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


10.29.2013

Review: Hunter's Moon by Lisa Kessler

Hunter's Moon (Moon #2) by Lisa Kessler
Paranormal Romance, Werewolves, Werecats
Ebook $3.63 (340 pages, ENTANGLED EDGE)
Sasha's future was stolen from her the moment she was bitten. Now she's on the run from the Nero Organization that transformed her from a human detective into a shape shifting jaguar assassin.
When a rogue bounty hunter threatens her younger sister, she'll be forced to fight, and with nowhere else to turn, Sasha will need to trust the one man who has every reason to want her dead.
Aren is a werewolf with a secret. While protecting his twin brother and Alpha of the Pack, he found his one mate for life. Sadly she's also the jaguar assassin who tried to kill them both. Now Aren is struggling between his animal nature to love and protect her, and his loyalty to the Pack.

Author Site: website

My new favorite couple! (5 stars)

With the blurb doing such a great job of laying out the basics of HUNTER'S MOON let me skip resummarizing it and jump into why I loved it.

Kessler has quickly become an "auto-buy" author for me. Not only does she have an exceptional talent for taking paranormal romance staples and giving them great new elements that rock, she has an amazing gift for voice. I don't care for first-person alternating perspectives much, and especially not in romances, but she managed to really make it work. I'd dare go so far as to say that I felt much more invested in Aren and Sasha's relationship getting their story right from them. If you tend to read both Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance Kessler is an author you should be paying attention to.

Action-packed and intense, HUNTER'S MOON delivers everything I love in a good read. As a fated-mates hater I love that while the werewolves find their one mate, jaguars don't in this series. It adds an excellent drama that makes Aren and Sasha's feelings for one another so much more enjoyable. I love that they even talk about whether his feelings would be the same if he wasn't forced to love her by his animal instincts. Meanwhile, the villainous figure after Sasha and her sister keeps them from getting too comfortable.

If you enjoyed MOONLIGHT you're going to dig the new information on Nero and even some new stuff about the Sloan family. By the time the central action ends the world has opened and twisted and will leave you anxious for the next book. The romance itself ties up in a fashion I found pretty amusing (and those of you who have some knowledge of Kessler's interests will love it) and sweet in a theatrical kind of way.

Sasha and Aren are one of my favorite romance couplings to date, the only problem I found with the story was the hang up she had that prolonged the inevitable HEA. I just wanted to give Sasha a nudge in the side with my elbow and say, "come on... seriously?". Once she gets her head on straight though it makes for an excellent ending.

If you love shifter romances and heroines who don't really need rescuing, just a partner to have their back you simply must read HUNTER'S MOON.



Notes: ARC received via publisher.

Check this book out if you liked:

10.28.2013

Release Day Blast: October Ever After Titles [+ giveaways!]


 
Find Your Ever After in Under An Hour
 
October is the official release month for the all new Ever After. Ever After features paranormal, sci-fi, and horror novellas, all with the romance you've come to love from Entangled--just in a shorter format.

 Ever After is celebrating in style with four new releases and great giveaways, including a Kindle Fire. Make sure to like their new Facebook Page and follow them on Twitter



Vampire Games by Tiffany Allee
Otherworlder Enforcement Agency #4


She’s seen the past…

OWEA Agent Beatrice Davis is haunted by the death visions that help her solve crimes. When Detective Claude Desmairis, her vampire ex-lover, asks for her assistance on a case, she’d rather help him than take the mandated leave to stave off her burn-out.

The truth won’t stay buried…

Pressed to solve a series of crimes before the perpetrator blows the vampire world apart, Claude turns to a woman he thought he’d been able to leave behind. But he was wrong, and his feelings for her will only bring trouble in an investigation this dangerous. As their passions reignite, they see a possible future together. Until her visions show her the face of the murderer—a man Claude can never betray.




Ghosts of Kingston Cottage by Libby Bishop


She believes in ghosts.

Medium and paranormal investigator Arabella Pierce is sent with her crew to Kingston Cottage, a haunted Maine seafarer’s cottage on an isolated island, but for this investigation, her boss has stuck them with skeptical reporter Lucas Brown. Though he’s hot as they come, Arabella can’t trust a man whose sole job is to discredit her and the work she does. Not after what happened with the last few skeptics...

He believes in evidence.

But Lucas isn’t as skeptical as he seems—he wants the truth, no matter what that is. When the ghosts appear, he and Arabella must work together—in tight quarters—to convince the resident ghosts to move on before a storm strands the entire crew on the island. If Arabella can put aside her prejudices, she and Lucas just might have a shot at a lifetime.




Ghost of the Falls by Sarah Gilman

Determined to prove she’s fit for the family business, exorcist Jade Clarence knows the assignment waiting in Maine is her last chance. Born into a family of exorcists, Jade’s unorthodox ideas have gotten her into trouble in the past...and cost the life of a client.

After haunting a Maine state park for more than a century, Dutch Hutchinson will do whatever it takes to bring an end to his unfulfilling existence. When an act of arson brings a beautiful exorcist to town, Dutch takes corporeal form in order to spend his last hours in her company.

Jade quickly uncovers Dutch’s true identity and finds herself falling for the man behind the spirit. But when Jade’s legacy threatens their future, they will have to overcome the greatest of odds—life and death.




