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Favorite Scenes Friday: Justice

16 Nov

A loud noise boomed and wood split in the living room. It sounded as if someone had kicked down the front door. She grabbed Justice’s hand to shove over his injury.

“Press here, hold it tight and don’t move. I love you.”

She grabbed the empty gun and reached into her shirt. Her hand smeared Justice’s blood all over her vest, shirt and breasts as she yanked out the clip. She slammed it into the empty chamber as she rose to her feet. She gripped both guns in her fists and spread her feed apart to plant them on both sides of Justice’s hips.

It was a bad place to be as far as tactical advantages went. Windows were all around them–a huge glass slider and the open archway that led to the living room. There was no cover. Justice was too heavy and too hurt to move. The fifth male would strike and she hoped he’d come from the archway since that’s where she’d heard the house breached.

Her eyes scanned the room frantically.–Justice by Laurann Dohner

Review: Impulse by Moira Rogers

28 Aug

Impulse by Moira Rogers
Samhain (Sept. 4, 2012)
ebook: $5.50
ISBN: 9781609287672
Excerpt

Favorite Lines: “One more thing, I don’t break, okay? I bend. The rest of you stand strong until you shatter, but I ride the rough spots so I can get back up when they’re over. But sometimes that means I don’t learn, because I never get hurt badly enough to teach me a lesson.” (p. 94)

Sera Sinclaire is a New Orleans rarity: a submissive coyote trapped in a town overrun by dominant shapeshifters. Worse, she lacks the willpower to deny the alphas-in-shining-armor who need her soothing presence, even when their protectiveness threatens to crush her hard-won self-reliance.

The only shifter she doesn’t want to push away is Julio Mendoza, a wolf so dominant he’s earned a place on the Southeast council.

Julio doesn’t have the luxury of indulging in the vacation his psychic shrink insists he needs. He can’t turn his back on responsibilities he’s beginning to wish he’d never shouldered. When an obsessive ex endangers Sera, though, instinct drives him to get her out of town. Watching her come to life outside the city makes him feel like he’s finally done something right, and her touch ignites desire he doesn’t want to ignore.

But soon, lighthearted flirting becomes a dangerous game of seduction, where every day spent falling into each other is another day avoiding the truth. Sera’s ex isn’t the only one who’d disapprove of their relationship. There are wolves who would kill to get Sera out of Julio’s life—starting with his own blood kin.

Book five (Impulse) in the writing duo Moira Rogers’ Southern Arcana series can be read as a stand alone, but you may want to read the previous books to get a feel for the world and its secondary characters. I read book five, then went back and read book one, Crux. I don’t think that was a good idea because they have too many similarities and while I liked Impulse, I didn’t like Crux because of those similarities. (Both have a thread about a male shifter chasing a female shifter to breed.)

But let’s talk about Impulse. It features a submissive fox shifter named Sera who is attracted to a dominate wolf shifter named Julio. Both are traumatized from past events. I think I’d have a clearer understanding of those things had I read book four. Rogers gives enough information that I was able to understand the damage done to both Sera and Julio without reading those events as they occurred. Those events are important because they set up the situation which leads to Sera and Julio to need a vacation.

Impulse is a character driven romance. Both Julio and Sera have emotional issues that they need to work out and a lazy vacation is their route to happiness.  Of course along the way there are speed bumps, but what kept bringing me back were the dynamics between Julio and Sera. Sera was more than a woman who liked to be dominated. She wanted to be seen as an asset who could fight when she needed too, but liked to offer comfort. She is capable of bending which is something an alpha can’t do. She’s a survivor who eventually learns to be confident in herself while living in a world in which many paranormal shifters consider her to be scum.

Julio is hard on himself. He feels guilty about not stepping up in the supernatural world while his father and uncle bullied and ran shifters into the ground. We meet him as he deals with his guilty conscience which forces him to accept all forms of responsibility. Sera doesn’t want to be his responsibility. She wants to be his lover and later–his partner. Once she gets through to him, the possibilities seem endless. It’s the paranormal world’s prejudice that affects them.

