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


4.29.2012

Review: The Darkest Seduction by Gena Showalter

The Darkest Seduction (Lords of the Underworld #9) by Gena Showalter
Paranormal Romance, Mythology, Demons, Angels
Mass Market Paperback $7.99 (504 pages, HQN)
Ebook $6.99

At long last, New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter unveils the story of Paris, the darkest and most tormented Lord of the Underworld….
Possessed by the demon of Promiscuity, immortal warrior Paris is irresistibly seductive—but his potent allure comes at a terrible price. Every night he must bed someone new, or weaken and die. And the woman he craves above all others is the one woman he'd thought was forever beyond his reach…until now.
Newly possessed by the demon of Wrath, Sienna Blackstone is racked by a ruthless need to punish those around her. Yet in Paris's arms, the vulnerable beauty finds soul-searing passion and incredible peace. Until a blood feud between ancient enemies heats up.
Will the battle against gods, angels and creatures of the night bind them eternally—or tear them apart?

Author Site: genashowalter.com

Heavily climactic but unimpressivelly so... (3 stars)

I'm sure I wasn't the only Lords of the Underworld fan who was anticipating Paris' happily-ever-after with much frustration for several books now. Every Lord's demon gives him some trouble finding the right woman but Paris definitely had it worse than most. So when he found Sienna I was really excited until Showalter pulled the rug out on that and gave us all something to mull over for several more novels.

Admittedly, I skipped THE DARKEST SURRENDER after reading several reviews, so when I came into THE DARKEST SEDUCTION I was expecting to feel considerably more lost. Showalter always does a great job of slipping in enough details your memory gets refreshed if it's been a while since you read the last one or are jumping in after a few skipped books. There's a LOT going on in this book, not just for Sienna and Paris, but the Lords and the angels and the gods and the Hunters. Yeah, let me just say there's a slight over-abundance of stuff happening. I would usually not complain but the romance actually felt secondary in the grand scope.

I was thrilled to see Paris and Sienna together again but if you're a reader of my reviews you know I dislike when the love scenes get gratuitous. A lot of the time the ones here felt both gratuitous in spite of Paris' demon, not to mention cheesily silly. Many felt like filler that just didn't need to actually be written out for the sake of story. I'd even go so far as to say I felt strangely detached from the couple after a certain point because they seemed to lack any chemistry outside of sexual desire for one another. I'd have liked to feel like they'd have more in common than demons and sexy times, it just didn't feel romantic enough.

The overall story arc of the series hits a major climax which was a relief but left me disatisfied as far as where it can go from here with other Lords still lacking a HEA, the introduction of several new characters, and that there's a spin-off series now. Call it an overload or an underload, it's definitely a little of both. I'm honestly not sure I'm going to keep going with the Lords and I'm iffy on the Angels of the Dark series. After reading THE DARKEST SEDUCTION I'm just really neutral on this particular mythology holding my interest longer than it has. I love Showalter's writing, I'm just not smitten with this world and the characters as a collective enough after this book. Worth reading if you're a die-hard fan, a good one if you've been wanting to see Paris' HEA, not one to linger over if you're hoping for something to spark fresh interest in the series.



Other Reviews:
Dear Author
Bitten by Paranormal Romance
Supernatural Snark
Yummy Men and Kick Ass Chicks

Notes: Purchased by me.

Upcoming titles from Showalter you should check out:

4.28.2012

Review: Chosen Ones by Tiffany Truit

Chosen Ones (Lost Souls #1) by Tiffany Truit
Young Adult, Dystopian, Romance
Paperback $9.99 (400 pages, ENTANGLED)
Release Date: June 12th, 2012
Life is bleak but uncomplicated for sixteen-year-old Tess, living in a not-too-distant future where the government, faced with humanity's extinction, created the Chosen Ones, artificial beings who are extraordinarily beautiful, unbelievably strong, and unabashedly deadly.
When Tess begins work at Templeton, a Chosen Ones training facility, she meets James, and the attraction is immediate in its intensity, overwhelming in its danger. But there is more to Templeton than Tess ever knew. Can she stand against her oppressors, even if it means giving up the only happiness in her life?

Author Site: tiffanytruitt.wordpress.com

Frustrating Flaws Flatten this Debut (4 stars)

At sixteen-years-old Tess has seen her father taken away, watched her mother lose all desire for anything but alcohol, and her sister die for love. In a world where women can no longer bring forth children science has found a way to create the ultimate breed of warrior, the Chosen Ones. Now children are no longer born, they're grown in labs to protect what's left of the human race, but from whom? Are the naturals their own worst enemy? The eldest daughter of each family must spend three years serving at the academies where the Chosen Ones are grown and trained and with her sister dead Tess must take her place.

At Templeton the secrets of the CHOSEN ONES begin to catch Tess' attention even as she tries not to draw theirs. Could the boys created to save the human race have a darker purpose? What happens when men are given the power to play God? Can Tess survive the secrets that have sent so many to their death?

