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


7.31.2012

Review: Skies of Fire by Zoe Archer

Skies of Fire (The Ether Chronicles #1) by Zoe Archer
Steampunk Romance
Mass Market Paperback $3.99 (224pages, AVON)
Ebook $1.99

Captain Christopher Redmond has just one weakness: the alluring spy who loved and left him years before . . . when he was still just a man. Now he's superhuman—a Man O' War, made as part of the British Navy's weapons program—and his responsibility is to protect the skies of Europe. If only he could forget Louisa Shaw. Louisa, a British Naval Intelligence agent, has never left a job undone. But when her assignment is compromised, the one man who can help her complete her mission is also the only man ever to tempt her body and heart. As burning skies loom and passion ignites, Louisa and Christopher must slip behind enemy lines if they are to deliver a devastating strike against their foe . . . and still get out alive.
Author Site: zoearcherbooks.com

A perfect balance of adventure and romance! (5 stars)

Captain Christopher Redmond was just a man when British Naval Intelligence agent, Louisa Shaw, left him years ago. Since then he has become a Man O' War, something more than human and tied to his ship in a way no other man can be. Protecting the skies of Europe is a duty he takes very seriously and when Louisa's mission gets compromised bringing their paths together again he'll suffer the constant reminder of their past for the sake of duty. But this is one mission that might cost the pair everything as they find themselves stuck behind enemy lines and the skies afire with the unresolved passion they once shared.

SKIES OF FIRE has a terrific set up. The steampunk elements Archer (and co-creator, Nico Rosso) has put together are sure to find fans. The story itself had some moments of drag where it felt like not much was happening but once the action picked up it was impossible to put this one down. SKIES OF FIRE is definitely for fans of the Meljean Brook's Iron Seas, a great wait filler between installments. If you liked Rhys and Mina (from The Iron Duke) you'll love Christopher and Louisa's ability to carry a steamy relationship along through one heck of a dangerous mission behind enemy lines.

I liked Christpher and Louisa from the get-go. Both are very no-nonsense in their respective duties and yet in private, manage to show amusing quirks that made them both very endearing. If you love a romance pairing where the hero is the brawn and the heroine is the brains without either actually being weak or unintelligent you will enjoy them immensely. They work well together and carry the action of this steampunk adventure well. Romances where the hero and heroine have a past can be problematic but in this case it actually gave it a richness that worked in its favor.

Highly recommended for steampunk romance readers looking for some serious spice and a solid adventure too.



Other Reviews:
Melindeeloo
Paranormal Haven
Red Hot Books

Notes: ARC received via publisher.

Check this book out if you liked:

7.30.2012

Meet Covet, Entangled Publishing's sin-sational new imprint!

Last week I introduced you to Brazen, Entangled Publishing's steamy contemporary romance category imprint and it sure turned the heat up. This week I'm sharing the category imprint I've been anticipating with a crazy amount of enthusiasm for obvious reasons. Meet Covet...


COVET: Contemporary romance with a paranormal twist.
Get ready to laugh, experience romance, and fall in love with this brand new take on paranormal books.

You guys know me. I find paranormals irresistable but I'm new to the whole category romance thing. But ladies (& gents), I am addicted. As a blogger who happens to be a full-time mom to both a toddler and an almost-teenager I am eternally sleep deprived, distracted, and generally frazzled. Sometimes I get to feeling blue because every time I try to read one of three things happens:

7.29.2012

Review: Queen of Swords by Katee Robert

Queen of Swords (Sanctify #2) by Katee Robert
SciFi Romance, Psychic, Aliens
Paperback $4.99 (400 pages, ENTANGLED SELECT)
Ebook $14.99

When the cards tell Ophelia Leoni she's supposed to marry the Prince of Hansarda, the gunrunner grits her teeth and boards the starship that comes for her. It doesn't matter if the ship's commander is the gorgeous stranger she just spent a wild, drunken night with. As a Diviner, she’s painfully aware the cards don't lie. Ever. Boone O’Keirna knows Ophelia is trouble the second he sees the way she moves. Not about to let the deadly little hellcat marry his sadistic half-brother, Boone pretends to be the Prince’s emissary and kidnaps Ophelia. Too bad they can’t be in the same room without him wanting to throw her out an airlock–or into bed. Even as they fight each other–and their explosive attraction–Ophelia and Boone sense something is wrong. Too much is going their way. Soon, they realize while the cards may never lie, the truth is sometimes hidden between them...and the future king of Hansarda is not one to take defeat lying down.
Author Site: kateerobert.com

If you enjoy love-hate tug o' wars in your romance... (4 stars)

If you read the blurb for QUEEN OF SWORDS you've got a good grasp of the plot and the hero and heroine of this fresh scifi romance from Katee Robert. She wastes no time in the set up before rocketing readers into an adventure that has plenty of snicker-worthy moments and action of both the gun-toting and steamy varieties.

