Friday, August 31, 2012

How to Drive a Dragon Crazy (The Dragon Kin #6) by G.A. Aiken

I adore this series.  They put the fun in dysfunctional family and How to Drive a Dragon Crazy is no different in that regard.  What is different is that this is NOT a stand-alone.  This is Izzy and Eibhear’s story (finally) and it pulls strings from all the previous books.  I’d imagine that someone picking this up without having read the previous books would get lost or really confused when reading this installment.

When Izzy’s mom married Eibhear’s older brother Izzy became smitten with sweet, funny, big blue Eibhear.  Problem was she was just a teen.  Mistakes were made by both parties and they’ve not seen each other for 10 years.  Izzy is now a hard as nails General in the Queens army and Eibhear is a squad leader for a black ops strike force of crazies.  Now Eibhear has orders to escort Izzy home. They’ve grown older and wiser can they forgive each other and give their attraction a chance to grow into something more?  They may get the chance if they can keep from getting killed or captured or killing each other.

Because this book pulls so many strings from previous books it is both funnier and more serious than its predecessors.  I am thrilled to find that this series has been picked up for three more books at least.  I am curious as to the direction from here.  I can hardly wait.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Howl For It by Shelly Laurenston and Cynthia Eden

This book contains two wolf-shifter stories by Shelly Laurenston and Cynthia Eden.  I bought it because I enjoy Shelly Laurenston’s Pride series (also her dragon series as G.A. Aiken). 

In Like a Wolf With a Bone by Shelly Laurenston we learn the story of how Eggie and Darla Smith (Dee-Ann’s parents from Big Bad Beast (Pride, #6) ) got together.  Egbert “Eggie” Ray Smith has a reputation even among his own kin of being slightly psychotic. Darla Lewis is the “quiet” Lewis sister.  But there is someone for everyone and for Eggie its Darla. Darla gets the monosyllabic Eggie to open up if only to her and Eggie finds the one person on the planet who isn’t afraid of him. 

The only book I’ve read by Cynthia Eden up till now is Hotter After Midnight and to be honest I don’t remember it all that well.  I guess I need to go back and re-read it.  The second story in this book is Wed or Dead by Cynthia Eden in which we find the alpha wolf-shifter of the Las Vegas pack, Gage, marrying a human hunter, Kayla.  She knows he is a wolf-shifter but thinks he doesn’t know she is a hunter.  It all started out as a job for her.  Get close to Gage then kill him only she didn’t count on falling for the big lug.

As I said at the beginning I bought this for the Shelly Laurenston story and wasn’t disappointed. I was pleasantly surprised by the Cynthia Eden story.  

Monday, August 27, 2012

Run the Risk (Love Undercover #1) by Lori Foster

Lori Foster writes gorgeous alpha males with a strong sense of right and wrong and that’s what she has written in Run the Risk.  Detective Logan Riske goes undercover to find a witness to the killing of his best friend.  Not finding the witness he decides to get close to the witnesses sister Pepper who is hiding out under an assumed name.  Logan and Pepper circle each other and get as close to each other as they can while living a lie.  Like all good romantic suspense novels Run the Risk has a good mystery and a sweet and sexy love story.  Lori Foster kicks it up a notch with a fantastic supporting cast and multi-dimensional characters.
I was lucky enough to receive an early copy of Run the Risk from NetGalley on behalf of Harlequin.  This is good and bad.  It means I got to read it early but it means I have that much longer to wait for the next installment.  

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Nobody has ever paid me for a review

This article was brought to my attention by author P.N. Elrod.  

Book Reviewers for Hire Meet a Demand for Online Raves 

I will state here for the record nobody has ever paid me for a review.  I have received books (mostly in electronic format with an expiration date) in return for a fair and honest review and I believe I have done my best to be un-biased.  I’ll admit that I usually volunteer for authors or genres I enjoy already.  So my reviews tend to be positive.  I am thrilled that Mr. Rutherford is out of business.  I hope this means that readers such as myself can continue to give our thoughts on a book without folks wondering if our opinion is paid for.  The best that I can suggest is find a reviewer such as myself or someone else who likes the same type of books as you do and compare how you felt about the book with how they felt about it.  Then you have a basis for comparison.  If they feel the same as you do trust their reviews to get you to the books you want to read.     

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Her Best Friend's Brother by T.J. Dell

Libby has been in love with her best friends older brother Tony since she was seven years old.  It takes him several years and a lot of missteps along the way to catch up.  First she was too young.  Then she thinks he has a girlfriend. Then he thinks she has a boyfriend and then there is the separation of college and work for him then college for her and through it all they hide their feelings from each other afraid of being hurt.  When they finally get together in the end it is almost a relief.  

