Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A Stone Kissed Sea Review



Title:  A Stone Kissed Sea
Series:  Elemental World #4
Author:  Elizabeth Hunter
Release Date:  Dec. 6, 2016
Buy Link:  Amazon

My Rating:  5 Epic, Magical 's

Many thanks to the author for an arc of this book.




Synopsis:
An immortal wanderer. A brilliant scientist. A centuries-old menace written in blood. 

Lucien Thrax, son of the earth and child of the ancients, is a healer of immense power. But years of work on a deadly vampire virus have not led to a cure, nor have they softened the wall he built around his heart. When he’s forced to work with Doctor Makeda Abel, Lucien is convinced he’s reached his limit of patience with humanity. 

Makeda Abel may be human, but she’s far from impressed with the brooding vampire healer, even if his mind draws her reluctant admiration. She’s learned how to survive in the immortal world, and it’s not by being afraid. Working together may lead them to answers, but it also pushes Lucien and Makeda’s attraction to the boiling point. 

When nightmares become reality, Makeda will have to trust Lucien with her life. Finding answers has never been more vital. Finding love has never been more deadly. To heal the Elemental World, Lucien and Makeda must follow ancient paths and ask for help from the most inhuman of immortals. Because even with a cure in hand, the battle has only begun.

Review:

Once again, Hunter has gifted readers with an epic tale, beautifully orchestrated and rich in details.  One in which the landscape becomes a living, breathing character, carrying the reader on a magic carpet ride through faraway lands where all the elements of nature intertwine and become as one.  Complex, almost mythical characters and intricate plot lines are flawlessly woven with the landscape, fleshing out this epic paranormal fantasy.

The Elemental World story arc continues as Lucien, earth vampire, is joined by Makeda Abel, a blood specialist, in a battle against time and unknown enemies to find both the source and a cure for the virus Elixir as it ravages both human and immortals.  Both resent the chemistry sparking between them and turn to mental sparring as a weapon against emotions raging out of control in a classic love/hate relationship.  A devastating event occurs early in the story that will forever change their lives as well as their fate.  Realizing that they're losing the race against the clock, they align paths and begin a quest for answers. I won't elaborate more on the story as it simply must be experienced firsthand.

A Stone Kissed Sea is a beautifully written story rich in imagery and characterizations that will carry you away to another place and time.  While part of the overall Elemental World story arc, Hunter incorporates sufficient background information for it to be read as a standalone - although reading previous books will be high on your list upon finishing this one!  Magical, passionate, and suspenseful, A Stone Kissed Sea is another Page Burning Must Read by Elizabeth Hunter!

My Rating:  5 Epic, Magical 's . . . And that's the truth!

 Cross My Heart . . . xxx
Sandra

Monday, November 28, 2016

Bound by Temptation Review



Title:  Bound By Temptation
Series:  Bound By #2
Author:  Trish McCallan
Publisher:  Trish McCallan Inc.
Buy Link:  Amazon

My Rating:  3.5 Humorous, Sexy 's







Synopsis:
Bound By Temptation is a 175 page novella (estimated) set in my Red-Hot SEALs world. 

Dumped and disillusioned… 

Emma Janssen’s perennial good luck has run dry... 
First there’s the weekend of heated sensuality she’d shared with Lucas Trammel, followed by three months of humiliating silence. And then there’s her testy new home, which is slowly nickel-and-diming her to death. Add in a band of ruthless killers hot on her tail, and her perfect life is in a nasty meltdown. Even so, the very last thing she needs is Lucas racing to her rescue. She’d given the man her love once and he’d abandoned her. She’s not about to let him close enough to hook her heart for a second time. 

Deadly and dangerous… 

Lucas has been lying to Emma for years… 
As a special operator with ST7, life has taught Lucas to hold his Navy credentials close to his ballistics vest. It doesn’t pay to let civilians know what he does for a living. When one hot as hell weekend threatens to become more than a three-night stand, Lucas takes a giant step back. Emma is the kind of woman a man marries. But she’s a civilian. Civilians and black ops don’t mix. So he bails on her. He’s convinced he’d made the right call…until he finds out she’s in danger. The thought of a world without Emma? Wasn’t going to happen, even if that means kidnapping her himself. 

Driven and Desperate… 

Injured pride is all good and well until it gets you killed... 
Emma isn’t stupid. After narrowly escaping an abduction thanks to Lucas’s timely intervention, she accepts his protection. But as the days drag on, and their passion rekindles she finds herself fighting two battles—one against the unidentified killers intent on taking her life, and one against the sexy Navy SEAL determined to steal back her heart. 

