Friday, June 28, 2013

A Blood Seduction by Pamela Palmer

“Another person has been reported missing in downtown D.C. in a string of disappearances that has police baffled. This brings the total number reported missing in the past six weeks to twelve. This last incident is believed to have occurred near George Washington University.”
And so it begins....

The Story:
Vampires live only for lust and pleasure in the eternal twilight of Vamp City. But the city's magic is dying. The only person who can restore it? A beautiful woman from the mortal who knows nothing of the power she wields.
Washington, V.C. is the backdrop of Pamela Palmer’s latest series, Vamp City. It’s a world on a different plane than ours, a duplicate of Civil War era Washington, D.C., supposedly created as a place where vampires, werewolves, and other immortals, could live in their version of peace. No sunlight, no laws but their own, able to hunt, enslave, torture and kill humans without fear of retribution. A true Vampire Utopia.
But even utopias have a dark side, and Phineas Blackstone, the powerful wizard the vampires had paid to create their dark city, had engineered a brilliant one—a death trap finally sprung two years ago. The moment the magic began to fail, all vampires within the city’s boundaries had become instantly caught, unable to escape. Soon, the sunbeams from the real world had begun to break through—slowly, at first, then more and more frequently until it became clear that their world was dying. And with it, every soul trapped within—vampire, werewolf, and immortal human alike.

Only by renewing Vamp City’s magic would they be saved.
Quinn and her brother Zack accidentally land in Vamp City, and it doesn’t take long for the Vampires residing there to figure out that there's much more to Quinn than meets the eye. In fact, unbeknownst to her, she’s a powerful sorceress who might just be Vamp City’s final hope for survival. But as the days go on and Quinn, who's being held as a slave, sees the world for the barbaric place it is, she starts to wonder if maybe it wouldn’t be better if Vamp City died, after all. The only problem is that Zack is also being held prisoner, and Quinn knows if V.C. dies, so will he.

My Thoughts:

Pamela Palmer is a name I frequently see running through my friends’ feeds on Goodreads, and always with high praise and impressive ratings. I actually own several books in her Feral Warriors series, but haven’t gotten around to reading them, yet. Well, after reading A Blood Seduction  and getting a taste of her writing, that’s going to change, and change soon.

This world Ms. Palmer has created has a decidedly Urban Fantasy feel about it, but the actions of the characters living in there make it a dark paranormal story. It's brutal, edgy, barbaric, and there are scenes of sexual violence, so anyone sensitive to things of this nature should consider themselves forewarned.

Arturo, the so called "hero" in this book, is one nasty, backstabbing, unfeeling ass. He reminds me of Anne Stuart's Ice heroes in his uncaring, selfish machinations. Truth be told, I'm not sure he's redeemable, but only time will tell.

I truly enjoyed Quinn. She's strong, smart, independent, devoted, caring... she really is a great heroine. I'm excited to see how things with her play out in the next book, A Kiss of Blood.

Fans of dark fantasy and paranormal romance will definitely enjoy this series, but be aware - this has an unresolved HEA.

The Bottom Line:

I love Paranormal Romance, especially vampires and shifters, but let's be honest here - the genre has been done to death. It's not often I run across a world as unique and compelling as Ms. Palmer's Vamp City is, so you can bet this is a series I'll keep following. It's fast paced, gritty, sexy, and downright disturbing at times, and I am thrilled to have found these books!

Note: The descriptions and quotes I used are taken from both A Blood Seduction and A Kiss of Blood.

Books in the Vamp City series, so far:

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Fireman Who Loved Me by Jennifer Bernard

Fearless, smoking hot, and single: meet the Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel. These firemen might be heroes, but it's their bad luck in love that makes them legendary.

The Fireman Who Loved Me
is the first book in Jennifer Bernard’s The Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel series, as well as her debut novel. It’s fun, it’s sexy, it’s poignant… it’s a thoroughly entertaining story!

