Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: In the Penalty Box by Riley Shane

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

I love Riley Shane's work, so of course In the Penalty Box is a WOW pick for me. But even if I weren't a fan of the author, I adored the first book in the Seattle Marauders series, Two-Man Advantage, and I'm a big hockey fan so any hockey romance catches my eye :)

Note: The cover hasn't been posted so I borrowed the coming soon cover from Riley Shane's website.

In the Penalty Box Coming Soon Cover Title: In the Penalty Box
Series: Seattle Marauders, Book 2
Author: Riley Shane
Genre: Erotic Male/Male Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Loose Id
Release Date: March 6, 2012

Book Description (from Goodreads):

For four years, writer Landon Quinn has struggled to forget the one night he spent with Seattle Marauders defenseman Gregory Samson. Then Landon’s life takes an unexpected turn, and he finds himself back in Seattle…and face-to-face with the man who broke his heart.

Samson doesn’t know what he did to run Landon off all those years ago, but he’s sure Landon’s leaving was for the best. The bright, beautiful young man Landon had once been was far too adoring, far too open, for the closeted hockey player’s peace of mind. The intervening years have only made Landon an even sexier temptation--and Landon’s return presents Samson with a whole new set of problems.

Attraction sizzles between them, but having been burned once by Samson has left Landon twice shy. Even as Samson convinces Landon to let him out of the penalty box and into his life, Samson has to face the fact that his closely guarded secrets may come to light.

Caught between the ghosts of his past and the promise of a future with Landon, the hockey star must decide if he’s ready to leave the bench and risk everything to have the life and love he craves.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Review: Captain Fenna’s Dirigible Valentine by Heather Hiestand

Captain Fenna’s Dirigible Valentine by Heather Hiestand
Series: Steampunk Smugglers, Book 2
Publisher: Coffee on Sundays
Genre: Steampunk Romance  Captain Fennas Dirigible Valentine Cover
ISBN: 9781466171374
Blue Ribbon Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Original Review Link
Book Purchase Link

Terrwyn Fenna was a notorious smuggler until she was imprisoned in Newgate. Having escaped only a few weeks before, Terrwyn’s main goal is to keep her newborn daughter safe. Then an incident with the British Air Enforcement on Valentine’s Day sends Terrwyn back to the skies…and straight into the path of Ian Cavill. Ian was recently freed from his enslavement aboard a government airship, and he’s eager to join Terrwyn’s crew. Though Terrwyn doesn’t think she’ll ever be interested in men again – not after what happened to her in Newgate – something about Ian calls to her. But before she can explore her feelings for her newest crewman, Terrwyn must find a way to keep herself, her daughter and Ian out of the government’s clutches.

Author Heather Hiestand delivers action and adventure aplenty in CAPTAIN FENNA’S DIRIGIBLE VALENTINE. Terrwyn and Ian are good people who’ve suffered at the hands of corrupt government agents. Ms. Hiestand made it easy for me to cheer for the two smugglers as they steal from their former tormenters and fight to protect the ones they loved. It was also incredibly easy for me to want Terrwyn to find love with Ian. She’s understandably wary of physical attraction after what was done to her in Newgate and Ian, in turn, respects the proverbial barriers Terrwyn puts up…even as he slowly inserts himself into her life. Watching these two slowly slide into love was the highlight of CAPTAIN FENNA’S DIRIGIBLE VALENTINE – and that’s saying something.

CAPTAIN FENNA’S DIRIGIBLE VALENTINE is the second installment in Ms. Hiestand’s STEAMPUNK SMUGGLERS series. Although I haven’t read the first story, CAPTAIN ANDREW’S FLYING CHRISTMAS, I was able to read CAPTAIN FENNA’S DIRIGIBLE VALENTINE as a standalone. However, Terrwyn and Ian’s story was so entertaining that I cannot wait to read CAPTAIN ANDREW’S FLYING CHRISTMAS, and I hope Ms. Hiestand pens more STEAMPUNK SMUGGLERS tales!

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

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: The Duke's Perfect Wife by Jennifer Ashley

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

I absolutely love Jennifer Ashley's Highland Pleasures series and I've been waiting and waiting for the eldest Mackenzie to meet his match. Thankfully, Hart's book is only a few weeks away :)

The Dukes Perfect Wife Cover Title: The Duke's Perfect Wife
Series: Highland Pleasures, Book 4
Author: Jennifer Ashley
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: April 3, 2012

Book Description (from Goodreads):

Lady Eleanor Ramsay is the only one who knows the truth about Hart Mackenzie. Once his fiancee, she is the sole woman to whom he could ever pour out his heart.

