Saturday, March 31, 2012

Life and Nothing But by L.J. LaBarthe

When Michael Lee takes a job as a tutor to Lord Henilworth's children, the last thing he expects to find is the love of his life. However, from the moment he first meets Nick, the gardener of Castle Henilworth, he cannot deny the attraction. Believing it to be one-sided, Michael tries to bury himself in his work, but living in the same village and working in the same place make it impossible to completely avoid Nick. Gradually, Michael overcomes his shyness, and, when Nick makes his own interest clear, everything seems to be going Michael's way. However, ghosts of the past and a racist attack threaten the fragile happiness Michael has found. Will Nick's love really be enough?

Reviewer: RedDragonfly
Michael is finally trying to get his life back together after the loss of his wife and child a few years ago. In doing so, he takes a job as a teacher for Lord Hadley's children and the other children living at their castle. As part of Michael's wage, he is given a cottage on the grounds where he quickly becomes friends with his next door neighbor Nick. Because of Michael's Korean heritage he is uncomfortable with his bisexuality and has a hard time with his feelings for Nick. After many months of developing their friendship the two finally confess to having feelings for each other.

While reading this book I was able to feel what Michael was feeling and enjoyed his point of view. I thought that the developing of a friendship with lust for each other that slowly turned into a love was very nice and I thought Nick was a great love interest. His insecurities due to the way he grew up were explored well and seemed very believable. The only problem that I had with this story was I felt that the loss of Michael's wife and son wasn't explored enough, there really wasn't any talking about it or feelings discussed or information given about them. I understand that it had been 3 years since it happened but I feel like when you lose your family like that it would have a bigger impact in future relationships and would be talked about more. But besides that I really enjoyed Life and Nothing But and I'm giving this novel 4.5 stars.

Publisher: Noble Romance Publishing LLC
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Mere Mortals by Erastes

Orphaned Crispin Thorne has been taken as ward by Philip Smallwood and is transplanted from his private school to Smallwood's house on an island in Norfolk. Upon his arrival, he finds that he's not the only young man given a fresh start. With their benefactor away, they speculate on why they've been given this new life.

Reviewer: BlackTulip
Erastes has nothing to prove to anyone anymore, we know for a fact that she is a magician with words. She delivers here a captivating story that will keep you on tenterhooks from start to finish!

With a wealth of details she paints a fascinating landscape of Norfolk, which in itself is a very important part of this book. Very quickly, a unique and palpable atmosphere full of shadows and mystery hovers like a veil of mist.

From the start she has found a clever way to set up the scenery of her tale by making us discover it through the eyes of one of the main characters, Crispin, as he begins his journey.

Patiently and delicately she weaves an intricate story where everything and every body has its place and its importance but where nothing and nobody is what it seems. Everybody here has a secret!

Crispin Thorne is a young and penniless orphan who has been sent from his boarding school to a remote place in Norfolk. Horsey Mere is owned by the very intriguing Philip Smallwood who is Crispin's mysterious benefactor. When Crispin arrives on the island, Philip Smallwood is conspicuously absent but there are two other young men like him! Jude Middleton and Myles Graham. Very quickly we realize that something is not right, but what exactly and why? it is yours to discover!

It is a crafty mystery with clues and misdirections scattered here and there and a final startling twist!

I would have given 5 stars but a few points stayed unfortunately unexplained at the end and left me a little frustrated. I give 4 stars.

Publisher: Lethe Press

Friday, March 30, 2012

Giveaway #3 Winners

Entry #80 Elise L.
Entry #167 Julie W.
Entry #138 Dovile

Giveaway #3 Winners has been notified via email.

Holly Hood Promo Day #2 Part 2 (INT) Giveaway Winners

Entry #9 Pragya S.
Entry #103 Proserpine C.
Entry #164 Anna D.
Entry #158 Rad R.
Entry #21 Kerry S.
Entry #13 Jennifer B.
Entry #126 Allison
Entry #60 laura t.
Entry #101 Juana G.

Holly Hood Promo Day #2 Part 2 (INT) Giveaway Winners have been notified via email.

Dragon Blood by Madeline Montague

They were the last of their kind--brothers born of the last dragon and doomed never to find mates of their own--not of their own kind, at any rate.

Rating: Carnal/Erotica—graphic violence and sexual encounters, multiple sexual partners.

Reviewer: ScarletRose
Okay …I was hooked…. It has mystery, mythology, and some very hunky men who are almost too good to be true. Eli and Gabriel and John and the other brothers are drawn to mate with this human woman, to have children with her, yet she is not of their kind. And Marlee is unable to resist them…. Add UFO hunters…and suspicious park rangers and it’s hard to resist.

I really liked this book. I loved the dragons. The brothers were all different and all very appealing. You get to know them, well you get to know two really well and one kind of well. They are strong, sexy, and driven men…er…dragons.

I liked Marlee too, she was strong and smart and very able to take care of herself. She finds herself having to rely on men that she doesn’t know, yet she feels instinctively that she can trust them to protect her. But the brothers don’t trust her, she’s not a dragon. And they are terrified that when she finds out what they are they will face extinction.

I really liked the premise of this book. What drove me crazy was Marlee’s continual thoughts and speculations. I wish there had been more dialog. The characters were wonderfully written and very well defined. But three of the brothers are virtually ignored. And that bothered me. The kicker was the ending… or rather lack of an ending…the story just ends. Like the author just put down her pen and walked away.

You are left wanting and needing more. You want to know what happens to all of them. It was very upsetting to have it finish so abruptly. That being said, I will still give it 4 stars. Though I have hopes that sometime in the future the author will revisit this dragon family and finish the story.

Publisher: New Concepts Publishing

Weeds and Flowers by Michelle Garren Flye

"When I think of my childhood, I think of weeds and flowers, sun-drenched color and shadowy spaces."

Charlie is 12 years old when her life changes forever. Her mother has remarried, had a "change-of-life" baby, and traded in her waitress uniform to be a stay-at-home mom. Meanwhile, Charlie's best friend Marleen has grown distant and Charlie's crush on her friend's older brother Kyle suffers a setback when he gets a steady girlfriend. The real shock comes when the girlfriend is kidnapped and murdered, leaving Charlie and her small hometown reeling from the shock. Can it be that the world Charlie believed in her whole life isn't what it seems?

The harder she looks, the more she comes to realize the truth about her town and the people who live there. Helplessly, Charlie watches as Marleen develops a dangerous obsession with a male neighbor. With the help of Marleen's brother Jeff, Charlie fights to save her friend before it is too late.

Set in the mountains of North Carolina against a backdrop of racism, bittersweet first love, and disillusionment, Weeds and Flowers is a story of young girl finding her way along the paths that lead from childhood onward.

Reviewer: Dolce Amore
Close to her wedding, Charlie remembers her childhood as this:
When I think of my childhood, I think of weeds and flowers, sun-drenched color and shadowy spaces. That was what gardens were and always will be to me—lovely flowers on the surface, weeds encroaching beneath and dark spaces in between. Snakes twined in a grapevine and beetles crouching under decorative borders of violets.
Despite all, she loved David, her step father, from the first time she saw him, when she was twelve, and he is a bright flower in her memory garden. However, that year, when he married Charlie’s mother, everything changed, starting with her mother’s decision to have a baby.

The same year, Marleen, her best friend, starts to be obsessed with a neighbor almost twenty years older, Brian; she discovers that her mother had knew all along how to reach her real dad and she never told her; and Tracy, the girlfriend of Marleen’s big brother is kidnaped and killed.

Slowly, Marleen’s other brother, Jeff, became her best friend and boyfriend, especially after Marleen moves with her mother to Chicago after the cops discover paintings of her naked in Brian’s home.

And she starts to see the darkness beneath the surface.
The ugliness. Every town has it. Secrets, lies, hidden anger, feuds. Small towns are the worst, I guess. I mean, I haven’t spent much time in Chicago, but the little bit I’ve been there hasn’t really felt that way. See, you’ve only ever seen the surface of things.
The cops finally arrested a man, a black one, for the murder of Tracy, but days after, Jeff is killed in a hit and run. And Charlie does her best to find the one who killed him.