Less Than Perfect by Kelly Jensen

Mikayla’s read every book in her collection of post-apocalyptic novels at least twice. She thinks she’s prepared for aliens taking over Earth. She’s not.

Nor is she prepared for the attention of a good-looking refugee named Reg.

All Mikayla and Reg want is a safe place to see out the end of the world, hidden away from the aliens that call themselves The People, but cities of the depopulated United States not infested with The People are rife with gangs, the detritus of civilization and disease.

On a mission to restock their supplies, Mikayla and Reg are captured by The People and prepared for the procedure that will make them perfect, but no longer quite human. In order to escape, they need to rely on each other…if Mikayla can trust a man who seems too good to be true.



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Release Day Blast: October Covet Titles from Angela McCallister & Kristin Miller

Covets have all the sexiness, emotion, and happily ever after that readers have come to expect and love from Entangled. They are firmly grounded in the contemporary world, but each novel brings in supernatural twists, breaking the contemporary and paranormal rules, alike. To find out more about their titles, chat with authors, participate in special events, and to find out what books you’ll be coveting next, visit the Entangled website, follow them on Twitter, LIKE their Facebook page, and join the Book Club.

Today I'm happy to be featuring Covet's October releases!!



Bad Cop by Angela McCallister
Bad Mouth Sequel

A cop who tosses the rulebooks to get his way…

Vampire Ian McCready doesn’t care for Alice Capshaw’s opinions about his version of justice. Her humanity makes her off-limits, but that does nothing to lessen his overwhelming desire for her. To Alice, Ian is just another bad cop as detestable as the one who destroyed her family. She’s attracted to him, yes, but he threatened his way into her agency’s murder case and has too many secrets.

When a new case resurrects ghosts Ian believed long dead and buried, his law-bending ways might result in his execution. The second Alice becomes a target, his cold heart flares into blinding existence. But following the law for her sake may end with devastating results.






Four Weddings and a Werewolf
Seattle Wolf Pack #2

To have and to howl…

Logan Black, former Marine and bodyguard for the Seattle Wolf Pack, hates weddings and has no plan to walk the path to matrimonial misery. But when he’s hired to protect a hot-to-trot wedding planner with a werewolf stalker, he’s forced to put his feelings aside. Not such an easy task when the damsel can turn him on with a single smoldering glance.

Wedding planner Veronica Vale knows werewolves exist, but hates them. One bit her sister, changing their lives forever. When a sexy Marine shows his gorgeous face at one of her wedding appointments, Veronica finds it hard to focus on the task at hand.

The chemistry drawing Logan and Veronica together seems fated, but with Logan’s playboy attitude, Veronica’s hatred for werewolves, and a stalker lurking in the shadows, these two need more than passion to keep them together.




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Bliss Trick or Sweet Halloween Haunt: Author Roxanne Snopek


Halloween for many is a time to dress up and have some fun.  Ever wonder what your favorite Entangled Bliss author’s best Halloween costumes have been or what their favorite Halloween memory is?  Follow the Bliss Trick or Sweet Halloween Haunt to check them all out.  
Roxanne Snopek
There’s nothing like Halloween to bring out the kid in you!
When I was little, I went as a hobo. You know, big baggy pants, a pillow stuffed inside for a jolly belly, suspenders, a long men’s jacket, a battered fedora, a drawn-on beard and a blacked-out tooth. In retrospect, I think the whole outfit was a way for my mother to keep us from freezing. After all, you don’t go gallivanting across the prairies in October unless you’re prepared to meet your (ice) maker.
I loved it. Especially the blacked-out tooth.
As a mother of young kids, I got more adventurous. Clown. Gum-flapping 50s housewife. It peaked in the “Medieval Bag-Lady Mortitia” year, the only evidence for which lies inside various deeply repressed memories.
Gradually, I gave up the costumes. But I still black out a tooth or two.
The effect remains awesome because in all the activity and noise, I always forget it. Then I smile, all friendly-like, and hand out the candy.
“Happy Halloween!” I yell as they run off, wide-eyed, to their orthodontist-parents.
Then I admire myself in the mirror and grab a Snickers bar.
I hope Halloween always brings out the kid in me!



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

10.22.2013

Review: Waking Up Dead by Emma Shortt

Waking Up Dead (End of Days Love #1) by Emma Shortt
Post-Apocalyptic, Romance, Zombies
Paperback $. (388 pages, ENTANGLED SELECT)
Ebook $5.69
You know your life has hit rock bottom when you’re living off cooked rats and showering once every few months—if you’re lucky. But for Jackson Hart things are about to get a whole lot worse. When her best friend, Tye, disappears hunting for food, kick-ass Jackson’s ‘head south to safety’ plan looks like it’s dead before it’s even begun. But then she meets ex-mechanic Luke Granger, who takes her to his bunker, feeds her with non-rat based food, and offers her protection against the zombie hordes—not that she needs it. She knows how to use a machete and isn’t afraid to.
Jackson was tempted to stay in the city with her rescuer. Food, shampoo and the possibility of finally getting laid, what more could she ask for? But the flesh eaters are getting smarter and the bunker is compromised, so Jackson and Luke have no choice but to make the journey south.
Luke and Jackson team up to find other humans in a road-trip romance for the ages. They travel for thousands of miles with zombies shadowing their every move. They must utilize every resource at their disposal…and then some. On the way, they discover that even if flesh eating zombies are knocking down their door, there’s always time for sex and even love.

