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? I am currently CLOSED for review requests for ALL review requests due to time contraints. I have promotional openings for February through July open though so please reach out. Just please drop me an email with a polite request and if I'm interested I will reply.

♥ -- Rhi


2.28.2013

Cover Reveal: Out of Play by Jolene Perry & Nyrae Dawn


Rock star drummer Bishop Riley doesn't have a problem. Celebrities—especially ones suffering from anxiety—deserve to party, right? Wrong. After taking a few too many pills, Bishop wakes up in the hospital facing an intervention. If he wants to stay in the band, he’ll have to detox while under house arrest in Seldon, Alaska.

Hockey player Penny Jones can't imagine a life outside of Seldon. Though she has tons of scholarship offers, the last thing she wants is to leave. Who'll take care of her absent-minded gramps? Not her mother, who can’t even be bothered with the new tenants next door.

Penny’s too hung up on another guy to deal with Bishop’s crappy attitude, and Bishop’s too busy sneaking pills to care. Until he starts hanging out with Gramps. If Bishop wants a chance with the fiery girl next door, he’ll have to admit he has a problem and kick it. Too bad addiction is hard to kick…and Bishop’s about to run out of time.
 
OUT OF PLAY releases on August 6th from Entangled Teen.
For more OOP news follow @EntangledTeen and 'Like' Entangled Teen.

Pre-order your copy today:
 Amazon | B&N
 
Add it to your shelf: 

2.26.2013

Interview: Author Patricia Eimer [DEVIL MAY CARE Blog Tour + giveaway!]


Hi Patricia! It’s been far too long since the birth of Entangled Publishing when a friendly publicist emailed me a request to read LUCK OF THE DEVIL. It was the book that both introduced me to an amazingly fresh way for books to get from writer to readers and the hilarious life of a Princess of Hell named Faith. I’m so glad to have you back to visit!

PAE: It has been a really long time since we got to chat. 18 months? I think it’s been about 18 months.

(It has been 18 months!)
 
I’m a big fan of books that blend paranormal elements and humor but your series takes it to a whole new level by featuring the Alpha and Omega—God and the Devil, for you readers who haven’t started the series yet—in a whole new light. They’re not quite one big happy family but it makes for some terrific comedy. How does your own family help you with your writing (ie. inspiration, beta reading, cooking)?

PAE: How does my family help with my writing? They don’t. It’s all me. ALL ME!!!!! No really I couldn’t survive without my family. My husband and my mother are both saints because they help out so much with the cooking and the cleaning and wrangling the kids when I need to write or edit or do something book related. Then, on top of that, my extended family is always a huge source of inspiration and stories and various giggles that make it possible to write about crazy families. I mean no one in the family is a demon (that I know of…) but the craziness is just sort of an extension on all of us.

DEVIL MAY CARE is just as giggle-inducing as its predecessor. I’ve read that you listen to BBC Radio while you write and it’s no secret that American and British humor can be a bit different. Which do you think has a bigger influence on your own comedic voice as a writer?

 PAE: I think its British humor actually that’s more of an influence for me as a writer.

One of the enjoyable themes of your series seems to be that the characters can be Evil with a capital ‘E’ and not actually be the evil one. It’s something I always find fun in books and film. What are some of your favorite Evil fictional characters who aren’t all that evil at heart?

PAE: Severus Snape is my ultimate winner on that one. I mean how many of us spent 6.75 books hating him and then it was just a complete head turner and we all sort of cried for him. I mean it sounds stupid but I seriously think Severus Snape is going to be one of those characters that in 50 years English PhD students are going to be writing dissertations on.

(Very good choice and one of my favorites too, though I admit I was sympathetic to Snape from the start.) 
 
It was such a long wait between Speak of the Devil series books. Have you started working on another? Do you have any other projects in the works that you can tell us about?

PAE: There is another Speak of the Devil Book. Book #3 is called Before the Devil Know’s You’re Dead and it takes Faith and Matt on (what I think) is an even more interesting journey where we finally get to see what she’s really made of and how far she’ll go for the people she loves—especially Matt.

Other than that, I have a novella coming out soon in Entangled’s Riveting Affairs Anthology called Clockwork Bride and it’s sort of a starcrossed lovers who’s families hate each other story where in the end she gets to save his bacon from a fire breathing clockwork dragon. And yes, I’m still trying to convince my publisher that I need an actual clockwork dragon—purely for promotional purposes.

Then I’ve got a 3 book YA/MG series (The Chronicles of Nerissete—Everlast, Evanescent, and Infinity) coming out in September, October and November of this year under the penname Andria Buchanan about a group of kids who fall through a book of fables into the World of Dreams  and they have to lead the world in revolution against a despotic wizard who just refuses to die.

Then let’s not even get started on my WIP folder. I’ll probably never get it all done but I am starting to play with a series about a group of not so super heroes from St. Louis who are all trying to just find love. Yeah,  basically I have no life and just write all the time.
 
(Wow! I can't wait to gobble these all up!)

 
And now some just for fun questions...

If the Speak of the Devil series were being made into a BBC Radio series and you could choose whomever you liked as the voice talents who would you love to play your characters?

PAE: Oh radio comedy so it’s just the voices? And it’s BBC so it needs to be british actors.  Let’s see:

Faith: Romola Garai

Matt: Richard Armitage (basically I’d let this guy read me the phone book if he wanted. And then I’d die happy.)

Lisa: Karen Gillam

Tolliver: Benedict Cumberbatch (because trust me the Archdemon of Gluttony really needs to purr and this is the man who can most likely do it well).

Hope: Billie Piper

Roisin: Stephanie Cole

The Devil: Roger Allam

Malachi: James McAvoy

Harold: Anthony Head

(BBC you need to make this happen... I would seriously loooove this! Great casting choices Patricia!)

