Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Playing the Part by Darcy Daniel

Sweet contemporary romance.  Sometimes you have to go back to the beginning to find out how you got to where you are.

Anthea Cane is a child star turned action hero.  She wants to be considered for more challenging roles but nobody takes her seriously.  When her favorite book, The Farmers Wife< is being turned into a movie she just knows she can do the part.  She gets the casting director to grudgingly agree to allow her to audition.  She has three weeks before the audition so she goes back to the small farming town she spent her early years in to do research. 

Cole Daniels is a blind farmer.  He has no patience for diva actresses or Anthea the girl from his elementary school nightmares.  He could see then but she used to tease him unmercifully.  So when she shows up using a false name and pesters him into letting her stay and do her research he thinks he might just get a little payback. 
These two have more in common than they know and they each have lessons to teach and learn.

I was amazed at how fast I went through this sweet story.  I was sucked in and couldn't put it down.

I’d like to thank NetGalley & Carina Press for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Winter's Tale (Hidden #4) by Emma Holly

Emma Holly has done it again!  In this grown up fairy tale that takes place in Ms. Holly’s Hidden universe we once again are treated to a steamy tale of sex, magic, lust and love.

December Worth is a new senior at Rackham's School for Young Ladies.  She is entranced by the naked statue in the attached cemetery.  What she doesn't know is that the statue is actually ½ elf ½ faerie huntsman named Hans.  He has been cursed by an angry faerie queen and only true love and true bravery can free him.  Will December be the one to break the spell?

This is one smokin’ hot fairy tale told as only Emma Holly can do.  Keep the ice cubes handy and enjoy.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Bloom by Kate Belle

In this book we find out that sexy Ramon, PHD candidate from Breaking the Rules, has a day job as an instructor at a gym.  Emma is a mid 30’s stay at home mom who has put on some weight and has lost her self-respect.  Her husband works all the time and her kids treat her like dirt.  She can’t remember when the last time she and her husband made love. Emma is determined to get herself out of her rut and so joins a boot-camp at the gym.  Ramon helps Emma to once again see herself as a vibrant, sexy woman and encourages her to get her marriage out of the rut its fallen into.

This is a well told story and while there are elements I had issues with I think the author handled it well.  This story can be read as a stand-alone but I think that the reader will better understand Ramon’s motivations if they read Breaking the Rules first.

Release date - January 30, 2013
I thank the publisher and NetGalley for the chance to read and review

Saturday, January 26, 2013

First Destroy All Giant Monsters (The World Wide Witches Research Association) by D.L. Carter

What a delightfully fun read.  Humor runs rampant starting with the title and throughout this quirky tale. 

Amber Kemp has rebelled against both sides of her heritage - her father is a science teacher and her mother is a former witch – by becoming a computer dweeb.  But now her Aunt Lucinda DeGoode (the head of the World Wide Witches Research Association (and Pinochle club.)) has gone missing and it is up to Amber to embrace her witch side to find her.  She receives magical messages like “First Destroy All Giant Monsters” that don’t exactly inspire this almost untrained witch to do her best. 

I adore this story.  I’d like to thank the author for giving me a chance to read and review it.  I had to ask I mean the title alone reminds me of 50’s B movies.  The humor is often wry and tongue in cheek but always there.  Fans of Kevin Hearne and Kim Harrison will love this book.  I can hardly wait for the further adventures of…

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Two and the Proud (Always a Marine) by Heather Long

Another fantastic entry in Heather Long’s Always a Marine 1NS series.
Rowdy is a dedicated Marine.  He has been focused on the job and now he needs to decide whether to reenlist or not.  As part of the process he has scheduled some down time with a one night stand with Madame Eve’s 1NS service.  He wants a woman who “gets” him.

Kim is an inactive Marine now working as an NCIS agent.  She wants a man who understands that a woman is a multifaceted being and can be both a hard ass NCIS agent and a woman.  She is intrigued with Rowdy and the sex is off the charts but can they ever be more than a one night stand?

