Monday, October 31, 2011

Giveaway and Interview with Anita Clenney



I got the chance to ask USA Today and NY Times best seller Anita Clenney a few questions, and she's awesome enough to giveaway a copy US and Canada only, of her new book Embrace the Highland Warrior. Just leave a comment answering her question, and your email to be entered.


HH: What started you writing? Was there a moment where you just decided to write? Or has it always been a dream?
AC:I’ve always loved reading. After a long reading jaunt, it was like a light bulb went off in my head. “You can write a book,” the light bulb said. I decided the only way to find out was to try. I was shocked at how much I didn’t know, but I’m glad I went in ignorant, otherwise, I would have been too intimidated to try.

HH: Do you have a day job? If so, what?
AC: No, I’ve had several jobs from Real Estate to booking shows for Aztec Dancers to working in a pickle factory, but for the past several years, I’ve stayed home with the kids, and for the past five I’ve also been writing.

HH: My favorite question: Why Highlanders?

AC:I needed really strong warriors under Michael the Archangel’s command, so what better than highlanders. There are warriors all over the world, but this series deals with the Scottish branch.

HH: Also, why time travel?
AC:I didn’t set out to write paranormal or time travel, in fact I didn’t think of this as time travel until just before it sold, because he’s not traveling through time, he’s just sleeping for a long time in a box that stops time, but I suppose that’s time travel. 

HH: How did you pick your time and setting?
AC:I don’t write historical, so I didn’t want to have the hero too ancient. I figured 150 years of sleeping in a time vault was long enough. The second book, Embrace the Highland Warrior, which comes out today, has a hero and heroine BOTH from modern times. Along with the battle for good and evil, this is a story of poignant love, shocking revelations, and making peace with the past.

HH: How much do you research before you write?
AC: It depends. A lot of this stuff is in my head. I have a very active imagination, and with paranormal, you have a lot more flexibility, but when I need research, I do everything online. And I do a lot of brainstorming on the story before I write.

HH: If you could go back in time, when, where, and is there anyone specific you'd like to meet?
AC: I would love to meet my ancestors. I think that would be so cool.

**My publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, will give away a copy of Embrace the Highland Warrior to one commenter, US and Canada only please. My question is do you like paranormal stories, and if so, how dark?**

Anita Clenney grew up an avid reader, devouring Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books before moving on to mysteries and romance. After working as a secretary, a Realtor, teacher’s assistant, booking agent for Aztec Fire Dancers, and a brief stint in a pickle factory (picture Lucy and Ethel--lasted half a day)…she realized she'd missed the fork in the road that led to her destiny. Now she spends her days writing mysteries and paranormal romantic suspense about Secret Warriors, Ancient Evil and Destined Love. Anita lives in suburban Virginia, outside Washington DC, with her husband and two kids.

You can find out more about Anita and her books at:

http://www.anitaclenney.com
http://www.facebook.com/anitaclenneyAUTHOR
http://www.twitter.com/anitaclenney
http://www.mysteriesandmargaritasblogspot.com
http://www.goodreads.com/anitaclenney
http://www.redroom.com/anitaclenney

Some of the places Embrace can be purchased:

http://www.amazon.com/Embrace-Highland-Warrior-Anita-Clenney/dp/1402251262
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/embrace-the-highland-warrior-anita-clenney/1100076266
http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Embrace-Highland-Warrior/Anita-Clenney/9781402251269
http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/embrace-the-highland-warrior/id468777516?mt=11




We’ll leave you with an excerpt from Embrace:

