Review: Twisted (Eternal Guardians, Book 7) by Elisabeth Naughton

Tempted.inddReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Cynna is a spectator of an interesting fight.  Nick is fighting for his survival without losing who he is.  Almost right away this author shows how ugly the beast of sexual and mental abuse is.  I found that even though this is part of a series, you could read this book by itself.  But if you want to know more about the Guardians, you’ll want to stay true to the series.

If you’re someone that likes Mythology (one of my favorites in English class) you’ll see that it’s combined with a group trying to protect us humans and half-breeds.  You might even recognize some of your favorite gods and those you loved to hate.  If you like some action in your read then this book will be perfect for you.  On top of that, Elisabeth adds a mystery into the mix that will heighten your reading experience – who doesn’t love a good mystery.

An interesting character to watch out for is Ari – you’ll understand when you meet him.  But he also makes me curious – what’s his story.  Nick gives the readers hints but I still found myself wanting to know more.  Both of the main characters are strong willed but for different reasons but that doesn’t stop them from realizing how much they need each other.  Once you get involved in the story, you will find it hard to put down – there’s just no good stopping point because something else will come up that will grab your attention.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: TWISTED (Eternal Guardians Book 7)

Review: Knight of Love by Catherine LaRoche

knight of loveHero: The hero has a complicated name. He is Wolfram von Wolfsbach und Ravensworth, also known as Wolf, the English Earl of Ravensworth. He first meets the heroine when he’s undercover as a blacksmith in Prince Kurt’s court, where he finds her being publicly whipped for a small infraction to the amusement of the Prince. Barely able to contain himself, Wolf watches and then volunteers to carry Lenora upstairs where he gives her a large knife for protection.

Heroine: Despite appearances to the contrary, Lady Lenora Trevelyan is not a damsel in distress. She is resourceful and determined to make her escape on her own… no knight in shiny armor needed. She successfully escapes her abusive fiancé, Prince Kurt von Rotenburg-Gruselstadt and is galloping toward freedom and safety with the English/German diplomat… and gets captured by rebels just days down the road. The head of the rebel camp is none other than the blacksmith who gave her the knife.

Review: The hero is an unusual mix of beta and alpha characteristics. He’s very flowery in his language, chivalrous, and believes in love at first sight, but is also skilled at war, believes in civil rights of man (and woman,) and carefully controlling to ensure all is in his favor. For my tastes, I would have had less flowery language and more determined wooing. Wolf arranges a wedding to Lenora in order to protect her – this battlefield wedding is hardly legit as she didn’t give her consent. Still, he consummates the marriage in a forced seduction that evening. It is a heartbreaking (and erotic) experience for both of them which makes it successful. That night destroys what trust Lenora had in him. Now she’s plotting a new escape… but it’s harder to break the touch of silk than the touch of iron. There’s also an erotic scene where Lenora is in full control of Wolf and that is also successful as it is healing for both. I felt the story fell short when it changed locations from Germany to England. It was a night and day difference and the smoldering passion cooled quickly. Definitely a memorable read.

Rating: ★★★½☆

Buy: Knight of Love

Review: Highlander Most Wanted (The Montgomerys and Armstrongs, Book 2) by Maya Banks

highlander most wantedHeroine: Genevieve McInnes has been held captive at McHugh Keep for over a year. Her family believes she is dead and she prefers it that way because of the atrocities she’s been forced to endure at the hands of the laird’s son and his men. She hasn’t a hope to escape her situation until she another clan comes to exact revenge on Patrick and Ian. When hope blossoms she offers up her last shred of dignity and respectability to the Acting-Laird only to be rejected.

Hero: Bowen Montgomery is disgusted with the McHugh clan. The people are cruel and ignorant and not worth the effort to save, which is why he’s so surprised when the person they’ve hurt the most stands up for them. At first he’s led to believe Genevieve is a whore/mistress to the despicable Ian McHugh, but as her story unravels, Bowen is drawn more and more to her. He wants to help her, heal her, and hold her close forever but to do right by her might mean letting her go.

