Rise of Hope – Kaily Hart – 3.5 Stars

August 23, 2012 Uncategorized 0

Rise of Hope

This was a good start to what is planned to be a 5 book series.  I like the idea of a hidden, nearly extinct race and everything that implies.

Devon has been held prisoner since she was a baby.  She can’t remember anything other than being raised at a compound where no-one could touch her and she herself was allowed no privacy or freedoms.  Sure she could walk around the compound but some areas were barred to her and she was never allowed to be by herself.  She doesn’t know why this is and has been trying to get out from this imprisonment.  She ends up getting helped by a group of men that end up being more that just herrescuers.  They end up becoming a true family for her.  She is strong, smart and an extremely caring person even with all that she has gone thru.  She doesn’t feel worthy of anything though due to being kept hostage by people who didn’t care about her or even show her the least bit of human comfort.  

Seth is an interesting hero in that he is strong but has this inner I’m worthless attitude that hs enabled him to keep his distance from anyone or anything.  He wants to be alone (so he thinks) because of his past and you can’t help but want him to finally break down and need someone/let them in.   He keeps this wall around himself that once you know why it is there you can’t help but feel for him.  He has not had an easy life but under the mess he is an incredibly devoted, caring man.  He has a wonderful heart and you love when the pair finally come together.

Devon and Seth are Vadim which means that they each have a unique gift that for the men is typically a physical ability (Seth is a sort of chameleon in that he can take on the identity/appearance of someone he has touched) and women seem to have a mental ability (Devon can compel anyone touching her to do what she wants them to do).  They also have markings that appear around puberty that match the person they are truly meant to be with.  In this case the pair have the same markings although her markings are more feminine and are designed to mesh with his when they are connected sexually.  

I enjoyed watching the pair dance around each other but boy when they finally release the tension it was a smoking hot scene.  You can tell that she gets the physical affection she desperately needed and the support to be who she is meant to be from him.  He in return finds the heart he has always kept buried but also finds someone who truly accepts him.

Lovely story and I am looking forward to more in this series…  Thanks toNetGalley.com and Carina Press for letting me read this in exchange for my honest review. 

Rise of Hope – Kaily Hart – 3.5 Stars

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Hell on Wheels – Julie Ann Walker – 4 Stars – Contest!!

August 21, 2012 Uncategorized 5

Hell on Wheels (Black Knights, Inc., #1)

This was a fun read that also has a few moments of utter heartbreak but I loved loved loved reading about it and have In Rides Trouble in queue.  She cannot write them fast enough I think for me.

Ali Morgan has suffered an incredible loss when she lost her only sibling, Griggs, who was her rock and her only true family.  Sure she has both parents but..  they aren’t exactly the loving type.  They are so wrapped up in one another they never truly were parents to her and her brother.  She is the victim of a mugging and realizes someone is following her so she does the one thing she doesn’t really want to do.  She goes to Chicago to get Nate to help her.  She has always felt an attraction to Nate but disguises this as loathing rather than the lust/love she truly feels.  They did have an incredibly hot moment shortly after the funeral (no sex but hot just the same) but it never went anywhere since Nate once again withdrew from her life.  She shows up at the “motorcycle shop” her brother and Nate both work(ed) for and immediately knows it isn’t what it seems.  I mean come on both men were Special Forces so what do you think they are now doing.  She is bugged to high heaven and they all start to quickly realize there is more to the story than what they know.  She is strong but knows she is in over her head but won’t let her fear override her need to figure out what exactly her brother was involved in and why it involves her.

The Black Knights are a group of fix-it men that take jobs from the government that cannot be done using traditional channels.  They basically can get it and complete missions that while necessary violate many laws that just can’t be bent by traditional methods.  They are an incredible bunch of people and rally around Ali in her time of need..  that is ..  all but one person who keeps trying to maintain his distance from her and acts like he hates her.

Nate …. *sigh* …  what a tortured wonderful soul you are.  He is definitely ALPHA to the core but man oh man when this man talks… WOWZA…  He doesn’t say much but damn when he lets loose and tells her why he has avoided her like the plague for years I was like DAYUM…  Tell it like it is…  He loves her, has always loved her and only her but Griggs warned him off.  When he finally acknowledges his feelings and they have one night of amazing sex he closes up and cuts her off.  He is cruel but is also holding on to a horrible secret which he is convinced will make it where she will not only run away from him but also hate him for the rest of her life.  He doesn’t want this so does what he believes he has to do to protect her.  You do get to see quite a bit of caveman attitude from him but as you get to know why he is behaving the way he does you can’t help but hurt for him.  The secret is angst worthy and I can understand why he thinks it curses them ever finding happiness.

