Sunday, October 31, 2010

New Cover Alert: The Darkest Secret by Gena Showalter

FINALLY! It's been a long wait, but Gena Showalter released the cover and the blurb for The Darkest Secret this week.

Hmm, I have mixed feelings over this one. I personally am not a huge fan of the yellow but I suppose it makes the lettering standout more. The shadow behind the guy's head also makes it look like he is sporting a fro. However, I love how the model looks like he could be Egyptian. There is nothing worse than a cover model who looks nothing like how the character is supposed to look.

Also, the heroine is not who I expected her to be. I thought for sure it would be one of the harpy sisters and Haidee would be Strider's mate. Way to keep us on our toes Gena! The Darkest Secret is out April 1, 2011.

Here's the blurb:
"Keeper of the demon of Secrets, Amun can manipulate the darkest thoughts of anyone nearby. But when new demons possess him, the immortal warrior must be chained and isolated to protect those he loves. Death is his only hope of release—until he meets Haidee, a fellow prisoner whose beauty and hidden vulnerability draw him into a reckless test of his loyalty….

Haidee is an infamous demon assassin, raised to despise Amun’s kind. Yet how can she hate the man whose touch sets her aflame? But to save him, she must give herself body and soul…and face the wrath of a powerful adversary sworn to destroy her."

Saturday, October 30, 2010

New Cover Alert: Mercy Burns by Keri Arthur

Keri Arthur's Riley Jenson series was one of the first romance/urban fantasy series I fell in love with when I first started reading romance about a year and half ago. Wow, has it been that long already? Jeesh. Although I haven't read Destiny Kills, I really love the cover for Mercy Burns (Myth and Magic #2). It reminds me a lot of the latter Riley Jenson covers. I'm also intrigued that the character Mercy is a "draman" or half-human, half dragon. You just don't see enough para-rom with dragons in it. I love me some dragons! Mercy Burns is out April 26, 2011 (my birthday!).

Here's the blurb:
"Half dragon, half woman,can she save her friend's soul without losing her heart?

Mercy Wilson is a reporter in the San Francisco Bay Area, but she's also more -and-less than human. Half woman, half air dragon, she's a 'draman', unable to shift shape but still able to unleash fiery energy. Now something will put her powers to the test.

Mercy's friend Rainey has enlisted her help to solve her sister's murder. Then a horrible murder claims Rainey's life, leaving Mercy only five days to find the killer. If Mercy fails, according to dragon law, Rainey's soul will be doomed to roam the earth for eternity. But how can Mercy help when she herself is a target? With nowhere else to turn, she must join forces with a sexy stranger- the mysterious man they call 'muerte', or death itself, who's as irresistible as he is treacherous. But can even Death keep Mercy alive long enough to find her answers?"

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: Inside Out by Lauren Dane

I know that Inside Out is out next week but I've been dying to get my hands on this book ever since I finished Coming Undone (the second book in the series) back in January. Lauren Dane's Brown Sibling series is just that addictive! If you are looking to read something that has a little bit more steam and is wonderfully written, I highly suggest this series. It will have you laughing, crying, and wanting to take a few cold showers.

Inside Out is out November 2, 2010. However, I found out last night that has it in stock already! I bought my copy last night :)

Here's the Blurb:
Ella Tipton is a survivor. In the wake of an attack that left her nearly dead, she’s spent each day putting her life back together. Once vibrant and outgoing, she’s needed to reclaim the best parts of who she was while retaining the hard won lessons. There hasn’t been room for any romantic entanglements, even if she were ready. Still, it didn’t mean she had to stop sneaking looks at Mister Tall, Dark and Tattooed himself.

Security professional Andrew Copeland isn’t quite sure when his jones for the lovely and decidedly skittish Ella developed. He’s known her for years, has watched her triumph over the pain she’d been dealt. Cope is no stranger to women, but he knows the nervous flush he gets every time he talks to her is different than any attraction he’s had in the past. Determined to get Ella to let him in, Andy does the one thing he can think of to get close: he offers her hands-on training in self-defense.

