Monthly Archives: June 2016

Recent Release Review- MacLean’s Passion by Sharon Cullen

Title: MacLean’s Passion (A Highland Pride Novel, book#2)

MacLean's Passion

Genre: Historical Romance/Highlands

Author: Sharon Cullen

Publisher: Loveswept, June 28, 2016

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Pages: 293

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:         

Colin MacLean has always felt like a black sheep—especially after his brothers are slain before his eyes in the Battle of Culloden. A smuggler by trade, Colin makes for an embarrassing chieftain. He can’t even save his friends from their British pursuers without getting himself captured. But before he is martyred by the hangman’s noose, Colin escapes with his cellmate, a brave lad he’s come to admire. It’s only in the depths of the Highlands that Colin discovers the lad is a lass—and a bonnie one at that.   Raised by her older brothers, Maggie Sinclair can drink a pint in no time flat and wield a dagger with the best of ’em. Still, men have always excluded her and women have always shunned her. Colin makes her feel different. His wild spirit and rugged good looks have Maggie reconsidering her less than ladylike ways. For the first time, she’s tempted to put on a gown, just to see how Colin would react. She can only imagine what might happen next: a kiss . . . a touch . . . and perhaps enough sultry heat to melt a cold Highland night.

**

In this Scottish Highlands novel we have a feisty, Tom-boy of a woman who was raised by her older brother without the input of females to impart lady-like ways.  She is skilled with weapons and fighting and can hold her own with the men but has no female friends.  Colin is the chieftain of his clan because his older brothers died in battle.  He does not feel worthy of the title or the responsibility.  Maggie imparts her strength of character to help Colin take his rightful place.

I liked this story of a strong willed sometimes reckless heroine. That she and Colin could make a match seemed impractical in any other scenario except in the way fate has thrown them together.  Colin was a bit too insecure for my particular hero-taste but he was a good, kind, honorable man. There is plenty of action, battles and sexy times.

This is the second book in Sharon Cullen’s Highland Pride series.  It is a standalone novel with some characters from the first book (Sutherland’s Secret) playing important roles.  If you have not read the first book then I’m sure this one will whet your appetite to find out more about Brice Sutherland.

I can recommend this book to all Historical Romance readers.

P.S.- The cover gives me the willies.  The woman may look a bit like Maggie but the muscle bound male model is not how I pictured Colin.

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Review- Along The Infinite Sea by Beatrix Williams

Title: Along The Infinite Sea (The Schuyler Sisters, book#3)

Along the infinite sea

Genre: Literary fiction/Historical Romance

Author: Beatrix Williams

Publisher: G.P. Putnam, Nov. 2015

Source: free for review from the Amazon Vine Program

Pages: 461

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Each of the three Schuyler sisters has her own world-class problems, but in the autumn of 1966, Pepper Schuyler’s problems are in a class of their own. When Pepper fixes up a beautiful and rare vintage Mercedes and sells it at auction, she thinks she’s finally found a way to take care of herself and the baby she carries, the result of an affair with a married, legendary politician. But the car’s new owner turns out to have secrets of her own, and as the glamorous and mysterious Annabelle Dommerich takes pregnant Pepper under her wing, the startling provenance of this car comes to light: a Nazi husband, a Jewish lover, a flight from Europe, and a love so profound it transcends decades. As the many threads of Annabelle’s life from World War II stretch out to entangle Pepper in 1960s America, and the father of her unborn baby tracks her down to a remote town in coastal Georgia, the two women must come together to face down the shadows of their complicated pasts. Indomitable heroines, a dazzling world of secrets, champagne at the Paris Ritz, and a sweeping love story for the ages, in New York Times bestselling author Beatriz William’s final book about the Schuyler sisters.

**

I have not read the first two books about the Schuyler sisters but after reading this wonderful book I will definitely put them on my wish list.  This is a standalone novel so no worries that you will be lost.  The chapters alternate between Annabelle’s story in the 1930’s, prewar Europe and Pepper’s 1966 adventures.  What ties these two together is the car, a 1936 Mercedes Roadster that Annabelle used to flee the Nazi Gestapo and the car that Pepper finds abandoned in a Cape Cod garage.  The two women meet when Pepper offers the car for sale and Annabelle buys it.  Both stories of the women’s pasts are interesting but Annabelle’s past is riveting. There is a love triangle and we are kept guessing right up until the very end of the book. Lots of twists intertwine with many adventures and heart pounding action.  Williams does a very good job of giving us the pulse and apathy of a prewar Europe Where many were naïve about the coming horrors but there were also those who were aware and willing to risk everything to save lives. Pepper’s story makes us speculate on the identity of the father of her child since there is certainly much innuendo.  She also has some heart pounding encounters as she tries to run and hide to protect her baby.

