Pleasure with Purpose

Pleasure with Purpose
Lisa Renee Jones
ebook, 57 pages
Published April 18th 2011 by Lisa Renee Jones
ISBN 2940012336224
Amazon freebie

Heather and Brad have been close family friends for ten years but both have secretly pined for each other, secretly fantasized about one sultry hot night together. So when fate delivers them a chance at that night -- will they take it -- and risk a lifetime of friendship being destroyed? Or will they pretend they can really wake up tomorrow and pretend it never happened?


Immortal Temptress: Devil's Promenade #1

Immortal Temptress
Aileen Fish
Devil's Promenade, book one
Published July 24th 2011 by Aileen Fish
ISBN 2940012759429
Amazon freebie

May you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you're dead.

Enya’s job is to escort the dying on their final journey, to make sure their souls get to heaven before a demon can steal their bodies. For centuries she has done this without emotion, until the body in question belongs to Kane Sullivan. Not only does she desire his rock-hard body, she can't bear the thought of him dying. But she’s not supposed to become emotionally involved in a death. Kane's sudden run of near-fatal accidents always happen when Enya is present. She might be hot, but he's not willing to die to get to know her. Then he discovers she’s fighting for his soul. That damned immortal temptress might be the death of him.

I really enjoyed this one. It doesn't have any huge declarations of love although there is somewhat of a soulmate factor as Kane feels driven to keep Enya by his side. Everything else though is a matter of choice-not fate-even one's choice to become an immortal. That, and the Council's easy deference to Enya, were the few details I felt a resistance to.

The smut is mild, and not at all graphic, and the romance is based around attraction more than anything else. All in all, it certainly did the trick of urging me to continue on with this series. 3 out of 5 stars.

Other books in the series:
Renegade Wolf (Devil's Promenade) 99¢ on Amazon


Madison Scott
Published June 2010 by Liquid Silver
ISBN 9781595787149

Catrina Reynolds has a secret. By day, she cares for the daughter of her boss, Hunter James, but by night, she pens naughty fantasies about him in her journal. A man like Hunter, gorgeous, wealthy and confident would never return the affections of a sweet, mousy, nanny like Catrina, so when journaling is no longer enough, she's forced to act out her fantasies alone...

While his daughter is away for the weekend, Hunter plans to get to know his quiet, shy nanny. He senses there's more to the woman than meets the eye. When he stumbles upon her calling out his name while showering, he wants nothing more than to lure the wildcat out of her sugary, sweet shell.

Catrina and Hunter embark on a weekend of erotic fantasies all geared toward bringing out the naughty girl hiding inside her. But is there more between them than their sexual games? Will he make all her fantasies come to life?

Sweet Cat, kitty cat, wild cat-- enough al-freaking-ready!

I'm not typically the shut-up-and-fuck type, but Hunter was so damn annoying with his blah blah blah and never ending sentences. Sometimes a grunt is all a woman needs. And I hate it when they grunt! But I would have snatched it up in a heartbeat with this guy. Every time he opens his mouth this long stretch of nothingness comes pouring out.

The smut itself actually had potential. However, chopped to bits by the grating pet names and kitty this/kitty that, and tossed in amongst Hunter's love of hearing himself dirty talk, I just couldn't take it. 0 stars


Skin Dive: Skin #4

❝  Sweet, sweet girl, I want to dive under your skin. ❞

Skin Dive
Ava Gray
Skin, book four
ebook, 280 pages
Published May 21st 2011

She can’t remember what home is like
Gillie is a fugitive. She has the scars to prove her long-term incarceration, but it’s the kind of story that would land her in another cell if she tried to present it to the authorities. Now that she’s free, she’s determined never to be bound again. She has a powerful healing gift—and a fierce resolve never to use it, unless it’s her choice.

He can’t remember wanting anything more
Taye is keeping a powerful secret. He cannot remember everything about his past, but he knows he used to be homeless, one of the crazy-tinfoil-hat-wearing brigade. He knows his own family threw him away when he became too much trouble. He also knows he has a limited amount of time to make sure Gillie gets the life she’s always wanted. It just hurts because he can’t be a part of it. Because his ability is killing him, and there’s nothing he can do about it.

But he’s determined not to seduce her, and to do one thing right before he dies–save Gillie Flynn. But she’s busy making plans of her own…

Taye met Gillie while they were incarcerated in an institution where Rowan and his people inflicted horrible tests and abuse upon the captives. Taye swore he'd get Gillie out of there- she was too good and innocent to waste away in such a place.

With her help, he succeeds. And even though they have no identity, they're still hunted by the facility through mercs and more.

This book so didn't feel like a fourth in a series. Numerous characters, all with their own twisted back stories, and it certainly doesn't help that they each have so many identities. Gillie Flynn becomes Grace aka Cardinal. Taye, aka T-89, was once Tyler Golden, and is now Crow.

The new identities come after they survive alone in the real world for a while and come to work for Mockingbird who runs an elite rebel alliance against the Foundation. This guy is the shyt. He even wipes the memories of his own soldiers and has a strict no contact policy between agents.

All of the supporting characters- Tanager, Hawk, Heron- have their own hidden identities so I couldn't identify them if I wanted to in ties to the other books. Cale, though, had me from the get go, despite the issue that he's a merc working for the wrong team. The redeemable qualities were there, and honestly, I've never met a 'Cale' who was all bad.

The ending was just perfect for me. It was about time Taye straightened himself out. He had it way too easy. It was only fitting that he had to win Gillie over after all that pushing her away. 4.5 out of 5 stars.

After a moment, Gillie opened the door. The first thing he noticed? Her red hair. Symbolic, he figured, for taking back the sense of self she’d lost while pretending to be someone else. He was so glad she didn’t have to do that anymore, however this turned out.
     “You bastard,” she snarled.
     That was his only warning. A heavy book flew at his head, then a lamp, and then the contents of the bowl she kept beside the door; coins and keys pelted him. Still cussing him, she backed into the apartment and laid hands on a pretty crystal vase. Heavy, it looked like. Her aim was better, too, because despite his attempt to dodge, she nailed him with it; hurt his shoulder more than he would’ve expected, and then it smashed into shards at his feet.
     “Just let me explain,” he said.
     But inwardly, he was smiling. Bent as it was, her outrage meant she still loved him. He just had to talk her past it. Admittedly, it could take a while, but he had an ace up his sleeve.
     “There’s nothing to explain, you fuckhead. I hate you and I hope your balls rot off. I hope you die in the woods alone, bears eat your bowels, and then your spirit’s cursed to wander the earth for all eternity.”


Creative License

Creative License
Lynne Roberts
ebook, 92 pages
Published February 15th 2011 by Samhain Publishing
ISBN 9781609283636

Loose ends have a way of tripping you up…

Years ago, a law school graduation weekend in Vegas had been part of Lily MacPherson’s plan. Waking up next to a naked Adonis with a ring on her finger was not. After a quick annulment, she relegated Caleb Anderson to her late-night fantasies—and very short list of mistakes—until his voice on the other end of the phone asks a favor that could shake the foundations of her neat and tidy future.

Caleb is still haunted by Lily’s horrified expression that morning in Vegas. At least it had made it easy to set her free…except they aren’t. The papers were never filed. And when the nosy patroness who could launch his painting career insists on meeting his “wife”, does he confess, or call Lily? He calls Lily.

When she steps off the plane, Caleb’s determination to play tour guide disappears in the San Francisco fog. Lily thought she could keep up the pretense for one weekend, cut the last tie to her past, and move on. But their chemistry still pops and sizzles, finally exploding into passion at Caleb’s studio.

It’s everything they remember…but so is the yawning chasm of differences that, in the end, could once again drive them apart.

Warning: Contains balmy ocean breezes, coffee as seduction, the creative use of melted chocolate, and naughty shower lovin’ that gives new meanings to the term “shower head”.

Three years ago, Lily spent a weekend in Las Vegas where she met Caleb and the two shared a passionate, drunken night together. By morning they were married, with no recollection of the ceremony. Filing for an annulment, Lily thought the entire ordeal was behind her until out of the blue Caleb calls her up and relays news that the paperwork had never been processed.

