Saturday, July 31, 2010

Random Thoughts: Missing A Book - FOUND!

Remember when I was looking for a book?

Know what I did? I went through all the blogs in my blog roll. Around over 60 of them. My only clue (what I remembered) was that this missing book is part of either a featured book in  a blog hop or a Waiting on Wednesday meme.

And finally, at blog # 63 Literary Cravings, I found it!!! I love love love the cover.

Description from Amazon:

Danice Carter is not one for glass slippers. A stilettos-wearing lawyer at one of Manhattan’s most elite establishments, Danice has a very strong grip on reality. So when she’s asked by one the firm’s founding partners to take on a personal case, Danice knows she’s in for the opportunity of a lifetime. All she has to do is convince her top boss’s granddaughter, Rosemary, to file a paternity suit. Sounds simple enough…until Danice arrives at Rosemary’s home and is pounced on by a handsome stranger.

Private investigator McIntyre Callahan’s was only following his powerful client’s orders: Find Rosemary—at all costs. Instead, he’s found a super-hot lawyer prowling around looking for answers he can’t give. The half-human, half-Fae Mac tries to warn Danice that she’s way in over her head—that Rosemary may roam among The Others, and may have dangerous ties to the Unseelie Court—but she won’t be deterred. Even if that means following Mac to the ends of the earth to find Rosemary…or surrendering to his supernatural powers of temptation…until death do they part.

The Dark Side: Olivia Brynn

The Dark Side aims to shed light on that deep, dark, mysterious side of an author, a face that she rarely, if ever, shows to the public. What secret is she hiding behind that enigmatic smile on her official photo (if any)? what juicy tidbit is she keeping from the world? What are some of the things that she liked, things we would never know, because it's not part of her bio?

Today, we have with us OLIVIA BRYNN, author of POSITION SECURED, who regaled us with some fun facts about her book and an exclusive excerpt. Check out our review.

Remember, think dark, dark, dark... 

Have you played the Ouija Board?
Not since I was twelve. One experience scared me enough to not go near one since.

What happened?
At a friend's house, a group of us somehow contacted a spirit named Mary, who "talked" about her love of gardening. We laughed it off until the next day my friend's mother mentioned the neighbor Mary had passed away the night before in a nursing home. She did have a beautiful garden.

How did you overcome a particular dark time in your life?
After a death in the family, I wasn't able to sleep. Neither could my seven year old daughter. We ended up watching the sunrise together. It was a good way to teach her that no matter how bad one day is, the next one always starts fresh and new.

What can you say to someone who is experiencing his/her own dark time now?
Step back, then dissect. Try to tackle it in steps. Some things aren't worth stressing over once they're broken down. Hang in there. Things will get better.

What is the one thing fans wouldn’t know about you unless you tell them?
I have five sisters and one brother. Don't feel sorry for my brother. Every male should be raised among so many women. We did him a favor.

Who is your favorite dark character? Why?
I'm so not a dark person, so my favorite dark character would have to be Morticia Gomez from the Addams Family. Because she's always a lady, even when her husband has her on the rack.

Lightning Round. 
white or dark chocolate : Yes.
milk or coffee : Milk
night or day : Night
coke or 7-up :
Dr. Pepper or nothing.
New York cheesecake or black forest cake : Cheesecake. 
vampire or werewolf : Werewolf. They're warmer. 
football game or candlelit dinner : Dinner. I like food.
ebook or print : ebook 
spring or autumn : We don't have either of those where I live.  I bet either one is better than winter though.
sweet or salty : sweet 
kitten or puppy : puppy 
cook or take-out : take out!

Olivia Brynn’s POSITION SECURED is now available at Samhain Publishing (ebook). This title is also included in the list of giveaways for our ongoing contest.

Olivia Brynn's other titles:

Falling Star
For A Price

Friday, July 30, 2010

Exclusive Peek: Love Lessons at Midnight by Shirl Henke

From Shirl Henke:

Amber Wolverton, a seventeen-year-old noblewoman, was forced to wed an older marquess who so brutalized her that she fled for her life to London. Rob St. John, a young earl who worked tirelessly in Parliament to stop the exploitation of women, felt he required tutoring from a courtesan to please his future bride. He went to the infamous House of Dreams for his “lessons” and she was the woman in charge.

That’s the opening of LOVE LESSONS AT MIDNIGHT. But I did not see Amber as a courtesan, and Rob was definitely not a rake. How does an author write a Regency avoiding the clichés of the subgenre? I spent weeks scratching my head until I was almost bald and bleeding. Gradually, it came to me. I wish a muse had landed on my shoulder and given me easy answers, but as Frank Yerby said long ago, “Only amateurs believe in inspiration.” I sat at my desk until I squeezed out every detail about these vulnerable protagonists’ lives. Then I knew enough to begin writing Amber and Rob’s story.

The woman who rescued Amber from the streets was a madam who became a mother-figure. Grace Winston never intended for Amber to work in her business. Instead, she sent the girl to the Continent to receive a classical education. When Amber returned she took over the daily operations of the bordello, renaming it the “House of Dreams,” a place where men could live out their fantasies. She became the mysterious Lady Fantasia whose face remained hidden in shadows, her body off limits to all patrons. Soon the House of Dreams became all the rage with the ton.

Rob’s dilemma was a little more complicated and took longer for me to solve. Normally titled Englishmen did not give a fig if their wives were satisfied in bed, but Rob was not like most Englishmen of his era. He had been married as a young man studying for the priesthood and hoped for a happy and faithful relationship such as his parents shared. But his spoiled wife was frigid and locked him out of her bedroom, making him feel inadequate. After her death, he became heir to an earldom and had to produce an heir. Rob did not want a repeat of his first disastrous marriage, hence his desperate gambit asking the beautiful madam for help.

Hmm, I started to see how the characters would..."play" together (pun intended). Amber is attracted to the handsome Rob, yet would never dare to be his teacher...or would she? She has heard the courtesans explain that they earn their lucrative incomes by pleasing men, not the other way around. This man is uniquely appealing. He actually wants to give pleasure to his "teacher." She will never have a chance such as this again. Unwittingly, he even offers her a way to feel safe—he asks that the lessons be in complete darkness. Rob says this is to spare the modesty of his future bride, but Amber suspects it is also because of his own insecurity.