This is a sweet and sentimental romance.  My biggest complaint is that I really couldn’t stand Mel the best friend.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Liquid Lies (The Elementals #1) by Hanna Martine

With all the books I have on my TBR shelf I try not to pick up anything random at the bookstore.  I must admit it was the cover that drew me in and then the blurb on the back convinced me that this book might just be right up my alley. 

This book was terrific!  It is an ambitious multi-layered tale and while Ms. Martine doesn’t always succeed she hits more than misses.

If President Barack Obama could have any "super power," it would be the ability to speak any language.  Gwen Carroway has that gift.  It makes her valuable to the company run by her father that supplies most of the wealth to her “people” the Ofarians.   The Ofarians came to earth after a war with another peoples called the Tedrans.  When an ancient Tedran hires Reed “The Retriever” Scott, a human, to abduct Gwen he has no idea that he is about to have his world and reality rocked.  The chemistry between Gwen and Reed is there from the start but Reed is a professional and doesn’t let it keep him from doing his job. 

This is a great read that defies pigeon holing into a label.  Yes it could be considered paranormal romance or sci-fi romance or any number of other genres.  I just call it a great read

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Hard Mated (Shifters Unbound #3.5) by Jennifer Ashley

Tough guy, tracker, Jaguar shifter Spike finds out he has a cub from a one night stand.  He finds this out from the mother on her deathbed.  She sent her best friend Myka to get him so she could give him the news.  Spike is elated and horrified.  He has a son.  How is he to care for a rambunctious 4 year old?  He pleads with Myka to help him out as the boy Jordon already knows her.  Quickly they discover an intense attraction to each other as well.  Spikes intelligence is often overlooked as he is known to be a strong fighter.  Mostly he uses this to his advantage but sometimes it gets old.  Myka seems to see straight to the heart of him.  Meanwhile, there are shifters that would use Spike to further their agenda and are not above using Jordan and Myka as hostage to his compliance.  Can Spike perform his duties to the shifter community that’s taken him in and still keep Myka and Jordan safe?
This is another yummy shifter tale by Jennifer Ashley.  Ms. Ashley has created a believable world with vivid characters.  Sexy shifters and their mates.  Although this is a short novel it packs all the excitement and romance of the Shifters Unbound series.  I look forward to future installments.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Long Shots: Books 1-3 by Christine d'Abo

Carina Press is releasing the first 3 Long Shots books: Double Shot, A Shot in the Dark, and Pulled Long in one edition.

Three siblings Sadie, Paige, and Ian Long own and run the Pulled Long coffee and café together.
Double Shot (ménage) is Sadie’s book.  Sadie has been lusting after her friend Paul for ten years but didn’t want to ruin their friendship.  Paul gets Sadie a job catering a party at Maverick a local sex club where your fantasies can come true.  While working together Paul encourages Sadie to explore her fantasies and he offers to help her make them come true.  When Sadie meets Josh the owner of Mavericks she knows just what fantasy she wants.  She wants to be the middle of a Paul and Josh sandwich. 
Sadie is sweet and shy and amazingly strong.  I love the confusion she feels when Paul turns the tables on her and reveals his attraction to her.  I enjoyed the ménage with the guys not really worrying about who was touching whom. 
A Shot in the Dark (D/s) is Paige’s story.  When Paige was younger she was involved with an abusive relationship.  As an untrained sub she didn’t know the rules and it almost killed her.  She pulled herself out and has avoided dating and relationships since.  Three years later she meets Carter one HOT fireman who just also happens to be a Dom.  He convinces Paige to go to Mavericks with him for a drink.  Paige is the one who pushes for more but is she ready for it?  I really liked Carter. 
Pulled Long (mm) is Ian’s story.  Ian is gay.  Ian has had a long string of bad luck and prefers to bury himself in the shop the one place he seems to succeed.  Then the man with the blue eyes comes into the shop.  He flirts with Ian and just when Ian is ready to ask him out he finds out that Mr. Blue Eyes is going through a divorce.  Once again bad luck for Ian.  He doesn’t want another man who is conflicted about his sexual orientation.  Been there, done that, it sucks.  One night Jeff aka Mr. Blue Eyes comes by the shop after hours and tells Ian the divorce is final and Ian gives into lust.  He is kicking himself for giving in when he finds that Jeff has left his briefcase behind.  When Ian returns it Jeff convinces Ian to go out with him.  Can this work for Ian or will this chance for his happiness go the way of all his other relationships?  I really liked this story.  The sex was hot and Ian is so sweet.  I love the fact that Ian was more conflicted than Jeff.  Jeff knew what he wanted and forced Ian to decide whether to give happiness a chance or not.

