Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Monthly Reading List Update – January – February - March

 

 

 

It’s that time again when we all start cataloguing the books we have been reading – I have my quarterly list attached.

 

March

90 – Hoping to get one more in today…..

89 Outside Protocol – Dawn Ryder - Review

88 Challenge Protocol – Dawn Ryder - Review

87 Point of Combustion – Dawn Ryder -  Review

86 Call of the Highland Wolf – Kendra Leigh Castle - Review

85 Drawn Together – Z.A. Maxfield - Review

84 Stranger – Megan Hart - Review

83 Rose & Thorn Society – Switching Seth – Jamie Hill - Review

82 A Tender Rough - Fae Sutherland - Review

81 Lucky Charms – Marie Rochelle - Review 

80 Crossing The Railroad - Marie Rochelle  -  Review                

79 For Love Or Money - Lavada Dee - Review

78 Secret Bodyguard - Lori Crawford - Review 

77 Wanting Sam - Shawn Lane - Review

76 Playing for Keeps - Shiloh Walker - Review

75 The Vampire and the Man-eater - G.A. Hauser - Review 

74 Somewhere Love - Michelle McAdam - Review

75 The Colors of Love and Autumn - Lee Pulaski - Review 

74 Second Time Around – Jamie Hill - Review 

71- 72 - 73 Unexpected Love Series – Jamie Hill - Review

70 SEATTLE: Giving Chase – Jamie Hill - Review

69 Echo Falls, Book 2 - The Sweetheart Dance – Patti Ann Colt - Review

68  Soldier - AKM Miles - Review

67 Tycoon's Club Series: Book 2 - Boss Man - Marie Rochelle - Review

66 The Love Of Sports - High Line -T.A.. Chase - Review

65 Papa Knows Best – Jaxx Steele - Review

64 Fall Into Me – Linda Winfree – Review

 

 

February

63 Sweet Treats - Stormy Glenn - Review

62 Perfect Game - Jordana Ryan - Review

61 Saving Tampa – Jo Webnar - Review

60 Dakota Heat Book 1: Her Dakota Men - Leah Brookes - Review

59 Decadent Deceptions – Keta Diablo - Review

58  Letting Go of the Reins Bk 1 – Slade and Kally – A. E. Rought - Review

57  Desire, Oklahoma 3 - Creation of Desire – Leah Brookes -  Review

56 The Boys Back Home - Sierra Dafoe - Review

55 Streets of Fire Series Bk 2: Born to Run - Jamie Hill - Review

54 Sealed with a Kiss - Mary Margret Daughtridge  - Review

53 Secret Rendezvous – Jamie Hill - Review

52 Stars in Your Eyes - Genene Valleau - Review

51 The Men of CCD 1 - Loving true - Marie Rochelle - Review

50 The Men of CCD 2 - Slow Seduction - Marie Rochelle -  Review

49 Brotherhood of Blood: One And Only: Bianca D' Arc - Review

48 The Katzman's Mate - Stormy Glenn - Review

47 Broken - Eve Vaughn - Review

46 Hearts Afire: January - Bonnie Dee and T.A. Chase - Review

45 The Gift that Keeps on Giving - Jaxx Steele - Review

44 Danger in Her Arms – Phyllis Campbell – Review

 

 

January

43 Black Aura - Jaycee Clark - Review
42 Through The Closet Door - Rick R. Reed - Review
39 - 40 - 41 The Debtor’s Daughters Series - Faith - Hope - Charity - Lacey Thorn - Review
38 Cattle Valley: Gone Surfin’ - Carol Lynne - Review
37 When Love Comes Back Around - Lisa Marie Davis - Review
36 Beyond The Reef - A.J. Llewellyn - Review
35 Winning Molly - Bobbie Russell - Review
34 Daywalker Series: The Hard Truth - Amanda Young - Review
33 Be With Me - Maya Banks - Review
32 Double B - 2:The Cowboy Comes Home - Roni Adams - Review
31 Harvest Heat - Carol Lynne - Review
30 At Long Last - Shawn Lane - Review
29 Witchy Woes Book 1 - Tamara: - Michelle Hasker - Review
28 Quivering Thighs - Ashlyn Chase - Review
27 Collision Course - KA Mitchell - Review
26 Travelling Circus Book 2: Center Ring - Sutton Fox - Review
25 The Long Way Home - ZA Maxfield - Review
24 Claimed For The Italian Bed - Natalie Rivers - Review
23 Unstoppable Force - Lisa Marie Davis - Review
22 Forged Sean Michaels - Review
21 The Millionaire’s Fake Fiancée - Rita Sawyer - Review
20 Perfect Man - Shawn Lane - Review
19 Back to Black Point A.J. Llewellyn, D.J. Manly Review
18 Holiday Outing - Astrid Amara - Review
17 Calendar Boys–December: First and Always - Jamie Craig - Review
16 New Year’s Fire - Kate Steele - Review
15 Murphy’s Hero - G.A. Hauser - Review
14 SECRETS 26 - Bound by Passion - Calista Fox, Juliet Burns, Kate James, Rachel Carrington - Review
13 Blood Brothers 3.5 - Jagger’s Woman - Eve Vaughn - Review
12 Blood Brothers 3 - Romeo Unleashed - Eve Vaughn - Review
11 Blood Brothers 2 - Niccolo’s Witch - Eve Vaughn - Review
10 Blood Brothers 1 - GianMarco’s Muse - Eve Vaughn - Review
9 Bodyguards: Loving the Boss - Torro Cruz - Review
8 Fortune’s Return - Jamie Craig - Review
7 Fortune’s Honor - Jamie Craig - Review
6 Absolute Trust - Kaenar Langford - Review
5 Corporate Passion - Carol Lynne - Review
4 Carry On - Treva Harte - Review
3 A Desperado For Christmas - Vijaya Schartz - Review
2 Too Soon for Mid life Crisis Rowan Barnes - Review
1 The Worlds Your Lobster - Adrian Henri – Review

 

 

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In my Quest – New Features

 


I have two new features that i will be introducing on the blog in the coming few days. Hopefully I'll be able to carry on every week.

The two features are in line with my 2009 goal of getting people to read and write more. I spend a lot of time on the net, for work and and for pleasure as well. During my days, weeks and months on the net, i have reads some very interesting post, some that made me laugh, made me cry and a whole lot just really hit the spot.

 

The first feature is highlighting a few of the wonderful post that  i have read over the week. I’ll be doing this every Friday. I have not pin down a name yet for what i want to call that feature – i only know i want to do it.  Who knows i may eventually set a challenge with this and start a meme – Let’s see what sort of reception i get.

 

The second feature is courtesy of weeding out my library recently – you all remember those pictures – I have a massive back catalogue of book  and quite a lot of them have seen me through some rough times in my life and i find it very hard to part with them – I must however.

So the feature will just be a book i have chosen, a little of the blurb and if i am able to find a review – i will direct readers  to that review. I will also be accepting suggestion from visitors, lurkers and followers as well. This feature will be posted on a Thursdays.

 

 

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Monday, 30 March 2009

LEXIE - Poisoned Rationality

 

 

I recently send out a shout calling all bloggers to step up to the plate and let their voice be heard about how they started and what’s there opinion on the book industry and i had a whole slew of bloggers wanting to join the fun.

First one up is Lexie, from the blog Poisoned Rationality (you have to read the interview to know the story behind that). I know of Lexie from Ning – A book blogger community and  my first introduction to Lexis was her enthusiastic discussion about the upcoming  “Book Expo America 2009”. I eagerly await her visit to live through her eyes.

Another thing that stands out for Lexie is her site banner, how ingenious is that. She has taken all the words you want to say, all the words that aptly describe probably 75% of us bloggers and made it into a banner that i am totally impressed with.

 

Earlier this week Lexie just finished a Linnea Sinclair Book-A-Day challenge – yeah, I'm not joking, the whole lot – and although Linnea Sinclair was not someone on my radar,  i will definately be getting the books before the end of the month and all because of her reviews.

I have to admit for someone that i made contact with  only recently i am totally fascinated with her style of writing – her reviews are not spoiler, or even standard reviews they are mini commentaries and they so work for me.

As always i have to shut up so my guest can have her say – Please Welcome  - Lexie – Poisoned Rationality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

-1- Firstly you have promoted your site as "Poisoned Rationality, Last Exile Words  and The Reader, Dreamer, Reclusive Seer" - which one do you use most is there a story behind the names.


