Source: the Author


Book Spotlight – Once Upon a Darkness by Aria Kane

July 8, 2013 Guest Post, Read in 2013, Sent 2

Book Spotlight – Once Upon a Darkness by Aria KaneOnce Upon a Darkness Published by Entranced Publishing LLC on June 17, 2013
Pages: 141
Format: eBook
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon

Gretchen and her twin brother, Hank, were abandoned to a zombie horde when they were five years old. Intended to be a sacrifice by their zealot parents, they were instead rescued by The Company. Raised to become soldiers in the war against zombies, they now provide safe passage through danger zones, one contract at a time.

Clint's only skill is war, but he's weary of killing other men. When his contract with the Marines runs out, he takes a job on Gretchen's team, hoping that the search-and-rescue life will suit him better.

On Clint's second day, their four-man team is attacked, drugged, and taken to a prison full of frightened civilians. The only way in or out is by helicopter and, here, their enemies are human. One by one, the captives are culled from the holding area. Rumors say the facility director uses the prisoners as experimental subjects for the testing of a zombie cure.

When Hank is taken, Clint and Gretchen must put aside their personal feelings and find a way out of the prison, surrounded by thousands of starving zombies, before Hank becomes just one more disposable guinea pig in the hands of a twisted mad woman.


“Can we try something else?” Clint swung the practice sword in a wide sweep. “I think I got this motion down.”

“When you’re facing a crowd of zombies, there’s no time to think,” a woman’s voice said behind him.

He spun, sword in hand. She lunged at him. He had enough time to register pale skin and straight white-blonde hair atop a lithe frame before her arms crashed into his shoulders with shocking force. Air rushed painfully from his lungs as his back hit the ground. His sword rattled out of reach. She crouched on top of him, somehow holding him down with not much more than a hundred pounds to her. Eyes the color of ice on an Alaskan glacier stared back at him.

“If I were a zombie, you’d be a three-course meal right now.” The woman, who was maybe a few years younger than him, snapped her jaw and laughed.

“Or a new zombie, yourself,” another male voice said. Clint looked over her shoulder to find the male version of his attacker standing about twenty feet back from the scene. Next to him, a mountain of a man smirked with amusement. All three of them were nuts.

She shaped her hand like a gun and pressed it to his forehead. “No, I’d kill you before I let that happen.” She said it casually, like telling someone lunch was ready.

“Thanks?” Was this some sort of weird initiation?

The woman leapt to her feet and yanked him up after her. She tapped the back of his skull. “When you’re attacked, your lizard brain takes over. You have to do something like a sword swing or a roundhouse kick thousands of times so that it becomes instinctual. Hesitation is fatal.” She punctuated her words with practiced movements; the swinging of an imaginary sword and a roundhouse kick aimed at the practice target.

“Right.” He had known this, of course, but had forgotten it in the absolute boredom of swinging the sword the same way for hours.

The woman stood there with her hands on her hips as if she were waiting for some kind of applause. He didn’t know what else to say that would keep her from jumping him again. Though, now that he got a good look at her, maybe he wouldn’t mind another roll in the dirt. She was tall, with long legs bared by khaki shorts. A tiny white tank top stretched over a black sports bra that definitely earned its keep. Lean muscle stretched along the full length of her arms, torso, and legs. Strapped to her legs and waist were weapon holsters of all varieties that – in his mind, at least – only made her sexier.

“What are you, Zombie Slayer Barbie?”

Image 1

Aria Kane is a recovering mechanical engineer and romance writer. She lives in sunny Florida with a 60 lb mutt who thinks he’s a chihuahua. She is the author of ONCE UPON A DARKNESS and A TITAN FOR CHRISTMAS. You can learn more about her at



Aria is also doing a giveaway as part of her blog tour in support of Once Upon a Darkness so be sure to use the rafflecopter link below to enter for some great prizes:

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Enthralled – Lora Leigh, Alyssa Day, Meljean Brook, Lucy Monroe – 4 stars

June 29, 2013 Read in 2013, Sent 0

Enthralled – Lora Leigh, Alyssa Day, Meljean Brook, Lucy Monroe – 4 starsEnthralled Published by Penguin on July 2, 2013
Pages: 464
Format: Paperback
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon

Four authors leave the reader enthralled. Leigh's stubborn Breed meets her match, and can deny neither him nor herself. Day introduces the League of the Black Swan, and a woman cursed to kill the man she loves. In Brook's steampunk Iron Seas world, a man bereft of everything finds his marriage in jeopardy, and sky pirates stealing his wife. Monroe unleashes a werewolf's passions on the body, mind, and soul of his prey, his lover, his lifemate.

