Genre: Collections & Anthologies

Guest Review: Playing Doctor by Kate Allure

Posted January 9, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Playing Doctor by Kate AllureReviewer: Tracy
Playing Doctor by Kate Allure
Series: Meeting Men #1
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: January 6th 2015
Genres: Erotica, Collections & Anthologies, Contemporary
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two-stars

THE DOCTOR WILL SEE YOU NOW...

In The Intern, the temperature of Dr. Lauren Marks's office quickly rises when her new medical intern Courtney turns out to be a passionate and sexy young man.

Valerie realizes all of her fantasies when her sexy surgeon and her loving husband team up to offer her some extra-special treatment in My Doctor, My Husband, and Me.

Nikki gets more than she bargained for in Seize the Doctor when the hot guy she recently met at a bar walks into her exam room wearing a white coat. Good thing she wore her sexiest lingerie.

Tracy’s review of Playing Doctor by Kate Allure

This is a book with three short novellas in it. The first book has a doctor in a small town having a summer affair with her cute intern – who’s significantly younger than she is.

The doctor, Lauren, is lonely. She was married for 10 years and her husband was a doctor who shared her practice. She knew their marriage wasn’t perfect but she didn’t think it was that bad. She found out differently when she came home one day and he had cleared out and left her a note. Wow. What an ass. It’s been a year, I think, since he’s left and Lauren misses having a sexual closeness with another human being. She loves her town and her job but she needs a man. When Court turns up as her intern Lauren tries to keep her thoughts pure but she can’t seem to keep her thoughts, eyes and eventually her hands off of him. The summer ends up being filled with fun and frolicking until Court has to leave to go back to school. Some of the scenes were pretty sexy and it was fun.

The second story has a woman who has been married for 20 years fantasizing about her young podiatrist. She wants to take things further with him but she loves her husband. Now apparently the husband, at one point in their relationship, had an affair so Valerie thinks it’s ok to ask her hubs for a threesome – and not just one night. Her husband isn’t thrilled but he agrees. The doctor, while a bit leery, agrees as well and the three of them end up having a great time together in bed. I can’t say that I was thrilled with this story. I guess I had more of an issue with the relationship between husband and wife – knowing that the hubby had strayed at one point just made me think that the threesome relationship couldn’t last for some reason. I also felt the marriage would suffer for it. The story was sexy but I found it odd.

Story three was my least favorite of the book. This one had Nikki joining her friends for a night out on the town. She meets a guy who seems nice and they start to talk. Unfortunately her friend brings to light that the man and his three friends are posing as doctors and just getting girls numbers – a contest of who can get the most. Nikki is disappointed as she doesn’t need another jerk in her life after her last boyfriend.   When she heads to the gyno to get birth control a fill-in for her doctor arrives and guess who it is? The guy from the bar. Yes, he was really a doctor and they start to date. Besides having sex and basically moving in together afterward there wasn’t a whole lot more to the story.The premise of this book sounded great as I love erotic romance. Unfortunately there wasn’t a whole lot of romance. IMHO stories 1 & 2 had no romance at all. Story three was supposed to have romance but nothing too deep. Overall I found the stories to be just in the OK category. I definitely put this more under straight erotica so if you like those stories then this would be a good one for you.

Rating: 2 out of 5

This title is available from Sourcebooks Casablanca. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

two-stars

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Review: Shifting Shadows by Patricia Briggs

Posted December 10, 2014 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Shifting Shadows by Patricia BriggsReviewer: Holly
Shifting Shadows by Patricia Briggs
Series: Alpha and Omega, Mercy Thompson
Also in this series: Hunting Ground, Fair Game, Cry Wolf, Dead Heat, Alpha & Omega, Hunting Ground, Night Broken, Blood Bound, Fire Touched, Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson, #10), Moon Called
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: September 2nd 2014
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Collections & Anthologies, Urban
Pages: 464
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four-half-stars