For this blog I mainly use Poisoned Rationality. Originally when it was my personal blog I had it as Last Exile Words, but when I made the change to a review blog I thought it would be better if I distanced it from my personal blog over at livejournal.  The phrase ‘Poisoned Rationality’ is something that my ninth grade English honors teacher would often accuse me of when I would argue--loudly--my opinions of books we read and discussed.


Last Exile Words, or shortened to “lexilewords”, is a pun on my name (Lexie), my favourite anime (Last Exile) and my passion (words).  At some point a friend of mine thought it would be hilarious to just call me lexile all the time, so that became my handle for the last five years or so.


The Reader, Dreamer, Reclusive Seer is my jab at explaining myself in a fun but concise way.  I’m of course a reader, been accused of being a day-dreamer and as a child  I wanted to be an Oracle at Delphi (I grew up in love with Greek mythology).

 

-2- Can you let us know what's your specialty reading area and how/why you got into it. (genre, your  reviews, how long you have been reviewing)


If you looked at my shelves I mainly have two genres I center around--fantasy (of any sort) and romance (paranormal, historical, action).  Those two genres ‘speak’ the most to me honestly.  I got into Fantasy because of my dad--he handed me Anne McCaffrey’s Harper Hall Trilogy at the tender age of seven and I just fell in love on the spot.  I got into romance because of my paternal grandmother--she was a closet harlequin romance reader and gothic romance reader.  After I read through her entire stash I began branching out and picking up regency romances by Barbara Cartland, Georgette Heyer and Sandra Heath. 

I fell into paranormal and action romance by accident because of Buffy and my love of vampires.
I’ve only been officially reviewing for a little over 9 months--most with the romance review site Romance Readers at Heart and then my current blog Poisoned Rationality.  I needed somewhere to get my feelings out about the books I loved (or at least tolerated enough to read) that weren’t necessarily about romance.

 

-3- With work and life in general how much time do you spend on the net and your blog in a day and weekly.

I am fortunate in that my job right now is a flexible schedule--I work as a nanny for a service, so I make my own schedule.  I take online courses to be a paralegal so I’m online quite a bit for that.  Daily on the net?  Anywhere from six hours between personal fun and research and classes.  On my blog?  Depending on things about seven hours a week, sometimes more if I’m fiddling with the layout and such. 

 

-4- What are some of your daily net habits.

 

Wake up check my two mail accounts (gmail and aol), check my personal blog at livejournal, respond to comments on either my book blog or my person blog, scroll the list of blogs I keep track of (all 78 of them XD), check face book (to see what my family is up to), then either go on Skype to chat with friends while researching for my classes or play Tetris while pestering my friends.  There is also a fair amount of checking the fan sub groups to see if my Asian dramas have new episodes out yet or not as well. 

 

-5-Best thing about having a blog..

Interacting with folks who aren’t my friends in RL XD Seriously, its nice to meet people who have an interest in the same books or authors I do.

 

-6- What widget/promotional site or other must have would you say made a difference to your blog.

Book Blogs (http://bookblogs.ning.com) as well as joining various reading challenges.  I’m kind of behind on some of those, but I’ve kept tabs on some really cool book review blogs because of those challenges.  A community on livejournal, bookish, is also invaluable since its basically a place to post links to my reviews to entice people over.  Plus you’d be surprised by how many agents, authors and PR people are on livejournal!

 

-7- Your blog Banner is in a word 'Something so different" - What gave you the idea for that banner and how much input did you have in actually making it.

 

I made it myself in Paint since I don’t have anything better on my machine at the moment.  I really wanted to have a banner that was both interesting, but also ‘me’.  The first quote, by Jane Yolen, is a quote I used to have plastered over all of my textbooks in high school.  Its from the cover of her short story collection, ‘Sister Emily’s Lightship’ and has always intrigued me.  I knew I wanted to incorporate it into my blog somehow.  Then it got me thinking about all the lovely artwork I have saved on my computer (for icons and such) and BAM I had the rough draft of my banner.  Originally it was just Jane Yolen’s quote, but I expanded it to include other book-related and reading-related poems and quotes I found around the web.


It wasn’t until my sister and friend saw the quotes I had chosen that I realized the poems/quotes I had chosen describe me (and my room) almost perfectly.  The girl in the artwork also could be me any day of the week when I was younger.

 

 -8- .Where do you see your blog in a year from now.

 

I’m hoping to learn some more basic html so I can streamline it a little better.  I really like the blogs that have information on both sides of the page, I think it helps to organize things better (that is information pertaining to the blog specifically vs. information about other blogs).  Other then that I plan on updating the banner a bit (using my sister’s Photoshop program I want to make it cleaner) and hopefully have more Genre/Author-centric specials (such as my recent Linnea Sinclair Book-A-Day) and interview more debut authors!

 

-9-While blogging gives away a piece of our identity - do you feel you have changed since blogging.

 

Some yes.  Before I began to review books for the blog specifically I sort of just typed my thoughts out and let them fly willy-nilly.  I didn’t really think in terms of why I liked a book and how that would interest others.  Now though I take a more unbiased look at a book as a whole.  Though some authors I just can’t help but fan girl over no matter how hard I try.  I also try to keep my reviews as positive as possible.  If I have a REAL problem with a book I won’t review it for the blog period.  I’ll likely post my venting at my personal blog.  I’ve been lucky so far in that the books sent to me I have at least enjoyed quite a lot.

 

 -10-what are some of the no no's for you in relation to reading and reviewing.

 

Almost as soon as I am done reading a book I will write a rough review down.  I’ll then look it over and on a separate piece of paper list all the positives and negatives I mentioned.  If the negatives outweigh the positives by more then half, I’ll re-write the review and follow the same process again.  If after this second time the negatives still outweigh the positives by too much, I won’t write the review.  Authors--new, veteran, what have you--all put so much effort into their writing that I wouldn’t feel right posting such a negative piece.  I didn’t start this blog to hurt people’s feelings and I don’t plan on that ever being part of the equation.  I’m not being paid to do this, so I feel its up to my discretion on what I post and what I won’t post.


 -11- Your blog have a very minimalist look to it - is this a format that works for you and why.


It definitely works for me right now.  I’m still gaining my legs so much of what is on the blog is simply stuff I want to mention or bring to focus.  The contests widgets for instance or the Star Trek movie trailer--I do that because I want to.   In time I hope to re-tool it a little bit as I get more involved in reviewing, but until then I think it suits me fine.

 

-12-  What are some of the more noticeable positives and negative of the book industry over the past few years for you.

 

I like that authors have begun to interact with fans more online--with blogs that has content not just on their books, but also their writing process, their daily lives and things that interest them.  Its wonderful to find out that the writer I’ve admired forever digs the same guilty pleasure show that I do!  Its also a great way to hear about new authors or maybe authors I haven’t read about when the authors I follow post an excerpt or talk about their books.  Also full cast audio book productions.  I can’t stress enough how much I love this concept.  There are very few voices I am willing to listen to read at a slower pace then I read for six hours or more--but full cast audios make the books seem more alive even if they’re something I’ve read a dozen times.


Negatives…it seems like some publishing houses are too keen on reaching a broad target audience instead of focusing on a core target audience.  Its no one big thing, but more of a gradual shift in attitude I think for the bigger houses.

 

 -13- Now to get to the books. Tell me all - the ones that started you off onto the genre, some favourite through the years and looking forward to books.

Honestly if I were to answer this question completely a whole new blog would have to be opened up : ) Let’s see…first fantasy novel--Harper Hall Trilogy by Anne McCaffrey, first science fiction novel--Andra by Louise Lawrence, and first category romance--The Olive Grove by Jean S. Macleod. 

Favourites?  Daggerstar by Elizabeth Vaughan (looking forward to book 2 White Star due out in April), Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder (and all subsequent novels, plus looking forward to Storm Glass in April), Ravenous by Sharon Ashwood (book 2 due out in December!), Acorna by Anne McCaffrey and Margaret Ball, The Girl with Silver Eyes by Willo Davis Roberts, Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier and The Rowan by Anne McCaffrey.

 

 -14- With technology now walking hand in hand with our beloved print book - do you own an e-reader

           A. Nope.  I love the feel of a book in my hands and e-reader’s tend to give me headaches after a while.                
         
           B. What do you think of the ereader /ebook craze: I think its great for people who don’t like lugging around tomes of books on planes/trains/etc (I personally don’t mind).  For casual readers I think this might be preferred since (after the initial cost of the reader) it’s a cheaper way to get books, but not have them lying around if you don’t want to re-read them.


