Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Black Swan Rising

By Lee Caroll

When New York City jewelry designer Garet James stumbles into a strange antiques shop in her neighborhood, her life is about to be turned upside down. John Dee, the enigmatic shopkeeper, commissions her to open a vintage silver box for a generous sum of money. Oddly, the symbol of a swan on the box exactly matches the ring given to her by her deceased mother. Garet can’t believe her luck and this eerie coincidence until she opens the box and otherworldly things start happening. . .
That evening, the precious silver box is stolen. When Garet begins to investigate, she learns that she has been pulled into a prophecy that is hundreds of years old, and opening the box has unleashed an evil force onto the streets of Manhattan and the world at large. Gradually, Garet pieces together her true identity—one that her deceased mother desperately tried to protect her from. Generations of women in Garet’s family, including her beloved mother, suffered and died at the hands of this prevailing evil. Does Garet possess the power to reclaim the box and defeat this devastating force?
On her journey, she will meet the fey folk who walk unnoticed among humans and a sexy vampire who also happens to be a hedge fund manager that she can’t stop thinking about. But the fairies reveal a desire to overpower mere humans and the seductive vampire has the power to steal the life from her body. Whom can Garet trust to guide her? Using her newfound powers and sharp wit, Garet will muster everything she’s got to shut down the evil taking over her friends, family, New York City, and the world.

 I came across this book as I was wandering through Waterstones, being glared at by my Mum (who already thinks I buy far too many books) and saw this on the top shelf as a recommended read and a little review from one of the employees. Being a cover whore I thought, oooooo, ok then, and I gave it a shot. I am so pleased I did as I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Lee Carroll is the writing combo of Carol Goodman and her husband Lee Slonimsky, I had not read any of their books before but I will definitely be looking into reading more of it.

A new urban fantasy series which mixes vampires and the fae and heaps on top of that romance through the ages and unrequited love, Black Swan Rising is the story of Garet James, a watchtower and Will Hughes. In the beginning of the book Garet believes she is a simple gallery owner and jewellery designer, however after a really bad day- bank calling in loan- Garet accepts a strange commission to open a silver box with the same swan insignia as the the signet ring her mother gave her. This section is really fast paced, you are pulled into the drama, you are wondering what is going to happen next, suspending disbelief as her world gets weirder and weirder (and you will have to take a leap of faith with this book, vampires, demons alchemists and fairies? But trust me it works and after all shouldn't a fantasy book take us on a bizarre fantastical journey?)

Garet is an interesting character who throws herself into the world she discovers, admittedly she doesn't have much choice, but with her power building she discovers exactly what she can do. Her supporting cast is really well thought out too, her father and his old artist friend, her best friends who form part of a band, the police detective investigating the break in at her gallery and the fae she meets. It is the relationship with her family and friends which keeps her grounded throughout, even when she misreads the signals and we the reader are screaming at her telling her she has picked he wrong one. Can't say more on that as I might spoil it, but yes, I screamed at the book!

Add to this sexy Will Hughes, vampire, but a vampire who seems to find her in every incarnation, a vampire who professes to love her, one who is tied to her and one who is as sexy as hell. Is he good, is he evil? He is a man and a vampire and like the rest of us he is sometimes in this for himself and that is something Garet has to face, but not all his lost and there is hope in the end. He is an intriguing character and I can totally see why she is fascinated by him. The only down side, sex between them is referred to and skipped over. I am not saying I want full on erotic description, I don't think it would fit with the rest of the book, but a little description of the emotions that she felt would have helped e. But please don't let this put you off, it is a passing remark.

Garet with the help of Will and Obie Smith (I'll not spoil it by telling you who he is) must battle John Dee evil Elizabethan alchemist who wants to bring despair and discord to the world, the book is Garet's journey of discovery and a race to find the truth as she battles Dee and his forces, but each battle brings more questions, each answer a new secret. Where will it all end up? Read it and find out.