Author Site: website

All the best kinds of tensions rolled into one great story. (4 stars)

Can there still be romance after zombies overrun the world? If you want the answer to be yes then don't hesitate to grab a copy of WAKING UP DEAD. I've been dying (no pun intended) for this book to come out and since I first saw Shortt share the cover months ago. Sometimes you just know a book is going to be your thing and if you like your romance novels to have heroines who aren't shrinking violets in the face of life-or-death danger as much as I do this book is for you.

Jackson could be any girl. She's been through hell and in the two years since the end of the world began she's become the girl no one wants to be, yet hopes they could if they had to. She's a fighter. When she and her traveling companion get separated and she crosses paths with Luke she's tearing through town without her pants. I wish I could say I'd be as much of a warrior in my undies while running from zombies. Luke's had it a lot easier holed up in someone's bunker but they've both discovered that something new is happening with the zombies. Their only chance is to head South in search of a rumored stronghold of survivors. Along the way they face more horrors and find that maybe the best part about the old world isn't gone for good.

If you hate summer because you need your weekly dose of The Walking Dead you will love the constant tension and fear that Jackson and Luke must survive in. I absolutely loved that she was the more experienced of the two when it came to dealing with the zombies. It's a great change of pace from the Alpha-male-saves-the-day-like-a-bulldozer stuff. That Luke was never threatened by it made him especially cool in my eyes. That Shortt addresses the idea that they might be interested in one another because they have no other option is important and she does it in an organic way that makes it good. The sexual tension is great and the added tension of the setting makes this a delicious read on so many levels.

The only thing holding me back from a full five stars was that it didn't end anywhere near when I expected it to. I don't want to spoil anything but there's a lot more story than I anticipated—and it's GOOD—but it also puts Jackson into a place where she's a little tough to like for a while. If you ever want to bonk a character in the noggin for being stupid about something you'll get what bugged me when you read it. By no means a deal breaker, just hit one of my peeves as a reader.

From start to finish this is one heck of an adventure with a great romance element that is sure to delight urban fantasy and horror fans who also dig romances. Love paranormal romances but in need of something a bit meatier? I definitely recommend this one if you enjoy Lisa Kessler or Devon Monk's work. That this is just the first in a series delights me to no end, enjoy!



Notes: ARC received via publisher.

10.21.2013

Release Day Blast: Entangled Edge October Releases [+ giveaways]


Edge, a digital-first single-title romance line from Entangled Publishing, takes its lead from our popular Select imprint but gives its novels an edge in the marketplace by bringing great stories to readers at reasonable prices in a quick-and-easy way. Whether sexy or sweet, traditional romance or love and lust with a women’s fiction bent, at the center of every Edge book is heart. From Urban Fantasy to Contemporary Romance to Science Fiction Romance, Edge has a book for all romance readers—and right at their fingertips! As they say, all’s fair in love and war. To find out more about our titles, chat with authors, participate in special events, and to find out what books are coming next, visit the Entangled website, follow us on Twitter, and like our Facebook page.

Today I'm happy to be featuring Edge's October releases!!



Dark Angel by TJ Bennett

When young widow Catherine Briton is washed ashore, the sole survivor of a violent shipwreck, all she wants is to go home to London. But injured as she is, she can’t escape when a shadowy stranger rescues her and takes her to his castle—where she’s healed with suspicious, almost magical speed.

The more time Catherine spends in the castle, the more her curiosity rises where her fiercely handsome new “master,” Gerard, is concerned. As she begins to investigate, though, her discoveries only bring more questions. It seems Gerard isn't the only one on the island keeping secrets…

The small town is full of strange mysteries and townspeople who know more than they should about her. And when a hulking beast that stalks the nearby hills and valleys catches up to her, Catherine must figure out what’s going on before it’s too late.



Far Too Tempting by Lauren Blakely

Jane Black has written the break-up album of the century, earning her a Grammy, a huge legion of new fans, and the pressure to repeat her success. Sure, the heartbreak from her husband’s unconventional abandonment might have been her inspiration, but it hasn’t done her any favors in the dating department. So when Matthew Harrigan, the toughest music journalist out there, asks for an interview, Jane agrees—as long as her personal life is completely off-limits.

British, gorgeous, and way too tempting, Matthew’s the first guy Jane’s been attracted to since her husband. As she spends more time with him and their relationship heats up, though, so does her writer’s block. How can the queen of the break-up pen the perfect follow-up when she’s seriously in love?



Hunter's Moon by Lisa Kessler
Moon #2

Sasha’s future was stolen from her the moment she was bitten. Now she's on the run from the Nero Organization that transformed her from a human detective into a shape shifting jaguar assassin.

When a rogue bounty hunter threatens her younger sister, she'll be forced to fight, and with nowhere else to turn, Sasha will need to trust the one man who has every reason to want her dead.

Aren is a werewolf with a secret. While protecting his twin brother and Alpha of the Pack, he found his one mate for life. Sadly she's also the jaguar assassin who tried to kill them both. Now Aren is struggling between his animal nature to love and protect her, and his loyalty to the Pack.



Undying Embrace by Jessica Lee
Enclave #2

Arran MacLain is a vampire on a suicide mission, driven to kill his former partner who betrayed him and the Enclave they served. But two things stand in his way: Gabrielle, the human female who holds his heart, and the past that won’t let him go. If only death was enough to cleanse his soul.

