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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Review: The Awakening

By Samantha Sommersby

The past two months have been the longest of Byron Renfield’s three hundred and seventy-nine years. After almost four centuries of dedicated service to his clan, four centuries spent in the pursuit of redemption, the powerful vampire did the inexplicable and unforgivable. In an impulsive act of passion he claimed the beautiful Violet Deeds, a human, as his mate.

When Violet found herself stranded on a remote island occupied by the charismatic Byron she never imagined that she would be saving him, but the fiery red-headed psychologist did just that – bringing the immortal to life and introducing him to love.

Now, afraid of retribution from his clan and afraid for Violet’s safety, Byron takes steps to protect them both. But will it be enough? Irrevocably bound together, as the tie between Byron and Violet strengthens they step into one another’s worlds, awakening long buried desires and threatening the balance of society and nature.

A kidnapping, and underground world of rebel vampires, an elaborate network of elite clansmen led by an ageless prophet, and a rescue mission that will keep you on the edge of your seat all come together perfectly in this thrilling sequel to Samantha Sommersby’s Forbidden: The Claim. An erotic romance you won’t be able to put down, Forbidden: The Awakening will have you begging for more.

Forbidden: The Awakening is the second installment of Samantha Sommersby’s intriguing new take on the vampire tale. We were first introduced to Byron and Violet in Forbidden: The Claim and let me say that I was anxious to pick up where that story left off. While The Claim was more of a tease to get your interest piqued in the coming story, The Awakening grabs hold of your imagination and doesn’t let go, even as the last page is turned.

We return to Byron and Violet’s story as Byron is finally able to rejoin Violet after a two-month long separation. Byron had previously sent Violet away in order to protect her from the possible, if not almost guaranteed, consequences of their mating. He has been working hard to put all the pieces in place in hopes of guaranteeing Violet’s and, by nature of their mating, his own safety. Their reunion is poignant, but their happiness is short-lived as the very people they are trying to be free from find them. The danger that has been circling them closes in and the story gallops along at a fast pace.

Although there is suspense and intrigue as Byron and Violet fight for their love and the chance to have a life together, Samantha Sommersby still manages to inject moments of levity with her intriguing cast of supporting characters who I find myself absolutely adoring. Our hero is also led along on a journey of discovery and redemption as he reevaluates his previous beliefs and starts to form his own values that are contradictory to those he had been taught his whole life. These realizations come as he fights to protect the woman he loves and the future he realizes he needs to survive.

As I said previously, this book was fabulous and a definite page-turner. Samantha Sommersby has a real talent for suspense and intrigue without losing the poignant love story in the process. This one is definitely a keeper and I find myself eagerly awaiting the next installment to Byron and Violet’s story!

Book Rating:

Reviewed by Viscaria

Friday, December 14, 2007

Review: An Afternoon Tryst

By: Modeska Rose

Marissa is struggling in her five-year marriage. Her husband, Norm, seems distant, and the intimacy they shared is almost nonexistent. To recharge the marriage, they decide to play a game.

When she meets "Cole" in the local grocery store, the encounter leads to an afternoon affair, in which he fulfills her every fantasy, including hot, steamy sex and a rose-petaled bubble bath.

Marissa craves the closeness she once shared with Norm, but Cole treats her like a rare and precious jewel—giving her everything in the marriage Norm doesn't. While she struggles to get through each day, anticipating her next tryst with Cole, Norm pulls further away and Marissa is forced to choose.

Will she cling to Cole for the excitement he offers, or is Marissa's love for Norm strong enough to recapture the intimacy she longs for in her "normal" marriage? Or can she have both?

I initially didn’t want to read this story because I find the subject matter of an affair to be offensive. Therefore, I was surprised at how easily the author had me indulging in this exciting and forbidden relationship.

This sexy and naughty little secret come-to-life was about passion and desperation, longing and a feverish intensity that drew me in. The vulnerability in both Norm and Marissa is tangible, and I found myself routing for them, in spite of the incredible heat between Cole and Marissa.

Clandestine meetings turn into more than they were intended to be, and Marissa has to choose what it is she really wants. This was the most meaningful and important part of the book, for me. It was written wonderfully and done with respect – and most importantly, love.

