Monday, October 31, 2011

~REVIEW of Tere Michaels' LOVE & LOYALTY~

Love & Loyalty (Faith & Fidelity, #2
5 of 5 stars
Opening Line: "James "Jim to almost everyone" Shea moved quickly through the throng of reporters and gawkers camped out on the front steps of the Seattle courthouse."

Tere Michaels has done it again with LOVE & LOYALTY, another great read, sucking me in completly with her richly developed characters and well written romance. This isn’t necessarily a sequel to FAITH & FIDELITY (although that is where we first met James “Jim” Shea) and could easily be read as stand alone. Although in saying that you wouldn’t want to miss F&F because its fantastic and easily one of my all time favourite romances gay or straight. Anyways where was I? Oh right, Love & Loyalty.

Jim and Griffin, what a treat it was to watch these two fall in love, graduating from one long sleepover date to actually admitting they had a boyfriend. (That B word is a big deal here) Neither has been particularly lucky in love so while they do have immediate chemistry together, and act on it accordingly their ensuing romance develops at a gradual and realistic pace.

Michael’s doesn’t give us a lot of sex scenes after their first long drawn out night together and except for the fact that this is M/M romance I wouldn’t even classify it as erotic. Its more a character driven story which is where Michaels shines; writing such multi-dimensional characters (including the secondary ones) that you feel like you know them and all their little idiosyncrasies. I particularly enjoyed Jim’s partner Terry and his well meaning but intrusive wife, their banter is really funny. This isn’t as emotionally deep as F&F and Griffin’s movie deal side plot gets a little weak at times but it’s still a well written and highly absorbing story.

Seattle homicide Detective Jim Shea is a workaholic, although up until now he’s been able to leave it at the office. His latest case however has done a number on him and while it may be over its gotten way under his skin, leaving him filled with guilt about the outcome and tied to victims dying father.

When Hollywood comes looking to make a movie out of this tragedy screen writer Griffin Drake enters the picture, seizing the opportunity as his big break to finally write something real. In order to get the family’s story though he’s first got to get through the protective Jim Shea .The fact that they’re both gay is just going to make schmoozing him over dinner all that much sweeter.

Neither one expected much to come out of their first date, (is this a date?) and neither of them has been in a long term relationship before but Griffin doesn’t want to leave Jim’s apartment (he’s finally writing) and Jim’s surprised himself by enjoying having him there. Lies, death and broken trust threaten their new relationship and it’s a sweet ride. Cheers people.

*Thanks for the read Darien, pants off baby!

Saturday, October 29, 2011


The Darkest Kiss (Lords of the Underworld, #2)
5 of 5 stars

Opening Line: " Anya, Goddess of Anarchy, daughter of Lawlessness, and dealer of disorder, stood on the edge of a crowded dance floor."

THE DARKEST KISS is book 2 in the exciting and original Lords Of The Underworld series and it's absolutely fantastic. Gena Showalter has outdone herself here, further developing previous characters and sub-plots she has also created my new favourite couple in Lucian and Anya. Their story is filled with raw emotion, tons of sexual tension and non-stop adventure. There are also several other immortals stories taking place at the same time which instead of distracting from only added to the tension in a very JR Ward kind of way. I never knew what was going to happen next and will absolutely be doing a re-read as well as continuing on with this amazing series.

Lucian, as one of the Lords Of The Underworld is the warrior bonded with the demon of death. As such he is responsible for removing the souls of the dead and transporting them to either heaven or hell. (Surprise, most don't want to go) Of his fellow immortals he is the most in control but also the most serious and sombre. Having distanced himself long ago he has no choice but to do what the gods command of him.

