<i>Infamous</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Infamous: Exclusive Excerpt Jenny Holiday "Hunter is all Jesse can think about..." <i>Courtly Pleasures</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Courtly Pleasures: Exclusive Excerpt Erin Kane Spock "Can they create a second chance at love before it’s too late?" <i>Roomies</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Roomies: Exclusive Excerpt Christina Lauren "Will Holland and Calvin to realize that they both stopped pretending a long time ago?" <i>A Duke in Shining Armor</i>: Exclusive Excerpt A Duke in Shining Armor: Exclusive Excerpt Loretta Chase "So why does Olympia have to make it so deliciously difficult for him...?"
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November 20, 2017
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Showing posts by: Natasha Carty click to see Natasha Carty's profile
Oct 31 2017 2:00pm

First Look: Darynda Jones’s The Trouble with Twelfth Grave (October 31, 2017)

The Trouble with Twelfth Grave by Darynda Jones

Darynda Jones
The Trouble with Twelfth Grave (Charley Davidson Series #12)
St. Martin's Press / October 31, 2017 / $26.99 print, $12.99 digital

The Trouble with Twelfth Grave is the second to last book in Darynda Jones’s Charley Davidson series and our favorite Grim Reaper is back at it again. Charley is sticking her nose into trouble and fighting evil…even if the evil happens to be her husband Reyes.

“It’s weird how you can be in love with someone one day, and hunting them the next.” – Charley Davidson

Long story short, Reyes has turned a bit (okay a lot) eviler since his return from the hell dimension he was supposed to only visit. On top of that, another friend is in a bind when someone from her recent past turns up dead. And as usual, we have one of Charley’s friends making more work for her but this time it’s the kids. What’s a Grim Reaper to do?

[Read more...]

Dec 6 2016 11:00am

First Look: J.R. Ward’s Blood Vow (December 6, 2016)

Blood Vow by J.R. Ward

J.R. Ward
Blood Vow (Black Dagger Legacy #2)
Ballantine / December 6, 2016 / $28.00 print, $11.99 digital

Today marks the release of Blood Vow, the second in the Black Dagger Legacy series, which if you have been living under a rock, is the spin-off series of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. The BDB continues to train only the elite fighters to help them in their continuing battle with the Lessening Society. Yet, no BDB book is without drama, and the BDL series is no exception. Rhage and Mary’s newly minted family is thrown a curveball, which could destroy them.

In that moment, as he sought to relieve any and all of her anxiety—-and his own, for that matter—he nearly came out with the one thing Bitty didn’t know about her adopted parents. Yes, her new old man had a dragon living under his skin, but her new mom had an even fancier secret.

—“You’re never going to be alone, Bitty,” he repeated. “I swear to you.”

[Read more...]

Nov 20 2016 1:00pm

Its The Final Countdown to the Goodreads Choice Awards Best in Romance 2016

Source: Shutterstock

It’s that time of the year again. Time for readers, bloggers, authors….everyone to pick their favorite books in the annual Goodreads Choice Award. Every year Goodreads picks the top books rated in multiple genres and lets readers vote until a winner is picked.

Entering into the final round, the ten choices for romance are as follows:

  • Paper Princess by Erin Watt
  • The Beast by J.R. Ward
  • Beard Science by Penny Reid
  • It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
  • Obsession by Nora Roberts
  • One With You by Sylvia Day
  • Storm and Silence by Robert Thier
  • Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
  • The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
  • Kings Rising by C.S. Pacat

Of course, since I and fellow blogger, Nat, have not read all ten titles, we decided to pick our favorite and champion why it should hands down win the coveted title of Goodreads Best in Romance for 2016.

[Read more...]

Dec 14 2015 5:30pm

Grab the Crayons: The Best Adult Coloring Books for Romance Readers and Beyond!

