Thursday, August 26, 2010

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Review: Wanted by Vicki Lewis Thompson

Photographer Dominique Jeffries has come to Wyoming to find herself—her creative self, her sexual self. After escaping the engagement from hell, she's dying to break loose and live a little. And seducing a shirtless, sweaty cowhand looks like just the place to start….

Nick Chance isn't exactly a cowhand but, hey, he'll be whatever the lady wants! Only he soon realizes that this is more than just a quick roll in the hay. There's something about Dominique that calls to him, something about her that completes him.

There's only one problem. Dominique wants a fling, not another relationship.

Little does she guess how easily she'll be persuaded to take a Chance—again and again and again!

I've never ready Ms. Thompson before, and something about this series called to me (could be the covers, I just don't know).  I'm pleased I took the chance -- ha ha!

The connection between Dominique and Nick was real and palatable, an instant lust with a little more behind the scenes.  Nick's secret, however, was wrapped up too neatly, though I'm sure some of the residual issues will appear throughout the series.  I'm looking forward to getting to know the remaining Chance brothers. 

Monday, August 23, 2010

Review: Three Nights with a Scoundrel by Tessa Dare

In Tessa Dare’s dazzling new trilogy, the men of the Stud Club live and play by their own rules—until passion changes the game.

The bastard son of a nobleman, Julian Bellamy is now polished to perfection, enthralling the ton with wit and charm while clandestinely plotting to ruin the lords, ravish the ladies, and have the last laugh on a society that once spurned him. But after meeting Leo Chatwick, a decent man and founder of an elite gentlemen’s club, and Lily, Leo’s enchanting sister, Julian reconsiders his wild ways. And when Leo’s tragic murder demands that Julian hunt for justice, he vows to see the woman he secretly loves married to a man of her own class.

Lily, however, has a very different husband in mind.  She’s loved Julian forever, adores the man beneath the rakish façade, and wants to savor the delicious attraction they share—as his wife. His insistence on marrying her off only reinforces her intent to prove that he is the only man for her. Obsessed with catching a killer, Julian sinks back to the gutters of his youth, forcing Lily to reach out with a sweet, reckless passion Julian can’t resist. Can her desire for a scoundrel save them both—or will dangerous secrets threaten more than their tender love?

Julian's transformation throughout the series can be likened to an onion: once a layer is peeled away, there are so many more to overcome.  And Lily, God bless her, she breaks through each layer somewhat easily. 

It doesn't hurt that both secretly love the other.

She took his breath away. Oh, she eventually let him have it back, because she was hardly a thief. But she made him work for it, Lily did. To have her within his line of view ws to feel the simple act of drawing air had suddenly become a privilege, rather than an instinctive act.

His thumb caressed her just between the shoulder blades, stroking a current of pleasure down her spine. It was the gentlest of touches, but it was deliberate and true. An admission. I love you, too. He could have stopped the music, called everyone's attention, and declared mad, passionate, everlasting adoration for her-in rhyming couplets-and this would still be better. Now, she felt triumph. His was the only resistance she sought to conquer.

The matter of Leo's murder is fully solved, and we're once again treated to an epilogue starring all three couples.  Happily ever after indeed!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tell Me a Story...

I'm so very, very excited to have Tessa Dare here with me today.  She burst onto the historical romance scene in 2009 with the wonderful Goddess of the Hunt and continues to dazzle with her new trilogy featuring the Stud Club. 

All of the heroes of the Stud Club trilogy -- and some minor members, Leo and Peter, respectively -- are surprisingly opposite in their character traits, mannerisms and demeanor. Was it difficult to get into the minds of Spencer, Rhys, and Julian?

TESSA: When I started the series, it was with the idea that I wanted to bring together some very different men, with clashing personalities and drastically different life experiences. And yes, it was difficult to get a handle on each of them! Spencer gave me fits. Julian was like a well that just kept getting deeper and deeper. But Rhys was the hardest, because he was so tortured and abused. Writing Rhys just made me want to call up my family and thank them for making it so incredibly hard for me to imagine what he went through.
The characters of your debut trilogy were connected via familial relations and friendships. Was it your intent to write something on the other end of the spectrum, where the characters had no distinct ties binding them to one another, other than a horse ... and a murder?

TESSA: Yes, definitely. As I said above, I wanted to bring together three men who normally wouldn't want much to do with one another at all. Part of that is because I wanted them all to be rather strong, aloof alpha heroes, and in naturally occurring groups of friends, you usually find a balance of personalities. Goddess of the Hunt, for example, started with a group of four old friends -- but not all of them could have carried their own books and been true hero material. I mean, no one's ever asked me to write a book for Felix, even though he was an integral part of their group dynamic.