I would be remiss if I didn't admit now that I didn't realize this was the second in the Sanctify series when I grabbed it. That said there's good news! It stands alone really well. Aside from wishing I'd had just a bit more background on Sanctify itself this was a pretty great story without the big info dumps one might expect in any scifi series with a world this big. As a big scifi romance geek I love alien races and Robert did an excellent job bringing in interesting secondary characters that were less human-like than the Diviner race which I found really satisfying.

The one thing that made me unable to love QUEEN OF SWORDS was the relationship between Ophelia and Boone. While I loved that they had that love-hate, headbutting kind of sexual tension that was all I found it to be. Lots of sexual chemistry (which is by no means bad), but I found that by the time they were both claiming to love each other I still couldn't buy it. Ophelia's strong willed and independant by nature rock and Boone's wounded but not broken personality were really enjoyable individually, I just wish I'd been able to feel their love connection forming.

While I might not have quite bought into their happily-ever-after love this was certainly a terrific scifi adventure romp with plenty of steamy love scenes, hardcore fight scenes that were utterly engrossing, and a cast of secondary characters I want to read more about. I would definitely recommend it to my fellow scifi loving readers who gag at overly mushy romances and skip ahead for read 'the good parts' (lol).



Other Reviews:
GraveTells
Wicked Little Pixie

Notes: ARC received via NetGalley.



Check this book out if you liked:

Whatcha Readin'? (& Super Secret Vamp Squad invite!)


Sorry guys, dropped the ball on the Weekend Reading post. The hubs was out of town the day before so when he got back home Friday morning we had stuff to do and then a going away party that  turned into a bar-hopping dramafest. (And people wonder why I'd rather read...)

I did get a lot of reading in yesterday though. I've been super excited for the launch of Entangled Publishing's paranormal category romance imprint, Covet, and last week the info went out to join the blog tours for each of the titles. Don't worry, I've got a post for tomorrow all about Covet so you'll know more about it as a whole then!

In the meantime I'm working on interviews for the tours but I'm frustrated because I hate asking the same boring questions that everyone else asks, yet don't want to be so crazy with them the authors fear being interviewed by me again. lol When you read interviews which questions interest you the most? Personally, I tend to like ones related to the author on a more person-to-person level. I find that I enjoy a book more when I feel like I get where the author might be coming from. I also love ones about the inspiration behind characters because I'm a nerd for great characters. :)

Now, while we're on the subject of the launch titles from Covet I have to let you in on a little secret. Candace Havens, author of Take It Like A Vamp, is having a Street Team event of her own that you want to be part of. Trust me on this one. It's easy to do and will be loads of fun! Head on over and join The Vamp Squad. We help her spread the word and get a chance at prizes! Win/win for everyone. Be sure and tell Pasha that Rhianna sent you.

On that note I better stop procrastinating and get on these interviews so that I can get on top of this book. ;) Make sure you leave me a comment letting me know what you've been reading this weekend and if you decided to join the Vamp Squad with me. -- Rhi

7.26.2012

Craving something smexy? Meet Brazen, Indulgence's naughty little sister...

Did I mention life's been crazy in my weekend reading post last Friday? Hmmm, yeah doesn't seem to be letting up. But I've been reading in what free time I can find and am trying to catch up on reviews. Ya know what the hardest part about being a book reviewer is? There are TOO MANY exciting books and only so much time to read. :(

Earlier this week I took the time to check up on Brazen,  the latest imprint from Entangled Publishing.

BRAZEN: the naughty little sister of our Indulgence line.
Brazen publishes steamy category romances that blend young, fresh voices, and explore the more seductive side of modern relationships.

