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Review: Goddess in the Middle (Forgotten Goddesses #3) by Stephanie Julian

Goddess in the Middle
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“Incredibly erotic, unconventional, romantic love story”

TOGETHER. THEY CREATE THE MOST POWERFUL MAGIC OF ALL …

Romulus and Remus are sexy werewolf cousins with an unbreakable bond. When they meet beautiful goddess Amity and save her from an encroaching demon, they discover that the three of them together are way more powerful than any of them could ever have imagined. And they’re going to need that power to overcome the forces that are determined to steal Amity’s magic and destroy the two men. As different as night and day, and each an amazing man in his own right, Rom and Remy make all of Amity’s deepest fantasies come true…

Goddess in the Middle is the eighth (8) book I’ve read using the Scribd service and the third (and final?) book in the Forgotten Goddesses series. This book is currently on sale at Kobo for $10.09. Stephanie Julian is a new to me (NTM) author that I discovered using the Scribd recommendation engine.

So. I’ve finally finished the Forgotten Goddesses series. I think. The reason I said “I think” is because the book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger regarding some events not related to the romance or the overarching plot of the series. I *think* the loose ends are related to events that are attached to other series by Julian set in this same world. I think.
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Review: How to Worship a Goddess (Forgotten Goddesses #2) by Stephanie Julian

WorshipAGoddes

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WHAT SHE’S ALWAYS WANTED, AND SHE UNLEASHES HIM LIKE A FORCE OF NATURE…
Lucy was once the beloved Goddess of the Moon, and she could have any man she wanted. But these days, the goddesses of the Etruscan pantheon are all but forgotten. The only rituals she enjoys now are the local hockey games, where one ferociously handsome player still inflames her divine blood…

Brandon Stevenson is one hundred percent focused on the game, until he looks up and sees a celestial beauty sitting in the third row. A man could surely fall hard for a distraction like that…

 

 
How to Worship a Goddess is the seventh book I’ve read using the Scribd service and the second book in the Forgotten Goddesses series. This book is currently on sale at Kobo for $10.09. Stephanie Julian is a new to me (NTM) author that I discovered using the Scribd recommendation engine.

I really enjoyed this second entry into the Forgotten Goddesses series. I liked both the hero and the heroine and that the problems facing the couple were more related to their relationship than the outside pressure of the same god (Charun) who harassed Tessa in What a Goddess Wants.

Sadly, How to Worship a Goddess has a similar issue to What a Goddess Wants: the really problematic meet-cute. Brandon, the hero, has noticed Lucy (heroine and season ticket holder) at his hockey games for a long time, fantasizing about her. One day he decides he’s going to meet her so he goes to the ticket office and begs her address from her customer file. Let’s just start by saying that this is hella wrong. It turns out that Lucy used a fake address for her season ticket application…so Brandon manages to to locate her by digging around: he eventually finds a deed in her name with no address but he finds the latitude and longitude degrees and plugs them into his GPS. And he just shows up.
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Review: Back In The Italian’s Bed by Annie West

Back In The Italian's Bed

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No woman walks away from billionaire Fabrizio Armati’s bed. No woman except Jenna MacDonald. Now he’ll stop at nothing to get her back, and keep her there.

It’s love at first sight for Jenna when charismatic hotelier Fabrizio Armati sweeps her off her feet in Venice. That chance encounter sparks a sizzling affair that lasts until she discovers Fabrizio sees her as no more than a convenient, expendable mistress. Then her world falls apart.

Six months later Jenna tells herself she’s moved on. Until Fabrizio walks into a meeting to find her working for his greatest rival. She’s about to discover just how far he’ll go to get her back in his bed.

When revenge turns to passion, will surrender be on his terms, or hers?

This is a – without a doubt – 100% pure Harlequin Presents (HP) style novella. Even the title. And I ate it up, lol. It makes sense – Annie West has written many a Harlequin Presents.

So, you have the basic structure of a category romance: millionaire/billionaire ruthless business tycoon and lots of emotional angst. What made Back in the Italian’s Bed different is that Jenna has a little spunk. Fabrizio swept her off her feet but she left him when she realized he couldn’t [wouldn’t] give her what she needed (love). When the two meet again, she falls back into his bed but is still willing to leave him and make a new life for herself. That’s not the typical HP style – normally the woman would have eaten her heart out over hero.

