Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Eternal Lover by Hannah Howell, et al.

Theirs is a world of ancient desires and forbidden pleasures. They are men of mystery and women of seduction, wild creatures with the power to entrance and enchant, tease and tantalize. Enter their secret world, if you dare...

The Yearning by Hannah Howell
Alpin has lived for centuries with a lust that can never be quenched with mere physical pleasure. And then he meets Sophie whose own search for lasting love binds them together in a cloak of shimmering sensuality...

A Hell of a Time by Jackie Kessler
Jesse's immortal life as a soul-stealing succubus is over. And now that she is human, she longs to tempt her lover with all her persuasive powers of total sexual seduction...

City of Demons by Richelle Mead
Seth cannot resist the intense sexual allure of his demon lover Georgina. Yet their love reaches beyond the physical, into a place of complete untamed surrender...

Bitten by Lynsay Sands
Keeran's existence as a vampire has taught him to accept a life without love...until he saves Emily from certain death. And suddenly he discovers the soul-searing passion he thought he'd lost forever...

Where to Buy

Note: I'm not going to rate the book as a whole until such time as I've read the whole thing. Ratings for individual stories are provided in the text of the review.

"City of Demons" by Richelle Mead
Georgina Kincaid #2.5 - ★★★★

An interesting story that reveals more of Georgina's personality and further highlights how different she is from most other demons and immortals on Team Evil. Her sense of justice is highlighted, as is her desire for the truth, even when knowing the truth will likely serve little purpose. We also get to learn more about Seth's character, and how he's feeling about their relationship. Two separate plots are interwoven here, with the narrative switching back and forth nearly seamlessly. Georgina finds herself in an impossible position a few different times on a few different fronts, but just when you're sure she's just going to have to suck it up and deal with some setbacks, a last minute twist salvages a lot of the mess she's been in. This was a relatively quick read, and I'd certainly recommend it to anyone following the series, especially reading it in order, as it's worthwhile for the character insights alone.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Pleasure Unbound by Larissa Ione

In a place where ecstasy can cost you your life . . .

She's a demon-slayer who hungers for sensual pleasure-but fears it will always be denied her. Until Tayla Mancuso lands in a hospital run by demons in disguise, and the head doctor, Eidolon, makes her body burn with unslakable desire. But to prove her ultimate loyalty to her peers, she must betray the surgeon who saved her life.

Two lovers will dare to risk all.

Eidolon cannot resist this fiery, dangerous woman who fills him with both rage and passion. Not only is she his avowed enemy, but she could very well be the hunter who has been preying upon his people. Torn between his need for the truth and his quest to find his perfect mate before a horrific transformation claims him forever, Eidolon will dare the unthinkable-and let Tayla possess him, body and soul . . .

Where to Buy

In the face of so many glowing reviews, I guess I expected to be blown away by this book, but really? I wasn't. Not that I didn't like it, because I did, but it didn't have an "OMG, WOW!" factor for me that it seems to have had for others. Maybe it's because I mostly had to read it in short snippets over several days, I dunno, but nothing here really left my jaw hanging or anything.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Succubus On Top by Richelle Mead

Love hurts, and no one knows it better than Georgina Kincaid. If she so much as kisses Seth Mortensen, the shy, sexy, incredibly gifted Seattle writer she's been dating, she'll drain his life force. Georgina is a succubus - a demon who draws her power from other men's pleasure. Admittedly, the shapeshifting and immortality perks are terrific, and yes, Georgina did choose to join the ranks of hell centuries ago. But it seems completely unfair that a she-demon whose purpose is seduction can't get hot and heavy with the one mortal who knows and accepts her for who she is.

It's not just her personal life that's in chaos. Doug, Georgina's co-worker at a local bookstore, has been exhibiting bizarre behaviour, and Georgina suspects that something far more demonic than double espressos is at work. She could use help finding out, but Bastien, an irresistibly charming incubus and her best immortal friend, is preoccupied with corrupting an ultra-conservative talk radio star - and giving Georgina some highly distracting come-hither vibes. Georgina is going to have to work solo on this one - and fast because soon, Doug's life won't be the only one on the line.

Where to Buy

Slower than Succubus Blues was, this book was still quite enjoyable. Whereas the first book tossed you back and forth and turned you round and round with all of its plot twists and emotional rollercoaster until you weren't sure what to believe, this one kind of coasts along at a steady pace and lacks some of the drama we saw in the first book. That's not to say there isn't drama here, for there certainly is a lot of it, but the biggest dramas are of a more personal and emotional nature than they are about external threats or plots.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Seduced by the Vampire King by Laura Kaye

American exchange student Kate Bordessa has fled to Russia to escape her family's hopes that she'll become one of the Proffered, human women who feed and mate with elite vampire warriors. But when she stumbles upon a wounded vampire in the streets of Moscow, she's instinctively driven to protect him--and feels an undeniable spark of desire.

