Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Guest Review: In Bed with the Beast by Tara Sivec

Posted June 4, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: In Bed with the Beast by Tara SivecReviewer: Tracy
In Bed with the Beast by Tara Sivec
Series: Naughty Princess Club #2
Also in this series: At the Stroke of Midnight
Published by Swerve
Publication Date: June 5, 2018
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 304
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Goodreads
four-stars

A tale as old as time: she needs a place to stay, he's a grump with a secret and an extra room...can love find a way?

Meet the Naughty Princess Club, a series from USA Today bestselling author Tara Sivec that brings readers to Fairytale Lane and the hilarity—and romance—that three women fall into once they decide to strut their stuff and bring on their own happily ever after.

Living in her overprotective dad’s basement, shy Belle lives her life through books. Being a part of the Naughty Princess Club is the first adventure she’s ever had, plus she desperately needs the money to save one of her favorite places - the local library.

But when her new friends and new business gets her kicked out of her dad’s house, Belle is rescued by the surly Vincent “Beast” Adams who invites her to be his house guest until she gets back on her feet. Despite his attitude problem and long list of rules, Belle finds herself warming to the muscled man with a penchant for growling and starts seeing a gentle side to him that wasn’t there before.

Yet there’s a room that Beast keeps locked and Belle keeps getting hints that Beast is hiding something…can a nerdy librarian tame the beast or will their romance be over before it has a chance to blossom?

Belle is a book nerd.  She works in a library and that’s her dream job.  She lives in her dad’s basement and though she’s an adult, he is extremely overprotective of her.  When she met her two best friends, Cindy and Ariel, she never imagined she’d be starting a stripping business with them, but it happened.  She’s a bit anxious to actually do that stripping but she’s working on her confidence.  When she gets kicked out of her house by her dad she doesn’t want to bother her friends and ends up sleeping in the library.  She’s saved from that by an unlikely source – a man named Beast who works at the local strip club as a bouncer.

Beast, whose real name is Vincent, is completely besotted with Belle.  He takes her home and sets her up in his spare bedroom.  Despite his form of communication aka grunting, Belle finds him charming.  He shows her with deeds what a good guy he is.  They manage to have some hot interactions but Belle’s not sure if he’s just trying to help her with her confidence or not.  Belle is soon falling in love but when a secret that Beast is hiding comes out her belief in happily ever after is put to the test.

This was another great story in the Naughty Princess Club series.  I really loved Belle and her awkwardness.  She spouts statistics and little tidbits of knowledge when she gets nervous and I found it charming.

This book was in first person POV so of course we didn’t get any info from Beast, which was disappointing.  Beast had a hidden past that comes out (a good one!) and I would have loved to have known his thoughts on a lot of things that happened in the book.  Alas, it was not to be.  Despite that I thought he was a great guy who had serious communication issues.  He came through in the end, however so that was a plus.

This is definitely a romance between Beast and Belle, but it’s also sort of a coming-of-age story involving a 24-year-old.  That seems a bit odd, I know, but Belle had never really come out of her shell.  She’d been protected by her dad all her life and her friends were the ones she read about in books.  She did go to college and get her master’s degree, but I got the impression that she lived at home that whole time.  Meeting and befriending Cindy and Ariel were the first steps in getting her to be her own person.  I loved reading about how she was taking things step by step to change her life and lead it the way she wanted to lead it and doing it in her own way.

Overall I really liked this story – just as much as I liked the first book in this series, At the Stroke of Midnight.  If you’d like to read a couple of fun, contemporary romances then these are two I recommend picking up.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Throwback Thursday Review: Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Posted May 24, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn KenyonReviewer: Rowena
Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Series: Hunter Legends #1
Published by St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: February 18, 2002
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 337
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Goodreads
three-half-stars
Dear Reader,

Being trapped in a bedroom with a woman is a grand thing. Being trapped in hundreds of bedrooms over two thousand years isn't. And being cursed into a book as a love-slave for eternity can ruin even a Spartan warrior's day.

As a love-slave, I know everything about women. How to touch them, how to savor them, and most of all, how to pleasure them. But when I was summoned to fulfill Grace Alexander's sexual fantasies, I found the first woman in history who saw me as a man with a tormented past. She alone bothered to take me out of the bedroom and onto the world. She taught me to love again.