While Ella’s sure he’s just being nice, the prospect of being able to touch him and gain the tools to push away the last vestiges of her fear is more than she can resist. Soon enough, Cope shows Ella his feelings are far more than friendly and re-ignites something deep inside her. Before long desire and love turn them both inside out.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Teaser Tuesday: His Darkest Embrace by Juliana Stone

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme; hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.
Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This weeks teaser is from His Darkest Embrace by Juliana Stone. It has the distinguished honor of being my first ARC! His Darkest Embrace is out today.

"Who are you?"
Once more Jager inhaled her sweet scent deep into his lungs as his question hung in the air between them.
"What are you?"
That question caught her off guard. "What kind of game is this now? You are joking, right? Why didn't you kill me when you had the chance?"
"Kill you? Killing you was the last thing on my mind-in case you didn't notice."
Her gaze dropped down the length of her naked body. Her blue eyes flew back to his and the force of the emotions that colored the brilliant orbs nearly took his breath away.
"I'm" the only thing standing between you and about twenty jaguar warriors."
Worry furled her brow and he felt like groaning as her tongue absently licked the lucious red of her lips...

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pick of the Week: Ecstasy in Darkness

(October 25th - October 31st, 2010)

This is the week I've been waiting for all October! Not only is it Halloween on Sunday (the best holiday of the year), but also two of my favorite authors have new material coming out. Candy, costumes, and some good reads, who could ask for more? PS: I'm going as a bag of popcorn for Halloween :)

Although it was a tough decision to make, this weeks Pick of the Week goes to Ecstasy in Darkness by General Showalter. I'm a huge fan of her Alien Huntress series and can't wait to read about Mckell, the former leader of the vampire army who went a tad crazy in the last book. However, I'm hoping that Frost's novella Night's Darkest Embrace in the new anthology Haunted by Your Touch will help take the sting away from having to wait 3 more months for the next Cat and Bones book.

Both Haunted by Your Touch and Ecstasy in Darkness are out Tuesday, October 26th.

New York Times bestselling sensation Gena Showalter enthralls with a dark, tantalizing world of humans, otherworlders, powers beyond imagining, and a seductive vampire undone by his insatiable hunger for one woman. . . .
Growing up poor on New Chicago’s meanest streets, Ava Sans had two options: be the predator or be the prey. No contest. Now, working for Alien Investigation and Removal, she’s been ordered to capture the biggest, baddest warrior of all—a vampire too beautiful to be real, with the ability to manipulate time. . . .
Once the leader of the entire vampire army, McKell has been deemed savage and unstable, spurned even by his own kind.To McKell, humans should be nothing more than sustenance. Yet the petite, golden-skinned Ava is a fascinating contradiction—vicious yet witty, strong yet vulnerable, lethal but fiercely loyal. Against his better judgment, McKell craves that loyalty, and much more. When the chase leads to seduction, McKell and Ava will race to discover the truth about his past. But the answers will come at a price, even for a woman who thought she had nothing left to lose. . . .

Friday, October 22, 2010

Review: Hurt Me So Good by Joely Sue Burkhart

Hurt Me So Good by Joely Sue Burkhart
The Connaghers #2
Erotic Roamnce/BDSM
October 5, 2010
ebook, 737 kb
Samhain Publishing
Source: Purchased ebook from Amazon Kindle
Favorite quote: "Where does it hurt, baby? I'll bite it and make it hurt better."

