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August 31, 2013

Bought Borrowed and Bagged #65

BB&B (Bought, Borrowed and Bagged) is a weekly meme, inspired my The Story Siren and Pop Culture Junkie, where we share with you the books that we have bought, borrowed or bagged (won or gifted) plus a recap of the previous week's reviews, upcoming reviews, on going events and book movie or television news. 



Bagged
from Publishers, Authors and Tour Organizers

Synchronized Breathing by Tara Ellison
After reading TEllison's penis excerpt, I know I HAVE to read this.

from Michelle of Novels On The Run
Signed swag from Sylvia Day & Abbi Glines

A box of firsts from my SW, Grace of Books of Love
Their Virgin Captive by Shayla Black & Lexi Blake | Fury of Fire by Coreene Callahan | Shadow Marked by Anna J. Evans | Taken by Kelli Maine | Cowboy Flats by Julia Talbot | Nightfall by Ellen Connor | The Do Who Loved Me by Lexi Blake | Seducing the Succubus by Cassie Ryan | Nightshifter by Cassie Alexander | Dying Bites by D.D. Barant | Grave Witch by Kalayna Price | First Grave On The Right by Darynda Jones
When Grace told me that she was sending me books, I thought she's only sending a couple not 13! Shelley of Gizmos Reviews and I were teasing her that we'd be more than happy to be her donatees, I never thought she'd take us up on that offer. I was so ecstatic when I opened the box and checked the books and realized that most of the stack were the first in the series. 




Big & Small
I wasn't over the moon over American Horror Story: Asylum but I'm very excited about the upcoming S3, Coven. Crazies are a different terror altogether now witches are right up my alley!


American Horror Story: Coven is about witches and the story is rooted on the Salem Witch Trials. Jessica Lange and her posse are back, some of them are witches the others play historical figures like Madame Laveau and Madame LaLurie. Emma Roberts, Kathy Bates, and Angela Basset joins the cast. Season 3 premier is on October 9 at FX.

Last Week's Reviews

Upcoming Reviews

Lindsey Piper (US)
win some Dragon Kings swag
ends Sept. 1

Mary Hughes (INT)
win a Kindle or Nook
ends Sept. 6

Christine Warner (INT)
win a $25 Amazon GC
ends Sept. 30

J.R. Ward (US)
win a print copy of Covet
ends Sept. 30



Check out these other fabulous blogs that participate in 
Bought, Borrowed & Bagged:


NOTE: Future participants, please use your BB&B LABEL LINK instead of the individual post link.




Braine Reviews: The Five Deaths of Roxanne Love by Erin Quinn

Series: Beyond 1
Format: Print ARC
Excerpt
Release Date: August 27, 2013

Publisher: Pocket Books
Source: Publisher
Genre: Urban Fantasy - PNR
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BAM | Indibound 

She cheated death....

All Roxanne Love has ever wanted is to be normal—marriage, kids, the life of June Cleaver. She tries to fit in but can't conceal her ability to defy death--not from the world, not from the darkest creatures of the Beyond and not from the Reaper determined to destroy her. Now Roxanne is on the run, her only ally a compelling, dangerous detective with secrets of his own. Against her will, she's drawn to his quiet strength and heated touch. But can she trust him with the truth?

....until she felt death's kiss.

Incognito as guilt-ridden cop, Santo Castillo, the Reaper's plan is simple: get close to Roxanne, uncover the secret of her immortality and cut it at the source. Yet with this borrowed body come emotions the Reaper hadn't expected. Now nothing is clear but his conflicted desire to protect the woman he came to kill. As destiny forces them to face an enemy hell-bent on using Roxanne to wipe out all of mankind, she and Santo must choose between love....and salvation.
THE FIVE DEATHS OF ROXANNE LOVE is my second Erin Quinn book. I read book 1 of her Mists of Ireland series and though I like Celtic fae, Haunting Beauty didn't captivate my attention. I found the book grey and dreary and decided not to read further. Her new series, Beyond was a totally different reading experience for me, I found it fresh, exciting and utterly engaging. 