While I can admit to not having been all that enticed by much of what has come out in the Indulgence line (with one BIG exception), Brazen's current two releases have been tormenting me all week. They've got just the right kind of teases in their blurbs and covers that smolder. Then there's the #HEROWARS challenge going on between Katee Robert and Gina L. Maxwell at the Brazen Facebook page. I've had to pick my jaw up off the floor more than once reading their answers.

Needless to say, these two books are looking so downright smexy I'm kicking myself for not asking to join the blog tours. Now I'm thisclose to buying them even though I have no idea when I'll find the time to devour them. Yes, I am weak and books are my drug or choice.

Check 'em out...

Seducing Cinderella by Gina L. Maxwell

Mixed martial arts fighter Reid Andrews’s chance to reclaim his title as light heavyweight champ is shattered when he’s injured only months before the rematch. To make sure he’s healed in time, his trainer sends him to recuperate under a professional’s care—Reid’s best friend’s little sister, all grown up.

Disorganized and bookish Lucie Miller needs some professional help of her own. She’d do anything to catch the eye of a doctor she’s crushed on for years, so when Reid offers seduction lessons in exchange for 24/7 conditioning for the biggest fight of his career, Lucie jumps at the chance.

Soon Reid finds himself in the fight of his life...winning Lucie's heart before she gives it to someone else.
Can we say HOT? I am fanning myself with the phone book after reading Gina's crumbs in the #HEROWARS... this one is sure to cause a few electricity bills to sky-rocket for the A/C you'll need to run.

Wrong Bed, Right Guy by Katee Robert
Prim and proper art gallery coordinator Elle Walser is no good at seducing men. Heck, she’s been throwing hints at her boss for months, but he’s completely clueless. Desperate to escape her mother’s matchmaking efforts, she comes up with a plan—buy some lingerie and climb into her boss’s bed. The plan goes brilliantly…until she accidentally seduces a sexy stranger instead.

Bad boy nightclub mogul Gabe Schultz just had the best almost-sex of his life. Too bad the smoking hot blonde thought he was his brother and bolted before he could finish what they started. Though her holier-than-thou attitude puts a serious damper his mood, Gabe’s never been one to give up on something he wants. And he wants Elle. But does a man who lives on the dark side really have a chance with a proper lady?
Oh corruption thy sweet name must be Gabe. I have a rotten weakness for naughty-boy, corrupts good-girl stories and being fresh off reading another of Katee's books I'm finding this one hard to resist.

Now that I've sufficiently caught your attention how would you like to enter an ereader giveaway from Brazen?


7.25.2012

Review: The Bewitching Tale of Stormy Gale by Christine Bell

The Bewitching Tale of Stormy Gale by Christine Bell
Steampunk, Time-Travel, Witches
Ebook $3.99 (108 pages, CARINA PRESS)
Audiobook $24.95

London, 1841 There I was, retired from time pirating, enjoying a full if somewhat conventional life as a wife and mother. Then a chance encounter with a stranger drew me back into a world I'd thought I'd left, quite literally, in the past. From his odd behavior and even odder answers to my questions, I knew Phineas Grubb was up to something. I should have trusted my instincts—before he pulled out a time-travel mechanism and dragged my brother, Bacon, back with him... Salem, 1698 The infamous Witch Trials may have ended a few years earlier, but the people of Salem are still pretty touchy about outsiders that appear in town as if by magic. Thanks to Grubb, my brother's been accused of witchcraft and thrown in jail. Now it's up to me and my husband, Dev, to save Bacon's bacon before the hysteria starts up again, and the course of history is altered forever... Sequel to The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale. 48,000 words
Author Site: christine-bell.com

Missed the romantic element, loved being back in this world! (4 stars)

One of my favorite reads last year was Christine Bell's THE TWISTED TALE OF STORMY GALE. In one short story she managed to create a luminous, exciting world of steampunk-ish time travel that was romantic and fun. The only part I disliked was that it had to end. Thank goodness she wrote a sequel!

Stormy's back, trying to be a respectable wife and mother, as much as her rather unconventional life can allow. But when she can't leave well enough alone she winds up stirring up a hornet's nest of time traveling trouble when her brother finds himself kidnapped by another time pirate. Following Bacon and his kidnapper lands Stormy and Dev smack dab in the middle of post-Witch Trials Salem. Can she and her beloved save her brother from a witch's fate?