Next thing you know, she's on a plane going across the country to play her part as his wife for a woman who holds Caleb's career in her hands.

Lily and Caleb fall into an easy rhythm while playing pretend and find the attraction didn't die in Vegas. Despite Lily being in a relationship, it's one that doesn't require her fidelity and neither is she inclined to give it. I will never understand those types of 'relationships'.

The romantic in me was all sighs at the end of this book. Props to Caleb for such a grand display. He's been hung up on Lily for the entire three years although he doesn't see himself ever living up to her ten year plan. But they click and the passion carries them from there. Very nice. 4 out of 5 stars.

A Little Harmless Sex

A Little Harmless Sex
Melissa Schroeder
ebook, 200 pages
Published February 6th 2007 by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN 9781599984230

Is it love, or just a little harmless sex?

Max has always been Anna's knight in shining armor. But Max has always seen her as a charming, and very sexy, little sister. Until Max's cold fiance dumps him, Anna unloads another of her many conquests and she invites him over for margaritas and Mexican food. Too much tequila, too much flirting, and too many years of fighting the attraction-Max loses control and has mind-blowing sex with Anna on her couch. And in her shower. And in her bed. When the sun rises the next morning, both of them must face that their night together is just the first of many.

For Max, he knows he wants Anna forever, but convincing a commitment-phobe like Anna is no easy task. For Anna, she can't believe she has finally slipped beneath Max's steely self-control. He is every woman's dark, wet fantasy come true. But what happens when the Max pushes Anna for more than just A Little Harmless Sex?

Warning, this title contains the following: explicit sex, graphic terms for body parts, torture via silk stockings, a little spanking, and shower and office sex.

First off, there is no office sex. And it's bad to tease about stuff like that.

The blurb sums this one up nicely. Max and Anna have always had a thing for eachother but the timing just never fit, until now. With the sexual tension out of the way, Anna realizes she always been in love with her best friend, the reason no other guy was worthy enough to keep around.

Max, meanwhile, decides he's figured out the details which contributed to the failure of all others before him. One, they were boys with no skill at dominating Anna's determination to control everything. And secondly, no other male has ever romanced his best friend. So he sets out to do just that and a battle of wills commences.

This was my first read of Melissa Schroeder and I have to admit that even though the story was very good, my biggest thrill actually came from her bio, specifically her dreams in life. Having lived in Georgia for most of my existence, I too wonder if there is such a place where bugs die. 4 out of 5 stars.


A Forever Kind of Love

❝  Blindly, she reached up and he caught her hand, twined their fingers.
"My girl," he teased. ❞

A Forever Kind of Love
Shiloh Walker
ebook, 101 pages
Published April 29th 2011 by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN 9781609284312

You can always come home. Second chances come a little harder.

Chase and Zoe were the high school golden couple. Football captain, cheerleader, prom royalty. After graduation, though, Chase couldn’t resist the urge to experience life outside their small town. He didn’t exactly expect Zoe to wait twelve years for him, but now that he’s back, he finds some small part of him hoping she did.

It’s no big surprise she’s married. The kick in the face is she married his best friend.

Zoe was devastated when Chase left, but she’s filed those bittersweet memories under “Moved On”. She loves her life, and loves her husband. She has all she needs. And Chase keeps an honorable distance.

One cold, wet, miserable day, tragedy turns Zoe’s world upside down. Chase never expected her to simply fall into his arms, but a man can dream. Except his dream doesn’t include the fact that this time, she’s the one hitting the road…and he’s the one left behind.

Product Warnings: This story contains heartbreak, heartache and one last chance for two lovers to find each other.

Fifteen years ago, just after graduation, Chase escaped his small town home and ran away to see the world. He left behind a loving father, and a brokenhearted girlfriend. What he took with him was a golden necklace that held a charm-the letter Z. Zoe moved on, ended up dating Chase's best friend, Roger, and the two were married soon after.

Chase never expected Zoe to wait for him, but he never in his wildest nightmares imagined she'd marry his best friend. His heart shattered upon hearing that revelation.

And months pass.

Roger is diagnosed with a brain tumor and once more Zoe's world begins to fall apart.

I knew, from the theme of this book, that something was going to happen with Roger. I didn't expect a tumor. And I certainly didn't plan on Walker making me like the guy before ripping him from the pages. Should have though. Walker is wicked like that. She delves not just into the reality of brain tumors, but into the poison that eats away at the victim and their loved ones. Not just the despair, but the rage.

And into the unparalleled power of love.

Sixteen years... Unfathomable. Such a stirring, beautiful story, I can't begin to list the many emotions I sailed through with this one. The cover, much to my surprise and glee, captures the essence of Chase and Zoe so very well. 5 out of 5 stars.

Sex Stalker

Sex Stalker
Darren G. Burton
Kindle Edition
Published August 23rd 2010
Amazon freebie

Ryan's life is dull and boring. That is, until the mysterious M comes along. Ryan's life goes from mundane to exciting when a secret admirer starts leaving messages on his car and sending him lewd emails. She calls him for phone sex with the promise of meeting in the flesh.

Will Ryan finally meet the mysterious M and discover her true identity? And what promiscuous acts does she have in store for him when they do meet?

I was there. This was there. The price was free. And that's the story of how I came to read this book.

Caught in the rut of his mundane life, Ryan's world becomes a tangle of excitement when he begins to receive simple but lascivious messages from a secret admirer. When the mysterious M ups the ante with phone sex calls, things get even more interesting.

I admit it. I'm a giggler when it comes to reading phone sex. And it certainly doesn't help when neither of the participants are very good at it. Of course, that may be a question of personal taste but I don't know. Shouldn't it be... artistic?

The language is crude and to the point with a number of indelicate metaphors. The identity of M never does get revealed, although I'm thinking 'Man' might be a fitting shocker. But, for only $1.99 you can learn the true identity in the sequel. For now, I'm going to remain blissfully unaware. 2 out of 5 stars.

Darren G. Burton has been a writer and photographer for more than 25 years. He has written numerous full length works of fiction and non-fiction. In addition to his books, he has had many articles and short stories published in major publications.

The Touch

The Touch
Jaymie Holland
aka Cheyenne McCray
Published March 20th 2011 by Jaymie Holland, via Smashwords
ISBN 2940011245107

Chandra Singleton has spent her life trying to avoid touching anyone's hands. When she does the results can be crippling as she sees what the future has in store for them.

Until the tall, dark, and sexy Wade Branson takes her hand and she sees herself with Wade in erotic episode after erotic episode. A total stranger who is meant to be in her bed.

But there's danger in her vision, too. Both of their lives may be at stake-as well as Chandra's heart.

Wade and Chandra meet at an artists' market where he outbids her for a painting of an Arizona sunrise. The jerk. But Wade doesn't want the painting. He wants the microchip stuck to the back corner of it. The same microchip that Chandra stumbled upon only moments earlier and stuck in her pocket.

Unbeknownst to each other, Wade and Chandra both have a gift. Chandra has the Touch, where she can see the future of a person just by touching them with her hands. Wade has the Shadow. He can shift and become one with the shadows, any shape or size.

This book has the basics: sex, secrets, and betrayal. What made it above average, for me, was the cruelty of the villain-that was one heartless son of a bastard-and the openness of the characters to accepting fate and the future was a nice surprise.

I did, too, have a huge appreciation for the scenes where Wade and Chandra are busy getting it on when the house suddenly gets shot up, they get barricaded in the attic, and ultimately proceed to pick up right where they left off once they get a moment of peace. The smut could have been hotter, but... satisfied nonetheless. 3 out of 5 stars.

Demon Love

Demon Love
Georgia Tribell
Published May 1st 2011 by Harlequin
ISBN 9781426885587

Kendra Morton has trained and worked side-by-side with Thor Kensington for years, hunting the demons who come to earth from the parallel world of Torlin. Despite his dark allure, she knows him to be a cold and unbending leader. So why does her heart still race with desire every time he's near?

