Archive for the 'Reviewing Others' Category

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008
Review – Undercover by Lauren Dane


Title: Undercover
Author: Lauren Dane
Publisher: Berkeley Heat
ISBN: 9780425224643
Release Date: December 2, 2008

On the battleground or in the bedroom, one woman and two men fight for dominance in a bold, new, and excitingly different direction in erotica…

As a lieutenant of the Federation military, Sera Ayers is accustomed to giving orders, not taking them. Now she must obey the one man she can’t stand—and can’t stop thinking about.

With the enemy Imperialists gaining ground, a covert team is assembled by Ash Walker. Ten years before, Sera had lovingly submitted to Ash’s dominance in the bedroom. But when he was forced into a political marriage, she refused to play mistress. His marriage now over, Ash wants Sera on his team—and back in his bed.

The third team member, Brandt Pela, has an elegance to match Ash’s savage sexuality. And when their undercover plan requires Sera to pose as Brandt’s lover, it ignites a passion among the three of them more dangerous than their mission.

Sera Ayers had channeled her anguish and heartbreak at Ash Walker’s announcement that he was marrying another and would keep Sera as his mistress into a new focus – she gave up her job in the Federation Diplomatic Corps and joined the Military Corps instead. She’d succeeded so well that, even as an unranked female, she’d risen to lieutenant and commanded her own team. But she didn’t expect Ash to turn up in her life again, let alone to pull rank on her and order she join his team for a covert operation.

Ten years ago Ash had given up his perfect life with Sera to enter the miserable political marriage demanded of him as a member of one of the Families, the rulers of the Federation. Thankfully he’d escaped that situation when his wife demanded a divorce and married another. When the opportunity presented itself to bring in a new team member to carry out his mission, Ash wanted Sera on the team and in his bed.

Brandt Pela, son of another Family and ex-brother-in-law to Ash, always knew Ash’s heart was with someone other than Brandt’s sister. He was already impressed with Sera’s record and skills but when he meets her and sees Ash’s reaction, he knows this will be an interesting assignment. Ash wants Sera back and Sera must go undercover with Brandt and Ash as a pampered and spoiled concubine – as Brandt’s concubine.

I’ve been a fan of Lauren Dane’s books for a long time and have been dying to read this story ever since I heard she was writing a futuristic/scifi erotic romance. Honestly, it’s a sub-genre that I’m leary of because I grew up on science fiction and fantasy and I’m difficult to please because of it. Undercover was amazing! I fell immediately into the world Ms. Dane created and it came completely alive to me.

Most of all, though, I loved the characters. Sera worked to hold her anger and betrayal before her as a shield to keep Ash away, even though she still really wants him. The anguish her memories evoke tear her apart at the same time she has to play a sexual and outwardly submissive role on their undercover team. I hate wimpy heroines and Ms. Dane didn’t let me down with in this story – Sera is strong, capable, smart and more than willing to give as good as she gets without ever becoming unlikeable or unbelievable.

Ash is torn between his lifelong duty to his Family, his rank and the Federation but he’s never forgotten Sera or stopped loving her. Brandt has been Ash’s friend for years but this mission uncovers a side of his friend he didn’t really know. The two men have a fascinating interplay between them and their years of friendship show in other ways as well. And sexy, oh man are they sexy.

Undercover is a rich, compelling story full of tons of emotion, intrigue, a thrilling sensuality, amazing sex and a happily ever after that made me sigh and smile for the characters. I will complain that it was so good, it made me late for work one day when I lost track of time and couldn’t put it down. It was fast paced but just right for the story. I never felt bored or wanted to skip ahead to the “good parts” – they were ALL good parts.

Lauren has been an auto-buy for me for years but I really recommend Undercover as a book you shouldn’t miss.

Click on the bookcover above to go to Lauren Dane’s site and read an excerpt of Undercover.

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Monday, April 21st, 2008
Review – Tiger by the Tail by Kaye Chambers


Title: Tiger by the Tail
Author: Kaye Chambers
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
ISBN: 1-59998-919-0
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Buy it here!
Kaye’s website.

Publisher Blurb:
Alexandra “Sasha” DeStephano has long been exiled from her own kind, thanks to parents who had no wish for her to grow up in the “tiger mafia”. Now that she’s been issued an engraved invitation to appear before the society elders, she finds herself plunged into a dangerous battle for power, urged on every side to give up her birthright to make room for a new regime.

On every side, that is, except Colton Reyes, a rogue alpha. Cole plants the idea in her mind that, under the current leadership, the tiger society is headed down a one-way street to disaster. And she is their only hope.

Spurred on by a man who flips all her sexual switches, Sasha steps up to the plate-and finds herself promoted from Tiger Princess to Queen. The resulting consequences are far more than she ever imagined.

In this game of danger and intrigue, almost no one can be trusted. Cole’s best chance to protect her? Pretend to claim her as his mate.

Except pretending is the last thing on Sasha’s mind.

