Sexy male succubus Rael has an insatiable appetite for men that gets him into all kinds of trouble. And he’s just found his favorite flavor: hunky blond detective Lars Thornsson. When those cool Nordic looks combine with Rael’s smoldering dark charms, all Hell could break loose.
Lars’s job at the Paranormal Enforcement Agency means he’s supposed to be policing demons, not falling in lust—or love—with them. But there’s something about this feisty little sex demon that hits all his buttons.
With no shortage of deadly sinners in his city, from serial-killing succubi to drug-dealing demons, all Lars can do is try to keep his private life from interfering with his work. But Rael has a knack for getting mixed up in cases that threaten both their domestic harmony and their lives.
What a great set of Novellas! The Collection is a set of novella’s that make up a series about Paranormal Enforcement Agency cop, Lars, and succubus demon, Rael.
In the first novella, A Calling for Pleasure, we have Rael being summoned by a teenager who was definitely expecting a woman to show up, not a man. Rael is hungry though so shows the boy a good time and then goes on his way. He eventually gets arrested because the PEA – arresting officers Lars Thornsson and his partner Chelle Rochelle – think he’s the sex demon that’s being killing men all over town. Lars doesn’t want to be having a million little fantasies in his head about his murder suspect but he manages to hand over the number of a good lawyer and next thing you know Lars is taking Rael home to stay. Rael eventually helps Lars and Rochelle catch the true killer.
In novella #2, A Blast from the Past, Rael gets visited by his ex-lover, who is an envy demon and dead set on getting Rael back. Rael doesn’t want to have anything to do with his cheating ex boyfriend and is happy being a one man man – namely with Lars.
In novella #3, A Wish Too Far, Lars and Rochelle are looking for a drug dealer who is handing out wish pills but when they wish and aren’t specific enough they don’t exactly get what they want. Rael hears about some evidence in the case from Lars and thinks about a friend he had a couple centuries earlier so goes about trying to find out if his friend and the drug dealer are one in the same.
Novella #4 brings us A Glutton for Punishment. Rael has started working as a guest chef on a tv show when the head chef and host of the show turns up kidnapped. Rael gets temporarily moved to the position of head chef but then starts to get threatening notes. On top of that Rael has to say that he’s boyfriends with the hosts PA because he’s not a legal resident and doesn’t want to get Lars in trouble. This makes for some tense times between Lars and Rael.
I have to say that every single one of these novellas was fun, funny, entertaining, hotter than hell in the sex department and just all around great stories. Nothing deep and meaningful, just an unlikely romance with lots of humor thrown in.
Rael and Lars are perfect together. Lars is willing to put his job at stake to keep Rael and though Rael always finds himself in a bit of trouble it all gets worked out. I loved their easygoing relationship and all its little quirks.
Then we had secondary characters who threaded through all of the stories – Rochelle the petite and pretty foul-mouthed partner. She could scare the skin off a lion with just one look. She had a soft underbelly though and she ended up showing it time and time again without taking away from any of her toughness.
There were other PEA officers Dumont and Dee – what a bunch of numbnuts. Merrow wrote these two so well and I loved hating them.
I loved Lars and Rael’s pet salamander, Kitty, who was loving and incendiary at the same time. lol She was adorable.
“It’s just another manic Monday. Wowo wowo” (Starting with a little Bangles music from 1986.)
Actually I think the Monday so far is going alright but I’m still manic from this past weekend. On Saturday we helped some friends move and that was tiring of course. Then on Sunday morning I helped, with 3 other parent, run a youth group car wash fundraiser in the church parking lot. The adults moved cars and the youth group washed and dried while the car owners were in church. The wash was free we just asked for donations. We ended up raising over $1,000.00 so we were exhausted afterwards but quite excited. The money will help pay for the mission trip the youth will be on at the end of the month. They’re headed to the Diocese of Navaholand to help out. I think it will be great. My oldest is going – hopefully she’ll have a good time.
After I got home from car wash I wound down a bit and then my youngest asked the hubby and I to rearrange her room and add the bookshelf that’s been sitting in the garage forever. She’d asked before but the weekend schedule just never left enough time. Well it was mostly the Tracy show with the hubby coming in when he needed to muscle things around but it finally got done and looks great. It should after spending 5 hours moving, trashing and reorganizing the place! lol Needless to say there wasn’t much time this weekend for reading but I did get some done this past week:
So, what did I read last week?