Review:
After an erotic, sex-filled weekend together that promised to develop into something more, Lucas decides to take a step back from Emma. She's too tempting, too delicious, too deserving of a better life than he can give her as a SEAL. The temptation to call her is removed when his team is deployed. Emma felt certain she would hear from the hot, gorgeous Lucas after spending a weekend in his king-sized bed. But her phone didn't ring, and her calls were not returned. To add injury to insult, the new home she purchased on impulse isn't all it was advertised to be. And now, someone has broken in and ransacked it, destroying everything in the process. Nothing was stolen so what were they looking for? A friend of Lucas's is the investigating cop and when he suspects Emma's life is in danger, he calls Lucas who is now back in town. Sparks fly when Lucas rides in to save Emma and thus the fun begins.

Sexy banter, laugh out loud moments - a toothless dog rescued from the pound as a guard dog - car chases, suspense, romance - it all adds up to a fun-filled yet romantic read with a couple who must come face-to-face with the reality of losing it all before they wake up and smell the coffee. Short on pages, but another Must Read!


My Rating:  3.5 Humorous, Sexy 's . . . And that's the truth!

Cross My Heart . . . xxx

Sandra

The Alibi Review



Title:  The Alibi
Author:  Sandra Brown
Publisher:  Hachette Books
Release Date:  First publ. in 1999
Buy Link:  Amazon

My Rating:  4 Intertwining 's







Synopsis:
Born into a fine old Charleston family, Hammond Cross is determined to be the city's next district attorney - without sacrificing his integrity. 

Prosecuting the sensational murder of a real estate magnate could be his ticket into office. Yet, while Hammond anticipates his success, someone near him is plotting his downfall. Is it Steffi Mundell, colleague, ex-lover and rival? Rory Smilow, homicide detective and Hammond's avowed enemy? 

Is it the dead man's widow, wily, beautiful and Hammond's lifelong friend? Or is it Hammond's prime suspect, the mysterious woman who shares the secret that would be fatal to Hammond's ambitions?

Review:
One night of "escaping reality" turns into a long, ominous nightmare for Prosecutor Hammond Cross. A spur of the moment decision turned into a night of passion with a mysterious woman who was gone by dawn's light. Hammond doesn't even know her name. He will before long, and it just may be his downfall.

Intriguing characters flaunt their way through The Alibi. At first they didn't seem to have any connection to one another, leaving me wondering where it all was leading. It soon becomes apparent as the "i's" are dotted and the "t's" are crossed, and their paths intertwine. The characterizations are masterfully written - each character is unique, working their own agenda. I found myself fascinated with them all as the story played out, and I racked my brain trying to figure out their motives and connections to one another. Hammond appears to be on a suicide mission as his actions belied his position, threatening to destroy his future. My heart raced through the last few chapters . . . and I may have screamed "NO" out loud a time or two. Another Must Read by Sandra Brown!


My Rating:  4 Intertwined 's . . . And that's the truth!

Cross My Heart . . . xxx

Sandra

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Wound Tight Review



Title:  Wound Tight
Series:  Made in Jersey #4
Author:  Tess Bailey
Release Date:  Dec. 5, 2016
Order Link:  Amazon

My Rating:  4 Deliciously Dirty 's

*Many thanks to the author and Publisher for an arc of this book via Netgally.




Synopsis:

When CEO Renner Bastion walks into a room, everyone keeps their distance. Well, everyone but the sarcastic, tattooed, Boston-bred security guard whose presence has kept Renner in New Jersey longer than intended. As if the unwanted attraction isn’t unsettling enough, Renner finds out his protector isn’t as unavailable as originally thought.

Milo Bautista just came out to his wealthy, ultra-confident boss, a man he secretly respects and admires…in more ways than he’ll admit. Worldly, experienced Renner would never look in his direction, let alone share some of that confidence he wears like a cloak, so Milo has set his sights on someone else to be his first.

Until Renner offers him private lessons in seduction...

Review:
My first thoughts upon hearing that Wound Tight, the much anticipated final book in the Made in Jersey series, would be m/m was Holy Moly!  There really is a Santa Claus!  The Queen of dirty talking, baggage toting, sinfully sexy, bad*ss alpha males is writing m/m for the first time - and it's Renner and Milo's story!  Can I hear an Amen?!  

