Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Interview with Daryl Devoré

Black Dorn

Well hello, all you lovely readers. Today I am happy to have Daryl Devoré with me. She was kind enough to stop in and allow me to interrogate her for a little while. :)

Thanks again, Daryl. Can you tell the readers a little about yourself? Inquiring mind want to know.

Well if inquiring minds have been reading all the blogs I’ve been to lately, they know just about everything there is - so I’ll reach way down into the bag and see what I can pull up.

I love to travel. I want to see the world. Literally - I’d go into space in a heartbeat. I’ve touched a piece of the moon, which sounds cool but anybody can do it - just have to visit NASA in Florida.
I create great dinner parties. My friends love it when I call up and say, “I’m bored.” Because that means there’s something scrumptious for dinner and something decadent and chocolate for dessert. Jim, a friend’s husband, has been known to beg for my Trinity Parfait - 3 ingredients - whipped cream, chocolate and sugar. (Nobody is allowed to be on a diet in my house.)

Ha, wow! Can I come for an extended stay? Nah, really. That’s pretty neat. I’ll have to seek more information about this Trinity Parfait soon. :) So what actually kicked off your start as an erotic romance novelist? Did you wake up one morning and say, “Hey, I’m totally going to write an erotic romance today?”

Almost. I think the idea grew slowly and then one day it was more of - “Today’s the day” and I sat down and started writing. 

From what I’ve heard, you are quite a shy person. How do you come up with your material for your novels?

It could be a thought that pops in my head. Or I could overhear someone say something and that triggers a thought which grows into a scene which blossoms into a book which - at some point, I actually have to type onto my laptop. 

What inspires you to write?

I don’t know that anything does. I just do. I’ve always found putting words to paper easy. The transition from writing as a student to writing as a fiction writer was - and still is - a challenge, but none-the-less the ideas and words flow. 

I don’t struggle over every word and every sentence. I’m a "get it written and then deal" kind of person.

Hmm, wish I could say the same.  It’s awesome you can be that sort of writer though.  In your opinion, what is the hardest part of writing? And how do you overcome it? 

Critiques - Actually had an email conversation with Brenda Dyer, a fellow Canadian and author (ooh a shout out), and we talked about critiques and the problems we’ve faced over some of them and without her knowing it, she released a lot of anxiety I had about it. Writing is a solitary thing and I feel that I’m the only one doing all these stupid mistakes. And sometimes critiques can make you feel that way - like you can’t do anything right. You look at the page and it looks like the climactic scene in a teenage slasher movie and there’s so much red on it. 

What’s totally dumb, is when I do a critique, sometimes the page is full of suggestions and yet I don’t think that person did anything wrong - just needed a second set of eyes to see things.

Anybody out there a psychiatrist - cause I probably could use a few sessions!

Ha, I’m sure that must be a normal feeling though.  I’m going to start critiquing in green, I think.  The color red is just way too intimidating to me. Perhaps green will make people think of fluffy puppies rolling in the grass. Can’t go wrong there, right? So what’s currently in the works for you? 

2 WIP.  Capri’s Fate and Dragon FireCapri’s Fate is an erotic contemporary fantasy about a corporate vice-president who is dragged to a sex toy convention by her friend. While she’s there, she hears a deep, sexy male voice. It talks to her in her head - and follows her home. 

Dragon Fire is an erotic medieval fantasy. So far, there is a prince on a quest to slay a dragon who killed his wife and unborn child. There is a beautiful and mysterious woman who has magical powers. And a dragon who breathes fire and only flies at night. And all this is erotic and ends happily ever after if I ever get past the first chapter.

I’ve actually had a chance to check out a little of both and love what you’ve written to far.  By the way, I’m totally waiting to find out Capri’s fate.  Just letting you know. :) 

I love the covers of Black Dorn and Sexy Red Hood. They’re both very appealing covers. Sorry, but A Kept Woman will forever make me giggle since a recent conversation has come to light. At any rate, do you have any control over your covers? 

OMG! I’m afraid I’m stuck with the A Kept Woman thing, aren’t I? You all are going to be so disappointed when we get together. Someday!  

My publisher makes the covers. Yes, I have a say. The original cover for Black Dorn I felt was too over the top and they agreed to change it. The authors fill out a questionnaire giving ideas of what we would like. For Black Dorn, they found the picture of the woman bowing and a great photo of a castle. I hadn’t described the castle in the story, so I had to add that, plus I had to slip in a scene where Branwyn prostrated herself like in the photo. 

Ha, that cover still makes me laugh. :)  Are there any particular intimate subjects or themes that you wouldn’t even remotely touch with rubber gloves and a very long stick with your writing?

The standard - rape, incest, etc.  I might set up a scene where a character is in danger of being raped by she will be saved - even if at the last second. 

As for gay - menage - multiracial - whatever - I have no objections. Haven’t used those themes as they haven’t figured into my plots.

If you were offered the chance to have a one on one conversation with one person throughout history, who would you choose and why? 

Oooh, great question. This is going to take some thinking. Everyone go get a coffee - this might take a moment. 

Got it. Leonardo da Vinci - now he’d be an interesting dude to talk with. And I bet no one has called him a dude. He was so far ahead of his time. What didn’t he do? His paintings are extraordinary. His drawings are life like. He did math, science, anatomy and botany practically before they were invented. He outlined the concept of plate tectonics. My daughter’s a geologist. The fact that I know this and what plate tectonics are is her fault. 

And for my final question, what are five things that make Daryl Devoré a happy woman? 

Chocolate, my husband, chocolate, my daughter, chocolate - and little furry kittens. 

Ha! So if someone is ever in doubt over a gift for you, it’s safe to assume chocolate and fluffy baby kittens are the answer, eh?  :)

Thanks so much for stopping in today.  I’ve enjoyed learning a few more thing about your that I didn’t already know.  You are definitely an interesting lady.  I’m looking forward to your next release!

***As a special treat, Daryl is offering up a copy of Black Dorn, Sexy Red Hood, and A Kept Woman to one lucky, random commenter.  Please be sure to add your email so you can be contacted.***

Blurb:  Sold by her family to become a submissive courtesan to a powerful man, Branwyn arrives in a strange new land ruled by the castle of Black Dorn. Horrified by Branwyn’s lack of knowledge regarding relations between a man and his woman, her instructor, Duna Trea, begins her daily lesson in the art of bedding a man.

Excerpt: A lecherous grin crossed Timous' mouth as he pointed his sword at Branwyn. "That is quite a beauty that sits in the place next to the gon-dra's (heir to the throne). I imagine she beds well."

Malack turned to the gon (king). "This must be ended or Black Dorn will always have a suspect neighbor. If the castle is to be truly safe, all must be loyal to it. Timous and I will fight. By birthright, I am gon-dra. Let us see what the fates decide." He faced his brother. "We fight. Alone. In the courtyard. The one who returns is gon-dra."

