Monday, May 30, 2011

Seducing Steve by Maggie Wells

Seducing Steve

Seducing Steve

Book Blurb:
Erotic romance novelist Sara Wright yearns for passion that leaps from the page. After a marriage that proved to be more fizzle than sizzle, Sara's writing reflects her growing frustration and also her secret passion for her best friend and muse, Steve Larson.

Steve is anything but your typical romance hero. A redheaded computer nerd with a slow, southern drawl, Steve is neither a cattle baron nor a titan of industry. The one thing he does have going for him is that he has loved Sara from the moment he met her.

When she confesses that he has long served as her inspiration, Steve leaps at the chance to take things to the next level. Determined to be the man to make her fantasies come true, he takes a page from Sara's own books and plots a passion so intense it threatens to consume them and the friendship they b cherish.

When friends turn into lovers, love can get lost in the shuffle. Fact becomes tightly cocooned in fiction as both Sara and Steve learn to balance their desires with the needs of their hearts.

SeducingSteve was my hot weekend read. First of all, who doesn’t love that cover? As soon as I saw it, the book drew me in and I needed to read it. I love when a book cover matches the book. 

I loved the spin with Seducing Steve that Sara is an erotic romance writer. I know that many erotic writers get asked questions about their inspiration and if they have they done the stuff that they write about in their books. It was interesting that Sara is a bestselling erotic author but was stuck in a boring sexless type of marriage that resulted in a divorce. Steve, her best friend, was her muse for years and it was her imagination that got those sexy scenes on paper.

At the beginning of the book when Sara is setting out to seduce Steve, I had to laugh that she got the entire living room atmosphere all set with candles and dim lighting and Steve walks in oblivious and turns on the lights with a 'why is it so dark in here' attitude. Poor guy doesn’t know what’s about to hit him. When Sara starts with her seduction moves over a pizza dinner I cracked up about what was happening to Steve. “Desperate, he grabbed the pizza box and hauled it into his lap; hoping mounds of cheesy sausage would camouflage the pepperoni threatening to burst from his jeans.” 

Truthfully, Sara doesn’t really have a hard time seducing Steve. He’s all for it. He has been secretly in love with Sara for eight years and has just learned that he was her inspiration for most of her books. Wanting to learn more about this inspiration, he buys up Sara’s entire collection and now thinks he needs to be all the different men she wrote about. As Sara continues to seduce him he’s trying to act out the men in her books. Steve is getting a little lost not sure where the script ends and where his true self comes to play and he is falling more and more in love with Sara. 

Seducing Steve is an awesome read and I was entertained to read how these two finally get together after pinning for each other for all those years.

Interview - Me!

How cool is this! I was interviewed by James on his blog The Book Base.

Wanna read who I'd invite for dinner or who my favourite 3 authors are?

Check out my quick little interview here.

Thanks James for hosting this Q & A for bloggers. It been fun getting to know everyone.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Congratulations to another $25 Amazon Gift Card Winner

I have reached 100 followers! I am very thankful and grateful for all the folks who have decided to follow along my book review blog.

And as a thank you, I am giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card just for following along.

My previous winners were:
Mrs. Missive, La Crimson Femme* and Sirena_dela_Amante

And this time random drawing picked my son, the winner is
Natasha H

Natasha I will be reaching out to you shortly. Thank you once again for following my blog.

*still have not been able to contact La Crimson Femme

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Raeliksen by Renee Vincent

Ræliksen: Book One of the Emerald Isle TrilogyMara and Daegan's book


By Renee Vincent

Book Blurb:

Mara, the daughter of an Irish clansman, was raised to believe the men of the North are heathens - murderous pagans without a moral bone in their bodies. Despite warnings of the Northmen's raids, and the growing threat of another incursion, Mara is continually drawn to her favorite place - the River Shannon.

Dægan Ræliksen, a wealthy chieftain from Norway's frozen fjords, secretly discovers Mara at the water's edge. He is charmed by her beauty and sensuous grace. As the days pass, his contentment with simply watching her grows thin. He can no longer deny his unabated desire for the young maiden. His search for a wife has ended. However, Mara and Dægan come face-to-face in a time when Ireland is in turmoil - when every Irishman is being called up to fight against the Nordic foreigners. In these times of upheaval, how can Dægan make peace with Mara's father and acquire the woman he treasures? Furthermore, can Mara move past her fears and find the noble man within the savage.

I finished Raeliksen three days ago and it is only now that I can sit down to type a review. Even now I’m trying to form what I will say. I feel stuck. How do I say exactly what I want to say without giving away the ending? I never want anyone to read a review of mine and know the ending.

