Tag Archives: Fantasy

Advance Review- The Red by Tiffany Reisz

The Red

Title: The Red: An Erotic Fantasy
Genre: Contemporary Erotica Romance/Fantasy
Author: Tiffany Reiz
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: 8th Circle Press, July 11, 2017 (preorder available for Kindle)
Pages: 212
Rating: 5
Sexy rating: 5++
Violence rating: 4 (all sex is consensual but very often rough)
Description from Amazon:

** Paperback Not Available for Pre-Order, But Will Be For Sale on Release Day (July 11, 2017) **

The Red is a standalone novel of erotic fantasy from Tiffany Reisz, international bestselling author of The Bourbon Thief and the Original Sinners series.

Mona Lisa St. James made a deathbed promise that she would do anything to save her mother’s art gallery. Unfortunately, not only is The Red painted red, but it’s in the red. She soon realizes she has no choice but to sell it.

Just as she realizes she has no choice but to sell it, a mysterious man comes in after closing time and makes her an offer: He will save The Red if she agrees to submit to him for the period of one year.

The man is handsome, English, and terribly tempting…but surely her mother didn’t mean for Mona to sell herself to a stranger. Then again, she did promise to do anything to save The Red…

**
This is labeled a “Fantasy” but Mona isn’t sure if her involvement with Malcolm is reality or fantasy. She will do what it takes to save her mother’s art gallery and if that means submitting to Malcolm then how hard could it be when he is devastatingly handsome.

There is constant suspense and mystery that is intertwined with all of the extremely erotic encounters of Mona and Malcolm. I initially thought Malcolm was real, then a fantasy, then real and I kept going back and forth wondering. That kept me turning pages to find out what was the outcome of this mystery.

I am a fan of Tiffany Reisz’ books ever since I read the wonderful THE HEADMASTER. She is a wonderful storyteller and there is no one better at writing erotic sex scenes. This is a romance even if not the usual vanilla type. If you are at all squeamish about BDSM, then you will want to skip this one. However the story is compelling enough so that you will like it anyway.

 

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Advance Peek- Damian by D.B. Reynolds

Coming June 15,2016 Damian (Book #1, The Stone Warriors) by D.B. Reynolds

Pre-order Available on Amazon.com

Damian

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.

From Deet: You all know I’m a huge fan of this author and I’m waiting on pins and needles for this new series. There is no mention in this blurb of Nick Katsaros, the sorcerer from the Vampires in America series, and more recently the COMPELLED novella, but I’m hoping he makes an appearance. 

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Release Day Review- Named of The Dragon by Susanna Kearsley

Title:  Named of the Dragon

Named of the Dragon

Genre: Contemporary Romance (mystery, suspense, paranormal, history)

Author: Susanna Kearsley

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark, Oct. 6, 2015

Pages: 322

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4.5

Sexy Rating: 2

Description from Amazon.com:         

SOMEWHERE IN THE HEART OF LEGEND LIES THE KEY TO HER TERRIFYING DREAMS

The charm of spending the Christmas holidays in South Wales, with its crumbling castles and ancient myths, seems the perfect distraction from the nightmares that have plagued literary agent Lyn Ravenshaw since the loss of her baby five years ago.

Instead, she meets an emotionally fragile young widow who’s convinced that Lyn’s recurring dreams have drawn her to Castle Farm for an important purpose–and she’s running out of time.

With the help of a reclusive, brooding playwright, Lyn begins to untangle the mystery and is pulled into a world of Celtic legends, dangerous prophecies, and a child destined for greatness.

**

This is very much a romantic suspense novel with touches of the paranormal just like most of Kearsley’s books.  The setting is Wales and the characters are for the most part English.  Not only do we get a mystery but also some insightful looks at Welsh history. Once again Kearsley touches on all of my favorite tropes; romance, mystery, suspense and learning something new.  The author has combined a real life setting with fictional characters and plot.  Once you start reading you are immersed in the setting, time and place.  It is not apparent that there is evil lurking but there is something that is just a bit off.  As an involved reader you will try to help Lyn figure it out but it is often elusive and difficult to know who to trust. This is truly a wonderful book from a supremely accomplished author.

I recommend this book to all who like a good mystery and a happy ending with doses of history thrown in for good measure.

This edition is a re-issue of the book first published in 1999.

 

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Recent Release Review- Light My Fire by G. A. Aiken

Title: Light My Fire (book #7 Dragon Kin Series)

Light My Fire

Genre: Fantasy Romance

Author: G.A. Aiken

Publisher: Zebra, Nov. 2014

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

The trouble with humans is that they’re far too sensitive. Forget you put a woman in the local jail for a few months–and she takes it so personally! And yet she is the one trying to assassinate the queen. And now I’m trapped with Elina Shestakova of the Black Bear Riders of the Midnight…gods! That endless name!

