Monday in Review

Monday, June 30, 2014

It’s update time again :)

Below are the newest reviews I’ve written, and I must say there are some excellent books due out July 1st. The master list and categorical lists on the right-hand side are updated as well.

Reviews for upcoming releases:
- Gilded Lily (Steam and Seduction, Book 3) by Delphine Dryden (available 7/1/14)
- Over Exposed (Salon Games, Book 3) by Stephanie Julian (available 7/1/14)
- All of You (Between Breaths, Book 1) by Christina Lee (available 7/1/14)
- Then Came You (Animal Magnetism, Book 5) by Jill Shalvis (available 7/1/14)

All other new reviews:
- Wicked Temptation (Nemesis, Unlimited, Book 3) by Zoë Archer
- Scarlet Devices (Steam and Seduction, Book 2) by Delphine Dryden

Upcoming reviews:
- Rise of the Gryphon (Belador, Book 4) by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love
- Skies of Steel (The Ether Chronicles, Book 3) by Zoë Archer
- The Seduction of Elliot McBride (Highland Pleasures, Book 5) by Jennifer Ashley
- The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie (Highland Pleasures, Book 6) by Jennifer Ashley
- Wild Man (Dream Man, Book 2) by Kristen Ashley
- Guarded (Tidewater, Book 2) by Mary Behre
- Down for the Count (Dare Me, Book 1) by Christine Bell
- Down and Dirty (Dare Me, Book 2) by Christine Bell
- Bolted (Promise Harbor Wedding, Book 2) by Meg Benjamin
- Straddling the Line (Play-by-Play, Book 8 ) by Jaci Burton
- The Professional: Part 2 by Kresley Cole
- The Professional: Part 3 by Kresley Cole
- The Sweetest Summer (Bayberry Island, Book 2) by Susan Donovan
- How to Ravish a Rake (How to Series, Book 3) by Vicky Dreiling
- Soul Weaver by Hailey Edwards
- Some Like It Hot (Rising Star Chef, Book 2) by Louisa Edwards
- Hot Under Pressure (Rising Star Chef, Book 3) by Louisa Edwards
- A Beginner’s Guide to Rakes by Suzanne Enoch
- Fast Track by Julie Garwood
- Cowboy Take Me Away (Rainbow Valley, Book 1) by Jane Graves
- Trouble at the Wedding (Abandoned at the Altar, Book 3) by Laura Lee Guhrke
- One Taste of Scandal (Redcakes, Book 2) by Heather Hiestand
- Beauty Bites (Biting Love, Book 6) by Mary Hughes
- Hillbilly Rockstar (Blacktop Cowboys, Book 8 ) by Lorelei James
- The Volatile Amazon (Alliance of the Amazons, Book 4) by Sandy James
- Breathe by Lauren Jameson
- Archer (Hard Body, Book 1) by Debra Kayn
- Since You’ve Been Gone (Welcome to Paradise, Book 4) by Elle Kennedy
- Caught Up in You (Loving on the Edge, Book 4) by Roni Loren
- Shelter Me (Second Chance Ranch, Book 1) by Catherine Mann
- The Inheritance by Olivia Mayfield
- Kiss of Steel (London Steampunk, Book 1) by Bec McMaster
- All Fired Up (Hot in the Kitchen, Book 2) by Kate Meader
- Keeping Secrets in Seattle by Brooke Moss
- Blood Persuasion (Immortal Jane Austen, Book 2) by Janet Mullany
- Raw Desire by Kate Pearce
- Soul Sucker by Kate Pearce
- Dare to Love (Dare to Love, Book 1) by Carly Phillips
- The Fifth Favor by Shelby Reed
- Laugh (Burnside, Book 2) by Mary Ann Rivers
- Dark Witch (The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy, Book 1) by Nora Roberts
- Nights of Steel (The Ether Chronicles, Book 4) by Nico Rosso
- Secrets of a Gentleman Escort by Bronwyn Scott
- It’s In His Kiss (Lucky Harbor, Book 10) by Jill Shalvis
- Archangel’s Legion (Guild Hunter, Book 6) by Nalini Singh
- Primal Law (Alpha Pack, Book 1) by J.D. Tyler
- The Man Plan (The Graysons, Book 2) by Tracy Anne Warren
- Easy by Tammara Webber

Review: Over Exposed by Stephanie Julian

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Over Exposed by Stephanie Julian
Series: Salon Games, Book 3
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance Over Exposed Cover
ISBN: 9780425272114
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

When the cameras are off, the real action begins.

Greg Hicks is a Hollywood power player. For years he’s enjoyed the perks that come with being a top director and producer: the influence, the wealth…the women. But none of his many conquests have ever possessed the incredible sensuality of the young woman he once watched lose all inhibition in front of his camera.

Sabrina Rodriquez’s life is far from a Hollywood dream. Refusing to make the same mistakes as her unlucky-in-love mother, she’s focused on her first real job and avoiding all distractions, especially those of the male variety. Yet a man as compelling as Greg is difficult to ignore. And the desires he awakens are even harder to quench.

