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Book Review: Bared to You by Sylvia Day

Book Review: Bared to You by Sylvia Day (Crossfire #1)

Format: ebook (an ARC provided by NetGalley)

Published:  April 3, 2012

Genre: Erotic Romance, Contemporary Romance

Sensuality Rating: Burning!

Synopsis (from Goodreads)Our journey began in fire… 

Gideon Cross came into my life like lightning in the darkness—beautiful and brilliant, jagged and white-hot. I was drawn to him as I’d never been to anything or anyone in my life. I craved his touch like a drug, even knowing it would weaken me. I was flawed and damaged, and he opened those cracks in me so easily…

Gideon knew. He had demons of his own. And we would become the mirrors that reflected each other’s most private wounds… and desires.

The bonds of his love transformed me, even as I prayed that the torment of our pasts didn’t tear us apart…

Review: 

I’ve not read any Sylvia Day books before but I have a few on my to-read list and I jumped at the opportunity to read this one. I’m so glad I did.

This book in one word? Hot! From the moment the two main characters meet there’s intense sexual chemistry radiating off the two of them. Their intense magnetism is evident from the start and together they provide some of the sexiest and hottest scenes I’ve ever read. If graphic conversations and bedroom antics (that aren’t confined to the bedroom) aren’t your thing – I’d steer clear of this book. But if they are your thing? I can see this book being a favourite!

Eva Tramell has just moved from San Diego with her best friend, bisexual male model Casey, to start a career at a New York ad agency. After a collision with the fantasy invoking Gideon Cross, Eva can’t seem to stop thinking about him – and the way he makes her feel. Determined to get her career on track she tries to reject his not-so-eloquent offer to satisfy her needs but just how long can anyone hold out on Gideon?

That man… he has such a way with words and he’s not shy. I felt myself blushing many times just reading about how he wanted Eva. I couldn’t work out if I was proud of her for holding out or if I wanted to slap some sense into her and ordering her to jump his bones!

Eventually she folds and succumbs to Gideon’s advances but their relationship is not without it’s drama.

Both of the main characters have issues from their past and their families are less than.. stable? Eva does get slightly irritating with her running and with the exception of the sexual chemistry the couple share it’s not exactly clear why Gideon would want a relationship with her.

But the sex? Oh my… this book has both quality and quantity. I loved the steamy scenes – I’m not sure I’ll be able to ride in a limo again without thinking of Eva and Gideon. Gideon is the alpha male that dreams are made of.

I really enjoyed this book. I’ll definitely be reading more of Sylvia Day’s novels.

 

 

Rating: 

4 out of 5

Purchase book at:

Barnes & Noble (trade paperback) / All Romance Ebooks (mobi, epub, html and pdf formats)

Click here to visit the author’s home page
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Book Review: Switched by Amanda Hocking

Book Review: Switched by Amanda Hocking (Trylle Trilogy #1)

Format: ebook

Published:  July 12, 2010

Genre: Young adult, paranormal, urban fantasy, magic

Sensuality Rating: kisses

Synopsis (from Goodreads)When Wendy Everly was six-years-old, her mother was convinced she was a monster and tried to kill her. It isn’t until eleven years later that Wendy finds out her mother might’ve been telling the truth.

With the help of Finn Holmes, Wendy finds herself in a world she never knew existed – and it’s one she’s not sure if she wants to be a part of.

Review: 

At her sixth birthday party, Wendy Every’s mother tried to kill her with a cake knife. Way to kill the party vibe…

Since then Wendy has been living with her very over protective older brother, Matt, and her aunt Maggie moving every few months whenever Wendy gets kicked out of yet another school. When not another private school will take her Wendy enrols in a public school but her attitude hasn’t changed at all. Brawling with girls in the bathroom and sleeping her way though History class – that’s literally sleeping complete with drool. Nothing seems to have changed at all. Until she notices Finn Holmes – the only kid in the class that’s even newer than she is – staring at her. Constantly.