But I was not born to love. I was cursed to walk eternity alone. As a general, I had long ago accepted my sentence. Yet now I have found Grace--the one thing my wounded heart cannot survive without. Sure, love can heal all wounds, but can it break a two-thousand-year-old curse?

Julian of Macedon

See original cover edition: here

Every Thursday in 2018, we’ll be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books.

This review was originally posted on March 8, 2010.

This book is a nacho kind of book. Full of cheese and yet you crave these kinds of books from time to time. When I was trying to figure out what books I was going to read for the Author Spotlight, I wanted to take the Kinley MacGregor route but ended up picking this book up instead. It’s been years since I read this book and I had forgotten all of the little reasons why I enjoyed this book but reading it again, I could see why.

It’s one of those escape reality, leave all the realness of the world behind you and just read kind of books. I mean, look at the blurb…an older than dirt man cursed and stuck in a book, only able to come out to pleasure women who summon him. He’s a demi-god and he’s stuck forever in a book because he’s a love slave. Are you kidding me?

As cheesy as this book was, SK made it work for me. I enjoyed reading this book but it made me giggle at how obsessed I used to be over this series. I used to be utterly obsessed, stalking the SK website for updates on the books and this is the book that started all of that madness for me. Julian was a too good to be true heroes which SK is popular for. Her heroes are those troubled heroes that you want to hold close to your heart and never let go.

Grace was one of the more memorable heroines from this series. To be honest, a lot of the heroines from this series I don’t remember now outside of their names. But I remembered Grace and seeing her try to help Julian out and introduce him to the modern day world was a treat that I enjoyed more than I thought I would. She was a stand up heroine and when Julian makes her ex boyfriend look like the tool that he was, I rejoiced and I loved Julian all the more.

Being introduced to characters that will show up later in the books was a treat that I enjoyed. This book is kind of fluffy and even though Julian isn’t a Dark Hunter, I liked this book. Would I recommend this book? Yep, I don’t think it’s a must read first for the Dark Hunter series but it would be good to read this book first because Julian shows up in future books and well, he’s a hottie so duh!

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Guest Review: The Big Alpha in Town by Eve Langlais, Milly Taiden & Kate Baxter

Posted May 17, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Big Alpha in Town by Eve Langlais, Milly Taiden & Kate BaxterReviewer: Tracy
The Big Alpha in Town by Eve Langlais
Published by St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: May 15, 2018
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 384
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Goodreads
three-stars

Three hot stories about three sexy shifters from a trio of today's hottest paranormal romance authors, headlined by bestselling authors Eve Langlais and Milly Taiden!

Bearing His NameMeeting his mate should have been cause for celebration. There’s just one teeny tiny problem. Jade thinks Ark might have impregnated her sister. He didn’t, but convincing Jade is going to take a bit of honey.

Owned by the LionKeir’s been told to stop playing the field and settle down—difficult advice for a hard and hot man with a lion’s heart to follow. But his sights have always been set on Ally. She’s his mate, plain and simple. With her sweet and delicious curves, she’s nothing but sugar and trouble all rolled into one. But he’s known her and sparred with her for years. She’s his best friend’s little sister, and it’s going to take a whole new level of convincing that he’s the mate for her.

No Need Fur LoveMoving with his pack to the tiny town of Stanley, Idaho has Owen Courtney a little on edge. With literally no women in sight, Owen will be lucky to find a date, let alone his true mate. But you know the saying about a werewolf walking into a bar…Gorgeous wood nymph Mia Oliver is on a mission: Find a suitable male to get her good ‘n pregnant and provide her with an heir. But when Mia decides to pick up a gorgeous and oh-so willing werewolf at the bar, she realizes she might be in over her head. …

Bearing His Name by Eve Langlais

Jade sent snarky “Congratulations you’re a father!” cards to a whole slew of men in the same extended family.  Her sister Ruby is pregnant by one of them, but she has no idea which one.  She was at a Halloween party and only knows that the guy was dressed as Zeus – as were a bunch of men there.  When Ark heads to Jade and Ruby’s apartment he’s not sure if he’s the father of Ruby’s baby or not but he hopes he isn’t because it looks like Jade is his mate.

