Tag Archives: sex

Review: Claimed by the Highlander by Julianne MacLean

8 Oct


3 out of 5 scoopers

Claimed by the Highlander by Julianne MacLean
St. Martin’s (Reissued-August 2012)
Mass market: $4.99; ebook: $4.99
ISBN: 9781250016270
Excerpt

Favorite Lines: “Sometimes, I need you so bad, I just want to drop my sword in the middle of a training exercise and leave the men to their own devices, so I can take you to bed. But when I think about you coming to any harm, I want to pick up my sword again. You pull me in two directions, lass” (p. 170-1)

NIGHT OF CONQUEST
With his tawny mane, battle-hewn brawn, and ferocious roar, Angus “The Lion” MacDonald is the most fearsome warrior Lady Gwendolen has ever seen—and she is his most glorious conquest. Captured in a surprise attack on her father’s castle, Gwendolen is now forced to share her bed with the man who defeated her clan. But, in spite of Angus’s overpowering charms, she refuses to surrender her innocence without a fight…

PRISONER OF PASSION
With her stunning beauty, bold defiance, and brazen smile, Gwendolen is the most infuriating woman Angus has ever known—and the most intoxicating. Forcing her to become his bride will unite their two clans as one. But conquering Gwendolen’s heart will take all his skills as a lover. Night after night, his touch sets her on fire. Kiss after kiss, his hunger fuels her passion. But, as Gwendolen’s body betrays her growing love for Angus, a secret enemy plots to betray them both…

Claimed by the Highlander is the second book in Julianne MacLean’s re-issued Highlander trilogy. It’s told in the third person and set in 1718 in the Scottish highlands. Featuring an alpha warrior, Claimed by the Highlander is about the prodigal son returning home and finding redemption and love.He finds it with an innocent but feisty heroine who happens to be the daughter of the man who killed his father.

Gwendolen is a lot smarter than I initially gave her credit for being. She wanted to fight, but soon realized there was another way to get what she wanted. For the most part she didn’t try to be sneaky or self-serving. She went with the flow and just went after what she wanted–love. It isn’t easy because she seems to have been paired with a man with a stone instead of a heart.

Angus warmed up to Gwendolen before the midpoint of the story. He’s a man who rarely lowers his guard, but when he does it’s magnificent. Unfortunately Angus is just as quick to raise his guard which is frustrating. Happy moments aren’t as pleasant because he’s wondering when a blow is going to strike out at him. I wanted Gwendolen to make him suffer or be spiteful, but she isn’t me.  She stayed true to character which made the happily ever after factor real. I believe that the hero and heroine are the perfect match because they fit together. They know, understand and respect each other by the end of the tale.

Claimed by the Highlander was initially published in March of 2011. It was repackaged, along with the rest of the trilogy, at a cheaper price and released in the fall of 2012. Its passion filled pages made the romance an enjoyable read. I’m not sure I’d have enjoyed it as much if I’d read book one-Captured by the Highlander-in which the hero betrays his best friend. But that’s a moot point, as I didn’t read that book.

This book is a solid romance. It isn’t my favorite, but it isn’t the worst I’ve read either. I recommend Claimed by the Highlander to those in need of a historical Scottish romance. It’s not action packed, but it is filled with lust which turns into love in the highlands.

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Review: Shadow Rising by Cassi Carver

19 Sep

4 out of 5 scoopers

Shadow Rising by Cassi Carver
Samhain (Sept. 25, 2012)
ebook: $5.50
ISBN: 9781619211056
Excerpt

Favorite Lines: “No, she wouldn’t be pathetic and call Alden just because she was lonely and scared. She had her pride–and a hell of a right hook. As long as she had those, she could handle whatever came her way.” (p. 31)

When Kara Reed learns her bondmate, Julian, is truly dead, and that Gavin has seemingly skipped town, she figures things have hit rock bottom. But soon, a string of bizarre accidents has her doubting those closest to her. And to make matters worse, the demon-king’s brand carved into her best friend Abbey’s stomach is deteriorating by the day.

