Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Don't Bite the Bridesmaid by Tiffany Allee

Alice Shepard needs one thing: a date for her sister's wedding. And not just any date. A hunk who will make her fiancé rue the day he left her for her best friend. Her drop-dead gorgeous neighbor fits the bill—even if he is a bit quirky and never comes out during the day—and Alice has downed just enough appletinis to ask him. But she makes it quite clear that there will be no funny business.

Spending a week on a cruise ship full of humans while sleeping close to his sexy next-door neighbor sounds like a helluva bad idea to vampire Noah Thorpe. But his friends need time to get him out of a shotgun wedding—a vampire bonding that will tie his fate to a female vampire he's never met. And Alice's offer comes at just the right time.

What could possibly go wrong?

Where to Buy

A sweet story, though the situation is somewhat clichéd and the outcome somewhat predictable. Still, it's an enjoyable read despite all that, for the details along the way don't always follow what you might expect.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Harvest Moon: A Paranormal Anthology edited by Tina Pollick

This is a collection of short stories by various authors. The maximum word count was five thousand words and the theme was ‘Paranormal’. We hope you enjoy it.

Contributors: Tina Pollick, Krystle Anne, Alexa S. Chase, Adera Orfanelli, Jessica Hartman, Dominica Malcolm, Nulli Para Ora, Yuri Bellamy, Elizabeth Rose 

Where to Buy
Amazon - All proceeds benefit the American Cancer Society

"A Beautiful Horror" by Krystle Anne
A cute story with a decent amount of characterization despite the short length. Josie's personality defintely comes through, though Dominick's remains a bit vauge in some ways. We're given enough bits about his past to give us the outlines of a much larger story than the one at hand and the characters are interesting enough that if it were ever developed into more I'd be interested in reading more about them and seeing if Dom could overcome some of the problems he's been dealing with.

"The Ritual" by Alexa S. Chase
An interesting story, but a little bit disjointed. It's hard to get a good feel for the main characters as everything moves so fast and jumps from one point of the story to another often without much lead in or explanation of how we got there. I think this story would have been much better if it hadn't been constrained so tighly by the word limits of the anthology. It also would have benefited from a bit more editing as there are a few missing words and gramatical errors that I spotted and a bit more polish would have helped it flow a lot better.

"Convince Me I'm Yours" by Adera Orfanelli
An intriguing but confusing story. The tone of the writing bemuses from the outset and pulls you in, teasing you with bits of information but never quite telling enough to let you fully undertand what's going on. What is revealed here makes you want to know more of the story - hints are given about their background, but key details are left vague or left out altogether in a way that makes you want to know the whole of it. Then just when you think things are finally going to come to a head and the whole thing will start to makes sense, it ends, leaving you hanging. Still, the writing is beautiful and the chemistry between the two is smoking, making it definitely a worthwhile read.

"Haunted" by Dominica Malcolm
A well written story, but also a very confusing one. I'm really not entirely sure what I read here for the opening statements didn't seem to be fully connected with the rest of the story. The opening lines set up an expectation that we're going to be told one story, but then we're told another one that, while it certainly is related to the one expected, doesn't have any obvious direct connection with what was expected. Because of this, it left me with a furrowed brow at the end wondering what I'd just read.

"The Ties That Bind" by Nulli Para Ora
Hot! Wonderful, deeply emotional story about a couple having marital problems because of lack of communication. The frustration they both feel is so real you feel it right along with them, though the desire to smack Jessica for being silly is strong as well. When they finally break down the walls between them, look out, cause they set the screen on fire!

"Against the Tide" by Yuri Bellamy
A sweet tale of forbidden love. The lovers' consternation at having to do the "right" thing and deny their love is very real, and it's easy to feel Asa's heartbreak along with her, as well as her determination to do what she's supposed to do in order to keep her lover safe. When the solution to their problems comes it's perhaps a bit too easy, but with such a short length it's difficult to sustain a conflict for very long I know. The language, particularly when describing body parts is slightly too clinical for my tastes at times, but that's my only quibble with the writing here.

"The Horseman's Heart" by Elizabeth Rose
A powerful story about undying love that spans time and space. The tone throughout is very poignant and almost wistful and sad at times, but also full of humor in places as well. We don't really get to know much about the lovers, or their story, yet the emotion of it comes through clearly nonetheless. The ending will likely bring a bit of a tear to your eye but then leave you with a smile.

