Intimate Knowledge

Intimate Knowledge
Julie Miller
Mass Market Paperback, 250 pages
Published July 1st 2002 by Harlequin
ISBN: 9780373790494

Grace Lockhart: Behind-the-scenes FBI agent. Shy, naive...and a sex kitten waiting to happen.

Logan Pierce: FBI field agent and the best of the best. Confident, cocky...and incapable of saying no to a beautiful woman.

The case:

Agent Grace Lockhart has spent months developing a computer program that will put the city's biggest crime lord behind bars. And now that it's ready, all the FBI needs is somebody to smuggle it in to Harrison Mitchell's estate. Only, because Mitchell is notorious for surrounding himself with a harem of beauties, that somebody has to be a woman....

Grace Lockhart wants to be that woman, but she's anything but a femme fatale. But not for long. Because she's heard that her new partner, sexy superagent Logan Pierce, is an expert at "hands-on" training.

I'm not always certain how to relate to a female character who wants me to feel sorry for her and her DD cup size. But pair that with a ridiculous amount of naivete, innocence, and enough determination to justifiably be called a fool and I folded quickly to one Grace Lockhart.

Completing the duo is Logan, a self confident FBI agent laden with guilt and known to work alone. Truthfully, he couldn't have been better for me unless it was Agent Fox Mulder himself hunting down the truth behind the X-Files. Everything about Logan got a reaction, especially his honesty. He's also very self aware. He knows what he likes in a woman which it makes it all too easy to play teacher to the sexually ignorant Grace.

Now, had this been anything but a fictional creation there's no way in hell she and Logan would have succeeded in this mission. The task was laughable and their success, much due to a self-involved sexual deviant's error was too farfetched even for me. The smut, though, is worth nibbling on and the romance is actually quite believable. All in all, this was most definitely a good read. 4 out of 5 stars.

Thank you, Redd from The Wyld Hollow, for passing along this book to little ol' me.


Reunion: Warriors for the Light #4

❝ I know he will love me because I do chase blue butterflies! ❞

Lindsay McKenna
Warriors for the Light, book four
Mass Market Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by Silhouette
ISBN 9780373618323

He claims it was a brutal test of his Jaguar powers that divided their fates for centuries. All Aella knows is that a familiar joy courses through her body when she arrives on an archaeological assignment at the Great Serpent Mound. Who is this godlike stranger who comes to her in her dreams? She should be terrified. Instead, Fox's protective presence awakens in Aella memories of torrid love making and a yearning she can't deny. If she believes her visions, Aella is Fox's lost Incan bride; and he is her soul flame. But Fox is competing with a Dark Lord who is determined to keep them apart, hovering on the brink of temptation, eternally separated from the Light.

Atok "Fox" fell in love with Chaska the moment he first saw her. He was ten years old at the time and training to become a warrior. Chaska was eight and the spirited child in a noble family. When he became of age, and has accomplished the tasks set for him, Fox was given Chaska to wed and for three years they shared a loving, happy marriage. Then, upon the delivery of their first child, Chaska died. And their son never took his first breath. All that Fox had cherished the most was suddenly gone.

For years he continued with his training, praying and yearning for the time when he would die only to be reincarnated and hopefully, he would find Chaska again. Finally the moment comes but Chaska's soul has already crossed the dimensions and the chances of reunion are too slim. He is convinced once more to continue his training and eventually becomes a guardian to a sacred site. It is there they find one another at last.

As we're introduced to the reincarnated Chaska, now called Aella, we find her interested in her assigned partner, Robert, who is equally attracted to her. So... Am I the only one who finds these things irritating in romance books? My aggravation was multiplied by the knowledge of Fox's pining and heartache all these years. Granted, Aella has no memory of her time with Fox and therefore has no reason to be 'faithful' but that kind of thing just rubs the skin, ya know?

Aside from that, I really loved the heart of this story. You get two souls destined to be together who upon discovering one another, even at such a young age, manage to experience that 'he's the one'/'she's the one' moment. Sadly, though, you don't get much else. Despite the glimpses into the lifetime Fox and Chaska shared, the main story is rather focused. There's one very strict-very narrow-path that doesn't give up much room for surprise or even a lot of action. It's all very simple and perhaps, as a whole, rather dull. 3 out of 5 stars.


Heart of the Winter Wolf

Heart of the Winter Wolf
Dani Harper
Published 2007
ISBN 9781603940122

Was it only coincidence that the white wolf Jillian had depended upon for years in times of need to comfort her came back into her life at the same time that she met James Macleod, the giant of a man with the pale blond hair and the look of a Viking?

James Macleod was a Changeling who'd lost everything dear to him in a single night of blood and fire. Devastated by guilt and driven by grief, he became a great white wolf and vowed never to walk as a man again - until a small blonde veterinarian shook his resolve and his world. Now James must remember how to be human and walk in his human skin again in order to solve a frightening riddle: Who is this beautiful woman and why is his wolfen side hunting her?

Jillian gets offered the dream of... well, somebody's lifetime, and with her temporary job coming to an end and no other promises of income, she's left with little choice but to accept the offer, packing up and moving to Alberta, Canada, on the dime of Connor MacKleod who's in need of help with his livestock.

Thirty years ago, James lost his wife and unborn child to murder. In his anguish, he willed himself to die. But the wolf half of him, being the wild creature it was, took control and fought to survive. Since that moment, James has shut away the human side of himself. He doesn't shift. He barely communicates, save for mindspeech with his brother and packmate, Connor. He lives, day after day, year after year, as the wolf.

Then, one afternoon, he catches the scent of a new female at the clinic where Connor works and in an instant, reality hits him-he is not a wolf. And so, awakened at last, James begins the journey back to himself.