Half-demon Thor has always wanted to be Kendra's lover, even though she's off limits. If takes an attempt on her life by a traitorous saboteur to make him act on their hidden passion. But now that he has the woman of his dreams, can he protect her from the unknown assassin…and from his own inner demon?

This story jumped to the point right at the beginning in a cataclysm of the past eighteen months of Kendra and half-demon Thor working in direct contact with one another. Covered in a deadly ash, residue from her latest demon vanquishing, Kendra is forced to strip down to her bra and panties to keep the poison from seeping through her clothes and into her skin. Thor, her boss and trainer, offers his coat and for the first time Kendra catches a look of lust in his eyes.

Thor has always held himself at a distance from Kendra but with her equipment malfunctioning more and more as of late, his nerves are a wreck from worry over her well-being. He comes to the conclusion that someone is out to kill the woman he loves and suddenly confessing his feelings becomes the easiest thing in all the world.

Demon Love, sadly, is all love and little demon. Thor disappointed me. He wasn't very demon-like and his father was even worse. Taking race out of the equation, the story is likeable enough but when it comes to my loveable demons, I think I'll be sticking with Michelle Rowen. 2 out of 5 stars.

I, Zombie

I, Zombie
Clive Bonnet (and Nick Spalding)
Kindle Edition
Published July 13th 2011 by Racket Publishing
Amazon freebie

"My name is Jim Monroe and I am a zombie.

"My natural life on this planet has ceased and I've been re-animated to stalk the world as a pale, hollow imitation of my former self.

"I'm different from my undead brethren though... I'm a zombie with a brain.

"This is the short, shocking story of how I came to be this way."

Anyone who's ever cared enough to watch a zombie flick should appreciate this short story. Told through the POV of Jim Monroe, he recollects how he came to realize he had become one of the living dead and describes the events that led him to pen his experience.

Though graphic during certain situations, the mood remains light and entertaining as the author assigns humor to just about everything Jim encounters.

As I've already stated, it's hard (if not impossible) to feel fear physically when your body has more or less shut itself down.
     ...ditto shock.
     ...ditto surprise.
     So when the bedroom door banged open violently and my hideously decaying girlfriend appeared with arms outstretched, my body didn't react all that much.
     Perhaps a slight twitch and a wobble on my heels, but that was about it.
     In my mind however, this was going on: 'Aarrgghh! Ohshitohchristohfuckme! Aarrgghh!'

At the price of free, this quick read will cost you nothing but five minutes of your life. And it's more than worth it. 5 out of 5 stars.


One Night with the Wolf

One Night with the Wolf
Anna Hackett
Published March 1st 2011 by Harlequin
ISBN 9781426885556

Werewolf Jade Thorne needs a man-a young, virile man to give her love and pleasure. As a rare female alpha, she must keep her pack safe by pledging herself in marriage to an aging leader from a rival pack. Until then, she wants to experience the raging passion of a wolf in his prime. She even has an ideal lover at hand: her Second, Christian Tallant. But Christian is a wolf who will demand to dominate her body, mind and soul. Now Jade must decide if she can afford to submit to his desire-and if one night with the wolf will really be enough.

Keeping with my latest Friends-To-Lovers reading theme, I was psyched when Redd sent me this via Amazon. It had been on my wish list for quite a while so I just had to dive right in.

Exiled from his pack, a broken and bloodied Christian was taken in by the Thorne pack by the aging alpha, Marius. Once healed, Christian's strength and intelligence won him the place as second-in-command.

Now, Marius is dead and his young mate Jade must marry again to ensure the safety of the pack. Christian's wolf has always been drawn to his alpha female, but he considers himself too unworthy to claim her.

Jade was mated to Marius when she sixteen. He was old then, even by the standards of shifter wolves. Now, she intends to marry again. And it will be another older wolf, too mature to give her any of the passion she sees being shared between the younger pairs in her pack. She decides on the eve of the ceremony to take one night for herself and experience the pleasure of a virile male's body. And she asks Christian to choose for her.

Wicked hot and cheesy as hell! Seriously, Christian is a bit too romantic to be an alpha male... but I love that kind of stuff. A broken spirit, daddy issues, and a destined mating are all yummy components to a delectable read for this chick. 5 out of 5 stars.

Erotic Research

Erotic Research
Mari Carr
ebook, 105 pages
Published March 18th 2008 by Samhain Publishing
ISBN 9781599988948

It was just a little innocent research…

Romance writer Julia Martin is fine with her life, just the way it is. Her simple apartment, successful career and Thursday-night pizza dates with her too-hot-for-words editor Ross are more than enough for her. At least, that’s what she thinks until her cat dies.

Ross Philips has spent years lusting after his shy best friend, but fears his rather strong sexual desires will be too much for Julia. When she falls into a depression over the death of her cat and stops writing, Ross decides she needs a change.

His suggestion? Try a new genre—erotica. And, of course, being such a good friend and editor, he even plans to help her do a little research.

An historical romance writer, Julia has spent the last years of her life living in her head with heroes who loved their women more than life. Her greatest friend was her own cat. With its death, Julia now realizes Ross is the only friend she has left.

It felt like Carr spent the first part of this book doing all she could to make me hate Ross. As I recall, she did the same with my last read of hers too, but then she flips this switch and in seconds, I love the guy. You get a fairly good back story as Julia shares her memories of meeting Ross, and that one stupid night he had to come to her rescue. Even Ross shares a memory or two. There's seduction. And spanking. And roleplay-- Oh, yays for the roleplay.

As the story progresses, Ross is hell bent on doing all he can to win Julia over without scaring her away with his declaration of love. Throughout his agenda, I lost a good amount of the thrill and things took a dull turn. Then came that moment that pretty much has a make-it-or-break-it effect on me as a reader. For this book, because of the ebbing thrill, it was even more significant. That moment here is when Julia confesses her deepest sexual fantasy being a threesome and hot damn! - Best Menage Ever! I may hate toys but I love me a creative man!

Whatever strength had gotten Ross to her apartment and through her front door seemed to slowly seep out of him as he dropped into the chair behind him.
     “I don’t know what you want,” he said miserably.
     “Just read the paper. Please.” She was well aware of the pleading tone in her voice, but she didn’t care. All she wanted was to finish what he’d started in the cabin, the right way this time. He was silent for so long, she knew she’d lost. He would never forgive her.
     “How can you not know how I feel about you?” he started, his voice flat. Startled, she glanced up to see him reading the words on the page she’d handed him.
     “Every time I look at you, I see my past, present and future. All I want in the world is wrapped up in you. I love you, Jules. Dammit, I love you and I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” Crumpling the paper as the last words fell from his lips, Ross stared woodenly at the floor. He’d risked his heart for her again. Her courageous, handsome hero had given her his heart again.

And a note to the author: Great freakin' ending! Epilogues are awesome.

4 out of 5 stars.


Paul Melhuish
Published April 8th 2011 by Greyhart Press
Amazon freebie

Emerging like fish from water, the shapes took form in the air and landed softy among the commuters. A hideous cold accompanied them. Confused passengers saw the monstrosities change shape from formless bodies into uniformed train guards. Uniformed train guards with rubbed-out faces and slits for mouths.

After the photophobes are summoned into our dimension, what hope is there for the survivors? One man, at least, is prepared to strike back!

At 6,000 words (equivalent to about 24 pages in paperback) this Greyhart Press eBook is the perfect length to enjoy on your lunch break, or to complement a drink in your favorite coffee house. Be warned, though, after reading this story you will want to keep the lights on for a long time.

An overzealous television performer decides to smash particles on live tv, claims ignorance to what could be inside the resulting black whole, only pushing that whatever it is, it would make for some great entertainment. And behold, a portal to hell was ripped open.

Despite its length, this story has a pull into its fantasy that most novels fail to achieve. There's not much depth. You won't go any further than a handful of memories and the current objective of the protagonist, but all of it is no less than you need. I don't typically go for those cliffhanger endings, but in this- where it was so simple to bring about the end of life as we know it- the conclusion of an equally simple, would-be solution fit beautifully.