While I was prying Amber and Rob's secrets from them, I began to meet the diverse and often amusing cast of characters connected to the House of Dreams. What had begun as a single Regency suddenly bloomed into a House of Dreams Trilogy. I knew that Amber’s best friend and "bodyguard" Jeni had to have her own story, and that an innocent young girl rescued by Amber, much as Grace had rescued her, would also make a splendid heroine. When I mention them to my editor, she asked me to write their stories after I finished LOVE LESSONS. But I set Jeni and Lorna's futures aside to concentrate on Amber and Rob.

Once I figured out who they were, I could envision the first scene. In fact, I came up with what I thought was a grabber of an opening line. "After spending two years trying to close my business, you now wish to hire me?" she asks, astonished by the earl’s request. The two strike a bargain. Rob will learn to be a good lover and Amber will learn what being made love to feels like. Of course, he has no idea that the woman who comes to him in darkness is Lady Fantasia herself. Neither realizes just how complicated their "lessons" will become. But then, neither intends to fall in love with the other.

Exclusive Excerpt:

Below they cross verbal swords as madam and customer just before the first lesson begins:

On the stroke of midnight, Rob entered the House of Dreams by the rear door for the second time. As arranged, he walked down the deserted hallway to Lady Fantasia’s quarters. The door was ajar. He tapped discreetly and she answered. “Please come in and have a seat.”

As at their first meeting, she sat in shadows. He fought the urge to walk over to her and take a good look at her face. Did it match her clipped, cultured voice? Some instinct honed on the battlefield made him resist. This was no woman to anger.

Amber could sense the tension in his body. He was wound as tightly as a the spring on a timepiece. So was she, but she had spent many trying years learning to conceal it. I am in control here. This is a secure place where I belong. But once she was in bed with him...She pushed the frightening thought aside and took a calming breath, knowing her lines as well as the best trained actor at Drury Lane.

“After some consideration, I have selected a young woman who will suit your needs perfectly,” she began.

Rob felt his fingers tighten around the wooden chair arm. “Then tell me where I am to meet her and—”

“Do not rush your fences, m’lord. ‘Tis the downfall of most men.” She could see his face flush as he forced himself to settle back in the chair. “You must know a few things about Gabrielle. She is a French émigrée, forced from her home by the tyrant. All of her family are dead, her birthright gone. She was...ill-treated before her escape and has little reason to trust men. She is not a courtesan. I have explained your requirements and Gabrielle is agreeable. She will be as grateful for the darkness as will you.”

Rob muttered an oath of outrage. “A woman who was abused—and you want me” he stammered to a halt.

“Precisely. She has known cruelty, but you will show her kindness. Every woman knows what pleases her...if only a man is willing to go slowly and take instruction regarding what she wants. You are blessed with one who is willing to tell you what she wants.”

He turned the idea over in his mind. Perhaps this was a stroke of genius. His throat constricted as he asked, “This would be her fantasy then?”

Amber nodded, not trusting her own voice for a moment. What he said was far too close to the truth for her own comfort. Gathering her thoughts, she continued, “You may rest assured that a young woman such as Gabrielle will not feign pleasure. She would not have any idea how to do so...but culmination may take...several visits. Do you agree to these conditions?”

It was Rob’s turn to nod, speechlessly.

“Gabrielle may be nervous. Stroke her, kiss her, above all, ask her what does and does not please her as you proceed."

Swallowing for courage, Rob answered, “Yes, yes, I can do that.” I will do that. “Perhaps it is not so very different from getting a skittish mount to trust one.”

Amber felt an unexpected tinge of humor and released a husky chuckle. “Were you perchance in the cavalry, m’lord?” she asked.

“Two years on the Peninsula,” he replied. “I have been told I have a way with animals. If only it could be transferred to women!” he blurted out, then felt his face flame and cursed silently.

“Perhaps women and mares do have a bit in common, but do not be disappointed if Gabrielle fails to whinny for you.”

Under other circumstances, Rob would have appreciated her glib retort. But the situation was far too painfully embarrassing for him. “If she tells me what to do, I will do it,” he gritted out.

The "love" lessons begin when Lady Fantasia becomes Gabrielle under cover of darkness...

Summary from Amazon:

No one knows the true identity of the mysterious madam who runs London-s most notorious brothel, The House of Dreams. This is the place where a man-s wildest dreams can come true, but even in his most secret fantasies, Robert St. John has not imagined the pleasure he will find or the danger he will court while seducing its mistress.

Available now at Amazon (print).

Exclusive Peek: Star Spangled Kiss by Christa Paige

From Christa Paige:

Star Spangled Kiss is a Fourth of July holiday story for Liquid Silver Books’ 2010 Holiday Theme. I wrote it as a continuation of my Kissin’ Cops series. I would like to share with you an interesting tidbit about this book.

The reason I chose Independence Day for the setting came down to one vital scene. It occurs in the second half of the book when Tyler goes out on patrol. The deputies in Los Angeles County have an unwritten rule they stick to during fireworks. I wanted to write that occurrence exactly how the cops experience it. Not very many people know about this safety procedure, not even the heroine, Sophie. So, she is quite surprised when Tyler changes course and takes her somewhere unexpected. Soon though, she doesn’t mind the detour.

Another little fact about the story I am proud to have included happens during Sophie’s time at Century Sheriff’s Station. As she is leaving, she walks down a long hallway. She looks up at beautifully crafted portraits. I had an emotional moment when she views these photos because on the wall hang pictures of those who lost their lives on duty, including a close friend of my family. It is a pivotal point in the plot and one that was so very close to my heart.

Exclusive Excerpt:

"What do you think, Marshal? A divine sight, isn't it? Two hot women, wearing nothing but bikinis, are hard at work in the kitchen. Next stop, seventh heaven."