Heather Long has mastered the art of making these novellas believable.  With the 1NS device she gets to skip a lot of the chase and go right to the part of why these characters would or would not work.  I love this series and anxiously await each new installment.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Breaking the Rules by Kate Belle

Being a professional woman isn't easy on your love life.  All the men in Graces’ life to this point didn't understand her need to succeed in her chosen profession so she has given up men except as friends and colleagues.  Ramon is a research student who is assigned to Graces’ supervision.  Ramon’s topic of research is a work on erotic literature, female eroticism and sexuality.  Ramon’s passion is the human female organism.  In Grace he sees a passionate woman who denies the sexual part of her being.  Through their supervisory meetings Ramon teaches the teacher.

I enjoyed this novella.  It was well written sensuous, erotic and sweet.  This is the first of a series featuring our enigmatic and oh so HOT Ramon.  I do look forward to his future adventures.

Release date Jan 30, 2013

I thank the publisher and NetGalley for the chance to read and review.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Insatiable (A Sydney Rye Series #3) by Emily Kimelman

After her close escape in Death In The Dark, Mulberry sends Sydney and Blue to London for further training as a private detective and to keep her out of trouble.  When she gets a call from Robert Maxim, a man from Sydney’s past asking for help finding a friends daughter he makes her an offer she can’t refuse. She heads to Mexico and joins up with one of Robert Maxim’s men to find the girl. But nothing in Sydney’s life is easy and she is having problems trying to figure out who to trust.  As problems and paranoia mount Sydney and Blue are in danger and Sydney has to reach out to old friends and new.

Insatiable is a roller coaster ride from start to finish.  With twists and turns you never see coming this installment of the Sydney Rye series is as good if not better than the first.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Death In The Dark (A Sydney Rye Series #2) by Emily Kimelman

This is the second story in Sydney Rye series. It is a novella length adventure that picks up right where the first book, Unleashed, left off.

Joy Humbolt and her dog Blue have fled to Mexico after the events in Unleashed.  She is drinking and hanging out on the beach and living off the profits of the treasure she and Mulberry liberated when Mulberry shows up and offers her a job and a new identity.  She will become Sydney Rye private eye.  She needs training and Mulberry knows just the guy to get her started.  Merl is and expert with dogs and he helps get Sydney sobered up and works on making her and Blue a working team.  But when Sydney’s landlords’ daughter gets killed Sydney’s temper takes hold and she is out for revenge.  But when she is caught in a trap will her and Blue’s new skills be enough to keep her alive?

This story felt transitional to me.  The story is good but the mystery isn't as good as the first.  But I've read the next book, Insatiable, and it makes up for it. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Unleashed (A Sydney Rye Series #1) by Emily Kimelman

Joy Humbolt has just dumped her boyfriend, lost her job and adopted a huge mutt named Blue.  As a new career choice Joy buys a dog walking route from a friend of a friend.  When she finds the body of one of her employers her life take a turn for the more interesting.  The cops say she should let it go but things about her employers’ murder just don’t add up.  She investigates at first out of curiosity but she continues out of righteous anger.  There is treasure, hidden passages and treasure.  Can Joy find the truth and will it be enough?

There is nothing like a good mystery and this is a good mystery and a great story.  Just when you think you know where the story leads you are surprised once again.  Highly recommended.  I am going to get the next in the series Death In The Dark as soon as I finish typing this.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Stranger (Just One Night #1) by Kyra Davis

I was thrilled when I found out that Kyra Davis (author of the Sophie Katz murder mysteries) had a new book coming out.  The Stranger is NOT a Sophie Katz story.

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Right? Kasie Fitzgerald has spent the past 15 years being the “good girl”.  Her big sister was a wild child and overdosed while partying when Kasie was 15.  She didn't want to cause the pain that her sister did she got good grades, went to Harvard and has had the same boyfriend for the past 6 years.  She is in Vegas with her BFF who encourages Kasie to “…sleep with a stranger” before her boyfriend finally proposes.  Kasie doesn't plan to but then she meets the handsome man at the blackjack table and when the leave the table together Kasie lets her inner bad girl out to play.  She could have been fine going back to being the “good girl” but her one night stand from Vegas shows up at her place of business and Kasie’s inner bad girl wants more.

