Sunday, January 31, 2010

Review: The Earl Claims His Wife by Cathy Maxwell

She'll be his perfect wife . . .

Preoccupied with fighting Napoleon and making love to his mistress, Brian Ranson has ignored his wife since their wedding. But now that he's become the Earl of Wright, he's ready to fetch his bride back to London. He's shocked to find she's become a bold, beautiful woman, exactly the kind he lusts after . . . and she wants nothing to do with him.

Gillian, Lady Wright, is desperate to seize the love she's been denied . . . but not with her rakish husband! So she makes a bargain—for thirty days she'll be the perfect wife, then he'll set her free. But no matter how she hardens her heart against her damnable earl, her body begs her to surrender . . .

I was just mentioning to the luscious Wendy that I was not really feeling historical romances lately. You know how it is. You go through a period where you glut yourself on one thing and then one day it just doesn't do it for you anymore and you're on to a new thing. So, I wasn't really looking for a new historical to try when I stumbled across this one. Yes, I'd seen it in the bookstore and online and it just didn't interest me. The same old story, chit is forced to marry some lord who has the obligatory catty mistress and the marriage is a sham. The lord is probably a manwhore, blah, blah, blah. Been there, read that, didn't really wanna go back for seconds at the moment. Fortunately for me and this book, Barnes and Noble has the lovely feature of letting me read the first couple chapters on their website before I decide if I want to buy. Well, by the time those pages were done, I was hooked. I just had to see what was going to happen and how these people were going to find love and trust in each other. I've read Ms. Maxwell in the past and I usually like her writing and this was no exception.

The heroine: Gillian was a great heroine. She was forced to marry someone she cared for but didn't love her. She lived with her amoral and sometimes cruel in-laws and had been pretty much neglected by her own father and stepmother before that. When we meet her in this book, she's had enough. She's played the good girl and it got her nothing but heartache and pain. She has moved to her cousin's estate in the country and is ready to embark on a grand love affair with a handsome man from Spain who truly adores her. She throws house parties and runs the estate efficiently and is happy for the first time in a long time. She's accepted her husband loves his mistress and she refuses to pine for him. I loved her. When her recalcitrant hubby finally does show and demands her compliance she gives him a piece of her mind and stands up to him every step of the way. When he surprises her with something he needs her help with she rises to the occasion though lesser women would have bolted out the door and never come back. My one beef is that she forgave a bit too easily in my mind.

The hero: Brian, or Wright, is a complex fellow. He's a man of honor. He loved the wrong woman once and he was faithful to her which was refreshing from the usual lordly type that taps anything in a skirt. He is a man who knows he did wrong by his wife and he wants to make it up to her. He needs her help. She's all he's got left in the world and he wants so bad for them to start over. He comes up against his father and his expectations at every turn. He knows his wife cares for another and has no clue how to make her love him. He was really kind of endearing. You believe that he's learned from his past mistakes and you can't help but cheer for a man that would defy his father and former mistress to do what he feels is right. I did wish at times he would fight for Gillian by talking to her more and telling her how he feels, but he's just so tormented and alone that you just want to hold him and make it better. It also helped that he was a master swordsman. I always find that hot in a hero ;)

Overall plot: The plot was good. The emotions felt real. I did feel bad for Andres, Gillian's love interest. He wasn't the normal love interest for the heroine in these things. You know, where you find out later he never really cared about her and just wanted her money or revenge on the hero or something like that. He actually cares about Gillian, is willing to run away with her and I felt really bad that he got hurt in all this, but I liked that Ms. Maxwell didn't resort to cliches to vilify him and get rid of him. These felt like real people working out real problems in an imperfect world and you wanted to cheer them on and watch them beat the odds. I also have always enjoyed Ms. Maxwell's portrayal of families as more than blood and biology. She's done this in a couple of her books and I applaud her for it. Families can be made by choice and be stronger for it.

In the end, I give The Earl Claims His Wife an A-. It was well written, witty and emotional. I very much recommend it to all my historical romance fans out there.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Review: Her Vampire Husband by Michele Hauf

I received this title for review from

I haven't found the "official blurb" but I took this off the author's website so here's what it says:

An arranged marriage between a werewolf and a vampire.

There will be blood.

She may resist his bite, but she can't resist his charms...

Werewolf princess Blu Masterson won't allow her seductive vampire husband to consummate their marriage with his bite, marking her forever. Alone in a secluded estate with her sworn enemy, Blu curses the marriage arranged to bring their rival nations together, especially since Creed Saint-Pierre calls out to her most feral desires.

When Blu uncovers her pack's secret plot to destroy the vampire nation—and Creed—she is forced to confront her growing feelings for her sexy undead husband. Will she choose the only life she's ever known or accept his vampire bite?

There's a quote on the author's site by MaryJanice Davidson that calls this story a paranormal Romeo and Juliet, and I have to say that that's a pretty good description.

Blu and Creed are forced by their respective groups, the Weres and the Vamps, to marry in the hopes that their union will bring peace to these long warring nations. Unfortunately things aren't what they seem and as Blu and Creed begin to care for each other and to learn from one another, everyone from parents, and tribes and even the Devil himself will conspire to keep them apart and their union to end in tragedy.

I have to say that I really liked Blu and Creed. Blu especially was such a vibrant character. She wears brightly colored wigs, red lipstick and sexy clothes. She gives off attitude and is completely irreverent. She's also wounded and charming and full of life and love.

Creed was a sweet hero. In the beginning it seems he's going to go the way of the alpha man, but he quickly morphs into a rather sweet and noble hero that wants nothing more than to save his wife from all that would hurt her, even himself and his own people.

The book seemed long in some ways. There were times that I felt it dragged a bit. The sex was hot and wild and their growing intimacy was sweet to watch. The plot of the warring nations and how everyone and their freakin father wanted to keep them apart and make trouble was kinda blah for me. In the beginning, Creed is set up to be a powerful and fearsome being, but it felt like so much time was spent making him soft and sweet that he quickly lost his ability to be a believable supernatural leader.

There were a few things in the book that didn't make sense or were slightly annoying to me, but what really saved this story and made it enjoyable were the main characters. They were so full of life and the irrepressible hope that they could change themselves and change their people and somehow make a miracle of peace happen that you couldn't help but root for them. You wanted to see them win against all the odds.

