Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Kimberly Zant, Hearts of Midnight

Title: Hearts of Midnight

Author: Kimberly Zant

Rating: Three And A Half Siren Stones


Genre: Romance

Sub-Genre: Western

ISBN E-Book: 978-1-30394-425-0

Publisher: New Concepts Publishing

Buy-Link: http://www.newconceptspublishing.com/kimberlyzantbooks2.html#HEARTOFMIDNIGHT

Reviewer: Rebecca Eastman

Blurb/Summary:
Fate does a double whammy on Amy, pitching her first into the path of a serial killer, and then into the hands of Kyle Whitehorse. Kyle rescues her, but he suspects she's one of the agents pursuing him and his brand of interrogation ignites a conflagration that threatens to consume both of them.


Review:
Hearts of Midnight is action-packed in the first half of the book; the plot was well laid out with unpredicted means of detaining Amy, the heroine of the story.


I would have liked more elaboration of the male character, Kyle. The embellishment of him might have built the romance between Kylie and Amy a great deal more, since parts the story falls flat on the building emotional-bond between the two characters.

The cover is mysterious; the illusion of a female face can be detected, adding to the enticement of reading the story.

This is the second story by Ms. Zant I have read, and believe I will continue to seek her writing out because of the unpredictable of the plots of her stories.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Celina Summers, Bride of Death

Title: Bride of Death

Author: Celina Summers

Rating: Four And A Half Siren Stones

Genre: Romance

Page Count: 110 Pages

ISBN E-Book: 978-1-60168-279-6

Publisher: Aspen Mountain Press
Reviewer: Kristin Manter
Blurb/Summary:
When the mischievous god of love targets Hades, the god of death falls hopelessly in love with the spring maiden Persephone, the one immortal most ill-suited for his dark domain. Her mother Demeter will never allow the Lord of the Underworld to court her beloved daughter. The king of the gods proposes an unconventional solution: Hades may kidnap Persephone and take her to the Underworld to woo her. If Persephone agrees to marry hades, Zeus will support the match. But neither god has reckoned on Demeter's inconsolable grief at the loss of her daughter. If Persephone is not returned to her, the goddess has vowed to destroy all life. Can Hades win Persephone's heart before her mother discovers who has taken her? Or will Persephone make her own wishes known as the intended bride of death? Even in the world of immortals, time is not on Hades' side.
Review:
Forget everything you ever thought you knew about Hades, and dive into the Underworld, with the refreshed eyes of a virginal maiden goddess. Loose yourself in Celina Summers captivating tale of the Bride of Death.

Celina's vivid descriptions of the gods, their duties and the realms they rule, will give you a crash course in Greek Mythology, leaving you begging for more.

The brooding and stoic Hades will kidnap your heart, much the same way he did Persephone as he reveals his tenderness and love, shedding the veil of solemnest he’d worn since becoming ruler of the dark realm.

Persephone, in all her innocence and youthful curiosity; transforms flawlessly from daughter of Demeter to Queen of the Underworld, and fulfils her new role with grace.

Hades' courtship of Persephone is romantic, even as the connection they share is overflowing with passion. The purity of his feelings for her, and her devotion to him remain profound even until the very end of the book.

Kudos to Aspen Mountain Press for the beautiful cover and near perfect editing, as it further enables the reader's enjoyment of Mythos: Bride of Death. I highly recommend this book and will come back to it again and again as a favourite read.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Raine Delight, Sticky Magic, Devon Falls 1

Title: Devon Falls 1: Sticky Magic

Author: Raine Delight

Rating: Three And A Half Siren Stones

Genre: Paranormal contemporary

Sub-Genre: Erotic Romance

Page Count: 30

Publisher: Aspen Mountain Press

Buy-Link (If available): http://www.aspenmountainpress.com/paranormal/romance/sticky-magic/prod_297.html

Reviewer: Stacey Krug

Tagline:
A chance meeting at a sweet shop...Can it be love?

Blurb/Summary:

When a stranger stops in at her shop, Jenna is surprised by the immediate attraction. Apparently, Marc is too because he wants to get to know Jenna. A whole lot better and won't take no for an answer.

