Saturday, March 30, 2013

Surprising Lord Jack by Sally MacKenzie

Surprising Lord Jack (Duchess of Love, #2)Surprising Lord Jack by Sally MacKenzie
My rating: 4 of 5 flames

This story begins with Frances Hadley chopping her hair, taking her brother’s clothes, and escaping her horrid aunt who'd raised her. She heads off to London intending to force her twin brother and their solicitor to give her her dowry and let her leave her aunt (her aunt had planned to drug her and let a certain suitor compromise her, thus forcing the marriage). Her aunt was a nasty piece of work.

Of course, nothing goes as planned.

Lord Jack is bailing on his brother’s engagement ball because a certain lady from the last book Bedding Lord Ned is intent on marrying him. Jack takes off in a horrible snowstorm and stays at the closest inn. This inn usually keeps a room for the Valentine family, but this one night, they’ve let it to a young lad. Jack doesn’t mind sharing and he climbs into bed with the boy.

The next morning Frances wakes up to an attractive man in her bed. What I liked is that for her part, she kept her head, even whilst freaking out. Jack has no clue she’s a girl. She’s tall with few curves, and dressed as a young boy. People see what they want, right?
He insists on taking her to London to see her brother, but this is where everything starts to fall apart for Frances. Frances’ brother has gotten married and left his home. She has no plan B.

We see that Jack has a secret life. He’s not the rake persona he’s so carefully cultivated, he’s actually quite the do-gooder. He takes in strays and gives them a home and work. Frances of course, believes her aunt’s gossip and tales about Lord Jack being a rake of the highest order. She thinks at one point all the orphans must be his illegitimate children. Jack also takes her to a brothel, because not only is Jack a good-Samaritan, he’s also apparently the only one in London who can find the Silent Slasher. I thought that part was a bit unnecessary, but it worked.

After Jack has dragged Frances around to the worst parts of London, some jerk who knows her almost fiancé has realized she’s a girl, and hints at it so obviously that when Jack finally realizes it, I had to laugh.
The thing I liked about Frances is that she’s actually not very nice. But she realizes it after a really rough confrontation with her brother. She finally sees things from his point, and it’s actually pretty heartbreaking. I liked how she tried though. She tried to be ladylike, she tried to change from her nagging bossy persona, and she tried really hard to be someone she could be proud of.

And she really wasn’t all that bad-just innocent and mis-informed. I kind of liked her spunky ways.

,b>I think that this is a fun series; I read all 3 stories in just a couple days. The author’s tone is light, and fun. They’re fast and satisfying reads, and you’ll find yourself not wanting to put the book down.

***ARC courtesy of Kensington Books and Zebra Historical

View all my reviews

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Bedding Lord Ned by Sally Mackenzie

Bedding Lord Ned (Duchess of Love, #1)Bedding Lord Ned by Sally MacKenzie
My rating: 4 of 5 flames

Those red drawers were going to be the death of her.

Ellie had made them for herself to go with a beautiful, if slightly scandalous, dress for a ball. Her goal had been to capture Ned’s heart. Unfortunately though, her mother made her change. It turned out that Ned and her best friend are announcing their engagement. Within the year, her best friend dies, and she of course, stands by Ned and offers her friendship. It’s said many times that he wouldn’t have made it through if it weren’t for Ellie.

4 years later, Ned’s mom, The Duchess of Love, is throwing her annual Valentine’s Ball and has brought together some men hoping not so much to turn Ellie’s eye, but maybe to give Ned the kick in the pants he needs to see that Ellie is pretty and eligible and absolutely perfect for him.

And then he sees her red drawers.

The family cat likes to pilfer things and hide them in Ned’s room. What does he leave behind, but her red undies. And sure enough, Ned walks into his bedroom to find a lovely round bottom poking up from beneath his bed, and then he realizes the cat stole her drawers. Her red drawers. His imagination goes wild. His stable, predictable friend wears red?

