Monday, March 29, 2010

Weekend wrap-up: On my blog/ In the blogosphere (4) - a bit belated

So I was a bad blogger this past week and didn't get to do my Sinful Saturday Views and only two reviews - I blame it on the day job - got to feed the hubby and doggy baby. This past week I reviewed 2 books:
Wicked Game by Jeri Smith-Ready
Part 1 of the Serial of Vampire's Kiss by Laura Stamps

Thanks for stopping by and chatting - there are alot of fans of the WVMP series out there. The books are great and I need to start plowing through my to-be-read pile so I can get to the next book in Jeri Smith-Ready's series.

In other news - my dog got some recognition for cuteness over at Diana Rowland's blog. My dog was hanging out with my copy of Blood of the Demon. I thought this was a great contest - take or make pictures with any one of her books to win other books. I captioned my pic "My doggy thinks demons are tasty." If you haven't had a chance to check out some of the great entries you can go here.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wicked Wednesday Quickie Review - A Vampire's Kiss: Book One of the Manigault Vampires by Laura Stamps

Wicked Wednesday Quickie Review is a weekly post where I feature ebooks that tend to be around 50,000 words or less that are quick and usually naughty reads I love.

GoodReads blurb: Sara Gadsden is a Wiccan Green Witch addicted to paranormal romance novels and their gorgeous vampire heroes. Like most people, she has no idea vampires actually exist until she meets Drayton Manigault at a Samhain party. Dray is not only one of Columbia's wealthiest businessmen, but he's also been a vampire for the last 145 years. Oh, and he's totally yummy. When Dray offers Sara a job working for his computer company, Manigault Technologies, fantasy collides with reality, and Sara's future is suddenly transformed into one wild, smokin' HOT ride!

This first installment of Laura Stamps new serialized erotic romance novel is a delicious tease that will leave you panting for more. In this installment Sara, a Wiccan witch with little filter between her naughty thoughts and her mouth, meets Dray at a Samhain party. Lucky for Sara, Dray is dressed up as one of her favorite fictional characters - a vampire. Though it sounds like Dray has enough smokin' hot sensuality and long black hair to naturally fit the vampire persona without wearing the costume. As their initial meeting at the party translates to lunch the next day - the sparks do fly between these too. Sara is a lusty witch who knows what she wants and isn't afraid to show it. A very admirable characteristic since it leads to getting to know Dray a little better. I'm looking forward to the next installment of this series since we only get to view the first three chapters here - it can only get steamier! 

I received this first volume of the Manigault Vampires series from the author, Laura Stamps, for free and the lusty views I express about the book are my own. The Manigault Vampires is published monthly by Kittyfeather Press.  For more information go to or email or visit her on twitter @SexWitch

So the wicked question of the week is: Which book features your favorite seduction scene that includes costumes?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Book Review of Wicked Game by Jeri Smith-Ready - Rock 'n Roll and Vampires

Wicked Game (WVMP Radio #1) GoodReads blurb:
Late-night radio you can sink your teeth into....
Recovering con artist Ciara Griffin is trying to live the straight life, even if it means finding a (shudder!) real job. She takes an internship at a local radio station, whose late-night time-warp format features 1940s blues, 60s psychedelia, 80s Goth, and more, all with an uncannily authentic flair. Ciara soon discovers how the DJs maintain their cred: they're vampires, stuck forever in the eras in which they were turned.
Ciara's first instinct, as always, is to cut and run. But communications giant Skywave wants to buy WMMP and turn it into just another hit-playing clone. Without the station--and the link it provides to their original Life Times--the vampires would "fade," becoming little more than mindless ghosts of the past. Suddenly a routine corporate takeover becomes a matter of life and un-death.
To boost ratings and save the lives of her strange new friends, Ciara re-brands the station as "WVMP, the Lifeblood of Rock 'n' Roll." In the ultimate con, she hides the DJs' vampire nature in plain sight, disguising the bloody truth as a marketing gimmick. WVMP becomes the hottest thing around--next to Ciara's complicated affair with grunge vamp Shane McAllister. But the "gimmick" enrages a posse of ancient and powerful vampires who aren't so eager to be brought into the light. Soon the stakes are higher--and the perils graver--than any con game Ciara's ever played....

