Tag: Katie Allen

Guest Review: Experimenting With Ed by Katie Allen

Posted August 7, 2010 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 0 Comments

Tracy’s review of Experimenting With Ed (Human Design #1) by Katie Allen

A self-professed lab geek, Claire doesn’t date much. In fact, she has more contact with the rats at the lab than with human males, not counting her toad-like boss, Gordon. When her coworkers drag her out to a club, Claire ends up fending off her drunk and handsy boss-until she’s rescued by Ed, the most beautiful bouncer she’s ever seen.

Her tentative, exhilarating relationship with Ed is interrupted when she learns her boss intends to falsify research data to win a grant. When Claire threatens to reveal the truth, she endangers her life, as well as Ed’s. Framed and forced to run, it-s not long before Claire discovers Ed is hiding a shocking secret of his own. Through arson, police chases and attempted murder, the two grow closer, the intensity of their lovemaking rivaling that of their harrowing journey. Claire would be worried about the ever-present danger and a grim future as a fugitive-if she weren’t so engrossed in her erotic experiments with Ed.

When Claire first meets Ed she’s in a tight spot. She just wants a little fresh air after the noise and crowd of a club and her boss is pestering her to go back in. Ed, one of the bouncers at the club, comes to her rescue and walks her home. Ed is a man of few words but is gorgeous to look at. Claire’s not quite sure what to make of him but thanks him for his chivalry. The next morning there’s Ed, waiting outside of Claire’s building to walk her to work. It’s a little odd but Claire decides to go with the flow – Ed is great to look at after all and he’s very nice.

That morning at work Claire’s boss asks her to falsify information for him so that he can be awarded a grant. She refuses and is fired. Her boss however isn’t one to leave loose ends and ends up trying to have her killed by setting her apartment building on fire. Ed saves Claire and is now helping her run from the law as her old boss is now saying that she started the fire as well as other atrocities. But Ed has secrets of his own and while they initially ran to save Claire – they’re now running to save Ed as well.

This was such a great book. Ed was the epitome of the strong silent type but you could see his personality coming through with just the few words he said. He starts to come out of his shell even more as the story moves on and it was like a baby bird breaking out of the shell. Ed and Claire share a bond from almost the first minute they meet but it seems so natural that I wasn’t put off by the suddenness of it.

I don’t want to give you any spoilers but there is definitely something going on with Ed. He has uber strength, majorly long distant hearing and walks without a sound. You’ll be wondering what’s up as you read the book but when the reveal comes it’s so very possible that you aren’t thrown from the story at all.

This is the 5th book that I’ve read by Katie Allen and I have to tell ya I think she’s now an auto-buy for me. Whether it’s an m/f or m/m book, I’ve not read a story of hers that I didn’t like. If you like a fun contemporary read that has beautifully hot smexin and light-hearted witty banter than this is definitely a book for you.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place

This book is available from Ellora’s Cave. You can buy it here in e-format.

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What I Read Last Week

Posted July 5, 2010 by Tracy in Features | 10 Comments

Happy Monday!

I hope you all had a good week last week.  I seriously did not. lol  It was really the week from hell.  I’m getting ready to go on vacation and there’s always so much work to do in preparation that sometimes it just doesn’t feel like it’s worth the effort.  Of course I won’t say that once I’m actually on vacation. 🙂  More about that in another post.

On to what I read last week.  Fair warning…most of what I read was for review on The Book Binge as I was catching up with reviews before vacation.  Most were novella’s or shorts:

First up was Experimenting With Ed by Katie Allen.  Novella – Read for The Book Binge.  This was a damn good story about a women scientist, her boss who’s after her and Ed.  Ed is a quiet, unassuming, soft spoken man who has no clue who he really is.  He’s been altered, along with 4 other men, by the government to be the perfect soldier – but they all escaped.  Reading about Ed and Claire and their race to get away from Claire’s boss was great and funny too.  I just love Allen’s writing.  4.5 out  of 5

Next I read Snow Play by Barbara Elsborg. Read for The Book Binge.  This was a cute little quickie about a woman who goes on vacation and has a rotten time.  When things seem to be going as bad as they can she meets Zach and has a great time.  My first read by Elsborg but I liked her writing style and humor – I’ll have to look into reading more of her books. 4 out of 5

After that it was Take It Off, Warrior by Eliza Knight. Read for The Book Binge.  A cute novella about a women interviewing strippers for her friends’ bachelorette party and ends up meeting the time travelling warrior of her dreams.