So to attack my conundrum let’s start out at the beginning of the novel. I loved how Daegan and Mara introduced themselves to each other. Who doesn’t love a scuffle to the ground with the hero trying to protect a fair maiden from the mean and evil villains and then the heroine paying back the unknowing favour by breaking his nose? Loved it! I truly love when a hero is saving the day for a strong and able woman. Right away, I knew I was going to love these two together. And I did.

I loved the formula Renee Vincent used for the plot conflict. Daegan and Mara’s pending relationship was not the conflict itself but rather all the bumps in the road to allow them the peace and love that they were craving. There was war, villains, treaties, family, promises, a burial, culture differences heck even the weather was a hindrance for their happiness. I was so pleased to read about a couple that WANTED to be together and their open love for each other was not the issue. There were no immature misunderstandings or miscommunications that are often the formula for romance novels. It was so refreshing to read that the couple was not fighting with each other but rather their circumstances.

Daegan was a Viking hero you love to love. I need to share this bit of heartfelt speech he recites to Mara so that you get a true sense of the man the author created.
"I have, from the day I was born, believed that my death would be glorious and I would be chosen among the best to fight each day, arm in arm, with those who have gone before me. And when that day should come, it would be an honor that every man envies, to be allied with the gods against the beasts of the underworld. But the more I am with you, the more I am rejecting the thought of that life. With you in my arms, I have no wish to die in that manner. Not anymore. You have made me believe that love is stronger than a sword arm and more eternal that the last breath of a dying warrior on the battlefield.”

So here’s where I need to make a decision on how much further I need to reveal as to not ruin the ending. Let me just say that Raeliksen is a moving and emotional love story. There are many religious undertones found throughout the novel that spoke well of the time (Ireland 916 AD). I truly liked Mara as the heroine. She was a woman of distinguished courage and I respected her right away. Daegan. Oh Daegan. I completely fell in love with him. Smart, brave, respectful lover, honourable and a true leader. He was the entire package. I would love to ask the author what spoke to her to make her end Raeliksen as she did. That’s all I’m saying about it. If you want to know more, you’ll have to read it.

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Secret Life by C.J. Archer

A Secret Life (Lord Hawkesbury's Players #1)

By C.J. Archer

I was provided a copy of A Secret Life by the author who requested a fair and honest review.

Book Blurb:
Minerva Peabody needs a man. Unfortunately she picked the wrong one. The impoverished playwright has a dream to see her plays performed on stage but in Elizabethan England, not only are women considered the inferior sex, they simply do NOT write plays. Faced with rejection after rejection, she decides to take one more chance with the most desperate theater manager in London, only this time she'll use the cover of a man. Sucked in by a pair of bright blue eyes and impressive shoulders, she chooses Blake out of the crowd, never thinking he'll actually play an active role in her ruse. But when he does, he gets under her skin in the most alarming way.

Privateer (don't call him a pirate to his face), Robert Blakewell, accepted Min's proposal in order to discover which cur among Lord Hawkesbury's Players got his sister with child. But when his mission threatens to destroy Min's fledgling career, he must make a choice: protect his family or the woman he has grown to love. Either choice will see him lose something precious.

A SECRET LIFE is a romp through Elizabethan England and features cameo appearances from William Shakespeare.

I found that A Secret Life had a fairly interesting beginning, a slow middle and then it got super ramped up and exciting near the end of the book. If the entire book was a fast paced and as interesting as the end of the book, A Secret Life would have been amazing.

Ok let me start with the beginning. It's always interesting to me when I read historical books. I love them.  It amuses me if not pisses me off how women were viewed and where their role in society was held. I surely don’t know how I’d have ever survived in any other era than the current.  Poor Min. She is a woman born in the wrong century for sure. Smart, well educated in the sciences of the day, knows various languages and she has a talent for writing poetry and play writing. Unfortunately all these gifts were used to serve her father’s pursuits and no theatre company would even read her material simply based upon the fact of her gender.

On the fly she comes with an idea to have a man pose as the author for her play. That’s where Robert “Blake” Blakewell comes into the story.   

Up until that point, I thought the story was great and it was holding my interest. The middle of the book just seemed to drag for me. There were a whole bunch of scenes that could have been condensed or removed altogether.  I would have loved more time between “Blake” and Min. Maybe more humour. Something that connected them more. Something that would have made me want to root for them or to have me feel a deeper chemistry between the pair. There is so much potential for the pair but it just fell short of drama or passion.

Then at about 80% on my Kindle, the story came alive. Blazingly alive. There was angst, drama, emotions, nail biting scenes and you started to feel that Blake and Min maybe do have the chemistry I was previously craving. There was this one scene where Min and her father were arguing and he was threating to throw her script into the fireplace and I was panting in agony. “NO NO NO” I heard myself say out loud.

Then finally the villain of the story, Ned, made an appearance. Ned was in the story the entire time but previously he just seemed to be a secondary character with really no use. Well that certainly changed because he was a really nasty character.

