Saturday, January 31, 2015

REVIEW: Strange Academy by Teresa Wilde

***This book was originally reviewed for GraveTells.***
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Summary:

Determined to uncover the secret behind her eccentric aunt's mysterious death, Sadie Strange, a quirky substitute teacher with a Master’s degree in comic book superheroes, takes a job at isolated private school Strange Academy. Her biggest obstacle? Haughty hottie Lorde Gray, the chemistry teacher who looks down his Roman nose at her as he tries to get her fired.

Undercover demon hunter Gray vows to use his spell-brewing powers to protect Strange Academy's true purpose—educating extraordinary children with paranormal gifts. If the world knew the school's secret, it would start a war that would destroy humanity. Gray won't let a feisty mortal threaten that, no matter how much she swishes her heart-shaped butt.

When fate throws them together, strange allies Sadie and Gray seek to uncover the hidden forces behind her aunt's death before they destroy Sadie—and the school. But when the demon hunter forbidden from associating with mortals and the mortal woman who can't trust her own judgment around alpha males find themselves falling for each other, love is going to get a little strange...

Thoughts:

Other than the tension and romance between Sadie and Gray, the biggest element in this book is the mystery. The mystery starts on the very first page and builds to hold you riveted until all the questions are answered and loose ends tied up. I was never at any point bored with the story and it kept my guessing which I greatly appreciate (since I feel like it happens so seldom).

Because of the way the author builds the world and the sets up the atmosphere for the school, it has a very distinct Harry Potter meets X-Men feel, but manages not to feel like a cheesy copy of either. There’s all kinds of magic involved, such as spells and potions and the like, (occasionally becoming a little confusing, but easy enough to keep up with) and everybody has their own unique “talent” – aka power or ability. You’ve got your vampires, shifters, mages, mutants, psychics – you name it! It leaves a lot of opportunity for the story to go anywhere, or even plenty of room for a series if the author so chose.

Naturally however, no matter how much I enjoyed the mystery and paranormal elements, it’s the romance that holds my attention the most. Gray and Sadie clash hardcore and it makes for spectacular sparks. They made me laugh, they made me blush, and they ultimately just had me glued to the page. I only have two complaints about them though. Sadie stays blinds to the goings on around her when I feel like she should have clued in, but I suppose there’s a reason for that too (even if I still grumbled about it). Gray though was my biggest obstacle. There were times that I didn’t like him at all, but flaws do make a hero more relatable and endearing (especially when they have to grovel to make up for them).

The secondary characters also make up a good portion of this book. Sterling in particular, because he plays a big part in bringing Sadie and Gray together, as well as making Gray that much more lovable. Between the three of them, this story is about more than just magic, mystery, and romance, but about family and self discovery. If it weren’t for the sex scenes, I’d say the message contained within this story is good for young adults to read, but either way it’s really a very sweet read.

This unique book kept me awake into the early hours of morning because its sensuality and mostly light hearted tone left me unable to put it down. Invoking a wide range of emotions that include laughter, anger, and fear, and driving you deeper into the story with compelling characters and nail biting plot lines, Strange Academy is a must read!


Friday, January 30, 2015

BLOG TOUR: Eggnog Kisses by Mireille Chester

Thanks to Wickedly Innocent Promotions for hosting this blog tour. I'm sharing a little about Mireille Chester's Eggnog Kisses today. Happy reading!

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It’s been six months since Kaley’s fiancé called things off, disappearing with barely an explanation, and the thought of spending Christmas alone is causing feelings of hurt and loneliness to ruin her holiday cheer. Tall, dark, quiet, and ever the gentleman, her next door neighbor has been sneaking into her thoughts more often than not lately. When she decides to ask him to go to a Christmas party on a spur of the moment whim, she has no idea she’s about to unleash a whole new dimension on her usually normal life.

Born in Quelondain, Sean is no stranger to a broken heart. Though it’s been years since the one he loved fated to his best friend, the ache is still present and crossing over to the other world hasn’t helped like he’d hoped it would. When Kaley asks him to accompany her to a Christmas party his gut tells him to stay away. It’s not that he isn’t attracted or tempted, but how is he supposed to explain his past and what he is. Of course, it’s just one evening, right? What could possibly happen in one night?

Two broken hearts…

Two worlds…

One fate…


Buy at Amazon          Buy at Barnes & Noble


~EXCERPT~

She managed to get into her apartment while keeping a curious JJ from escaping. The fluffy white cat purred and rubbed himself against her ankles.

“Hey, bud. Did you miss me?” Kaley went to the cupboard and pulled out a few Whiskas treats for him. She looked around her small apartment and suddenly, she didn’t want to be there alone. “I’ll be right back.”

She didn’t bother putting on shoes before closing her door behind her. Sean answered his door and smiled at the sight of her.

“What can I do for you, neighbor?”

“I…” This was stupid.

“So, what brings you over here?”

“I just…” Kaley’s good mood vanished.

His smile softened. “First Christmas since Gale left?”

She took a deep breath and blew it out of her nose. “It’s stupid, I know.”

Sean shook his head. “Not at all. I know the feeling. I wasn’t engaged, mind you, but my first holiday after my girlfriend left I was a wreck. We’d been together four years.”

“I’m sorry.” She looked at the ground. “What happened?”

He cocked his head to the side. “I was just about to have a rum and eggnog. Want one?”

She was tempted to turn him down, but curiosity got the better of her. “Sure.”

He held the door opened wider so she could get in and directed her to the couch. “It was your typical breakup. We were young and life had other plans for us.”

She watched as he mixed the drinks and brought them over. “Thanks.” She took a sip and he took a long swallow of his drink. “Anyway, it wrecked me when she left.”

“What did you do?”

“I moved here.” He smiled.

Kaley frowned. “That worked? It helped?”

“Not even a little bit. The only thing that helps is time.”

She couldn’t help the depressed look that took over her face. “Five years, eh?”

