H&H Reads <i>A Breath of Scandal</i> (6 of 6) H&H Reads A Breath of Scandal (6 of 6) Elizabeth Essex Are you ready to be reckless? Join us for the FINAL installment of the H&H Reads A Breath of Scandal <i>Uncensored Passion</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Uncensored Passion: Exclusive Excerpt Bobbi Cole Meyer "Kayla wrapped her arms around his strong neck and hugged him close." <i>Hell for Leather</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Hell for Leather: Exclusive Excerpt Julie Ann Walker "Lord almighty, how he wanted to touch her there, needed to touch her there." <i>The House on Blackberry Hill</i>: Excerpt The House on Blackberry Hill: Excerpt Donna Alward "He felt a shiver of anticipation that had...everything to do with the client."
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Showing posts by: Jackie Lester click to see Jackie Lester's profile
Tue
Apr 8 2014 10:19am

Elena and Clay in the Bitten Season 1 finaleWe've been following this project since it was first announced that an adaptation of Kelley Armstrong's novel Bitten was in the works. And now, here it is! Check back weekly for episode recaps from Jackie Lester the day after the show airs in the U.S. on SyFy (and remember that in Canada the show will be airing a couple days earlier, on Saturdays on Space). Catch up with recaps for recent episodes 1x051x061x071x081x091x101x11, and 1x12.

Note: This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Bitten, including last night's Season 1 finale, Episode 13, “Ready.” Enjoy!

The season finale opens with Clay in a large metal tub, Elena kneeling behind him, bathing him. Clay says he needs to get ready for what’s coming. Elena says they will be, that “they haven't moved yet.” She must be referring to the mutts. Clay laments that he's failed Elena because he “couldn't protect Philip.” Elena takes the responsibility for Philip's involvement, telling Clay he's the one who actually saved her. She admits she knows the truth about the bite now and makes him understand there should be “no more sacrifices” on his part. She takes his ring and places it back on his left hand. Clay kisses hers.

Nick and Jeremy are moving stacks of wood around in a dumbwaiter. Nick thinks it's a waste to see all of their history go up in flames because that's what the wood is for: burning anything that could reveal their secrets. Jeremy says it's for all of their safety and tells Nick where the torch should be thrown to begin the ignite process “if the battle starts to swing” the way of the mutts. Nick can't believe the mutts would even think of exposing wolf-kind but Jeremy says it's more than that; there are “secrets passed from alpha to alpha.”

[C'mon, you can tell us those secrets...]

Tue
Apr 1 2014 2:30pm

Clay being tortured in Bitten 1x12We've been following this project since it was first announced that an adaptation of Kelley Armstrong's novel Bitten was in the works. And now, here it is! Check back weekly for episode recaps from Jackie Lester the day after the show airs in the U.S. on SyFy (and remember that in Canada the show will be airing a couple days earlier, on Saturdays on Space). Catch up with recaps for recent episodes1x051x061x071x081x091x10, and 1x11.

Note: This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Bitten, including last night's Season 1, Episode 12, “Caged.” Enjoy!

Elena, in the dress she’d slipped on post-change in the last episode, runs from her apartment building and hops into Clay’s SUV. She’s just about to start the vehicle when someone raps on the window: Nick. He and Jeremy have arrived. Elena gives Jeremy a big hug and hurriedly tells them about Olson stabbing Philip, saying an ambulance is on the way and probably the police too. She lets them know the mutts have taken Clay. Jeremy tells her about the signs of attack at Logan and Rachel’s, with no clue to where they’ve gone. Elena wants to split up and “track the mutts,” but Nick says they “could be anywhere by now.” Jeremy tells Elena that Santos won’t permanently harm Clay until he’s gotten what he wants; Elena doesn’t want to hedge bets where Clay’s life is concerned. Jeremy says they “have to work together on this.” He knows that as soon as Santos gets his hands on Elena, it will be game over for Clay. Jeremy tells Elena to go back to Stonehaven in the truck with Nick where they’ll reconvene for planning and they all depart.