Overall, the book was enjoyable. It wasn't my favorite paranormal romance but it was sweet and sexy and Blu and Creed were fun to get to know.

My final grade for this story is a C+. What kept this book from getting a higher grade from me was that it seemed to lack a certain amount of edge that I like in a paranormal. The hero and heroine seemed like they were neutered a bit to make them more likable. Also, there were a few plot things that irritated me a bit.

The publication date for this book is April 1, 2010.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Review: Succubi Like it Hot by Jill Myles


With a hot new figure, her dream job as an archaeologist, and two gorgeous boyfriends to scratch her seductive Itch — an angel and a vampire — Jackie Brighton is totally getting the hang of life as a succubus. Then she accidentally knocks the pizza guy unconscious with her touch. Great — she's cursed. After striking a deal to get the curse lifted by a crafty demon, Jackie and her best friend Remy take a road trip to deliver a cryptic message to the nation's oldest succubus. Unfortunately, neither of her jealous lovers is talking to Jackie right now, and due to the curse, she's desperate to get her Itch scratched very soon. Their journey gets weirder with every mile — demonic possession, a charming stalker, a cryptic warning — and when they get to New Orleans, Jackie discovers a dangerous catch to her supernatural bargain. Someone wants her dead — again. Can a brainy vixen in a miniskirt outsmart the forces of evil?

This is the second book in Jill Myles Succubus Diaries series and it's even better than the first. You may recall that I reviewed the first one, Gentlemen Prefer Succubi. If not, then check it here.

Succubi Like It Hot picks up in the life of Jackie Brighton, newly made succubus, and her cohorts. We have the rock solid and sexy fallen angel Noah, the bad boy but terribly sweet vampire Zane, and my personal fave the hilarious sister succubus Remy. In this installment Jackie and her men go through some rough spots in their relationship and they don't have a lot of time to really work things out because Jackie's been cursed and if she doesn't get the curse lifted, it's gonna be the end for her.

For part of the story we have a bit of a mystery or two going on. There's a new mysterious guy that says he wants to help Jackie but he seems to be following her around and Jackie's not sure if she can trust him. Then we have the million dollar question of who cursed Jackie in the first place and *gasp* could it be one of her lovers?!

There were hijinks and laughs but there were also some very touching and almost heartbreaking moments in this book. There's a certain scene towards the end that features Zane that I've re-read like 3 times. I can't help it. It's just too good.

If you enjoy adventure, laughs and smokin hot sexin then you'll love this book. I still found Jackie to be a bit annoying at times, but I also understand that this whole immortal thing is kind of a new gig for her. I'm hoping as she adjusts to her new life she'll wise up a bit.

This book gets a B+.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Review: Proof by Seduction by Courtney Milan

She was his last chance for a future of happiness…

A gifted fortune-teller from a humble background, Jenny can make even the most sophisticated skeptic believe her predictions simply by batting her smoky eyelashes. Until she meets her match in Gareth Carhart, the Marquess of Blakely, a sworn bachelor and scientist.

He just didn't know it yet

Broodingly handsome, Gareth is scandalized to discover his cousin has fallen under the spell of "Madame Esmerelda," and vows to prove Jenny a fraud. But his unexpected attraction to the fiery enchantress defies logic. Jenny disrupts every facet of Gareth's calculated plan—until he can't decide whether to seduce her or ruin her. Now, as they engage in a passionate battle of wills, two lonely souls must choose between everything they know…and the boundless possibilities of love

I was fortunate enough to receive this title from for review.

I went into this book figuring that I pretty much knew how it was going to go down and how it would make me feel. I'm pleased to say that I did not. Jenny is a fascinating heroine. She's not young and she's not virginal, but neither is she a courtesan. She's a lovely mix of hard and soft and practical and yet wanting to see the best in people.

The hero, Gareth, is a cold and hard man that tries to show affection through money and control, but even then he really doesn't like to feel affectionate about anyone. He doesn't want to expose himself or them to the consequences. He's ordered and logical and that's the way he plans to stay.

Jenny and Gareth were a great compliment to each other and it was so rewarding and touching to see the transformation of Gareth. I don't think he'll ever be a cuddly bear and he'll always be a force to be reckoned with in society, but for the people he cares about and Jenny most of all, he'd do just about anything.

One of my favorite scenes is when Jenny and Gareth spend time talking about their pasts and past hurts. It was a beautiful thing to see how they began to find healing and acceptance in each other. I loved the interplay between Gareth and his man, White, too. That was charming.

Overall, I recommend this book to lovers of romance and historical romance. It's a pretty solid story and has some very sweet and funny moments. I think you'll be satisfied with the way the story plays out.

I give this book a solid B+. It's very enjoyable and one you'll want to revisit after you've finished.

Besos ;)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Review of Archangel's Kiss by Nalini Singh

Vampire hunter Elena Deveraux wakes from a year-long coma to find that she has become an angel-and that her lover, the stunningly dangerous archangel Raphael, likes having her under his control. But almost immediately, Raphael must ready Elena for a flight to Beijing, to attend a ball thrown by the archangel Lijuan. Ancient and without conscience, Lijuan's power lies with the dead. And she has organized the most perfect and most vicious of welcomes for Elena...

I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of Nalini Singh's Archangel's Kiss from Wendy who is the bestest girlfriend in the whole wide world. I got it yesterday afternoon and was done with it by the wee hours of the morning. I just had to finish it. It was so good I just couldn't be bothered to do anything else, like sleep or eat or acknowledge my poor long-suffering hubby. *sigh* But if you read this book, you'll understand.

I'm very much afraid my review is going to go the way of the squeeing fangirl. Sadly, I don't think that can be helped. I shall try to at least be coherent and do more than just say, "Raphael, hot." "Give me more!" But I can't guarantee anything.

You may remember my joint review with my hunny Wendy from The Book Lush of the first book Angel's Blood. If you don't remember, check it here. I liked that book, but I wasn't in love with it. So, I have to say, I'm in love now. Big time, hardcore, lurve. Archangel's Kiss was so awesome. It was dark and hot and sweet and hot and tender and hot and gritty and hot. Oh, did I mention it was hot? I'm a sucker for a sweet and hot mix and let me tell you, Raphael was his usual scary ass alpha self, but when he went sweet for his Elena? OMG! He killed me, y'all. Freakin killed me.