Then a powerful coven of witches issues Kara an ultimatum. Bring them the blood of a true fallen angel—the only thing that will heal Abbey—or die. Kara would do anything to help her friend. Problem is, the only fallen angel she’s seen lately is the disoriented black-wing who attacked her scouts. One who looks suspiciously like Julian. Getting his blood might be easier if he was more interested in kissing her than killing her.

Caught between a coven of vengeful witches and a murderous dead lover, Kara must deliver the blood, heal the slow poison of Abbey’s brand, and save Julian from being consumed by the Abyss. But to do this, she may need the help of the one man she swore never to trust again…Gavin.

Readers who loved Slayer’s Kiss are going to have a great time with Shadow Rising.

Book two in Cassi Carver’s Shadow Slayer series picks up after the events of book one, Slayer’s Kiss. If you haven’t read it, don’t start the series with Shadow Rising.

At the end of Slayer’s Kiss the reader is left reeling from devastating blows which stripped apart Kara and Julian. We also have a type of hope that Kara will find comfort in the arms of their friend Gavin. Unfortunately what we get in Shadow Rising is Cassi on her own with no Julian or Gavin. For a while.

I had such hope for Gavin. I thought he’d bond with Kara and together they’d work on saving Julian. I had no idea I’d end up despising Gavin. Yes. Others may see him as sacrificing himself for Kara, but I see him as someone who will have to work his ass off to get any “Yay, Gavins” from me. Honestly I don’t know how Carver will redeem Gavin. I’m hoping there will be another heroine for Gavin, because I’m not really feeling more than a friendship between Gavin and Kara.

Those who felt like there was too much smexiness in book one will be pleased to hear there is much less in Shadow Rising. The passion is still there, it just is spaced farther apart and centers around Kara and Julian. Yes, there are other sex scenes, but the drawn out love fests surround Kara and Julian. Those scenes are as fiery as those in Slayer’s Kiss.

So much takes place over the 218 pages which make up the story that I’m only going to highlight a few reasons why you should read Shadow Rising.

5.     Shadow lands. We get a closer look at the way the shadow lands work. You know like who’s in charge and what it means to be beneath those in charge.

4.     Tray. You will never believe how far this secondary has come from his small role in book one to the end of book two. I knew something was up with him, but WOW. You won’t see this coming.

3.     Witches. Those witches are all over the place. Are they good? Are they bad? Whose side are they on? Who do they want to help?

2.     Betrayals. They come in many forms, from many places and not all of them are aimed at the heroine.

1.     Dark Julian. Oh my God! HOT. HOT. HOT.

Quickie Review: Brides of the Kindred

11 Sep

The Brides of the Kindred series is written by Evangeline Anderson and is about alien men and women finding their mates. Some of those mates come from Earth, others from different planets, all are in for some kinky sex. Now right off the bat you need to know that overall I didn’t like very many of the heroines. They were silly and TSTL. Most of them whined way too much. The men, well they all wanted mates in the worst way. There are different types of Kindred men: beast, blood, twin and touch. It’s exactly how it sounds. Some men have animalistic traits, some drink blood, some have twins and share a mate and others can touch their women with their minds.

I read five of the six books which are available–purposely choosing to skip book four which has a heavy bondage theme. Some people may love one of the things that irritated me; once characters are introduced they are included in the next story. So by the time you read book six (Pursued) you’ll be reading about the characters from books one through five. The women have a girl’s club where they discuss their problems and the hot sex they’re having. I could have done without it, but to each their own.

The villains are capable of great atrocities and for the most part the books keep a good pace. Outlandish sexual practices made me laugh, but I’m pretty much done with the Kindred. It was fun and the books only cost $2.99, so I’m not angry or disappointed with the series. But the lack of depth in the heroines is a huge turn off and I’m okay saying goodbye to Anderson’s series.

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.

