Thursday, July 28, 2011

Seduced by Her Highland Warrior by Michelle Willingham

Seduced by Her Highland Warrior (MacKinloch Clan, #2)Seduced by Her Highland Warrior by Michelle Willingham


3.5 flames



This is such a unique book. I've never read a story where the couple has been married for years, and well, life intervenes. This story is basically what comes after "And they all lived Happily Ever After." This story is more along the fact that they lived, they dealt with life, they dealt with loss, grief, and the real world.



It's also a very emotional book.



Laren is a very timid and shy woman. She married the love of her life Alex, who defied his mother to be with Laren, and supposedly they lived happily ever after, right?



Well, not really. During a battle, the English burnt down their keep. Alex is now laird, and Laren is trying to get their daughters to safety. She can't stand to leave without one last look at her husband, and she gets shot with an arrow. It's not a horrible wound-well, for her, for me I'd pass out and whine, but I'm not a medieval woman, I'm as girlie and modern as they come :) But she takes care not to show her injury thinking that Alex has enough on his plate without worrying about her.



Alex sees Laren, and after losing his home, he wants her to run to him, to kiss him, to let him see she cares he came back alive. But Laren is in so much pain, she can barely keep a brave face. Alex thinks she doesn't care, Laren thinks she's helping by not giving him something else to worry about...and so begins a book about a marriage where no one communicates.



At first I was really very emotionally vested in their story-I just hit my 9 year anniversary, and trust me, I'm married to the king of not communicating, so this felt very real to me.



Alex feels that as laird he needs to keep the clan together and to rebuild. Laren meanwhile has some secrets of her own. Three years before, they lost their infant son. As heartbreaking as this is for both of them, neither one talks to the other about the grief.



But as we see through some very heart-wrenching flashbacks, and through their day-to-day interaction, the two of them don't know how to be with each other anymore.



Right about here is where Laren began to lose the sympathy card with me. She comes from nothing. From the poorest of the poor. She felt that marrying a man who was so far above her was, well, she felt like he could do much better than someone like herself. Unfortunately she kept right on believing that she was very beneath him, and not good enough for him. What bothers me about her low self-esteem isn't that she felt that way about herself, but that after several happy years together she still had a hard time believing Alex loved her and she was worthy of him. At this point he's become laird, and they lost their son, but they lost each other at the same time.



It took Laren being hit with an arrow for Alex to see the problems, so he tried to fix it. It was Laren who constantly stopped any attempts, because she still felt unworthy of him.



Now in order to deal with her grief over her son, she began visiting the priest who made stained-glass windows. He taught Laren, and she became a master glassmaker. Instead of taking pride in her work, she hid away and it wasn't until she was forced to show her husband that she eventually did.



What bothered me here, is not that she wanted to make glass, but that it took precedence over everything. She refused to even attempt to speak with the women of the clan. She wouldn't even try! She was painfully shy, I get it, but she's been living with this clan, for what, 7 years? And Alex has been laird for most of that time, so how is it really taking that long for her to finally feel comfortable? It felt more like an excuse-Oh they'll judge me, so I won't get up there. I do feel the clan was judging her, but it was because she'd disappear all day and they just figured she was lounging about rather than tending to her duties. She never even tried to dissuade her people.



At around 80% in, she finally realized what it meant to be married to the laird.



"Being Lady of Glan Arrin wasn't about giving orders to the people or putting on a false confidence. It was about taking care of your loved ones."



Meanwhile, their toddler is kidnapped and held for ransom by a brutal man. I felt like all of their marital issues were left behind in order to rescue their daughter, but after they got her back, those issues just were cleared up. I then thought the epilogue would show how she's functioning now as lady of the keep. But nope, I thought the epilogue was pointless-a love scene and then a huge commission for her glasswork. An epilogue is supposed to add something to the story. This added nothing. We should have seen Laren as more of a lady of the clan, rather than getting a love scene with her husband.



So my final verdict is that it was good, and I would absolutely read this author again, but I did find it very hard to connect with Laren.



*arc provided by netgalley





View all my reviews

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Winner!!

Wow, you guys, I have always thought demonlover's had the best followers, but this turn-out was amazing!

Thank you to Jennifer Ashley for giving away a signed copy of Lord Ian, and for giving us that awesome post

Winner of a signed copy of The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie is

lalibrarybug

I'll email you tonight to get your address :)

And here is my review of The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, so you can see what I thought of the wonderful Lord Ian and his Beth.

The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie (Highland Pleasures, #1)The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley

My rating: 5 of 5 flames


I was super excited to read this book, seeing as everyone loved this book, and I love Jennifer Ashley/Allyson James. I was not disappointed. This has one of the best storylines I've ever read. I won't summarize since so many people have reviewed and/or summarized, but can I just say "Wow."



Lord Ian Mackenzie is the youngest of 4 brothers and he has a slight disability. He doesn't understand emotion. For example, he can play a piano piece perfectly after only having heard it once, but he can't feel the emotion behind it. Or he knows that one applauds after a show, or at the opera, but he doesn't get why. Lord Ian is intelligent, highly so..a genius with numbers and odds, so an acquaintance of his asks his opinion on his bride-to-be. Lord Ian has her investigated, and he feels Beth is too good for the likes of Mather. so not only does he tell her, he proposes. it was a great scene. Fantastic, and this whole book was above and beyond my expectations.



