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Showing posts by: Miss_D click to see Miss_D's profile
Mon
Feb 3 2014 3:00pm

Rule Breaker by Lora LeighLora Leigh
Rule Breaker (Breeds #29)
Berkley / February 4, 2014/ $25.95 print, $12.99 digital

Lion Breed and enforcer Rule Breaker has just a few rules he doesn’t break. Not for anything. Not for anyone—like never have sex with a woman outside his own breed, especially a human woman. Especially someone too helpless, too fun loving and too full of life to ever be able to protect herself, let alone help him to protect her.

If the damned animal inside him insists on a mate, then why pick her? A woman who is an easy target and who can be used as a weapon against him at any time.

But what he suspects is mating heat may not be that at all. Just his animal instincts rioting, pacing, irritated whenever he's away from her.

Okay, he can handle that.

What ensues is a fiery affair that breaks all the rules of mating heat and will eventually endanger his mate with the very rules designed to protect the Breeds—for she’s possibly been working against them…

As a fan of Lora Leigh’s Breed series, I was very excited to get my hands on a copy of her latest entry in the series, Rule Breaker. The title of the book is also the name of the male protagonist in the novel. Rule is a Lion breed enforcer who is deeply traumatized by events in his youth and his devil-may-care attitude hides an emotional wound that he’s been unable to come to peace with even many years later. Gypsy McQuade enters Rule’s life when she’s a young woman, but tragic events one night force her to grow up quickly. She’s emotionally battered and bruised, relying on a façade of rebellion to deal with a hurt that cripples her emotionally for years to come.

[Let's dive in...]

Mon
Dec 2 2013 5:30pm

Michael and Kim in Strike BackStrike Back is an action-adventure show on Cinemax, and the show upped the romantic stakes in the most recent season when it introduced a new female soldier to the team. Instant sparks flew between her and another team member.

Michael Stonebridge, a soldier in a black operations team called Section 20, has been in emotional conflict for a long time. The former Special Boat Service (SBS) sergeant is a loner by nature and took some hard knocks in the show’s last season. Aside from the everyday battles that have him put his own life on the line, both his wife and his ex-mistress were killed in front of him in a short amount of time in separate events. The effect of these devastating deaths on the psyche of this already reserved man caused him to become emotionally remote aside from his interactions with his partner in the field. This was especially true regarding women. The most recent season, subtitled “Shadow Warfare,” introduced a new character to the show, Kim Martinez, a DEA special agent working covertly in the jungles of Colombia.

[Love in a time of combat...]

Thu
Aug 22 2013 2:00pm

Dangerous Curves Ahead by Sugar JamisonSugar Jamison
Dangerous Curves Ahead
St. Martin's Press / August 27, 2013 / $7.99 print, $7.59 digital

Ellis Garrett is dumping her critical boyfriend, opening a plus-size clothing store, and starting a blog—all to spread the word that fashion shouldn’t require a size-two body, and happiness should allow for the occasional cupcake. Or two. But is indulging fantasies about her sister’s long-ago ex, the still-hunky Michael Edwards, biting off more than she can chew?

Mike must be losing his detective’s touch. He doesn’t recognize Ellis when he bumps into her at Size Me Up, and he certainly doesn’t remember his ex-girlfriend’s outspoken sister being so irresistible. Her curves are indeed dangerous—and so is her wit. Could it be that Ellis is his Perfect Fit? One thing’s for sure: Mike will make it his sworn duty to find out…

Ellis Garrett, an intelligent woman who speaks her mind, is searching for the road to fulfillment. She's also a curvy woman who owns the shape of her body with aplomb. Mike Edwards is a handsome cop recently back from the mean streets of New York City, now policing the small town of Durant. Mike and Ellis have an incredibly entertaining meet-cute to start off the book. Despite a mutual attraction, Ellis considers Mike off limits and not good for her. Years ago, Mike dated her older sister Dina. Thing is, Mike doesn't remember Ellis's connection to Dina and can't quite place her in his past, but he does know he's interested in learning more about Ellis. When he finally has all the puzzle pieces of their past, it's a lovely moment that opens the door to their bumpy trip to love. I found the author's reveal and the manner in which the characters, especially Mike, handled the revelation pleasantly sweet in a way that felt authentic.

