Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Rescuing Christmas by Vicki Lewis Thompson, Catherine Mann & Kathie DeNosky

For three couples, this is the season...to give, to heal, to love.

Holiday Haven by Vicki Lewis Thompson

All Ben Rhodes wants for Christmas is to be left alone. And yet, in a fit of Christmas-cheer-induced insanity, he agrees to help beautiful shelter director Tansy Dexter find homes for all her rambunctious animals. Little does he know that the one truly in need of a loving home this season ... is him.

Home for Christmas by Catherine Mann

Shelby Conrad has had more than her fair share of silent nights. But even though her husband, Tech Sergeant
Alex Conrad, is coming home in time for Christmas, Shelby isn't sure he's in time to save their marriage. Can a road trip to deliver three shelter dogs to their new homes teach the couple that the most precious gift of all is hope?

A Puppy for Will by Kathie DeNosky

Will Parker hasn't exactly had all his hopes and dreams met, but work has filled the gaps in his life. Or so he thinks ... until an energetic and large Saint Bernard foster puppy and Will's cute neighbor Macie Fairbanks introduce him to the best thing about Christmas and life — unconditional love.

Release Date 1st November 2012

Again, not the type of book I'd go for but the animals sold it to me. All three stories feature different people that are all linked to the Haven, a shelter in Tacoma - which is apparently a real place, don't ask me why but it sounds like a made up name.

Holiday Haven
Ben films Tansy for the news and likes what he sees so he agrees to go out to the shelter and take pictures for the christmas appeal. Spending all that time in close quarters gets the feelings ramped up until they finally sleep together then Tansy ruins it by getting pushy about pet adoption but when the office cat gets rushed to the vets, Ben goes to comfort Tansy and they finally admit their feelings for one another.

Some things I disliked were Ben's constant inner monologue about not wanting to go into is history and Tansy's inner monologue of Ben only needs to open up a little and he'll be happy to take on an animal. I felt the author was really too pushy with the Ben-has-a-bad-history storyline and I also hated how pushy Tansy was for someone who runs an adoption centre, she of all people should know you don't push a pet onto someone if they don't want it so this particular thing bugged me.

Home for Christmas
Shelby and Alex are getting divorced but they've agreed to spend christmas together and Shelby plans on them having a heartfelt chat on a road trip to deliver 3 shelter dogs. Two of the dogs get rehomed but one gets injured and Shelby feels guilty about it, as Alex is comforting her they end up having sex but then the next day they don't discuss it. At Shelby's dad's house Alex realises he doesn't want to divorce Shelby and that he'll do anything to keep her.

I enjoyed the storyline in this one, I think it's 'cos it didn't involve "love" at first sight - which I strongly don't believe in so stories that feature it aren't really a seller to me. I also like the main characters, again I think it was 'cos it was a longer relationship so there was no pathetic "woe-is-me" inner dialogue. Definitely my favourite of the three.

A Puppy for Will
Will agrees to foster a puppy over christmas but when the pup introduces him to his neighbour, he realises he wants her. Macie turns out to be Will's "arch nemesis" who's been giving him bad reviews about his computer programmes, when he finds this out he feels betrayed but his time away from her afterwards makes him realise he loves her and she realises she loves him.

I wasn't too keen on the persistent lines of "I've had a bad relationship" - from both of them. They were both so determined they would never have another relationship yet after only knowing each other a week they decide their in "love" and even get engaged? To me that is highly unbelievable and it was a downfall for the story. It also bugged me how many times Will said "honey", seriously - it was constant! I think this was my least favourite story.

Book Depository: Rescuing Christmas
Amazon UK: Rescuing Christmas

Monday, 24 September 2012

Let It Snow ...... by Leslie Kelly & Jennifer LaBrecque

The Prince Who Stole Christmas by Leslie Kelly

Between her ne'er-do-well brother and her candy shop, Claire Hoffman has her hands full. But when sexy sparks start flying between Claire and her gorgeous but enigmatic tenant "Phil", Claire wonders if all the chocolate has made her a little Christmas crazy. But what will happen to her fantasy when her dishy fling tells her that, er...he's actually a prince?

My True Love Gave to Me... by Jennifer LaBrecque

Years ago in the town of Good Riddance, Alaska, Gertie and Knox were best friends — until Knox fell under the "spell" of a rather cold, remote woman. But three years later, Knox and Gertie are reunited at the Chrismoose festival ... and all it takes is a snowed-in night in a cabin for Gertie to turn Knox's chill into a red-hot blaze of sexstasy!