Of course we have all heard of the Secret Garden coloring series, but did you know there really is an adult coloring book for everyone? With the call for these coloring books showing no signs of slowing down, why not add one (or a bunch) to your holiday wish list? Just don’t forget to put markers and pencil crayons on your list too!

If you are in the spirit of the season, there are a ton of holiday coloring books for every occasion, from snowmen to dreidels these artists have you covered.

  • Colorful Chanukah
  • Winter Magic
  • Creative Haven: Ugly Holiday Sweaters

Are your family members driving you nuts during the holidays? There’s a coloring book for that! I have been coloring as stress and anxiety relief for over ten years and there is no better way to pass the time then with a good book, right? Grab a glass of wine and color on!

[Let's get started...]

Sep 24 2015 1:00pm

Only Cream We Want Is for Coffee: Squick Me Out(Loud) Romance Words vs. Real-Life Usage

Pirates of the Caribbean

There are a ton of words that romance writers can get away with in print that the everyday person wouldn’t be ballsy enough to say out loud. In a normal sexual situation, I don’t think many of us are going to ask to be plundered. Unless you are into pirate fantasies in real life and in that case plunder away. Here are some terms that I don’t think we can apply to real life or I wouldn’t.

Lady Part Descriptions:

Folds – Are we talking laundry, in that case yes I have folds. I can’t think of a single instance where asking about folds or using it in a sentence outside of a book makes sense. Also, moist folds. *shudders*

Nub – What in the hell is a nub? And in which real life conversation would I use the term? “Hey honey, can you suck on my nubs?’ Nope.

Mound – Isn’t there a chocolate bar called mounds? Again I call nope, never something I can see anyone using ever.

[What does it mean again? ]

Nov 24 2014 11:30am

First Look: Night Shift Anthology (November 25, 2014)

Night Shift by Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Lisa Shearin, and Milla VaneNight Shift Anthology
Penguin / November 25, 2014 / $7.99 print & digital

Four masters of urban fantasy and paranormal romance plunge readers into the dangerous, captivating world unearthed beyond the dark...

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh delivers a smoldering story with Secrets at Midnight, as the scent of Bastien Smith’s elusive lover ignites a possessiveness in him that’s as feral as it is ecstatic. And now that he’s found his mate, he’ll do anything to keep her.

In #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews’ novella, Magic Steals, when people start going missing, shapeshifting tigress Dali Harimau and jaguar shifter Jim Shrapshire must uncover the truth about the mysterious creatures responsible.

From Milla Vane—a warrior princess must tame The Beast of Blackmoor to earn a place among her people. But she quickly discovers that the beast isn't a monster, but a barbarian warrior who intends to do some taming himself. 

It’s seer Makenna Frazier's first day on the job at Supernatural Protection and Investigations, and her first assignment is more than she bargained for when bodyguard duty for a leprechaun prince’s bachelor party goes every which way but right in national bestselling author Lisa Shearin ’s Lucky Charms.

Night Shift is an anthology by authors Nalini Singh, Illona Andrews, Lisa Shearin, and Milla Vane with stories that straddle two genres, Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. All of these stories stand alone, but also are set in long-standing series, making Night Shift for fans of the respective authors’ work and new fans alike.

[Come one, come all...]

Aug 27 2014 3:30pm

10 Signs You’re Addicted to Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter Series

With a series that shows no signs of slowing down, Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark-Hunter series has made for some amazing reading. And some Menyons are obsessed. Are you wondering if you’re a Menyon or just a reader? Here’s a surefire way to know if you’re a Menyon:

1. When you hear the words “BBQ sauce” or “QVC,” you immediately think of the Simi and wish she was around. In all honesty, you really wish she were your best friend.

Alex eating ribs in Happy Endings
Source: blumfly.tumblr.com


[Count 'em down...]

Apr 1 2014 10:00am

First Look: Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Illusion (April 1, 2014)

Illusion by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Sherrilyn Kenyon
Illusion (Chronicles of Nick)
St. Martin's Press / April 1, 2014 / $18.99 print, $9.99 digital

Nick Gautier is tired of his destiny. He doesn’t want to be the son of a demon who’s fated to end the world. Nor does he want to see another demon or other preternatural creature who wants to kill or enslave him. He just wants to be normal and have normal problems like everyone else.

