Friday, August 31, 2007

PIMPING: Sealed with a Kiss by Lila Dubois

It's 1:21 am Friday morning here. That means that Samhain's August 31st releases are up and available. Why is this cause for celebration you ask? *snort* as if you need to ask... helloooooo NEW BOOKS! Always cause for celebration.

But today it's special because my friend, erotic romance author, and all-around kick-ass chick Lila Dubois has a short-story - SEALED WITH A KISS -available at Samhain.The BLURB:
When a man who isn’t human is accidentally enslaved by a woman who has no idea what he is, the result is magical.

A Midsummer Night’s Steam story

Signing up for a one-week adventure vacation, Helena expects to be kayaking in the Pacific, not having every sexual fantasy fulfilled in her guide’s bed.

Ocean is more than he seems, his kayaking business a cover for his deepest secret.

When Helena accidentally enacts old magic, enslaving Ocean, he doesn’t know if she is the luckiest girl on earth, or an enemy of his kind, bent on imprisoning him forever. Ocean’s strange behavior worries Helena but she’s distracted by the mind-blowing sex.

After the truth is revealed, will their budding love be Sealed with a Kiss?

OK, I don't like the cover but this story is really good! SEALED WITH A KISS is a sexy, vivid, and unique paranormal romance. How do I know? I got to be a.... beta reader, I think it's called. Is that right, Lila? Basically, I got to read an early version of it and then analyze the crap out of it (which we all know I love to do). I've got the final version now and it's just CALLING to me. I can't wait to re-visit Ocean (the sexy hero). Oh, yeah... and that heroine-type chick too.... what's her name? Well, it doesn't really matter since I'm going to have to kick her butt to keep Ocean for myself. *sigh* He's so FINE. Then I'm going to get the bungee cords from the back of my mom-mobile (aka minivan) and tie him naked to the.... oh, wait.... did I type that aloud?

Lila is in the process of changing and updating her website so be sure to check it out. In the BOOKS section you can find more information about the first book in Lila's wildly erotic paranormal romance series about the Zinahs. (not related to Sealed with a Kiss) There is also a FREE anthology available on the page.

Anyway, off to read now....

Thursday, August 30, 2007

My Immortal by Erin McCarthy

In the late eighteenth century, plantation owner Damien du Bourg struck an unholy bargain with a fallen angel: an eternity of inspiring lust in others for the gift of immortality. But when Marley Turner stumbles upon Damien's plantation searching for her missing sister, for the first time in two hundred years it's Damien who can't resist the lure of a woman. But his past sins aren't so easily forgotten-or forgiven.

My Thoughts:
This book starts off on a sour note for me. The hero is a selfish bastard and I hated him.... in the beginning. For all of you who have picked up this book and abandoned it after reading the first little bit that focuses on Damien (I have a friend who did this) then pick it back up and keep slogging through the crap.... it does get better. It took me about 15 minutes and revealing a TON of spoilers to convince my friend of this fact but it REALLY does get better.

The storyline is pretty simple, and one that we romance-readers have seen about a hundred thousand times but rarely get tired of:

Older sister (aka THE MARTYR) rushes to the aid of younger sister (aka THE IRRESPONSIBLE SELFISH BRAT) because she feels it's her responsibility to 'rescue' said younger sister. Of course, the rescue doesn't go as planned because younger sister has taken off to party somewhere else but big sister doesn't know where and is horribly worried so she goes to the 'last known' location and tries to track her down.

Enter the big, bad, immortal (aka THE misunderstood BAD BOY). Immortal demon meets older sister and is wholly fascinated and entranced by her beauty and goodness as well as the fact that she is the ONLY woman who can resist him. Demon tries to stonewall older sister so that she will go away "for her own good" because he is BAD and dangerous but demon realizes that he wants her too much to let her go. Demon then says that he'll help older sister because he wants to get into her pants. Then he gets into her pants and finds love there (*snicker* - I couldn't resist) and revelations are made that help us readers (and later big sister) understand that demon isn't as bad as he seems. Of course, about this time irresponsible little sister shows up, is a vicious brat to older sister, then toddles off to 'play' again without regard for anyone else. Older sister's trip was a useless endeavor but she can't be THAT upset because she met the immortal demon. Oh, Yeah.... but she doesn't KNOW that he's a demon.... yet.

And last, but certainly not least, add in a big helping of "EVIL PLOT" which only older sister can save bad-boy demon from, with a dash of "EVIL DEMON LORD-type" character, and a smidge of "SEMI-EVIL DAUGHTER OF EVIL DEMON LORD-type" and you get.....
My Immortal by Erin McCarthy

OK... so I'm in a silly mood. I think the brain is fried from studying. LOL!

Seriously now, while this book wasn't a fabulous read it was decent enough despite the rocky start with the hero. The plot flowed well and was enjoyable, if overly familiar, as were the characters. I had heard that it was supposed to be a new 'darker' direction for for her books but I REALLY don't think it was a dark book. Actually, in that respect I thought it was more equal to Katie Macallister's paranormal books. The writing style isn't the same and McCarthy's books don't have the humor that is normally an element of McAllister's writing, but I would recommend My Immortal to people who enjoy Katie MacAllister.
RATING: Library (I'm starting a new 'rating system' so I'll post next about what this means).