While a winter storm rages, a night at Haven Retreat leaves Sabrina’s and Greg’s temperatures rising. As Greg introduces Sabrina to the pleasures of voyeurism and exhibition, she unleashes his most decadent passions—and his creativity. But having Sabrina as a muse isn’t enough. He wants her to take a starring role in his bed…and in his heart.

A snowstorm isn’t enough to cool things down in Over Exposed! Stephanie Julian’s third Salon Games novel is fast-paced, sexy good fun. Greg and Sabrina are both easy to like protagonists. Greg has worked hard to get where he is in a cutthroat industry, but he’s burning out and needs to recapture some of the joy he found in writing and directing. Getting away from Hollywood and into Sabrina’s arms helps him find the passion he’d lost…and of course a lot more than he bargained for. Sabrina’s a breath of fresh air for Greg. She’s young and determined to succeed in the hospitality industry, but like Greg ambition isn’t the sole motivational factor in her life. The sparks that fly between them are hot enough to burn, and there’s no way Greg can resist the temptation Sabrina presents.

Greg and Sabrina are a great fit at the start, but where Over Exposed faltered was in the development of their relationship. There are quite a few ups and downs in Greg and Sabrina’s story, but almost all of them come from the fact that they simply don’t talk to each other. I honestly finished this story feeling a bit doubtful that their relationship would last because it almost seemed like it wouldn’t until the very end. While this wouldn’t have bothered me if Over Exposed were straight erotica, since it’s an erotic romance I expected a bit more of Greg and Sabrina as a couple than simple between the sheets sexiness.

Issues aside, I did enjoy Over Exposed. There’s great sexual tension between Sabrina and Greg and they had a lot of potential as a couple. The heroes and heroines from the first two Salon Games books (By Private Invitation and No Reservations) played supporting roles in Over Exposed and I liked them all enough to want to read their books. It’d be remiss of me not to also mention a new Salon Games character: Sebastian Valenti, a musician with serious sex appeal. If Ms. Julian writes a book for him I’ll be first in line to buy it. So while I felt Over Exposed didn’t seem to reach its full potential, I still liked Greg and Sabrina’s story overall and I’m looking forward visiting the infamous Salon again.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Gilded Lily by Delphine Dryden

Friday, June 27, 2014

Gilded Lily by Delphine Dryden
Series: Steam and Seduction, Book 3
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Steampunk Romance Gilded Lily Cover
ISBN: 9780425265796
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Frédérique Murcheson’s introduction into society hasn’t gone smoothly—some would even call it a disaster. Only Freddie considers her debut a success. Her scheme to become a makesmith has gone off flawlessly. The only thing that could upset her plans now would be if someone discovered that brilliant tinker Fred Merchant is, in fact, a lady in disguise.

Wooing a spoiled heiress is not exactly Barnabas Smith-Grenville’s idea of high espionage. However, considering his brother disappeared on the job, supposedly into the most iniquitous of opium dens, he cannot expect much better. At least the assignment will afford him time to search for his brother, whom he suspects is in spy-related trouble rather than a drug-addled haze.

But when Freddie proves to be both irresistible and the key to the answers he seeks, Barnabas finds himself not only entwined in a scandalous mystery involving lethal submersibles and deranged dirigibles, but also in a dangerous game of the heart…

Gilded Lily is my favorite Steam and Seduction book to date! Author Delphine Dryden has delivered an exciting steampunk adventure with original characters and fast-paced plots that will delight many a reader.

Freddie is a woman ahead of her time. She’s more comfortable fixing machines in trousers than dancing the night away in a gown. I loved her ingenuity and spunk, and wanted to see her find someone who could keep up with her and would appreciate Freddie for who she truly is. Barnabas is definitely that hero. He’s knocked off his stride by Freddie and is clearly out of his depth in the world of espionage, but he doesn’t let that stop him. He’s flat-out adorable (though not in a childish way) and I just loved that he was both unique and blessedly average. The growing attraction between Barnabas and Freddie charmed me and their romance was simply lovely to watch develop.

Gilded Lily also features my favorite Steam and Seduction villain so far. Newly risen drug lord Rollo Furneval was a fully developed character in his own right and I found him as interesting as Freddie and Barnabas. The interweaving of the opium smuggling, Atlantis Station, cuttlefish, and the missing Smith-Grenville brother plotlines made the pages of Gilded Lily fly by. Add in Ms. Dryden’s delightful inventions and it’s clear to see why I thoroughly enjoyed this third Steam and Seduction outing. Gilded Lily is pure fun from beginning to end and I hope Ms. Dryden has a story in store for Phineas Smith-Grenville!


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Then Came You by Jill Shalvis

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Then Came You by Jill Shalvis
Series: Animal Magnetism, Book 5
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary Romance Then Came You Cover
ISBN: 9780425270172
Release Date: July 1, 2014
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Jill Shalvis Reading Order

Veterinary intern Emily can’t believe she wound up in the small town of Sunshine, Idaho, instead of the Los Angeles clinic she had always imagined. Now she has to put her plans to move to L.A. on hold for a whole year while she fulfills the obligation of her vet school scholarship.

