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Review: The Perfect Play by Jaci Burton

5 Apr

The Perfect Play by Jaci Burton
Penguin (February 2011)
Trade: $15.00
ISBN: 978-0-425-23881-3

(Hey, this is a shout out to whoever chose this awesome cover art for The Perfect Play. Spectacular!)

Favorite Lines: “And she knew just how to shut him down and get him to run like hell from the restaurant faster than he could run a hundred-yard dash. She hated bringing it up, but there was no choice now.

“I have a fourteen-year-old son, Mick.”” (p. 52)

The last thing event planner Tara Lincoln needs is the jet-set lifestyle of a football pro like Mick Riley; even though their steamy and passionate one-night stand proved that Mick is an all-star-both on the field and in the bedroom.

Tara played the game of love once and lost big, and she doesn’t intend to put herself out there again, especially with a certified heartbreaker. But when Mick sets his mind to win, nothing will stop him. And he has the perfect play in mind to catch this sultry vixen.

I don’t watch sports or movies about sports and I definitely don’t read any books that I think may focus on any aspect of any sport. Prejudice much? Yes, yes I am. But I still picked up a copy of Jaci Burton‘s newest release The Perfect Play. Hot damn, it’s some good shit! It’s also book one in Burton’s Play-by-Play series.

The heroine is a grown, independent mother of a teenage boy. She is gutsy and realistic and exactly the kind of heroine I root for. The hero, well crap didn’t you look at the cover? He’s the shit! No kids, good job, excellent financial package and he chased an everyday regular mother. She didn’t introduce a woman with kid, then make the kid disappear. The kid isn’t in the room the entire time (duh, how else would they be able to sex each other up?), but he is a key point and character in the story.

I was impressed with the way Burton touches on the single mother’s concern for her child. But I think almost equally enjoyable is the way the issue of a celebrity “settling” for an everyday Jane is brought up. The hero never saw the heroine as being anything less than an equal, but some of the secondary characters did. One in particular really pissed me off. So bad that I don’t want her to ever be happy. I want her to suffer. In hot oil. You hear me, Burton? She’s a piece of work. However, I know you think she deserves redemption so we’ll have to see if I get sucked into her story.

Would I recommend this book to a friend? Yes. It’s an erotic contemporary romance for grown women. It gives credence to the idea that you don’t need to be in your 20’s to find your happily ever after. I also appreciate it more than I thought I would. The older I get, the more enjoy reading about other women in their 30’s. If you haven’t read it yet go pick it up!

The next book in the series is Changing the Game which will be released in August 2011.

 

One of these Books Looks a lot Like the Other One…

6 Mar

 

What’s up with the caved in chest look? I hate it. Added to the red and blue tones =Awful covers!

Review: The Fallen: Raziel by Kristina Douglas

4 Feb

The Fallen: Raziel by Kristina Douglas
Mass Market: $7.99
Pocket Books: (January 2011)
ISBN: 978-1-4391-9192-7

Favorite Lines: “It was taking forever to get to his rooms—we went through a maze of hallways, and up so many stairs I was ready to fling myself down on the polished wood floors, gasping and panting like a landed fish.” (p. 79)

She was just an ordinary mortal . . .

“You’re dead” is so not what Allie Watson wants to hear. Unfortunately, it explains a lot. Like the dark, angelically handsome man who ferried her to this strange, hidden land. The last thing she remembers is stepping off a curb in front of a crosstown bus. Now she’s surrounded by gorgeous fallen angels with an unsettling taste for blood—and they really don’t want her around. Not exactly how she pictured heaven.

. . . until death catapulted her into a seductive world she never imagined.

Raziel is unsure why he rescued Allie from hellfire against Uriel’s orders, but she stirs in him a longing he hasn’t felt in centuries. Now the Fallen are bracing for the divine wrath brought by his disobedience, and they blame Allie for the ferocious Nephilim clawing at the kingdom’s shrouded gates. Facing impossible odds at every turn, the two must work together to survive. Raziel will do anything to defend his spirited lover against the forces of darkness—because Allie may be the Fallen’s only salvation.

The Fallen: Raziel is a paranormal romance between a human woman and an angel. In their world, there are no female angels. There are fallen angels who drink blood and fallen, cannibalistic angels sent to destroy the blood drinkers. The story is told in first person, but the person telling the story is constantly changes.