But normality isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. When he gets sucked into an alternate reality where his mother has married his mentor and his Atlantean god best friend has become a human geek, he begins to understand that no life is free of pain, and that every person has a specific place in the universe . . . Even the son of a hated demon. Most of all, he sees that his powers aren’t the curse he thought they were, and that the world needs a champion, especially one its enemies can’t imagine rising up to defend the ones he should destroy.

Old enemies and new friends square off for a major battle that will either restore Nick to his real world, or end him forever.

Illusion is the fifth book in Sherrilyn Kenyon's Chronicles of Nick series and as it's progressed, we are getting to see more of whom Nick has become in the present-day Dark-Hunter novels. Nick has just had his sixteenth birthday and is still trying to figure out who he is in the world, like most of us were at sixteen. The only difference is that Nick has the ability to completely destroy the world when he reaches adulthood.

[In other words, what every teenager thinks they can do!...]

Feb 3 2014 4:30pm

First Look: Rachel Caine’s Prince of Shadows (February 4, 2014)

Prince of Shadows by Rachel CaineRachel Caine
Prince of Shadows: A Novel of Romeo and Juliet
NAL / February 4, 2014 / $17.99 print, $10.99 digital

In the Houses of Montague and Capulet, there is only one goal: power. The boys are born to fight and die for honor and—if they survive—marry for influence and money, not love. The girls are assets, to be spent wisely. Their wishes are of no import. Their fates are written on the day they are born.

Benvolio Montague, cousin to Romeo, knows all this. He expects to die for his cousin, for his house, but a spark of rebellion still lives inside him. At night, he is the Prince of Shadows, the greatest thief in Verona—and he risks all as he steals from House Capulet. In doing so, he sets eyes on convent-bound Rosaline, and a terrible curse begins that will claim the lives of many in Verona…

…And will rewrite all their fates, forever.

Everyone knows the tragic tale of Romeo and Juliet, but Rachel Caine's Prince of Shadows offers the story from another perspective, that of Benvolio Montague. Don’t forget everything you know about Romeo and Juliet, as Caine doesn’t stray far from the tale (she does a bit) but we get it freshly from a new perspective and we find out a few new things that will break your heart and help you understand that Romeo and Juliet weren’t the only casualties in this tale.

“Blood had been spilled, and all Christians knew that blood washed away sin.”

[Life's tough all around in Verona...]

Oct 16 2013 8:30am

5 Reasons Gregori Ivanov from Lauren Dane’s Cake Would Make an Incredible Boyfriend

Cake by Lauren DaneIn Lauren Dane's Cake, we meet Gregori Ivanov, rock star of the Seattle art scene. With his tattoos, piercings and sensual sneer, Gregori is the ultimate bad boy. But Gregori loves women like he loves cake and champagne—intensely, but only for the moment.

I have a thing for the bad boy, especially one covered in piercings and tattoos. The sensual sneer Gregori always seems to wear is but a bonus.

1. He might be the bad boy, but once he sets his heart on something, Gregori is devoted and focused. He throws his whole heart into his work, like everything else he does in his life. If you are the object of his attention, he will give it to you one hundred percent.

“The building could fall down around him and he wouldn’t notice. There was something incredibly sexy about that. His intensity was sort of overwhelming, but in the best sort of way.”

2. He is sexy, sexy. His hair may change like the wind (currently scarlet red and mohawked) but his body is a work of art. Pierced and tattooed, Gregori is one beautiful piece of eye candy. Plus, he wears leather pants in one scene, nom!

“In short, he was a visual buffet. And she was really hungry.”

[+3 more reasons Gregori's irresistible...]

