Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Review: Under Fire by Catherine Mann

A decorated hero, pararescueman Liam McCabe lives to serve. Six months ago, he and Rachel Flores met in the horrific aftermath of an earthquake in the Bahamas. They were tempted by an explosive attraction, yet parted ways. Still, Liam has thought about Rachel every day—and night—since.

Now, after ignoring all his phone calls for six months, Rachel has turned up on base with a wild story about a high-ranking military traitor. She claims no one but Liam can help her—and she won’t trust anyone else.

With nothing but her word and the testimony of a discharged military cop to go on, Liam would be insane to risk his career—even his life—to help this woman who left him in the dust.


Liam is the Team Leader for his pararescue unit and his body is reaching the point where it is slowing him down.  He seems to be a romantic guy and wants the whole wife and kids scenario, but with 3 failed marriages he has come to the conclusion that being married to his job doesn’t leave room in his life for a family outside of his teammates. Rachel and Liam met in book 2 Hot Zone while helping out during an earthquake in the Bahamas. This book takes place 6 months after they have returned home and even though Rachel hasn’t returned any of Liam’s phone calls during this time, he just can’t get her out of his head.
Rachel trains service dogs and therapy dogs. This is when she meets Brandon who suffers from PTSD and uses one of her therapy dogs. During a particularly bad episode, Brandon reveals some delicate information that implies treason. Rachel is very passionate about helping people and very committed. She tries to help Brandon be heard but no one takes them seriously and even makes attempts on their lives. Even though Rachel has tried to keep her distance from Liam she finds herself turning to him desperate for his help and believes he is the only one she trusts.

This story has an interesting villain and what he’s willing to do to move up in the ranks of the military. We find out pretty quickly who the villain is and at first I wasn’t sure if that was a good idea to disclose that information, but as it went on, the real suspense was deciding who is working for or against him. There are a couple people that play the double roles well and I was trying to figure it out what side they were really on until the end.
Rachel and Liam have a lot of obstacles to overcome and it’s amazing the lengths that they will both go to see things right and to attempt at a future together. I felt this story moved and flowed felt believable. I really enjoyed getting to see some of the team members again from the previous books and I love the connection between them all and what they are willing to do for each other. Under Fire is the third book in the Elite Force series and even it would be easy to follow this book without reading the previous ones, I highly recommending reading them all as they are all fantastic.

Monday, May 21, 2012

ARC Review: Lethal Rider (Lords of Deliverance #3) by Larissa Ione

They're here.
They ride.
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

Born of a match between good and evil, four siblings stand between hell's minions and everything they want to destroy. They are the Lords of Deliverance, and they have the power to ward off Doomsday . . . or let it ride . . .


Thanatos, the most deadly Horseman of the Apocalypse, has endured thousands of years of celibacy to prevent the end of days. But just one night with the wickedly sexy Aegis Guardian, ReganCooper, shatters centuries of resolve. Yet their passion comes with a price. And Thanatos must face a truth more terrifying than an apocalypse-he's about to become a father.

Demon-slayer Regan Cooper never imagined herself the maternal type, but with the fate of the world hanging in the balance she had no choice but to seduce Thanatos and bear his child. Now, as the final battle draws closer and his rage at being betrayed is overshadowed by an undeniable passion for the mother of his child, Thanatos has a life-shattering realization: To save the world, he must sacrifice the only thing he's ever wanted-a family.


