Friday, October 29, 2010

Cheeky Trick or Treat Giveaway!

In honor of Halloween I'm doing a Cheeky Trick or Treat Giveaway! All you have to do is tell me what are your favorite type of paranormal or urban fantasy characters and you'll be entered to win. What do you win? How about a suprise book from my personal TBR pile that features the creatures you like the most? :)

So, let's hear it - are you a fan or witches, werewolves, vampires, shifters, fae? What's your favorite character type? Leave a comment letting me know and you're entered. It's that simple.  

I'll announce the winner on Monday, Nov. 1st. US and Canada only.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fun with Book Trailers & a Cheeky Trick or Treat Event!

Book trailers are becoming more and more popular as a marketing tool for writer's to spread the word and build the anticipation about thier new releases. I've also seen some fun trailers that bring you up to speed on a series so you are ready for when the next book releases. I've watched quite a few videos lately and wanted to share just a few of them with you.

Enjoy and I'd love to hear if you think book trailers would help you decide to buy a book or not, or if you couldn't care less about them. What do you like or not like about them and what do you think might make one stand out for you? Oh - and be sure to stop by later and over the weekend as I'll be doing a special Cheeky Trick or Treat giveaway event!

Game, Set, Match by Nana Malone


Demon From the Dark by Kresley Cole


Wicked Highlander by Donna Grant


Undertow by Cherry Adair

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Book Review: Backstage Pass: Sinners on Tour by Olivia Cunning

Book Review: Backstage Pass: Sinners on Tour
By: Olivia Cunning
Sourcebooks Casablanca
2 Heart Review
HEAT LEVEL: EROTIC ROMANCE
Five Stunning Guys, One Hot Woman and a Feverish Romance...

For him, life is all music and no play...

When Brian Sinclair, lead songwriter and guitarist of the hottest metal band on the scene, loses his creative spark, it will take nights of downright sinful passion to release his pent-up genius...

She's the one to call the tune...

When sexy psychologist Myrna Evans goes on tour with the Sinners, every boy tries to seduce her. But Brian is the only one she wants to get her hands on...

Then the two lovers' wildly shocking behavior sparks the whole band to new heights of glory...and sin...

Right off the bat, I want to say that I've never been a huge fan of musicians as heroes. It's not that I particularly dislike them, but I usually find that they tend to act like assholes. Knowing that, I was really hoping for a book that would present a musician I could cheer for. Backstage Pass wasn't totally it, but it was an entertaining read even if it's not something I would read again. If you are a fan of heroes who rock out, then this book might be much better for you than it was for me.

My main issues with the book were that I just couldn't get into a group of men with groupies and that I found the sexual music trance the hero goes into a little too hard to believe. I'm not an artist by any stretch of the word so I can't know for sure, but I did find it hard to believe that musicians write music while getting it on.

There were also a few sex scenes that I felt were thrown in as extras to make the book go more to the erotic side of romance and I felt the book would have been better without those.

The Sinners are an interesting group of men and since this is the first book in a series we'll see all the men find their true love. The author did do a good job of creating five very different guys that you do wonder how they will turn out and what kind of woman (or man) will be the one to make them change their ways. (Groupies, circle blow-jobs, etc. They really do act like an 80's rock band on tour)

I don't think I'll be reading any more books in the series, but not because it wasn't an interesting read, but because I don't think I would do the author justice to talk about her books when I already know I would have a hard time with the hero.

What about you...Do you enjoy a musicians as a hero? If so, what is it about them you love? If not, what is your favorite hero type or occupation?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Reading Withdrawls: What's Your Book Genre Crack?

Lately my life has been jam packed with special events, crazy day-job hours and projects, and unexpected family tragedies. It left me without much time for reading and I realized that the longer I go without reading a book, the stronger the siren song of my TBR pile.

The reading withdrawals have also made me start thinking about what specifically I want to read the first chance I get. What book in the TBR is calling out the loudest? Or is it an keeper shelf favorite that has me in her clutches? Then the responsible adult part of me asks "What book do I need to read to review first?"