Overall a great introduction to the series and now off to read book 2 about Becky and Frank…  I hope there is some good groveling by Frank in it cause damn he’s going to need all the help he can get…  LOL

Special thanks to NetGalley.com and  Sourcebooks Casablanca for the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.

Hell on Wheels – Julie Ann Walker – 4 Stars

Please comment below and include your email address for a chance to win a Kindle copy of this book..  Come share the addiction..

Contest ends 8/28/2012 at noon Central.

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The Guardian of Bastet – Jacqueline M. Battisti – 4 stars

August 21, 2012 Uncategorized 0

The Guardian of Bastet

I have to agree with another reviewer that at first I did not like our heroine.  Give her a chance she does grow on you as she becomes what others knew she could be.

Trinity comes from a powerful family of witches on her mom’s side and a puma shifter family on her dad’s.  Unfortunately she didn’t inherit either side’s power and instead is a bit of a dud in spell-casting and her shifter form is that of a house-cat.  She has dealt with this by being a bit of a whiny woe is me brat at the beginning of the story but when forced in to becoming the legendary Guardian of Bastet she unlocks the power that has always lain dormant within her.  She gets pulled in to a battle with a demon and has to quickly embrace the magic within her by virtue of an amulet given to her by a vampire.  When you first meet her she shuns any sort of true responsibility but prefers to live as much as possible like a normal human being.  She works as a vet and when a young werewolf is brought in with life ending injuries she has to not only end the wolf’s suffering she unfortunately stumbles in to the over-all plot of a demon.  The vampire gives her the amulet and tells Trinity she truly does have power she just needs to grow up and work for it.  We go thru a lot of pain as the demon and his summoners are revealed, people die, people get slapped down as Trinity finally grows up, and get to meet who is most likely Trinity’s mate.

Gordon…  sigh…  How I wish we were able to see more of you…  you are a wonderful Alpha who understands how to lead and how to follow when the situation calls for it.  I wanted to see more of your sexiness but *sigh* maybe she’ll write more and we can see you and Trinity become a true couple with more smexy times..  LOL….

Overall don’t go in to this story thinking romance…  go in to it to see a woman finally grow up and become what she was meant to be..  Kick ass…  Tell off the overbearing witch of a Grandmother and in general enjoy the world Jacqueline has created.

Special thanks to NetGalley.com and Carina Press for letting me read this in exchange for my honest review. 

The Guardian of Bastet – Jacqueline M. Battisti – 4 stars

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Montana Dreams – Jillian Hart – 2 stars

August 21, 2012 Uncategorized 0

Montana Dreams

 Let me start by saying I wanted to like this book…  I really did but it was a bit of a letdown.

Millie left  Montana rather abruptly 10 years ago due to some issues with her father and the love of her life abruptly dumping her when she started asking him about marriage, kids and a future.  She is back in town to take care of her dying father and has not had the easiest of lives since then.  You see…  she is a mom to a 9 year old boy…  and the dad is….  wait for it…  her ex.  Oh and he doesn’t know.  Now now…  normally I don’t like the whole secret kid thing either but the reasons for not telling her ex are understandable when you put in context that both of them were raised in households where they weren’t really loved or wanted.  He made his feelings clear on the subject of kids so she did what she felt was best for the child.

Hunter…  I liked him a lot even when he was being an idiot.  He claims to not believein love but he has always loved Millie he was just too stubborn and stupid to admit it.  He ran from commitment and love which ended up costing him 10 years with the woman who is his soul-mate.  He tries to put his feelings on hold but slowly starts to realize what he had and what he wanted.  He does have a major issue when he finally finds out about his son which I can completely understand but then when he thinks about it…  He realizes why she did it and that she never truly meant to hurt him.  

My major gripe with the book was this whole story went incredibly slow as the two of them spend time around one another and start to realize nothing ever went away but then once he knows the secret we went from I hate her…  to I love her…  to Marry Me in about 30 seconds.. (Slight exaggeration) but then we abruptly get an epilogue.  I would have liked to see more of them finding their footing and truly building the relationship after the big reveal but that wasn’t meant to be.