Lethal Rider is the third book in Larissa Ione’s Lords of Deliverance series, which is a spinoff of her Demonica series. I have read and loved each and every book J 
Lethal Rider picks up about 8 months after the last book with Thanatos being help in a state of incapacitation with really only his thoughts to occupy his time as he thinks about Regan and how she betrayed him. We find Regan 8 ½ months pregnant, living in The Aegis Headquarters. She is trying to keep her emotional distance from the baby and although she did what was her duty to get pregnant by Thanatos, she doesn’t feel like she’s mother material and has prepared to give the baby to another couple to raise and keep safe.
Right from the start this book is full of action. Thanatos is able to get free of his incapacitation and is drawn to a scene of death and as Regan is attached by vampires that have gotten loose in headquarters. Thanatos is surprisingly drawn to something new that isn’t death. When investigates this he encounters Regan and becomes angry when he sees her. He’s so blinded by his anger that he doesn’t even notice she’s pregnant and once she brings him up to speed that the baby is his, he decides to kidnap Regan from The Aegis.
Thanatos is one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, also known as Death. He has chosen a life of solitude, except for his vampire servants. He’s had a tough time in the past with his death rages and being denied one thing he always wished to have, a family.  Thanatos really grew on me with his quirky sense of humor and how he felt guilty for his harsh words and made a noticeable effort to change his approach with Regan. Regan was pretty kick ass for a pregnant woman. She’s pretty limited in what she can do but when she needs it, she is fierce. I really liked the inside look to Regan’s struggle with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)  and how she deals to have control over something when everything else is out of her control. With being a Social Worker, I was able to appreciate this part of Regan since I’ve had experience with clients with OCD.
I thought that Than and Regan were perfect together, both growing up so lonely and feeling they have to keep their distances from others to minimize hurting them because of their abilities. Both of them are inexperienced in so many things that deal with tender emotions and that it made me happy for them that they can find what they’ve been missing in each other. Also now that I am a mother myself, there is something so much more attractive in a man who is so on board with the whole baby thing and Than is that man *happy sigh* Lethal Rider is full of action, betrayal, and secrets and twists that I didn’t predict and I loved it.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Review: Coveted by Shawntelle Madison

For werewolf Natalya Stravinsky, the supernatural is nothing extraordinary. What does seem strange is that she’s stuck in her hometown of South Toms River, New Jersey, the outcast of her pack, selling antiques to finicky magical creatures. Restless and recovering from her split with gorgeous ex-boyfriend, Thorn, Nat finds comfort in an unusual place: her obsessively collected stash of holiday trinkets. But complications pile up faster than her ornaments when Thorn returns home—and the two discover that the spark between them remains intense.

Before Nat can sort out their relationship, she must face a more immediate and dangerous problem. Her pack is under attack from the savage Long Island werewolves—and Nat is their first target in a turf war. Toss in a handsome wizard vying for her affection, a therapy group for the anxious and enchanted, and the South Toms River pack leader ready to throw her to the wolves, and it’s enough to give anybody a panic attack. With the stakes as high as the full moon, Nat must summon all of her strength to save her pack and, ultimately, herself.


I’m not quite sure what my feelings are on this book. I liked it overall but there was just several things that bugged me that I’m not sure I know how to word.
First off, I was often annoyed with Natalya.. I’m having a difficult time coming up with a word that fits my opinion of her. She was dealt a blow when her boyfriend at the time, Thorn, left town. Now 5 years later she left the life she had established for herself in New York to move home, she has been kicked out of her pack, and is struggling so much with her OCD and hording that it has consumed her. She is so submissive and so down that she doesn’t stick up for herself or what she wants. Thorn all of a sudden comes back to town to help protect the pack from another werewolf pack wanting to take them over. This adds more upset for Natalya, as she also learns that he is promised to be with someone else, so the idea of them rekindling their relationship is non-existent. I supposed if I didn’t know it before, this book just confirmed that I prefer the heroines of books I read to be more kick ass. Now don’t get me wrong, there are positive points to Nat and she definitely grew throughout the book and even had some kick ass moments, but overall, not a fan.
It pissed me off how poorly the pack, especially that her family, treated her. No wonder she has such low self esteem. But this does lead up to probably my favorite part of the story. Nat decides to finally do something about her disorder and seeks out therapy and gets involved in a group therapy with a diverse group of other supernatural beings that have some of the same struggles. I enjoyed this quirky group of individuals and I enjoyed the friendships she start to form, especially with a wizard, Nick.
Now as I enjoy romances, I kept trying to figure out who/when Nat was going to hook up. But romance is a pretty minor part and I was disappointed by that. Although there were many things that bugged me, I did enjoy the progress Nat made in growing as a person and I liked the world where the supernaturals are just a part of everyday life, they may not be completely out in the open to humans, but they aren’t hidden either. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Review: Bared to You (Crossfire #1) by Sylvia Day

Our journey began in fire...