At a rundown barn, Clay is strung up by his hands. He looks to be a little groggy still. Santos, on the other hand, is morbidly gleeful as he hits the two ends of a pair of jumper cables (that are connected to a battery) together to create sparks. Santos, smiling, says “Ready to make some noise, Clayton,” then applies the jumper cables to Clay’s stomach. Clay doesn’t flinch, prompting Victor Olson to comment “You’re going to need a bigger battery.” Santos makes a snide comment about not needing Olson for “roadside assistance” then orders him to go contact Marsten and Leblanc to let they’re at the barn. Olson tries to give Santos a bit more advice about torture, as only a psychopath can. Santos isn’t interested, though, saying there’s more to it than just getting Clay to talk; “it’s about respect.” He connects the clamps to Clay’s torso, this time for a little longer and providing Santos with the first cries of pain from Clay. Olson, continuing to offer his unwanted opinion, thinks Santos is kidding himself that he’s doing this for respect. Instead, it’s looking more like revenge.

[A dish best served bloody?...]

Tue
Mar 25 2014 11:55am

We've been following this project since it was first announced that an adaptation of Kelley Armstrong's novel Bitten was in the works. And now, here it is! Check back weekly for episode recaps from Jackie Lester the day after the show airs in the U.S. on SyFy (and remember that in Canada the show will be airing a couple days earlier, on Saturdays on Space). Catch up with recaps for recent episodes 1x051x061x071x08, 1x09, and 1x10.

Note: This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Bitten, including last night's Season 1, Episode 11, “Settling.” Enjoy!

It’s 6:37am, and Elena is lying in bed staring at her cell phone. Clay is in the kitchen, talking to Jeremy, describing Elena’s emotional state from all that’s occurred. Elena comes out of the bedroom, upset that she can’t get in touch with Philip. She takes her anger out on Clay, naturally, saying he got what he wanted out of all this. Clay tries to calm her down by saying that he doesn’t want to see her hurt, which she is right now. Elena asks him for some straight answers about how he thinks it’ll “play out.”

Clay moves the focus of the conversation to the fact that the pack is “under attack” now; that it’s “all [he] cares about” at the moment. He informs Elena about Joey being found and leading Jeremy et al to the evil lair. Elena wants to know if Leblanc and Marsten were still there and if Jeremy caught them but, of course, they were gone. Clay says they’ll get the rest of the details when Jeremy arrives, which takes Elena by surprise. Clay explains that the mutts are trying to keep the pack separated, that their best bet will be sticking together to travel back to Stonehaven. Elena asks about Rachel, and Clay tells her that Logan will find a safe place for her before Logan will be expected to return to Stonehaven with the rest of the wolves.

[Although a pack of wolves sounds like a pretty safe place...]

Tue
Mar 18 2014 9:59am

Clay, Elena, and Philip in Bitten episode 10We've been following this project since it was first announced that an adaptation of Kelley Armstrong's novel Bitten was in the works. And now, here it is! Check back weekly for episode recaps from Jackie Lester the day after the show airs in the U.S. on SyFy (and remember that in Canada the show will be airing a couple days earlier, on Saturdays on Space). Catch up with recaps for recent episodes 1x051x061x071x08, and 1x09.

Note: This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Bitten, including last night's Season 1, episode 10, “Descent.” Enjoy!

The focus is on Elena’s bedroom window as the scene opens. She’s packing her bag in preparation to head home. Clay comes in to tell her that it’s Jeremy’s decision to send him with her, that he didn’t influence their Alpha at all. Elena argues that he could’ve “offered to stay.” Clay tells her that it’s out of the question, her safety first in mind. She acquiesces, but has some ideas in mind for how it will be handled. Clay thinks she’s talking about the mission in general—getting Logan and bringing him back. Elena corrects him, explaining she means their personal situation. Elena fumbles with the necklace Philip gave her as she clarifies the importance of the art opening. She tells Clay she wants to be clear “about everything.” Elena says their night together was about feeling safe again. Clay thinks this is a given when she’s with him but Elena tells him that’s not true at all.

