Tuesday, September 25, 2007


After much consideration, I've joined my friends at Book Binge as a contributor. You can now find my reviews there. I'm very excited to be a part of Book Binge b/c they offer more than just reviews. They discuss topics that are very interesting and enlightening to me as a romance reader. I just posted my first review, so go check it out!

I haven't decided what to do w/ this blog yet. I'm thinking maybe about transitioning to a personal blog, but am still on the fence about that.

Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Edge of Midnight by Shannon McKenna

Book description:

Sean McCloud must protect the woman he has never stopped loving: Liv Endicott. Years ago, Sean had to send Liv Endicott away to save her life. Now he has tokeepher close, very close—for the same reason...

On the very day an arsonist burns down Liv's bookstore in a smalltown in theWashingtonmountains,she finds fate has anothershock in store for her. Amid the smoke, rubble, and tears, Sean McCloud appears, calling her name. He's every inch the man he always was—the man she kept on wanting. But wantingis not the same as trusting, and she doesn't dare let himget tooclose. Yet a ruthless killer is gunning for Liv, and she'll die unless they join forces to unearth a chilling truth—and come together in a blaze ofsearingpassion.

Page 287. What is that you ask? That is the page that I finally figured out that Kevin McCloud (Sean's twin brother) is still alive. Knock me over with an effing feather. Why? Well, I've been reading Shannon McKenna since her first book came out. Behind Closed Doors introduced the McCloud brothers. In all the subsequent McCloud books, it's always been a FACT that Kev McCloud was dead. D-E-A-D. Is the sky blue? Yup. Does the sun rise in the east? Yup. Is Kev McCloud dead? Yup. So while I was slow on the uptake here (as usual), I don't feel bad about it b/c it was so unexpected. For me anyway.

So we already know that McCloud brothers' dad, Eamon McCloud, was one paranoid mother-f-er. We find out a few more nice little tidbits, too. Such as the time that he tattooed Sean and Kevin's name on their thighs b/c they kept playing jokes on him. Or how he wouldn't take his kids to the dentist b/c he was afraid someone would put bugs (tracking device bugs) in their teeth. Yes, he was definitely a stellar father. Of course all of his kids now have some sort of fear that they will end up like the old man.

Sean gave up the love of his life fifteen years earlier so she would be safe. When Liv Endicott delivered a coded note from Kev, he couldn't take the chance that what Kev wrote could be true. Even though just about everyone thought Kev was looney like their father, Sean always had faith in his twin. He ran Liv off the only way he knew how. By being a total rat bastard and saying really mean things. Isn't that how they always run the women off?

Fast forward fifteen years. Liv has returned to Endicott Falls from Boston. Opening her own bookstore/cafe, Liv is finally on her own and loving it. When her bookstore is burned my an arsonist/stalker, she's shocked to find Sean McCloud arrive. Though her family and would-be fiancee try to convince her Sean is responsible, Liv knows better. In no time flat, Liv finds herself in bed with Sean. While it was a little fast to the sack for my taste, it was believeable b/c of the past these two had. Sean doesn't believe Liv is safe and he always follows his instincts. So he sneaks into her room at her parents' house to plant tracking devices all over her stuff. He didn't plan on having s-e-x with her. They never do, do they?

Secondary characters Miles and Cindy return. Miles is now a smokin' hot genius. Though I can't remember if Cindy was TSTL before, she is SOOOOOO TSTL in this book. O-M-G. This goes beyond what I can stomach.

Let me rewind for a minute so you can better understand the TSTL issue I have...

Sean and Liv go on the run after Liv is kidnapped by "T-Rex", who is her arsonist/stalker. Though intially clueless, T-Rex aka Gordon, spills his guts to Liv when he thinks he's about to kill her. Of course he didn't consider that Sean planted a tracking device on her and would arrive at any minute. Liv finds out that this is about Kev and how he was murdered. Everyone thought that Kev committed suicide b/c he was mentally ill. See, there was some sick frak doctor who loved experimenting on people's brains. Not just any brain would do, however. He needed extra smart brains. Which he found in Kev. Sean and Kev were both off the chart geniuses, though people rarely knew that about Sean b/c he never really "acted" like a genius (however geniuses act). So they start trying to decode Kev's sketch book which is supposed to probably lead them to some video tapes. Maybe.