So ultimately A Secret Life had an amazing ending but it just took too long to have me so engaged. If only some of that action was distributed in the middle of the book.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Prize by Julie Garwood

Baron Royce and Nicholaa's book

The Prize

By Julie Garwood

Book Blurb:
In the resplendence of William the Conqueror's London court, the lovely Saxon captive Lady Nicholaa was forced to choose a husband from the assembled Norman nobles. She chose Royce, a baron warrior whose fierce demeanor could not conceal his chivalrous and tender heart. A resourceful, rebellious and utterly naive, Nicholaa vowed to bend Royce to her will despite the whirlwind of feelings he aroused in her. Ferocious in battle, seasoned in passion, Royce was surprised by the depth of his emotion whenever he caressed his charming bride.

In a climate of utmost treachery, where Saxons still intrigued against their Norman invaders, Royce and Nicholaa revelled in their precious new love ... a fervent bond soon to be disrupted by the call of blood, kin and country!

Another amazing novel by Julie Garwood. I have no idea what I am going to do when I run out of Julie Garwood's historical novels to read. She compares to no one for me. I wanted to savour The Prize because I know I'm getting low on Garwood historical reads. Unfortunately I fell so hopelessly in love with the characters, I couldn't put the book down.

Nicholaa was adorably delightful, cunning and the poor girl was years ahead of her time in respect to women's rights for that time period. (England 1066) She was a beautiful woman who had no idea just how beautiful she was. Nicholaa was as smart as a whip and made no apologies for it.

Baron Royce was older than Nicholaa. It isn't quite mentioned how much older but you get the impression it has to be 15 yrs or so. He is a well respected warrior with a fair and gentle heart who had never been married and he was pretty much lost in his own world on what marriage was supposed to be. He even referred to "marriage is like a map".

These two were perfect for each other. Nicholaa would make me laugh with all her little prep talks with herself. "I'm going to be a good wife", "I'm going to give him a peaceful life", "I'm going to start obeying him now" and then two seconds later she loses her temper. I loved her contradictions but not as much as I loved Royce's "You are not allowed to weep" or "you are my wife and you will do as I say with no questions", and then  he takes the time to explain to her his reason for doing something. Put the two of them together and I was smiling constantly.

The book is called The Prize because it takes the king to battle with 4 different groups of soldiers to finally take over her homeland because Nicholaa is brave, cunning and is a great shot with arrows and slingshots. Royce is the successful warrior of course. The king offers the ledgendary Nicholaa as a prize to any of the warriors who will battle for her. While Royce rides with Nicholaa to London, they become attracted and a bit attached to each other.
When Nicholaa bravely saves the king and queen's niece from a fire the tables get turned and now Nicholaa is now given the prize to marry any of the unmarried warriors of her choice. Nicholaa chooses Royce and then next day they are married.

What I love is that all happens at the beginning of the book and then the rest of the book is their life together and the conflicts they endure and how they fall in love with each other.

My favourite scene was when Nicholaa had planned to get Royce drunk with ale and them promptly ended up drunk herself. There are so many more great scenes in the book but my review would go on forever. Basically, I loved the book.

Three by Opal Carew



By Opal Carew

Book Blurb:
Hot steamy dreams…a sexy stranger…and his two brothers…
all add up to an erotic adventure she’ll never forget.

Lori’s erotic dreams about a hot hard stranger are hitting fever pitch. She needs way more than eye contact and a smile across a crowded subway station. An instant connection sizzled between them and now Lori, who’s never believed in love at first sight, is its helpless victim.

When Lori goes to her best friend’s cabin for the weekend to spend time with Marie, her new husband and his brothers, she’s surprised to wind up face-to-face with her fantasy stranger. He clearly wants to act on the incredible attraction between them. The heat builds and they wind up in the hot tub, totally caught up in their passion.

They are interrupted – by one of his brothers – and Lori soon finds herself in the middle of two sexy, handsome men, both bringing her to ecstatic heights. She didn’t think things could get any better, until another interruption – by yet another brother – has her blushing with embarrassment, as well as passion.

Now Lori is experiencing her wildest fantasy yet, three ultra-sexy men at the same time. But she wants more than an erotic dream brought to life. Because she’s in love. But can her sexy stranger return her love?

Note: This red-hot short story has steamy sex, including ménage a trois, foursomes, and group sex. Consider yourself warned!

Yeah I think that the book blurb is longer than the book. At only .99 this is a super quick 45 min read max.

I have read lots of Opal Carew books before and Three is not one of her best. I have to say, I love practically everything she has written. However not this little .99 ebook. From page 1 till you read "the end" it's pure sex. But not pleasant meaningful sex or even hot erotic sex. Three just boarders on ridiculous. It's just more like a porn show. So the story goes....well there is not story just sex.  Lori has anal sex for the first time and it plays off like he enters her like she is old school.