It's a wonderful story that makes you stop and think. It’s about love, loss, and life. So well written it makes you feel like you were there, seeing all with your own eyes. It's different from the other books by Ms. Michelle Garren Flye, but no less wonderful. I love it and I rate it 5 stars.

Publisher: Dragonflye Publishing

Dharma Café by Jessica Freely

Welcome to the Dharma Café, a restaurant like no other. There is no menu. The waiter, Samura, uses mystical powers to read what each customer needs, and the cook, Agatha, prepares the food with ingredients like love, hope, and courage.

The café is a refuge for the new busboy, Charlie, who was kicked out of home on his eighteenth birthday. Irresistibly drawn to Samura, Charlie soon discovers that the stern, formal waiter harbors a heartbreaking past and a dangerous secret.

Samura lives in fear that one day, the darkness inside him will burst forth to destroy all he loves. Now that includes brash, infuriating, delectable Charlie, who has broken through all Samura's defenses and taught him to trust himself.

Just when Samura thinks it might be safe to reveal the truth, his worst nightmare walks back into his life: His father, Akio, the evil food sorcerer who runs the burger stand on the other side of town. Akio's business is expanding and he wants his son to manage his new location, where the Dharma Café now stands.

It will take the combined resources of an ancient cook, a novice dishwasher, and a cursed waiter to fight Akio and protect the café. But when Samura succumbs to Akio's magic, will it be enough?

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual situations, graphic language, and material that some readers may find objectionable: male/male sexual practices.

Reviewer: WhiteDaisy
Akio Samura came to Agatha's little restaurant when he was eight year old, he was of Asian ancestry and wanted help from Agatha. Agatha knew Akio was a sorcerer's child and she promised Akio that she would protect him from anyone who tried to hurt him, and with Agatha's protecting shield he was safe for ten years.

Charlie was kicked out by his parents for coming out as gay on his eighteenth birthday. Wandering around the same night, hungry and alone, Charlie was lucky and came across Dharma Cafe.

Being too proud to go into the restaurant and ask for food, Charlie ate food from the dumpster outside Dharma Cafe. Unaware of the magic content in the food, he fainted in front of Samura when he came out to throw away the daily trash. Akio and Agatha took care of Charlie and the next day Charlie was hired at the cafe, because he told them he was homeless and needed a job. Charlie was unaware Samura and Agatha were sorcerers, or as Samura explained, he was blind to the sorcery because Charlie didn't want to see the truth.

Samura and Charlie bickered all the time. To Charlie, Samura was an uptight, harshly critical, infuriatingly correct waiter who had shown him more kindness, generosity, and acceptance than anyone he'd known apart from his grandfather. On the other hand, Charlie was a mystery for Samura, when Charlie accepted something, he accepted it with his whole heart and without a fuss. Like he accepted the truth about his own possible sorcery skills he never practiced, because his parents didn't allow him to spend time with Charlie's grandfather, who was a sorcerer, too.

Agatha gave Samura the task to teach Charlie, so Charlie could defend himself from mean sorcerers. With time, both boys started to dream the same dreams and their emotions bound them together even tighter. The romance between Charlie and Samura didn't ring true. And at the end even if Agatha should have been a strong sorcerer herself, she didn't appear to be. Overall, this story didn't really speak to me. The plot was strange and I couldn't connect with the characters at all. This story gets 3 stars from me.

Publisher: Loose Id
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Starfire: Kingdom on the Edge of Forever by P K Brent

Danizar is a young, halfbreed beauty, -- illegitimate daughter of the late Roran King and the Valent woman Eluna. She has the self-discipline of a Roran and the unique gifts of the Valent, an ancient wisdom race. Because of her mixed heritage, Danizar is an outsider to both the Valent and Roran cultures, which are distant and strange to each other. Yet it falls to her, to convince the Roran that the threat of the Zunit insect race is real, and to convince the Valent that they must work with the Roran if they are to win against the Zunit. If Danizar fails, the galaxy will be lost.

Reviewer: Dolce Amore
This book is about Danizer, a beautiful young woman who is the daughter of noble Valent and king Roran. Hated in the both worlds, she's had a difficult childhood, especially because Roran tried to kill or control her all her life. And now, on their last attempt, they are using the Planetary Coalition; I never understand what it was exactly because the writer doesn’t explain the term.

What happens next is the race to catch her, which was quite boring; you also can find a lot of expressions, actions, and technology from our days… but the story is set in the future and the main characters are not from Earth.

Danizer was trying to find proof of the existence of the Zunit, an evil race of intelligent insects. With it she wants to unite all the humanoid races so they could protect that side of the universe.

Like I said before, there were terms with no explanation; descriptions where there shouldn’t be, which made the story even more boring. I give it just 2.5 stars.

Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Someone Special by TC Blue

Gracen loves Christmas. It's his favorite time of the year. So much so that he works as a mall photographer for the season, taking pictures of children with Santa. There's something about seeing all those happy families that he finds satisfying, which may be slightly odd since he's so very alone, himself.

Working three jobs is never fun, but when Jesse takes a part time position as a greeter elf at Santa's Workshop in the mall, he meets Gracen and realizes that maybe job number three isn't that bad, after all. The handsome photographer appeals to him, even with all Jesse's family issues.

Two lonely men, one Santa's Workshop, elf costumes, curl-toed shoes and a camera. They aren't exactly a recipe for finding that someone special… except maybe they are.

Reviewer: CitrusFruit
This is about that Someone Special that each one of us is waiting for; it's also about chosen not inherited families. This is a nice storyline, although I got lost sometimes when each chapter started; it was a bit confusing, whether it was Jesse’s or Gracen’s thoughts at that moment.

It was emotionally charged with Jesse not knowing if he's going to inherit his mother’s illness but the ending was nice, a bit cheesy but nevertheless nice for a Christmas story, because Christmas is the time of miracles and Jesse got his miracle this year. I would give it 3 stars.

Publisher: Torquere Press
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Seattle Cinderella by Gail Sattler

A modern Cinderella and her cohorts are enchanted by love in Seattle. Cindy is forced into running her late father’s muffler shop and employing horrid step-sisters, Annie and Zella. Can she garner the emotional energy needed to protect her heart against Luke’s princely charms? Annie Wilson’s past misdeeds have tarnished her reputation. Can she prove to herself and Brent that she’s a changed woman? Zella is busy writing her own life story. Will it involve murder or romance? Farrah, Cindy’s godmother, has caught a younger man’s eye. How long can she deter his advances? Will God make these couples’ dreams come true?

Reviewer: Fashionta
I liked this anthology a lot and it's an interesting take on things but I don’t think readers are going to enjoy this as there's some credibility issues that is created in the second story.

The first story starts setting the relationship between the four girls featured in the novel. The first is a Cinderella story where the story of Cindy is told and the troubles she has. It's like a first love story but with a twist. The guy has been waiting months to get her attention and when she does pay attention sparks fly.

Months have gone by since the first story and there's been massive changes that seem too much to comprehend and might not be credible to the readers. But yes, it works out and they have their happily ever after.

The third focuses on the third sister, who left with their mother who has dreams that go against her principles; so she joins a book club and uses one of the members to help her with interesting results.

The fourth story is bittersweet with two people who’s past is holding them back. This story will make you overlook the other issues.

I have to give this anthology 4 stars.

Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Inc.
Review Courtesy Of: NetGalley

Choices by Penny Brandon

Marc's straight, always has been and thought he always would be, but when he's shown his true love in a magic mirror he's shocked to find out his true love is a man. Not only that, it's up to him to convince his true love they're meant to be together. All bad enough, but after finding Liam, the only way he’s able to persuade Liam to go out with him is to offer him sex – even though that's something Marc's definitely not ready for.

Liam thinks Marc is crazy. Marc's straight but he's talking about true love and making a life together. Liam doesn’t believe in love and he certainly isn’t going to fall in love with a crazy straight guy regardless of how sexy he is. But he hasn’t reckoned on Marc’s pushy attitude or his offer of sex which, no matter how much he knows he should, Liam can’t turn down.