Miles is working on something for Connor (Sean's brother). Seems there's some sicko that is luring really smart people away and then they disappear. He meets them on the internet, so Miles is pretending to be a smart girl. At this point they have no idea that this case and Kev's "death" are related. Enter TSTL Cindy. After overhearing Miles talking to Sean on the phone about one of Kev's old professors, she asks Miles what it's about. Miles tells her is none of her business, stay out of it, it's dangerous, blah di blah. After they almost get it on, Cindy decides she's going to show Miles she's more than a slutty piece of fluff [insert foot stomping here]. She goes to the professor's house and pretends to be a dumb ex co-ed (when she's really a TSTL ex co-ed). She realizes that she messed up soon enough. That night she stays at her sister's house (who is married to Connor) and someone breaks into her parents house. She finally fesses up to Connor and Miles about what she did. Does it end there? No, of course not. She decides that she's going to "disappear off the radar" by continuing Miles' case of the internet predator. She's going to show them she's not as stupid as she seems. Ha. That part really effing annoyed me. She went beyond TSTL.

Eventually they beat the bad guy and Sean leaves Liv again. He's afraid that he will kill her after what the sick frak doctor did to his brain. She just knows that this is the second time he's abandoned her, seemingly for her own good. He makes nice with her and they have make-up sex on the couch in her new shop.

3.5 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Dark Possession by Christine Feehan

Book Description:

Manolito De La Cruz discovers his lifemate only to hear she would never accept a male of the species. MaryAnn Delaney has been around the Carpathians for a little while now, and having met several of the men, she knows she would have a difficult time being a lifemate to any of them. She's a city girl, a counselor for women and she wants to go back to her home turf. Manolito was born and bred in the Carpathian mountains, but has lived in South America with his four brothers on their extensive cattle ranch. They are laws unto themselves, and have long ago taken on possessive, passionate and arrogant ways that only magnify the already dominant traits of their race. MaryAnn, modern city girl, is about to meet a rainforest predator.

I believe this is the 18th (or some such other crazy number) installment of Feehan's Dark series. This series has always been special to me because my first vampire/paranormal book was Dark Prince back in 2000. I remember being home with my son, who was born in September of that year and reading books faster than I could buy them. I was in the used bookstore and looking at this book thinking 'Vampires?'. Then I read the first few pages and thus began my love affair with Mikhail Dubrinsky. Through the years, there have been hits (Dark Prince, Dark Desire) and misses (Dark Symphony) for me. Honestly, how original can an author keep it after this many releases? Though I am a diehard fan, I definitely think that Feehan ought to consider winding the series down. Unless she can come up with some new meat.

Well, she tried (and somewhat succeeded) to do that in Dark Possession.

We first meet MaryAnn Delaney in Dark Destiny. She returns in Dark Celebration where she is unknowingly mated to Manolito De La Cruz. When Manolito dies by saving the life of Shea Dubrinsky (Dark Desire), MaryAnn has no idea the profound effect that it will have on her life. By the end of Dark Celebration, she is still totally clueless to the fact that she was mated to a Carpathian male (who she thinks are overbearing, arrogant, and pompous).

Fast foward to Dark Possession. Somehow Riordan and Juliette (whose book I don't remember) talk MaryAnn into coming to South America to help Juliette's sister, Jasmine (who I vaguely remember), after she was kidnapped and held by the jaguar people. MaryAnn has the unique ability to help people, which is why she's a counselor. Unfortunately MaryAnn finds herself depressed and unable to help for the first time in her life. Looking at the situation as a counselor, MaryAnn knows that she's clinically depressed, but she can't understand why. She refuses to believe she's depressed over the death of a man she only saw from a distance. It doesn't matter that she's cried buckets of tears over the death of Manolito.

When Riordan and Juliette tells MaryAnn that Manolito is still alive, her heart believes it even if her head tells her it can't be true. Apparently Feehan has divised a way to bring people back from the dead. There's a world between alive and dead and that's where Manolito is. He's really effed up because he can't remember anything. All he knows is that MaryAnn is his lifemate and she isn't there. In the soul world, the vampires insidious whispering cause him to doubt himself and MaryAnn. Talking of joining the ranks of the vampire and having endless power, Manolito finds himself weak. Not that he wants to join the vampires of course, just that he doesn't think anything is worth fighting for without his lifemate.

Eventually Manolito and MaryAnn reunite and there is an explosion of chemistry, which is very Feehan-like. Lots of sex, of course. Possessive jealously from Manolito. Confusion from MaryAnn. Exactly what you expect when you read about Carpathians. I did giggle a little bit over Feehan's descriptions of a woman's va-jay-jay. I really hate flowery descriptions (unless it's a historical), especially considering how "earthy" these books are supposed to be. I mean, they're getting down and dirty in the jungle, fcol.

Feehan reintroduced the Jaguar shapeshifters, who have always intrigued me. She hasn't written a Jaguar book since Wild Rain. Personally, I think she's overdue. She also introduced a new species into the series. What you ask? Werewolves. Yes, you read that right. The Werewolves are the only other species that can bring absolute destruction to the Carpathian people. Though they were allies, over time they separated and lived their own lives. Eventually the werewolves disappeared off Carpathian radar.

I'm sure you can already guess why this is important. MaryAnn is a werewolf. Of course she has no idea. I figured it out though. A page before it was revealed. LMAO. When I think back, that fact all but smacks you in the face throughout the book. Since MaryAnn didn't know, Manolito didn't know which meant that she was unknowingly converting Manolito everytime he fed from her. Then the arrogant ass has the gall to blame that on her. *snort*

I think that Dark Possession infused the Dark series with a much needed and long overdue new life. It was seriously lagging. I really thought this was a good addition to the series.

4 out of 5 stars.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Reviews Up Next

Sometimes when I start a review, my thoughts just don't flow. That makes the review sound all choppy. When that happens, I decide to come back to said review at a later date. The problem is that I don't come back. Or that by the time I do, I don't even remember the h/h names. Pathetic, isn't it?

So here are the reviews I'm going to be putting up soon:

Dark Possession by Christine Feehan (today)
Wicked Magic by Cheyenne McCray
White Lies by Jayne Ann Krentz

I also really want to do the Joey W. Hill reviews. I never thought I'd enjoy the BDSM storyline, but she is a fantastic author who writes extremely well.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Missing by Jasmine Cresswell

Book description:

For twenty-five years, multimillionaire businessman Ron Raven played the loving husband and father— to two very different households. But when Ron disappears, his deception is revealed. Now both families are left with questions, while the man who holds the answers is...MISSING.

Megan Raven is desperate to save her mother's Wyoming ranch, used as collateral on a three-million-dollar loan—money that disappeared with Ron. Worse, the loan is being called in by Georgia bank manager Adam Fairfax—brother to Ron's other wife.

Brought together by their families' turmoil, Megan and Adam head south of the border in search of the missing millions. But what they find is a whole new web of lies, secrecy and greed.

I've been a long-time fan of Jasmine Cresswell. When I first read The Daughter, I was a fan for life. That book is in my Top 10 favorite books of all time. I think it's been about 2 years since Cresswell has released a book. Her website said that she was working on a trilogy that was going to be released consecutively, starting in September. It just seemed to take for-evah.

A bigamy plot is a hot button for me. I've only enjoyed one book with this storyline and I think it was because it showed a POV from the bigamist himself. While I still abhorred what he did, it was heart breaking b/c of how many people were hurt, including the bigamist. Mostly I just wonder how the freaking freak an author actually tries to convince the reader that both wives had no idea that the husband was getting it on with someone else, let alone have a separate life all together. In this case, one of the wives finally admits to herself that she had an idea he was having an affair. Honestly, what woman would actually consider that their husband married another woman? Anyway, see how I get going when I get on this topic? LOL


When police found Ron Raven missing from his Miami hotel room, they were relatively certain that he met with foul play. If the broken furniture, cut up matress, and missing man didn't clue them in, the blood did. When they went to notify his family, they found something interesting. Two wallets, two Blackberries, two cell phones. This is a little off topic, but who carries a Blackberry AND a cell phone? Anyway, the police sent info to both Wyoming and Illinois, the states in which Ron had a drivers license. After that, the shiznit hit the fan. Both wives (and their respective children) were horrified to find out that their loving, near perfect husband and father was not only dead, but a bigamist as well. Not to mention that he had been married to both of them for over 20 years. Honestly. Are you freaking kidding me?

To make matters worse, good 'ol Ron borrowed 3 million dollars against his first (and legal) wife's ranch for a "business" venture. As if Ron wasn't fucked up enough, he borrowed it from the bank that his second wife's brother owns. Ron enjoyed screwing with people, even if only he knew what he was doing. So he really enjoyed pulling one over on his brother-in-law. When he was presumed dead, his brother-in-law, Adam Fairfax, decided to call in the loan. He wanted to stick one to Ron's first family because it's their fault that their husband/dad was a cheating loser.

Anyway, Megan Raven (daughter of his first wife) takes her plea to Adam to give her a chance to find the money. The Wyoming ranch has been in her mother's family for years and it would devestate her to lose it, especially now. She eventually talks him into working with him.

Chaos ensues.

If it's not bad enough that they owe the money to Ron's "other" family, Megan and Adam are instantly attracted to each other. Of course they both know that nothing can ever come of it, but true love will not be denied. Together they travel to Mexico and after the missing money.

As the 1st of the trilogy, the ending is kind of murky. With assassins after them, a murderous uncle, and their distrust and lust for each other, it is an action packed book. This book was really good as I was reading it and I found that I couldn't put it down. Of course, I was in an airport at the time, so there was nothing else I could have done. It was only as I was starting the review that I realized how laughable some of the book was. Maybe I'm just cynical today.

3 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Caressed by Ice by Nalini Singh

Book description:

As an Arrow, an elite soldier in the Psy Council ranks, Judd Lauren was forced to do terrible things in the name of his people. Now a defector, his dark abilities have made him the most deadly of assassins—cold, pitiless, unfeeling. Until he meets Brenna…

Brenna Shane Kincaid was an innocent before she was abducted—and had her mind violated—by a serial killer. Her sense of evil runs so deep, she fears she could become a killer herself. Then the first dead body is found, victim of a familiar madness. Judd is her only hope, yet her sensual changeling side rebels against the inhuman chill of his personality, even as desire explodes between them. Shocking and raw, their passion is a danger that threatens not only their hearts, but their very lives…

First, I have to say that I am SO HAPPY that Nalini stayed true to the person that she created Judd to be. That was my fear with this book, that to make Judd into hero material, she would have to change things about him that shouldn't have been changed. That didn't happen AND he was still a great hero. So much so that I want him for myself. Just like I wanted Lucas. And Vaughn. *sigh*

Obviously we learn a lot more about Judd's life in the PsyNet and his time as an Arrow. His Psy designation is Tk-Cell which is one of the most deadly designations out there. Apparently the Psy Scientists think that for every child that is born of this designation, there was some sort of mutation in utero. So not only can Judd move things with his mind, he can also regenerate cells or stop things from doing what they're supposed to do. Say like the heart. He can stop the heart from beating. With no more than a thought. Judd is one deadly mofo. The good thing about that is that he knows it. So when he starts to actually feel things for Brenna, he pulls waaay back. Too bad she's a wolf who won't take no for an answer.

I really felt oh-so bad for Brenna in StS. I still cry when I re-read it and Sascha is trying to talk her into coming out of unconciousness. So even though I totally felt for her, I had doubts that she would be a strong enough heroine so soon. Why do I even doubt the genius that is Nalini Singh? I mean, really. She portrayed Brenna as the victim who wouldn't give into fear. The fear that Santano Enrique did something so vile to her that she was now like him. After a particularly horrific nightmare, Brenna soon finds out that she witnessed the murder of her own packmate. Not only that, but in her dream, she enjoyed every bloody minute. Needless to say, this freaks Brenna out a bit. The only person she feels she can turn to for the truth is Judd Lauren. After being coddled for months by her brothers and her pack, Judd is the only one that doesn't show her sympathy. Though she is somewhat turned off by his emotionless facade, she is also strengthened by his belief that Enrique didn't turn her into the same monster he was.

I loved the build up of Brenna and Judd's relationship. While Sascha was literally silenced by Silence, it was different for Judd. Silence enables him to keep his emotions completely contained so there are no oopsies. Oopsies like people dying. Stuff like that. So even though Judd wants Brenna, he's not willing to sacrafice her life for his wants. *sigh* Awwwww. Actually imagine a man that wouldn't put himself first. Judd is physically attracted to Brenna, but he literally can't touch her without causing himself pain. That pain is supposed to remind him who he is and what he can do. See, if he has an orgasmic orgasm, he could actually kill Brenna in his excitement. So you see why he would be a little leery of sex. Oh and did I mention he's a virgin? LOL. Even though I technically figured that (yes, I actually figured that out), it still was a surprise because he's soooo alpha. Oh and when they actually do make it to bed, he's like an 11 out of 10.

Of course there was more to the story than the romance between Judd and Brenna. Though Judd and his family defected, Judd is still loyal to the Psy race. He really believes that there is a need for Silence for some Psy, but not for others. When he is contacted by a Psy he only knows as "The Ghost" and told about Protocol I (yes, it's as bad as it sounds), Judd agrees to help TG destroy the lab and research that would take Silence to a whole new level. There's also some insight into the new Councilor, Kaleb K-somethingorother. It seems that he's as evil as they come, but I wouldn't be surprised if he was The Ghost or some other double Psy agent.

Nalini did such a fantastic job with this book. It's days later and I am still thinking about how great it was. Six months really isn't that long, but it can't get here soon enough.

5 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Die For Me by Karen Rose

Book description:

The first victim is found in a snow-covered Philadelphia field. Detective Vito Ciccotelli enlists the aid of archaeologist Sophie Johannsen to determine exactly what lies beneath the frozen ground. Despite years of unearthing things long buried, nothing can prepare Sophie for the matrix of graves dug with chilling precision. The victims buried there haunt her. But the empty graves terrify her-the killer isn't done yet.

He is cold and calculating, the master of a twisted game. Even with Vito and Sophie hot on his trail, he will not stop. One more empty grave must be filled, and one last scream must be heard-the scream of an archaeologist who is too close for comfort and too near to resist...

I luuuuuurve Karen Rose. I picked up her first book, Don't Tell on a whim. Since then, I've been a RFG of hers.

I met Karen for the second time in Dallas. We chatted about Die For Me and she said that the villain was her evilest one yet. Though I luuuuuurve Karen, I have to respectfully disagree. To this day, I still think her most evil villain is Rob Winters from Don't Tell. There was just something about him that can still make me shudder even when I re-read the book for the 20th time. Not saying that this villain wasn't evil, but he didn't take the cake.

Vito Ciccotelli (from You Can't Hide) thought his day couldn't get any worse. I mean, seriously. All he wanted to do was go visit the grave of the woman he loved and lost. Instead, he finds himself at a mass grave where they have no idea how many victims there are. All he does know is that the likelihood that there is more than one is high. That's when archaeologist Sophie Johannsen is called into the fun. It's actually pretty funny how they first met. Vito thought Sophie was a college student (he picked her up at a local college) and that she was hitting on him. Heee. Of course when he realizes who she is, he's even more attracted to her yet determined to keep his distance.

Sophie finds more than one grave. The scary thing is that there are several empty graves. Though both her and Vito figure that her work with them is done, he has to call on Sophie's knowledge of medeival torture devices. This shit is wack. Creepy. Evil. *shudder* It's been over a week since I've read this book and it still gives me the creeps. A chair of nails. A "stretcher" (exactly what it sounds like).

So while Vito and Sophie are trying to figure out what drives this guy, he's picking out more victims. Picking them out from acting/modeling websites that are looking for work, he pretends to be a documentary filmmaker who needs actors. Then he kidnaps, tortures, and kills them. Why? Well, he's an artist. He captures the moment of death, but has no one to share it with. Poor guy. The only way he can get around this travesty is by getting hired as a graphics designer for a company that designs video games. His graphics have made the game (and company) wildly popular and successful. The owner of the company wants more, more, more. Simon is happy to oblige.

Meanwhile, down in Georgia, an agent named Daniel (totally blanking on the last name) is trying to track his parents down. Though it seems very strange going from Philidelphia to Georgia, Karen ties it together quite nicey. Daniel realizes that no one has seen his parents for months. Though he himself hasn't been in contact with his parents for years, as a Judge, it is very odd for his father to be out of contact for very long. Eventually he follows the trail to Philidelphia where he believes that his mother was being treated for cancer. He didn't expect to find the family skeltons that he thought were long buried.

The relationship between Vito and Sophie was built quite believeably. Sophie is extremely wary of relationships after being burned when she was a grad student. Though 10 years removed from the situation, Sophie still recalls the heartache she felt when she realized that she was used by her own professor. What was somewhat annoying is that though Sophie was a capable, highly intelligent woman, she still believed that Vito would believe the horrible lies that were spread about her. As soon as she had to put Vito in contact with said professor, she was absolutely sure that Vito would judge her like everyone else did. So obviously Sophie has issues which interferes with her ability to have a relationship with Vito. That's okay though, 'cuz Vito has issues of his own. Does he ever.

In between the search for the killer, Karen finds enough time to bring in the Ciccotelli family. Rather than bogging the book down, it lightens it up when it almost gets too morbidly dark to handle. When Vito's sister-in-law has a stroke, Vito finds his house taken over by his four nephews and his sister, Tess. It was nice to revisit Tess and see her interact with her family, especially her father. Oh and Vito's brothers? Dino, Tino, and Gino? She even makes it so it doesn't seem completey ludicrious. LOL.

Even with all that, there was still something that was missing. I can't put my finger on what it was, but it was enough that I can't give this book five stars. Every book prior (except Have You Seen Her?) has been above a 5 star rating. Like nothing can compare.

4.5 out of 5 stars.