Sunday, 30 June 2013

Review: Entwined with You - Sylvia Day

From the moment I first met Gideon Cross, I recognised something in him that I needed. Something I couldn't resist. I also saw the dangerous and damaged soul inside - so much like my own. I was drawn to it. I needed him as surely as I needed my heart to beat.

No one knows how much he risked for me. How much I'd been threatened, or just how dark and desperate the shadow of our pasts would become.

Entwined by our secrets, we tried to defy the odds. We made our own rules and surrendered completely to the exquisite power of possession . . .

Crossfire Series:
Bared to You (2nd Read Review)
Reflected in You
Entwined with You
Captivated by You
One with You

Visit Sylvia Day's website for more information.

Review:
I have been a huge fan of the Crossfire series ever since I first read Bared to You so it feels like I had to wait forever for Entwined with You to finally be released. Gideon and Eva are my favourite dysfunctional couple and I have to admit to having a huge crush on Gideon so I was excited to spend more time with them both. I was a bit nervous when I discovered that the series had been extended from the trilogy originally planned into a five book series though, I was worried that there wouldn't be enough story to fill that many books and that we'd end up with a couple of filler books. It remains to be seen how much there is to learn in the next two books but I enjoyed this latest instalment and will be at the front of the queue for Captivated by You when it is released.

In the previous book we saw exactly how far Gideon is prepared to go to keep Eva safe but now he is facing the fallout. Not only does he have to try and come to terms with what he did but he also has to make sure nothing can be pinned on him and he can only hope that it doesn't change the way Eva looks at him. He is pushed into taking extreme measures to keep his secret and it shows just how far his and Eva's relationship has progressed when she is able to trust him no matter how bad things look. Their relationship still isn't perfect by a long shot but things are better than they ever have been. I really want to see the pair of them talk to each other more rather than constantly using sex as a way of communicating but it was good to see them start to get a handle on their jealousy issues and have a little faith in each other.

One thing I think I missed was the conflict that was so prevalent in previous books, there are things that happen that could have added more drama to the story but on the whole they were handled much more quickly and with a lot less stress than before. This is partly because of the growth that both Gideon and Eva have gone through but it does make for a less dramatic read and lets face it one of the reasons we love this couple so much is because of the drama! I never thought I'd hear myself say this (especially about an erotic romance novel) but I actually reached the point where I started to get bored of the constant sex scenes. As you'd expect from Sylvia Day the scenes were all well written and incredibly hot but there are only so many ways to describe inserting tab A into slot B before it starts to get a little repetitive. Gideon is still one of the sexiest literary heroes I've come across so I don't want to lose the sex scenes completely but I'm hoping to see a little less of them in the next book and I'd love more focus to be on the couple spending time together outside of the bedroom.

I was really pleased that we have finally started to learn a little more about Gideon's past, we are still left with plenty of questions about what happened to cause his nightmares but it was nice to get a few answers. I found myself getting incredibly annoyed with his mother in this book which surprised me because she has always seemed so nice before. Her attitude and behaviour was completely out of order this time around so it was nice to see Eva stand up for her man. I'm hoping for some kind of showdown with Eva's mother in the future too because she is driving me crazy with the way she stalks Eva, the way that everyone just panders to her only makes her behaviour worse. Then you have the side story with Cary that shocked me and made me want to shake some sense into him! I still can't quite believe what he's got himself mixed up in this time and I'm really hoping that he sorts himself out soon.

Although Entwined with You wasn't my favourite book in the series it was still a great book and I'm happy to have had my much needed Gideon fix. I'm glad that the story didn't end with a huge cliffhanger so as much as I'm looking forward to the next instalment I'm not quite as desperate to get my hands on it as I was this one. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for Gideon and Eva and I find myself feeling happy that we have another 2 books to look forward to.

Source: Received from Penguin in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

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Friday, 28 June 2013

Review: Summer in Napa - Marina Adair

When Alexis “Lexi” Moreau caught her husband, Jeff, sampling the sous-chef’s more intimate wares in their New York restaurant, she ran—all the way back to her hometown of St. Helena, California. Six months later, Lexi has no husband and no restaurant. But she does have a three-step plan: First, convert her grandmother’s bakery into her dream bistro. Second, ignore Grandma’s matchmaking attempts. And third, avoid Marco DeLuca, her ex’s commitment-phobic, distractingly sexy best friend.

In school Lexi was off-limits for Marco. After all, she was his buddy’s girl. But she’s still as smart and as gorgeous—and apparently as immune to his charms—as she used to be. Yet the simple fake romance they agree upon to dodge Lexi’s grandmother’s matchmaking plans soon turns deliciously complicated. And the sultry summer might bring together all the right ingredients for Marco to win the only woman he’s ever wanted.

St Helena Vineyard Series:
Kissing Under the Mistletoe
Summer in Napa
Autumn in the Vineyard (October 2013)
Future titles and release dates to be confirmed

Visit Marina Adair's website for more information

Review:
Lexie's dream was always to help her grandmother turn the family bakery into a bistro but instead she followed her husband to New York and helped him set up his dream restaurant. Then she caught her husband having an affair with their sous chef and had her heart broken. Leaving New York behind she has returned home to lick her wounds and to finally put her own dreams first. The last thing she wants is to meet another man so she is horrified by the number of dates her grandmother has lined up for her. When Marco, her friend from high school, offers to be her pretend boyfriend so that she can focus on creating a new menu for the bistro she is happy to take him up on the offer just to avoid the rest of the dates her grandmother has set up. Marco always had a thing for Lexi but when she started dating his best friend she became strictly off limits, now, even though she is divorced it goes against the man code to even think about dating her. Keeping things platonic is easier said than done though, the chemistry between them is hot enough to burn and she is one temptation he has trouble walking away from.

I loved Kissing Under the Mistletoe when I read it last year so Summer in Napa has been at the top of my wish list ever since and I'm happy to say that I loved this story just as much. When I'm in the mood for a sweet, sexy romance that has me laughing out loud one minute and swooning the next Marina Adair always delivers and I can't wait to carry on reading this series. I love this kind of small town romance, one where everyone knows each other's business and the whole town is sticking their noses into the couple's budding relationship. One of the best things about this series is the trio of meddling grandmothers who get up to such crazy things that it's hilarious to read about. I also absolutely love the banter between Marco and his brothers, they tease each other mercilessly but when it comes down to it they have each other's backs and anybody would be a fool to cross them.

Lexi is a fabulous character, she is still smarting from her ex-husband's betrayal and is embarrassed that she has come home with her tail between her legs but she doesn't let that stop her from chasing her dreams. Jeff didn't just cheat on her though, he is still causing her problems even after their divorce and Lexi is livid when she finds out what he has been up to. Things keep kicking Lexi while she is down but she just gets back up and carries on fighting. There are a few times when her insecurities get the better of her but that was completely understandable and between Marco and her best friend Abby they always gave her the push she needed. Marco was a swoon worthy hero, he has a reputation as a playboy but he isn't actually as bad as he seems and he has never lied to anyone or led them on. He went a bit wild after his parents died and his family still tend to think of him as the screw up he was as a teenager but in reality he is a hard working business man who takes his job very seriously. He didn't want to work in the family wine business but he has worked hard to open up his hotel and is determined to make a success of it. I really liked the way Lexi saw past his reputation and understood just how much effort he put in to his career. It was nice for Marco to finally have someone who believed in him and he offered her the same support in return. As much as I loved them both as individuals I liked them even more as a couple, they are so cute together and they really did make a great match.

