Tag: 4.25 Reviews

Review: The Darkest Pleasure by Gena Showalter

Posted July 11, 2008 by Casee in Reviews | 3 Comments

The Darkest Pleasure

Reyes is a man possessed. Bound by the demon of pain, he is forbidden to know pleasure. Yet he craves a mortal woman, Danika Ford, more than breath and will do anything to claim her—even defy the gods.

Danika is on the run. For months she’s eluded the Lords of the Underworld, immortal warriors who won’t rest until she and her family have been destroyed. But her dreams are haunted by Reyes, the warrior whose searing touch she can’t forget. Yet a future together could mean death to all they both hold dear.


This is the third book in Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld series. I have to tell you, I am really loving this series now. Each book has been better than the last. The Darkest Pleasure is no exception.

When the Lords of the Underworld were cursed with the demons they released from Pandora’s box, Reyes was given the demon of Pain. To appease his demon, Reyes is compelled to do fun things like cut himself or jump off the roof of the fortress so all his bones will break. His life has been nothing but good times. So when he’s drawn to human Dannika Ford, he immediately dismisses the feelings she invokes in both him and his demon. Yet when one of his brothers, Aeron the keeper of Wrath, is given the task of killing Dannika and her family, Reyes will not allow that to happen.

Dannika’s life has changed since her and her family decided to come to Budapest in honor of her grandfather. Kidnapped and imprisoned by men that are obviously more than men, it’s all Dannika can do to keep her sanity. When she’s released, her family splits up and Dannika knows what life on the run is. Thrown into a life that she was never prepared to live, Dannika is forced to do things she never thought she’d have to do. Including killing another human being.

Though she wants nothing to do with Reyes or any of the men he calls brothers, Dannika has no where else to turn. Recruited by the Hunters to help bring the Lords down, Dannika will do anything to protect her family. Then she gets to know Reyes and the hell he lives through each day. The more she learns about him and his family, the less inclined she is to help the Hunters. Then her and Reyes discover that she may have special abilities of her own. Abilities that the Gods will do anything to destroy.

I really enjoyed where the author took the series in this book. We found out who the leader of the Hunters is, which really turned the series in a new direction. I really liked learning more of the Lords secrets as well as Dannika’s. What Reyes had to do to keep Dannika at the end of the book was perfect. It was a great ending and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

4.25 out of 5.

This book is available from HQN. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

Other books in the series:

Book Cover Book Cover

Read my review of The Darkest Night here and The Darkest Kiss here.

Review: Anthology – The Power of Love

Posted June 28, 2008 by Holly in News, Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Anthology – The Power of LoveReviewer: Holly
The Power of Love by Lori Foster, Erin McCarthy, Toni Blake, Dianne Castell, Karen Kelley, Rosemary Laurey, Janice Maynard, LuAnn McLane, Lucy Monroe, Patricia Sargeant, Kay Stockham, J.C. Wilder
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: June 3rd 2008
Genres: Fiction, Anthologies (multiple authors)
Pages: 320
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four-stars

Twelve all-new stories of women's resilience, empowerment, and fulfillment, by bestselling and award-winning authors.
In this engaging anthology of never-before published stories, twelve authors are united by their unique visions of the female experience. A young woman is torn between the security of her fiancé and the excitement of an old flame; a desperate wife is forced into the workplace for the first time in her life; an ambitious professional woman finally finds the courage to take control of her career; and her man; an emotionally fragile divorcee finds resolve in the ethereal visitations of an archangel...
These are just some of the women who discover and rediscover their own wonderfully fallible but ultimately strong selves in the shadow of love, romantic love, platonic love, new love, and lost love. Readers will be touched, inspired, charmed, and entertained by these original stories of disparate longings, unsettled lives, and the power of love.
Includes 12 stories by New York Times Bestselling Author Lori Foster and Erin McCarthy, Toni Blake, Dianne Castell, Karen Kelley, Rosemary Laurey, Janice Maynard, LuAnn McLane, Lucy Monroe, Patricia Sargeant, Kay Stockham, and J.C. Wilder.
A PORTION OF THE PROCEEDS FROM THE POWER OF LOVE GOES TO THE BATTERED WOMEN’S SHELTER OF CINCINNATI
 

 

This is the book I blogged about here. It’s a collection of short stories by 12 authors dedicated to raising money for domestic violence prevention. I was pleasantly surprised by this collection. Although I enjoy most of these authors, I didn’t expect anything great from these stories, because they’re so short. 20-40 pages doesn’t seem like much, but these authors managed to utilize the content and deliver wonderful stories.

These never before published stories offer something for every reader. Friends to lovers, love late in life, lovers reunited. I was impressed with the quality of writing, especially from authors I hadn’t tried before. A woman is reunited with her old high school flame, a widowed grandmother finds love again in her neighbor’s father, a man finally convinces his best friend they should be together. Although I enjoyed some better than others, I wasn’t disappointed by any of them. I laughed out loud a few times and even got misty eyed.

Do yourselves a favor and pick this up. Not only is it for a good cause, but it’s perfect for light summer reading at the pool or beach.