My Opinion:
I’ve known Kaye for a number of years and have been DYING for this book to come out. I really wanted to see how it turned out because it combines something I love (big cat shifters) with something I tend to shy away from writing myself (first person). Boy was I not disappointed!

Sasha starts out the story as an outcast, taken by her parents from Tiger society and raised outside it. But she finds herself cast in the role of a pawn in Tiger society power struggles. But Sasha is not about to passively let others play her and when she meets up with Colton, she finds there may be more at risk than merely herself. What can she and the sexy rogue tiger do to save their society?

I loved this story. I wasn’t sure what I would think because first person is often not done well and I can have trouble sort of “falling into” the story. Not the case with Tiger by the Tail. Sasha is sassy and has a real backbone. Sasha and Cole are hot together. I liked the complexity of the world and the politics but I wished we got some extra time to delve into it more. But my favorite is feeling like *I* am running in a tiger form!

I’m totally sold on the possibilities of well done first person, so much so that I’m going to give it a try too. Stay tuned on Wednesday where I’ve co-erced Kaye into writing a guest Writerly Wednesday post on writing First Person!

I really recommend this story!

Sunday, January 20th, 2008
Riding Wild by Jaci Burton

Riding Wild

Title: Riding Wild
By: Jaci Burton
Publisher: Berkley
ISBN-13: 978-0425219317
Pre-Order Trade Paperback

Mac Canfield was the last man Lily West expected to see again, never mind aim her gun at. But there he was, the bad boy who’d broken her heart years ago-still a thief, hijacking a priceless artifact-and it was all she could do to push aside the memories of how it felt to have his perfectly chiseled body next to hers.

Mac was no less shocked to see the beautiful girl next-door again, threatening to shoot him. Little did she know she was blowing his cover. He had to get her out of harm’s way without succumbing to his desire to take her on a hot trip down memory lane.

But Lily has no intention of going anywhere with Mac, which means he’ll have to resort to kidnapping. Unless she agrees to let him take her for the kind of ride destined to drive them both unbelievably wild.

I was really excited to win a copy of this ARC from Jaci. Not only am I a fan of her writing, I’ve ridden my own motorcycles since I was eighteen. I love bikes and hot, sexy biker guys!

Mac definitely seems the epitome of the biker bad boy but he has depths and a huge sense of honor and loyalty that endear him to me. He’s alpha and hot but not a jerk — well, not most of the time, anyway!

Lily is the Daddy’s little girl that didn’t want to be and insists on making her own way in the world. If anything, she always seems to choose the hard way. I laughed and cheered her on so many times!

Like all Jaci Burton books, the sex was hot and absolutely delicious but the characters and plot were compelling as well. I loved the idea of the Wild Riders and their mission and I sincerely hope to see more of them in future books.

For a hot and sexy read, pick up a copy of Riding Wild – you won’t want to put it down!

I’m seriously hoping this book is the start of a series!

Sunday, January 20th, 2008
Mine to Possess by Nalini Singh

Mine To Possess Cover

Title: Mine to Possess (Psy-Changeling Book 4)
Author: Nalini Singh
Publisher: Berkeley
ISBN-13: 978-0425220160
Pre-Order Paperback

Clay Bennett is a powerful DarkRiver sentinel, but he grew up in the slums with his human mother, never knowing his changeling father. As a young boy without the bonds of Pack, he tried to stifle his animal nature. He failed…and committed the most extreme act of violence, killing a man and losing his best friend, Talin, in the bloody aftermath. Everything good in him died the day he was told that she, too, was dead.

Talin McKade barely survived a childhood drenched in bloodshed and terror. Now a new nightmare is stalking her life–the street children she works to protect are disappearing and turning up dead. Determined to keep them safe, she unlocks the darkest secret in her heart and returns to ask the help of the strongest man she knows…

Clay lost Talin once. He will not let her go again, his hunger to possess her, a clawing need born of the leopard within. As they race to save the innocent, Clay and Talin must face the violent truths of their past…or lose everything that ever mattered.

Nalini hooked me on her Psy-Changeling series with the very first book in the series and each book has only drawn me deeper into her fascinating world. Mine to Possess has certainly continued that trend.

We’ve met Clay in previous books and he’s always intrigued me because of his torment. I love tormented heroes! I always know he had to have a dark secret in his background and now we discover just what it is and how much it has affected his entire life since.

Talin is a fascinating heroine whose emotions run high but whose loyalty to her kids and her cause force her to face her own fears and past.

I devoured this book in about two hours. This time I was smart enough to NOT start reading it late at night but I was engrossed. Once again Nalini Singh has taken us to new parts of the Psy-Changeling universe and shown us new heights and depths of emotion. Love, honor, emotion and coming to terms with decisions and events of the past to go on to a new future.

Nalini is one of my absolute favorite paranormal authors and an auto-buy for me. I whole-heartedly recommend her Psy-Changeling books to anyone who is looking for a fascinating universe with compelling love stories and a complex arc of suspense underlying it all.

Read Excerpts on Nalini’s Site