I've already mentioned how much I loved their families and the other town characters but I can't forget to mention Marco's dog Wingman who added a lot of humour to the story. It was great to catch up with Gabe and Regan from the previous book and we've also been given a glimpse at future couples. After checking the author's website I was excited to see that Nate and Frankie are next, they have already shown how much they love to hate each other and I'm expecting their chemistry to be off the charts. The St Helena Vineyard series is so much fun to read and although the books do work well as stand alone stories I can highly recommend both instalments so far. Marina Adair is right up their with my favourite small town contemporary romance authors and I have to say that I'm enjoying this series as much as Jill Shalvis's Lucky Harbor books which is huge praise from me because I LOVE that series!

Source: Received from Amazon Vine in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Paperback / Kindle:

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Review: Rapture's Edge - J.T. Geissinger

SECRETS . . . In the hidden world that exists beside our own, a mirror world of ancient magic and elegant deceptions, a world of people who are so much more than they first appear, a war is brewing. Most of these Gifted people—the Ikati, a savage, sensual race of lethal predators—are content to hide behind human smiles, disguising their splendor in order to survive. But others are discontent. And they will hide no longer.

BETRAYALS . . . Eliana lives for two things only: vengeance on the man who killed her father, and seeing his dream of living in the open with humans come to pass. But that dream is far too dangerous for The Hunt, a group of elite Ikati assassins with one objective: eliminate her before she can expose their secrets to the world.

SEDUCTION . . . Demetrius is haunted by the memory of the woman he once loved. He will risk everything to save her from the killers on her tail…and convince her, before the ancient walls between two worlds crumble, that only together can they defeat their real enemy, a brilliant, cunning traitor far more deadly than either of them can guess.

Night Prowler Series:
Shadow's Edge
Edge of Oblivion
Rapture's Edge
Edge of Darkness (Fall 2013)
Further titles and release dates for this series are to be confirmed

Visit J.T. Geissinger's website for more information

Review:
Eliana was on the verge of falling in love with Demetrius until the day she found him standing over her father's dead body holding a gun and fled her colony in Rome with a small group of followers before he could come after her too. They have spent the last 3 years hiding in the catacombs in Paris and Eliana has been forced to take extreme measures to make sure they have enough money not just to survive but also to plot their revenge. What she doesn't realise is that Demetrius is innocent, he wasn't the one who killed her father and the betrayal actually came from much closer to home. In fact nothing is what she thought it was, her father wasn't the kind and benevolent king she knew him as and her enemies actually followed her to Paris. Demetrius has been looking for Eliana ever since she disappears but when he finally tracks her down will he be able to convince her of his innocence and help her uncover what is really going on within her group? Can Eliana put the pain from the past to one side long enough to actually listen to him?

I have been a huge fan of this series from the first book and I'm happy to confirm that the books just get better and better with every instalment. I have it on good authority from a friend of mine that this book can be read even if you haven't read the previous books but I would still personally recommend reading the series in order. Although each book focuses on a different couple there is a complex ongoing plot that threads throughout all of the stories and I think you will get more out of it if you read the books in the order they were written. This is a fantastic series though and one I'd highly recommend to anyone who likes their paranormal romance fast paced, packed with action and full of fabulous characters. Rapture's Edge is set 3 years on from the end of Edge of Oblivion and picks up the story of members of the newly discovered Rome colony of Ikati, we met these characters in the previous book and I have been looking forward to getting to know Eliana and Demetrius ever since.

This is one of those books that is very hard to put down once you've started it, we see things from both Eliana and Demetrius's points of view with the occasional chapter from Jenna's perspective (Jenna was the heroine from Shadow's Edge and anyone who has read that book will understand why her POV is so important). I love romances that are told from dual POVs, it really allows you to get inside both main character's heads and these are the kind of characters you want to spend time with. Eliana has been betrayed at every turn but she doesn't allow that to make her bitter, she has always fought to do the best for her people and no matter how much she has hated things she has been forced into she puts their needs above her own. When she does start to uncover what is really going on she is brave enough to stand up for herself and those she cares about, she isn't the kind of woman who is going to sit around and wait to be rescued - she would much rather use her abilities to protect herself. As a full blooded Ikati from a line of kings she is incredibly powerful but she has also worked hard to train as a fighter and she certainly knows how to use her abilities to her advantage in a fight.

Demetrius is a fantastic hero, he is honourable and brave and he loves Eliana deeply. He wasn't the one who killed her father but he refuses to betray the person who did it because he is sworn to protect them and they did it in self defence. Even though telling Eliana the truth would make it easier for her to forgive him he stands his ground and begs her to trust him. After what she witnessed trust doesn't come easy to her but the more time she spends with Demetrius and the more information she uncovers about her companions the more the things he has told her start to make sense. She pushed aside her love for him when she thought he was a murderer but being around him makes it impossible to resist the attraction she feels, especially when she starts to believe he may not have been plotting behind her back after all.

I don't want to say too much about the story because I'd hate to give spoilers so I'm just going to say I think it was the most action packed instalment of the series so far, there are fights, robberies, explosives, chases, bad guys who will make your skin crawl, funny moments, sexy moments and some really heart melting confessions of love that will make you swoon for Demetrius. I can't even begin to tell you how much I enjoyed Rapture's Edge and I can't wait to get my hands on Edge of Darkness when it is published later this year. J.T. Geissinger is proving herself a force to be reckoned with in the paranormal romance genre and I'm sure we're going to be seeing lots more of her in the future.

Source: Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Paperback / Kindle:

Rapture's Edge Blog Tour: Interview with J.T. Geissinger + International Giveaway


Today I'm really excited to be taking part in the blog tour for Rapture's Edge the third book in J.T. Geissinger's fabulous paranormal romance series. This is such a fantastic series and Rapture's Edge was my favourite book yet! I love the mix of Egyptian mythology, fast paced action scenes, sexy heroes and powerful heroines who know how to stand up for themselves. If you're a fan of paranormal romance and you've not discovered the Ikati yet then I can't recommend the books highly enough! I was lucky enough to get to interview J.T. Geissinger about her plans for the series (the interview doesn't contain spoilers so you can read it even if you're new to the series) but before I get to that I want to give you a bit more information about the Rapture's Edge.

SECRETS . . . In the hidden world that exists beside our own, a mirror world of ancient magic and elegant deceptions, a world of people who are so much more than they first appear, a war is brewing. Most of these Gifted people—the Ikati, a savage, sensual race of lethal predators—are content to hide behind human smiles, disguising their splendor in order to survive. But others are discontent. And they will hide no longer.

BETRAYALS . . . Eliana lives for two things only: vengeance on the man who killed her father, and seeing his dream of living in the open with humans come to pass. But that dream is far too dangerous for The Hunt, a group of elite Ikati assassins with one objective: eliminate her before she can expose their secrets to the world.

SEDUCTION . . . Demetrius is haunted by the memory of the woman he once loved. He will risk everything to save her from the killers on her tail…and convince her, before the ancient walls between two worlds crumble, that only together can they defeat their real enemy, a brilliant, cunning traitor far more deadly than either of them can guess.