Then to tie it all together, Opal Carew tries to pull off that Lori and one of the brother's Craig are falling in love. WTF! Falling in love? Just because she met him a few hours earlier, had sex with him about 4 times in those few hours, Lori looked at him like she could spend the rest of her life with him? If you want to write a pure erotic book, do so. But leave it there and not try and throw a last minute romance spin on it.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Sweet Persuasion by Maya Banks

Sweet Persuasion

By Maya Banks

Book Blurb:
The bestselling author of For Her Pleasure and Sweet Surrender delivers another winner-the kind of erotic romance readers are craving.

 For five years, Serena has run Fantasy Incorporated and has devoted her time to fulfilling her clients' fantasies. Never her own. Until now...

Her most secret desire is to give ownership of her body to a man. Someone who will command her, pleasure her, and have complete authority over her. So she seeks out Damon Roche, owner of an exclusive sex club and a man strong enough to make her do anything he wants. Anything.

Together they'll journey into a world she's only dreamed of. She's given the opportunity to immerse herself in a different life while her normal one waits for her to return whenever she wishes. Damon has no desire to let her go, however. Serena is the woman he's long searched for, and it's up to him to convince her to stay when the game is all over with. He wants their fantasy to become their reality and for Serena to remain his pampered, cherished submissive.

Sweet Persuasion was absolutely an amazing story. I LOVED LOVED LOVED IT.

Maya Bank's first book in the Sweet series, "Sweet Surrender" was incredible and I remember after I finished reading that story, I was really hoping there would be another book. There may or may not have been fist pumping when I learned that the first book had morphed into an actual Sweet series. In "Sweet Surrender" a certain male character, Damon Roche, peaked my interest majorly and then when I discovered that "Sweet Persuasion" was focused on his story, I quickly added it to my future reading list. If memory serves me correctly, I think that Sweet Persuasion was one of my first pre-orders. Hot cover, no?

Well let me tell you, Maya Banks did not disappoint her fans. Sweet Persuasion was intense as you followed Serena's so called submissive fantasy straight through to Damon's true lifesyle. As a reader you can completely relate to Serena and how difficult it would be to turn from independant business owner to full time "sex slave". Their connection was electric, the story line was a gripping. I loved reading about the close female friendships between Serena and her girlfriends and Sweet Persuastion totally drew you in with the emotions of the characters.

Ok now to time to talk about the main plot of Sweet Persuasion, the erotic situations. You can't possibly review Sweet Persuasion and not talk about sex. Because, wow! It wasn't just that there was great choreographed sex scenes but rather tumble all of that action with kinky, erotic and BDSM exhibitions, it was literally moving if not sometimes shocking to the reader. There is a D/s lifestyle to attend to in Sweet Persuasion but Damon and Serena's story is heavier on the Master & Sex Slave scene. There is alot to deal with in Sweet Persuasion. From humilation to soft caresses the reader is taken on path all over the spectrum. I would definitely agree that Sweet Persuasion is not for everyone but the underlining emotions between Damon and Serena is love. I absolutely love that Damon calls her Serena Mine and that she adorns the possessive arm bands with pride.

Sweet Persuasion is easily one of my favorites of Maya Banks and that's hard to say because I adore practically everything she has written. If you are interested in the story, which I totally recommend, I suggest you read "Sweet Surrender" first. It's not necessary as you could read Sweet Persuasion as a stand alone but you'd miss out on a great base for this amazing continuation. Enjoy, you will not be disappointed!

Be Mine, Valentine - various TMP authors

Be Mine, Valentine

Be Mine, Valentine

By Turquoise Morning Press Authors

Book Blurb:

A dozen short stories of love...just as good as roses. Maybe even better. This short story collection celebrates love - youg love and old, mended love, secret love, and love enduring. Twelve talented writers share stories to touch your heart and soul.

The beauty of Romance books is that it can be Valentine’s Day all year ‘round. That’s why when I purchased Be Mine, Valentine way back in February,  I wasn’t in a hurry to read it.

What a delightful anthology full of talented writers. You can honestly read these stories anytime because there is lots o’ love to go around. So don’t be shy, if you love fluffy romance and to read short little stories that make you warm and fuzzy all over, you don’t have to wait for Valentine’s Day next year to enjoy.

Valentina: The Untold Legend by Jennifer Johnson– This first story is an old time historical and a wonderful new twist on the name Valentines. True love has no bounds and miracles can happen.

The Red Dress by Amy Leblanc – I think this was one of my favourites. It was a short story but it felt longer. Great love connection from a thoughtful man. You wanted to fall in love with the male character.

