Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Romance Book Review: Castle's Fortress

Author: Rhonda Lee Carver
Digital ISBN: 9781616503178
Genre: Romance/ Paranormal/ Mystery/ Suspense
Publisher: Lyrical Press

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

As children they were always together until death tore them apart. Now Fall Winters needs Jake Castle's help once again to find he sister who disappeared. Fall knew that she and Jake always had a strong connection between them. Not only was there the strong friendship the felt, but also a strong connection to the ghosts that lived in the old house in the woods. To find her sister Fall is going to need to be as strong as she can.

Jake does not want to go back to his old home town, but when Fall seeks him out for the help he can only provide, he goes to her aide. He'll do almost anything for her, except go to the old haunted house where he and Fall saw their first ghost.

Castle's Fortress brings together two people who get a second chance while working on finding the answers to a ghost story mystery. Good storyline, strong characters and an interesting plot keep the reader interested. Some of the highlights include the chilling effects the ghosts leave upon Fall when they are communicating with her.

One hundred years ago, a little girl died mysteriously. Twenty years ago, another followed. Today, Fall Winters has to find out why.

The last person Jake Castle expects to see again is Fall Winters. Twenty years ago, they were been best friends, until her father killed his sister. He left her and his sleepy hometown--and all the memories in it. He didn’t want a stroll down memory lane, especially with her.

Fall has never believed her father was guilty. He was responsible for a lot of things, but not kidnapping and killing a teenage girl. Now, Fall’s own sister is missing under similar
circumstances. It looks like she was right. She must find her sister alive and prove the connection between the cases, not to mention her father's innocence. Fall turns to the only person she can trust--Jake.

Jake agrees to help Fall on one condition: They never step foot in the ramshackle haunted house that almost left Fall dead when she was ten. Jake wants to believe the ghost they saw that night was a figment of his imagination. But as they delve further into the mystery surrounding the kidnappings, Jake begins to realize there is a connection to the house, and a stronger one with Fall. He knows it’s time to face his fears--and the feelings inside his heart that lead him straight to Fall.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Romance Book Review: Soul Dancer

Author: Aurora Rose Lynn
Genre(s): Science Fiction Romance/ Interracial Romance
Digital ISBN: 9781937325077

Publisher: Beachwalk Press

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Quick read novella featuring a little reverse discrimination. On a planet far in the future, Kierra is a white slave girl who has always loved her black friend Jamar. The only problem is loving Jamar is expressly forbidden and if Kierra is caught she will be killed.

Jamar dreams life would be different. He knows that his rich society will not allow him to love a white slave like Kierra, but he is willing to do anything to make her his.

The classic love dynamics in reverse with a message that it doesn't matter if roles are reversed in the dynamics of black and white relationship, but the outcome is still the same. Very graphic love scenes and a sweet romantic story.

Forbidden love between a slave and her master could lead to deadly consequences.

On the planet of Manitee-a in 2975, sex and love is forbidden between the black-skinned Jaquill ruling class and the white-skinned kattanee slaves. Kierra, a slave, knows she could face the death penalty if she makes love to Jamar, but he is persistent and persuasive, and she’s so tempted.

The one time in her life that Kierra is allowed to choose, she’s forced to make a life-or-death decision…walk away from Jamar and true love or give him the passionate nights they both want.

Content Warning: graphic sex

Romance Book Review: Chocolate Temptation

Author: a.c. Mason
Series Connection: Wolf-Spirit Series
ISBN: 9781616503192
Genre: Romance/ Paranormal/ Multicultural

Publisher: Lyrical Press

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Taking place in the 1940s Europe, Alexia and Cathen find themselves on the run from Gestapo werewolves who believe they need Alexia's blood. Cathen has sworn to his alpha that he will protect Alexia, the alpha's mate, at all cost.

Cathen has loved Alexia since the day he first met her. He always believed she was meant to be his mate, but his alpha claims her instead. Now, as they run from the Gestapo and make their way back to the pack, who is now in mourning for their alpha, Cathen must keep a promise he has made to Alexia and save the pack.

The 1940s, WWII setting is an interesting change to this paranormal theme. I would have loved to see it in a full novel version and give the author a chance to create more scenes and background of the war torn countries and the war around them. As far as the romance in the story goes, I thought that the couple worked well together, but definitely needed more romantic alone time to build their relationship. Of course that goes back to having this be a full novel instead of just a novella.

His by pack law, and he wants more than her body. Will she be able to surrender her heart?