The only thing worse than his creepy behaviour is the fact that Wendy can’t help but notice how attractive Finn is. After a disastrous date to the school dance, Wendy isn’t even sure if she wants to see Finn again but he drags her into a world she’s knows nothing about complete with princesses, magical powers and trolls…

I really enjoyed this story. After reading many paranormal teen novels that follow the same formula (girl meets boy, they fall in love for no apparent reason, they have drama but end up happily ever after) I was glad to read a story where the romance isn’t the focus. Yes, Wendy does develop feelings for Finn but that’s by no means the focus in this story.

The world of the Trylle was fascinating. I love the idea of changeling children being “switched” out with the children of wealthy parents in order for the Trylle society to inherit generous trust funds that they then bring back to the society after Trackers are sent to find the changelings.

One of the few things that I did have issues  with in this novel was the pacing – there was a lot of world building and background information that was important to set up the series but I was 50 pages from the end and was waiting for the climax to start. 40 pages to the end I was still waiting. It wasn’t until twenty pages from the end that all the drama unfolded but it was all wrapped up within a few pages – it had to be because we were running out of pages before the novel ended.

I really enjoyed this story. It was a great YA paranormal story that offered me something new. I’d never read a troll story before but I will be reading another  – the sequel is already on my kindle and waiting for me! 😛

Rating: 

3.5 out of 5

Purchase book at:

Book Depository (paperback) / Amazon (kindle version) / FishPond (paperback)

Book Review: Fractured Moon by E.R. Pierce

Book Review: Fractured Moon by E.R. Pierce (Steel #1)

Format: ebook

Published:  March 3, 2012

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Shifters, Paranormal suspense,

Sensuality Rating: Hot!

Synopsis (from Goodreads)Aurelia Fridell will always be a freak. Born to werewolf parents, her twin brother Ville can shift forms, but she can’t. Twenty-five years searching for answers yields nothing.

As her thirtieth birthday approaches, isolation creeps in, and worry settles in her gut. She accepted her existence long ago, and yet lately, she’s felt off-kilter. Eyes follow her, prickling her senses. Her headaches are getting worse.

Is she paranoid, or is there really someone, or something, stalking her? Watching. Waiting. Drumming fingers to a sinister beat she can’t hear.

Time will tell. 

Ceithin Starkley isn’t looking for a mate. Especially now. In fact, he doesn’t believe in true-matings at all. While he is being recruited for a new job, a scent on the wind stuns him, and he finds himself fighting an inner battle he never wanted, yet can’t ignore.

Sparks fly, as Ceithin and Aurelia fight fate and race against a clock neither knows is ticking. 

Will he claim Aurelia before he loses her for good?

Warning: This book is sexy. Contains a drool-worthy Alpha male wearing Beta clothing. A sassy and sweet heroine with brains and brothers you’ll adore. A best friend every girl would love to hate. I mean have. And an impossible road no one will see coming.

Review: 

From the very start I liked Aurelia Fridell. We meet her whilst she’s standing backstage at her brother’s bar waiting to be called out for a bachelorette auction that her best friend, Astrid (or Az for short) has roped her into participating in.  There were so many other things I should be doing with my Saturday night. Yet here I sat, nursing my Summer Ale, waiting for the current Barbie Bimbette to be sold. Soon it’d be my turn — I left my cheer meter at home. 

A little snarky and sarcastic – just how I like my heroines!

Aurelia is somewhat of an anomaly among werewolves – able to partially change her features and grow claws but not able to complete a complete shift into wolf form. This ‘defect’ makes her an outsider in her community and – despite their best efforts at being supportive – her family too. Depite this (or maybe because of it) Aurelia is a strong and capable heroine. She’s an incredibly smart, brave and passionate woman.