Gabrielle Steven’s sister is missing. Her hunt for clues brings her face to face with the one vampire she can’t forget. Their missions combine and thrust them into the heart of evil. Will their passion be enough to overcome the pain from their past, or will their dark desires destroy them both?



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10.19.2013

Review: Crash Into Me by Tracy Wolff

Crash Into Me (Shaken Dirty #1) by Tracy Wolff
Contemporary Romance, Category Romance, Rockstar
Ebook $3.79 (218 pages, BRAZEN)
Jamison Matthews has lusted after Ryder Montgomery since she was a preteen. But now that Ryder and her brother's band, Shaken Dirty, has made it huge, she's just one of many pining for the brooding lead singer. Too bad Ryder still sees her as a little sister. Not that it matters. Her brother would never allow it, and the last thing Jamison wants is to be another notch on a rock star's bed post. Even if it's Ryder's.
Ryder doesn't deserve happiness. After his fame destroyed his last girlfriend, he swore he'd never fall in love again. So when Jamison, the girl he's been in danger of loving for years, joins the band on the road, he'll do anything to deny the sparks between them--even after one hot night together. But Jamison is determined to show Ryder that he's worthy of love--her love--and that she's all grown up and ready to play.

Author Site: website

I'm with the band... (4 stars)

It's possible with the mass of titles that Brazen publishes every month that I missed a previous release featuring a rock band, but I'm pretty sure this was the first. And that it's going to be a new staple in the Brazen stable because it was really darned good. Centered on the category trope of crushing on the big brother's best friend it really should have felt tired and yet managed to never quite fall into dull territory.

Everything about the band is stereotype-y in the best way. Plenty of drugs, sex, and rock n' roll antics. What flips it on its rear is Jamison. As heroines go she's nothing really unique at the surface but thrust into the Shaken Dirty world she suddenly becomes a lighthouse in the storm. The only major trouble I had as a reader was Ryder's hang-up from his past. I couldn't help but feel like it was a weak excuse to slut around with groupies and hold back from having a connection with another woman. I mean come on, dude. You're a rock star, show some backbone.

Ryder's big hang-up does form the big drama-rama amidst plenty of rock tour shenanigans. Wolff even managed to shock me which few authors can do these days, I tend to see surprises coming from far away. I loved her writing style and ran to her website as soon as I finished to see if there was a release date for the next book in the series yet. With five band members it's looking to be a great quintet. I was a little confused (and honestly, I didn't like) the epilogue as it seemed to give away the ending of all of the books while essentially introducing readers to the heroines for the series. It was a weird way to do it that gets points for originality but might leave readers a bit annoyed at the spoiler-like effect.

If you love rock star romance this is a must read. Bad boy lovers should definitely check it out too. It's fun, flirty, and sure to rock your world.



Notes: ARC received via publisher.

10.18.2013

Cover Reveal: Scintillate by Tracy Clark [+ giveaway]




SCINTILLATE
Author: Tracy Clark
Release Date: February 4, 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Pages: 320
ISBN: 978-1622661459

Cora Sandoval’s mother disappeared when she was five and living in Ireland. Since then, Dad has been more than overprotective and Cora is beginning to chafe under his confines. But even more troubling is the colorful light she is suddenly seeing around people. Everyone, that is, except herself—she glows a brilliant, sparkling silver.

Troubled by these strange flickerings and fearing she is being stalked, Cora is inexplicably drawn to Finn, a gorgeous Irish exchange student who makes her feel safe. Their attraction is instant, magnetic, and primal—but her father disapproves and Finn’s mother orders him home to Ireland upon hearing he’s fallen in love. After a fight with her father, Cora flees to Ireland, both to follow Finn and to look for her missing mother.

There she meets another silver-haloed person and discovers the meaning of her newfound powers and their role in a conspiracy spanning centuries—a conspiracy that could end her life and change mankind forever.

Scintillate is the first book in this lush and exciting new trilogy, full of romance, adventure and metaphysical mystery.

                                      Exclusive Excerpt 


Finn began to play. Voices descended into a respectful hush. Soft strums of the guitar lifted and fell on shafts of daylight from the windows. A small patch of sun warmed my exposed neck as I listened. The orange beads of his bracelet flashed as he plucked the strings with slender fingers. His head hung over the guitar in reverent concentration.
His playing was amazing, sweet and peaceful. For a while I let go of how bizarre my life had become. I was entranced long before Finn closed his eyes and opened his mouth to sing. His voice was rich, smooth suede, perfectly suited for the blues: soulful and vulnerable. The kind of voice that reaches inside and squeezes what’s tender.

10.15.2013

Blog Tour: Demon Dance by Brian Freyermuth [+ giveaway]




Demon Dance
Sundancer #1
Brian Freyermuth
Amazon   *   Smashwords
Coming soon to:   Barnes and Noble   *   Itunes   *   Kobo

You can run all you want, but the game's in your blood. And blood never forgets…

Nick St. James was born different. His extraordinary gifts have saved him time and time again, but they couldn't save the one thing he loved most: his wife. 

Now he just wants to forget his old life, but more importantly, he wants to forget the magical underworld that lives beneath the "real" world. A place where a man's faith can determine the very fabric of reality. Where ancient forgotten gods walk hidden among us, and angels and demons fight for our very souls. 