"Malack. Timous." The gonness (queen) stood. "My sons."

The gon grabbed his wife's hand and pulled her to her seat. "It must be. Malack is right."

"But my son…our son?"

Malack bowed his head to his mother. Timous sneered in contempt. Side by side, they strode out the door. Neither spoke.

The great hall remained silent. Timous' men grouped together. The gonness quietly cried into her napkin, while the gon conferred with his captain of the guard. Soldiers clustered near the royal table. Their swords were drawn.

Branwyn was torn between panic and numbness. Malack looked exhausted. His shoulders slumped forward and dark circles underlined bloodshot eyes. Slashes in his clothing hinted at bloodied wounds hidden beneath. When had he slept or eaten last? Could he beat a healthy, well-fed, well-rested opponent?

If Timous won. If Timous won? The terrifying thought circled her mind--would she be given to him, as he would be the gon-dra? To be handed to him? To have to tragor (submit) to his touch, his kisses, his manhood? Her stomach lurched. She tasted bile.

Thoughts tried to push their way into her mind. She fought to suppress them, but they floated through. What about her baby? Her hand rubbed her belly. Would Timous allow her to keep it? A cry escaped her. Malack might never know he had fathered their child. A jolt of fear made her tremble. What if the baby is a boy? Malack's son. Would Timous allow him to live? The son of his hated rival. What if it is a girl? Would he sell her to be a dune as she had been sold? Tears began to pour down Branwyn's cheeks.

Never again to be kissed by him. The harder she fought to stop her wild and random thoughts the more they wormed their way into her consciousness. To be touched by him. To feel his hand caressing my breast. To stop the sensations of remembering his touch, she attempted to take a sip of wine. She could not. Her hand shook too much.

She balled her napkin into a tight mess, squeezing so hard her knuckles turned white. How long had it been? She looked to the gonness for comfort. The fear on the gonness' face showed she also thought the fight had taken too long.

What if? What if? What if? whirled around her brain.

Review: I have to be honest and admit I wasn‘t sure if I would enjoy this book. I’m not that heavy of an erotic reader. Plus when you throw in themes of domination and submission, it really isn’t my thing. But I would be a hypocrite to say I didn’t like something without even giving it a read.

Talk about a surprise. I definitely did not expect to be so thoroughly pulled into the book as I found myself. The heroine, Branwyn was sort of given the short stick but she is a strong woman and accepts her fate and tries to embrace it. She also finds love in the midst of it. Malack, the hero, is awesome in my opinion. He does not falter with his duties to Black Dorn and I loved his devotion to Branwyn.

I have to say the thing I really thought was interesting about this book was how the author shifts the tones midway through the story. Nearly halfway through the story, the tone and material is a bit on the dark side. However, once the hero and heroine acknowledged their love for each other, it was if the clouds cleared, allowing the sun to shine. I have to admire the author for being able to make such a major shift in the tone of the book with such fluidity. Very well done and clever, in my opinion. Not just anyone can successfully pull off such a major shift.

If you are looking for an interesting, sexy read, this is the book for you. I’ll definitely be checking out more from this author in future.

Please be sure to visit Daryl at: Website
Available for purchase at: Amazon 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Review of Dangerous Ally by Jessica Lauryn

Dangerous Ally
Dangerous Ally by Jessica Lauryn

Blurb: When Reporter Lilah Benson takes a job in the home of diamond smuggling kingpin Lucas Ramone, she believes she has a chance to write the story of a lifetime. But when she meets the man who was supposed to be her nemesis, Lilah is tempted by a passion far stronger than the desire to see her name in print...

There was no doubt in Lucas's mind that eliminating his father's new executive assistant--namely, the bastard he's hired to help steal Project Gemstone--would be effortless. But with eyes like green jewels and a body made for a man’s hands, Lilah Benson isn't exactly the adversary he was expecting to face...

Though Lilah may be the one person capable of bringing him to his knees, Lucas will stop at nothing to keep his empire secure. He will have it all: His Fortune, His Legacy, and Lilah Benson in his bed...

My Opinion: So this book came to me as a recommendation.  I did my usual - checked out the author, read the blurb, excerpt and reviews, then decided to give it a try.  Meh, might as well, right?  It's nice to check out new authors that I might not have known otherwise.   I can be pleasantly surprised at times.

That seems to be the case with this book.  I found it to be thoroughly engrossing and engaging from the start and I couldn't bring myself to put it down to go to bed.  I had to keep reading until I reached the end just to find out how it concluded.  Did the characters find their Happily-Ever-After?  Well, I had to know, didn't I?

There were so many different twists and turns in the book, it definitely grabbed my attention.  There are parts where I wasn't too sure who to trust.  Of course, that worked to make me fall deeper into the story.    

I really enjoyed the fact the author didn't stick with a golden boy.  The hero, Lucas, just happens to be a villain.  He knew he was one of the bad guys and would be the first to admit it.  I like that the author didn't fluff out and fill him with excuses to blame everyone else for his behavior as some writers have the tendency to do.  He kept on his big boy pants the entire book and didn't flounder for excuses. Of course, don't get me wrong, the man had a seriously dysfunctional family, major trust issues, a dark past, and a certain level of paranoia.  Can't say I blame the guy though, but he didn't use those factors as a scapegoat for his actions. 

While those driving forces impacted much of his life, it's great to read about this guy's bumpy road to redemption.  Villain or not, you couldn't help but cheer on Lucas as he feels his way through uncharted territory with the heroine, Lilah.   

Lilah was caught in between a rock and a hard place if I've ever seen one.  She fights her attraction for Lucas, knowing he is the villain that left such a dark shadow hanging over her family.  However, you can't choose who you love, right? 

How will these two characters, with so many odds stacked against them, find their own happiness together?  Is it even possible?  Can he actually reform enough to keep Lilah by his side?  Ha, apparently you will need to read that to find out.

I would definitely recommend this debut novel by Ms. Lauryn.  It was an immediate attention grabber that will have you turning pages to discover what's really happening in this secretive, criminal family and if Lucas will turn out to be the real villain after all.

Please be sure to visit the author at: Website

Available for purchase atAmazon 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Diamond Jubilee Celebration Hop begins on May 21st!

Enter below to win beginning 5/21 thru 5/31 – Romance at Random will be randomly giving away some of our jewels of romance, to celebrate the UK’s Diamond Jubilee including:

1 winner, 1 copy – Born To Darkness by Suzanne Brockmann
1 winner, 1 copy – The Proposal by Mary Balogh
1 winner, 1 copy – Darker After Midnight by Lara Adrian
3 winners, 1 copy of WITCHFUL THINKING by HP Mallory
10 winners, 1 copy of a PREVIEW from Net Galley of ABOUT LAST NIGHT by Ruthie Knox
10 winners, 1 copy of PREVIEW from Net Galley of DEEP AUTUMN HEAT by Elisabeth Barrett

 In addition, on my blog, one lucky person who leaves me a comment and includes their email will be entered to win a $5.00 Amazon gift certificate on May 31st. a Rafflecopter giveaway Please visit some, if not all, of these awesome blogs for more chances to win very cool prizes.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Interview with Christine Warner

Some Like it in Handcuffs by Christine Warner

So, the other night I decided to check out this author’s book after meeting her.  She’s a total sweetheart and was gracious enough to be my guinea pig interviewee for my first interview. 