I've read all of McCarthy's books but my favorite continues to be Mouth to Mouth which is being re-released with a nice new cover in November.

Here's the cover of my copy:

Here's the NEW cover:

I like the new cover better but if I remember correctly the woman's hair color is wrong.... hmmmmmmm.... I think I need to re-read it but I thought she was blond-ish.
What do you all thing. Is the new cover hotter or is the more plain, first one better? Is it irritating when pubishers re-issue with a different cover? I've heard (and voiced) many a complaint about being foold by a new cover into thinking that it's a new book and buying it before realizing that it's a re-issue. Doesn't happen so much since I began keeping a database but every once in a while I get caught that way.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Tuesday is the day for HUNTING THE DEMON!

I'm book-pimping today......

Hunting the Demon
by Jaci Burton

Hunting demons for a living can have its moments. Especially when Shay Pearson’s latest quarry is the gorgeous bronzed surfer who just stepped out of the sea. Uncovering Nic Diavolo’s devilish side could prove Shay’s toughest assignment yet. Because while she’s acting as bait to snatch this sexy bad boy, Nic’s got a plan of seduction no woman—earthly or otherwise--can resist.
Caught between two warring realms, Nic needs to stay alive long enough to figure out who his enemies are. That includes the beautiful hunter who won’t let him out of her sight. And something far worse: A force of evil with an almost unimaginable goal – possessing Nic’s very soul. But the hunt really heats up when a guy who’s hotter than Hades and a woman who’s afraid to love join forces, igniting an inferno of lust and longing that could send them into mortal danger...or straight into each other’s arms…

Shay Pearson is a kick-ass demon hunter who volunteers to be 'bait' for Derek's long-lost younger brother Nic Diavolo. Because, like Derek, Nic is half-demon, she makes contact to assess him and whether he should be brought into their group or eliminated. Shay voluteers for the assignment because she feels a connection to Nic partially because of her psychic visions but is unprepared for the attraction between them which is instantaneous and electric. Circumstances force her to call the team in to kidnap Nic and, of course, he sees it as a betrayal and is enraged. Shay and the other demon hunters try to make Nic see the truth of his demon-family heritage not only because they need his help to stop the demons plans but also for his own safety.

Nic doesn't believe a word his 'kidnappers' say. His father wasn't evil, he has no brother and he certainly isn't half-demon. He knows he has to pretend to believe in order to escape and the only real part of his 'act' is the attraction and feelings he has for Shay. Before he can completely escape, he sees the reality of the demons for himself and knows that the demon-hunters were telling the truth. Now he must prove that he can be a part of the team and regain Shay's trust because her visions depict a horrifying possible future if he should lose control of the demon inside him - and he can't control it alone.

My Thoughts:
I have been eagerly anticipating this second book in the Demon Hunters series since Derek and Gina's book- Surviving Demon Island - came out in January and I wasn't disappointed with Nic & Shay's story.

I didn't fall instantly in love with Nic the way I did with Derek (the grouchy hard-ass) in the first book. In the beginning, Nic seemed to be a useless rich, pretty-boy surfer - I began to worry that I wasn't going to like this character which can ruin a whole book for me. I kept on reading and I began to see Ms. Burton's purpose in portraying Nic that way. The way he was at first served to accentuate the progression of his metomorphosis into a strong hero throughout the book. The core of determination inside Nic is tapped by his discovery of the existance of demons and he now has a purpose and a direction.

Shay was a good heroine, although the one major problem I had with this book has to do with her psychic ability. First, she fights the visions even when they could help them - OK, I know that they leave her feeling wrung out but I thought she should have been more open to them for the good of the team; Second, she has had these psychic visions since childhood but nobody else knows about them. My problem with this is: If she's so affected by them (left weakened or shaken by them) how can we believe that the whole group of highly observant demon-hunters, who spend almost all of their time together, wouldn't notice this about her? Third, suddenly in this book she is the one sensing the demons because of her psychic powers and the two people who usually sense them are suddenly 'unable' to. I could buy this if there were some explanation but there wasn't (or if there was I TOTALLY missed it).

Other than my beef with her psychic talent, I liked Shay. She was the perfect match for Nic - able to kick demon ass but still vulnerable and loving. I felt that this was a good combination for her because Nic needs someone to protect, as well as to be protected by. And despite his demon nature and his transformation into hero-material, he still had a bit of the playful surfer in him so Shay's loving personality fit.

Overall, I found Hunting the Demon to be well-paced, sexy, and engaging. I planned on skimming through it yesterday just to refresh and ended up re-reading it again... I got sucked into it. Surviving Demon Island is still my favorite - I loved Derek & Gina but this one is a solid addition to the series and book #3, The Demon's Touch, is due out in 2008 and will be on my 'buy' list.

