Monthly Archives: April 2013

Review- Alice In Wonderland (A Novel) by Elle Lothlorien

Title: Alice In Wonderland (a Novel)

Alice In Wonderland

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Elle Lothlorien

Publisher: self published, CreateSpace, 2013

Source: purchase

Rating: 2.5- disappointing

Sexy Rating: 3

Description from amazon.com:

When high school math teacher Alice Faye Dahl attends a Texas Hold’Em home poker tournament, she doesn’t know a royal flush from a toilet flush. Four months and dozens of “wins” later, she’s one of the Final Nine–the championship table at the International Poker Tour in Surfer’s Paradise, Australia–and way out of her depth. When a fluke shark attack throws her and sports reporter Lapin “Rabbit” Montgomery together, it seems to challenge the saying “lucky at cards, unlucky at love.” A veteran of the poker circuit (and gorgeous besides), Rabbit offers to help her go all the way to win the multi-million dollar prize, a deal she can’t refuse. In this modern-day twist on Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” Alice discovers much too late that when it comes to poker (and love), sometimes you win, sometimes you lose–and sometimes it’s both.

Australia, love, card sharks, belly-aching laughs, real sharks, poker, Wonderland, and a touch of intrigue–there’s just no telling what you’ll find down the rabbit hole…

**

I liked how this novel followed the story of the classic ALICE.  But I really had a hard time with Faye’s constant letting Lapin off the hook whenever he sidestepped a question.  This almost caused me to abandon the book mid way through, because at this point I also could not decide where this story was going.  The scene setting and info about Australia was fun and gave me insights to the country that I had not known.  There were too many contrived surprises.  I loved the Author’s THE FROG PRINCE but this one just didn’t do it for me. I’m sorry to say that because Ms Lothlorien is a good writer and I will read another of her books.

 

 

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Filed under Book review, Books, Contemporary Romance, Kindle

Review- Predatory by Alexandra Ivy,Nina Bangs, Dianne Duvall & Hannah Jayne

Title:  Predatory

Predatory

Genre:  Paranormal Romance Anthology

Author:  Alexandra Ivy, Nina Bangs, Dianne Duvall, Hannah Jayne

Publisher: Kensington, Zebra, May 7, 2013 (Available for preorder)

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 3.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Descriptions from amazon.com:

Out Of Control by Alexandra Ivy

Ph.D student Angela Locke has a crush on her sexy professor, Dr. Nikolo Bartrev. When she learns he’s actually a Sentinel with extraordinary powers, she joins forces with him to catch a psychopath. But soon, their hottest pursuit is of each other…

Deet’s review– This was a sexy story that the author is using to introduce her new series.  I thought it was well written with loads of sexual tension.   3.5 stars

Ties That Bind by Nina Bangs

Cassie Tyler agrees to sub for her friend at the funeral home where she works. But she gets more than she bargained for when a group of men attack her and a vampire comes to her rescue. . .

Deet’s review–  This story was the scariest and really well done on the heart-pounding scale with a good romance thrown in. Lots of action. 3.5 stars

In Still Darkness by Dianne Duvall
Immortal Richart d’Alençon can’t forget the woman who rewarded him with a sensuous kiss after he saved her from a trio of vampires. While Richart knows that loving a human can only bring trouble, the taste of forbidden lust is too great to resist. . .

Deet’s review- Immortals are the good blood suckers and Vampires are the insane evil that they are trying to eliminate.  The Immortal, Richart, saves the human, Jenna.  There is romance and action  a plenty. 3.5 stars

High Stakes by Hannah Jayne

When vampire fashionista Nina LaShay’s design contest rival is found dead, she’s the prime suspect. Sexy photographer Pike is number two. He’s the kind of man who makes Nina salivate. But will she have to reveal herself to have him–and to save them both? Or does Pike have a secret of his own?

Deet’s review– Nina is a sarcastic, flippant vampire who falls in lust at first sight with Pike.  This story is a well executed murder mystery more than a romance although there are romantic elements. 3.5 stars (no sex in this one)

**

I love anthologies for when I have little time to read but still crave a good story.  This book delivers fast reads that satisfy that itch for the paranormal and romance.  All of the first three are very sexy with 5 out of 5 stars on the sensuality scale.  The fourth by Hannah Jayne does not have any sex.  I enjoyed each story but trying to develop a feel for all the different worlds in just a few pages was sometimes daunting.  That is why I tend to like the long novel form better.  I do recommend this anthology.  Each story was intriguing in its own way and showcased each of the very diverse, talented authors.  This is certainly a terrific introduction to each of these authors.

