Sunday, December 30, 2012

Taking Chase by Lauren Dane

Cassie Gambol is on the run. In what seems like another lifetime, her ex-husband nearly ended her life and effectively ended her successful career as a vascular surgeon. But even though the justice system found him guilty of attempted murder, he fled while awaiting sentencing and Carly Sunderland became Cassie Gambol.

Fleeing Los Angeles, she heads to small and off the map Petal, Georgia to start her life again.

Shane Chase, a man who’s held himself away from commitment since his fiancĂ©e dumped him several years before knows the beautiful newcomer is hiding something. He’s wildly attracted to her strength and her underlying vulnerability as well.

But the last thing Cassie wants is another big, overwhelming man who wants to control her life. A battle begins between Shane, who knows what he wants and Cassie, who knows she needs to do everything she can to keep a distance between herself and the very handsome sheriff.

But Cassie’s ex is back and he wants her dead.

Warning, this title contains the following: explicit sex, graphic language, some violent situations.

Where to Buy

A feel-good, sweet romance story that will have you smiling and laughing, and occasionally will break your heart a little at what Cassie has been through. This isn't a sad and depressing story about a woman that's endured horrible domestic violence in her first marriage, but rather a hopeful and heartwarming tale of a woman who's been through that but found the strength to get away and to work at taking her life back and making it her own. The extent to which she does so, and the way that she finally decides to stop living in fear and to take what she wants from life inspires admiration rather than pity.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Vampire for Christmas by Felicity E. Heaton

It was one last mission. Shannon, a demon hunter with the agency, is looking forward to leaving behind the small town and the vampire she's been stuck with for the past two years. Things are getting complicated fast and she wants out. A fresh start, free of her vampire partner, awaits her if she can survive their final mission and the lonely Christmas holidays.

It was one last mission. Rafe, a vampire doing time with the agency, watches it approach with dread weighing heavily in his stomach. Two years of working with Shannon has been difficult, especially since he started falling for her, but he doesn't want their partnership to end. He has barely a few days to make her face her feelings and stop her from leaving, and he intends to do just that.

When a slimy demon threatens the season of peace and goodwill, it's the chance Rafe has been waiting for and the moment Shannon secretly fears. Rafe's determination to prise open her heart and her own resolve to keep it closed clash as violently as they do with the demon, and threatens to end as messily.

Can Rafe make Shannon see that his love for her is real and that she feels something for him too? Can Shannon face her fears and her past, and stop herself from running away from both? Will a wish on a star bring her what her heart truly desires--a vampire for Christmas?

Where to Buy

A fairly typical sort of vampire-human love story where one or both of them are fighting their feelings for the other, with a dash of Ghostbusters thrown in to add a bit of action. Both characters are likeable enough, but I wasn't really feeling any connection between them until the very end. Nothing really pulled me into the story to get me all that interested in it except reading to get to the sex scene that I was sure would be happen eventually. When they finally give in and admit their feelings, their slow lovemaking that starts with a rather sensual shower together is sweet, with just enough heat to make it worth the wait. I did think that the female lead gets over the hangups that have made her keep her distance from the guy for two years a little too easily, but it is just a novella after all. A decent story to pass an hour or so with, but don't expect anything monumental here for this story is really just average.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead

When it comes to jobs in hell, being a succubus seems pretty glamorous. A girl can be anything she wants, the wardrobe is killer, and mortal men will do anything just for a touch. Granted, they often pay with their souls, but why get technical?

But Seattle succubus Georgina Kincaid's life is far less exotic. At least there's her day job at a local bookstore: free books; all the white chocolate mochas she can drink; and easy access to bestselling, sexy writer, Seth Mortensen, aka He Whom She Would Give Anything to Touch but Can't.

But dreaming about Seth will have to wait. Something wicked is at work in Seattle's demon underground. And for once, all of her hot charms and drop-dead one-liners won't help because Georgina's about to discover there are some creatures out there that both heaven and hell want to deny. . .

Where to Buy

An intriguing book with a storyline that keeps you guessing, pointing you in one direction then revealing it had sent you down a blind alley so to speak. It will make you think, and to second guess your conclusions at times, just as any good mystery should. While I suspected who the villain was, I wasn't really sure of it until just before it was revealed. Still, there were a few twists at the end I didn't quite see coming, and the ending left me very curious to see what will happen next.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Satin & Oak by Xavier Edwards

Gerome and Sara lived in a small village. They both had small jobs, just enough to pay the bills. It was Christmas time and they had no money to spare between them.