The aspect of the story of Elena trying to recover from her year long coma and trying to adapt to angel society was very well handled I though. She had to work hard physically and emotionally in this book and that felt real and made me root for her. She's tough, but she's not stupid and she is trying to learn to trust Raphael.

I loved, loved, loved, Raphael and Elena in this book. They butted heads a lot. They danced around each other, both unsure of how to deal with this intense relationship that developed so fast, but neither was willing to give up. They both want to fight for it, because it matters to them. It's tough and they both carry ugly scars and they both could hurt each other so deeply, but they want it bad enough to keep trying, and that to me, is real love.

We see more of The Seven and way more angel society in this book and it was all quite fascinating. We see Elena struggle to hold on to her mortal attachments while trying to build a place in an immortal society and a bond that will last an eternity with her Archangel lover.

I just can't say enough great stuff about this book. It stuck with me after I read it, making it hard to jump into another story right away because I wanted to linger with these characters a little while longer. Oh, and speaking of characters, if you're a fan of Illium, you get to see some bluebell hotness in this one. Man, a guy that has a great sense of humor and is a vicious warrior? I'm all over that, baby.

I highly recommend this second installment in Ms. Singh's Guild Hunter series. It is just a great all around story that you'll want to read over and over.

I give this book an A. So, what are you waiting for? Go out and order it right now.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Winner of Gentlemen Prefer Succubi by Jill Myles

The winner of the signed copy of Gentlemen Prefer Succubi by Jill Myles according to is booklover0226. Please contact me with your mailing address at Congrats!

Thanks to all for playing and remember there will be more contests in the future so stick around.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Review: Kitty's House of Horrors by Carrie Vaughn


Talk radio host and werewolf Kitty Norville has agreed to appear on TV's first all-supernatural reality show. She's expecting cheesy competitions and manufactured drama starring shapeshifters, vampires, and psychics. But what begins as a publicity stunt will turn into a fight for her life.

The cast members, including Kitty, arrive at the remote mountain lodge where the show is set. As soon as filming starts, violence erupts and Kitty suspects that the show is a cover for a nefarious plot. Then the cameras stop rolling, cast members start dying, and Kitty realizes she and her monster housemates are ironically the ultimate prize in a very different game. Stranded with no power, no phones, and no way to know who can be trusted, she must find a way to defeat the evil closing in . . . before it kills them all.

This is the seventh book in Carrie Vaughn's Werewolf series starring Kitty Norville. The pace in this one was fast and a lot happened. We're reunited with some characters from past books and meet some new and sometimes sinister ones. There are casualties in this book. Just when you think you're out of the danger zone, something bad happens and the action starts back up again.

I've been a fan of this series since book one and so I have to just let my inner fangirl out and say, CORMAC!!! Ok, I'm done, I swear. I love that guy and for all you Cormac lovers out there, there's a little something in this book for you.

This installment is very action packed and we see Kitty really getting in touch with her alpha side. One of my fave things was when the shit hit the fan she kept asking herself, What would Cormac do? I loved it. There were some cheesy parts, but overall it was a solid entry and I like where the overall story line of the series seems to be going. And did I mention Cormac? I'm so excited for the next one. I can't wait to see what the future holds for the slightly dysfunctional family unit of Kitty, Cormac and Ben.

I definitely recommend this series to fans of witty and action packed UF and if you have read the preceding books, I think you'll love this one, too.

My final grade for this one is a solid B+.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Review of Entwined by Fate by S.A. Price

So, this book is by sisters Stella and Audra Price, and I received it from the author as an e-ARC to review.

This story is about snake shifters. Yes, snake shifters and I felt the sisters Price really made that work.

Let's have the blurb first:

Thirty females of the Ophidian race have gone missing, most from the transient nest of Las Vegas, a rogue and unofficial nest run by the Saint, John Merrick. Believed to be dead by every Archon in the states, Merrick leads a quiet and unassuming life, saving those of his race that are lost and need it most. It's a solitary existence, one that he hates every day. He yearns for his mate, the woman he left over a decade before, and the woman who thinks him dead to this day.

When Elise Rizdon gets the official invitation to the Archon meeting in Ohio by the leader of a new Midwestern nest, she never expected to see the love of her life at the woman's side, a man she was told was dead and buried. She lost him once upon a time, and she never fully recovered. Focusing on the issues, and not the man that has always made her body burn is not going to be easy. A disturbing event is on the horizon, one that threatens all Ophidian's and their way of life. In order to survive they will have to work together, give up old grudges and take chances on the things that matter most. Love, life and the continuation of their race.

Now, this book was surprisingly sweet. I've read a little bit by Stella and Audra before and I have to say I had certain expectations and this story was very different. It was sweeter and a bit more sentimental than I had expected and while the main couple was Elise and Merrick, it didn't feel like the book spent as much time on them as you might expect. There were shifter politics, missing girls, a cult and other budding and established relationships going on in this book so Elise and Merrick weren't always the center of attention. That was a little disappointing to me since they had waited so long to be together and I felt like I ended up waiting forever for them to have their moment, too.

Elise was a more refined and sweet, yet strong and resolute character.

Merrick was a bit of a rogue, but he was also a bit of a saint.

The two complimented each other very well.

I like how Merrick wanted to take care of her and be there for her, but I also liked how he knew she and her people were stronger than him and his and therefore knew she could handle the shit storm his choices unleashed. He didn't try to coddle her, but he did try to make up for it.

I was annoyed though, by how long it took for them to finally get their time and how it seemed like the book wasn't about them as much as I would have liked. Not to mention that I would have made him suffer a bit more for putting me through what he put Elise through. Well intentioned or no, I would not have been that understanding about his life choices. In the end though, they were faced with the choice to either hold on to their pride and their fears or to let go of the past and embrace a hope for their future. I felt like that's a choice we can all relate to. To choose pride and hurt or love and forgiveness.

In the end, I felt it was an enjoyable read and had its sweet moments.

I gave Entwined by Fate a B-.