I really, really enjoyed these stories and cannot wait for Josh’s story Calling The Shots.

My thanks to who provided me with this book in behalf of Carina Press.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The MacKenzie Brothers by Liliana Hart

The first four MacKenzie Brothers stories by Liliana Hart Dane, Thomas, Riley and Cooper are what I call quick lunch reads.  Short hot stories to get you through the rest of the day.  No brain strain just a quick hot read.  All I want for Christmas has two stories but only one is a MacKenzie Brothers story.  It introduces us to the MacKenzie cousins Grant, Cade (who we met in Cooper), Declan, Shane and Darcy.

Dane (The MacKenzie Brothers #1) – Dade returns to Surrender after 10 years to find that the girl he left behind is back and the spark is still there.
Thomas (The MacKenzie Brothers #2) – Dr. Thomas ends up with a cat-burglar crashing into his fence and his heart.
Riley (The MacKenzie Brothers #3) – Archeology professor Riley is asked to identify an artifact but he knows trouble when he sees it and Maggie is trouble of the best kind.
Cooper (The MacKenzie Brothers #4) – Sheriff Cooper  MacKenzie has issues.  He likes his sex rough and doesn’t believe that love is possible for him.  He claims not to want or need it.  Town librarian Claire has been in love with Cooper since she was 14 and he was 24.  Now 10 years later the age difference isn’t the issue it once was the only thing standing in her way is Cooper himself.  (This was my favorite of the first 4 quickies.  I liked Claire a lot)
All I want for Christmas (The MacKenzies) - All I want for Christmas has two stories the first Naughty or Nice tells of a high powered couple meeting when stranded by a blizzard.  The second A MacKenzie Christmas tells of Grant who is the only MacKenzie who hasn’t left Surrender.  He runs a successful construction company and wants to settle down like his cousins.  The problem is that Surrender is a small town and the only woman he wants is his baby sisters best friend.  A Christmas wish made on both sides ends up with a happy ending.
 Cade (The MacKenzies) - Cade is a full size novel and I am glad as Cade deserved much more than a quickie.  Cade was working undercover for the DEA when he met and lost (in a horrific manner) the only woman he ever loved.  Since getting his right hand shot during a bust (in Cooper) he has had to retrain himself to use his left hand.  He sets himself up as bait to draw out the folks that killed his lover.  He moves to Texas and goes to work for the local vice squad while still working/consulting for the DEA.  What he doesn’t expect is the attraction he feels for his new neighbor.  Will he get another chance at love or will he lose her to the cartel too? 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Hell on Wheels (Black Knights Inc. #1) by Julie Ann Walker

What’s not to love about damaged alpha heroes, smart sexy kindergarten teachers, action and mystery?  Hell on Wheels has all that and more.  “Bad boy” Nate was Ali’s brothers best friend and her first major crush.  The “Bro code” says you can’t do your buds sister so it goes un-requited for years.  Ali’s brother is dead and now someone is after Ali.  She turns to Nate and the “Black Knights” for help.
The first book in a series is always about world building so I give some leeway there.  The only real malfunction I had was sometimes it took a minute to figure out who’s point of view we were looking through now.  Romantic suspense with not a whole lot of sex.  I liked it enough to look forward to the next installment.  I think this series has legs it just needs to tighten up a bit.  

Friday, August 17, 2012

Nights in Bliss, Colorado by Sophie Oak

I won a book from Sophie Oak’s backlist through an online contest and chose Three to Ride (Nights in Bliss, Colorado, #1).  I liked it so much I went on to purchase and devour the rest of the series to date.
Yes all of them except One to Keep (Nights in Bliss, Colorado #3) are rather formulaic (MFM with no mm touching) but if it works why not keep doing it?  I’ve gotten a kick out of each and every one.  Take two hot men secure in their masculinity, one troubled female place in Bliss, Colorado where folks can get a second chance at life and most anything goes.  Shake with a healthy heaping of humor, hot sex and mystery and you have the Nights in Bliss, Colorado series.  Keep them coming Ms. Oak you have a new fan. 