They couldn’t afford the luxury of a Christmas tree, let alone buying each other gifts. Gerome was good with his hands and went off to his small wooden shed to make a special gift for Sara. He knew she loved his wooden handiworks. He would surprise her on Christmas day with a sexy gift that she could use in the bedroom.

Sara on the other hand was more interested in decorating their small stone built house. She decided that they would decorate themselves up for Christmas day rather than beautifying up their home. The only thing she had was red and green ribbon, a set of Christmas lights and a little tinsel. Gerome had told her that all he wanted for Christmas was her. He would have her as the decoration to celebrate Christmas and his gift.

Where to Buy

A sweet "times are hard" Christmas story. It is rather confusing, however, particularly in terms of trying to get a fix on the time period it takes place in. The couple that lives in a cottage by the woods in a small village that serves the lord of the manor, he a carpenter in the lord's employ, and she working at seamstress and midwifing jobs as needed has a very historical, dark ages or medieval feel to it, but then there are mentions of lights, and children that have grown and moved away, and tickets so they can travel, all of which sounds a lot more modern. So I'm confused as to whether this is meant to be a historical or a contemporary, though for the most part it reads like a historical with a few anachronisms thrown in.

A Man for the Season by Xavier Edwards

It was the night before Christmas and Rachel had no boyfriend to celebrate Christmas with.Her friends eagerly tried to fix her up with a date,night after night.No one could find the perfect man for her.

A handsome dark haired stranger walked into the bar as they toasted with Christmas cheer.Rachel's jaw dropped as this delicious looking guy walked straight across to her with mistletoe above his head and smacked a kiss on her lips.Would this be her christmas gift or her man for all seasons?

Where to Buy

A cute story that's sure to leave a goofy smile on your face, even if it's only inside your mind. A little bit whimsical, a little bit hot, with a dash of paranormal flavor thrown in, it's just the thing to fit the bill when you're looking for a steamy little story to spend a little time with, especially on a late night near Christmas. There is just enough revealed about the characters, especially Nick, and their backstories, to make you want to know more, though perhaps the charm here lies in the fact that everything isn't laid out and explained in detail. The hints we're give are enough to fill in the blanks and make the whole thing more intriguing that it might be if everything were spelled out. Recommended for anyone who likes short story erotica who is looking to be entertained and titillated for a short while.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Phantom Lovers by Marie Medina

Lyndsay never believed in ghosts and always nodded indulgently when the old timers in the theater tried to convince her otherwise. But two sexy ghosts have been watching her, and waiting. When they appear to her, she hesitates despite the desire that immediately burns in her veins. At first she wonders how she can trust the two mysterious men, but soon she convinces herself how foolish it would be to resist them. Yet even as she indulges in all the pleasures they offer her, she doesn’t confess her true feelings. She never imagined giving her heart to more than one man in the first place, so how can she give it to two men who aren’t even alive?

Be Warned: menage sex (MMF), anal sex, m/m sex.

Where to Buy

A surprisingly sweet short story that's also smoking hot and unexpectedly developed. Despite the short length, the characters aren't flat stereotypes but have definite personalities of their own, something that is always pleasant to find. We learn the essential parts of John and William's backstory, but not much of Lyndsay's, though that doesn't seem to matter much as there is the sense that her life has been fairly ordinary up until now. From their first encounters it is easy to feel the heat between these three, and when the guys finally reveal themselves to her it quickly becomes electric. I'd expected them to start having sex almost right away after they revealed themselves, but surprisingly it doesn't. Instead, the guy's introduce themselves, kiss her rather thoroughly, but then back off to give her time to get to know them, only gradually easing into a physical relationship. After that, whether it's just John and William together or all three of them, the action is so hot you can almost see steam coming from the screen. Definitely a recommended quick read for anyone that likes menage erotica or paranormal erotica.

The Rough Mating of a Vampire by J.S. Scott

Adare Connor is a vampire, the oldest of his kind to ever find his mate. Kristin Sparks, a human, owns his soul. (literally) In a rough, wild and volatile mating, Kristin will return his soul to him, making them bonded mates. Adare knows that the mating will bring out every carnal, possessive and dominant instinct he has. It's the nature of vampire matings. Will his destined mate be able to withstand the rough mating with a vampire of his age and power, or will it crush the love she has for him? Come along to the mating ceremony and find out in "The Rough Mating Of A Vampire" and see if Adare and Kristin get their HEA.

18+ ONLY - This short story contains graphic sex, graphic language, rough sex, restraints, spanking and other subjects meant for adults only.

