Friday, September 30, 2011

October is going to be bad for my checkbook...

It's the end of the month, which means that it's time to chat about the fabulous new books coming out next month. There are going to be lots of them. I am excited...and a little scared for the balance in my checkbook.
Slow Ride by Erin McCarthy
October 4, 2011

Serpent's Kiss by Thea Harrison
October 4, 2011

Stay Hungry by Lorie O'Clare
October 4, 2011

Belong to Me by Shayla Black
October 4, 2011

Sweet Revenge by Christy Reece
October 4, 2011

Werewolf in the North Woods by Vicki Lewis Thompson
October 4, 2011

October 4, 2011

Much Ado About Vampires by Katie MacAlister
October 4, 2011

Animal Attraction by Jill Shalvis
October 4, 2011

Night Moves by Stephanie Tyler
October 4, 2011

The Bite Before Christmas by Jeaniene Frost & Lynsay Sands
October 11, 2011

Awake at Dawn by C.C. Hunter
October 11, 2011

October 25, 2011

Hide from Evil by Jami Alden
October 25, 2011

Until There Was You by Kristan Higgins
October 25, 2011

Real Men Will by Victoria Dahl
October 25, 2011

Do you hear my checkbook whimpering???
What is on your wish-list for October?

Tease Me by Tracy Wolff

Title: Tease Me
Author: Tracy Wolff
My Rating: A

Genre: Erotic Suspense
Series: -
Main Characters: Lacey & Byron
Release Date: April 2010
Publisher: Heat
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: erotic

Story Overview:
The "edgy and erotic" (Shannon McKenna, New York Times bestselling author of Tasting Fear) author of Tie Me Down and Full exposure offers another steamy novel of sex, lies, and sultry games.
Burned once too often, true crime writer Lacey Richards has sworn off love. Instead, she explores her deepest desires through her anonymous- and very provocative-blog. Anonymous, that is, until her dark and ultrasexy neighbor discovers her dirty secret.
Stockbrocker-turned-carpenter Byron Hawthorne gave up life in the fast lane, hoping to start over in a new city. When he learns his alluring neighbor is the one writing the sizzling blog that keeps him up all night, he can't resist offering to fulfill her fantasies in the flesh. But Byron isn't the only man provoked by Lacey's writing. Now Lacey doesn't know who she can trust-and who she can dare to tease.

My Review:
Whoa this book was really amazing! It was extremely HOT as you would expect an erotic book to be, but it also was full of suspense and really incredibly deep characters which created a wonderful romantic story line.

Lacey and Byron live in the same apartment complex in New Orleans. Lacey is there to write a true-crime story about an infamous madame and prostitution ring. Byron moved there from NYC after deciding that he didn't need the stress any longer from his 7 figure stockbroker lifestyle. They discover each other while escaping onto their individual terraces which face each other. This initial romantic interlude when they didn't even actually come in contact with each other...OMG, it was so HOT! Whoa!!

The sexual chemistry between these two is sizzling. There is a LOT of sex in this book, but it never gets old. Every single scene is equally hot. Who knew that you could even come up with this many different ways to set up sex in a book. Bravo, Tracy ROCK as an erotica writer. 

But this book is so much more. Lacey is dealing with the repercussions from an abusive relationship. It makes things difficult when dealing with a really alpha male who is worried for her life. Lots of emotion on both their parts in this book. Lacey is looking for purely a sexual relationship. She never wants to hand her emotions over to another guy while Byron knows that what they have is really something special and doesn't want to settle for anything less than everything. 

There is also the suspense story line that comes from Lacey's investigations that turn up much more than a simple prostitution ring. 

I really enjoyed this book. In fact, as soon as I finished it, I immediately ordered Tracy Wolff's other erotica novels. I like the way that she writes. Really just a purely enjoyable book all the way around!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

TBR Thursday...I've been shopping!

Okay, it's official. My Mission BBA is over, because I went on a book-buying splurge this week, but look at how pretty they all are (and this isn't all of them...just the ones that I plan to read this week.) The only one I didn't buy was the Stephanie Julian one that I won about a month ago (I am slated to review book #2 in that series so thought it would be good to get book #1 read.)

*The Darkest Surrender by Gena Showalter
Lords of the Underworld #8

*Caressed by Ice by Nalini Singh
Psy-Changeling #3

*Only His by Susan Mallery
Fool's Gold #6

*The "What If" Guy by Brooke Moss
contemporary romance

*What a Goddess Wants by Stephanie Julian
Forgotten Goddesses #1

*Midnight by Ellen Connor
Dark Age Dawning #2

I didn't realize until I started this post, these are almost all series books...hmmm!