Quickie Review: Elements Unbound by Lorie O’Clare

14 Jun

Elements Unbound by Lorie O’Clare
Elora’s Cave (Nov. 2009)
ebook: Free
ISBN: 1419906070

Bruno Tangaree has a mission. With his guidance and strength, the Werewolves of Malta will know more glory than any pack on Earth. And he’s chosen his mate—the only woman who not only makes him burn with hunger, but who can match his special gift—to run by his side as he leads his kind. It’s time to run his little lady to ground.

Book one in the Werewolves of Malta series is a short, erotic snapshot which shows up on my nook as 141 pages long. It is a superficial glimpse into a story about two people becoming a couple. Basically two people become more than friends, but before they can be happy the male plans to challenge the pack’s alpha.

The story lacks depth and emotional exploration. We meet characters, listen in on their thoughts about their lives and how they’ve reached the point we are introduced to them and watch them have sex. We’re not even guaranteed a happy ending because as the old alpha’s mate says “May you have as many wonderful years as I did before this happens to you.” (p. 102)

I didn’t too much care for Elements Unbound. It interchange the word bitch for woman, she or her which irked the shit out of me. That aside, the hero is aggressive and happy with his submissive partner. The heroine loves Bruno’s fierce desire for her. She get excited by his He-man actions. For example, she was excited when he ripped off her clothing and ravaged her on the ground.

If you read this book expect a ton of sex: regular sex, half-shifted to human sex and werewolf to werewolf sex.

Review: Enraptured by Elisabeth Naughton

11 May

Enraptured by Elisabeth Naughton
Sourcebooks (April 1, 2012)
Mass Market: $7.99; ebook: $7.99
ISBN: 9781402262128
Excerpt

Favorite Lines: “She couldn’t tell him. Not now. Not ever. But the deja vu feeling she’d felt before now made a sick sort of sense.” (p. 48, e-galley)

Orpheus may have joined the elite protectors known as Eternal Guardians, but they’ve never trusted whose side he’s really on. And the half-daemon couldn’t care less. Orpheus has only one goal: rescue his brother from the Underworld. He’s not expecting a woman to get in the way, especially not one sent by Zeus to seduce, entrap, and then ultimately destroy him. A woman who will dredge up a past he doesn’t remember, a love that once condemned him, and a dark and deadly secret as old as the Eternal Guardians themselves.

Warning: Don’t pick up this book as a stand alone. It is book four in Elisabeth Naughton’s Eternal Guardians’ series. Each book focuses on a different couple, but events and characters from previous books are revisited and expanded upon.

I liked Enraptured and all three previous books in the series. It’s a solid series or I wouldn’t have bought the first three books. I was lucky enough to get a review copy of Enraptured, but I’ll still be adding the finished book to my collection.  Basically, there are seven men who are descendants of Ancient Greek mythology. They are fighting evil and finding love while they’re at it as they’ve all been cursed by Hera to find a soul mate. They would only get one female their entire life, and that woman would be “the worst possible match for that Argonaut.” (Tempted by Naughton, p. 66)

Enraptured is more of what reader’s have been learning. Atalanta, woman turned goddess denied entry into the Argonauts, is causing trouble from Hades’ land. Atalanta has been a thorn in the Argonauts’ side since book one, Marked. her vileness is expanded upon in Enraptured, as are other Greek gods.

The action packed book features a siren who has a second chance with a soul she met long in the past. That soul is now in the body of a half-demon, magic wielding Argonaut. The two face the gods, their friends and the past in hopes of saving Orpheus’s brother and the world. The problem is that the past is coming back with a vengeance and if Orpheus and Skyla don’t handle it properly it could destroy them both.

What I need from this series: I will be really disappointed if I don’t get to watch Gryphon and Maelea find a happily ever after, be it together or with someone else. I also need Nick to fall in love with a woman who loves him back.

Recommend?: Yes. I’m not a huge fan of mythology romance, but Naughton has added me to her fan base. I can’t say it’s my top romance series, but it’s a solid series that always provides plenty of action, great sex and love which can overcome all odds. It has spots of dark evil, that may put some readers off. I, however, knew when I picked up Enraptured that I would read a well-developed romance and be tempted to continue the series. I will be continuing this series.