Julio is a good guy and I love it when the good guy wins. That’s especially true when he’s paired with a woman who fits him the way Sera fits Julio. She’s the grass to his wind. He blows hard and she bends to fit him no matter where he needs to go.

The plot lines were less interesting to me. There was a fear of Sera’s ex-husband showing up and worry that Julio’s family would make a violent move that never really reached the level I expected. I like my bad guys really bad, but the bad guys in Rogers’ world didn’t feel evil. I actually felt kind of bad for one of them.

The joy to be found in Impulse came from the interactions between Sera and Julio. Their sex scenes were hot, but their ability to just “be” while together were even better. I felt their attraction turn from lust to love and that made me happy with the romance.

Review: Kansas City Cowboy by Julie Miller

5 Aug

Kansas City Cowboy by Julie Miller
Harlequin/Intrigue (Aug. 7, 2012)
Mass Market: $5.25; ebook: $4.99 (I saw it listed at B&N for $3.82 on 8/5/12)
ISBN: 9780373696345

Favorite Lines: “He knew he’d surprised her, knew he was taking liberties with a woman he barely knew. But he needed human contact right now. He needed the reassurance of a beating heart. he needed something strong to hold on to, something soft to absorb the pain and the rage and the grief rolling inside him that threatened to drag him down to his knees and bring him to tears.” (p. 31, e-galley)

For small-town sheriff Boone Harrison, the investigation into a serial rapist turned killer is painfully personal. Boone’s priority is to find the coward who murdered his sister. But to accomplish that, he’ll have to work with Dr. Kate Kilpatrick, a secretive woman whose striking beauty and kind heart just may be the lawman’s undoing….

Forensic psychologist Kate Kilpatrick was wrong about Sheriff Harrison. He’s smarter and more resourceful than she’d given him credit for—and entirely too attractive. In their combined grief, Kate finds something she didn’t even know she needed: protection. Because when the Rose Red Rapist sets his sights on Kate, she’ll need more than the power of the badge to save her. She’ll need her very own cowboy.

Does it get much sexier than a smart cowboy? Well, I figured I find out by reading Julie Miller’s Kansas City Cowboy.

If you’re unfamiliar with Harlequin’s Intrigue line all you need to know is that it is the line that promotes romantic suspense stories. One of the good things about it is at the beginning of each novel the reader is given a list of characters. The cast list includes the hero, heroine, important secondary characters and the villain. It’s a great way to know exactly what is going on before turning the first page of the book. So, let’s get back to Kansas City Cowboy.

Heroine: Dr. Kate Kilpatrick is intelligent woman who was betrayed by her husband and best friend. She copes with it by not allowing people to get close to her. Until Sheriff Boone Harrison appears and pulls her into a bear hug. She doesn’t have time to strictly focus on him though. An escalating rapist has her in his sights and with all the risks she takes, she just might end up dead.

Hero: Sheriff Boone Harrison’s sister was raped and murdered. As her oldest sibling, Boone plans to find his sister’s killer and leaves his jurisdiction for that of Kansas City. Once there he meets Dr. Kate and feels a spark of attraction. He isn’t ready to follow-up on it though. He needs to bury his sister and see her killer brought to justice.

Villain: The Rose Red Rapist has been taking what he wants and leaving women behind. The reader is given glimpses of him, but never gets to really see him. Eventually it becomes clear that there may be more than one bad guy making the rounds in Kansas City Cowboy. Unfortunately, we find out many things SPOILER but never the identity of the rapist. END SPOILER

Suspense, Romance and Sex: The suspense builds as Dr. Kate is stalked. Classic stalker techniques are used: text messages, break ins and the sound of footsteps. At the same time Boone and Kate are spending more time together with a slow burning attraction. There is sex, but not only does it relieve the tension, but it also leads the heroine to feelings of self-empowerment.