Night Prowler Series:
Shadow's Edge
Edge of Oblivion
Rapture's Edge
Edge of Darkness (Fall 2013)
Further titles and release dates for this series are to be confirmed

You can also watch the book trailer below:



Author Bio:
J.T. Geissinger’s debut novel, Shadow’s Edge, was published in 2012 and was a #1 Amazon US and UK bestseller in fantasy romance and romance series. She has been nominated for the prestigious RITA® award from the Romance Writers of America for best paranormal romance for her second book in the Night Prowler series, Edge of Oblivion.

A life-long lover of reading and a self-professed “book addict,” she didn’t realize her dream of writing a novel until a milestone birthday forced her to take stock of her goals in life. Always believing the right time to commit to putting pen to paper would magically announce itself, it took waking up one cold January morning with a shiny new zero as the second number in her age to kick start her determination.

Starting on that very day, she wrote what would become Shadow’s Edge in a little over four months and submitted it to several literary agents. Nothing happened. Thinking that was the end of that but by no means willing to give up on her dreams of being published, she began work on a second manuscript.

Then, during a trip to Italy in honor of their 10th wedding anniversary and the honeymoon she and her husband never took, she received an email that would change her life. It was from an agent, Marlene Stringer of Stringer Literary, and it contained the three words every aspiring author longs to hear: “I loved it.”

Marlene sold the manuscript to Montlake Romance who published it six months later. Hitting the #1 Amazon bestseller lists within weeks of publication, Shadow’s Edge was book one of the Night Prowler novels. Book two, Edge of Oblivion, was published in October 2012 and will be followed by Rapture’s Edge in June 2013, and Edge of Darkness in fall 2013. There are six books total planned for the series.

Now I'd like to give a very warm welcome to J.T. and thank her for taking the time to answer my questions!

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1. Can you give us a brief outline of the Night Prowler series for anyone who hasn't come across the books before?

The Night Prowler series is a lavish, brutal fantasy romance mixing the tone of True Blood, royal intrigue of Twilight’s Volturi, and Christian conspiracies of The Da Vinci Code. It revolves around the Ikati, a race of beautiful, savage shape-shifters who live in seclusion in isolated colonies around the world. Bound by primeval bloodlines and a code of law that values secrecy and allegiance above all else, they have been hunted since the Inquisition by the Expurgari, an ancient order of assassins aligned with the Catholic Church.

2. I love reading about all different kinds of shifters but big cats are always particularly appealing, how did you come up with the idea for the Ikati?

It all started with a stray cat. One day an incredibly sleek, beautiful female cat appeared out of the blue, demanding a meal. She looks like a miniature panther, all black with bright yellow/green eyes. I fell in love.

This cat has an uncanny ability to disappear. One minute she’s there, looking at you as if she’s just about to say something, the next she’s gone—poof!—as if she was never there at all. It must be a feral cat trick, but it got me to thinking.

Two things occurred to me immediately: one, there are a lot of people who hate cats. Two: the Egyptians revered them. Put those two things together and mix in a big bowl, and you’ve got a race of cat shifters worshipped as gods by the ancient Egyptians who’ve had to hide because they’ve since been hunted by humanity. I spiced it up with some historical nuggets about Egypt, the Inquisition, witch hunts, religion, Rome…it goes on, but you get the idea.

3. How long did it take you to come up with the mythology for the Ikati and did you have to do a lot of research for your world?

There was extensive research into the cat worship cultures of ancient Egypt to set the stage for the first book in the series, Shadow’s Edge. I also do research on each location as I write every book because each one is set in a different locale that I typically haven’t visited. There was language research on Latin, French & Portugese, research on the Vatican and the history of the Catholic Church and how the pope lives his daily life, research on the Inquisition, Cleopatra, ancient Rome…yes, there was and still is a lot of research! Just today I did internet searches on available positions within the New York Times, how congress enacts laws, the Red Sox, ancient Aramaic (a dead language), the United Nations, and World War II prison camps.

4. Have you always known how the whole series will play out or do you prefer to see where the story takes you?

I know exactly where and how the series will end because there is an overall story arc that I’ve envisioned from the very beginning that I’ve threaded through each book. Within each novel there is room to play so the characters have freedom to breathe, but the overall arc was defined in advance, with all the themes I’m focusing on. I like a bit of chaos within my structure, if that makes sense.

5. Can you tell us how many books you have planned for the series? Any hints on who future couples might be or which other characters will get their own stories?

There will be a total of six books in the Night Prowler series. The final two will focus more on the ensemble cast of the first four books, but will still carry through the theme of a main couple and their HEA. Gregor MacGregor, an anti-hero from Rapture’s Edge, has proven to be a really popular character with readers, so I will be bringing him back, along with a few other main characters that I love.

I have a very specific message that I’m trying to convey with this series, (actually multiple messages), and hopefully by the time it’s finished you will be able to look back on the entirety and say, “Oh, wow! I see what she was doing!” That’s my hope, at least!

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Thanks so much for answering my questions J.T. I'm so excited to learn that I have another 3 books to look forward to! You can really tell how much research you've put into each of the books and I'm very curious to see how WWII prison camps, Aramaic and the UN tie into the next book!

Giveaway Details:

As part of the blog tour J.T. Geissinger is giving away a Kindle Fire HD (open to US residents only) and 3 signed copies of Rapture's Edge (open internationally). You can enter the giveaway using the rafflecopter widget below. Winners will be announced via rafflecopter and contacted directly by J.T. for her to arrange sending out the prizes.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

SEAL of Honor Blog Tour: Guest Post from Tonya Burrows


I'm thrilled to welcome Tonya Burrows to the blog today to celebrate the release of her debut novel SEAL of Honor. This is the first book in her romantic suspense series based on a team of ex-military guys who are now working in the private sector as hostage rescue experts. I'm going to admit the main thing that drew me to this book was the cover (come on girls who can resist abs like that?) but I'm happy to say that Gabe more than lived up to his cover image and Audrey was a fantastic heroine too. I'll be posting my full review later today but if you're a fan of military romances or romantic suspense you're not going to want to miss this one!

It’s a good thing Gabe Bristow lives and breathes the Navy SEAL credo, “the only easy day was yesterday,” because today, his life is unrecognizable. When his prestigious career comes to a crashing halt, he’s left with a bum leg and few prospects for employment that don’t include a desk.

That is, until he’s offered the chance to command a private hostage rescue team and free a wealthy American businessman from Colombian paramilitary rebels. It seems like a good deal—until he meets his new team: a drunk Cajun linguist, a boy-genius CIA threat analyst, an FBI negotiator with mob ties, a cowboy medic, and an EOD expert as volatile as the bombs he defuses. Oh, and who could forget the sexy, frustratingly impulsive Audrey Van Amee? She’s determined to help rescue her brother—or drive Gabe crazy. Whichever comes first.

As the death toll rises, Gabe’s team of delinquents must figure out how to work together long enough to save the day. Or, at least, not get themselves killed. Because Gabe’s finally found something worth living for, and God help him if he can’t bring her brother back alive.

HORNET Series:
SEAL of Honor
Titles and release dates of future books in the series to be confirmed

Author Bio:
Tonya Burrows | Writing has always been my one true love. I wrote my first novel-length story in 8th grade and haven't stopped since. I received a B.A. in creative writing from SUNY Oswego and I'm now working on a MFA in popular fiction at Seton Hill University.