This story was just ‘OK” imho.  I liked Jade and Ruby but Ark made me crazy.  He pretty much stalked Jade and would break into her apartment and watch her sleeping. That is the definition of creepy stalker in my book.  I think this was all supposed to be forgivable because they were mates and he just wanted to be with her, etc.  It wasn’t.  He was also so arrogant it made me want to hit him. Because of his attitude I never really got into the romance – probably because I kept thinking Jade could do better.

Owned by the Lion by Milly Taiden

Keir knew immediately upon meeting Ally that she was his mate but he didn’t tell her.  He wants to woo her but she hates him something fierce, for some reason that is never explained.  He finally gets her to talk to him and she finally sees he’s a good guy.  Too bad all of his many women keep coming around.  Of course it’s hard to get away from them when they are literally everywhere they go.

This story wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great for me either.  I couldn’t understand why Keir didn’t just come out and tell Ally she was his mate.  It truly would have solved all the issues because of how mates in this world are so devoted to each other.  She would have known that the other women he’d been with previously now meant nothing to him.  Of course then their wouldn’t have been a story so…  Because of Ally “hating” Keir so much at first it was hard for me to get into their relationship, unfortunately.

No Need Fur Love by Kate Baxter

Mia is out for a one-night stand so that she can get pregnant. Her father, who is the leader of their wood nymph band says that if she’s produces a child then he’ll let her in more of the leadership issues.  Mia meets Owen at the first bar she goes to and it hardly takes any time at all before they’re leaving with each other.

Owen is at the bar wishing he could have the type of relationship that his Alpha has with his new mate when Mia walks in.  He knows immediately she’s his mate but after their night together she disappears.

This was a cute story.  I liked Mia and Owen a lot.  It wasn’t insta-love but pretty close.  Owen was all about the mate bond but Mia didn’t feel it the same way so that brought a little tension into the mix which was nice.

The story also involved Mia’s crazy dad and his hatred of Owen’s wolf pack which brought even more tension into the story which I liked.

Overall not a fabulous anthology for me but at least somewhat entertaining.

 

Overall rating: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: Song of Blood and Stone by L. Penelope

Posted May 6, 2018 by Holly in Features | 3 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

I’ve been hearing a lot about Song of Blood and Stone by L. Penelope lately. It sounds amazing. I’m excited to share an excerpt with you today.

Sunday Spotlight: Song of Blood and Stone by L. PenelopeSong of Blood & Stone (Earthsinger Chronicles, #1) by L. Penelope
Series: Earthsinger Chronicles #1
Published by St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: May 1, 2018
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 384
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads

A treacherous, thrilling, epic fantasy about an outcast drawn into a war between two powerful rulers.

Orphaned and alone, Jasminda lives in a land where cold whispers of invasion and war linger on the wind. Jasminda herself is an outcast in her homeland of Elsira, where her gift of Earthsong is feared. When ruthless soldiers seek refuge in her isolated cabin, they bring with them a captive--an injured spy who threatens to steal her heart.

Jack's mission behind enemy lines to prove that the Mantle between Elsira and Lagamiri is about to fall nearly cost him his life, but he is saved by the healing Song of a mysterious young woman. Now he must do whatever it takes to save Elsira and it's people from the True Father and he needs Jasminda's Earthsong to do it. They escape their ruthless captors and together they embark on a perilous journey to save Elsira and to uncover the secrets of The Queen Who Sleeps.

Thrust into a hostile society, Jasminda and Jack must rely on one another even as secrets jeopardize their bond. As an ancient evil gains power, Jasminda races to unlock a mystery that promises salvation.

The fates of two nations hang in the balance as Jasminda and Jack must choose between love and duty to fulfill their destinies and end the war.

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || KOBO

Excerpt

 

CHAPTER TWO

Jackal and Monkey stood at the edge of a wide canyon. Monkey asked, If I leap and make it to the other side, was that my destiny or merely my good luck?

Jackal replied, Our destiny can be taken in hand, molded, and shaped, while chance makes foolishness out of whatever attempts to control it. Does this make destiny the master of luck?

—collected folktales

Jack had found himself in a great many hopeless situations in his life, but this one was the grand champion—a twenty­two­year rec­ ord for dire occurrences. He only hoped this wouldn’t be the last occurrence and sent up yet another prayer that he might live to see his twenty­third year.

