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Archive for March, 2013

Calling the ShotsCalling the Shots (Long Shots #4) by Christine d’Abo
* I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

He’s had a wild ride, and now sex club owner Josh Scott is looking for a change of scene. But first, he’s determined to bring two friends together, and he’s willing to be a third wheel to move things along…

Beth Norris is eager to be set up with hot bartender Oliver Stephenson, but she’s equally attracted to matchmaker Josh. Soon she’s fantasizing about both men at once—and about being the one to call the shots in the encounter…

Ready to move on with his life post-divorce, Oliver is conflicted by the realization that he’s attracted to women and men. Or more specifically, to Beth and Josh. He tries to keep his distance, but it’s not long before the chemistry between the trio combusts in a night of mind-blowing sex.

In the light of day, it’s clear something deeper than desire is growing between Josh, Beth and Oliver. But though Josh has helped others find love in unconventional relationships, is he willing to take a chance on one himself?

Josh may be comfortable with his sexual preferences, not everyone in his life has shared that sentiment.  He has been carrying around the scars of his childhood for years and has always held everyone at an arm’s length.  His pride and joy is his club, Mavericks.  He designed it himself to ensure that no one would ever have to be embarrassed or ashamed to explore their sexual needs and desires.  Now the club is under attack and Josh’s past is closing in on him, will he finally let the two people that love him in?

Beth loves her job as Josh’s assistant and would do anything in the world for him.  He saved her when he gave her a job and she is good at it.  She has started having fantasies about not only Josh, but their sexy bartender Oliver too.  She has a policy of not mixing business with pleasure though after getting fired from her last job.  There is just something about those two though that would make her reconsider her stance, now if she can convince them to play too.

Oliver has been struggling with his life since his wife cheated on him and took all his money.  He has been working as a bar tender and avoiding her like the plague. He has become fast friends with his bosses and admires them both.  For the first time in his life, Oliver is questioning his own sexuality and Josh and Beth are just the right people to help him explore his needs and desires.

I was so excited when I found out we were going to finally get Josh’s story.  I feel in love with him in Double Shot, Paul and Sadie’s story.  Paul is not only his business partner but also his best friend and he has been in love with him for years.  He is happy for Paul but he seems a little jealous of the relationship between Paul and Sadie.  He wants that for himself but doesn’t think he deserves it because he will only bring heartache to the people he loves.  I love that he is confident in his own desires and needs but is selective who he plays with.

The club is his world and he will do whatever it takes to keep his members safe, while allowing them to try out their most secret fantasies.  He doesn’t want anyone to go through what he did as a youth, everyone is safe there.   His mother called him names and tried to brainwash him through her religious cult until his dad rescued him.  His past has left him broken, at least in his opinion and he doesn’t feel like he deserves to be happy in a relationship.  It takes losing his club and life to realize that it is worth taking a risk on an unconventional relationship with Oliver and Beth.

I think my favorite thing about this story is that really each one of them comes with a lot of baggage.  Josh has his history, Beth has a poor track record with relationships and Oliver’s wife cheated on him and cleaned him out.  Each one thinks they are too broken to desire a chance at happiness but after one incredible night spent together, they begin to hope and dream.  They are good for each other and bring out the best in each other; I am glad they found a way to make their relationship work.

I found the scenes inside Mavericks interesting.  I personally don’t know anything about sex clubs and found the descriptions fascinating.  It gave me an insider’s perspective of what goes on and all the things you can experience without being offensive or too much.

I love this series and I think this was my favorite book so far.  I give Calling the Shots 4 Flaming Hearts.   4 Hearts

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Kiss the DeadKiss the Dead (Anita Blake #21)  by Laurell K. Hamilton
* This book is from a friend’s personal library*

When a fifteen-year-old girl is abducted by vampires, it’s up to U.S. Marshal Anita Blake to find her. And when she does, she’s faced with something she’s never seen before: a terrifyingly ordinary group of people—kids, grandparents, soccer moms—all recently turned and willing to die to avoid serving a master. And where there’s one martyr, there will be more…

But even vampires have monsters that they’re afraid of. And Anita is one of them…

In the latest installment of the Anita Blake series Anita is called in to help find a missing teenage girl.  She is working alongside SWAT and her old friend Zerbrowski while heading into a vampire den.  They didn’t realize that they were walking into a trap set specifically for Anita.

After a hard day of vampire executions, all Anita wants to do is go home to her sweeties and wash all the vampire goo off her.  What she finds is trouble brewing with Asher, he is feeling sorry for himself and starting fights with the others, including Anita.  She doesn’t have time for his drama, especially when her sweetie is being held hostage by a fanatic with a bomb.

