Monthly Archives: January 2013

Love By Design By Liz Matis

51+vszCCRhL__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-64,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_“If I were going on a date would I do this?” His voice was tight, the muscles in his neck taut, straining against his still damp skin. The scent of the homeowner’s lemon soap drifted in the air reminding her of the impropriety of what they were about to do.

Before she could utter a half-hearted protest, his mouth descended on hers. Sparks of delight shot out from her center and radiated throughout her body like a Macy’s Fourth of July display.

Wow!

That’s all I can say…what a great story and great characters! Right from the very beginning of the story, you’ll fall in love with these two.

Victoria has a interior design show on TV. Her regular co-host is off for a couple of weeks, and filling in for him is Aussie born Russ. She is mighty but petite, standing in at 5’2″…but she has a strong flair for design and it shows in her designs. Russ is muscular, standing in at 6’2″…and he’s saucy and flirty and wants one thing–Victoria.

As much as Victoria might not want to admit it, sparks fly between these two right from the very beginning. From the quick banter back and forth, to the hot gazes that the two exchange, you know you’re in for one hell of a great read…oh, and did I mention, HOT!

One thing about Russ, though…he holds a secret that might make straight-laced Victoria run in the other direction–he’s a male dancer, dancing for money at a nearby club. He swears that he saw one of Victoria’s clients at the club the other night. Could this second job cause problems for Victoria? What will become of their relationship? Do they have a relationship? You’ll have to read this one to find out…and I definitely recommend it!!

The humour in this book is delightful and fresh. I think I laughed on every single page of this book. From the way they interact with each other, to the way they look at each other (and sometimes deny themselves that pleasure), you can see/feel the sexual tension on almost every page as well. It was hot, sexy and a total pleasure to read. I know I will enjoy reading more from this author.

5 stars!

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Shades Of Gray By Joleene Naylor

51EaPimpCwL__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-65,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_“Katelina?”

The voice was deep, warm and, despite the fact that very few people had her work number, unfamiliar. The shock was evident in her voice when she replied cautiously, “This is she. Who is this?”

“I know who killed your lover.”

She blinked and lifted a hand to her throat. A flashof Patrick’s mutilated form appeared behind her eyes. “Excuse me?”

“I know who killed your lover,” the voice repeated, factual and emotionless. “Meet me tonight just as the sun sets. I’ll be at a house on Farm Mill road; it’s the only house there, the road is a dead end. Come alone.”

The phone clicked loudly and she called, “Wait–I…” but there was no point. Her only answer was the quiet buzz of disconnected line. She stood with the receiver pressed to her ear as if it would somehow bring the mysterious caller back.

If you loved all the Twilight vampires, you might not like this series. If you love the traditional Dracula-type of vampire, then you’ll love it. This is the first of four books in the Amaranthine series.

Katelina’s ‘friend with benefits’ is found dead in her apartment, but the mystery of his death goes unsolved until she gets an odd phone call from work stating that the person on the other end of the line knows who killed her friend Patrick. She tells her friend Sarah that the man had asked her to meet him, but that she wouldn’t go. After all, going alone is how people get themselves killed!

Against her better judgement, she ends up driving to this out-of-the-way-in-a-dead-end-street place where all there is is an abandoned, broken down house. She thinks this is just stupid, but she gets out, curiousity getting the better of her. When the sun has set, Jorick appears.

What happens next sets off a chain of sometimes horrific events for Katelina. As if it wasn’t bad enough that she is meeting this strange man at this abandoned house, but now she finds out that Patrick was murdered by his cousin, who just so happened to be a…what?…vampire.

She thinks this is all odd, because of course there is no such thing as vampires. Yet, she seems to come into contact with a whole lot of them over the course of the next two weeks, including Jorick. She was attacked, forced to watch other vampires die, taken against her will and nearly died herself. With Jorick there, she manages to find her way out of these near-death experiences. However, Jorick can’t take away the nightmares that ensue.

Can she ever go back to her old life now that she knows about the existence of vampires? Will she make it out alive to see the next book? You’ll have to read this one to find out.

Although I have to admit I’m kind of a romantic, therefore love the Twilight sort of vampires the best, I did like this book a lot. It was well written, easy to understand with all its many supporting characters, and the author wrote it with all the visuals as well. I almost felt like the vampires were biting me, that is how well written it was.

There were a lot of quite graphic scenes, especially with Katelina. She suffers bites, being tied up and beaten, raped, caged naked and forced to watch other atrocities as well as having to learn how to defend herself. I almost wondered if she were going to make it out at all. There were plenty of action scenes, and all were more graphic then the last.

