Monthly Archives: March 2011

The Ideal Man, by Julie Garwood


Release Date August 9th, 2011

from the publisher:

Dr. Ellie Sullivan has just completed her residency at a large urban hospital. While jogging in a park nearby, she witnesses the shooting of an FBI agent in pursuit of wanted criminals, a couple identified as the Landrys. The only person to see the shooter’s face, Ellie is suddenly at the center of a criminal investigation.

Agent Max Daniels takes over the Landry case. A no-nonsense lawman, he’s definitely not the ideal man that Ellie has always imagined, yet she’s attracted to him in a way she can’t explain.

Ellie heads home to Winston Falls, South Carolina, to attend her sister’s wedding. Shortly after she arrives, though, she receives a surprise visitor: Max Daniels. The Landrys have been captured, and she’ll be called to testify. But they’ve been captured before, and each time the witnesses are scared into silence—or disappear before they can take the stand. Max vows to be Ellie’s shadow until the trial, and it isn’t long before sparks fly

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This was my first Julie Garwood novel. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good either.

My first reading loves are thrillers/crime drama and Paranormal and Romantic Suspense. The premise of this novel sounded wonderful, but it was heavy on the relationship and lacking in the suspense and plotting.

Julie Garwood writes very well, I enjoyed her descriptions of people and places, it wasn’t an overly wordy novel, which I like. I can’t entirely put my finger on why this novel bothered me. Our heroine Ellie is a prodigy, gorgeous and the best at what she does, trauma Surgery. She didn’t have any flaws that were portrayed, other than being a doormat for her family.
The hero Max,was OK. Nothing particularly awesome about him, he was sexy, gruff and demanding.

The climax of this story was over and done with in two pages.
There were two congruent villains. One, a creep who has been stalking her since she was 11, and the new hit man after she witnessed an FBI agent getting shot.

It was too much. Had the plot just been about one or the other and explored further it would have been better. As it was, I felt disconnected to the heroine, and only slightly sympathetic to the beating she received from her stalker when she was 12. The hit man plot was a joke for the most part.

I would likely read more by this author, but probably not after I read more reviews.

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Spice ‘n’ Solace, by K.C Burns


From the Publisher:

Every year, Jathan One-Moon faces increasing pressure that he marry and have children. What Jathan really wants is a male mate that can enjoy both playful sex and his more dominant nature. To tame his stress, Jathan orders a male escort from Spice ‘n’ Solace, the premier male brothel in the Galactic Alliance—and is thrilled to be sent a man whose air of innocence and obvious desire for Jathan arouse him like never before.

Jathan doesn’t know he has mistaken Kazha Deinos, the owner of Spice ‘n’ Solace, as his escort. Kaz doesn’t intend to pleasure Jathan personally, but his powerful masculinity is irresistible. Kaz has dreamed of a man who’d take charge and indulge his hidden cravings—a man just like Jathan.

With their explosive passion and unexpected tenderness, Jathan and Kaz soon want to stay together—if Jathan’s position and Kaz’s secrets don’t tear them apart…

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Occasionally, I find myself needing something different to read.  Something without vampires, werewolves, or funny and witty dialogue.  I saw this book listed on http://www.netgalley.com and decided to give it a go.  I’m glad that I did.  I have never read a Male-Male romance, but it wasn’t all that different from reading straight erotica/romance.  At least to me.  Love is love. Regardless of who is doing the sexing.

4 Stars for most of the book, but about 2 stars for the rushed ending.
The plot and pacing were well done, the characters were well drawn and I enjoyed reading about them. I was invested in their happiness. Kaz and Jathan were hot as hell.  I loved Jathan’s dominating ways, and so did Kaz.

This was a novella, so the world wasn’t as deep as it could have been, but the side characters were surprisingly well thought out for such short roles.

I just wish the ending wasn’t so easily attained and rushed for their HEA (Happily Ever After) . This was a darker, more sinister world, and the ending was much to rainbow for me.

However, I would read more by this author, and I hope that she re-visits this world.