Sean laughed. “It’s been that long, but it didn’t take that long. I’ve had a few other girlfriends since, I just haven’t found anyone else I want to settle down with, that’s all.” He raised an eyebrow at her glass. “Want another one?”

“Please.”

“So where’s your party at tonight?”

“Mel’s boss is throwing a bash for their office. He rented the Rex Hall.”

“Cool.”

Kaley noticed him glancing at the clock on the wall. “Do you have something to do?” She turned toward the door as someone unlocked it from the outside and he stood.

“Sean!” The dark haired woman dropped her duffle bag and ran into his open arms. Kaley watched dumbfounded as he hugged her close. He had a girlfriend.

“I was getting worried.” He took her coat from her and hung it up.

“My bus was delayed. There was a crash on the highway and we got caught behind all the traffic. I don’t think it was too bad. I mean, there were ambulances and stuff, but the cars looked to be in not bad shape when we were finally able to go by.”

“And you didn’t think to phone?”

She shrugged. “Ooh! Are you having rum and eggnog without me?” The woman finally turned her attention to Kaley. “Since Sean has zero manners, I’m Reese, by the way.”

“Um, Kaley.”

“Let me guess. He didn’t tell you I was coming?” She took the drink Sean handed her and settled on the cough beside Kaley. “And he says I’m forgetful. You’re getting old, big brother.”

He scoffed. “And you get more immature the more years you put behind you.”

“Mom’s going to flip when she hears you finally have a girlfriend. It’s about time you got over that stupid bitch.”

“Reese!”

“Well, what? By the moons, she was. None of us could figure out what you saw in her.”

“You were sixteen when we split. Don’t tell me you gave a shit.”

Reese pounded back her drink. “Of course I cared. How many big brothers do I have?”

Sean rolled his eyes. “Four.”

“Right. But you were always my favorite.” She skipped back to her knee high leather boots, slipped them on, and shrugged on her coat.

“Where are you going?”

“I’m meeting Heather.” She gave him a peck on the cheek. “I have my key. Don’t wait up.”

“Just remember I’m leaving at eight tomorrow morning. With or without you.”

“Yeah, yeah.” Reese grinned. “I missed you.”

“I missed you too. Brat.”

She closed the door with a wave at Kaley.

“She’s, uh… she’s one of those high energy people.” Sean smiled and went to refill their drinks.

“No kidding. I had no idea you had a sister. Or three brothers for that matter.”

“What about you?”

Kaley shook her head. “Only child. Your mom and dad?”

“Both alive and running the farm. You?”

“My parents died when I was fifteen. Drunk driver. I went to live with Mel and her folks.”

“But you don’t do Christmas with them?”

“They’re not around since they retired. Mel gets on a flight tomorrow to join them in Mexico tomorrow morning. They invite me every year, I just… Christmas needs snow. You know?”

He grinned. “I agree.”

Kaley found her gaze moving to his mouth. He had a great smile. Had they really been living next to each other for almost six years? How had she never noticed?

“What?”

“Nothing. I was just thinking that I can’t believe we’ve been neighbors all this time and we know nothing about each other.”

His smile softened. “Yeah. I guess that’s life. Everyone’s too busy.”

She looked at her watch. “Shit. I have to go get ready.”

Sean stood and walked her to the door.

“So, you’re just home alone tonight?” She looked up into his dark green eyes.

“Seems like it.”

“I was just thinking… Mel is bringing a date tonight and I’m going to be the third wheel. Want to come along?”

“I don’t think…”

“Come on. I’ll owe you one. There’s this guy that works there that always gets drunk and hits on me. You can pretend to be my boyfriend.” Sweet mother of fuck. Had she actually just suggested this? She was thirty four years old for shit’s sakes. Her face turned a deep shade of red. “Sorry. That’s so highschool. I’m just going to leave before I make myself sound any more stupid. Thanks for the drinks.”

Kaley rushed out of his apartment and back into hers. Good god! How many eggnogs had she had?

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

About the Author
I'm a wife, mother, and author. I love to get lost in my own little world and tend to do it more often than some people might consider normal... but that's ok. This is my little place where I can talk about books I like, the ones I've written and the ones I'm working on. I tend to write little stories about some of the things that happen to me (these usually involve my children, or as I like to call them, my mini spawns of satan). If you feel like a good chuckle, a cry, or a sigh, then come along and join us. :D

Find me here.


Thursday, January 29, 2015

BLOG TOUR: Unspeakable by Michelle K Pickett


Thanks to Juniper Grove Book Solutions for hosting this blog tour. I'm sharing a little about Michelle K Pickett's Unspeakable today. Happy reading!

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“Breathe. No one will break me. I’m strong. Breathe. Just breathe.”

On the outside, Willow appears to have it all. She’s beautiful, smart, from an influential family, and she dates the most popular guy in school—Jaden. But she would walk away from it all in a second. Willow is tormented by lies and suffocating guilt, not the hearts and flowers people believe her life is full of.

She carries a dark secret. Plagued by nightmares and pain, the secret dominates her life. If she hadn’t walked away. If she had just…but she didn’t. And now she has to live with her choice. But when someone uncovers her family’s past, they use it against her, crushing her spirit little by little. She tells herself she just has to make it to graduation. Then she can leave Middleton, and her secret, far behind.

When Brody transfers to Cassidy High, he turns Willow’s life upside down. He shows her what it feels like to live again, really live. And suddenly, she isn’t satisfied with just surviving until graduation. She wants a normal life—with Brody—and he wants her. But the closer they become, the more it threatens to unravel the secret she’s worked so hard to hide.

Willow finds true love with Brody. Will she let his love save her, or walk away from him to keep her secret safe?


Buy at Amazon          Buy at Barnes & Noble


~EXCERPT~

I was lying across my bed, working on my calculus, when my phone chimed. I grabbed the phone off the table next to my bed and smiled.

BRODY: whatcha doing?

ME: calc. you?

BRODY: same. wanna talk?

ME: sure.

