Christmas Awards 2011

Sunday 24 February 2013

Die For Me

Die For Me by Cynthia Eden

Publisher: Montlake  Romance

February 2013

ISBN: 978-1-611-09914-0

Pages: 347

Contemporary, Suspense

New Orleans

Katherine Cole thought she had the perfect fiancé three years ago until the day she found out that he was the serial killer named the Valentine Killer.  So named that because he stabbed his victims through the heart and left a single rose in their hand.  Then he vanished.  Now he is back and after the one that got away.  Living in New Orleans Katherine believed she was finally safe from the past.  Now somehow her ex-fiancé has found her.  This time Katherine is determined to stop the man she thought she knew and loved.  She will stop him any way she can even if that means trusting a sexy cop when she has learned not to trust.  A cop that says he can keep her safe. 

Dane Black has always kept his emotions under control when he was on the job.  That becomes difficult now that the Valentine Killer is in New Orleans.  Dane has agreed to keep Katherine safe in the hopes of catching the killer in his town.  He just never expected the passion that explodes between him and Katherine and he is determined that he will not stop until Katherine is safe in his arms and that the Valentine Killer is dead. 

This is one story that once the reader starts they will not be able to put down until the very last page.  This suspense is full of twist and turns that will have the reader guessing until all the secrets are revealed.  This is a page turner that will keep the reader on the edge of their seats and up late into the night trying to figure out just who is who and what will happen next.  The action doesn’t stop until the very end of the story and neither do the twists.  This is a must read for those that enjoy suspense books along the lines of James Patterson but with more romance.  This is one for the keeper shelves. 

I give this one 5 red roses 

Wednesday 6 February 2013

Lotus in the Wild

Lotus in the Wild by Fae Sutherland & Marguerite Labbe

Dreamspinner Press

April 2010

ISBN: ebook: 978-1-61581-224-0
ISBN: 978-1-61581-223-3

Pages: 277

Historical England & Rome

Wulfgar is not happy with the choices for bed partners he is facing since he freed his slave Roman and his thrall Aron six months ago.  Hoping to change that situation he visits the slave auction in Londinium when he goes to replenish his supplies during one of his twice yearly visits.  When Wulfgar sets eyes on Kintaro he finds a slave he has to have no matter the cost. 

Kintaro is from the Far East and is very proud of his status of slave and greatly enjoys his duties as such.  He is used to being pampered and spoiled for his efforts as he was the slave of an official in his homeland.  Kintaro is different from any other slave that Wulfgar has ever had before. 

Life gets interesting when Kintaro’s pride, Wulfgar’s passion and Wulfgar’s son, Gaeric’s temper all collide.  Wulfgar may not know much about matters of the heart but he knows that Kintaro is more to him than any other slave before Kintaro. 

This is wonderfully written story that is sure to please many readers.  The characters are fun to read about and to see how they figure out the many obstacles that are standing in their way to finding happiness.  The path that the characters take to find their happiness is very twisted as they have to work to figure out what they want and then how to get it.  With misunderstanding to work through the reader gets emotionally invested in seeing the characters get their happy ever after.  While the ending is a little abrupt the story is still very good and will have the reader eagerly turning the pages just to see what will happen next. This one can be read as a stand alone but is greatly enriched with reading it with the first story, Bee in the Clovers. 

I give this one 4-1/2 red roses 

Bee Among the Clover

Bee Among the Clover by Fae Sutherland & Marguerite Labbe

Dreamspinner Press

February 2010

ISBN: ebook: 978-1-61581-218-9
ISBN: 978-1-61581-217-2

Pages: 376

Historical England

Roman became a slave four years earlier when he was captured from Roman held Londinium.  He has learned that life can be sweet even as the thane’s, Wulfgar, bedslave.  Roman has built a place for himself that becomes threatened when Wulfgar acquires a new pet, Aron who is both beautiful and prideful. 

Aron finds himself claimed as a thrall to pay his father’s debts.  Aron has never been with a man before nor does he wish to be with one now but since he is forced to be a thrall he has no choice but to accept the will of his thane. 

Roman finds himself threatened, intrigued and frightened by Aron and the feelings Aron arouses in him.  The more Roman and Aron are thrown together but fate and cunning plan the more they are unable to fight their attraction to each other.  Roman and Aron form a bond that becomes greater than any claim made on them both by others.  They are also determined to find a way that they can have some happiness together no matter what the cost is even if it ultimately means their lives.

This is a really well written story that will pull readers in and will not let them go until the very last page.  This has some great twists in it that keeps the story moving along and have readers wondering what could possible happen next.  The story also brings that time period to life and gives readers a small glimpse of what life was like for slaves and thrall.  While at times the readers will find themselves wishing to knock some sense into both Roman and Aron they will equally enjoy reading how Roman and Aron find their way to each other.  This one will also have readers eagerly reaching for the sequel to it. 

I give this one 4 red roses.

Gathering Storm

Gathering Storm by Lyn Gala

Dreamspinner Press

August 2010

ISBN: ebook: 978-1-61581-557-9
ISBN: 978-1-61581-556-2

Pages: 262


Vinnie Bernardi does everything he can to leave his life as a repressed rich boy behind in the past where he feels it belongs.  He is building a new life for himself as a proud guy submissive.  Though he is finding that only one man has ever been successful at dominating him and Vinnie finds himself craving that man more and more everyday as he slowly falls apart.  Vinnie has always thought the man he wants unattainable but with Vinnie unable to hold it together he decides his only option is to make a move on Charleston to see where it might lead. 