When I started reading the story I was so confused. The intro is told by Raziel (hero) and Uriel (all important, second hand of God). So you hear a little bit about Raziel’s duty to deliver souls for judgment which is told in the first person point-of-view, before listening to Uriel’s first person account of how everyone needs to be smited.

The first chapter of the book is told by Allie (heroine), the second chapter is told by Raziel, the third chapter is told by Allie, and the fourth chapter is told by Azazel (a secondary character). The book continues like that, so it was hard to become close to any one character. It wasn’t until close to the end of the book that I was able to overcome the challenge and let myself sink into the story.

The instant lust in the book is delicious, but the translation of that lust into love was hard for me to swallow. Raziel didn’t want a mate. Allie just wanted to be skinny and alive. They wanted to sex each other; instead they ended up mated. I never truly believed they were meant to be together even though Raziel’s favorite historical time period was the Renaissance. (Yep, when women were overweight.) And one of the heroine’s major hang ups is her weight.

Don’t let me discourage you from reading The Fallen: Raziel. The story of the angels fall from grace and their possible redemption is fresh. Its take on Lucifer was enlightening. I want to know more about the secondary characters. The cover art is spectacular. Once I got over the POV changes, I enjoyed the blistering hot sex scenes, the brutal action and the possibility of an engaging series. It would have been simple to put this book down at any point during the first half of the book. I’m glad I didn’t take the easy route.

The next book in the series is Demon. It will be released in June 2011.

Review: Afterlight by Elle Jasper

5 Jan

Afterlight by Elle Jasper
Mass market: $6.99
Signet Eclipse (November 2010)
ISBN: 978-0-4451-23167-3

Favorite Lines: “The drive back to my apartment was excruciatingly long and sensually painful at the same time. We didn’t speak—not with words, anyway.” (p. 261) Continue reading

Review: Enchanted No More by Robin D. Owens

29 Dec

Enchanted No More by Robin D. Owens
Trade: $14.95
Harlequin-Luna (January 2011)
ISBN: 9780373803231

Favorite Line: “My family needed you and you failed them.” (p. 23)

Jenni Weaver left the magic community after it failed her in her time of need. She lives on the Mystic Circle cul-de-sac in the human world and has tried to bury her past where she was known as Jindesfarne Mistweaver. She wants to forget the day her family was butchered as they balanced energy to help the royal fae travel to another dimension, and the salt and silver her only surviving relative threw at her as he disowned her. But when her former lover, Aric Paramon re-enters her life with urgent news about her brother, Jenni can no longer distance herself from the magical machinations which destroyed her family.

I am thrilled with the introductory book in Robin D. Owens’ newest series: Mystic Circle. It begins in the human world 15-years after the heroine’s family was massacred as an urban fantasy. But then it moves to the fae world and becomes an epic fantasy novel. The book follows Jenni on her path to accepting who she is, making peace with the past and finding love. It is a romance. With all of those factors in place, you know you’re in for a wild, yet satisfying ride.

Enchanted No More shows a world where half-bloods (half-fae/half-human) are sneered at and treated as second class citizens. It is blatantly prejudiced and everyone accepts it as the norm. There is no bucking the system until Jenni arrives. Jenni is a half-blood who knows from experience the lowly status given to halflings.  She wants no part of that world. She actively works to change the system by encouraging half-bloods to strike out on their own away from the feudal system the fae employ. It is aggravating and at times infuriating.

The over arching story line, which connects all of the story lines is about a darkness trying to consume the light. That story allows Jenni to be put into different, enlightening situations with her former lover, Aric.

Aric has no idea why Jenni is so angry with him and herself. He is loyal to the fae court, but he also has watched the Eight (ruling lightborn fae) ignore the lesser fae and fail to assist Aric’s family. He wants change, but I don’t think he would ever reach or actively fight for change without Jenni.

Enchanted No More will take you on a journey of redemption. It will make you burn with anger, smile with triumph and nod your head with approval as Jenni learns from and about the past and chooses to make a future.

I read an electronic copy courtesy of Netgalley, but this is definitely a book that I will buy and shelf with my other keepers.