Mercy Thompson’s world just got a whole lot bigger…
A collection of all-new and previously published short stories featuring Mercy Thompson, “one of the best heroines in the urban fantasy genre today” (Fiction Vixen Book Reviews), and the characters she calls friends…
Includes the new stories…“Silver”“Roses in Winter”“Redemption”“Hollow”
…and reader favorites“Fairy Gifts”“Gray”“Alpha and Omega”“Seeing Eye”“The Star of David”“In Red, with Pearls”

This is a collection of short stories set in Briggs’ Alpha and Omega/Mercy Thompson world. There are four new, never-before-published stories and six reader favorites. Of the six previously published stories, I’d read one; Alpha and Omega, the companion novella to Cry Wolf, is a personal favorite. I skimmed over that one here, since I’ve read it numerous times.

I don’t recommend reading this collection if you haven’t read at least the first few books in the Mercy Thompson series. These stories aren’t meant to stand alone. Each one includes a forward by Briggs with little details about how or why she wrote each story, and where they fall in the series, which I thought was a nice touch.

Of the new stories, the two I enjoyed most were Silver and Roses in Winter.

Silver is written mostly from Sam’s point-of-view and tells the story of his first meeting with Ariana. It’s set during the time when Bran was still ensnared by his mother, the witch. It wasn’t a light read, but I loved it.

Roses in Winter is the story of the young girl whose father asked Mercy for help in Blood Bound (for those who don’t remember, he was the reporter whose daughter was turned when she was ten. For three years they kept her caged during the full moon, but she was becoming too strong. They sent her to Bran to help her learn to control her wolf). Interestingly, the story is told from Asil’s point-of-view. He unexpectedly befriends Kara, but he’s afraid he may lose her as she isn’t able to control her shift. Asil is a character I’ve been interested in since he was introduced in Cry Wolf, and I really enjoyed this story. I’m glad we got to see what happened to Kara.

This is an excellent collection and definitely worth reading. Having all the novellas in one place is great, and each story brings the characters to life. I’m going to grade the collection as a whole, rather than each individual story separately.

4.5 out of 5

four-half-stars

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Guest Review: Dark Heat: The Dark Kings Stories by Donna Grant

Posted June 4, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Dark Heat: The Dark Kings Stories by Donna GrantReviewer: Tracy
Dark Heat by Donna Grant
Published by Macmillan, St. Martin's Paperbacks
Publication Date: December 31st 2013
Genres: Romance, Paranormal, Collections & Anthologies, Fantasy
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four-stars

The Dark Kings are sworn to defend an ancient legacy of dragon magic. But their fiercest challenge lies in the modern world, where a woman's love conquers all. These are their stories.

Includes a bonus Dark Kings story: Passion's Claim!

Dark Heat gathers together these favorite stories of Donna Grant's Dark Kings.

Dark Craving

Fueled by ancient magic—and enflamed by human desire—the Dragon King known as Hal can transform himself at will into one of the legendary winged creatures he is sworn to protect. But one thing he can never do is fall in love…with a mortal woman.

Everything has gone wrong in Cassie’s life and she’s down on her luck. Her brother, Dan, who lives in Scotland has agreed to let her live in his cottage which happens to be near Dreagan land – the land of the Dragon Kings who are dragon shifters.

Cassie manages to make it to Dan’s cottage but can’t make it inside the house during a blizzard. She almost dies in her car but is saved by Dragon King Hal. Hal is immediately drawn to Cassie and when she wakes up, she’s drawn to him as well. They can’t seem to stay away from each other, though Hal does try. He and his fellow Dragon Kings had had a spell put on them many years before so that they would feel nothing towards humans (their kind had been betrayed by a human in the past). Unfortunately Hal’s feelings are blowing the spell right out of the water. He becomes determined to stay with Cassie no matter what it takes.