So it seemed to me, if I wanted to bring three alpha men together in a meaningful way, there would have to be luck or tragedy at the root of it... or some of both!
Do you have a favorite character pairing you've written that you "ship"?

TESSA: Hm. There were times when I felt like I was probably the only person who wanted to see Lily and Julian together! In the first few books, he is rather hard to love. But the response to their book has been overwhelmingly positive, so I guess I managed to convince some readers in the end!

I also get a lot of reader mail about Claudia, asking whether she will get her own book. I would love to write about her, but I think she needs to grow up in my head a bit first. She still feels like a teenager to me, so I need to think about the kind of woman she'd become. And I'd also need some time to invent a really strong, sexy hero to be her match!
The next question isn't really a question. I have to confess, I love the epilogues included in A Lady of Persuasion and Three Nights with a Scoundrel. It goes straight to the center of my epic-loving historical romance heart where I need to know how many children so-and-so had. So thank you!

TESSA: No, thank you! And you're very welcome. Really, the epilogues are almost just as much for me. I love them, too! Both writing them and and reading them in other authors' books. For my own books, I guess I feel it's important to show my characters not only happy with their romantic partners and children, but part of a loving circle of friends and family. Knowing they have that kind of support network helps me believe they'll be okay for the long haul.
What's next on the agenda for you? Your newsletter hints at a future series. Can you share any information yet?

TESSA: I am starting a completely new series, which will most likely go by the name Spindle Cove (you heard it here first). It's set about five years before my other books, while the Napoleonic wars are still going on. The first book has a fun, flirty battle-of-the-sexes overlaying an undercurrent of deep emotion, and I'm really enjoying the characters. I don't have an official title or release date yet, but it will be out in 2011. Watch my website for more details!

Thank you so much for the wonderful questions.

If you're not following Ms. Dare on Twitter, you should!  I cannot wait to read more from her.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Review: Coming Clean by Inez Kelley

Coming clean never felt so good...

Grant and Vivi Michaelson share everything in their marriage: love, commitment-and their wildest sexual desires. But their relationship is tested when Vivi admits she wants a threesome with Grant's old friend Cade, proposing their annual trip to the lake as the perfect opportunity to fulfill her fantasy.

All three of them are aroused by the idea. Vivi and Cade have long felt a smoldering attraction to each other...and Grant and Cade have hidden an illicit desire for decades. Going through with the ménage will test their boundaries, reveal old secrets...and maybe tear them apart. After all, there might be room for Cade in bed, but is there room for a third in their marriage?

Another quick read in the Dirty Laundry series.  While I liked Coming Clean, it didn't draw me in as much as Talk Dirty to Me did, perhaps because we the reader aren't seeing a new relationship build, we're seeing existing relationships change. 

Vivi and Grant have been married for ten years and are pretty comfortable with their life.  When Vivi reveals a fantasy about Grant's oldest friend, Cade, the old marrieds decide to make this fantasy come true. 

Things turn steamy pretty quickly for the trio, first with Cade and Grant while Vivi is prepping laundry for their camping trip, then with Vivi present.  The sex is hot and descriptive, and the story is fast-paced. 

Like with the two previous installments of the Dirty Laundry series, I just wanted more.  Here's to hoping Ms. Glass and Ms. Kelley decide to continue the series (and perhaps revisit the characters we've already seen).  Everyone has to do laundry, right?

(A very special thank you to NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of Coming Clean.)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Review: The Wild Marquis by Miranda Neville

The Marquis of Chase is not a reputable man.

He is notorious for his wretched morals and is never received in respectable houses. The ladies of the ton would never allow him in their drawing rooms . . . though they were more than willing to welcome him into their bedchambers. Ejected from his father's house at the age of sixteen, he now lives a life of wanton pleasure. So what could the Marquis of Chase possibly want with Juliana Merton, a lovely, perfectly upstanding shopkeeper with a mysterious past?

A moment's indiscretion?

A night's passion?

Or a lifetime of love?

Even the wildest rakes have their weaknesses . . .

What an interesting historical romance.  We've got a little bit of everything: romance, intrigue, and books!