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual situations, graphic language, and material that some readers may find objectionable: male/male sexual practices.

Reviewer: WhiteDaisy
The start of this story was different, I liked Simon's words as he explained to Marc that he came to his shop because something was looking for him. It was like fate chose to give Marc a helping hand to find his happiness. And his idea about an ancient magic mirror which was there to show one true love, it was a fresh unique plot.

Marc came to a small shop on compulsion and the guy in the shop, Simon, showed Marc a mirror. But the reflection Marc saw wasn't himself but Marc's one true love. This idea was comical, Marc was in shock instantly, first he was straight, second he wanted a wife and a family. How was he suppose to find his true love in a man he never met or seen before? Simon explained to Marc, that the mirror never lies, because Marc was seeing the reflection of his own heart's desire.

After Marc set his mind to find the mystery man, his true love, he wandered around gay bars and there he found Liam. Marc has a big problem because Liam doesn't believe in true love, nor in Marc's explanation about magic mirrors. Liam was a cool character, I liked how truthful Marc was with Liam, explaining everything to him and inviting him for one date. But Liam doesn't do relationships or even go on dates. So Marc had only one chance with Liam, to have a one-night date with sex at the end.

I truly liked how Marc had to work for every moment with Liam, even for a first sex date. Funny. And before Liam accepted, Marc had to kiss him in the bar before everyone, it was priceless. All their dialogs were comical and really good. Marc had to work really hard to convince Liam of his right intention, or to simply give them a chance for a relationship. Marc's determined battle to win Liam over won me over, too. This was simply a beautiful story. It could have been longer but in general it was a PURE romance.

The happy ending was one of the best HEA romance, and I loved it. I'm giving 4.5 stars.

Publisher: Loose Id
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Lord Keeper by Tarah Scott

No man bargains for war when he chooses a bride, but when he steals her from holy ground, he can expect nothing less.

Iain MacPherson swore he was nothing like his father, but his kidnapping of Victoria Hockley, the Countess of Lansbury is the first step toward the same obsessive jealousy that fueled his father’s life-long feud against the chief Iain’s mother loved.

A kiss, a midnight race for freedom, and a royal missive force Victoria into her captor’s arms. Hallowed ground can’t save her from the devil that followed her from England. Yet the Scottish lord who swears to protect her is far more dangerous.

Reviewer: Dolce Amore
What can be more wonderful than love at first sight?

Iain MacPherson sees Victoria Hockley, the Countess of Lansbury, and decides to make her his. Not knowing her name, he waits until she leave the holy ground of Montrose Abbey and he takes her. He swears that soon she will willingly agree to marry him.

Victoria is running from her brother-in-law; and although she doesn’t want to admit it, she feels safe with Iain. However, when the past and present are full of betrayal, can they defend themselves against their enemies?

I loved the main characters: Iain is a stubborn man. He sees Victoria and he takes her. And Victoria is as stubborn as him, trying to deny the connection between them. I enjoyed the sparks between them. If you are in the mood for a romantic novella, you should read this one. I gladly give it 4.5 stars.

Publisher: Etopia Press
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Gwenan Haines Giveaway

 To close off the busy month of giveaways here Booked Up Reviews, we are giving one copy of the lovely Gwenan Haines' book Risking Eternity, which we reviewed recently on the blog here.

A Soul for Trouble by Crista McHugh

When you’re a witch named Trouble, chaos follows.

Arden Lesstymine (known to everyone as Trouble) likes attention as much as the next girl, but this is getting ridiculous. When an insane stranger is murdered at the inn where she works, Trouble becomes the next Soulbearer for the disembodied god of chaos, Loku. Yes, it comes with the ability to channel the god’s limitless power, but at the cost of her sanity — literally. Now she has a sexy but cynical knight claiming to be her protector, a prince trying to seduce her to his cause (and his bed), and a snarky chaos god who offers a play-by-play commentary on it all, whether she wants to hear it or not. To make matters worse, a necromancer wants to capture the soul of Loku for his own dark purposes, and the only way he can get it is by killing her first.

Reviewer: Fashionta
A Soul in Trouble is one of those clever ironic books where the title is literally what you get. Arden aka Trouble knows she's different. She's got golden hair, blue eye, and delicate features; while the citizens of Ranello have dark hair, dark skin, and dark eyes. Arden has another problem, she's got magic in her and the people of Ranello thinks she a witch. Turns out she's the Soulbearer and it comes with a whole lot of problems as she has no clue about her destiny.

She's a young woman that's hurting a lot, because so far she's only known life as an outcast. From the first few pages we see this in her thoughts. Then she gets chosen by the god of Chaos Loku to come his new home, denying the protector Dev once again the chance to become the Soulbearer as the law dictates. Dev has gotten use to it by now, it’s the fifth human chosen but even he's surprised as he wasn’t expecting Loku to choose a girl and one with magic in her blood. He's tempted by her and it's becoming harder to resist. They meet the Prince of Ranello, who has his own agenda and wants Arden in his bed.

I was drawn in to this book from the opening scene. I couldn’t put this book down and I enjoyed it immensely. Loku is a force of his own and things he does to create tension are amusing and creative. The tension between the Arden, Prince Kell, and Dev could be cut with a knife, when they first meet. I love these characters and I think it's going to be a great series. It was a well written and edited book. I give this book 5 stars and I can't wait to find out what happens next. I hope isn't too long of a wait until we get the next book in this magical series.

Publisher: Create Space

Roughstock: Picking Roses by BA Tortuga

Rosie doesn’t date cowboys. She knows what kind of heartbreak can come when they get seriously injured. Roughstock rider Les is determined to change Rosie’s mind from the moment he gives her his seat on the bus. He knows she’s the one for him; he just has to convince Rosie.

Adding to the difficulty Is the fact that Les lives in Colorado and Rosie is from Texas. During rodeo season the distance doesn’t seem so huge, but when winter threatens to lock down Les’ Colorado ranch, how is he going to convince Rosie that he’s worth the chances she has to take.

Reviewer: Fashionta
This was another delightful addition to this author's series about the national cowboy rodeo league. This one is a MF story but the series has included mm, mfm and mmm. In this one, the heroine and hero meet after a chance encounter on the bus and there's a strong reaction between the couple. But the heroine has a policy, she doesn't date cowboys after her first husband died at a competition. It's a sweet romance that is a perfect addition to this series.

I have to give this book 4 stars. I liked this book a lot but during the time they spent apart, I wish we got more from the hero's perspective. He couldn’t seem to stop thinking of her when he was around, so it would have been nice of him to fall apart waiting for his sweetheart.

Publisher: Torquere Press
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Monday, March 26, 2012

Blog Tour Part #3

To celebrate Darcy Abriel's new release, she's kindly offered a digital copy of Silver or an autographed paperback of Silver, winner's choice.

Blog Tour Part #2 - Darcy Guest Post: Haevyn and the Consequences of Emotional Cost

As part of the tour Darcy has kindly written us a post about her new book.

Thanks very much for having me here at Booked Up to talk about my Humanotica series which is published with Samhain Publishing.

First, a couple of definitions about the series. Humanotic: A blend of human form with machine operation and technology. Humanotica: Darcy’s scifantasy stories dealing with humanotic characters and the tone of the stories threaded with a very sensual/erotic/erotica tone. You can find out more about the terminology of this world at

Today, I’d like to talk a bit about the emotional aspects of Haevyn. Emotion and how the characters deal with stress and frustration is at the core of the stories in the Humanotica series.

In Quentopolis women have been relegated to secondary status in many cases. Women, the working class society, lead a very difficult life. The Elite are treated more as pampered dolls, cosseted and spoiled, to be seen but not heard, with some similarity to that experienced in the 19th century. Yet, as with any society, there are some who do not tow the line, who break from this suffocating sort of bondage.

