Review: Eternal Sin

eternal sinReviewed by Jen

I would have never thought I could find anything sexy about love scenes involving a pregnant woman in her third trimester. I remember what it felt like to have a big belly. I did it twice.  And while I loved many parts about pregnancy, in my seventh month, I most assuredly did not feel sexy… or randy.  Yet, Laura Wright makes me believe it could happen.  No bones about it: our heroine has a big ole belly, but the sexual tension and the love scenes were still smokin’ hot.   I take my hat off to you, Ms. Wright. [Read more…]

Review: Eternal Demon

Reviewed by Jen

Oh Erion! When I first met you back in Eternal Kiss, I had no idea what a great hero you would make, but thanks to the end of Eternal Beast, I started this book more than ready for your story.  Not only did the book deliver, but Erion is what really sold it for me.

As the story begins, our hero is desperate to recover his son, Ladd, who was stolen by the evil Cruen.  Erion and his brother fled the twisted man who raised him and now Cruen is using the boy as leverage to draw Erion back into the fold.  Instead, Erion kidnaps the women Cruen is betrothed to –and proposes a trade: her for Ladd.

Of course, when he abducted Hellen, Erion had no idea she was a powerful demon. Nor did he understand that her father was blackmailing her into the marriage.  Despite the fact Hellen doesn’t want her intended, she is determined to marry him. Her sisters’ future depends on it. But when she goes into something like a sexual heat, she and Erion are unable to fight the growing attraction between them.  From then on out, they are pulled between their personal desires and their need to protect the people they love.

Neither Erion nor Hellen has ever had anyone want or love them for who they are.  One of my favorite parts of the book was watching them each feel love and acceptance for the first time.  There is a great sexual tension between them, but even better for me was for each of them to find a home in the other.  Both characters are noble and selfless, brave and loyal. It was impossible not to root for their HEA.

In the meantime, Synjon is back. He was the dear friend that Bronwyn was going to mate with in Lucian’s book.  If you recall, Cruen was responsible for the death of his true love and he is on a mission to make the man pay.  (Eternal Beauty gives us a look at what he’s been up to since we last saw him.)  So he joins the Roman brothers and their mutore brethren to track him down.  Poor Syn is just a shell of his former self, but Wright does a great job laying the foundation for his book.

I was really happy with how this story played out and was very satisfied with the ending.  A must read for fans of the series.

Rating: B

*ARC Provided by Signet Eclipse

Click to purchase: Amazon
Eternal Demon
by Laura Wright
Release Date: May 7, 2013
Publisher: Signet Eclipse

Review: Eternal Beast

Reviewed by Jen

I had high hopes for this book. The romance between Gray and Dillon has been teasing me for ages.  Both main characters have a great tortured history, so I expected angst, passion, and a whopping dose of sexual tension.  What I got was… a bit of disappointment.

As the story begins, Dillon is stuck in her beast form of a jaguar.  She thinks the only way she will be able to return to her vampire form is to kill the senator behind the beating that prompted her change. Instead, Gray ends up killing him and she is furious.  The thing is, though, she quickly discovers another way to alter her form… with Gray’s touch.  She reaches out to him to help her, and for me, this is where the story went downhill.

I understand that Dillon has been the one to shut Gray down in the past, but that did not excuse the way he lorded his control over her.  He tried to force her to be submissive to him in order for him to give her what she needed.  It was unsettling to see this woman with a history of abuse have to kowtow to a man who supposedly has feelings for her.  Why? Because he is trying to get even? Make a point?  Granted, he didn’t know what happened to her, but he had an idea.  And when he pulled out a leash and collar, I was ready to throw rotten tomatoes at him.

Not that Dillon was much better.  Even knowing about her baggage, she was difficult to like.  She was single-mindedly focused on herself, just like Gray was obsessed with his mission to save the Impures.  Neither seemed remotely capable of making the other a priority.  Most of the time, they weren’t even nice to each other.  Basically, I found that didn’t like either one of them, which made it really hard to root for their romance.

On top of that, the sex scenes didn’t do it for me.  Gray’s attempts at talking dirty were just over the top and not at all sexy.

“The other fingers are getting lonely, D,” he groaned, his voice rabid and raw.  “They want to be together. They want to fuck you too. They want inside your silky wet pussy so badly. Can they all come to the party baby?”

When all five of his fingers entered her, Gray cursed. “The way your cunt took me in, inch by inch of drenched heat. Fuck and the way it’s suckling my fingers.”

“God baby, you’re so beautiful. So wet, so tight. The way your pussy sucks me in.” He cursed, moaned. “Oh shit. I knew you would feel like this. The perfect fit, your candy walls fisting around me.”

I think you get the idea.  If a guy talked to me like that in bed… ok, never mind. Suffice it to say, this did not do it for me.