Can't wait for part 2 The Watchtower. A great new read, I just wish more people new about it so I could talk about it, because writing this without giving away the plot was so difficult, this is attempt 3 and it is still not perfect, so I leave you with this thought.... 4.5 frilly knickers out of 5! Go read the book and thank you Waterstones!

Saturday, 7 May 2011

No Place to Run: Reviewed

By Maya Banks

The last person Sam Kelly expected to pull wounded from the lake was Sophie Lundgren. Once they shared a brief, intense affair while Sam was undercover and then she vanished. She's spent the last months on the run, knowing that any mistake would cost her life and that of her unborn child—Sam's child. Now she's resurfaced with a warning for Sam: this time, he's the one in danger.

Now he's her last chance.

Sam has too many questions to let her slip away again—like why she disappeared in the first place. This time he vows not to be seduced. But one look in her eyes, and the passion burns again, and Sam knows he’ll do anything to keep her and his child safe. However, Sophie’s dark past is more dangerous than he imagines, and the only way for either to survive it is to outrun it.

Don't you just love a book with secrets? Well this series by Maya Banks is a well kept secret that I am about to blow the whistle on because I LOVED it! I did, I truly did. I know it is fairly new and I ordered the first 2 together to see what they were like but the minute I finished this one I went online and ordered the next, if that is not recommendation enough, I don't know what is. So why did I like them? They are different from each other even though the premise is the same, military (or ex military) brother has to save love from dire straits *hums money for nothing riff.... heheh.... dire straits get it...* OK moving on.. but the books are very different.

Sam is the eldest of the Kelly brothers and takes his roll very seriously, however whilst on a job he meets Sophie and everything goes out of the window and into the bed, after a rather steamy session in the shower he leaves and well leaves Sophie will a part of himself. However Sophie has her own secrets, huge great ones which put her in danger, she resists as long as she can but eventually she is forced to hunt Sam out. Sophie is great, she is strong and relentless and very feminine, she is simply pushed beyond tolerance and lets face it I don't think anything in this world is fiercer than a mother defending her children.

The relationship between Sam and Sophie starts very hot and heavy and then, well trust issues surface and the majority of the book is them trying to resolve their problems, build a relationship, stay alive and keep the family alive. Like with the previous book things are not always what they seem and there is a twist in the tale. It is a really good story which is fast paced and keeps you wanting to turn the page and if it can engage me through many painkillers and cramps it can do almost anything!

If you like strong characters, military men and a mystery with your romance then this book is for you, a great summer read I give No Place to Run 4.5 frilly knickers out of 5 and I can't wait for Garret's book!

Friday, 6 May 2011

No Mercy: Reviewed

By Sherrilyn Kenyon

Dev Peltier thought he knew it all. But one night when not just a Dark-Hunter, but an official member of the Dogs of War sashays into his bar, he realizes that he might have met his match.

Sam was one the fiercest Amazon warrior in her tribe. But when an act of brutal betrayal made her a Dark-Hunter, she's been pissed ever since.

Life fast, fight hard and enjoy the night. That's her credo. But as old enemies and new move into New Orleans, she realizes that Dev just might be the only hope she and mankind have to save the world.

 I have been a fan of the Dark Hunter series for a very long time, in fact many years ago it was my first foray into the world of the paranormal, well OK I had read fantasy and science fiction for years, but I had never come across paranormal romance before and with Night Pleasures I lapped it up! Went out and got Fantasy Lover and Night Embrace (which were the only other 2 out) and devoured them. I then learned what it was like to stalk the postman! So yes, these books do have a special place in my heart. It is what led me to the Dark Hunter BBS (sadly it is no more sob) created BAM ( Banners Anonymous- founder member) and eventually led me here and to all of you. Throughout all those books (and yes I have read them all) one of my favourite characters was Dev and I was SO excited that he would finally get his own book. But I also went into this with a little trepidation as even though I have enjoyed the recent books I am also aware of how big the DH world now is and in some ways the books have lost the charm of the early books I fell in love with. This tight nit community which looks after their own. But I shouldn't have been scared.


