Author Archives: Lucy Dosch

Stone Cold Lover by Christine Warren

ORDER A COPY: Stone Cold Lover (Gargoyles Series)

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Publishing Date: August 26, 2014
Paperback: 336 pages

Rating: 4 stars


Stone Cold Lover had a much more interesting story plot than the first book in the series, Heart of Stone, but so far the overall series plotline isn’t exciting enough to warrant my going out of the way to follow it. I didn’t grab a copy of this book until I was asked to do a First Look for Heroes&Heartbreakers. I am certain there will be big epic battle at the end of the series after all of the guardians are awoken, but seven semi-interesting stories to get to one epic battle is more of a commitment than I want to make on this series.


Felicity Shaltis thinks she is just doing a favor for her college friend, Ella Harrow. She doesn’t realize yet how looking for a gargoyle statute is going to change her life forever.

Fil can’t blame her new obsession with the unbelievably hot statue on Ella either. Ella just asked Fil to find the statue, not to have a burning need to touch it and she certainly didn’t ask Fil to break in to the monastery in the middle of the night so she can see it again. Maybe if she gets arrested for the B&E she they’ll get her some therapy for her crazy behavior. But Fil isn’t the only one creeping around in the dark. The nocturnis have also found the Guardian and plan to blow up the statue while the Guardian is helpless.

While protecting the statue (by hiding behind it) Fil is hit by a bolt of magic from the creep in robe just before the Guardian is roused from his slumber and creepy nocturnis guy blows himself up. The next question is who is more confused Fil looking at the gorgeous, half-naked man that used to be a statue or Spar who is suddenly out of his slumber with no Warden around to wake him.

Using her iphone, Fil gets Ella on facetime who explains to Fil and Spar about what she and Kees have learned so far about the missing Guardians, Wardens and the nocturnis’s evil plot to destroy the sleeping Guardians so evil can win. I find it ironic that a guy named Spar has a problem with the name Fil. His feeling is Fil isn’t feminine enough, but the last time Spar was awake Gertrude, Agnes and Winifred were the popular girl names. No offense meant Gertrude, Agnes and Winifred! I’m just saying it was an odd thing for him to be so upset about.  Dude, your name is Spar. Don’t judge.

Fil and Spar take up the task of finding Wardens in hiding on their side of Canada.   Once they find one, they just missed him (he saw them coming) but he leaves a present of information that directs them toward their next task and the next missing Guardian.

They are also trying to locate a witch or someone with enough magic to help remove the spell put on Fil by Creepy Nocturnis Guy who apparently put the equivalent of a GPS cow brand on Fil marking her as dinner for one of the demons when it arises.

THOUGHTS:
The marking of Fil which attracts all the bad guys added more of an interest to this plot, but overall I haven’t  found enough romance or interesting plots in the first two books to be all that exciting a series. If we have to wake all seven Guardians by using the same plot of women who all have just enough of a magic to do it without actually being a Warden and who will all be the great love of the Guardian’s long, long life, before we can do more than just drive around looking for Wardens in hiding, then I’m out!

Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Favorite Scene:

“Spar, my getting hurt wasn’t your fault,” she told him after a minute of uncomfortable silence. “You realize that, right? I mean, you can’t keep your eyes on me twenty-four seven, no matter what you feel your duty is. I just went into another room. You were only a few steps away, and when I got hurt, you were right there to keep it from being any worse. You didn’t do anything wrong.”

He grunted and reached for her left hand. “I have done nothing right from the moment I awoke. If I had, this would not be here.”

He traced a finger over her palm, following the lines of the demon’s mark. Fil followed his gaze and choked on a gasp. The reddened henna-like lines of the mark had darkened again, now appearing a dark, dark brown, almost black, with a charred look on the outer edges. It no longer pained her, she realized but it was starting to freak her the hell out.

“What’s going on, Spar?” she demanded in a whisper that threatened to break into jagged pieces. “It’s getting worse. Why is it doing that?”

“It is the way of the mark. I had hoped I was wrong, that it hadn’t fully settled on you.” He looked up at her, pinning her with his gaze. “The mark is attempting to claim you.”

“Claim me?” She choked on the words, and a sense of foreboding swept through her. “What the hell does that mean?”

Spar grasped her other hand and tugged her closer. His knees closed around her, but instead of making her feel trapped the pressure comforted her on a visceral level. Without Fil realizing it, in the past twenty-four hours, this man had become a safe haven for her. Somehow that frightened her almost more than everything else put together.

“Listen to me,” he said, squeezing her hands to focus her attention back on him. He waited for her to take a shaky breath before he continued. “I want you to understand that I will protect you from this moment forward. I will allow no other enemy to touch you, no other harm to come your way, and we will find a way to remove the mark.  I swear this to you.”

“Okay, I know you’re trying to reassure me, Spar, but you’re just kinda freaking me out even worse.  What the hell is up wit this mark thing? Why is it changing?”

“The mark was placed on you to try to claim you in the name of Uhlthor, one of the Seven. By placing his symbol in your skin, the nocturnis hoped for one of two outcomes: either you would become an offering for the demon to feast upon, or you would surrender yourself to his power and become another of his army of minions.”

A hysterical laugh bubbled out of her chest. “Uh, neither of those options really works for me, you know?”

High Moon by Jennifer Harlow

highmooncvr
ORDER A COPY: High Moon (A F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation Series) (Volume 4)

Publisher: Midnight Ink
Publishing Date: September 16, 2014
eBook: 234 pages

Rating: 4 stars=story – 1 star=series ending


This was a great series with an adorable, self-deprecating heroine and her two very interesting love interests. A big part of the fun was the flirty banter between Beatrice and (vampire) Oliver, while Beatrice chased after serious and sexy team leader (werewolf) Will. Unfortunately, once Beatrice finally catches Will, we lose all the Oliver banter while Oliver sulks in the corner. Beatrice also learns that there are some serious issues to deal with once you catch your man who has his own PMS from hell every full moon.


