Review: Blaze of Memory by Nalini Singh

Posted May 31, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Blaze of Memory by Nalini SinghReviewer: Rowena
Blaze of Memoryby Nalini Singh
Series: Psy/Changeling #7
Published by Penguinon November 3rd 2009
Genres: Romance, Paranormal
Pages: 400
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Goodreads
three-half-stars

From the New York Times bestselling author of Shards of Hope, Shield of Winter, and Heart of Obsidian, who creates a “breathtaking blend of passion, adventure, and the paranormal”*...

A woman without a past becomes the pawn of a man who controls her future…

Dev Santos discovers her unconscious and battered, with no memory of who she is. All she knows is that she’s dangerous. Charged with protecting his people’s most vulnerable secrets, Dev is duty-bound to eliminate all threats. It’s a task he’s never hesitated to complete…until he finds himself drawn to a woman who might yet prove the enemy’s most insidious weapon.Stripped of her memories by a shadowy oppressor, and programmed to carry out cold-blooded murder, Katya Haas is fighting desperately for her sanity itself. Her only hope is Dev. But how can she expect to gain the trust of a man who could very well be her next target? For in this game, one must die…

“I wished I lived in the world Singh has created.”—*New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter

This is the seventh book in the Psy/Changeling series and it’s another book that I found interesting, even though the focus seemed to be on things in the Psy world. I’m more of a Changeling girl (unless we’re talking Judd than I’m all Judd all the time) so it took me a lot longer to get through this book than any of the others. I wasn’t sure if it was because Dev and Katya are fairly new characters that were briefly mentioned in previous books and so I didn’t know them the way that I knew Riley and Mercy before their book or Dorian and the other cats and maybe that’s why it took me so long to connect with their story and their romance but once the book hit its stride, I really got into it.

Devraj Santos is the head of the Shrine Foundation and he’s got a duty to protect the children under the protection of the Shrine Foundation with his dying breath. He has never hesitated to eliminate a threat but when Katerina, ex-assistant of Ashaya Aleine lands in his lap, he can’t trust her but he can’t bring himself to eliminate her either. Not yet, anyway.

Katerina is long gone, in her place is a shell of a woman named Katya Haas. Katerina was abducted and tortured by Ming LeBon and while she doesn’t remember much about her abduction, she knows that she’s a danger to everyone around her. The more time she spends with Dev, the closer they become and the more scared she is that she might be a weapon that Ming can detonate at any time.

The romance between Dev and Katya was one of those slow burn romances that took its time coming together. It was slow going for a good chunk of the beginning, with a lot of Psy business that I couldn’t get into at first but by the end of the book, I was in love with the Psys we come to know over the course of the book and was interested in the Psy business building in the background. I loved how everything wrapped up. The beginning might have started on the slow side but the ending made up for all of that. I cried in the end when Dev was so distraught and the kids were there with Katya. The ending made the book for me. It was a solid addition the series and did nothing to dampen my excitement for what’s to come.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

Reading Order

Slave to Sensation
Visions of Heat
Caressed by Ice
Mine to Possess
Hostage to Pleasure
Branded by Fire
Blaze of Memory
Bonds of Justice
Play of Passion
Kiss of Snow
Tangle of Need
Heart of Obsidian
Shield of Winter
Shards of Hope
Allegiance of Honor
three-half-stars

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Blog Tour: Duke of Sin Launch Day Blitz

Posted May 31, 2016 by Rowena in Promotions | 0 Comments

DUKE-OF-SIN-Launch-Day-Blitz

Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt is the tenth installment in the Maiden Lane series and it promises to be another fantastic addition to the series and we’re happy to be featuring this book on the blog today because IT’S OUT! If you’re curious about this book, look no further. We’ve got the deets down below so check it out for yourself!

9781455539093_Hoyt_DukeofSin_MM
Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt
Maiden Lane #10
Releases on May 31, 2016 by Grand Central Publishing

A MAN OF SIN

Devastatingly handsome. Vain. Unscrupulous. Valentine Napier, the Duke of Montgomery, is the man London whispers about in boudoirs and back alleys. A notorious rake and blackmailer, Montgomery has returned from exile, intent on seeking revenge on those who have wronged him. But what he finds in his own bedroom may lay waste to all his plans.

