Thursday, January 31, 2013

Suddenly Series January Check-in.....

I didn't do so hot in January on taking charge of my series books.

So here are the results:

ONE book read: Venom by Jennifer Estep.
Obviously, I need to step up my game in February.
Seriously....not good!

The Series TBR

Old Series started before 2013 ( 24 series,  55 books):

  • Elder Races by Thea  Harrison: Serpent's Kiss, Oracle's Moon, Lord's Fall
  • Shadow Falls by C.C. Hunter: Whispers at Moonrise, Taken at Dusk, Awake at Dawn
  • Nightkeepers by Jessica Andersen: Magic Unchained, Spellfire
  • Abby Sinclair by Allison Pang: A Trace of Moonlight, A Sliver of Shadow
  • Lords of the Underworld by Gena Showalter: Darkest Surrender, Darkest Seduction
  • Elemental Assassin by Jennifer Estep: Venom, Tangled Threads, Spiders Revenge, By a Thread
  • Bounty Hunters by Lorie O'Clare: Run Wild, Stay Hungry, Play Dirty
  • Serendipity by Carly Phillips: Karma, Fated, Perfect Fit
  • Pride by Shelly Laurenston:The Beast in Him, The Mane Attraction, The Mane Squeeze, Beast Behaving Badly, Big Bad Beast, Bear Meets Girl, Wolf with Benefits
  • Alpha Pack by J.D. Tyler: Primal Law, Black Magic
  • Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs: Blood Bound, Iron Kissed, Bone Crossed, Silver Borne, River Marked, Frost Burned
  • Dark Ops by Catherine Mann: Protector, Guardian
  • Phoenix Rising by Joan Swan: Blaze
  • An Agent X Novel by Gina Robinson: Diamonds are Truly Forever
  • KGI by Maya Banks: Echoes at Dawn
  • Fast Track by Erin McCarthy: Jacked Up
  • Envy Chronicles by Joss Ware: Night Forbidden
  • Living In Eden by Michelle Rowen: The Demon in Me, That Old Black Magic
  • A-Tac by Dee Davis: Deep Disclosure, Deadly Dance
  • Devil's Bargain by Terri Garey: A Devil Named Desire
  • The League by Sherrilyn Kenyon: Born of Silence
  • Belador by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love: Alterant, the Curse
  • Edge by Eve Berlin: Desire's Edge, Temptation's Edge
  • Cut & Run by Abigail Roux: Stars & Stripes, 

New Series starting to read in 2013 ( 16 series, 61 books):

  • Fallen Angels by Cynthia Eden: Angel of Darkness, Angel Betrayed, Angel in Chains
  • Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews: Magic Bite, Magic Burns, Magic Strikes, Magic Bleeds, Magic Slays, Gunmetal Magic
  • The Inn Boonsboro Trilogy by Nora Roberts: The Next Always, The Last boyfriend, The Perfect Hope
  • Dragon Kin by G.A. Aiken: Dragon Actually, About a Dragon, What a Dragon Should Know, Last Dragon Standing, The Dragon Who Loved Me, How to Drive a Dragon Crazy
  • Bound by Magick by Lauren Dane: Hearts of Darkness, Chaos Burning, Going Under
  • Witches by Joey Hill: Something about Witches, In the company of Witches
  • Wizards of Nevermore by Michelle Bardsley: Never Again, Now or Never 
  • Brown Siblings by Lauren Dane: Laid Bare, Coming Undone, Inside Out, Never Enough, Laid Open
  • Sweet by Maya Banks: Sweet Surrender, Sweet Persuasion, Sweet Seduction, Sweet Temptation, Sweet Possession, Sweet Addiction
  • Mark of the Vampire by Laura Wright: Eternal Hunger, Eternal Kiss, Eternal Captive, Eternal Beast, Eternal Demon, Eternal Sin
  • Protector by Lisa Marie Rice: Into the Crossfire, Hotter than Wildfire, Nightfire
  • Disillusionists Trilogy by Carolyn Crane: Mind Games, Double Cross, Head Rush
  • Men In Uniform by Nina Bruhns: Red Heat, White Hot
  • Fall of Angels by Keary Taylor: Branded, Forsaken, Vindicated
  • Matter of Time by Mary Calmes: Book 1, book 2, book 3, book 4
  • One Night with Sole Regret by Olivia Cunning: Try Me, Tempt Me, Take Me, Touch Me