The Gift by Cat Shaffer – Oh what a wonderful story of long time love. A moving romance that demonstrates that time cannot diminish the vows you make when you marry. 

The Letter by Suzanne Barrett – An awesome tale that proves that love comes from within. You fall in love with the person, not the appearance of a person.

Love Takes the Cake by Krista Ames – A great little story about forgiveness and understanding the mistakes that one makes in life. Take a look at yourself and see if you are taking anyone for granted. You may regret it if you don’t start appreciating them.

The Legend of the True Love Angel by Bobbye Terry – A sweet spin on a make believe old Irish tale. Even when the circumstances for love look bleak, an angel can visit you and steer you in the right direction. 

Forever in My Heart by Nancy Naigle – Awe man, this one brought a tear to my eye. When someone’s Valentine is taken away from the far too soon.

Be Mine by Margaret Ethridge – My favourite of the anthology. Light hearted and humourous. Even when the perfect planning of a Valentine’s weekend is organized, you can predict the unexpected.

Secret Valentine by Marissa Dobson – Who wouldn’t want a pick me up like this after a horrible break up with the wrong man. There are great men out there and have been all your life. Just open you eyes. He’s right in front of you.

Bittersweet by Tracy March– Another amazing heart warming story that proves you’re never too young to be a gentleman. Totally warm and fuzzy moment that just makes you want to go hug someone.

A Mother’s Heart by Janet Eaves – When life feels like it can’t get any lower, with patience, time and hard work the recovery can be amazing and blessed. A wonderful story around adoption.

His Other Valentine by Elizabeth Chalkley – If you have been married a little while and married life is just weighing in on you, here is a perfect little remedy that you just might keep for the future reference.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

No Apologies by Tibby Armstrong

No Apologies

By Tibby Armstrong

Book Blurb:
Cheerful and friendly, Aaron Blake has never met a puzzle that intrigues him more than brooding Greg Falkner. He wants to get to know his roommate, but it seems the only way past his shell is through it. When a reluctant friendship turns into a budding romance, can the two keep their feelings secret from their classmates? Or will their newfound love destroy them both?

So goes the story screenwriter Greg Falkner spins for audiences and his longtime partner, Aaron Blake, in No Apologies. Loosely based on their lives together, the film rocks Hollywood with its blatant portrayal of two teenagers falling in love and coming of age in a world that struggles to accept them, while they in turn struggle to accept themselves.

At the end of the evening, will Greg's risky venture break a relationship that's already foundering? Or will the real life Greg and Aaron also find their happily ever after with no apologies?

After reading No Apologies I find myself profoundly sad. Understanding that a grown up Greg wrote the screenplay loosely based upon Greg and Aaron’s real life experiences; my heart continued to be heavy.  After reading all about what Aaron and Blake encountered through school I am just plain sad. Although the book is fiction, the experiences are no doubt as true to life for many young people. It is such a shame there is so much negatively around sexuality.  Even Aaron and Greg refused to accept who they were. Of course they are young so they were still trying to figure it out themselves but one can’t help but wonder if there was no negative stereotyping associated with sexuality, would they have been so slow to discover their true selves? It certainly will be a joyous time in humanity where the gender choice of one’s partner isn’t an issue.

Ok so enough about my human right diatribe, let me focus on No Apologies the book.
No Apologies took me a little out of my regular reading zone. Not because it was an M/M book but because it’s not a typical romance, No Apologies is not a “lovey dovey” romance but rather a story of an unstable journey of two young men trying to discover who they are and how they fit in society. Even their intimate moments are secret. I was always on edge with baited breath praying they don’t get caught for fear of the ramifications. It was so angsty and I found myself angry for their constant situation. The reaction from the school mates and even the teachers were deplorable. It just gets me so angry that there was so much ignorance in their life at a time when they needed support. I wished I was there. I wanted to be their friend. I wanted to hug them. Yes, the book evoked many emotions from me. Angry, sad, frustrated, outraged and don’t even get me started on the wicked parents that Greg had. (and that was before her was even “out”)

The writing was amazing. Tibby Armstrong in just two books has made my "click to buy" author list. I followed along clicking my Kindle as fast as the pages would populate. I was drawn to the story and I really wanted to sometime cheer for them. It took a long time for that moment. When Greg finally admits that he is gay, he comes out to a reporter and I totally loved that the reported treated it as no big deal. That’s the way it should be. I wish that there were a few more happy moments to enjoy though. I was so melancholy by the time the end of the book came, the “happily ever after” moment just never really hit me. I missed that. After all they had been through; I wanted to celebrate or something. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Bad Boys of Summer by Lori Foster, Amy Garvey and Erin McCarthy

Bad Boys of Summer
By Lori Foster, Erin McCarthy and Amy Garvey

I picked up Bad Boys of Summer at a used book store because I wanted to read something by Lori Foster before going to her Reader’s & Writer’s Convention in June. Also it's starting to get warm out so I wanted to read a hot summer book. Great find Bad Boys of Summer was. A nice quick read with some great little stories. 