A WOMAN OF HONOR

Born a bastard, housekeeper Bridget Crumb is clever, bold, and fiercely loyal. When her aristocratic mother becomes the target of extortion, Bridget joins the Duke of Montgomery’s household to search for the incriminating evidence-and uncovers something far more dangerous.

A SECRET THAT THREATENS TO DESTROY THEM BOTH

Astonished by the deceptively prim-and surprisingly witty-domestic spy in his chambers, Montgomery is intrigued. And try as she might, Bridget can’t resist the slyly charming duke. Now as the two begin their treacherous game of cat and mouse, they soon realize that they both have secrets-and neither may be as nefarious-or as innocent-as they appear . . .

Order the Book:

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Excerpt

“I was told you had need of me, Your Grace,” she reminded him, folding her hands at her waist to hide the trembling that had begun again. She’d been in demand before this position. Duchesses and lionesses of society had wanted her.

“So practical,” he mused, tilting his golden head back to gaze, presumably, at the gaudy sky-blue velvet canopy of his bed. She’d always thought it rather vulgar, actually. “I suppose that would be considered a good thing in a housekeeper.”

“It’s generally considered so, Your Grace.”

“And yet, I find it somewhat…”—he raised his naked arm straight up above his head and twirled his hand as he thought—“irksome.”

“I am sorry, Your Grace,” Bridget said as pleasantly as she could, which, sadly, was not very.

“Oh, don’t be,” the duke murmured silkily. “One can’t help one’s nature, no matter how irritating it is to others.”

His azure eyes suddenly dropped to pin her, hard and merciless, and she lost her breath as she fell into his predator’s stare. It was like looking into the eyes of something inhuman, almost otherworldly. Her chest ached as she stared at him, the air still locked within her, but at the same time the place between her legs ached as well.

Then she inhaled, filling her lungs with sweet air, as he watched her still, his eyes half-lidded, and she felt an odd exhilaration, as if a gauntlet had been thrown down. As if they were adversaries, equal on the field.

Which was completely ridiculous.

Possibly she shouldn’t have indulged in that third cup of tea this morning.

“I wonder whom you work for, Mrs. Crumb?” he whispered.

“Why, for you, Your Grace,” she replied, holding his gaze.

He snorted.

She felt a bead of perspiration trail down her spine.

He strode, nude, to his desk, and, bending over it, afforded her a quite scandalous view of his muscular bottom. He seemed to have a dark mark of some kind on the left cheek. Good God, it looked like a tattoo. What—? “Why, Mrs. Crumb,” he drawled, and she snapped her gaze belatedly up to find that he’d turned back to her—damn it! “Were you ogling my arse?”

She opened her mouth and then wasn’t sure, exactly, what to say. Was he about to dismiss her or not? “I…I—”

“Ye-es?” He took one long stride toward her.

She was suddenly, overwhelmingly aware of what she’d until now successfully ignored: He. Was. Nude.

His shoulders were wide, his chest highlighted by pale-pink nipples drawn tight, with but a few curling golden hairs between. His torso narrowed in a perfect V to a slim waist and a shallow belly button. A thin line of slightly darker hair led to his genitals.

During his supposed absence Bridget had had plenty of time to study the life-size nude portrait of the duke hanging next to his bed. She’d long thought the dimensions of his manhood exaggerated.

They were not.

She hastily glanced up to find him standing far too close to her, a wicked smile playing about his mouth.

“Oh, Mrs. Crumb, such a look,” he murmured, his voice a deep purr, his bare chest brushing against her snowy white apron. “Why, I don’t know whether to guard my bollocks…”—his gaze dropped to her mouth—“or to kiss you.”