Matt’s ex, Brenda, causes some tub-time havoc for Lisa that readers will just have to check out for themselves. If DEVIL MAY CARE inspired a spa treatment what would it entail?

 PAE: If Devil May Care inspired a spa treatment—probably a very long massage. One of those where those tiny women like walk on your back or something. I think by the end of Devil May Care Faith definitely needed a massage. I know I did.

If you found yourself stranded in Purgatory what 3 things featured in DEVIL MAY CARE would you want to have with you?

 PAE: Things? Hmm. Do demons count? Because I’d definitely want Malachi (he knows where all the really great Hell parties are at), a pack of imps for my very own (let’s be serious I want a pack of imps of my very own anyway), and a set of wings. Because wings would definitely be cool.

Thanks so much for answering all these crazy questions Patricia! 
 
Connect with Patricia Eimer

 


About DEVIL MAY CARE:
Weddings are hell…

Being the Crown Princess of Hell has its drawbacks. Faith Bettincourt has to plan two demonic weddings for Satan’s royal family, and after finalizing the hellish details, all she really wants is to spend some time with her nephilim boyfriend, Matt.

But Matt’s heavenly ex, Brenda, walks back into his life, claiming to seek refuge from the crazy life he fled years ago. Faith sees right through the goody-two-shoes act but can almost let it go, until she discovers Matt’s crazy mom is involved…and is declaring war on Faith’s family. With her heart set on breaking them up, the matriarch of Heaven has kidnapped Faith’s brother, one of the demonic grooms. Who knew the heavenly could be so, well, devilish?

Now, Faith and Matt have to go up against the army of so-called do-gooders to restore some semblance of peace between Heaven and Hell. Clearly, not all’s fair in love and war, though, and Faith needs to decide what price she’s willing to pay for love…before someone else decides it for her.

LUCK OF THE DEVIL (#1) and DEVIL MAY CARE (#2)
are available on Amazon and many other retailers
both as ebooks and in print.






a Rafflecopter giveaway

2.25.2013

Indulge Yourself with Entangled Publishing! [+ giveaway]


Entangled Publishing's Indulgence imprint just celebrated it's first anniversary.

I like to think of Indulgence as the sort of old school, utterly tropey imprint of their stable. Think billionaires, lawyers, and tycoons with fake marriages, enemies/rivals turned lovers, and bedding-the-boss plots. Completely guilty pleasure worthy and from some big names like Nicola Marsh and Stephanie Draven.

To celebrate the anniversary they've had a big event going all month long. While I've had the event image up in the sidebar all month, now that it's down to the final four days I thought I'd give you guys a nudge. The author parties I've had time to join in on were a blast and there are lots of great prizes being given out both on Twitter and during the author party events.

There's also the event long grand prize giveaway of a seriously awesome gift basket which includes an ereader, bath and body goodies, chocolate, AND Indulgence books! There are three runner-up prizes too!

Haven't tried an Indulgence title yet? I have a few suggestions...



Be sure and follow the #IndulgeYourself hashtag and 'Like' the Indulgence Facebook page for updates. Enjoy! -- Rhi

2.24.2013

Review: Keeping Secrets in Seattle by Brooke Moss

Keeping Secrets in Seattle by Brooke Moss
Contemporary Romance, Interracial Romance, Chick-lit
Ebook $3.99 (204 pages, ENTANGLED EDGE)
Seattle hairstylist Violet Murphy always knew the day would come when her best friend Gabe Parker would want to settle down. She’d secretly wished it would be with her, but now that he’s chosen someone else—the prim, perfect Alycia—he wants Vi to be his best man.
Healing her broken heart isn’t easy, but when Violet meets Landon Harlow, a man who isn’t fazed by her funky style and less-than-delicate attitude, she takes a step in the right direction. Until Gabe’s fiancé’s gorgeous façade begins to crack, and Violet’s disturbing past comes back to haunt her, that is. Vi now finds herself armed with a series of lies that would break Gabe’s heart—and his engagement—if he knew their truth, and a secret from their childhood that could change everything.
With the wedding looming, her relationships unraveling, and the bachelor party of the century to plan, Violet must choose between a fresh start with Landon, or confronting her painful past and risking it all for a chance at a future with Gabe.

Author Site: brookemoss.blogspot.com

One of my favorites of 2013! (5 stars)

I've been trying to do my own little reblurb for KEEPING SECRETS IN SEATTLE but the official one is just too well done for me to need to write my own summary.

It is a very rare thing for me, as a reader, to experience the full on 'reads-like-a-movie' thing with a book. But from page one, Violet and Gabe's world came alive for me. They're such opposites that at first I was baffled by the massive crush she had on him. Yet, as the story progressed it was easy to see that it wasn't a crush at all, but a love born in youth that had matured into something painfully stunted by a crushingly heart-wrenching secret. Just when Vi is ready to work it out, to reveal how she has felt for all these years Gabe goes and proposes to his model-slash-waitress girlfriend, Alycia. To add insult to injury, he asks her to be his 'best-man', which requires a lot of trying to tolerate his seemingly flawless fiance.

From here readers are sure to start seeing KEEPING SECRETS IN SEATTLE as a bit of a romantic comedy, which in a way it is. Moss is one of my favorite authors because she is a master at weaving a heart-wrenching story of love with well executed comedic moments to lighten it when needed. There are some real LOL moments and a couple of seriously tear-inducing ones, dragging us along as Vi tries to make sense of some really difficult obstacles. Making nice with Alycia. Attempting a relationship with a guy who seems perfect for her, but isn't whom her heart wants. Keeping the terrible secret that ruined her chance with Gabe years ago. Discovering that Alycia has been keeping secrets of her own... and just what to do about them. This is one of those romances that sends you on an emotional roller coaster of laughs and tears, and even the occasional fist shaking.