A Debt Owed A Promise Made by Destiny Blaine

Title: A Debt Owed  A Promise Made
Author: Destiny Blaine
My Rating: C+

Genre: Erotic Romantic Suspense
Series: -
Main Characters: Brooklyn and Dante
Release Date: January 2013
ISBN: ebook
Publisher: eXtasy Books
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: erotic

Story Overview:
Brooklyn is thirty-four years old. She works crime and narcotics, weapons intelligence, and she has handled top secret material for the Information Operations Center Analysis Group. She is quick to anger and quicker to draw a weapon. And prior to her husband’s death, she was in bed with the mob—a fact that didn’t change after his untimely demise.

Dante Mancini is public enemy number one. By all accounts, Dante is the most dangerous mob boss this country has ever seen. He makes his brother look like he was left on the monkey bars hanging upside down one too many times. Dante has two weaknesses, and only two—Brooklyn and her daughter.

After three years of increased organized crime activity, agents realize Dante won’t slip. He doesn’t trip and he damn sure won’t fall. Then again, some say Dante has already taken the most detrimental tumble of all. He is head-over-heels for a woman indebted to a government agency eager to collect what is owed.

Lucky for him, Dante is one step ahead of those who want to lock him up and misplace the key. And the woman he loves is prepared to protect him at any cost.

My Review:

I'll tell you right up front, this book confused the heck out of me. This is one of those books that you never quite know who the good guys or the bad guys are because it's constantly changing throughout the book. And that's the way that the book's been written. I think you're supposed to be confused for a lot of it. I think I was confused a bit too much though. All the back and forth just got to be too much especially when things were never explicitly explained. This book just went one step too far into the twists and turns and I never quite found my way out of the maze. But you know, I'm not real good with puzzles and keeping track of the details of who's who and how they're related to everyone in the story so my issues could have very easily have been my own.

But, if you are good at puzzles, then you might really enjoy this one....and actually understand ALL of it. LOL. Because of the twists and turns, this book definitely falls under the romantic suspense genre, but notice the THREE people on the cover...yep, there's a bit of the erotic thrown in too. There are several players within the book and to explain who they all are will give you spoilers. I did mention there are a lot of twists and turns, right? Most of those twists and turns come from the actual characters and their motives ....which I don't think for a single one of them stays the same at the end of the book as it was at the beginning. Seriously, not a single one. Twists and turns, people....there are a LOT of them! LOL!

The book is really well written. It flows really well and the characters are fabulous. Lots of depth to them. I didn't get quite as attached to Brooklyn as a character as I did to Dante, but that may be because she's developed a lot of close ties with some people that turned out to not be so great. I had a hard time trusting her, knowing that her judgement has been so flawed. It was really interesting in that regard. Dante on the other hand, yes there were some twists to his character too, but I liked him a lot.

It was definitely an interesting read and I'm anxious to read some other's views on it....just to see how bad I am with interpreting the intricate in's and out's of the suspense line. I have a feeling that in this case, I was just really bad about paying attention to the details. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Dirty Laundry by Heidi Cullinan

Title: Dirty Laundry
Author: Heidi Cullinan
My Rating: A-

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Series: Tucker Springs #3
Main Characters: Adam and Denver
Release Date: January 2013
ISBN: 978-1937551797
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: erotic

Story Overview:
The course of true love doesn’t always run clean. But sometimes getting dirty is half the fun.

Entomology grad student Adam Ellery meets Denver Rogers, a muscle-bound hunk of sexy, when Denver effortlessly dispatches the drunken frat boys harassing Adam at the Tucker Springs laundromat. Thanking him turns into flirting, and then, much to Adam’s delight, hot sex over the laundry table.