Beth, however, decides Ian can't possibly be serious, and goes off to Paris. Well Lord Ian follows. But not before having a few scandalous episodes that Beth spots in the London Post society section. Lord Ian harbors a couple big secrets, really big ones, and not only is the Inspector way off in his deluded case of "justice," but so is everyone else's opinions. One secret (and not a "spoiler" secret)is that his father killed his mother in front of him in a fit of rage, and at 12, he had Ian committed. Ian was never mad, but he was different. And he was so worked up that at the sanity hearing (mind you he was 12 and had just watched his father shake his mother to death!) he could only rock and repeat the same phrase from a poem over and over to calm himself. So of course, he is committed. Luckily his brother gets him out after their father dies, but Ian had been locked up for something like 10 years or so (I forget the actual number). The electro shock therapy, the cold ice baths, the beatings, all of it, had taken it's toll, and yet Ian remained a remarkable man. He has rages, like when he sees the vengeance-driven Inspector Fellows talking to Beth, but he really is afraid he'll rage against Beth.



The romance between the two is fabulous, as is the passion. I like how Beth's husband (her first husband) was a good man, and she was able to still love him, but be passionately in love with Ian as well. I loved the Mackenzie clan. even Isabella, Mac's estranged wife. We see her when Beth goes to Paris. And just as we think Ian is in front of Beth, it turns out to be one of his brothers, Mac Mackenzie. Mac is keeping tabs on his wife. Their story is next, and also fabulous!!

The only thing I didn't like about this book was Inspector Fellows. The surprise twist at the end was good, and well played, but I couldn't muster enough emotion for Fellows after the way he had harangued Ian and Beth.



(I meant this review to be short...ha!)



I loved how Beth was able to hold her own with Hart...he was such a jerk to her, and yet she was able to make Ian laugh...that was a miracle in and of itself since he usually didn't understand humor. At the end, Ian still couldn't understand a lot of jokes, or follow a conversation with more than one or two people, but he'd gotten better at making eye contact, and he fell in love with Beth...there is a side story of a murder from 5 years before (hence Inspector Fellows' obsession with bringing Ian down) and then a similar murder right after Ian and Beth met. But anyways, I tell you this so you understand when I say that Beth is injured in her quest to clear Ian, and Ian finally understands that without Beth he has nothing, and feels nothing. It was simply amazing to watch his transformation and his and Beth's romance. When he tells her he loves her, and it becomes "Iloveyou.loveyou.loveyou.loveyou." It was beautiful.



I. LOVED. THIS. BOOK.







View all my reviews

Monday, July 25, 2011

Lord of Shadows by Alix Rickloff

Lord of ShadowsLord of Shadows by Alix Rickloff




Wow, as you may have noticed, I didn't rate this book. As of now, it's maybe a 2, but here, around the 100 page mark, I just can't force myself to finish it. And as I didn't make it to even a third of the way, I didn't want to rate it-although I can tell that it isn't for me.



I have dnf'd about 8 books total in the past 4 years. That's not very many for someone who read about 200 books last year.



This book is a case of the editor needs to go back to English 101. The author should never have made it to a second book (as this is book 2) if this is how she writes. The whole book (well the whole 100 pages I trudged through) are full of sentence fragments. I'm all for a sentence fragment to show emphasis-heck, I'm guilty of using them too. BUT the whole book is written in them! My status updates are full of examples, and if you guys like, I'll even add more in to this review.



So, I can barely tell you what this story is about as I had to wade through mired plot and awkward prose. The mucked up English language made it hard for me to read, and I decided that since it has been over a month and I can't make it past the 100 page mark, that I'm done. There may well be some great plot hidden inside the stilted dialogue and made up words, but I can't find it.



And on a side note: The crazy words? Really? There's no glossary. The context doesn't give you much idea of what the words mean, and one word was finally described (not really defined though) at page 57. Wow, a word used a ton! And not described til 57 pages in? yikes.



Here are the 3 most commonly used words and my guesses as to what they mean:



-bandraoi-one with magic?

-Duenedon-mortals without magic?

-Other-those with fey-tainted blood?



And the names were incredibly hard-this is 1815 so the names seem unusually weird, even for Ireland.



-Ard-suir

-Daigh (how do you pronounce this? Dag? Dave? My Gaelic fails me now)

-Ainnir

-Brigh



**thanks to Pocket books by Simon & Schuster for this ARC





View all my reviews

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Jennifer Ashley Guest Post & Giveaway




Hi Demonlover fans! Today we have one of my favorite authors here, Jennifer Ashley! And she's giving away a signed copy of The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie to one lucky commenter!

Before we start, I just really quickly wanted to share with you the Mackenzie Family Tree which also has updated info on the latest book releases and future Mackenzie books.

"Hi, and thanks so much for inviting me to your blog.

As you know, my latest release, The Many Sins of Lord Cameron, Book 3 of the Highland Pleasures (Mackenzies series) is right around the corner (official release day August 2).

I'm also thrilled that Book 1, The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, has been re-released with a new cover by Berkley. I'm so happy that Ian is back!

A question I am often asked about this series is: What inspired you? Why did you write about a hero with Asperger's Syndome? (Ian, in Madness of Lord Ian). Where did you get the idea for the whole series?

Well . . . that's a very good question.

The series had been percolating in my brain for a very long time before I even pitched it to my editor.

The idea first glimmered in about 2004, kind of out of the blue. For some reason I remember sitting on my sofa and looking out the window at my lovely back yard as the Mackenzie men walked into by head.

The idea of this family of very bad, bad boys appealed to me. I don't mean your average rakehell, I mean bad boys with a capital Bad. They live in the stilted Victorian world, but they follow no rules but their own, and they don't care whether they are accepted in society or shunned by all. Social acceptance is not important to them for any reason.

They're Scottish, because--men in kilts--and besides, I love all things Scottish. I could imagine these Highlanders--powerful, large men who don't take crap from anyone--existing in the pristine world of Victorian England. I love incongruities like that.