Book Rating:

Reviewed by Aster

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Review: The Bell Curve

The Bell Curve
By Amelia June

Jason Bell Book 2 - An author finds thrills and romance in the pages of her books, along with a sexy main character to play with.

Jen's life has been a blast since she became the author of fictional Jason Bell's stories. She's gleefully tortured him both on paper and in person. But when the boundless bounty hunter goes missing, Jen begins to worry. A strange summons on her computer lands Jen in Jason's universe, a place of danger and badly written science
fiction. Oh no!

Spider Princesses, angry revolutionaries and a ship built for sex on the run--Jason Bell's universe is not to be trifled with. Can Jen make it out in one piece? And who will suffer the consequences of an author's presence in her own work?

Having not read Book 1, I wasn't too sure about jumping into Book 2, but my concerns were groundless. Not only was it was easy to figure things out after the first few paragraphs, it was actually fun to immerse myself in this wacky and fast paced world full of humor, silly sci-fi and romance.

Jason is real, yet not. Until Jen gets sucked into his world and finds out he's more than even she imagined, I chocked Jason up to be a classic Good-Time-Charlie. I figured the story would be mostly about Jen. In a way, it is.

The thoughts that whirled through my mind as they zipped through space in adventures that left my head spinning, were of pen pals. I remember hearing about people who fell in love through their written words. When finally they meet, they marry and stay that way for fifty years.

Even though Jen wrote Jason to life, there's the element of the creator falling in love with their creation - very Greek Myth, very classic. Like Greek myths, things don't always end quite the way you'd expect and Amelia June threw me a curve ball. No wait... a curve BELL, lol.

The HEA wasn't what I expected, neither was it clear cut, but if the purpose was to explore Jason a bit better in the NEXT book, then I'm all for it. Because the written Jason Bell had unexpected depths, couldn't the real Jason have them too?
Ah! Did I say "real" Jason?

This sci-fi romp was a quick read for a snowy house-bound day. It left me smiling and liking Jen and Jason. Their sex antics were hot and super fast - kind of hard to bask in the afterglow when you keep getting interrupted. *VBG*

If you are looking for a spicy light, fluffy read with the zing of adventure, then this story is for you.


Reviewed by Xeranth

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Review: All She Needs [Legacy of the Celtic Brooch Book 8]

All She Needs [Legacy of the Celtic Brooch Book 8]
By Crystal Jordan

If ever Jen Campbell needed a magic charm, today is the day. Lucky for her, fate lands exactly what she needs on her door step. When her best friends, Emma and Paul, ask her to be their son's godmother, she's happy to agree. Until she finds Paul's brother is the godfather. Kevin Miller, the only man she's ever loved, and the only man she can never have. Their brief relationship ended in disaster, but one look is enough to convince Jen she'll never be over him. Can she resist the Kevin who says he's confronted the demons in his past and is determined to pick up where they left off--right in the middle of a hallway during a huge party, guests be damned? More importantly, can she trust that a man as stubborn as Kevin can truly
change and be all that she needs?

Heartfelt and meaningful, Crystal Jordan has created a story filled with love and longing. The sense of desperation within the desire to be loved instead of just wanted is so real. I absolutely loved it.

This story is told solely from Jen’s point of view, and it is better for it. With warm, real characters and relationships, this short story has a depth that belies its length. The emotion and sexual tension between Kevin and Jen build like a crescendo, creating a compelling story.

There were two very evident editing mistakes that should have made me rate this book lower, based on our site’s ratings level descriptions. With them I certainly should have rated it lower. The typos are not so distracting, however, that they lessen the wonderful nature of this story, but I thought it was important to mention them.

This installment of the Legacy of the Celtic Brooch has certainly made me want to read more of them. The author combines love, desire and sex on an emotional journey. Even though the sex was incredibly hot, the author managed to effortlessly make it about the love at the core of their relationship. This is a book I recommend highly to all lovers of true romance that don’t mind if it happens to really sizzle.

Book Rating:

Reviewed by Aster

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Review: Double Deutsch

By Shayla Kersten

Needing a fresh start after her husband divorces her for a younger woman, advertising exec, Catherine Lakeland, takes a position in Germany. Curious about sex with a man other than her husband but wary of the complications of a relationship, Cat trades places with her new friend, a sex worker at a brothel, for one night of pleasure but double the fun.