This is the first in a trilogy. This is a sensuous erotic tale.  It is a well written classy tale of nature vs. nurture.  I liked Kasie and look forward to her story.  I will admit the “cliffhanger” ending has me anxiously awaiting the next installment.

I received a copy of The Stranger(Just One Night 1) courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher. 
Expected release January 21st 2013

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Little Harmless Fantasy (Harmless #8) by Melissa Schroeder

Erotic romance – m/m/f

Disclaimer – I am a Melissa Schroeder fan girl and when offered the opportunity to review an ARC of A Little Harmless Fantasy I squeed and said yes please.  That being said I tried to step back and write a fair and honest review. 

I think this may be the very best thing I've read by this author.  When I received the ARC I was in the middle of reading another book.  I was good, I finished it and wrote my review, cooked and ate dinner and then sat down and read this book in one sitting.  I could not put it down. 

Maura Dillion is Conner’s baby sister and the light of his life. She is also a genius geek and all grown up although you wouldn't know it from the way he treats her.  Maura is frustrated as she hasn't been in a relationship since she and Zeke (Conner’s best friend and business partner and Maura’s co-worker) stopped seeing each other.  She still loves him but he can’t give her what she needs sexually and now he is back with his first love Rory.

Rory had a near death experience epiphany that made him realize he loved and needed Zeke in his life forever.  Rory realizes Zeke is still somewhat in love with Maura and his confidence is shaky, a new feeling for him.

Zeke should be happy.  Rory is back and says he is staying.  If he leaves again it will tear him up beyond repair.  He still loves Maura and has never felt as bad as he did when he realized he couldn’t be all that she needed. 

When Rory finds out why Zeke and Maura broke up he gets an awful wonderful idea.  Conner has them all going to Hawaii for a week to get them out of town while the FBI handles a case that Conner & Zeke's company helped them build against a cartel.  Maura needs a Dom and Rory is a Dom but only with women, Zeke likes to watch he knows this as they've shared before. Maybe they can have it all for a week and get it out of Zeke and Maura’s system and have a little fun in the process.  But when it actually happens he is surprised to find himself being drawn to Maura as well.  Can they take a fantasy and make it work for a lifetime?

Warning this book puts out more steam than a Hawaiian volcano.  In most ménage stories I have a problem with seeing how the personalities would mesh long term.  Not so here.  It is like they are the missing parts of each other.   I loved the characters in this story but was especially impressed with how strong Maura was.  If you want a truly smoking ménage read this book.  

Prelude To A Fantasy (Harmless #7.5) by Melissa Schroeder

A really short story about Maura & Zeke's first time together.  It was hinted at in A Little Harmless Lie and actually this story takes place at that time.

Zeke has been half in love with Maura forever but she is his best friend and business partner Conner's baby sister.  Plus she is exploring her sexuality and thinks she may be into BDSM which Zeke doesn't do. But heading back to the hotel after a visit to Rough & Ready (a Hawaiian BDSM club) on assignment Maura pushes every hot button and Zeke finally gives in and makes love to her.  His heart is engaged and even though he knows it may not last he can't deny himself this taste of Maura.  Their story is continued in A Little Harmless Fantasy.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Game for Marriage by Karen Erickson

Bad boy Jared Quinn, star quarterback of the San Jose Hawks met local artist Sheridan Harper at a Taste of Monterey festival.  The attraction is instantaneous and combustible.  A flammable one night stand follows.  Jared needs a media makeover.  The new owners want his image cleaned up.  So Jared’s publicist offers her a proposition: a fake marriage to keep Jared out of the gossip columns and she gets money to keep her studio open and continue her charitable works.  Sheridan agrees but with a clause that there be no sex as she is afraid she will lose her heart to the big lug.  Can Sheridan and Jared keep it platonic or will the heat between them explode?

