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Archive for May, 2011

Feel the Heat by Lorie O’Clare, PJ Mellor & Lydia Parks
*I received a copy of this book from Kensington in exchange for an honest review*

Brave, brawny, and ready for action, these firefighters know how to set their women ablaze…

“Fight Fire with Fire” by Lorie O’Clare
Mary Hamilton has had a crush on Nate Armstrong since they were kids. But she’s told herself to get over it-as a firefighter Nate is in mortal danger every day. But when their friend and Nate’s fellow firefighter dies young in a suspicious house fire, Mary decides life is too short to let cold fear beat out hot desire.
 
“Heat Wave” by P.J. Mellor
Summer Wadsworth is dangerously close to overheating. Her house has burned down, and Thorne Paxton, the firefighter who rescues her from the flames, is blazing hot. She’s ready to call him in for a little off-duty fun. But “duty” has a nasty way of following him home. And with a man like Thorne, the pleasure can’t hide how easy it is to get burned…
 
“Smoldering Lust” by Lydia Parks
Local girl Hannah Hayward has made a name for herself in the mayor’s office. But when her town’s new fire chief turns out to be bad boy Lee Evans, back after fourteen years and looking even sexier than she remembers, she’s got more to worry about than his budget requests. He’s too good to believe… and too hot to deny.

Feel the Heat is a collection of three novellas about very hot firefighters and the women in their lives.  In all three stories, the main characters each have their own scars that they need to overcome before they can be happy.

In Fight Fire with Fire, after a tragic accident Mary is determined to live life to the fullest. She decides it’s time to go after the man she wants, no matter how dangerous his job may be.

Mary tagged behind Nate and John all through school they may have grown apart but she is there to comfort Nate when John is killed in a house fire.  She never stopped loving him even though they went their own way after school.  She is a confident woman who works as a dispatcher at the local police station and just bought her first home.

Nate and John have been best friends forever.  He is devastated when John is killed and turns to Mary for comfort.  He no longer sees her as the little girl that used to follow them around, he sees her as the woman she has grown into.  He wants her like he’s never wanted another woman and doesn’t understand his reaction to her at first. He realizes that she’s the one and that is why he has never settled down.

The two of them have amazing chemistry and it’s obvious they belong together.  All it takes is for them to take a chance on love and trust in each other.

Heat Wave was the second story in the anthology.  It had moments where it had me laughing out loud.  It reminded me of a Stephanie Plum novel, everything that could go wrong for Summer does. 

Her duplex catches on fire while she is in the middle of a “spa” day.  She meets her fantasy man with green goo on her face and her dog is continuously gnawing on his ankles.  Summer is determined to stand on her own and not go back to her mother’s but she’s running out of options.   

Thorne is intrigued with the girl with the green goo face and he wonders what she looks like underneath the goo.  He offers to let her stay in one of his cabins but his work seems to be following him home, along with three elderly sisters.  Thorne is drawn to Summer even though fate seems to be keeping them apart.

I loved these two and really enjoyed this story.  They are amazing together and the sex scenes are hot.  In the end, they are able to overcome all the obstacles in their way and let love conquer all.

In Smoldering Lust bad boy Lee Evans is back in town as the new fire chief.  He can’t believe his eyes when he sees Hannah after all these years.  She has been the girl of his dreams ever since junior high but they come from two different worlds. 

Hannah is the city manager and responsible for the annual budgets which puts Lee right in her path.  She has never forgotten the kiss they shared when she was seventeen and would love a repeat of it.  It seems like every time she turned around growing up that Lee was there to rescue her and he’s still doing it today.

Hannah is a strong, independent woman that has worked hard to get where she is in life.  She has managed to maintain her loving and compassionate side and only sees Lee as he is today, not for what his father did years ago.  She is not afraid for people to know they are in a relationship, except where her job is concerned (she’s responsible for how the budget is divided).

I have a friend that is a firefighter so this book holds special meaning to me.  I think all three stories were well written with characters that were interesting, even with their flaws.  They were set in small towns where everyone seems to know everyone else, which helped add character to the stories.

Overall I enjoyed Feel the Heat and give it 4 Flaming Hearts. 