The temperature had dropped precipitously. His spine was as­ saulted by the rocky ground on which he lay, but really that was the least of his discomforts.

His vision had begun to swim about an hour ago, and so at first he thought the girl looming above him was a mirage. She peered down at his hiding spot behind a cluster of coarse shrubbery, her head cocked at an angle. Jack went to stand, years of breeding kick­ ing in, his muscle memory ofended at the idea of not standing in the presence of a lady, but apparently his muscles had forgotten the bullet currently lodged within them. And the girl was Lagrimari— not strictly a lady, but a woman nonetheless—and a beautiful one, he noticed as he squinted into the dying light. Wild, midnight curls floated carelessly around her head, and piercing dark eyes regarded him. Her dress was drab and tattered, but her smooth skin was a confectioner’s delight. His stomach growled. When was the last time he’d eaten?

Her presence meant he was still on the Lagrimari side of the mountain range bordering the two lands and had yet to cross the other, more powerful barrier keeping him from his home of Elsira: the Mantle.

The girl frowned down at him, taking in his bedraggled appear­ ance. From his position lying on the ground, he tried his best to smooth his ripped uniform, the green fatigues of the Lagrimari army. Her confusion was apparent. Jack was obviously Elsiran; aside from his skin tone, the ginger hair and golden honey­colored eyes were a dead giveaway. And yet he wore the uniform of his enemy.

“Please don’t be scared,” he said in Lagrimari. Her brows rose toward her hairline as she scanned his supine and bloodied body. Well, that was rather a ridiculous thing to say. “I only meant that I mean you no harm. I . . .” He struggled with how to explain him­ self.

There were two possibilities. She could be a nationalist who would turn him in to the squad of soldiers currently combing the mountain for him, perhaps to gain favor with the government, or

she could be like so many Lagrimari citizens, beaten down by the war with no real loyalty to their dictator or his thugs. If she was the former, he was already dead, so he took a chance with the truth.

“You see, I was undercover, spying from within the Lagrimari army. But now there are men looking for me, they’re not far, but . . .” He paused to take a breath; the efort of speaking was draining. He suspected he had several cracked or broken ribs in addition to the gunshot wound. His vision swirled again, and the girl turned into two. Two beautiful girls. If these were his last moments before traveling to the World After, then at least he had something pleas­ ant to look at.

He blinked rapidly and took another strained breath. His mis­ sion was not complete; he could not die yet. “Can you help me? Please. I’ve got to get back to Elsira.”

She stole an anxious glance skyward before kneeling next to him. Her cool hand moved to his forehead. The simple touch was soothing, and a wave of tension rolled of him.

“You must be delirious.” Her voice was rich, deeper than he’d expected. It eased the harsh consonants of the Lagrimari language, for the first time making it sound like something he could imagine being pleasant to listen to. She worked at the remaining buttons of his shirt, pulling the fabric apart to reveal his ruined chest. Her expression was appraising as she viewed the damage, then sat back on her haunches, pensive.

“It probably looks worse than it is,” he said. “I doubt that.”

Jack’s chuckle sounded deranged to his own ears, so it was no surprise that the girl looked at him askance. He winced—laughing was a bad idea at this point—and struggled for breath again. “The soldiers . . . they’re after me. I have to get back through the Mantle.”

“Shh,” she said, peering closely at him. “Hush all that foolish­ ness; you’re not in your right mind. Though I’ll admit, you speak Lagrimari surprisingly well. I’m not sure what happened to you, but you should save your strength.”

She closed her eyes, and suddenly his whole body grew warmer, lighter. The odd sensation of Earthsong pulsated through him. He had only experienced it once before, and it hadn’t been quite like this. The touch of her magic stroked him intimately, like a brush of fingers across his skin. The soft vibration cascaded over his entire body, leaving him feeling weightless.

He gasped, pulling in a breath, and it was very nearly an easy thing to accomplish. Tears pricked his eyes. “Sovereign bless you.”

Her expression was grave as she dug around in her bag. “It’s just a patch. You must have ticked someone of real good. It’d take quite a while to fix you up properly, and the storm’s coming. You need to find shelter.”

She retrieved a jar filled with a sweet­smelling substance and began spreading it over his wounds. The Earthsong had turned down the volume of his pain, and the cream soothed him even more.

“What is that?”