Cody sighed. Might as well get it over with. He removed the shackles, returned them, and bent over her. “Shay, wake up.”
Her eyes flew open. She planted both hands against his chest and shoved, knocking him on his back, then sprang on top of him. “How dare you handcuff me to a bed?” she yelled, punctuating each word with a shake that rattled his brain. He didn’t fight back. She had to get it out of her system, and he didn’t blame her. He’d be more than pissed if someone shackled him.
She landed a fist into his stomach, and the breath rushed out of him. Okay, enough was enough. He captured her hands and rolled, trapping her under him.
“Get off me, you oaf.”
“I’ll get off when you stop beating the snot out of me.”
She let out a war cry and lunged for his throat, teeth bared. Intrigued, he hesitated a second too long, and she sank her teeth into his neck. A jolt of desire shot straight to his groin. He’d never been one for the rough stuff, but damn! He pulled back before she could do more than leave a bruise. He trapped her legs with his and held her hands above her head, letting his full weight press her into the soft mattress. She still struggled but could move only enough to get him excited.
“I’m sorry, Shay. I had to do it. It was too dangerous to let you go traipsing through the woods. I had to keep you safe.”
“What if he was hiding in one of the other bedrooms and sneaked in here while I was handcuffed to the bed? You left me so I couldn’t even protect myself.”
“Lach heard him out in the woods, but that’s why I locked the door, just in case. If this guy had broken it down to get to you, you would’ve screamed, and I would’ve come running. I was never far from the house.” He’d heard every name she called him.
Her eyes still flashed fire, but her breath was steadier, and she kept glancing at his mouth. He thought that was a good thing. He wondered if she’d calmed enough not to hit him, because he should move. She had to notice the effect all the wiggling around was having on him. He felt her hips push against his, and he groaned. He relaxed his grip and lowered his head, letting his lips touch her chin. He kissed his way to her mouth, and she head butted him in the nose.
While the stars exploded in his head, she shoved him aside and bolted out the door. He jumped up and went after her as she pounded down the stairs. He caught up with her outside. She was swinging her purse like a whip, headed for the car.
“Where are you going?” he demanded.
“Get away from me.”
“You can’t leave.”
“Watch me.” She opened the door. “I’m tired of people hiding things from me. I thought you were going to stop. Now you’re handcuffing me to the bed.”
“I explained it to you.”
“Don’t touch me,” she said, jerking away when he grabbed her arm.
“You’re not leaving.”
Shay straightened her shoulders. “You can’t stop me.”
He grabbed her, tossed her over his shoulder, kicked the car door shut, and stomped up the steps.
“Put me down!” Shay kicked and twisted, cursing at him. He dumped her on her feet inside the door.
She blew her hair out of her face, and as soon as she could see, she threw a punch at his chin. He deflected it and grabbed her arm. “Stop hitting me.”
“How dare you throw me over your shoulder like some kind of caveman,” she spat, trying to wrench her arm free. It didn’t work, so she used her knee.
“Ah, not there.” Cody trapped her knee. “I made the mistake of letting you leave here nine years ago without listening to me. By God, I won’t do it again. You’ll listen if I have to sit on you,” he growled.
She drew back her other arm, and before she could throw the punch, he had her on the floor and was sitting astride her, pinning her wrists to the floor. She bucked and twisted, but he held her down. “We can do this all night if you want, but you’re going to listen to me this time.”
“Listen to more lies? You’re still hiding things from me. Like the fact that you have Nina’s entire house under surveillance. Like the fact that you’ve got a Bat Cave in your basement. Like the fact that you were in Scotland when the stalking started.”
“You think I’m your stalker?” he yelled. “Me! I’m trying to keep you alive. We’re all trying to keep you alive. That’s what the clan’s been doing your whole damned life, trying to keep you alive! And just like always, you’re making it hard as hell. Your father wasn’t a bloody spy, and that thing in your living room wasn’t a man!”

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Darkest Surrender by Gena Showalter

The Darkest Surrender  (Lords of the Underworld, #8)The Darkest Surrender by Gena Showalter

My rating: 4.5 of 5 flames



Strider, one of my favorite Lords, finally found his match. Kaia, Harpy extraordinaire, has known for a while now that Strider was her Consort. Too bad he doesn’t want anything to do with her.
Strider’s book was awesome, almost as awesome as Strider himself, oh ego-check ;) You’ll catch Strider doing those ego-checks throughout just to remind himself that oh wait, it’s not ego if it’s true. He was a fun hero to have. The only thing that drove me nuts was the Harpy Games. While cool to see, I didn’t like the amount of time it took from the romance. The plot was super cool though, and so was the sabotage.

Someone is out to get Kaia, and while they think they know who it is, we also have that person letting Hunters know where Kaia and Strider, Gwen and Sabin, and Bianka and Lysander are. That’s fighting dirty. Seeing Kaia’s backstory and finding out that she is known amongst Harpies as Kaia the Disappointment was pretty heartwrenching. She screwed up at 14 and the only Harpies who know her awesomeness are her sisters. It was so frustrating because I wanted to reach through the book and strangle a few characters.

But the romance was fun, because Strider began to realize that Kaia challenged his demon in a good way, without using it against him like previous girlfriends had. He also finally sucked it up and decided to see if he would in fact be better than Paris in bed with her. That may not make sense, unless you realize that he has the demon of Defeat inside, and any time he loses, he suffers in extreme pain for days. And Paris has the demon of Promiscuity, so Strider has to be better than Paris, or he can’t be with Kaia. Little does he understand that he will be better just because Kaia loves him, not due to his skills.

But when they came together it made it all the sweeter (and hotter!) due to the wait. And I liked how they worked together as a team, even before they realized that they loved each other. The twist at the end with Kaia’s mom was unexpected. But I can’t wait for the Angels of Darkness spin-off series now, Zachaerel especially! Rawr!

There were two side-stories going on with William and Paris. Paris is still on the hunt for Sienna, and William finally took out his rage on Gilly’s parents. Both of those plots have me intrigued for their books, and I’m such a Showalter fan-girl now, it’s ridiculous. She has a way of pairing couples together who really don’t seem to fit well together, but they end up complimenting each other. Fantastic series, and a fantastic author.