THE FIVE DEATHS OF ROXANNE LOVE has a Grim Reaper theme going for it. Roxanne Love and her twin, Reece, defied death several times much to the aggravation of a certain Reaper. And I'm not talking about near-death here, I'm talking about real death as in their hearts stopped beating and they stopped breathing. Afterwards, they returned from the dead much to the fascination and consternation of the townspeople because their resurrections have been well documented and publicized. So said Reaper possessed the body of Det. Santo Castillo, went undercover and tried to figure out if the twins made a deal with a demon or if they have some magical juju that kept them from dying. 

Plot-wise, THE FIVE DEATHS OF ROXANNE LOVE is totally right up my alley. If you watch and are a fan of the hit TV show, Supernatural, you'll totally dig this book. Reece is a lot like Sam, Hell wants him on their side because every time he dies, he leaves a portal open that enables Hell's creatures to leave their infernal prison. Meanwhile Roxanne's death closes said portal so the bad guys want her permanently dead so they can freely roam the Earth. The world-building and feel of the events are very dark, mysterious and real creepy with talking black birds, bodies being possessed by demons and all that jazz. 

As for the conflict, there's no real resolution. We still don't know why Reece and Roxanne Love are special and it looks like the real meat of their story is yet to unfold. Roxanne and the Reaper Santo are in cahoots and I can tell that these two are going to fall in love if they haven't yet. Problem is, Santo is supposed to be one of the "bad guys" being Abaddon's minion and going rogue isn't going to do him any favors moving forward. Not only that, he's closely associated with Roxanne which makes him a traitor and a moving target. 

THE FIVE DEATHS OF ROXANNE LOVE ended with a semi-cliffhanger because there's so more to the story and myth that EQuinn has yet to divulge. I rarely read teasers but I can't help but take a sneak peek on book 2, The Three Fates of Ryan Love, Ryan being Roxanne's older brother. I don't know exactly what's going to happen here but I'm hoping that EQuinn will keep the Grim Reaper thing going and hopefully we'll learn more about Roxanne's backstory and her present with Santo.



I'm giving away a print copy of
THE FIVE DEATHS OF ROXANNE LOVE
to one lucky Supie!

This is a US Only contest, ends Sept. 7, 2013

Good luck!











Talk Supe

August 30, 2013

Braine Reviews: Dead Push by Tim O'Rourke

Series: Kiera Hudson II - 7
Format: Mobi
Release Date: August 2, 2013
Publisher: Ravenwoodgreys
Source: Author
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

When two enemies push back together!

“…Most of them just sit as if waiting for someone to join them on their impending journey. Others are rushing for their train as if late for some important meeting. They can’t wait to board one of those trains below ground. When I first discovered this place, I don’t know how long I sat here watching the dead hustle and bustle about, queue at the ticket office and take drinks from the vending machines. Like any new place you visit, like your first day at a new school or in a new job, you soon figure out how things work. I knew I was dead...”
Tim, we're good, we're back on track. You take care of Potter and I'll take care of you.

Sorry if that statement is a little spoilery but as Potter is in the cover art then the cat is out of the bag! How he managed to do that, I'll leave it up to you to find out. Let's just say Tim O'Rourke is one clever and manipulative plotter and I love and hate him (sometimes) in equal measure for all the emotional upheavals we and Kiera Hudson goes through with every. Damn. Frickin'. Book.

DEAD PUSH is book 7 of Kiera Hudson II and before I type any further, I want to congratulate Tim for keeping the series consistent and ALIVE. I mean Kiera Hudson is a bloody epic series now with 12 books and 2 novellas in total! I don't know when it's going to end or if I want it to end at this point! Part of me wants to bid adieu while it's still good and also because I feel sorry for Kiera and the rest of her crew, Tim O'Rourke has tortured them enough, they need a much deserved R&R. 

Going back.