The Curse:

In my review of the prequel, One Fine Fireman, I explained a bit about the curse:
First, a little background to the series title: Due to an event over 150 years ago, the firefighters assigned to this firehouse are cursed to never find love. The curse surrounds the true (supposedly) story of mail order bride Constancia B. Sidwell and says that one of the first volunteer firemen in the area, Virgil Rush, had been corresponding with Constancia B. Sidwell who was eager to start a new life in the West. Like many women of the time were doing, she hopped on a mail coach to travel across the country to meet her future husband, but before she could reach him, a gang of robbers attacked. The story goes on that she fell in love with the leader of the gang and never thought about poor Virgil again, and Virgil, subjected to the unrelenting teasing of his fellow firefighters, vowed that from that day forward, San Gabriel firefighters would suffer the same rocky road to romance that he did.
As I said then, this really has little to do with the actual storyline of this book, but it’s a fun “backdrop” to the entire series, so I wanted to share that with you.

The Story:

News producer Melissa McGuire has been burned - and not by fire. Thanks to the dog-eat-dog environment of television news, she lost her job and got her heart broken in one fell swoop. Leaving the glitz and prestige of Los Angeles behind, Melissa now finds herself living and working in not-so-glitzy San Gabriel, California, and taking care of her ailing grandmother. A grandmother with a secret whose made is her mission to match Melissa with one of the hot, legendary, “Firemen of San Gabriel.”

Melissa and Fire Captain Harry Brody couldn’t be more different but sometimes, as the saying goes, opposites attract. And in the case of this matchmaking endeavor, they match, and match big. But that doesn’t mean everything goes smoothly, though, because…
Sparks fly. Passion flares. Heat rises. (You get the picture.)

Add a curse, a conniving nightly news anchor, a stunningly handsome daredevil fireman, a brave little boy, a couple of exes, and one giant fire to the mix, and Melissa and Brody's love may not be the only thing that burns.
My Thoughts:

All I can say is Wow! What a great story this is. Lots of excitement, action, romance, humor, and sexy goodness, and even some moments that found me fighting back the tears. There was so much packed into this story that I honestly can’t think of a thing it lacked.

If you’re a fan of contemporary romance, and if you love firefighters, then you definitely need to give this series a try. Ms. Bernard is a talented writer, giving us awesome characters, great stories, and happily ever afters we can believe in and cheer for!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Less Than a Gentleman by Kerrelyn Sparks

Playful, passionate, exciting… regardless of the genre, Kerrelyn Sparks sure can tell a story!

This is such a great historical romance! I love the Colonial America, Revolutionary War backdrop, and the mystery, the intrigue, the battles… everything about this drew me in and kept me turning the pages until the wee hours of the morning.

The story:

The British are gaining ground in South Carolina, and in their bloody attempt to win the war, burning everything in sight. Captain Matthais Murray Thomas is doing everything in his power to stop them, as well as protect the innocent colonists who find themselves at the mercy of the British. Clearly, Matthais has better things to worry about than taking a bride, much to his mother’s frustration, and since he won’t take the need to marry seriously, Jane does everything and anything she can to “help” him in along. And much to Matthais’s annoyance, she’s even stooped to inviting “suitable” women to stay at their plantation, and sleep in Matthais’s bed.

After the British burned down her home, Caroline Munro is a woman with a mission: get her very pregnant sister, and her niece and nephew to safety. Fortunately they find their way to the Loblolly Plantation where they have a safe place to rest awhile. Knowing that Captain Matthais Thomas was away fighting, Caroline didn’t think it was a problem to masquerade as his fiancĂ©e, but when Matthais arrives home unexpectedly and realizes that Caroline is not the woman she claims to be, he makes it his mission to learn all he can about this imposter while hiding his own identity from her.

My thoughts:

Kerrelyn Sparks writes exciting, funny, sexy, paranormal romances with her Love at Stake vampire series, and I’m here to tell you that this non-paranormal historical romance is just as exciting, just as funny, and just as sexy! And when I say funny, I mean I snickered, giggled, and even laughed out loud at some of the banter between characters. Matthais’s growing frustration with Caroline’s supposed deceptions and innocent double entendre references to “A small knob? A tiny twig, a wee button, a small prick?” made for some seriously funny reading.