Visit Jaci Burton's website
Pre-order Hunting the Demon

Friday, August 24, 2007

Glossary of PC Messages

It says: "Press Any Key"
It means: "Press any key you like but I'm not moving."

It says: "Press A Key"
(This one's a programmers joke. Nothing happens unless you press the "A" key.)

It says: "Fatal Error. Please contact technical support quoting error no. 1A4-2546512430E"
It means: "... where you will be kept on hold for 10 minutes, only to be told that it's a hardware problem."

It says: "Installing program to C:\...."
It means: "... And I'll also be writing a few files into c:\windows and c:\windows\system where you'll NEVER find them."

It says: "Please insert disk 11"
It means: "Because I know darn well there are only 10 disks."

It says: "Cannot read from drive D:...."
It means: "... However, if you put the CD in right side up..."

It says: "Please Wait...."
It means: "... Indefinitely."

It says: "Directory does not exist...."
It means: ".... any more. Whoops."

It says: "The application caused an error. Choose Ignore or Close."
It means: "....Makes no difference to me, you're still not getting your work back."

This post is sponsored by my damn computer which crashed AGAIN! I HATE MY COMPUTER! Either the devil has possessed it or HP has put out this particular model as a cruel, cruel joke on the customers.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

A few books available early & my "To Buy" list

I was cruising through Border's bookstore looking for new books today (yeah, I'm like a squirrel with nuts - I KNOW I'm going to run out of new books to read so I'm always trying to stock & hoard. LOL!) and what do I spy sitting on the new release table as pretty as you please?
Yep, you guessed it. Caressed by Ice! *gasping* I was shocked! Stunned for a moment. Thinking.... wait, it's almost two weeks until this is supposed to be out! But alas, the book was out there. It was soooooo tempting. Although I already have the ARC, I was reflexively tempted to snatch the book up and run to the register with it (Hey, it's my favorite author, what can I say?) but I restrained myself to wait for the actual release date so that I can be sure my purchase will count towards any bestseller lists.

Why, you ask? Well, from what I've 'heard' from several sources and Jacki Frank confirmed with her editor - books purchased before the actual 'release date' don't count towards the author's sales when they're tallying totals to decide who belongs on the bestseller lists. Weird huh? In addition, because it's a little unclear as to whether online sales count, it's better to purchase them at an actual bookstore. It makes no sense to me why only specific purchases should count but whatever.

So to be safe and because it's not really a hardship since my beautiful Caressed by Ice ARC is sitting on my bookshelf RIGHT NOW (OK, I know that was just downright mean-hearted but I can't help but rub it in just a bit more! *snicker*), I'll wait to buy my regular copy until September 4th when it's released.

I also saw Janelle Denison's book Born to be Wilde which has a release date of September 4th too. That's on my buy-list.

And Highland Thirst by Lynsay Sands & Hannah Howell was out - it's only a few days early though.

Other books on my "To Buy" list coming out within the next couple of weeks:
Dark Possession by Christine Feehan
Silver Master by Jayne Castle
My Immortal by Erin McCarthy
Strength of Three by Annemarie McKenna
Wicked Magic by Cheyenne McCray
Warlord by Angela Knight

I'm also considering Coming Undone by Susan Anderson. I liked her earlier romantic suspenses but haven't been terribly impressed with the most recent so I'm 'waiting' on that.

Tomorrow I'll be blogging about Jaci Burton's book Hunting the Demon which is due out on Tuesday. *using best TV announcer voice* Stay tuned.

Psy/Changeling Hero

He's mine.... ALL MINE!
Here's my results of a quiz from Nalini Singh’s Blog called "Which Psy/Changeling Hero is for You?"

So here's my changeling honey....

Which Psy-Changeling Hero Is For You?

Your Psy/Changeling Hero: Clay

Intense, silent and beautiful in his masculine grace, Clay Bennett is a leopard who prefers the shadows. For the woman he considers his, he'll move heaven and earth...but first, you'll have to be willing to walk into the shadows to find him.Find out more about Clay and the series at
Take this quiz!


Make A Quiz More Quizzes Grab Code

AND, my results said out of 73, 0% had gotten this result. So Clay is MINE and mine alone! *evil laugh* OK, so maybe I'll share him with his heroine when the book comes out but he'll still be all mine until February!
On a related note: My Caressed by Ice review will be up later this week so be sure to stop back and check it out!

Denise A. Agnew

I'm hooked.
I'm a junkie.
I CANNOT seem to stop buying and reading and loving this author's books!

I know I recommended her in another post but I've been on a real Denise A. Agnew binge so I want to share it with you all. She writes paranormal romance with suspense and some contemporary romantic suspense.

So far I've read:
Over the Line (SIA)
Primordial (SIA)
Night Scream - Novella (SIA)
Impetuous (SIA) -- one of THE worst covers... UGH!
Sins & Secrets (SIA)
Shadows & Ruins (SIA)
Jungle Fever (SIA)
Hideaway (SIA)
Clandestine (SIA)
Instinct (SIA) -- HOTTEST cover!! YUMMY!
and Male Call which I reviewed for RORR. Unfortunately, you can't view that review because it's not posted yet.