Beatrice is a woman who knows what she wants and for the last year, she has wanted the love of her F.R.E.A.K.S. team leader, werewolf William Price. She doesn’t care that he gets furry and chases his tail once a month. She has their future children already named, she just needs Will to acknowledge his own feelings for Beatrice. The few kisses they have exchanged tell her that Will isn’t as immune to her as he tries to make her believe. But no matter what she does, Will keeps pushing her away. Yet a slipped “I love you” will bring about a change to her future that she might not have been as ready for as she thought she was.

Not everyone is happy for Willitrice. The team is once again fracturing over what their new relationship will mean to the team. The biggest casualty to this new romance is Beatrice’s friendship with partner and BFF, vampire Oliver Montrose. Oliver and Will have been enemies and reluctant teammates for decades, but their animosity to each other exploded over their mutual feelings for Beatrice. Oliver was aware that Beatrice was in love with Will. She cried on his shoulder many a night over Will. But watching her unrequited mooning is different than watching the smooching lovers.  Knowing he lost her to a man whose “condition” could cause Beatrice to be ripped to shreds if they aren’t careful is making him act irrationally.

In between kissing Will and arguing with Oliver, Beatrice and the team are still on duty. Their latest case takes them to the woods of Appalachia Summit State Park in North Carolina. Part of a leg is found by hikers, but where is the rest of the body? When evidence shows several werewolves hunting in the woods, the team knows that are trying to find a sadistic pack hunting humans for sport. It also looks like this pack is being lead by a female werewolf who is using magic to keep her pack in an perpetual state of lust for her.

Local packmasters join the hunt for the rogues and we can add them to the list of those who are not happy to find Will cavorting with a Beatrice. Bea is having a hard enough time dealing with the fact that her dream relationship with Will is suddenly speeding ahead faster than a two-man luge and it seems no one is in their corner.  Although to be fair she does have to admit that she and Will have been a bit…distracted on this latest case and maybe they aren’t being fair to the rest of the team.

It seems that finally getting the man of her dreams might be the worst thing that has ever happened to Beatrice. Now that she has him, will she have to give him up in the name of public safety?

THOUGHTS:
My inner girly-girl was squealing with joy when we finally get Will to admit his feelings for Beatrice. Between being down about himself about being a real monster…a deadly werewolf, and the fact that he was not able to save his wife when they were attacked all those years ago, Will is always carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders. If it was up to him, he would continue to live in a constant state of self-punishment. But we knew that there was a buzz in the air from the moment he met Beatrice, and that any anger toward Beatrice was focused more on her relationship with Oliver, especially when he thought that they were sleeping together. So after Book 3 when Beatrice told him she would get him to admit his feelings for her, I waited on pins and needles not sure if there would be a Book 4 or if Jennifer Harlow was ending the series as a trilogy and leaving us hanging.

There is part of me that now wishes she has left us with the three book series imaging what would happen upon Beatrice’s return. You will note that although I gave the story a 4 star rating, I gave the series ending only 1. The investigation and story were as good as her other books. It was odd to read big, strong, dangerous Will Price texting “Love U. Love U. Love U.” messages. I think I would have lost all respect if there was a “Shmoopsie” in there.

I like that Bea was the one to finally watch over the caged Will while he changed to werewolf at the next full moon. We finally got to see the change happen.  Everything went as I imagined it would, including Will’s freak out when an angry Oliver (his nemesis) shows up to confront Bea when he finally learns that Will and Beatrice became a couple while he was in his death sleep.

Investigation aside, what was really missing in the story was the great rapport between Bea and Oliver. Oliver freaks out that he lost Beatrice to Will and becomes the psycho vampire everyone has been warning her about since she got there in Book 1. Beatrice is the only person Oliver has cared about since…ever. He behaves very badly upon learning the news and Beatrice refuses to speak to Oliver until he can apologize and be happy for them. So instead of the usual fun, flirty banter, we barely hear from Oliver at all unless his is yelling and pointing out how dangerous it is for Beatrice to be with a werewolf. I missed Oliver. I missed Oliver/Beatrice a lot.

I gave the series ending a 1 simply because I have never been so upset and absolutely angry finishing a story before in my life. I was going to let a friend borrow my Nook on her vacation because she too is a big fan of the series. I texted her as soon as I finished and told her I would not allow her to read it until she returned so she would not ruin her vacation.

After she finally read it she texted me this:

the book was  :D then it went to  :) to  :| to   :(    to  :'( :'( :'(

I always enjoyed this series as a fun and entertaining series. Beatrice is very self-deprecating and Oliver is flirty and charming. Even the serious Will you knew was grumpy because he wanted Beatrice but had his “woe is the werewolf” thing going. There are some paranormals and Urban Fantasies that you know take themselves very seriously, for example, The Black Dagger Brotherhood and Mercy Thompson. Maybe the author always intended her series to be dark, but I couldn’t help but enjoy the fun parts of the series. The ending was so dark and awful I am still angry about it a month later. I tried to re-read one of the prior stories just to enjoy the camaraderie but it was so tainted by the ending, I couldn’t continue.

There is no doubt in my mind that the author was simply done with this series.  I am so sorry she felt that way. I would have read these stories for several more years and enjoyed the characters she created. I truly wish I had a talent for writing. I would hit the fan fiction sites and carry on writing my own saga of the F.R.E.A.K.S.

We don’t know why an author chooses how their characters will react, but even if Jennifer Harlow wanted to walk away from the F.R.E.A.K.S., she didn’t need to be so gruesome. I could think of several different endings which could have left us maybe without a perfect Hollywood happy ending or simply one open to use our own imagination.

For paranormal lovers, I would still highly recommend the first three books in this series. As far as High Moon, you will have to read it at your own risk.

Received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.


Favorite Scene:

Watching the man you love suck face with a gorgeous woman is not the best way to start a birthday. Welcome to my world.

He sits at a back booth, lips and every other body part pressed against that succubus, appearing to love every second and caress, the rat bastard. And how can he not be? The evil slut queen of doom has everything I don’t. Long, straight hay-colored hair, big blue eyes, big breasts, long lean legs, tight body all encased in a skintight black dress clinging to her perfect curves that only a plastic surgeon could ever recreate on me. I’ve envied women like her all my life, and now that succubus has my future husband in her enticing clutches. Literally. An actual succubus is clutching his soft brown hair and kissing him as if her life depended on it. Which I guess it does—as she feeds off sexual energy to live—but still. Does he have to frigging enjoy the whole experience so much?