Review: Highlander Most Wanted is an emotional, quite possibly a tear-jerker, story. Bowen and Genevieve jump off the page and sizzle, sizzle, sizzle. Genevieve has a tragic past and soon learns she has strength she didn’t know she had. Bowen is a great hero and I personally enjoyed his actions against a McHugh who tried to take his impotent anger out on Genevieve. I was puzzled by one thing, Genevieve had access to a bow and arrows, can shoot better and more accurately than most men, and never once thought to use them to kill off her captors? I get that Ian was taunting her with the ease of access, trying to make her feel even more impotent in her situation, but the girl came out with arrows blazing as it were at the first opportunity when the Montgomerys were in trouble. Despite that, I say that this is one of the best books out this year!

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Highlander Most Wanted: The Montgomerys and Armstrongs

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Review: Seduction of a Highland Warrior (The Highland Warriors, Book 3) by Sue-Ellen Welfonder

Seduction of a Highland WarriorReviewed by Zarabeth

It is abundantly clear that this book is written by a woman who loves the Highlands (and Highlanders :P) of old. I loved every time she painted the picture of the landscape, the horizon, or the men in this book.

And her characters are just as well-written. Lady Marjory Mackintosh and Chief Alasdair MacDonald are your quintessential highland characters so I enjoyed them greatly. He is strong, bold, honor-bound, and incredibly stubborn. She is fiery, brave, superstitious, and also incredibly stubborn.

Their love alternates from dripping with passion to crumbling under the weight of their clan enmity. Of course the Mackintoshes and the MacDonalds have been at war longer than anyone can remember but Marjory and her friends have a plan to bring everyone together sealing the King’s Peace Treaty with a marriage pact. I believe this is the 3rd and final book of that trilogy though it easily stands alone. So its up to Marjory to finish things or let everyone down.

It is obvious to all that Alasdair wants and desires the beautiful Marjory, but can she seduce him into marriage despite their clans’ history? You’ll have to read the book to find out!

Which I recommend you do!

Marjory’s seduction of Alasdair has some magnificent points of sexual tension where you can almost feel the heat from his body. But a much more serious threat could also keep them apart, or perhaps seal their fates together.
Read Seduction of a Highland Warrior to find out if our ladies win out!

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Seduction of a Highland Warrior (The Highland Warriors)

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Review: Broken Prophecy (Heirs of Aedan, Book 1) by Raven Raye

Broken ProphecyReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Killian is thinking of a human and her name is Marcella. His purpose in our world is to find out who is threatening his kind. Marcella Rowan works at Cloudcroft’s hospital. She cares a lot about her patients. Her friend Brenna also works there as well.

Raven gives her readers a little bit of everything – paranormal, mystery, thriller, horror, and romance. She shows what lengths some people will go to for the person that they love. She has also made Lilith, an angel who’s not so angelic, the evil in this piece. I think she could give any other evil being a run for their money.

A circle seems to connect our characters. They all interconnect – both good and evil. For some, family has no meaning. For others, friends and family mean everything. Brenna and Marcella are the perfect friends. They complement each other and seem to know what the other needs. Plus they each have a special gift that can help the other.

This is a story that took a lot of creativity. Raven has taken everything that we thought were just fairy tales, and myths, and turned it around into a story that could be totally believable. She also shows the reader that no matter how “superior” a race, prejudice can exist and until something changes it always will. Hatred can cause a lot of destruction but can love and faith have a chance to change the impossible?

The only disappointment I had was that I kept seeing the pages disappear. I didn’t want the tale to end. But knowing that this is book one means that there will be another tale to follow. It will be interesting to see if Killian and Marcella’s story will continue or if Raven will introduce two new characters. You may want to keep an eye on her web site, http://www.ravenraye.com/, for any possible updates.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Broken Prophecy

Review: Never Seduce a Scot (The Montgomerys & Armstrongs, Book 1) by Maya Banks

20121209-092710.jpgReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Graeme Montgomery is to marry a woman per his king’s decree. Eveline Armstrong can tell her father Tavis is very upset. She’s speechless. When Graeme comes to wed Eveline, I would have loved to have been present. I can almost imagine the pageantry.

I love how Maya gives us a character that has a disability. Growing up and watching historical pieces, people that were “different” were shunned. But Maya shows that they aren’t pariah but someone who can be accepted. They have feelings just like everyone else.

Eveline shows that having a disability should not stop you from doing anything. If you set your mind to something you can accomplish anything – let your disability be a part of you but not define who you are.

Maya shows her readers that women weren’t usually taught to read and write during that time period. And any teaching to be done was done by a priest. But Maya also reminds us that not all priests were old. It will be interesting to see if we will see this priest in other stories.

