Friday, March 19

Review: Ravishing in Red by Madeline Hunter

LOL, we made it this week too!! I'm telling you, posting a review/post a week is more difficult than you think :D

Joining me today is Jill from Romance Rookie. She, along with Kristie's review, is the reason why I got Ravishing in Red, so it's only fair she buddy-reviews it with me, right? :)

Ravishing in Red by Madeline Hunter
published by Jove Books in January 2010
Armed with her cousin’s pistol, Audrianna travels to a coaching inn, to meet with a man who may have information that will clear her dead father’s name. She does not realize that the handsome man of commanding sensuality who shows up is not the person she expected, but instead Lord Sebastian Summerhays, one of her father’s persecutors, lured to the inn by the same advertisement that brought her there.

When the pistol accidentally fires, the situation becomes mortifyingly public, and thoroughly misunderstood. Audrianna is prepared to live with the scandal. Lord Sebastian has other ideas...

Genre: Historical romance
Series: The Rarest Blooms, Book #1

The Story: During the war, bad gunpowder was provided to the English troops leading to their deaths. Upon investigation, Audrianna's father was accused of falsifying quality reports and in the end, the man committed suicide. Audrianna always believed in her father's innocence and decides to do some investigation of her own when she reads an ad to Audrianna's father attention in the newspaper setting up a meeting at a coaching inn.

Lord Sebastian Summerhays' brother, the Marques of Wittonbury, was injured during the war due to the bad gunpowder and his legs are now unusable. As a result, Lord Sebastian had to step into his brother's shoes. Of course, he's taken a huge interest into the gunpowder case and doesn't believe Audrianna's father was the mastermind... Upon reading the same ad as Audrianna, Lord Sebastian decides to go to the meeting.

Audrianna and Lord Sebastian are thus caught in a compromising situation and have to marry...

Nath: So Jill, what did you think? I thought the story was interesting. The characters really made the book in my opinion. They were different, they stood out from typical historicals - her being a normal woman and him, not having a title, being the second son. I enjoyed the H/H dynamics, but even more, the brothers relationship.

Jill: I too really enjoyed the characters. I thought Audrianna was a little naive about things. The fact that she didn't quite realize how her going about unchaperoned would affect her reputation was the most notable. I really liked Sebastian. He was very noble and always chose to do the right thing. He could have played the martyr especially when it came to his brother, but he didn't.

Nath: I don't know how to put it in words, but I guess yes, Audrianna was naive, but not in the sense that she was ignorant. This is a clear case of theory vs. practice. Yes, she knows that going somewhere unchaperoned is bad and a risk to her reputation, but I don't think she realized how much till she did it. That's where the naiveté comes into play in my opinion. As in, she didn't think the impacts would be so serious.

Jill: That is pretty much how I felt about it.

I also really enjoyed the relationship they both had with the crippled brother. I liked that Audrianna's friendship sparked jealousy in Sebastian and made him reevaluate his feelings for Audrianna.

Nath: It was sweet to see Audrianna and Morgan together. It really felt like a blossoming sibling relationship. However, I liked Sebastian and Morgan's relationship even more and how symbiotic it was - is this the right word? It was very honorable of Sebastian to step in and he definitively cared for Morgan. However, Sebastian is right, it might have been better if Morgan died in which case, he'd be the Marquess... but now, they have to share everything... and that's why it frustrated him so much to see Audrianna get along so well with Morgan. She is supposed to be his alone, but it seems he has to share her affection too. Even so, it's clear Sebastian loves his brother.

Jill: Symbiotic - yes, great word.

The mystery part was okay. It was done well, but I wasn't all that invested in it. I did like the fact that eventually both characters decided that their love for one another was more important than solving the mystery. That is what really won me over.

Nath: I agree with you - the mystery was just okay. I wasn't that into it and that's probably due to the fact that Audrianna was so sure of her father's innocence. It's normal, but also typical. But I was surprised at the end and that was good :) Also, I thought Morgan's part made the whole mystery better. In a way, I was glad that the mystery wasn't about a big bad villain, but more about flawed humans. Although not gripping, I really loved the resolution. Not just because both Audrianna and Sebastian decided to let go because their love is more important, but for the whole friendship and loyalty.

Another so-so element was the "Rarest Blooms." I think Ms Hunter should have showcased them a bit more. We do see the ladies interacting with each other, but I'm missing the deeper bond between them.

Jill: I liked that the rarest blooms didn't overtake the main romance. There was a little sequel bating, but it was all very mild and for that I am thankful. As far as girlfriend bonds, I can see where you think more could have been done.

Nath: True, the sequel baiting was kept to a minimum and so was the "screen time" of the Rarest Blooms. As a result, I simply didn't connect with the other women... In truth, I'm actually more interested in Sebastian's friends than the ladies and not really anticipating the next book, Provocative in Pearls.

Jill: Now this is where I differ and I am not sure if it's because I read the excerpt for Provocative in Pearls in the back of the book, but I am completely hooked on the next book. I thought that there was a lot of foreshadowing based on the fact one of the girls wouldn't ever show her face to anyone and that she didn't come to Adrianna’s wedding.

Nath: I did read the excerpt and I don't know, I just don't like Lizzie so far :( It's true the author did a lot of foreshadowing in this book with Lizzie, which is great... but yeah, not totally convinced to get her book.