Switzerland, the winter of 1940. Alexia, a wolf-shifter, is mate to the Alpha of a powerful clan. Her life, the pack’s future and the lives of countless children the pack smuggles out of Europe are in jeopardy. The Gestapo want her blood to breed an unstoppable regiment endowed with her gifts. Cathen, the pack’s Epsilon-Beta, is charged with protecting her. When Alexia’s beloved mate is killed, Cathen becomes Alpha and by pack law, she is his new mate.

On the run from the Gestapo’s werewolves with Cathen, Alexia has no time to mourn. Can she resist what she’s beginning to feel for her protector, despite her aching loss? Should she try? If she rejects him–not so easy to do–he will die and the future of the pack she loves as family will be in danger. Cathen and Alexia’s destinies are bound together, and to find peace and love amid the horror of war, she must accept her fate and heal her new mate.

WARNING: This book contains a sexy Alpha with a sense of old world honor, a pack that shares more than just communal living, and no lack of hot Betas to follow. Graphic sex and M/M, M/F, F/F/F/F encounters.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Romance Book Review: Teaching Ms. Riggs

Author: Stephanie Beck
Digital ISBN: 9781616503154

Genre: Romance/ Contemporary/ Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Lyrical Press, Inc

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Benfi "Ben" Riggs didn't have any idea the man she was married to and adored was really a criminal and drug dealer. To make matters worse, he is murdered by his mistress who then sets her sights on Ben. Moving away from the city back to her hometown she begins a new life, but little does she know her stalker isn't finished with her yet and she doesn't care who gets in the way.

At nearly 40, Mark Dougstat is busy working his farm and taking care of his niece and nephew. When he meets Ben, his nephew's chemistry teacher, he falls hard. Knowing she's been through a lot, Mark shows her how patient he can be.

Teaching Ms. Riggs is a slow moving in some parts, and at other times pulls the reader in. Mark is a great character. He's loving and strong, working hard to take care of everyone around him. Ben could have let her past keep her from ever finding love again, but that wasn't what she wanted and Mark wasn't about to let her. Their romance and their connecting relationship with Mark's niece and nephew is a wonderful basis for a story.

The suspense angle and views of Ben's stalker pull the who story together.

It'll take a special man to teach her to live again.

Benfri Riggs has come home to Flatthead Falls, Missouri to heal. After her husband's murder, secrets behind the peaceful, successful life she thought they'd shared emerge to leave her deep in debt, infertile, and afraid for her life. Teaching chemistry in her old hometown is her shout of independence, even though she wants to crawl under her bed in fear when the terrorizing phone calls begin.

Mark Dougstat works the land, makes things grow, and isn't ashamed of the occasional mess his shoes cause. Busy making his farm pay enough to support his niece and nephew, he hasn't found the time or inclination to make the time, to find a good woman. Ben Riggs's humor and compassion change that fast.

But they're going to have a battle on their hands. Ben's stalker won't quit. What is between Ben and Mark grows and they push forward in their relationship, learning more secrets along the way. Before they can settle into life together, the stalker will strike again. Blood will be shed and lives changed forever in the blink of an eye. Can they trust each other enough to get them through?

No chickens were harmed in the writing of this book.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Chasing Paradise

Author: Sondrae Bennett
Series Connection:  Alpine Woods Shifters
ISBN: 9781616502973
Genre: Paranormal/ Shifter
Publisher: Lyrical Press

Purchase this book here

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

In the second book from the Alpine Woods Shifters, readers get to hear brother, Ethan's, story. Ethan has vowed to get away from the woman in his town who are looking for a mate. He goes to a shifter resort and of course runs right into his mate...otter shifter Gwen.

Gwen is excited after spending the night with her shifter mate, but then she over hears his opinion of her and then is heartbroken. Taking off seems to be the right thing to do, until her mate chases after her and she winds up mated anyway.

This is a well written romantic series featuring strong heroes bringing them together with the best heroines for them. If you like shifter love stories, you'll want to check out this one.

He'll do whatever it takes to win back her trust.

A vacation is exactly what Ethan needs to escape the mate hungry females in his pack. Determined to have fun, he can’t think of a better way to start than sampling all the different flavors the shifter only resort has to offer, and not the food variety. But after he meets Gwen, no one else holds any interest for him. Ethan came on vacation to avoid mating. There’s no way he’s going to give up his freedom without a fight.

