Monday, 30 November 2009

Review: Rose and Thorn Society Bk 2 - Never Say Never © Jenna Byrnes

Title: Never Say Never

Author: Jenna Byrnes

Publisher:  Total Ebound

Main Characters:  Nicolas Fontana & Adam Reeve & Mitch Silver

Book two in the Rose and Thorn Society Series

When Adam Reeve is drawn into the world of D/s he couldn't be happier - until his old lover returns, shocked to see Adam collared and vowing to win him back.

Adam Reeve can't keep his eyes, or his hands, off the sexy new stud working out at Full Throttle Fitness. Adam's policy is not to jeopardise his job by having flings with clients, but tall and gorgeous Nick is too hard to resist. Plus, it's been a serious dry spell since Adam's long-time love, Mitch Silver, callously walked out on him.
Nicolas Fontana is instantly captivated by the handsome personal trainer, sweet talking his way into Adam's bed and his heart. He doesn't tell his new love about his desire to dominate. Instead, he takes things slow, leading the less experienced man down the D/s path Nick craves.
Mitch returns with thoughts of reclaiming Adam. He's amazed and surprised by the changes in his old lover's life. Sure, Nick is handsome and definitely hot. But Miguel would never let anyone dominate him. Never.

Publisher Note: The stories in this series are linked solely by theme. Each story can be read on it's own and the stories can be read in any order

 

 

Adam had only been employed there a year and a half, following his graduation from college with a kinesiology degree. For the first six months, he’d been in a committed relationship. Or so he’d thought. When his long-time lover, Mitch Silver, had left after almost five years together, Adam had been too hurt to think about dating anyone else. It had taken months to get over Mitch and several more months to realise he loved his job and didn’t want to jeopardise it by having sexual flings with clients.

Until Nick.

The new member’s muscular physique had been hard to miss. Adam had checked out his body first then his handsome face with its sharply chiselled nose and cheekbones. The stranger wore his black hair cut very short on the back and sides and longer on top. He started each workout with it slicked away from his face, but after an hour of stretching, straining, mind-numbing exercise, his black muscle shirt would be soaked with sweat and his bangs would hang in his eyes. The look twisted Adam’s shorts into a knot. The first time Adam had noticed, it had been all he could do not to follow the guy into the locker room and join him in the shower.

For two days, Adam had stolen furtive glances and tried to control his burgeoning hard-on. On several occasions, he’d thought he’d caught the man checking him out, as well. Finally, Adam had taken the first step and initiated gym talk.

Nicolas had jumped at the opportunity, chatting up a storm. After a few minutes listening to his sexy voice, Adam had been hooked. He would have bent over and let the man fuck him on a treadmill if that had been the only way to get him. Fortunately, Nick not only had felt the same, he’d had a little more self-control. They’d arranged to meet for drinks after Adam’s shift and had made it as far as a secluded corner of the bar’s car park before they’d been all over each other.

They’d been intimate as often as possible those first two weeks. Nick was a busy executive for an organisation whose main objective seemed to be raising money for a local children’s hospital. Fundraisers sometimes required him to work late into the evenings, but he’d made time for Adam each day.

Balancing his schedule with Adam’s rotating shifts at the gym was still tricky. Occasionally, it meant tugging off his jacket and necktie and meeting over the back of Adam’s sofa just long enough for a quick, yet satisfying, fuck.

Merely thinking about sex with Nick had Adam’s cock throbbing in the shower. He stroked the skin back and forth a few times before remembering Nick had asked him not to masturbate. He’d made the request nicely, and Adam hadn’t questioned it. He understood his new lover wanted to be the one to satisfy his desires. After squeezing his shaft once more, he grinned and released it. Waiting was better. Nick would give him all the pleasure he needed, whenever he asked.

He rinsed and left the glass enclosure then used a thick, plush towel to dry off. The friction caused his sensitised erection to twitch. I’m such a slut! Sex all night long, and I’m horny again. Only for Nick

Never say Never ©  Jenna Byrnes

 

Review

When Adam started a relationship with Nicolas Fontana it came about after a break up with his long time partner Mitch Silver. Adam is a great guy, he likes his job, gets on with his clients and knows when to keep his head low about the important things in his life.

After a less than ideal year he is now at a happy place and Nick is the guy that he owes this all to. Whilst Adam likes Nick a lot, he is was not blinded to the fact that Nick is controlling when it comes to their personal life. Adam has no issues with this has he needs what Nick has to offer him how.

Nick is a Dom through and through and from the moment he meets Adam he knows he is the guy for him. Getting together was not a big stretch for Nick and his only concern is having to hide his true nature from Adam. Something's however cannot be hidden for long and Nick had to take his man by the collar sooner or later, he only hope his man was ready for his collar.

The two lovers are good together and are thrilled at where their relationship is going – Then Mitch returns, and not only does he wants Adam back, but he is not liking the new Adam that he has come back to. Nick has a lot to say about this because Adam now belongs to him and he will do anything to make Adam happy even if it means giving Adam what he himself wants.

NEVER SAY NEVER is one of my most anticipated book for the end of the year. Ever since I read the first book in the Rose and Thorn Society series Switching Seth I was hooked and wanted to know more, not only about the characters that left us on a bit of a cliff hanger, but also I wanted more happenings from within the dungeon of the club.

On this second journey I was treated to a battle of will between two men and an eager acceptance between another two.  I knew right from the outset that this book was not a follow up book to the first book in the series, I was a little disappointed to be honest and despite the fact that I loved the cover on this books – I reserved judgment until today. 

 

Highlights

When I started this book there was a fun pace pace to this book. If felt light, it felt free of baggage and because of this I was able to really enjoy the flow of NEVER SAY NEVER.

This books centres solely on the future – and this is a refreshing change. There is always a past following a protag or some other baggage to clutter the scene. NEVER SAY NEVER deals with how to make the future better and brighter and ultimately happier all round for these three guys involved.

I thought Ms Byrnes put together three perfect characters that were strong, developed enough for the length of the book and independent enough to make me like them in their own right.

Adam is the centre piece of this game -  I personal had some issues with Adam towards the end of the book, but he is the one that showed the most growth. He was a really strong lad all in all and I would have liked to stay with him a little longer to see how he faired out in the relationship.

Nick – the smooth talker and a man that knew exactly what he wants and what made his man happy and will do anything thing to make that happen. I thought Ms. Byrnes really spent some time on Nicks character – as the Dom in this relationship, I could easily hate him – but he was written in such a way where I knew that his every thought and deed was about making his man happy.

Mitch is the wild card in this pack and it was love at first sight for me. Mitch is the misunderstood hero – knows he’s done wrong, but not willing to give up the fight before he has to. The human side of Mitch was evident and a good play on the authors part  I thought Mitch was opinionated, stubborn and was a sweetheart when it comes to the matters of the heart.

The plot  I like alot. It moved through a series of location and this gave the book not only that excited feel but it made the BDSM part of the book not feel so structured and rigid as most BDSM relationships are made to look like.

The BDSM is on the lighter side of the BDSM  chart, with words, thoughts and a little slap and tickle. With any BDSM material it is not going to work for everyone. I found this aspect of the book not only well written, but a pretty good understanding of what was ticking in these guys head.

Adam road to being a submissive was brilliantly scoped out. It was told in such a way where I could see that fine edge and at one point I thought – this is not right, but Ms, Byrnes does  what she does best and laid the pros and the cons on me and made me realise that Adam was actually at peace and elated  with is decision.