Sometimes those books that you know publishers and authors are waiting for reviews on can make looking at the TBR pile almost lose it's hold on me. Not entirely, but knowing people are waiting to hear what you thought can feel overwhelming when sometimes all you want to do is pick the book you are most in the mood to read!

And I've said it before, but I really want to review books when I'm most in the mood to read that genre. I mean if my heart is calling out for a historical, am I really setting up the best reviewing scenario if I pick up that paranormal that I know is releasing soon and feel is more time sensitive?

It's a hard question to answer. I do think that great books speak for themselves and as soon as I start reading, if it's a good book, it will pull me in no matter the genre. On the other hand, sometimes feeding the addiction with the right drug, ha - genre, seems to me would make for a happier and more fulfilled reader.

It's a balancing act, and one I try my best to do when scheduling what I'm reading and reviewing. I do try very hard to give myself enough time to be able to pick up a book for review when I'm in the mood for that genre. It doesn't always happen, but I'd say 80% of the time I can get it to work that way.

Times like now though, it kinda goes out the window. I'm starving for a the hit of a good book and the longer I go the more I can tell I will only be satisfied by X genre. I know exactly what genre book I'm picking up next and hopefully reading one good (again, hopefully) book in that genre will feed the beast and let me relax into reviewing/reading what needs to come next.

So, when you haven't read a book in a what seems like forever (which for me is like 2-5 days) what genre are you drawn to? Is it the same genre every time or do your tastes change according to your mood? Let's hear it!

Monday Morning Cuteness!

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Book Review: A Tarnished Heart by Leslie Dicken

Book Review: A Tarnished Heart
By: Leslie Dicken
Samhain Publishing
3 Heart Review

She can save him—or bring him to ultimate ruin.


The Earl of Markham’s life is unraveling before his eyes. The harder he tries to pick up the frayed ends, the quicker his carefully guarded control slips from his iron grasp. Five years after the death of his wife, the threat of blackmail hangs over his son’s inheritance.

His only hope to quell the gossip before it begins lies in a headstrong young commoner as wild and free as the English countryside she loves. She is wrong for him in every way. Yet she brings life to his colorless world—and warms his heart with a fire that threatens to shatter the wall around his heart.

Lizzie Parker is content with her garden, her village and caring for her aging father. She wants no part of the glittering London Season, but her father will not be denied his wish to see to her future. Still, she plans to do everything in her power to vex the man charged with taking her away from her beloved home. The man who once broke her heart. Markham.

She never expected his kisses to tame her resistance. With each touch he rouses her senses, until suddenly she’s not at all sure where she belongs...

I'm a big fan of Leslie Dicken and truly believe that she's an under the radar author that more readers of historical romance should check out. Her book Beauty Tempts the Beast was one of my top books of 2010 and a 5 Heart Review here at Cheeky Reads. Seriously, you are missing out if you haven't read it yet.

All of that leads me to point out that my expectations for Leslie's latest book were very high and I do think that's part of the reason why I gave A Tarnished Heart 3 Hearts. Beauty Tempts The Beast is a hard act to follow! In fact, I finished reading this book weeks ago and was having the hardest time trying to figure out exactly what it was that it was missing for me.

It's not that A Tarnished Heart isn't a great story - it is. I loved how strong-willed the heroine was and how willing she is to do anything to stay with her father and take care of him. She's also a smart, tough lady who is willing to fight for her freedom even if it jeopardizes her own reputation and potential future.

One thing I felt was missing for me was for the villains in this tale to get theirs. Lady Fallston and the man who helps her (name withheld to avoid spoilers) needed to have something bad happen to them or at least for the reader to feel like they had to pay for their transgressions. I'm a big fan of making sure that the people who have caused harm pay for it. This was a problem I had with Jennifer Haymore's A Touch of Scandal. The ending with the mother really threw me out of that story and kept it from being a 5 Heart Review for me. I had the same issue with A Tarnished Heart.

**Both of the following plot points are revealed very early in the story so I didn't feel that they counted as spoilers, but wanted to warn you before reading on.**

The other thing that stuck out to me as not quite feeling right to the story was Lizzie's blaming of Markham for her sister's death and how badly she took his reaction to her declaration of future marriage. The blame for the death seemed off and there is an answer to that later, but it took me out of the story every time it was mentioned. As for the declaration of love, all I could think was that she was still a child and no man in his right mind would have reacted positively to that. Let alone a random child coming upon a carriage on a country road and declaring this to the man inside.