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Advance Review- One More Kiss by Mary Blayney

Title:  One More Kiss

One More Kiss

Genre:  Historical Romance

Author: Mary Blayney

Publisher: Random House, Bantam, Apr. 30, 2013

Source: For review from the publisher

Rating: 3.5

Sexy Rating: 4

Description from amazon.com:

Dispatched by their ambitious father to snag a titled husband, Beatrice Brent and her twin sister, Cecilia, attend a house party with an array of eligible gentlemen. Defiantly ignoring her father’s wishes, Beatrice flirts shamelessly with Lord Jessup Pennistan, a gamer with scandal in his past—and the one man her father has warned her against. But when flirting goes too far, Beatrice suddenly finds herself engaged and, worse, estranged from her family. Though convinced that her fiancé’s wicked ways will bring nothing but heartache, Beatrice is powerless against Jess’s masterful seduction and the anticipated delights of the marriage bed.

A gambling man who has lost more than his family is willing to forgive him for, Jess quickly realizes that compromising Beatrice was the best mistake he ever made. But to keep her he must right the wrongs of the past, reclaim his lost fortunes, and place the boldest wager of his life. For now he has everything to win . . . and everything to lose.

**

This entire novel takes place at a two week country house party.  This is a house party I think we all would like to attend since there are fun entertainments every day.  Beatrice and Cecilia are about to embark on their first Season in London and are to use the house party to capture a titled husband or to at least learn how to fend off the rakes.  It doesn’t take the reader long to figure out that the rakes are probably better husband material than the two-faced “suitable” gentleman.

This is Ms Blayney’s latest addition to her series of the Penniston Family.  A very interesting read from a creative author.  There is danger and intrigue thrown into the festivities of the house party and it keeps the reader turning pages to see if the outcome will be what we hope for or what is destined, or if they are one and the same.  The characters are likable and well drawn and although the young ladies are innocents they are never silly.  There is an aura of inevitability in the romances, as if the couples were all enveloped in a magic spell from which they neither can extricate themselves nor do they wish to do so.  This is a stand alone novel with some references to characters from earlier books in the series.  I recommend this book for a delightful read.

The Penniston Family Series:

1. Traitor’s Kiss

2. Lover’s Kiss

3. Stranger’s Kiss

4. Coutesan’s Kiss

5. One More Kiss

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Tuesday Extra

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Review- Along Came Trouble by Ruthie Knox

Title:  Along Came Trouble

Along Came Trouble

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Author:  Ruthie Knox

Publisher:  Random House, Loveswept, March 2013

Source:  from the publisher for review

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from amazon.com:

An accomplished lawyer and driven single mother, Ellen Callahan isn’t looking for any help. She’s doing just fine on her own. So Ellen’s more than a little peeved when her brother, an international pop star, hires a security guard to protect her from a prying press that will stop at nothing to dig up dirt on him. But when the tanned and toned Caleb Clark shows up at her door, Ellen might just have to plead the fifth.

Back home after a deployment in Iraq and looking for work as a civilian, Caleb signs on as Ellen’s bodyguard. After combat in the hot desert sun, this job should be a breeze. But guarding the willful beauty is harder than he imagined—and Caleb can’t resist the temptation to mix business with pleasure. With their desires growing more undeniable by the day, Ellen and Caleb give in to an evening of steamy passion. But will they ever be able to share more than just a one-night stand?

**

Ruthie Knox can write the sexiest, hunkiest, heroes.  When I read her book, ABOUT LAST NIGHT I thought there could be no other hero who would woo me away from Neville, but along came trouble in the form of Caleb Clark.  Caleb is hard to resist in spite of his sometimes overwhelming Alpha-ness.  He’s as stubborn as they come when he wants what he wants.  Then he meets Ellen Callahan who trumps his stubborn with her own brand of stubborn.

At times I became frustrated with the stubbornness of Ellen in regards to her and Henry’s safety.  I did feel it was over the top even though we are given reasons for her attitude.  Add to that the stubbornness of Carly, Ellen’s brother Jamie’s estranged girlfriend and it seemed that there was stubborn-overload.

I liked the instant chemistry between the two protagonists. I liked that they both ultimately found understanding of their problems. The side characters were well developed and integral to the story.  Ellen’s two-year-old son, Henry, was a typical toddler so I’m assuming Ms. Knox has been-there-done-that.  Ellen’s pop star brother, Jamie, reminded me of Justin Timberlake before I found out that he was the model for the character.  I loved Nana, since I’m partial to feisty, outrageous old women.  Caleb’s mother was annoying but his father’s understanding and love for her was touching.  Ms. Knox brought all these characters to vivid life.