Perhaps it was because all the old gang was there, perhaps it was because Dev was one of the original characters and I felt I knew him already, but that charm was there and wound throughout the book.

I am not saying the book is perfect, there are still some questions that need answering like does Sam's "thing" not work on him simply because they are mates? Or did I miss something?

But it is a good book and a really engaging read. Dev is sexy and bearlike and human and vulnerable and all the things deep inside that he didn't show, we find out more about his past life and his relationship with his family, his mother in particular and just why family is so important to him, at times your heart will bleed for him. In the past books Dev came across as a bit of a player, well ok a different woman every night and sometimes two at a time (not that I minded I always had a soft spot for him *whispers bear pheromones to Sparklybearsy, Shame and Squire Nomad*) but we find out about the man inside in this book and through that more about his brothers, and I am certain Remi would have liked to keep some of those things secret! heheheheeeeee.

What about Samia? She is Amazonian in the best sense of the word, strong, fearless, brave and happy to put her life on the line for those she cares about, however someone wants her dead, in her final act of revenge she killed those who slaughtered her family, however they were more than they seemed and their brother has waited a long time for revenge and he means to have it.

A gripping story, old friends (the whole gang in there) and an ending which makes you smile, I love you Savitar! I gibe No Mercy 4.5 frilly knickers out of 5, add this to your summer reading list!

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Marked: Reviewed

By Elizabeth Naughton

THERON – Dark haired, duty bound and deceptively deadly. He’s the leader of the Argonauts, an elite group of guardians that defends the immortal realm from threats of the Underworld.

From the moment he walked into the club, Casey knew this guy was different. Men like that just didn’t exist in real life—silky shoulder-length hair, chest impossibly broad, and a predatory manner that just screamed dark and dangerous. He was looking for something. Her.

She was the one. She had the mark. Casey had to die so his kind could live, and it was Theron’s duty to bring her in. But even as a 200-year-old descendant of Hercules, he wasn’t strong enough to resist the pull in her fathomless eyes, to tear himself away from the heat of her body.

As war with the Underworld nears, someone will have to make the ultimate sacrifice.

This  book was a Christmas present my my friend Miss Shame (I got here the Dark Magic books) and I am so pleased she introduced me to the books as I thoroughly enjoyed it! It was in fact different to a lot of the paranormal fantasy/romance (or whatever it is now called) that I normally read. Why? I had never come across an Argonaut before. I know there are lots of books out there which draw on Greek myths and heroes but this was the first I had come across which used the idea of the Argonauts. (I did love the film Jason and the Argonauts when I was little, I know it was old even then, but when you are 6 those stop motion fighting skeletons are scary!)

This book was clearly an introduction into a new world which allowed us to experience more of the wider world as well as following the main plot, the building relationship between Theron and Casey and will she survive the threat on her life. It is a very complicated tale, but at no point did I feel lost or confused. I really like the world and was truly saddened by some of the deaths in it.

What did I love? I love how she saves him and cares for him, how he seems unable to control her, even her unconscious mind when he tries to wipe. I really enjoyed how the story had undercurrents which unfolded as it went on and we find not everything or everyone is what they seem, but there is just enough information so we suspect thereby including us into the secret.

I came to this boo fresh and knowing nothing about it and writing this is really hard because I loved that I knew nothing and therefore I don't want to give anything away to those who have never Read it!

Theron is your typical alpha, hot sexy and broody but he meets his match in Casey who always felt she was somehow different, but she doesn't realise how different, others however do (she works in a really interesting bar) and we find that she has been in part involved in their world for a while, she just doesn't realise that. Casey is strong and smart and funny and dare I say it almost amazonian.
A great read, I am heading to the book store to get the next few! I suggest you do the same, grab yourself a lounger and a drink and sit in the sun and indulge yourself in a great book! Don't forget the fan, when Theron gets going you will need to fan yourself!

