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

Review: Lily by Xavier Axelson

lily xavier axlesonReviewed by Sandra Scholes

When fantasy and horror meet in the real modern day setting, there is bound to be some interesting moments to be had, especially with this novella. Lily, Pryor’s daughter is missing, and Pryor is convinced she was taken by a wolf. He goes into a melancholy state without her, and believes he has seen her turn into the creature who took her much to his regret. He isn’t sure whether he is seeing things or not, so he thinks he is going insane, but what about what he sees in the forest? Is that to be believed too?

When he meets Ned, who is a silver smith, he thinks he might be able to get his life back together again, but he still has nightmares of what happened to his daughter, and even more when she finally comes back to him.

Fantasy and fairy tale dramas are the in thing at the moment, and novels aren’t any different. This one by the author of Menage, Earthly Concerns and The Birches brings the reader into her story through first person perspective through Pryor’s mind and how he has felt since Lily went missing. She shows us what has happened to him over the months, and how meeting Ned should have been a life-changing experience for him.

He knows he loves Ned, but trying to live a normal life without his daughter is impossible. He also knows she is still alive, as one time she whispered to him that she would come back on the same day as she went missing, Father’s Day, and he waits for that moment the most, even at the cost of how he feels about his lover. You get the feeling that he is less interested in his lover, than he is being depressed over Lily.

The story moves at a steady pace, and isn’t one that bores or goes over old ground. It captivates and brings the reader into a fantasy world within a modern world that seems all too real to us. This is recommended for those who like gay paranormal novels with a tragic theme running through it, but it is tragedy that could be reversed by the love of another.

Rating: ★★★★½

Buy: Lily

Review: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

bookreview

Their love was hopeless and yet they couldn’t help but hope no matter how bleak and forbidden it was.

Grace has been searching for love for six years since her attack by wolves. Her heart leaps every time she sees the gray wolf with yellow eyes that saved her from the vicious pack. He only comes in winter and that is why she loves the austere season so much, because she can watch him. She tries to lure him closer with food and quiet patience until one day he does cross the line of the woods and let’s her run her hands through his ruff.

Sam has a secret. He’s been in love with Grace for six years and he’s the wolf outside her home in the winter clinging to the memory of her scent. He’s a werewolf and his time is running out. The cold makes them change, shed their human skin, until one day the heat of the sun can no longer turn them back. When he’s shot in the woods by hunters and reverts to his human form, Sam struggles to keep it because he knows deep down inside that this is his last chance of being human. The wild is calling him and Grace is his last chance to escape the desolate future that awaits him. Grace is his sun.

The story had a surprising amount of parallels to Twilight by Stephenie Meyer, but I suppose to make a story like this work there must be some similarities. Here are the ones that I remember off the top of my head:

  • Ignorant parental units. Grace’s parents, like Bella Swan’s, are incapable of really being there for her which forces Grace to be extremely independent. She even cooks for them.
  • Self-inflicted isolated heroines. Grace chooses books over human contact like Bella does, but Grace has real friends even if they aren’t as close as they once were. I’m surprised they let her get away with dropping off the face of the planet once Sam shows up in her life. (Yes, I know they keep asking her where she’s been and to call but they never force the issue.)
  • Heroes raised in supernatural families. Sam was raised by a pack of wolves.  He was home-schooled by them, taught to defend himself and survive by them, and loved them like a family. Edward can hardly remember his human life and lives with six other vampires and they are like his parents and siblings.
  • Eyes. Sam’s buttery yellow eyes and Edward Cullen’s topaz eyes, though Sam’s was born with his and gets to keep them in human and wolf form. Additionally, they never turn black with hunger.
  • Musically inclined heroes. Sam writes lyrics in his head all the time when he has words (wolves have images) and plays the guitar. He writes a love song for Grace.
  • Bedroom window stalking. Sam and Edward both watch their loves windows, though Sam never dares to enter until he’s invited.

I had a hard time with the poetry and lyrics throughout the story. They worked and they didn’t at the same time. Sometimes the narrative broke down into them as events took place. There were the occasional weird turns of phrases that made me pause and have to go back and reread to see if it was a grammatical error or done on purpose. Overall, it was a great book. I loved Sam. He was the perfect werewolf gentleman and has restored my faith in the supernatural species. If you’re more inclined to love vampires and need a great book to introduce you to werewolves this book is for you.