I'm on a whole other level of satisfied when I can step back from a book and can honestly say that it was a beautiful story. That moment when James realized he wanted to experience Jillian-her smell, her feel, her taste-while in human form was so eloquently well done. Connor's flood of emotions was just as touching. Mmm. Loved me some Connor.

The romance was so refreshing. It's not some collision of hormones but rather a casual attraction between two (seemingly) strangers. Don't misunderstand-there's epic amounts of passion once they do touch but the lead up is so very near to courting it'll make any romantic swoon in delight. And having Connor and Berky sticking their noses in with the appropriate nudging is too wickedly good. But what made the book for me, aside from Connor's awesomeness, was James. His inner battle, despair, and ever present fear that he was losing his sanity to a multiple personality disorder. Finally I understood what that last part of that last sentence in the blurb meant.

Had to wonder though... if Roderick pegged James as a Changeling over thirty years ago, why the hell did it take so long to figure Conner out? And omigod, why, oh why, would breaking up with a woman via flowers *ever* be a good idea!?

Enjoyed the book immensely, and honestly couldn't find anything I would have liked done differently. Hmmm... yays! 5 out of 5 stars.


Before The Storm: Eden Trilogy #1

❝  "See?" he said. "It wasn't just 'anything', it was something, except I'd never have found the damn thing if you hadn't pointed it out." ❞

Before The Storm
Marian Perera
Eden Trilogy, book one
Kindle Edition
Published April 6th 2010 by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

Whore-gift-and unexpected ally.

In Dagran society, Alex is the lowest of the low- a mare-, an object to be used by the nobility. When her owner, Stephen Garnath, gifts her to his greatest rival, she begins plotting her path to freedom. Nothing and no one will ever control her again. Not her degrading past, and certainly not her growing attraction to a man reputed to be an even crueler master than Garnath.

Robert Demeresna is instantly suspicious of such a generous gift. Yet she comes to him armed with only her sharp mind-a potent weapon he can use to defend his people from the enemy. And underneath, an unbreakable spirit that besieges the walls of his heart.

Slowly, Robert chips away at Alex's defenses, striking sparks that make her begin to believe even a lowly whore like her could be worthy of him. Until Garnath springs a trap so cleverly hidden, war is unleashed before either of them sees it coming. A new kind of war fought with steam engines, explosives-and magic with a killing edge.

Warning: Contains violence, steam engines, steamier sex and multiple explosions of the unstable chemical variety.

Out of the pan and into the fire- or so Alex is led to believe. When her lord and master gifts her to his enemy, Robert Demeresna, a noted sadist renowned as the Bloody Baron, her freedom from Stephen is only bittersweet.

Fitting that I would pick this up now, having just completed watching Firefly where the most popular not-couple was Captain Malcolm Reynolds and the Companion Inara. (Companion being a glorified, and choosy, whore) Never did see the allure there. Had no desire whatsoever to see those two together. Now, Simon and Kaylee on the other hand...

Back to topic- Robert is nothing special to look at. Plain brown hair. Plain brown eyes. And yet, he treats Alex proper much to her own confusion and eventually his smile and kindness comes to soften her guarded nature and she comes to want his attention. The focus of this book, however, is not the romance. It's not even the relationship between Alex and Robert. It's about war.

Action comes flying much sooner than I had ever expected. Not even at midpoint yet and woah, big things start happening. Perera definitely isn't going to let you get bored. The dialogue alone is captivating. The creativity and strategy behind the clashing forces will fill in any gaps if you're of the little-less-talk-and-alot-more-action crowd.

I'm one of those that likes it when the male protagonist isn't some cocksure ladies' man. Innocence is sexy. But Robert isn't perfect and even though he knows how to convey gentility and the like, he slips from the pedestal quite often. While I completely understood his wants and needs in life-a noble woman who could bear him children being one- he said a lot of things that never should have made it past his teeth. Mean things. Things I would stab a man for even daring to think let alone speaking aloud.

It ends well. There's little heroics and paranoia and rumor fuel just about everything the enemy does. Definitely not a smut book. You get one such event. And it doesn't even fill two pages. The book itself has been called a Steam-punk which although I'm rather unfamiliar with the genre, I felt the classification was a stretch. Granted, I could be wrong. 4 out of 5 stars.


Fortune's Deception: Fortunes #1

Fortune's Deception
Karen Erickson
Fortunes, book one
Published 2008 by Samhain Publishing

Winning the lottery changes her life forever…in more ways than one.

One minute Brittney Jones is living paycheck to paycheck, and the next she and three friends win a record-breaking lottery jackpot. Sure, she’s spent some money on herself—after her rough childhood, she figures she deserves a few indulgences, big and small.

To financial adviser Charlie Manning, his client Brittney is a shallow beauty out to spend all of her money. He thinks she should rein it in. She thinks he should loosen up, and resolves to help him do just that—in a very naughty way.

The passion between them burns hot and fast, and Charlie comes to realize Brittney’s heart is as big as her newly fattened bank account. She’s not only smart, but beautiful and sexy. And he can’t resist her.

Still, Charlie is aware that Brittney’s keeping secrets from him. If only she would trust him enough to tell the truth!

Charles Manning, a financial adviser, is hired by lottery winners Madeline, Lauren, and Brittney. Madeline is the responsible one. Lauren, the over cautious investor. Brittney, on the other hand, has recently become quite the shopaholic. It is of her that Charles has become worrisome. When he does finally manage to get her to take a meeting with him, Charles finds a woman full of heart, surprises, and secrets.

The first impression Brittney gave me was not anything I normally cheer for in my protagonists, due ever so much to my ever climbing, prudish standards. The only way she can relate to men is through sex. Plus, she's the leave-them-before-they-leave-me type and therefore has never had a relationship. Once she catches sight of Charles' smile, she's on a one track course to seduce the man.