I give Marked 4.5 frilly knickers out of 5! Thanks Shame, you are the best!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Bound to Shadows: reviewed

By Kerri Arthur

At a local vampire club, someone is beheading the clientele, and the peace the Guardians are meant to maintain is getting shaky. Human and vampire fatalities escalate and Riley Jenson - a rare hybrid of werewolf and vampire - finds herself struggling to make sense of the murders and, in particular, her main suspect: the club's owner Dante Starke and his powerful sexual aura. And if things weren't bad enough, she's also torn between her love for Quinn and her connection with the unpredictable werewolf Kye - her soulmate. With the city on the verge of all-out war, Riley must not only capture the killer, but choose between the man she loves and the man she's destined to be with.

It had been a while since I read this series by the time I had the opportunity to pick up Bound to Shadows, I have to thank my friend V for introducing me to this series and first read them when I went to the states (Vegas Baby) to meet some of my girlies (you know who you are! Lets skip down the strip!) Sorry I am easily distracted... back to the book. I read the first 7 back to back and really enjoyed them and you know how it goes other books come out and you eventually get round to the next few and as usual I am late to the party. But that is not always a bad thing  and somehow I always seem to get the best seat. 

This is a really poignant installment in Riley Jenson's very turbulent life, the more of her stories I read the more I long for her to find some happiness, from the carefree guardian we met in the fist book, Riley has really been through the emotional and relationship ringer, the one constant, her family and Quinn. However her wolf heart wants something else and how do you deal with the fact you don't actually like your wolf soul mate and that your vamp heart wants someone else. Thankfully Quinn seems to be there for her now and is managing to deal with Riley's unusual life however this book focuses more on her relationship with Kye.

But this book is much more than that, it is a brilliant mystery. Not many people know this but I LOVE Sherlock Holmes stories, I have done for years and therefore I love a good and complicated mystery and Bound to Shadows is just that. You are left following the wake off all this murders with no clear solution, creeping up on all the suspects and wondering where the story will take you next. And it is a shock.

A fast paced and engaging boo which makes you want to read on and is so emotive your heart feels for Riley. A great read I give Bound to Shadows 4 frilly knickers out of 5.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Erotica of the Month: Drilled by Regina Carlysle

By Regina Carlysle

Lori Donovan accepts the Cougar Challenge and pledges to snag a hot young stud, knowing it’ll be tough once she moves back to her Texas hometown. She expects barren plains and rattlesnakes but finds hunky Jackson Blue drilling for oil on her property instead. A driller. Hmm. Lori has a few ideas about that and just about all of them involve her poor, needy, sex-starved body.

Jackson takes one look at the curvy, sexy, older woman and puts his expertise into action. After all, drilling is what he does best. Against the wall, on the floor or in the middle of her bed, he’s the right man for the job. It’s a hot time in Texas when a tough, sexy drillin’ man meets a sassy cougar, and playing it safe just isn’t an option.
 You need a little erotic pick me up an feel good read, go for Drilled! The pun in the title says everything, cowboys, oil fields drilling and sex, lots of it!  Lori doesn't think she will get the opportunity to fulfill her cougar pledge and in someways kinda hopes she doesn't have to, but that hope is dashed when she meets Jackson and all her hope turns to fulfilling her lustful thoughts about him. Jackson is fun and forceful and downright sexy!

I have a couple of the Cougar Challenge books but this is the first one I have managed to read (stupid real life) and I will be getting to the others as soon as I can because I truly enjoyed it, it was a short escape from a lot of outside stress I have had to deal with and it make me smile. OK it made me hot and bothered in a very good way!

It is a short story or novella therefore you can read it in a couple of hours and even though it is short and quick to the action you still get  real feel for the characters and their feelings. from that first THUD of attraction when the meet to the realisation that this could go somewhere and that panic that can sometimes go with it. You know the one, do they feel the same.

