July 31, 2011

Sunday Spotlight On: Historical Romance

Seduction & Scandal
Charlotte Featherstone
Guardian Brethren #1
Paperback Edition
382 Pages
Publsihed June 21st, 2011
Genre: Historical Romance
Rating: 5

Don't let the cover fool you! This book has a lot more to it than your average sexy romance novel.

"The first time I met Death, it was at a ball and we danced a waltz, and I feared him, feared the things he made me feel, made me want. That night I ran from him, but Death was right behind me, chasing me and I wanted him to catch me."

Isabella has a scandalous past and a family reputation she is determined to prove wrong. Her mother's past mistakes and their consequences have made Isabella hide her passionate self. Lord Black, the dark and mysterious neighbor, is also determined...determined to seduce her! This tale is full of scandal, seduction, ancient templar secrets, and sexy Freemasons!

Seduction & Scandal is the first installment of the Brethren Guardian series and is not to be missed. I read through this very quickly and had a hard time convincing myself it was time to put it down and get soem sleep. Lord Black is one of the hottest alpha males in the Harlequin lineup!

Underneath the sexy surface, Charlotte Featherstone has woven in touches of Masonic lore and has carefully entwined her characters' fates. The next installment is set up very nicely and will be on my shelf as soon as it releases. Isabella's cousin Lucy's story, Pride and Passion, comes out in November.

July 20, 2011

Weekly Reality Check

Nora Roberts
Paperback Edition
433 Pages
Published March 31st, 2009
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating 5

This week's reality check is from one of my favorite romance authors. I usually tend to lean more towards her supernatural themed trilogies, however I had been recommended this title by several people including my grandmother. Ok, so it's a little weird to indulge in reading steamy romance that your grandma also enjoys, but honestly this one is a classic. Roberts manages to make this stand alone incredibly enjoyable and thrilling.

Former child star, Cilla McGowan, finds solace in restoring old houses, but is plagued by dreams of her long dead, Hollywood star of a grandmother, Janet Hardy. Finally deciding to return to the old farmhouse her grandmother once owned in the Shenandoah Valley, Cilla makes it her goal to restore it to its former glory. There she meets the handsome, quirky comic book artist, Ford Sawyer and together, they begin to unravel the mystery of what happened there so long ago. Danger lurks around every corner because someone would rather everything stay in the dark.

Tribute is full of action and thrilling suspense. Nora Roberts really showcases her range of writing ability here. I highly recommend it!

July 19, 2011

Tuesday Time Warp

Dragonfly in Amber
Diana Gabaldon
Outlander #2
Ebook Edition
866 Pages
Published October 28th, 2004
Genre: Historical Romance, Science Fiction/Time Travel
Rating: 4

Dragonfly in Amber is the continuing story of Claire and Jamie and they adventure into 18th century France in an attempt to prevent Charles Stuart from fighting his famous battle for Scotland. Claire and Jamie must do their best to prevent the battle from taking place, and wiping out the highlanders for good.

This one was super long like the first one, but took me much longer to read. I felt much of the excitement and allure of the first book was lost in the great detail. It dragged on at times, stuck in describing daily routines and custom of the time.

Despite the incredible length and slow pace, this installment in the Outlander series was still memorable. The return of many of the characters we love and those we love to hate, will keep you determined to finish. The events in the lives of these characters are still very much emotionally engaging and there are by no means lack of plot twists. I would keep this one at your bedside and suggest that you enjoy it chapter by chapter as they are pretty long. This one may take awhile to get through, but it is well worth the time.

July 17, 2011

Sunday Spotlight On: Chick Lit

Something Borrowed
Emily Giffin
Series: Darcy & Rachel #1
Mass Market Paperback - Movie Edition
322 Pages
Published March 29th 2011
Genre: Chick-lit, Contemporary Romance
Rating 4

It has been awhile since I've read a chick-lit title. A very dear friend of mine gifted placed a shiny paperback copy of this in my hands a few weeks ago and requested I read it so we could discuss the relationship of the two main characters Darcy and Rachel. I was aware they had made a movie out of it and was a bit hesitant to read it due to the implied subject matter, however I am glad I did.

