Friday, December 23, 2011

Francesca Hawley, Alpha vs. Alpha

Title:  Alpha vs. Alpha
Author:  Francesca Hawley
Rating:  Five Siren Stones

Genre:  Paranormal Romance
Keywords:  Shape-Shifter
Length:  Novella     
ISBN E-Book:  978-1419936234
Price:  $4.45
Publisher:  Ellora’s Cave
Reviewer:  Cia

Alpha female Serena Goldwolf has spent a lifetime vowing never to be a submissive mate to any Alpha male. But all it takes is one surprisingly sexual meeting with Damien Blackwolf, a dissatisfied client of her shapeshifter dating site, and she’s down on all fours, wanting to be mounted by the hottest male on two legs—or four—whom she’s ever met.

Damien Blackwolf doesn’t understand why the voluptuous Serena won’t admit they’re True Mates. To convince her, he decides to bring out her baser desires by dragging her off to someplace private to get to know her…intimately. But how can he convince her of their destiny when she runs away from him? Guess he’ll just have to hunt her down and persuade her.

In a passionate battle of wills, there most definitely can be two winners.

Publisher’s Note: Previously published elsewhere but has been revised and expanded for Ellora’s Cave.

Alpha vs. Alpha by Francesca Hawley was one powerful read.  Heat and magnetism jumped off the pages.  I loved Serena’s call it like it is sexy, dominating personality offset by Damien’s very alpha attitude.  Seeing them go toe to toe felt very real and intense.  I literally wanted to grab a spray bottle to douse myself off with.  The red hot sex set off my internal alarms for near system melt down on the laptop.  I loved that she ran a dating service and that he was a partner in a law firm.  Those two careers were meant to collide!  Serena handled her workers well including that of a meddling family member who needed to be handed his ass…literally.  Serena had her soft moments though they didn’t shine near as much as her bossy side, her internal strife regarding mating and how to find balance with a mate made me sigh.  Damien’s fortitude in giving her space made me smile.  I enjoyed every piece of this story and would recommend it to anyone who wants a super-nova hot read with a great plot.

Desiree Holt, Bedroom Eyes

Title:  Bedroom Eyes
Author:  Desiree Holt
Rating:  Siren's Best Book Stone

Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Keywords:  Navy SEAL, Masked Ball, Skin Deep Series 
Length:  Short Novel     
ISBN E-Book:  978-1419935725
Price:  $5.20
Publisher:  Ellora’s Cave
Reviewer:  Cia

Part of the Skin Deep series.

Bridget Reilly has lived her entire life using dark glasses to hide her deformed eyelids. But she also hides her real self, working a dead-end job and locking herself away from any social life. In secret she lusts for her next-door neighbor, Navy SEAL Clay Randall, a lust unexpectedly fed during an electrical blackout.

When a masked ball provides the opportunity for her to have an entire night of glorious, unrestrained, erotic sex with Clay, how can she ignore it? The night more than exceeds all her expectations and now she wants to find a way to have a real relationship with him, without the mask. She applies to the Durban Trust, a fund set up by a former movie star to provide plastic surgery, and the surgery is successful. But what she hadn’t counted on was Clay’s reaction when she revealed all to him—and the wedge it would drive between them.

Bedroom Eyes by Desiree Holt led me into a heartfelt story of a young woman struggling with self-image caused by the cultivation of years of cruel words, looks and the way people react to disfigurement.  Bridget deserves her shinning night and no one was happier than I when she found a way to live her life’s greatest desire even if she went about it in an underhanded way.  I both understood her need for her faceless identity and felt sad that she couldn’t trust Clay with her secret need to hide herself away.  I loved the foundation that helped her and the words of wisdom that came her way that all might not turn out as she planned.
Clay grabbed me from the start.  I love those who protect our country and he was a top of the line perfect hero for this heroine, even though she didn’t see it at the time.  I knew deep down what she considered her disfigurement wouldn’t have made him turn from her.  I’d loved to have seen him hold her hand during the procedure and to know that there’s more to love than what’s physical.  Their connection in that one night of passion and their reconnection proved that chemistry is based on just more than what can be seen with the bare eye.  Lord for a moment I thought he wouldn’t forgive her and my heart just plummeted.  This story made me cry, made me laugh and exhausted me, but it’ll be a memorable one.  I can’t wait to read the next instalment of the Skin Deep series.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Carys Weldon, Candy's Kisses