Also, do you think it's be possible to have a Castleford/Celia pairing, Daphne/Morgan? :) Those, I would like a lot :D

Jill: Well, I haven't really formed an opinion about Lizzie yet because I don't really "know" her. But I am definitely intrigued about her backstory. What made her run away?

I also think that the other books will be with Castleford/Celia and Daphne/Morgan, at least I really hope so. I want Morgan to get his book so bad, LOL!

Nath: I'm curious about Castleford actually :) But yes, I'm hoping Morgan will get his book :)

Back to Ravishing in Red. One thing that I liked in this book was seeing Audrianna adapt to the ton. I'd actually have liked Ms Hunter to develop this part a bit more, especially given Audrianna situation: her marriage was a bit scandalous due to the circumstances. She is not from the ton and also her husband's position. Oh, and I love that despite everything, Audrianna did find the strength to stand up to her mother-in-law :D

Jill: I do agree with you on this one. Most of the interaction was done in private scenes. There really weren't any actions with big balls or dinner parties with the ton and that definitely could have added a different view on the book. Yes, I love how Audrianna handles her mother-in-law.

One thing that surprised me were the number of love scenes in Ravishing in Red, after all this is not erotic, but mainstream. They weren't very graphic, but they were frequent and sensual. I liked that they felt integral to the story instead of just filler. I think that is why I like marriage of convenience stories because the H/H are forced into intimacy with each other and I love seeing that bond develop through sex.

Nath: LOL, I love the moment Audrianna said she wouldn't take any lovers :P

Like you, I enjoy the marriage of convenience plot. I just like to see how two people forced into proximity develop feelings for each other LOL.

So, Ravishing in Red is a B for me :D I have to admit, I was pleasantly surprised with it. I liked the characters a lot, but the mystery wasn't that gripping... and for some reasons, I find Ms Hunter's writing a bit cold, too clinical for me. What about you?

Jill: I gave this a B+. I happen to really like Hunter's writing. I don't find it cold at all. I could see where you might find the characters more reserved than other authors, but she doesn't feel cold to me.

Friday, March 12

Review: Lessons from a Scarlet Lady by Emma Wildes

Ouf! Just in time, LOL. We're trying to post at least once a week, but for some reasons, it's much harder than with our regular book blogs. I seriously don't understand why it's so hard given that the books discussions are already done... Okay, I know why it's so hard... because putting the review together is a daunting task and I'm lazy LOL. I'm a procrastinator at heart :P But we're good for this week :)

Hope you enjoy the review as much as we enjoyed this book :) and have a nice week-end!

Lessons from a Scarlet Lady by Emma Wildes
published by New American Library in January 2010
No real lady should take lessons from a scarlet woman...

The Duke of Rolthven's new wife, Brianna, is the perfect aristocratic bride. So what would society say if they saw her with a copy of Lady Rothburg's Advice -- a courtesan's lessons for the boudoir? When his innocent wife suddenly becomes a vixen in the bedroom, the proper Duke is truly astounded by her seductive powers. Following a courtesan's advice might lead to trouble - but will it lead to Brianna's ultimate desire: winning her husband's love?

Genre: Historical romance
Series: none

The Story: The back blurb is pretty much dead on for Lessons from a Scarlet Lady. Brianna and Colton have been married for 3 months and while Colton very meticulously chose a bride that had all the requirements to become a duchess, their marriage was also a love match... and Brianna intends to keep it that way. Brianna fears that Colton will tire of her and take a mistress like so many other nobles. In order to prevent the eventuality, she decides to follow the advice found in Lady Rothburg's Advice, a book about women/men relationships written by a courtesan, to add some passion into their marriage bed.

Meanwhile, Rebecca - Brianna's best friend - feels lonely now that all her friends are married. Her parents want her to choose a groom among the men courting her, but the man that has caught her eyes is the only one she cannot have... Robert Northfield, Colton's younger brother as well as a notorious rake and one that her father strongly disapproves of...

Ames: Ok, so what did we all think?

Nath: Lessons from a Scarlet Lady was a pretty good book, very enjoyable, and I thought the premises were refreshing :D

Monroe: LOVED IT! I did (at first) think that the author spent a lot of time on Robert and Rebecca (is that her name? lol) but in the end it evened out pretty well. I’ve never read a book that had two VERY strong story lines.

Ames: Emma Wildes did something similar with her other book, an Indecent Proposition. I felt the same way as you at first, I didn't want any time taken away from the main couple but then I got into Rebecca and Robert's story.

Chantal: I actually liked Rebecca and Robert's story better than the main one. So much so that I skimmed over many parts of the main story so that I could get to Rebecca and Robert again.

Ames: LMAO! Chantal, you always do the opposite of what I expect. And I love it!

I actually really liked Brianna and Colton's story. I like a woman to take charge of her own sexuality, especially in historicals.

Nath: I was going to say the same as Ames, Chantal, you always have a diverging opinion! LOL :)

Me, I liked Brianna and Colton better. I'd have preferred to have less Robert and Rebecca. I liked the characters and especially Rebecca's character. How she felt, especially on the lack of freedom she had due to convention because she was unmarried as opposed to Brianna who was younger, but married. Very interesting. I simply think Rebecca and Robert could have had their own book instead of having their story crammed in with Brianna and Colton.