Ellie is mortified. She’d grabbed them by accident thinking it was her red shawl, and next thing you know her underpants become a constant thorn in her side. At one point, Ned’s former brother-in-law actually tries to blackmail Ellie and Ned using her drawers!

I liked this author’s voice. I liked Ellie a lot. At one point, Ned says to her, “What's the matter, Ellie? You really aren't yourself this evening."
She bit her lip and then shook her head and looked away. "Or perhaps I finally am.”

I loved this part because she finally admits to herself that she changed her behavior to fit what she thought Ned wanted. And Ned was stunned to see her acting more carefree. It bothered him to see Ellie in a different light, but he couldn’t figure out why. I liked their romance, but it’s very slow. Like seriously slow. I loved all the characters a lot, Jack especially, and can’t wait for Surprising Lord Jack. I want to know more about Ash and why he and his wife aren’t together, and even the villain of the piece may have an interesting story for us.

I didn’t like, however, that Jack realized maybe he wasn’t as in love with his first wife as in love with the idea of her. That bugged me because I wanted to shout “It’s okay to have loved your first wife! There’s nothing wrong with that!” Other than that, I did enjoy it. The best parts were when Ned’s brothers talked some sense into him after he did something stupid. It just seemed to end very quickly after that. But it was still a fun and sweet read, and I look forward to more by Sally Mackenzie.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

RUSH by Maya Banks

It looks like such innocent cover...
I see nothing to give away what lies beneath it all, no hint or glimpse of the pure wickedness and fantasy.
I think the cover should have been:

This might have gotten my attention MUCH sooner!
If you've read the book, then you are probably laughing right now; my make-believe cover fits the book to the "T".

My Rating:

I can't begin to tell you what a surprise this book was for me. Not just that in the first 10 minutes there was a whole lotta HAWT going on, but I had not idea what to expect from this mild mannered book cover. 
I was sent this audio book from Brilliance to review, I've read another series of Maya's; the KGI Series, LOVE it. So I knew that she had some steam to share in her novels; but move over 50 shades... Maya got a little somethin' somethin' for ya.
This is for those who like it naughty, dirty and do me on the desk HAWT!
Book Blurb:

Gabe, Jace, and Ash: three of the wealthiest, most powerful men in the country. They’re accustomed to getting anything they want. Anything at all. For Gabe, it’s making one particular fantasy come true with a woman who was forbidden fruit. Now she’s ripe for the picking…

When Gabe Hamilton saw Mia Crestwell walk into the ballroom for his hotel’s grand opening, he knew he was going to hell for what he had planned. After all, Mia is his best friend’s little sister. Except she’s not so little anymore. And Gabe has waited a long time to act on his desires.

Gabe has starred in Mia’s fantasies more than once, ever since she was a teenager with a huge crush on her brother’s best friend. So what if Gabe’s fourteen years older? Mia knows he’s way out of her league, but her attraction has only grown stronger with time. She’s an adult now, and there’s no reason not to act on her most secret desires.As Gabe pulls her into his provocative world, she realizes there’s a lot she doesn’t know about him or how exacting his demands can be. Their relationship is intense and obsessive, but as they cross the line from secret sexual odyssey to something deeper, their affair runs the risk of being exposed—and vulnerable to a betrayal far more intimate than either expected.

So if you aren't already running for the bookstore, I 'll tell you more to entice you...
( I think Christian Bale could play Gabe)

