Fortune’s Hero by Jenna Bennett

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Book Blurb :

Quinn Conlan had it all: a fast ship, a great crew, a gorgeous girlfriend, money, and adventure around every bend. That was before he agreed to ferry a shipload of weapons to the besieged planet Marica. Now he’s stuck in the prison colony on Marica-3, enduring weekly sessions with the camp’s medical team,” and praying for a quick death before he breaks under the torture and spills everything he knows about the Marican resistance.

When opportunity strikes, Quinn takes Elsa, a Rhenian med tech, hostage and heads into the inhospitable interior of the small moon where he formulates a plan for getting his crew out of prison, his ship out of impound, and everyone out of orbit. But when Elsa professes her love, can Quinn take the beautiful doctor at her word, or will trusting her—and his heart—condemn him and his crew to an eternity on Marica-3?

 

Dolce Amore

Review:

Quinn Conlan had everything—or at least that is what he thought: Good Fortune, the ship of his dreams, the best crew any captain could ask for, excitement and adventure, money and Josie, the most beautiful woman in the world. He spent a year and a half ferrying weapons and supplies to the insurgents from Marica … until Josie betrayed him and his crew.

 

Quinn never thought that there would be a day he’d be eager to die, but he was having it after a few months in the prison camp on Marica-3, and weekly sessions with the camp’s medical team. Because the Rhenians were sure he knew about the whereabouts of the rebels, knew how to contact them, knew who was in charge of the Marican resistance and what their plans were, he was tortured and brought to the brink of death repeatedly.

 

When Quinn has the opportunity to kill Doctor Sterling’s assistant, the ice bitch that keeps taking notes and checking how Quinn is holding up under the torture, he spares her because she begs for her life and promises she’ll help him get away.

 

Elsa Brandeis knows she is a bad Rhenian, unwilling to die for country and glory, but she wants to live. Quinn doesn’t kill her, and instead takes her with him. She does everything that Quinn tells her to do, sure at every step that he is going to kill her after she becomes useless. Yet he doesn’t and it baffles her … he even saves her life several times.

 

Elsa doesn’t understand Quinn. For her, he is a puzzle she wants to unlock and understand.

 

He’d saved her life. When he owed her nothing but disdain.

He’d endured months of torture instead of telling Doctor Sterling what he knew about the Marican resistance, although he owed the Maricans nothing.

And he’d made it out of the prison, to freedom, yet the only thing on his mind was going back to save his friends.

 

Being with him makes her remember why she became a doctor. Elsa had wanted to heal and to help, not to bring pain and inflict torture. Yet that was what she did to Quinn, because she had worshipped Doctor Sterling as a hero and she was blinded by the admiration she felt for him.

 

She could no longer justify it. Not when she watched him like this, so defenseless, so broken, stripped of any strength or dignity by the fever. The fever he’d caught saving her worthless hide.

 

When Elsa discovers about what Josie did to Quinn she is outraged. In the time they spent together, she has started to care for Quinn and she wonders when those feelings started.

 

Was it when he’d brought her back from the dead, when he could have just left well enough alone and been free of her? Or was it when he’d held her all night, so she wouldn’t freeze to death in the chill underground?

Or was it even earlier, when he’d allowed himself to fall into the ice cold river with her, instead of letting go and saving himself?

For her. When he owed her nothing. Less than nothing.

 

Quinn has decided to go back for his crew, but just before he departs, he asks Elsa to promise him she will kill him if he is captured and before Doctor Sterling can torture him again.

 

Elsa closed her eyes on the tears that threatened and prayed that if—when—the time came, she’d have the strength to deliver on the promise. To kill the man she loved, even if everything in her wanted to keep him alive.

 

When they are caught, she has to hide the change she experienced during the days with Quinn. She has to behave as though she is the same woman who left the prison three days ago. Deciding to take Quinn and his crew off Marica-3, Elsa makes plans. She “kills” Quinn and exchanges the guards for the three members of his crew she frees and then takes them to accompany the corpse in the shuttle. Now they have to escape … although is easier get on the shuttle than get off.

 

I enjoyed reading this book although I didn’t have the connection I was searching for in the story and with the characters. However, the end was a deception. It’s not a series—at least I haven’t found anything saying it is, but the end is indefinite … which left me with the feeling of reading an incomplete book. 4 couples.

 

Publisher: Entangled Select

Source : Publicist provided for review

Released : December 11th 2012

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The Hunt (The Secret Circle #5) by Aubrey Clark

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Book Blurb :

There’s no turning back. . . .