DEAD PUSH might be book 7 but it has a companion novel feel to it. This was told in Potter and Jack's POV as they try to move through a different place, looking for the mysterious Photographer who keeps on taunting them with pictures of future events that usually ends in disaster. They believe that once they catch who this person is, s/he could make things right again for everyone. Well they didn't find the photographer but Potter and Jack Seth's take away was a journey to self discovery. Potter's was in relation to Kiera so his realizations were a little expected. Jack Seth's on the other hand was profound, humanizing and layered in some ways.

If you're a follower of the series, you know that Jack Seth is straddling the boundaries of being an anti-hero and a villain. After Dead Seth my opinion about Jack shifted a little bit. I still don't trust the wolf but knowing his backstory made me understand why he is the way he is and I'm wishing that all's not lost for this guy and hopefully redemption is in the horizon for him. DEAD PUSH sort of explored that possibility for Seth. He's still a jacka** but seeing Isidor (YES! He's back... for now) with Melody Rose had Seth revisiting his past, prompting him to do some self-checks. Whether or not he becomes an ally at this point is till speculative however Jack Seth's internalization here are moving and will really make you reevaluate your opinion about him to an extent.
They feed off the misery cause by separating those that had fallen in love.
Now I have to be honest, at first I didn't feel excited about this because I feel like is just "killing time" instead of sticking with the essentials and working on the ending. But as DEAD PUSH unfold, I realize why this novel is important. Potter and Seth's objective was to find the Photographer and since they failed to do that there's no real resolution here. They did manage to discover a lot of things, especially with regards to those blasted Elders, but aside from that, DEAD PUSH was really about character self-checks for both Potter and Seth. We can expect Potter to make amends for Kiera, Seth on the other had is a wild card. Who knows what he's going to do next.

DEAD PUSH may have veered off a little bit from the main plot of the series but I think it changed the game in some ways. How? We'll find out in Dead Lost coming soon.




 


Tour Stop + Giveaway: After The Kiss by Lauren Layne

AFTER THE KISS is a knock-your-stilettos-off, total page-turning treat that had me fan-girling up within the first chapter. I absolutely loved this read!”
USA Today bestselling author Mira Lyn Kelly


After The Kiss
Sex, Love & Stiletto 1
Lauren Layne
Lovesweot
August 26, 2013
Contemporary Romance

In the first book of a delightful new series from Lauren Layne, the star columnist of Stiletto magazine will do anything for a story. Anything . . . except fall in love.

Julie Greene loves flings. Loves steamy first dates, sizzling first kisses, and every now and then, that first sexy romp between the sheets. Comfy pants, sleepy Sundays, movie nights on the couch? Shudder. But when Julie gets assigned the hardest story of her career—a first-person account of that magical shift between dating and “I do”—she’ll need a man brave enough to give a total commitment-phobe a chance at more.

Normally, Mitchell Forbes would be exactly that man. A devastatingly hot workaholic who tends to stay in relationships for far too long, he should be the perfect subject for Julie’s “research.” But what Julie doesn’t know is that Mitchell is looking to cut loose for once in his life. And the leggy journalist notorious for avoiding love is exactly the type of no-strings fling he’s looking for. In other words, Mitchell is the polar opposite of what Julie needs right now. And, at the same time, he’s exactly what she wants.



“I can’t just pull a relationship out of my butt, Ri. How am I supposed to add a personal touch to a story about something I’ve never experienced?”

“Interview women who have been through it,” Grace said practically, sounding exactly like Camille.

“Go undercover,” Riley said at the exact same time.

Julie paused with the newly refilled champagne flute halfway to her lips, eyes fixed on Riley. “Keep going with that. Undercover. What are you thinking?”

“What about my idea?” Grace asked.

Julie ignored her. A bland interview-focused article wasn’t on her radar. She hadn’t spent years building up the personal aspect of her articles only to let it all fall apart now.

“Go undercover,” Riley repeated. “If you’re not interested in actually taking a relationship to the next level, fake it.”

“Tell me you’re joking,” Grace said. “That’s just wrong. Pretending to fall in love would be bad enough, but pretending to actually be in love? That’s cruel.”

