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Saturday, March 8, 2008

Review: Vampire Union 2: Liberated

Vampire Union 2: Liberated
by Kit Tunstall

After WWIII, society was in shambles. For thousands of years, vampires had lived in hiding, fearing extinction from humans. They took advantage of the collapse of society to step into the light, seize power, and rule over the human race. The vampire overlords have herded humans into Quarantine Zones in their various provinces, where they are subjected to the vampires’ every whim…

One moment, Nadya was happy with her lover, Jalen. Then his enemy “rescued” her, taking her to his stronghold. Rem is rough and hard, not at all like the smoothly sophisticated Jalen. Yet, Nadya is drawn to him, and they soon fall in love. If only she could forget Jalen and commit herself entirely to Rem, she knows she would lose the ache of dissatisfaction and the sense that something is missing when her new lover holds her. Even if she could manage to do that, Nadya knows she can’t just ignore the conflict between Rem and Jalen. Secrets buried in the past have come to light that change everything…

Two vampire lords with vastly different ideals fight over territory, their ways of life, and much more. At the center is one human woman, torn between the two.

"Liberated" is part two of the Vampire Union series. Note to those that are planning to read part one (and I recommend it) – this review will reveal the ending plot twists from part one.

Part two picks up with Nadya being kidnapped by Jalen's arch enemy, Rem. From Rem's perspective, he has rescued her because he knows the low regard the vampires of Jalen's clan have for humans. Nadya is once again enmeshed in emotional confusion. She wants to go back to Jalen but realizes that maybe it is best that she stay away and not interfere in his impending clan-merging marriage. Then there is her surprising yet undeniable attraction to Rem...

Nadya's inner struggle is compelling; she is in love with Jalen and Rem and is perplexed by the fact, but doesn't resist her impulsive need to be with Rem. Her necessity for them both is portrayed as bigger than her; as if being with them both is her destiny. This heightens the tension when outside influences jeopardize her relationship with Rem.

Never is the story told from Rem's point of view, but his mother gives Nadya some insight into his internal demons, making him a sympathetic and intriguing hero. His attraction to Nadya is just as fervent as hers to him, and their intimate couplings are sizzling.

Nadya has a revelation that comes to her in a dream at the end, suggesting exciting possibilities for part three. This is a highly enjoyable series, and I wait impatiently for the next installment.


Review by Camomile

Friday, March 7, 2008

Review: Vampire Union 1: Subjugated

Vampire Union 1: Subjugated
by Kit Tunstall

After WWIII, society was in shambles. For thousands of years, vampires had lived in hiding, fearing extinction from humans. They took advantage of the collapse of society to step into the light, seize power, and rule over the human race. The vampire overlords have herded humans into Quarantine Zones in their various provinces, where they are subjected to the vampires’ every whim…

Nadya is finally old enough to be included in the group of young women offered up to the vampires as tribute for their “generosity” to the humans. Unlike most of the girls, she wants to be chosen as a tribute and is thrilled when the vampire lord of N’work takes her. She is tired of living hard-scrabble in the Q, but more than anything she wants to belong to Jalen DuMond. Being at his mercy excites the darkest places in her soul and fuels her secret fantasies.

Jalen expects his newest tribute to be just another diversion, but she isn’t. Nadya challenges him in a way no submissive ever has, evoking emotions he can’t allow himself to feel for a human. He is betrothed to the daughter of another powerful vampire family, embroiled in a fierce war with Rem, his most hated enemy, and caught between the duties of a vampire ruler and the yearnings of his heart.

Two vampire lords with vastly different ideals fight over territory, their ways of life, and much more. At the center is one human woman, torn between the two.

After locking eyes with the son of the vampire overlord as a child, Nadya becomes obsessed with the man, knowing instinctively that he is to be part of her future. When she becomes of age and is old enough to be offered as a tribute to the vampire master — now the son — she goes against her grandmother's wishes and fails to hide. Standing tall in the line of young offerings, Nadya challenges Jalen by looking into his eyes instead of cowering in deference to his superiority. Her boldness angers him yet intrigues him, and he selects her — and only her — as his human tribute.

The differences between the two keep the drama at a high level and the pace of the story moving. Jalen has familial responsibilities and the expectations of his clan to be a forceful leader. Being involved in a relationship with a human does not fit into his role, but that fact can't control his heart or his growing affection toward Nadya. His inner struggle is unmistakable as he battles between what he wants and what he must do for the good of his people.

