Wednesday, June 21, 2017

BLOG TOUR: Savaged Dreams by Jennifer Lyon


Thanks to Herding Cats and Burning Soup for hosting this blog tour. I'm sharing my review of Jennifer Lyon's Savaged Dreams today. Happy reading!

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Summary:

Going away to college gives LIZA GLASNER a chance to escape her painful and dangerous past…or so she thinks. At fourteen years old, she survived an attack by a famous musician. After that, the media, groupies and crazies hounded her with a merciless cruelty that ruined her life. But now she’s thriving—until an internship brings her face to face with the sizzling hot lead singer of a rock band, and she finds herself drawn to the very thing that once destroyed her. Justice is a temptation she can’t resist…and one that could get her killed.

Sexy rock star JUSTICE CADE is determined to take his band, Savaged Illusions, to the top by winning the Court of Rock T.V. show. Tortured by guilt for failing his family, he believes fame is his only path to redemption. But when the fiery college-intern hiding her beauty beneath baggy sweaters and a snarky attitude bursts into his life, Justice is forced to choose between the woman he loves and the stardom he craves. The wrong choice will cost him more than he can bear.

**This is book one in a trilogy and ends on a cliffhanger. However the next two books are being released in July and September so readers won’t be stranded on the cliff for long!

Title:  Savaged Dreams
Series:  Savaged Illusions
Book #: 1
Author:  Jennifer Lyon
Approximate Book Length:  318 Pages
Recommended Reader Age:  18+
Sexual Content:  Moderate

Thoughts:

I fell completely under the thrall of this book. Justice isn't your typical rock star which I appreciated. I was a little afraid when starting this book because I kind of expected the bad boy player type of rockstar. Justice had a lot of heart. His band was pretty great too. Liza is such a strong character. I loved seeing her fight back her demons. I absolutely adored them together. They connection between them just arcs right off the page like lightning. I didn't realize when I read this that it was a book one, so now I'm upset I have to wait for book two (though at least I won't have to wait long)!

Bottom Line:

Savaged Dreams is both riveting and sweet. I was glued to the page and couldn't get enough. The next installment can't come fast enough!

Rating:



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About the Author
Jennifer Lyon is the pseudonym for USA Today Bestselling Author Jennifer Apodaca. Jen lives in Southern California where she continually plots ways to convince her husband that they should get a dog. After all, they met at the dog pound, fell in love, married and had three wonderful sons. So far, however, she has failed in her doggy endeavor. She consoles herself by pouring her passion into writing books. To date, Jen has published more than fifteen books and novellas, including a fun and sexy mystery series and a variety of contemporary romances under the name Jennifer Apodaca. As Jennifer Lyon she created a dark, sizzling paranormal series, and The Plus One Chronicles, an emotionally sensual adult contemporary series. Jen’s won numerous awards and had her books translated into multiple languages, but she still hasn’t come up with a way to persuade her husband that they need a dog.



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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

REVIEW: Lover Revealed by JR Ward

Summary:

Butch O’Neal is a fighter by nature. A hard-living ex–homicide cop, he’s the only human ever to be allowed in the inner circle of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. And he wants to go even deeper into the vampire world. He’s got nothing to lose. His heart belongs to a female vampire, an aristocratic beauty who’s way out of his league. If he can’t have Marissa, then at least he can fight side by side with the Brothers.

Fate curses him with the very thing he wants. When Butch sacrifices himself to save a civilian vampire from the slayers, he falls prey to the darkest force in the war. Left for dead, he’s found by a miracle, and the Brotherhood calls on Marissa to bring him back. But even her love may not be enough to save him.

Title:  Lover Revealed
Series:  Black Dagger Brotherhood
Book #: 4
Author:  JR Ward
Approximate Book Length:  514 Pages
Recommended Reader Age:  18+
Sexual Content:  Moderate

Thoughts:

I was surprised when this wasn't the second book given how Butch featured in the first one. There are some heavy themes in this book such as the root of evil, sexuality, and suicide.

There is so much that I love about this book. V features heavily, which makes sense given that he took responsibility for Butch's presence in the brotherhood's world and that his book is next. The relationship V and Butch gets strengthened and is even given purpose.