I started the week with The Secrets of a Runaway Bride by Valerie Bowman. This is book 2 in the Secrets Brides series and I have to say I liked this one much better than book one. In this story we have Annie or Anne who is love with a complete milktoast man who can’t seem to keep his own opinion. He’s always going with what others. If he’s with his father he goes with his pov. When he’s with Anne, he goes with her pov. Frustrating. Anne is making a bit of a mess of things as she can’t seem to leave Arthur alone and she’s pursuing him so that he’ll propose once again. They were stopped from getting to Gretna Green in the last book but that was 6 months before and she’s ready for the relationship to go to the next level. Her sister is on her honeymoon but before she left she asked a friend, Jordan Holloway, to look after Anne. He gets frustrated as well as he’s constantly trying to save Anne from herself but then falls in love with her himself. It was a very cute book and an enjoyable read. A bit predictable but fun, nonetheless. 3.5 out of 5 (read for Book Binge)
Next up was Flirting With Disaster by Ruthie Knox. This story is about Katie who took off with her boyfriend when she was just out of high school and got married but he eventually took off leaving her high and dry. She’s back in her hometown of Camelot and her brother has gotten her off the couch and into the office in his security firm. He lets her take a case along with one of his security guys, Sean, who has liked Katie since he was in high school. He has a stutter though so tries to refrain from speaking as he’s sure he’ll much it up. They eventually work together on the case as well as in the bed but they both get more involved in each other than they planned. This was a good read as well. I liked that Sean stuttered and Knox didn’t have him magically saved by the end of the book. He was who he was and I loved it. You can read more of my thoughts here. 3.75 out of 5
My next read was Damned if You Do: The Complete Collection by JL Merrow. This is the story of a male succubus and a police officer with the Paranormal Enforcement agency who meet and can’t keep their hands off each other. There are 4 novellas/stories in this m/m collection and they’re all very entertaining and sexy. I’ll post my review for this one later this week. 4 out of 5
The Secrets of Mia Danvers by Robyn DeHart is about a woman who is blind. She lives in a cottage at the corner of a Duke’s property but was abandoned by her family and the ton was lead to believe she was dead. When she witnesses a murder she heads to the Duke’s home and from there the duke and Mia become friends and then so much more. I really like blind heroines as they give a level of depth in a story that might not otherwise be there. Things get heated, especially when Mia thinks that the killer might be the duke’s brother. 3.75 out of 5 (read for Book Binge)
Last for the week was Life of the Party by Kate Davies. This is the 3rd and final story in the Girls Most Likely to… series. This story was Tess’s and it’s about her friend and kind of co-worker, Luke, getting together. She has self-esteem issues and he’s been burned by previous girlfriends due to his American Indian heritage. It was a good story and a good way to pass the time but nothing made it really stand out. 3 out of 5
I’m a little behind this week – so sorry. For those of you who know I work at a church all I have to say is that it’s Holy Week. The week before Easter is a incredibly busy week for me and frankly I was so exhausted when I got home last night I couldn’t have written a coherent sentence if I wanted to! Luckily it’s a short week for me since I have Friday off so I’ll have 3 days to recover. :P)
It was a pretty exciting week at the Tracy house last week. My youngest, after 4.5 years, got her black belt in Taekwondo this past Saturday. She did a really great job and I’m just so damned proud of her I could hardly stand it. The test was 4 hours long so after she was done she was almost too exhausted to enjoy it, poor thing. A few months ago she had decided that she wasn’t going to continue after she got her black belt but now that she has it she’s reconsidering so we’ll see what comes next. I put together a video that is made up of various parts of the test so but it’s fun. She actually had to learn Korean terminology and the Korean national anthem for the test, which is on the vid (sorry it’s a bit shakey).