[Good surprises are always welcome...]

Thu
Apr 25 2013 9:45am

Fans of Lora Leigh's The Breeds series (like me) are often reading one book's main love story, but seeing clues about a possible future mating love story. Having read all but the most recent Breed stories, I am eagerly awaiting getting to read about certain characters who have captured my interest, but haven't gotten their own books yet. Of special note are the stories of two doctors who have been in a majority of the books, Dr. Nikki Armani and Dr. Ely Morrey.

Nikki is human, a no-nonsense African-American doctor who is featured predominantly in the Wolf and Coyote breed books. There are a few scenes in a couple of series books that makes me suspect she may get her own love story with Brimstone, a Coyote Breed and younger brother to Coyote Alpha, Del-Ray Delgado. The latter's own love story is told in Coyote's Mate, one of my favorite books in the series. I'm especially hopeful in seeing a full-length novel for Nikki, not a novella in an anthology, because it will be the first time Lora Leigh has featured a African-American female lead. She's featured women of color as lead heroines before, but never an African-American woman as a mate for one of her Breed males. As a woman of color, I always appreciate seeing diversity in romance books. Plus, Brim is one of my favorite secondary male characters in this series, thanks to his memorable supporting turn in Coyote's Mate and I'm anticipating him finding his mate as much as I am in reading Nikki's story. It's a double-jackpot for me should two of my favorite secondary characters find love with one another.

[Could it happen?...]

Tue
Mar 12 2013 2:15pm

Red pen image by mac.rj via FlickrAs a reader of more than my fair share of self-published novels, I have come across a common trend that for the most part I can let pass: grammatical errors. That's not to say I'm okay if a book is riddled with issues, but the occasional hiccup doesn't faze me. Mistakes happen. And that is also not to say that it's only self-published novels that are full of errors. I've read more than a few from publishing houses that have goofs that range from small to glaring oversights.

I have a very good friend who is a romance junkie like me, but she is also a copyeditor.  We've had many discussions on this issue. How does one go about reacting to the big goofs, though? And what do you consider a small transgression, as opposed to outwardly flinching—or just putting the book down?

Everyone's tolerance level is different. My encounters with various errors cause different reactions, depending on the book. When it comes to glaring errors, I do find myself more forgiving of a new or relatively unknown author who has self-published a novel over an established author with a publisher and a copyeditor. Small mistakes, like an extra “s” in a word, just make me shrug. The random apostrophe is a hiccup found frequently too. I blink and move on.

[What mistakes drive you bananas?...]

Fri
Jan 25 2013 3:30pm

Destiny's Embrace by Beverly JenkinsBeverly Jenkins
Destiny's Embrace
Avon / January 29, 2013 / $7.99 print & digital

Gentleman Seeks Housekeeper. Must be willing to travel.

Desperate for another life away from Philadelphia, headstrong and beautiful Mariah Cooper answers an advertisement for a housekeeper at the other end of the continent. Waiting in California is the most breathtaking—and arrogant—man she has ever met . . . and he'd like nothing better than for Mariah to go back home!

Logan Yates has run Destiny, the family ranch, since he was a boy. He doesn't need this Eastern miss his stepmother hired, though his home's chaotic state suggests otherwise. Still, he's secretly pleased that Mariah gives as good as she gets—and he must fight the urge to take her in his arms and kiss her whenever she proudly stands her ground. But when he's in danger of losing her, Logan will have to choose between pride . . . and his heart's true desire.

