Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Review - Moonlight Ménage © Stephanie Julian

Moonlight Menage

Author: Stephanie Julian

Publisher: Ellora’s Cave (Jasmine Cave)

Buy link

For eight years, Etruscan witch Tira Belludi has longed to give herself, body and soul, to the two shifter men who hold her heart. But visions of death and fears for her sanity have forced her to keep her distance.

Nic Rocca and Duke Ducati are brothers in everything but blood and partners who have each other’s backs. They share a home, a job and had planned to share their life with Tira between them…until the night she saw their future and built a fortress around her heart.

Now danger and death stalk Nic and Duke. And Tira must make a choice—grab love while she has the chance or watch Nic die from afar and lose Duke forever

 

“Do you want me to get Kyle?” she asked. “You can’t be alone. I’m afraid you’ll fall.”

He snorted, the sound weak enough to make her arm tighten around him. “What? Afraid of a little nudity? Never figured you for a prude, Tira.”

Her back straightened, even as she knew he was trying to get a rise out of her. “I just didn’t figure you wanted me in here.”

His hand clenched on her shoulder for a bare second before he released her to grab hold of the toilet and lower himself onto the closed seat.

“Shit, babe, can we call a truce here? Just for a few minutes? I really need this shower. And I know I’m gonna fall on my face without you here. So can you please just give me a fucking break?”

She’d give him a break. She’d break a few plates over his head, the arrogant bastard. Anger began to burn away some of her fear and she opened her mouth to blast him…

Until she took another look at his face as he bent to take off his boots. It took a lot for Duke’s perpetually tanned skin to look as pale as he did now.

Stupid, stubborn SOB.

With a huff, she knelt and pushed his hands out of the way so she could unlace his boots and yank them off his feet along with his socks. Above her, she felt his breath brush against her hair before he leaned back to pull his shirt over his head.

Blessed Goddess.

The man’s body was a work of art. Ripped didn’t adequately describe him. Sculpted might be more on the mark. He didn’t bulge obscenely but each and every muscle was lovingly defined.

He looked like he could play defensive tackle for a pro football team. And she loved it. Loved the sense that if he ever enclosed her in those strong arms, nothing bad would ever happen to her.

But the chances of that happening were slim to none.

Duke hated her.

Standing, she turned away to start the shower when he went for the button on his jeans.

Blinking back more tears, she thought maybe hate was too strong. He disliked her. Intensely. Sometimes he merely pretended not to know she existed.

And that could cut just as deeply.

It hadn’t always been like this, the distance between them. She’d known since the first time she’d met Duke and Nic that she had strong feelings for both of them.

But when she’d kissed Nic that first time…

When everything had gone to shit and she’d pushed Nic away and Duke had cut her out of his life…

“Not that I don’t appreciate the view, babe, but you need to move.”

She turned to find Duke on his feet. And naked.

Oh Sweet Mother Goddess…

Moonlight Ménage © Stephanie Julian

 

Review

Nic Rocca and Duke Ducati  are best friends and about as close to being brothers as any two men can be, MOONLIGHT MENAGE starts off with them in a bit of a predicament and it only looks more dire as the scene moves ahead. 

Brain and brawn were on their side however and they all made it out of the situation alive even if not all in tact and this is where MOONLIGHT MENAGE begins it’s tale.

Nic is seriously hurt and Duke is worried and hovering like a dark angel by his bed side, but Duke is not the only one worried – so is Tira Belludi, their mate.

Tira is the woman meant to be with these two but through a quirk of faith and an unparallel gift she is unable to touch one without seeing his demise and the other she will not accept without the other joining them. As if that was not enough drama in Tira's life she has troubles on the home front as well and not being the most confident of person she is caught between wanting to do the right thing and being with the men she love.

Nic is fed up of the status quo, they have done the same thing for the past eight years – he loves Tira, Duke loves Tira and it about time he take matters into his own hands and do something about it even if Duke is not agreeing with him.

Doing what he does best, plotting – he forces them all in a confined space and as expected, something had to give, but it might not be what neither of them expected.

While the three are trying to get their groove on – someone still has their sights set on this little magical setup and Nic and Duke are right in the cross hairs – can or will Tira step up to the destiny that has always been hers to take or will she over think things as she is prone to do? 

Highlights

The world that Ms. Julian created in not done yet – as far as I can tell – but it is a world filled with not only supernatural but elementals as well and as such I was quite impress that it was not the run of the mill magic  on display – she made it her town, her creation and as such she made the magic specific to them. NICE…

When I read the first book in the series I mentioned that details of the cast and the “race” was very thin on the ground – I really like how much more of the history and the people themselves have been developed in this book.

I quite liked the fact that Ms. Julian introduced me to Nic and Duke first in this book – albeit under duress but it showed me how close the boys were and how much they were willing to sacrifice for each other.

Old faces were most certainly a pleasure to catch up with – Cat of course is at her usual “little womanly self” and she was lovely to see again.