With her main instructors
With the Grand Master
Other than that it was a pretty quiet week so I’ll get on to what I read last week. It may seem like I read a lot but really 6 of these were either shorts or novella’s so that counts as like 1 book, right. 🙂
I started off the week with Six Years by Harlan Coben. This is a mystery about a man and a woman who fall in love and spend 3 glorious months together. Jake knows that this is the real deal – like forever – and he knows Natalie feels the same. Unfortunately after 3 months she breaks up with him and then almost immediately invites him to her wedding to another man. After the ceremony she asks him to respect their marriage and never try to contact her. He promises but after six years he sees an obituary for the guy she married, Todd, and goes to the funeral. Surprise, surprise, the wife that Todd has had for many years, and has teen kids with, isn’t Natalie and Jake is more than confused. He’s never stopped loving Natalie and he won’t give up until he finds out what happened to her. This was a really good book that I just couldn’t put down. I read it in one sitting and I couldn’t figure out what was going on – which I loved. I hate when I figure it all out before the big reveal. Anyway, really good and definitely worth the read if mystery’s are your thing. You can read my full review here at Book Binge. 4 out of 5
Next up was Timeslip by Clare London. This is the story about Kevin who has the hots for his more than uptight new boss, Marcus. Kevin is really confused when Marcus starts showing up in his room. Marcus feels real but he can puff out at a moment’s notice. The reasoning behind it all was really quite clever. While the story was pretty short I really loved the whole premise and of course the way Clare wrote it I was completely involved. 4 out of 5
Next up was Light the Fire by JL Merrow. Kurt is sad and alone 2 years after his partner was killed. He gets frustrated by Matt in the gym as he just seems too…out there and perky. Kurt decides to give Matt a chance and things work out. I love Merrow’s stories and this one was no different. I could feel the pain and loneliness that Kurt was feeling, especially when he went to visit Raoul’s grave but I loved seeing him giving life a chance again and it was just a good story. 4 out of 5
Icicle by Natalie Vale was about Sean who has been in a serious relationship with Zack decides that he needs to go and do. He’s not sure what he needs but he’s got the bug and ends it with Zack, and not in a good way. Now it’s 10 months later and he gets caught in a snow storm and is close to death when he gets saved by Ezra. Ezra is a wanderer of sorts himself and he helps Sean see that sometimes home is the place you need to be. Good story with a paranormal aspect to it. 3.75 out of 5
Next was Second Son of a Duke by Gwen Hayes. This is the story of two men who force their siblings to marry. They’re more or less ambushed but they make the most of it. After a horrid wedding night they start to see each other in a different light and end up falling in love. It was a cute story but not real deep. 3 out of 5
Most Likely to Succeed by Kate Davies is the story about Kelsey who was voted Most Likely to Succeed in high school. Now it’s time for her high school reunion and she’s ashamed and embarrassed because she feels she’s done nothing with her life. Her old friend Nathan is there and while they become lovers he also shows her that taking care of your family is definitely something to be proud of. You can read my review here. 3.75 out of 5
Let it Be Me by Kate Noble is about Bridget who is an accomplished pianist who would like nothing more than to study with composer Vincenzo Carpenini. After he fails to show in England as she was told she talks her family into a vacation in Venice and goes looking for him. She ends up as his student but only because he’s in a competition to save his own skin. His companion, Oliver Merrick, thinks more of Bridget than he does the music and they end up falling in love. This was a great book. I loved the descriptions of the music and what it portrayed and how it made a person feel. Just a great story. 4 out of 5 (read for Book Binge)
My next read was Only Lycans Need Apply by Michele Bardsley. This is the story of Moira who is an archaeologist and has almost discovered the resting place of ancient vampires. She’s interrupted in her dig by Lycans and vampires both good and bad who want what’s in the tomb. Moira finds out she’s a different being than she thought and only she can open the tomb, with help from Lycan, Drake. I found this story to be entertaining and I liked the whole good vs. bad vampire and the adventure of opening the tomb but I thought the romance itself wasn’t much. It was kind of meeting, attraction, sex then love. It happened way to fast, imho and the characters really knew nothing about the other at all. A bit frustrating but the rest was pretty good. 3.5 out of 5 (read for Book Binge)
Casual Sex Friday by Evie Kiels was next. Ben and Calvin went out a while back and Ben was bored out of his freaking mind. Now Calvin asks Ben out every Friday and Ben has to repeatedly say an adamant no. Ben thinks he’s got Calvin figured out but when Calvin finds Ben in the park watching a live feed of people having sex on a website. Calvin takes over Ben’s fun from there and Ben sees that there’s a whole other side to Calvin he’d never known existed. This was another cute story with lots of sex and not too much depth…definitely entertaining. 3 out of 5