But what am I to do? I am Celyn the Charming with direct orders from my queen to protect this unforgiving female.

Even more shocking, this unforgiving female is completely unimpressed by me. How is that even possible? But I know what I want and, for the moment, I want her. And I’m sure that she, like all females, will learn to adore me. How could she not when I am just so damn charming?

**

A humorous addition to Aiken’s much loved Dragon Kin Series. The dragons are arrogant, and often silly and at times extremely violent and very sexy. The humans are often powerful and at times at the mercy of the dragons. This book centers on the dragon Celyn the Charming and the human Elina a failed warrior from the Steppes of the Outerplains. It is difficult to like Elina since she is unrelentingly dour. Celyn on the other hand is all hot stuff when in his human form….oh, did I forget to mention that these are dragon shifters? Actually Celyn is “hot stuff” when he’s a fire breathing dragon also. I have been a fan of this series from the beginning so the bounce-around of the vignettes in the book did not bother me. However, if you are new to this series please start with the first book since this book brings in all the characters of the series and the uninitiated might just get a bit lost. The main plot is often sidelined so that we can have a laugh or some action at the expense of the Dragon families. Long time readers will probably like this a lot but newbies may find it confusing.

My recommendation, if you are new to the series, start from the beginning with DRAGON ACTUALLY. And if you are not new than don’t hesitate to enjoy this welcome addition to the series.

Here is a description of DRAGON ACTUALLY (BOOK#1 Dragon Kin Series):

Dragon Actually by G. A. Aiken

It’s not always easy being a female warrior with a nickname like Annwyl the Bloody. Men tend to either cower in fear – a lot – or else salute. It’s true that Annwyl has a knack for decapitating legions of her ruthless brother’s soldiers without pausing for breath. But just once it would be nice to be able to really talk to a man, the way, she can talk to Fearghus the Destroyer. Too bad that Fearghus is a dragon, of the large, scaly and deadly type. With him, Annwyl feels safe – a far cry from the feelings aroused by the hard-bodied, arrogant knight Fearghus has arranged to help train her for battle. With her days spent fighting a man who fill her with fierce, heady desire, and her nights spent in the company of a magical creature who could smite a village just by exhaling, Annwyl is sure life couldn’t get any stranger. She’s wrong…

Dragon Actually

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Advance Review- Chained By Night by Larissa Ione

Title: Chained By Night (Book #2, Moonbound Clan Series)

Chained By Night

Genre: Paranormal Romance/Fantasy

Author: Larissa Ione

Publisher: Simon and Schuster, Sept. 30, 2014-Preorder available

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

THE FUTURE OF HIS TRIBE

Leader of the vampire clan MoonBound, Hunter will do what he must to save his people from extinction—or worse, a torturous eternity as vampire slaves and subjects of human experimentation. To keep his enemies at bay, he has agreed to mate a rival clan leader’s daughter in return for peace between the clans and an ally in the looming war with the humans.

THE LOVER OF HIS SOUL

But survival comes at a price. First, Hunter must break an ancient curse by successfully negotiating three deadly tests. Then he must resist the searing passions of the gorgeous vampire warrior he despises but is bound to mate. Will Hunter stay true to his word? Or will he risk everything for the woman he really loves: the vampire seductress’s identical twin sister?

**

It is a violent and deadly world that the Moonbound Clan must navigate. Hunter has vowed not to be the monster leader his father had been. But it is difficult at best to resist his vampire rages. He is determined to be honorable in a totally dishonorable world. His betrothed is from a clan where her father is the despotic ruler and she has been raised to obey and is calculation and evil personified. Her sister on the other hand is not at all like that. She has a deformed leg that has made her an outcast in her own clan, shielded only because her father is chief. Because of her traumas in her clan she is compassionate and nothing like the others in her clan and Hunter falls in love with her.

This is the second book in the Moonbound Clan Series. The first BOUND BY NIGHT introduced the world of vampires and humans in the USA. Set in the Pacific northwest, Ione sets the stage with vivid images of the forests of this area where the vampire clans exist, constantly avoiding humans who want to capture them for slaves and trying to maintain peace between clans. She creates a fantasy world where magic exists along with demons and vampires.

This is a page turning read. It is chock full of action, adventure, violence, fantastical monsters and monstrous vampires and humans. The pages turn quickly as I was anxious to find out how the author would bring about the happy ending that I knew would happen but which seemed far beyond the reach of the protagonists. The fast pace and sizzling sexual tension kept me reading long into the night. This is a standalone novel but it does have characters that are in the first book. I think the world of the Clans and the dynamic between humans and the vampires can be understood more fully if you start with the first book in the series.