In high school, Victor Connagher was the all-star quarterback of the football team. However, after a devastating injury, his dream of going pro goes down the drain. Now, Victor is head of one of Dallas’ raciest local adult television channels, VCONN. But the CEO facade is not the only mask Victor dawns. Victor is also known as Master V, a dominant and a sadist who finds pleasure in giving others pain. After a non-to-pleasant experience with his ex-fiancé, however, Victor struggles to keep his dark sexual urges in check.
Shiloh Holmes, however, isn’t afraid to provoke the Master. After one of VCONN’s promising new fall shows is leaked to a competing channel, Shiloh steps in with the idea of creating a reality based program called America’s Next Top sub. For Shiloh, Top/sub will not only solidify VCONN as the premier adult channel in Dallas, but will also give her the chance to prove to Victor that she can handle his darker side.
After reading several positive reviews of Hurt Me So Good, I decided to give the book a try. Yet, I admit, I was sceptical about the books theme. Although I’m not new to BDSM themed erotica/romance, I’ve never read anything where the main aspect of the BDSM is pain as pleasure. But I thought hey, why not, let’s try something new.
Well, I’m glad I took the risk. Hurt Me So Good is a dynamic and well written story. Although at some parts I was a tad squeamish, I couldn’t put the book down. Basically, what kept me reading was Victor himself. He isn’t your typical hero. In another review, the reviewer describes Victor as a volcano of intensity on the verge of erupting and I think that is the perfect description for him. He’s dark, gritty, and ready to burst from pushing-down the part of him that might scare others, but ultimately needs to come out. However, Victor is also feels extremely vulnerable. He is hesitant to enter in a relationship with Shiloh because he is afraid that he will push her too hard and she will walk away like his ex-fiancé. As a result, Victor is constantly in turmoil over dealing with a part of himself that is integral to his person, but is also just plain scary. He’s just fascinating to say the least.
I also enjoyed the characterization of Shiloh. Although she is bright and bubbly, she also harbours a darker side that she itches to share with Victor. She knows what she wants and is determined to get it, even though there is chance she might get hurt. I appreciated that she wasn’t afraid to face the Master and was more than willing to help Victor break out of his shell.
I also liked that the book wasn’t bombarded by love scenes. Although, it’s classified as erotica, I would say it’s more of a romance. Burkhart is successful in emphasising the emotional complexity of Victor and Shiloh’s relationship along with the physical aspect. So, for those who think that this book is one extended love scene, think again. There are plenty of other events in the book that will keep you intrigued, but also plenty of steamy scenes to keep you satisfied.
The one thing that had me on the fence about this book is the idea of pain as pleasure. It’s just not my cup of tea...or I guess my cup of coffee. However, I did appreciate how Burkhart dealt with the concept of pain as pleasure. It was not vulgar or so in your face that it makes a person uncomfortable. Instead, I found that Burkhart’s portrayal of the different aspects to the Top/sub relationship realistic and even informative. Basically, Burkhart did her homework and it defiantly shows.
So if you want to try something a little different, try Hurt Me So Good. Victor and his crop will have you hooked and begging for more.
Really liked it! It was mmm mmm good.

Other Opinions:
~Pearl's World of Romance - 9/10
~Among the Muses - 4.5

Other books in the series:
Dear Sir, I'm Yours

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: The Perfect Play by Jaci Burton

I've been dying to post this cover somewhere! And now I can, hehe. When I first saw this one I had to fan myself a few times. I am so in love with this cover. I adore how publishers are starting to move away from the cheese and giving us some real man meat!

The Perfect Play is the first in Burton's all new series called Play-by-Play, which revolves around the male lead playing some sort of sport. The Perfect Play is out February 1, 2011.

Here's the blurb:
Football pro Mick Riley is an all-star, both on the field and in the bedroom. But a sexy, determinedly single mom just might be the one to throw him off his game…

For years Mick has been taking full advantage of the life available to a pro athlete: fame, fortune, and a different girl in every city. But when he meets and beds confident, beautiful event planner Tara Lincoln, he wants much more than the typical one-night stand. Too bad Tara’s not interested in getting to know football’s most notorious playboy any better.

As the single mother of a teenage son, the last thing Tara needs is the jet-set lifestyle of Mick Riley; even though their steamy and passionate one-night stand was unforgettable. Tara’s life is complicated enough without being thrust into the spotlight as Mick’s latest girl du jour. Tara played the game of love once and lost big, and she doesn’t intend to put herself out there again, especially with a heartbreaker like Mick.

But when Mick sets his mind to win, nothing will stop him. And he has the perfect play in mind.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Review: When Blood Calls by J.K. Beck

When Blood Calls by J.K. Beck
Shadowkeepers #1
Paranormal Romance
August 31, 2010
Mass Market Paperback
416 pages

From Goodreads -

Attorney Sara Constantine is thrilled with her promotion-until she finds out that she must now prosecute vampires and werewolves. The first defendant she'll be trying to put away? Lucius Dragos, the sexy stranger with whom she recently shared an explosive night of ecstasy.