Also, I saw them coming from a long line of ruthless men, direct descendents of a man who fought tooth and nail to survive with his family after the '45 wiped them out. "Old Malcolm" Mackenzie had the reputation for being a complete b*stard, but he survived, and the current Mackenzies are quite rich because of him and his hard work. (They're also dukes, but that happened way back in the fourteenth century. See the Mackenzie Family Tree on my website for more family history.)

The Mackenzie ruthlessness carries from a touch of obsessive compulsiveness and Asperger's Syndrome, which manifests more in some members of the family than others.

I had always seen the youngest brother (Ian Mackenzie in The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie) as having high-functioning autism. Part of what drove his story was me wondering what it had been like for people before autism and Asperger's was recognized and diagnosed. How would he function in this world, and how would the world interact with him? I fell in love with Ian right off the bat!

But mostly I wrote the series because the characters of these four brothers just got into my head and wouldn't leave me alone.

They all have their "madness"-- Ian with his AS, Mac a crazy painter with a broken marriage (Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage), Cameron a genius with horses and wicked with women (The Many Sins of Lord Cameron), and Hart--the leader, who is brilliant at finance and politics, and basically makes the whole world turn in his hand (The Duke's Perfect Wife--forthcoming).

Night after night, when I went to bed, the Mackenzies invaded my thoughts, waking and sleeping. I figured that, if they stuck with me that much, maybe they'd stick with readers too.

At the time, I was already contracted to do a number of different books (the Immortals, Nvengaria series, Dragons as Allyson James), and so I had to wait a while before I broke it to my editor that I wanted to do a new series, leading with an Aspie hero.

My editor thought I was nuts, but bless her, she let me do it. I doubt I'd have been able to sell Madness of Lord Ian as a new author on a new contract, but I had an editor (Leah Hultenschmidt, who is now at Sourcebooks), who trusted me and was willing to see what I'd come up with.

And so the Mackenzies were born.

When the series launched, however, the first book (The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie) was almost the last book. I won't go into the troubles at my former publisher, but needless to say, the series nearly died the first day out the door, and I knew I had to take it to a new home or abandon it.

It's highly unusual for another publisher to pick up a series in the middle (unless it's a blockbuster or you're already a blockbuster author), so I was looking at never being able to tell Mac's, Cam's, and Hart's stories.

Enter my editor at Berkley, Kate Seaver (who actually bought my very first novel at Dorchester way back when), who said she'd love to bring my Jennifer Ashley books to Berkley.

Because Berkley's schedule was already pretty full, she could only find me good slots where she could, which is why the books have unfortunately been releasing a year apart. (The Duke's Perfect Wife is coming out only nine months after Many Sins of Lord Cameron, so that's a little improvement.) But I'm just grateful they're being released at all!

The current book, The Many Sins of Lord Cameron, was a joy to write. Cameron is the biggest, loudest, rawest of the Mackenzie brothers. He spends all his time with his horses, fears he's a terrible father to his teenaged son, and suffered a lot in his first marriage. Cameron is notorious for taking up mistresses and dropping them quickly, but he likes to keep women at a distance for reasons which become clear in the book.

Until, that is, he meets Ainsley Douglas, a young woman who'd been raised by a houseful of brothers (the McBrides) and who has sins in her own past.

So that's the story of how the Mackenzies came to be. Any questions?

Thanks so much for inviting me here today!! "

http://www.jennifersromances.com

www.facebook.com/JenniferAshleyAllysonJamesAshleyGardner








Friday, July 22, 2011

The Many Sins of Lord Cameron by Jennifer Ashley

The Many Sins of Lord Cameron (Highland Pleasures, #3)The Many Sins of Lord Cameron by Jennifer Ashley

My rating: 5 of 5 flames


*Spoiler-Free*



This is the third installment in Jennifer Ashley’s Highland Pleasures series, and it is most definitely a fabulous read.



For those of you unfamiliar with the Mackenzie brothers, they are 4 brothers who have rank, wealth and political clout, but they don’t care. Can you imagine? They are peers in Victorian England, and they don’t care. Amazing. Added to that, they are Scottish, and they do as they please. This makes for a wild series.



In this book, we enter to see Cameron getting lucky with a woman, and the heroine is hiding in the curtains! And what do you suppose happens? She gets caught of course. Ainsley is searching for a love letter that she knows Cam has. No, it wasn’t written by her, it was written by the Queen. Her Majesty is being blackmailed by the very woman seducing Cameron, and Ainsley was given the task to retrieve the letter.



Cam doesn't believe she is what she seems for a second, he made that mistake once several years ago, and got burnt. But Cam isn't what he seems either. He has many scars, both inside and out, and when you find out how he got them, and what happened, you will cry. It's absolutely heartbreaking to hear about his past, but it's even worse to see what society thought. Men bring their horses to him to train, and one in particular hates Cam. He only lets him train his horse because no one else will take her. Cam wants the horse so badly, but the arrogant jackass won't give her up. That side-story was fantastic, and Ainsley's little role in helping out was sweet.



Watching Cam try to be a good father by not making his own father’s mistakes is so heartbreaking to watch-and Daniel is growing up so fast. But Daniel's been raised by Mackenzie bachelors. Is that really the best thing for an impressionable young man? All Cam wants is to be with his horses and raise his son. He never expected to be blown away by a tiny little widower names Ainsley Douglas. And Ainsley is so much more than she lets on.



Their romance was passionate, and surprisingly sweet. I guess I expected more of a lust first affection later, but the combination of both lust and love, and of Cam's protective streak, meshed so well.



Daniel will surprise you. Maybe being raised with 4 Mackenzies isn't all that bad---he has a good head on his shoulders, respects women, and only made me hope he has a book coming. (and according to her website, HE DOES!!!)



The only thing I missed was we never saw their half-brother, Inspector Fellows. I thought he’d become more of a key player in this series, but he wasn’t even mentioned.