A thin thread of romance gives this dystopian debut something to keep readers going through an adventure into a futuristic world that's peppered with angst. When love and marriage no longer produce the next generation what good are they? When your government plays God how much control will they take? There's some serious meat to the plot and world building of Chosen Ones that fans of the genre will be sure to enjoy.

While not unlikable, CHOSEN ONES, does suffer from some flaws that made it a difficult read. Dystopian world building requires a lot of questioning details and frequently I found it unraveled into territories where it wasn't making sense. Like DELIRIUM, which I found I was unable to suspend disbelief on enough to like, there's a lot of telling the reader how the government is in control but very little showing. What little does get shown only stirs up more questions as to how they've reached the point they are in control. Then, tossed into the mix seemingly haphazardly, is the fact that the Chosen Ones are each possessed of essentially supernatural abilities. For the sake of spoiler-avoidance I won't share but in a world where the natural born people live like prisoners or peasants why aren't the Chosen Ones growing food or building proper housing?

What made it enjoyable for me was James. I don't want to expound too much but sometimes I connect better with the 'hero' of a romantic story and he was definitely one of those. Tess can be a bit bratty and even a little selfish, but their growing relationship makes for some really interesting growth for them both.

Overall, it's actually a pretty enjoyable story, I'll definitely be reading the sequels. Lots of moral dilemnas, a decent dystopian plot, but (and I do feel guilty saying this) I feel it would have benefited from stronger editing. If you liked Lauren Olivier's DELIRIUM I think you'll love CHOSEN ONES. They had similar complications for me as a reader and I was in the minority in my disliking of it. Hate love triangles? They seem to be in every young adult romantic novel these days and without that complication, this is the perfect YA romance for you.



Other Reviews:
Diana at Nightly Reading
Donna/Book Passion for Life

Notes: ARC received via publisher.

Check this book out if you liked:

4.26.2012

Review: Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
Young Adult, Dystopian
Hardcover $17.99 (336 pages, GREENWILLOW BOOKS)
Ebook $9.99
Everything is in ruins.
A devastating plague has decimated the population, and those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles around them.
So what does Araby Worth have to live for?
Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery makeup . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.
But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club, and Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.
And Araby may find not just something to live for, but something to fight for—no matter what it costs her.
Author Site: bethanygriffin.com



Twisted, Dark, and Quite Enjoyable (4 stars)

A city savaged by disease and the ruler who would control the populace through the ability to prevent it. Scientists and soldiers bought through intimidation. Young people with no hope for a future luxuriating in the glamour of the Debauchery Club. Araby Worth watches her world crumbling through a haze of unknown drugs and glittery eye-makeup, attempting to uphold a vow she made when her twin brother died. Because Finn will never experience love or adventure, Araby vows she will never know the same.

In the club she's confronted with the mysterious and handsome Will, a boy from the lower city with something to fight for. Then there's Elliot, the beautiful and dangerous aristocrat who needs her aid. It's only natural the two should inspire unwanted feelings in her but the secrets they keep could be fatal. Insanity and despair reign as Araby struggles to find a reason to live, something worth fighting for.

It's been so long since I read Poe's original short story I can honestly say I don't remember it. But as with his work there is always a hint of dark desperation, Griffin's MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH is dark and depressing in all the right ways. The city itself is a living thing, a body in the throws of death, shuddering and shaking with fear. Plague ravaged and oppressed by their 'prince' the people have nothing to hope for, nothing to live for. There is only agony and death. It is that one flaw that does make it a little difficult not to pick apart. If you can get past the kind of questions that unravel the world building you'll find a story that's enjoyable in it's twistedness.

Araby is a little tough to like. She's very... self-absorbed. Emotionally she seems a bit stunted. It lends itself well to the story but does make her hard to connect with. What little she does seem to feel, such as her attraction to Will, she fights with her 'vow'. The vow itself is pretty stupid, the sort a child makes and at her age you'd think would have been given up on. Her trips to the Debauchery Club lack any actual debauchery. But she isn't without likable qualities too. She sets out to do what she thinks is the right thing early on and doesn't become vengeful when others would have.

On the whole it was Elliot and Will I actually enjoyed more than Araby. The contrast in the two, how they were choosing to work given the circumstances made them immensely more interesting to me, and it was obvious why Araby was drawn to them. The story ends not quite on a cliff-hanger but in such a way I was left with too many questions for my taste. I would definitely read a sequel just to see where Griffin plans to take this world and the characters she placed into it. I enjoyed it and think those who like twisted, dark, futuristic, somewhat neo-victorian dystopians will find it a worthy read.




Other Reviews:
All Things Urban Fantasy
Tynga's Reviews
Krystle Yanagihara
SpadesHighReads

Notes: ARC received via Amazon Vine.