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His Trick, Her Treat by RJ Fury
*I received a copy of this book from Breathless Press in exchange for an honest review*

“Trick or Treat” is usually a game kids play on Halloween, but this year, it’s adults only at a sexy private party for two.

Tracy Edmonds is taking her niece, Evelyn, trick or treating when they happen upon the house of the hunky new guy at work, Reed.

Despite Tracy’s drab costume – her third year as Harry Potter in a row– Reed asks Tracy back to his place later for a costume party. Tracy’s sister, Carol, realizes that Harry Potter take three won’t do, so instead, she whips up a sexy little French maid costume just perfect for a more grown up atmosphere.

But when Tracy shows up for the party, all she gets is Reed wearing a sheet, his little party nothing more than a ruse. But Tracy isn’t going to let that get in the way of her holiday fun. Since he tricked her, it’s time for a treat.

Tracy is quiet and shy and can’t believe she accepted an invitation to Reed’s Halloween party.  She has been trying to talk to him at work but he runs the other way so she is surprised when he invites her over.

Her sister helps her come up with a sexy French Maid costume to impress Reed.  When she gets there, she discovers that she is the only guest.  She decides she wants to play with her Ghost and he couldn’t be happier.

The play between them was fun.  Tracy slowly unveiled her treat all the while driving Reed crazy.  Just when he thought he couldn’t take anymore, which left Tracy and Reed to enjoy one another the rest of the night.

His Trick, Her Treat is a short fun read that allows you to hide behind costumes while acting act your wildest fantasies.  I give it 3½ Flaming Hearts.

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Three wishes by Jenny Schwartz
*I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
 
She is the Bringer of Death
Cali, a djinni, has sworn to twist the wishes of humans so they die by their own greed and evil. Her latest master is arms dealer David Saqr, a man Cali believes deserves the fate she has in store for him. But this time she finds herself up against Andrew, David’ s guardian angel.
 
He is a Protector of Life
Andrew believes David can yet find redemption. He fights Cali for the man’ s life, even as he tries to persuade her to give in to the sizzling attraction between them. He shows Cali another side of David, and invites her to trust again, to hope. But centuries of being enslaved have hardened Cali’ s heart—it’ s going to take all of Andrew’ s love to convince her to open it and let him in.

Three Wishes is the third installment in the Out of the Bottle series. This is Cali’s story.  She is known as the Bringer of Death because every person that owns her bottle has died.  She is determined that David will be no different.

Andrew is a guardian angel that is just going through the motions of life.  He has ceased to feel anything but that changed when meet Cali.  There is an instant attraction between the two of them, if only she will give them a chance.

David is an arms dealer that was given Cali’s bottle as a gift.  He doesn’t believe that she is real until she grants his first wish.  He is surprised when Miriam show’s up to confront him because he used “blood money” to pay for her education.  She is determined that she is going to win his soul back, he wasn’t always this way.

Cali has had to do unspeakable things to people at the request of her “masters”.  She has no control over her life or her actions.  She is a prisoner of her bottle and sometimes is stuck in it for years at a time when she is between masters.  She feels that the men are greedy and deserve to die so she arranges for their demise, without directly being involved. 

She has hardened her heart against everyone to protect herself.  Throughout the book, we see her grow and with the help of Andrew she learns to trust, love and have hope again.  She sees the transformation in David and wants what he has with Miriam.

The chemistry between Andrew and Cali is electric and obvious from the very beginning.  He takes a chance and show’s his true self and lays it all on the line for her.  He is very angry when Cali won’t take a chance on them because she is still tied to her bottle.  She gives him hope, something he hasn’t had in years and he’s determined not to give up on her.

The secondary characters of David and Miriam are crucial to the success of the story.  They do not take away from the main characters but add purpose for the actions that Cali and Andrew take.  Andrew is there to make sure Cali doesn’t kill David but in the process shows her that some people can be redeemed, even her.

I really loved this installment of the Out of the Bottle series.  I think that she saved the best for last.  I give Three Wishes 4 Flaming Hearts.

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Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh
* I received a copy of this book from Berkley in exchange for an honest review*

The hardcover debut of New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh and her highly acclaimed Psy/Changeling novels.

