Friday, October 31, 2014

Review: Jealous and Freakn' (Freakn' Shifters #2) by Eve Langlais

Title: Jealous and Freakn' (Freakn' Shifters #2)
Author: Eve Langlais
Source: Self-Purchased
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Menage
Length: Novel
Release Date: November 18, 2011
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Rating - 3
Sexual - 5

Francine’s loved Mitchell, a wolf like herself, since she first set
eyes on him back when they were just kids. However, Mitchell’s never seen her as more than another annoying sister. Determined to make him realize she’s all grown up, she enlists the aide of Alejandro, a gorgeous cat shifter. She never counted on wanting them both.

Alejandro knows Francine is special from the first moment he meets the fiery plump wolf, which is why he suggests she use him to make Mitchell jealous. A great plan, especially if it means getting to kiss those luscious lips. One taste though, and he’s addicted, but how does he make her see past the man she loves to realize she’s also meant to be his mate.

For a long time now Mitchell’s been running from Francine, certain she’s mistaken that their destiny’s lie together. However, the little girl he remembers is all grown up, and when he sees her in the arms of another, a need to claim her overrides all his common sense. But, he’s waited too long and fate has decided that he’s going to have to share. Can he bend enough to accept Francine and another man, or will his jealousy keep him freakn’?

Oh, Francine I loved you so much.  Your mouth, your foul language and off-colored jokes had me laughing and enjoying the dialog you shared with everyone.  You were full of energy and I loved that you knew what you wanted and would do everything in your power get it.  Alejandro - you were one sexy cat and I'd adopt you in a heartbeat.  I loved your attitude and willingness to give the wolf you were falling for anything and everything she needed to be happy.  But Mitchell, you naughty pup.  Your jealousy was just a bit too much for me.  It took you far too long to admit how you felt to yourself and even then you were a bit selfish and just didn't want to share.  Shame on you for making her wait for so long and then making her feel bad because she loved you both.

As you can see, the characters are really what captivated me in Jealous and Freakn'.  Francine was amazing - I want to see more of her.  I can see why she would need two men to keep her occupied.  I really loved Alejandro as well, but Mitchell - he just seemed like such a jerk!  He was down right mean to Francine at times and his actions cause a lot of trouble.  I almost wanted him to get let down and not end up with the girl.

In the long run, Eve fixed all her people up quite nicely and I was very happy with the ending - but getting there was a little more rough for me in this one.  I just don't think I like the way jealousy looks on one of the main guys.   We get to have a couple bad guys in this book that you just love to not like.  And Eve dishes out some wonderful poetic justice to them in the end that I loved.


Other Posts for Eve Langlais' Freakn' Shifters Series

Thursday, October 30, 2014

ARC Review: Love Me to Death (Underveil #1) by Marissa Clarke

Title: Love Me to Death (Underveil #1)
Author: Marissa Clarke
Source: Entangled Select
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: Novel
Release Date: October 28, 2014
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Rating - 5
Sexual - 3


Medical research scientist Elena Arcos has always lived her life under the radar.
When she is shot in a convenience store robbery, Elena finds herself rocketed into supernatural insanity courtesy of a sexy immortal law enforcer. He’s convinced she’s some kind of freaky half-vampire thing and that her deceased dad was the real deal: a blood sucking monster. Yeah, right.

Nikolai Itzov never anticipated battling the urge to kiss the offspring of his father’s murderer. As a Slayer, an elite law enforcer descended from Azrael himself, his orders from the Underveil General are clear: Kill her or die.

Nikolai and Elena find themselves in a life and death battle to stop a plot designed to lift the Underveil and enslave humans. With her analytical mind and his centuries of training, they might be able to foil the plot with their lives and maybe their hearts intact. But in order to succeed, he must help her become the very thing he hates the most: an Undead.
Holy cow!  I think this book managed to put just about everything I love about paranormal romance into one pretty package that I couldn't put down.  Elena was perfectly written.  I loved how she freaked out about everything at first - so believable.  I hate when a human is introduced to the paranormal world and they are just like "ya, ok, that's cool."  Come on - if you found out vampires and other crazy things existed you would freak out just like she did!  It was perfect.  It also takes her awhile to wrap her head around all the new things she's learning, and it sure doesn't help that Nikolai is supposed to rescuing her so that he can kill her.  I'd be confused, too.

Nikolai is just as confused, but more because he has been misled.  He knows in his gut that Elena isn't his enemy, but has heard for so long how horrible she is (yeah right) that he's very conflicted on what to do next.  Thank goodness fate seems to get in the way and solve some of these problems while creating about a hundred more.  There's a good reason this book is just over 400 pages long - because the author needed every word of it to create such a great romance story.

