Friday, October 30, 2009

Welcome Author Lyn Armstrong to The Freaky Friday Halloween Bash!

Welcome to our Freaky Friday Halloween Party! To kick off our celebration with a bang, I'm pleased to introduce guest author Lyn Armstrong to Cheeky Reads. I knew she'd be a perfect guest today because not only does she love Halloween, but she writes kick-ass erotic historicals about witches.

I'll be handing out random treats throughout the day and on Twitter, so be sure to check back often for your chance to win. One lucky reader will win an autographed copy of Lyn's first Celtic Witch story, The Last Celtic Witch! Make sure to leave a comment below to enter to win!

Now, let's welcome Lyn to Cheeky Reads!

You write erotic historicals set in Scotland. Would you tell us a little about The Last Celtic Witch, the first book in the Celtic series? Certainly. The Last Celtic Witch is very near and dear to my heart. This was the first book I had published, and is one of my favorites. Here is the blurb:

Pursued by evil forces for her powers, recluse Adela MacAye foresees her own agonizing death. She must seek the chosen one to produce an heir and pass on her Celtic powers. To fail would be the end of good magick, plunging the world into darkness. Conjuring a fertility spell she is led to a sensual chieftain who is betrothed to the sorceress that hunts her. Time is running out as fate and the future pursue her.

Plagued by enemies and undermined by sabotage, handsome Laird Phillip Roberts must save his clan from a bloody feud with an alliance through marriage … a marriage he does not want. After a night of white-hot sensual delights with the alluring witch, his heart commands he break the pledge of peace. With treachery around every corner, will he be too late to save …

The Last Celtic Witch?

Which actor would you pick to play the sexy hero in the Last Celtic Witch? For The Last Celtic Witch, I visualized Laird Phillip Roberts as Brad Pitt as he looked in the movie “Troy”. I like to cut out pictures of actors and sexy models and stick them on my wall beside my computer. This helps me get into the character’s head, plus when I am describing their looks, I can “flesh” out the details.

What inspired that first Celtic Witch book and the ones that have followed? There are many things that inspired The Last Celtic Witch. I’ve always been a fan of witches and warlocks with powers that help or hinder their lives. I also like to read erotic, edgy books that are epic adventures, which is why I write those types of stories. The dark, gritty side of history inspires me along with people from the past. They lived such harsh and brutal lives. When you add romance, magick, lust, and betrayal, it sends me into another fantasy world where good overcomes evil, and the sex is always amazing. LOL.

How much fun did you have researching Scotland and its legends for this series? Have you had the chance to visit Scotland? I was fortunate to do a six-week historical tour in Scotland. I went inside more castles than I can name, each one leaving me with a part of history. On top of that, I researched Scotland, its Celtic lore and Scottish witches for months. I would say it took me longer to research each book in the Celtic series than it did for me to write them. And I loved every painstaking minute of it. LOL.

There are 5 books in the Celtic series now. Tell us a little about the series as a whole and what kind of heros and heroines our readers can find in your books. Well, every book has received outstanding reviews. I won my first award with Witch Hunter where it received Reviewers Recommend Award at Coffee Times Romance.

The Celtic Series: The Last Celtic Witch - The Celtic Witch and the Sorcerer - Heart of a Warlock - Lady of the Mountain - Witch Hunter

In a superstitious time where witches are prosecuted and magick considered the devil’s work, a Scottish clan filled with secret Celtic powers must fight an evil darkness threatening their chance for love and their very survival.

My heroes and heroines consist of Celtic witches, a sexy warlock, evil sorcerer, Scottish chieftain and a sorceress. I like to put my heroines in very challenging situations where it seems impossible for them to escape. It’s important that my characters grow in some way through the book—to learn something new about themselves. You will fall in love with each character, even the villains and villainess. Oh, everyone LOVES my villainess. She was so much fun to write about. Many say she represents the darker side of me. Which is really scary to think about. LOL.

Now, I said you write Erotic Historicals, but your books are not just hot, they are SPICY! For readers not familiar with erotic romances, would you tell them what the difference is from your average hot romance? I know the first time I saw "erotic" on a book I hesitated, but there really was no worry! There are varying degrees of erotic romance. If you are interested, you can check out the heat ratings at www.ResplendencePublishing.com. They have different gems for their romance novels. For instance, my books are rated “Fire Opal”. This is the hottest rating because I have graphic sex scenes. I also have mild bondage, m/m, f/f, and ménage scenes. However, my stories are set around a romance between a man and woman. Some erotica is based on just the sex, but my stories have a strong plotline with great characterization. The sex scenes move the story along rather than rely on it.