Gwen is devastated when she hears her mate denying everything they are to each other. She can’t sit by, watching him fool around with other girls at the resort. Or worse, crawl back, unable to resist the mating pull but not really wanting her. She needs to get away and her own vacation sounds like the perfect plan. But she should have remembered what her mother always taught her, never run from a predator unless you want them to chase you. The hunt is on…

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Romance Byte: Mad About the Boy

Author: Suzan Battah
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Smashwords

Purchase this book here

Julia Mendoza is driven by the success of her business. Since her husband Carlos passed away at such a young age, her business By Design is her number one priority. In her late twenties she works too hard and doesn’t take time out for fun. Annoyance with a pesky ex-friend has her begging one of the local surfer’s with a cheeky smile in the grocery store to pretend he’s her boyfriend. Suddenly, life takes a sudden detour from her business plan; much to the delight of her boisterous Latin American family.
Christophe Augustine is groomed to take over his father’s successful chain of luxurious hotels. With a wealthy French-American background, Chris has been given privileges that not many have. He works hard, plays harder but seeks approval and recognition above all else. Family is a top priority for him as he fights for custody of his young brother. His parent’s divorce has not diminished his faith in romance. When a gorgeous Latino woman changes one boring morning into an interesting game of role play, though reluctant to help at first, he soon realises she’s not like the string of other women he’s known.

A romantic first date ending dramatically doesn’t stop Chris from wanting to know Julia more. And for Julia, she’s all for a bit of fun but when things get too serious she’s running the other way. Too alike, in some ways and complete opposites, in others ways, Julia and Chris fumble through fun moments, annoying confrontations, passionate times and heartbreaking revelations.

Love has no boundaries when soul-mates meet but when one is ready to love and the other one isn’t...

Book Review: Vampire Art Now

Authors: Jasmine Becket-Griffith and Matthew David Becket
ISBN-13: 978-0062025715
Genre: Vampire/ Coffee Table Book
Publisher: Harper Design

Purchase this book here

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This is an interesting coffee table book for those who love vampire and Gothic lore. The book is filled with vampire art along with descriptions of each piece. One of the authors is a Gothic artist with an interest in vampire art, while the other is an old-world historian with a love for vampires.

A vivid collection filled with some unique pieces. This book is not for the faint of heart and specifically for those with a love for art and paranormal. The printing and quality of the book brings out the color and design of each piece of art.

Ever since Bram Stoker’s perennial best-seller Dracula, vampires have been one of the key inspirations to film-makers and authors alike. The latest installment in the Twilight series is one of this year’s biggest blockbusters, and modern takes on the classic themes of blood, immortality, fear and desire are never far from the best-seller lists. Yet vampires are a source of rich inspiration to visual artists as well, and this collection reveals their work in all its gruesome glory.

From the elegant beauties of Victoria Frances to the decaying savages of Anne Stokes, from the more whimsical caricatures of Delphine Levesqe Demers to Jo Chen’s renditions of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Vampire Art Now showcases the varying representations of this legendary figure. The book illustrates the vampire in his or her many moods: either wooing lovers with a hypnotic stare, biting long necks (willing and unwilling), or staring straight at the viewer as if ready to bound off the page in a nocturnal frenzy. By presenting multiple artists’ takes on what it means to be a vampire, this collection illustrates how one cultural icon can vary so greatly across different cultures, classes, media, and artistic aesthetics.

No other supernatural creature has captured our collective imagination quite like the vampire and Vampire Art Now is the perfect compendium to pay homage to that tradition. After perusing these pages, these illustrations are sure to haunt readers’ nightmares and tantalize their fantasies, as they have for generations.

About the authors:
Jasmine Becket-Griffith is a globally-renounced fantasy artist. Her artwork can be found in private collection and public displays throughout the world. Jasmine's paintings explore Gothic themes, the occult, fantasy, and of course, vampires! Her artwork graces television, movies, magazines, adverts, tattoo parlors and her vast range of licensed merchandise. She is also the author of Gothic Art Now (2008) and live in Celebration, Florida with her husband Matthew.

Matthew David Becket is a long-time vampire aficionado. As a writer, art historian and regular on the fantasy/science fiction convention circuit, he and his wife, Jasmine, travel the planet presenting old-world ideas and aesthetics in contemporary culture.

Romance Book Review: CANYONS OF NIGHT—Jayne Castle

Author: Jayne Castle
Series Connection: Looking Glass Trilogy/ An Arcane Society Novel
ISBN-10: 0515149888
ISBN-13: 9780515149883

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Jove

Purchase the book here

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

For once in a long time I really enjoyed the romantic chemistry between the hero and the heroine in one of Jayne Castle (Jayne Ann Krentz) novels. The novel begins with an event that happens 15 years earlier when the lead characters first meet. Now the two have returned to the island where they first met. The hero, Slade, is now the chief of police and the heroine Charlotte is taking over her aunt's antique shop.