But that isn't where it ends!  Yes, it gets better.  All those hard core urban fantasy lovers out there get a kick butt world that is stuck in a war that the humans just don't realize is going on yet.  In fact, the humans not knowing about the Underveil is the very point of the whole war.  There are some really fun characters that I want to see more of.  Aunt Uza was a riot - a hysterical crazy cat lady with a very fun twist.  I wish my cats did what her's did.

There is lots of action, both sexy style and good old fashioned battle style.  This is where Marissa Clarke's world building really shines.  The way all the factions work together and against each other is quite beautifully written.  With everything wrapping up into a great blow out of an ending.  I am hooked.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Review: DARLING BEAST (Maiden Lane, #7) by Elizabeth Hoyt

Darling Beast, A Maiden Lane Series Novel
Author: Elizabeth Hoyt
Source: My Personal Library
Genre: Historical Romance
Length: Novel
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Reviewed by: Artemis

Rating – 5 Stars
Sexual – 4 Stars



A MAN CONDEMNED . . .

Falsely accused of murder and mute from a near-fatal beating, Apollo Greaves, Viscount Kilbourne has escaped from Bedlam. With the Crown's soldiers at his heels, he finds refuge in the ruins of a pleasure garden, toiling as a simple gardener. But when a vivacious young woman moves in, he's quickly driven to distraction . . .

A DESPERATE WOMAN . . .

London's premier actress, Lily Stump, is down on her luck when she's forced to move into a scorched theatre with her maid and small son. But she and her tiny family aren't the only inhabitants—a silent, hulking beast of a man also calls the charred ruins home. Yet when she catches him reading her plays, Lily realizes there's more to this man than meets the eye.

OUT OF ASH, DESIRE FLARES

Though scorching passion draws them together, Apollo knows that Lily is keeping secrets. When his past catches up with him, he's forced to make a choice: his love for Lily . . . or the explosive truth that will set him free.



"Jealousy," he grated, pulling her close, pulling her into his arms, though she struggled to get away. "I would that it were something as easy, as simple, as mere jealousy," He bent and murmured against her mouth, his lips caressing her with each word. "This is far more awful than jealousy."


Ms. Hoyt has struck pay-dirt with this addition to her Maiden Lane series.

I'm not usually fond of young children and yappy dogs in my romance novels. However, it's young Indio who first discovers the monster living in the garden and reports back to his mother, Lily. I will admit, I was chuckling at his antics at the dinner table.

Lily makes the assumption that Caliban (a name given to him by Indio) is a simpleton, because he is mute, hired to work in the garden and befriends him. WHOA! Was she ever wrong.

Apollo Greaves - a huge, beastly, bulging man! Laboring as a common gardener - in truth: Viscount Kilbourne, part owner of the now destroyed pleasure garden, seeking to clear his name of a crime he didn't commit.

Not only is DARLING BEAST a very satisfying book from beginning to end, but we get a closer look at a very untidy, Asa "Harte" Makepeace. Along with another character, the Duke of Montgomery, who likes to collect people and information. I'm hoping we'll see his story before too long and the willful, strong woman who brings him to his knees!

One last note. Ms. Hoyt began each chapter with a teaser from The Minotaur which I enjoyed very much; my reading addiction began with Greek Mythology. If you would like to read further, I suggest starting with this:  THE KING MUST DIE. I read it many, many moons ago and just recently put it on my shelf. I need to revisit it once again.




ARC Review Slow Hand by Victoria Vane

Title:Slow Hand by
Author:Victoria Vane
Source: Netgalley 
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: 5
Sexual:4
Reviewed by Laurie 
In rural Montana...


Wade Knowlton is a hardworking lawyer who's torn between his small-town Montana law practice and a struggling family ranch. He's on the brink of exhaustion from trying to save everybody and everything, when gorgeous Nicole Powell walks into his office. She's a damsel in distress and the breath of fresh air he needs.

Even the lawyers wear boots...

Nicole Powell is a sassy Southern girl who has officially sworn off cowboys after a spate of bad seeds-until her father's death sends her to Montana and into the arms of a man who seems too good to be true. Her instincts tell her to high tail it out of Montana, but she can't resist a cowboy with a slow hand...

 “Hate to burst your bubble, sweetheart, but a Stetson and a pair of Tony Lamas doesn’t make a man a cowboy.” 


Review:   
                                                                                                     A love story so captivating you'll never want it to end!

Sassy and sexy never looked so good on pages of a book before. Slow Hand is not your typical western, as a matter of fact, Vane entwined the old west with the new west and gave us a whole new contemporary romance cowboy that most romance reader would appreciate.

The story set you up with some great sexual tension right off the bat. Between Nicole’s sassiness and Wade’s cowboy coolness they grab you from page one and keep a hold of you all the way though the book. Vane adds just the right amount of bartering between these two without going overboard. You can also tell how much research she put into the book as you read about the unfolding family ranch story.

