Friday, March 29, 2013

The Lady Always Wins by Courtney Milan

Ginny Barrett and Simon Davenant's book

The Lady Always Wins 

By Courtney Milan

Nobody has ever come close to taking the place that Virginia Barrett had in Simon Davenant’s heart. As a child, Ginny was his best friend and comrade-in-arms. As a young lady, she became his sweetheart. But when his parents discovered their growing affection, they threatened to cut Simon off without a penny if he married her. And when Simon planned an elopement, Ginny refused: She wasn’t going to marry a poor man. Ever.
In the seven years since they last saw one another, Ginny has been married and then widowed. Simon has built an empire as a railway financier. When they meet again, there’s still that same delicious, playful attraction between them. But only Simon knows how tenuous his second chance really is. Everyone believes that Simon is wealthy. In truth, his company has been taken over by a hostile competitor and he is ruined. He knows from bitter experience that Ginny won’t marry a poor man. And so he has three days until the news becomes public—three days to seduce, woo, and marry the woman he cannot forget, or risk losing her…and this time, for good.

Courtney Milan writes the best historical heroines. They're always so smart and admirable. I know so many readers love a hero but for me, the heroine makes or breaks a story. Even though The Lady Always Wins is a novella, the heroine Ginny is just as commendable and memorable as though I had read about her story in a full length novel. I just adored her. 

Ginny and Simon were childhood friends, adolescence sweethearts and then parted ways desolately before they had a real chance to have their love bloom into a mature romance. Courtney Milan provides excellent background history and writes entertaining flashbacks to their first meetings. 

Due to the circumstances placed before the juvenile couple, Ginny married another man and Simon sought out to build his fortune and make a name for himself. I felt their heavy disappointment seep through the pages even though their story was recollected by the couple from years past.  The span of time apart did not soften the hurt. Clearly they never got over each other and they were in each other's thoughts daily.

With Ginny's recent status as a widow, Simon wasted as little time as possible to pursue Ginny. Although The Lady Always Wins is a novella, I felt it was the perfect length for Ginny and Simon's story. From the moment they see each other after being apart for years, they immediately slide into the easy and fun banter that they both enjoyed from the past. It was if no time had passed. I LOVED their smooth transition into the little game of Simon seducing Ginny by a deadline. It fit this couple perfectly. In fact, when I finished reading The Lady Always Wins, I went right back and re-read it. 

The Lady Always Wins is a gem and only .97 on Amazon. A delightful read that is sure to put a smile on your face. 

Teasers: beetle meeting, check-mate, tulips, fake meteor shower 

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Tangle of Need by Nalini Singh

Adria and Riaz's book

Tangle of Need (Phy-Changeling book #11

By Nalini Singh

Book Blurb:Adria, wolf changeling and resilient soldier, has made a break with the past—one as unpredictable in love as it was in war. Now comes a new territory, and a devastating new complication: Riaz, a SnowDancer lieutenant already sworn to a desperate woman who belongs to another.
For Riaz, the primal attraction he feels for Adria is a staggering betrayal. For Adria, his dangerous lone-wolf appeal is beyond sexual. It consumes her. It terrifies her. It threatens to undermine everything she has built of her new life. But fighting their wild compulsion toward one another proves a losing battle.

Their coming together is an inferno…and a melding of two wounded souls who promise each other no commitment, no ties, no bonds. Only pleasure. Too late, they realize that they have more to lose than they ever imagined. Drawn into a cataclysmic Psy war that may alter the fate of the world itself, they must make a decision that might just break them both.

It took me a long time to finish Tangle of Need. I just couldn't get into it. It was like a filler book for me. I wanted to read Tangle of Need as soon as it came out but "the powers that be" decided to go with a hardcover and since my books all have to match on the shelf, I waited for the paperback. I also refuse to pay the same price for an ebook as a hardcover so I had to wait and wait for the paperback. When it finally did come out, I bought it but by then I had lost the momentum to read it and other books took priority. Well now with the new book coming out in June, I wanted to for sure get it read. 

Riaz and Adria were just "meh" characters to me. I really had nothing invested in them. I was getting pretty sick of the repetitive word "dominate" and I really couldn't understand why Adria was so torn up about her previous relationship. I felt they were rather boring as a couple. I wouldn't say that I don't like them, I guess it is more that I really have no draw towards them. 

