Review: A Vampire’s Passion (A Romance In Central City, Book 3) by Jordan K. Rose

a vampire's passionReviewed by Sandra Scholes

Synopsis: Brandt is aware of homeless going missing and an evil army vowing to take control of the city, but if he has anything to do with it, they won’t get the chance. Brandt has enough trouble on a reconnaissance mission to find out more on Menhadens, a restaurant in Central City. There he meets Rachel a waitress working there who takes his fancy almost in an instant with her amazing blue eyes.

Review: We first meet Brandt when he’s busy scoping Menhadens for the kind of people who enter the establishment. Brandt doesn’t like having a sidekick, and certainly not one he labels as the world’s most irritating vampire, Garrison. After being on Earth for a hundred years, he still can’t get on with people the way he hopes. He always gets ribbed about being anti-social by his sidekick and anyone else who knows him. When he meets Rachel she’s the most stubborn woman he has ever met, but there is something about her he can’t resist, even being a vampire.

He and Garrison are looking into the dangerous and cruel experiments that Panthera Laboratories are getting up to, and he is afraid that Rachel might also be getting caught up in them. Raymond Tyrone is the kingpin and things could get bad if anyone finds out. Rachel might have an attitude that offends the ones who eat at Menhadens, yet out of work she’s a caring person who feeds a street guy affectionately called “Hank.” She remembers growing up poor as a kid, and doesn’t mind sneaking food out of the work’s kitchens if it means saving someone from starving. Brandt begins to question his standing as a vampire when she has the ability to resist him, even though he is more than interested in her being the one for him. Rachel compliments Brandt’s lack of human warmth toward the men he works with, as she is compassionate even if she is stubborn.

Good Bits:

  • The humour that runs through the whole novel.
  • Brandt is a very well thought out character and proves it.
  • A place called Crap Alley and who coined the name.

Summary: This is a vampire cop mystery that will interest those interested in supernatural romance, and though it might seem that Brandt and Rachel aren’t made for each other, it could be said readers might change their minds half way through.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: A Vampire’s Passion: A Romance In Central City, Novella Three

Review: Burning At Last by Crystal Rister

burning at lastReviewed by Fleur, of A Daily Romance

I expect ‘True Blood’ fans will enjoy the author Crystal’s world of heartless, rough cut vampires, one sexy, smooth shape shifter and an independent gal who may have met her match.

The story starts with the heroine in a scene of childhood bliss that is immediately followed by trauma; the loss of her parents and home by murder and arson. To escape the danger she is made to run from her home by her long time friend Jarroth Denton, who she will part from for 13 long years.

As it turns out, Jarroth is a shape shifter and after trying to track down his lost love over a decade later, he seems to be about to explode from raw primal sexual energy.

Excerpt:

“This is called the burning, love. It’s where life mates have not consummated their union, and it nearly takes over their entire being. Once we find our mate, the need to join is like consuming fire that cannot be denied. Having you ripped from me and then getting you back has reignited the burn to a scorching level. You are now a woman, no longer a girl, and my wolf wants you. Bad.”

But if that isn’t enough, you will believe ‘there is no aphrodisiac like escaping death by vampire’ after reading this novella……to describe the ensuing sex scenes as steamy is an understatement at best.

I’m wondering how much hotter can things get between the two protagonists in book 2?!?

The author has made a huge effort to make the life and relationship between a shapeshifter and a normal human seem realistic and I appreciated that. There are some scenes in this book that are more violent than I am use to, but taking into account that I am way more squeamish than most people, I think this is a great book and I quite liked it.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Burning At Last

The Challenge of Limits

The Queen’s Heart 453x680Guest post by Jo March, author of The Queen’s Heart

Hi there,

I’m so excited to be here today to promote something new. In August, Breathless Press is turning five and in celebration of their birthday, they commissioned a range of Flirts based on the characters from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. It certainly sounded like it could be a lot of fun and so I decided to try my hand at it.  I’m far more comfortable writing longer stories, but sometimes “stretching” yourself actually means limiting yourself.  The challenge, was to craft a story with a range of emotions and a full arc in 2,000 – 10,000 words. For many, this would seem simple enough, but I have a tendency to write long, descriptive passages and I knew that this wouldn’t work for a short.

The next challenge was to figure out what I would write about.  After all, we all know the story of Alice, we’re familiar with the characters and the basic storyline… what on earth was I going to do with it? Throw it out. Take the cast and re-imagine them in new roles, stripped of their previous costumes and scripts.  It was a liberating experience and once you start to play… well, let’s say that a fertile imagination is a dangerous thing.  I found myself with a plethora of ideas and in the unique position of having to limit myself to just one.

The interesting thing is that of the fourteen stories that have been written, none are even close to each other.  We’ve all been inspired to write fun, different, sweet, hot, sexy stories and as an extra celebration, they’re being published in a limited edition hardcover print book!!

Below is a teaser from my story, The Queen’s Heart.  I hope that you will be intrigued enough to read more!

Best,

Jo March

Blurb

Clarissa could never have foreseen the magic a simple hatter could bring to her life.