           C. Since the inception of ebook - any noticeable difference in the print book industry.: I’ve seen a lot of readers who are miffed by the fact that say the fourth book in their favourite series is coming out in ebook form, but books 1-3 haven’t yet so even if they are inclined to buy the ebook, its annoying to still have to have the print versions of the other books.


           D. Last book read that you though - it can't get any better than this (Print).--Hmm…The Girl She Used To Be by David Cristofano was actually a lot more enjoyable then I originally gave it credit for.  I’m not a fan of straight fiction--I like to be able to escape reality when I read--but the story moves at a quick pace, I liked the character a lot and it wasn’t overly long.  I can’t think of the last straight fiction book that gave me that feeling.

 

-15- Any tips for new and future blogger.

 

Don’t be worried about receiving books.  Its said so often, but its so true.  If there is a definitive genre you prefer--post reviews for books you enjoyed.  Books from your collection, books you take out from the library whatever.  Be sure to network also--join a reading challenge in your preferred genre, comment on other reviewer’s blogs (more often then not they will then come visit your blog).


I’ve also found that if you e-mail an author that you posted a review of their book, they tend to tell their fans and Agent.   Doesn’t matter if the book is five years old or five days old, if you can find an e-mail/blog address for the author do them the courtesy of letting them know.


Lastly--be honest about gripes you might have with the plot or character depictions, but don’t make it a ‘God I hated so and so because she was so DUMB!’.  Point out what you didn’t like, why it didn’t work for you.  If all else fails--e-mail the author and politely ask them to explain a character’s actions.  Maybe a scene got cut or re-arranged or an author merely didn’t realize it.  Most authors I’ve e-mailed seem to appreciate the feedback!

 

-16- Sneak peek at any future plans for the site or any upcoming events for you, and let us know where else we can find you on the web.

 

My birthday is in April (turning a quarter of a century old…I’m excited!) I plan on having a contest to win three of my favourite books with sequels due out also in April/Early May.  It’ll be the first book in whichever particular series.
My personal blog is http://lotuseyes.livejournal.com .  Most of my personal entries are f-locked (do you really want to read about what weird dreams I’ve been having?), but I keep a running tally of what reviews I’ve done for Romance Readers at Heart on my profile page and a blog entry about what books I’ve reviewed for Poisoned Rationality as well.  If you look to my sidebar on my blog you’ll see other places I pop up (twitter, book blogs).

 

 

 

 

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Sunday, 29 March 2009

In The Spotlight – Dawn Ryder

 

Mary Wine

Pseudonym: Dawn Ryder.

http://www.marywine.com

I write to reassure myself that reality really is survivable. Between traffic jams and children's sporting schedules, there is romance lurking for anyone with the imagination to find it.

I spend my days making corsets and petticoats as a historical costumer. If you send me an invitation marked formal dress, you'd better give a date or I just might show up wearing my bustle.

I love to read a good romance and with the completion of my first novel, I've discovered I am addicted to writing these stories as well.

Dream big or you might never get beyond your front yard.

(from the Mary Vine – Webpage)

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Review – Outside Protocol – Dawn Ryder

 

 

 



The Blurb

Rules surrounded her everyday. It was just the way life was. Robyn didn't question it until she ran into Jace and Nash. It was hard to believe that there were men that lived outside of all the rules she'd been living under. One taste of forbidden fruit and her eyes were unwilling to close again. Not that anyone might blame her, one stunning male was enough to tempt a girl to sin…two was impossible to resist.

But it couldn't last. People just didn't fall in love in numbers of three. But the sweet temptation of it haunted her as Jace and Nash refused to leave her. They pushed their way right into her life and took her with them when they bled back into the shadowy world that they lived in. Special forces, guns and betrayal should have turned her away but it only added more fascination to her growing addiction to remain with them. Without rules, the possibilities were endless and even love wasn't out of the question.

As long as you lived outside of protocol.

 

 

The Review:

Characters

Robyn - The office worker who believes in rule and just gets on with the job, but secretly hopes the owner would make a spot check or at least be more proactive in the business. The Robyn that likes to play on a weekend and knows it’s never really affect her world.

Jake and Nash - Brain along with brawn, two of a group of men that live clearly outside of the law because they have no choice. They do what they have to do and in their own away and at their own pace.

 

Plot:

After a weekend of fun Robyn is all set to get back to her neat little life. However when her weekend tryst follows her to her work place, it becomes more than mere coincidence, she gets caught up in a lifestyle that not only excites her but puts her in a position of seeing how people without rules.

Special Forces Dack and Logan are not prepare to accept anything less from Cambria, but not only are they watching each others back, but they are having to make some decision that will affect not only them, but the entire team that needs and rely on them.

 

Robyn—”
“No.” Robyn didn’t shout but her words were solid. The lust curling through her pussy only made her more resolved. She grabbed her clothing from the table and shook it out. “I just can’t treat either of you like meat. Sorry, but I thought I could and…I can’t. It’s just not right and lust doesn’t make it acceptable. At least not to me. I think last night taught me that.” The lingering hunger she’d awoken with hit her as the proof that 
she just wasn’t like Carly. She could try to argue with her conscience all day and that wouldn’t change.
“You don’t want to tell me anything about yourselves but you know every detail of my life. Sorry, but that makes it fucking. Maybe Carly is a better fit for you two after all. As lame as it sounds, I’m not that kind of girl.”

Outside Protocol (c) Dawn Ryder

Surprise Element:

When i started this book, i was not sure what to expect, this book surprised me in the fact that nothing was as i expect it would go. The author show two side to some scary people and some scary situation. Wrapping it up in a hotter than hell erotic read was a stroke of genius. The hilarity level was not ha ha and giggles  they were sarcastic and in your face sort of funny. I liked - a lot.

The supporting characters were not your friendly neighbourhood type either and they more than anything else made the story for me. Another reviewer that just loved the book is Tara at Twolips Romance

 

Predictability:

The usual bad guy, the disgruntled other person, but in the scheme of things as always without the baddies what's the point of the story.

 

Smut/Ick Factor

These men knows how to play as a team and they are as creative as they are forceful. I enjoyed the moments when they got it on and the anticipation between each moment of madness was an experience. Having to view from the sidelines these three  trying to rush through the day to get at each other made this book for me.

 

Positive:

I am trying to like the average Joe as heroes, but there is just something to said for the take charge sort of guys who just gets on with the business and do things there own way. I absolutely loved Nash and Jake. Robyn was no push over either, she held her own against these two overbearing male.

I like the fact that like all girls she still had that part of her that loves the attention of two men,

The book flowed, there was no jumping all over the place with this read. When new people were introduced - we knew they were either friend or foe and there relevance to the main plot.

Albeit that this book was apart of a series, the main protagonist issues were all dealt this, Ms. Ryder  gives us enough about the other players of forth coming books to having you doing a mini lottery guessing game.

There was one scene of male dominance raring its head and striving for supremacy which was in a word hot.

 

Negative:

There was not enough back history on either of the main male protagonist beyond what was essential to the book. Because i like a little of how, why and where to a character - i missed not being able to put the whole picture together of who i reading about.

Notwithstanding that - the minimalistic back history worked, given the occupation these people were in, the job they now had  to do - i can see where the bare essential was a probably a strategic move on the authors part.

 

Cover:

Not the best in light of all the other erotic covers on the market. This is certainly one of those books where you can’t judge the book by the cover.

 

 

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Review - Challenge Protocol – Dawn Ryder

 


 


 

 


The Blurb

Cambria is no stranger to hot men or hot loving. She likes her relationships simple-hot, satisfying and under her control. Until Dack and Logan walk into her life and turn it upside down. Now nothing's simple, and she's losing control. Two hot, hard men who live together, work together and love together, and the woman they want is her. Getting them out of her head, her bed, or her life isn't working. Choosing between them isn't an option

A vengeful enemy has forced Dack and Logan to live a life spent watching each other's backs, 24/7. That includes in the bedroom. Nowhere is safe. Love affairs are brief. But Cambria is a lady neither of them can resist. With her sassy attitude and passionate nature, she's the one woman they refuse to watch walk away. She touches some part of them they'd long thought dead.

Stormy passion and tender touches tempt the two battle-scarred warriors with a taste of the forbidden, but how to keep the woman they both want safe, and in their bed?