Mariah Cooper, the heroine of Beverly Jenkins latest historical romance, Destiny's Embrace, is a woman who has yet to truly live. She's 30 and chained to her mother's dress shop in Philadelphia. Life hasn't been easy for her; her father passed when she was a toddler, leaving her to grow up under her strict and unloving mother's thumb. Teased as a child by most of the neighborhood children for her unusual eye color and without a healthy support system at home, Mariah's optimistic approach that things will get better has served her well. That outlook on life allowed her to survive her circumstances without being browbeaten into cynicism and despair. 

[Don't worry—things are about to change...]

Tue
Dec 18 2012 10:30am

Aftershock by Jill SorensonJill Sorenson
Aftershock
HQN / $7.99 print, $6.79 digital / December 18, 2012

As an emergency paramedic, Lauren Boyer is dedicated and highly capable. Until an earthquake strikes, trapping her beneath the freeway with a group of strangers—including Iraq war veteran Garrett Wright…

Handsome and take-charge Garrett aids Lauren in her rescue efforts, even as the steely look in his eyes seems to hide dark secrets. When a gang of escaped convicts goes on the attack, Garrett's bravery makes him more than a courageous bystander to Lauren. If they can save the others before time runs out, maybe, just maybe, they can explore the fire igniting between them—if the truth about who he really is doesn't pull them apart forever….

In Jill Sorenson's Aftershock, after a large earthquake strikes San Diego, California, an EMT finds herself alone when her partner is killed and chaos surrounds her. While looking for other survivors, she meets a handsome man who helps her rescue others that they come across. Together they form an alliance that soon turns into something more.

[I like the sound of that...]

Tue
Nov 20 2012 11:11am

Secret Sins by Lora LeighLora Leigh
Secret Sins
St. Martin's Press / November 27, 2012 / $7.99 print & digital

Sheriff Archer Tobias has watched the Callahan family struggle to find peace and acceptance in the community—despite the murders that continue to haunt them. But his darkest suspicions grow worse when Anna Corbin, a member of one of the country's most influential families, becomes the next target…

Anna knows she’s in danger. She knows she’s on a trail of secrets and lies that could lead to a dead end. But no matter what, she’s determined to learn the identity of the killer—even if it’s someone she loves…

Torn between duty and desire, Sheriff Tobias cannot allow Anna to put herself in the path of a deranged murderer. But as the investigation pulls them closer together—and deeper into the nightmare—he realizes that he cannot save her from this legacy of blood and vengeance…without putting his own life on the line.

Secret Sins is the third book in Lora Leigh's Callahans series and features the erotic love story of Anna Corbin and Archer Tobias. Anna feels adrift and unwanted after a history of odd, rejecting behavior from her family for the past 15 years. She has also been in love with Archer since she was a teenager.

[And now that she's all grown up?...]

Fri
Oct 5 2012 1:00pm

The Golden Chalice by Sienne MynxWhen I first started writing for this site, my initial posts shone a spotlight on multicultural romances, as I feel they’re underappreciated and overlooked in the romance genre. Even I didn’t seriously invest in reading them until a little over a year ago.  I don’t regret the tangent; if I hadn’t taken it, I would have missed some wonderful stories I now cherish written by authors not well known in the romance genre mainstream. Granted, I still read traditional historical, paranormal, contemporary, and romantic suspense books, but I’ve added variety to my heroines and heroes. Now I read novels with women of color as heroines, women who look more like me. As my excitement increased, I noticed that it wasn’t resonating with some others I know and that leads me this column.

I have several friends who are avid romance readers like I am. Through our discussions, I realized several of my friends would not read multicultural romances because, in their paraphrased words, they couldn’t identify with the lead characters, specifically the heroine. They read ménages and male/male romances, yet were uninterested or hesitant to read a book if the lead wasn’t Caucasian. I was surprised, disappointed and in some ways, a little insulted. Is it really easier to identify with a lead who shapeshifts into an animal or a being that sucks blood from other living beings or a man as long as that character is Caucasian?

[Open your mind...]