 This book starts out with a sexual bang as Lucian meets the Goddess of Anarchy in a nightclub. Anya doesn't mince words or actions in the fact that she wants Lucian and no other will do. He doesn't understand what a modelesque looking goddess could possibly see in him because he's not much to look at these days, having permanently disfigured himself to make sure no woman ever looked his way again. Anya however is a wicked girl and finds the scars sexy, wanting to run her tongue over them. After their first meeting Lucian is unable to keep the teasing, sexy spitfire out of his thoughts. She was able to make him smile and even laugh for the first time in hundreds of years and that kiss... It's a damn shame that the leader of the Titans has just ordered him to kill her with the added incentive that if he fails his fellow immortals will suffer the consequences.

So the chase begins, with Lucian trying desperately not to feel anything for Anya and her enjoying the fact that he's been ordered to kill her because it only makes the game of seducing him that much more fun. The duo `flash' (dematerialize) to exotic locations trading barbed words and having the occasional swordfight along the way all as part of their amazing foreplay. Ultimately they join forces which only complicates things further because Anya never mentioned her own curse, that of being unable to consummate a relationship.

I couldn't put this book down and found Anya to be hilarious, a sort of a female version of Bones from Jeanine Frosts Night Huntress series. It was refreshing to get a heroine who is not helpless, insecure and whiney but instead cheeky, aggressive and confident, never apologising for who she is. Lucian in turn is an alpha male but not in the typical chest beating way he's thoughtful, compassionate, loyal and self sacrificing. Yeah I loved these two and highly recommended.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

~REVIEW of Jennifer Armintrout's THE TURNING: Blood Ties Book One~

The Turning (Blood Ties, #1)
4 of 5 stars

Opening Line: “I read a poll in the newspaper once that said the number one fear of Americans aged eighteen to sixty-five is public speaking. Spiders are second and death is a distant third.”
Wow, this was a fun. Not quite what I was expecting but as it turned out a great ride. For some reason I went into this thinking paranormal romance which is so not the case here. I would categorize Armintrout’s world as urban fantasy/horror. Its dark, violent, blood spattered and often gory and that would include the sex scenes (notice I said sex and not love.) I should also mention that even though this is not my genre of choice I did really enjoy it.

 BLOOD TIES is unique and let’s face it that’s saying something with all the vampire books on the shelves these days. The writing is smart, sassy and the overall plotline managed to surprise me several times along the way. Each chapter comes with a title heading, which I loved, there’s a love triangle (of sorts) and a wonderful balance of good VS Evil, made all the better because once I got to know the back-story of the characters I was sympathetic to all of them. Yes even the sadistic and maniacal Cyrus, which to me is the sign of some clever writing when you feel for the bad guy. So be warned there aren’t any sparkly vampires here and it’s a bit of a blood bath but its also super good.

Dr. Carrie Ames is working in the ER the night they bring in the horrifically injured “John Doe”. Through his one remaining eye, he seems to reach out to her, and when he succumbs to his injuries she is drawn to visit him in the morgue. Bad idea Carrie. John Doe is the evil vampire Cyrus Kerrick and Carrie’s blood is what he needs to heal himself. Through the violence of Cyrus’s feeding (attack) Carrie ingests some of his blood and the “blood tie” is forged. Over the following weeks as she recovers Carrie undergoes some major changes including a new sensitivity to sunlight and an insatiable hunger that no amount of food, drink or cigarettes will quench.

Eventually Carrie is found and rescued by Nathan Grant, a member of the “movement.” (His job is to destroy all non affiliated vampires and protect mankind.) Nathan takes Carrie in and quickly schools her in all things vamp which includes reading the Vampire bible (available on eBay FYI) He then offers her a choice; join the movement or be destroyed.

