RhiReading News

Dear readers,

Hi Rhireaders! Check out the latest events in the sidebar! Thanks for visiting, be sure and follow me on social media for MORE awesome content.

Did you drop by to request a review or tour stop? Due to high demand and a very busy schedule, I am currently CLOSED for unsolicited review requests. Thank you for thinking of me though!

I do have promotional openings for October 2017 through February 2018 open so please reach out. Just please drop me an email with a polite request and if I'm interested I will reply.

-- Rhi


The Trouble With Reading YA Fiction

So this week I'm working on a YA title I got through Amazon.com's Vine program. Yes, I too was annoyed with the "glitch" debacle over there this week but have chosen not to sit and rant over it because let's face it... they're not gonna listen to me! But back to the issue at hand...

I love YA fiction. I like reading it and wondering what my teen self would have thought of it. I like remembering all the silly things I thought were so important back then and enjoying the nostalgia of a very different phase of life. So why is it that when I read YA fiction lately, I find myself getting reeeeally annoyed with certain aspects of the content?

The book I am currently working on is a story about a teenaged girl who has recently moved and is finding out she's psychic. As she's telling her story she pulls one of my #1 pet peeves over and over—brand name dropping. I could care less what brand of jeans she's wearing or where she bought her comforter. But what really bothers me with the brand dropping thing is how badly it dates a book. In five years when these brands are no longer trendy this books shelf life will expire. Even when I was a teen I didn't like reading anything where brand dropping occured. Maybe the new generation of YAs like it but is it really necessary?

While that issue annoys me, what's really personally frustrating me is that this book is marketed as a 12&up title. Why? Because already I've seen the words 'WTF?' and 'effing' as well as a few uses of the word 'shit' and the phrase 'Friggin' A'! Now, don't get me wrong... I have a foul mouth. I don't mind cursing by any means. But if I were to hand this book to a 12 year old... I would feel like a bit of a corrupting force. Story wise this one could be entertaining to a YA that age but is that kind of cursing (cursing we don't even see on primetime television) really needed? Some would argue that kids talk like that at the protagonist's age anyway and yes that's very true... but this book could easily have been written in such a way that those type of words/phrases could be worked around or the publisher could have made the age 14&up.

When did I go and let my inner mommy start looking at what I read? LOL Ah, well.

I'm off to try and catch my dishes up so I have some reading time. Have a terrific weekend everyone!
-- Rhi


Review: Passion Unleashed by Larissa Ione

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Passion Unleashed (Demonica #3) by Larissa Ione
Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Demons
Mass Market Paperback (FOREVER, 480 pages, $6.99)
ISBN# 0446401056
Serena Kelley is an archaeologist and treasure hunter-and a woman with a secret. Since she was seven, she's been the keeper of a powerful charm that grants her health and immortality . . . as long as she stays a virgin. But Serena isn't all that innocent. And when a dangerously handsome stranger brings her to the brink of ecstasy, she wonders if she's finally met the one man she cannot resist.
Wraith is a Seminus demon with a death wish. But when an old enemy poisons him, he must find Serena and persuade her to give him the only known antidote in the universe-her charm. Yet, as she begins to surrender to his seductions and Wraith senses the cure is within his grasp, he realizes a horrible truth: He's falling for the woman whose life he must take in order to save his own.

Author Site:

The Heavenly Hells of the Demonica (5 stars)

Now that his brothers, Eidolon and Shade, have found mates and their evil brother, Roag, has been dealt with, Wraith can get back to doing what he does best—think of himself. Except now he knows the effects his past transgressions have had on his brothers and maybe, just maybe, they're the only people he cares about enough to try and curb his bad-boy ways. Now post s'genesis he should be controlled by just one urge. But when he's poisoned and no cure exists the one thing he should be obsessed with has to hit the backburner. He has to find Serena Kelley, a human marked by angels, and get her to willingly give up her virginity to him. If he can do that the charm that protects her will be passed to him saving him from death. The only problem is that once he does that, the illness her mark protects her from will kill her.

As if that isn't enough trouble, someone else wants Serena's charm and there's mysterious unrest within Sheoul (hell). Something cataclismic is brewing and only Wraith and Serena can stop it... if they live long enough. In the end the human and demon races may just have to put aside their differences to save the world!