Yep, she went there and it's just as funny as you can imagine. Stormy is just one of those characters that I can't imagine anyone not enjoying and getting to see she and Dev working together to rescue her brother was a treat. The villainous Grubb will have you rooting for his outwitting and newly introduced characters will expand the world even further. THE BEWITCHING TALE OF STORMY GALE manages to be a great follow-up and shouldn't be missed by folks who enjoyed the first.

It's hard not to spoil anything but it was a fast and fun read, had some unexpected turns, and ended in such a way I'm going to be really frustrated if there isn't another Stormy Gale adventure being written. I don't recommend it as a stand-alone so be sure you get them in the right order! This one is definitely not a romance in formula but I think fans who enjoyed the chemistry between Dev and Stormy will love seeing more of them together as husband and wife.



Other Reviews:
Did you read and review this book? Please leave a link to your review in the comments!

Notes: ARC received via NetGalley.

Check this book out if you liked:

7.20.2012

Weekend Reading [07/20-07/22] :: Superhero Love & Whatcha Readin'?



TGIF. Seriously. I just had the most rotten week in my personal life! You know it's a bad one when you can't read because your brain won't stop chewing on your personal drama. The good news is that I find some kind of solace in the simplicity of a new week beginning. But first, the weekend!

Today I've got a hot date with the hubs and some friends for a matinee of The Dark Knight Rises. I'm actually not all that excited about it the way I was for the last one. The hubs still teases me because I have a hard time watching Heath Ledger movies without getting sad over his untimely passing. Yeah, I'm the chick who was crying at the last Batman movie because of it. I appreciate great talent and we were the same age, I was a fan and it was tragic. Blah, blah. But I am really stoked to see Joseph Gordon-Levitt—hello, talent!—in this one.

Anyways, anyone else planning a theater visit this weekend? Do you guys love superhero stories as much as I do? I'm actually considering doing an event related to non-comic book superhero books next year. I'm noticing more and more cropping up. In fact, I just got my hands on a Carina Press ARC that I'm looking forward to reading, The Superheroes Union: Dynama by Ruth Diaz. Admittedly, this will be my first time reading a lesbian romance but orientation ain't no thing with me. I hope it will do well so Carina will buy more superhero romances! If I had any talent (or time for that matter) I think I'd try my hand at writing a superhero series because it's one genre you could do so much with.

This weekend I'm actually reading steampunk romance! Zoe Archer's Skies of Fire is pretty good so far. I'm really liking Christopher and Louisa, they have an enjoyable chemistry that is carrying the somewhat slow action. If I can get it finished (cross your fingers for me that I do) then I can finally curl up with one of my most anticipated reads this year—Lucid! I don't read a lot of indie novels (I seem to prefer small press of late) but highly encourage YA paranormal lovers to add this series to their wishlist. Nara and Ethan really climbed under my skin and made a home in my readerly heart. It's been such a difficult wait and I finally got my review copy just as I had taken on a few review requests so I have had to wait until I got them finished first.

And what are y'all reading this weekend? Good stuff I hope. Sometimes I read negative reviews of books I loved and still find myself appreciating why other readers didn't like it. Everyone has a few deal breakers right? On that note dear readers I am off to get ready to go to the movies where I shall nosh unreasonable amounts of popcorn and drink two sips of the soda that will inevitably ruin the middle of the movie for me with a pee-pee-dance. :P -- Rhi

7.13.2012

Guest Post: Author Brooke Moss | The Carny Book Tour & Giveaway!

Why The Northwest?
By Brooke Moss

Hi, Rhianna! I’m so excited to be guest posting here today. I’m a big fan of your blog, and I consider you an awesome cyber friend, so sharing my newest release, The Carny, with you and your readers is a total honor. Us inland/pacific northwest girls have to stick together…

Yup. You heard me right. Rhianna and I are from the same corner of the globe—generally speaking, that is. She is from what is called Big Sky Country—which is Montana, to the layman. And that’s also where my handsome and adorable nerdy husband was born and raised. He and I now live in eastern Washington, but also spent some time in western Washington (Seattle area…as well as northwestern Oregon, where The Carny is set.)