View all my reviews

Thursday, October 27, 2011

His Destiny by Diana Cosby

His Destiny (MacGruder's, #4)His Destiny by Diana Cosby

My rating: 3.5 of 5 flames




This was a good book, it hit the ground running, but I think that parts of this were really hard to swallow.

We have England's finest, and highest paid mercenary, Emma Astyn (year is 1297)and yet she never behaves like a spy. Not once. I get that from Patrik's point of view she was a helpless young woman, but even from Emma's point of view, she doesn't think/act like a spy. With the exception of her competency with a knife, she had no spy skills whatsoever.

Emma is England's finest mercenary and she is hired to infiltrate Patrik's rebel group and find out everything she can, but the biggie, her number 1 priority is to steal a message that holds rebel info and their next move. This writ is on its way to a certain bishop who is a key player in the rebellion. He will then give it to William Wallace. So Emma pretends to be Cristina, Scottish lass who is about to be raped by 4 English knights. Who comes to her rescue (as planned by Emma/Cristina)? Patrik of course. What bothers me about this plan, is that she is told by he's a blackguard, has a dark heat, is an evil barbarian, yet she's willing to bank on him saving her, a random damsel in distress? That logic doesn't follow.

Once she and Patrik are together, he stirs things in her she has never felt before. They bond, they laugh, they love, and then Cristina/Emma betrays him. I'm a sucker for the big betrayal plot line because I love seeing them make up. I loved the scene where Cristina/Emma had to prove herself loyal, and no one believed her (why should they? she's lied to everyone and is an English spy). She proves herself, though, and I loved how she handled Patrik's brothers. There were hints of the mystical too, which was pretty cool to see.

This has the makings of an excellent novel, but it just didn't quite deliver. I think that once Emma and Patrik realize they have feelings for each other, the fact that she was still thinking about stealing the writ was soo wrong. I mean, she's telling us she now realizes she was hired by the bad guys, and that Patrik and the rebels are just trying to live their lives and find a bit of peace, and yet she's still willing to give this information to her employer? Total fail.

It really is a good storyline, and I don't mind suspending belief for the female spy in the 13th century, but the author really needed to deliver on that end, especially since the heroine wasn't blackmailed into doing the dirty work, or she wasn't a noblewoman who was new at it. This was an orphan from the streets, a woman who chose this profession. She was England's finest spy. Other than that, I'd say that their romance was believable, and the brothers and their wives (from the previous books in the series) were great to see, and the action scenes felt accurate. The ending was abrupt, but I really thought the leading action was good. As you can see I did rate it 3.5 flames, so I did like the book, I just had a hard time believing the heroine was a spy.

**ARC provided by Kensington



View all my reviews

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My Wild Highlander by Vonda Sinclair

My Wild HighlanderMy Wild Highlander by Vonda Sinclair

My rating: 4 of 5 flames


This is the sequel to My Fierce Highlander, and I loved it just as much. I can’t tell you how much I loved our hero Lachlan. He was the younger, untitled brother of Alasdair-chief of clan MacGrath and hero of the last book. But Lachlan is told he will never amount to anything by their father, so he sets about proving him right. Lachlan is a man whore--a different woman each night, you know the type. The heroine Angelique catches him! So her first meeting of Lachlan is while he’s with Lady Eleanor, but she remembers seeing him with a different lady the night before, and she knows of his reputation. Let’s just say that she doesn’t take it well when she is gently forced by the king to marry Lachlan.



Her lands might be hers, but her people don’t trust either Lady Angelique or her new husband, their new chief, Lachlan. I liked how Lachlan earned their trust, and dealt with those who betrayed that newfound trust. I hated how Lady Angelique couldn’t understand that there were some things she wouldn’t be involved in. She was a woman, she was not the laird. Yet she would get so angry with Lachlan for doing things that involved her clan, without including her. I understand her fears and insecurities, in fact I think they were very well-developed and any woman could understand them. But it still drove me crazy.



Lachlan was a great character and a fantastic hero. I liked that he changed to a single-woman-man, because it was believable. Not being attracted to other women confused him. He was so befuddled as to why he only wanted his wife, and it was so fun to watch him fall in love with her. Once he realized why he didn’t want other women, he really worked hard to gain Angelique’s trust, and her faith in him. I found myself really enjoying the story. Once I passed a certain turning point for Angelique, the plot really picked up, and I found myself reading as fast as I could to find out what would happen next. A certain hare-brained scheme cooked up by the menfolk really rubbed me the wrong way, but to them the ends justified the means. This book was a great follow-up to My Fierce Highlander, and it really made me want more. In fact, I want Dirk’s story now. Like ASAP.



*One thing I’d like to mention is that I suggested this book and the previous one to someone, and her response was that she didn’t read self-published authors. Well, I had no idea this author was self-pubb’d! This book is just that good. If I ever go that route, I want her for my critique partner and I want her editor. I highly Vonda Sinclair’s Highlander books.