Hart has it all -- a dukedom, wealth, power, influence, whatever he desires. Every woman wants him--his seductive skills are legendary. But Hart has sacrificed much to keep his brothers safe, first from their brutal father, and then from the world. He's also suffered loss--his wife, his infant son, and the woman he loved with all his heart though he realized it too late.

Now, Eleanor has reappeared on Hart's doorstep, with scandalous nude photographs of Hart taken long ago. Intrigued by the challenge in her blue eyes--and aroused by her charming, no-nonsense determination--Hart wonders if his young love has come to ruin him...or save him.

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

- Grab your current read
- Open to a random page
- Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
- BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
- Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

I'm in the middle of a couple of books at the moment, but having just finished a historical romance arc (The Tattooed Duke by Maya Rodale), my main focus right now is a YA steampunk, Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel.

"I struggled blindly, adrenaline surging through my limbs, my mind a wasteland of terrified emotions and jumbled ideas.

Then my eyes fell on my parasol and I took a chance." - Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel, page 228

Review: Time Out by Jill Shalvis

Time Out by Jill Shalvis
Publisher: Harlequin Blaze
Genre: Contemporary Romance Time Out Cover
ISBN: 9780373796731
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N
Jill Shalvis Reading Order

When two of his players get in a fight that generates negative publicity, NHL coach Mark Diego needs to repair the damage. He does so by signing himself and the two players up for an off-season of volunteering in Mark’s hometown. Santa Rey has been hit hard by wildfires and Mark is happy to help rebuild — heck, he’ll even suck it up and coach a softball team made up of teenage girls. But what throws the unshakeable Mark for a loop is rec center coordinator Rainey Saunders. Rainey has certainly grown up from when she was a young girl with a major crush on him. And if Mark can convince Rainey to let him past the barriers she’s erected around her heart, it’ll be a long, hot, sexy summer in Santa Rey.

Time Out is signature Jill Shalvis — sexy, fun, and utterly delightful. I found myself drawn into Rainey and Mark’s story from the start. Youthful friends that grow up to be lovers who fall in love is an often-used romance trope, but Ms. Shalvis makes it feel fresh and new in Time Out. Rainey and Mark’s mutual history makes for an instant connection while at the same time creates obstacles in their romance. The one-sided crush on Mark that teenage Rainey had still affects her, which is understandable given the circumstances (though I won’t spoil the story by saying why). I liked both protagonists so much that I practically devoured Time Out, as Ms. Shalvis had me rooting for Rainey and Mark to get together.

A host of likeable secondary characters rounds out Time Out, making the story, people, and town of Santa Rey come to life. I’m a big fan of Ms. Shalvis’s work and Time Out is an example of why Ms. Shalvis is an autobuy author for me. I adored Time Out and I can’t wait to read Ms. Shalvis’s next book!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Thursday in Review

It’s update time again :)

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

Reviews for upcoming releases:
- Celebrity in Death (In Death, Book 34) by J.D. Robb (available 2/21/12)
- I Want Candy by Susan Donovan (available 2/28/12)
- A Rogue By Any Other Name (The Rules of Scoundrels, Book 1) by Sarah MacLean (available 2/28/12)

All other new reviews:
- White Knight (Scoundrels, Book 2) by Mari Carr
- A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, Book 5) by Sabrina Jeffries
- Girl Next Door by Lyra Marlowe
- Alien Sex 101 by Allie Ritch
- Head Over Heels (Lucky Harbor, Book 3) by Jill Shalvis

Upcoming reviews:
- Dear Miss Darcy by Laura Briggs and Sarah Burgess 
- Kiss Me, I’m Irish by Roxanne St. Claire, Jill Shalvis, and Maureen Child
- Demon’s Bride (The Hellraisers, Book 2) by Zoë Archer
- When a Scot Loves a Lady (Falcon Club, Book 1) by Katharine Ashe
- How to Be a Proper Lady (Falcon Club, Book 2) by Katharine Ashe
- The Fireman Who Loved Me (The Bachelor Fireman of San Gabriel, Book 1) by Jennifer Bernard
- Hot for Fireman (The Bachelor Fireman of San Gabriel, Book 2) by Jennifer Bernard
- A Perfect Storm Rising by Cameron Dane
- Some Like It Hot (Rising Star Chef, Book 2) by Louisa Edwards
- A Beginner’s Guide to Rakes by Suzanne Enoch
- Screw Santa (Who Needs Christmas?, Book 1) by Joyee Flynn
- Trouble at the Wedding (Abandoned at the Altar, Book 3) by Laura Lee Guhrke
- Dearly, Departed by Lia Habel
- Bachelor Number Four by Megan Hart
- Intimate Beings (The Being Trilogy, Book 2) by Jessica Inclan
- If You Give a Girl a Viscount (Impossible Bachelors, Book 4) by Kieran Kramer
- Blame It On Bath (The Truth About a Duke, Book 2) by Caroline Linden
- Secret Light by Z.A. Maxfield
- The Saint (Highland Guard, Book 5) by Monica McCarty
- Blood Persuasion (Immortal Jane Austen, Book 2) by Janet Mullany
- Raw Desire by Kate Pearce
- A Night Like This (Smythe-Smith Quartet, Book 2) by Julia Quinn
- The Tattooed Duke (Writing Girls, Book 3) by Maya Rodale
- Time Out by Jill Shalvis
- Carrie’s Answer (Corporate Affairs, Book 1) by Sierra and V.J. Summers
- Meredith’s Awakening (Corporate Affairs, Book 2) by Sierra and V.J. Summers
- A Little Wild by Kate St. James
- Primal Law (Alpha Pack, Book 1) by J.D. Tyler