Gabe Hamilton, Strong, Handsome,Sexy & Confident Alpha male. In Control, or at least he always has been except for Mia Crestwell. For years Mia was off limits, 14 yrs his junior and the kid sister of his best friend. Now though, after waiting and wanting for so long...a failed marriage, countless women and the ache for her has not subsided. It was time to act, take this opportunity to make her his; she is older now...24 and ripe for the picking.
(And what a great Actress for Mia)
Mia dealt with tragedy at an early age, losing both her parents to an accident; she was cared for by her older brother Jace. Unlike his best friends, Ash and Gabe, Jace and Mia weren't born into money. He'd worked his ass off to provide for Mia and become a success. Mia didn't have a worry in the world; Jace bought her an apartment, paid for her to go to school and get her degree and watched over her with an eagle eye. Mia was stagnant; going through the motions and working at a little cafe/pastry shop, not yet decided what to do with her life. On a whim, she decided to surprise Jace and show up to a opening for a new hotel owned by Jace, Ash and Gabe's company. She spent hours getting ready and wore a painted on little black dress and break your neck heels. Jace was nowhere to be found; but she did see a familiar face. Gabe Hamilton, the object of her teenage fantasies and adult too, strode to her across the room. He stalked to her like a panther...dear god, what had she got herself into?
Okay, enough fun! 
Want to read the book?
Well, how about listen to it?
I am giving away a NEW in the wrapper, Brilliance Audio book to a random reader of DL books & more.
All you have to do to enter is LIKE my Facebook page and post a sexy photo (random photo) that involves bondage, sub/dom photo.

Good luck!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Mark of the Sylph Blog Tour


Half-demon Taeg is desperate to free his pregnant sister-in-law, who is spellbound to an indestructible book that will create an army of the undead. He is convinced that an ancient sword can destroy the book and the spell forever, but this relic has been hidden for a millennia by a powerful glamour. The clock begins to run out on his search when an old rival goes after the book and Taeg’s family in his quest for revenge.

Librarian Maya Flores has a secret: she’s immune to magic and is well aware of the supernatural beings prowling the streets of New York City. Haunted by a brutal demon attack that took her family, she is on a one-woman mission to destroy the evil demons who did it—and any others who get in her way.
Maya is Taeg’s best hope for uncovering the sword.
Unfortunately, she wants nothing more than to kill him. As he fights for her trust and to save his family, she is forced to face the truth that not all demons are evil. And the worst part? She might be falling in love with one, too.

Formally trained as a corporate and real estate lawyer, I practiced law for 5 years before finally admitting to myself that negotiating contracts wasn't nearly as fun as dreaming up stories. As an avid reader of romances and supernatural stories, I knew I wanted to write urban fantasy and paranormal romance.  Tales of vampires, demons, and other supernatural beings ensued.
I’m currently working on the Demons of Infernum series, a series of paranormal romance novels featuring four sexy half-demon brothers and their reluctant heroines.
When not writing, I enjoy spending time with my husband and son in our home state of Florida, as well as searching out things that go bump in the night. I still haven’t found any, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
If I ever do find evidence of the supernatural, it remains to be seen whether I’ll jump around in excitement, or run screaming in terror (but I’m betting on the latter)!

There will be a tour-wide giveaway.

3 Prize Packs (3 Winners from within the US) and 1 book retailer gift card worth $20 for an international winner.

Prize Pack Includes:
•              1 autographed copy of Blood of the Demon (Demons of Infernum #1)
•              1 autographed copy of Mark of the Sylph (Demons of Infernum #2)
•              1 autographed copy of For Love of an Angel (Fallen Warriors #1) ~ 35,000 word novella
•              1 ruby heart angel-wing necklace (like the one worn by the heroine Ruby in Angel’s Kiss, Fallen Warriors #4)
•              1 nifty double-sided, tasseled bookmark
•              1 Blood of the Demon refrigerator magnet
•              Virtual XOXOs from Rosalie (lol…priceless)

INT Giveaway
•     $20 Gift Card to the Book Retailer of Winner's Choice
More virtual love from Rosalie :-)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Find Mark of the Sylph on:

Barnes & Noble
 Book Depository

Find Rosalie at:

Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Duchess of Love by Sally Mackenzie

The Duchess of Love (Duchess of Love, #0.5)The Duchess of Love by Sally MacKenzie
My rating: 3.5 of 5 flames

You can read this either before or after Bedding Lord Ned and Surprising Lord Jack, but it’s more fun to read it after Bedding Lord Ned just because it gives you a glimpse into the Duke and Duchess before they had children.