Though Denver’s job as a bouncer at a gay bar means he gets his pick of geek-sexy college twinks, he can’t get Adam out of his head. Adam seems to need the same rough play Denver does, and it’s damn hard to say no to such a perfect fit.

Trouble is, Adam isn’t just shy: he has obsessive compulsive disorder and clinical anxiety, conditions which have ruined past relationships. And while Denver might be able to bench-press a pile of grad students, he comes from a history of abuse and is terrified of getting his GED. Neither Denver nor Adam want to face their dirty laundry, but to stay together, they’re going to have to come clean.

This title is part of the Tucker Springs universe.

My Review:

You know, the great thing about this series are the unlikely heroes. These guys are not the epitome of masculinity and beauty that most heroes are, but that seems to make their stories that much more real, sweet, and romantic. I loved this story about Adam and Denver finding love.

Adam is a mess. He has crippling OCD, but over the years has figured out how to *almost* manage it. He can at least leave the house now. But recently he's been issued a setback after breaking up with his longtime boyfriend, Brad, which also meant he needed to find a new place to live. Any change in Adam's life is a big stressor and takes a lot of adjustment for him. He's in the middle of that when he's attacked by a group of drunk frat boys at the laundry-mat.

Denver is a huge guy. He works out a couple of hours a day and that shows. He's not one for relationships. He hooks up with guys and that's it, but when he saves Adam and subsequently hooks up with him, there's enough different about Adam (yes, that's his OCD showing) that it intrigues Denver.

Both of these guys have big flaws and it takes a while for them to come clean about those flaws with each other, but I loved the way that their relationship developed. At first, for both of them, it's all about the sex, but then it grows. I like that it grew more for Denver at first than Adam. You would think that it would be Adam who would become clingy/attached first, but it's not... And I really love the way that Denver recognizes and helps to control Adam's issues. Denver truly sees Adam and cares that he's comfortable (which isn't an easy thing for him to be). That made Denver's character such an amazing guy to me. I just loved how he was with Adam.

There are several little sub-stories to this book that just enhanced how good it was. There was Louisa, Adam's new friend. She was AWESOME, especially when she got all up in Denver's face. Adam needed her and her voice of reason. I like how Denver found to control Adam's issues in the bedroom...some great scenes here. Then there was Brad, Adam's ex...a necessary evil to help push the story forward. You aren't supposed to like him, but I thought he added some great levels to the story. 

Overall this was another great installment to the series and I loved getting to see glimpses of El from Second Hand.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Beach House No. 9 by Christie Ridgway

Title: Beach House No. 9
Author: Christie Ridgway
My Rating: B+

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Beach House #1
Main Characters: Jane and Griffin
Release Date: January 2013
ISBN: 9780373777402
Publisher: Harlequin
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
When book doctor Jane Pearson arrives at Griffin Lowell's beach house, she expects a brooding loner. After all, his agent hired her to help the reclusive war journalist write his stalled memoir. Instead, Jane finds a tanned, ocean-blue-eyed man in a Hawaiian shirt, hosting a beach party and surrounded by beauties. Faster than he can untie a bikini top, Griffin lets Jane know he doesn't want her. But she desperately needs this job and digs her toes in the sand. 

Griffin intends to spend the coming weeks at Beach House No. 9 taking refuge from his painful memories-and from the primly sexy book doctor who wants to bare his soul. But warm nights, moonlit walks and sultry kisses just may unlock both their guarded hearts....

My Review:
I really enjoyed this book. It was interesting to have a hero with PTSD who wasn't a soldier, but instead was an embedded journalist with the military. I liked that twist and I loved both of the characters of Jane and Griffin.

Jane is a very prim and proper professional. She's been hired to get Griffin back on track, having no idea what she's coming into. I loved how buttoned up she is but that she wears such girly shoes and feminine sexy underwear. I also REALLY, REALLY loved how much those facts threw Griffin off his game, because every time he thought he knew her and what she was going to do, she would do something to throw him off.