What's been your favorite scene to write so far? Can you give us a little peak? Wow, that’s a hard one. I love all the books and characters; it’s hard to pick just one. But I loved writing this high-tension scene from the Witch Hunter.

Rhiannon spent the eve sitting on cold stones in the king’s dank dungeon, thinking about all things she wished she could change. If she had a chance, she would tell her mother, father and the rest of her family that she loved them. She would apologize to Lachlan for being the cause of his downfall. She never wanted him to be in the middle of the trial, which was why she trapped him in the mountain.

She rubbed her hot hands on her thighs. Since the middle of the eve, her palms constantly burned. There was not much time left before the sun rose and all goodness left her soul. How could she face the look of fear from Lachlan when the hex took effect? If only she were executed yesterday.

A nervous giggle erupted from her mouth. To think she was wishing in her last moments to die earlier.

The door opened, and the repulsive lanky Inquisitor pulled her to her feet. “I can help you escape,” Grigor offered.

Rhiannon stared at him, her heart leaping to throat.

“If you promise to use your powers to my benefit, we can work out an accord.” Grigor cupped her breasts and she shivered.

She spat in his face. “I would rather die.”

He gripped her arm and pulled her up against him, his teeth clenching. “Then I will torch you myself.”

Grigor dragged her along the cavernous hallway. For once, the Inquisitor was silent which terrified her more than his threats.

He placed her in the same cart she took to Tolbooth yesterday. “Where is Lord Lachlan?” she asked.

“You will see him soon enough,” Grigor replied in a scathing tone and sat beside the driver.

Tilting her head up, Rhiannon observed the eve’s fading stars, appreciating the last chance of seeing the sky’s dark beauty. Conflicting emotions tore at her heart. Although she was afraid to burn on the stake, if the dawn came before she died, everyone in Edinburgh was in danger of the evil that simmered beneath.

The cart rumbled out the castle gates and she willed the horse to trot faster.

Perhaps the sorceress would not be up this early.

Rhiannon hopes were dashed when she arrived at the hill outside the castle. Upon a high white horse sat the sorceress in a red gown and hat, her bosom almost spilling out of the exquisite dress. On a black steed next to Torella sat the king, appearing bored and impatient.

As soon as the crowd saw her, they shouted curses. The noise was so loud she wanted to cover her ears, but her bound wrists could not reach far enough. She glared at the hundreds of people who eagerly woke early to witness another witch burning.

The cart halted and Grigor roughly escorted her up the nearest scaffold of four.

Lachlan stood against one of the posts on the platform next to her. His tunic hung open at his sides, his muscled back exposed to the vicious mob.

His head hung low; he appeared defeated.

She swallowed past the lump in her throat.

A heavy-set soldier near Lachlan cracked a whip into the air and the crowd replied in awe, their eyes glistening with blood lust. The man picked up another whip near his feet and held it high for everyone’s pleasure. The claw-like pincers at the end of the whip held bloodstains. Every lash of the cat’s paw would tear Lachlan’s skin like a knife through butter until it reached the bone.

Damn the sorceress for blocking her powers. She could have saved Lachlan from feeling the pain. Allow his soul to escape into a world of bliss.

Grigor bound her to a post, and she peeked below at the pile of dry timber. Her heart felt like it was going to pound out of her chest. Sweat poured down the sides of her face. Her breathing increased.

“I pray you do not burn too fast, witch,” Grigor taunted and left the scaffold. He snatched a fire sconce from one of the guards and waited nearby, his eyes burning with impatience.

“Rhiannon,” Lachlan called to her above the din and she turned her head. “Try to escape if you can.”

She shook her head. “I cannot.” Bile rose in her throat and she swallowed the acidic taste. Something was happening to her beyond just fear. Her body seemed to blaze from within.

Rhiannon looked at the sorceress, and she held a sinister smile. Torella’s face turned to the east. She was waiting for the sun, for the hex to take place. She whispered into the king’s ear.