But nothing stays hidden forever. Nick's peaceful world is ripped apart when a demon slaughters his ex-partner and marks him for death. Now he must use all his gifts to find the one who summoned the nightmarish creature, but more importantly, he needs to find the one thing he lost long ago.

Himself.

Excerpt:
“I came here,” I told the cat, “to get away from my life. Why did it have to find me?”
The cat’s emerald eyes sparkled with silent laughter. He seemed to know how stupid that sounded, and a thin, brittle smile came to my lips.
“You think I’m an idiot, huh?” I asked. The cat responded with a sharp meow. “Well, so do I.”
I sat up and stretched my neck. “I’m an idiot for throwing the glass,” I told him. “That was some premium  Tennessee whiskey.”
The cat meowed again. “As for you,” I said, “you need a name.” The animal wore a dark blue collar I had missed when he came in. There wasn’t an ID, but the strip of cloth had a word printed on the front: Walker.
“OK,” I said, “Walker it is.” I scratched the cat behind his ears, and a rumbling purr vibrated my fingers.

10.14.2013

Release Day Blitz: Crash Into Me by Tracy Wolff


Crash Into My by Tracy Wolff

She’s totally off limits, but this rocker wants a taste…

Jamison Matthews has lusted after Ryder Montgomery since she was a preteen. But now that Ryder and her brother’s band, Shaken Dirty, has made it huge, she’s just one of many pining for the brooding lead singer. Too bad Ryder still sees her as a little sister. Not that it matters. Her brother would never allow it, and the last thing Jamison wants is to be another notch on a rock star’s bed post. Even if it’s Ryder’s.

Ryder doesn’t deserve happiness. After his fame destroyed his last girlfriend, he swore he’d never fall in love again. So when Jamison, the girl he’s been in danger of loving for years, joins the band on the road, he’ll do anything to deny the sparks between them—even after one hot night together. But Jamison is determined to show Ryder that he’s worthy of love—her love—and that she’s all grown up…and ready to play.



Excerpt CRASH INTO ME-
Onstage, the band launched into “Awake,” one of the power ballads that had made them famous. The crowd screamed their approval and so did she. Totally not her typical modus operandi, but she couldn’t help it. Something about listening to Ryder croon the darkly haunting lyrics had her knees trembling and her heart beating much too quickly. If she closed her eyes, she could do what all the other women in the audience were doing and pretend that he was singing straight to her.
So much better than remembering he’d written these heartfelt words for another woman. For Carrie, who had killed herself and broken his heart so many years before. Her own heart ached at the thought. For him. Always for him. At twenty-nine, Ryder had already been through more darkness and despair than any one person should have to handle.

10.11.2013

Weekend Reading [10/11-10/13] :: Rockers & Crowders


I am headed out to work a local specialty show for my other business today guys. I actually really hate crowds in this kind of situation so my anxiety level is high. Love working with people, just dreads being smashed in on all sides. Yuck. Wish me lots of sales so I can afford to do a giveaway here out of my own pocket sometime soon. ;)

I'm hoping to finish Tracy Wolff's Crash Into Me this weekend. It's been a great read so far and I'm looking forward to more in the series. If you love rock star romances you are gonna love Shaken Dirty and the guys who compose the band. It comes out on Monday so hop on over and pre-order it if you can.

Once I finish CIM, I'll be dabbling into some Covet or possibly steampunk love if my review copies arrive today. What are you planning to read? Leave a comment and let me know, I love knowing what you guys are reading so I can fins more good reads.

And on that note I am off so I'm not late! -- Rhi

10.10.2013

Double Cover Reveal: In the Blood and Will the Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up? [+ giveaway]


Today we’re revealing not one, but two covers for upcoming books by Sara Hantz. In the Blood releases November 5 and Will the Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up? releases May 6, 2014.

In the Blood


For seventeen years Jed Franklin’s life was normal. Then his father was charged with the abuse and murder of four young boys and normal became a nightmare.

His mom’s practically a walking zombie, he’s lost most of his friends, and the press camps out on his lawn. The only things that keep him sane are his little sis; his best friend and dream girl, Summer; and the alcohol he stashes in his room. But after Jed wakes up from a total blackout to discover a local kid has gone missing—a kid he was last seen talking to—he’s forced to face his greatest fear: that he could somehow be responsible.

In a life that’s spiraled out of control, Jed must decide if he chooses his own destiny with Summer by his side or if the violent urges that plagued his father are truly in the blood…

Excerpt

Chapter One

Pedophile: Noun

An adult who is sexually attracted to children.

Scum.

Sleazeball.

Creep.

Loser.

Lowlife.

Asswipe.

Dad.

Chapter Two

Benjamin Franklin. My Dad.

Not that Benjamin Franklin.

That Benjamin Franklin.

Pedophile and murderer.

Freaked out?

Did you even know a bastard like that could lead a regular life?

With a wife and two children. A son and a daughter. No, nor did we. Until it was too late.

Too fucking late.

The numbing shock when he was arrested. The disbelief. The conviction that the police had gotten it wrong. Way wrong. Even in the face of damning evidence, we knew that the truth would come out. That the evidence got switched. That there was a cover up, or something.

Something.

Then the police found locks of hair belonging to each of those dead boys, so well hidden in the little trinket box my dad’s mom gave him on her deathbed.

Then we knew. Really knew.

And that’s when our lives changed.

Forever.

Add In the Blood to your Goodreads shelf.