Review:

This was a wonderful, whirlwind of a short story! We get a quick overview of the paranormal world residing in Devon Falls. Then the author has us drop in on the lives of Marc and Jenna. We get to learn a little about the characters, but the focus is on how and when they meet each other in the story. The chemistry between the characters makes for a wonderful erotic tale. Marc and Jenna are endearing and it’s hard to stop reading once you start. The end leaves you with a twist and wanting more!


Raine Delight, Red Hot Magic, Devon Falls 2

Title: Devon Falls 2: Red Hot Magic

Author: Raine Delight

Rating: Three And A Half Siren Stones

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Sub-Genre: Erotic Romance

Keywords: Light Bondage

Word Or Page Count: 28

ISBN E-Book: 978-1-60168-085-3

Publisher: Aspen Mountain Press

Buy-Link (If available): http://www.aspenmountainpress.com/paranormal/romance/devon-falls-red-hot-magic/prod_117.html

Reviewer: Stacey Krug

Tagline:
A candy maker is set up by her business partner at a charity animal auction

Blurb/Summary:

With the help of a charity fundraiser, Jenna sets her friend, Raven, up to find Mr. Perfect. Raven though, has found Mr. Perfect...in her dreams. Now, if she could only find the sexy man in real life.

Review:

This story is based in the paranormal world of Devon Falls, and begins where Sticky Magic left off. Raven and Jean-Claude quickly develop a romantic relationship while she’s sleeping. This is a fun story with likable characters. The sex scenes are incredible, and just sizzle right off the page. Their story is erotic and hot making this a definite page turner.

Raine Delight, Fiery Magic, Devon Falls 3

Title: Devon Falls 3: Fiery Magic

Author: Raine Delight

Rating: Three And A Half Siren Stones

Genre: Paranormal

Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance

Keywords: Shifters

Page Count: 35

ISBN E-Book: 978-1-60168-119-5

Publisher: Aspen Mountain Press

Buy-Link: http://www.aspenmountainpress.com/paranormal/romance/devon-falls-fiery-magic/prod_145.html

Reviewer: Stacey Krug

Tagline:
The mistakes of the past collide explosively in Devon Falls

Blurb/Summary:

Damien Dracon is back in Devon Falls, and he is about to woo the one lady he left three years ago. Family secrets and youthful pride forced him to give up the one good thing in his life: the love of Alicia Stevens. What he doesn't expect is that Alicia has a secret of her own, and it may just tear them apart. Can two former lovers find it in themselves to forgive one another and let love grow between them? Or will past secrets haunt them and tear them apart? This 4th of July is about to get explosive in Devon Falls.

Review:

Fiery Magic is based in the paranormal world of Devon Falls, and starts out making you feel like part of their community. The characters are likable and believable. It was fun to see how characters in previous stories played roles in this story. The twists and turns in the plot made this hard to put down. Damien and Alicia evoked laughter and tears, making their bittersweet romance stay with you, even when the story ends.


Eden Elgabri, Conference Cupid

Title: Conference Cupid

Author: Eden Elagbri

Rating: Three And A Half Siren Stones

Genre: Romance

Sub-Genre: Contemporary

Page Count: 73 Pages

ISBN E-Book: 978-1-60168-286-4

Publisher: Aspen Mountain Press

Buy-Link (If available): http://www.aspenmountainpress.com/new-releases/conference-cupid/prod_301.html

Reviewer: Kristin Manter

Blurb/Summary:

Aspiring author, Keary Galloway, hasn’t had sex since her divorce a year ago. No wonder her heart beats double-time with the half-clad romance cover models roaming the hotel. Will she take her friend’s advice and try one out for research?

Devin Barnett wishes the onslaught of romance writers hadn’t invaded his hotel. Until he sees his high school fantasy, Keary – divorced and longing for physical thrills. But can he masquerade as a cover model? Will satisfying their sexual needs for the duration of the conference be enough to get her out of his system? Or only make him lust for more?

Review:

Conference Cupid is a satisfying quickie of a romance. The beautiful cover, layout, and very clean editing all ensure that the reader can enjoy the story with no distractions.

Devin's perusal of Keary evolves sweetly from that of the fantasy of youth, to the desire of adulthood. Keary is relatable and endearing, making it easy to connect with her throughout the entire story.