When I'm not writing, I spend my time reading, painting (badly), exploring new places, and enjoying time with my family. Give me a good horror movie over a chick flick any day. (And, let's be honest, I'll take a bad horror movie too!) I'm a geek at heart and pledge my avid TV fandom to Supernatural and Doctor Who. I'm also a big fan of The Voice. What can I say? Guilty pleasure.

I share my life with two dogs and a ginormous cat. We live in a small town in PA, but I suffer from a bad case of wanderlust and usually end up moving someplace new every few years. Luckily, my animals are all excellent travel buddies.

Now please give a warm welcome to Tonya Burrows as she talks about where she gets inspiration for her characters and shares some of her favourite amusing quotes from SEAL of Honor.

Author Website: http://www.tonyaburrows.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/hornetseries | http://www.facebook.com/tonyaburrows
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/TonyaBurrows

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As an author, I’m always asked questions about how I do what I do. One of the questions I get the most is “where do your characters come from?” I never quite know how to answer that, but I’m going to try today.

So, the short answer? Dunno.

Longer answer? Really dunno.

Hah, told you I have a hard time answering that question.

Since I don’t understand how I do what I do any more than the next person, my characters often surprise me. I don’t consider myself particularly funny, but man, my characters say some hilarious things. It’s one of the things I love most about writing, so I thought it would be fun to share some of my favorite funny quotes from SEAL OF HONOR with you all.

In this first quote, Harvard and Jean-Luc are out in the jungles of Colombia, the middle of guerilla country, when they find two abandoned vehicles. Their exchange made me giggle-snort when I wrote it and had the other patrons of my favorite coffee shop eyeing me warily.

Harvard was out the door before Jean-Luc could stop him. He moved smoothly, kept his rifle at the ready, and cleared both vehicles, all quick, efficient, and quiet-like.
Maybe, Jean-Luc thought as he followed, they had all underestimated genius boy’s abilities. “Where did you learn to do that?”
“Call of Duty.”
Or maybe not.

In this next one, Gabe discovers some members of his team are not all that willing to accept orders:

“Bite me,” Ian said.
Oh, yeah. This was going to be fun. “Do I look like a fucking vampire, Reinhardt? And if you have a problem with my leadership…” Gabe turned, walked to a closet at the front of the plane, grabbed one of the parachutes he’d asked Quinn to pack, and tossed it to Ian. “Strap in. The door’s right there. Go find yourself a new job.”

Audrey, the heroine of SEAL OF HONOR, was always good for a laugh. She was never about to let poor Gabe have the last word, as proven by these next two quotes.

Gabe turned to Audrey. “Could you shoot a firearm and not hit me if the situation came down to that?
“I was born and raised in the South, honey, but I’m no southern belle. I shoot what I aim at,” she said in a tone so coated with sugar he was surprised her teeth didn’t rot. Then she flashed a smile as bright as that sinful yellow tank top she wore. “But it’s still up in the air whether I’ll aim at you or not.”

Scowling, fuming, he found clothes in the top drawer and yanked on stiff, brand new jeans in too dark a wash for his taste, forgoing both underwear and the soft red T-shirt.
“Uh, Gabe, maybe you should shower before—”
He sent a snarling, lethal glare over his shoulder that had quelled many a budding SEAL. But not Audrey. Her chin just hitched up in challenge.
“Well, sorry, but you look and smell like a caveman.” Planting a fist on one jutted hip, she glared right back at him. “But that doesn’t mean you get to act like one, too.”

And finally, even super-serious Quinn managed to get a few good shots in when the team got out of hand.

Quinn stood up fast, letting his chair clatter to the floor. “Tenhut!”
It would have been amusing to watch the former soldiers in the group snap to automatic attention if he wasn’t so pissed. Once a soldier, always a soldier.
Marcus, the fucking fed, just crossed his arms and scowled. “You military dudes really say that?”
“Yeah. Really. And if you guys have enough energy to bitch at each other like a bunch of nagging housewives, you have enough for some PT training. On the deck. Now!”

See? They’re an entertaining bunch, aren’t they?

So let me return to my original question. Where do my characters come from? The thing is, I have all these characters floating around inside my head and every once in a while, one steps forward and says, “write my story.” And so I do. I honestly don’t know where they come from—for the most part, I don’t base them on myself or people I know. They’re just there and have always been there, simply another part of me, as essential to me as my heart and lungs. And I hope they never leave, because then who would make me giggle-snort in the coffee shop?

Big thanks to Feeling Fictional for having me here today!

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Thanks for a fabulous guest post Tonya, you included some of my favourite quotes from the book. I loved the fact that Audrey wasn't the kind of heroine who was going to sit around and wait for a man to come and rescue her, she is determined to find her brother even when she can't find anyone willing to help her and as much as Gabe protects her at times she also protects him right back. I loved the banter between the guys in HORNET and I'm looking forward to spending more time with them all as the series continues.

So do you like the sound of SEAL of Honor? Have you already read it or will it be going on your wish list? Which is your favourite quote?

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Review: Flirting with Disaster - Ruthie Knox

In the latest eBook original novel in Ruthie Knox’s scorching-hot Camelot series, a no-strings fling looks an awful lot like falling in love—or flirting with disaster.

Fresh out of a fiasco of a marriage, Katie Clark has retreated to her hometown to start over. The new Katie is sophisticated, cavalier, and hell-bent on kicking butt at her job in her brother’s security firm. But on her first assignment—digging up the truth about the stalker threatening a world-famous singer-songwriter—Katie must endure the silent treatment from a stern but sexy partner who doesn’t want her help . . . or her company.

Sean Owens knows that if he opens his mouth around Katie, she’ll instantly remember him as the geeky kid who sat behind her in high school. Silence is golden, but he can’t keep quiet forever, not with Katie stampeding through their investigation. It’s time for Sean to step up and take control of the case, and his decade-old crush. If he can break through Katie’s newfound independence, they just might find they make a perfect team—on the road, on the job, and in bed.

Camelot Series:
How to Misbehave (Novella)
Along Came Trouble
Flirting with Disaster
Making it Last (Novella)

Visit Ruthie Knox's website for more information.

Review:
It's been two years since Katie's ex-husband walked out on her taking all of the money from their joint bank account with him. Her divorce went through months ago and Katie has been working hard to rebuild her life working with her brother Caleb at his security firm. She wants to be more than his office manager though and has finally convinced Caleb to let her take her first assignment as an agent. Judah is a famous rock star who has been receiving threatening messages and it is up to Katie to try and find out who is behind them and if his life is really at risk. Of course Caleb wouldn't send Katie off alone so he's partnered her with one of his best agents Sean. Sean has had a crush on Katie since he was a teenager but he gets so nervous around her that he literally can't get his mouth to work properly. Refusing to let her see him stutter Caleb is determined not to speak to Katie at all but as the case pushes them together he finds his attraction to her impossible to resist.