Sep 17 2013 9:46am

Snark and Headlessness in Sleepy Hollow

FOX's Sleepy Hollow bannerSleepy Hollow had its debut episode last night, and thankfully it lives up to the promise of its trailer. The show is based on the 1820s novella The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving, but is a modern retelling with plenty of twists.

Ichabod Crane (Tom Mison) wakes up after his “death” in 1780 in the current world of Sleepy Hollow, but he doesn't come back alone. His nemesis, the Headless Horseman, is in the present as well. The Horseman quickly begins his killing spree in a bid to find his lost head, the very head that Ichabod took off his shoulders before he died. Long story short, the Horseman is a demon, one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse.

Lieutenant Abbie Mills (Nicole Beharie) is on a call with her partner, the sheriff of Sleepy Hollow, when she gets her first sighting of the Horseman—who promptly cuts off the sheriff’s head. Abbie teams up with Ichabod to find the Horseman’s head and finds out a lot more paranormal activity has been happening in Sleepy Hollow for many years.

[Thoughts on the first episode?...]

Sep 3 2013 3:30pm

First Look: Amanda Bonilla’s Vengeance Borne (September 3, 2013)

Vengeance Borne by Amanda BonillaAmanda Bonilla 
Vengeance Borne (Sentry of Evil #1)
NYLA / September 3, 2013 / $10.99 print, $4.99 digital

As the local hunter, and a ward of the Sentry, a secret organization dedicated to eradicating the forces of evil, Jacquelyn has been protecting the small town of McCall, Idaho for the past five years. The hours are horrible, the pay is nonexistent, she has to work with her jealous ex-boyfriend – and forget about quitting. She’s in for life.

When a rugged drifter comes through town, Jacquelyn immediately knows what he is – an Empath who can read emotions and sense what others are thinking – even though it’s clear the handsome stranger has no idea what, or how powerful, he is…

When people in McCall start turning up dead, viciously ripped to shreds as if by a wild animal, Jacquelyn knows better. Furies are loose in Idaho and hell-bent on exacting revenge. But against whom? And for what purpose? Jacquelyn has until the full moon to stop the Furies’ killing spree and save the people of McCall, figure out how to work with her ex – oh, and there’s a handsome stranger in town who’s in desperate need of some schooling…

Amanda Bonilla's Vengeance Borne has lots of romance, but what I paid most attention to was the characters' flaws. Jax is emotionally flawed due to a death, while Micah is mentally flawed—or so he thinks. Both deal with their flaws in different ways; Jax runs head on into trouble, while Micah has tried to keep his own demons at bay with the use of medication.

[Flawed characters are the best characters...]

May 22 2013 2:00pm

Squick Me Out, Part 4: Return of the Moist

Origami by caribb via FlickrIt’s that time again, where I gross you out and make you dirty giggle in your office. I can’t believe this is my fourth squick words post; I'd have thought I wouldn’t have to do this anymore. That my posts would serve as a warning of what words not to use. Alas, no one listens and I am sufficiently grossed out once again. So without further ado, let's squick.

Folds: I don’t know about you, but when I hear a vagina described as folds I think one of two things: either folding laundry or folding origami.

Speaking of words to describe vaginas, what is with the references to highways and bodies of water? Channels, tunnels and caves, what are we, riding on the Autobahn?  

Flaps: When I see the word flaps in a novel, I automatically think trucker flaps. You know the ones with the half naked ladies on them that hang over your tires? Alas, there is nothing sexy about your flaps. If anyone put the words moist and flap together, I think my eyes would burn.

[I dunno, that sounds like a challenge...]

Apr 26 2013 8:30am

Cut to the Chase: Piercings in Romance Novels

Piercings image by ButterflySha via Flickr Creative CommonsBack in the late 1980s, when we talked about piercings, we just meant your ears—remember that? Never mind how bent out of shape people got when men started getting their ears pierced! Nowadays, it’s commonplace to see a business man with a tattoo and an earring while working a finely tailored suit.