Devin is confident, yet not obnoxiously arrogant, and determined. Mild comedy throughout the story really balances the intimacy of the love scenes. All in all, this was a charming story that made for a good read.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Lorrie Unites-Struiff, Gypsy Crystal

Title: Gypsy Crystal

Author: Lorrie Unites-Struiff

Rating: Four Siren Stones

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Sub-Genre: Suspense

Keywords: Gypsy, Mystery,

Word Or Page Count: 102 pages

ISBN E-Book: ASIN: B003B66F0O

Publisher: Eternal Press

Buy-Link http://www.amazon.com/Gypsy-Crystal-ebook/dp/B003B66F0O

Reviewer: Jessica Dawn

Tagline:

A dark thrill ride of discovery. Fringe meets Supernatural.

Blurb/Summary:

Everyone has secrets.

Homicide Detective Rita Moldova has a secret, a crystal amulet from her Roma bloodline that allows her to see the last image a victim had seen in their eyes before they died. Now, a ritual killer is terrorizing her town and the crystal’s magic has suddenly stopped doing its job.

FBI agent, Matt Boulet, is sent to lead the task force and gives the group strange orders. Worse, Rita senses he is holding back a deep, dark secret about the killer.

When she confronts her seer mother’s advice, she learns another secret about their clan that she finds impossible to swallow.

Review:

Gypsy Crystal is a book that will intrigue your mystical mind, and engage your curiosity of Roma Traditions / Gypsy Culture. Curious on the ancient Roma traditions; You feel like family as you walk through different discoveries with Rita.

At first I found it difficult to settle into who Rita was, however it did not last long, and I was soon finding myself relating to the main Character, Rita. I enjoyed the growth of the characters' awareness both romantically and personally. Rooting for the romance in which I felt the unresisting tension, egging the reader on to root for them.

When the main character is faced with the climaxing issues, there are some movie moments where I starting thinking about characters that would play the various roles. Modern phrases and language gave this book a youthful quality in some areas working well to invoke barred emotions. Things are described very well, which makes it seem as though I stepped into another dimension of reality.

I would definitely try out another story by Lorrie Unites-Struiff!


Friday, April 23, 2010

The Siren's Book; Ayperi's Destiny, Chapter One, by Kristin Manter


When seeking great treasure, great risk is to be expected. When acquiring great treasure, great responsibility is at hand. He who chooses to think of only himself, will live a life prosperous only in despair.


***

I closed the book and stared at the austere leather binding holding the worn pages together. I had yet to discover why she had chosen me to give this book to. Why it would only open to this page. I was simply afraid to find out. My hands trembled as I drew the book closer to my chest and began walking toward the palace. The sun was only beginning to rise, and the warmth of the sun’s orange and pink hues kissed my face and shoulders with welcome contrast to the cool ocean breeze. My racing thoughts drowned out the sound of the incoming waves, the squawking of the sea gulls. It was I was the only living being on the face of the earth for this moment in time.


Awakened from a dream, a voice called to me. It beckoned me from the warmth of my blankets and comfort of my pillows.


Down empty hallways and through unfamiliar corridors the voice sang, enchanting me into its grasp. I could think of nothing more than finding its source. Not even the cold stone beneath my bare feet jolted me from the spell this thing had cast.

I had called the castle home since my birth and yet, somehow, found myself wandering halls completely foreign to me. My pace quickened as the song became louder, my pulse following suit. The candles in the sconces lining the wall remained unlit, yet I could see through the darkness as if the sun were shining directly above me.

The voice became as loud as steeple bells, consuming my soul. I knew I was getting closer . I had passed many doors somehow knowing that the siren calling out to me was not behind any of them.

The gauzy white linen of my night gown began to cling to my skin, while sweat beaded over my chest and the small of my back. Nearly running now, I wanted nothing more than to be free from its constraints and presence altogether.

Before having the opportunity to rid myself of the damp gown, the song abruptly ended. I stood frozen in place, the haze making me unsure of my location. I turned and looked back in the direction from which I’d come, and saw nothing but a crude stone wall.

When had that appeared? Perhaps in my haste, I had become disoriented. I turned and examined the space to my left, again a stone wall. To my right, was the very same. The walls were covered in ivy as if they had been left unattended for many years. Had I not just come through a hall?