You get a good since of the surrounding in the story and you really get to know the other side characters along the way. This is an excellent start for an upcoming great series.

Romance first and far most along with a great HEA ending for the main characters and a great look into the next books characters. I highly recommend this book for any romance reader.



Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Review: Outfoxed by Love (Kodiak Point #2) by Eve Langlais

Title: Outfoxed by Love (Kodiak  Point #2)
Author: Eve Langlais
Source: Self-Published
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: Novel
Release Date: September 16, 2014
Reviewd by: Jasmyn

Rating - 5
Sexual - 3

Don't moose with his fox!

A bullheaded moose doesn't stand a chance when a fox decides to make him her mate.

Boris left to defend his country still a boy. He came back a changed man. A damaged man.

But Jan still wants him.

A man of few words, Boris has a firm way of saying No, but this determined vixen knows he's her mate. Despite some less than subtle overtures, Jan has not had much success in getting her bullheaded moose to notice her, but all that changes when her life is put in danger.

Suddenly the damaged soldier keeps finding excuses to come to her rescue, but as far as Jan is concerned, her mate is the one in need of saving.

It will take some subtle maneuvering to outfox her moose into admitting he loves her, but this wily vixen is more than ready for the challenge. And if that doesn't work, momma's offered to loan her the shot gun used for her own engagement.

Welcome to Kodiak Point, where the wildlife might wear clothes, but animal instinct rules the heart.

I've been looking forward to this one - with it's unusual shifters and great setting.  I mean, who has ever read about a moose shifter as the main character?  Well, Boris was brilliant.  I could totally picture him as a moose and he was the perfect match for the sly little foxy vixen, Jan. Jan was also the perfect personality for her animal.  A cross between sophisticated woman and redneck ninja hunter, she was constantly surprising me (and Boris).

In Outfoxed by Love we get to learn a little bit more about the history of the town and its major inhabitants.  Boris and his friends had been in the war - and their part of it wasn't pretty.  Boris is plagued by PTSD, an issue that is very real and afflicts so many people when they come home.  Eve wrote the situation very well and I felt for Boris every step of the way.  His PTSD is his reason for avoiding Jan - even though his moose knows that she's the right one for both of them.

Jan would do anything to prove to Boris they were right for each other, and this attitude gets her into a heap of trouble.  This is where the story gets beyond good as we get to see the bad guy again, and learn a whole lot about him and why he's set to hurt these people.  I can't say too much, but I do know he's a main character in book three - so he's not just going to go away.

Review: Mr. Miracle by Debbie Macomber

Title: Mr. Miracle: A Christmas Novel
Author: Debbie Macomber
Source: Amazon Vine
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Christmas
Length: Novella
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Rating - 3
Sexual - 1

Harry Mills is a guardian angel on a mission: help twenty-four-year-old Addie
Folsom get her life back on track—and, if the right moment strikes, help her find love. Posing as a teacher at a local college in Tacoma, Washington, Harry is up to the task, but not even he can predict the surprises that lay in store.

After trying to make it on her own, Addie has returned home to Tacoma for the holidays, but this time she plans to stay for good, enrolling in the local community college to earn her degree. What she doesn’t plan to do is run into Erich Simmons.

Addie and her next-door neighbor, Erich, are like night and day. Growing up, he was popular and outgoing while she was rebellious and headstrong, and he never missed an opportunity to tease her. Now she intends to avoid him entirely, yet when they’re suddenly forced to spend Christmas together, Addie braces for trouble.

Perhaps it’s the spirit of the season or the magic of mistletoe, but Addie and Erich soon find they have more in common than they thought—and that two people who seem so wrong for each other may actually be just right. With a little prompting from a certain angelic teacher, the two are in for a holiday miracle they’ll never forget.
Christmas is the perfect setting for guardian angels.  Harry Mills is a new one, on his first mission.  His cover is that of a literature teacher at a local school where his goal is to "help" Addie.  What he's supposed to help her with is a little vague at first, but once we get to know her a little and get to meet Erich - we know just what both of them need.

I loved the character of Harry Mills.  Since it's his first time on earth and his first time interacting with humans, he makes some silly mistakes and gets himself in just a bit of trouble now and then.  Who knew that emotions could be so strong anyways?  These little errors help balance out his perfect in other ways self - he is an angel after all - and made him a delightful character.

Addie and Erich were fun to watch, and you could tell they were meant to be together and help each other from the get go.  Their relationship grew very naturally at first and I was loving it.  There was one case divine intervention that went a bit overboard for my taste - the kind of intervention that really gets noticed.  But no one really seemed to get overly concerned about it and it just seemed a little off compared to the rest of the story.