I've been reading a lot of sports romance lately and while the premise is predictable the story moves and grooves and you don’t get that been there done that feeling.  It took me a while to warm up to Jared but when he goes for it he does it with style. Game for Marriage is an enjoyable romp on and off the gridiron.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Too Good to Be True by Kristan Higgins

Fun, contemporary romance.  I just recently discovered Kristan Higgins and am now a complete convert.  Fans of Jill Shalvis, Susan Mallery, and Rachel Gibson will enjoy Ms. Higgins humorous and insightful stories.
Grace is the middle child and by definition the peacemaker.  Her older sister is a married hard driven attorney and her younger sister is smart and beautiful and now hooked up with the fiancé who dumped Grace for her.  Grace feels she has to pretend to be okay with it so her sister can be happy.  Enter one pretend boyfriend.  He is perfect.  But he doesn't excite her half as much as Mr. Wrong next door.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Just One of the Guys by Kristan Higgins

I truly enjoyed this smart, funny romance.  I could relate to Chastity O'Neill on so many levels.  Being 5’ 11 ¾” myself I could relate to always being considered just one of the guys.  I enjoyed the clever discussion about the myriad forms that love takes.  There were times I wanted to scream at the characters “just get over yourselves” but that’s probably what they needed to go through to get their happy.  There are some terrific laugh out loud moments in this book as well. This is a great rainy day book.  I will read it again and again.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Dream Eyes (Dark Legacy #2) by Jayne Ann Krentz

I know some folks don’t get it but I ADORE Jayne Ann Krentz novels. Great mystery, romance and a smidge of paranormal. 

In Dream Eyes, Gwen Frazier, school buddy and sister from another mother of Abby Radwell from Copper Beach (Dark Legacy #1), is in a bit of a bind. She’s found her friend and mentor dead in the small town of Wilby, Oregon and she believes it may have been murder. Gwen asks Abby for help of the psychic nature to find the truth. Help is sent in the form of psychic investigator Judson Coppersmith. Judson is recovering from a psychic trauma but figures this will be a quick look-see and done. He doesn't count on his attraction to Gwen and the mystery surrounding her and the town.

This is classic JAK Gwen & Judson have great chemistry and the mystery kept me guessing till the end.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Too Wilde to Tame (Wilde Series #7) by Janelle Denison

This was an Amazon freebie that sounded like a fun read.  I haven’t read any others in this series but it does well as a stand-alone.

Mia Wilde has three older over protective brothers and so has rebelled by becoming a wild child who drives PI Cameron Sinclair nuts.  They appear to be total opposites and Mia gets a kick out of teasing him.  But now she has a stalker and needs help.  If she goes to her brothers they will lock her up so she asks Cameron for help.  One thing leads to another and their attraction ignites into a full blown affair.  Can Cameron keep Mia and his heart safe?

This was a fun, sexy, romantic suspense read.  I may have to check out others in this series.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Accidentally Dead, Again (Accidentally Friends #6) by Dakota Cassidy

I started this book and was thinking been there done that.  But I kept at it because Dakota Cassidy gives Nina such great dialog.  But somewhere along the way the story became totally fun and different.  WTG Dakota Cassidy!

Sam finds himself left on the doorstep of OOPS in the dress he wore to the company Halloween party.  He has no memory of how he got there.  He finds himself fanged and fabulous.  Nina, Wanda & Marty are doing their best to help him come to terms with his new condition when Phoebe Reynolds —a woman who claims to be Nina’s sister—storms into the office and causes a catfight that ends when Phoebe is accidently bitten by Sam’s recently formed fangs.  With two noob vampires and the mystery of who bit Sam and left him the women of OOPS have a whole passel of troubles.

Laugh out loud funny.  It starts out slow but picks up and takes off like a cuss out of Nina’s mouth.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (Always a Marine #10) by Heather Long

This IR military romance takes place at Mikes Place a complex dedicated to the care of military men and their families suffering trauma from their time in service.  Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is NOT a 1NS story.  Where the 1NS stories have the sex leading to love this story travels the more traditional route of love leading to sex.