Nadya is in love with Jalen but her life is in constant turmoil. Knowing she belongs with Jalen but also recognizing Jalen's obligations to his people, she tries to cope with the uncertainty of her situation. The push and pull between the two as well as the sexual tension maintains the excitement throughout. The love scenes are steamy and not overdone. The BDSM elements in this story are very subdued — they are more often expressed in thought rather than overt activities.

"Subjugated" is part one of the Vampire Union series, and it is a continuing story, so the end is a cliffhanger. There are a couple of significant plot turns toward the end that had me begging for more. Part two is available, I am happy to report, and I will be reviewing it shortly. If this sounds intriguing, be sure to pick up part two – you won't want to stop at part one.


Review by Camomile

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Review: Cat O' Nines: Cat's Eye

Cat O’ Nines: Cat’s Eye
by Lia Connor

All Marnie wants is a man who’ll treat her right. Instead she always seems to end up with losers – like hr latest boyfriend, who nearly got her killed. Now her world’s turned upside down and inside out. Her rescuer swears to protect her, and she’s thinking it’s time to take her big sister’s advice, and go after what she wants – even if he’s not human!

A curly-haired prankster of a Catkind Jaguar, Tracey is more than happy to see Marnie gets just what she deserves. Even better, he has a Serval friend, Josh, with a mouth created for sinful delights and a way of making a woman forget all her troubles.

The humans’ world? They can keep it. It’s Marnie’s turn to have some fun.

This was the second book in the Cat O’ Nines trilogy, and what a perfect addition to this quirky group of stories. Lia Connor is fast becoming one of my favorite authors of Erotic Romance, as she brings a fun sense of romance to a rollicking adventure.

Marnie was a great heroine, in that she could have been written as a wimpy or whiny woman who felt the world was against her, but she was so much better than that. Having been not only knocked down in life, but kicked while she was down, Marnie is a very sympathetic character. What makes her fabulous is that she reaches the decision to take life by the horns and wrestle it into the kind of life she wants and rightly deserves. When she finds herself in the protection of two very sexy Catkind… what is a girl to do? Why, wring every ounce of pleasure from them that she can, of course, and don’t let them go once she has them!

Tracey and Josh were strong characters, if a bit antagonistic toward each other, but it’s to be expected when love has been kicked around. These two have an interesting love/hate relationship, and when they both realize that Marnie is their mate… let’s just say the sparks fly and they butt heads. Tracey made me laugh with his wicked sense of play, and Josh made me want to give him a hug and kiss all his wounds better. Believe me, though, that’s not the mother in me coming out! Both men drew me in elemental ways, and you just have to love when an author can so totally draw you in!

At one point I did, unfortunately, find myself wondering when the “bad guys” were going to show up. As it’s a bit frustrating when a story is even a bit predictable. This did dampen some of my enthusiasm for the story, but it quickly rallied and left me with a smile on my face when everything started to make sense. This didn’t really ruin my enjoyment of the story, and since I do read so much I do find some predictability is going to be found in most stories anyway. Therefore, as I did enjoy it and even found myself laughing occasionally, I am perfectly happy to give this a great review!

I had a great time reading this, as I have with the other two books in this series. The sex scenes were incredibly hot, if a bit… interesting in the location. Ms. Connor has quite a talent for weaving the heat into the adventure that the characters of her world are drawn into against their will. I found myself getting a bit lost in the descriptions of the sex and that is the mark of a great author… hmmm… I meant in the sense of descriptions, not sex, although that is a wonderful added benefit! LOL! All in all, this was a fun, incredibly erotic read that brought a sense of the naughty into the action and adventure of this world. Absolutely a fun read, and a recommend from me!


Review by Viscaria

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Review: Wild

by Noelle Mack

Kyril. Marko. Semyon. Brothers like no other, sworn to lead the Pack of St. James and defend the English crown, though the blood of Russian wolves runs in their veins. In 1815, every woman in London has heard of their legendary passion for seduction—but no one knows of the supernatural powers that raise them far above the ranks of mortal men.