Trace of Fever by Lori Foster


From the publisher:

Release Date May 31, 2011

CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE OF VENGEANCE AND DESIRE

Undercover mercenary Trace Rivers loves the adrenaline rush of a well-planned mission. First he’ll earn the trust of corrupt businessman Murray Coburn, then gather the proof he needs to shut down the man’s dirty smuggling operation. It’s a perfect scheme—until Coburn’s long-lost daughter saunters in with her own deadly plan for revenge.

With a smile like an angel and fire in her eyes, Priscilla Patterson isn’t who she seems to be. But neither is the gorgeous bodyguard who ignites all her senses. Joining forces to plot Coburn’s downfall, Priss and Trace must fight the undeniable heat between them. For one wrong move, one lingering embrace, will expose them to the wrath of a merciless opponent…

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3.5/5
We first meet Trace in [book:When You Dare|9758743] after his sister is rescued from Sex traffickers by Dare. Driven by his need to rid the world of these vile scumbags  who sell women to the highest bidder, he goes undercover and infiltrates a sex trade organization.

He proves himself invaluable and capable to the boss Murray, and finds himself in a right hand man position.

Our heroine Priscilla was a conundrum for me.  On one hand she portrayed the fierce ass kicker; and on the other hand, she played the virginal, sheltered, but mouthy woman.  I felt like she was a schizo.

While I loved Trace, I didn’t love Priss. There were multiple instances of the classic “too stupid to live” that just annoy me in books.  Where the heroine defies common sense and charges into the fray and will most likely end up dead if she isn’t saved by someone else :insert eye roll here:

The plot was OK, it wasn’t a suspense plot, more of a “will they kill him or not” plot.  There were a few twists coming you don’t see until the end, and that was interesting.

I enjoyed seeing Dare and Molly, Chris and Matt, the dogs and Alani and Jackson.

I don’t want to go into much more, the writing is solid, I enjoy the way Lori Foster tells a story.

I also like the way she did Trace and Priss’s romance/love.  It didn’t feel rushed, even though it was only a few days they were together.

Big Release Day!


Eternal Rider by Larissa Ione

They are here. They ride. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

His name is Ares, and the fate of mankind rests on his powerful shoulders. If he falls to the forces of evil, the world falls too. As one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, he is far stronger than any mortal, but even he cannot fight his destiny forever. Not when his own brother plots against him.

Yet there is one last hope. Gifted in a way other humans can’t-or won’t-understand, Cara Thornhart is the key to both this Horseman’s safety and his doom. But involving Cara will prove treacherous, even beyond the maddening, dangerous desire that seizes them the moment they meet. For staving off eternal darkness could have a staggering cost: Cara’s life

Lover Unleashed by J.R Ward

From the Publisher:

Payne, twin sister of Vishous, is cut from the same dark, warrior cloth as her brother: A fighter by nature, and a maverick when it comes to the traditional role of Chosen females, there is no place for her on the Far Side… and no role for her on the front lines of the war, either.

When she suffers a paralyzing injury, human surgeon Dr. Manuel Manello is called in to treat her as only he can- and he soon gets sucked into her dangerous, secret world. Although he never before believed in things that go bump in the night- like vampires- he finds himself more than willing to be seduced by the powerful female who marks both his body and his soul.

As the two find so much more than an erotic connection, the human and vampire worlds collide … just as a centuries old score catches up with Payne and puts both her love and her life in deadly jeopardy

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I have mixed feelings on the Warden books.  I’m afraid to read Lover Unleashed.  I have it here, I’m about to crack it open.  I hope I don’t want to scream when I’m done =)

I can’t wait to read Eternal Rider by Larissa Ione.