I was lucky enough to win a copy of this from Alyssa Day and I cannot thank her enough.  I’m definitely going to need to grab all of the new series her short story introduces because the world intrigues me.  I also enjoyed the other stories in the anthology which should keep fans of those authors happy with views of the worlds they do best.

Devil’s Due – Lora Leigh – 4 stars

Interesting story of the dealer of death, Devil, and his mate, Katie, dealing with not only finding their mate but also people who want her dead.  There is little to no real tension between the two of them as far as sexual.  I mean they do fight the attraction in some respects but there isn’t a drawn out issue with will they end up together… actually it is more the situation that drives them apart a bit rather than denial or fighting the pull of the mating instinct. I enjoyed the little prequel as to how she was rescued as a child and also how they both fill something that is missing in each other.  This is a good pair that will be equals in most ways which you can’t always say about all the Breed pairings…

Curse of the Black Swan – Alyssa Day – 4.5 stars

I enjoyed this story of two lonely people finding love in each other when they had both written off ever finding someone.  We have a fire demon that keeps his nature secret from his fellow firefighters because everyone knows that fire demons are insane and evil.  We have a woman doomed to spend every third night as a swan singing in a fountain to satisfy a family curse and if she ever meets her soulmate she’ll have a daughter who will be doomed to the same fate.  I enjoyed the pacing of this one and the world that we see where things are not always as they seem but humans and Fae exist in a bit of an uneasy half-world.  This has interested me in grabbing the full length story so I can read more of this world.

Salvage – Meljean Brook – 4 stars

What if the husband who ran from you for years washes up on shore at the brink of death from a bullet wound?  How would you cope with asking for a divorce while you still acknowledge that you want him with all your soul but you need the closeness that he can’t seem to provide?  This is what we see in this well done short story.  They really do love one another but due to something her father said when they were first married he has always felt like he had to be out at sea to provide her with everything she deserved but he missed that all she needed was him.  While he has been out at sea he’s been missing the amazing woman his wife has become, she’s built a business from the ground up and is standing on her own.  They both do truly love one another and when his recent salvage find brings an insane man to kidnap and force them to reacquire the salvaged treasure they realize exactly what they mean to one another and what drove them apart was a series of misunderstandings.  We are left with a couple that is in such a strong place that you can’t help but cheer their reunion.

Ecstasy Under the Moon – Lucy Monroe – 3.5 stars

This was a story of two cultures and how individuals look beyond the distrust that they have for one another to build a union that bodes well for the rest of the reconciliation process that is in progress.  Our hero is such an amazingly patient man with his heroine and watching how he works to earn both her trust and her family’s respect was beautiful to see.  I loved how she slowly came out of her shell and I really adored how she didn’t completely judge him just based on his species but felt comfortable enough around him to override her well-deserved fears.  She’s been damaged and the cost to her and her people was grave but his ability to be patient with her made it possible for there to be a happy ending and shows how love can heal deep wounds.


YA Review – Autumn – Sierra Dean – 5 Stars

June 22, 2013 M Reads, Read in 2013, Sent, Young Adult 0

YA Review – Autumn – Sierra Dean – 5 StarsAutumn on June 11, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon

Cooper Reynolds’s life is going to the dogs… literally.

As if being a high school senior in a small Texas town wasn’t hard enough, Cooper has bigger things to worry about than who he’ll take to prom and whether or not the Poisonfoot Padres will win homecoming. He has less than a year before his eighteenth birthday, when a curse placed on his family will doom him to live in coyote form forever.