The set-up for Hart’s book (next year-boo! I don’t wanna wait!) is getting good, and I tortured myself by reading the teaser for his book. I’m warning you now, reading the excerpt will only make you want his book more. Jennifer Ashley is an auto-buy for me, and once you've read this, she will be for you too. Her writing blends humor, love, passion and storytelling into a beautiful story you won't want to miss.



**Thank you to Jennifer Ashley for the advanced copy



View all my reviews

Spontaneous Fiction Friday with Juliana Stone



Today's story starter comes from Juliana Stone, and this sexy motorcycle hottie was her inspiration. And what an inspiration, wow! I'll take one of him! You all know the rules, stare at gorgeous hunk of inspiration for a moment, read her story, and add on.




The roar of Jake Rogan’s black and chrome Fat Boy, echoed eerily into the night, as the last dying rays of sunlight flickered across the horizon. He let the throttle rip, enjoying the power of his Harley, as the heavy machine’s acceleration vibrated through his tight limbs.
In the distance a faded sign trumpeted the town of Whitehead, and he licked his lips in anticipation at the thought of all those bodies. Warm, human bodies, and with any luck, chalk full of the female kind.
Crisp white teeth slashed through the gloom as he glanced towards his handsome companion. Scenting the air, he smiled. He’d been on the road for almost twelve hours. It was time to relax. Time to play.
Exhaling slowly, he signaled a left turn and the two bikes ate up the last seven miles in no time. The town was small, boasting a population of just fewer than five thousand. Jake usually preferred larger cities. It was much easier to blend in and fade to black, when the environment wasn’t so white bread.
Even amongst his kind he was a standout. At just over six foot five, he was tall, well muscled with colorful clan tattoos caressing biceps and abs. His blue black hair was kept short, and he currently sported a rakish Mohawk. But it was his face that was memorable, with strong chiseled features and devilish smile. Women found him irresistible, and most men just found him plain intimidating.
He pulled up to the Devil’s Den and cut the engine.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Book Review: Maid to Order by Penny Birch

Maid to Order by Penny Birch

2 1/2 out of 5 flames

I tried to read a Penny Birch novel a year or so ago but never finished it so when this one came in for review I figured I’d give the author another shot. According to my web research, Penny Birch has written some 100 or so novels under various names. Wow, that’s quite a body of work! I’m guessing there are a lot of folks secretly reading these and refusing to admit it because the reviews were few and far between. After reading this one cover to cover strictly for review purposes (of course) I can understand why. These are fetish books and really only recommended for those amongst us who are into pleasure/pain/degradation/purely reading it for the smutastic-ness that it is. You won’t find a smidge of romance here but you will find lots of reddened cheeks and copious body fluids spurted upon young pretty flesh by old, fat, and/or ugly as sin men.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Though I’ll read just about anything, I do need a whisper of a plot and at least one character I can latch on to. This book had neither and finishing it at times was a bit of chore. The author doesn’t waste time establishing any sort of meaningful relationships between her characters. It’s simply about the sex, the humiliation and the power plays. The setup goes something like this: a young woman’s evil step-mother to be sends her away to some hotel somewhere frequented by horny people who like to use and abuse pretty young “maids”. Jemima is given a skimpy maid outfit and is forced to wait on and submit to the guest’s sexual whims. But don’t be feeling all sorry and weepy for Jemima, she thrives on the attention, the money the old lechers provide and she initiates quite a bit of the punishment and the sex. Spanking makes her wild and dirty sex helps her find her happy place.

Now I am not squeamish by any means but I could only read so many scenes of gross men and women defiling the young heroine over and over again before I started feeling really dirty and more than a little squicked out. At one point Jemima comes across two hot men and comments on how nice it would be to have sex with someone handsome for a change. As we go deeper into the heroine, eh story, the sex gets increasingly messier. I’m not talking about the leaking c and p’s here folks, nor am I alluding to the usage of all three orifices (sometimes all at once), that stuff is almost vanilla here. What I’m talking is urine, snot, vomit and feces in all its graphic glory. That last one, I believe, is what did me in and had me reaching for the brain bleach. Maybe I am a wimp after all.

Ok, so as not to be known as Ms. Negativity I can honestly say this book does have some arousingly written scenes, especially earlier on before things got too gross for my personal comfort level. The author does a decent job of showing Jemima’s point of view and her craving for punishment and degradation and how it gives her a feeling of personal power. I never felt like Jemima was being used against her will, sure some of the nastier scenes got a little out of control but deep down she got off on it. I didn’t understand her or sympathize with her and I didn’t like her very much but hey I don’t think I was supposed to. This is a smutty fantasy (but not the paranormal kind) for those who like it extra dirty. If that’s your thing Penny Birch has plenty of books just for you. As for me? I think I need to go read something sweet and innocent about baby unicorns running through a meadow of wild flowers.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Welcome Juliana Stone



Juliana Stone is guest posting for us today-let's give her a warm demonlover's welcome! And swing by on Friday as well, since Juliana's our Spontaneous Fiction Friday author.

I got the chance to review His Darkest Salvation recently read my review here and I loved the lush world she created, the dark tortured hero, the story, so much that I bought the first two books. I have not been able to get her jaguar shifters out of my head to the point where she has ruined me for all other shifters. I teased her that her guest post should be about me and bad-boy Declan...and she granted my wish! So enjoy, and comment up a storm!




All right! I’d like to thank Laura for the invite and the chance to have some fun here at Demonlovers this week! Because Laura has been such a sweetie and I THINK she’s kind of sweet on my sorcerer, Declan O’Hara, I thought I’d give her a little treat!

Declan is a sexy Irishman who’s been in all of my Jaguar Warrior Books. In His Darkest Salvation, his role is amped up considerably and his book, Wicked Road to Hell begins a new series for me, The League of Guardians.

