REVIEW: Straddling the Line by Jaci Burton

Thursday, July 17, 2014 0:00
Posted in category Review

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Veena’s review of Straddling The Line (Play By Play, Book Eight) by Jaci Burton
Contemporary Romance published by Berkley Trade 01 Jul 14

I have only myself to blame when I jump into the middle of a series that is already eight deep and then spend part of the time while reading this book wondering about the back stories of all the new (to me) characters. I am not a die-hard sports fan, so a book about sports would not be a natural choice for me, but I read another one recently which I enjoyed and the hunk on this cover totally sucked me in. I am glad to report that while, of course, there’s sports in the story, considering our hero is a player and our heroine is a sportscaster, it was all about the rich emotions and relationships that make this an enjoyable read. Read the rest of this entry »

REVIEW: The Gunslinger by Lorraine Heath

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 0:00
Posted in category Review

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Sandy M’s review of The Gunslinger by Lorraine Heath
Historical Western Romance novella published by Avon Impulse 24 June 14

I’ve been having a great time lately with historical western romances, and Lorraine Heath keeps that trend going with this revamped, reissued novella, which appeared in the To Tame a Texan anthology back in 1999. Whether it’s a regency or western romance, Ms. Heath always pulls myriad emotions out of me as I go along for the ride with her characters. I’m happy to have a chance to read some of her older work, even though it’s revised a bit. I have her entire backlist in the old TBR mountain, but if this is the way I get to read them, making them new again, I’m all for it.

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EXCERPT: The Winter King by C.L. Wilson

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 13:00
Posted in category Review

Book CoverHere’s the promised snippet of C.L. Wilson‘s The Winter King, which is going to hit shelves on July 29.

And come that date, I can guarantee you’re going to love this book. C.L. Wilson writes with emotion in every word, every phrase, every scene she gives readers in this story. She’s built another world to get lost in, whether it’s minutes or hours at a time you’re able to sit down with these larger-than-life characters.

So have fun with this first meeting between Khamsin and Wynter, then be sure to place your order now so you’re ready to dig in when the 29th rolls around.

Summary:

After three long years of war, starkly handsome, Wynter Atrialan, will have his vengeance on Summerlea’s king by taking one of the man’s beautiful, beloved daughters as his bride. But though peace is finally at hand, Wynter’s battle with the Ice Heart, the dread power he embraced to avenge his brother’s death, rages on.

Khamsin Coruscate, Princess of Summerlea and summoner of Storms, has spent her life exiled to the shadows of her father’s palace. Reviled by her father, marriage to Wintercraig’s icy king is supposed to be a terrible punishment, but instead offers Kham her first taste of freedom—and her first taste of overwhelming passion.

As fierce, indomitable Wynter weathers even Khamsin’s wildest storms, surprising her with a tenderness she never expected, Kham wants more than Wynter’s passion—she yearns for his love. But the power of the Ice Heart is growing, dangerous forces are gathering, and a devastating betrayal puts Khamsin and Wynter to the ultimate test.

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DDS REVIEW: Naughty Bits Series by Joey W Hill

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 0:00
Posted in category Review

Veena’s Duckies Do Series review of Naughty Bits Series by Joey W. Hill
Erotic BDSM Romance published by Intermix Apr – Jul 2014

This is an exquisitely written story of a deeply submissive woman who’s failed multiple times to find her soul mate. Now defeated and discouraged, she arrives in North Carolina where she makes a fresh start taking over her recently deceased sister’s business, where she learns to dive into her customer’s psyche, helping them achieve their innermost desires while exploring her own. Can Madison overcome her fears to risk her heart and soul for the chance to realize the elusive dream that she craves? Will her sister’s confidante and business neighbor Logan Scott be successful in helping her realize her fantasy and find the hidden heart of herself?

My initial peeve with this series was that I had to wait to read this story over several months and could barely contain myself to wait for the next installment. In retrospect, I will admit that the gap between each installment helped to build my anticipation and made the overall experience much richer for the waiting. Read the rest of this entry »

REVIEW: The Queen’s Exiles by Barbara Kyle

Monday, July 14, 2014 0:00
Posted in category Review

Book CoverStevie‘s review of The Queen’s Exiles (Thornleigh, Book 6) by Barbara Kyle
Historical Fiction published by Kensington Books 27 May 14

I was complaining recently about wanting more Tudor-era stories by new-to-me authors, and now another one has come along. This book is the sixth in a series, but stands up very well as a novel in its own right, neither leaving me puzzled as to who the main characters were nor overwhelming me with a vast array of minor characters dropping in simply to let readers of the whole series know their favourites from previous books are getting along okay. Add to that a heroine who knows exactly what she wants and works to get it, regardless of what the men around her think, and a slice of European history that I could do with knowing more about, and you’ve got a great set-up for a gripping read.

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REVIEW: When a Laird Takes a Lady by Rowan Keats

Sunday, July 13, 2014 0:00
Posted in category Review

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Sandy M’s review of When a Laird Takes a Lady (Claimed by the Highlander, Book 2) by Rowan Keats
Historical Romance published by Signet 6 May 14

I’m always eager to try new historical authors when they take me away to the Highlands of Scotland. So it was great pleasure I began this foray into a new-to-me author’s work. The result? Come on along for the ride.

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REVIEW: Slow Seduction by Cecilia Tan

Saturday, July 12, 2014 0:00
Posted in category Review

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Veena’s review of Slow Seduction (Struck by Lightning, Book 2) by Cecilia Tan
Erotic Romance published by Forever 29 Jan 14

I have definitely become jaded with this genre since this book did not appeal to me on any level. I joyfully read and reviewed Fifty Shades here at The Pond a couple of years ago. I still remember how much I enjoyed my journey with the characters as I read the books in the half light of an airplane traveling half way across the world. This book for me is neither romantic nor erotic, such that I stopped and started it multiple times, eventually abandoning it completely well before I was finished.