Back in the Italian’s Bed is a pretty short story/novella – about 65 pages – and that’s the only downside of the book for me. The shortness of the word count didn’t allow for the full range of angst that you get from HP style novels. But don’t get it twisted, Jenna spends much time castigating herself for her attraction to Fabrizio. I have to admit that while HPs aren’t really my thing now, I have fond memories of gobbling them up by the bag-full. I am intrigued to read more of Annie West’s work.

Review: Everything Forbidden (Albright Sisters #1) by Jess Michaels

Everything Forbidden

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YOUR DAYS AND NIGHTS WILL BELONG TO ME

For summers Miranda Albright has watched—aghast, yet shamefully titillated—as her wicked neighbor Ethan Hamon, the notorious Earl of Rothschild, “entertained” a succession of lovers on the grounds of his estate. Now that her father has passed on, leaving behind a mountain of debt, Miranda must do the unthinkable. For Ethan has promised to sponsor her younger sisters, financially and socially, at a scandalously dear price: Miranda must offer herself to him completely for three full months, with no remorse and no restraints.

Ninety days and nights of unbridled sensuality await her in the arms of a rogue who views her submission as no more than a grand erotic game. But neither Miranda nor Ethan realize that fire blazes behind her innocent blush. And once her passion is unleashed by his lips and his touch, it is the student who will school the teacher in the ways of forbidden pleasure … and love.

 

Everything Forbidden is the second book I read using my Scribd trial, introducing me to Jess Michaels. As of today this book is on sale at Kobo for $9.99. I have to admit that I would have never read this book without the Scribd membership – the price is waaay to high for my blood – especially for a NTM author.

I’m not really sure what to say about it – the blurb covers it all pretty well, lol. I did like this one – I liked it quite a bit. My enjoyment was less about the plot and more about the execution, however – which was close to flawless.

The sex was steamy, the heroine was likeable and the hero wasn’t an alphole. What more can a girl ask for in an historical erotic romance? As a character, Miranda was quite interesting and rather brave – but she didn’t have any stand out characteristics that made her particularly memorable past the reading of the text. Ethan was the same – great for the read but not a “dreamy” hero that I pondered about or squeed over. Marianda’s sisters, Penelope and Beatrice, and her mother left a more lasting impression to me – but only because the impression was decidedly negative.

There’s no tension in the book – no push and pull between the H/h and very little (read: none) sexual tension. Even the final Big Mis was resolved very quickly and with no on page tension. I like a little tension in my romances…

I enjoyed the final ending – no epilogue – when the “I love yous” were said. I thought it was tooth-achingly sweet but it worked for the couple.

 

 

90 Day Scribd Trial
Total Books Read: 2
Current Price of Book: $9.99
Total Cost of Books read: $11.98
Total Amount Saved: -$14.99 (price of all books read minus price of service ($26.97))

Review: Tempting Her Best Friend by Gina L. Maxwell

Tempting Her Best Friend

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A satisfying contemporary romance from Entangled’s Lovestruck imprint…

Alyssa Miller is tired of waiting for her next-door neighbor to see her as more than just his best friend. Ready to let off some steam, she heads to Las Vegas for a romance book convention where, if she’s lucky, she’ll get down and dirty with one of the sexy cover models.

Dillon Alexander doesn’t do commitment—especially not where his best friend is concerned. She deserves a man who can give her the world, not damaged goods. But when he realizes Alyssa intends to have a one-night stand on her vacation, he hauls ass after her to make sure he’s the one to scratch her itch.

Neither of them expects their explosive chemistry to burn hotter than the lights on the strip, but with a little help from Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, a flamboyant matchmaker, and TSA, what happens in Vegas might not stay in Vegas…

I have to admit to a bias – I have a thing for “friends to lovers” romances…and I married my best friend, too. 😉 So this book is right up my alley!

This was a really cute story! I like both Alyssa and Dillon quite a bit – and both of them came across as well thought out characters. There’s not a lot of additional depth to this story – it’s all laid out for you in both the title and the blurb – but it’s a lot of fun and I really enjoyed watching Alyssa and Dillon pair up.