I can only wish other freebies were written as well as this short story. Hell, I wish half the books I've paid for were written this well! 4 out of 5 stars.


Hunter's Moon

Hunter's Moon
Bernadette Gardner
Published February 20th 2011 by Bernadette Gardner, via Smashwords
ISBN 2940011216213

When an inhuman scream silences the night creatures in a Pennsylvania woodland, Alliana Cambridge isn’t afraid. She’s angry. When she goes in search of the source of that tortured sound she expects to find another drunken hunter injured by his own gun.

Instead she finds something indescribable. He’s six feet of sensuous panther-black skin stretched over taut muscle. His green eyes glow with feral intelligence and though she can’t speak his language, Alli knows he’s asking for her help. She watches as his magnificent body heals itself of a vicious gunshot wound and she wonders if he’s come to enslave humans, starting with her.

Of course, she’s probably dreaming. After all, magnificent feline aliens don’t normally roam the woods behind Alli’s home. If he’s still there, in her bed, in the morning...well, she’ll worry about it then.

Alli is a survivor of domestic abuse, and the trauma has left her loath to start up another relationship. Living alone in the woods, enjoying a calm September night, she hears gunshots in the forest and the sharp cry of the wounded. What she discovers is a creature built like a man but with the fur of a beast.

The most appealing aspect of this story was the language barrier between the two main characters before Alli ultimately swallows a translator that screws with her brain and makes communication a possible thing. However, K'vshtin, or Adam as she calls him, isn't all that different from us earthlings. When I read about alien sex, I'm expecting something out of the box but, oh no, he took her like every other earth man.

And the ending, it was horrible. One more chapter might have brought about the closure of so many unanswered questions but it was not to be had. What becomes of Adam now? And how does this all get explained to Ben? 2 out of 5 stars.


Hedda's Sword: Guardians of the Light #2

Hedda's Sword
Renee Wildes
Guardians of the Light, book two
ebook, 272 pages
Published January 6th 2009 by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN 9781605043715

She’s known nothing but pain—but love waits in the arms of one man.

Maleta is a true survivor. Attacked and left for dead at a young age, she has traded her heart and emotions to become the ultimate weapon of vengeance for the Grey Goddess, Hedda. She swears to depose Queen Sunniva and restore her ancestral home to her brother, no matter the cost.

Cianan is drawn to the mysterious land of Shamar on the power of a vision—the death of a beautiful swordswoman to an army of skeletons. When he meets Maleta, he recognizes two things. She is his true Life-Mate. And she is the woman fated to die this horrible death.

He vows to change her fate.

Cianan must unite the diverse people of a fragmented land to overthrow a vicious despot and convince their true queen to take the throne. Falling in love with a mortal woman who’s buried her heart and shies from his every touch—that’s the real challenge.

Maleta knows she can trust Cianan to save her country. Can she trust him to help her save herself?

Warning: Take one narcissistic queen bent on genocide, an assassin nun made of ice and a hero convinced he can change the course of Fate by his will alone. Add a true queen with an aversion to power and a mercenary with a secret that threatens to tear the land in two. Stir briskly. Season with a child-Seer who never shuts up and a tree sprite looking for an apprentice. What do you get? Either a rollicking rebellion or a recipe for disaster. Look for a few familiar faces from DUALITY. Be prepared for tears and laughter. Contains murder and mayhem, drugs and slavery, patricide and references to a memory of rape.

When Loren became king in the last book, it was Cianan whom the Lady chose to replace him as Her chosen champion. Since then, Ciannan has been haunted by dreams of a woman being killed by skeletons in a mighty war. Disguised as a mercenary, his quest to find and save the unknown female brings him to a land being overtaxed by a cruel, murderous queen.

Maleta, too, is the Chosen of her goddess. She is the judge, jury, and executioner of Hedda and works to keep balance between good and evil. When Ciannan learns of her plot to avenge her family and take back her stolen brother, he offers her the choice to fight at his side for the Light. For if she continues to fight for balance, then he fears she might one day fight for the darkness.

I didn't think it altogether possible that a story of an evil queen could be darker than the previous book, a battle against a demon- but it was. Given that Maleta is a survivor of rape, the romance between she and Ciannan is put off for a long while and slow to build when it does arrive. In fact, Ciannan spends most of the book just waiting for Maleta to want him. And when she does, those words of binding could not have left his lips fast enough.

The best part for me was the returning appearances of all the beloved characters from book one. This certainly isn't a series one would want to read out of order without spoiling all the fun and surprises. The structure is the same, however. The two protagonists meet almost instantly, spend some time apart, reunite for battle, wed, and end with a wedding night and an epilogue. And once again, the role of the Lady's Champion is in need of being filled. 3 out of 5 stars.


Quinn, a Vampire Watcher's Story

Quinn, a Vampire Watcher's Story
Elizabeth Loraine
Royal Blood Chronicles, prequel
Kindle Edition
Published June 24th 2011
Amazon freebie

Vampire Watcher's are the human protectors of the vampire royal, ruling class. In Quinn, a Vampire Watcher's Story which is prequill to the series Royal Blood Chronicles from Quinn's point of view. In his story we find out about the Watcher's, how they began and what their role was in the beginning and what it has become. We also get to see Quinn and Katrina as we never have before again from Quinn's point of view.

For an added taste of Royal Blood Chronicles ten chapters of Katrina, the Beginning are also included.

Quinn Voss is the youngest brother of Guntar, the personal Watcher of the vampire Baron Fredrik Von Dracek. In this short story, he recalls the days of his youth and that of Katrina, the Baron's daughter. They've been best friends since they could walk. Inseparable. Quinn wants nothing more than to become her Watcher, and a great one at that. Katrina longs to become a warrior, and when it comes time for her to mate she insists she will marry for love.

Quinn is a realist. He knows his dearest friend will outlive him and, one day, her father will bring home a suitor for her to wed. But for now, his life revolves around her and the training that will best enable him to protect her in the years to come.

The writing is on the simplistic side but it draws you in nonetheless. Did it make me want to continue on in the series? Absolutely. 3 out of 5 stars.

Apocrypha Sequence: Deviance

Apocrypha Sequence: Deviance
Shane Jiraiya Cummings
Kindle Edition
Published January 18th 2011

Apocrypha Sequence: Deviance explores the darkness within the human heart. Set foot inside the morgue at Stratton Memorial Hospital, a place where the scales of life and death have tipped in the wrong direction, and wander the city beyond, where fantasies of sex, drugs, and violence can become frighteningly real. Redemption may be found under a scalpel, in an alley, or sometimes, by embracing the darkest corner of the soul.

The Apocrypha Sequence is a series of dark fantasy collections with interwoven themes and interconnected stories from Shane Jiraiya Cummings, Australia's master of the macabre. Also in the Apocrypha Sequence: Divinity, Inferno, and Insanity.

Hear No Evil
- Blaine awakes in bed, inside a hospital, where an explosion has left him deaf. He hears nothing-- not a word muttered by the nurses nor the doctor --nothing but the screams of a woman in agony.

Simple story of an unexplained phenomenon. Too rushed to build up any suspense so by the time it ended the only reaction you're left with is to turn the page and move on.

The Cutting Room - Dr Parrish attempts to train Gary to perform an autopsy procedure but the female body provided lures Gary to act on desires all her own.

Creepy and erotic. I actually liked this one. =)

Interlude, With Lavender - While awaiting the light, the scent of lavender gives a recently deceased man memories of his wife and children.

Not a fan of this one. Wasn't much of a fan of the movie Ghost either.

Dark Heart Alley - Sixteen year old Miri must aid to bring balance back to Execution Street, where darkness has prevailed and murder reigns.


Wrack - In an apocalyptic time, a man chooses revenge as a means to survive as the world falls to an incurable disease.

This last, very short addition gave the book a strong ending. The religious tie in, backed by the main character being the poor excuse for a human being that he was, cinched it. Dark souls committing hellish acts are a treat for my morbid imagination. Overall, 3 out of 5 stars.