End Thoughts: I was bored with Kansas City Cowboy. The conflict didn’t feel like it was between the rapist and the main characters. I felt more internal battles fought inside Kate’s mind with herself and her former best friend, than I felt between the rapist/stalker and the police. The mystery aspect of the story was alright, but it never sucked me in. I felt semi-cheated when I finished reading the book. (Read the spoiler.) There were moments when I wanted to shake the heroine for being TSTL. I guess it just wasn’t the book for me. Maybe you’ll feel different. Did you read it? What are your thoughts?

Review: Samurai Game by Christine Feehan

9 Jul

Originally posted at Fiction Vixen as a guest review on July 5. Follow the link to read comments. I was given this book to review.

Samurai Game by Christine Feehan
Penguin/JOVE (July 3, 2012)
Mass Market: $7.99; ebook: $7.99
ISBN: 9780515151541

Favorite Lines: “You’re so easy to want, Azami, so easy to love, but you still reject who and what you are. You are Thorn, that incredibly brave girl who has grown into a remarkable woman.” (p. 244)

Christine Feehan’s Ghostwalker series is one of my favorite paranormal romance series. I love it so much that I rarely review the books out of fear that I’ll over think them and ruin the experience. Samurai Game, book 10 in the series, is one that needs some type of warning for readers though, so here I am. You may want to read the previous books to get a grasp on the Ghostwalkers’ world before reading Samurai Game.

The blurb on the back of the book is misleading. It says:

In an underground club, a high-ranking public official spends his secret nights indulging in fantasies as exciting as they are depraved. For a seductive employee of the Dungeon, it’s her job to fulfill them. But she’s playing a far more dangerous game—one of blackmail, politics, and murder that reaches into the shadow world of the Ghostwalkers, and the creation of a spectacular, one-of-a-kind new weapon of defense.

But when a dictator makes his own catastrophic moves, the Ghostwalkers have no choice but to bring in two major players—a man and woman both driven by passion and revenge. Both expendable. Both with nothing left to lose.

The first paragraph refers to a secondary character who is killed by page four and the second paragraph is a vague reference to an event at the end of the book. For the most part the blurb is not a great overview of what you’re getting if you purchase the novel. In reality, as with each Ghostwalker book, we are given a genetically altered man and woman who fall in love amidst the chaos of war-like conditions.

The heroine is an Asian woman named Azami, aka Thorn, who was discarded by a monster as a child. She was taken in and raised by a loving father. She is not a member of a sex club, but a samurai warrior who works with her two adopted brothers to cut off  Dr. Whitney’s political support system. She is secretive, but finds solace in tradition and honor. She sees herself as expendable.

Sam “Knight” Johnson is not considered expendable by his friends or family. He is an intellectual man with several degrees to his name, as well as a good soldier who knows how to follow orders. He isn’t willing to ignore the diminutive, but stunning Azami though, no matter who tells him to. He is deadly to his enemies and loving when it comes to his family.

The villain may find one or both of them expendable, but neither Sam or Azami will let danger touch the other. Plus they have a huge extended family of genetically altered “brothers and sisters” to have their backs. Those siblings are the characters from previous books and include the Norton brothers, Gator and Ryland, along with their wives.

In some ways Samurai Game is exactly what I expect to read when I pick up a Ghostwakers’ book. The passion and sex I  associate with Feehan novels are present, as is the severely damaged heroine who realizes she is worthy of love. However, one thing that makes Samurai Game different from previous books is the time spent observing the enemy’s actions.  Series readers know that Dr. Whitney has eyes everywhere, but Samurai Game shows a glimpse at the expansiveness of his spy network. We see the way the network runs before watching a silent adversary take out those greedy spies as battle is waged the samurai way.

