Friday, April 30, 2010

New Releases - May 2010

Here are some of the books we're looking forward to in May (in no particular order).

And look at this new cover for Joanna Bourne's The Spymaster Lady. I think it's beautiful. I love the vibrant colors. Let me put them side by side for comparison.

Now that I see what both Robert and Annique look like, maybe I'll read this again and imagine them with their faces...

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

REVIEW: The Nymph by Kate Austin

ISBN 978-1-60088-453-5
Series: The Pleasure Club
(c) 2009, Cobblestone Press
Kate Austin's website

Rating: 3 stars

Buy Links (ebook): Cobblestone Press, Fictionwise

"Short, hot read. Perfect dessert after lunch."

Professor Geoffrey Jones contracted the services of The Pleasure Club to make his fantasy a reality. When he finally met with his assigned Pleasure Guardian, Calliope, he felt sure he knew this woman from somewhere...

The Nymph is truly a very short read, something you could finish in under thirty minutes. The intimate scene of their assignation comprised the entirety of the story, with the POV shifting between Geoffrey and Calliope and their thoughts about the other. If you're looking for a short escape from the tedium of life, you might want to read this and share in Geoffrey's adventure of having an assignation with the perfect nymph of his fantasy. If you want a more satisfactory read with more romance and story, you have to look elsewhere.

Monday, April 26, 2010

REVIEW: Darkness Revealed by Alexandra Ivy

ISBN 9781420102963
Series: Guardians of Eternity, Book 4
Genre: Paranormal Romance
(c) March 2009, Zebra Books
Alexandra Ivy's website

Rating: 4 stars

Buy Link (paper): Book Depository

"An irresistible must-read!"

Anna Randal couldn't forget the man--no, vampire--who'd seduced her, then left her, on that unforgettable night so almost two centuries ago. How could she when she found herself possessed of powers that no human should have? He must have given them to her with his bite and so she searched for him and was elated when she found him in Chicago, only to realize he still affected her strongly and she may be getting more than the answers she wished to have.

As for Conde Cezar, he was forced from the bed that long-ago night to slave for the Oracles, the voice of justice in the demon world. But now he was tasked to protect Anna from an evil that sought to kill her, and he would fulfill his duty or die trying.

If you've read my previous reviews of Alexandra Ivy's books (Darkness Unleashed, Beyond the Darkness, Embrace the Darkness), you'd know that I absolutely love her writing. She has a way of pulling you into her world, and Darkness Revealed is no exception. It could be due to the way she employed only the absolute essential descriptions of the characters and the setting. This serves her well especially when her stories are romance interspersed with lots and lots of action. Magic, mayhem and violence galore! Add to that mix a gorgeous, protective hero and a strong, smart heroine and you've got a book that's an irresistible must-read!

There was, however, a slight flaw in this novel. That I could see, anyway. I don't believe for a moment that the villain would've known of Anna and not kill her right away. I mean, the villain struck me as the type to make sure that any threat wouldn't be left alive for even one second, even if the threat hadn't been fully established yet, whereas Anna was left alive for years while the villain tried to ascertain if she was a threat or not. Such dilly-dallying just isn't consistent with the villain's character. That said, this little detail didn't deter my enjoyment of this story. Whenever I see a book with the name Alexandra Ivy on it, I automatically pick it up, knowing I'm in for a good and enjoyable ride.

By the way, I didn't read the books in this series in sequence but that didn't affect my enjoyment at all. The books are standalones and it was fun to revisit old characters before we saw how the right heroine could fell these tall, strong vamps.

Buy Link (paper): Book Depository

Saturday, April 24, 2010

REVIEW: How To Score by Robin Wells

ISBN 978-0-446-61842-7
(c) June 2009, Forever, Grand Central Publishing
Robin Wells' website

Rating: 4 stars

Buy Link (paper): Book Depository

"Laugh-out-loud funny! You definitely want to read this in the privacy of your home for the pleasure of laughing with no holds barred."

