foundation of their supernatural world.

= Books I’m feining for.

I ♥ Covers: Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost

19 Feb

I just want to trace the scars on his chest. I don’t care for the background or the lightning, but the man is delicious.

Gone in February 2012

17 Feb

I’m wanting to see this, but I know I’m going to be scared to death while I watch it. 🙂

Review: Slayer’s Kiss by Cassi Carver

14 Feb

Slayer’s Kiss by Cassi Carver
Samhain Publishing (Feb. 14, 2012)
ebook: $5.50 (it’s on sale right now for $3.85)
ISBN: 9781609286798
Excerpt (Click on the excerpt tab)

Favorite Lines: “I begged him to screw me, Abbs. Like, pleaded for my life, and he refused. Then I cried–real tears–and let him hold me even though I knew he just felt sorry for me. If I never see him again, it’ll be too soon.” (p. 34, ebook given to me by author)

Kara Reed is a supernatural failure. But where her magic falls short, her fists get the job done. The criminal element doesn’t stand a chance once she hits San Diego’s dark streets.

When two smoking-hot tenants move in next door, she thinks her love life might finally be heating up. Just being near Gavin and Julian is enough to make her want to offer her body on a platter.

Gavin and Julian know it’s only a matter of time before the truth comes out. They’re fallen angels sent to watch over the king’s daughter, one of the last females of her kind. Trouble is, she doesn’t seem to think she needs watching—unless they’re watching her shimmy out of her clothes.

No matter how tempting her guardians, Kara’s not about to let anything stop her from tracking down a sadistic killer who carves into his victims and leaves them for dead. Even when she realizes her target may be the very scourge of heaven from which her angels swore to protect her…

Book one in Cassi Carver’s Shadow Slayers series is an erotic paranormal romance. It is burning the pages, thigh clenching hot. It reminds me of Sunny’s Monère series blended with the smart ass comments generally found in paranormal romance. However, it is fully the voice of new to me author Cassi Carver.

Kara–the heroine–isn’t the easiest woman to like. She is a rough around the edges vigilante who is pretty good at distancing herself from emotion. I say this because there is a scene in which she and her best-friend, Abbey are hunting down a rapist and implant an idea in his head. It could be funny. It would have been funny had he not been magically influenced to do what he was told. Yes, it’s karma  showing her ass, but it’s also just wrong.

Her lust interests are Gavin and Julian, two guardian angels, with the ability to get her juices flowing. Gavin is the more responsible of the two, which leaves Julian to be the hot head. I actually found him to be very immature. Hot, but immature. The winged men have ginormous packages below the belt but women of their race, Demiare, (of which Kara is, although she doesn’t know it) have to reach maturity to accommodate them. Kara is not ready, or so they think. There’s a lot about Kara that is different from other Demiare women.

The men are lords from the Mercury clan and as such are forbidden to share or bond a woman. They are also protectors of the Demiare race. Their duties have led them to Kara, a lone woman, hidden in the human world. They can protect her from the evil looking for her in the form of an Aniliare male…if she accepts their help.

Slayer’s Kiss showed up on my nook as 240 pages which I quickly devoured. The story is easy to follow, quick paced and full of erotic scenes. It takes place in both the human world and the world of the paranormal angels. Like Sunny’s series, the few remaining Demiare females are vicious creatures who have fixated on physical pleasure. Keep that in mind while you read the book. Men in Carver’s paranormal world are used to belonging to a woman’s harem with the exception of the Mercury Lords.

In general I don’t like love triangles. That said, I had no problem getting on board with Carver’s love triangle because she made it clear from the start that it was a sexual attraction and normal to the characters’ race. I didn’t feel an emotional connection. At all.

I guess that can be seen as the only issue I had with the book. I never felt love between any of the characters. Attraction, hell yeah. Love, not so much. For me this equals no clear happy ever after at the end of the book. I’m cool with that, but fans of traditional romance may not be thrilled. Slayer’s Kiss is an introduction to a new world and several characters. As the series progresses I expect for some kind of emotion or love to be woven in with the erotic aspects. I expect to feel a love connection between Kara and her man or men. Right now, I don’t feel that.

In the end, I had a great time reading Slayer’s Kiss. I look forward to following up with Kara in the next book.

