Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Lily's 'To-Read & Review' List gets a Teeny Bit Smaller this upcoming August!




Hello all you wonderful readers!

Erin is feeling mellow yellow and the August blog theme is 'Summer Reads'.  BUT, I have to put a serious dent on my pending review list.

Since we started this blog in April, it has been an exciting whirlwind of compulsively grabbing any book that struck my fancy, because unfortunately... I have a problem. I am a serious Book Addict. 

Though I have been getting a little better, and starting to limit what I want to take on, especially with another bout of classes coming up in September, along with the full time job, etc... I did have a couple of weeks where I was actually ahead of the blog posting game, and went on a total reading blitz... BUT, got to get those reviews up.

Now that we have (sadly) wrapped up Sexilicious July (may you come again soon...no pun intended), it is time to do a little catch up. 

Here is a preview of some of titles that will be going up this August. If the blurbs strike your fancy, don't miss the date! Or better yet, sign up for email notifications so that you don't miss any!!


Crimson Midnight, by Amos Cassidy
Posting: August 2, 2012

Rose wants excitement, bright lights and late nights, but she gets more than she bargained for when she swaps her wholesome country life for the hustle and bustle of London.
The city night is home to hungry shadows, eager to consume her.
Rose discovers there is more to this world than what the mundane eye sees, and that she herself is a part of it. Unexpected friendships are forged and unwanted, sometimes dangerous, attractions flare.

London becomes a playground for magic, danger and supernatural threat. While her life, and those of who she loves, hangs in the balance, she must endeavour to embrace her new nature and assist in identifying the hidden threat before it succeeds in its dark purpose. 
(for full blurb click here)





The Bridge of Deaths, by M.C. V. Egan
Posting: August 7, 2012

On August 15th 1939, at the brink of World War II, an English plane crashed and sunk in Danish waters. Five deaths were reported: two Standard Oil of New Jersey employees, a German Corporate Lawyer, an English member of Parliament, and a crew member for the airline. Here is a conceivable version of the events.




The Water Thief, by Nicholas Lamar Soutter
Posting: August 9, 2012

CHARLES THATCHER is a private citizen, which is to say that he’s the private property of the Ackerman Brothers Securities Corporation. He’s got problems: the cost of air is going up, his wife wants to sell herself to another corporation, and his colleagues are always trying to get him tossed into the lye vats.  But when he discovers a woman stealing rainwater, he sees his chance to move up in the world, maybe even become an executive. He reports her, painting a picture, not just of a thief, but of a seditionist and revolutionary, someone who believes in that long-dead institution called “government.”

 


Girl in the Glass, by Zoe Brooks
Posting: August 14, 2012

“I will have to say it: 'I am Anya and I am nothing'. I will look down at the floor as I say it, so that I don't see the smile on my aunt's face, so she won't see the defiance in my eyes. She will get her victory. She always wins these battles. I know it, she knows it. But one day, one day she will not.”

In this Cinderella story for adults there is no fairy godmother and no handsome prince, just a girl of spirit and her strange companion. (For full blurb click here)



But of course I will be joining Erin in the Summer Reads theme... though I am not quite sure what exactly falls under the 'Summer Reads' category. I gave it my best guess. Since I have a library of mammoth proportions, I chose the following to get through and hope it falls into the 'Summer Reads' category!





Anumal Empire: Lazarball

Hunted



And I make no promises that I won't sneak another one or two others in there... after all, I am a horrid Book-A-Holic....


Happy Reading!!!

 





Saturday, July 28, 2012

Lily's Review of Laid Bare (Brown Siblings #1), by Lauren Dane





Laid Bare (Brown Siblings, #1)Unexpected Desire...

It's been ten years since clean-cut, sexy-as-hell police officer Todd Keenan had a white-hot fling with Erin Brown, the provocative, wild rocker chick next door. Their power exchange in the bedroom got under his skin. But love wasn't in the cards just yet...

Now, life has thrown the pair back together. But picking up where they left off is tough, in light of a painful event from Erin's past. As Todd struggles to earn her trust, their relationship takes an unexpected and exciting turn when Todd's best friend, Ben, ends up in their bed--and all three are quite satisfied in this relationship without a name. As the passion they share transforms Erin, will it be enough to help her face the evil she thought she had left behind?


Published August 4th 2009 by Berkley Trade

Lily's Rating: didn't like it it was ok (my current rating) liked it really liked it it was amazing   


Review:



Here is my reason for the expressive double face palm.