There is so much plot packed into this book that giving a decent summary without too much spoilerishness was tough. If you've been reading the Demonica series already you've probably been looking forward to seeing how Ione would settle down her devil-may-care brother. Fortunately, she's found an excellent way to deliver a great urban fantasy story with touches of Indiana Jones-esque adventure that makes the romance between Wraith and Serena come together very seamlessly. At first I will admit I wasn't so sure about the pairing based on personalities but as the story went on they grew on me a lot. I'm not a big fan of 'virgin' plot devices but this one really suited the Demonica realm.

Once again, Ione does a fabulous job of keeping the romance and the adventure parts of the story in balance, a feat not easily done but becoming more and more popular in paranormal romances. For readers who prefer a straight-up romance where outside plot is secondary this book might be a stinker, the romance does occasionally feel secondary to the saving-the-world story. What really won me as a reader this time around was the surprises Ione threw in. Once you read the book you'll probably know exactly which ones I am thinking of and enjoy them as well. Any reader who likes not seeing a little something coming will be happy to know there were a few here.

Overall, I loved Passion Unleashed. It was filled with romance, adventure and loads of sexual tension (and yes, hot sex too!). If this was the end of a trilogy I'd say it ties up the trio nicely but I'm glad to say this one leaves us with plenty of room for more Demonica novels to come.


Review: Bride by Command by Linda Winstead Jones

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Bride by Command (Emperor's Brides #3) by Linda Winstead Jones
Paranormal Romance, Fantasy
Mass Market Paperback (BERKLEY, 320 pages, $7.99)
ISBN# 0425228045
Disguised as a sentinel, the emperor of Columbyana is shocked that his next bridal candidate isn’t interested in becoming an Empress. Determined to teach the haughty beauty a lesson, the Emperor strikes a bargain with her stepfather, and claims her as his bride.
Author Site:

The Emperor's Brides, Book Three: Bride by Command (4 stars)

In Jones' Fyne Witches trilogy a pair of twin sons are born to Emperor Sebestyen of Columbyana. Now adults, Emperor Jahn and his moments-younger twin, Prince Alixandyr have begun an adventure to find a bride for the Emperor. There is to be a contest, six women of worth from varying lands are to be brought to the palace to be offered the chance to be Empress. Messengers are sent to the far places at the height of the Spring Festival to return with the ladies in time for the Summer Festival where Jahn will choose his bride. The majority of Bride by Command coincides with the stories from Untouchable and 22 Nights, as Jahn himself sets out to bring one of the bridal candidates back by himself. A little adventure before becoming a married man seems like a good decision so he travels to fetch one of the nearest ladies, one Lady Morgana Ramsden.

Before her mother died Morgana promised to marry only for love. Since then she has refused plenty of offers of marriage much to the annoyance of her adoptive father. Naturally, when the emperor's sentinels arrive to escort her to the palace as a potential future empress she refuses once again. Not only will she only marry for love but she has a secret she must hide. When one of the emperor's sentinels—the Emperor himself—catching her stepfather in a moment of temper claims Morgana as his bride she has no choice but to be lead to the palace. But as the journey comes to an end a fondness grows between them.

Jahn cannot keep up the charade of sentinel and emperor forever and with his bridal cadidates being picked off Morgana is in grave danger. As the secrets begin to unravel the secrets they've been keeping from one another could bring them together... or tear them apart.

If you've been following this trilogy from the beginning chances are you've been waiting for this one with baited breath. Fortunately, Jahn and his heroine do not disappoint! Sure, the story is a little cookie-cutter formulaic but who doesn't love a good 'secret identity' romance? As a couple Morgana and Jahn's chemistry begins with a slow bubble which eventually comes to a passionate boil. During the time she doesn't know who he really is the way she falls for him was very endearing. Just the sort of realistic falling in love tale a real woman can relate to.

As the final book in the trilogy the conclusion of the overall story including the evil former empress Rikka and her scheming comes together a little unexpectedly but with lots of fireworks. As with the other books in the trilogy a secondary romance between one of the bridal candidates Danya and another secondary character (sorry not spoiling it for you!) provides another entertaining sidestory. Overall this closed out the trilogy very nicely and the trilogy as a whole was a lot of fun. Romantic, adventuresome and great paranormal fantasy romance!