Elena doesn’t want him going to “Toronto without knowing the truth.” Clay refers to the guy that “sends [her] lilacs,” understanding at least part of what she’s talking about. Elena admits that she’s been with Philip for six months and that she lives with him, making Jeremy’s request that much more difficult for her. Clay’s face looks like someone trying very hard to digest the knowledge but his words have a measure of stoicism to them. He tells Elena that the night before “wasn’t a mistake" for him but promises not to ruin things for her in Toronto. He tells her he’s “done hurting” her. Elena asks him about the ring, prompting him to move it to his other hand. Elena offers him a simple but meaningful “thank you.”

[Decisions, decisions...]

Tue
Mar 11 2014 10:22am

Elena and Clay in Bitten episode 9We've been following this project since it was first announced that an adaptation of Kelley Armstrong's novel Bitten was in the works. And now, here it is! Check back weekly for episode recaps from Jackie Lester the day after the show airs in the U.S. on SyFy (and remember that in Canada the show will be airing a couple days earlier, on Saturdays on Space). Catch up with recaps for episodes 1x011x021x031x041x051x06, 1x07, and 1x08.

Note: This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Bitten, including last night's Season 1, episode 9, “Vengeance.” Enjoy!

Jeremy is back on his feet as this week’s episode opens up. He and Nick are sparring on the grounds with Stonehaven in view behind them. Jeremy, winded and favoring his side, is telling Nick that they “were unprepared when Santos and Leblanc attacked [them] on the side of the road,” that they were “caught off guard…[and Antonio] paid the price.” Nick says that won’t happen again. Jeremy doesn’t want Nick to let his emotions get in the way; he tells him “self-control is everything,” and who would know that better than Jeremy?

Nick asks who “picked the place” and it seems that a meeting has already been arranged between Jeremy and Koenig. Jeremy says it was a “mutually agreed upon” location. Nick wants to know if Jeremy has ever fought Koenig before. Jeremy admits he’s never “fought anyone from the pack…except [his] father.” Nick has faith that Jeremy can take Koenig out, indicating this is less of a “meeting” and more of a pre-arranged bout.

[Not exactly comforting...]

Tue
Mar 4 2014 5:30pm

Seduced by Fire by Tara Sue Me

Tara Sue Me
Seduced by Fire: A Partners in Play Novel
NAL Trade / March 4, 2014 / $15.00 print / $9.99 digital

Julie Masterson craves a taste of danger.

Despite being familiar with the different games people play in the bedroom, she’s never given into her curiosity about putting her body in someone else’s power—until a chance meeting with Daniel Covington, the seductive Senior VP of Weston Bank, draws her into a titillating new world of sexual experience, one that she never knew she desperately needed.

Daniel is highly respected within his community, but he hasn’t had an exclusive relationship for over two years. Yet Julie’s eager innocence is driving him to the brink of ecstasy, making him rethink his feelings about commitment.

As their sizzling connection heats up, Daniel is ready to take Julie fully under his command. But when the dangerous side of their play rears its ugly head, Julie will have to decide if she trusts him enough to surrender completely—or if she should escape before she gets burned...

Far too often, much of the plot in romance novels is centered on the utter lack of communication between the romantic hero and heroine, leaving room for misunderstandings galore. Not so in Tara Sue Me's Seduced by Fire; the focus in the book shifts from issues of the partners being unable to articulate their concerns to one of self-discovery and understanding of life inside a BDSM community. Julie is a confident, experienced woman who has always been curious about her friend’s experience as a Submissive, though she hasn’t readily admitted it. As Julie finds her opening to explore, she is well complemented by Daniel, a Dominant willing and very eager to teach her the ropes, with hopes of guiding her to her true potential.

