Monday, July 30, 2012

Always a Marine 1NS series by Heather Long

The 1NS series by Decadent Publishing is a series of short erotic romance stories by a multitude of authors.  All they have in common is a set of rules put forth by the publisher and then pretty much anything goes.  I’ve read several by several authors and have enjoyed most of them.  Heather Long has set her 1NS books around a sub-series Always A Marine.  

Once Her Man, Always Her Man (Always a Marine #1) – Luke and Rebecca.  Luke left town and his girl Rebbeca after 9/11 and joined the military.  Now 11 years later he is out of the service and starting over.  He and his team have agreed to use Madame Eve’s 1NS service as a welcome back.  He never expects to reunite with the girl he left behind.

Retreat Hell! She Just Got Here (Always a Marine #2) – Zach, Logan & Jazz.  Jazz has a problem, as a senior enlisted woman marine she doesn’t often get to explore the woman part of that label.  Fooling around with the guys in her unit is not good for discipline and civilians don’t get the marine part.  Zach & Logan are best friends.  They grew up together and joined the corps together.  They’ve always shared everything.  When Logan is severely injured  by an IED it is up to Zach to prove to him that he is still a man.  He calls in Madame Eve’s 1NS service who sets them up with Jazz who will “get” what Logan has been through.

Tell It To The Marine (Always a Marine #3) – James and Lauren.  James is a clinical psychologist working with returned military and their families.  He is encouraged to sign up with Madame Eve if only as a sign of solidarity.  He ends up on a date with movie star Lauren. 

Proud to Serve Her (Always a Marine #4) – Damon and Helena.  Damon is a sensualist who has left the service and is opening a restaurant.  Helena is a button down uptight lawyer.  Damon sees the challenge in making her relax and enjoy.  (My biggest problem with this story is that no way no how could this date have happened on opening night of his restaurant.)

Her Marine (Always a Marine #5) – Brody and Shannon.  Brody is still active duty and on leave.  His buddies hook him into going on a date with Shannon.  Shannon is an artist who is suffering from her own form of PTSD.  She is a rape victim.  After five years of therapy and having it affect her life and her work she signs up with Madame Eve to see if she can rediscover passion.  I really liked Brody. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Hot in Handcuffs by Shayla Black, Sylvia Day, & Shiloh Walker

Three sexy stories featuring law enforcement type that know how to use handcuffs in the best of ways.

Arresting Desire by Shayla Black – FBI agent Jon meets mobsters daughter Lucia while undercover.  The attraction is there but denied.  Now a couple years later he needs her to help prove his brother has been framed and the attraction is still there and hotter than ever except now he isn’t on the clock and her dad is dead.

On Fire by Sylvia Day – Someone is setting fires in fire inspector Darci’s town and it feels personal.  She calls in help in the form of Deputy Marshal Jared Cameron.  Can he help Darci solve the mystery of the fires and her sisters death while at the same time keep the attraction between them from spontaneous combustion?

The Unwilling by Shiloh Walker – My favorite of the three stories and they don’t actually use handcuffs at all.  Police Lt. Mica has a serial killer loose in her town.  Her former lover (the one she’s never gotten over) ex-FBI agent Colby is called in to help solve the case.  Turns out he’s never stopped loving her either.  Can they find the killer and find a way back to each other?

All in all one super sexy anthology.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Hoaley Ill-Manored (Hoale Construction Mystery, #2) by Declan Sands

Adam, Maddy, Walter, Mink and Dirk are back.  This time Adam & Maddy have purchased a 200 year old manor house to flip.  But once again they run into problems.  There are rumors of a murder in the past as well as a suicide.  There is said to be a hidden cache of jewels and previous owners have had problems with treasure hunters.  Adam doesn’t know if the place is haunted but it sure wasn’t a ghost that burnt down the gazebo. 
Mink once again provides comic relief.  Dirk is back as Adams on/off boyfriend.  Maddy and Walter are there for support.  I really enjoy this series.  This probably could be read stand-alone but would be much better if you read A Hoale Lot of Trouble (Hoale Construction Mystery, #1) first.  