Great characters, great back story on both sides... none of it explored to satisfaction.  

The focus: Sex

I get it. Letting yourself go and acting out your fantasies and following your darkest desires can be very liberating. As long as all persons involved are comfortable and fully consenting adults.  I have read many novels with dark, and/or kinky sex... even some stories where sex involves a lot of violence within an epic type setting where cruel rulers and slaves co-exist. This novel did not contain that... and maybe I am going off topic, but what I am trying to convey is: I am not a shy reader! I don't run away from reading novels that contain content that I wouldn't be interested in acting out myself in real life, or content that makes me slightly sick to my stomach. If it's part of the story, and makes sense within the context of the story and world building... I get it!  

But my disappointment with this novel is that there was a great story beyond the sex that was interesting, complex and worth a lot more exploration.

Result: Cared little for the characters. Where I should feel some empathy, I felt little... Where I would be cheering on a character... meh, didn't much care. 

Because this novel was focused on sex and a man's discovery that he was much happier if he could act out a dominant role that he initially felt was unacceptable in the conventional world.

I am happy for him. Truly. (Clap clap)


But what a weak story, otherwise. Saw lots of great reviews, but unfortunately I didn't feel the same.  Only an "Ok" for me.
                                          
Purchase Links:


About the Author:
(Pic & Bio from Goodreads)

Lauren DaneLauren Dane has been writing stories since she was able to use a pencil, and before that she used to tell them to people. Of course, she still talks nonstop, and through wonderful fate and good fortune, she’s now able to share what she writes with others. It’s a wonderful life!

The basics: Lauren is a mom, a partner, a best friend and a daughter. Living in the rainy but beautiful Pacific Northwest, she spends her late evenings writing like a fiend when she finally wrestles all of her kids to bed.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Sexy Itty Bitties - Sexy Short Story Buzz



Wicked MourningWidow, Clara Blackstone, is a faithful woman who has mourned her philandering husband for the last six months. Sheltered from pity and whispering tongues at a friend's country estate, Clara awaits the birth of her first child with mounting confusion. Despite the tiny life growing inside her, she dreams of passion in Reggie's arms. And the erotic fantasies grow more compelling every day.

When Reginald Moore's wife died in the arms of her lover, Clara's husband, he whisked pregnant Clara away from false friends to his country estate to avoid the strain of the scandal. After six months of pretence, Reggie is done mourning his faithless wife and, despite his originally noble intentions, he longs to have Clara in his bed - unborn child and all.


 
Published June 14th 2011

Kindle Edition, 32 pages



Lily's Rating: didn't like it it was ok liked it (my current rating) really liked it it was amazing  

Review:

One moment in time for these two characters, Reginald and Clara. Neither of them very emotionally attached to their dead spouses, who betrayed them with each other. They finally admit their feelings for one another and succumb to them in a passionate act of love. Promises are made, happiness to their upcoming new lives is felt. Very short story, but sweet with the right amount of sexual tension.

Picked it up for Free on Amazon. Pleasant 30 minutes reading time in the car as I waited for my own beloved to hurry up from a business meeting. 

Purchase Link:

Amazon Kindle Store




Lust of a Vampire Can the devil and the angel be one and the same? Selean was dying from a form of Cancer so she commits suicide. As she is dying and angel arrives to take her away. Only this angel turns out to be Raggar Vaul, a vampire that seems inclined to torture her. Then he claimed her as his own since he saved her life. He loves her with an unexpected passion that she is happy to enjoy, still she is his prisoner. While adjusting to living in his castle, he never warns her therefore she is unprepared for the encounters with an evil that is determined to kill her when it attacks. Will she survive or will the evil take over all? Warning this title includes explicit male/female sex and bondage.

Publisher: Red Rose Publishing (January 15, 2009) 
Print Length: 136 pages

Lily's Rating: didn't like it (my current rating) it was ok liked it really liked it it was amazing  

Review:

Normally I would be setting up a post just for this one, and not in Itty Bittie. But I wasn't able to stomach most of this novella, and have very little to say about it.

Got it for free on Amazon Kindle, and glad I didn't pay for it.

This was hardcore porn on print. Simply put. Hardcore Porn formula too. Crappy weak storyline, and even crappier dialogue, surrounding just pure, unadulterated porn scenes. If you are into this type of erotica, go for it. But I quickly found out through our Sexilicious July that if I am just offered porn scene after porn scene, and your characters are annoying, or just bizarre, I am just not interested.