The couple meets at the flower shop co-owned by Julie and her friend, Sasha, and the attraction between Julie and Daniel is immediate. Daniel finds a way to meet up with Julie again through a charitable function, which he invites her not only to supply the flowers for but to be his plus-one, also. Sparks fly, leaving Julie and Daniel excited about what could happen between them.

[And us, too!...]

Tue
Mar 4 2014 12:44pm

Elena and Jeremy in Bitten 108We've been following this project since it was first announced that an adaptation of Kelley Armstrong's novel Bitten was in the works. And now, here it is! Check back weekly for episode recaps from Jackie Lester the day after the show airs in the U.S. on SyFy (and remember that in Canada the show will be airing a couple days earlier, on Saturdays on Space). Catch up with recaps for episodes 1x011x021x031x041x05, 1x06, and 1x07.

Note: This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Bitten, including last night's Season 1, episode 8, “Prisoner.” Enjoy!

The scene opens with the sun once again deceptively bright over Stonehaven. Elena and Clay are cleaning the kitchen, a gruesome amount of blood still on the floor and kitchen table. Elena says she “doesn’t know if [she] can do any more funerals.” Me neither. Clay tries to divert her worries, saying “nothing’s going to happen until Nick is back and Jeremy gets better.” Elena feels “like [they] failed Antonio.” Clay replies with a simple “We did.” Clay walks outside.

Elena scrubs a little more at the table before going to check on Jeremy. Jeremy, with labored breathing, admits he thought his weakness was from blood loss but rest hasn’t fixed the problem like it should have. He says meaningfully “there’s something wrong.” Elena checks the scar at the wound that looks like it has been well stitched and is on the road to healing, but tells Jeremy he’s burning up; she doesn’t understand. He confirms the suspicion that he’s been poisoned but warns Elena they’ll need to find out what it is before it can be treated, “the wrong course of treatment could be fatal.”

[Dun dun DUN...]

Tue
Feb 25 2014 1:11pm

The pack meets in Bitten 1x07We've been following this project since it was first announced that an adaptation of Kelley Armstrong's novel Bitten was in the works. And now, here it is! Check back weekly for episode recaps from Jackie Lester the day after the show airs in the U.S. on SyFy (and remember that in Canada the show will be airing a couple days earlier, on Saturdays on Space). Catch up with recaps for episodes 1x011x021x031x041x05, and 1x06.

Note: This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Bitten, including last night's Season 1, episode 7, “Stalking.” Enjoy!

The camera focuses on a grisly sight in the box—and it's a pair of eyeballs. The pack mates are circled around a table, looking at them, discussing whether these actually belong to Dennis Stillwell. Nick has no doubt that they are. In an epic case of bad timing, Elena's phone rings. Everyone looks at her expectantly, but she hesitates, obviously thinking its Philip despite the caller ID reading “unknown.” She answers to find it’s Santos, putting him on speaker so he can ask Jeremy directly about his “gift.” Santos outs himself as the head of the mutt plan and tells them just how serious he is. He wants an open conversation about the rules. Clay threatens to rip his throat out for what he’s done to Stillwell, playing right into Santos’ impression of the unnecessarily brutal pack enforcement.

[And we're off...]

Tue
Feb 18 2014 2:58pm

Philip and Elena in Bitten Season 1, episode 6We've been following this project since it was first announced that an adaptation of Kelley Armstrong's novel Bitten was in the works. And now, here it is! Check back weekly for episode recaps from Jackie Lester the day after the show airs in the U.S. on SyFy (and remember that in Canada the show will be airing a couple days earlier, on Saturdays on Space). Catch up with recaps for episodes 1x011x021x031x04, and 1x05.

Note: This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Bitten, including last night's Season 1, episode 6, “Committed.” Enjoy!