King James ordered, “Whip the traitor!”

“Nae,” Rhiannon screamed but it was lost in the mob’s cheers.

The soldier swung his arm to gain momentum then cracked the whip against Lachlan’s back. He squeezed his eyes shut, his body spasm against the pain, but he did not cry out.

Rhiannon struggled against her binds. She had to stop this.

The cat’s claw flicked through the air and tore his skin again. Blood dripped down his legs. The soldier flicked the pieces of flesh from the pincers and whipped him again and again.

“Stop it!” Rhiannon shouted at the sorceress. But she shrugged her shoulders and pointed to the east.

A reddish-orange glow colored the morning sky. The sun would soon appear over the mountains.
"I am a powerful witch!” she shouted as loud as she could.

The crowd hushed down to a whisper, their attention on her.

“If you do not leave this man be, you will all be cursed for the rest of your days,” she warned.

“Nae, Rhiannon,” Lachlan groaned.

The crowd’s faces changed from hatred to panic. They turned to the king.

His Majesty whispered into the sorceress’ ear and she nodded. “Burn the witch!” he ordered.

A mixture of terror and relief filled her being. She did not want to die, but could not allow the hex to darken the world.

Grigor pushed the other guards away and walked forward. Holding the fire sconce in the air, he stared at her with a huge grin on his face. He brought the flame down in an arc, and the timber easily caught fire. The Inquisitor practically danced around her scaffold, adding fire to the pile.

Her steady composure collapsed with the horror of a painful death. The crackling of the flames grew louder, drowning out the noise of the mob. Even Lachlan’s pleas for mercy for her seemed like a whisper.

The spot on her forehead seared the skin, while her insides burned even though the flames had not reached her flesh. She closed her eyes against the sting of smoke, the smell of wood clogging her lungs.

Suddenly, a sense of peace overcame her being. Her limbs instantly cooled and her skin prickled. The beat of her heart and her intake of breath slowed in pace.

She was ready for death.

A piercing light shone from beyond her eyelids and she opened her eyes.

Yellow beams of sunlight shot over the mountain range.

Evil darkness invaded her soul and body.

Tomorrow is Halloween. What's your favorite part of the holiday and do you have anything special you do to celebrate? (I watch The Great Pumpkin every year! This year I'm doing the walk through Cassadaga since I live right down the road). Oh, I love Cassadaga. I will be dressing up as an undead French maid this year and going to a wicked costume party at my friend’s place. I will also draw the winner for my Halloween contest at the stroke of midnight, so that should be fun.

You're running a special Halloween contest for readers. Tell us about it and how readers can enter! In light of my favorite spooky holiday and that I write erotic tales about sexy warlocks and Celtic witches, I am having a wicked Halloween contest.

For a chance to win a Celtic T-shirt with "Find Your Inner Witch" logo, an autographed book from the Celtic series (your choice), a unique Celtic calculator, Celtic series CD, a witch's broom pen and many other goodies visit my website www.LynArmstrong.com

Good luck!

I always ask authors for their book recommendations because they always know the best debut authors or new books! What new book or author should readers check out? Any good Halloween reads? I’m a huge fan of Sherrilyn Kenyon. She is not a new author, but for Halloween, you can’t go past her Dark Hunter series with sexy vampires and werewolves. Yummy!

What's up next for you? After the Celtic series I wanted to challenge myself with a different historical era. I’ve written an erotic Regency set in France before the revolution, called the “French Rose”. I am also editing another erotic Regency that is set in Kent in the early 1800’s about a sex society for the aristocrats, called “Tutoring Miss Molly”.

However, my next project will be a historical romance with a ménage theme set in France about a Queen who seduces the King’s guards.

The list goes on, but I’m constantly writing because my fans are always thirsty for more. LOL.

Thank you, Sabrina for having me on your blog. I wish you all an awesome Halloween. May you have a magical night.

Haunts and kisses

Lyn Armstrong

You can find the Celtic series in ebooks at http://www.resplendencepublishing.com/ or in print at http://www.amazon.com/.