 

 

The Review:

Characters

Cambria- A take charge sort of woman , with no hang-ups about her confidence and how she uses it. She also likes to be in charge – every time. When she is given a proposition she doesn’t really want to refuse – you know she wants to be in charge.

Dack – Leader of these band of Special Forces men, for the past few years his one and only focus has been going after the one man that has wronged them – his focus has suddenly change.

Logan – The man that watches Dack’s back, the less intense of the two men but no less dangerous when it come to matters of pride and matters of the hearts.

 

Plot

Cambria is used to having her own way and doing her thing, so when two men - because these were certainly not boys  - arrives to turn her world upside down she doesn't go easily and make keeping up with her a merry chase.

Not only do these men do every thing together, but they have their eyes set on her, despite all the danger and uncertainty that follows in their wake.

Dack and Logan are old hands at looking after themselves, however when Cambria comes into the picture a whole new game comes into play both inside the bedroom  and outside and they all intend to win.

 

The both watched her, keeping an even distance between them as they moved towards her. She was forced to either fall back or let them get within touching range. Turning her back on them, she settled for selecting a plush couch to sit on. Logan slid into a chair nearby while Dack settled on another chair. Surprise filtered through her brain as she watched them ignore the space next to her on the sofa. Somehow, she didn’t see it as an oversight, more of a strategy move. Setting her drink on the small table in front of her, Cambria fluttered her eyelashes at them as she crossed her legs.
“So, now what, boys? Are we just going to play intimidation games?”
Logan shrugged as Dack considered her. He set his empty glass beside her own. “Well, our plan ran out when we surprised you.”
“Do tell.”
Logan chuckled at her dry tone. “You’re a hard woman to please.”
“Too true. You’re not the first man to come up short.”

Challenge Protocol (c) Dawn Ryder

 

 

Surprise Element:

This the second book in the Protocol series and for a team of Special Forces – there was no Kaboom moment – this book is all about the drama of their love life. while the danger is still clear and present and they are dealing with it – in their own way – a little Special Forces action would have been nice.

 

Predictability:

In some ways this was a like a mirror of the first book – so other than the fine print – the name and the players they are basically going through more or less the same thing.

 

Smut/Ick Factor:

Yeah these three have a merry time with enough flirting and innuendos that your jut wanted them to reach the “there” part of it. Because of the life these men live, there was a whole lot of  ‘caveman sex” – you, me, him and no compromise – some of the best action in the book.

 

Positive

Just the fact that a second book came out was good thing, wasn’t sure there for a while. Dack lives up to his take charge attitude, but he was also man even to know when to roll over let a woman have her way. A whole lot more of the mystery surrounding their little group was revealed.

Cambria is the perfect woman for these two, after living through one book with these men, it would be a crime if they partnered with anyone less that Cambria.

I like how the author kept the other side story suitable regulated to the side lines. New characters are introduced and even suspense is built leaving you wondering whose story will be next in this series.

 

Negative:

Dack and Logan are partners out of necessity, however while they have accepted that there love life would also be interlinked, Logan never really came into his own to me. it was like Dack was granting him a favour, by allowing Cambria to be with him.

The only plus on this little snipe of mine – is the scene with Cambria and Logan are just something else.

 

Cover:

Although i read alot of erotica i don’t really like a cover with too much ‘nekkid” people, so what I'll say is it works and i read it in eBook, so once i saw it – i moved on.

 

 

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Review - Point Of Combustion – Dawn Ryder




The Blurb

 

Mia Kerstin's life was boring. She was everything her strict family expected. The one exception was her friendship with Cambria. But her single deviation was about to leave a huge stain on her that would see her running for her life.

Trace didn't have to intercede.

It wasn't his fight but he'd always been there for his special ops buddies. Scooping Mia out of the jaws of danger had its slim rewards in knowing that he'd helped a buddy out but it left him with a woman that was far different than the sort he normal dealt with.

A princess worthy of seduction and flowers and far too tempting for his self control.

Mia should have been able to ignore her rescuer/captor. He was everything her parents wouldn't approve of. But he was also touching off sparks that she'd despaired of ever feeling for any man.

The problem was that it was Trace that she wanted. Passion didn't care about what her family might think, it raged into a firestorm that consumed every ideal. Leaving her his willing prisoner.

 

 

 

The Review

Characters:

Mia Kerstin – The dutiful daughter, the sister who never rocks the boat for fear of what her overbearing brothers might do. The friend who was there when Cumbria needed her and also the feisty bundle of fluff that was about to find out what is the price of loyalty.

Trace – A man with is own agenda, a man who keeps is finger on the pulse of everyday activities especially when it affects his buddies and his business. A man not above turning a blind eye if need be, also a man who knows that sometimes you just have to do the right thing.  

 

The Plot:

When Trace is asked to help out his old friends and protect a young woman, he does it willing after all they are of the motto – all for one and one for all.

Protesting this package is certainly more than he bargained for, as the package turns out to be an Asian china doll who was hell on wheels and she was not backing down.

Toss into a situation where she has little or no say Mia has to make the best of the situation. Not expecting to find someone she wants she is confused and at a lose of what about the situation – she goes with the flow. Danger follows and Trace will move heaven and earth to protect Mia, but Mia may just have some tricks up her sleeves to protect herself.

 

Great. Going against her parents’ wishes had landed her in trouble. They had always warned her to stay close to the family. Trust should be reserved for those who earned it.
She knew Cambria. Her hand covered her mouth as she thought about her friend. Cambria couldn’t have been involved in anything like this. Mia refused to believe it. Trace had been lying.
A solid knock landed on the door. Her eyes moved rapidly around the area, landing on a glass sculpture sitting near the door. She hefted it then flattened her body against the wall as the door opened.
“Why don’t you set that down before you drop it?”
Her captor didn’t enter the room. Unlike her bedroom at home, this set of doors opened out into the hallway. He’d pulled the door open and looked on either side of the door frame before crossing into the room. His eyes were locked on her and her makeshift weapon.
“I’ll be happy to wait until you weaken enough to lower it. If the shaking of your arm is any indication, it won’t be long. Unless you’d prefer to wrestle. I guess I can accommodate you if you want to take a swing at me. Again.”

Surprise element;

This book has finally given me what  i have been hoping for since the last two books – some honest to goodness action. Mia is no wallflower but knows how to be all feminine when she has to be – she however has a wild streak and Trace is about to experience it first hand.

Trace is the perfect gentleman and he make no bones about the fact that he can be a thug as well – he is the man.

 

Predictability:

After two books you would expect that you could predict the next move – but there was little or no predictable areas in this read. This was the book that separated the men from the boys.

 

Smut/Ick Factor

If ever there a man that knows how to handle a woman –please let introduce you to Trace – every word that comes out of this mans mouth is aim at sexual sensation – Mia did not stand a chance.

The sex was creative, a lot of it, and the lust filled mist that hover over this book was sooooo goood.

Positive:

The attraction between Mia and Trace was off the chart. They flirted, they teased and they had some wild times. This book also out of the three had the first bit of action that you could sink your teeth into.

There were a few hair raising moments that was long overdue. The fact that the entire story takes place in more or less a compact area added to that feeling of “waiting to explode” and when it did – it was so worth it.

Once again  Ms. Ryder did not fluff around with side stories and unnecessary information, she got right to the matter at hand and you knew who was doing what and where they were going – at least where they thought they were going.

Naturally she gives us enough info to have us anticipating the next one in the series.

 

Negative:

The end was a rush job, after the build up of two previous books, A little more time could have been spent on the ending of this book. It was all a bit anticlimactic – whilst i don’t regret reading this book – i loved it actually – i was very disappointed in the ending

Cover:

Nothing to shout out about – As  i mentioned with the first in this series – Don’t judge this book by it’s cover.

 

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Friday, 27 March 2009

Review : Call of the Highland Moon – Kendra Leigh Castle

 


 

The Blurb

No one knows better than Gideon MacInnes how dangerous it can be to fall in love. As the future leader of a pack of Highland werewolves who guard an ancient and powerful secret, Gideon can’t afford to bond with the wrong woman. The bite of the werewolf is too often fatal…and never lightly given. But on his last night in America, an unforeseen attack leaves him in the care of exactly the sort of woman he can never have. And the only one he will ever want.