I highly recommend this book and this series to Paranormal Romance fans

 

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Deet’s life- Bad Lip Reading’s parody of Game of Thrones

This was so funny.  If you are a Game of Thrones fan I’m sure you will like it.

 

 

 

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Review- Everlasting Enchantment by Kathryne Kennedy

Title: Everlasting Enchantment (Book #2, The Relics of Merlin)

Everlasting Enchantment

 Genre: Fantasy/Historical Romance

Author: Kathryne Kennedy

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca, Dec. 2013

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

Power Magic is Afoot Millicent Pantere has lived her entire life in the notorious London Underground. She cares nothing for the problems of the crown or the intrigues of society. But the ladies of the realm are acting strangely, and Millicent is coerced into tracking down the rumors of a mysterious man—a magic man who comes in the night and disappears at dawn.

And So the Hunt BeginsMillicent’s search leads her to one of Merlin’s legendary relics and the seductive knight whose fate is bound up with it. Centuries ago, Sir Gareth Solimere made the mistake of seducing the wrong woman, and he has been trapped ever since by a diabolical curse. He’s looking for the one who can break the enchantment—but in this world, there is no love without betrayal…

**

This fantasy/historical romance is strong on both the fantasy and the romance.  Set in the early days of Queen Victoria’s reign, Kennedy builds a world that is magical and beautiful above ground and dark and sinister underground.  There is action, adventure, violence, death, rebirth, monsters, vampire, evil, and magic everywhere.  The plot is well constructed and the characters well realized. There is a villain with a telling name, The Duke of Ghoulston, shapeshifters with telling names, Nell Feenix (a firebird), Millicent Pantere (a panther) and there is a knight of the Round Table(Sir Gareth) who has been enchanted by Merlin. This book reads like an adult, rated X, fairytale not in the style of Disney but rather like the brothers Grimm, for there is a strong adventure/action component.

I recommend this book to all fantasy fans.

(I’m taking issue with the cover of this book.  In the book there is a woman vampire who wears black beaded gowns.  The heroine, who is the panther shifter, I don’t think ever wore a black beaded gown. She did wear a bronze gown so why not put that on the cover?)

 

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Review-A Vampire’s Christmas Carol by Cynthia Eden (novella)

Title: A Vampire’s Christmas Carol

A Vampire's Christmas Carol

 Genre: Paranormal Holiday Romance/e-book/novella

Author: Cynthia Eden

Publisher: Cynthia Eden, Nov. 2013

Source: Free for Review

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Description from Amazon.com:

This holiday season has bite.

Ben Prescott hates Christmas–he’s a vampire, and to him, there’s certainly nothing jolly about the holiday season. While the humans are running around being merry, he’s hunting in the shadows. Ben plans to spend the holidays his way…by stalking deadly prey.

But fate has other plans for Ben.

Three visitors are coming Ben’s way…A demon who will force Ben to face his past, a ghost who will show Ben the present he could have, and a shifter who will reveal the darkness that waits in Ben’s future. Unless Ben can change his ways, he may just turn into a real monster, one who can’t be saved by anyone or anything.

‘Tis the season…to be undead.

Ben’s redemption rests in the hands of the one woman he loved and lost–Simone Laurent. If Ben is going to have a chance at being more than just the beast in the darkness, he has to prove himself to the lovely Simone. A very hard task, considering that, once upon a Christmas Eve, Simone died in Ben’s arms…

Warning: This story features one very tortured vampire, a sexy ghost from his past, and hot scenes designed to melt the winter snow. Plenty of action, adult situations, and steamy times are ahead. Happy holidays!

(A VAMPIRE’S CHRISTMAS CAROL contains approximately 23,000 words.)

**

This is Cynthia Eden’s reimagining of Dicken’s A CHRISTMAS CAROL.  It is well done and has all the scary feel of the original novel only this time with a scary vampire.  The apparitions are magical but also totally relatable to Ben, the vampire.  The demon, who visits to show the past, was once saved by Ben.  The ghost, who comes to show him the present, was the love of his life.  Last to come was a shifter who was present when Ben saved the demon and he shows Ben a dreadful future if he does not change his ways.

If you are new to Ms Eden’s writing then this is a perfect introduction to a wonderful wordsmith.  This is an ideal holiday offering for those who love paranormal romance stories.

P.S.- I love the cover.

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4 Fridays ‘Til Christmas 2 Reviews of Debbie Macomber Christmas books

Title:  Starry Night

Starry Night

Genre:  Contemporary Holiday Romance

Author: Debbie Macomber

Publisher: Ballantine Books, Oct. 8, 2013

Source: Free for review from Amazon Vine Program

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 3

Christmasy Feeling: 5

Description from amazon.com:
Carrie Slayton, a big-city society-page columnist, longs to write more serious news stories. So her editor hands her a challenge: She can cover any topic she wants, but only if she first scores the paper an interview with Finn Dalton, the notoriously reclusive author.