Friends, Romans, Romance Readers, lend me your eyes, I have Christine Warner with me today. 

Pleasure to have you here today, Christine.  I’m so glad you could stop by.

Can you please tell the readers a bit about yourself?

I live in Michigan with my husband.  We have three kids, two dogs and two cats.. Okay, I should say I have the cats because my hubs won’t want to claim them as his. :)  We live in the country and I love it.  Lots of open spaces, nature and quiet.  I work about 30 hours a week in a medical office.  My favorite color is red and I love to laugh, cook, read, watch movies and of course, write.  And over the last year I’ve discovered I have a slight addiction to several social media sites.  Lol

Ha, I seem to have a bit of an issue with Pinterest myself.  :) How long have you been writing? And what is your motivation?

When I was in school I won a few essay contests and a young authors’ award and that was my first hint that I LOVED to write.  But my life got in the way and I didn’t seriously start to pursue it until about three and a half years ago.

As for motivation, everything around me motivates me.  I can think of story ideas from a picture, a comment, a word, even.  So basically everyday life motivates me. :D

That’s awesome.  I wish I had that particular outlook on life.  What the hardest part of writing been for you? And how do you manage to overcome it?

The hardest part is waiting for a reply from an editor or publishing house one you query.  Then if you are luck enough to have a partial or full manuscript requested, the wait gets harder.  To overcome it, I start a new project, or two or three.  Makes the time go by, but there are still days in between when the wait really gets to me.  I’m normally patient, but I have my days.  Lol

So I totally read Some Like It in Handcuffs last week and loved it.  How did you come up with the story?  Anything trigger the story for you or did you wake up one day and it popped in your head?

Every story idea I have comes to me in a different way.  For Some Like It in Handcuffs - which is a sexy, lighthearted, romantic suspense with humor - I came up with the title first.  From those five words the characters were born, the plot decided and the time and places fell into line.  I’ve had story ideas from a phrase or picture.  Some swirl around in my mind for months until everything is set and some seem to hit my brain with all the details configured.  

Well that’s flipping neat.  Ha, wish I could say the same!  Can you add an excerpt of your favorite part of the Some Like It in Handcuffs and why it’s your favorite?  You already know my most favorite scene. :)

There are several scenes that I really enjoyed.  Funny to say that I even made myself laugh out loud a few times.  (Is that bad?) Lol

Here’s one that I’m especially fond of… and I dedicate it to you!  I like this scene because it shows Sunny’s spunk and her lack of confidence in 800 words. :D
A little set up - this is early morning, Sunny just woke up with Chocolate, her cat (who just happens to have the same name as one of my cats… along with the same attitude! Lol)

     Minutes later Sunny tugged her nightshirt over her head and threw it to the tiled floor. The light material slid a few inches and collided against the tub. She shuffled through the open bathroom door in nothing but her tiger striped panties and her fluffy slippers, Chocolate on her heels.
     Chills rushed over her backside. “Where’d I put my jogging clothes?” She looked at her feline friend as he tagged along beside her. Chocolate meowed and raced past her into the bedroom as if to show her.
     Sunny pulled her mass of long curls behind her head to secure it with a large clip. The door to her office stood open and she glanced inside as she passed. She sucked in a breath, stopped, and backed up until she stood in the frame of the door. Her hands faltered their work with her hair. The breath she’d been about to exhale caught in her throat, and she blinked several times. Not sure if what she saw was real.
     “Judson! What the hell are…?”
     Judson’s body was strewn across the black futon. His sleepy expression perked up when he noticed her. He bolted upright, rubbed his hands over his face, and stared. His eyes darkened. The heat from his gaze burned a trail from the top of her head down to her fuzzy slippers, stopping momentarily to circle her breasts, before she realized she stood in front of him in nothing but her shocked expression and a pair of animal print panties.
     Smoke followed her spring to her bedroom. The door crashed closed and she pressed her back into it. Sunny’s hands flew to her mouth as she choked back a sob. She gasped for air and sank to the floor.
     Judson’s footsteps were quick. He covered the small distance from the office to her bedroom in seconds. The sound of his breathing from the other side of the door echoed in her ears. She buried her face in her hands.
     His deep voice lowered. She raised her head then swallowed the lump in her throat. What was he still doing here? Looking like a ditz in front of him had become a habit.
     “Are you okay?”
     “Go away.” Her voice squeaked. She pulled her knees to her chest. Only one of her feet encased in a slipper. She must’ve lost the other one during her mad flight.
     “No. I need to make sure you’re okay.”
     “I’m okay. Now go away.” Any normal man would slink out of the apartment without a word, but not Judson. He had the sudden urge to have a conversation. Someday she hoped the workings of the male mind would make sense to her.
     “You don’t sound okay.”
     “Well, of course I don’t sound okay.” She gulped down her embarrassment. “What the hell are you doing here?”
     She folded her arms around her legs and rested her chin on her knees. Chocolate strolled from beneath the bed, swirling his tail over her shin and sidled toward the closet. At least he remained calm.
     “I’m sorry. I fell asleep.”
     An apology.
     “Really, you think?” She snorted. “Just leave, Judson.” Couldn’t he take the hint?
     “Come on, Sunny. You’re acting like a man’s never seen you in the raw before.”
     Her cheeks burned. “And you’re acting like it’s an everyday occurrence.”
     Silence. Sunny thumped her head against her knees. He didn’t need to know she was practically a virgin did he? She could talk the talk, but when it came to walking the walk, she reserved it for someone special. She didn’t sleep with anyone unless major feelings were involved.
She groaned at the memory. She could honestly say she’d only loved one man in her life. Her clumsy, first and only, long term boyfriend. Though now she realized it was more puppy love than all consuming. Their one attempt at making love had turned into a disaster of universal proportions. She’d ended up with a black eye when he’d tried to remove her shirt in the backseat of his car, and she’d practically maimed him for life when her knee had jerked up between his legs. From then on they’d kept their romance to kissing and heavy petting. When their relationship ended, Sunny put men on hold to focus on her career.
     His voice softened. “I didn’t see anything.”
     “You’re a liar. You saw everything.” She lifted her head and flicked her eyes at the white door littered with heart shaped post it notes. Written reminders on each one acted as her unique calendar. “The only thing you don’t know about me at this point is if I’m a natural blonde or not.”
     Her comment was greeted by his badly concealed chuckle.
     “Well, are you?”

Hahaha I do love that scene, Christine! :)

So will we be able to expect more great stories out of you soon? Anything in the works currently?