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Victorian Valentine by Riley Shane

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

I love historical romance and I'm a big fan of Riley Shane's work, so put the two together and I'm sold :D

Victorian Valentine Cover Title: Victorian Valentine
Author: Riley Shane
Genre: M/M Historical Romance
Publisher: MLR Press
Release Date: February 10, 2012

Book Description (from Goodreads):

February 14, 1860:

When Lord Christopher Norcutt finds a valentine in his bedroom, he believes it must have been left there by mistake; fourth sons of earls who prefer the company of other men are not the sort to attract admirers. But the secret valentine only marks the beginning of an unusual day for Christopher. As Christopher sets off to fulfill an obligation to his brother, a second valentine comes into his possession — this one discovered in a place that has meaning only to Christopher and his lover, Jack Ashton. Does a Valentine’s Day surprise await Christopher at the end of his journey?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Review: Celebrity in Death by J.D. Robb

Celebrity in Death by J.D. Robb
Series: In Death, Book 34
Publisher: Putnam
Genre: Futuristic/Mystery/Suspense Celebrity in Death Cover
ISBN: 9780399158308
Blue Ribbon Rating: 5 out of 5
Original Review Link
Book Purchase Link
J.D. Robb Reading Order

Dressing up and brushing elbows with the rich and famous isn’t exactly Lieutenant Eve Dallas’s idea of a good time. But Eve can’t turn down an invitation to have dinner with the most famous members of the cast and crew of The Icove Agenda, a film based on one of Eve’s cases. If having dinner with an actress who looks like she could be her sister didn’t make the evening less-than-ordinary already, having a murder occur during a party she’s attending definitely would. K.T. Harris, the actress playing Eve’s partner Peabody, was hated by almost everyone who knew her. How do you catch a killer when almost all the suspects are talented actors with a motive to off the vic? Good thing it’s Eve Dallas who’s on the case.

The glitz and glamour of the silver screen are tarnished by murder, secrets and blackmail in CELEBRITY IN DEATH. Author J.D. Robb’s writing style shines in this fast-paced and fun installment of her incredibly popular IN DEATH series. Yes, I did say “fun.” Perhaps that sounds a bit odd when talking about a murder mystery, but much of CELEBRITY IN DEATH is just that. Eve, Roarke, Peabody and the rest of the well-beloved characters meeting the actors playing them made for many a lighthearted moment in CELEBRITY IN DEATH. The death of someone playing Peabody also managed to cause a few minor shake-ups in this book. While Harris is nothing like Peabody, she does resemble her and that fact leads to some truly wonderful scenes, including one between Peabody and her boyfriend McNab.

Regarding the case itself, Ms. Robb takes readers on a journey filled with twists and turns. Even if you figure out who the killer is early on, the action and the surprises don’t stop there. With all the suspects there are, there’s a delicious amount of scandal and information that is delightful to watch Eve and Peabody go through. I actually enjoyed CELEBRITY IN DEATH more the second time I read it because I slowed down and enjoyed the journey rather than devouring it like I did on my first read through.

CELEBRITY IN DEATH is the thirty-fourth full-length book in the IN DEATH series, but readers new to the series will be able to follow along. However, since the book revolves around the movie about the Icove case, you can expect major spoilers if you haven’t yet read ORIGIN IN DEATH. There are also some spoilers, as one might expect, from the previous book, NEW YORK TO DALLAS.

There’s a wealth of things to love about CELEBRITY IN DEATH, from the characters to the case to the small moments between Eve and Roarke, Eve and Peabody, Peabody and McNab and more. Ms. Dallas makes the world of the IN DEATH series come alive in each and every book and for a long-time fan such as myself, CELEBRITY IN DEATH feels like a visit with old friends. While it’s lighter in tone than many of the other IN DEATH books, CELEBRITY IN DEATH was no less of a joy to read. Bring on the next IN DEATH book!

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