Maya’s sex scenes are very descriptive. They are not done in a raunchy way but are very sensual. The characters give us hope that opposites can attract. Lovers can come together and have that HEA. The families may have history but that shouldn’t stop them from having any type of life together. When love is involved, anything is possible.

I’m glad to see that Eveline’s disability wasn’t cured miraculously. I would have been very disappointed with Maya if she had done that. In year’s past in romance novels, it seemed that everyone was always so perfect. It’s nice to see that is finally changing. If you read the “Acknowledgements” at the end, you will understand her inspiration – a very touching tribute.

I went to Maya’s web site, http://www.mayabanks.com/, and noticed that she has a book two that will be coming out. Bowen, Graeme’s brother, will have his tale told in Highlander Most Wanted. The book is expected to come out on February 26, 2013 and I can’t wait. I hope you enjoy this first book as much as I did.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Never Seduce a Scot: The Montgomerys and Armstrongs

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Get into Bed with Elisabeth Naughton (Author Interview)

Elisabeth NaughtonKeira: Write a job advertisement for an Eternal Guardian!

Elisabeth Naughton: WANTED: Warrior to join the Eternal Guardians order, defenders of the Argolean realm and watchers of the human race. Must be smart, hot as hell, have a strong protective instinct and be of hero status (descended from one of the original seven heroes OR a demigod). Big, studly, well-hung alpha males are given top priority. Job is lifelong commitment and requires applicant to be paired with the woman of his nightmares. Bonus: frequent hot sex.

Keira: What do you think romance readers love so much about tortured heroes? What did this add to the character of Gryphon in Enslaved?

EN: You’re right, readers love tortured heroes. I get a lot of fan mail about Demetrius, my most tortured hero to date (although I’m pretty sure Gryphon gives him a run for his money in that category). Personally, I think tortured heroes resonate with readers because they’re the ones who are so damaged, it doesn’t seem like they’ll every find a happily ever after. The harder it is to envision that happening, the more a reader roots for that particular character. Tortured heroes are also characters who don’t believe they deserve a happy ending, and watching them realize they are worthy of second chances and redemption and salvation is always fun to watch.

Keira: How are your Greek Gods different from the ones that people are familiar with?

EN: I love taking the ancient myths and twisting them around. In Greek mythology, Hades is a pretty nasty god and Zeus is the good guy. In my books Hades is still dark and evil, but he’s snarky and conniving in such a way you find yourself rooting for him in ways you didn’t expect. I actually love writing Hades’s scenes because he’s the ultimate underdog to me. He IS evil and he IS twisted, but there’s also something about him that makes you want to see him beat his condescending brother Zeus at his own game.

Keira: Gryphon and Maelea don’t start out on the best of terms… Tell us a little bit about their journey to freedom and love?

EN: Gryphon is originally drawn to Maelea because being in her presence calms him. He doesn’t hear the menacing voice in his head when she’s close. He doesn’t know why she affects him this way, but he quickly realizes when she’s near, he can think straight, and he needs that if he’s going to ever find the goddess who cursed him.

Maelea on the other hand, wants to have nothing to do with Gryphon. She senses the darkness of the Underworld in him and because of her own link to the Underworld, she knows how evil that can be. So when he kidnaps her, her only goal is to get as far from his as possible. Not only because she knows Hades is hunting her, but because being with Gryphon is a risk. The darkness inside her is attracted to the darkness inside him—darkness she’s been trying to deny her whole life. And she’s afraid of what she’ll become if she get near him.

Soon, of course, each realizes the other is not what they initially thought, and the romance really blossoms from there. They’re really both lost and wounded souls—in very different ways—but find healing in each other.

Keira: Your world building is so vivid! Was there anywhere in real life that inspired your writing?

EN: Whenever I travel I’m inspired. Traveling is one of my many passions and I love experiencing new places and seeing them through the eyes of my characters. My brother lives in Montana so a lot of the setting for the Colony in the book comes from that. But by and large a lot of it really comes from my imagination.

Keira: What were some of your favorite books growing up?

EN: I’ve always been a huge fan of fantasy and adventure so I loved the world building in C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, and I was hooked on the anticipation of what would happen next in the Choose Your Own Adventure books. (Remember those?) As I got older I found myself falling for character driven stories like L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables and Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind. And that ultimately led to my love of romance. These days I read across all genres – and I’m currently fascinated with George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones.

Keira: If you could have dinner with any author—dead or alive—who would it be and why?