I've been a massive fan of Ruthie Knox ever since I read About Last Night last year and since then I have devoured everything that she has published. I think it is fair to say that I have a crush on all of her heroes but Sean may just be my new favourite (alongside Tom from Ride with Me anyway!). I have a bit of a thing for geeky guys and this stuttering hacker who loves sci-fi (and reads erotic novels) quickly stole my heart. Everyone thought Sean was just incredibly shy at school but it was his stutter that held him back and made him keep himself to himself. His mother only made his problems worse and it wasn't until he moved away from home that he finally got the treatment he needed and started to come out of his shell. Along with his best friend Mike he has used his hacking skills to create a successful internet security company and the only reason he is back in Camelot is to deal with his mother's estate. Something about being back in Camelot and the stress he is under after his mother's death is taking him straight back to his teenage years and bringing his stutter out in full force but it is noticeably worse when he is around Katie. He had a thing for Katie back in school but would never have had the courage to make a move on her but now they're both single and Caleb isn't sure how long he can deny the heat that his building between them. Sean may have a stutter but he is sexy as hell and it certainly doesn't stop him talking dirty once he gets over his shyness and decides to actually talk to Katie!

Katie has been through a lot thanks to her ex so she has lost faith in herself and her abilities, she is determined to reinvent herself into a woman who people will respect and take seriously though. She wants to prove to Caleb that she can be more than just his office manager even though she never got her college degree and when Judah requests her personally for his case it is the perfect opportunity for her to show Caleb what she is made of. She is attracted to Sean but confused by the way he blows so hot and cold with her, he won't talk to her for days at a time but then when Judah shows an interest in her Sean kisses her to make his claim. I have to admit if I'd been Katie there would have been times that I would have wanted to strangle Sean for the mixed messages he was sending. It was only the fact that the story was told from both of their points of view that saved him from coming across as a complete ass at times but because we get inside his head we get to see exactly how messed up and confused he is about his feelings and that just made me love him all the more. Katie is an expert at getting people to open up but Sean seems to be the one person she can't get a read on and she finds it incredibly frustrating.

The romance that builds up between Sean and Katie is incredibly sweet and believable, they have fantastic chemistry but they also have a deeper emotional connection as they both open up and share painful secrets from their pasts. Another thing I really enjoyed was catching up with the couples from Along Came Trouble (Caleb and Ellen plus Jamie and Carly) and seeing how their relationships have been progressing. I'm also very excited that Tony and Amber (from How to Misbehave) have a second novella coming out in July, their previous story was set quite a long time before the series actually starts so it will be good to catch up with them now that they've been married for years and have three children. Ruthie Knox is an expert at writing stories that are full of humour, intense emotions and very hot sex and Flirting with Disaster is no exception. Although this story works well as a standalone I guarantee you're going to want to go back and read the rest of the series, every single story has been one I've thoroughly enjoyed and I would recommend them all to contemporary romance fans.

Source: Received via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Kindle:

Friday, 21 June 2013

Review: Nail Art Sourcebook - Pansy Alexander-Potter & Mineko Sugita

With a gallery of over 500 designs, which you can copy yourself or take to a nail technician to execute professionally, The Nail Art Sourcebook offers plenty of inspiring ideas, from chic French manicures and metallic effects to graphics, florals and bejewelled masterpieces. Not only is nail art a great way to enhance your look for a special occasion or make a fashion statement, it's a fulfilling way to explore your creative potential. This book includes:
  • An introduction explaining step-by-step techniques
  • A full range of effects, such as hand-painting, stencilling, glitter, piercing and 3-D
  • Hundreds of designs to copy, from graphic stripes and dots to floral and nature motifs, as well as animal prints, bridal looks and romantic themes.

Review:
I'm in no way a nail art expert but I love to mess around with creating designs on my own nails so when I was offered a review copy of the Nail Art Sourcebook and saw that it included over 500 designs I thought it would be a great source of ideas for me to try. I have to admit that I was expecting it to include more instructions on how to create these designs for yourself though. There is a brief explanation about various techniques (transfers, stick ons, stencils, striping tape and gemstones) along with information about the different types of polishes, acrylics, nail paints and brushes you can buy but that is a tiny part of the book. Most of these things are summed up within a paragraph or two and are hardly the detailed instructions I was hoping for.

The book does however include images of pver 500 different nail designs that you can try to copy. I hate to say it but the majority of them are WAY beyond my skill level and would be impossible for me to achieve at home. Perhaps in some ways these designs would be more useful for professionals who have a lot of experience and better tools than I do but even though I can only dream of achieving these results I still enjoyed looking through the images and found myself really inspired to have a go at trying different things with my own nails. There are definitely adjustments I could make to a lot of the designs so that they are slightly easier to achieve and if nothing else it has given me ideas on different colour schemes and styles to try.

The images are split into seven different categories - Floral Designs; Graphic Designs; Pictures & Themes; Glitter & Metallic; Jewelled Designs; Romantic & Bridal; Three-Dimensional Art - so although not all of the designs are to my taste there is more than enough variety for everyone to find something that they like. I'd have to say I think the product is quite expensive for people like me who just occasionally dabble at doing their own nails but anyone who spends a lot of time on this hobby or is a professional nail artist will probably find they get much better value for money. I know this is a book I'll dip in and out of in the future for inspiration I just wish it came with clearer instructions on how to create the designs for myself.

Source: Received from www.presentsformen.co.uk in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Hardback:

Thursday, 20 June 2013

South of Surrender Blog Tour: Guest Post from Laura Kaye with International Giveaway


As a huge fan of Laura Kaye's Hearts of Anemoi series I'm thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour to celebrate the release of the 3rd book in the series South of Surrender. This is a fabulous paranormal romance series and I think Chrys might just have been my favourite hero so far, I'll be posting my full review later today but in the meantime let me give you a bit more information about the book.

She’s the only one who can see through his golden boy façade to the broken god within…

Chrysander Notos, Supreme God of the South Wind and Summer, is on a mission: save Eurus from his death sentence and prove his troubled brother can be redeemed. But Eurus fights back, triggering vicious summer storms that threaten the mortal realm, dangerously drain Chrys, and earn the ire of the Olympic gods who ordered Eurus dead.

Laney Summerlyn refuses to give up her grandfather’s horse farm, despite her deteriorating vision. More than ever, she needs the organized routine of her life at Summerlyn Stables, until a ferocious storm brings an impossible—and beautiful—creature crashing down from the heavens.

Injured while fighting Eurus, Chrys finds himself at the mercy of a mortal woman whose compassion and acceptance he can’t resist. As they surrender to the passion flaring between them, immortal enemies close in, forcing Chrys to choose between his brother and the only woman who’s ever loved the real him.

Hearts of the Anemoi Series:
North of Need
West of Want
South of Surrender
East of Ecstasy (2014)


Author Bio:
Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of a dozen books in contemporary and paranormal romance. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.
Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter Sign Up

Now please give Laura Kaye a very warm welcome to Feeling Fictional! She's here to tell you all about South of Surrender and she is holding a couple of fab giveaways so make sure you enter them both!

********************

7 Reason to Try South of Surrender by Laura Kaye

I’m thrilled to be wrapping up my blog tour celebrating the release of South of Surrender here at Feeling Fictional! South of Surrender is my tenth published novel and the third in my Greek-mythology-inspired Hearts of the Anemoi series, and it was a total blast to write. Today, I thought I’d share seven reasons to give South of Surrender a try, even if you haven’t read the first two books in the series:

7. Most of the reviews are coming down on the side of South of Surrender being successful as a stand-alone novel, meaning you don’t have to have read North of Need or West of Want to get what’s going on and follow along. So you can jump into bed with Chrysander now! LOL

6. Most battle scenes of any book I’ve written. South of Surrender is filled with battle scenes between the gods and in some cases involving mythological creatures, too. They were a blast to write.