I could so be a voyeur after this book – the body is perfected described in this book, from how sexual hair can be to how just by a touch or the tone of each others voice the men all got off and had the ride of their life.

The smut was good – nope it was great. It was all over the place and it was in varied position and the men connected on a level that at times it feels like they knew each others thoughts and was aiming to please.

 

Bottom line.

NEVER SAY NEVER is a wonderful second book in the Rose & Thorn Society series and despite my little irk at not getting a follow-up story to the first book, I loved meeting these three guys – they make fun for themselves, they were confident and had a sense of family and caring about them that you can’t help but admire.

Ms. Byrnes wonderful style is full frontal in this book, with her pacey scenes, concentrated plot lines and characters that refuse to let me good,  NEVER SAY NEVER was so worth the wait.

 

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What Am I Reading On Mondays – Graphic Comics Ahoy

 

A weekly event hosted by J. Kaye’s Book Blog to discuss your reading week ~ the books you've read and those you plan on reading in the coming week.

 

Books I completed this week are:

Evolution – Carol Lynne  ( Series)

Lovers, Dreamers, and Me - Willa Okati

Broken – Dawn Kimberly Johnson

Midnight Cove - Cierra James

She’s Got Balls – Mia Watts

Uncorked – Andrew Grey

The Nest – G.S. Wiley

Never Say Never – Jenna Byrnes

Take it Easy – AKM Miles

 

This week the beasties and I had a library day, normally when I go in I head straight for the fantasy section or speculative fiction but this week I checked out some graphic comic and I am very pleased I did.

I love Graphic comic but haven’t been reading as much of them as I normally did for about a year now. North Wind was particularly good and Othello was as always a massive hit with me..

I will do a review on them – It was like looking at them with fresh eyes –from the drawings to the colouring to the actually story line – A good week in reading for me.

 

Graphic Comic - Tomb Raider – The Merlin stone – Titan Books

Graphic Comic -North Wind –David Digilio

Graphic Comic - William Shakespeare – Othello – Ravette Books

Graphic Comic - Red Prophet – Tales of Alvin Maker – Orson Scott Card

 

 


Books I am currently reading

I am reading a self pub book  – the Jade Owl, it is a big book but I am so impressed by it already…  Cover work is absolutely stunning. Love the fact that it’s different – it’s actual art rather than Photoshop.

Rapunzel’s Revenge –how could I leave a book like that in the library – last I knew Rapunzel was trying to get out of the tower with her hair all over the place…

The Jade Owl – Edward C. Patterson

Graphic Comic - Rapunzel’s Revenge – Shannon and Dean Hale

 

 

 

Hoping to get through this week

Dragon Storm, Bk6 – Bianca D’arc (Still on the list after two weeks)

Betrayal - Kim Amburn

Their Lover - Barbara Sheridan

 

My most anticipated book of the week is

 

Thomas Riley

Nick Valentino

Genre: Steampunk

For more than twenty years West Canvia and Lemuria have battled one another in a constant war.

From the safety of his laboratory, weapons designer Thomas Riley has cleverly and proudly empowered the West Canvian forces with his brilliant designs. But when a risky alchemy experiment goes horribly wrong, Thomas and his wily assistant, Cynthia Bassett, are thrust onto the front lines of battle.

Forced into shaky alliances with murderous sky pirates in a deadly race to kidnap the only man who can undo the damage—the mad genius behind Lemuria's cunning armaments—Thomas' own genius is put to the ultimate test.

 

 

 

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Review – She’s Got Balls © Mia Watts

Title: She’s Got Ball

Author: Mia Watts

Publisher: Resplendence Publishing

Main Characters: Detective Vin Pilk  & Agent Chris Tarpington

A Handcuffs and Lace Tale

What do you do with a 'wife' who is more than you can handle? 

When the FBI and local law enforcement team up for a mutually beneficial crime-stopping partnership, Rookie Agent Chris Tarpington and Detective Vin Pilk team up to prototype the new alliance. How better to bust a ring of drug dealing suburban house wives than to go undercover-way undercover, as a married couple?

Though Chris reluctantly gets in touch with his feminine side, he quickly finds ways of making his sexy partner squirm. And Vin is definitely squirming, but will he run away from his faux wife, or right into 'her' arms?

One thing is for sure: as the investigation heats up, 'inter-agency cooperation' will take on a whole new meaning...

 

“Don’t forget to tuck ’em, sweetheart.” Agent Jennings slapped Chris Tarpington’s shoulder. “God, I love fresh rookie meat.”

Chris tried to smile good-naturedly, but really, he wanted to storm out of the sector office and slam things.

“What are you complaining about? Your first op and you get to go undercover with the local police farce,” Mathis shouted after Chris, not even trying to cover his booming laughter.

“Swing your hips, Tarp. Hold your chest out,” Jennings coached.

I’m going to fucking annihilate this case, Chris thought. No fucking way would he be humiliated on his first big assignment by dressing in drag. The detective assigned with him would have to take that honor. He smiled in grim determination.

Clutching the case file in a white knuckled grip, he stalked through the office to the public area and the conference room where his new partner waited. Some of the desk jockeys snortled as he walked by. He shot them each personally designed death glares.

“You’re the big guy now, aren’t you, Tarp?” one of them mocked as he passed. “Or is that big gal?”

“Don’t get your panties in a bunch,” another of Chris’ old co-workers quipped. “Those big girl panties can bind.”

By the time he got the conference room, his shoulders felt tight. God, what a nightmare. Chris steeled himself with a deep breath and brushed the blond strands obscuring one eye off his forehead.

He almost snorted. Detective Vincent Pilk didn’t know it yet, but the tables were gonna turn. Detective Pilk would be wearing the dress through this op, and Chris would let him think it was an honor to do it. With a new plan firmly lined up, he swept into the conference room to tell Pilk how things were going to be.

“Aw, shit!” Plans crashed into a heap and spontaneously burst into flame. This? This was Detective Vincent Pilk? A man whose name inspired visions of protruding Adam’s apple, knobby knees and sailor suits? “Damn it! You’re a fucking bull.”

Broad shoulders, dark curling hair and a tight ass turned slowly with a demeanor of being inconvenienced. Pale blue eyes zeroed in on Chris with laser intensity as mocking dark brows rose in arrogance. Full, chiseled lips quirked upward higher on one side than the other. All together, he looked to be patiently waiting out Chris’ perusal, taking his initial assessment in stride.

There was no way on God’s green Earth a man with the shoulder span and arm circumference of Vincent Pilk could put on a dress. A wide chest narrowed to lean hips and runner’s legs. And two hundred twenty or forty pounds of red-blooded American linebacker physique swallowed Chris’ five foot, eleven height, and slammed it down with another six inches, easy.

“How the hell do you detect anything without being spotted?” Chris wondered aloud. He circled the Detective, shaking his head. “You’d make one fugly woman.”

Pilk folded his arms across his chest, looking more immovable by the second as his smile disappeared. Amusement still twinkled in the blue eyes set in the olive complexion of pure Italian heritage, complete with high cheekbones, square jaw and what looked like a permanent five o’clock shadow. A pale scar curled from the side of his bottom lip toward the point of his chin and stopped just shy of a barely noticeable cleft. Chris would have to be an idiot to force the dress issue.