Shane Jiraiya Cummings lives in Perth, Western Australia. He has been acknowledged as "one of Australia's leading voices in dark fantasy", had more than sixty short stories published in Australia, USA, and Europe, and his work has been translated in Spanish, French, and Polish. Shane has won two Ditmar Awards, and he has been nominated for more than twenty other major awards including Spain's Premios Ignotus.

Shane is an Active Member of the Horror Writers Association and former Vice President of the Australian Horror Writers Association. When he is not writing, Shane is an editor and journalist by day and sword fighting instructor by night.

Duality: Guardians of the Light #1

Renee Wildes
Guardians of the Light, book one
ebook, 304 pages
First Published October 21st 2008 by Samhain Publishing
ISBN 9781605043371

Love will give them strength... or prove to be their fatal flaw.

Dara Khan Androcles is really in over her head this time. From childhood she's been forced to hide her half-dragon mage fighting skills behind a public persona as a healer. Now, with a traitor and his demon threatening the throne of Safehold, Dara has no choice but to turn reluctant warrior-and seek help. She strikes a bargain with runaway Elven prince Loren ta Cedric and his sentient, pain-in-the-butt war mare, Hani'ena. Loren's not only too handsome for Dara's own good, the powerful empath can see right through to the pain that drives her.

Loren can't help but feel Dara's every hurt, physical and emotional. Though his need for her drives him half mad, he must stay his course to see justice done for his people. Even if it means swearing a Life Debt to the distracting mortal. That vow, made in the heat of their parallel quests, carries more power than either of them guessed. The power to bond the unlikely pair as Life Mates. The power to lay bare the fears and desires that could bind them to a single purpose-or tear them apart. All the while a demon awaits, ready to destroy all that they hold dear.

Warning: Contains patricide; noble self-sacrifice; one bad-ass, demon-possessed despot; a bad-tempered dragon; and a water mage who likes to "rain" on her husband's parade-literally. Downside: A quest for a magic book (written in blood) that nobody wants, and a talking war mare with the warm, fuzzy voice of Judy Densch. Upside: Serious ass-kicking. Be prepared to learn to curse, cry and laugh-in Elvish

The battle ends as Dara moves along the field of dead and dying bodies. She heals those she can, offering prayers and blessings, until she comes to Rufus, the last person she left in this world. His final words are a plea that she find the foreign lad. Find him and save him.

Loren lays wounded, his father beckoning to him via an enchanted amulet with the message to heal, and to return home. That his betrothed awaits him. Loren has neither worry or care for the woman, and so he mends his wounds intending to stay and assist Hengist in their plight. When Dara stumbles upon him, he at first thinks her a man. Even as she defends his life against three attackers.

Definitely my kind of heroine. Kicking ass, not bothering with the names and mercy- what's that?

Afterwards, as Loren's healing continues he swears a life-debt to Dara, binding them until death. An act which has more meaning than Loren could have prepared for once Dara's ancestry is revealed.

Loren and Dara are ideal medieval characters. They both have a deep rooted belief in death before dishonor and realize that their world is worth that death. The supporting characters are equally enthralling and actually *support* the union between the immortal elven prince and his bastard, peasant love... for the most part. Hell, elven royals who want their grandchild to just be happy- how often does that happen? 4 out of 5 stars.


Eye Contact: Conditioned #1

❝  What did a man do when he got everything he'd ever wanted
but knew he could never keep? ❞

Eye Contact
Rebecca Royce
The Conditioned, book one
Published March 4th 2011 by Decadent Publishing
ISBN 2940011217203

Thirty years ago, after the breakdown of an oil negotiation, the President of the United States decided that all people born with unusual abilities, which he would now refer to as “the condition”, would be locked away from the general public where they couldn't harm others. Parents and loved ones of these people, most of whom were children, were forced to turn them in upon penalty of death. Formed to keep the institutions secure, the Committee for the Protection of a Free Society now rules these institutions with an iron fist.

The granddaughter of one the Committee members, Addison Wade has lived her life wary of the institutions and all they represent. A woman of secrets, she is forced to turn to Safe Dawn, one of the facilities designed to hold conditioned people, when her nephew is kidnapped and, despite her best efforts, cannot be recovered. She knows the last thing anyone in 'Safe Dawn' will want to do is to help a Wade with any problems, but she is desperate and out of options.

Spencer Lewis is famous for being the premier conditioned ‘locator.’ There's no one he can't find and he has a soft spot for missing children. But, Spencer has been through a trauma and locating Jeremy Wade may be dangerous both to himself and to those around him. In addition, he takes one look at ice cold Addison Wade and wants nothing more than to knock her down a peg. Never having turned down an opportunity to help a child, he reluctantly agrees to help recover Jeremy.

In a world where nothing is as it seems and every person they encounter has his own agenda, Addison and Spencer will find that the only people they can trust are each other. But how can anyone fall in love living in a world that wants you dead just for being born?

Years ago, children around the world began to show evidence of possessing psychic abilities. Soon, their talent became feared, and in America, they were herded into institutions and laws were passed that any who withheld the children from the government would be considered terrorists and killed for their treachery.

Present day, Safe Haven provides these Conditioned with a home. They have no rights, no property, no true family. To even defend themselves against the violence of the rest of the populace means instant death. Among them is Spencer Lewis, whose powers enable him to find missing children.

When Addison Wade, granddaughter of the man responsible in many ways for the horrible treatment of the Conditioned, seeks his aide to find her nephew, it is at a time when he is only half capable. His anchor, the partner that which kept him grounded during his psychic travels, has been put to death. But despite his current situation, he can't refuse Addison. The man is smitten, and a little arrogant.

It's been a long while since I've gotten excited over a character's entrance. Not since Kaylin and Severn's reunion in Sagara's Cast in Shadow six years ago. But I did get a smile out of Spencer's explosive hysterics. The guy has lived a shell of a life. The world considers him property, and a threat. No one's ever cared about him but he does what good he can just in case there's a chance he might have in heaven when it's all over. Oh, how I loved him.

This series is going to completely eclipse my memory of the Westervelt Wolves. Royce did remarkably well in creating this world of prejudice and ignorance and molding characters who help bring it all home. This is an author who's made it to a whole new level. Easily one of the best I've read this year. 5 out of 5 stars.


Seducing Jason | Kismet |
A Love For All Nights

Seducing Jason
Brandi Evans
ebook, 30 pages
Published February 9th 2011 by Brandi Evans, via Smashwords
ISBN 2940011222269
Free read from AllRomanceEbooks.com

Maggie wants her brother's best friend, and tonight, she's gonna make her move...

Maggie has suffered a crush on her brother's best friend since she was sixteen. For the past few months, she's spent every weekend pulling together the nerve to show up on his doorstep and finally fulfill the fantasy of what it would be like to be his-if only for one night. But everytime, she chickens out.

Before she can withdraw yet again, Jason catches her outside his apartment and well... things go from there.

I truly didn't expect to enjoy this short story as much as I did. It's exceptionally well written, hot as hell... and even though it's an erotic romance, the characters manage to keep their personalities all throughout the intense passion. The ending is abrupt, as typical with any quick read, but given that you've only been privy to one moment in a story with the potential for so many more pages, it definitely makes you crave more.

Classic fantasy about two friends becoming lovers and the life changing event that sparks a romance, what more in a quickie could a reader of this genre want? Seriously! What more do you people want?! 5 out of 5 stars.

Aliyah Burke, Taige Crenshaw, McKenna Jeffries
Published April 7th 2011 by Summerhouse Publishing
Free read from AllRomanceEbooks.com

A woman in hiding and a hunter…what happens when they encounter one another?

Adamek “Dak” Nervig has arrived in Savoy Valley to visit an old friend. A lone hunter of things foul and evil, Dak is unwittingly drawn in by a quiet woman who needs protection. The beast normally quiet within him roars to life upon their first meeting, and he begins to wonder if the hunter has just become the hunted.

Kaida Miah Ayre is scared. Chased by ater malum, soul-eaters, the creatures who had murdered her mother, she has come, however reluctantly, to Savoy Valley and accepted the protection offered. Yet when she meets a man whose aura is very intense, and who makes her feel things she never believed she could experience, Kaida wonders if it’s just another ploy to get close to her and hurt her. She must come to terms with who and what she truly is.