Title:  Candy's Kisses
Author:  Carys Weldon
Rating:  Three And A Half Siren Stones

Genre:  Erotic Romance
Keywords:  Scarlet Rose 
Page Count:  400     
ISBN E-Book:  1-60154-993-8
Price:  $7.00
ISBN for Print:  978-1601549938
Price:  $16.99
Publisher:  The Wilder Roses
Reviewer:  Nikki

City girl Candy Merrill can't see herself falling for a country bumpkin. But her best friend’s cousin, Levi Bishop is hard to resist in his tight jeans and country charm. This has to be lust at first sight…because it couldn’t possibly be love.

It’s been a long time since Levi has kissed a woman as sweet as candy. And this Candy is looking for a guy who can kiss her socks off. Levi's never been afraid of a challenge. But after one kiss, he's hooked on sweets. Now he’ll just need to get Candy to see past their differences and show her she needs him for more than kisses.

Opposites can attract.  They can fall in love.  They can easily get past the lust and needing something physical to actually maintain a relationship.  Sure, it's possible.  Is it a long road of compromises and soul searching?  Absolutely.
Candy and Levi are as different as night and day.  Neither one is sure about the other, but after being pushed together on a blind date, they had to give it a whirl. Yes, the sparks are there, but the hesitance (at least in Candy's case) is there when it comes to thinking in the long term.  She loves the city, and Levi....well, doesn't.
Candy's Kisses is fun, erotic, and all around a great read.  The beginning didn't hold much attention for me, but after a few chapters, I was able to get more emotionally invested in the book.  I wanted to see where this would go.  The cover and title really grabbed me and after all was said and done, I'm glad I picked up the story to read.
If you like a story with opposites as the hero and heroine and enjoy erotic romances, then don't think twice about getting some of Candy's Kisses

Sharon De Vita, The Estrogen Posse

Title:  The Estrogen Posse
Author:  Sharon De Vita
Rating:  Four Siren Stones

Genre:  Comedy
Sub-Genre:  Mystery
Keywords:  Mystery, Humor
Word Count:  125,000     
ISBN E-Book:  978-1-61937-059-3
Price:  $5.99
Publisher:  Musa Publishing
Reviewer:  Nikki

Tagline:  "The Estrogen Posse is a hoot! I laughed, I cried, I couldn't put it down! For every woman who needs a pick me up, this is the book for you!” 
Janet Evanovich, NYT bestselling author of the Sephanie Plum mystery series

Once upon a time Ellie Briotti had a quiet life as a suburban housewife. Until… she confronts her wealthy husband Nicky about doing the pecker polka with another woman, and Nicky tosses Ellie out of his life like some misbehaved household pet. Until… Gram Crackers, her dotty mother begins passing out house keys to homeless bums. Until… Joey, her eleven-year old son starts on a new career path: breaking and entering. Until… Rina, her best friend, a single, successful, entrepreneur learns she's about to become a mother. Until… Candi, Nicky's 22-year-old mistress turns up murdered with traces of furniture polish on her bare backside! A rip-roaring ribald mystery about a woman’s journey to discover what she really wants in life. Now, if Ellie can keep her son from becoming a second-story man, while trying to hide everything from the gorgeous cop who’s started sniffing around, Ellie might be able to get a new life. That is—if she doesn’t go to jail for murder first!

A blast of humor, a dash of mystery, and a pinch or two of romance, The Estrogen Posse is a romp of fun!  The characters are so quirky and unique, and the plot is filled with action and drama.  Sharon De Vita writes with such humor and spunk that this book was hard to put down.  The author really put a lot of time into the characters because I felt various emotions for each of them, depending on the scene.
The book revolves around Ellie, and what a heroine she is.  Despite being faced with life altering events, she holds herself well and has to learn to adapt and deal. The cast of people around her help bring this story to life and make it charming.
This is one of the most refreshing books I've read in awhile.  If you love genre's blended into one great novel, then don't miss The Estrogen Posse

Bess McBride, Across the Winds of Time

Title:  Across the Winds of Time
Author:  Bess McBride
Rating:  Four And A Half Siren Stones

