Tag: Ellora’s Cave

Throwback Thursday Review: Promises Linger by Sarah McCarty

Posted January 4, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 10 Comments

Throwback Thursday Review: Promises Linger by Sarah McCartyReviewer: Holly
Promises Linger by Sarah McCarty
Series: Promises #1
Also in this series: Promises Prevail (Promises, #3)
Published by Ellora's Cave
Publication Date: 2004-07
Genres: Fiction, Erotica
Pages: 432
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Promises Linger By Sarah McCarty 1868 Wyoming Territory Elizabeth Coyote will do anything, anything at all, to save the ranch she loves, including marrying Asa MacIntyre, a broad shouldered, lean hipped silver eyed gunslinger with a ruthless reputation for getting the job done. Asa dreams of a place of his own, a wife, and the respect that comes with both. Marrying Elizabeth may have started as a means to an end, but nothing in Asa's wildest dreams prepares him for the excitement of unleashing the carnal woman beneath his wife's prim and proper exterior.

*****Every Thursday in 2018 we will be posting throwback reviews of our favorite and not-so-favorite books.

This review was originally posted on December 19, 2007.

The first book I read by Sarah McCarty prior to this was Caine’s Reckoning. When Casee reviewed that book, she said something about the cover being a vast improvement from SM’s other covers…At the time, I said she was crazy, because I didn’t like the cover for CR. But then I saw the cover for this one and her other Promises books and now I understand…this cover is horrid. Those people scare me. shudder

Anyway, it’s lucky I don’t judge books based on their covers. This one was a fabulous read.

Elizabeth Coyote is in a pickle. Her father died and left her his ranch, but a woman alone in the late 1800’s can’t run a cattle ranch on her own..she needs a man to help her. So she marries the first man that comes a’courtin, Brent, only he turns out to be the worst scoundrel ever. Since it turns out the marriage wasn’t legal and never consummated, she turns instead to Asa McIntyre. He’s got a reputation for being mean as spit when he’s riled, but also gentle with women and children. She doesn’t have the best opinion of men, but figures to go with the lesser of two evils and marry Asa to save her ranch.

For Asa’s part, he’s always wanted a spread of his own and a lady for a wife. So when Elizabeth proposes marriage to save her ranch, he figures this is just God’s way of telling him dreams do come true. But he’s in for a surprise, because Elizabeth isn’t quite the lady he made her out to be, and saving the ranch could be his most difficult task yet.

I’ve never been a big fan of Westerns (Sorry Sybil). There isn’t a particular reason, they just aren’t my cup-a, but Sarah McCarty is going a long way towards changing my mind about this. I love her writing voice and the way she weaves her stories.

Before I go into my thoughts on this, can just say SM really knows how to open a story. Every book I’ve read of hers (I’m on my 4th now) so far has started off with a bang. This book was no exception. I was absolutely in awe of the heroine when she marched into a saloon, held her erstwhile husband at gun point and demanded he return her money and walk away from her. And when she smacked him across the face with a stool I cheered. Talk about starting with a bang.

Anyway, I really enjoyed the story of Elizabeth and Asa. He’s tough as nails, but also caring and tender when it comes to women and children. And though Elizabeth is stubborn and independent, she’s not gratingly so. She realizes she needs a man to keep her ranch going and though she makes a mistake the first time around, she quickly realizes it and does what she can to correct it. And once she marries Asa, she does her best to be a good wife to him.

Asa was good to Elizabeth, too. Though he’s always wanted a spread of his own and a lady for a wife, he doesn’t take it for granted once he has it. He treats Elizabeth with respect and does his best to tease her into good moods. He understands that Elizabeth has had a rough time of it since her father died and does his best to take care of her and keep her safe.

Elizabeth is scarred by more than what’s happened since her father’s death, however. Turns out dear old dad wasn’t a shining example of parenthood and she’s got some unresolved issues. But she doesn’t shy from Asa..much. She tries her best to overcome her fears to please him, and I was captivated by their story.