The following is an excerpt from his book. No one has read this before….it’s a little snippet and I’ve changed the name of one particular character to protect the innocent! I don think my hostess will mind!


Declan burned inside and leaned down until his lips were beneath the soft lobes of her ears. He felt her shiver as his breath swept across her flesh. That they had an audience was forgotten. At that moment there was only Laura. He grinned wickedly. Oh the things he could do to her.
“Promise? Cause babe you lost me after the word suck and I don’t give a shit where you leave me.”
Laura pushed him away. “I’m being serious.” She was pissed, her colour high and Declan wanted to run his fingers through the thick auburn waves that fell down to her ass.
“I am too.” He moved toward her, taking the last few steps until he’d crowded her against the rickety table. His eyes were flat and for the first time in what seemed like forever, he was relaxed. He had a plan. Declan O’Hara was going to take what he wanted and damn the consequence.
“What exactly do you want O’Hara?” Laura asked when they were alone. Her eyes were huge, hung like jewels in her pale face and her hair caressed her body, where his hands should be.
She looked like an angel but he knew the truth. She was a heartless witch who’d been yanking his chain for years. He smiled wickedly. He would never have an opportunity like this again. Declan O’Hara was gonna have his cake and enjoy eating every last fucking crumb.
His hand slipped along her jaw as he bent toward her.
“What I’ve always wanted.” He said simply. “You.”


You can find Juliana Stone at http://julianastone.com/

His Darkest Salvation releases July 26th

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Tonight on Naughtilicious Radio: GLBT


Tonight on Naughtilicious Radio with Kelly "demonlover" Oakes & Candi Fox
8 PM, PST
GLBT- Uncensored!
Special guests: Randy Slovacek & Matt Zarley

Join us to talk with two special guest from the GLBT community:
Randy Slovacek, Real Estate agent, broadway actor and performer and blogger of the delish blog;
"the Randy Report" & Singer/Artist Matt Zarley. Both are members and supporters of the GLBT community.
We are going to touch on some sensitive subjects; Gay bullying, marriage, GLBT community and much more...
A show you don't want to miss!

Review: A Healer's Touch by RaeLynn Blue

A Healer's Touch
by RaeLynn Blue
2 out of 5 flames

Adele is an ER nurse whose latest patient, dying from a stab wound, is so intoxicatingly beautiful, she can’t stop staring at his gorgeousness even as he’s bleeding out and his heart needs to be restarted. Despite her fleeting moment of frozen unprofessionalism she snaps to attention and they are able to revive him. When his “leaf colored eyes” open, she attempts to explain his situation and he responds, all growly-like with “stop babbling, woman” and does his best to stand and skedaddle out of there. 

Prince Wyatt Wong, heir to an all-important throne in another realm, was stabbed by his uncle Horea who has grand plans to become the ruler in Wyatt’s place. Wyatt must leave the hospital asap or risk another attack but first he has to take a moment to ogle the bountiful breasts of his hovering nurse. A little later, as he’s stumbling about searching for his missing sword (oh noes!) he realizes he must find Adele, his healer, because he’s oozing burning goo from his wound. He manages to instinctively find her home and they have some hot, healing sex. 
A Healer’s Bond was novella length but it was very difficult for me to finish. I started and stopped the story no less than five times because the writing just didn’t work for me. I found Adele abrasive and almost hatefully ugly when a skinny waitress comes on the scene (to take their order mind you, not to have sex with Wyatt) and I didn’t find Wyatt particularly attractive either. The opening scenes were off-putting and later when they do have sex everything was described in either too flowery language or in unappealing way (pussy, phallus, etc.). Shafts and breasts were bouncing all over the place, her internal canal quaked and there was even a feminine garden wherein resided a stony button.
Taking the southern route to her apex, he attacked her opening. His blunt weapon assaulted her until nothing else existed, just him and the tremendous pleasure unfurling.”

Ummm, ouch. I guess it's a good thing he was missing his sword for awhile there. I don’t know about you, but this does not make me want to anxiously turn the page to see what he does next. It all sounds rather painful to me but maybe I'm just a wimp.
I thought the fantasy storyline was a bit predictable but the book does work best when the action takes over at the midway point. I can’t rate this one higher than a two because I had too many problems with the borderline unlikable characters, the stilted dialogue (“I am burning for you, the magic. Please, delay no longer.”), the insta-lust and the unsexy (to me) sex.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Give Me a Texas Outlaw (anthology) by Jodi Thomas

Give Me a Texas OutlawGive Me a Texas Outlaw by Jodi Thomas

My rating: 3 of 5 flames


This was my first cowboy book, and I thought it might be fun to start with an anthology so I got several different tastes of my first cowboys (not like that you naughty readers!) One thing that I didn't realize is that this book is very sweet. Now that's not necessarily a bad thing, but with that sexy cover I didn't expect sweet.



3.5 flames- Starting with the first story The Outlaw, we have a young lady who tells some stories so big she needs the first available man to bail her out. She plans a wedding for herself with no groom. Uh oh. What's a gal to do? Why use the first outlaw who passes through as her fake husband. But there's more to the story-her uncle is trying to steal her ranch out from under her! Sneaky guy. But her new husband is more than she bargained for, and not only does he help save her reputation, he helps to save her land, and her heart.



4 flames- The second story Trouble in Petticoats, was pretty cute too. But the back of the book is wrong, it states that Larissa is kidnapped, but it's her 10 year old sister. Her father hires a gunfighter to bring her back, but Larissa knows her father doesn't care about her sister, he only cares about his image and how it looks that someone took his daughter. So, Larissa follows along to help. This was really a cute story, and watching the two of them bring back her sister, then tell off her father was fantastic.