The nighttime Toronto skyline is in full view as this episode opens. The background audio’s music combines with the sounds of kissing. Elena and Philip are in a post-coital moment, beaming like love sick teenagers. Philip comments that they haven’t left the house in two days, which Elena has absolutely no issue with. They should have been spending some of that time looking for a wedding gift for Becky; neither appears overly concerned with this. Elena says, emphatically, “I’m starving” (surprise, surprise.) Philip tells her to contact the takeout place (again!), that they have ‘their’ address on file. Elena picks up on the hint at co-habitation, which was primarily decided on by Philip because Elena had been at his place constantly since she’d gotten back to town. It’s a weak attempt, but Philip follows up with a joke about Elena “mov[ing] in by stealth.” Elena says she wouldn’t do that, based on her lack of desire to cook or clean. Philip ups the ante with an offer of a cleaning service if she’ll agree to make it a permanent arrangement. Something about the mention of this service gets Elena back ‘in the mood,’ effectively evading the serious conversation with round…whatever…of their sexcapades.

[Funny how that happens...]

Tue
Feb 11 2014 2:57pm

Elena in Bitten Season 1, episode 5

We've been following this project since it was first announced that an adaptation of Kelley Armstrong's novel Bitten was in the works. And now, here it is! Check back weekly for episode recaps from Jackie Lester the day after the show airs in the U.S. on SyFy (and remember that in Canada the show will be airing a couple days earlier, on Saturdays on Space). Catch up with recaps for episodes 1x011x021x03, and 1x04.

Note: This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Bitten, including last night's Season 1, episode 5, “Bitten.” Enjoy!

Elena sits fidgeting with a ring—one with a wolf motif, NOT the one sitting in a box somewhere. The pack has once again convened in the Stonehaven living room to discuss what they know to date. Nick is saying how Marsten and Cain “are coming at [them] with both barrels loaded” by not only creating a band of mutt-wolves to come after them but creating them from serial killers. They’re looking through the scrapbook Elena had uncovered in the last episode and highlighting some of the gory details. Jeremy says, with real feeling, “That’s enough.”

Elena puts out the idea that Marsten and the gang can’t be far away, with the number of killings they’ve engineered around Stonehaven. She thinks maybe they’re holed up somewhere between Bear Valley and Syracuse. Elena is raring to go get them but Jeremy is more cautious. He says he’ll “send word through Logan to Daniel Santos that [he’s] willing to talk.” Nick thinks it’s a mistake because Santos lies more than anything else. Jeremy says he wants to hear him out, knowing that he wants reinstatement into the pack and, at the same time, cannot be trusted. Clay offers the information that “the last Santos to walk through [their] doors tried to kill” Jeremy.

[Trust, but verify...]

Tue
Feb 4 2014 10:30am

Elena and Clay in Bitten 1x05We've been following this project since it was first announced that an adaptation of Kelley Armstrong's novel Bitten was in the works. And now, here it is! Check back weekly for episode recaps from Jackie Lester the day after the show airs in the U.S. on SyFy (and remember that in Canada the show will be airing a couple days earlier, on Saturdays on Space). Catch up with recaps for episodes 1x011x02, and 1x03.

Note: This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Bitten, including last night's Season 1, episode 4, “Grief.” Enjoy!

The scene begins with an outside view of Stonehaven. Jeremy’s voice is heard talking about the tradition of the pack and how they’re all together to “bid farewell to one of [their] own.” He says they “were blessed to be [Pete’s] family.” Cut to a shot of a mangy looking wolf roaming past the ‘private property’ sign that is surely on the Danvers land.

Then it’s back to Elena now offering her thoughts, that “this life hasn’t always been easy for [her] but somehow Pete always knew the right thing to say to get [her] through.” Clay speaks about how Pete made everyone around him happier and adds that his “death won’t be in vain.” Again, it cuts over to the other wolf and we see the woods from its perspective. Elena says “all Pete ever wanted was to spread his love” and was killed by someone who hates the pack and what they stand for. They hear the roaming wolf howl and know that it’s taunting them now.