I love to learn new things from books...granted learning how to pull a con might not be the best thing to learn but who knows- it might be a handy tool some day. The main character of this book, Ciara Griffin (perhaps a play on grifter) is not a saint and sometimes not even a good person. I think that's what I liked about her - she's not perfect, she keeps going back to her con-artist skills, sometimes for the good of her new friends and sometimes for her own good. It's interesting to have a main character that isn't necessarily a good person. As Ciara tries to go straight she finds that her grifter skills are only good for one thing "S&M" otherwise known as "sales and marketing" and she lands an internship at a local radio station.

The DJs at the radio station are uniquely suited to playing their decade-based radio shows, since that is the decade they "died" in and now their development is fully locked in that decade. This was probably one of my favorite concepts of the book, that the vampires are vulnerable to the changes in time just because they are unable to cope with them and it is rare that vampires survive for more than thirty years due to these difficulties. In the vampire genre, I always thought it was too easy for vampires to adapt with the times and use cell phones and drive cars even though they were born a millennium earlier. In Wicked Games, the vampires are almost crippled by the changing times and when faced with the changes they have developed some very OCD coping mechanisms like alphaphetizing CDs or counting dropped pencils or paper clips. The government is aware of vampires although the general public is not and I loved that there is a government issue pamphlet with information about vampires. 

Ciara develops tentative friendships with some of the DJs - including Shane who is the 90s decade DJ. Shane is attractive in that aloof grunge rocker kind of way though he does take an interest when it comes to Ciara. Shane and Ciara's first meet-up outside of work was hilarious when they were attacked by a crazy and drunk bridezilla who was also an arch-nemesis of Ciara's. There was drunken knife-wielding, spilled martini, shirt stealing, and an arrest to wrap up the evening. Ciara has a very sarcastic and dry humor which I love that she uses to cope with most situations though she is very vulnerable as well, especially when faced with her shortcomings. 

This was a 4.5 out of 5 for me, I loved the rock 'n roll, OCD vampires, and sarcasm. 

Book #2 is out now - Bad to the Bone and Book #3 in the WVMP series, Bring on the Night, comes out in August of this year. 


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Weekend wrap-up: On my blog/ In the blogosphere (3)

This week has been a busy posting week at Darkly Reading. I went on a bit of a paranormal romance binge last weekend so my reviews this past week definitely had a paranormal romance slant:
Her Vampire Husband by Michele Hauf (4 Stars)
Wolf Signs by Vivian Arend (delicious naughty read)
Blood of the Demon by Diana Rowland (4.5 Stars)

I also started a new post this week with Incident from Sordid Fantasy called Sinful Saturday Views in which I featured Clayton from Kelley Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series. He is so yummy!

This weekend I checked out the Book Bloggers and Publishers Online Conference. I met some lovely new-to-me book bloggers and also heard some great information about book blogging, blog tours by authors, and publishers' and literary agents' side of the the story. You can still sign up and check-out the panels for the next two weeks if you're interested. Two new to me sites I learned about and figured I would share is: -where you can check out if your favorite authors are going to be doing a signing or reading near you. -where you can sign-up to be considered for author blog tours: to sign-up click here.

 On to the good stuff - the giveaway for the ebook of Cry Sanctuary by Moira Rogers....
The winner is Bookie who says "I have a soft spot for Adam from Patricia Briggs series." 
Please be sure to contact me Bookie.