Rating: 3.5 – 4 Stars

Buy: Shiver

Top 10 Reasons Why Werewolves Won’t Cheat on Their Mates

by Terry Spear, guest blogger and author of Wolf Fever

  1. Have you seen what big teeth they have?
  2. Even if they did think of cheating, it would be pretty difficult to disguise such a thing—did you know how sensitive their sense of smell is?
  3. And if they arrived in disguise as a wolf, they’d leave scent markings behind just from their paw pads. So their wronged mate wouldn’t even need to contact that TV show where they chase cheating boyfriends and girlfriends down to catch them in the act.
  4. But these are all reasons why cheating for wolves wouldn’t work out well. In truth, werewolves with a moral code of ethics wouldn’t cheat because staying with a mate for life is instinctual.
  5. However, if the wolf has a roaming eye, remember point number 1, their mate has very big teeth.
  6. If the wolf isn’t careful, he or she could be in the doghouse—and believe me, that’s really bad for a wolf. Any references to being a dog is worse than bad. That’s because dogs have the morals of an alley cat. Hmm…and how did she go from talking about werewolves to cats, you wonder?
  7. If the wolf was an alpha—even though in the wild only the alphas take mates, werewolves don’t have the problem with that since they can buy food from the grocery store—he would lose top dog (all right, top wolf) status. Then where would he be? An omega wolf, that’s what.
  8. And omega wolves don’t have mates. Ever. Probably not even if they’re a werewolf. Life isn’t fair and if you don’t want to be an omega, you’ve got to straighten out your—I’m sorry, I didn’t meant to say YOU were an omega…just anyone who is one would have to get their act together and maybe make it to beta status, and with a big jump, maybe to alpha status. So what alpha wolf in their right mind would want to stray from their mate and end up as an omega?
  9. So my question would be, why would any wolf ever even consider straying?
  10. It all comes back to—their mate has REALLY big teeth. :)

And if you don’t believe me, just take a look at Wolf Fever!! My faithful wolves wish you all a Happy Holiday Season!

The unfaithful ones are in the doghouse…

Terry

WOLF FEVER by TERRY SPEAR—IN STORES DECEMBER 2010

She may be his destiny, but she’s not his first choice…

Hospital nurse and newly turned red werewolf Carol Woods is being pressured by her pack leader to find a mate, but he’s the only guy in the pack who remotely attracts her… Why is he playing so hard to get?

The fate of the pack rests on his shoulders…

Gray pack leader Ryan McKinley doesn’t want anything to do with Carol unless she’s willing to embrace her wolf nature—no matter how beautiful she is.

But when a virus infects the local lupus garou pack, Ryan realizes just how wrong he’s been not to seize the moment with the woman he’s come to love. And now, it may be too late…

Buy: Wolf Fever

Praise for Terry Spear’s To Tempt the Wolf:

“Ms. Spear’s has spun a web of drama that pulled me in… Get it; read it; you’ll love it!”

Romance Reader at Heart

“A paranormal romp that sizzles! Action-packed romance and suspense-filled plot add up to pure magic. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. Terry Spear is a great addition to the paranormal genre!”

Armchair Interviews

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

With almost 56,000 copies sold, Terry Spear is a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves. She received her MBA from Monmouth University. An eclectic writer, she dabbles in the paranormal as well as writing historical and true life stories for both teen and adult audiences. Spear lives in Crawford, Texas. For more information, please visit http://www.terryspear.com/.

GIVEAWAY: 2 winners will each receive 1 copy of Wolf Fever. Open to US and Canadian residents only. Enter by leaving a comment. One entry per relevant comment; multiple entries allowed. Ends: December 31, 2010.

It’s Not Just About the SEX!

guestblog

by Terry Spear, guest blogger

I work in a library, and recently, we’ve had a lot of middle-aged women coming in looking for Zane Grey novels. Normally, it’s just a bunch of old guys who love reading the westerns. So I was curious as to what this was all about.

Now, originally, the books were serialized in a paper, and the Mormons edited out all the sexy stuff. I didn’t know the old westerns had anything wild in them, except maybe gunslingers and Indians. So when the patrons were looking for the unabridged books, not the censored ones, I had to ask, “What is the difference?”

The ironic thing is these patrons normally would not read a hot, sexy romance. So why are they now dying to read a very old western that has a lot of sex in them? Now I haven’t read them so I’m going by what our manager says about them. It’s just about the sex, not romance.

terry spear photoBut in MY books, sex is not what makes the story, even though mine are sexy. It’s about the characters and how they care about each other. It’s the LOVE, ROMANCE, and PASSION.