I've also got Dark Fire sitting on my shelf waiting, The Dare loaded onto my PDA just begging to be read - hey, any book that starts with the heroine seeing the hero through the window buck naked has my vote!!!

The only one so far that's been a 'stinker' to me was Hideaway. It was just kinda slow and boring. I found myself skimming parts and not really connecting with the characters.

My favorite is probably Instinct because of the characters (Lucas and Mina are HOT!) but as far as storyline goes Over the Line and Sins & Secrets take first and second.

All of them are available from Ellora’s Cave except Male Call which is published by Samhain. SIA is short for Special Investigations Agency and the books in that series are about people who work for a highly secretive agency that specializes in dealing with supernatural threats/beings/investigations. Some of them are heavier on the suspense than the paranormal but they're highly enjoyable and well-written IMO. Ms. Agnew has a talent for characterizations which make even the novellas (which I don't normally like as much) great.

So now I've got a new author addiction... I'm sure I'll be reading ALL of her books within.... oh, the next week or so at the rate I'm going. LOL!

I really recommend this author to lovers of suspense and paranormal romance. Now I'm off to read more. I've also got Serati's Flame, the newest book by T.J. Michaels waiting for me... it's been calling to me for the last hour in addition to the Agnew books. It's so hard to decide where to start!

Happy reading!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Primal Desires by Susan Sizemore

In Las Vegas, Jason Cage is known as "The Beast Master." But his onstage feats of magic are nothing compared to the abilities he keeps hidden from human eyes. Jason is Prime of his vampire family, and once used his telepathic skills to tame wild werewolves. It's a talent that leads him to beautiful, sensual Sofia Hunyara, who instantly triggers all of Jason's primal urges. Sofia is destined to be his bondmate, but keeping her alive long enough to convince her of that fact will not be easy.

Sofia has no reason to trust Jason, or to believe his story about her family's secret history as Wolf Tamers. The only thing she's sure of is an overwhelming attraction that quickly develops into a scorching affair. If Jason's claims are true, can Sofia embrace her legacy -- when it means walking away from a soul-searing desire that's deeper than any she's ever known?

My Thoughts:
Ok, so I've never been a big Sizemore fan - her books just don't have the oomph and sizzle, IMO. But I'm so desperate for reading material that I keep thinking each new book will be better. I just don't enjoy them. Not a single one has made it to my keeper shelf. So I've got to face the fact that this author is just not for me and stop buying her books.

HOWEVER, I will say that I think Sizemore fans will enjoy this most recent addition to her vampire series. I really liked the hero. He was tender yet strong. He also wasn't overly arrogant but still had enough Prime personality to be sexy. He also treats the heroine way better than the heroes of her last few books IMO - he really adores her. The heroine wasn't bad, I wasn't particularly impressed with her though.

The plot was a bit weak in places though. For instance, one 'conflict' element was the fact that the heroine was fated to be a Wolf Tamer. Super.... how interesting and this causes conflict how exactly? Well, supposedly he may have to let her go so that she can fulfill that duty. And I kept wondering why? He's not Clan, he's from the Families. Different rules. Plus he travels as a performer - it's not like his job or position is so important that they can't work it out. I just didn't get it. And it was not fully explained or resolved that I saw. It was just mentioned in passing a few times then the epilogue has a reference to how it was resolved but it wasn't a good resolution IMO. She basically doesn't become the Wolf Tamer and instead is the 'Beautiful Assistant' in Jason Cage's act. 'Cause we all know that is SO much more important and fulfilling than, oh.... helping the world. Whatever. There were a lot of elements like this that were thrown into the plot but not fully developed. And some very weird things too, like a vamp female who wants the hero to be a sperm donor and approaches the HEROINE with the request. The hero has already said no to the vamp once but the heroine tries to convince him to do it! Luckily, Cage says NO WAY... ALL of me belongs to you even though there would be no sex involved - I thought that was romantic.

Still, the premise and storyline of a Vampire Prime finding the Wolf Tamer to train her only to find that she is his mate was good. The training and the emergence of her powers was ok if a little vague. The rest of it... just blah to me -underdeveloped - but I liked it better than Primal Heat.

Did anyone else read this? I'd love some opinions on it!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

I'm LOVIN' it!

Well, I did it... I broke down and bought something to read my e-books on (other than my desktop computer). I've been debating between a straight up e-book reader or a PDA for a while but the expense of both made me hesitate.

But I finally chose.................ta-da!

The Palm Tungsten E2

So now, I can read all of my PDF e-books (I don't have to pay to get them in another format YAY!), I have my book buying spreadsheets on it and I can even modify them on there, I can listen to MP3's and watch certain video clips (I haven't tried this yet), I have pictures (it's my mobile brag book now), I have a calendar, my address book, my 'To Do' list, a memo function (no more sticky notes all over!), and many more things which I haven't explored. PLUS, it's Wifi capable! I just can't decide if I'm going to spend the extra $ to get the neccessary card to do that.