Howdy. The jealous, insecure, emotional wreck before you is Special Agent Beatrice Alexander of the covert branch of the FBI known to the underworld as the F.R.E.A.K.S. We fight the monsters under your bed: the vampires, the ghosts, and the soon to be decapitated succubi of the world. Those terrors in horror movies? Real. Trolls, zombies, even giant snakes. Killed them all so the citizens of American can go about their normal lives. Why am I so lucky? Because technically I’m one of them. I can move anything with my mind. It’s called tele or psychokinesis. I can carry in groceries or stop hearts without lifting a finger. And let me say doing the latter is mighty tempting right about now.

The man having his tonsils examined by the succubus is my teammate Special Agent Will Price. He’s technically a monster too, at least once a month. He’s a werewolf, not that I hold that against him. After all us freaks can’t help who or what we are. We’re actually a lot alike everyone else. Though Will did literally eat my last boyfriend. The psycho was trying to kill me at the time, so I gave Will a pass on that. But this…

Will shifts in his seat to get closer to her. They haven’t broken apart in over forty-seven seconds. Forty-seven! He’s kissed her longer than he’s ever kissed me all three times combined. I don’t care that she’s more or less bewitched him. I don’t care that its all for a case. My hands ball into fists, fingers digging so deep in my own flesh it hurts. A cool hand touches mine. I look away from this nauseating PDA toward the hand’s owner. My friend, the delectable Oliver Montrose gazes at me, his gray eyes warning me not to put into action what I’ve been contemplating. Namely storming over there and cold cocking that female dog with the butt of my Glock. Though she so deserves it. In Virginia Beach alone she’d been linked to two deaths. Two young seamen were found naked and dead in their own beds of apparent heart attacks after going home from a club with a hot blonde. Who knows how many others she’d sucked dry over the years?

For those not in the monster killer business, a succubus is a woman who Hoovers up the life-force from her lovers, much like a vampire feeds off blood. Now, I don’t begrudge a life form getting whatever they need to live. I watch Animal Planet. Sometimes it’s kill or be killed. But a succubus doesn’t need to kill anymore than a vampire does. A little can go a long way. Some people are just evil. And right now evil has Will in a head lock.

“Whatever course of action you are contemplating inside that beautiful head of years, I suggest you forget it post haste,” my vampire friend warns. His hand remains heavy on mine, a reminder about restraint. We don’t want to blow our cover. While Will plays doctor, Oliver and I sit at the bar, just another couple enjoying the Virginia nightlife. A few stools down, Agents Rushmore and Wolfe, in their chic Ralph Lauren polo shirts and buzz cuts, nurse ginger ales, and keep their eyes locked on the same booth. Chandler is lucky enough to be out in the parking lot waiting for the signal to take her down. Darn you, innocent bystanders. Darn you.

Lord, I hate clubs. They’re loud, crowded, expensive and filled with hormone crazed men and women with no sense of shame or decorum. I’ve lost count of how many strange crotches have rubbed up against my backside while “dancing.” I’d only been a handful of times before I joined the F.R.E.A.K.S., and now it seems as if I live in one. Why preternaturals feel so at home in these places is beyond me. I guess to them it’s nothing but a smorgasbord. Easy picking. Everyone’s mind is so filled with sex and booze they forget basics like safety and common sense. And now Will has joined their ranks.

“I wasn’t contemplating anything,” I snap, downing my screwdriver. “I’m not bothered by them. Not a bit. It’s work. We’re working. Another drink, please! Now! Now!

“That is not a wise idea, my dear.”

“Wise is so overrated,” I mutter.

I glance back at the couple. Still making out, still…oh, no she isn’t! Her graceful hand slides up Will’s thigh, resting on the bulge in his pants. At first she just traces the outline with her fingertip, and then rubs against him with her whole harlot hand. He doesn’t push it away.

Rage boils over. Involuntarily I leap up, every inch of me tense and ready to rip her shining hair out at the roots. Before I’m totally upright, a hand on my shoulder presses me back into my seat. “No.”

“But she—“

No,” Oliver says as if I’m an ill-behaved dog.

“But he—“

“No.”

Torture.

Spotlight – A F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation by Jennifer Harlow

September 16th is the release of the fourth and final book in the F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation by Jennifer Harlow. The F.R.E.A.K.S. stands for Federal Response to Extra-Sensory and Kindred Supernaturals. This is a team with their own special gifts that the government sends out to deal with rogue vampires, zombie invasions and other monsters you thoughts were only fiction.

The star of this series is Beatrice Alexander. Beatrice is a former schoolteacher and a telekinetic. Her BFF is the charming 500 year old vampire, Oliver Montrose, and the man of her dreams is team leader, werewolf William Price. Now, normally werewolves and vampires aren’t the best of friends, but add into the mix the fact that both Oliver and Will have some pretty strong feelings for Beatrice and things can get volatile.

In High Moon, Beatrice will finally get her man, but will it be all that she dreamed it would be, or will it simply be the beginning of the end?



Beatrice Alexander is no ordinary schoolteacher–she can move objects with her mind, an embarrassing skill she hasn’t yet mastered or embraced. After nearly killing her brother by accident, she joins the F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad, the Federal Response to Extra-Sensory and Kindred Supernaturals. This top-secret branch of the FBI combats ghosts, ghouls, and other monsters threatening humanity.

With her teammates–among them a handsome former-detective werewolf and an annoying Don Juan vampire who’s dead-set on seducing her–Beatrice investigates her first case. Disgustingly dismembered bodies have turned up, bearing bite marks of the undead. Someone–or something–is raising a horde of hideous, bloodthirsty zombies. Armed with Bette, her trusty machete, Beatrice takes on the master of the flesh-devouring corpses, who’s guarding a horrifying secret.