Gideon Cross came into my life like lightning in the darkness—beautiful and brilliant, jagged and white-hot. I was drawn to him as I'd never been to anything or anyone in my life. I craved his touch like a drug, even knowing it would weaken me. I was flawed and damaged, and he opened those cracks in me so easily...

Gideon knew. He had demons of his own. And we would become the mirrors that reflected each other's most private wounds... and desires.

The bonds of his love transformed me, even as I prayed that the torment of our pasts didn't tear us apart...


So I heard that this book was supposed to be comparable to Fifty Shades of Grey, and although I do see the similarities, it is not the same, in a good way.
Eva Hammel is a 24 year old woman who has just moved to New York with her best friend Cary. Even though Eva comes from a family with money, she is determined to make it on her own and to start at the bottom and work her way up. This is where she finds herself working as an assistant in an advertising company in the Crossfire building where she meets a guy who she is instantly attracted too and captivated by. She has a couple run-ins with him before she learns that his name is Gideon Cross and he owns his own company and actually owns the whole building she works in.
Eva and Gideon both have a difficult past that has a great impact on their present selves and any kind of relationship they try to have. Oh my! Gideon and Eva’s relationship is messed up! But I liked how open Eva is about her struggles and her past with Gideon. Gideon’s got a ways to go before he’s able to open up, which I was waiting and waiting to find out his past traumas but we never find out in this book anyway. It’s laid out pretty obvious what trauma he suffered in his past and how it still effects him in the present but I want to know the story! Next book hopefully *fingers crossed*
Both of them are very jealous to the point of being irrational and Eva has a very bad habit of running off, which honestly lucky for her Gideon is the type to chase after her. Although I understand both of their struggles in their relationship based on their traumas, and I applaud them for sticking too it, it kind of drove me nuts them having the same conflict over and over again. Although with all their conflicts, gives them plenty of opportunities to make up ;) Also I wished there was more of a conflict with Gideon’s brother. He is very serious about warning Eva away from him, but I thought that fell short. Again I’m hoping it’ll play more of a part in the next book.
Overall I really liked Bared to You and Sylvia did a great job getting into the head of Eva and all her insecurities and her thought processes. I was pretty entertained with Cary and his own messed up-ness. I liked how in Gideon and Eva’s relationship, he is open to her being her own person and isn’t pushy to get Eva to fit into a certain role in his life. There are several things that I’m interested to know how they are going to play out so therefore I will be ANXIOUSLY awaiting the second book in the Crossfire series, Deeper into You.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Review: Rake with a Frozen Heart by Marguerite Kaye

Waking up in a stranger's bed, Henrietta Markham encounters the most darkly sensual man she has ever met. The last thing she remembers is being attacked by a housebreaker—yet being rescued by the notorious Earl of Pentland feels much more dangerous!

Since the cataclysmic failure of his marriage, ice has flowed in Rafe St. Alban's veins. But meeting impetuous, all-too-distracting governess Henrietta heats his blood to the boiling point.

When she's accused of theft, Rafe finds himself offering to clear her name. Can Henrietta's innocence bring this hardened rake to his knees?


Rafe St. Alban, Earl of Pentland, is a rake and he’s not afraid of his reputation, but he isn’t the typical rake because he has standards. He’s quite a mystery and due to experiences in his past, he has closed himself off to others emotionally. One day on his way back to his country home, he comes across an unconscious woman on his property. Even when unconscious, there’s something about her that he’s drawn to.
Henrietta Markham is such an innocent young woman. She believes greatly in the ideals of her parents, and as a way to gain some experience to help in their endeavor to set up a school in Ireland, to takes a position as a governess. Unfortunately this just leads her to trouble, which led to her needing to be rescued by her handsome neighbor. Even when she tries to do the right thing she finds herself accused by her employer of theft. She panics and runs away and decides to stow away in a carriage in hopes to get to London, only to find herself once again in the company of Rafe.
Although I liked the plot of the story, I felt that the wrap up of Henrietta being accused of theft, well just seemed to go away. I did like the added suspense afterwards where Henrietta just leaves Rafe well because they are both too stubborn to own up to their feelings of each other and she can’t stand to say goodbye. I really liked Rafe, he made such a great tortured hero. He wasn’t the type of hero I was expecting with the title referring to his “frozen heart”. I was pleasantly surprised with the depths to Rafe and his experiences that have led him to be the man he has become. I liked how Kaye did not reveal all of Rafe’s past all at once, but a little at a time and it kept me wanting to find out all there is to him. Henrietta kind of annoyed me with her innocence/naiveté, but I did enjoy her honesty and frankness and how she doesn’t even seem consider herself above anyone else’s needs.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Review: Kiss of the Goblin Prince (Shadowlands #2) by Shona Husk