[Who's afraid of a big, bad wolf?...]

Tue
Jan 28 2014 2:15pm

We've been following this project since it was first announced that an adaptation of Kelley Armstrong's novel Bitten was in the works. And now, here it is! Check back weekly for episode recaps from Jackie Lester the day after the show airs in the U.S. on SyFy (and remember that in Canada the show will be airing a couple days earlier, on Saturdays on Space). Catch up with recaps for episodes 1x01 and 1x02.

Note: This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Bitten, including last night's Season 1, episode 3, “Trespass.” Enjoy!

As we pan in from the tree tops, the wolf pack is standing around, still looking at the body of the boy they found on their property. Elena says “This kill is the same as the mutt from the flophouse.” Clay approaches to move the body; Elena wants to know why he’s doing this. She knows it isn’t the right thing to do but Clay says this has put a target on them.

They can hear hunters in the distance, getting closer. Jeremy says “There’s hundreds on our property” but only three show up, one with a tracking dog. Clay tries again to move the body, knowing it will bring attention to the group. Jeremy disagrees, saying it would look much worse if they tried to cover it up. And it would!

[Yup, cover ups never make the guilty party look anything but guilty...]

Tue
Jan 21 2014 1:30pm

Elena and Clay in Bitten episode 2We've been following this project since it was first announced that an adaptation of Kelley Armstrong's novel Bitten was in the works. And now, here it is! Check back weekly for episode recaps from Jackie Lester the day after the show airs in the U.S. on SyFy (and remember that in Canada the show will be airing a couple days earlier, on Saturdays on Space). If you missed the series premiere last week, catch up here.

Note: This post contains SPOILERS for all aired episodes of Bitten, including last night's Season 1, episode 2, “Prodigal.” Enjoy!

The scene this week starts back at the Stonehaven gates, where Elena hesitates before proceeding through. She’s also just sniffed out Clay skulking behind the brick entryway and asks, “Are you the welcoming committee or did Jeremy finally chain you up to the front gate where you belong?” We knew there was concern on both characters’ parts about this meeting but Elena takes the lead with her insult. Will Clay bite back?

The answer is given in his actions. Clay is trying hard to be a gentleman here, despite whatever has happened between them, wanting to help Elena with her bags. He even says as much, but she wants no part of his help.

[What's the whole story here?...]

Thu
Jan 16 2014 3:00pm

Come to Me Quietly by A. L. JacksonFrom early in the story, A.L. Jackson’s Come to Me Quietly seems to be a solid illustration of the idea of love played out behind closed doors. Or it would, if it weren’t for the seriously damaged character, Jared, who returns to his childhood home town, showing you can never truly escape the outside world, regardless of how much a person might want to. Bouncing between the gradual build of the relationship between Aly and Jared and the slow revelation of what chased Jared out of Phoenix six years earlier, the novel works to highlight the difference between what many of us long for in love, that grand romantic dream, and what is truly real. But that’s not to say that there isn’t hope of a place where these two conditions can happily co-exist.

Jared is drawn back to the place where he grew up, but what drew him there even he can’t figure out. The list of possibilities could easily include acceptance, atonement, closure, all of the popular reasons. But who doesn’t even ring in as a contender is his former best friend’s little sister, Aleena. It doesn’t take long for Jared to reconcile with Christopher and for the latter to offer Jared a place to sleep, in the apartment he shares with Aly, until Jared can find his own accommodations. Neither the brother nor his childhood best friend are aware of the fact that Aly has been head over heels in love with Jared for as long as she remembers, and neither initially understands how quickly feelings can change as a result of this history. Jackson uses the intricacies of these relationships, adding further proof through flashbacks that show how Aly became so infatuated, to establish a basis for what will follow.

[Will you become infatuated too?...]

