Tag Archives: book review

Fondled and Gobbled: Is Your Jaw Tired Yet?

So sorry, I couldn’t resist that title. *ponders getting the Cabal to agree to adding that to our long list of anthology titles*

It’s been a week since the Cabal officially began to fondle and gobble the masses and they’ve spoken:
Terri with Night Owl Reviews gave Fondled and Gobbled: Someone Had To Do It 4.5/5.0 stars “Five fantastic authors have taken scenes and made them spoofs.  This twist on current romance may have you laughing hysterically.  Each story is totally unique and has it’s own unique twist but all end with a happy ending though some are somewhat strange.  No matter what type of romance you like, read this one.” 

Nikki with Close Encounters with the Night Kind gave Fondled and Gobbled: Someone Had To It 5/5 spiders. “All in all this was an incredibly enjoyable and entertaining read!  Even the hot parts had humor in them!  These ladies have tapped into something fresh, and I can’t wait for more!!  One taste was not enough.  I definitely can’t wait to gobble up the next one!!  Great Read!!”

And then there’s what we’re doing next. We’re some busy ladies, I tell you!
Like, today we’re over at Patricia Macia’s blog with character interviews. This is just a little peek at the insanity we brought. *cough*

Q: Please introduce yourselves and give me a two sentence synopsis of your story. 

Lucius: *looks around at all the women and lifts his chin* I’m Lucius, and I’m not sure what the fuss is all about. I just tried to have a quiet sneak-fuck and ended up trussed like a turkey, being assaulted. *gets a faraway look in his eyes* Never realized how much fun that could be…
Steele: I’m Steele Ana. I was working in a dead end job, but then Grey Christian came in and we fell instantly in love! He promptly insisted I move into his awesome penthouse in Seattle, and of course I said yes!
Missy: *tapping the screen* Can you guys hear me? Yes? Good. I’m Missy. *waving* Um, I’m on Oz’s ship someplace in the next galaxy over from the Milky Way. We’re heading to his planet, I guess. Anyway, after he took me from Earth I’m not too worried about where we’re going. He’s hunky, I was single… enough said, right?
Holly: *Pauses in the middle of flipping through Big Toys for Big O’s magazine* What’s there to talk about? I like sex. I like orgasms even more. My man, Caid Kincaid gives me what I need. Sort of. *slouches in her chair* Most of the time. *Slouches more* He’s really trying. *Glares at Lucius* Ain’t fair how some people get all the luck. *Mutters something about cock enlargement devices*
Emily: Hi! First off, thanks for having me. I’m Emily Justasalad, and I’m…well, I’m just a regular girl, so all this attention is taking me a little time to get used to. My story is really one about triumph and self-discovery–you know, learning to love yourself! Oh yeah, and I came to this realization by having an all-out, five-hot-men-on-one-Emily, Broadshaft Brothers orgy on my kitchen table. It might not work for everyone, but it was certainly therapeutic for me.
This is where we’ll be next week:
February 17 – NAC Blog
* Naughty Hotness
February 18 – NAC Blog
* Bootay Hotness
February 19 – Mari Carr’s Blog
February 19 – Coffee Time Romance Chat (9p.m. EST)

February 20 – NAC Blog
*Chocolate Hotness
February 21 – NAC Blog
* Honey Hotness
February 24 – NAC Blog
* Glacial Hotness
And on February 22, the second volume in the anthology, Fondled and Gobbled: Going Back for Seconds will be unleashed on the world! Bwahaha!

The virgin whose carefully planned hymen removal doesn’t work out the way romance novels told her it would. A busty broad doing what she can to get over her penis anxiety—assisted by a cadre of male strippers. A not-so-bright (and not so “big”) alien who comes to claim his life-mate, and the Earth girl who wants to be claimed at all costs. A cursed, mute shapeshifter who needs to pop his cherry with his unsuspecting fated mate…

If you’re looking for the perfect romance with the perfect hero and heroine—this isn’t it! This series of spoofs, parodies and just-for-fun take-offs is for longtime, hard-core romance readers able to laugh at the clichés, purple prose and “suspend your disbelief” plot devices that haunt our beloved favorite genre.