Loads of smut, and they were not shy about it. There are m/f and m/f/m scenes in this book.

I really like the chatter in this book – especially between Nic and Duke – they knew each other so well that without saying anything they were saying so much more than words could tell…  Loved that..

A little bit more is now seen even if not known about the person trying to destroy the Etruscan….

Once again the author shared what I am hoping are the first taste of angst between the two protag of the next book… Very involved but I am liking it already….

The cover is a definite plus compared to the cover on the first book… I like this cover alot.

Edit after post

I said  in my review of Kiss of Moonlight the first book in the series that it could do with a glossary, and I  missed the glossary in the second book – a few pages got bumped from my converted copy…

There is a glossary page just at the beginning of MOONLIGHT MENAGE and I would recommend you at least give it a thorough scan before you read this book… it does make the whole thing flow better..

Lowlights

There was a carousel of cast  being introduced that became a little bit of a challenge to keep up with after a while, as they each bring there own drama to the table.

Along with the carousel of cast, there was also a few storyline that became too involved and I felt a few were unnecessary after a while, however, it’s only the second book, so lets see where I will need this info in future books.

After the pace of the first book – I was a little let down by how this one moved – Alot of that had to do with the people and storyline that I had to get through, as well the new words that kept popping up.

I didn’t like Tira at all – she never stepped up to the plate as a viable heroine for me. Nic and Duke  I thought  were much more likable characters and it felt like they were changing their life to fit Tira into it.

 

Bottom line

MOONLIGHT MENAGE was not the thriller of a read for me compared to the first book – but there was enough positive to this book to  make me like the world that Ms. Julian has introduced me to. The trio of Nic, Duke and Tira will have their work cut out for them both in the bedroom and outside of it – they however have the smut down to a fine art so half the battle is already won.

The book ends on a cliff hanger of sorts and with alot still yet left to be known and to rectify,  I would say this book has to be read to move on through the series… .

 

14 Speak To Me:

Chris on 17 March 2010 at 01:21 said...

You are really getting into the spirit of Menage Month, aren't you?! ;)

Erotic Horizon on 17 March 2010 at 01:30 said...

@Chris..

I love menages - I know it's not your cup of tea...

But I am all about sharing the sharing the love and anything else that they can legally get away with...

E.H>

Laurie (BittenbyParanormalRomance) on 17 March 2010 at 01:46 said...

I recived a email form this author today for these ebooks. You know how I love Menages also, I will be braking in to my hubby computer soon! I have to get these ebooks... Now, if I can get my other 140 books read I be doing good:)

Smokinhotbooks on 17 March 2010 at 01:56 said...

I just finished this one and had similar thoughts. I think I connected more with Duke and Nic vs Tiara.

Erotic Horizon on 17 March 2010 at 02:00 said...

@Laurie..

If you do have the opportunity to read them please give them a go...

Remember to start leaving note for an ereader for christmas - hubby will get the hint eventaully...

E.H>

Erotic Horizon on 17 March 2010 at 02:02 said...

@KC..

I wish Nic and Duke were the item - Tira was just not doing it for me...

I look forward to your thoughts on this one...

E.H>

Leontine on 17 March 2010 at 08:48 said...

I love a menage and i've seen this author around on the net with this series. It sounds good enough, even though there were lowlights...

PS: And I agree EH, when using new words/own language etc, I feel that there should be a glossary, when such a thing isn't included it only creates a difficulty for me to totally absorb myself in the story :(

Erotic Horizon on 17 March 2010 at 09:45 said...

@Leontine..

Make sure she's on your list -. Her world is great, I liked it..

A difficulty for me to totally absorb myself in the story

I do understand and agree - it certainly slows my reading down alot..

E.H>

Blodeuedd on 17 March 2010 at 14:19 said...

Oh no, I do wanna like the heroine

Erotic Horizon on 17 March 2010 at 16:07 said...

@Bodeuedd..

I do to hon.. but I just never got Tira...

Hopefully in the next book, if we see her again - I might warm up to her..

E.H>

Leontine on 19 March 2010 at 13:29 said...

I'm hearing such mixed opinions about this one particularly, I will definitely check her out and see what appeals to me :)

Erotic Horizon on 19 March 2010 at 13:56 said...

@Leontine..

I do like Ms. Julian voice and the world that she has and is continually improving on - so on that basis I would say please do give her a try...

This book did not have the zing that the first book had for me - but I am already looking forward to the third book - so there is enough in this second book to make the series worth it for me..

E.H>

Stephanie Julian on 22 March 2010 at 11:08 said...

Thanks for your kind comments about my writing EH. My apologies for not stopping by before. Sorry to hear not all of the story worked for you. There's always next time...

Erotic Horizon on 22 March 2010 at 11:13 said...

@Stephanie

You are welcome - I love the world you have built and the more you add to it, I like the concept of a few different kind of peole living together and making it work...

I love the bit of angst you left us with.... something to keep me anticipating the next book...

Congrats on the release..

E.H>