As has become my personal favorite aspect of Moss' writing, she once again knocks-it-out-of-the-park as far as setting. If you love a story where the location becomes the third character you will be packing your bags for Seattle before you're halfway through. It's so true to the spirit of the city and the people who live there, it made me homesick. If, like me, you're a native of the Pacific Northwest you simply MUST read Moss' books. KEEPING SECRETS IN SEATTLE is her best so far and has movie potential I'd love to see happening on screen.

If you enjoy a romance that's complicated by deep dark secrets without being a total mope-fest, where big romantic gestures have you going 'awwww', and the collective characters are just a little too over-the-top to be real and yet relatable enough to be endearing you will love this book!



Other Reviews:
Leslye on Goodreads
Ginger-read Reviews
Aimee Coffee Table Reviews

Notes: ARC received via publisher.

2.22.2013

Weekend Reading [02/22-02/24] :: Cupcakes & Superheroes

 
Every week the first line I always seem to type for this post is 'what a busy week' or something to that effect. When you're a mom it can be a very difficult thing knowing how to balance being a 'good mom' and knowing when that entails letting something go. A sink full of dishes. Making a frozen pizza for dinner. Letting the kid wear mismatched socks. Putting off changing sheets another day.
 
I'm still learning how to be a good mom while still chasing my own dreams a little. Alas, today can't be on of those days so let me post a quick weekend reading and leave you to yours. ;)

This weekend I'm working on the first story from the Holding Out for a Hero anthology, Scarlett Fever. I just love a good superhero romance and this anthology is packed full of them. My other read is A Taste of Trouble by Gina Gordon which I've only barely started. There's just way too much happening in my daytimes to fit any reading in until bedtime. So wish me some free time this weekend... I darn sure need it! -- Rhi

2.19.2013

Q & A: HOLDING OUT FOR A HERO authors [+ giveaway!]


Dear readers,

One of my earliest memories is a vague recollection of watching one of the Superman flicks on HBO with my dad back in the early eighties. Later in the decade it was Batman (thank you for taking me Dad!). But my real appreciation of superheroes and comic book lore didn't really take root until I was asked to play one of the X-Men in a RPG group a friend of mine had going. There's something richly liberating and emotionally challenging about writing men and women with superhuman powers or the need to protect the people they love by donning a costume and going vigilante. I loved every part of it, but especially the complexities of developing romances between these types of characters. Even though it's been nearly four years since I hung up my superhero personas not a day goes by that I don't miss it and if you love the genre you'll understand why.

Today I have a VERY special treat for you guys, I'm welcoming four of the five authors who contributed to the HOLDING OUT FOR A HERO anthology. Y'all know I hate writing interviews but this one is the exception. I hope they had as much fun answering these questions as I had deciding which ones to ask. Now get to reading and be sure and enter to win a copy of the anthology via the widget!

-- Rhi

Q1: Superheroes in media have been on the rise beyond the traditional comic book crusader format for years but the past decade has really favored them in film. These days we see them not just as the men and women who fight for a cause, but as heroes and heroines in need of some love too. Excluding your own characters from the HOLDING OUT FOR A HERO anthology, who are some of your favorite superheroes and their love interest pairings?

2.18.2013

Keeping Secrets in Seattle Release Party!

 
Happy Book Birthday KSiS!
 
It's no secret how much I adore Brooke Moss' books and KEEPING SECRETS IN SEATTLE is her best yet. I've been bugging her since last summer about when I'd finally get to read this one and it's finally here for everyone to enjoy. If you like childhood-friend romances and a solid conflict it's a really emotional and LOL-ing funny read. 
 
Be on the lookout for my review—it should be up by Wednesday—and be sure to follow the blog tour. I begged to be the endcapper... so I'm here today to celebrate the launch, get the LAST day of the tour, and there's a great prize.
 
 What's the story?
Seattle hairstylist Violet Murphy always knew the day would come when her best friend Gabe Parker would want to settle down. She'd secretly wished it would be with her, but now that he's chosen someone else the prim, perfect Alycia he wants Vi to be his best man.

Healing her broken heart isn't easy, but when Violet meets Landon Harlow, a man who isn't fazed by her funky style and less-than-delicate attitude, she takes a step in the right direction. Until Gabe's fiancé's gorgeous façade begins to crack, and Violet's disturbing past comes back to haunt her, that is. Vi now finds herself armed with a series of lies that would break Gabe's heart and his engagement if he knew their truth, and a secret from their childhood that could change everything.

With the wedding looming, her relationships unraveling, and the bachelor party of the century to plan, Violet must choose between a fresh start with Landon, or confronting her painful past and risking it all for a chance at a future with Gabe.
 
Can't wait for my review to read it?
It's currently available on Amazon but should pop up at other venues soon.
EDIT: You can grab it on B&N now too!

2.13.2013

Review: Big Bad Bite by Jessie Lane

Big Bad Bite by Jessie Lane
Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Shapeshifters, Demons

Ebook $2.99 (350 pages, SELFPUBLISHED)
What would it be like to live in a world where you are considered abnormal to those who are above the norm?
Jenna O’ Conner has been taught her whole life to hide from everyone. Never to let anyone to close enough to know that she would prefer a shotgun for her birthday over of a bouquet of roses. She’s been smothered by her over protective family so that no one learns what she truly is. Which is not human. Nor, is she considered the norm for the supernatural Other community that is benevolent enough to share this world with the humans.
In a desperate attempt to live her own life away from the small town she was raised in, Jenna obtains her dream job as the newest member on the Wilmington Police Department’s SWAT Team. What she didn’t predict was that she would run into trouble her first day on the job, in the form of a deadly, mouthwatering man named Adam McPhee. Who is also not human, but more like a wolf walking around in human skin. He’s determined to figure out exactly what Jenna is, which unbeknownst to him, could very well put her life in danger. He’s also determined to have her all to himself.
As if that wasn’t enough for Jenna to deal with, bad news blows into town. A group of extremist Shifters who think humans are cattle and factions of Others worldwide should stay within their own species - never to intermingle. Chaos ensues. Jenna has to find a way to shut them down, but in the process of trying to do that, discovers things about herself that even she never thought was possible.