Sophie glanced over her shoulder. When had the two of them sneaked in? The big and imposing detectives stood there, leaning back against the stucco wall. This time, Sophie allowed her gaze free rein to roam over the chiseled perfection of Tyler's bare chest. A bead of sweat tracked down the midline, and she followed its path, captivated as it slid over the taut, steely bands cording his abs. It disappeared below the edge of his blue and gold board-shorts. She stole a glimpse a smidge lower, and her breath hitched in her throat. Tyler was doing nothing to hide his state of arousal.

Brazen, cocky fool. Sophie tore her stare away, quickly looking up at his face. Their gazes collided and heat flared in his eyes. The tip of his tongue darted out, swept along his lips.

"It makes a man hungry for what they’re offering," Tyler declared.

Gavin exhaled, drawing Sophie's notice. She saw his cheeks were flushed, his nostrils flared as all his focus centered on Cassidy.

"Yes, it does!" Gavin replied in a husky tone. Suddenly, he moved up behind Cassidy. He leaned in, his arms sliding on either side of her. He gripped the lip of the sink in both hands. Cassidy was trapped by Gavin's body. "Don't move, baby," the rough command echoed in the kitchen. When he pressed his mouth to her shoulder, Cassidy whispered his name, but she didn't budge an inch.

Sophie tried to divert her attention but their intimacy was titillating.

"God, Sophie. You like that, don't you?"

She jerked at Tyler's gruff, whispered words. He stood right next to her. His close proximity reignited the slow burn from earlier. She fumbled for a coherent reply but ended up saying, "I don't know what you mean."

Tyler moved even closer, the side of his arm brushed the curve of her breast as he brought it behind to the small of her back. Tilting his head, he spoke in a pitch that only she could hear, "The way you're watching them, sweetheart. Your beautiful brown eyes are focused on Gavin and how he's pinning Cassidy in place. You can lie all you want, but your body tells the truth."

Sophie opened her mouth to respond, but Tyler's fingers tangled with hers. He entwined them and squeezed.

"Be honest," he commanded.

Shaking her head, Sophie blinked and tried to quit staring. Using the wood grain of the china hutch as a focal-point, she said, "I don't know. I've never experienced it before."

His fingers tightened around hers as he hissed, "I promise, you will. Soon."

Summary from Publisher's Website:

Detective Tyler Mason always gets what he wants, until he tries to seduce unattainable social worker, Sophie Perez. Suddenly, everything he thought about women is turned upside down. Now, he will do anything to make her his. Sophie resists her attraction to Tyler. She knows he only wants one thing. However, at a Fourth of July barbeque, she is given a glimpse of the man he truly is.

Amidst the fireworks of the holiday, their passion ignites. Tyler must win Sophie's heart or risk losing the one woman who can teach him how to love.

Available now from Liquid Silver Books (ebook).

Note: This title is included in the list of giveaways for the ongoing contest.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Follow Me Friday (2)

Welcome to The Romance Reviews!

I'm following the blog hops hosted by


Don't forget our blog celebration contest, with lots of prizes up for grabs, top prize being $50 GC. International. Books you could win can be found here, here, here and here. We still have a looooong way to go to reach 500!

In the past two weeks, we have exclusive excerpts from:

MARKED FOR DESIRE by Jennifer Leeland
ANIMAL INSTINCT by Michelle M. Pillow
TIGER BY THE TAIL by Shelley Munro
REKINDLED by Mari Carr

and the following reviews:

THE SEEKING KISS by Eden Bradley
SINFULLY SWEET by Janelle Denison, Jacquie D'Alessandro and Kate Hoffmann
IN OTHER WORLDS by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Next two weeks, we'll have more exclusive excerpts, reviews, author interviews and a brand new meme created by The Romance Reviews! Intrigued? Be sure to come back on Tuesday. All are eligible to participate, even non-bloggers.

Today's question: Who is your favorite new-to-you authors?

That would be Sherrilyn Kenyon and J.R. Ward!

Please leave a comment and say "hi". If you leave your blog addy, we'll be sure to go visit! :)

New Releases: Print Books - August

Slim pickings for the next month, but these are the books that caught our eye. These are also included in the giveaways for the ongoing contest:

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Exclusive Peek: Dark Side of Dreaming by Ann Bruce

From Ann Bruce:

I like my heroes larger than life. I like them protective. I like them willing to take a bullet for my heroines (and I think one or two have). I like them coldly calculating until they meet their match—and then it takes everything they have to keep a leash on their emotions. And I like them just this side of aggressive in bed, but still able to put on the brakes if the heroines aren’t ready. They're not always pretty (in fact, they're never pretty), but they're always sexy. The term, I believe, for my heroes is alpha.

Before I started reading book blogs and forums a few years back, I didn't know my heroes could be categorized, let alone that I wasn't the only weirdo whose heart beat a little faster when reading about them. Alpha heroes aren’t for everyone, but those who love them can’t get enough of them.

Sasha, the hero in Dark Side of Dreaming, is driven by logic, but after he meets Cleo, the woman trying to steal from him, he starts bending the rules to keep her in his life—despite her protests.

Exclusive Excerpt:

She liked bondage as much as the next girl.

Cleo, however, didn't think her current bound state was a prelude to more enjoyable things.

She yanked on the rope that secured her hands together and tethered them to something above her head. There was some give as the cloth-covered rope stretched, but not nearly enough. Stubbornness being a trait of all Moran women, she tried again. And again. And again.

A small noise of frustration escaped her throat.

Despite the dull, throbbing pain in her head, she decided more leverage was needed and twisted on the bed and sat up. And noticed the man seated in the armchair in the far corner of the room. He was immersed in the shadows that swathed the room so she saw nothing but a menacing outline blacker than the surrounding darkness. His silent regard felt like a thick blanket suffocating her senses.

Fear made her mouth go dry and her skin prickle with heat and sweat.

It was a full minute before she found her voice, a little hoarser than usual, but she lifted her chin to compensate. "Did you enjoy the show?"

No response. Not even so much as a muscle twitch. Her chest noticeably rose and fell with each shortened breath.

"Are the police on their way?"

More silence, and the lump in her throat grew.