Where to Buy

A quick story that obviously is mostly just meant to present a hot sex scene and serve as something of an introduction for a new series. Thin on characterization, which is only to be expected, it's hard to really feel the intense emotions that Kristin and Adare supposedly have for one another. Still, they are intriguing enough as characters to make you wish there was more to their story. How did they meet? What are they like as people? We get some sense of the latter, but not enough. Perhaps in the series proper we'll see more of them and get to know them better.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Keeper of the Key by Debra Smith

Kate, an everyday book store owner, is thrown into a world of danger after receiving a letter from her deceased husband. She follows the clues into the arms of Xander, a tough guy she can’t stop herself from wanting. Her passions ignite from a single glance, and she is unable to control her desires. Her love isn’t enough to save her, because a human can never survive a vampire's hunger.

Xander admires the fiery temper of the seductive human he’s determined to help. She must follow the dangerous trail onto which her dead husband’s message leads, for it ends in the mythical land of Shangri La. In an effort to save her, Xander bonds them together, sentencing her to death unless he can reverse the blood tie. Though he craves her touch, he's forced to push her away while they battle their way to the chaos at the heart of Shangri La. Can he protect her from her family’s secrets and find a way for both of them to survive, or will their love be lost in the pits of a crumbling castle?

Where to Buy

Note: I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

An interesting read by a new author who shows a lot of promise. A "return to Eden" kind of story where the protagonists are Kate, a bookstore owner who lost her husband a prior to the opening of the book and Xander, the vampire who had been one of her husband's colleagues. At the start of the book, Kate receives a mysterious package from her late husband that contains a pendant and a cryptic letter telling her that she's in danger and that she needs to find Xander and accomplish some unspecified task with the pendant. She dutifully heads out looking for Xander, and so the adventure begins.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

My Life As a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland

Angel Crawford is a loser.

Living with her alcoholic deadbeat dad in the swamps of southern Louisiana, she's a high school dropout with a pill habit and a criminal record who's been fired from more crap jobs than she can count. Now on probation for a felony, it seems that Angel will never pull herself out of the downward spiral her life has taken.

That is, until the day she wakes up in the ER after overdosing on painkillers. Angel remembers being in an horrible car crash, but she doesn't have a mark on her. To add to the weirdness, she receives an anonymous letter telling her there's a job waiting for her at the parish morgue—and that it's an offer she doesn't dare refuse.

Before she knows it she's dealing with a huge crush on a certain hunky deputy and a brand new addiction: an overpowering craving for brains. Plus, her morgue is filling up with the victims of a serial killer who decapitates his prey—just when she's hungriest!

Angel's going to have to grow up fast if she wants to keep this job and stay in one piece. Because if she doesn't, she's dead meat.

Where to Buy

A fun book that I enjoyed far more than I originally thought I would. Zombies aren't normally my thing, but this book made them relatable and normal-seeming. Right from the start Ms. Rowland has you sympathizing with Angel, and rooting for her to figure out how to survive and to thrive in her new life. While there are some scenes and descriptions that are more than a little gross, the ick factor is usually mitigated with humor to help make it less repugnant.

Immortal Desire by Sirena Van Schaik

Monsters are real, and they stand before me pretending to be human...

Caught in a world of vampires, dark desires and addiction, Angela Cross has walked on the edge of the surreal and found herself in a struggle for her own heart. Drawn to two dangerous men, Angela must make the choice between a life with vampires or a life against them. Will she succumb to the immortal's desire...or will she become the hunter?

A strange and rather disturbing story. The prose has a very gothic feel to it, though the setting is contemporary and nothing is overtly goth about any of the characters. Angela's confusion as she finds herself torn by her attraction to two different men is palpable, as is her frequent near hysteria when she thinks about what she's doing and allowing to be done to her. It's hard to feel sorry for her exactly, since she walks into everything with her eyes open, knowing what she's getting into, or at least mostly knowing. Still, there's the sense that she didn't really know, and that she's very quickly in over her head without even realizing it, and even by the end of the story she still hasn't found her way out of the labyrinth, she's merely gotten sucked deeper into it, though not in the same way she got sucked in to begin with. My rating on this would really be about 2½ stars I think, for I'm not certain I can entirely say I liked it, but I also didn't dislike it. Those who enjoy dark, confusing, and somewhat disturbing stories might like this one.