Then Wyatt, her gorgeous one-night stand from a Reno vet conference, introduces himself as her new boss. And Emily is just as drawn to his seductive looks and quiet strength as she was on that very steamy night. She soon learns that Wyatt isn’t just a laid-back doctor, but a delicious alpha male tempting her away from her carefully laid-out plans…

Then Came You is classic Jill Shalvis through and through, meaning it’s laugh-out-loud hilarious, wickedly hot, and wildly entertaining from beginning to end. This book should come with a warning, but as it doesn’t I’ll provide one: Do not start reading Then Came You late at night. Should you do so, you’ll be reading until you can no longer keep your eyes open…and then you’ll dive right back in as soon as you wake up. Yes, it’s that addictive.

Just when I think I can’t love her heroes and heroines more, Ms. Shalvis captures my heart with a too-sexy-for-words veterinarian and a bright and funny veterinary intern with a plan that’s about to be derailed. Both Wyatt and Emily charmed the hell out of me with their caring hearts and pure, unadulterated love for animals. The chemistry between them is fantastic, their banter will make you smile, and the steam factor will have you cranking up the A/C this summer. Without a doubt, Wyatt and Emily are perfect for each other, but Ms. Shalvis doesn’t make the road to happily ever after a smooth one for these two. Each of them has been marked by their pasts, and because of this they now have set life plans that threaten to take them in two different directions despite their mutual attraction. How things work out for them is something I won’t reveal, but I will say that the ending is worth every bump in the road.

Then Came You is the fifth book in the Animal Magnetism series, but it can easily be read as a standalone. Whether you’ve been with this series from the beginning or are just jumping in, you’re sure to fall in love with the Animal Magnetism world. Ms. Shalvis creates the best small towns, and I’d move to Sunshine, Idaho in a hot second if it were real.

To quote Emily, “Hot guys and animals…a damn fine combination.” Then Came You has both in spades, and when you add in Ms. Shalvis’s sparkling dialogue and signature loveable characters, it’s easy to see why I highly recommend this book. There’s something to win the heart of every romance fan in Then Came You, so don’t miss it!


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: All of You by Christina Lee

Friday, June 20, 2014

All of You by Christina Lee
Series: Between Breaths, Book 1
Publisher: NAL Trade
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance All of You Cover
ISBN: 9780451469779
Paperback Release Date: July 1, 2014
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Christina Lee Reading Order

Nursing student Avery Michaels wants nothing to do with dating—she’s perfectly happy single. Privy to too many of her mother’s bad decisions and even worse taste in boyfriends, Avery can only handle a string of uncomplicated hookups whenever the mood strikes.

When she meets smoking-hot tattoo artist Bennett, she wants him—for just one night. But he won’t accept a no-strings-attached arrangement. He lives by a straitlaced code of values based on his own troubled upbringing.

Bennett sees something special in Avery, and he wants more from her. Way more. As Avery wrestles with her emotions for Bennett, danger and tragedy force them to open up to each other. And Avery must face the terrifying realization that she wants more from him too.

So she needs to make a choice: Let Bennett go or finally let him in.

If I had to describe All of You in five words, I’d choose honest, emotional, sexy, gripping, and rewarding. Christina Lee’s first Between Breaths story is simply fantastic and I practically devoured it in one sitting, thanks to the book’s captivating main characters.

Avery is a tough, independent heroine who’d like to think she has all the answers but truly doesn’t. She’s a compelling mix of strength and vulnerability, and a lot of that is a result of her upbringing. Avery’s mother is a mess (to put it kindly), and her horrible taste in men has left Avery scarred. Avery’s a survivor, but though she has no problem with casual flings, she’s scared of giving up control, of opening her heart to others. Because of this, she doesn’t know what to do when she meets Bennett, a man who’s nothing like anyone she’s ever met. Bennett is a to-die-for hero. He’s a gorgeous, tattooed virgin who has sensual appeal in spades, but what really captured me is his generous heart. Like Avery, Bennett didn’t have the best experience growing up and he’s had to be both brother and parent to his siblings for much of his life. He gives all of himself to those he cares about, but he doesn’t let anyone walk all over him. He’s the perfect match for Avery – strong and sexy, but also patient and kind.

The chemistry Avery and Bennett have is electric, making the pages of All of You fly by. The road to happiness is not only filled with ups and downs, but sexual tension that is just plain hot. Bennett may be attracted to Avery, but that doesn’t mean he’s going to fall into bed with her. He wants more than just sex, he wants…well…all of Avery. He’s the catalyst for Avery coming into her own and it was truly beautiful to watch how each of them grows over the course of All of You. Their journey was a mix of sensuality and raw emotion, and I enjoyed every minute of it.