There are women–some surviving by their wits and intelligence, some by courage and an adventurous spirit–these are women who strive to break free. Some, like Silver from the first book in this series, end up paying a high price, including human and personal freedom. For some, such as the courtesan madam, Violette Goldswan, they wield their power through different, more shadowy avenues. And some, like Haevyn Breina, will attempt to rise through the more public ranks, clawing their way to a position where they have a chance of gaining societal acceptance as an equal, and gaining respect in the more demanding arena of this male-dominated society. None of this is accomplished without emotional cost. None of these women face and accept the challenges of this rather brutal society in quite the same way. For Haevyn, the rewards are worth the steep price. She does not back down from doing what must be done.

In Quentopolis, sexual relations and sexuality are very open and accepted parts of this society. For some it is about pleasure, for some it is a tool to rise through the ranks. Sex is used for negotiation; it is also a shared bond between friends. And it is also an art form, highly prized by a nobility class known as the Dominatae.

Haevyn Breina is of the Moondown Water District working class. Her parents were killed in a factory fire, leaving the care of her younger brother, Bhrett, in her hands. Responsibility came to her at a young age and she accepted it, along with every hardship and payment that security demanded. She gave up her virginity to a higher purpose and though it left her bruised and battered, she has never regretted her choices. When a brand new arm of the Regulate opens up to females, she jumps at the chance, even though strictly speaking the Compsociate Branch is considered by many to be simply a finely labeled government sanctioned army of courtesans in service to the upper Regulate officers. Haevyn accepts the challenge determined to rise within the ranks, but it is not without additional damage to her psyche.

Her lover and friend, Grisha, has served as her anchor, her “calm, safe haven” throughout her life. A simple fisherman, he is far distanced from the machinations of the political arena. But Grisha, more wise than Haevyn realizes, knows there is more that his lovely, wounded lover needs than the warm of his loving arms. He knows very well how close to the edge she really is. But so is his other lover, an expatriate Orictan warrior by the name of Entreus.

In any world an emotional cost must attach, though all creatures deal with trauma differently. Some will splinter, some will rise to meet the challenge of adversity and fashion it into their strength. Some bear an anger or rage–they try to ignore or funnel through some other channel. Entreus funnels his rage and frustration through the illegal Cockrage events. Haevyn tries to bury her anger beneath a veneer of tightly-held control. Grisha knows this about each of them and has a sense of their needs.

How these three people adapt, grow, and hopefully heal is at the emotional core of this story. The journey is complicated by a very dangerous and deadly enemy to the city-state whom they must battle.

This is the world of Humanotica. Find out more about “Haevyn,” the second book in the Humanotica series, available in March from Samhain Publishing.

Thanks for letting me share a little about this series.

Darcy Abriel Bio:
Darcy Abriel delights in the stories that flirt with the dark side of emotion and passion. Going back to the days of Saturday Night Chiller Theaters, series such as Twilight Zone and the Outer Limits, toss in a dash of Alfred Hitchcock and these are the stories that have always fascinated Darcy. That edgy sense of danger that leaves one tingling. Be it a roller coaster ride, a Dracula movie, or a good erotic horror read at the darkest slice of night. Visit the dark side with mystery and passion, eroticism and tingling fantasy. Explore what makes your heart pump faster, your blood run hotter, and the adrenaline surge. Darcy always looks forward to hearing from her readers and she may be contacted at . Don't forget to sign up for her newsletter, Torrid Tidbits, at

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Blog Tour Part #1

It is with great pleasure that I welcome Darcy Abriel to the blog today who is on tour promoting her new release Haevyn, the much anticipated second book in her steampunk Humanotica series.

To recap for those unfamiliar with the storyline, the first book, Silver, introduces us to a futuristic empire controlled by humans yet serviced by computers. Mechanical modifications to humans are standard practice and the human science engineers have created a sub culture of quasi people who are part human, part robot; creatures created largely as a form of punishment. These reconstituted humans suffer under the weight of a power mad government. They have lost their former lives and are reduced to slaves or sexbots, only alive to serve the needs of others. We meet one such "humanotic", Entreus, who is the leader of the rebellion and under constant watch by the government who know he is a threat to them. As the leader of the rebels, he is willing and determined to obtain freedom no matter what the cost. Entreus seduces the government minister's favorite toy, a newly minted trinex named Silver. Silver started out human but committed the ultimate sin when she pretended to be male to gain entrance to an exclusive science academy. Her punishment was modification—when we meet her she is equal parts female, male and machine and the property of a dark, secretive, charismatic man named Lel Kesselbaum. Lel is part of the Dominatae, a nobility trained in the erotic art of dominance. He is also a member of the governing party that that controls the dystopian society. Silver has been designed to both give and receive pleasure and her owner has conditioned her to maximize the intensity and duration of sexual ecstasy that make her secretly wonder who is the master and who the slave. Seeking to affect change from within, Entreus bargains his body in a way that rekindles Silver's longing for her own freedom but helping the rebel isn't going to be so easy when she discovers her master's secret—a secret that leave her heart torn between both men and whose consequence could mean death for them all if she makes one step in the wrong direction.

Book 2 continues Entreus' journey. We discover he has moved on. As an expatriate humanotic warrior, he is bound to another exile, a malevolent sorcerer. Despite the bind, he seeks out a woman he watches at a cage fight, drawn to her inexorably in the sex-fueled event. He learns her name is Haevyn Briena and she’s all human and a high ranking officer in the government he wants to bring down. We also meet Haevyn's friend and lover, Grisha, who has plans for them both. It's his intention to bring both his warrior lovers together to heal their scarred souls with a combined passion that he alone cannot provide.

Fighting for justice, Entreus will not rest until the factions that ruined his life are destroyed. Bound by duty, Haevyn’s tormented past refuses to die. Amid ever tangling emotions and a brutal plot to take over the city, the three lovers walk a tightrope that could be severed at any moment. Their love could alter the foundations of their world ... if they survive.

Don’t expect Silver! The book blurb for Haevyn is clever and informative but it’s only a tease—you need to read the book because it’s not a story you’re going to expect by simply gleaning the blurb. The outcome will surprise you.

While the heroine is human in this read, her brother is humanotic so we get an insight into how the blend of human form with machinery and advanced technology affects humans. Haevyn, like Silver, is a pivotal character because of her status in the government and appears to become a pawn in Entreus’ game. Entreus’ character is more deeply explored and it’s a delight to see different facets of his personality emerge. His character shadings are nuanced and textured, a mark of a good writer.

This book is 4 star material, a brilliant must-read. I was blown away with the story and the fascinating world Darcy has created. I urge you to check out Darcy’s website for more on this series which details the mythology of her world, however I warn you the website is a work in progress. I’m hooked; I can’t get enough of this amazing series and hope it’s not too long before we get another addition to it. If you love erotica, adventure, scifi and nail biting drama, you need to try this series. You will not be disappointed.

Darcy has kindly offered one lucky follower a chance to win her first book in this series, Silver. One lucky international follower will get it in ebook form while a USA based follower will be provided a paperback edition signed by the author herself. So what are you waiting for? Toss your chances into the ring and enter the contest. You just might win.

Tailor Made by Josephine Myles

When Mr. Wrong measures up just right!

College tart Felix McAvoy is used to causing a stir with his conceptual art pranks, but for his final show he's planning something even more outrageous. In a last ditch attempt to seduce his jaded tutor, Felix plans to wear the canvas in a subversive display. However, if he's going to do this right he'll need a tailor-made canvas suit. Fortunately, he knows just the tailor to turn to for the favour—and Felix isn't shy about offering favours of a very different kind in return.

First year fashion student Andrew Wheeler knows Felix by reputation only—and plans to keep things that way. Andrew's determined to save himself for the man of his dreams, and Felix couldn't be more different from his ideal Mr. Right. There's only one use Andrew will contemplate for Felix's body: a model for his end of year project. Trouble is, it's going to involve a lot of close contact with a nearly naked Felix, and Andrew's never had temptation quite so close at hand!