The physical attraction, and for my werewolves, like the ones I feature in To Tempt the Wolf (in stores now!), the scent of the individual—since they’re based on real wolves—is what begins the interest in each other. Whether they fall in love during the course of the story, or it’s love at first sight, we still need a lot of conflict to impede the journey of their making a commitment to each other by the end of the book.

The passion between the characters, even if it’s a sweet romance and there are shuddered looks—but the interest is definitely there—is what makes for a romance.

And the commitment to each other shows the love between two people.

I thought the women who were checking out the Zane Grey novels were picking them up for their husbands to read. Now I know better. :) And when the books are turned back in, I’ll have to check one out and see for myself what they’re all about. The researcher side of me, you know.

But I thought it was an interesting commentary on readers. That those who wouldn’t be caught dead reading a romance, want to read something with hot sex in it. Give me a romance any day where men and women struggle through a myriad of difficulties, but throughout that time, they share a passion for one another, and in the end make that commitment for all time.

So if you like THAT kind of story, join me in a sizzling romance where love and passion between werewolves rule the day!

And you can find me here if you want to join me:

So my questions are: Have you read Zane Grey’s novels (or novels that are solely about sex)? And what makes a couple’s romance real?

Terry Spear

“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male.”

to tempt the wolf cover

To Tempt the Wolf—In Stores September 1

In this third in the series, wildlife photographer Tessa Anderson must prove her brother innocent of murder charges. But when she discovers a gorgeous naked man barely alive on her beach, she’s got a new world of troubles to deal with, not least of which is how he affects her with just a look, a touch, or a whispered word.

Hunter Greymore is a lupus garou, a grey werewolf. Hoping to keep a low profile at Tessa’s cabin on the coast, he’s drawn into her life—and into her bed. His animal instincts war with his human half, but in the end, the only thing he can do about this fascinating, adorable woman is to leave her forever —unless she becomes one of them.

Buy: To Tempt the Wolf

About the Author

A retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves, award-winning author Terry Spear has an MBA from Monmouth College. An eclectic writer, she dabbles in the paranormal as well as writing historical and true life stories for both teen and adult audiences. Spear lives in Crawford, Texas. Her 2008 Sourcebooks Casablanca release, Heart of the Wolf was named a Best Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly. Destiny of the Wolf and To Tempt the Wolf are in stores now, and more are on the way: The Legend of the White Wolf (February 2010) and Seduction of the Wolf (August 2010). For more information please visit www.terryspear.com

Get into Bed with Terry Spear (Author Interview)

authorinterview

Welcome readers! Gather round the campfire as Terry Spear is joining us today to illuminate on her Wolf series. Werewolves as you know are not just for scary stories… they’re for loving too!

Keira: How did you come up with the idea for the Wolf series?

Terry: Years ago, I had read Jack London’s White Fang and Call of the Wild and while I was thinking about creating a werewolf series, I remembered the way he had emphasized that not only did man need to survive, but that wolves did, and this was shown also from the wolves’ own point of view. I fell in love with wolves back then. So when I thought of doing werewolves, I wanted to create a world where they were like real wolves when in that form, but with the sensibilities of humans, in that they would still have to be careful in considering the human aspect. And as humans, they still had their wolf enhanced abilities.

Keira: What makes your werewolves different from other renditions? (i.e. What are the rules to shapeshifting, pack structure, history, biology, etc.)

Terry: What makes mine different from some is the fact they’re just like real wolves in the wild. And when they’re in their human form, it’s not like they’ve taken off a wolf coat and leave their wolf world behind. The two parts of them make the whole. As with real wolves, there are red and gray, so I had a lot of fun with showing the werewolves coming from different werewolf species. I enjoyed taking the old standard of the werewolf horror tales and using them to show what is the same and what is different, also.

Keira: I noticed a name popping up in the book a lot and I have to ask… Who is Julia Wildthorn?

Terry: Julia is a red werewolf who writes werewolf romance novels, but to be true to the secretive nature of their kind, she writes a version that is not real. I had a lot of fun with one of her books in the fourth book of my series that is based in the Canadian Arctic where readers will get to read about Arctic werewolves.

Keira: What was the hardest part of writing Destiny of the Wolf?

Terry: It was too short and I had to write it longer. And when I got going, I had so much fun with it, I couldn’t stop and then I had to cut it down. :)

Keira: That’s too funny. You’re a modern day Goldilocks but with wolves instead of bears. How do you define love?