EN: My critique partner, Joan Swan, of course! We don’t live close enough (I’m in Oregon and she’s in California), so we only see each other a few times a year, but there’s nothing more fun than chatting with Joan about our books and characters and brainstorming new and unique plot threads.

Keira: Please tell us where readers can find you on the web, and what’s coming next for you!

EN: Right now I’m working on Eternal Guardians book 6, which is Titus’s book (tentatively titled Scorched). It will release in early 2013. I’m also working on the sequel to Wait for Me (which is still untitled), and I’m in the process of putting together an all-new romantic suspense series loosely connected to a novella I wrote in the Bodyguards in Bedanthology, titled “Acapulco Heat.” 2013 will be a busy writing year for me but I’m excited about giving my readers new stories and new characters they can get lost in.

Readers can find me on the web at the following locations:

Enslaved Cover

ENSLAVED BY ELISABETH NAUGHTON – IN STORES NOVEMBER 2012

“Do not miss this series.”—New York Times bestselling author Larissa Ione

GRYPHON—Honorable, loyal, dependable…tainted. He was the ultimate warrior before imprisonment in the Underworld changed him in ways he can’t ignore.

She calls to him. Come to me. You can’t resist. But Gryphon will not allow himself to be ruled by the insidious whispers in his head. And there’s only one way to stop them: kill Atalanta, the goddess who enslaved him. But with so much darkness inside, he can’t be sure what’s real anymore. Even the Eternal Guardians, those who protect the human realms and the gods, want to exile him.

Finding Malea is like a miracle. Somehow he doesn’t feel the pull of the dark when she’s near. And he’s determined to keep her as near as possible, whether she wants him close or not. But she’s a temptation that will test every bit of control he has left. One that may ultimately have the power to send him back to the Underworld…or free him from his chains for good.

Praise for Elisabeth Naughton:

“Entertaining and smoldering.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review of Tempted

“Creative worldbuilding and ever-present danger pull the reader into this mesmerizing tale.” —RT Book Reviews, 4 ½ star review of Enraptured

Buy: Enslaved

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

A former junior high science teacher, Elisabeth Naughton traded in her red pen and test-tube set for a laptop and research books. She now writes sexy romantic adventure and paranormal novels full-time from Oregon, where she lives with her husband and three children. Her work has been nominated for numerous awards, including the RWA RITA© Award, the NJ RWA Golden Leaf, and the RWA Golden Heart. When not writing, Elisabeth can be found running, hanging out at the ball park, or dreaming up new and adventures. Visit her at www.elisabethnaughton.com and follow her on Twitter, @ElisNaughton.

Buy: Enslaved (Eternal Guardians)

GIVEAWAY: 1 copy of Enslaved. 1 winner, US and Canada only, enter by leaving a comment! Last day to enter: November 30, 2012.

Review: The Darkest Day (Immortal Heat, Book 1) by Britt Bury

DarkestDayHero: Kelvin Kerr is a 1000 year battle chief and a razorback Pookah. He plans to avenge his father’s death at the hands of the Fionns by wiping out all those with Campbell blood, but especially the heir and leader known as the McCall. What sucks is that he knows Izel is the One. If he sleeps with her on the night of the solstice they will be mated forever, if he does it before then he dooms himself to an eternal life without love.

Heroine: Izel Campbell is not the immortal she has believed herself to be all her life. She is in fact human… the last one alive on the earth to be precise. This sucks the big one, especially when a Kerr captures her as she turns mortal. They are enemies and he shouldn’t be trusted, but he offers to take her to safety and help her find information on her grandfather. If only she wasn’t so darn attracted to him, a terrible thing for a girl who just regain feelings she never thought she had.

World:  Everyone is immortal to some extent, pure humans no longer exist. In fact there isn’t a single one… well, until Izel. The Court of Contention occurs every 400 years, undoing the boundaries of the four realms. Chaos and war are sure to follow. Order must be kept in check.

Review:  What really worked for me was the curse placed by one clan on their worst foe in the other clan, backfires, in a big way. I also really liked the banter between the hero and heroine. They gelled. It worked. I also liked how the hero had to wait or risk losing all chance at love. It could have used more “who the hell am I if I don’t know anything about who I really am?” from Izel. She did just have a total appearance change and status change and develop a whole new range of emotions. Good book! Check it out if you like PNR.

Rating: 4 Stars

Buy: The Darkest Day