“It wouldn’t have to actually be love, per se,” Julie mused, warming up to the idea. “I could just sort of dip my toe into the world of commitment. Find some nice, reliable, wife-seeking guy and see what happens.”

“Exactly right,” Riley said with approval. “You just pull the plug before it goes too far. It wouldn’t be unlike normal dating. You’d just be trying a guy on for size, seeing if it might work out.”

“Except it wouldn’t,” Julie said. “Work out, I mean.”

“Maybe not. But he doesn’t know that.”

Grace groaned. “I can’t believe I’m listening to this.”

“This could really work,” Julie mused. “Maybe I could truly find out firsthand what all those boring couples do after the butterflies-and-fun stuff has worn off.”

“Hey!” Grace said.

“Not you and Greg, of course,” Julie amended. “You guys aren’t boring.”

Except they were. Just a little.

“So how do I do this?” she asked, turning her attention back to Riley. “Where do I start?”

Riley rubbed her hands together. “Ah, the tigress hunts her prey.”
“Not that I want any part of this charade,” Grace said slowly, “but tonight might actually be an ideal time to find such a man.”

“Tonight?” Julie’s stomach clenched. She’d thought she’d at least have a few days to prepare.

“Sure!” Grace said, as though they were discussing nothing more dicey than a fifth-grade scavenger hunt. “It’s an education fund-raiser. I’m thinking many of the men here will be more family-minded than we might find on an average Friday night out.”

Riley nodded in agreement. “Baby call instead of booty call. I like the way you think, Brighton. We can for sure find a dull, committed kind of guy here. Assuming this is for our August issue, you’ll have over a month until you have to get a draft to Camille. If you keep this moving, that’s plenty of time to get serious.”

Julie chewed her lip. “You guys really think I should go man hunting at an education fund-raiser? Isn’t this a little . . . depraved?”

Grace shrugged. “For the record, I think this whole thing is depraved. But if you’re going to do it, you might as well do it right.”
Julie’s eyes scanned the room, taking in the sheer number of conservative suits. Grace had a point. Tonight was as good a night as any to find a fake boyfriend. But could she do this? Should she do this?

Then she pictured Kelli’s gloating face. If she didn’tdo this, it would be Julie who’d be assigned to fridge-cleaning duties, while Kelli moved her tiny butt into Julie’s office.

Not happening.

“So how do we do this?” Julie asked. She tried to keep the trepidation out of her voice. She’d never really paid much attention to the length of her previous relationships, but now she couldn’t seem to think about anything else. Once they’d run out of quips and banter, and after the sex haze had worn off . . . what did people do?
“Let’s split up,” Riley said. “We’ll cover more ground that way. 

Everyone keep an eye out for the quiet, rich, husband-material type.”
“Yeah, that should be a breeze,” Julie said. “Not like ninety percent of the women here aren’t looking for one of those.”



Follow Loveswept




Purchase After The Kiss



Today’s we get a sneak peek at AFTER THE KISS, the first book in the Sex, Love and Stilettoseries by Lauren Layne. Lauren graduated from Santa Clara University with B.S. in Political Science that she has yet to put to good use. After dabbling in an e-commerce career, she decided to quit talking about writing and actually do it.

A Seattle-native, Lauren's also tried on the Bay Area, Orange County and Manhattan for size. She's currently writing from the Pacific Northwest, but is always looking for the next place to call home. Texas? The South? New England? Suggestions welcome.


Link up with Lauren



Loveswept is giving away lots of goodies for this tour.

Contest ends Sept. 20.

Good luck!





August 29, 2013

Gush and Gripe: Giveaways


Giveaways
Every Blogger's Not-So-Secret Weapon

Personally I enjoy giveaways. From a blogger's perspective it works because it brings a lot of traffic and interest to the blog. We get an increase in following, meet new players in the blogosphere and it widens our reach. Win-win!

As a participant I love joining blogger contests for the fun of it and some raffles are really creative. It's also my way of supporting my fellow bookworms by sharing their giveaway to our followers and hopefully our blog's reach will get them the traffic they need. Winning is a perk especially if it's something that I really like.