Tue
Jan 14 2014 10:30am

Elena, Clay, and Philip in BittenWe've been following this project since it was first announced that an adaptation of Kelley Armstrong's novel Bitten was in the works. And now, here it is! Check back weekly for episode recaps from Jackie Lester the day after the show airs in the U.S. on SyFy (and remember that in Canada the show will be airing a couple days earlier, on Saturdays on Space).

The scene opens with a trail of clothes lining the floor in a path to the bedroom. What better way is there to start a new show than to have a beautiful couple, Elena and Philip, going hot and heavy in the sheets? All too soon, though, there’s a change from heavy panting to a loud heartbeat. Then Elena's vision begins to change, and her, um, pace slows, indicating something isn't quite right. She stops abruptly to say she forgot her camera at work and has to go, promising to return soon to make things up to the quite obviously very naked, very fit Philip still in bed. In a few quick moves, she’s in the elevator, but it's moving too slowly. Her hand begins to bulge suggestively. Shaking and impatient, it’s uncertain whether she’ll make it outside in time.

She enters an alley, strips off the dress she'd just hurriedly put on moments before, and leaves them in a tidy pile in an otherwise dirty landscape. Holding back screams, her body morphs into that of a blonde-haired wolf.

[Elena, what big teeth you have!...]

Wed
Jan 1 2014 5:30pm

The Holiday Survival Guide by Jane O'ReillyJane O'Reilly
The Holiday Survival Guide
Escape / January 1, 2014 / $3.99 digital

When tabloid journalist Erica Parker is forced to take a holiday, she's determined to make it the most miserable holiday she possibly can, but not even her impressive imaginative powers could have come up with sharing a tent with survival expert Nathan Wilde.

Nathan was a married man with a successful TV show before Erica got to work on his life. Now the hottest man she’s ever met is single, furious, and he’s got her alone in the wilderness for three long days…

With a real test of the notions of hot and cold, The Holiday Survival Guide by Jane O’Reilly takes readers to the Swedish northern landscape and turns up the heat. An assortment of obstacles along the way, though, makes finding the hot stuff even more tricky than you would naturally expect in the bitter cold. So, too, is finding a condom dispenser in a snow-covered survival camp. But these elements all combine in this story that is sure to offer some distraction during the long winter months ahead.

[Who doesn't love a good distraction?...]

Mon
Dec 30 2013 12:30pm

Heart of Stone by Christine WarrenChristine Warren
Heart of Stone
St. Martin's Press / December 31, 2013 / $7.99 print & digital

Ella Harrow is trying to carve out a normal life for herself. Well, as normal as an art geek with psychic abilities can hope for. As museum docent and gift-shop manager, Ella is able to keep her distance from people—and her powers in check—while surrounding herself with the artifacts she loves. But how on earth is she supposed to act normal when a thousand-year-old statue on the museum’s terrace suddenly comes to life?

 Not your ordinary gargoyle, Kees has been asleep for eons, waiting for a portent of evil to wake him from his slumber. Kees isn’t a vision; he’s a bat-winged guardian created to protect the world from the seven demons of the Dark. Somehow, Ella triggered his reawakening. Maybe the demons have been unleashed? Maybe his heart is finally ready to be chiseled open? The fate of the world isn’t carved in stone… yet.

You might think that a thousand or more years on the planet and being carved out of stone would give a gargoyle a significant advantage over a small, human woman. In Christine Warren’s Heart of Stone, however, this simply isn’t the case. And thank goodness for that! With a feisty heroine, Ella, standing up to a secret society once dominated by males, the gargoyle-turned-man known as Kees has his work cut out for him if he hopes to save the world from the demons that threaten its current existence.

[A gargoyle hero, eh? Intriguing!...]