Dangerous Lover

In pursuit of a priceless treasure stolen from his homeland, Kyril commands the Pack to gather in secret. A rash act by one woman—one extraordinary woman, the sensual and utterly alluring Vivienne Sheridan--has put their ancient clan in peril. He vows to find her—and find out her every secret--before it is too late…

Hidden in a ruined mansion, concealed by the shadows of a moonlit night, Vivienne comes forth, drawn to Kyril by a mysterious magic she is unable to resist. In his powerful embrace, Vivienne senses the wild nature beneath his gentlemanly fa├žade--and she surrenders to his intimate touch. Whatever he wants, she will give…with all the passion of a woman mesmerized...

Kyril, leader of the Pack, is certain he has found his mate in Vivienne Sheridan, however Vivienne has no thoughts of being any man's wife. She has seen first hand the misery that comes with love and marriage and she's determined to keep Kyril as her lover…and at a safe distance from her heart.

From the beginning of their relationship, though, Vivienne senses something different about him. Something that draws her to him, despite herself. And thus the two embark on a dangerous journey.

This first installment in The Pack of St. James series introduces us to a group unlike any I've read about. Not true werewolves, they nonetheless carry the blood of Russian wolves in their bodies. Their existence is kept secret from all but few, but among those few are those that would do them harm, if they can. And one of the ways is to discover the weakness of the leader.

The storyline in Wild is intriguing. There is action, romance, deception, mystery, and a mysterious priest. Vivienne has a secret in her past she does not want known, but she is tired of her father controlling her actions because of it. Kyril, as well, has his own secret…the existence of the Pack itself. Drawn to her, he knows he should stay away before she is put into danger. I enjoyed seeing the love grow between these two. Their love is passionate and steamy.

The dangers the pair face as they try to repair the damage done to the Pack are well-done and action filled. The end of the book, however, seemed rushed in a attempt to tie all the elements of the book together in one complete package. Even some things which there had been no hint had anything to do with the villains of the piece. This ending keeps the book, in my opinion, from being as good as it could be. Even with that, however, I'm looking forward to the next entry in the series because I did like the characters Ms. Mack has introduced.

Review by Xeranth

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Review: Noel, No Way

Noel, No Way
By Mardi Ballou

Bah, humbug. For vampire Carlie, Christmas is a time to bury herself in archives and do research while everyone else parties. She wants to distance herself from the celebrations so she can forget the time Vincenzo made her his Christmas bride. Three nasty spirits come along, determined to get her attention and change her mind. Along the way, they drag Carlie, kicking and screaming, into the past, the present and the future.

Vincenzo got it right when he picked Carlie as his bride. Not knowing the full power of their bond and all it entails, he messed up. Now time is running out for him, unless Carlie opts to save him. Can the spirits open her heart in time for another Christmas miracle -- or is it too late?

Noel, No Way delivers a unique paranormal twist on a holiday favorite. Carlie has used very high academic goals to cover her hurt feelings. She's been so successful, she's lost the ability to enjoy Christmas like she used to. In fact she's done a complete 180 degree turn and it's disturbing to those who still care for her.

Vincenzo, the male interest, is only viewed through flashbacks when the very macabre ghosts of Christmas' past, present and future force Carlie to face her unwise choices.

The issue with short stories is oftentimes characters can't be given much depth. I sorely would have liked Vincenzo's personality to have figured more firmly in the story. As it is, his involvement in Carlie's flashbacks provide the bulk of the erotic elements in this story. The scenes are hot and if you are looking for steaming and creative eroticism, then this story delivers.

The unique part is how Carlie has to save Vincenzo and why. That was quite romantic.

This story does have a happy ending as most reditions of the Christmas Carol do. The epilogue ends up being an omniscent narrative and it does tie it all up nicely. The reader is left in no doubt that the Happily Ever After will survive into the future.
That's the best part of romance.


Reviewed by Xeranth

Monday, March 3, 2008

Review: Last Wish

Last Wish
By Shelley Munro

Freedom. Zane craves it, but to earn liberty he must fulfill the last wish on his genie contract and evade his boss's clutches for ten days. If he fails, it will mean another term of duty. Been there. Bought the T-shirt. This time Zane is determined to beat the odds and grab his chance at freedom.

When Dillon goes to the antiques market, the last thing he expects is a gorgeous genie to materialize in front of him. Handsome. Charismatic. Tempting and enticing. Dillon takes one look and wants to explore the sparks of attraction leaping between them. He offers the sexy genie a place to hide. The tentative friendship quickly grows to more—raw need explodes into passion and hot, toe-curling sex. Long nights of intense lovin' lead to mutual pleasure and loads of unrestrained fun.