You can purchase it here

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Something Meaningful

So, Valentine's Day is coming and it's become over commercialized if you ask me. The meaning of love and giving has been lost somewhere along the way. It is; however, a special treat for kids everywhere that will be exchanging Valentine's and spreading love with pure hearts. In the spirit of this I bring you a chance to do something meaningful on Valentine's Day for kids everywhere. If you have kids or are a super cool Aunt/Uncle/Godparent/whatever I encourage you to check out these cards that have been designed by kids for kids for save the children. The link to the Valentine's Cards is here. If you click on the link for the homepage, you'll also see that they are taking donations for Haiti relief as well.
I, for one, am going to have my kids each pick out a design they like and am going to purchase cards from Save the Children. I love the idea that other kids from around the country designed them and that proceeds go to help kids in America that are starving and have needs. In all of our need to help other countries we should never forget that there is poverty right here in the USA and children that fall through the cracks, resulting in them not receiving an education and suffering from hunger and medical needs.
Thanks for checking these out. I hope your Saturday is a good one and that in the face of all the tragedy around us, you take a moment to just savor life and the fact that you can.

Much love

Friday, January 15, 2010

Review: Bought: Damsel in Distress by Lucy King

The blurb:

Billionaire's bid…

Luke Harrison is always in control. But ever since he bid for the chance to save a green-bikini–clad beauty he's felt his self-possession slipping away….

Blind date…

Independent Emily does not want rescuing—until Luke, a smoldering knight in shining armor, swoops in on his private jet and starts to change her mind!

Secret baby?

Neither is prepared for the heat between them as Emily undoes her steely-eyed billionaire—and their no-strings fling leads to pleasure beyond their imagining…

Now, I will admit that when I started this book I had some definite preconceived notions, but in my defense if you read a lot of Harlequins it's hard not to have those. Harlequins are one of my guilty pleasures and sometimes I find a gem in the batch and a lot of times, I don't. The ones that are good, though, make it worth wading through the ones that are just so much cliched junk.

When I read the opening line though, I knew my preconceived notions were gonna get knocked on their rear.

Here's the line in question:

"You must be wondering what sort of girl ends up for auction on the internet," said Emily, picking up her glass of champagne and taking a quick sip.

That had me going, What?! The internet?! No way! That hooked me.

So come to find out, our heroine's ex-fiance is getting married in France and she's invited, but really doesn't want to go. Her older sis, who's pretty much raised her, doesn't think she's getting out enough and has decided that she'll never get closure if she doesn't go and watch the loser marry some poor other girl. So she puts Emily up for auction on Ebay without telling her about it until 30 min before the winner came to pick her up. It was hilarious. She also blackmailed Emily into going by having the proceeds of the auction donated to a charity and if Emily didn't go with the guy, the charity didn't get the money.

I so liked this set up better than the usual, I'll send your brother/father/friend/cousin to jail if you don't be my wife/mistress/baby factory trope that gets used so very much in Harlequins. Don't get me wrong. I still read those and sometimes I even like them, but this felt refreshing.

The dialogue was very witty, too. Emily and Luke, our hero, would verbally spar and it was both funny and sometimes poignant as well as being practically foreplay for them.

I liked that they both had damage and that got addressed a bit in the story. I liked that Emily wasn't a virgin and happened to enjoy sex and asked for what she wanted. That, too, was a nice change of pace from all the virgin mistresses out there. They did bring in the cliche of an unexpected pregnancy and that always kinda irritates me. A woman doesn't have to get knocked up. There are plenty of kids out there. Not to mention, sometimes they use the kid to bring the couple together and then you don't feel that they would ever had made it on their own. This time they handled it pretty well. Luke didn't stay for the baby and being pregnant made Emily have to deal with some of her own personal issues.

All in all it was a very enjoyable read. It left me feeling good and not like throwing the book across the room. Hehehe.

My final grad for this is a B+.

You can buy this book here

Or here

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Check this out y'all! I didn't know you could buy these anymore. Awesomesauce!
Hey, do you think I can get me one at Costco? Cuz I don't wanna overpay for my damsel in distress. I'm thrifty like that. You can't maintain a bazillionaire status if you blow it all shoppin for damsels and virgins and mistresses and all that.
Seriously though, I read this book and I'm going to review it next. It's actually pretty good, but I just couldn't resist showing a little title love for the folks down at Harlequin that apparently are still stuck in Medieval times. I'm honestly of the mind that the way they pick these titles is much like South Park postulated Family Guy wrote its story lines: Manatees.

Peace out my lovelies ;)

review: Spellbent by Lucy A. Snyder

Ok, let's start off with the blurb shall we?

In the heart of Ohio, Jessie Shimmer is caught up in hot, magic-drenched passion with her roguish lover, Cooper Marron, who is teaching her how to tap her supernatural powers. When they try to break a drought by calling down a rainstorm, a hellish portal opens and Cooper is ripped from this world, leaving Jessie fighting for her life against a vicious demon that's been unleashed.

In the aftermath, Jessie, who knows so little about her own true nature, is branded an outlaw. She must survive by her wits and with the help of her familiar, a ferret named Palimpsest. Stalked by malevolent enemies, Jessie is determined to find out what happened to Cooper. But when she moves heaven and earth to find her man, she'll be shocked by what she discovers—and by what she must ultimately do to save them all.

The best way I can describe this book is: gritty. Not just, oh a few people die kind of gritty, I mean losing limbs, poss human sacrifice, abuse, blood guts and gore and most of all: jizz kids. That kind of gritty.

One of the things that I didn't like about the main character was that she tended to get preachy and morally superior. If you had money, you were bad. Considering what her beef was and the fact that she was basically a willfully ignorant person who skated through life right up until the shit hit the fan and that approach wasn't going to work anymore, I found the social commentary a bit ironic.

Now what I did like about Jessie was that she dug deep and cowgirled up. She got the holy hell beat out of her in this book and she didn't let it break her. She got a lil bitchy at times, but honestly so would I, but she didn't curl into a ball and go to her happy place never to emerge again. I dug that about her. She sometimes started to veer into TSTL land, but her familiar, Pal, would talk her down and she would listen. I appreciated that too. Too often we get a tough female lead and she doesn't believe in common sense or taking advise from people who know, cuz she's tough female hear her roar. So, someone who was open to guidance was a nice change of pace.

