Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Review: Pleasure Me

Pleasure MePleasure Me by Monica Burns

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

OMG. This book. I could not put it down. I stayed up until almost 4 am (on a work night!), trying to finish it.

The story centers around Lady Ruth Attwood and Lord Garrick Stratfield. Ruth is 41 and a courtesan - Garrick is a 29 year old wealthy man of society.

Ruth is dumped for a younger woman - and shortly after, she meets Garrick. They are immediately drawn to each other, although by the day's social standards, a 29 year old man and a 41 year old woman should not be in a relationship together. And there's more.....Garrick is a virgin. He has (what he feels) is a physical impairment that will always prevent him from being intimate with a woman.

As Ruth and Garrick's relationship grows - they begin to have real feelings for each other, despite all that is working against them. Together, they both overcome their own personal demons while finding out what true love is.

Geez. I can't stress enough how great this book was. The sex was so incredibly hot.....but their was true passion behind it - not just wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am.

I would give this more than 5 stars if I could.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Review: The Darkest Secret (#7)

The Darkest Secret (Lords of the Underworld, #7)The Darkest Secret by Gena Showalter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ok, so I went into this book with some reservations. First of all, the protagonist, Amun, doesn't speak. He signs. He can speak....but because he is the keeper of the demon of secrets, he chooses not to. (Because he reveals secrets, often painful/upsetting/otherwise bad info that he doesn't want to know, much less repeat.)

Well, I was surprised at how effortless and completely UNannoying it was to read Amun's dialogue. All of his parts were in italics - which was either the translation of his signing or his thoughts when mentally communicating with Haidee, who turns out to be his woman.

Haidee - she is a human (well, mostly) and a hunter, as well as one of the people that was directly involved in Baden's death. (Baden being the a Lord that was killed ages ago. He was well loved, and the other Lords have never really gotten past his death.) So anyway....Haidee. Strider kidnaps her and brings her back to the Lord's compound and he kinda has the hots for her, but he also kinda wants to kill her. He knows she has to die - because he's still looking to avenge Baden's death.

Amun is locked up in his room, having just returned from Hell.....fresh full of new demons that are slowly killing him from the inside out. Haidee is locked in the room next door to his. One night, she hears Amun calling to her (mentally) and she claws her way through the wall (ok, well, she finds a door that had been plastered over) and goes to him. She thinks he is her boyfriend Micha - and she begins to comfort him. And for some reason - Amun's demons are scared of Haidee and because of this, his health immediately begins to improve.

And true to all LOTU books - we all know there are hardships and battles and super hot sex.....and things will probably all work out OK in the end. Yep. This is why we love Gena Showalter books. Are they predictable? Yes and no. Chances are - there will ALWAYS be a happy ending. That's the predictable part. The rest - well....that's what I love about GS's books. You just never know how everyone is going to get through it all for their HEA.

I'll admit, the book was a little confusing at first - with Haidee spelling her name two (slightly) different ways - her calling Amun by another name and all that jazz. So, for me, the book started a little slow. But it definitely picked up the pace after a few chapters. I ended up really loving Amun and Haidee as a couple - I found their relationship to be very sweet and (of course) passionate.

Now - I'm anxiously waiting for Strider's story (which is next) and I HOPE there is going to be one for William. I just LOVE him - and with every book, I find myself wanting the books to focus on him more and more.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Review: This Side of the Grave (#5)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So.....this book finds Cat & Bones together and, for the most part, at peace. Although that peace will be short-lived. But for the first time in the series, Cat and Bones are not separated, fighting, kidnapped, or otherwise in distress. And it was weird. In the previous books, I longed for the day when Cat & Bones could just be a happy, normal couple. Well, as happy as two vampires who are also vampire killers can be. I always much more can one couple go through? Can't they just be allowed to exist as a married couple? This Side of the Grave finally allows that, and like I was weird. Now, don't get me wrong - eventually, shit happens and there are battles - but this time, they're together for them.

In this one, we learn a little bit more about Marie Laveau and her powers and the ghosts play a much larger role as well. Including Cat & Bones adopted ghost, Fabian....who I really sort of love.

I would give this book 4 1/2 stars if Goodreads allowed halves. It was an awesome book, as are all in the Night Huntress series, it was just slightly less awesome than the previous books. That being said - I CAN'T WAIT for the next one.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Review: Destined for an Early Grave (#4)

Destined for an Early Grave (Night Huntress, #4)Destined for an Early Grave by Jeaniene Frost

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Whoa. There is A LOT that goes on in this one book. First, we discover a hidden marriage in Cat's past - one that even she didn't know about. She was 16 and it was wiped from her memory. The first husband happens to be someone named Gregor - also known as the Dreamsnatcher. He begins appearing to Cat in her dreams - and this is how she begins to piece her past (or at least the missing month of her past) back together.