For Cassie and her Circle of witches, it’s hard to imagine life in New Salem getting any worse. A band of powerful witch hunters is targeting the group, determined to destroy them one by one. And Cassie’s half sister, Scarlett, won’t rest until she has a spot in the Circle–even if she has to kill Cassie to get it.

The Circle’s only hope against their enemies is Cassie’s father’s Book of Shadows–an ancient guide to the world of dark magic. But Cassie soon discovers that opening the book has grave consequences. Cassie’s drawn in by the book’s sinister spell, and it starts controlling her emotions and impulses, unraveling her relationship with Adam as it takes over her life.

Cassie fights against the darkness inside her as the threats against the Circle grow. But once evil is let in, she may never escape.. ..

 

 

Tash M

 

Review:

This the second book in this series that Smith has not written. Aubrey Clark has taken over the helm of the series, continuing where Smith left off. When the last book finished, The Circle was in trouble on two fronts. Cassie’s half sister, Scarlett, is determined to join and rule The Circle whilst the witch hunters are determined to kill them, marking them one by one for death. With two threats to the group, it is going to take outside help for them to survive the latest challenge to their coven.

I ‘m not going to judge the book by the fact that Smith was taken off the series and a new author was brought in to continue it. I am disappointed that this happened, but I am not going to allow it to color my judgment. I am writing my review based on the book rather than the author. For me, the book was an interesting take on the whole Salem business. It’s a modern spin and is making things interesting by introducing tools and books. In this story, the characters are focused on saving themselves but there is always a little time for romance, and Adam and Cassie have a sweet scene.

However, we do see more of a dark side in this book. Discovering Cassie’s father’s book is invaluable for the group as it may have a spell that will help the group defeat one of their enemies. Nevertheless, you get a feeling the first time Cassie tries to open the book that it will cause trouble for the group, and especially for her.

I found the plot to be predictable on some levels: with the marks, the fact two members have them and are marked for death is revisited when the book is opened. Therefore, Cassie warns them not use magic so the hunters cannot discern who the members are, then later they are forced to. Talk about ironic with a Capital I!

For a series that was restarted after a ten year break, because of the TV adaptation and with a new author to boot, it needed a little more spice to keep me interested. The conclusion of this story was not surprising considering what I mentioned earlier. I may read the next book but already I think I know what is going to happen next as, like the rest of this book, the ending proved to be predictable. It was a great story but the plot was too predictable for me, so only 3 couples

 

 

Publisher : Harper Collins  Australia

Source : Publicist provided for Review

Released : October 2 2012

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Necromancing Nim by Katriena Knights

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Book Blurb :

Wishing for a little excitement in your life? Be careful what you wish for…

Nimuë Taylor thought working for a vampire would be cool. Instead it’s just like any other annoying job, complete with a boss, Colin, who drives her crazy. Other than the daily humdrum routine, nothing much exciting happens.

Until the day Sebastian, Colin’s old friend (read: ex-lover), comes to town, bearing a magical stone that can make any vampire immortal. Really immortal. He doesn’t want to use it, just keep it out of the wrong hands. Trouble is, the wrong hands are getting far too close—and the stone is slowly draining Sebastian’s life force.

When Nim unwittingly comes between the stone and its hunter, she’s bitten. Not by just any vampire, but by one whose bite turns victims into mindless zombies. Healing her involves a ritual that creates a blood bond that’s as passionate as it is dangerous.

For in the fight to keep and destroy the stone of ultimate power, one of them will have to break that bond…and make the ultimate sacrifice.

 

 

 

 

Dolce Amore

Review:

I loved the start of this book, it’s awesome and funny, just the way I like it.

 

Working for a vampire is fun. Vampires are cool, and the coolness rubs off. People are scared of you because they think your boss might bite them if they piss you off. At parties, you can tell people you work for a vampire, and their eyes get big and they take a step back, and for a few seconds, they can’t quite eat their crab puffs. And the vampire boss is always rich and hot, with a nice car and a penchant for cute human girls.

At least, that’s the way it always is on TV. But my vampire boss is an asshole, and I, the cute human girl, work in collections, because I suck as a receptionist.

 

Nimuë “Nim” Taylor works for Colin in collections and her first task this particular night is to finish what one of her colleagues can’t. So she has to go to the door and tell the vampire who lives there that they are going to impound his HDTV if he doesn’t cough up four months’ worth of back payments, interest and administrative charges.

