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Archive for April, 2011

The Debutante’s Dilemma by Elyse Mady
*I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

One woman in search of passion

Miss Cecilia Hastings has achieved what every young lady hopes for during her first London season…in duplicate! She’s caught the eye of not one but two of England’s most eligible bachelors. Both Jeremy Battersley, Earl of Henley, and Richard Huxley, Duke of Wexford, are handsome, wealthy and kind, the epitome of proper gentlemen. But Cecilia doesn’t want proper, she wants passion. So she issues a challenge to her suitors: a kiss, so that she may choose between them.

Two men in love with the same woman

Friends since childhood, and compatriots on the battlefields of Spain, Jeremy and Richard have found that falling for the same woman has set them at odds and risks destroying their friendship forever. But a surprising invitation to a late-night garden tryst soon sets them on a course that neither of them could have anticipated. And these gentlemen quickly discover that love can take many forms…

The Debutante’s Dilemma takes us back to a time where carnal relations aren’t discussed much less a consideration for marriage.  The only reason for a marriage match was for both families to profit.  That wasn’t a good enough reason for Miss Cecilia Hastings though.  The talk of the ton, she is a delight to have at any event.  She is not only beautiful but well educated and well spoken too.

Her parents have a loving relationship but she doesn’t sense any passion between them.  She wants more for herself than to be used to gain land or money; she wants to experience it all.  She has not one but two suitors that have asked for her hand in marriage.  They are both handsome but as different as night and day.

Both Jeremy and Richard have fallen in love with Cecilia and have asked for her hand in marriage; each without the other knowing who their intended was.  They have been friends since childhood and both are concerned that the marriage to Cecilia will ruin their friendship.

Cecilia devises a way to test their commitment and sends out a note requesting their presence.  She was surprised when they both showed up and she got more than she bargained for.  Once the door was opened, there was no way she could go back.  She knew what she had to do.

The characters were interesting and had depth.  They helped pull you into the story and keep you interested.  I think in this case the trio of main characters worked well and added to the story, rather than take away from it.  My only complaint was you never find out which of the two suitors she chooses.  The author does give you a glimpse of Cecilia’s life a year later but alas still no clue to who her husband is.

Overall I really liked The Debutante’s Dilemma and give it 4 Flaming Hearts.

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Please welcome Melissa Ecker author of the Memory Grove Trilogy and Giving Up the Ghost her new paranormal that came out this week.  She’s agreed to let us interrogate, I mean interview her.  (this is a joint with Katie of Bookingit.net)

Some authors like to read books in completely different genres than the one they write. What types of books do you find yourself reading?  Do you think these books influence what you write?

I’m a huge fan of Sandra Brown, Nora Roberts, Stephen King, Dean Koontz and V.C. Andrews to name a few. I suppose this explains my penchant for writing paranormal romance. I also adore Linda Lael Miller. Nobody writes a sexy cowboy like she does! And I love to write dirty cowboys! 

Will we see more from Memory Grove?  Soon?  =)

I do have plans to continue the Seduction in Memory Grove series. I have another project to finish first, but hope to get back to Memory Grove in early fall.

“Be careful or you’ll end up in my book!”  Do your characters have traits of friends and family?  Or are they completely new individuals?

My characters definitely possess traits and mannerisms of people I know but I always change them up, make them better or, in the case of a villain, worse than the people who inspired them.

The Memory Grove series has firemen and cops and cowboys (oh my!)  What do you think there is about these dangerous, alpha male type professions that attracts women?

Well, I can’t speak for all women, but for me it’s about strength. Firemen and cops are everyday heroes with guns and handcuffs and fire hoses and…wait, what was the question?  Cowboys have the “rough and ready” persona and I love the Stetson and boots and Levi’s…forgot the question again.

 I know you work from home, is it difficult to juggle working, writing and family life?

It is difficult. I struggle with separating the three. For instance, while I’m doing laundry, I’m always thinking about projects I have lined up for work or a deadline for writing. It’s hard to find any downtime when all three of my “jobs” keep me in the house. I do the best I can, though. My house is never perfect and I’m a lousy cook but my family loves me anyway.

What’s with the sock fetish?

I just love socks, especially knee socks. I’m so happy that they are trendy now because the variety available is amazing! I can’t pinpoint when it began but I’ve always liked my feet to be warm and cozy. For some people, they are a kinky fetish, for me they’re a creature comfort and I can’t write without them.

How has social media affected your career as a writer?

Social media has been paramount in getting the word out about my work. If not for Twitter and Facebook, I don’t know if anyone would be reading me. I’m so grateful for all the friends I’ve made and all the support I’ve received.

Lightning round!
 