1.5 flames- The third story, Texas Flame started out pretty well, but it fizzled quickly. The story wound around in circles, and I got irritated enough to want to quit. But I persevered and finished it, and still only want to rate it 1.5 flames.



4 flames- The last story Most Wanted, was my favorite. It was funny, and sweet, and action-packed. Odessa was an accidental outlaw who needed a hired gun to help get her home. Shadow Rivers is looking for redemption and a place to hang his hat. The ending cracked me up, and the author's writing and skill absolutely worked for me and the story.



Final Thoughts, the stories were sweet, there was very little in the steam factor, but it was an easy and light romance.



*thank you to Kensington for supplying the ARC



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Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Egyptian Slave by Alcamia Payne


The Egyptian Slave by Alcamia Payne



Rating: 2 out of 5 Flames







Call me crazy but spending a 19 page novella with a good majority focusing on how a polygamous Egyptian can't get excited about sex anymore no matter how many concubines he beds, just ain't my cup of tea.


It's not really the length of the story, but the subject. I don't know…there's arrogant alpha male and slave/dom submission and then there's actual slave owners and punishing slaves to teach them a lesson. Even though none of that really happens, it's threatened and again…not my thing.


Plus, you could see where his problems lay and how the androgenous slave "girl" was going to fit into that. Pretty lackluster story really and made me glad it was short.


Can't say it's a totally unworthy read since everyone's tastes are different, this just wasn't the right flavor for me.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Man Candy of the Week: David Morin

Man Candy of the week:
David Morin
David and I chatted a bit and I asked him the standard questions you all want to know...
Well, the clean ones anyways!

    Where are you from? Raised?
    My father was a pilot in the usaf....born in Germany and formative yrs in England and Califorina. I guess the answer to where I am from is hard to answer....

When did you start lifting weights/ body building?
Always into sports...started normal team sports till about 12 then got hot and heavy into skateboarding! Love it! ….Surfing...and Martial Arts.....always trained...but weights ...2001 is when I got serious.
When was you first modeling shoot? And with what photographer?
    I shot with Yahoo Personals....I was selected to be a banner add and went to San fran with 15 others...and that was my first professional shoot. And No....never get a date! lol
What is your age/height/weight/etc…all your stats.
    age 36, height 6ft2, weight 207....32in waist...eyes blue, hair brown....I like long walks on the beach, flamenco guitar by candle lit dinners....lol ...I do though!
    What do you do for fun?
    Women!!
    lol...no really...I am very busy with work, training, modeling and parenting my twins. Fun for me is Getting coffee in the morning...walks...photography...I play guitar, and workout....the beach is ALWAYS nice since I live in N Miami beach! I love to cook new things!
What is your favorite meal? (spaghetti, tacos, lasagna)
    Pad Thai!! Sushi! Classic Italian...or....Tex mex
Are you married/girlfriend? 
    Had a wife....thats the mom of my twins...dont know the future...but for now...single and stable....Not really dating either...but would like to have interesting friends!
Most embarrassing date ever?
    Lol this girl...man she was the worst food critic...I asked her were she would like to eat...she said TGIF...I said ok if you wish. So she ordered steak...she told the waiter...”no char” curious...well the steak showed up...char...made a huge scene ...sent it back twice...”Please...chill out and eat the F#!@ing steak” I was thinking.
    What is your 5 yr plan? Where do you see yourself in the future?
    I hope to get some fitness exposure this yr...possible covers of national publications...a nutrition sponsor and get a membership on my website for diet, training, motivation. To launch my workout invention and relocate to a Place like New Zealand... lol
Something no one knows about you?
    Me and Marky Mark have a third nipple....lol....its very small...about the size of a pea....but its there!
Okay, that’s enough. Just let me know anything else I might find interesting?
I shower in the rain when it storms.


Well, David sure looks great at 36 and I can tell by his answers, he's got a great sense of humor. If you like to follow or LIKE David (no stalking), you can find his

He only, has 811 fans! We can do better then that people!


Monday, July 11, 2011

Hunter's Moon by Felicity E. Heaton

Hunter's Moon (Vampires Realm)Hunter's Moon by Felicity E. Heaton

My rating: 3.5 flames




This book starts out strong, and caught me up right away.

Nicolae is a lone werewolf who wants nothing more than the peace and solitude running with the local timber wolf pack brings. His night of play is interrupted by human hunters on his mountain. Nicolae scouts them, and from what he can make out, they look like special ops soldiers but they carry cross bows and knives. They are also speaking about finding "her," and they shot "her." So Nicolae finds the "her" they were talking about, and imagine his surprise when she turns out to be a vampire.

Nicolae was abused and enslaved by vampires in his past, so to say that he hates vampires is a bit of an understatement. However, he does notice she is not of the bloodline that enslaved and slaughtered his pack so many years ago.

So Nicolae rescues the vampire female, and even goes so far as to tend her wounds and care for her. At a couple points he deals with the local werewolf pack telling them that what he does on his property is his business. He is soo much more alpha than the alpha, but he wants nothing to do with a pack, since a century before he'd lost his pack to the vampires.

Right about here, we find out more about Tatyana, and what those hunters being in Nicolae's little slice of Canadian heaven really means. Those hunters are using vampire and werewolf blood to enhance themselves and then kill the vamps and wolves. The story has a little bit of a slow period right after that, and it really was slow. But I think it was supposed to be as Tatyana and Nicolae were learning to trust each other. Trust didn't come easily, and they danced around their attraction for a while as well. I don't think it was until Tatyana was attacked by the local alpha that Nicolae realized the depths and importance of what he was feeling. I enjoyed the ending, and I will definitely read this author again.