I’m currently working on a contemporary romance tentatively titled 30 Day Wager.  But I do have two more stories coming out this summer.  One will be released in August and is titled Two-Timing the Boss and I have another coming out with Entangled Publishing.  The release is scheduled tentatively for July and the working title is Blind Date Billionaire.

Any advice for new writers?

Keep writing. Study the craft anywhere you can.  Through critique partners, reading blogs, following agent and publisher websites, reading books on craft, submitting to contests… this is a never ending business of growing, learning and improving.

Awesome advice, Christine. I have to ask, when you first learned Some Like It in Handcuffs was to be published, what was the first thing you did aside from scream?

I called my sister because she’s a huge inspiration.  She encouraged me to follow a dream that I kept putting aside for other things.  She’s been great support when I’ve let doubt and fear take control. :) Yep, I love her.

That’s super sweet.  What made you decide on a hot Native American as your hero?  Not a bad choice for Judson at all, by the way.

I actually decided to make him Native American because my sister loves Native American heroes, so it’s a tribute to her. :)

Ha, nice tribute!  So, if you could be any animal, what would you be and why?  It can be an animal of fantasy as well since I seem to have this thing for unicorns and bionic polar bears lately.

I love unicorns too… but I’m going to go with a cat.  A cat that lives in my house because they tend to be the most spoiled animals on the planet.  Plus, they nap all day, whenever they want - they get treats, cuddles and all the perks with none of the responsibility. Lol

Yeah, my cat knows that charmed life as well. :)  Name three things that bring you absolute bliss.

1. Spending time with my family - they always make me laugh.
2. Enjoying a good book - either reading it or writing it.
3. Dove chocolate squares - they’re heaven on earth!

Good choices!  I love Dove chocolate squares too.  Alright, last question for you Christine.  If you could be any fictional character of all time, who would you be and why?

Wow, this is a tough one.  Okay, it took me awhile, but I’m going to go with Scarlett O’Hara from Gone with the Wind.  She had spunk, determination, wasn’t afraid to speak out - okay, sometimes she made bad decisions, but she did it with conviction and strength and deep down, she was a good person who meant well but maybe acted without quite thinking things through. :)

Great answer!  I want to thank you so much for stopping by and allowing me to quiz you a bit today.  You were a brave woman to accept the task of being my first interviewee.  I appreciate your patience with me.  I can’t wait to read more from you and I wish you tons of success with Some Like It in Handcuffs and all of your future releases.  Perhaps I can get you back here this summer!  *Wink, wink*

Please be sure to pick up a copy of Christine’s new book.  You won’t be disappointed!

Blurb: Sunny Kennedy, the only female in a family of blue blood male detectives, is determined to prove testosterone isn’t the only qualification required to solve a cold case.  Handcuffed while undercover then taken to the precinct by an attractive detective, her domineering family demands she work with Detective Judson Blackhawk, or she’s off the case.

Judson Blackhawk thinks women in law enforcement should work behind the scenes. The prospect of working with his Captain’s sexy daughter doesn’t thrill him.  He only agrees in hopes of solving the murder of his one time mentor’s daughter.  Once the case is over, he’s moving to Montana to heal his wounds from the loss of his last partner.

But when their investigation takes a dangerous turn, Sunny and Jud soon realize their feelings for each other cannot be denied.

My Review: I wasn’t entirely too sure what to think when I was confronted with the title.  However, after the first couple of pages, I soon found myself flipping from page to page with enthusiasm.  This was definitely a humorous story with such likeable characters.  The author crafted a smooth-flowing, well-written novel that captured my attention from start to finish. 

I think the author did a fantastic job creating two extremely witty, appealing characters that complimented each other so well.  Also, she established an awesome level of sexual tension and witty banter between Sunny and Judson. 

All in all, I enjoyed this lighthearted, sexy, fun read.  Without a doubt, I finished this book with a huge smile on my face.  I’m anxious to read more from this author.  So, please write more soon, eh?

Christine loves to hear from readers and other authors.  Please feel free to drop her a line any time.  **Also, one lucky commenter has the chance to win a copy of Some Like It in Handcuffs!  Be sure to leave a comment with your email address so you can be contacted.**

 Available for purchase at: Amazon

Please stop by and visit the author at: Website/Blog

Friday, May 11, 2012

Review of Never Love a Lawman by Jo Goodman

Never Love A Lawman (Reidsville, #1)
Book 1 in the Reidsville Series

Blurb: Rachel Bailey may seem like just a beautiful newcomer to most of Reidsville, Colorado, but Sheriff Wyatt Cooper knows she's much more. Through a twist of fate, Rachel is the inheritor of a very valuable commodity: control of the railway that's keeps the isolated mining town connected to the world.

That is, she will be, if she agrees to the surprising stipulation in her benefactor's will - that she marry Wyatt. Rachel has no choice: refusing the marriage could put all of Reidsville in the hands of an outsider - and not just any outsider, but the cruel tyrant she has come here to escape.

Yet living with Wyatt will be her greatest challenge. For he has a tempting way about him that makes Rachel forget theirs is a marriage in name only - until her frightening past shows up to remind them exactly how much they have at stake...

My Opinion: I'm proud to say I totally found this author on my own. The first book I happened to pick up was the first in her Thorne Brothers Trilogy and I had to get more immediately.  The fact I really wasn't too much into the whole Western-themed books at the time nearly made me skip over it.  Of course, I won't lie, the cover persuaded me to take the plunge. 

One thing you have to understand about Ms. Goodman's books, they are not what you would call 'fast reads'.  They are meant for you to sit back, relax, and be thoroughly immersed in the story. This author masterfully creates a detailed, well developed, character-driven world that I don't mind spending as long in as I can.

Her characters and their constant developing relationship throughout the book have to be what I love most about her books.  Never Love a Lawman most assuredly delivered a rather engrossing tale with two very strong, likeable characters.

The heroine, Rachel, is such an independent, intelligent woman attempting to make the best out of life she can with the hand she was dealt.  She's reserved, observant, and takes no crap from the hero, Wyatt.  Speaking of Wyatt, I love this hero.  At first, you might get the wrong impression about him but as you continue reading you begin to see the true hero he really is.  That's what I love about this author.  She doesn't lay all her cards out on the table in the beginning.  You are actually given more insight into her characters in layers throughout the story.  I absolutely love that approach.  Without a doubt, that hooks me.

This author just happens to be another that will allow her heroes and heroines to build their relationship as the story progresses.  I do favor writers that tend to let the relationship between the main characters flow naturally.  Personally, it's just more realistic and enjoyable for me.  Of course, that is my own opinion and we each have certain elements in romantic fiction that reel us in.

Also, Ms. Goodman did a fantastic job of creating a terrific variety of supporting characters in this particular book.  In fact, a complete town of them.

