Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Reviews 1/10

Fire and Ice Maya DeLeina

Fire and Ice: Seasons of the Vampire I (Volume 1) - Maya DeLeina

Fire and Ice, Seasons of the Vampire 1 by Maya DeLeina

Noel Tierney thought she’d have enough time before the predicted storm to make it to her holiday retreat, but the snow hit sooner than expected. Caught unprepared on a treacherous pass, poor visibility and icy conditions lead to a crash. She lay immobile in her vehicle, stranded in a ditch in the most remote leg of her journey.
A faceless hero comes to her rescue and Noel has no choice but to wait out the blizzard in her rescuer’s unique cabin nestled in the woods. Everything about Grayson James peaks her curiosity—his valor, air of mystery and most of all, undeniable attractiveness.
For three days and nights, passions are unleashed and unexpected emotions are brought to life. When the storm breaks, Grayson vanishes into thin air, but not before revealing startling news that leaves her questioning her sanity.
Fast forward years later and Noel is in the southernmost part of the United States. She’d come seeking solace after her husband’s tragic death, but what finds her in Key West is more than she ever anticipated.
In the sultry summer, her unbridled winter’s ecstasy resurrects.
And so does the Vampire.
"In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.”  
-Albert Camus

Dark yet welcoming, the restaurant pulled them in with its ambiance.
The plastered walls were sponged in color blocks of a deep red and black. The ceilings were painted in a high polish black and stone black tile lined the floor. Striking kabuki masks and detailed silk kimono robes lined the walls
The women shared the restaurant with no one except the spiciness of sriracha seasonings and robust scent of the rich soy sauce that filled the air. They sat on their high top stools at the bar, enjoying the food and the reprieve from the heat. 
“Air conditioning is nice, huh?” Noel asked.
“Yes, I’ll give you that. I forgot how sticky this weather can be. I think we have to get used to having bad hair and make up days.”
 “I think you’re right.”
Suzanne finished sipping the last of the broth. “The soup is amazing. It’s not the kind of cuisine I had in mind for our vacation in Key West, though.”
“I had no clue this was even here. But, I needed this…helped with my hangover.”
“Feel better?”
“Absolutely. I think I can tackle a Sandhill Hooker shot or two today. After all, we are on the infamous Duval Street.”
“Okay, pickle juice that way…now you’re talking.”
She looked around the place and smiled. “It’s pretty cool in here.”
Suzanne leaned her head back. “And look at how high the ceiling is. I like all that exposed ductwork. I wonder what this place was before?”
“This used to be a club,” said the waitress as she carried in a case of liquor from the kitchen to the bar.
“This was a club?” Suzanne asked.
“Yeah. You two new to Key West?”
“First time here.”
Noel sat quietly listening to the conversation unfold between Suzanne and the waitress.
“You want a little history on this building you won’t hear about on any tour guide?” The waitress asked as she unpacked the box and carefully placed the bottles on the lighted shelves behind the bar.
“This restaurant and the entire vacant spot next door used to be one big club.” The waitress turned around and pointed towards the ceiling. “There was an entire second floor up there. The owners of the restaurant demolished it since the place is small and narrow. The height makes it feel spacious. You can sorta tell how it looked like the second floor with that small area they kept above the kitchen. The red spiral staircase you see leading up to that area…that’s original to the building.”
“Yeah, taking the second floor out does make it feel bigger. So the club must’ve been packed all the time to have two floors, huh?”
The waitress laughed and leaned against the counter. “They didn’t advertise.  And you notice it’s off of Duval right?”
The women nodded.
“Not much foot traffic on this street like Duval. This was the hush-hush place. You had to get invited. Secret door knock and password would let you in—extremely private and exclusive.”
“You ever get invited?”
“Oh, God, no. I have no idea who got invited, but I wasn’t one of them. In fact, I never knew the club existed until a friend told me that the owners were going to put the building up for sale a few years ago. I was like, ‘what club?’ And the thing was, I walked past the place many times and always thought it was an abandoned building.”
“So what was the deal? Why was it private? What went on?”
“Rumors claimed it as an adult playground.”
“If the place was still in operation, somehow I know Suzanne would get an invite,” Noel chimed in.
Suzanne flashed a wicked smile.
“Possibly,” the waitress said. “Get’s your thoughts going, right? Like, what exactly happened in there? Who went there? But the one thing I was always curious about was seeing the place. They say it was like being on another planet.” 
Noel awaited a break in the conversation to jump back in with her questions. But movement from out of the corner of her eye caught her attention. She snapped her head to look at the loft area and gasped. 
“What?” the waitress asked in a concerning tone.
She scanned the area in confusion.
“What’s wrong?” Suzanne asked.
“I-I thought I saw something up there.”
 The waitress peered into the kitchen. “Can’t be. No one else is here except Jesse and he’s at sink.”
“What’s that door up there?”
“That’s the access point to the space next door, but its sealed shut from the other side. Trust me. I’ve tried to see if I could get in to sneak a peek.” 
“What is it that you think you saw?” Suzanne asked.
She shrugged her shoulders as goose bumps paraded along her skin. The same feeling stirred again—as if she were being watched. “I thought I saw someone looking down on us from that railing.”
Suzanne turned to the waitress. “We partied a bit last night.”
“That tends to happen in Key West.”
“I think we’ll take the check and I’ll get this one out for some much needed fresh air and vitamin D.”
“Sure thing.”
“I’m not crazy, Suzanne,” she whispered as she reached for her purse.
“I didn’t say you were. I just think you need to get outside.”
“Sammy told you right?”
“The boat? Me freaking out that someone was watching me last night?”
 “Yes. But, honey, I think you’re just thinking of Dante being in this place and visualizing him. That’s all.”
The waitress slid the check across the counter and Suzanne immediately snatched it up. “My treat. You get drinks tonight.”
Suzanne placed the cash on top of counter. “Keep the change, darling. Thanks for the 411 on this place. Very interesting.”
“No problem. You guys go have fun.”

