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Archive for the ‘3 Flaming Hearts’ Category

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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ScentsualScentsual by Victoria Blisse
* I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Scentsual is a femdom story written by leading erotic author Victoria Blisse and set in the seaside town of Scarborough… Kelly is dominant and has a heightened sense of smell, so many of her memories, thoughts and feelings revolve around scents. She meets Rob on a trip to Scarborough and seduces him; their lust is instant but is Rob the submissive man Kelly really needs to fall in love with? This excellent title from House of Erotica has been specially formatted for today’s e-readers.

From the moment Kelly steps off the train she is assaulted with the familiar scents of Scarborough; the smells instantly relax her and she is transported back to her childhood.  While wondering around town reflecting on her life she is assaulted by the scent of leather, citrus and cinnamon.

Rob is in town for the day and is immediately drawn to Kelly.  He didn’t set out looking for a woman, much less a dominant one but he is intrigued by Kelly.  He is both turned on and embarrassed by some of the things that are expected of him but he isn’t ready to walk away from Kelly.

This was a sexy story that takes the reader on a sensual journey so descriptive that they feel they are right there.  Kelly is so attuned to the scents around her and they enhance all aspects of her life, especially her sex life.  I love the fact that she knows who she is and is secure in her body.   She is a dominant that requires a committed submissive, she finds that in Rob.

Overall I enjoyed the story and give Scentsual 3½ Flaming Hearts.  3.5 Hearts

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Up Periscope by Roger Frank Selby
* I received this ARC free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review*

When an attractive female officer helicoptered aboard a submarine at sea triggers the security alarm, just who among the all-male crew is to perform the mandatory full strip-search? It turns out that two marine NCOs are required – but is this something Lieutenant Laura Lacey knows already? Clearly enjoying pulling rank (among other things) a sudden requirement for silent running,” plus a minor medical emergency has Lt Lacey engaged at full stretch with her NCOs, even without her clothes. But is the “”Old Man”” aware of these goings-on aboard his vessel? It turns out that the captain has his own, old-fashioned concept of naval discipline to whip his errant female officer into line.”

As Lt. Laura Lacey is boarding the submarine, she sets out the security alarm.  Per procedure she is subject to a full body search and it is up to two security officers to do it.  During the security check one of the officers is “injured” and the Lt. has to release the pressure building up to prevent further damage.  The other officer takes care of the cavity search and she is cleared to board the sub.

Little did Lt. Lacey know that the strip-search was videotaped and the captain has seen it.  Since they are at sea, the captain has his own way of dealing with her disorderly conduct.  The punishment leaves her wanting more.

Lt. Lacey is boarding a submarine full of men and she has a plan to make her stand out.  She is alone with two men and has to strip naked and decides to use the situation to her advantage.  It was probably the most interesting strip search I have ever heard of.  She never expected the captain to find out her secret.

The story was good but I had trouble following the dialogue at times.  It was hard to tell who was talking and I got a little confused.  The main idea of the story definitely comes through and I loved the little twist at the end.

I give Up Periscope 3 Flaming Hearts. 

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Spirit of the Wolf by Vonna Harper
* I received a copy of this book from Kensington in exchange for an honest review*

Passionate: A cattle rancher with a past he’d rather forget, Matt prefers to be alone. But that all changes the night he meets Cat. Her eyes, her lips, her body-he wants her. He needs her…Primal: Unable to resist the attraction he feels for Cat, Matt takes her with a primitive passion he’s never felt before. The sex is intense and wildly erotic, yet still he hungers for more…Powerful: As he struggles to control his fierce desire, Matt begins to experience a strange kinship with the wolves who roam his lands. Like them, he longs to be wild and free-but can he take Cat with him, or must he leave her behind for a fate not even he understands…

Matt is a cattle rancher that has a special connection to the land.  He has lived with Santos and Addie for years until Santos was found dead where he had been thrown from his horse.  The wolves have returned and the ranchers are getting nervous and want to hunt them.  He senses their leader, Ghost Wolf whenever he is out on the land.  He fears the legacy his father may have left him, his father was Native American.