Here we see Venus, who will later become known as the Duchess of Love, trying to pull her sister out of her books and towards some eligible men. Living in a small town, and being daughters of a vicar aren’t really conducive to meeting handsome men.

Enter the Duke of Greycliffe and his cousin.

The duke, Andrew is only 21, while his cousin Mr. Valentine is 28, so when his new housekeeper mistakes Valentine for the Andrew, Drew decides to roll with it. It would be nice to not have to be himself for a few days. He could merely be Drew.

But Drew comes upon a beautiful girl about to skinny dip in the pond on his property, and well, he falls head over heels. But he sort of lets her believe he’s Mr. Valentine, and then promises to introduce her sister to the duke (or, really, his cousin).

It is a cute little romance with a Big Misunderstanding, but because it’s short, it works. When Venus finds out he’s lied to her (and she finds out in a horrible way), she thinks he did it to make fun of how gullible she is. It was pretty heartbreaking. I wish that there had been a teensy bit more at the end, maybe just to see what happened with her sister, or the horrible ladies from London (I mean, we can assume it all works out, of course, but it would’ve given the story some closure).

I liked this one, and from what I’ve heard, this short story is at the back of the paperback edition of Bedding Lord Ned.

View all my reviews

Friday, March 22, 2013

#FF Feature & Follow Friday


This weeks Question: Q: What is your guilty pleasure as far as reading? Is it a genre, or is it a certain type of book?

Highland Hussy here, and my guilty pleasure is that I love to read both secret babies and epilogues with babies (or as most of twitter calls it, The Babylogue). I don't know why, I mean I know it's not very feminist of me, and maybe it's because I'm pregnant with babies on the brain, but bring me teh babehs!

 So, your turn! Let us know what your guilty pleasure is? Fabio, pirates, Highlanders...oh wait, were those more of mine? Oops ;)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Angel Payne - Saved by His Submissive

                          *Must be 18 or older to read this book*
Oh!! WOW!! Angel Payne takes you on an amazing roller-coaster ride of emotions in this exciting new series.  From the first page you feel like you need to strap on your seat belt and hold on to your own emotions – grief, anger, fear, courage, determination, hope, love, and lust. You can expect to experience it all.  This book is not for the faint of heart.  It involves BDSM, slavery, human trafficking, torture and attempted rape scenes.  Angel has a way of pulling you into the scenes and making you a part of every experience.  I truly did not want to put the book down and can hardly wait for the next book in the series.

Garrett “Hawk” Hawkins is Army Special Forces and he and his fellow Special Forces teammate Zeke are on a mission to rescue five American women who were abducted in Bangkok.  A year, two months, sixteen days, and almost 24 hours ago he lost his fiancé Sage to tribal warfare in Botswana and this mission is causing some major flashbacks for him.  Hawk’s emotional baggage will drive you crazy.  I really just wanted to knock some sense into him; he’s in dire need of an attitude adjustment and it’s headed his way.

Sage and her friend Rayna have been either on the run, hiding from, or a prisoner of a human trafficker named “King” for the last 433 days.  After their recapture, they are drugged and transported to a new location.  Sage doesn’t know where they are but she knows they’re running out of time.   King will be selling them soon and they will be moved again.  Sage has given up hope of ever being rescued.  The only things she can hope for now are that someone will find the journal she’s planning on leaving behind, and that it will help lead to the arrest of the scum whose been holding them prisoner.  Sage is amazingly resilient and brave under some of the most dire circumstances, and her love for Hawk knows no bounds.  Sage is the main character in this story, but her friend Rayna will have her own story soon.