I've been panting for Renner and Milo's story since I read Worked Up - when it became obvious that sparks were flying between them though neither would acknowledge it.  I knew the view from a ringside seat, watching while these two sparred and tore down the boundaries separating them would make for one h*ll of a ride, and I wasn't disappointed.  Renner and Milo are worlds apart in class (wealthy vs. working class), position (boss vs. employee), self-identity or sexuality (openly gay vs. looking for first experience), and age (issue for Renner who is 33 - nonissue for Milo who is 26).  And yet, the attraction between them is undeniably explosive in spite of their many differences.

CEO Renner Bastion is an openly gay, self-confessed workaholic - the gorgeous owner of the factory that employs most of the town people, including Milo.  Renner's no-smile attitude screams "back off", making him appear cold, arrogant, untouchable, even uncaring.  People part like the red sea when he walks into a room exuding confidence and class.  He is disliked by most of the town because of his demeanor and because they blame him for something that happened in book 3.  Renner is edgy and irritated to find himself attracted to his factory security guard Milo, often watching as Milo moves about the factory floor making everyone laugh.  Now Renner finds himself making excuses to stay in town awhile longer just to be around the man who refuses to cower before him - the one whose sarcastic banter is the highlight of his day - the one who makes his heart race as his body stands up and pays attention.  One thing's for sure - Renner doesn't do relationships . . . he does hook-ups with other gay business men - where it's clear up front there is no "morning after", no expectations.  He won't break his rule to never get involved with younger "first-timers" who aren't sure what they want.  So why does he find the lean muscled, tattooed, supposedly "straight" Milo so d*mn attractive?

Milo Bautista is the ex-military security guard at the factory - a charismatic, open, honest, caring, gorgeous man loved by everyone.  He slides into a room like melted chocolate over ice cream, drawing all eyes to him.  Milo is pure raw emotion . . . unbound.  He has a need to take care of people, and has made it his job to watch over his careless boss Renner.  Or is there another reason he watches him like a hawk?  Maybe he likes the way Renner fills out those stiff business suits.  Maybe he has erotic dreams of being in Renner's bed.  Maybe he just enjoys punching his bosses buttons to get him riled up . . . because a riled up Renner is something to behold.  One thing Milo does know . . . he has a burning desire to get down and dirty with his boss.  And he intends for Renner to be his first if hell doesn't freeze over first.

Wound Tight will wind you up like a coiled spring - tense and waiting for "it" to happen!  Tessa Bailey knows how to write dirty talking, dominant alpha males, and in this book - be still my heart - we get two of them going toe-to-toe!  Be prepared for raw emotion, passion, dirty talking, and burn-the-house-down (or dressing room *fanning self*) SEX!  Also be prepared for humorous, sarcastic banter along with heart-touching honesty as these two men peel back the layers to expose and win each other's heart.  Who said Tessa Bailey doesn't write m/m???  Not only does she write it, she blew the lid off!  I can't wait for more.  A Page Burning Must Read!

My Rating:  4 Deliciously, Dirty 's . . . And that's the truth!


Cross My Heart . . . xxx

Sandra



Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Dream Hunter Review



Title:  Dream Hunter
Series:  Dark Hunter #10
Author:  Sherrilyn Kenyon
Publisher:  St. Martin's Press
Release Date:  Feb. 6, 2007
Buy Link:  Amazon

My Rating:  3 Dream Invading 's






Synopsis:
In the ethereal world of dreams, there are champions who fight to protect the dreamer and there are demons who prey on them...

Arik is such a predator. Condemned by the gods to live eternity without emotions, Arik can only feel when he's in the dreams of others. For thousands of years, he's drifted through the human unconscious, searching for sensation. Now he's finally found a dreamer whose vivid mind can fill his emptiness.

Dr. Megeara Kafieri watched her father ruin himself and his reputation as he searched to prove Atlantis was real. Her deathbed promise to him to salvage his reputation has now brought her to Greece where she intends to prove once and for all that the fabled island is right where her father said it was. But frustration and bad luck dog her every step. Especially the day they find a stranger floating in the sea. His is a face she's seen many times.... in her dreams.

What she doesn't know is that Arik holds more than the ancient secrets that can help her find the mythical isle of Atlantis. He has made a pact with the god Hades: In exchange for two weeks as a mortal man, he must return to Olympus with a human soul. Megeara's soul.

With a secret society out to ruin her expedition, and mysterious accidents that keep threatening her life, Megeara refuses to quit. She knows she's getting closer to Atlantis and as she does, she stumbles onto the truth of what Arik really is.