 

 “Mitch totally fucked this one up,” he’d said. “Pissed his pants and ran away like a little girl. You take it tonight—I want it done.”

I decided not to point out that, unlike Mitch, I actually was a girl. And little. “Why?”

“You make more than Mitch. If you get eaten, or I have to fire you for rabbitting, it’ll be financially advantageous.” He gave me a look that wasn’t that much different from his usual dissatisfied glare and so was open for interpretation. “Plus, you won’t screw it up.”

 

The first part of the discussion between Nim and the vampire makes me laugh every time I read it. And I did several times.

 

“Good evening. I’m Nimuë Taylor, from Bernstein & Carter,” I announced. “I regret to inform you—”

“I talked to you assholes last night,” TV Guy interrupted. “Told that little shit not to come back.”

 “In deference to your request, my company has thoughtfully provided a different little shit.”

 

However, the discussion turns into something more, especially when a friend of the vampire comes to help his friend. When Nim almost extricates herself from them, someone comes to rescue her—Colin’s ex-lover, Sebastian Marcheleto.

 

Minutes after the rescue, the cops come—yep, they never come when you need them, yet are always around when you don’t—and take Sebastian and Nim in for questioning, as Sebastian is up on suspicion of murder.

 

Nim knows Sebastian didn’t kill Therese Wilkins the night before because she’s learned from Colin how to recognize when a vampire hasn’t drunk in days, and Sebastian is so pale she knows he hasn’t had anyone in at least a week.

 

When Sebastian comes to ask her help to get to Colin, she helps him although she sees on the news that he has escaped from jail. Nim soon discovers that someone tried to kill Colin at the station, which is why he escaped, and the bad ones want the stone Sebastian slipped into one of her pockets the night before.

 

Although Colin and Sebastian thought she would be safe, Pieter, a vampire who wants the stone, attacks and bites her. Pieter’s bite is not ordinary, it infects and turns the bitten person into little more than a zombie, totally under his control. Only the stone can save her which means Sebastian and Colin will have to reveal their whereabouts if they’re going to come to her aid.

 

They lose track of the stone and she nearly dies. The action is fast and Nim, Colin and Sebastian get closer one to another with every new danger.

 

I was struck by an almost dizzying pang of sympathy for him, followed by an urge to climb under the blanket with him and cuddle him inappropriately. Really, Nim? You want to molest the boss’s boyfriend? Nice plan.

 

He kissed me.

Yeah. Right on the mouth.

My brain blanked out from shock. This was just not a thing that happened. But it was happening. Colin. Kissing me.

And holy shit, I was kissing him back.

Seriously, what the fuck?

 

Sebastian is committed to having the stone destroyed. If it gets in the wrong hands, like those of Pieter’s, it can do a lot of bad in the world. However, the only way of destroying it is for him to die.

 

I liked the story, and loved the characters. However, romance is almost completely missing in the book and there is almost no sexual tension. There is an attraction between Nim and Sebastian from the start but it plays a minor role, and the attraction between Nim and Colin is even less than that. I really hope Katriena Knights will change this in the second book of the series. While there is nothing stated that this the first of a series, it has to be as there is no real end to the story. 4 couples

 

 

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Source : Purchased

Released : October 23rd 2012

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Wed to a Highland Warrior by Donna Fletcher

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Book Blurb :

It has been prophesied that four men, raised as brothers, will bring Scotland back to her rightful glory. Now the final brother is ready to take his place in history . . .

“Trey MacAlpin is my husband.” When Bliss first speaks these words, they are not yet true. But desperate for protection from the false king’s soldiers, she claims the Highlander as her mate. Her powers foretold that her life would intertwine with the four men who protect the identity of the true king–but she never thought it would be like this!

Trey MacAlpin can scarcely believe he has agreed to wed a stranger. But this beautiful lass knows the secret he and his brothers are sworn to keep, making her both valuable . . .and vulnerable. Yet more than necessity binds Trey and Bliss in these dangerous times–for the passionate fire raging in Trey’s heart insists that Bliss is not merely his bride . . . but his destiny.

 

 

Tash M

 

Review:

Bliss is a healer and seer living in fear of the false king’s soldiers and she knows the true king is one of the four MacAlpin brothers every since she healed Trey. So when King Kenneth’s soldiers corner her on the MacAlphin land, she lies and says she waiting for her husband. She knows she’s going to be alright as she knows Trey will be there in a moment as fate has sent him for her and she’s had a vision that a warrior will walk through at that precise second.