I liked Samurai Game, but it’s only fair to mention there are unnecessary repetitive passages which slowed the story. I was also bored a few times like when characters discussed nanotechnology and their weaponry. I was entertained by Samurai Game, but it isn’t my favorite book in the series. That is still a tie between Ruthless Game and Deadly Game.

Review: The Darkest Day by Britt Bury

28 Jun

The Darkest Day by Britt Bury
Grand Central Publishing/Forever Yours(June 28, 2012)
ebook: $4.99
ISBN: 9781455523290

Favorite Lines: “I love you, Izel. You are the most precious thing ta me. Above all else, it’s you.” (p. 218, e-galley)

ALL-CONSUMING DESIRE . . .

Izel Campbell was raised to believe she is an immortal Fionn with the magical skills of persuasion. But when she travels to Scotland to visit her ancestral home, Izel discovers that she is actually the world’s last living human. Forced to run for her life, Izel crosses paths with Kelvin Kerr, the Campbells’ greatest foe-and the most magnificent warrior she has ever seen.

BURNS BRIGHTEST . . .

A thousand-year-old battle chief of the Kerr clan, Kelvin lives only to avenge his father, who died at the hands of the bloody Campbells. Honor demands he kill the Campbell heir, but when he learns that the lovely Izel is both Campbell and human, Kelvin is torn between duty and desire . . .

Debut author Britt Bury has created a new world in which no pure humans exist in her soon-to-be released paranormal romance story The Darkest Day. It has all the amenities of modern society, ie. cell phones and cars, but is manned by vampires, witches and shapeshifters to name only a few of the supernatural creatures. What sucked me into the world though was the Scottish pookah who spoke with a burr. That burr made me so happy. But it didn’t make me happy enough to ignore the dumb ass heroine.

Izel, the heroine, is not new to the supernatural world. She is new to the idea of being one of the extinct humans. This irritated me because she acted like she was ignorant of the supernatural. She kept putting herself in dangerous situations and acting out like a child. I’m understanding of some of it, hell, she felt no emotion for 25 years, but I’m not willing to overlook Izel’s reactions to her emotions. I wish I could give you examples, but I don’t want to give away anything and will let you find (or not find) those scenes.

What I liked:

  1. I liked the idea of pure humans not existing. A place where humans are the minority was exciting because so often I read about paranormals hiding or living in human society where humans are the majority.
  2. Getting a hero who was a pookah was a nice change from vampires (Don’t worry, I still love my vampire heroes).  The hero also knew how to apologize and admit wrongdoing.
  3. The sexual tension was great. It was instant, but slow burning. When Kelvin turned alpha on the prowl for sex, whew! Good stuff. He was about pleasuring her and not acting on his animal urges…for a while. 🙂
  4. The Scottish burr…

What I didn’t like:

  1. The TSTL heroine.
  2. The predictability of the story.

Overall opinion: I liked The Darkest Day. No, it’s not perfect but I had to have it after reading the blurb. It’s reasonably priced and book one in The Immortal Heat series. It’s a sensuous book that hints at the events to come in future books. I think the series will stay focused on romance while getting more violent. I’ll be reading the next book in the series.

Review: Hunted by Rebecca Zanetti

1 May

Hunted by Rebecca Zanetti
Kennsington (May 1, 2012)
Trade: $14; ebook: $11.99
ISBN: 9780758259271
Excerpt

Favorite Lines: “As he wrapped his hand around hers, something shifted inside him. He loosened his hold, careful not to bruise. No hint flowed from her of the possibility she was an enhanced female, a possible mate. No whisper of psychic ability. Yet, as she tangled her small fingers more securely with his, he angled his body to protect her from the rain. He’d follow her anywhere.” (p. 97-98, eARC)

Ready Or Not
Moira Dunne is a witch—the quantum physics kind. Time and space are her playthings. Which might explain why her one-night stand from a hundred years ago has turned up to “claim” her—and request her family’s assistance with the war he’s brewing. But the more she learns about Connlan Kayrs, the more she comes to think this is normal behavior for him…