“Is this a set-up?” Chris laughed suddenly, realizing the sector guys had pulled a good one on him. “It’s a fucking set-up. Shit, for a minute there, I thought you were my ops partner. I mean, shit, what were they thinking, right? I could just see you tottering around in red heels and talking about your latest casserole recipes.”

Tears streamed from the corner of Chris’ eyes. He slapped his hip and peeled in another round of laugher.

She’s Got Balls © Mia Watts

 

Review

When Rookie Agent Chris Tarpington  took onboard his first under cover case – the last thing he expected is to not only be partnered with a bull of a man – but to be dressed in drag while doing it.

Chris new the case had merits good and bad but due to the nature of the case he didn’t have to like it. One thing about this case that was going to a problem for Chris was his attraction to Detective Vin Pilk. Not in the closet by any means he just did not think that he would have to get up and personal with a colleague, especially one that was looking more and more like rock candy the more time he spend with him.

Vin Pilk is the proverbial muscle on muscle sort of guy and he is dead on confident with it. He is a not the chatty guy that Chris is and is more comfortable looking on and then making a decision. His partner for this latest undercover job is not only all the things that Vin is not, but he is a whole lot more and courtesy of the men in blue sense of humour – undercover might just not be so bad after all.

During the day everything moves at a fast pace for Chris and Vin and before long Chris is caught up in his role and Vin is doing what Vin does best – taking care of the small detail. At night however that another matter, because Chris has one small detail he needs to get off his chest while Vin is a faster move when he has to be and he aim to help Chris get a few things off his check one way or the other.

SHE’S GOT BALLS is definately an impulse buy for me – I saw the cover and then got hooked by the blurb. This is a relatively short read and with two characters that were fun and a little daring at times, I easy got into the spirit of what this book is about - fun.

There is no rocket science to this plot, men undercover, two personalities clashing, attraction rear's it’s head and the fun and games began – Oh yes there was a undercover sting happening as well. Mia Watt has a nice style about her writing, and with short fun scenes and characters that made this outing a sweet one for me, she had fun with the boys in blue and showed inner suburbia as the two faced society that it sometimes it.

Mia Watts is new voice to me and I am liking my first book by her. Fans of Ms. Watts work you are most certainly gonna love SHE’S GOT BALLS. Newbie's like myself – this is a wonderful intro to this authors work.

 

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Sunday, 29 November 2009

The Sunday Salon – Some Great Reads This week

Looking back at this week past – it has been a mixed bag for me. It was the US Thanksgiving and although I am on the other side of the pond I took the time to give thanks for the many blessing I have around me and the many more to come.

From great family and friends to the local bookshop guy that knows my taste – to my favourite authors who keep churning out those books that feels like they are especially written for me.

That said I made a special trip to the library this week and stock up on my graphic books… and so I had a fun few days going through them, I love a good artist and some of the ones I got introduced to this week were phenomenal – check back on WHAT AM I READING ON MONDAYS post to get the full round up.

I am hosting two challenges next year and both are so very near and dear to my heart. EROTICA ROMANCE READING CHALLENGE is the first one and well just because I love erotica and I love the naughty side of me most of all..

My second challenge is the INDI AUTHORS reading challenge – and it’s self explanatory really – I read alot of self pub books mainly because I love finding those little unknown gem and secondly a few of my most read authors are self pub.

Seasonal books are all over the place as well – I have not committed to any yet but  I will eventually be reading a few – hopefully I’ll find something that sparks my interest this week.

Hope you guys had a great week and for those still on a long weekend – it’s a new week already, make it the best week yet…

 

 

 

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From The Sunday Salon site –

What is the Sunday Salon? Imagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them, and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake....

That's what happens at the Sunday Salon, except it's all virtual. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together--at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones--and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book

 

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Friday, 27 November 2009

Review – Take It Easy © AKM Miles

Title: Take It Easy

Author: AKM Miles

Publisher: Torquere Press

Main Character: Easy and his Manolito

When Easy meets runaway in trouble Mano at his mother’s truck stop in Nashville, he falls hard and fast and the feeling seems mutual. The two are as different as night and day, and happy endings don’t always come easy, even if that's your name. While Easy is out on the road, Mano is arrested and taken back to Tampa. Mano is in shock, knowing he didn’t commit the crime, but unable to prove it.

Easy has to get down to Tamps, find Mano, figure out who did do it, and protect Mano and his mother at the same time, especially with the real criminals working hard to make sure Mano stays in jail. Love is wonderful, exciting, fulfilling, and sexy, but is it enough to keep Mano out of prison for murder?

 

It wasn’t hard to admit he already cared for Manolito. He’d call him Mano when around others and keep Manolito for himself. His little man. Easy was surprised at the depth of feeling he had after only a small amount of time. He was about to remedy that. Easy had no trouble admitting he was anxious to increase the time spent with Mano from a little to a whole hell of a lot!

Pulling the truck around the back of the building, he began the task of settling it in. Anxious to see Mano, he was hurrying through the shut-down routine when he nearly jumped out of his skin at the face that suddenly appeared in the window beside his left arm. Mano!

He lowered the window and smiled at the eager face of his dream lover.

“Hey.”

“Hey, you. I was watching for you,” Mano said.

“Yeah?” Easy didn’t seem to be able to get past one word responses. He tried harder. “Been waitin’, huh?”

“Yep. I don’t have long since it’s almost time for the supper rush, but I saw you pull around and wanted to say hi privately. I wish…” Mano paused, looking in at Easy.

“You wish what? Don’t be shy now. Let’s see if it’s what I’ve been wishing for since I left here.” Say it, he begged in his heart, say it for me, Manolito.

“I wish I could have that kiss you told me about when you left. I haven’t thought about much else.” Easy admired the courage that took as he watched the blush cover Mano’s neck and then his face.

“Hop down so I can get this door open.” Easy had pulled quite close to the back side of his apartment this time. On purpose? Hell, yes, just for this.

Mano jumped down. Easy finished the steps necessary in shutting down the truck, and stepped down, slamming his door. He turned to find Mano had backed up to the wall and stood, waiting. As he looked at him, Mano’s arms lifted just a little, but the invitation was obvious. He walked right into those arms, bending to take Mano’s mouth with his.

Oh, Easy needed hours, days, to get his fill. As much as he wanted to press Mano into the building and take and suck and grind, get as much feeling as possible all at once, he made himself take his time. This was their first real kiss and he wanted to be able to remember it with joy. He relished the feeling of Mano reaching up to clasp him around the shoulders, knowing Mano had to be up on his toes to do it.

He took his mouth from Mano’s to say, “Up,” as he tightened his arms and lifted. Mano gave a little hop, his legs wrapping around Easy’s waist and his back resting on the wall behind him. Oh, now, this had definite possibilities.

Take it Easy © AKM Miles

Review

I had the pleasure of reading this book a few days ago and I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed it. Firstly I must admit I was coming off a rather feel good high and this book just hit the spot for me with it swings between the lowlife and the highlife – I was ready for a book like this.

The book starts immediately-with angst and Easy, a gentle giant of a man who has just come home from a long run on the road. Home for Easy is with his mother Sally, other wise known as Mama Sasy, she runs a trucker stop in Nashville that also acts as a safe house for gay men. The beginning tension is immediate and before long I was introduced to the entire  little set up at the truck stop.