The sudden silence left an excruciating void in my ears, and my belly tightened as fear crept in to fill the emptiness. I had come as far as the song had led me, only to find myself alone and frightened in a room with no passageways leading out. There wasn’t any natural light coming in to lead my way, and only a thick wooden door, and no helpful knob to aid me.

My siren was behind that door. Conflict and confusion ravaged me. My mind, belly and legs wanted nothing more than to run as fast as I could. Yet I couldn’t…

Surely my eyes were tricking me. I had just come down a hallway, yet there was none. Almost against my will if I’d had any, I reached for the door. Desire to meet the songstress behind it consumed me.

My fingers caressed the deep wood-grains of the door, gently following each line as if it held the secret of getting through to the other side. I found nothing.

The voice began singing again, and I felt her begging me to pass through. Tears filled my eyes, and trickled coldly down my flush cheeks. I pressed myself against the door, somehow wishing I could melt through it. Willing my body to become vapor and much like a ghost, pass through it.
As I wept from sheer helplessness, the Siren cried with me. She and I were connected, matching my desire note for note as my knees buckled beneath me. I slid along the door to a trembling mass on the floor. Frail powerlessness overcame me as the realization of my entrapment set in.
The hallway hadn’t reappeared, and I surely didn’t know how to make it.


She continued maddeningly to sing, although there were no words to the song, but I felt her call my name. I felt the urgency, but didn’t understand the cause.

Tears continued to escape through closed, defeated eyes as my sobs slowly turned to soft singing, along with the beautiful voice I heard emanating so closely, yet unattainably. Taking the Siren's lead, our collective tone changed from that of defeat, to one of hope.

I rose to my feet, wiping the tears from my face with the back of my hand. My eyes focused on an ethereal light seeping from underneath the door, the scarce source in the pitch darkness. At first I backed away from it, not so much afraid as unsure from where it came.

Its radiant heat and beauty solidified my suspicions, for it came from no lamp.

It could only come from my seductive siren. My song, our song was the key to her impassable door. Putting a tremulous foot forward, I dipped a toe in the warm fluorescence that escaped from its confines. As if it had the power to dissolve my body, I felt myself melting. Flowing liquid into the light's joy and rapture

I murmured soft prayers that I could stay lost in this brilliant glow forever, but my feet landed on solid ground, legs felt sturdy beneath me. I turned my head to find the massive, oaken door now behind me, an obstacle no more. And when I swiveled around again, I saw in place of the light the most beautiful woman I had ever laid eyes upon.

We continued to sing together as I floated toward her, emerald eyes memorizing me. She sat upon a large stone of quartz where the sand of the beach and the waves of the ocean became one. Dawn was close, and the brilliant stone sparkled in the moonlight, illuminating the mistress, making her seem angelic.

The waves brought with them a soft breeze that lifted her full length of gleaming silver hair away from the porcelain white skin of her face to reveal beneath the veil, she wore nothing. She was unnaturally flawless, long and slender. Her bust and hips perfectly proportionate, tiny waist accentuated the beauty of her feminine curves.

When I was finally within touching distance from her, she raised her arms toward me, beckoning me to her embrace. I had never felt such an attraction to another female but as she wrapped her arms around me, electricity tingled through my body, awaking all of my senses and as our bodies pressed against each other, I lingered in her clean, salty, oceanic scent and rested my cheek upon her bare shoulder as time stopped.

My Siren’s arms released their hold on me and I took a step back, knowing there was a reason I’d been summoned. I watched her intently as she brought her hands together, as if saying a prayer, her lips moved silently.

I looked down to see that she now held an open book, with a plain leather binding and worn pages, looking to be centuries old. I was drawn to the book, much like I had been the Siren.
I knew then, it was the gods who had summoned me to this place and time, to be with this woman.


She extended the book to me, and our eyes locked when she finally spoke, “Princess Ayperi, you have been called to greatness. The weight of the kingdom will rest upon your shoulders. This book holds the secrets to bringing all of your dreams and desires, into this reality. It has been gifted to you by our master, the God Nalag, to be used to ensure the prosperous future of your kingdom. Please, take great care with the power this book yields.” Each word held a note that came together like a melody in my heart. I took the tome from her, focusing on the page open before me.