Thanks to all of you who stopped by and left comments this week! I appreciate it! And thanks to all of my fellow bloggers who gave me an award the past couple of weeks - I hope to do a post of them soon!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sinful Saturday Views - Clayton from the Women of the Otherworld Series by Kelley Armstrong

This is a new weekly post hosted by me and Incident over at Sordid Fantasy. We will list some of our favorite fictional men along with why we love/lust them. Pictures will also be included.

My pick this week is Clayton from the Women of the Otherworld series. The Otherworld series is set in our same universe - just that no one knows that creatures that go bump in the night really exist. Werewolves in this series can be born or converted by bite which not many survive. Clayton was converted as a child and spent part of his youth on his own where the distinction between human and wolf behaviors definitely got blurred. Clayton seems more feral than human though he is off the charts in terms of intelligence and hotness. So reasons to love/lust Clayton: He's a doctor (Ph.D. in Anthropology) that looks like a sun-kissed surfer dude. He loves doing the deed outdoors - against a tree, in the grass, in a ditch - whenever the urge grabs him though particularly after a good fight. He also speaks in a southern drawl which in my mind sounds like liquid honey. 

Favorite Clay quotes: "You forget, darling. I am the local psychopath." (From Bitten)

"At school, our classroom had a small rodent zoo consisting of two rabbits, three hamsters, a litter of baby gerbils and a guinea pig. At first, I’d  thought the teacher was raising snack food, which impressed me, being the first sign of intelligence she’d shown. Soon, though, I’d figured out the  animals’ true purpose and left them alone, though I would never understand the appeal of petting and coddling perfectly good food."  (Clay as a kid in Men of the Otherworld)

 So what do you think - does the picture match the book character? Have you read this series as well and want to fight me for Clay as a book boyfriend? 

(I want to give a special shout out for pattepoilue who shares the love for all things Clayton and Kelly from Demon Lover's Book Reviews for her excellent man candy (which I used a pic from!))

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Review of Her Vampire Husband by Michele Hauf - sexy chocolate sauce lovin'

Author's blurb: An arranged marriage between a werewolf and a vampire.
There will be blood.
She may resist his bite, but she can't resist his charms...
Werewolf princess Blu Masterson won't allow her seductive vampire husband to consummate their marriage with his bite, marking her forever. Alone in a secluded estate with her sworn enemy, Blu curses the marriage arranged to bring their rival nations together, especially since Creed Saint-Pierre calls out to her most feral desires.
When Blu uncovers her pack's secret plot to destroy the vampire nation—and Creed—she is forced to confront her growing feelings for her sexy undead husband. Will she choose the only life she's ever known or accept his vampire bite? 

I didn't know what to think of this book when I first read the book blurb - would I really like a werewolf princess and an older than dirt vampire getting together? Can that ever work and be convincing? Thankfully I took the chance and loved the characters and book, I'm so glad I did because it was a really sexy and suspense-filled read. The book starts out at the wedding of werewolf princess Blu to elder vampire Creed. The wedding is being touted as a way to bring peace to the two warring groups and while the council that approved of the wedding believes that peace might happen, both factions have other plans. Blu sees the wedding as a way to escape her evil father who is the pack alpha as well as escape the predominately male pack in general. Creed faces this wedding as a responsibility that his vampire clan has trusted him with - neither party expected to develop feelings for each other.

Blu is like a whirlwind in Creed's life, she's young, sexy, and stubborn and doesn't fit in with Creed's much more sedate life as first. Blu also has been hurt, used, and has a lot of defense mechanisms to keep others at bay. One of her protection mechanisms is to be over-the-top to push people away, particularly in the sexy and flirtatious department. Blu has numerous colorful wigs, revealing outfits, and hooker heels to maintain her image and to catch the interest of her new husband. And man do I love reading about playing sexy dress-up. As Creed spends more time with Blu he can't help but be attracted to her but he begins to realize that there is more to her than meets the eye and he starts to care about his former enemy. And man when the two of them start on the path of seduction and get more physical - it is hot! For Creed being such an old vampire you definitely get the idea that he has been quite the ladies' man in the past (apparently the 1800s were really good to his sex life). I will leave the little teaser that one of the best scenes involves gourmet spicy chocolate sauce - yum!