This was a fun little Christmas read though.  It was a great start to the holiday season (a little earlier than I usually like though).  It really helped that there were some clever mentions of Dickens' Christmas Carol - actual discussion about the book and its meaning.  I love when books talk about books.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Review: Flirting With the Competition by Kerri Carpenter

Title: Flirting With the Competition
Author: Kerri Carpenter
Source: Entangled LoveStruck
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Novella
Release Date: October 27, 2014
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Rating - 3
Sexual - 2

The sexiest things happen in confined spaces…

Under normal circumstances, Whitney March might have appreciated sharing an elevator with a ridiculously attractive and clearly wealthy guy. Even enjoyed it. But when her companion turns out to be the man who almost ran her over in parking garage moments earlier? Nope and nope. Besides, she's on her way to a job interview at a prestigious law firm, and she needs to stay focused. Not staring at the rich and sexy jerk. Then the elevator comes to an abrupt stop. They're stuck.

Jordan Campbell has every intention of acing the interview for his dream job, and he's not about to let anything stop him. Not even the sexy, capable, and fiery woman who turns out to be his main competitor he's trapped with. The only thing they have in common is determination to get the job...and an escalating attraction. And it's only a matter of time before these competitors indulge in a very sexy little connection between floors.
Flirting With the Competition put a nice spin on the whole love in an elevator theme.  Only this couple aren't exactly happy to be stuck together at first.  Jordan and Whitney start their first encounter with each other on very bad feet.  Competing for the same job, they spend the first part of their ordeal stuck in an elevator trying to one up each other - assuming they already know everything there is to know about their competition.

As the hours pass and they begin to actually talk to each other - they find out that they do kind of like each other.  They open up and tell a surprising amount of personal information for not knowing each other very long - this was a way to let me get to know them better, but seemed a little unrealistic for my tastes.  They are both fighting past demons of various sorts, but end up helping each other make some decisions that they didn't even really know they faced yet.

This was a fun little read, but the characters just didn't seem to connect on the level I've grown to expect in a romance.  Part of it just seemed to jump forward in what they would do a little too fast.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

ARC Review: Christmas at Twilight (Twilight, Texas #5) by Lori Wilde

Title: Christmas at Twilight (Twilight, Texas #5)
Author: Lori Wilde
Source: Amazon Vine
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Christmas
Length: Novel
Release Date: October 28, 2014
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Rating - 4
Sexual - 3

It's Christmas in Twilight, Texas. The Cookie Club is baking, the town is decorated,
and Delta Force Operator "Hutch" Hutchinson has finally, reluctantly, returned home . . .

. . . only to get pepper sprayed by the delicious- looking stranger who's taken over his house. She says her name is Jane, and she immediately sets down ground rules. Top priority: no touching. For Hutch that isn't easy—he was wounded in action, but one part is still working very well.

Then Hutch learns the truth. Jane harbors a frightening secret—she's really Meredith Sommers, on the run from a dangerous ex-husband and desperately in need of the safety Hutch can provide. In that moment, he vows he'd do anything in his power to protect her. And as Christmas approaches, they discover that their love can conquer the past and overcome any obstacle—but what price will they pay?
I have not read any of the previous Twilight, Texas novels and this one means I now have another series to go buy.  Definitely works very well as a stand-a-lone.  There are a few characters from previous book included, but they are really side characters that we don't see too often.  The focus of the story is directly on Hutch and Meredith and the two kids.  We very rarely see anyone else at all - which was kind of odd thinking back on it, but I didn't really notice it too much while reading.

There were just a couple of things that bothered me that prevented Christmas at Twilight from getting 5 stars.  The first was that way too many people in this town come from the elite of the military branches.  I know this is fiction, but having three grow up in the same town seemed a bit much.  The other is an issue involving a kevlar vest - a device that manages to save the lives of two different people in two different situations.  The second time it seemed more of a way to tie loose ends up instead of really an integral part of the story - almost an afterthought.  These were the only two little plot issues that stood out and made me do a double take.

Both Hutch and Meredith are great characters.  They are perfect for each other.  Meredith is going by the alias Jane - which was very confusing at first.  She still referred to herself as Meredith in internal dialog, but everyone around her was saying Jane.  Before I got used to it, I kept thinking there were two people.  She is soft and hard at the same time and the way she treated both the kids was magical.  I loved to watch her.  Hutch was complicated.  Not being able to speak made it difficult to get to know him too well right off the bat.  It was all emotions and actions - but we learn to watch for the cues to how he feels and learn what he is trying to say right along with Meredith.