Release Date 1st November 2012

So this book is a complete step away from what I usually read. I like paranormal and urban fantasy/romance, I think this book is classed as erotica? I'm totally not up on my book genres though, so I really have no idea what it's classed as - I think it's erotica though 'cos there was a big emphasis on the sex and that, to me, is what defines erotica. So there!

The Prince Who Stole Christmas
Philip must find a woman he wants to marry to become his princess or he'll be forced to marry someone picked out for him. He has one month in New York to find his soul mate - how handy for him that she happens to own the building that he rents 2 apartments in? Claire runs a candy shop out of the building her uncle left her, her brother gets into gambling debt and, behind her back, rents 2 of the uninhabitable apartments upstairs and since Claire can't exactly afford to give back the money that Philip paid her brother, she has to live with it. Before long, they develop feelings for one another and can't ignore the heat between them.

Loved this one, Philip was nummy and Claire was instantly loveable. I think Claire's lazy, gambler brother made her more likeable 'cos you knew she had to put up with all his crap. And Philip is the typical Prince Charming, he's tall and handsome and wants to take care of Claire. Of course this involved trying to make sure loan shark thugs don't try and threaten Claire over her brother's debts.
I think one of my favourite parts in this one was the fact that it's Claire's brother that makes everything happen. And it's also her brother that talks her into going with Philip when the whole truth comes out.
Plus the sex is ....... well, it's just delicious! Literally - there's chocolate involved!

My True Love Gave To Me...
Gertie and Knox have been best buds since Knox moved in with his grandmother at age 9, so when he turns round years later and tells Gertie that his current girlfriend isn't happy with the time they spend together, he breaks her heart. It's at that time that Gertie realised she loves Knox but she doesn't think she knows him anymore so she stays back from him. A year and a half later they are both at Chrismoose and see each other for the first time since the fateful night, it's at this time that Knox realises that he loves Gertie.

At the beginning of this story, I totally agreed with Gertie that Knox was being pushed around by his girlfriend and he was letting her. By the end I saw Knox's point of view as well. I'm just glad they both synced up and finally seen what the other was feeling.
Hated Knox's girlfriend but she turned out not to be his girlfriend anymore so it's all good. She was a typical pretty bitchy character, she changed Knox from the beginning and that's what distanced him and Gertie.
Sex between 2 long-time friends could be awkward but Knox and Gertie's managed to be tasty. I think the whole knowing someone that well can most definitely help when it comes to seducing them .... it certainly worked for these two.

Book Depository: Let It Snow
Amazon UK: Let It Snow...

Friday, 21 September 2012

Love and Other Indoor Sports by Seleste deLaney

Cupid still has a lot to learn, and this time he's heading to college to do it.

Griffin and Colby were shoved together by fate during a fraternity hazing game of spin the bottle but, in a world deserted by Cupid, fear and uncertainty pushed them apart. Now, twelve years later, they're getting a second chance with each other. A woman in Colby's life, however, doesn't like what she sees as competition for his affections, and she's willing to ruin both men if they don't bow to her demands. After all this time, are they willing to risk everything for a chance at happiness, or are they destined to lose each other again?

Cupid won't give up easily though. He has one last game for them to play and, this time, it's winner take all.

Griff and Colby had to kiss each other for one minute while being hazed for a fraternity at school. For Colby, it made him think he couldn't possibly hide his sexuality since he'd always had a crush on Griff. For Griff, it made him feel something he's never felt before and made him realise he wanted Colby. They never acted on those feelings as they both thought each other was straight, until they met up 12 years later at a reunion ... and man, did the sparks fly. Of course they still think each other is straight but then they finally click and then they "click" (wink, wink).

I liked both Griff and Colby but I think I liked Colby better. May have been the fact that he was out and proud or the fact that he was a bit more laid back than Griff ... or it may have been the tattoos, I'll always like the character with tattoos, LOL.

The sex was brief but hot and the story was fun and a bit Single White Female feeling. Stalker, crazy student that tries to make life difficult 'cos she wants to sleep with her gay coach ... bitch needs to get a clue!

Still liking this series and I think the fact that it's a different author for each one keeps it fresh. There's less chance of repetition with more authors, although this is deLaney's 2nd book in the series and I'm sure since she's the founder of the series, she'll probably have more. I like that idea.