Night’s Awakening

The dark immortal warriors were never meant to experience human desire. But when Guy, a member of an ancient order of shape-shifting warriors, meets Elena—a mere mortal whose beauty and blind ambition shakes him to his core—all bets are off…

Sloan insists on taking her new employee caving, much to Elena’s dismay. Elena’s not really into it but Sloan insists and since Sloan is her new boss she decides to humor her. Unfortunately Sloan also insists that she needs to investigate a shaft that she’s found once they’re deep in the cave. That doesn’t turn out so well for Sloan and leaves Elena alone in a cave she can’t get out of with a severely sprained ankle. Luckily she is saved by 3 Dragon Kings who are all big and fierce but also very kind – especially one, Guy.

Guy is almost immediately smitten with Elena but Con, the King of the Dragon Kings, knows something more is going on with Sloan and Elena being on Dragon King land. He fears that someone knows about them being dragon shifters and they must put a stop to it before any of their secrets get out. They decide to investigate Elena’s place of work, PureGems, in London, to see if they can find who knows what.

While all the decisions are being made Guy and Elena are getting closer together and quickly falling in love. Guy wants nothing more than to keep Elena safe but she knows she must help find anyone who has it out for the Dragon Kings and agrees when they decide to make her bait.

Dawn’s Desire

For centuries, the Dragon Kings have hidden their shapeshifting powers from the world. But when a mortal enemy threatens to expose them, the warrior Banan must leave his secret lair in the Highlands to risk his life for the dragons within—and resist the temptations of human love.

PureGems’ London base is run by Richard Arnold. His secretary is Jane Holden. Banan, a Dragon King, is acting as a chauffer for the company so that he can see who needs investigating further. Jane meets Banan when he drives her to the airport. Almost immediately they’re attracted to each other and Banan approaches Jane to have dinner with him. She eventually finds out that he and his friends need info about Richard Arnold and she agrees to help, but then believes that Banan only approached her for her help – not because he liked her. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Though the spell had been cast on the Dragon Kings so that they wouldn’t feel for humans, that apparently doesn’t apply when it comes to the Kings’ fated mates. Jane is Banan’s and he doesn’t want to let her out of his site once he realizes that she is his one and only. He can’t be with her at all times, however, and soon the person who knows more than he should about the Dragon Kings is kidnapping Jane.

The three first stories in the Dark Kings series were pretty entertaining. Yes, the stories move fast and the couples fall in love quickly but when you’re fated to be together, why wait, right? lol Even though each story had the insta-lust theme and the pairings were fast it all worked for me.

In the second book we started to see what would be a continuing story ARC and that made the story that much better. I can only assume that the next novel continues where book 0.3 (Dawn’s Desire) left off and we’ll eventually find out who the villain is. I gotta be honest, I’m dying to know.

There is a bonus story in the book called Passions Claim that continued Balan and Jane’s story as well as showed us a big problem in Elena and Guy’s relationship. I admit I don’t normally enjoy reading about tension between lovers after they’ve had their HEA but it is reality and this one had a happy ending so it was all good.

If you don’t mind fated mates and you’re a fan of dragon and shifter stories then this book is definitely one you need to read.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars

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Guest Review: Stranded with a Hero by Karen Erickson, Coleen Kwan, Cindi Madsen & Roxanne Snopek

Posted April 13, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Stranded with a Hero by Karen Erickson, Coleen Kwan, Cindi Madsen & Roxanne SnopekReviewer: Tracy
Stranded with a Hero by Karen Erickson, Coleen Kwan, Cindi Madsen, Roxanne Snopek
Published by Macmillan
Publication Date: November 11th 2013
Genres: Romance, Contemporary, Collections & Anthologies
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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three-stars

Getting snowed in never felt so good as boundaries are crossed, opposites attract, and friends discovering more promise a Christmas no one will ever forget.

 

Tracy’s review of Stranded with a Hero by Karen Erickson, Coleen Kwan, Cindi Madsen & Roxanne Snopek

Loving Mindy by Karen Erickson
Mindy can’t believe she’s stuck with her ex–best friend—and the man whose heart she broke years ago—for the holidays, though the tension between them is more than enough to keep them warm. Josh Powers never forgot Mindy, but he can’t risk his heart a second time.