Thanks to NetGalley.com and Harlequin Love Inspired for letting me read this in exchange for my honest review. 

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Shattered Magic – Rebecca York – 2 stars

August 20, 2012 Uncategorized 0

Shattered Magic

This was a bit of a *meh* read due to the length of the story I think.  It was a good premise but I found myself wishing for a bit more and I think if it had a bit of a longer treatment this would have been a great read.

Rowan lives in an ultra-protected village where she can use her telekinetic/psychic powers without fear of persecution or death.  She is forced to flee the village to the outside world due to an evil man wanting her for his wife.  He has confided in her his plans and she seems to be the only person capable of seeing thru his facade.  She runs in to the hero in this story as she flees and decides that one way to make herself worthless to the plans her betrothed has for her is to lose her virginity.

Grant is this “lucky” man.  He is a prince of the kingdom that would kill her people if they knew of the village’s existence.  He ends up trapped with her in a cave and they have moments of “No, I shouldn’t” to “Dear god I want” until they finally do the deed.  Shortly after this she discovers who he actually is and starts to use her magic to escape the cave.  When she is discovered he goes a bit off the deep end and harms her.  They then figure out who the evil man is and both go to rid the world of him.  

I’m not going to go much more in to this as then what’s the point of reading it but suffice it to say in very short succession they are exchanging ILY and will end up living their own HEA.

I wish this had been a longer treatment cause he really needed to do more groveling in my opinion but hey it is what it is…  Nice quick read but unfortunately could only give it 2 stars.  I will keep an eye out for more by this author though cause I think she has promise.

Special thanks to NetGalley.com and Carina Press for the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review. 

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The Superheroes Union:Dynama – Ruth Diaz – 3 stars

August 20, 2012 Uncategorized 0

The Superheroes Union: Dynama (The Superheroes Union #1)

This was actually a fun read although I think I would have enjoyed it a bit more if it had been longer.  I would have liked a bit more time to see the main pair together and make the relationship a bit more believable. 

TJ is a former superhero that now stays undercover but still works on behalf of the superheroes union.  She has a lot on her plate with her day job and as the mother of twins.  She is undercover and well hidden due to her now ex-husband being under lock and key for turning to the evil side.  He unfortunately has escaped and in order for her to work on getting him back in prison so her kids will be safe she has to hire a babysitter.

Annmarie is the non-superpowered kid of superhero parents who takes the job sitting TJ’s kids.  She isn’t too fond of the whole superhero lifestyle since she basically was left to raise herself and not be seen or heard.  She doesn’t have a lot of nice thoughts but finds out really quickly that TJ is not like her parents but really loves her kids and wants them to have the most normal life possible.  She ends up moving in with TJ to help keep the kids safe and to provide assistance as needed to the woman she not only respects from a parenting standpoint but is also highly attracted to.

The relationship between the two women heats up very quickly due to the danger they are both in and progresses to love a little fast for my taste.  I enjoyed the glimpses of how superheroes are treated in this world and will look out for more in this series just due to the novelty of an organized union for both superheroes and meta-humans.  It was fun and quick with some fairly stereotypical good/bad guy types but thecampiness is balanced by a good core conflict.

Thanks to NetGalley.com and Carina Press for letting me read this book in exchange for my honest review. 

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Relentless Pursuit – Adrienne Giordano – 3 Stars

August 20, 2012 Uncategorized 0

Relentless Pursuit (Private Protectors, #4)

 I have to start this by saying I have not read any of the other books in this series but still enjoyed it.  I think you can read this on its own but I am sure you might enjoy some of the secondary characters a bit more if you already knew them.

Kristen is an uptight, control-freak woman.  She wants this to run perfectly and has a lot to offer from a purely business perspective.  She has a younger party-girl sister that is in a lot of ways the bane of her existence.  You see her sister is the epitome of the whole skinny and beautiful outside that the upper echelon aspire to.  Kristen has major body image/self image issues due to being told from an early age that she was fat and really could use some help in the looks department.  Watching her work thruthose issues was a bit heartbreaking but she has a wonderful heart and lucks out in a lot of ways with the man who barrels in to her life and knocks her on her ass.