Maiden Lane Series

Wicked Intentions
Notorious Pleasures
Scandalous Desires
Thief of Shadows
Lord of Darkness
Duke of Midnight
Darling Beast
Dearest Rogue
Sweetest Scoundrel
Duke of Sin

About the Author

Elizabeth Hoyt is the New York Times bestselling author of over seventeen lush historical romances including the Maiden Lane series. Publishers Weekly has called her writing “mesmerizing.” She also pens deliciously fun contemporary romances under the name Julia Harper. Elizabeth lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with three untrained dogs, a garden in constant need of weeding, and the long-suffering Mr. Hoyt.

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Guest Review: Duke of Sin by Elizabeth Hoyt

Posted May 31, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Duke of Sin by Elizabeth HoytReviewer: Tracy
Duke of Sinby Elizabeth Hoyt
Series: Maiden Lane #10
Published by Grand Central Publishingon May 31st 2016
Genres: Romance, Historical
Buy on Amazon|Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

A MAN OF SIN

Devastatingly handsome. Vain. Unscrupulous. Valentine Napier, the Duke of Montgomery, is the man London whispers about in boudoirs and back alleys. A notorious rake and blackmailer, Montgomery has returned from exile, intent on seeking revenge on those who have wronged him. But what he finds in his own bedroom may lay waste to all his plans.

A WOMAN OF HONOR

Born a bastard, housekeeper Bridget Crumb is clever, bold, and fiercely loyal. When her aristocratic mother becomes the target of extortion, Bridget joins the Duke of Montgomery's household to search for the incriminating evidence-and uncovers something far more dangerous.

A SECRET THAT THREATENS TO DESTROY THEM BOTH

Astonished by the deceptively prim-and surprisingly witty-domestic spy in his chambers, Montgomery is intrigued. And try as she might, Bridget can't resist the slyly charming duke. Now as the two begin their treacherous game of cat and mouse, they soon realize that they both have secrets-and neither may be as nefarious-or as innocent-as they appear . . .

Val, the Duke of Montgomery, is a pretty bad guy who seems unredeemable until he meets Bridget. Bridget is his housekeeper and he’s incredibly intrigued by her. He starts to demand her presence more and more and he’s fascinated by the things she tells him about scruples but he almost can’t get his head around it.

Bridget is at the duke’s house under false pretenses. Yes, she’s a housekeeper, and a very good one at that, but she is there to help out her birth mother – to find some letters that Val has that he can blackmail her with. Bridget’s scared of losing her position but she’s also intrigued by the duke. He seems, to the world, an evil man but Bridget sees more in him and is willing to risk her job and her feelings to keep him on the straight and narrow.

This was an interesting story. It definitely wasn’t your typical romance as it involved a man that for the most part almost seemed sociopathic but wasn’t. I truly loved that Elizabeth Hoyt put these two people together because it really is the only way that it would have worked for them. If Val had been an ordinary duke it would have never worked out for the two of them, that’s for sure.

Bridget in this book was a housekeeper but her mother was the daughter of a viscount. She has compassion streaming through her pores and while she loved her position she always wondered about why her mother hadn’t kept her (she knew she was a bastard but still). I loved that she saw Val for the despot he was. She couldn’t understand what he did or why he did it but she still gave it her all to teach him right from wrong.

Val was a piece of work. For a while I truly didn’t think the man could be redeemed. Even when he started his relationship with Bridget he was still working his schemes and I wasn’t sure where the story was going. I thought that the way that Hoyt brought about their ultimate HEA had me believing it was possible but Bridget still had her work cut out for her.

While this certainly wasn’t my favorite book in the series it was a good one. I liked that they slowly fell in love and it wasn’t a foregone conclusion that it would all end well; I liked that Bridget wasn’t a raving beauty but was an ordinary looking woman; I liked that the author didn’t try to make me believe that Val had been completely rehabilitated by the end of the book. These elements along with the romance involved made this worth reading.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars

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Sunday Spotlight: Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen

Posted May 29, 2016 by Rowena in Features, Giveaways | 5 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we’re running in 2016. Each week, we will spotlight a release we’re excited about. We’ll be posting exclusive excerpts and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

Sarina Bowen made it on to my radar a couple of years ago when I couldn’t get enough of her Ivy Years series. She won me over with the very first book and with each passing book, it just kept getting better and better. She has a knack for tackling serious issues that we face in each book and making readers sit up and take notice of her writing but also the choices that they make in real life.