This almost qualifies as a romantic suspense - which surprised me in a holiday book - it was a very nice surprise and a great way to break up some of the gushiness of the traditional Christmas story.  I love those too, but you just need a break once in awhile.  Christmas at Twilight was a great way for me to keep up with the holiday reading and mix it up a bit at the same time.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*


More Posts About Lori Wilde

Review: A Sicilian Engagement by Rachel Lyndhurst

Title: A Sicilian Engagement
Author: Rachel Lyndhurst
Source: Self-Purchased
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Novel
Release Date: September 28, 2014
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Rating - 3
Sexual - 3
A Sicilian Engagement of Rachel Lyndhurst - book cover
Money buys the perfect woman …

Billionaire Sicilian, Lorenzo Ferrante, needs a fake fiancée, and fast, in order to close a deal that will set him free from ties to a sordid past he never wanted any part of. Starting fresh somewhere else is all he wants for himself and his little girls...

Lora Pryce-Howard has been conned into playing Ferrante's fiancée thanks to her low life brother. And if she wants to keep her business, a roof over her ailing mother's head, and her brother alive she'll play along. She refuses to be seduced by a luxurious Mediterranean lifestyle, but Ferrante's soft words and burning kisses make leaving all the more difficult...

This book had a lot of really good elements to it, but it also had some things that just didn't sit right with me as well.  Both of the characters were very well written and I enjoyed them a lot - but parts of their development just didn't feel a whole lot like a romance to me.  Perhaps I've read too many stories with lust at first sight and the no-strings-attached sex arrangement, but it just didn't fit for me this time.  Lora didn't seem to evolve much, and a love a character that has some important changes in themselves by the end of the story.  Lorenzo changed a lot by the end, but you just don't see it until he starts talking about it at the end.  I wanted to see and feel his change throughout the pages and I didn't get that.

There was a little excitement between the pages.  Lorenzo isn't a bad person, but he comes from some pretty shady roots.  Trying to cut ties with that can be dangerous and he is well aware of it - there are bodyguards everywhere.  They were constantly mentioned, but didn't really have enough to do to justify their constant presence.  I didn't really feel like I saw them fall in love.  The most interesting part of the story was Lorenzo's business deal and some of the details surrounding it that are revealed slowly throughout the book.  I loved that part of the story, but it definitely wasn't a romance.

The ending seemed to be a bit contrived.  We do have a happily ever after, I guess, but the way the final declarations are stated you have to wonder if they are really sincere - especially giving Lorenzo's background.  I just didn't feel very satisfied with this one.  All the right elements were in place at the beginning and they just didn't pan out well.


More Posts About Rachel Lyndhurst

Monday, October 27, 2014

Guest Post by Talia Hunter: Writing Young Adult vs Adult Fiction - Three Hot Tips!

Talia Hunter is a new writer to the Adult Romance world - but I predict she is going to take it by storm.  I loved her new release Her Hot Number and awarded it our Hot Picks award.  Talia has previously written in the YA genre (which is a genre I also love) and today she shares with us some tips on how the make writing across age groups work.

Writing YA Versus Adult Fiction – Three Hot Tips! by Talia Hunter

Confession time. When it comes to reading, I’m an unashamed genre slut. I’ll quite happily jump into bed with a hot and steamy romance, and later you might find me cozying up to an epic fantasy, or switching to a fast-paced young adult novel to get my heart pumping.

But one of the first things people told me when I started writing my own books, was not to write in different genres. Apparently it’s hard to connect with readers if you write different kinds of stories for different audiences.

So what did I do? Yup, exactly what I shouldn’t! I’ve published two books for young adults - an adventure story and a comedy - and my first adult romance, Her Hot Number, has just been released.

So what’s the difference between writing for different audiences? Here are three hot tips:

1. Keep Your Foot On The Gas Pedal.

If you’re writing for teens, keep in mind that you’re competing with games, movies, and other media, so whatever you write needs to cut through that noise to hold your readers’ attention. Make sure your story maintains a good pace and doesn’t sag. Many YA novels are written in first person, and some in present tense to give them a greater sense of immediacy. It’s an excellent challenge for any writer!

If you’re writing adult romance, you can ease up on the gas pedal a little as long as you still keep your story moving. The important thing is to dig in deep to your characters emotions, laying out what makes them tick. Take your characters (and your readers) on a deep emotional journey, travelling through hope and anticipation, through despair, to intense joy… and of course, love.  The more profound the journey is for your characters, the better for your readers.

2. Let Your Characters Speak.

If you’re worried about what kind of language is appropriate for your readers, don’t! No matter who you’re writing for, you should always stay true to the language your point-of-view character would use. If your adult novel protagonist is uneducated, write simply. If your young adult protagonist is highly intelligent, go ahead and use complex words and sentences. If you remember that your characters, not your audience, should define your language, you’ll avoid any temptation to talk down to your readers. Concentrate on telling the story truthfully, exactly as your point-of-view character would tell it, and it will have the right voice.