I am still interested in the world.  Specifically, I am very intrigued by Dillon’s brothers. Erion, in particular, was a real scene stealer.  The story that served as the backdrop for the romance was pretty cool and I like that series may be turning toward the mutore brothers.  I really liked the last book, so between that, and the big cliffhanger epilogue, I will be back for Eternal Demon.  This one, however, was a miss for me.

I should note that most of the reviews for this book have been very positive.  I know I am in the minority.

Rating: C+

Click to purchase: Amazon
Eternal Beast
by Laura Wright
Release Date: August 7, 2012
Publisher: Signet

5 for Friday – October 12

Happy Friday everybody! I hope you guys are enjoying the Favorites feature.  It’s so hard to find the right amount of pimping to do. Too much and everyone gets sick of it. Not enough and the word doesn’t spread.  A big thank you to everyone who has helped promote the posts and everyone who has shared comments and feedback.  I love you bunches.

Next week is going to be a killer for me as I work a week of overnight shifts. I may not be around at my regular times, but I promise I will be checking in whenever I can.  Say a prayer that I don’t fall asleep in the control room or behind the wheel.  I think I’ll just stick a caffeine drip directly into my vein and see what that does.

5.  Everybody is talking about the cover reveal for Guardian Demon from Meljean Brook.

In this thrilling conclusion to the Guardian series, New York Times bestselling author Meljean Brook delivers another stunning page-turner, in which the fate of humanity depends upon a tortured warrior winning the trust—and heart—of the woman he wounded…

After a terrifying encounter in Hell destroys her trust in Michael, the Guardian’s powerful leader, former detective Andromeda Taylor is ready to call it quits as one of the angelic warriors and resume her human life again. But when demonic forces threaten her closest friends and she uncovers a terrifying plot devised by Lucifer, Taylor is thrown straight into Michael’s path again…

To defeat Lucifer, Michael needs every Guardian by his side—and he needs Taylor more than any other. The detective is the key to keeping his own demonic side at bay, and Michael will do anything to protect her and keep her close. And when Taylor manifests a deadly power, her Gift might tip the scales in the endless war between Heaven and Hell…or it might destroy them both with a single touch.

The response I have seen on this has been overwhelmingly positive.  My girl Brie at Romance Around the Corner tells me that one day I will read this series and understand why this is so very squee worthy. I trust her judgement and I swear this series is going on the TBR. Guardian Demon is out in May.

4. There is a huge giveaway going on at Supernatural Underground. A 24 pack of books is up for grabs in honor of Halloween.

Authors include Pamela Palmer, Jaime Rush, Jocelynn Drake, Jeanine Frost and more.  Click here to check it out.

3. Karen Marie Moning has posted the prologue for Iced.

I have not read it.  I WILL NOT read it.  I learned the hard way about reading her teasers when I read the first chapter of Shadowfever before it came out. HUGE mistake.  Iced releases October 30th.

2. Kelly Meding has posted a little snipped from Tempest, book three in her MetaWars series. If you’re not familiar with the series, let me tell you why I am excited about this book.  The overall premise is based on a group of young people with superhuman powers who lost their gifts in childhood, only to have them reappear several years later. Now they are stepping up to help humanity while facing mounting threats. Each installment focuses on a different “meta.”

Books 1 & 2 had female leads, both who found love.  Book 3, Tempest, features Ethan (“Tempest”) who is not only a man, but a gay man. Kelly says he, too, will have a romance in his book.  How refreshing to have a gay, male lead in a mainstream romance/ UF book!  Kudos, Kelly Meding!  Tempest is out in April, but if you want to give the series a try, start with Trance.

1. Before we all cracked down on copyrighted pictures on our blogs, I had a lovely post sharing My Free Pass List of men.  Mr. Red Hot Books and I each have a list of celebrities and assorted beautiful people where we get a “free pass” should the opportunity ever present itself. (If you don’t know what this means, click here.)

Anyway, we have agreed to add one new name to the list for every year we have been married.  Which means I can have 15 men on my list.  And somehow, my anniversary came and went without me adding #15.  I present for your consideration, Adam Levine.

The other men on the list include: Charlie Hunnam, Joe Manganiello, Jason Momoa, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins (and nine other super-hot hotties.) Who is on YOUR free pass list? Share your favorites below.

Have a great weekend!

XOXO,
Jen

5 for Friday – July 6

Happy Friday! I’m finally over my Magic Mike hangover and I have learned two very important lessons.  One: it’s bad enough to drunk-dial or drunk-tweet, but it’s even less of a good idea to pull out the camcorder and post your drunken monologue-slash-movie-review online… even if your enabler-friends say it is funny.  And two: if you are foolish enough to do this anyway, for the love of God, disable the comments on YouTube.  Days after my review posted, someone left the comment, “Lonely drunk older woman. Yuck.”  I wanted to shout, “I’m not lonely!!” But I thought better of a flame war with some kid out in cyberspace. (I’m still crying on the inside and the comments are, indeed, now disabled.)