It’s very hard with vampire stories to make them different but still appealing to everyone. The vampires in this book were different than the Twilight and True Blood vampires which made the characters unique. The storyline was new and not at all like any others I’ve read. As with some vampire/human relationships, they can be virtually the same. This one was totally different, and very enjoyable. There was plenty of sexual tension for a book of this genre which made it even more enjoyable.

As I write this review, I’m not quite half-way done the second book in this series, and thoroughly enjoying it.

I give this book 5 stars!!

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Mr. Right And Other Mongrels By Monique McDonell

41erTwzY5TL__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-52,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_“Uhmmmmm Hello… You’re in my ute.” Very articulate.

“Yes, this dog chased me in here and I have a bit of a dog phobia and…” Then I burst into tears. Now I must tell you at this time I didn’t know who he was…I don’t own a TV…so I didn’t know that I should have been feeling even more embarrassed and pathetic than I was.

Just then the dog woke up and leapt at Mr. Green.

Is this the dog you are scared of?” he looked quite incredulous. He ruffled its fur and tickled it behind the ears.

“I’m scared of all dogs…right now, yes THIS is the dog.” I was also searching in my bag for a tissue.

Allegra Johnson is a down-to-earth but wealthy woman who owns many real estate properties and runs a used book store. She also has an extreme phobia about dogs.

Teddy Green is a local celebrity with his own gardening show, soon to be international. He is a down-to-earth nice guy who only wants everyone to be happy.

When the dog bounds towards her, she climbs into the back of his truck to get away from it, not knowing whose truck she was climbing into. When her wallet falls out into his truck, he returns it to her the next day. She didn’t even realize it was missing.

And, soon a relationship begins.

Teddy has an ex-girlfriend (Louisa) that just won’t go away. She actually owns the shaggy sheepdog that bowled Ally over. Louisa does everything she can think of to win Teddy back. However, Teddy wants nothing to do with her and everything to do with Ally.

As the relationship blossoms, Teddy asks Ally to come to the US with him since his show has now gone global. Ally has reservations about leaving with him. And, really, who wouldn’t?

Will Ally decide to push Teddy to the curb, leaving him to go to the US by himself? Or will Teddy decide not to bother going, that he’d rather stay with Ally instead?

This book was totally predictable in a sweet way. I enjoyed the love blooming between Ally and Teddy, but I’m trying to figure out if this book would have been better if there were some sexual tension between them. There was implied sex, some hard kisses, some petting…but that was about it. I would have liked to have seen the author add in a little more in that department.

The love story is sweet (almost sickeningly) and it would have been nice if Louisa could have maybe been a little more bad. She did some nasty things, but nothing BAD.

All in all, not a bad story, but not a great one either. I think the book could have benefited from a good editor as there were missing words and some spelling mistakes, as well. I found the grammar was also very poor in this book with a lot of missing/lacking commas, punctuation marks in the wrong spots and some missing totally.

Also, the title of the book eludes me. Yes, she states her dislike of ALL dogs, and she does meet Mr. Right while trying to get away from a dog, but since the guy doesn’t actually own/have a dog, and she only meets up with the sheepdog and one other dog in the whole book, I found that the title doesn’t really match up with the book. Of course, there is one part in the book where she compares men to dogs, stating that most men are dogs….but I think the author should have come up with a better title.

While I read to the end, I was waiting for SOMETHING to happen, but it just never really did. It just wasn’t what I was thinking it would be.

I give this story 3 stars.

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Looks Great Naked By Grace Adams

51ITuZUyceL__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-52,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_And isn’t that the underlying issue of perfectionism? If I’m the sum total of what I have and what I do, then I need to hold tightly to what I have and carefully control what I do. My image must be carefully contrived so that I can control how people perceive me. If there’s one small chink in my armor, people will hone in on my imperfections. Furthermore, the person who discovers the error is superior. He may decide not to love me because of my faults. So he gains the upper hand, and I lose control. And that is scary.

It’s even more frightening to be married and realize I can’t be perfect enough to earn my husband’s love.

I wasn’t sure what I was getting when I got this book off the free list at Amazon. I thought by some of the reviews made by others that it was going to be hilariously funny; it really wasn’t funny at all. It had a few funny lines in it, but it was more of a self-help kind of book with Christian undertones.

Written in the first person, Grace Adams thinks her life is wonderful: She has a loving husband, 3 beautiful children, a Christian upbringing that she still cherishes, and 2 dashunds named Laverne and Shirley…everything is great until her dashunds take her husband’s underwear and strew them across the front yard. That should have been her first clue to his infidelity. It was like they were secretly telling her to kick him to the curb along with his underwear.