For more information visit: http://www.lynarmstrong.com/


Thank you Lyn! For a chance to win a copy of the Last Celtic Witch, leave a comment telling us your favorite part of Halloween, your favorite witch story, or ask Lyn a question about her series. This contest is open to the U.S. only, but we will do a giveaway for International readers later today!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Book Review: Hex in High Heels by: Linda Wisdom

Book Review: Hex in High Heels
By: Linda Wisdom
Sourcebooks
4 Heart Review
Disclosure: Book Provided by Publisher

Feisty witch Blair Fitzpatrick has had a crush on hunky carpenter Jake Harrison forever - he's one hot shape-shifter. Just when Blair thinks the relationship is really starting to sizzle, Jake pulls back - the last thing he wants to do is involve Blair in his dysfunctional family dynamics.

Jake's nasty mother and brother are after him to return to his pack, and a bunch of unruly elves start causing all kinds of chaos. Blair is trying hard not to unleash the ultimate revenge spell, but when Jake's enemies try to force him away from her, Blair is pushed over the edge. No one messes with her boyfriend-to-be, even if he does shed on the furniture!

I had a fantastic time reading Hex in High Heels! Although this was not the first book in Linda Wisdom's Hex series, it was super easy to fall right into the story of "feisty witch" Blair and Shapeshifter Jake's story. Linda weaves a wonderful world were magical creatures exist within our midst and she shows both the light and dark side within that world - all while keeping it hexy and sexy! I now have a new series to go back and enjoy from the beginning!

My love of a good witchy paranormal has been mentioned before, but I can never say it often enough - there is something be-spelling about them for me! I enjoy both light and dark witch stories, jut will say my favs are always those with humor and sass. Hex in High Heels has humor and sass to spare...along with some great sex appeal and fantastic pacing.

This book is a perfect example of how secondary characters can add to a story, without taking away from the hero and heroine. From the other witches that pop in and out, to the Elves, ghosts and gargoyle, Linda's secondary characters are hysterical fun and I hope we see them in other books. I wasn't particularly drawn to the fuzzy bunny slippers, but maybe I'm missing something from the earlier books?

The storyline about how there are thirteen witches banished from the witches academy in 1313 is very creative and I can't wait to see what clues or tidbits about that we'll get in the other books. It definitely has my interest piqued to find out more of the story and how powerful these thirteen witches really are.

My one wish for the story was to see Blair use her magic a little more and to see a better glimpse at how powerful she supposedly is. I did feel that she was saved a little too much by other powerful beings instead of using her own powers.

If you're a fan of crazy, funny witch heroines who are sassy and...dare I say it...CHEEKY, then I think you'll really love Hex in High Heels and the Hex series from Linda Wisdom. It's a perfect Halloween treat!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Friday Halloween Party Sneak Peek!

1105980_78689099 Fall is my favorite time of year as it welcomes in all of my favorite festive holidays including Halloween! I’m not a scary-slasher kind of Halloween girl, I’m more the spooky, witchy, fun kind! So, I thought it would be fun to celebrate Halloween with a day full of fun surprises this Friday.

So what’s in store?

I’ll be featuring special guest author Lyn Armstrong, who write erotic historical romances about Celtic witches. Lyn is a blast and I know we’ll be giving away an autographed copy of the first book in her Celtic Witch Series and she’ll be giving details on how to enter her super-fun and witchy Halloween contest.

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On top of that, I’ll have some surprise fun giveaways throughout the day to random comments just for hanging out with me and Lyn and getting revved up for a fun weekend!

I’ll also be doing some special giveaways on twitter all day Friday. So, if you don’t follow me there you should be sure to follow me before Friday! It’s www.twitter.com/cheekyreads

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It's witches, warlords, shifters, vampires and lots of treats this Friday at Cheeky Reads – be sure to stop by!

More New Release Tuesday Books!

In my haste to get the New Tuesday Release post up yesterday, I forgot a few books I wanted to include. Here are a few more new releases to check out this week! Happy Reading!


Captive of Sin by Anna Campbell

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Secret Vegas Lives by Laura Breck

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To Desire a Devil by Elizabeth Holt

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

HUGE New Release Tuesday!

Below, in no particular order, are just some of the books releasing today - there are tons more I haven't listed! I've not read all of these books, but there are a few you'll see with reviews in the next week or so.

Check out your local bookstore to see what other new releases you might enjoy! If you’re ordering online, consider clicking on the cover links to help support postage for giveaways here on Cheeky Reads. Happy Reading!