Now the great thing about Tangle of Need was that there was lots of fabulous follow up with Hawke and Sienna's story. That was probably my favourite thing about the story. I admit to fully wanting more story after their book, Kiss of Snow. Tangle of Need definitely delivered on that front. I also called Tangle of Need a filler book because it included updates from a few other couples that put a smile on my face. I love revisiting previous couples. The story also included tidbits of what is to come in the the next book. There wasn't a lot offered but enough that had to be given before then next book comes out this June 2013. 

Tangle of Need didn't have too much from the Phy world but what was included was excellent. With further questions and an amazing cliff hanger ending, I am so looking forward to the next book, Heart of Obsidian

Teasers: Hawk & Sienna's mating ceremony, still guessing on who the Ghost is (who I think it is is so far off the mark that nobody would believe me), SHE AWAKES

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Turquoise Morning Press: THE BEST OF TMP 2012 - Reader's Choice!

Turquoise Morning Press is requesting readers to vote for their favourite published book from their selection of 2010, 2011 or 2012 titles. 

If you have read some or one of their titles, take a moment to pop over and vote. The Reader's Choice award will be presented at the Lori Foster Reader & Author Convention in June 2012.  

Vote here:
Turquoise Morning Press: THE BEST OF TMP 2012 - Reader's Choice!:

'via Blog this'

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Sanctuary by Jessica Jarman

Grace Summers, Noah Hill and Ethan Erikson's book

Sanctuary ( New Reality book 1)

By Jessica Jarman

Book Blurb:For Grace Summers, life after the super solar flare and deadly viral outbreak can be summed up in one word. Alone. Having lost everyone she loved, Grace travels on foot to her family’s remote hunting cabin, where her father stockpiled food and supplies for this type of situation.
Along the way, she meets Noah Hill and Ethan Erikson, a couple traveling the same direction. Grace struggles with her attraction to the pair until they make it clear they are just as interested in her.
With Noah and Ethan, Grace is no longer alone but can she bring herself to trust them in this new world where everyone is trying to survive no matter the cost?

Received a copy from publisher for an honest review

When it comes to smutty books, menages that are the M/M/F combination are among my most favourite. When I received a request to review Sanctuary I fell in love with the cover and the book blurb. I had to read this one. I'm so glad I did. 

Sanctuary is an erotic M/M/F story but the novella is not full of over the top of smut. There is actually a pretty cool story that I enjoyed just as much as all the sexy action. Sanctuary scored high for me because as much as I like an erotic story, there has to be an intriguing plot that captivates me. The creative idea that a solar flare combined with a deadly human virus affecting the world made for a compelling read and had me wondering what would happen in real life. 

Grace was a totally great character. She was determined and smart. She had heaps of courage to venture out on massive mountain hike alone with her companion dog seeking the sanctuary of her deceased parents cabin. I had such admiration for her to take on the trek while grieving for the loss of her family members. The scenes and the mood were well written and I felt I was hiking right along with Grace. 

Along the exhausting journey enters Noah and Ethan. These two committed partners quickly form a friendly relationship with Grace but do so under the safety pretense that they are gay. Well as the guys say, "mostly gay." With their protective personalities on high alert, the trio decide to band together and accompany Grace to the cabin. I loved that their threesome didn't come across as weird or uncomfortably forced. The story was written where everything seemed so normal in a time period where nothing was normal. Their stalwart bond was so natural and accepting.

The intimate scenes were moving and affectionate. Lots of hot and steamy but not over the top ridiculous. I liked how the author, Jessica Jarman futher solidified their loving relationship by including one on one time with each other in addition to menages. It was crystal clear that Noah and Ethan were very much in love with each other prior to having Grace join their family. I also LOVED that the novella didn't end with Grace being pregnant. 1000 thank yous to the author for not doing that as an ending. 

I noticed that Sanctuary is book one of a series and I will happily if not eagerly read book 2. As I mentioned earlier there is an actual storyline in Sanctuary and the author Jessica Jarman did a great job setting up for a continuation.

Teasers: stockpiled cabin, violent intruders, family additions, barren small towns  

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

I Kissed An Earl by Julie Anne Long

Violet Redmond and Asher Flint, the Earl of Ardmay

I Kissed An Earl (Pennyroyal Green book 4)

by Julie Anne Long

Book Blurb:
Violet Redmond's family and fortune might be formidable and her beauty and wit matchless—but her infamous flare for mischief keeps all but the most lionhearted suitors at bay. Only Violet knows what will assuage her restlessness: a man who doesn't bore her to tears, and a clue to the fate of her missing brother. She never dreamed she'd find both with a man whose own pedigree is far from impeccable
"Savage" is what the women of the ton whisper about the newly styled Earl of Ardmay—albeit with shivers of pleasure. Born an English bastard, raised on the high seas, he's on a mission to capture a notorious pirate for vengeance. But while Violet's belief in her brother's innocence maddens him, her courage awes him . . . and her sensuality finally undoes him. Now the man who once lost everything and the girl who has everything to lose are bound by a passion that could either end in betrayal . . . or become everything they ever dreamed.

