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


3.31.2013

Review: Night Demon by Lisa Kessler

Night Demon (Night #3) by Lisa Kessler
Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Vampires, Shapeshifters
Ebook $3.99 (304 pages, ENTANGLED)
Deep within the Yucatan jungle, a demon has awakened...
Gretchen Finch’s job would be much easier if she weren’t alone in the jungle with a brilliant recluse whose every glance sets her on fire. But the more she focuses on her work, the closer she gets to unlocking the mysteries of a terrible creature—the Night Demon—that threatens the world as she knows it. Though her scientific mind tells her it’s impossible, she’s beginning to believe the ancient Mayan tales as the sinister jungle comes alive around her.
Lukas Smith has spent hundreds of years searching for answers to his immortal Night Walker nature. As a series of ancient glyphs become clear, he’s about to find out more than he’d ever hoped, but the more he learns, the more his fate intertwines with the Night Demon, and the harder it becomes to hide his immortal secret from the beautiful, intelligent Gretchen.
Together, they must find a way to stop the inexplicable violence and mass destruction surging across the earth before the Night Demon destroys more than just mankind.
Author Site: authorlisakessler.com

If you lean toward Urban Fantasy you will love NIGHT DEMON...(4 stars)

Tormented by his accidentally immortality, Lukas Smith, has spent most of his eternity trying to find a way to end it. His suicide attempts have thus far been without success only causing more grief as he begins to think there can be no end for him and the people he has slain in hunger weigh heavily upon him. In the Yucatan jungle he hopes he has found the key to his final death but he needs a brilliant young archeaologist's help to decipher the secrets hidden in the jungle. Gretchen's attraction to Lukas feels silly but somehow allows her to ignore the strangeness of his behavior as the pair work together. Surely he's just eccentric and hard working.

When their discoveries are suddenly tainted with the feel of watchful eyes in their remote camp and strange suicides begin occuring out in the world it's not long before Lukas has to seek the aid of his maker. The Night Demon has been awakened and the only way to return her to her slumber is with a death and the power of the four original Night Walkers, Mayan Gods who departed their homeland centuries ago. But secrets and lies threaten all and power always corrupts. No one will be left unaffected by the violence the Night Demon craves.

I can't lie and say I loved NIGHT DEMON because ultimately it wasn't quite what I was expecting. This is one of those crazy awesome mythologies that is refreshing in a genre that can get pretty stagnant. That's both a blessing and tiny bit of a curse for this particular book because the Night Demon plot really overshadows the romance between Gretchen and Lukas. I enjoyed both aspects but with so many characters packed into one book I was left feeling a little disappointed that the focus was often pulled away from the pair. That said I freaking LOVED both aspects individually.

If you love Urban Fantasy this feels much more like that than a romance. Gods and monsters, shapeshifting galore, lots of fighting and violence... yep, definitely more of that going on than kisses and such. The attraction between Lukas and Gretchen is well established already at the start and the danger is what brings them together and it's satisfying but never really feels like the central plot. I really liked her and he was okay, but very broody, I kind of wanted to tell him to stop whining and open his eyes to the life that's passing him by while he's moping. lol If you enjoyed NIGHT WALKER and NIGHT THIEF you'll probably be thrilled that Callisto, Kate, Kane, and Rita are all here for the big showdown. I kind of loved Rita even more after this book but don't want to spoil anything so you have to read it and see why.

While I didn't quite love it, specifically because I felt pulled in two directions, you HAVE to read this one if you're a fan of the series. Kessler is just brilliant in taking an under-utilized mythology and making it the core of a new one. The story leads into the next book with some exciting twists and I can't wait to read NIGHT CHILD!



Notes: Review copy received via publisher.

Check this book out if you liked:

3.29.2013

Weekend Reading [03/29-03/31] :: Dot-Comming and great reading!


Holy balls! What a week. What a freaking week. Seriously.

So much news and stuff coming in April I don't even know where to start. How about the news I've been wanting to point out and just have been busy not remembering to do it... I'm now a .com! There was a sale and a MyPoints thing for GoDaddy so I figured what-the-heck and got it for under $5 for the year. Nice eh? It was a little confusing to set up but it makes me feel really legit.

It's currently spring break here, our kids only get a few days here in Montana and the weather is sucky. I remember getting a whole week and us coming over this way sometimes from Washington and now I'm wishing we could go over there. lol Figures huh?

At the moment I'm only reading one book too. It's freakish. I rarely have just one going. The best part is it's a freaking awesome book. If you love fantasy romances with nifty, odd influences this one is gonna knock your socks off. DEMON'S DAUGHTER is one of those surprising books that you kind f expect to be a bit fluffy thanks to the cover. But it's definitely along the vein of the amazing books by Shona Husk (Dark series) and Jane Kindred (House of Arkhangel’sk series) that I've loved. I think you guys will enjoy it too.

I can say that in April Entangled's Covet imprint is relaunching with new covers for the 3 original titles and 4 new titles coming out. I want to get all 4 into my schedule but I'm not sure how I'm going to pull it off. Here's hoping I don't fall behind reading this weekend thanks to the holiday.