Trey MacAlphin, the only brother remaining who is not married, does not lack female love. We do not know why he there but he arrives at his appointed time and scares the soldiers into disappearing for the moment, when he says that he is a MacAlphin and her husband. However, he thinks it is temporary but he doesn’t know the Pict ways and when Bliss tries to tell him it’s amusing:

With a more adamant tone, she said, “We are husband and wife.”

Message received loud and clear and Trey gets that he’s married but he does not say anything else as he is more worried about Bliss, but doesn’t want to say anything about it yet. At this point I’m scratching my head about him. We do not know anything about the character except that he is a MacAlpin and a great fighter … but what he is doing on that particular part of MacAlpin land is a mystery.

That aside, everything gets sorted regarding the marriage and neither of them acknowledge that if it is that simple to get married it must the same to get divorce. Instead it’s onward with the story. Bliss is on her way to heal a friend and Trey decides to put her under their MacAlpin protection as she knows which of the brothers is the true king. For those picking up this series, MacAlpins are not blood brothers but they grew up together as brothers and this story is last of the brothers who has not yet married: Trey.

Trey already lost Lenora, the woman that he loved, and he sees Bliss as more of a duty when she attests they are married. Bliss wants to get rid of him for the moment so she can focus on her healing but she knows that fate has chosen him for her and she is growing to love Trey and already knows his family so she’s a perfect fit for his family of warriors.

It a fitting conclusion to this series as the question that has been simmering throughout the whole series is answered and we find out who the true king of Scotland is. The action and adventure is always there, and in this story, Bliss and Trey are in the midst of it as King Kenneth tries to make one last stand before the brothers reveal the true king. It not only about that but the personal issues that come up also threaten to derail things too. It’s a historical book that has a lot of action and adventure. I will leave you with this, a lesson to the young: listen to a woman when she is talking about her husband and you may learn the truth yourself before it is too late to do anything about it.

4 couples (more like a 3.45)

 

 

 

 

Publisher : Avon

Source : Edelweiss

Released : October 30th 2012

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Seduction of my Proper Wife by Kristable Reed

Book Blurb :

Philip Thornton adored his new bride but found she was frigid in their marriage bed.

Lillian did not know how to ease her fear of the bed until she was freed from her past.

Aria was paid to educate and entice, but what she found was more than she ever dreamed possible.

The Parisian Exposition of 1889…the world is changing and the three of them are caught in its whirl. Philip and Lillian went to Paris to save their marriage and to help Lillian overcome her fears. Aria danced and seduced Lillian, but before Lillian left, Aria found herself seduced, in turn, by the beautiful Englishwoman.

When Philip and Lillian break all the rules and escort Aria around Paris for a week, will it be the beginning of their future? Or will this seductive interlude be nothing more than a dream?

 

 

 

Jasmine

Review:

I chose this book initially for its plot. Second consideration was its genre that I like: romance historical erotic novels with ménage-a-trois. And finally for its author, Kristable Reed, I know her from her book “Wickedly Wanton” that I loved.

This book, “Seduction of my Proper Wife” is a romantic erotica set in the time of Queen Victoria. The protagonists, Philip and Lillian, are an English couple. Philip Thornton is in love with his new bride, but she is frigid in their marriage bed.

Lillian and Philip go to the Universal Exhibition of 1889 in Paris, where Philip views a belly dance performance. The dancing ended, and the crowd dissipated rather quickly. Jealous of the couples who sought a more private venue, Philip turned to leave.

“If you could wait a moment, sir.”

This was the second time he heard the call, but only now did Philip realize it was directed at him. He stopped and turned, waiting for the short Egyptian woman to cross the sand-dusted floor. So Philip meets Hasina, the matron of the belly dancers.

“Did you enjoy the dances?” she asked, her English clear and precise.

Puzzled, Philip nodded. “Yes. They were marvelous. One of the most unique sights I’ve ever seen.”

“Excellent,” she said with a smile that didn’t show her teeth. “My name is Hasina and I’m the,” she paused then said with only slight difficulty, “I’m the matron of these girls. I’d like to know if they have pleased you.”

“Of course,” Philip said, distracted by the dance he’d just witnessed and thoughts of Lillian.

“Excellent,” Hasina said again and gestured behind her to the guarded door.

“My beautiful wife is unable to fulfill her duties in our bed,” he confesses.

