1st April 2009 to 30th June 2009
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Monday, August 24, 2009

Dogs and Goddesses

Dogs and Goddesses
Jennifer Crusie, Anne Stuart, Lani Diane Rich

St. Martin's
February 2009
mass market paperback
400 pages
Paranormal Romance/comedy

First off, this is not an anthology, it is a joint novel

Summerville, Ohio is about to go through some major changes and there is a lively cast of characters. Abby has just arrived with her placid Newfoundland because she inherited her grandmother's coffee shop. Daisy's mom has left her Jack Russell with her "just until my allergies clear up" then rushes off to New York for shopping. Then there is Shar. Professor of ancient history trying to fulfill a promise to her mother (dead) to finish her grandmother's (also dead) book. Shar has a dachshund and one morning she wakes up to growling, there's a god in her bedroom.

And to top if all off, an ancient goddess has moved into the History department. Rumor has it, it used to be a temple before it was dismantled and brought her as one of the school buildings. Too bad the top floor became the professors house. You know, the one with a god in the bedroom!

Shar has a boyfriend, another professor who lives above the coffee shop. Abby's grandmother promised him cookies so stuffed-shirt that he is, he demands Abby fulfill the commit or return the deposit - a deposit that was given to her dead grandmother! Not only that, Abby doesn't know how to bake and the whole kitchen/coffee shop needs a good scrubbing.

Noah, handsome assistant to none other than Kammani Gula, Mesopotamian Goddess of Love, Goddess of Life and Goddess of Healing. And modern-day trainer of dogs.

Then there is Mina. Mortuary Mina, Grad student in the history department. Writes all her papers on disasters. If someone died horribly in history, Mina's your woman.

There are seven women in the dog obedience class, each with baggage ;-) Noah, Kammani, the god Samu-el and various community members complete this outrageous cast.

This is a fun, fast-paced and quirky book. There are misunderstandings, unlikely friendships, betrayals, enlightenment and talking dogs. Oh, did I forget to mention that? Kammani seems to be a dog worshiper and after drinking a "tonic" in the obedience class the girls can hear their dogs talk. Not over done, more of a four-legged character.

I read this earlier this year and I'm ready to return to Summerville.

Dogs and Goddesses at amazon.com and at the publisher

read in April? finally got it reviewed!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Magical Christmas Cat

The Magical Christmas Cat
anthology: Lora Leigh, Erin McCarthy, Nalini Singh, Linda Winstead Jones

Berkley Sensation
October 2008
384 pages (trade paperback)
~this book is available on the Kindle~

I love anthologies. You can sample several new authors without taking the time to read full novels. In this case, I was NOT disappointed and will be adding these authors to my list.

Four, new, delightful Christmas paranormal romances with a feline touch.

Stroke of Enticement by Nalini Singh
This is a great introduction to her Psy-Changelings! In the hospital with a broken leg, a little girl asks Santa to bring her a friend. "Someone fun who wanted to be with me and didn't care that my leg was all mangled up." Santa waits a long time to deliver but, man, is he worth it.
I've got book 1 on reserve at the library

Christmas Bree by Erin McCarthy
One of three "witch" sisters finds the love of her life in an unexpected way. (now I want to read about the other two!)

Sweet Dreams by Linda Winstead Jones
This full moon, Il Gatto Nero would be awake just long enough to steal a woman's soul. After taking this one, his ninth, he would "walk the earth, immortal and indestructible and bringing an unimaginable darkness to an unprepared world". Zane is one of a brotherhood waiting for a sign of which soul will be taken.

Ruby just inherited her aunts home, wacky neighbors included. A "secret admirer" leaves a gift for her at the neighborhood Christmas party, a beautiful Jade cat. Too bad it's just what Zane, studly and standoffish professor, has been waiting for. (just a bit scary)

Christmas Heat by Lora Leigh
A short story in the world of her genetically altered breeds. Someone is using the breeds own DNA against them and only one human can testify in court. If she lives long enough. And to add the spice, her main guard is coming into mating heat! (Great intro to the series even if it is in the middle, can't wait to read more)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Bonds of the Maleri'

4.5 stars
Bonds of the Maleri'
Kate Steele

Changeling Press
283 pages (trade size paperback)
Paranormal Romance, Sci-fi
(originally released as 5 ebooks)

This is an anthology. One author, one "world", five stories. I won this book in a contest and it is fabulous. You learn the background in book one and there isn't a lot of backtracking between books. very enjoyable

The following is "clean" but ... the love interest pair in each book is male/male and the sex is a bit heavier than some of the "mainstream" romances out there. Actually, I've had romance books shock the heck out of me because I wasn't expecting it, this time expect it.