Genre:  Fantasy 
Sub-Genre:  Time Travel Romance
Keywords:  Faery Rose, Sweet
Page Count:  308     
ISBN E-Book:  1-60154-970-9
Price:  $6.75
ISBN for Print:  978-1601549709
Price: $14.99
Publisher:  The Wild Rose Press
Reviewer:  Nikki

While on a genealogical research journey through the Midwest, Molly Hamilton impulsively buys a 100-year-old Victorian house in the middle of a cornfield, and falls in love with the house’s owner...the original owner, that is. Can he be a ghost? The handsome, intriguing attorney certainly feels solid—and somehow her soul knows she has always loved him.

Darius Ferguson has no idea how he has come to present-day Iowa. The last thing he knew, the year was 1880, and he had just buried his fiancée, who happens to look exactly like Molly. He cannot separate the two women in his heart—to him, they are one.

In spite of being drawn to him, Molly thinks Darius is unhinged. Darius wonders if he has joined his fiancée in purgatory. If time travel is possible, will love be enough to build a future together?

Across the Winds of Time is one of those stunning time travel stories that makes the reader believe in magic.  The laws of reality have been challenged, as Molly and Darius find their paths to love.
Intriguing and fast paced, I enjoyed this book greatly.  I didn't want to do anything else.  My mind came racing back to this book, needing to know what would happen next.  Bess McBride created such lively characters and a plot that is full of twists and turns.  The book is in first person, featuring the heroine, Molly.  With a cast of characters that are unforgettable, this book stole my heart, left me with a smile on my face.
If you're a fan of time travel romances, then I'd suggest getting a copy of Across the Winds of Time.  I want to know what else Ms. McBride has to offer.  I'm a new fan! 

Lillian Duncan, Pursued

Title:  Pursued
Author:  Lillian Duncan
Rating:  Four And A Half Siren Stones

Genre:  Inspirational Romantic Suspense
Keywords:  Sweet, Lawyer, Farmer 
Page Count:  270     
ISBN E-Book:  978-1-61116-093-2
Price:  $5.99
ISBN for Print:  978-1-61116-092-5
Price:  $13.99
Publisher:  White Rose Publishing
Reviewer:  Nikki 

Reggie’s a big city lawyer and Dylan’s a country farmer. In the normal course of events, their lives would never intersect but some accidents just aren't meant to be avoided. When Reggie crashes into Dylan, it makes a bad day even worse or so she thinks. Dylan, on the other hand, is intrigued by the feisty lady lawyer and wrangles a way to spend a bit more time with her by offering to drive her home after the accident. And so the journey that will change both their lives begins…
One could say Reggie is having a bad day.  How was she to know things were only going to get worse from there?  On a good note, Dylan, the man she's collided with in an accident, is kind enough to stay by her side.
From there the two are taken on the ride of their lives.  Someone is after Reggie, and they seem to stop at nothing to mark her for death.
Wrapped up in plenty of suspense, Pursued delivers a whirlwind of action in a chaotic chain of events.  I felt for Reggie and Dylan.  Dylan's character is unbelievably amazing, for him to stick around for someone he's barely met, let alone the person who caused the accident.
I enjoyed this thrilling story very much.  Lillian Duncan delivers a wild ride that grips you by the heart and leaves you breathless as you anticipate the next move. Don't miss this great novel! 

Suzanne Rock, Unholy Pursuits

Title:  Unholy Pursuits
Author:  Suzanne Rock
Rating:  Three And A Half Siren Stones

Genre:  Paranormal Romance
Keywords:  FBI Agent
Length:  Novel     
ISBN E-Book:  978-1419936746
Price:  $5.95
Publisher:  Ellora’s Cave
Reviewer:  Kristin Boyd

Darien let his guard down once, and Arianne stole the demon stone from under his nose. Now he has to get it back, no matter what the cost. It doesn’t matter that the feisty redhead calms the voices in his head, or that her body tempts him beyond reason. Only the stone will ensure his survival. He decides to appeal to her feminine side and use gentle seduction to get it back. As he begins, something inside him changes and the voices in his head compel him to use pain to heighten desire.