My phone rang just a few seconds later. “Hello?”

“Hey,” Brody said, his voice sliding over me like velvet rope. It caressed me as it squeezed the air from my lungs.

“Hi.” I cringed when my voice came out all squeaky and breathy. “When you asked if I wanted to talk, I thought you meant texting.”

“Oh. Sorry, we can hang up and just text.”

“No! No, it just surprised me when the phone rang. So, what did you want to talk about?” I asked him.

“What are you wearing?” he whispered.

“Um, what?”

He laughed loudly into the phone. “I’m kidding, Willow,” he said when his chuckles faded.

“Oh, you were kidding? I was totally gonna to tell you if you told me…” I let my words trail off.

I heard him inhale. “Um, I think we need to move on to safer, more friend appropriate topics.”

I laughed. “Okay, you pick the topic.”

“Do you have a TV in your room with satellite?” Brody asked.

“Yes.”

“Good. Turn to channel 235.” I flipped to the channel Brody suggested. “Oh, I’ve wanted to see this movie.” I pulled the blankets back on my bed and slipped under them, bunching the pillows behind my back.

“Good, I haven’t seen it yet either. We can watch it together.”

“Are you in bed?” I asked.

“Yeah.” His voice came out huskier than normal. “This is new. It’s kinda fun. Only, there’s one thing missing,” Brody murmured.

“It is fun. What’s missing?”

“You. I wish you were here, not there.”

“Oh.” I wasn’t sure what to say. I was glad he couldn’t see me because I was grinning like a fool. “Look. That’s just cheesy,” I said.

“It’s a movie about zombie aliens. I think we passed cheesy a long time ago. Oh, look at her. Now we’re getting somewhere.”

“You’re such a perv.”

“What? I’m a guy and she’s hot. If she’s going to walk around naked, I’m gonna look and appreciate the fine job God did assembling her.”

“Ugh. Whatever.” I rolled my eyes.

“Stop rolling your eyes.”

“I didn’t.”

“Yes, you did. I heard it in your voice,” he said with a laugh.

“Oh! What do we have here? It’s the male species joining the bimbo in the shower. Mmm, he’s nice to look at. Great butt.” I sighed.

“Now who’s the perv?”

“Me. I never said I wasn’t.”

Brody laughed. “Good to know.” He cleared his throat, and his voice was a little huskier than normal when he said, “Love scene.”

Our easy teasing ended while the television played a very hot love scene—how it got only an R-rating was a miracle. I watched it on my television, hearing the moans and sighs from Brody’s television echoing through the phone. Awkward.

I could hear every breath Brody took. I could tell when his breathing sped up. I heard the small groan he made and the rustle of blankets and I wondered what was making him uncomfortable, the love scene or watching it with me on the other end of the phone.

“You want to know a secret?” I whispered.

I should stop talking now. Shut up! Shut up!

He sighed. “About you? Always.”

“I really do want to know what you’re wearing.” I bit my lip, waiting for him to say something. The sounds of the love scene still filtered through the phone.

“Mm. You’re making it very difficult for me to keep things G-rated between us,” he murmured.

“I know. I feel the same.”

“Fight scene. Ooh, did you see that arm fly across the screen?” Brody asked a little too loudly.

“Yeah. Gross.”

Finally. That love scene was killing me. I never thought I’d be so happy to see arms and legs blown off.

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

About the Author
Michelle is the bestselling author of the young adult novel “PODs.” She was born and raised in Flint, Michigan, but now lives in a sleepy suburb outside Houston with her extremely supportive husband, three school-aged children, a 125 pound “lap dog,” and a very snooty cat.

Red Bull or Monster Khaos are her coffee of choice, and she can’t write without peanut butter M&Ms and a hoodie. A hopeful romantic; she loves a swoon-worthy ending that will give her butterflies for days. She writes across genres in the young adult and new adult age groups. She loves to hear from her readers.

Michelle signed her new young adult contemporary novel— Unspeakable, with Clean Teen Publishing in 2014.

Find the author:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads


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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

REVIEW: In from the Cold by Taryn Kincaid

Summary:

Spook Raines is a burnt-out spy who doesn’t know he’s a fire demon with a twin in Sleepy Hollow.

Geneviève Mortimer is a will o' the wisp who hunts demons to ease the pain of her troubled past.

When Madame Eve brings them together for a torrid 1Night Stand, will they be able to come in from the cold at last?

Title:  In from the Cold
Series:  1Night Stand
Book #: N/A
Author:  Taryn Kincaid
Approximate Book Length:  54 Pages
Recommended Reader Age:  18+
Sexual Content:  Explicit

Thoughts:

I liked the chemistry between Spook and Genny. I enjoyed how everyone related and the cameos from previous Sleepy Hollow books. However, the history reveal was rushed and confused me greatly. While I enjoyed it, I overall just found it a little messy and fluffy. I expected more conflict and there just wasn’t.

Bottom Line:

In from the Cold is a sweet story of overcoming your past and finding happiness through love and family. Don’t miss out on this steamy read!

Rating:



Links:



Tuesday, January 27, 2015

COVER REVEAL: Winter's Wolf by Tara Lain



Winter's Wolf 
(Tales of the Harker Pack #3)
By Tara Lain


Blurb:
Winter Thane was raised on the two cardinal rules of werewolf existence: don’t reveal yourself to humans under penalty of death, and there’s no such thing as a gay werewolf. It’s no surprise when his father drags him from his wild life in remote Canada back to Connecticut to meet his old pack in hopes it will persuade Winter to abandon his love of sex with human males. Of course Dad’s hopes are dashed when they come face-to-face with the gay werewolves in the Harker pack.

Winter takes one look at FBI agent, Matt Partridge, and decides bird is his favorite food. Partridge is embroiled in an investigation into drug dealing and the death of a fellow agent. He can’t let himself get distracted by the young, platinum-haired beast, but then Winter proves invaluable in the search for clues, a move that winds them both up in chains and facing imminent death. Winter quickly learns his father’s motives are questionable, the pack alphas are a bunch of pussies, humans aren’t quite what they seem, and nothing in the forests of Connecticut is pure except love. 