So with Brittney on my 'eh' list, it fell to Charles to bring out the enjoyment for me. And being just close to everything I do support in a leading man, he definitely filled the void. Brittney brings out the animal in him as he finds himself having sex with her anywhere and everywhere he can. But when he finally comes to his senses and admits he's the commitment type, he stands strong-withholding sex in exchange for real, romantic dates.

There are a few laughs to be found throughout the story, hidden amidst the hotness, especially when he has to carry her from the front door of her five thousand square foot home to her bedroom, pausing just long enough at the finish line to declare: "Your house is fucking ridiculous."

3 out of 5 stars.

Before Dawn

Before Dawn
Ann Bruce
Published April 2nd 2008 by Ellora's Cave
ISBN 9781419915000

Mercy Jansen's dreams are filled with erotic interludes with a man whose face she never sees — and she always awakens before the scraping of sharp teeth along her skin turns into something more dangerous.

While uneasy about her subconscious mind, Mercy goes on with her daily life, which includes organizing a costumed fundraiser at the museum where she works. The event attracts more people than she'd expected, including a man who makes her knees go weak — and proceeds to turn her preconceived notions of reality upside-down and inside-out by pulling her into a shadowy, violent world where her erotic dreams threaten to become an all-too-real nightmare.

Did you read that blurb? Did you think vampire lover? I certainly did. And I was so very wrong.

And in this instance, I like being wrong!

The romance here is between Mercy and Ryan McGinnis, a man that has been watching over her for months while a vampire has hunted her through dreams. At last the monster strikes, leaving his bite in her breast. Ryan wisks her to safety and soon Mercy awakes, still sensing the presence of the predator. Seeing him. Feeling him.

She clings to Ryan, urging him to free her from her thoughts. She begs for the distraction in the form of a kiss. Ten minutes, and a hot quickie later, she's out the window and Ryan is naked, tackling her in the grass. Much to the amusement of one Nate Savage.

From there, the pages are tangled with plots of reuniting with a lost love and betrayal by a dearly trusted ally. All of which happens in one incredibly short night. I definitely felt Ryan's transition in his feelings for Mercy but hers, not so much. There wasn't an incredibly logical reason for her wanting to make a life with Ryan. And what made her fall in love I'll never know. 3 out of 5 stars.

"Don't make me out to be the bad guy"
     "But I'm no fucking hero either. I could've stopped you, but I didn't want to. I wanted you." His voice lowered, turned husky, as he closed the gap between their bodies. His teeth sank into a corner of her bottom lip but she was unable to bite back the soft moan. "I still want you."
     Her lashes lowered, veiling her gleaming eyes, and the fingers of her captured hand curled into a fist.
     "I saw you with Dopey," he said between gritted teeth. Even now the memory made him want to take something-someone-apart.
     "Dopey?" she echoed wonderingly.
     "Every time you brought him home, I wanted to kill him."
     She blinked, coming out of her daze. "He was a mistake from the beginning."
     Ryan bent down until his mouth brushed her temple. "Am I?" he asked roughly, forcing the words through constricted vocal cords.
     She went still, not even daring to breathe.
     Her chest moved. "I-I don't know." She shook her head. "I don't know you."
     His lips touched the delicate rim of her ear, the merest brush of skin on skin, yet she inhaled sharply. "You know enough," he said, and rocked his hips forward.
     Her eyes went to half-mast. "Lust," she breathed, turning her head, her parted lips seeking his.
     "I can work with that."



Evangeline Anderson
ebook, 118 pages
Published January 25th 2011 by Loose Id
ISBN 9781607379393

Micah and Ariel are angels and soul mates created to guard the throne room of the Almighty in Heaven. They are incomplete without each other and cannot bear to be apart. But Heaven is under attack and the forces of Hell have a plan to separate them -- by putting them together.

Using an infernal sword called the Reever, Lucifer, Prince of Demons, strips the souls...more Micah and Ariel are angels and soul mates created to guard the throne room of the Almighty in Heaven. They are incomplete without each other and cannot bear to be apart. But Heaven is under attack and the forces of Hell have a plan to separate them -- by putting them together.

Growing up with no knowledge of their origins, Owen and Leah are close until Leah suddenly blossoms into womanhood. Then, fearing his unnatural attraction to her, Owen cuts his beloved little sister abruptly out of his life.

So begins an epic struggle between right and wrong, desire and illicit love. For Owen and Leah know nothing of their former lives as angels or the war that rages between Heaven and Hell. They only know they must not give in to what they feel for each other for their love is forever... Forbidden.

Publisher's Note: Although Owen and Leah are not related by blood, because of the perceived illicitness of their desire for each other, some readers, particularly those with a history of sexual abuse or incest, may find this story disturbing.

The celestial hierarchy is a complicated thing, for there are more angels in heaven than grains of sand on the beach or stars in the sky. From the burning beauty of the great and powerful seraphim to the lowliest guardian angel, they exist to serve the Almighty, to sing his praises, and to do his bidding. They have no need of faith, for they know beyond the shadow of a doubt that God exists. Thus, when they choose to abandon he who they were created to worship, they are damned for all eternity. Their fall from grace turns their purity to evil and their love to blackest hate, but once exiled, they can never forget the glory of heaven. And they never cease trying to get back.

How do you like that beginning?

I don't know what it is about these taboo stories of Anderson's but I just can't get enough! ...Does anyone else write stuff like this? Cuz if they do, and you're reading this, and you know about it, hook a sister up!

Two souls, bound so tightly, would always find one another no matter the distance, no matter the peril, and Lucifer understands this. So, in his dark, twisted mind, he forms another plan. To place the two abducted angels in the bodies of two mortals who would be raised together as brother and sister. And because of the taboo all man has accepted, the two will suffer when their need to join rises. Most of his focus is spent on inflicting pain upon Micah who pities the fallen angel. Meanwhile, Beelzebub has his doubts the plot will prove successful and only hopes they will conquer Heaven's gates before it's too late.