I was excited when Sarina announced a new series because I will read anything and everything she writes. I’m looking forward to getting to know Griff because I just know that I’m going love him. squee

Bittersweet
Bittersweet (True North #1) by Sarina Bowen
Releases on June 14, 2016 by Rennie Road Books

Pre-Order the Book:

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The new series is set in Vermont. True North is populated by the tough, outdoorsy mountain men that populate the Green Mountain State. They raise cows and they grow apples. They chop a lot of wood, especially when they need to blow off steam. (Beards are optional but encouraged.)

If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the orchard.

The last person Griffin Shipley expects to find stuck in a ditch on his Vermont country road is his ex-hookup. Five years ago they’d shared a couple of steamy nights together. But that was a lifetime ago.

At twenty-seven, Griff is now the accidental patriarch of his family farm. Even his enormous shoulders feel the strain of supporting his mother, three siblings and a dotty grandfather. He doesn’t have time for the sorority girl who’s shown up expecting to buy his harvest at half price.

Vermont was never in Audrey Kidder’s travel plans. Neither was Griff Shipley. But she needs a second chance with the restaurant conglomerate employing her. Okay—a fifth chance. And no self-righteous lumbersexual farmer will stand in her way.

They’re adversaries. They want entirely different things from life. Too bad their sexual chemistry is as hot as Audrey’s top secret enchilada sauce, and then some.

Holly has already read and loved this book so that makes me so stinkin’ excited to jump into my own copy. This excerpt has done nothing to dampen my excitement for this book.

Excerpt

He lifted one giant hand to stroke his beard. “You might have called first. Did you think of that?”

“Good point,” I said gamely. “The BPG buyer told me that it was better to just drive up. He said farmers don’t answer their phones.”

Griff tipped his scruffy face toward the sky and made an unexpected sound which I eventually identified as laughter.

“What’s so funny?”

He crossed his bulky, lickable arms. “Look,” he said. “I have a feeling I know why your man at BPG doesn’t have his calls answered too often. His prices are bullshit, right? So his new plan is to send a hot sorority girl in a halter top and short skirt to dazzle the poor hicks who grow his food. Your guy thinks I’m a big enough idiot that a nice rack and a bright smile will blind me for long enough to agree to sell apples for a buck a pound.”

Later I would remember this moment as important. Standing there on Griff’s road, I’d gleaned the first prickle of understanding that a flat tire was just the start of my buzz kill. A brand new sinking feeling kicked in, because I had a hunch that Griff Shipley knew what he was talking about for once. I opened the price list in my hand to see that the first item on the list was, indeed, “Apples: $0.99 / lb.”

Fuck. “So you’re saying that a dollar a pound is not the market rate for wholesale apples?” I said it as sweetly as possible, but Griff’s face began to darken like a stormy sky.

“Listen, princess,” he growled. “You can buy shitty, mealy apples for that price from a giant orchard out west, or from a farmer that got swindled into growing only Red Delicious during the eighties and can’t afford to re-graft his trees. But your guy wants organic apples, probably heirloom varietals. He wants bragging rights on the menu—apples grown locally in New England, with no pesticides, and blessed by virgins in the moonlight. That’s what he wants hand-lettered on the menu, right?”

“Right,” I agreed reluctantly. That was exactly how it worked.

“That does not come at a buck a pound. Not from me, and not from any of my neighbors.”

Uh-oh. My heart sank a little further into the dirt, just like my rental car.

Oh, I already love Griff. I’m pretty sure that I look like this:


credit

16 more days guys, we only have to wait 16 more days. Yay!

True North Series

Giveaway: We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for one of May’s features.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About the Author

Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. She lives in Vermont’s Green Mountains with her family, six chickens and too much ski gear and hockey equipment.

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