Thursday, February 28, 2013

The One That Got Away by Rhianne Aile and Madeleine Urban

Title: The One That Got Away
Author: Madeleine Urban & Rhianne Aile
My Rating: A 

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Series: -
Main Characters: Trace and David
Release Date: December 2009
ISBN: 978-1615810857
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
When David Carmichael suffers a migraine and then a broken shoulder, Trace Jackson, his best friend, simply moves in to take care of him. Their easy camaraderie continues with no problems until David discovers an undercurrent of heat and tension flowing between them. Despite knowing his best friend is straight, David is slowly falling in love. What he doesn't know is that Trace is struggling with a similar discovery. Trace has never desired another man before. He's a ladies' man with quite the reputation, considered a top prize around town. But his close, treasured friendship with David makes the emotion and arousal growing between them irresistible. Soothing David's doubts, Trace makes it clear that he wants to know if they can make it work. Because Trace is sure he wouldn't love another man -- that's not the issue. He just loves David.

My Review:
This is another one of those books that I picked up after reading J9's review of it on The Book Vixen....once again, she nailed it in her review. I loved this book!

David and Trace have been best friends forever. They are both reporters for rival newspapers, but they've never let that interfere with their friendship. When David calls Trace for help when he develops a migraine, Trace immediately knows how debilitating that is for him and drops everything to come and help. But when the migraine becomes too much for David, he passes out in the bathroom, breaking his collar bone on his right arm in the fall. Trace never even questions that David needs his help (he can't even unbutton his pants to go to the bathroom), he just automatically moves right in to help.

I love how in synch these guys are. They've been friends forever and when Trace moves in, things just settle into an easy relaxed routine for them. David only has one bed (and a super-lumpy couch), but the bed is plenty's a king size, so they sleep together too. They're friends. They're close friends. It's simple and relaxed...until suddenly things start to change as the days and weeks go by. 

I love a friends to lovers trope and this one was done so perfectly. The romantic relationship develops extremely slowly. Trace is not gay. He's never even been bi-curious, but as they become closer, they come to mean even more to each other. They both agree though that nothing is more important than their friendship. I love how honest they were with each other about what's going on. The friendship is more important than anything else here and that's why they move into the romance side so slowly. It made for a really romantic story. 

I really loved both of these characters. David is gay, but hasn't dated much lately. He's at the point in his life where he'd rather not do anything if it just means a meaningless one night stand. Trace is a notorious ladies' man, but he doesn't do relationships...until David. Trace is an amazing caregiver. He just wants to take care of David. He's especially awesome when things begin to heat up between the two of them. He's a naturally flirtatious guy and when he turns that on David, then David isn't really sure what to do with him since Trace is straight. It made for some really sweet moments. 

Trace has a cat who's feeling the neglect since he moved in to take care of David. I loved the little details the cat added to the story. Her commitment to David is awesome! Everything about this story was just sweet and romantic and so much fun to read. This is one of those books that just leaves you smiling because it works so well. I highly recommend!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Grave Dance (audiobook) by Kalayna Price

Title:  Grave Dance
Author: Kalayna Price
Narrator: Emily Durante
My Rating: A-

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Alex Craft #2
Main Characters: Alex
Release Date: July 2011
Publisher: Tantor Media
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: mild

Story Overview:
After a month spent recovering from a vicious fight with a sorcerer, grave witch Alex Craft is ready to get back to solving murders by raising the dead. With her love life in turmoil thanks to the disappearance of Fae Investigation Bureau agent Falin Andrews and a shocking "L" word confession from Death himself, Alex is eager for the distractions of work. But her new case turns out to be a deadly challenge.The police hire Alex to consult on a particularly strange investigation in the nature preserve south of Nekros City. The strange part: There are no corpses, only fragments of them. A serial killer is potentially on the loose, and Alex has no way to raise a shade without a body, so she'll have to rely on the magic of others to find leads. But as she begins investigating, a creature born of the darkest magic comes after her. Someone very powerful wants to make sure the only thing she finds is a dead end-her own.