Reviewer: WhiteDaisy
I have to be critical about this story. The way it was written simply didn't fit the bill, or my taste. I wasn't convinced about this paired relationship at all, or about this love relationship at the end. Felix was superficial as a character, or he appeared to be as such. He used his body as a tool to get what he wanted, even if he used sex as a payment. I really didn't like his behavior. Felix was shameless and to use his body for his own means, felt wrong. I liked how Andrew described Felix as the equivalent of the Whore of Babylon. Maybe I didn't give Felix a chance but this plot wasn't written in a way which would let a reader believe that Felix would change or grow as a character.

I wouldn't mind Felix's behavior as such, if Andrew, as a character wouldn't fall so fast into his ploy. The part where Andrew took Felix measurements for his work, wasn't sexy or even funny. Andrew was described as being a reserved, shy character and a bit too serious. He wanted to fell in love with the right man and have his first sexual experience because of love. And this plotted story didn't give a damn about this. He nearly swallowed Felix's cock and who could judge him wrong at this scene, no one. It was simply wrong.

I can't accept this love story and I have to give it 2.5 stars.

Publisher: Amber Quill Press
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Finding My Faith (Six Saviours 2) by Carly Fall

Growing up in a small Northern Arizona town, Faith Cloudfoot’s life was spent playing in the forests surrounding her house under the protective eyes of her father, and learning about the legends of her Native American heritage. Yearning for more out of her life, she moves to Phoenix, Arizona at the age of twenty-three where she is kidnapped and almost killed.

Rayner has a special ability, one that weighs on him like a curse. He can see spirits trapped in between life and their final resting place. Because he can’t do much to help them, he studiously ignores them. He concentrates, instead, on working with his fellow warriors to right the wrongs caused by the evil criminals from his home planet.

When Rayner sees Faith in her spirit form while investigating a lead in Phoenix, his attraction to her is immediate, yet he follows his own personal code and ignores her cry for attention. When he realizes that she may be a stepping stone to getting him home to his own universe, he engages Faith and begins to use her as a means to an end: going home.

As the attraction grows stronger, Rayner finds himself breaking all sorts of self-set rules, as well as the code of ethics set by him and his fellow warriors. When Faith nears death, Rayner realizes that he must do everything in his power to save her, because if he doesn’t, he may just lose himself.

Reviewer: QueenBee
So it's been a few weeks since we last saw the Six Saviours and in this book we join three of them as they go to Arizona to hunt for another Colonist. Already without reading the blurb we know who’s story going to be told, Rayner the only forest dweller in their group and who’s special power came in very handy in the last novel. Now he is a conflicted guy, he seems to feel that they will complete their job and be able to go back home. If you know the background of this group, then you know they have a huge job and one that was explained clearly in the last book. But the job seems to be growing and he’s a workaholic, the hardest working man on this team.

Faith is a rare treasure, she’s Native American but she has one defining feature that sets her apart. She has red hair and it's considered to be blessing to her tribe. She's believed to be part of a legacy that mentions a red eyed man as the man she's meant to mate with to help the Earth. Sounds interesting right? Oh, one last thing, the Colonist they are after work for a drug lord who has a thing for red heads and Faith is next on his list.

It's a perfect balance in this series the ultimate bad boys in both meaning of the term. We get the boys of Six Saviours, they have taken on such sexier forms and then the Colonists, their actions will give you goosebumps when you consider who is on the list. I have to give this book four stars

Publisher: Westward Publishing

Belinda, My Love (The Vicar's Daughter 3) by Emma Lane

A handsome rogue attempts to win the heart of a young girl without fatally damaging her reputation.

Young Belinda has one special passion-- the art of healing, which she calls God's work--but she willingly makes room for a deep friendship with a handsome rogue from London. She assumes he thinks she is too young for romance.

The viscount thought he understood the attraction between men and women. But after just one glimpse of the vicar's youngest daughter, he dropped like a stone at the red-headed beauty's feet. When he learns to his chagrin that Belinda is just out of the schoolroom, he vows to wait until she has her Season before he declares his love.

Which rival will best the viscount? The handsome young cousin who shares Belinda's passion for healing the sick? Or the science of medicine itself? Will the rogue's tentative approach finally upset his plans and send a wrong message to his love?

Reviewer: PurpleRose
This story is about Belinda, youngest daughter of Rev. William Robinson. Like her elder sisters, who are both happily married to peers of the realm, she had a very unusual upbringing. They were allowed to pursue and practice whatever gift God gave them without restriction and with their father's blessing. Belinda has a true gift with herbs and remedies like her late mother. She was a little girl when she passed away and unfortunately can't remember her. She is so good at it that she is second best after the local doctor and everybody knows her value in the small village where she lives.

She is a very lively young woman, curious and intelligent, but too much educated for the standard of that time. An on top of all that she has a good heart.

Quinton Royston, Viscount Harrington is back after a long absence abroad. Three years ago he fell head-over-heels in love with a school girl and was willing to wait for the young girl to become a young woman. He is a friend of Lord Sutcliffe who is married to Belinda's eldest sister and he and Belinda became good friends when they met all those years ago in London.

Quinton became a friend of the family and they both enjoyed many horseback rides in the country, thus strengthening their acquaintance. The vicar always thought his daughter safe with him despite his reputation as a rake.

Then he had to go far away to India to look after his business interests. For Quinton this separation was very hard but necessary in more ways than one and for Belinda she missed his friendship and felt lonely despite her busy days.

Now back in England, he is more than ready to marry his beloved Belinda. But patience is of the essence! He doesn't want to take the risk of scaring her and lose her forever. He has his doubts too, maybe he is too old for her, maybe she loves him a little but only as her friend, maybe it could grow into something else....

As for Belinda, she knows that when Quinton is near her she is happy and when he is not she misses him. But she is quite certain that he still sees her as a child and not as a young woman.

Quinton's plan is to join her in London for her coming out and for her to enjoy his company, but the main problem is to do so without harming her reputation!

There is a lot more to come and it gets worse before it gets better. There are twist and turns, misconceptions, quid pro quo, and at last tears of joy.

It is a refreshing and entertaining love story. The two main characters are very lovable and are made for each other. I give this book 4 stars.

Publisher: Musa Publishing
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Island by Lisa Henry

Shaw is in Fiji to sell a stolen painting to the crime boss, Vornis. It will be the deal of a lifetime, if Shaw can pull it off. But then Vornis parades his latest toy around in front of him--a captured DEA agent whose time is running out. It’s none of Shaw’s business, and it doesn’t matter that under any other circumstances Lee would be exactly Shaw’s type: he’s young, he’s hot, and he might even have a personality if they hadn’t beaten it out of him. Too bad there’s no way Lee is getting off the island. Too bad there’s nothing Shaw can do for him. And too bad there are some lines that even Shaw won’t cross.

Keeping his hands off Lee proves harder than he thinks, but Shaw’s not stupid enough to fall for the tortured captive of a dangerous crime boss, is he? If he did, it wouldn’t be just his job he would be risking--it would be his life.

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual situations, graphic language, and material that some readers may find objectionable: male/male sexual practices, violence, flashback to sexual violence.

Reviewer: WhiteDaisy
Shaw was twenty-eight years old, six feet two tall, and he came to the island with the chopper. He was in Fiji to sell Vornis a stolen Cezanne. Vornis was the sort of man who liked to build monuments to show his power and wealth. A cruel man who liked to show off his wealth and see the envy in other men's eyes. Vornis was a murdering drug lord who favored money laundering, organized crime, and trafficking over production.

When the chopper landed Shaw was received by Hanson, the head of security and probably an ex-mercenary. Later that day Vornis came to Shaw to welcome him. And Shaw couldn't miss the boy, Toy, Vornis had bound to a tree like a dog. He let the boy stand under the rain and looking at that poor guy, Shaw felt ill. This was more proof of what kind of a monster the true Vornis was. Shaw was in contact the whole time with his friend Callie via laptop. Shaw's plan from the start was to stay on the island as long as he could and meet some of Vornis' other associates. And he knew he couldn't let his mask of ignorance down, he couldn't let himself care for the tortured boy.