I’m not going to grade each individual story, but overall I give the collection:

4.25 out of 5

This book is available from Berkley Trade. You can buy it here.

four-stars

Anthology Review: Three Brides for Three Bad Boys by Lucy Monroe

Posted June 11, 2008 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Anthology Review: Three Brides for Three Bad Boys by Lucy MonroeReviewer: Holly
3 Brides For 3 Bad Boys by Lucy Monroe
Series: Mercenary/Goddard Project #2
Published by Brava
Publication Date: 2005
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 277
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Goodreads
four-stars

Rand
After tragedy struck six years ago, Rand buried what was left of his heart. But Phoebe Garrison refuses to give up on him. When nothing else gets the brooding hunk to open up, she blackmails him, offering him the coveted deed to property his company needs--if he agrees to spend a week in her bed.

Colton
Waking up in Vegas next to a naked showgirl named Fayre after a red-hot night of passion puts a smile on Colton Denning's face--until he discovers that Fayre is his new wife. What can stable, workabolic Colton possibly say to this unpredictable force of nature, a woman who expects him to love, honor, and cherish the vows he took, drunk, in a Vegas chapel?

Carter
As marriage proposals go, Carter's offer to Daisy Jackson lacks romance: Marry me and I'll give you a half million dollars. Four years ago, Carter let Daisy go for her own sake. Now, he needs a wife to fulfill the requirements of his father's lucrative will, and this could be his chance to make amends with Daisy.

 

They’re not the marrying kind—more the Do NOT Take Home to Mom kind. But these three brothers are about to meet the tempting women who have what it takes to tame their inner bad boys…

Three Brides for Three Bad Boys is a collection of stories by Lucy Monroe about three brothers who share the same father but different mothers. Each was brought up in a different way, and they didn’t know about each other until they were grown. It was originally published in 2005 and re-issued February 1, 2008. I let my cousin borrow it ages ago (I had the original) and she just got it back to me, so I decided to do a quick re-read of it. I’m so glad I did. This is one of my favorite anthologies.

RAND: After tragedy struck six years ago, Rand buried what was left of his heart. But Phoebe Garrison isn’t giving up, and she’s got an enticing deal: the coveted deed to property his company needs in exchange for one hot week in her bed. It’s an offer even the brooding Rand can’t refuse. Now, as every hunger is explored, every secret revealed, Rand knows he’ll need more than one week to indulge his fantasies with this amazing woman…

This is my least favorite of the three stories. It was well written, but the characters didn’t grab me and the story didn’t pull me in. I really liked that in the end Phoebe realizes she needs to leave Rand and he begs her to stay, but otherwise this was just pretty blah all the way around for me. Not bad, but not great.

3.5 out of 5

COLTON: Waking up in Vegas next to a naked showgirl named Fayre after a scorching night of passion puts a smile on Colton Denning’s face-until he discovers she’s his new wife. How could the stable, workaholic Colton have married such an unpredictable force of nature, a woman as likely to throw pottery as a kiss? But when it comes to tender love-and erotic war-Colton’s discovering that all is Fayre…

This is by far my favorite of the three, I think because so much emotion is packed into such a short story. Colton is a wonderful character, well drawn and complete, full of humility and responsibility. I think the best part about it is that he decides he needs Fayre and doesn’t waver from that. Despite the fact that she shows up unexpectedly, claiming to be his wife and pregnant. Once he decided she was his, that was it.

Fayre was a great character, too, though I do think she gave in just a bit too quickly. Colton needed to pay a bit more for walking out on her and treating her like a one-night-stand, but overall I enjoyed her character.

4.5 out of 5

CARTER: As marriage proposals go, Carter’s offer to Daisy Jackson lacks romance: Marry me and I’ll give you a half-a-million dollars. To fulfill the requirements of his father’s lucrative will, he needs a wife, and Daisy needs the money. But after a wedding night of absolutely explosive sensuality, Carter wants more than an arrangement. He wants Daisy, to have, to hold, and everything else…

I really liked this story. Daisy is an adorable character and one that never failed to make me smile. She’s been in love with Carter forever, so she is absolutely delighted when he offers her half a million to marry him. Basically, in her mind anyway, he’s paying 500 grand to sleep with her. I love the way she relishes the thought and constantly rubs it in Carter’s face.

He hates that she says that, because 1) he doesn’t need to pay for sex and 2) he wants Daisy to feel secure once their marriage ends. It’s cute watching him try to convince her. This is just a cute, fun story.