Release Date: 
February 27, 2015


You can pre-order your copy at


Also available for pre-order in paperback from Dreamspinner Press




Excerpt


Matt’s heart stopped beating. Cliché, Partridge. Watch the clichés. Still, that’s what it  felt  like. Walking  straight toward  him,  like  he  was  being  pulled  on  a  rubber  string, strode that huge hunk of gorgeous he’d seen two nights before. The one related to Cole Harker’s husband. The man moved like an animal, gliding and rippling, and the big bulge in the front of his jeans advertised another kind of animal. Big Bird! Shit, the thing had to  be  at least  at  half-mast,  and it looked  huge. Matt  wanted to  fall  down  and  worship. 

Control. Deep breath. He’ll probably walk right by.

Sweet Jesus, he stopped right in front of the table.

“Hi.  I’m  Winter  Thane.  I  saw  you  here  the  other  night  with  my,  uh,  cousin  by marriage, Cole Harker.”

Matt swallowed. Try to be cool. “Yes, I remember he went to speak with you. I’m Matt Partridge.”

“Yes.”

Matt’s eyes widened. Had Winter asked about  him? “Would  you,  uh, care to join me?”

“Thanks.”

Trying  not to  stare at the  play  of muscle in those  hard thighs and the large  bulge between proved more than he was up to. When he glanced up from his inspection, Winter Thane gazed at him with a small smile. It said Caught ya. Matt cleared his throat. “Uh, I was just about to order a beer. Would you like another?”

“No,  I’m  good,  thanks.”  Winter  wrapped  his  beautifully  shaped  lips  around  the head  of the  bottle,  seemed to lovingly  caress it  for  a  second,  and then  sucked  down  a drink.

Holy crap.

Matt waved at the waitress, who hurried over, gazing at Winter most of the time. He ordered a beer, and she rushed off, actually bumping into a patron because she couldn’t stop staring over her shoulder. Who could blame her? Matt chuckled. “You must get that a lot.”

The  guy  shook  that  snowflake  hair.  “No.  Where  I’m  from  there  aren’t  a  lot  of females.”

“You must enjoy being here.” Matt swallowed.

Winter  shrugged.  “City  guy  like  you’d  be  used  to  it.  For  me  it’s  new  and  pretty weird.”

Matt laughed. “Who’d look at me?”

Winter’s blue eyes flashed up. “Who wouldn’t?”

Matt’s  mouth  opened  but  nothing  came  out.  Finally  he  got  his  brain  and  tongue connected. “So, uh, you’re visiting the area?”

Winter’s pale brows pulled together. “My father’s theory is we’re here to stay. I’d say the jury’s out.”

“Not a good experience so far?”

“An  old Chinese  curse  said,  ‘May  you live in interesting times.’  So  far the trip’s been interesting.” Those melted ice eyes raised slowly to Matt. “But it could get better.”

Every  resolve  Matt  had  ever  made  tried  to  dissolve  in  that  field  of  blue.  Come on, Partridge. You’re investigating these people. The  arrival  of the  waitress  felt like  a lifeline, and  he  grabbed the  bottle, threw way too much money  on the table, and  drank down half the contents in one pull.

“Thank you, sir.” She batted her eyes at Winter and left.

Winter pointed at the bottle. “Thirsty?”

“Uh, yes, I guess so.”

“So you’re the law?”

“How’d you know that?”

Winter grinned. “Aside from the haircut that speaks of gray suits and gray cars?”

Matt ducked his head and ran a hand over his carefully barbered light brown hair. 

“Bad, huh?”

“Nah. It’s cute. Besides, I asked Ben Freedman about you.”

Matt’s heart leaped and stomach sank—the war of suspicion and desire. “Why?”

Again, the long, slow gaze. “I think you’re gorgeous.”

Matt frowned. Suspicion won. “Come on. Don’t give me that shit.”

Winter cocked his head. “You don’t believe me?”

“Of course  not. Why would a  guy like  you think  I’m  gorgeous?” He  drawled the word and narrowed his eyes. “Did you hear somewhere that I’m gay? What the fuck are you playing at?”

Winter smiled slowly. “I hoped you liked men. Or maybe I should say, I hoped you liked me.”

“Who the fuck wouldn’t like you?” He pushed his bottle away. “I should go.”

Winter’s  hand  clamped  on  his  forearm.  Long,  slender  fingers  carved  with  sinew. 

“Please don’t. I’m not a very civilized creature, so maybe I don’t know how to say what I feel.”

Matt tried to catch his breath. “And what’s that?”

“That I want to take you out into the trees and fuck you until you scream.”

Every cell in his body  froze—except his cock, which expanded like someone was blowing it up through a hose. “Who told you I’m gay?”

“No one. I don’t know if you’re gay. I don’t know if I’m gay. I don’t give a damn. I just know I want to suck you and fuck you until daylight.”

Matt  stared  into  those  mesmerizing  eyes,  and  his  hands  shook.  He  couldn’t  look away. “People don’t say shit like that.”

“People don’t. I do.”



About the Author

Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 23. Her best­selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft. She lives with her soul­mate husband and her soul­mate dog in Laguna Beach, California, a pretty seaside town where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!


You can find Tara at

               






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Saturday, January 24, 2015

REVIEW: Corralled by Lorelei James

***This book was originally reviewed for GraveTells.***
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Summary:

Lainie travels the rodeo circuits helping to fix up injured cowboys, so she knows not to fall for a rockin’ bod and southern drawl. Then Kyle and Hank each wear down her defenses and she finds herself with two lovers. When they happen to all wind up in the same place at the same time, new ideas fly and the dynamic between them all changes. Which cowboy will win her heart?