Carly Silver might sell stories for a living, but she never expected one to show up on her doorstep. While the night shows her only a beast pleading for her help, the morning light reveals a man out of her darkest dreams. Straight out of legend and surrounded by danger, Gideon is the last man Carly should be letting into her life…even if he’s almost impossible to resist. But trapped by an early Northern New York snowstorm, she hasn’t got anywhere to run.

As the Stone of Destiny begins to work its magic beneath the Highland moon, reluctant attraction quickly deepens into something infinitely more irresistible. But with an ancient enemy reaching across worlds in a quest for the ultimate prize, their new love isn’t the only thing that risks being destroyed. As Gideon makes his stand for a power his people never knew they possessed, Carly must face her own deadly decision. And if love is to survive, both must find the courage to embrace the beast within. Because the moon is calling, and there are things beyond imagining waiting in the darkness for them both.


 

The Review

Characters:

Gideon MacInnes – The dutiful son, the son that can be relied on to do the right thing, but also the son and brother and Alpha in the making who is not ready to take hold of the reigns of the MacInnes clan.

Carly Silver with the name that could not be more apt is the owner of the house that Gideon finds refuge in – in his hour of need. Carly, bookshop owner, daughter, sister and friend to a whole bunch of opinionated women is also hell on wheels when it comes to Gideon.

 

The Plot:

With the weight of impending Alpha –dom  dodging his footsteps, Gideon makes is way to the other side of the pond for a few reasons, one - to see if the grass is greener on the other side, secondly to give him some space to figure out what he wants to do with his life. As although he knows his destiny and the importance of his clan to the Stone of Destiny – he wants to do thing on his own terms.

When a  ruthless killer and fate have him gasping  at the door of Carly  - the bookshop owner, sour on men and who could do with a pet – he is left thinking how could this happen at this most inopportune time.

Not withstanding the call of nature, Gideon and Carly find themselves caught up in the history and the mystery that is the Stone of Destiny. But for Gideon there is a more immediate danger as Carly is every bit as his mother and from past knowledge these lovely petite ladies may not survive what will eventually be calling to them.

 

 

Naturally, that particular wolf had borne a striking resemblance to a certain something she’d decided to bring home with her. Something that might almost be a full-blooded dog…if you squinted at it hard enough.

Carly bit back a groan at the memories of touching…petting…cooing, for Christ’s sake. Since when had she gotten so damned dumb? Most people would have gotten either Animal Control or a gun. Or both, for that matter. But not her, Carly thought ruefully. Oh no. She looked at blood and claws and teeth the size of a great white’s and just melted.

Call of the Highland Wolf(c) Kendra Leigh Castle

 

Surprise Elements:

Oh yes, I did come at this books from a wide eye bushy tail point of view, so surprises were a plenty. The whole highland thing was good, there were enough twist and turns with the plot, so you never knew when the pace will jump forward or who was doing the dastardly deed to whom and for what reason.

The Stone of Destiny was a nice touch for me at least – the mystery, the reverence and irreverence to it, make it one of the storyline to watch for me.

 

Predictability:

I love paranormal books especially shifters. That being said there is a certain predictability to it for me anyway. One of the main things I love about any HEA is the build up and the getting to know each other with all the angst and petty issues that comes with sexual exploration and relationship building.

With most (if not all) paranormal the thrill is kinda over before it’s began, because you can hardly hide from that dreaded thing call pheromones – so you have ‘The One” “My Mate” “True One” and various other names for the soul mate that is out their for all of us. So the fact that Gideon knew that Carly was for him – didn’t help my pet peeve.

There was also the usual suspects, however where Ms.Castle claws her way back is in the details, the how, why, where and when.

 

Smut/Ick Factor:

What can I say, I liked the amount that was in the book, it was hot –let me be clear on that bit. However the author gave much time to developing the plot and the characters, I think the smut was suitably regulated to as and when needed (Oh gosh that just sounds horrible).

 

Positive:

A new to me author and there was quite a lot I loved about this book. The book is about all things highland and pack at the same time. Ms. Castle I have to say does have a way with words – her descriptions are brilliant - I find I was fascinated with her build up of the “The evil ones” (my phrase) and as much as Carly and Gideon were the main protagonist, I find I loved Duncan – a mans man, alpha through and through but there was this “realness” (is that even a word – you know what I mean) about him to allow his boy to go off and find himself, to make every effort to maintain the bond between his children and himself – I loved him.

There were enough fun moments in the book to balance the dark cloud that all paranormal books bring with them – I actually laughed out loud at a few of Carly and her friends  more comical moments.

While the whole mating thing kicked in as soon as Gideon smelled Carly, i must say there was sexual tension between these two, that at times you think they would combust – very good.  Another reviewer who was just blown away by the chemistry between these is Samantha at Sams Book Blog.

I am just starting the second book, but following on is solely due to the authors easy on the eyes way with word and she does build up enough of a suspense so you just have to go on to see what else happens in this wonderful world of Iargail

Negative:

The story behind the “The Stone of Destiny” was a bit thin, however I am reserving judgment until the other books are process as most authors work off a format so let’s see how much of the mystery surrounding this stone will be revealed as the books go on.

 

Cover:

When I got the book through the post, the first thing that jumped out at me was the “darkness’ of the cover – not only the colours but the castle, the in your face wolf that’s on the top but the way the cover artist pulls it all together to give that surreal feel. Good job.

 

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Thursday, 26 March 2009

Review – Drawn Together – Z.A. Maxfield

 

 

 


The Blurb

Rory might just be a simple southern boy from St. Antoine’s Parish Louisiana, but he knows what he wants. He’s been in love with the girl of his dreams, reclusive and mysterious artist Ran Yamane, since junior high school. And now he has the chance to meet her. He’s going to chuck everything and travel 1,500 miles to Anime Expo in Long Beach to tell her, and no one and nothing is going to stand in his way.


Ran Yamane is not a girl, but he gets that a lot. People come to him with teddy bears and chocolates and disappointment by the truckload. He’s trusted fans in the past and been tragically wrong. So when he meets Rory he’s understandably wary, but resigned. What he’s not prepared for is his magnetic attraction to the young man, Rory’s apparent willingness to overlook his gender, and the fact that their lives are both thrown into chaos when his number one fan (and psycho stalker) shows up to get revenge.


Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Anal play/intercourse, violence


 

 

The Review

Characters:

Rory - University student, working his way through the summer days at the local hang out. The grandson that his grandparents have a special affinity with and the mad insane boy who picks up and pack everything to travel hundreds of mile - all to meet the girl of his dreams.

Ran Yamane is the artist behind some phenomenally popular graphic works – he is also a recluse and has more ego issues than he knows what to do with. Sometimes too brassy for his own good, and with is lust for attention he lets his pout and his hair come out to play as soon as he is not in the limelight.

 

The Plot:

After following the work of his favourite graphic artist for more years than he can remember – Rory packs up everything and heads off to meet his mystery woman, when he finds out she is coming to a town not so near to him. Finding out that his artist the girl who he is prepared to woo is a man doesn’t faze Rory and soon they are caught up in a race against time. There are burst of danger and some rather comical situation which eventually leads them to succumbing to the pull between them.

 

“Well.” Yamane’s muscles relaxed as Rory stroked his hair.
“Well,” echoed Rory. “I didn’t go out with Avery -- we went to play poker.” Yamane turned around to look at him. “Hey, hold still. I asked her to stake me because I didn’t have enough cash for a buy-in at the level we needed, plus I didn’t want to get anted and blinded out before I had a chance to read the table, so I needed cash for a backup rebuy. I needed a much bigger bankroll than we had. Although I normally make money, I couldn’t bear it if I didn’t and you saw me as some kind of loser. As for the present, I wanted to do something for you because I know it’s making you sick to hide your manly beauty.”
Yamane yanked his hair out of Rory’s hands. “That is so not true.”
“Ha!” said Rory. “The second you saw Avery, out came the hair and that lovely, lovely face of yours.”
“Hm.” Yamane seemed marginally appeased.

Drawn Together

(c) Z. A. Maxfield

 

Surprise Elements:

Not a lot unless you count the little old couple who gets up to more than a back door pharmacist does. Somewhere early on in the book there is one incident which was surprising due to the speed at which it happened. I lied, there was a surprise – the fact that Rory and Yamane did not get it on as soon as they could was definately a surprise for me, after reading a whole slew of books where the main protagonists fall into bed together by about page 5, it was most definately a surprise and a pleasant one to see something different.