Chantal: Hehe. I didn't not like Brianna and Colton, I just liked the other couple better.

Brianna was cool. And my favourite part was when Brianna got on her knees and shocked the hell out of Colton. He didn't know if he should enjoy it or be pissed that she even knew about that sex act. LOL.

Monroe: Ya I loved that at every turn there was a shock in what Brianna would do next! I also loved that Colton really had it in him to do all these things to her but he was scared he would scare her off! LOL.

I like Robert and Rebecca but I too wouldn’t have minded if they got their own book b/c I would’ve liked more of BOTH couples lol Speaking of Robert and Rebecca’s story... I loved that he was a rake but a caring one! He really cared about Rebecca’s reputation! :o) And he was scared to hurt her!

Ames: I loved Colton's reactions to everything Brianna did!

Also, when she asked him to stay - and he had no clue what she was talking about! I thought that was very indicative of Colton's attitude towards marriage. He didn't think it would change the way he lived his life all that much but Brianna sure proved him wrong!

Monroe: YES! I lol’d at the fact that he didn’t know what she meant by stay! Lol I was like how can you be so clueless?!?!? But that proves how far they were able to carry their marriage. They truly BOTH learned a lot about what a real marriage means!

Chantal: I agree. And this is one of my favourite kinds of book--already married couple who find love together again (or for the first time if they have yet to love each other)

Colton took his role as Duke very seriously. This is how a Duke acts and this is how a Duke does not act. He carried that over to his bedroom with his proper Duchess wife. She sure has shown him, though.

Nath: In a way though, I find Colton's attitude very indicative of how men must have thought during that time period. I mean, Colton's attitude towards marriage was not casual. He really intended to have a good marriage with Brianna and it is said that he married for love. I guess these men are really raised not to show too much emotions.

Ames: I think what made the encounters between Colton and Brianna so hot was because we know he took his duke-ish attitude to the bedroom. Like Brianna melted his cold exterior and that really worked for me.

That bath scene. I love bath scenes, they're so sensual!

Monroe: Oh! The part where he washes her then ends up just getting her out of the water soaking wet and throwing her on the bed?!??! YOWZA! I loved when he started playing into it all!

Chantal: The best thing about Colton is that even though he has this chilly exterior, he still showed warmth when it was needed. And yeah, having a good woman melted him.

Monroe: Ya underneath Colton's cold exterior is a soft-hearted family man. I don’t even think HE really knew it. But you're exactly right Chantal, it took the right woman to warm him up. Any other woman wouldn’t have even tried! But Brianna wanted the man she KNEW was inside him!

Nath: What did you think of their family background of the Northfield? I enjoyed it. I mean, seems like they had a good father and their mother remarried - that was a surprising tidbits in my opinion.

Ames: Well I liked how Colton realized he missed his grandma and his brothers and that he couldn't stay mad at Brianna over the house party, especially since it brought them all together.

Monroe: They did have a pretty decent family it seemed! And I liked the grandmother!

Ok... we all know I turned back flips when she got preggers…:o) How did yall feel? (Ames we know you and your anti-baby in books rule lol)

Chantal: I giggled. I'm very pro baby in books :-P

Ames: Well I don't think a baby is necessary for an HEA. However, in historicals, it's kind of guaranteed. So I didn't mind it. And I thought it added to the story. Since we missed out on Brianna's and Colton's courtship, it was good to get more out of their marriage.

Nath: I agree with you Ames. I think it was a given she'd get pregnant eventually. It's just embarrassing when as a woman, you cannot recognize the signs and you have your BIL tell you ^_^;

Monroe: If none of the signs told her anything the missing period should have! Lol But then again back then they were so clueless to their bodies... so maybe that’s why.

Ames: I don't think Brianna's mother told her about the birds and bees. Remember she mentioned her mother only talked in metaphors and to do her duty?

It was SO CLEVER how Emma Wildes made the pregnancy somewhat of a conflict, what with Colton doubting the baby's parentage a bit and being truly suspicious over how Brianna gained her knowledge.

I like when couples fight in my books. :P

Chantal: Me too!

Monroe: I get stressed when they fight! LOL

But ya I never thought that Colton would question whose baby it was! I would’ve never thought that he would hire a spy to follow her either. BUT that just shows how our imaginations can go wild and how we overreact. They needed TRUST... and she got that when she tied him up! EPP! lol

Ames: Oh yeah, trust was a big issue.

I like how it all came together.

And I LOVED the fact that once Brianna found out about the spy, she confronted her husband about it. I found her actually communicating with her husband to be very refreshing. I'm sick of characters not talking to each other. Look at how that wound up working for Colton. It DIDN'T.

Nath: I'm not taking Colton's side on this, because really, nobody can't... However, I think that Colton's reaction was quite realistic. Brianna must have learned these things somewhere. It's just sad he didn't ask her and instead, thought it was another man. However, I loved the parts where Colton "asked" advices to Robert LOL :)

Monroe: Yes I hate that too. Most the times a problem can be fixed by just facing it head on! Brianna did that! Yet another great marriage tactic.

Chantal: I was proud of her when she confronted him. Communication is key, and we seem to lack that in books.

Monroe: It is VERY lacking... but then again they would make for uninteresting books. Because then you wouldn’t get your fighting you like so very much! lol

Nath: Very true, Monroe.