And on that note I better get going so I can maybe squeeze in a few chapters while the tot is caught up in her cartoons. Have a great weekend and a happy holiday! -- Rhi

Interview: Author Brooke Moss [KEEPING SECRETS IN SEATTLE Blog Tour + giveaway!]

Dear readers, Y'all know I adore this author to bits. So please, please, please go buy her book! Check out my review if you want more details on why, visit Brooke's blog/website to see what an absolute riot she is, and be sure and enter the giveaway that goes with this post because tomorrow is the last day!!! Now read on because Brooke and I had some fun getting this together and the giggles abound... -- Rhi


Welcome back to the blog Brooke! We’ve bonded over lots of things since we first became acquainted when your debut launched in 2011 so writing an interview seemed like a logical step for this blog tour. But here I am scratching my head and wondering what I could ask that would really be fun and interesting to my readers... and I just want to link to your blog and say ‘you guys should be reading this’. You hear that readers? Take that advice because Brooke Moss is an amazing writer and a hilariously real human being you should get to know. ;)


GAH! I love you, too, Rhianna! *tear* That’s one thing about me you can count on, I keep it real. Even when I should shut up and turn on the charm....


So in the interest of you and I having some of our usual fun that the readers can get something from, here are my quirky queries for the day:


Bring it.

The book you’re currently on tour for, KEEPING SECRETS IN SEATTLE, was originally written as a dual-perspective trilogy. As a book goes under an editor’s ‘knife’ to prepare it for publishing it often changes dramatically until the finished novel is a mutant so different from the original it doesn’t feel like the same story. I can’t imagine how difficult such a process can be for both the editor and the author! Can you tell my readers a little bit about what kind of major changes happened to get KSiS to it’s published state?


Well…in the original book, here’s what happened (that hit the editing room floor):


  1. Violet was originally named Dillon, and Landon was named Gale. This happened before the Hunger Games hype, and that was one of the things that brought Dillon (Vi) & Gale (Landon) together—they both had names that belonged to the opposite sex.
  2. Violet originally had a second part to her “secret” that resulted in her needing to go away to Utah for, ahem, 9 months. But it was cut, for book length purposes.
  3. In the original version, the book was long, drawn out, and was THREE books long!! Ultimately, it was a good decision on my Editor’s part to cut it down to one book. But I still mourn for all of those scenes that were cut.
  4. There was a cut scene in which Violet goes to Alicia’s wedding shower, & kicks her a** at a party game devoted to seeing how much Alicia knew about her fiancé. It resulted in a serious cat fight. I was sat to see that one go.
  5. In the original version, Gabe DOES marry Alicia, but then realizes how badly he’s screwed up shortly after the wedding, and goes to win Violet’s heart back. She doesn’t give him an easy time, though. She makes him work for it…for about a year.
  6. Gabe’s family, specifically his sisters, have a much bigger role in the original version. One of them is married and has a baby during the course of the story, and it helps Gabe realize that Alicia has no intention of having a child someday.


And in the new version:


  1. Everybody has a very gender specific name.
  2. Alicia isn’t NEARLY as evil as she was in the original version. Again, my editor was RIGHT on this one, because the reader needed to at least sort of understand why someone like Gabe was marrying someone like Bulimia Betty.
  3. SPOILER ALERT: (Look away if you haven’t read Keeping Secrets in Seattle yet!) Clearly, Gabe does not marry Alicia.
  4. Gabe’s motivation for marrying someone other than Violet are unclear throughout most of the book.
  5. Violet’s roommates, Kim & Betsy, made lots of jokes about not being allowed to get married, etc…but in the years since I originally wrote this book, gay marriage was passed in Washington state…and now they’re allowed to get married! Congrats, Kim & Betsy!
  6. Leeanrda, Violet’s mother, was whittled down to a very small role in this book, as were Landon’s parents. This meant a lot less unnecessary fluff…but we missed out on some funny scenes.


Violet! How could you?!? Seriously.
image source: pinterest
Landon became very popular with readers who have reviewed the book. But then, I’m pretty sure the David Beckham look-alike who rides a motorcycle, wants to have kids, and live in a cabin type guy is impossible not to love. Except that one of the key moments in the story is Violet analyzing how she feels about him. I found it extremely moving and was proud of Violet’s ability to make the choice she does. Tell us more about how Landon came into being? Was he ever the hero? Was he inspired by something or someone (aside from his looks, obviously) special?


I honestly created Landon to be completely perfect…with the exception that he moved a bit too fast, and was a bit too intense. I wanted to make it really, really hard for Violet to choose between the two men in her life. Because sometimes (in real life) we have to choose between whoever the “right” choice might be, and who our heart wants…which might not be the person everyone wants us to pick. That was the conundrum I was trying to create for Violet. And obviously….in my mind…a David Beckham look alike who drives a Harley and has sleeved arms is pretty much perfection in my mind.

3.25.2013

Cover Reveal: Hard As It Gets by Laura Kaye

 
Tall, dark, and lethal...

Trouble just walked into Nicholas Rixey's tattoo parlor. Becca Merritt is warm, sexy, wholesome-pure catnip to a very jaded Nick. He's left his military life behind to become co-owner of Hard Ink Tattoo, but Becca is his ex-commander's daughter. Loyalty won't let him turn her away. Lust has plenty to do with it too.