Next was Ghost Flute by Kimberly Dean.  Novella – Read for The Book Binge.  Another good novella that takes place on an Indian reservation.  It involves a legend about a ghost playing a flute that lures women in a sexual way.  While house sitting Serena is being pulled by the music of the flute while Chayton, the man who’s attracted to her tries to stop it all. 3.75 out of 5

Winner Takes All by Jenny Urban and Elizabeth Silver was my next read.  This was a very hot book about 2 friends who make a bet and one literally has his ass on the line. You can read my review here. 3.75 out of 5

Good Cop, Bad Girl by Paige Tyler was next on the agenda.  Quickie – Read for The Book Binge.   I gotta say – right off – that this is my second book by Tyler and they are some good, cute reads.  However, of both of those books the covers have been horrid.  What is with that?  The poor woman! There are some EC Exotika books that have some decent covers…hers aren’t any of them.  Anyway, a cute story about a woman who is having a birthday party at her home and her and her friends are a little too loud.  A copy comes to the door to give her a citation for being too loud and she thinks he’s a stripper posing as a cop.  Oops.  She’s thrilled of course when he comes back later to give her her birthday spanking. 3.75 out of 5  You can read my review here.

My next read was Tropical Exposure by Wynter Daniels. Quickie – Read for The Book Binge.   The story of a famous woman who just wants to go on vacation and have some peace and quiet.  What she gets is two weeks of smexin with her bodyguards.  But one is actually a tabloid reporter.  What will happen?  Cute story. 3.5 out of 5

I started reading Demon Blood by Meljean Brook earlier in the week and after 2 chapters decided that I wanted to re-read Demon Forged again.  Let me tell you it was just as good the second time around…maybe better than the first.  I just love the series and this book has so much going on that it’s mind boggling – but it never was too much.  Love it! 5 out of 5 (again)

I read Demon Blood by Meljean Brook right after that and it was great.  I read a review by Ana at The Book Smugglers that says it perfectly:“If Demon Forged was essentially a Big Picture book without losing sight of the romance then Demon Blood is a Romance book without losing sight of the Big Picture”.  Rosalia and Deacon’s story. Just a darned good read.  Also read for The Book Binge. 4.5 out of 5

And last on the list was Two-Week Trial by Missy Jane. Novella – Read for The Book Binge. A cute novella about a wealthy man who finds the woman he’s wanted for years and goes about winning her over.  The woman is leery since she doesn’t think much of herself but eventually gives in to a two week trial.  3 out of 5

I just read over my summaries and realized that this was obviously the “cute” week. lol  Yes, a lot of the books were cute.  

My reviews that posted at The Book Binge this week:
Kidnapping Kara by Alyssa Brooks
Good Cop, Bad Girl by Paige Tyler
Lion’s Heat by Lora Leigh

Also, my entire list of reads from June is up here.

Happy Reading!

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Guest Review: Hide Out by Katie Allen

Posted April 25, 2010 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 2 Comments

Tracy’s review of Hide Out by Katie Allen.

When Officer Peter Giordano is assigned to keep Trevor Haas safe until he can testify against his murderous father, he expects the hardest part of his job will be keeping his hands off the gorgeous witness. The two men hide out in the small, sleepy town of Honeysuckle, fixing up their dilapidated safe house by day…exploring each other’s bodies by night.

Their small-town neighbors have some secrets of their own, however, including one that someone is willing to kill to protect. Soon, a neighbor is dead and Pete and Trevor are thrown into the middle of a murder investigation. The two men struggle to keep Trevor’s true identity a secret, knowing his father will stop at nothing to silence the star witness against him—even if that means killing his own son.

Pete and Trevor head off to a small town so that Pete can protect Trevor from his father who wants to kill him. They are under the guise of being a gay couple – which would explain them living together. The plan is to fix up a home that Pete bought in a small town called Honeysuckle. But when they get to Honeysuckle they are surrounded by lots of eyes as they have incredibly nosey neighbors.

When Pete and Trevor find out that both are gay, but weren’t being up front about it…one thing leads to another and they start occupying each others time in more ways than house construction. The pair is incredibly hot together and they burn up the page. Then Wash and Rhodes, PI’s and Trevor’s bosses, show up on “vacation” to help and they add more working hands and lots of humor to the situation.

Then Pete and Trev’s neighbor is killed in a gruesome display of hatred and life gets a little crazy. While Pete is protecting Trevor, all four of the men are trying to figure out who killed the neighbor.

