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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Desert Warrior by Nalini Singh

This is the second story that is in the double book ("Lord of the Abyss") by Nalini Singh.  You will not be disappointed if you buy this double book.  It is a reprint of her August 2003 Silhouette Desire book.
Jasmine Coleridge seems to have a self-esteem problem.  She also wants to design clothing.  Tariq al-Huzzein Donovan Zamanat is the Sheik of Zulheil and knows what he wants.  They also knew each other 4 years ago.
There is an intensity between Jasmine and Tariq right from the start.  Mina is the lamb to Tariq's lion.  Tariq treats Mina as a possession and Mina just wants to be loved.  The story appears to be contemporary but because of where the story takes place it would also fit in as a historical romance.  The desert doesn't seem to change very much.  Almost like time stands still - the desert is almost untouched by the outside world.
Tariq's claiming of Mina is very sensual.  You see Mina blossom under Tariq's touch.  The reader also gets a chance to see how romantic sleeping under the stars can be.  It may give you some ideas about getting romantic with your significant other.
The past keeps getting in between Tariq and Mina's relationship.  You will have to keep reading to see if the couple can "weather the storm".  There is a saying "Love conquers all".  Will their love be able to?
The hunks in some of the romance novels always have a way of saying the wrong thing and his lady-love ends up slipping back into her shell.  As I was reading, I had hoped that Tariq wouldn't follow suit - but he did.  Now I have to hope that Mina puts him in his place.
Nalini likes to tease her readers.  Will Mina's love be enough?  Will Tariq realize what he has before it's too late?  Nalini also adds in the evil sister.  You will have to read the story to find out what she does and if she destroys the love that the couple has for each other.
If you are a hopeless romantic, you will love this book.  I'm used to reading Nalini's paranormal romances but this was a very nice change.  The only disappointment I had was that the second story doesn't have its own cover.  With Nalini's description of what Tariq looks like, you would love to see an actual picture.  But you will not be disappointed if you go and buy the double book (unless you already own the original from 2003).
I give "Desert Warrior" 4 1/2 stars.

Naughty Rendezvous by Victoria Blisse

This story is written in the first person.  I'm not usually a fan of this style but for this story it works.  The author writes as if Leanna is talking directly to you.
Leanna has a 6 month old daughter Lucy.  Joe is someone who she's met online.  You can tell right away the effect Joe has on Leanna.   Her mother is her only support system since a husband isn't in the picture.
Leanna goes to meet Joe alone and they go back to her place where the heat gets turned up a notch.  I love how they find any excuse to "touch" while watch a football (British) game.  We also find out that Joe is considered a Dom.  Leanna lets Joe control the sex they are about to have.  If you own a dining area, you may change your mind about how you use it.
They then continue into the bedroom.  Joe lets Leanna know that he finds her beautiful.  I was sorry to see this story end.  They compliment each other very well.
It was the perfect short story but I'm an incorrigible romantic.  I wanted to see how Joe interacts with Lucy and if they continue to see each other.  I also want to see if they get their "happily ever after".
If you like erotic romances, you will definitely want to read this one.  If you don't like reading BDSM, this may change your mind.  It's done very well and not "in your face" and it doesn't dominate (sorry about the pun) the story.  I can't wait to read more of Victoria Blisse's work.
I give this story 4 1/2 stars (or in this case flames).