 Hot On Her Heels By Susan Malleryhot on her heels  

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Monday, October 26, 2009

New Blog Award!

The amazing Janga over at Just Janga honored me with a Neno Award! Thank you so much Janga! Please head over to her blog and show her some love!

Neno’s Award—-Rules and Regulations

1. A dedication for those who love blogging and love to encourage friendships through blogging.

2. Purpose: To seek the reasons why we all love blogging.

3. Put the award in one post as soon as you receive it.

4. Don’t forget to mention the person who gives you the award.

5. Answer the award’s question by writing the reason why you love blogging.

6. Tag and distribute the award to as many people as you like.

7. Don’t forget to notify the award receivers and put their links in your post.

Why I love blogging:

Cheeky Reads is my conversation with book buddies put into print. I love blogging because it gives me a way to start conversations about books I've read with fellow book addicts! I love hearing what other people have thought of the books I've read and hope that more of my readers will join in and share their thoughts on my reviews. Cheeky Reads is here as a forum to discuss books, and I'm just helping to faclitate the conversation by blogging!

I love how I've had conversations with others across the globe and how it shows that a good (or bad) book transcends geographic location. It's amazing to have a community online of such a diverse group of readers!

For passing on this award, I'd like to tag bloggers who I feel contribute so much to the book community online. Heather at Heather's Reading Romance , Mandi at SmexyBooks & Heather at The Daily Dose - TAG! You're it!

Book Review: How to Tame a Modern Rogue by Diana Holquist

Book Review: How to Tame a Modern Rogue
By: Diana Holquist
Grand Central Publishing
3 Heart Review
Disclosure: Book provided by publisher

Ally Giordano is at the end of her rope. Her beloved grandmother believes that she's living in her favorite Regency romance novel and Ally doesn't have the heart to set her straight. But even worse, Granny Donny is now convinced that she's found the perfect "Duke" to rescue Ally from spinsterhood and she won't rest until this modern-day rogue escorts them both to her country retreat.

Commitment-phobic Sam Carson is attracted to naughty, not nice. But one stolen kiss from Ally and he's hell-bent on stripping away her good girl ways and teaching her the art of being bad. Love isn't in the stars for this rake -- he has no interest in being tamed by a woman, no matter how soft her skin or sharp her wit. But as the country beckons, Sam can't resist the charms of Ally or her dotty Granny. Has this playboy met his match?

How to Tame a Modern Rogue was a fun, light-hearted contemporary that satisfied my craving for something bright and cheery to read. I enjoyed Ally and Sam's story and could see myself re-reading it again for the fun atmosphere it provided.

The premise of Granny living out her favorite Regency novel was far-fetched but handled delightfully. I especially liked the addition of quotes from "The Dulcet Duke" at the beginning of each chapter and how Sam weaves the book into his seduction of Ally.

There was a lot going on with side characters in this story, but I mostly felt they either added to the story or provided comic relief so I wasn't bothered by them.

I would have liked to have read more about Sam's background and see him discuss it more with Ally. It would help readers forgive his womanizing ways a little more, but you still won't be too bothered since Sam always comes across well thanks to his interaction with Granny.

A witty, fun and breezy read, this is a good light book for any fan of contemporary romance or lovers of Regency romances with a modern twist!
Happy Reading!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Book Review: The Tudor Rose by Margaret Campbell Barnes

Book Review: The Tudor Rose - A Novel of Elizabeth of York
By: Margaret Campbell Barnes
Sourcebooks Landmark
4 Heart Review
Disclosure: Book provided by publisher

One woman holds the key to England's most glorious empire.

Elizabeth of York, the only living descendant of Edward IV, possesses the most precious thing in all of England – a legitimate claim to the crown. Two princes meet to determine a country's destiny: whoever wins will take Britain's most rightful heir as his bride and her kingdom for his own. On one side is her uncle Richard, the last Plantagenet King, whom she fears to be the murderer of her two brothers, the would-be kings. On the other is Henry Tudor, the exiled king. Can he save her from a horrifying marriage to a cutthroat solider?

Thrust into the intrigue and drama of the War of the Roses, Elizabeth has a dynasty within her grasp – if she can find the strength to unite a country torn apart by a thirst for power.


I love well-written historical fiction and am addicted to those that include part of King Henry VIII's story. That made The Tudor Rose an ideal book for me to read and see what I thought of author Margaret Campbell Barnes, whom I had not read before.