I strongly recommend this book.  The romance is sensual, with beautifully written encounters. The pages are brimming with sexual tension and breath taking action scenes. All enveloped in exquisitely written prose. The mystery of Annabelle’s loves kept me turning pages until the wee hours.

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Recent Release Review- Sidney Chambers and The Dangers of Temptation by James Runcie

Title: Sidney Chambers and The Dangers of Temptation

Sidney chambers and the dangers

Genre: Short Stories/Mystery

Author: James Runcie

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA, June 2016

Pages: 336

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: N/A

Description from Amazon.com:

It’s the summer of love in late 1960s. The Apollo 11 astronauts are preparing to land on the moon, the war in Biafra dominates the news and Basil D’Oliveira has just been dropped from the England cricket team before a test series in apartheid South Africa. In the midst of all this change, Sidney Chambers, the loveable English clergyman, continues his amateur sleuthing investigations.

A bewitching divorcée enlists Sidney’s help in convincing her son to leave a hippie commune’ at a soiree on Grantchester Meadows during May Week celebrations, a student is divested of a family heirloom; Amanda’s marriage runs into trouble; Sidney and Hildegard holiday behind the Iron Curtain; Mrs. Maguire’s husband returns from the dead; and an arson attack in Cambridge leads Sidney to uncover a cruel cast of blackmail involving his former curate.

In the rare gaps between church and crime, Sidney struggles with a persistent case of toothache, has his first flutter at the Newmarket races, and witnesses the creation of a classic rock song. Charming, witty, intelligent, and filled with a strong sense of compassion, these six new stories are guaranteed to satisfy and delight this clerical detective’s many fans.

**

The book description pretty much tells you what the five stories are about so I won’t repeat it here.  I’m a fan of the Grantchester T.V. show on PBS now going into its third season.  I was particularly pleased with how the TV show captures what author Runcie characterized in his depiction of Sidney Chambers, the Vicar and now in this book Archdeacon, and Geodie Keating, Sidney’s friend and partner in crime solving, a police detective.  The stories would all make for terrific TV episodes.  Perhaps that is how they were conceived.  I did enjoy each story, especially how the author makes Sidney very “human” and not this paragon of virtue.  Sidney solves crimes using thoughtful insights more than physical clues. Sure there are plenty of clues also.

I do recommend this book to mystery fans and those fans of the PBS series.

I received this book free for review from the publisher.

**

Sidney and Geordie

Here is a 2-minute look at the Grantchester TV show( e-mail followers may need to view this on my blog site):

 

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Recent Release Review- The Stone Warriors: Damian by D.B. Reynolds

Title: The Stone Warriors: Damian (Book#1)

Damian

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Author: D.B. Reynolds

Publisher: ImaJinn Books, June 15, 2016

Pages: 318

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com

It was a time when gods walked the earth, when armies fought not for bits of land, but for the very existence of humanity. On such a battlefield, five formidable warriors stood against an evil greater than any the earth had ever seen. But evil is not an honorable foe. Betrayed by someone they trusted, the warriors were cursed, one by one, tossed into the maelstrom of time, imprisoned in stone, their freedom resting on nearly impossible conditions. Until . . .

Damian Stephanos honed his skills in battles fought with magic as much as swords. Caught by a deadly spell that left him trapped for centuries in darkness and obscurity, he is finally freed, only to discover that his enemy still lives. Determined to find him—and to free his brothers in arms—he first must fulfill his blood debt to the woman who released him from his torment. Unfortunately, being so close to this enticing female is another type of torment altogether . . .

Cassandra “Casey” Lewis is a hunter. Possessing the rare ability to sense magic, she spends most of her time shadowing arcane collectors, and more often than not, stealing the dangerous artifacts she pursues. Her job is risky, especially when she’s stealing from one of the most powerful sorcerers alive. But having a gorgeous warrior by her side is a definite bonus. He’s great in a fight . . . and in other places, too. Following a trail of dead bodies, the two of them must join forces to track down the sorcerer who cursed Damian, and who now plans to turn an ordinary magical device into a deadly weapon. Risking everything, including their hearts, they’re about to discover that trusting each other might be the hardest thing of all.

**

That description is spot-on so I’m not going to repeat it here.  Let me tell you about Damian; 6’5” tall and broad shoulders, “the face of a god”, dark eyes and long blond hair.  He is an ancient warrior that was cursed to be in a statue until a warrior woman freed him. Now let me tell you about that Kick-A$% warrior woman who freed him; Cassandra Lewis, 6’ tall, slim, athletic, long dark hair, possesses the ability to sense magic and very definitely a modern woman.