All of You is a wonderfully addictive story that will keep you reading late into the night. Christina Lee has a unique voice and a talent for penning honest, endearing characters. I loved All of You and I can’t wait to read the next Between Breaths book, Before You Break.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Scarlet Devices by Delphine Dryden

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Scarlet Devices by Delphine Dryden
Series: Steam and Seduction, Book 2
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Steampunk Romance Scarlet Devices Cover
ISBN: 9780425265789
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N

Fresh from university, Eliza Hardison is determined to crusade for workers’ rights until her cousin Dexter, the Makesmith Baron, prevails on her to represent Hardison House in the American Dominion Sky and Steam Rally.

The competition is fierce, but only one opponent really matters to Eliza. Dexter’s protégé, Matthew Pence, was always like a big brother to her. But now she’s grown up, and Matthew has made a break from Hardison House with his own business venture—and made his own entry in the rally.

Matthew intends to win while keeping Eliza safe on the perilous route from New York to San Francisco. As the threats escalate through treacherous skies and uncharted American wilds, though, Eliza and Matthew must work together, discovering a bond deeper than either could have imagined…but is winning the rally more important than winning at love?

It’s a race across the American Dominions in Delphine Dryden’s imaginative Scarlet Devices. This second outing for the Steam and Seduction series features an exciting land and air race with technological wonders that will spark your imagination. As with the first Steam and Seduction story, Gossamer Wing, I greatly enjoyed Ms. Dryden’s alternate history America and her characters’ unique steampunk creations.

At the center of Scarlet Devices are Eliza Hardison and Matthew Pence. Eliza is a Vassar grad with dreams of changing the world. But for all her theories and good intentions, Eliza knows little of the real world. With the encouragement of her cousin and his wife, she breaks out of her comfort zone to participate in the Sky and Steam Rally. I liked Eliza’s intelligence and pluck, and it was interesting to watch her grow as a character over the course of the story. As for Matthew, he’s an inventor with a quick mind and a protective bent. He’s known Eliza all her life and at the request of his friend and former employer (Eliza’s cousin), he plans to watch over Eliza during the rally. I liked Matthew, but he definitely underestimated Eliza and it was nice to see him realize her potential. Eliza and Matthew have a natural chemistry that comes from being lifelong friends, but their romance was the weak point for me in Scarlet Devices. Their romance starts out understated to the extreme and then jarringly goes into high gear – I wish it had been a bit more organic, as it almost felt like an afterthought to the excitement going on around Eliza and Matthew.

A dastardly drug lord villain adds danger to Scarlet Devices, keeping the story moving at a quick clip. Add in some interesting secondary characters and appearances by past and future Steam and Seduction protagonists, and you have a solidly entertaining read. All in all I enjoyed Scarlet Devices and I’m looking forward to reading the next Steam and Seduction novel, Gilded Lily.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Wicked Temptation by Zoë Archer

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Wicked Temptation by Zoë Archer
Series: Nemesis, Unlimited, Book 3
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Genre: Historical Romance Wicked Temptation Cover
ISBN: 9781250015617
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Zoë Archer Reading Order

FATE BROUGHT THEM TOGETHER.
Newly widowed, Bronwyn Parrish’s fortune has been spent settling her late husband’s debts—thanks to an unscrupulous business manager—and now there’s nothing left. Society has no place for a woman without means, and with nowhere to turn, Bronwyn is lost…until, from out of nowhere, a handsome gentleman steps in and makes her an offer she can’t refuse.

WILL DESIRE TEAR THEM APART?
Secrets and subterfuge are in Marco Black’s blood. As one of Nemesis, Unlimited’s most senior agents, Society women aren’t his usual cup of tea. But Marco’s sixth sense tells him that there’s more to Bronwyn than meets the eye…and he wants to help the brazen beauty retrieve her lost fortune. But is his attraction to her worth the risk? His mission will lead him all the way to Les Grillons, France’s most ruthless crime syndicate. Soon, Marco and Bronwyn will find themselves facing a danger that could cost them their lives—and a passion that is priceless.

Nemesis, Unlimited is back with Wicked Temptation! This time it’s sexy Italian-English super spy Marco who’s front and center, and this case isn’t the kind he’d normally choose. Marco has no use for entitled aristocrats and he has even less interest in helping a society widow recover her fortune. As his fellow agents don’t share his bias, Marco finds himself helping Bronwyn Parrish. Bronwyn is nothing like Marco expects her to be. She’s lived her life according to the rules society has laid down, but she’s not spoiled or snobbish. Her “reward” for being all that a lady should be is to find herself homeless and penniless, yet she doesn’t let that knock her down. She’s ready to take charge of her life, and with Nemesis’ help, she’s finally able to do so. But her path to independence isn’t an easy one, as the hunt to recover her money puts Bronwyn and Marco in the crosshairs of a French crime syndicate.