Author Site: jessielanesite.blogspot.com

Just didn't work for me... (2 stars)

It isn't every day that I give a 2 star review. Most reviewers seem to be uncomfortable doing so because it's perceived as a 'bad review' but let me state up front that while I didn't like BIG BAD BITE, I'm pretty sure I will be in the minority. So let me get the negative stuff out of the way...

From the first pages through the last BIG BAD BITE can't decide whether it wants to be a paranormal romance or an urban fantasy. Sometimes that can work but in this case I found it weakened the overall story. I could never quite settle on whether Jenna's thing with Adam was supposed to be the central story arc or not. What made the book not work for me overall though was the inconsistent voice. With two writers contributing to a single story good editing is essential to smooth between different authorial voices but I frequently found contradictory switches in the personality of the writing. A lot of telling and not showing, little fleshing out of Adam's personality, and the feeling it was meant to be first person made it a difficult read.

Though flawed to the point that I, personally, didn't care for it, there is a lot of potential here. I'm absolutely lost as to how there's a hell type realm where demons originate from and shapeshifters are an evolution thing but love the fresh ideas the Lane duo has brought to the table. Jenna is not a character I liked, I found her general misandry to be distasteful as I would if she were a hero being misogynistic. If that had been less blatant I would have liked that she was tough and trying to make it in a man's world. The romance was very weak and I never really felt any chemistry between Adam and Jenna (a common issue with 'fated mate' type stories).

If I weren't an avid reader of both the paranormal romance and urban fantasy genres I would probably have found BIG BAD BITE enjoyable but it just wasn't for me. If you like Yasmine Galenorn's Otherworld/Sisters of the Moon series you might find this is a bit like them and should give it a try, otherwise I'd pass.



Other Reviews:
Cocktails and Books
Lola's Reviews
Smexybooks

Notes: ARC received via author.

2.12.2013

Review: Vanilla On Top by C.J. Ellisson

Vanilla On Top (A Walk On The Wild Side #1) by C.J. Ellisson
Category Romance, Contemporary Romance, Erotica
Ebook $2.99 (160 pages, BRAZEN)
Discover your inner bad girl, and set her free...
Heather Pierce is done being a wallflower, both personally and professionally. Desperate to live a different life for one night, she attends a speed dating event. Maybe here, anonymous unless she chooses otherwise, she can become someone new. When a man way out of her league sits across from her, Heather gathers her courage and takes charge of what she wants, secretly fearing he won’t desire the real person she’s desperate to hide.
Top acquisitions officer and international playboy Tony Carmine is about to close the biggest deal of his career. But then he meets Heather at a speed dating event…and discovers losing control may be exactly what he needs. Her blossoming sensuality occupies his every thought, consuming him with the need to possess the most intriguing lover he’s ever encountered—until he walks into the boardroom and sees Heather on the other side of the negotiating table.

Author Site: cjellisson.com

Everything I usually don't like made likable! (5 stars)

I don't like alternating heroine/hero perspectives or first-person in present-tense narratives so what gives? Seriously! VANILLA ON TOP rubs up against two of my biggest reading dislikes and pulled not a 3 or even a 4... no, a 5 star rating right out of me. I didn't want it to, but darnit... I enjoyed every naughty and nasty minute of it.

Heather and Tony manage to be surprisingly enjoyable in the category romance sort of way. They're just enough over-the-top and unreal to be fun. At first they seem quite opposite one another and the relationship doesn't seem to be more than really hot sex which is certainly alright—especially when it's just-this-side-of-being-BDSM. Heather takes the reigns and Tony lets her, it's more about her being the boss and less about dominating him which I really found enjoyable. As the subplot of the business thickens it becomes obvious there's more than steamy encounters going for them and I loved that they made a great love match too.

I haven't yet read other reviews but I kept hearing mentions of 'the ping pong paddle scene' from other readers. It piqued my interest since it was getting so much buzz and I have to giggle because I don't care for spanking AT ALL but even I managed to have an eyebrow raising 'Oh my...' moment there. If you're looking for a sexy romance with just a splash of kink I highly recommend VANILLA ON TOP. I even made my husband read it—don't tell him I told you!—and he recommended it to some ladies he knows.

Overall, it's a book that surprised me in just about every way. It was hard to put down and even though it was told in a narrative style I usually hate it couldn't have been done better in another. I will definitely be picking up the next Walk on the Wild Side series installment.



Other Reviews:
Dear Author
Talking Supe
Fiction Vixen


Notes: Review copy received via NetGalley.
 

2.11.2013

Guestpost: Author Gina Gordon [RECIPE FOR SATISFACTION Blog Tour + Giveaway!]

Dear readers,

I am absolutely thrilled to have author Gina Gordon visiting today. When the time came to talk about guestpost topics I hadn't yet received my copy of RECIPE FOR SATISFACTION, all I knew was what the blurb told me... and if there's anything in the contemporary romance shelves I have a weakness for it's one where food has a significance. While not the center of the storyline, food plays a very important role in RFS. With all four Madewood brothers being chefs, their series is sure to inspire you both in the kitchen and in the bedroom so I begged Gina to cover a very special topic just for us... enjoy!

-- Rhi


The most romantic day of the year is fast-approaching. Valentine’s Day. It’s a day of hearts, roses, love and lingerie. But also…food.