3.22.2013

Weekend Reading [03/22-03/24] :: Now with more bacon flavor!


Admit it... you've totally smashed a spider with one of your books and felt worse for the book than the spider... *shifty eyes*

So I went to the post office today. I was wearing my Princess Leia hoodie and forgot until the mail clerk commented on it. Whooooops. Worse... I stopped to get a Powerball ticket and a cappucino on the way home and did it a-freakin'-gain! *facepalm*

So this weekend the hubs and I are playing a bit of catch-up since he just got off a 9 day work stretch. We're gonna do some popcorn and soda with the teenagers (OMG I hate admitting the kids are that old) and watch The Hobbit. We saw it in the theater and I know purists hated it but heck with you pursists... I have two words: HOT DWARVES. Of course when I went with the guys all they could talk about was backlit Galadriel. Apparently they don't like short, hairy guys as much as I do. :P

What are your weekend plans? I'm working on NIGHT DEMON and so far it's slow. Not in a bad way, but in the way that means I'm getting frustrated waiting for a big fight or some smoochies. It doesn't help that for the first time in months I didn't have insomnia and was sleepy BEFORE midnight. That never happens to me. So as much as I wanted to keep reading I had to put the book down and sleep.

On that note I am off to feed these people some dinner so we can get our hobbit action on before too late. Have a fab weekend! -- Rhi

3.20.2013

Review: Entanglement by Dan Rix

Entanglement by Dan Rix
Young Adult, Dystopian, Romance
Ebook $2.99 (235 pages, SELFPUBLISHED)
In a world like ours, humans are born in pairs. When a newborn boy takes his first breath in the coastal town of Tularosa, the exact time is noted, recorded in the Registry, and later compared to the birth times of other newborns around the globe. There will be one identical match—his half. They will meet on their eighteenth birthday and they will spend their lives together. Except this time, there is no match.
Hotheaded heartthrob Aaron Harper is scheduled to meet his half in twenty-nine days, and he doesn’t buy a word of that entanglement crap. So what if he and his half were born the same day and share a spooky psychic connection? Big deal. After breaking one too many teenage girls’ hearts, he’ll stick to brawling with the douchebag rugby players any day.
Until the day a new girl arrives at school and threatens everything he takes for granted.
Cold and unapproachable, Amber Lilian hates the growing list of similarities between her and the one boy she can’t read, Aaron: born the same day, both stubborn, both terrified of meeting their halves. . . . All the more reason not to trust him. That she would rather die than surrender herself as her half’s property is none of his damn business. But once lost in Aaron’s dangerous, jet black eyes, she’s already surrendered more than she cares to admit.
Tangled in each other’s self-destructive lives, Aaron and Amber learn the secret behind their linked births and why they feel like halves—but unless they can prove it before they turn eighteen, Aaron faces a lifetime alone in a world where everyone else has a soulmate . . . and he’ll have to watch Amber give herself to a boy who intends to possess not only her body but also a chunk of her soul.
Entanglement combines young adult dystopian with a little science fiction, fantasy, and romance. If you enjoy books like The Hunger Games, Divergent, Matched, and Delirium, then you will devour this novel.

Author Site: danrixauthor.blogspot.com

Great writing, not-so-great world-building (4 stars)

Quantum Entanglement. I'm not sure whether to love or hate the concept. It's an exciting 'what-if' to see an author play with but really doesn't allow for plausible world building. When Aaron's story begins it seems like a pretty straight forward dystopian romance, will the girl he's falling for be his Half. But it's never that simple and the problems just get thicker and thicker for him as he grows ever closer to his 18th birthday, the day he'll meet his match and their psychic connection will be complete. Amber and their push-and-pull relationship makes for great dramatic tension but it's so much more than that. I'm honestly finding it difficult to ellaborate because it's the sort of story you need to read and let happen organically or it feels like a spoiler to give you too much.

What I can say, is that conceptually, it's very exciting. A world where you meet the person your mind is essentially psychicly bound to and you live happily ever after. What's not to like about seeing that played out in traditional dystopian rebellion? Well... it's the myriad of questions that unravel the potential for any of it to be possible that I found problematic. I won't go into them because I want other readers to have the opportunity to reach the conclusions I did on their own—or be fortunate enough not to suspend disbelief enough to NOT have that problem.

Aaron and Amber are fairly likable characters but I felt like both lacked something that I never quite put my finger on. The secondary cast is very cliched and almost cartoonish which I didn't like but might suit younger readers who don't read a lot of the genre might enjoy. Chances are, if you read a lot of dystopian fiction like I do, you'll see the end coming from the start but feel satisfied none-the-less.

Ultimately, in spite of what probably seems like a very negative review I liked ENTANGLEMENT. Rix has a writing style that I liked a lot, building great tension and suspense. I was holding my breath on more than one occasion! In spite of the world building being very weak—and having the same issues as Lauren Oliver's DELIRIUM—it's the sort of romantic dystopian that young adult readers will love. If you loved DELIRIUM or CHOSEN ONES by Tiffany Truitt be sure and read ENTANGLEMENT!



Notes: Review copy received via author.