Marissa shows some serious growth in this book. She comes off as kind of a doormat for a long time, so it's great to see her go for what she really wants and show some spine. I also love her "first time" experience and her talk with Beth. It's realistic and very relatable.

Butch gets a lot of new experiences and it's kind of cool to see some of them. One of them does bring about some serious questions about lineage that doesn't really get answered in this book.

Bottom Line:

Lover Revealed has a lot of heart warming moments as well as some pretty suspenseful ones. It brings some deeper insight into the lesser world as well as the vampire one.

Rating:



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Friday, June 9, 2017

BLOG TOUR: Return of the Chauffeur's Son by Tara Lain



Will the promising chef with dreams of starting his own restaurant and winery see the dark, quiet lure of his long time crush's conservative older brother, Dylan Armstrong?




Summary:


Luca McGrath may be returning to Napa Valley, California, as a promising chef with dreams of starting his own restaurant and winery, but his heart still lives with the bad-boy son of a billionaire, James Armstrong. Luca spent his childhood playing games with the golden boy of California society, so blinded by James he barely noticed the dark, quiet lure of his conservative older brother, Dylan Armstrong. 

But now Luca’s home, and his own powers of attraction are enough to make James question his dedicated heterosexuality and his promised marriage to a wealthy and powerful businesswoman. The obvious attraction between Luca and James spurs Dylan into action—but he’s fighting a huge secret. While Luca dreamed of James, Dylan dreamed of Luca. When Luca gets caught in the struggle between the brothers and gets accused of culinary espionage he’s ready to chuck the fairy tale—unable to even imagine Dylan’s power to make his dreams come true.

Title:  Return of the Chauffeur's Son
Series:  N/A
Book #: N/A
Author:  Tara Lain
Approximate Book Length:  200 Pages
Recommended Reader Age:  18+
Sexual Content:  Moderate

Thoughts:

This was such a refreshing read! There were no villains exactly and for the most part everyone behaved like adults. James was sort of an idiot and Luca had a rather juvenile crush that blinded him to the truth, but neither one let it completely rule them or anything. They didn't ruin their lives or become doormats. Dylan was so sweet and I just adored him even if he was a big dummy when it came to recognizing his own feelings. I like Luca's attitude towards his future a lot too. He was realistic and determined and genuinely loved what he did. Together Luca and Dylan just made me swoon.

Bottom Line:

Return of the Chauffeur's Son has it all - lovable characters, endearing trials, and even a little espionage to make things even more interesting. The ending was perfect and it all just left me so happy!

Rating:





         





Excerpt



A cool voice came from behind Luca. “And of course you know that Nila is James’s fiancée.” Dylan stepped into their circle and gave that little smile that never quite warmed his whole face. “Good evening, all. Sorry I’m late. Why is Friday always the day for crises?”

Luca could barely hear him over the dull thud in his ears. Fiancée. Of course. Made sense. She was a tech wizard among tech wizards. Add beautiful and charming. Then add female. The correct sex for the heterosexual Armstrong son, no matter what he said about sucking cocks.

Luca glanced at Dylan’s chiseled face. Bastard. So that’s why you invited us. He wanted to parade James’s fiancée in front of Luca and remind him exactly what he couldn’t have. Luca smiled tightly. “I suppose crises are in the eye of the beholder.”

Francis gave Luca’s arm a squeeze. Right. Don’t insult your father’s employers.

His father looked around. “Is William not feeling well tonight?”

Esther frowned just a little. “Tired, mostly, but I’m sure he’d love to see Luca. Why don’t you take him back, Francis? You know the way.”

“I will. Come on, son.”

Luca followed his father into the hall that led to William and Esther’s suites. On the opposite side of the house, both James and Dylan had their own bedrooms, offices, gyms, whatever they needed. That way the whole family could regard the home as their private quarters when they wanted to. Of course, both sons had their own apartments in San Francisco too.

Luca murmured, “Sorry, Dad.”

“Nothing to be sorry for. Dylan’s play was heavy-handed, and he deserved what he got. I sincerely apologize, son. I didn’t realize Nila was engaged to James. I’d heard they were seeing each other, but James sees a lot of women.”

Luca stopped walking and leaned against the thick plaster wall. “Before you came out of your room this evening, James showed up at our door. He was more than flirtatious. Pretty damned confusing, especially in light of this announcement.”