**Thank you to the author for the review copy





View all my reviews

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop – Oct 24th to 31st –
I hope you're all having a great time on this hop! It's gigantic!,  there are over 400 blogs participating!

So what do I have in store for you?
I know it's little hard to see in this photo, but I have 3 great prizes for ONE lucky winner
  • ChroniclesofNick.com backpack (Mmmm Dark Hunters...)
  • book one in the LARA ADRIAN Midnight Breed series: KISS OF MIDNIGHT (Vampire goodness!)
  • book one of DIANA GABALDON'S Outlander series, OUTLANDER (Men in Kilts!)
To enter is Easy, Just fill out the form below:
Additional entries
+1 Follow me on Twitter or Facebook


+1 Be or become a GFC Follower of this blog




Don't forget to stop by all the other great blogs on the HOP and have a SPOOKY time.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Guest Post with Author Jacquelyn Frank

Special Guest: Jacquelyn Frank

Hey all! Guess what happens in just two days? Yeah, okay, so you don’t have to guess. ADAM RELEASES!! WOOT!!!! ADAM!! Book six in the Nightwalkers series, comes out on October 25th! YAY! Okay, so I am a little overexcited. What can I say? These past few months have been incredibly hard on me, so I am taking my excitement where I can get it. And here is definitely where I get it…

Oh don’t tell me you haven’t heard about ADAM! The next installment in the NIGHTWALKERS series? Come on people, get with it! You’ve been dying for this release for almost three years! Look, I’m not teasing this time! I have the cover to prove it.

Ain’t he purty? I love his chesticles. They are my favorite.

But in case you’re a newbie and haven’t read my work here is a little insight into my Nightwalker world…

There have always been people who live on the fringes of society, but what if there were entire species living on the fringe of human existence? We tell the tales of vampires and other things that go bump in the night, but imagine if there were entire cultures living alternate lives and life cycles to day-worshiping humans. This is part of the premise of my Nightwalkers series. Demons, Vampires, Lycanthropes and more, each its on race, its own society, living outside of human discovery. (For the most part. Apparently we’ve crossed paths enough to create our monstrous perceptions of them.) The series starts with the Demon race and slowly blossoms out into others, both known and unknown. They are complex cultures with histories they champion and histories they regret just as we do. When their existence begins to bleed into ours, it makes for some very intriguing discoveries about how very similar we all can be at our core…and how sometimes fate has plans for us we have absolutely no control over…wouldn’t you agree? So with that being said I hope you enjoy this small taste of what’s to come when fate decides she’s in the mood to play

WARNING: YOU MIGHT GET WET!!

He changed form in the blink of an eye, morphing from man to a deluge of water that dashed against her face and body. But unlike normal water he did not cascade off of her and fall to the ground. Instead, he flowed over her supple body, slowly washing over and around her, covering her inch by inch. He felt the smoothness of her skin beneath his touch, the weight of her breasts…tasted the hard points of her nipples.

She gasped in shock when he first hit her, but that shock quickly changed to something deeper and far sultrier. The sound that erupted from her as he flowed over her was nothing short of purest sin. He took satisfaction in it.

And even as he covered the most intimate inches of her skin with his exploration, he knew he was going too far. It had gone too far the moment he had sat in the brush to stare at her as she bathed. But this, what he was doing now, it was a whole other level of perversion, and as glorious as she felt, he knew he was stepping way over the line.

Did you enjoy that? Now rush out and buy the book!

I’d like to take this opportunity to give you all cyber hugs, answer a few questions and say thank you SO much for your devotion to this series. That has allowed it to be translated into over half a dozen foreign languages including German, Thai, Portuguese an now the entire set is available in audio format by Tantor Media! (The fabulous Xe Sands does our gang of men and their ladies proud!) Anyway, I have wondrous things planned for you and this world in the future. Follow my on my website, Facebook, Twitter and blog and I’ll keep you up to date on me, my books, my life, my peeves, my cats, my kid…basically all the floatsam of my life. Oh, and on Facebook we have a neat roleplaying page you ought to join called Jacquelyn Frank’s Nightwalker World official role-play page. You get to watch actors play your favorite NIGHTWALKER characters, get to oogle the Hump Day Hunks on Wednesdays and a variety of other things as well. Oh, and the person who plays Ruth (cough) is sick and twisted and does a FABULOUS job, if I do say so myself. Hehehe. So…on to all the juicy details my avid and diehard readers have been waiting patiently to know…

*Yes, I do have plans for Tristan from the Shadowdwellers to get his HEA eventually. What form and time this takes shape in is a grey area at present, but there is an intention.

*Yes, I do have plans for the next installment in the Nightwalkers universe, and it is going to be spectacular! And as soon as it’s in writing you all will be the first to know because I will be shouting it from the mountaintops

*My original intent when I finished Drink of Me was for it to be a stand-alone title. However, after massive amounts of fan mail begging me to continue, I have decided to give the idea some careful consideration.  