Marine Captain Joe Cooper is recovering from injuries received in the line of duty.  His new neighbor, marine widow Melody Carter, has a very ill baby that cries all the time.  Joe, being the middle child of 7 children has experience with his siblings and their babies, knocks on Melody’s door and offers his assistance.  Melody is afraid of men especially marines as her husband changed from the loving boy she married to an abuser who got worse with each tour.  She feels guilty because she is relieved he died.  Can she learn to trust Joe? Can they help each other heal?

I don’t know how Heather Long packs so much into such a short story.  I laughed, I cried, and I sighed.  Each of these stories speaks to me in a different way but this one really got to me.  If you haven’t discovered Heather Long yet go forth and read.  This book can be read as a stand-alone.  

Monday, January 7, 2013

Steel's Edge (The Edge #4) by Ilona Andrews

Book blurb:
The Edge lies between worlds, on the border between the Broken, where people shop at Wal-Mart and magic is a fairy tale—and the Weird, where blueblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny…

Charlotte de Ney is as noble as they come, a blueblood straight out of the Weird. But even though she possesses rare magical healing abilities, her life has brought her nothing but pain. After her marriage crumbles, she flees to the Edge to build a new home for herself. Until Richard Mar is brought to her for treatment, and Charlotte’s life is turned upside down once again.

Richard is a swordsman without peer, future head of his large and rambunctious Edger clan—and he’s on a clandestine quest to wipe out slavers trafficking humans in the Weird. So when his presence leads his very dangerous enemies to Charlotte, she vows to help Richard destroy them. The slavers’ operation, however, goes deeper than Richard knows, and even working together, Charlotte and Richard may not survive...

I've said it before and I’ll say it again there aren't many out there that do world building like the team of Ilona Andrews.  In a lush universe with diverse characters and magic they tell a compelling tale of romance and bravery.  

Sunday, January 6, 2013

The Key by Lynsay Sands

Since finding the Argeneau series by Lynsay Sands she has been on my auto-buy list.  I've yet to be disappointed.  Even her historicals are fantastic.

Iliana Wildwood was wedded to Duncan, laird of Dunbar Castle to save her from being used as hostage for her mother’s behavior when her mother was forced into marriage to the evil Baron Greenweld.  With Iliana safely away and married to the Scot her mother can apply to the king to have her marriage to the Baron annulled.  Iliana is happy to help till she discovers her new husband stinks. Literally. He bathes twice a year and it has become a bone of contention between them.  She’ll not bed him till he bathes and he’ll not bathe till July as per usual.  He is her husband and she will do her wifely duties.  Iliana has a secret weapon,  a belt of chastity, and he doesn't get the key until he bathes.  Who will bend first?

Oh my goodness what fun.  Tongue in cheek humor, a good mystery and a sexy (though odorous) man in a kilt. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Prince's Gamble by Caridad Piñeiro

I've read several books by Caridad Piñeiro and she writes good cop.  The Prince's Gamble is no different.

Russian Prince Alexander Ivanov has a missing hostess from his casino in Atlantic City, NJ.  He has also discovered that someone may be using his casino to launder money.  His honor and his business are at risk.  The FBI in the person of Special Agent Kathleen Martinez is called in.  She doesn't trust the hot Russian as far as she can throw him. As they work together to find the hostess and whoever is laundering money they find that people aren't always as you imagine them to be and in their case they may just be for each other.

This wonderful romantic suspense story is a quick intense story.  The push pull of personalities and their responsibilities reflect a reality that is often missing from short romantic tales.   

I was also humbled by Caridad Piñeiro and her pledge of her share of the profit from the sale of this book to the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Covert Seduction by Callie Croix

Military romantic suspense, erotic

Becca and Navy SEAL Reid have gone out on a couple of dates and she thought they had something special going but when she gets no response to an erotic email she figures he doesn't feel the same.  Now he is back from deployment and wants to get together but Becca has a date with a co-worker.  When her dates car is pushed off the road it is Reid who saves them.  Grateful for the rescue Becca agrees to hear Reid out. But it is going to take some sweet talking to get her past the hurt his silence has caused.  Reid is better with action than words and her email has given him a way to get his feelings across.