Ms. Wells writes stories that are laugh-out-loud funny, definitely books you'd want to read in the privacy of your home for the pleasure of laughing with no holds barred. She opened How To Score with a funny conversation between Chase Jones and Horace, the man he was coaching for his brother, that also serves to acquaint readers with the situation without info dumping.

Chase was filling in for his brother Luke as life coach because he was the reason Luke was in the Witness Protection Program, for which he felt guilty about. Just as he was thinking how much more he could endure talking to the losers that his brother has for clients, a woman named Sammi Matthews called, whose voice intrigued him and before he knew it, he was meeting up with her and dating her.

Sammi Matthews needed a life coach to help boost her self-confidence and to teach her how not to injure her future dates. Thus far, she had given one a black eye and cracked another's ribs. She puts the lessons her coach taught her into her dates with Chase, and before she knew it, she was falling for him. Although mishaps did occur when she was with Chase, he didn't seem put off by them...

Though Sammi's self-confidence is low when it comes to men, she is stubborn in her love for art deco architecture and goes all out to preserve it. However, with Chase's help (both as her life coach and as her date), she becomes more confident of herself. She is also a pushover, especially when it comes to her sister Chloe, and she is kind-hearted and really just can't say "no" to a friend who needs help. I expect she's the kind of woman everyone wants to be friends with, but she also needs someone to pick up after her messes. Her antics as her dog bites into Chase's jogging shorts and as she spills hot coffee into his lap are priceless.

Okay, normally, I don't like such type of comedic antics, coz they remind me of The Three Stooges, but I love it in this book because I think they're just right to portray the sort of person Sammi is and the situations she normally finds herself in. Of course, a lot of the troubles are actually caused by the dog, but if she weren't so soft-hearted, she wouldn't have agreed to take on the dog in the first place.

Chase, on the other hand, is also attracted to Sammi and soon, he finds himself in a quandary. Thus far, he has been talking to Sammi as her life coach (whom she thought was Luke) and dating her as himself. As such, he came to know her secrets, even what she felt regarding Chase. Time and again, he wanted to tell her the truth, but something or the other prevented it until he realized just how much Sammi meant to him and he was afraid that the truth might cause him to lose her.

And Horace is such an unbelievable character. Read the book and you'll know just how unbelievable he is. Does such a person really exist in the world? Still, it is his responses to Chase's questions and statements that sometimes has me laughing out loud. It's nice to see him closing the book as well, since it was his conversation with Chase that opened it.

I will be picking up Between The Sheets and see if it will also have me in stitches while I wait for Ms. Wells' next offering.

Buy Link (paper): Book Depository

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Random Thoughts: A Good Book

What is a good book for you? What qualities does the bank have to contain to make it a page-turner or even a keeper?

Some would attribute it to having reached the bestseller's list. After all, if a lot of people from all walks of life buy the book, it's bound to be excellent, right? Still others rely on recommendations, whether it be from a family member, a friend, a blogger or a review site.

I've since come to the realization that one book can be a lot of things to many people. There's a book I've read that I want to use for target practice, yet, some bloggers gush and couldn't say enough good about it. There's still another story that I liked, but another commented that she found it too childish. Hence, reading and loving a book is a very subjective experience.

A good book for me is one that touched my heart, that brought out all the emotions within me, wherein I was able to identify with the characters. It is also one that made me want to keep the book forever on my shelf, to be taken out and read over and over again until it's yellowed and the pages are dog-eared. It's to be shared with friends and family who are fellow book lovers, but to take note to whom I lent it to so I can get it back. LOL

Off the top of my head, books I consider keepers include: This Heart of Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Not Quite A Husband by Sherry Thomas, Once and Always by Judith McNaught, Something Wonderful by Judith McNaught, Paradise by Judith McNaught, the Wind Dancer series by Iris Johansen, This Fierce Splendor by Iris Johansen, and Sleepless at Midnight by Jacquie D'Alessandro.