But best of all? With Less Than a Gentleman, Ms. Sparks has proven herself to be one of the rare historical romance authors who can write outside of the same-old, same-old genre offerings - and do it well! There are others in this book who need their stories told, and I hope Ms. Sparks gives them their chance to speak, too. That would make me a very happy lady!

Note: I was excited to learn that this is the sequel to The Forbidden Lady, originally published as For Love or Country. As soon as I found that out, I bought it. That's how much I enjoyed Less Than a Gentleman!

My thanks to Avon Books and Edelweiss for providing me with a copy of this truly awesome story!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Playing the Field by Jennifer Seasons

Playing the Field  is the second book in the Diamonds and Dugouts series, and once again Jennifer Seasons has delivered a fun, romantic, sexy story.

JP Trudeau is the shortstop for the Denver Rush, Colorado's Major League Baseball team. He's an unrepentant cocky, sexy, chick magnet who enjoys the "perks" of being a celebrity. He loves his job, loves his community, and is pretty well grounded for a guy in his twenties, so when his team sponsors a charity event for diabetic kids, JP's all in. It's a gorgeous day, he's about to play ball with some great kids and he thinks that life can't get better than this... until he spots "one seriously luscious beauty..." headed his way, and life as he knows it is about to change.

Sonny Miller is happy with her life as an organic cheese maker, living on the ranch she grew up on, and then inherited from the grandmother who had raised her. As a child, she had been abandoned by her parents, and then as an adult abandoned by her boyfriend when she became pregnant. Needless to say, Sonny has trust issues. She's devoted to her son, Charlie, and will do anything she has to do to protect him, so she's decided she'll never get involved with a man again, and so far she's been successful. With Charlie's diabetes, she's made sure their life is planned out, well constructed, and safe. Safe, that is, until JP Trudeau swaggers into it. From then on, all bets are off.

This really is a great story! The close knit, unstoppable duo of Sonny and her ten year old son, Charlie, are awesome, and then with the 'knows what he wants and stops at nothing to get it' hunky shortstop, JP, what we have is a winning lineup of characters I couldn't help but adore.

If you love contemporary romance as much as I do, be sure and give this series a try! You won’t be disappointed!!

Many thanks to Avon Books and Edelweiss for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review. As always, it was such a pleasure!

Books in the Diamonds and Dugouts series:

Monday, June 17, 2013

Secret Maneuvers by Jessie Lane

Some mistakes from the past haunt us forever... unless fate steps in with a second chance.

The Story:

Secret Maneuvers is the first book in Jessie Lane’s Ex Ops series. It is, as you would expect from the title, a romantic suspense tale about a team of ex-military or ex-alphabet agency men who, for whatever reason, are no longer working for their original teams. Because of their outstanding, specialized skills, these men have been recruited by Ex Ops – an organization secretly headed by the CIA - to do the jobs Uncle Sam wants to deny having any part of.

What the title doesn’t tell you is what a fantastic, riveting story this is.

Right from the start it grabs hold of your heart and doesn’t let go. The prologue had me shedding a few tears as Belle’s heart is broken by her one true love, the man who promised he’d never hurt her, one of only two people she’s every truly trusted. They were madly in love, but still too young to be making “forever” promises, so when Belle gets Bobby’s letter breaking it off, she does the only thing she can do to protect herself from ever being crushed again. She runs.

It didn’t take long for Bobby to realize what a fool he was, but by the time he’d decided to beg her forgiveness, his Belle was gone. Private Investigators, Internet searches… nothing turned up a single clue about where she might be. He never stopped loving her, never stopped beating himself up for being such a fool, but eventually, he stopped looking for the girl who didn’t want to be found.