Grieving over the deaths of his brothers, Vampire Warrior King Nikolai Vasilyev has thrown himself into battling his enemies, focused only on vengeance. Until the attack that brought him to Kate. Their sexual attraction explodes into a night of uncontrolled passion--a night that marks them as mates. Is their connection strong enough to convince them to embrace a destiny neither of them was expecting?


Where to Buy

A worthy successor to In the Service of the King this book packs most of the emotional intensity that the first one had, but seems to me at least to fall a bit short of the total immersiveness that the first book had. With the first one, I was sucked in pretty much from page one and was held in rapt fascination, barely wanting to put it down. With this one I didn't feel like it pulled me in to quite the same degree. The action is too start and stop, with emotions ramping up then being shut down like flipping a switch almost, which does help to build the tension to a certain degree, but also creates a certain confusion and disconnect with the reader. Or at least with this reader.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Wunder by A.R. Von

WunderWunder by A.R. Von
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Wunder isn’t your average girl, in fact, she isn’t even an average human. In a world once ravaged by Zombies, she was born amidst the chaos. Where can a girl like her find the man of her delicious dreams? She has an idea and it leads her to the hottest new club in town, where she finds what’s been missing in her life.

Pete has his own secrets to tell, and when they come together, another story unfolds while the sparks fly.

My Review
I'm not entirely sure what to say about his story because it is very short and there isn't much to it besides a few pages of stage setting and then a sex scene, followed by a couple pages that mostly serve to set the stage for the next installment in this serial. The writing isn't bad, and the world seems like it might be interesting, there's just not enough here to really judge that yet. The revelations that come toward the end seems very convenient and also to come a bit too easily and in a manner that's a bit too offhand. An "Oh yeah, I'm *spoiler* and by the way *spoiler*" kind of thing.

The characters are ok, but as is usually the case with stories as short as this one, we don't really see enough of them to get any real feel for who they are and what their personality is like, etc. These characters don't even really exist as stereotypes here, for they're not much more than names. We don't get to see much of their thoughts aside from "I think he/she is hot and I want him/her". We do see a little bit of Wunder's interacting with her father at the beginning, but still not enough to get much sense of personality from her outside of "typical young woman with the hots for a guy who's anxious to go see if she can catch his eye".

In the final analysis I suppose I have to declare myself neutral on this one. I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it either. The fact that I dislike zombies, generally speaking, might be part of the reason why, though really I think it's more to do with the fact that there's just very little story here for me to react to. 2½ stars I think, though I've given it the benefit of the doubt and rounded up to 3.

Get this at All Romance Ebooks
Get this for Kindle

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Tower in the Woods by Tara Quan

Raised by the Women’s Independent Territory Church (WITCH), Nel Zapur is a skilled sniper tasked to eliminate zombies. Never having once laid eyes on a man, she has been a prisoner in her tower for eleven long years. A fateful snowstorm leads a mysterious stranger to her window, and saving him may prove to be the best and worst decision of her life.

Special Agent Dane Prince was sent to gather intelligence on the WITCH, and his journey leads him to a mysterious tower in the woods. Snowed in with a virginal member of the feminist cult, Dane is determined to use the situation to his advantage. Not only will Nel provide him with the information he needs, she will also learn to submit to his every desire.

Based on the Grimm’s fairy tale "Rapunzel", Tower In the Woods is a post-apocalyptic thriller, complete with zombies, snipers, a fateful snowstorm and...a hot, alpha male!

Where to Buy

As is evident by the title and the description, this book is inspired by the classic fairytale, Rapunzel. Our heroine has been locked away in a tower from which she can't escape for nearly half her life with no way to escape it and dependent upon her jailor/caretaker to bring her supplies. She brings the supplies (and later Dane) up into the tower by means of a rope made from human hair. That is pretty much where the similarities end however, and what follows is quite unique.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages--not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.

When one of the strangers--beautiful, haunted Akiva--fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Where to Buy

**Warning, This review contains some mild spoilers**

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love. It did not end well.

Ok, so I'll admit that if this hadn't been a BOTM for the Vaginal Fantasy Hangout this month, I probably wouldn't have read it, and I would have missed out on a wonderful book. As the line above from the beginning of the book indicates, it's not a happy book by any means, though there are moments of pure joy for the characters, and the way that Karou keeps rolling with the punches so to speak is quite inspiring. She never gives up hope, which, incidentally, is one of the major themes here. Hope, and the power it can wield.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

An Elemental Tail by Shona Husk

Four hundred years ago, Nik was tricked by his lover and left stranded as a powerless, but immortal, human. Now he craves only one thing: to reclaim the book that was once his tail and become a water Elemental again. Unfortunately, he can only locate the book when someone touches the pages. This time he won't be left high and dry. 