I did have a few issues, however. The main one being the way Asa constantly shrugged aside Elizabeth’s offers of help around the ranch. She just wanted to be thought of as an equal partner, and he just wanted to keep her safe, but the way they skirted around the issue without really talking it out started to bug me. Her good friend Aaron also got on my nerves. He acted condescending and rude, and Elizabeth just shrugged it off. That might not have bothered me, except whenever her husband acted that way (or one of his men did) she got her knickers all in a twist over it. That seemed incongruous to me. Of course, it all worked out in the end, though, so the above mentioned wasn’t enough to ruin the story for me.

I’m giving this one a:

4.5 out of 5

Be sure to check out the other two books in the series, too.

four-half-stars


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Publisher Ellora’s Cave Sues Book Blog Dear Author #ChillingEffect

Posted September 30, 2014 by Holly in Discussions, News | 6 Comments

I’m sure most of you have heard about this. For those who haven’t, a quick recap.

On September 14, Jane of Dear Author wrote a blog post titled The Curious Case of Ellora’s Cave. She outlined the history behind the company – praising them for being one of the first e-publishers to offer authors and readers erotica-type content – then related news of their slow decline in management and business practices. Per Jane’s article and the subsequent comments from EC authors, editors and cover artists: authors and sub-contractors haven’t been paid in a timely manner; royalty checks are at an all-time low and Tina Engler/Jaid Black, the founder and owner of the company has been taking shopping trips, buying new property and looking into starting new ventures (this, apparently, from her Facebook page, Twitter stream and personal blog).

EC is suing Jane and Dear Author for defamation, claiming what Jane wrote in her blog post was false.  I am not a lawyer. I don’t claim to understand a whole lot about the law in general and defamation in particular, but my basic understanding is that in order for EC to win this suit they have to prove that what Jane said – their authors/cover artists/vendors/editors/tax liens/etc not being paid – isn’t true. In order to do that, I would assume they’d have to provide company records, financial statements, etc. I may be mistaken about that, so don’t take my word for it, but I do know part of a defamation suit is proving what was said was untrue and that the untrue statements hurt the reputation of the one filing. So how else would they prove what she said wasn’t true but opening up their records for public scrutiny? Even worse, however, is that EC is demanding the anonymous commenters’ true names be revealed.

Here’s the thing, though. This suit isn’t about EC’s reputation.  Not really. It’s about is instilling fear in a community of authors and bloggers. Engler has been rumored to be notoriously vindictive when it comes to authors speaking out against her company. As bloggers, we’re often threatened by authors when we write bad reviews/report about the goings-on with the community, etc. That’s a scary thing for those of us who aren’t lawyers and don’t treat our sites as a business venture, but rather a hobby. I don’t know about you, but spending thousands on a legal battle isn’t my idea of a good time. Especially since this site doesn’t make any money on its own.

The Chilling Effect, defined by Wikipedia as:

In a legal context, a chilling effect is the inhibition or discouragement of the legitimate exercise of natural and legal rights by the threat of legal sanction.

Basically, I think EC filed this lawsuit as a scare tactic. They want bloggers and their authors/staff to be scared of speaking out against them. Sunita wrote a post about it that goes into more detail, but essentially EC  is saying “we’re watching you”. As Sunita says in her post:

EC picked the wrong person to sue, no question. But by filing at all, they’re also reminding their authors and editors that they have no compunction about publicizing the personal information of anyone they see as an adversary. It’s not necessary to sue an individual person in this case; suing Dear Author LLC would have taken care of their needs.* But it wouldn’t have sent the same “we know who you are” message. EC has already stipulated in internal communicationsthat authors “include both legal name and pen name when communicating with Ellora’s Cave.” This just ups the ante.

Author Courtney Milan wrote about not being cowed by EC and their tactics. In her post, On Limited Purpose Public Figures #notchilled, she discusses the effect this lawsuit has already had in terms of the Chilling Effect and says she is Not Chilled (#notchilled).