Charleston is a military academy instructor that is also the only man to dominate Vinnie successfully.  But when Vinnie bumbles his way into Charleston’s attentions Vinnie unwittingly stirs up Charleston demons from the past.  He also brings phantoms from Charleston’s past out that just might not let Vinnie survive long enough to find what he is looking for: love and the man strong enough to shelter both Vinnie and that love.

This story is interesting but would have been better with more back story and more interaction between Vinnie and Charleston.  While the characters have depth, the readers do not get to see enough of what lead the characters to this point in their lives.  The reader will get some insight into the characters histories and it is interwoven well into story there is just not enough of it to be really satisfying.  While the premise of the story was a great idea, it just needed more scenes with Vinnie and Charleston to pull it off successfully.  This one can easily be left on the nightstand.

I give this one 3-1/2 red roses 

For The Long Run

For the Long Run by Elizabeth Noble

Dreamspinner Press

September 2012

ISBN: ebook: 978-1-61372-752-2
ISBN: 978-1-61372-751-5

Pages: 200

Contemporary, Paranormal

Jay Molloy has been forced into the closet but his conservative senator father.  He is resigned to the fact that with his father being abusive and homophobic that all Jay is going to be able to have is one-night stands rather than the loving D/s relationship he truly craves.  When Jay meets Eric Keger Jay figures all he will have with the trained Dom maybe if he is lucky is a quick fling.  Jay knows Eric could be so much more if it wasn’t for his father.   

Eric Keger is determined to have more with Jay than just a quick fling and with Jay’s father hiring him to be head of security at the family resort he knows he will have a chance.  While Eric and Jay explore the attraction between them things get difficult when murder victims start turning up at the resort.  While Eric and Jay are investigating the murders they also have to deal with Jay’s difficult father and navigating their new relationship not to mention Jay’s fake fiancée.  Now if they could just get the politics out of their lives and find a murderer that just might be more than human they just might be able to find some happiness with each other. 

This story will keep readers guessing as to what is really going on and just who or what is behind the murders.  This one keeps the suspense moving along at a fast pace with a plot that will keep readers turning the pages long into the night.  The characters are well written and sympathic and will have the reader getting emotionally involved with them.  While the storyline will not be for some readers for those that enjoy this type of storyline they will find great story with this one.

I give this one 4-1/2 red roses

Out of Focus

Out of Focus by L.A. Witt

Samhain Publishing

August 2011

ISBN: 978-1-60928-507-4

Pages: 304


Ryan “Angel” Morgan and Dante James have been a couple for twelve years while running a successful photography business together.  With both being Doms they find their need for a submissive satisfied with an occasional three-way.  While on a wedding job they last thing they are looking for or expect to find in the man that grabs both their attention.  While working on the job they keep their attraction to the bride’s brother under wraps.  While working they both try to get to know the brother while still being professional.   

Jordan Steele has no problem training his stallions and letting them know who the master is.  When Jordan hires Angel and Dante to do a photo shoot for his horses the last thing he really expects is for their dominate personalities to call to the inner submissive in him.  When a photo session with some flirting goes in a way no one expects all bets are off.

Angel and Dante are more than happy to show Jordan the ropes…and the whips.  Once they all get past the initial stage the sexual chemistry heats things up to the boiling point.  While they all enjoy the attraction between them things get complicated once the emotions of all three men get involved.  The attraction could turn into the relationship they all need and become permanent but if they are not careful it could turn upside down and leave one of the men the odd-man out.

This is wonderful story that delves into BDSM and what can happen in a ménage.  Reading about the emotions and how the characters navigate their feelings for each other gets the reader emotionally involved in the story and will have readers hoping that these three men are able to find a way to make what they have found together work.  While this story line will not be for some readers the emotional storyline will be enjoyed by readers and will have them mourning the ending of this story.

I give this one 5 red roses

Dangerous Waters

Dangerous Waters by Toni Anderson

Montlake Romances

November 2012

ISBN: 978-1612186078

Pages: 315

Contemporary, Suspense
Bamfield, Vancouver Island, Canada

Holly Rudd arrived in Bamfield to investigate a body found by divers with a knife sticking out of its chest.  While investigating the death Holly quickly realizes that the small community has a lot of secrets that it has been hiding for years.  One of the most disturbing secrets is Holly’s resemblance to a woman murdered three decades ago. Holly can dismiss her resemblance to the woman but what she can’t dismiss is her attraction to Finn Carver.

Finn Carver is a former Special Forces soldier who also happens to be one of the divers that found the body that Holly is investigating.  Finn knows the best thing for him to do while Holly is in town investigating the death is to stay away from her but that is a lot easier said than done with the attraction that is simmering between them. 

As Finn and Holly are thrown together by the investigation they are also finding out that they only can trust each other because someone is trying to make sure that the past stays buried no matter who they have to stop from uncovering that past.

This is a good suspense story but some readers will find it easy to figure out the mysteries in the book.  It is a sweet romance that would have benefitted from a more suspenseful storyline that kept readers more on the edge of their seats.  While readers will be able figure the story out it is still a good story that keeps moving at a quick pace and will keep readers turning the page just to see what else happens in the book.  The location descriptions are well written and readers will feel the story coming alive for them as they read this one.  For readers that like some suspense in their romances, this is one to check out! 

I give this one 4 red roses.