While the romancing is hot enough to fill up the book, the background battles between the werewolves and vampires are definitely action packed as well. You wonder if there is any resolution to this story that ends up with Blu and Creed together and if they will chose their budding romance or their responsibilities for their separate vampire and werewolf factions. While I don't want to give away the ending it definitely kept me on pins and needles till the end. 

This is a 4 out of 5 stars for me, an improbable but heartwarming and steamy romance between two former enemies...and chocolate sauce.

This book is being released March 30th 2010 from Harlequin, I received the ARC through NetGalley. To learn more about this book and read the first chapter or to learn about the previous books in the series (though you don't have to read the previous books to understand the plot in HVH) you can check out the author's website here and you can follow her on twitter at @Michelehauf

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wicked Wednesday Quickie Review of Wolf Signs by Vivian Arend

Wicked Wednesday Quickie Review is a post where I feature ebooks that tend to be around ~100 pages/50,000 words that are quick and usually naughty reads that I love.

Goodreads blurb: Talk about getting your signals crossed… Granite Lake Wolves, Book 1 - Robyn Maxwell doesn’t care that her brother has to cancel out on their backcountry ski trip. She can do it alone. The fact she’s deaf doesn’t make her survival skills any weaker. The chance to get away from it all and relax in the Yukon wilderness is just what she’s been craving. Meeting wilderness guide Keil at the cabin starts cravings of another kind. Keil’s one hot hunk of ripped, tasty male. Now she has to deal with raging hormones as well as strange questions about wolves and mates and challenges to the death. Keil was trying for a nice reflective retreat before challenging for the Alpha position of his Alaskan pack. He wasn’t planning on meeting the woman destined to be his mate, or finding out she’s not aware she has the genes of a wolf. Between dealing with his accident-prone younger brother, a deaf mate with an attitude and an impending duel to the death, his week—and his bed—is suddenly full. Far from the relaxing getaway any of them had in mind… Warning: Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “talking with your hands”. Includes dangerous use of sarcasm and hot nookie in a remote wilderness sauna. 

Robyn is a great heroine, she's tough, sassy, and doesn't let her disability, being deaf, get in her way. Though her deafness does create some interesting situations with sexy guys in this book, especially when she's leaving the sauna and doesn't realize other people are occupying the same wilderness shelter that she is. She does get in some good shots to sensitive bits while the guys try to explain their presence. Thankfully one of the guys she bumps into is Keil, who realizes from her scent that she is his mate. Now he only has to convince Robyn of that.

There are definitely some humorous situations in the book, mostly provided by TJ - Keil's brother who is extremely accident prone and plagued by constant foot-in-mouth situations. Keil on the other hand is the no-nonsense brother who takes his role as leader seriously and he is super sexy too. Keil is a wilderness guide for a living and has a body built for strenuous activities as well as a tribal tattoo on one of his arms (yum!). He also has an upcoming challenge to become alpha of his pack which provides the suspense in the book since he has his showdown with the competition. While Keil prepares for his upcoming challenge he gets to know Robyn a lot better - the shower/sauna scene in this book is one of my favorites. Keil and Robyn make a great couple in this book and I'm looking forward to learning more about them in the next Granite Lake books. The new Granite Lake book (book 3), Wolf Games, will be out March 23rd so you should go check it out along with the second book - Wolf Flight.

This is a quick but deliciously naughty read that satisfies my sweet tooth for paranormal erotic romance!

Now on to question time (though no prize this week) where is your favorite location that a fictional character has gotten busy at?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Review of Blood of the Demon by Diana Rowland - Some sexy demon lord action!


