Thursday, June 30, 2011

TBR Thursday: a Two-fer

Because I am just coming off vacation, my book-reading is off and I am actually ahead of the game for once. This first picture is all the books that I have already read and the reviews will be posted over the next week...

BTW, ALL of these books were EXCELLENT so be looking forward to some fun reviews.

Books 1-5 of the Final Prophesy series by Jessica Andersen. I reviewed Book 6, Storm Kissed, a couple of weeks ago. You can see that review HERE.
The series runs:
...with books 7-9 coming out over the next 1 1/2 years leading up to the final prophesy date of Dec 21, 2012.

The other book that will be up next week was Blood Law...OMG, this book was good, but be forewarned, it ended with a HUGE cliffhanger!!!

There will also be a couple of books that I'll have reviewed that I have had as e-books, so no photos for those, so they will be a surprise for you all!

And now what I am actually reading this week...since all the books above I have already finished reading, just need to finish writing those reviews.

*Game for Anything by Bella Andre (#1 in Bad boys of Football series)

*Hot in Here by Sophie Kenwick

*Make Mine a Bad Boy by Katie Lane (#2 in that series)

*Trace of Fever and Savor the Danger (#2 & #3 in that series) by Lori Foster

*Kindling the Moon by Jenn Bennett

*Veil of Midnight by Lara Adrian (#5 in the Midnight series)

So what are you reading this week??

Devil Without a Cause by Terri Garey

Title:   Devil Without a Cause
AuthorTerri Garey
My Rating: A

Genre: paranormal suspense
Series: Devil's Bargain #1
Main Characters: Finn & Faith 
Release Date: May 2011
ISBN: 978-0061986390
Publisher: HarperCollins
Links to Purchase:
Amazon- $7.99
Borders- $6.39
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
Idle hands are the devil's workshop
Temptation and seduction are the tricks of the Devil's trade, and when offered the chance to regain his wings by playing guardian angel, he's hell-bent on doing things his way . . .
Faith McFarland is in need of a miracle. So desperate to save her sick child, she's willing to make a deal with the Devil: steal a ring worn by Finn Payne, the bad-boy rockstar who long ago sold his soul for rock 'n roll. Temptation and seduction become necessary evils, yet Faith's salvation means Finn's damnation . . . because the ring is all that stands between him and Hell. Falling in love was never part of the bargain, but now that they've tasted heaven in each other's arms, can they convince the Devil to give up his due?

My Review:
What a fabulously written premise- I never thought that I could feel sympathy for the Devil, but I really liked and felt for the Devil in this book. I need to read the Nicki Styx series so that I can get more of his backstory, but I have a feeling that his story hasn't ended yet.

Overall, though, this book was about Faith and Finn- both of whom have made a deal with the Devil. Finn's deal was made 20 years ago when he was 16 seeking fame and glory through his rock career. Faith is simply trying to save her 4 yo son, Nathan, from brain cancer. Now Faith's deal with the Devil has brought her across Finn's path since she has to steal his ring which houses his creative muse and his deal with the Devil. Part of the deal is that she also has to seduce him, which takes her on a path that no one except maybe the Devil could predict, toward love.

I really loved this book. All of the characters involved have had to make really hard choices that should have made them unlikable, but Terri Garey has written this book so brilliantly that you feel empathy for ALL of them regardless of the choices that they have made. I was at the point of only 15 pages left to read and still couldn't see how things were going to work out. I love a book that keeps you guessing and your heart rate racing because of the suspense about how it's going to end. 

A really fabulous book with a riveting story line. I can guarantee you right now that you will be seeing more of Terri Garey's books in my TBR pile!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Chase by Erin McCarthy

Title:   The Chase
AuthorErin McCarthy
My Rating: A-

Genre: contemporary romance
Series: Fast Track #4
Main Characters: Kendall & Evan
Release Date: April 2011
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Links to Purchase:
Amazon- $7.99
Borders- $6.39
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Kendall Holbrook is determined to make it to the top, even with the challenge of being a woman on the male-dominated racing circuit. She doesn't have time for romance-especially not with racing rival Evan Monroe, the man who nearly crushed her dream years ago. Tricked into meeting him, Kendall is experiencing all those old feelings again-and she can't deny that they still have enough chemistry to set fire to the track.

My Review:
Kendall & Evan were dating hot and heavy 10 years ago. Evan was on the verge of asking Kendall to marry him (he had the ring bought and everything) when all of a sudden, Kendall wouldn't have anything to do with him. He never understood what happened and neither one of them ever got over their love for each other despite the hurt, harsh words, and hard feelings that have defined their relationship ever since.

Overall, I really liked this book which was kind of surprising since I have never really liked Evan in the previous books. But seeing him and the way that he is around Kendall, I have changed my mind. I especially like the dynamic of Evan and Kendall together. He is a very laid-back, relaxed personality. She's a high-strung, wound-up personality. Together they provide the perfect complement for each other.