Rachel and Darcy have been best friends since they were kids, experiencing all the important mile stones in life with each other minus marriage. Now Darcy, the lucky beautiful one, is getting married to Rachel's old college buddy Dex and Rachel is the Maid of Honor. A few months before the wedding, after Rachel's birthday party, Rachel finds herself falling into bed with her best friends fiance and the craziness only escalates from there.

Giffin's writing style makes for enjoyable, page turning beach reading. The perfect summer pick. The dynamics of Rachel and Darcy's relationship will remind you of friendships you have had or are having leaving you to examine them with new light. I'm not really a fan of justified cheating novels, but there was really a lot more going on here. My only real complaint is that it almost feels like Giffin is trying too hard to make you hate Darcy, while Rachel is indecisive and kinda wishy-washy to be honest. The girl can't make up her damn mind!

The conclusion was satisfying and you will be left interested in finding out what happens next. The following novel, Something Blue deals with the aftermath of all this craziness.

The final verdict,, definitely give it a read.. You will love bitching about the characters and situations with your girls

July 16, 2011

The Saturday Sizzle

Slow Hands
Leslie Kelly
Harlequin Blaze #402
Ebook Edition
220 Pages
Published June 1st, 2008
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotica
Rating: 4

When rich society girl Madeline Turner bid on hunky Jake Wallace, she never expected to make a connection too. What neither of them knows is that the auctioneers mixed up the identities of Jake and another eligible bachelor. This comedy of errors brings the sizzle in ample quantity.

I have never read a Harlequin Blaze title before and was a bit timid when I started. They kind of have a reputation for being something your grandma reads in secret. I have to say though I really enjoyed Slow Hands. The set up and the hilarious case of mistaken identity, or in this case occupation, makes this a bit more than just smutty goodness. I really came to care about the characters and wanted them to end up together. This had the perfect formula of cute + sizzle + story = fun read.

This one was a freebie on B&N.com and may still be. I would take advantage of that if I were you!

July 15, 2011

Friday, Nerdy Friday

Pariah #1
Aron Warner
Series: Pariah
Pre-release comic
32 Pages
Expected Publication Date: July 20th, 2011
Genre: Sci-fi
Rating 4

Brent Marks, high-school student, incredibly intelligent, nerd extraordinaire. Oh yeah, and he's a Vitros. A Vitros is a kid who has been created through genetic manipulation. The super people of this comic are a bit different from your average super hero, in fact it would be more accurate to call them super nerds. Nerds with the power to be more intelligent than the smartest human to ever exist A neat kinda concept.

The first issue of Pariah is engaging and introduces its main character and world at a nice pace. Brent Marks is white and nerdy and doesn't know how to connect with girls, but underneath all that geek, he is really witty. I found myself laughing at his observations and his constant insistence that he is not a freak.

The art of Pariah is very different form what I'm used to seeing in my comics, but not in a bad way. The colors and textures of the characters and background denote the emotion of the story. Honestly the style is just plain cool. The story told by this issue is intriguing and will leave readers eagerly anticipating more.

July 13, 2011

Weekly Reality Check: The Creed Legacy

The Creed Legacy
Linda Lael Miller
Series: The Creed Cowboys #3
Mass Market Paperback
377 Pages
Published June 28th, 2011
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Western Romance, Harlequin
Rating 3

Brody is a sexy cowboy with a rough and tumble past. Carolyn is a wayward soul with a passion for sewing and beautiful things trying to find her place in life. After a fateful week of summer lovin' Brody gets a call that will change his world and ditches Carolyn, leaving her bitter. Years later, Brody is back and determined to get Carolyn back. Will he be able to convince her he's changed, and what secret about that night is he hiding?