Trapped for centuries in the bleak Shadowlands, Dai clings to his humanity with a thirst for knowledge. But now he's free of the goblin curse, and some would say he knows too much—he can make nature bend to his will, influence the minds of others, and command magic. Yet love eludes him. Then he meets Amanda, a single mother with a sick daughter whom he feels compelled to protect. But could she possibly place her trust in the kiss of a goblin prince?


After spending the last 2000 years in the Shadowlands as a goblin, and all that entails, Dai finds it difficult to be thrust back into the human world after the curse was broken when his brother found true love. Dai never really believed it was his fate to become human again and now that he is, he’s not quite sure what to do with himself, so he focuses on his magic, as much as it is forbidden. Dai is a very tortured man and struggles to deal with the guilt of some of his actions in the past that he just can’t let go to forgive himself so he tries to find a way to get revenge and atone for his sins.
Amanda is a widowed mother who had found and lost love at such a young age. She keeps herself distanced from men and focuses all her attention on her daughter who suffers from a severe case of asthma. When Dai’s brother marries Amanda’s sister-in-law they are thrust into each other’s lives and they have an instant attraction for each other. They both lack the experience of relationships and struggle with what they feel towards each other and how to go about any type of relationship.
I felt this story was slow and that when things started to pick up, it was all rushed at the end. Although I liked Dai and Amanda and their struggles to open up their wounded hearts and embrace love, and help each other heal, I just wasn’t feeling this book which I found disappointing as I liked Dai in the first book and was looking forward to reading his story. I did like the twists that are revealed and how individuals from Dai’s past continue to play apart in the present and what fate Dai would encounter if he didn’t learn to forgive himself. I also enjoyed the side story about Dai and Ronan’s cousin who had embraced his goblin side and went off with the horde. He finds himself all of sudden returned to human and stuck in the Shadowlands, after the curse was broken, which sets up for book 3 For the Love of a Goblin Warrior.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Brook Street Trilogy by Ava March

I’ll admit that I was curious about these books as several of the people I follow on twitter and Goodreads have read and enjoyed them. And as m/m is kind of a guilty pleasure for me *blushes* I thought why not give them a shot too! I very much enjoyed this series for several reasons. One, I really enjoy historical romances, and I’ve been on a HR kick for the past couple weeks. Two, oh lawdy those sex scenes are hot! Three, I liked March’s writing, it was smooth, enjoyable and it flowed well. I found myself overall enjoying all the characters and being invested enough to want to know each of their stories.
Book 1: Thief
London, 1822 ... It was only supposed to be one night. One night to determine once and for all if he truly preferred men. But the last thing Lord Benjamin Parker expected to find in a questionable gambling hell is a gorgeous young man who steals his heart.

It was only supposed to be a job. Cavin Fox has done it many times — select a prime mark, distract him with lust, and leave his pockets empty. Yet when Cavin slips away under the cover of darkness, the only part of Benjamin he leaves untouched is his pockets.

With a taste of his fantasies fulfilled, Benjamin wants more than one night with Cavin. But convincing the elusive young man to give them a chance proves difficult. Living with a band of thieves in the worst area of London, Cavin knows there's no place for him in a gentleman's life. Yet Benjamin isn't about to let Cavin—and love—continue to slip away from him.