"I need that statue more than you need another dust collector." She was babbling, knew it and couldn't stop herself. "It needs to be returned to its rightful home."

The silence continued and agitation flickered through her, slicing past the fear.

"Look, I tried the legal route, but you flatly refused all of my offers. I had no other choice."

A whisper of cloth on leather. He'd moved. Finally. She was beginning to think he was a statue himself. Then he rose, an imposing shadow that made her very aware of the pulse thrumming in her throat. He came toward the bed, stopping at the foot, and moonlight, stark and chilly, spilled over him.

He'd never be labeled handsome, but she couldn't tear her eyes away. Formidable frame, dark hair, deep-set eyes, broad face with rough-hewn features that looked as if they'd been carved of the same stone as the statue. Unlike the statue, his face was mask-like with its lack of expression. It took a concerted effort to ignore the tiny voice that urged her to cower against the headboard.

"Cleo Moran."

The sound of her name spoken by that deep, cold voice sent a jolt through her. Of course he knew her name. His administrative assistant had passed on enough messages from her in the past three months. And the man was reputed to be a shark, so he would remember the name of the woman who'd tried repeatedly to buy a relic for several times more than its appraised value.

"If I wouldn't sell the statue to you, what makes you think I'd just let you steal it?"

Absurdly, she winced. Steal had such an ugly ring to it.

"You weren't supposed to have a say in the matter."

A corner of his mouth quirked up and she was amazed his face didn't crack. In fact, it sent a shiver of sensation snaking along her spine.

"I'm the one who should be angry, not you," he said, the ice in his voice thawing. He slid a hand inside the front pocket of his trousers and his regard changed, feeling almost like a touch.

Jittery, but from more than simple fear, she brought her hands up and pulled back the strands of chin-length hair that fell over her eyes and clung to her lips. "You weren't supposed to come back here tonight."

A dark slash of a brow lifted and, without a hint of pique, he drawled, "So, the enthusiasm in my date tonight was faked."

She cursed her babbling tongue. Well, she'd never encountered this situation before and there wasn't a For Dummies guide that covered it.

"Unfortunately for you, I need more than a pretty face and man-made assets to entice me." A degree of heat wrapped around his voice. "Then I come home and you waltz in."

She had trouble filling her lungs with oxygen. "What now?"

His eyes glittered darkly. "Since the woman you hired to distract me didn't do her job, why don't you?"

She licked suddenly dry lips. "I'd rather you call the police."

Copyright © 2010 by Ann Bruce. All rights reserved.

Summary from Publisher's website:

When she finds herself bound to a stranger's bed, former cat burglar Cleo Moran knows she should've stayed in retirement. However, the thought of ending the cursed dreams that plague her sleeping hours was simply too enticing to resist. She also feels a strong sensual pull to her captorbut knows better than to act on it.

At first, Sasha Michaels wants only his captive's professional expertise and contacts to track down the man who attacked his sister. Then Cleo wakes up and, with words and action, stirs something much more primitive within him. Neither understanding nor willing to accept her resistance, Sasha attempts to bind Cleo to him with sexual ties.

Their tentative relationship, however, is jeopardized by secrets on both sides...and a common enemy who is escalating in violence.

Available now at Jasmine Jade (ebook).

Note: This title is included in the list of giveaways for the ongoing contest.

Exclusive Peek: Eternity and a Day by Aline Hunter

From Aline Hunter:

Most people don’t know that when I started writing Eternity and a Day, it was in a first person narrative. Although I’d done the research for the project, I hadn’t decided to make it a romance novel until about three chapters in. As I was speaking through Runa, it hit me that I had to give Eric a voice. There was no way around it. Of course, I argued with myself and tried to ignore the devil on my shoulder as I’d envisioned The Otherworld as more of a fantasy series, and I knew that by making it romance it would change things. Ultimately, the decision paid off, as more characters came to mind and I was able to plot out several stories from the one. It’s strange how that sometimes occurs when you’re writing.

As a consequence, Eternity and a Day became my first ever third person narrative novel. It was tough. I gravitate toward a first person voice and had a difficult time making the change. I’d say that it took half of the length of the book to settle into it, but I truly believe it was one of the smartest decisions I’ve ever made. Being able to write in a first and third person narrative gives me more options when I have a story to tell and, since there are plenty of those, it never hurts to be able to choose which narrative is best suited for a project.

Thanks for allowing me to share!

Exclusive Excerpt:

Eric stood in front of the huge wardrobe, covered in the same scaled leather as the first time they met. His chest and waist were saddled with leather holsters occupied by an assortment of various weapons. She gawked at the armoire in disbelief, amazed at the sheer volume of armaments stored cleverly inside. When it was closed, it looked like a decorative antique piece of furniture, not the housing for a personal arsenal.

“Are you planning to kill someone downstairs?”

Eric met her eyes as he slid a dagger into a holster on his leg. “I hope not.” He stood straight and remained silent for longer than she liked, the heaviness of the quiet room making her uncomfortable and edgy.

“Is this about Yuvi and the hex?”

He sighed and shook his head. Stepping over, he wrapped his fingers under the curve of her arm and led her to the bed. “There’s something I need to tell you.”

She perched on the edge of the mattress. Her heart fluttered in alarm when Eric started to pace, and she instinctively knew it had to be bad news. He wasn’t being honest with her. Something was wrong, something dangerous, and somehow he was involved.

Anxious, she blurted, “I don’t want the hex if there’s a danger to you. It’s not worth it, Eric.”

He muttered something in Draigen and came to her, taking a knee and getting eye level. He took her hands in his, brushing his thumbs along the backs of her fingers. “It’s not about the hex, Runa. It’s Byron.”

A shroud of dread settled over her, distorting her senses and perception. Everything was clearer and sharper, but distant and impossible to interpret. An odd, high-pitched drone consumed her ears, the entire room quietly ringing, and when she tried to swallow, her mouth was dry and uncooperative. Byron had prepared her well enough over the years, warning her that with his work history he’d accumulated one hell of a long line of enemies.