The boy was a captured DEA agent. The only surviving member of a covert team who made a strike on one of Vornis' Columbia compound eight weeks ago. Shaw told himself daily, that he needed to stay focused on his business on Fiji and forget about the boy, because it wasn't his fight. The boy was a victim and Shaw knew that the moment Vornis was bored with his toy, he would be dead. Shaw had a crisis of conscience, so with Shaw's help Lee started to get his memory back. This part was hard and really emotional, the reader was able to feel everything both Shaw and Lee experienced and thought. Really amazing writing style!

Vornis kept the boy "Lee" under the influence of drugs and by being drugged, beaten, raped, and tortured daily, Lee left his body. His mind was free of everything. But with Shaw, Lee started to change, he started to remember. Lee was glad Shaw was there, because he gave Lee his name back and he looked him in the eye. Shaw gave Lee hope and the memories of places gave Lee some comfort, but memories of his parents were too raw. But this small hope given by Shaw was an illusion and Lee knew that, he couldn't trust it.

The first week of Lee's captivity at the island Vornis and his guards kept a tally of how many raped Lee, but now the count has been lost. Shaw had a hard time watching Lee being brutalized, raped every day. It was hell in paradise for both of them. But Shaw couldn't risk everything he'd worked for. It was the culmination of six years of hard work. From the start of this amazing story I could see what kind of a man Shaw was. And I knew, he would never leave Lee behind, I loved that fact about Shaw.

The way Shaw acted, by throwing away his assignment, made me scream in joy. Even if it was a moral decision, it was the right one. Every human being should act the same way as Shaw did. I really liked how the story developed at the end. The whole concept of this plot was real, deep, and developed with care and amazing well gathered facts.

I simpl;y have to give this story 5 stars, because it was an amazing story. Thank You Lisa Henry, this was an amazing written story.

Publisher: Loose Id
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Soul Search by Amber Scott

Three years ago, one horrific night changed his life forever. And now the wolf soul that was invoked to save him is taking over his body, day by day.

Can he master his animal instincts in time to discover who is stealing children's souls before the delicate balance we all depend upon is shattered?

Or will he reject the one woman who can help heal his body and his soul?

Reviewer: Dolce Amore
Grant Connel is determined to find his nephew, who disappeared three years ago. During his search, the wolf within grows stronger and stronger and Leigh Hamilton, who can see and feel things, could be too much for a weak man… but not for him.

Helped by Leigh and her ghost, he starts to remember what happened on the night his nephew disappeared and he got the wolf. He realizes that the kidnapping was connected to soul traffic and he has to stop it. He never thought that one of the bad people might be one of his closest friends.

The characters were few and developed. The story was good; but a little bit confusing. I had to reread some of the sections so I could keep up. I think Ms. Amber Scott was so involved in writing the story that she didn’t realized that we can't read her thoughts and we need things more clear. So I give the book give 4 stars.

Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Ukko's Discovery (The Chosen 1) by Shara Azod

Ukko is a general of the Spentas. He fears nothing, backs down from nothing, questions nothing -- until he finds something he can't explain. Who is this mysterious female with powers equal to his? Who sent her? What is her purpose?

Reviewer: Dolce Amore
What an interesting story! It’s the first of a new series, The Chosen, and it’s about two antic and powerful races who are fighting against each other, the Spentas and the Mainyas.

When Ukko, a Spentas, arrived in San Diego, United States, four months ago, he felt something strange. Now he knows what the cause was: a Spentas woman, his woman.

Nimah was abandoned as a child and she doesn’t know who her parents were, but... she wasn’t normal. She had some freaky powers and she always dreamed of a man, Ukko. She always knew he was meant to be hers.

Ukko finds out that Nimah can be Spentas or Mainyas, it only depends on the choice she makes. Will she chose him?

I really enjoyed the story. Ms Shara Azod has a gift with these short stories, because she always makes them lovely; and you always enjoy them. Especially the paranormal ones. Great read, 4.5 stars.

Publisher: Changeling Press
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

My Lieutenant by Sharita R Lira

Nathan Ellerby's apartment has been ransacked by his ex who didn't like the fact Nathan dumped him. Trouncing through the debris uttering a string of obscenities, Nathan's shocked to see Lieutenant Bryant Duncan at his door claiming he's already caught the offender. Sensing an instant connection, when Nathan finds out Bryant's divorced and he's straddling the fence between being gay or bisexual, Nathan finds himself in a quandary.

Although the Lieutenant does everything in his power to prove to Nathan he's worthy, Nathan is afraid to lower his defenses which leaves both men wondering if Nathan will allow love into his life even through his doubts.

Reviewer: RedDragonfly
I was if'y about picking this book up, because I've never heard of the author before but I saw that a few other reviewers from my review company had read her books and given her pretty good ratings. I loved this story, I just wish it had been longer, it was only about 20k words. I thought that it could have been twice as long, it was that pulling and good and it had me cracking up. I loved Nathan, his voice was so funny, he had me actually laughing out loud at a few times!

The only problem I had with him was his insecurities regarding Bryant, they seemed to go on for most of the book. But also at the same time, I can see where he is coming from, Bryant was basically straight (or at least in the closet due to guilt, marriage, and military as he puts it) before he saw Nathan and decided he wanted him. I also liked that Nathan made Bryant wait to have sex and didn't jump right into bed after their first date, he wanted to let Bryant make sure that was what he really wanted, I thought that was a very polite thing and showed what a good person he was. I also would have liked to get into Bryant's head and know more about him.

If the author decides to write a sequel, I'll be picking up the book and I'm also looking forward to reading other books she has written. I'm giving Sharita Lira's My Lieutenant 4.5 stars.

Publisher: Rebel Ink Press
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Friday, March 23, 2012

Giveaway #2 Winner

Entry #13 Shelley B. Karma Kameleon by Stephanie Haefner

Giveaway #2 Winner has been notified via email.

In the Red by Kari Gregg

Forensic accountant Brian Foster was a rising star at TFOS -- the FBI's Terrorism Financing Operations Section -- until he was abducted, "questioned," and left for dead. His nine days of captivity broke him. Brian retreats to the mountains of western Maryland where he amasses enough weaponry to hold off a zombie hoard and enough lamps to pinpoint his location from the International Space Station. He's losing the battle against paranoia. Too bad TFOS needs him. Brian stumbled onto something big when he vanished last year and TFOS needs that case resolved. Now.

The FBI tasks Special Agent Zachary Murdock with gluing Brian together and returning him to TFOS. Brian will steady once he focuses on work instead of his neuroses. As Zachary nudges Brian back into the career that cost him dearly, Brian's paranoia escalates. Personal and professional lines blur. Zachary isn't sure which presents the biggest complication anymore: Brian's peculiar brand of crazy, the case they're working, or the closeted submissive's surprising -- and enthralling -- kink.

Zachary and Brian both know, when the case heats up and they're forced to run, they're operating at a loss, though: they are in the red.

Reviewer: WhiteDaisy
Brian Foster was a genius, even if he looked like an accountant in Zachary's mind. Brian, small and lean with nerdy glasses and a wiry body with shaggy hair, spelled geek to everyone who saw him. Foster was a twenty-seven year old forensic accountant with high class skills the bureau didn't want to lose. Brian had an uncanny ability to track small deposits and transfers among thousands of credible business transactions. By following the money trail, he's identified terrorist activity, prevented incidents, and saved lives.

When Zachary first met Brian, he saw through the front Forster put on, to the scared man inside. Zachary could see in Brian's file, that he had been born under a lucky star, loved by his family, cosseted by his lover, and had enjoyed a meteoric rise in his career. But Brian has lost everything with his abduction, and no one knew where he was or who took him. They wanted him gone and he went away. Brian left everything behind to hide himself far away from TFOS the FBI's Terrorism Financing Operations Section. Brian became paranoid and ill, living in terror everyday. For Zachary, Brain Foster was a Grade A, 100 percent nut job, but a beautiful, shy, and sweet fucked-up mess. The truth was Brain was mostly bark, no bite kind of a man.