Mon
Jul 30 2012 5:30pm

Mercury’s War by Lora Leigh When you read a steamy romance, sometimes you come across a scene that just hits all the marks. It’s got the perfect meeting of romance, desire, and pure emotion. It’s that scene that encompasses the core of the love story in showing the physical and emotional passion of the characters toward each other. A challenge was recently issued to list my top 5 sizzling scenes. Below are my top 5, along with an honorable mention.

Feel the burn…

5. Mercury’s War by Lora Leigh (M/F): A breed with a troubled past, who has lost much of his animal instinct in order to survive, Mercury came alive when Ria hit town. When the two finally sated their mutual lust after much verbal foreplay and heavy petting, there is enough randy and rough play to almost break the bed. Their love story isn’t without bumps and it’s the twist toward the end that leads to what I see as their hottest encounter. Not necessarily because of Mercury’s primal nature showing his dominance, but the heavy emotional dialogue from both characters than lends the scene more significance in its sexiness. There are times when an author mixes raw sex and abiding love just right, and that scene between Mercury and Ria is a good example.

“She had read the reports on mating heat—the list of sensations felt, the intensity of it—and it hadn’t prepared her for this. Not this. The wildness rising inside her, crashing over her and obliterating any control she could have thought to possess. All she could do was feel.”

[Turn up the heat...]

Tue
May 29 2012 10:30am

Tameka’s Smile by Zena Wynn I discovered Zena Wynn when I picked up her novel Tameka’s Smile while searching for multiracial romance books. Later, I realized it’s the fourth novel in her True Mates series, featuring shapeshifters, so I decided to read the other books in the series.

The first book, True Mates, is about Alpha shifter Alex, who has waited most of his adult life for his one true mate to appear, refusing to settle on just mating any female in the pack.He meets his true mate Kiesha in an “meet odd” way (at least for her), but that first night blossoms  into love, acceptance and understanding.

[He may shift into an animal, but he’s all man...]

Fri
May 11 2012 2:00pm

The Darkest Heart by Brenda JoyceAs an avid romance reader, there are times when I come across a hero or heroine that I wish would be run over by a car or horse carriage (depending on the time period). I normally like this author, but in reading her books, I recently came across two  of the most unsympathetic and insufferable characters I’ve had the displeasure to read about recently.

The Darkest Heart is an older novel by Brenda Joyce. I was mostly excited to read this book because it is the story of how the parents of a hero in one of my favorite historical romances, Shozkay Savage of The Fires of Paradise, fell in love. I recommend that book wholeheartedly, but The Darkest Heart is an altogether different case.

The Darkest Heart tells the story of Jack Savage and Candice Carter set to the backdrop of the western frontier. He’s a half Native-American, wandering loner, and she’s the blonde, blue-eyed spoiled beauty of her family. I’m going to put it out there now: I hated hated HATED Candice. She wasn’t much of a heroine, making so many too-stupid-to-live decisions on top of being selfish and immature in general. She was constantly lying to cover up her stupidity, while continuing to do ridiculous and impulsive things. The hero states at the end of the book that she had grown from being selfish and impulsive, but it wasn’t in any way that I saw. I kept reading this book thinking Jack deserved better than Candice. My palm itched to reach through my Kindle to smack her. That’s not a good sign for a romance book.

[Don’t mistreat your Kindle just because you don’t like a heroine!...]

Fri
Apr 27 2012 1:30pm

Illegal Affairs by Sienna MynxAbout a year ago I was chatting with a fellow romance fan. She’s new to the genre and has a more focused interest on paranormal romances, especially vampire stories. I’m more old school, in that I’ve been reading romance books for almost 30 years, starting with Rosemary Rogers’s historical novels (and other authors writing at the time) and branching out from there.

Both of us found ourselves wishing that there were more romance books out there with women who not only look like us but also date like us. See, we’re both Black women who grew up in diversity rich areas, and while we both like the mainstream romances you find in bookstores, there is something to be said for reading a story with a heroine we can identify with both physically and culturally.

[You seem familiar...]