Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mini Me: Caught Red-Handed by Paige Tyler

Dru Summers can never wait until Christmas morning to open her presents. So when her husband Ryan puts a new one underneath the tree on Christmas Eve, she can’t help but sneak downstairs to take a peek while he’s sleeping. When Ryan catches her in the act, he decides the best way to deal with her behavior is to give her that spanking she so richly deserves. To her surprise, it turns out to be the best Christmas present of her life!

I thought this was a nice little read :)

These 'Naughty Nooners' stories from Ellora's Cave can be hit or miss, but Tyler comes up with a hit on this one. We see just enough of Dru and Ryan's personality to care about their marriage but with enough fun and sex to make it erotic. Plus who doesn't like a little spanking with their Christmas celebration? 

I'd say for a free read it's definitely worth your time - recommended!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Magic Slays 'Book Trailer'

....well kinda. Husband/wife team Ilona Andrews posted the link just now to the 'trailer' for their upcoming book Magic Slays.

And you know what?

It's possibly the best book trailer ever created. Ever.

You're welcome. 

P.S. - You should like Ilona Andrews on Facebook! How do you think I found out about this?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Staying Informed: Twilight's Dawn Review on Dear Author

Usually I like to stick to somewhat of a rhythm for posting on Reading Amidst the Chaos. Reviews, rants, random teasers or musings, etc. - all topics dealing with things that I've read or experienced. This time I want to point out another blog's post about a book I will NOT read. One I will not even BUY. I'm talking about of course Twilight's Dawn by Anne Bishop.

A friend first introduced me to the Black Jewels Trilogy and high school and even today it remains as one of the best fantasy series I've ever read. But.....I can't really say the same about the books that have come after. They've been a bit hit or miss at best, with all of the usual suspects returning but the somehow lacking the heart that made them the best of what's out there.

Twilight's Dawn is Bishop's last revisit to the Black Jewels universe and from reading Jia's review I know that to maintain my love for the series I can't read it. So my recommendation to anyone who loves the series and doesn't mind quite a few spoilers (I'm not kidding, her review is full of them and rightfully so. There's really no way to talk about the anthology without them) please go over to Dear Author and read her take on it. I think only with a fully informed expectation can someone pick up that latest book and be ready.

**Twilight's Dawn is released March 1, 2011 in hardcover**

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Surviving the Change by Cari Z

A shifter without a mate—a man who's afraid to trust. Time is against them and even love might not be enough to survive the change.

Dan Bailey is a loner, a shifter without a pack that no pack will accept unless he has a mate. He's only looking for work and a few beers with friends when he meets Blythe Kenner, and suddenly his priorities change.

Blythe doesn't trust anyone—especially shifters. All he wants to do is bide his time working behind the bar while getting his law degree. That is until Dan walks in and makes it his sole vocation to get under Blythe's skin...and his covers. Blythe never counted on having a shifter as a lover, and complicated doesn't begin to describe how he feels.

Dan knows how he feels and he's not going to let Blythe go without a fight. But time is running out. A rival pack isn't happy with Dan's living arrangements, and if Dan can't win Blythe's trust soon, their very lives will be at stake.

I first heard about this ebook from Erotic Horizon's blog where she featured it on one of her excerpt days - and I'm so glad I saw it! For me M/M erotica is something I don't get to enjoy all that often. I'm really picky about them, about how the characters interact, how the sex is written, etc., so that I don't read them that often. I think it's one of those things where some M/M is written with with gay men in mind and others for women - at least that seems to make sense it my head as I often detect two distinct types whenever I branch out to new authors.

I really enjoyed this one. I think that Blythe and Dan's relationship felt very real to me. As much as Dan was immediately attracted to Blythe there wasn't the immediate hookup. Blythe has some legitimate past baggage and drama that make it very hard for him to commit to anyone - especially a shifter. Dan's a character that's used to playing the field and getting what he wants almost immediately; Blythe's persistence in resisting him is intriguing and initially one of the triggers that makes him come back for more. 

And yes the sex is hot there's no way around that. There's a trade off of who's top and who's bottom because of each man's personalities - and it changes depending on the day, feelings, and circumstances of each of them. Again I thought it worked well when taken into consideration with Dan and Blythe's personalities. And since they and their emotions came across as more real the sex between them was all the hotter. Plus Dan's  a shapeshifter. I don't think there's been a shapeshifter erotica yet where the sex hasn't been spark filled and very spicy (caveat: this of course assumes that I liked the story as a whole anyway).Highly

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up.

Series - None

Edit - I almost forgot! Browsing around this morning I saw that February is going to be M/M Romance Month at Book Addict! I'm sure it's going to be great so don't miss out! 