Back when we used to join giveaway hops, I used to get irritated by hosts who limits the options we can put on rafflecopter or Google docs. I felt that unfair because as we're the one spending money for the prizes, then I think we should have free rein on how we want to conduct the contest. But rules are rules and we must comply.

CREDIT: Discovering Different
It's only recently where I've come to appreciate that limit. I say this because recently I've joined tour giveaways where the prize is ONE average rated ebook and the list of tasks is a mile long like if there are 25 participants we are asked to follow their social media site like Twitter AND Facebook on top of the author's, the tour organizers and the publisher.

I know I sound a little hypocritical because it's their giveaway, their rules. However I think that the requirements should match the prize. Now I know that I can opt to select which task I want to do but if I want to win then I should put in more entries, right? I don't speak for everyone but in my experience I tend to stay away from these kinds of giveaways, I feel like it's a scam and a total turn off. If the prize is for a $2.99 book, I'd rather buy it than "like" and "follow" a bunch of accounts whose content is unknown to me. Maybe that's the goal of the host all along but still, I find it ridiculous to give us the run-around like that. It's like getting a $50 mail-in-rebate instead of an outright discount or a store coupon. 

With Holloween peeping from around the corner followed by the holiday trinity of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year, I'm sure we'll be seeing a deluge of giveaways, good and bad. So weigh in, I'd like to know what your thoughts are about this topic.





Braine Reviews: Catalyst by Jennifer Snyder

Series: Tethered 1
Format: Mobi
Excerpt
Release Date: May 1, 2013

Publisher: self-published
Source: Author Little Read Laura
Genre: Paranormal New Adult
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble 

Sometimes who we really are lies buried just beneath the surface…

After learning she’s inherited a house in the beachside town of Soul Harbor, Georgia, Addison Harmon and her best friend decided to take a much needed vacation before the pressures of life after high school suffocate them too heavily.

But what Addison finds isn’t a chance to recoup from a bad break up and hang out with her best friend while she decides what she wants to do with her future. What she finds is Kace Sullivan—a sexy guy she can’t seem to get enough of—someone who with one touch reveals a seductive world full of magick and secrets Addison isn’t sure she’s ready to be a part of.
CATALYST by Jennifer Snyder is the first book in her paranormal new adult series, Tethered. It follows the life and journey of Addison Avery Harmon who was given up for adoption by her mom to protect her from someone or something yet to be disclosed. Addison is from a line of witches and she wasn't aware of this heritage until she inherited her grandmother's house in Soul Harbor, Georgia. Once there, Addison immediately felt the macickal pull of the town and discovered her elemental Magick  thanks to her new found friend and suitor, Kace Sullivan. But it seems Addison isn't a welcome town addition, as soon as she got there strange things started happening and it looks like someone wants her out of there ASAP.

CATALYST was a very quick and easy read. Despite it being a new adult novel, it still pretty much read as MYA in terms of the pace, language and "wholesomeness". The premise felt familiar reminding me a lot of L.J. Smith's The Secret Circle, including the predictable events that happened in the story. But despite this air of familiarity, I do love the the small-town beachy feel of Soul Harbor, Georgia, I almost wished this was an illustrated book or something because I'd really love to see the town. Not only that, Addison's house simply wowed me! It sounded so quaint and a little reminiscent of that popular witch house in San Francisco, CA belonging to three Charmed witch sisters.  

On to the characters.

I found Addison to be passive for the most part. Aside from trying her hand in witchcraft, she basically did close to nothing as far as making the effort to find out more about her biological family. Instead, she relied on gossip and bits and pieces of memory shared to her by her new found acquaintances. I mean the girl is adopted and now that this part of her life has unfolded, I half expect her to be more proactive in finding out who and what she is especially after learning she's an Elemental! Instead she got busy making out with boring Kace who's cuteness is the only thing that's going on for him. This boy is as exciting as watching paint dry. Meh!