5. Biggest character ensemble I’ve ever used in a book. In addition to the main romantic couple of Chrysander and Laney, there are several dozen other characters in South of Surrender, most playing only a minimal part. But what I think this really adds is depth to the worldbuilding and the mythology.

4. South of Surrender will make you feel. In fact, I dare you not to get teary! LOL I have never bawled so hard as I did while writing a scene in this book. You’ll know the one…

3. Some of the hottest sex scenes I’ve written. If you thought my other books were hot, South of Surrender blows most of them out of the water in terms of sexual tension and downright heat in the sex scenes themselves. You gotta read to believe! LOL

2. Admirable, kick-ass heroine. She might be nearly blind, but Laney Summerlyn doesn’t let anyone push her around. Her strength makes me wish I knew her as a real person!

1. Alpha hero in the form of a summer god! Chrysander Notos is the Supreme God of the South Wind and Summer, and he is hot. Literally! Alpha, immortal, dominant, mmm! What better hero for a summer read?

GIVEAWAY: Have you read any of the books in this series yet? If so, share a favorite scene from any of them (North of Need, West of Want, South of Surrender)! If not, feel free to ask a question! One commenter who leaves their email address will win a Hearts of the Anemoi tote bag and tons of swag! Open to international! Good luck!

Also enter the Rafflecopter before it’s too late for a chance at the overall grand prizes to be picked on June 22!

Visit all the stops on the South of Surrender Blog Tour for more ways to win!

********************

Thank you for a fabulous guest post Laura! I'm having a hard time picking my favourite moments from the series but you already know how much I adore Owen (from North of Need) and his ice cream addiction! There was a particular scene where he is in a little igloo he's built in Megan's garden and she introduces him to the joys of snow cones which stands out in my mind. To be honest I have loved each of the heroes in this series, the way Zeph cares for Ella after she is injured in the storm he inadvertently started (in West of Want) and the way Chrys is so utterly dominant in the bedroom - they're just all completely swoon worthy LOL.

Giveaway Details:

You have 2 chances to win prizes so make sure you enter using both of the rafflecopter forms below.

Giveaway 1:
This is a tour wide giveaway where 3 lucky winners will each receive a $100 gift card of their choice (Amazon, B&N or iTunes). A 4th winner will receive signed copies of all 3 books in the Hearts of Anemoi series (I know which prize I'm hoping to win - I LOVE signed books!). Winners will be announced and contacted directly by Laura Kaye.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Giveaway 2:
The second giveaway is only available at this stop on the blog tour and one lucky winner will receive a Hearts of the Anemoi tote bag and tons of swag.
  • This giveaway is open internationally and the winner will be selected at random via rafflecopter.
  • The winner's prize will be sent out directly by Laura Kaye so the winner must give me permission to pass their address on.
  • To enter please use the rafflecopter widget below, there are optional extra entries for following or tweeting about the giveaway but these are not required to enter.
  • The giveaway will close at 12:01am GMT on the 5th of July 2013 and the winner will be contacted soon afterwards. You will have 48 hours to reply to me with your address or A new winner will be chosen.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Review: A Cursed Embrace - Cecy Robson + International Giveaway for a SIGNED copy of the book!

Celia Wird and her three sisters are just like other twenty-something girls—with one tiny exception: They are the products of a curse that backfired and gave each of them unique powers that made them, well, a little weird…

After Celia Wird and her sisters help master vampire Misha save his family, their powers are exposed to the supernatural community of the Lake Tahoe region. But fame comes at a price, and being “weird” isn’t always welcome.

To make matters worse, Celia desires the love of Alpha werewolf Aric, but his pack is bent on destroying their relationship to preserve his pureblood status. And once weres start turning up dead—with evidence pointing to the vampires—she must face the prospect of losing Aric forever. But the chaos only masks a new threat. An evil known as the Tribe has risen—and their sights are set on Celia and her sisters.

Weird Girls Series:
A Curse Awakened (Novella)
The Weird Girls (Novella)
Sealed with a Curse
A Cursed Embrace
A Cursed Moon (Novella)
Cursed by Destiny
A Cursed Bloodline
A Curse Unbroken
Of Flame and Promise
Of Flame and Light

Visit Cecy Robson's website for more information.

Review:
Having defeated their enemy and saved Misha and his family things should be settling down for Celia and her sisters, especially since they have started to get so close with werewolf alpha Aric and some of his warriors. Unfortunately nothing is ever simple for the girls and Aric's pack is determined to keep him and Celia apart. As if the pack politics weren't enough for them to deal with bodies start piling up as an unknown enemy starts chowing down on both humans and weres. Evidence points to the vampires but Celia knows that Misha can't be involved and is determined to uncover what is really going on. When it becomes clear that Celia and her sisters all have targets painted on their backs they realise they are in for the fight of their lives and even though they have both the weres and the vampires at their backs they might not be strong enough to survive.

I really enjoyed the previous stories in the Weird Girls series but A Cursed Embrace surpassed all of my expectations and completely blew Sealed with a Curse out of the water. This is quickly turning into one of my favourite urban fantasy series and I can't wait to see where Cecy Robson takes things next. These books really do have everything I look for in a good story - great characters, fabulous banter and a family bond that always comes first, humour, action and plenty of hot guys to drool over! A Cursed Embrace took me on an emotional roller coaster that left me reeling at the end, I felt everything right alongside Celia - her joy, happiness and love followed by her shock, horror and despair. Everything that she went through happened to me too and it's not often that I feel so connected to a character I that want to cry her tears for her.

Celia is a fighter, she has spent years protecting her sisters and she will do anything to keep them safe no matter what it costs her personally. She always puts everyone else first but has never really had anyone who was there to look out for her, as the oldest she took responsibility for the others and although they appreciate everything she has done for them it would be nice for someone to look out for her for a change. That is one of the things I loved most about Aric, the way he stands up for her and has her back no matter what anyone else says. I'll admit that meant I was disappointed with his actions later in the book, I understand why he did what he did but that doesn't mean it hurt me any less when he did it. I don't want to say too much here for fear of spoiling the story for you but I know what I'm hoping for as the series continues and I'll definitely be waiting for Aric to redeem himself!

A Cursed Embrace had me hooked from the very first page, the plot was fantastic, their enemies were creepy and horrifying and I had my heart in my mouth several times in absolute terror about what was about to happen. By the time I reached the end I felt like I'd been through the emotional equivalent of my washing machine spin cycle, I had been through every single possible emotion (some more than once) and I was left reeling at the end of it. The end of the book made me gasp out loud and I don't know how I'm going to survive the wait for the next book! If you haven't come across this series then I really can't recommend it highly enough, I would suggest reading the books in order though because you'd miss out on some important character development if you started part way through. Cecy Robson has now become one of my auto buy authors and I will be devouring anything else she publishes the second I can get my hands on it!

