Monthly Archives: May 2015

Review: Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singh

Slave to Sensation by Nalini SinghNalini Singh’s Slave to Sensation is very much paranormal romance canon at this point. It came out in September of 2006 which means it’s going on ten years old. Hard to believe! When this book first released, I will totally admit, I was not interested. I was really done with paranormal romance in a big way since during that time period, there was so so much PNR being published. It actually wasn’t until the second book, Visions of Heat, was released that I jumped backwards and devoured Slave to Sensation. It is a book (and a series!) that has stayed with me in a major way. It is a series I have re-read numerous times at this point and it all began with the amazing love story that is Lucas and Sascha. Berkeley is doing a special re-release of this book to coincide with Nalini Singh’s upcoming NEW book, Shards of Hope, which is due out on June 2. I love the background in the new cover since the DarkRiver clan is set in the mountains amidst forests and nature. I will say, not quite as huge of a fan of the dude on the cover, but then, the original cover is kind of a favorite for me, for nostalgia’s sake.

Slave to Sensation is the perfect book to read if you are looking for strong characters (especially resilient and amazing women). If you need a fully realized world but don’t want to get too far into a “fantasy” type realm, this book is for you. Singh recreates the world of San Francisco and uses it to explore the territory of the DarkRiver and SnowDancer clans.

I love traditionally sexy men in my books and Lucas definitely fits that bill. But he is also really unique and a great Alpha character. He treats Sascha so tenderly that it is lovely to watch their love story unfold. And then of course, there is the intrigue and battles with the Psy, a race of people that feel no emotions. The changelings feel EVERYTHING so Lucas is definitely bewildered by Sascha. He doesn’t trust her and she doesn’t trust him. It is the makings of a perfect romance, right?

I have tried to convert as many people as possible to this series. Even now, fourteen books into the Slave to Sensation by Nalini Singhseries, I remain as passionate and intrigued about this world and these characters as I did when I first started. Nalini Singh has full control over the Psy/Changeling series and it shows because each book takes a deeper turn and explores a new moment in the present (and history sometimes!) of this world. My personal favorite is book three, Caressed by Ice, which I was lucky enough to get Nalini Singh to sign way back in 2010 or so. Slave to Sensation definitely holds a special place for me though because it is the very beginning. This is where I truly became hooked and enmeshed in the series. Remember how I started with book two? Well, as much as I loved Lucas and Faith’s love story (still do!) I was so intrigued by the world building that I knew I had to start with the first book and go from there. This series truly builds on each book and is best read in order.

And when you finally read this book (if you haven’t yet!) be sure to let me know what you think. This is a series I love talking about. It’s how I met a very cool friend actually as we both bonded over this series.

And just remember, the newest book, Shards of Hope, comes out June 2 and it is a GOOD ONE! (I was lucky enough to read it early–review to come!).

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Review: Dearest Rogue by Elizabeth Hoyt

Dearest Rogue by Elizabeth HoytI don’t read a whole lot of historical romance any more. It’s just fallen out of my reading patterns for the most part. However, there is one historical romance author I continually keep up with and that is Elizabeth Hoyt. She is the author of one of my absolute favorite books, Scandalous Desires, and on the whole, I tend to really, really love her books. Dearest Rogue is her latest book (it releases this coming Tuesday, May 26!) and it is JUST PLAIN WONDERFUL. I have been waiting on tenterhooks for Phoebe’s love story and it is the sumptuous and charming kind of story I expect from Elizabeth Hoyt.

Phoebe is blind. I’m just going to put it out there. She has been losing her sight through the course of the Maiden Lane series and unfortunately, things are no better in her own story. But Phoebe is not one to be pitied (though honestly I can’t imagine how difficult it would have been to be blind during this time period. She is an aristocrat and has a cushion fortunately but still, tough times all around). Unfortunately, her brother, Maximus, is a Duke and he wants to protect his sister above all cost, even if it means constraining her life to only the smallest of pleasures and happiness. Heck, she even has a guard with her at all times. James Trevillion pretty much pines for Phoebe through much of this book. He has been for awhile in fact, if you’ve kept up with the series. He wants to protect her but he does not think the way Maximus keeps Phoebe in cotton wool is the way to go about it. Unfortunately, life is about to get more dangerous for Phoebe when there are several kidnapping attempts on her life. Maximus rightly goes even more strict while James become more protective. Phoebe is not dumb. She knows she has to be cautious but she also does not want to simply have no life whatsoever. I very much felt bad for her situation.