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Fantasy Man Friday

Hooray for Friday! That’s the more polite version of what I’m screaming right now. You don’t want to hear the real Friday greeting.

It’s been a good, yet weird week. I’ve been plugging away at my newest WIP, clocking in 16000 words in about three days. I didn’t write at all yesterday, but that’s okay. I think I did well for this week. I’ve been researching promotional items for RomantiCon, buying this, working with organizes to get my blog tour together for Primal Song, writing guest blogs, filling out interviews, etc. You get the idea. I also got a Top Pick review from Night Owl Reviews for Immortal Love! Yay!

I also saw someone having sex under the bridge yesterday. The erotic writer in me wondered who they were, why they were meeting under the bridge and all that stuff, while the responsible citizen wondered if I should call the cops. In the end I didn’t. With the way that guy was going at it, I doubted the cops would have made it in time to catch them in the act. Ahem.

That was the weird part of the week.

A week from today though, I’m going to be flying high. Primal Song comes out next Friday and I already have the Fantasy Man ready to wow y’all. He’s exactly how I picture Ram, my hero, so rar. Major rar.

But y’all aren’t here to read about future Fantasy Men. You want today’s man. Well, here you go:

Oh nom…this guy makes me want to go back to bed as long as he’s there. Doesn’t he look like he’s either about to do something naughty, or just recovered from some fun? Is it just me, or does he seem to be saying, “Come back, baby…and don’t forget to bring the chocolate syrup”? Maybe that’s just me.

Happy Friday y’all and have a great weekend.

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The Beautiful Morning

Greetings, folks!! Today is the last day of my blog tour. I’m kind of sad about it, but on the other hand, I can concentrate on the greatest idea evah that I had while taking a shower yesterday. I always seem to get the best plots when I’m in the shower. It almost makes me think that when I get stuck I should hop in the shower in the hopes it’ll dislodge my thoughts.

Today I’m over at Books & Movie Dimension (http://bmdimension.blogspot.com/)with a review and giveaway. There’s still time to win at numerous places on the tour, but this is the last day so if you haven’t entered, you should check out my website (http://danicaavet.com) and post comments all over the place!

Now, the reason why today is a beautiful morning. As y’all know, we dealt with craptastic weather all weekend with rain and wind and more rain and did I mention rain? It was so bad, even the alligators were tired of it. Yup. I took a quick trip to town yesterday and on the way home, saw an alligator in front of the mall. The bayou there was almost even with the bridge, so it was kind of like “oh, crap I hope he doesn’t decide to just walk across the road…”

But today…ah, today. It’s simply gorgeous. I’m serious. It’s like 63 degrees out. The sun is shining. There’s a soft breeze blowing from the north. And my baby boy visited me on his way back to Ruston. *sniff* Oh, sure he didn’t do it because he wanted to, but because they were dropping off a present for baby Bennett (my brother’s soon-to-be-born child). But they stayed and ate their breakfast.

It’s crazy, but I miss the boy. It isn’t like I used to see him all of the time, but at least I knew he was close to home. Now that he’s 300 miles away, it isn’t like I can demand he come to visit his Nanny. That’s why this week when he and his girlfriend came home for a visit, I couldn’t stop gushing over him. We had dinner with him Wednesday night. They came for a visit and to watch the Saints play on Thursday night. Then they came over yesterday. But this morning was for me. I didn’t have to share them with anyone but the cat and the dog.

*sigh* On top of that wonderfulness, I started reading the new G.A. Aikens dragon book this morning. I didn’t want to put it down. Oh, did I mention that I read like a fiend all weekend? I had to do something other than play Words with Friends and Angry Birds! (when my phone needed charging). I read Louisa Edwards’ Recipe for Love series and enjoyed them. If you’re a foodie,  you might want to check them out.

What else? Um, well nothing really. I barely left my house until yesterday. It was great. I missed the book signing on Sunday because of the weather so that sucked, but at least I wasn’t being blown off the road or anything. And that’s always a good thing.

It’s Tuesday. It’s gorgeous…and I have a great idea. What more could a writer ask for other than a 6-book, multi-million dollar book deal complete with movie rights? Um, heh. 😉


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Book Review: Beast Behaving Badly

I almost couldn’t wait to write this…okay, I’ll confess…I wrote it on Friday. I could’ve released it then, but I didn’t want to mess with my one post per day…thingy.