Lord Benjamin is confused about his feelings and desires towards men and before he settles down and decides to marry, he wants to find out for sure what these feelings are so he goes to a club that is well known to cater to clientele of men who enjoy the company of other men. This is where he meets Cavin and the sparks ignite right away. The intimacy during their sexual encounter is everything Benjamin had hoped to find, and was so good that Cavin can’t bring himself to steal from Benjamin, even though he’s a thief and steals to survive.  
Cavin begins to question his life and the choice he makes. He starts to slowly make changes but finds it difficult to fully leave his life behind as that’s all he knows. He feels himself so far beneath Benjamin that he is constantly running away from him but Benjamin refuses to give up on Cavin. There were so many ups and downs and took me on an emotional ride with Ben and Cavin. I just wanted to shake Cavin and tell him to open his eyes and stop being so stubborn! Cavin broke my heart with his self-loathing. I loved Ben! He is so open, understanding, determined. He was exactly what Cavin neededJ. I found Ben and Cavin’s story very romantic and it made my heart happy at the end.  
Book 2: Fortune Hunter
London, 1822 .... Impoverished Julian Parker returns to London with one goal: marry an heiress. He'll do whatever it takes, even if it means denying his desire for men. After all, with a fortune comes happiness and social acceptance—which have eluded Julian his entire life.

The only things a vast fortune has brought Oscar Woodhaven are greedy relatives and loneliness. At twenty-one years of age, he has everything a man could possibly want—except someone to love him. When he meets devastatingly handsome Julian Parker, he believes his luck has turned.

Between Oscar's lavish gifts and their searing hot nights, Julian is caught between what he thinks he needs and what his heart truly desires. But when a betrayal threatens to tear them apart, Julian discovers he'll do whatever it takes to convince Oscar the greatest fortune of all is love.


Julian is the cousin of Ben from Thief, who has just returned from America. He is looking to marry and heiress, as he thinks that money will make him happy in life. He’s even willing to put aside his desire for men to have what he perceives as a better life. Oscar is one of Ben’s close friends, and this is how the two become acquainted. Ben is not the most available to help take Julian around to parties (as he has Cavin back home waiting for him) so Oscar offers to take his place and takes Julian into his home and helps him out in any way he’s able to.
I’m not sure how much I really liked this pair. I was able to accept the events in each of their pasts that had shaped them to the way they were at present, but I had a harder time connecting with them as a pair. Although I had my doubts about Julian, I did very much like Oscar. He’s so hopeful, giving, and vulnerable that my heart went out to him. Sometimes I could just picture him giving one of his genuine smiles and I wanted to smile too. But I felt so bad for the way he was accepting other’s poor behavior towards him, I wanted to wrap him up and keep him safe.  I did not look forward to what I saw coming that would crush Oscar and Julian, but I’m glad for the men that they each worked to become by the end, Julian redeemed himself a little to me by the end.

Book 3: Rogues
London, 1822... Two of London's most notorious rakehells, Linus Radcliffe and Robert Anderson, are the best of friends. They share almost everything-clothes, servants, their homes, and even each other's bed on occasion. The one thing they don't share: lovers. For while Linus prefers men, Robert prefers women...except when it comes to Linus.

As another Season nears its end, Robert can't ignore his growing jealousy. He hates watching Linus disappear from balls to dally with other men. Women are lovely, but Linus rouses feelings he's never felt with another. Unwilling to share his gorgeous friend another night, Robert has a proposition for Linus.

A proposition Linus flatly refuses-but not for the reasons Robert thinks. Still, Robert won't take no for an answer. He sets out to prove a thing or two to his best friend-yet will learn something about the heart himself.
Linus and Robert have been best friends since childhood. They grew up together, went to school together and even moved in next door to each other in London. Although Linus prefers men and Robert prefers women, they have been lovers off and on throughout the years. As this particular season continues on, Robert finds himself more and more uncomfortable with Linus going off with other men and proposes they be exclusive.
To be honest, I don’t blame Linus for saying no, even though he secretly is in love with Robert. Robert easily becomes bored with his conquests and Linus is willing to deny his feelings in order to preserve their friendship. I really liked this pair, but I really just wanted to smack Robert with the way he goes about his pursuit on Linus. I liked how he wanted to be with Linus so much that he was willing to go outside of his comfort zone to figure out how to get what he wants. I did really like this couple and their story, but just not as much as the first book.