Despite the suspicion and tension between them, passion erupts. They must learn to trust one another, and to trust in the powers they both possess, in order to defeat something much worse than they could have imagined. Ice, wind, and even fire… when the smoke clears, they will see it was inevitable for them to be together. It’s Kismet.

This response comes from a reader utterly unfamiliar with the works of Aliyah Burke, Taige Crenshaw, or McKenna Jeffries. That said...

The world in Kismet is undoubtedly alluring. There are, however, a number of things that take away from the pleasure in reading it. The convulsive flow and all of the italicized conversation wreaked havoc on my brain. I didn't know if the characters were talking to themselves or these strange beasts that kept being mentioned. I don't know if they were possessed or being haunted, or whether the creature was living inside them, a parallel dimension, or hovering unseen in the air somewhere. Way too much confusion. Damu needed some serious explaining.

And what the hell was the relationship between Dak and Saskia? At first I thought ex, but that felt wrong. Sister? That's just weird. I expect this books to tease and toy, not drive me to the brink of freaking reader insanity. 1 star.

A Love For All Nights
Jessica Coulter Smith
ebook, 16 pages
Published 2009 by Wild Horse Press
Free read from AllRomanceEbooks.com

A creature of the night, Carson has clung to the shadows, feeding to stay alive but not feeling anything. Until she came along... The moment he sets eyes on Alexa he knows who she is. His perfect match, his eternal love.

Warning: This is an erotic novel

Omitted the cover on this one because a wrinkly woman's ass is something I didn't think I needed on my blog. You're welcome to follow the above link if that's something that interests you.

The blood flowed like honey, thick and sweet, as it slid down Carson's throat.

Okay, so *hot damn* on the opening line. Unfortunately, after that, I didn't buy much into the story. Starting out, we meet Carson who embodies a respectable gentlemen remembering the finer times of the past decades. From there, introductions are made to Alexa, a character just as refined as Carson. They meet. They chat. All is good and pure in the world.

And then things get awkward. Alexa confronts Carson on being a vampire as if it's some menial profession and not a blood-drinking, life-sucking, top-of-the-food-chain predator. Just a 'You're a vampire, aren't you?' kind of thing.

I do want to note: If you're going to put a warning on a book. This is an erotic novel doesn't cover it. Graphic sex, anal play, and blood drinking warrant a mention. 3 out of 5 stars.

The Heron's Call

The Heron's Call
Isabo Kelly
ebook, 280 pages
Published February 20th 2007 by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
ISBN 9781599984896

Only the brave will answer the Call...

Kael Zyhn is a Heron sword mage and the first of his kind to forge a mage sword in more than a generation. But the trance that took him just before forging the sword disrupted Kael's first meeting with his raynia, his soul twin. Twelve years later, he-s recovered from his ordeal and ready to claim his mate. Only to discover she wants nothing to do with him.

Rowena, an Aleanian sword sworn, can't forgive her long absent raynei for deserting her all those years ago. But she admits that she needs him to survive her latest mission. Unfortunately, the longer she's in Kael's presence, the more she wants him, despite the protests of her damaged heart.

To succeed in her quest, Rowena must learn to trust Kael. But can she dare trust him with her heart again? And will she risk his life by giving in to her desires?

Warning, this title contains the following: explicit sex, graphic language, mild violence, a little light "tie me up, tie me down", and a lot of sword fighting.

Rowena (daughter of a sword mage and a shapeshifter) hasn't seen her soulmate-her raynei-in twelve years... until he shows up out of nowhere with all his mage powers and ruins a perfectly good sword fight. It was seven against one but hey, she had it under control.

Kael found Rowena when she was much to young to bond. A single kiss and he was pulled from her life by a seizure and thrust into a six year long trance in which he forged a sword of great power. Three years after that he was left to recover and after that, his parents bid him to wait for her to achieve her place as priestess. In secret and shadow, Kael visited Rowena without her knowledge, watching and waiting to claim her as his.

The Heron's Call was so much more than I had expected. I raved inside with every fight Rowena gave Kael. And the way they kept reiterating what they meant and who they were to eachother... I melted. Loved Kael... so romantic, although in a I-need-to-fuck-you-now sort of way. While it's a rather tender reunion, the language tends to get vulgar so there's a fine mingling of smut and romance.

Romance does eventually tip the scale though. 4 out of 5 stars.


The Forbidden Bride

The Forbidden Bride
Debra Cowen
The Hot Zone, book six
ebook, 154 pages
Published March 1st 2010 by Silhouette
ISBN 9781426850295

Jilted. Betrayed. Hurt. Detective Robin Daly would never forget what being left at the altar felt like. Nor would she forget the part Nate Houston had played in it all. One word from him had caused everything to crumble: her wedding, her trust in men…and the respect she'd once had for him.

A string of arson-murders brings fire marshal Nate Houston back to Presley, Oklahoma—and back into Robin's life. To end the crime spree, he and Robin must work together. But to handle the desire between them, they must settle the past.

Another reviewer of this book stated that it was cheesy. I don't think it quite crossed that line but yes, romance is abundant.

Five years ago, Nate convinced Robin's fiance to call off the wedding within the very hour of the blessed event. She never got an explanation, from anyone, and has lived with a bitter resentment towards Nate ever since.

Nate believes Robin knows all about the affair that forced him to do what he did on that day, but seeing her again proves otherwise. As they work the case, Robin manages to put away her feelings drudged up by the past and begins to get to know Nate for the man he truly is, ultimately falling for him in the process. When he confesses the truth she should have known all along, he's there for her comfort and as the story goes on, continues to protect her as he always meant to do.

Both Robin and Nate been burned by marriage. Neither are looking for a committed relationship, barely wanting companionship at all, but that all changes as their jobs push them together. As the timeline stretches in this story, the progressing relationship becomes very realistic. The transition from strangers to friends to lovers is handled with care and is a joy to experience. My one disappointment, though, would be the identity of the arsonist. Very blah in that regard. 3 out of 5 stars.


Soul Fire

Soul Fire
R F Long
Kindle Edition
Published July 7th 2009 by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

Iron born and iron bred. Trust not iron, it will see you dead.

Rowan Blake could really use a magic wand to keep her struggling art gallery afloat. But the faerie key she stumbles across is far from a lucky charm. It-s a magnet for danger, and by touching it she-s unwittingly put herself in the middle of a war between the forces of light and dark. And in the arms of its rightful owner, Prince Daire.

While searching for his brother, Daire finds himself trapped in the Iron World with a mere mortal woman who ignites his passion like no other. Each stolen kiss deepens their attraction and sends him spiraling closer and closer to the edge of his inherent dark desires. Desires that act as a homing beacon for the Dark Sidhe, who are intent on forcing him to fight on their side. The longer he lingers in her arms-and in her bed-the closer his enemies get to her door. And the greater the risk that the gateway to the Faerie Realm will shift, destroying not only his power to protect her, but his very life.

Warning: Contains enchantments, danger, some very scary monsters, a trip to the dark side and hot, soul-transforming sex with an immortal prince.

When his younger brother, Aidan, is lured into the mortal realm, Daire is pulled from the battlefield to go after him. He finds the fool not far from the gateway, enamored by the mortal woman, Rowan, and soon their bickering leaves both brothers unprepared for the attack rising up around them. One that targets Rowan as well as the two Seelie princes.

Aynia, Daire's betrothed from lifetimes ago, turned traitor in servitude to the descendants of those who fell with the Morningstar. She's determined to bring Daire to her side, or destroy him.

Meanwhile, Daire can't bring himself to comprehend the connection growing between himself and Rowan. Sidhe only bond once, and he was bonded to Aynia in every way possible. As they struggle to survive against Aynia's henchmen, truths of Rowan's bloodline emerge and the suspense never once lets up. The author developed one hell of a balanced storyline. It could have gone either way, and even a failed HEA would have been fitting. Having Daire come so close to unleashing the darkness inside of him was rather exhilarating and I always do love fantasy that finds its roots in some area of religion. The ending was beautiful and superb, and the characters-as innocent as they were-provided a great story worth being told. 4 out of 5 stars.