I don’t want to give too much away because you wouldn’t have the full effect of this great story.  Let Angel take you through this action-packed adventure. I highly recommend that you give it a chance.  I was completely swept into their world and didn’t want to leave.

book angel.jpg
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Shadow Moon Guest Post

Shadow Moon
by Marilee Brothers

A sub plot in Shadow Moon involves a shady anti-terrorist unit funded by the U.S. Government. The goal of the Experimental Studies Program (ESP) is to recruit people with paranormal abilities, test their abilities and see if they can be useful in the war on terror. They are very keen to get their hands on Allie and the moonstone. In order to accomplish this, two agents are sent to persuade Allie and her mother to volunteer. One of the agents is a woman by the name of Angela Ackerman who tries to convince Allie to take part in this “wonderful opportunity.” Allie is suspicious. Rightfully so.

Guess what? Angela Ackerman is a real person, the co-author of a wonderful book for writers called The Emotion Thesaurus. How did Angela end up as a villain in Shadow Moon? She won a contest. Before I started writing Shadow Moon, I sponsored a contest for people who would like to have a cameo appearance in the book. They were required to leave a comment stating if they wanted to be good or evil. Angela wanted to be evil.

Angela isn’t the only real person to appear in my books. FBI agent and Star Seeker Dennis McCarty shows up in every book. In real life, Dennis is an avid golfer and a resident of Ontario, Canada, which makes him the first Canadian FBI agent in history. Oregon resident, Grace Peterson, won my next contest and morphs into an old Kiowa Indian woman in Midnight Moon. My next victim, I mean honoree, is Ben Woodward who will have a role in the book I’m writing now, The Blue Rose. Ben’s no goody two shoes. He wants to be evil too.

I love to surprise personal friends by including them in my books. Pat and Paul Sugden are wealthy Star Seekers in Moon Rise. Kay Peacock Tuman (and her dog Sasha) also show up in Moon Rise. My Nebraska friend, Turzah, becomes the queen mum of faeryland in the last book, Midnight Moon. Bev and Wayne Epp also appear in the same book as the owners of Eppic Air. What do my friends get for their five minutes of fame? An autographed book, of course.

Since I have so much fun using real people in my books, I’ll be running the contest again on my blog, Book Blather. If you’d like to see your name in print, stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Brenda Novak's Annual Auction

...for the Cure of Diabetes.
Thank you to everyone who has donated to Brenda Novak's 9th Annual Online Auction for Diabetes Research. We're hoping to make this year our best ever. . . and we couldn't do it without the support of our wonderful donors. If you haven't had a chance to donate yet, it's not too late. We'd love to have you on board. Contact Anna at and she'll create a fabulous auction page to showcase your item.
Whether you've donated or not, there are some free and easy ways to support this good cause:
  1. Register as a bidder (go to and click on register)
  2. Like us on Facebook: We'll be posting lots of information here in the coming weeks and throughout the auction. Stay up to date on our progress as we strive to hit $2 million! Sharing and liking these posts would be hugely appreciated.
  3. Follow us on Twitter: @bnovakauction (we use the hashtag #bnda) Retweet and discuss the auction to your heart's content! The more people we can reach, the closer we'll get to our goal.
  4. Join us on Pinterest: New this year! We'd love to make the most of this new advertising/promotional option. Feel free to pin a picture of your donation on the page (or send an email to Danita at (, and she'll do it for you.
  5. Share the link to your item on your social media pages! Encourage your fans/readers to register, visit our FB, Twitter and Pinterest pages. You can find your items on the auction ( by typing your name into the search box at the top right corner. OR email Anna ( and she'll be happy to send you your links.
Diabetes affects millions, but we are so close to a cure. Thanks for your tremendous support. This auction could not succeed without you and, as a mother with a child who has diabetes, I can't tell you how much I appreciate what you are doing. Here's to making a difference. . . and funding a cure for diabetes!
Brenda Novak
Follow along on Twitter @bnovakauction
Tweet about it with hashtag #bnda
This Auction has very special meaning for me since I lost my older brother to diabetes related complications at the young age of 39 in 2004. What ever you have to auction or give will help, every penny raised goes to find a cure for this life changing disease. Give if you can, if you can't give...then share this post with as many people as you are able to get the word out. Thank you.
Support JDRF, go to:

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Cards and Caravans (Gaslight Chronicles #5) by Cindy Spencer Pape

3 out of 5 flames

Belinda Danvers (sorry but that last name has forever been tainted thanks to Rebecca) is a widow who is sitting in jail awaiting her execution.  The small Scottish town she's lived in for over 10 years has accused her of witchcraft and plans to burn her in the morning.  Then a handsome stranger shows up and says her great-uncle sent him to help her.  That turns into breaking her out of jail and hiding her away in his family’s ancestral home.   He accomplishes this by using real magic.  Then things get really weird…

Connor McKay gets a call from a friend asking for his help.  Seems a lady of the friend’s acquaintance has been wrongly accused of withcraft – well using it for evil purposes anyway – and they would like him to go and get her acquitted.  Problem is that this is a small parish in Scotland where superstition is very much alive and there’s a lot of other shady things going on.  So he decides the most expedient course of action is to break her out of jail and take her to his family’s estate until he can decide her guilt/innocence and what’s really going on.

Of course he soon discovers that she is completely innocent, the only real magic she can wield is reading tarot cards.  So why was she placed on trial so hastily?  Why can’t they find the magistrate who condemned her so quickly?  Who is this supposed witch hunter that “found” her in the first place?  The answers show that there is something much more sinister going on and that the Order of the Round Table may be facing a great threat to all of magic kind.

Positives:  Scotland.  Scottish hero who does don a kilt at one point.  Strong female lead, but not stupidly so – meaning she doesn’t do anything like deciding hero doesn’t love her so she runs away or tries to protect him buy not telling him something important.  Crazy magical family.  And last, but certainly not least, some hot sexy time.  Hee hee.

Negatives:  Not long enough – the plot wasn’t rushed or anything I just wanted it to be longer because I liked the characters so much.  The old, “Hey we just met a few hours ago but I know we should be married” plot device.  He loves me, he loves me not, went on a little too long.  And there were some times where I’m pretty sure the author forgot who was in the scene and exchanged characters.  Or something was off because there were quite a few times I had to go back an reread something because I could not follow what was happening.  Very frustrating.

All in all it was entertaining.  Not steampunk enough for me, but my appetite for that is a little voracious at the moment so if it’s being touted along those lines then you better give me more than a few steam engines and the mention of automatons :)

*eGalley provided by Carina Press via NetGalley*

Surrender Your Love

WHEW! What a HAWT cover!!


Meeting Jett was like lightning. Dangerous. Better left untouched. And better forgotten. But lightning always strikes twice.

Brooke Stewart, a realtor in New York, doesn’t do relationships. When she’s sent to a remote estate to finalize a real estate deal, she discovers her new boss is no other than the guy she left naked in bed.

Sexy, dangerously handsome, and arrogant Jett Mayfield attracts trouble, and women, like a lightning rod. But the night he meets Brooke he gets more than he bargained for. The green-eyed millionaire playboy isn’t used to taking no for an answer, and he isn’t about to start now.

When he proposes two months of no strings sex, Brooke is intrigued and accepts his proposal. Little does she know Jett’s determined to claim the one woman he can’t have, pulling her deeper into his dangerous world.

A man who doesn't take 'no' for an answer.
A woman afraid to surrender to love.
Two lives that are about to cross...and secrets laid bare.

Author links:
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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Prophecy: League of Illusion #2 by Vivi Anna

 My rating: 3 out of 5 Flames

Book two in the series still finds the brothers Rhys Davenport and Jovan Davenport searching for a way to get their older brother Sebastian back from whatever realm he’s in.  This book focuses on Rhys, the middle brother, who has stolen a map from a dangerous adversary that can help them find a portal to use.  Problem is, part of the map is missing.  Bigger problem is that the missing piece is brought to him by Corina Stratton, psychic pain in his butt.  An uncomfortably attractive one at that.  The two of them must work together to try and track down the right portal, but Corina has motives of her own and they’ve got nothing to do with saving Rhys’ brother and everything to do with saving someone very dear to her.