I was surprised by Juliana's profession, or perhaps that she'd adopted her husband's and continued to be moderately successful with it.  Then again, as her dowry was used to open the bookstore, I suspect she'd have a vested interest to keep it successful.  She and Chase do emit some sparks, when their romance comes right down to it, so I'm anxious to see if they will reappear in future books.  The Wild Marquis was a nice break from the usual historical romances I've read lately.  Cannot wait to read The Dangerous Viscount.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Review: Down and Dirty series by Moira Rogers

As Alpha of the Lonely River Pack, Jack Owens is responsible for keeping the peace between what's left of the human population and the wolves who have taken over since the War. All wolves are his responsibility, even the ones like Virginia Howard who don't necessarily recognize his authority. Ginny's been a thorn in Jack's side since she took over her parent's operation and established herself as one of the area's premiere ranchers. The fact that she's everything he wants in a mate makes it hard to stay away from her, but any good hunter knows how to bide his time.

Ginny fights hard to maintain her independence from men, human and werewolf alike. The humans may not like having a woman as their chief competition, but they're not the ones determined to see her submit. When a group of angry wolves try to run her out of business, she's forced to accept Jack's assistance. But in saving her ranch, Ginny runs the risk of losing something far greater--her heart.
Hazel Young is a rare commodity in town: a young, single female whose first mating is nearly upon her. She's spent the last two years fending off suitors who grow more determined by the day -- after all, there's nothing flattering in the attention of werewolves more interested in what she is than who she is, especially not when she gave her heart away to Oliver Russell years ago. But Oliver seems to feel nothing for her but fond kindness, and the time has come to choose a mate before the wolf makes the choice for her.

When Oliver happens across Hazel being pressured by a local who wants to be her first, it awakens protective instincts he thought he'd set aside with the death of his wife five years ago. With Hazel in heat and no time to get her to safety, they wind up in a fishing shack on Lonely River, waiting for her mating fever to pass. The last thing he expects is to be tempted by her inexperienced attempts at seduction.

Thomas Crawford is Lonely River's Beta, and it's high time he settled down. He's had his eye on Charlotte Daniel, the owner of the Full Moon Saloon--and independent cuss of a woman--for months, but she either hasn't noticed his gentle courting...or she's ignoring him. But when some local wolves lodge a complaint about her questionable business practices, and it's Thomas' job to investigate, even if it means the woman he wants will hate him forever.

Lottie has noticed Thomas' courting, all right, but it's a little too polite for her tastes. She wants a man with fire and sensuality, not daisies and poetry. Then he kisses her. Once she gets a glimpse of the passion burning in him, Lottie decides a slow, careful seduction isn't a bad idea at all. But she'll do it her way.

Of these three novellas, I thought Wild Card was the best.  It would have been good on my part had I gone to Ms. Rogers website to get the background on this series.  I assumed this was a historical paranormal (well, an erotic historical paranormal) when in fact it wasn't.  [Classifying books into genres can be so confusing.]  Regardless, Wild Card was the best of the bunch for me.  I loved Jack's gruff exterior and Ginny's refusal to back down or take "orders".  She's a woman who knows what she wants, and I absolutely adore heroines with that kind of gumption. 

We're introduced to Hazel, the heroine of Calling the Bluff, in Wild Card, and her transformation from novella to novella is startling.  Hazel's the cause of much trouble between werewolves and humans, you see, because she's going into her first mating heat.  And the man she wants doesn't want anything to do with her!  When she's in trouble, however, something inside Oliver snaps.  He's surprised to find that he does indeed want Hazel. 

Ante Up was the novella I thought I'd like most.  Unfortunately, I never really felt a connection between Lottie and Thomas, certainly not one that had been aluded to in the two previous novellas. 

Still, I've got Crux on my iPhone, and I'm anxious to see what else Ms. Rogers has to offer. 

Friday, August 6, 2010

Review: All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins

One Happily-Ever-After Rocking Chair…

and no sign of any forthcoming babies to rock in ol' Georgebury, Vermont. For Callie Grey, turning thirty means coming to grips with the fact that her boss (and five-week fling) is way overdue in his marriage proposal. And way off track because Mark has suddenly announced his engagement to the company's new Miss Perfect. If that isn't bad enough, her mom decides to throw her a three-oh birthday bash in the family funeral home.

Bad goes to worse when she stirs up a crazy relationship with the town's not so warm and fuzzy veterinarian, Ian McFarland, in order to flag Mark's attention. So Ian is more comfortable with animals…. So he's formal, orderly and just a bit tense. The ever-friendly, fun-loving and spontaneous Callie decides it's time for Ian to get a personality makeover. But dang, if he doesn't shock the heck out of her, she might actually fall for Vermont's unlikeliest eligible bachelor….