It should be an easy decision right? Especially with the growing attraction between them but Carrie can’t get past the invisible leash that binds her to the monster that sired her. She is quite literally a slave to the evil yet arousing Cyrus and he is of course #1 on the movement’s hit list and Nathan’s arch enemy. When a jealous witch vying for her sire’s attention casts a spell over Nathan the only way Carrie can save him is to give herself over to Cyrus for the cure. And that’s when the games begin. Hang onto your heart folks. Cheers

~Last Movie I Watched -THE PROPOSAL~

4 stars
Really funny, way better then I thought it would be especially because I'm not generally one for the romantic comedies. I usually find them stupid and predictable following cookie cutter formulas and generally insulting the viewers intelligence. Anyways this one was clever with a feasible storyline, good actors, really hilarious moments, gorgeous scenery, a male strip scene (ha) and well Betty White! What more do you need? Actually laughed out loud in a couple of scenes. Sandra B looks gorgeous especially nude, eat your heart out Jessie James.

Official IMDB synopsis:
For three years, Andrew Paxton has slaved as the assistant to Margaret Tate, hard-driving editor at a New York publisher. When Margaret, a Canadian, faces deportation for an expired visa, she hatches a scheme to marry Andrew - he agrees if she'll promise a promotion. A skeptical INS agent vows to test the couple about each other the next Monday. Andrew had plans to fly home that weekend for his grandma's 90th, so Margaret goes with him - to Sitka, Alaska - where mom, dad, and grams await. Family dynamics take over: tensions between dad and Andrew, an ex-girlfriend, Andrew's dislike of Margaret, and her past color the next few days, with the INS ready to charge Andrew with fraud.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

~REVIEW of Chuck Palahniuk's FIGHT CLUB~

4 of 5 stars

Opening line: “Tyler gets me a job as a waiter, after Tyler’s pushing a gun in my mouth and saying, the first step to eternal life is you have to die”

There’s not much I can say about FIGHT CLUB that hasn’t been said already (besides I’m not supposed to talk about it -first rule of FC and all) It’s one of those books on everyone’s “to read” list and ultimately it's everything you'd expect it to be; disjointed, astonishing, dark, gritty and fantastic. Although I did wonder how you’d manage to understand what’s going on in the beginning chapters without having seen the movie first because they don’t make a whole lot of sense.

Of course you can’t help but compare the book to the movie. And in saying that I was surprised to learn that Fight Club the movie followed the book faithfully (including dialogue). It is so similar in fact that the book now reads much like a screenplay adaptation, even though it came first. Movies rarely follow the book word for word and subsequently I didn’t enjoy this as much as I’d been expecting to. There wasn’t anything extra here, no added insight into Tyler Durden’s character, no dirty scenes that didn‘t make it into the movie. I just kept picturing Brad Pitt and Edward Norton (not a bad thing) but then I also pictured Meatloaf Big Bob and his huge man boobs.

The ending however is completely different and it blew my mind. We see the unnamed narrator’s split personality develop much earlier “I know this because Tyler knows this” It’s not the zenith moment, just a symptom, and he (and we) become aware of it much earlier. We then get to watch “him” try to keep it together, to reign in his space monkeys, to get rid of Tyler by staying awake, to disband project mayhem "Tyler told us you’d say that" and his descent into madness is just brilliant.

The afterwards by the author is also very interesting. Detailing how this all started as a 7 page story he wrote when he was bored at work one day (its included as chapter 6 in the book) and then of course he expanded, added some friends stories (the naughty waiters and film splicing) and wrote what has transformed into the cult classic it is today.

Still, I think everyone should read this book

Sunday, October 23, 2011

~REVIEW of Lori Handeland's THUNDER MOON~

Thunder Moon (Nightcreature, #8)
4 of 5 stars

Opening line: A storm beneath the Thunder Moon is both rare and powerful."

THUNDER MOON is the eighth and final book in the Nightcreature series, however I read this book as a stand alone and thanks to Lori Handelands returning cast of characters and generous back story I never felt confused. With a strong female lead, sexy but mysterious love interest, lots of entertaining secondary characters plus an intriguing paranormal mystery to solve this is a good read.