Of course there are powers working against them, both from outsiders trying to stop them at any cost, to the attraction they can’t fight any longer.  The journey won’t be easy, but maybe they’ll both find what they really need.

I don’t quite know what to say.   I liked it but something was missing.  I think part of the problem is that I didn’t read the first one so I missed some of the character development between Rhys and Corina, therefore it seemed like they came together a little too quickly for me.  However the author did a good job of catching you up to the plot without rehashing the previous story, at least it came off that way to me. 

I also liked that Rhys, while a powerful illusionist, isn’t so powerful and amazing that it’s a joke when he can’t defeat his enemies.  I wish I could’ve gotten to know his friend, Lord Percy Effington, a little more but maybe that’s in the first book as well.  Dang, guess I’ll have to go back and read that one ;)

It’s steampunk light but the elements and the nod to Captain Nemo and 20,000 Leagues is fun.  After all, where would steampunk be without it?  Enjoyable read, and I’m interested in continuing the series so that makes it a success in my book.

*eGalley provided by Carina Press via NetGalley*

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

What to Read Wednesday

So guys, it's Wednesday, and I'm not sure what to read? Any suggestions?

UnboundUnbound by Angela Knight

I love Jennifer Ashley's Shifters Unbound, I think I'll buy this for that story alone! The Stillness of You (Beautifully Damaged, #1)The Stillness of You by Julie Bale

I'm not one for NA, but this one's from Julianna Stone and I love her.

A new Lauren Dane. And J.C. Daniels will rock you with Urban Fantasy. So, what do you guys think? Any awesome new releases I missed? Any for next week you're looking forward to?

How to Entice an Earl by Manda Collins

How to Entice an Earl (Ugly Ducklings, #3)How to Entice an Earl by Manda Collins
My rating: 3.5 of 5 flames

I really liked the book How to Romance a Rake and I loved all the characters, so when I got the chance to review this one, I was pretty excited.

This book revolves around Lady Madeline Essex and Christian Monteith, Earl of Gresham. What I loved is that they’ve been friends for years and even though their mutual friends have teased them about getting together each has said something along the lines of “Really? But we’re friends, that’s all.” And they’ve meant it. This was the cool part—no one has been pining away waiting for the other to notice them. It was a true friends-to-lovers plot and I loved it!

The thing that kept throwing them together was Maddie’s desire to visit a gaming hell as research for her novel, and Christian was investigating a plot against the Crown. There are some rumors that Maddie’s brother may be involved with the group of men plotting, and Christian goes to the casino her brother frequents to observe the men. Too bad it’s the night Maddie makes her brother take her with him.

This is where all the action begins. There’s a murder. Maddie winds up holding the man as he gasps his last breath. Her brother? He bails. He completely panics and leaves his sister in a casino in the middle of the night, while holding a dead body.

This doesn’t look good for him.

Christian takes care of her, and it’s really sweet. Maddie, however, decides that it’s up to her to figure out who the murderer is, and this is where I had trouble with the plot.

I don’t mind having a heroine investigate a murder, but what I have trouble with is that this heroine has no actual reason to, or at least it’s a very thin reason, in my opinion. She knows Christian is investigating too, but she’s not sure why, and even knowing he’s on the case, it doesn’t stop her from thinking she’s the only one who can do this. Meanwhile, her brother is never actually accused of anything! He’s just wanted for a bit of questioning as to why he left the scene of the murder, if he’s innocent.

I like this series, and the characters, but I had a hard time with the heroine taking up the cause of investigating the murder/mystery surrounding her brother. He hadn't actually been accused of anything and she was behaving as if no one could get the job done but her. To boot, he took off leaving her high and dry! Some brother.

