Burned by Sarah Morgan

Burned

By Sarah Morgan

Miller Sisters book 2

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Published May 27th 2014 by Cosmo Red Hot Reads from Harlequin

83 pages

A free copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Trainer and martial artist Rosie Miller’s zen is seriously compromised when Hunter Black—her former coach and lover—becomes her new boss. And with all the sexual energy still crackling between them, her poor little zen doesn’t stand a chance. So this time, Rosie is determined to play by her rules….

I am a big romance reader but I am the first to admit that they are not always very relatable or believable. But then just occasionally a romance book comes along that is those things and Burned is one of them. It could have been about me, or you, or any of us really. It is a book about two adults struggling to figure out their feelings for one another. No drama. No angst. Just a romance that could happen to any of us.

Burned works because of its characters. Hunter and Rosie are pretty normal in comparison to many other romantic leads out there. They were in a relationship when they were teens that fell apart, there was no torrid affairs, interfering families, or dramatic misunderstandings to blame. Instead it was the characters fears and insecurities that drove the relationship to end. Years later they find each other again and realise the chemistry is still there but are unsure if a relationship would ever work.

I cannot tell you how refreshing it is to read about two normal, average human beings. It was just so nice not to have all the drama but instead read about how their feels change and adapt to what is happening between them. It was sweet, cute and true, I really enjoyed the change of pace and the normality of it all.

Both characters are lovely but Rosie is particularly great. She is funny and cute but lets her insecurities get the better of her sometimes. Normally that is something that annoys me in a female character but Rosie is aware it’s a problem and she works around it. I also really liked Hunter but because there was no POV from him I felt like I didn’t know him all that well. Normally I don’t mind a single POV but in this book I think it would have worked better if both of them had a say.

Burned is a great book that I would recommend to Romance lovers. I don’t think you will be disappointed in this little jem.

3 stars

Hotter After Midnight by Cynthia Eden

Hotter After Midnight

By Cynthia Eden

Midnight book 1

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Shifter, Mystery

Release Date: 1st May 2008

Published by Brava

272 pages

A Seductive Nighttime World. . . Dr. Emily Drake’s psychotherapy patients tend to be a little unusual. Instead of midlife crises and mother fixations, Emily treats vampires with blood phobias and sex-demons looking for meaningful relationships. But healing these powerful beings requires an important rule: Never trust a shifter. Especially not one like Detective Colin Gyth, whose gold-flecked eyes and predatory air make Emily realize how much she longs to lose control. . .

A Dark And Dangerous Hunger. . .

Colin can’t believe the doctor he has to work with on the Night Butcher murder case is the one person who could expose his true identity as a wolf shifter. Smart and sexy, Emily brings out the alpha male in Colin, unleashing a wild desire that takes them both over the edge. . . But in the shadows, the Night Butcher waits, eager to spill Emily’s blood and taste her terror. And he’ll use any means to destroy her, including the one person she has grown to trust. . .

Generally speaking I quite like Cynthia Eden books so I was expecting quite a lot from Hotter After Midnight. I did enjoy this book and finished it in a couple of afternoons but for me this wasn’t as good as some of the authors other work.

In terms of writing this was good. I have always liked Eden’s style and that didn’t change here. Like her other books this is an easy read to get into and I found the hours sliding away without really noticing.

The story itself was good and I liked the mix of the murder mystery and paranormal romance genres. What let this book down was the fact that it didn’t always make sense. There were a dew plot holes and some moments that didn’t seem necessary. For example the introduction of Emily’s mother and the implication (which comes from both the mother and other places) that Emily is evil served no real purpose. I thought it might be an attempt to implicate Emily as a suspect and make Colin second guess his feelings for her but in the end nothing came of it. Another example is mating which at the mid-way point seemed like a big deal but again it eventually came to nothing.

The characters were likeable but typical for this kind of book. Emily was a little too stubborn and Colin a little too alpha. Together they were good and there was no shortage of chemistry but it lacked any emotional impact.

