Wednesday, May 30, 2012
The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
On the surface this seems like a typical Historical romance.
"Mad" Lord Ian Mackenzie meets the beautiful widow Beth Ackerley at the opera and proceeds to warn her that the man she is engaged to, is only after her money. Being both a gentlemen and completely captivated by Miss Ackerley, Ian offers to marry her instead.
That is pretty much where the cliche' ends.
Ian is probably one of the most interesting characters I have come across in historical fiction. At a young age, he is committed to an asylum because he is considered to be uncontrollable. Ian's problem is not madness as so many assume. He actually suffers from a form of ADD & Aspergers. He has problems following conversations, but can recite what was said word for word weeks later. He has problems understanding different emotions and the concept of a joke is pretty much lost on him. But, the world around him, including himself and some of his family members, still consider him to be crazy. Beth is one of the few people to see past the labels and grasp who Ian truly is.
The love story between Ian and Beth is unconventional, but so sweet and tender that it works on every level. Just when you think you know where the story is going, it surprises you.
While I am a huge fan of Historical romance, it always nice to come across a story that differs from the mainstream. And this definitely does. A hidden gem that now has a permanent place on my keeper shelf.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Simply Sexual by Kate Pearce
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Lord Valentin Sokorvsky is a wealthy bachelor preparing to marry the timid daughter of the man who rescued him from a 7 year existence as a sex slave in a Turkish brothel. That is until he meets the sister of the girl he is due to marry, and decides he has to have her instead.
First off, this book has a lot of sex. A. Lot. Not that I am complaining, since I do love my kinky erotica after all. And I mean, what can you expect reading a book called Simply Sexual. But, towards the end of this story I was a little bit worn out by it all. Not just the sex scenes (which Pearce does for the most part handle well), but by all the rampaging angst among the three main characters. Because yes, there is another player in this kink-fest. His name is Peter and he was also being held at the brothel and has been in love with Valentin for years.
I have no problem with M/F/M stories. Far from it. It just seemed as though this one was a bit forced. Valentin spends much of the story trying to convince Sara that Peter's love is unrequited, and Sara spends a lot of time trying not to be jealous. Which is part of the reason that the resolution...if that's what you can call it...came off as well...odd. I seem to be in the minority feeling this way, though.
So, this was enjoyable as far as a quick, sex-filled romp goes. But, not so much when you try and make sense of certain aspects of the plot.
Sunday, May 27, 2012
Beauty Touched the Beast by Skye Warren
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This quickie tackles one of my favorite themes...beauty/beast.
Blake is a war veteran who is scarred both physically and emotionally. Erin is a beautiful young woman who cleans his house twice a week. When Erin stumbles upon the reclusive Blake in a private moment...and calling out her name...the growing feelings she has for her employer start to overwhelm her. But, will she be able to get through to Blake and make him see he's far from the Beast he considers himself to be?
This novella is sexy and unfortunately FAR too short. I would have devoured a full length story featuring these two characters. But, the author still manages to pack a lot of emotion into such a short story. I have a big weakness for a tortured hero, and Blake is a great one. He is unable to believe that Erin could ever want to be with someone like him. And Erin has her own baggage, afraid that Blake will never see her as more than the 'hired help'.
But in the end, these two people come together and it's pure magic.
Definitely the best short story I have read in years.
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Sunday, May 20, 2012
Hey everyone. So if you know me at all, you know that I am a HUGE fan of the author Debra Anastasia. I have made it my mission in life to pimp out her books to as many people as possible. So, it is with tremendous, squee-filled excitement that I bring to you my first official giveaway. The lovely Debra is getting ready to celebrate the 1 yr anniversary of the release of her awesome book "Crushed Seraphim", and to celebrate she has kindly offered up an eBook version for one of my blog subscribers.
Pretty cool, right?
So, without further ado, I turn this post over to Debra to offer up some more info on the book and the giveaway!
One Holy Hell
Crushed Seraphim is One Holy hell of a year old! It’s been one year since I stayed up all night to watch my debut novel go live. When it finally popped up on Amazon, I peed my pants a little. I never knew I wanted to be an author, but holding that book was a huge tearjerker for me. I wrote this story as a way to tell the tale of a woman that was a cursing, smart-mouthed nightmare who also happened to have the courage to save the world. It was book one in the Seraphim Series and the conclusion, Bittersweet Seraphim, will be dropping in Fall 2012.
There was definitely a stand out gentleman from this book. His name is Satan Jack and in my head? He looks just like Johnny Depp. Jack even has his own Twitter (@Satan_Jack ) where he flirts with readers! He’s staked a claim in quite a few panties since his unveiling and he’s proud.