As queen of Wonderland, Clarissa should have been secure in her position, but Alice sought to change all that. A clause in the dead king’s will only serves to spur on their childhood rivalry. Alice will stop at nothing to take the throne for herself.  The best laid plans can go awry though and it’s only a matter of time until the true queen of Wonderland will be crowned for good.

Buy: The Queen’s Heart (Wonderland Tales)

Excerpt:

“Who are you?”

“I’m just a simple hatter, miss. Newly arrived here to ply my trade at court.”

“Interesting. Well, don’t let me keep you…”

At her dismissive tone, the hatter raised his eyes and stared at her for a moment. “Did anyone ever tell you that you’re awfully bossy? I’m sure the queen herself isn’t as bossy as you!”

“Not lately, no, and since you are new here, you may want to wait until you meet the queen to decide what she’s like.” Stepping to one side on the path, she cocked her head at the exit. “I believe you were just leaving?”

Slowly he walked toward her, closing the distance between them until he towered over her. Realizing that it might not be safe to be alone with this stranger, she was tempted to take a step backward, but one look at the expression on his face showed that he was expecting her to be intimidated. Resolutely she stood her ground. Staring defiantly up at him, she crossed her arms defensively across her chest.

“Am I in your way?”

“Not at all.” And with that he dropped his lips to hers. The kiss was gentle at first—their mouths the only point of contact between them—but within moments, his tongue had teased her lips apart and his hands were buried in her hair, drawing her nearer. Of their own volition, her hands explored the planes of his chest through the cotton shirt he wore, and her fingers memorized every detail.

Without warning he pulled away, his breathing ragged. His gaze bore into hers and she felt as if he were reading every thought that flashed across her mind. Her heart fluttered like a trapped butterfly in her chest—the sound so loud that she felt sure he must be able to hear it. With extraordinary gentleness, he ran the back of his hand slowly down her cheek before stepping quietly past her and leaving the garden.

Buy: The Queen’s Heart (Wonderland Tales)

Bio

Jo March lives in her own Wonderland—a place filled with books, animals and plenty of ways to exercise her imagination and creativity. She cannot remember not wanting to be a writer and indulges whenever she can. She lives in Cape Town and considers it the most beautiful place in the world to live.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: Healing Her Heart (Stanton Family, Book 3) by Audra North

Healing Her HeartReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Greg Stanton is a cardiac surgeon – which I found interesting because recently I had to take my father to his cardiologist’s office. Carrie Jankowski works for an assisted living facility. This is a story that makes the doctor seem more human and shows that they go through the same types of things us “normal” people do. Greg is also one smooth talker – will Carrie stand a chance? You’ll just have to read in order to find the answer to that question.

I loved the idea of having some of the scenes taking place where Carrie works. I’d love to think that there are some characters like in the movie “Cocoon” – think Don Ameche. And that thought was answered when you meet Robert. I have to apologize to our author but I just fell in love with his character the minute I “met” him. I’d love to know if his character was based on an actual person.

Something that I thought was a great idea was having doctors working in a facility as part of their rotation – I think this would be a great help in how doctors treat the elderly or a disabled patient. This is also a case of love can be found anywhere. For those single readers – this may give you some hope to keep your eyes open to all possibilities. Having an open-ended ending was great. This leaves it up to the reader to decide where the couple can go from here. If you like this book, you may want to check out Audra’s other two titles from this series that are out now. They are titled Falling for the CEO and One Night in Santiago.

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: Healing Her Heart (A Stanton Family Novella) (Entangled Edge)

Review: While You’re Away (Part I) by Jessa Holbrook

while-youre-away-1-jessa-holbrookReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

Tricia Patten is having a party. Sarah Westlake and her boyfriend Dave Echols are the entertainment. If you want to be part of the party, put on some of your favorite music. You’ll find it to be very interesting. It had me thinking “Animal House” that includes have a senior hottie, Will Spencer. What’s a young woman supposed to do?

The reader is let into Sarah’s life. She’s a musician but also a young woman who doesn’t know what she wants to do. But in order to find that out, you will need to read part two. This seems to be like a soap opera for teenagers. I thought this first part was very sweet and if you like your YA’s sweet, you will want to make sure to read this one. Especially if you want to know where Jessa plans on taking her readers next.

Having a book as a serial is a great idea. People’s lives are so busy now a days that most of us only have a little time in order to read. If you can spare an hour or two at a time why not spend that time reading Jessa’s book. Adults like young adult books too so if you read this you may find yourself reminiscing. If you talk to your teenage daughter about what you read just remember they never seem to think that we were ever their age and going to a party? – mom!

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: While You’re Away Part I: Our First Encounter

Story Tropes: Rags to Riches

in-her-dreamsGuest blog by Katherine Givens, author of In Her Dreams

One of my favorite romance tropes is the rags to riches story. I’m not talking about the traditional Cinderella story with talking mice and a pumpkin turned carriage. I’m talking about a hero who went from a street urchin dwelling in the streets of St. Giles to a self-made man who is now a decorated war hero or a successful factory owner. And all this while, as he’s risen through the ranks, his heart has only belonged to one woman. The sheltered daughter of a duke.

