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Currently Browsing: Rating C
Sep
20

Review: Sharp Bite of Pleasure by KT Grant

Review: Sharp Bite of Pleasure by KT Grant Sharp Bite of Pleasure Author: KT Grant Reviewer: Twimom Rating: C, 2.5 Stars What I’m Talking About: Eight years ago, Alexa (a 130 year old vampire princess) and Penny (werewolf shifter) shared a forbidden romance, which ended abruptly when Alexa left to marry the West Coast vampire king. After he was killed in an uprising, she found and killed those responsible and then ruled with a fair hand. Alexa has now returned home to attend her father’s funeral. She knows someone close to him has murdered him, and she wants vengeance. Now that Alexa has returned, she is determined to claim Penny as her own. But Penny wants nothing to do with Alexa, who was her first and true love until she broke her heart. Penny has moved on, dating Lissa for the past 4 years, but Alexa’s return has brought back so many memories and feelings, leaving Penny confused and a bit panicked. Sharp Bite of Pleasure features the romance of star-crossed lovers, which is always a enjoyable trope. The relationship is part of a larger tale that addresses bigotry, species rivalry and family feuding. The world building and the “non-romance” parts of the story were exciting. Ms. Grant weaves an engrossing mystery over who killed the Vampire king, coupled with Alexa’s struggles to weed out traitors within the king’s own council. In addition, Alexa longs to create a lasting peace treaty between the vampires and wolves, which puts her in the crosshairs of many on both sides. Alexa’s mother, Madalyn, and half-brother, Bradley, add depth to the storylines. Madalyn is a lonely widow who seems to favor her stepson over her own daughter. The tension between Madalyn and Alexa keeps an edge to the tale. Bradley is Alexa’s primary suspect in her father’s murder, and we are privy to most of his activities, some of which supports Alexa’s claims, while at times refutes her notion. As for the love story… here I am not so impressed. I really didn’t care for Alexa; having little sympathy or empathy for her as she lamented her loss of Penny and desire to reclaim their bond. Alexa is demanding and not necessarily nice to Penny. Penny had moved on, yet Alexa was overly pushy to the point of near rape. In the beginning, she never listened to anything Penny wanted or didn’t want. She craved the conflict and enjoyed the knowledge that she would be able to force Penny to submit....
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Aug
16

Review: Behind His Blue Eyes by Kaki Warner

Review: Behind His Blue Eyes by Kaki Warner Behind His Blue Eyes Author: Kaki Warner Reviewer: Ang Rating: C What I’m Talking About: Let me start by saying I REALLY REALLY like Kaki Warner’s writing. I have thoroughly enjoyed every book I have read by her up to this point. I love the way she captures the Colorado frontier. I adore her handsome, haunted, brave heroes and her beautiful, feisty, smart heroines. She is a master of showing what is going on and capturing a moment or feeling. Her relationships are fun to read, the danger is real and I wait with baited breath for the kidnapping or other trouble to come and for the gallant hero to come to the rescue. I must say she didn’t disappoint with Behind His Blue Eyes in regard to any of these things. Our story centers on Ethan, the hero is haunted with a tragic past that threatens to consume his future, and Audra, the beautiful, independent woman working to save her family and saves Ethan in the process. Along the way they encounter a forest fire that threatens the entire town and a crazed serial killer, among other things. But it is the crazed serial killer that changed the entire novel for me. Don’t get me wrong her is well written, brutal, vile, disgusting, so much so I found my stomach churning in spots, not unlike something out of a Law and Order SVU episode. Now I’ll admit it could just be me and my baggage but I thought Ms. Warner went too far with the villain and the descriptions of his activities. I felt like she could have described his earlier actives, the abduction, what the mine shaft looked like, and the trip to Audra’s keeping place, and that would have given a clear and accurate picture of his craziness and brutality. Instead she goes into such detail in the mine shaft that I very nearly stopped reading. If I hadn’t been familiar with Ms. Warner’s writing style and known there would be a Happily Ever After I would have stopped. The sexual assault was just too much for me. I realize it made a beautiful moment later in the book between Ethan and Audra but I think the picture could have just as clear without all the detail. Ms. Warner does a lovely job of bringing everything back to a safe, sweet, beautiful place and I wish I could say that that was enough for me. But...
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Jun
26