CM notchilled 2

 

Jane has hired a lawyer and plans to fight this. I say good for her. Good for all of us. We shouldn’t be silenced. We shouldn’t be afraid that speaking out about a publisher or author will result in the worst possible outcome. We’re saying we won’t be silenced and we hope you won’t be either.

Today Jane asked for a bit of help. If anyone who worked for or with EC has any information they’re willing to share, please contact her.

DA Request for Info

 

Also, if you’re an EC author, be sure to take a look at the Ellora’s Cave Author Exodus Support Thread, hosted by author Deirdre Saorise Moen.

For those interested in following the story, here’s a compiled list of links detailing the troubles at EC and the coverage of the suit against DA.

Also, LATimes Jacket copy picked up the story.


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Guest Review: Above All by Rebecca Brooks

Posted August 30, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Above All by Rebecca BrooksReviewer: Tracy
Above All by Rebecca Brooks

Publication Date: July 18th 2014
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
four-stars

Reeling from a sudden breakup, Casey Webb leaves Brooklyn, drives north and settles in a sleepy mountain town in upstate New York. She’s convinced she’s happy being alone—until she reads the acknowledgments in her ex-boyfriend’s hit debut novel, thanking his new girlfriend “above all”. Good thing Ben Mailer is in town. The hot, young Brooklyn-bound chef offers the perfect distraction, and soon Casey is having the best sex of her life—on a mountain, in the lake, all over her cozy cabin. But as their weekend fling turns into something more, the demands of Ben’s family and budding career make moving to her idyllic town impossible. Now Casey must decide what she can’t live without—her life in the mountains or the man she wants as hers. Smart, sweet and blisteringly hot, Above All is about getting lost…and finding yourself right where you belong.

 

Tracy’s review of Above All by Rebecca Brooks

Casey is settled in her cabin in the Adirondacks. She never expected to leave Brooklyn but when she did leave, and found her mountain home, she felt as if a huge weight had been lifted off of her shoulders. She loved living in the mountains as it made her feel free.

She had given up many years of her life to kowtow to a temperamental boyfriend who in the end broke up with her. She is floored when she reads the acknowledgements in his best-selling novel and sees that he thanks another woman “above all.” It’s been about a year and a half since they broke up but it still hurts when she thinks about it and all she sacrificed for him over the 7 years they were together.

She’s working the desk at the campground that she works at when she checks in a group of late 20-somethings. She meets Ben and the pair have an instant connection. Instead of spending all of his time with his group of friends (as it’s a bit of a college reunion), Ben finds himself spending time with Casey. They talk about their lives and though Casey doesn’t share her past with Ben he tells her of his struggles with his parents and his decisions about his future. He is in culinary school and they want him to be a top chef in an expensive restaurant while Ben wants to bake and have a specialty sandwich shop. That’s his passion but his parents don’t understand.

Ben and Casey become closer but then Ben leaves to go back to school. He returns eventually gets closer and with Casey. They make plans for their future together (after he graduates culinary school in a month) but unfortunately there are more than just Casey and Ben involved in their lives. To shorten a famous saying, the best laid plans often go awry, and in this case it was totally true.

I really liked this contemporary romance. I thought the writing was engaging and once I started reading I didn’t want to stop.

Casey was a great character. I think she had run from her hurts and heartache, which I don’t always think highly of, but I think that ended up being the best thing for her. Her life changed drastically but it all ended up working out really well for her and she was happier than ever. She was smitten with Ben from the first moment she saw him and while I think she fell fast, sometimes that just happens.