This book wasn’t perfect and is not the best I have read from this author but I did enjoy it and I will read more from this series.

3 stars

Claiming His Mate by Savannah Stuart

 

Saving His Mate

By Savannah Stuart

Cresent Moon book 4

Genre: Novella, Paranormal Romance, Shifter, Vampire

Published May 5th 2014

144 Pages

From the moment vampire bounty-hunter Rex Serano meets sexy shifter Margery, he’s smitten. When the alpha of the Kincaid pack asks him to join with them, he’s stunned by the offer, but the real draw is the beautiful, caring female who seems to want nothing to do with him.

Margery is the driving maternal force for her pack and she has one rule: she doesn’t date vampires. Years ago she was nearly killed by rogue vamps and she has no interest in getting involved with one now. No matter how sexy a certain, persistent bounty hunter might be.

When one of Rex’s hunts gets messy, Margery gets caught in the crossfire and he’ll do whatever it takes to protect her. They might be different species but the mating call is undeniable and too strong to ignore. Now they must find a way to reach common ground and trust their instincts if they’re going to fight for a future together.

 

Generally speaking I like novella’s, they are nice, short reads that are great if you have just finished something a little heavy. Despite liking novellas I will be the first to admit there are often problems with them. Sometimes they feel rushed or something may seem missing, writing a novella of decent quality is hard work because you have such little room to play with.

For the most part Savannah Stuart gets it right with Saving his Mate. The story is well constructed and well written and I felt there was a good beginning, middle and end. Plot is something that can get lost in a romantic novella but Stuart managed to get a nice balance of the two.

Something had to give and unfortunately that ended up being the characters. They were a little bland and lacked any real personality. Stuart has expertly managed to squeeze everything into 144 pages but that meant there was no room to really explore what made Rex and Margery tick. Despite that this is a still an enjoyable novella that Paranormal romance fans will probably enjoy. It is enough to make sure I check out the other books in the series and other, hopefully longer, books from this author.

3 Stars

 

Find out more:

Goodreads, Author’s Website

The Darkest Day by Britt Bury

The Darkest Day

by Britt Bury

Book one in the Immortal Heat series

Genre: Romance, Paranormal, Highland, dystopian, erotica, demons

Expected publication: July 3rd 2012 by Grand Central Publishing

I was provided with a copy of this book by the publisher for review

Izel Campbell was raised to believe she is an immortal Fionn with the magical skills of persuasion. But when she travels to Scotland to visit her ancestral home, Izel discovers that she is actually the world’s last living human. Forced to run for her life, Izel crosses paths with Kelvin Kerr, the Campbells’ greatest foe—and the most magnificent warrior she has ever seen.  A thousand-year-old battle chief of the Kerr clan, Kelvin lives only to avenge his father, who died at the hands of the bloody Campbells. Honor demands he kill the Campbell heir, but when he learns that the lovely Izel is both Campbell and human, Kelvin is torn between duty and desire . . .

Oh yes, Britt Bury, yes!

This is exactly what I have been looking for.  I have massive love for PNR (Paranormal romance) but nothing has really captured me since the early Black Dagger Brotherhood books.  Well finally something has.  I just loved this book.  It had everything; action, drama, humour and romance.  It was just great.

Ok, so what made this book so great? I will start with the idea.  I think Britt Bury is incredibly smart because she has taken the top three (or there about) romance sub-genres and somehow mixed them together.  This is a Highland novel, it is set in Scotland.  Our hero, Kelvin, is a Scottish clan warrior…but he is also something else.  Kelvin is a paranormal being, closely related to shape shifters (although his species doesn’t actually shift).  This novel might look and feel like a Highland novel but it is set in the modern world.  So it is a highland, PNR, urban fantasy novel…but wait, there’s more (stick with me here.) This modern world has no humans (almost) they all died out.  The world is full of paranormal beings but things are still somewhat derelict.  So to conclude The Darkest Day is a highland, PNR, Urban Fantasy, Dystopian novel.  Sounds a bit too much doesn’t it? Except for the fact that it works perfectly.  Bury has written this book so well that the joining of so many genres doesn’t distract from but enhances the reading experience.  This book is written in a way that is also utterly entrancing.  I struggled to put this book down.  It was engaging from beginning to end.  The prologue set the tone immediately and that atmosphere and intensity stayed with the book the whole way through.