Owen (Micah) is a successful surgeon living far away from home. Far away from Leah (Ariel) anyway. But in his never ending struggles to evade her presence, he failed to be with his mother when she died and is consumed by the guilt that maybe, just maybe, he could have saved her.

With both their parents dead, Leah finds herself in need of regrouping her life. And she wants nothing more than her estranged brother to be a part of it. When she shows up on his doorstep unannounced, because the fool never takes her calls, Owen knows instantly that he's in a world of trouble.

Leah, though, hasn't the foggiest idea what's going on-until two guardian angels start to work their own piece of magic, manipulating Leah's need for Owen and leading her in subtle ways of seduction. With Leah’s coercion, Owen does eventually surrender to his desires but when he gets close to… where we need him to get to… he pulls back. He leaves, shutting her away from his life once again and it takes supernatural intervention to get them back together. On the heels of a demon's attack that is. One that leaves Leah defiled and the angels fear Owen's love may not survive the event.

It's here in the story that we get to the part I didn't really care for. Owen learns of his adoption and suddenly needs to be seduced all over again...granted, for altogether different reasons. Then matters get reminiscent of Eyes Like A Wolf and the talk of 'just need a little touch here' and 'just a small kiss there'. There is justification in it, but I felt 'just fuck me' would have delivered the same message, ya know?

The climax is bittersweet because, throughout the story, you know that once it happens Owen and Leah will cease to be. I would have liked that Ariel and Micah hadn't remembered their time on Earth. Maybe just a sense of their struggle lingering would have been more satisfying. Then again, we wouldn't have the twist at the end which was completely unexpected on my part.

When it comes to stories such as this, I believe it better enjoyed by those who can consciously alter their perceptions. The author will not let you forget the sibling relationship these two share, but looking beyond that, at these two characters aching to be with one another. Forbidden to grasp this once in a lifetime connection. There is such a profound depth of despair and it's so damn easy to picture Owen, this man who's just *breaking* with this love that the world today has lost somewhere in its past. Man doesn't love like this anymore. If they ever did. 5 out of 5 stars.

He had a surgery scheduled today, he realized dully. And several meetings and a surgical consult as well. He was going to have to take a shower and go to work and pretend nothing had happened. Pretend his world hadn’t ended last night. But first he had to lie down for a minute.
     He flopped onto his side of the bed and put an arm over his eyes, trying to hold back the tears. He didn’t cry often or easily, but the thought that he would never spend the night here with Leah again—never hold her in his arms and tell her how much he loved her—was almost too much, even for his iron self-control. Unable to help himself, he turned to bury his face in her pillow.

Recommended reads by this author:
Eyes Like A WolfPicture Perfect


Kiss of Fate: Dragonfire #3

Kiss of Fate
Deborah Cooke
Dragonfire, book three
Published February 3rd 2009 by Signet
ISBN 9780451226167

For millennia, the shape-shifting dragon warriors known as the Pyr have commanded the four elements and guarded the earth-s treasures. But now the final reckoning between the Pyr, who count humans among the earth's treasures, and the Slayers, who would eradicate both humans and the Pyr who protect them, is about to begin.

Haunted by dreams of a lover who takes the form of a dragon, Eileen Grosvenor searches for the truth. She never expects to find a real dragon shape shifter, let alone one who awakens her passion and ignites memories of a forgotten past.

Erik Sorensson is focused on leading the Pyr against the Slayers when a powerful ancient relic reveals itself. Erik tries to retrieve it from Eileen's possession-and is shocked by a fury of passion. Her presence touches him in unexpected ways, reminding him of mistakes he's determined not to make again, and Erik is forced to make a choice-duty or love.

The leader of the Pyr has always been adamant about one thing- breeding. So it shouldn't have surprised me that he was the duty type when it came to his mate. But it did.

Seriously, Erik? Mindset is completing the firestorm, sire a child, and then go back to work? And then you haven't the balls to do any of the above? How appalling.

On the flipside, it was nice to find Erik so shaken at discovering a second chance, whether he wanted one or not. Just as the first two stories, our girl Eileen comes to learn of Erik's past. This time, through a legend- the story of the Dragon Lover of Madeley. A mythologist, Eileen ventures to England to learn of the truth behind the tale and finds it has more importance than she ever would have guessed. For she herself had lived the story.

For some reason, I had assumed Louisa, Erik's mate's first incarnation, had been killed. Not committed suicide. *shrugs* My bad.

Eileen, though, I took a quick liking to. What a well crafted character. And everything I felt the leader of the Pyr needed in a partner and mate. Sophie, meanwhile, let me down big time. You're the blessed, freaking Wyvern, damn it. How do you throw that away? Admittedly, I was all too happy to see her go. All these dragon babies coming into the world, you have to figure one would be a female. But, dang, did she need to take Nikolas down in that mess. 3 out of 5 stars.

And why is so freaking hard to kill these Slayers!

Ragan's Notes
  • Quinn Tyrell (the Smith), mated to Sara (the Seer)
  • Donovan Shea (the Warrior), son of Keir (Slayer); brother of Delaney; mated to Alex (the Wizard)
  • Erik Sorensson (the King), leader of the Pyr; mated to Louisa (reborn as Eileen; the Consort)
  • Sloane Forbes, Apothecary
  • Niall Talbot, mentor of Thorolf
  • Rafferty Powell, mentor of Donovan
  • Thorolf, newly discovered Pyr
  • Boris Vassily, leader of the Slayers

Previous books in the series:
Kiss of Fire: A Dragonfire NovelKiss of Fury: A Dragonfire Novel

Destiny by Design

Destiny by Design
Wylie Kinson
ebook, 100 pages
Published May 18th 2007 by Ellora's Cave Publishing Inc.
ISBN 9781419910913
Amazon freebie

Interior designer Ellis Strathmore has been chosen to compete in the Oak Ridges Development Competition, along with a handful of other designers - including her former boss and nemesis, Cynthia Travers. With the deadline just weeks away, the design teams are under intense pressure to finish. A relative novice known for her unusual approach to decorating, Ellis is determined to prove her talent, artistry and professionalism when creating the perfect home office.