Welcome to the world of Kara Gillian, a cop with a gift. Not only does she have the power of “othersight” to see what most people can’t even imagine, but she’s become the exclusive summoner of a demon lord. Or maybe it’s the other way around. The fact is, with two troublesome cases on her docket and a handsome FBI agent under her skin, Kara needs the help of sexy, insatiable Lord Rhyzkahl more than he needs her. Because these two victims, linked by suspicious coincidence, haven’t just been murdered. Something has eaten their souls.

It’s a case with roots in the arcane, but whose evil has flowered among the rich, powerful, and corrupt in Beaulac, Louisiana. And as the killings continue, Kara soon realizes how much there’s still to learn about demons, men, and things that kill in the night—and how little time she has to learn it.

Just like working a crime scene, summoning a demon has rules you must stick too – though with demon summoning there are much more dire consequences if you fail.  Kara, who we first meet in Mark of the Demon is once again working a case that is more than it appears. People are dying around Beaulac and only Kira realizes that these murder victims are having their essence pulled out as well. Kira’s usual source of information, her aunt, is still in a coma after she was forcefully used to summon a demon in the previous book and her aunt’s library is in lock down. So Kira turns to the demon realm for answers as well as the sexy Lord Rhyzkahl.

Although Kira is a smart and tough detective, her biggest weakness is her loneliness. She has isolated herself emotionally and physically (she lives by herself in the country) due to her demon summoning and the weakness is really exploited, intentionally or not, during this book. First there are the two romantic interests in Kira’s life – Ryan and Lord Rhyzkahl. Kira never knows where she stands with Ryan, the two of them are friends but could there be more? His flirting demeanor with Kira is definitely confusing, at least I kept vacillating between Ryan liking her and just wanting to be friends. Ryan is so judgemental of Kira’s decisions to summon and bargain with demons that it’s surprising that they can remain friends.  Meanwhile Ryan isn’t being completely above board with Kira about his abilities and continues to be enigmatic.

Lord Rhyzkahl is a different beast entirely. Kira thinks she understands Rhyzkahl’s motivation but her yearning to be touched by a man coupled with her need for information about the arcane makes her relationship with Rhyzkahl complicated. He doesn’t give anything for free but you get the impression that he makes certain concessions for Kira and he refers to her as his “dear one”. Rhyzkahl offers more than his smokin’ hot demon body though, he offers to share his knowledge of the arcane with Kira for a price. It’s hard to decide which man is better for Kira or if either of them are good enough. They both have so many secrets they keep from her and manipulate her in their own ways. It will be interesting to see how the romance plays out in future books.

Along with learning more about the two men in Kira's life we also learn more about the demon realm. I like Ms. Rowland's concept of the demon realm not being good or evil and working on a different moral code. It's a different take on the typical idea for demons and it works well with the police procedural aspect of the book. And let me tell you the mystery aspect of this book is great - I had no idea who the bad guy was till the end.

This is a 4.5 out of 5 for me - sexy demon lord, excellent mystery, and a female detective/demon summoner you feel like grabbing some beers with. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wicked Wednesday Quickie Review Featuring Cry Sanctuary by Moira Rogers & Giveaway

Wicked Wednesday Quickie Review is a new feature I’m starting that will be dedicated to hot ebook reads that tend to be shorter than the average novel (~100 pages vs. 200+). I love these shorter reads but find them hard to categorize next to full length novels, so I thought I would start a separate review category to feature these books. Let me know what your think!

So before I get started on the review, I have to admit I have a bit of a fangirl crush on Moira Rogers books. The characters are always well written and the love scenes are smokin’. So far I haven’t picked up a book from them I didn’t like if not love so if you like sexy werewolves I recommend to go out there and download one of their books. There’s also a free read on their website that takes place before Cry Sanctuary that you can check out here.

Goodreads blurb: Keith Winston is tired of fighting. The war between werewolves and wizards rages on in Europe, but he's come home to Red Rock, Montana in hopes of finding a bit of peace. Instead he finds more strife as he struggles against the pack’s dictates that he resume his place as the alpha’s right hand man. When he rescues a new wolf on the run, he knows his instant attraction to her could cause trouble. What he doesn't expect is to find himself embroiled in another battle that goes against all his instincts—and his heart.