3. Book Monogamy Is Boring!

My final tip is one you’ve probably heard before, as it’s the single most important thing any writer can do. Get promiscuous with books and read widely—and especially read in whatever genre you want to write in.

Even if you don’t want to write for teens, I challenge you to make your next read a YA novel. Personally I think some of today’s most exciting writing is for young adults, with authors like John Green, Holly Black, Maggie Stiefvater, Laini Taylor, and Rainbow Rowell some of my favorites. Give them a try, and you might just find a new love!


And if you’re looking for a hot adult romance that will take you on an emotional journey, check out Her Hot Number.  It’s out now from Entangled Publishing. 
-------------------------
Author Bio:

Talia Hunter likes writing about smart, funny women, and the men who set their hearts on fire. Her motto is, If you aren’t laughing, you aren’t doing it right.

A formerly committed city dweller, she’s recently moved to the country. She’s put in a vege garden, learned how to make bread, and is now the proud owner of a pair of gumboots. These days she spends time Googling important questions such as how to cope with a runaway zucchini crop (make fritters), and narrowing down exactly what kind of giant hairy spider might be eyeballing her from the washing tub.

To learn more about Talia, visit www.taliahunter.com or connect with her on social media.

Author Links:

More Posts About Talia Hunter

Saturday, October 25, 2014

New Releases in Romance - Week of October 26, 2014

Here we go!  More holiday goodness.  I love the writing from some of these holiday authors.  They know how to deliver the holiday magic along with a decent dose of spice to keep you warm.  Dianna Hardy has her new Eye of the Storm book out this week as well - that will definitely be one to check out.

Christmas


Paranormal


Historical


Contemporary


Erotic


Friday, October 24, 2014

Review: Her Hot Number by Talia Hunter

Title: Her Hot Number
Author: Talia Hunter
Source: Entangled Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Novella
Release Date: October 20, 2014
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Rating - 5
Sexual - 3


One bad boy billionaire plus one sexy geek equals one hot fling.

It's a travel nightmare for mathematician Caylee Reynolds. It's bad enough that her luggage was lost en route to her conference, but when she arrives at the Australian resort and learns that she's also lost her reservation, Caylee’s ready to break down. Then things get even worse. The resort is owned by Blake Sampson―the bad boy who once took everything from her...

Blake thought he’d left his troubled past far behind him. Then the sexy-but-proper math guru he’s never been able to forget walks into his lobby. Hoping to show Caylee he’s changed, he offers to share his suite. Except the attraction between them only grows in such close quarters―exponentially.

Even though Blake’s incredibly successful—and hot—Caylee’s not sure she can risk her heart again. Not after the way he destroyed her trust when he disappeared years ago. But if she's wrong in her calculations, she could lose everything...

This book just about had it all.  The hot bad boy with a heart of gold, a smart woman that knows what she wants, and a tropical paradise.  With a history that goes back years for our main characters - one that's filled with untruths and assumptions that have haunted them both for years.  So much goodness I couldn't believe it.

So Caylee is pretty damn smart.  She's a mathematician working on some pretty heavy concepts, but may be losing her funding if she doesn't impress the new director.  So off she goes to a conference at an island resort run by - or course - her crush from long ago - the one that loved her and left and she's still pissed at how she thinks he did it.

Blake is an amazing bad boy turned billionaire.  He comes from a rough past and it never truly leaves him, but he's made the best of all the lessons he's learned and come out on top - and then some.  He now owns the resort and jumps at the chance to help Caylee when her travel plays go awry.  He also jumps at the chance to show her what he's made of himself.  He feels the need to prove to this beautiful and smart woman that he's not the loser he seems to think she thinks he is.

Now, I mentioned they have a history - but it isn't didn't fall out the way either of them though it did.  I'm not normally a huge fan of misunderstandings driving emotions in romances, but this one was written in a way that I could actually see it happening.  Their assumptions were logical based on the way events played out and they never had reasons to doubt them - until now.  Now the both need to be honest and own up to what they did and didn't do if they want to find out if they'll ever work.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Author Interview with Jenny Holiday


I would like to introduce Jenny Holiday - author of Saving the CEO, a new contemporary romance from Entangled Publishing.  I had a chance to ask her a few questions about her life and her writing and she has some very interesting responses.

In your bio, you list that you have a degree in urban geography.  What exactly is that, and why did it draw you?

"It’s about cities and human landscapes—how they got to be the way they are and how people use them. A concrete example is the practice of redlining in the 1960s. This refers to banks refusing to make mortgage loans to people in certain neighborhoods—drawing a red line around them on a map. So of course these areas, which tended to be home to poorer people, started to decline.  We might look at some of these areas today and see slums, but in fact there was a clear reason these places became the way they are. Urban geography is about untangling all that.