Teaser Tuesdays (1/18)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

"Please don't upset the planetary personification," I murmured. "Particularly one who's about to provide us with a ride home."

--pg 219, A Hard Day's Knight by Simon R. Green

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Adventures on Etsy

Buy one for yourself! I've started a running list of all the ones I love!

A Hard Day's Knight by Simon R. Green

John Taylor is a P.I. with a special talent for finding lost things in the dark and secret center of London known as the Nightside. He's also the reluctant owner of a very special-and dangerous-weapon. Excalibur, the legendary sword. To find out why he was chosen to wield it, John must consult the Last Defenders of Camelot, a group of knights who dwell in a place that some find more frightening than the Nightside.

London Proper. It's been years since John's been back-and there are good reasons for that.

If I had to pick just one horror series and call it my favorite it would have to be this one. Green in his Nightside books has created a creepy terrifying world that for me is really without equal. Often I read a book for the romance, the HEA that I know is waiting for me. When I read Green I know I'm going to get characters that scare the crap out of me and buildups to scenes that will make me want to read them from behind a blanket.

The best part about Green is the fact that he can sustain this level of suspense. Yes John might 'win' in the end but the amount of death and destruction that comes before it, the good men and women that might suffer at his hands or others, doesn't make it a clean victory. A Hard Day's Knight has a lot of great action and some personal development between John and Suzy that seriously made me go 'holy shit'. It's a great thrill ride and I highly recommend it. 

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up.

Series - ... 8) The Unnatural Inquirer 9) Just Another Judgement Day 10) The Good, the Bad, and the Uncanny 11) A Hard Day's Knight

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Personal WTFckery Story

Usually I leave WTFckeries to KB Grant of Babbling About Books, And More! (she does such a great job at them) but this time I just had to speak up.

In one corner we have Faer Fetched by Christine Warren:

"What would you say if I told you I could make your deepest fantasies come true?" Well, most women would jump at an offer like that, but not Danice Carter. She's heard that tired old bar line before and she's not buying it. Hours later, while she is asleep in her apartment, strong and very capable hands are doing the most deliciously erotic things to her body. But what is going to happen when she realizes that those hands are not part of a dream, but very real?

As a changeling, Mac Callahan's magic power is not strong enough to get him in his current situation. Not that he is complaining since he is stuck in limbo, with no clothes and the very sexy Danice. The question is how did they get there and who is responsible?

In the other we have Prince Charming Doesn't Live Here, also by Christine Warren:

Danice Carter is not one for glass slippers. A stilettos-wearing lawyer at one of Manhattan’s most elite establishments, Danice has a very strong grip on reality. So when she’s asked by one the firm’s founding partners to take on a personal case, Danice knows she’s in for the opportunity of a lifetime. All she has to do is convince her top boss’s granddaughter, Rosemary, to file a paternity suit. Sounds simple enough…until Danice arrives at Rosemary’s home and is pounced on by a handsome stranger.

Private investigator McIntyre Callahan’s was only following his powerful client’s orders: Find Rosemary—at all costs. Instead, he’s found a super-hot lawyer prowling around looking for answers he can’t give. The half-human, half-Fae Mac tries to warn Danice that she’s way in over her head—that Rosemary may roam among The Others, and may have dangerous ties to the Unseelie Court—but she won’t be deterred. Even if that means following Mac to the ends of the earth to find Rosemary…or surrendering to his supernatural powers of temptation…until death do they part.

Know what those are? Those are different book blurbs, different stories, different everythings, about the same set of characters in one series. 

I've already had one rant about authors who don't realize readers follow them from ebook to print, but this is a new one even for me. Faer Fetched was originally available from Ellora's Cave as a 37 page Quickie (it's not there anymore), and while it wasn't a great book it did allow readers to continue on with the adventures of the main set of friends. Prince Charming Doesn't Live Here was published a couple months ago I think and not only does it exist awkwardly in the timeline of the series (one of the friends isn't a vampire or married even though that book came out a year or two ago) in re-writes entirely a HEA that already happened.

Is nothing sacred anymore?!

I understand that Warren owns these characters but shouldn't something be said about respecting the intelligence of your readers? I'm sure I'm not the only one who read her work when they were ebooks. I probably could have accepted an expanded version of the original title, say using the first 37 pages that had already be done as a pro-logue to this new work, but that's not at all what happened.

I guess I'm going to finish the book, I mean I bought it and I do kind of still like this series, but it's almost more than my mind can handle, getting past this whole load of dog doodoo. For shame Christine Warren, for shame.