Abigail Adler learned about the existence of werewolves only when she became one. With her life is threatened by a corrupt alpha, she flees to the only sanctuary she knows: Red Rock. While she’s grateful for the pack’s protection, she chafes under its unbreakable rules of conduct—except when it comes to submitting to the passion Keith stirs in her. Then her tormentor kidnaps her sister in an attempt to lure her out of hiding. To save her, Abby and Keith must be willing to do the very thing that could get them all killed—break all of the rules.

Warning: This review contains references to steamy werewolve sex, deadly pack alphas, and some bad puns!  (Inspired by Samhain publishing book warnings – I love them.)

Keith is the perfect flawed hero, he has many scars from his past that keep him separate from the people that care about him, but when he sees Abby his inner wolf howls. Abby doesn’t realize that she is a dominant wolf, even her friend Dylan, who is more submissive, shies away from her touch. But Abby’s strength and sexiness call to Keith as well as other unattached wolves in Red Rock. As Abby get’s settled in to Red Rock she learns that she must pick a Guide to help her through the first few months as a werewolf. Guides also help fulfill the needs of a new werewolf including any sexual desires that rise up due to the werewolf changes. Keith fights with his instincts to just take Abby but decides to give her room to choose her Guide while Abby only seems interested in Keith. The sexual tension between these two is smoking hot from the first night they meet and it only builds throughout the story.

In addition to the werewolf love going on in the book, there is also a lot of action and suspense as Alan, Abby’s old alpha, tries to manipulate her into coming back to his pack. Abby turns to Keith and his friend Joe to help out and Kieth flips those girl swooning switches with what he goes through to save and protect Abby. This is an excellent quick and naughty read and I recommend you to go out and get it!

*GIVEAWAY: Since this is the first Wicked Wednesday Review and it's ebook week I decided to giveaway an ebook copy of Cry Sanctuary. (And also due to the fangirl love). You need to be 18 or older to enter and the ebook is available in multiple (non-DRM) formats.

To enter answer this question: Who is your favorite fictional werewolf?

Additional entries (let me know in your comments)
- become a blog follower (+1)
- twitter follower (+1)

Giveaway goes till March 17th!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Review of Death's Mistress by Karen Chance - I love me some Louis-Cesare!

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

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

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

Death’s Mistress is an excellent follow-up to Midnight’s Daughter. Where else would you find a beheaded vampire comedic sidekick! This book picks up shortly after the events of Midnight’s Daughter. Dory is working with the vampire senate to clean up an illegal fey smuggling ring. In the middle of picking up a vamp for her father Mircea, the hot vampire dueler Louis-Cesare appears and suddenly the “simple” job for her father gets a lot more complicated. Add-in fey warriors trying to kill Dory and her flatmate Claire and son, the mysterious murder of a senate member and a mage, a missing rune stone, and irritating and handsome Louis-Cesare – and Dory finds herself in the middle of the action again.

I really loved this entry into the Dorina Basarab series. The developments between Mircea and Dorina were heartwarming. It is interesting to see Mircea through both Dorina’s eyes and Cassie’s from the Cassie Palmer series, though kind of weird since he's Dorina's father and Cassie's lover. Dorina always does what she thinks is right despite it not being the easiest or the sanest path to take. Her interactions with Louis-Cesare were exciting and heartbreaking as she tries to help him recover his long lost mistress. The chemistry and sexual tension between Dory and Louis-Cesare is intense and so hot. I also love reading "action" scenes in the middle of the action and this book does not disappoint. Dory's battle with her violent rages also has made some developments though I’m not sure if it is for the good. Karen Chance weaved an exciting and intricate story till the end and the reveal of the big bad guy definitely took me by surprise. The final pages definitely have me looking forward to the next entry in the series.