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mark's Opening Gambit by Lee Brazil

I won this from The Romance Reviews Sizzling Summer Reads contest.   It is a short mm romance. 
Mason is a high school dropout working nights to help his mom support him and his brothers.  Thiers is a close family and they don’t care that Mason is gay.  Mark is from an upper class background whose family insists he can’t be gay and so force him into hiding.  Mark graduated from law school to get his folks off his back but doesn’t actually practice law.  He runs a chess cafĂ© which is where he and Mason meet when Mason brings his little brother by for a tourney.  Mason is smitten from first glance.  But things are tough when you are trying to be something you aren’t.
This is a coming of age romance.  The chemistry was intense and there was almost too much sex for me at the beginning.  I like a little story with my sex.  But like a match when the initial flare burnt down there was light and a really good story.  

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Take it Like a Vamp by Candace Havens

Fans of Molly Harper, MaryJanice Davidson, and Katie MacAlister will enjoy this fun PNR by Candace Havens. 
Vampire Nick has lusted after his neighbor Casey for the entire 9 months he’s known her.  She is a breath of fresh air.  Mostly I think because she offers him friendship without strings.  He is rich, powerful and good looking.  Everybody wants something from him especially his ex.  Casey knows she isn’t like the skinny models Nick goes for so she settles for friendship with Nick although she isn’t blind to his charms.  When Nick asks Casey to be his date to keep the match making mama’s off his back he brings Casey to the attention of factions that would use her to get to him and things get interesting. 
This is a fun romantic PNR with some honest laugh out loud moments.  Welcome back to the dark side Candy.  

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Rolling in the Deep (Hawaiian Heroes #2) by Cathryn Cade

The Ho’omalu family is one of the oldest families of the Hawaiian Islands.  They are the chosen of Pele Hawaii’s Guardian.  To this end she has given them gifts to help them carry out their duties.
Melia’s friends Claire, Grace and Bella have come to Hawaii for her wedding to Malu.  Malu’s big brother Daniel is tasked to pick them up at the airport and another Ho’omalu is struck by lightning.  At least that’s what Daniel is wishing for.  He does NOT want to be attracted to Claire.  He has his reasons not the least of which is that he is a Ho’omalu although his affinity is for the water not fire like his brother.  In this book the Ho’omalu family is still trying to shut down the drug runners that are bringing in their kind of poison to the islands. 
I loved watching big, bad, tattooed Daniel fall bit by bit.  

Monday, July 23, 2012

Walking in Fire (Hawaiian Heroes #1) by Cathryn Cade

Take 1 Oregon chef and blogger, 1 smoking hot Hawaiian artist , some nasty drug runners and a pissed off Hawaiian Guardian shake well and you have a wonderful romantic suspense with a bit of paranormal.  I really enjoyed this story. 
The Ho’omalu family is one of the oldest families of the Hawaiian Islands.  They are the chosen of Pele Hawaii’s Guardian.  To this end she has given them gifts to help them carry out their duties.
David “Malu” Ho’omalu is trying to find out who is bringing in a new deadly designer drug to the islands.   
Melia Carson was supposed to go on a Hawiian vacation with her boyfriend when she found him banging some bimbo.  Her friends convince her to go anyway without him.  When she and Malu first meet she is taken with his good looks but not impressed by the women throwing themselves at him.  Malu is just as taken with her but she isn’t Hawaiian and he has a job to do.  This doesn’t stop them from invading each other’s dreams.   
Watching these two come together while in the midst of a terrific mystery was a blast.  Having it set in paradise only made it that much better. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Seduced by Blood (Sweetblood #4) by Laurie London

I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy of this latest (and in my not so humble opinion the best) installment of Laurie Londons’ Sweetblood series.

Lily and Alfonso are away on honeymoon so Roxanne Reynolds comes to the Pacific Northwest to cover as tracker and tracker trainer while Lily is gone.  Hard as nails Tristian Santiago is the Guardians' region commander and they are different as day and night.  When Dom and some other Guardians are severely injured in a botched raid on a DB warehouse it is determined that they have a mole in the organization.  The best way for Roxy to have access to everybody to sniff out the mole is to play the part of Santiagos’ girlfriend.  Sparks fly and it is so fun to get to know Santiago better and see how the mighty fall.