So what are you reading this week??

Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones

Title: Second Grave on the Left
Author: Darynda Jones
My Rating: B

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Charley Davidson #2
Main Characters: Charley & Reyes
Release Date: August 2011
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
Charley Davidson, Grim Reaper Extraordinaire, is back in this sexy, suspenseful novel of supernatural shenanigans.

 When Charley is rudely awakened in the middle of the night by her best friend who tells her to get dressed quickly and tosses clothes out of the closet at her, she can’t help but wonder what Cookie’s up to. Leather scrunch boots with a floral miniskirt? Together? Seriously? Cookie explains that a friend of hers named Mimi disappeared five days earlier and that she just got a text from her setting up a meet at a coffee shop downtown. They show up at the coffee shop, but no Mimi. But Charley finds a message on the bathroom wall. Mimi left a clue, a woman’s name. Mimi’s husband explains that his wife had been acting strange since she found out an old friend of hers from high school had been found murdered a couple weeks prior. The same woman Mimi had named in her message. 

Meanwhile, Reyes Alexander Farrow (otherwise known as the Son of Satan. Yes. Literally) has left his corporeal body and is haunting Charley. He’s left his body because he’s being tortured by demons who want to lure Charley closer. But Reyes can’t let that happen. Because if the demons get to Charley, they’ll have a portal to heaven. And if they have a portal to heaven…well, let’s just say it wouldn’t be pretty. Can Charley handle hot nights with Reyes and even hotter days tracking down a missing woman? Will Cookie...

My Review:
Another fabulously entertaining book in the Charley Davidson series. I just love Darynda's incredible sense of humor and writing style. These books keep me laughing from page one all the way til the end. While reading this one, I also shed a few tears and that's always a sign of a good book for me.

Charley's character makes these books for me. She is sarcastic, witty, smart, and courageous. As the grim reaper, she has always dealt with dead people and people looking for answers because of those dead people. Her job is to help some dead cross over.Those who have unfinished business don't cross over on their own and sometimes need a bit of guidance. That's where Charley comes in. It's also why her working as a PI and as a liaison with the police dept. is so perfect. Much of the dead's unfinished business comes about because of an untimely death caused by murder or a tragic accident. It's all a natural tie-in for her.

There is a wonderful group of characters surrounding Charley. Reyes is a wonderfully sexy and mysterious. He comes to Charley in a non-corporeal form. I don't want to say anything else about him, because if you haven't read the first book, then I don't want to spill any spoilers. There is LOTS going on with this guy...and he is so sexy. I think that there are going to be some huge developments with his story in book 3 (at least I really hope so...I hate this limbo!) Cookie is Charley's receptionist and overall sidekick. She is always good for a laugh. The main mystery/suspense story line came from a friend of Cookie's so she was present in a lot of this book. The one character that I really missed in this book was Garrett. He was there, but seemed to have a lot less time in this book than he did the first book. Charley's family took up the slack from Garrett's lack of story line in this book. I liked getting to know the history there a bit more, but still think that I would have preferred to have more Garrett.

Like I said, I adore the entertainment value of these books. Unfortunately, I don't feel like book #2 moved the series any further forward and I really wanted the series to move forward, at least some. I am a romance reader...I like to have a HEA...or at least the hope that it's going to come soon in the series. That is the ONLY reason that this book was slightly disappointing to me. I NEED Charley & Reyes to be closer to an HEA...closer, not further away. At the end of this book, I felt like that possibility was even further away than it was at the beginning. HUGE hopes for book #3...Please Darynda...give me HOPE!!!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Twisted by Gena Showalter

Title: Twisted
Author: Gena Showalter
My Rating: A-

Genre: YA- Paranormal Suspense
Series:Intertwined #3
Main Characters: Victoria & Aden
Release Date: August 2011
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: very mild

Story Overview:
His vampire girlfriend might have brought him back to life, but he's never felt more out of control. There's a darkness within him, something taking over…changing him. Worse, because he was meant to die, death now stalks him at every turn. Any day could be his last.
Once upon a time, the three souls trapped inside his head could have helped him. He could have protected himself. But as the darkness grows stronger, the souls grow weaker—just like his girlfriend. The more vampire Aden becomes, the more human Victoria becomes, until everything they know and love is threatened.
Life couldn't get any worse. Could it?