Dillon has fallen fast and wants forever, but Zane is determined to leave once he's free. Somehow Dillon has to persuade him they're perfect together because time is running out and Zane's boss is hot on their trail.

Last Wish turns the old Alladdin folk tale on it's ear with a sexy and unique twist that has a whole lot of fun, romance and sensual tension.

Dillon came out much to the dismay of the ladies in his small town but it's been a double edged sword. On one hand, he's not plagued by unwanted attention and on the other, it's a small town. His options in finding his heart's desire are almost nil.

So what's a guy to do? Work. How many times have we coped with life by immersing ourselves in a project either at home or at work so we can pretend all is well? The monkey wrenches in that plan is Dillon's sister and a mysterious computer problem. I really liked Dillon's sister,she cracked me up. I enjoyed her antics and her sisterly personality. I will say that right in the very beginning there's a scene with Susan that had me giggling.

The computer issue is more serious and threatens to snow him under. Dillon's fighting to save his dream since he can't have what he really wants - someone to love or at least care about. It shouldn't be so hard for a guy to be true to himself yet everywhere he turns, all the wrong solutions are presented or pushed at him by well-meaning family and friends. It's an acceptable conflict in this technical age and one many can relate to. Fairly normal, wouldn't you say?

Normal goes out the window when Zane shows up. What an attitude! What a hottie! The men's first impressions of each other was certainly interesting and kind of comic. As I said in the beginning, Shelley made the genie her own because he doesn't appear like any genie you've read about before. Oh sure, there is the requisite smoke, but even that she made more interesting.

Zane is also lonely but very distrusting. Yet he can navigate this latest society he's been called into because his genie's lamp is fully loaded. You'll have to read that to understand what I refer to. I thought that was funny too. When Zane grants Dillon's wish, well, that caused a belly laugh. Zane might be lamp smart but still simple in execution of wishes. He's kind of innocent in a way while at the same time jaded by all he's been through. You can't blame him when he doesn't trust Dillon's offer of santuary. How can anything this good last? How can the offer he sees in Dillon's eyes be real?

The external conflict of the genie master and his trickery to re-enslave Zane is the driving force behind the men's accelerated relationship. It was believable and snarky. Shelley does a good job in making me really dislike Hasim - he's like the Donald Trump of genies; a shark of a business man who will do anything to succeed.

When the men fall in love it's a wonderous thing. Full of passion, heat, and Zane's internal conflict. His yearnings that have been denied him for centuries are almost within reach but can he reconcile them with what Dillon needs from him? Can he get what he must have from Dillon?

There is wonderful insight into what makes these men tick so when the finale comes I felt very fulfilled and happy. Everyone gets what they wanted but not in ways I expected. Even the mysterious computer situation resolved itself in a way that was sort of emotional. No one is left untouched and it all started off with an innocent lamp.

Last Wish is a delight; full of humor, love, hot passion and a couple of very lucky guys. If you enjoy folk tales with unusual yet modern twists, then Last Wish has what you're looking for.

Rating: Photobucket

Reviewed by Xeranth

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Review: Rowan's Men

Rowan's Men
By Jade Buchanan

The holidays are approaching and Rowan’s feeling a little homesick. The Felidae don’t have anything remotely similar to Christmas, so she’s decided to go all out for Laithe and Fahd. Homemade presents, Christmas baking and a heck of a surprise are going to keep her men on their toes this year.

Very short, but sensual. Rowan’s little Christmas surprise is sure to delight the men in her life, Laithe and Fahd. Very well written steamy scene involving all three characters.

Rowan was taken away from Earth and brought to another planet to live with some furry men. She is said to be the life mate of Laithe. She has accepted her new role in their lives and is quite content to live out the rest of her days with them. Fahd is Laithe’s best friend, who also happens to be in love with Laithe. Rowan has accepted the two men and their interesting love life with open arms.

The men are curious as to why she did not want to go back to Earth for a quick visit like some of the other people. She tells them she is happy here and sometimes is a little homesick, but can’t tell them the reason just yet as it is a surprise.

Rowan has added little touches of Christmas from home by decorating and baking to bring in the holiday cheer. The biggest surprise of all comes at the end of their wonderful love-making scene… who will be more surprised – Laithe or Fahd?

Would love to see this written into a full-length novel with more detail on her kidnapping, the planet and the Felidae. Very interesting concept.


Reviewed by Snowdrop