The Creed Legacy is a sweet, mildly western romance that will leave you with a nostalgic summery feeling. It is part of a series, however you don't need to have read the previous books to understand what's going on here. This one isn't something I would rave or rant about. This is merely a fun, quick, no nonsense read. I think the best part of this book is that it is a nice break from the overly saturated paranormal romance scene. Now I love my pararom, but sometimes you just need that little reality check. This was just the thing for that. The characters are nice and the entire novel feels like home. Read, enjoy, and don't take this one too seriously

July 9, 2011

Book Review: Iron Crowned

Iron Crowned
By Richelle Mead
Series: Dark Swan #3
Ebook Edition
257 pages
Published February 22nd, 2011
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Creature Feature: Fae
Rating: 4

Oh Eugenie how I've missed you! After some disappointment from the last installment Thorn Queen, which tended to be a bit slow and not quite as compelling as the first, Iron Crowned really delivers the magic of the first book.

Shaman to the human world and Otherworldly heir of Storm King, Eugenie Markham returns with this epic quest for the Iron Crown. In an attempt to end the war begun by Dorian's punishment of Eugenie's rapist, Eugenie and Kiyo set out on a journey to claim the crown her father failed to reach. The crown's reputation will supposedly make the rival Rowan Land bow down before her, however there is more to it than she originally thinks.

Iron Crowned is definitely worth the year long wait. Packed full of action, sex, and intense plot twists, this installment of the Dark Swan series does not disappoint. The only real complaint I have is that the love triangle is really getting to me. Eugenie really hops between Dorian and Kiyo like nobody's business! Nearing the end, I just wanted to throw in the towel on both of them, but Dorian seems to redeem himself a tad towards the end. Can't wait for the next one! This is one series I need closure on and enjoy following immensely.

Contest: Sea Lion Books Storm Born Giveaway

Sea Lion Books LLC is a newly established publishing house which specializes in all formats-hardcover, trade paperback, and mass market in urban fantasy, paranormal, and young adult genres. Sea Lion Books LLC's recent roster of authors include: International Bestselling author, Paulo Coelho, New York Times Bestselling authors Richelle Mead, Richard A. Knaak, Aron Warner, the Oscar-Winning Producer of SHREK and more to be announced in the upcoming...  For more information visit - http://sealionbooks.com/

They are having a contest to see if they can reach 1,111 likes. The winner will receive a copy of the first book, Storm Born, in the Dark Swan Series by Richelle Mead AND the winner will get to make a cameo appearance in the second volume of the Storm Born Comic, which comes out next year.  There may be more prizes up for grabs as well!  J

Here is what you need to do in order to win!!!  Like Sea Lion Book’s FaceBook page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sea-Lion-Books/101360683261467)!!!  Then write your full name on their wall and tell them how much you love Eugenie Markham!!!    
The contest closes when they reach 1,111 likes and use Random.com to pick the winner!! 

Tell them Jessica Mason sent you!

Good luck everyone!

Comic Review: Storm Born #1

For me, the Dark Swan series has been a love affair from page 1. The characters feel like people you know and love and the books are filled with intense plot twists that keep you coming back for more. So when I heard Storm Born was being made into a comic, I raced over to my local comic book store to pre-order my copy only to find out, it was way too early to pre-order. I had jumped the gun a bit.

Now that I have my copy in my hands, I marvel at its glossy pages and gorgeous artwork. The comic reads just like a page out of the book, thanks to Richelle Mead working closely with the artists. Eugenie looks beautiful and our favorite kitsune isn't looking to bad himself! I'm really enjoying seeing my favorite characters brought to life through the rich illustrations and can't wait for more! This series is really the prefect way for fans of paranormal romance novels to branch over into comics. If you have shied away from this form of media thus far from the fear that it is just for boys, let me assure you, this series will open up a whole new way to experience your favorite fiction. The first issue of Storm Born Volume 1 offers visuals you can't get from reading the book and brings the sizzle in spades.