Phoebe is not necessarily head over heels in love with James at the beginning of the book. But when he leaves her life, she notices quickly what an immense void is left behind. They have developed a friendly and snappish rapport with each other and it’s hard to not have him in her life, especially when Maximus is so domineering. Ah but when they finally reunite, it’s like bells tolled in my heart (yes, I am going that purple prose route).

Truly they are just a wonderful pair together. She trusts him implicitly and he looks out for her no matter what, even when he may not always want to give her the freedom she craves. Nonetheless, he doesn’t want to limit her life anymore. There is a scene where they are riding horses together and it’s simply so nice because James let her do it. She knew he was keeping watch over her and thus, Phoebe felt free to truly enjoy an activity that had previously been limited because of her sight.

I did think the kidnapping plots somewhat slowed the course of the story, at least initially. Once it set James and Phoebe on the run together, that forced intimacy was wonderful to behold. Sexy times ahoy, friends! I was truly glued to the pages of this story in a way I haven’t been in a long time for a historical romance.

Dearest Rogue does stand alone completely but I will say, I liked that I’ve “known” Phoebe and James awhile. Both have been strong characters throughout the course of the Maiden Lane series and it was very nice to see them finally get their own love story. This is a series well worth reading and fortunately, Hoyt has moved far away from the ghost of St. Giles plot that propelled the earlier books.

Simply put, Dearest Rogue captivated me from start to finish. It is utterly romantic in even the smallest of gestures and words and that is what makes Hoyt such a fabulous storyteller to me. Her love stories exude sensuality even at the most mundane of moments (like riding in a carriage and laying one’s head on the shoulder of the man you love). Lovely!

ARC received from publisher via Edelweiss for review.

Other reviews:

Wit and Sin reviews Dearest Rogue

The Eater of Books reviews Dearest Rogue

Addicted to Romance reviews Dearest Rogue

Release Blitz and Giveaway: Last Kiss by Jen Frederick and Jessica Clare

Last Kiss Release Blitz

You may remember that I kinda, really loved the book Last Kiss by Jen Frederick and Jessica Clare? Well here is your chance to win your own copy!

Meet Naomi & Vasily in the newest addition to the Hitman Series

NOW AVAILABLE!
Published by Berkley, a division of Penguin

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1zLcpNB
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1IDSh1E
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1KKyWuT
Kobo: http://bit.ly/1EVWpZ4
iBooks: http://apple.co/1E6vbLG
GooglePlay: http://bit.ly/1bweJfr

**The first book in the series, Last Hit, has been optioned for a movie by Flame Ventures.**

Last Kiss by Jessica Clare and Jen Frederick

Naomi: When I was kidnapped I thought only of survival. I don’t thrive well in chaos. That’s why I gave my captors exactly what they wanted: my skill with computers. Making millions for a crime lord who kept me imprisoned in his basement compound kept my family safe. When he was taken out, I thought my ticket to freedom had arrived. Wrong. I traded one keeper for another. This time I’m in the hands of a scarred, dark, demanding Russian who happens to be the head of the Bratva, a Russian crime organization. He wants my brain and my body. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t intrigued, but I can’t be a prisoner forever…no matter how good he makes me feel.

Vasily: At a young age, I was taught that a man without power is a puppet for all. I’ve clawed—and killed—my way to the top so that it is my heel on their necks. But to unify the fractured organization into an undefeatable machine, I need a technological genius to help me steal one particular artifact. That she is breathtaking, determined, and vulnerable is making her more dangerous than all of my enemies combined. But only I can keep her safe from the world that she now inhabits. Soon, I must choose between Naomi and Bratva law. But with every day that passes, this becomes a more impossible choice.

servantnaomi

About the authors:

Jen Frederick

Jen Frederick lives with her husband, child, and one rambunctious dog. She’s been reading stories all her life but never imagined writing one of her own. Jen loves to hear from readers so drop her a line at jensfrederick@gmail.com.
Website: http://jenfrederick.com/blog/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJenFrederick
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jensfred
Goodreads: http://tinyurl.com/p3ptasx

Jessica Clare

This is a pen name for Jill Myles.
Jill Myles has been an incurable romantic since childhood. She reads all the ‘naughty parts’ of books first, looks for a dirty joke in just about everything, and thinks to this day that the Little House on the Prairie books should have been steamier.