One week into the Oak Ridges Competition and Simon Callon would happily trade Callon & Son Construction for a string of donut shops. Tools and supplies keep mysteriously disappearing and two of the designers are making his life miserable. He'd worked with Cynthia Travers before and knew how to handle her demands, but quirky Ellis Strathmore, with her uncanny ability to both annoy and arouse him, has Simon questioning his normally solid judgment.

Ellis and Simon clash over paint colors, work schedules and cabinets, but they can't deny the sexual chemistry that's building between them. The perfect palette for passion comes together with a brush of danger, tones of teasing banter and a touch of naked painting in Destiny by Design.

Ellis is an interior decorator whose rivals and colleagues have deemed 'the room whisperer'. Oh yeah, she's a tad crazy about her job. I was actually proud of Simon when he dropped the f-bomb on her when they just met and she insisted the room was embarrassed. And again when she went from fondling his cock to spewing crap about an unhappy closet in twenty seconds flat.

With theft and sabotage leading the direction of the story, the romance takes a time out until the end of the competition where it explodes in a passionate frenzy. Simon teetered on my like-em-or-leave-him scale once or twice. The scene with Cynthia lost him major points. You just don't talk that way, whether you're trying to keep the peace or whatever- it was just plain irritating. 3 out of 5 stars.


Release Me

Release Me
Karen Erickson
Kindle Edition
Published March 20th 2008 by Cobblestone Press, LLC

Sick and tired of relying on inept men, Sommer Daniels is taking control of her orgasms. She bought a vibrator, but she'd like to find a sexy man who can show her the ropes – properly. Unfortunately, her computer freezes up at work before a huge deadline. Fortunately, the IT guy who comes to fix it is more than willing to help her find a few of those orgasms she's been looking for, on her desk in her office! They can't seem to stay away from each other, but Ted Maxwell is keeping a secret. Will it ruin their blossoming relationship?

I don't think I will ever tire of a good office fantasy. What I do tire of is that constant echoing of "This isn't me." or "I normally don't do things like this." But for all of it's repetition, I was actually pleased by the last line.

Sommer and Ted click within moments of meeting one another at a point in Summer's life when she needs it most. On the same hand, Ted has given up on dating. What good-hearted millionaire doesn't? Impulsive at it's beginning, their fling spans a few days before the truth inevitably comes out and then it's one of those things where apparently lying isn't such a big deal anymore. He was doing great with the omission loophole until the part where he flat out declared an untruth. Good grief, is it so hard to be a good man? 3 out of 5 stars.



Kindle Edition
Published February 1st 2011 by Henry Holt and Co.

Matt’s childhood friend, Ashley, has been stopping by a lot lately. That might seem pretty normal, but Ashley died years ago and now she’s Death.

And tonight she wants waffles and fries.

Death AND waffles? Of course I'm going to read it!

Seventeen year old, Matt hasn't lost his childhood friend-his only childhood friend-despite the fact that she died from cancer some years ago. Ashley still makes regular visits, leaving batman and joker toys in every conceivable place. In every conceivable position. One night, she arrives craving waffles from a local diner and asks Matt to come along. There, he witnesses firsthand her role in the afterlife, that of an Harbinger.

Both Matt and Ashley are extremely likeable characters. Both alone. And both barely existing. Matt failed to live up to his father's expectations long ago, not that that's a bad thing, and his mother is rather estranged as well.

Ashley is a character widely loved from the author's story, Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, which has an excerpt provided with the aforementioned short read. Sadly, it seems Matt has only come alive for this one story. So disappointing. 4 out of 5 stars.

Other works by this author:
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer


Evangeline Anderson
ebook, 60 pages
Published December 2005 by Ellora's Cave Publishing
ISBN 9781419904424
Amazon freebie

Chloe's identical twin sister Zoe wants a favor. She needs Chloe to dress up in her work clothes and meet an important client, pretending to be her. There's just one problem. Zoe isn't an investment banker as she's led everyone to believe—she's a dominatrix and her work clothes include a leather bustier, thigh-high boots and a feathered mask. There are three rules, according to Zoe—don't lose control of the situation, don't have sex with the client, and never take off the mask.

Shy, retiring Chloe has no idea how to go about dominating anyone. But that won't be a problem for long because the "client", Mark Jacobs, is a hot alpha male in a black leather mask of his own who prefers to take the lead when it comes to sex.

Soon Chloe is breaking all the rules for one night of forbidden passion but when she decides to take off her mask and asks Mark to do the same, she has no idea that the black leather he wears conceals a dark secret that may change her life forever.

Cruising Amazon, coming down from an Eternal Rider induced high, I found yet another quick read from Evangeline Anderson. And this baby's a good one.

The bestest twin sister anyone could ask for, Chloe agrees to take Zoe's place on an appointment with her new client-on the heels of learning just what it was her sister actually did for a living. A first grade teacher, Chloe knows nothing about playing the role of a dominatrix and fumbles mightily the first few moments in. Despite the attempt to get things back on track, the client, Mark, turns the tables and Chloe soon finds her own self strapped to the Saint Andrew's cross.

Thing is, Mark isn't out for domination. And despite the masks, he knows exactly who he's pleasuring. --A fact that I am so thankful for the author pointing out because I totally missed the slip. The BDSM is well, let's just say that if you're not a fan of it, it won't bother you. It's all basically a prop in the stage being set. Actually.. it might be better for those who aren't. Afterall, it's not everyone's fantasy. =) 5 out of 5 stars.