His dad shook his head. “I can’t claim to know what goes through that man’s head. But no matter what game he’s playing, that doesn’t alter the fact that James is both heterosexual and engaged in a liaison that’s very important to the family. I’ve heard Dylan talking about the need to develop wearable technology. I realize now that some kind of agreement with Nila’s company must be what he has in mind. If that’s true, it’s worth millions, maybe more, to Armstrong Technologies. Be careful, Luca. It looks like a big-stakes game.”

Luca wiped a hand over his neck. “I didn’t start this, Dad. Seriously. Sure, I was flirting a little, but then he started coming on. Hinting at how he’d change his orientation for me. Even tonight, he keeps looking at me like I’m ice cream.”

“I noticed, and I’m sure everyone else did too, especially Dylan. I believe James is just playing. You’re a damned attractive man, and he’s known to lust after anything beautiful.”

“I’m not exactly the right gender to interest him. Shit, did Dylan really have to make such an issue of it?”

“James may be kidding, but I’d say Dylan isn’t counting on that. One never got rich or richer counting on the twists and turns of James Armstrong’s affections.”

Damn, so true.

They kept walking to William Armstrong’s study, but a little cloud of sadness rode Luca’s shoulder.






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 32. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Paranormal 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 soul-mate husband and her soul-mate dog near the sea in California 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 Lain

               




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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

REVIEW: Lover Awakened by JR Ward

Summary:

A former blood slave, the vampire Zsadist still bears the scars from a past filled with suffering and humiliation. Renowned for his unquenchable fury and sinister deeds, he is a savage feared by humans and vampires alike. Anger is his only companion and terror his only passion—until he rescues a beautiful female from the evil Lessening Society.

Bella is instantly entranced by the seething power Zsadist possesses. But even as their desire for each other begins to overtake them, Zsadist’s thirst for vengeance against Bella’s tormentors drives him to the brink of madness. Now Bella must help her lover overcome the wounds of his tortured past and find a future with her....

Title:  Lover Awakened
Series:  Black Dagger Brotherhood
Book #: 3
Author:  JR Ward
Approximate Book Length:  468 Pages
Recommended Reader Age:  18+
Sexual Content:  Moderate

Thoughts:

This book is heart warming to the extreme as well as completely heart wrenching. Z's history is atrocious and breaks my heart into a thousand peices. The way it's caused him to live his life is just so empty. Bella's been through hell and watching them both heal is a powerful thing. It also means there are some seriously hard parts to read through.

There are also some other really sad events. I don't want to give anything away, but one of our beloved Brothers and a relatively new addition to our cast are left floundering which leaves us as readers left hanging regarding what might be in store for them.

Bottom Line:

Lover Awakened is an intensely emotional read with such sweet moments and an ending that makes everything worth it!

Rating:



Links:



Wednesday, May 31, 2017

REVIEW: Lover Eternal by JR Ward

Summary:

Within the brotherhood, Rhage is the vampire with the strongest appetites. He’s the best fighter, the quickest to act on his impulses, and the most voracious lover—for inside him burns a ferocious curse cast by the Scribe Virgin. Possessed by this dark side, Rhage fears the times when his inner dragon is unleashed, making him a danger to everyone around him.

Mary Luce, a survivor of many hardships, is unwittingly thrown into the vampire world and reliant on Rhage’s protection. With a life-threatening curse of her own, Mary is not looking for love. Her faith in miracles was lost years ago. But when Rhage’s intense animal attraction turns into something more emotional, he knows that he must make Mary his alone. And while their enemies close in, Mary fights desperately to gain life eternal with the one she loves…

Title:  Lover Eternal
Series:  Black Dagger Brotherhood
Book #: 2
Author:  JR Ward
Approximate Book Length:  462 Pages
Recommended Reader Age:  18+
Sexual Content:  Moderate

Thoughts:

This was just a fun read (for the most part anyway). Rhage is such a cool guy, especially with his party trick. The beast brings a very interesting twist to the romance and to Rhage's life in general. I kind of adore the beast.

Mary is an incredibly strong and stubborn woman. Her story is really quite sad and I think she and Rhage are totally sweet together. Fear plays a big role for them both though and it's sometimes hard to watch them learn to overcome it.