What's a good book for you?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Random Thoughts: On Shiekhs...

At a time when Harlequin and Loveswept (yes, for those who still remember this imprint, I was also already around when the first Loveswept book came out) feature lots of shiekhs as heroes, I couldn't understand the attraction. Who wants to read about living in deserts when I could be lolling around in air conditioned rooms?

Then I saw this picture and I magically understood. With those looks, coupled with astounding business and financial acumen, he's one irresistible hero for sure, the very epitome of a man who radiates power and authority. And I'm sure sheikhs these days don't live in deserts any longer. Or do they?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

REVIEW: Possess Me at Midnight by Shayla Black

ISBN 9781416578468
Series: Doomsday Brethren, Book 3
Genre: Paranormal Romance
(c) November 2009, Simon and Schuster
Shayla Black's website

Rating: 2 stars

Buy Link (ebook): Barnes and Noble Ebook

"Could be better."

The Doomsday Brethren series is a continuing saga of the fight against Matthias, the evil wizard who wants to take over magickind.

When Matthias attacked Bram's (the leader who'd been injured in the previous book and is now unconscious) mansion for the Doomsday Diary, the warriors had to flee for their lives. Isdernus Rykard or Ice was charged with protecting Sabelle Rion, Bram's sister, who had the diary. Attracted to Sabelle from the moment he'd seen her, Ice couldn't help but issue the mating Call to her when he kissed her, for wizards knew their mates by taste. However, they faced a lot of obstacles: social gap (she's Privileged while he's Deprived), enmity between Ice and Bram, Sabelle's reluctance to mate without Bram's approval and the need for her to have an advantageous union that would aid in the fight for the good of magickind.

Sabelle, as seen from Ice's point of view, is good, kind, courageous, etc. Not that we really see the good and kind parts. She's more of a watering pot to me. Many times throughout the book, Sabelle is either crying or fighting not to cry. I mean, I get that she's under a lot of emotional strain, what with worrying over her brother, fearing that Matthias would get the diary or kill Ice or take over magickind, but really, does crying help? Descended from Merlin, she's like magickind's princess with the gift of emotional suggestion. Her saving grace is that at times, she's smart and diplomatic and proves she's not the helpless princess after all.

Ice, on the other hand, is big, bad and dangerous. He's able to kill 80 Anarki all by himself, but a slip of a woman felled him. He'd give up his life for Sabelle and that's so romantic, except that I don't see how Sabelle is worth it, especially when she can't make up her mind about Ice and uses the convenient excuse of needing Bram's approval. Ice is an interesting character, but how he almost defeated Matthias didn't quite ring true. That Ice is incorruptible...I don't buy it. Because no one is incorruptible. Evil attaches to evil, well, isn't there something evil/bad about Ice's need for revenge against Matthias (he tortured and killed Ice's sister)? The way Ice let revenge drove all his actions and created a wedge between him and Bram? Is revenge okay just because the object of the revenge is the villain?

I think I'm more interested to know Lucan's and Shock's stories. Will Anka return to Lucan or was their relationship damaged beyond repair? What about Shock? On whose side is Shock really throwing his lot with? Duke sounds interesting as well. But Bram? Didn't like him in this story and his murky relationship with the mysterious Emma didn't pique my interest at all.

Buy Link (ebook): Barnes and Noble Ebook

Friday, April 16, 2010

REVIEW: Embrace the Darkness by Alexandra Ivy

ISBN 9780821779378
Series: Guardians of Eternity, Book 2
(c) April 2008, Zebra Books
Alexandra Ivy's website

Rating: 4 stars

Buy Link (paper): Book Depository

"A potent combination of danger and passion, friendship and betrayal"

Alexandra Ivy's writing has a way of sucking one in from the first page into the world she created and not letting go until the last page. Gripping with action and magic and interspersed with the sensuality of Viper's and Shay's romance, Embrace the Darkness is a potent combination of danger and passion, friendship and betrayal.