Eternal Rider: Lords of Deliverance #1

"You know I could crush you."
"I know you won't."
"Why, because I need to protect you?"
"No." She poked him in the breastplate. "Because you gave me a pillow."

Eternal Rider
Larissa Ione
Lords of Deliverance, book one
Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published April 1st 2011 by Grand Central Publishing
ISBN 978044657449
Author's site

They are here. They ride.
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

His name is Ares, and the fate of mankind rests on his powerful shoulders. If he falls to the forces of evil, the world falls too. As one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, he is far stronger than any mortal, but even he cannot fight his destiny forever. Not when his own brother plots against him.

Yet there is one last hope. Gifted in a way other humans can't-or won't-understand, Cara Thornhart is the key to both this Horseman's safety and his doom. But involving Cara will prove treacherous, even beyond the maddening, dangerous desire that seizes them the moment they meet. For staving off eternal darkness could have a staggering cost: Cara's life.

Ares and his three siblings, Reseph, Thanatos, and sister Limos, are the spawns of the angel, Yenrieth, who after many decades finally fell prey to the succubus Lilith's pursuit. The boys grew up, and in need for vengeance against the demons destroying their families and homes, they encouraged humans to wage war against them.

From there, heaven intervened and soon a deal was struck with the devil. As punishment, the children of Yenrieth were charged with the keeping of Armageddon. Each was given a seal, and should they keep their seal intact until God's time, their souls would be saved. Should the seals be broken, they would turn evil and be forever known as Pestilence (Reseph), War (Ares), Famine (Limos), and Death (Thanatos).

Sin, a former bedmate of Ares', has launched a werewolf plague and in doing so Reseph's seal has subsequently broken. She has triggered the Apocalypse. And so begins Eternal Rider.

With just the right blend of fantasy and that very delicate topic of religion, Ione has woven one hell of a good tale.

You don't always have a book that's equally balanced in its violence and smut. Usually, one's written a lot better than the other. Not here. OMG. The war is rough and the sex is AMAZING... orgasmic... without a doubt, the best I've encountered. I have honestly never been so worked up by a moment where a guy asks if his woman is on her cycle. Ridiculous, right? *fans self* That shower scene certainly was. Strange thing is, it was a rather short scene.

So what's better than a band of brothers? Two brothers and a sister. Limos didn't do much in this book but the perceptions of her made for some good laughs. LOL'd at "Chick was weird." and of course, "Apparently, she was the ADD Horseman." Plus, she's a hoot when Reaver shows up.

They each have some rather incredible powers. Than's armor collects the souls of those he kills. In battle, he can call them out and if they kill for him they are granted their freedom. His humor had me in tears. "Never seen anyone hotter. He fills my dreams with his hotness." LMFAO! As far as the seals go... the breaking of Reseph's is triggered by an event. Ares, a person. Limos, a thing. And strangely enough, Than's revolves around his virginity. Can't wait to see how that one plays out.

And the ending of this one? How-after all that rock-your-world awesomeness-how did she manage NOT to disappoint me??? 5 out of 5 stars. And this is my first favorite read of 2011. Hot damn!

Footsteps approached, and he knew by the cadence that it was Thanatos. Knew by the heavy strikes that his brother was armored up.
     “I visited Lilith’s temple and there was no sign of Tristelle… and what the hell are you doing?”
     Ares cursed, long and loud. “I’m an idiot.”
     “Duh.” Than grinned, because yeah, he was a real barrel of laughs. “But what are you doing?”
     “Fucked up. This is so fucked up.” Ares slammed his fist into the wall and hissed through the pain. He never did shit like that, because if you ruined yourself, you couldn’t fight. Sure, the bones he’d just broken would be healed in an hour, but still. “She beat me.”
     “Did you like it?”
     “You’re still not funny.” Ares’s jaw was clenched so tight he could barely understand his own words. “She knows how important she is, and she called me on it.” Man, she’d shocked the shit out of him. Up until now, she’d been as timid as a mouse, afraid of someone saying boo to her, and suddenly, she’d sprouted some teeth.
     Probably because the agimortus had ripped his balls out and transplanted them into her.
     Thanatos laughed, and speaking of teeth, Ares wanted to knock his brother’s out of his head. “It’s about time someone got one up on you. And a female human at that.”
     “Fuck you.”
     “I can’t have sex.”
     “This isn’t a joke, brother.” Every one of Ares’s muscles twitched. “I want her.”
     Than arched a tawny eyebrow, the silver piercing catching the light. “Then take her.”
     “It isn’t that simple. She can’t stand me.” Ares kept pacing, his gut churning, his dick aching. “But then she looks at me with…” Lust? Too strong a word. Longing? Too wimpy. But shit, he could smell her desire, and the way her body would curve into his…
     Thanatos laughed again, and Ares’s hands curled into fists. “You can have any demon female in the underworld just by crooking your finger, and now you want a human, but you don’t know how to have her. This is good.”

The highly anticipated sequel is due out in December! And check out the wallpaper available on the author's website:

Ares & Battle


Kiss of Fury: Dragonfire #2

❝ The earth moans. The fire flickers. The wind dies. The dark academy is opened. ❞

Kiss of Fury
Deborah Cooke
Dragonfire, book two
Kindle Edition, 416 pages
Published August 5th 2008 by Signet Eclipse Mass
ISBN 9780451224767

Alexandra Madison has discovered an invention that could change the world. When her partner is murdered and their lab destroyed, Alex knows she has to rebuild her prototype in time...

Donovan Shea knows the Madison project is of dire importance to the ongoing Pyr/Slayer war. So when he sees Alex being followed by a Slayer, he reacts and defends her, never imagining that she’s his destined mate...

As Slayers close in on their prey, Donovan knows he’ll surrender his life to protect Alex—and lose his heart to possess her.