“But I can teach. My girls can show her, a woman is far more gentle with such things,” and Hasina says…

After the meeting between Hasina and Philip, Philip persuades his wife Lillian that she needs help from another woman. Then Lillian meets Aria.

Aria, a beautiful belly dancer, seduces Lillian, but Aria, in turn, finds herself seduced by the beautiful Englishwoman. The two women fall in love, but Lillian remains steadfast in her love for her husband Phillip as well. The married couple break all the rules and escort Aria around Paris for a week. Will it be the beginning of their mutual futures?

The erotic encounter between Aria and Lillian is very well narrated, and the ménage-a-trois with Philip makes for a very, very hot story. This love-ménage story is beautiful and sexy played out in an exotic Middle Eastern enclave in the heart of Paris, the city of love. Kristable Reed, the author, has a very good style and she has a good narrative rhythm.

This is the second book I have read of Kristable Reed’s, and for those who enjoy erotic and historical novels, I recommend it.

I give it 3 couples

 

 

Pubisher

Source : Manic Readers

Release Date:October 1st 2012

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Jane’s Gift by Karen Erickson

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Book Blurb :

A devastating house fire cost Jane Clark nearly everything: her husband, her confidence, and her looks, with the physical scars marbling her body. Now, two years later, she’s living and healing back in her childhood hometown of Lone Pine Lake. The upcoming holidays are the perfect opportunity to bring some Christmas cheer into her young children’s lives, starting with a visit to the firehouse, where her brother’s best friend has offered to help quell their residual fears.

Lone Pine’s resident playboy, fire captain Christian Nelson is happy with his single-guy lifestyle. He’s an everyday local hero, so he’s never wanting for attention around the holidays. But when Jane Clark shows up, Chris is immediately drawn to the beautiful widow—even though kids and commitment have never been his style.

Despite her brother’s warnings about his friend’s playboy status and dangerous occupation, Jane can’t help but fall for the gorgeous fire captain. The holidays are a time of new beginnings, but can two scarred people find the strength to let go of their pasts to live in the present, when a lifetime together might be the sweetest gift of all?

 

Sandy M

Review:

 

Two years after a tragic fire killed her husband, destroyed her home and left her body ravaged, a badly scarred Jane returns to her hometown of Lone Pine Lake, to be near her family. When she attempts to ease her and her children’s fear of fires, she meets playboy fire Chief Christian Nelson.

 

This was the first book I have read by Karen Erickson, and it was a lovely holiday read for me. There wasn’t anything I didn’t like about this book. Sexy fireman, Christmas, and second chances at love. What more could a book need?

 

Seeing Jane tame the commitment-phobic fireman, and watching Jane overcome her own fears with moving on from her dead husband was truly enjoyable. I enjoyed the interactions between Christian and her children. I loved how when they found a problem they immediately addressed it and worked to overcome it. That is such a rarity in many books today. I especially loved that this book gaved me that warm Christmas feeling.

 

I look forward to reading more by this author, maybe Mindy will get her second chance at love in the next book?

Publisher: Entangled Publishing

Source : Publicist provided for review

Released : October 25th 2012

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Complicated Affairs by Lady T. L. Jennings

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Book Blurb :

Sebastian Coxe, a young dashing man from London, arrives in the company of his shy twin sister Octavia to spend the season in Bath. There he meets Baron Carl Whitmore, a private gentleman who has withdrawn from society and with no intentions whatsoever of involving himself in a forbidden liaison, especially not with an infamous rake….

 

 

 

BlackTulip

 

Review:
Although I have always found Lady Jennings’s Victorian gay stories too short, I have continued to read them nonetheless, five and counting! To me it looks very much like an addiction … but this time with “Complicated Affairs” it’s even better; this isn’t a short one as usual, but a novella, what a treat! She has the knack for creating the ideal atmosphere that very easily and completely engulfs you from the beginning and this time is no different.

The plot is simple but executed with precision, talent and wit. There are two amazing flawed, yet beautiful men who are so very different that you wonder how the author is going to make it work. Her stories are always wonderful in their detailed descriptions and elegant phrasing. It allows the reader to easily visualize every place and situation, to absorb the ambience and live each emotion. And here again, you cannot help but be involved in the character’s life and all these elements combine to make the story all the more credible.

Where Sebastian Cox is a charming rakehell, a gamester who drinks too much and who doesn’t care for his lovers, Carl Whitmore is a very private gentleman who has chosen to more or less withdraw from society. He came back from war wounded and with a broken heart. One man is all boldness and rather wild while the other is all discretion and restraint.