I am all out of order with these books. I first read #1 The Perils of Pleasure and then jumped forward to #5 What I Did For a Duke and now I just finished #4 I Kissed An Earl. I dislike doing that. I prefer to read books in order even if there is not a main story theme that carries over from novel to novel. There are just too many Redmonds and Everseas and I started to feel that I was mixing everyone up. I am going to bite the bullet and just buy them all because I love them that much. So my plan is to re-read my review from book #1 The Perils of Pleasure and then start with book #2 Like No Other Lover and so forth. 

Having said all that, I will admit that you probably could read I Kissed An Earl as a standalone book but I would not recommend it. There are a lot of character references to previous stories and I found myself caught between aching (from not knowing what happened in those stories) and then being confused with the amount of parents, siblings and opposing Eversea family members that were mentioned. 

Once again Julie Anne Long has captivated me with fabulously memorable characters. With each book I read, I feel the driving force behind my love of this Pennyroyal Green series is the magnetic allure that the protagonists have over me. Being an avid fan of the historical romance genre I am always delighted when an author has found a new story to be told with mesmerizing characters. 

The rising conflict between Violet and Flint had the pair stuck in a arduous circumstance. Over and over again Violet and Flint had to remind themselves that their situation was not going to end well for either of them. Violet was fiercely protective of her estranged brother, Lyon and Flint was determined to bring Lyon (AKA the pirate La Chat) to justice. Of course that particular brand of justice could result in a death by hanging which would devastate Violet and the entire Redmond family.  
To top off the entire conundrum, Flint was after vengeance for death of his Captain role model which Lyon caused. Just to add more resentment into the mix, Flint's entire future wealth was riding on this capture. Yep, it was not going to end well. 
I ended up adoring BOTH Flint and Violet so I could not choose sides and I celebrated every single time one got an advantage over one another. I was so torn. 

Their passion was a slow angsty build up. So much so that I thought the pair were going to eventually suffer from lust combustion. I thoroughly enjoyed reading how their relationship transpired. 

Teasers: men like servants or pets, encrypted puzzle note with breasts, sexy potato peeling lesson, descriptive actions for V's and curves 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Nate by Beth Williamson

I reviewed my Twitter feed for a "New to Me" author for the month of March and I selected Beth Williamson. I selected Beth Williamson because she has nice Twitter presence (and by that I mean she doesn't bombard the feed with constant "buy my book" tweets). I love historical romances as well as cowboy books so I figured my decision was quite easy. Plus I already own a story of hers on my Kindle so that was a bonus. 

Nate Marchand and Elisa Taggert's book

Nate (Devil's on Horseback book 1)

By Beth Williamson

Book Blurb:Nate Marchand grew up as the only son of the town drunk. As a Confederate soldier, he found that order in the chaos was the only thing that kept him sane. Numbers, information, keeping everything in its proper place became second nature. The chaos of the war and its aftermath sent him into a rigid state that he couldn't seem to overcome.
He and his friends, nicknamed Devils on Horseback, leave behind the aftermath of war to start fresh in the west. Their new business venture flounders and desperation drives them to take whatever work they can. The Devils are hired to remove the Taggert family from land claimed by Samuel O'Shea, the largest landowner in Grayton, Texas.
When he meets Elisa Taggert, his entire world shifts beneath him. Attracted, bewildered, and off-kilter, Nate ignores his conscience in favor of his wallet. The simple task of removing a woman, a boy, and an old man, along with a small herd of cattle, resembles a Medieval siege.

I wanted to love this book, Nate. I really did. Nate just came across as a unmemorable story for me that lacked incentive for me to continue with reading the rest of the series. I liked it well enough but just not enough to read on. 