Speaking of Pal, her ferret familiar, he stole the show. Honestly there would be no adventure without him. Like I mentioned before, Jessie was ignorant of her heritage, of a lot of basic magic and of the ruling body of the magic society so if it wasn't for her being blessed with a familiar that was smart, had been around the block a few times and was willing to break rules for her, she would have been up the creek without a paddle. Or even a boat. He was funny and smart and had a very rigid sense of personal honor that made him a great character. They don't know each other long before everything goes down, so their bond is pretty fast in the making, but it felt solid and I enjoyed their interaction.

The story itself is dark and a bit heavy on social commentary that I felt was a bit forced, but otherwise it had almost a Harry Potter on crack feel to it. There were things I didn't like and the book felt longer than it was, but on the plus side there was lots of action and the focus on magic was very fascinating.

As a warning, let me just say that there were things in this book that grossed me out and disturbed me a bit and I've been around the paranormal and UF block a few times. So if you don't like dark and gritty stories, you probably won't like this, but if you do enjoy lots of action, magic and a more raw sort of story, this should be right up your alley.

My final grade is a C+. This is a debut book, so I'm hoping that the more Ms. Snyder writes the more she'll have smoothed out some of the rough patches in her stories.

You can order this book here

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Review: Hunting Julian by Jacquelyn Frank

Ok, I have to warn that this review may sound a bit snarky at times. I just finished this book and there are a few things that are bugging me a bit.

First off, here's the blurb:

Jacquelyn Frank, New York Times bestselling author of the Shadowdwellers series, invites readers into a dazzling new world of unstoppable desire and danger..

As an Advocate for his colony, Julian Sawyer travels to Earth to bring back the Chosen—women who possess energy potent enough to help revitalize his people. The stunning, silver-clad beauty who strides into his club one night radiates a sensual magnetism unlike any he's encountered, and Julian realizes that Asia Callahan is not just Chosen, she is his kindra: his one true mate.

For months, Asia has tracked the beautiful and mysterious Julian across the country, convinced that he's behind the disappearance of her sister and a dozen other women. She's prepared to believe he's a ruthless killer, but when she presents herself as bait, she discovers that the truth is far more shocking. Taken to a strange, hazardous realm she never knew existed, Asia will face the ultimate choice—between abandoning the life she's always known, and forsaking a passion as dangerous as it is powerful.

Ok, so basically, Julian's race has the shittiest luck, like ever. They've encountered plague after plague that has decimated their female population, naturally. They are a people that feed on energy, although they do eat regular food, but that's not really touched on much in the book. So apparently, don't laugh, a woman's big O is like the bestest energy eveh. So, they send Julian to harvest it and send it back to feed their starving people and occasionally he finds a speshul girl that can really crank out the wattage so he brings her home to fornicate and frollick, thus feeding the starving children. Shit. You. Not.

So, women and their joy juice are in short supply on this plane and highly prized so even if a woman is say, a murdering bitch, she gets sent to a colony where she is sold off as basically a sex slave so she's punished but the people don't lose a precious resource. Now, that sounds bad. That sounds really bad, but in a way, I could understand it. The peeps be starving and you're a bad person so one way or another you're going to be a productive member of their society. Like it or not. Now, I'm a bitch, so I'm kinda ok with that, except that their society is kinda messed up and innocent and mentally disturbed people get sent there too and you know what? Tough shit. I kinda wasn't down with that. Plus, it didn't make sense. Julian hasn't had sex in years because it takes too much energy for him to get his jollies and he's a big ol' noble one so he won't steal from the mouths of babes to get his rocks off. So then, why the sex slave thing? It's not like the guy planning a night of fun with the woman was only gonna get her off. Didn't make sense. The thing is, a lot of it didn't make sense. I think Ms. Frank had a bit too much going on and she didn't always stay true to the rules of the world. Which confused and at times irritated me.

Also, if you're familiar with her Nightwalker series, you'll recognize a favored trope she has of the powerful female figure going all mad jealous and evol and doing horrible things that ultimately hurt her own people just cuz she can't stand the heroine or some shit. I was kinda over that in the last series, but that's just me.

Anyway, Julian was hot and sweet and mad in lurve with Asia and Asia was well....not so much. To be honest, I understood Asia's beef with the situation. Hell, I woulda fought it, too, but she bordered on pissy bitch just a bit too much for me. The romance felt a bit one sided and at times Julian expected too much too fast.

I know we were supposed to feel invested with these people and their plight and want to read more of the sexy dudes that go out and gather energy (some in baaaaad ways) and want to revisit the world, but to be honest, I don't really want to go back. There wasn't much there that gave me the warm tinglies and I'm kinda done with it now.

In the end, it's not a bad book, but it was awkward with the idea of "quick, let's have sex to feed the starving children!" I was kinda like, should I feel turned on in this scene? I don't know if that's right or wrong anymore.

I give this book a C. It was readable and entertaining and maybe one of the other in this sure to be a series will get me involved but I'm not holding my breath.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Interview and Giveaway with Author Jill Myles

So, Yay, the lovely Jill Myles is visiting my humble blog today *quick hide the smut* and she's graciously offered to giveaway a signed copy of Gentlemen Prefer Succubi to one lucky winner, details after the interview.

So, let's get this party started. Now last week I asked for questions from readers to ask Ms. Myles so I'll be asking those along with some of my own hard hitting ones.

Jill writes sexy paranormal romance starring a succubi named Jackie and her adventures. There are also a couple really hot guys in these books, one is a fallen angel and one a dark and broody vampire. Yeah, the possibilities are endless.

So, I had a question from a reader *coughKBcough* and she wants to know, who would be better in bed, a fallen angel or a smokin hot dark vampire?

It depends on what you are looking for in bed, of course! Do you want a tender, thorough lover that would satisfy you for hours, or would you rather have someone that likes it short, hot and violent?

(I'm talking pillow-fights, of course.)

Uh huh, suuure you are. ::fans self:: Moving on.

Mandi wants to know the following:

1) What 3 things do you have to have beside you when you write?

Coffee or tea, a bright light (I like to pretend that I'm outside even though I'm not), and SNUGGIE. A writer's feet get cold, after all.

2) How is Jackie going to explain her change in appearance to friends and family?