Grace McDaniel is the sheriff of Lake Bluff, Georgia she's a tough, sassy and independent woman with a small sarcasm problem. Written in the first person I found Grace's character and in particular her running internal dialogue to be hilarious, you just never what was going to come out of her mouth next. Although part Cherokee, Grace has never embraced her traditional side and when after a freak thunder storm the elderly residents in Lake Bluff start turning up dead and upon autopsy missing their hearts she is at first reluctant about excepting the supernatural.

Also arriving during the storm is Ian Walker, a Cherokee doctor who blends native with traditional medicine. The pair has immediate chemistry even though there's something about Ian that Grace doesn't fully trust. Ian character is intriguing from the start, he's gorgeous of course but also very secretive. Bearing the mark of a warrior on his back and an eagle feather in his long hair, Ian has hidden powers and a painful past he's trying to overcome.

As the creature preying on the town's residents gains strength it begins to kill not just the old but the young and healthy as well forcing Grace and Ian to team up in a race to find the Raven Mocker. Since this has been written in the first person we get the pleasure of discovering Ian and learning his secrets as Grace does. And although their love story is unconventional due in part to Grace's dominance this only makes for some very steamy love scenes. I don't think I've ever read a romance before where the heroine rescues the hero, so yippee if you like a strong female lead.

I also enjoyed the many other residents of Lake Bluff in particular Grace's partner and his Chuck Norris joke bandit and fans of the series will love hearing about the returning Doc as well as her best friend Claire and husband Malachi. There is also some mention of Dr Elsie Hanover and the Jager-Suchers.

THUNDER MOON has a heavy mystical presence which I loved. Combining Cherokee legends with the paranormal and with all the non-stop action you won't be able to guess `whodunit' until the very end. Cheers

Friday, October 21, 2011

~REVIEW of Suzanne Brockmann's TAYLOR'S TEMPTATION~

Taylor's Temptation (Tall, Dark & Dangerous #10)
5 of 5 stars

Opening Line: “Navy Seal Chief Bobby Taylor was in trouble.”

This is my favourite book from the whole series… Hmmm haven’t I said that before? (The Admirals Bride, Prince Joe, Frisco, Hawken) Anyways this one was super good.

You really can’t go wrong with any of the books from Suzanne Brockmann’s Tall Dark and Dangerous series though. They’re all well written, with to-die-for Navy SEAL heroes (who usually shed a tear in the name of love) and just the right amount of action, suspense and sweet, sweet romance to keep you coming back for more. I think this instalment might be the sexiest of the bunch too (have I said that before?) Poor Taylor, struggling to keep his hands off his best BUD’s little sister. And she isn’t helping matters either because she wants him and nothing he says will change her mind. Yup, this is going to be his toughest mission yet.

Bobby Taylor is the 10th member of Alpha squad to have his story told and we begin with him taking a couple bullets for his best friend and swim buddy Wes Skelly. These guys are close, having been friends since hell week and now able to function almost as one. Finishing each other sentences and relying on the other without question when the shit hit’s the fan. When Wes is called out on the teams latest op he asks the still recovering Bobby to go to Boston and try to talk some sense into his little sister Colleen who has joined an earthquake relief organization and is planning on travelling into a known terrorist hot spot.

Unfortunately Wes doesn’t know just how much he’s asking because Taylor’s had a thing for his best friend’s sister for years and well, now it would just be him. And her. And she’s all grown up and beautiful and sexy as hell and funny and outrageous and she wants him just once, just until he leaves and Wes is going to kill him, Wes should kill him, it might be worth it. Help!

I just loved this story. The characters are so well written and that they come alive and I felt all of their emotions. The internal dialogue and sexual tension is excellently done as is Bobby’s desire for Colleen and his subsequent guilt and struggles with loyalty to Wes. Bobby never stood a chance against Colleen though who is a fun and delightful temptress; I never knew what she was going to say next and when they finally get together it’s sizzling.

There’s also several LOL moments especially the scenes with Colleen’s three goofy college friends. And as always updates and brief appearances from the other TEAM members including Admiral Jake (sigh) Towards the end we even get a brief mission to the made up country of Tulgaria. Why do authors do this?