On the faraway planet of Belthola exists a group of extraordinary men. Born with empathic powers, they devote themselves to the service of their planet as mediators, diplomats, doctors, lawmen and scholars. Where help is needed by any planet or people, they generously provide it. But even those with powers have their weaknesses. For the Maleri', the use of their gift can eventually cause madness, even death. The one thing that can prevent such as ill fated end is the taking of a mate. One with whom they can join-mind, body and soul.

Book 1: Mate Hunt
Coltas Oldarie is a healer in need of a mate. He's blacking out and can no longer use his gift. Off to Earth, where many have found their Mates before, he too, finds his. Only there is an older brother protecting what Col wants most.

Book 2: Double or Nothing
spoiler The brother Eric comes with when Col and his mate head back to Belthola. Will he be mate to someone planetside? He's like a fish out of water and is kidnapped. Why?

Book 3: Between Love and Law
Head of planet security, Chase has a lonely job. With every promotion, he's let his job become his life, worried a slip may cause harm to one of his guys. What happens when his mate arrives in the employee of Delmon, a sleazeball mob-like kind of guy? His job? To steal the Blaze of Belthola!

Book 4: Ride 'Em Cowboy
Zeb is sent to Wyoming to learn all he can about cattle ranching only to find his mate. A mate who can not leave the ranch/Earth, while Zeb's job is back on Belthola. This isn't looking good for either of them.

Book 5: Redemption
Kicked out of the Brotherhood for taking sides, Jor wanders the Galaxy. He's unmated and the blackouts and pain are worsening. Dane trained at John Hopkins but is on a backwater planet trying to escape the memories of his first mate, Tel. Can true love cure all? Is Redemption possible?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Call of the Highland Moon by Kendra Leigh Castle

Rating: 4 stars
This book is the first in the series about the MacInnes werewolves, of which I read the most recent book first, Wild Highland Magic. They can be read as stand-alone books, but I could tell that there was definitely a history to these books that I would really enjoy reading, so I picked up the first two.
Call of the Highland Moon is the story of Gideon MacInnes, the next Alpha of his Pack. He has always been the reliable one, but for once he decides to give that up, and he takes off to America (his Pack home is in the Scottish highlands, naturally). There he realizes that he has been followed, by enemies he suspects were sent by his traitorous cousin. After a fierce battle he is left terribly wounded, and shows up on the doorstep of a romance bookstore in a tiny little town in New England. That bookstore is owned by Carly Silver, who takes him in, convincing herself that he is someone's overgrown pet. In the morning she wakes up with this "pet" in her bed, but in his sleep he has turned back into a large naked man. This makes for some very uncomfortable explanations. But Carly and Gideon are drawn to each other, and now Gideon must figure out not only how to protect his Pack from his cousin's treachery, but also how to protect the woman he loves.
I think that my favorite thing about these books is the love stories. The Pack werewolves mate for life, and they know instinctively when they have met that mate, no matter how bad the timing. And of course, the timing is never good. But knowing that the couple is meant to be together adds a level of romance that I love. Castle creates terrific, three-dimensional characters that you would love to have as friends. And the fact that Carly owns a bookstore that caters specifically to romance lovers cracks me up. These books are very funny, with pop-culture references that are just perfect. Really, I love these books, and for paranormal romance lovers, I would recommend them whole-heartedly.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Desire Unchained by Larissa Ione

Desire Unchained by Larissa Ione

Year Published: 2009

My Rating: 5 stars

416 pages

This is the second book in the Demonica series.

This time it's the story of the second brother the paramedic Shade. When he wakes up chained in a dark dungeoen with his human ex-girlfriend Runa he thinks he is dreaming.. Since she discovered his betrayal almost a year ago and ran away from the scene broken hearted and hurt she encountered a life altering situation which almost kills her. Now almost a year later she comes back to seek revenge only to be caught by a nightmare in disguise.

Now she is mad as hell with him and the situation that she is in because of him, plus this emprisonment!!

When they are forced to life-bond by their crazy captor that is seeking revenge on the most highest level. They are faced with a bond that seals their fates and emotions they can't seem to help avoid, Shade is forced to endure a curse that will fade him away! But will Runa help him or avenge her shattered heart.

This was such a book that was hard to put down.. Shade is so adorable in that hunky hot kind of way..

It was so action filled that it was amazing.. twists and turns when you least expect it.. I loved it.. Every time I think ok it's everything is fine now something turns up that makes me sitting on the edge of my seat!! I would highly recommend this book to any paranormal/romance reader .. it is so passionate that it leaves you smiling..