Terry: The give and take of a relationship where two people care about each other’s needs and are willing to sacrifice their own for their mate.

Keira: What makes a great (written) bedroom scene?

Terry: Unique setting, or something that makes the same old setting memorable, showing the characters’ emotions, not just the physical side of the scene.

Keira: After werewolves and vampires what next?

Terry: More werewolves and vampires? I love to write them, and hunky Highlanders too. Though I have a fun demon story for YAs and a couple of ghost stories also.

Keira: I love me some hunky Highlanders! Could you provide a picture of your workspace? It would be fun to see where you sit down and get creative!

Terry: I don’t have a picture of my workspace, but I’ve included one of me at my Heart of Texas (HOT) RWA chapter meetings, where you can see I’m busily brainstorming with the others in my chapter. And yes, it was cold in the meeting room so I kept my coat on the whole time. Brainstorming doesn’t work up enough heat.

hotmbrshpmeeting

Keira: Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?

Terry: Heart of the Wolf came out first, was named one of Publishers Weeklys Best Books of the Year and NOR Reader Choice Award for Best Paranormal Romance. Destiny of the Wolf has just been released, and To Temp the Wolf will follow in September. Legend of the White Wolf (name may be changed) will be released after that. I’m working on the next two in the series now. They’re all stand alone titles and each has its own special story within the lupus garou world. If you’re looking for a fun tale about wolves and humans combined, I hope you’ll check out my werewolf tales!

If anyone wants to join me, I’m at the following places and could always use a few more friends!

www.terryspear.com
http://twitter.com/TerrySpear
http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=698072929
http://www.myspace.com/terryspear

Keira: Thank you so much for dropping by today Terry! Good luck with your book and many happy sales!

Review: The Marriage Game by Fern Michaels

guestreview

By: Cara Lynn, guest reviewer

The Marriage Game by Fern Michaels is a light summer read.

I figured by the description it would have some humor, and it does.

Samantha Rainford returns from her honeymoon to find she has been served divorce papers. She is both shocked and heart broken. She is going to be paid off with a check for $5000. When she visits the attorney, she learns there are three other wives before her who have all been treated the same way. She determines that she will not get mad, she will get even. She enlists the aid of the other wives to extract their revenge.

Meantime, she and a girlfriend attend an FBI training school — seriously, how remotely possible is that! where they both flunk out. But they’ve learned a thing or two.

Then they are recruited for a secret ops camp deep in the mountains of NC. How Samantha gets the better of her recruiter is one of the funnier portions of the book. The only way the two of them will join is if the other wives come along too.

The cast of characters in the mountain includes the head trainer who is endangered by his past if he comes off the mountain (Pappy), and the cook (who turns out to be his father), a dog that is part wolf (Alpha), and the other teams that are being trained.

This section of the book is interesting as the characters are developed. The better part of a year is spent on the mountain. Samantha passes with flying colors, but Pappy doesn’t want her to have the life that he has had. He is in love with her, though she doesn’t know it. And he doesn’t know she was ever Mrs. Rainford.

How she and the other women — they find he has a number of other ex-wives that they find out about, and that might not be all, who are also included in this — exact their revenge is a cute part of the story. And how it interweaves with Pappy’s story is believable.

I give it a 3.

I’ve never read any of her books before, but judging from this, I will see if I enjoy the others as much.

With all that FBI and special agent secret op going on The Marriage Game sounds like a cross with Miss Congeniality. What do you think?

Buy: The Marriage Game

If you have a novel that you finished and were thinking of writing a review on, LRP would love to have you as a guest writer. Please check out our submission guidelines for more details.

Again More Winners!

Sorry some of these are late, it plum left my mind, but I’m on top of my game now! The last three contests and their winners:

Terry Spear’s It’s Not Just About the SEX! winner is…

terryspear9

#9 chris swan

Prize: 1 set of 2 books: Heart of the Wolf and To Tempt the Wolf.

Rebecca Ann Collins’ Regency: Love, Romance, and Passion! winner is…

becca1

#1 Andrea and Jennifer who kindly gave up their prize to … BETH!

Prize: 1 set of 2 books: The Pemberley Chronicles (Book 1) and My Cousin Caroline (Book 2).

My: BBAW: Reading Meme winner is…

bbawmeme5

#5 Alicia H

Prize: 2 Surprise Harlequins.

Congratulations! I will be contacting the winners about their prizes. If you miss the email mine is reviewromancenovel@yahoo.com