My Review:
This book was not on my TBR list for this week, but my 16 year old teenage son has been reading this series with me and finished the book last night. He was so shattered by the book that he insisted I read it immediately so that we could discuss it. That should give you a hint of the upheaval in this book...there is a LOT of it.

This is an amazing series and it needs to be read as a series. These are not stand-alone books in my opinion. There is too much story that continues to build upon itself. This is book #3 in a series that is supposed to end with the next book. How in the world it is going to end, I have no idea. Quite honestly, I don't think Gena knows how it is going to end at this point. Every book, she talks about how hard they are to write, but that effort is evident in the quality of the books, because they are very good!

There are a core of four characters that flow throughout the series. 
*Aden- he was born with the souls of 4 other people living within his brain. He is 16 and throughout the series, he is trying to release those souls although they have been like his parents to him his entire life. He was raised in the foster system and spent most of his life in and out of institutions because of the souls and the prevailing thought that he is schizophrenic.

*Victoria- vampire princess and Aden's love interest. She goes through such a huge transition throughout this book as a person and vampire.

*Riley- wolf shifter and bodyguard for Victoria. His transition throughout this book was the most heart-breaking to me. I just hope that something changes for him in the next book. He is involved with MaryAnne.

*MaryAnne- human that is somehow connected to Aden. They were born the same day and when they met, it set off a chain of events that set off the entire series. At the end of this novel, she is in a very bad least headed there. Things are not looking well for MaryAnne...thinking positive thoughts for book #4.

*Tucker- MaryAnne's ex-boyfriend and half-demon. He is in such a Catch 22. His story breaks my heart all the way around and I really did not like where it went in this book. Not sure that anything can change, but am still hoping for book #4.

This book really didn't end well for any of the characters. I can deal with that, BUT OMG, the next book isn't supposed to be out until June, 2013!?!?! I am not sure that I can deal with that. I think that I am going to have to go live with Gena while she is writing to make sure that she settles everything correctly for these characters that I have grown to love.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

An Angel for Christmas by Heather Graham

Title:  An Angel for Christmas
Author: Heather Graham
My Rating: B-

Genre: Inspirational Fiction
Series: -
Main Characters: MacDougal family & Gabe
Release Date: September 2011
ISBN: 978-0778312796
Publisher: Mira
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: g-rated

I received a copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Story Overview:
Christmas has never brought out the best in the MacDougal family. Still, year after year, they gather together in the Blue Ridge Mountains to try to make the season merry and bright. But this year is an especially strained one, with Shayne's impending divorce, Morwenna's slavish devotion to work and Bobby's reluctance to face what life has to offer. They've never felt less like a family.
Then, in the midst of a snowy sibling shouting match, a mysterious stranger appears. He could be a criminal, a madman—or something far more unexpected. Despite their fears and the growing danger in the dark woods around them, the MacDougals take a leap of faith. But when another stranger arrives on the mountainside, they don't know which of them to believe. One of these men can't be trusted. And one is about to bring Christmas into their hearts.

My Review: 
This was a different book. For years, I have read Heather Graham's holiday book. I enjoyed this one, but it seemed to have a more spiritual/inspirational feel than they traditionally have. Not that that is a bad thing, but it just gives a different kind of feel to the overall novel.

The MacDougal family have had a hard year and this year, more than most, they seem to be taking it out on each other with constant fights and bickering. Shayne, the oldest and doctor in the family has gone through a divorce that took him by surprise over the last year. Bobby, the youngest, is struggling with finding a balance between his passion, music, and doing what his family wants. Morwenna, the middle child, is struggling with an unsatisfying career and boyfriend. They are each struggling and have all lost focus with what is important in life.

When a stranger literally stumbles into their lives during a snowstorm on Christmas Eve, he helps to guide them and show them through little things where they have gone wrong.

Like I said, this had a very spiritual feel to it. It's definitely a book that is focused on what is really the meaning of Christmas and what should be the focus of our everyday lives. We can get so caught up in those lives, that we lose sight of the big picture. It's a great lesson and the book can definitely help to enrich your enjoyment of the holidays. It has an interesting twist at the end about the "bad guy" and the good guys interpretation of his actions. Rather thought-provoking and inspiring. I liked it.

Top Off Tuesday: North of Need by Laura Kaye

This is a book that I am really excited about which is releasing in November!!! 