One year after the bachelorette auction, Aurelia comes face to face (quite literally as he tackles her to the floor of Az’s tattoo parlor) with Ceithin Starkley – a werewolf visiting the area on a business opportunity with Aurelia’s father. From the moment they meet they share incredible sexual tention – I could almost see the sparks flying! – but Ceithin sees himself as a little bit oldfashioned. He won’t cheat. Just Aurelia’s luck to meet the man who may be her fated mate and him be involved in a relationship with another woman. I admired Ceithin for that. I have to admit I get slightly annoyed when just because someone meets their fated mate – all rules and manners fly out the window.

I also relished in the chanced to see Aurelia jealous – and play a little dirty!

Just because Ceithin is in a relationship and trying to fight his werewolf nature and be faithful to his girlfriend doesn’t mean that Aurelia isn’t going to make a play for her potential mate! Her playful, sensual and jealous side made itself known when she was in the club. I didn’t expect it from her but it made me like her more. And made me realize that she wasn’t going to let circumstances stand between her and what she wanted in life. Her lack of shifting ability weighs heavily upon her and I was glad for her to see that she wasn’t going to give up. And this is fiction and a story of true mates! – so I don’t feel bad at all rooting for a woman trying to steal another woman’s boyfriend.

Ceithin unable and unwilling to ignore his desire for Aurelia, breaks up with his girlfriend and starts to court Aurelia. I loved the courting. Ever since I was 12 years old and read Jane Austen’s Persuasion for the first time, I’ve loved letters in novels. And whilst Ceithin’s emails weren’t quite as formal as Captain Wentworth’s, I loved them. He’s blunt and slightly awkward but I felt it was honest and that in itself was beautiful. Despite the chemistry and sexual tension between them – Ceithin and Aurelia got to know each other. The sex – when it happened – was hot but, for me, what made it ever better and that bit more intense was that the characters had fallen in love. This isn’t a story of instant love for no reason – these two knew each other. They knew their faults and their good qualities and genuinely cared for the other.

In addition to the romance plot, Aurelia has someone tormenting her with no apparent reason. Her tires are slashed and her house ransacked. Throw in some nearly incapacitating and blinding headaches

As the story goes on we get to find out more about why Aurelia can’t shift, her special mental bond with her brother, Ville. I thought it was an inventive and creative plot. I really enjoyed how everything unfolded. Many questions I had early in the novel were answered and I was satisfied with the ending. There was a shift in the point-of-view for a few chapters that I didn’t really like. I understand why it was necessary but the main reason why I liked this book was  Aurelia’s sassiness, her cheekiness and how at times she mentally berated  herself. She was a fantastic narrator. I missed that when we switched to Ceithin’s POV.

I really enjoyed reading this book. There is a lot to love about the characters and the storyline. It was interesting and sexy and highly enjoyable.

Rating: 

4 out of 5

Purchase book at:

Amazon (kindle version) / All Romance Ebooks (mobi, epub, html and pdf formats)

Click here to visit the author’s home page

Book Review: Tiger Eye by Marjorie M. Liu

Book Review: Tiger Eye by Marjorie M. Liu (Dirk and Steele #1)

Format: paperback

First Published:  March 6,  2005

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Shifters, Urban Fantasy, Magic

Sensuality Rating: Warm

Synopsis (from Goodreads)He looks out of place in Dela Reese’s Beijing hotel room- exotic and poignant, some mythic, tragic hero of an epic tale. With his feline yellow eyes, he’s like nothing from her world. Yet Dela has danced through the echo of his soul and knows this warrior will obey her every command.

Hari has been used and abused for millennia. But he sees, upon his release from the riddle box, that this new mistress is different. There is a hidden power in Dela’s eyes- and with her, he may regain all that was lost to him. Where once he savaged, now he must protect; where once he only knew hatred, now he must embrace love. Dela is the key. For Dela, he will risk all.