Featuring a team of monster hunters with unique paranormal abilities, the F.R.E.A.K.S. Squad Investigation series combines humor, suspense, and supernatural crime-fighting.



CLASSIFIED: F.R.E.A.K.S. Do Dallas

Beatrice Alexander, telekinetic special agent, is still adjusting to life among the F.R.E.A.K.S. while wiping out zombies and other supernatural threats. When Bea learns about her “special assignment” investigating a series of human disappearances with Oliver Montrose, her gorgeous but annoying vampire co-worker, she reluctantly agrees to go undercover. Disguised as a married couple, they infiltrate the gothic vamp scene in Dallas. While sniffing out clues, Oliver’s convincing public–and not so public–displays of affection have Bea swooning in her bustier and fishnets. Between contending with her fake husband’s ex-lover Marianna and feeling guilty for hiding the mission from her werewolf crush Will, Bea discovers she’s not the only F.R.E.A.K. keeping secrets. Clubbing with the undead turns bloody when Oliver’s old enemy, the Lord of Dallas, decides to seek his revenge. Caught in the crossfire, Bea is up to her neck in blood-sucking trouble.



A supernatural love triangle + one indecent proposal Beatrice Alexander can crush a sixty-foot snake with her mind, but she can’t take any more of the drama that’s tearing apart F.R.E.A.K.S. Should she give it all up — her job as a secret agent and the possibility of a relationship with Will, the gorgeous werewolf? Bea’s hoping to get it all figured out on a trip home for Christmas. But soon her hunky ex-boyfriend wants to rekindle their romance. Then, a powerful (and super hot) vampire lord offers Bea an impossible ultimatum: leave San Diego and her family forever — or become his lover.



CLASSIFIED: A F.R.E.A.K.S. LOVE STORY

Telekinetic Special Agent Beatrice Alexander has fought hordes of zombies, psychotic vampires, and even a troll. But now she faces her greatest challenge: love.

Fully recovered from her holiday from hell, Bea has returned to the F.R.E.A.K.S. with a mission, to gain the love of her werewolf teammate, Will Price. Of course nothing is ever easy when it comes to love and war. And when the killing fields of a pack of murderous werewolves is discovered in the wilds of North Carolina, the situation goes from complicated to deadly. Because though Bea always seems to get her man or beast in the end, this time she isn’t sure she will survive with her love intact. Or with her life.


Jennifer Harlow spent her restless childhood fighting with her three brothers and scaring the heck out of herself with horror movies and books. She grew up to earn a degree at the University of Virginia which she put to use as a radio DJ, crisis hotline volunteer, bookseller, lab assistant, wedding coordinator, and government investigator. Currently she calls Northern Virgina home but that restless itch is ever present. In her free time she continues to scare the beejepers out of herself watching scary movies and opening her credit card bills.

Website: www.JenniferHarlowBooks.com
Twitter: @JennHarlowBooks


Third Anniversary – Winners!

Elaine Happy

Our Third Anniversary Winners are:

$25.00 Gift Card: Denise Z.

Signed copy of Rebecca’s Lost Journal: April
Signed copy of Searching for Perfect: Timitra

Copies of review books will also be going out to:

Melissa
Len D.
Stephanie
Lisa
Phantrosity
Lydia
Joanne B.
Tina B.

Thank you again to everyone who stops by and chats books with me throughout the year.

Friday Giveaway – Beauty and the Billionaire by Jessica Clare

kramer

Happy Friday! If you saw my post this morning, and you must check it out, you will know that I misjudged the book, The Hook Up, and couldn’t be more pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed the story and the characters.

No matter how hard I try to not grab books just because the cover catches my eye, sometimes you just fall for it. I’m weak.  In this case, the guy on the cover just looks so…smarmy. Like he’s too pleased with his own awesomeness.  I just started to believe he would end up being a jackass. Opps.

hook up

So my question to you this week is - Have you ever bought a book cover ever grabbed your attention only to leave you cold or like me, delighted by your mistake?

Up for grabs this week is a copy of Beauty and the Billionaire by Jessica Clare.

Giveaway ends Thursday, September 18th. Open to U.S. Residents, 18 years and older.


Real-estate tycoon Hunter Buchanan has a dark past that’s left him scarred and living as a recluse on his family’s palatial estate. Hunter is ready to give up on love—until he spots an enigmatic red-haired beauty and comes up with an elaborate scheme to meet her.

Gretchen Petty is in need of a paycheck—and a change. So when a job opportunity in an upstate New York mansion pops up she accepts. And while she can overlook the oddities of her new job, she can’t ignore her new boss’s delectable body—or his barely leashed temper.

Hunter’s afraid his plan might be unraveling before it’s truly begun, but Gretchen is about to show him that life can be full of surprises.

The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan


ORDER A COPY: The Hook Up (Game On Book 1)

Publisher: self-published
Publishing Date: September 2, 2014
eBook: 335 pages

Rating: 5 Star Touchdown!


I did it. I judged a book by its cover…and its back cover. I pushed this one off because I wasn’t in the mood for a college drama where the big pompous jock just wants to get laid by the one girl who doesn’t want him.  I was so wrong.  God, I love when a book kicks my ass for making it wait.  Drew and Anna dragged me through a roller coaster of emotions. I felt such chest pains waiting anxiously to see which one would give into their fear first and tear them apart.


The last New Adult jock “romance” I tried to read included a baseball star who was dying to fuck his friend’s girlfriend. He wanted her to find out what a cheating bastard her boyfriend was so he could tap that.  His observations about her ass were so…moving.  The stuff of poetry.

So bad girl that I am I prejudged this book. I enjoyed Kristen Callihan’s Dark London books so I originally took a review copy because I was interested in reading how she would approach something not paranormal. But by the time this hit the top of my TBR list and after a few paranormal books, I was meh about this college jock book. I couldn’t have made a bigger mistake and I am so glad I didn’t push this one aside entirely.

And just like the spark that hits Anna and Drew the first time they lock gazes, I was immediately drawn into their passion.