There’s Nowhere To Hide
When Conn and Moira tumbled on the moonlit grass, Conn hadn’t meant to mark her as his mate for all time. She was only twenty! But it wasn’t easy to wait for her. It was even harder to forget her. So when he finally returns for his wicked-hot witch, he’s ready to let the sparks flying. Even if he burns up in flames…

Hunted is book three in Rebecca Zanetti’s Dark Protectors’ series. It follows one of the vampire king’s brothers’ journey to love and happiness. The book works as a stand alone, but you may want to read previous books to get a strong foothold in the paranormal world and a firm grasp on the relationships already in place.

Moira is a strong woman who didn’t understand why her mate left her over a hundred of years before the events of this book. She feels like he should have wanted her enough to come sooner. However, her time spent apart from her mate allowed her to practice and perfect her magic, as well as take up lessons in fighting. Her attraction toward Conn has not dimmed over time, but her need to protect him from her family has only increased. Moira is a strong, sexual woman who is determined to give her all in a relationship with Conn. She is extremely likeable.

Conn is an alpha hero. He is respectful of his mate and willing to let Moira handle situations. That doesn’t mean he will let her go off on her own. He wants to be present to protect her, even when it means he could die. I enjoyed watching him verbally spar with Moira and his determination to find a happily ever after with her despite all the political machinations taking place around them. As much as I liked Conn and Moira, I’ve got to admit that my favorite story line  followed a secondary character long ago introduced: Kalin.

Kalin is a 15-year-old bad ass. He is a vampire, but not part of the Realm (good guys team). Kalin is always looking for a way to cause chaos and likes preying on people. In Hunted, the reader is introduced to a possible alter-Kalin. He has come to a fork in a path. He can continue on the path he has been traveling and end in the darkness of evil. Or he can choose a new way. A path toward redemption. I loved every aspect of the young vamps’ journey. I can’t tell you what happens, but you’ll want to read and find out.

Hunted is full of love, betrayal, and both fulfilled and unfulfilled desires. The sex is hot. The ripple effects of events: long reaching. It’s an entertaining escape to an alternate world which is slightly above average. It’s not my favorite book, but I don’t regret setting aside the time to read it.

GoodReads states that book four in the series will be called Consumed and that it will be released in June 2012. I looked on Amazon and B&N, but found no listing for it. Zanetti’s website confirmed the title of the book, but did not list a release date.

Review: Deadly is the Kiss by Rhyannon Byrd

13 Mar

Deadly is the Kiss by Rhyannon Byrd
Harlequin (March 27, 2012)
Mass Market $7.99; ebook: $6.99
ISBN: 9780373776801
Excerpt

Favorite Line: “One more glimpse of her clutching that throw against the front of her naked body and he’d have her on the floor, his cock buried a mile inside her, before she even realized he’d crossed the room.” (p. 104, egalley)

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—andhe won’t rest until his deadly cravings are fulfilled.

I’ve got a secret to admit. Book nine (Deadly is the Kiss) is the first book in Rhyannon Byrd’s Primal Instinct series that I’ve read. I’ve been missing out on some good reading material if the previous books in the series are anything like the one I read. I’m sure I would have felt entrenched in the vampire world had I read those books, too. As it is I can’t complain; enough back story is given to prevent the first time reader from being confused.

Warning: The hero is an alpha male who you will either love or hate. I was attracted to the aggressive side of Ashe, but I wanted to punch him in the face a few times. He is stuck in a shitty situation: his fated mate is an outlaw. Ashe has other issues, but as a lawman he cannot trust Juliana which is a fundamental relationship stopper.

Juliana is an enigma. She is hiding and trying to atone for events which occurred in her mysterious past. It’s quite a while before those events are brought to light. Once they are…WOW…I never saw it coming. The tension built along with my need to know Juliana’s secret. I felt compelled to read the book because I had to know what Juliana was hiding.