Canyon of Night is the third in the Arcane series the Looking Glass. The series ends with this book in the future on Harmony where the Bridwell devises have made their way through the curtain and being used against the Arcane members once again. Unwittingly Charlotte comes upon a group of criminals trying to get their hands on a seemingly innocent snowball antique.

At the same time, the island of Rainshadow is introduced where their is a preserve on the island that holds many secrets. Those that enter the persevere have been known to never come out. The island is due to come up in future Harmony books. 

Several action scenes keep the story interesting and the description of the inside of the preserve includes some creative delights.

The island of Rainshadow is home to the mysterious, privately-owned woods known only as the Preserve. Now, after fifteen years away, both Charlotte Enright and her teen crush, Slade Attridge, have returned. But will their psi talents and Slade’s dust bunny companion be enough to keep them from getting drawn into the darkness at the heart of the Preserve?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Romance Book Review: Supernatural

Anthology Authors: Larissa Ione, Alexandra Ivy, Jacquelyn Frank, G.A. Aiken
ISBN: 978-1420109887
Genre: Paranormal/ Demon/ Dragon/ Vampire
Publisher: Zebra

Purchase this book here

Four leading paranormal romance authors work together to bring readers this anthology. Originally I picked up this anthology for the G.A. Aiken story Dragon On Top.

I absolutely adore G.A. Aiken or aka Shelly Laurenston. This novella didn't disappoint. None of the Dragon series stories fall in any particular order, so it takes a few minutes to get your barrings if you've been reading this series.

This is the story of Ghleanna, a dragonese readers have met in several stories in this series. This story takes place years before the last story when Ghlieanna meets her mate, a royal named Bram. Bram has loved Ghleanna for years, but she barely notices he's alive. On protection duty to get the peacemaker to a ally land Ghleanna must keep Bram safe, but the tables are turned when Ghleanna is injured in a fight with a traitor.

Another of the novellas that I like was Jacquelyn Franks' Kane. Demons are not meant to be with humans, so when Kane strays after obsessing over a human, his brother, the enforcer stops him from making the mistake of his life. Corine has never heard of demons or the world that Kane is trying to tell her about. Now she needs to decide how much she can believe on faith alone.

These two stories were definitely ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ the other two however I was a little disappointed with.

The first story Vampire Fight Club by Larissa Ione is a story about a shapeshifter, Vladlena, who can't shift. Nate is a vampire who runs a club with a back room illigal fight club. When Vladlena's brother is killed in the fight club, Vladlena goes undercover to find out what happened. This story has potential but it doesn't have enough time to really discover the relationship between Vladlena and Nate. ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

In Alexandra Ivy's Darkness Eternal, a vampire is help hostage for centuries before she escapes and is able to move on with her life. I just realyl couldn't get into this story to even finish it, which is saying a lot for me. I usally really try to at least skim it. I can't really say what it was that I didn't like. It is one of those things that someone else might think it was just great.

Vampire Fight Club by Larissa Ione
When a wave of violence forces shape shifter Vladlena to go undercover, her first stop is a haven of vice - with a dangerously sexy vamp in charge. Both Vladlena and Nathan are hiding something, but they can't conceal the lust that simmers between them...

Darkness Eternal by Alexandra Ivy
After being held captive by one vampire for four centuries, Kata had no intention of taking another one to the underworld with her. Yet even in the pits of hell, there's no ignoring the intoxicating desire awakened by his touch...

Kane by Jacquelyn Frank
Kane knows Corrine was meant to be his...just as he knows that truly possessing the lovely human is forbidden. But on the night of the Samhain moon, the beast in every demon in stronger than reason, and Kane's hunger is more powerful than any punishment...

Dragon on Top by G.A. Aiken
Escorting the highborn Bram through deadly Sand Dragon territory will try Ghleanna's patience...and her resolve. For Bram is determined to enhance the journey with a seduction no female could resist...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Romance Book Review: Seducing the Beast

Author: Jayne Fresina
Series Connection: Taming the Tudor Male in Three Easy Lessons
Digital ISBN: 9781616503024
Genre: Romance/ Historical
Publisher: Lyrical Press

Purchase this book through Barnes and Noble

"Madolyn Carver had decided God must be female. Although shocking, subversive ideas were not uncommon in her head, this one she kept to herself, for once. And the reason for her outrageous
conclusion? Breasts.

Clearly, a man would have given himself breasts, since he was so fond of the objects and spent most of his life--from infancy to dotage--in their pursuit. However, not only was this habit
predictable among the male species, it was most propitious for Madolyn, who had a certain fellow to seduce today, and a bosom to assist her. Indeed she had an excess, about to be put to good use, if only it would temporarily behave itself."