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About Maya DeLeina:
Maya DeLeina is a multi-published Erotic Vampire Romance Author  with Siren , Evernight and Ellora’s Cave Publishing.  Her current series includes Ambrose Heights Vampires, My Naughty Vampire and Vampire Architects.
Not only does Maya have theatrical book trailers that bring her vampires to life, all of her vampires were featured in Singer/Songwriter Jill Cohn's music video "Blessing Moon".

Visit Maya DeLeina Online:
Don't Miss Maya's Contest, she's giving away several e-book copies of different books including her latest release!

Fragmented: A Section 8 Novel (A Section Eight Novel)

Fragmented: A Section 8 Novel (A Section Eight Novel) - Stephanie Tyler I received a digital and print copy in exchange for an honest review from Berkley.

Fragmented is the third book in the Section 8 series, and although I'm only just starting the series with this book the author does try to fill in some of the blanks from previous books there is much that leaves the reader mostly hanging unless you've read the previous books. That being said I do feel that Stephanie has done a fantastic job creating characters that are both flawed but carry their own strength that really gives the readers something deeper to hold on to and respect.
I particularly like the new direction Stephanie takes the story because it becomes more complex than just the chase and the longing of our h/h and gives us a hook to grab onto for her following installments.
I love Stephanie's writing and will be investing in both the previous and following books in this series. I can't wait to see what happens next.

Falling Away

Falling Away - Penelope Douglas I received a print and digital copy in exchange for an honest review from Berkley.

Although I really liked Jax as a character I don't think that Falling Away really did it for me even though the author writes very well and the story she has created is an interesting one for some reason I couldn't stay in it very well. I would give it 5 stars if I enjoyed the book because of how well the author has done to create her multidimensional characters both with pasts and redeeming points but I couldn't emotionally invest possibly because my previous judgements of the book that took place before it.

Montana Actually

Montana Actually - Fiona Lowe I received a digital and print copy in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley and Berkley.

I thought that Montana Actually was a great book, the no strings attached hook up between both our h/h ofcourse builds up to a more serious relationship and while there is quite a bit of deeper emotional lessons the author adds about obligations to family and loved ones there feels to be a bit of resistance to that idea from our characters. I did feel as if there could have been a better connection between the h/h that the author explored on a deeper scale but in the end even though I didn't get the predictable happy ending and loose ends tied up I still enjoyed the book.

The Millionaire Rogue (The Hope Diamond Trilogy)

The Millionaire Rogue (The Hope Diamond Trilogy) - Jessica Peterson I received a digital and print copy from Netgalley and Berkley in exchange for an honest review.

The Millionaire Rogue is a kick ass historical romance from beginning to end. The characters more modern in mind are caught up in the mystery snatch and while they're trying to solve the disappearance the steamy romance between Sophia and Thomas is ignited. You wouldn't imagine to find so much excitement and sexy love scenes in the book but Jessica nails it.
I really felt that she did a wonderful job creating both the banter and the multiple plots her characters find themselves being drawn into. I really enjoyed reading The Millionaire Rogue and I can't wait to read what Jessica has planned next.

