Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Carina Press Presents Anthology

To celebrate Carina's 2nd anniversary, they have put together three of their beloved authors into an anthology. These books are also available to buy separately.
Title: Carina Press Presents Anthology
Author: Cindy Spencer Pape, Adrienne Giordano, Shannon Stacey
My Rating: A-

Release Date: June 2012
ISBN: e-book
Publisher: Carina
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy

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

Story Overview:
There's a time and a place for romance: any time, any place!
In honor of our second anniversary, Carina Press brings you a trio of amazing novellas by some of the freshest voices in romance today! A highland laird and an unconventional physician fight monsters and fall in love in Cindy Spencer Pape's Kilts and Kraken. In Adrienne Giordano's Negotiating Point, two security operatives try—and fail—to keep their professional distance while working a high-stakes case. And a driven career woman takes a detour to enjoy Slow Summer Kisses in a contemporary story by Shannon Stacey. Three very different tales, three very happy endings.
Edited by Angela James, this anthology includes:
Kilts and Kraken by Cindy Spencer Pape
Negotiating Point by Adrienne Giordano
Slow Summer Kisses by Shannon Stacey
Stories also available for purchase separately.

Title: Kilts And Kraken
Author: Cindy Spencer Paper
My Rating: B

Genre: Steampunk
Series: Gaslight Chronicles #3
Main Characters: Magnus & Geneva
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
Magnus, Baron Findlay, longs to bring the wonders of the steam age to his remote island home, but his hands are full fighting the vicious kraken ravaging the coast. When he's swept to sea during battle and washes up on the shore of an isle in the Hebrides, he is near death.

Struggling to establish herself as one of the first female physicians in Edinburgh, Dr. Geneva MacKay is annoyed when The Order of the Round Table sends her north to care for an injured highlander. To heal him, Geneva escorts the handsome warrior home, just in time to defend the villagers from another onslaught.

As the attacks escalate and they work together to fight off the threat, neither Geneva nor Magnus can resist the overwhelming attraction between them. But as their relationship deepens, a new threat arises-from within the village itself...

My Review:

Whenever people approach me for book reviews, I state two genres that I prefer not to review in the romance spectrum...steampunk and historical. This book was both, but I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it regardless of the fact that I normally don't enjoy this genre.

Geneva is a doctor and a family friend has found someone in desperate need of a doctor, Magnus. He washed upon the shore in the grasp of a dead kraken (giant octopus) and is dying. Geneva comes to his aid, but he continues to decline until it becomes apparent that his health is tied to his own land. He needs to get back to his island so he has a chance to heal.

This was a historical book filled with a mixture of magick and industrial/steam technologies. From the Knights of the Round Table to mechanical dogs, this book had a bit of everything and I truly enjoyed the way the story was put together.

It's a novella with a lot going on. As a result, I don't feel like I got to know Magnus and Geneva as well as I would have liked. But what I did see, I liked. Geneva is a tough female doctor in a time when that is not the norm. Magnus is a laird who is willing to make the tough sacrifices for his people. In their own ways, they each are all about caring for other people...many times at their own detriment. For that reason, it was fun to see them find happiness in each other. It was a fun book to read.

Title: Negotiating Point
Author: Adrienne Giordano
My Rating: A

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Private Protectors #3.5
Main Characters: Gavin and Janet
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
As a hostage negotiator for Taylor Security, Gavin Sheppard has just been given the toughest assignment of his career: securing the release of his boss’s pregnant wife. He’s uneasy negotiating a rescue without the involvement of the police, but with the life of a woman and her unborn child on the line there’s no time to play by the rules. He’ll have to work closely with the one woman who could prove to be a distraction…

Janet Fink, the agency’s tech geek, is conflicted about working alongside the man she’s irresistibly attracted to. Though she’s determined not to risk her career by getting involved with a coworker, especially a superior, she can’t forget the passionate kiss they once shared…

With the kidnappers’ deadline fast approaching, Gavin and Janet must combine their skills to bring the missing woman home alive. But their undeniable chemistry is making it difficult to keep their relationship purely professional…

My Review:

ah, I loved this story. It takes place over a single day, but Janet and Gavin have been working together for months while fighting their mutual attraction. When one of their own is kidnapped and put in a life or death situation, it brings to light the fragility of life.  Suddenly for both Gavin and Janet, they realize that all those chances may just not be there tomorrow.

Janet is a computer geek. Gavin is a hostage negotiator and head-shrinker. In a romantic suspense, these are not your likely hero and heroine, but it works. Janet is nerdy and knows it. Gavin isn't bad (in fact, Janet thinks he's pretty sexy), but in an office full of serious alpha males, he does tend to fade a bit. 

I really liked  both these characters. They both know it's a really bad idea for them to get involved. Gavin is an executive. Janet doesn't want to be "that girl", but when things get crazy at their stakeout, so do their out-of-control hormones. It's all kinds of sexy fun!

I've loved this entire series and it was fabulous to get to read this little short and revisit many of the characters from the previous books. You all know I have an issue remembering details about books over time because I read so many. This is a series that I never have that issue with....so that should tell you something. These books stick with me!

Title: Slow Summer Kisses
Author: Shannon Stacey
My Rating: A+

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: -
Main Characters: Anna and Cameron
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
Anna Frazier is used to living life at 100 mph, but being downsized out of a job in the financial industry has her permanently stalled. With nowhere to go, go, go, Anna hails a cab to her grandparents' neglected New Hampshire camp to plan her next move. It seems like a good idea—until she realizes there's no takeout to be had and the boy next door has grown into a sexy but surly recluse.

Cameron Mayfield knows he can kiss his peace and quiet goodbye when Hurricane Anna blows in. She was loud and bossy as a ten-year-old—and besides developing some attractive curves, she hasn't changed. Cam's not looking for a relationship, especially not with a woman like Anna. He nearly broke down on that road once before. So why can't he stop thinking about her?

It's not long before their sizzling attraction leads to smoking-hot kisses. But as the days get shorter, Anna must decide if she's found a new road to happiness, or just taken a detour.

My Review:

I just adore the way that Shannon Stacey writes contemporary romance and this book is no exception. This story is fun and heartwarming and I found it highly entertaining.

Anna is high-strung, high-stressed, and entirely too uptight to fit in to the relaxed atmosphere of lake life. She lives by the never-ending to-do lists on her fridge and ever-present cell phone. 

Cam has lived on the lake for 4 years and embraces the lifestyle in full. He's okay just sitting on the dock for hours on end. His father died of a sudden heart-attack and it was a wake-up call for him and the life he was living as a lawyer. This is his new lifestyle now and he loves it.

Together, they drive each other nuts, but it makes for some really fun reading and some snappy dialogue that is extremely enjoyable. I liked how these two very different people found each other and how to get along. The entire book is just fabulous and the setting perfect for a fun read. I loved EVERYTHING about this one. I had no idea how it was going to end, but *sigh* Stacey pulled it off perfectly.

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