I like how accepting Evan is of his and Kendall's feelings. You would think that he would be a little leery from the events of 10 years ago, but he accepts that he hasn't been happy without Kendall. So he's willing to take and enjoy whatever he can with her right now. I loved his level of commitment to their love. He is all-in for this relationship wherever it takes them and the relationships his priority over everything else. You have to love that level of commitment from a guy and you don't see it all that often in the romance novel genre. Usually, it is the heroine in the relationship that's fully committed.

What I didn't really like about the novel was the way that the climax of the story came about at the end. I don't want to give away any spoilers, but I had real issues with Kendall's handling of it all esp. after all that they have been through in the last 10 years. Erin McCarthy explained a little behind the reasoning behind it, but I feel like that aspect of the story line needed to be further developed for me to accept Kendall's actions. I just felt like it was kind of all thrown in at the end as a last-minute justification, rather than a true issue throughout the book.

Overall, this was a great installment of the Fast Track series. Now I am really looking forward to Tuesday & Diesel's story. The 1st chapter at the end of this novel was a FABULOUS teaser!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Little Harmless Addiction by Melissa Schroeder

Title:  A Little Harmless Addiction
Author: Melissa Schroeder
My Rating: B

Genre: Erotic Romance
Series: Harmless #5
Main Characters: Kai & Jocelyn
Release Date: June 2011
Publisher: Samhain
Links to Purchase:
Amazon- $3.44
Borders- $4.39
Sexual Intensity: erotic

Story Overview:
Falling in love might not be the smart thing, but it might be the one thing they both need. 

Harmless, Book 5

Jocelyn Dupree has come to Hawaii to heal. After a horrific experience with her last boss, she is on the mend and ready to start again. She is focused on rebuilding her life and her career as a pastry chef. She definitely doesn’t need a man in her life, or so she thinks.

Kai Aiona has always been the guy to mend a broken heart. Unfortunately, the last heart that was broken was his. He has sworn off damaged women, but he can’t resist Jocelyn’s sad eyes, not to mention her determination to succeed. 

One little date turns into several and soon, Jocelyn finds herself easily addicted to Kai’s sensual nature. Resisting him becomes impossible, but Jocelyn isn’t ready to trust completely. When Kai discovers she hasn’t been telling him everything, Jocelyn is left with two choices: trust her heart, or let the one man she has ever loved go.

My Review:
Kai & Jocelyn have both just come off of devastatingly bad relationships so neither one of them them is anxious to jump back into the dating waters. But sometimes chemistry and hearts simply won't listen to what the head says.

While this book was still very good, it didn't have the suspense or the BDSM that the other ALH books have featured, which is totally okay. I still really enjoyed Kai & Jocelyn's romance. What made it even better was the high visibility of the other characters that we have grown to love from the previous ALH books. That was definitely my favorite part of this book.

I liked how in this book both Kai and Jocelyn fight their growing attraction to each other. While neither one really wants to become involved, they just can't seem to help themselves. They are like two magnets that keep pulling together.

Another great element to this book is the influence from the family members. I loved Jocelyn's relationship with Kai's dad. I think that he loves her (in a totally different way) just as much as Kai does and he sees that they are a good thing together and is really encouraging the relationship. Then on the other side is Chris (Jocelyn's brother and hero from ALHP) who has seen Kai as a player and does NOT want him to get involved with or hurt Jocelyn. On this side of the story line, I love how Cynthia pushes Chris to look at things with the correct perspective (she's so good with him.)

While following a slightly different format, this book was still a great addition to the A Little Harmless series. And now I am out of books in this series, so I need Melissa Schroeder to start writing faster...hehe! 

A Little Harmless Surprise by Melissa Schroeder

Title:  A Little Harmless Surprise
Author: Melissa Schroeder
My Rating: B+

Genre: Erotic Romance
Series: Harmless #4.5
Main Characters: three shorts
Release Date: May 2011
Publisher: Samhain
Links to Purchase:
Amazon- $0.99
Borders- -
Sexual Intensity: erotic

Story Overview:
Return to Hawaii with May and Evan from A Little Harmless Obsession. It has been a month since the Harmless favorites said "I do" and Evan has a surprise for May. Read all about it his Little Harmless Surprise.
A Little Harmless Surprise-5719 words
Melissa's free Harmless Shorts, A Little Harmless Fling and A Little Harmless Kalikimaka.
An exclusive look at A Little Harmless Addiction, Melissa's June 7th release from Samhain Publishing.
NOTE: This is not a standalone book. It is a continuation of A Little Harmless Obsession. It is not a long story, just a short for Harmless readers who like to see what happens after the story is done.

My Review:
There are three short books in this little novella. All of them are continuations of the HEA's from the Harmless series. If you are an A Little Harmless fan, then you definitely need to read this fabulous little grouping of shorts. 