“What’s happened to my brother?” Her voice sounded detached, seeming far away. She braced herself for Eric’s answer, anticipating the worst.

He released one of her hands, cupped her neck, and curved his fingers into the short hair at her nape. “The witch said he didn’t arrive to meet with her, and she went looking for him. She found the daemon he travels with, but he was badly injured and couldn’t tell her what happened.”

Her skin cooled, and her heart slowed -- a natural fae reaction to grief and sorrow. Lucian was the most formidable being she’d ever met, matched in her eyes only by Raudan.

If something could fell a nygromancer, it would have easily disposed of Byron. She heard Eric say her name, but it didn’t compute. Memories of Byron flashed in her mind, a collage of images appearing individually but instantaneously, and she struggled not to cry.

“You’re going to avenge him, then? Is that it?”

“Avenge him?” Eric frowned, hunter green eyes flickering back and forth between hers before his eyes went wide. “Christ, Runa. Byron’s not dead. At least the witch doesn’t think so. I’m going back with her to find him.”

She blinked, disbelieving. “What did you say?”

“Byron’s alive.”

The world spun, coming slowly into focus, and she lurched from the bed. “I’m going with you.”

“Nay,” he rebuked her, gripping her arms in tender but unwavering hands. “You’ll stay here, where it’s safe.”

“I will not stay here. Byron isn’t just my brother, Eric. He’s the only family I’ve ever known.”

“I will find him, and I will bring him home. Have faith in me, Runa. Trust me to do this for you.”

“You don’t understand. I have to go. I have to find him,” she whispered desolately. “He’s all I have.”

“You’re wrong,” he corrected in a throaty growl, his eyes shifting to a bright jewel green. “You have me."

Summary from Publisher's website:

Dreading the one night per tide he’s forced to travel between the realms, Draigen Eric Locke has only one desire on Samhain – to retrieve the fae transporting daemon relics through the realms and escort her to the Dark Court to face the sidhe king. When he mistakenly recovers the wrong fae, the dragon under his skin responds in a way he never could have predicted, and he discovers he’s found the woman destined to him by the Fates – his Chosen.

Runa Charon is an anomaly among her kind, the mortal offspring of a human and a fae. Unlike other sidhe, she longs to experience pleasure instead of pain, love instead of lust. Immortally strong but mortally fragile, she’s been sheltered all of her life. When the opportunity to meet a Draigen from the Otherworld arises, she can’t resist the temptation and travels to meet the man who will change her destiny.

Unlike other netherworld creatures, Draigen mate for life, choosing to follow the path of their beloved mate in this reality or the next. Knowing a future can only span one lifetime, will they settle for less than an eternity? Or will they be grateful for the gift of each day?

Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Dubious consent, violence.

Available now from Loose Id (ebook).

Note: This title is included in the list of giveaways for the ongoing contest.

Addendum : Contest Mechanics

We've thought up of another way for y'all to rack up additional chances to win.

If you refer a friend, well anyone actually, to our site (through your email, blog, Twitter, Facebook, anything), and the person signed up to our blog's GFC, you get one additional chance for each person who signed up. Please write ask the person to write in comment how they arrived at our site. For example:

Thru 's email, blog, tweet, etc.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Random Thoughts: Missing A Book

You know how you passed by a blog and you saw an interesting book that caught your attention and you said that it's going to go into your TBR pile but you forgot to note it down and now, you're frantically looking for it everywhere?

Yup, that's me. *sigh*

I can't even remember the blog I visited. Worse, I can't remember the title of the book. (Oh yeah, I've said it already, right?) I only remembered making the comment (in response to another comment), something like, "It's the 7th book? I should start to get busy." And even that is not verbatim. Maybe I should start to take memory pills? LOL

Anyway, I'm sure I'll come across the book in the blogs again sometime. Since it caught my eye, it's sure to be a book worthy of attention from other bloggers. At least, that's what I say to reassure myself, because this itchy feeling of something not right with my bookworld has lodged in my chest and until I find that book, I don't think I'll get any peace.

Have you ever had this feeling? And do you think I'm nuts?

REVIEW: In Other Worlds by Sherrilyn Kenyon

ISBN 9780425233207
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Futuristic Romance
(c) January 2010, Penguin Putnam
Sherrilyn Kenyon's website

Rating: 4 stars

Available at the Book Depository.

"In Other Worlds showcased the versality of Sherrilyn Kenyon's writing, with a range running from poignant and sweet to humorous and fun."

According to the author's note, this book is a compilation of short stories she'd written before. But since I've never read any of her books yet, I thought it would be a good introduction for me.

And it certainly was!

Fire and Ice

I loved this novella that's part of her League series. There's a certain poignant quality to the story, contributed in part by the hero's tortured past and broken body and soul. Yet, his romance with the heroine is portrayed with sweetness and depth. Only a woman who truly loved a man would stay with such a man like Adron, who is bitter and continually pushes her away. Theirs is a love that is tested through hardship and sacrifice

Knightly Dreams

This is a quirky novella about a hero who stepped out of the pages of a book to win the heroine's heart and consequently, his happiness. The author took advantage of the zaniness of the situation, and her writing was both humorous and fun, making me wonder how on earth hadn't I discoverd her before this. (I love books that make me laugh.)


Sebastian Kattalakis is a shapeshifting dragon who time traveled to "borrow" a tapestry hanging in the museum, where he met the human Channon, his one destined mate. He was torn between bringing her into the dangers of his life and letting her go where she would be safe. And what woman wanted to be safe when she could have such a courageous and honorable man by her side to protect her? Channon soon set Sebastian straight, but she had a fight in her hands as they battled for his life.

In the midst of the sexual tension and hot passion these two have for each other, Ms. Kenyon's wit and humor continued to show through in her dialogue and her characters' narratives. This is a related book to the Dark Hunters series, one more series I seriously have to catch up on!

In Other Worlds showcased the versality of Sherrilyn Kenyon's writing, with a range running from poignant and sweet to humorous and fun. Since this is but a sample teaser of her books, I know I'll be in for a delightful smorgasbord when I delve into her full-length novels.