Rhianna asked me to blog about why I base my books in the northwestern part of our great country, and I was super psyched to explain. Because my neck of the woods is beautiful! In this part of the country, you can see mountains, plains, farms, cliffs, deserts, lakes, forests, and oceans. In one day trip you can go from rolling wheat fields, to desert terrain, then ending the day at the lush Pacific rainforest. It really is an amazing sight to see.

You see, as an author, I tend to write about areas that I am familiar with. Not all authors do this. Some like to create towns and cities that exist only in their imagination. Others like to write about cities they’ve never visited, but have researched online. Me? I prefer to write stories set in places that I have an emotional attachment to. In my debut novel, The What If Guy, I wrote about a tiny farming town on the rolling Palouse plains of eastern Washington. This location came easy for me, as I’d grown up in Fairfield, Washington, population 500.

7.10.2012

West of Want Scavenger Hunt Excerpt #3 -- Find the hidden word!


West of Want Scavenger Hunt
Celebrate the release of West of Want, Laura Kaye’s second book in her hit fantasy romance series, Hearts of the Anemoi, with the WEST OF WANT SCAVENGER HUNT and enter to win an eReader just by playing along!

The Hunt:
The Scavenger Hunt will run from July 8th – July 14th, 2012.
We have six fantastic book bloggers participating in the hunt including Laura Kaye’s own blog! At each blog stop there will be a special exclusive excerpt from WEST OF WANT with a hidden word that will be highlighted in bold & red.  Readers can collect each of these hidden words and unscramble them to unlock a secret WEST OF WANT phrase.  Once you’ve collected all of the hidden words and unscrambled the secret phrase, fill out the RaffleCopter with the secret phrase to enter!

The Prizes:
Grand Prize: (1 Winner) A Kindle Touch or Nook Simple Touch (Valued at $99.00, winner’s choice) and eBook of West of Want by Laura Kaye
2nd Prize: (2 Winners) Signed print copy of West of Want by Laura Kaye and a West of Want Swag Pack
3rd Prize: (3 Winners) eBook of West of Want by Laura Kaye
The Fine Print:
Must be 18 years of age or older to enter
Grand Prize is open to wherever Amazon Kindle/Barnes & Noble Nook is available
2nd and 3rd prize winners are open Internationally
No purchase necessary
No substitutions, refunds or cash value will be given
One entry per person, per household
Void where prohibited by law
All entries will be verified
Winners are drawn randomly through RaffleCopter
Winners will have 48 hours to respond with winning notification email before a new winner is selected
Giveaway will close at 11:59pm July 14th, 2012
Here's today's exclusive excerpt and hidden word:

7.09.2012

Review: Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan

Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan
Young Adult, Mystery, Vampires
Hardcover $17.99 (352 pages, HARPERTEEN)
Ebook $9.99

Just because Mel lives in New Whitby, a city founded by vampires, doesn't mean she knows any of the blood-drinking undead personally. They stay in their part of town; she says in hers. Until the day a vampire shows up at her high school. Worse yet, her best friend, Cathy, seems to be falling in love with him. It's up to Mel to save Cathy from a mistake she might regret for all eternity!
On top of trying to help Cathy (whether she wants it or not), Mel is investigating a mysterious disappearance for another friend and discovering the attractions of a certain vampire wannabe. Combine all this with a cranky vampire cop, a number of unlikely romantic entanglements, and the occasional zombie, and soon Mel is hip-deep in an adventure that is equal parts hilarious and touching.
Acclaimed authors Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan team up to create a witty and poignant story of cool vampires, warm friendships, and the changes that test the bonds of love.
Author Site(s): justinelarbalestier.com • sarahreesbrennan.com

Weird, funny, and a little flawed... (3 stars)

When Mel's best friend, Cathy, starts falling in love with the new vampire at school it's up to her to nip that romance in the bud. Vampires might be an everyday—or night—part of life, they stick to their part of New Whitby and the humans stick to theirs. Cathy shouldn't be roaming around at night looking for her crush and Mel's got enough on her plate already. The school's principal, their friend Anna's mom, has been acting weird ever since her husband left them for a vamp. For Anna's sake Mel's going to get to the bottom of the weirdness. But getting tangled up in the romantic affairs of friends, avoiding one of her own, and a little bit of 'B and E' just seem to be par for the course when you're TEAM HUMAN.