Check this book out if you liked:

3.19.2013

Review: A Taste of Trouble by Gina Gordon

A Taste of Trouble by Gina Gordon
Contemporary Romance
Ebook $3.99 (216 pages, ENTANGLED EDGE)
When Liv Crawford decided to pursue her dream of owning her own bakery, it was no surprise that she forgot to add “maintaining a serious relationship” to her business plan. Not when she believes a cupcake can fix anything, even loneliness.
Jake Miller isn’t concerned about being lonely. He’s cast aside his playboy lifestyle to pursue something more meaningful, his passion for photography. So, when his boss asks him to pursue a beautiful woman and coerce her to his office for a disguised meeting—no matter what it takes—in exchange for the opportunity to turn his hobby into a career, he jumps at the chance. At first sight, Liv awakens his long-buried desire for commitment, but his secret mission could ruin his hopes of keeping her.
Despite Liv’s commitment to swear off relationships to run her bakery, Jake quickly becomes her number one distraction. Yet, even her misgivings can’t tame the heat as they straddle the line between love and ambition.

Author Site: ginagordon.net

Guilty pleasure reading at its finest! (5 stars)

Liv Crawford is hard at work making her dream of owning her own bakery come true when Jake Miller walks into her life. But getting Cupcake! ready for its grand opening is proving to be riddled with unexpected troubles and expenses. She doesn't have time for a meaningful relationship, but a playboy like Jake could certainly provide a little stress relief between problems.

Jake, however, has more than one thing motivating his interest in Liv, a tangled mess that could ruin his professional life if he makes the wrong move. When his boss sent him to get Liv to meet with him he didn't expect to start feeling the same way about her as he does his passion for photography. Can two people motivated by their passions overcome the obstacles to find a lasting desire for one another?

Woah buddy... let me tell you. This is one of those books I didn't really want to write a review for. Because it's THAT good. The kind of read that's just like a cupcake. You've got your filling cake part and the luciously sweet icing to make it a balanced read that's difficult to put down. Cheesy analogy? Yeah. But it fits. Gordon is fast becoming a favorite author of mine because she creates a scene and then populates it with characters in such a way you don't forget them. They play in your head like a movie. Liv and Jake seemed like they'd be really cliche in the blurb but manage to be very likable and skate that line between being tropey and unique, in a good way. There's chemistry oozing off the pages and a well built cast of secondary characters support them through the romance.

If you love your romances with a nice bit of heat I am certain I'm not the only reader who will be telling her friends and followers to read this for 'the icing scene'. Just thinking about it makes me want to make a batch of buttercream. And that's all you need to know. ;)

If you need a fun but not totally light and giggly romance to read over a weekend this is just the kind of book I think you'll enjoy. It's sexy and a little sad at just the right moments and ultimately leaves you with a well earned HEA for a couple that you'll be rooting for from that first spark of chemistry between them.



Notes: ARC received via publisher.

Check this book out if you liked:

3.18.2013

Release Party: Night Demon by Lisa Kessler


Dear readers,
 
Sorry this didn't get to you sooner. Our weekend wound up twice as busy as we thought and today I had so much RL stuff going on I sort of spaced that I hadn't set the post up. But here it is and I can't wait to give it a read. :) Enjoy the glorious abs then grab your copy!
 
-- Rhi

 
Gretchen Finch’s job would be much easier if she weren’t alone in the jungle with a brilliant recluse whose every glance sets her on fire. But the more she focuses on her work, the closer she gets to unlocking the mysteries of a terrible creature—the Night Demon—that threatens the world as she knows it. Though her scientific mind tells her it’s impossible, she’s beginning to believe the ancient Mayan tales as the sinister jungle comes alive around her.

 Lukas Smith has spent hundreds of years searching for answers to his immortal Night Walker nature. As a series of ancient glyphs become clear, he’s about to find out more than he’d ever hoped, but the more he learns, the more his fate intertwines with the Night Demon, and the harder it becomes to hide his immortal secret from the beautiful, intelligent Gretchen.

Together, they must find a way to stop the inexplicable violence and mass destruction surging across the earth before the Night Demon destroys more than just mankind.

Purchase or shelf NIGHT DEMON:

Also, check out the first book in the series, Night Walker, as well as the prequel, Night Thief.
 

 
Lisa Kessler is an award winning author of dark paranormal fiction. Her debut novel, Night Walker, won a San Diego Book Award for Best Published Fantasy-Sci-fi-Horror as well as the Romance Through the Ages Award for Best Paranormal and Best First Book.

Her short stories have been published in print anthologies and magazines, and her vampire story, Immortal Beloved, was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award.

When she's not writing, Lisa is a professional vocalist, performing with the San Diego Opera as well as other musical theater companies in San Diego.
 
Connect with Lisa Kessler

To celebrate the launch of Night Demon, Lisa is giving away four prizes: A $25 Amazon gift card, a Mayan Glyph necklace, a signed paperback of Night Walker, and an ebook of Night Thief.

 

3.15.2013

Weekend Reading [03/15-03/17] :: Wishing you luck & smexy books!

 
What has your week been like dear readers? I'm in that phase of healing from being sick where you're well enough to function but still symptomatic enough to really hate life. Don'tcha hate that?
 