Let’s move on to the characters.  Essentially there are only two characters in this book.  There are others who pop their heads in (I think/hope this was more for the next books in the series) but there are only two people who really matter in this book, Kelvin and Izel.

Izel is a great female lead.  She is funny, smart, sassy and just all round awesome.  I didn’t once find her irritating or weak.  She was not kick-ass or unemotional but she was no doormat either.  Kelvin (honestly if you could see what this guy looked like in my head you would faint) is just devastating.  If I met him I wouldn’t stand a chance.  He is strong, hard and tough.  He has responsibilities and obligations.  He at times probably comes across as a little scary.  He is rash, stubborn and infuriating.  But behind all the brutishness he is loving, gentle and fairly emotional.  When he loves he does it with all of his heart and he would do anything to protect that person.  Like Izel he was not once annoying.

The romance between Izel and Kelvin was just amazing.  I loved the growth of their relationship, from enemies, to annoyances, to lust then finally to love.  Sure, there are some bumps along the way but it was not done just for the sake of drama.  Most of the humour in this book came from the banter between them.  In the beginning the sparred verbally back and worth which gave the book a light-hearted feel but slowly that turned to something darker.  The tension and chemistry between them poured off of every page, it was fidget inducing brilliant.  It oozed from the characters and created bucket loads of sexual tension.

The Darkest Day proves that there is still some imagination in the romance genre.  It is by far the best PNR I have read in a while and I strongly recommend it.  I cannot wait for the next book in the series.

My rating 4 out of 5 stars

check out the links: Goodreads, Author’s website

Let me know what you think in the comments!

Sunday Book Haul (1)

On Sundays I will be posting the books I bought/borrowed/was given this week!

I got some great books this week, here is what I got:

From Publishers for review (ARCS):

 

Read any of these books? What did you think?

What did you guys get this week?

Something Wicked Comes This Way

Something Wicked Comes This Way

by Jaid Black, Diana Hunter, Regina Carlysle, Katalina Leon, Aubrey Ross and Laurann Dohner.

Genre: Romance, anthology, erotic, contemporary, historic fiction, were/shifter, ménage, sci-fi, vampires, Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy.

(Kindle Edition.  Published May 1st 2012 by Ellora’s Cave)    
*The publisher provided  me with this book for review, via Netgalley*

Something Wicked Comes this way is pretty much what you would expect from an erotic literature anthology.  Some of the stories are good, some are bad and some are just damn bizarre.

All in all the book was good.  The stories were well written, well-developed and really imaginative…sometimes TOO imaginative. I am going to go through each story (as they appear in the book) and give you my thoughts on each one.

-Scarred and Kilt by Luarran Dohner:  This was a typical paranormal romance story.  Take one curious girl, one massive hulk of a vampire, add a desk and…you know where this is going.  This story is completely unrealistic, but it takes that fact and runs with it.  It doesn’t take itself too seriously and because of that it ends up being fun.

-Tinderbox by Regina Carlysle:  This is a mating/shifting/menage story.  I am not going to lie, menage is not really my thing but I know there are a lot of readers out there that love these stories.  The plot was ok, the characters were ok it was just ok.  I found the main female character to be a little bit of a wet blanket and that is generally something I am not a fan of.  But if you are a fan of this particular type of story then I think you will like it.