When Lucius kisses a beautiful woman sitting next to him at the bar, he's hoping only to avoid the perceptive gaze of the man he's planning to kill. But what starts as a simple kiss ignites into an all-consuming passion. Charged with murder, Luke knows that Sara is determined to see him locked away-unless he can convince her that he's not a monster. And that might mean making the ultimate sacrifice.
When When Blood Calls first came out I was really excited to read the book because the cover is just gorgeous. Definitely one of my favorite book covers of 2010. Unfortunately, I think I judged the book by its cover a little too quickly.

Although I  was intrigued by the whole paranormal legal aspect of the book, I found that When Blood Calls lacked originality in other key areas. For me, Beck's writing lacked dynamic and creativity. Everything flows well, but in a sense where it just all blends together. There was little to no build up for some of the major events of the book. Although I do not think that it is an author's job to overtly emphasise key points in the plot, I do think there should be some signifier that distinguishes an event as something to remember. I felt like I missed a number of key points that were important or meant to standout. For me, the book was very anti-climatic. 

I also had a difficult time connecting to the characters in the book. Lucius' characterization was extremely flat. Like the story, there was no distinguishing features to Lucius to make him standout. He was very cookie-cutter: dark brooding vampire, with a lackluster secret. However, Lucius did slightly remind me of Wrath from the Black Dagger Brotherhood and Lucius is one my favourite names for a hero. Also, there was little to no chemistry between him and Sara. And as we all know, that is a deal breaker. Yes, Sara and Luke exchange some pretty words about love and have a few sex scenes, but there was no connection. I felt like everything between them was forced.

I think I had trouble finding the chemistry between the main characters because there was a lot of different points of view in the book. I do enjoy when an author gives the reader a few different perspectives of what's going on in the story, but it seemed as if everyone got in their two-sense. Instead of making me feel more informed about the events in the book, I just simply lost interest in what was going on.

Lastly, I had a problem with the way the heroine was introduced to the paranormal world. Sara was completely fine with a whole new world of creatures working in her office building. There was no hesitation or even question about what she was looking at. Personally, if someone told me that vampires and werewolves work upstairs, I'd be a tad bit sceptical. I also felt like the scene in which she discovers that the paranormal world exists is reminiscent to Men in Black. I kept expecting aliens to walk by instead of vampires and werewolves.

I also want to point out that the character Tasha is eerily similar to Drusilla from Buffy. 

This book was a DNF (did not finish) for me and I defiantly learned my lesson: even though a book looks good on the outside, it may not be so good on the inside.

Other books in the series:
When Pleasure Rules
When Wicked Craves

Still Under Construction :(

It's midterm season, which means my days are now spent in the library reading textbooks. Boo Hiss. Don't get me wrong, I love school, but studying is the WORST. It doesn't help that I am also a huge procrastinator.

Unfortunately, this mean that I haven't had a lot of time to work on Good Books, Good Coffee, Good Life. But I shall not give up! Plans to get this blog going, however, have fallen by the wayside until midterm season is over.

I have some great ideas and a lot of reviews yet to post so make sure to come back soon!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Waiting on Wednesday: Ecstasy in Darkness by Gena Showalter

This weeks pick is Ecstasy in Darkness by Gena Showalter. Woo! That is one steamin' hot cover. Needless to say, I can't wait to get my hands on this book. Love the whip ;)

Ecstasy in Darkness releases October 26, 2010.
From Goodreads:
"New York Times bestselling sensation Gena Showalter enthralls with a dark, tantalizing world of humans, otherworlders, powers beyond imagining, and a seductive vampire undone by his insatiable hunger for one woman. . . .Growing up poor on New Chicago’s meanest streets, Ava Sans had two options: be the predator or be the prey. No contest. Now, working for Alien Investigation and Removal, she’s been ordered to capture the biggest, baddest warrior of all—a vampire too beautiful to be real, with the ability to manipulate time. Once the leader of the entire vampire army, McKell has been deemed savage and unstable, spurned even by his own kind.To McKell, humans should be nothing more than sustenance. Yet the petite, golden-skinned Ava is a fascinating contradiction—vicious yet witty, strong yet vulnerable, lethal but fiercely loyal. Against his better judgment, McKell craves that loyalty, and much more. When the chase leads to seduction, McKell and Ava will race to discover the truth about his past. But the answers will come at a price, even for a woman who thought she had nothing left to lose. . . . "

Other books in the Alien Huntress series:

Friday, October 8, 2010

Review: Backstage Pass by Olivia Cunning

Backstage Pass by Olivia Cunning
(Sinners on Tour #1)
October 1/2010
Trade Paperback, 394 Pages
Source: Purchased ebook through Amazon Kindle
First Line: "A stack of handouts tumbled from Myrna's laptop case to the floral-patterend carpet."