Author ~ Carolyn Crane


Ever pick up a book and just think, “Wow, does this book sound…odd” But you figure, what the heck, you need something different, and this sure sounds like it fits the bill.  Not only is the book odd, but it’s weird in the most fantastic way possible, it was an extremely interesting, well thought out, and twisty read!  Author Carolyn Crane has some serious issues I tell you.  In order to come up with this psychological hit squad, and this world filled with mind bendingly awesome characters, she has to be half off her rocker I tell you!  I jest.  OK maybe not.  I don’t know her in real life, but the Disillusionist Series is just plain old awesomesauce!!!.   Did you know that if you were a hypochondriac and thought you were going to die of a brain star, and every day you pretty much end up in the ER with symptoms of impending doom, that you could work for Packard, the um Hero of our story, and you can “fix” the bad people in the world, by injecting your paranoia into another person?  Leaving yourself feeling euphoric, and the zingee feeling your craziness?  Well, you can! Sound weird?  It is!  But it’s sooooo cool!  You have got to read this Urban Fantasy series.  It will make you think, and it will make your heart pound, and it will fill your brain with mush.  Just sit back and enjoy seriously crazy people, and in time, you will feel like you are the sanest person alive =)

Now the second book in this jaw dropping series was a freaking killer!  What a great book.  It had me frantically turning pages, and then I get to the end of the novel and my lips hit the floor, and I screamed NOOOOOOOO!!  Oh my God NOOOOO!!!  Holy crap I can’t believe Carolyn Crane went there!   And in such a huge way!  Oh, the cliffhangers!!  No, nonnononononono!!!!

Yup, that pretty much sums up the second book in this freaktastic series.  No-one is who they seem, nothing is as it seems and my brain hurt.  In a good way.

I got my mom hooked on this series too, she called me after she was done the second novel and was all “What the fuck Erika?, What have you turned me onto?  What a crazy ride!”  then we proceeded to rehash the entire story ARC, and then got down to business talking about all the craziness of zinging.  Also, what we would like to zing into other people.  It was a hoot.

If you are a fan of Urban Fantasy, and coolness, with freaky characters and interesting plotting, then pick up this series, you won’t be sorry!

When you Dare, by Lori Foster


Date of Sale : April 26th, 2011

From the Publisher:

The tougher they are, the harder they fall…

Professional mercenary Dare Macintosh lives by one hard and fast rule: business should never be personal. If a cause appeals to him and the price is right, he’ll take the mission he’s offered. But then the lovely Molly Alexander asks him to help her track down the men who’d had her kidnapped—and for the first time, Dare’s tempted to combine work with pleasure.

Fiercely independent, Molly vows to trust no one until she’s uncovered the truth. Could the enemy be her powerful, estranged father? The ex-fiancé who still holds a grudge? Or the not-so-shy fan of her bestselling novels? As the danger heats up around them, the only anchor Molly has is Dare himself. But what she feels for him just might be the most frightening thing of all.

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status: Read from March 27 to 29, 2011

YES! Lori Foster is BACK! I’ve read a lot of books by this author, most I liked, some I didn’t. The ones I didn’t like (Impetuous, My Man Michael) are kicking up dust to this new series of uber sexy alpha men. Look, Look at the sexy cover! DELICIOUS!

Dare Mcintosh, a mercenary on a mission to rescue his best friends sister from the human traffickers of Mexico; stumbles upon a beaten, dirty and disheveled woman in the same holding shed as Alayni (the sister) His honor won’t allow him to leave her behind, so he rescues her as well. Complicated situation to say the least.
Dare is my kind of Alpha hero. Although He did seem a little too perfect, it worked for the story. He can boss me around in bed anytime!

Drugged and damaged, Molly Alexander comes to in the back of a strange van, with a scorchingly hot man in front of her, scared out of her mind, she struggles and kicks him in the face in an attempt to escape, and thus her introduction to Dare is complete.

Molly lacks self confidence in her appearance, but at least she didn’t fall victim to the Plain Jane gets the Hot Hero “just because” syndrome. Dare falls in love with all of her, especially her guts and brains (oh and the breasts… he’s a breast man LOL)

Molly Alexander is a Romantic Suspense author who has no idea why she was kidnapped.

This is a lighter romantic suspense novel, and was more relationship based than suspense based. Still, it was well written, and the characters were well drawn. I felt that the relationship aspect was done up right, with Dare not pressing Molly into a sexual relationship, and leaving it all up to her to decide when to take it to the next level.

While not extremely complicated in plotting, and I figured out who the villain was about midway through, this was still a good read. Nothing overly new, but good nonetheless.

I can’t wait to read the next one “Trace of Fear”

Mob Rules, by Cameron Haley


3 stars.  Originally read last September 2010.