Griffin is suffering and trying his hardest to block him off from all the pain in his head. He went through some awful stuff while embedded and it's haunting him. He does things (i.e. constant noise and parties) just to keep things in his head at bay. Having Jane in his life is making him have to face up to some of those nightmares and he's not happy with that. He'd rather just renig on his writing contract than face up to all this stuff he needs to relive to write his memoir.

I liked the way that Christie Ridgway presented these two characters. Griffin is the pirate-like beach bum...completely jaded and unfeeling. Jane is prim and proper and should be scandalized by him. They were great characters and I found that I really was entertained by their story. 

There was also a side story of Griffin's sister and her three kids who drop into this idyllic place because she's headed for divorce from her husband who's suddenly had this huge 180 change in how he views his family. I LOVED Tess's story and found myself scouring the pages waiting for their parts just because I was so intrigued with what caused his change. Because there's never any doubt that this guy loved his family.

Overall, it made for a great read. I'm really excited to read the next two in the series and need to go back and read the novella prequel.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Series order:
*Beach House Beginnings (#.5)
*Beach House No. 9 (#1)...this review
*Bungalow Nights (#2)...releasing Feb 19
*The Love Shack (#3)...releasing Mar 26

Crazy Thing Called Love by Molly O'Keefe

Title: Crazy Thing Called Love
Author: Molly O'Keefe
My Rating: A+

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: #3
Main Characters: Maddy and Billy
Release Date: January 2013
ISBN: 978-0345533692
Publisher: Bantam
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview
In this poignant and deeply sensual new contemporary romance—perfect for readers of Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Rachel Gibson—Molly O’Keefe proves that lost loves don’t have to stay lost forever.
Dallas TV morning show host Madelyn Cornish is poised, perfect, and unflappable, from her glossy smile to her sleek professionalism. No one knows that her iron will guards a shattered heart and memories of a man she’s determined to lock out. Until that man shows up at a morning meeting like a bad dream: Billy Wilkins, sexy hockey superstar in a tailspin—still skating, still fighting, and still her ex-husband.
Now the producers want this poster child for bad behavior to undergo an on-air makeover, and Billy, who has nothing to lose, agrees to the project. It’s his only chance to get near Maddy again, and to fight for the right things this time around. He believes in the fire in Maddy’s whiskey eyes and the passion that ignites the air between them. This bad-boy heartbreaker wants a last shot to be redeemed by the only thing that matters: Maddy’s love.

My Review:
Flat out...I LOVED THIS BOOK! We've known Billy from the other books in this series and I've always really liked him, but had no idea what an incredible backstory he truly has. (If you haven't picked it up, I recommend that you read the novella by Molly O'Keefe that's included in the Naughty and Nice anthology. That novella chronicles what Maddy and Billy went through to get to their wedding when they were so young.)

Maddy and Billy have a LONG history. They met in a highly volatile situation when he was 12 and she was 10. From there they became friends and eventually lovers and then they got married. BUT Billy's family history isn't one to inspire the ability to foster a very young marriage. His parents were abusive and alcoholic. His sisters not much better. When he was drafted into the NHL, that was his out from this environment and he took Maddy with him. BUT neither knew how to handle a marriage as well as the pressures and fame that come from being in the NHL. It didn't take long for all of it to unravel.

I love the way this book is put together. There are tons of flashbacks throughout the book...and they are really perfectly done. It starts with the break-up of their marriage, then moves to where they are today. Maddy is the morning host on a Dallas talk show. Billy is causing havoc for his new NHL team in Dallas, fostering his bad boy/enforcer image. They've been divorced for 14 years and just recently ran into each other (a scene from one of the other books) for the first time. The flashbacks slowly move back through time, showing tiny snippets of Maddy and Billy's life when they were hopelessly in love. What isn't revealed until the very end (final flashback) is how Billy got his scar which plays a big part of how he's perceived. I cannot tell you how well all of this was done. Honestly, this book was completely riveting. I could not read fast enough.