I was very pleased with her writing and with the story told in The Tudor Rose. Margaret's writing style is engaging and she perfectly handled the passing of time and historical moments without bogging the story down in them. You get just the right amount of background of historical events, but the focus is kept on Elizabeth - whose story this really is.

Although this is a work of fiction, it is so believable you might be tempted to regard it as pure historical fact. You will be absorbed in every twist and turn as you follow Elizabeth's constant quest for the truth about her brother's deaths, her husband's love and her place in ruling England.

I read this book from cover to cover in one night because I didn't want to leave Elizabeth alone. I felt like I was there with her for every step of her life and wishing for her to have more. Margaret paints Elizabeth as a not just a Queen, but as a woman who longs for love and family but upholds her duty to England above all.

If you are a fan of historical fiction, I can highly recommend The Tudor Rose and Margaret Campbell Barnes for your next read. Margaret is an expert storyteller and weaves an amazing tale of English history told through the incredible life of Elizabeth of York.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

10 Days of Dangerous!

The Dangerous Women Writing are throwing a hell of a 10 day party at their Dangerous Women Reader's group. Check out the image below and if you're dangerous enough, head over to the Yahoo group here to join the fun!

10 Days of Dangerous with Dangerous Women Writing. When: Oct. 21-31, 2009. Where: Dangerous Women Readers’ Group. There will be tons of fun on the loop!! We’ll have vamps, ghosts, a costume party, Halloween recipes, and just a spooky good time! Prizes include: Books by the Dangerous Authors, swag bags, Halloween candy, and a grand prize for one lucky winner! Dangerous Authors: Ann Aguirre, Ava Gray, Caridad Pineiro, Cynthia Eden, Dawn Halliday, Donna Grant, Faith Winter, Jennifer Haymore, Lisa Renee Jones, Lois Greiman, Michele Hauf, Nikita Black, Pamela Montgomerie, Pamela Palmer, Nina Bruhns.10 Days of Dangerous with Dangerous Women WritingDangerous Women Readers’ GroupShare Imagewww.dangerwomenwriting.com/

Reader Challenge: Review So Into You For Cheeky Reads

Hi there ladies!

Today i'm issuing the first ever Cheeky Reads Reader Challenge.

Yesterday, I posted my review of So Into You by Sandra Hill and mentioned how much I really, really wanted the book to work since I loved the hero and heroine so much. Check out my review below if you missed it!

I couldn't stop thinking about that review all day and an idea sprang to mind - how about I challenge one reader to review the book and see if I missed the mark. I mean maybe I was in a bad mood and had a harder time concentrating on the Tante Lulu dialogue than I usually would? Or maybe, my issues with all the side characters won't be a problem for others?

The thing is, I loved Angel and Grace and think they need a second chance. So, I'm issuing the first ever reader challenge - I will personally ship you my copy of So Into You for you to read and write a review to be posted here at Cheeky Reads. The book will be yours to keep, and who knows I might thrown in an extra book or two as thanks! :)

Are you up for the Cheeky Reads Reader Challenge? Want to help me see if Angel and Grace really were in the right story after all (read my review and you'll understand this better)? Leave a comment below saying you're willing to take the challenge and that you can commit to reading the book and writing a review within two weeks of receiving the book.

Do you accept the challenge?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Book Review: So Into You by Sandra Hill

Book Review: So Into You
By: Sandra Hill
Grand Central Publishing
2 Heart Review
Disclosure: Book Provided by Publisher

The Sinner
She's been a nun, poker champion, treasure hunter, and folk healer. Redhead Grace O'Brien thinks life is one grand adventure – until her hunky friend Angel Sabato suddenly declares his love for her. That's one risky business she'll never want a part of, not if she's going to keep her past a secret forever.

The Angel
With heartbroken Angel hightailing it out of town, Grace makes herself busy working with Tante Lulu. Together they agree to help a poor teenage girl who's trying to raise her siblings after Katrina by building them a new house. And Tante Lulu knows the perfect man for the job: Angel!

The Cupid
Angel's decided he's not taking no for an answer from reluctant Grace. Tante Lulu's convinced they need her Cajun style of matchmaking. And Grace has braced herself for a lightening bolt of trouble, one that could jolt her into heartbreak...or straight into Angel's arms.