For Arik his quest is no longer simple. No human can know of a Dream-Hunter's existence. His dream of being mortal has quickly turned into his own nightmare and the only way to save himself will be to sacrifice the very thing he wanted to be human for. The only question is, will he?
 

Review:
I'm a fan of the Dark Hunters - Dark, damaged, bad*ss alpha males hunting Daemons & protecting mankind - all with intriguing backstories. BBF/Hero material. While Dream Hunter Arik is certainly damaged and on the high end of the SexOmeter - I had some trouble feeling empathy with him in the same way as I have the Dark Hunters. The story was slow to draw me in as I missed some of the intensity of other books in the series.

Arik bargains with Hades for two weeks as a human in order to experience sex for real with Megeara “Geary” Saatsakis, a woman whose dreams Arik has invaded - hot, steamy, erotic dreams. Dream Hunters are forbidden to remain in one person's dreams multiple times, and Arik is ordered to move on to someone else but refuses. Geary is searching for Atlantis to restore her dead father's reputation as he had been ridiculed in life and after death for believing it existed. Arik received a box from her father - he left her proof in the form of an ancient coin. When Arik & Geary meet in the human realm, Arik offers to help Geary get the needed permits to begin her search. She recognizes Arik from her dreams, but doesn't know that it's her soul that he traded to Hades in a deal for two weeks as a human. 

As this story plays out, there are some humorous moments as Arik fumbles the finer details of being human. But I wanted to feel more chemistry between Arik and Geary. I found the Atlantis plot line intriguing and the supporting cast interesting - ranging from egotistical Greek Gods to some snarky characters to Arik's brother, and they all helped carry the story. While certainly unique, Dream Hunter moved a bit slow for me until near the end. Most certainly a different and interesting addition to the series. And what a gorgeous cover!  A Must Read for fans of the series.


My Rating:  3 Dream Invading 's . . . And that's the truth!


Cross My Heart . . . xxx

Sandra

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Managed Review



Title:  Managed
Series:  VIP#2
Author:  Kristen Callihan
Publisher:  Plain Jane Books
Release Date:  Nov. 14, 2016
Buy Link:  Amazon

My Rating: 4



Synopsis:
It started off as a battle of wits. Me: the ordinary girl with a big mouth against Him: the sexy bastard with a big...ego.

I thought I’d hit the jackpot when I was upgraded to first class on my flight to London.

That is until HE sat next to me. Gabriel Scott: handsome as sin, cold as ice. Nothing and no one gets to him. Ever. He’s a legend in his own right, the manager of the biggest rock band in the world, and an arrogant ass who looks down his nose at me.

I thought I’d give him hell for one, long flight. I didn’t expect to like him. I didn’t expect to want him. But the biggest surprise? He wants me too. Only in a way I didn’t see coming.

If I accept his proposal, I leave myself open to falling for the one man I can’t manage. But I’m tempted to say yes. Because the real man beneath those perfect suits and that cool fa├žade just might be the best thing that’s ever happened to me. And I just might be the only one who can melt the ice around his heart.

Let the battle begin…

Review:

Sophie Darling boards a plane headed to a job interview and is deliriously happy to find she's been upgraded to first class.  Just as she settles into her new seat, she hears a stuffy, arrogant, controlled voice demanding to know why someone is sitting in his seat . . . seems this obviously wealthy man purchased two seats to ensure no one would bother him.  Control Freak - Meet the woman who refuses to be managed!  And so begins the hilarious banter between Sophia Darling and Gabriel Scott aka "Scottie" - manager of the biggest rock band in the world.  Sophie just can't help herself - she decides to push all Scottie's buttons, prodding at him just to get a rise (she may have even mentioned some sexual act - just sayin'), and the one-liners flying between them begins.  She calls him "Sunshine" (sarcasm), and he calls her "Chatty Girl".  Their interaction on the plane is priceless, but an undercurrent is brewing.  And by the end of their seven hour flight - they discover a connection - seems they're going to the same place and will be seeing more of each other and . . . surprise, surprise - they both want to see more of each other.  The chemistry is already sizzling.

As this story plays out, prepare to laugh out loud as quirky, smart, warm, funny Sophie worms her way past the cold, arrogant, controlled shell that Gabriel presents the world.  He doesn't do relationships (even though he is a walking, talking sex dream) - he manages and controls people in every aspect of his life.  When he walks into a room, people part (or run) to let him pass.  He chews people up and spits them out.  So what is he supposed to do with this loud, sexy siren who dares challenge him?  Who refuses to run when he says "Boo"?  Who calls to him on every level?  Who makes him want & need?