Cat is a horse trainer and one of the few females in the area.  She is drawn to Matt and sparks fly when they are together.  She is concerned about the changes in Matt’s behavior and the fact that she can hear/sense Golf Wolf too.  Matt is becoming more domineering in their lovemaking and acts like he is possessed.  He doesn’t seem to comprehend her when she tells him no and it’s like something has taken over his body.

The Paiute once roamed the lands.  Their belief in Matich seemed to skip a generation and many of the stories have been lost.  The cave on Cat’s land holds all the secrets, if they can just survive the confrontation with Ghost Wolf.

This story seemed to take me a long time to read because at times it was hard to follow.  I knew going in this was part of the Aphrodisia line but was a little surprised by the sex scenes between Matt and Cat.  I wasn’t expecting the level of dominance and disregard that Matt exhibited toward Cat, almost to the point of nonconsensual sex.  Cat’s behavior also bothered me slightly because she just brushed over the incidents like it was ok, even though she seemed upset about it at the time.

On a positive note, the last 100 pages or so totally redeemed this book in my eyes.  It was interesting learning not only about Paiute legend and the cave paintings but more about the history of these brave Native Americans.  I really enjoyed the ending and was surprised by the twist I didn’t see coming.  I kept expecting a paranormal element, such as a werewolf based on the way Matt reacted to the “footprints” but that was not the case.

I give Spirit of the Wolf 3 Flaming Hearts. 

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Bordello Secrets by Heather Whittington
* I received a copy of this book from Breathless Press in exchange for an honest review*

The Master of the ″Votre Bonheur” has a secret. Marie, a penniless, naive young woman, must play the passionate courtesan to discover the shocking truth.

When Marie is tossed out of her home, she takes a position at the “Votre Bonheur,” an upscale bordello in Nice. There she meets Edward Leroye, the handsome, mysterious master of the house, and sparks fly. He awakens a desire and a dislike the naive young woman has never before experienced. When Sarah tells her that the Master holds a secret, Marie decides to discover the truth. Even if it means stripping away her innocence.

Marie’s father is dead and her mom has put her out on the streets.  She has no one to help her so she journeys to Nice to join the women of Votre Bonheur.  She may be young and naïve but she is determined to do what it takes to stay at the bordello.

Master Leroye takes care of his ladies but he expects them to earn their keep to stay at Votre Bonheur.  He spends time with each of the ladies but they never seem to remember their nights with him.  The Master has a secret that he has gone to great lengths to hide, at least until Marie shows up.

Marie is a young, impressionable girl when she arrives.  It doesn’t take long for that to change and she is even more determined to make it work.  She doesn’t know what to make of the Master when she meets him.  He scares her but at the same time, she desires him.  She agrees to dine with him in hopes of finding out what his secret is.

I loved the scene with Marie and Edward when he is telling her his story.  It helped the reader to understand him and why he has done the things he did. Marie may have been naïve but she has a sharp mind and isn’t afraid to say what she thinks.  In the end, I think she has found a new home with the Master at Votre Bonheur.

This story was short but it was short on details.  The author was able to give us a glimpse into a bordello in the 1900’s, complete with details about how it looked down to what was expected from the girls.  It was a fun story that I enjoyed but would have loved to read more.  I give Bordello Secrets 3 Flaming Hearts.

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Three Over Par by Cathryn Brunet
* I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
 
Wild, hot, addictive sex…
After seeing one too many patients die regretting the things they haven’t done, Nurse Lucy Seymour realizes she’s been making the same mistake. So when Robbie, the sexy golf instructor, makes his move, she responds with uninhibited passion, telling him there’s nothing she won’t try. Long sessions of foreplay lead to thrills and fantasy fulfillment…until Lucy sees Daniel, the greenskeeper, watching them. Watching her. And then Daniel does more than just watch…he joins them.
Can it lead to love?
Lucy might be exploring all of her secret fantasies, but her reality is that she’s a one-man woman…and for her, that man is Daniel. But what does Daniel really want? Lucy or the fantasy?