Mob Rules was decent but it did lose my interest in places and it was hard for me to get into it at first. I do wonder if maybe it was just the timing, and not so much the book itself.  I might try and re-read just to see.
I enjoyed the main character appreciate books that have magic out in the open.  It was also interesting that Domino was already adept at Magic.  A lot of books the protag is just learning that they have superpowers or what have you, so that was cool.
One of the issues I had was that there weren’t a lot of secondary characters to help hold the story up. I didn’t really feel anything for Honey, and we didn’t get to know any of the other gangsters well enough to really feel invested

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Half way through the book, I was tired of how some of the magic was being played out. Too much, too often and I got bored.
I’m viewing Mob Rules as a starter book for the series.  I might give the second one a try.

Author ~ Heather Webber


I stumbled upon Heather Webber’s Lucy Valentine Series when I applied for an ARC of Truly, Madly and won.  I wasn’t sure what to expect, as I was fairly new to the Contemporary Romance genre.  This book, and subsequent series was a GEM!

From the publisher:

Lucy Valentine is as smart as can be, as single as you can get, and so not qualified to run a matchmaking service. But when her parents temporarily step down from the family business, Valentine, Inc., it’s Lucy’s turn to step up and help out—in the name of love.

Plus, her rent is due.

Here’s the problem: Lucy doesn’t have the knack for matchmaking. According to family legend, every Valentine has been blessed by Cupid with the ability to read “auras” and pair up perfect couples. But not Lucy. Her skills were zapped away years ago in an electrical surge, and now all she can do is find lost objects. What good is that in the matchmaking world? You’d be surprised. In a city like Boston, everyone’s looking for something. So when Lucy locates a missing wedding ring—on a dead body—she asks the sexy private eye who lives upstairs to help her solve the perfect crime. And who knows? Maybe she’ll find the perfect love while she’s at it

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Loved it! It was very Janet Evanovich/Charlotte Hughes. Fast, light, funny and interesting. I read it in one sitting in just a few hours. I love Lucy 🙂 She was great! I really felt connected to her, and that’s great author praise. I also enjoyed all the other characters. Sean, Dovie, her dad and mom were pretty freaking funny, Raphael etc.
The main premise is that the Valentines own a Matchmaking company and each Valentine posses some type of gift. Most Valentines can see aura’s and match people based on like auras. Lucy’s gift was altered when she was 14 and struck by lighting. She feels like the black sheep of the Valentine Family because she no longer see’s them.
There is humor, murder, and romance. A winning combination if you ask me.

I look forward to the next installment

From the Publisher:

The irrepressible star of Truly, Madly is back in business. This time, Lucy Valentine will go to the ends of the earth to find true love for her clients…and maybe even herself.

Lucy wants to breathe new life into her family’s Boston-based matchmaking company. But how? Even though she comes from a long line of ancestors blessed by Cupid with psychic abilities, a freak accident left Lucy with only one special skill: finding things. Car keys, socks in the dryer, needles in haystacks…and now, in a stroke of professional genius, lost loves!

It’s not long before Lucy’s on a winning streak, helping old flames reunite and create new sparks. Business is booming. But when Lucy finds herself involved in a possible case of murder, she realizes she’s in too deep. Enter Sean Donahue. Lucy’s handsome fire-fighter-turned private eye neighbor, Sean is just the man she needs to help her on the job. Could he also be the man she’s been looking for all along? When it comes to Valentine, Inc., falling in love is always serious business

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Such an adorable change of pace from what I have been reading. Lucy is a wonderful leading lady. The story is interesting, with a crazy stalker, a few lost loves, a missing persons case with the police department, and Sean. Lucy and Sean have some intense sexual chemistry 🙂 We see Em, and Marisol and go on a few stake outs trying to find evidence that Em’s fiance is a no good cheating loser…
We see a bit of Dovie, not as much as the first book, but it’s memorable. Can everyone say the Boston Globe? <grins> Same with her mom. Her dad and Raephael make a few appearances, and it’s funny, heartfelt and interesting with what transpires with her dad and family.
I can’t wait for Absolutely, Positively.

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