This was the first book I've read by Ms. Higgins, despite having bought each of her previous releases.  What made me decide to continue with this one past the first chapter, I cannot say.  It might be Noah, because by Chapter Three, I was hooked (and half in love with the cantankerous Grampy). 

Callie's relationship with Ian is certainly unusual.  They are almost polar opposites, though that made for some of the funniest dialogue exchanges and situations.  I didn't like the "big misunderstanding" toward the end of the novel (though I predicted it would happen).  Also, there shouldn't be death in romance novels.  (I realize life isn't 100% happy all of the time but dang, I didn't expect it -- and it made me cry.) 

Still, a sweet contemporary romance with happily-ever-after chair included. 

(A special thanks to Net Galley for providing me with the ARC of All I Ever Wanted.)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Review: Hot Finish by Erin McCarthy

Desire is about to reach its peak.

Suzanne Jefferson is broke, which is why she's given up charity work for wedding planning. Fortunately, she has a high-profile client-and best of all, he's paid in advance. There are just two teensy problems: the bride is a bona fide bridezilla, and Suzanne's stock racer ex-husband is the best man. At least she though he was her ex-husband...

Who knew Suzanne would be like this??  I never imagined it, given the short moments we see her in Flat-Out Sexy and Hard and Fast.  But I love her.  She's sassy, spunky, fun, smart, and guarding her heart like nobody's business, especially once she discovers her ex-husband of two years isn't so much of an ex-.  Here's just a few of Suzanne's gems: 

Why, so every day can be a special plunge into hell?

You have nothing to worry about.  Your penis is very pretty and more than enough to make any woman happy.

I’m hotter than two rabbits screwing in a wool sock.

Maybe you ought to slow down there, Shakespeare, because that tequila is clearly going to your head, given that you’re talking crazy.

I loved Suzanne's depth; again, because this is her story, we learn so much about how she and Ryder met and married, and how their marriage fell apart.  Their journey back to love -- and the realization that they still loved one another -- may have come a bit too quickly and easily at times, but we've known Ryder and Suzanne push one another's buttons from the previous two books in the series.  

[As an aside: is it too much to ask that Tamara and Elec just have the baby I keep imagining Ms. McCarthy is foreshadowing?  Please?]

I'm not sure what to think about The Chase, featuring Elec's younger brother Evan, which releases in March or April 2011.  Evan appeared a various times in Hot Finish, but it was difficult to pin exact character traits to him.  Regardless, I know Ms. McCarthy will write an amazing book, so I cannot wait for a continuation of this series.  

(A special thanks to Dear Author and Berkley for hosting the contest in which I won a copy of Hot Finish.  I do wish Nascar would bring short tracks back to the circuit.)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Cover Love

Miss Kate Daltry doesn't believe in fairy tales…or happily ever after.

Forced by her stepmother to attend a ball, Kate meets a prince…and decides he's anything but charming. A clash of wits and wills ensues, but they both know their irresistible attraction will lead nowhere. For Gabriel is promised to another woman—a princess whose hand in marriage will fulfill his ruthless ambitions.

Gabriel likes his fiancée, which is a welcome turn of events, but he doesn't love her. Obviously, he should be wooing his bride-to-be, not the witty, impoverished beauty who refuses to fawn over him.

Godmothers and glass slippers notwithstanding, this is one fairy tale in which destiny conspires to destroy any chance that Kate and Gabriel might have a happily ever after.

Unless a prince throws away everything that makes him noble…

Unless a dowry of an unruly heart trumps a fortune…

Unless one kiss at the stroke of midnight changes everything.

A Secret Identity

When pirates storm Viscount Steven Ashford's ship upon the high seas, it brings him closer than ever to the nefarious criminal he seeks to ruin. Only one seductive detail threatens his victory: the scandalous beauty imprisoned with him, Lady Valerie Monroe. Temptation has never been so intoxicating or so forbidden, for Steven is disguised as a French priest. If they make it off the ship alive, to protect her from his enemies he must never see her again . . .

An Undeniable Love

Back in England, and under the ton's scrutiny for a reckless past she hasn't escaped, Valerie dreams of the breathtaking "man of the cloth" with whom she shared her greatest adventure. Then he reappears in society under his true identity, Viscount Ashford, but, despite the danger, their consuming passion cannot be denied. Now standing in the way of their desire are Valerie's wounded heart, Steven's lone destiny, and a villain who will stop at nothing to crush them both.
Related Posts with Thumbnails