So, overall, what grades would you give to Lessons from a Scarlet Lady?

I really enjoyed it: the characters, the storylines and the writing style. Like I said, I could have done without Robert and Rebecca's side story, because I wished they had their own book. Still, I thought the book was fun and enjoyable, so B+.

Ames: I liked it too - a B+ from me. It was hot and I found myself somewhat emotional by the last page. LOL Not crying, but touched.

Nath: True. you kind of get attached to the characters. I liked how well they were developed :)

Ames: Especially Brianna. She was such a great heroine!

Monroe: I gotta agree with the two of you! B+! This book was so great! We got to see two really great relationships blossom before our eyes! I will be coming back to this author!

Chantal: This is really hard for me to rate. I'll go with a small B-, but I think that is generous. As much as I liked the story, I liked the secondary story better.

Tuesday, March 2

March 2010 new releases

It's the beginning of another month and this means, new books!! Or more accurately, new list of upcoming releases! :P And wowzer! There is a ton of interesting ones coming in March :) Are you ready? Because the list is quite long...

March 1

Moonlight Road by Robyn Carr
With her beloved younger siblings settled and happy, Erin Foley has empty nest syndrome. At age thirty-five.

So she's hitting the pause button on her life and holing up in a secluded (but totally upgraded -- she's not into roughing it) cabin near Virgin River. Erin is planning on getting to know herself...not the shaggy-haired mountain man she meets.

In fact, beneath his faded fatigues and bushy beard, Aiden Riordan is a doctor, recharging for a summer after leaving the navy. He's intrigued by the pretty, slightly snooty refugee from the rat race--her meditating and journaling are definitely keeping him at arm's length. He'd love to get closer...if his scruffy exterior and crazy ex-wife don't hold him back.

But maybe it's something in the water--unlikely romances seem to take root in Virgin River...helped along by some well-intentioned meddling, of course.

Genre: contemporary romance
Series: Virgin River, Book #11

Nath: I've really enjoyed the Virgin River series. While I find that personally, none of the books have been able to measure up to the opener, Virgin River, there are still enjoyable reads. After reading the blurb of Moonlight Road, I'm really looking forward to the story between Erin and Aiden :)

Ames: Again, I've read ONE book by Robyn Carr, but I gotta have the whole series. LOL It comes in handy when you glom an author. :P

What the Lady Wants by Jennifer Crusie
"If he's Cary Grant, where's his Girl Friday?"

Mitch Peabody was learning pretty fast that the life of a private detective was nothing like the movies. He'd envisioned a world of tough-talking detectives and smart-mouthed, stunning dames. Instead he saw case after case of cheating husbands, suspicious wives and unsuspecting mistresses...until she walked through the door.

Right down to her stilettos, Mae Sullivan was a knockout with a lethal body--and a lethal family to go with it. There was something not quite on the up-and-up about her, but she came with a case he couldn't afford to refuse...and left him with a case of lust he hadn't had since high school. It didn't take long for him to fall for her, hook, line and sinker. But was Mae interested only in catching the double-crossing crooks who murdered her uncle...or did the lady want to catch him?

Genre: contemporary romance
Series: none

Nath: This book is a re-issue. For some reasons, almost all of Ms Crusie's books are being re-issued and I end up collecting the reprints as well ^_^; What can I say? I just love this author :D

Monroe: I loved this book! I have the old copy in paperback and would love to have the new cutesy cover! ;o)

March 2

Roadkill by Rob Thurman
It's time to lock, load, and hit the road...

Once, while half-human Cal Leandros and his brother Niko were working on a case, an ancient gypsy queen gave them a good old-fashioned backstabbing. Now, just as their P.I. business hits a slow patch, the old crone shows up with a job.

She wants them to find a stolen coffin that contains a blight that makes the Black Death seem like a fond memory. But the thief has already left town, so the Leandros brothers are going on the road. And if they're very, very lucky, there might even be a return trip...

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Cal Leandros, Book #5

Nath: I've discovered this series last year, thanks to Leslie, and totally fell in love with it. Especially after Deathwish. I'm so glad I didn't have to wait too long for Roadkill!! I hope Ms Thurman will keep the same narration format as in Deathwish. Anyway, looking forward to see Cal, Niko and Robin again :D

Shalador's Lady by Anne Bishop
For years the Shalador people suffered the cruelties of the corrupt Queens who ruled them, forbidding their traditions, punishing those who dared show defiance, and forcing many more into hiding. Now that their land has been cleansed of tainted Blood, the Rose-Jeweled Queen, Lady Cassidy, makes it her duty to restore it and prove her ability to rule.

But even if Lady Cassidy succeeds, other dangers await. For the Black Widows see visions within their tangled webs that something is coming that will change the land-and Lady Cassidy-forever...

Genre: Fantasy
Series: Black Jewels, Book #8

Monroe: I have recently discovered Anne Bishop and her world of the Black Jewel books so I would love to pick this one up! =o)

Nath: Second book of the second trilogy in the Black Jewels world. I enjoyed the first book, The Shadow Queen, and am interesting to see where Ms Bishop will lead us :D

Ames: I will be getting this one eventually, but I'm so behind on this series!

In Bed with a Duke by Christina Dodd
Lady's companion Emma Chegwidden avoids defying society's rules-until she runs right into the arms of the seductive Reaper...a mystery man whose goal is justice. Or is it vengeance? Only one thing is certain: he's far too dangerous for the demure Emma. But some challenges are too tempting to resist...