My Review:
I'll admit, this book took me forever to get through, but that's just because I haven't had much audio time this month. The problem was, I also have it in print and I can't tell you how many times I picked up the print book to finish it. But I hate to waste my audiobooks like that, so I stuck with it and it was so worth it. Emily Durante's narration of these books is just phenomenal. I love the inflections she uses on the voices...just perfection!

This book was the second installment of the series...and I ADORE this series. It's so original and so creative. I really just love it. Alex is a Grave Witch which means she can communicate with the souls of the dead, but it comes at a huge physical cost to her. She's losing her eyesight and seems to be getting progressively colder throughout these books. Every time she uses her gift, she seems to become less a part of this world. 

But, you know, as if that wasn't stressful enough, Alex has a WHOLE lot of other things going on that came at the end of book #1................ don't continue reading if you don't want spoilers from book #1!
*She's learned that she's at least part Fae and that she may have inherited part of the Fae kingdom which puts her in the eyesights of the other Fae rulers.
*She has the romantic interest of two men.....NEITHER of whom are actually available. There's Falin who belongs to the Winter Queen as her lover and assassin. Then there's Death, who is, you know...Death, so that kind of makes him unavailable too. 
*Her childhood friend is back, Rhianna, but just a whisper of what she used to be after being imprisoned in Fae for 200 years. 
*Her landlord, Caleb, is also Fae, but he's an independent from the Fae courts. But having Alex in his home has brought him under attack too. 
*Then there's the whole investigation into the murdered feet and constructs that keep showing up. 

Yeah, Alex is dealing with a lot, but I love her character. She goes into everything with a willingness that most people wouldn't have. She's scared and worried and not a person to jump into adventure, but it keeps coming at her and she keeps attacking back. She just does it and you can't help but love her for it. I can't wait to jump into book #3's good!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

One Night with a Cowboy by Cat Johnson

Title:  One Night with a Cowboy
Author: Cat Johnson
My Rating: A++

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Cowboy Nights #1
Main Characters: Becca and Tucker
Release Date: February 2013
ISBN: 978-0758285386
Publisher: Kensington
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:

One Sweet Ride. . .
Oh yeah. A single look at the leggy blonde in the stands and Tucker Jenkins is ready to buck all night long. It's time to forget all about his cheating ex and his usual hands off policy. 

One Hot Night. . .

Becca Hart is an East Coast professor. Not a buckle bunny. But no degree can prepare her for the moves of the sexy bull rider she hooks up with at her first rodeo. . .or the shock of finding him at her first Oklahoma State University staff meeting. 

One Happy Ending. . .

Tuck knows it's all about holding on, no matter how wild the ride. Now he just has to convince Becca that a rough start out of the chute doesn't mean they aren't a smokin' combination. . .

My Review:
There are certain things that I really love in books. I'll admit, I've only read one other book of Cat Johnson's and she has no clue who I am, but I swear she wrote this book personally FOR ME!

Things I love:
*College campus setting....Yep, and not only is this set on a college campus, but it's set on a college campus in the Southwest....Oklahoma State University to be exact. Oh yeah! This is almost as good as using Texas Tech University as a setting. ;o)

*Hot cowboy hero...when Becca and Tucker meet, he's actually in a rodeo as a bull rider. He plucks her and her sister out of the stands to come down on the floor and watch. One word....chaps. *sigh* I'm a Texas girl...I know what chaps can do for a guy and I loved that Becca recognized that too! hehe.

*Hot sexy soldier hero... I know, I hear you. You're sitting there going "what?" this book is about a cowboy, not a soldier. This is the brilliance of Cat's book....HE'S BOTH. OMG, I swore I swooned when I realized it. Tucker used to run the bull-riding circuit full time, but he's thirty now and just really does it as a hobby when there's a rodeo near home. In his real job, he's an Army soldier. Right now, he's working at OSU as an ROTC yep, he's working right alongside Becca, who's an English professor.

This book was so good. It starts off incredibly hot with the one night stand between Tuck and Becca. She's in town for one night while she interviews for the job at OSU. She thinks he lives the nomadic life of the rodeo....they don't get deep when they meet, but they get SUPER sexy...this one night takes up about 25% of the book. Yeah, they start off with a bang, but both of these characters have recently come off heartbreaking breakups and neither wants more right now, although they both are more emotionally affected by that night than they'd like to admit. 