Back to Before

Back to Before - Tracy Solheim I received a digital and print copy from Netgalley and Berkley in exchange for an honest review.

Back to Before was a great book full of heart and characters you can believe in. From their faults and flaws to their hopes and dreams they capture you and hold you close.

Meet Me In Scotland

Meet Me In Scotland - Patience Griffin I received a print and digital copy from Netgalley and Berkley in exchange for an honest review.

Meet Me in Scotland is fantastic! I loved it from beginning to end.
I think a lot of women reading this book can relate to the feeling of being jaded by love and their past experiences that they wish they could leave behind them. That's what Emma is going through when she arrives in Scotland to escape her own disappointment in the concept in love. But ofcourse life is what happens when you're busy making plans and in enters Doctor Sexy who turns her world on its head. I had a blast with Gabriel and Emma, they're a sweet couple and Patience is the kind of writer that can easily make you believe in love again.

Burnin' Up Memphis

Burnin' Up Memphis - Delilah Devlin I received a digital copy from Samhain in exchange for an honest review.

Delilah Devlin is an author I never want to miss out on, her work is always amazing. Burnin' Up Memphis isn't what I was expecting but it was certainly beyond hot. I wish I had gotten the fulfillment of getting a proper happily ever after ending but none the less getting to be a part of John's exploration into LaForge is beyond hot. Miss Devlin is a fabulous writer.

Ahead in the Heat

Ahead in the Heat - Lorelie Brown I received a digital and print copy in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley and Berkley.

Ahead in the Heat was a good story. I wasn't sure I would like it in the beginning but in the end it grew on me. The therapy thing wasn't so convincing but once I let that go and invested in the characters interaction I wanted to know more about what made them tick, what secrets they held on to and who they were. There were a few things I didn't like about Sean overall but I liked Annie and I liked them together.

Dreamer's Daughter

Dreamer's Daughter - Lynn Kurland I received a print and digital copy from Netgalley and Berkley in exchange for an honest review.

Lynn Kurland is a writer with an impressive ability to bring magic to life. Her characters are full of heart, and depth, her world is vivid with wonderful detail that draws you into her art from the beginning. Dreamer's Daughter is the first book of her Nine Kingdoms series I've read and I am thrilled to find the previous books and add them to my collection at home.
I loved Runach and Aisling together and I especially enjoyed being a part of their journey as they found their way through darkness and over the hurdles that test their abilities and their kingdoms as they journey redemption and heart.

Slowly Unwrapped: A Very Short Christmas Story

Slowly Unwrapped: A Very Short Christmas Story - Victoria Vane I received a digital copy in exchange for an honest review from Samhain.

Slowly Unwrapped is a quicky and a nod to the authors fans surrounding the h/h that enjoy follow ups on previous characters.

A Shot of Sin

A Shot of Sin - Eden Summers I received a digital copy in exchange for an honest review from Samhain.

A Shot of Sin is definitely not what I was expecting. It was better.
Although some of the Dom parts could have been a bit more amped up however it does not in anyway make it any less provocative. I was entertained by the concept of the Vault and Eden's characters even more so were intriguing. They had depth, they had likable personalities and they had just enough stimulating friendships that make you want to know more about them. I look forward to seeing what Eden has planned for the future.

The Earl I Adore

The Earl I Adore - Erin Knightley
  I received a digital copy from Berkley in exchange for an honest review.

The Earl I Adore is a great book. I think Sophie and John are a great pair even with their individual quirks that through the story seem to keep them apart even as they both find their way together.
The Earl I Adore is a more modernized historical romance which I like because the heroine isn't a complete idiot and isn't totally incapable of thinking for herself. The story has great heart and quite a few funny moments and more than a few frustrating issues that added to the hilarity and my own need to have the h/h find their HEA together. Erin Knightley is an author that has written a great story.

Naughty Bits

Naughty Bits - Joey W. Hill
  I received a digital copy in exchange for an honest review from Berkley.

You can NEVER go wrong with Joey Hill. Her books are fabulous. When I read the first installment for the Naughty Bits (Ebooks) I was thrilled and I was already dancing in anticipation in hopes for them to get put into an actual (print) novel. Joey's work makes me feel like a kid in a candy store when I find her work, I absolutely love her.
Naughty Bits is a great tale with a great build up which I really enjoyed because even with the instant attraction gave (me) the reader a chance to invest in the intensely sexy relationship of our h/h. Naughty Bits is a filling Erotica that fills you complete with satisfaction. You have to have the full thing. Get it now.