(And I'm stealing a little bit from my friend Jen's review, but I felt this same way.) This book marked the first time that I thought that Cat and Bones were done as a couple. OK. I mean....I know there are more than four books in this series....and obviously you can't have a Cat & Bones book without Cat & Bones....but that doesn't necessarily mean that they have to be together as a couple, right? Hmmm. It was causing me a lot of undue stress thinking that my new favorite PNR pair just may not make it to their happily ever after.

Like all the other books - there is much action - an interesting appearance from a historical figure (voodoo queen Marie Laveau!), and lots and lots of surprises. But most of all - Cat finally FINALLY tears down that last remaining wall that she had up between her and Bones. I admit - I might have had tears in my eyes over that. Just a little bit....

Lastly, I will say this...Jeaniene Frost sure has a knack for being consistently awesome with this series. I do think this is the first PNR series I have read that I have given 5 stars to all of the books. Maybe this has to do with all of the books following the same couple, versus it being a new couple for each new book. I don't know. And frankly I don't care. As long as JF is cranking out Night Huntress books - I'm gonna keep reading them!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Review: At Grave's End (#3)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ok....really.....this series just gets better and better.

As I have in the other reviews I've written for the books in this series....I have to say how much I love Cat & Bones as a couple. They just don't get old for me. Although in this book, I was sure my heart was going to end up broken. At Grave's End was probably the most emotional of the series (so far). While these books are mostly action - there is enough of an amazing and passionate love story to keep you begging for more.

In this book - Cat & Bones (now husband and wife) and working together as vampire hunters. Early on, Cat's father comes back into the picture - determined to kill Cat once and for all. And he almost succeeds. From there - the story is full of action and betrayal - and there are vampires, ghouls, zombies, and Egyptian Queen Cleopatra's undead vampire daughter, Patra. Yea. The book goes there. And it's awesome.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Review: One Foot in the Grave (#2)

One Foot in the Grave (Night Huntress, #2)One Foot in the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I can't really express how much I love Cat and Bones as a couple. I was a little scared going into this book....seeing as how in the last book, Cat had ended things with Bones in order to protect him. (I mean, I knew they would get back together....cause there were more books in the series. Duh. But I just didn't know how....) Anyway.

The book takes place four years later. Cat is working for a secret government agency, and she's starting to make quite the name for herself as the "the Red Reaper". And she hasn't seen Bones since she left him a "Dear John" letter and bolted out of his life. Then Cat gets an assignment to kill a vampire that she soon finds out is Ian, the vamp who created Bones. Because of this, she can't make the kill out of loyalty to Bones.....and a whole series of events happens because of this.

Needless to say, Bones reappears in Cat's life and things heat up from there. And let me just specifically point to chapter 32. WOW. That's all I'll say.

Overall, I loved this book. There's a great blend of action, sex, and witty banter to keep you entertained from beginning to end. Oh....and the end. *sigh*

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Review: Halfway to the Grave (#1)

Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, #1)Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I'm a huge fan of paranormal romance books, although I admit that I am somewhat new to the genre. I've read several of the most popular series of books in this genre (Immortals After Dark and Black Dagger Brotherhood, etc.) so I really didn't expect to fall in love with another series like I did those. WRONG!

While these books are more about action than sex - it totally works for these characters and this series. Cat and Bones have such a delicious love/hate relationship at first. (Well, all the hate being on Cat's side.) It was fun to watch it bloom into something more.

If anyone reading this remembers the TV show Moonlighting, you'll appreciate this book. Cat and Bones have this great back and forth banter that is always laced with a little bit of sex. While they might be arguing - you know they're both thinking about what it's like to make out with the other one. That element alone makes this worth reading.

All that aside - the concept is great. Cat - the half human/half vampire who hunts and kills vamps. Bones - the 240 year old vampire who hunts the bad vamps for money.

I can't wait to sink my teeth into the rest of the series. (And yes - that is such a bad pun to use when describing a vampire book. But, I.DO.NOT.CARE.) :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Review: Surrender to Me (#4)

Surrender to Me (Wicked Lovers, #4)Surrender to Me by Shayla Black

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

OK. Well. I didn't HATE this book. There were elements of it that I really liked. But.....

The story centers on Hunter and Kata. They meet in Vegas during her birthday party. Kata's friend, Ben, invited Hunter in order to fill a fantasy for Kata. The fantasy being a menage. Well, after one too many beers, Ben passes out and the menage never happens. But Hunter and Kata hook up, and after a wild and drunken night....they end up married.

For the most part, the protagonist was a complete asshole. There is a part in the book when he (Hunter) tells his wife, Kata.....Don't confuse a Dom with an asshole. And while that may be true - in this case Hunter the Dom was, indeed, an asshole. No doubt that Hunter loved Kata - but for about 75% of the book....that love came across as possession and not in the most healthy definitions of that word, either. Maybe I just don't "get" the whole Dom/sub thing - but from the beginning, Hunter never took the time to understand Kata's physical and emotions needs or her fears about being a sub. Yes, eventually, he got it and he stopped being a total douche....but it took way too long.