Favorite color?                  Pink
Favorite beverage?        Coffee
Favorite Food?                 Chinese Chicken Salad
Favorite animal or pet?     My cat, Kitty McPurzalot
Sweet snacks or salty?         SWEET
Morning person or night owl?         A little of both. I don’t sleep much.
Mac or PC?         PC
TV, Radio or Nothing when you are writing?       iPod playlists
And because you’re a romance author:  Sweet or smutty?            Oh, I love the smut!

Was it hard to switch gears from writing the Memory Grove series to writing your new paranormal Giving Up the Ghost? 

I actually wrote Giving Up the Ghost before I wrote the Memory Grove series. It was a challenge going from spooky romance to dirty romance. But I found switching it up recharged my brain.

Now, will you tell us a little about Giving Up the Ghost?

This book was the most difficult to write by far. A lot of literary blood, sweat and tears went into it and I’m really proud of the end result. I hope the readers enjoy it!

Here’s the blurb for Giving Up the Ghost:

Kylie McAllister has it all until her world is shattered by the death of her husband, Jackson.  After a year of grieving, Kylie uses the proceeds from Jackson’s life insurance to purchase a plantation home on the outskirts of New Orleans to begin rebuilding her life with their daughter, Abby.  Confirmed bachelor, Ryan LaCroix, has no intentions of settling down with anyone, let alone his best friend’s widow, but somehow Kylie and Abby find their way into his heart.

After discovering an old Ouija board in the attic of her new home, Kylie unwittingly opens a cosmic door to an incubus who pretends to be the dead husband she is so desperately struggling to let go of.  She falls deep under his potent spell of delicious sex and malevolent obsession while he gradually drains her life to fortify his own.  By the time she realizes he’s an impostor, she is powerless to stop him.  Together, withJackson’s subliminal guidance and the help of a kind voodoo practitioner, Ryan and Kylie wage a fight for her life against the evil entity.

Thank you for stopping by, you can find Melissa at http://www.melissaecker.com/ 

Her books are available through several retailers such as:

http://www.allromanceebooks.com/storeSearch.html
http://www.amazon.com/Melissa-Ecker/e/B004FG3BRY/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
http://www.barnesandnoble.com

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Sex Ed by Myla Jackson
*This book is part of my private library, not a review copy*

Kendall has loved sexy cowboy Ed Judson since the first time she saw him taming wild horses. Now Kendall is twenty-one, legal and ready to be more than friends. In her bid to win his affections she asks Ed to give her a few Sex Education lessons about what makes a cowboy hot.

Ed promised Kendall’s brother he’d keep an eye on his little sister while he’s away defending their country. But Ed’s pretty darn certain Sex Education lessons aren’t what big brother had in mind. Caught between his pledge and a recently matured little sex kitten, Ed struggles to keep his word, while giving Kendall what she wants, Sex Ed.

Sex Ed is a sexy, sensual story that is worth sharing with your significant other.  Ed’s best friend has been deployed and he promised to look after his little sister Kendall.  He never realized how hard that promise would be to keep.

Kendall has been in love with Ed forever.  She is all grown up now and is willing to do whatever it takes to get what she wants.  With the help of her best friend, they devise a sure fire plan to get Ed to realize that she isn’t a little girl anymore.

The story had me hooked right from the beginning; I finished it in one sitting.  I couldn’t wait to find out if Ed was going to give in to his desires or if guilt would keep him from taking what wants. 

I loved the characters in this story they draw you in right from the beginning.  There is great chemistry between Ed and Kendall then throw Lacey in the mix and WOW!! 

Ed is a gentleman and believes in doing the right thing, no matter how much he wants Kendall.  You have to admire that in a man.  Kendall is younger but she seems to have her head on straight.  She is almost finished with college, holds a job and has her own apartment.

Not only was this story hot, there were moments that had me laughing out loud at poor Ed. The classes were very sensual and had several ideas you could share with your partner for a guaranteed night of fun.  One of my favorite scenes was Ladies Night Out at the bar.

Overall I really liked Sex Ed and highly recommend it.  It’s a steal at 2.99.  I give it 4½ Flaming Hearts.

Sex Ed can be found at
Amazon http://goo.gl/mEkwp
Smashwords http://goo.gl/rPjKg

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Devils and Angels by Kate Richards
*I received a copy of this book from Breathless Press in exchange for an honest review*

Cari has fallen out of love with her cheating, lying boyfriend, and Gabriel is there to catch her.

Executive Cari Walsh has bad luck with men. Especially her most recent Internet guy. He’s handsome—and unexpectedly married. But when Gabriel steps in to rescue her from the lying devil, Cari discovers her luck and her life are about to change for the good.

Devils and Angels is the third installment in The Tales of Internet Romance series by Kate Richards.  This one shows us the negative side of internet dating, when Cari realizes that the man she loves has been lying to her.