Review: Smoking Hot by Karen Kelley

Review: Smoking Hot by Karen Kelley Smoking Hot Author:  Karen Kelley Release Date: June 4, 2013 Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca Good Girl series #3 ISBN: 978-1402263927 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): paperback (288 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher Note: according to GoodReads, this book also goes by the title Where There’s Heat About the book: Everything She Wants… Working the night shift at the sheriff’s office has given deputy Raine McCandless more than enough time to fantasize about the kind of man she’d like to take prisoner, so when she arrives home to find a sexy intruder waiting for her, she’s pretty sure she must be dreaming. …Can and Will Be Held Against Her But Dillon Taylor, with his stunning blue eyes and killer tan, is 100% real, just not 100% human. Half-man, half-angel, he’d love to answer every naughty prayer Raine has ever had. But Raine is in serious danger. And Dillon can only fulfill her every fantasy if he can keep her alive. What VampBard’s talking about: Caveat:  This is apparently the third title in Ms. Kelley’s Good Girl series.  Had I know this prior to reading and writing this review, I may have viewed the title differently, or chosen to read the other two books prior to reading this one.  I do that crazy kind of stuff.  The information that this is in fact the third title in a series is not readily available via Amazon nor the author’s website, which is where I look for information about books.  One shouldn’t have to look THAT hard to find this information, and it should be consistent across standard informational sites! Smoking Hot by Karen Kelley was creatively told from the perspective of the leading lady, Raine.  There was some pretty steamy scenes, as well.  Dillon – OK.  He was hot.  The plot?  Meh.   What I liked:  Raine was a seriously flawed character.  The way she was set-up as a character, she didn’t have a chance to be redeemed by the time the plot arc played out.  I’m OK with that, though.  I also liked the way Raine’s grandfather was involved, and he was hooking – up with someone.  Go Gramps!  Dillon – the one thing I liked about him was his smartarse-ness.  This was a no-brainer read for me.  I didn’t have to worry about keeping up with anything. What I was ‘meh’ about:  The plot.  OK.  This wasn’t about solving the bank heist AT. ALL.  This was about ‘fixing’ Raine.  I’m not cool...
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Jun
10

Review: How to Tame Your Duke by Juliana Gray

Review: How to Tame Your Duke by Juliana Gray How to Tame Your Duke Author: here Juliana Gray Release Date: June 4, 2013 Publisher: Berkley A Princess In Hiding #1 ISBN: #978-0425265666 Genre: Historical Romance Format(s): Paperback (320 pgs), ebook Book Source: Publisher About the book:       Three intrepid princesses find themselves targets in a deadly plot against the crown—until their uncle devises a brilliant plan to keep them safe…       England, 1888. Quiet and scholarly Princess Emilie has always avoided adventure, until she’s forced to disguise herself as a tutor in the household of the imposing Duke of Ashland, a former soldier disfigured in battle and abandoned by his wife. When chance draws her into a secret liaison with the duke, Emilie can’t resist the opportunity to learn what lies behind his forbidding mask, and find out what adventure really means…       The duke never imagines that his son’s tutor and his mysterious golden-haired beauty are one and the same. But when the true identity of his lover is laid bare, Ashland must face the demons in his past in order to safeguard both his lady—and his heart. What Ang’s talking about:       I want you all to know that I really wanted to like How to Tame Your Duke. I have enjoyed everything else Juliana Gray has written up to this point and frankly, I don’t want to make her mad.  I want her to keep writing.  Not that my one little review is going to keep that from happening, but if the next novel is as tepid as this one is, I probably won’t continue to read this series.  Seriously, these characters were so unremarkable I can’t even remember their names sitting here writing this review.  I know there was princess. She was smart and snarky.  There was a wounded duke, his son who was hilarious, and a maid who was so clueless that she offered a lot of comic relief from the boredom.       There was a lot of potential here.  There was a princess, spies, abductions, hidden identities—sounds good, right?  The seduction  was really beautifully written.  I felt the emotion and struggle of it. The side characters offered a wonderful distraction from the main plot.      However, the rest of the story was like a roller coaster ride where you wait five hours in line, finally get to the top of the giant incline, and—nothing.  It’s just a straight shot to the...
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Apr
24