For me, the best part of Wicked Temptation was watching Marco reevaluate his initial opinions of Bronwyn and of her finding her true self outside the mold society has fit her into. Each of them has expectations of what their life will be and their attraction to one another turns that on its head. Their romance is filled with tension, but ultimately author Zoë Archer makes it satisfying.

The action in Wicked Temptation is as central to the story as the romance. Marco and Bronwyn must outmaneuver and outwit deadly French criminals, and the danger adds some adrenaline-filled scenes to the story. That being said, for the most part the story seemed to move at a slower pace than other books of Ms. Archer’s. There’s a lot of back and forth and quite a bit of waiting. While this adds a sense of realism, it didn’t particularly make the story compelling.

Wicked Temptation is a well-written, solid story. While it isn’t my favorite book of Ms. Archer’s, I still appreciate it for its uniqueness. Ms. Archer always creates strong, intelligent characters and puts them in unconventional (for historical romance) settings, which is why I keep coming back to her work. I look forward to seeing what Ms. Archer comes up with next – I’m hoping it’s a story for the rather colorful Nemesis acquaintance Charlie :)


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Dangerous Seduction by Zoë Archer

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Dangerous Seduction by Zoë Archer
Series: Nemesis, Unlimited, Book 2
Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks
Genre: Historical Romance Dangerous Seduction Cover
ISBN: 9781250015600
Blue Ribbon Rating: 3 out of 5
Original Review Link
Book Purchase Link
Zoë Archer Reading Order

As an agent for Nemesis, Unlimited, Simon Addison-Shawe has perfected the art of going undercover. But his latest mission – to help the miners of a small Cornish village – threatens to throw him off his stride. Or more accurately, outspoken bal-maiden Alyce Carr does. He knows he needs to recruit Alyce to help him bring down the corrupt mine owners who are slowly starving their workers to death, but Simon’s usual charm isn’t going to work on the sharp, suspicious Alyce. And if he does manage to convince her to help him, will their mutual attraction throw a wrench into their plans to save the families of Trewyn?

I can always count on author Zoë Archer to deliver a unique historical romance, and DANGEROUS SEDUCTION is no exception. Rather than an heiress or governess of some sort, the heroine of this second NEMESIS, UNLIMITED novel is a sharp-minded bal-maiden with a thirst for justice. Alyce doesn’t need to be swept off her feet, but that doesn’t mean she’s not left breathless by Simon. Simon’s an aristocrat with no desire to lead a pampered life when he could be of use to the world. It’s easy to admire Simon and Alyce for their intelligence and determination to save the people of Trewyn from the increasingly underhanded, abusive dealings of the mine owners and their bullying lackeys. Alyce and Simon fit one another like a lock and key, and watching them fall in love as they work to make the lives of others better was wonderful.

DANGEROUS SEDUCTION is every bit as much a love letter to equality as it is a romance, and I liked that about this book. Yet, while every single element of the story worked for me, as a whole it was missing that coveted spark to keep me engaged. Normally I practically devour Ms. Archer’s books, but I never quite connected to DANGEROUS SEDUCTION. Still, there’s no denying that this is a well-written, original story with clever characters and a strong moral center.


Note: My review was written for Romance Junkies and is cross-posted here with permission from Romance Junkies.

Waiting on Wednesday: Chained by Night by Larissa Ione

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine which spotlights eagerly anticipated upcoming releases!

Larissa Ione's Azagoth just came out, which of course means I'm already impatient for her next book to be released (fangirl alert ;)). Chained by Night is the second book in Ms. Ione's MoonBound Clan Vampires series, and I absolutely loved book 1, Bound by Night. If those weren't reasons enough for me to be excited for Chained by Night, the teaser for Hunter's book in Bound by Night would ensure that I'm salivating for this story.

Chained by Night Cover Title: Chained by Night
Series: MoonBound Clan Vampires, Book 2
Author: Larissa Ione
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Pocket Books
Release Date: September 30, 2014
Larissa Ione Reading Order and Reviews

Book Description (from Larissa Ione's website):

THE FUTURE OF HIS TRIBE
Leader of the vampire clan MoonBound, Hunter will do what he must to save his people from extinction—or worse, a torturous eternity as vampire slaves and subjects of human experimentation. To keep his enemies at bay, he has agreed to mate a rival clan leader’s daughter in return for peace between the clans and an ally in the looming war with the humans.

THE LOVER OF HIS SOUL
But survival comes at a price. First, Hunter must break an ancient curse by successfully negotiating three deadly tests. Then he must resist the searing passions of the gorgeous vampire warrior he despises but is bound to mate. Will Hunter stay true to his word? Or will he risk everything for the woman he really loves: the vampire seductress’s identical twin sister?

Saturday in Review

Saturday, June 7, 2014

It's over 100 degrees here today, so I'm staying inside. I hope everyone else is staying cool as well!

Below are the newest reviews I’ve written here and on Joyfully Reviewed, and Romance Junkies. The master list and categorical lists on the right-hand side are updated as well.