Since the moment of her defection from the PsyNet and into the SnowDancer wolf pack, Sienna Lauren has had one weakness. Hawke. Alpha and dangerous, he compels her to madness.

Hawke is used to walking alone, having lost the woman who would’ve been his mate long ago. But Sienna fascinates the primal heart of him, even as he tells himself she is far too young to handle the wild fury of the wolf.

Then Sienna changes the rules-and suddenly, there is no more distance, only the most intimate of battles between two people who were never meant to meet. Yet as they strip away each other’s secrets in a storm of raw emotion, they must also ready themselves for a far more vicious fight…

A deadly enemy is out to destroy SnowDancer, striking at everything they hold dear, but it is Sienna’s darkest secret that may yet savage the pack that is her home-and the alpha who is its heartbeat.

Kiss of Snow is the most anticipated book in the Psy-Changing series and Nalini Singh does not disappoint her readers. With each book the relationships built are getting stronger and stronger, whether it’s between the changelings, the mate bonds or their psy contacts and this one is no different.

Sienna has been in love with Hawke since she first set eyes on him but she knows that she can never be his mate.  All she wants is for him to see her as an adult, not the child he still thinks she is.  She is a good solider because of training she received as Ming’s protégé but she wants more. 

Hawke had to assume the reigns as the alpha of the SnowDancer pack at the age of fifteen.  He lost his mate at a young age and he has resigned himself to never have anyone of his own.  His wolf wants Sienna but the man will not allow himself to take her.  She defies him every chance she gets, she stands up to him and yet he still won’t bite.

Sienna is such a complex character.  She has learned to live since her family defected from the psynet.  She is now nineteen and her powers are becoming more and more unstable with each day that passes but she determined to make Hawke see her as a woman, his woman.  She is strong and independent but terrified that she will harm the ones she loves when she loses control of her powers. 

Hawke has the weight of the world, or at least his pack on his shoulders.  Not only did he have to take over the pack as a teenager but he lost his mate at a young age.  He believes that his chance at love died with Rissa but his wolf has other ideas and wants to claim Sienna.  He gives so much of himself to his pack that there isn’t a lot left over and he can’t keep living this way.

Both Hawke and Sienna are about to blow just in different ways.  They have been dancing around each other so long; it’s time to do something about it.  Sienna is the perfect match for the alpha of the pack.  She is able to stand up to him and doesn’t let him get away with much, while being a strong sounding board regarding strategic plans for the pack.

There are several things going on all at once in this book, yet Hawke and Sienna’s story always stays at the forefront.  The pack is such an integral part of Hawke that this book would not be complete without including them.  Fans will love getting to see what their favorite mated pairs are up to.

There are so many little moments in this book that are special and pull the reader further and further into their world.  The near misses between Hawke and Sienna add fuel to the fire threatening to consume them.  I believe the issue with the mating bond was handled brilliantly, while not disappointing, and the ending was superb.

Kiss of Snow is without a doubt my favorite book in the Psy-Changeling series to date.  Nalini Singh is a wonderful writer that understands what her readers want and is able to deliver time and time again.  If you have not read this series, I highly recommend it.  I give Kiss of Snow 5 Flaming Hearts. 

*Kiss of Snow (Hardback) releases May 31, 2011 and can be found at AmazonBarnes & Noble and Books a Million.  The reading order for this series can be found at www.nalinisingh.com

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Management Skills by January Rowe
* I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

 When CEO Grant Edmonds meets with his new production manager, he immediately recognizes her as Silver, an exotic dancer who once mesmerized him at an exclusive fetish club. Though he was forbidden from pursuing her back then, there’s nothing standing in his way now. He’s not looking for an after-hours fling—he wants to own her, in every way.

As much as Allie Fairfax tries to deny her past, and the way her body responds to Grant, she soon finds herself having mind-blowing sex with the boss. Despite her own desire to surrender to Grant’s sexual authority, she’s not willing to risk her career. After all, she’s been owned before, and it ended badly.

It’s all or nothing for Grant. If Allie wants more of the fiercest orgasms she’s ever experienced, she must consent to his rules…

Allie is so excited to start her new job at SSG as production manager.  She can’t wait to get out in the field and show them what she is capable of.  She doesn’t count on her boss recognizing her as Silver, the former exotic dancer she used to be.  She can’t believe he is the man she used to dance for and dream about in the audience.