Review: Rising Darkness by Thea Harrison

Review: Rising Darkness by Thea Harrison Rising Darkness Author: Thea Harrison  Release Date: April 2, 2013 Publisher: Berkley Game of Shadows #1 ISBN: #978-0425248454 Genre: Urban Fantasy, Romance Format(s): Paperback (304 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher/ NetGalley About the book:       In the hospital ER where she works, Mary is used to chaos. But lately, every aspect of her life seems adrift. She’s feeling disconnected from herself. Voices appear in her head. And the vivid, disturbing dreams she’s had all her life are becoming more intense. Then she meets Michael. He’s handsome, enigmatic and knows more than he can say. In his company, she slowly remembers the truth about herself…       Thousands of years ago, there were eight of them. The one called the Deceiver came to destroy the world, and the other seven followed to stop him. Reincarnated over and over, they carry on—and Mary finds herself drawn into the battle once again. And the more she learns, the more she realizes that Michael will go to any lengths to destroy the Deceiver.       Then she remembers who killed her during her last life, nine hundred years ago…Michael. What I’m talking about:       The story opens with a dream of a life from the very distant past, in a “galaxy far, far away,” although our heroine, Mary, doesn’t realize this until later in the story. She dreams of a criminal escaping and of comrades dying in one life to be reborn in another in order to find him and bring justice. To try and shake the dream and the stress of her life as an ER doctor in a nearby hospital, she goes for a run. When she thinks she sees and hears the wind talking, Mary becomes even more confused and a little concerned, starting to question her sanity. However, when her ex-husband (but still good friend) tries to get her to the doctor, she runs from the appointment and his help.       Rising Darkness unfolds slowly, giving the reader different point-of-views and sides to the same story. We learn about our hero, Michael and meet “Grandmother,” along with a few humans who know some of the secrets hidden among the naive population of Earth. I was a bit confused for a while, trying to piece together all of the sections and understand what had happened in the past and what it meant for this book. Although the story is revealed gradually, it...
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Feb
11

Review: Iron Guns, Blazing Hearts by Heather Massey

Review: Iron Guns, Blazing Hearts by Heather Massey Iron Guns, Blazing Hearts Author: Heather Massey  Release Date: Jan. 30, 2013 Publisher: Lyrical Press Genre: Western, Romance, Steampunk Format(s): e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book: The West just got a whole lot wilder.  A woman on a mission… Scientific achievement isn’t enough for Violet Whitcomb. Life working alongside her renowned scientist father is filled with intellectual challenges, but what she truly craves is love and adventure. She’s resigned to a fate of academic pursuits–until a fateful trip across the American frontier changes everything. A rogue inventor known as the Iron Scorpion kidnaps Violet’s father and she alone is left to plan his rescue.  A man with a secret…  Logan McCoy knows firsthand going up against the Iron Scorpion is suicide, but he can’t let Violet waltz into the villain’s lair alone. She may be a stranger, but she’s also the most compelling woman he’s ever known.  A perilous quest…  Their attraction is undeniable, but their alliance turns contentious when Violet insists on including a third partner on their mission: her father’s latest invention and the world’s most advanced automaton, Arthur. The reason for Logan’s resistance isn’t clear until Violet comes face-to-face with the Iron Scorpion’s diabolical devices, and by then, it’s far too late. What I’m talking about: Violet Whitcomb has lived a fairly isolated life as the only child of famous inventor Joseph Whitcomb. After her mother died, Violet spent most of her childhood helping her father with his top-secret creations, the biggest and best of which is about to be revealed.  Traveling through the Wyoming Territory aboard a luxury steam engine, Violet lives vicariously through her weekly reader “The Lady’s Fireside Collection” and the romantic adventures of John “Wild Wolf” Wallace. Yearning for adventure and a love of her own, Violet is immediately taken with a handsome stranger on the train. Soon the safety of her world is shaken when the Iron Scorpion sends his terrifying machines to kidnap Violet’s father. Enlisting the aid of her stranger, Logan McCoy, Violet sets out into the unknown to rescue her Papa.  Violet is extremely lonely, and I empathize with her desires to break out of her father’s shadow and live her own life. Yet, she comes across naive, with an innocent childlike quality, and I am uncertain she could make it on her own. This image of Violet is reinforced time and time again, especially in her interactions with Logan. The lines between stubbornness and childish were...
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Jan
29