There is no shortage of action and violence in this book #1 of the new Stone Warriors series.  We start out with Casey being hunted by Hellhounds and running with a bullet in her shoulder. And that’s in the first few pages.  We have Damian coming to rescue and he demands she set him free.  Well you can guess how that turns out.  Stay glued to your E-Reader for some D.B. Reynolds’ trademark sizzling, scrumptious sexy scenes.  Casey’s boss Nick Katsaros, an ancient sorcerer that we have met briefly in previous books by Reynolds, pops in and out of the narrative never staying very long (my only complaint, since I LOVE Nick), but he is around to help the two warriors and aide in their mission. Let’s not leave out the evil, foul, wicked, malicious Sotiris, the arch enemy of Nick and also a supremely powerful sorcerer. Now if you think all this action takes place in some fantasy world you would be mistaken.  This is our world populated by vampires and now sorcerers and ancient warriors.  Didn’t know about them, did you? When Reynolds brings these beings to life you are convinced they are walking among us.

This book reads like an action film.  It has pulse pounding exploits, car chases, passionate kisses and Hellhounds. Really, you don’t want to miss this one.

D. B. Reynolds is the RT and EPIC Award-Winning author of the Vampires in America series of paranormal romance, and an Emmy-nominated television sound editor. She lives with her husband of many years in a flammable canyon near Los Angeles, and when she’s not writing her own books, she can usually be found reading someone else’s. Visit her blog at http://dbreynolds.com  for details on all of her books, free stories, and more.

For Deet’s interview with D. B. Reynolds scroll down to yesterday’s post.

 

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Filed under Book review, Books, Paranormal Romance, Romance, Romantic Suspense, Urban Fantasy

Interview With-D.B. Reynolds, author

D.B. Reynolds picnew 2016 (1)

Welcome to La Deetda Reads, D.B., As my followers are well aware, I have been following your Vampires In America series since the first book and have been totally hooked and now I look forward to your Stone Warriors series and The SHIFTER PLANET series. I’m delighted you can join us today so we can get to know you even better. 

  1. What (or who) inspired you to write the first VIA book RAPHAEL?RAPHAEL

I was working on another story, when a totally unrelated scene popped into my head. It was the scene that would become the opening scene of Raphael, and it was fully fleshed out, complete with the woman’s elaborate dress—the woman who would become Alexandra—the mood of the room, the piano, everything. But the key to the scene was when the petite woman says to her much larger captor, “He’ll kill you for this.” It was her complete certainty in whoever “he” was that made me want to write the book. I wanted to create a character who lived up to the woman’s confidence. And that character was Raphael.

2. Do you write from a plot outline (Plotter) or does your story unfold as you write (Pantzer)?

I write a fairly detailed outline, complete with really comprehensive character profiles. My books stay fairly true to the general outline, but I’m not wedded to it. I’m willing to take the characters in a different direction or introduce a new subplot if it fits as the story progresses.

3.Where do you write?

I do almost all of my writing in my home office, in the middle of the night, on my big comfortable chair, with Buffy on the TV, and the sound muted.

4.Do you have a guilty pleasure?

Honestly, as long as my pleasures don’t hurt anyone else, there’s nothing to feel guilty about. There are certain movies that I’ve watched over and over again, and they’re all action-adventure, and fairly violent. I love ice cream, and I always have some as a midnight snack when I’m writing. And then I climb on my elliptical to burn it off. Is the elliptical my favorite activity? Hell, no. Not even close! My favorite activity is reading. Some people can read and elliptical at the same time, but not me. I watch one of my movies or TV shows!

5. What is your favorite place to visit?

Oh, that’s a tough one. My darling husband and I have traveled all over the world, and seen some amazing cities and places. I love Paris, but then who doesn’t? It’s a beautiful city, with so much to offer. And I’d love to go back to Wales, maybe rent a cottage for six months and write a book. But probably my favorite place to visit is a beautiful hotel on the Pacific Ocean, with a room right on the sand so I can hear the waves and open the windows to the wonderful balmy air. And have nothing to do but sip tropical drinks, read a good book (or three) and sleep as long as I want.

6. What is your essential piece of kitchen equipment or gadget?

This is subject to change, and has been very different in the not so distant past, but right now, at this point in my life, my essential piece of kitchen equipment is the microwave!

7. What is your favorite way to relax?

Reading. Preferably curled up somewhere comfortable, with nothing on the schedule, and no place to be.

8. Your new series, The Stone Warriors, is debuting with the first book DAMIAN.  How many books are there to be in this series?  Will we have more of that hunky wizard, Nick, who has made an appearance in your novella, COMPELLED?

The series will be five books, one for each of the four warriors—beginning with DAMIAN—and then the final book for Nick. And, yes, Nick will appear in every book, because he’s the tie that binds all of the warriors together.

9.After DAMIAN, What comes next in the series and when can we expect it to release?