Oh, and did I mention that I have this hottie as my screen background on it? YUM!!

And, I got it for only $63 on e-bay. It's in perfect condition and came with all of the 'stuff'' and a nice case. Don't you LOVE e-bay! BIG kisses to vrod3315 who was one of the BEST sellers I've ever dealt with.

I'm so happy with my new toy!

It came in especially handy yesterday since I had to wipe and reconfigure/install my hard-drive. Grrrrrrrrr! BUT I sat and read e-books while the computer was 'working' so I was less frustrated than normal by the process.

Monday, August 13, 2007


Here are some quick author/book recommendations that I want to throw out there although I'm not going to do any analysis/reviews of the books.

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Denise A. Agnew has an awesome series for lovers of paranormal romantic-suspense! It's the Special Investigations Agency series and I've read 4 of them so far and loved them!! Most are available in e-book & print format from Ellora’s Cave.

Cindy Dees has an interesting series of books from Silhouette Bombshell. It's called the Medusa series, I guess. I couldn't actually verify that because her website has been taken down and has precious little information about past books even from their own publishing lines. But it kicks off with The Medusa Project which was published in February 2005 (#31) and I highly recommend it!!

Touch of Darkness by Christina Dodd

Book #2 in the Darkness Chosen series
Christina Dodd

Handsome, powerful Rurik Wilder holds the power to transform himself into a fierce bird of prey-a gift that's caused death and destruction.
At last he's offered the chance to redeem himself. Only one woman stands in his way-a beautiful writer determined to wreak revenge on the assassins who murdered her family. Assassins, it's been rumored, who have powers no human should ever possess...

My Thoughts:
Yes, I know I said I wasn't going to do it. I wasn't going to purchase this second book in the series that got off to such a crappy start IMO. I just couldn't resist when I saw it on the shelf though and I caved and bought it.

MUCH better characterization, world building, and plot for this second instalment in Dodd's new series!

Rurik is an archeologist (of course) and Tasya is a photographer endorsed by the college/foundation (I can't remember which) that is funding the archeological dig. Both of them have their own personal reasons for wanting to be involved with the dig and those reasons relate to the Varinski's and the curse but Rurik seeks redemption for the Varinskis (at least his branch) and Tasya wants to bring Varinski secrets out into the public to destroy the clan. When the 'evil' Varinski's come onto the scene the H/h have to work together to stay alive and find the relic - although only Rurik knows that they're at somewhat cross-purposes.

The other side of the Varinski family tree as a threat is still a little weak but the search for the relic keeps the story going. The heroine's history with the bad Varinski's as a secret obstacle between Tasya and Rurik adds a good element of conflict as well. I did cry for a little while towards the end - which in some people's minds is a compliment about the author's ability to stimulate emotions in their readers but really.... I don't like the tear-jerkers unless I'm in the mood. But it didn't last long so all is well. LOL!

Overall, I was satisfied with this read. It's about half-way between a 'library' and a 'buy' type of read for me.


Something Wicked by Catherine Mulvany

Catherine Mulvany

Investigative reporter Regan Cluny is in hot pursuit of a reclusive philanthropist who is financing a mysterious archaeological dig in the California desert. Attempting to convince Charles Cunningham Nash to grant her an interview has proven impossible long distance, so Regan sets off uninvited for his dig to woo him in person. Instead, she meets with deadly trouble; a biker gang corners her at a remote rest stop, sabotages her car, and leaves her for dead on a country road. Miraculously, Regan survives with only one strange memory of her attack...and the man who comes to her aid is Nash himself.

Strongly attracted to her handsome protector, Regan can't know that Nash is a vampire tied to her attackers by a vicious blood feud that dates back to the Civil War - or that he has hungered for the life and soul of a mortal for nearly two centuries. With the local sheriff determined to nail Nash for the violence perpetrated by his dire enemy, Regan must decide whether the dark secrets of a lover she can't live without are something wonderful...or something wicked.

My Thoughts:
I have never read Catherine Mulvany but I saw the cover for this book a couple of months ago and put it on my 'to be considered list'. KICK ASS cover!!! Plus a 'kudos' from Christine Feehan on it!

Something Wicked was a decent paranormal romance. There was nothing wrong with the book and it's actually well developed and written. It was just a bit... well, dull-ish. Sort-of. I know this is SO unhelpful in helping others make a decision to purchase the book so I'll just say I wasn't bored but neither was I wow'd by either the characters or the plot. This would be more of a 'library' choice to me. Good to read but not run-out-and-get-it-now worthy. Actually, people just getting into reading the paranormal-romance sub-genre would probably enjoy this one. It's about 65% on the darkness scale. It's not a dark book but neither is it middle of the road either. Plus, it doesn't have a convoluted world or a system of paranormal beings that can make new readers long for a glossary so that they can figure out what's happening.