After devouring hundreds of paperback romances, mythology books, and archaeological tomes, she decided to write a few books of her own – stories with a wild adventure, sharp banter, and lots of super-sexy situations. She prefers her heroes alpha and half-dressed, her heroines witty, and she loves nothing more than watching them overcome adversity to fall into bed together.

Website: http://jillmyles.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJessicaClare?directed_target_id=0
Twitter: https://twitter.com/_JessicaClare
Goodreads: http://tinyurl.com/q4272wf

Review: Last Kiss by Jessica Clare and Jen Frederick

Last Kiss by Jessica Clare and Jen FrederickI am fairly in reading love with the Hitman series by Jessica Clare and Jen Frederick. For me, it’s like the perfect mix of action and romance. I had been anticipating Last Kiss after I finished Daniel and Regan’s story in Last Breath (which I LOVED and do plan on reviewing). Their story got me really excited for Vasily and Naomi’s story which definitely lived up to my expectations.

Vasily is a member of the Russian Bratva and that is all he has known his entire life. Now that the Bratva is falling into chaos, with the recent demise of its “leader”. Vasily is ready to ascend into power but before he can do that, the elders of the Bratva are sending him on some a fool’s errand to reclaim a painting. Vasily is not thrilled by this chore but he will do it if it will bring him the power he wants. He needs Naomi’s help to follow the trail of where painting has exchanged hands. Naomi is a wise at computers and hacking but when it comes to the real world, she has a bit of a learning curve.

Naomi is on the Aspergers spectrum. She was kidnapped while on spring break at the beach and has since been held captive making money for a truly evil man. Now Vasily needs her to find his painting. They are a truly mismatched pairing. Vasily and Naomi both hate to be touched but as they are drawn into the web of the missing painting, they learn that with each other, the rules don’t apply.

I know next to nothing about Aspergers so I cannot truly judge how accurate the portrayal of Naomi is but it felt well done to me, based on the very little information I do know. She doesn’t handle germs well. Sex has never been a priority to her. She does not understand sarcasm and prefers people be blunt with her. Vasily is all that and more and he adapts easily to Naomi’s disposition. In fact, he admires her immensely almost from the outset.

Naomi is equally fascinated with Vasily even if she does not always understand why he wants the painting so very much. But she tried very hard to understand. I really liked that these two just accepted each other as is. No change necessary. They were both kinda messed-up in their own ways, though messed-up isn’t the right term. They were both very unique individuals, NOT special as Naomi hates that word.

Their mad romp around the world was a lot of fun to read about because it brought them closer together and added quite a few comedic moments to the story. Naomi’s dry recital of the facts about situations did make me laugh though they were not intended to be funny in her world. That is how she communicates and relates to things so when she starts talking about the penis or about creating characters in order to get into a sex club, it had me grinning. That’s Naomi and Vasily thoroughly enjoyed every minute with her. He did his best to get her through hectic situations (gun fights on trains! Um… sex clubs, yeah) and he was never angry at her. And for her part, Naomi just accepts Vasily, murderous traits and connections with the Bratva and all.

Last Kiss has definitely been my favorite of the series so far (it was very hard to beat the irrepressible Daniel I have to admit). This series has grown on me immensely. It is sexy and a lot of fun. The characters are pretty much the definition of anti-hero and there is no way I should like them or even accept their actions but somehow, I do.

Vasily and Naomi make a great team and theirs was a love story I was so thrilled to fall in love with.

Last Kiss releases May 5, 2015.

ARC provided by publisher for review.

Other reviews:

Ramblings from a Chaotic Mind reviews Last Kiss