"A Tragic Tale" by Tina Pollick
A quaint and quirky fairy-tale-like story with a few surprise twists. For the majority of the tale it seems to be a simple Romeo and Juliet type story, but then it makes something of a left turn and takes you to an ending that will leave you blinking with astonishment. While much of it is predictable in many ways including, to a certain extent, the ending, still it all goes down in a way that's a bit shocking. This one gets applause from me for that alone.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Severed Colours by Dawna Raver

Warning: This book is not your mother's fantasy. If you thought Arik Morgaine was hot in Colour Wielders, wait until you see him now. He's had a taste of Quinn and now he'll do whatever it takes to keep her even if it means crossing the line between right and wrong. Don't let the cover fool you. This book is hot!

The epic continues…

Quinn Sinclair trusted Arik Morgaine until he betrayed her. Scared and alone, she finds herself delivered into the hands of the evil Morgana le Fay. When Quinn discovers Morgana's plans are beyond demented and seriously depraved—making life with the Changeling seem like a day at the beach—she wonders if death is a better option?

Arik Morgaine vowed he'd save Quinn no matter the price. When his well thought out plans go terribly awry, a desperate and heartbroken Arik is forced to beg the cruel Triarchia for help. Unwilling to go on without his Älskling, he answers a question that irrevocably alters their lives.

Can Arik and Quinn find a way back to each other, or will the price of saving her rip them apart forever?

Where to Buy

This book picks up pretty much right where the first book left off and fairly quickly clarifies the uncertain situation that existed at the end of book one. It becomes apparent where loyalties really lie, though not clear whether or not it will matter. The initial dire situation resolves itself, but just when they think they've made it through ok new complications are introduced that make the situation much worse. Sorting out those new wrinkles occupies the rest of the book.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Colour Wielders by Dawna Raver

Warning: This book is not your mother's fantasy. It's a modern story with a sexy alpha male who's tired of waiting for what he wants. Once he gets her, he's not afraid to take on the Universe to keep her. Don't let the cover fool you. This book is hot!

Behind the Faerying Mysts, hidden from Mortal eyes, is a land where gods and creatures of myth and legend dwell. And in the Mortal Realm, their Princess is hidden away.

Quinn Sinclair lives an ordinary life with her less-than-loving mother in Conifer, Colorado, clueless of her true nature. On the night of her birthday, a staggering betrayal sends her life spinning out-of-control. As she struggles to pick up the pieces, a vision of a man with haunting tourmaline-blue eyes begs her for help, and she is transported into a Magykal battle-forever changing her life.

Arik Morgaine-Demigod bad boy and outcast of the Magykal Realm-tried to avoid contact with Princess Quinn for eighteen years, not wanting to make good on an old threat. But the fates have other plans. Arik can no longer deny his growing desire for Quinn, or the need to protect her from those wanting to control her burgeoning powers. Can the two of them come together and save the Magykal Realm from being destroyed by the Darkest of Magyks?

Where to Buy

This book was far more than I really expected, especially given that it's the author's first novel. While it does suffer a bit of freshman-effort awkwardness at times, the depth of the worldbuilding and the intricacy of the interwoven plots shows a strong grasp of the craft of story writing even at such an early stage of her career. There are so many layers here, and characters and creatures that are familiar from well known mythologies, yet are handled in unique and unexpected ways that keep the reader guessing and slightly off balance. By the end you're still not entirely sure who to trust, and whether or not this story will make it to the sort of HEA you'd normally expect from something that is so heavily a romance story.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Delicious Delay by Tara Quan

Stranded in a Middle Eastern airport, Michelle Day finds herself the object of interest for an abrasive, but all-too-sexy stranger—a stranger who tempts her with the forbidden in a land where indecency could get her killed. But how does one say no to such a deliciously, relentless pursuit?

Khalid Al Dehri takes one look at the red-headed spitfire in the business class lounge and knew he’d either been transported to heaven—or hell. Her tart response to his surliness intrigues him beyond all propriety and the longer he spends in her company, the more he can’t deny his forbidden attraction. But will she explore the sensuality between them or will society’s rules keep them apart?

Where to Buy

While the premise for this novella was intriguing enough, when I found out from the author that a conversation we'd had on Twitter months ago provided much of her inspiration for this piece I simply had to read it. I expected good things from it since I have enjoyed Ms. Quan's other works, and I wasn't disappointed. This one is sizzling hot from start to finish as what starts out as a semi-casual tryst between two people that meet by chance slowly develops into something that hints at an HEA for them in the future.