~ o ~ o ~

After writing the review, I went to her website. I feel like a total ignorant fool for not knowing who she is and yet, I was awed at the same time. A treasure trove of books for me to dive into! (Good thing, coz I'm nearing the end of the BDB series, at least those that have been published.) Where do I start? Maybe with the League series, coz I was definitely intrigued with Adron's family.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Exclusive Peek: Rekindled by Mari Carr

From Mari Carr:

I knew I wanted to write Liv’s brother’s story the minute I sent off the Spitfire submission to my Ellora’s Cave editor. Even though his role in Spitfire was brief, his character was fully evolved and roaming around in my head. Unfortunately, a little series called the Wild Irish popped up and poor Jeb got pushed to the background for nearly a year. Finally, this spring, Jeb put his foot down. I’d just finished writing Waiting for Wednesday and I thought maybe I should give myself a little break from that crazy Collins clan. I sat down one weekend and just wrote…and wrote…and wrote. Jeb’s story fell out of me very quickly!

Rekindled is a standalone sequel to Spitfire, so you don’t have to read them together. It is also my first attempt at what Ellora’s Cave is referring to as their super quickies. It’s a short, sexy story with a nice price tag.

Exclusive Excerpt:

“Stop.” She put her hand up, anxious to wave away his words. “You and I broke up. We were never right together. You’ve got to—” 

Jeb took a step closer and this time she did move back. “We were right. It’s the timing that was wrong. That’s not a problem now.” 

“I can’t give you what you want.” 

He grinned, running the back of his hand along her cheek. “You’re the only woman who can give me what I want. It’s always been you, Claire.” 

He bent forward, his intention to kiss her as clear as the Texas sky. “Please don’t,” she whispered when his lips were a hairsbreadth away from her. 

He paused for a moment but didn’t retreat. “I’ve missed you.” 

She closed her eyes and gave in. She’d missed him too. Terribly. She closed the miniscule inch left between them and offered her lips. The moment they touched his, she was transported to the first time he’d kissed her—the night of the homecoming football game. She’d been sixteen and she remembered how excited she’d been when Jeb asked her to be his date for the dance the following night. He’d kissed her beside the bonfire at the end of the game. 

Her first kiss, and it was every bit as beautiful as the one he was giving her now, and she felt all those old feelings rekindled. His lips lightly grazed hers, reawakening feelings she thought had died with her husband. Soon his kiss became hungrier, hotter. She reached up, gripping his neck, making her own demands as she pulled him closer. He rasped his tongue against her lips and she opened her mouth, welcoming him in. His grip on her waist tightened and she sucked in a breath as his hands began moving upward, not stopping until he cupped her breasts. 

The kiss continued as Jeb tweaked her nipples through her T-shirt. She spread her legs and began rubbing herself against his thigh. Her body was on fire. It had been so damn long since she felt the slightest spark of desire. She’d have to change her panties at the end of this interlude. She was too wet, too needy. 

One of his hands left her breast, rising to grasp her ponytail. She shuddered when he pulled her head back, directing her with slight tugs on her hair, nipping her neck. 

“It’s still there. Still the same,” he whispered against her skin. It had always been this way between them. One kiss and it was as if the entire world had gone up in flames. She struggled to pull away. 

“No,” she whispered. He hesitated and she could sense him taking stock, trying to decide if she really meant her refusal. She battened down her hatches and pushed against his chest. “No.” Her voice was stronger this time. “This isn’t the time or place.” She glanced out into the yard, relieved none of the ranch hands had walked by and caught her making out with Jeb Carter in the doorway. 

She was just so damn tired. It had weakened her resistance. Next time he tried to kiss her, she would be prepared, stronger, better able to fight him off. 

“You’ve got dark circles under your eyes.” He studied her face and she knew he wasn’t discouraged by her pushing him away. If anything, giving in to his kisses had likely fueled his intentions to claim her…by any means necessary. 

She shrugged. “It’s been a long month. Hell, a long year.” 

He grasped her cheeks in his large palms but made no move to draw her closer. “You’re gonna hire me.” 

He was relentless. She chuckled, then conceded. She needed help. “Maybe.” 

The grin he offered in reply was cocky, smug, and she knew she’d lost this round. Jeb would get his way. “My duffel bag is in the car. Make room for my stuff in your closet.” 

She narrowed her eyes. “You’ll stay in the foreman’s cabin and my bedroom door will be locked—every night.” 

“Maybe.” He walked back to his car and she wondered what the hell she’d just unleashed.

Summary from Author:

It’s been a year since her husband’s passing, and running the ranch is taking its toll on Claire Hutchins. Independent as the day is long, she concedes the need for help. She wants a foreman, an employee to run the day-to-day who can handle a woman calling the shots. Someone who won’t give her any trouble… 

Who shows up at her door, first in line for the job? Jeb Carter. Ex-high-school sweetheart. Longtime rodeo star. And the one man capable of making Claire’s lust burn out of control…of making her surrender completely. 

Trouble has finally come calling…and he’s as irresistible as ever.

Available now at Jasmine Jade (ebook).

Exclusive Peek: Tiger By The Tail by Shelley Munro

From Shelley Munro:

Tiger By The Tail is the ninth book in my Middlemarch Mates series. Those of you who are familiar with my series about feline shifters, living and working amongst humans in the small country town of Middlemarch, will know it’s a real town. Middlemarch in the South Island of New Zealand has a shortage of marriageable women, just like my books, and they hold an annual dance to attract women to the town.

The first book in the series, Scarlet Woman, introduces us to Emily Scarlet who attends the dance to find a man for a single night of pleasure. By the end of Scarlet Woman, she has fallen in love with the oldest Mitchell brother, Saber. What you might not know is that Emily Mitchell is the only series character to make an appearance in every Middlemarch book. She’s there in books one to eight, but something big happens to Emily in Catnap. It tears her world apart and sends her into deep depression. Although she’s mentioned in my latest release, Tiger By The Tail, she doesn’t actually make an appearance or have any dialogue.

Emily and Saber Mitchell are the only characters who have two books. Blue Lady, book ten (due out on 11 August 2010) features their follow up story.