Check this book out if you liked:

4.25.2012

Review: Wanted: Undead or Alive by Kerrelyn Sparks

Wanted: Undead or Alive (Love at Stake #12) by Kerrelyn Sparks
Paranormal Romance, Vampires, Werewolves
Mass Market Paperback $7.99 (384 pages, AVON)
Ebook $4.99
He's a vampire from the big city . . .
Phineas McKinney thought New York City was tough, until he was attacked by Malcontents—evil vampires who consider mortals to be snacks. Saved by the good vampires, Phin swore to devote his now undead life to stopping the Malcontents. He's got his job cut out for him when word comes that their enemy may be hiding in Wyoming. What does a city boy like him know about horses and campfires? Good thing he's got Brynley Jones with him . . . if only she didn't hate every vampire on earth.
She's a werewolf princess . . .
Bryn believes vampires are seductive and charming, and that makes them dangerous. So she's more than a little annoyed about teaming up with Phin, even if he is the only bloodsucker able to make her inner wolf purr. But as they hunt down the new leader of the Malcontents, danger threatens . . . and Phineas and Brynley discover a passion that will rock the foundation of their supernatural world.

Author Site: kerrelynsparks.com

The Cheese Is Thick With This One (1 star)

The thing I love about paranormal romance series is that you can almost always jump in at any book and enjoy the story. Then if you like it you can read the back-list. This is usually very true for 'light' paranormal titles known for their hilarious dialog and tongue-in-cheek situations. Unfortunately, I haven't had much luck with this of late. Along with another similar series I attempted the 'just jump in and enjoy' theory, WANTED: UNDEAD OR ALIVE, managed to completely turn me off to an entire series.

Call me curmudgeonly for saying so but WANTED: UNDEAD OR ALIVE was so cheesey it choked me. I only made it about 70 pages before I had to give up. The bad vamps versus good vamps plotline seemed like it would be great and just as I was starting to get interested in the heroine I realized I couldn't stand the hero. I'm usually a big fan of the slutty, lady's-man types getting their romance match but Phin was... squicky. The way he treated Tiffany (is that her name? I can't even remember now), his Blardonnay co-star rubbed me the wrong way. I hate it when men treat women like bimbos—whether they are or NOT—and lost all respect for him quick.

I spent a couple of weeks trying to get into this one before I finally caved to the advice of my Goodreads friends. Sometimes you just have to give up on a book because you're not enjoying it enough to finish it. That said, based on what I did read I'm pretty sure readers who already love the series will find this one especially great. It just was not for me, I found little things a bit offensive about it and would rather read lighter paranormals that don't rub me the wrong way.



Other Reviews:
Scooper Speaks
Bitten by Paranormal Romance
Melindeeloo
I Smell Sheep
All Things Urban Fantasy

Notes: ARC received via Amazon Vine.

Check this book out if you liked:

4.23.2012

What's new guys? I've been around but...

Blah blogger is blah. :P

Ugh, I hate this. I'm totally going through something in my private life that I can't really share and yet don't have anyone in the private life I can quite lay it on either. It's been a few years since I've felt like I was at a brick wall with something as important to me as my blog is. But I keep finding myself making up excuses to do anything BUT write for the blog. I know it's natural and lots of bloggers go through it, especially on one-reviewer blogs like mine. Doesn't make me feel any less cruddy that I'm not writing more than one post a week.

I wouldn't call it writer's block so much as a full-on mental resistance to anything social. When you feel overwhelmed and unhappy about serious stuff it can be tough wanting to write about the fun stuff or force tweets or focus on reviewing. On top of it I actually have been VERY busy all month preparing for a friend's wedding next month. You'd never guess how much preparation goes into a 10-day trip with kids until you have them. lol Making sure I have everything planned in advance from their fancy clothes and enough stuff to keep them entertained in a kid-free house to the dog's kennel reservations and stuff is seriously draining my mojo. Plus I hate traveling in general. I have a seriously embarrassing fear of being in vehicles as it is. Then go through 2 HUGE metropolitan areas, 4 dangerous mountain passes, and at least a 12 hour trip... OMG I'm giving myself hives.

So uhm yeah, that's kind of why I'm being a suck blogger right now. I don't mean to be, just feeling intensely quiet, and hard-core broody. Which is hot in paranormal heroes and so not hot in book bloggers. I did go out and finally get my nose pierced two weeks ago though. I have a really awful nose (thanks to my brother for breaking it when I was 12) so it's kind of like hanging a chandelier in an outhouse but I like it! :) Scratch another thing off the list of things I've wanted forever but never gotten around to doing.
I am reading believe it or not. Working hard on The Darkest Seduction right now. I think it'll be my last LOTU book though. I skipped the one before it and am actually only reading it for the Mythological Romance reading challenge. The series has just hit this point where it feels so... ridiculous. There's no other word for it. I adore Gena, she cracks me up and is sweet as punch. I'm just not loving the series. I find characters to love and then get frustrated when nothing goes on with them for so many books. There are just too many of them I think. I also started up The Taken: Celestial Blues 'cause I've been really looking forward to it. So far it's alright but I'm only about 30 pages in so I don't have enough to go on. I just know the Grif on the cover is in one of those retro man outfits that is so hawt it should be illegal. Alas, I tend to find a lot of old mens' fashions far sexier than what they wear these days. What do you think? Foxy, no?