I'll be picking up the third book soon to see what happens with the third brother Wraith :) God they are so hot!! I just can't wait :)

Quotes I liked from the book..

“There’s so much evil in him, Paleshadow,” she’d told Shade once, using the nickname he’d never hear again.

Wraith snorted. “Cowards. Seriously. Who brings a gun to a knife fight? That’s cheating.”

God, this felt good. He slid Wraith a glance. “This isn’t like, vampire gay, is it?”Wraith snorted and shot him the finger.

You hated me so much that you wanted to bring down me and the hospital.” The tone of his voice became gentler. “Not that I blame you.”

He might be a demon, but he was also a paramedic, and the desire to save lives was almost as strong as his drive to have sex.With Runa. His mate.Fuck.
“What? I didn’t cuss.” Way to sound guilty, idiot.

For the love of all that’s unholy, stop it. Stop being so fucking nice. You should hate me.”

You can’t truly hate someone you’ve loved. You can only hurt.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me thrice… I end up dead.

“I will bear this pain for you,” he swore. “If one of us has to bleed, it will be me. It’ll always be me.” There was nothing he wouldn’t do for her, he knew that now.

The angel wheeled away, and when Runa made to give chase, Shade grabbed her by the scruff. “Down, girl. They’re almost impossible to kill. Let him go.”

Wraith jerked Kynan closer, taking long, powerful pulls as though trying to ingest as much nourishment as possible before his meal was taken away.

Wraith sat forward in his chair, propping his forearms on his spread knees. “’Sup, buddy.”Buddy? Kynan blinked again. He wasn’t at UG. He was in the Twilight Zone.

Other reviews:

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wild Highland Magic by Kendra Leigh Castle

This is my first read for this challenge. This is the third book in a series, but reading them out of order doesn't spoil anything, so my other two books for this challenge are going to be the first two in the series. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. It is a brand-new release, coming out in May.
Bastian an Morgaine is the last in a line of sorcerers who have been plagued by a curse for the last five generations. Bastian had hoped to be able to rid himself of it, and even though he takes steps to fight the curse, he truly does not have much hope. When he meets Cat, a MacInnes werewolf, his life completely changes.
Bastian is from the parallel world of Coracin, and Cat is from Earth. Bastian has fled to the MacInnes home in Scotland to recuperate and plan his next move, but his timing is terrible. He is there when all of the far-flung family converges for a reunion, which is what brings Cat, along with her two younger sisters, Poppy and Skye, and her estranged father. Events come to a head as old rivalries are brought up and new dangers surface. And of course there is a good amount of love at first sight (or bite, in this case).
I actually enjoyed this book a lot more than I expected to - I tend to occasionally judge books by their covers, and this one just seemed too typical. Thankfully though, the story was anything but. I also discovered that it is the third book set in the world the author has created. (The covers for the other two books are disturbingly similar to this one.) While reading this book I did not feel like I missed anything, as Castle does a good job of giving background information, but it was obvious that there was more history to the story. The other characters were clearly important to the author, as were their stories, even though they weren't the main protagonists of this book. The romance was lovely - and it's not just Cat and Bastian that get to fall in love, which was nice. The world as Castle has created it works very well, and I look forward to catching up and reading the other two books in this series now.

Dark Prince by Christine Feehan

The Eclectic Reader
My Rating: 5 stars
Carpathians #1
Copyright: 1999
Pages: 308

Call me old fashioned, call me a sucker, call me a soft touch, I just loved this paranormal love story and I fell in love (& lust) with the Carpathian males.

Mikhail Dubrinsky, Prince of the Carpathians, impossibly arrogant but tempered with a vulnerability that had me emotionally invested in his story.
Raven Whitney, human, gifted telepath and emotionally & physically depleted from tracking the twisted mental paths of serial killers. Raven has escaped to the Carpathian mountains to heal, unaware her life is about to change forever - she is Mikhail's lifemate, she just doesn't know it yet.

Carpathians are an ancient race, gifted with immense strength, heightened senses, longevity, & they have the ability to shapeshift, control the minds of humans & command the earth & weather. They also use gifts from the earth to heal themselves. Whilst they need to feed on human blood for their strength and powers, a true Carpathian would never harm a human by doing so. Carpathian males must find their one true lifemate or darkness seeps into their soul, slowly consuming them. Without feminine light to offset their darkness, males eventually choose to meet the dawn or embrace the darkness & turn vampire.

"We have to find our one mate, our other half, the light to our darkness. You are my light, Raven, my very life."

Waiting for the next installment in the Dark Series to arrive is a bit like waiting for Santa as a child ~ I'm definitely looking forward to reading more about the Carpathian males, particularly Jacques & Gregori