Archives for November 2011

Review: Tempest’s Legacy

This series just keeps getting better and better.

Jane True has finally realized what I have known since book one: Anyan is the man. That’s right. THE MAN. Jane now accepts that she has a massive crush on him. And probably always has. The only problem is that he has been gone for two months. She hasn’t seen him since the end of the last book. And when he does show up again, it’s to break the news that her mother is dead… a victim of one of those terrible testing facilities we learned about in Tracking the Tempest. Jane joins with Anyan and Ryu as they investigate the murder and try to ferret out other similar compounds.

I loved this book. There was so much delicious angst. Ryu and Jane still have a lot to resolve. And it isn’t all pretty. Also, we now have her feelings for Anyan in the mix. I’ve thought Anyan’s feelings for Jane have been obvious since the beginning, but there are a lot of hurdles to overcome and it’s all quite a ride.

The part of the story featuring the compounds is pretty disturbing. And it really hits home as a character we know and love gets caught up in it all. But this is such fantastic storytelling. I couldn’t put it down. Even as dark as it gets at some point, there is still this fantastic humor infused throughout. Jane’s internal ramblings and constant interjections from her libido make me laugh out loud. Plus, it’s so satisfying to see how she has grown. Our little halfling has come a long way, both in power and personal growth.

But if I don’t get some payoff on this sexual tension soon (you know the one I mean) — I think I may just implode. Seriously. It’s killing me. 5 stars.

Click to purchase: Amazon or The Book Depository
Tempest’s Legacy
by Nicole Peeler
Release Date: January 1, 2011
Publisher: Orbit

Review: Tracking the Tempest

I am officially in love with this series. And Jane True — I am seriously, completely in love with her too. She is utterly believable as a woman who finds herself immersed in the new and strange world of the supernatural. Someone who has been isolated and alone… now finding herself in a relationship with a sexy and attentive new lover. She is funny and smart and really makes this series a captivating read.

This installment picks up a few months after the where the last one left off. Jane and Ryu are still seeing each other, but living apart. She goes to visit him in Boston for Valentine’s Day and ends up in the center of his investigation of a halfling infirit who has gone on a killing spree. The halfling takes a shining to Jane, which is the first complication. The second, comes when some of Jarl’s henchmen insinuate themselves onto the case.  There is great action, murder and mayhem in the backdrop of fantastic character growth.

We’re introduced to a wealth of great new secondary characters in Ryu’s crew. But once again, Anyan totally steals the show. (Wake up, Jane!!! He is the man for you!!!) There is so much going on between him and Jane just under the radar… they had me on the edge of my seat.  This is quickly becoming one of my favorite series. Almost 5 stars.

Click to purchase: Amazon or The Book Depository
Tracking the Tempest
by Nicole Peeler
Release Date: July 1, 2010
Publisher: Orbit

Twincest: Yea or Nay?

WARNING: This post contains coarse language and seriously adult content.  It’s not for the faint of heart or easily offended.

Let me start off by saying this post is not meant to slam anybody. Everyone is entitled to their personal taste and if yours is different from mine, I completely respect that and invite you to share your opinions below.

I like to consider myself pretty open-minded about different romance sub genres. I don’t love everything –most people know that BDSM isn’t my cuppa tea. But there’s “not-my-cuppa-tea” and then there’s “Holy shit! Is that guy really fucking his brother?” Yes, folks, I just read my first twincest story. And I’ve got to tell you: I don’t get it. It was a m/m/m menage twincest story. And I like m/m books — I really do. I think they are extremely hot. But the idea of a guy having sex with his twin brother is not hot. At least not to me.

I know there are lots of stories where brothers share a woman. Even that is kind of yuck for me, when I think about it. But I always figured it was kind of like a sandwich with the not-related person in the middle. No sibling-bits touching. But apparently that is not always the case. These brothers penetrated each other; they sucked each other off; and they had a whole dom/sub thing between them to boot.

I’ve never felt like such a prude in my life as I did reading this. I just kept staring at the screen, thinking I must be missing some integral part of the puzzle. Then I went on Twitter and asked around, to see if I’m the single Amish spinster in the corner, wearing granny-panties, who’s not down with the latest thing. I was reassured that I was not alone. But obviously, there is an audience for this. There are people on Goodreads who read the book and loved it. They never said a word about the fact that these brothers are humping each other –or that it bothered them in the least.