This is an excellent addition to the series which thankfully has just been re-released as 2-in-1’s with WAY better covers.
Taylor’s Temptation can be found in Tall, Dark and Deadly  Get Lucky and Taylor's Temptation      -See, WAY better cover. Cheers

Thursday, October 20, 2011

~LOVER REBORN IS OFFICIALLY DONE -let the countdown begin~

Well Ward finished Tohr's manuscript today and posted the official cover art for LOVER REBORN. Its very similar to the one leaked one we got a look at a few months ago but tweaked and looking slightly more Tohr-ish (although still not how I imagined him) Only 6 months to go...sigh

-From Ward on FB
"Tohr's draft is finally done! He came in at a WHOPPING 754 manuscript pages, a total of 176,937 words AND he's going to expand as I go through him the next two times soooooo we could be looking at a Rehv length (Avenged is the longest book in the series so far.) So... man, I'm wrung out- time to go for a run to work out the kinks!"

 -Ward last week on FB regarding, well tissues 
"Okay. Just cried like a little girl. Yup. Big time *sigh* Oh, get your tissues ready, ladies, Tohr just got me a good one and I didn't see it coming.... (well, not this particular teary thingy)"

I've also heard some really scary rumours regarding Wrath. Hasn't our King been through enough already?

Heres a cover comparism  The new (official cover ) is on the right. Better Yes?

And here's how I envision Tohrment.........................

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


3 of 5 stars

Opening line: "Three years earlier, on a warm November morning Adrienne Willis had returned to the inn and at first glance had thought it unchanged, as if the small inn were impervious to the sun and sand and salted mist."

Even in a book that's only 222 pages long Nicholas Sparks manages to weave his magic. Building a level of suspense as we await breathless to learn of Paul's fate. Reminisent of The Bridges of Madison County this is a quick, easy read but a great story nontheless.

The story begins with Adrienne telling her widowed daughter the tale of her brief love affair fourteen years earlier with a surgeon named Paul. We then alternate between Paul and Adrienne's points of view as we learn the story of their lives and what brought them each to divorce before they found themselves at the inn in Rodanthe.

With a violent storm brewing our protagonists share a walk on the beach and two meals together then fall hopelessly in love. (This did feel a little rushed to me but whatever it's Nicholas Sparks we all know where he's going) After five blissful days together Paul leaves Rodanthe to join his son at the medical clinic in Ecuador. Promising to return to Adrienne at Christmas so they can have their HEA but...well it's Nicholas Sparks isn't it.

This is a quick, smooth read with well developed characters and the typical tugging of the heartstrings we have all come to expect from Sparks. Cheers

“The greater the love, the greater the tragedy when it’s over those two elements always go together”

Sunday, October 16, 2011

~REVIEW of Cindy Gerard's -FEEL THE HEAT~

Feel the Heat (Black Ops, #4)
4 of 5 stars

Opening Line: "B.J Chase had worn her black tank top and khaki shorts for too many hours to count in the Venezuelan climate, where the heat and humidity were often measured in terms of ripe, riper and for God's sake, take a shower."

FEEL THE HEAT is the forth instalment in Cindy Gerard’s fast paced and super-sexy Black-Ops series and fans won’t be disappointed. This is yet another great ride, filled with action, adventure, exotic locations, sweet lovin and top notch writing. Although for some reason I never felt as connected to B.J and Raphael as past couples I still enjoyed their story and with the entire wise-cracking team back for this particular mission (loved catching up with them) and a sweet secondary romance there was plenty going on here to hold my interest. My only gripe would be that about halfway in it all started to feel very familiar and I realized with disappointment that I had already read this exact plotline in KILLER SECRETS one of Lora Leigh’s better Tempting Seals books. However I still enjoyed Cindy’s version and she remains a definite auto-buy for me.