Ben was cute and had a good life ahead of him. I think he was young in this story and had a lot of growing to do, which he eventually did. Because of his age he was still greatly influenced by his family and that played a huge role in this story. There were parts in the book where his actions made me want to smack him a time or two, that’s for sure. I won’t give you certain details about the book because I think that it’s something you need to read for yourself, but I will say that Ben did hurt Casey. In the end I don’t feel that he groveled enough to completely redeem himself. His actions did speak incredibly loudly but I think he needed to grovel just a bit more. 🙂

Overall this was a good read and one I recommend. For me, I think I’ll definitely be reading more from Brooks in the future.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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

four-stars


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Excerpt & Giveaway: Bloodlust Denied by Christina Phillips

Posted October 29, 2013 by Holly in Giveaways, Promotions | 2 Comments

Genres: Paranormal Romance

Check out Bloodlust Denied by Christina Phillips

Blurb

Tired of the thin-blooded aristocrats in 1815 London, Alexius yearns for better sport. He is drawn to a dark-haired seductress who shows no fear and refuses to obey his commands. Entranced by such novelty, he denies his bloodlust and decides to keep her to warm his bed.

 Immortal vampire hunter Morana has never mistaken her prey before, but the dark stranger mesmerizes her, enticing her to forget everything but the dangerous pleasure she finds in his arms.

Neither one can deny the pull of the other, but there is something beyond the lust—a recognition neither can put a name to. The past and present collide and unless they discover the truth behind the lies, Death will triumph once more.

Inside Scoop: Silk makes much softer shackles than iron, but is just as binding as our lovers engage in light BDSM sport with spanking and mild submission in this risqué Regency story.

Bloodlust DeniedBuy from:

Ellora’s Cave   Amazon   ARe   Booktopia    Kobo    Nook    Angus & Robertson   Amazon UK

Excerpt:

A ripple of movement around her drew her reluctantly back to the present. The elderly Lady Harriet, her unwary mentor tonight, fluttered like a flustered schoolgirl as the young gentlemen retreated and Mr. Shaw, the Master of Ceremonies, approached, unaccountably beaming with delight.

 

The breath strangled in her throat, heart collided against her ribs. The tall, broad shouldered man being introduced to Lady Harriet was the reason she questioned her purpose, her existence, her sanity.

 

She tried to relax her fingers before they shattered her fragile fan, but it was her only lifeline. The only thing preventing her from doing or saying something so outrageous the ton would gossip about her for innumerable Seasons to come.

 

They turned to her. She heard Mr. Shaw explain she was the Lady Harriet’s great-niece, but his voice came from a great distance as each amplified beat of her heart echoed through her ears and thundered through her blood.

 

“May I present His Grace, the Duke of Havenshire.”

 

He bowed, and a shiver raced along her spine as she recalled the last time he had bowed to her just seconds after she’d demanded his soul. She forced a curtsey, her knees stiff, thighs shaking and finally risked glancing up at him.

 

Vibrant green eyes mocked her in a face so starkly beautiful her breath escaped in a shocked gasp. The flickering lantern in the alley had revealed his strong jaw, his high cheekbones and sensual lips, but had concealed the extent of his charismatic allure that enfolded her like a living entity.

 

But his eyes. She stared into them, mesmerized. In the dark alley, it had been impossible to discern their color and yet she knew these eyes. They were as familiar to her as her own but that was impossible. Madness.

 

He was speaking. She struggled to clear her mind, to compose her senses. Resisted the urge to press her hand against her face, just to check her cheeks weren’t really as hot as they felt.

 

“May I have the honor of this dance, Miss Craven?” The quirk of his mouth was the only indication he found such formality amusing. She flicked the tip of her tongue over her lips and didn’t miss the way his eyes followed the movement.

 

She could refuse. Turn and run. And knew she never would.

Author Bio:

Christina loves writing dark tales of tough, sexy warriors and vampires who are brought to their knees by their heroines. A mystical touch of fantasy or paranormal usually weaves its way through her stories, although strangely enough this wasn’t her intention when she first starting writing her historical romances. But when ancient gods and goddesses get involved, it’s best just to go with the flow 

 

Christina is an ex-pat Brit who now lives in sunny Western Australia with her family. She is also owned by three gorgeous cats who are convinced the universe revolves around their needs. They are not wrong.

Author links:

Website    Facebook    Twitter     Goodreads    Blog

Giveaway

I have an e-copy of Bloodlust Denied to giveaway to one lucky commenter on this post  Just leave a comment or let me know which you prefer – sparkly or spanky?

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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