Isla is left a beautiful leather-bound book in her great-aunt's will, perfect for using during her life drawing classes. However, she can't bring herself to mark the translucent pages until a compelling crimson-haired stranger strips for art.

Nik is torn. Years of enforced humanity have given him a conscience. Despite his best efforts at remaining a heartless water Elemental, he is failing. He is falling for Isla, who has no idea she holds the power of the oceans, and his heart, in her hands.

Where to Buy

A delightful tale of a water elemental and a human woman who find more than they'd set out to find. He was only looking to regain his full identity, and she was only looking for an experience to satisfy her curiosity and her desire, but love creeps up on them even though they both have other things they need to do, other wants and desires to fulfill.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Selkie by Rosanna Leo

This was supposed to be her year. However, after losing her job and discovering her fiancĂ© cheating, Maggie Collins has her doubts. When her grandmother dies, she hits rock bottom. Maggie travels to her grandmother’s home in Orkney, Scotland to sort through her gran’s things, only to discover the old woman has left her a seal pelt as her inheritance. She also learns that others are after the pelt.

To add to her frustration, Maggie’s dreams are filled with luscious images of a long-haired man, images that draw her to the magical beaches in Orkney. Although she’s lost her trust in men, this dream man inspires her with a lust she’s never known before.

Calan Kirk has also been dreaming. Dreaming of Maggie, the mortal woman who arouses him as no other woman ever has. Meeting her in the flesh when she arrives in Orkney is nothing short of spontaneous sexual combustion. But she is a human, and not to be trusted. He needs the seal pelt, not a red-haired temptress.

As a thief ransacks Maggie’s grandmother’s house, Maggie and Calan are thrust together. They must search for the animal skin, a mythical relic which once found, will either bring them together or rip them apart forever.

Where to Buy

A bit different from the run of the mill shifter story, this book picks up on the lesser known Scottish tales of the Selkie and weaves it into a cute and steamy romance. Seals may not be the most romantic-seeming of animals to base a shifter race on, but Orkney definitely makes for a quaint and romantic backdrop. There is a bit of drama thrown in here as well to keep things interesting, though there's never really any edge-of-the-seat, nail-bitingly-tense moments and the few big confrontations that happen resolve themselves fairly easily overall.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Dark Citadel by Cherise Sinclair

After Kari breaks up with her date during Beginner's Night at Club Shadowlands, she's given the option to continue with an experienced dominant. Despite her steamy fantasies about BDSM, the inexperienced schoolteacher plans to simply observe. Yet under the unyielding hands of Master Dan, she not only participates, but gives him everything he asks for. There is nothing she can hide from him. Not her passion…or her love.

Still mourning the death of his wife, Master Dan avoids getting involved with women and he never takes a sub twice. But this modest little beginner is such a sweetie, one night is far from enough. As he plumbs her responses, taking her ever deeper into the world of BDSM, the gentle submissive begins to show him how barren his life has become and what a dark citadel he's made of his heart.

During their three nights together, the teacher will learn to submit...can she teach the master to love?

Where to Buy

A great follow-up to Club Shadowlands, and every bit as emotion filled. Cherise Sinclair does a great job of bringing her characters to life and pulling you into the story such that you feel everything they're feeling right along with them.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Initiate by Nulli Para Ora

Bound in service to the king, Initiates are selected and brought to the palace to forfeit their lives and fulfill their calling. That is until duty and honor clash with self-preservation. The resulting test of wills may destroy a kingdom and a new love which should never have seen the light of day.

On the surface, the kingdom of Minra appears idyllic, steeped in peace and prosperity. This peace comes at a price. The villages of the kingdom offer up Initiates—individuals who vie for the chance to be selected as the King’s Companion—to preserve the kingdom. Initiate and Companion are the most honored and coveted roles in all the land, for Companions nourish Minra’s monarch with their life force until they die, allowing their wise king to survive for generations.

Under Ritual Trainers bound in service to the king, Initiates are selected and brought to the palace to fulfill their duty. All Initiates greet this opportunity with happiness and reverence. Almost all. One Initiate forsakes time-honored traditions in favor of self-preservation.

Is this forfeiture of life a worthy trade—or even necessary—for the good of the kingdom? In the battle for superiority, can love survive and overthrow generations of sacrifice and tradition?

Where to Buy

**Warning - review possibly contains mild spoilers**

I was pulled into this one pretty much from page one due to the vibrant world and characters that the author has created here. It is only due to limited time to read that it took me several days to finish, for it really does read quickly, even for a slow reader like me. The author's ability to convince you that something is one way and then show you how it's not anything like that is impressive, though I can't say that the work is without faults, some of which stem from its short length I believe.