This would REALLY be full of spoilers if I went indepth but here are a few issues I had with the book: 1) The whole 'reincarnation of past lover' thing.... doesn't really do it for me. It can be done well or it can be done VERY badly so I always worry when books have that element. Mulvany actually did pretty good - it didn't take over the story or cause any awkwardness in the heroine's internalization of her feelings for the hero. But still not my favorite. 2) The relationship between the hero's 'past love', the villian, and the reason for the animosity between the hero & villian has a bit of an ick factor for me. 3) How Nash was made a vampire - although that's kind of related to #2. Also, this didn't really bother me but some people will be irritated by the ending - the solution to how a vampire and mortal end up together. To me, the way it came about was a little too 'pat' but I know some people who won't enjoy it for other reasons - which I can't tell because that would be WAY spoiling.

Overall, it's worth reading but I wouldn't put it at the top of the TBR list. I'll be watching for her next one though and check it out at the library!


Catch a Mate by Gena Showalter

Gena Showalter

Jillian Greene is always getting caught in the act—it's her job! Working at Catch A Mate, Jillian gets paid by suspicious wives to smile, flirt and prove that no man can be trusted around the opposite sex. Her only ground rule? She never gets physical. Until a heart-stoppingly gorgeous male walks in… Marcus Brody has just been hired as bait to test female fidelity. But the last thing Jillian needs is a partner…especially an infuriating, irresistible man who's got her fantasizing about tearing off his clothes.
Can a savvy modern woman find happiness with the most tempting man she's ever known? Is there such a thing as a totally monogamous male?

My Thoughts:
I really liked this book. I was just in the mood for a book like this when I read it - it's so quirky and spunky and made a great break from the darker paranormal and romantic-suspense books that I've been reading lately. It's a light read - what some call a great 'beach book' because really, there isn't a whole lot of depth to the plot but the interaction between the two characters was entertaining and IMO made up for any lack or problems with the storyline.

Basically the hero/heroine are Male/Female versions of each other. They both have MAJOR trust issues with the opposite sex due to life experiences and working as 'bait' to catch cheating spouses but really their perfect for each other and the sparks fly whenever they're together. In a way it reminds me of some Lori Foster's light-hearted books but her H/h's aren't ususally this cynical.


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

In the Midnight Hour by Patti O'Shea

The Blurb:
Ryne is a magical troubleshooter, sworn to protect the innocent from being harmed by magic—and she's been chasing Anise, her former mentor, for six years.
Deke is a private investigator who knows something key to defeating Anise. But Anise cast a dark spell over him, and even though Ryne has managed to temporarily lift the curse, Deke can't remember what it is that he knows.
Ryne has sworn to never get involved with a human, but Deke is sexy, charming, brave and irresistible—and as Ryne and Deke are pulled further into Anise's evil schemes, it's harder and harder for Ryne to resist the attraction.
But dark magic has its own attraction, and in order to defeat Anise and lift Deke's curse permanently, Ryne will have to risk following in Anise's footsteps and succumbing to the lure of the darkness...

My thoughts:
I have been in AGONY waiting for this book to come out. I love Patti O’Shea’s futuristic books as well as her contributions the Crimson City and 2176 series' so I snatched this book up as soon as it hit the stores. It is very good.

Although some elements of the book require the reader to suspend logic completely (like the fact that Deke is a man trapped in a cartoon-like TV show by a spell), the heroine and the hero were surprisingly realistic. witty, and charming. Their relationship was also fairly unique in terms of power and strength because Ryne is the one with the knowledge and strength of magic - she 'takes care' of Deke a lot in the first part of the book when his memories are gone.

My only problem with this book was that I had a real sense of deja-vu while reading it. I CANNOT figure out why - I've certainly never read it before. But as I was reading it I was seriously getting that "I've been here before" feeling. I can't recall a particular book that this is similar to or anything but it felt WAY weird because I even knew how the ending was going to be. It's driving me nuts because I can't figure it out. Has anyone else experienced the same with this book or am I going insane?

Anyway, this book is about mid-range on the light/dark scale. It's not a dark paranormal but it isn't a fluffy read either. I'd recommend this to people who like books such as Cheyenne McCray's magic series (although this is a little lighter than that) and other magic or witch-type paranormals.


Ms. O'Shea's next book, In Twilight’s Shadow, is due out next summer and is about Ryne's sister Maia. I'm pumped for that one too! Maia is a VERY interesting character and I can't wait to learn more about her.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Still Behind

I'm REALLY hanging my head in shame. I'm still behind on posting about recent books I've read and I can't seem to get caught up. I have a HUGE stack of books on my desk to remind me of what I want to talk about. LOL!

Just FYI here's some of what I've got on-tap to talk about:

More contests (including some ARCs!)
In the Midnight Hour by Patti O'Shea
Catch a Mate by Gena Showalter (and a couple others by her I'll mention)
Touch of Darkness by Christina Dodd
Something Wicked by Catherine Mulvany
Tanner's Scheme by Lora Leigh
and a WHOLE bunch of other Lora Leigh e-books.

To make up for my tardiness.... here's some eyecandy to pass the time!!!