Drew Baylor is the star quarterback in his last year of college, being scouted by NFL teams. He is the shining star of the school and every eye turns to him when he walks into the room. But it is sassy, red-headed Anna Jones that catches his eye and leaves him tongue-tied.

Drew grew up with parents who were college sweethearts and their love was still strong when they were taken from him in a tragic accident. His mother always told him “You’ll see, Drew. One day, love will creep up and smack you upside the head. Then you’ll understand.” And he did. From the moment he met Anna he started losing his heart. He is completely frustrated because no matter how hard he tries, Anna treats him like a leper and it’s making him crazy.

While Drew shines in the spotlight, surrounded by lots and lots of female fans, we learn that Anna spent most of her life in the shadows. She was slightly overweight in high school, an awkward introvert that no one paid attention to or befriended. She doesn’t like the attention being drawn to her, and the catty comments being made by the co-eds who want to take her place. She also can’t let herself believe in Happily Ever After for someone like her, not with someone like Drew. Unlike Drew’s happy home life, Anna’s father abandoned them when Anna was just a child, and her mother’s endless string of loser boyfriends doesn’t encourage Anna to put faith in forever love.

When their passion for each other can’t be denied, Anna agrees to a Hook Up with Drew but won’t acknowledge the word “relationship” at all. In fact, to protect herself from heartache which she is certain will come when Drew comes to his senses and returns to his Barbie blonde cheerleader types, she refuses to allow kissing, sleeping over, and she barely allows touching after the sex is over.

pretty woman - kissing

Yet is it not the kissing, or lack thereof, that cements their relationship.  No matter how hard Anna tries to fight it. It is the fact that Drew opens up his heart and his pain and fear to only Anna. Their heartfelt conversations where Drew shares his pain over the loss of his parents and his fears for the future and simply opens up to her encourages Anna to share some of her secrets as well. But she does not tell him her deepest fear, which is falling in love with him and having him toss her aside.

Drew realizes that Anna is always ready to flee and every time he pushes to hard at her walls, he knows he has to pull back or lose her completely.  Whether it will be her fear or his frustration that will put too much pressure on the relationship, we have to wait and see.  Thank God this was a romance or I don’t think I would have survived.  After the “break up” (because you know it’s gonna happen) every page I turned I grew more frustrated at friends, teachers, Anna’s mother, waiting for someone to shake the sense back into them or to be the voice of reason to do something, ANYTHING, to get them back together.  Idiots!

And just like in Pretty Woman you are just waiting for that first kiss with as much anticipation as Drew and it didn’t disappoint at all. *fanning hot cheeks*

THOUGHTS:
I freaking love Drew and Anna and I was so drawn in by them and their passion that I was anxious and nervous for them. I went into work to my books friends and grumbled “Someone’s going to screw it up!! I know it!  I can’t breathe.” Then I told them I was passing my Nook around when I was done because they all have to read it.

Must read!  Must read!  Must read!  Did I mention that YOU MUST GO READ THIS!

Received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.


Favorite Scene:

I’m thinking about her voice, that syrup-thick southern drawl that makes my skin prickle. I’m in the South now. Accents like hers surround me on a daily basis. Why it is that her voice affect me more than others, I don’t know. Nor do I care. She talks and I want to listen. Endlessly.

I’ve got it bad. Bad enough to be sporting semi-wood in the middle of a crowded room. And she’s not even here.

I take a sip of water, not really listening to the chatter around me. What does she do on her nights off? Frequent clubs? Hang out at a coffee house and chastise unsuspecting men on the unfairness of the glass ceiling? That makes me smile. I love the way her pert nose scrunches up when she’s irritated and her wide green eyes narrow into slits. Like she won’t hesitate to kick someone’s ass if she thinks they deserve it. Totally hot.

The water I’m drinking is warm and tastes of plastic. I set the bottle down harder than necessary. An antsy, irritable feeling grows within me. I don’t want to be here. I’ve heard all these stories and jokes a thousand times before. And while I love my guys, I’m bored. I want to hunt down Anna Jones, rattle her cage, and see what she throws at me. But I don’t know where to start looking. And it pisses me off.

I’m about to tell Gray that I’ll see him tomorrow, maybe hit the sack in an effort to at least try to get some needed sleep, when I feel a familiar tightening in my groin and along my back.

I have no explanation for how or why it is that I know when she’s near. I just do. Like a magnet to metal, my body swivels and my head lifts. And there she is.

Everything stops. My heart in my chest. My brain function. Fuck me sideways. Just someone stick a fork in me. I’m done. She isn’t in her standard t-shirt and jeans, or one of her soft little sweaters. She’s in some strappy top that barely contains her breast, those creamy, beautiful breasts that bounce and jiggle with each step she takes. Those breasts are going to be the death of me. I’m afraid I’ve audibly groaned.

And damn if I”m not the only one who’s noticed her. Too many eyes are glued to her chest. My hands clench. I’m no different than them, maybe worse, because I’ve made a habit of staring at her. But I’m itching to smack heads, send those eyes forward and off of her. I also have the sudden urge to whip off my shirt and tuck her into it.

She makes her way farther into the room, and I see the skirt. A swishy black thing that clings and sways around her pale thighs. Strong yet soft thighs that I know would feel so good parting for me, that would wrap me up and hold me tight. Je-sus.

A frown mars her face, drawing her auburn brows close and pinching her lips. If there is anything I love more about her than her breasts, it’s her lips. Deep pink and plump, those lips entrance me. Lips I’ve wanted to kiss since I first laid eyes on them.

She isn’t happy to be here. And she scowls back at a pair of girls who look at her as if she’s an intruder. I know those girls. Sports groupies. “Cock Jugglers” are what Gray calls them. And though it’s crude, it’s fitting. They’ve serviced more than half the team. Ugly experience has taught me to keep far away from them. I don’t like the smirks they’re giving Anna. She shouldn’t be here. We shouldn’t. I want to take her out of here and just drive somewhere. Maybe to that coffee house in my imagination. I’d be happy to have her lecture me on all the ways I annoy her.

Her eyes scan the room as if seeking a way out.

Look this way, I tell her in my head. Look at me. Give me those wide, green eyes. Lock them on me with that intensity I feel down to my bones.