Review: 

Dela Reese, an artist and sword-maker, is visiting Beijing for business when she comes across a mysterious old woman in the Dirt Market. The old woman insists that Dela buys an ancient little wooden puzzle box and from that moment things get even stranger. On her way back to the hotel Dela is accosted by a man who grabs her but Dela manages to get away. After returning to her room, Dela manages to open the puzzle box only to have a seven foot ancient, shape-shifting warrior pop out. Hari was cured thousands of years ago to do whatever his summoner demands from him – anything from killing to bedding them. Naturally to say, Hari is instantly suspicious and distrusting of his new mistress.

Throw in a few attempts on Dela’s life, the Chinese mafia, some more shape shifters and a few of the agents from Dirk and Steele detective agency and you’ll get a fairly entertaining story.

I enjoyed the characters in this story. Dela was a strong character who was brave and intelligent. Hari was hot and one of those characters that seem to be a little too perfect – he was too caring, too self-sacrificing, too handsome. There’s just something about characters like Hari that rub me the wrong way. I like my heroes to be a bit more flawed in terms of how they treat their mates. He’s just… with the exception of how they first meet and how suspicious he is of Dela, he seems to think she’s perfect. And she’s not. But I liked that about her. I just wish that Hari take off his rose coloured glasses for a little bit.

Whirlwind romances aren’t really my thing and Dela and Hari do fall in love VERY quickly.  I think it’s only a week from meeting to the final showdown. But I liked the development of their relationship. It was a nice progression, just a little intense time-wise.

The members of Dirk and Steele – a ‘detective’ agency where the agents all have special abilities – were a great supporting cast. They’re all a little damaged and should make good heroes in their own books later in the series. There’s nothing I like more than warrior men who have a caring side – which all of these men had.

I didn’t love this book but I did enjoy many parts of it. The romance was sweet, the characters were enjoyable. I will be continuing to read the rest (or at least the next book) of the series. 🙂

Rating: 

3 out of 5

Purchase book at:

Book Depository (paperback) / Amazon (kindle version) / FishPond (paperback)

Book Review: Kindling the Moon by Jenn Bennett

Book Review: Kindling the Moon by Jenn Bennett (Acardia Bell #1)

Format: paperback

First Published:  June 28, 2011 

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Demons, Magic, Witches

Sensuality Rating: Warm

Synopsis (from Goodreads)Meet Arcadia Bell: bartender, renegade magician, fugitive from the law. . . . 

Being the spawn of two infamous occultists (and alleged murderers) isn’t easy, but freewheeling magician Arcadia “Cady” Bell knows how to make the best of a crummy situation. After hiding out for seven years, she’s carved an incognito niche for herself slinging drinks at the demon-friendly Tambuku Tiki Lounge.

But she receives an ultimatum when unexpected surveillance footage of her notorious parents surfaces: either prove their innocence or surrender herself. Unfortunately, the only witness to the crimes was an elusive Æthyric demon, and Cady has no idea how to find it. She teams up with Lon Butler, an enigmatic demonologist with a special talent for sexual spells and an arcane library of priceless stolen grimoires. Their research soon escalates into a storm of conflict involving missing police evidence, the decadent Hellfire Club, a ruthless bounty hunter, and a powerful occult society that operates way outside the law. If Cady can’t clear her family name soon, she’ll be forced to sacrifice her own life . . . and no amount of running will save her this time.

Review: 

Sometimes you wish your parents just would stay dead…

I’d been putting off reading this book for a while. Other series and books took priority. But I’m so glad I got around to reading it. Jenn Bennett might be my favourite debut author of the year. I can not put into words how much I enjoyed this book.

The world that this book is set in is brilliant. There’s magicans who have powers similar to a lot of witches I’ve read about in the past, Earthbound demons who have ‘halos’ in different colours, Æthyric demoms which are mostly pretty scary. Throw in some magical societies and a demon nightclub – not forgetting Cady’s own demon serving bar. I thought the world was written in a way that was so vivid to me. I felt like I was right there beside Cady as she tried to find the evidence that would prove her parents’ innocence. From Ms. Bennett’s writing it’s easy to see that she is an artist.