Then they realize, a couple of months later, that they work together and OSU has a no-fraternization between employees policy. They're stuck, but can't resist the draw to each other. Tucker realizes how dangerous things are between them (emotionally and career-wise) before Becca does and he takes extreme measures to save her job. The last 15% of this book killed suspenseful and stressful and emotional. At one point, I literally was bawling. This book is soooo good! I absolutely LOVED it! I bought the paperback version and plan to re-read it again...SOON!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review (and after I read it and fell in love with it, I went out and bought a print copy for my keeper shelf).

Top Off Tuesday: Slow Burn by Anne Marsh

hmmm, I do love a sexy fireman...

Slow Burn by Anne Marsh
releasing March 26, 2013

Story Overview:
It’s not every man who will risk his life, leaping into the flames of a wildland inferno. And it’s not every woman who will love him…

He’s Feeling The Heat

Evan Donovan is a big muscled giant of a man, whose size and strength make him uniquely qualified to be a smoke jumper. No matter how great or how treacherous the challenge, he gets the job done. But when he agrees to look in on a friend’s ex-wife after a suspicious brushfire, Evan learns that some jobs are too hot to handle. Especially when it involves a scorchingly sexy woman…

She’s Playing With Fire

Faye Duncan is a photographer on a mission, shooting fires for a magazine. But her first encounter with a wildfire isn’t nearly as wild as her first night with Evan Donovan. The moment she meets the bigger-than-life hero, the sparks begin to fly. But things really catch fire when Evan learns she may have taken a photo of the arsonist setting the fires. Evan is determined to keep Faye safe. But if he expects her to trust him with her life, he’ll have to open up his heart—even if someone gets burned…

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, February 25, 2013

Edge of Dawn by Lara Adrian

Title:  Edge of Dawn
Author: Lara Adrian
My Rating: A

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Midnight Breeds #11
Main Characters: Mira and Kellan
Release Date: February 2013
Publisher: Random House
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Twenty years after the terror of First Dawn—when mankind learned that vampires lived secretly among them—the threat of violence reigns as the two species struggle to coexist. The only group preserving the fragile harmony is the Order, an elite cadre of Breed warriors dedicated to protecting humans and vampires alike. And in this precarious world of torn loyalties and shattered trust, Mira, a fiery squad captain, finds that every fight bears an intensely personal cost.

Raised among the Order, Mira has always believed in the warrior’s code of swift—and even lethal—justice. But the one thing she desires more than the Order’s hard-won acceptance is Kellan Archer, a sexy but troubled Breed fighter. In love with him since childhood, Mira once broke through his tough exterior during an unexpected night of rapture, but the next day he mysteriously disappeared, never to return.

Kellan didn’t think he would ever see Mira again—or have to confront the truth of why he left. After abandoning the Order years ago, he now leads a band of human rebels intent on carrying out their own vigilante rule of law. Yet a high-profile kidnapping assignment brings him face-to-face with the past he sought to avoid, and the striking woman he has tried desperately to forget. And as tensions mount and the risk of bloodshed grows, Kellan and Mira must take sides—between the competing missions that dominate their lives, and the electrifying passion that claims their hearts.

My Review:
I'll admit that I was shocked when I heard that Lara Adrian was going to move her Breeds series twenty years into the future. Why did I worry? OMG, I loved this book and I really, really love the new generation of Breeds in the Order.

This book is about Mira and Kellan. We got to seem them as children come into the Order family, so it was interesting to see how things have gone for them for the last twenty years. They were almost immediate friends as kids and as they grew up, they became more...until the night before Kellan died when they finally consummated their relationship.

When the story begins, Kellan's been dead for eight years and it's the anniversary of that death, which Mira still has issues with. She can't move past his loss, especially knowing that the rebel forces which caused it are still out there. That night, she goes crazy on one of those rebels and is taken to task and demoted by Lucan (yes, he's still in charge...yay!! you still get to see all the Breeds from the previous books in this one!) Part of her punishment is that she has to go play babysitter to an eccentric scientist who is about to speak at a special conference. When she arrives to pick him up, he's in the process of being kidnapped by rebels and she gets caught up in that kidnapping....a kidnapping done by a group of rebels led by Kellan Archer, now known only as Bowman.