I've been admittedly not very focused with my reading this week. Some of it was being sick, a little bit of it was having the hubs out of town on business and spending that time juggling kid stuff, and part of it is me trying to get my Tastefully Simple business started. The latter is really exciting but I need two more people to host parties between now and the 14th of April so I'm in scramble mode. lol
 
This has, however, been an exciting week if you're a social media nerd watching the happenings around your favorite authors and publishers. Pre-orders are up for Lisa Kessler's NIGHT DEMON and Kit Rocha's BEYOND CONTROL released early! BEYOND SHAME is sale priced at 99¢ right now as well so if you haven't picked it up now's a great time to buy. Next week both series have release day parties on Facebook so be sure to join in the one for BC and the one for ND for chances to win prizes and celebrate these much anticipated reads. :D

This weekend I'm hoping to get my ARC of BEYOND CONTROL finished up. So far it's fabulous and dirty and I am dying to get BEYOND PAIN into my hands now that there've been more teases of Bren and Six. My other read, HIS RELUCTANT RANCHER has also been ridiculously good. I honestly didn't think I was going to like it and yet I actually nodded off trying to read it a couple of nights ago. When that happens it's 'cause I'm sooo tired but can't make myself stop reading. Anyone have a recent read that was that good? What's on your agenda this weekend?

The hubs has a rotten work schedule right now so it looks like it'll be me working and doing the mom thing all weekend. Here's hoping I can get those 2 parties I need booked by Monday, so I can focus on books more next week. That'd be super cool and would let me flex my party muscle. I'm so nervous about messing up my shpeel as I talk products but it's actually a lot like what I do here, just in person. Crazy, huh?

Much love and wishes that you'll have a happy, reading and ♣ luck-filled ♣ weekend! -- Rhi

P.S. -- Still lots of giveaways going on here at RhiReading including a Kindle, Amazon giftcards, and of course, books! Be sure and check the sidebar for which posts to check out.

3.14.2013

Review: Holding Out for a Hero (anthology)

Holding Out for a Hero (anthology)
Romance, Superheroes
Ebook $2.99 (355 pages, ENTANGLED)
Scarlett Fever by Christine Bell and Ella Dane
After five years in training, it's finally time for Scarlett Fever and her fellow superheroes to leave the United Superhero Academy and test their powers out in the real world. There's only one problem. She's been assigned to partner with arrogant, by the book, and irritatingly hot, Blade of Justice.
Blade's whole life has gone according to plan, and he's more than ready to move on to the big time, protecting a metropolis of his own. But his perfectly ordered life is derailed when he's teamed up with the fiery maverick, Scarlett Fever.
Sparks fly the moment they arrive in Plunketville, Oklahoma, as they each set out to force the other to request a transfer. They soon discover there's more going on in this single stop-sign town than blowing up mailboxes and cow tipping. If Scarlett can get Blade to listen to his gut, and he can teach her to use her head, they just might have a fighting chance.
Ironheart by Nico Rosso
Vince might be hard as steel, but he's not invincible. Not when iron touches him, especially in the hands of an evil minion. Not when Kara ran away after a whirlwind affair, just when he thought he might be falling in love. And definitely not when she returns, looking for his help.
The archvillain TechHead is coming for Kara and her superhero teammates, and he's determined to use their combined power to create the ultimate weapon. But Kara can't fight him alone. She needs Vince's brutal skill, though being with him means she risks losing her beloved secret identity, leaving her nowhere else to hide.
When TechHead makes a play to capture Kara, Vince has more to lose than just his heart. But he will do anything for the woman he loves, even if it means putting his heart on the line again.
Playing With Fire by Tamara Morgan
Fiona Nelson has always been one hot ticket--even before she took the conversion serum that gave her superhu¬man abilities. Fiona's powers come at a price: lack of human contact, or she won't be the only thing burning. When she loses control of her emotions, her fire powers run rampant... and she's hurt enough people already. Including herself.
But when the man behind her conversion returns to black¬mail her into helping him gain power, the only person she can turn to is Ian Jones, the man who broke her teenage heart. The man determined to expose the criminal known as Fireball, whose explosive escapades are just a little too close to Fiona's M.O.
Ian is convinced Fiona's dangerous, convinced she's Fire¬ball, and convinced he'll damn himself if he doesn't resist a heat that's always drawn him to Fiona like a moth to a flame--but Ian has his own secrets.
And he'll learn far too soon what happens when you play with fire.
From the Ashes by Adrien-Luc Sanders
Sociopath. Killer. Deviant. Monster, devoid of morals, incapable of human emotion. The villain known as Spark has been called that and more, and as a super-powered aberrant has masterminded count¬less crimes to build his father's inhuman empire.
Yet to professor Sean Archer, this fearsome creature is only Tobias Rutherford--antisocial graduate research¬er, quiet underachiever, and a fascinating puzzle Sean is determined to solve.
One kiss leads to an entanglement that challenges everything Tobias knows about himself, aberrants, and his own capacity to love. But when his father orders him to assassinate a senator, one misstep unravels a knot of political intrigue that places the fate of humans and aberrants alike in Tobias's hands. As danger mounts and bodies pile deeper, will Tobias succumb to his dark nature and sacrifice Sean--or will he defy his father and rise from the ashes to become a hero in a world of villains?