Look at me.

Look at me.

As if she hears me, her pale shoulders tense, and my body seizes with hot anticipation. Her long lashes sweep upward and, bam those eyes find mine. It’s like being blindsided, only heat and breathless pleasure overwhelms me instead of pain.

Her full lips part as if she’s taking a shocked breath, and I find myself doing the same. Jesus, I want her. She watches me, a mixture of anxiety and raw excitement gleaming in her eyes. I need to find a way to erase that anxiety. I need to know her better. Nothing on earth is stopping me from going to her.

Adrenaline rushes through my veins and my heart rate increases. Game on.

Shatter by Erin McCarthy


ORDER A COPY: Shatter (True Believers)

Publisher: Intermix
Publishing Date: September 2, 2014
Paperback: 304 pages

Rating: 4 stars


The last book of the True Believers gives us Kylie and Jonathon, college students, who will have to deal with a very grown up problem after one night of passion. You will laugh and cry with these delightful characters as they deal with the ups and down of an unplanned pregnancy and getting to know the future parent of their child.


Kylie Warner is trying to get over the betrayal of her boyfriend Nathan, who slept with her best friend Robyn during summer break. Nathan keeps trying to reconcile with her while placing the blame on everyone but himself. Her depression and heartbreak isn’t helping her focus on her classwork and she is in serious jeopardy of failing her chemistry class.

That’s why she needs to meet with grad student Jonathon Kadisch for chemistry tutoring. Even though perky Kylie isn’t her usual perky self, the pretty blonde catches Jonathon’s eye while Kylie is enjoying his geek-chic style. This leads to a few sparks and a walk home on the dark night ends in Kylie’s apartment and a night of passion starts the these two on a path they never anticipated. I anticipated being disappointed in Kylie for her lack of responsibility when condoms are easily obtained, but there is a reason why condoms are only 85% effective and Jonathon’s sperm beat the odds.

Props to Kylie’s Mom and her family who was fully supportive of Kylie’s news, and after a period of Holy Shit! Jonathon got on board as well. I enjoyed how adult Kylie and Jonathan acted once they accepted that they were bound to become parents. I also like how Jonathan took over the role of protector of Kylie since she was having a very bad first trimester.

Although neither was certain how far the other wanted to take their new forced relationship, they had a very adult conversation that they would like to try to get to know each other to see if maybe they can have more of a relationship than just a weekend pass off to Dad.

There are many stories out there where an unplanned pregnancy is hidden or a point of contention or distrust and I appreciated Erin McCarthy’s attempt to have these college students grow up quickly and deal with their new future in a very grown up way. Jonathan decided to put off obtaining a masters in favor of getting a job to take care of his child and did it without feeling unfairly put out. Both Kylie and Jonathon became excited about their future child and their future together. Even though it was not a straight road for them, I truly enjoyed the story told and the changes to these characters as they were forced to mature very quickly.

THOUGHTS:
This was a strong ending to the series and although we get a one year later epilogue, which was the wedding of Jessica and Riley, I still would have like to see to how our first couple Tyler and Rory survived the pressures of her becoming a doctor and where Tyler would be, although there was talk of Tyler going back to school.

I liked this series and enjoyed the first and last books in this series best.

Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Favorite Scene:

When the buzzer went off letting me know I had a visitor at the front door, I ignored it. My first thought was that it was Nathan. But then I got the text from Jonathon as the buzzer rang again.

Downstairs. Worried about you. Can I come up?

Oh, crap. Could I look any shittier? No. No, I couldn’t.

I debated telling him to go away. But he texted again.

Brought you a smoothie. And anti-nausea medication that is safe for the baby.

Okay, I could get over the fact that I looked like ass if he could make even one one-hundredth of my symptoms go away.

Thx.

I struggled to a sitting position, then weaved to the DOOR button and hit it, holding it as long as I could before I felt dizzy, to make sure he was in. Then I unlocked my door and collapsed back onto my bed. This was worse than any hangover I’d ever had.

Jonathon knocked on the door a minute later and I tried to yell “come in,” but nothing but a pathetic whimper came out. He opened the door anyway and stepped inside.

“Kylie? Oh my God, are you okay?”

I tried to turn my head and I saw spots in front of eyes. Suddenly Jonathan was down on his knees next to the bed, brushing my hair back off my forehead. His face looked concerned, his touch cool and gentle. “That feels good,” I murmured.

“What’s going on here? How long have you been in bed?”

“Three days. I think.”

“Have you eaten?”

Just the word made my stomach lurch and I heaved, slapping my hand over my mouth. “No.”

“Are you drinking water or anything?”

“A little.”

“How little?” He picked up the water bottle off the nightstand and shook it. “How often are you filling this up?”

“I don’t think I have refilled it.”

“When was the last time you went to the bathroom?”

I frowned. That was a little personal. “I’m not sure. Not today. I don’t think. What time is it anyway?”

“It’s seven.”

“Oh.” I closed my eyes again, fatigue overcoming me. It was like when I’d been given anesthesia for my wisdom teeth removal. You wanted your eyes to stay open, but they drifted closed anyway.

He shook me a little and I tried to swat at him but I had a hard time lifting my arm. It was like I was underwater.

“Take a sip.”

A straw was shoved into my mouth. I took a sip and swallowed. It felt good in my mouth. Cold and sweet. It soothed my throat going down. But then it hit my stomach and it went horribly wrong. I jerked to move the straw and threw up a dribble of pink smoothie and foul-smelling bile right down the side of my mouth and onto the mattress where it puddled under my elbow. Sexy times. That was me.

“Alright, we’re going to the ER. This is not normal.”

“I’m not normal?” I asked.

“You shouldn’t be this sick. And you’re either going to be dehydrated soon or you already are.”

I watched him go into the bathroom then he reappeared with a wet cloth and wiped my mouth and face with it. Ah, that felt good. Then he rifled through my dresser until he found a big sweatshirt. Helping me into a sitting position, he pulled off my sweaty tank top and replaced it with the sweatshirt. He put my Uggs on my feet over my socks and then he lifted me up into his arms.