Lady Shay is half human and half Shalott demon, beautiful such that men lusted after her, but being a Shalott, her greater danger is from the vampires, who coveted her blood. In fact, her father was killed by a vampire who craved his blood. Thus, sparks fly and mistrust went deep when Viper, a vampire clan chief, saw her on the slave auction block and bought her.

Viper couldn't forget the beautiful half Shalott who saved his life. Intrigued and haunted by her, he searched for her and when the chance came, bought her to possess her as his own. However, he didn't bargain for the evil presence that sought to kill her or that he would risk his very life to keep her safe.

I love it when those protective male testosterone went into overdrive. Viper is almost as yummy as Jagr (Darkness Unleashed) with his long, silver hair. Especially when his protective instincts for Shay reared up, most especially when he even prepared to die to save her, his one regret being if he died, who will then protect her?  *good shiver*

Back to the physical, somehow, that was the image of Viper that stuck in my head--Slavic features with long, silver hair. Certainly, he may be more beautiful than Jagr, but Jagr struck the heart in a way Viper didn't. Though both have been tortured and Viper was even a slave once, we don't see this manifesting in Viper. It was as though his past had been wiped out, or even if he remembered his past, it was there in a dim corner of his mind, forever locked. Certainly, he conquered them, rising from the bottom of the ladder to the top, where he was no longer in a position to be bullied by anyone. Whereas Jagr showed his vulnerability in his centuries of solitude and when he was caged by the imp.

We also see that there's more to Shay than her blood or physical beauty. Being half human and half demon, she was considered her whole life as a mongrel, fitting into neither world. Strong and a warrior to the core, there's her hunger for female companionship--friends--and her insecurity at being unable to live up to the fierce warrior image of her Shalott ancestors. Yet, when courage was sorely needed, she had it in spades, fighting side by side with Viper. Truly remarkable.

I like that the story is bigger than Shay's and Viper's romance as we deal with vampire politics as well as in the greater demon world, with the werewolf packs struggling to be recognized and seeking to topple the vampires' Anasso (leader) from his thus-far undisputed position as the king of all the demons. I believe it would be better to read the entire Guardians of Eternity series in sequence, however, each book stands alone. I, for one, have no problems reading it out of sequence, as this is my second book after Darkness Unleashed (book 5).

By the way, it is also here that we are also introduced to Levet, the funny gargoyle who provided much needed comic relief! Abby and Dante from the first book also made cameo appearances, making me want to read their story. Certainly, it would be interesting to see how a vampire and a goddess managed to hook up together.

Buy Link (paper): Book Depository

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

REVIEW: Dark Lover by J.R. Ward

ISBN 9780451216953
Series: Black Daggar Brotherhood, Book 1
(c) September 2005, Signet, Penguin Putnam
J.R. Ward's website

Rating: 4 stars

Buy Link (paper): Book Depository

"A decent start to what promises to be a great series!"

For the uninitiated, the Black Daggar Brotherhood consists of the best, the strongest and fiercest warriors (not necessarily siblings, though they do call each other brother), vampires bred for the specific purpose of protecting the civilian vampires from the lessers, who are de-souled humans that seek to exterminate the vampires under the direction of their leader, the Omega.

Immersed in his own personal hell, Wrath couldn't agree to his warrior brother's request to help his half-human daughter Beth transition into her vampiric nature. Darius made the request because Wrath is the only purebred vampire left, and Wrath's blood is strong enough to make sure Beth didn't die in the transition, as his other children had. However, when Darius was murdered, Wrath had no choice but to consent to his fallen brother's request and was shocked to find that Beth Randall affected him in a way no woman has.

As for Beth, growing up an orphan, she yearned to know her family and origins, but she didn't know if she should believe Wrath when he came to her with fantastic tales of vampires and stories of the man he said was her father. But when dark urgings wracked her body, she knew she had no choice but to put her life in his hands.