Books I Want: January 2011

27 Dec

Y’all are gonna shit when you see the super LONG list of books which are coming out in January. Most of them have been on my buy list for quite a while.

Flip this Zombie by Jesse Petersen (Jan. 3)

The Zombie Apocalypse has been good to Sarah and David. Their marriage is better than ever. They communicate well, share responsibilities, and now, they’re starting a business. ZombieBusters-for all your zombie extermination needs.
There are lots of zombies and that means lots of customers…Except one of them doesn’t want the zombies dead, he wants them alive and ready for experimentation. Mad scientists make for difficult clients and this time, Sarah and David might have bitten off more than they can chew. Continue reading

One of these Books is a Lot Like the Other One

7 Dec

I think the covers speak for themselves.

Review: Vicious Grace by M.L.N. Hanover

27 Nov

Vicious Grace by M.L.N. Hanover
Mass Market: $7.99
Pocket Books (November 30, 2010)
ISBN: 978-1-4391-7629-0

I don’t like to give spoilers, but I guess this review has some. Sorry guys. 😦

Favorite Lines: “It took me half an hour, but I filled the grave. I buried an innocent man alive.” (p. 355)

Jayné Heller inherited more than money from her uncle when he died. She learned about magic and became the leader of a group which destroys demons. So when her lover’s ex-wife contacts the group about strange occurrences at Chicago’s Grace Memorial Hospital, Jayné and her four companions travel there to investigate. What they find could destroy the group forever.

M.L.N. Hanover, aka Daniel Abraham and half of the writing group which forms James S.A. Corey, writes the urban fantasy series The Black Sun’s Daughter. The series follows a twenty-something year old woman’s attempt to protect humanity from demons.

Its lead character is Jayné, a human imbued with magic powers which work as a personal security system. She is fast and strong and can even fight when threatened. Everything she never was before her uncle died. She is estranged from her family, so the men surrounding her are much more than just her friends, they are her new family…her family by choice. Vicious Grace is a book that tests those bonds.

It also touches on the topic of rape. I know many people get upset when rape is used in urban fantasy stories. I am not one of those people, but the way Hanover approaches the topic should put other readers at ease. It is not a violent, visual attack. It is simple: when a person takes away another’s right to choose to have sex, it is rape. This can be done through brute force, drugs or magic.

I guess the best thing I have to say about Vicious Grace is it makes me want the next book, Killing Rites. The story is a turning point. Things aren’t pretty in urban fantasies because you never know when a tidbit of information or a major event is going to force you down another path with different people. Know this: the last sentence of the book is a doozy. It will change everything.

Books in the Series What others think about Vicious Grace:
Unclean Spirits Night Owl Paranormal
Darker Angels Fantasy Literature
Vicious Grace
Killing Rites (not yet released)

I ♥ Covers: Christmas with a Vampire

23 Nov

I’m very tempted to buy this book simply because I love its cover. There is something about the man on the cover which screams: “Buy Me!” or is it “Bite Me!”? Christmas with a Vampire is on sale now (B&N: $4.39-mass market; Amazon: $5.59-Kindle), but it’s listed release date is Dec. 1, 2010.

Coming Soon: Captured by the Highlander by Julianne MacLean

18 Nov

Thanks Ms. MacLean for getting me this information!

Captured by the Highlander by Julianne MacLean will be released March 1, 2011. It’s the first book in her new historical romance series.

THE ENEMY IN HER BED
Lady Amelia Sutherland would rather die than surrender to a man like
Duncan MacLean. He is the fiercest warrior of his clan—her people’s sworn
enemy—and tonight he is standing over her bed. Eyes blazing, muscles taut,
and battle axe gleaming, MacLean has come to kill Amelia’s fiancé. But once
he sees the lovely, innocent Amelia, he decides to take her instead…

THE LOVER IN HIS ARMS
Stealing the young bride-to-be is the perfect revenge against the man who
murdered Duncan’s one true love. But Lady Amelia turns out to be more than
a pawn of vengeance and war. This brave, beautiful woman touches something
deep in Duncan’s soul that is even more powerful than a warrior’s fury. But
when Amelia begins to fall in love with her captor—and surrenders in his
arms—the real battle begins…