Managed is a great addition to the VIP series.  I was intrigued by Scottie in Idol, book 1, and wanted to know more about him.  I'm happy to say he lives up to the hype - both as "Scottie" and as Gabriel/Sunshine!  I loved watching his walls crumble, brought down by a lush Marilyn Monroe look alike who refuses to shut the h*ll up!  This is a hilarious, yet heart-touching book about trust, acceptance, and love.  I read Managed in one sitting.  It's that good and entertaining.  Another Must Read from this author.

My Rating:  4 Sarcastic Chatty 's . . . And that's the truth!


Cross My Heart . . . xxx

Sandra


Saturday, November 19, 2016

Force Of Nature Review



Title:  Force Of Nature
Series:  Troubleshooters #11
Author:  Suzanne Brockmann
Publisher:  Ballantine Books
Release Date:  Aug. 14, 2007
Buy Link:  Amazon

My Rating:  5 Explosive 's






Synopsis:

Hard-driving suspense and intense passion are the hallmarks of bestselling author Suzanne Brockmann’s pulse-pounding thrillers. In her tales of daring, danger, courage, and desire, men and women of action fight fiercely, love deeply, and time after time raise the bar for adventure to new heights. Brockmann’s latest novel is no exception. 

Florida private investigator and ex-cop Ric Alvarado’s life is spiraling out of control. His beautiful new girl Friday, Annie Dugan, is far more interested in fieldwork than filing, and despite Ric’s best efforts to ignore the attraction, sparks are flying between them. Then one of Ric’s clients turns femme fatale and tries to gun down an innocent man. Thanks to quick thinking and even quicker reflexes, Ric comes to the rescue, only to learn he’s done a very good deed for some very bad people. 

Suddenly Ric finds himself deep undercover with Annie, working for notorious crime boss Gordon Burns. One mistake from Ric’s painfully inexperienced partner and they’re both dead.

FBI agent Jules Cassidy’s life isn’t in much better shape. For years the FBI has been trying to prove Gordon Burns’s ties to terrorist activity. Now, thanks to Ric and Annie, Jules has found a way into the lion’s den. But in the course of his investigation he comes face-to-face with Robin Chadwick, the charismatic but self-destructive and closeted movie star for whom Jules feels a powerful attraction. Robin’s in town promoting his latest film–and Gordon Burns is a star-struck movie buff. 

With Robin and Jules’s help, Ric and Annie are soon entrenched in Burns’s organization, surrounded by killers who may already have executed an FBI infiltrator. Before long the couple realizes that many more lives besides their own will be at stake if they make a false move. As the heat between them reaches dangerous levels, so do the risks they’re willing to take–in the line of duty, for the sake of loyalty, and in the name of something that runs even deeper.

Review:
I don't know how this author continues to turn out such awesome books with heroes that steal your heart and heroines that can stand up to them but she does. Force of Nature is another five star addition to the series. It literally has it all - intense action, heart stopping suspense, multiple tightly woven plots that mesmerize, and romance that will have you pulling your hair out while waiting for each couple's happy ever after. Perfecto!

Private Investigator Ric Alvarado loves women. Period. But, it seems, he has finally met his match with his new assistant Annie Dugan. She leaves him tongue-tied and wanting more - often with his foot inserted in his mouth. These two are hilarious dancing around one another. When a supposedly "safe case" goes bad, Ric knows he'll do anything to protect her - but Annie is no wilting rose. Maybe she doesn't need "saving" . . . maybe she can save herself and everyone else! I love Brockmann's gutsy, sassy, take charge heroines, and Annie is no exception. While it took me just a bit to warm up to her and Ric as a couple, the wait was well worth it. Some of the scenes between these two are priceless!

And the icing on the cake in Force Of Nature?? FBI Agent Jules Cassidy and Actor Robin Chadwick meet again when Robin inserts himself into this case in order to gain time and attention from Jules. These two are matches & dynamite - an explosion waiting to happen. And wait I have. Thankfully, I wasn't disappointed. Poignant, heart-breaking, yearning, want, need, and yes, love all encompassing this couple as mishaps and misunderstandings keep them apart. Of course, that just makes the coming together all the sweeter. I couldn't have asked for more from their story. As much as I loved Ric and Annie - once again, it's a "secondary" couple that steals the show as it was Jules & Robin all the way for me! A Page Burning Story! A Must Read!


My Rating:  5 Explosive 's . . . And that's the truth!

Cross My Heart . . . xxx
Sandra