**book provided by the author for review
***book is in a series but works fine as a stand=alone



View all my reviews

Friday, July 8, 2011

Spontaneous Fiction Friday w/Nicole Morgan

WELCOME TO
SPONTANEOUS FICTION FRIDAYS
AND PLEASE WELCOME OUR GUEST AUTHOR
Nicole Morgan
Author of lovely naughty erotic books...
Sweet Redemption [Sweet Awakenings 1] (Siren Publishing Allure)Intimate Persuasions [Intimate Temptations] (Siren Publishing Classic)

Here was her INSPIRATION PHOTO. Whew!


and here's her start to the story...

There he was.  She walked into the room and leered at his taught muscles as the smell of lavender filled her senses.   Closing the door she took a deep breath to calm her nerves.  She’d struggled all night with wondering if she would actually be able to go through with this.  Yet here she was, wearing nothing but her tiny hoop earrings and a blush. 
“Stacy?” Will called out, not looking up at her.
“I’m here.” She answered.  Her voice came out in a whisper and she wondered if he’d noticed.
“Good. I’ve been looking forward to today all night.  I’m so tense. I need to unwind.”
She bit back the wicked grin that wanted to creep its way across her face. “Don’t you worry, Will. I know just the thing which will help you find release for all that tension.”
She started with the honey almond oil. Coating her hands with it generously she began to work his hand and shoulders.  He hadn’t been lying. He was incredibly tense.  The thought of seducing him had consumed her for the most of the night and was wreaking havoc on her libido. As she was rubbed the warm oil on him her concentration was beginning to fail her.  She wanted him so bad.  Months of personal massages, flirty glances and gentle touches had turned her into a puddle of need just aching to be filled by him.  She could feel the wetness building between her thighs.  The room was cool and comfortable but the heat emanating from her core was driving her insane.  It was all she could do to not touch herself right then.  Lost in her thoughts she forgot all sense of subtlety and moaned.
Her eyes widened in embarrassment when Will turned to look at her. They stared at one another for what seemed like hours but could have only been seconds.  Never before had she felt so completely conscious of her body. She was suddenly hyper aware of every curve, every flaw and imperfection as he stared at her, his face seemingly expressionless.  Slowly he started to get up from the table.  Nervously she stood frozen, unsure what to do and praying this wasn’t a mistake.
“Get on the table.”
Her breathing hitched and she unconsciously licked her lower lip at his request. No, he wasn’t asking her. He was telling her. His deep voice which had turned her on for so many months was instructing her to do as he said. Thoughts flooded her mind as she felt a warm trickle spill from between her moistened lips. She had no choice.  She would do whatever he told her, her need for him was too great. She was completely at his mercy as she got on the table and waited for his touch...

NOW it's your turn...to add to the story!


Winner of the last Spontaneous Fiction is a TIE!
Congratulations Barlessandwagmore and Ellis. Please email me your email addresses so DJ can send you his new book.

Did you all see that is we got up to 1600 words that DJ might tweak and publish the story! There's still time to add.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Glimmer by Vivi Anna

Glimmer (Nina Decker Novel)
Glimmer by Vivi Anna
4 of 5 Flames
SMOKIN HOT

BLURB:Although Nina Decker’s father is one hundred percent human, her mother is not. She belongs to an ancient and rare race of people called the fae. But these fae are not those written about in fairytales, with pretty gossamer wings and fairy dust, no they are sinister, malevolent and unkind, dwelling in another realm called Nightfall. More prone to destroy than to create. Abandoned at the age of ten, to be raised by her father, Nina has never forgiven her mother for that or for ruining her father. A man of only sixty, he appears to be closer to eighty with a frail body and mind. He’s been fae-struck and is slowly fading away to nothing. This is one of the reasons why Nina has never gotten too close to any one man. She doesn’t want to seal his fate like her father’s has been.

But she can’t deny her fiery connection to Severin Saint Morgan, a sexy as hell werewolf and the alpha of the Vancouver wolf pack. He’s an Australian immigrant working at the university as an associate professor, and the publicized face of the werewolf species. He makes her blood boil with desire and makes her tremble with fear. But its only when her mother reappears with startling revelations about an upcoming war between the fae and the werewolves that Nina realizes that she may be a pawn for both sides.
Glimmer Review:
A Nina Decker Novel is a short story with a heck of a lot jam-packed into it. There are so many things to explain in the world the Vivi Anna created that it is almost amazing that she was able to do it so well. This is a world of mythology and 'normal' reality all rolled into one. Where werewolves and the fae are realities that normal humans are only recently beginning to realize have existed as long as they have, if not longer.

Nina Decker is a half-human, half-fae nurse pretending to be fully human. With a fae-drunk father who pines for his lost love and a mother that uses that to get what she wants out of Nina, what could a little bit of werewolf love hurt in the grand scheme of things. But attention from the hot werewolf Alpha and her mother's sudden appearance after many years away can't be a coincidence. Can Nina protect herself from vindictive fae, manipulative mothers and werewolves with hidden agendas?

This is a good story that draws readers in to the new series. It leaves just enough mystery that you want to know what happens next and leaves you with an appreciation for Vivi Anna as an author.

  • Format: Kindle Edition

  • File Size: 310 KB

  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services

  • Language: English

  • ASIN: B004O6MUTK


  • Review: Cheat the Grave


    by Vicki Pettersson
    Publisher: Harper Collins
    Publish Date: June 1, 2010
    Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
    Series: Signs of the Zodiac book 5

    Rating:  4 of 5 flames

    Blurb from Goodreads:

    Las Vegas socialite and otherwordly avenger Joanna Archer gave up everything when she embraced mortality—abandoning her powers and altering her destiny to save a child . . . and a city. Now her former allies are her enemies—and her enemies have nothing to fear.
    Yet still she is bound to a prophecy that condemns her to roam a nightmare landscape that ordinary humans cannot see and dare not enter. And a beast is on her trail—an insane killer blinded by bloodlust, who's determined to rip much more from Joanna than merely her now-fragile life. Survival is no longer an option in this dark realm where good and evil have blurred into confusing shades of gray—unless she can gather together an army of onetime foes and destroy everything she once believed in.