The last thing he needs to complicate his already messed-up life is a girl, but fate has other plans in mind for him when it brings Eloise “Lou” Whittaker to Poisonfoot. She’s grouchy, sarcastic and has no love for her new Texas home, but she might be exactly the right person to help Cooper break the curse.

The clock is ticking, and Cooper will have to decide if he’s willing to let Lou in on his dirty little secret before it’s too late.

My Opinion:

I know 5 stars always seems suspicious, but this book is just that good! I had to read it all the first night I got it. Told from both Cooper’s point of view and Lou’s, it lets you in on the thoughts of both. I love Cooper and his cute depression and acceptance of his situation. Most of the conversations he has with Lou (especially the first one) often complicate hilariously due to his isolation. He only has till summer to live as a human, and he has already starting showing his inner doggie.

Lou is from California, and hates everything about her situation in Texas, greatly due to the fact that she’s there because someone died. It doesn’t help that that person, along with disturbing nightmares, continues to haunt her. A new room and Cooper look to be about the only things to make her new life bearable. And while Cooper is able to answer a few of her questions, his existence raises far more. The most prominent is that the whole town is out to keep them apart no matter the cost.

Finally, since this book is “Autumn,” and Cooper turns in spring, I am predicting a four book series (so, I know it’s hard, but please don’t get upset at the ending and wait for the next book), I myself can’t wait for the release of Winter!

Special thanks to Sierra Dean for sending me a copy of this book in return for my honest review.





Florida Heat – Jody Vitek – 3.5 Stars

June 22, 2013 Read in 2013, Sent 0

Florida Heat – Jody Vitek – 3.5 StarsFlorida Heat Published by Melange Books LLC on July 22, 2012
Pages: 178
Format: eBook
Source: the Author
Buy on Amazon

Scarred by her ordeal, Maggie Carlisle leaves her ex-husband's drug life back in Texas. A man from her past seeks revenge, just as she meets and falls in love with Trent Randall. Trent Randall, owner of a horse ranch and powerboat driver, loses focus of his life when Maggie shows up. After an accident, he wonders if she's worth the danger. However, his heart leads the way when he finds out she's in trouble.

I got to meet Jody at the insanity that was the RT Convention in Kansas City. I know her time there had to have been as crazy as mine but she was a nice person to meet and I really was happy to get an email from her shortly after we both arrived home. She was nice enough to give me the chance to read Florida Heat with the hope of a review and didn’t expect me to be anything less than honest with my thoughts.

What would you do if the life you thought you were living had a major secret behind it? What if the man you pledged your life, loyalty and love to had done something horrible that resulted in your losing faith in him and trust in many others? This is what Maggie is dealing with from the moment we step in to this book. She’s attacked at home and has a scar to remind her of the attack every time she looks in the mirror. She’s moved from Texas to Florida to get a new, fresh start but instead ends up running in to the man who played a part in what happened to her. She also runs in to a good man that helps her heal and inspires feelings in her even her ex-husband didn’t do. She’s wary, scarred and smart but also does a couple of really stupid things in this story that had me ready to scream in frustration with her. I understood where she was coming from but at the same time did want to grab her by the shoulders and shake some sense in to her.

Trent is living a nice life in Florida where he has a really gorgeous ranch and fun in the form of racing boats. The one thing he is missing is a woman to share his life with but he’s been burned in the past so isn’t really looking. When he meets Maggie he is instantly attracted to the mysterious person behind the scar. He doesn’t push her in to revealing her past at any pace more than what she’s willing to go at but her personality and the way she moves just calls to him in a way no one has in a long time. He spends time with her getting to know her and finds that what he sees at her core is something that he wants to keep with him forever provided she’ll trust in him. When he finds out what is happening and what happened in her past he does step a bit over the line (good way though) with his actions but they are truly what she needs even if she doesn’t want to trust that they are. I’d love to have someone like him in my life as he does seem to truly cherish those he cares for and is incredibly caring/sexy.

My one quibble with this title was the rushed I Love Yous but with the page length it is understandable and the nice epilogue helped make the quick ILYs balance out with a peek at a longer courtship than what the main story gave us. It was a nice read with a great hero.