Truth be told I didn't want to like this book and in the end found the one issue I really had over-shadowed all of what I did like. As funny and odd and somewhat parody-ish as it is it has one glaringly tough obstacle to overcome. I really didn't like Mel, as I dislike all protagonists who think they know better than their friends/parents/etc. In a weird way she's essentially racist which bothered me. She's also rude to everyone and almost a bully to Francis (the vampire). I honestly wondered why she had any friends at all when she was so snarky all the time.

The saving grace of the book was the mystery element and humor. If you like quirky set-ups and first person narratives it's told in an amusing way. Without going into spoilers I feel like I can't say too much regarding the plot. Astute readers will likely guess the outcome long before it happens. The secondary characters are enjoyable and odd. I couldn't help but adore Kit and relate a lot to both Cathy and Anna. I was exceptionally pleased that (and I do feel this both should and shouldn't be noted) Mel is ABC and not the usual caucasian heroine common in this genre. I want more racial diversity in my fiction (all genres) and kudos to Larbalestier, Brennan, and HarperTeen for making it happen!

Overall, it's a funny, weird tale, that's just the sort of read to enjoy on an afternoon poolside or huddled in the library behind a fortress of books. ;) Flawed to be truthful but not without some likability.




Other Reviews:
Once Upon a Prologue
Hope, Love, and Happy Endings
Ashley Gafford
Once Upon a Twilight


Notes: ARC received via Amazon Vine.

Check this book out if you liked:

7.08.2012

Review: West of Want by Laura Kaye

West of Want (Hearts of the Anemoi #2) by Laura Kaye
Paranormal Romance, Mythology
Paperback $14.99 (400 pages, ENTANGLED)
Ebook $5.99

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.

Author Site: laurakayeauthor.com

Take the keys to the Anemoi kingdom and dive in! (5 stars)

Zephros Martius, Supreme God of the West Wind and Spring, hasn't been very fortunate in his relationships. As one of the Anemoi he's responsible for bringing his season but he finds himself eternally in conflict with his brother Eurus of the East. When his broken heart drives him to a tempest—literally—his actions bring harm to a human woman that will have lasting consequences for both.

Marcella Raines had known loss of her own. Grieving for the loss of her twin brother she finds herself caught in a storm that both damages her beloved sailboat and leaves her badly injured. Waking in the hospital to find a mysterious male nurse waiting at her bedside she soon discovers the truth behind the storm. Yet, even as she's drawn to Zeph, Ella quickly learns that loving the God of the West Wind comes with a very dangerous enemy willing to do anything to bring him pain. If Zeph wants to return Ella's love he will have to confront his past hurts, learn to trust, and most of all, know when love is worth any sacrifice.

NORTH OF NEED, the first book in the series, is one of my favorite books and a very difficult one to follow. Right away I realized that WEST OF WANT can't compare—and I mean that in a neutral way—because they're very different stories. There's an isolated feel to the latter that makes the story highly centered on the hero and heroine without much outside influence, it's cozy (so to speak). But with WEST OF WANT the world of the Anemoi is cracked wide open within a few chapters. It serves well to provide the conflict for Zeph and Ella, while introducing future heroes and insight into just how the Anemoi factor into the modern world. Eurus is one heck of a villain, he literally made my skin crawl. Meanwhile, Chrysander's introduction is going to make the wait for SOUTH OF SURRENDER very difficult! If you love the vast mythological world of Gena Showalter's Lords of the Underworld series you will love WEST OF WANT.

As a hero, Zeph is a little tough to love but he is utterly relatable if you've ever had your heart broken. His flaws are the very human trust issues one would expect from a man who's gone through what he has. Ella, on the other hand, is the perfect foil for Zeph. She's quick to trust and her indomitable spirit is endearing. Though their chemistry is mostly shown through their scintillating love scenes, I found their pairing enjoyable. Kaye also manages to throw in a terrific twist for their HEA that romance fans are sure to find satisfying.

While it might sound like I didn't love it as much as it's predecessor, I truly loved WEST OF WANT, just for different reasons. One has an almost stand-alone quality, the other promises to give it a series-strong run. If you love Greek mythology in your romances look no further! This is one not to be missed.




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

Notes: ARC received via publisher.