In other news, I decided to go ahead and start the Crossfire series and I really ended up enjoying Bared to You. Thanks to everyone who encouraged me to give it a try!!

5. I read and Loved Elizabeth Hoyt’s Thief of Shadows with a capital-L. Now she is spilling the deets on the next Maiden Lane book, Lord of Darkness, out in February.

WHEN STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT
He lives in the shadows. The mysterious masked avenger known as the Ghost of St. Giles, his only goal is to protect the innocent of London. Until the night he confronts a fearless lady pointing a pistol at his head—and realizes she is his wife . . .

BECOME LOVERS…
Lady Margaret Reading has vowed to kill the Ghost of St. Giles—the man who murdered her one true love. Returning to London, and the man she hasn’t seen since their wedding day, Margaret does not recognize the man behind the mask. Fierce, commanding, and dangerous, the notorious Ghost of St. Giles is everything she feared he would be—and so much more . . .

DESIRE IS THE ULTIMATE DANGER
When passion flares these two intimate strangers can’t keep from revealing more of themselves than they had ever planned. But when Margaret learns the truth—that the Ghost is her husband, Godric St. John—the game is up and the players must surrender . . . to the temptation that could destroy them both.

4. A tidbit for fans of Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series.  According to her Facebook page, her next Dark Hunter book may be about Acheron’s brother Styxx.

This excites me. I’m ready to get back into the Acheron side of the DH world!!

3. Laura Wright’s 4th book in her Mark of the Vampire series, Eternal Beast,  is coming soon.  Now she has released a book trailer.

I’m excited to read Gray & Dillon’s story!  It’s out August 7.

2. I love Kelly Meding’s Dreg City books.  But I’ve never tried her MetaWars series.  There’s no time like the present, though. Pocket After Dark is featuring book one, Trance, for free on their website this month!

Kelly Meding’s war-ravaged Los Angeles is ground zero for the ultimate Meta human showdown in this sexy, action-packed new series.

Fifteen years ago, Teresa “Trance” West was a skilled telepath and a proud member of the Ranger Corps. But ever since the Rangers were inexplicably rendered powerless at the climax of the devastating Meta War, she’s bounced from one dead-end job to another. Now her powers have reappeared just as mysteriously as they vanished— only they’re completely transformed and more potent than ever. And they’re threatening to destroy her.

Trance heads to Los Angeles to track down the surviving Rangers and discover who restored her powers—and why—but a phantom enemy is determined to kill them before they can reassemble. As they dodge his deadly attacks and come to terms with their new role as heroes, Trance and the rest of the team set out to annihilate the sinister madman . . . only to discover their own powers are his greatest weapons.

If you like it, book two, Changeling, just came out June 26.

1. Here’s a big one for Guild Hunter fans. Nalini Singh is holding a giveaway for three ARCs of Archangel’s Storm.

I love the Guild Hunter covers, don’t you?? This is Jason’s book, out September 4th. Scoot over to her blog to enter. The contest runs through July 20th.

*Bonus Items*
Thea Harrison has revealed the cover art for her next Elder Races novella. And Moira Rogers has a new one in the Last Call series.

What do we think?  Hunter’s Season is out September 18th.  No release date yet for Firecracker.

Have a great weekend!

XOXO
Jen

P.S. The contest winner is JenM.  Jen, send me an email and I’ll hook you up with your prize.

Review: Eternal Captive

Holy wow. This book was really, really good. I’m so glad I didn’t give up on this series, because each book has gotten progressively better.

Lucian is the youngest of the Roman brothers, and he is destined to follow in his father’s footsteps as the next Breeding Male. He’d rather die than live as such a rutting beast. But he can keep his fragile hold on sanity, as long as he can keep himself from having sex with Bronwyn, the one woman with whom he has shared his blood. Of course, he wants her like he has never wanted any other woman, but he is determined fight his attraction.

Unfortunately, the villain of our story has other ideas. He forces Lucian and Bron together in another reality, knowing the two of them will eventually give in to their desires. And sure enough, they do. And Lucian begins to transform, but they find hope for his salvation.

I’m not going to spoil the details. But I will say I loved their romance. Both Lucian and Bronwyn fought it so hard, which only made it that much sweeter when they gave in to their feelings. Wright has crafted such fantastic characters here and I was completely invested in them and desperate for them to find happiness.

The side stories were great as well, from backstory on Nicolas’ twin and the other rejects… to the heartbreaking Syn and Juliet… to the amazing set-up for Gray and Dillon’s book. It was all just golden. –Plus the sex was really hot. Did I mention the sex? (**fans self**) I loved the resolution to Lucian and Bronwyn’s story. I just loved it all. Well, all except for that ubiquitous “c-word.”  5 stars.