I was so busy over the weekend I completely forgot about my weekend reading post. We were out of town for the day and then we had a night out on the town Saturday and next thing I knew it was tonight. lol So anwyho, I really am around just feeling really lurky and not very chatty. Hoping once this private life stuff gets smoothed over in the next month or so I'll come out of it full of energy and enthusiasm for y'all. In the meantime I'll try my best but no promises I'm gonna be an awesome blogger in the next month or so. -- Rhi

4.17.2012

Review: Summoning the Night by Jenn Bennett

Summoning the Night (Arcadia Bell #2) by Jenn Bennett
Urban Fantasy, Demons, Magic
Mass Market Paperback $7.99 (336 pages, POCKET)
FORMAT $7.99

Release Date: April 24th, 2012
MAGICAL TRICKS. DEMONIC TREATS.
After narrowly escaping her fate as a sacrificial scapegoat, Arcadia Bell is back to normal. Or at least as ordinary as life can be for a renegade magician and owner of a tiki bar that caters to Earthbound demons. She's gearing up for the busiest day of the year--Halloween--when a vengeful kidnapper paralyzes the community. The influential head of the local Hellfire Club taps Cady to track down the fiendish bogeyman, and now that she's dating red-hot Lon Butler, the Club's wayward son, she can hardly say no.
Cady and Lon untangle a gruesome thirty-year trail of clues that points to danger for the club members' children. But locating the person behind the terror will require some metaphysical help from Cady's loyal bar patrons as well as her potent new Moonchild powers--and she'd better figure it out before the final victim disappears and her own darkest secret becomes her biggest enemy.

Author Site: jennbennett.net

Yes! Yes! Yes! There are no other words for this one... (5 stars)

Arcadia Bell's parents won't be winning any parent-of-the-year awards after everything they've put her through but what doesn't kill you makes you stronger certainly applies. Now it's back to business as usual for the bar owner. With Halloween, a notoriously big holiday for obvious reasons, around the corner it's limited edition tiki mugs and her growing relationship with Lon Butler. But when a kidnapper with some very specific targets starts nabbing kids in the area she's get pulled into it one way or another.

With little to go on than decades old clues and suspicions as to why the kids are targeted Cady and Lon will need every ally and favor they can call on to locate the children. With the days whipping by and the trail growing ever more perilous it's a race against the clock to keep the kidnapper from the final target.

I'm having to bite my tongue! When a book is this good it's hard to hold back the spoiler train. Suffice it to say that Bennett is not suffering the sophomore slump. If anything, SUMMONING THE NIGHT, exceeds it's predecessor in all but one area. I didn't find this one quite as steamy between Lon and Cady but that's in no way a bad thing, it would not have been organic to the story for them to be getting frisky. Where it lacks the smexy it grows in heart. As a mom I kind of adore Jupe and want to ground him at the same time. His unconditional love for Cady—who is trying to work out how their relationship with her being his dad's girlfriend should work—is really sweet. In a way I kind of think it's their relationship that gives this series it's true strength and brings a freshness to the genre.

It's not easy to surprise me as a reader. I read too much and tend to pick up the subtleties and hints of where the plot is going long before it happens. SUMMONING THE NIGHT kept me guessing throughout most of it. I definitely did not see the climax coming the way it did and was left grinning and cheering that I was surprised. I can hardly stand the wait for the next Cady book!

If you haven't started reading this series yet I can assure you with no doubts in my mind this is one of the all-around BEST Urban Fantasy series you can pick up. From the characters and world building to the dialog and pacing I can think of only a couple of others I would immediately recommend to new-comers to the genre as a great introduction. If you loved KINDLING THE MOON this is a must read, don't miss it!




Other Reviews:
Did you review this book? Leave your link in the comments!
Notes: ARC received via author.

Check this book out if you liked:

4.13.2012

Weekend Reading [04/13-04/15] :: Reading ADD and RT Sad


I wanted it to be the weekend. Now it's here and DO NOT WANT! So behind on everything. Literally every darned thing. Reviews. Laundry. Paperwork. Reading. The only thing I've managed to do this week is buy shoes. I've bought more shoes in the past week than I've bought in the past three years. I hate shoes. But I neeeeeed a pair for the wedding we're going to next month and it's been years since I walked in heels. Did I mention I got addicted to a game on my iPad called DrawSomething? ZOMG it's crack for people who are good at drawing stick figures to articulate their extravagent vocab. hehe!

All the authors seem to be away at RT this weekend. I have to admit I'd love to go but WAY out of my budget. Who would you love to meet up with if you—like me—didn't get to go?