New reviews:
- The Damsel and the Daggerman (Blud, Book 2.5) by Delilah S. Dawson
- How to School Your Scoundrel (Princess in Hiding, Book 3) by Juliana Gray
- Shadow Spell (The Cousins O’Dwyer, Book 2) by Nora Roberts
- Heart of Obsidian (Psy-Changeling, Book 12) by Nalini Singh
- Sully’s Sweet Salvation (sequel to Finn’s Redemption) by Sierra Summers

Upcoming reviews:
- Rise of the Gryphon (Belador, Book 4) by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love
- Skies of Steel (The Ether Chronicles, Book 3) by Zoë Archer
- Wicked Temptation (Nemesis, Unlimited, Book 3) by Zoë Archer
- The Seduction of Elliot McBride (Highland Pleasures, Book 5) by Jennifer Ashley
- The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie (Highland Pleasures, Book 6) by Jennifer Ashley
- Wild Man (Dream Man, Book 2) by Kristen Ashley
- Down for the Count (Dare Me, Book 1) by Christine Bell
- Down and Dirty (Dare Me, Book 2) by Christine Bell
- Bolted (Promise Harbor Wedding, Book 2) by Meg Benjamin
- Straddling the Line (Play-by-Play, Book 8 ) by Jaci Burton
- The Professional: Part 2 by Kresley Cole
- The Professional: Part 3 by Kresley Cole
- How to Ravish a Rake (How to Series, Book 3) by Vicky Dreiling
- Scarlet Devices (Steam and Seduction, Book 2) by Delphine Dryden
- Gilded Lily (Steam and Seduction, Book 3) by Delphine Dryden
- Soul Weaver by Hailey Edwards
- Some Like It Hot (Rising Star Chef, Book 2) by Louisa Edwards
- Hot Under Pressure (Rising Star Chef, Book 3) by Louisa Edwards
- A Beginner’s Guide to Rakes by Suzanne Enoch
- Fast Track by Julie Garwood
- Cowboy Take Me Away (Rainbow Valley, Book 1) by Jane Graves
- Trouble at the Wedding (Abandoned at the Altar, Book 3) by Laura Lee Guhrke
- One Taste of Scandal (Redcakes, Book 2) by Heather Hiestand
- Beauty Bites (Biting Love, Book 6) by Mary Hughes
- The Volatile Amazon (Alliance of the Amazons, Book 4) by Sandy James
- Breathe by Lauren Jameson
- Over Exposed (Salon Games, Book 3) by Stephanie Julian
- Archer (Hard Body, Book 1) by Debra Kayn
- Since You’ve Been Gone (Welcome to Paradise, Book 4) by Elle Kennedy
- All of You (Between Breaths, Book 1) by Christina Lee
- Caught Up in You (Loving on the Edge, Book 4) by Roni Loren
- Kiss of Steel (London Steampunk, Book 1) by Bec McMaster
- All Fired Up (Hot in the Kitchen, Book 2) by Kate Meader
- Keeping Secrets in Seattle by Brooke Moss
- Blood Persuasion (Immortal Jane Austen, Book 2) by Janet Mullany
- Raw Desire by Kate Pearce
- Soul Sucker by Kate Pearce
- Dare to Love (Dare to Love, Book 1) by Carly Phillips
- The Fifth Favor by Shelby Reed
- Laugh (Burnside, Book 2) by Mary Ann Rivers
- Dark Witch (The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy, Book 1) by Nora Roberts
- Nights of Steel (The Ether Chronicles, Book 4) by Nico Rosso
- Secrets of a Gentleman Escort by Bronwyn Scott
- Then Came You (Animal Magnetism, Book 5) by Jill Shalvis
- Archangel’s Legion (Guild Hunter, Book 6) by Nalini Singh
- Primal Law (Alpha Pack, Book 1) by J.D. Tyler
- Easy by Tammara Webber

Review: The Damsel and the Daggerman by Delilah S. Dawson

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Damsel and the Daggerman by Delilah S. Dawson
Series: Blud, Book 2.5
Publisher: Pocket Star
Genre: Steampunk/Paranormal Romance The Damsel and the Daggerman Cover
ISBN: 9781476715438
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Delilah S. Dawson Reading Order

Bad boy knife-thrower Marco Taresque is the hottest and most dangerous performer in the caravan. He keeps to himself until a pesky female journalist arrives, anxious to interview him about his checkered past--his last assistant disappeared under mysterious and bloody circumstances, earning him the nickname "The Deadly Daggerman."

Unsinkable journalist and adventurer Jacinda Harville doesn't take no for an answer, and she's determined to wear down Marco no matter how threatening--or incredibly desirable--he might appear. He agrees to an interview--but only if she'll let him strap her to a spinning table and throw knives at her body. How can she say no? And how can she resist him when he leans close for a kiss that strikes her more sharply than any blade? It's the first time she's let a man get the better of her, and she's determined it will be the last...

Just when she thinks she can't take any more of his games, Jacinda receives a note from Marco saying he's finally ready to tell her the truth about what happened to his missing assistant. She sets out for an address miles away, but what she finds there turns the tables on everything she thought she knew about the tender lover who wears a smile as sharp as his knives.