I didn't connect with the heroine, Elisa at all. For me, the strength of a book usually rests on the heroine's shoulders. At every turn Elisa was an immature perplexing woman that changed moods and story direction with each page. Even though her family was wronged in the most atrocious manner, I couldn't pull any character growth from her. One moment she was cunning, brave and highly protective of her family and then in the next moment she was an inexperienced virginal cowgirl seducing the educated former soldier, Nate. She lost her virginity to him up against a tree and then she rides away as if nothing happened. The next day, she shoots and injures his best friend. Elisa was like a B rated action movie all on her own. I haven't a clue how or why Elisa and Nate fell in love.

Another component to Elisa that I found off-putting was that she was described as dirty and wearing thread bare pants. For a rancher girl I totally get that. But when it came to intimate scenes, I wish there was a mention of how clean she was at that particular time or some blurb indicating that she'd had a bath or washed her hair. I kept picturing a mess of a woman and I just wanted to hose her down or something.    

What I did like about the book was the scheme and the creative twist the book had to offer. It was interesting how the story unfolded and how the story-centered real estate deal disentangled. I enjoyed the friendship between the Devils on Horseback men and their camaraderie is worth more than a mention. They are as loyal as they come and their alliance with one another is embedded in a deep history. The group of men have been through a lot of life changing events together. The risks they are willing to take for one another was highly admirable. 

Teasers: brotherly love, honey poop covered trap, tied up cowboy, cattle massacre

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Best Selling Reads Kindle Fire Contest

Ever heard the expression, "Better luck next time?"
Did you enter the BestSellingReads' February giveaway and came up empty? Try again now! They're giving away a KindleFire loaded with books from your favorite BSR authors plus second and third place prizes of $25 Amazon gift cards.
Enter today. It's easy. No purchase necessary.

Enter Here at BestSellingReads

Winners will be chosen March 26th by Rafflecopter. No purchase necessary.

NOTE from Another Look Book Reviews - 

I did enter the February contest. Although I didn't win their major prize I did win a book!

Good Luck to all!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Discovering Alicia by Tessie Bradford

Brad & Alicia's story

Discovering Alicia

By Tessie Bradford

Book Blurb:Four glorious weeks in a cabin nestled deep in the wilds of Northern Michigan is exactly what Alicia needs. Fishing, sleeping and reading are the only things on her agenda until she finds herself on the forest floor with a gorgeous man running his strong hands over her body. When she realizes they know each other she’s surprised, but when he revs her into a sexual frenzy in a hot minute, Alicia is stunned. The last thing she needs to do is to repeat past mistakes.
Brad can’t believe his college crush is literally sprawled at his feet. It’s been ten years, but Alicia still heats his blood to boiling in an instant. She’s in his neck of the woods for an entire month, the perfect amount of time for a steamy, no-strings-attached fling.
Alicia and Brad soon discover they are both looking for far more.

Received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

I really liked Discovery Alicia. I love a sexy erotic romance novella when there is a totally believable and realistic story as the base theme. 

At first glance I wasn't sure what the title of the novella, Discovery Alicia was leaning toward. My first instinct was that it was going to be a D/s story. Although I do enjoy a great D/s story, I was really happy that Discovery Alicia was simply about a woman who finally felt comfortable enough with herself sexually.  This subject matter is completely authentic for real life and completely relatable.  Previously Alicia hadn't the time to invest in any sort of serious relationships. So although she was not shy, she was just a bit inexperienced and she was used to repressing her affections and needs.  In fact, the author doesn't even try to hide Alicia's inner struggles when she engages in an intimate moment with Brad. 

"Alicia hesitated, wildly conflicted between how she wanted to behave and how she thought she should behave." 

Even more appropriate was the confident and truthful response Brad gives her as he sees Alicia pull back. 

You’re going to tell and show me what makes you feel good or what you’re not into, and I’ll do the same. Making love is no fun if it’s not honest.” 

I loved the fact that Alicia and Brad already knew each from years previous so it allowed for a speedy relationship to blossom over a short month long time frame. I genuinely liked both Alicia and Brad's characters and I felt by the end of the novella, it all wrapped up in a perfect happily ever after for the pair. 

Teasers: Fantasy sharing and trying out those fantasies, county fair foreplay, menage

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

March Madness by Maggie Wells

Shelli Ann Jones and Kevin O'Shea's book

March Madness (Hot Nights in St. Blaise book 3)

By Maggie Wells

Book Blurb:
Shelli Ann Jones never considered ‘It takes one to know one’ an effective pick-up line, but when she runs headlong into St. Blaise Regional Medical Center’s elusive Mr. March, she revises her opinion.