Friday, January 7, 2011

2011 Romantic Suspense Reading Challenge


1. Create a post for the challenge using the image above and link back to this post. Non-Bloggers are welcome to join too. Post your list of books in the comment section of the wrap-up post.

2. Sign up at Jamie's blog Nitty Gritty. Link to your challenge post when you sign up please.

3. The goal of this challenge is to read AT LEAST 12 novels that are Romantic Suspense between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2011. Books read before January 1, 2011 do NOT count towards the challenge.

4. Audio, eBooks, paper all count. Re-reads are ok but try to keep them to a minimum. Cross overs from other challenges are ok.

5. There is no need to create your list now. Please feel free to use your challenge post to keep track of your titles if you so desire.

I never like to create a list for anything, lol, so I'm just going to see how the year goes with this one.

2011 Support Your Local Library Challenge

1. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate. Click HERE to sign up.

2. There are four levels to this challenge...Pick your poison:
           *The Mini – Check out and read 30 library books.
           *Fun Size – Check out and read 40 library books.
           *Jumbo Size – Check out and read 50 library books.
           *Mega Size – Check out and read 51+ library books.

3. Audio, Re-reads, eBooks, YA, Young Reader – basically any book counts just as long as it is checked out from the library. Books MUST be checked out like with a library card, books purchased at a library DO NOT count. 

4. No need to list your books in advance. You may select books as you go. Even if you list them now, you can change the list if needed.

5. Crossovers from other reading challenges count.

6. Challenge begins January 1st 2011 and goes thru December 31 2011.

I'm going to go for Fun Size on this challenge and try to read at least 40 library books this year. I can't wait to get started!

Reading Challenges (2011)

I've seen a lot of different challenges around the blog-o-sphere and while my little heart goes pitter pat at the idea of joining each and every one of them, I'm going to try to be realistic. I read a lot but I'm more often than not hard headed about it, as it's hard for me to step out and try new authors. I'm never going to be that woman who only reads her books once. 

Still I like the idea of challenges, so I've looked around and picked a couple that I think I can comfortably manage. The first is The Book Junkie's Bookshelf Support Your Local Library Challenge. I used to go to the library incessantly when I was younger and I'm really hoping this helps me get back to that. And if it somehow manages to shave a few dollars off my book bill by the end of the year that'd be good too.

The second is Nitty Gritty's Romantic Suspense Reading Challenge. Again this is a type of romance that I'm drawn to and enjoy a lot, so I think having this specific challenge to keep me going is going to be fun. Plus, I will again have the chance to know what other people reading and add those to my list too!!!

I'm going to do individual posts for both of the challenges so expect those to pop up later today!

**I've added a new page to Reading Amidst the Chaos: 2011 Reading Challenges. The link is in the side bar on the right and will take you to a general update page so you can see how I'm doing!**

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ruthless Game by Christine Feehan

Ghostwalker Kane Cannon is pure male—animalistic, sexual, protective, instinctive—and his past missions have prepared him for anything. But his newest assignment, to rescue hostages in Mexico , plunges him into a hot zone he never anticipated: the hiding place of Rose Patterson—fugitive, ex-lover, a fellow Ghostwalker pregnant with his child.

Rose is in flight from the insidious experiments that still live in her dreams, and from the madman who’d do anything to take her child. Of all the Ghostwalkers enlisted to hunt her down, Kane is the only one she can trust. But as their passion reignites, the stakes are raised. Because Kane is now a wanted man as well. And together they’re about to face the most desperate challenge of all: staying together and staying alive.

I've got to say I'm still loving Feehan's Ghostwalker series. I was worried that once she started in new teams and focusing on different characters I wouldn't feel the same. Luckily it all turned out well and here I am, the 9th book in, still going strong. I remember that with the last book I read a few not so great reviews in the blog-o-sphere from reviewers who thought Mack was too overbearing, too obsessive, too much of a lot of things. I think that with the switch that Feehan has done, focusing on how Whitney has genetically paired men and women, I'm not too surprised by what's going down. I still feel like the integrity of the series is being maintained with relationships that have real feelings on both ends being portrayed.

Kane and Rose are no different. Both of them are people who've seen way too much in their lives and as a result are toughened, prepared to do what they must to protect their family. I have to say that I did think I was going to get more of a - peak into Whitney's breeding camp, but truthfully I don't feel too jipped because it was just going to depress the heck out of me anyway. Since this book picks up after Kane and Rose have already had sex this book is different from the majority of the others. Rose is pregnant, running from Whitney, and Kane has to convince her that not only is he still trustworthy, his family is too. Again we get a lot of the team/family dynamic, with the characters in Street Game still around and going strong. 