Anyway, here’s the deal: I started Beast Behaving Badly on Thursday afternoon and could not put it down. Seriously. I wish I was joking, but I’m not. I tried to go to bed at the end of one chapter, but after an hour and a half of tossing and turning, I went back to it. I finished this book a little after midnight and never was I so disappointed to see a book end.

Here’s the blurb:

Ten years after Blayne Thorpe first encountered Bo Novikov, she still can’t get the smooth-talking shifter out of her head. Now he’s shadowing her in New York-all seven-plus feet of him-determined to protect her from stalkers who want to use her in shifter dogfights. Even if he has to drag her off to an isolated Maine town where the only neighbors are other bears almost as crazy as he is…

Let sleeping dogs lie. Bo knows it’s good advice, but he can’t leave Blayne be. Blame it on her sweet sexiness — or his hunch that there’s more to this little wolfdog than meets the eye. Blayne has depths he hasn’t yet begun to fathom — much as he’d like to. She may insist Bo’s nothing but a pain in her delectable behind, but polar bears have patience in spades. Soon she’ll realize how good they can be together. And when she does, animal instinct tells him it’ll be worth the wait…

For the first chapter, I was trying to remember who Blayne was. I’ve read a lot of books between this one and The Mane Squeeze, but after one particular sentence, it all clicked. Blayne is the crazy happy wolfdog who’s Gwen’s best friend. I thought she was kooky in The Mane Squeeze, but now I heart her so much I’d marry her if I were a guy.

So Bo (or Bold…seriously? I love that name!) and Blayne met ten years ago, although “met” is a bit of a stretch. She thought he was a serial killer and still does when she sees him again. How many of us have had that reaction to an intense man? *waves her hand* Bo, on the other hand, is just focused and quiet (except when he’s on the ice because he’s a true beast then).

I’m not going into details, but let me just say that what I love so much about Laurenston’s books (Aikens’ books as well) is she has the best character interactions. I don’t know if it’s sad for me to admit it, but I could see myself acting in ways her characters do. They’re the best characters I’ve read in a while. Oh and don’t even get me started on the sibling interaction. LOVE IT. This would be for the whole series, by the way. She just has a way of making her characters seem so real and lifelike that I just know I’d want to be one of their hangers-on. Truly.

Okay, back to the book. Um, what was I about to say? See how excited I am about this series? Wait, there’s a thought coming to me…oh right. So the story is wonderful. It’s fast-paced, interesting, and did I mention hilarious? I seriously had to put my book down a few times because I was laughing too hard to read (squinty eyes you know). Other parts had me chuckling and shaking my head. Her humor just kills me. It kills me. (I use that phrase a lot, but I am a writer, and am prone to exaggeration.)

I loved Bo. Very regimented, very intense, and very, very hot…in spite of the tusks, I mean fangs, which just make him special. Blayne? Blayne is my BFF now. I loved her silliness, her generosity, her kindness, and her kick-ass skillz (Yes, I used a “z”). It was also great to see so many of the characters from the rest of the Pride Stories make cameo appearances. Of course, that meant my loyalty was torn between Mitch and Bo and Lock…but not from Blayne. She’s easily my favorite Laurenston heroine.

All in all, I’m giving Beast Behaving Badly two pucks up and a hip-check because it was that bad-ass. Really.

If you’re looking for some fresh shapeshifter humorous romance, give her Pride Series and Magnus Pack series a try:

Pack Challenge Magnus Pack #1 (Zach & Sara)
Go Fetch! Magnus Pack #2 (Conall & Miki)
Here Kitty, Kitty Magnus Pack #3 (Nikolai & Angelina)

The Mane Event 
Pride Story #1
     Christmas Pride (Brendan & Dez)
Pride Story #2
     Shaw’s Tail (Mace & Ronnie Lee)    
The Beast in Him Pride Story #3 (Bobby Ray & Jessica)
The Mane Attraction Pride Story #4 (Mitch & Sissy Mae)
The Mane Squeeze Pride Story #5 (Lock & Gwen)
Beast Behaving Badly Pride Story #6 (Bo & Blayne)

I hope you give them a try. They really are the one of the best shapeshifter books I’ve read.