Her mom brings her a book called “Looks Great Naked”. Of course, Grace is devastated that she thinks that her mom thinks she’s fat. Her mom always said that if he doesn’t get it at home, he would go elsewhere looking for it. Add to that the extra pounds, and that was a sure recipe for infidelity.

When Grace discovers her husband has racked up a $2000 phone sex bill, she  begs him to stop since they can’t afford this sort of nonsense. He does stop, but then starts up with something else…first he starts drinking heavily and then he starts staying out all night…quickly, you can see where this is heading…then to affairs.

She again begs him to stop, to get some help. He finally agrees to go to rehab for sex addicts. Of course, before going to the rehab center, he calls his girlfriend for a one-nighter.

Through it all, Grace becomes enlightened, sort of like in the book Eat, Pray, Love. Although she thought she was doing right by trying to save her marriage, she was only hurting herself, her children and her well-being.

This book was wonderfully written in a way that many can relate to. It wouldn’t just have to be for women (or men) married to sex addicts because it would also help the families of the alcoholic, the drug addict, the food addict, etc.

The only problem I had with this book was that there were several formatting issues where the words were cut off. I found this with both of my devices, therefore making one chapter very difficult to read. But, if you can get past a few formatting problems, it was a great read.

At the end of the book, the author writes that this was a work of fiction…however, I tend to disbelieve that. It felt too much like true-to-life experiences for it to be anything but real life.

An excellent read, one that a lot of us can learn by. 5 stars!

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Highway To Hell By Alex Laybourne

51HjC34IKgL__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-66,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_“It wsn’t your fault. You didn’t kill me. You had nothing to do with it. It was my job, and you are just as innocent as I was,” he said, but after everything that he had been shown in the judgment room, the word innocent tasted stale on his lips, like a glass of water left out overnight and drunk the next morning.

“I’m not innocent,” she said with a broken voice; yet her eyes burned fierce and proud. “I saw everything…the people I abused. I abused them, offering them my body. I stole from them, and I abused my child. I deserve to be down there. Being tied to those tables was too good for me. I deserved much worse. They explained it all to me…made me see. I sent my own daughter to her death the moment I gave birth.” Becky broke down once again and it was Helen who moved forward and put her arm around the woman who, despite everything she had been through, was still so young.

“None of us are innocent,” Helen said.

What happens when you die? If you have the slightest of indiscretions that you might have done on this earth, it seems as if you go to the darkest of darkest places…

The book starts out with us meeting Marcus, Becky, Richard, Helen, Sammy and Graham–people who have just passed away in whatever form or another. Marcus is a cop who was trying to help Becky and her baby to get away from her pimp, and Richard was a player who just wanted women for sex and nothing else. Helen worked in a salon, Sammy was in an accident with his girlfriend and Graham was just old. Even though they were “good” people, regrets and past mistakes have brought them to a bad place…a place no one would ever go to willingly.

As they are tortured day after day (or what feels like years to them) by their own demons, they realize the errors of their ways, admitting that they had done wrong by others, and even by themselves.

Each of the people are in their own separate Hell’s, but somehow get out of their Hell’s. Marcus, Becky and Helen meet up in a room, Graham and Sammy end up in another. The first question you ask yourself is, will they ever get out of these rooms? And what is the purpose of their meeting up with each other?

As the story progresses, Marcus, Becky, Helen, Graham and Sammy end up togther. They meet some archangels who send them on a quest.

What is this quest that they need to fulfil? Where is Richard in all of this? Will they redeem themselves, forgive themselves and be forgiven enough to be sent somewhere a little nicer?

Although horror isn’t exactly my personal favourite, this one I did enjoy. It was very, very dark at the beginning, mellowing out a bit half-way through it, although the darkness continues/remains. What the individual’s demon is brings a new darkness to the story for each person. I can’t imagine being in any of their Hells.

Each of the character’s story’s at the beginning of the book could have been made into individual short stories, an anthology of sorts. Each person had died with their own demons to bear, but somehow manage to find each other. Why? And, how? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

There were a lot of spelling/missing words throughout the novel, however it read well. My only beef is that the book didn’t end, meaning that there is a follow-up book to this one…meaning, you’ll have to wait to see what happens next.

If you like the dark and are not afraid of torture and Hell, then you will enjoy this book. 5 stars!

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Worse By A. M. Sawyer

“You have done too much! Hurt too many!” Mr. Telters shouts out, “I’m your last chance to change! There won’t be another!”