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REVIEW: Deeper than Need by Shiloh Walker

Friday, July 11, 2014 0:00
Posted in category Review

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Sandy M’s review of Deeper than Need (Secrets & Shadows, Book 4) by Shiloh Walker
Contemporary Romance published by St. Martin’s Paperbacks 3 Jun 14

When I finished reading this book, my first thought was I should have read the other books in the series. Then I discovered the previous three books don’t have much of anything to do with the horrible mystery in this story. So what is it that leaves me with a feeling of discontent?
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REVIEW: Devil’s Game by Joanna Wylde

Thursday, July 10, 2014 0:00
Posted in category Review

Book CoverStevie‘s review of Devil’s Game (Reaper’s MC, Book 3) by Joanna Wylde
Contemporary Romance published by Berkley 03 Jun 14

I’m yet to grow tired of biker stories, even if the romance plots aren’t always to my taste, compared to the action plots, which generally are. So, I grabbed this one in spite of not being completely overawed by the rather wimpy heroine who featured in the series’ previous book. Fortunately, Em is far more the sort of biker woman I want to read about; although she starts off as a bit of a Daddy’s girl, she quickly finds her backbone and is more than a match for Hunter, a high-ranking member of the Devil Jacks, a rival club to the Reapers, which Em’s father runs.

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REVIEW: For All Time by Jude Deveraux

Wednesday, July 9, 2014 0:00
Posted in category Review

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Veena’s review of For All Time (Nantucket Brides Trilogy, Book 2) by Jude Deveraux
Paranormal Historical Romance published by Ballantine Books 01 Jul 14

I’ve followed the Montgomery Taggart saga from the beginning and was thrilled when the author introduced us to yet another undiscovered branch of the family with the launch of her Nantucket Island trilogy, bringing back fond memories as I got the opportunity to catch up on some of the characters that I had almost forgotten. I absolutely couldn’t wait for this next book in the series to come out to refresh my memories with more members of the Montgomery/Taggart and Lanconian families, but…….. Read the rest of this entry »

REVIEW: To Marry a Scottish Laird by Lynsay Sands

Tuesday, July 8, 2014 0:00
Posted in category Review

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Sandy M’s review of To Marry a Scottish Laird (Highland Historical Series, Book 2) by Lynsay Sands
Historical Romance published by Avon 24 June 14

I’ve had a number of disappointments lately with my favorite authors, and I still have no answer for that particular question. And I have to add Lynsay Sands to that list with this latest book in her Highland Historical series. It’s especially disappointing because I thoroughly enjoyed the first book, An English Bride in Scotland.
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DDS REVIEW: Fool’s Gold Series by Susan Mallery

Monday, July 7, 2014 0:00
Posted in category Review

Veena’s review of Fool’s Gold Series by Susan Mallery
Contemporary Romance published by Harlequin HQN 

Ms. Mallery has definitely struck gold in the California hills with her fresh and charming stories about hunky heroes and plucky heroines who make their way to this little town to find romance and happily ever after. Twelve-plus-deep into the series, each new story shines as bright as if it were a first, though men are predictable in their need to look for escape before succumbing and traditions are important as women stick together to commiserate and hold hands – and at the center of everything is Mayor Marsha, who reminds me of a spider spinning her webs and watching it all come together based on her plan.
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REVIEW: Best Bi Short Stories Edited by Sheela Lambert

Sunday, July 6, 2014 0:00
Posted in category Review

Stevie‘s review of Best Bi Short Stories Edited by Sheela Lambert
Bisexual Fiction Short Story Collection published by Circlet Press 15 Jun 14

I tend to find anthologies a little hit and miss, and generally pick them up only when I recognise more than one of the authors as someone whose short stories I’ve read and enjoyed before. This time, however, it was the theme that attracted me; the bisexual experience is one that gets neglected in fiction compared to the slightly greater representation of characters who act bisexually in ménage stories (generally, in my reading experience, without any engagement with the wider bisexual community) or whose bisexuality is a step on the way to a complete change of identity. Plus, we sometimes get bisexual characters in the background, offering words of wisdom to the protagonists. In this anthology, though, each story’s central characters are in the main very much rooted in their bisexual identities, or are getting there by the end of the story. While not all stories were precisely to my taste, there were some definite stand-outs and no total flops.

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REVIEW: Scandalize Me by Caitlin Crews

Saturday, July 5, 2014 0:00
Posted in category Review

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LynneC’s review of Scandalize Me (Fifth Avenue Trilogy, Book 2) by Caitlin Crews
Contemporary Romance published by Harlequin Presents 1 Jul 14

When I first saw the covers for this trilogy, I wondered if Harlequin was yet again bringing a new look to its flagship Presents/Modern line. When I read the first book, I kind of understood why they’d set them apart in this way. The characters say “fuck.” (shock, horror, fan-fluttering). In the first book at least, they have slightly kinky sex, with a touch of Dom/sub.

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REVIEW: A Sword Upon The Rose by Brenda Joyce

Friday, July 4, 2014 0:00
Posted in category Review

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Veena’s review of A Sword Upon The Rose by Brenda Joyce
Historical Romance published by HQN 24 Jun 14

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed historical romances by this author in the past and was very pleased to run across this one almost by accident. This is a period romance of richness and depth that fans of the Scottish historical genre will enjoy. From the first scene where he appears, I visualized Iain of Islay as Mel Gibson from the movie Brave Heart, though happily Iain does not suffer the same end as William Wallace. That in itself should have been enough to rock this book, but it’s Alana who stole my heart with her courage and boldness. A thoroughly modern type of miss, even if she loved and lived in medieval Scotland.
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