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Fantasy Man Friday

It’s the end of what felt like an endless week. So much has happened this week that I want nothing more than to just get away from it all. Since that isn’t happening until July (when I go to Nationals), I just have to stick it out.

Have I ever mentioned how much I love Shelly Laurenston? Probably not since I only just discovered her not long ago. But I love her books. Monday I’m going to post a review of Beast Behaving Badly since I haven’t done that in a while and well, it was a great book. I’m not going to go into detail, but needless to say she cost me a lot of sleep last night. I was up until midnight finishing the book even though I had to be up for 5 this morning. Sleep? Who needs that when you have a good book in your hands? Not I!

In other news, I’ve decided to start requerying agents today. I’m not going to let my story become dead in the water. Nope, not gonna happen. So that’s on deck for sometime this morning/afternoon: stalking agents. Why am I suddenly hearing Iron Maiden’s “Run to the Hills” in my head? Bwahahaha. After that? Who knows. Maybe I’ll get a chance to work on my WIP which has been sadly neglected all week.

Which brings us to today. It’s hot. Have I mentioned that as well? No? Well, let me just say that it’s hot enough out there that I would willingly wear a bathing suit and swim. If I had a pool and a ten foot privacy fence and lots of sunscreen. Oh yes, it’s hot. So, to cool us all off, I suggest we strip down to our underwear. Like this guy:

He looks comfy, doesn’t he? In spite of the fact that the backs of his thighs are probably sticking to that leather sofa. Of course, if he’s stuck to the sofa, he can’t go anywhere, right? Which means I have devious thoughts in my head of having a helpless man in his boxer-brief thingies at my mercy. Oh yes. I mean, sure, he isn’t sweating (like I usually love) and he looks almost surprised instead of het up, but who cares? Give me two minutes and I could have him glistening and shiny *grabs a bottle of massage oil*. Oooh yes, come to mama…


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Book Review: Ræliksen

I won a copy of Ræliksen by Renee Vincent from The Naked Hero and finally had a chance to sit down and read it this weekend.

Here’s the blurb:

Mara, the daughter of an Irish clansman, was raised to believe the men of the North are heathens – murderous pagans without a moral bone in their bodies. Despite warnings of the Northmen’s raids, and the growing threat of another incursion, Mara is continually drawn to her favorite place – the River Shannon.

Dægan Ræliksen, a wealthy chieftain from Norway’s frozen fjords, secretly discovers Mara at the water’s edge. He is charmed by her beauty and sensuous grace. As the days pass, his contentment with simply watching her grows thin. He can no longer deny his unabated desire for the young maiden. His search for a wife has ended.

However, Mara and Dægan come face-to-face in a time when Ireland is in turmoil – when every Irishman is being called up to fight against the Nordic foreigners. In these times of upheaval, how can Dægan make peace with Mara’s father and acquire the woman he treasures? Furthermore, can Mara move past her fears and find the noble man within the savage?

Okay, I enjoyed this book. No spoilers, promise!

Vincent painted a beautiful, colorful world with historically accurate information as her backdrop for this love story. Vivid imagery and cleverly written stories-within-the-story keep you hooked as the Irish Mara tries to come to grips with her feelings for Dægan who sort of accidentally kidnaps her to protect her. I love how Dægan isn’t just your average Viking. He’s smart, he’s tired of fighting and looking for peace and he wants Mara.

Mara isn’t just another noble Irish lass, no, no. She’s a princess! Her father is an Irish warlord who is on the fence about joining a group of warlords to push the Vikings out of Ireland. Oy vey. So, our lovely, sexy Dægan has to protect her from marauding Vikings and somehow get her back to her father so he can try to marry her. I was hooked.

Ms. Vincent keeps you enthralled as Dægan and Mara are beset by danger on all sides as well as their own religious differences. The conversion of Pagans to Christianity has always been of great interest to me and I have to commend her on making it seem as difficult and emotionally charged as it had to have been. She also has great secondary characters that you care about, which is always the markings of a wonderful book in my opinion.