Semper Fi by Laura B. Cooper and Christopher Cooper was my next read. Hot cover, not so hot book. (I’m gonna just copy and paste what I put on Goodreads): Mattie gets drunk dialed by her boyfriend of 7 1/2 years, Travis, and since they’re in different states he asks if he can screw someone else cuz he’s horny. She says, “hell no” and he says, “we’re done.” She heads to the airport so she can fly to where he is and see him face to face. We get the impression that she’s going to just talk to him to see what’s up but later in the book we find out that she was going to break up with him. She’s stuck at the airport all night because of a storm and meets Logan who is a Marine who is on his way back to his unit after attending his father’s funeral. The two hit it off and talk for hours. Next think you know they’re kissing AND having sex behind the ticket counter at the gate (and getting caught)! Seriously! This scene was so ridiculous I just laughed. She had “heaving breasts” and “raging nipples” and when he looked at her “steam rose from his eyes.” OMG what a crack up! I was a bit perplexed by Mattie’s insistence that Travis not sleep with anyone else and then she’s goes and does it in public with a guy she just met. Double standard or what? Logan falls hard and fast for Mattie but Mattie doesn’t have a clue what’s going on in her life and can’t decide what she wants to do about the two men. The story goes on to deal with Mattie and Travis, Mattie and Logan, Mattie and her family, Logan and the memories and demons he’s dealing with, and it kind of goes off into a weird area with Logan’s dad and his kinky sex habits. It’s a story that had a great idea but it was just written oddly, imho. What started out as a fun romp tried to become too deep and it just didn’t work. 2 out of 5
The Duke’s Tattoo by Miranda Davis is the story of Prudence who was banished by her brother after an incident with the Duke of Ainsworth. Nine years later and she has the man kidnapped, drugged and tattooed but then discovers it’s not the right Duke of Ainsworth. Jem, the current duke wants to get back at the person who did this but when he figures out who it is and then meets her he wants something completely different – her, permanently. But Prudence is an independent woman and isn’t falling into Jem’s arms. The story was cute and I loved the humor and witty banter that Jem and Prudence had going but imho things were dragged out way too much and I found myself wanting things to move along. Prudence on one had was wonderful and the other so incredibly dense I wanted to shake the woman at times. In the end it was a good story and I’m glad I read it. 3 out of 5
Last for the week was Feral Sins by Suzanne Wright. Latent shifter Taryn Warner is the healer of her pack but treated like crap – even by her father – because of her latency. She is approached (in an unorthodox way) by Trey Coleman who wants her to act like his True Mate for 3 months so that he can build an alliance with her father’s pack in order to fight his uncle’s pack. The couple have their issues but they can’t stay away from each other in the bedroom. This doesn’t make things easy as they can be mates but each of their real True Mates died previously. The story is mostly a love story with a great number of incredibly hot sex scenes involved. We got a tortured hero in Trey and a snarky, sarcastic, smart-ass heroine in Taryn and I loved them both. Taryn was awesome. I know a lot of people don’t like the snarky bitch heroine but if done right they are wonderful. Taryn kind of reminded me of Sara Morrighan in Shelly Laurenston’s Pack Challenge (another book I love to pieces) in that she was an alpha female who was underrated and pushed aside for what is thought her handicap, but doesn’t take shit from anyone. Her snappy comebacks to Trey’s grandma (who was a bitch) were wonderful and I laughed each time. I will definitely be reading the next book in this series. 4 out of 5
When Ted Ennis steps out the doors of the Criterion Theatre for a cigarette and finds himself in Victorian London, he begins to doubt his sanity. At first he thinks it’s all a film set, and is sure that the strikingly handsome young man leaning against a lamppost must be the leading man…
What starts as a sordid transaction with a beautiful rent boy quickly turns into something much deeper, drawing him back again and again as he gets to know Jem and craves meaningful encounters with him.
But Ted doesn’t understand the exact conditions necessary for his trips through time—and for Jem, time may actually be running out. Now Ted has one last shot to get back to Jem and save their relationship, before it’s too late…
It’s been 18 months since Ted’s parents and partner died in a car crash. Ted isn’t physically 100% but he’s enjoying his job at the Criterion theatre very much. One night after he gets things settled for the production he heads out for a smoke and finds what he thinks is a movie set. He ends up talking to a rent boy named Jem who Ted thinks might be an actor. Though Jem “takes care of” Ted, Ted has no money to pay Jem but promises to bring money to him the next day.
Ted thinks he might be losing his mind, especially when his boss says there’s no movie set. Ted also thinks that it all might be in his mind and that he’s personally manipulating it. Both wrong. Ted actually is going back to 1886 and spending time with Jem makes him happier than he can remember being since the accident. The two end up exploring the city in 1886 and have a wonderful time together, getting closer emotionally as well as physically.
One night Ted heads out to see Jem but when he opens the front door he still in his time. He freaks and doesn’t manage to get back to Victorian London for 3 months. When he does he finds out some distressing news about Jem and is determined to change history. He finds a way to get back to Jem as he was when Ted first met him, but he’s not sure he’ll be able to get Jem to understand the urgency of the situation, and Ted can’t see life without Jem.