Genre: Historical Romance

Chantal: This author is an auto buy for me. (Only her historicals, though) She writes some positively naughty love scenes.

Ames: The plot for In Bed With the Duke looks interesting. So I'll check it out.

Don't Kill the Messenger by Eileen Rendahl
Melina Markowitz is a Messenger, a go-between for paranormal forces and supernatural creatures. Problem is, when a girl's a go-between, it's hard not to get caught in the middle...

When ninjas steal an envelope from Melina, her search leads her to a Taoist temple in Old Sacramento, where the priests seem to practice Zen and the art of mayhem. Melina learns from the handsome ER doctor (and vampire) who gave her the envelope that it contained talismans created by the priests to control Chinese vampires, who are attacking gang members to spark a street war.

Although he may look more like a surfer than a cop, Ted Goodnight is dead serious about investigating the surge in gang violence. At every turn he runs into Melina, a very attractive-and very mysterious-young woman. Can Melina enlist his help to battle something he doesn't even believe in without blowing her cover?

Genre: Urban Fantasy or Paranormal romance
Series: Sacramento Messenger (not the official name), book #1

Nath: I've been in the mood for urban fantasy books lately and Don't Kill the Messenger fits the bill. I'm looking forward to read this book because the heroine's job sounds different - she's a messenger. Plus, Tracy enjoyed it, so that's a plus.

Something About You by Julie James
Staying overnight in a luxury hotel, Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron Lynde overhears a high-profile murder involving a U.S. Senator. Special Agent Jack Pallas is assigned to the investigation-the same Jack Pallas who still blames her for nearly ruining his career three years ago. Now the pair will have to put their rocky past behind them, focus on the case at hand-and smother the flame of their sizzling-hot sexual tension.
Genre: contemporary romance
Series: none

Nath: I bet this is going to be March's book, as in everyone is going to try getting a hand on it and reading it. I like Ms James and I'm looking forward to it, so you can count me in :)

Ames: Can I get a what what? LOL I love Julie James.

Naked Edge by Pamela Clare
What do you do when desire drives you to the very brink?

The day Navajo journalist Katherine James met Gabriel Rossiter, the earth literally moved beneath her feet. Nearly killed in a rockslide while hiking, she found her life in the tall park ranger's hands. Although she can't forget him she thinks she'll never see him again. She is crushed when she recognizes her rescuer among the law enforcement officers raiding a sweat lodge ceremony one night, throwing her and her friends off Mesa Butte, land they consider sacred.

Gabe long ago swore he would never again lose himself to a woman not even one with long dark hair and big eyes that seem to see right through him. But from the moment he first sees Kat, the attraction he feels is undeniable. Appalled by what he has been ordered to do, he's determined to get to the bottom of recent events at Mesa Butte and to keep Kat safe.

But asking questions can be dangerous almost as dangerous as risking one's heart. And soon Kat and Gabe's passion for the truth and each other makes them targets for those who would do anything, even kill, to keep Native Americans off their sacred land.

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: I-Team series, Book #4

Ames: No brainer.

On the Steamy Side by Louisa Edwards
When Lilah Jane Tunkle fled her dull life in Virginia for the bright lights of New York City, she didn't expect to wind up a nanny to a gorgeous celebrity chef's ten-year-old son. Working for the delectable Devon Sparks is a sure-fire recipe for disaster, especially after Lilah gets a tantalizing taste of his perfectly seasoned kisses ...

Devon's not sure he can handle one more surprise ingredient in his life--he quit his popular TV show, his culinary reputation is on the line, and now the son he barely knows is back for seconds. Lilah's Southern sass is supposed to keep the boy in line, but soon enough she's teaching Devon a thing or two about homespun food...and turning up the heat.

Genre: contemporary romance
Series: Recipe for Love series, Book #2

Ames: Ok, I didn't care for the first one, Can't Stand the Heat. It had SOOO much potential but the end was a disappointment. But the promise of the first half of that book makes me interested in giving her another shot.

Nath: Well, Can't Stand the Heat is still sitting in my TBR pile... However, Holly said this one was much better and that's reasons enough for me to pick it up :P Aren't we easy, Ames?

Ames: We're so easy, it's sick. LOL

Revenge Wears Rubies by Renee Bernard
Galen Hawke and five of his fellow prisoners have escaped from a rotting hellhole in India. What they witnessed and left behind can never be forgotten, nor can their prior lives ever be fully regained. His closest friend, John, died as they fled their captors. John's fun and sweet stories of his fiancee, Haley Moreland helped Galen keep his sanity while in captivity, now his death haunts Galen.

Hearing of Haley's recent engagement, and current successful Season so soon after the death of John leads Galen to believe John's memory is being betrayed, he is determined to teach the heartless Miss Haley Moreland a lesson of love and betrayal she won't ever forget.

After witnessing her father's foolishness in love, Haley is determined to never let such an emotion control her life. She is practical in the sense that only her marrying a wealthy man will save her family from their dire financial straights. She believes she has made the right choice. Until she meets Galen, who shows her what she will be missing if she denies her feelings. He makes her feel passion, to forget her current problems. She believes that with him she can have it all, love and financial security. But what she doesn't know is that he's set on revenge.