With the ultimate aim of providing a safe place for abused men, Mama Sasy is again awaiting a new arrival at her place. Being a busy truck stop she is always on her feet – but when her awaited charge walks in with her son all she thinks about is wrapping him up in love and affection, because that is just how she was. Easy on the other hand is of mixed feeling, he has never thought of Mamas boy’s as any thing more than young men needing help – this new arrival however makes him not only feel things he has not felt in years but he is wanting to do sexy sexy things to this little man if his dream are anything to go by.

Manolito is bruised, scared, tired and hungry, making it to Mama’s place was the only thing that has pushed him forward for the past few days. Now that he was here – it takes a man much bigger than himself to offer that last hand of support that he needs to go inside. Mano is amazed at how welcomed he is made to feel by everyone at the truck stop, but despite this he is still skittish and who wouldn’t be, after all his life before coming to the truck stop has not been a bed of roses.

Mano despite his situation is not unaware of how attractive Easy his and of course notices how gentle and considerate he is of him. Sooner rather than later the men are all hot and heavy over each other and a new page his turned in Mano books despite some concerns he still has.

This idyllic life does not last long, Mano past come bursting into his present and he is right back where he started - scared, angry and feeling alone. From the moment Easy called Mano his own he was in Mano’s corner – Easy now has to convince Mano that he is with him for the long haul and make him realise that he is important to alot of people and he just about heads the list.

I have condense that summary to the bare minimum because this review is a little hard to write without giving away the main crust of the book. Right from the books start there is a feel good attitude to this book and I will admit I am a huge fan of AKM Miles works so was happy to carry on expecting nothing new to jump out at me – I was so wrong.

Opposite attraction are always a winner for me and in every way you can imagine Easy and Mano are opposite, Easy is a giant of a man, both in size and temperament. Easy is a Mama’s boy as well but he was man enough to be mean enough not to be messed with. Gay for as long as he can remember he supports his mother one hundred percent in her safe house that she has developed over the years. He is almost laid flat now not only by the fact that he is so attracted to Mano, the bruised and edgy young man that is the latest addition under Mama’s roof, but he is more surprise just by the fact that he is unwilling to wait to make this young man his.

Mano on the other hand from the moment I met him, I knew he was going to give my heart a ride. He is the arty type very agile and fluid in his form and everything he does is centered around creativity or beauty and I love him. Don’t get me wrong, he’s not all sweetness and kindness, he was so naive and trusting at times that I just wanted to slap him a good one. Despite that he is the one that gels this book together', with a rather tragic past that seems to be behind him for the time been, he takes the first chance he gets to follow up on an attraction with a man that is literally sex on a stick as well as explore a world that has never been available to him before.  

The two together are fun and I kept smiling and thinking – enjoy this boys, it wont last long, something is going to go wrong – and so said so done, Ms. Miles then dragged me into Mano’s past and into the underbelly of a community in fear. With very descriptive language and blow by blow tension filled scenes she opened up a world and a life that is just hell if not worse. I will say that portion of the book was certainly one of the highlight of the book for me.

A few side stories run right along side the main plot, all dealt with individual issues of life changes and the chances the characters are given and what they do with those options when they are presented to them. The side stories made me push my imagination and immediately I simply wanted to know more - I have already forwarded an email off to the author wanting to find out “What the hell next is going to happen” – she probably is still laughing her arse off…  

TAKE IT EASY is definately a pacey and character driven book and despite the gravity of the situation that Mano was in or even the areas of concerns that came up in this book – the larger than life personalities with their mannerisms, their need for fairness and their sense of fair play pushed this book right along for me.

For fans of Ms. Miles work you will find shades of “Solider”  (from her book SOLIDER) in Easy and even when I closed this book I found myself ticking off my likes and dislike between them and I have to say they both came up high on my scale of likable heroes…. new comers to Ms Miles work, don’t let the cover turn you off – TAKE IT EASY is so worth the ride.

 

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Thursday, 26 November 2009

Erotica Romance Reading Challenge - 2010

Last year J Kaye from J Kaye Book Blog started the Erotica Romance reading challenge, not only was it fun but I met a whole host of bloggers through this challenge.
I have been asked if I would like to host this challenge this year and of course I jumped at the chance – because mainly I love erotica and secondly I am looking forward to meeting more bloggers this upcoming year.
From last years experience some bloggers had a problem with the more erotic button, so I have had two done – because with erotica it isn’t all about skin, it also about the words and alot of assumption.
In the right authors hands just the thought of and the build up can be more exciting than the act itself.
Looking forward to an exciting year reading Erotica with you guys.

 


Timeline: 01 Jan 2010 - 31 Dec 2010
Rules: To read TEN(10) Erotica Romance in 2010
Details:

  • You don't have to select your books ahead of time, you can just add them as you go. Also if you do list them upfront then you can change them, nothing is set in stone!

  • The books you choose can crossover into other challenges you have on the go.

  • If you decide to participate in this challenge please use the links I have set up below with the buttons to post on your sidebar, this way others can find their way back to this post and join in the fun.

  • If you decide to join this challenge be sure to create a post telling others, please make sure you add a link back to this post so others can join in.

  • If you decide to join and don’t have a blog and  would like to join – Please leave details in comment.

  • You can join anytime between now and the later part of next year.
  • You must be 18 years or older to join.

Another post will be created at the beginning of the year for completed reviews to be posted.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask below or email me at EROTIC HORIZON. Comments usually get a quicker response.


Edit after post:  the Erotica Romance Reading Challenge  now has it's own blog.. Please follow this LINK there.
The link to post your reviews is also there as well...



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INDI AUTHORS – Reading Challenge 2010

During 2009 I found myself reading a whole lot more INDI (independent) authors across varied genre – and I was loving it. Not only for the quality of work that has been produced, but mostly by how creative some of these authors have been with their plot.
With that and a lot more reasons in mind, I have decided to host a reading challenge dedicated to highlighting the work of self published authors.
This will take some work on your part, as these are books you probably wont find in your local Borders – you will have to blog hop and visit sites like the following to get your first feel or not of what is actually out there.


Join me for a wonderful year in 2010 reading INDI AUTHORS



Timeline: 01 Jan 2010 - 31 Dec 2010
Rules: To read TWELVE (12) Self Published Authors in 2010
Details:

  • You don't have to select your books/authors ahead of time, you can just add them as you go. Also if you do list them upfront then you can change them, nothing is set in stone!

  • The books you choose can crossover into other challenges you have on the go.

  • If you decide to participate in this challenge please use the links I have set up below with the buttons to post on your sidebar, this way others can find their way back to this post and join in the fun.

  • If you decide to join this challenge be sure to create a post telling others, please make sure you add a link back to this post so others can join in.

  • If you decide to join and don’t have a blog and  would like to join – Please leave details in comment.

  • You can join anytime between now and the later part of next year.

  • Another post will be created at the beginning of the year for completed reviews to be posted.

If you are unable to sign up to this challenge or just need more info please email me at erotichorizon (at) googlemail.com
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NB: When signing up for Mr Linky, please add the direct link to your post where your INDI AUTHORS books will be listed as it makes it much easier for others to find. If you list just your blog's URL, it will be removed. If you don't have a blog, leave the URL blank. Thanks!



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Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Discussion Point – Would You Read A Self Published Book

 

A few month ago in my hunt for something new to read – that elusive book that just call to me, I found out that self published authors are not favoured by quite a few bloggers.

