Archive | June 2013

Hunting Karoly (Psychic Seductions, #1) by Marie Treanor

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Hunting Karoly Marie Treanor You’re not meant to fall for the bad guy…are you? On the rain-soaked, famously mean streets of Glasgow, Jenny, a reluctant psychic, hunts Karoly, a dangerous but incredibly sexy vampire. Clad only in his antique kilt, he hangs around wedding receptions, biting the guests and seducing an unsuspecting vampire hunter-Jenny in particular. Half ready to stake him, half ready to beg him to have sex with her again, Jenny sets out to hunt Karoly. After amazing, intense sex and a dramatic exit from Glasgow, he follows Jenny to London, fueling both her growing awareness of her psychic powers and the hot, sexy dreams that fill her nights, leaving her to wake up panting. When he shows up at Jenny’s workplace, cooking for her friends and apparently determined to share her life, Jenny has to figure out who’s hunting whom-and if she’s ready to share her life with the evil, sexy, gorgeous undead. Publisher’s Note: Previously published elsewhere as Undead Men Wear Plaid, the story has been expanded and revised for Ellora’s Cave.

This was an odd one. There is the romanticizing about vampires as per usual…but this one doesn’t completely have a romanticized vampire.

Let me see if I can explain: The heroine is a “vampire hunter” and manages not to kill (but fall in lust with) the first vampire she meets. The relationship between the two (and him not killing her) is the romanticized part.

The vampire, on the other hand, kills (but not often as it makes no sense), is cold to the touch and is very…remote for a romance hero. I have to admit, the entire idea of having sex with a cold penis does not excite me. In fact, it reminds me of Stephen King’s The Stand. You know, the scene where Nadine first has sex with The Man in Black…and kills herself at the first opportunity. So I’m not sure if the cold penis is an authorial win or fail.

I did have a major issue with the heroine having sex with Karoly but then trying to kill him by setting vampire hunters on him and staking him herself. This back and forth feeling (to kill or to fuck) of the heroine’s makes for some uncomfortable reading.

So, this vampire is a little closer to Dracula than Edward for those that care – except that this Dracula is hawt.

I can appreciate a heroine who doesn’t fall head over heels with the vampire as soon as she meets him. At least some thought was brought into the equation.

I can’t really say how I feel about it…other than the fact that I skipped to the ending when Jenny brings the hunters to Karoly the day after making out with him. I went back and read the rest later…and the book maintains that uncomfortable feeling up to the very end.

Painted Faces by L.H. Cosway

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Come forth with an open mind, for an unconventional tale of love..

Dublin native Freda Wilson considers herself to be an acquired taste. She has a habit of making offensive jokes and speaking her mind too often. She doesn’t have the best track record with first impressions, which is why she gets a surprise when her new neighbour Nicholas takes a shine to her.

Nicholas is darkly handsome, funny and magnetic, and Freda feels like her black and white existence is plunged into a rainbow of colour when she’s around him. When he walks into a room he lights it up, with his quick wit and charisma. He is a travelling cabaret performer, but Freda doesn’t know exactly what that entails until the curtains pull back on his opening night.

She is gob-smacked and entirely intrigued to see him take to the stage in drag. Later on, Nicholas asks her if she would like to become his show assistant. Excited by the idea, she jumps at the chance. Soon she finds herself immersed in a world of wigs, make-up and high heels, surrounded by pretty men and the temptation of falling for her incredibly beautiful employer.

In this story of passion and sexual discovery, Nicholas and Freda will contend with jealousy, emotional highs and lows, and the kind of love that only comes around once in a lifetime.

*Trigger Warning* The beginning of this book has a fade to black sexual abuse scene that might be considered a trigger for some. There is no graphic descriptions but the implication of what will take place is present.

I’m SO not sure how to review this book. One of the reasons I really enjoyed this book so much is that it is NOT your typical romance novel. The hero is so very different than the typical romance hero (but the heroine was pretty typical, tbh). I enjoyed the writing and the…atmosphere of the story.

Nicholas – the hero – is…very damaged. It’s hard to tell exactly HOW damaged he really is. Sadly, while the text does a pretty good job of portraying his manic moods, the reader is mostly told rather than shown how fucked up Nicholas really is.
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Speed Dating (Harlequin NASCAR #2) by Nancy Warren

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One minute I’m locked out of my hotel room, and the next…Dylan Hargreave thinks I’m an actress paid to pose as his girlfriend at a North Carolina society wedding. How did this happen to me, of all people? Kendall Clarke, award-winning actuary, the veritable shining star of number crunchers who, just hours ago, learned her responsible fiance; (sorry, ex-fiance;) called off our wedding because he’d gotten one of my colleagues pregnant. What are the odds? Don’t tell me you’ve never heard of Dylan Hargreave. Celebrity NASCAR driver? People magazine’s Sexiest Man of the Year? Those eyes. That smile… Forget sensible! I’ve assessed the risk…and I’m taking it! I usually keep the brakes on, but as of now I’m taking a vacation. From me.