This was a 5 out of 5 for me - awesome man candy in Louis-Cesare and a great tough but flawed heroine in Dory.  

Monday, March 8, 2010

Winners From Larissa Ione - Demonica series Contest


Winner of Ecstasy Unveiled is: Diana
Winner of any book from Demonica Series is: Stella
*please e-mail me at hacarleton (at) gmail (dot) com with your address

So these are the two winners from my very first Darkly Reading contest to win a Demonica series book by Larissa Ione. Thanks to all of those who entered! It was fun to learn about everyone's tattoos and what you guys thought of tattooed book characters - I think that tats were universally loved! I used BuzzMyBlog Contest Winner Picker to pick the winner.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Weekend wrap-up: On my blog

The biggest change around Darkly Reading this week is the new blog design courtesy of Rachel at Parajunkee Design. I love the new design and I hope you do as well. It's pretty much spot-on for what I envisioned Darkly Reading to look like and I love the werewolf on the left side of the banner!

I also got a few blog awards this week - they are the first bloggy awards I've received and made me feel like running around chanting - "they like me, they really like me!" The first award I got (One Lovely Blog Award) was from Missie over at The Undead Reader. Make sure to go over and check out her blog - she is currently running a "Give Me Moore" reading challenge to read Christopher Moore's books and win a fabulous prize. Melissa from Spellbound by Books gave me the Beautiful Blogger award. Melissa also has a lovely blog designed by Parajunkee. Lastly, Angela, over at Dark Faerie Tales gave me the Kreativ Blogger Award. If you haven't checked out Dark Faerie Tales blog yet it has some great weekly features including Publishing News about books to watch. Additionally, the site hosts some great ARC tours. Check the bottom of the post for award winners!

One of the awards requires me to list 7 things about myself and since I have so many new followers this week I figure it's also a good way to introduce myself to my readers. So here it goes:
1. I play with Salmonella every day for my job.
2. Before taking up book reading again as a hobby I used to pretend I was a gardener and torture outdoor plants in the name of landscaping projects.
3. I have a Bassador dog - he's half basset hound/ half chocolate lab and all cute!
4. I got married on July 7, 2007 (7/7/07) and hubby even picked that date.
5. I'm addicted to dark chocolate and usually have at least one piece a night.
6. I'm not ticklish anymore though I used to be very ticklish as a kid.
7. I'm addicted to twitter and blogging - I think the hubby and dog are a little worried about me.

This week I was a little behind on doing my book reviews - only one review this week of Little Red and the Wolf by Alison Page. It was an interesting read, though not my favorite, and I recommend checking it out if you get a chance.

The Larissa Ione contest is ending today so if you haven't had a chance to enter yet and are interested in winning one of her books make sure to enter by midnight. The winner will be posted tomorrow. I have a few new features coming up this week on Wednesday and Friday (one with a contest) so make sure to check back and tell me what you think!

So on to the awards ceremony (fitting since the Academy Awards are tonight):
•Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.
•Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you’ve newly discovered.
•Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award

Passing it on to:
Incident at Sordid Fantasy    
Lori at Escape Between the Pages
Lily at Liliums Realm             
Natalie at Mindful Musings
Brooke at Brooke Reviews
Here are the rules:
-Thank and link to the person that gave you the award.
-Pass this award onto 15 bloggers you've recently discovered and think are fantastic
-Contact said Blogs and let them know they've won
-State 7 things about yourself 
 Passing it on to:
Qwill at The Qwillery
Kelly at Demon Lover Book Reviews and More
Emily at What Book is That
Cecile at All I Want and More
Darlyn at dArLyN and Books  
Sarah at Sarah's Book Reviews

Rules: Share 7 things about you and pass on the award to 7 awesome bloggers.
Passing it on to:
K.C. at Smokin Hot Books
Mandi at SmexyBooks
Larissa at Larissa's Life
Natasha at Wicked Lil' Pixie
Fiction Vixen
Leontine at Leontine's book realm
Rachel at Parajunkee's view

This is just a small sampling of some really great blogs out there - make sure to go check them out.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Review of Little Red and the Wolf by Alison Paige - Beware of those Naughty Alpha Werewolves!