    Book Savvy Babe’s Review:
    Going into this book, I was a little nervous.  I am unfamiliar with the series, and this book is the fifth book in the series.  Needless to say, I did not have any idea what the back story was when I began reading.  While this did cause some gaps in the story while reading, I was fully able to catch up with the story, and I wasn’t lost or confused.

    Cheat the Grave centers on Joanna Archer, former superhero and member of the light.  After losing her power and becoming mortal, she is abandoned and living as her dead sister.  Her only friends are her dead sisters long-time friend Cher and Cher’s stepmom, Suzanne.  Suzanne is getting ready to marry a prince, and Joanna is attending the wedding festivities, as well as trying to protect herself from the dangerous entities out to kill her.

    I really liked Cheat the Grave, and Joanna.  In this book, Joanna is forced to re-evaluate her life, especially her relationships.  She has to face her grief over all that she has lost, and also consider the gifts and friends she currently has.  As Joanna progresses through the action of the story, running from mad villains, she also progresses through an emotional journey; from grief, to despair, to anger, and to determination.  I felt for the character, felt anger at the betrayals, and hopeful for new friends and paths. 

    The world and the supernatural characters were new and interesting.  The characters follow the stars and the zodiac, there are alternate dimensions, and their written records are comic books.  I thought that the comic book manuals were very clever.  In this installment, there was not a lot of romance, however, I understood that there was more romance in previous books, and hopefully more to come.  I really did enjoy Cheat the Grave, I will definitely read more of this series, and more books by Vicki Pettersson.  Urban fantasy and paranormal fans will enjoy this series.

    Here are the books of the series (in order):
    The Scent of Shadows (Sign of the Zodiac, Book 1)The Taste of Night (Sign of the Zodiac, Book 2)The Touch of Twilight (Sign of the Zodiac, Book 3)City of Souls (Sign of the Zodiac, Book 4)Cheat the Grave (Sign of the Zodiac, Book 5)The Neon Graveyard (Sign of the Zodiac, Book 6)

    Tuesday, July 5, 2011

    Lord of the Vampires by Gena Showalter

    Lord of the Vampires (Royal House of Shadows, #1)Lord of the Vampires by Gena Showalter

    My rating: 4 of 5 flames


    Once upon a time, a vampire prince named Nicolai was an arrogant seducer of anything with breasts. He lived happily, frolicking with his brothers and sister, learning to fight, to control his temper, to use his powers, to heal...until one day, an evil sorcerer attacks. His parents, the king and queen, are slaughtered, and with their dying breaths, each casts a spell. His mother sends all 4 of her children to safety, while the king instills a need for vengeance against the Blood Sorcerer. Unfortunately the queen's spell sent her children to different places in their world. Nicolai finds himself naked in the sex slave market of Delfina, "a kingdom without time or age."

    He escapes and is captured by the princess of the witches, Odette. She and her sister Laila have his memory erased and Odette forces him to become her sex slave.

    Meanwhile, in a place far, far away, a cabin in the human realm, we find our heroine, Jane. Jane is recovering from a horrific car accident. A drunk driver hit her car and killed her family, paralyzing Jane, crushing her from waist down. After a long torturous year, she is up, walking, jogging every day to keep her muscles from stiffening, and she is dreaming of a chained vampire. Oh yes, she knows the hero's a vampire because she used to work in a research facility that interrogated the "others." She's a scientist who has been trying to send things over to Nicolai's realm-and she's succeeded with inanimate objects. But one day she finds a book on her doorstep. Opening it up and reading it, she can not only picture Nicolai, the vampire who wrote the lines, but she can see him as if she knows him. Does she?

    Next thing she knows, Jane is transported into the Princess Odette's life. Everyone who sees her, sees Odette. Everyone, that is, except Nicolai. He convinces her to free him, and she is whipped by her "mother," the queen, but our hero, in a fit of rage tears through everyone to get to his woman. And that is really just the first 60 pages or so!

    But never fear! Once they escape, danger is constantly dogging their heels. Jane is captured by *ahem* very lusty ogres. Even in her fat, ugly, Princess Odette disguise, they want her anyway. She does a good job of fighting one off, but more grab her, and unfortunately Nicolai fought them until he was incapacitated with some of his memories rushing back. Each time he gains more of his memories, it's painful and he loses time. Finding Jane is a priority, but his memories force him to re-live them, and each is a debilitating memory. But as his memory returns, so do his powers, and luckily he's able to find Jane each time.

    The two of them find amazing amounts of danger! But I enjoyed watching Nicolai learn that he couldn't just use Jane to escape-he began to care for her, and respect her. The sex came pretty early on, and as we all know Showalter, that woman can write some steamy naughtiness. But I liked it. The world-building wasn't hard to follow, but the memory stealing was. I had a hard time remembering whose memories were stolen and by whom. And the ending was a bit abrupt. But other than that, it was a fun ride. I liked seeing the trademark Gena Showalter sense of humor and I really enjoyed the way Nicolai got possessive over Jane, but didn't like it, or understand why. For those of you who are rolling your eyes at the love at first sight bit, stop right there-it wasn't. There's a sneaky little twist in there that lets us know they've met before. They were friends, but something happens that takes that away.

    I liked it, I was confused a few times, but I am really looking forward to the next installment (which is actually written by Jill Monroe. And Jessica Andersen and Nalini Singh have the 2 after that. This looks to be an intense series.

    **eARC courtesy of netgalley.com



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