What I did really enjoy was the romance between Lizzie and Markham and the sexual tension between them, which I think Leslie writes so well. Both characters were strong and you really wanted them to come to their senses and love each other. It's a solid romance story with two characters you will enjoy and cheer for. The only major thing this book suffers from is not being Beauty Tempts the Beast, which I've said before was one of my favorite books of 2009 and maybe even of the past 3-5 years.

If you haven't read Leslie, please check out her books. I sing her praises on twitter all the time for good reason! Have you read Beauty Tempts the Beast or A Tarnished Heart? If so, what did you think?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Late Review: September Harlequin Blaze Quickie Reviews

I read two Harlequin Blaze books this month and even though I know new ones are already out on the shelves, I wanted to do a quick review since you can still get your hands on these books at http://www.eharlequin.com/.

September Harlequin Blaze Reviews:

Hot Island Nights by Sarah Mayberry – 4 Heart Review

Sweet Surrender (3 Encounters) by Lori Wilde – 4 Heart Review Overall
Night Whispers – 4 Hearts
Never Enough – 3 Hearts
No Turning Back – 4 Hearts

Hot Island Nights:

Elizabeth Morgan didn't intend to abandon her very proper life. But that's the best way to find her true – and less proper – self. So here she is in Australia, standing in front of a man who's clad only in a towel. Nathan Jones is so tempting he could be the ideal candidate to help this good girl be very bad!

Sure enough, thanks to Nathan's talented hands, Elizabeth is living all her sensual fantasies. And while the sex is great, something more is developing. She trusts him, and wants to share her secrets with him, and... Suddenly this feels more like a real relationship than some fun in the sun. Luckily, there's a cure for too much commitment – more wickedness!

The back cover blurb for this book did absolutely nothing to prepare the reader for the amazing story within. This is not a light and carefree Blaze of “wickedness”. There are some major issues handled in this book and in a very deep and fulfilling way. The blurb gets the general idea of teh couple right, but doesn't hint at all at the wonderful story inside.

This was a book that I read quite a few people discussing on twitter so I had to read it. They were not wrong. It's packs way more emotional punch than I normally expect from a Blaze and I thought it was exceptionally well done.

Sweet Surrender:

The Dilemma: How to get over a man-summer gone bad? Ban males next time out.

The Bet: No sex this summer vacation. So who will not hold out the longest?

First there was Bianca: Bianca St. James is desperately pretending her billionaire playboy client isn't fiendishly hot. Self-control...not a chance!

Then Madison: Safely away from temptation, Madison Garrett's confident she'll win the wager...until she sees her travel companion. Will all bets – and clothes – be off?

And Finally Emma: Emma Jacobs was set up. Now she's alone in the wilderness with her achingly hot former high school sweetie...surely no one will notice if she's a little bad, will they?

May the best woman win!

Night Whispers: This was a fun little story that I liked because for once, time passes in this book as the couple learns about each other and falls in love. It was very nice to see an alpha male who nurtures the heronine and helps her learn about herself and her heritage. I did wonder how in the world this woman wears the same undies every day (as all the heronines in the story do)?

Never Enough: A well written story, I gave this one 3 hearts because I didn't buy the 1-2 day fall in love timeline. I don't care if you talk to someone for 24 hours straight, it's asking too much to suspend my disbelief that they fell in love that quickly.

No Turning Back: I LOVED that this was a reunion story and how easy it felt - and how right. Very well done and even though this could easily have been a full-lenth story of its own, the author did a great job leaving you satisfied with the shorter length.

Monday Morning Cuteness!

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Friday, October 1, 2010

New Updates Coming Soon...

Sorry I've been MIA a little the past few days, but I've had some bad news about a family member and haven't been up to writing my reviews and posting them. I'm trying to get past it and will hopefully be updating again soon.

I hope everyone is reading something awesome and have a great weekend!

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