All in all, I totally read Western-themed books now because of this author.  She is a wonderful writer and definitely worth checking out if you haven't already.  I highly recommend trying out this book.  I really don't think you would find yourself disappointed with this choice.

Please visit the author atWebsite

Avaliable for purchase at: Amazon

Thursday, May 10, 2012

What makes a man your real hero?

So, I'm going to assume since you landed on this page you do read romance.  Not too sure why else you would find yourself here, but hey, the more the merrier.

At any rate, I was thinking.  Yes, I do it occasionally.  What is it about a man that defines him as your "hero"?  I bring that up because we all are romance readers and we all have our own preferences when it comes to our heroes in fiction.  Personally, I tend to go for those overbearing, protective borderline-obsessive/possessive types.  Not entirely sure why, but to each their own right?

That being said, many real men in our lives might not carry many of the qualities that we find in our fictional men.

While that is discouraging to a degree, I'm sure there are tons of real, live fantastic men out there that just might.  I've met a few, not an overabundance mind you.  Of course, they might not exactly have as much such appeal as Joe or Alex here, but we are being somewhat realistic here.  I somehow doubt I'll be running into Alexander in the produce section of the A&P any time soon.   

So, what exactly defines a real man as the hero to your heroine (you)?  Is it his body, sense of honor, perhaps sense of humor, or even his protective instincts? 

Are the heroes in your real life anything remotely like your fictional heroes you favor in novels?

Just curious.  Your thoughts are always welcome.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Review of Wild Horses by D'Ann Lindun

Wild Horses - Crimson Romance

Blurb: Her family ranch outside of Payson, Arizona, is the last place Castaña Castillo thought she’d ever see again. But when her mustang activist brother goes missing, Castaña returns home to lead the search. Years of bad blood between local law enforcement and the Castillo men lead Castaña to believe the local cops won’t put out much effort to locate her brother. Especially since they think he murdered two federal wildlife agents.

Disgraced FBI agent Jake Breton needs to bring in Martin Castillo to redeem himself and resurrect his career. Falling in love with someone related to the suspect is the last thing he can afford to do. The last time he followed his heart, and not his head, it nearly cost him his life.

Danger, adventure, and death push Jake and Castaña together. Will they learn to trust each other and leave their pasts behind?

My Opinion: Another delightful member of my kickass critique group has a new release available for sale on Amazon on June the 4th.  She's a fantastic lady with a good heart and always has been extremely helpful, in my experience.  So when the opportunity to read an advanced release of her new story, Wild Horses, presented itself, I spoke up fairly fast.  I always enjoy reading new and upcoming authors' works.  Always on the hunt for goodies, you know. 

While romantic suspense might not have been my most favorite genre of romance, I can truthfully say this author surprised me. 

Go ahead and grab your lasso and cheek chillers, Wild Horses will take you on a ride. 

It's a fairly fast-paced romantic suspense full of beautiful description and imagery.  It's entirely too easy to find yourself sympathizing with the characters which are well developed and full of such strong emotions.  The author painted a vibrant, smoothly flowing adventure that was enthralling to read. 

The book was full of twists and turns around every page.  Ms. Lindun's description was so affluent, I felt more like a character in the novel at some points as opposed to the reader.  Plus, by the end of the story, I felt so emotionally invested, I couldn't stop myself from tearing up.

One particular thing I loved the most was the heroine, Castaña.  She was a doer in every sense of the word.  Gotta love a strong heroine that's not afraid to get her hands dirty or do what must be done whether it be a pain in the ass or not.  That element of her character makes her much more identifiable to the real women of the world that I know. 

Thank you, Ms. Lindun, for a thoroughly captivating read.  I look forward to reading more from you very soon!

In conclusion, definitely mark your calenders and be ready to pick up your own copy of Wild Horses.  You will not regret it.   

Available for purchase on June 4thAmazon

Please visit the author at: Website

Monday, May 7, 2012

Review of Unlawful Contact by Pamela Clare

Unlawful Contact (I-Team, #3)
Book 3 in the I-Team Series

Blurb: When a young woman disappears, journalist Sophie Alton investigates and is led to the woman's brother, a convicted killer who is running from the law. Together, they follow a dangerous path toward the truth-and unforgettable passion.

My Opinion: You better believe I found this author on my own.  Thanks anyway, Amazon.  You were just a little too late.  I found this author by stumbling upon one of her historic novels, Surrender.  Totally flipping fantastic read.  Hot Scots in actions, set against the backdrop of the American Revolution, what's not to love?  However, I chose to go with one of her contemporary novels versus flooding you with too many Historicals at one time. 

I found myself wanting to branch out from historical romance and saw this author also wrote contemporary romance.  Well, I just had to jump on that band wagon real quick.  This happened to be the first I picked up in the I-Team Series and definitely wasn't my last.

I'll go ahead and say what must be said, "Flipping sweet!"

The book immediately drew me in from page one.  The author wrote an engrossing story accompanied by such richly developed characters, it's impossible to not delve right on in.  The plot is fast-moving and intense.  There are certain parts of the story I couldn't help but bite my nails as I intently flipped from page to page.

I absolutely loved the hero, Marc, in this story so much.  He was a man pushed to desperate extremes in order to keep his family safe and alive.  As you know, I love a man that puts his family and love above himself.  I will always have a soft spot in my heart for that selfless hero that will go to any links to care for what is his. 

Plus, Marc and the heroine, Sophie, have some phenomenal sexual tension.  While I don't normally root for the hot and heavy, I anticipated these guys reconnecting.  And ASAP.

I won't even say this particular book is a must read.  In my opinion, all of Ms. Clare's books are must reads.  She is a masterful author that knows how to pen a romance novel.  If you have not given Ms. Clare a try previously, please do so.  You will not be disappointed with anything she has written.

Please visit the author at: Website

Available for purchase at: Amazon

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Review of Relieving Zoe's Virtue by Eve Edwards

Relieving Zoe's Virtue - Decadent Publishing

Blurb: After Zoe Cohen catches her boyfriend with another woman, she decides losing her virginity is just the solution to shake up her straight-laced life as librarian. Tired of waiting for Mr. Right, she’ll settle for Mr. Do Me Right Now.

To achieve this end, she uses the exclusive dating service, 1NightStand, to set up a rendezvous, but never expects her destination to take her to the fey Otherworld. Once she meets her match, Sinnon, a wickedly seductive Leanan Sidhe, she knows she’s in for an explosive experience. With a name and body for sin, he tempts her like no other. His touch commands her total surrender. But this night is on her terms, and the happy ending he desires may come at too high a price.

Zoe may lose her virginity, but will she forfeit her heart to Sinnon in the process?

My Opinion: I'm not usually a lover of short stories, but I'll give anything a try once.   

This just happened to be my first 1NS story.  And I can say with surety, it will not be last.  While it was short, I really enjoyed the depth of the characters, storyline, and the world the author created.  Zoe and Sinnon are explosive together.  Definitely a very sensual, emotional pair.   I would have loved for the story to be longer only because I enjoyed what I read so much.  Alas, it is what it is.  I knew it was meant to be a short story before going in.  So that didn't bother me in the slightest.