Kendall Clarke is an actuary, she’s engaged to a co-worker and she is 20 minutes away from winning the most prestigious award at her company. Her scumbag fiancé shows up at her hotel room to tell her that he’s been cheating on her with a fellow co-worker – who’s now pregnant – for several months. He’s breaking the engagement and he’s sitting with his new fiancée.

Kendall is shocked, embarrassed, and hurt. In her anxiety she manages to lock herself out of her hotel room, dressed only in an expensive slip. By chance she sees a man walking out of his room just as her bosses are walking around the corner. She slips into the room just in time.
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Ruling Passion (Passions, #1) by Katherine Kingston

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During a daring raid to rescue prisoners he was hired to free, Lord Jeoffrey Blaisdell discovers Lady Rosalind Hamilton. To secure her own release as well, she agrees to his price, though she knows she cannot pay it. When he learns of her deception, Jeoffrey offers her an alternate price for rescue…

The payment is to be reaped by Lord Jeoffrey in his bedchambers—swiftly, immediately, and all night long.

This was a rather disappointing book. The book starts with the heroine being stuck in a dungeon – she is being jailed after watching her entire family get murdered by a new “lord” of the manor. The lord plans to marry her and has tormented and jailed her to wear down her will. The “hero” recuses her in a group – for ransom. When he later finds out that she does not have the money she offered – she has to pay twice. Once for lying to him (that requires a beating with bundles of birch sticks) and once for the ransom he should have received (he’ll take her virginity for that, thank you very much).
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Kidnapped the Wrong Sister by Marie Kelly

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To stop his brother from an unsuitable marriage, Nikias Dranias holds the woman he believes to be Daryle prisoner on his island. However, it is her sister Diona that Nikias has mistakenly held, not believing her story that she too had come to stop the marriage of the two siblings.

Soon however, sparks are flying between the two, as they find themselves fiercely attracted to each other.

 

 

 

 

 

This shit right here…reminds me why I have a love/hate relationship with SPAs.

This is like…a poorly written excuse for a Harlequin romance. It certainly has all the tropes of a Harlequin:

-Beautiful virgin
-ruthless rich Greek tycoon billionaire type who for some reason does no fact checking or research
-completely unrealistic situations that require lots of money
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Under Her Skin by Jeaniene Frost, Meljean Brook & Ilona Andrews

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Three short stories of paranormal romance…

“Pack” brings you a tale of a lost hiker and her encounter with some very frightening–and sexy–wolves. A female werewolf helps a sheriff track down a killer “In Sheep’s Clothing.” A woman must repay her family’s debt to a shapeshifting magician in “Grace of Small Magics.”

Please note: Each of these stories previously appeared in print in The Mammoth Book of Paranormal Romance. This is a collected e-book edition of Ilona Andrews’, Jeaniene Frost’s, and Meljean Brook’s contributions.

Pack by Jeaniene Frost: I both liked and didn’t like this one. My major problem? I don’t like deception in books. It…just makes me uncomfortable most of the time. Unless the person being deceived is the bad guy. Continue reading

Wine: Chateau Ste Michelle – 05/08/13

My husband and I had a wonderful salmon dinner last night. We had Crispy Bourbon Salmon, Basmati Rice with Sweet Onions and Summer Herbs and sauteed spinach with garlic. I decided to pair this with a Riesling because – thus far – that’s my favorite white. I knew I wanted something that wasn’t too sweet and while I really enjoy Relax, I had a feeling it would be too sweet for this meal.

When I decided to make salmon for dinner I already had this bourbon recipe in mind. I made sure to get all the ingredients I needed on my regular grocery shopping expedition. Except…I forgot one thing: I don’t really drink dark liquors so I had no clue what my husband had in the liquor cabinet. I already had the rice going when I turned to start the sauce for the salmon. That’s when I find out: there’s no bourbon. O_O So I look up bourbon and find out it’s a type of whiskey. I go back to the liquor cabinet and…there’s no whiskey. 😦 But there is rum! So I spend like 10 mins googling to see if I could substitute rum for bourbon. About to give up in frustration, I got the bright idea to check the site I got the damn recipe from. Right there in the comments: yes, it’s cool. >.>
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