I got into it because I had a great prof as an undergrad. I was an undecided about my major, and I heard her give a presentation. I had always thought about geography as memorizing the state capitals, but she showed us it was so much more."

Since it’s the season of scaring – what superstitions do you have and what monster keeps you up at night?

"The monster that keeps me up at night is four years old, and he lives in my house. He is not a fan of sleeping.

I do get a little spooked by the idea of ghosts, especially if I’m staying somewhere I’ve never been. You know those people who go around hunting ghosts with special equipment and stuff? CRAZY PEOPLE. And when I was a kid, a babysitter let me watch a made-for-TV remake of Psycho. (Who does that?) As a result, for two years, I refused to take a shower without my mom in the bathroom with me, standing just on the other side of the shower curtain.

As far as superstitions, I don’t really have any."

What is the hardest part of the story to write and how do you get through it?

"Writers talk about “the sagging middle,” and that is definitely the challenge for me. I come out of the gate with a bang, but around about 20,000 words, I think, “are we done yet?”

Part of your new book, Saving the CEO is about breaking your own rules.  How often do you break your own rules?

Remember that four-year-old I mentioned? I’m still working shedding on the “baby” weight from being pregnant with that kid. I pretty much break a rule every single day on this front. I have an incredible weakness for M&Ms. But beyond that, I don’t think I really have big-time rules for myself like the hero of the book. He’s much more tightly-wound than I am!"

Many romance novels use the theme of love at first sight, or soul mates.  Do you believe in love at first sight or is it something that belongs in the stories?

"I believe in attraction at first meeting, which I guess is a slightly less dramatic version of love at first sight. And I’m not just talking about physical attraction. I think it’s possible to “click” with a person right away, and that can lead to love. I also think “lust at first sight,” which is what happens to the main characters in Saving the CEO, is possible. Part of this book was about imagining how lust could lead to love when the characters were resistant to the idea of love."

Quickfire Questions:
Favorite ice cream?

Strawberry

Cats or dogs?

Neither. (I am preparing to be booed.)

Favorite childhood TV show?

Scarecrow and Mrs. King

Lights on or off?

Are we talking about what I think we’re talking about? On—but dimly!

Author Bio:
Jenny Holiday started writing at age nine when her awesome fourth grade teacher gave her a notebook and told her to start writing some stories. That first batch featured mass murders on the loose, alien invasions, and hauntings. (Looking back, she’s amazed no one sent her to a kid-shrink.) She’s been writing ever since. After a brief detour to get a PhD in geography, she worked as a professional writer, producing everything from speeches to magazine articles. More recently, her tastes having evolved from alien invasions to happily-ever-afters, she tried her hand at romance. A lifelong city-lover, she lives in Toronto, Canada, with her family. She is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan of Greenburger Associates. 

Author Links

More Posts About Jenny Holiday



Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Review: Kodiak's Claim (Kodiak Point #1) by Eve Langlais

Title: Kodiak's Claim (Kodiak Point #1)
Author: Eve Langlais
Source: Self-Purchased
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Length: Novel
Release Date: July 29, 2014
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Rating - 5
Sexual - 3
Kodiak's Claim by Eve Langlais
He might growl, but she’s not afraid to bite.

Hands full taking care of his clan, the last thing this Kodiak bear needs is a woman poking her cute little nose into his affairs. But when she refuses to back down—and shows the courage to stand up to him—he can’t resist the allure of a curvy city girl.

She’s mine. All mine.

And when a rival clan thinks to use her to force his paw, he’ll show them why you never piss off a Kodiak, or threaten what’s his.

Tammy is convinced men are all scum, even gorgeous ones like Reid Carver. She knows he’s hiding something. Something big. She just never expected a real freaking bear hid underneath all those muscles. But when the truth comes out and he tries to scare her off with a roar, she shows him not just bears have bite.

I have fallen in love with Eve's shifters.  They are a wonderful mix of traditional lore with a nice little twist to their world to make them unique.  The setting and history of Kodiak Point really stood out to me in this one.  I loved how remote and some-what self-sufficient the town was.  It was it's own little shifter world tucked out in the Alaskan wilderness.  Eve really brought that wilderness to life and showed several times just how remote the place was.

At first I missed some of Eve's clever dialog.  Reid Carver just doesn't seem to say a whole lot at first, but once he opened up a little the lovely way she has of speaking for her characters came to life once again.  I loved Reid and his bear - they both seemed to have quite a mind of their own, and frequently disagreed on what to do about Tammy.  He is the alpha and leader of Kodiak Point and takes his job very seriously.  So when Tammy shows up to investigate his insurance claims, he's determined to keep things professional and make sure she doesn't know the true nature of the town's residents.