The second book in the series is teased at the end of DAMIAN (naturally!) It will be THE STONE WARRIORS: KATO, and features the second, and youngest, of Nick warriors, Kato Amadi. As for the release date, it looks like Summer 2017.

10. We are all excited about DAMIAN but those of us die-hard fans of the vampires want to know about the next book in the Vampires In America Series.

 The next Vampires in America book will be LUCIFER, and will release in November 2016. Lucifer is a very powerful vampire, who possesses a unique ability that makes him a superb hunter. Put him a trail and he never misses his prey. But this time his prey isn’t a renegade vampire, it’s Colin Murphy, and it’s not a hunt, it’s a rescue.

Thanks for being with us today D.B.!

You can get your copy of DAMIAN here:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1UtgLRr

Google: http://bit.ly/24ujsVQ

Kobo: http://bit.ly/1SXzVzL

B&N: http://bit.ly/1OnX9h2

Apple: http://apple.co/1Xo4waW

 For more about D.B. Reynolds and her books go to http://dbreynolds.com

Coming tomorrow Deet’s review of The Stone Warriors:Damian

 

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Recent Release Review- Saddle Up by Victoria Vane

Title: Saddle Up (Hot Cowboy Nights, book #3)

Saddle Up

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Western

Author: Victoria Vane

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca, June 7, 2016

Pages: 322

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:         

WILD HORSES COULDN’T BRING THEM TOGETHER… With exceptional talent and looks, cowboy “horse whisperer” Keith Russo once had the world at his feet – until his career was unwittingly destroyed by an aspiring filmmaker. After being rejected by his family for exploiting his Native American heritage, Keith has no choice but to turn back to his humble beginnings as a wild horse wrangler.

BUT MAYBE THEIR PASSION CAN… Miranda Sutton always dreamed of making films, until wild mustangs captured her heart. But turning her grandmother’s Montana ranch into a wild horse sanctuary proves harder than she thought. She needs someone who knows wild horses. Keith and the mustangs need each other. And while working together to save the herd, Keith and Miranda discover a passion as wild as the mustangs they love.

**

Victoria Vane has given us an insightful look into wild horses of the west.  She interweaves fascinating information about horse gatherings, Native American culture and ranching with a very intense, sizzling romance between skillfully fleshed out characters.  As in other books of this series she delves into a topic and does not rest until she explores all areas of research until she can present us with a totally immersive experience.

I highly recommend this book to those who love a fascinating romance read as well as those who love horses.

Hot Cowboy Nights Series: Each is a standalone novel.

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Recent Release Review- Lana And The Laird by Susana York

Title: Lana And The Laird (Untamed Highlanders, book#3)

Lana and the Laird

Genre: Historical Romance/Highlands

Author: Susana York

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, May 31, 2016

Pages: 385

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

LOVE IS A BATTLEFIELD

Lachlan Sinclair cannot escape his accursed heritage in his Highlands homeland. Somewhat resigned to the fate that destroyed his ancestors, he is prepared to live his life without an heir, without a wife—without love. But when he meets the woman of his dreams in the flesh, the bewitching lass makes him want to throw away his cursed, restrained existence…and unleash the highlander within…

Lana Dounreay has only seen the Duke of Caithness in her dreams as a wild, rugged man, while in reality, his life has been cramped by curses and cravats. He may have forgone his kilt and lost his brogue, but Lana knows that the heart of a true Scotsman beats within his broad, muscular chest. But what plans does the mysterious, passionate Lachlan have in mind for her—and can she convince him that love is stronger than all else?

**

Lana talks to dead people, ghosts.  She also has visions.  She is thought to be a bit mad by most folks and so she has resigned herself to the fact that a love and marriage will most likely not happen for her.  But she still has visions of a man who she knows is meant for her. She immediately knows him when the Duke of Caithness, Lachlan, arrives at her brother-in-law’s castle.

Lachlan is attracted to Lana but he knows he is cursed to die within six months and he cannot risk an involvement with the stunning blonde.

The book revolves around Lana trying to seduce Lachlan and convince him that there is no such thing as curses and that they are meant to be together.  For after all, she has spoken to his dead mother.

There is action and adventure interwoven into this romance.  There is a villain that we suspect from the start but Lachlan seems oblivious. There is a sizzling romance between two destined lovers and some very real complications.  Lachlan tends to be slow to coming around to the truth of matters but we totally understand because of his history. This is a fitting end to a delightful series although there is one wee lass, Isobel, who would make for a wonderful addition to the series if Ms. York should wish to continue on.

I recommend this book and series to  all Historical Romance fans and especially to those who love stories set in the Highlands of Scotland.

Untamed Highlanders Series: I love these covers, so colorful!

 

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Filed under Book review, Books Historical Romance, Highlanders, Highlands of Scotland, Historical Romance