As Darien’s touch turns dark, Arianne’s lust escalates and a connection forms between them. Yet despite her need, she can’t let the sexy FBI agent have what he wants. If placed in the wrong hands, the stone would release an unholy force intent on destroying everything she loves—including Darien.

If only he wasn’t so persuasive…

Arianne wants nothing more than to prove herself to her sister and her people. The survival of her species depends on her stopping the deahmon Lord, Bathin, from once again converging upon Celestial Wood and killing the Iatros.  The Iatros are protectors of the portal from Hell to Earth, thus keeping earth and her home, Celestial Wood, safe from Demonic rule.  She would do anything to protect the Iatros and the portal, even if it means mating with somebody who rejects the idea of bonding with her.  If she succeeds, she will be able to establish herself as a figure of strength and worth and validate her decision to turn her back to a life of royal comfort in favor of the life as a guard and warrior.  If she fails, death is imminent.  Her death, the death of her beloved mate, and the death of her people. In the beginning of the story, Arianne is written as strong, skilled, quick thinking fighter.  As the book progresses, her strengths are not built on and she seems to lose some of her character.
Darien is a charismatic but hardened FBI agent.  Great at his job, he is loyal to his purpose as well as his team.  His strong will keeps him from heeding Arianne's advice not to cross the portal into Hell where he is tortured by Bathin for months. While in Hell, his inner deahmon is awakened and strengthened because he touches the stone.  The one thing that keeps him from giving up is Arianne. Throughout the story, his connection to her is established and reinforced.  While he is in Hell, it is her image that keeps him fighting for his life, once he returns it is her touch that allows him to control the demon within.  Like Arianne, he has the drive to prove himself.  Their goal of destroying the stone, and ultimately Bathin, is the same.  Their ideas of accomplishing this task are very different.  He must learn to compromise and give himself over to Arianne mind, body, and soul.
The existence of a race and the security of Earth are on the line as these two individuals join forces to battle the evil that is Bathin and the deahmon race.  The chemistry between Arianne and Darien is unmistakable and the passion they share both sexually and in the pursuit of realizing their goals keeps the reader engaged.  Although I enjoy the tension the author builds and the descriptive scenarios of bondage and love making, I found myself flipping through pages in order to get back to the plot of the book.  The scales were tipped in favor of impassioned love making scenes where plot could have been thickened and character development could have taken place.  There just didn't seem to be balance.  A great book for the reader who enjoys erotic fantasy, a decent book for the reader who prefers action and adventure with amativeness woven in.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tricia Jones, Bull at the Gate

Title: Bull at the Gate

Author: Tricia Jones

Rating: Three And A Half Siren Stones

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Keywords: Champagne Rose, Sensual

Page Count: 250

ISBN E-Book: 1-60154-975-X

Price: $6.00

ISBN for Print: 978-1601549754

Price: $12.99

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press


Reviewer: Nikki


Alexander “Bull” McKinley’s reputation as a hard-nosed businessman is tested when an old Fairy Gate and local superstition stand in the way of a lucrative development contract. Alex has his hands full trying to convince the villagers to play ball, without the unexpected—and definitely unwanted—attraction to the feisty redhead leading the revolt.

Dee Ashman detests those who put profit before people, and she’s damned if an arrogant, insensitive and, okay, wildly attractive capitalist is going to destroy the symbolic heart of the village and break her beloved grandmother’s heart.

But they cannot deny the desire that burns between them nor the unleashed passion neither can resist.


Dee is a woman who is standing up for what she believes in. Currently, that is trying to get developers to leave a legendary Fairy Gate where it is. The gate is important to the people in her village, including her grandmother.

Alexander is the one trying to convince the villagers. They're not budging. They want to leave the Fairy Gate. I'm not fond of Alex for most of the book. He's one of those money hungry people that doesn't care about what others feel about landmarks. He just acts businesslike.

Dee's best friend is pushing her towards dating Alex. I don't find that very realistic, because why would a friend push her towards a man who is going against what she believes? I don't understand that thinking at all.

Other than that, the story is enjoyable. The tension is definitely there, as the pair stands on opposing sides of thinking. How are they going to resolve the biggest issue that could keep them apart? Bull at the Gate is a good contemporary story. If you enjoy contemporaries with plenty of conflict and tension, then don't miss out on Bull at the Gate.