Well, he fails miseably.  Not only does Tammy end up falling for him, but she's convinced something fishy is going on.  While investigating the claim things get a little strange.  Her time with Reid leads to some danger as whoever is targeting him decides to use her to get to him.  This was a very exciting part of the story line and I stayed up late to make sure I could find out what happened.

The ending was beautifully written.  It really highlighted why these two were so perfect for each other.  Throughout the book we meet several other residents of Kodiak Point and their stories promise to be just as much fun as this one.

Review: Reforming the Rock Star (Head Over Heels #1) by Christine Bell

Title: Reforming the Rock Star (Head Over Heels #1)
Author: Christine Bell
Source: Self-Purchased
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Novel
Release Date: September 29, 2014
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Rating - 4
Sexual - 3

When Sydney Metcalf's bestie asks her to cater her wedding, Syd can't say no, even

though the thought of going back to her hometown makes her break out in hives. She's off to a great start until best man and rock god Lazlo Stone calls with a request for her to cater the bachelor party too. Petit fours adorned with rose petals, she can handle. A cake shaped like boobs for the sexiest guy in the universe? She's not so sure. But this is the chance of a lifetime and she refuses to screw it up by being a prude...

When a sexy stripper dressed as a Plain Jane crashes the bachelor party, Laz is all about getting vertical and making some music with her. Too bad his stripper is really the caterer and the bride's best friend. After a kiss between them blazes out of control, he can't seem to stop thinking about sweet little Syd.

But everybody knows, life on the road and love don't mix...
Rock stars and romance can be quite a volatile combination.  Long hours on the road, adoring and obsessive fans, these can all lead to trust issues.  Laz knows this all too well and he has sworn off relationships because of it.  But as his band mates and friends begin to fall in love and get married - well, he may just have to re-think his stance on love.

His first meeting the Syd was priceless - it was humorous and sexy and I don't think either will ever forget it.  It gets them off to an interesting start to say the least.  When he finds out she's actually the best friend of the bride and an amazing caterer to boot - he tries valiantly to resist the attraction.  But his band mates think differently and they would love to see the pair hook up for a lifetime.

What I loved most about this story was the lack of unnecessary drama.  There was some judgement errors and incorrect assumptions, but most of the issues were about overcoming your past and not letting it rule your future.  It was so much fun to watch these two connect and re-gain their confidence and decide to take a risk on themselves and each other.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*


More Posts About the Head Over Heels Series

More Posts About Christine Bell

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Review: Saving the CEO (49th Floor) by Jenny Holiday

Title: Saving the CEO (a 49th Floor Novel)
Author: Jenny Holiday
Source: Entangled Indulgence
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: Novel
Release Date: October 20, 2014
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Rating - 4
Sexual - 3

Real estate mogul Jack Winter has rules. Lots of rules. After all, a man doesn’t build
an empire without a little discipline. And on page one of the rulebook? Don’t sleep with your employees. Especially when there’s a multimillion dollar real estate deal at stake...

Luckily for Jack, Cassie James isn’t really his employee. She’s a hot bartender who just happens to be the math genius he needs, and if they share a wicked chemistry? Well, that's just a sexy little perk. So they strike a deal: Cassie helps Jack with the merger. And until the deal goes through at Christmas, they can indulge every sexy little impulse they desire. But the more rules Jack makes, the more he seems to break...


Cassie was such a great character.  She was a real woman - not your typical romance heroine - and she faced some pretty serious real-life style problems.  Struggling to make her way through college and get her degree in mathematics, Cassie works as a bar tender at a trendy restaurant.  Here is where she stumbles into being acquainted by Jack - a CEO with one heck of a math problem.

Jack has so very many rules - he's quite an uptight man and his reaction to Cassie is completely out of character for him.  But maybe if he just breaks one rule - it'll be OK.  He can still go back if it's just one.  Well, maybe two - or three - and soon he finds himself sliding down a steep slope where all his precious rules are getting thrown out the window.

They grow to care for each other as they work on Jack's math problem for his company - and they learn a lot of really cool little things about each other.  Like Cassie's fascination with the stars - I loved that she was so impressed with such a simple thing.  It made her even more likable than she already was and played a good part in the story-line several times as well.  In fact, all the little facts and figures that are introduced along the way play important parts as the story unfolds.  It was very well done.

This was a very sweet romance with a lot of  intense moments that gave it just enough spice.  I loved how the characters related to each other, and Jack's business deal was wrapped up and handled in a way I thought was just about perfect.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

Saturday, October 18, 2014

New Releases in Romance - Week of October 19, 2014

And the Christmas goodies just keep coming, but take a look at that first historical cover.  Oh my!

Christmas


Paranormal


Historical


Contemporary


Suspense


New Adult
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