Or how about the destitute woman who works as a governess for meager wages? She teaches the ward of her bachelor employer and wears plain clothes, but beneath her exterior is an intelligent, vibrant woman. It is these qualities that capture the heart of her employer.

There are several examples of these rags to riches tales that do not include the talking mice. Look at Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff, the antagonistic hero, is a poor gypsy boy when the father of Catherine Earnshaw brings him to Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff is orphaned when he is found in the streets of Liverpool. With gypsy blood in his veins, he is an outsider to kinder society, but that does not prevent him from losing his heart to Catherine. The two do love one another. Catherine even remarks that their souls are one and the same, but she marries another. Edgar Linton. Distraught, Heathcliff leaves Wuthering Heights for two years. When he returns, he is smartly dressed, wealthy, and educated. He is self-made, and he did it all for Catherine. Even if he isn’t with his love until the hereafter.

Another example is Jane Austen’s Persuasion. The heroine, Anne Elliot, had been engaged to Captain Frederick Wentworth at a young age. However, her family encouraged her to break off the engagement due to Wentworth’s poor and dire living conditions. He was, after all, only a mere commander in the army. Anne gives in and does as her family seeks, but she never stops loving him. Eight years pass until Wentworth reenters Anne’s life. When he does, he is wealthier due to his service during the Napoleonic Wars. His hard work during the wars earned him 25,000 pounds. On top of that, he is dashing, determined, and successful. A man of consequence all through his own willpower. And, of course, he makes for the perfect hero throughout the course of Persuasion.

These characters rise from their poor conditions, only to gain all the riches in the world. Hard work and backbreaking labor are their friends. They know what poverty is like and appreciate wealth when it is finally achieved. On top of improving their lot in life, they often manage to find love. Heathcliff and Catherine reach their love in the afterlife, when their souls become one. Anne and Wentworth are lucky enough to find love in life, and they do not abuse one bit of it.

My debut novella, In Her Dreams, with Harlequin Australia’s Escape Publishing lacks the rags to riches trope. However, it remains my favorite storyline. The novel I am nearly done writing has the rags to riches trope, and I can’t wait to be able to share it. For now, I am excited to share my novella In Her Dreams, which was just released today! In Her Dreams doesn’t have the rags to riches storyline, but it has my second favorite story trope. Entangled love affairs between two sisters and their suitors.

In Her Dreams

A flirty, fun, mix-and-match romance about two sisters who are betrothed to the wrong men…

Evangeline Vernon is a woman on the verge of spinsterhood — until the prim and proper Duke of Manchester steps in. Her family is pleased with the match, but the duke is not the passionate man Evangeline craves. Her heart belongs to an alluring, golden-haired gentleman, perfect in every way…except one: he doesn’t exist.

Angela Vernon is everything a proper, well-brought-up woman should be. She knows her place and understands society’s expectations — which include not being jealous of her sister and not coveting her sister’s suitor. But how can she bear the heartache of watching the only man she loves marry not only her sister, but a woman who doesn’t see past his exterior to the man he is beneath?

Buy: In Her Dreams

katherine givensIn Her Dreams is Katherine’s debut novella, which is published with Harlequin Australia’s imprint Escape Publishing. She is working on a number of other projects and always has ideas flooding her head. In her spare time, Katherine loves to read about history, craft jewellery, and play with her ornery kitten named Bucky. To learn more about Katherine and her writing, please visit the following sites. She loves to hear from readers.

Buy: In Her Dreams (novella)

Review: If You Want Me by Tara Mills

if you want meReviewed by Cara Lynn

This was a cute, satisfying short story.

The sex is hot, but believable.

Two years earlier Ryan was about to ask out Naomi, when his ‘friend’ beat him to it. The friend turned out to be bad news and Ryan landed one punch.

Now they meet again at the wedding of another friend. She’s a bridesmaid.

At the bachelorette party she gets sloshed (I didn’t care for that) but it gives her bravado to announce she hasn’t been laid in 6 months. In her funny desperation she calls Ryan and tells him if he can get there in 15 minutes, she is ready.

The story is both funny and touching. I liked it.

Rating: ★★★★☆

If You Want Me

Review: Professional Grievers by Mickey J. Corrigan

Professional GrieversReviewed by Lynn Reynolds

This story is told in the first person.

This starts off like no other book that I’ve ever read. Can you imagine being paid for what most people do naturally? Can you imagine finding someone that you want to spend time with at a time when most people are sad?

As I read this book, I actually thought that this profession actually has some merit. It makes me realize how sad it must be when a person dies alone and there is no one there to mourn for them when they are gone. I did an internet search and couldn’t find that there is an actual job out there.

Our main character is Seymour Allan. He looks like he needs a purpose to his life, he gets approached and then his life changes. I found it interesting that the setting for this story is in Florida – but it does make sense. The setting could be changed to anywhere and still work – especially if this actually ever became a profession.

Mickey has created a great story – I find it very easy to picture everything as it unfolds. You’re left wanting to know more about Seymour and how his life continues. It’s also a story of hope for Seymour. And in the end it’s a love story. It goes to show you that love can be found anywhere.

Rating: ★★★★☆

Buy: Professional Grievers