Ever since I first began reading more "adult" books, I have been searching high and low for a series centered around musicians/rockstars. Maybe it's the tween in me who still has an unshakable love for Trent Reznor, but having the hero be a rockstar is one of my biggest literary fantasies. Unfortunately, I was soon dismayed to find that having the hero be a rockstar is not a popular theme in romance/erotica. Other than Lauren Dane’s Laid Bare and Adrian Phoenix’s The Maker’s Song series, I really cannot think of many books where one of the main characters is a musician. Is it because authors think it is too cliché? I certainly can't be the only romance lover out there who has a thing for rockstars, am I!?! Well, who knows. All I can say is thank goodness for Olivia Cunning. Without her, I would still be scouring the shelves of my local bookstore looking for those elusive rockstar heroes.

First of all, let me say that Backstage Pass is one sizzling read. However, the book is not for the faint of heart. Let's just say that Brian and Myrna engage in pretty much everything and I mean EVERYTHING. It's safe to say that all my rockstars fantasies were played out in this book. Although the sexual content of the book may prevent some readers from giving the book a chance, it is important to note that Backstage Pass has a creditable and surprisingly sweet love story underneath all the sex.

Where Backstage Pass draws its strength from is the characters. From the beginning, Brian "Master" Sinclair is described as a hopeless romantic falling in love with pretty much every girl he hooks-up with. As the lead guitarist for the fictional band The Sinners, he is depicted as being very skilled with fingers *cough cough*. However, Cunning does a remarkable job in making Brain's character multi-dimensional. So while Brain might be a super hot rockstar, he also has numerous layers to his personality that the reader has the privilege of slowly peeling back throughout the book.

Myrna is also an interesting character. While she isn't as flushed out as Brain, Myrna is just as complex. Although, she is a Psychologist specializing in human sexuality, Myrna struggles in distancing herself from the verbal and physical abuse inflicted on her by her ex-husband. The only thing I wish would have been better explained is Myrna's background. There is little to no explanation as to why Myrna became a Psychologist specializing in human sexuality, other than wanting to stick it to her parents. With such an interesting profession, I would have at least expected a longer explanation as to why human sexuality is her forte.

The best part of the book for me, however, was the band. All the members of The Sinners had such dynamic personalities that they jumped off the page. Usually when an author puts too much emphasis on the secondary characters, it detracts from the main couple. In Backstage Pass, I found that I wanted to spend more time with the band! Cunning creates such a unique relationship between all the members, that I actually felt the comradery among the guys. Somehow, Cunning made the idea of sharing everything, including girls, less creepy than I originally thought it would be. She just makes it work!

Backstage Pass is one hot and sultry read. Certainly those who harbour a rockstar fantasy or two will appreciate Cunning's vivid portrayal of life for a fictionalized metal band. However, the degree of sexual content in the book made me somewhat squeamish at times and the lack of explanation of Myrna's past left me confused on her motives. However, I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I personally cannot wait to get my hands on the next book in the series. Why oh why does April have to be so far away!?!?

It's Time to Play Friday 56!

Instead of writing a real first post, I decided to get in on the whole Friday 56 action. However, I am still working very diligently on getting Good Books, Good Coffee, Good Life up and running, so bear with me. It's hard to have a blog and still be a good student, haha! Believe me though, I'd much rather be blogging ;P

This weeks Friday 56 comes from Lara Adrian's Taken By Midnight. I have to say, I am lovin' this book so far.
"Kade met his gaze and gave a solemn nod. After the stunning circumstances of Jenna's escape from the compound, finding the women with a bit of alien material inside her body was a misson none of the warriors would shirk. Jenna Darrow had to be retrieved, no matter what it took."

How to play Friday 56.
● Grab the book nearest you. Right now
● Turn to page 56.
● Find the fifth sentence.
● Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section of this blog.
Post a link along with your post back to this blog.
● Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Happy Friday!!!