Amazon UK: Love and Other Indoor Sports

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Lover Unleashed by J.R. Ward

Payne, twin sister of Vishous, is cut from the same, dark, seductive cloth as her vampire brother. Imprisoned for eons by their mother, the Scribe Virgin, she finally frees herself - only to face a devastating injury.

Manuel Manello, MD, is drafted by the Brotherhood to save her as only he can - but when the human surgeon and the vampire warrior meet, their two worlds collide in the face of their undeniable passion. With so much working against them, can love prove stronger than the birthright and the biology that separate them?

Payne's back is broken and Doc Jane does not the skill to fix it so she goes to her old colleague, Doc Manny. Trouble is that Manny thinks Jane died a year ago, so she pops up and reveals that she faked her death and needs his help with Payne. Manny meets sees Payne and is entranced by her, he operates on her back but she still can't walk, apparently only he can help her walk by bringing on an orgasm so strong that she GLOWS! And hey, guess what? She can walk again (that's some awesome O-powers that doc has!). Wrath agrees to let them be together but Manny calls it off based on the fact that Payne's orgasm-glow has healed him and made him look younger (!). He also finds out he just happens to be a half-breed like Butch.

So where to start with this one. First off, I bought this book about a year ago and I just never got round to reading it. The series just doesn't do it for me anymore, not saying I won't continue with it but I'm not super excited about new books being released and I probably won't buy them as soon as they come out and I'll probably start reading them with a feeling of "What's going to annoy me in this one?"

Let's list the annoyances I have: Manny talks about going into the operating theatre as the Vet fixes his horses fractured (with fragments) leg, according to him this only took an hour .... no, that's completely wrong. When Manny scrubs up for surgery on Payne's back, he shakes his hands dry ... again no, that's completely wrong - you do NOT shake your hand dry after scrubbing up, defeats the purpose of scrubbing up. There are constant recurrences of questions being asked with no ? at the end - it may be that it was missed in editing or it may be that Ward meant it to be that way, either way it bugged the crap out of me. And lastly, Manny is a half breed? Butch's brother apparently - is EVERY human male going to turn out to be a half breed just to make them easier to assimilate into the Brotherhood's lifestyle? If so, that will be extremely boring and probably annoying.

So yeah. I didn't love it, I didn't hate it. I WILL continue with the series but with a bit or trepidation.

Book Depository: Lover Unleashed
Amazon UK: Lover Unleashed

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Gale Force by Rachel Caine

Never off duty, that was me. Joanne Baldwin: Weather Warden - if a world-ending storm blew up without notice, I was the go-to girl.

When Joanne's Djinn lover, David, asks her to marry him, she's thrilled to say yes, but there are certain parties - some human, some otherwise - who are less than enthusiastic.

Joanne's premarital bliss ends when a devastating earthquake hits Florida. And this time she won't be able to ask David and his kind for assistance. The cause of the quake is unlike anything Joanne has ever encountered - and it is fuelled by a power even the Djinn cannot perceive.

Jo and David's upcoming nuptials are put to the test when an earthquake ruins the first bridal shop that Jo attends. An earthquake caused by something unknown to the wardens and unseen by the Djinn, a fact that the Djinn can't believe so they think the Wardens are suffering a mass hallucination. Turns out there's a new bad in town, a group called The Sentinels, they don't like the Djinn and they really don't like Jo since she's going to marry one. Jo fights for her life as the Wardens fight to save the world without the reporters spilling everything to the inhabitants of it.

So I waited ages for this to come out over here and it turns out the covers were changed anyway, seems they've been changed to look a bit more like the Morganville books. And even though I waited ages for it and bought it as soon as it was available, other books got in the way and I actually forgot I had it on my shelf. Until I read Devil's Bargain and was reminded of my love for Rachel Caine's writing.

And I am SO glad I picked it up! Completely forgot how much I loved David and his and Jo's relationship, and I do like when we get confirmation of their feelings for one another. Although I had several scares on whether it was going to last, as with other books there are complications with the whole human-Djinn thing so there are always the gasp-out-loud moments that fill me with honest-to-goodness fear!

Can't believe I forgot about this series, have been on Amazon already to make sure I have the last two books in the series.

Book Depository: Gale Force
Amazon UK: Gale Force

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Country vs Country - Mercy Thompson & Alpha and Omega

Here is my 4th cover vs cover post. This time we're going to look at Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson and Alpha & Omega series.