I like that Wrath, for all his being big, bad and powerful, has a vulnerability that tugs at your heart. It could be his physical defect or the way he refused to let it be a weakness or it could be his tormented childhood. Whatever it is, I ache for the moment when he would find happiness with Beth. I like that moment of his acceptance of his destiny, the way he stepped up to the responsibility that he was born for, even though he didn't want to. Such an action showed growth and maturity, that of an adult who had stopped running from the inevitable.

With Beth, one can sense her utter loneliness and her need to break free from her dead-end situation, but before she could make a move, the decision was made for her when Wrath came to find her and when her own hidden nature threatened to break free. She's strong and the perfect match for Wrath, and though I thought she might have believed Wrath and his tales a little bit soon, what she had seen and heard and experienced may have catapulted her that early into belief.

I wasn't really wowed by this book, but I thought it was a decent start to what promised to be a fascinating series. Certainly, I've never seen vamps depicted this way. For one, vampires are born, not made, and the vamp nature doesn't manifest until one transitions, which occurs around the age of 25 or so. Also, before the transition, the person's physical structure may be different. For example, Wrath was a weakling, but afterwards, he somehow acquired bulk and great strength.

I was also a bit put off by some of the dialogue, especially with the warriors calling each other "brother" way too often and in a way that didn't feel...right, like something was off. As much as this story is about Wrath and Beth, so too this provides the groundwork for other books in the series with the introduction of the other  characters. Because there was a lot of them, I had to work hard at remembering who was who and looked like what. However, I'm excited to read the rest of the books, both because of the facinating characters that I've seen here and because I've heard lots of good things about them.

Quiz on Dark Lover

Buy Link (paper): Book Depository

Saturday, April 10, 2010

REVIEW: The Darkest Night by Gena Showalter

ISBN 978-0-373-77246-9
Series: Lords of the Underworld, Book 1
(c) 2008, HQN
Gena Showalter's website

Rating: 3 stars

Buy Link (paper): Book Depository

"Mythology with a twist."


That was my first impression upon reading the first few pages. The author created a world that was based on Greek mythology, most specifically Pandora's box and the demons let loose in the world.

Maddox is the keeper of the demon Violence, and more often than not, he found himself subject to the demon. A warrior of the gods, he and several others did a very foolish thing thousands of years ago in a fit of jealousy and pride. And they suffered for their actions.

On the other hand, Ashlyn Darrow is a woman with a strange ability. She only need to stand in a certain place and she'll hear all the conversations that had ever taken place there. When she learned that there were "angels" who lived on top of a hill who could help her silence the voices, she sought them out. Indeed, Maddox was able to help her in this respect.

Maddox's world is certainly interesting, especially as he and the other warriors like him, lords as they are called, now have to battle ancient enemies who are determined to wipe them out. Though the romance aspect is focused on Maddox and Ashlyn, the events in the story concern the other lords as well, such that I feel this book has more of an ensemble cast than main protagonists. The events served as a backdrop to Maddox's and Ashlyn's romance, yet I feel that the journey of their story and the development of their feelings are somewhat rushed and not all that believable. Maybe because the "screen time" that should've been used to chronicle this development was instead given over to the introduction of more characters or setting the stage for the next books. Their dialogue/conversation could use an improvement as well. The appearance of Anya, who seems a silly creature to me and not at all like a demi-goddess, puts another damper on things. Still, the resolution of Maddox's and Ashlyn's problems were nicely done, and what Ashlyn did for Maddox is especially touching, depicting the essence of true love.

That said, Gena Showalter has certainly cooked up an interesting world with the promise of more in the succeeding books. I'd love to see Torin's (Disease) and Paris's (Promiscuity) stories, but definitely Torin's. Or Kane's (Disaster). I think Cameo's (Misery) would be very interesting as well.