If you haven’t heard of me or tried me before, I hope you will. A good place to start is either Book One of the Nightwalkers series, JACOB, or my stand alone title DRINK OF ME! I hope you pick up ADAM. It definitely stands on its own even if you have not read the first. (But I, personally, am a stickler for reading things in their correct order)  

Here is a sample of JACOB on audio, ENJOY!  
Listen here: http://www.tantor.com/mp3/B0318_JacobNightwalkers.mp3

Also don’t forget SUPERNATURAL, an anthology that gives my devoted readers a long-awaited insight into what exactly transpires between Kane and Corrine that very first Samhain night. Remember, Corrine was near death that night, and Demon instincts don’t make leeway for fragility in a mate. (Especially since Demon mates are not usually fragile humans!) So what’s a Demon obsessed with mating to do? Check it out and see, In Stores Now!!
Thank you so much for having me, It’s been a blast!


Hugs & Kitties,


Jacki Frank

Jacquelyn lives in the Western North Carolina mountain area around Asheville with her ten male cats (no, that isn’t a typo) and about ten thousand voices in her head. Rather than take heavy meds to chase them away, (the voices, not the cats) she indulges them and brings their stories to life. She’s lived in many places and worked many jobs, which she says makes her ‘colorful, not inconstant.’ She is always rescuing one stray or another, be they animal or human, and thinks the invention of electronic reading devices could only be improved if they could just manage to make them smell like ink and paper. A self-admitted techno-geek, she loves all kinds of gadgetry.

She believes every romance should have a happily ever after.

You can often find her on Facebook. Join her fan page at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jacquelyn-Frank/371620872548 
or visit her website at www.jacquelynfrank.com  There you will find a blog, notices of upcoming book releases and personal appearances, an FAQ (frequently asked questions), and ways to follow her on Twitter. Email her personally at jackifrankwrites@gmail.com or snail-mail her at P.O. Box 2164 Skyland, NC 28776.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Book Review: One Real Thing by Anah Crow and Dianne Fox


4 out of 5 flames

Nick and Hollister (Holly) were best friends through their college years despite their differences. Outgoing and flirtatious Holly’s attempts to get Nick’s undivided attention never ended with the result Holly secretly craved. Holly was deeply in love with Nick from the beginning and afraid he’d lose him forever if he revealed his feelings. And then Nick met Caroline, a snooty bitch who instantly saw Holly as a threat and drove a wedge between them. When they marry it is the beginning of a downward spiral for Holly who can’t seem to function without Nick nearby to save him from himself. A few years later Holly has learned to self-medicate with dangerous behavior, sex, booze and drugs resulting in the loss of a successful career and his recent lover. He’s about to hit rock bottom when Nick catches wind of his condition and swoops in to rescue his best friend despite the demands of Caroline. Nick never could keep his eyes off the mess that was Holly and this time around years of pent up feelings explode into a world of messiness that changes their relationship.

This was a very angsty character driven romance and those are typically my favorite kind of romances but I had an issue or two with this one that keeps it from venturing into 5 star territory. . I have unlimited tolerance for inner torment and too sweet to be believed characters like Holly but I’m so tired of the one dimensional stereotypical selfish wife/mother/father/sister character. I’m sure these folks exist in real life but do they have to pop up in so many frigging romances to create distance? Just because Nick tried to keep up appearances and didn’t want to face his attraction to Holly, doesn’t mean that Nick’s wife has to be the evil, self-centered bitch and the way she was dispatched right outta their lives ticked me off.

Phew, glad that’s out of the way. Despite my issues with Caroline, I thought this was a lovely little Dom/sub romance filled with longing looks, tender touches, sweet cuddling and eventually plenty of hot, loving sex and it did a fantastic job of getting into Holly’s head. I understood his pain, his desire to please Nick and ached with him but I am a sucker for these types, I admit it. Nick, on the other hand, felt to me like he got the shaft (ha, finally!) when it came to understanding how he ticked. He was nice enough and all and a bit of a hot mess himself but I emphasized more with Holly possibly because he was so innocent and easily wounded despite his wicked ways and gorgeous exterior. When Nick’s life unraveled there for a bit I felt bad but also a little manipulated at the same time (which comes around to stereotypical Caroline again).

However, Nick’s desire for Holly is never in question and is beautifully described:

“Where are we having lunch?”

Nick hadn’t really thought that far ahead. “The Westway,” he decided. “Over on Ninth. Should I meet you there?”

“Yeah, I’ll find it.” Holly was making quiet noises that were probably him wriggling out of his pajama pants without getting out of bed again. God, Nick really shouldn’t know what those noises were, and he wasn’t thinking about the visuals that went with them. And he shouldn’t know how Holly’s hair smelled when it was damp from sleep, how bitter it was when Holly was sick and how spicy and honeyed it was when Holly was well. Nick’s head hit the wall behind him, and he scrubbed a hand over his face, reeling his mind in from all the places it shouldn’t be going.”