The passion between the hero and heroine was never a problem so there are a lot of well-written sex scenes.  My only issue with the book was that I didn’t feel like the hero truly loved the heroine until the very end. I guess that’s a huge problem, but by the final page of the story I was content with the knowledge that they would succeed as a couple. Maybe Ashe’s hesitation toward Juliana helped me believe that. While there was a connection it wasn’t until Ashe and Juliana knew one another that love kicked in.

Deadly is the Kiss is an action filled paranormal romance. It is part of a series, but you should be able to read it as a stand alone. I’m sure you’d understand the world better if you read the previous eight books. It’s a sexual book about vampires and has a few dark scenes. It’s definitely worth checking out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review: The Ruby Kiss by Helen Scott Taylor

14 Nov

The Ruby Kiss by Helen Scott Taylor
Dorchester Publishing (November 15, 2011)
Trade: $14
ISBN: 9781428511774

Favorite Lines: “The creature spat white stuff at her. Ruby dove to the floor and grabbed out from under her bed the baseball bat she’d hoped never to have to use. She jumped up, getting a firm two handed grip on its wooden handle.” (p. 12, egalley)

A POWERFUL NIGHTSTALKER

Nightshade hungers to bring the strong and beautiful to their knees beneath the ecstasy of his bite, but he has never known sexual lust––not until he meets Ruby McDonald, the curvy redhead who wields attitude and strength like an ax, and who would be the perfect mother of his children. Caught in a clash between the Seelie and Unseelie courts, he vows not only her survival but also to win her heart.

A MORTAL WITH A SECRET

Plagued by magic inherited from a father she never knew, Ruby wants answers. Nightshade has them. And when he crashes into her bedroom late one night, the fairy’s silvery eyes, dark intensity, and striking black wings tempt her with a whole lot more: a mysterious world waiting to be explored, a dangerous love that binds her in body, mind, and spirit…and the children she thought she could never have. Ahead looms a choice between freedom and a power some would kill to possess. Should she deny her desires, or succumb to the seduction of…THE RUBY KISS.

The Ruby Kiss is book three in Helen Scott Taylor’s romantic fantasy Magic Knot Fairies series. I own book one, The Magic Knot, but haven’t read it yet. Book two is called The Phoenix Charm, and yeah, it’s sitting on my bookshelf unread, too. As I read The Ruby Kiss it became clear that other stories had taken place, I just hadn’t read them. It did nothing to impact my enjoyment of The Ruby Kiss.

I started off loving this book. I loved the idea of a creature dropping through a skylight onto the heroine’s bed. It was one of the best openings to a paranormalish, fantasy romance book that I’ve read in a while. Too bad it didn’t last. Why? Because the hero was so “other” that I had a hard time connecting with the idea of liking him. Once I suspended my belief and just went with it, he began to grow on me.

Nightshade is a Nightstalker on a mission to destroy his father. It just so happens that the woman he meets has daddy issues too. Nightshade is obviously a paranormal creature. He is a dark black, winged creature who drinks blood. His heroine, Ruby, doesn’t know that she is a descendant of the paranormal when they meet. She acts human as it’s all she’s ever known, but thanks to her mom who has always chased the supernatural is wildly accepting of unexplainable beings.

The problem is that Nightshade thinks like a paranormal creature. He thinks sex equals mating. Ruby thinks sex equals physical satisfaction. Nightshade ponders forever because his body says “this is your mate.” Nightshade reacts like a beast bordering on a childish or immature style to different situations. I had to remind myself that he was NOT human and could not be held to human standards. But anything can be overcome if the hero has a ginormous cock, right?

I like a well-endowed man just as much (if not more) than the average woman. Lately romance books seem to be filled with heroes with 20 inch penises. Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but a nice sized peter is one thing and a monster sized dong is something else. When I read the following, I can’t begin to express the gigglefest that erupted from my mouth.