Book Blurb 1 - Luscious by Lori Foster
Bethany Churchill just quit her lousy job, dumped her lousy boyfriend and moved into a new apartment. She s not looking for love, but her hot new landlord is determined to change her mind. SWAT officer Lucius Ryder -- known to the women in the building as "Luscious," much to his chagrin -- is one sexy lawman, and before long Bethany is tempted to find out if he's really as delicious as his nickname...

I loved the banter between Bethany and Lucius. It made for perfect chemistry. I was smiling throughout the chapters. Here is an example:
“Aren’t SWAT guys supposed to be astute about people?”
“Yeah but being around you dicks up my instincts.”

This back and forth flirting totally made Luscious for me. I liked everything about Lucius. He was totally confident, flirtatious, caring and direct. I love reading about a direct man who says it like it is. Bethany was a great female character with spunk and attitude and as a result a perfect match for Lucius.

I’m not usually a fan of anthologies because the stories happen too fast for me. I loved the ending but in all honesty, it was a bit too quick. A marriage proposal in an anthology kind of ruins it for me. It’s just too fast.
I had to smile because my husband’s grandfather’s name was Lucius and I giggle wondering if he ever had the same pet name. 

Book Blurb 2 - It s About Time by Erin McCarthy
County prosecutor Trish Jones has had it with smooth-talking, under-performing suits. And though she’s never had a thing for big, brawny guys, one look at Caleb Vancouver’s bulges makes her think she might have been missing out. One Harley ride later they’re back at her place, and she realizes that she has been missing out . . . on quite a lot . . .

I totally loved It’s About Time. I am going to search out to what else Erin McCarthy has written. The pace and storyline that the author selected to write about for the size of an anthology was perfect. I loved the entire bar scene and the pair getting to know each other.  Trish was a hoot and "adopts" across Caleb at a perfect time. I felt the major chemistry and really wanted them to hit it off.
When Caleb came back to Trish’s house after the bar, the entire set up of Caleb lying on her couch resembling a footlong hotdog captured short bun cracked me up. I pictured it perfectly.
Of course Caleb makes it Trish’s bed eventually and major hotness ensues. I really enjoyed It’s About Time.

Book Blurb 3 - Wish You Were Here by Amy Garvey
Photographer Mackenzie Pruitt knows exactly what she wants her future to look like, and this summer that means renovating a dilapidated shed into a studio. But when hunky carpenter Leo Dawson shows up, she’d much rather have his capable hands on her than on a hammer. He’s not the kind of guy she always thought she’d fall for, but when he touches her, she can’t imagine wanting anyone else . . .
Wish You Were Here wasn’t as upbeat and happy as the first two stories and it seemed to be an anthology book dying to be a real novel. It seemed at lot longer than it was and I really got into the characters Mackenzie and Leo.

Leo was a bit of a mystery for most of the book and Mackenzie was an easily likeable character. A great sexual chemistry match between the pair but I wasn’t really feeling a personality match. No doubt opposites attract and that is definitely the basis for these two.
I do believe the Leo was a changed man from his early years and I would have loved to read more about them. An anthology was just too short to give this pair a great story.
I did love the ending though!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Congratulations to another $25 Amazon Gift Card Winner

Congratulations to another $25 Amazon Gift Card Winner

I reached 75 Google Followers and you know what that means? Time for another drawing for an Amazon Gift Card.

The randomly selected name was

I will send out an email to that lucky winner and notify the good news!

As always, thank you to all my followers on my Another Look Book Review blog and when I get to 100 Google Followers, you'll all be entered again!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Paramour by Margaret Ethridge



By Margaret Ethridge

Book Blurb:
Camellia Stafford has never been alone in her room. For twenty years, she’s been engaged in a fierce power struggle with her bedroom’s previous tenant, Frank DeLuca, the ghost trapped in the light fixture above her bed.

Caustic and cranky, Frank has one soft spot—Cam. Over the years, their feelings for one another have evolved from grudging friendship to an enduring love that burns white-hot until Frank puts his feelings for Cam on ice.

When she suffers the loss of her beloved father, Cam returns home to say good-bye, and confront her feelings for Frank. She finds an unexpected shoulder to lean on in neighbor, Bradley Mitchum. Cam falls hard and fast for the handsome ad man’s charming smile and passionate nature, but Brad’s easy-going exterior masks a steely backbone tempered by adversity.

Two men: one living, one dead, and both vying for her love. Now Cam must determine if her heart is strong enough to choose which dream could lead to a love that will last a lifetime.