It features a heroine with the last name of Snow, takes place at Christmastime, has an incredible-sounding story... AND it has a gorgeous cover which is perfect for our Top Off Tuesday meme. ;o)

North of Need by Laura Kaye
releasing November 1, 2011

Story Overview:
While attempting to escape the agonizing memories she associates with Christmas, twenty-nine-year-old widow Megan Snow builds a snow family outside the mountain cabin she once shared with her husband—and collapses in tears against the snowman at the sight of what she’ll never have.

Called to life by the power of Megan’s tears, snow god Owen Winters appears unconscious on her doorstep in the midst of a raging blizzard. As she nurses him to health, Owen finds unexpected solace in her company and unimagined pleasure in the warmth of her body, and vows to win her heart for a chance at humanity.

Megan is drawn to Owen’s mismatched eyes, otherworldly masculinity, and enthusiasm for the littlest things, and her heart opens enough to believe he’s a Christmas miracle. But this miracle comes with an expiration—before the snow melts and the temperature rises, Megan must let go of her widow’s grief and learn to trust love again, or she’ll lose Owen forever.


Join us (Felicia from The Geeky Book Blogger and Amanda from On a Book Bender and Me) as we celebrate those gorgeous hunky covers!! Thanks to Missie from The Unread Reader for creating our fabulous button!

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!

Bad Boys Do by Victoria Dahl

Title:  Bad Boys Do
Author: Victoria Dahl
My Rating: A+

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Donovan Brothers Brewery #2
Main Characters: Jamie & Olivia
Release Date: September 2011
ISBN: 978-0373776023
Publisher: Harlequin
Links to Purchase:
Amazon- $7.99
Sexual Intensity: hot

I received a copy of this book from the Publisher and NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Story Overview
Olivia Bishop is no fun. That’s what her ex-husband said. That’s what her smart bob and glasses imply. And with her trademark determination, Olivia sets out to remake her life. She’s going to spend time with her girlfriends and not throw it all away for some man. But when an outing with her book club leads her to a brewery taproom, the dark-haired beauty realizes that trouble – in the form of sexy Jamie Donovan – may be too tempting to avoid.
Jamie Donovan doesn’t mean to be bad. Sure, the wild streak in his wicked green eyes has lured the ladies before. But it’s time to grow up. He’s even ready for a serious romance. But how can that be when Olivia, the only right woman he has ever met, already has him pegged as wrong.

My Review:
Jamie is the black-sheep of the family and no matter what he does to try to escape this moniker, everything and fate seems to be working against him, because he seemingly screws up over and over again. Jamie works as the bartender at the brewery because he is the people-person of the family. He has an easy way with people and a natural charm. He likes to have fun and that shows through his personality in everything he does and people are drawn to that. 

Jamie was 16 when his parents died in the tragic car accident. He responded to that horrible loss with a ton of teenage rebellion and angst which older brother Eric had to handle. Eric was 24 at the time and suddenly found himself parent to his two younger siblings AND with the family brewery to run. As a result, they have always fallen into a pattern...Eric is the responsible one, Jamie is not. Now Jamie is 29 and trying to gain Eric's respect and trust, but Eric can't see him as anything but the screw-up kid that he raised. So Jamie secretly heads back to college so that he has a good basis for the changes that he wants to implement at the brewery. Eric keeps blowing his ideas off without even giving him a chance.

Olivia is an instructor at the college in restaurant management. She just got divorced a year ago from an older professor that she had been married to for the last 13 year, since she was 22. She was the trophy wife...only there to help build up her husband and his career and left her own dreams in the dust. Now she is trying to figure out what to do with the rest of her life and how she became old and too serious before her time. She met Jamie first in the bar and then he showed up in her class and they come up with a plan...she will help him create a restaurant presentation to wow Eric and he will help her learn how to have fun and let loose a little.

I adored this book!!! Really, REALLY LOVED IT!!! Both Olivia and Jamie are dealing with some really deep and difficult life changes and growth. They are complete opposites, but that works for them, and it helps to make each of them a better more balanced person. There are definitely growing pains as their relationship grows and develops, but their passion remains true and beautiful.

My heart physically ached for Jamie as more and more is revealed about him and the struggles that he has been going through. There were several HUGE revelations at the end which I think will play out in Eric's book...there is going to be a LOT of emotion there. For that matter, there was a TON of emotion in this book. You all know that I love a good emotional book and an alpha hero with a vulnerable side...this book had both of those things in SPADES. So well-written and so perfect for my reading tastes. Did I mention that I LOVED this book?!? It was so good. Just the perfect mix of romance, fun, and angst rolled up into a book that may just make my top ten list for 2011.