Let me start by saying that I think JL Merrow is becoming one of my favorite authors. Her books draw me in every time and just don’t let go. I’ve read some of her work but lucky for me there’s a huge list of her books that I haven’t read that will keep me busy for a while. 🙂 This book was no different. There’s a certain quietness about Merrow’s books that ease you into the story and then sock it to you emotionally. The creativity and originality of how Ted time traveled in this story was really quite brilliant as well.
With Ted and Jem things happen relatively quickly but no once did I doubt their feelings for each other. I loved that while Jem might have doubted Ted’s claim that he was from a different time he didn’t ever let Ted know. I loved that Ted could find Jem after he thought the rest of his life would be spent alone after the tragedy that he had endured. Ted never once looked at Jem as any less of a person for being a rent boy and I highly admired him for that.
In the end this was a great story that I know I’ll be rereading in the not so distant future. Rating: 4 out of 5 JL Merrow
I can’t believe how fast last week went. I guess when I’m off work I expect the days to go by slowly and they never do!
I told you all about my Christmas in my post last Thursday but then I had more excitement this past weekend. First on Saturday I met up with the So Cal Bloggers in Rancho Cucamonga and we had a great time eating, talking and swapping books (which apparently, according to the security guard in the parking log, is considered loitering. Yeah, whatever). Anyway, it was a fun time with Rowena, Holly, Rosie, Lori, Renee, Judith and newcomer, Lynda from A Fish With Sticks. I’m sad that we didn’t get a group picture this time but oh well.
Then yesterday it was my “baby’s” 15th birthday. She was in rare form yesterday and touchy as all hell – but we had a good day going to lunch, doing some shopping and then dancing our asses off to Just Dance 4. I’m a total dork when it comes to that and can only do the 1st level stuff but the kids like to point and laugh. 🙂 Here’s my child at the mall when we went out for frozen yogurt. Kris called it perfectly when I posted this pic on twitter – adorably grumpy. She wouldn’t even smile at the camera because she thinks she looks horrible when she smiles – not true! Yep, that’s my oldest!
Anyway, it was another good week. I’m still off work – yay! – and won’t go back til Wednesday. Life is good. 🙂
My first book of last week was Dragon Lovers byJo Beverley, Mary Jo Putney, Barbara Samuel and Karen Harbaugh. This one sat on my shelf for a long while and I’m not sure why – I always say that, don’t I? Anyway, I love dragons so this was a really great book for me. The four stories were different enough that I liked all of them. There was a pure fantasy, a medieval, a historical set in Japan and a contemporary and they all had good stories. If you like dragons this is a must. 4 out of 5
Next up was Chance of a Lifetime by Jodi Thomas and omg was it good. I love her Harmony series!! The stories included the quiet librarian and her best friend from high school and a lawyer in town who’s trying to find the person who’s trying to kill him along with his hot protector. I love the way Thomas weaves a story together and this one was no different. Great book. 4.5 out of 5
My next read was The Wicked Wedding of Miss Ellie Vyne by Jayne Fresina. The story is about a man who is looking for the man who supposedly stole his families diamonds and finds a family enemy instead. The heroine is actually the “guy” who as the diamonds but he won them in a gambling match. The pair end up together while one looks for his diamonds and the other tries to figure out how to tell him that she’s the culprit. It was a fun read but it had a ton of different tropes involved that made it seem a bit on the ridiculous side. It was still good though. I’m just kind of wondering what the author will use in her next book since she used so many tropes in this one. 3.5 out of 5
The Impetuous Amazon by Sandy James is the 2nd book in the Alliance of the Amazons series and it was another good one. This is Megan’s book and she is Fire. She has a bit of a problem controlling both her fire and her desire to kick demon ass in the middle of a public place. Johann is sent to try to help her but the couple has been in love for years – unbeknownst to the other – and their attraction hits nuclear levels. The problem is that Sentinels and Amazon’s are forbidden to be together and that poses a huge problem. This was another great installment in the series. I really liked Johann a lot. I’ll be posting my review next week of this book. 4 out of 5
A Marquess for Christmas by Vivienne Westlake was my next read. This is a Christmas historical and it was a good one. I’ll post my review of it this week.
Last for the week was a couple of short stories by JL Merrow. I love her work and these were no different. The first was A Ghoul Like You that had a young man picking up guys in a bar that he thought were vampires and then killing them. Unfortunately he meets Niall and tries to kill him but he’s a ghoul. The story is a bit odd but pretty darned good. Only about 19 pages so a quick read. 3.5 out of 5
Then there was Tortoise Interruptus which had a man who sometimes turns into a tortoise being kidnapped and finding love. It was so cute and unexpected and I love Merrow’s sense of humor – just a great story. 4 out of 5