Lord of the Abyss by Nalini Singh

This is book 4 in the "Royal House of Shadows Series".
This book is the tale of the youngest of the Elden royals, Micah.  In this story he is known as the Lord of the Black Castle.  He wears a suit of armor that seems to take over his body.  Our heroine's name is Liliana but we find out that her father is the Blood Sorcerer.
At the beginning of this story, the Blood Sorcerer's evil has found its way into Micah's soul.  It's Liliana's goal to get Micah to remember who he is and where he belongs.  But when she sees Micah he believes her to be a threat and throws her into a cell.  While awaiting to see what her fate will be, she starts to reminisce about what life was like living with the Blood Sorcerer.  As you read this story, you will also see how much this father loves his daughter.  Or does he?
As Liliana and Micah interact with one another she tries to find different ways that he can remember what his purpose is supposed to be.  She tries food and telling him "night-tales".  On one morning Liliana is trying to feed him breakfast but it looks like Micah has other ideas.  We think he wants to steal a kiss but just as she gets close - he makes a remark that will have you laughing.
You will love their interactions after that - it turns quite sensual which shocks Liliana a little.  As you read on, you will see that she has a poor body image of herself.  But we have to remember that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder".  Nalini did a great job with writing their interactions.  I loved them so much that I didn't want to put the book down.
Nalini has made Micah's story dark but it is brightened by the romance that blossoms between Micah and Lily.  She does a great job of building the anticipation.  You just have to keep turning the pages to see what is going to happen next.
There is a part in the story where Micah is trying to protect Lily and this is where he remembers everything.  It also affects how he feels about her - you have to feel sorry for Lily's sense of loss.  But the make up scene is very erotic.
As you get to the end of this love story, you will see that Lily and Micah are each other's hero.  I found that this was a great way to end the "Royal House of Shadows" series.  I'm sorry to see the series end but it gave me a chance to read some author's work that I may not have read otherwise.
When I was sent this book to review, I found that they actually sent me the "2 for 1" copy.  You can either purchase the single title on November 15 or wait for the double book on November 22.  I wanted to get this review out to you so that you can decide which book you wish to purchase.  By the end of October, I will do a separate review for the other book.
I give "Lord of the Abyss" 4 1/2 stars.

Blood Howl by Robin Saxon & Alex Kidwell

Main Characters:  Jed Walker is a man who knows what he wants and isn't afraid to go after it.  He appears to be ex-military - special ops.  But we also see that his morals seem to be questionable.  Some of what he does might be considered illegal.  He also owns a cat named Knieval.  Redford is a man who appears to be very quiet, introverted and quite shy.  He's not quite what he seems to be - a werewolf.  For a werewolf, he almost appears to be afraid of his own shadow - not really what you would expect.
Jed has a new client named Fil (Filtiarn - which means "Lord of the wolves").  Fil sends him to a house where he meets Redford.  Jed doesn't feel right about what he was sent to do and takes Redford to a bar.  There he explains what he does for a living.
We learn that Jed's sexual preference is domination.  Is this something that will work between Redford and Jed?  Especially since Jed is the one that likes to be dominated.  At the beginning there's a lot of sexual talk and innuendos.  The book's not about the sex but a romance between a human and a werewolf with suspense thrown into the mix.  But it is also very light on the "paranormal".
In the first quarter of the book, the only indication that we have that Redford is a werewolf is his word and the mention of a cage.  We also see that there are people after Red for that reason.  Jed has decided that he needs to protect him.
In one scene, Jed and Red start to make out but then are interrupted by sirens.  The interruptions seem to be a common them for at least half the book.  Is this a good thing?  Is this what keeps the reader turning the pages?  Or is it to see what type of werewolf Red is?
Things start to escalate between the two of them at which point Red reveals he's a virgin.  Our authors do a great job at describing the interactions between Jed and Redford.  They're two people learning about each other - this includes falling in love.  Jed takes Red to the zoo and this is when we finally start to see their relationship blossom.
As a reader, you may get frustrated that our couple keeps getting interrupted.  But isn't this what builds the suspense?  Once they get back to Jed's apartment, this is when things explode between the two of them.  You will see that this scene is very descriptive.
In true romance novel fashion, one of them says those three magical words and the other says "no" and leaves.  Redford goes home and finds trouble waiting for him.  But our hero is there to save the day.  Then our authors give us the predictable make up scene.  But is happily ever after meant to be theirs?  You will have to read the book till the end to find that out.
If you are judging the book by it's title and thinking it will be a paranormal romance you may be a little disappointed.  I would have loved to see more of Redford as his werewolf self - it would have added a little bit more to the story.  If you judge it as a work of adult fiction you may find it ok.  It is a gay novel but as I was reading the book, I completely forgot that it was a book about two men.
I wouldn't say that it's the best romance book I ever read and I wouldn't say it's the worst.  Having read it once, I wouldn't put it in my pile to read again.  I would give "Blood Howl" 3 1/2 stars.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Double Shot by Christine D'Abo