It all begins like a game of seduction for Sebastian, one is the hunter, the other is the prey or is it the other way round? There are misunderstandings, misconception, mistakes, confusion, burning and explosive passion … in the end there’s hope for more, maybe love and trust … who knows?

It was sweet, romantic and hot with a very satisfying ending and all this is tastefully written. A great read! I give 4 stars.

 
Pubisher :  My Secret Quill

Source : Author provided copy for review

Released : November 24th 2012

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Conquered Shores by Brooklynn Rivers

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Book Blurb :

Enslaved by a handsome Viking who believes in an ancient prophecy. Chained by hidden pleasures of of the flesh. Is Shannon strong enough to conquer the bonds of desire, or will she submit to the lust that lies within?

Shannon’s life is turned upside down after a band of Vikings kidnap her from her village. She is whisked away into a world of forbidden desire filled with danger and mystery. She decides to do whatever it takes to find her way back home–even sacrifice her virginity. After a handsome Viking beds her, she is torn between submitting to her enemy or finding a way to get back home.

Strange things start happening when Gunnar Ravenshield returns to Dublin with his new captive. After discovering she bears the mark of Freya, goddess of love and war, he is determined to unlock the meaning of an ancient prophecy that promises power and riches. He will not rest until Shannon, the Valkyrie of Fire, is his–body and soul.

 

 

 

BlackTulip

 

Review:

The thing that makes “Conquered Shores” stand out from other novels of the same genre is that the author very creatively and skillfully succeeds in mixing the rich Norse mythology and some folklore to her story without ever overwhelming the reader with too many details. In my opinion, she reached here the perfect balance.

This adventure brings us to Ireland when the Vikings’ strength and power were at their apogee and where Dublin was one of their strongholds. The goal of these audacious and fearless miserable heathens was to accumulate wealth and destroy everything they could.

Despite these dangerous, uncertain times and ignoring the peril of the raiding season, Shannon decides to have a short time alone when everyone is still asleep, thus disobeying his uncle. She wants to see the ocean, needs to hear the sound of the waves and dream a little … just for a moment,  but she should know better as her own parents were brutally killed during a raid when she was a little girl.  After their death she has been plagued with haunting nightmares, later on she had visions during the day—different, more distinct and like a bad omen, she doesn’t think that it can be memories anymore; these are visions, uncontrollable and dark premonitions filled with flames, cinder, screams, Viking battle cries. She is petrified unable to move, helpless facing the Viking warrior …

“Submit to me.” His voice echoed through her brain.
“Never,” she whispered.

And this very morning, the nightmarish vision actually becomes reality and she flees trying to escape the bloody barbarian until she’s cornered; but even there she fights and she definitely doesn’t make it easy for him to capture her. As soon as Gunnar Ravenshield sees the strange birthmark on her body, resembling the head of a dragon, he knows he has to claim this young Irish maiden who fights like a Valkyrie!

Today, Shannon’s vision has come true, and Gunnar has seen the sign described in the prophecy:
“Whomever shall possess the one marked by Freya will achieve great wealth and fight by Thor’s side”.

He may take her body but he will never win her Celtic heart or spirit!

And this is only the beginning of Shannon and Gunnar’s tumultuous and perilous journey where they’ll have to deal with Ursa the Woodland Witch and her piercing mad eyes, Freya’s prophecy which seems impossible to decipher, and two wonderful villains—one gnawed by jealousy and the other obsessed with power. Shannon will have to rein her treacherous body that says one thing while her mind says exactly the opposite!  Whoever said that life was simple and easy?

What a page-turner, there wasn’t a moment of rest in this book that opened with a very violent scene, continued with a lot of tension and finished with even more intensity.

The two protagonists are very likable—yes! even Gunnar. Shannon is courageous, strong and passionate but she has some trouble reconciling herself with unusual and disturbing feelings she experiences each time she comes in contact with the damned Viking and sadly this becomes worse as time passes. Gunnar is as bold, brash and determined as one would imagine a Viking warrior would be and this devil can even be charming when he wants. I really loved to see them battle and struggle with each other while their relationship was developing.

The only small criticism I’ll make is that I would have liked a little more background on Shannon’s early life, maybe because this singular birthmark has intrigued me from the start, why her? Had there been a similar mark on her female’s ancestors? Call me picky: as a matter of fact I am!  It’s the reason why I didn’t give Conquered Shores 5 stars.