Thoughts:

I’d been wanting to try Lorelei James and when I found this book that is cowboys AND ménage, I knew I had to give it a shot. I’m really glad that I did! It had its flaws, sure, but overall I really enjoyed the story. It’s got exciting rodeo action and romance that’s both heartwarming and very hot. It’s pretty light hearted and there’s no suspense plot angle or anything, it’s just about the characters and their daily lives.

There was a time when I felt the relationship they’d entered into was unhealthy, but even all three of them noticed when things weren’t working making the story feel all the more realistic. There were a few slow moments, and some awkward and sad moments, but it’s all worth it - especially the last five chapters. They were utterly compelling and took you on a wild ride of emotions.

As you would expect, there were of course some predictable moments, but in the big picture, more things happened that I hadn’t anticipated (at least not fully) than things I had, which I always appreciate. It went in a slightly different direction that I guessed and I liked how things finally played out. There were some threats in the end that I kind of wish were carried out though.

We were also introduced to several other characters that are featured in future installments of the series, so I’m looking forward to those. I especially look forward to seeing Hank’s sister, Celia’s story as she had developed a quick bond with Lainie.

I think my biggest complaint about the book is that the love scenes were a little crude for my taste and there were moments that made me uncomfortable. There’s a point where pain and pleasure meet, but that point shouldn’t be when trying a new position or when all parties are actually trying to be gentle. It probably won’t bother most people, but it was a little frustrating for me. Just my two cents on that.

If you’re looking for a wild ride, a friendly competition, and a little kink with your romance, I recommend Corralled!


Friday, January 23, 2015

BLOG TOUR: Fifteen by Jen Estes

Thanks to Curiosity Quills for hosting this blog tour. I'm sharing my review of Jen Estes's Fifteen today. Happy reading!

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

Summary:

Legend has it if you die in your dreams, you die in real life. Fifteen-year-old Ashling Campbell knows that’s not true because when she closes her eyes each night, she doesn’t dream about public nudity or Prom dates. Instead, she’s catapulted to the front row of her future self’s execution - fifteen years from now - where monsters have taken control of her hometown and she, or rather, her 30-year-old counterpart, is their public enemy number one.

For three months and counting, it’s been the same dream… until an encounter with an antique dreamcatcher. Ash falls asleep to discover she’s no longer a mere spectator in these dreams - now she’s astral-projecting into the body of her future self. Each night, she goes on the run with a ragtag group of rebels - who have no idea she’s really a high school sophomore and not their noble warrior. She has to make it through each night so that she can wake up and find a way to change the future. For every action she does in the present day, she falls asleep to discover it had an equal impact fifteen years later. It’s up to her to manage her two worlds and make sure she’s still got a place in both.

Title:  Fifteen
Series:  The Dreamwalker Diaries
Book #: 1
Author:  Jen Estes
Approximate Book Length:  285 Pages
Recommended Reader Age:  16+
Sexual Content:  Mild

Thoughts:

The story of this book was intriguing with creative lore. Though it did start off a little low and there were a lot of questions left in the end, undoubtedly to keep you interested in book two. However, I couldn’t get into the characters. I liked Tate, but he was into Nadette – the snooty little witch that I couldn’t stand – so that was a big strike against him. Overall they were generally juvenile, somewhat stereotypical, and just boring for me. I just couldn’t get past them to really enjoy the book.

Bottom Line:

Fifteen is a neat concept that falls just shy of a good execution due to the characters. It’s absolutely worth checking out though!

Rating:



Links:



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About the Author
Jen Estes is the author of the Cat McDaniel Mystery Series and the forthcoming FIFTEEN (The Dreamwalker Diaries).

Born and raised in the Midwest, Jen had to choose between staring at corn or reading books. Corn husks just didn’t have the appeal of the Baby-Sitters Club, and so a bookworm was born. Reading later turned into writing and in 2011, Jen published her first novel. After releasing four books in the mystery genre, Jen finally gave in to the literary demands of her inner teenager with her YA debut, FIFTEEN (The Dreamwalker Diaries) with Curiosity Quills. Jen lives in Illinois with her husband Nathan under the tyranny of their three cats: Wrigley, Ivy and Captain Moo.

She is an active member of the National Writers Union. When she isn’t writing, Jen enjoys sci-fi in all its mediums, attempting yoga, using her passport, watching baseball, and reading a good book. You can find Jen on the web at www.jenestes.com, on Tumblr as AuthorJenEstes and tweeting under @jenestesdotcom.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

REVIEW: Heat Wave by Taryn Kincaid

Summary:

Sent into the human realm to retrieve prodigal princess, Zena Night, Bhyrne Raines is shocked and unprepared for his carnal reaction to the sexy succubus. In service to the succubus queen, the rugged enforcer must stifle the instant passion exploding within him. Fulfilling his royal duty doesn’t allow for quickie dalliances. His biological clock is ticking, and he begins to enter breedspawn, an intense and unstoppable frenzy of mating all fire-demon males must endure. But the more he wants to avoid Zena, the more he’s drawn to her.

Reluctant to give up her carefree life of partying among the mortals when the hot-as-sin Bhyrne comes to fetch her for the queen, Zena uses her succubus wiles to entice him, or at least delay the inevitable trip to the royal court. Once in the demon stronghold, hidden deep within the Catskill mountains, she learns the reason for the summons: she must choose a consort within two days.

Zena needs a mate. Bhyrne needs to mate. With time running out for both of them, they each turn to 1Night Stand. With time running out, can Madame Eve come to the rescue?

Title:  Heat Wave
Series:  1Night Stand
Book #: N/A
Author:  Taryn Kincaid
Approximate Book Length:  61 Pages
Recommended Reader Age:  18+
Sexual Content:  Explicit

Thoughts:

This was an interesting book. I don’t know how much I enjoyed how it started, but after that the fun began. I liked the cameo from the last book in the Sleepy Hollow series, and I loved the BDB reference. I also appreciated that “breedspawn” for the demons is like a needing from BDB only for the opposite gender – too funny to me as a fan. The ending totally got to me – totally sweet. I was a little sad it was so short, but worth it. For a short story, it was hot and tender.