Here’s the summary:
How does a foul-mouthed angel end up as the last hope for all of Heaven and Earth?
When Seraph Emma is maimed and tossed from Heaven by a rogue angel who's taken charge, she fears she'll never be allowed to return. Tasked with the impossible job of showing the self-loathing (and not even human!) Jason his worth, Emma is sure she's doomed to fail.
Meanwhile, having wormed his way into Heaven, the corrupt Everett has trapped God in Hell and has designs on unleashing evil everywhere. Fortunately, if there's one thing Emma can't do (in addition to minding her language), it's give up. Determined to save Jason and get back to Heaven-even if it means going to Hell-Emma's plan is simple yet impossible: trick the Devil to save God.
What she doesn't count on is the devotion and, well, humanity she finds in Jason; the spirit, hidden compassion, and raw sex appeal within the Devil; and the vulnerability of her own heart. With the help of two unlikely allies, she'll wage the battle for Heaven. But will Emma be sidetracked by a new sort of heaven along the way?
What's truly more dangerous? Falling from Heaven, or falling in love?
Debra Anastasia has twisted a fast-paced tale of intimate relationships with literally universal impact. Rich with humor and electrified by attraction, this novel offers a playfully off-beat take on the good and evil that make up the world.
Here’s the trailer (featuring music by the insanely talented Ron Pope)
This One Holy Hell of a birthday party is being held from May 24th-26th and there are many chances to win a prize.
On this blog, leave a comment. One of the commenters will win an eCopy of Crushed Seraphim in the format of their choice.
On my blog, http://debraanastasia.blogspot.com/you can enter to win the grand prize and get linked to an excerpt from Bittersweet Seraphim. Looking for a home are two print, signed copies of my books! Poughkeepsie will come with a matching set of temporary tattoos and crystal bracelet. Crushed Seraphim will come with an angel themed crystal bracelet and an exclusive fifteen-minute gChat with Satan Jack! That’s right, you can ask him anything.
So thank you to Holly for letting me flash my goods here on this site today. Feel free to check out www.DebraAnastasia.com for more information on Crushed Seraphim.
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Poughkeepsie by Debra Anastasia
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I originally read this book several months ago, and have been struggling with how to write a review that properly conveys just how special this book is. And just how much this story, and each and every character has come to mean to me.
Blake has been watching Livia from the shadows of the Poughkeepsie train station for months. He loves her from afar, and counts each of the smiles she bestows upon him as she makes her way to and from work each day. Her smiles are full of kindness, and not pity. He senses no fear from her, even after she realizes he is in fact homeless. One morning, as Blake is being harassed by a group of thugs, Livia steps in to defend him. And what follows is in my opinion the most romantic, and beautiful love story I have ever had the pleasure of reading.
There has been a lot of talk about fan fiction lately. With the success of Fifty Shades of Grey some people are taking a second look at something that has been to some, myself included, a somewhat guilty pleasurable addiction. And while Poughkeepsie and Fifty Shades may have started out the same way (as Twilight fanfic) they are in completely different galaxies as far as story line, character development etc. Yes, i am a fan of the FSOG series, but Poughkeepsie is hands down the superior book on every level.
Debra Anastasia is a brilliant author. Period. She managed to take a very simple story, and bring it to life in such a way that I truly felt I was in their world. I knew these people, I knew where they lived, who they loved, and what their thoughts and feelings were as if I were experiencing them myself.
With the exception of the physical description of Blake, and his tendency to speak in a formal manner, Poughkeepsie is nothing at all like Twilight. Something you definitely can not say about FSOG.
Another thing I absolutely loved about this book, was the cast of supporting characters. Blake's foster brothers Cole & Beckett. Livia's sister Kyle. And, I can't write a review without mentioning my beloved Mouse. A huge, tough as nails bodyguard who loves his 'family' and knitting.
This book made me smile, laugh, squirm in my seat (in a VERY good way. Blake is a sexy devil and the chemistry he has with Livia is insane. And don't get me started on Beckett. Guh), and sob my eyes out on more than one occasion. It has become my 2nd favorite book of all time, and if I succeed in getting one person to read this book based on my review, I will be a happy girl.
Bottom line: if you loved Twilight, or if you hated Twilight. If you loved Fifty Shades of Grey, or hated Fifty Shades of Grey. None of that matters. If you enjoy losing yourself in a story, reading about wonderfully realistic and flawed characters, like your romance with a bit of humor and a lot of spice...if you don't mind crying from both happiness and sadness, if you want to read a book that will stay in your heart forever...then read Poughkeepsie. You'll thank me later. ;)
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