Beautiful, no?

In the end, their relationship was a bit co-dependent, both of them are broken on some level and certain bits of the story do tip-toe straight into Unhealthytown but it worked for me and I couldn’t put the book down once I started it because I had to know Holly would end up ok.

One Real Thing can be purchased at Carina Press.

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Viper by Monica McCarty

The Viper (Highland Guard, #4)The Viper by Monica McCarty

My rating: 5 of 5 flames


This story begins with our heroine Lady Isabella MacDuff being led into a cage-a cage suspended above the courtyard at Berwick Castle. We see her strength of body, mind and spirit tested, as Bella has finally realized what crowning the Bruce king has cost her. The biggest price? She’s lost her daughter. They had to leave 12 year old Joan behind with her father, which wasn’t an awful fate for the girl since her father loved her, but imagine a loving mother being forced to leave her daughter behind.



I feel that the hardest part about this book was the emotional torment of Bella. Not only did she leave her daughter behind, but Bella was captured, imprisoned, hung suspended from a cage for almost 2 years, she then was forced time and time again to make decisions no mother should have to make. The welfare of her daughter over her own, of course, but the costs were high. Her jailor/tormentor used her daughter as a reason to keep Bella in line. “We will let you write to her, if you...” or “if you escape, we will hurt your daughter...”



Lachlan and Bella’s paths were constantly intertwined, as the two of them spent a lot of time together. He rescued her from her prison, but would she ever allow him close? It seemed that having been an object of lust her entire life, Bella wanted just one man to look at her without that gleam in his eye. But for some reason, when Lachlan looked at her with desire in his eyes, it didn’t bother her as much.



I will definitely say that this is a very emotionally draining book. But Bella has become one of my favorite heroines of all time. She survived so much, she did so much, and she never came off as a perfect heroine, she was flawed, and she was so strong. Not just due to Ms. McCarty’s incredible writing, but this woman was real, her imprisonment in the cage was real. My favorite thing about these books is the vast amount of truth and history woven into the story. I suggest reading the author’s note at the end.



I really like that by the end, Bella was able to see that her husband was not as cruel as she’d originally thought him, that he deserved her pity more than anything, and she was able to let go of many hard feelings (oh don’t get me wrong, the man was an ass, but it was nice to see a heroine look back and see that several things could have been handled differently and maybe her marriage wouldn’t have been as awful as it had been). That’s one of the reasons I love to read Ms. McCarty’s work- she never takes the easy way out. Her characters have to work for their happy ending.



The only thing I missed was seeing the Guard act together more. But I think Lachlan needed to realize that even though he always says he works best alone, that he’s come to depend on the other members of the Guard. And dare I say it, he kind of likes them. There is a scene at the end where he realizes just how much the Guard means to him, and he to them.



My favorite quote from this book was actually at the end. It shows everything from Bella’s spirit, to how not everyone gets the pretty Happy Ever After. Sometimes it’s more bittersweet than that, and you have to work for what you want. I loved that.



“I know you were hoping for a different ending,” Lachlan said quietly.

This war had taken so much from her. But Bella refused to let it cost her her daughter. “It’s not the end, it’s only the beginning.”

With Lachlan by her side, she would fight to the end.






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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A Vampire for Christmas by Caridad Pineiro

A Vampire for Christmas (Includes: Sweetblood, #2.5)A Vampire for Christmas by Caridad PiƱeiro

My rating: 3 of 5 flames


Enchanted by Blood by Laurie London- 3.5 flames
I really enjoy Laurie London's Sweetblood series, but to be honest, this one definitely wasn't one of my favorites. The storyline was good, but there's one thing that really REALLY bugged me. Charlotte's friend bailed on her at a club, so she heads back to her car alone. Right before she is about to get accosted, someone swoops in and beats the thugs down. Awesome, except that her hero is her ex-lover. Oh, and she doesn't remember him because he's a vampire who erased her memory of their relationship.
So far so good, and I loved watching Trace woo her, it was sweet. I really liked the mini suspense plot too, except when she finds out what Trace did, other than a slap across his face, all is forgiven. Really? But definitely a good addition to the Sweetblood series, just a minor thing that hits my pet peeve button/

Monsters Don't Do Christmas by Michele Hauf-2 flames
This one starts out strong and then became really boring. Not much happened and I didn't see Olivia as being a monster at all. She feels she's more of a monster than her self-loathing vampire lover is. Why? She's a pop star. Yep, except she's not really even diva-ish. The plot was a fail.