Now the wild card, Theo who is way more interesting than cardboard flavored, Kace. This boy piqued my interest despite his brief but mysterious appearance in the book. He practices Hoodoo and I'm still unsure but it looked like he cast a spell on Addison to either warn her off or scare her away. It backfired a bit and by story's end, these two are linked. What will happen next, I don't know but it's something worth looking forward to.

CATALYST might not have been the most exciting novel I've read but it's a good enough introduction to the series and designed to have its readers jump on to the next book. Despite having an air of predictability, JSnyder wrote several imaginative and sometimes creepy magickal scenes and I wish we saw more of that throughout the novel instead of saving it towards the end. And even though the premise for the series isn't as unique as I'd hoped it would be, it still held my interest. I can only hope that the succeeding books will have better plot twists, intriguing character growth and more magick. 






Cover Reveal: Soul Resurrected by Keri Lake

Soul Resurrected
Sons of Wrath 2
Keri Lake
Self-published
October 31, 2013
PNR
As Wrath’s fiercest son, Logan carries the scars of fifty years spent in the most dreaded prison of the underworld, for a sin he’d kill to keep secret. Enduring decades of gruesome torture has left Logan feared by and detached from others, until a female Alexi’s blood resurrects his soul from death and, with it, the pleasures he’s been denied for so long.

Plagued by shame of her own, Calla is drawn to the ruthless demon, Logan, whose insatiable craving for her touch rouses buried passions and, for once, leaves her feeling desired.

A dark and dangerous evil has been reawakened, however, and when Calla is drawn too close to its breeding grounds, Logan vows to summon the violence of Wrath in order to keep her safe. First, though, Calla must save him from a past riddled with deceit and corruption … but only if she can accept the consequences of unveiling a grisly truth.
Read more to see the cover

August 28, 2013

J.R Ward's Fallen Angels Series + Giveaway (US Only)

You all know how much we love, adore, and go fangirl crazy over J.R. Ward here on Talk Supe. In my opinion, Miss Ward is the HBIC when it comes to paranormal romance. Her well written novels have captivated us and her damaged heroes have captured our hearts over the last couple of years. When it comes to a new J.R Ward release, we will more than likely drop whatever it is we're reading and jump back into her wonderful paranormal world.

POSSESSION, the fifth installment in the Fallen Angels series will be released on October 1st and to help promote the release, we have partnered with Penguin to do an awesome giveaway for you guys. Penguin will be giving away paperback copies of Covet, book one in the series to FIVE lucky Talk Supe followers. But before we get to the giveaway let's do a recap of the series so far.



COVET
Fallen Angels #1
October 29, 2009

Seven deadly sins. Seven souls to save. This is the first battle between a savior who doesn't believe and a demon with nothing to lose!

Redemption isn't a word Jim Heron knows much about-his specialty is revenge, and to him, sin is all relative. But everything changes when he becomes a fallen angel and is charged with saving the souls of seven people from the seven deadly sins. And failure is not an option.

Vin DiPietro long ago sold his soul to his business, and he's good with that-until fate intervenes in the form of a tough-talking, Harley-riding, self-professed savior. And then he meets a woman who will make him question his destiny, his sanity, and his heart-and he has to work with a fallen angel to win her over and redeem his own soul.



"One thing I like about J.R. Ward's writing is how the POV shifts on those crucial situations. Although still written on the 3rd person, the perspective shifts between characters so you have the intel all the time. Nothing is implied on those important scenes, we know what's going on in each character's mind and it's consistent even on the BDB novels. Another reason why I'm sure I'll be hooked on this series plus the fact that I'm curious about her Angel Myth and what form it'll take on as the series progress."  -- Braine

Read Braine's Full Review of Covet (Fallen Angels #1) HERE



CRAVE
Fallen Angels #2
October 2010

Seven deadly sins. Seven souls that must be saved. One more no-holds- barred battle between a fallen angel with a hardened heart and a demon with everything to lose. Isaac Rothe is a black ops soldier with a dark past and a grim future. The target of an assassin, he finds himself behind bars, his fate in the hands of his gorgeous public defender Grier Childe. His hot attraction to her can only lead to trouble-and that's before Jim Heron tells him his soul is in danger. Caught up in a wicked game with the demon who shadows Jim, Isaac must decide whether the soldier in him can believe that true love is the ultimate weapon against evil.