– Asterion by Katalina Leon: I actually quite liked this one.  The story (especially in the beginning) was really quite interesting.  It was atmospheric and intriguing.  The characters were Good especially Darron who was all kinds of cute and endearing. There was a plot which I really liked.  I would have liked more of it and think it would make a great full length novel.  The ending felt rushed which was a real shame.

– Decadent Dance by Aubrey Ross: What is blue and has two penises?

NO! (I actually have no idea how many penises smurfs have but they are a bit weird so…)  The correct answer is the male protagonist of this story.  This to be quite honest is Avatar porn (who knew Sam Worthington was hiding that in his pants!) I cannot pretend that I enjoyed this story.  My tastes are a lot more…average.  I liked the idea though and the aliens sounded really pretty! But apart from that I didn’t really like it, it wasn’t just the alien business there were also some questionable behaviour from said alien that I didn’t quite like.

– Sahara Heat by Diana Hunter: This was my second favourite story in this anthology.    It had great characters that bounced off one another brilliantly.  There is a spark between them and their banter is entertaining.  I am not the biggest BDSM fan but this was on the light side so I was ok with it.  It also has a great male protagonist.  He looks like Thor, enough said.

– Fatman and Robyn by Jaid Black: This is by far my favourite story of the collection.  There is a great plot, it is well written, the characters are likeable, it is cute, hot and they don’t rush into having sex! 90% of this story has no sex in it at all and because of that you get to know the characters and you end up caring for them because you know them.

Something Wicked This Way Comes is not going to change you life.  Some of it is great and some is pretty bad.  If you are a fan of the genre then it has a little something for everyone.  also, despite its sometimes silliness there is plot to be found in these stories which is something I think should always be praised with these books.

My Rating 3 out 0f 5 stars!

What do you think? Let me know in the comments

Check out the links: Goodreads, AmazonUK, Amazon.com

Where There’s Smoke by Karen Kelley

Title: Where There’s Smoke

Author: Karen Kelley

Genre: Adult, Paranormal romance, Supernatural, Erotica

Expected Publication May 1st 2012 by Sourcebooks Casablanca

My Rating 2.5/5

*The publisher provided me with this book for review, via Netgalley.*

Blurb: When sexy wannabe-demon, Destiny Carter, is kicked out of Hell, she lands in Ft. Worth, Texas with one week to corrupt a soul. Or else. She slips into a slinky red dress, and heads straight for the delicious, corruptible looking cowboy at the bar.  But Chance Bellew has his own agenda-saving souls. He’s not your typical angel. He’s a nephilim, to be exact. Centuries ago, angels came down from Heaven and mated with mortal women. When the women bore children, a new race was created. Immortals with powers—demigods, nephilim.  But the children don’t live by the same rules as mortals, or that of the typical, robe-wearing, bright light-surrounding-them angels. Hell, most of the time the nephilim are breaking the rules, and making up new ones as they go. As long as they don’t cross over to the dark side, everyone pretty much stays out of their way.
But sometimes a demon-in-training, who looks like Destiny, comes along and all Hell breaks loose.

Where there’s smoke by Karen Kelley is one of those weird ones to review.  I really, really struggled with it; I lost interest I found myself skimming a lot but not because the book was bad.

This book had everything that a book like this should have.  It had an ok story line, a female lead character that you could relate to and a male character that makes you a little weak in the knees.

The sex scenes are just right, they are not overdone and they are not under done.  In fact some of them are top-notch.

So why did I struggle so much? I did find it a little far-fetched and a little repetitive but that is something I am used to when reading Paranormal Romance.

At the end of the day I think that this book just wasn’t for me.  For some reason I just didn’t connect with it.  I just found it all a little flat.  There was just something missing.

Despite the sex I think this is supposed to be a love story more than anything else and I didn’t feel the burning romance as much as I think I should have.  I think that is where my problems came from.  I wanted more.

Despite that I would recommend this book to fans of the genre.  I think people will like it.

Goodreads / Amazon / B&N / Authors Website