Living in the remote Alaskan wilderness, Finn has written a megabestselling memoir about surviving in the wild. But he stubbornly declines to speak to anyone in the press, and no one even knows exactly where he lives.

Digging deep into Finn’s past, Carrie develops a theory on his whereabouts. It is the holidays, but her career is at stake, so she forsakes her family celebrations and flies out to snowy Alaska. When she finally finds Finn, she discovers a man both more charismatic and more stubborn than she even expected. And soon she is torn between pursuing the story of a lifetime and following her heart.

**

The book synopsis explains the premise quite well so I won’t repeat it here.  It did remind me of an old movie called “Continental Divide” with John Belushi.

This is the easy-read novel that you curl up with after a long day of Christmas shopping and gift wrapping.  It is sweet and totally predictable but ultimately quite satisfying.  It is not very long, only 226 pages, so it can easily fit into a busy holiday schedule.  Pour yourself some tea, grab a couple of Christmas sugar cookies and put your feet up and have your heart warmed.
*******************************

Title:  Angels At The Table

Angels At The Table

Genre: Contemporary Christmas Romance

Author: Debbie Macomber

Publisher: Random House, Oct. 2012

Source: Free For Review from Amazon Vine Program

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 3

Description from amazon.com:

Shirley, Goodness, and Mercy know that an angel’s work is never done, especially during a time as wondrous as New Year’s Eve. With an apprentice angel, Will, under their wings, they descend upon Times Square in New York City eager to join in the festivities. And when Will spies two lonely strangers in the crowd, he decides midnight is the perfect time to lend a heavenly helping hand.

Lucie Farrara and Aren Fairchild meet after bumping into each other—seemingly by accident—in Times Square on New Year’s Eve. They immediately hit it off and find they have a lot in common: Lucie is a burgeoning chef and Aren is a respected food critic. But just as quickly as they’re brought together, another twist of fate tears them apart, leaving Lucie and Aren with no way to reconnect.

A year later, Lucie is the chef of an acclaimed new restaurant and Aren is a successful columnist for a major New York newspaper. For all the time that’s passed, the two have not forgotten their one serendipitous evening—and neither have Shirley, Goodness, Mercy, and Will. To reunite the young couple, the angels cook up a brilliant plan: mix true love, a second chance, and a generous sprinkle of mischief to create an unforgettable Christmas miracle.

**

If you are looking for some divine intervention in your love life then you better hope the heavens don’t send you these four bumbling angels.  Well, sure, they redeem themselves but only after making some really idiotic mistakes.  A very lighthearted, easy holiday read,  Macomber fans will enjoy this one while taking a break from the cookie baking and gift wrapping busyness of the holidays.

sexy_santa_4-257x400

Coming next Friday

snowy night with a stranger

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Recent Release Review- The Thinking Woman’s Guide To Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker

Title:  The Thinking Woman’s Guide To Real Magic

The Thinking Woman's guide to real magic

Genre:  Fantasy

Author: Emily Croy Barker

Publisher: Penguin/Viking, Aug 2013

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Rating:  2.5

Sexy Rating:  5- not explicit, implied

Description from amazon.com:

An imaginative story of a woman caught in an alternate world—where she will need to learn the skills of magic to survive

Nora Fischer’s dissertation is stalled and her boyfriend is about to marry another woman.  During a miserable weekend at a friend’s wedding, Nora wanders off and walks through a portal into a different world where she’s transformed from a drab grad student into a stunning beauty.  Before long, she has a set of glamorous new friends and her romance with gorgeous, masterful Raclin is heating up. It’s almost too good to be true.

Then the elegant veneer shatters. Nora’s new fantasy world turns darker, a fairy tale gone incredibly wrong. Making it here will take skills Nora never learned in graduate school. Her only real ally—and a reluctant one at that—is the magician Aruendiel, a grim, reclusive figure with a biting tongue and a shrouded past. And it will take her becoming Aruendiel’s student—and learning magic herself—to survive. When a passage home finally opens, Nora must weigh her “real life” against the dangerous power of love and magic.

**

This is a long book, 572 pages, about 20 hours on my Kindle.  Those are hours out of my life with only a smattering of enjoyable moments.  This book is slow and tedious.  The protagonist has magic done to her and she is never aware so she acts out of her norm and thus conflict is nonexistent. Because she is bespelled her romance and marriage with Raclin is not romantic. How much more interesting if he was truly romantic and then became an evil thing.  When she finally understands the magic that has been done we have a few interesting moments.  Her interaction with Aruendiel is the highlight and her need to learn magic to get back to her world is understood.  This type of fantasy has been done before and has been done much better.

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