Other books about the Clark Family:

How to Misbehave (Amber Clark’s story)-novella

Flirting With Disaster (Katie Clark’s story)

 

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Filed under Book review, Books, Contemporary Romance, e-reader, Kindle, Romance

News-Kindle Deal of the Day 4/20/2013 The Thirteeth Tale by Diane Setterfield

I read this book back in 2006 when it first published.  I was knocked for a loop by the terrific prose.  Its superbly constructed plot lends itself to the magic of the author’s storytelling.  I highly recommend this book. Today it is “The Kindle Deal of The Day” a true bargain at $1.99.  You’re gonna thank me for this.

Title:  The Thirteenth Tale

The Thirteenth Tale

Genre:  Gothic Fiction

Author: Diane Setterfield

Publisher: Atria Books, 2006-Simon And Shuster digital, Today only 4/20/2013, $1.99

Source: purchase

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 0

Description from amazon.com:

When Margaret Lea opened the door to the past, what she confronted was her destiny.

All children mythologize their birth…So begins the prologue of reclusive author Vida Winter’s collection of stories, which are as famous for the mystery of the missing thirteenth tale as they are for the delight and enchantment of the twelve that do exist.

The enigmatic Winter has spent six decades creating various outlandish life histories for herself — all of them inventions that have brought her fame and fortune but have kept her violent and tragic past a secret. Now old and ailing, she at last wants to tell the truth about her extraordinary life. She summons biographer Margaret Lea, a young woman for whom the secret of her own birth, hidden by those who loved her most, remains an ever-present pain. Struck by a curious parallel between Miss Winter’s story and her own, Margaret takes on the commission.

As Vida disinters the life she meant to bury for good, Margaret is mesmerized. It is a tale of gothic strangeness featuring the Angelfield family, including the beautiful and willful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess, a topiary garden and a devastating fire.

Margaret succumbs to the power of Vida’s storytelling but remains suspicious of the author’s sincerity. She demands the truth from Vida, and together they confront the ghosts that have haunted them while becoming, finally, transformed by the truth themselves.

The Thirteenth Tale is a love letter to reading, a book for the feral reader in all of us, a return to that rich vein of storytelling that our parents loved and that we loved as children. Diane Setterfield will keep you guessing, make you wonder, move you to tears and laughter and, in the end, deposit you breathless yet satisfied back upon the shore of your everyday life.

 

 

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Review- New Release- If He’s Tempted by Hannah Howell

Title:  If He’s Tempted (The Wherlocke Series, Bk #5)

If He's Tempted

Genre:  Historical Paranormal Romance

Author:  Hannah Howell

Publisher: Kensington Books, April 2013

Source:  Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 5

Description:

Lady Olympia Wherlocke has the gift of foresight. When Lady Agatha Mallam asks Olympia to locate her brother so he can rescue her from an arranged marriage, she knows exactly where to find Lord Brant Mallam, Earl of Fieldgate. What happens next is something she never envisioned…

Since his betrothed died, Lord Brant Mallam has drowned his sorrow with wine and women. His dissolute ways have only emboldened his calculating mother. But with the help of the enchanting Olympia, he concocts a daring plan to end his mother’s devious designs for his sister. While each step in their bold scheme works to perfection, the sins of the past could unravel a growing desire that neither Olympia nor Brant can control

**

This book had a gripping tale to tell.  It is about the evil that people do to children and it is cheer worthy the way the protagonists fight this evil.  Of course, it is a romance and that is swoon worthy also.  Although I certainly liked the writing and the story I thought I could come into this book 5 of the series and I would know precisely what was going on.  I was totally lost.  I really think the way to fully enjoy this book is to read this series from the beginning.  Ms Howell gets kudos for the story but It took me many pages to figure out what the Wherlocke family was.  My conclusion is, if you have previously read books in this series it will be another that you will enjoy but if like me you are new to this series than I really think you should start at the beginning.

I love this cover picture.  If that is Brant than it is surely understandable that Olympia fell for him.

Amazon link to my review (If you think this review is helpful to you please click on the “yes” button on the review):

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1420118803/ref=cm_cr_thx_view

 

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Review- The Libertine by Saskia Walker

Title: The Libertine

The Libertine

Genre: Historical Romance/ erotic

Author:  Saskia Walker

Publisher:  Harlequin HQN, 2013

Source: Free for review from The Amazon Vine Program

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from amazon.com:

His powers could save her from ruin, or guide her swiftly to it.

Lennox Taskill is a dissolute rogue, a powerful witch who some say even trades his enchantments for profit when it pleases him. His only loyalty is to his coven, his disdain for humanity sealed by the searing memory of his mother burning at the stake. So when the wife of a wealthy landlord comes seeking his help, the beguiling Chloris Keavey unwittingly presents Lennox with his greatest opportunity for distraction…and retribution.