I need a good plot. I need good strong characters. The female character seemed promising in the beginning but ended up annoying the sh&t out of me by being a whinny, weak mess. And the male couldn't figure out whether he wanted to be an ass, sensual, or what. Just be quiet both of you, and screw each others brains out... maybe this would have been more enjoyable without both of you talking... Actually... maybe not!

Purchase Links:


 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Dual Review of Lover Revealed, by J.R. Ward




Butch O'Neal is a fighter by nature. A hard-living ex-homicide cop, he's the only human ever to be allowed in the inner circle of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. And he wants to go even deeper into the vampire world-to engage in the turf war with the lessers. His heart belongs to a female vampire, Marissa, an aristocratic beauty who's way out of his league. And if he can't have her, then at least he can fight side by side with the Brothers.

But fate curses him with the very thing he wants. When Butch sacrifices himself to save a civilian vampire from the slayers, he falls prey to the darkest force in the war. Left for dead, he's found by a miracle, and the Brotherhood calls on Marissa to bring him back, though even her love may not be enough to save him.




Erin's Rating: 5 Stars
Lily's Rating: 3.5 Stars

Lily - Looks like you and I have different ratings for this one. You loved it huh? :)  I did too, but it did not blow me away like the previous 3 novels, especially after reading Zsadist’s story.

Erin - Yeah, it’s going to be hard for me to give any of the books in this series a lower star rating.  I just can’t get enough!  When a book completely pulls me in and takes me out of this world and into another one that to me is an amazing novel!   

And I don’t know about you….I wasn’t really into him from the beginning….but Butch got a whole lot sexier in this one! 

Lily - I enjoyed Butch’s character from the beginning, but had no idea how far he would come, or how involved with the Brotherhood he would be. He is sarcastic, totally rough and rugged around the edges. Just a miserable guy who has seen too much, endured too much, held too much guilt and weight on his shoulders. A grizzled cop who has seen too much crap life, and death. What’s not to love really… He grew on me from the get go.  

I think that my lower rating on this one had to do with what I felt was a lack of intensity between him and Marissa that I felt with the other Brothers and their mates so far. But then that is probably due to the fact that their story began two books ago. And man, was that intense and built up!!! I didn’t feel that build up in this installment, maybe because it had already happened. But I would have  loved more intensity regardless, during this reconnection.

What I DID love about this book was the emphasis on the Lesser Society and the Omega. Butch’s run in with the Lessers and the resulting incredible results, for which we do not yet have full detailed answers, is still what excited me about this novel. The action was intense! My heart was racing through many of these lesser encounters and fights. But then, I was never one to skip through this plot line in any of these books. The villains in this story play a huge part in this series. There is more to this series than love and passion, and I like that!

Erin - Oh, I don’t really agree on your feelings about Butch and Marissa.  I think the story between them was more intense than the other brothers and their mates were. The passion that Butch clearly had for Marissa tore at my heart.  I felt so bad for him not feeling like he was able to be enough for her, not feeling like he was worthy of her.  I think for me being a very emotional person, when I feel connected to one of the characters I actually feel the pain they are in…and that’s what made Butch and Marissa’s connection feel so intense for me.  I mean, I cried about 10 times reading this book!!! (I know, I know pathetic….but not surprising!) 

 
I also loved the part the Lesser Society and Omega played in this book!!  The drama and excitement has really built up, and alongside the romance aspect really has me grasping for more!

One thing I just have to mention is how much this series has completely wrapped me into it.  I have never read a series that I feel so much a part of.  From the romance (which is completely HOT) to the drama and action….right through to the deeper understanding of the Old Language (it makes me melt when one of the brothers calls someone nalla).  I just cannot get across how much I love it! 

Lily -  Well we agree on something then! LOL  

This is by far one of the best paranormal romance series I have ever gotten my hot little hands on. I love everything about them.

We can agree to disagree on the relationship aspect of this book. By no means do I think that their coming together wasn’t hot. But compared to the other brothers… I don’t know. It was a little anti-climatic for me. That being said, I am also pretty stingy with my stars. Only Zsadist has earned all 5 of them so far. But we will see how the rest of the series will shape up. I can’t bear to think of putting this series down. I wish our July month had been all about just this series, though I am glad that I reviewed other novels. A couple were winners. But once we decided to pick up Book 4 of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, I thought… man we need a Black Dagger Brotherhood MONTH!!!

Hmmmmm…. Now THERE’s an idea!!!!

Erin - I like your thinking…..


…I also REAAAAALLLLYYY like this picture!!!