I'm in a bit of a... yeah... we'll just call it what it is... book ADD rut. If it's new and shiny I want to read it and if I started it yesterday I don't want to read it anymore. *facepalm* I suck. I did speed my way through the House of Night: Legacy graphic novel the other night hoping breaking up my reading would help. Still not out of the rut. I could have sworn Chosen Ones was supposed to come out this week so I was speeding through it and then checked the link and found it's June. Damn. So I'm frustrated and can't seem to fight this plague of book semi-boredom (not the books just having a tough time staying interested period) right now. Anyone else been experiencing that at all? I've begun to wonder if it's just a phase or if the massive availability of new books I'm wanting is making it happen. Did that make any sense? lol

Well anyways, let me know what y'all are reading. I'm gonna go play me some SWTOR and then read a little before hopefully getting a really gooood night's sleep for a change. *fingers crossed* -- Rhi

4.11.2012

Review: Pack and Coven by Jody Wallace

Pack and Coven by Jody Wallace
Paranormal Romance, Witches, Werewolves
Ebook $5.99 (CARINA PRESS)
Audiobook $24.95

Harry Smith is a lone wolf, and he likes it that way. When he's targeted to be co-alpha of the local pack, there is only one thing he can do to maintain his freedom: flee. But it'll take a miracle to stay a step ahead of shifters in their own territory. June Travis has been in love with Harry for years, but he doesn't know her real identity. He sees her as the sweet owner of the local tearoom—the facade June presents to humans and werewolves to keep them from finding out she's a witch. She may not be able to offer Harry a miracle, but she can help him escape. Harry is drawn to this new side of June, and not just because he's grateful for her help. With her magic temporarily hiding Harry from his pursuers, the witch and the wolf explore their mutual attraction. But there are consequences for witches who bed down with wolves... (81,000 words)
Author Site: jodywallace.com

Original Take on Shapeshifters! (4 stars)

Werewolf politics are so complicated it's no wonder Harry Smith wants nothing to do with being part of a pack. But when the local pack loses their Alpha male and he becomes the most sought after man in the area it'll take something magical to get out of being forced into the job. Enter June, one smokin' hot young woman who offers him her help. But what Harry doesn't know is that June's much closer to him than he realizes. Under a special spell she's been running the local tearoom and been his elderly friend for years, secretly in love with him.

As the two scramble about trying to avoid the shifters hot on his trail her magic can only do so much. There's much more between this witch and wolf than a mutual attraction and should they give in to their desires June will have to pay the consequences because their respective kinds are not supposed to mix.

PACK AND COVEN is definitely an unconventional romance even by paranormal standards. A lone wolf who hangs out with a group of old ladies instead of a pack? A little old lady who's actually a sexy young witch? Oh yeah, it starts with some pretty crazy plot points. But that's what makes it really good. It's different! It isn't often I buy a hero and heroine combo so easily but the set-up that they were already well known to one another made it an easier sell than usual. June's frequent chiding him for using bad language kept cracking me up and Harry's non-chalance about being best-buds with a group of grannies was eccentric but cute.

The actual plot of Harry and June hiding out from the local pack did run in circles (literally) a bit too much for me which did slow the story down at times to my annoyance but otherwise this is a fairly quick and original read. The big reveal about why witches aren't supposed to have sex with werewolves was a great twist and is one of the main reasons I would highly recommend this one to werewolf and shapeshifter fans in need of a palate cleanser between darker stories.

PACK AND COVEN is another enjoyable quick-read from Carina Press and has all the steamy love scenes, LOL-moments, and nail-biting suspense-filled pages a big-time paranormal romance fan could ask for.



Other Reviews:
Did you review this book? Leave your link in the comments!

Notes: ARC received via NetGalley.

Check this book out if you liked:

4.10.2012

Review: Busted in Bollywood by Nicola Marsh

Busted in Bollywood by Nicola Marsh
Contemporary Romance, Chick-Lit
Paperback $14.99 (352 pages, ENTANGLED PUBLISHING)
Ebook $5.99

Shari Jones needs to get a life. Preferably someone else’s. Single, homeless and jobless, Indo-American Shari agrees to her best friend’s whacky scheme: travel to Mumbai, pose as Amrita, and ditch the fiancĂ© her traditional Indian parents have chosen. Simple. Until she’s mistaken for a famous Bollywood actress, stalked by a Lone Ranger wannabe, courted by an English lord, and busted by the blackmailing fiancĂ©. Life is less complicated in New York. Or so she thinks, until the entourage of crazies follows her to the Big Apple and that’s when the fun really begins. Shari deals with a blossoming romance, an addiction to Indian food and her first movie role, while secretly craving another trip to the mystical land responsible for sparking her new lease on life. Returning to her Indian birthplace, she has an epiphany. Maybe the happily-ever-after of her dreams isn’t so far away?
Author Site: nicolamarsh.com

Too Drawn-Out for my Tastes (3 stars)

Shari Jones hasn't had much luck in the love department and it's wreaked havoc on her life thanks to the affair she was having with her boss. Broke, jobless, and squating on her BFF's couch she's one heck of a pity-party worthy mess. When her BFF, Amrita, gives her a chance to pay her back and help them both in the process Shari is more than a little unsure. Posing as Amrita while visiting the man she's been arranged to marry—while sabotaging the engagement—has it's plan flaws but it could be the chance at an adventure she'd be a fool to skip.