Grab yourself a copy and get reading, 4.5 frilly knickers out of 5, a definite damp panty read!

Monday, 2 May 2011

Sweet Temptation: Reviewed

By Maya Banks

He was a by-the-book cop who broke the rules in the bedroom...
Micah Hudson has painful secrets he's run hard from. He has new friends, a new life, but he's about to be confronted with the one person who reminds him of all he's tried to forget—Angelina, the sister of his oldest friend David. She knows everything about his past, including how he and David fell in love with the same woman, and how they decided the best way to prevent her from tearing them apart was to share her between them. But then a terrible accident left Micah alone...
She was willing to do anything to make him see the woman she'd become...
Micah lost the two people who meant the most in the world to him. Angelina lost her only family. And she kept her deepest secret close to her heart. Her love for Micah. No longer willing to wait, she decides it's time to go after him and bring him to his knees. She knows his secrets, his desires, his kinks and fetishes, and she'll use whatever it takes to reel him in. Behind the easygoing, loves women exterior lies a man with dark needs and passions. She can give him what he wants. But will he decide she's what he needs?

Another  book recommended to me by Miss Sparkybearsy and I must feed her chocolate for it! This was a case of coming to the series late and being able to read 4 books back to back and I did just that! By the time I got to Micah's book I was chomping at the bit! And I wasn't disappointed, the other books had suggested that Micah's was going to be a little different, that he was hiding something and that he needed more. Angelina is just what he needs, but she knows his secret and he doesn't realise she is what his missing in his life.

There is one problem, someone doesn't want anyone to have her, ever. Will Micah be able to get over his prejudices and save her? Well I will let you find that out for yourself!

A really great erotic read which is HOT and heavy on plot and characterisation, an intricate tale of mystery and lust which will have your gripping the book with white knuckles wanting to know what happens next and all the while trying to handcuff Micah to your bed, ok perhaps that bit is just me!

If you want something to get you all hot and bothered round the round the pool this summer then you can't go wrong with this book, Micah will have parts of you squirmy and tight you will ave to dive in the pool to cool off! I just ordered the next book and I am hoping it will be here soon. A definite damp panty read deserving 4.5 frilly knickers out of 5!

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Eternal Rider: Reviewed

by Larissa Ione 

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

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

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

I am going to start this review with a  fangirly SQUEEEEEEEEEE! I loved this book, it is true I did I did I did! The Lords of Deliverance I think will be a fabulous edition to the demonica series which gave so many of us pleasure, in some ways I believe it even has the power to surpass the series as the stories are more intriguing and interconnected. And they are definitely interconnected, the usual gang appear and we learn what has been happening to them, but it also takes us down new and darker paths, but don't worry it holds our hand and shows us the way.

We learn a lot about the demon world and the horsemen and it is not always happy ready with the breaking of Pestilence's seal danger and disease is unleashed on the world and the horsemen have to come to terms with the loss of a brother as well as the possibility of Ares becoming war. The story is completely engaging and a real page turner, both the protagonists are multi dimensional and we have a lot to learn about them as they discover themselves as well as each other. We know from the beginning that Cara has a power, but it scares her and she doesn't understand it, as she learns about it we learn about it too, we begin to understand her skittish nature as her life is laid out for our perusal. She may be skittish, but don't be mislead into thinking she is soft, she isn't, still waters run deep.

The new characters we meet, mainly the horsemen are well developed and fully fleshed out which only makes us long for the next novel, and I am longing I am longing! I want the next story now, I do!

Another great read from Larissa Ione, if you haven't read it, you need to, and if you are thinking I must read the Demonica series first, don't worry, this is a new series and whilst the other books and some characters are referenced this has enough content to stand on its own. Grab this and a cocktail and head for the lounger, a fabulous summer read thoroughly deserving of 5 frilly knickers! A HOT summer panty read.
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