Will the Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up?


Abi Saunders might be a kickboxing champion, but when it comes to being the center of attention, she’d rather take a roundhouse kick to the solar plexus any day. So when her trainer convinces her to audition to be the stunt double for hot teen starlet Tilly Watson, Abi is shocked—and a little freaked out—when she gets the job.

Being a stunt double is overwhelming, but once the wig and makeup are on, Abi feels like a different person. Tilly Watson, to be exact. And when Tilly’s gorgeous boyfriend, Jon, mistakes Abi for the real star, Abi's completely smitten. In fact, she’s so in love with her new life, it isn’t long before she doesn’t have time for her old one.

But when the cameras are turned off, will she discover running with the Hollywood A-list isn’t quite the glamorous existence she thought it was?


Excerpt

“Abi, for God’s sake, concentrate,” Zak shouts. “Fairies don’t look like elephants when they fly. Legs together, arms graceful, and glide. Please.”

My cheeks are crimson and I want to die. I know he’s the director and has the right to holler, but doesn’t he understand that the louder he is the worse I am? We must have gone over this move fifty times and I still can’t get it. And I know, without even looking, the other guys have lost it with me. It’s easy for them but I’m a kick-boxer, not a freakin’ acrobat.

And now Zak’s saying something to one of the crew. Let’s all guess what it is: get rid of the silly girl. We couldn’t get anyone more incompetent if we tried. In fact a monkey could do better.

Well, he’s right, a monkey could do better. Then again, a monkey wouldn’t need to wear a harness that cuts badly into its thighs so it can fly across the room. We’re doing wire work, the one thing I was looking forward to. Ha. What a laugh that is.

At least we’re not filming yet. This is just the rehearsal or, as they say, ‘prepping’. We’re in one of the studios that’s full of equipment with pulleys and wires. I’ve no idea how it all works, except that it keeps me up in the air. I thought we’d be doing this outside but it seems they film wire work stuff indoors against a big screen, and then edit to make it look like it’s outside by dropping in a background. As Mom would say: “the wonders of modern science”.

What I’m doing is really basic stuff, nothing like the things they did on the Matrix. Which it wouldn’t be, obviously. I remember reading that those actors had months and months of kung fu training even though most of the stunts were done by stunt men.

Right. This is it. I’m going to really concentrate. I will not be beaten. I can do this. It’s not hard.

I’m a graceful fairy, 

I’m a graceful fairy, 

I’m a graceful fairy. 

“Ready,” I call, for the first time feeling confident of success.

The technician holds up his thumb so I know we’re about to go. I take a deep breath, point my toes, bring my legs together and hold out my arms at a forty-five degree angle. So far, so good. I swallow hard as I begin to move.

Yay, I’m doing it. I’m actually doing it. Please let Zak say it’s ok. 

“Hu-fucking-ray,” booms Zak’s voice. “At last, she’s got it.”

I’ve done it. I’ve actually done it. I can do wirework. And even Zak’s sarcastic tone can’t spoil it.

A loud crash, sounding like someone slamming the door, gives me a start and I jerk backwards. My legs splay and I lose all control of my body, until suddenly I’m hanging upside down.

This so isn’t happening to me. My hair flops into my eyes and my arms dangle in mid-air. And let’s not even think about how shallow my breathing is.

Crap.

After what seems like an eternity (which is probably only a few seconds) someone starts a slow handclap. And here’s me thinking it couldn’t get any worse.

I figure it’s Zak and wait for everyone to join in. Except they don’t.

The silence is deafening. Until…

“Look at that crazy bitch. You’re surely not expecting her to be my double.”

Tilly Winters in the flesh. And none too happy to see me!

Add Will the Real Abi Saunders Please Stand Up to your Goodreads shelf.

Amazon | B&N


About Sara

Sara Hantz originally comes from the UK and is one of four children, having three younger brothers. Although she was an avid reader from a very early age, she didn’t get the writing bug until much later in life, though English was always one of her stronger subjects. She’s an avid sun chaser and now lives on the beautiful Sunshine Coast in Australia (via 10 years in New Zealand). She writes young adult fiction and her debut book The Second Virginity of Suzy Green was published by Flux Books and made the prestigious list ‘New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age’. Sara has a PhD in Education and lectured for many years before deciding to devote more time to her writing and working in the family hospitality business. She has two grown-up children and w hen not writing, working or online with her friends, she spends more time than most people she knows watching TV - in fact if TV watching was an Olympic sport she'd win gold.

Website | Twitter | Facebook


Giveaway

In celebration of the reveals, Sara is giving away a $50 Amazon giftcard! Use the rafflecopter below to enter.