Buy Link (paper): Book Depository

Thursday, April 8, 2010

REVIEW: Long, Lean and Lethal by Lorie O'Clare

ISBN 978-0312943431
Genre: Romantic Suspense, Erotic Romance
(c) September 2009, St. Martin's Paperbacks
Lorie O'Clare's website

Rating: 4 stars

Buy Links (paper): Book Depository

"Intrigue and romance and sizzling attraction. What more do you need?"

FBI agent Noah Kayne was called in to help local police detective Rain Huxtable solve a series of murder crimes that have the same MO as crimes in other cities, leading them to believe this could be the work of a serial killer. However, they weren't ecstatic to be paired up as partners, especially when they have to go undercover as a married couple to infiltrate the group of swingers to which the victims belong. But their sizzling attraction to each other couldn't be denied, and it wasn't long before they were starting to fall for each other.

Lorie O'Clare provides the right combination of romance and mystery, intrigue and scorching hot scenes. The mystery of who the killer was and his/her motive kept me turning the pages to satisfy my curiosity. And of course, it was also curiosity that prompted me to pick up this book to know more about that world of which I know nothing about: the swingers world and the whys and wherefores of their activities.

Noah Kayne possessed a forceful personality and this showed in the way he showed Rain who was "boss" right from the beginning. He rubs me a little wrong here, coz I feel like he was manhandling the heroine a little. But perhaps Rain needed to be shown this, else she would've walked all over Noah later on. Also, Rain seemed to need a man who can handle her, who can go toe-to-toe with her when she's in a fighting mood, especially when Noah's dominance turns her on. You know how for some couples disagreements serve as the foreplay? Well, for Noah and Rain, they needed to get physical. A little too physical for me, but hey, whatever pushes your button.

However, Noah could be tender and patient with Rain when she needed it, like the time when certain words triggered her memories of her dad and the way she still grieved for him. On the other hand, Rain also satisfied Noah's needs and expectations, as he'd been burned before by a woman who wanted a little extra on the side.

What I like about this book is that there's a real intrigue and crime that our hero and heroine has to solve, and I like how they never lose sight of their mission, despite their attraction to each other. (I've read a book where the "mission" is but an excuse for the main characters to be put into close contact with one another.) Even in their mission, Noah and Rain complemented each other, each bringing something to the table that the other lacked. Clues are peppered throughout the book to prod the reader into making an educated guess as to who the villain could be (I love this part of romantic suspense, like playing Cluedo), and the suspense and action keeps me turning the pages.

Buy Links (paper): Book Depository

Monday, April 5, 2010

Random Thoughts: I Thought I Would Live Forever...

I thought I was invincible. I thought life would always be this way. I took a lot of things for granted, but recent experiences have taught me to sit back and take stock of the things that are important to me.

My health, for example. No, I'm not going to die. That is, not for a long, looooong time, I hope. But something's wrong with my eyes recently. I see things I've not been seeing (um, not ghosts), and my eyes are dry and tire easily. One of my friends mentioned a possible retinal tear, so I went on the Net and researched and what I saw terrified me. If the condition aggravated, a retinal detachment is possible, which could lead to blindness.

Okay, maybe I'm just good at scaring myself, coz I latched onto the word "blindness" and imagined all sorts of scenarios. But I don't want to be blind! I'm barely 40, there are still lots and lots of things I want to do, things I want to experience. And if I were blind, what job could I do? I started thinking of occupations the blind could engage in and I came up with blank!

I spent several worried sleepless nights thinking about my condition. It's hard to describe the fear and the worry and the hope. But this did make me pray more, and I wondered if this is a test that God has sent me, that maybe He's reminding me that He's there watching over me and that all I need to do is to turn to Him.

Also, this made me more sympathetic to the plight of the blind, especially those less forturnate than I am, and I started wondering what I could do to help make their lives easier.

I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow, and I'm hoping that he'll tell me it's nothing, just dry eyes and irritation that eye drops could cure. Then I would go on with my life, but with a few changes and with more appreciation.