(Warning! Explicit Material below) 

Exclusive Excerpt: 

Ambar froze, muttering an apology around Jake’s cock. Double holy crap. Her canine teeth had popped into prominence. She could feel the faint ache in her gums, her feline pushing her body to complete the shift to tiger. Ambar placed her left hand on the mattress and curled her claws into the fabric, focusing on remaining in human form. Tension simmered inside her as she wondered what to do next. She could hardly stop, not when she’d offered in the first place. One thing was clear—she needed to get him off quick so she could leave, or at least get away from Jake before he saw her claws and teeth. And would he notice her tongue had become rougher than usual?

Using a combination of hands and her mouth, she worked harder to get him off, relieved when he started to rock his hips, pushing his shaft deeper into her mouth. Her usual enjoyment in Jake and his sexy body had faded with the attempted takeover of her feline. On automatic, she moved her head faster and mentally urged him to hurry. He was close—she knew it. Even as the thought entered her mind, he gave a raw, guttural cry and climaxed in her mouth. Ambar swallowed automatically and carefully licked him clean, trying to act as usual even though her mind screamed at her to get the hell out of his presence.

"Babe, that is a brilliant way to start the morning." He dragged her from beneath the covers and hugged her tight, running his hands through her long hair. Ambar turned her face into his chest, concentrating on holding her human form. He dropped a kiss on her shoulder then sighed. "I'd better get moving. I have a long day in front of me. Is it okay if I take the shower first?"

Normally, she’d insist on sharing the shower. Not today. "You go ahead. I might laze here." The stupid canines made her words emerge with a strange lisp. Thankfully, Jake didn't seem to notice.

The moment he left the bedroom, Amber leapt from the bed and scrambled into her clothes. She couldn't seem to get her nails and teeth to return back to normal. Still barefoot, she hurried down the passage, the scent of coffee becoming stronger as she neared the kitchen.

"Good morning," Hari said without turning away from the stove. "You timed that well. The scrambled eggs are almost ready. I've made extra."

"Hari," Ambar said urgently.

Something in her voice must have alerted Hari to her alarm. He removed the eggs from the heat and turned to face her. She bared her teeth and held up her hands to show him her fingernails. The beginnings of black claws protruded above her fingernails.

"They won’t go back." One whiff of Hari’s scent and her body went into high alert. She battled an inappropriate urge to rub against him and, in desperation, moved to the other side of the kitchen. Panic filled her as she fought the change to tiger. "What do I do?"

"Has it happened before?" Hari moved closer, concern in his brown eyes.

"Never. Don’t come any closer," she blurted finally in desperation. She was running out of room to retreat, and his scent was driving her crazy. Worst of all, she was a hairsbreadth away from jumping him. Her sharp claws dug into her palms until the faint scent of blood drifted up to her.

"I'm not gonna bite," Hari said, his English accent holding a trace of irritation.

Ambar rolled her eyes. Men were so slow, so dense sometimes. She decided to spell it out for him, halting her flight. Instead, she prowled across the kitchen to him, letting her need blaze across her face. "It's you I'm worried about." 

Summary from Publisher's Website:

Middlemarch Mates, Book Nine

One plus one equals three.

Tiger shifter Hari Daya takes one look at Ambar Patel's photo and is smitten. Further research heightens his fascination. An arranged marriage would work, except the lady isn't buying and tells him to take a hike.

Ambar is already involved with human Jake Quinn. Casual pleasure and lovin' works best for her since she dreams of traveling the world and delving into new experiences. The frisson of heat and desire she feels for Hari is unacceptable. There will be no tiger mate for her.

Jake Quinn has no idea either his lover or his new friend are shifters, but there sure as hell is something weird going on in his head. As much as he enjoys sex with Ambar, he's thinking about Hari too. Suddenly there's kissing and togetherness way past his comfort zone. The slide into sinful pleasure with both Hari and Ambar is easy-it's the relationship dynamics that give them headaches and make them wonder if they're making a huge mistake.

Available now at Jasmine Jade (ebook).

Note: This title is included in the list of giveaways for the ongoing contest.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Contests in the Blogosphere

Confessions of a Bookaholic is having 10 days of giveaways, where you can win awesome prize packs! You have up to August 19 to enter. The last prize pack is international, so there's something for everyone.

Carina Press is having a Twitter giveaway. International. Last day to tweet is July 27. But! There might be a secondary contest on Facebook, so become a fan.

450 Follower Giveaway

My friends over at Paranormal Haven is running this contest until end of July! Prizes are two books each winner from an awesome selection.

Vamp Fan Girl over at Lovin' Me Some Romance, another friend I met recently, is hosting a July giveaway. Prizes are three Harlequin Spice books! Check it out if you haven't.

And of course, don't forget our very own contest. I've been assigning numbers (for the random picks later) and gosh, it's tedious work! But I thought I need to start work on it and I'm right! If I'm going to hold such a contest again, I seriously need to invest in a software that can do this automatically. LOL

REVIEW: Lover Avenged by J.R. Ward

ISBN 9780451225856
Series: Black Dagger Brotherhood, Book 7
Genre: Paranormal Romance
(c) May 2009, New American Library

Rating: 5 stars

Available at the Book Depository.

"Chock full of danger and excitement, and at the heart, a sweet romance between Rehvenge and Ehlena"

Rehvenge, Bella's brother and owner of ZeroSum club that the Brothers frequented, is half-symphath, his heritage a secret for fear of deportation to the symphath colony up north. Suffice it to say, symphaths and vampires don't get along, and any vampire who has knowledge of a rogue symphath has the duty to report such to the king. However, someone does know the truth about him and Rehv is asked to assassinate the king, Wrath.

In the midst of this upheaval in his life, his former professional relationship with Ehlena, a nurse at Havers' clinic, turned personal, but he couldn't risk Ehlena finding out the truth about him for then, she would be in danger...

I was charmed by Rehv's and Ehlena's developing relationship. It was sweet and romantic, and reminded me of the uncertainties and hopes that I went through when embarking on a new relationship. I couldn't get enough of their scenes together and I want more (This sentence is going to be a recurring theme in this review. Don't say you weren't forewarned.)