It was great. Except…and I’m going to do a bit of foreshadowing here…the end just about killed me. Oh yes, Ms. Vincent, you shocked me to the marrow of my bones. I seem to remember walking into a room and saying “It’s not fair! I’m e-mailing her today!” so if you’re reading this, please look for my e-mail, lol.

All in all, I’m giving Ræliksen two shields up. If you’re looking for a different type of historical romance, give it a read. I also have on good authority, from Ms. Vincent herself, that the sequel is even better. Now, if that isn’t something to look forward to, I don’t know what is!

Note: Renee Vincent has just been signed by Turquoise Morning Press http://www.turquoisemorningpress.com/ and the re-release of Ræliksen will be August 2010. Check out this hot new cover! Be sure to look for it this summer!


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Book Review: Lover Mine

I didn’t want it to end. I’m actually…disappointed, not in the book, but that it had to come to an end. J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood has evolved since Dark Lover. I remember when I first read Dark Lover how amazed I was by the richness of Ward’s world and I’m still in awe eight books later.

Here’s the blurb:

In the darkest corners of the night in Caldwell, New York, a conflict like no other rages. Long divided as a terrifying battleground for the vampires and their enemies, the city is home to a band of brothers born to defend their race: the warrior vampires of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.

John Matthew has come a long way since he was found living among humans, his vampire nature unknown to himself and to those around him. After he was taken in by the Brotherhood, no one could guess what his true history was- or his true identity. Indeed, the fallen Brother Darius has returned, but with a different face and a very different destiny. As a vicious personal vendetta takes John into the heart of the war, he will need to call up on both who he is now and who he once was in order to face off against evil incarnate.

Xhex, a symphath assassin, has long steeled herself against the attraction between her and John Matthew. Having already lost one lover to madness, she will not allow the male of worth to fall prey to the darkness of her twisted life. When fate intervenes, however, the two discover that love, like destiny, is inevitable between soul mates.

Right…let me just start off by saying I almost felt perverted for wanting to read John Matthew’s story. We met him in Lover Eternal when he was a pre-transitional male. I pictured him as a sensitive teenager and though he’s grown over time, I still saw him that way. I suppose I became emotionally attached to him in his pre-trans form and with his transition, I still saw him as that little male. Sooo not the case in Lover Mine.

John Matthew is…well, he’s been through hell. We know how much he’s been hurt. We’ve lived it. But to see him as a “male of worth”…I still see him in a brotherly light, but my how he’s grown! Xhex is bad ass. She is the ultimate kick ass heroine. She has issues just as painful as John Matthew and you can’t help but wonder how in the hell two such tormented people can get together. But Ward does what she always does: she makes it work and then blows your mind.

There was a lot going on in this book. There’s Darius’s diary entries to read, which at first I was like “What the hell do I want to read this for? Get to the story!”…but then it became so clear! Gah. Ward kills me, she really does. When you read this book, make sure you don’t skip those diary entries. They are important. Very important.

Also, we delve deeper into Blay and Qhuinn’s relationship, or the changing of it. My heart was breaking for both of them. I could seriously attempt to kick Qhuinn’s ass (but we all know how that would turn out), and Blay…Oh Blay. I’m not going to say anymore. Swear. There’s also a human love story playing out and you can’t help but wonder why it’s important to read about until the very end. Damn you, J.R. Ward! You kill me! Seriously, she leaves you hanging until the book is almost over before you find out the true importance of that human love story. Oh, and did I mention Payne gets a big spotlight as well? And Lash?

It was a wrecking ball of a book. There’s so much going on, so much information to follow that even now I’m wondering where all the subplots are going. I don’t mind. I enjoy thinking about “what ifs” and she manages to hand it to me. I wasn’t as emotionally tied to this book as I was with some of the others. It wasn’t a lack of emotional turmoil, or inability to connect with the characters, so much as you know no matter what happens Xhex is going to remain strong and John Matthew will always love her. You find faith in his love, in his knowing what exactly she needs and how to give it to her.

Phew. I feel all wrung out now. And I have to wait forever for the next book. I wish she’d write faster. I want that next book like I want my next breath. She also needs to keep this series going…forever if she can manage it. There seem to be endless possibilities with her world and I just want to sink into it.