Will Galen waiver from his plan, and fall in love with Haley? Or will he ruthlessly ruin Haley for the slight he has condemned her of?
Genre: Historical romance
Series: Jaded Gentleman series, Book #1

Ames: I read one book by this author and liked it. Gonna try her out again.

Nath: I have to say, the blurb sounds quite interesting... Keep me posted, Ames!

Velvet Haven by Sophie Renwick
Hidden from mortals for all eternity, Annwyn, the Otherworld, is home to shapeshifters, wraiths and dragons. But in a nightclub called Velvet Haven, desire brings humans and immortals together...

Built atop the mystic passageway to Annwyn, the gothic nightclub Velvet Haven has seen its share of lost souls—both mortal and immortal. It is here that Bran, the shapeshifter king of the Sidhe, searches for his brother, who is ensnared by a centuries-old curse. When a vision foretells his own death, he knows his time to find Carden is running out.

For help he must turn to Mairi, a mortal woman with an unusual aura. Bran has never liked humans, other than using their sexual pleasure to restore his magic energy. But with Mairi everything is different. Her lush curves and teasing caresses enflame him like no Sidhe has ever done. He has no idea that the woman he’s falling for holds the key to his destruction – or his salvation.

Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: Immortals of Annwyn series, Book #1

Ames: This chick writes some hot hot stuff, so I wanna check this book out.

Nath: I've really ODed on this type of paranormal romance where you have a group of immortal warriors gathering together... but this one sounds different. I'm definitively going to keep an eye out for reviews :)

March 16

Wild Ride by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer
Mary Alice Brannigan doesn’t believe in demons. She does believe in saving Dreamland, the decaying amusement park in her home town that she’s been hired to restore. But when odd things begin to happen in the park, she investigates and discovers that Dreamland is a prison for the Untouchables, the five most powerful demons in the history of the world. And if that wasn’t enough to deal with, there’s a guy she’s falling hard for, and there’s something about him that’s not quite... right.

But rocky romances and demented demons aren’t Mab’s only problems: she’s also coping with a crooked politician, a supernatural raven, a secret government agency, an inexperienced sorceress, an unsettling inheritance, and some mind-boggling revelations from her past. As her personal demons wreck her newfound relationship and real demons wreck the park, Mab faces down immortal evil and discovers what everybody who’s ever been to an amusement park knows: the end of the ride is the wildest.

Genre: Paranormal romance
Series: none

Nath: It's a Jennifer Crusie!! Enough said, no? LOL. I enjoyed their last collaboration, Agnes and the Hitman, and this is the closest to a classic Crusie I'm going to get till she releases a solo book, so I'm really looking forward to this one :) So far, it sounds wacky enough to be a Crusie, LOL. Hopefully, it'll be a wowzer or at least, a very solid read...

Monroe: I wasn't CRAZY about Dont Look Down BUT Agnes and the Hitman was my first Crusie book and it made me fall in love!!! She's turned into an autobuy for me and I can't WAIT to get my hot little hands on this book!

Ames: Ok, totally didn't know that Jennifer Crusie/Bob Mayer had a book coming out so soon! Am I living under a rock?

What the Librarian Did by Karina Bliss
Is Rachel Robinson the only one on campus who doesn't know who Devin Freedman is? No big deal except that the bad-boy rock star gets a kick out of Rachel's refusal to worship at his feet. And that seems to have provoked his undivided attention. Devin, the guy who gave new meaning to the phrase "sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll." Devin, the guy who somehow becomes wedged between her and the past she's kept hidden for years.

It's up to this librarian to find out firsthand just how "bad" he really is. Because her secret--and her growing feelings for a man who claims he's bent on redemption--depend on his turning out to be as good as he seems. Which is really, "really" good.

Genre: contemporary romance
Series: ?

Nath: This book was brought to my attention by Wendy and then, Dear Author gave it a good grade and then, Kristie reviewed it. Definitively getting it.

Ames: The early blog buzz for Karina Bliss' What the Librarian did definitely has me intrigued. :P

March 23

The Chief by Monica McCarty

Scouring the darkest corners of the Highlands and Western Isles, Robert the Bruce handpicks ten warriors to help him in his quest to free Scotland from English rule. They are the best of the best, chosen for their superior skills in each discipline of warfare. And to lead his secret Highland Guard, Bruce chooses the greatest warrior of all.

The ultimate Highland warlord and a swordsman without equal, Tor MacLeod has no intention of being drawn into Scotland's war against the English. Dedicated to his clan, the fiercely independent chief answers to no one--especially not to his alluring new bride, bartered to him in a bid to secure his command of the deadliest fighting force the world has ever seen. The treacherous chit who made her way to Tor's bed may have won his hand, but she will never claim his heart.

Although her husband's reputation is as fierce as his manner, Christina Fraser believes that something softer hides beneath his brutal shell. But the only warmth she feels is in their bed, in glorious moments of white-hot desire that disappear with the dawn. When Christina's reckless bid to win her husband's love goes awry and thrusts them into danger on the eve of war, Tor will face his ultimate battle: to save his wife and to open his heart--before it's too late.

Genre: Scottish Historical romance
Series: The Highland Guard Series, Book #1

 Chantal: I have enjoyed this author's other books, and the blurb has me sucked in. And that cover. Yum.

