Tag Archives: 8.00 out of 10

Heart Change, by Robin D Owens

25 Feb

Heart ChangeThis is still Holly’s fault.

See, she reviewed Heart Fire here, and then I reviewed Heart Search here, and there was reminiscing in the comments to that review, and of course I had to come back and re-read Heart Change and Heart Fate. What’s a reader to do, after all?

So if you get bitten by the Celta bug, don’t look at me–it’s all Holly’s fault.

Heart Change, by Robin D Owens

This is the eight novel in the series, and I definitely do no recommend that anyone start here. The world building is complex on several levels–socially, religiously, technologically–so a new reader would be understandable lost.

To that, we must add the fact that the stories in this series literally build on one another, and a number of previous characters make appearances in the current story, and really, it just makes sense to start at the beginning. Being less confused by the world building and less overwhelmed by the large cast of characters means more enjoyment of this story, and that is always a good thing to me.

If however, you decide to plunge into the world of Celta with Heart Change, please take a moment to read the quick summary I offer after the blurb in this review–you’ll find it useful, I promise.

And with that, here’s the blurb as it appears in my print copy:
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Flesh, by Kylie Scott

9 Feb

FleshLast week I was looking up a few of my favorite people on Twitter,¹ flitting from one to the next they way you (I) do, when I fell down the rabbit hole after one of them, and found the SFR Galaxy Awards blog.

Going down the list of books mentioned, I found several that push my oh, that sounds gooood buttons. Of course, the clickity one-clicking began.

In this particular case, the judge said something to the effect that the author does a good job writing characters who would not only consider, but make a go, of a relationship they would never had imagined…until their world pretty much ended

Since well-written mènages are one of my favorite tropes, I started on Flesh pretty much on the spot, and I’m very happy to say that it did not disappoint. Now you, poor innocent readers, get to see what I think.

Oh, in case this wasn’t clear already: this is an erotic romance, with pretty graphic sex and some strong language. Read at your own risk.

Flesh, by Kylie Scott

I don’t know whether Ms Scott has written anything else under a pseudonym, but her Fantastic Fiction page lists Flesh as her debut. If so, my hat is off to her. I do have a couple of minor quibbles with plot and world building, but they are truly minor. The writing and characterizations are very good indeed.

The story is set in Australia, after some sort of virus has spread over the land. Those infected become, for all effects and purposes, zombies. They mostly hide during the heat of the day, but come out to hunt and scavenge at night, or when something makes a loud enough noise. One bite is enough to transmit the infection, so surviving an encounter is no guarantee of, well, survival.

While at first the police and the military made an effort at containment, they were quickly overrun, and now those who have survived the apocalypse find themselves alone in a world hostile beyond their direst imaginings.

The blurb, from the author’s website:
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One Night of Trouble, by Elle Kennedy

2 Feb

One Night of TroubleOne Night of Trouble, by Elle Kennedy

This is the last of the After Hours erotic romance trilogy, published through the Entangled Brazen digital imprint.

The heroes are three friends who, after a few years fighting in the MMA circuit in Boston, pool their resources and open a nightclub.

Their personalities and skills complement each other, which helps make the club a profitable investment within its first year, and bodes very well for their future.

While we meet all three in “One Night of Sin,” it is very much Gage’s story, with most other characters in their shared world being present for only a handful of pages. And while we see a little bit more of AJ during One Night of Scandal, it is through the eyes of his best friend, Reed, and to a much lesser extent, through those of Darcy, his ex.

Therefore, what we do see of him in the first two installments is just enough to be intriguing, and since I had enjoyed both stories and Ms Kennedy’s writing voice well enough, I purchased One Night of Trouble the week it came out.

Please do keep in mind that this is an erotic romance–there’s plenty of very graphic sex and graphic language. Also, this review is a tad spoilery–my apologies.

Here’s the blurb, from the author’s website:
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Avenging Angel, by Justine Dare

13 Jan

Avenging AngelAvenging Angel, by Justine Dare

I am a fan of Justine Dare/Justine Davis, and have been for well over a decade. Under her Dare pseudonym, she has only published eight full length novels, the Hawk trilogy and five romantic suspense novels, of which this is one. I confess that, as much as I enjoy her shorter works for Harlequin, I have always wished she had had the chance to write more of the longer works. They are all really well written, with engaging characters and interesting, complex plotting.

Originally published in 2002, Avenging Angel is refreshing in many ways. Its main premise is that a serial killer is targeting abusive husbands/boyfriends, whose victims are all current or past residents at Rachel’s House, a private battered women’s shelter.

Before I get too far ahead of myself, here’s the back cover blurb:
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Mr Imperfect, by Karina Bliss

15 Feb

I can’t remember who recommended this book to me, but having read and enjoyed at least two other stories by Ms Bliss, I was happy to get my mittens on it. Of course, like countless other books I am ecstatic to get, it then languished in the humongous TBR Mountain Range—until SLWendy’s TBR Challenge brought it to mind. Happily so, I might add.

Mr. Imperfect, by Karina Bliss

Published in 2006, the cover claims that this is Ms Bliss’ first published novel.¹ I have to say, it’s a wonderful start to a career. Let me begin with a couple of warnings: There are some tropes in this story that usually drive me nuts—for example, if you haven’t seen a person in fourteen years, it’s not likely you can still love them. You love your memories of them and of the two of you together, but you don’t know the reality of that person in the present so…

Then there is the ‘well, because of the will’ that sets up the current conflict between the protagonists—contrived barely starts to describe it. Finally, the cute kid—I’m one of those curmudgeons who usually prefers to have no children or babies in her romances. Sue me.

Despite all of the above, I thoroughly enjoyed Mr Imperfect.

Here’s the back cover blurb: Continue reading

Her Secret Fling, by Sarah Mayberry

20 Jul

Her Secret Fling, by Sarah Mayberry

After reading so much praise of Ms Mayberry’s work, it was inevitable that I would grab the next one of her novels that crossed my path—and this Blaze title, released in June 2010, was it. (Which means, kmont, Kristie(J) and SLWendy, that I am a Mayberry-virgin no longer). Her Secret Fling follows Australian swimming star Poppy Birmingham as she starts to build her life-after-the-Olympics. This entails finding a paying job—no matter how good the endorsement contracts, no money lasts forever when one has to eat, right? And for a former Olympic athlete, the offer to become a sports columnist for the Melbourne Herald is really too good to pass up.

Here is the much-better-than-average back cover blurb: Continue reading

My Way to Hell, by Dakota Cassidy

15 Jul
(Originally published at RR@H Novel Thoughts)

My Way to Hell, by Dakota Cassidy

The second title in Ms Cassidy’s hilarious Demonic romances, My Way to Hell follows former demon-turned quasi ghost Marcella Acosta as she butts heads with Kellen Markham, bane of her previous existence and brother of her best friend ever.

Readers should be aware that there’s quite a bit of cussing in the novel, and that the Lord’s name is used in vain—rather frequently and in pretty creative ways—throughout. There is also a bit of graphic sex (well into the novel, I may add—like, two thirds or more of the way in), so anyone with objections to either of these, should avoid reading this book.

Also, while there is a tiny bit of info dumping in the first couple of chapters, quite likely to bring new readers up to speed on the events of Kiss and Hell (review here), and to introduce both the cast of characters and the dynamics of Ms Cassidy’s unique take on the supernatural, I definitely recommend reading the series in order. Honestly, these are characters that no amount of info-dumping would prepare you for: you need to get to know them little by little.

Here is the back cover blurb: Continue reading