A Little Harmless Surprise features Evan & May as he surprises her with a gift that she has fantasized about for a while now. This short introduces us to Rome...a future hero in one of the ALH novels (I cannot wait for his book!)

A Little Harmless Fling is a fun little romantic fantasy fling for the married couple of Max & Anna. What a way to spice up a marriage!

A Little Harmless Kalikimaka is the super romantic story of how Chris & Cynthia get engaged.

All three of these mini-novellas feature the wonderfully HOT scenes that we have come to expect from the A Little Harmless series. Even better, they continue the story lines of the characters that we already know and love, which I absolutely adore. A definite MUST READ for ALH fans!!!

Top Off Tuesdays...Much Ado About Vampires by Katie MacAlister

ahhh, my favorite day of the week.
 The day when we 
(FeliciaAmanda, Me, and anyone else that wants to play along) 
get to celebrate some gorgeous man-chests through 
Top Off Tuesdays!!

Another gorgeous cover (LOVE that tattoo!) with some gorgeous purple highlights...
Much Ado About Vampires by Katie MacAlister
releasing October 4, 2011

Story Overview:
Bitter at first bite…
Corazon Ferreira is one heck of a jaded woman. Not only did her husband dump her for a pretty, vivacious blonde, but her sister has lost her mind and married a vampire. Worse, it turns out that Cora herself was a vampire’s mate in a past life…the very same vampire she witnessed killing someone.

If only Cora hadn’t inadvertently been caught up in the ill-laid plans of a reanimated corpse and its master, she could deal with the distractingly gorgeous vampire. But it’s only Alec who stands between her and those who threaten her existence, and there’s only so much temptation a woman can bear before she starts taking her heart as seriously as her head…

Felicia is hosting the linky for this meme on her blog, so come play along....
*post a cover of a hot guy who just happens to be topless
*then go add your link to Felicia's blog!

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Little Harmless Lie by Melissa Schroeder

Title:  A Little Harmless Lie
Author: Melissa Schroeder
My Rating: A

Genre: Erotic Romance
Series: Harmless #4
Main Characters: Micah & Lee
Release Date: December 2010
Publisher: Samhain
Links to Purchase:
Amazon- $4.24
Borders- $4.99
Sexual Intensity: erotic

Story Overview:
Falling for her might be easy, seducing her may be damned hard, but keeping her alive might just be deadly.
Harmless, Book 4
Coming from nothing, Micah Ross now has more than he knows what to do with. His Hawaii BDSM club is flourishing, and he has his pick of women. Except one. Dee Sumners is cute, sexy, feisty…and, since she’s on his payroll, off-limits. Plus, she insists she isn’t into the life. Until one heated kiss hints that his head bartender secretly hungers to be his sub.
Life on the run doesn’t allow Dee to indulge in long-term relationships. Still, Micah manages to work his way through her tough armor and under her skin. Yet even as she succumbs to his skilled seduction, her survival instinct forms a plan to leave the island she has grown to love—and the man she’s in danger of loving.
When Dee disappears, Micah’s anger turns to fear when he realizes she didn’t leave willingly. Calling on his skills as a former bounty hunter, he tracks her to the mainland only to discover she is entangled in a web of lies and deceit that not only threatens their love, but her life.
Warning: This book contains more Hawaiian settings, a Native American Dom who always thinks he’s right, a woman on the run, sexy kisses, murderous relatives, a trip to Sin City, and a seduction that is sweet and hot and everything in between. Ice water and a towel are recommended while reading.

My Review:
Wow- I really loved this book. I was absolutely riveted from page 1. The suspense line in this book is absolutely fantastic. The sexual tension was incredible. The romance was beautiful. It was definitely an all-around amazing erotic read.

We've known a lot of Micah's back-story from Evan's book (ALHO) because he grew up on the streets with Evan. But this book really concentrated on Lee's back-story because it provided the suspense line for the book. She has been on the run for the last 10 years after her mafia-boss father put a hit out on her and she turned him into the feds.

She has worked at Rough & Ready (Micah's BDSM club) for 2 years, but has never participated in the club games despite her fascination with both the activities and Micah. She's always been afraid to open her safety of anonymity up to that kind of commitment.

There was so much about this book that I really loved. Lee's entire story was really fascinating. I was so impressed with how strong she had to be at 17 yo to run like she did successfully and to maintain that security for 10+ years. I think that it's hot that she is so strong and skilled. The scenes where Chris and Micah are watching her train and are impressed with her fighting skills- loved that!

I also really loved Micah's commitment to pursuing Lee. He showed an incredible amount of patience, understanding, and love esp. considering his lifestyle. This is a guy used to getting his way with very little effort. I loved that he valued her so much to maintain his distance when she needed more time. And that cross-country chase to save her- ah, my heart just melted a bit for Micah.

I am amazed. I have loved every single one of the books in the Harmless series,  but each one continues to get better and better. I really love these books!