I have developed a love/hate relationship with this series.  I remember when my brother gave me the first book in the series to read, I was hooked.  I devoured all of the books up through Obsidian Butterfly and loved them.  My love/hate relationship started with Narcissus in Chains when things started to really change for Anita and her men.  The books started to contain a whole lot more sex and less content, yet I keep reading them.

Anita is still wrestling with her polyamorous lifestyle but she is finally becoming more comfortable with her numerous sweeties.  They have all settled into a routine and everyone, but Asher, seems to be learning to share.  Cin is still trying to get Anita to see him as an adult not a child because she is still struggling with his age.

To me this story seemed to drag through three quarters of the book and then the actual climax covered the last 25 or so pages.  It was full of “fluff” to fill the pages and really wasn’t needed; the story is a good story if you take out the extras.  I think the ending made me want to throw the book, you had all the buildup and then BAM the story is over.

I did enjoy the fact that Anita is spending more time doing police work and seems to be getting back to her “roots” so to speak.  There was a lot less sex in the book, don’t get me wrong I don’t mind sex in books but sometimes it overpowered her stories.  I also love the fact that we got to see Micah, Nathanial, Jason and Jean Claude along with some of the other well-loved characters.  I would’ve loved to see more old school, bad a$$ Anita raise some zombies but at least she is back to working with her friends at the police station and FBI.

Overall this was not my favorite story in the Anita Blake series but it is closer to the early stories than some of the others.  I give Kiss the Dead 3 Flaming Hearts.   3 Hearts

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Immortal Ever AfterImmortal Ever After by Lynsay Sands
*A review copy of this book was received from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review*

A kiss doesn’t mean eternity . . .

Valerie Moyer doesn’t believe in vampires—until she is kidnapped by a fanged psychopath! After escaping her bloodthirsty captor, she’s through with creatures of the night. Until she finds herself under the protection of the darkly handsome Anders. Not only is she expected to accept that Anders is immortal, but also that she is the woman destined to be his life mate!

. . . Or does it?

Anders felt a connection to Valerie from the moment he cradled her bruised body in his arms. But before he claims her, he must destroy the vampire who almost stole her from him forever. His job would be easier if Valerie didn’t fight him every step of the way. Still, Anders loves a challenge, and the green-eyed beauty is worth fighting for!

Valerie has moved to town temporarily to hone her veterinary skills at the local university.  While out walking Roxy, Valerie is drugged and kidnapped along with several other girls.  The girls are kept in cages and fed laced oatmeal until it’s their turn to feed the rogue vampire that has taken them.  The only family she has is her dog Roxy so when she goes missing there’s no one to notice.

Anders has been watching his friends and fellow enforcers drop like flies as they find their lifemates.  They are shorthanded now and waiting for reinforcements when they intercept a suspicious call to the local police.  The women were in bad shape, especially the one they found outside.  He never expected to find his own lifemate among them.

Immortal Ever After is the newest installment in the Argeneau series by Lynsay Sands and it definitely doesn’t disappoint.  The characters are interesting and lots of fun to get to know.  The story is filled with not only new characters but characters we have grown to love throughout the series.  I love that this series is so much fun to read; the stories are full of romance, love and humor.

Valerie is a great match for Anders, she is spunky and fun but she isn’t a damsel in distress.  While in captivity, she comes to the realization that it’s up to her to save herself and the girls.  She becomes fast friends with Leigh and the others but her reaction to Anders continues to puzzle her.  She isn’t looking for love or a relationship; (she’s been down that road) because of Anders, she is reassessing her life and love.

Anders isn’t interested in going through the drama his friends are going through when they find their lifemates.  He constantly gives Bricker a hard time because he is always hungry and wanting to stop for food.  Now he finds himself enjoying food again, little by little, starting with ice cream.  The moment he realized he couldn’t read Valerie, he knew he was in trouble but he was looking forward to finding out what fate had in store for him.

The heroine is strong and able to take care of herself but isn’t afraid to ask for help when she needs it.  She takes the information that they are immortals in stride, even though she thought her capture was a vampire wannabe.  I love that she was able to keep her wits about her to figure out a way to escape “Igor” and his boss by herself.  One of my favorite scenes was when she and Leigh were in the van and she had a mallet in her hand, I laughed so hard at that whole scene.  In the end, Anders was able to step in and help her so he could play hero too.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and loved visiting with some of my favorite characters from previous books.  I give Immortal Ever After 4 Flaming Hearts.   4 Hearts

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