“Just a balm. Helps with burns, cuts.” Her hand paused for a moment. “Never gunshot wounds, but it’s worth a try.”

He laid his head back on the ground, closing his eyes to savor the ability to breathe deeply again. “A quick rest and I’ll be back on my way. Need to keep moving, though. Need to get back.”

“Back through the Mantle?” Her tone vibrated with skepticism. “And away from the Lagrimari soldiers chasing you?”

“Yes.” Her palm met his forehead again. She thought he was delusional. He wished he was. Wished the last few weeks had been nothing but the imaginings of an impaired mind.

EarthSinger Chronicles

Giveaway Alert

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 this month’s features.

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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

L. Penelope

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK |

Leslye Penelope has been writing since she could hold a pen and loves getting lost in the worlds in her head. She is an award-winning author of new adult, fantasy, and paranormal romance. She lives in Maryland with her husband and their furry dependents: an eighty-pound lap dog and an aspiring feral cat.


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Review: Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon by Kerrelyn Sparks

Posted May 4, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon by Kerrelyn SparksReviewer: Holly
Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon (The Embraced, #3) by Kerrelyn Sparks
Series: The Embraced #3
Also in this series: How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days (The Embraced, #1), So I Married a Sorcerer (The Embraced, #2), So I Married a Sorcerer (The Embraced, #2), Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon (The Embraced, #3)
Published by St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: March 27, 2018
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 448
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-stars

From the brilliant imagination of Kerrelyn Sparks comes a bold new fantasy romance series in which passion and magic collide. Behold the Embraced…

Gwennore has a talent. An Elf able to track down the cause of an illness and heal it, she’s a valuable asset to her people. When the kidnapping of a young girl thrusts Gwennore into the very heart of the realm of the dragons, she discovers not only a place of power and magic, but also a haunted land, plagued by an ancient curse that all but ensures extinction to the royal family. But when she meets the smoldering General Silas Dravenko, they strike a bargain—save the country from its cursed illness, and he will return the kidnapped girl. She’s been raised never to trust a dragon, but never did making a deal with the devil feel so good…

Silas has no way of curing the family he’s loyally served for years. But when a beautiful elf, long considered the enemy of the dragons, comes bursting into his world, Silas is awakened to passion and desire in a way he’s never felt before. But can he trust a sworn enemy to save the very existence he holds dear? And can their love survive those that threaten to tear them apart?

Gwennore was raised with 5 other women – her adopted sisters – in a convent on the Island of Moon. They were abandoned by their family’s because they were born Embraced (with magical powers). Gwennore is an Elf who can magically sense illness in others. She’s been training as a healer, but she isn’t as knowledgeable as she’d like to be. Still, when she’s accidentally kidnapped and realizes the realm is suffering under a curse, she agrees to help figure out the cause. General Silas Dravenko, aka General Gorgeous – has nothing to do with that. Really.

Silas is immediately attracted to Gwennore. He’s willing to do whatever he has to do to keep her close. The truth is, he needs her help. His Queen is being poisoned and his family is living under a curse. If Gwennore can help him figure out what’s really going on, he can’t pass that up. If he gets to spend time with her in the meantime? All the better.

I really liked Silas. He was such a great character. His jealousy was cute and I loved how he kept trying to get Gwennore to admit he was just as awesome as her favorite dragon. I also really liked the 8 rules for dating a dragon.

I wanted to like Gwennore just as much, but I didn’t really connect with her the way I did the previous heroine. She rarely used her talent and not much was explained about it. She constantly waffled, suffering from major bouts of self-doubt and angst, then standing up for herself. Her constant back-and-forthing got old, fast. The romance between them moved very slow. I wanted to see them get together, but honestly by the end I wasn’t very invested in them.

The end was too rushed and I really struggled with a lot of inconsistencies in the story. None of the major conflicts of the books were resolved to my satisfaction. I don’t want to include spoilers, but I will say I was highly dissatisfied with the brief paragraph in the epilogue that magically fixed everything. There wasn’t enough dragon in this for me, either. I’d have loved to see more.

There were parts I enjoyed (mostly Silas and his struggle with Gwennore’s love for the dragon), but overall I was underwhelmed. I definitely didn’t enjoy it as much as the previous book.

3 out of 5

The Embraced Series

three-stars


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