So I’d like to hear from you guys. Does twincest titillate you? Does it gross you out? Please give me your perspectives. (I will not judge you!) And if you are an author who writes twincest books, please know I am not trying to insult you. Your input is welcome here too.

Review: Tempest Rising

I truly, thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was original and unique. It was sexy and funny. It was unpredictable and smart.

The story centers on Jane True, a 20-something misfit living in a small Maine tourist town. She works at a small bookstore, takes care of her sick father, and has an abiding love for the sea. Jane has been an outcast in the town her whole life. Her mother made big waves, first when she appeared out of nowhere, then disappeared in much the same way when Jane was a child. But things only got worse when Jane’s high school sweetheart drowned. The community blamed Jane for his death and she suffered a breakdown she has only partially recovered from.

She finds solace in the water. But when she finds a body during a late night swim, her world is turned on its ear. The dead man isn’t human and that discovery is quickly followed by the revelation that she isn’t entirely human either. Quickly, Jane finds herself immersed in the supernatural world and thrown together with Ryu, the vampire investigating the murder of the man Jane discovered.

This book has a little bit of everything. It’s got mystery and intrigue surrounding the murder. It’s got a great journey of self-discovery as Jane learns who and what she really is. It has hot sex. It has action. And humor. As many good things as it has going for it, I have to say that Jane’s internal dialogue has got to be at the top of the list. Her voice is just fantastic. I get her pop-culture references, her sarcasm… the arguments between logic and her libido.

This is definitely a hit for me. While the book had a clear ending, it obviously has more story to tell. And as much as I liked Ryu (and I really did!) I am all about Anyan. He and Jane simply must become more than friends down the road. I’m telling you… he’s the one to watch. 4 1/2 stars.

Click to purchase: Amazon or The Book Depository
Tempest Rising
by Nicole Peeler
Release Date: November 1, 2009
Publisher: Orbit

Review: Vamped Up

Reviewed by Jen

I’ll be honest. When I started reading, I was already annoyed because I couldn’t find a decent summary description on this book anywhere. I don’t like spoilers, but I do want at least a general idea of what I am about to read.  I’m off-topic already, but it had to be said. Now, let me give you the basics.

We first met Eve and Ruan back in Intervamption and it was clear even then that they were on the path to get their own story. Unfortunately, this book really kind of skips over all of the falling in love parts. We’ve had a time jump of a few weeks since the last book and our couple is already involved in a serious relationship as this story begins. Ruan is a vampire and Eve is a human, which is causing some problems. Ruan wants to take her blood, but he knows he doesn’t have the control to stop feeding once he starts. He’s been having dreams about killing Eve and it’s scaring him to death. His fears are driving a wedge between them, which is made worse by the fact that he won’t tell her what’s going on inside him.

Meanwhile, Savage is back and he still wants to take over as the leader of the vampires. His latest plan to accomplish that is to learn how to harness and control the powerful dark spirits that dwell within the Elders of the race. It’s not as easy as he first hoped and eventually his nefarious plan brings him to Eve, who turns out to be much more than a mundane human.

It took me a really long time to get into this book. Perhaps, this is because so much of the love connection between Ruan and Eve happened off page. Maybe because I was frustrated by Ruan’s unwillingness to communicate. I don’t know.  The characters fell flat and I couldn’t connect to their relationship. I just wasn’t feeling the book at all, until about halfway-in… when we started to see the set-up for side character Dante’s story. It wasn’t a great sign that I was more interested in what happened to him than what was going on with our main couple.

Eventually, Eve and Ruan’s story does get more interesting, as we begin to learn about their hidden pasts. But it took too long to get there. I felt like this book had potential that it just didn’t reach. I liked the last book better and hopefully Dante’s story will reel me back in to this series. He seems like a pretty tortured hero –and I’m such a sucker for those.  3 stars.