"As for the Ward signature, these men are D.A.M.A.G.E.D. Adrian and Eddie, aside from their traumatic past with Devina, have a disturbing relationship reminiscent of the BDB's Butch and Vishous but while the Brothers' relationship is chaste, Adrian and Eddie is hardly platonic."  --  Braine

Read Braine's Full Review of Crave (Fallen Angels #2) HERE





ENVY
Fallen Angels #3
October 2011

As the son of a serial killer, homicide detective Thomas "Veck" DelVecchio, Jr., grew up in the shadow of evil. Now, on the knife-edge between civic duty and blind retribution, he atones for the sins of his father---while fighting his inner demons. Assigned to monitor Veck is Internal Affairs officer Sophia Reilly, whose interest in him is both professional and arousingly personal. And Veck and Sophia have another link: Jim Heron, a mysterious stranger with too many answers...to questions that are deadly. When Veck and Sophia are drawn into the ultimate battle between good and evil, their fallen angel savior is the only thing that stands between them and eternal damnation.




"If you are a Ward fan and haven't started Fallen Angels then you better haul some serious a$$ and start reading because the story is getting better each time. ENVY was worth the hype and I hardly reread books immediately but I think I'll make an exception for this one."  -- Braine
Read Braine's Full Review of Envy (Fallen Angels #3) HERE





RAPTURE
Fallen Angels #4
October 2012


Mels Carmichael, reporter for the Caldwell Courier Journal, gets the shock of her life when a man stumbles in front of her car outside the local cemetery. After the accident, his amnesia is just the kind of mystery she likes to solve, but she soon discovers they’re in over their heads with his past. Over their heads with passion, too...


As shadows walk the line between reality and another realm, and her lover’s memory begins to come back, the two of them learn that nothing is truly dead and buried. Especially when you’re trapped in a no holds barred war between angels and demons. With a soul on the line, and Mels’s heart at risk, what in Heaven—or in Hell—will it take to save them both?




POSSESSION
Fallen Angels #5
October 1, 2013 
When Cait Douglass resolves to get over her broken heart, throw off her inhibitions, and start really living, she’s unprepared for the two sensual men who cross her path. Torn between them, she doesn’t know which to choose--or what kind of dire consequences could follow.

Jim Heron, fallen angel and reluctant savior, is ahead in the war, but he puts everything at risk when he seeks to make a deal with the devil--literally. As yet another soul is unwittingly caught in the battle between him and the demon Devina, his fixation on an innocent trapped in Hell threatens to sidetrack him from his sacred duty...

Can good still prevail if true love makes a savior weak? And will a woman’s future be the key, or the curse, for all of humanity? Only time, and hearts, will tell.




J.R. Ward is a #1 New York Times and USAToday Best Selling author of erotic paranormal romance. She lives in the south with her incredibly supportive husband and her beloved golden retriever. After graduating from law school, she began working in healthcare in Boston and spent many years as Chief of Staff of one of the premier academic medical centers in the nation. Writing has always been her passion and her idea of heaven is a whole day of nothing but her computer, her dog and her coffee pot.

 Connect with JR Ward
Website  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads 



In celebration of the release of POSSESION on October 1st, Pengiun is giving away FIVE paperback copies of Covet (Fallen Angels #1).

Every Monday for the month of September, we will be choosing a winner to receive a copy of Covet. To enter, just fill in the Rafflecopter form below. Contest open to US Residents Only.