As secrets are unraveled and passions take hold, Jacinda realizes her hard heart has melted. But will it be too late to save Marco--and herself--from the daggerman's dangerous past?

If you want a taste of Delilah S. Dawson’s marvelous Blud series, The Damsel and the Daggerman is a good place to start. With intrepid reporter Jacinda Harville as your guide, you can experience Sangland’s most intriguing band of carnivalleros. Front and center are Jacinda and Marco, two mature, intelligent protagonists who intrigued me from the beginning. Jacinda’s a widow who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go after it, even if she has to go toe-to-toe with infamous Bludman Criminy Stain in order get her story. Marco, in turn, is a man with a mysterious past and a talent for handling blades. I loved unwrapping the mystery that was Marco alongside Jacinda, although I did feel that the revelations concerning Marco’s past – and significant exploration into his and Jacinda’s characters – were a bit rushed due to the length of the story. Still, Jacinda and Marco are excellent both on their own and as a pair, and it was delightful getting to see the beginnings of their romance.

The Damsel and the Daggerman takes place between the second and third books in Ms. Dawson’s Blud series, and it certainly fed my craving for Blud – ;) – as I waited for Wicked After Midnight to be released. Fans of the series need not fear missing some of their favorite characters, for Criminy’s carnivalleros all have entertaining cameos. That being said, ringmaster and Blud hero extraordinaire Criminy Stain does steal every scene he’s in, and to a lesser degree so does contortionist Demi Ward. Normally this wouldn’t bother me, but since The Damsel and the Daggerman is a novella and Marco and Jacinda were unknown entities, I would have liked to see them be the stars of their own show. Still, as a bridge between Blud stories or simply as a sample of the world, The Damsel and the Daggerman is excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and reading any tale set in Criminy’s world is time well spent.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Waiting on Wednesday: Darling Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine which spotlights eagerly anticipated upcoming releases!

I absolutely love Elizabeth Hoyt's Maiden Lane series - it's one of my top historical romance series (keeping Julia Quinn's Bridgertons and Lisa Kleypas's Wallflowers company, among others) and I'm always eager for a new story. Plus, with the way things were left for Apollo in Duke of Midnight, it's no wonder I'm excited to read Darling Beast.

Darling Beast Cover Title: Darling Beast
Series: Maiden Lane, Book 7
Author: Elizabeth Hoyt
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Release Date: October 14, 2014
Elizabeth Hoyt Reading Order and Reviews

Book Description (from Elizabeth Hoyt's website):

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

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

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

Monday in Review

Monday, June 2, 2014

Can you believe it's June already? Time for another update :)

Below are the newest reviews I’ve written here and for Romance Junkies. The master list and categorical lists on the right-hand side are updated as well.

Reviews for upcoming releases:
- Grim Shadows (Roaring Twenties, Book 2) by Jenn Bennett (available 6/3/14)
- Shield of Winter (Psy-Changeling, Book 13) by Nalini Singh (available 6/3/14)

All other new reviews:
- Don't Blackmail the Vampire (Sons of Kane, Book 2) by Tiffany Allee
- Dangerous Seduction (Nemesis, Unlimited, Book 2) by Zoë Archer
- The Professional: Part 1 (The Game Maker, Book 1, Part 1) by Kresley Cole
- Risky Game (Out of Bounds, Book 3) by Tracy Solheim
- Barefoot in White (Barefoot Bay Brides, Book 1) by Roxanne St. Claire
- Unmasking Juliet by Teri Wilson