After hunting around for awhile I could not really find a reason for this. Some of the obvious things jumped out at me right away as the reasons why – editing, quality, plot, construct, cost, cost cost – these reason I could not believe were the sole reason for blogger not wanting to try some new and more often than not exciting authors.

I have ask two self published authors that I have had the pleasure of reading their books this year to answer five questions for me, about why they self published and the pro’s and the con’s from an authors point of you.

This is where you guys come in – if you do read self published author why, did you even know they were self published. If you don’t, pleased tell me why.

The first voice up is Rebecca  J. Vickery. For those of you who have been long standing lurkers and followers, you will know she is a special find for me this year. I spotted her name on Ning this year, even before she was publish – her pitch called to me and every month until she was released I updated my self on her progress – and I am so not regretting it.

Here are the books she has out in print and reviews

Surviving With Love - Review

Into The Mist - Review

Following Destiny - Review 

Why did you decide to self publish? 

For me self-publishing was an obvious choice as I have been self-employed for years and enjoy doing things my way. This started as an addition to traditional publishing, but I am enjoying it so well it would take an extremely good offer to lure me away. I made this choice after two bad experiences with more traditional forms of publishing. I saw several things I wanted to do differently with my work and as the majority of marketing and promotion were already on my shoulders, I decided to give it a go. 

 

· Pros of self publishing?

The largest pro for self-publishing is having control of my work. I don’t write to a formula or have to fit a certain publisher’s niche. I don’t have to accept changes from a too busy editor who doesn’t get my point or artwork that doesn’t depict my story. I also don’t have to wait months or years to get my story out to the readers. I choose the editor, the cover artist, and I have absolute final say on all aspects of my work. I make a much larger percentage of the royalties and therefore can sell my books at a better price. And with new options offered by the owners of Smashwords, CreateSpace, and Amazon along with several other self-publishers in the business, I have technical help and advice whenever I need it.

 

· Cons of Self publishing?

The cons of self-publishing for me include not having the support group a publishing company provides, bearing all the expense, and the stigma still incorrectly attached to self-published authors. I miss the chats and advice from folks in publishing who know more about this business than I will ever learn and many authors won’t self-publish just because it’s like standing out on a cliff edge all alone. It can also get expensive to hire editors, artists, purchase ISBNs for your books, and pay to get them in print if you want to go that route. Then there are the snubs and discriminatory opinions you have to face every day. Several better known review sites, blogs, and groups do not allow self-published authors to participate. This is pretty much the same thing EBook authors faced when digital publishing started.

 

· why do you think there is this image problem with self published books?

I feel the image problem comes first from programmed thinking. We’ve been programmed to think that the only “right way” or acceptable means to get published is through a large publisher and the book has to be in print. EBook authors still face this one all the time, but it is even worse for self-published authors. For years self-published authors were said to be self-published because their work was not good enough. Their books were considered inferior due to lack of proper editing, poor or nonexistent cover art, and very few markets were available for their work. In today’s society, I believe many large and small press publishers and writers’ organizations tend to promote those old views and the resulting stigma due to fear of losing control of the industry and revenue. But it is up to the readers and authors to get past the discrimination and check out self-published authors for themselves. Many people don’t realize several famous writers began as self-published authors. 

 

· Would you have done it any other way and Why?

I wish things could have worked out better in either of my more traditional publishing efforts and I would have remained a part of that aspect of the business. But, I think I would have tried self-publishing as an option with some of my books at some point. It just happened sooner than I anticipated. I will continue to submit to traditional means of publishing with some of my work in the future when the right opportunity comes along. So for me, self-publishing isn’t an either/or choice but an additional option. But I do love self-publishing and can’t see myself giving up the control and creative freedom for at least some of my books.

 

 

 

Michele Montgomery:

The next voice on this post is Michele Montgomery – Yes she of River Of Tears fame…. Michele is solely self published and she found me and she now has a faithful follower. After not reading any sort of emotional book for a long long time, I took a chance a few weeks ago and read her release – it was so good, so good.

Michele is not shy about sharing her opinion on why she has gone the route of self publishing. Read on for what she has to say…

 River Of Tears Review

 

. Why did you decide to self publish?

Once I completed writing River of Tears I honestly had no idea what to do with it. All I knew was that I had finally completed a manuscript that I felt was worthy of attention. Ever since I can remember I wanted to be an author. I wanted to see my name on the cover of a published book. I wanted to see my words on the inside of the shiny covers. I wanted to see other people reading the words that came from my soul. So, the only thing to do then was to get it published.

I had no idea how to get my manuscript published so I started doing research and what I found sure opened my eyes. I even spoke to a few different authors and they all said the same things. I came across several web sites that backed up what they said. Did I want to lose the rights to my book? Did I want to take a chance and hope that I could find an agent that would work hard to find a home for a new writer's works, as hard as I had worked on River of Tears? Did I want to wait years to see River of Tears in print? Did I want someone else, who doesn't even know me, call the shots on how something was written in the book? I answered no to all of that. Self Publishing to me meant a chance to break into the writers world, a chance to be seen. Now it means so much more, especially the more I speak to known authors and their reasons for turning to self publishing themselves. Imagine being lucky enough that you find an agent to represent you, then them not being able to sell your book, or them forgetting about it. Never mind the fact that most new writers manuscripts actually end up at the bottom of the growing submissions and never are read. Publishers just aren't willing to take a chance with new writers especially with the economic problems today. I know of an author who's publisher "forgot" to distribute her book! What?

 

. Pros of self publishing?

1-I'm in control of the book

2- I work at my own pace

3- I keep all my revenue

4- I can get my book printed and have it ready to sell very quickly.

5- I have total control over the cover design and title.

6- No one can tell me to edit anything out.

7- My time and effort go into marketing and promoting the book instead of chasing a publisher.

 

. Cons of Self publishing?

1- Distribution is limited as large bookstore chains for the most part do not accept self-published books. Bookstores do not generally deal directly with authors. No matter how good your book is. If it’s not in the bookshop then everything is for naught.

2- Most reviewers won't review books that are self-published.

3- You won’t get the recognition that comes with being accepted by a respected publisher.

4- Many readers will not give a self published book a second look.

5- Finding a good editor to guide, correct, and hold your hand through the process isn't as easy as one would think. (I got VERY lucky and found one I trust with all my heart…of course after I published River of Tears.)

 

. Why do you think there is this image problem with self-published books?

I believe that because in the past many writers didn't bother to edit their works many books became a let down for the reader, and because self-published books are more expensive it just added to the fear. People can't believe there can be a fantastic story between the covers of a self published book if a major player didn't publish it. A form of brainwashing is how I see it. If New York or London didn't print it and back it, it must not be any good. Many self published authors can't afford to take ads out in magazines and newspapers to announce the release of a new book. Sadly, some books that have been self published never made it to the editors desk due to cost, and it's like everything else, one bad apple, and all that.

 

. Would you have done it any other way and Why?..

Nope. I plan on self publishing a series very soon. I have two of the four ready now. As long as there are INDI groups that support Independent writers, as long as there are book reviewers willing to pay attention to a self published author, I will keep on. I like the control I have with my books. I like the fact that what I publish is all me, not the thoughts of someone else in a traditional setting telling me I need to change this and that of the plot to fit their needs.

Did you know that there are many well-known self-published writers that have had enduring success? Consider Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, and Margaret Atwood.

There is no one right way to get a book into print. However, I don't want to wait up to 18 months to see it happen.