I really must learn to create a glossary for ALL books I read. Not just some. Never just some. I knew better when it came to Maya Banks and the KGI team. I failed, however, to do so with these damned dragons.

The Wyvern, Sophie, has revealed a vision unto the leader of the Pyr, Erik. A woman will be attacked and Erik knows without reserve that she is the Wizard, destined to mate the Warrior. When the prophecy comes to pass, Erik sends Donovan to collect the wounded human and tadah! the obedient Pyr has found his mate. Problem? This obedient Pyr doesn't want a mate.

Meanwhile, Rafferty-aching to experience his own firestorm-goes without. Bah!

Loved Don's freak out session with Erik and Rafferty. The whole I-don't-want-a-mate argument versus Erik's Too-damn-bad response was entertaining as hell. And Alex's stunt in stealing Don's cherished Ducati- classic goodness. There's no better time to bring out your inner biker chick than when there's a pissed off dragon on your tail. Poor Don. He didn't have a chance in hell. Most remembered scene, though, would be in the mall with Don and Quinn and speak of 'the fuss'. A lone rider with a fetish for lace. Hot.

My jaw nearly hit the floor when I discovered this entire setup revolved around the invention of a new fuel/engine. Has going green ever been more deadly? The biggest wtf however, was the wonder if anyone actually dies in this series. Keir. Delaney. Down one chapter, flying the next. Then when finally a Slayer goes down and doesn't get up, nobody seems to care and the poor guy is just bobbing around like some kind of aquarium furniture for hours. And what's with the undead army?

He caught his breath-it was that sensitive that the light brush of her fingers sent a stab of pain through him.
   Worse, the scale beside it fell into Alex's hand.
   Donavan gaped at it. His vulnerability had just doubled.
   And he knew why.

I appreciate this author's omniscient style of writing. The "If only he had known" or "If only he had seen" create the most amazing moods. In book one, Sara experienced Quinn's past through dreams. Here, Alex does the same for Donavan via an enchanted television. That Wyvern's breaking all kinds of rules. Makes it all a bit too easy. I did manage to take a liking to Donovan and a lot more than I thought I would. Probably even more than Quinn, but I can't help but to lose respect for a man who lists one of his top favorite movies as I, Robot. *shudders* I still think this waiting game of Rafferty's is ugly, sadistic torture. And I don't like ugly. 3 out of 5 stars.

Oh, say hello to Nikolas!

"You are the warrior foretold," Nikolas said, acknowldging a truth that was obvious to him. Donovan inclined his head in agreement. "Nikolas of Thebes," he said, liking the strength of the other warrior's grip. "And where am I welcomed?"
   "The United States of America," Donvovan said. "Two thousand and seven years after the birth of Jesus Christ."
   "Where? Who?"

Ragan's Notes
  • Quinn Tyrell (the Smith), mated to Sara (the Seer)
  • Donovan Shea(the Warrior), son of Keir (Slayer); mated to Alex (the Wizard); brother of Delaney
  • Rafferty Powell, mentor of Donovan
  • Erik Sorensson, leader of the Pyr
  • Sloane Forbes, Apothecary
  • Niall Talbot, Pyr
  • Nikolas, awakened warrior of the Pyr, grown from a Dragon's Tooth
  • Boris Vassily, leader of the Slayers

Previous books in the series:
Kiss of Fire: A Dragonfire Novel


Shadow Hawk

Shadow Hawk
Jill Shalvis
Mass Market Paperback, 256 pages
Published June 1st 2007 by Harlequin
ISBN: 9780373793334

The deadliest combo is a killer body— with a lover's touch!

When his latest mission turns into a bloodbath, ATF officer JT Hawk realizes he's been set up by someone at the top. Wounded and on the run, he has no choice but to take beautiful Abby Wells hostage. After all, she's in danger, too. And if the only way to keep the fiercely independent communications expert safe is to cuff her and bring her along for the ride, he'll do it. With pleasure, even.

Only, given their close contact, it's not long before Hawk's thinking about a totally different kind of pleasure...

Thank you, Redd from The Wyld Hollow, for passing this book on to me.

Shadow Hawk kicked off with just the right combination of humor and sex appeal that I wasn't sure whether to sit up straight and pay good attention, or lean back and get nice and comfy. From there, I don't see how any more action could have fit onto the pages. Non-stop and so fast paced that I felt like I was reading alternate realities at times, scenes were so jumpy that they didn't even match. One minute Ab is watching Hawk shooting Gaines point blank and the next Hawk is on his back with Gaines' foot on his throat. And apparently he'd been there quite a while. No Abby in sight. Hmmm...

But slow things down and orbit the world around Abby and Hawk for a while and that's when things get yummy.

It's amazing what all can happen in one night. And equally astonishing how one can keep up the humor through it all. Hawk is an artist when it comes to quick retorts and sarcasm while the heavy tension between he and Abby is bubbling with hot, spicy need. Oh my, just jump each other already.

Do note that there is no J.T. Hawk as the blurb suggests. There is Conner Hawk and J.T. Logan- both of which we follow in this book. Nice job, Ms Blurb-writer-woman.

I enjoyed getting a taste of Logan but, truth be told, his entire side story was just plain filler. It didn't help things that I didn't care much at all for his woman, Callen. Could a girl be any easier? Take a lesson from Abby, dear. You gotta make 'em suffer for it. 4 out of 5 stars.

Stay still, he reminded himself.
    The hardest thing he'd ever done.
    "Okay," she whispered, answering some unspoken question in her own head. The she dipped her head and nearly, but not quite, touched her lips to his.
    And then stopped.
    He didn't move either, just did his best to keep breathing so he wouldn't pass out and miss something good.
    And then, as if he'd somehow passed a final test he hadn't ever seen coming, she licked her lips and kissed him.
    Killed him.
    Same thing.