Review: Hera Queen of Gods by TD Thomas

Review: Hera Queen of Gods by TD Thomas Hera, Queen of Gods Author: T.D. Thomas  Release Date: Oct. 3, 2012 Goddess Unbound #1 Publisher: Self-published Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Format(s): E-book (536 printed pages) Book Source: Author About the book: Hera couldn’t care less what the other gods think, even when it’s about her. And it often is. Frankly, Hera couldn’t care less about anything, except doing her duty as queen – protecting order and defending the mortal world against any threats. But when the Fates go missing, Hera and a handful of other gods must temporarily become mortal to search the human world for the missing goddesses. Hera finds that mortality begins to change her. It’s not just the loss of her divine powers. She expected that. It’s deeper somehow. It’s affecting how she thinks, how she feels, what’s important to her. And it gets much worse after she meets Justin, who defies every prejudice she once had about mortals. At the worst possible time, and despite all her efforts, Hera’s black-and-white world starts to unravel. Torn between who she’s becoming and who she needs to be in order to fulfill her duty, Hera must survive a horde of murderous creatures sent to exploit her new weakness. In the end, only Hera can stop a traitorous plot conceived by a secret alliance of ancient and new enemies, a plot that threatens to destroy not only the order Hera is sworn to protect, but all of existence itself. What G & U are talking about: Hera, Queen of Gods is the debut novel of T.D. Thomas.  This new young adult series, Goddess Unbound, has some fascinating elements.  However, Gikany and Una felt confused and a bit let down by the end. The Fates are missing, and if you have some basic Greek Mythology knowledge, you’ll understand that it is a serious issue.  To resolve the problem several of the Gods, including Zeus and Hera, come to earth, taking possession of teenage mortals to find and rescue the Fates. It is all very intriguing: blending the impulsive and selfish natures of gods with teenagers seems like an easy thing to do.  However, while the novel reads at what we feel is a younger-age and maturity level, some of the encounters in Hera, Queen of Gods are of a more mature nature.  Greek gods by nature are pleasure seeking, self-absorbed entities with little to no regard for the mortals.  The novel also explores the constant inner struggle Hera has...
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Jan
16

Quickie Review: A Convenient Bride by Cheryl Ann Smith

Quickie Review: A Convenient Bride by Cheryl Ann Smith A Convenient Bride Author: Cheryl Ann Smith  Release Date: Dec. 31, 2012 Publisher: Berkley School for Brides #4 ISBN: #978-0425260654 Genre: Historical Romance Format(s): Paperback (336 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book: On the hunt for his runaway sister, Lord Richard Ellerby stops a suspicious carriage at gunpoint and is shocked to be mistaken for a thieving highwayman. When the attractive woman inside makes him an offer to court her for pay, Richard refuses and sends her on her way. But the determined lady soon finds him again and proposes an even more outrageous offer: wedding her in a marriage of convenience. Desperate to find love with a man of her own choosing, Lady Brenna Harrington will do anything to hold on to her freedom, even if it means propositioning a dangerous highwayman. If she can distract her father with a prospective husband who only wants to marry her for her fortune, Brenna will have time to do things her way. While her plan may be just crazy enough to work, her unsuitable suitor has other more pleasurable strategies in mind. What Ang is talking about: Newton says the shortest distance between any two points is a straight line, and I feel Ms. Smith should have taken this law into account when writing this book. Although I can respect her effort with A Convenient Bride and her desire to add adventure to the romance story by giving us a mystery to solve, I feel like the effort fell flat–especially since the villain was so easy to figure out. And I’m not a even a mystery reader. Add to this the lack character’s lack of depth and the novel’s inability to grip me at any point in the story line, and I feel like you are left with just another romance novel in a sea of romance novels. Although Richard and Brenna did have some good dialogue, and it was interesting watching their relationship evolve, I felt like we lose the intensity of their romance to a variety of averagely written secondary characters. I’d much rather follow Richard and Brenna’s story than read about everyone else. Like I said earlier, I respect the effort of the novel but don’t feel I can rate it any better than a ‘C.’ To me, a ‘C’ represents average work, and for me, that is what A Convenient Bride was, average. Ang’s Rating: Finished it – take it or leave it (C)    ...
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Jan
11