This is something that's come up a few times in reviews, so it's good that I can tackle it a bit here. We don't see Jackie interacting with a lot of friends/family in the first couple of books because she's kind of a loner. Which is lame, but I kind of saw her as one of those people that thinks they know better than everyone else, which makes it hard to cultivate a lot of friends. She was obsessed with moving up in her job and she's not a native Wyoman (Wyomingan? Man, I should know this, right?) so I imagine if she went back to where she grew up, she'd have a lot of 'splainin to do. It hasn't come up yet because I've really wanted to focus on how out of her element she is in the current books, but I am definitely toying with the idea for a later book or a short story.

3) How can she (Mandi) go about meeting a sexy man, preferably named Zane? (I'd like to know that one, too)

It involves lots of alcohol, some biting, and finding a willing fallen angel. Or so I hear.

Hmm....I may have to move to NYC for that kind of action.

Now, we're going to embarrass my sis a bit here *waves* Hey Jen!

O.k., Jen wanted to know the following:

1) How do your stories come to you and what inspires you?

At this point, I'm going to embarrass myself and say that I'm a lot like a squirrel hoarding nuts. Each nut is a bit of a story. And if it's shiny and neat, I grab it and take it back home with me. And then I see another shiny, and grab it and take it back home with me too! And another! And another! And all of these little 'nuts' fill up my brain (okay, so that part isn't like a squirrel) and they keep turning back and forth as I try to figure out what to do with them. Then, one day, it hits me, and all the individual nuts suddenly glom into one giant nut - the story. Which isn't squirrel-like either, come to think of it.

Clearly, I need to work on my analogies. But you get the idea. It's not from any one place, it's the mental hoarding of tiny tidbits and trying to figure out what to do with them until they all glue together and make a real story.

2) Do you have a favorite character?

I love Remy! She's just fun to write. The gloves are off with her, and she says and does what she wants. Partially because she knows she can get away with it, and partially because she's been around the block and no longer cares what people think of her choices. Oh, and there's a new character introduced in book 3 that I'm having a lot of fun with too.

3) If you could dine with one of your characters, who would it be and why?

Good question. Remy would be entertaining, Jackie would gripe the entire time, Zane would sit around looking sexy, and Noah would pay. I'd probably go with Noah, then. I'm a cheap date.

4) Have you ever had a story turn out differently than you planned?

All of them! I try to plot it out (even if it's just in my mind) in advance, but my brain is constantly thinking up right-turns for the plot to take, and it ends up changing the story. But I'm totally game for the changes, so I like to think that the story turned out exactly the way it should. :)

Now, these are all good questions, but I feel I have to ask the truly hard hitting stuff now.

So, we read that Jackie ends up with a lot of Victoria Secret undies and that's cool and all, but what I really want to know is, what kind of underwear do Noah and Zane wear?

Oh boy. I think Noah would be a briefs kind of guy. Not in the boring, tighty-whitey sort of way, but in the David Beckham pictures sort of way. I've included a picture so you can see what I'm talking about.

Zane, I have always pictured as a more trendy, boxer-briefs sort of guy. And again, I've added a picture because I think visuals always help. ;)

Oh, yeah, visuals always help. ::drools::

How many adventures do you have planned for the lovely Jackie and her sidekicks?

Good question - one I don't have an answer for. It depends on my publisher! Without spoiling things, I'll say Book 3 offers some sort of closure to multiple plot lines, but if there's enough demand, I have enough ideas for at least 3 more books that would be more of a 'second series' involving the same characters, if that makes sense.

Are we going to meet anyone new and possibly sexy in the next story, Succubi Like It Hot?

There is someone new in book 2, yes! And he is sexy. But is he a good guy? This is the part where I raise my pinky finger to my lips like Dr. Evil.

So, these books are considered Paranormal Romance, but we have two smokin hot male leads. Is there going to be a point where Jackie will be forced to choose between her lovers or is there the possibility of a HEA for all of them?

Everything is not wrapped up all pretty and neat at the start of book 2. Rather, the relationship is going through some growing pains. You have two guys that don't seem to like each other very much that are forced to share someone they care about. Of course there are going to be conflicts. And I can say that as of right now, none of the three is exactly sure what they want out of the relationship -- just that no one is willing to step aside just yet.

I can't say more or I'll spoil things! :)

What was the best advice you received while you were trying to be published?

I forget who told me, but I was really busy trying to make my stuff sound like everyone else's. Someone told me not to bother with it, and that I had a funny voice (or at least they thought I was funny!) and that I should try and cultivate that. I spent a long time trying to write serious, serious, angst-riddled storylines and it wasn't clicking for me. Once I embraced that my stuff was going to be funny and light and told from a first-person POV, it all sort of came together.

Do you have a word of advice for aspiring writers out there?

That's my advice for everyone else, too. We're not all emo angst-muffins that have to write dramatic, unhappy stories. If what calls you is kind of funny and quirky, go ahead and write it. It'll sound far more natural than trying to force your writing into something it's not.

Was any particular character hard to write for you and why?

Does it sound weird if I say Jackie? So much stuff happens to her that I'm constantly juggling her reactions, and trying to make her pro-active when her natural instinct is to try and run away from bad things. And sometimes the first reaction I come up with for her is not...appropriate. So she feels like a constant juggling act to me. To make her sympathetic but still interesting enough to follow, and not a doormat.

But if she was a breeze to write, it wouldn't be a challenge and she wouldn't be interesting, right?

Well, I'd like to thank the lovely Jill Myles for stopping by to play with us today. And I have to say that whoever told you to write funny was right on the money. Your great sense of humor really comes through in Gentlemen Prefer Succubi, and it was fun to read.

So, now on to the contest. Here are the rules:
You have to leave a comment on this interview in the comments section to enter and you have to live in the continental USA to be eligible.
Now what's up for grabs is a signed copy of Gentlemen Prefer Succubi and some pretty bookmarks, which makes me totally jealous cuz I didn't get any pretty bookmarks ::sniff sniff::
Contest is open til next Tuesday Jan 19th which is coincidentally when the next book by Jill, Succubi Like It Hot comes out ;)
Contest closes at 11:59 PM PST 1/19.

OK, kids, have fun and thanks for joining us.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

What I got at the bookstore

This book looks really cool. My sweetie Wendy has been all excited because her familiar is a ferret and for some reason that really floats her boat. So, I'm going to read it, just for my honey, and the fact that it sounds like lots of fun :P

The blurb:
In the heart of Ohio, Jessie Shimmer is caught up in hot, magic-drenched passion with her roguish lover, Cooper Marron, who is teaching her how to tap her supernatural powers. When they try to break a drought by calling down a rainstorm, a hellish portal opens and Cooper is ripped from this world, leaving Jessie fighting for her life against a vicious demon that's been unleashed.