A Superb Collection of Modern Superpowered Romances (4 stars)

Having previously read and enjoyed FROM THE ASHES (5 stars) and PLAYING WITH FIRE (3 stars) when they were individually released on 2012 I was thrilled to get the entire anthology in my hands. In the interest of keeping this review to a length that won't bore you please note that you can find my reviews for the former novellas under their respective pages on whichever outlet this review is posted on. Instead of going over them again let me focus on the other two!

SCARLETT FEVER by Christine Bell and Ella Dane, is the one for the reader who loves their hero and heroine as opposite as possible. Scarlett and Blade spend more time butting heads over their respective ways to handle situations than the tourists spend searching for air conditioning. Their partnership is far from their ideal assignment but they both know how important their first assigment is for their careers as superheroes.

I am already a huuuuuge fan of Christine Bell and her trademark humor really makes this one a pleasure to read. At this point I don't think there's a genre she can't pull off with wicked dialog and a sensuality level that sizzles at just the right times. Ella Dane is a new author and I hope to see what she can do on her own because together these gals made Scarlett and Blade a couple I couldn't wait to see clash and ultimately fall in love. If you're a Bell fan too, this is one you shouldn't miss. This is definitely the lightest of the anthology and sure to appeal to fans of superheroes-in-training type stories—think Sky High all grown up! (5 stars)

IRONHEART by Nico Rosso, is the one I've been dogging my guy friends to read. Rosso knows how to write a kickass story with authenticly male verbiage—and I should hope so considering he's the only male romance writer that I read regularly. I don't know how better to explain it than that he has a way of taking the things I love about romance and roughing them up a bit in a way that feels deliciously wrong in all the right ways. (For example, I don't like a love scene to feature the 'P' word in reference to female anatomy but it always feels like the right choice in Rosso's work). I think his style will very much appeal to the comic book loving guy who has a soft spot for love stories.

Ironheart is pretty dark, almost as dark as FROM THE ASHES, but has the best—and in my humble opinion—most original world building. Vince and Kara's powers are just too cool and sure to cause many a geek heart to flutter. This is the one for the true comic book fan, the one who has a collection of 80's Marvel titles stored away for safe keeping. As characters, I did feel a bit detached from them, mostly due to the curse of novellas not leaving lots of room for character development and back story. Let's face it... superhero fans love us some back story. That said it was a freaking awesome one for fight scenes and I would seriously love to see it as an anime style movie. If you love Rosso's writing style and want to see him do a comic book this is a must read. (4 stars)

Now, in case you don't want to find my full length reviews for the other two here are a quick snippet from each:

PLAYING WITH FIRE by Tamara Morgan, It's not a bad story or a bad romance, it just fell flat to me. The whole hot-girl with a crush on the geek (as teenagers) thing kind of confused me and never really felt plausible. The plot has a nice twist that's not totally unpredictable but enjoyable. As a novella it's a nice afternoon filler read for readers who love comicbook type stories and superheroes. (3 stars)

FROM THE ASHES by Adrien-Luc Sanders, shouldn't a love story... a romance novel... be focused on two parties (regardless of gender) finding a happily ever after together? Keeping that in mind, FROM THE ASHES was actually my first m/m romance read and I owe Sanders a debt of gratitude for being able to write Tobias' story in such a way that was so organic and true, that I loved it. As a character, Tobias is fascinating and a narrator I could quickly liken to Dexter (of the television series, as I haven't read the books). I very much enjoyed the moral dilemma of the abberants... if you were told you couldn't be anything other than the monster does that make it so? If, like myself, you enjoy science fiction and superhero-ish type romances where neither race nor sexual orientation matter as long as there's a great plot and two people falling in love I highly recommend FROM THE ASHES. (5 stars)

As an anthology I cannot recommend HOLDING OUT FOR A HERO enough. This is what I wish all romance anthologies could be like. A mixed bag of racial and sexual orientation stories where neither of those actually matter in the grand scheme. These are really enjoyable romances plain and simple and if you are a geek for superheroes you are sure to find at least one story in here you'll enjoy.



Notes: Review copy received via publisher.

Check this book out if you liked:

3.13.2013

Review: From Here to Eternity by Paige Cuccaro

From Here to Eternity by Paige Cuccaro
Scifi Romance, Novella
Ebook $2.99 (79 pages, EVERAFTER/ENTANGLED)
Love never dies…but apparently Rachel has.
Waking up one day to her obituary in the news and no recollection of the past few weeks, Rachel calls her husband, Nate, in a panic, at the research facility where he works. Nate is the inventor of CYANAs, Cybernetic Anthropoid Automatons, vessels that look exactly like humans and can store a person’s memories…and maybe even his or her soul.
When Nate arrives home, Rachel doesn’t recognize the man who claims to be her husband. Can Nate convince Rachel to fall in love with him all over again? Especially once she realizes what he’s done…and what it means for their future?

Author Site: website

Science geek lovers take note... (4 stars)

What if you woke up tomorrow and discovered your obituary in the morning paper? Rachel's day starts out like that and gets even more discombobulated when she calls her husband to figure out just what is going on. He's the inventor of technology that allows the transfer of human memories into robot bodies—forgive me, I'm dumbing it down here—with the potential to extend life... or be used as a weapon. When Nate comes home to explain the odd situation and she doesn't recognize him a whole world of possibilities open up before them. But when your soul mate has made a choice you didn't want made for you can either of you live with the consequences to you both? That pretty much sums up the plot of FROM HERE TO ETERNITY.