Landis wanted Brian back at Financial Intelligence in DC. And so he sent Zachary there to bring Brain back. He hoped to achieve that with a possible Dom/Sub relationship between Zachary and Brain. I really hate manipulative bastards in plotted stories and while the sex scenes where good, that was all. There was a no real threat to Brian's life and he was supposed to work on a small level new case with Zachary's help, but then the threat became real. And Brain started to become crazy again, jeez...

This mixed up game was really annoying to me. And Zachary's instant lust for Brian wasn't real. I didn't even like it. I expected more from this story, it was disappointing. I have to give this story only 3 stars.

Publisher: Loose Id
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Beloved Captor by Jez Morrow

Desdaine has fallen hard for space fighter ace, Jess Laren. The trouble is, Laren is a hero on the wrong side of the interplanetary war.

As a senior intelligence officer in the Ilzec Empire, Desdaine thinks his attraction to other men is his own secret. But when Laren is shot down in Ilzec airspace and found guilty of spying, Desdaine receives orders to carry out the execution. Desdaine didn’t think his outlawed desire was obvious, but apparently someone sees through him, and wants to know where Desdaine’s loyalty truly lies. Shamed and furious, Desdaine makes the only choice he can…

Reviewer: WhiteDaisy
Desdain's immediate attraction for Jess was like a magnet into this plot. I have to say wow, what a hard emotional start into a story. It really set the starting scene well.

Jess and Desdaine are warriors on opposites sides of an interplanetary war between Ilzec Empire and Raudan Empire. They first met on "The Isle of Song or Island of Sin", which is neutral ground. Desdain is a Savar or Death Angel, not truly a human. He was strong, physical, sexually potent, and beautifully attractive. Desdaine, who is a senior intelligence officer for Ilzec Empire, was chatted up by Jess Laren, a Flight Leader and an spacefighter ace from Raudan Empire. Desdain was well informed about Jess. He was Jess' secret admirer and knew everything there is to know about the man.

Some time after their first encounter, Jess' Laren airspace was shot down and he is found guilty of spying on Raudan Empire. Desdaine receives orders to carry out Jess' execution, with this Desdaine would show his true loyalty. The game was set on both of them. Desdaine and Jess were played out. Desdaine showed his loyalty and fired on Jess, without knowing he would fire with blank patrons.

For his loyalty, Desdaine got a reward, a war prize, Jess. Desdaine had to chose, to let Jess be killed or save Jess' life by keeping him as his prisoner. And with this decision our romance begins and their own mind game began. Jess was set to run away, but with each game he played on Desdaine, Jess soon figured out it was useless.

I really liked Desdaine's character, he was emotionally hidden and vulnerable it was hard to follow how deeply he felt for Jess. On the other side, Jess was a prisoner and he hated Desdaine with a passion. Jess wanted to lure Desdaine into his bed and use him.

The main red line in this story was set around Desdaine emotional vulnerability and Jess' need to run away. Each reader has to be prepared for a game of words in this story. Jess and Desdaine talked with sarcasm and hard, mean words. We could see they fought with words and hidden emotions. I really loved this, as it was well written and emotionally pulling. Jez Morrow did a great job. I'm giving this story 4 stars.

Publisher: Torquere Press
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Risking Eternity (Timeshifters 1) by Gwenan Haines

After a childhood spent watching her psychic mother struggle to make a living reading tarot cards in their shabby New Orleans apartment, Hayden Farrell isn't taken in by much. As far as she's concerned, the only thing extraordinary about this world is people's willingness to put their faith in things that don't exist. For the past decade she's believed in one thing: being a cop. But when teen-age prostitutes start turning up dead, the Boston homicide detective is forced to do something she hasn't done since she fled Louisiana. To catch the killer she's got to trust a stranger whose version of reality threatens to destroy her own.

Valentin Grigorievich has wanted revenge since London's most notorious serial killer betrayed him more than a century earlier. To get it, he needs Hayden's help--and maybe her life as well. While Valentin may be immune to her good looks he finds it increasingly difficult to resist the dark connection that binds them. Will the vampire's plan give him the satisfaction he craves or rob him of his soul mate?

Reviewer: Dolce Amore
Hayden Farrell is a cop and she is worried about the last case she had. The victim, a young hooker, had twin punctures on the right side of the neck and no blood.

I liked the first pages, the story seemed interesting. From there on, I’m sorry to say, it got a little unreal. Hayden hated her mother because she pretended to see paranormal stuff just to scam naïve people. But she started to believe in vampires just minutes after she saw the body and without knowing that she had lost all her blood. The same thing happens when she saw Valentin Grigorievich for the first time… she believed him when he told her that he was a vampire.

Hayden agrees to help Valentin catch the killer, who seems to be Jack the Ripper. What I don’t understand is why, if Jack or Henry, his true name, arrived in America on January 20, 1890, nobody caught or at least realized that he killed for so many years.

However, what she doesn’t know is that Valentin wants to let her die just to hurt Henry, because she was looked like Sarah, the woman who started everything. But Hayden was also Valentin’s soulmate. I can’t believe that Ms. Gwenan Haines wrote that. I was totally disappointed by that scene.

I rate the book 3.5 stars.

Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Giveaway #3

Today on Giveaway Friday, I'd like to welcome Cecilia Gray multi-genre author to the blog. We had the pleasure of reviewing some her books here at the blog and enjoyed them.

Fading book two was reviewed here
A Delightful Arrangement  reviewed it here

Cecilia Gray  is offering a copy
Falling book one -
Fall For You -
A Delightful Arrangement -

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Caught Offside by Liz Crowe

Ramon Castillo, world famous soccer player and international playboy has been brought low by a career-ending injury. After the humiliation of a shattered leg at the World Cup final, he has spent a year enduring surgeries and painful therapies, the last three months of which are at the Castillo resort in Las Vegas under the watchful eye of his cousin, Jackson Castillo and owner of the Castillo hotel chain. But Ramon’s lack of interest in soccer, women, or in anything besides the blackjack tables has Jackson worried.

Gillian Winter, catering and banquet manager for the MGM Grand Hotel is nurturing her own deep wounds. Her beloved husband has died unexpectedly, leaving her with a young son whose one dream is to meet his hero: Number 17 on the American National Soccer team, Ramon Castillo. When an apparent chance encounter in the lobby of the MGM reveals Ramon's presence in their midst, everyone's lives are changed forever.

Can Madame Eve work her magic and bring true healing to Ramon and Gillian? Or is it too late?

Reviewer: Dolce Amore
Love could be a dangerous thing, especially when you lose someone important to you.

Gillian Winter knows that very well, because she lost her husband two years ago. Now it was just her and her son against the world. Ramon Castillo, world famous soccer player, lost his career because of an accident. Will they cure each other? Maybe, with the help of persistent friends and family.

Ms. Liz Crowe keeps her sweet style, giving us the story of two broken souls. It’s a good read, but not unforgettable. I keep hoping to read a larger book of hers, because I know that then she will have enough space to make deeper characters and to give more reality to the story. She is a writer with a lot of potential.

So if you're in the mood for an enjoyable read, give this book try. 3.5 stars.

Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Day and Night: Turquoise by Chris Owen

Reviewer: RedDragonfly
In the first book Night and Day: Jasmine, Steve meets shop owner Luke while searching for a jacket to go with his cosplay outfit for an upcoming convention. They hit it off right away and soon end up in bed together.

This book Day and Night: Turquoise starts off about a month after the last book finished. It's now time for the convention and both Steve and Luke will be attending it. Luke will be working at a vendor booth for his shop and Steve making the rounds going to different discussions and such for his favorite shows. While Steve is shopping in Luke's booth with his friend Ashlyn, he happens to see a pair of turquoise cufflinks that he likes, but Luke tells him they aren't for sale. Turns out that they were going to be a gift for Steve. After receiving the links, Steve asks if that means they are now going steady.

This book was very cute and I loved both Steve and Luke. I also loved all the details the author gave about different tv shows and fan groups, you could tell that they are either a big fan or did a lot of research. I thought this added info was very nice because you often see authors who talk about stuff without really knowing about it. I'm really looking forward to the next book and hope it comes out soon. I'm giving this book 4.5 stars.