Love Love Loved this book. I got so involved with the characters. I don't think I've read a storyline like this before which was refreshing and new. Paramour really only has 3 characters and because of that and how incredible it is all written, you will think about this book days after finishing.

From the moment I read the first line of the Prologue, "I break everything I touch. That's what my mother always told me." I knew I was a gonner. The prologue chapter at the beginning of the book is so powerful and emotional. You learn so much about the character Frank right away and then the prologue ends like this, On August nineteenth, nineteen eighty-seven, I died. She broke. I broke her. I didn't think it was possible. My whole life, I thought she was indestructible. But she's not. She's broken, and I broke her. My mother crumpled in a heap on the floor. For a moment, I was happy. I finally got a rise out of her." (The first person in the prologue is Frank. Now don't you just want to know more about Frank? Oh yeah.)

Camilla, the main female character, returns to her family home after her father suddenly dies of a heart attack. Feeling alone and a little bit lost she rekindles her love & friendship with Frank’s ghost who has been binded to the light sconce in her wall since she was a child. (I don't want to give away spoilers because I really love this book and I don't want to ruin it.)
Enter Brad the sexy neighbour with whom Cam oogles while he is cutting her dad’s lawn. The descriptions of Brad and how Cam and he are reacquainted is written to perfection. There is a connection and a spark right away and you are now caught in a bit of a triangle because at this point of the story, you totally love Frank.

The banter, the conversations, the descriptions and the emotions are all written to perfection and I haven’t even touched on the delicious smut. There is a hallway scene that I read twice because I read it so fast that I had to go back and slow down and read it again because it was so enjoyable. Here is another bit that I saved on my Kindle because I just adore the description,
"He gasped for precious oxygen when the button popped open. For a crazed moment, he wondered if it was her doing, or if the sheer force of his throbbing erection was answering her unspoken request."

Okay now the ending. GUH! Please don’t ruin it by reading the ending first if that is what you do. AMAZING. For only $5 on Amazon Kindle, it was a steal. I look forward to many other writings by Margaret Ethridge.

High Five by Janet Evanovich

High Five

by Janet Evanovich

Book Blurb:

In this fifth entry in Janet Evanovich's increasingly popular series, Stephanie's problems are many and varied. She's not making enough money picking up FTAs (Failures to Appear) for her cousin Vinnie, of Vincent Plum Bail Bonds; her red-hot love affair with Detective Joe Morelli has cooled off; and her giant extended family is no help at all. For instance, Uncle Fred the cheapskate has disappeared, leaving behind some suspicious photographs of body parts in garbage bags and links to some really dangerous people.

When Stephanie turns to her friend and mentor, Ranger, for financial advice, he gets her involved in a gang of toughs doing instant evictions for landlords. (She complains to Ranger about the job and its dangers, prompting one of the hired thug to say, "Man, you don't like to get shot. You don't like to get arrested. You don't know how to have fun at all.")
Most of Stephanie's charm, of course, comes from her attitude--a combination of the brazen bravado that turns a failed lingerie model into a bounty hunter in the first place and the normal fears of a person in over her head.

High Five gets a high five from me. This book has really stepped up the Morelli/Ranger tug of war and was probably the book that divided the fans into two different camps. Janet was genius to morph Ranger into this character that competes for Stephanie’s affection. Otherwise she could have run the risk of fans becoming tired of Morelli and Stephanie not getting together without just cause. Add Ranger into the mix, and you have a recipe for a wicked steamy triangle where scores of fans pick sides.

 High Five offers you lots of meaty content to choose sides from. In one camp you have Morelli telling Stephanie that he loves her and even drops a few marriage comments and then in the other corner you have Ranger becoming increasing flirtatious in a mysterious sexy manner. He gives her something to think about by planting an incredibly sexy kiss. I love the fact that Janet uses a whole different set of adjectives and descriptions to share his seducing mannerisms. There is a different sexy Morelli style altogether.

Early on in the book I was wondering where exactly the Ranger story was going. I enjoyed that Stephanie’s best friend Mary Lou came into the mix. Their telephone conversation to decipher what Ranger wanted in exchange for the expensive car borrowing was priceless and offered a lot of clarity on what Stephanie was thinking. If Stephanie was a real person, I would have had the same conversation with her that Mary Lou did. Kudos again to Janet for writing it down for us.
Just to add to the mix, we get introduced to Terry Gilman which allows us to see a new side to Stephanie. Her jealous side was amusing to read. On the flip side, we were treated to a little bit of Morelli’s jealous side when he was starting to understand that Ranger was coming into the picture a little more than usual. I was enjoying reading it all.