"My place is not with you!" he shouted, enraged, letting the insane anger burn unchecked in his veins for the first time in days. It blazed through his body, and deep inside him the seed of the Dark Sidhe stirred, uncoiled its questing shoots. For a moment he welcomed it. It was strong, vibrant. It would help help him defeat Aynia, help him find his way out of the iron world and back to the Fae Realm. A
     And then what? How could he go home as one of the enemy?
     He forced calm back through his body, quashing the dark seed as quickly as he had bid it grow.
     "My place is not with you," he whispered again, though he couldn't be sure if the words were meant for Aynia, or for Rowan.


In the Air Tonight: Shadow Force #3

In the Air Tonight
Stephanie Tyler
Shadow Force, book three
ebook, 352 pages
Published August 2nd 2011 by Random House Publishing Group
ISBN 9780440423041

With danger closing in, all they have is each other.

Haunted by a mission he barely survived, Delta Force operative Mace Stevens still carries a soldier’s burden. Running a small bar in upstate New York, he remains a stone-cold warrior who guards dangerous secrets and stays ready for anything. Anything except beautiful, vulnerable Paige Grayson, who shows up at his door, demanding answers about her heroic stepbrother’s death under his command.

Paige bears burdens, too. She’s plagued by demons unleashed by an older brother who committed mass murder before her eyes. But here in this snowy haven with Mace, she almost feels safe from the menacing promises of her insane sibling. As a nurse whose hands can read the deepest thoughts of anyone she touches, Paige knows that Mace needs her as desperately as she needs Mace. And when a faceless killer begins unleashing fresh terror, Mace proves just how far he will go to save the woman who means everything to him.

There it is again. That feeling that I've missed something. But oh no, not this time. I *know* the author is just screwing with me. How? Because here, in book three, two of the people that hooked up in the previous book aren't even together anymore!

After Paige suffers being held hostage at gunpoint for the second time in her young life, she needs an escape. Contemplating her options, the words of her deceased step-brother, Gray, comes back to her -Go to Mace. Mace will take care of you. So she does, with the need to know just how her loved one died driving her forward.

In The Air Tonight reunites Cameron and Dylan, whom I loved, and even Cael, whom I did not. Mace, too, is haunted by Gray's death and by the memories of his own torture by the bastards responsible. Meanwhile, Cael is suffering from memory loss and fears that he may be the one guilty of Gray's murder... and the one who actually sliced Mace's throat.

I didn't care for Cael in the last book and I didn't care much more for him here. At first I thought it was Vivienne's fault because Caleb was way better when he was being an asshole soldier than when he was acting the lover... and the whole re-visiting his story just solidified my opinion that the second book really wasn't worth reading. You'll get an entire recap of Cael and Vivi here. But, then the story went on and I realized something else. He's a copycat character. Every damn time they went to bed, it was a mirror image of what Mace and Paige had done, albeit a tad tweaked. And it was the same in book two with Zane and Olivia. Every freaking position is duplicated. One right after a damn other.

His portion of the story gets 1 star. Mace's gets 4 stars. And I'm only a little sorry for being so harsh, but I've come to expect better from Tyler.

The next book up is going to offer Kell's story. Kell was MIA for much of this one, but showed up just in time to elicit some serious curiosity. Reid was present throughout and you can wager I'll definitely be following him into book four. =)


Beyond the Grave: Jess Vandermire #2

Beyond the Grave
Lina Gardiner
Jess Vandermire, book two
ebook, 188 pages
Published October 15th 2008 by ImaJinn Books
ISBN 9781933417431

Vampire Police Captain Jess Vandermire is hunting a serial killer vampire. The trouble is, Jess is experiencing blackouts, and every time she does, another woman turns up dead. Has she slipped over the dangerous slope into full vampirism? Is she the serial killer she's hunting?

Lieutenant John Brittain makes it his job to find the killer and prove Jess innocent, but it's hard to be human in a world of super-strong, super-fast vampires. His best weapon is his tough-cop intellect and he's using it for all he's worth. Yes, Jess is a vampire, and yes, she's capable of killing. He knows, however, that she hasn't committed these crimes, and he has the horrible feeling that if he doesn't catch the killer soon Jess will be the final victim.

As Jess and Britt wage war against this evil vampire, it becomes a battle for the last vestiges of Jess's own humanity. Soon the question becomes, who will draw first blood?

Jess has battled the vampire part of herself for decades. Now, in meeting Britt and ultimately falling for him, she is ready to attempt a normal life, or at least a normal relationship. But before she and Britt can consummate their love, Jess begins to have nightmares and blackouts. Before this, she'd never even dreamed and she's absolutely never been knocked unconscious without reason. Waking up with urges to drain Britt of his lifeblood sends her over the edge with panic and the whole team is disturbed by her failings.

Meanwhile, all evidence in a spree of serial killings points to Jess, and Britt and Sampson are left to sort through the madness as Regent falls under scrutiny from the Archdiocese.

This installment was a complete flip-flop from the first where everything was on top of the world amazing... until the lackluster ending. Here, ninety-five percent of the story is so dull and predictable that the disappointment gathered from the pages actually hurts... until the end. There, things get interesting as Jess' world falls apart, and it's up to the next, and last, book to put everything back together. 3 out of 5 stars.

For A Price

For A Price
Olivia Brynn
ebook, 120 pages
Published October 17th 2009
ISBN 9781458043306

You can't get blood from a stone. That's what Maureen Sullivan's mother always told her, but now it's collection time, and bill collectors aren't after blood; they want money. At this point, she'd do just about anything...for a price.

To get her mother out of the red, Maureen packs her tiny nest egg and runs to Las Vegas, hoping for a miracle. Once in Sin City, Maureen's Aunt Lottie shows her that the fastest way out of a financial hell doesn't lie in Maureen's luck at a blackjack table, but in the auction of a much more controversial commodity: Maureen's virginity. Vegas is the perfect place to cash in. What they decide to do will not only make headlines in the Nevada city, but around the world. The last thing Maureen needs right now is to fall for sexy Nicholas Webster, who's used to getting everything he wants. Because when the time comes, she'd have to betray the man she's come to love in order to fulfill her contract. Will she be able to sell herself? And at what price?

I'm not sure which bat out of hell possessed me to add this book to my TBR. My outrage doesn't stem from the fact that she's selling her virginity, because a part of me does believe prostitution should be legalized if only to give women some regard to their virginity. I would however, dare to hope that the man a woman falls in love with isn't the type to pay for it. Where the heck are all the standards in America??

Despite the foundation, this twisted Cinderella story does play out rather well. Nick manipulates the situation into one that gives all parties a happily ever after, proving that although he is very much a selfish bastard, he does manage an ample amount of empathy. Believable, though, this story is not. 2 out of 5 stars.



Crissy Smith
ebook, 95 pages
Published December 21st 2009 by Total-E-Bound Publishing
ISBN 9781907280696

Jo Black went in search of a vampire...and finding one is going to rock her world.

Immortal Nic Lucian has finally met his bond-mate only to have her try to kill him. As he tries to introduce her to his world and reunite her with her sister who is now an immortal, he gets a lesson in modern women and how stubborn they can be.

Jo's world had been turned upside down. The death of her sister introduced her to the world of vampire hunting. Now she learns the hard way that crosses, stakes, holy water, and sunlight don't work. And you better protect your heart and body, because when an immortal wants you, he gets you - one way or another.

Every once in a while one of those women who has no idea what the hell they want actually manages to make me laugh instead of summoning the urge to make me throttle her. And Nic responds to her craziness all too well.

The worst part of this story is that it's all crammed into one 95 page book while it quite easily could have spanned an entire trilogy. Yes, there's only one villain, but two couples manage to find one another and there's still one other male that could have been paired.