Source: Received from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Paperback / Kindle:



International Giveaway Details:

Prize Pack (will be sent along with a signed copy of A Cursed Embrace)

I'm thrilled to be taking part in the blog tour to celebrate the release of A Cursed Embrace and thanks to Cecy Robson I'm hosting a fabulous giveaway so that one of my readers will be able to win a signed copy of A Cursed Embrace along with a swag pack (containing a bookmark, rack card, magnet, lip balm and signed postcard). Cecy is offering a giveaway at each stop on the blog tour so you can enter as many of the giveaways as you like to increase your chances of winning (find a list of all the tours tops on Cecy's website here).
  • Courtesy of Cecy Robson I have 1 SIGNED paperback copy of A Cursed Embrace along with a swag pack to giveaway to a lucky winner (giveaway is open internationally).
  • The winner's prize will be sent out directly by Cecy Robson so the winner must give me permission to pass their address on.
  • Winners will be chosen at random via rafflecopter but if you will only be able to win the A Cursed Embrace prize pack at one blog to make it fair to other participants. If the winner chosen has already won the prize pack elsewhere then a new winner will be chosen.
  • To enter please use the rafflecopter widget below, there are optional extra entries for following or tweeting about the giveaway but these are not required to enter.
  • The giveaway will close at 12:01am GMT on the 4th of July 2013 and the winner will be contacted soon afterwards. You will have 48 hours to reply to me with your address or A new winner will be chosen.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: Dream Nights with the CEO - Kathy Lyons

Hotel chain CEO and millionaire Wyatt Monroe is a stick in the mud. Sure, he's hot as sin, even with the tie, but free-spirited assistant Megan Bradford refuses to jeopardize their perfect working relationship. Why mess that up with sex? She knows he's the love 'em and leave 'em type, and she's determined to find a family man.

Wyatt would never cross the line between boss and employee with Megan, no matter how hard it might be to resist the temptation. But when they visit a mysterious B&B in a bid to acquire the property, he starts having erotic dreams about the sexy brunette that make it hard to resist her in daylight.

Soon the line between reality and dreams further blurs when they learn they were sharing the same erotic dreams...

Secret Desires Series:
Dream Nights with the CEO
Further titles & release dates to be confirmed

Visit Kathy Lyons' website for more information.

Review:
Megan has had a crush on her boss Wyatt ever since she first started working for him but she loves her job too much to ever risk starting a relationship with him. Although she dreams of marriage and a family she wants to build her career first and she is well on her way to achieving her goals, especially with the new promotion Wyatt has just offered her. Wyatt has also been attracted to Megan for years but the closer they have grown as friends and colleagues the more he knows he can't push for something more. He wouldn't want to lose his right hand woman because he'd be lost without her input into his businesses. As they travel around the country looking for the right B&B for Wyatt to invest in next their attraction really kicks in as they start having erotic dreams about each other. That makes it very hard for either of them to keep their relationship on it's usual business only footing, especially when they find out they've been sharing the same dreams.

I haven't read anything by Jade Lee before but I've heard a lot of good things about her historical romances so I jumped at the chance of reading this first story in her new contemporary romance series published under the name Kathy Lyons. I guess the synopsis kind of gives it away but this isn't quite a standard contemporary romance - it actually has a paranormal twist and I'd classify it more as a romance with a hint of a ghost story. I don't think it's heavy enough on the paranormal for me to class it as paranormal romance though so it should still appeal to CR fans.

Dream Nights with the CEO is infused with a lot of humour which makes it a quick and fun story to read but I have to admit there were a few inconsistencies that kept pulling me out of the story. This may have been partly because I was reading an advanced copy so these errors may have been corrected in the finished version but I'm going to mention them anyway because they did bug me a bit. I was confused because it is mentioned many times how wealthy Wyatt is, he is a millionaire several times over so buying into another B&B shouldn't be a huge deal for him but there were a couple of points where Megan starts to worry that if something goes wrong with their latest project she could financially ruin him. At one point he already owned six B&Bs but then later on it was made to sound like he only had two. These are fairly minor irritations but they did leave me feeling confused.

I really liked the idea of the two characters sharing erotic dreams and that giving them the push to take their relationship to the next level but I think I would have preferred it if they had taken that step a little faster than they did. It's hard to explain exactly what I mean without giving spoilers so I'm just going to say it seemed a bit crazy that their dream antics lead to the events that occurred in their real lives when neither of them remembered actually doing the deed. Yes, I know that is vague but I think people who have read the book will know what I mean and I'm happy to answer questions if anyone doesn't mind spoilers. As far as the actual characters go I quite liked both Megan and Wyatt but as this is quite a short story I never really felt I got to know them as well as I could have. Their relationship ends up going from zero to one hundred miles an hour very quickly and it does seem a bit rushed towards the end even though they make a cute couple. I am interested enough in the concept for the series that I'll read the next one to see if my issues with this one have been ironed out though and since I like the authors humour too I'm also planning on checking out some of the books she has published as Jade Lee.

Source: Received from Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.

Kindle:

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Guest Post: Kathy Lyon's Favourite Romance Novels (Dream Nights with the CEO Blog Tour)


I'm thrilled to welcome Kathy Lyons (alter ego of best selling author Jade Lee) to Feeling Fictional today to celebrate the release of her latest romance novel Dream Nights with the CEO. The story is a fun contemporary romance with a hint of the paranormal and I'll be posting my review later today so make sure you stop back and read it. Before I hand you over to Kathy let me give you a bit more information about the story:

Hotel chain CEO and millionaire Wyatt Monroe is a stick in the mud. Sure, he's hot as sin, even with the tie, but free-spirited assistant Megan Bradford refuses to jeopardize their perfect working relationship. Why mess that up with sex? She knows he's the love 'em and leave 'em type, and she's determined to find a family man.

Wyatt would never cross the line between boss and employee with Megan, no matter how hard it might be to resist the temptation. But when they visit a mysterious B&B in a bid to acquire the property, he starts having erotic dreams about the sexy brunette that make it hard to resist her in daylight.

Soon the line between reality and dreams further blurs when they learn they were sharing the same erotic dreams...

Author Bio:
A USA Today Bestseller, JADE LEE has been scripting love stories since she first picked up a set of paper dolls. Ball gowns and rakish lords caught her attention early (thank you Georgette Heyer), and her fascination with the Regency began. And as a Taurus, she lives to pit a headstrong woman against a tortured hero just to watch them butt heads on the way to true love. Flesh wounds are rare, but the healing and laughter are real.

Now an author of more than 30 romance novels, she finally gets to set these couples in the best girl-heaven of all: a Bridal Salon! This way she gets to live out all her wedding fantasies, one by one. (Let’s be honest, what girl has only one idea for her dream wedding?)

And don’t forget Jade’s other name, KATHY LYONS. That’s Jade’s lighter, contemporary side she’s writing for Entangled Publishing and what Dream Nights is all about! For more on Kathy visit her on her website, Facebook, or Twitter.

Now please give a very warm welcome to Kathy and let us know what you think of her favourite romance novels!

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My Favorites! – by Kathy Lyons

So I was asked to write about my favorite romance novels. That’s like asking me to eat one potato chip or one type of nut. (I love nuts! So I guess it’s true – you are what you eat). Anyway, here’s what it boils down to: I like SEXY and FUNNY. There you go. If it’s sexy and funny, I’m there. I’ll pick Robert Downey Jr’s Ironman over Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine anyday. Not that I wouldn’t go hang all over both men, but I digress. Anything by Joss Whedon over... well, um...period. He’s got that perfect mix of humor, action, and heart. (Can we bring back Firefly please?)