By failing to produce an heir, Chloris faces a terrible threat: being turned out by her heartless husband. Now, she vows to get with child, even if it means surrendering her body—and soul—to Lennox’s seductive magic. But with a witch hunt brewing, Lennox and Chloris are soon risking everything for their forbidden nights of ecstasy…and to protect the secret that could cost them their lives.

**

When I started reading this novel I was not sure I liked it.  I tend to like romance with erotica and this one began with Lennox Taskill using his sexual charm, magic and prowess to seduce Chloris for revenge and his own pleasure. There appeared to be no romance.  This did change, Lennox fell in love with Chloris.

There is enough sex to make it interesting without becoming too much.  The setting, in 1715, seemed authentic for the period and well researched.  Saskia Walker created a believable ambiance where the belief in magic and witches flourished.  The main characters were well developed but side characters sometimes acted with limited or under explained motivation.  There were some slow stretches and suspenseful parts seemed to lack a heightening of suspense and proper completion.  However the ending was exciting and very satisfying.

I love this cover.  It is simple and it does refer to scenes in the book.

 

 

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Review- Farewell, Dorothy Parker by Ellen Meister

Title: Farewell, Dorothy Parker

Farewell, dorothy Parker

Genre: General Fiction

Author: Ellen Meister

Publisher: Putnam Adult, Feb. 2013

Source: Free for Review from the Amazon Vine Program

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 5 – behind closed doors

Description from amazon.com:

What if inspiration came to visit…and wouldn’t leave?

When it comes to movie reviews, critic Violet Epps is a powerhouse voice. But that’s only because she’s learned to channel her literary hero, Dorothy Parker, the most celebrated and scathing wit of the 20th century.

If only Violet could summon that kind of courage in her personal life.

Determined to defeat her social anxiety, Violet visits the Algonquin Hotel to pull strength from the hallowed dining room, where Dorothy Parker and so many other famous writers of the 1920s traded barbs. But she gets more than she bargained for when Dorothy Parker’s feisty spirit rematerializes from an ancient guestbook and hitches a ride onto her life.

Violet is shocked and thrilled to be face-to-face with her idol, but when the gin-swilling writer takes up residence in her home and grows pricklier and more outspoken by the day, the timid movie critic is pushed to her limit. With her job threatened, her new relationship in tatters, and the custody fight for her orphaned niece in jeopardy, Violet is forced to face her fears …and she makes sure Mrs. Parker does the same.

**

This is an adult coming of age story, or perhaps it might be better to characterize it as a forced assertiveness training story.  Violet is truly reluctant to speak up on behalf of herself and she takes coaching from the literary world’s foremost outspoken writer, Dorothy Parker’s ghost.  Parker is not going to let Violet cry off on asserting herself at work, at home and certainly not with the handsome, kind man who wants to date her.

This is a fun story filled with the wit of Dorothy Parker.  I think it might do us all good if we could channel Parker’s ghost to give us some back bone.  The plot is rife with humor, drama and pathos.  The character of Parker is well researched and although fictionalized rings with authenticity.  There is a romance within these pages although it is not the main focus of the book.  We do hope for Violet’s happy-ever-after for she does grow with leaps and bounds and we wish it for her.

I highly recommend this feel good book.

P.S.-My neighbor read this book and thought it not funny, and sophomoric.  As you can read above, I disagree.  I found it funny and not in the least bit pretentious.  Different strokes for different folks.

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Extra- Deet Recommends Two Fab Kindle Deals of the Day from Amazon

I do get excited when I find terrific books for cheap.  That means I just have to pass on the news to you. Today’s Amazon Kindle Deals include two of my favorite books and authors, Susanna Kearsley and Linda Howard. Again, I’ll remind you that if you download the Kindle App (its free) you can read this on your computer or Smart phone if you don’t own a Kindle.

From Susanna Kearsley comes Kindle Deal of the Day, $1.99:

The Shadowy Horses

I gave THE SHADOWY HORSES a 4.5 star review.  Type in the title in my search box to see the review.

The Kindle Romance Deal of the Day is the wonderful SON OF MORNING by Linda Howard, a terrific buy at $.99:

Son of MorningI read this  book a few years ago when I first discovered Howard’s fabulous writing.  At this price I will add it to my e-reader (Kindle) and read it again.

 

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Filed under Books, Contemporary Romance, e-reader, Fantasy, General Fiction & Literature, Historical Romance, History, Kindle, News, Romance, Romantic Suspense