First off - I love this cover! I think it had a big influence on buying this book as well as the fact I love naughty re-worked nursery tales. And this book has the bonus of naughty alpha male, hot sex, and yummy baked goods.  
Goodreads Description: Maizie Hood struggles to keep her bakery turning a profit, her landlord from evicting her, and her dear Granny in a nursing facility. Wrestling with the decision to sell Gran’s cottage is hard enough. The last thing she needs is her childhood big-bad-wolf nightmares turning into real-life adult fantasies. Sexy businessman Gray Lupo’s sudden interest just makes matters worse. Is he the answer to her problems, or just a wolf in gentleman’s Armani?  

Since his wife was killed twenty-one years ago, Gray’s life has been focused on two things: protecting the pack and avoiding the grown daughter of his wife’s killers. When it becomes clear he can’t do one without compromising the other, Gray finds playing “big bad wolf” to Maizie Hood’s “Little Red” is a role he enjoys far more than he expected.  A real bad wolf’s attack on Maizie changes everything. 

Gray can’t deny the pull she has on his instincts—and his heart. Suddenly he finds himself taking on a role he never thought he’d want, as her protector and mate. Until the truth about his connection to her nightmarish past comes to light…

Lil' Maize Hood has alot on her plate - running her bakery, supporting her Granny in a nursing home, and trying to stay one step ahead of the bill collectors. Maize has no time for a man in her life but something about Gray Lupo calls to her naughty side. Gray also feels the stirrings of emotion and heat whenever he sees Maize. Whenever he thinks about Maize he literally can't keep his hands off himself which leads to several very hot fantasy scenes, in his limo, in the shower, and while having naughty dreams. Even before these two get their hot little hands on each other they have alot of steamy fantasies about each other. Maize and Gray also have a connection to a very tragic event in their past that keeps them away from each other at first. But as someone starts trying to trick Maize's Granny into selling her cottage and land in the woods, which Granny loves dearly, Maize has more run-ins with Gray. Gray's land and wildlife preserve is next to Granny's cottage and Granny refers to Gray as "her silver wolf". Granny was my favorite character by far, good sense of humor and she had no issues with teasing Maize about her big bad wolf.

While the sexing is hot in this book, the mystery of who is trying to steal Granny's land is frustrating since the details are revealed to the reader but Maize has to figure it out on her own. More often than not she ends up blaming Gray, at one point you just hope she'll give Gray a break and realize who the real bad real estate tycoon is.  Maize and Gray also share a tragic event in their past and Gray blames himself and in part blames Maize for his wife's death over 20 years ago when Maize's parents ran into Gray's wife in wolf form. Gray's guilt really holds him back from being alpha to his pack and from being Maize's mate and he feels this guilt for most of the book. I think if he would of realized that it wasn't his fault and manned-up earlier in the book it would have been a more enjoyable read.

After Maize is turned, the scenes written of her first experiences as a werewolf were very well done. The descriptions of the sounds and scents of the wood were very evocative. You get a very primal feel for her wolf (which is red of course) and the "mating dance" of Gray and Maize was very entertaining. Maize wasn't about to submit to Gray's alpha wolf and she made him work at being her mate. The only point that really took out of my enjoyment of the book was when it looked like inter-species romance was on the table. Thankfully no wolf and woman sex went on but the teased possibility made me cringe a bit. It's just my personal preference that both participants to a interlude of sexing be the same species, I guess I'm kind of traditional, though I do support shape-shifting body parts such as tongues while in human form...

This was a 3 out of 5 stars for me, there was some naughty werewolf action going on but I never felt I really connected with Gray or Maize.