The Norse mythology which is the essence of this novel, the historical setting, the romantic conflict, all these elements are skillfully and intricately combined to showcase  Ms. River’s talent as a wonderful and gifted storyteller. The rating system doesn’t allow half a point, so I give 4 stars but it’s more like 4.5.
Pubisher : Brooklynn Rivers

Source : Author provided copy for review

Released : November 24th 2012

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Silver Bells by Diana Palmer

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Book Blurb :

Man of Ice After a less than magical one-night stand, cynical Dawson Rutherford needs the help of the woman he considers seduced him. Barrie Bell, still reeling from their encounter, is ambivalent about aiding his scheme. She’s kept a secret from Dawson…one that could free them both to love again!

Heart of Ice

Knowing she dislikes him down to his arrogant bones, Egan Winthrop invites Kati James to his ranch to research her next novel. He assumes she knows everything about love. But when passion flares between them, Egan is surprised at how Kati’s heat just might be able to melt his heart of ice….

 

 

 

Tash M

 

Review:

I put off posting the review for Silver Bells as it a Christmas themed book and I wanted to save it for the holiday period, namely now, as it is a perfect time to promote this book and this serves as a perfect starting point to get into the holiday themed books that have been released for this year’s Christmas. Diana Palmer has rereleased two of her classics as one volume for the lead up to Christmas. This collection features Man of Ice and Heart of Ice and the heroes in each are cowboys, so it will appeal to those cowboy lovers as much as it did for me.

In Man of Ice, Barrie and her stepbrother Dawson have always had loved each other but five years ago things went wrong and they haven’t been civil to each other since. Barrie moved on with her life and is now living in Tucson and Dawson is in emotional turmoil with personal issues regarding sex. When he comes calling on Barrie you would think that the man would be a mess, however, Dawson is not and but he does need her help. He wants her to play his fiancée to get a widower off his back and talking business instead. Now Barrie does not like Dawson much because she has issues regarding herself as a woman and he’s the reason for it and Dawson hates himself over this as it reminds him of his father’s shortcomings in himself. Barrie reluctantly agrees to it as Dawson explains that her inheritance is on the line but it is not easy convincing her to help him.

So she is back home where she has to convince her friends and the widower that she is engaged to Dawson but they all know she doesn’t get along with him and the widower knows what she wants and thinks it is a ploy.

The story is about the up and downs in relationships, especially between the stepsiblings. It a common issue and Dawson has been struggling with it ever since Barrie and her mother came into his life. He thinks that Barrie is a carbon copy of her mother: a flirt and man chaser to get what she wants. So he believes Barrie is the perfect foil for the widower and he has treated her this way because of her mother. Will they be able to have a civil relationship and rediscover themselves and fix the root of their problems that are haunting the family and can they sort out their attraction to each other whilst pretending everything is okay?

Those are the questions, and to get the answers you have to read the story for yourself to find out what happens to the Man of Ice and his girl.

In Heart of Ice, Katriane and Egan have always fought like cats and dogs and neither can stand each other. They rub each other the wrong way and and Egan’s sister, Kati’s best friend Ada, hates it. So when Ada invites Egan for Christmas to their apartment she livid because of their fractious relationship. Ada won’t take no for answer because it’s the first Christmas since their mother died and she thinks Egan is lonely.

As if! He is up to usual behaviour and manages to keep himself entertained whilst in the city with a girl and Kati is disgusted. You would think she is a prude when it comes to romantic relationships when you see her reaction, but she isn’t: she’s a romance writer and her lasts novel is set on a ranch. Egan likes Kati and rubs her the wrong way because he believes that Kati is like the woman in the romance books. Well, he in for a shock.

He invites Kati out to the ranch so she can do research for her new book and it becomes a chance for him to get Kati where he wants and personally get to know her, if you know what I mean. But he doesn’t expect that Kati might thaw his Heart of Ice.

Remember those halcyon days when there was hardly any erotica and these kinds of reads were the staple of romance lovers out there since there wasn’t much variety being published? I collect the old editions of these books and laugh at some of the storylines that they have. In this one we get a sexy tale without any sex. It has sexual detail without getting raunchy. Egan tries to get Kati in his bed and it is amusing as she turns the tables upside down and Egan gets frustrated over both this and the fact his heart is thawing.

This is another of the oldies that is a fun romance that delves into deeper issues and is perfect for the holidays. 4 couples.