Check this book out if you liked:

7.07.2012

Review: The Carny by Brooke Moss

The Carny by Brooke Moss
Contemporary Romance, Interracial Romance, Social Issues
Print $15.99 (### pages, INKSPELL)
Ebook $5.99

At a town fair on the coast of Oregon, handsome Native American carny, Vincent Youngblood, bestows an unforgettable kiss on shy, awkward teenager, Charlotte Davenport. Then disappears without another word, leaving her baffled and enamored.
  Ten years later, Charlotte is still living in the small fishing town of Astoria, while being trained to--reluctantly--take over for her philandering hotelier father when he retires. After all, who else will do it? Her two perfect sisters are busy being married to their flawless husbands and having cookie cutter children, while Charlotte remains single, childless, and every bit as mousy as she was a decade ago.
  As Charlotte struggles to climb out from underneath her judgmental parents thumb, the carnival rolls back into town, and Charlotte finds herself face to face with Vin again. He's back to run his father's carnival, walking away from a promising career in medicine he started in Chicago. Will her biased and judgmental family accept her relationship with a man who is not only a Native American, but works as a carny for a living? And what unsavory secrets bind the well-educated and seemingly superlative Vin to that ramshackle carnival? After all, you can’t judge a carny by its cover.

Author Site: brookemoss.com

The Carny Book Trailer


A Love Story with Humor and Heart (5 stars)

In Charlotte Davenport's family appearances have always come first. Stuck between what her family expects of her and the pressures of being a teenager, Charlotte finds herself caught in a lie that leads to a kiss that will haunt her for a decade. After locking lips with shaggy haired, Native American Vincent Youngblood at the carnival he's working at she finds herself drawn to every one to pass through Northwestern Oregon. After being dumped at the alter she finds herself living at home with her parents again and bearing the burden of the family hotel business.

But when a chance meeting brings Vin back into her life the judgementalness of the people in her life complicates the budding relationship. Like Charlotte he's taking care of the family business while putting his own dreams on hold. He could be a doctor, but in Astoria all people see is a Native American carny. Though there's more to Vin than her snobbish family sees on the surface, will his own secrets quash the bond between them? Can love overcome the pressures of family duty, racism, classism, and misunderstanding?

There is so much to THE CARNY I have to admit it's difficult knowing where to start. While it falls into the romance genre it's very much a love story pitted with social issues. This goes beyond the Romeo-and-Juliet-esque tropes often associated with interracial romances and boils it down to a very honest view of classism and racism. I wouldn't quite call it a book with a message but if readers are looking for one it's there. One of my closest friends is Native American and we've had many discussions on stereotyping and political correctness, the downfall of Native American culture and the many humanitarian wrongs that have been committed against them. I applaud Moss for not detracting from the romance between Charlotte and Vin while still giving readers a reminder that racism still exists in the world.

One of the strongest talents Moss brings to the table as a writer is her ability to pepper her stories with a humor that's very organic and utterly endearing. While many readers of the romance genre might wince at the first-person narrative it serves this particular story so well I can't imagine it written any other way. Vin is a truly fresh hero, one I was incapable of disliking even at his moments of showing his own flaws. Charlotte in contrast was both relatable and a little frustrating, there was something a bit naive, almost adolescent about her at the beginning that made me want to shake some sense into her. As with Moss' debut novel, THE CARNY, is balanced with an intricate and essential collection of secondary characters.

I would be remiss as a reviewer and native of the Pacific Northwest if I neglected to mention what I love most about Moss' novels—her settings! Somehow, she manages to take real places and let them develop into irreplacable backdrops for her stories. As I read THE CARNY I was easily transported back to my childhood trips along the Oregon coast with my father. Readers who fall in love with places they read about in fiction from Hogwarts to Forks to Bon Temps will find a special place for Astoria.

If you're in the mood for a beach read with humor and heart please don't hesitate to put THE CARNY on your list! I highly recommend it for readers who've ever had to face obstacles of social differences for love.



Other Reviews:
The Selkie Reads Stories
Seeing Night Reviews


Notes: ARC received via publisher.



Check this book out if you liked:

7.06.2012

Weekend Reading [07/06-07/08] :: Summer lovin' and next week's excitement!!!


I'm quite certain I'm not the only one who wishes there'd been a job description that involved reading fiction and being paid a six figure salary when they became an adult. Who's with me?