Spotlight on Black Romances

13 Feb

I haven’t read a black romance novel in years. Why? Cause when I read my first one in the 90s I became so hung up on the way dialect was used that I couldn’t finish the book. I remember thinking “black people don’t sound like that.” At least the black people in my family didn’t. The one exception to my self imposed ban on black romance novels has always been L.A. Banks (okay, she wrote urban fantasy).

Today, I’m ignoring my earlier thoughts and spotlighting several black romances in honor of black history month. I haven’t read the books, but they are all available for purchase. Click on the image of the book and you’ll be taken to the product at B&N.

Sealed with a Kiss by Gwynne Forster

For artist and free spirit Naomi Logan, sexy radio call-in host Rufus Meade is the wrong man at the wrong time. His conservative views drive her crazy—especially his theories about working women. But after telling him what she thinks—on the air—the last thing she expects is to see him standing on her doorstep…handsome, outspoken and sexier than any man has a right to be.

It seems that opposites not only attract, they ignite! His kisses leave her breathless. And she’s awakened feelings in him that he’s never felt before. But a failed marriage and the responsibility of raising two young sons alone make Rufus wary of getting too close. Then Naomi uncovers a shocking secret from her own past…a secret that could drive Rufus even further away.

Will their romance lead to heartbreak or happiness for two very different people who are exactly the same…in their desire for love?

If I Could by Donna Hill

For someone who’s always played by the rules, Regina Everette has broken some doozies lately. First, she divorces a perfectly good provider—and the father of her two children—simply because their marriage wasn’t working. Now she’s quit her job simply because she wasn’t fulfilled. Her kids are shell-shocked. Her girlfriends are scandalized. Her mother is appalled. Nobody knows what on earth she’s doing. . .including Regina herself.

Unemployed and unattached, exhilarated and scared to death, Regina fumbles her way into an existence that has no boundaries. As her choices create a ripple effect through the lives of her family and friends, she falls headlong into a new career and a new relationship, certain of just one thing: from here on in, she’ll live—and love—on her terms.

Nighthawk by Beverly Jenkins

Outlaw.Preacher. Night Hawk. He’s had many names, but he can’t escape the past.

Since Ian Vance’s beloved wife was murdered years ago, the hardened bounty hunter knows he’ll never feel love or tenderness again, so he’s made it his mission to ensure others get their justice. But when he’s charged with delivering a sharp-eyed beauty to the law, Ian can’t help but feel he may still have something left to lose.

Orphaned at twelve, Maggie Freeman has always found her way out of trouble. But now there’s a vigilante mob at her back who would like nothing more than to see her hang for a crime she didn’t commit. Maggie may have to accept help for the first time in her life . . . even if it’s from the one man standing between her and freedom.

As the past closes in, the sassy prisoner and toughened lawman may just find a passion between them that could bring blinding happiness . . . if they’ll let it.

With Just One Kiss by Francis Ray

Cicely St. John is not impressed by her friend C.J. Callahan’s so-called passion in life: running a New York City bar that he inherited from his uncle. So why can’t Cicely stop thinking about the dance they shared at their mutual friends’ wedding—or the mutual attraction she felt in C.J.’s arms?

As far as C.J. is concerned, Cicely is a snob whose “passion” in life—writing for fashion magazines—is as pretentious as she is. So why can’t he keep his eyes off her? C.J. has a business to run. And Cicely has a job opportunity in Paris. Neither of them even has time to think about romance right now. But maybe, just once, the two could test their friendship…with just one kiss.

Need You Now by Yahrah St. John

When Kayla Adams wants something, she goes after it. But the take-no-prisoners mogul may have met her match in gorgeous alpha male Ethan Graham. The ruthless billionaire takeover king—and Kayla’s secret girlhood crush—is hotter than an Atlanta August night. He’s also made it clear he’s going to acquire Kayla’s beleaguered family enterprise…and will do whatever it takes to get it!

Ethan plans to own a lot more than Kayla’s high-profile company. The glamorous president of Adams Cosmetics drives him wild with desire, but acts indifferent to the playboy’s sensual charms. Until they share their first kiss. Then Ethan comes up with an offer the alluring Southern beauty can’t refuse. Marry him and they’ll merge their divided interests in a passionate takeover that will make them partners in everything…maybe even love.