The thing that there is no doubt about is that Maddy and Billy were definitely in love and way too young to get married. As they get to know each other again, it becomes quickly apparent that love hasn't changed. What has changed is their ability to trust each other and that love. When they were young, it was that trust in their love that let them move forward with their marriage, although everyone told them it wouldn't work. They thought because they were in love, it was infallible. Unfortunately, they quickly discovered that wasn't the case. Even with love, they couldn't make it work and it was devastating to both of them. They absolutely don't want to put themselves out there for that kind of hurt again. It's truly an interesting twist for a romance novel. Usually in romance, there tends to be a "love conquers all" kind of theme. This book goes against that, but that makes it so much deeper emotionally. 

I'm telling you, this is a fantastic book! Such an amazing love story and definitely an early contender for my best of 2013 list. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

Top Off Tuesday: Always by Carol Rose

Is there anything sexier than a guy taking off a suit? 

Always by Carol Rose
(FREE on Amazon)

Story Overview:
Elinor Prescott has come home at Oakleigh, the gracious antebellum mansion that was home to generations of her Southern family. But the beautiful old house is a near-ruin and she can't affor to restore it. Elinor hopes to find a buyer who will cherish the home as she does. But she has one rule--she won't sell to handsome, self-made millionaire Cole Whittier.

Cole has the locals upset over his plans to build a factory nearby and Elinor's leading the opposition. He's got a fight on his hands to convince the stubborn beauty of the merits of his plans--and of everything else he discovers he wants to offer her.

It's up to Cole to persuade Elinor to see things from his perspective. The sexy industrialist is convinced that Elinor is well worth winning over. 

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 Diana from Book of Secrets for creating this 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.

Monday, January 28, 2013

How to Misbehave by Ruthie Knox

Title:  How To Misbehave
Author: Ruthie Knox
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Camelot #1
Main Characters: Amber and Tony
Release Date: January 2013
Publisher: Random House Loveswept
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
What woman can resist a hot man in a hard hat? Beloved author Ruthie Knox kicks off her new Camelot series with this deliciously sexy original novella, in which a good girl learns how to misbehave . . . with all her heart.

As program director for the Camelot Community Center, Amber Clark knows how to keep her cool. That is, until a sudden tornado warning forces her to take shelter in a darkened basement with a hunk of man whose sex appeal green lights her every fantasy. With a voice that would melt chocolate, he asks her if she is okay. Now she’s hot all over and wondering: How does a girl make a move?

Building contractor Tony Mazzara was just looking to escape nature’s fury. Instead, he finds himself all tangled up with lovely Amber. Sweet and sexy, she’s ready to unleash her wild side. Their mutual desire reaches a fever pitch and creates a storm of its own—unexpected, powerful, and unforgettable. But is it bigger than Tony can handle? Can he let go of painful memories and let the force of this remarkable woman show him a future he never dreamed existed?

My Review:

This book is a perfect example of why I love contemporary romance. I loved this book. It's not really long and it honestly doesn't cover a huge amount of time, but what's here is perfect and sweet and romantic and so incredibly sexy. I loved everything about this book!

Tony was just the perfect mix of take charge alpha and wounded, angsty guy who thinks the heroine can do better than him. I loved his character and his story and the fact that the dark scared him. I loved how Amber handled him, although she wasn't exactly comfortable with what she had to do/how she had to act, she was so strong when she knew they both needed it. I loved that he made her become a better, stronger person than she would normally be. The tornado was just the perfect start to this story and romance.

And that's before we get to the sex...oh my. Ruthie knows how to write some hot sex. Whoa...this book was hot. I loved when Tony got Amber to doing the dirty talk for him and how much that turned him on. Between that and every time he called her "bunny" just melted my heart a little bit.  Oh, and her history with sex and other can you not feel for this poor girl?!? She deserves a hottie like Tony to take care of her in bed. 

Can you tell I liked it?? BUY THIS BOOK!! I think you'll like it too. Just the perfect mix of fun and romance and sexy. LOVED IT!! I can't wait to read the other two in this series (Amber's siblings are the focus of the other two).

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.