*ARC Provided by NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon
Vamped Up
by Kristen Miller
Release Date: December 7, 2011
Publisher: Avon

Review: Fate’s Song

Reviewed by Jen

Kaelen is a Fae prince in exile. Once destined for the throne, now he lives among the humans, cut off from his kind, without his powers. He is being punished for killing a human in defense of a woman and her children. He must serve out his sentence until he finds his true mate and she loves and accepts him for who he is.

When Abagail stumbles over Kaelen’s beaten body in the woods, she feels the need to rescue him. She gets him back to her cabin, to nurse him back to health. But the two of them are quickly overwhelmed by their attraction to one another. And it’s from there that the inevitable plays out.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out who Abagail is to Kaelen or what began their connection. But I can tell you that despite the lack of any substantial surprises, I did enjoy the book. The sex was rockin’ –hot, heavy, and all around awesome. Everything happens at lightning speed, but I can forgive that with destined mates stories more than with a standard romance. A short, sexy read. A little more than 3 stars.

*Review copy provided by author

Click to purchase: Amazon
Fate’s Song
by Jessica Jarman
Release Date: July 7, 2008
Publisher: Total Ebound Publishing

Review: Kiss of Frost

Reviewed by Jen

I don’t know if I have told you this before, but you really can’t go wrong with Jennifer Estep. I love her writing style… it’s just so easy to settle into. Her first person narrative is always down-to-earth, believable, and fun. And this book is no exception.

The story picks up just a few months after the point where Touch of Frost left off. And I’ve got to tell you, my number one goal when I started reading was to determine whether I was going to love Logan or hate him. He really made me angry when he blew Gwen off. And by the time we were halfway into the book, I was ready to start making a voo-doo doll. But I’ll get back to Logan in a minute.

The story takes Gwen and her classmates at Mythos Academy on a skiing trip for Winter Carnival. But it’s no relaxing vacation for Gwen. Someone was already trying to kill her before they even left and the danger only intensifies when they reach their destination. Gwen tries to distract herself with parties and a new boy, but it’s hard to ignore attempts on your life. Fortunately, Gwen’s magic is growing, giving her better skills to cope with what she might face.

I’m not usually a YA reader, but I do like this series. It’s satisying to watch Gwen start to grow and get stronger. Like I said before, I had a hard time warming up to Logan, seeing as how he had his tongue in another girl’s mouth for a large hunk of the story. But I guess I’m coming around –a little. YA or not, I need this little love connection to pick up the pace. It’s moving along, but very slowly. Fish or cut-bait, people!

Overall, a good read that opens new doors for the future of the series. 4 stars.

*ARC provided by author

Click to purchase: Amazon or The Book Depository
Kiss of Frost
by Jennifer Estep
Release Date: November 29, 2011
Publisher: Kensington

Giveaway: Black Friday Book Bonanza

It’s time for a new giveaway hop! The Black Friday Book Bonanza is hosted by Heather from Book Savvy Babe, Jenn from The Bawdy Book Blog, and Lisa from Alive on the Shelves. The hop features 76 different blogs, giving away great books and prizes.

I like to provide different options for prizes, so here are your choices:

Dream-Hunter Lydia has been charged with the most sacred and dangerous of missions: To descend into the Nether Realm and find the missing god of dreams before he betrays the secrets that could kill her and her kind. What she never expects is to be taken prisoner by the Realm’s most vicious guardian…

Seth’s time is running out. If he can’t hand over the entrance to Olympus, his own life and those of his people will be forfeit. No matter the torture, Seth hasn’t been able to break the god in his custody. Then there’s the beautiful Dream-Hunter Lydia: She isn’t just guarding the gates of Olympus—she’s holding back one of the world’s darkest powers. If she fails, an ancient curse will haunt the earth once more and no one will be safe. But evil is always seductive…

Lucy was once the beloved Goddess of the Moon, and she could have any man she wanted. But these days, the goddesses of the Etruscan pantheon are all but forgotten. The only rituals she enjoys now are the local hockey games, where one ferociously handsome player still inflames her divine blood…

Brandon Stevenson is one hundred percent focused on the game, until he looks up and sees a celestial beauty sitting in the third row. A man could surely fall hard for a distraction like that…