Food, when enjoyed with the right person, can be a very sensual experience and there are some foods that are said to heighten the experience to erotic levels.

Aphrodisiacs. The slow, sensual slide of an oyster or the smooth, rich texture of chocolate can make any meal sexy. These are probably the two most well-known aphrodisiacs and when eaten can help set the stage for what happens after dinner ☺

But do common foods like chocolate actually increase our libido and rev up our engines? Or is it all in our heads? I’m not a scientist but I do know that the taste of dark chocolate is very satisfying.

In my new book, Recipe for Satisfaction, Chef Jack Vaughn knows all about how to satisfy a woman in the kitchen. Being a Madewood brother, he knows even more about satisfying a woman in the bedroom. Combine those talents and you have an extremely potent male ready to work his magic on a shy and unassuming heroine. And when Jack cooks Sterling a three-course meal and feeds it to her, he sets her libido on its toes and her taste buds on sensory overload.

So if you’re planning a dinner for that someone special this Valentine’s Day, why not try one of the items below and give your meal an extra sexy kick.

      1. Honey
      2. Avocado
      3. Chili peppers
      4. Champagne
      5. Cinnamon
      6. Nutmeg
      7. Chocolate
      8. Oysters


About Gina Gordon:

Connect with Gina Gordon




Enter the tour wide giveaway for a $25 Amazon Giftcard!
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2.09.2013

S.O.S. :: Seeking on Sunday Meme (#5)


Seeking On Sunday is a once-a-month meme hosted by RhiReading to bring together readers who are looking for book suggestions. It is open to any blogger on the 2nd Sunday of each month who wishes to post one of the following:

  • an 'If you like this book/series/author, I think you will enjoy this book/series/author because...' suggestion post
  •  
  • a post seeking commentors' book suggestions within a certain set of terms
  •  
  • a post seeking the name of a book the blogger can recall details about but can't remember the name of

This is for ALL bloggers, not just book bloggers! If you're seeking bread baking books or suggesting board books for babies or having a difficult time finding the name of the romance novel you read the blurb of while standing in line at the grocery store this meme is for you. Here is a great example of how you can do it.

 
Grab the button to share in your post &
feel free to share it in your sidebar too.





This month I'm seeking...

Review: Dark Secrets by Shona Husk

Dark Secrets by Shona Husk
Fantasy, Romance, Magic, Western
Release Date: February 18th
Ebook $2.99 (novella, CARINA PRESS)
Six years ago, Haidyn Mast left his home and his betrothed Anisa to follow his magical calling. Too weak to join the Arcane Guild and too ashamed to return home, he has made a life as a prostitute—to all outward appearances. In truth, he sells his mind but not his body, using magic to let his clients experience their most secret fantasies while his hands stay clean. Even the Lawman, the arbiter of justice in Reseda, is one of his clients, but Haidyn would rather not know the extent of that man's depravity.
Though successful, Haidyn is shunned as a whore and his lack of formal training is causing his power to grow out of control. He's ready to retire and leave the city, but when he sees his Anisa standing at the Lawman's side, he knows he must rescue her from the abusive enforcer. Risking his life and his sanity, he devises a plan, knowing that failure will mean death for him, and a lifetime of torment for her…

Author Site: shonahusk.com

Romance for the Unconventional Fantasy Lover (5 stars)

Husk's 2011 release, DARK VOW, is quite possibly one of my favorite romances of all time. It's definitely not for everybody but the strange blend of western and magic that makes up the world is an absolutely incomparable and fresh place to find yourself. I was actually really sad when I didn't hear anything about more stories to follow last year. The arrival of DARK SECRETS had me so excited I could hardly stand the wait to devour it... and devour it I did.

When Haidyn is turned away from the Arcane Guild for lack of power his shame is too great. Instead of returning home to claim another Lord—imagine ten different gods of a sort—and marry the love he left behind, he falls into prostitution to survive the streets of Reseda. But that too weak gift that kept him from the guild keeps him from ever actually selling his flesh, instead he develops a skill of manipulating the mind of his clients. Through this gift he has risen from lowly tavern whore to master of a pleasure house.

Though he has aquired much wealth his power has grown out of control and he's drawing too much attention for the ruthless and cruel Lawman. When Anisa, the love he left behind, comes to Reseda as the Lawman's new bride, Haidyn will have to choose between the dark secrets that have become his new life and risking it all to save her from the one man who could destroy them both.

While I can't quite say I loved DARK SECRETS as much as its predecessor, it was just plain great. One doesn't need to read DARK VOW to enjoy it either, though there are hints at events from it and I would recommend reading them in order. Told from Haidyn's perspective it's really unconventional as a romance, I wasn't quite sure I would enjoy it but there was something refreshing about seeing the hero's struggle to reclaim his lost love, the justifications he had made and how he suffered for them. I really loved it.

If you're in need of something to break you out of a reading funk and love fantasy I think you will really enjoy DARK SECRETS. Those who've read DARK VOW and liked it should also be sure to pick it up, it's not as much of an adventure story but has the same intricate world you probably enjoyed.




Notes: ARC received via NetGalley.

Check this book out if you liked:

2.08.2013

Weekend Reading [02/08-02/10] :: Viruses & Missing Pages!


Where did the week go? Tuesday I thought Friday would never get here and here it is Friday and I don't know how it got here so fast. lol It's been a royally insane week behind the scenes. Lots of reading and working on reviews going on, interviews being written and formatted, and that sort of thing.

But I've hit a bit of a road block for the weekend because my own computer—which I rarely get to use since it's downstairs and I spend most of the day upstairs with the tot—was infected with some hardcore nasty malware. I'm really good at getting rid of most stuff on my own but my antivirus and 4 different spyware/adware/malware programs haven't been able to do it. So I had to seek help and it's a very slow process. I'm hoping to write about it for the other blog in case anyone of you ever has a similar issue.