Did you know that there are five different types of female genital piercings and ten male genital piercings? Thankfully, we usually only hear about the hood/clit with females and the Prince Albert with men because some of those piercings are pretty ouch to think about. Certain piercings are said to heighten the sexual experience; no comment out of Tori and me on that. Please be warned, when googling some of these piercings, no amount of eye bleach will help you unsee some of the horrors you will find. Trust us, we kept getting distracted.

PA: The Prince Albert piercing enters the urethra through the underside of the base of the glans (either side of the fraenum) and exits out of the penis via the urethral opening.

Healing time: 2 - 12 weeks

Books that feature the PA:

  • Dangerous Games by Lora Leigh
  • My Fair Captain by J.L. Langley
  • Leave Me Breathless by Cherrie Lynn

[What's your favorite piercing in books?...]

Mar 26 2013 8:30am

J.R. Ward’s Lover at Last Discussion Post (MAJOR MAJOR SPOILERS!)

Here you have it: A complete play-by-play of all of the events in J.R. Ward's Lover at Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood #11), out today. This review is made up ENTIRELY of SPOILERS and is intended only as a place for fans to gather and discuss the book AFTER reading it, so if you have yet to finish, steer clear of anything after the jump. Go finish the book, then come back. (There's a non-spoiler-y First Look of Lover at Last here to whet your appetite, plus a Qhuay timeline!)




[Ready to discuss allllll the Lover at Last things?!...]

Mar 26 2013 8:30am

First Look: J.R. Ward’s Lover at Last (March 26, 2013) (NO SPOILERS)

EDITOR'S NOTE: This here is a NON-SPOILERY post! To talk spoilers (as in, any major events or developments in Lover at Last), visit our Lover at Last SPOILERS POST!

Lover at Last by J.R. WardJ.R. Ward
Lover at Last (Black Dagger Brotherhood #11)
Penguin / March 26, 2013 / $27.95 print, $14.99 digital 

Qhuinn, son of no one, is used to being on his own. Disavowed from his bloodline, shunned by the aristocracy, he has finally found an identity as one of the most brutal fighters in the war against the Lessening Society. But his life is not complete. Even as the prospect of having a family of his own seems to be within reach, he is empty on the inside, his heart given to another....

Blay, after years of unrequited love, has moved on from his feelings for Qhuinn. And it’s about time: it seems Qhuinn has found his perfect match in a Chosen female, and they are going to have a young. It’s hard for Blay to see the new couple together, but building your life around a pipe dream is just a heartbreak waiting to happen. And Qhuinn needs to come to terms with some dark things before he can move forward…

Fate seems to have taken these vampire soldiers in different directions... but as the battle over the race’s throne intensifies, and new players on the scene in Caldwell create mortal danger for the Brotherhood, Qhuinn finally learns the true definition of courage, and two hearts who are meant to be together... finally become one.

It wouldn’t be a J.R. Ward Black Dagger Brotherhood novel without name brands and pop culture, and Lover at Last doesn't disappoint. From John Matthew and Qhuinn discussing how the Antichrist is surely coming due to the fact that Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber are on the radio to Mr. C talking about Channing Tatum looking “hot as fuck,” through these references we get glimpses into what makes the BDB books so enjoyable.

[Channing Tatum's hotness IS oft discussed these days...]

Mar 20 2013 3:30pm

First Look: Victoria Dahl’s Too Hot to Handle (March 26, 2013)

Too Hot to Handle by Victoria DahlVictoria Dahl
Too Hot to Handle
HQN / March 26, 2013 / $7.99 print, $6.15 digital

Merry Kade has always been the good girl. The best friend. The one who patiently waits for the guy to notice her. Well, no more. Merry has just scored her dream job, and it's time for her life to change. As the new curator of a museum in Wyoming, she'll supervise a lot of restoration work. Luckily she's found the perfect contractor for the job.