Guest Blog: Author Terry Spear

Okie... so first off... I owe Terry a HUGE apology! Don't ask me where my mind was this week. I think between the pregnancy hormones, having a sick child and a sudden family crisis all I've been able to think of is burying my nose in my books and stuffing my face with donuts (or tacos depending on the time of day), not actually reviewing or working on the blogness. This touching and inspiring guest blog was supposed to be up on Monday!!!

Because I am personally being touched by the final stages of cancer with my great-grandfather, Terry's discussion here definitely hits home. Thank you so much Terry for sharing such a personal and important message! And again, my apologies for dropping the ball on this one.
-- Rhi

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When Conflicts Run Amok!
By Terry Spear

I could talk about sexy shapeshifters, about what makes me write, about anything in the world, but the most important thing to me is my mother right now who is dying of cancer.

So this is about my mother’s struggle, who despite her worsening condition, still helps me brainstorm rough areas in my manuscript. Sure, some of her suggestions are just plain crazy, but we laugh and sometimes it gives me another idea and it gets her mind off what she has to face.

My mother had colon cancer 23 years ago. She’s been a long-time cancer survivor already. But just like her aunt who was struck in the breast by accident, my mother was also and both developed breast cancer. With her aunt, she was removing wood for the fireplace during a cold winter in Canada, and one of the logs jarred loose and struck her. Exactly a year later, doctors found she had cancer. They removed her breast and she lived 20 plus years. For my mother, it was a car accident. The air bag from the steering wheel struck her, we think. Either that or she hit the steering wheel. Or the seatbelt caused the injury. Not sure. But in any case, she broke her arm, and she was bruised terribly across the chest. A year later, after she had a mammogram, and they found nothing, she was doing a self-examination and found a tiny lump.

Cancer. They removed her breast and lymph glands under the arm. No sign of cancer anywhere. Now 6 years later, she has stomach and liver cancer. The reason? Doctors believe it was a cancerous cell that had migrated from the breast.

Taking care of someone who is dying of cancer is a horrible process. Even now I’m in tears as I write this blog as I was when my father died of a fast-acting cancer. His was lung cancer, most likely brought on by the business he and my mother ran for years—the sanding he did on particle board, and breathing the fine sand/glue mixed particles.

But many, many men and women survive from trials with cancer and live full, healthy lives. Early detection is the key.

In my werewolf stories, my shapeshifters have recuperative powers. Maybe that’s why I write them that way. I don’t want to see them die from health-related problems. Too much real pain and suffering.

So take care of yourself and remember to tell your parents you love them. Because we never know how long we can share the time with them. And every moment can be too precious to lose.

Terry Spear
Author of Heart of the Wolf (Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of the Year), Destiny of the Wolf (ParaNormal Reviewers Top Pick), To Tempt the Wolf (Sep 1)

And don't forget to check out Terry's lastest release: Destiny of the Wolf


Who Needs Themes?

I like to be orderly, organized and tend to shy away from spontaneity. Yet my desk, bedside table and even my purse tend to be cluttered, dusty and lacking in any order. It makes no sense.

I'm also a list maker. I'm that lady who makes a grocery list and forgets to bring it with her. Who plans what to pack for a trip but always ends up with too many pairs of socks and no toothpaste. I remember birthdays two weeks before they happen and completely space on them on the day of.

So how is it manage to be able to keep track of my books so well? In the three years I've been actively reviewing I haven't once double bought a book. And I don't carry a list with me everywhere I go. It shouldn't be possible but somehow I manage to do it.

Now, it made a lot of sense to me to try and plan out a monthly theme for the blog here. It would help me decide what books to read and talk about each month and give some order to my disorderly reading schedule. I have most of this year planned out as far as themes go, but I was stuck on the month of April. I debated making it a month focusing on humorous romances but I really don't have a lot of them to work with and when it all came down to it... I have a lot of ARCs and review copies of books I want to work on getting finished before May.

So there you have it... April is a themeless month for RhiReading. Instead, I'm going to be playing catch-up with the ones I haven't finished and need to catch up on. Expect a hodgepodge of reading this month!
-- Rhi


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