The story was well written and extremely humorous in some places.  Some of the heroine's thoughts actually cracked me up.  The author crafted an amazing adventure for Zoe in a such a short span of time.  I was thoroughly impressed with the amount of detail and emotion Ms. Edwards managed to relay in a limited amount of pages.

I'm all about some outstanding Fae hotness now.  If only I could get one to whisk me away for some hot and heavy.

By the way, I just have to say that guy on the cover makes me want to reach out and touch someone.

All in all, Relieving Zoe's Virtue is a short sensual, delightful read you should absolutely check out.

Please visit the author at: Website

Available for purchase at: Amazon

Review of Dangerous Passion by Lisa Marie Rice

Dangerous Passion
Book 3 in the Dangerous Series

Blurb: Feelings kill faster than bullets.
That is Drake’s creed. A legend, a renegade, a ruthless, powerful enigma understood by no one and feared by all, Viktor “Drake” Drakovich heads up a billion-dollar empire—and shows no mercy to the many enemies who would stop at nothing to destroy him. He is a man with no love and no weakness, until…

Grace Larsen takes Drake’s breath away the first time he sees her—and quickly becomes his obsession. Never before has he burned for someone the way he desires this hauntingly beautiful artist who is plagued by troubling dreams. He aches to possess her, to protect her, to carry her to new heights of sensuous arousal and rapturous release.

But entering Drake’s world means becoming a target—for relentless, bloodthirsty foes have been eagerly waiting for him to expose his weak spot. And the price of their passion may be their lives.

My Opinion: So, here is yet another recommendation from Amazon.  If they didn't suggest such winners, I might actually get a bit irritated and paranoid with the site playing "Reading God" to my To Be Read list.  Nonetheless, I managed to pick up the paperback of this book since it happened to be on sale at the time.  Now who doesn't like a sale?  I mean, come on. 

After receiving and reading the book, I'll just say, "Where the crap is my badass hero?"  'Cause I definitely felt like I needed one after giving this book a read.

The hero is definitely what makes this book for me.  I'm sure we are all familiar with a hero running away from a heroine for the half of a book before he admits his undying love to himself and her.  Not the case with Ms. Rice's novels.  Her heroes know what they want immediately and go after it.

I'm fairly certain I can congratulate Ms. Rice for kicking off my interest in more "contemporary/action-based" reads.  While the love may be pretty TSTL in most of of her books, it didn't deter my interest from the story one iota.  Her heroes are super alphas that may not be the prettiest on the eyes, but they are every bit prime, sexed-up, protective male.  I love a man that will go to any length to see his love protected and well, even going so far as to put her life above his own.  *Le Sigh*

Oh yeah, and did I mention the intimate scenes are hot.  Just saying, after the window scene, I felt like I needed a hosing down.  Perhaps a bit more information than you really needed to know but hey, it is what it is. 

All in all, after giving this book a few thorough reads, I've quickly made it my business to read everything this author has written and not been disappointed.  But, this will always be one of my favorites.  I'll even go so far to say I think I might have a crush on the hero, Drake.  If you are looking for a fast-paced, sexy read, definitely give it a try.

Please visit the author at: Website

Available for purchase at: Amazon

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Offering you lovely people appreciation

Hi there, you lovely readers.  I just wanted to take a chance to thank you all for your views and comments.  It means a great deal to me that you would take the time to check out my reviews. 

I am still trying to find the right niche.  I can only hope I will be able to continue with more awesome authors.  There are so many I would love to add.  If you haven't noticed, I tend to stick to books I have honestly enjoyed rather than move on to the ones that might not have been my favorites.  For the time being, I do believe I will stick with this particular formatting.

However, I am always open to suggestions.  If there is a certain book that might be your favorite and you would love to see it here, please feel free to drop me a line to discuss it more.  I aim to please my readers.

Wishing you sunshine and rainbows and all the non-pissy things in life!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Review of Nothing to Commend Her by Jo Barrett

Nothing To Commend Her
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Publication Date: 2009

Blurb: The Earl of Pensby lost his wife in a fire, one that left him scarred in more ways than one. He’s surly, brooding, and according to half the ton, a monster. Except to Agatha Trumwell, she sees so much more than his scars. But with a pitiful dowry, unfavorable looks, and a tendency to speak her mind, she has nothing to commend her, or so she believes. Can these two lonely souls find love amid the gossiping beau monde while someone plots to tear their fragile world apart?

My Opinion: So, maybe I was trolling yet again.  All right, perhaps, "virtual" trolling might be a more apt description.  As you all might have guessed by now, it seems to be a hobby of mine to find new material to read fairly often.  I mean, hey, is it really a bad thing I'd rather spend my time reading a book than watching some crappy show on television?  Yeah, that's what I thought too.

For me, it's actually a nice release to just browse book stores and online retailers such as Amazon for new authors.  On one such occasion, I ran across Nothing to Commend Her on Amazon.  I couldn't even begin to tell you how I stumbled across it.  Nonetheless, I read the blurb and the limited reviews posted on the site and it seemed like it might be a good read.  Initially, I debated over buying the book since the author wasn't as well known to me.  After staring at it in my cart for three days, I finally just clicked that notorious "Checkout" button that I'm sure we all know well.

To say the book took me by surprise is an understatement.  The author created an endearing, beautiful tale that was an absolute pleasure to read. 

What drew me into the story immediately and made me love it so much were the hero and heroine.  They are what you might term the "underdogs" of popular society.  The hero is heavily scarred from a fire and extremely self-conscious as a result.  The heroine is a plain, intelligent spinster with no prospects on the table.  After finding themselves entering a marriage together, they struggle with their insecurities and misconceptions about each other.  Other obstacles are thrown in the mix obviously, but you'd have to read the book to find that out for yourself. 

But it's the author's focus on the budding love between these two lonely, likeable characters that make this such an enjoyable read for me.  Both characters immediately looked past the scarring and plainness others had snubbed them over for long and easily saw the real person hidden inside.  It's hard not to find yourself cheering them on and wishing them all the happiness they both deserve.

Also, there were such tender moments in the story as this pair fell into love with each other.  Magnus truly is a complete sweetheart even as he struggles with his confidence. There are many times during the story I wished I'd had the ability to actually reach out and give this fictional man a hug. 

This book definitely falls under one of my "sweet reads".  It will never fail to bring a smile to my face and warmness to my otherwise hard heart.  So cheers, Jo Barrett, for offering such a gratifyingly charming read that I intend to read over and over.  Never again will there be any hesitation to click that "Checkout" button if your name is on it.