10.08.2013

Review: Lovers Unmasked (anthology)

Lovers Unmasked (anthology)
Contemporary Romance, Category Romance, Holiday, Anthology
Ebook $3.79 (350 pages, BRAZEN)
ystery and intrigue surround Halloween night as friends surrender to long-hidden desires, lovers relinquish control, and the heat of passion threatens to consume them all…
Seducing Mr. Right by Katee Robert
Danielle has a plan—use the company Halloween party to seduce the sexy mail guy who works a few floors up who she’s been meeting for coffee for the past few months. The only problem? He’s not who she thinks he is, and he has seduction plans of his own.
Tempted by His Best Friend by Cari Quinn
Kindergarten teachers aren’t known for breaking the rules, but Steph is ready to go undercover—and get under the covers—to work her magic on her best friend, Landon. Sexy costume necessary, multiple orgasms crucial, real identity optional.
Wicked Games by Samanthe Beck
When Stacy discovers her sex-on-a-stick ex at her Hollywood Halloween blow-out, she decides to show the cocky homicide detective exactly what he's been missing. But she’s not the only one plotting revenge, and Ian’s the only one who can save her.
Protecting What’s Theirs by Tessa Bailey
Lieutenant Derek Tyler and Ginger Peet have overcome every seemingly impossible hurdle on the path to happiness, but when they each receive life-changing news on the same day, will their hard-won trust stand up to the test? Or will their attempts to shield one another drive them apart?
Enjoy your tricks and treats in this sexy anthology featuring bestselling authors Katee Robert, Cari Quinn, Samanthe Beck, and Tessa Bailey.



The Hit & Miss Quartet (3 stars)

I held back on reviewing LOVERS UNMASKED for over a week because I hated the idea of being the one reader who was really disappointed with it. I've been dying to read it since the theme for the anthology was announced and getting a sneak peek at Katee Robert's story only solidified my interest. Sadly, her entry, SEDUCING MR. RIGHT was the only one of the bunch that I particularly enjoyed.

PROTECTING WHAT'S THEIRS brings back Ginger Peet and Derek Tyler of Protecting What's His for some shenanigans of the rompy variety. I haven't read the latter and this installment made me really glad I didn't try because Derek is just too much of a chest-beater hero for me. I really disliked him and found myself constantly muttering a word that starts with P and rhymes with Rick. If you enjoyed Protecting What's His I think you'll love getting to see the characters return, otherwise you may want to be sure you like your heroes mega Alpha. (2 stars)

WICKED GAMES was very sexy and had some amusing moments but it's strongly one for category fans who like a little suspense. Very predictable and just a bit too over-the-top it still manages to be an okay read. I found Stacey and Ian to be just too cookie-cutter for me but if you've wanted to sample Beck's writing style I think it's a good place to start and has the stand alone potential to be enjoyed by all. (3 stars)

TEMPTED BY HIS BEST FRIEND is a fun story conceptually and I really liked Steph. In fact, I kind of wished Steph was a character for a different story because I found Landon to be a bit nerve-grating. If you want your masked romance to be extremely hot and heavy look no further. While I definitely felt the love and lust as a combo on Steph's end, I never did feel it as more than lust on Landon's part. One for the reader who wants plenty of steam and doesn't need the actual romance to feel complete. (3 stars)

It sounds hypocritical after reviewing TBHBF to say that I loved SEDUCING MR. RIGHT because it was the kinkiest, naughtiest entry of the four. But darnit, it was fun! I liked the mistaken identity-like trope and the slow build that was already established allowing for the sexual tension to implode on Grayson and Danielle. If you enjoyed any of Robert's previous Brazen titles this one is a must-read. (5 stars)

While I wasn't well wooed by the quartet of talented authors who contributed to this anthology I really think I'm the exception. I'm known for my distaste for knuckle-dragging Alpha heroes and for being a somewhat hard sell on category romances of the non-paranormal variety. Keeping that in mind this is a great choice if you're in the mood for something that hints at a Halloween theme but is mostly sexy shorts with a costumed twist.



Other Reviews:
Smexy Books

Notes: ARC received via publisher.

Check this book out if you liked:

Review: Northern Light by Ellen Russell

Northern Light by E.J. Russell
Romance, Mystery, LGBT, Ghosts
Ebook $1.99 (140 pages, ENTANGLED EVER AFTER)
Nothing gives art fraud investigator Luke Morganstern a bigger rush than busting forgers, the low-life criminals who dare victimize true artists. But when his latest job sends him to a remote cabin in the Oregon Coast Range, he’s stunned to discover the alleged forger is his former lover, Stefan Cobbe, the most gifted painter Luke has ever known.
Stefan, left homeless and destitute after the death of his wealthy partner, doesn’t exactly deny the forgery -- he claims he doesn’t remember, an excuse Luke can’t accept.
But Luke’s elderly client suggests Stefan may be telling the truth and presents another possibility – a dark presence in the woods, a supernatural fury simmering for decades. Luke must face down his fear of the uncanny – and admit his feelings for Stefan – if either of them is to survive.

Author Site: website

An atmospheric delight! (5 stars)

A starving artist quite literally haunted by the past. His art fraud investigator former lover. A remote cabin in Oregon cast in the lingering darkness of another artist's secrets. It's short and moody and a sapid delight to those looking for something special.

This time of year I clamor for fiction featuring monsters and spooky themes—okay, I do that all year but much more so in the days leading up to Halloween. The release of a half dozen such tales from Entangled Publishing's Ever After imprint had me first in line waving both hands eagerly. I couldn't even narrow it down to a few, I begged for all six and while I enjoyed them all, NORTHERN LIGHT was my favorite. I suppose it says something that I have read very few LGBT romances, though I have no special reason other than that it's not often I am offered one. But NORTHERN LIGHT is the second from this publisher that has me thinking I need to be more active in seeking them.