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Immortals: The Awakening by Joy Nash

Book 3 in the Immortals Series is by Joy Nash (the previous were by Jennifer Ashley and Robin T. Popp).

She comes to him in a dream: her creamy skin delectably cool, silky raven hair smelling of the sea and ocean-blue eyes reflecting the depths of her passion. She is everything Kalen has been desperate to capture in his art -- and in his bed. In reality, when Christine finds his remote Scottish castle, it is to persuade the Immortal warrior to help repel the darkness spreading around the world. But Kalen has a vindictive Sidhe trying to steal his powers and a dark secret of his own to battle before he and Christine can give in to --The Awakening.

My Thoughts:
This was yet another disappointment for me from the Immortal series. So far the only one I've really enjoyed was the very first one so I have to bid adieu to the fourth one as an 'auto buy' on my list - I'll be waiting for the library to get it.

My main problems with this book (and the one by Popp) stem from personal preferences. I don't like it when the hero has sex or is in a relationship with anyone else but the heroine in a book. Unfortunately, in the beginning of the book I really didn't like Kalen. He was a man-whore and just an all-around loser IMO. In that first quarter of the story, he is with (and having sex with) his lover whom he plans on getting pregnant (just because she asked him to and he kinda shrugs and is like 'sure'). And, of course, the heroine watches the couple having sex at one time. THEN later he leaves this public orgy thing, after which he was supposed to do the actual impregnanting of his lover, to whisk the heroine away to his castle where he then decides to have sex with HER within a few minutes of arriving not because of any soul-mate type thing but for selfish ulterior motives (which I can't disclose because it could be a spoiler!). All of this just gives me an icky feeling in my stomach... I don't like these type of things in a story but for readers with no such 'hang-ups' this book might not be so bad.

It does get better around page 120 and the plot picks up and gets more interesting, the characters become more real and likeable and I stopped disliking Kalen. However, I still never really felt like he loved Christine for herself. The whole thing (the plot, characters, and the relationship) was just... weak.

Plus, it also doesn't really further the overall plot-line of the series. Other than getting another Immortal to answer the 'call'. We'll see in the next one though, maybe there were important elements in this book that will tie into the next one. It wasn't HORRIBLE but I didn't think it was that good either. Had I know what this (and the last one) were going to be like, I would have gotten them from the library.


The Devil's Possession by Heather Waters

She was a woman called to lead
Ordinarily, women do not become Highland chieftains. But Faith Maitland is no ordinary woman-until a violent encounter in the forest crushes her courage and leaves her pregnant. And now, because no clan will accept a sullied woman, she must find a sire for her bastard...
He was a man they called a witch
When Faith names Draven the Devil as the father of her child, she thinks she is blaming a dead man. Instead, her accusation halts his execution for witchery. When he is released from the stake to the Maitlands' custody, Faith realizes that she has affianced herself to a silent man with frightening powers...
Theirs was a devil's bargain
Draven has no reason to relish his escape, having long since wearied of the fear and hate that has been his lot. Yet he finds himself unable to renounce Faith and expose her to the same shame. Fascinated by her beauty and strength, Draven is drawn to Faith even as she is warmed by his tenderness. But their growing trust will be tested by the threat of true evil...

My thoughts:
I actually picked this one up to read the blurb because I thought the cover was so bad. I was intrigued enough to buy it despite the fact that I'm not really into historicals recently. Now that I've read the book, I realize that the title sucks too. It just doesn't fit IMO. And to be honest... the blurb isn't really a good (or completly accurate) representation of the story either. This poor author should really ask the publisher NOT to assign the same cover/PR team to her next book!
However, that is the extent of my negativity regarding this book. Well, OK... the author could have spent a LITTLE more time world & character-building but while it lacked some of the vividness of paranormal romance masters such as Kenyon, Singh, and Feehan, it did not disappoint!

I started this book while eating lunch after leaving the bookstore and I was engrossed enough by the story that I sat in my car reading until I finished the book - yes, I realize what a sad statement that is about my self-discipline but I couldn't help it! The beginning of the story was just FASCINATING and I couldn't tear myself away!

I liked Faith (the heroine) but I ADORED Draven. What an intriguing hero!! In many ways he was your 'typical' tortured hero but there was just something about him that captured my attention and my heart.

RATING: B (it wasn't the best thing I've ever read but it was SO DAMN GOOD for a new author!!)

Heather Waters' next book Destiny's Warrior is due out in December and has been added to my buy list. I'm excited to read more from this bright new author.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

It's my lucky day!!

Well, more like my lucky couple of days.

Yesterday I won an e-book from Samhain's weekly contest. I chose Always Yours by Shiloh Walker. These contests are weekly and a new one started today at:

Then today I received an e-mail from Linda Conrad that I had won the GRAND PRIZE in her contest - 6 books of her Night Guardian series including an ARC of her upcoming September release and tote! YAY! I haven't read any of the books in this series (although I have read Linda Conrad) but I saw the most recent book in the used bookstore a couple of weeks ago. I was intrigued and wanted to know more. Here's a link to some 'background' on the series:
Check out the 'fun stuff' link on the page because it's not too late to win the series and a $30 gift certificate to B&N!