Cari met Hayward online, they met for coffee and it was magic from there, or was it.  They got together every Sunday and spent the day lazing around Cari’s apartment.  They never go out and she can only talk to him at certain times.  Everything is wonderful until Cari decides to follow Hay one Sunday when he leaves her house.

Distraught and stranded she is saved by an angel in the form of Gabriel.  He seems to keep popping up whenever she is in trouble to save her.  He is sexy and funny and she really enjoys his company but she has sworn off men. 

Cari ends up getting more out of her relationship with Hay than she bargained for but she’s ok with that.  Hay keeps harassing Cari and Gabriel comes to the rescue once again.  He comes up with a plan that will get Hay to leave her alone once and for all, if she will agree to it.

I loved Cari’s character.  She was strong, independent and sure of herself.  She took a chance on internet dating and thought she had found “the one” until Hay’s actions became suspicious.  She has strong morals and ended her relationship with him as soon as she knew what was going on. 

I loved Gabriel’s solution to Cari’s problem and I was pulling for them.  No one has that many chance meetings that something magic doesn’t come out of it.  I hope that we get an update on Gabriel and Cari because I really liked their story.  This is my favorite story in this series so for.

Overall I really loved this story and give it 4 Flaming Hearts.

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Moonstruck by Myla Jackson & Delilah Devlin
*I purchased a copy of this book for my personal library*

Two sizzling tales by two very twisted sisters…

Heart of the Jaguar by Myla Jackson

When jaguar shifter Reme Denux stumbles into his ex-girlfriend’s palm reading parlor in the French Quarter of New Orleans, he’s fuzzy about how he got there. The last thing he remembered was a drink at a bar and having another man’s dark, sensuous dream.

As soon as Reme enters her building, Sybille can sense the black magic haze hanging over the man she still loves. With the full moon on the rise, she has to do something to save him from a death-swapping hex or lose him forever. With the help of a voodoo priestess, Sybille and Reme weather the moon’s supremacy and the soul-stealing storm, forging a bond of lust and love, neither has the strength to resist.

She’s All That by Delilah Devlin

Librarian by day, Melanie Bradshaw, is driven to desperation by her torrid dreams. However, when she acts on her desires, things go horribly wrong and she witnesses the murder of an overly amorous lounge lizard. With the body disintegrating before her eyes, who’s going to believe her?

When Detective Moses Brown gets the latest Full Moon case, he’s hoping it’s no more than another crazy looking for attention—until he meets the delectable Melanie Bradshaw. Melanie took a walk on the wild side straight into vampire territory. They know her and now she’s not safe. Until he can find out why, he’s going to stick to her like glue. If his own attraction gets between him and his good intentions, he’ll just grit his teeth and do his best to ignore it.

But pretty little Melanie has designs on his body. How’s a brother to resist?

Heart of the Jaguar is set in New Orleans, where paranormal is actually normal.  Reme knows there is something wrong with him but he doesn’t know what.  He can’t remember what happened to him and his jaguar is dormant, which is not natural.  Something pulls him in the direction of Sybille’s palm reading store.

Reme broke Sybille’s heart but she still loves him.  She is surprised when he shows up at her shop but immediately realizes that something is horribly wrong.  He has a dark aura surrounding him that belongs to someone else.  There is some strong voodoo being worked on him at Sybille knows just the person to help.

Reme is afraid he will hurt Sybille because of the spirit in his body.  He can’t control it and his jaguar is starting to fight back.  Even though their love is forbidden, it takes the ultimate sacrifice to realize that she is the one for him.

I really enjoyed this story.  The characters are complex and interesting.  I love that Sybille is a strong female; she is obviously scared to death but is willing to do whatever it takes to save the man she loves.  Reme is a jaguar shifter that is willing to do whatever he can to protect his mate, even though she is not a shifter.  Each is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to save the other.  I loved that about the story and would love to read more about Reme and Sybille.

 Over all I really enjoyed Heart of the Jaguar.

She’s all That introduces us to Melanie, librarian by day and succubus by night.  Melanie has been having strange dreams ever since she received the necklace from her aunt.  She is uneasy and in need of relief so she heads out to a local bar.  Little did she know she was going to witness a murder?

Detective Moses Brown works the “full moon” cases anytime they come in.  He is called in to interview Melanie to see what she knows and is instantly drawn to her.  He feels the need to protect her from the vampires out to get her.

I enjoyed this story because it was a different tale of a paranormal being.  It’s not something I’ve read a lot of stories about.  The characters were strong and interesting.  They worked well together and had believable chemistry.  I really liked the fact that Melanie always knew who Moses was no matter what and took care with him.  The secondary characters added to the story without distracting from it.

Overall I enjoyed She’s All That.