I firmly believe that this is the best yet of the Sweetblood series.  You can read it stand-alone but the other books are a fun read too.

*I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Friday, July 20, 2012

Instant Temptation (Wilder #3) by Jill Shalvis

The third installment of the Wilder brothers series is also inappropriately named.  The attraction between T.J. Wilder and Harley has existed for years.  More so than T.J. even knows.  Years ago a Harley gave her virginity to a very drunk T.J. who has no recollection of the event.  Harley has compared every man she has been with since to T.J. and they come up lacking.  T.J. went on to love and lose Sam a reckless daredevil and has spent the intervening years running long adventures all over the world for the Wilder bros. adventure company.  Harley has spent the intervening years working two jobs, studying for her degree in Wildlife Biology, and supporting her parents and sister.  Whenever T.J. and Harley are in the same place at the same time she bristles and he can’t understand why.  Harley has finally gotten her degree and is interning for a company doing a study on coyotes.  She needs to go into the field to repair some cameras and it ends up with Harley and T.J. spending some quality time together in the great outdoors.  This is another case of opposites not being quite so opposite.  Harley comes from a loving but dysfunctional family and T.J. comes from a home with an absent mother and abusive father.  But both have taken responsibility for their sibs.  Because of Sam T.J. has been afraid to take a chance on love and because of T.J. so is Harley.  They are so perfect for each other it was fun watching them finally get there.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Instant Gratification (Wilder #2) by Jill Shalvis

Totally misnamed this is another enjoyable read from Ms Shalvis.  This is Stone Wilder’s story.  Stone the middle brother is the one who makes the family work.  He is the peace-keeper and calm cool head.  Despite his laid back personality he gets things done.  Dr. Emma Sinclair is NY uptight.  Focused and anal Emma thinks she is Stones total opposite.  Perhaps she is but he is determined to see her loosen up and although Stones attraction is instant it takes a bit for gratification.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

True Blood

I've not been reading much for the past couple of days as life and my husbands viewing of the first 4 seasons of True Blood have gotten in the way.  I've read the entire Sookie Stackhouse series to date my husband has not.  You could tell as he kept asking "Did that happen in the books?"  I don't know if I would have enjoyed the show more without having read the books or not but I do know that the show takes great "artistic liberties".  This isn't necessarily a bad thing.  It is anothers vision of the story and just as enjoyable in its own way.  I am a big fan of Kathy Reichs' Bones series which looks nothing like the tv series which I also enjoy.  I just consider the shows like Fan Fic. Now after I clean my new kitchen floor I may be able to get back to my TBR pile.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Instant Attraction (Wilder #1) by Jill Shalvis

After having read and enjoyed Ms. Shalvis’ Lucky Harbor series I had to check out her backlist.  I read and enjoyed her Animal Attraction books and so I picked up Instant Attraction book 1 of the Wilder series.  The Wilders are 3 brothers and a rather young Aunt who run an adventure camp in the high Sierras.  Instant Attraction is Cam Wilder’s story.  Cam is a former champion snow boarder.  A serious accident takes him out of competition.  He wanders for a year lost.  Boarding defined him.  Now he’s coming home because wandering hasn’t given him the answers he seeks.  Katie is an accountant with survivors’ guilt.  She was the sole survivor of a bridge collapse.  She has a form of PTSD.  She is determined to make her life an adventure.  Starting with a temp job working for the Wilders.  Can these two broken people heal each other?  If you are a fan of fun, sweet contemporary romance this is a wonderful read.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Random Neural Firings

I was thinking of the hulabaloo that has been surrounding the Fifty Shades trilogy and why BDSM has been gaining ground in erotica and erotic romance.  For what it is worth this is my theory.  I believe that we as a people have become increasingly desensitized to the world around us.  Pain and suffering on the nightly news.  War, hatred and bigotry abound.  And like the submissives and or masochists in the stories we need to up the stakes to feel anything.  I’ve read quite a bit of these stories some good and some bad.  I don’t think it makes me want to go out and hurt anyone or be hurt by anyone.  I do think we need to take a look and figure out where we go from here though.  How extreme do we want to become mainstream? 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Tyler (The Secret Life of Cowboys #1) by C.H. Admirand

I Just purchased the third book of this series and am re-reading books 1 & 2.