But as Indo-American Shari reconnects with the land of her birth and attempts to fool the family Amrita is supposed to marry into the adventure gets crazy. A case of mistaken identity, getting busted, and possibly falling in love with an English lord is no everyday occurance in this New Yorker's life.

I wanted to like BUSTED IN BOLLYWOOD. I really did! I have always loved the drama and colorful fashion of Bollywood culture but something was just missing. It read a bit like a never-ending episode of Sex and the City, and not in a good way. Shari is a bit of an idiot at the start so I'd hoped she'd get her life together but she felt only the tiniest bit less shallow and foolish at the book's end. I personally just can't stand shallow characters without some secret depth. The entire book from start to finish had a very jerky pacing and while the love scenes were steamy and the humor (mostly provided by Amrita's aunt) amusing it just couldn't redeem the novel for me.

Keeping in mind I'm not a big reader of contemporary romances (I prefer paranormals) this one just didn't win me over. The pacing definitely made it a difficult read for me and I was surprised how little of the book centered on the action in India before moving back to NYC. If you're in the mood for something a bit outlandish and silly with a heroine you might want to smack some sense into and a splash of Indian flavor you might really love it.




Other Reviews:
Did you review this book? Leave your link in the comments!

Notes: Review copy received via NetGalley.

Laura Kaye’s WEST OF WANT Preview & Prizes Event!


Happy WEST OF WANT Preview & Prizes Event, everyone! Today, April 10, was the original release date for Book 2 in my Hearts of the Anemoi series, West of Want. And then some really cool things happened: my publisher, Entangled Publishing, signed a huge deal with the nation’s biggest book distributor, which means for the first time ever, my books will be shelved in brick-and-mortar bookstores. And then, West of Want received a very nice pre-sales estimate by the booksellers and Barnes and Nobles bought it for all their stores nationwide (and it got bought for airports, too—squee!). The only bad news in this whole scenario was this: the release date got pushed back, by three LONG months! LOL So, I thought I’d celebrate the original release date with a preview of the book and a big contest, and give you a small taste to whet your appetite until the actual release date arrives.

"Laura Kaye’s captivating writing and vibrant world-building will have readers hooked on the gods of the Anemoi. WEST OF WANT is steamy, spellbinding, and a must-read for all romance fantasy fans."
~Elisabeth Naughton, author of the Eternal Guardians series

Forty sites are celebrating with me today, and there are different posts at those different sites. To see the whole list of participants, click here. Now, without further ado, here’s the book blurb and one of four different never-before-seen excerpts from the book available for you to enjoy:


WEST OF WANT BLURB:

Betrayal is all he's ever known, but in her, he'll find a love strong enough to be trusted...

When Marcella Raines' twin brother dies, she honors his request to be buried at sea, never expecting the violent storm that swamps her boat. Though she's gravely injured--and still emotionally damaged from her recent divorce--Ella fights to survive.

Zephyros Martius is the Supreme God of the West Wind and Spring, but being the strongest Anemoi hasn't protected him from betrayal and loss. Worse, he's sure his brother Eurus is behind it. When Zeph's heartbreak whips up a storm that shipwrecks a human, his guilt forces him to save her.

Ella is drawn to the vulnerability Zeph hides beneath his otherworldly masculinity and ancient blue eyes. And her honesty, empathy, and unique, calming influence leave Zeph wanting...everything. When Eurus threatens Ella, she and Zeph struggle to let go of the past, defend their future, and embrace what they most want--a love that can be trusted.


WEST OF WANT EXCERPT:



Zeph’s arms gripped her tighter, yanking her fully against him. The rigid line of his erection pressed into her belly. “You don’t understand how much you intrigue me.” His head dropped so his lips caressed her ear. “You don’t understand how much you attract me. You’re in my head. All the time. You make my heart beat faster, my body ache with want.” He kissed the shell of her ear and moved sinuously against her.

Her body came alive, tightening, opening, preparing. Ella gasped as he nipped and licked down her neck.

Then he growled. “What is this?” He tugged at the fleece collar around her neck.

“What?” she asked, trying and failing to keep up through the haze of lust.

“This…is this a man’s shirt?”

Ella looked down. “Oh, yeah.”

“I cannot abide it.” His mouth dropped open and the dark blue of his eyes flared. “Please,” he rasped.

Ella frowned. “I don’t understand,” she said, but she stepped back enough to pull the fleece over her head. She tossed it to the futon. “It was just my br—”

Zeph’s mouth crushed to hers. His big hands buried in her hair. He pursued her, devoured her. His passion overwhelmed and overpowered. She stumbled back a half step here and there, until her shoulders hit the hallway wall.