4.0 out of 5

Overall grade:

4.25 out of 5

This book is available from Brava. You can buy it here.

four-stars

Guest Review: Black Silk by Sharon Page

Posted June 9, 2008 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Black Silk by Sharon PageReviewer: Holly
Black Silk by Sharon Page
Series: Rodesson's Daughters #2
Published by Kensington Publishing Corp.
Publication Date: April 1st 2008
Genres: Fiction, Erotica, General
Pages: 352
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Goodreads
four-stars

Dangerous Seduction
Maryanne Hamilton had expected to be shocked, but the wanton orgy she finds in Mrs. Master's salon makes her wonder if she has walked into hell. Desperate to escape, she comes upon the master of sin himself--Lord Swansborough. Fascinated by his nakedness, she longs to touch every inch of his long, hard body. And when he bids her come near, she quickly surrenders to his wicked promises of carnal pleasure and sensual ecstasy. . .
Praise for Sharon Page and her novels. . .
"Strong, character-driven romance. . .touching and emotional. . .extremely sensual and erotic." --Romantic Times
"How do you have an orgasm without sex? Read Sin by Sharon Page. . .delicious, delightful, decadent, and dazzling."--Just Erotic Romance Reviews (Gold Star Award)
"Sinfully delicious. Sharon Page is a pure pleasure to read."--Sunny, New York Times bestselling author of Over the Moon (anthology) and Mona Lisa Awakening
"Blends history, emotion and hot, hot, hot sex. . .blazing erotica within an amazing love story." --Kathryn Smith, USA TODAY bestselling author of Night of the Huntress
"Scorching love scenes to make you sweat and an intriguing plot to hold it all together." --New York Times bestselling author Hannah Howell

I have a guest review up at TGTBTU for Black Silk by Sharon Page.

Book Cover
 

This novel was a pleasant surprise for me. It’s a historical, which I didn’t know until I started reading it. I fell right into it, despite the fact that I generally avoid historical erotica novels. The plot was surprisingly deep for the way it started out (I thought it was just going to be a quick, light erotica) and the characters were well drawn and deeper than it seemed at first glance. From the first page I was hooked and couldn’t walk away.

Read the rest here

This book is available from Kensington Aphrodisia. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

four-stars

Review: A Perfect Match by Shelley Bradley

Posted May 22, 2008 by Tracy in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: A Perfect Match by Shelley BradleyReviewer: Tracy
A Perfect Match by Shelley Bradley
Published by Samhain Publishing
Publication Date: March 1, 2008
Genres: Contemporary
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four-half-stars

Compatible? Never. But the numbers don't lie.

Sports reporter Mitch MacKinnon is stuck writing an expos about a local dating service, and no amount of foot-dragging or complaining will get him out of it. When he gets a look at the sexy blonde owner, things start looking up. He'd love the chance to date Juliette Lowell a time or two. But he's here to dish the dirt that'll be his ticket to a big-time newspaper; a relationship is the furthest thing from his mind.

Juliette's got Mitch pegged from the word go-he's an overgrown jock who wouldn't know a true emotion if it was wrapped in pigskin. Delicious dimples and killer brown eyes aside, the man is incredibly infuriating. All she needs is one chance to prove she can find a perfect match for anyone. Even him. Then her "foolproof" database spits out the results. Mitch's perfect match? Juliette. If she's right, Mitch will have to eat his words-and the story that'll take him to the top.

Warning: This title contains hot, sweaty couch dancing; long, slow, hot, wet kisses that last three days, and toe-curling romance.

So I really enjoy books by Shelley Bradley. They have great stories and some of them are pretty damn steamy. So when A Perfect Match came out this past week I bought it immediately. I didn’t get a chance to read it right then since DIK had taken over my life and but frankly, who doesn’t like DIK?

Anyway, A Perfect Match is about a man, Mitch, who works for a newspaper in a relatively small city (which happens to be the city I currently live in)as a sports writer. The “Community Happenings” woman goes out on maternity leave and he is asked to cover for her by doing a story on a local matchmaking business.
Enter Juliette Lowell, owner of A Perfect Match. Mitch is very skeptical about her methods of matchmaking and writes a not so wonderful review of her business. Juliette challenges Mitch to let her set him up with her system and she if she can’t make a believer out of him. He eventually says yes, but only if she enters herself into the system to be set up as well. Juliette’s not so sure how this will go since she has a boyfriend and he’s asked her to marry him. She’s not said yes, but doesn’t really feel right about going out on a date while dating someone else. But her boyfriend is very understanding, says he trusts her, and she should most definitely do it since it will prove the reporter wrong in the end.

When all is said and done and all the matchmaking info is put into the system it turns out that Mitch and Juliette are a 93% match. Although they’ve been very attracted to each other Juliette is NOT overjoyed at the prospect of going out with Mitch. But they do, with each person planning half of the date and end up having a really good time…especially that incredibly steamy kiss at the end of the night. Wow.

Mitch is so wanting more of Juliette, but again, she’s almost engaged so how is that to happen? Juliette’s feeling some strong attraction but unfortunately it’s not toward the man she’s “almost” engaged to. The problem is that Juliette moved a ton of times while growing up with a pretty much never there father so she wants security in her life. Mitch is a fly by the seat of your pants kinda guy and is willing to move wherever, whenever in order to move up in the newspaper business and further his career.

As much as I’d love to go on and tell you the rest of the book I’ll suffice it to say that the way Mitch and Juliette work out their differences and end up coming together is just heart-warming. The romance between the two is wonderful in its simplicity and I loved that about this book. Although its not an easy road for the two of them Ms. Bradley made to story realistic and believable. I thoroughly enjoy reading this and will continue to recommend it.

Rating: B+
four-half-stars