In the aftermath, Jessie, who knows so little about her own true nature, is branded an outlaw. She must survive by her wits and with the help of her familiar, a ferret named Palimpsest. Stalked by malevolent enemies, Jessie is determined to find out what happened to Cooper. But when she moves heaven and earth to find her man, she'll be shocked by what she discovers—and by what she must ultimately do to save them all.

I had loved Jacquelyn Frank's Nightwalker series til I felt she pussed out on Noah so I stopped reading her, but then I discovered this in the bookstore today and I couldn't help but give her another chance. It looks like a new series and I'm hoping this one is a good hot read.

Jacquelyn Frank, New York Times bestselling author of the Shadowdwellers series, invites readers into a dazzling new world of unstoppable desire and danger..

As an Advocate for his colony, Julian Sawyer travels to Earth to bring back the Chosen—women who possess energy potent enough to help revitalize his people. The stunning, silver-clad beauty who strides into his club one night radiates a sensual magnetism unlike any he's encountered, and Julian realizes that Asia Callahan is not just Chosen, she is his kindra: his one true mate.

For months, Asia has tracked the beautiful and mysterious Julian across the country, convinced that he's behind the disappearance of her sister and a dozen other women. She's prepared to believe he's a ruthless killer, but when she presents herself as bait, she discovers that the truth is far more shocking. Taken to a strange, hazardous realm she never knew existed, Asia will face the ultimate choice—between abandoning the life she's always known, and forsaking a passion as dangerous as it is powerful.

I've been reading Carrie Vaughn's Kitty the Werewolf series since book one and I've enjoyed the ride for the most part. It's a fun series that has taken some at times dark and unforseen twists and turns, but it has a hopeful tone that keeps me coming back. Kitty is a likeable character as are most of the side characters in the stories. Vaughn doesn't shy away from violence and death either, but I don't usually feel that it's unnecessary or done just for cheap thrills. I'm looking forward to getting back into a familiar world and see what adventures await these familiar characters.
The BlurTalk radio host and werewolf Kitty Norville has agreed to appear on TV's first all-supernatural reality show. She's expecting cheesy competitions and manufactured drama starring shapeshifters, vampires, and psychics. But what begins as a publicity stunt will turn into a fight for her life.

The cast members, including Kitty, arrive at the remote mountain lodge where the show is set. As soon as filming starts, violence erupts and Kitty suspects that the show is a cover for a nefarious plot. Then the cameras stop rolling, cast members start dying, and Kitty realizes she and her monster housemates are ironically the ultimate prize in a very different game. Stranded with no power, no phones, and no way to know who can be trusted, she must find a way to defeat the evil closing in ... before it kills them all.

I love Jayne Ann Krentz. I loved her when she wrote as Stephanie James! and had a tendency to go apeshit with exclamation points. I love her as Amanda Quick and when she writes just as Jayne Ann Krentz so when I saw this book that I'd never read before out on the shelves, I just had to pick it up. I've been under a lot of stress lately and JAK almost never fails to make me feel good.
Here's the blurb:
Beautiful Cidra, raised amid a serene, spiritual race, is unprepared for Teague, the rugged adventurer from another race, the Wolves. Side by side on a dangerous quest, they battle both human and alien dangers—and find that their passion holds more danger than they know.

Well, that's my loot for today. I hope this week will be a productive one for reading and a satisfying one with all these great books just waiting for me to dive in.

Smooches ;)

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Avatar Review with Spoilers *warning*

Ok, so I went to see Avatar last night with the hubs. It is definitely an experience that I recommend. We went to the see it in 3D in the IMAX theater just to be sure we got the full effect. What did I think? Well, let me tell you.

First off, it is a long ass movie. I mean, I went in one day and came out the next. The effects were AMAZING, the story had flaws, the romance was lovely, the villains were so very predictable and done before, the action was neat, but by the 6th freaking hour, I was ready to just not care about any of the story if James Cameron would just wrap it up already. It's like he said, "You know what I always regretted? That I didn't make Titanic longer." So he went ape shit on this one.

The first three hours are pretty much Jake, the male lead, flitting through the forest with his new buds the Na'Vi, the native people, while reporting back to his white buddies that want to destroy them *cue evol laugh*. Seriously, the movie could just have been that. I loved the CGI and the Na'Vi people were beautiful and their world was so vivid and deep and Jake was almost likeable with them, almost. It's a big joke in the movie how everyone, from the white military peeps, to the scientists to the Na'Vi call him a moron. Hehehe. Yeah, well, after watching him flit through the wilderness for three fucking hours, go through the rite of passage to become a one of them and never say a damn thing about how the bad guys are gonna come and blow up your home soon, I was ready to jump up and scream "PICK A LANE!" Moron. I mean, what did he think was going to happen? His peeps would come in and destroy their way of life, but he could still spend weekends frolicking with his good blue buddies after that? Or that the bad guys would even let him? Dumbass. And then the lovely, Neytiri, spends all this freaking time showing him how he can literally physically and mentally bond with the local flora and fauna, he's still all, "Whoa, I don't know about all this tree hugger crap." Swear to God, I was like, dumbest hero ever.

I could have easily just watched Jake and the Na'Vi frolick through the beautiful and lush and often dangerous world of Pandora, but oh yeah, we still have the humans to deal with.

It upset me that the humans were almost all bad. They were either evil corporate types or evil military types, or Jake who was too stupid to be truly evil ::snort:: or the lovely scientists which are apparently the only good people around. And seriously, we've gotten to the point of cryogenic sleep so we can travel to far off planets and we still have the corporate pin head that puts in his 3D office? Really?
Ok, I guess I lean towards Gene Roddenberry's vision of a future where we've evolved a bit before we tumble out into space and we're not completely irredeemable as a species, but I digress.

James Cameron is not subtle. I knew the humans didn't belong on the damn planet when they couldn't even survive in the atmosphere without oxygen masks and yet the indigenous people thrived under the same conditions. There was a lot of non-subtle foreshadowing. My husbands theory was that he didn't have to be subtle because the movie was so long that we all forgot what was alluded to five hours ago anyway.