 

Predictability:

A bit – yes, but without the predictability I doubt this plot would work as well as it did. The usual suspects were there, the good, the bad and the players on the side line – but as I said before – the plot would not work without this level of predictability.

 

Smut/Ick Factor:

Oh hell yes and there was no illusion about it when they finally took the plunge. I have to admit this was one of the areas that stood out most for me - the growing built up to getting “there”. Although there was more than enough smut in the book – believe me you won’t open the book and it’s on every page, it was an experience.

 

Positive:

Z. A .Maxfield has such a way with words and her style is something special. Her characters are always fully developed, i have not met one yet that I questioned what, who or when. The supporting cast range from the sweet old biddy to the psychotic murderess and with all the coming and goings filtering through the book - it worked for me.

The fine print of the plot takes some getting use to and it has a very clear Yaoi type feel to it. The description of Yamane also made the story for me, everything about him tick my box, from the hair to his mannerism, is little bouts of selfishness and his handling of Rory or his way of allowing himself to be handled by Rory.

The plot nor the characters are aiming for world domination, it was a fun read, and meant to give you a few hours of entertainment and it most certainly did. 

 

Negative:

While I like a book with a whole lot of spice in term of supporting characters and even some creative love scenes where suitable. I found too much of these little side stories coming into play, and while they do play a  part in the build up of the characters – there can be too much of a good thing.

There were some characters mentioned that were so strong that at time you end up thinking –I need to know where this man is going, what’s going to happen to him. From that perspective I am not sure if Ms. Maxfield will be revisiting any of her characters as spin off books – but there were one or two that really stands out ( not really a negative – but just mentioning).

 

Cover:

Do i really have to say anything else about the cover – just look at the damn thing – It’s BEAUTIFUL….. The cover was the reason for me buying this book. I am a huge fan of P.L. Nunn and this one so stands out. Another take on this book is Sharrow – great review.

 

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Review – Stranger – Megan Hart

 



The Blurb:

I pay strangers to sleep with me. I have my reasons….

But they're not the ones you'd expect.

For starters, I'm a funeral director taking over my dad's business. Not exactly the kind of person you'd expect to fork over cash for the lust and urgency only live skin-to-skin contact can create. Looking at me, you wouldn't have a clue I carry this little secret so close it creases up like the folds of a fan. Tight. Personal. Ready to unravel in the heat of the moment.

Unsurprisingly, my line of work brings me face-to-face with loss. So I decided long ago that paying for sex would be one of the best (and arousing) ways to save myself from the one thing that would eventually cut far too deep.

But Sam was a mistake. Literally. I signed on to "pick up" a stranger at a bar, but took Sam home instead. And now that I've felt his heat, his sweat and everything else, can I really go back to impersonal?

Let's just hope he never finds out about my other life.…

 

 

The Review: 

 

Characters:

The main protagonist are Sam – the less than useful son, the brother that is loved and hated in equal measure, the son a mother just loves unconditionally and the Stranger that Grace picks up in a bar.

Then there is Grace, what can i say, She knew what she wanted from quite early in her life, she has little or no illusions about the realities of life and sets her own rules and create her own fantasies as she enjoy life. She’s also the daughter trying to hold it together in a father son business. Peripheral character are families and friends of either Sam or Grace, and then there was Jack.

Most of the characters are fully developed, there were no grey areas here, i definately bonded with these people the more i read i either love or loathe them in equal measure. I love the by play between Grace and her family. I would have loved to see a bit more on Sam and is family. 

 

The Fishtank wasn't my usual hangout, though I'd been inside it once or twice. Recently redecorated, it sought to compete with a bunch of brand-new bars and restaurants that had opened in downtown Harrisburg, but though the tropical theme and aquariums were pretty and the drinks cheap enough, The Fishtank was too far away from restaurant row to really compete. What it did have that the other, newer bars didn't, was the attached hotel. The Fishtank, "where you hook 'em" was sort of a joke with the young and single crowd of central Pennsylvania. Or at least with me, and I was young. And blessedly, purposefully, single.

Stranger

(c) Megan Hart

 

 

Plot:

The author clearly spend some time on this one, the build up was not easy to grasp especially if you are a bit queasy about dead people – I must be morbid, i jump right in. The main story line, flowed smoothly – (no confusion there, we knew who was doing what when and to who), lots of sexually charged moments, despite that there was actually a story.

Along with the main storyline, there are a few additional stories running through this books as well. They are all tied in perfectly and they all provide us with some of the more hilarious and shocking scenes in the book.

While the general concept is not really new, the sting is in the details and Ms. Hart clearly has some sting going on with STRANGER.

 

Surprise Element:

What sort of surprise was i looking for – for heaven sakes the setting was created around a morgue for god sakes. That being said, there was a moment there when i thought is this book going where  i think it is going – and it did and WOW. Both Sam and Grace  are not conservative about there views or action – however when all the chips are laid on the table i must admit i was surprised at how some details emerged and how unpredictable some the characters were in their attitudes and mannerisms.

 

Predictability:

Other than the fact that i knew this was a HEA read, the getting there was a real treat. There are twist and turns a plenty and what Sam and Grace does not provide in story line, the supporting cast eagerly makes up for with their panache for being nosy and their almost single minded attitude in getting their own way.

 

Smut/Ick Factor:

Hell yeah there was smut factor, and lots of it, and in many different position and with different people. The sex scenes were not only hot but Grace is some creative woman. Lots of emotional moment in and out of the bedroom. Be warned you will laugh out loud, but be prepared to reach for the tissue box a time or two.

 

Positives:

I actually got this book as a gift after  reading a review on  Romance Book Wyrm site and i loved her built up to it. Ms. Hart is a new to me author, and with that in mind i was prepared to be as objective as possible. I love the book – there I've said. I like the story line, most of the characters were endearing and i doubt the average person would have an inkling of what the world of a mortician is all about. I am not squeamish about death and all it entail by any means, however  Ms. Hart has simplified the workings of a mortuary in such a way that i not only now have a healthy respect for that particular profession, but it also highlight the strength of this authors writing.

I also like Grace’s role as the boss and how she tackle day to day event, even with all the drama happening around her. It’s nice having a woman take charge from the get go and is determined to get as much out of life as she can on her own terms.

 

Negative:

The only draw back for me was probably Sam’s character, he is clearly different from the heroes that i am used to. While is character was not as developed as grace  - i knew him, i empathise with him and i knew what he wanted. However there  was too much of a laid back quality to him or probably he was just too real for me to appreciate.

To be fair to him, i kept on comparing him to the “other man” in the book and he was not winning any points. Probably after re-read  i might adjust my opinion – i doubt it though – I wanted something more for Grace.

 

Cover:

It didn’t blow me away when i initially looked at it, but you know when you read a book and some where about a third in you just have to look at the cover to see if it portray anything of the book in any way shape or form – well i did and the cover is a true reflection of the book. There is an element of the unknown and a little voyeurism about the cover, and in alot of ways that sums up the book - I like it.

 

Another brilliant review of Ms Hart Stranger is Vamp Fan Girl - Lovin Me some Romance 

E.H>

 

 

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Wednesday, 25 March 2009

I’ve been recognised – Erotic Horizon

I have had Google alert set up for awhile now, and other than when other bloggers update and i get an email saying you have been mention – nothing else exciting has happened in my world according to Google alert, that is until yesterday.

 

This is what popped up in my email last evening.

Google Blogs Alert for: Erotic Horizon

» Top 50 Romance Blogs, part 2
By Keira
Where their favourite books are waiting and the heroes are naked… (or at least they are in our huts~);Erotic Horizon- Books that make you think and books that are heavy on the erotic and big on alpha males and feisty heroines. ...
Love Romance Passion - http://www.loveromancepassion.com/

 

 

Following the link this is what i found. Love Romance Passion, a blog belonging to Keira and in her own words.

 

“I’ve compiled a list of fifty blogs that I think readers and authors of romance should watch this year.

In this list there are group blogs, single author blogs, review blogs, news blogs, publisher blogs, and more. There were so many to choose from it was hard to settle down to just fifty! I’m sure you can imagine the struggles I went through… getting  distracted by heroic hunks everywhere!”

 

Erotic Horizon- Books that make you think and books that are heavy on the erotic and big on alpha males and feisty heroines.

 

I am listed as number thirteen and to say i was pleased is probably the tamest word i can think off. Another surprise was finding out that i knew at least 60% of the blogs presented – so i was in really really good company.