Without giving too much away, I loved what Cuccaro did here. Loved it! I was honestly pretty impressed with the whole moral/ethical dilemma of a world where people could sort of become a robotic version of themselves and how well she worked it in this short format. But then, I kind of love robots and scifi romance enough to buy into it. I adored Nate and Rachel. They're not fresh out of college kids going at love for the first time. They're an established married couple facing the worst situation I can imagine (aside from child related ones) and working out their feelings for one another and their future.

The only thing knocking this from being a five star review was that I wanted it to either be a bit longer, so I was more invested in the hero and heroine before the story opening, or for it to be part of an anthology of similar tales. FROM HERE TO ETERNITY feels so lonely on its own. Overall, it's a hard one to review without giving spoilers left and right so just trust me when I say you will enjoy this one if you like scifi romances with geeky scientist heroes and specially robot-has-a-soul stories like Bicentennial Man or one of my childhood favorites, Short Circuit.



Notes: Review copy received via publisher.

3.12.2013

Get Blissed Out with the latest BLISS titles!

My dearest readers,

I am in major recovery mode right now. As usual I am the last one in the house to get sick and I've got it baaaad. The hubs has been pretty helpful though so I have tried to rest. Now I'm in catch-up mode. Laundry, dishes, and disinfecting everything!

Since my head's still too cloudy from the crud and the medicine I'm skipping working on reviews and putting word out on two exciting new Bliss titles you guys might want to check out. Enjoy!

-- Rhi

About JUST FOR THE SUMMER
 
Dani Sullivan has come to Lake Bliss to write her latest cookbookÉand to see if the baby she gave up for adoption eight years ago is happy. When she’s done with her reconnaissance, she plans to return to Detroit without any doubts about past decisions. But when she sees her little boy—indeed happy despite living with his single dad—she finds she can’t keep her promise to stay awayÉfrom her son or from his flirtatious father, who has no idea of her true identity.

Recently divorced sheriff Matt Reagan is ready for a new relationship, but he doesn’t want short-term—his son needs permanence, and so does Matt’s heart. Unfortunately, it’s the smart-mouthed and sinfully sexy Ms. Sullivan who catches his eye. But when Matt learns Dani’s secrets, will he still want her to stay? Or will her chance for love last just for the summer?
 
Purchase or shelf JUST FOR THE SUMMER:
 
 

About THE PRACTICE PROPOSAL 

Liza Sutherland isn’t looking for love. Not from a charity-auction date she didn’t even bid on and especially not with Nationals first baseman Cole Collins, the guy she obsessed over as an awkward teenager. She won’t get involved with a notorious player, no matter how attractive Cole is.

Cole Collins is up for contract renegotiation, but after too many late-night parties, he’ll need some positive publicity before he can make the roster. His agent, Frank, pitches Liza as the perfect prop…only Cole didn’t account for Liza no longer being just a teenager with a crush. She’s gorgeous and smart and he’s instantly hooked.
 
When Frank makes Liza a deal she can’t refuse—a bet she will fall in love with Cole or a cool half mil goes to charity—the game is on. But neither bet on the real feelings that surface. Could a fake fling turn into an official forever?
 
Purchase or shelf THE PRACTICE PROPOSAL:

Book Blitz! THE STILLNESS OF YOU by Julie Bale [+ giveaway!]



EXCERPT

It was then that I saw her.

She glanced up and our eyes met. Even though we were in the middle of this hot mess it felt like there was only the two of us. And just like in the movies, you know the scene, the one when the music dive bombs and everything goes slow-motion, fades to gray and comes to a standstill? The one where the girl and the guy finally realize they belong together?

3.11.2013

Guestpost: Author Roxanne Snopek [HIS RELUCTANT RANCHER Blog Tour + giveaway!]


Dear readers,

I am so thrilled to have author Roxanne Snopek visiting the blog again! Last time I grilled her about the setting and such so I thought this time I'd invite her to tell me what the appeal of cowboys is. Why? 'Cause here in the real Montana cowboys aren't like the ones you see on television or read about it books. They're more likely to wear baseball caps and have a 'farmer's tan' than be bronzed and donning a 'cowboy hat'. I've never been much interested in them until Roxanne's THREE RIVER RANCH series came around. If you're like me... read on and then be sure and grab your copy!

-- Rhi

Hi Rhianna! Nice to see you again!

What’s the appeal of cowboys, you ask? That’s like trying to explain the appeal of Turtle Treat ice-cream. It’s awesome, what else can I say? Nuts, chocolate, caramel, ice-cream. It’s got everything I like, and nothing I don’t like.

That’s cowboys. Fantasy guys living a fantasy life. Strong yet sensitive. Gentlemanly good manners without sexism. Boiled coffee and campfire beans under a starlit sky. No mosquitoes. No sciatica from sleeping on the ground. No eye-watering cheese-rippers to sully the night air.

And when they sweat doing their manly stuff, it’s always a good *manly* smell – huh?? - instead of the kind that sears your sinuses.

We know it’s not real… but who cares? It’s a chance to dream.