 

Bottom line

That is the two ladies giving you their personal opinion on the matter of self publishing. As a reader where do you stand with the books you buy. Must it always be from a publishing house or have you taken a chance like myself and found that little gem.

Let me know what you think – if you have questions please also toss them out on comment – Rebecca and Michele will answer as much as they can.

 

 

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Waiting on Wednesday – It’s another great one!!!!

 

Too Close to the Fire

Jaydyn Chelcee

Eternal Press


Feel the heat—taste the passion—expect to get burned when you’re too close to the fire….
Out of luck—When Dianna’s plane crashes in the Australian rainforest, her life is in the hands of her passenger, Taylor Spencer, a bitter, venom-filled man who so far has only made her life miserable.
Out of hope—The last person Taylor Spencer wants to be stranded with is the spoiled sweetheart of the wealthy Remington family of Rimrock, Montana. Hell, he didn’t even want to be in the plane with her in the first place.
Out of time—Dianna and Taylor, two people at odds, with nothing in common, except a strong will to survive and a desire for each other that neither is willing to acknowledge.

 

Take It Easy

AKM Miles

Torquere Press

When Easy meets runaway in trouble Mano at his mother’s truck stop in Nashville, he falls hard and fast and the feeling seems mutual. The two are as different as night and day, and happy endings don’t always come easy, even if that's your name. While Easy is out on the road, Mano is arrested and taken back to Tampa. Mano is in shock, knowing he didn’t commit the crime, but unable to prove it.

Easy has to get down to Tamps, find Mano, figure out who did do it, and protect Mano and his mother at the same time, especially with the real criminals working hard to make sure Mano stays in jail. Love is wonderful, exciting, fulfilling, and sexy, but is it enough to keep Mano out of prison for murder?

 

 

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 All My Loving
Pepper Espinoza
Amber Allure

Sometimes, a couple is only truly complete when they find their third...

Previously available only in electronic format, these sizzling stories of ménage erotic romance have now been combined for a paperback edition! Included are the tales...

  • ...And To Hold
    Can an unorthodox solution relieve the tension between a bride and her impotent groom? Mari is deeply in love with her husband, Justin. But shortly after their marriage, a tragic accident leaves Justin impotent. The newlyweds do their best to work around the problem, but no matter what they try, Mari remains unsatisfied. Until Justin brings home his best friend, Paul...
  • A Farewell To Angels
    The best way to say goodbye is to show them how you really feel... The last thing Rachel wants to do is say goodbye to her best friend, David, on the night before he ships out to Afghanistan. David is a pilot in the Air Force, and they all knew the time of his deployment would come, but nobody is emotionally prepared. David’s wife, Jade, is miserable and frightened. Rachel’s husband, Ian, hates to see his wife so heart-broken, especially since David is his close friend, too. Before David leaves for an uncertain future, he has one request for their final night together. He wants to show Jade, Rachel, and Ian just how much they all mean to him...
  • Four O’Clock
    Johnny Leach has a good life. He’s married to Elizabeth, a woman he loves, he lives in a quiet frontier town, and he owns a successful saloon. In some ways, it’s a better life than he might deserve. Still, he keeps the past firmly behind him, not because of what he’s done, but because of who lurks there...the man he rode with for ten years...a man a part of him still loves...a man who rides into town one morning without warning. Brody James is running from his own past, and his ultimate goal is South America. He claims he stopped to say goodbye to Johnny, and claims he’ll catch the four o’clock train to Galveston. But where Brody James goes, trouble follows. Before four o’clock, Johnny and Elizabeth will find their secure world falling into an uncertain future...
  • To Bend
    Frazier Lee has only been in Chris Leeves’ wolf pack for three weeks, but he’s already rubbing everybody the wrong way. Even the person who made him a wolf wants him gone. Frazier finally goes too far when he tries to convince Chris’s wife, Rose, to sneak away with him while at a pack party. Frazier thinks Chris is going to kick him out, leaving him homeless and friendless. But Chris has other plans. The first? Make Frazier submit to his will...
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    Jane Doe's Return

    Jenni Holbrook

    WildRose Press - Crimson Rose

    Imagine knowing the wrong person is convicted of raping and killing your sister. You know the real killer still lurks in the shadows, killing once year, and waiting for the one victim who escaped his wrath to return. Imagine spending the majority of your career searching for Jane Doe, only to find her in the most unlikely place.

    Special Agent Travis Brown has set his life up so he can have access to information that will lead him to the one woman he believes can tell him who killed his sister. However, he’s not prepared for the drive and determination of his new partner, Special Agent Shauna Morgan. Her instincts are razor sharp and her beauty undeniable. His attraction to her is as strong as his need to find his sister’s killer. What he doesn't know is that Shauna has a secret; a secret which will ultimately put his heart on the line, along with her life.

     

     

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    Review: Halle Pumas Bk5 - Only In My Dreams © Dana Marie Bell

    Title: Only In My Dreams

    Author: Dana Marie Bell

    Publisher: Samhain Publishing

    Delayed gratification has its place. This wouldn’t be it.

    Halle Pumas, Book 5

    Gabriel Anderson has accepted a unique position in the shifter world. He’s about to become a Hunter, one of the few trained and sanctioned to hunt down the rare rogue shifter dangerous to humans and shifters alike. There’s one catch: until his training is complete, he must hold off on marking his mate. No problem…after all, she probably couldn’t handle the sexual demands he dreams of making on her.

    Her mate’s apparent desertion devastates Sarah. And his friendship with another woman threatens the bond they should be sharing and building. Maybe flirting with another man will make him sit up and take notice—and finally win Gabe’s heart. It works. Almost too well.

    One touch of another man’s hand on Sarah’s tempting body brings every ounce of Gabe’s possessiveness roaring to the surface. He wastes no time making his erotic dreams of dominating her a reality—whether she’s ready for it or not.

    If she’s not, the only place he’ll ever have her is in his dreams…

     

     

    “I’m at the airport.”
    What? “Is everything all right?”
    “Everything’s…different.”
    That didn’t sound good. His voice sounded weary and strained, not surprising considering what had happened a few days ago. “Different how?”
    “I’m going away for a little while.” She could hear the noises of an airport in the background and assumed it was Philadelphia International.
    “Oh.”
    “Sarah. You know you’re mine, right?”
    Yes! “I know.” She’d known the moment she’d seen him. Everything in her had yearned towards him, but she’d understood why he’d held off on claiming her. He’d needed all of his focus to be on Sheri, not Sarah. She’d been proud of him for it.
    “I can’t claim you yet. It’s complicated. I won’t be able to claim you for a while.”
    Her heart sank. She’d been looking forward to having someone of her own, someone who might understand some of the strange things that had been happening to her lately. “Why not?”
    “I’ve been tapped to replace a Hunter for our region.”
    Pride swelled within her, along with fear. Being a Hunter was no easy job. “Oh wow. Gabe! That’s…scary. Incredible, but really scary.”
    He laughed. “Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. Seems a rogue took one down in our area and the Senate’s decided I’m the one to replace him.”
    “Is the Pride in danger?”
    “No, baby. Halle is safe. He’s operating out of New York state.” The warmth in his voice went far in melting the chill that had enveloped her.
    “You’ll do fine, Gabe.” She blinked. That hadn’t been what she’d wanted to say at all.
    But it was the right thing to say from the relief in his tone. “I’m glad you understand, baby. This means a great deal to me, more than I thought it would when I got approached. It means when something like Parker happens again I can act without any fear of reprisals from Packs, Prides or Dens.”
    She settled back down on the bed. No point in getting up early on a Saturday if there was no one she had to see and nowhere to go. “How did Adrian and Max react to this? Are they all right with it?”
    “Once they got away from their mates for a few seconds they were okay with it. Max actually drove me to the airport.”
    She stifled the hurt that he hadn’t asked her to drive him. “I could have taken you.”
    Silence. Not good. “I couldn’t let you do that, Sarah.”
    “Why not?”
    “If I had been in a car with you for two hours I would never have gotten on that plane.”
    The rough rasp of his voice played over her senses. It was nice to know that he wanted her just as much as…she… “Where are you?”
    “Right now? Somewhere near Chicago.”