 

Keira has also thrown open her doors for us to send other blogs that she might have missed…  Believe me – i did send a list – after all there are some fabulous blogs out there – that makes my day everyday.

 

Keira from Love Romance Passion – Thank you

 

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Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Rose & Thorn Society – Switching Seth – Jenna Byrnes









The Blurb

Book one in the Rose and Thorn Series

Seth and Michael, a practising BDSM couple, decide to shake things up by adding a woman to their gay relationship.
Seth Carter is the perfect submissive. He'll do anything for his lover and Master, Michael. But Seth has a secret desire: he'd like to try being a Dom. Realising he'll never dominate Michael, with his Master's permission, he goes looking for a slave of his own.

Carla Nelson is new to Southern California and the BDSM club, the Rose & Thorn Society. She's looking for a submissive, but falls deep in lust when she meets Seth. The words 'gay and married' resonate in her head, but she can't fight the intense attraction. When he calls her with a proposal, she discovers she may not have to.

Seth wants to dominate Carla. With Michael training him, he promises they'll fulfil her every desire. The allure of having two men at once - two Masters - is strong. The fact that one is the handsome Seth makes the offer irresistible. Carla agrees to accept Michael in the package deal, unaware of how he really feels about the arrangement.
Welcome to the Rose & Thorn Society, where the scent of submission is sweet.

Reader Advisory: This story contains sexual interaction between men, and ménage in a polyamorous relationship between two men and a woman




The Review

Seth Carter and his Master Marcus are the perfect couple; Seth being the perfect submissive is everything that Marcus could have asked for or ever need. Seth on the other hand is so in love with Marcus, he’s constantly amazed that they are together, however he has recently developed a yearning to stand on the other side of the whip.
Knowing that he would never master Marcus, he sets about finding his own submissive. They only fly in the ointment in accomplishing his goal is that he would like their third to be a woman.
Carla Nelson is a little nervous on her way to her first meeting of the local chapter of the Rose & Thorn Society BDSM club; she perks up considerably when she sees that the tall drink of water who she met earlier is also a member. And just as her thoughts were earlier - he is the perfect man for her.
Some things are just too good to be true as Carla finds out quickly enough, as Seth is not only in a relationship but gay as well. All is not lost however as he soon approaches her with a proposition that she simply can’t say no to – after all she gets Seth as part of the bargain.
What can I say; Ms. Hill is on to a winner. SWITCHING SETH ticks all my buttons and definitely fulfills a good portion of my fantasies.
Marcus and Seth have a good thing going, liking what they have and comfortable with how they are together. Marcus has never questioned Seth’s love or loyalties to him; however when Seth expresses an interest in switching, he makes it clear, he will not be dominated, which only leaves one other alternative – a third.
Carla makes it clear from the first that she is attracted to Seth even if she has to accept Marcus as apart of the bargain. Things go better than expected – but they also get worse than they imagine.
SWITCHING SETH is the first in Ms. Hill’s ROSE & THORN SOCIETY series, and if this first book is anything to go by, we are in for an exciting time – I am already dreading the wait  for the next book.
Ms. Hill takes our hand and leads us into this world of paddle, ropes and Masters. At no point was I turned off or even surprisingly put off by her gentle introduction to the BDSM world or the scenes that makes Marcus, Carla and Seth such exciting people to see develop and fall in love and in hate as well.
 There are moments when you just thought yeah - the same old thing, we've had this before, but then the author brings all your concern to the table and a whole new ballgame begins. We get the angst, the concern, the fear and with all good series, she’s just given us enough to sink our teeth into, but the unanswered questions will have you penciling bright red on your calendar the date for the next installment in this series.







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Monday, 23 March 2009

LEA - Closetwriter

This week guest blogger is someone i really just meet by accident on the net. As i did my daily trawl i found this wonderful site with a fantastic banner – need i say more, i was hooked. The banner is eye catching if nothing else and i have to admit i paid more attention to the dog on the banner before i noticed the owner of said dog just on the other side.

CLOSETWRITER is this wonderful blog and since i  have found it, i have laughed, not cried yet but a whole lot of stuff resonant with me, but mostly i keep wondering, how can i get that dog – i mean really – I need a plan. You have to jump on CLOSETWRITER’S Blog, to just simply fall in love with this ball of no fur.

Although fairly new to the world of blogging, she is an experience hand at the business of reading. This has naturally lead  her to the wonderful job of writing her thoughts – her loves, her likes and her dislike – for us all to share in her delight at the simply things in life. I have had a whole lot of fun on her blog – it’s one of my daily haunts and i can enough.

Along with the “dog” (Big sigh here!), there's a little bit of everything on this blog, and you get to experience CLOSETWRITER’S brand of sassiness first hand in her wonderful comment and feedbacks. I am very pleased to have found a new blog and hopefully a new friend on my never ending quest to get people to enjoy reading and writing.

Without as usual giving away the interview, i had fun learning about the person behind the pen of CLOSETWRITER.

Please join me in welcoming CLOSETWRITER (and the “dog”) to the Erotic Horizon. 

 

 

 

 

 

-1- Firstly you have promoted your site as "Closet Writer" can you let us know what's your specialty romance area and how/why you got into it.

Thank you so much for inviting me to guest blog at Erotic Horizons, I have to say, I was quite thrilled and honoured to be invited.

I can’t say that I named my blog “closetwriter”, for any promotional reason. I’ve been writing “in the closet”, for decades now because I enjoy it and I guess it is part of who I am. However, my writing is a very personal thing and something I have shared only with a select few.

I’ve always been committed reader and my favourite romance sub-genres are erotic dark paranormal and erotic contemporary. Last year I read Larissa Ione’s book “Pleasure Unbound”, and I loved the book so much I wrote a review on Amazon. I noticed Larissa had a link to her blog from the Amazon site and “let my fingers do the tapping” as it were. I really had no idea what a blog was at that point. Larissa Ione is a very gracious, lovely person and she actually answered my comment on her blog and on the Amazon discussion board. Through her blog I linked up with a yahoo chat group she frequents and from there became more “educated” with respect to blogging.

 

I was astounded at the number and diversity of blogs out there concerning the romance genre as a whole. After a while I decided blogging would be a good way for me to comment on author’s work that I really enjoy and to support them in whatever small way I could. In addition, I love chatting about books and none of my “in the flesh” friends or colleagues  enjoy the same interest. It has been wonderful to network, make new “online” friends and chat about a mutual interest.

What I am trying to say is that “Closetwriter” is metaphorical because I enjoy writing about what I glean from reading romance novels in my little corner of the “blogosphere”.

Historically I’ve only posted reviews on my site of books I have thoroughly enjoyed and want to share that enthusiasm about said novel with others. Now I have to preface that by saying I have been getting a few more Advanced Review Copies of books lately through either blog contests or author request and those come with a commitment to post review either positive or negative. I am suffering a little angst with respect to that but so far I’ve been very lucky and have liked all the books I’ve read. It’s been a wonderful experience.

I’ve been writing reader reviews as a hobby for about a year. I don’t pretend nor have I ever advertised myself as a “professional reviewer”.

 

-2- What are some of your daily net habits. 

I check all my usual blogging haunts each day; I have a number that I follow and try to keep up with. There are new bloggers coming on the scene all the time and I try to keep on top of the ones interested in romance. It’s awesome when I see a comment from someone new on one of my posts.

I also try and visit as many author blogs as possible and leave a comment when it’s appropriate. I’m finding, on the whole authors enjoy hearing from their readers and I’ve learned so much about the craft and profession of writing through the online community.

As far as editing, is concerned, well if there are any volunteers out there I’d be more than happy to hand it too them! Lol I tend to have a bit of a perfectionist personality and I re-read and edit the review posts for days afterward. I tend to do that best after the review is posted and I have a good night’s rest. Punctuation and grammar errors drive me insane, its one of my faux pas and therefore I do tend to stress about that aspect of blogging.

 

-3- How much of your personality is reflected in you blog. It's quite streamline and there is an element or structure and organization to it - is this an element of you.

Thank you for the lovely compliment! Well, I’m not sure if you would say that if you saw my house! Lol I have books and paper laying everywhere and I’m a post-it-note person so when I’m doing reviews those are stuck all over the place! But with the blog, I’ve really enjoyed (except the html part, at least initially) organizing it and keeping it updated.

 

The blog is a hobby and something I therefore enjoy doing. Plus I like to have a nice presentation for those who visit so they will want to come back. The other issue is organizing so folks can find their way around easily if they are looking for something specific. I’ve had to be organized in my professional life and I think the blog reflects that.