*Cunt count = 38

Click to purchase: Amazon
Eternal Captive
by Laura Wright
Release Date: February 7, 2012
Publisher: Penguin Group USA

Review: Eternal Kiss

Thank you Laura Wright, for reading my mind.  Almost all the major issues I had with Eternal Hunger have either disappeared or drastically improved with this definitely superior sequel.

This second installment in the Mark of the Vampire series focuses on Nicolas, another son of the Breeding Male who has been forced into early maturity by the order.  Like his brother Alexander, he has led a tortured life. Only this time, we see the effects of his misery. In fact, it colors almost everything he says and does.

Nicolas’ mother was a drug addict and a whore, who pimped her son out at a very early age.  So not only did he endure the stigma of his father, but he lived in shame… forced into acts no child should endure… until he was rescued by his brother Lucian.  Now, he seems to live a normal life, but he has never really let go of the dark side of his life. He considers himself dirty and unworthy and still debases himself behind his brothers’ backs.

Shortly after his forced maturation, Nicolas is approached by a woman, claiming to have rescued his son from the man who killed the boy’s mother.  Nicolas is skeptical about the boy’s parentage and Kate’s motives.  But she sacrificed a lot to save the child, running away from her last two months of parole to deliver the boy.  Now Kate and Nicolas are thrown together to track down the Impure who killed the child’s mother, before the Order forces Lucian to become the next Breeding Male.

It was a great romance, with two characters who are both so broken and flawed.  The sexual tension and payoff are explosive.  Learning about Nicolas’ history is heartbreaking, but that just makes things so much more gratifying when he finally finds love.  (I do wish we would have gotten a little more insight into why he was still leading his second life, however, rather than having us draw our own conclusions.)

More is revealed in the ongoing arc surrounding the Impure revolution and the power behind it.  We learn more about Gray (a favorite of mine from the last book) and his journey toward a real life and –hopefully– love with Dillon.  And there’s a great ending, clearly setting up a story for Lucian and Bronwyn.    But despite the side plots, I felt like our main couple and their relationship got the attention they needed.  I felt much more invested in them than I did with Alex and Sara.

A couple of other tidbits: I’m glad this book had a glossary… It needed one!  But there is still frequent use of the “c-word” –which I guess is just a word the author likes and I’m going to have to get over it.  Overall, though, a big improvement & a solid installment in the series.  Can’t wait to get started on Lucian’s book. A little more than 4 stars.

Click to purchase: Amazon
Eternal Kiss
by Laura Wright
Release Date: April 5, 2011
Publisher: Signet Eclipse

Review: Eternal Hunger

Alexander and his brothers want nothing to do with others of their kind. They escaped 100 years ago from their vampire communities, anxious to be free of the oppressive rule of the Order… and of the fear and disdain heaped on them because of their father. And while their new lives have been good ones, it all comes crashing down when Alex goes through his vampire maturation a century ahead of schedule. The transition takes away his ability to live in the sun and centers his life on finding his one true mate.

Sara stumbles across Alex while he is going through his transition, saving him from the sunlight that could have killed him. The two experience an attraction, a bond, neither can deny. Circumstances band them together as Alex works to locate the dangerous Impure (vampire-human hybrid) who is wreaking havoc on vamp culture… and to keep Sara safe from the psychotic human trying to kill her.

There is a lot going on and sometimes I felt like it took away some of the attention from the romance. From the problems Sara is fighting with her brother, to the Impure plot, to the mysterious female cutter in the psych ward, to the crazy stalker, and the pureblood vamp vying for Alexander’s attention… I think I would have like things a bit more streamlined. It IS the first book in the series, though, and I realize there is much foundation the author has to lay. I just felt like with so much going on, every element ended up stretched a little thin.

For instance, Alex had the potential to be a really good tortured hero, but the depth of his torment was not as deeply explored as I would have liked. His misery and lifelong rejection could have been an angsty gold-mine, but instead, it was a relatively small point.

We were treated to some pretty good sexual tension, and the payoff was good –I just wish we didn’t have to wait so long for it. (And frankly, I wish she didn’t use the word “cunt” so much.)  I liked the dynamic between the brothers and enjoyed the hints at the relationship possibilities between Gray and Dillon as well as Lucian and Bronwyn.

I also liked the interesting spin the author puts on vampire culture, where the vamps are actually kind of prudish as opposed to super-sexual. The world building was clear and easy to understand… and I look forward to seeing where she takes the series next.  3 stars.

Click to purchase: Amazon
Eternal Hunger
by Laura Wright
Release Date: September 11, 2010
Publisher: Signet

Series Reading Order: Mark of the Vampire

This is the reading order for the Mark of the Vampire series by Laura Wright:

* Denotes short story/novella