Mindy’s recently divorced and her ex-husband’s being a jerk. She was supposed to have the 2 boys fro Christmas but he “suddenly” tells them that he’s getting remarried in Hawaii during Christmas and Mindy can’t keep her boys from Hawaii. Now she’s lonely but not for long as her old friend Josh plows into a snow bank (trying to avoid hitting her cat) and has to come in to wait for the snow plow. Of course as there’s a blizzard happening he’s there for a while.

Josh has loved Mindy for years. He wanted to be with her but she pushed him away in high school when her then boyfriend, now ex-husband stated he didn’t like how much time they spent together. Josh sees this time with Mindy as a second chance and he’s not about to let her go without a fight.

The story was sweet in a reunited kind of way. Josh was all in from almost the word go and Mindy was quite comfortable with him despite her thinking, just minutes before, that she would never be with him. It was a bit frustrating at first because Mindy was on again off again but everything soon worked out.

White-Hot Holiday by Coleen Kwan
Naomi’s sworn off men like Aaron—rich, cocky, and dismissive of holiday traditions. Aaron decided to spend Christmas in sunny Australia to avoid snowy New York, not to fall for the woman his best friend warned him away from. But when a volcano grounds him, Aaron and Naomi’s relationship becomes eruptive.

Aaron is on vacation and is in Australia. He visits an old college buddy and meets his niece who’s about the same age as Aaron. He’s instantly attracted but he lives in New York so he really doesn’t think long-term. Of course Naomi’s different and he soon sees there’s more than just lust there.

The story also focuses on Aaron’s hatred of all things Christmas. Of course as he then gets stranded in Australia and is unable to make it home for Christmas he realizes that he misses all those things he previously thought were cheesy.

This story was ok. I liked Aaron’s discovery about Christmas but I found the rest of the story to be very slow.

An Officer and a Rebel by Cindi Madsen
The last person police officer Nate Walsh expected to discover in a snowstorm is his brother’s ex and former town rebel, Kelsey Cooper. She’s his complete opposite and totally off-limits, but as they wait out the storm together, all he can think is how he wishes she’d stay forever.

Kelsey was always a rebel in her own way. Never criminalistic but definitely one who walked the link of trouble. She misses her hometown so on her way to her mother’s house she decides to take an alternate route and see how the old town is doing. The tires on her car are bald though so when she tries to brake in order to avoid hitting a deer, in a snowstorm, she almost goes over the side of the hill. She’s saved by her Nate who is the brother of her one-time boyfriend, Derek.

Nate always had a thing for Kelsey so is thrilled when she takes him up on her offer to stay at his house. Of course he’s not making a move because his brother had mentioned that Kelsey was the one he let get away. Nate loves his brother and wouldn’t take his girl. But Nate and Kelsey get along so well and they’re amazing together and want to be together but there are many things standing in their way.

A very cute story which I really enjoyed. I loved Nate and Kelsey together and the way the author brought them together had just the right amount of sugar and spice.

Saving the Sheriff by Roxanne Snopek
Frankie Sylva was determined to free the reindeer cruelly held for a holiday roadshow, even if it meant risking her own life. Deputy Sheriff Red LeClair set out to save a stranger in a snowstorm, never expecting he’d be the one to be rescued.

Frankie’s trying to save some “reindeer” from being killed and puts them into a wild mustang sanctuary. Of course the man who’s watching the sanctuary, Red, finds her and since she’s stuck in the snow, takes her back to the owners house while the snow storm passes by. Red and Frankie are distrustful of each other but soon find the spirit of Christmas in each other.

I think this was my favorite of the anthology. I loved Frankie and her made up words to Christmas songs – they made me laugh. Of course when Red finally joins in it’s even better. It’s a great story about two lonely people who need each other at Christmas and I very much enjoyed reading it.

Overall rating: 3 out of 5

You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place

This title is available from Entangled Publishing. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

three-stars

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