 

 

Publisher : Harlequin Australia

Source : Publicist Provided for review

Released : November 1st 2012

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The Lost Prince (The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten #1) by Julie Kagawa

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Book Blurb :

Don’t look at Them. Never let Them know you can see Them.

That is Ethan Chase’s unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he’d dare to fall for.

Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister’s world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myth and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.

They’ll need more than scorching-hot passion to make this opposites-attract affair work. But if they can learn to trust one another enough to reveal their secrets, they just might have a chance at forever.

 

 

Tash M

 

Review:

This is the book we’ve been waiting for, ever since we first met Ethan Chase as a five year old child in the Iron Fey series and wondered what he would grow into as a teenager. The new series of Julie Kagawa’s continues with the world she first created, this time being told from a different point of view, that of Ethan’s. The author has answered our questions with this new series and this first book features a cast of characters featuring old faces as well as new ones. He is grown up now, filled with regret for his time in the Nevernever because he was treated badly by THEM. He has a reputation for criminal activities and he is about to start attending another new school all because of THEM.

Who are ‘Them’? They are no other than the Fey and they seem to be drawn to Ethan because his sister, which pretty much everyone knows is Meghan Chase, is the Iron Queen. It’s largely bad news for Ethan as he doesn’t want anything to do with the Fey because of the time he spent in Nevernever where he was captured and used as a pawn to attract his half-sister to the Fey’s world. His sister has stopped visiting and now only sends the occasional letter to keep in touch. With all this, coupled with being gifted with Sight (which means he can see the Fey no matter what), he’s got a pretty messed up life with the Fey. He is determined they won’t interfere with him and has placed every ward he knows to protect him at home but he can’t do anything at school and the Fey lap it up knowing they can play all the mischief on him there that they want.

Unknown to his parents, who want to forget Meghan and Nevernever, he’s thrust into the world again at school where he meets a half breed whilst trying to save himself from getting expelled because a Fey have decided to cause trouble.

He manages to convince the half breed to avoid him until this new type of Fey starts to appear, who has the power to breach wards, cause trouble, and wants the half breed. Ethan is forced to use a gift that his sister left him, that means he has to return to the one place he never wanted to go back to.

To warn his sister and the other courts.

This is only half of the story. You are probably wondering who the title, The Lost Prince, refers to. No, it’s not Ethan. Ethan is considered a prince by the Fey because of his sister but he is unaware there is another prince. It’s a big secret that Meg and Ash have been keeping all this time and it’s the reason why Meghan is distancing herself: she doesn’t want her son meeting Ethan.

Kierran, Ash and Megan’s son, is the same age as Ethan because of the Fey’s magic and answers to no one. He is the only one who takes Ethan seriously concerning this new type of Fey and they go on a journey to discover the identity of this mysterious Fey as well as try to discover why all the half breeds are disappearing from Earth.

So not only is Ethan getting his own spotlight, Kierran is also! We travel between worlds to solve their mystery. Armed only with Kierrans’ knowledge he gained from sneaking through the two worlds, he’s up for the task to discover who the mystery Fey are. It’s an opportunity to discover a side of his family. But with Kierran, it’s hard to know what he is thinking most of the time and the only insight we get into him is when his girl, another Fey, joins the group.

It wouldn’t be an Iron Fey book if it didn’t include some love interests and in The Lost Prince we have two, as there are two leads. Kierran’s girl, Annwyl, is a summer Fey who has been banished from the Summer court and Kierran has being hiding her from his family. He worked out a deal with the banished court (containing Fey banished from other courts) and she has been living there. So when he needs the Banished Queen for help, it’s a perfect opportunity to visit his girl and get Ethan and Mackenzie to a port near where they live.

Ethan’s girl Mackenzie, on the other hand, is a brash girl who has the school at her feet but can’t get Ethan out of her head, and when she gets involved by accident he’s forced to bring her to Nevernever to protect her. She’s like a little girl when she arrives but soon becomes an invaluable member of the group. But it will take a while to admit that Ethan is interested in her because at the start he sees her more as a pest.

The spin off series to the wildly popular Iron Fey books is as intriguing and breathtaking as the original series. With old and new characters to entertain us, it is going to be hard to put this book down.

I can’t wait for The Traitor Prince to come out and I hope it doesn’t mean what I think the name implies!

 

 

 

Publisher : HarlequinTeen Australia

Source : Publicist Provided for review

Released : November 1st 2012

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