We'll see. Could really need all those good thoughts and prayers right about now. :)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

WINNERS : Demonkeepers by Jessica Andersen

First, a big thank you to everyone for your participation and to Jessica for joining us here and answering our questions and of course, for offering the giveaways! Those who've mentioned that they've read the book and members of The Raving Readers are excluded from participating in the draw.

And so, here are the winners!

Sue A

Congratulations! Please send your name and address to caroletrr(@)gmail(.)com.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

REVIEW: Naked in New England by Jacquie D'Alessandro

ISBN 978-0373441228
(c) July 2001, Harlequin Duets
Jacquie D'Alessandro's website 

Rating: 5 stars

"Hilariously funny with a sweet and romantic hero. A great romance!"

Ryan Monroe is an architect who needed to refresh his creativity in order to score the biggest coup of his career, and his friend Dave offered the use of his country cabin for Ryan to recharge. Lynne Waterford, on the other hand, is an interior designer and she has been commissioned by Dave's wife and her friend to renovate the cabin as a surprise for Dave. A storm stranded them together and sparks fly between the two.

If you've been following this blog, you'd know I'm a Jacquie D'Alessandro fan. I loved her Mayhem in Mayfair series, which I've read except for Confessions at Midnight (will get round to it someday), and so, I wondered, does Jacquie D'Alessandro only do historicals well? What about contemporaries? Especially romantic comedies, where humor, as we know, is very subjective?

Guess what? I found Naked in New England to be completely hilarious! The funny, laugh-out-loud aspects are interwoven seamlessly with the characters' thoughts and behavior, making this a true comedy and not of the slapstick variety. Waldo the racoon also provided muich laughter, especially with his one precious antic toward the near end. Not only that, but the hero, Ryan Monroe, is very sweet and romantic. I just about melted, especially toward the end. The things he was willing to do just to gain her heart and to make their future possible... *sigh*

Here's one of the passages I sighed over: 

Her eyes goggled. "You bought me twenty-five pounds of Godiva chocolate? Talk about a sweet deal!" A laugh huffed from between her lips. "You realize it will take me forever to eat this. As much as I love it, I'll have to ration the calories out over the next fifty years so I don't gain a hundred pounds."

"Perfect. That's exactly what I want."

"For me to gain a hundred pounds?"

"No....I want the next fifty years." 


Naked in New England is part of a Harlequin Duets, but I picked up this book solely to read Jacquie D'Alessandro's story and the money's well worth it.

Friday, April 2, 2010

New Releases - April 2010

After putting our lists of titles on the table, we were surprised to find there are a lot of books we're looking forward to in April! Of course, two of them were sent to us for an advance review, but even if not, we'd still have been looking forward to them. So, here they are:

And don't forget our contest for the giveaway of Demonkeepers by Jessica Andersen! Contest ends tonight at 1159pm EST.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

SNEAK PEEK: Demonkeepers by Jessica Andersen

ISBN 9780451229571
(c) April 2010, Signet, Penguin Putnam
Jessica Andersen's website

Buy Link: Amazon, Book Depository

Summary : (from Amazon)

According to Mayan doomsday prophecy, 12/21/12 marks the end of the world in a global cataclysm that can only be prevented by the Nightkeepers, magical warriors enlisted to fight the rise of the underworld demons. To fulfill the final prophecy the Nightkeepers must find their mates, but when Lucius and Jade are charged with rescuing the Mayan sun god, they try to ignore their growing attraction. Unless they can confront their own demons and accept that love isn't a weakness, even destiny might not be able to save them...