Male spice filled her nose and tantalized her taste buds. Jesus, she couldn’t get enough of him. She met him kiss for kiss, stroke for stroke. She sucked his tongue until he groaned deep in his throat, and then she did it again.

He grabbed her hands in one of his and braced them over her head, against the wall. He pulled away from the kiss, but kept their faces pressed together. They were both panting, chests heaving, their clothing wet everywhere they touched. He stroked her face, her neck. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean…I…” He pressed his lips to her cheek. “I couldn’t stand seeing another man’s belongings on you.”

Pre-order West of Want on Amazon | B&N

So, what d’ya think? Want more Zephyros and Ella? Visit more participating sites to read all the excerpts, meet the characters, see the the West of Want romance trading cards, and enter to win! Thanks for reading! July 10 can’t get here soon enough for me! *grins*

~Laura Kaye

“Using ancient winter mythology as an allegory for grief, Kaye has written a sexy story that packs a powerful emotional punch. NORTH OF NEED is pure winter magic and Kaye’s sparkling talent warms the heart.”
~Stephanie Draven, author of the Mythica series about
multi-award-winning Book 1 in the Anemoi series, North of Need


WEST OF WANT PREVIEW CONTEST!
Event-Wide:
Seven participants who enter through the Rafflecopter form will win gift cards from winners’ choice of Amazon or B&N valued between $15 and $100! Those prize winners will be announced on West of Want’s release day, July 10, 2012. Want the best chance of winning big? Pre-order the print West of Want through Amazon or B&N and enter your order confirmation number on the appropriate Rafflecopter line. Pre-orders are hugely important for an author because they determine how many books bookstores will actually stock and they count toward an author’s first-week sales which is when most authors have their best chance to hit the big bestseller lists. Pre-orders/purchases are not required to enter. Open to international.


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Site-Specific Contest:
One commenter from each participating blog site will win a West of Want bookmark and the romance trading cards for North of Need and West of Want. Simply be a RhiReading Follower via Google Friend Connect and leave a comment to enter to win (be sure to leave your email address). These prizes will be announced soon after May 10. Open to international.



About Laura Kaye:
Voted Breakout Author of the Year in the 2011 GraveTells Readers’ Choice Awards, Laura is a bestselling and award-winning author paranormal and contemporary romance. Hearts in Darkness is the EPIC eBook Award Winner for Best Novella, Forever Freed won the NJRW Golden Leaf Award for Best Paranormal of 2011, and North of Need, the first book in the Hearts of the Anemoi series, was named GraveTells’ Best Book of 2011 and won their 5-STAR Gold Heart Award, and won Sizzling Hot Read of the Year at Sizzling Hot Books. Laura lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

4.09.2012

Review: A Touch of Greek by Tina Folsom

A Touch of Greek (Out of Olympus #1) by Tina Folsom
Paranormal Romance, Mythology
Paperback $9.49 (230 pages)
Ebook $4.99

Romantic Comedy about Greek Gods
Selfish and gorgeous Greek God Triton is cast out of Olympus after seducing Zeus' mistress and can only gain reentry if he finds a woman who loves him for his kindness and selflessness, not his beauty. When the mortal Sophia - recovering from an eye operation and virtually blind - needs a home healthcare worker, he takes on the role, hoping she will be his ticket home. While defending Sophia from an unknown adversary, Triton's protective instinct emerges. At the same time rival Gods do everything to doom him to failure. And even if Triton can win Sophia's love, will he throw it away to return home, or will he lose his own heart to the only woman who truly sees him?
A Touch of Greek is the first book in the humorous paranormal romance series Out of Olympus following the romantic adventures of four Gods: Triton, Dionysus, Eros, and Hermes.
Author Site: tinawritesromance.com

A Fresh, Funny Twist of Myth and Romance (4 stars)

No one ever accused the Greek pantheon of being full of humble, selfless dieties... but Triton is certainly one of the worst in this regard. Seducing women, be they free for his favors or the wives of other Gods, and stroking his own ego through it is his favorite pastime. But getting busy with the wrong God's mistress will land him in some hot water he's not likely to get out of. Through the machinations of his fellow Gods, Triton finds himself stripped of his powers and banished to Earth until he can get a mortal woman to fall in love with him for his selflessness and not his good looks. Easier said than done since he's ridiculously handsome.

When a failed attempt to woo Sophia leaves him with something to prove he sets out to win her only to discover an accident has left her nearly blind. With her greedy cousin attempting to weasel his way at the family fortune she's trying to use wisely in opening a bed and breakfast and no sight to work with what she needs is a home healthcare worker. Using this as his chance to get in her good graces Triton sets out to win her heart but Sophia's heart isn't the only one softening.