Billy is a live wire.  He speaks first then maybe just maybe thinks about what he just said.  He has no real filters but you can tell his heart is truly in the right place provided you learn how to actually tolerate his rapid chain of thought.  He isn’t looking for commitment or anything other than a good time but Kristen gets him and manages to get him to center and calm down.  He has ADD so a bit of the behaviour is due to this but Kristen nails it when she calls him on his desperate need for attention.  He is amazingly silly but what he does to get her to realize that she is all that and a bag of chips was awesome to watch.  He really can’t understand why she has the hang-ups she does but wants to help her become what he sees her as and not the image she has of herself.  I was happy to watch him grow-up and take responsibility for his actions and become the man his mom and Kristen believed he could be.

Sex between the two is smoking hot with a lot of heart behind the heat.  Please also be aware there are times when you want to slap Billy for being such a silly man but he means well and at times just can’t help himself.

Go grab this nice read!

Special thanks to NetGalley.com and Carina Press for the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review. 

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Scandal’s Mistress – Bronwyn Stuart – 3 Stars

August 16, 2012 Uncategorized 1

Scandal's Mistress

I am coming to enjoy more historical romances as not all heroines are weak-willed imbeciles but are portrayed as women who are working hard to not completelysuccumb to society’s expectations.  In this title the heroine is in between a rock and a hard place forced to choose a path she would normally not consider.  It was a nice quick read and showed surprising depth with both the H/h.

Justin is desperately trying to get kicked out of his family.  He is the third son and not needed for anything per his father.  His mother is also extremely cold and more concerned with her position than her youngest child’s pain.  He has been raised tobelieve he is worthless and discard-able but for some reason no amount of scandal or trouble he causes has been able to get him completely freed from them.  He does have an uncle who has provided the only fatherly advice and love he has ever known.  He decides to do what he thinks will finally push his father over the edge by attempting to recruit an Italian opera singer to become his mistress.  He doesn’t want her love just her ability to play the part of his mistress and warm his bed.

Carmalina was a fun character to get to know.  She has been singing in London for a bit but due to the weather and air quality is losing her voice.  She keeps hoping it will hold on long enough for her to get enough money together to be able to leave England and head somewhere else so she can create a new life and shed the misguided reputation being an entertainer means being a whore.  She initially turns Justin down even though he makes a good offer because that isn’t who she is.  She is attracted to him but is not willing to truly become what others have always thought her to be.  She is a good woman and strong.  She unfortunately loses her voice and is robbed which leads her to make the deal with the devil.  She does ask for 7 days to make a final decision.  He cannot bed her during that time which drives him a bit mad.  This arrangement ultimately is set to last a year with a major clause being she cannot fall in love with him.

As we all know things like this don‘t often stay the case and once she gets to know him she realizes he is so much more than the wastrel everyone thinks he is.  He is just an extremely hurt man who never had any love or affection from those he needed it from most.  Everyone other than his uncle treats him like dirt or scum even though he has done nothing wrong.  Finding out why this treatment occurred was heartbreaking as no child deserves to be treated so poorly for the sake of revenge/pettiness.  I was happy to see the two of them truly find what they needed in life and found the sex scenes to be particularly moving as more is there than just sheer lust.  There is affection and love even if neither party originally sees it.

Go give this one a try!!  Special thanks to NetGalley.com and Carina Press for allowing me to read this in exchange for an honest review. 

Scandal’s Mistress – Bronwyn Stuart – 3 Stars

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Men of Smithfield – Mark & Tony or Gobsmacked (old title) – L.B. Gregg – 3 Stars

August 16, 2012 Uncategorized 0

Men of Smithfield: Mark and Tony (Men of Smithfield, #1)

As some of you know I am just venturing out in to M/M romances.  This story is a re-release of the title – Gobsmacked – but as I hadn’t read the original I cannot tell you how much may have been edited or added to the original story.

Mark is having a really crappy day…  He walked in on his boyfriend having sex with their truly disgusting landlord…  He backs out of the room without either man seeing him but then does something that had me giggling…  He quietly goes in to a pew behind him at Mass and hits him over the head with a book.  This of course causes a scene and he heads home to pack up and throw out everything that belongs to his now ex.  He has a lot to work thru and finding out that the ex also has stolen all of his money plus not paid the rent like he said he has just makes his day/week go all to hell.