Hmmm a sexy Navy SEAL, mystery, and a whole lot of steamy sex.  What’s not to love?  After an awkward beginning this book takes off like a freight train.  Prepare for action and adventure inside the bedroom and out.  If you like your military romantic suspense extra spicy this is the dish for you.

Release date January 14th

ARC courtesy of Carina Press via NetGalley

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Talking Sex by Maxine Sullivan

Check your brain at the door kick back and enjoy this silly romance.

Recently divorced Cassie King has gotten a job as the host of local radio program Night Talk.  When her guest, a sex therapist, fails to show her producer shanghais visiting Aussie Zac Ryan into appearing in his place.  But the producer neglects to mention to Zac who he is replacing and also fails to tell Cassie that Zac isn't a sex therapist.  Fun ensues and the chemistry between the two is off the charts. The producer is ecstatic and cajoles Zac into coming back.  The chemistry between Zac and Cassie happens off air too and it is a little scary for Cassie fresh out a bad marriage and Zac will be going home.  Will the on-air fire lead to burning up the sheets?

Laugh out loud banter, this is just a delightful feel good read.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Branded For You, Roping your Heart, Fencing You In (Riding Tall) by Cheyenne McCray

 Sexy cowboy romantic suspense.

Branded For You – After a bad marriage Megan moves to Arizona to be near her family. Megan is a graphic designer and can pretty much work from anywhere and she wants to be anywhere her ex isn’t.  Her widowed sister Tess encourages Megan to start dating but it isn't easy. The crap she went through with her ex has done a number on her.  Then she meets sexy cowboy Ryan McBride.  The chemistry is there but can he be for real?  Meanwhile there are problems with the folks restaurant.  Someone wants them out and is willing to do pretty much anything to get their way. Can Ryan really be a part of that?  Did Megan once again give her heart to the wrong man?

Roping your Heart – Cat Hayden is returning home to take care of her aging grandmother. Cat a champion barrel racer left Prescott AZ and her best friend and first love Blake McBride to get away from an abusive home life and their associated memories.  In the intervening years Cat was horrifically injured by a horse and required several surgeries that left her scarred and insecure about her looks.  Both Cat and Blake have been married and divorced but their hearts never forgot.  Can they forgive the past and build a future?

Fencing You In – Tess (Megan’s widowed sister) hasn't dated since her husbands’ fatal car accident and she doesn't date playboy cowboys like Gage McBride.  But Gage doesn't give up when he see something he wants and he wants Tess.  Gage has been waiting for the right woman, and he’s sure Tess is the one. The problem is that she believes the reputation he has somehow earned after being betrayed by the one woman he ever loved. He’s not the “cowboy with a woman in every town” that Tess believes he is and he intends to prove it to her.  That is if he can keep her safe from the creepy ex-con Harvey Norton.

If you like sexy cowboy types with a heart as big as the whole outdoors you will enjoy the McBride boys.  

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

What Chris Wants (Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor #4.5) by Lori Foster

First I’d like to thank Lori Foster for stretching her comfort zone and writing this story.  Chris started out as a secondary character in the Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor series.  He was the guy who made it possible for the heroes to go off and do their thing.  But Chris was in his own way just as strong and supportive as the alphas he worked with and we wanted him to get his HEA too.  This normally wouldn't have been a problem; just write his story as a short in an anthology but Chris is gay and Lori Foster writes mainstream m/f romance.  But when we the readers made it clear that we wanted Chris’s story Ms. Foster stepped up to the plate and wrote this novella.

Chris and Matt have been lovers but Chris can’t tell Matt what he does for Dare and the others and Matt wants more from Chris and for him. How can they have a relationship if Chris can’t or won’t be honest with him?
I really enjoyed this story.  I think it sweet that Chris finally gets his man and revisiting with all the characters from the series was fun too.