Publisher: Torquere Press
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

One Wicked Night by Kelly Jamieson

The boys are back in town…

Ten years ago, Kaelin Daume spent a steamy summer home from college secretly hanging out with town bad boy Tyler Wirth and his best friend Nick Kernsted. The connection was warm, complicated, and came to a crashing end when she walked in on her two forbidden friends with another woman. The shocking scene of sex and bondage has haunted her boring, oh-so-vanilla life ever since.

The fallout from that night tore Tyler’s life apart. He left Mapleglen, disowned and disgraced, to build a successful advertising career and a unique relationship with Nick. Nothing could bring him back except his sister’s wedding, and he plans to hightail it back to Chicago as soon as it’s over. At least one good thing hasn’t changed: Kaelin is as sweet as ever. Except she doesn’t seem too thrilled to hear it.

As tensions run high, Kaelin can’t resist the temptation to commit one crazy act of rebellion. Once the web of secrets, sins and lies starts to unravel, though, their lives will never be the same…

Reviewer: Snapdragon
One Wicked Night is a book that deals with keeping up appearances and what happens when you try to save face and go with the flow, even if it makes you look bad to everyone. When Tyler is kicked out of his parents home just before he turns 18, because his parents believe someone else is telling the truth instead of him, he decides he's not ever going back.

Ten years later he comes back for his sister’s wedding and it brings up all the little memories of him being a failure. Things are misunderstood again and this time the woman he loves stands up for him to his parents. The story goes on from there detailing a lot of triumph and tragedy.

This book keeps you caught up in the moment, just like the characters of the book are. But you feel like you are actually there experiencing everything yourself. You laugh, cry, and love right along with the characters. You can imagine yourself in their shoes and wonder how you would handle the problems that pop up.

I found this book to be very easy to read but hard on the emotions, as I remember the misunderstandings that I had with my parents. This book makes you want to reach out and strangle the one male character and hug the other two people in the ménage. I cried right along with Kaelin and felt anger on behalf of Tyler and Nick but I just knew that everything would be alright as long as they talked to each other. The glib attitude and arrogance was completely real and so was the love. It makes you take a step back and wonder if some of your problems were brought on yourself or just a simple misunderstanding.

I give this book 4 stars as I love the way the author makes you feel like it is happening to you and how Ms. Kelly Jamieson makes the characters so lovable and exasperating. Meanwhile, she makes you want to hit Tyler upside the head and tell him to talk to people instead of just letting them believe the bad instead of the good.

This is a very good book which keeps you on the edge of your seat and a tissue in hand. Be sure that you are ready for a heartbreaking and heart-healing book before you read this one because it takes you the full circle of emotions all in one short book.

Publisher: Samhain

Corporate Desires by Bridget Midway

Summary Excerpt Comments
Fresh from her recent incarceration, Edna "Madame Z." Zulma wants a normal life. Unfortunately between her new boss and her parole officer, she's finding it hard to be plain ol' Edna. Throw in the very sexy office manager, Burton McCutcheon, and Edna is starting to think about the BDSM lifestyle again.

Burton's goal of staying focused as he tries to start his own business is affected as soon as Edna Zulma arrives. When he discovers her BDSM past, he decides to fulfill her fantasies...and his.

Reviewer: Fashionta
The book turned me off from the first page. Masturbation is okay but the way it was written in this book, combined with the element of BDSM, made it seem unrealistic. There is too much information at the start and continues throughout the book. The relationship is weird and annoying, yes a sub needs to submit to their Master but the extent they had going was crazy. Even before the main characters revealed themselves, you could see their indications of whether they were to be the Dom or the sub.

I have to give two stars. It was way too long and the length put me off. Sometimes to create an amazing story this length is needed, but this story wasn’t one of them

Publisher: Phaze
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Want by Ann Mayburn

Construction foreman Cody McPherson always considered himself as straight as they come. That is until he finds himself falling for the handsome stonemason, Sam Denham, that constantly occupies his thoughts. He wants Sam, badly, and can’t get the man out of his mind. Worse yet, he isn’t even sure if Sam is gay. When he finds out that Sam has signed up with a dating service searching for a guy who looks exactly like him Cody is even more eager, and confused than before.

Sam can’t believe that he’s developed a huge crush on his obviously straight co-worker. Even worse, the job that allowed him to see Cody on an almost daily basis has ended and he desperately misses his buddy in a way that goes far beyond just friendship. In an effort to soothe his aching heart and body, he tries to get a blind date with someone like Cody so he can pretend for just one night that he holds Cody in his arms.

When Cody himself shows up as Sam’s blind date, he is at once elated and afraid of having his heart broken by just another straight guy looking to sample the gay life. He wants to be so much more than Cody’s 1Night Stand and if he’s given the chance, Sam will do anything to prove that love doesn’t discriminate based on gender.

Reviewer: PurpleRose
There was one man who haunted Cody McPherson's dreams that was Sam Denham, a stonemason who worked on the same construction site where Cody worked as a foreman. Sam was an owner of a successful marble and stone business. While working on the same construction site Sam and Cody developed a simple friendship, while hiding their secret feelings and admiration for each other.

To finally admit his attraction to Sam, Cody arranged a 1Night Stand at the same matchmaking service Sam was a member of. As soon they found each other at the same roulette table, they proceed into a hotel room.

Their 1Night Stand in a hotel room was romantic and sweet, but as as characters they were too undeveloped. As both of them expressed the true emotions they felt for each other, the love between them won. The epilogue at the end was classic and sweet.

This short story was an enjoyable mix of sweet desire, romance between two coworkers, and a HOT sexy one night stand. I enjoyed this short story, of course, but for my taste it was too easy and fast developed. I'm giving it 3.5 stars.

Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Buckle Down by Eve Cassidy

Cowboys aren't always what they seem...They're often so much more.

Sheriff Dane Carter was only looking for a cold one when he stepped into Duke's Bar & Grill after a long shift but ended up finding trouble instead. From the moment he laid eyes on Tyler he'd known the man would be trouble. When a bar fight turns into an explosive sexual encounter, Tyler becomes an instant temptation he can't afford. Then the real trouble begins.

Tyler Evans came to Chicory hoping for a chance to clean up his act and start over. In one night his new life begins to unravel. A harmless game of pool spirals out of control and he's later accused of a crime he didn't commit. Determined to prove his innocence, he decides to attach himself to the sheriff until they find the real culprit. If he happens to get his hands on the deliciously handsome man haunting his thoughts again--so be it.

When the situation turns dangerous, the tension between Dane and Tyler reaches the breaking point. In the heat of the moment Tyler goes too far and his hope for the future walks out the door, leaving him with a murky future at best.

Reviewer: WhiteDaisy
Sheriff Dane Carter came to Duke’s Bar for a beer and food. What he found was trouble and an attraction for one person, Tyler. Tyler Evans was a walking wet dream and a temptation in Dane eyes. And no matter what Dane thought, he couldn't get away from the explosive sexual need he felt for Tyler.

Even if Dane doesn't want to get involved with Tyler and vice versa, they can't get enough. That's the basic red line in this novella.

This story didn't make sense to me, to be truthful. Tyler's logic "I will clear my name" isn't normal in this type of story. Who in their right mind would go to a Sheriff's house and sleep on his couch to prove to him he was innocent. What kind of logic is that? Sure Tyler was accused of a crime he didn't commit, but that doesn't mean the couch in the Sheriff's house would lead to proving his innocence.

The way this plot was built was for one reason only, so that Tyler and Dane would have a reason to spend some time together, which would then lead to sex. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the emotions of explosive sexual frustration, which usually leads to HOT sex between characters. But in this case it didn't make sense. Both of them contradicted what they wanted and what they did.

And then we have this sex scene in Dane's kitchen, in middle of the night and of course Tyler was there, all hot for Dane, but after their explosive sex, he got scared. He’d just fucked the sheriff. The man who thought he was nothing more than a common thief, but before this Tyler was all hot for sex. This contradiction simply doesn't make sense to me. I'm giving this novella 3 stars.

Publisher: Resplendence Publishing
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders