Genre: Fiction

A CURSED EMBRACE by Cecy Robson

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: Publisher
This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
A CURSED EMBRACE by Cecy RobsonA Cursed Embrace by Cecy Robson
Series: Weird Girls #2
Published by Penguin on 2013-07-02
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback
Reviewed by Miranda

Celia Wird and her three sisters are just like other twentysomething girls—with one tiny exception: They are the products of a curse that backfired and gave each of them unique powers that made them, well, a little weird.... After Celia Wird and her sisters help master vampire Misha save his family, their powers are exposed to the supernatural community of the Lake Tahoe region. But fame comes at a price, and being “weird” isn’t always welcome. To make matters worse, Celia desires the love of Alpha werewolf Aric, but his pack is bent on destroying their relationship to preserve his pureblood status. And once weres start turning up dead—with evidence pointing to the vampires—she must face the prospect of losing Aric forever. But the chaos only masks a new threat. An evil known as the Tribe has risen—and their sights are set on Celia and her sisters.

Celia and her sisters have been exposed to the paranormal community. While Celia would like to take her relationship with werewolf alpha Aric to the next level his pack is none too happy.  They want to reserve his pureblood werewolf status and will do anything to convince Aric to dump Celia.

Another complication is hot vampire Misha who would love to call Celia his.  Danger comes calling and Celia is in trouble. Will Celia and her sisters be able to survive the latest foe out to get her? Which man will Celia end up with?

Cecy Robson’s A Cursed Embrace is an outstanding follow up to the first book in the Weird Girls series.  I cannot get enough of Celia, her sisters and her men.  While I am rooting for Celia and Aric I love the sexual tension between Celia and Misha.  Ms. Robson’s storytelling is topnotch! The plot flies fast and furious. I found myself so enthralled by A Cursed Embrace that I could not put the book down and finished it in one setting.  I will be counting down the days until the next book in this series releases! Thank you Cecy Robson for getting me excited about urban fantasy once again! Her characters are phenomenal!

RULE BREAKER by Lora Leigh

RULE BREAKER by Lora Leigh

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: Publisher
This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
RULE BREAKER by Lora LeighRule Breaker by Lora Leigh
Series:
Published by Penguin on 2014-02-04
Genres: Fiction, General, Romance
Pages: 448
Reviewed by Jo

There’s a fine line between animal instinct and human desire—and in her “highly erotic saga” (Fresh Fiction), #1 New York Times bestselling author Lora Leigh crosses it. Now, in her new novel of the Breeds, the mating heat continues... Lion Breed and enforcer Rule Breaker has just a few rules he doesn’t break. Not for anything. Not for anyone—like never have sex with a woman outside his own breed, especially a human woman. Especially someone too helpless, too fun loving and too full of life to ever be able to protect herself, let alone help him to protect her. If the damned animal inside him insists on a mate, then why pick her? A woman who is an easy target and who can be used as a weapon against him at any time. But what he suspects is mating heat may not be that at all. Just his animal instincts rioting, pacing, irritated whenever he's away from her. Okay, he can handle that. What ensues is a fiery affair that breaks all the rules of mating heat and will eventually endanger his mate with the very rules designed to protect the Breeds—for she’s possibly been working against them...

JoyfullyRecommended

 

Enforcer Rule Breaker is a lion breed with very strict rules for himself and one of his most important ones is to never, but never let himself mate.  Seeing the horrors that happened to his family in the labs is something that Rule will never forget and the reason he will never allow any woman to become that tied to him.  But there is one woman who Rule has been waiting for, just waiting until she was no longer a teen.  Now the time has come for Rule to act on the fierce attraction he feels for her and he knows for a fact she isn’t his mate because he has none of the known mating aspects.  Game on.

 

Gypsy Rum McQuade lost her childhood as a young teen when she watched her brother be killed while trying to save her from Council coyotes who were using her against him and ended up losing even more than that.  That night changed Gypsy’s life forever, now she has two lives – one in the dark shadows and one is the bright light of society.  Gypsy is determined to do everything she can to prove herself, for what and to whom only she will never admit even to herself.  Life has been hard enough lately but now she seems to have one hard and hot lion on her tail and he wants to play.

 

Rule’s instincts has had him spending the past several years protecting Gypsy as well he could, but somehow she still became the focal point in the semi-secret mission the Breeds are doing in the Navajo Nation in New Mexico. Rule knows that Jonas will do anything to protect and save his baby daughter’s life, even if it means using a woman he swore to protect years ago.  Gypsy can tell that something is afloat with the Breeds and even her friendship with many of them might not be enough to help her if the truth about what and whom she knows ever comes out.  Rule would lay down is life to find the answers to save Jonas’ daughter but not at Gypsy’s expense.  The lust that both Rule and Gypsy have been ignoring for years won’t be ignored any longer but just when ecstasy should have ruled the night, Rule discovers that maybe he didn’t know himself as much as he thought.  Even worse, his actions may have caused an insurmountable divide between him and Gypsy.  The answers that Jonas, Rule and the other Breeds have been hunting for in New Mexico are about to come out and they will bring about even more hurt and heart break before it’s all over. Relief, joy and happiness will greet some, while sorrow, betrayal and disbelief will await others – which side of the coin will Rule and Gypsy end up on or will they even be on the same side with it’s all over?

 

It’s a battle of the wits when an enforcer finally meets a will he can’t ignore any longer when passion bursts to life.  Rule Breaker shows Rule and Gypsy that sometimes you just can’t let past horrors determine the future.  My heart broke for Gypsy when I read about what changed her life when she was so young and what her life had become.  I have wondered for a while if Rule would ever meet a woman that would allow him to feel the intense love needed to mate and soothe his soul.  Once I saw them together, I knew that when Gypsy and Rule finally allowed themselves to accept what was between them it would be intense and would engulf them and I wasn’t wrong.  I have followed the mini arc that has been in the last several Breed books involving the Navajo Nation and the hunt to save Amber’s life.  So many answers were found in this book and yet I saw a few more threads that seemed to unravel just as others were knotted tightly.  The paths that Gypsy and Rule walked that lead them not only together but allowed them to still fight the good fight had me reading late into the night and yawning all the next day at work.  Rule Breaker is intense and playful, suspense and passion filled all while proving to two very stubborn people that some things just can’t be denied.

 

Ms. Leigh is pretty much an auto buy for me, but even saying that Rule and Gypsy’s story is the ultimate in moving along a story line while being hot enough to steam while you read it. Yes, you guessed it – I just knew that Rule Breaker would be a must read from me and also a Joyfully Recommended book.  I just know that it will be a story you won’t forget anytime soon.

RARELY PURE AND NEVER SIMPLE by Angel Martinez

RARELY PURE AND NEVER SIMPLE by Angel Martinez

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: Publisher
This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
RARELY PURE AND NEVER SIMPLE by Angel MartinezRarely Pure and Never Simple by Angel Martinez
Published by MLR Press on 2014-01-24
Genres: Fiction, Gay
Pages: 200
Reviewed by Lisa

A search for missing children throws a misanthropic human GPS and an obnoxious human torch together in a struggle to survive dangerous conpiracies and each other. Damien just wants to be left alone. Too bad his variant talent as a locator makes him the go-to contractor for the government's missing person cases. He can refuse, but it's not so easy when the missing are variant kids. Blaze Emerson is a sparker. People fear him as much for his ability to call fire as his obnoxious, violent temperament. He's good at what he does, though, and he's intrigued by the quiet man who can find people with his brain. Conspiracies, treachery, and wild rumors are only the start. First Damien and Blaze have to survive each other.

 

 

JoyfullyRecommended

By the year 2055 scientists wiped out neurological diseases by tampering with human DNA.  The resultant additional cell component was named Variance, considered a gift to the few who are born with special talents.  Of course, those same scientists didn’t mention that many of the Variants were born so deformed they didn’t survive their first day of life.  The Guild was set up to find careers for Variants that would benefit society.  Children who exhibited gifts went to special Academy schools.

 

Considered one of the most talented locators in the country, Damien Hazelwood is also one of the most damaged and broken of Variants.  Living off the grid Damien manages to get from one day to the next, barely at times.  He has asked the Guild to leave him in peace so Damien knows it must be bad news when they ask him for help.

 

Several dozen children are missing from an Academy, feared dead.  Usually Damien works alone, but this time he’s forced to allow a sparker to tag along.  Blaze Emerson is the complete opposite of the soft spoken locator.  He’s abrasive and rude, yet somehow the two click.  Investigating the children’s disappearances takes everything within Damien’s talent while at the same time Blaze has his arms full trying to keep them both alive.  This world is a dangerous place, innocent children are missing, and falling in love is the last thing Damien has time for.  Too bad, Blaze insists on finding the time.

 

Author Angel Martinez shapes an entirely new world to enjoy.  Diseases are gone for the most part leaving a completely new problem to deal with.  An intriguing twist.  Damien is literally the walking wounded, whereas Blaze is a total smartass who brings his locator back to life.  Rarely Pure and Never Simple treats the reader to a clever mix of futuristic tech surviving in savage lands.  Their adventure is fraught with death threats, tension, passion, and a few good laughs.  A story that you don’t want to see end, Rarely Pure and Never Simple invests readers in a complicated future.  I Joyfully recommend Rarely Pure and Never Simple.  With a tender happily ever after and soooo much more.

NORA ROBERTS LAND by Ava Miles

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: Publisher
This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
NORA ROBERTS LAND by Ava MilesNora Roberts Land by Ava Miles
Published by Createspace Independent Pub on 2013-06-24
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction
Pages: 376
Reviewed by Shayna

Journalist Meredith Hale's ex-husband claimed her Nora Roberts addiction gave her unrealistic expectations about marriage, and she believed him. All dreams of happily ever after or Nora Roberts Land as her mother calls it—went up in smoke. But when her family asks her to temporarily help their Dare Valley, Colorado newspaper, she decides it's time to change her life and prove her ex wrong. She's determined to find her own small-town Nora Roberts hero, prove that true love exists, and publish a story about her quest.War correspondent Tanner McBride has just returned stateside to work for a major newspaper, and the last thing he expects is blackmail. Yet, before he can even unpack, he's headed to Colorado. His assignment? Make his boss's ex-wife fall for him and then break her heart. Her article about discovering love à la Nora might air dirty laundry about her marriage to the media mogul, threatening his senate run. The mogul wants Meredith stopped, and he makes sure Tanner has no choice in the matter. When the two meet, the sparks between them are undeniable. Meredith, who vowed never to date another journalist, begins to succumb. Could Tanner be her Nora Roberts hero? As they work together to uncover the truth behind a suspicious death, the depth of their feelings unfolds and both realize they've kept their secrets for far too long. But before the truth can be revealed, their investigation takes a deadly turn, one that might make Meredith's personal Nora Roberts Land go up in flames.

Journalist Meredith Hale’s ex-husband, Rick, claimed her love for Nora Roberts novels caused their marriage to fall apart.  True love and happily ever after — aka Nora Roberts Land — simply don’t exist, or so he claimed.  Meredith’s not so sure.  Now single and armed with La Perla lingerie, Meredith trades in Manhattan for her hometown of Dare Valley.  Ostensibly, she’s helping out her father and grandfather by temporarily taking a position at her family’s newspaper.  But Meredith has a secret story in mind; she’s going to prove that Nora Roberts Land is real by finding her own small-town Nora Roberts hero.

 

Tanner McBride has finally come home after years working as a war correspondent.  But his new job at a Manhattan newspaper isn’t at all what he expected.  In fact, it’s not a job for a journalist at all.  Rick Sommerville, his new employer, wants Tanner to travel to Dare Valley, Colorado and ruin his ex-wife’s story.  Rick’s worried some of his past bad deeds will come out in Meredith’s story, so his solution is to for Tanner to make Meredith fall in love with him and then break her heart.  If Tanner doesn’t do as Rick says, his brother’s life will be ruined.  Caught between a rock and a hard place, Tanner travels to Dare Valley, determined to find a way out of the mess he finds himself in.  What he doesn’t expect is to fall for Meredith.

 

After her horrendous marriage, Meredith has no desire to date another journalist.  But when she and Tanner begin to investigate a suspicious death, the pull they feel toward one another becomes impossible to deny.  Could it be that Tanner is her real-life Nora Roberts hero?

 

Enter the world of Dare Valley with Nora Roberts Land.  Ava Miles’s debut novel is warm, funny, and wholly entertaining.

 

Meredith is a divorcée who’s been burned once and isn’t altogether sure how to start over when it comes to dating.  It was wonderful to watch Meredith learn how to put herself out there and open her heart once more.  It’s hard for her to trust Tanner in the beginning — even not knowing what his true reason for being in Dare Valley is — but I can’t blame her for falling for the sexy journalist.  Tanner’s handsome, caring, and intelligent; he’s definitely a good Nora Roberts-type hero and every bit the perfect man for Meredith.  As a pair, Meredith and Tanner are excellent and I was charmed by their romance.  Equally compelling was the plotline involving Meredith and Tanner’s investigation into a suspicious death.  Ms. Miles wove in an interesting suspense storyline here, one filled with twists and turns, some of which are sure to surprise readers as much as they shocked Meredith and Tanner.

 

It’d be impossible for me to write about Nora Roberts Land without mentioning the titular author.  I’ll admit the reason I picked up the book was because of the title.  I’m a huge Nora Roberts fan and fortunately Ms. Miles is as well.  I’d feel cheated if the title was simply a gimmick, but it’s not.  Ms. Miles shows true respect and affection for Ms. Roberts’s work and I absolutely loved all the references to Ms. Roberts’s characters and stories.  While Ms. Roberts is referenced often in Nora Roberts Land, make no mistake that this book is very much its own story.  Ms. Miles has created a fascinating and fun town in Dare Valley and I’m very much looking forward to continuing the series with Jill Hale’s book.

 

So if you’re looking to be spirited away by a lovely romance, take a trip to Ava Miles Land — you won’t regret it.

MIDNIGHT GAMES by Elle Kennedy

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: Publisher
This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
MIDNIGHT GAMES by Elle KennedyMidnight Games by Elle Kennedy
Published by Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated on 2013-08-06
Genres: Fiction, Suspense
Pages: 368
Reviewed by Shayna

She wears a thousand deadly identities. He sees through them all. A master of disguise, Isabel Roma spends her life pretending to be other women. Normally, her emotions are reined in tight?but sexy mercenary Trevor Callaghan has a knack for getting under her skin. The elite operative's quiet strength and raw magnetism affect her in ways she's never felt before, a distraction that can quickly turn deadly in their dangerous line of work. After putting his tragic past behind him, Trevor is ready to focus on his future?and he damn well intends for Isabel to be in it. When their entire operation is thrown into chaos, Trevor enlists Isabel's talent for deception. And as they attempt to save their team in a world where the stakes are high and the danger is grave, Trevor must convince Isabel that the woman beneath all the disguises is the one worth having....

Isabel Roma is a master chameleon.  As an ex-Fed with an unparalleled talent for disguises, Isabel can handle just about anything.  Anything but Trevor Callaghan.  For months, Isabel has been suppressing her desire for the hot-as-hell mercenary, but Trevor seems determined to break down every wall she puts up.

 

Having survived a terrible loss that nearly killed him, Trevor isn’t one to let the possibility of a future with Isabel pass him by.  He’s done dancing around their attraction to one another and when Isabel shows up at his team’s compound, Trevor sets out to seduce the woman who wears her disguises like a suit of armor.  But before he can take their relationship to the next level, the compound is attacked.  With their leader missing, Trevor and his team have no choice but to ask Isabel and her mercurial boss for help tracking down the men who have targeted them.  The stakes have never been higher or more personal for Trevor and Isabel, and their growing feelings for each other may cost them the mission…and their lives.

 

Midnight Games is as sexy as it is exciting.  Elle Kennedy hits all the right notes in this faced-paced, adrenaline-filled third installment to her outstanding Killer Instincts series.

 

Trevor and Isabel are definitely two of my favorite Elle Kennedy protagonists.  Trevor’s a tough, hot mercenary who knows how to make a woman melt.  He’s not perfect — in fact, he screws up a few times with Isabel — but he’s man enough to recognize and own up to his mistakes and I loved that about him.  As for Isabel, she’s the daughter of a mobster who works for a ruthless assassin, but she herself has a wonderfully open heart and hidden insecurities which tug at your emotions.  I loved the combination of strength and vulnerability in Isabel.  The relationship between Isabel and Trevor has been building since the first Killer Instincts book, Midnight Rescue, but that doesn’t mean that Ms. Kennedy makes things easy for them in Midnight Games.  That being said, it’s easy to root for Trevor and Isabel as a couple because they fit each other so well.

 

There’s action aplenty in Midnight Games, and most of it stems from the attack on the mercenaries’ compound.  This is the most personal mission to date in the Killer Instincts series and the emotion and intensity that are inextricably tied to Trevor and Isabel’s hunt for answers make the book almost impossible to put down.  From James Bond-style casino scenes to gritty action sequences, Ms. Kennedy keeps readers guessing as to what will happen next.  I won’t spoil the story by revealing too much, but suffice it to say I flat-out loved the twists and turns the story took; Ms. Kennedy definitely keeps readers on their toes.

 

Midnight Games is the third book in the Killer Instincts series, but you don’t have to have read Midnight Rescue or Midnight Alias in order to follow along (though I do recommend those books based on their own merits).  If you have enjoyed the first two stories, you’ll be delighted by the brief updates about Kane, Abby, Luke, and Olivia.  Trevor’s fellow bachelor mercenaries and a couple of Isabel’s assassin teammates play vital supporting roles in Midnight Games.  Once in a while, Trevor and Isabel get upstaged by the big personalities that surround them and the groundwork Ms. Kennedy lays for future stories.  I finished the book more eager than ever to learn more about former thief Juliet, rookie Ethan, quiet, menacing D, mercenary leader Jim Morgan, and Isabel’s boss, the “queen of assassins” Noelle.

 

Midnight Games is spellbinding romantic suspense.  Don’t miss this one!

IMMORTAL AFTER DARK by Lynsay Sands

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GUARDIAN by Nancy Northcott

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FOREVER by Jacquelyn Frank

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EXPOSED by Laura Griffin

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EVERYTHING FOR US by M. Leighton

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