My husband grilled me about how I could have gotten it but the thing is... I pretty much only visit a few sites like blogger, facebook, and Amazon from that computer. There was only one site I had visited in the week that it could have come from. Talk about frustrating!

While we're on the subject of menfolk... how many of you know guys who are rabid readers? Adam finished the book he'd been working on this week so I suggested he try VANILLA ON TOP by C.J. Ellisson... and OMG he is reading it! I figured he'd go a chapter or two and tell me I was daft for suggesting it. Just proves guys like a smutty book too. ;)

This weekend I was going to work on DEVIL MAY CARE but my damned PDF is blank on 5 pages!!! Until the publicist gets back to me I'm stuck on page 32. Boo! So I think I'll get started on KEEPING SECRETS IN SEATTLE from my girl Brooke Moss. Her books are great but truth be told I wish we had met IRL before I read her books 'cause she's just an amazing woman I would love to hang with. There's something very real and emotional in her stories that shines through... aad I've been so excited for this book.

Well, we've got a dinner party thing to go to tonight and I plan on actually ironing something to wear and putting on makeup so I better get going. Leave a comment letting me know what you're reading this weekend! -- Rhi

2.07.2013

Review: The Cat's Meow by Stacey Kennedy

The Cat's Meow (Witch's Brew #1) by Stacey Kennedy
Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Witches
Ebook $2.99 (256 pages, ENTANGLED)
When a magical presence is detected around a recent string of feline slayings, Libby, an enchantress, is determined to discover who is behind the odd deaths. Being a witch gifted by the Goddess to conjure spells won’t protect her from the sexy warlock the Coven sends to assist her. Kale weaves a spell more powerful than any she’s ever seen.
While having the muscle around proves to be useful in her investigation, fighting her growing attraction for Kale is worse than a hex, especially considering the secrets she knows he’s keeping. But when her spells turn up clues that point to something far more sinister than slaughtered cats, the elusive warlock becomes the least of her worries.
Libby finds herself in the midst of an uprising. She trusts no one and isn’t safe—not from the warlocks stirring up trouble. Not from the worrisome rebellion she can’t escape. And certainly not from Kale, who is weaving a very dangerous spell over her heart.
Author Site: staceykennedy.com

Confusing world building, annoying protagonist... (2 stars)

I'm sure I'm not the only reviewer who dreads writing a review for a book they just didn't end up liking. There was a lot about THE CAT'S MEOW that didn't work for me even though the blurb sounded promising.

Libby is a witch, specifically an Enchantress. Kale is a rune-wielding warlock. She and her mother were deserted by her dad and she later had a warlock boyfriend who left her heartbroken. Now she hates warlocks. From the get-go the world building is really confusing. I was absolutely lost as to why there were different ruling groups for witches and warlocks, the whole thing felt really... I don't know... I just know I don't like when it feels so mysoginistic (whether that was intentional by Kennedy or not I'm not quite sure).

As an urban fantasy the story is alright but is so easily resolved I found it disappointing. The romance was alright but since Libby spends most of the time suspicious and hating on Kale I found it difficult to buy. Libby's constant suspiciousness and—since this is first person—attitude toward all warlocks based on the actions of a few were just annoying. I wanted to like her but she just wasn't a very likable protagonist.

Overall, as much as I love a witch story I just couldn't wrap my head around the world building or get past Libby's personality enough to like it at all.



Other Reviews:
All Things Urban Fantasy
Mara on Goodreads
My Not So Vacant Shelf

Notes: Review copy received via NetGalley.

Review: Kissing Kendall by Jennifer Shirk

Kissing Kendall (Maritime City #2) by Jennifer Shirk
Contemporary Romance, Category Romance, Sweet Romance
Ebook $2.99 (146 pages, BLISS)
Kendall Grisbaum is finally taking charge of her life—pouring her heart into opening a new bakery business and even allowing her best friend Georgie to play matchmaker for her. Trouble is, the one guy she secretly wants is Georgie’s older brother, Brad, who is decidedly off limits.
Brad can’t seem to get his little sister’s best friend out of his mind. He and Kendall used to be close friends, too, and as a local policeman, Brad can’t help but play protector, looking out for Kendall. When he offers to help her renovate her new bakery space on the side, their friendship—and their attraction—flares back to life.
Amid the temptation of doughnut muffins and blueberry cobbler, a new temptation draws them both closer. Can they take a chance on love when it means risking their friendship, even when not doing so risks everything?

Author Site: jennifershirk.com

Cute but a little confusing... (3 stars)

After the death of her husband, Kendall Grisbaum, has had a tough time deciding if she's ready to join the dating scene again. With a more than subtle nudge from her best friend, Georgie, she decides to give it a shot but no 'unsafe' guys. Kendall can't handle the chance another love will be taken from her too soon because his job is to serve and protect. If only Georgie's older brother, Brad, wasn't a policeman...

Brad's had a crush on Kendall for far too long and can't help the protective streak that he has for her. As she pieces her life back together and opens her bakery he tries to convince himself his interest in helping her renovate the old space is purely friendly. Can two friends get past the things that hold them back from a chance at love?

I adore a friends-to-lovers story and the Bliss imprint has been doing a great job of delivering them! If you swoon over hunky men-in-uniform, Brad is a keeper, trust me... he's one you'll wish lived in your neighborhood. Kendall is charming and very real, their chemistry is lovely and I loved seeing her come out of her grieving widow phase with his help. If you like sweet romances, KISSING KENDALL, just delivers it richly.