There's a certain elegant and somewhat other-worldliness to Stefan and Luke that makes them exciting. I love a good re-kindling of romance between ex-lovers that's very danger driven and Russell makes an enchanting turn of it. The foreboding presence and the hurts of the past make for plenty of conflict and drama but also make you really want to see Luke and Stefan overcome. Sexy but not steamy, brooding but not somber, NORTHERN LIGHT is exactly the kind of read I want on a dark, rainy October night as I huddle with a cup of tea. I loved it and very much want to read many, many more stories from E.J. Russell!

I'd very much recommend to readers who love a moody, mysterious ghost story and even as a toe-dip story for readers like myself who haven't fully plunged into the LGBT romance shelves.



Notes: ARC received via publisher.

10.01.2013

Review: Ruby Hill by Sarah Ballance

Ruby Hill by Sarah Ballance
Romance, Ghosts
Ebook 99¢ (120 pages, ENTANGLED EVER AFTER)
From her earliest memories, Ashley Pearce has been drawn to Ruby Hill Lunatic Asylum, and she's not the only one. Decades after the abandoned hospital ended its institutional reign of torture and neglect, something lurks in the shadows. Since she’s a paranormal investigator, it's Ashley's job to find out what.
Crime scene expert Corbin Malone doesn't believe in ghosts. A born skeptic, he has no interest in entertaining the hype surrounding the mysterious deaths at Ruby Hill, but he won't turn his back while more women die. He agrees to an overnight investigation, never expecting his first encounter would be with the woman he pushed away a year ago. But when he discovers Ashley is a target, he learns his greatest fear isn't living with his own demons, but losing her for good.

Author Site: website

Great characters & plot but too short. (3 stars)

A year ago, Corbin pushed Ashley away, blaming her for his brother's death. He doesn't believe in ghosts and refuses to believe they're behind the mysterious murders at Ruby Hill Lunatic Asylum. Called in with her team of paranormal investigators to hopefully dispel the murmurings of a spectral serial killer, Ashley, has her own reasons for being incapable of escaping the legacy of Ruby Hill. Corbin is just there to keep her team from getting hurt in the dilapidated asylum but being around the woman he once loved and scorned is harder than he thought it would be. Especially when Ruby Hill proves to be far more alive than either of them anticipated, threatening to take more lives before the pair can unravel the asylum's mystery.

I have a bit of a secret fascination with asylums so I was really excited to see what RUBY HILL would bring to the table. Alas, Ballance establishes an interesting setting with a dark history and great characters, but then drops us right in the middle of it without any real ground for the romance. I felt like there was zero chemistry between them and the rift that started it all was absolutely stupid. It made me think Corbin is the most immature hero I have ever read. Meanwhile, Ashley manages to have never told him about why she's attracted to the asylum, something that seems impossible considering that they were in love once.

If you can get past the unexplained circumstances of Corbin's brother's death—it really might have helped to get a stronger reason for Corbin's pushing Ashley away—it's a good story. I enjoyed it as much as I could with that annoying issue hanging over it. Individually these are great characters but there's not quite enough backstory detail to make the romance palpable. I'd recommend it more as a short and chilling asylum mystery than for the romance fan.



Notes: ARC received via publisher.

Review: Mercy by Jan Coffey

Mercy by Jan Coffey
Romance, Ghosts
Ebook 99¢ (50 pages, ENTANGLED EVER AFTER)
Julia Klein’s life has begun to unravel—her daughter Amy has been suspended from school, Julia is about to lose her job, and her boyfriend Garrett is being transferred thousands of miles away. Overwhelmed, she and Amy leave for a weekend at a rambling old colonial inn. Julia never suspects that Garrett, desperate to find a way to keep Julia in his life, has decided to surprise her by joining them. Nor does she expect her daughter to befriend a mischievous ghost...or that she herself would be possessed by the malevolent spirit of a long-dead mother.
As a dark secret emerges, Julia, Amy, and Garrett find themselves pitted in a fight for survival against a savage presence that intends to resurrect/repeat/relive a horrible crime committed two centuries ago. And this time, Amy and Julia will be the victims.

Author Site: website

For the true romantic at heart. (5 stars)

Julia Kern's daughter, Amy, has been struggling after the car accident that took her father's life. Amy's problems at school lead to a suspension that only complicates the situations overwhelming Julia. With the possibility of losing her job just as Garrett, her boyfriend, is leaving for a new job thousands of miles away, the suspension is the last straw. Packing up she and Amy head to an old inn for a weekend away from their problems, but the inn has it's own haunting troubles... literally.

Garrett's new job is a once in a lifetime opportunity but leaving behind Julia and the little girl he has come to care for is not so easy. Knowing Julia could use some moral support Garrett arrives at the inn to surprise the mother-daughter duo. But his role will quickly become that of protector as a spectral mother-daughter duo threatens to take Julia and Amy from him forever.

It's not every day the hero and heroine of a romance are already together at the start of a story and this one made it work big time. MERCY was spine chilling with the ghostly elements, moving with the struggle Julia and Amy were facing, and fiercely romantic. I loved Garrett! There's a special place in my heart for any hero willing to take on another man's child as his own and the love he felt for Amy was well written. He wasn't just there for Julia, he loved Amy too. That's powerful stuff. MERCY manages to be a great spooky story with a family element that may or may not work for readers, I thought it made for a refreshingly good story I could re-read over and over.

If you look for something a little suspenseful and supernatural but romantic during the month of October look no further. It's a quick and satisfying read on multiple levels. I will definitely be watching Coffey for more short stories like this.



Notes: ARC received via publisher.

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