And despite that, I liked the book. Don't judge;) The romance was sweet and I enjoyed the book.

I liked the hero a ton, and I love the friends to lovers trope, and to be honest, I liked Lady Amelia (the "Mean Girl" from the previous books) and I wouldn't mind seeing her have a story.

Final Verdict: It’s an enjoyable and well-written book, I just didn’t like the heroine solving the mystery on her own. She wasn’t a reporter, she wasn’t leading a double-life, she wasn’t directly involved with the murder, and it seemed out of character.

***ARC courtesy of netgalley and St. Martin's Press

View all my reviews

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Last Grave Blog Tour

***Hi guys! I'd love to welcome Urban Fantasy author Debbie Viguie to Demon Lover's today! ***

About the Author:

Debbie Viguié is the New York Times bestselling author of two dozen novels, including theWicked series and the Crusade series, both coauthored by Nancy Holder. Debbie also writes thrillers, including the Psalm 23 Mysteries and the Kiss trilogy. She has a degree in creative writing from U.C. Davis. Debbie grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. She and her husband Scott live in Florida with their cat, Shrödinger.

Author links:

***I had the opportunity to ask her a bit about Urban Fantasy. Not just the genre, but why she write it, and I asked her about why she made her main character a police officer. Her answers are awesome;  I hope you guys enjoy this as much as I did.***

I write urban fantasy for a number of reasons chief among them being that I believe there is more to our world than meets the eye. I believe in miracles and I also believe in things that go bump in the night. Helping readers see that there are endless possibilities that exist and worlds that might be that we’re never aware of is exciting. Plus, frankly, most of the fiction I enjoy has something of the supernatural/paranormal to it. I think you can take any issue, any theme and make it considerably more interesting by adding those elements in.
   I hate pure drama. I won’t watch it on television or film and I won’t write about it. Life is hard enough without watching other people’s suffering and often being reminded of your own. That’s not entertainment. However, you can take most of those same topics and storylines, throw in a witch or a demon or something of that nature, and suddenly the same storyline is palatable. A spoonful of supernatural makes the drama go a most delightful way!
    For Witch Hunt it was very important for me to make my heroine a police officer. She sees the worst in people while trying to live up to all that we hold as the best in a person. Her drive to protect and defend others had to be strong enough for her to overcome her terror of returning to the world of witchcraft. Had she been merely a survivor of the horrors of her childhood she would never have been in a position to know what was happening with the sacrifices in a way in which she could do something about it. Also, she would have been likely to flee, getting as far away from the evil and the witches that were conjuring it as possible.
    Since I needed her to be pulled back into that world there had to be a terribly compelling reason that would trump every natural instinct in her body. I didn’t want her to have to rescue a loved one. Therefore, the logical choice was to have her spend her years since her deliverance working to protect the public and bring criminals to justice. She hero worships the officer who helped her when she needed it most. Also, she is doing a kind of penance whether her conscious mind is aware of it or not. She knows she was compelled to do terrible things as a child in that coven even if she can’t remember what they were. This is her way of making up for whatever those things were. She is still seeking balance. You can take the girl out of the magic, but you can’t take the magic out of the girl!

Tomorrow, March 13th, Debbie talks about the challenges of writing a series at!

Book Burb: 

"After her last case forced Samantha to expose her childhood upbringing as a witch, her fellow police officers couldn’t look at her the same. Reassigned to San Francisco, she is eager to put her terrible past as far behind her as possible, and start fresh. Unfortunately, escaping who you are just isn’t that easy. Her next assignment is the unusual murder of a local historian, and it’s clear that black magic is to blame. When her investigation takes her to the Santa Cruz mountains and a coven of dark witches, Samantha suspects that the murder and the recent tide of strange earthquakes are only a few pieces of the puzzle. As her own powers begin to go out of control and take her to the brink of her worst nightmares, Samantha knows that it’s only a matter of time—evil is coming"


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