Bottom Line:

Heat Wave will have you wanting a cold shower…or someone to share the heat with *wink*. Grab it for a fun quick read!

Rating:



Links:



Saturday, January 17, 2015

REVIEW: Second Chances by Kathy Ivan

***This book was originally reviewed for GraveTells.***
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Summary:

Ryan still grieves for the loss of his brother two years ago, especially since he started having nightly dreams of him asking for the impossible. His wife, Rose knows something’s up, but she hopes it’s just grief. Ryan’s best friend gives them an unexpected gift that he hopes will help them get a second chance to make things right.

Thoughts:

The premise for this book caught my eye, but its execution fell short for me. The plot line had me confused as to exactly who was supposed to be reunited and to what end. The dreams show that Ryan’s brother needed something from him and that it was “now or never”. I never did catch why that was and when the request was fulfilled, you almost couldn’t tell. I just didn’t really see the point of that part.

I appreciated that sex in this book was more sensual than straight up erotic and was more about love than just sex for the sake of sex. They’re married so that makes sense, but I still appreciated it. There was a predictable part, but it had little to know impact on the story and was kind of abrupt in its placement within the plot.

There were little things that didn’t quite add up to me though, and several errors such as misused words and missing words entirely that got to me after a while. Overall this book was just a little weird and nonsensical to me in the long run.

Second Chances has an intriguing premise and if you are looking for a story about soul mates and closure in grief, give this one a shot. Ultimately it just didn’t captivate me, so I say eh, whatever.


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

REVIEW: Club Duo by Milly Taiden

Summary:

4 BBW + 8 Alpha Males = Four contemporary menage stories of sexy curvy girl lovin'

Laila's friends get her into Club Duo, the hottest sex club in town, for her birthday. She's got one thing on her agenda: Find the only man she’s wanted and finally have her wicked way with him. Only thing is he has a second. Club Duo is all about multiples. Will Laila back out now? Or can she handle two men wanting her curvy body?

Elissa's finally inside Club Duo. Her sole reason for being there is to find the man who dominates her fantasies, her old math teacher. She's got one chance to make every dirty fantasy come true and she's not wasting any time. But he’s not alone, is she willing to be shared between two men that love some curves?

Laura is a curvy girl on a mission. She is dying for a taste of her old school teacher and is ready for anything and everything he wants to dish out. But with him comes a second, Sexy Man. Can she handle them both?

Cristina is looking for the man who can handle her hunger. Zane. He is not alone, though. If she wants him she’ll have to agree to another man sharing her body. This curvy girl is not worried. She knows what she wants and she’s taking it.

Title:  Club Duo
Series:  Club Duo
Book #: 1-4
Author:  Milly Taiden
Approximate Book Length:  101 Pages
Recommended Reader Age:  18+
Sexual Content:  Explicit

Thoughts:

I have very mixed feelings on this. There are some very sexy scenes about some very sexy guys, and there’s the implication of more beyond just the one night. However, those are the highlights of the bundle. It’s all sort of a barely legal kind of setup. The characters are all the same just different room in the club and different names (the ones we learn anyway). I also couldn’t help but take a practical viewpoint: contraception. It’s never discussed, which I think is not okay for a bunch of apparently sex crazed 18 year olds. I love menage stories, but this one just didn’t quite hit the mark for me.

Bottom Line:

Club Duo is a school girl fantasy as a group of friends hunts down their teacher crushes at a club now that they’re all graduated and 18. Each story gets kinkier and is very sexy, but nothing particularly deeper than that. Check it out if you want a quick fantasy satisfaction.

Rating:



Links:



Monday, January 12, 2015

BLOG TOUR: The Mythrian Realm Series by Lindsay Avalon



A homicide detective out of his element…

Demons? Magic? Strange realms filled with mythical creatures? Connor Flynn had no doubt these things existed…in the pages of fictional books. As a homicide detective, he knew evil, witnessed it every day on the job. Even when a series of ritualistic murders begin appearing, he looks to the evidence, not the supernatural. Until the day he found a mysterious woman sitting right in the middle of his latest crime scene. While he searches for a rational explanation, all signs indicate she materialized out of thin air.

A woman in a foreign land…

Locked in battle with a fierce hellbeast one minute, then lying in a pool of blood the next, Sha Phoenix has no idea what happened. A Sorceri within the Mythrian Realm, magic is a way of life, as she manipulates the elements of fire and water. She understands banshees, blood mages, and dragons, not waking to find a sexy detective accusing her of murder. Trapped in the Human Realm, she can be sure of only one thing: the barrier that separates her world from Connor’s is weakening by the minute.

A world on the brink of destruction…

Thrown together by fate, Sha and Connor must find a way to put a stop to a killer, bent on destroying the world as they know it.

The Nexus is breaking, and all hell is about to unleash…literally


Buy at Amazon



Nothing is more dangerous than an unleashed warrior.

When Sentinels, an elite group of warriors, begin dying under mysterious circumstances, the deaths are believed to be unrelated but Achaius Rilke knows the truth. As a panther Chimerae, he recognizes the signs of a predator...even an unpredictable one. No one is safe and the only person Achaius can trust is Saia Makan, a Tempestuous Sorceri and the very person who has driven him crazy for years. When the killer sets its sight on Saia, Achaius faces the fight of his life.

But will he survive?


Buy at Amazon



This is a continuation of Connor and Sha's story. Book 1, Breaking the Nexus, should be read first. Look for the third book coming this winter!

***In memory of a dear family friend who recently died of lung cancer, a portion of the proceeds from this book will be donated to Lung Cancer Research. Thank you for your support in purchasing this book.***


As two Realms collide, the world descends into chaos. From the moment Sha Phoenix dropped into the middle of Detective Connor Flynn’s murder scene, he had known his life would never be the same. Following her claim to be a Sorceri from the Mythrian Realm, he had received a crash course in the impossible as they had struggled to stop a madman. Unfortunately, despite their efforts to stop the Nexus, a magical barrier separating the Mythrian and Human Realms, fractured. Magic and myth are spilling over into the Human Realm, plunging everything into turmoil.