Robert Downy Jr

Okay, back to books. I’m on a huge Urban Fantasy kick right now. I love Jeaniene Frosts’s Night Huntress series. First one is Halfway to the Grave. Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files is a favorite and an autobuy but he’s not romance. (ths’t him over there, btw, holding up one of my tee shirts. Thank you Jim!) Rachael Caine rocks as does Shannon Butcher and JR Ward.

Jim Butcher (with his Jade Lee tee shirt!)

Historical romance: Elizabeth Hoyt never disappoints. I enjoy Courtney Milan, Tessa Dare, and Madeline Hunter. Hmmm, I notice I’m talking about authors not necessarily books. Well, that’s because I enjoy the voice and not necessarily the particular book. Some story lines don’t do it for me. No reason except they aren’t my cup of tea at that moment in time. However, if I love the voice–the author–then I’ll settle in for a good read and not worry about some of the particulars. Guess I’m weird that way.

Nathan Fillion

For category romance, CJ Ellison’s Vanilla on Top was fun. And I like Jo Leigh a lot. Cindy Dees rocks the military romance idea. Hmmm...what an I missing here? Oh yes! Myself! So I try to be both funny and sexy, and (yeah!) I think my most recent excels at it. Just my opinion! So check me out. Here’s a link to Dream Nights with the CEO page with excerpts! [http://kathylyons.com/dreamnightsceo.html] And my most recent Jade Lee book is the one I call Sherlock Holmes knocked on his ass by love. Here’s that page: [http://jadeleeauthor.com/books/bridal-favors-series/wedded-in-sin]

Does that help? If not, then tell me what you love! I’ll check it out!

********************

Thanks for a fabulous guest post Kathy, you've mentioned a lot of my favourite authors - I adore Jeaniene Frost and Rachel Caine! I also love Lara Adrian and Larissa Ione when it comes to paranormal romance. I agree with you about humour being an important part of any story and a contemporary romance author who always makes me laugh is Ruthie Knox. I don't seem to read a lot of historical romance at the moment but I'll be adding some of your suggested authors to my list for when I'm in a historical mood :o) I have to admit I love the sound of your latest Jade Lee book, the tag Sherlock Holmes knocked on his ass by love is all I need to see to know it's going on my wish list!

What do you think of Kathy's choices? Has she included your favourite authors? Which books / authors would you add to the list? Do you have any recommendations for books that are both sexy and funny that Kathy and I need to be reading?

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Review: Caressed by Ice - Nalini Singh

As an Arrow, an elite soldier in the Psy Council ranks, Judd Lauren was forced to do terrible things in the name of his people. Now a defector, his dark abilities have made him the most deadly of assassins - cold, pitiless, unfeeling. Until he meets Brenna . . . 

Brenna Shane Kincaid was an innocent before she was abducted - and had her mind violated - by a serial killer. Her sense of evil runs so deep she fears she could become a killer herself. Then the first dead body is found, victim of a familiar madness. Judd is her only hope, yet her sensual changeling side rebels against the inhuman chill of his personality, even as desire explodes between them. Shocking and raw, their passion is a danger that threatens not only their hearts, but their very lives.

Psy-Changeling Series:
(Season One in the Psy-Changeling World)
Beat of Temptation (Novella included in Wild Invitation and the An Enchanted Season anthology)
Whisper of Sin (Novella included in the Burning Up anthology or as a separate ebook)
Slave to Sensation
Visions of Heat
Echo of Silence (Novella included in the Wild Embrace anthology)
Caressed by Ice
Stroke of Enticement (Novella included in Wild Invitation and The Magical Christmas Cat anthology)
Mine to Possess
Hostage to Pleasure
Dorian (Novella included in the Wild Embrace anthology)
Branded by Fire
Blaze of Memory
Bonds of Justice
Play of Passion
Declaration of Courtship (Novella included in Wild Invitation)
Kiss of Snow
Texture of Intimacy (Novella included in Wild Invitation)
Tangle of Need
Partners in Persuasion (Novella included in the Wild Embrace anthology)
Heart of Obsidian
Flirtation of Fate (Novella included in the Wild Embrace anthology)
Secrets at Midnight (Novella included in the Night Shift Anthology)
Shield of Winter
Shards of Hope
Allegiance of Honour

Psy-Changeling Trinity Series:
(Season two in the Psy-Changeling World)
Silver Silence (2017)

Visit Nalini Singh's website for more information

Review:
Ever since she was captured and tortured by a Psy psychopath Brenna has been struggling to put the pieces of her life back together. She may have been a victim but it takes strength to get through everything she did and come out sane on the other side. Something deep inside her has changed though and she is terrified of the new abilities she has gained, fearing that she is turning into something as evil as the Psy who held her prisoner. Visions of violence and death haunt her and when one of her pack members is brutally murdered in the same way as her dream Brenna is terrified. The only person she can turn to is Judd, he is the only one she trusts to be honest with her and who might be able to help her uncover what is happening.

Judd is an incredibly powerful Psy, one with rare abilities that make him a perfect assassin. Before he fled the Psy-Net to protect his family he was an Arrow, an elite soldier who carried out the Council's orders, no matter how terrible the things they asked of him. Now he uses his abilities to work against the Council, determined to stop them from taking Silence to the next level. The nature of his abilities make Judd an extremely powerful soldier but they also mean he is at the greatest risk of injuring someone if his emotions get the better of him. Judd is one of the Psy who embraces the Silence because he knows it will keep the people he cares about safe from his abilities. He doesn't want to break the chains and allow his emotions to the surface because he thinks he will end up hurting someone so as much as he is drawn to Brenna he is determined to keep her at arms length. Brenna isn't going to give up on him without a fight though, she knows what she wants and she will do whatever it takes to show Judd how good things could be between them.

Caressed by Ice was my favourite instalment of the series so far and there is no doubt that Judd was my favourite hero! He comes across as so cold and controlled but you just know there is so much more to him bubbling away under the surface. When he makes up his mind to go for it with Brenna there is no stopping him and he is incredibly passionate and possessive when he allows his emotions to show. I loved watching Brenna break through his icy outer layer to free the man underneath. Brenna and Judd are a fantastic couple who take time to get to know each other before they fall in love. It is harder for them to find a balance than it was for the previous couples because of the nature of Judd's abilities and the way they effect him when his emotions start to show. It isn't easy for Judd to break the hold that the Silence has on him and let Brenna under his defences. What I really liked was the way Brenna sees through the iceman act in a way that nobody else does, the other wolves have never fully accepted him as part of their pack and Judd has always deliberately kept himself at a distance from everyone else. As Judd opens up to Brenna he also starts to get to know the rest of the pack and finally begins to find his place amongst them.

Brenna has suffered so much but she refuses to break and let the man who tortured her win. She loves her pack and they brought her back from the edge but she refuses to let them keep her locked away even though they are just trying to keep her safe. I loved the relationship she has with her brothers and the SnowDancer alpha Hawke (I can't wait for his book!). Her brothers are understandably protective of her but they have started to smother her and I was glad that Hawke helped her get her freedom back. It was great to get to know more about the wolves and see the differences between their pack and the DarkRiver leopards. We are at the point in the series where we are starting to see more of the wider picture and learn about the other kinds of changelings and how the different packs all interact with each other. We are also uncovering more about just how twisted the Psy Council are and the lengths they are prepared to go to to get what they want. This series is becoming a firm favourite and I highly recommend it to paranormal romance fans.

Source: Purchased

Other Reviews:
Tynga's Reviews
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