Review: My Lord Immortality by Alexandra Ivy

Review: My Lord Immortality by Alexandra Ivy My Lord Immortality Author: Alexandra Ivy  Release Date: Dec. 24, 2012 (reissue) Publisher: Zebra Immortal Rogues #3 ISBN: #978-1420128215 Genre: Paranormal Romance Format(s): Paperback (224 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book: Amelia Hadwell has no time for London’s nightlife. Not when her beloved brother’s odd ways have their family threatening to institutionalize him. And not when she is questioning her own sanity after being confronted by a murderous shadow creature—then being saved by a captivating stranger, a man who belongs to a world she cannot imagine.  Reserved and scholarly, Sebastian St.Ives has been content without human desires—until they are reawakened by the delicate, brave Amelia, whom he is meant to protect. For the young woman has no idea she possesses the key to a ravenous vampire’s dark victory. Now Sebastian must shield her from both a killer and his own growing attraction—or bond with her completely, and forever… What I’m talking about: Our story begins with a Prologue outlining the history of vampires in the world – and that the greatest vampire, Nefri, created a veil to hide their race from humans. This put an end to bloodlust and created a docile, intellectual vampire race. However, there are some that do not agree with Nefri’s rule and have entered the human world to recover the Medallion which gives Nefri her power. The primary antagonist, Drake, is one such vampire, and he hunts down Amelia, keeper of one-third of the Medallion. My Lord Immortality is set in roughly Regency England, and has a definite historical feel. Amelia and her mentally/emotionally handicapped brother, William, live mostly on their own after their parents decided they’d rather not have anything to do with William. Unfortunately, women are being brutally murdered near their home, and William appears to be at the center of the investigation due to his childlike ways and misunderstood manner. This is where our hero, Sebastian St.Ives, comes in as Amelia’s protector. He was sent from the veil by Nefri to protect Amelia and her piece of the Medallion. Before getting further in my review, I feel it necessary to note that it wasn’t until after I started reading My Lord Immortality, that I discovered 1) the book is a reissue, 2) it is the third story in a trilogy and 3) this trilogy is the precursor to a much larger, fuller series by Ms. Ivy. Knowing this, and having read this story, I would not recommend anyone pick...
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Dec
14

Review: At the Dungeon Master’s Hand by Jennifer Cole

Review: At the Dungeon Master’s Hand by Jennifer Cole At the Dungeon Master’s Hand Author: Jennifer Cole  Release Date: Aug. 4, 2008 Publisher: Lyrical Press Le Club d’Esclavage #1 Genre: Erotic Romance, BDSM, Novella Format(s): e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book: Fantasies begin at the threshold of Le Club d’Esclavage Natalie Buchanan has been working non-stop for six weeks. Determined to enjoy a rare weekend off, she winds up at the mysterious Le Club d’Esclavage. Natalie had read about the bondage club, and although she’d been mildly curious about submissive pleasures, she never imagined she’d set foot inside. And now that she has, the erotic atmosphere of domination and submission sends her scrambling for the exit. Before she can escape, she’s approached by a leather-hooded, bare-chested man who whispers a deep, sultry, “You are mine…” What I’m talking about: After working too hard for too long, Natalie’s two best friends promise her a night on the town. Much to Natalie’s surprise, they end up at Le Club d’Esclavage, the local BDSM club everyone is talking about. Shortly after arriving, both of Natalie’s friends abandon her for their own fun, and before she has a chance to escape, Natalie’s coworker, Max, shows up. Natalie has longed for Max for a while, but never made a move because he always seemed uninterested. However, before she has the chance to possibly initiate something, Max excuses himself and instead of his return, a mysterious hooded man approaches Natalie and will not let her leave. The premise behind At the Dungeon Master’s Hand, although not entirely original, is solid and exciting. We may not know a lot about Natalie, but we learn quickly that she has certain unfulfilled fantasies, especially ones involving hunky coworker, Max. And since the novella shifts between character POVs, we find out that Max feels much the same way. The story had many sensual and erotic scenes. The sex acts are pretty explicit, including some bondage and toy play. The initial chemistry between Natalie and Max played well in the story. Although the story is written to make Natalie wonder who her masked lover is, based on the shifting POVs, it’s very obvious the author intends the mystery man to be Max. Although there are some entertaining parts in the story, I found too many little issues that detracted from my overall enjoyment of the novella. For example, when Max first approaches Natalie, her inner dialogue told us that she knew who Max was just from his voice,...
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