My little dog Tori is front and centre on my blog. As it clearly indicates she is my heart and my muse and she more than anything personalizes my blog from my perspective.

 -4- What widget or must have would you say made a difference to your blog. 

I think a nice banner adds a very positive and appealing aspect to a blog. Something that reflects the name and nature of your blog is key. I had mine made up by a lovely lady by the name of Valerie at:  vtibbs.wordpress.com

As far as widgets are concerned, I am constantly changing and altering the ones on my blog so I can’t say there is one specifically. Amazon has some great book ones. I am using widgets from a site called “Goodreads”, right now, which I find very versatile.


-5- Where do you see your blog in a year from now.

I have some ideas for posts regarding the romance genre and general reading that I would like to focus on. I’ve also been working on something like a weekly theme day for a post that folks may like, I’m not too sure yet. I working hard to try and improve my reviews too.

Folks love Giveaways, I can only do so many of those but I’m hoping to host more over the next few months, and a couple of authors have approached me about hosting which is wonderful.

I will likely “renovate” I get bored easily and I’m sure will be keen for maybe a colour or banner change before the New Year comes.

 

-6- While the web is world wide, do you find you have a dedicated home crowd that follow your blog or is it a mix bag any noticeable differences.

I do have a dedicated crowd that seems to come out for every post, and I really make a concerted effort to follow their blogs too. These are the folks who have become online friends.

There are also some that are irregular and it’s always nice to see a comment from time to time from them. Folks have busy lives and varying amounts of time to devote to blogging and visiting so I do my best and I know others out there do too.

I have to say, this is a hobby and I try to keep it in perspective. The minute it becomes a chore or a second “job”, I think my enthusiasm will wane.


 

-7- While blogging gives away a piece of our identity - do you feel you have changed (become more adventurous / more aware) since blogging.

Interesting question. Well, I’m what might be best described as an animal loving, vegetarian, tree hugging cave dweller. So, in answer to your question, I would say yes because blogging provides a certain anonymity, essentially it allows me to be more adventurous with respect to writing and expressing my thoughts without the pressure of having to actually meet people face to face. I don’t think it has changed me personally. However, I have learned a great deal and I think one grows as a person through knowledge. At least I hope so.

 

 -8-What would be your ultimate blogging/site experience.

I just have loved meeting so many new and really nice people who I share a commonality with through the online community. I so enjoy it when folks drop by and comment on a review or a post.

Blogging has opened up a whole new opportunity of reading Advanced Review Copies of books for authors and posting my thoughts. I love doing this, especially if I’m really enthusiastic about the book. I try and relay that passion to other readers so they might look forward to the read too.

 

-8- One or two of the most memorable events on your blog/site.

In late December 2008 author Beth Kery, contacted me through the Amazon loop and asked me if I’d be interested in reading and reviewing her book “Wicked Burn”. After picking myself up off the floor I responded I most definitely would. “Wicked Burn”, for me is one of the finest erotic contemporaries I’ve had the pleasure of reading this year. I posted a review on my blog and Ms. Kery seemed very happy with it. Then she contacted me again a couple of months ago and sent me an ARC of her new erotic fantasy “Daring Time” that is going to be released early May. That book,

IMHO it is simply wonderful. I guess because the impetus for the story is Shakespeare’s 114thSonnet made it even more special

because I love his work.

I’ve sort of become Beth’s Internet stalker now. LOL But, seriously being given the opportunity to read and comment on her work has just been a tremendous honour and I don’t think I would have had that opportunity without the blog.

 

-9-  What are some of the more noticeable positives and negative of the romance genre over the past few years for you.

Oh wow, on the positive side? I think because romance readers have become more sophisticated over the past decade, publishers have had to respond to that and offer more diversity than what was historically available, which is excellent. I mean there are books that I can’t finish now too but that is no different from what I was reading a decade or two ago.

I have to say that I did go through a period where I didn’t read romance at all preferring classic literature and fiction but eventually returned to romance. I do think diversity is a good thing for readers. Even now I read a little urban fantasy and horror as well as romance.

Negatives? The main thing I’ve noticed are editing issues. There seems to be such pressure on writers to produce and get novels written and out I don’t think the same care is taken during the editing process as was historically. And, of course I’m sure there is increased reliance on word processors during editing as well and they are only so competent.

 

-10- Now to get to the books. Tell me all - the ones that started you off onto the genre, some favourite through the years and looking forward to books.

I started sneaking and reading my mother’s Harlequin’s when I was about 8 or 9 years old I think. lol But the first romance novel that I remember being totally enamoured with was, Kathleen E. Woodiwiss’ “The Flame and the Flower”. I read all her books and pretty much devoured every historical I could lay my hands on from there.

However, “Fear of Flying”, Erica Jong’s wonderful 70’s novel was the first real book of erotica I think I ever read, with the exception of “Lady Chatterley’s Lover”, by D.H. Lawrence.

At present time, I think I already mentioned my current addictions are paranormal romance and contemporary.

I just finished an ARC of the third book in Larissa Ione’s Demonica series, “Passion Unleashed”. It is a stellar novel. The review is up on my blog. I am hooked on that series and pretty much anything Larissa writes.

I am a devoted fan of Devyn Quinn, she is another extremely talented author. Her next book “Man After Midnight” is to be published March 31st and I’m really excited to read that one. She also has an anthology coming out the same day, “Dangerous Ties”.

I love Lara Adrian’s, “Midnight Breed”, series, and “Ashes of Midnight” is going to be released in May.

Jaci Burton and Maya Banks are also favourites; I read all their books. Jaci’s latest “Wild Rider” book “Riding on Instinct”, is going to be published on April 7th, wonderful erotic romantic suspense. That whole series is a favourite of mine.

Sydney Croft’s next book, “Taming The Fire”, is going to be published on April 28th. I’ll be first in the store for that one.

Beth Kery has a new book coming out in July called “Sweet Restraint”, which I am really looking forward too as well.

I’m a total book addict so my TBR shelves are just overflowing, but you never can have too many books right EH?

 

-11- With technology now walking hand in hand with our beloved print book - do you own an e-reader - 

           A. Yes, I own an e-bookwise and I don’t know what I ever did without it. lol 


           B. Have you named it yet?

Absolutely not. lol I name my dogs and cats, kids, not my e-reader. lololololol


           C. Are you still at the gushing and can't get enough stage or have you started to take it for granted?

I don’t think I ever gushed; I love my paperbacks and hardcovers too much. I love the feel, the smell, just the weight in my hand. However, I like the convenience of the e-reader.

          D. Last book you read on your reader and the one you have next up.

Last book was “Riding On Instinct”, by Jaci Burton. Next up is “Flirting In Traffic”, by Beth Kery.


          E. What do you think of the e-reader /e-book craze.

I don’t see it as a craze at all. I think e-books are here to stay. I think e-readers will continue to be improved like technology generally really.


           F. Since the inception of e-book - any noticeable difference in the print book industry.

I think the e-book is certainly proliferating and I worry that we are going to lose print books in the future. While I am a tree hugger, I hope there will continue to be a choice between print and e-book format.


           G. Last book read that you thought - it can't get any better than this (Print).

Larissa Ione’s, “Passion Unleashed”.

 

-12- Any tips for new and future bloggers.

Just stick with it, give yourself time to make your blog a little corner that “reflects” you basically. It does take a lot of time. Especially when you start fiddling with html. lol

I’ve been referred to some really great sites that have helped me to design my blog to my liking so anyone new is welcome to drop by and ask anytime. I’d be delighted actually.

-13- Sneak peek at any future plans for the site or any upcoming events for you, and let us know where else we can find you on the web.

Well, I’m reading a couple of more ARC’s right now and hope to have reviews up for those soon.

I’m hosting a Devyn Quinn “Man After Midnight”, Giveaway at the end of this month.

In the middle of April I’ll be hosting a Beth Kery “Daring Time”, Giveaway.

Then April 27th Devyn is taking over the helm to do a e-book promotion and Giveaway as part of a blogging tour.

We will see what May brings.

As to where else to find me on the web, I belong to Goodreads and can be contacted through that social network (my name is Lea). I also belong to a couple of yahoo groups, but the blog is my main focus. The day job gets in the way of my hobby time. lol And, no, I don’t “Twitter”. lol

 

Thanks Again EH 

 



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