“Put your hands around my neck,” he told me.

I did, learning against his chest, too exhausted to protest that he didn’t need to do this. That I didn’t need the ER. “You smell good,” I murmured, his scent the only thing that hadn’t clogged my nostrils and made me want to hurl in the last week. “Clean.”

He gave a soft laugh. “Even in the midst of morning sickness the chemistry of attraction applies. Because I was thinking that you are absolutely beautiful.”

Son of No One by Sherrilyn Kenyon


ORDER A COPY:

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publishing Date: September 2, 2014
Hardcover: 432 pages

Rating: 3 stars


Absolutely disappointing. For this story Sherrilyn Kenyon chose such an obscure legend to base her story off of that I had a hard time keeping up with all the names and all the bad guys. A boatload of cameo appearances from the series wasn’t enough to make me enjoy this story.


Son of No One is the most recent release by Sherrilyn Kenyon who has given us such wonderful stories in the Dark Hunter/Were Hunter/Dream Hunter series.

We meet Josette Landry who is cousin to the Devereaux clan. She is recently divorced from her cheating husband, who although he is unemployed, managed to walk away with all their money. Her house has been foreclosed and all she has in the world is her beat up 1964 Ford Falcon. She is in New Orleans to live with her cousins until she can find a job and rebuild her life.

Jo and cousin Amanda are the only paranormal skeptics in the clan, but Karma Devereaux has offered her a job as a videographer while they investigate paranormal happenings in some of the local homes. Since they already lost several camera people, the offer is something that the cash strapped Jo can’t refuse.

While setting up in one of the local homes, Jo trips and goes crashing through the large mirror like Alice through the Looking Glass. In this new reality where everything is in black and white, Jo is saved from attack by zombie like creatures by Cadegan

Cadegan Maboddiumun (which translates to “Cadegan Son of No One”) is a demigod/demonkyn since his mother was the goddess Brigid, and his father was the demon Paimon, who is the son of the demon, Noir. (Said like we should know how bad that is.)  In fact this story is chock full of listings of relations. “I’m Talon of the Morrigantes. My wife is the granddaughter of the Mórrígan and the Dagda. We’re cousins.” All I could think of was the Spaceballs speech where Dark Helmet tells Lonestar. spaceballs

At his birth Cadegan is left in a local monastery to be raised in the hopes that he won’t come across evil amongst the brothers. But we know that evil lurks everywhere and even in this tiny monastery, Cadegan was accused of stealing money and was severely punished for it although he wasn’t the thief. One of the Brothers let him take the fall.  Cadegan couldn’t hide in the monastery forever and when war came through their town, twelve-year-old Cadegan was conscripted by the King to join his army. Unaware of his demon side, Cadegan was surprised how well he fought even when no one bothered to train him.

At this point, Cadegan’s brother Leucious finds him and convinces him to come fight with him against the demons. Eventually even Leucious turns on him because he believed that Cade’s demonside was winning out and he condemns him to this limbo world of Terre Derrière le Voile where he is trapped in the mirror. We have been introduced to Leucious in the Hellchasers stories and we know him better as Thorn.

Now when Cade and Jo meet, we have only just started on all the crazy names that we need to know for this story. And by God, everyone has at least one accent over their name so much so that now I want to change my name to Ľűćŷ.  Cade takes Jo home until daylight when it is safer to go out.   In the morning, he tries to return her through the portal and it is closed.  So he goes to the dark wizard Brenin Gwyn ap Nudd to make a deal for the wizard to create a dragon key to the world of men so that Jo can leave before the autumnal equinox when she will be stuck here forever. He can’t go to another of the other named wizards or demons because he trusts them even less than Gwyn even though the price he will need to pay to free Jo is pretty steep.

I thought, “Okay the story will be quest for the items”, not so much.  Overnight the back stabbing has begun and the dark wizard switches Cade and Jo’s bodies, which leads to having sex in each other’s bodies so they know what it feels like for the other.  Ewww. Ewww.  Ewww.  I was a quite uncomfortable about the whole having sex with yourself aspect and felt a little creepy about the whole thing. The point of body switching first includes Gwyn being able to capture Jo as Cadegan since they will torture her for Cadegan’s memories to get the treasure he is protecting. The second point is that Jo’s family with the help of Thorn and Asheron pull Jo from the mirror realm.  Cadegan as Jo goes batshit crazy on Thorn/Leucious until a rescue party is sent back in for Jo.

The remainder of the book includes back and forth trips and rescue parties first to rescue Jo and return her body to her and then to go back to rescue Cadegan who ended up getting left behind, with many, many strange named people popping up who all want to get their hands on Cadegan either to get their hands on the treasure he protects or to turn over Cadegan for the huge bounty that his demon father has placed on his head.

It comes up in the story that Cadegan/Jo’s story mirrors the story of ancient Goddess, Britomartis, cousin of Artemis, who had a magic mirror and saw the Welsh prince and fell in love with him and traveled through the mirror where they lived happily ever after as mortals and that Cadegan and Jo are descendants of the original goddess and Welsh price and are reliving their story.  She screwed up her face in distaste. “Please don’t tell me we’re related. Honey, I ain’t that Southern.”

Thoughts:
I can tell you that after 150 pages I was ready to toss this book and move on but decided to tough it out. The dozen unpronounceable and similar names was making me crazy and the story itself wasn’t all that exciting and it included several sidetrip flashbacks to Cadegan’s youth in the middle of scenes.

I would recommend that even fans of Sherrilyn Kenyon pass this one by and save yourself several hours of disappointment.


Favorite Scene:

“Um, Cade?”

“Aye, lass.”

“How big is this dragon, anyway?”

He paused to consider it. “I’ve only seen him from a distance. When he’s flying in the sky, hunting for prey. But from nip to tail, I’d say about twenty-five to thirty feet.”

“Nip?”

“Mouth.”

“That’s a big-ass dragon. Does he breathe fire?”

“I know naught, but would assume it.”

Great. A giant, fire-breathing dragon. Just what she’d put on her Christmas list.

Never.

