Thursday, April 24, 2014

Sun, Sand, and Sex by Linda Lael Miller, Jennifer Apodaca, and Shelly Laureston

What's better than a long, lazy day at the shore? Think beach—blanket bingo with a sizzling hottie (or three). So sit back, relax, and don't worry about tan lines, because in this scorching collection, swimsuits are definitely optional...

"One Last Weekend"
College sweethearts Teague and Joanna Darby, once passionately in love, are on the brink of divorce. When a ferry strike leaves them stranded together at their beloved beach cottage, it could be the most awkward weekend ever. Or the perfect chance to fall for each other all over again-one steamy encounter at a time...

"You Give Love a Good Name"
Lexie Rollins is a wedding planner on the lam. All she did was defend herself (with a staple gun) against a sleazy groom-who knew the Assault and Battery charges would stick? Now Lexie's "vacation" at an exclusive resort has put her at the top of gorgeous bounty hunter Nick Vardolous's list. And Nick always gets his woman-every which way imaginable...

"My Kind of Town"
Deputy Kyle Treharne of seaside Smithville, North Carolina, hates Yankees-even exotically beautiful ones like Emma Lucchesi. The sexy New Yorker's got trouble written all over her, and she knows more than she's telling about the increasingly strange goings-on in his town. But if the lady's got a few tricks up her sleeve, so does the lawman. And it's high time for every wicked thing to be deliciously revealed...


After Shelly Laurenston released a snippet of  "My Kind of Town" in her latest newsletter, I knew I had to have this anthology.  I love her writing all day everyday, but somehow I missed that there was another story in her Long Island Coven series! Boo!

Still, even though I bought it for her, all the stories ended up being good. I probably haven't read anything by Linda Lael Miller in years but I liked the way she created a realistic portrayal of a marriage near its breaking point, torn apart by misunderstanding and bad communication. "You Give Love a Good Name" was a more typical alpha male meets girl story but it was still amusing and I loved how Lexie was the one who saved Nick in the end.

I picked this up for $3 or so on Amazon and I totally recommend it!

Overall Feeling - A-/B+

Series - Various

Monday, April 14, 2014

Falling Light by Thea Harrison

Troubled by dreams of creatures, and unfamiliar voices echoing in her head, Mary has always felt a disconnect in this world—until she met the enigmatic stranger, Michael. He knew about Mary’s past. He was in it. Searching for her. His soul mate. And it’s taken centuries to find her, to re-engage her in an ancient, celestial cause: find the Deceiver before he destroys the world.

Haunted by scores of deaths—their own—Mary and Michael have drawn on the wisdom of the ages, and the power it has given them to fight the most malevolent force known to man. Joining a select band of warriors, Mary and Michael are nearer to understanding the Deceiver and all he stands for. It’s a terrifying reality that also brings them closer to realizing their own destiny and purpose. And that love—like evil—is eternal.


Rising Darkness, the first novel of the Games of Shadows series, was enough of an emotional roller coaster that I wasn't sure what I was getting myself into with book two.  I also didn't realize before I started that this book was going to conclude Mary and Michael's arc with The Deceiver and I just may have done a little happy dance when I did! Urban Fantasies can often be open ended series, and while I love the way Harrison writes and the world she's created here is so different that it deserves as many books as it can hold, I can't always cry when I pick up a book ok?! It gets to be too much for me, lol.

And this series is definitely more Urban Fantasy than romance because while there is romance in the story the focus is much more on how Mary and Michael are going to defeat the big bad. And the big bad here is REALLY big and bad, as he jumps bodies and kills people indiscriminately with no sign of remorse.  Combined with unexpected moral questions about possession and trust issues amongst allies and the end result is a fast paced, enthralling read with a satisfying ending. I'm not sure where Harrison intends to take the world, as in I can't find online if there are going to be more books or not, but with at least one main supporting character still remaining who has a journey of his own to finish, I can only hope so!

Overall Feeling - B+

Series - 1) Rising Darkness 2) Falling Light

Monday, April 7, 2014

Bite Me by Shelly Laurenston

Livy Kowalski has no time for idiots.  When you shapeshift into a honey badger, getting through life’s irritants is a finely honed skill. Until she gets stuck housing her nutso cousin and dealing with her dad’s untimely and unexplained demise.