I’m giving Lover Mine two switchblades and a fist bump. I loved it and after my brother is finished reading it, I’ll re-read the whole series. (Yes, you heard me. My brother reads the series as well. He likes these books even though he says the heroines are sometimes too indecisive.)

If you’re looking for a new series and haven’t read this one yet, don’t wait. It’s really a great series with some to-die-for men and read them in the following order:

Dark Lover – Wrath & Beth
Lover Eternal – Rhage & Mary
Lover Awakened – Zsadist & Bella (One of my absolute favorite brothers!)
Lover Revealed – Butch & Marissa
Lover Unbound – Vishous & Jane (I heart Vishous!!)
Lover Enshrined – Phury & Cormia (Oh Phury…)
Lover Avenged – Rehvenge & Elhena (Rehv is mad, bad, and gorgeous…mmm)
Lover Mine – John Matthew & Xhex

So now for today’s question, have any of you read Lover Mine yet? What’s your take on it? No spoilers though! Who’s your favorite brother?


Filed under Book Reviews, JR Ward

Book Review: The Battle Sylph

I forgot to post a book review last week, but that’s okay, I’m making up for it this week. I was feeling a bit lost, looking for something to read when I came across The Battle Sylph by L.J. McDonald. I’ll admit to being leery about reading it. It was by an unknown author, but the story sounded intriguing.

Here’s the blurb:

Sometimes, love means war. 

He is one of many: a creature of magic, unrelentingly male. He is lured through the portal by pure female beauty, a virgin sacrifice. When she is killed, he is silenced and enslaved. 

Such a dark ritual is necessary, you see. Unlike their elemental cousins-those gentler sylphs of wind and fire-Battlers find no joy in everyday labor. Their magic can destroy an army or demolish a castle, and each has but one goal: find a Queen, then protect and pleasure her at all costs. What would a woman do if she were given such a servant, and what would befall any kingdom foolish enough to allow a Battler to escape?

Young Solie and the people of Eferem are about to find out.

I got the book in yesterday. I was in the middle of re-reading a historical romance that I love, but I couldn’t resist the draw of this book. Wow. Okay? Just wow. McDonald’s world is fascinating and rich. I love the idea of sylphs, which are “spirits” from another dimension, who are lured over to the human world and anchored there by their bonds with their masters. There are elemental sylphs and then, there are the healer and battle sylphs. The battle sylphs are the bad boys of the sylph world. They fight to defend their hives and queens.

I was sucked into this story. Solie is young, younger than most heroines I read about, but you forget about her age as the story goes along. Heyou, her accidentally bonded battle sylph, is a sweetheart. You can absolutely see them together. I personally, was drawn more to the other battle sylphs who are darker and more dangerous. Yeah, I like the bad boys. I can’t wait until the next books come out. *fans herself*

This book reminded me of some non-romance high fantasy books I’ve read (at my brother’s insistence). There were several POVs, but I didn’t mind as it gave the story a lot of depth and me, as a reader, much more information than I would’ve had just from the hero and heroine. There’s also a whole helluva lot of action going on. There are big battles, smaller skirmishes, pretty much everything you could think of. Oh, and did I mention the romance? Yes, there is romance in this story. And sex.

I’m giving McDonald two thumbs up and two virgins. This book was very good. If you’re looking for a sweet romance where everything’s always sunny, don’t read this. But, if you’re looking for a story with a lot of depth and action, give it a try. I honestly can’t wait for the next book in the series. Ril’s book! *swoon*

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Book Review: Death’s Mistress

It took me a little longer to read Karen Chance’s Death’s Mistress, not because it was a slow read, but because of the concert I attended. To be honest, I was kind of put out that I had to stop reading, but I was appeased by finishing the book last night.

Death’s Mistress isn’t your run-of-the-mill romance, but neither is it quite fantasy. Her characters are complex, but her world building is downright staggering. The blending of fantasy and the mundane is so flawless, that you think anything in her books are possible.

Here’s the blurb:

Dorina Basarab is a dhampir—half-human, half-vampire. Subject to uncontrollable rages, most dhampirs live very short, very violent lives. So far, Dory has managed to maintain her sanity by unleashing her anger on those demons and vampires who deserve killing.