One of the more surprising things for me whilst reading this book was Jupe – Lon’s teenage son. Normally I don’t like children in novels. They come across to me as either too old for their age, too young, too cute – all it really translates for me as too annoying. But Jupe entertained me. I thought he was written perfectly – he was at that stage where he’s trying to show he’s a man of the world but at the same time he still needs  his dad around. He provided a lot of comic relief which the story needed at times. I hope we see a lot more of him in future books because I think he was my favourite character.

I loved how the story came together. It was in such a way that I was surprised by exactly how it unfolded but nothing new or out of left field was brought in just to create the climax. I loved Cady’s powers and how she used them. She’s a survivor who does what she has to but she has morals and is a decent person. I liked that about her. And the sexual tenstion between Lon and Cady? Brilliant. Their interactions and banter amused me greatly.

The second book is going to be a must buy for me.

Rating: 

4.5 out of 5

Purchase book at:

Book Depository (paperback) / Amazon (kindle version) / FishPond (paperback)

Book Review: That Voodoo That You Do by Jodi Redford

Book Review: That Voodoo That You Do by Jodi Redford (That Old Black Magic #1)

Format: ebook

First Published: October 12, 2010

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Erotic Romance, Shifters, Witches, Zombies.

Sensuality Rating: Burning!

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

For ten long years Griffin Trudeau has managed to keep his paws off Jemma Finnegan, best friend and leading star of his kinkiest fantasies. As her appointed cat familiar, indulging those fantasies with the delectable witch is strictly forbidden. But when Jemma shows up at his door with seduction in mind, control goes right out the window.

Too late he realizes making love to Jemma is the trigger that launches a zombie apocalypse.

Jemma’s been dealt a double whammy: she’s just discovered she’s a witch. And Griff has been hiding whiskers and a tail. Oh, and if her life wasn’t crazy enough, a dead voodoo queen needs her blood to raise a legion of zombies.

There’s one plan that might work to increase Jemma’s powers so she can put an end to the looming holocaust. A sexy threesome with Griff and Logan Scott, a werewolf familiar with a history of rubbing Griff’s fur the wrong way. A cat and a wolf playing nice, much less sharing? It’ll take a miracle.

Warning: A witch, tiger and wolf doing naughty things. A dead voodoo queen doing evil things. And zombies doing zombie things. Get your shovels ready.

Review: 

Oh my! I wasn’t expecting this book to be as funny as I found it. From the first page I was laughing. And it’s not just funny – it’s exciting, it’s interesting and it’s earth-shatteringly hot! 😉

The story starts with Jemma Finnegan, a woman with a plan, setting out to seduce her super hunk of a best friend of ten years – Griffin Trudeau. Next comes some delicious and literally earth moving kitchen lovin’, the beginning of a zombie apocalypse and that’s just the first chapter!

From the start I loved the chemistry between Griff and Jemma. The comradeship of having been best friends for ten years was evident and the tangible sexual tension between the two was electric. I was rooting for them as a couple. And if I had any doubts of Jemma as a heroine they were wiped away when she tried to take down a zombie using a ThighBlaster.

The secondary cast of Clarissa (the coven leader) and the other witches (Mrs Peach, Gloria) were delightful. I loved the banter and pop culture references they delivered.

And Logan Scott? [He’s] the guy your mama warned you about. The ultimate biker boy complete with the mirrored shades, barbed wire tattoo and snug jeans – I loved him. Normally I don’t like any character that threatens the Happily Ever After that I desire but I loved what Logan brought to the story. The fact that he brought out Griff’s jealous side… that is just a bonus!

After finishing the book, I’m still a little unsure as to why the ménage à trois strengthened Jemma’s magic but it was such an hot and steamy scene that I’ll let it slide. I really enjoyed the creativeness of the sex scenes. And the humour that was present throughout everything.

The witch/zombie/shifter storyline was exciting too – this book, whilst mostly is about the romance and the sex also has more too it – and it kept me guessing. I loved how Jemma grew as a character. She became the kick-ass heroine that her witchy ancestors (well… most of them) would be proud of.