Fast forward fifteen years to an operation involving the ATF and Bobby’s Ex Ops team who are working together to track down the people responsible for funneling black market weapons to a drug cartel in Mexico. As the Fates would have it, Belle is the ATF Agent in charge of the operation, and Bobby’s not about to let her go again. She doesn’t want anything to do with him, but Bobby’s made it his mission to change her mind.

My Review:

It's not often I find a book that I can't put down. I mean, seriously can't put down, but Secret Maneuvers is honestly one of the best “second chance” romances I’ve read. It’s fast paced, funny, romantic and more than a little sexy. The world Ms. Lane has created is an exciting one, filled with complex characters who are just screaming for a story of their own. Bobby and Belle are great together, and despite my unhappiness with some of the things Bobby said to her after learning her secret, I couldn’t help but cheer them on as they fought their fears – and each other – and worked towards their happily ever after.

The bottom line: Fans of romantic suspense, you do not want to miss this story, and that’s all you need to know. Trust me on this – just buy the book, sit back and enjoy!

My thanks to Jessie Lane for providing me with a copy of this awesome story. Truly, thank you.

Buy this at Barnes & Noble

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Saturday, June 15, 2013

The Newcomer by Robyn Carr

Single dad and Thunder Point's deputy sheriff "Mac" McCain has worked hard to keep everyone safe and happy. Now he's found his own happiness with Gina James. The longtime friends have always shared the challenges and rewards of raising their adolescent daughters. With an unexpected romance growing between them, they're feeling like teenagers themselves-suddenly they can't get enough of one another.

And just when things are really taking off, their lives are suddenly thrown into chaos. When Mac's long-lost-and not missed-ex-wife shows up in town, drama takes on a whole new meaning. They're wondering if their new feelings for each other can withstand the pressure...but they are not going down without a fight. 


The Newcomer is the second book in Robyn Carr’s Thunder Point series. I really enjoyed this installment, but the title is more than a bit deceiving because the “newcomer” doesn't even visit Thunder Point until close to the end of the book. In fact, the decision to become a “newcomer” didn’t happen until the very end.

This story is actually the continuation of two romances, Cooper and Sarah’s, and Mac and Gina’s. The story takes place nine months after The Wanderer and I enjoyed seeing where the couples are – or are going – in their happily for nows and ever afters.

Ms. Carr is such a terrific writer! The stories she tells are tales of real life trials and triumphs, the kinds of things things that bring friends and family closer and make relationships stronger. I love everything she’s ever written and find myself awaiting each ‘next’ book with happy anticipation. One thing’s for certain, I can always count on her to deliver stories that capture my imagination with characters I love, whose happily ever afters leave me with a smile on my face. Robyn Carr is truly one of the greats in Contemporary Romance.

What keeps this from being a 4 or 5 star read, in my opinion, goes back to how misleading the title is and how distracting it is to not know who the newcomer was. I know... very odd, and it's probably just me, but I have to be honest and that's how I feel.

3.5 stars

My thanks to Harlequin MIRA for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review. As always, it was such a pleasure!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Maya Banks' Forged In Steele

The Kelly Group International (KGI): A super-elite, top secret, family-run business.

Qualifications: High intelligence, rock-hard body, military background.

Mission: Hostage/kidnap victim recovery. Intelligence gathering. Handling jobs the U.S. government can’t…

Steele, a KGI team leader, is an enigma not even his team mates understand. His emotions are tightly locked down and nothing can break that icy exterior. Nothing except Maren Scofield, a doctor on a mission, a woman who has gotten under Steele’s skin and threatens to crack that unflappable cool he’s legendary for.

Steele is determined not to allow Maren past his carefully guarded defenses, but when she’s in danger, there’s no way he’ll allow anyone else to protect her. She’s hiding something. He’s sure of it. But he isn’t prepared for the shocking discovery her secrets reveal. Or how they will forever alter the course of his destiny. He has a decision to make. Hold tight and shut her out. Or take a chance on something more powerful than he’s ever faced. Love.


Friday, June 7, 2013

Fire Inside by Kristen Ashley Blog Tour and Giveaway!!