This is book 1 of Christine's "Long Shot Series".
Main characters:  Sadie Long owns a coffee shop and she lusts over Paul Williams.  Paul, who happens to be a good friend of Sadie's, works at a sex club called Mavericks.  Josh Scott is Paul's boss.
As Christine's story opens, we see that Sadie is a shy young woman.  She goes into Mavericks looking for Paul but ends up having an interesting fantasy.  You can also tell that Sadie has the hots for Paul.  Paul wants to offer Sadie a catering job.  This is also when Sadie first meets Josh.
I loved the interaction between Sadie and her brother Ian.  I can just picture how Ian is reacting to Sadie's artistic talent.  I love how Christine also makes reference to one of my favorite cooking shows.  It helps to give her story more reality (something the reader can relate to).  She also does a great job of showing the heat building between Sadie and Paul.
The night of the catering event, Paul finally lets Sadie know some of the fantasies he's been having about her.  Christine also gives us a hint of what Sadie wants.  Christine also does a great job of teasing the reader by not having the sex so "in your face".  We get to use our imaginations this way.
The story is subtle and sexy at the same time.  Plus, it's nice to see a young woman character still have a shy side and a business woman at the same time.  The sex scenes flow very well through the story.  You don't feel that Christine decided this was where I needed to add some sex in.  You can feel how all the characters connect together.  And, how bad can it be being "serviced" by two hot men (every woman's fantasy).
If you have a significant other, this book will help put some spice in your love life.  It may also be a book that you would like to read over and over.  This book is h-o-t.  You will need to keep a fan handy.  This is also a short story so if you don't have a lot of time to read and want your "love" fix, this would be a perfect book for you.
I definitely cannot wait for book 2 to come out.
I give this book 4 1/2 stars.

Lord of the Wolfyn by Jessica Andersen

This is book 3 of the "Royal House of Shadows Series".
Our main characters are Prince Dayn who is the second son of the king of Elden.  Alfreda Weston is a police officer who lives in Salem.
Right at the beginning, Jessica introduces the reader to the Wolfyn.  They are ravenous shape shifters who are deadly beasts.  Because of their habits, they need to be killed.
In this book, Dayn's father can mind speak to him and tells him what must happen to the Blood Sorcerer (the evil element from books 1 & 2).  We also see that Dayn is considered a hunter.
Reda lives in a town that is known as a magical town.  But Jessica makes Reda a non-believer.  We first see Reda reading a book and for some reason she feels a connection to a guy who has green eyes.  While reading, Reda says a "spell" that she learned as a child.  After saying this "spell", Reda meets Dayn.
Jessica has Reda seeing things that no human should be able to see.  It's made so realistic that you feel it's something that could possible happen to anyone.  Then the action starts to happen.
You can almost hear Dayn's snide attitude after his first confrontation with Reda.  Reda doesn't believe what's going on - she hasn't hear a word that Dayn said.  Even with all that, she still agrees to help Dayn.  Would we behave the same way?
Jessica then gives us their first kiss.  But just as it starts getting good, Jessica gives Dayn a conscience.  But she also has a way of having her main characters compliment each other.  She gives them a past full of hurt.  But there is also something else there that seems to draw them together.
There is a part in the story that Jessica has put an obstacle in their way.  When Reda first views it, you can just about hear her comment.  Dayn, being an alpha male, has an interesting way of getting her to cross that obstacle.
None of the sex scenes were forced.  They just flow within the story.  They are made to feel natural.  Reda and Dayn loved with no expectations from the other.  But the heat that is generated between the two continues throughout the story.
In Jessica's book, she adds another evil element and her name is Moragh.  Moragh is there to stop Dayn from fulfilling his objective.  This prepares us for the fourth book - "Lord of the Abyss".
You will definitely want to finish out the series.  I give "Lord of the Wolfyn" 4 1/2 stars.