Is their love strong enough to survive the flames of the phoenix? When Sha vanished through a portal in the middle of battle, Connor did not hesitate to follow the woman he had claimed as his. Now in the Mythrian Realm, they join forces with the Sentinels, the guardians of the Realms, to protect the world they love. Will they be able to contain the evil taking control? Or will they perish in the flames of war?


Buy at Amazon

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About the Author
Lindsay Avalon is a wife, owner of a devious mini Schnauzer, programmer, and now an author. An avid reader, her amazing husband never seems to mind the multitude of books scattered around the house. However, after listening to the words “I have nothing to read” one too many times, he suggested Lindsay try her hand at writing her own books. Since she’d never liked writing in school, she balked at the idea until her sister pestered her to participate in NaNoWriMo. It was then Lindsay realized that it was never writing she hated; it was writing boring essays. Creating worlds of magic, mystery, adventure, and romance became her true calling. In 2012, she embarked on the journey to become a self-published author and to bring her crazy ideas to life.

In 2013, Lindsay decided to ask a fellow author about her publishing company, Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly. It was a spur of the moment, impulsive decision, and one which Lindsay is eternally grateful she made. Though self-publishing was exhilarating, being a part of her amazing publishing family gives her a bit of structure in her chaotic existence.

When she’s not writing or spending time with her husband, she’s hiding out from devious bears seeking to thwart her writing efforts, pestering her amazing friends and personal assistant, creating works of art in resin, and a multitude of other things that capture her attention at the moment. You can find Lindsay online spreading insanity across Facebook and interacting with her many lovelies. She loves hearing from her readers and fellow writers!

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Saturday, January 10, 2015

REVIEW: Cold Mercy by Sadie Hart

***This book was originally reviewed for GraveTells.***
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Summary:

Bay dreams he’s a wolf attacking people, waking each morning to vomit the memories up and wonder if he’s sleepwalked or anything. Eden is attacked by a bear sized wolf and takes her broken dog sled to Bay in hopes he can fix it. When Eden walks up, Bay realizes that his dreams may not just be nightmares, but reality. When their worlds collide, they discover that magic is real: Werewolves, trolls, and the queen of the winter Fae to be exact. They stick together to try to fight the frightening queen, hoping their new love will be enough to protect them.

Thoughts:

Despite jumping right into the action and mystery, it took me a bit to get into the story. I liked the characters and the events were clearly exciting, but I didn’t feel the connection until Bay and Eden met and sparks flew. Once that happened, I was totally hooked.

It was really neat to see Bay’s transition from nightmare to reality and his transformation from monster to shifter. The romance between him and Eden was sweet and hot, and I really appreciated that they didn’t jump right into bed, though the building tension was great. I loved the relationship between Eden and her friends and how Bay assimilates into her life, even among her dogs as best as possible.

I’m not always into Fae storylines, but I actually got into this one. There were passages where we see the villain’s side of things, but through the viewpoint of another man that was turned into one of the Queen’s winter wolves and is trapped in her thrall, so it’s a complex situation as you both want and don’t want to hate him.

I did have a bit of a problem with some missing words and little inconsistencies, such as Bay shredding his clothes when he shifts, but being clothed upon shifting back. It was frustrating and a little distracting, but easy enough to overlook and still enjoy the story. The ending was climactic and sweet, but also left fairly open so as to lead into the next book, which I suspect will be Kennedy’s story. They all still have a lot of winter left to survive with the Fae queen still at large!

Compelling and endearing, Cold Mercy is a fun, interesting ride. If you want to get lost in a story about the Fae, shifters learning to control their new instincts that they never asked for, and humans getting caught up in the crossfire, I recommend reading this one!


Friday, January 9, 2015

Flash Fiction Returns!

So I will return to doing flash fiction!  However, while I welcome y'all's input, instead of relying on getting my ideas elsewhere, I can roll the dice.  My best friend got me a Christmas present, and it was Rory's Story Cubes!  It's perfect for doing some flash fiction, doing a simple writing exercise, playing around, or getting inspired.  I hope you all enjoy reading what's to come as much as I intend to enjoy writing it!


Thursday, January 8, 2015

REVIEW: Hex Gone Wild by Milly Taiden

Summary:

A Naughty BBW Witch + A Growly Wolf = A Hot Romp in the Woods

Dalia Azul knows she's got a problem. Every spell she tries to create ends up targeting a growly shifter in the woods. He's big, furry and so sexy she's half-losing her mind from thinking about him.

When she goes out into the woods thinking that it will help her concentrate, she ends up summoning the big bad wolf instead. Figures. This time he isn’t going to make it easy on her. How can she focus on magic when he’s naked and promising to do all kinds of naughty things to her?

Maybe if she gets a taste of the forbidden, she’ll be able to concentrate and stop her hex gone wild...

Title:  Hex Gone Wild
Series:  Smut Shorties
Book #: 4
Author:  Milly Taiden
Approximate Book Length:  26 Pages
Recommended Reader Age:  18+
Sexual Content:  Explicit

Thoughts:

The couple in this one is actually kind of cute. There’s a little bit of substance to them, though it’s still mostly just lusting after a hot guy. For the most part this was very much like Don’t Drink and Hex, just with a different setting. I do enjoy Godmother Cleopatra though!

Bottom Line:

Hex Gone Wild is a very quick sexy read that’ll have you interested in a walk on the wild side with a hint of magic thrown in. Don’t miss out!