Please visit the author at: Website

Available for purchase at: Wild Rose Press 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Review of The Perfect Wife by Lynsay Sands

Reissue April 26, 2011 (Avon)

Blurb: It was to be hoped that her groom was partial to cherries. For Avelyn feared she would very much resemble one at their wedding feast. Too round, to red in the scarlet gown that was all she could fit into…and perhaps too tart for his taste? No doubt he longed for a sweet, biddable bride, one who was as tiny and trim as she was trying to appear.

Paen Gerville longed for a lively, well-rounded woman, one whose plump breast would cushion his head after the lonely, harsh life of a solitary fighting knight. At first his wife-to-be promised no such delights—her form was unbending, her health apparently fragile as she fainted into his arms as their first kiss. But one split bridal gown later, her assets were eye-poppingly apparent and Paen could only grin as he anticipated the surprises yet to come on his wedding night with… THE PERFECT WIFE
My Opinion: After a long cantankerous day at work sometimes all I want to do is come home and bury myself under a mound of covers and fall asleep for a few days. Unfortunately, we can't really do that, can we? So when the day has been pissy and I just want to unwind, I read something that is lighthearted and full of humor which will bring a smile to my face. 
Enter Lynsay Sands.
The Perfect Wife happens to be the first book I stumbled upon by this author. Since then, I have read just about everything this author has released. Oddly enough, this book is still one of my favorites by this author. If you haven't noticed already, I tend to gravitate toward historic and medieval novels. Meh, to each their own, right?

There are three significant things about this book that make me like it so much. 

1) While some reviewers complained about the author's "slapstick" humor, I actually find it quite enjoyable to read for a change. This book, in particular, has a series of humorous events that never cease to make me laugh. And that is exactly why I am reading the book in the first place. I want to read about those hilarious events whether or not others might deem it "silly". At the end of a long day, it's nice to read a book that doesn't have such a plot-heavy storyline. I don't want to have to concentrate on thick plots or frown about certain instances. Instead, I want to be able to kick my heals back, relax, and laugh. Mission accomplished with this book.

2) The characters in this story are extremely likeable. While it's a medieval romance, the hero and heroine still encompass a lot of characteristics that hit extremely close to home in a many of us today. 
For instance, Avelyn, the heroine, has such a good heart, but is an overly self-conscious woman that goes to great links to please her new husband. Although, no matter how many obstacles fall into her lap, she manages to persevere (that wonderful human talent all of us are gifted with).

The hero, Paen, thoroughly amused me. The author did a terrific job crafting this character. He is so utterly male, it's hilarious to read. His thought process, mentality, and logic are almost scarily familiar to a few men I know in my own life. At one point, the hero, who is inexperienced with the sensibilities of the opposite sex, pats the heroine's bottom and offers her an apple for a job well done because that was exactly how he'd let his horse know he'd done well. This scene actually tickled me because the guy was so downright clueless when it came to his new wife. Sadly, so are many of the males in our lives. Also, the hero had his own share of vulnerabilities (in a manly way, of course) about pleasing his new spouse which I found endearing in some cases. 
3) Once I read who the real "hero" of the story was toward the end, I had a huge grin on my face. It's not everyday you'll read a book where this particular "hero" has an opportunity to save the day. It was actually very cute. 
All in all, if you are looking for a lighthearted, fun read loaded with humor, this book is for you.  I'll continue to read anything this author releases. While I'll not offer an apple and a pat on your rear, I will say, job well done, Ms. Sands.

Please visit the author at: Website

Available for purchase at: Amazon

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Review of Brenda Dyer's Love's Prophecy

Book 1 in The Prophecy Series

Dark warriors of might...
Mel is a vampire warrior sworn to hunt and kill demons in the dark streets of Vancouver. But he's burdened with a new assignment: find the meaning behind the Vampire Prophecy. Having no faith in the gods and their empty words, he believes there's no truth to the ancient legend until he meets Breeana, a human woman who bears the mark of the prophecy and resembles the mysterious woman haunting his dreams. When a vengeful demon spies Breeana in his arms, she is marked for death. He must take her from the world she knows until he can eliminate the threat. But the real danger is the role Breeana must play in fulfilling the prophecy and the intense feelings she brings out in him. Mel is forced to choose between his obligations to his kind, the world, and the woman he loves. Can he turn his back on love to let her go, or will he risk her life and bind her to him for all eternity?

Small warriors of light...
Veterinarian, Dr. Breeana Spencer yearns for love and companionship, but the disappointment of failed relationships have taken their toll. She now finds solace in romance novels. But when she meets a mysterious stranger, she's drawn to him by a connection so forceful it shatters all reason, leaving her incapable of resisting him. Yet there's more to him than smoldering good looks and a rock-hard body. As she's drawn deeper into his danger-filled world, she learns she's part of an ancient vampire legend. Breeana fears her future is no longer hers and will not include Mel. As their enemies close in, desperate to destroy them both, she must fight to convince Mel her place is at his side. A  life-altering choice is before her—one that will take all her courage and love to make. 

My OpinionPlease take note I was feeling spry today so I covered two (stick up two fingers, just like you did in kindergarten) reviews.

As I gain more exposure to many of the authors’ works in my critique group, I've began to realize just how fortunate I am to be surrounded by an array of talented individuals. Brenda Dyer just happens to be one of those individuals. She is a fun-loving, sweetheart with an infectious, bubbly personality. Even if she is Canadian (Ha, just kidding). She recently released her first book of a paranormal romance series. Being a lover of paranormal romance, I thought I would give it a shot. 

To be completely honest, I didn’t set my expectations too high because the genre seems a bit repetitive and lackluster lately. Of course, that is strictly my own opinion. Nonetheless, I bought the book anyway and read it once I came back from a long weekend away in Savannah with family (long story, different blog).

Can I just say, “Dynamic”? 

Love’s Prophecy was a breath of fresh air. I can’t stress how pleasant it was to read a completely new take on vampires that stepped outside of the norm. The writing was witty and crisp, the storyline well developed, and the characters were full of depth and emotion. The author created a sexy, action-packed world full of seriously hot alpha vampire warriors and psychotic demons that will keep you reading till you reach the end and wish you had more pages to turn.

The hero, Mel, is a piece of prime male hotness with such a tortured soul that it practically begs for redemption. Lo and behold, we have a kind-hearted, sassy heroine, Breeana, who is more than willing to stand by her vamp and offer him the peaceful, loving refuge he ultimately deserves. How can you not like a woman who will stand by her man through the thick and thin of it all?

In addition, there are some truly sigh-worthy moments in the book that brought a smile to my face. While Mel may be an alpha vampire warrior, he's not scared to show his tender, romantic side to his love.  I absolutely treasure a novel that has its share of  “aww” moments. I mean, isn't that one reason we are reading romance after all?  

Plus, can you say, “series“? Oh yeah, you better believe I’m anticipating a novel for roommate and fellow warrior, Kal.
The foundation has been laid, my dears.

With all that being said, Hurray to you, Brenda Dyer. I look forward to reading much more by you in the future!  