We have seen evidence of J.R. Ward's willingness to tackle issues that other authors wouldn't or to take on unsavory (how we perceive them usually, anyway) characters and give them a valid motivation and dress them up as a hero. It's no different here.

Rehv is a pimp and a drug lord, and every month, he whored himself out as part of a blackmail, and really, how could such a man, er, vampire, be seen as a hero? Yet, he is. He's a vamp who was forced to go into those avenues in order to raise blackmail money (although we're never told what Xhex ever did to the princess of the symphaths, only that Xhex fucked up), to ensure his and Xhex's survival, and within the boundaries of his life and his business, he did his best. His saving grace was that he cared for his girls and there was a regret in his soul at the things he's been forced to do. A feeling of dirtiness that clouded his soul, that no matter how much he washed, he never felt clean. This, I feel, is very different from an out-and-out villain who pimps and whores and is a drug dealer with no conscience at all. To borrow a phrase from the book, at his core, Rehv is a good vamp, and he's just trying to survive with what life has dealt him. Much like you and me, if you think about it, only that we're dealt with different, maybe kinder, hands.

As for Ehlena, I like how she accepted Rehv as he is. When he's embarrassed because of his impotence (due to the medication that he takes), she was matter-of-fact about it and just said if he could get it up, then fine. If not, then it's still fine. That kind of total acceptance is just what Rehv needs, and no wonder that he should fall in love with her. She's one of my favorite BDB heroines, and I truly wish there was more about her and Rehv in this book, but I guess I should be contented. After all, there's more interaction between her and Rehv, making the romance and eventual "I love you's" more believable than in the previous book, Lover Enshrined.

Aside from the expected showdown with the symphath colony, given Rehv's background, we see a lot of Beth and Wrath too, how it's not easy being king when the lessers are killing off your people day by day. It makes you angry and frustrated and like Wrath, will make you itch to do something. You couldn't just sit inside the Brotherhood mansion and do nothing. This, of course, led to problems between Wrath and Beth, especially after she found out that he'd been lying to her. I like this realistic look of a couple's life after the HEA in their own book (Dark Lover) and it made Beth and Wrath more real to me. (I found Dark Lover to be so-so, and like any other vamp romance out there.)

There are also the requisite John Matthew updates, leading up to his story in the next book. I feel for JM. That boy has really been dealt several bad hands since his birth. Being the adopted son of a Brother didn't turn his luck. Still...I think...the level of emotion I feel for him as a reader still couldn't match up to what I felt for Zsadist or Vishous or Rehvenge when I was reading their books, but we'll know for sure when I get my hands on Lover Mine.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

REVIEW: Sinfully Sweet by Janelle Denison, Jacquie D'Alessandro and Kate Hoffmann

ISBN 9780373792382
Genre: Contemporary Romance
(c) February 2006, Harlequin Blaze
Janelle Denison's website
Jacquie D'Alessandro's website
Kate Hoffmann's website

Rating: 4 stars

Available in Book Depository (print).

"Sinfully sweet and will leave you begging for more."

Sinfully Sweet is, as its name suggests, sinful and sweet--the descriptions of the chocolates involved, the scent in the shop, and the way two of the heroines enjoyed the chocolates...Yum yum. Enough to give one a "chocogasm".

The anthology revolved around a chocolate shop of the same name owned by Marcus and Ellie Fairbanks. I can't quite decide if the Fairbanks are ordinary people like you and me or they possessed some magical quality that enabled them to perform matchmaking services through the help of chocolates. And speaking of chocolates, yum yum. Be prepared to drool, and if you have time, go out first and buy a box of chocolate truffles to eat while reading. We may have to live vicariously through the heroine for her romance with Mr. Hunk, but not so with the chocolates!

Wickedly Delicious by Janelle Denison

Rebecca Moore met Connor Bassett at her sister's wedding rehearsal and she was immediately taken with the handsome playboy. But she wouldn't give in to the attraction, as she has a lot of hang-ups due to her past and with what she thought was Connor's character. I thought Connor is a refreshing change from the commitment phobic heroes we usually meet. This man actually wanted Rebecca and the whole cottage with the white picket fence and 2.5 kids. We are treated to the sight of a man bent on winning the woman of his dreams, and not just for sex. I love the scenes from Connor's point of view. And the chocolates played a sensual part in this goal as an aphrodisiac of the best kind. Also, I like that the ending was realistic in that the heroine's hang-ups didn't all just magically disappear, but there was an acknowledgement that she needed time to work through all of her issues. (Though Rebecca's protest about the age difference was dropped all too quickly, in my opinion.)

Constant Craving by Jacquie D'Alessandro

This novella was the best of the bunch for me. Carlie Pratt and Daniel Montgomery were long-time neighbors, and Daniel couldn't wait to move out of the small town to his new big break in the city. He eagerly looked forward to getting away from Carlie's puppies which frequently messed up his yard. Until the day he saw Carlie (sans puppies) in the chocolate shop and he wondered how he could never have "seen" her before. And when Carlie ate those chocolates like she was having an orgasm (yup, here is where "chocogasm" came from. I guarantee you'll never look at chocolate the same way again.), Daniel was lost--willing and hot and ready for just about anything. This story was just plain fun, especially the way these two interact with each other. The antics of those two puppies came as just too much of a coincidence though, but I wasn't really too much bothered by it.

Simply Scrumptious by Kate Hoffmann

Kel Martin and Darcy Scott had a one-night stand five years ago, but neither could forget the other in the intervening years. When they met again in the chocolate shop, Kel was determined not to lose her again. The story started out fine as it lay down the groundwork of their past and made me anticipate the time when they'd see one another again. Everything was good, until we came to Darcy's issues with her father. I felt the story started to unravel from the time her father came onto the scene, and her subsequent exchanges with Kel also made no sense. I know Darcy's confused with her feelings and what she really wanted, but the result was that I also became confused as to what's happening.

Overall, I enjoyed the book, so I'm giving it a rating of 4 stars.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...