I enjoyed watching Dillon and Alyssa find their way to each other BUT…I have this thing against pining. Alyssa pined for Dillon in silence much too long (in my opinion) so the opening chapter was a small struggle for me. Dillon – while adorable – was a bit of the stereotypical romance hero: he’s unwilling to try to love because being a player is just in his blood. O_O Ooooookay. It was quite ridiculous – for me – for both of them to have such strong feelings but never even hinted it to each other.

But anyway.

It’s a quick and fun ride, that’s for sure. Sadly, we don’t get to spend a lot of time at the romance conference – most of the action takes place in the hotel room as the couple are screwing each others’ brains out. Which was hot, BTW. I also enjoyed the character Trent and the entire ending starting with Trent running into Alyssa. It was just a little strange, just a little unbelievable and a lot of fun.

What I did NOT enjoy was the entire scene directly prior to Alyssa meeting up with Trent at the end. Alyssa and Dillon’s actions and reactions…didn’t quite strike true in the face of their relationship. The epilogue was adorable as well. It also fit a lot better than the Big Mis.

So…it’s cute, it’s fun and it’s the friends to lovers trope. It’s only $0.99 so…recommended if you like that trope!

Movie Review: Lucy

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From La Femme Nikita and The Professional to The Fifth Element, writer/director Luc Besson has created some of the toughest, most memorable female action heroes in cinematic history. Now, Besson directs Scarlett Johansson in Lucy, an action-thriller that tracks a woman accidentally caught in a dark deal who turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic.

Lucy also stars Academy Award® winner Morgan Freeman and is produced by Virginie Besson-Silla for EuropaCorp. Universal Pictures will distribute the movie worldwide, except for France, Benelux and China.

3.5 stars – Entertaining.

Wow. Look at me, this is the third movie of the summer! I’ve never seen this many movies this quickly before. Both hubby and I wanted to see this one and I’m glad I did. Lucy is a fast moving, high action movie with a few laughs thrown in for good measure.

Lucy felt like a mixture of La Femme Nikita and Flowers for Algernon with a little bit of Lawnmower Man thrown in for good measure. I can’t quite put my finger on why Lucy reminds me of La Femme Nikita other than the director – Lucy does not fight or kill in the way the character from La Femme Nikita does.
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Wings of Fire Anthology Review: The Ice Dragon by George R.R. Martin *spoilers*

Wings of Fire

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Dragons: Fearsome fire-breathing foes, scaled adversaries, legendary lizards, ancient hoarders of priceless treasures, serpentine sages with the ages’ wisdom, and winged weapons of war…

Wings of Fire brings you all these dragons, and more, seen clearly through the eyes of many of today’s most popular authors, including Peter S. Beagle, Holly Black, Orson Scott Card, Charles De Lint, Diana Wynne Jones, Ursula K Le Guin, Dean R Koontz, George R. R. Martin, Anne McCaffrey, Elizabeth Moon, Garth Nix, and many others.

Edited by Jonathan Strahan (The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Eclipse) and Marianne S. Jablon, Wings of Fire collects the best short stories about dragons. From writhing wyrms to snakelike devourers of heroes; from East to West and everywhere in between, Wings of Fire is sure to please dragon lovers everywhere.

GRRM is…an incredible writer. He manages to jam a lot of things and a lot of emotion into few words (when he wants to).

GRRM also seems to be a big fan of rape. I’m NOT saying that he has/wants to/dreams of raping someone personally…but he damn sure seems to be unable walk away from any opportunity to rape someone in prose. *rolls eyes* And that shit makes me upset. I don’t want to hear any BS about “realistic” either – these are GRRM’s authorial decisions and nothing more.

So. “The Ice Dragon” is the story of Adara and her family. Adara was born during a very cold winter and her mother died in child birth. Adara was “full of winter” – she could be outside and barely feel the cold, unlike her siblings. Adara was not just physically cold, she was emotional cold as well. She didn’t smile, didn’t cry and rarely showed emotion. Adara could play with ice lizards when others could not – the body heat that other people created would melt and kill the ice lizards. Adara also had an Ice Dragon. Made from ice with the breath of pure winter, Adara’s ice dragon would come to her in the winter…extending each winter year after year.
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