When seeking great treasure; great risk is to be expected. When acquiring great treasure, great responsibility is at hand. He who chooses to think of only himself, will live a prosperous life only in despair.

When I looked up again to ask the Siren what this meant, and why I had been chosen, and not my father or brother; she was gone.

I closed the gift, and stared at the austere leather binding holding the worn pages together. Why she had chosen me to give this book to, I had yet to discover. Why it would only open to this page, I was afraid to find out.

My hands trembled as I drew the book close to my chest, and began walking toward the palace in the far distance. The sun was only beginning to rise and the warmth that the orange and pink hues from the sun's rays kissed my face and shoulders with was a welcome contrast to the cool ocean breeze. My racing thoughts drowned out the sound of the incoming waves, and the squawking of the seagulls.

At that moment in time I was the only living being on the face of the earth.

Kayleigh Jamison, Reckless Liaisons

Title: Reckless Liaisons

Author: Kayleigh Jamison

Rating: Five Siren Stones

Genre: Historical Romance

Sub-Genre: Regency

Page Count: 204 pages (trade paperback)

ISBN E-Book: 978-1-934912-13-3

ISBN For Print (If available): 978-1-934912-13-3

Publisher: Black Lyon

Buy-Links:

Ebook: http://shop.blacklyonpublishing.com/product.sc?productId=48&categoryId=2

Print (all major retailers): http://www.amazon.com/Reckless-Liaisons-Kayleigh-Jamison/dp/1934912131/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1270226110&sr=8-4

Reviewer: Rhonda J Callum-King

Tagline:

Was she a second chance at love—or his golden opportunity for revenge?

Blurb/Summary:

Sebastian Cade, reclusive Duke of Rutland, has gone to great lengths to withdraw from the London society he’s come to despise. Still reeling from betrayal and tragedy, he finds himself powerfully attracted to his
lovely new raven-haired ward—so much so that he begins to question the last five years of his life.

When Julia Deveraux awakens in the Duke’s rose garden, the memories flood back. A betrothal she detests. The great black horse stolen from her father. Her near escape … Now under Sebastian’s care, she sees the rumors of his disfigurement are far from true. But will her secret connection to his sworn enemy tear them apart before love brings them together?

Review:

Reckless Liaisons by Kayleigh Jamison was a truly entertaining experience. It holds you to its pages from the very start with an action packed opening scene. The reader journeys from there with the characters, through happiness, laughter and tears.

The characters were likable and the story paced along in a satisfying manner. I could find no faults with the editing, and I especially liked the cover art. As the model’s face is obscured, one could fantasize that she was anyone that they wished her to be. This is a novel touch that I personally appreciated.

The story is billed as romance, and fulfills all of the requirements of the genre admirably. It was both heart wrenching and laugh-aloud humorous. The character of Julia evoked sadness and exasperation while Sebastian managed to be a white knight and rather block-headed at the same time. Even many of the supporting characters; siblings, maids and aunts, all attained multi-faceted personalities through Kayleigh Jamison’s writing.

I was delighted by Reckless Liaisons and look forward to re-reading the story of Sebastian and Julia. Wonderfully done Ms. Jamison.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Rie McGaha, Grounded

Title: Grounded

Author: Rie McGaha

Rating: Three And A Half Siren Stones

Genre: Romance

Sub-Genre: Paranormal, MF, MMF (Ménage)

ISBN E-Book: 978-1-60592-010-8

Page Count: 34 Pages

Publisher: Noble Romance Publishing

Buy-Link (If available): https://www.nobleromance.com/ItemDisplay.aspx?i=10

Reviewer: Kristin

Tagline:

Rie McGaha...fantasy that keeps you up

Blurb/Summary:

Patty James is having a bad day. She's just lost her job, and to make matters worse, she's knocked on her butt by a couple of ill-mannered teens while on her way home from the office. As she struggles to deal with her scattered possessions, torn hose and broken high heel, who should stop to help her but a man whose looks would rival the Greek gods.

Dionysus, God of Wine and Revelry, is having a field day on Earth. There's nothing he can't have and nothing he enjoys more than wearing himself out with endless days and nights of debauchery. He never sleeps with the same woman twice, rarely stays in the same city more than a few days, and has no desire to change his lifestyle.