Julian and Kristen met a while ago. He, an immortal. She, human. When Kristen is targeted in an attempt to get to Julian, she nearly dies and the situation forces Julian to change her ahead of schedule. But all that has already happened by the time we meet Jo. She's been trained to vanquish the vampires-with all the wrong tools for the job. She finally gets her chance to kill Julian's brother, Nic, and things take a drastic turn when her 'dead' sister arrives on scene and people start talking bondmates.

I loved the first half of this story. Jo and Nic are wonderful together and the brothers' bickering plays great against their budding relationship. If only Christian's part could have lasted longer... His portion of the tale found it's peak far too soon. 4 out of 5 stars.

A Soldier's Redemption

A Soldier's Redemption
Rachel Lee
Mass Market Paperback, 224 pages
Published December 1st 2010 by Harlequin
ISBN 9780373277056

When her husband's murder forces Cory Farland into the Witness Protection Program, she has to make a fresh start in a brand-new place. In Conard County, she has no past. Until former Navy captain Wade Kendrick moves in. The enigmatic ex-SEAL reawakens passion…and dares Cory to dream of a future.

He can't run forever…

Wade didn't come to the Wyoming small town to play bodyguard. But Cory needs a boarder and he needs a place to decompress. And now the guarded widow is arousing something that goes deeper than his protective instincts. With Cory's life under the gun, there isn't anything Wade won't do to keep her safe and claim the love that could redeem them both.

Cory has spent the last couple years of her life in constant fear after her husband was gunned down in cold blood. She, too, suffered a bullet and lost her pregnancy along with her spouse. Able to identify the hired gun, she's been placed in Witness Protection and moved to Conard County where her financial resources are quickly dwindling and her life has yet to move on.

Wade is a recently retired Navy Seal who's looking to find peace and rebuild himself as a civilian. The choices he's made throughout his career, toppled onto his difficult childhood, have left him haunted. He doesn't talk much, doesn't socialize at all, and paranoia still has a hold on his psyche.

Cory and Wade are brought together by the town sheriff just as Cory receives a daunting phone call message 'I know where you are'. She freaks. Wade offers what comfort he can, never pushing for information, and Cory begins to feel drawn to the man. She begins to hope. He begins to make a emotional connection. ...And that's about the gist of the story. I do love these Conard County books, but I never really bought in to the main characters of this one. 3 out of 5 stars.

Guardian: Warriors for the Light #6

Lindsay McKenna
Warriors for the Light, book six
Mass Market Paperback, 288 pages
Published June 1st 2010 by Harlequin

A Templar knight in a past life, Nicholas de Beaufort has no desire to inhabit his former human body again. But when he's ordered to return to his human form to guard Mary Anderson, a woman with a special purpose, he has no choice. Unsure of his new mission, Nicholas is only certain of the scorching lust Mary ignites in him.

Mary needs to find the two magical emeralds that could restore harmony to the planet. But when an unexpected threat surfaces, Nicholas's mission becomes clear. He must protect the woman he can't live without--and battle the evil that could destroy the Earth.

Nicholas was once a Templar knight who suffered death by burning at the stake. The trauma of that lifetime has left him reluctant to reincarnate, and so he has remained within the fourth dimension of the Village of the Clouds for centuries-until Alaria and Adair require him to guard Mary Anderson as she quests for the two remaining emerald spheres.

I had a number of problems with this book. So much effort is exhausted on explanations and teachings of this world that there's very little expense made toward actually *living* it. At times it felt like I was hearing a lecture on religious histories and philosophies when all I really wanted was a tale of two people on crusade. Can understand the desire and necessity to set a stage but, damn, McKenna knows how to suffocate a reader.

Nicholas and Mary have an instant attraction to one another and come very quickly to discover that they are soulmates and have shared many lifetimes together. Then, despite Nicholas' vow of fidelity to his wife in his last existence, their goddess demands that he and Mary sleep together. And apparently all it takes to get around breaking a vow is to allow yourself to let the promise go. I call bullshyt. He literally gave himself permission to ignore that one aspect of his former life. There was no symbolic moment of separating the two existences, no- He wouldn't allow himself the opportunity to be cleansed and set free from that life, as with any reincarnation, but he was all up for picking and choosing when it suited him. And that, for ranting purposes, is just another thing that's wrong with the world today.

Then there were the battle scenes, and I use that description lightly. Though there was some force applied, the blow of defeat was delivered via a "loving light"... So my mind goes all Care Bear Stare with this crap and I'm rolling my eyes from there. No more Warriors for the Light for me. 2 out of 5 stars.


Memory of Murder

Memory of Murder
Kathleen Creighton
Paperback, 216 pages
Published May 1st 2010 by Silhouette

"Is my father a murderer?"

Caring for a mother with Alzheimer's was heartbreaking enough for Lindsey Merrill. But when her mother made bizarre but adamant claims that Lindsey's loving father was a killer, it was too much to bear. So she turned to detective Alan Cameron for guidance. Before long, the single dad's soothing reassurances morphed into a smoldering attraction….

Evidence quickly mounted that all was not as it seemed in the Merrill family. As a professional, Alan was obliged to pursue the case—as a man, he had to shield this special woman from pain. Would his shocking discovery break her heart just as he was making it his very own?

Kathleen Creighton is one damn fine writer!

When Lindsey's ailing, elderly mother begins to make outlandish claims against her father, she turns to Homocide Detective Alan Cameron to help find answers. She refuses to believe that the man she calls Dad is a murderer. That he killed her true father and attempted the same of her mom. Oh, and there's a long lost brother out there living without a clue to where his parents are.

Reading romantic suspense is always a treat for the imagination. So many possibilities. The tease of just how many different directions this story could go, as with any suspenseful read, is what keeps you glued to the pages, despite the subtle romance and its lack of action. It's not so common though to find an ending such as the one in this book. All too often a story will veer drastically, but sometimes things just happen to be exactly what they are. No imagination required. 5 out of 5 stars.


A Broken Bond

A Broken Bond
Stacey Kennedy
Published March 11th 2011 by Amira Press
ISBN 9781936279760

Two years ago, Cash lost his mate and abandoned his Montana pack. Now, he has found a reason to return. Rylie, daughter of the Wyoming Alpha, life has been uprooted. In less than twenty four hours, she has discovered her mate, Layne, refused him, and watched him kill her entire family to claim her. And now, she is on the run.

On her journey to free herself from Layne, destiny brings her Cash, a wolf determined to give her aid to right his wrongs. But how far will he go? When Rylie’s life is on the line, will he forget his pain to save her or will his loss seal her fate?

This story is a sweet, simple read and the blurb sums it up nicely so I'm going to skip a review. I will, however, say that the absolute best scene is when Cash is getting his ass kicked up and down the forest by his former Alpha. That could have went on for pages and pages and I would have loved every moment. 3 out of 5 stars.


Eternity Embraced

Eternity Embraced
Larissa Ione
Published January 27th 2011 by Larissa Ione
ISBN 9781452479354


Demon slayer Andrea Cole has always taken down the demons and vampires she hunts without mercy. But when a fellow slayer is captured and turned into a vampire by a sadistic monster, she must choose between loyalty to her family and the man she loves.

Versus Instinct

Kaden Quinn has dedicated his life to slaying vampires, so when he is turned into one, his greatest nightmare comes to life. And when the woman he loves is thrown into a dungeon with him — as food — he must battle new instincts and old desires, and choose between his life, and hers.

NOTE: This is a short novella that originally appeared in The Mammoth Book of Vampire Romance 2 and the anthology Vampires in Love. It has been expanded for its stand-alone digital release. In the Demonica timeline, it falls between book 3, Passion Unleashed, and book 4, Ecstasy Unveiled, though it can easily be read without having read the Demonica novels.

Hot damn! If you have not tasted of the magic that is Larissa Ione, then hit up this 99 cent read for Amazon Kindle for an itty bitty nibble. It's freaking good, and you know I don't even like vampires! Huge fan of her growing Lords of Deliverance series, but this Demonica thing is all new to me. And all kinds of yummy, both dark and delicious. It's all about the way she tells the story and I do so envy her that talent. 4 out of 5 stars.