I did, however, have two problems with the book. The main problem was how confused I was regarding nods at the secondary characters. It turns out that this is the second book in the series but the first was with another publisher. So if you tend to hate starting in the middle of a romance series even though they are technically sound to stand alone, I recommend grabbing GEORGIE ON HIS MIND first. The second was a common thing I find with widow/widower romances. I just personally loathe when the deceased spouse is demonized or the widow(er) has this sudden revelation of how little they liked their previous spouse. Just a personal preference but I don't care for it and it really bothered me here.

If you're in the mood for a light and pretty humorous sweet romance read and you don't mind the two quibbles I had with it I would recommend picking it up! Plus, there's a recipe for the Doughnut Muffins featured in the story in the back.



Notes: Review copy received via publisher.

Check this book out if you liked:

2.06.2013

Interview: Author Cindi Madsen [FALLING FOR HER FIANCE Blog Tour]

Hi Cindi and welcome to RhiReading where today we’re celebrating your first adult romance release, FALLING FOR HER FIANCE.
I read and enjoyed your young adult contemporary title, ALL THE BROKEN PIECES—which was really imaginative and somewhat scifi-ish in nature—and you’ve had a young adult paranormal release as well. What inspired you to shift gears into the adult romance genre?
Thanks so much for reading it! Funny enough, I started writing adult romance. I queried a few projects that never hit, and then I got an idea for a YA book and started writing more of those. I like to alternate and write different genres, just like I like to read different genres. It’ll always have romance, though, because that’s one of the main reasons I write—to watch people fall in love!

With a tagline of ‘sweet & sassy short romance’ one of the key elements of the Bliss imprint that makes it different from its sister imprints is that any love scenes are closed-door or ‘fade to black’. What can you tell my readers about FALLING FOR HER FIANCE that might convince those who love their romances filled with steamy love scenes to give it a try in spite of the lack of nitty gritty details?
I’d say that while the love scenes are fade to black, there’s still a whole lot of sexual tension going on, with some nice steamy make-outs. The romantic chemistry is still key. What it comes down to is watching two characters fall in love and making the reader feel the love. And if you want to have their love scenes play out in your mind, well, feel free! Lol

If there’s one thing that rom-coms have taught us, it’s that falling for your best-friend can be really messy and hysterical. But friendship has been cited as an important trait in real HEA love stories so obviously it’s worth the trouble. What’s your favorite friends-to-HEA story and why?
So hard to pick! I really love the movie Just Friends. That’s a pretty example of messy and hysterical and totally worth it in the end.

Interview: Author Jennifer Shirk [KISSING KENDALL Blog Tour]


Hi Jennifer! Welcome to RhiReading, where today we’re welcoming you as you pass through on your KISSING KENDALL blog tour.
Thanks so much for having me!!!


As your first release with Entangled Publishing’s Bliss imprint, KISSING KENDALL features a great friends-to-lovers plot. Kendall is a widow facing her fears of moving forward, while Brad is the cop who’s had a crush on her for ages. A romance between friends is always complicated but adding in a spouse that has passed away makes for even more difficulties. What challenges did you face bringing Brad and Kendall to their happily-ever-after?
Well, it was a challenge because Kendall did love her husband who passed away. He was a really good guy, so I had to walk a fine line when comparing him to Brad. I couldn't make him look bad but I couldn't have Brad look second best either.


KISSING KENDALL is actually the second book in the Maritime City series. I was really confused at first as to how I had missed the first, GEORGIE ON HIS MIND, but as it turns out  that was released with another publisher. When you were writing GEORGIE ON HIS MIND did Brad demand he get his own book? Since this is a series who can readers look forward to getting a HEA next?
Yeah, it is confusing. LOL  Brad didn't really demand his own book, but my friends who read Georgie on His Mind sure did! I figured they had a point and then I finally had to resolve it in my own mind.

2.04.2013

Review: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles #2) by Marissa Meyer
Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Hardcover $17.99 (454pages, FEIWEL & FRIENDS)
Ebook $9.99
Audiobook $39.99

Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She's trying to break out of prison--even though if she succeeds, she'll be the Commonwealth's most wanted fugitive.
Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit's grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn't know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother's whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Author Site: marissameyer.com




Why grandma, what big secrets you have! (4 stars)

While Cinder is busy breaking out of prison and evading both the Lunars and the Earthens trying to hand her over to Queen Levana, Scarlet Benoit is just trying to find her missing grandmother. But the secrets kept by Scarlet's grandmother are the reason she's been kidnapped and why Scarlet is now in danger of falling into the wrong hands. Meeting Wolf, a mysterious young man with a skill for violence could just be a coincidence, or he could know something about who has her grandmother. But as Scarlet and Wolf make their way to Paris the secrets between them could destroy the growing feelings between them. When the paths of Cinder and Scarlet intersect worlds will collide and hard choices will have to be made to protect the people of Earth.

It's going to be a tough wait for the next book! SCARLET does move considerably slower and I had a difficult time plodding through the first 2/3 of it. With a mix of chapters focusing on either what was happening with Cinder or Scarlet it also made for a frustrating bit of wishing they'd finally cross paths. Even so, I think fans of CINDER would be doing themselves a disservice in skipping this one. There's a lot of revelation toward the end that makes up for the fact that we readers know Cinder's big secret from the get-go. Not huge surprises, but some interesting ones none the less.

Wolf is pretty enigmatic and under-developed. I wanted to like him more than I did but even once his big secret is out he lacks enough individuality to make me be more than ambivalent to him. Scarlet I liked in the way I always like Red Riding Hood, no matter her incarnation. In this case she's a tough farm girl who throws herself into her rescue mission without considering how dangerous it really is and that's actually kind of fun. The addition of another prisoner journeying with Cinder and the return of someone I don't want to spoil for you round out the cast nicely and the latter was done so awesomely I'm sure most fans of scifi and fantasy will love it.