With the help of three guards, Jacob is finally able to free himself from the powerful grip. Watching as the security guards pull Mr. Telters out by the arms, the young mogul can’t help to remember those words. My last chance? Yup, he’s gone off the deep end.

Have you ever had one of those days where absolutely nothing is going for you? Well, times that by a thousand for Jacob Sturgen, a real estate business owner who loves to personally evict people who are behind on their mortgage payments.

Mr. Telters is four months behind in his payments and when Jacob tells him of his fate to be homeless on the streets, Mr. Telters tells him that he is his last chance. Last chance for what?

As Mr. Telters threatens Jacob, Jacob has his security guards throw him out of his very cramped office. But, on the way out of the office, Mr. Telters starts to convulse and dies in the office.

Well, this is nothing new for Jacob…he’s had someone else, a little old lady die in his office before. But what happens next surprises him. His entire staff desert him, quitting their jobs with this awful man.

What is even more surprising to Jacob is that everywhere that he goes, he sees Mr. Telters. He believes the old man faked his death to play this little trick on him. He goes for a drink at the bar, and sees Mr. Telters. He gets mugged and thinks it was Mr. Telters. In the hospital, he sees Mr. Telters on a turned off TV screen.

So, what’s going on with Jacob? Is he losing his mind? Or, was the old guy right…he was the last chance for Jacob. But, what does that mean exactly? Ah, you’ll have to read to find out.

This short story got me right from the beginning. If you like a darker story, then this one is for you.

I give this story 5 stars!

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Vampire Ascending By Lorelei Bell

51fLYwJLO2L__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-62,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_“And what was the purpose of the crucifix, anyway?” he wondered. “Trying to piss him off?”

I looked down to see the crucifix dangling against the black shirt.

“A crucifix to a vampire is like flipping off the guy in the car next to you in the worst of neighborhoods in Chicago. You’re just inviting trouble.” His voice was in a low warning tone. “Some vampires are immune to the cross. Not all were religious when they were alive.”

Sabrina is a touch clairvoyant, meaning that when she touches something/anything, she will get a reading from it. She gets such powerful readings from people/objects that sometimes she goes into a trance-like state and faints. It could actually kill her if she is not careful.

The book opens with Sabrina going to an interview to work at Tremayne Towers. She is to meet Nicolas, a vampire, but ends up getting bitten by a wolf. But not just any wolf–a werewolf. Of course, Nicolas is there to save the day by sucking out anything that might be coursing through her veins that might change her into a werewolf/were-person at the next full moon.

Bjorn Tremayne wants Sabrina to help find out who is killing vampires…his own lifemate, Letitia, being one of them. He will pay anything to find the killers, even offering Sabrina a hundred thousand dollars and complete benefits. But there’s a problem. Sabrina has been marked by a master vampire (Vasyl) when she was ten, having taken her mother and made her into a vampire. Sabrina has been plagued by dreams of this vampire since he bit her. The only one who can cancel out the bite from the master vampire so that he doesn’t come after her, is Tremayne himself. And, he wants her…her blood is super sweet to him and he can barely control himself when he is with her. He tells her that she is his soulmate, that she is his.

Dante is a Native American who can shift into whatever animal he wants to. He is sent to be a bodyguard for Sabrina, yet he begins to have strong feelings for her as well.

Along the way through this adventurous, exciting journey, we meet shapeshifters like Dante, elves/fae that work at Tremayne Towers in the hospital part (their blood is toxic to vampires, so they are safe) and nasty/mean vampires that just want to kill for the sake of the kill. But one thing is for certain…they all want Sabrina.

Will Vasyl take what is his or will Tremayne be the one to save her? What of Nicolas and Dante? Will Sabrina choose Dante over Tremayne? Or is that Nicolas she wants?

I found this story a little hard to keep up with…or maybe it was just because it was kind of all over the place…I’m not sure. There were repeated scenes where the same info that was learned by Sabrina earlier, she seemed not to know about in a later scene. It just got a little old re-reading the same information.

There were a lot of very hot men in this book and they all wanted Sabrina. Nicolas, Vasyl, Tremayne and Dante–and every other vampire in the book–wanted to make Sabrina theirs…or take a bite out of her. The only ones that didn’t want her were the elves.

There was some influence of other writers within the story, but the characters and storyline were all her own.

Maybe this is just my personal preference, but I don’t know why authors feel the need to overuse the thesaurus. It’s very distracting when you have to stop reading to look up words. I also thought the author used the word passed a lot when another word could have been used in its place or the sentence restructured. There were spelling mistakes and missing words but those I could slightly overlook. These are things the editor should have picked up on.

All in all, this book was a good one. I give this book 4 stars.

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