I hate comparing self published works with those who've gone the traditional route but when they're good you can't help but want to praise them for it. Folsom has done a brilliant job with this first entry in her Out of Olympus series. I love mythologies getting fresh fictional treatment and A TOUCH OF GREEK is a really fun one. Nice little bits of humor and highly steamy love scenes are sure to win fans. Personally, I found Triton really unlikable even after his 'transformation' from egomaniac to nice guy.

While it's a light paranormal romance and not unenjoyable I do have to point out that there were a few things I found lacked an organic feel. I don't want to share spoilers but one thing in particular had me going 'seriously?!?' and wondering if I was the only reader who had to reread the page multiple times to see if I missed something. I tend to get that when it feels like the author forced the conflict resolution instead of letting it happen in a more natural (and potentionally drawn-out) fashion. It wasn't a book killer, it just bothered me as a reader.

Overall, I think A TOUCH OF GREEK was funny, fresh and ultimately a really enjoyable romance in spite of it's flaws. Folsom's writing is terrific and I'm excited to dive into the other titles of hers I've picked up. If you're in the mood for some fun within the Greek pantheon and a light romance this is an excellent choice!




Other Reviews:
Reading Between the Wines Book Club

Notes: Purchased by me. Read for the Mythological Romance Reading Challenge.

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4.03.2012

Review: Blood on the Bayou by Stacey Jay

Blood on the Bayou (Annabelle Lee #2) by Stacey Jay
Urban Fantasy, Fae
Mass Market Paperback $7.99(432 pages, POCKET STAR)
Ebook $7.99

First came a terrorist attack. Then the mutations—and Fey who had lived in harmony with humans turned deadly. Now, most people hide behind iron gates. But those who are immune—and those with enough courage—can venture into the Louisiana Delta . . . and a nightmare world of magic.
No good deed goes unpunished…
Annabelle Lee, a Fairy Containment and Control agent blessed—or cursed—with immunity to Fairy venom, is once again called upon to help solve a murder deep in the bayou. But this investigation is off the books and her ex-lover, Hitch, is leading the hunt for a secret chemical weapons lab and an FBI mole providing it with human lab rats.
Helping Hitch means certain interpersonal disaster with her estranged boyfriend, but Annabelle knows exactly what it feels like to be a lab rat. Her new, fairy-attack-induced paranormal powers seem to have few negative side effects, but would that change if she stopped injecting herself with the mystery drug delivered to her by the even more mysterious—not to mention ridiculously attractive—Tucker? A man who can turn invisible at will, and who makes no bones about how dead she’ll be if she reveals his secrets.
As the murder investigation progresses, Annabelle learns Tucker isn’t the only one with secrets, and that the only thing that cuts deeper than a friend’s deception, are the lies we tell ourselves.
Author Site: staceyjay.com

The Fearless Series Every UF Fan Should Read  (5 stars)

Being immune to Fairy venom should be awesome, but for Annabelle Lee it's really been a curse. Once again called to duty helping investigate a murder she winds up once more tangled in between the man she once loved and the one she's still trying to figure out. But Annabelle can barely take care of herself, or keep Gimpy, the cat she's unwittingly adopted, from getting into all sorts of dietary disasters let alone settle down. With her new-found powers and the mysterious Invisibles who've marked her as their own she's ass deep in alligators with no one to trust as she finds out they are the only ones hiding things.

Trying so hard not to give anything away with my sum-up there, sorry guys, this book was just too good to reveal more than the official blurb. I know there are a lot of readers who didn't like the first book because they found Annabelle's alcoholism and irresponsibility off-putting. But that is what makes her truly a character to love and root for in my opinion. She's just as flawed as ever this time around but now she's trying to do something about it. I rarely connect so personally to a character that I want to smack them upside the head like they're family and somehow Annabelle continues to be that pain-in-the-neck cousin (who doesn't have one of those?) I want to yell at. Of course, I mean that in the most good way possible because she gets me emotionally invested in her story!

And what a story it is! The plot gets so thick it's swamp water this time around. There's a whole lot more to what we learned about the fairy mutations that gets revealed and with it there's a lot to look forward to when the next installment comes out. The demi-love-triangle—I can't quite call it a true love triangle with the circumstances—gets a little more complicated with Tucker adding to the hottie-pool. I definitely wanted more Tucker and Jay delivers but good. If only we could all be as blessed as Annabelle and have three sexy dudes like Hitch, Cane, and Tucker vying for our affection!

The only part of the book I didn't like was that it had to end. The pace is fast, I usually struggle with books over the 350 page mark and BLOOD ON THE BAYOU managed to fly by for me. I really hope to see more from this series because it's strangely under-noticed considering how original it is. If you enjoyed Rachel Vincent's Shifters series, enjoy Stacia Kane's Downside Ghosts, or like Mercy Thompson this is on the same level and in my humble opinion a MUST-READ for anyone calling themselves an urban fantasy fan. This series has the gritty realism laced with dark humor that makes this my favorite genre and one of my favorite series, hands down.




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Notes: Purchased myself!

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