Thanks again Jody and I hope to run in to you at another convention one day… Maybe RT in New Orleans?? 😉



Fixed On You – Laurelin Paige – 4 stars

June 19, 2013 Read in 2013, Sent 0

Fixed On You – Laurelin Paige – 4 starsFixed On You Published by Mandevilla Press on June 24, 2013
Format: eBook
Source: the Author

Stalking and restraining orders are a thing of Alayna Pierce’s past. With her MBA newly in hand, she has her future figured out—move up at the nightclub she works at and stay away from any guy who might trigger her obsessive love disorder. A perfect plan. But what Alayna didn’t figure on is Hudson Pierce, the new owner of the nightclub. He’s smart, rich, and gorgeous—the kind of guy Alayna knows to stay away from if she wants to keep her past tendencies in check. Except, Hudson’s fixed his sights on her. He wants her in his bed and makes no secret of it. Avoiding him isn’t an option after he offers a business proposition she can’t turn down and she’s drawn further into his universe, unable to resist his gravitational pull. When she learns Hudson has a dark history of his own, she realizes too late that she’s fallen for the worst man she could possibly get involved with. Or maybe their less than ideal pasts give them an opportunity to heal each other and finally find the love their lives have been missing.

Author’s website:

My Thoughts:

When Laurelin first approached me to read her new book I was in the middle of recovering from the RT Convention in Kansas City which was then followed a month later by going to the Lori Foster Reader and Author’s Get Together.  So you can imagine that my time has been a bit full with packing, recovering, cataloguing the hundreds (yes hundreds) of books from both conventions that have made their way in to my library.  The good news is she didn’t expect it to be done and reviewed in a week but almost made me panic this past week when she mentioned I was up to bat for her soon.  The even better news??  I had read it but just hadn’t managed to sit down and write up what you are reading now.  I’m definitely thankful she asked me to read/review this title as it was very well done and the issues both main characters have are interesting to say the least.

Alayna is at a crossroads in her life where she’s happy working at the club but is being pressured by her brother to put the soon to be granted MBA to better use than just working at a club.  She loves what she does and knows that unless the new owner has different plans she might just be getting her chance to become a manager at the place she thinks of as home.  She’s very shy about getting involved with any man other than for a purely sexual, non-feeling arrangement but when she serves a man at the bar she’s incredibly drawn to his sexuality and amazing looks.  She knows this is dangerous as her past has made her aware that she is a bit obsessive when it comes to anyone she’s severely drawn to but something about him calls to her.  She later finds out he’s the bar’s new owner and he wants to propose a purely superficial relationship but with some spectacular sex.  As much as she knows this isn’t a good idea for her… she’s forced to make a decision that could either be the best one she’s ever made or a failure of epic proportions.

Hudson is the man every woman wants to catch but are you sure he’s really what you want?  He’s rich but is also damaged in that he believes he will never love someone so uses women purely for sex and nothing more.  He’s also drawn to Alayna and knows he will have her but also needs to use her to get his mother and friend of the family off his back by pretending to have a new girlfriend that he is madly in love with.  He believes that this charade will help free him from the arranged marriage their families want but isn’t thinking of anything other than this single goal.  His family is a bit (being nice) messed up but I liked his dad and his sister even though the family dynamic was so off-kilter.  He’s obsessive as well and as you find out what drives him he turns out to not only be a bit scary but very compelling.

Both characters are very messed up and have unhealthy views of relationships and boundaries but for these two maybe this combination will work for the best.  They may just heal each other and build an amazing relationship but we will need to continue with the next one in this series to see is this the beginning of a major transformation in their lives or will they both succumb to the madness that has been their lives up to this point.  I know I will keep an eye out for more by Laurelin as I found myself drawn to the characters she gave us and the insights they provide on obsession and the associated behaviors.

Thanks again to her for giving me the chance to read this in exchange for an honest review.  I really enjoyed it!


Laurelin is doing a couple of giveaways via her site which is linked up above but I have included the link to her contest for some really nice prizes..


a Rafflecopter giveaway