Lucy makes a promise to a dying patient that she would live her life and not have any regrets.  After a particular hard week at the Nursing Home, Lucy’s decides to take advantage of the opportunity before her.  The golf pro puts the moves on her during her lesson and things will never be the same again.

Lucy enjoys her weekly encounters with the golf pro but they don’t compare to when Daniel joins them.  With their first kiss, she fell in love with him.  He is her sole focus when the three of them are together and she cherishes each encounter.  With each passing week she falls deeper in love with him and thinks he feels the same way towards her.

She is puzzled by his attitude outside the golf course though.  When he comes to the nursing home to take his grandmother to lunch, he seems polite but distant towards her.  She begins to think she is reading more into their encounters than is really there and makes a decision that will change all three of their lives.

The primary focus of the book is the relationship between Lucy and Robbie (the Pro).  It’s all about sex with them while they are together on the golf course.  They take advantage of every opportunity they have and enjoy each other, even adding Daniel as a third later on.  It’s just sex to Lucy but Robbie has fallen in love with her.  The underlying story is the love that Lucy feels for Daniel and the ups and downs that is their relationship.

Lucy is a kind hearted person that wears her heart on her sleeve.  She is a good nurse and cares deeply for her patients, maybe too much sometimes.  She takes the advice of one of them and decides to live life to the fullest with no regrets.  She wants a traditional relationship with Daniel but she is afraid that if she ends the weekly golf lessons that she will lose him too.

The book was a little distracting to me.  The story is told from Lucy’s point of view but jumps around some so I would get lost at times.  The main thing that distracted me was the language used, don’t get me wrong it didn’t hurt the story any though.  I just found it a little stilting and hard to get used to every time she used the word arse.

The author did redeem herself with the ending however.  I love how the three of them put everything on the line for love.  Robbie did what he did out of love for Lucy, even though he knew how she felt about him.  Lucy laid it all on the line with Daniel afraid of how he would respond but knowing this was her one chance at happiness.

Overall I give Three Over Par 3 Flaming Hearts. 

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Hit List by Laurell K. Hamilton
*This book was borrowed from a friend*

A serial killer is hunting the Pacific Northwest, murdering victims in a gruesome and spectacular way. The local police suspect “monsters” are involved, and have called in Anita Blake and Edward, U.S. Marshals who really know their monsters, to catch the killer.

The #1 New York Times bestselling Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series continues!

Hit List is the newest installment in the Anita Blake series.  It continues to follow Anita and the gang as they try to stop the Harlequin (the ones that can’t be named) and Mommie Dearest.  She is joined by her fellow Marshal’s as they try and find a serial killer that is leaving bodies in several different states.

Anita is becoming faster and stronger either through her vampire marks or lycanthropy.  She is also healing much faster and finally getting a handle on the ardour.  She doesn’t have to feed it with sex all the time; she can also feed off of anger.  She is away from her sweeties and she is discovering some series repercussions of not being able to see or touch them.

Edward is there to back Anita up and to watch out for her.  He is concerned when two of the newbie’s get hurt and they have to call in Olaf and Bernardo for back up, along with several of Anita’s bodyguards.  They are in series trouble and need all the help they can get.

I love the Anita Blake series up through Obsidian Butterfly.  I got past the next few and then started getting excited again when it looked like Anita was back on track.  Well, to me this book fell short of all expectations.  This book is extremely drawn out for the first 269 pages and then we get to the good stuff.  The only problem is the climax is over in less than 50 pages with 3 pages of wrap up.

Yes, Anita gets to kick some butt, there are serial killers, blood and guts but the story was lacking content.  It was more filler than anything.  Even the sex was toned down to one scene in the whole book.   She is still collecting men and some of the male Marshals made it obvious that they had a problem with that.

I love the relationship between Anita and Edward and we learn more about them both in this book.  Olaf is just plain creepy and scares me as much as he does Anita, especially now.  I missed seeing Jean-Claude, Micah, and Nathanial and yes, even Richard.  They were there through the metaphysical link only.

Overall, if you are a fan of this series, I would definitely say pick it up but I would not read it out of order.  I give Hit List 3 Flaming Hearts.

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