In the end I enjoyed this latest installment quite a bit and I recommend the whole series to anyone who likes paranormal romances but isn't in the mood for vampires or werewolves. 

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up. 

Series - ..... 6) Predatory Game 7) Murder Game 8) Street Game 9) Ruthless Game 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Protocol Series by Dawn Ryder

I don't do series reviews all that often but since I went back and read all of these again on my nook I figured they deserved some special treatment - especially considering my feelings at the end of the erotica romance challenge I took part in.

All three of these books take place in the same world, and focus on military trained men and the women who love them. Dack (Challenge Protocol) is the head of his unit and due to some foul play by a powerful organization is sentenced to a dishonorable discharge from the army - but his team's loyalty was with him and when Dack left they all left. In addition, because of the work he does, because of the work his team does, they are all under constant death threats from those they've stopped. (I could probably make this description more detailed by, hey, why bore you?)

I really enjoy this series. I make no bones about the fact that alpha men in erotica are my cup of tea and in each one of these we have 1 (or 2) of those. Still Ryder takes it a step further and pairs the men with complimentary women, women who are also strong and willing to take what they want. The chemistry and romance is there from the beginning, and while we don't have the paranormal 'I know she's the one for me forever' we do see all the men react immediately to the female leads and as such the chase is on from the get go.

But don't forget that as erotica these books are steamy. STEAMY steamy. Ryder does a fantastic job drawing out each sex scene to its fullest, with the readers very involved not only in what the women feel, but what the men feel too. Outside Protocol) and Challenge Protocol) both deal with menages and Ryder doesn't make them feel unnatural - or too easy either. Robyn and Cambria ask questions and have doubts about maintaining such a relationship long term. It's refreshing to see this talked about so openly and with I think appropriate attention to everyone's feelings.

All three of the titles are fantastic and I highly recommend them to anyone who likes a lot of heat and spice to their erotica.

Overall Feeling - Thumbs up. 

Series - 1) Outside Protocol) 2) Challenge Protocol) 3) Point of Combustion)

Monday, January 3, 2011

Challenge Wrap Up - Erotica Romance Reading Challenge

Hey Everyone! Since we've all(I'm hoping) made it into 2011 unscathed, I figured I'd take this first week to look back on 2010 and prepare for what's next. In 2010 I participated in my first blog reading challenge, Erotic Horizon's Erotica Romance Reading Challenge. There wasn't a particular goal or specific number of books we had to read, but it was a way for women with like minded habits to get together and review/recommend new books to each other.

What I didn't anticipate was just how cool it would be. Erotic Horizon set up a whole additional blog for the challenge where participants could post links to their reviews, authors would stop by and chat, and we could all just revel in the what we loved: erotica romance. I'm not sure if it's really indicative of other challenges, I'll probably have a better idea at the end of this year, but either way it was a great introduction.

I've pasted the list before and sadly enough what I've got to say is that I just don't feel like I read enough new stuff. I maybe picked up a few titles here and there, but mostly I re-read a lot of what I already owned or new titles from authors I already liked. Sigh. I consider this a failing on my part, but also the result of me being really picky about what erotica I enjoy. That sweet spot of sex and love is hard to hit in my opinion, and I'm still searching for other authors who do it well. I think I'll just have to keep looking, keep reading, and be more willing to put my money where my brain is and buy some more ebooks - especially since I now own a nook!

Guilty Pleasure by Lora Leigh
Hunting Evander by Kim Knox
Changing Perspective by Marilu Mann
Hot for the Reunion by Ann Jacobs
The Bad Widow by Barbara Elsborg
Her Very Special Robot by Ann Jacobs
Taking Shape by Tielle St. Clare
Nauti Deceptions by Lora Leigh

Coming Undone by Lauren Dane

Black Jack by Lora Leigh
The Mane Attraction by Shelly Laurenston


The Bargain by Julia Templeton
The Captivation by Natasha Rostova

Naked by Megan Hart
Bullet by Laurell K Hamilton
Coin Operated by Ginny Glass
The Panther's Lair by Esmerelda Bishop
Coming Undone by Lauren Dane
Better Late Than Never by Savannah Stuart
Marvin and the Three Bears by Tielle St. Clare

Her Heart's Divide by Kathleen Dienne
Motor City Fae by Cindy Spencer Pape

Healer's Garden by Nina Pierce

Coming Clean by Inez Kelley
Second Chances by Lauren Dane

Pack Challenge by Shelly Laurenston
Go Fetch by Shelly Laurenston
Here Kitty, Kitty! by Shelly Laurenston
Highland Beast by Regina Carlysle
Love's Choice by M.A. Ellis
Challenge Protocol by Dawn Ryder
Outside Protocol by Dawn Ryder