He flicked open the button on his jeans. Languorous heat flooded Ruby’s body as he lowered the zipper. Hard, sleek muscles rippled with every movement, and when he pushed his jeans down over his hips, every other thought fled her mind. Little flickers of heat raced through her, making her so hot she thought she might melt.

“Strewth,” she whispered. “That’s one for the record books.” Night shade had a tadger the size of a rolling pin. “Ruby, you’re special,” he whispered.–p. 26

Well, she’d have to be special to fit a rolling pin inside her. It takes the sexy out of the story and insert pain. I personally don’t find the two interchangeable. However, Ruby didn’t feel my imaginary pain…

“I might be too big to fit,” he whispered, glancing down in consternation. “I don’t want to hurt you.”

Her eyelids snapped up, and she stared down at where they were so close to joining. Her voice was breathless. “It’ll fit. Just push harder before I die of anticipation.” She was right, and it was wonderful. The slow deep slide as he filled her left her trembling.–p. 210

Too bad I was still fixated on his rolling pin sized schlong and cringing at how loose she must have been to fit the abnormally large pecker belonging to her swain. But enough about the hero’s phallus. What else stands out about the book in addition to Nightshade’s Kielbasa?

The many, über hot alpha males that populate the fantasy world. One after another makes an appearance and piques my curiosity. From the Norse god Troy to the prince of the djinn to the king of the Beasts, the men are intriguing and ooze sex appeal. I wanted a little piece of each of them. The eye candy, paired with the world building, created an excellent base for the story.

Unfortunately, I didn’t like the heroine. Ruby kept getting pushed into life altering positions. Her control over her situation was stripped from her and she never really reacted in a believable fashion. I like a heroine who can roll with the punches, but when roadblock after roadblock pop up to ensure the hero and heroine have a difficult life together, and the heroine is ho-hum about it–there’s a problem.

In the end I just didn’t like The Ruby Kiss the way I expected to. I didn’t hate it, but I don’t see myself re-reading it or seeking out more books in the series. I had high expectations that just weren’t met. It felt like the same situation kept occurring only with different characters. I liked the virgin hero who had a shaft the size of a light pole (for the most part) and many of the other male characters were diverting. The only emotions the characters seemed capable of feeling were jealousy, lust and anger. The most important emotion–love–was missing. I’m told that there was love, but I never really trusted in love which was supposed to bring the hero and heroine together forever.

What others are saying about The Ruby Kiss:

The Book Pushers
Long and Short Reviews
Fangs Wand and Fairy Dust
Sobia on GoodReads

Review: Scanguard Vampires by Tina Folsom (Books 1 – 3)

1 Nov

Digital Boxed Set of Scanguards Vampires by Tina Folsom
Self-published (Jan. 2011)
ebook: $9.99
BNID: 2940012382146

I normally avoid self-published books because I’ve had awful experiences with them. I don’t remember what caused me to pick up this compilation, but I had fun with it and thought I’d share.

Samson’s Lovely Mortal (Book 1)

Favorite Lines: “In lightning speed, he shoved his useless male equipment back into his pants and zipped up.” (p. 19)

Vampire bachelor Samson can’t get it up anymore. Not even his shrink can help him. That changes when the lovely mortal auditor Delilah tumbles into his arms after a seemingly random attack. Suddenly there’s nothing wrong with his hydraulics – that is, as long as Delilah is the woman in his arms.

His scruples about taking Delilah to bed vanish when his shrink suggests it’s the only way to cure his problem. Thinking all he needs is one night with her, Samson indulges in a night of pleasure and passion.

However, another attack on Delilah and a dead body later, and Samson has his hands full: not only with trying to hide the fact he’s a vampire, but also with finding out what secrets Delilah harbors for somebody to want her harm.

Erotic romance with a touch of vampires is what you’ll get when you pick up book one in Tina Folsom’s Scanguard series. From the first line, “Let me suck your cock” to the final chapter, there are sex scenes involving a variety of people. The story is focused on the hero and heroine, but at times its lens widens to encompass the hero of book two, Amaury’s Hellion.