We meet some new players in this book. O is extremely worrisome as a bad guy and X is still around. I love Bella and John Matthew. The potential for each of them is very intriguing. The ending is bittersweet, but leaves you anxiously anticipating the next book all the more.

Bottom Line:

Lover Eternal has some teary moments, but is ultimately an exciting ride with our favorite vampire brotherhood.

Rating:



Links:



Wednesday, May 24, 2017

REVIEW: Dark Lover by JR Ward

Summary:

The only purebred vampire left on the planet and the leader of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, Wrath has a score to settle with the slayers who killed his parents centuries ago. But when his most trusted fighter is killed—orphaning a half-breed daughter unaware of her heritage or her fate—Wrath must put down his dagger and usher the beautiful female into another world.

Racked by a restlessness in her body that wasn’t there before, Beth Randall is helpless against the dangerously sexy man who comes to her at night with shadows in his eyes. His tales of the Brotherhood and blood frighten her. Yet his touch ignites a dawning new hunger—one that threatens to consume them both...

Title:  Dark Lover
Series:  Black Dagger Brotherhood
Book #: 1
Author:  JR Ward
Approximate Book Length:  416 Pages
Recommended Reader Age:  18+
Sexual Content:  Moderate

Thoughts:

I bought this book on the recommendation of a cashier when she saw me buying the Twilight Saga. Beyond knowing it was about vampires, I didn't really know what to expect. For the record, it's really nothing like the sparkly guys, so don't let that sway you in any way. My first impression was that it was a little hardcore, but as I kept reading, I fell in love with the brotherhood and the vampire race.

I may not like all their customs and rituals, but I love their devotion - to their mates, their brothers, and their beliefs (whatever they may be for each individual). I thought the world building was really solid and the story was a wonderfully complex web that leaves so much room for more.

The romance itself was both sweet and very sexy. They certainly had some obstacles and their ups and downs, but they got through it and they just work so well together. Wrath is a little hot headed, but also very realistic and practical. I love the way he thinks, for the most part anyway. Beth is level headed and has an incredible inner strength. They balance each other really well.

The drama at the end had me riveted and seemed to bring everyone together. There are some changes in store for everyone and I like the direction those changes are going. I also adore the last line.

I don't like the various perspectives, especially not the "villain's", but I understand it was part of the world building. It just made reading a little slow at times.

Ultimately, regardless of how much I do or don't like anything from this book - or series even - or how much I love things I've read since, Dark Lover will always hold a very special place in my heart. It was my very first adult romance book - my gateway so to speak. I've been hooked ever since.

Bottom Line:

Dark Lover is a tantalizing introduction to the Black Dagger Brotherhood that left me wanting more in all the right ways.

Rating:



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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

REVIEW: Up from the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

Summary:

The Grave Ends Here.

Lately, life has been unnaturally calm for vampires Cat Crawfield and her husband Bones. They should have known better than to relax their guard, because a shocking revelation sends them back into action to stop an all-out war...

A rogue CIA agent is involved in horrifying secret activities that threaten to raise tensions between humans and the undead to dangerous heights. Now Cat and Bones are in a race against time to save their friends from a fate worse than death...because the more secrets they unravel, the deadlier the consequences. And if they fail, their lives--and those of everyone they hold dear-- will be hovering on the edge of the grave.

Final novel in the Night Huntress series.

Title:  Up from the Grave
Series:  Night Huntress
Book #: 7
Author:  Jeaniene Frost
Approximate Book Length:  389 Pages
Recommended Reader Age:  18+
Sexual Content:  Explicit

Thoughts:

The stakes have never been higher. Everyone Cat loves is at risk and the war they narrowly avoided before could break out anyway if Cat can’t deal with Madigan’s nefarious activities.

What Madigan did in his secret facility is horrifying and makes my heart hurt. The one creature of his that escapes must be found at all costs and not just for the obvious reasons.

I’ve been emotionally invested in every book throughout this series, but none more this book. Many intricate plans had to come together to save as many lives as possible.

Everybody we’ve come to love shows up in this book except Vlad, but he’s got his own series by this point, so that’s ok. It’s a nice wrap to everything while still leaving potential for spinoffs.

Bottom Line:

Up from the Grave is a satisfying finale to Cat and Bones, but I still want more. Good thing Vlad has a few books with cameos from his good friend Cat.

Rating:



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