Re-read: Picture Perfect
by Evangeline Anderson

Ever since Melanie's mom married Kurt's dad she's had the hots for her step brother.

Will she and Kurt be able to keep from breaking the most forbidden taboo or give in to temptation while posing for a book of erotic pictures?

Picture Perfect by Evangeline Anderson got some rather mediocre reviews on Goodreads, and I can't figure out exactly why. I loved this! Maybe it is a bit ludicrous and yes, admittedly, it is repetitive but it's too fucking hot not to love!!

ebook | 83 pages | Published November 25th 2008 by Loose ID | ISBN 9781596328464

Her Fallen Angel: Her Angel #2

Her Fallen Angel
Felicity E. Heaton
Her Angel, book two
Kindle Edition
Published October 11th 2010 by Alinar Publishing

Annelie fell for Lukas the moment he walked into her pub three years ago. He’s stunning, his vivid green eyes lending to his otherworldly beauty, but he’s seriously out of her league. When he tells her that she’s beautiful and confesses that he wants her, she can’t resist him and his passionate kiss. She unleashes her desire and seizes the moment and Lukas with both hands. But Lukas has a secret, one that will test Annelie’s love for him and threaten to tear them apart.

He’s an angel.

Annelie can’t believe it when Lukas says that their feelings for each other aren’t a sin, but she can believe his pain when he tells her the reason he’s on Earth. He is fallen, cast out of Heaven as punishment for a crime he didn’t commit. Lukas isn’t about to give up and accept his fate though. He’s determined to prove both his innocence and his love for Annelie, and to show her that the intense passion they share is real.

When Lukas and Apollyon discover who framed him, will he be able to stop them from going after Serenity and Annelie? Will he be able to protect the woman he loves and fly away with her into their forever after?


Three years ago, Lukas was cast from heaven as punishment for a crime he was not guilty of. Three weeks ago, he made his first appeal, in which he failed miserably. Now, drunk off his ass from his first taste and subsequent binge on alcohol, he finally musters up the courage to make a move on the one woman who has captivated him since his fall- Annelie.

They share a night together, but when she triggers his wings the next morning and discovers his true existence, Lukas becomes determined to prove to Annelie that he's still the same person he's always been. And for some reason he has to drag her along to Paris to do it.

These Her Angel stories are simple and sweet. So simple that you're definitely not going to get lost in a torrent of background information and complex plot theatrics. And so sweet that if you're one of those that cringe on the ooey-gooeyness of romance it would be best to just steer clear. We're talking about angels falling hopelessly in love after all.

I gotta say, I really miss Heaton's Sons of Lyra/Daughters of Lyra series. Found immensely more enjoyment in those when compared to these Angel books. These just don't have the goods to keep me engrossed. After my chorus of Gah's from book one, Her Dark Angel, and the lack of oomph rising up from this (although the sex was rather steamy), I'm stepping away from the Angels. Still a fan of Felicity Heaton, but for here, for now, I'm done. 2 out of 5 stars.

Other books in the series:
Her Dark Angel (Her Angel Romance Series)Her Warrior Angel (Her Angel Romance Series)


Soul Master

Soul Master
Reese Gabriel
ebook, 76 pages
Published July 20th 2007 by Ellora's Cave
ISBN 9781419911378
This book is the sequel to Chaining His Heart

Beautiful, sassy Cindy wants the handsome mercenary Conrad DeWitt in the worst way. She has the perfect opportunity when Conrad's brother marries her best friend Chelsea on a romantic and remote Caribbean island.

Over a glass of wine, Cindy confesses her desires to Conrad. He tries to warn Cindy away, telling her that he is an incorrigible sexual Dominant who will accept nothing short of total obedience and submission from his bed partners. To his amazement, Cindy confesses that a taste of sexual slavery is exactly what she's been craving in the lonely hours of the night — but without the whips and chains.

A bargain is struck and the two plunge together into an unforgettable night of passion and surrender. Conrad claims her body and soul, but little does he realize that his heart and hers will be swept away in the surge of desire.

My second read of Reese Gabriel and I'm developing quite a weakness for these arrogant jerks. Why? Because no matter how high minded and controlling these Doms are, they always seem to have marriage or a long term commitment on mind. Oh yeah, a romantic like me is way too easy.

While his brother enjoys bondage, Conrad delves into the more mental approach of dominating his women. And role play is just one of his tools of seduction. Now the whole prostitute/customer deal is rather cheesy, but with the subtlety it kinda worked. Then with all stereotypical one night stands, Cindy wants more and Conrad just wants to slip out before dawn. The sex is a nice tease and definitely sets the mind up for some serious fantasies but the chaos of Cindy's feelings and Conrad's 'You've had the best of me' mentality throws some serious punches against the previously crafted mood.

The beginning is good. The ending is better. Everything in between was, for lack of a better word, crap. After Conrad dips, suddenly Cindy's the one at fault. She didn't rise to the occasion of knowing exactly what Conrad needed and conseqently fails in giving it to him. It falls to the female to figure out what the male needs and conforming in order to make a relationship work. For what I believed to be an erotic novel, the smut, to my own disappointment, isn't worth investing in when paired with the rest of the story. 2 out of 5 stars.


Wish List: April

April 1

Wanting to be a part of mankind, the angel fell—losing his halo, the prize that held his earthbound soul. Now Cooper must retrieve it. But wherever the Fallen walk, a Sinistari demon intent with slaying one is not far behind. Cooper knows he must be wary of this demon. But his first encounter with her leaves him curiously hungering for more...

To reclaim her own soul, Pyxion must kill an angel. Not just any angel, but one who's fallen to earth and taken on an irresistible, seductive human form. She never expected that she would feel an attraction for the man she hunted—or that she might need his help. When faced with a powerful mutual threat, she and Cooper form an alliance. But as the danger heightens, so does the passion...and if they give in, all could be lost.