If you haven't already, definitely check out the book very soon. You’ll be more than satisfied you did. 

Please check out the author atWebsite

Available for purchase at: Amazon 

Review of Anne Mallory's In Total Surrender

In Total Surrender (Secrets, #3)
Book 3 in the Secrets Series

Blurb: The first kiss was dangerous enough…

Andreas Merrick is the king of London’s dark underworld, having amassed unimaginable wealth and power…and a fierce reputation that leaves even the bravest men quaking in their boots. Yet one person is maddeningly unintimidated by his fearsome presence: the persistent Miss Phoebe Pace.

And one kiss always leads to another…

Equal parts honey and steel, Phoebe will stop at nothing to find her missing brother and save her family. Though associating with Andreas means peril and scandal, she never expects to experience a passion so intense that it threatens to consume her. But enigmatic Andreas is no ordinary man to love. He brings dangers from all sides – without and within – while tempting her beyond her wildest dreams…

My Opinion: Okay, so maybe I was trolling again..  

But this time with a specific book in mind. A while back this book popped up under my recommendations on Amazon. Even though I wasn't familiar with the author, the cover looked appealing so I decided to check it out. Naturally I checked out a few reviews, which is not uncommon for me. Soon I discovered a lot of mixed reviews. In particular, people complained that the first half of the story was written from the hero's point of view then other reviewers seemed to be disappointed with the lack of intimate scenes in the book. After reading the reviews, that only made my interest intensify. I had to find out just what these people meant for myself.

And am I glad I did give it a shot. Once I read the book, it quickly was added to my growing list of favorites. 

 Andreas has to be one of the most remote, ruthless heroes I have read. I completely grasped why the first third of the book was written from his point of view. He is such a silent, solemn person you would have to be in his point of view for the storyline to work. I thought it was an entirely innovative change from standard Regency romance novels.

I can't even express just how humorous I found the inner struggle going on in this hero's head every time he encountered the heroine or dealt with her hairbrained schemes. Not to mention her bribery with pastries. It was actually fun to read his control slip with each new baked good that landed on his desk.  

Phoebe was an interesting character as well. She was a sly, eccentric lady with an enormously sunny disposition. Totally clashes with the dark, dangerous hero, but their connection to each other worked so well in this book. And that is absolutely because the author crafted and delivered a wonderful story full of rich detail and sharp, witty dialogue. 

As for the lack of intimate scenes, they were relatively minor in the book. Of course, that doesn't deter me in the slightest. As long as there is a decent amount of sexual tension between the hero and heroine and the dialogue is snappy, I'm a satisfied lady. 

And that was the case with this book. It's rare to come across a romance novel where the hero is allowed to dominate so much of the book. Personally, that was one of the things I loved so much about In Total Surrender. I appreciated that the author tried something new with this book and actually had the knowledge and know-how to pull it off and create a thoroughly complex, enjoyable read. 

Truly, the book tickled me. If you haven't given it a try, please add it to your "To Be Read" list soon. 

Please visit the author at: Website

Available for purchase at: Amazon 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Review of Bound by the Mist by Lisa Kumar

Book 1 in the Mists of Eria Series

Blurb: Though a dimension of differences stands between them, they are bound by the mist. 

A magic that’s fading

Relian has lived a life that hasn’t changed in millennia, and he likes it that way. As Prince of the Erian people, he has his conscripted duties. And a human, even one as desirable as Cal, does not fit into them. But as the enemy darkindred knock on the borders and the magic of his people fades, he might just have to find room.

A love that’s binding

College Student Cal Weston spends a good portion of her time trying to keep people from thinking she’s crazy, including herself. And with good reason. But her carefully constructed reality is turned upside down when she discovers that Relian, the seductive elvin prince who has been starring in her sensuous fantasies, isn’t merely a myth and his magical kingdom really exists. Now she’s bound to an elf and stuck in a land where no one, least of all Relian, is willing to spill any answers about the truth of her arrival.

Two people, two worlds meet in the mist

Even as love grows between them, can they lay aside their differences to embrace a life together?

My Opinion: You'll be happy to know I wasn't trolling through any book stores to find this one. Just the idea of trolling makes me sound like some old dirty, literary deviant. And I digress. 

I'll start by saying I have never really been a lover of fantasy romance or time travel romances. There are a few I like, but it's few and far between. Most times the authors pack in too many outlandish details that turn the story into some silly incomprehensible jumble of words, or the story really is just plain silly(I could have said something mean here, but I didn't). Don't get me wrong. I have read a few epic fantasy fiction novels that have been outstanding. However, when you throw in romance as the main driving element of the story, things tend to go south in my experience. 

Through my writer's critique group(full of terrific ladies I honestly admire), I had the great fortune of having my first completely messed up chapter critiqued by two very competent, understanding authors, Lisa Kumar and Daryl Davore. Cheers, by the way!  :)  After that, I had the pleasure of getting to know Lisa Kumar a bit better through our exchange of emails. What I came to learn was she is an absolute sweetheart that is extremely well versed and entirely humble about her own writing. Being the inquisitive(some might just say nosy) person that I am, I had to check out her book, Bound by the Mist. Of course, I had a certain level of apprehension once I discovered it was a fantasy romance. Dear, oh dear, what to do? Well dive right in and read it, of course.  

And can I just say "WOW". Totally not what I expected at all. 

It was a beautifully written, well developed love story with likeable characters that actually had such depth and a well of emotions. The author created such a richly detailed Elven realm that, to be honest, I was sort of sad to leave once I reached the end of the book.   

The hero, Relian, was a perfect blend of traits: protectiveness, strength, sensitivity, and a certain air of elusiveness. While he tried to hold on to his secrets and his heart, he couldn't quite accomplish that with the heroine, Cal. She was a balanced mixture of shy sweetness and logical intelligence. Together, the pair have such a magnetic pull to each other. Regardless of the fateful bond between them and assorted obstacles, these two found their own path to a true love, side by side. 

One aspect of the book that I loved so much was the fact the author allowed the love between this pair to grow naturally. In too many books, the love between a hero and heroine have a habit of springing up overnight. I can't tell you how much I enjoy reading a book, fantasy even, that will allow the characters to grow into love together. It adds a certain level of realism to the story that allows the reader to relate more with the hero and/or heroine. 

Also, the author set up a solid foundation for a series. Nothing makes me happier when I find a book I love and I see the possibility of a series. It leaves me with this certain anticipation for what's to come in the future. I am anxiously awaiting a novel for Talion, the cynical, sex-on-a-stick Elvin king, and Maggie, the sarcastic, direct, independent best friend of Cal.  

I have to give a huge 'thank you' to Lisa Kumar for restoring my faith in fantasy romance. I highly recommend this book to one and all every chance I get. I simply adored this sweet love story that left me with the warm and fuzzies and an ear-to-ear sappy grin.  

Please check out the author at:  Author's page

Available for purchase at: Amazon