This was a great follow up to Private Dicks which is Wash and Rhodes story. We met Trevor in PD and I, for one, wanted to know more about him. We learn more about Trevor and his growing up years and how his father is a complete ass – and then we find out the reason that Trev’s father wants him dead. But we also see Pete and Trevor falling in love with all the ups and downs and vulnerability that brought to both men. Allen truly knows how to tell a realistic story with great dialogue and a believable plot.

Rating: 4 out of 5

You can read more from Tracy at Tracy’s Place

This book is available from Ellora’s Cave. You can buy it here in e-format.

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What I Read Last Week

Posted April 12, 2010 by Tracy in Features | 21 Comments

Happy Monday!
At least I hope it’s a happy Monday for most of you. 🙂  My kids are back at school today after having a week off.  I love it when they’re off…I get to sleep in an extra half hour in the mornings and I love letting them stay up a little later and not having to impose the strict bed times.  I think they like it too. 🙂  The kids did spend a few days at my parents house last week which was nice for them and for hubby and me as well.  We got to spend more one on one time together and I got a ton of reading done as well.  
So what I read…
First up was Love and Loyalty by Tere Michaels.  Michaels’ second book and a good one, I must say.  This is the story of Jim, a workaholic cop with great, well meaning friends and Griffin, a screenwriter from Hollywood who is writing a story about a case that Jim was deeply involved in.  The two men meet for dinner “to discuss the script” and one thing leads to another.  They go back to Jim’s place and then are just…together.  I loved seeing how comfortable the two men were together – enough that Jim just let Griffin stay at his place and it just kept going.  It was just a sweet story and I loved it..  I can’t wait to read Duty and Devotion – the newest book  4.5 out of 5
Next up was Winter Kiss by Deborah Cooke.  This is book 4 in the Dragonfire series about dragon shapeshifters and yet another book in my FTSP.  This was Delaney’s story. He was hurt and abducted by the Slayers (the bad guys) and given an Elixir that tainted him.  But he broke free of the hold…or so he thought.  He has his firestorm – the time when he and his mate…well, mate and produce little baby dragon shapeshifters.  The firestorm doesn’t go as planned but Delaney’s determined that he’s the one that must destroy the elixir even if it kills him in the process.  It was a good story.  I had to roll my eyes sometimes at the heroine and some of the things that she did but it was good.  I read this one for The Book Binge so I’ll let you know when my review posts.
Next was a Tracy’s TBR Challenge read for the week.  Bedded by Her Lord by Denise Lynn was, I think, a book I picked up at the very first So Cal Blogger get together I went to.  Yeah, and it’s been sitting ever since.  Anyway, this was the story of a man who had been abducted and forced to kill other men for his own survival.  He escapes and makes it home after 7 years but when he comes home nothing’s as he imagined it would be and they don’t even recognize him.  On top of that he walks in to his wife giving birth.  Oops.  The story is him trying to beat the demon inside him that has grown from killing so many and the struggle between his wife and himself.  Not a fantastic medieval, but not bad.  3 out of 5
Next up was Hide Out by Katie Allen.  This is Trevor’s story and it was a good one.  Trevor is trying to hide from his father who wants to kill him and he’s in a “fake” couple relationship with the cop who’s his protector, Pete.  Only, hey look, they’re both gay! 🙂  It was a great story and another I wrote for The Book Binge so again, I’ll let you know when my review posts.