Well. It's Friday. Again. And I spent most of the week confused as to what day it was. What moron puts a holiday in the middle of the week? I suppose it was well worth celebrating really. If you didn't get over to Reading Between the Wines Book Club to read author Laura Kaye's wonderful discussion of America's birthday please do. We're not a perfect nation but I cannot help but feel a sense of patriotic pride when reminded of how big a deal declaring independence from England was. So now we celebrate it by getting intoxicated and playing with explosives. :P

I did get the deliciousness that was WEST OF WANT finished this week though. Yay! My review will hopefully pop up in the next couple of days so I'm holding my tongue. *huuu-uhh-muh-heh*

This weekend I'm actually likely to spend more time digging in the back yard and sulking than reading. I got a copy of The Unofficial Game of Thrones Cookbook: From Direwolf Ale to Auroch Stew - More Than 150 Recipes from Westeros and Beyond that I've been slavering over for a couple of days. But guys... there is a recipe for stir-fried locusts (or grasshoppers) in there. OMG! I now, know how to prepare and serve bugs. *giggle* The hubs asked 'are you reading a cookbook?' to which I pointed out you really can with these kinds of cookbooks. I'm going to have to get the Official one now. Because I am a nerd and I love these kind of pop culture tie-in cookbooks. Yes, I really have a Star Wars cookbook. No, you can't borrow it.

In real reading I'm pecking away at Katee Robert's Queen of Swords which is giving me grief. It has all of these elements of Scifi fiction/romance I love but I H-A-T-E both the hero and heroine. They're annoying personality wise. I want to toss the book across the room because they have one of those I-hate-you-so-bad-why-do-I-wanna-jump-you-every-5-seconds relationships so far... and I'm pushing 100 pages. Never a good sign. I'm still also struggling through A Blood Seduction: A Vamp City Novel which has a neat set-up and world but is exhaustingly slow paced.

The good news is... starting Sunday you'll have the chance to win an ereader! You saw the details earlier this week. Now you'll have a chance. My post goes up on Tuesday—also, RELEASE DAY! Be on the lookout. The entry is super easy and the excerpts being shared are exclusive!

On that note I am off to get cleaned up for bed so I can hopefully enjoy a little quiet reading time before I doze off. Have a great weekend and don't forget to comment telling me what you're reading! -- Rhi

7.02.2012

Coming Soon: WEST OF WANT Scavenger Hunt!

 
 
West of Want Scavenger Hunt
Celebrate the release of West of Want, Laura Kaye’s second book in her hit fantasy romance series, Hearts of the Anemoi with this fun scavenger hunt and enter to win an eReader just by playing along!

Mark the Date:  July 8th– 14th, 2012
West of Want Release Date: July 10th, 2012

The Hunt:

Each host site will post a special excerpt from Laura on their scheduled date with a hidden word that will be highlighted in bold & red. Collect each of the hidden words and unscramble them to unlock the secret phrase. After you collect all of the hidden words fill out the RaffleCopter with the unscrambled secret phrase to enter. Each participant will have a follow option on the RaffleCopter form for readers to earn extra entries, ex. FollowRhiReading via GFC, RSS or Email by leaving your name/email addy.

The Schedule:

July 8th - Excerpt 1: Reading Between the Wines

July 9th -Excerpt 2: Cocktails and Books

July 10th -Excerpt 3: RhiReading

July 11th -Excerpt 4:  GraveTells

July 12th -Excerpt 5: Riverina Romantics

July 13th -Excerpt 6: Laura Kaye


The Prizes:

OR

Grand Prize: (1Winner) A Kindle Touch or Nook Simple Touch (Valued at $99.00) and eBook of West of Want by Laura Kaye
2nd Prize: (2 Winners) Signed print copy of West of Want by Laura Kaye and a West of Want Swag Pack
3rd Prize: (3 Winners) eBook of West of Want by Laura Kaye


The Fine Print:

Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.
Grand Prize is open to wherever Amazon Kindle/Barnes & Noble Nook is available.
2nd and 3rd prize winners are open Internationally.
No purchase necessary.
No substitutions, refunds or cash value will be given.
One entry per person, per household.
Void where prohibited by law.
All entries will be verified.
Winners are drawn randomly through RaffleCopter.
Winners will have 48 hours to respond with winning notification email before a new winner is selected.
Giveaway will close at 11:59 pm July 14th, 2012

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