This is probably the funniest erotic romance that I’ve ever read. I am so excited about the next book in the series (which is out and I have already bought!) being about Clarissa and Logan. The little moments of those two were some of my favourite interludes in the story. I recommend this book for anyone who likes light hearted storyline and zombie apocalypses mixed in with their erotica.

Rating: 

4.5 out of 5

Purchase book at:

Amazon (kindle version) / Samhain Publishing

Book Review: Wicked Weekend by Gillian Archer

Book Review: Wicked Weekend by Gillian Archer (Pleasure Code #1)

Format: ebook

First Published: March 12th, 2012

Source: an ARC provided by NetGalley

Genre: Romance, Erotic Romance, Contemporary Romance, BDSM

Sensuality Rating: Burning!

Synopsis (from Goodreads)Why did Lauren Vaughn introduce her sister to the man she herself was crazy about? Now Lauren is watching the happy couple at their combined bachelor/bachelorette party—while Lauren sits all alone at the bar. Until she spots a hot stranger with the telltale black handkerchief in his pocket: the signal for “seeks no-strings affair with sexy submissive.” Lauren can’t take her eyes off him. So when he comes over, she kicks her inner good girl to the curb and follows Jamie Forman to his room, where he makes her scream with pleasure all night long.

But Jamie is a complicated man. He can’t handle how desperately he wants her in his bed—and his life. It’s up to Lauren to teach him how to make all night last forever.

Review: 

This [book is] purely about sex. No strings, just hot and naughty sex, nothing else. (quote from the novella)

But it isn’t. There’s more to the story than just bedroom antics – although I thoroughly enjoyed said antics.

I loved the cover. It’s playful and sexy – much like the story itself. I really enjoyed the story. It starts off with Lauren Vaughn being miserable at her sister’s combined bachelor/bachelorette party – jealous that her sister has managed to snag the man of Lauren’s daydreams and not enjoying the company of the other party guests. That is until Lauren spies a stranger with a black handkerchief in his back pocket… and a very fine behind 😉 Lauren’s been researching the dominant/submissive lifestyle online and is more than a little intrigued by handsome dom.Jamie Forman quickly introduces himself to Lauren and quick as can be, they embark in a wicked weekend that will change Lauren’s life (or at least her sex life) forever.

The story is really enjoyable. It’s spicy and addresses some of the issues that I’ve read about the lifestyle in other BDSM novels. I liked that Lauren made sure to call a friend and check in before her night with her handsome stranger (although I would have liked it if Lauren checked his ID too just to make sure he was who he said he was) – as well as getting someone to vouch for Jamie’s character – but it still felt a little too quick for me. They exchange names and before they can discuss anything else they’re involved in a full blown conversation about the lifestyle and how much Lauren knows about it. It just felt… a little too forward? But then again… this is a novella and it is just a fantasy/story. Sometimes I think I can get a little too hung up on the details. Some of the language used wasn’t my cup of tea. I don’t like it when dirty talk is too harsh or too… gritty? With that said, it fit the situation. Lauren was into it 😛

As for the characters? I thought they were really well written. Lauren was slightly socially awkward but really amusing with her inner dialogue. I was really glad to see that she managed to be more comfortable with herself and also managed to find some common ground with her sister. Jamie, the super confident and experienced Dom, endeared himself more to me as the story went on and we got to see that he wasn’t all that he appeared at the start. There was a lot of character growth despite this only being a novella. There were times when I felt that Lauren was being slightly hypocritical but I was glad to see that those issues were addressed before the end of the story.  I really enjoyed Wicked Weekend. Yes, there were some things I wasn’t overly fond of but this was a steamy love story that, all things aside, was a pleasure to read.

Rating: 

3.5 out of 5

Purchase book at:

 Amazon (kindle version) / Carina Press (epub version)

 Visit the Author’s Website by clicking HERE