I wish I had been so into this book, I really wanted to be, but I just couldn't get wrapped up in it. I really liked the characters of Grace and Angel, but I felt that the book didn't spend enough time focused on the two of them together.

The number of secondary characters took away from the main story and seemed to try too hard to set-up a sequel or two. They were all interesting, but there were too many and too much time was spent on them.

The characters of Angel and Grace were seriously awesome and I wish I could have pulled them out of this book and plopped them into a different story.

The character of Tante Lulu was fun, and I enjoyed seeing her through other characters' eyes. What I didn't love was the very thick accent and rambling speech that Sandra gave her. I found myself immediately skimming or skipping paragraphs of her dialogue. That doesn’t help keep me in a story.

Grace's secret and reasoning for not getting close to anyone is very compelling and I applaud Sandra for including a back-story and character that one normally only sees in Women's Fiction. It was nice to see a character with real problems instead of superficial ones.

I was frustrated with this book. Again, I loved the hero and heroine, but hated all the background noise that took away from their story. I wanted to read about them, and not 20 other characters.

If you are in need of something to read, and this book is around then I would say go for it. I wouldn’t say you should rush out to buy it unless you don’t mind a huge cast of characters that don’t add too much to the story.

Damn it. I loved Angel and Grace – can I ask for a do-over? Keep the main characters and toss the rest? Sigh.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

New Release Tuesday

In no particular order, here are some new releases out today. If you know of a new release today that isn't listed here, please let us know about it in the comments!

Happy Reading!


Blood Game: An Eve Duncan Forensics Thriller (Eve Duncan Forensics Thrillers) By Iris Johansen


Check out this video of Iris talking about Blood Game:











Trinity By Lauren Dane



Check out all of Samhain's new releases here.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Book Review: Breath of Fire by Tammy Kane

Book Review:Breath of Fire
By: Tammy Kane
Love Spell - Dorchester Publishing
4 Heart Review
Disclosure: Book Provided by Dorchester

When the dragon came to claim him, Karl knew his great plan had gone horribly wrong. If he had known the creature was real, he wouldn't have scoffed at the villagers...and he certainly wouldn't have been so quick to let them chain him to a rock. Mattaen Initiates trained as warriors, but no man could defeat a dragon.

"My name is Elera daughter of Shane. And you, Initiate, are my virgin prize."

She had vanquished the beast and named her price: one night with the virgin sacrifice she'd saved. He'd taken a vow of chastity, but Karl still had a man's needs -- and Elera's sultry curves made him ache to taste his first woman. With a scorching kiss she shattered his defenses...and led him into a world of deception and seduction, where he'd be forced to choose between the brotherhood that had raised him and the woman whose courage set his heart on fire.

Breath of Fire was a totally original and fun read! It sat on my TBR pile for a bit until one day I decided to give it a try. I wasn't expecting the fantastic story that I got, nor to come to the end and instantly want to find out about when the next book will be released.

This book turns many of the basic romance story rules on their axis. Instead of the virginal heroine being saved by the mighty hero, the book actually opens with the heroine saving the virgin hero's life! What's more, it wasn't the hero doing the seducing, but the heroine who played dirty to undermined the hero's resistance to her. Loved it!

This all added up to a very original story that pulled me right in. the characters of Karl and Elera where unique and appealing. I loved that they both were great warriors and skilled in fighting so this wasn't a story of the helpless female.

The secondary characters also stood out, and since this looks to be a series, I can't wait for their stories and to see what the future holds for Karl and Elera. I also can't wait to see what the Mattaen have in store and how they will react to Karl now.

Another plus were the Dragons and ancient world that Tammy created. There seems to be so much more to the Dragon's story. I can't wait to see more of their personalities and find out if they really are more aware than given credit for. The city of Elera's people is fascinating and I hope more of it's history is told in future books.

I really enjoyed reading this book and will be on the lookout for the sequel. If you like fantasy, or just want a great romance to read, then check this book out.

Happy Reading!

Friday, October 16, 2009

A Love Letter to First Time Authors From a Book Blogger


I saw a link to this fantastic post from author Cynthia Leitich Smith on Twitter today and wanted to share it and share my thoughts.

Cynthia's post is an open love note to first time authors dealing with a bad review. Go ahead - head over here and read it - then come back!