When Herald Angels Sing by Caridad Pineiro- 3.5 flames
I think this story starts off with a bang. I liked it, found myself tensing up in the right places, palms sweaty, heart racing. I will definitely read more by Ms. Pineiro. The main reason I didn't rate it more highly, is that with the flashbacks (which were well done) and the timeline, I found myself wishing it had been a longer book so we could see what the author was trying to do with those flashbacks. The world building was nil. Absolutely none. I don't know if it's part of another series or not? Maybe then I would have known more about her version of demon/vampires and angels? Other than that, I liked the idea of the guardian angel failing, the soul in question needing a "Christmas Carol" type lesson, and the devil taking his due.

All I Want For Christmas by Alexis Morgan- 4 flames
By far the best story in the book. Maybe because it works better as a stand-alone? It's not part of Alexis Morgan's vampires that she writes for Harlequin's Nocturne imprint, and it's your stereotypical vampire mythos. I think that helps with a stand-alone as she was able to more focus on the story and driving plot, than try to add in complex world-building.
This is a very sweet romance, with a vampire undercover cop and a sweet diner owner. The writing was easy read, and it was a "feel-good" story. The perfect Christmas romance, if you don't mind a vampire or two in your Christmas story.




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Friday, October 14, 2011

The Unforgiven by Joy Nash

The Unforgiven (The Watchers, #1)The Unforgiven by Joy Nash

My rating: 3 of 5 flames


The beginning starts out with a bang, but shortly thereafter, I feel as if there is some sort of backstory I’m supposed to know. There are two characters who right off the bat feel as if it’s their story-Artur and Cybele. But it isn’t their story, and I’m sure they’re being set up for one, but they are not the hero heroine. I actually had to read the blurb again to see if I was wrong, but nope, the H/h are Cade and Maddie, and they were introduced later on. I thought I may have missed a novella or a prequel, but no this is book 1, so I sort of sucked it up, and moved on.



The premise is that the Fallen Angels who dabbled with mortals had soulless children called Nephilim. Angels consider the Nephilim demons, but they prefer to be called Watchers. When a Watcher is raised human, usually a near-death experience triggers their Nephilim side. If they don’t attract a nearby Watcher to help them through the transition, they’ll go crazy and die. But if one is nearby, they “anchor” them with sex. It allows the Watcher to control the adept. And when Maddie goes through her transition, Artur makes sure Cade is nearby. Maddie is from a different clan of Watchers, and if they anchor her to their clan, it will allow them to control her power, giving them an edge on the other clan. It was kind of confusing.



Her near death experience was surviving a brain tumor. But she thinks the tumor is coming back, so she leaves her normal life, and runs off to join an archaeological dig for a Watcher relic. There is a group of extremist who call themselves DAMNers led by an extremist priest and they had the potential to be a really nasty group, yet they were used more in name only, rather than in the driving action. I don’t know, it just felt like the whole book had so much potential and just...fell flat.



I really enjoyed Joy Nash’s writing style and flow-in fact I’ve read her before and liked her books. But this one felt like there was way too much going on, and I felt lost too often. I think that although The Unforgiven definitely suffers from First Book in the Series Syndrome, I’ll read the next one. I think that some of the side characters had a lot of potential.



**eARC provided by www.netgalley.com





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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Book Twister Tuesday...All the cool readers are doin' it!

Book Twister Tuesday
What is that? you ask...
Well, it's something I just made up.

So let's have some fun with our book collection.

RIGHT HAND- RED!

Here's how to play!
Stand in front of yor book shelf, book pile or wall of literature and stick out your right hand and grab the first book you see with RED on the spine or cover.

Open the book to a random page, right side.
What is the first complete sentence on that page.

Type the entence in the comments below,
name the book & author
and tell me if the book is on your TBR list or if you READ IT.

I'll go first:

Page 135

"He hadn't seen her in 3 weeks, and after tonight he wouldn't see her again until Christmas, but in between they would have shrimp cocktail and some beers and some fun in the cool, freshly laundered sheet's of Merrin's bed."

HORNS by Joe Hill, TBR list

Can't wait to see what you've got to tease on Twister Tuesday!


Monday, October 10, 2011

Man Candy revisited



Man Candy Re-visited


I thought we'd take a look at a favorite man candy,
since October is his month on my man candy calendar.

Andre Claude


I had the pleasure of interviewing Andre via telephone in May of 2010 for Man Candy of the week.
Andre is truly one of the original man candy on the site.

Here's the article I wrote about Andre.