These are some complaints that I had, but overall the movie was very beautiful and seriously, Neytiri is a fabulous character. So beautiful and fierce and all female and all warrior. I thought she and her people were done wonderfully. I thought the planet and it's flora and fauna were fascinating, it could almost have been a Scifi documentary of an alien planet. The romance was sweet and sincere and Jake did finally screw his head on straight, better late than never, right? It was a story we've seen many times before, but it is worth seeing again. It could have been shorter and not lost the spirit of the story and I felt like there were a few too many tidy fixes to everything, but again it is a beautiful story that is worth experiencing, because it really is an experience more than a movie.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Help Me Harass Jill Myles!!

So, coming up on Jan 12 on this here blog I am doing an interview with author Jill Myles. I'm looking for suggestions from you lovelies out there about what kind of questions you would ask her if you could. If you've read her debut book Gentlemen Prefer Succubi is there a burning question you'd like to ask about the characters or world? If you haven't read the book need to. Right now. Go ahead, I'll wait....*cue elevator music*.....................................................
Do you have any questions about writing or the glamorous life of the published author? Hehehe
Leave any suggestions you have in the comments and I may use them in the interview.
Oh, and, By the by, Ms. Myles will also be giving you all a chance to win a signed copy of Gentlemen Prefer Succubi when we do the interview, so stay tuned and drop on by on the 12th.

And check out the next installment in the adventures of Jackie Brighton, Succubi Like it Hot coming out on Jan 19!

Muah ;)

Review: Enemy Mine by Barbara J. Hancock

Enemy Mine is a short story e-book that is published by Samhain.
The blurb:
Risking everything for the one woman bold enough to betray him.

Julia Rierdon attacks life with everything she’s got, taking the missions no one else will touch. Refusing to slow down long enough to embrace anything or anyone else. When her plane goes down in the Smoky Mountains, being injured and alone with a dangerous shifter chained at her side is bad enough. Fighting her bone-deep desire is a challenge she could fail.

Ross Walker knew Julie was dangerous the minute she walked into his casino. She exactly matches the image of his destined mate imprinted on his dreams. One moment of distraction and he’s on his way to prison—putting at risk the future of the Cherokee Ani’Kutani, an ancient clan of shape shifters.

He ought to make a break for freedom. Instead he stays to heal her wounds. Giving in to their wild, undeniable passion, Ross prays their mystical connection will help Julia see beyond what she’s always believed about shifters and see the
forever in his dreams.

Let me just say that I loved Ross. He was so hot. Yes he is an alpha shapeshifter, but damn, he can be so tender and sexy. So determined without being pushy. He is simply confident and believes in their connection, believes in Julia and so he has the confidence to give her room to breathe. He gives her the chance to make a decision and choice with the deep hope that she'll choose to stand beside him as his partner. Oh, yeah, that shit's hot.

Julia is not a bad character. She's damaged so I can forgive her her kinda bad attitude at times and she really has gone through a lot of loss in life so it's fitting that she doesn't trust or love easily. But Ross' patient exceptance of her gives her the peace to look in herself and decide what truths she is willing to except. And she's tough enough that you believe she can stand beside him and his people in the tubulant times this story takes place in.

I enjoyed this story, I felt there were a couple holes and honestly, there was such an interesting world set up and the characters were so fascinating that I hated that it was a short story. According to my e-reader it was about 41 pages. That just wasn't enough to tell me everything I wanted to know. However, for a short story there was definitely a set up, conflict and resolution so it was pretty complete within itself.

I enjoyed this quick read and definitely recommend it for anyone who would like a rather tender romance starring two damaged but strong individuals that find hope in each other.

My grade for Enemy Mine is a solid B.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Review: Gentlemen Prefer Succubi by Jill Myles


Who Knew An Angel Could Get A Girl In So Much Devilish Trouble?

Jackie Brighton woke up in a Dumpster this morning, and her day has only gotten weirder. Her familiar B-cups have somehow become double Ds, her sex drive is insatiable, and apparently she had her fi rst one-night stand ever...with a fallen angel. All she remembers is gorgeous Noah's oddly hypnotic blue eyes...and then a dark stranger whose bite transformed her into an immortal siren with a sexy Itch. With help from Noah, Jackie begins to adapt to her new lifestyle — until she accidentally sends Noah into the deadly clutches of the vampire queen and lands herself in a fi erce battle for an ancient halo with the queen's wickedly hot righthand man. Who just happens to be the vampire who originally bit her. How's a girl supposed to save the world when the enemy's so hard to resist?

So, I had the pleasure of reading this debut book by Jill Myles this weekend and let me say, I really enjoyed it.

The few times I've had contact with Ms. Myles I could tell she has a great sense of humor and it came shining through in this story. To illustrate, let me give you one of my fave lines. To set the scene, Jackie is undergoing some bizarre and rather scary changes in her body and behavior. Her sex drive is skyrocketing and she has just almost screwed the bewildered (and very willing) doorman at her apartment and she's been up all night watching porn, when she finally gets a hold of Noah he wants to meet at a church and this is her response:
I sighed. "Okay, I'll meet you there. I'll be the one with the clothes that don't fit." Dry humping the pews.

I read that line and her little thought to herself and laughed so hard I choked, it was unattractive, but that didn't stop me from pressing on in my reading adventure.

I loved Noah and Zane. They are both mega hotties and they can both be tough or tender and I loved the different facets to their personalities.

I especially love Remy, the only other Succubus in town and Jackie's new BFF, kinda by default. She is awesome and the interplay between the two was often hilarious. I would love to be girlfriends with Remy.

Jackie herself is a very funny character. She has some of the best internal dialogue and some pretty good lines in this book. My big beef with her though was that she's supposed to be a nerd and really smart and it seemed sometimes like she grew a pair of tits and her brain just short circuited. She could do some pretty stupid things that had me shaking my head, but she made up for all of that by being loyal and feisty and trying her damndest to cope with the new life and all it's pluses and minuses that she never asked to have. At times I wanted to slap her and at other times she had me laughing my ass off and cheering for her.

Overall, I think this is a pretty solid debut and am definitely going to read the next one that happens to be coming out this month titled: Succubi Like It Hot.

I give this a solid B+ and definitely recommend it to any fan of funny, sexy and adventure.

Kisses ;)

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