Falke's Captive by Madison Layle & Anna Leigh Keaton

This is book two in the "Puma Nights" series.
Main Characters:  Beth Coldwell is a graduate student looking for some big cats.  Kelan and Reidar Falke are brothers with a family secret.
We also have minor characters:  The rest of the Falke's family - younger brothers; Sindre and Torsten, younger sister; Heidi (ironically she is a veterinarian), and older brothers; Axel and Gunnar along with their woman Dakota (their story is in book one titled "Falke's Peak").  Tim another grad student working along side of Beth and Professor Whitmore who oversees the research project.
Our story opens with the brothers at their favorite place in Leavenworth - the Tap 'n Tine.  Then they see Beth walk in.  The purpose for Beth being in town is because of a research project.  We see that it's lust at first sight for the brothers.  And it seems that the feeling is mutual.  Our authors give us the typical bar scene - Kelan starts hitting on Beth.  Then she gets an eyeful of Reidar.
We see that while Beth is out in the woods she shoots a big "cat" with a tranquilizer dart.  But not everything is as it seems.  She has also tagged and implanted a microchip into the cat.  Later we see her trying to track the puma which leads her to the Falke family store.
Our authors give the reader a BDSM scene between Beth and the brothers.  It's not something that is over-the-top but fits in very well into the story line.  Reidar can feel their connection right away but Kelan fights it.  Their connection grows as the story continues.  I love how our authors add in funny moments when the brothers and Beth interact with one another.
Then we finally get to meet the professor in charge of Beth's research project.  His actions are questionable.  This adds a little suspense to the story.
Madison and Anna have the brothers acting like spies when they go after something that Beth has and they want.  It's funny to see how the brother's minds work - one thinking of their future with Beth while the other is trying to make it go away.
This story reminds me of the romantic suspense movies I sometimes watch.  It was also interesting to see my feelings about the interactions between humans and wild animals written into the story.  This gives the reader another connection to the story. 
At one point Beth feels betrayed and you have to sympathize with her.  But her anger is short-lived (some of which could be because this story is short).  You have to wonder that if the story had been longer if things might have been a little different.
Spoiler alert:  Our authors made Beth out to be honorable.  But if you are willing to alter test results how honorable can you be.  In Beth's defense I will say that it was done out of love - but still, honor is honor.
Getting toward the end of the story, Madison and Anna give us an action scene fit for a movie - the good guys are here to save the day
You will find that you don't want to put this story down.  If you love shape shifter romances, you will want to read this book.  If you haven't read the first book, and you liked this one, I would suggest putting it on your must read list.
You don't need to in order to understand this book but if you want to know more about the older brother's story, you will want to check out "Falke's Peak".  I'm looking forward to seeing if they continue the series.  I want to know what happens with the younger brothers and their sister Heidi.
Overall, I give this book 4 stars.

Books-n-Kisses: Interview & Giveaway with Madison Edwards

Books-n-Kisses: Interview & Giveaway with Madison Edwards: Books-n-Kisses, is pleased to Welcome Madison Edwards to our blog today. We are looking forward to learning more about Madison and her book ...

Thrills & Chills Giveaway...coming soon

Thrills & Chills Giveaway...coming soon

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Royal House of Shadows Series

You will want to check out the "Royal House of Shadows Series".  I have reviewed the first two books and they were great.  The review for the third books will post this weekend.  I can't wait to read the last in the series.  They are definitely must reads.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Enchanted Destiny by Rayka Mennen

Main Characters:  Jake Taggert, contractor and single father.  Katherine Richetti, business woman with magical abilities.  Setting:  Halloween time.  This is perfect since Kat is a witch.
Kat and Jake meet as destiny comes calling.  Kat, of course, doesn't want it - bad timing.  She goes to talk to her Nonna and comes back to find someone on her porch.  Rayka gives Kat a conscience and she tells Jake what is going on.  But Rayka makes him a typical male, he doesn't believe her.  It's funny to watch Jake's confusion as to what he is going to do about Kat.
Jake is also intrigued by her.  I love how Rayka makes Jake a man who is also shy.  He also finds Kat a little quirky.  But, just like most men, he can't accept what cannot be explained logically.  Our author is good.  She puts a little "wrench" in the picture, an ex-wife (and as you read you will get to see why).
Then we get to see their first kiss.  For those that love romance, the kiss starts off sweet and then explodes from there.  But then of course they come to their senses.
Rayka also gives the reader a nice family moment when Kat meets Jake's son for the first time.  Rayka also includes another tender moment between our love birds.  It starts out very innocently and then heats up pretty quickly.  Then we see one of those perfect timing moments and it's one that you can just picture happening.
The first sex scene fits in perfectly - our author doesn't force it to happen.  What I love about this story is that even though it is short, the sex scenes don't take over.  And Jake, being our typical male, has to screw things up.  Rayka did not create anything that didn't seem believable.  Just like in real life, the parents get involved and try to fix things.
Rayka has two minor characters - Gina and Eric.  Their story will be out in December.  You will not want to miss this sequel.
I give "Enchanted Destiny" 4 stars (only because I wanted to read more).  It will be interesting to see if Jake and Kat make a reappearance in "Enchanted Desire".