    Only In My Dreams ©  Dana Marie Bell

     

    Review

    Gabriel Anderson  is caught between a rock and a hard place, he has just been earmarked to take up one of the Puma’s pack ultra position called Hunter. As a Hunter he will be trained and sanctioned to hunt down rogue shifter in the area and he is very reluctant to take up the post, all because he has not claimed his mate as yet.

    Gabriel is one of the lucky ones who happen to know who his mate is, but due to all the goings on in the pack recently he has not had the time or the privacy to make that final step to mark one little kitten as his.

    Sarah is jumping out of her skin with the wait to be claimed, she knew right from the moment she met Gabriel that they were destined to be together and she patiently keeps waiting on that moment when he comes to get her. A phone call telling her he was going out of the state was not what she expected, but exactly what she got and she has to make the best of it – luckily she has her own secret and a good friend who is not opposed to spending some time with her.

    Gabriel also has his own little friend who is just about getting on Sarah’s last nerve – but as far as Sarah is concern two can play that game - but is Gabriel actually playing the game at all.

    This is my fifth visit to Halle with Ms. Bell and her cats, and this time its a mating that is already known. You would think that in itself would cut out alot of the drama, but no, the drama was only just beginning. Gabriel is not only the man the pack counsel has chosen has it’s next Hunter, but he is also the man who just want more than anything else to claim his mate. That however is not about to happen ad he does the next best thing – he inadvertently sets about a chain reaction that see a lot of headaches and heartaches happening to a whole lot of people including himself.

    Sarah on the other hand wants the best for her mate and his excited about the position that he has been chosen for, but she doesn’t have to like it because she misses him and she wants her man home. Her man however has other ideas about keeping the home fires burning and Sarah is not pleased by any of it.

    Gabe is trying to get over is enforced time away from his love – but things are spinning out of control and he is not prepared to lose his mate even if he has to follow her around when he gets back home.

    Both Sarah and Gabe are fun characters, not as developed as other members of past book – but they are no less exciting to meet. The book moves at a quick pace and actually covers a considerable amount of time that gave them all time to grow up, but also time to get up to a whole lot of mischief as well.

    One of the fun part of this book for me is the fact that I got to see the pack as a unit now that all the player were in place – they were good together and despite the fact that it was clearly a structure of power, they were friends and I laugh and enjoyed my time with them.

    One of the fun thing I love about this Halle puma series is that Ms. Bell is not shy about call out the wolves to play and the wolves did come out to sing in this book – total fun.

    Bottom line

    ONLY IN MY DREAMS is a great addition to the Halle Pumas series. The main protags are likable, they laugh, they cry and they got pissed and are not opposed to a good haul down drag out match. This book goes wider afield in how the structure of the country wide pack is form and we get a sneak peek at who make up the Hunters. I am hoping we get a chance to see them up close and personal in future books.

     

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    Tuesday, 24 November 2009

    Review: Konigsburg Bk 2 - Wedding Bell Blues © Meg Benjamin

     

    Title: Wedding Bell Blues

    Author: Meg Benjamin

    Publisher:Samhain Publishing

    Main Character: Janie Dupree & Pete Toleffson

    Who knew you could find the love of your life at the wedding from hell…

    Konigsburg, Book 2

    Janie Dupree will do anything to make sure her best friend has the wedding of her dreams, even if it means relinquishing what every bridesmaid covets and never gets—the perfect maid-of-honor dress. Problem is, family drama as tangled as a clump of Texas prickly pear cactus threatens to send the skittish bride hopping aboard the elopement express.

    Janie could use a hand, but the best man’s “help” is only making things worse.

    Pete Toleffson just wants to get through his brother’s wedding and get back to his county attorney job in Des Moines. He never expected to be the engineer on a wedding train that’s derailing straight toward hell. Janie’s the kind of girl he’d like to get close to—but her self-induced role as “Miss Fix-It” is as infuriating as it is adorable.

    If they can just fend off meddling parents, vindictive in-laws, spiteful ex-boyfriends, and a greyhound named Olive long enough to achieve matrimonial lift-off, maybe they can admit they’re head-over-heels in love.

     

    Blissful people made Pete Toleffson want to puke. Normally, he spent his days getting bad guys convicted and saving good people from being victimized. He considered that world to be the real world and “bliss world” to be something like a parallel universe for the clueless. Blissful people lived in la-la land. Blissful people needed to be rapped upside the head.

    Which was unfortunate because his brother Cal was currently the most blissful person in Konigsburg, Texas. Well, maybe the second most, after his fiancée, Docia Kent.

    Pete studied his brother as he sat smiling beside him in the booth at the Dew Drop Inn. Cal was so blissful he made Pete’s teeth hurt. At least Docia hadn’t come in yet. The two of them together could induce sugar shock.

    Pete felt like telling them to get a room, but they already had one, or rather they had a house together on the edge of town. Pete was staying in Docia’s old apartment above her bookstore in downtown Konigsburg. Of course, his residence in Docia’s apartment was strictly temporary. He was only here for the wedding. After that he’d head back home to Des Moines and the real world again.

    Konigsburg was closer to something out of Disney. He kept expecting to see cartoon bluebirds twittering around over Docia’s head, and maybe a couple of bunnies hopping along at her feet. A far cry from the Polk County Attorney’s office.

    Pete took a swig of beer and ignored the urge to check his cell phone messages that he felt every time he thought about being an assistant Polk County Attorney.

    Guts up, Toleffson. They’ll get along without you somehow.

    A buzz arose from the corner of the room behind him, accompanied by the dull thonk of a dart hitting the wall. Pete turned and squinted through the gloom. If he really looked hard he could just make out the target. God only knew how somebody could actually see enough to hit anything in the dim light of the Dew Drop.

    For the life of him, Pete couldn’t figure out why Cal was so fond of the place. The Dew Drop was a joint, a dive, a honky tonk. Hell, he’d helped to close down better places than this when he got court orders for the Des Moines vice cops.

    Wedding Bell Blues © Meg Benjamin

     

    Review

    A few month ago I reviewed Meg Benjamin first book VENUS IN BLUE JEANS from the Konigsburg series and I absolutely loved it. To see what I thought of that book click on the name.

    WEDDING BELL BLUES can be read on it’s own, but I would not recommend it – as the personalities that I know and love takes a back seat to the drama of the wedding in this second book, but they creep in every now and again and without reading the first book, you will definately be missing out.

    The book starts off with small town Konigsburg preparing for the wedding of the year, now that Docia has agreed to marry Cal. As with all not normal wedding with a hyperactive mother of the bride – everything went bigger and larger than life and it is only with the buffer of Docia best gal pal Janie Dupree is she able to survive the day to day angst of her mother.