Upcoming reviews:
- Rise of the Gryphon (Belador, Book 4) by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love
- Skies of Steel (The Ether Chronicles, Book 3) by Zoë Archer
- Wicked Temptation (Nemesis, Unlimited, Book 3) by Zoë Archer
- The Seduction of Elliot McBride (Highland Pleasures, Book 5) by Jennifer Ashley
- The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie (Highland Pleasures, Book 6) by Jennifer Ashley
- Wild Man (Dream Man, Book 2) by Kristen Ashley
- Down for the Count (Dare Me, Book 1) by Christine Bell
- Down and Dirty (Dare Me, Book 2) by Christine Bell
- Bolted (Promise Harbor Wedding, Book 2) by Meg Benjamin
- Straddling the Line (Play-by-Play, Book 8 ) by Jaci Burton
- The Professional: Part 2 by Kresley Cole
- The Professional: Part 3 by Kresley Cole
- How to Ravish a Rake (How to Series, Book 3) by Vicky Dreiling
- Scarlet Devices (Steam and Seduction, Book 2) by Delphine Dryden
- Gilded Lily (Steam and Seduction, Book 3) by Delphine Dryden
- Soul Weaver by Hailey Edwards
- Some Like It Hot (Rising Star Chef, Book 2) by Louisa Edwards
- Hot Under Pressure (Rising Star Chef, Book 3) by Louisa Edwards
- A Beginner’s Guide to Rakes by Suzanne Enoch
- Fast Track by Julie Garwood
- Cowboy Take Me Away (Rainbow Valley, Book 1) by Jane Graves
- Trouble at the Wedding (Abandoned at the Altar, Book 3) by Laura Lee Guhrke
- One Taste of Scandal (Redcakes, Book 2) by Heather Hiestand
- Beauty Bites (Biting Love, Book 6) by Mary Hughes
- The Volatile Amazon (Alliance of the Amazons, Book 4) by Sandy James
- Breathe by Lauren Jameson
- Over Exposed (Salon Games, Book 3) by Stephanie Julian
- Archer (Hard Body, Book 1) by Debra Kayn
- Since You’ve Been Gone (Welcome to Paradise, Book 4) by Elle Kennedy
- All of You (Between Breaths, Book 1) by Christina Lee
- Caught Up in You (Loving on the Edge, Book 4) by Roni Loren
- Kiss of Steel (London Steampunk, Book 1) by Bec McMaster
- All Fired Up (Hot in the Kitchen, Book 2) by Kate Meader
- Keeping Secrets in Seattle by Brooke Moss
- Blood Persuasion (Immortal Jane Austen, Book 2) by Janet Mullany
- Raw Desire by Kate Pearce
- Soul Sucker by Kate Pearce
- Dare to Love (Dare to Love, Book 1) by Carly Phillips
- The Fifth Favor by Shelby Reed
- Laugh (Burnside, Book 2) by Mary Ann Rivers
- Dark Witch (The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy, Book 1) by Nora Roberts
- Shadow Spell (The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy, Book 2) by Nora Roberts
- Nights of Steel (The Ether Chronicles, Book 4) by Nico Rosso
- Secrets of a Gentleman Escort by Bronwyn Scott
- Then Came You (Animal Magnetism, Book 5) by Jill Shalvis
- Archangel’s Legion (Guild Hunter, Book 6) by Nalini Singh
- Heart of Obsidian (Psy-Changeling, Book 12) by Nalini Singh
- Sully’s Sweet Salvation by Sierra Summers
- Primal Law (Alpha Pack, Book 1) by J.D. Tyler
- Easy by Tammara Webber

Review: Grim Shadows by Jenn Bennett

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Grim Shadows by Jenn Bennett
Series: Roaring Twenties, Book 2
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Historical Paranormal Romance Grim Shadows Cover
ISBN: 9780425269589
Release Date: June 3, 2014
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Jenn Bennett Reading Order

It’s the Roaring Twenties in foggy San Francisco. Prohibition is on, inhibitions are low, and dark magic is rolling into town…

Archaeologist Lowe Magnusson is packing something everyone wants. The djed amulet, a priceless Egyptian artifact, will fetch Lowe a hefty paycheck from one of San Francisco’s wealthiest. But when the handsome Swede runs into his patron’s uptight daughter, what he once considered easy money becomes maddeningly complicated…

Cursed with deadly spirits as her constant companions, curator Hadley Bacall must keep calm to hold her dangerous specters at bay and prevent them from lashing out at anything—or anyone. Trouble is, Lowe is driving her crazy, but her father needs the artifact he’s transporting. While Hadley can feel the amulet’s power, she can’t fathom the destruction—or the desire—it’s about to stir up.

Magic and mayhem go hand in hand in Grim Shadows. There’s no sophomore slump for the Roaring Twenties series – Jenn Bennett knows how to keep the thrills coming and Grim Shadows lives up to the promise of its smart, sensual predecessor, Bitter Spirits.

Lowe Magnusson is a smooth-talking archaeologist with an easy smile and a penchant for spinning tales. Hadley Bacall is a curator trying to make a name for herself in a male-dominated field. She’s also got a curse hanging over her head and has to keep her emotions tightly bottled for fear of disaster. On the surface, the two are like night and day, but they just click. The banter between Lowe and Hadley – when balanced by the emotional revelations each makes – made them a truly captivating couple to read about. Both are supremely intelligent and are more than what most people see them to be; traits that come in handy as they become semi-reluctant allies on a quest to find the missing pieces of a supernatural artifact. Their action-packed treasure hunt through the streets of Prohibition-era San Francisco had me avidly turning the pages of Grim Shadows. Ms. Bennett has some wonderful twists and turns in store for readers (even the ones you can see coming are exciting to watch play out).

As she did with the first Roaring Twenties book, Ms. Bennett brings 1920s San Francisco to vivid life, then gives it her own unique spin by adding in the paranormal and placing events in less posh areas than those generally showcased in historical romance. I flat-out loved delving into Ms. Bennett’s world once again, though the mysteries uncovered in Grim Shadows are decidedly different from those in Bitter Spirits. Ms. Bennett has a way of writing that draws you into the story and doesn’t let go. I look forward to getting lost in Lowe and Hadley’s adventure-filled romance many, many times while I impatiently wait for the next Roaring Twenties book!


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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