The first in the series.  Not an especially well written story but a fun cowboy romance none the less. 
Tyler and his two brothers are trying to save the family ranch.  Towards that end he applies for a job in town at the Lucky Star bar.  He thinks the job is hauling kegs or something.  Turns out they want him to strip.  The money is too good to turn down.  Fun and romance follow.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Samurai Game (GhostWalkers #10) by Christine Feehan

This is a terrific romantic suspense series with a touch of paranormal thrown in.  Action! Adventure! Intrigue! Romance! What’s not to love?  I’ve waited anxiously for this installment of the GhostWalkers series as I sense a change in the focus.  The GhostWalkers are starting to ferret out Whitneys spies and are becoming a more focused and cohesive unit. 

In this installment another GhostWalker finds her way to the mountain retreat where some of the GhostWalkers and their families have made their safe-haven.  Thorn was thrown away by Whitney at the age of 8 when she was no longer viable for experimentation.  He considered her a failure.  She was rescued and renamed Azami by a martial arts master who taught her how to defend herself and others.  She and her two foster brothers run a high tech communications company which she uses as a front to track down and destroy anyone connected to Whitney.  When Lily wants to purchase Azami’s companys satellite system Azami has a way in to find out if Lily is still in touch and working for her dad.  Along the way Azami meets Sam and the attraction is instantaneous and incendiary. 

I totally recommend this for any who enjoys Ms. Feehan and romantic suspense.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Surrender: A Little Harmless Military Romance by Melissa Schroeder

The 3rd installment of Melissa Schroeder’s ALH Military Romance series may just be the sweetest one yet.  That’s not to say it doesn’t have the steam factor that the rest of the ALH books do it’s just that at the end rather than say whew I wanted to say aww.  Nothing wrong with that. 

Amanda Forrester is the young widow of a Navy Seal.  Navy Seal Malachai Dupree has been watching (and lusting) over her since her husband’s death.   Amanda is ready to rejoin the living but wants nothing to do with a military man despite her attraction to Malachai.  Malachai lusts after Amanda but doesn’t think she’d go for the kinky sex he likes.  Imagine his surprise when she shows up at his club. 

This story has a strong sexy woman taking back her life who makes a smoking hot sailor weak in the knees.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Forever and a Day by Jill Shalvis

Jill Shalvis has done it again!  Another sweet, sexy, fun romance.

In this 6th visit to Lucky Harbor we learn about Grace who is starting over and discovering who she is and who she wants to become.  Grace lands in Lucky Harbor after traveling across the country for a job that had unacceptable other duties not described attached.  She is the adopted daughter of brilliant and emotionally detached parents.  She has always felt like she can never meet their expectations for her.  She is working odd jobs while sending out her resume’.  It is through an ad for a dog walker that she ends up working for the perpetually busy, totally stressed out, hot Dr. Josh.  Josh works the ER at the hospital and is trying to keep up his deceased fathers practice as well as take care of his wheelchair bound sister (who has a massive chip on her shoulder) and his young son.

I loved this story.  Jill Shalvis had been added to my auto-buy list and it is books like this that keep me coming back for more.  Although this is the 6th in the series it can be read stand-alone but I recommend you read them all.  You won’t be sorry. 

*I was thrilled to receive a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Summertime.  More hours to read and more interruptions.  Went to the annual Independence Day concert and fireworks show last night with the hub and the girls.  It was hot.  We had a picnic and listened to performances by the Air Force Reserve Band, Angie Johnson, and Josh Turner.  The fireworks were great too. It was almost like a Rockwell painting.  Sometimes it's the simple things that make life worth while.  I hope that all of you find something to be grateful for. Now back to my book.