So why is he suddenly having a hard time keeping one little mortal female from invading his every waking thought?

Review:

Humorous. Sexy. Imaginative. Highly Entertaining. These are but a few of the adjectives that would appropriately describe Grounded.

Rie McGaha has perfected the art of bringing ancient Greek Gods, and making them contemporary and relevant. Watching the way Dion wrestles with the emotions, not just feelings Patty evokes in him, will amuse the reader almost as much as knowing that his own mother. Aurora is the composer who orchestrated the strings that are tugging at him.

Patty is innocent and naive, overwhelmed by Dion's godly beauty, and develops into his perfect soul mate. Patty never loses her distinctive sweetness, and compliments the otherworldly attributes and actions of the Greek deity who has possessed her mind, body, and soul perfectly.

The cover, although sensual, did not seem to really represent what I read. For this reason, along with an awkward layout, this Four Siren stone story received Three And A Half Siren Stones. Grounded is definitely a book worth recommending to others, and one that I will read again in the future.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Jannine Corti Petska, Charlotte and the Gypsy

Title: Charlotte and the Gypsy

Author: Jannine Corti Petska

Rating: Four Siren Stones

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Subgenre: Historical

Page Count: 218

Publisher: Moongypsy Press

Buy Link For E-Book And Print: http://www.moongypsypress.com/cortipetska.php

Reviewer: Kristin

Blurb/Summary:

Charlotte Nikolos keenly feels the difference between the dark coloring of the Gypsies who raised her and her own pale hair and skin. When she learns she has two sisters somewhere who share her looks and psychic powers, she's determined to search for her lost family and find answers about her past. But how?
For three years, Rafael Cazares has been away from the Gypsy camp and the woman who makes his blood boil. He's determined to win back Char's trust and recapture her heart. He insists on helping her to find her true family, but someone or something is determined to keep them apart. When a deep dark secret is revealed, Rafael would do everything in his power to keep the only women he has ever loved out of harm’s way. Even if he must die.

Review:

Charlotte and the Gypsy draws the reader deep within the gypsy world; familiarizing the reader with gypsy traditions, gypsy life, and gypsy love. With vivid descriptions and attention to detail, this book made it easy to get lost in Andalusia, and difficult to return to reality.

As the story progresses, so does Char's internal conflict with her identity, gifts, and ultimately the desires of her heart. Her strong will brings her toe to toe with Rafael, but makes her the most perfect mate for this very Alpha male.

Rafael's determination has him going to great lengths in order to obtain her trust, as well as her heart, provides depth and dimension to his character.

The journey that Char and Rafael embark on together builds anticipation and the conflicts that arise along the way make this a book a definite recommendation to all who value true romance.

Although this book is part of a series, it is not dependent on the other books to leave its mark. Because of the overall quality, I will very likely read the others in the series, and will return to these books as favorites in my collection. An attractive cover, remarkable editing and layout further solidify Charlotte and the Gypsy's four Siren Stone status.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Heather Kuehl, Fade To Black

Title: Fade to Black

Author: Heather Kuehl

Rating: Four Siren Stones

Page Count: 68 pages

ISBN E-Book: 978-1-926704-69-2

ISBN For Print: 978-1-926704-77-7

Publisher: Eternal Press

Buy-Link: http://www.eternalpress.ca/fadetoblack.html

Reviewer: Trent Kinsey

Blurb/Summary:

Sara Vargas is a werewolf on a mission. The mission is to kill the wolf that turned her. To do this, Sara has taking the job of being a bounty hunter for a corporation dedicated to protecting the world from those rouge creatures who do not wish to fall in line. Does she find the bastard who changed her life forever? And if so, will she be able to go through with killing it?

Review:

I have to admit that books written in present tense make me "tense" at times. But Heather has found a way to pull me into her world of werewolves, vampires and necromancy without much effort. Fade to Black is an action packed story with little room for rest: both for her characters and her readers. Once it starts, it moves at lightning speed as there is always something or someone around the corner. I can't wait to see what she puts in Sara's way next and want to learn more about her characters. What lies deeper in their psyches and pushes them to make the decisions they do.