I mean, I love my guy, truly, madly, deeply. ‘Til death do us part, etc. But do I love *everything* about him? No. He’s human, after all. And at 1 am, when I can’t sleep because of his dump-truck-decibel-level snoring, I could press my pillow into his face, truly, madly, deeply.

You can’t live on Turtle Treat ice cream. It’s not real food. And cowboy heroes in books aren’t real either. They’re a treat, an escape, a break from the stuff of life.

Plus, sometimes they remind us of what to look for in, or what we love about our Real Life Heroes. Everything we like, with nothing we don’t. Plus horses!

Throw in some Turtle Treat ice cream and you’ve got a little slice of heaven!

Now, a question for readers: what’s *your* favorite ice-cream flavor?

About HIS RELUCTANT RANCHER

The last place city girl Desiree Burke expected to find herself was living at and working on a ranch, much less butting heads with the ranch’s sexy cowboy owner, Zach Gamble. But that’s exactly where she ends up after an incident at work leads her to her best friend Rory’s doorstep. Desiree is a gifted physical therapist, and Rory knows exactly where her brand of tough love is needed the most.

Zach’s been through hell and back. A devastating car crash left his brother gone, his father paralyzed, and him with mental scars a mile wide. His survivor guilt alone makes him sure he doesn’t deserve to find love. But as Des works her way into his ranch, his family, and his life, suddenly the last person who belonged there is the only one he believes belongs…with him.

Purchase HIS RELUCTANT RANCHER at:
 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 
Roxanne Willems Snopek is an award-winning freelance writer of everything from corporate newsletters to personal essays. Author of the Amazing Stories series of true life animal adventures, she now focuses on fiction. Snopek grew up in Saskatchewan and now lives in British Columbia.

Connect with Roxanne Snopek




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3.08.2013

Weekend Reading [03/08-03/10] :: Sick again.. ugh!

 
 
This is how I get when I'm sick. My brain loses focus and reading is difficult. Bah! I have so much to do today too. Nothing like a case of chills, sore throat, and gunky sinuses to really ruin the weekend.
 
The good news is that next week is PACKED with visits and posts already so I don't feel panicked to work on any of that. Instead I think I'll try and rest a little and read... and hopefully not have to reread the pages that much. ;)

I'm a bad girl and started BEYOND CONTROL, even though I have a lot of other review reading to do. This was one of my most anticipated reads this year so I caved. And so far it's just as good as BEYOND SHAME. I'm also working on an interesting somewhat dystopian book by Dan Rix called ENTANGLEMENT. If you like young adult dystopians with male protags I think it's worth checking out.

Anywho, I have a ton of stuff to work on for RL and my new business venture. I'd love it if you dropped by my other blog and became a follower. I've been trying to do a post over there on Fridays too. I think if we have much in common you'll enjoy it. I geek out on TV shows, cool products, and just life stuff as a geek mom.

Have a fab weekend and be sure to leave a comment telling me what you're reading this weekend! -- Rhi

3.07.2013

Guestpost: Author Paige Cuccaro [FROM HERE TO ETERNITY Blog Tour + giveaway!]


Dear readers,

During my recent adventures as the companion of a certain infamous Time Lord, I was both shocked and saddened to discover this obituary for author Paige Cuccaro, whose novella FROM HERE TO ETERNITY, I am currently reading. I thought I'd share it with you so that you can be sure to enjoy her writing before she heads off on her own adventures with The Doctor.

-- Rhi
We regret to report the passing of Paige Cuccaro who, after 280 years of life, finally released her hold on the mortal coil. Despite her advanced age Paige’s demise came as a surprise to her friends and family when the teleportation platform she was using, malfunctioned and teleported her onto the landing pad of an intergalactic space bus—as it was docking.

The bus passengers reported that Mrs. Cuccaro looked remarkably good for her age and somewhat surprised to see that the bus was, in fact, running on time for once. But it was Mrs. Cuccaro faithful readers who held a special place in her heart and reportedly occupied her final thought. Some have said her last words before stepping onto the teleportation platform were to a reader waiting next in line. “Why yes,” she said. “It was my sci-fi novella, FROM HERE TO ETERNITY, that inspired the creation of the human to cybernetic brain transfer they use today.”    

Paige leaves this world after fulfilling two life goals. 1. Witnessing the creation of the United Federation of Planets. 2. Traveling the galaxy with Dr. Who wherein she aided in saving earth…twice. Her time spent in service as Earth’s Ambassador to the Federation of Planets, pales in comparison to her vast contribution to the literary world. 

Due to the circumstances of Ms. Cuccaro’s death, the family was able to choose a beautiful casket from the Wile E Coyote collection, a golden one inch by twelve inch case. A closed casket service will be held next Sunday. In lue of flowers, the Cuccaro family asks that you join the Adopt a Star program and help keep our galaxy clean.

 
Purchase or shelf From Here to Eternity:
 
About the author:

Paige lives in Ohio, with her husband, three daughters, three dogs, three cats, a parakeet and a bearded dragon named Rexy, in an ever shrinking house. When she’s not writing she can be found doing the mom thing with a book in one hand and a notepad and pen in the other. Ideas come without warning and the best way to stimulate your imagination is to enjoy the imagination of someone else.
Connect with Paige Cuccaro





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