 Grant has desired Silver since that first night he saw her on stage.  She was off limits then but now she works for him and he is determined to have her.  He won’t stop until he owns her, its all or nothing.

 Allie and Grant are both driven individuals that are very good at what they do.  Grant built his company from the ground up and Allie has quickly made a name for herself in their industry.  They share similar tastes and desires but they each fill a different role in the relationship.

 Throughout the book we get little glimpse’s of Allie’s past and how it has shaped her today.  She wants to give in to Grant but she is scared because of what happened before.  We see her grow both professionally and personally.  With Grant’s help, she learns to trust and love again.

 I loved the ending, throughout the whole book Grant remains in total control and keeps his passion reigned in.  It’s nice to see him pushed to the point that he is so turned on that he gives in to his desires with turn abandon.  I think he’s met his match in Allie.

 Overall I enjoyed Management Skills and give it 3½ Flaming Hearts.

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Taurus Tamed – The Zodiac Book 3 by Tammy Valentine
 * I received a copy of this book from Breathless Press in exchange for an honest review*

Twelve star signs, four friends, one extraordinary year. Izzy’s sexual journey through the zodiac comes under threat from an unlikely quarter-her best friend.

Izzy Morgan is a girl on a mission of sexual discovery through the zodiac. But her journey has barely begun when the whole erotic experiment is threatened from a most unlikely quarter-her best friend. Can Izzy make things right and salvage her love life before the Zodiac Club collapses?

Izzy has started the process of dating her way through the zodiac signs.  She has had her first date with an Aries and it went well, or so she thought.  She gets a surprising phone call from Jack at the dating agency, apologizing for the mix up the night before.

At the meeting of the Zodiac club, they can’t wait for her to spill and share all the details of her date with the Aries.  They can’t believe how things turned out with Spencer.  Jessica is perplexed because it doesn’t all add up and he didn’t act like a typical Aries.  The friends have words and Izzy almost backs out of the experiment but decides to stick it out and see where it leads her.

Izzy’s friends are living vicariously through her dates with these guys.  They want details and won’t take no for an answer.  Jessica is sure she can predict any man’s zodiac sign by his sexual exploits but Spencer has her perplexed.

I like the fact that there is more to each book than just Izzy’s date.  We get insight into the girls and their friendship among other things.  It makes the stories flow better and more believable.

I enjoyed this book and can’t wait for the next book in this series, as both my husband and myself and Gemini’s.  I give Taurus Untamed 3½ Flaming Hearts

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Furry Endeavors by Christina Jade Loren
*I received a copy of this book from Breathless Press in exchange for an honest review*

Home for the holidays isn’t exactly what Lance had in mind when his lover, Adin, took him to a secluded log cabin in the middle of a forest.

When Adin’s brother shows up unexpected, spoiling all the fun with a message for him to get his ass home, things go south. And Lance is about to learn a few of Adin’s family secrets that puts his life at risk.

It’s Christmas Eve, Lance is all alone with a wolf staring him down at the door. Can he manage to hold out until Adin gets back to save him?

Lance is used to having to defend his relationships to his parents but that stops tonight.  He makes the announcement that he is going to marry Adin during Christmas Eve at his parent’s home.

Adin has a secret of his own to reveal to Lance, before he can accept his marriage proposal.  He isn’t sure how Lance is going to take his news; he just knows he’s got to take the chance on love.

Lance doesn’t believe Adin when he tells him he is a wolf shifter.  He goes along with it for awhile but then realizes he’s telling the truth.  He doesn’t know how he feels about that but he does know he loves Adin.

During an outing to the cabin that Adin built, his brother showed up with a summons from their father.  While he is gone, Lance has a surprise visitor in the shape of a wolf.

Both men are sexy, alpha males and they complement each other well.  It’s obvious they care deeply about each other as seen in the tender moments they share.   They are also very sexy together.

Overall I think Lance handled Adin’s news well, especially when he was face to face with that wolf.  He was supportive and remained true to Adin.  I loved Adin’s surprise for Lance; it’s obvious that he wants a future with him.

Furry Endeavors is an enjoyable short story and I give it 3 Flaming Hearts.

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