A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner

Sophos, under the guidance of yet another tutor, practices his swordplay and strategizes escape scenarios should his father's villa come under attack. How would he save his mother? His sisters? Himself? Could he reach the horses in time? Where would he go? But nothing prepares him for the day armed men, silent as thieves, swarm the villa courtyard ready to kill, to capture, to kidnap. Sophos, the heir to the throne of Sounis, disappears without a trace.

In Attolia, Eugenides, the new and unlikely king, has never stopped wondering what happened to Sophos. Nor has the Queen of Eddis. They send spies. They pay informants. They appeal to the gods. But as time goes by, it becomes less and less certain that they will ever see their friend alive again.

Across the small peninsula battles are fought, bribes are offered, and conspiracies are set in motion. Darkening the horizon, the Mede Empire threatens, always, from across the sea. And Sophos, anonymous and alone, bides his time. Sophos, drawing on his memories of Gen, Pol, the magus - and Eddis - sets out on an Badventure that will change all of their lives forever.

Genre: Young Adult, fantasy
Series: The Queen's Thief, Book #4

Nath: THIS is THE book for me this month!! And given the number of releases out, it says something :) I seriously can't wait to get this book!! Gen!! And finally finding out what happened to Sophos!! Megan Whalen Turner was my discovery author last year and I am sooooo looking forward to this book. I can't say how lucky I am that I only had to wait a year for it :) (Okay, couple of months only... but still, it was long!)

In Serena's Web by Kay Hooper
At twenty-six, Serena Jameson is a handful--brilliant, manipulative, and passionate, at least when it comes to righting the wrongs of the world. Her father, a renowned computer magnate, is worried about Serena's impetuous nature--as well as a far more tangible threat--and entrusts a colleague, handsome Brian Ashford, to ferry her on a trip across the country. But as usual, Serena has ideas of her own.

A novice in affairs of the heart, Serena asks Brian to give her a crash course in seduction so that she can tame the notorious womanizer Joshua Long. But what starts as a simple lesson in love becomes a complex erotic dance, as both men find themselves caught in the snares of Serena's undeniable wiles. Is Serena trying to attract her declared target or her teacher? Who is really ensnaring whom? And can she finish weaving her web before the mysterious cabal eager to kill Serena's father manages to succeed--over her dead body?

Genre: contemporary romance
Series: The Hagen series, Book #1

Nath: Another one of my favorite authors :D I love Kay Hooper's writing, but I have to admit: I do prefer her FBI SCU series. Still, I'm getting this reprint because I'm trying to collect all of her backlist.

Mind Games by Carolyn Crane
While the citizens of Midcity are being terrorized by paranormal crime, Justine Jones is battling the paralyzing hypochondria that’s ruining her life. She’d do anything to break free.

She gets her chance when Packard, a handsome mastermind with strange powers, peers into her soul and invites her to join his psychological hit squad.

At first, Justine enjoys being part of the glamorous, thrilling world of neurotic vigilantes who battle Midcity’s depraved and paranormal criminals, though as a crimefighter, she’s far more like Monk than Anita Blake.

She also enjoys the unexpected affection that blossoms between her and Packard. But little by little, Justine begins to uncover strange secrets: like why Packard hasn’t set foot outside the Mongolian Delites restaurant for eight years. And the truth about the disillusionists. Soon their affection is destroyed in an angry inferno.

Things become more complicated when Justine falls for her most dangerous target, a dashing crime boss with a penchant for opera and paranoia about brain hemorrhages. Is he a ruthless criminal or her soulmate? How will she keep Midcity from sliding into a bloodbath?

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: The Disillusionists Trilogy, Book #1

Ames: Gotta support! LOL

Nath: You're so right, Ames! It doesn't hurt this is an urban fantasy :P

March 30

Lois Lane Tells All by Karen Hawkins
She thinks she’s Lois Lane...

Susan Collins wants to be a hard-hitting reporter, but there’s never been much call for her talents in sleepy Glory, North Carolina. But when the Murder Mystery Club — a trio of bored but enterprising octogenarians—decide to open their own CSI lab at the assisted living center, and strange ‘accidents’ begin to happen around town, Susan senses she might have discovered the news story of her dreams.

He doesn’t want to be her Superman...

Mark Tremayne has agreed to come back to Glory and to take over as CFO of The Glory Examiner. His job is to keep the newspaper profitable, which means covering the annual Baptist Bake-Off and selling ads for the county fair, not allowing his main and too-sexy-for-her(and his)-own-good reporter to hare off after a wild story that seems to have brought out the worst in one of Glory’s many colorful residents.

But together... they’re Kryptonite.

Mark’s and Susan’s viewpoints on how to run a paper are from different planets, but their mutual attraction is in total alignment. Despite their arguments, the indomitable redhead and the hot accountant are a sexual explosion waiting to happen.

And when it does, Glory had better watch out!

Genre: contemporary romance
Serie: Glory, Book #2

Nath: This is a second of the Glory series (okay, that's not the official name, but that's how I'm calling it :) I did enjoy Talk of the Town, the first book, even though the second half did not live up to the first half. I have great expectations for Lois Lane Tells All and hope I won't be too disappointed. Plus it's a contemporary and there's not enough of these out there.

Chantal: I look forward to this one as well.

Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs
When mechanic and shapeshifter Mercy Thompson attempts to return a powerful Fae book she'd previously borrowed in an act of desperation, she finds the bookstore locked up and closed down.

It seems the book contains secret knowledge-and the Fae will do just about anything to keep it out of the wrong hands. And if that doesn't take enough of Mercy's attention, her friend Samuel is struggling with his wolf side - leaving Mercy to cover for him, lest his own father declare Sam's life forfeit.

All in all, Mercy has had better days. And if she isn't careful, she might not have many more to live...

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Mercy Thompson series, Book #5

Ames: DUH Briggs is an autobuy!

Monroe: LOVE LOVE LOVE Patricia Briggs! Mercy Thompson is such a good series that is at the top of my list of paranormals!

Chantal: Ohh, I didn't know another Mercy book was out. I am so getting that!

Nath: LOL, seems like we all have the same reaction :) I'm more of an Alpha and Omega series, but still, I like Mercy :)

In the Darkest Night by Patti O'Shea
Kel Andrews has spent the last year living with nightmares and flashbacks. Unwilling to share what happened, he's withdrawn from his family and the Gineal council has removed him from his position as a troubleshooter. But when a woman shows up asking for protection from a demon, Kel reluctantly agrees to help--and finds himself facing an unexpected adversary, one he doesn't know how to fight.

Genre: paranormal romance
Series: Light Warriors, Book #4

Nath: I'm totally surprised this book is coming out already :D I was expecting it for June, but hey, not going to complain :D I really love Ms O'Shea's writing and I am looking forward to Kev story. I really liked what I saw of him in Edge of Dawn and I'm curious how his story is going to develop, especially with Farran. Oh, and this cover is so much better than the last :P

Desires of a Perfect Lady by Victoria Alexander
A secret list of the desires of Lady Olivia Rathbourne:

1. Disregard convention
2. Follow my heart
3. Bed the Earl of Wyldewood

A decade ago, Olivia had expected to marry the Earl of Wyldewood, only to have happiness stolen from her before his ring could be placed upon her finger. Now he stands before her, as proud and arrogant and handsome as ever, vowing to rescue her. Well, he's got some nerve urning up after all these years. Where was he when she needed him?
As for the earl, scandal has never touched him nor has impropriety ever besmirched his name. But his penchant for doing the expected does have his family calling him, well, dull. Isn't it time to flaunt society's conventions and do what he's always wanted? And first on his list: Olivia in his bed—with or without a wedding.

Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Harrington series, Book #2 (or #3 if you count Perfect Wife)

Nath: One of my comfort authors. I don't like all of her books, but I read them religiously, because there's just something about her style that suits me :D

Instant Temptation by Jill Shalvis
To Harley, the landscape around Wishful, California, is exhilarating, untamed, and more than a little dangerous. The same could be said for T.J. Wilder, who's invited himself along on her trek to study a rare coyote. Harley's career is riding on this trip, and she doesn't need a stubborn, incredibly sexy distraction. But T.J. is a professional guide who knows when to stay back and when to provide invaluable expertise - just like he's done since they were in high school. And Harley, as usual, is torn between throttling him and giving in to the raw attraction that's been smoldering all these years. T.J. knows how proud and capable Harley is, but he's damned sure not letting her put herself at risk when there are illegal hunters in the area. She needs him, with the same soul-stirring urgency that he's always craved her. And here, in this beautiful place days from civilization, he'll finally have a chance to prove it - over and over again...

Genre: contemporary romance
Series: Wilder brothers, Book #3

Ames: Is Instant Temptation a new release from Jill Shalvis or an MMP of a previous tradesize? Cuz I want it.

Monroe: OMG I cant wait for this book! I L-O-V-E these boys! AND I love Jill Shalvis even more! ;o)

Succubus Shadows by Richelle Mead
Georgina Kincaid has formidable powers. Immortality, seduction, shape-shifting into any human form she desires, walking in heels that would cripple mere mortals—all child’s play to a succubus like her.

Helping to plan her ex-boyfriend’s wedding is a different story. Georgina isn’t sure which is worse—that Seth is marrying another woman, or that Georgina has to run all over Seattle trying on bridesmaid dresses. Still, there are distractions. Georgina’s roommate, Roman, is cluttering her apartment with sexual tension. Then there’s Simone, the new succubus in town, who’s intent on corrupting Seth.

But the real danger lies in the mysterious force that’s visiting her thoughts, trying to draw her into a dark, otherworldly realm. Sooner or later, Georgina knows she’ll be too weak to resist. And when that happens, she’ll discover who she can trust, who she can’t—and that Hell is far from the worst place to spend eternity...

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: Georgina Kincaid series, Book #5

Chantal: Another Georgie book. Yay!! I've already pre ordered it. Woot!

Monroe: Yall had to basically talk me into reading the last book b/c I knew how it played BUT Ive come to the conclusion that I WILL get what I want in this book! SO Im totally pumped about this one! WOOT WOOT LOVE GEORGIE!

Ames: This series, more than any other, this is my favoritest series. Georgie's trials and tribulations and adventures are so addictive, I don't know why more people don't read her. I have pre-ordered this one as well. Can't wait to sink my claws into this one. ROWR


LOL, told you it was a long list!! March sure is a good month! So, what are you waiting for? Any new releases you're expecting which is not on our list? :P One thing assured is I shouldn't have any problems picking up a book to read.