Mon
Nov 11 2013 12:57pm

Dyson in Season 4 of Lost GirlAfter a much-to-long hiatus, Lost Girl is back! In Canada, at least. Kiersten Hallie Krum will be recapping weekly for H&H beginning in January as the show airs in the U.S. on SyFy. Until then, however, Jackie Lester will bring us word of major developments as the show airs on Showtime in Canada, beginning with her thoughts on the highly anticipated Season 4 finale, 4.01, “In Memoriam.” (Beware of MAJOR SPOILERS if you haven't yet watched.)

When last we left our Fae friends, Dyson and Tamsin had driven off a cliff, Bo had been abducted by the wanderer, Kenzi went in search of Massimo in hopes of becoming Fae herself. True to the formula of previous Lost Girl episodes, we don’t start at the moment the last season ended.

Instead, we see a set of gates open ominously and an old car (circa 1930s-ish) drives through. From the looks of it, it could be a scene from an Indiana Jones movie, but as the car comes to a stop, someone rolls out from under it. From the sound of the breathing and the clip-clip of heels, it's easy to tell it's a girl. Kenzi! She offers up a “Boo-ya!” for making it this far.

A couple of robed men are moving a heavy boxes and Kenzi confirms my earlier statement with her excited “This is so Raiders! Let's hope this ark contains less melty face Nazi goodness.”

[What's everyone been up to lately?...]

Mon
Jun 24 2013 3:06pm

ABC's MistressesThis post contains SPOILERS for episodes 1 and 2 of ABC's Mistresses.

Two episodes into the new series Mistresses, and it's already opened up many areas of intrigue in the lives of the four lead women. On first seeing the previews, I mistakenly thought it would be the exotic lives of women that were accomplices in extramarital affairs with rich men. In reality, the women involved in the show each have stable lives and good careers of their own; they are not necessarily the “other” women. They are, instead, all affected in some way by a relationship outside of the ones they are supposed to be in.

The opening scene is deliciously shot, showing one couple hard at it in an office, their activities obvious with flashes of skin and sounds of pleasure. Meanwhile another woman (Milano) walks into a bar and starts chatting up a handsome man sitting near her. The hottie introduces himself as Harry Davis, said with a swoon-inducing Aussie accent. They end up in what could possibly be a hotel room, with things looking very favorable for even more steaminess early on. But just as suddenly, the heat veers off as Harry mentions ovulation and the proper angle for fertilization to this woman he just picked up in a bar. Huh? It appears she is not a just a midday rendezvous, but actually his wife, Savannah Davis. Fortunately, the office scene is still alternating with this one and going strong, balancing the heat there with the sudden chill of sex-for-a-purpose-only. What started off with such promise between the Davis’ quickly devolved to set the stage for the issues the married couple are having. This was an interesting reminder of the varied purposes that sex can have in everyone’s lives.

[Intrigued yet?...]

Fri
Jun 7 2013 4:30pm

Lost Girl posterIt’s been over a month now since Lost Girl's wacky gang of misfit Fae (as well as an awesome human or two) have delighted us with their banter, fighting bad guys, and just generally entertaining us with the twists and turns of life on the less-than-normal side of things. If you haven’t started watching the series from the beginning again and maybe need a suggestion or two of what to read in the meantime, look no further!

Over the three seasons of Lost Girl, we’ve seen all manner of Fae on the small screen. From Baba Yaga to Bacchus, from Sirens (Hale!) to the fearsome Garuda, the creators have brought us world myths and blended them into the lives of the unaligned Succubus and her cohorts. With season four on the horizon, we know there will be a lot more in store for us, but other than our suspicions about Odin, there is definitely still plenty of room for more mythological surprises yet to come. Here are a few more suggestions that can compare in their expansive content of supernatural beings:

What to Read

Charlaine Harris’s Dead Until Dark (et al). Harriss’ insanely popular Sookie Stackhouse series has recently come to a close. For me, this is the best time to start a series, when you know there is a definitive end, plus you don’t have to wait for the next book to release. Harris has taken lots of flack about how she ended the series, but as readers, what we should take from these books is the sheer entertainment value they offer and just go with it.

[More fae-filled recs...]