Trauma Surgeon Kevin O’Shea should come with a sign that reads BEWARE OF THE DOG, but Shelli Ann couldn’t hold that against him. She only wanted him for his body. At first.

Kevin is fascinated by his new neighbor. So fascinated, he might be turning into peeping Kevin.

The tables turn when Shelli Ann uses the same meaningless flirtation, casual intimacy, and careful standoffishness Kevin thought he had trademarked against him, forcing him to unleash the full force of his dogged determination in his pursuit to win the heart of the only woman who could break his.

Very excited to have read my monthly St. Blaise fix. You don't have to read the books in order and I find myself looking forward to the beginning of each month to read about a new calendar hottie. 

March Madness could have been titled "Dog Days of March" as a canine nickname game was frequently used in teasing. Trauma surgeon Kevin O'Shea may not normally date his hospital colleagues but he certainly has the distinction around town as being a "dog" type of guy. Admittedly he acknowledges the reputation with an "arf". We all know a guy like Kevin in real life. The flirty hottie who always gets the girl despite having a reputation as a "love 'em and leave" guy. It was so satisfying to read about a man like Kevin meeting his match with Shelli Ann. 

Shelli Ann is new to town and she is in charge. She is top dog in her new position at the hospital and from their first rain soaked encounter, pretty much had Kevin eating out of the palm of her hand. Seems to me that Shelli Ann was a bit of a dog in her own right. Whether Shelli Ann is wrapped up in a skimpy shower towel or donning rain soaked hospital scrubs, she leaves Kevin with images he can't seem to shake. It's enough to drive a man to wash is sheets or vigorously clean his house. 

Playful banter, hot sex and spring Missouri rains take center spot in this March Madness novella. Looking forward to April. 

Teasers: parking lot encounter, bed sheet curtain, lots of wet, new meaning to the term friendly neighbours

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet by Darynda Jones

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet (Charley Davidson book 4) 

By Darynda Jones

Book Blurb:Sometimes being the grim reaper really is, well, grim. And since Charley’s last case went so awry, she has taken a couple of months off to wallow in the wonders of self-pity. But when a woman shows up on her doorstep convinced someone is trying to kill her, Charley has to force herself to rise above . . . or at least get dressed. It becomes clear something is amiss when everyone the woman knows swears she’s insane. But the more they refute the woman’s story, the more Charley believes it.
In the meantime, the sexy, sultry son of Satan, Reyes Farrow, is out of prison and out of Charley’s life, as per her wishes and several perfectly timed death threats. But his absence has put a serious crimp in her sex life. While there are other things to consider, like the fact that the city of Albuquerque has been taken hostage by an arsonist, Charley is having a difficult time staying away. Especially when it looks like Reyes may be involved.
Just when life was returning to normal, Charley is thrust back into the world of crime, punishment, and the devil in blue jeans in this hilarious fourth installment in the New York Times bestselling series from Darynda Jones. 

The worst thing about Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet is that after you finish reading it, you discover that you have to wait until July 2013 for the next book!

The Charley Davidson series is a perfect balance between the constant smiles I have plastered to my face and the seriousness of mystery & suspense. I am just loving this series. 

At the end of the 3rd book, Third Grave Dead AheadCharley experienced some pretty horrific torture. What I really liked about the beginning of Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet is that the author, Darynda Jones recognized just how horrific those scenes were and didn't gloss over the fact that in two months time, Charley would not be completely healed and she suffers from those ill consequences. It was great continuity to have book 4 start off with Charley still healing from the effects of Third Grave Dead Ahead. Even though Charley was still traumatized she still maintained a great sense of humour and the loyalty of her best friend Cookie and her Uncle Bob was ever present. 

Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet also carries over the hurt and betrayed feelings that Charley had toward the sexy enigma Reyes. His character is so hard to nail down and the author Darynda Jones has done an exceptional job at keeping her readers in a confused state. We are all pretty sure Reyes is a good guy and no doubt he is smoking hot but there is always an ever present doubt. He is the Son of Satan after-all. There are just enough dialogue conversations to toss in a possible twist and to raise suspicion. 

Over the course of these four books there is a slow build up to a possible war between the supernaturals. With Reyes being the portal to hell and Charley the portal to heaven, the potential for this clash could be epic. I also love that over the duration of these books, Charley is learning much more about herself, what exactly she is and where she comes from. In all of this new information, Charley is also learning about what her abilities are. We the readers, get to learn right along side of her. 

Teasers: Royal Charley, major Dad tension, therapeutic Reyes, uncovered abilities