Overall, a bit of a slow sequel that kicks up the pace in the last third that winds up being a good follow-up while setting up well for the next installment.



Notes: ARC received via Amazon Vine.

Check this book out if you liked:

2.03.2013

Review: Shield of Fire by Boone Brux

Shield of Fire (A Bringer and the Bane Novel)
Fantasy Romance, Demons
Paperback $14.99 (260 pages, ENTANGLED)
Ebook $4.99

In one night, Ravyn’s life plunges from barely tolerable to deadly. Forced to flee the only home she’s known, she stumbles headlong into the clutches of Icarus, a powerful demon intent on stealing her powers. Unfortunately for him, she has no intention of cooperating.
When Rhys realizes the woman he’s rescued from the Bane Demon is no mere human, his obligation as a Bringer dictates he protect and train her in the ways of his people. But he’s unprepared for the intense desire he feels for the fiery Ravyn. To surrender to his need may mean her death.
As the Demon King's desire for ultimate power escalates, fathers are slated against sons, and foes are made allies. The Bane threat upon them, Rhys and Ravyn must quest to unite the last of the Bringers—and explore a passion too powerful to ignore.

Author Site: boonebrux.com

A little flawed but not bad... (3 stars)

While the blurb does a pretty good job of conveying the basic overall plot of SHIELD OF FIRE, I do feel like it doesn't quite fit it either. From the first page I got the feeling this story really wanted to be a fantasy more than a romance. The world that Brux sets up is a little weakly built but I have a feeling that the next book will develop it more, there just wasn't a lot of opportunity to do it organically in this one.

Putting the fantasy world aside, the romance is pretty good. A protective hero who fights against his feelings with good reason and a heroine who starts out innocent but determined make for a good pairing. I actually disliked Ravyn at first but found that the stronger she became in her pursuit of Rhys, the more I admired her. I loved that even in other areas of her life she was brave enough to fight for what she felt was the best course of action instead of bowing out to Rhys' ideals. Not to spoil anything but I really loved the scene when they finally come together and how it was initiated. Kudos to Brux for this one!

What ultimately has made me regretfully give this only an 'okay' rating was that I just didn't feel satisfied. I wanted more world building and to understand the Bringers better so I could get behind the overall theme of the series. The romance was good but again, I felt like there was more development that could have been done, specifically regarding Rhys. I didn't feel like I knew him well enough by the time he was coupled up with Ravyn. I tend to be needy in regards to backstory with heroes since it's usually easier to relate to the heroine as a female reader.

Overall, an okay fantasy romance and a decent place to start a series. I couldn't quite rate it higher since I felt so ambivalent about it when I finished but I look forward to reading the next one very much!



Other Reviews:
Kiwi on Goodreads
A Bookworm's Haven

Notes: Review copy received via publisher.

Check this book out if you liked:

2.02.2013

Review: Recipe for Satisfaction by Gina Gordon

Recipe for Satisfaction (Madewood Brothers #1) by Gina Gordon
Contemporary Romance, Category Romance
Ebook $2.99 (160 pages, BRAZEN)
Being the financial caretaker for her deadbeat parents isn’t the life professional organizer Sterling Andrews dreamed of. Tired of being the dependable—and boring—daughter, Sterling decides to have a little fun. And what could be more fun than seducing rich bad boy chef, Jack Vaughn? Except, after one scintillating night together, Sterling’s not only lusting for Jack, she’s working for him. And remaining professional becomes harder every day. Already a major success thanks to his exclusive restaurants, Jack Vaughn is looking for something more. Ultra responsible Sterling is unlike anyone Jack has met…but she’s his employee. Unwilling to give her up, Jack makes Sterling an offer she can’t refuse—for four sexy weekends, he’ll indulge her most wicked fantasies with no professional strings attached. But will mixing business with pleasure spell disaster? Or will they find the recipe for satisfaction?
Author Site: ginagordon.net

A yummy read for Brazenettes & category romance fans! (4 stars)

If you're an avid follower of my blogs or reviews you know I don't stray that far from the paranormal shelves for just any old book. But I've found myself hopelessly addicted to Entangled Publishing's Brazen imprint. These contemporary romances featuring anything-but-vanilla heroes are spicing up ereaders everywhere and as soon as I read the blurb for RECIPE FOR SATISFACTION months ago when the imprint launched I knew I was going to be a rabid fan of Gina Gordon.

A professional organizer with a seriously messed up set of parents complicating her life and an infamous chef struggling with balancing what he wants versus what is expected of him. If you enjoy your hero and heroine to be admirably good with some rough cut edges you will love Jack and Sterling. I found her extremely relatable with the exception that she often 'just goes with it' when Jack pushes her beyond what seemed to be her comfort zone. In contrast Jack is a little split in his personality, broody one minute and seemingly fine the next.

As a category romance RECIPE FOR SATISFACTION is a prime example of the genre. It's just a little over-the-top and that's what makes it ridiculously fun. There's one particular love scene involving a closet and a pair of purple heels I know myself and many other readers have noted as a favorite. Ultimately though, steamy love scenes and sleeping-with-the-boss trope aside, it's a really enjoyable story about two people trying to do right by their families without getting burned in the process. I'm a total sucker for any romance involving food and if the rest of the Madewood Brothers series (3 more chefs!!!) is as delicous as Jack and Sterling's story I'm sure to be a rabid fan.

Readers who've enjoyed previous titles from the Brazen imprint should be sure and add RECIPE FOR SATISFACTION to the to-be-read list. Not a Brazenette yet? If you enjoy a steamy romance featuring a broody hero with all of the tropey goodness one expects in a category title you are sure to find it a lucious read.



Other Reviews:
Cocktails and Books

Notes: Review copy received via publisher.

Check this book out if you liked:

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