Shane Harcourt can't believe that someone wants to turn a beat-up ghost town into a museum attraction. After all, the last thing he needs is the site of his dream ranch turning into a tourist trap. He'll work on the project, if only to hasten its failure…until the beautiful, quirky woman in charge starts to change his mind.

For the first time ever, Merry has a gorgeous stud hot on her heels. But can she trust this strong, silent man, even if he is a force of nature in bed? When Shane's ulterior motives come out, he'll need to prove to Merry that a love like theirs may be too hot to handle, but it's impossible to resist.

There are three schools of romance readers: those of us who want a complete escape from reality, those of us who want a character that we can relate to and those of who want both. Luckily, Victoria Dahl writes not only relatable characters but gives us a great escape on top of a great story.

[Does this prove true in Too Hot to Handle?...]

Mar 18 2013 3:30pm

First Look: Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty Rocks the House (March 26, 2013)

Kitty Rocks the House by Carrie VaughnCarrie Vaughn
Kitty Rocks the House
Tor / March 26, 2013 / $7.99 print & digital

On the heels of Kitty’s return from London, a new werewolf shows up in Denver, one who threatens to split the pack by challenging Kitty’s authority at every turn. The timing could not be worse; Kitty needs all the allies she can muster to go against the ancient vampire, Roman, if she’s to have any hope of defeating his Long Game. But there’s more to this intruder than there seems, and Kitty must uncover the truth, fast. Meanwhile, Cormac pursues an unknown entity wreaking havoc across Denver; and a vampire from the Order of St. Lazaurus tempts Rick with the means to transform his life forever.

Kitty Rocks the House is the eleventh novel in Carrie Vaughn's Kitty Norville series, and what is most noticeable in this book is the growth in Kitty and her pack of friends. She has matured into her role as co-pack leader with her mate Ben—amazing, considering how outspoken and rule-breaking she is.

Never short on sarcastic remarks or wit, Kitty has finally learned balance, and better yet, to choose her words carefully in her new position. Between Ben’s easygoing nature and the newish position, Kitty has risen to the challenge of diplomat between the weres and the vampires as well.

[You've gotta love when characters learn and grow over time...]

Dec 5 2012 4:30pm

Squick Me Out, Part 3: Revenge of the Moist

Red velvet cupcake image by rottnapples via FlickrAs you all know, I absolutely detest the word “moist.” Since my first post on Squick Words, I’ve been known to get “moist bombed” on Twitter. That’s when a random author who knows of my moist-related phobia, has a conversation with me and throws the word moist into said conversation out of nowhere. It’s mean and cruel, but makes me cackle every time.

So I am a glutton for punishment and have come back with Squick Words post number three. Some of the not-so-lovely words I have come across or heard about this year.

Velvet sheath: now what in the bloody hell is that? Either a really rocking heavy metal band or the coolest looking outfit known to mankind.

“What are you wearing?”

“Oh, the Velvet Sheath Collection, dahling.”

[If only that were the case...]

Nov 13 2012 12:30pm

No Glove, No Love?: Condoms in Contemporary Romance

No Glove, No Love...Condom use in contemporary romance is a sticky subject (pun totally intended). Contemporary romance straddles the line of reality and fantasy; they are written usually in the same time period we are reading in, thus condom use is a sign of the times. In my generation, at least, we’ve been brought up knowing you MUST use a condom to prevent HIV/AIDS, but that is not the same for a historical romance.

Speaking to other readers about condom use in novels, many say they don’t mind them not being used because in their personal lives that have been in a long term relationship or married so they don’t notice the lack of condom. I have a problem with that theory because many of the couples in romance novels are JUST meeting and having sex for the first time. In my reality, I would be asking right away for a condom. The whole “are you clean, I’m clean” line I have seen in some books also bothers me. You’re about to have a one night stand with a man and you believe him right away? No thanks. Never mind the whole you could have a baby thing; kinda huge, don’t you think?

[Then we get into the whole secret baby trope...]