Above are the US covers and, as much as I LOVE Dan Dos Santos' artwork, I just can't find the love for these covers. I don't know what it is but I'm just glad I didn't buy these covers instead of the UK ones. Although given that the UK covers have changed (grrr) partway through the series, at least I would've had matching covers.

And these are the UK covers. I love the original ones but I really don't like the new covers .... nuh uh, just don't like 'em! I liked the original Mercy covers since they were all silhouettey and cool looking. And I liked the original Alpha & Omega covers because they were very mystic-y looking (if you know what I mean by that). I'm annoyed that the covers are changing, nothing bugs me more than my books being thrown out of whack.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Devil's Bargain by Rachel Caine

What's the price of a deal with the devil?

Playing by the psychic underworld's rules has cost..

Jazz Callender's whole life just got turned upside down. Her friend Ben's been convicted of a crime he didn't commit, and Jazz is determined to clear his name, even if it means enlisting the help of dark forces.

Enter James, a stranger with a mysterious offer. If Jazz pledges to work for The Cross Society, a shadowy secret organisation, he'll help her save Ben.

But as she's thrust into a world of psychic powers and dangerous magic, Jazz isn't just bargain for her friend's freedom. She's bargaining for her soul too.

And how high a price is she willing to pay?

Release Date 5th October 2012

Jazz is a former cop who is determined to clear her ex-partner of a murder charge, unfortunately she needs money for that. Luckily for her, James shows up with an offer of $100,000 to start up her own PI company with a partner of their choosing. All she has to agree to is to take on the assignments they send her - all of them in a red envelope. Soon Jazz and her partner, Lucia, start to wonder about their benefactors and their seemingly useless assignments.

So it seems this is a series I didn't know about from Rachel Caine but I'm assuming that the publisher (at least the UK one) is re-releasing it, perhaps just to give it a new cover that matches the Morganville covers? Who knows.

Jazz is a very likeable character, as are Lucia and James but I think Manny is my favourite. He's just so paranoid that he's instantly loveable, plus his friendship with Jazz is also an instant seller for me. And as usual for Caine, this book is a page turner (or button presser for me since it was on my Reader) with an awesomely intriguing storyline and a lead that can kick ass.

The only thing that's bugging me right now is that Amazon & Goodreads list this as having 300+ pages but my copy from Netgalley had 199. So I don't know if I actually got the full book or not so I now have to wait until the release date to make sure I have it all ..... *sigh* Man, that seems like a very long time.

Book Depository: Devil's Bargain
Amazon UK: Devil's Bargain

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Kiss of Death by Seleste deLaney

Too many years of killer vamps have triggered the curse of the Blood Kissed. They've awakened the bloodline that can alter their world, because her blood has the power to control them all — even make them destroy each other.

Jocelyn thought her troubles with vampires were over when she drove a stake through her boyfriend Max's heart two years ago. Even though she's engaged to Chad, she's never really forgotten him. Now Max is back, and Chad is taking her into the heart of the vamp community — and they're the ones trying to keep her alive. The ones who love her and each seek to claim her for their own. Because once the elders know who she is, they're all going to want her ... or want her dead.

Jocelyn thinks her seeing Max in The Ghost of Vampire Present was all a dream, as well as Chad being a vampire. But she soon finds out neither of them are dreams, she thought she killed Max in Of Course I Try but his feeding on her is what enabled him to come back to life. Soon, she has to trust her two betraying ex-boyfriends as they both compete for her back while playing bodyguard/soldier at the same time. And Jocelyn (and us) finally find out exactly why vampires are so attracted to her.

So I had said in The Ghost of Vampire Present that I was Team Chad 'cos I didn't like the way Max came across ..... oh how a longer story can change my mind! More insight to Max and Chad have made me switch allegiance, I now like Max more than Chad. And of course then Seleste went and threw the intriguing and sexy Remy into the mix and now I don't know what Team I am. Can I be Team ReMaxy?

I know, technically, Remy is probably supposed to be a "bad guy" or at least a screw (hehe, I wish) in the works but I liked him. He's so smarmy and cheesy and hot!

But anyone who reads my blog knows exactly how MUCH I've been wanting a full length Blood Kissed novel and Seleste certainly knows how much I've questioned her about one (admittedly not all that much since she announced it until it was almost release time then I started back in with the questions). I am glad to say, she didn't let me down. I loved, loved, LOVED it and now I want more, so it's back to Twitter where I can bug Seleste for when the next one is to be published.

Amazon UK: Kiss Of Death