Three to Ride (Nights in Bliss, Colorado, #1) (Rachel, Max & Rye)
Two to Love (Nights in Bliss, Colorado, #2) (Callie, Nate & Zane)
One to Keep (Nights in Bliss, Colorado #3) (Stephan & Jennifer)
Lost in Bliss (Nights in Bliss, Colorado #4) (Laura, Rafe & Cam)
Found in Bliss (Nights in Bliss, Colorado #5) (Holly, Alexi & Caleb)
Pure Bliss (Nights in Bliss, Colorado, #6) (Hope, James & Noah)
Chasing Bliss (Nights in Bliss, Colorado, #7) (Gemma, Jesse & Cade)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Hammered (Erector Set #2) by Desiree Holt

Alex McMann the oldest McMann brother falls instantly and hard for high powered businesswoman Olivia D’Angelo.  Olivia however believes that love isn’t real and is only in it for the sex.  Her career is her only love.  Can Alex break down the walls around Olivia’s heart?
Classic Desiree Holt.  Smoking hot lunch read.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

One Night Rodeo (Blacktop Cowboys #4) by Lorelei James

For cowboy kink the queen is Lorelei James.  And while I prefer her Rough Riders series the Blacktop Cowboys are a nice fantasy too. 
In One Night Rodeo  Kyle Gilchrist finally gets corralled. By Celia Lawson of all people.  For anyone who has read the series up till now will know that Kyle is a horndog and Celia is Abe and Hanks little sister.  Kyle and Celia haven’t had much good to say to each other until they wake up married in Vegas. 
Kyle has an unexpectedly sweet side and we know Celia is made of some tough stuff but even she is surprised by Kyle’s refusal of an annulment and request to continue the marriage for six months.  Can he turn that six months into a lifetime?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Stars & Stripes (Cut & Run, #6) by Abigail Roux

Oh how I love this series!  In Stars & Stripes Ty and Zane are finally at a place in their lives only hinted at before.  They are living together and in love.  Things are going smooth so of course something has to happen to screw that up. 
First Ty gets a call that his father is hurt and the folks need his help.  Ty and Zane go to West Virginia and while there Zane gets a call from Texas that his dad has been hurt.  He heads out alone as Ty doesn’t have enough vacation/personal time accrued to go with.  When the trouble in Texas turns out to be more than anticipated Ty calls in his markers from Dick and joins Zane in Texas.
There is so much to love about this book the humor, the mystery, and the love. We finally get to meet Zane’s family and the differences between Ty and Zane’s families and upbringing are brought into striking relief.  You could probably read this stand-alone but with a series this good why would you want to? 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

No time for reading this weekend

I've purchased a Vespa scooter to ride doing small errands around town so I'm taking an intensive motorcycle training course this weekend and I hate to admit it but I am too tired to read.  Will pick up a book sometime on Monday if I survive.

Friday, August 10, 2012

If I Were You (Inside Out Trilogy #1) by Lisa Renee Jones

Oh my goodness!  This book is what 50 Shades should have been.  This is a well written dark erotic suspense story with well-defined characters and an incredible story. 

Sara McMillan comes into the possession of some journals written by a woman named Rebecca.  The journals tell of Rebecca’s journey into a dark world of D/s.  Sara goes in search of Rebecca but she is nowhere to be found.  When Sara goes to Rebecca’s place of employment she is told that Rebecca is on personal leave and ends up being offered a job as Rebecca’s replacement.  She meets two dark and damaged men who are both attractive, successful and hiding secrets.

I enjoyed this story immensely and am really looking forward to the next installment. 
ARC courtesy of Lisa Renee Jones via NetGalley

Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft (Book 1) by Jody Gehrman

The daughter is guest blogging again today with:

 Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft (Book 1) by Jody Gehrman
This was a pretty good book. A coming into her power story of a teenage witch struggling to figure out why mom disappeared, who this mysterious "cousin" is, who is the guy haunting her dreams. and while trying to figure all of this out, she has to keep it all a secret.
The story has a good plot and interesting characters. You definitely cheer for the good guy and boo the bad. A few things are a little unrealistic (in my opinion). ex. how easily Jullian accepted the weird stuff happening around them. But it was a fun read. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Better Than Catnip by Ruth J. Hartman

 Today we have a guest blogger.  My daughter won this book from Goodreads and loved it.

Better Than Catnip by Ruth J. Hartman 
Roxy Williams adores cats. Always has. That’s why she devotes her life to running her stray cat shelter. But is that enough? Isn’t there a man out there who will love her for who she is? A special man who won’t try to change her or ask her to choose between him and her cats? Max Weller has a problem. His son, Derek, must complete community service for fighting at school. The only available place is the stray cat shelter. But Derek is terrified of cats from a frightening childhood experience. How will they get through this traumatic experience? Roxy and Max feel the strong attraction pulling them together as Max volunteers at the shelter, too. Will they be able to keep the spark alive? Or will Derek’s fears come between them?

