Sunday, May 27, 2012

Where the Heart Lies by Michelle Garren Flye

All widowed Alicia Galloway has left of her war-hero husband are the flag that draped his coffin and his final wishes: to move to his hometown, take over the family bookstore and enjoy a simple, quiet life with their two small children. When she arrives, her husband's best friend makes that new life anything but simple. How can she be so drawn to Liam Addison?

Liam only intended to help Alicia get settled. But one unexpected kiss awakens his long-held forbidden feelings. Soon, the town busybodies swoop in to warn Alicia away from him. Because no matter the man he's become, he'll never...

Reviewer: Dolce Amore
As he put the glass of chardonnay in her hand, she’d shouted over the music, “It’s very impolite to stare, you know.”
He leaned down. He must have shouted over the noise in the bar, but she felt as if his voice was very intimate, meant only for her. “That’s what I was coming over to tell you.” His breath was warm on her ear and when their eyes met, she knew immediately she would fall in love with him.
Alicia loved Ty, her husband, from the first moment she saw him; but now he is gone, hit by a sniper’s bullet, leaving her with their two children to raise alone. She has Gemma and Jason who is born a scant two weeks after Ty's death. Nine months later, the widow moves to Ty’s town, into her in-laws’ home, with the children in tow, determined to realize the dreams of her late husband.

Alicia's first meeting with Liam Addison starts out as a simple welcoming, but the attraction between them is sizzling and the gossip about them throws them together rather than tears them apart as the town gossips had hoped. Soon Alicia discovers that prior to Ty entering her life, he had a daughter with Penny, a woman who becomes her friend the moment she moves to town. It turns out Ty had known nothing about the daughter's existence.

The book has its funny parts:
“I owe you and your buddy a dunking.”
“Oh, you don’t owe me anything for that. It was my pleasure.”
And his wonderful and romantic ones:
He’d considered bringing flowers, but he hadn’t wanted to do anything that would make Alicia uncomfortable. Confronted by her beauty, however, his fingers felt empty, as if he needed something to offer just for the opportunity to look at her. Was this how Aphrodite’s worshipers had felt as they left their worldly goods at the feet of her statue in ancient Greece?
I’m impressed you exist, my love. I never thought anyone so perfect could live on this earth.
I loved the touch Ms. Michelle Garren Flye adds to the story with the magic tricks based on physics Liam performs to the delight of Gemma. And from all the characters, I absolutely loved Christine, the dance teacher. She is a maternal figure with a wicked sense of humor. She reminds me of Georgia, from “The Client List”:
“Honey, you’ve got to hold her like you mean it.” Christine moved her right hand down from Alicia’s waist to her hip. “The important thing about the tango is everybody watching has to be just waiting for you two to get busy right there on the floor.”
What I didn’t like about the book was that, after only a conversation or two, Alicia finds friends. But friends like Penny and Lulu with their attitudes and personal agendas should be steered clear of. Alicia needs nurturing influences, not backstabbing ones. Also, I found the relationship between the characters seemed to be evolve too slow, which made the story a bit boring. Those are some of the reasons that I believe the characters needed more depth and reality. 4 stars

Publisher: Carina Press's

Mark Me by Shawn Bailey

It was bad enough to have some guy try to hit on him in the men’s room of the video arcade last night, but to wake up and find two tattoos on his body is just too much. Who in the hell is this Dimitri person? And why is his name tattooed on my butt? Trey and the other friends have pulled some pretty mean pranks on Eli in the past, but this is just too much.

Dimitri takes one look at that handsome sleeping face and just can’t resist branding his name across Eli’s bottom. Maybe it is the way Eli had turned down his advances earlier that night that spurs him to do such a childish thing. Or maybe he just hopes the preppy violinist will seek him out to remove the tattoos and he’ll get another chance to gaze into those big hazel eyes.

Reviewer: Fashionta
I’ve read a few other books from Shawn Bailey and really liked them. So I figured I couldn’t go wrong. Than…the beginning of this made me literally slap my own forehead! No Joke. Dimitri comes on as a rude, arrogant, and a complete jerk, who works in a tattoo parlor. Eli is this innocent, unassuming, young man and a recently graduate from high school, and a very talented violinist. It’s definitely an interesting mix. So here I’m thinking, what have I gotten myself into?

I really didn’t know what to think of this one though. Dimitri is a tattoo artist, who was once a violinist – from his younger years. But he keeps coming on too forceful and strong. He seems to have a lot of patience though, as Eli keeps trying to push him away. But just when you want to write Dimitri off completely, he throws in the romance! Even Eli is caught off guard. Eli not knowing what to make of Dimitri, thinking he’s just an arrogant man, hell bent on ruining his life. Yet…why is it Eli can’t stop picturing things he’s never thought of before, or noticing other males eyes, hair, even the way there butts sway when they move and dance.

The moment when Dimitri and Eli where back in the tattoo parlor left me a bit confused…they were speaking like it was almost bad to be gay, that they wouldn’t be able to have kids. That almost immediately, after that Dimitri goes down on Eli, a bit sudden, and out of nowhere! It was like someone flipped a switch with Eli, he’s no longer this innocent, naïve young man…he’s bolder, and all of a sudden knows what he wants. It left my brain spinning!

Of course it didn’t take long before problems came to light. Turns out both Eli’s friends and father have something to say about him seeing Dimitri. Being betrayed by his friends, left Eli in tears, but a betrayal by Dimitri and his father combined…now that is almost unforgivable! The ending felt rushed and unfinished. It came as a surprise and left a few unanswered questions.

I give this 3.5 stars…I fear I may have given the impression that I hate this book, well…I didn’t hate it, it just was a bit out there. Ok, maybe I didn’t like the beginning to much. And a few other moments did have me slapping my forehead, repeatedly. But it was entertaining to say the least.

Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand Publishing
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Road to Dark Desire by Brooklynn Rivers

An injured highwayman with a bounty on his head. A lady determined to save his life. Who will sacrifice the most in the name of love?

Quentin Ellesbrooke has it all until he is betrayed by his lover, Katherine Prescott and her evil stepbrother. With danger nipping at his heels, the Ellesbrooke Bandit gets more than he bargains for when a beautiful lady saves his life. Soon the battle between honor and forbidden lust will begin.

Skyler Weston is about to embark on an adventure wilder than she could ever imagine. After rescuing a stalwart highwayman from the brink of death, she becomes entangled in a web of hidden pleasures, danger and intrigue. Can this highwayman be trusted or is he a gentleman rogue out for his own gain? Seduced by his mysterious past, she is torn between protecting her virginity and succumbing to the dark desires that lie dormant within her soul.

Reviewer: BlackTulip
I've remained totally unsatisfied by the last novel I read featuring a highwayman and quite frankly didn't know what to expect .... right now, I'll only say one word: fabulous!

This very lively romantic adventure takes place in 17th century England. King Charles the First hasn't lost his head yet. From the very beginning, it's fast paced with an easy, light, crisp writing style. The dialog is intelligent, witty and sometimes humorous. It's a novel that keeps you in suspense as with each new page something new unfolds. Brooklynn Rivers provides just the perfect amount of details making her vivid descriptions come to life before your very eyes.

I found in this book absolutely everything I could hope for. There is danger, treachery and lies, love and passion. There are duels, wild escapes and let's not forget that there's also evil lurking in the shadow and even a hint of dark magic. All these elements combined to work perfectly. What more could you ask for?!

The two lead characters, Skyler Weston and Quentin Ellesbrooke are truly very engaging. Skyler is a good hearted, spirited and beautiful young lady. She has a very unusual friendship with a tavern owner's daughter, in fact, they are like sisters. Despite an obvious difference in their station, she has always remained loyal to Josephine. There are some funny moments between those two. No doubt this friendship allows Skyler to see some things from a different perspective and teaches her a lot, in particular about men, because her friend Josephine is a very cheeky lass.

Quentin and his younger brother Douglas were maliciously stripped from their inheritance and Quentin's goal is one day to recover Ellesbrooke Castle. They have had to resort to the perilous and harsh life of highwaymen to survive. Quentin is spontaneous, adventurous and determined. He's the type of man who likes to have what he wants but he has an honorable soul.

Given their very different circumstances they should never have met but by the merest chance they do. And when their eyes meet, their bodies catch fire ... I won't say more here, it is yours to read now. It's only the beginning of a very gripping adventure, packed with constant danger and vibrant passion. Absolutely nothing is missing.

I definitely recommend this book and I'm looking forward to reading her next novel. I give 5 big stars.

Publisher: Self Published

Hanged Man's Ghost by Missouri Dalton

Detective Fynn Adder is embarking on the case that will change his life forever. The ghosts of murder victims are leaving him clues, his drinking problem is out of control, and no matter how nepotistic the Chicago Police Department might be, there are some forces his family’s reputation can’t save him from.

Just a few years ago, Fynn’s longtime partner Robert was murdered and the case went unsolved. As he gets deeper into a new investigation, it becomes apparent that somehow the two cases are connected. To make matters worse, it’s clear to Fynn that forces beyond this world have come into play.

Forces like Internal Affairs agent Daniel Voight, who’s determined to make dirt stick to Fynn any which way he can. The only real bright points in Fynn’s day are when he’s with Jack, his unfortunately straight partner. Fynn is going to have to pull himself together--because if the dead don’t kill him, his family will.

Reviewer: WhiteDaisy
I admit to having mixed feelings about this book. The main plot was written with interesting action. I was pulled into Fynn Adder's mysterious destructive path from the start. I liked Fynn as a main character, but to be truthful everything that happened felt off. The starting point of this story was bland. Most mornings, he woke up with a hangover and in the bed of a different young man. Fynn had a bad reputation and a long list of one-night stands with different man. Fynn was glad, the young man was as drunk as him when they stumbled into the bed.

Fynn got a wake up call from his Captain O’Bryan, because he was late to work, which was nothing new for Fynn as a character. He was a drunk alcoholic and didn't like his job. Most of his last two years of work, Fynn only got to work because of his family and his working partner Jack.

From the first impression of Fynn as a character, we could see that he was on a destructive path, killing himself slowly with alcohol and cigarettes. The fuck and run tactic was a survival technique. In Fynn's mind he didn't have what it takes to be a a good detective and that was because he couldn't forget all the dead faces. Which was absurd in my own eyes. The next day after having a fight with Jack, Fynn took off on his own. Fynn went to the the first murder scene where he saw his first ghost of Jessica, the victim. At the spot where Jessica vanished, Fynn found a card of Monsignor Wesley Quinn from the Cathedral.

Fynn followed the lead of girl's ghost into the Cathedral, where he found out about a mysterious stranger who was following Jessica. She was cared of him and came to Monsignor Quinn for help. The next weird event was when Flynn saw a ghost of his dead lover Robert. Robert told him the truth, about his intent to leave Fynn, because he fallen out of love with Fynn. Fynn was devastated and pissed off. Everything what happened from this point was interesting, but the storyline needed to be reined in. I admit this story was good, but from page 140 everything felt excessive. I didn't like all those different mixed events. But at least Fynn got his twin brother back. I loved this part and I hope to see more from Michael. I missed the romance between Fynn and Jack, this part was too impersonal. I'm giving 3.5 stars.

Publisher: Torquere Press
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Friday, May 25, 2012

Giveaway #7 Michelle Garren Flye

Today we are giving away one copy of the lovely Michelle Garren Flye book Winter Solstice. We've the pleasure to reivewed all her books and stay tuned for a early review of her upcoming book and interview with Michelle.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Innocent Hearts by Jess Mountifield

When Bronwen's parents die she has to leave her home in the wilderness and try to find the elf city her mother told her about, but with little food and no experience in the wild she risks her life just trying.

Liza doesn't fit into the Nepharil society, she can't fly, something her father reminds her of daily. She hasn't given up trying but her time is running out and her father is impatient to have her married and out of his hands.

Reviewer: Fashionta
These two short stories were enjoyable and it was nice to see both set in a well written fantasy world. In just 13000 words the author managed to convey all the information about the setting and characters.

The only complaint I have with them is that the first one ended abruptly and I didn’t get a sense of closure like I did with the second short story . I have to give 4 stars for this but I very much enjoyed these two short fantasy stories.

Publisher: Self Published
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Veil of Seduction-Ambrose Heights Vampires 2 by Maya DeLeina


A newborn vampire. A powerful leader. An inconsolable woman. The shaping of their eternity all lies within the eyes.

Steffan Matthews is the devastatingly handsome vampire leader of Ambrose Heights. He cultivates social order and invents concoctions that allow vampires to feel human once again.

But Steffan also has a devouring obsession that brings him to his knees. Her name is Anya. Steffan sets out to claim Anya, a mortal ripe for the taking, as his mate. But the blackness in the eyes of his newborn should’ve served as a warning. Anya is off-limits according to the vampire creed.

It will take the strength of the kinship, the purity of love, a hint of magic, and a subterranean guardian to shield Steffan against the wrath of Ryan Evans, protect him from the fate of the Nemesis, and bridge a passage to his rightful destiny.

Reviewer: Dolce Amoe
Ryan Evans was going to leave his wife, Anya, for Anise, Anya’s sister, on that night he died and came back to life as a vampire, saved by Steffan Matthews.

Steffan had waited a for long time to find his mate. And finding her now filled him with joy. However, there is one of his that is not happy with his discovery and hides the true relation between Ryan and Anya. Her intention is to destroy Steffan, no matter what and take his place as the head of that vampire group.

When Steffan starts the claiming ritual, Ryan is filled with rage, because Anya is a beautiful woman and he sees her as an object that could make him regain the envy of all around him and he watches Steffan and Anya in their intimate moments.
Anger, jealousy, and envy enveloped Ryan as he slipped out of the darkened corner and exited the bedroom.
These last few months, Ryan had been reduced to a shell of vulnerability and weakness as a newborn vampire. He wanted to regain all that was taken when Steffan turned him. He wanted his status and power back.
And he thinks that taking Anya from her mate will do that. And the traitor takes advantage of his feelings. Still, there is someone who can help to save the day and defend the wicked witch.

This is the second book of Ambrose Heights Vampires’s series and quite a large book; yet, it will keep you wrapped in the story. We have an enthralling story, interesting, deep, and credible characters and a wonderfully written dialogue. I must confess I fell for Steffan, here you have all his qualities:
“I hate to see him go, but it is so delicious to watch him leave.”
The two women looked at each other and then burst out in laughter like school girls.
“A man whose stunningly gorgeous, rich, has an obvious insatiable appetite for sex, worships the very ground you walk on and bakes? I’ll take one for myself, please,” Michelle said as Anya laughed.
So 5 stars for the book.

Publisher: Siren-Bookstrand Publishing
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

The Most Improper Miss Sophie Valentine by Jayne Fresina

"Wanted: one husband, not too particular. Small dowry, several books, sundry furnishings, and elderly aunt included. Idlers, time-wasters, and gentlemen with other attachments need not apply."

Scarred in a childhood accident, Sophia Valentine doesn't expect any takers on her ad for a husband in the Farmer's Gazette, until the mysterious Lazarus Kane shows up at her door. To Sophia, he is an exciting, enigmatic stranger. But Lazarus has known Sophia for years and has come a long way to find her. Things are about to get complicated for the mischievous Miss Valentine.

Reviewer: Fashionta
Miss Sophie Valentine is a rare creature in her twenty nine years she has managed to do many things that have left her with her reputation in ruins. Since her entanglement with James Hartley, ten years ago, which shocked the ton, she managed to keep a lid on things until recently.

Now the village of Sydney Dovedale is shockd as Sophie’s actions have lead to a stranger arriving in town and the return of another resident who now lives in London. Why you may ask is Miss Sophie Valentine seeking a husband and has placed an ad in the Norwich and Morecroft Farmer’s Gazette among the livestock ads.

Lazarus Kane has a few secrets to hide, starting his new life in Sydney Dovedale is no coincidence because he is here to marry Sophie but Sophie and her family isn’t having it and so let the seduction began.

I liked this book but I must say that the book repeats things with subtle differences. So that annoyed me when I realised it. For instance the main characters are invited to one of the countries house because the grandson of the owner wants to play a trick on the visiting guests then again the family invited to the house for another party but this time only a slight different is the information that they want. I have to give this book 3.5 stars because otherwise the book was enchanting and hard to put down.

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Review Courtesy Of: NetGalley

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Smoke and Fire by Sean Michael

Daslin is a fire mage living in a school on the Mountain, where he tries to stay out of trouble, not an easy task as Daslin not only is accident prone, but can’t always control the fires he creates. The masters despair of him ever getting total control, and he has been forbidden to leave the draughty hallways and labs of the school.

His new roommate, Avan, is unlike anyone Daslin has ever met. Avan comes from the plains where he can go naked and commune with the elements without impediment. He doesn’t like the Mountain, where he’s been sent to learn to use his powers more efficiently; at least that’s the excuse the elders give him. Avan suspects they just want him out of the way.

Avan is as delighted with his new roommate as Daslin is bemused by him. Can they get up to more than just mischief?

Reviewer: WhiteDaisy
Daslin is a mage bound to the School on the Mountain and restlessly awaiting a new roommate. Daslin had the same rooms for almost nine years now, and many different roommates through the years. His newest roommate's name is Avan and he's a weird character.

As soon as Avan came into the room, he removed all his clothes while saying to Daslin, clothes weren't his thing. Avan simply liked air on his skin. Daslin was a firebug and Avan was a weather mage, who could manipulate wind, sun, and clouds. Avan wasn't scared of Daslin, who was known to be accident prone or for spontaneous combusting things around him. Daslin was careful, silent and shy, while Avan was alive, difficult, and an emotional person. Avan wasn't aware that Daslin didn't have friends or wasn't used to body contact, so Daslin was in daze when Avan kissed him on impulse. Avan was sure, that they would be a great team. This instant attraction from Avan's side wasn't interesting or even realistic. It made this story bad from the start.

When Daslin was on a restriction, that usually meant, he wasn't allowed to leave the lab, unless an Elder was with him. Daslin couldn't have visitors, except for food. But in general it just meant that Daslin couldn't leave the Mountain, but then Daslin wasn't allowed outside anyway.

The next part of this story was a building romance between Avan and Daslin. As a reader, we didn't get a good developed story. I didn't get the point of this short novella. Daslin was supposed to be dangerous, because as a baby he supposedly killed his parents and burned the village down, so people weren't suppose to be safe around him. This story was bland and boring. I'm giving 2.5 stars.

Publisher: Torquere Press
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Protect and Serve: Shifting Forces by Cassidy McKay

Aurora Monroe has detailed plans for her life -- and not one of them includes being barefoot, pregnant and under the thumbs of two decidedly alpha males. But what's a girl to do when she has two sexy shifters both trying to claim mating rights?

When two paranormals on opposite sides of the war save an injured human, they unintentionally mark her as their wife. Bonded by blood, fire and passion, the gryphon and phoenix shifters do everything they can to keep their new human mate safe.

Getting her to go along with the plan is a different matter. She has no intention of following their orders. Found in defiance of both human laws and paranormal traditions, the battle for their rights turns into a fight for their lives.

Sex between a human and her two shifters can be spectacular, but is it worth risking everything for a chance at forever?

Reviewer: Dolce Amore
In a futuristic world, where shifters are living among us, hate can be a dangerous thing.

Varick had a life, a home, a future, until the humans around him discovered that he was a shifter… a Phoenix. And he lost everything.

Kender was living a lie. To his team members, he was just a soldier, a human fighting against the shape shifters but at home he could have the freedom of shifting into what his team was fighting against.

And when these two shifters find their mate in the very human Aurora Monroe everything changes and they have to fight against humans and shifters, because shifters aren't suppose to bond to humans.

I loved the story and the characters: Aurora is a strong woman, who will fight for her beliefs… however, she never thought that they could put her in danger. Attacked by soldiers and rogue sifters, she fears for her life until her mates rescue her. Varick had a traumatic childhood and now that he's found his mate, he fears he'll be like his father. Strong and yet so vulnerable, he is the man every woman dreams of. Kender hides the real man behead a mask until he finds his mate. Then he is ready to do whatever it takes to protect her and Varick.

Lovely story, wonderfully written, I give it 4.5 stars.

Publisher: Changeling Press
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dark Reign 3: Atonement by Mychael Black

Marcus Deleon has spent most of his life saving his fellow weres from the hands of his ex-lover, the vampire Dalton Gray. Now he's facing an all-out war after one of his Enforcers kills several of Gray's guards. The allies he has to rely on can be counted on one hand until unexpected help arrives, bearing the fragile body of an injured were child and inside knowledge into Gray's operations.

Reviewer: WhiteDaisy
Jordan Silva is a vampire and the sire of vampire Dalton Gray. Jordan's had enough of killing innocent Weres for Dalton's pleasure. To end this nightmare, Jordan saves an eight year old girl, which Dalton wanted to be killed by Jordan that night. As Jordan fled the compound with the girl, they came across one prisoner, a were who was dying slowly from to many testings on him. The prisoner explained to Jordan what Dalton did to all of the other now dead prisoners. Jordan couldn't help the poor tested prisoner, because he was filled with liquid silver capsules and was dying slowly. The prisoner told Jordan to find Deleon.

How Jordan fled the compound with the girl wasn't described, I missed that. This part was cut out or wasn't important enough. Jordan came to one of Were's compound in search of Deleon, but wasn't greeted nicely. Jordan had to explain what his intention was and why he came. Jordan told Marcus Deleon what was happening on Dalton Gray's compound and promised to help them kill Gray. Sure Jordan was a vampire and the enemy, but he was forced to work for Dalton, because of their mysterious past.

This short story was too undeveloped in my point of view and the fast romance between Jordan and Marcus was nothing special. For my taste it was too bland and the plot was too short. I'm giving 2.5 stars.

Publisher: Changeling Press
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Thoroughly Kissed (Fates 2) by Kristine Grayson

Kristine Grayson's bestselling fairy tale romances bring the classic stories into the present day, where fairy tale characters must grapple with the complexities of modern life as well as their own destinies. Emma (Sleeping Beauty) fell into a magical coma that lasted for a thousand years when a boy she didn't even liked kissed her. Now that Emma's awake, she's determined to be a normal girl...a normal girl who is deathly afraid of kissing. When she meets history professor Michael Found, Emma has to choose between her fear of kissing and her potential Prince Charming.

Reviewer: Fashionta
Unbelievably, I didn’t know that Thoroughly Kissed was a re-release when I requested the arc from net galley. However, the reissue couldn't have come at a better time. We are in the midst of a resurgence of the genre, once again being enchanted with fairy tales characters. Fairy tales are being remade with new spins yet they all still cleave to Once Upon A Time and end in Happily Ever Afters.

Emma is Sleeping Beauty of the fable but this modern day damsel awakes in a VW van in the 21st century. She manages to get along just fine until her magic awakens and sets off a series of events.

This is the first contemporary fairy tale book I have read and I hoped this would expand on the general concept and follow less of the original, with the author painting in a broad new spectrum with her own creative hand. I was not disappointed. This Sleeping Beauty, this Emma, is not the helpless girl of twenty we know from the myth who wakes up saved by her Prince Charming. Instead, she's a successful and established history professor with production work on a documentary under her belt and tenure to boot using her own intimate memories of the Dark Ages. But she is about to be challenged by Michael, the new head of department and purported expert on the Dark Ages.

Michael, dazed and smitten, doesn’t know what to believe anymore. She compels him to take a journey with her to Portland as she has nobody close to help her, isn't allowed to fly and the Fates demand it. He tags along to help save Emma from herself. Her magic is uncontrolled and Michael gets drawn in as she uncannily keeps getting into situations where magic is involved. Even her whimsical dreams become reality as she gives her pet cat the ability to speak!

While this book is a little cheesy with the last names of these two main characters being Emma Lost and Michael Found, that was not my main issue with the story. I felt it lacked believability in terms of Michael. His character believes everything Emma says about magic, never questioning her. His implicit belief in her strikes me as improbable given his educated background.

Also I would have more enjoyed a stronger villain who had a more important role than what it was. I have to give this book 3.5 stars.

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Review Courtesy Of: NetGalley

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Closer Than Touch ( A Zodiac Forces story ) by Tami Veldura

A Zodiac Forces short story.

Deia has difficulty keeping partners; no matter how hard they try, they keep winding up dead. Bad enough in a special operations unit, but Deia is a Gemini, meant to work with a partner at a level of intimacy that leaves all his other relationships dull and distant by comparison.

Tired of his partners dying, Deia is ready to transfer to Scorpio, where working alone isn’t a problem. When his boss stipulates he’ll only sign off on the transfer if Deia meets a new candidate, Deia reluctantly agrees to try one last time.

Reviewer: RedDragonfly
Closer Than Touch starts off right in the middle of the last mission that Deia had with a previous partner, this is due to the fact that his partner dies during it. In fact, Deia is called the Black Widow at his government agency because he isn't really good with partners. In comes Phade, who is highly recommended as being compatible with Deia and who has extensive training and is the best of the best. At first Deia isn't happy about being assigned a new Gemini partner, he believes that he would be a better fit to a Scorpio, where he can work solo. But Phade quickly wiggles his way under Deia's skin and he not only ends up wanting him as a partner but he ends up falling for him.

I really liked parts of this book but parts I felt like could have used some work because they were just missing something. I felt like the world wasn't developed enough. We really didn't know anything about the universe that they lived in or the agency they worked for or even the different zodiac groups in the agency. There were a few things described here or there but because we were in Deia's head, we were basically suppose to know the world already, so not enough was given to make me understand the world, let alone love it. What I did love though was the character interactions. Deia and Phade were both witty and the conversations had me laughing many times. Phade's arrogance was pretty funny also, a lot of times I hate characters that are that cocky but his one liners were great. I also liked the action scenes, which was a large chunk of this story, they were really well written and you could picture it in your mind. I'm giving this book 4 stars.

Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Boothill Bride (The Quinter Brides 3) by Lauri Robinson

Howard (Hog) Quinter is hell bent on getting The Majestic, the finest hotel and restaurant west of the Mississippi, open by May 1st. The last thing he needs is interference from his family, but that’s exactly what he gets when Ma Quinter strikes one brisk morning. Sound asleep, Howard rolls over to discover a lovely young woman lying beside him, however, standing at the foot of the bed are his mother, the girl's father, and a blubbering preacher reading wedding nuptials.

Randilynn Fulton runs from a forced marriage to her aunt in Dodge City, only to discover Aunt Corrine is one of Danny J’s brothel girls. If she stays, Randi may become one as well, which would damage her father's chance at running for the Governor’s seat. But it gets worse when she finds herself in the middle of what she ran from—a shotgun wedding, and she’s the bride.

Reviewer: Fashionta
Lauri Robinson takes us back to the Quinter family with another shotgun wedding. Continuing with the theme of the series, this bride is forced to get marred after she accidentally ends up in the bed of one of the Quinter boys and Ma Quinter happens to walk in on them. It's an interesting concept as each story in series has a different twist and this was more traditional yet it had its own set of problems.

The book was well written as were the rest of books in the series and is a must read for people who love historical books and would like to get into the subgenre of western historical. This author shouldn’t be overlooked just because she writes western historical romances, it's not all cowboys like people think. The hero in this is a perfect example and this author is one talented writer. I have to give this book 4 stars.

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Monday, May 21, 2012

Author Interview #8 Alyssa Turner

I'd like to welcome ménage author, Alyssa Turner, to the blog.

Hi Alyssa, Welcome to the blog.

Tell us a little about yourself. You're fairly new to the erotic book market having only premiered in 2011 with a short in BEST WOMEN'S EROTICA 2011. Were you writing before this time? Were you published elsewhere in a different genre? What turned you towards writing?
Writing was my first creative outlet. At twelve I was scribing my first novel on loose leaf notebook paper. In my humble pre-teen opinion, it was pretty good. Better than Sweet Valley High even. I wish I still had it to read now. It would make for a great laugh I’m sure.
I found the need to put my imagination on paper again only about four years ago. Fiction writing is an exercise in intimacy. Sharing your imagination with the world is kind of soul baring. For me, writing erotic fiction is an opportunity to leave the bedroom door cracked on my brain. I suppose that makes me an exhibitionist of a sort, doesn’t it?
My short, Two For One in BWE 2011 was my first official publication of any sort in print or digital. I was beyond thrilled to know that I’d been counted among some of erotica’s most talented and prolific authors. Two For One is a ménage between strangers; two hotel masseurs and one overworked damsel looking for some relaxation on a business trip.

If you hadn't turned to writing, what profession do you think you might have chosen instead?
I’ve always been interested in advertising. I even rewind commercials. Working in a creative team to pull off something requiring such multi-layered savvy and talent would be a rush.

What was it about writing ménage that appealed to you? This genre is only becoming really mainstream now with the major publishers starting new lines for erotica.
For one, the notion of two men in cahoots with each other for one woman’s pleasure is something lots of women covet. Though they might never follow through, the possibilities play loudly. Reading and writing about it is an emotionally safe way to explore. The second reason is my fixation on a good challenge. Storylines where a trio finds satisfaction and even love in situations that are traditionally expected to be for pairs, require careful and thoughtful plotting. I try to satisfy the reader’s curiosity about these arrangements. In truth, I’m also satisfying my own. I want to create a realistic and easily accepted plot that lets the reader feel connected to a situation that might otherwise be foreign to them.

I have heard a few opinions on why people are attracted to reading ménage. What do you hope draws your readers in to read your ménage books in particular?
Whether my readers have purchased erotic romance or erotica written by me, I hope they find the storyline relatable and believable regardless of the sub-genre. Ménage arrangements often require a certain amount of faith and trust in the author’s ability to help suspend the disbelief of the reader.
I want my characters to each have their unique struggle and growth. Their journeys are partly driven by the ménage relationship as well as their own personal challenges. My ménage stories are never just about three people getting together. There is always a depth in character and plot that exceeds the boundaries of hot sex.

I know you wrote a piece about your mfm fascination and have written mf and then there's Send which is one man and three women. What is your preferred coupling to write in? What do you find writing about a multi partner fic to be most challenging for you?
My novel Send is actually not a multi partner story. The alpha hero, Jimmy has just one love interest and shares himself with no other. However, he does have a role in the satisfaction of two other women. There are actually three parallel MF couplings in Send with Jimmy as the consistent tie in. The other two male characters aren’t as prominent as Jimmy, but they hold their own on the heart throb scale. This was probably the most complex character mix I’ve ever crafted and it was a blast.
I can’t say that I have a preferred coupling. I wrote By Surprise because I simply had never tried my hand at an M/M relationship and the idea of layering in the further complication of adding a female to the mix was irresistible. If I had to identify a preference it would be challenging couplings full of sexual tension under unusual circumstances. Bittersweet is a story with ménage elements of a disabled man, whose dying wish is to know his wife will live on with love and passion in her life. It doesn’t get much more challenging than that.
I also try to focus on flow throughout my stories. I want the words to slow dance in the reader’s head, especially during the sex scenes. Naming each character before their actions makes for choppy reading. In multi partner erotic fiction, it’s a challenge to keep a rhythm and keep all the body parts straight, too.

How did you plan out your book By Surprise because it was probably one of the better stories I have read in the ménage genre. The review I wrote for it is posted here. You wrote a terrific storyline that held itself up on its own outside of the hot sex scenes. What came first here? Idea? Characters? A specific scene?
When planning a book I often focus on a concept that interests me. In the case of By Surprise I wanted to explore the struggles of a man with his sexuality, but not from the usual angle. I was interested in taking the journey, with Nicholas, from his comfortable identity as a gay man to the unsettling feelings he felt for a woman he’d discovered a connection to. Jodi acts as a conduit between Nicholas and his husband Paxton. The idea that an external connection could enhance and strengthen an existing relationship was enthralling. So with that intriguing concept in mind, I set out to create a scenario that would bring it to life.
In other works I have been inspired first by a specific scene, like in Bittersweet when Keith unbuttons his wife Sabrina’s blouse and first asks Evan to take her into his mouth, and into his heart. With Send it was definitely the ever complicated and wildly entertaining, Jimmy that drove the story. Every creative beginning is unique.

I know you are working on another book right now that is going to be a sci-fi twin ménage mfm how is that working out and can you give any hints about your plot or its characters?
Set in New York, 150 years in the future, ex-military rebels Pryor and Tristan are twin brothers focused on the demise of the oppressive corporate dictatorship the country has fallen under. Shannon is a strong and capable business woman who has enjoyed the perks of her corporate status, yet she’s thrown into the middle of the resistance and a whirlpool of attraction for the sexy and intense Davies twins. We follow her journey as she realizes who she is and where she really belongs in the dawn of a revolution. Double Take is a sci-fi erotic romance ménage that was as thought provoking as it was scorching hot for me to write. I’m deeply in love with all three characters. I’m anticipating a summer 2012 release.

Can you share with us something about yourself that perhaps your readers don't know? Something you'd like for your readers to know?
I never like to do the same thing twice. That goes for just about everything. Of my husband and I, I’m the far more adventurous one. Somehow that’s worked out quite well. He keeps me guessing in other ways.

Any idiosyncrasies about your writing process? A certain chair, an accompanying cup of tea, music, phones turned off kind of thing? How do you get yourself in gear to write?
I don’t have the luxury of being such a diva. When it comes to my writing I get in anyway I can. Though there is one chair and ottoman in the corner of the room that I seem to end up in with my laptop. It’s comfortable and well worn, but working at a table at Starbuck’s has far less interruptions about when dinner will be ready.

Love Octagon by Felicia A. Rogers

Kevin Smith is an ordinary guy. He works a plain job. Owns a normal, but disorganized home. And plays like every single man. In short, he is the average male. Until one day on vacation, he takes a run in the park and rescues a bag lady from mugging, after which his life is never the same.

The mysterious lady grants him one wish. Assuming the woman’s offer is false, Kevin returns home with thoughts of a past conversation in his mind. Later when he steps from the shower everything has changed. The disorderly home is no more. All his vacation chores have been completed. And most surprising of all he has seven wives.

Will this unexpected twist turn out to be the blessing he hoped for, or a curse he wished he’d never asked for?

Reviewer: Fashionta
This is a cute little book. Kevin‘s secret wish comes true when he helps an old lady in a park by scaring away her intruder. Then the fun begins, he wakes up to find he's married to seven woman. That's right seven woman. Now, before you all get worried that this book will turn into a ménage story it isn’t. In fact there is no sex scenes but that doesn’t stop the ladies from trying.

Hilarity and fun occur, as Kevin realises what's been staring him in the face the whole time. The author sets the storyline by introducing the current events and then goes back in time to explain the story. I have to give this book 4 stars.

Publisher: Astraea Press
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

A Life Without You (Boston Boys 1) by Erica Pike

Jesse's like a bar of soap: the tighter Adam holds on, the faster Jesse slips away. Or that's how it feels to Adam. It doesn't help that Jesse has a girlfriend back home and claims to be straight, but there's no way with all the sparks and physical intimacy flying between the two roommates.

When Adam believes he has reached his ultimate happiness, the bedroom walls come crashing down with a visit from Jesse's girlfriend.

Now Jesse has to decide if he can come to terms with his sexuality, while Adam has to learn to accept that Jesse might never be able to crawl out of the closet.

Reviewer: Fashionta
Ok, normally I never read books that make you want to scream and pull out your hair with emotions or cheating ( which I absolutely hate! ) So to say this was a bit of a challenge for me…well maybe I needed a good challenge, because it seems that’s just what I got. It started out really good. It’s beautifully written, just a hard subject for me with the cheating involved. I enjoyed the bantering back and forth between Jesse and Adam in the beginning. Adam’s friend Eric; well let's just say everyone needs a friend like Eric!

The kiss in the bathroom after the party, omg…totally hot! I only wish Jesse would quit with the “I’m not gay” and wake up! With all the questions and looks, it’s so obvious. But the way he keeps stringing Adam along, than pushing him away, saying I’m not gay… so not cool! You never know when Jesse will flip on you, cause one second he’s so sweet and caring and even a bit cuddly with Adam, and than wham…”I’m not gay.”

Sigh, it became too much, over and over again. Adam could do so much better than just taking what he can get. Eric is just totally awesome and all his “Friends” are hilarious! I loved it when they all got together! I loved how Eric just took charge and pulled Adam together, after Jesse hurts him yet again, only this time he went too far. Though it seems that it also helped Jesse finally wake up! Hahaha, the Jesse Jar was a great idea! It felt like everything finally fell into place at the end.

I give this 4 stars…because after all it was beautifully written, and even though the emotions were all over the place, I did enjoy it.

Publisher: MLR Press
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Anne Ashby Promo

I am pleased to welcome contemporary romance author Anne Ashby, who happens to come from New Zealand where I used to live. If you're looking for sweet love stories that you can share with your family, Anne's trove are the ones you should be reading. Her stories are not scorching erotica but have plenty of sizzle regardless.

Hi Anne, welcome to Booked Up.
Thank you for inviting me, I’m looking forward to sharing the day with you.

I love that you have used the things that are precious to you in your books, like your homeland in New Zealand, your employment in the Royal New Zealand Navy and even your interest in genealogy to tell your stories. What got you started in writing? While you enjoyed your career in the navy, you indicate on your bio that you dreamed of writing one day. Were you writing at all before 2000? If you hadn't turned to writing, where do you think your interests might have put you career wise?
I hate to think I would have ‘done nothing’ career-wise if I hadn’t started writing but I had already retired from a very satisfying career in the Navy, and had four kids to chase around after. They managed to fill a fair bit of my day.

You lived in the U.S. for a short time in 2000. Did you acclimate or find the differences too overwhelming? What's something about living in the U.S. you miss now?
We loved our two years in US. I think the biggest shock we got when arriving in MD was just how many things we hadn’t gleaned from TV/movies. There were so many ‘foreign’ words, and some of the customs were quite strange eg. We got such strange looks walking around with bare feet. There was so much more to learn than driving on the other side of the road with back to front cars. With no social security numbers, setting up telephone, cable etc was a real hassle but we persevered.
One story I still tell is about finally understanding toilet seat jokes. (Toilet is an acceptable word in NZ – something else we learned, never use it in US! – oh those disgusted looks in fast food places when we were overheard telling our kids to ‘go to the toilet’- before an ex-pat kiwi warned us). I could never figure why the big deal if the seat got left up or not! Our toilets are designed quite differently than in US.
My first story Worlds Apart is about a kiwi woman visiting MD and included some of the differences we encountered. I wrote it while we lived there so little snippets were getting added all the time. What do I miss about US? the lovely people. We made loads of amazing friends and have tried to stay in touch with them all. Later this year we are meeting up with a couple from PA and canalling in England with them. Taco Bell and Dairy Whip were things I definitely acquired a taste for that don’t exist over here.
I started writing in US after attending a “writing romance” course at a local collage run by Loree Lough. The idea of having a kiwi heroine arrive in US and encounter all the strange things we’d found, while she was subjected to a slightly arrogant hero, seemed like great conflict to me, especially when I was able to slip in very small pieces now and then to hike up the tension. Would I have written otherwise? Who knows, I actually doubt it because there was so much to learn and without Loree’s course I doubt I would have found out how to “write properly” – my couple of cowboy stories I wrote as an early teenager (I used to read all my brother’s books) would have probably been the sum total of my writing career.

I am intrigued that you say that growing up you were the last family in your neighborhood to get a television set. Was your area just not wired for it or was there no desire from your parents? Without TV, how did you pass time?
My mother was widowed with three young children and while we never felt we lacked for anything, television was a huge expense when it first arrived. Initially it only ran for a few hours a day, but I loved to visit neighbours sometimes to catch a programme. We never had any trouble passing the time. We lived in a very small coastal community and spent most day light hours doing something outside, gardening, fishing, gathering firewood. We were a very close family and worked together to make ends meet. Evenings were filled with the radio, books and my mother’s story telling. She was the greatest story teller around, we were often crying with laughter at her reminiscences. She taught me to appreciate family history and love the written word.

You were in the Navy for a while.
I spent 21 years in the Royal NZ Navy and loved almost every minute. I was fortunate to serve for 2 years in Singapore, an amazing and eye-opening experience for a 20 yr old country girl. My husband is a serving officer so I still have links to the Navy. I am heavily involved in the Ex-Navalwomen’s Association and love meeting with old shipmates to share a yarn or two.
For readers who have never been to New Zealand, what natural wonders of the country do you share in your stories? What would be your message you'd like to say about your homeland? Are you an environmentalist?

I dont think I would call myself an environmentalist. Rather, I consider my rural upbringing has alerted me to the need to preserve the natural environment. I enjoy what NZ has to offer, the open spaces, the bush, the beaches, the farmlands. I think we have everything anyone could ever want. NZ is an ideal place to live, we have so many diverse natural wonders all wrapped up in such a small package. Our weather is temperate with not too much difference between summer and winter, and kiwis are renown for our friendliness. Come visit us and enjoy a laid-back, relaxed holiday amongst friends.

What's your writing environment like? You have four children you're raising with your husband. How do you eke out the time to write with all that responsibility? Do you have your own room dedicated for your work with a big DO NOT DISTURB sign on it for those times you're writing? How do you do it? I am sure there are readers who are wannabe writers with similar home lives and I think they'd like to know how you balance your life with your passion for writing.
My children are grown now so writing should have become easier to manage. But no, now there are babysitting ‘duties’ with grandchildren, which I wouldn’t change for the world. I do have an office, slightly disorganised right now because we have recently had multiple visitors staying with us. My door sign actually says “Writer at Work”. For years I have devoted school hours to writing. The minute the kids left for school, I went into my office and I stayed there until they were due home again. It worked very well. Because it was a routine I stuck rigidly to, I didn’t begrudge any time they needed support with homework/sports etc and I never felt pressured to leave them to go to write. I only ever wrote during school hours. During evenings, holidays/weekends etc, I rarely enter my office. With one son in his last year at school, I’m still sticking to that same routine. I find I can whip through housework, meal preparation etc while still being ‘available’ to the family.

What's your writing process? Do you start with mapping out your storyline or do you start with a concept and start writing and see what flows from your proverbial pen?
I’m a very disorganised pantser. I have an idea and usually end up writing multiple scenes before trying to figure out where they should fit into the story. Then I have to come up with the ‘glue’ pieces to stick them together. Therefore editing is not a simple task for me, it takes me forever. I accept this is a silly way to write but despite starting every new story with a plan outline (empty squares on a piece of paper), I only ever manage to sit and stare at it for ages before just letting the fingers take off writing.

Can you tell us a little about your latest book that was released in March?
Wilderness Liaison is my fourth story and the first one to really explore some of NZ natural environment. A fair portion of the story takes part in the generic bush setting where my heroine is the expert while the hero is an out-of-his-depth city boy trying to match her. I sprinkled little snippets of nature throughout to bring the story to life.
Back Blurb
The concrete jungle defines financier Shal Gregory. He thrives on the liveliness and sheer vitality of the fast paced business world. So how does he find himself alone in the thick of the New Zealand bush with a feisty guide who undoubtedly despises everything he stands for?
Jodie Mathieson’s devotion to the wilderness fulfils her. She isn’t prepared for an intimate liaison with a man who clearly does not share her love of the great outdoors. But the sparks between them ignite and soon scare Jodie into flight.
Bewildered but determined, Shal tracks Jodie down and resolutely embarks on a course to convince her that having some differing life goals isn’t enough to keep them apart.
But can Jodie ignore past experiences? Dare she believe him?
What's on the fire now? Do you have a new book in development?
I’ve just received another contract from The Wild Rose Press for a story with the working title The CEO Gets Her Man I’ve just finished the first edits so expect it will be out perhaps toward the end of this year. Set in the southern region of NZ it features something of the area where I grew up. My work in progress is an off-shoot of Worlds Apart where I am developing the story of a secondary character. I always meant to write “Justin’s story” but it has taken me this long. Although I want to set my stories in NZ, this one has to take place in Washington DC. Justin is a kiwi though so I can still bring a little kiwiana into the story.

Thanks for your time and for stopping by Anne. I wish you continued success in your writing.
Thank you so much for inviting me to come join you. I’ve enjoyed your questions very much.

You can find further information on Anne, her books and where to buy them on her website.

Blacker than Black by Rhi Etzweiler

Apparently, my twin and I are two of York’s most notorious criminals. We’ve been Nightwalkers in the blue-light district since the vamps took over the world. Don’t know how many years it’s been. Long enough that a stream of fellow ’walkers have come and gone. Most don’t last long selling their chi. End up face-down in the gutter, or worse.

For us, one night and one sale change everything.

Monsieur Garthelle is the first john to hunt me down. He calls me a chi thief in one breath and offers absolution—servitude—in the next. Maybe I’m a sucker, but I like living and breathing. Strange that such a powerful vamp would show leniency to a mere human. And something’s not right with the chi I took from him. It won’t go away.

Neither will he, and he’s forcing us to spy on his peers. Then a vamp turns up dead, and we go from playing eyes and ears to investigating a murder. This isn’t what I signed up for. All I ever wanted was to sell a little chi, maybe steal some in return. I should’ve kept my damn hands to myself.

This is my story. Look through my eyes.

Reviewer: WhiteDaisy
This story developed slowly and with a really interesting complex plot. The whole concept of this story was simply amazing.

Black and Jhez where twins working on a Blue District. You could call them mutts, because their father is a high ranking lyche (vampire) and their mother was a human. Because they were only human children, their father abandoned them. Black and Jhez were forced to live on the street, so they became Nightwalkers. They were selling their energy (chi) to low ranking vampires. Nightwalker and streetwalker are not the same in this story. Streetwalkers deal with prostitution but as Nightwalkers, the twins were unique. They were stealing a small amount of Chi from each john which used, to tap Chi from them. But the johns never knew or were aware of that, while they where draining the chi from Black, he tapped into a client and was stealing a bit of chi himself.

The story begins with Black getting into a car of a new john, not knowing he will be the one who will get tricked this night. Black didn't know the john was a high ranking lyche (vampire) Monsieur of York, who deliberately lured Black in on the pretense he wanted a simple Chi from him. But Monsieur Garthelle or Leonard knew what Black could do, so he let Black tap into him and steal Leonard's Chi, to get a hold on the twins. Leonard sought Black out specifically so that this would happen. So that Leonard could blackmail the twins into working for him!

But this was just the beginning of this story, the plot is rather complex and truly well developed. The slowly developed complex romance between Black and Leonard was a big part of this whole mystery too. I really enjoyed this story. It was simply amazing. Sure Leonard did trick the twins, but only for a cover, he wanted the twins around him to shield them for a good reason. We had a lot of twists and turns in this story and I didn't always know who was the good or bad guy. At the end everything finally came together and was happy and I liked that, even if I did miss an epilogue. I'm giving 4.5 stars.

Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Vampire Rage (Night Angels 2) by Storm Savage

What could be better than a gorgeous, hot vampire stud as your mate? How about two?

One woman's betrayal sparks a chain of outrage and two immortal men must find a way to stop the madness.

While seeking relief after his mate refuses to let him feed, Rider finds comfort in the arms and blood of Night Brigade's fearless vampire leader. Zoe is concerned over her best friend's new activities. In her quest to find answers she unexpectedly acquires a second life mate and some startling truths.

Booker is thrilled when Zoe accepts Rider into their circle to keep the blood of their clan pure. However, shocking events threaten the very existence of his bloodline. Can Booker find their enemy before she strikes again? And will Zoe be able to save Rider from a venomous attack?

Reviewer: BlueBell
Zoe is the leader of Midnight Brigade a group of Biker ladies who rescue and give safe haven to women who are victims of domestic abuse. They have chapters spread out all over and safe houses so they can help and provide protection to women in need. They have also aligned themselves with Vampires, it was a gift after Zoe became Booker’s mate.

Booker’s brother Ryder is mated to Zoe’s best friend Paige but things aren’t going so well for them. Paige is afraid of the “bite” and has refused to allow Ryder to feed. Even when given a second chance Paige still fails to look after her mate.

Ryder has no choice but to leave and he shows up at Booker's, weak from hunger and Zoe feeds him and cares for him. What Zoe and her two vampires don’t realize is not everything is as it seems. Paige refusing Ryder is just the tip of the iceberg, she’s been up to no good and the trio better find out exactly what she’s been up to before it’s too late.

I honestly wanted to love this book but couldn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I liked it but I didn’t love it. I think a little more storyline would have been nice. The story had plenty of hot sex but it lacked balance because it seemed there was a lot of sex for sex’s sake and not a whole lot of detailed story line. I’d of liked to have seen Paige’s betrayal. Then again as they say you can’t please all the people all the time.

Because I did like it but just expected more, so for that reason I’ll give it 3 1/2 stars.

Publisher: eXtasy Books
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Aboard the Avenger by Rebecca Leigh

Space pirate Captain Darius Rivers boards the enemy ship Avenger in search of treasure and encounters more than he bargained for. Rather than fight, Captain Hector Ramirez awaits him in silence--ready to bring Darius's fantasies to life.

CONTENT ADVISORY: This title contains a "happily for now" ending.

Reviewer: RedDragonfly
Darius is the captain of the space ship the St. Marie. He has been searching for another ship called the Avenger for ten years, seeking to take the treasures that he has heard it holds. In that time, he has also lusted after the captain of the ship, Hector Ramirez after hearing stories of his sex life and the skills he has. Upon finally finding the ship after years of searching and boarding the Avenger, Darius seeks out Hector in his quarters thinking he will have to fight him but what he finds is Hector waiting naked in bed for him.

I'm not really sure how I feel about this book, I thought it was ok but it wasn't really developed enough to like it or love it. The story was only about 30 pages long and it was basically one extended sex scene, so you really didn't get to know anything about Darius or Hector. There was some world building, like we know that earth died a long time ago and that they have a type of government set up but there wasn't a lot of that either. I also didn't like the ending, when Hector asked Darius to join his ship, and he told him that all of Hector's men were having sex with all of his men, that was just weird and unbelievable to me.

I'm giving this book 3.5 stars. If your looking for a hot sex scene this is the book for you, but if you want development with characters or plot you might want to skip this story.

Publisher: Silver Publishing
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Betrayed by DC Juris

Escaped from a prison camp, is Meldrick still the man Faldor loved? Can Meldrick reconcile who is with who he was, or will betrayal win?

Two years after he lost his soul mate to the war, Faldor still pines for Meldrick. His world is turned upside down when Meldrick appears on his doorstep late one night, seemingly back from the dead. Finally escaped from a prison camp, Meldrick protects a dark secret—one that could rip their rekindled love apart if Faldor ever learned the truth. But the longer they're together, the more questions come up. What really happened two years ago? How did Meldrick escape the prison camp after so long? Is Meldrick still the man Faldor fell in love with? Can Meldrick reconcile who he is with who he was and move beyond his treachery, or will betrayal win?

Reviewer: WhiteDaisy
This story was really hard and emotionally harsh. Meldrick is a prisoner in ogres prison camp. Meldrick was given the task to torture his own comrades, if not the guards would kill them. The torture was to rape his fellow comrades while the ogres watched it all. When he did what he was forced to do, Meldricks was raped by the camp ogres. The cycle was always the same. Meldrick only wish was to stay alive so he would be able to return home, to Faldor. Finally the ogres knew how to break Meldrick. They found a ring, Faldor's ring, and told Meldrick, they killed Faldor and raped him, too. For leaving Fardor's family alive, he told them what the ogres wanted. Meldrick betrayed his king, and his lover, he became a traitor, unworthy of anyone's trust.

Ogres marched on, toward the castle and left Meldrick in the burned camp alive. When Meldrick woke up, he knew he was traitor. He burned the sign of knight hood and went on living as he knew much about hunting and roaming around the land. Two years went by and Meldrick was on the hunt. Meldrick heard horses in the distance and hid himself in the bushes. Meldrick couldn't believe what he saw, Faldor was there on the horse, alive and he even had his own ring. And then Meldrick realized the truth. He was tricked by the Ogres, they copied his ring and told him a lie. On the other side, Faldor wasn't aware that Meldrick was alive, but Faldor has a feeling of being watched.

That night Meldrick came to Faldor's house and Faldor didn't know if Meldrick was an imagination or just a sign of his own madness. Meldrick told him were he was all those years. He couldn't tell Faldor all of the truth, but Faldor had a gift, he could see into Meldrick's mind, so he touched mind and looked at all the memories there. Faldor saw it all: the torture, the raping, the madness, everything. I loved Faldor's words at the end
“You are mine, Meldrick DeBonn. Mine and no other’s. And nothing—not war, not torture, not anything—can take you from me.”
As a reader, I loved this part.

This story has a hard plot. The betraying goes deeper then Meldrick's own tortured soul. But the end is happy, as much we can get from this kind of a story. All the emotions in this story where deep and well developed. I liked the writing style. I'm giving it 4 stars.

Publisher: Breathless Press
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Friday, May 18, 2012

Where There's Smoke (Good Girl 1) by Karen Kelley

Sexy wannabe-demon Destiny Carter is in Ft. Worth, Texas, with one week to corrupt a soul. Or else. She slips into a slinky red dress, and heads straight for the delicious, corruptible looking cowboy at the bar. But Chance Bellew has his own agenda-saving souls. He's not your typical angel-he likes drinking and sex way too much, and not necessarily in that order. And then he meets Destiny...

Reviewer: Fashionta
Destiny Carter got kicked out of hell and she needs to take a soul in less than a week or else.
Why the fuck had they tacked on “or else”? What were they going to do? Send her to hell?
Okay, shake it off. Getting kicked out was only a minor glitch.
As soon as she brought in one more soul, she would have everything she dreamed about.
No more pain, no sadness, a life of luxury even Donald Trump would envy.
What Destiny doesn’t know is that if she succeeds, she would burn in hell until there wasn’t one speck of anything human left inside her. However, the man she chooses, Chance Bellew, a nephilim, knows all of it. And he will do what he has to in order to save her soul. So she could be reborn.
He had to make Destiny want him so much that she would do anything to have him, including giving up her soul. He had a week— and one day— to do it.
Oh, yeah, he knew exactly what she was— a demon wannabe, and he knew her timeline.
In this war of seduction, Destiny’s soul is at stake. And everything gets a lot more complicated for her when LeAnn, a neighbor, starts to see her like a friend.
“Maybe it was fate that brought us together. We could be sisters. You know, pretend ones?”
When Destiny has to choose between taking LeAnn’s soul or being cast into the fires of hell, she makes sure her new friend meets a good man and has the opportunity of making real her dream; although that means the fires of hell for her.

Will Chase love her enough to trade his soul for hers?

Oh, God!!! It is a wonderful, amazing, outstanding, and delightful book! The story line is totally unique; it gives a new direction in the angel-demon thing. The characters are so sweet and real that you can't resist them. So 5 stars, it is a book you can't miss.

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Review Courtesy Of: NetGalley

Paradise (Island Wolfman 1) by Brannan Black

Marooned. Alone with only the voices in my head -- and an island full of sex crazed wolfmen... They call this Paradise? Really?

What started out as a romantic cruise -- a last ditch effort to save our fading marriage -- turned ugly when my wife, Cecily, dumps me off me on an island in the middle of the Caribbean. To be fair, the virus was turning the men into monsters. All the men got left behind, to keep the women safe. But did she have to look so happy to get rid of me?

Immune to the virus that's ripped our world apart, I'm the only human left on this damnable island. I'm a slightly neurotic forty-year-old college professor playing Robinson Crusoe on the Island of Dr. Moreau.

"Oh please, Ari. You're far from Robinson Crusoe. He was a real man."

Oh, and my wife? She's still nagging me, if only in my mind. And now there's a certain wolfman after me who just doesn't understand I'm not looking to switch teams. Then there's the heat and humidity, wild wolfmen ready to attack, and a hurricane looming on the horizon.

Island life is far from paradise.

Reviewer: WhiteDaisy
Ari was on the run, on the run from a crazy wolf/human hybrid. They are man-beasts who don't shift back and forth and were changed by an insidious pandemic. A virus turned men into monsters. While running, Ari explains what chain of events led him to being marooned on an island. Ari was a forty year old tenured professor and he came to be on a cruise ship with his wife "Cecily", who insisted they had to go on a cruise to save their marriage and reignite the passion. But because of the virus all men were left on the island. The woman population stayed on the cruise away from all virus twisted men.

By running from a wolfman, Ari nearly falls off a cliff, but happened to grab a vine and held on to it for his dear life. Ari was saved by the same pack, who were running after him through the trees and bushes. The pack of wolfman fought over him, some wanted to eat him and a trio, they were the strongest ones, Grigori, Zack, and Zeke, wanted Ari's help. They wanted Ari to teach them what to eat, because they didn't know which plants were poisoned and which were healthy. The wolfman's explanation, why they hunted him down and nearly killed him was simple. Ari ran away so they had to hunt after him, then after he was pulled up the cliff Ari fought them and the wolfmen saw that as a challenge, so they had to win.

Ari wanted to make a bargain with the pack, he will teach them what he knows and then they will let him go. But the pack didn't understand Ari, why did he want to be alone, if they could protect him. Zach the wolfman who was drawn to Ari didn't like this at all. Ari saw he would need to teach this gang of thugs, what a real pack should be. That the strongest of them should treat all member with respect and protect each other. In Ari's belief it wasn't right, that the strongest of them hurt and starve those who were below them just because they were weak.

Ari was so funny, he talked in his head with his wife and with himself and described his current situation as "His life among the wolfman". Sure, Ari had always been drawn to the male population, he knew he preferred men in his bed, but Ari didn't want to be a disappointment for his parents. This fact prevented Ari from doing something about his inclinations. Ari married Cecily and had children, even if he never truly felt happy. Ari knew that everything Cecily’s voice said was really just his subconscious speaking. At the end, Ari took off his ring as a goodbye to his wife and I really liked that. To begin something new with Zach, Ari needed to close his past.

In general this new series is truly interesting. We have many different pack member and Ari, who is the only one who can teach them to stay half human. I liked Zack and Ari's relationship. We saw how Zach wanted and needed Ari as his mated pair, but didn't want to scare Ari away. And Ari was unique on his own. A bit sarcastic but amazingly interesting. I enjoyed how the main plot developed, how Ari started to change the pack of thugs into a real pack. I'm giving 4.5 stars.

Publisher: Changeling Press
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

His Chosen Bride by Sherry Gloag

Prince Henri Gasquet is happy to let his father, the king, choose his bride for him, until he meets Monica Latimer.

Monica Latimer is not prepared to risk letting any man close enough to learn about her Gift. A gift that normally has men running for the hills when they find out about it.

What will happen when both mindsets are challenged?

Reviewer: Dolce Amore
Prince Henri Pierre Gasquet, the heir to the throne of a tiny European country bordering Switzerland, leaves his father in charge of finding him a wife:
I am prepared to marry a bride of your choice. It worked for you and mother. And I see no reason why, if my proposed bride is chosen with care, I cannot emulate your example.
Still, he never counted on falling for Monica, a friend of Henri's brother Liam and his wife.

Monica had a difficult childhood from the moment she discovered that she had the “gift”. Detested by her family and feared by her classmates, only her brother, Billy, believed in her, she believes no man could be trusted.
She couldn’t explain how she understood what animals told her, couldn’t explain why she ‘saw’ things when she sat in front of her fire at night. Nor could she verbalise the soul-deep satisfaction of being a small part in a creature’s recovery.
However, things are changing; after twenty years, her mother revels to her that her grandmother also had the “gift” and gives her this advice:
“Never stop.” Her mother’s voice, as loud as her own, filled Monica’s mind. “Never stop watching. Never stop dreaming.” It faltered, dropped. “Fire, like love, can burn or warm. Never let the fire within you go out.”

Being released from his duties by his father and sent to his brother in Scotland, he never thought he would see Monica again. And when he discovers that it was her advice that made the king make that decision, he declares her the enemy. Yet, the attraction was still burning between them.
He leaned forward until his gaze, dark and intense, was inches away from hers. “I didn’t dare ride behind you for fear of giving in to temptation and hauling you off your horse to the ground and ravishing you.”
“Ravishing?” Was that hope she heard in her voice, invitation, or fantasy? “That’s a very old-fashioned word.”
“At heart I’m an old-fashioned kind of guy.”
When he has an accident, he realizes that what he feels for her is love, not lust or hate and that he couldn’t marry another woman.
Almost losing his life the night of the blizzard had convinced him of the stupidity of agreeing to an arranged marriage when the woman who owned his heart lived a few measly hours away by plane. He couldn’t do it.
I liked the story. Still, after reading all of Ms. Sherry Gloag’s books, I felt as if the story lost some of the depth her other stories have. Another turn off, was the inexistent Billy (we just know that he and Monica are close) and the fast acceptance of Henri that she had the gift. That didn’t add but took away from the book’s credibility.
Yet, we have some romantic lines like this one that made me raise the rating I initially decided on.
How could he verbalise that without Monica at his side, he’d only be half a person? Only be half the king he could be if she didn’t stand beside him?
So 4 stars for the book.

Publisher: Astraea Press
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sea Captive by Rexana McCormack

Wyatt is the youngest son of a family with a shipping empire. While in port a merchant who owes the family money offers a deal. If Wyatt will forgive a portion of the debt, he will give him an indentured servant.

The servant claims his contract has been fulfilled. He also has obviously been abused. Knowing the shady nature of the merchant Wyatt goes to him for the truth.

Ivan has managed to keep his sanity under circumstances that would have broken most men. When Wyatt comes back and declares him to be free and offers him a job and a new life elsewhere, Ivan is happy but still afraid to trust.

The attraction between them grows, and is cemented by the ordeal that they survive.

Reviewer: BlackTulip
It's a beautiful story but a very harsh one. It tells us that no matter how many times and how far you fall there is always hope for a better future.

Ivan's indenture servant's contract is wrongfully sold to Wyatt by his despicable master in exchange of a debt. The young man has been used and misused for eight years, he has no illusions anymore and he doesn't trust anyone. Despite all that separate them and against all odds it's love at first sight. Well, Ivan knows it but he has a huge problem with trust, and who could blame him, as for Wyatt he is still far from being ready to admit it!

This is the tale of their journey, where Ivan will discover that not everything is for sale and that it's all right to trust. His ordeal however is far from finished but this time he is'nt alone anymore, he has a champion in Wyatt. Despite his very slim figure, Ivan will prove that, fortunately for him, he has also a real strength of mind.

The interaction of both characters was very believable and sweet. Despite the fact that this is a short story we are able to see the progression of Ivan and Wyatt's feelings. Rexana McCormack delivers here a very intense story. Be warned however that there is rape more than once in this story. I give it 4 stars.

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services

Big City Dragon (Big City 1) by Cynthia Sax

Perla is a normal human female. She is NOT a dragon. The scales on her skin are a trick of the light, her shrieks of outrage are due to extreme sexual frustration, and many women need fire and flame play to enjoy sex. All of her idiosyncrasies can be explained.

Frey is a dragon shifter. He has waited centuries for his mate, and he won't lose her to delusions of humanity or to a reckless golden rival. He fought for his territory, and he will fight to the death for his mate. No one messes with a dragon from the Bronx.

Reviewer: Dolce Amore
After a lifetime of wandering, Perla found her home, Bronx. She didn’t know why or how, but only there she felt safe. And now she was going inside of Lair, a sex club. Not knowing that there she would finally find her mate, her future.

Frey was aware the moment Perla came to Bronx. She was his mate and he had been waiting for her. And now that she entered the Lair, he finally can have her. Although, she keeps telling him that she is totally human.

I loved Perla, Ms. Cynthia Sax did a wonderful job of drawing her. Strong and stubborn, she keeps trying to convince herself that she is human, although she sees small, blue scales glistened on her hand… and other strange things.

Full of imagination, very well written, with a wonderful story line, this book should be on everyone's to read list. I give it 5 stars.

Publisher: Changeling Press
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Blue and Gray by Dirk Hessian

During the Union retreat from the American Civil War battle of Port Republic, Virginia, two soldiers from opposite sides find themselves alone in the ruins of an old mill. In the tense moments of their meeting, the wounded Union sergeant, Able Jenkins, experienced in warfare and guile but troubled by the thought of men coupling with men, must scheme for his survival, while the vulnerable Rebel private, Josh Hardy, inept at war but known by men, is beset by temptation. Both men survive the encounter, but neither does so unmarked. And what they each think is a shameful end to their forced relationship is destined to become anything but that.

Reviewer: BlackTulip
The first thing that came to my mind after finishing this book was that not once did I have the impression that this book was a short story, in fact, I am quite surprised that the author was able to tell so much in such a short book.

There is a very interesting study of character here. You know exactly where the two protagonists come from, their backgrounds, what happened to them, what their nature is, what they think, and their reactions when faced with very specific situations.

Able Jenkins is a Yankee town boy, who isn't twenty one yet. He doesn't have to go to war and he doesn't really want to end up like his father, so when an opportunity presents itself he takes it; even if it means accompanying Heinz who is being sought on charges of debauching a young man in town. Able is not naive but he is still pretty innocent. Then he sees something disturbing and it's an awakening with very mixed feelings, something that he doesn't want to think about... for now.

Josh Hardy is younger, a Southern farmer son, too sensitive, too vulnerable, and too easily manipulated and that's an understatement. He's such easy prey that everyone takes advantage of him of course. He is not innocent anymore but he is so naive. I can't say I disliked him but frankly it's very difficult for me to accept his behavior (maybe because I'm an aggressive female).

Neither one nor the other wanted to fight, it's the fortunes of life and circumstances that will lead them on the battlefield of Port Republic, Virginia.

I'm not generally a big fan of war scenes and I get easily bored but Dirk Hessian's description of historical facts combined with what happen to Able and Josh is done with great skill and finesse, everything is very fluent and never overpowering. It was like a movie to my eyes.

Life has its own way of always taking care of things. At the end everything that happened to them, good or bad, made them stronger, wiser, and able to make the right choice. That was all at once interesting, disturbing, exciting, and original. I give 5 stars.

Publisher: Barbarian Spy

Highland Shifter (MacCoinnich Time Travel 4) by Catherine Bybee

Helen Adams has a knack for finding lost objects, but the Simon McAllister she finds isn’t what she expected. The missing California teen is now a grown man—a kilted, sword wielding, Highland warrior.

A mysterious Druid book and Helen’s sixth sense send her to Scotland in search of a missing boy. After being attacked by strange men dressed in medieval garb, a handsome, desirable hero answering to the boy’s name rescues her.No one is more surprised than she to find herself in sixteenth century Scotland. Unable to deny the reality of time travel, Helen discovers smoldering passion with a man destined to leave her.

Simon has lived his Druid life in two very different worlds, two vastly different times, and when Helen practically lands in his lap, he knows his life is about to change forever. There are enemies in California lying in wait for her, and an army in Scotland closing in on his family. Simon is the only person who can protect her. But when she learns his most guarded secret, will she still want him? Can Helen love a Highland Shifter?

Reviewer: Dolce Amore
Helen Adams found out that an antique book from Mrs. Dawson’s library had something to do with a teenage boy, Simon McAllister. However, when she opened it, she saw pictures of herself wearing a floor length dress with long, flowing sleeves and a watch; but the book was over two hundred years old!

In Scotland, trying to find out what was going on, she almost looses the picture of the boy and she hurts herself trying to recover it… and she says the words that make her travel back time to 1596:
“See, here. I’m bleeding to find you, Simon McAllister. So stop trying to fly away.” The words no sooner left her lips before the sound of the ocean simply turned off. The air around her crackled and rushed out of her lungs.

There, she finds Simon, a Druid and Shape Sifter, a man who can read animals thoughts, control them, and convert into whatever animal he wants. He is one and the same Simon McAllister she was looking for. And when they are attacked, Helen wishes to be home and she and Simon travel back to California:
“I want to go home. Please, just let me go home.” The world around her tilted and once again fell away.

Back to Mrs. Dawson, where she found the book in first place, she and Simon find, using magic, that there are five more books that could help them to find why she was traveling to past and why when she came back Simon was with her; and how he could return.

The whole world turns crazier than before as Helen sees her boss Philip, leaving from her apartment. While they are trying to understand what Philip has to do with everything, they discover that Helen’s necklace is the key to it all. And it was dated:
“Early seventeenth century. Maybe before.”

Well, you will find the origin of it if you read the book, I won't add any more.
I loved the irony of Helen’s thoughts when she realized that she has to travel in time one more time because they needed someone of Simon’s family to help them uncover the truth about the necklace and Helen’s boss.
Helen was about to experience medieval Scotland for a second time. Oh, joy. The first was so much fun. Why not do it again?

Helen doesn’t think she will stay long; still, Simon’s brother is sure she will:
I don’t think I’ll be staying here for weeks.”
Kyle titled his head to the side and furrowed his brow. “Yes, you will.”
The convicted tone of the child would have been comical if it wasn’t for the fact that all the people surrounding her had one skill or another. Telekinesis, premonitions, reading people’s minds…heck, Simon’s father could cause an earthquake and his grandfather could charge lightning from the sky. So to hear a ten-year-old tell her she wasn’t going anywhere made her squirm. Did he know something she didn’t?

However, that is not all. There is a Druid from the future, who wants the stone that would allow him to travel thru time and thinks that MacCoinnich’s women has what he wants. And he will do whatever he has to get it and he will enjoy every second.

Although you can read this book without any of the previous ones, I recommend you read the others in the series first Binding Vows, Silent Vows, and Redeeming Vows because all the books are connected with this one.

So, what can I say about this book? I will use just a word: wow! All paranormal lovers will love this book. It's wonderful; merging druids, magic, time travel, action, and romance. It will hold you captive until the end… and after. I can’t wait to see what Ms. Catherine Bybee has prepared for Amber, because I bet it will be something full of imagination… the end of this book assures me of that.

So 5 stars for this book and hundreds for Ms. Catherine Bybee, because I love all her books.

Publisher: Self Published
Review Courtesy Of: ManicReaders