Excerpt : (exclusively here at The Raving Readers)

“What’s this?” Jade moved to the TV and raised a hand to trace the stylized figures of six men arranged in an asymmetrical pattern, two on the left, four on the right. Five wore elaborate, feather-worked headdresses made from the skulls of jaguars and coyotes, along with protective shielding that covered only one side of their bodies. The sixth stood at the far right, apart from the others. Wearing a musician’s loincloth and lacking a headdress, he held a conch shell to his lips. Glyphs emerged from the crude instrument as though they were musical notes, though no such scheme had been identified for the ancient Maya. The paint colors ranged from pale mauve through rusty red to charcoal black. The earthy hues reflected on Jade’s face as she frowned, trying to parse out the glyphs.

“Don’t bother, it doesn’t make any sense,” he said. “The current theory is that the artist was illiterate, and just copied a bunch of cool-looking glyphs from other places. It’s just gibberish.” He didn’t say why he’d been studying the painting, why it was important to him.

Under other circumstances, with another woman, talking translation would’ve spoiled the mood. With Jade, though, it only served to heighten the sense of intimacy provided by the small, quiet cottage and the rust-red light. They shared a love of language, and although he couldn’t honestly say he was more attracted to her brains than her body, the two together had made a hell of an impression when he’d first met her.

Or rather, once he’d gotten past her habitual reserve, which came across as shyness, but he’d learned was her way of hiding in plain sight. They each suffered from their own cultural conditioning, he’d long ago realized, though hers had come from a too-demanding winikin and a set of writs rather than a disappointed family and the gods of football.

“There’s something …” She trailed off, still frowning at the glyphs, but then she shook her head and turned back to him, expression going from intrigued to warmth with a hint of nerves. “Never mind. We’re here for a different reason, aren’t we?”

Which was true—it wasn’t like this was just about sex, for either of them.

There was a far larger goal, one that hung over them, weighing on him as it had for nearly half a year now, only this time edged with a sharp sense of anticipation. Determination. He was getting his ass into the library, whatever it took. And if that meant that the Nightkeepers’ needs and his own desire to be part of things wound up getting all mixed together with the desire he felt for Jade—had felt for her from that first day they’d worked together—then that was part of the Nightkeepers’ culture, wasn’t it?

Sex was magic, magic was power, and power could save the world.

Reviews of other books in the series:

Quiz on Nightkeepers - How well do you know the book? Test your knowledge!
Interview with Jessica Andersen

~ o ~

Last 2 days for the giveaway contest!

Three (3) copies of book #4 Demonkeepers to be won! (Two are signed copies.)Everyone on the planet can join, even the penguins in Antarctica, if they can get on the 'Net and write a comment. LOL

How to enter?

Go to Jessica's website and tell us what you like about it. It can be about her books, the extras she has there, or even the design of the website. You can also tell her what you want to see there. Anything. While there, look at the amazing information she has for you. But be warned that the animated intro is a little loud, so if you're at work, hit the volume!

Extra chances to win:
+ 3 if you're an old follower of this blog
+ 2 if you're a new follower of this blog (starting to follow from this post/contest)
+ 2 if you follow us on Facebook or Twitter
+ 2 if you take our poster (located on the right sidebar) about this contest and post
                it on your blog/website with a link back to us
+ 1 for every time you spread the word about this contest via Facebook, MySpace,
               Twitter, your blog, website or other form of social media. For example,
               you tweeted about this contest twice and also announced it on your
               Facebook. You also wrote a blog post. That's 4 additional chances!
               However, for these to qualify, be sure to come back here and post the
               links. Like, if you tweeted twice, give me both links.

If you do all of the above, at a minimum, that's 9 chances to win (8 chances if you're a new follower)! Remember, the more things you do to help us spread the word about this contest, the better are your chances.

Contest ends on April 2 (Friday), 1159pm EST. (Original deadline was April 1, which is April Fools' Day, so we thought it might be better if we extend the contest by another day. *grin*)

Winner will be picked via and announced within the week. Instructions will be given then on how to claim your prize. Be sure to come back and check because we won't hunt you down. If prizes are unclaimed after 1 week, new winners will be chosen.

Good luck!
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