This first paragraph immediately caught my eye and set the stage for the remainder of the book. Not normally a fan of historical romance, I found this book wonderfully delightful. Jayne Fresina writing style captivates her readers and keeps them interested in reading until the end.

The heroine, Madolyn, is a feisty to say the least. She lives in a time when women should be seen and not heard. The are expected to be docile creatures who only care about beauty and how they look. Madolyn is outspoken and at times down right rude. Add to that the hero, Griff, is very rough around the edges. He is known as the Beast and generally comes by his reputation because most people just don't care to spend anytime getting to know him.

He has a complete lack in trust of woman, and although is a married man and makes love to the virgin heroine while still married, the audience is well aware that he and his wife have not shared a bed in 18 years.

Madolyn isn't afraid to go after what she wants and right now she wants to free her cousin from unjust punishment. In order to do that she must seduce the Earl of Swafford, also known as the Beast. After a series of encounters, the Madolyn is mistakenly kidnapped and forced to unknowingly match wits with the Beast himself.

Some men are born to make dynasties and some women are born to make trouble.

Hellbent on arranging a pardon for her exiled cousin, Madolyn Carver will stop at nothing to achieve her aim, even if it means seducing the mysterious  Earl of Swafford. So what if he's known as "The Beast" and is immensely powerful? Plucky Maddy isn't frightened off easily.

Returned home after too long abroad, The Beast also has a mission. He must remove his younger brother and heir to the vast Swafford estate from the
clutches of a most unsuitable woman. When a misunderstanding leads him to mistake Maddy for his brother's cunning mistress, he takes her captive under the guise of The Beast's manservant. Now she can longer be a threat to his misguided brother's future, or so he thinks. And surely, The Beast's infamous iron will can resist the charms of one particularly disobedient, witty, intriguingly stubborn young woman.

But there is a far greater danger. A deadly assassin has come to the Swafford estate, and The Beast's fear of falling in love might just be his downfall. Maddy, the woman he won't trust, is the one innocent soul who can save his life--and his heart.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Romance Book Review: Forgotten Memories

Author: Theresa Stillwagon
Series Connection: Winter Creek, Montana
Digital ISBN: 9781937325053
Genre: Contemporary Romance/ Paranormal/ Western
Publisher: Beachwalk Press

Purchase this book here at Beachwalk Press

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

In the introduction to the Winter Creek, Montana series, Theresa Stillwagon introduces the characters of Winter Creek, Montana. About an hour outside Montana state capitol Helena, sits a "ghost" town straight from the old west. It has always been Jen's grandfather's dream to bring the old town back live in the spirit of as it once was. As a project with the college where she teaches, Jen has the opportunity to do just that. She purchases the old saloon and bring the building back to all it's splendor.

But even when Jen is alone in the building she isn't alone. Living in the building is a couple of ghosts with a story of their own. 

After having problems getting his family's herd of cows through town under the agreed upon plan, Adam goes to the new historic town and asks the people there if he can bring his herd in for the winter by passing through the town. There he meets Jen and even though he said he was never going to fall in love with a woman again, there is just something about Jen that pulls at him.

While the two fight their feelings for each other, and grow closer, there is something a miss in the ghost town that needs exploring before anyone gets hurt or worse.

Interesting western that includes a little psychic ability and a little ghostly action and a sweet romantic story about two scared hearts looking to heal with a little help from two ghostly relatives.

On a personal note: I just love a sexy hero who calls his love interest by the nicname of "beautiful".

For some people ghosts are everywhere…

When rebuilding an old ghost town, a few ghosts shouldn’t be a surprise. And for Jen Ferguson, history professor and psychic, it’s par for the course. But ghosts aren’t her main worry.

After a disastrous affair, which has affected her job at the college, Jen promised her grandfather—the most important person in her life—that she would stay away from men until the end of the semester. That’s a promise she’s determined to keep, but when she meets rancher Adam Craine, it becomes a struggle. Adam’s sexy and flirty, and her psychic abilities are telling her that he might possess a very important quality the previous men in her life had been lacking…he can be trusted.

It’s a daily battle for Jen to keep her hands off of him, but she believes she can do it…until two of Winter Creek’s ghostly residents decide to up the stakes by possessing Jen and Adam’s bodies. How can Jen keep her promise with these two passionate spirits interfering?

And if all that’s not enough to deal with, now she’s having premonitions of danger which could lead to the destruction of Winter Creek.