The story slowly unfolds as to what really happened with Kellan and what is really going on with him now. The more I learned, the more my heart broke for him and Mira. Her gift (her pupils serve as a crystal ball into the future) has always seemed to be more of a curse and that is definitely true when it comes to these two. 

There is never any doubt that these two love each other desperately. They were each other's first and only loves...I loved that about their relationship. But everything about them is doomed and your heart just breaks for them throughout the entire book. There is no way for them to come out of this intact...there's just no way. *ack* It made for such a good, non-stop emotional read. I loved that part of it. 

Then there is the whole background story going on. It's been twenty years since humans found out about the Breeds and that has not been  a calm twenty years. Lucan has had to take a heavy hand at times, but he's still having to play a HUGE political game. I loved the scenes between him and Dare, his son, about his approach to it all. I cannot wait to get further into the next generation of Breeds stories....they are already setting up to be so freaking good. Then there is the shocker at the end....OMG! Yes, we are dealing with a whole new set of bad guys and this should be really good. I can't wait...

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

How to Seduce an Angel in 10 Days by Saranna DeWylde

Title: How to Seduce an Angel in 10 Days
Author: Saranna DeWylde
My Rating: B+ 

Genre: Paranormal Romance 
Series: 10 Days, #3
Main Characters: Tally and Falcon
Release Date: February 2013
ISBN: 978-0758269171
Publisher: Kensington
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: erotic

Story Overview:

Drusilla “Tally” Tallow does. Both fallen and otherwise because she’s got ten days of Heavenly and Infernal Parole after knocking Falcon Cherrywood from his broom. All she wanted was to settle down with a nice warlock, have babies, and grow old together. But she’s got a bad habit of falling for the wrong warlock. She blames Cupid. Too bad her Heavenly Parole Officer is none other than the heart bandit himself—the newly appointed Cupid and current fixture in all her fantasies, Falcon Cherrywood.

After smiting Cupid with a fireball, Falcon Cherrywood must now play the Diapered Archer. He can’t think of anything more humiliating than flying around in pink wings shooting arrows into hopeless fools. Archery was never his strong suit and Falcon doesn’t even believe in love. But more troubling are the feelings his sinfully irresistible parolee sets off in him—for only Tally has the power to make him believe in things better left to fairy tales, like Happily Ever After.

My Review:
This is #3 in this series, but these books work as stand-alones. I haven't read the other two in the series, although I will admit to being tempted by them several times. Well, when I started reading this book, I resisted until I hit the 15% point (yes, it's that fun and entertaining) and then I got online and ordered all three books (this one included) in print...because I definitely want to read them all and add them to my keeper shelf!

This book is number three in the series and the characters sound like they have been VERY involved in the story lines of the other two novels and are now living with the consequences of those events. For Tally, she's a pariah among her people. An evil infested her in the last book and she killed several people, some whom she loved dearly. It was all worked out, but no one trusts her now. 

One of those she killed was Falcon, one of her oldest and dearest friends. He's since come back, but now he's Cupid...a job that doesn't really suit him since he doesn't believe in love. 

Falcon and Tally have been friends for a long time and they've circled around their attraction for just about as long, but when the powers that be put Falcon in charge of Tally's probation, that puts them in prolonged contact with each other...and you know where that's going to go.

This is a fabulously fun world. Falcon is one of three triplets, so we have all those sexy guys. His sister and Tally's best friend just married another super-sexy guy. Falcon is Tally's parole officer on the angelic side, but she also has a parole officer from the hellish side too...the supersexy, Ethelred, who's having his own love problems thanks to Cupid's arrow. There's a whole lot of sexy going around....and they all love to give Falcon hell for his diaper and pink wings. It's definitely a fun book. 

But the flip side of that is Tally. This is a girl who's never had an easy go in life and isn't so sure that she deserves it. She's overcome with guilt over what happened before, even though it truly wasn't her fault. She doesn't feel like she deserves love and watching her overcome that through this book was fabulous. I loved watching her develop.

It truly is a fabulous book. I enjoyed every single minute of reading it and can't wait to read the other two in the series.

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