Okay enough about the drama of the love triangles, (although I am a big fan of the triangles) let’s talk about the story. With Stephanie taking jobs from Ranger, we were treated to some really great legendary scenes. I just adore the situations that Stephanie gets herself into. No wonder she is such an amusement to Ranger. This book was also the first time we were introduced to Tank. What is a Stephanie Plum book without a few side splitting Grandma Mazur scenes? Taken pictures of the dead body during the fake fire alarm was bang on Grandma Mazur style. In my opinion, High Five offered the funniest Grandma Mazur scene of all her books. When Grandma Mazur shocked Stephanie’s dad with the stun gun, I laughed so hard my contacts swam out of my eyes.

I got the heebie geebies when Benito Ramirez was brought back. He is one scary villain.

The Uncle Fred plot line as certainly a mystery and as usual the unsuspecting true villain was a surprise to me. The only thing I really didn’t care for in the book was how the villain explains the entire story just before getting ready to shoot Stephanie. That confession move is such a cliché. I prefer Janet’s other creative ways for the true story to be explained. However I did like that she wrote Stephanie having better instincts in this book in regards to figuring out the mystery and the true identify to Bunchy. I think even Morelli had to be impressed that Stephanie figured out more than him. All in all, High Five a great book and certainly set the presence for the triangle in her following books. Oh yeah, High Five had the best cliff hanger ever. I think I would have died if I couldn’t have found out right away by reading Hot Six who Stephanie had called on the phone.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Giving Up the Ghost by Melissa Ecker

Giving Up The Ghost

Giving Up the Ghost
By Melissa Ecker
Turquoise Morning Press

Book Blurb:
Kylie McAllister has it all until her world is shattered by the death of her husband, Jackson, in a car accident. After a year of grieving, Kylie uses the proceeds from Jackson’s life insurance to purchase a plantation home on the outskirts of New Orleans to start over with their daughter, Abby. Confirmed bachelor, Ryan LaCroix, has no intentions of settling down with anyone, let alone his best friend’s widow, but somehow Kylie and Abby find their way into his heart.

After discovering an old Ouija board in the attic of her new home, Kylie unwittingly opens a cosmic door to an incubus who pretends to be the dead husband she is so desperately struggling to let go of. She falls deep under his potent spell of delicious sex and malevolent obsession while he gradually drains her life to fortify his own. By the time she realizes he’s an imposter, she is powerless to stop him. Together, with Jackson’s subliminal guidance and the help of a kind voodoo practitioner, Ryan and Kylie wage a fight for her life against the evil entity.

Giving Up The Ghost was not what I expected at all. Melissa Ecker is making a name for herself in the erotica genre so I was expecting, well erotica. Instead I got an emotional, gripping story that had me so invested in the characters that I stayed up super late to read. (My boss can thank Melissa Ecker for me yawning all day)

By reading the book blurb you understand that Kylie’s husband Jackson dies in a car accident. So yes, no surprise, the readers know and expects Jackson’s fate. However, Melissa Ecker spends the first few chapters of Giving Up The Ghost introducing you to Jackson and Kylie as a couple. You fall in love with their family, their baby daughter and in general feel all warm and fuzzy towards them. You get comfortable reading about the teasing through the family dinner and reminisce right along with them during supper. You forget all about the book blurb and then all of a sudden BAM! It hits you. Jackson isn’t supposed to be in this story. He’s supposed to be dead. Remember the book blurb says he dies in a car accident. Then the second BAM hits you. The car accident happens. *pause while I dab my eyes* Talk about emotional.  Don’t get me started on the funeral scene.

Gripping and devastating. I moped and I thought there is no way any man will be able to take the place of Jackson.

Nope I couldn’t go to bed here because I had to see how this story played out now.

Thankfully the story jumps ahead about a year. This break in the timeline allowed for some needed healing. Of course Kylie is still not over Jackson but she’s making positive strides to move forward. The story starts to get interesting because Kylie has started a new life in an old plantation home and discovers an Ouija board in the attic and accidentally opens a portal for an incubus to crossover. I thought the emerging of the incubus was well paced. It was a nice believable slow process and you could feel the life slowly being taken away from Kylie.

You endure through Kylie’s confusion of not understanding what is happening to her and at times, you become frustrated with her. Remember at the beginning of the review where I mentioned that I didn’t think no man could replace Jackson? Well by this time in the book, Ryan (Jackson’s best friend) has put himself out there for Kylie and you just want to shake her to reality. How did that happen? Great writing. That’s how.

There were a few times throughout the book I wish that Kylie and Ryan’s conversations were longer and their love making was drawn out a bit more. It didn’t take away from me appreciating their relationship any less; I just think it would have deepened the story a bit more.

Finally I just wanted to add that I was so happy that Kylie had such a wonderful family. It was so pleasing that the villain of the story was the manipulative incubus and not a mother in law. Very refreshing that there was a strong family unit in Giving Up The Ghost