B.J Chase is a brash, somewhat emotionally cold Defence Intelligence Officer who first meets bad boy Raphael Mendoza while they’re both undercover in Venezuela. It’s not a great meeting for our future couple what with the guns they have pointed at each other but it does however leave a lasting impression.

Back in the States B.J is assigned to work with the Black Op’s and she’s not exactly thrilled, these boys are a very tight team (see below) who play by their own rules and B.J is used to working alone. Of course this book starts out with a bang and just keeps going, with multiple shoot outs, car chases and a general feeling of suspense. Gerard gives us a clever storyline, oozes the sexual tension and in the second half manages to put our couple in close quarters as they pose as a newly engaged couple and go deep undercover in Columbia.

This is where Rafe gets reacquainted with his long lost (drug cartel) family and in BJ’s case she takes on the hilarious alter ego of ‘Brittany.’ A fluffy, gum cracking, money digging, true blonde that Rafael can‘t keep his Latin lovin hands off (I actually preferred Brittany to B.J) Anyways, from here things really start to steam up and emotions neither of them expected come out to play. Along with some serious explosions, a runaway train and several more hair raising shootouts where BJ proves her worth to the team, they try to stop an armed submarine and Raphael finally learns what B.J (!) stands for.

All in all this is another great read, complete with Gerard’s signature ending and while it could be read as a stand alone I highly recommend the entire romantic-suspense filled series. Now the wait begins for the next instalment (RISK NO SECRETS) Cheers.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

~REVIEW of Nic Sheff's TWEAK~

5 of 5 stars

Opening Line: "I'd heard rumors about what happened to Lauren, I mean, I never even knew her that well but we'd sort of hung out a few times in high school"

There's been a lot of buzz around Nic Sheff's bestselling memoir TWEAK and for good reason, its un-put-downable. This candid, gritty and detailed struggle with addiction is an amazing story but what entranced me most here wasn't Nic's decent into methamphetamine hell or his subsequent struggles to remain sober and find some kind of peace within himself, it's the way this story is told. Nic Sheff the author has a gift and I adored his short choppy style of writing. His ability to put into words the pain and loneliness we all at times feel even during the height of his addiction when the words purposely become vague, paranoid and crazy. I can only hope that he continues to write as I would read anything he publishes.

Tweak chronicles 642 days in Nic Sheff's life. Beginning on day 1 we bare witness to Nic relapsing after 18 months sober. Nic hadn't planned on relapsing that day, his life was working "I'd made so much progress" but without a second thought Nic picks up right up where he left off and in a matter of 32 days loses everything... again. We follow Nic during those 32 days, learning about his history, his insecurities and disappointed family. We watch Nic score and scheme (and dream) and get high and get really sick. Only quitting when he runs out of money and can no longer function. Nic's family will have nothing to do with him but he gets one more chance from his sponsor, who in a tough love way helps get Nic back on his feet...again.

Spenser brings Nic into his family, taking him to meetings and working the 12 steps. As readers we finally get to see sober Nic. Following him on his obsessively long bike rides and feeling his excitement as he begins to write and reconnect with his family. On day 278 Nic gets a call from Zelda, the love of his life and despite warnings from friends and family Nic can't stay away from her. Quickly becoming as addicted to the beautiful but toxic Zelda as he was to drugs. Within a matter of months Nic is using again, this time its heroin and crack and the fall he takes here is faster and harder than before. Almost losing an arm to infection from a dirty needle his 22 year old body soon starts to give out.

It was despairing as a reader watching this unfold. I could feel Nic's desperation and loneliness, his inability to fit in and need to be loved but I also felt myself becoming angry when he relapsed because I wanted him to succeed so much that it was hard to read, I just wanted to shake him and say what are you doing?

This is a raw and honest look at the up and down life of an addict, it's heartbreaking, ultimately uplifting and truly enjoyable. The paperback edition also contains a group reading guide and a new afterward by the author.