Weekly Winners:
Monday, Sept. 2nd: Kim M. Entry #309
Monday, Sept. 9th: Rhonda B. Entry #555
Monday, Sept. 16th: TBD
Monday, Sept. 23rd: TBD
Monday, Sept. 30th: TBD
 
(Winners have been notified and claimed prizes)
 
 

 

Braine Reviews: Beauty Bites by Mary Hughes + Tour Giveaway

Series: Biting Love 6
Format: Mobi
Excerpt
Release Date: August 27, 2013
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Source: Publisher via Author's Angels
Genre: PNR
Beauty is skin deep…but the beast goes all the way.

When top Minneapolis ad man Ric Holiday is asked to design a campaign for a quaint little town, his first reaction is absolutely not. Meiers Corners is too near Chicago, home of the vampire who turned him as an orphaned boy.

Then the city sends an angel-faced med student with a body made for sin to plead their case. Synnove Byornsson is the ray of sunshine Ric hasn’t felt since he was human.

Armed with determination and a micro miniskirt, Synnove is prepared to crash Holiday’s penthouse cocktail party—and to dislike him on sight. But Mr. All-Style-No-Substance turns out to have a deadly smile, a barely restrained, feral strength, and piercing blue eyes that look at her—not at her cleavage.

Unfortunately Synnove has competition in the form of a sly temptress with a counterproposal. For the first time in her life, Synnove must cash in her genetic lottery ticket and fire back with some sizzle of her own—or her beloved Meiers Corners could become the new Sin City.

Warning: Contains a doctor with a bod for sin, an ad exec with a chip on his shoulder, sarcasm, sex, and a cabin full of annoying friends. Secrets are revealed. One heart-stopping, horrific moment leads to the ultimate of happily-ever-afters.
More like a 3.5

I'll be honest and say that I didn't get the chance to read the first 5 books of Mary Hughes Biting Love series before jumping in to read the latest installment, BEAUTY BITES. I had my fingers crossed that this is one of those series where it can be read as a stand-alone and I'm soo glad that it was... a bit.

BEAUTY BITES has it's own plot (based on my brief research on previous books) but the main theme of the series is that of a vampire-human relationship with the humans interconnected in some way. There were characters from previous books that made cameos but they didn't eclipse Ric Holiday and Synnove Byornsson's (love her name, so unique!) story. The story line is simple as you can tell from the blurb however it's the conflict that provided much interest for me. See Ric's maker is The Nosferatu and as he didn't like how the latter is running their little orphan coven, Ric escaped and this didn't sit well with the legendary vamp. Since then they've been playing cat and mouse until Nosferatu made a move that forced Ric to finally face his maker. 

Ric isn't a very complicated character, he's sexy and formidable in his own right but he didn't exude Alpha nor was he an asshole... which I totally dig. Between you and I, I'm a little tired of arrogant, self-important men so I'm glad Ric isn't one of them. So to summarize, Ric is a pretty decent vamp and a sexy one at that and his intimate scenes with Synnove was hawt! Now Synnove is a piece of work! She's a doctor who would spout random biological trivia when she's nervous plus as she's had self defense training, she'd plan and verbalize her attack a la RDJ in Sherlock Holmes on choice action sequences. Despite Synnove's impressive resume, I found her a little silly. See the quote below as to why:
I knew no one took me seriously. I couldn't help people because I looked like a damned porn star instead of a doctor.
Insert eye roll. As smart as she is, I'd expect her to be... cunning in terms of coping with her perceived "handicap".

Even though I didn't love Synnove, I still love MHughes' writing voice, she wrote some clever dialogues with a hint of sarcasm and that really worked well for me. The myth was pretty standard; blood drinkers, no sunlight and garlic allergy, the only difference is they can reproduce. The world-building was more "contemporary" than PNR so it wasn't that hard to get acclimated to. BEAUTY BITES is a cool read, I don't think I'll read the previous books but I'm eager to read the succeeding books. 



Biting Love 1-5


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I've worked as everything from a cleaning temp to project manager for global clients. Currently I'm an author, musician, and computer consultant. I live in the United States Midwest with a basement full of spare computer parts and several musical instruments including my husband's romantic cello and my flute for playing bird parts in orchestra...ask me to tell you that story sometime :)

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Mary
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