Moonstruck contains two very different stories that are both very enjoyable.  I give it 4 Flaming Hearts.

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Jockey Box by Liz Crowe
* I received a copy of this book from Breathless Press in exchange for an honest review*

Little does successful brewery owner, Erin, know that destiny awaits her at a summer beer festival, in the form of a hot new brewer.

Successful business owner, Erin Brady is holding her own and then some in the male-dominated beer brewing industry. But her twenty-year marriage is crumbling as a result. She makes a last ditch attempt over one summer weekend to reconcile with her husband, only to finally accept the truth: It was over. When duty calls in the form of a last minute beer festival she must attend, Erin recognizes the futility of her efforts and leaves, knowing when she returns, her husband will be gone for good.

Vulnerable and emotionally raw, she arrives at the event with more issues than she can handle and finds herself distracted by the hot young brewer she wants to hire. Dedicated and loyal to her business, she tries to ignore the inevitable, but Jeff’s many skills serve as a balm to Erin’s battered psyche, as he helps with the beer booth and somehow works his way into her fantasies.

Jockey Box is set during a beer festival.  Erin Brady is upset with one of her partners; he was supposed to be working this event, not her.  She was supposed to be home working on her marriage but instead she’s working on a broken cooler.  Everything that could go wrong does and she can’t take much more, then Jeff walks into her life.

Erin is proud of the job she does and the respect she has earned in a male dominated industry.  She is good at her job and enjoys it.  She has been married for 20 years her marriage is falling down around her ears.  Her husband has moved into a hotel room and she feels like a failure.  She blames herself and her job for the problems in her marriage but she knows deep down, it’s not her fault.

Jeff is a new young brewer they want to hire so he is sent to help Erin with the festival to see how things go.  Every time she is around him something happens to her.  She smacked her head, almost fell but he caught her and then she got drunk and he rescued her yet again.  She can’t think straight when he’s around; he’s young and sexy and makes her want things she doesn’t think she can have.

At the hotel Erin wakes up to find a nice surprise lying beside her.  She gives in to what she wants and has the best time ever.  I loved the twist at the end, it was fun and wasn’t what I expected.

I like this series by Liz Crowe and I think Jockey Box is my favorite so far.  I gave it 4 Flaming Hearts.

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Stormy Seduction by Vivian Arend
* I received this ARC free from the author in exchange for an honest review*

Pacific Passion, Book 2

As morning-afters go, this one is looking pretty bright. Both air shifter Laurin Marshal and water shifter/shaman Matthew Jentry are aware, though, that trouble won’t be long in coming. And they’re right—before they’ve barely begun to work out the details of their mystical bond, the People of the Air find them to challenge Laurin’s right to choose Matt as her mate.

Fending off Laurin’s would-be suitors is easier than Matt anticipated, but there’s another dilemma still to face. His own people. Laurin is just beginning to trust that his heart and body are completely hers, a radical change after she’s spent the past two years alone and on the run. What will happen when his skittish, innocent partner encounters the playful, sensual—even lusty—ways of the Otter Clan?

Especially since they are arriving at the peak of the traditional summer solstice fertility rituals. And tradition demands they be the main attraction…

Warning: Incoming extreme passion yielding one otherworldly adventure. Don’t let the book length fool you—there’s enough heat in this story to challenge global warming. Four plus two equals one ceremony so explosive it may throw the earth off its axis.

Stormy Seduction picks up right where Stormchild left off.  Matt and Laurin are still on the island enjoying their time alone together after the storm.  Laurin realizes that since she has shifted, after two long years, her people will be there within a few hours.  She is concerned about how Matt will handle the situation and doesn’t want anyone hurt in the process, which was why she left home in the first place.

The air shifters arrive sooner, rather than later and Matt stands his ground and stakes his “claim” on Laurin.  He is determined to protect her, even if it’s from her own people.  He knows how he feels about her but doesn’t want to rush her into anything and scare her off.

They arrive at the Otter Clan without any issues and Matt immediately lets them know that he and Laurin are a couple.  He is unsure how she will react to their flirty ways.  Laurin starts to realize how much Matt means to her when he explains his role in the fertility ritual.  She is not going to let some lust crazed otter woman put their hands on her man.  She agrees to go to the ritual with him so she can protect him.

The fertility ritual itself was very hot.  It kept flashing between what was going on in front of them to what Matt was doing to Laurin while they watched the ritual take place.  Let’s just say the village was very blessed by their offering during the ritual. 

The book focuses primarily on the main characters and their interactions with each other.  They are drawing closer and closer to each other and Laurin realizes that she is meant to be by his side.  They don’t know where the relationship will take them; just that being together feels right.  Their magic together is also growing stronger every day. 

Overall I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait for the next one to come out in May. I give Stormy Seduction 4½ Flaming Hearts. 

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