Here's what that post had me thinking:

Dear First Time Author,

You did it! Not only did you write a book, but you are published! You deserve huge congratulations for your dedication and perseverance. Becoming an author is not an easy road, but you did it anyway. Pat yourself on the back, celebrate and then get back to work on the next book! :)

Bad reviews will happen because not every reader is right for your book. Each reviewer brings their own likes and dislikes, life experiences and expectations into reading a book. I happen to think that's the beauty of book bloggers - there are so many of us that readers are able to find someone who "fits" their reading personality and know the reviews there will be helpful to them.

The same works for authors - some reviewers will just "fit" with your writing style better than others. It's ok not to be loved by everyone. In fact, there are some HUGE name authors that I personally don't enjoy their writing style or voice. Even the big girls can get bad reviews!

I want to say thank you to all first time authors for working hard and producing a book to help feed my reading addiction. No matter if it's my favorite book or my least favorite, I salute your attempt and urge you to keep at it! Always remember that you accomplished something not everyone can. We readers are grateful to each and every author for their attempt to entertain us!

I raise my coffee cup to all first time authors and say "Cheers & Keep at it!"

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Book Review: Dark Legacy By Anna DeStefano

Book Review: Dark Legacy
By: Anna DeStefano
Dorchester Publishing
2 Heart Review as Romance
Disclosure: Book Provided by Dorchester Publishing

“Die!”scream her nightmares. The voice is her sister's, the compulsion stronger than any ordinary dream.

Maddie Temple can't go through this again. Her twin has been in a coma for the last ten years. Their psychic link was severed. At least, that's what she thought.

But there's a lot Maddie doesn't know – about the 200-year-old curse on her family, about the shadowy group that wants to exploit the Temple twins' powers for themselves, about the sexy psychiatrist offering to help her. The only way to find the answers and avoid being pulled into the abyss of madness is to trust her heart and confront her dark legacy.

As many who've read this book have mentioned, this book defies being placed into one genre or another. There is suspense, romance, sci-fi and paranormal elements to this complex story. It's not a traditional romance. If you are looking for something different that is very light on the romance then you might want to check this out.

Although the story takes off right from the start, it was hard for me to get pulled into this book because I just couldn't buy that there was ever anything between Maddie and Jarred before Sarah started influencing Maddie. This makes the risks that Jarred takes throughout the book to be very hard to believe. In my opinion, if you can't see the relationship between Maddie and Jarred, then the rest of the book falls flat.

In fact, I never came to feel deeply for any of the characters and I thought the slight love story that was included didn't have any sparks. Again, I question whether Maddie and Jarred had any real feelings for each other. The relationship seems too forced, probably because of the intensely fast pacing of the story, but it still needed something more for me to buy into the story.

Dark Legacy works much better as a suspense story and I would have enjoyed it more if it had left out the slight try for romance. I really felt the forced romantic elements took away from what was a very well written paranormal suspense. As I mentioned, the pacing is furious as the story unfolds and Anna fills every second with intense scenes and emotions. She keeps the suspense at the highest level throughout the entire book and you race through the story.

But, it left me wanting more. I wanted a more believable romance tied into the story and I hope that the next book provides that. I was also left feeling like I didn't really like any of the characters except Jarred – and even he got on my nerves because I couldn't figure out why he would risk his life for Maddie. The rest of the characters all leave you wondering if they are pure evil, or what they are looking to get out of each other.

This book got a huge amount of hype online and I was so looking forward to reading it. Unfortunately, because the romance didn't work for me at all, it clouded how I felt about the book as a whole. Add to that not having any likable characters and this just wasn't a book for me.

If you go into it just for the paranormal suspense and don't always need to relate/connect with characters, then you might be able to enjoy it since the language and pacing are very good.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New Release Tuesday

If you didn't already know, Tuesday is a major release day for many publishers, so I thought it would be fun to do a regular feature on books that are hot off the presses! Some of these books will be ones that I've had my eye on, and others will be books I've only heard about from others. Also, some Tuesdays are bigger than others. Either way, I hope you find something that interests you. Happy Reading!

Books Releasing Today:

Deep Kiss of Winter By Gena Showlater & Kresley Cole - Check out that cover image!


Sounds to Die By - By Nikki Duncan





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