Again, I didn't hate this book.....but damn, it made me want to punch kittens sometimes.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Review: Delicious (#3)

Delicious (Wicked Lovers, #3)Delicious by Shayla Black

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ok. I have to say....out of the 3 books in this series, this one probably had the most plot and much less sex than the two previous books. Oh, don't get me wrong - there was PLENTY of sex....but, to me, it just seemed like there was less. And I'm ok with that. I do like plot in my smexy books. BUT.....

The reason I'm giving this 4 stars instead of 4.5 or 5 stars.....the plot had holes aplenty. And some supposedly smart characters who were completely effing stupid.

First off - Luc was an asshole for like 75% of the book. What happened to sweet Luc from book 2? Geez. Then Tyler - who is the character who is effing stupid, but I can't say why because it would be major spoilerage.

That being said....if you ignore the holes in the plot and Luc's assholery - you have a descent story between the two main characters. Granted, you wanted to scream at both of them to just communicate like normal people and their problems would be solved....but if that happened, the book would have simply been a novella.

That ALL BEING SAID - I still read this book in (basically) one sitting. I cared enough that I really wanted to know what was going to happen next....even if it did frustrate me a lot along the way.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Review: Decadent (#2)

Decadent (Wicked Lovers, #2)Decadent by Shayla Black

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Soooo. Another hot book from Shayla Black. This one was all about ménage. Personally, this kind of thing would skeeve me out in the bedroom.....but reading about it doesn't bother me. Too much.

Yes - there were plot holes the size of the Grand Canyon in this book. But really - a solid plot isn't really the reason we read these sorts of books, now is it? The sex is really hot - and the plot is just enough to drive the book from one hot sex scene to the next. And somewhere along the way you do begin to care about the characters. Deke, especially. He was obviously a tortured soul who had a past experience with a woman that he couldn't quite come to terms with.

I would probably give this story 4.5 stars, rather than 5, but Goodreads doesn't do point-fives. :)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Review: Wicked Ties (#1)

Wicked Ties (Wicked Lovers, #1)Wicked Ties by Shayla Black

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

HO-LEE-CRAP. This book was smoking hot. Dare I say - the hottest book I have ever read. But I will say this - the story is driven totally on the sexual aspect. Yes - there is a story there.....but it does take a back seat to the crazy, smoking hot sex scenes.

And a warning - this isn't your plain old vanilla sex. This is BDSM, threesomes, anal sex.....that kind of thing. So, if that isn't your cup of tea - I suggest you don't read this book. That being said - while those sorts of thing aren't part of my personal sexual menu - this book does handle it in a way that I could understand (and enjoy).

My feminist nature has always sort of looked at male domination / female submission as something very caveman.....that it was a weakness to give yourself over to someone. But this quote from the book stood out to me the most - and really made me rethink my ideals on the subject:

"You want to submit because you're strong, because when you're f*cking, you don't want responsibility. You want a man who can understand you and give you what you need - all without a word."

To me, that says you have to have incredible strength to put all your trust in someone. It's not the ultimate weakness to submit.....but the ultimate strength. Wow. The whole theme of the book is basically about coming to terms about your deepest desires and how to trust someone completely - someone who knows how to give you each of your desires without judgement.

Honestly, I thought the subject matter would be a turn off.....but I didn't find that to be the case. I found that on top of the insanely hot sex described in the also made me think.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Review: Dreams of a Dark Warrior (#11)

Dreams of a Dark Warrior (Immortals After Dark, #11)Dreams of a Dark Warrior by Kresley Cole

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The story of Reign the Radiant and Aidan the Fierce.

Good Lord - can Kresley Cole write a book that I won't love? I'm guessing not.

Reign is an immortal Valkyrie with glowing skin who meets Aidan the mortal Berserker while she is a child. He sees something special in her and vows to make her his mate when she gets of age. The years go by - and Reign and Aidan finally meet up and begin a physical relationship. Come to find out - they are cursed and shortly after they make love for the first time, Aidan is killed. Before he dies, he vows to find her again.

Aidan is reincarnated several times - always finding Reign and always dying shortly after they consummate their relationship.

Then Reign is abducted by Declan. Declan is an Irishman who belongs to the Order....a group hellbent on wiping out all members of the Lore. They imprison them, experiment on them, and kill them. And Declan is their leader.

While Declan feels a certain attraction to Reign, he resents the draw to her because of his deep-seated hatred for all of the Lore. Reign recognizes Declan as a reincarnation of Aidan and is drawn to him, but she, too, resents her feelings for him because of what he is doing to the Lore.

And the fireworks begin there.

The sex is super crazy hot - the story is funny and sad and sweet - and always, always entertaining.

And I LOVE that we got to see a little bit more of Nix in this book. I'm so anxious for HER story! And I love the addition of her pet bat, Bertil. (Small as his part was still quite adorable.)