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Bolt from the Blue by Georgia Fox

Alix likes her secrets, but one of them is about to draw her out of hiding and make her face a few facts about her life. He's someone she's only chatted with online, yet he already knows more about Alix than any other man she's ever encountered. For some reason she's told him more than she should and when the voice in her head asks what the hell she's doing, she has no answer to give. Nothing can explain the nature of this unusual relationship or why she feels so close to a stranger.

Until they finally come face to face and discover that lightening can strike in the same place twice.

Be Warned: anal sex, public exhibition.

Where to Buy

A brief vignette of one evening in a hotel where two people who've known each other online for months have arranged to meet for a quickie before a banquet they are both scheduled to attend. Instead of being a detailed account of that encounter, however, it focuses on them after their frenzied coupling as they go separately to the banquet, how they deal with the emotions raised by the encounter and the desire they still feel for one another. We even get a bit of backstory regarding how their lives have been connected longer than they realize.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Hard Candy for Christmas by Ella Dominguez

When a sexy little pixie loses her wings, all she wants is hard candy for Christmas.

Lia was in magical limbo. That's what you get when you piss off a witch! How was she to know that the man she threw Pixie dust on was the witch's lover? He had seemed interested and she had been in the mood to play. Now she's stuck in the human realm with no magical powers. She had to break the curse, but she was running out of time. If the curse wasn't broken by midnight on Christmas Eve, she would be stuck human forever.

Nick and Dale had been friends forever. They had grown up together and had been there through each trial the other had endured. Nothing could separate them. Until they met Lia. The stunning petite woman was everything each of them had ever wanted.

Would their friendship survive if only one of them won her heart?

Lia didn't know what to do. She had finally met someone she believed she could love. But that wasn't the problem. She had met TWO men that tugged at her heart strings. Would one or both of them love her back by Christmas Eve? And if so, what happens when her powers return?

Where to Buy

What a wonderful little story this is! What it lacks in length it makes up for with a tight story that's paced just right to develop the relationship between the three main characters at a believable rate. While there's instant strong attraction between them, this not a story of undying true love at first sight. True, it is still a very fast romance, taking place over the course of only three weeks, but it's a pretty intense three weeks so it doesn't seem so unreasonable that they're each ready to make a commitment at the end of that time, especially when you add in the paranormal aspects that are at play here.

Cherry Stem by Sotia Lazu

Turned at the cusp of a promising career in the adult movie industry, Cherry Stem has to rely on her mesmerizing vampire gaze for her meals and money. With the rent deadline approaching, settling for pocket change isn’t an option, so she reluctantly lets tall, dark, and handsome Detective Alex Marsden take her home for the night and fulfill her needs.

Only she gets more than she bargained for.

When Cherry meets Alex, she expects him to be nothing more than another “girl meets boy, girl feeds from boy, girl erases boy’s memories” hook-up. Once missing young women, the vampire council, and her irresistible ex are thrown into the mix though, she realizes nothing is as simple or random as she thought it was.

And her unlife isn't the only thing at stake.

Where to Buy

A fun read that manages to be both lighthearted and heartbreakingly serious by turns. Just when you're chuckling and settling into this book as something of a light comedy perhaps, something happens that has you holding your breath for Cherry or for one of her guys. While the end is largely predictable, still you'll feel Cherry's heartbreak right along with her.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Fifty Shades Freed by E.L. James

When unworldly student Anastasia Steele first encountered the driven and dazzling young entrepreneur Christian Grey it sparked a sensual affair that changed both of their lives irrevocably. Shocked, intrigued, and, ultimately, repelled by Christian’s singular erotic tastes, Ana demands a deeper commitment. Determined to keep her, Christian agrees.

Now, Ana and Christian have it all—love, passion, intimacy, wealth, and a world of possibilities for their future. But Ana knows that loving her Fifty Shades will not be easy, and that being together will pose challenges that neither of them would anticipate. Ana must somehow learn to share Christian’s opulent lifestyle without sacrificing her own identity. And Christian must overcome his compulsion to control as he wrestles with the demons of a tormented past.

Just when it seems that their strength together will eclipse any obstacle, misfortune, malice, and fate conspire to make Ana’s deepest fears turn to reality.

Where to Buy

A big disappointment after the strength of the last book in this series. All of the good momentum that had been gained in Fifty Shades Darker was largely lost in this volume, or at least the first half of it. After all the growth and progress Ana and Christian make with their relationship in Darker, the first half of this book puts us back to the repetitive back and forth bickering that we saw so much of in Fifty Shades of Grey. While it does pick up again in the second half, the agonizing first half really makes you question if you want to stay with it or not. Frankly, only sheer determination to make it through this one kept me from bailing on it, and even then it was a near thing at times.