Rating:



Links:



Wednesday, January 7, 2015

CERVICAL CANCER AWARENESS MONTH


When I was nineteen, I got the uncomfortable news that I needed to go back to the doctor for a repeat pap smear.  I was informed that they both were abnormal and I should see a gynecologist.  Once there, a third one came up abnormal and I needed a colposcopy.  For the most part, it’s not much different than a pap, but maybe a little more uncomfortable.  I did end up needing a biopsy during the procedure and THAT part was the particularly uncomfortable part, but it’s over pretty quickly.

I was very lucky.  When the third pap smear had come up abnormal, I was told that there were cells present that were potentially cancerous, but after the biopsy, I was deemed fine.  Potentially cancerous cells are not too uncommon and most often are caused by HPV which can in fact turn into cancer over time, but mostly go away without treatment of any kind.  However, there are the unlucky ones who do develop cancer. 

It’s important for women over the age of (in my personal opinion) sixteen to get a pap every year (or as often as the doc recommends as you can now go three years if you get regular paps).  It’s also important to get checked out if you notice anything unusual – especially bleeding other than your period.  Other signs include a discharge that may contain blood and pain during sex. 

There are many risk factors for cervical cancer including: HPV (biggest!), smoking (risk factor for everything!), STDs, long-term use of birth control pills, intrauterine device use, family history, and several more.  Treatments vary greatly depending on what stage it was caught at and some decisions the woman wants to make.  Survival rates are actually pretty good for cervical cancer, however, as with any cancer, the odds are better the earlier it’s caught. 

Here are some helpful links with more information on cervical cancer.



**On a bonus note, Speed Demos Archive is doing a marathon this week Jan 4-10 to raise money for the Prevent Cancer Foundation.  They raised over a $1,000,000 last year.  They have a bunch of speed runner running games new and old such as the latest Mario Kart and old Super Mario games.  You can just watch the games or you can watch and donate.  We watch it every year (they do a summer one too) and it’s definitely fun and always for a good cause.**

Saturday, January 3, 2015

REVIEW: Shifting Pride by Laura Diamond

***This book was originally reviewed for GraveTells.***
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Summary:

Sixteen year old Nickie refuses to give up on her father, whom is believed to be dead by everyone else. Having gone missing nearly a year ago, some strange things have begun to happen in his absence. Meeting the new hottie in school, Xavian, only adds to her confusion. When Nickie’s world shifts as she grows whiskers and a tail, it’s Xavian that helps her understand her new life. When her father’s rival, Derek, wants her to join him, she finds that Xavian might be her only hope to solving the mystery behind her father’s disappearance and her only hope to surviving the situation.

Thoughts:

This was a pretty fun YA read. The mystery throughout the beginning was kind of creepy and unnerving in some ways, and would be tough to take for a sixteen year old still struggling without her father. The mystery felt a little drawn out when parts of it were a little predictable, but it didn’t detract from the story.

It took me a bit to get a read on Xavian, but never really felt he’d be a bad guy, so I occasionally wanted to knock a little sense into Nickie for being so harsh and overreacting with him so much. Then again, it was kind of funny to see her so flustered around him. When some of the little changes start happening, it’s nice to see that it affected her in everyday things and people took notice. I also appreciated that the names were a little different than I’m used to seeing. Sometimes it’s the small things that stand out.

The ending felt like kind of a blur – it happened pretty quickly – and I feel like I now have more questions than I did before, particularly when it comes to how things were handled after the final conflict. There were some dark moments, mainly when Nickie is captured and Derek wants to force her to be his mate…at sixteen. Thankfully there’s nothing graphic. The only remotely graphic scenes are the fight scenes. I love that we see plenty of the characters in cat form, and that’s how most of the fighting occurs.

Overall it was a good, well balanced story. The chemistry between Nickie and Xavian is strong, the mystery is cryptic, and the action is exciting.

Shifting Pride is a compelling read with heartwarming family dynamics. The bond that forms between Xavian and Nickie is unbreakable and adorable. If you’re looking for an interesting YA read about shape shifting felines, I recommend this one!


Friday, January 2, 2015

BLOG TOUR: Bear and Bear Alike by Marie Mason


Thanks to Bewitching Book Tours for hosting this blog tour. I'm sharing my review of Bear and Bear Alike by Marie Mason. Happy reading!

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Summary:

Ryland and Ryker Blackwood were twins. Identical, thigh clenching bear shifter twins who had no trouble getting women into their beds. Or bed. They’d shared just about everything in life, even women.

The scent of the cat shifter they found on their construction site was driving both Blackwood brothers crazy with lust. Or was it? Every time they thought they were getting closer to finding the woman who would be their mate, one of their bears backed away. The hot and cold feeling they were getting from their animals was confusing the shit out of them. Was the cat shifter meant for one of them or both of them?

Title:  Bear and Bear Alike
Series:  Blackwood Brothers
Book #: 3
Author:  Marie Mason
Approximate Book Length:  215 Pages
Recommended Reader Age:  18+
Sexual Content:  Explicit

Thoughts:

So I suppose this could stand alone, but not very well. I haven’t read the previous books, but I think it’d be a lot better if I had – continuity wise anyway. Other than that it’s really not a bad book. The writing style was a little confusing because it was a little jumpy. It never particularly seemed to follow any particular point of view, even though it seemed like it should sometimes, but more followed any point of view that was involved at any given time. The story itself was exciting. There’s a little mystery, some tension of multiple types, some fun family dynamics, and there’s some suspense. The conflict is strong, but nothing too terrible occurs which I appreciate. It all made for a compelling read with an ending I adored.

Bottom Line:

Bear and Bear Alike is sweet and sexy read with a cuteness that gives it balance. Don’t miss out on this interesting peek at a group of shifters that feel like normal people you could meet any day!

Rating:



Links:



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About the Author
Marie Mason has loved writing and reading her whole life. Everyone knows when you start to hear voices in your head, you’er destined to be admitted to the nearest mental ward—or become a writer. Marie decided to become writer instead of waiting for the men in white coats to come carry her away. She loves books about alpha males and especially alpha males who just happened to be a demon, wolf or a bear.

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