Many thanks to Linda & Samhain (LOL! Because I'm SO sure that they'll be coming to my blog anytime soon to even SEE my thanks) - but there it is anyway.

Up Close and Dangerous by Linda Howard

Up Close and Dangerous by Linda Howard

I was VERY wary of LH's newest release because her writing has gone downhill IMO since the Blair Mallory books and Cover of Night was so bad it was almost a joke but I was pleasantly surprised by Up Close and Dangerous. It's pretty good - still not quite the quality of some of her earlier books but a solid read that has made it to my 'keeper' shelf. The characters and the basic plot are interesting but it could have been better.

Here are my main issues with the book: first, it WAY too 'detailed' in the things that they do for survival - readers do not need that much information on exactly how everything is done and what everything that survived the crash is used for in minute detail. On the upside, if I ever survive a plane crash in the mountains where it's cold and I've over-packed because I'm obsessive and on my way to a rafting trip - I'll know EXACTLY what to do! LOL!

A slight problem with the book is the development of the relationship between the H/h. I have no problem with a quick forming relationship - especially under these circumstances - but there is absolutely NO indication that the two are even attracted to each other before the crash. They really appear to dislike each other so Cam deciding that Bailey is going to be his so abruptly is weird.

Finally, the time after their rescue should be have been WAY more developed. It was the most interesting part of the book! She could have taken out a good 1/2 of the time they spent 'surviving' (which was a bit boring in the detailed monotony anyway) and put it after they get off the mountain and the book would have been much better.

Another review (on Amazon, I think) mentioned that the title and the cover don't fit the book and, although I didn't notice it before it was mentioned, she is right. The cover and the title don't fit at all - it doesn't bother me but I thought it was interesting and true.

Overall, I am keeping this book and was fairly satisfied with it, despite the obvious problems. Though that may be because the quality of the last few have been so poor that I've lowered my expectations of LH books.

RATING: C when compared with romantic suspense genre books
B+ when compared with the last few LH books

Hidden Agendas by Lora Leigh

Hidden Agendas by Lora Leigh

I was actually going to pass on this book because I was unimpressed with Dangerous Games (the book before this one in the series) but then my friend said it was good.

It was awesome! I loved the characters and the story was great. There were minor things, of course, that I thought could have been improved but it's now one of my favorite Lora Leigh books (outside the Breed series, which I LOVE)and it will definitely be going on the keeper shelf! After reading it my curiosity about two other Seals - Nathan and Ian - is severely piqued and I can't wait for their books.

The next book in the series, Killer Secrets, about Deke Santiago is on my 'buy' list for January.


White Heat by Cherry Adair

White Heat by Cherry Adair

This book grabbed my attention right away with an action-packed beginning. In general, I don't really like books with a 'lovers reunited' theme but I found both characters entertaining and well developed. The plot was good, although there were some elements that were just too coincidental to be believable.

The only real problem with it for me was that the climax of the suspense and the conclusion weren't great. There was a lot of build-up and I liked the rest of the book but then the conclusion just felt slightly contrived - not awful, just off.

Overall, the majority of the book was great with an interesting plot and characters I could get into. If you like romantic suspense, you'll probably enjoy this one.


Hunter's Salvation by Shiloh Walker

Hunter’s Salvation by Shiloh Walker

Shiloh Walker is a hit-n-miss author for me. Meaning sometimes I like her stuff, sometimes I actually dislike it. My main problem with her books stem from her heroes who are usually too OVERLY reluctant to 'commit' for my taste. This book was no different in that way. In addition, the hero is too into the 'I'm a bad, bad man and it's all my fault' guilt trip about EVERYTHING and I wanted to pull out the mini-violins. He also does the yo-yo thing in regards to his relationship with the heroine. What I mean by this is that he kept pushing her away and pulling her back even right up to the end. The conclusion was unsatifying (one of the worst parts of the book) because he changes from pushing her away because he doesn't 'deserve' her to being fully committed to their relationship and their future within less than a paragraph and the change is awkward. That said, however, it was a pretty good read and I was pulled into the action right away and didn't want to put it down. I'm glad I checked it out from the library though.


Playing Catch-up

Sorry everyone! I know I've been MIA but first I was busy then had computer problems (again).

OK, today I'm getting caught up (hopefully but I'm going to have to be quick about it. I really think all of these books deserve a 'full' review but if I wait until I have time to do it the books will be so old they'll be backlisted so I'll just do a quick 'review' with a link to the author/publisher synopsis to get caught up then I'll go back to my normal style.

Here are the one's I'll be doing today:

Hidden Agendas by Lora Leigh
and a bunch of Lora Leigh e-books including ones from her Legacies series and B.O.B.'s Fall
Hunter's Salvation by Shiloh Walker
White Heat by Cherry Adair
Up Close and Dangerous by Linda Howard
Immortals: The Awakening by Joy Nash
In the Midnight Hour by Patti O'Shea
The Devil's Possession by Heather Waters