This is a great book for animal lovers. Good story line, a little bit of romance, a lot of humor, some drama... an all-round feel good story.  I’d definitely recommend it.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Tricked (Iron Druid Chronicles #4) by Kevin Hearne

I was supposed to go to the Atticus & Oberon Sausage Fest for the signing of this book.  I was unable to attend (pout) and so sent my son and his new bride (whom I’d addicted to this series) in my place.  When they sent me my book my husband grabbed it first (I’ve addicted him too)(okay the series is addicting I just introduced them and some others and now I’m evil) and then somehow it ended on my overflowing TBR shelf and I’ve just now found it.

When we left Atticus & co. in Hammered he was on the shit list of pretty much the entire Norse pantheon and just about every thunder god out there for his part in the attack on Asgard.  So whats a Druid to do?  He needs to disappear.  With Coyote’s assistance Atticus fakes his death but now he owes the Trickster.   Tricked is more of Kevin Hearne’s typical humor and snarkery.  Another romp through a myriad of pantheons and creating havoc among them all.  This is a fantastic series and I can’t wait till the next installment.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Lady is a Vamp (Argeneau #17) by Lynsay Sands

Seventeen stories in and I still want more!  Ms. Sands has a way with a story that just keeps me wanting more.  
The Lady is a Vamp is Jeanne Louise’s story.  It is a little darker than some of the others have been with not as many laugh out loud moments.  In fact she had me in tears (not the happy kind) at one or two points in the book.  But oh my goodness what a read.
Immortals are rarely kidnapped what with their ability to take control of human minds but what happens if you are kidnapped by your life-mate?  The one person on the planet that you can’t read or control.  Ooops.  This is what happens to Jeanne Louise.  She is so flustered by the fact that her kidnapper is her life mate she decides to stick around to see what comes of it.  Paul is pushed to desperation.  He works at Argeneau Enterprises and knows about Immortals.  He needs one and only Jeanne Louise will do. Can they come together and what will Lucian do to Paul for kidnapping Jeanne Louise?

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires by Molly Harper

The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires is another fun romp in the world of Jane Jameson.  It should have come before Driving Mr. Dead. 
Iris Scanlon owns and runs a concierge service for vampires.  She takes care of the errands that need to be during daylight hours.  She also is raising her younger sister a high school senior.  Her number one rule is to never get involved with her vampire clients.  But rules are made to be broken. 
Molly Harper manages to mix a good mystery with a lot of fun.  I heartily recommend all of Ms. Harpers books.  I’ve yet to find one that I haven’t laughed my way through.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Kitty Steals the Show (Kitty Norville #10) by Carrie Vaughn

The more I read the Kitty Norville books the more I look forward to the next one.  I’ll admit I did have issues with what happened to Cormac but other than that I do love this series.
In Kitty Steals the Show Kitty, Ben & Cormac head to London where Kitty is to be the keynote speaker at the First International Conference on Paranatural Studies.  While there Kitty makes new friends (and enemies) and runs into a few old ones.  But through it all she does what she does best which is talk with a good heart and a sense of humor. 
Kitty fans are going to love this.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews

This takes place in the world of Kate & Curran and they make several appearances but it is basically Andrea’s book.  We find out what she was doing when she disappeared after being outed as a shifter to the Order.  Andrea is back and working for Kate at Cutting Edge when a call from Jim sends her on a case.   Four shifters have been killed while working on a reclamation site owned by none other than Raphael.  She is going to have to face him and the heartbreak she has dealt with since their blow up in Magic Slays. This book has the hyper bouncing feel to it that is totally bouda.  We see Andrea come into her own and may I say it is about freekin time.  This book refers to some events that happened in the past and the authors have included the novella Magic Gifts that contains the earlier story.
Another Rockin’ Read from team Ilona Andrews

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Home From the Sea (Elemental Masters #8) by Mercedes Lackey

Mercedes Lackey is one of my all-time favorite authors.  She creates a world that is rich and believable.   Home From the Sea introduces us to a new Water Master in the form of Mari a welsh girl living on the coast with her da.  She is untrained and the Elemental Masters of the White Lodge want to make sure she gets trained and isn’t going to be a problem.  There are other problems though.  They need to find her first and when they do they need to help her deal with her families bargain with the masters of the sea. 
This isn’t the best of the series and if you haven’t read The Wizard of London (Elemental Masters #5) you probably won’t understand a lot of what goes on as several of the characters from that book re-appear in this one.  That being said it is still a Mercedes Lackey book and worth the read.