Lanie Heron isn’t looking for love—no surprise, considering her last serious relationship nearly got her killed. So when Lanie propositions Hop Kincaid, all she wants is one wild night with the hot-as-hell biker who patrols with the Chaos Motorcycle Club...

For Hop, Lanie has always been untouchable. She’s too polished and too classy for his tastes. But when she gives Hop the once-over with her bedroom eyes and offers him a night in paradise, he can’t say no. And he doesn’t regret it when he finds that Lanie is the best thing that’s ever happened to him—in or out of bed. Now the trick will be to convince her of that.


No matter how many Kristen Ashley books I read - and I've read a lot - I'm ALWAYS left anxiously awaiting the next story, regardless of the genre or series. Such was the case with Hop and Lanie's story in Fire Inside... and this despite the drama that surrounds them and their turbulant pasts. I know you'll get me when I say that, start to finish, this is one hell of an emotional ride! And the epilogue? Typical Kristen Ashley brilliance! I'm still grinning from ear to ear!!!  Read it and you'll feel it, too!

Want something else to smile about? Something else to get excited over? Check out this totally awesome giveaway and enter for a chance to win!

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Skin Deep (I-Team 5.5) Written by Pamela Clare, Narrated by Kaleo Griffith


This is a review of the audio book

I’m going to start by saying; I’m in love with Kaleo Griffith’s voice. No, let me rephrase that; I’m in lust with his voice. In fact, it took me much longer than it should have to finish listening to this story because there were certain sentences, certain… uh… “things” he said that had me scrolling (is that the right word for rewinding an audio book?) back to listen to them again and again. There were times I’d adjust my ear-buds, nearly to the point of pain, just to make sure no one else could hear these “things,” and when my husband said I was looking a bit flushed and asked if I was feeling okay, I replied with, “Just a hot-flash, hon.” Not exactly a lie, that, but never thought I’d be so thankful to have the “menopausal” excuse to fall back on!

I wonder if he'd be willing to make a recording replacing Megan's name with mine...

Thank you, Dorsey aka Wrath Lover, for putting a name to what I'm feeling:

Okay, now that I’ve thoroughly embarrassed myself…

Granted, I’m not a hardcore audio book aficionado, but I know what I like, and I was very impressed with Mr. Griffith’s ability to give such distinct voices to the characters, men and women alike. And having read this e-book many times, I had formed pretty definitive personality attributes to all the characters, and Mr. Griffith nailed them, each and every one. I’m looking forward to listening to more stories told through Kaleo Griffith’s voice.

And now I’ll leave you with my original review of the ebook version:

Megan Hunter, Marc Hunter's baby sister, has been working hard to put her life back together after the horrific ordeal she went through years ago, and just as things are falling into place, when things are finally looking up, she gets a very unwelcome, very dangerous visitor from her past.

Nate West, a local rancher, has just delivered several cases of beef to a community shelter and as he's leaving he spots Megan, that sweet, beautiful woman he's noticed volunteering at the shelter... and she's in trouble! Being the kind of man he is, Nate steps in to kick ass and it turns out to be one of the best decisions he's ever made.

Wow, I really enjoyed this short story! Megan is all grown up, taking care of herself, moving on and not allowing herself to remain a victim. She has such strength, such compassion... I simply adore the woman she has become!

And Nate. *sigh* Nate West, a new character to the series, is all kinds of wonderful. A strong, hard working, honorable man... Nate is everything I love in a hero. He brings with him some emotional and physical scars, and this makes him all the more appealing. Apart they are wonderful, but when Nate and Megan come together they are perfect! And seeing sweet, adorable little Emily, Megan's daughter, was such a treat!

Skin Deep is a sweet, sexy story that gives our Megan the happily ever after she is so deserving of and adds another hot, alpha male to the cast of I-Team heroes!!

Bonus story! And if that's not enough, the extra little story at the end, Marc & Julian Make a Beer Run, is laugh out loud funny and an awesome revisit with my favorite team of RS heroes!!!