Back home in Brooklyn after the demise of her insane uncle, Dracula, Dory’s hoping her life is about to calm down. But then she gets some visitors. A friend wants Dory’s help in finding a magical Fey relic, and the gorgeous vampire Louis-Cesare is desperate to find his mistress, Christine.

Dory and Lous-Cesare quickly discover that the same master vampire Christine is bound to is also rumored to be in possession of the relic. But when the master vampire turns up dead, they realize that there’s more at stake than a missing mistress. Someone is killing vampire Senate members, and if Dory and Louis-Cesare can’t stop the murderer, they might be next.

Okay, so let me start by saying that usually I don’t like to read first-person series. I think I might’ve mentioned this before. However, Karen Chance has such a way with words that I quickly forget that it’s in first person and get lost in the story.

Dory is a great character. She’s flawed, she’s snarky, and she’s bad-ass. She sets out to find her friend and finds a lot more trouble than she expected. Things go crazy right from the start and don’t stop until the book ends. Louis-Cesare is a great hero. I love him. He’s so…lethal and sexy and honorable. Gotta love those honorable men, er vampires. He and Dory have a serious attraction going on and it just sets the pages on fire. But there are so many obstacles in their path that a relationship appears impossible.

Once again, no spoilers, but I was happy with the ending. The action was non-stop and fast-paced. You spend the entire time thinking, “Jeez, I’d just give up!” but not Dory. She’s not made that way. Even better, she finally begins to resolve some of her issues with her father, the Senate vampire Mircea. I want so badly for them to work out their problems and have a good relationship.

I love how Karen Chance has taken one series and manipulated it into a spin-off. The Cassandra Palmer series is what first hooked me on Chance as a writer, and her Dorina Basarab series is definitely a winner. I give this latest addition two thumbs up, and a stake.

If you’re interested in reading Ms. Chance’s books, she has two series that intermingle. They are:

The Cassandra Palmer Series:
Touch the Dark
Claimed by Shadow
Embrace the Night
Curse the Dawn

The Dorina Basarab Series:
Midnight’s Daughter
Death’s Mistress 


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Book Review: A Precious Jewel

Over the weekend, I had the chance to sit down to read Mary Balogh’s A Precious Jewel. I’ve only recently become a fan of Ms. Balogh. I’ve found her books to be touching and historically pleasing.

For the most part, her heroes and heroines aren’t stunningly wonderful people. They’re flawed. Some are physically flawed in big ways, while others are mentally or emotionally scarred. I find the switch from the perfect hero with a brooding personality, or the perfect heroine with a spunky attitude wonderful.

Here’s the blurb:

A Precious Jewel

Dell Historical, ISBN 044024463

Sir Gerald Stapleton takes Priscilla Wentworth out of a brothel to be his mistress when he discovers that she has been abused. He does not understand quite what she has come to mean to him, though, until she leaves him one day to marry someone else—and then simply disappears beyond trace.

I think the best thing about this book, was that the heroine was a prostitute for several months before she meets the hero. Yes, there are the usual reasons for her becoming a woman of the night, but what she does about it and how she feels about herself  make her unique in my mind.

Gerald, the hero, is also imperfect. He isn’t brilliant, he isn’t devastatingly handsome, and in the beginning, he isn’t even a good lover. He has very set views of how he wants his life to be, what place women have in his world, and doesn’t want to change any of it. But something about Priss (Priscilla) brings him out of his narrow-mindedness. Meanwhile, Priss has to come to grips with her place in Gerald’s life. She’s his mistress, not his love, not his wife.

This was definitely a character driven story. Gerald is so clueless, while Priss does everything she can to make his life pleasant. Sometimes I was irritated with her willingness to ignore her own needs in favor of his, but I understood her reasoning, so I couldn’t become too irate. The ending pleased me beyond measure.

If you’re looking for a thoughtful, heartwarming story with a hero who’s far from perfect, and a heroine who’s just trying to do the best she can with her life, then this book is for you. I’m giving Mary Balogh’s A Precious Jewel two thumbs up, and a scone for leaving me with a sense of peace and tranquility.

A Precious Jewel is the sequel to The Ideal Wife.

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Filed under Book Reviews