The Importance of Being Alice: A Matchmaker in Wonderland Romance

The Importance of Being Alice: A Matchmaker in Wonderland Romance - Katie MacAlister I received a digital copy in exchange for an honest review from Berkley.

The Importance of Being Alice had a few parts that weren't really believable but once I let go of that fact and looked deeper into the story as far as Alice and learning to let go of what isn't good for you and embracing what is no matter how odd became a message that I really liked which in turn really made me love the book. Even if the plot itself doesn't convince you be open to the message Katie brings. She's a great writer.

Silver Thaw

Silver Thaw - Catherine Anderson I received a digital copy in exchange for an honest review from Berkley.

Silver Thaw is a great tale of overcoming your past and starting over in life. Catherine is always an author to go to when you need some small life affirming kind of read that touches your heart. She is fantastic writing heart warming with suspense and HEA tales that reach you on every level. I absolutely loved Silver Thaw, I can't wait to see what she has planned next.

Dictatorship of the Dress

Dictatorship of the Dress - Jessica Topper I received a digital copy from NAL in exchange for an honest review.

There was a few parts I didn't agree with in the beginning but once I invested in the h/h as a couple outside their lives and outside their relationship the rest fell away. I fell in love with the Dictatorship of the Dress. I enjoyed the banter and the intimacy and I enjoyed the fantasy of how they met and began their relationship.
I look forward to reading more books by this author in the future.

You Really Got Me

You Really Got Me (A Rock Star Romance) - Erika Kelly I received a digital copy in exchange for an honest review from NAL.

You Really Got Me was a good story with an interesting take on celebrity type relationships but with a reality grounding on how our h/h worked through their complicated not so private intimate relations. I don't have a whole lot to say about it because it didn't overly impress me or thrill me but it had a decent amount of sexy included in it.


Contradictions - Tiffany King I received a digital copy from Berkley in exchange for an honest review.

Contradictions was a really wonderful story. I enjoyed the mental and emotional connections we got to explore in Trent and Tressa because their dynamic relationship was a little shaky at times but really sweet even with the innocence and the times of doubt. I do like the opposites attract type relationship but they weren't all that different once we got to see more of Tressa and Trent. I really enjoyed reading this story.

Nothing Between Us (A Loving on the Edge Novel)

Nothing Between Us (A Loving on the Edge Novel) - Roni Loren I received a digital copy from Berkley in exchange for an honest review.

I can't put into words how hot Roni writes her books. Its hot and steamy, its sticky and its dirty naughty. I love it. She is a free writer that isn't ashamed of exploring depth and intensity and the limitless passion of her characters. She's an author that's new to me which I found in her Not Until You novel. I think that Roni will quickly become one of my favorites. For Erotica fans searching for a new author to discover I highly suggest it.

Private Affair

Private Affair - Rebecca York I received a digital copy from Sourcebooks in exchange for an honest review.

I always enjoy books by Rebecca York because she adds an element to her books that many authors really don't add and I think that's because they can't. Its not a trait or a quirk or some kind of part of the story its a signature that's hers alone. Its her way of writing a story and bringing it to life. Its just her writing. You can sense her personality in it and that's what really draws me. Her work isn't all sugar and fluff, it has a substantial kind of realism in them that a lot of authors tend to ignore which is something that draws me in when I need a more grounded book to delve into that isn't all about the hearts and flowers angle of the h/h involved. I love Miss York and her work and always will.

Halo: Evolutions, Volume II

Halo: Evolutions, Volume II - Tobias S. Buckell Evo 2 is the same book as Evo 1 except for a single novella that was added to it that wasn't in 1. I rated it four stars because I'm a fan of the Halo world and single story or not I'm a sucker for more.

Blood Wolf Dawning

Blood Wolf Dawning - Rhyannon Byrd I received a digital copy in exchange for an honest review from Harlequin.

I can't describe how much I love the Bloodrunners series. I love all of Rhyannons work because she is such a wonderful writer but when I discovered the Bloodrunners series I searched high and low for the books until I could buy them. Took me several months before I could find print copies but I finally got them from a dealer in Whales and had to wait the long period it took to ship to the US. Once they arrived I locked myself away in my library in my house and read every one back to back in one sitting. I loved them. Not a single one has disappointed me. Blood Wolf Dawning is no different. I love all of her characters and I love the journey Rhyannon puts them on. Its amazing, its fun, its full of heart and its a series I will always be close to.

Life's Too Frantic

So I haven't been around to blog since late November early December, I hope you all are doing well. I am keeping busy wi...