Once upon a time…the Blood Sorcerer vanquished the kingdom of Elden. To save their children, the queen scattered them to safety and the king filled them with vengeance. Only a magical timepiece connects the four royal heirs…and time is running out….
Nicolai the Vampire was renowned for his virility, but in a twist of fate “The Dark Seducer” had become a sex slave in the kingdom of Delfina—stripped of his precious timepiece and his memory. All that remained was a primal need for freedom, revenge—and the only woman who could help him.
In her dreams, a wanton vampire called to Jane Parker, drawing her to his dark sexuality and his magical realm. But for a human, all was not a fairy tale in Delfina. Jane was the key to Nicolai’s memory…but exploiting her meant dooming the only mortal he craved.

Do any of these sound good to you? To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. The winner will be able to select one of the three books as a prize. The contest is open to all Red Hot Books followers in the US & Canada.  Thanks for entering & be sure to check out some of the other great blogs participating in the hop!

Review: Her Christmas Pleasure

Reviewed by Jen

I’ll warn you right off the bat, this novella is short; it’s not even 70 pages. But it’s a sexy and satisfying read in that small package.

Celia is the widow of Damien’s best friend. He made a vow to her husband before he died to take care of her. But he never expected to fall in love with her. Damien is the son of servants… not nearly good enough, he believes, for a lady like Celia. So after years of loving her in silence, he makes plans to move away.

Celia has come to care deeply for Damien, but only recently has desire come into the picture. And once they share a kiss under the mistletoe, she can’t deny her feelings any longer. But is too late for them? And can she convince him that he is more than enough to make her happy?

OK, we already know the answers, but I still enjoyed the ride. I’m always a sucker for a hero convinced he’s not good enough for the heroine. Oooh –and did I mention the hot sex?? Good stuff. The story might have been even stronger if it were longer, but as it is, I liked it well enough. Almost 4 stars.

Note: This book is the 2nd in Karen Erickson’s Merry Widows series, but the two novellas are completely unrelated.

*ARC Provided by NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon
Her Christmas Pleasure
by Karen Erickson
Release Date: November 28, 2011
Publisher: Carina Press

Review: Pride & Passion

Reviewed by Jen

Let me start out by saying how much I enjoyed this book. It spared me many of the frustrating tropes I usually find in historicals. The heroine isn’t a ninny or a virgin. The love isn’t instantatious. And there is no great misunderstanding. It was a solid romance, with good sex, and enough danger to kick it all up a notch.

We first met Lucy back in Seduction & Scandal. She is desperately trying to find her former lover Thomas, who she had thought died in a fire. But not only is he alive, but he is somehow wrapped up in a nefarious group, trying to obtain ancient artifacts of the Templar Knights. Adrian, the Duke of Sussex, even claims he saw Thomas kill someone. But Lucy holds out hope she’ll be reunited with the man she thought she loved.

Sussex is on a mission to make Lucy his own. It’s made very, very obvious from the beginning that he is hiding a secret. (And it doesn’t take a rocket science to determine his true identity.) But no matter how much he pines for Lucy, she doesn’t return his affections. It’s really kind of sad, but the thing is… she can’t love him because he hides who he really is. He presents himself with a mask of propriety, but once he begins to allow his mask to fall and his passion to shine through, Lucy doesn’t stand a chance.

Even though the “big reveal” of Sussex’s secret was no surprise, it was still very poignant. I just wanted to step inside the book and give him a great big hug. How could it take Lucy so long to see what was right before her eyes?? The love story is good… and the sex is hooooot. All this with the backdrop of the mystery set up in the last book. Who is trying to steal the ancient artifacts? And how far will he go to get what he wants? I feel very certain I know the identity of the villain’s lover, but I change my mind every five minutes about who the big bad really is.

I really liked the b-plot story surrounding Elizabeth and Alynwick. I’m already in a tizzy waiting for their book to come out! Especially since this one ended on a cliffhanger. How am I supposed to wait until July to find out what happens??

4 1/2 stars.

*ARC Provided by NetGalley

Click to purchase: Amazon or The Book Depository
Pride & Passion
by Charlotte Featherston
Release Date: November 15, 2011
Publisher: HQN