The sex is the explicit type written to make the reader clench her thighs closed. The story line is supposed to be driven by suspense, but it felt pretty weak. If I hadn’t been interested in the hero’s inability to have sex until he met his heroine, I would have put it down. Regardless, I was sucked into it and wanted to know about the secondary characters.

Amaury’s Hellion (Book 2)

Favorite Lines: “Soon, his fangs would dig into her vein and he would drink from her, while he impaled her on his shaft.” (p. 593)

Vampire Amaury LeSang is cursed to feel everybody’s emotions like a permanent migraine. The only way to alleviate the pain is through sex. When he meets the feisty human woman Nina, a cure for his ailment seems within reach: in her presence, all pain vanishes.

Unfortunately, Nina is out to kill him because she believes he’s involved in her brother’s death. And she would succeed if only Amaury’s bad boy charm didn’t play havoc with her hormones and catapult her into his arms and his bed every time she is near him.

As every kiss brings them physically closer, danger is lurking and threatens to destroy the little trust they have in each other.

Book two takes us deeper into the Scanguard vampire world. Lovely, passion filled sex scenes and interesting characters are paired with another thin plot. The bad guy is introduced and it is immediately clear who is creating havoc. The biggest problem for me was not really liking the heroine Nina. Nina kicks ass and asks questions way to late. She doesn’t know how she feels. One minute she’s kissing Amaury, the next she’s trying to kill him. It became old rather quickly, but thank goodness Nina is a sucker for love. I’ve got to admit that despite making me dislike Nina, the author stuck to her guns and kept Nina true to character. Nina was never a heroine the hero could set on the sofa and come back an hour later to find her still sitting there.

Amaury is a tortured hero who deserves to be happy. I’m not usually a fan of my romance heroes shacking up with random women. In book one, there’s a scene which showcased how Amaury liked his sex–rough. I wasn’t surprised to see that is normal for him and it didn’t bother me to read about oral sex being performed on him before he met the heroine. I wanted him to have what Samson in book one had: a lover turned mate who adored him. I got that, so I’m happy.

Gabriel’s Mate (Book three)

Favorite Lines: “She knew now that there was only one man who could douse the fire in her body: Gabriel.” (p. 878)

After Maya is turned into a vampire against her will, vampire and Scanguards bodyguard Gabriel is charged with protecting her and finding her attacker.

Gabriel has never guarded a body as perfect as Maya’s. Moreover, Maya’s enticing blend of vulnerability and strength is difficult to resist. Yet resist he must. Even as the sexual tension between them rises and the rogue vampire closes in on them, Gabriel refuses to give into his desire. Despite the intimacies they share, Gabriel fears that if he ever reveals himself fully to her, Maya will react like other women have, running from him, and calling him a monster, a freak, a creature not worth her love.

Will Maya prove to be the one female who cherishes all that Gabriel is?

One of the most intriguing aspects of book three is the mystery surrounding Gabriel’s “odd” appendage that grossed women out so bad he had to pay for sex. It about drove me crazy trying to figure it out. Once I did, well…let’s just say the room heated. I loved the twist, but I noticed several people on GoodReads did not.  The story is pretty well thought out. Maya needs help. She gets it in the most unexpected ways. I liked her and Gabriel  which made the success of their relationship important to me. Toward the end of the book, the author removed any obstacles which may have prevented the couple from having a happy ending. It was extremely convenient, but it didn’t really bother me.

I was surprised to see who the “bad” guy was simply based on his role in previous books. His obsession seemed odd, but it certainly made things exciting. Parts of the story were pretty predictable and over the top, but I still enjoyed Gabriel’s Mate. I even want to know more about a few of the secondary characters like Yvette and Zane.

Book four, Yvette’s Haven, is available for purchase.

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.