That’s where Vic Barinov comes in—or his house does. Vic can’t step outside without coming back to find Livy devouring his honey stash and getting the TV remote sticky. It gets his animal instincts all riled up. But he’ll have to woo her at high speed: all hell is breaking loose, and Livy is leading the charge…

Considering the fact that I have reread this approximately 10 times since finishing it the day it came out, I think it's safe to assume that this book is a keeper. Like the other stories in this series, Laurenston keeps the tempo up with smart dialogue and fierce action, whether it's between two bored shifters or between a honey badger and the idiot trying to lie to her.

I've read some other reviews that referred to the romance between Livvy and Vic as a bit of a slow burn, but I kind of think that's part of its charm. Even Livvy has to admit that the grizzly bear in Viv makes him prone to startling, so she has to take things slower than usual. But slower definitely doesn't translate to boring or less ridiculously hilarious, especially once Livvy is hired to be the photographer for Blaine's double wedding.

On the plot front things with Whitlan finally get wrapped up, in part because Laurenston doesn't plan to write any more Pride books for a while, and boy does he get what's coming to him. All in all this is a fantastically entertaining book that has the main characters from previous books come back for at least a little (if not a lot) screen time.

Overall Feeling - A

Series - 7) Bear Meets Girl 8) Wolf With Benefits 9) Bite Me

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Her Kind of Trouble by Sarah Mayberry

The moment Vivian Walker spies Seth Anderson she knows they're a match made in hedonistic pleasure. And they both agree their one night together is all about fun, not forever.

Now, years later, Seth remains a favorite memory. Surely the sizzling chemistry has faded, though, right? Apparently not. Because he's still sinfully attractive, and she likes the man he is. When he suddenly becomes a full-time dad to his newborn daughter, Vivian falls hard. Yet despite the responsibilities, he's not a good bet for commitment. And she needs to guard her heart before she gets into trouble!

I haven't read a contemporary romance like this in a while. When Vivian and Seth first get together, happily ever after isn't in the cards at all. In fact, both of them would probably rather cut off a limb then be tied down to another person. The resulting sexcapades are made all the more real by the fact that when these two say they don't want a future, they actually mean it. It takes another 10 years before circumstances have these two breathing the same air again, and when Mayberry means to have life hit a person hard, it does.

Seth doesn't have to just deal with his brother and sister-in-law asking him to be guardian of their children in case of their passing, but he suddenly has his own daughter to think about when one of his past flings finds out she's pregnant. Even though this was never his plan for himself, Mayberry doesn't turn his ex-girlfriend into the villain, instead writing her to be as human and fallible as the rest of us are. An unfortunate accident leaves him with primary care and leads him to rely on the help of his family, and as it turns out, Vivian. Neither of them can avoid confronting the misconceptions they have about each other, and the burgeoning realization that each one has wants and needs they never faced before. Their HEA in the end is satisfying and sweet, even if the location where they finally admit to their feelings might not have been my favorite (or the most appropriate).

Overall Feeling - B+

Series - None

**Title requested from NetGalley**

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

March in Review

I've actually been having a lot of fun with my reading this month. I still haven't come up that far on my "new and noteworthy" list but reacquainting myself with the oldies but goodies on bookshelves is an adventure all on its own. I  can't wait to play catchup this month though, because the latest Anne Bishop is calling my name!

I also did some "burnt newspaper" nails last weekend 
during the unending rain in DC.

Once in a Lifetime by Jill Shalvis (C)
Devil's Bride by Stephanie Laurens
The Winning Hand by Nora Roberts
The MacGregor Grooms by Nora Roberts
Chimes at Midnight by Seanan McGuire (A+)
The MacGregor Brides by Nora Roberts
The Calender Girls: Flavor of the Month by Madison Hayes
The MacGregors: Alan ~ Grant by Nora Roberts
The Perfect Neighbor by Nora Roberts
Written in Red by Anne Bishop
Jewels of the Sun by Nora Roberts
Her Kind of Trouble by Sarah Mayberry
Hope Ignites by Jaci Burton (A)
Bite Me by Shelly Laurenston

My favorite this month has to go to Seanan McGuire. It might have taken me many many moons to finally read Chimes at Midnight, but it was awesome!

And now on to other random/cool things I found on the internet!

Links I Love
 //D.C. Launches First Ever Transgender Respect Ad Campaign - I have my feelings about the city I live in (good and bad) but this is just fantastic.

//Someone Give Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart a Late Night Talk Show - Yes, please. All the yeses in the world should go to this idea.

//This print is adorable! And exactly how I feel about my friends. 

//I'm becoming more and more a broach person as time goes on, and these classic book ones are adorable!

//Guys I want to see Boxtrolls so badly! Give it to me now!