Thank you J.R. Ward….you are amazing!!


Lily - Shit Erin… How am I supposed to concentrate on continuing this review now!!!! 


Yum, Yum, YUM, Yum, Yum, YUM, YUMMMMMMMM, Yum... OR...





............  K, I'm done!



We highly recommend getting into the Black Dagger Brotherhood series...it's truely unforgettable!


Purchase Links for Lover Revealed:



About the Author:

J.R. WardJ.R. Ward is a New York Times and USA Today Best Selling author of erotic paranormal romance. She lives in the south with her incredibly supportive husband and her beloved golden retriever. After graduating from law school, she began working in healthcare in Boston and spent many years as Chief of Staff of one of the premier academic medical centers in the nation. Writing has always been her passion and her idea of heaven is a whole day of nothing but her computer, her dog and her coffee pot.



“Thanks for putting me up for it ... trahyner." As V's eyes flared, Butch said, "Yeah, I looked up what the word meant. 'Beloved Friend' fits you perfect as far as I'm concerned."

V Flushed. Cleared his throat. "Good Deal, cop. Good... deal.” - J.R. Ward

Monday, July 23, 2012

Lily's Review of Pleasures of a Tempted Lady, by Jennifer Haymore



Pleasures of a Tempted Lady (Donovan Sisters, #3)Captain William Langley knows the ocean well, but nothing could prepare him for what he discovers adrift on the cold Irish Sea. The tiny boat carries two passengers: a child—and Meg Donovan, Will's long-lost love. Meg's disappearance at sea eight years ago was a devastating blow. Now she's back, as beautiful as ever, and with secrets as deep as Will's own.

After years held captive by a cold-blooded pirate, Meg has finally escaped with little Jake, the boy she's come to love as if he were her own. But the pirate wants his revenge—and Meg must do whatever it takes to shield Jake from the madman. Determined not to lose Meg again, Will vows to protect them both, yet Meg can't risk putting the only man she's ever loved in danger. With the threat to her safety growing, and her passion for Will burning brighter every day, surrendering herself to Will might be a pleasure too tempting to resist.
Title: Pleasures of a Tempted Lady
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Imprint: Forever
Pub Date: July 31, 2012



 
Lily's Rating: didn't like it it was ok liked it 1/2 out of 5 

Review:

(Sigh)

Historical romances are just made to flutter lady hearts, and mine was no exception with this book.

It has honestly been awhile since I have picked one of these up, but I do recall being a fan of Johanna Lindsey and her historical romances even back in high school years.  In fact, one of my all time favorites, and one of the books I re-read the most until I had to replace my copy (pages were falling out, it was so abused) was her novel "Once a Princess", which inspired many romantic notions and fantasies through my high school years of that ever elusive knight in shining armor. 

I didn't initially realize when I requested this ARC, that is was a novel within a series. But I am happy to report that this novel did well as a standalone. I didn't feel like I missed any history that took away any part of enjoyment from this story between Meg and  Will. 

I was transported into a world of pirates, captains, ballooning dresses full of petticoats. A world that contains gallant, honorable passionate men fighting for your heart, seducing with loving looks, touches and words that made me want to swoon right off my couch to the rug.... and maybe melt right through my hardwood floors, floating and sighing right into my neighbor's apartment, as he stares confused at me in the middle of playing Halo on the PlayStation.

AND of course, evil villains that deserve the full punishment as extended by the law,  but you root for your hero to get to them first and avenge his sweetheart!!!  (Swoon)

I ended this novel feeling sad, as it was over. But anxious to pick up another historical romance some time soon. 

I ended it feeling romantic and thankful to have my own modern knight in shining armor.  He also enjoyed that I read this novel. (wink wink)











This novel was kindly provided by the publisher/author via



About the Author:


Jennifer HaymoreJennifer Haymore grew up in California and on the Big Island of Hawaii. She was an avid reader and completely destroyed her eyesight by sneaking a flashlight under her covers and reading far into the nights — making her mother wonder why on earth she couldn’t get up for school in the mornings…

Jennifer holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from UC Berkeley and a master’s degree in Education from UCLA. Before she became a full-time writer she held various jobs from bookselling to teaching inner-city children to playing bit roles in soap operas.
You can find Jennifer in Southern California trying to talk her husband into yet another trip to England, helping her three children with homework while brainstorming a new five-minute dinner menu, or crouched in a corner of the local bookstore writing her next novel. 

You can visit her on her website or connect with her on Goodreads.






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