Cat is really stepping out of her comfort zone by posing as a sex worker at a German Brothel, but she’s ready to experience sex with someone other than her ex-husband. Boy, does she get what she was looking for! As the title of this tale eludes, she gets not one, but two sexy strangers that want to have sex with her at the same time.

The sex in this book was hot, hot, hot! Ritter is a sex god on the page, which is just what you want when reading about a fantasy come-to-life. Cat has an amazing night in the brothel, but will it be what she was looking for? She learns so much about herself through this one encounter, which is an added bonus to the sizzling sex scene.

Shayla Kersten has written a great little story about hot sex and self-discovery.

Book Rating:

Reviewed by: Aster

Monday, December 10, 2007

Review: Fire And Ice

By Lacey Savage

The ice man cometh ...

Elle Sutcliffe will do anything to stay far away from happy couples making out under sprigs of mistletoe. So when her best friend asks for a favor on Christmas Eve, she quickly agrees. After all, she only has to watch an ice cream store for a couple of hours.

Or so she thinks, until she learns there's more than frozen yogurt in the walk-in freezer. When she sneaks inside to investigate, she finds a six-foot ice sculpture of a naked man, carved to mouthwatering perfection.

If only Elle's body temperature didn't run hot enough to melt ice from two feet away, she might be able to put all that hard masculine beauty to some real use.

Then again, one brief touch couldn't hurt… could it?

I always love it when such a short, sexy story is such a complete one. Lacey Savage manages to fit wonderfully written characters, a nice holiday story and – literally – steaming sex into the pages of this quick holiday delight. Great conversations, descriptions and motivations make this everything I love about a short story. A sexy hero who sizzles make this everything that is great about erotic romance.

Book Rating:

Reviewed by: Aster

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Review: Forbidden: The Claim

By Samantha Sommersby

Byron Renfield has spent years climbing the social ladder, and is now successful, handsome, independently wealthy… and a vampire. For over two centuries, he’s held the honored position of Treasurer of his Clan’s most sacred Trust. He’s also been responsible for the financial security of the most elite of the immortals, the Dominie.

In order to ensure his redemption, Byron isolated himself on a small private island, away from all temptation. It was a good plan… until the day Violet Deeds was stranded there.

Violet is beautiful, sexy, outspoken and a human, which makes her completely off limits. His society’s canon may forbid relationships between vampires and humans, but will that be enough to help Byron and Violet conquer the intensity of their attraction to one another? Or will Byron succumb and take a little nibble?

This is a fresh new twist on the vampire tale of seduction. Extremely erotic, Forbidden: The Claim has a hero that you’ll want to spend eternity with and a heroine you’ll envy. It’s the first in what is surely going to be a fabulously successful series for Samantha Sommersby.

I really enjoyed this story and I am eagerly anticipating reading the next installment of Byron and Violet’s story. As an introduction into this new world of Vampires and mates, this story was fabulous. We get just enough of the past info to whet our appetite for what is to come. I found myself looking forward to learning more about this society’s views and beliefs, and what in the past may have shaped structure of that system.

Byron is a hero, while not necessarily tormented, he isn’t exactly a happy vampire, either. He has faced his own demons in his long life and felt that he has come to the only acceptable conclusion as far as his life is concerned: Avoid human contact. He is witty and gentle, while still being quite the alpha vampire. As his is the First Person Point of View we are given, we get an uncommon look into the inner workings of the hero in this story. I quite enjoyed his take on the goings on around him.

Violet turns his world upside down, without even really meaning to. She has the uncanny knack to throw Byron off his stride. She has a quick comeback and doesn’t really pull her punches, and doesn’t expect anyone else to, either. She is a strong heroine that isn’t above hunting the man down to get to the bottom of something… like why did you run away from me? She quickly finds she is in over her head with Byron, but something about this man calls to her, and she wants to answer that call. The verbal interaction between these two, as well as Byron’s inner monologue startled a few chuckles from me, while the love scenes left me hot and bothered and wanting more.

Considering I wasn’t sure at first how I would feel about the story being told from the man’s perspective, I loved the inner workings of his mind. Throw in circumstances that can’t be avoided and changes that will need to be made if they want to stay together, I would say this was a very enthralling read that left me wanting and waiting with bated breath for Byron and Violet’s next installment. It’s only the beginning and I must know how it’s going to turn out!

Book Rating:

Reviewed by Viscaria