Tony is a cop that has known Mark for years.  He originally was closeted (Mark has been openly gay for years even in high school) and rebuffed Mark all those years ago.  He is a protector of Mark and has always wanted him even though he kept it to himself out of fear.  This time he is there to help Mark recover from the humiliation his ex is putting him thru but is also there to finally claim what he has always wanted.

When these two get together it is hot, fast and oh dear gawd lusty.  My only complaint is it was a very quick transition on Mark’s part from his ex to Tony but at the same time there is a long history between the two men so the fast progression is within the realm of possibility.

There is more than just this connection involved in the story but you’ll have to read it to find out everything…  Evil of me I know.

Special thanks to NetGalley.com and Carina Press for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review. 

Men of Smithfield – Mark & Tony or Gobsmacked (old title) – L.B. Gregg – 3 Stars

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Intimate Enemies – Joan Swan – 4 Stars – Giveaway!!

August 10, 2012 Uncategorized 2

Intimate Enemies (Covert Affairs #1)

Twitter can be a wonderful thing occasionally.  I was scrolling thru my feed one day and stumbled across a tweet that ended up being from Joan advising that any bloggers/reviewers that would like to check out one of her upcoming books just drop her an email.  I did so figuring I’m new at this but maybe I would get lucky and have a shot at reading something new from an author I had heard good things about.

Lucky me!!  Joan was nice enough to write me back and not only ask me which book I would like to try out but when I couldn’t decide offer to let me read both.  Intimate Enemies is the first book of hers I have read and I must say I really enjoyed it.  Now…  I need to dig thru my TBR because I do own Fever but haven’t quite gotten thru the pile to it yet.  🙂

Intimate Enemies was a fairly quick read for me but had me rooting for the main couple to not only find happiness but victory over one of the main bad guys in this book.  I enjoyed the action but I must say the only thing I wanted more more more of was the main pair.  I wanted to see more of them together not only the really hot sexy scenes but the connection they had outside of the bedroom.

Cassie Christo is back in Mexico to find out more about the deaths of her mother and step-brother.  She knows who is responsible but as of yet has no true proof her scum of a stepfather committed the crime.  She is working on getting him out of the home she grew up in and also opening a clinic in town to help those less fortunate receive the medical care they need/deserve.  She isn’t looking for a relationship but has vivid memories of a stranger who held and helped her at her lowest point during the funeral and burial.  She wants to meet him again and see if the intense connection she felt at that time was real or caused by the emotional stress she was under.  She is a very driven woman and also naive at times by putting herself in some really risky situations.  She just wants to do what is right and not necessarily worried about her own safety.

Rio…  sigh….. Rio… What can I say.  Hmmm…  Sexy, brooding, intensely loyal, honorable, Alpha…  All these are definitely huge parts in what makes him such a compelling hero.  He runs in to Cassie again at the house where she finds out he is working for the man she despises and may have killed her family.  He was intensely attached to her family and also found himself wanting Cassie before he even met her due to the way they talked about her.  He met her at the funeral and had hoped that once he was free he would be able to look her up and see where their intense chemistry would take them.  He fights his feelings and attraction for her but cannot stay strong where she is concerned.

You see…  Rio is undercover trying to take down some really bad men in northern Mexico (human trafficking and terrorism play a major role).  As much as he wants Cassie he has to keep playing the game his undercover assignment requires.  He acts like he is a bad guy but Cassie senses and hopes that her instincts are correct that he is truly a good man caught up in a situation not of his making.  They play hot and cold due to this conflict but when they come together they really heat up things quickly.  You know he will always need to do the right thing even if it tears his heart out to have to try to hurt her.  You’ll love seeing them work their way to each other and help each other get the information they both need to get closure on both the mission and her family’s murder.

I loved this book and cannot wait for more in this series.  You will like watching the dynamics between all the characters in this book and cheer for the downfall of the bad guys.

Go grab it at Amazon, Barnes&Noble or Smashwords…  It’s worth it!!

Again special thanks to Joan Swan for allowing me to read this.  Keep them coming!!

I am going to give away a copy of Intimate Enemies from any of the stores above.  Please just share a comment below with your email address.  This is not sponsored by Joan …  I just really want to share this one with someone…  🙂     

Contest ends 8/17/2012 at noon Central.  

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