Release Date: March 1, 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc.
Underbelly Chronicles, Book 1
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Format(s): Paperback (384 pgs)
I received a copy of this book from the PUBLISHER for the purposes of an honest review.
From the author’s website:
He wants her so badly he can taste it…
Ever since their tempestuous fling years ago, incubus Lukas Sebastiani has known that siren Scarlett Fontaine was meant to be his. But when you’re a sex demon with an insatiable desire, relationships are…complicated.
Her siren song brings men to their knees…
Rock star Scarlett Fontaine desperately needs a break after a grueling tour. But with murder and mayhem surrounding her band, and Lukas guarding her body, life is going to be anything but peaceful.
Every encounter between them creates more turmoil—and heat—until Scarlett pushes Lukas to the boiling point, and unleashes forces that go way beyond anything she can hope to control…
What B is talking about:
Lukas Sebastiani has more to contend with than your average incubus: he’s on the trail of a killer, has a genetic quirk that enhances his incubus abilities far beyond anything “normal,” even for an incubus, and he has just been tasked with guarding the one woman he’s never been able to forget. Too bad he’s convinced she’d be better off without him.
Scarlett Fontaine is a Siren on the run from memories of the man who broke her heart and the lost love she’d given up on over a year ago. But a string of murders brings Lukas is back into her life, and this time she won’t let him go without a fight.
I’m very excited to be able to read the first novel in Hogan’s new Underbelly Chronicles series. Hogan has created a wonderful heroine in Scarlett who, even when she’s most uncertain, remains clever and determined. She realizes that, in order to win Lukas’s love, she’ll have to strip away his control, make him meet her passion with his own, and teach him to accept not only the love she’s offering, but the worth of the love he himself has to give.
Lukas carries quite a few alpha male characteristics, such as the need to be in control, a healthy dose of “hapless male syndrome,” and worst of all, the tendency to assume that his point of view is the divine lens of absolute truth. Owing to Hogan’s capable storytelling, however, none of these traits felt clichéd or overwhelmed the narrative. On the contrary, I found his inability to maintain these predispositions in the face of his need to accept his love for Scarlett completely endearing. And sexy.
Once Scarlett and Lucas give into their need for one another, their sexual connection takes center stage. I have to say that Hogan writes sex scenes very well. She makes the desperation they both feel palpable without using the scene itself to let them over-think the journey to get there. The sexual interactions between the two are often raw and desperate, but then become celebratory and loving by turns.
The murder investigation that provides the urgency of Hogan’s story was nearly as compelling as the romantic tension between the two main characters. There is no mystery as to the culprit’s identity, but the crimes themselves, and the close calls and near misses supply enough tension to make the dual nature of the novel convincing.
Taste Me was a thoroughly enjoyable read. I did have minor issues with the inner struggles of the villain and the almost too-quick resolution at the end, but I liked the story as a whole so much that I was very pleased to see Scarlett and Lukas get their happily ever after, regardless. I think Hogan has written a keeper and I am definitely looking forward to the next novel in the series.
Loved it – enthusiastically recommend (A)