Another Chance to Dream by Lynn Kurland was my next read.  This was another medieval read and had some angst. *snort* Ok, that’s like saying that candy has some sugar.  I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that had that many things happen to the hero and heroine.  Seriously nothing could go right for the poor couple.  They just wanted to be together dammit and they couldn’t! lol   Gwen and Rhys have a great infatuation with each other from the time she’s 10 and he’s 14 which grows to love over the years.  He heads off to earn mucho money so that he can try to buy land (since he’s only a knight and not a lord) and also possibly bribe someone for Gwen’s hand in marriage since she’s been promised to another since birth.  But everyone and everything is determined to keep them apart.  Oy.  I really like Kurland’s writing but this one was off the charts when it came to Murphy’s Law.  3.5 out of 5
Ok – any Kurland fans out there?  I have a question.  What order should I read the books in?  I swear I stared at the reading order page for at least 10 minutes the other day trying to figure it out and still didn’t have a clue. The page itself is very organized but that didn’t help me. I like her historicals as well as her time travel but some interconnect.  I thought to just read in publication order (barring her fantasy reads) but that confused me to since her first book is #10 in the De Piaget series.  Can anyone help this poor confused soul out?
Next up was Kiss and Kin by Kinsey Holley.  I had read a short free story by Holley at Christmas from The Samhellion and really enjoyed it.  This is the story of Lark and Taran.  A non related pair who were raised as brother and sister due to the death of Lark’s parents.  Because of this they have tried to stay away from each other but Lark is Taran’s mate.  When Lark is in danger not only the cop in Taran but the mate in Taran come forward.  I liked this story.  Sometimes with foster siblings there’s a squick factor involved but I didn’t get this from the story at all which I appreciated.  I liked Holley’s writing as well and will look forward to Nick and TJ’s story (supporting characters in this book). 3.75 out of 5
Oh and while I was at Holley’s site I came across this very funny blog post: Orgasmic wombs and the penises that poke them.
Instant Gratification by Jill Shalvis was next on my list.  Another FTSP book.  (There are just too many of those FTSP books!)  Emma Sinclair has left her NY life as an ER doctor to help her estranged father out at his medical clinic in Wishful, CA where she spent the first 6 years of her life.  At first no one takes her seriously they just see her as Doc Sinclair’s daughter rather than a doctor.  She just wants Starbucks, Thai take out and someone to pay in something other than casseroles.  Then Stone Wilder comes in after falling 50 feet down a cliff.  She patches him up despite his grumblings that all he needs is a band-aid and some sparks fly.  Fighting the attraction is hard for Emma but she’s not about to get involved with someone from a small town when she’s going back to NY.  Yeah, easier said than done.  I enjoyed this book and the ease that Stone and Emma had around each other.  I did have some problems believing that Emma would want to stay in Wishful.  Also, secondary characters Serena and Spencer…that was completely unbelievable to me. (I’m not saying more in case you haven’t read the book and plan to but if you have read it you know what I mean.) 3.75 out of 5
And last but certainly not least was Dark Angel/Lord Carew’s Bride by Mary Balogh.  I’ve only read a couple of other books by Balogh but I really like her work.  These two were great stories that were originally published separately in 1994 and 1995.  Two cousins who show up in both books.  Dark Angel is about  Jennifer who has been unofficially engaged to Viscount Kersey since she was 15.  She believes herself passionately in love with him even though they’ve spent very little time together.  Now that she is 20 and she is officially engaged to him she believes life will be even more wonderful.  But Kersey’s got a sordid past and he’s an evil bugger – for only being 25.  Then there’s the Earl of Thornhill, Gabriel, who wants revenge on Kersey and Jennifer become a pawn in a game that she knows nothing about – her life changes forever.  
Lord Carew’s Bride is about Jennifer’s cousin, Samantha – also changed by Viscount Kersey’s evil ways.  While visiting Jennifer in the country she meets a man, Hartley Wade, who she believes is just a landscape gardener.  They become friends and Sam is very upset about having to go back to Town for the Season.  But Sam, despite her many male followers and the many offers she had from them, never wants to get married.  However when Hartley asks, she accepts because he’s “safe” and he’s her “friend”.  Yeah, that’s not exactly why he wants to marry you.  4.25 out of 5 for both stories.
You can go here for Hilcia’s review
And my review for A Certain Wolfish Charm by Lydia Dare posted on The Book Binge this week.

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What I Read Last Week

Posted April 5, 2010 by Tracy in Reviews | 21 Comments

Top o’ the mornin’ to ya!
How the heck are ya?  Did you all have a great week and a fantastic weekend?  Happy Easter to everyone (delayed, I know).
I had an interesting week last week…it was Holy Week and I work at a church (don’t fall off your chair), nuff said.  It was insane but I did get Friday off and it was nice to have a 3 day weekend.
Yesterday (Easter day) was fun.  While it was beautiful here on Saturday we woke up Sunday to a mostly cloudy sky.   That didn’t stop my girls from having a fun time at the egg hunt after church.  Here are my girls who are such hams it’s ridiculous!  My sister who lives in Kansas City, MO bought these dresses for them – too cute.
And here is the family.  I think we were all eating Jolly Rancher’s so we look like a family of chipmunks, and the hair is in my oldests face,but hey, I needed to get my yearly Easter picture! lol  We did take another one but my hubby had a big ole frown on his face so this is it! 🙂
If a prince gets married the woman becomes a princess.
If a baron gets married the woman is a baroness.
If a viscount gets married the woman is a viscountess.
If a marquess gets married his wife is a marchioness (not exact, but close).
A duke gets married and his wife becomes a duchess.
Why does an earl get married and his wife become a countess?  Why not an earless?  Or an earlcess?  Or an earlchioness?
These and other questions.
I posted my reading list for March so if you’re interested you can find it here.
My Finish the Series Project (FTSP) continues into April.  I think I finished 3 series in the month of March.  Much more needs to be done! lol
I started off the week with a big ole bang and read Kresley Cole‘s Pleasure of a Dark Prince.  It started off well but kind of slow for me for some reason.  However about 1/2 way through the book it got so that I didn’t want to put the book down.  I thought it was really very good.  Garreth and Lucia have been on my mind since the whole incident in the very first Immortals After Dark full length novel, A Hunger Like No Other.  Garreth is a Lycan while Lucia is a Valkyrie.  Garreth wants Lucia because he discovers that she’s his mate, among other reasons.  Lucia, as much as she wants Garreth, can’t have him because of her vow of chastity to the goddess who gave her her archer powers.  The two trying to figure things out was very well done as is Cole’s usual and I can’t wait to see what happens next. 4.5 out of 5
Next was Private Dicks by Katie Allen.  A really great m/m book.  You can read my review here.