Monday, June 3, 2013

And One Last Thing by Molly Harper

OH, how I loved this book!! It's fun, sassy, romantic, sexy - and I do mean sexy - truly, a fabulous story! The dialog is so well written, so witty, and the entire book is filled with the kind of dry humor that has you giggling throughout. The sexual chemistry between Lacey and Monroe is off the charts, and they make a perfect couple in their odd mix of cynicism and optimism! In fact, if "opticism" were a word in the dictionary, it'd be accompanied by a picture of Lacey and Monroe!


When reading an author for the first time, it often takes a bit of getting used to before I fall into the flow of their storytelling, but that's not the case with Molly Harper's And One Last Thing... In fact, I seldom give 5 stars to an author whose work I'm experiencing for the first time because of that very thing, but again, that's not the case with this book.

And One Last Thing... starts out with Lacey Terwilliger being blindsided when she learns that her husband is having an affair with his secretary, and has been for several months. Lacey really never saw that coming and when it hit, it hit hard. To say she 'lost it' is putting it mildly, but thankfully so, because her brand of losing it made for some laugh out loud funny reading!

Because the story takes place in a small town, it's not hard to imagine everyone taking sides, and everyone did - most siding with her soon to be ex-husband Mike, "the faithless, loveless, spineless, shiftless, useless, dickless wonder he is." To escape the onslaught of ridicule, Lacey heads to her family cabin on the lake, looking for solitude and a quiet, peaceful place to sort through what's left of her life. Only, thanks to Lefty Monroe, the man renting the neighboring cabin, her life is anything but peaceful and quiet.

My only complaint is the outrageous cost of this e-book. $9.73 on Amazon? SHAME ON YOU, Simon & Schuster! What are you thinking here?? If you want to hook people on Ms. Harper's writing, this is definitely the book to do it with, but for Pete's sake! Make it affordable enough that those of us on a budget will be willing - and able - to take the risk. SERIOUSLY!!

Okay, got that off my chest!

People, find this book! Used bookstore, library, yard sale, borrow a copy from a friend... whatever you have to do to get your hands this, do it! You will NOT regret it!

Dorsey, thank you, honey, for recommending this book!!! It's exactly what I was looking for, exactly the kind of brilliant, entertaining story I needed to get my mind off things. I am heading straight back to Amazon to see what else I can find - more reasonably priced, that is - by this incredibly talented Contemporary Romance/Chick-lit author!!!

A favorite quote:

"Honey, you might want to calm down and reassess your situation. You don't want to get into a big legal battle here. Mike's like a cat."

"Emotionally unavailable and fond of licking himself?" I asked.

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Saturday, June 1, 2013

WANTED: Wife by Gwen Jones

I love discovering new authors! This is such a cute, romantic, sexy story! Fresh, quirky... Lots of fun!

When reporter Julie Knott answers an advertisement placed on a utility pole by a man wanting to interview potential wives, she does so in hopes of a story, never dreaming she'd end up his wife. But that's exactly what happens when one disaster after another makes Andy Devine her last hope of salvaging her career and her self respect.

Life with Andy is more than Julie could have ever imagined it would be, and Andy feels the same way about her. They get along well, bot in bed and out, and given life on the farm, that's saying a lot. Things are going better than either could have hoped for until, that is, Julie utters the "love" word and quickly discovers there's so much more to Andy than meets the eye, and it's heartbreaking.

Can Julie find a way through the fortress Andy has built around his heart so they can find a happily ever after despite the odds, or are Andy's secrets too much for them to overcome?

I can't even tell you what a surprising delight WANTED: Wife turned out to be. There's so much more to this story than just a cutesy contemporary romance, and I enjoyed every single bit of it! Andy is a super sexy French talkin' hottie and I want an Andy for myself!

I'm blown away by the idea that this is Gwen Jones' debut novel, because it doesn't read like one at all. Ms. Jones is an incredibly gifted storyteller and I'm looking forward to reading more!

ARC provided by Avon Books in exchange for an honest review.