Suddenly, Jo realized they weren’t entirely alone in the woods. Trying not to panic or be an alarmist, she reached out quietly and put her hand on Cadegan’s arm. “What would his range be on that fire?”

“No idea, lass, why?”

She held him by her side. “Because I’m looking at him and he doesn’t appear happy that he has guests.

Cadegan froze as her words hit him. The blood drained from his face as he turned to see the dragon crouched low, watching them.

“Nice, draggy, draggy,” Josette breathed in a singsongy tone. “You don’t want to eat the nice people. Do you?” She shook her head. “No, you don’t. We’re not even snack size.”

His jaw dropped. Was she out of her gourd? “What are you doing, lass?”

“Shh,” she snapped. “I’m being a dragon whisperer.”

He was even more aghast at her words. “A what?”

“Dragon whisperer.” She slid her gaze to Cadegan. “I’m assuming that if you fight him, it’s going to be a bloody mess. Right?”

“Probably.”

“Could result in both our guts and entrails flying?”

“Most likely.”

She patted his arm kindly. “Then let’s try my way first. Shall we?”

He snorted at her offer. “I’m not sure I like your way, Josette. It seems even more dangerous than mine.”

She winked at him. “Not sure I like my way, either. Just promise me that if he starts to eat me, you’ll flash us out of here.”

“I shall do me best.”

“Cool, now shush and let me do something galactically stupid.”

Amused and horrified, Cadegan held his breath as he watched her bravely and slowly make her way toward the dragon. He wanted to stop her, but she was right. Battle wouldn’t get them anywhere except wounded for him and probably dead for her.

Jo stopped before she reached the nose of the creature. Swallowing her fear, she knew she had to do this, even though what she really wanted to do was run screaming in the other direction.

“Hi, Mr. Dragon. How are you today? Feeling in a good mood, aren’t you? Yes. Yes, you are. You don’t want to eat people, do you? No. No, people taste icky. They’re sinew and gross. No eat people.” She shook her head to emphasize her words. “You’re gonna be a sweetie, aren’t you?” This time she nodded.

Maybe it was wishful thinking on her part, but the dragon seemed to be scowling at her as if he understood her words yet was baffled by her context. It was an expression she saw often on Cadegan’s face.

She took a step forward.

The dragon actually inched back. he made a strange, rumbling sound. Not quite a growl.

“Shh, it’s okay, Mr. Dragon. We’re not going to hurt you. No. We like dragons. I used to draw you all the time when I was a kid. I did. I had a whole collection of toy dragons. ‘Cause you’re a cutie, you are.”

It cocked its head.

Jo drew up short as she realized one of its wings was on the ground at a weird angle. “You got a boo-boo, Mr. Dragon?”

Cadegan drew closer to her. “Its wing’s broken.” He started to unsheathe his sword.

The dragon turned on him with a hiss.

“No!” she said to both of them. “Cade, keep your sword down.”

“Why? Now’s the time to strike.”

She shook her head. “I think he understands me.”

The dragon turned its head back toward her.

“You do, don’t you?”

He appeared to nod.

She inched closer and closer, until she was able to reach out and touch the gray scales around his nose. Treating him like a dog, she allowed him to smell her skin. “See, I mean you no harm, little big dragon.”

He didn’t move as he eyed her warily. As if he was as suspicious of her as she was of him.

She moved her hand slowly to pet his head, near his ear. “It’s okay.” She cradled its massive head against her chest and stroked his dry, leathery skin. Then she looked over at Cadegan. “See? He’s harmless.”

“I wouldn’t go that far. But I can understand his motivation. I’d be quiet too for a chance to rest me head on your breasts.”

She blushed.

The dragon growled at him.

“Now, boys,” she teased. “Play nice.”

Celebrate Our Third Anniversary!

balloons giphy


OMG! I can’t believe it’s been three years now since I started this insanity. Thank you again for all the support this past year and for stopping by to discuss books.

I spent some time this weekend discussing blogs and web design with my niece. Since it has been three years and I don’t plan to stop blogging yet, we discussed going Pro and getting down to some series web designing. I hope that we can get something new up by the end of the year. Yes, it will take that long because my brain hurts after hours of reviewing web pages and banner pictures. If you notice changes to post formats or new extras it will be all part of my Get Serious About Blogging makeover as we start gearing posts toward a new design.

To celebrate EBookObsessed’s anniversary, this year I will be giving away one (1) Grand Prize of $25 Gift card from your choice of Barnes & Nobles or Amazon. I will also be giving away my remaining signed copies from my trip to Memphis: signed copies of Lisa Renee Jones’s Rebecca’s Lost Journal and Jennifer Proby’s Searching for Perfect.

I also have several review copies up for grabs as consolation prizes.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends Friday, September 12th. Open to U.S. residents, 18 years and older.

Friday Giveaway – Night Unbound by Dianne Duvall

books

Happy Friday! I just finished back to back the Larissa Ione’s MoonBound Clan Vampire series which I really enjoyed. I know where my TBR list is telling me to go next, but I’m not sure I want to read that right now.   *Grrrr*   Sometimes its so hard to decide what to read next.  Maybe I’ll treat myself to something offlist.

Have you ever had trouble moving on to the next book or choosing what to read next?

This week’s giveaway is a copy of Night Unbound by Dianne Duvall. I love her Immortal Guardians series and this book was delightful.   :)

Giveaway ends Thursday, September 11, 2014. Open to U.S. Residents, 18 years and older.


For centuries, Lisette d’Alençon has been a warrior against the dark. She fights alongside her brothers and comrades. But when the dreams start coming, she can’t bear to confess them to the Immortal Guardians’ command. Dreams of a dark-haired man with soft eyes and brutal wounds, a man her heart aches for–and a man she knows has been declared a traitor.

Zach is an exile, a loner. He won’t defend himself against false accusations or grovel to those who should have faith in him. But he’ll damn sure defend the woman who kept him sane against a plague of super-vamps that seems to have appeared from nowhere. The Guardians will blame him, and that will make Lisette suspect, too. With life, death and eternity on the line, who can they really trust?


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