    Janie is sweet, really sweet and most everyone that meets her know immediately that she is a push over. There is a however a strand of steel that runs through Janie, but she never shows it but at the rate at which the wedding plans are going downhill it might just make an appearance. While Janie is working her butt off to make every little thing as perfect as possible for the big day – her support which is suppose to be the bestman – could not have a care in the world.

    Pete Toleffson is the bestman and his motto is “if  Cal wants something done Cal will ask and if he is not asked it wasn’t worth doing”. Pete is Cal’s older brother and not that he is not happy for his brother, but he wants no part of the horse and pony show that was happening – this level of happiness was just something that was un-natural for Pete. Pete is a lawyer in his hometown and surprises of surprises the office is getting on fine without him, then there is Cal, he has not stopped smiling since Pete has been in Konigsburg – it’s just not natural, then to top the whole mess off, the cute little pixie of a bridesmaid wants to tell him what is role is in this carnival of chaos.

    Things were bound to come to a head and Pete and Janie was more or less pushed together to stop the wedding train derailing. While they battle the forces of in-laws, family dramas, personality issues and even issues closer to home they find the budding seeds of attraction and appreciation growing between them.

    They are not fools and they make the best of what is there for them – because Pete must eventually go home and Janie is under no illusion that she has what it takes to hold a man like Pete in Konigsburg.

     

    Janie Dupree had a nice smile, Pete reflected. He hadn’t noticed before. Of course, he hadn’t really paid much attention to her at all before. Which was probably a mistake since he was the best man and she was the maid of honor. He was probably supposed to be working with her on something. Planning stuff. Whatever the hell a best man was supposed to do.

    He clenched his hands on the table again. No cell. The office could get along without him. He probably should be directing all his attention to The Wedding anyway.

    Behind him he heard another muted thonk followed by a chorus of groans.

    “So you got the topper.” Janie turned to Allie. “What about the matchbooks?”

    “Those too.” Allie sipped the glass of wine Wonder had ordered for her. “They even managed to spell ‘Docia’ correctly.”

    Docia grinned. “‘Cal’ too?”

    “I think so.” Allie’s eyes danced. “‘C-a-l-e’ right?”

    “That’s my boy.” Docia patted his hand, smiling.

    Pete felt slightly nauseated.

    Janie Dupree blew out a quick breath. “Great! That’s two more things off the list.”

    “You have a list?” Pete stared at her.

    “Of course!” Janie’s brow furrowed. “I can’t keep it all in my head. Don’t you have a list?”

    “Not for this!” Pete grimaced. He had a list for the office. Which he’d left back in Des Moines.

    “But…” The furrows in Janie’s brow grew deeper. “What about the stuff you’re responsible for? How do you keep track?” Her bright brown eyes studied him, her expression grave.

    Pete was suddenly—uncomfortably—aware that everyone in the booth had turned his way. He shrugged. “What’s there to keep track of? If Cal wants me to do anything, he can yell. I’m here to serve.”

    Janie’s lower jaw dropped a fraction.

    There was a moment of silence at the table, then Allie guffawed. “Fantastic. Have any of you males thought to check out what exactly happens at a wedding? Or were you going to wait until the day before?”

    Wedding Bell Blues © Meg Benjamin

     

    How many ways can I say I love this book. I was determined to  read this before the end of the year and I was so pleased I did that this weekend. WEDDING BELL BLUES is a convoluted mess of comical what if’s, that did eventually happen and it was a fun read.

    I must mention Meg Benjamin’s skill first at keeping at the going ons in Konigsburg together and in a straight line, because the chaos was coming from all angles and  everyone had drama or trauma as the case might be. She still managed to maintain that small town feel to her writing style and along with some creative language. The uptight and upright new cast she introduce in this book was a perfect fit to the laid back and irreverent lot of Konigsburg.

    WEDDING BELLS BLUES is Pete’s and Janie’s story – even if it was wrapped up the carnival of Docia’s wedding. Janie knew right from the moment Docia agreed to a wedding date that she was not going to do it without Janie and Janie got into the spirit of things and at time she almost feels like a dogsbody.  She kiss ass, she sucked up and she made nice and denies alot of what she wanted to get off her chest just for the sake of seeing things through to the end.

    Even when the bestman started looking like he had two heads for his incompetence as a bestman, she still was sweetness itself. In all that sweetness however Janie had issues closer to home - a nosey demanding mother, a almost boyfriend who will be anything but and a town that she is just coming to see the beauty of, even if it was not her first love.

    Meeting Pete sets off an emotional chain reaction that she was not stepping away from and she was willing to roll with the punches wherever they take her, even if it’s only for a short while, no matter how she wish it was more.

    Pete is a heart attack waiting to happen – he gives the appearance of laid bad with not a care in the world – a whole new meaning, but underneath he was a bundle of nerves worried about job, home, family and just life in general. Janie crawled under his skin an inch at a time and he was not opposed to what it was doing to him but he was not in the business of hurt – and he had no intention of staying in Konigsburg and this he knew without a doubt will hurt Janie.

    The highlight of this book for book was it’s natural flow from  VENUE IN BLUE JEANS, it build on the special relationships that were being formed in that first book. With an array of characters and side stories popping up, some so everyday it was comical in it’s realness.

    I loved them

    I hated them

    and mostly, I wanted to drop a few of them in a vat of oil.

    But one thing I did was laugh with this book and I laughed alot.

    Because of this flow from book to book, I would not recommend reading this book without reading VENUE IN BLUE JEANS first because you would miss out on what made these characters who they are.

    All the issues that befalls a wedding and more is presented in this book and this was one of the more meatier side story, which will ultimately be the cornerstone and why we will are destined to get two more Toleffson men story. I am so looking forward to those as these Toleffson men are rouges and lovers alike.

     

    Bottom Line

    If you are looking for a read that just hits the spot – with small town issues aplenty, nosey community with no remorse about being nosey and at anytime you just never know what will come out of their mouth – this is the book for you. Scandal, spite and a good fisticuff are just apart of the everyday order of Konigsburg. With loveable characters and everyone having a opinion on everything – Janie And Pete are a blessed calm in the storm – that is until they start creating their own waves.

     

     

     

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    Title: BE MY BABY

    Publication Date: December 8

    Konigsburg, Texas, Book 3

    There’s no room in her life for love. Love has other ideas…

    If Jessamyn Carroll had only herself to consider, staying in Pennsylvania after her husband’s death would have been a no-brainer. Her vindictive in-laws’ efforts to get their hooks into her infant son, however, force her to flee to a new home. Konigsburg, Texas.

    Peace…at least for now. She’s even found a way to make some extra money, looking after sexy accountant Lars Toleffson’s precocious two-year-old daughter. She finds it easy—too easy—to let his protective presence lull her into thinking she and her son are safe at last.

    Lars, still wounded from enduring a nasty divorce from his cheating ex-wife, tries to fight his attraction to the mysterious, beautiful widow. But when an intruder breaks into her place, and Jess comes clean about her past, all bets are off. Someone wants her baby—and wants Jess out of the picture. Permanently.

    Now Jess has a live-in bodyguard, whether she wants him or not. Except she does want him—and he wants her. Yet negotiating a future together will have to overcome a lot of roadblocks: babies, puppies, the entire, meddling Toleffson family—and a kidnapper.

     

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