I had the extreme pleasure of doing a phone interview with Actor/Model, Andrei Claude. Andrei called in from London where he is currently based and pursuing his career in film. Although some may know him for his previous exploits as a fitness model and gracing the covers of over 50+ romance novels, he is so much more.
Andrei is a man bound and determined to see his dream as a major motion picture actor to reach fruition. Eloquently spoken, he had a fluid, yet commanding presence why we conducted our interview. He was so easy to talk to, that I really had a wonderful time. We discussed his previous work, but I tried to focus on what he really wants to do in the future. His recent move to London is just the first step towards reaching his dreams, and he said “I’m not just waiting on the couch for the phone to ring, I’m working hard to accomplish the things I desire”, although he said it in an utterly sexy Italian accent. Sorry Andrei, but you are even sexy over the phone.
Which brings me to my next subject: profiling. In this case job profiling; meaning that just because Andrei Claude works hard to look good, be healthy and stay fit, he shouldn’t be denied the opportunities to branch out into other fields of work. Men that have symmetry and muscle mass are not idiots, in fact, in order to maintain the regimen it requires to obtain and keep looking as good as Andrei takes discipline and intelligence; of which Andrei has truck loads. I know that we all wish we looked like the models we adore and worship, but they have many obstacles to overcome. Andrei said that he was even denied work as a fashion model due to his defined physique. Although Andrei stands 6 foot and only 182 pounds of lean muscle, he was often not given jobs because of his looks. What? You say, yes, fashion designers would see pictures of Andrei with his shirt off and tell his agent he would never fit the clothes. Believe it or not, Andrei can wear an average size 40 jacket from the rack, even though his pictures deceived him.
Right now I want to introduce you to someone new, Andrei Claude, my friend. He is a wonderful man, hard working and dedicated to his craft. He has never been married, loves to cook and appreciates a well equipped kitchen. Although he is a struggling actor, he had no trouble reining in my appreciation for the truly remarkable man he’s already become in a short 30 years. His dedication and desire to achieve great things, only makes me admire him more. What successes he’s achieved thus far haven’t tainted him, he remains grounded and thankful for all the blessings that have come his way.
I wish Andrei great success in the pursuit of his dreams, but mostly I wish him happiness in all of life’s journeys. He definitely has the drive and desire to do anything he puts his mind to.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Smart Bitches Trashy Books Winner!

Congratulations to yadkny you've won a copy of Everything I Know about Love I Learned from Romance Novels.

Hooray!!!

Thank you to everyone who commented, Sarah told me she loved all of your comments (well, she made it all caps she was so excited! LOVED THEM!) lol

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Lord of the Abyss by Nalini Singh

Lord of the Abyss (Royal House of Shadows, #4)Lord of the Abyss by Nalini Singh

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars






This book was fantastic! Absolutely one of my favorites this year. Why not 5 flames you ask? One thing-this was the last book in the series The Royal House of Shadows, and I felt very little closure at the end. The book as a stand-alone could be a fiver, but...it isn’t a stand-alone.



But the parts that wowed me? Let me tell you-the heroine is the Blood Sorcerer’s daughter Liliana. She is also very unattractive. And you know what, by a third of the way in, she wasn’t so unattractive to me anymore. I began to see her through Micah’s eyes.



Micah, oh sweet, innocent Micah. The best virgin hero I’ve ever EVER read. He maintains his childlike innocence throughout his horrible life as the Lord of the Abyss. He is basically an angel of death to those evil souls who spend their eternity in the Abyss. But through it all, he carves out his own life, and has two friends. He is very solitary, and has never craved anything the way he finds himself craving this very brave, very ugly Liliana. But he doesn’t just see Liliana’s features. He sees a woman willing to look him in the eye, one who doesn’t fear him, or who isn’t only near him for the danger. She is in earnest, she is humbling, and she is soft in all the right places.



Liliana fears what Micah will do once he finds out she is the Blood Sorcerer’s daughter, no, actually she knows what he will do-he will hate her for eternity. Pain she can handle, but she doesn’t want Micah’s hate. Especially not after she’s finally earned his trust.

The epilogue was nice, but I wish we’d seen more interaction between the siblings. The action scenes were wonderful, the love scenes so so SO sweet and hot and I’m running out of adjectives! I admit I am new to Nalini Singh’s writing as this is only the third of her books I’ve read, but she has such a seductive style of writing and I can’t put her books down!



The romance was more than I’d hoped for. It was true, it was sweet, and it was so lovely. After you see Liliana through Micah’s eyes, you’ll love her too.



Thank you to www.netgalley.com for the ARC





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Monday, October 3, 2011

Everything I Know About Love I Learned from Romance Novels



Super awesome Sarah Wendell of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books has generously agreed to a giveaway of her brand-new release Everything I Know About Love I Learned from Romance Novels. I can't tell you how excited I am to offer this one up to you guys.

For those who don't know what Smart Bitches, Trashy Books is, go HERE now.



All you have to do to enter is tell me what you've learned from romance novels-historical, paranormal, or contemporary.

I'll start:
I've learned that when it comes to running for my life, I will die. I am soo the opposite of fast. I'd like to think I'm a kick-butt kinda gal, but yeah, not really.

Also, I've learned that not every Scotsman wears a kilt. Shocker, I know, but that's a real fact.

So, your turn!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Winner!!!

And the winner of a trade size paperback of Mary Wine's My Fair Highlander is
drum roll please....


Charla85!!!




Congrats, lady, I'll email you in a bit :)

~Highland Hussy

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