My next read was Secrets of a Scandalous Bride by Sophia Nash.  This is book 4 in the Widow’s Club series but the heroine is just playing a widow and is hiding from a past and a man that is evoooooool.  She seeks help in an unlikely place, with the ruthless and rakish Rowland Manning.  As surly as Rowland is, he helps Elizabeth and they fall in love.  I liked this one a lot.  As much as I didn’t like Rowland in the last book I very much enjoyed his character in this one.  There was just something about him that pulled me to him and I loved his stubborness and pig headedness – not something I normally enjoy. lol  (I read this for The Book Binge and will let you know when my “formal” review posts).
Next I attempted to read Her Hungers by Mary Winter.  I didn’t get far unfortunately.  This, from what I read, is the story of a woman who grew up human but then was turned to a vampire and then to a werewolf.  She has a vampire lover who loves her and her vamp side but is pretty much repulsed by her werewolf side.  Then in steps a werewolf alpha from her past who wants to claim her but he appears to be repulsed by her vamp side.  Both men want to protect her and there was tons of posturing and possessiveness going on.  On top of that the woman couldn’t decide which man she wanted to be with.  All in all the story just didn’t work for me so I stopped reading after about 35 pages. DNF
Next was my Tracy’s TBR challenge read for the week and also a FTSP read – Shoulda Been a Cowboy.  This is book 7 in Lorelei James‘s Rough Rider series.  This was Cam McKay’s book and is about his relationship with Ukrainian immigrant, Domini.  I liked the story and the issues it covered.  Cam trying to deal with no longer being a soldier and being back in his hometown.  He’s trying to come to terms with being a whole man since he’s only got one leg and has pretty much cut himself off from his family.  Then there’s Domini who is quietly dealing with her life and the fact that she doesn’t feel like a whole woman since she was forced to have a hysterectomy when she was 16 in the Ukraine and can’t have children. It was a good story and very emotional for me.  4 out of 5
It has been a while since I had read book 6 of the Rough Riders series and was trying to keep all of the McKay men and West boys straight in my head.  After going through that with Cam’s book I figured I better just get completely caught up with the series so dove right into All Jacked Up by Lorelei James – which is Keely’s story.  Keely and Jack hate each other but Jack talks Keely into creating a fake engagement so that he can get a job with some very conservative people in Utah.  Keely agrees but ends up in love with Jack after much strife.  Good story as well. 4 out of 5
Next was A Lady of Persuasion by Tessa Dare.  This was the story of Toby and Isabel.  Toby is determined to get revenge on Gray for stealing Sophia from him.  But he meets Isabel and she dazzles him.  He wants her as his own no matter what he has to do to get her. Isabel wants a man who will have influence in Parliament and Toby’s not it.  She agrees to marry him anyway, however because he could become the man she wants. Never a good idea to marry someone on the hopes that they’ll become the person you want them to be!  While Toby’s falling for Isabel, Isabel is fighting her feelings for Toby because she fears she will lose her focus on life. While I understood Isabel ‘s motives in the end I just didn’t care for her all that much.  Toby I really liked – even though he lied to Isabel.  This still had Dare’s lovely writing in it though and I couldn’t help but admire some of her phrasing and lovely sentences. 3.5 out of 5
Last up was Ecstacy Unveiled by Larissa Ione.  A great book!  I picked it up yesterday and just couldn’t put it down until I was done.  I loved Lore and Idess.  I really liked having many scenes with ALL of the brothers involved.  Lore’s protection of his sister, Sin, was very touching.  Just a very good read. 4.5 out of 5
Some of my Book Binge reviews posted this week as well:
Happy Reading!

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