Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Beauty Dates The Beast: A Midnight Liaisons Novel by Jessica Sims

Single human female to join charming, wealthy, single male were-cougar for a night of romantic fun—and maybe more.
Me: The tall, sensuous, open-minded leader of my clan.
You: A deliciously curvy virgin who’s intimately familiar with what goes bump in the night. Must not be afraid of a little tail. Prefer a woman who’s open to exploring her animal nature. Interest in nighttime walks through the woods a plus.
My turn-ons include protecting you from the worst the supernatural world has to offer. Ready for an adventure? Give me a call.
Vampires and doppelgangers need not apply.

Bathsheba Ward is a human virgin working for a paranormal dating service (Midnight Liaisons) while trying to hide her sister Sara (a wolf shifter who also happens to work at the dating service) from the wolf pack that is hunting her. When a notoriously finicky date cancels on a prominent client, the sexy cougar sifter decides that he wants Bathsheba and he’s not taking no for an answer.
Beau Russell, were-cougar and head of the Alliance, has a problem. The female of his clan has been kidnapped by the wolf pack and is going into heat and the date he arranged to spend this time with has just cancelled. Although he’s decided that he wants Bathsheba, who is not only a human but a virgin it’s just going to take a little convincing to get her to agree.
Add in the fact that some mysterious beast is after them, and things get interesting as their attraction grows.
I love good shifter romance but mostly have stuck with the standard werewolf angle, so for me, Beau, being a cougar shifter and going into heat was a fresh take and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Beauty Dates The Beast was a fun and quick read. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started the book because I wasn’t really a fan of her Succubus Diaries (which is under the name, Jill Myles) but I was pleasantly surprised with the start of the Midnight Liaisons series.
Bathsheba is working at Midnight Liaisons for two reasons. First, she needs the money and second, she needs a way to keep track of the wolf pack who is tracking her sister. She knows the rules: humans dating a supe (supernatural being) is forbidden, but when her boss discovers that Beau has marked her, Giselle (the owner of ML) sees her a prized possession: A Human Virgin that will have shifters clamoring for a date.
I liked Bathsheba. She was fun and snarky and has amazing quips. And it was a good thing that I did indeed like her, because the novel was told for her POV. While I questioned some of her actions, I understood the reasons behind them. Although at times, I really wanted to ask her why she was stupid enough to do some of the things she did.
Beau is determined to claim Bathsheba even though he knows it against the rules. I truly loved Beau and I would have liked to have seen more of him and got to know him on a deeper level. I think it would have added another layer to the book if the author would have added his POV.

The chemistry between the characters was there but occasionally was overshadowed by Bathsheba trying to distance herself from him.
I had an inkling of who the baddie was from fairly early on, although I have a bit of a knack for picking up of that sort of things. Yet I believe it will be a surprise for some people.
Overall, I enjoyed I Beauty Dates The Beast. It was an interesting take of the shifter aspect and set up the next book in the series, Desperately Seeking Shifter, brilliantly. While some of the dialogue (like Beau constantly calling Bathsheba ‘sweet Bathsheba’ was a bit annoying, the rest of the book made up for it.
If Christine Warren and Molly Harper had a baby, Jessica Sims would be their creation.

Book Details
Title: Beauty Dates The Beast
Midnight Liaisons Book 1
Author: Jessica Sims
Publisher: Pocket Books
ISBN: 978-1-4391-8823-1
Release Date: 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
How I Read It: Mass Market Paperback from Publisher
Rating: 4 Cups


Midnight Liaison Series 
3.      VIXEN (novella)
6.      SINGLE WOLF FEMALE (novella)
8.      BEAR NAKED (novella)
9.      CLAWS & EFFECT (novella)



Monday, September 29, 2014

Moonlight Raider by Amanda Scott

Border lord Walter Scott of Rankilburn, grief-stricken after burying his father, goes to the forest seeking solace. Instead he finds a half-naked young lady fleeing pursuit. Wat offers his protection, but honor demands that he return the golden-eyed beauty to her rightful husband-even though the last thing he wants is to see her in another man's arms.
Molly Cockburn has fled her home, family, and the brutal scoundrel she was forced to wed. Her pursuers are closing in when the powerful new Lord of Rankilburn bravely intervenes, then promises to help prove her marriage unlawful. Though fiercely loyal to her family, Molly fears they might harm the man she is coming to love, and now she must decide whether to remain faithful to her blood . . . or to her heart.

Buy Links:

All Walter Scott wanted was to find solace in the forest after burying his father. Instead, he discovers a young lady hiding in his bushes. His first instinct is to offer her his protection, but he knows that honor demands he return her to her husband.
Although it’s her wedding night, Molly Cockburn is running from the brutish man she was forced to marry. When Wat discovers her and offers her protection, she must decide if she will return to her home or follow her heart.
I’ve always been a fan of Amanda Scott’s Scottish romances and the way she weaves history and romance seamlessly into the plot, so it’s no surprise that I jumped at the chance to review Moonlight Raider.
Wat just inherited his title at the opening of the book. He’s grieving for his father and trying to adapt—and discover—his new role. He knows that he had to lead but he’s not eager to take a wife, which comes into play when he has to figure out how he can protect Molly.
Molly’s young by today’s standards, but considering that the book takes place in 1426, she’s not young by those standards. So the fact that she was na├»ve and a bit juvenile in some of her thinking kind of threw me for a minute. I wished she would have been written as a stronger heroine.
The chemistry was a bit lacking for me. So much of the beginning of the book was focused on how Wat could protect Molly and Molly acclimating to Wat’s family; it seemed there was little room for the attraction to grow.
Overall, I enjoyed this book but, sadly, it wasn’t one of my favorites from Amanda Scott. The chemistry was lacking then when Molly and Wat finally did come together it felt a little rushed. Although the pacing waxes and wanes the vivid description kept me reading.
While Moonlight Raider is the first in the Border Nights Series it is also connected to Border Wedding.
On a side note, I must say that this cover is gorgeous.

  Book Details
Title: Moonlight Raider
Border Nights book 1
Author: Amanda Scott
Publisher: Forever
ISBN: 978-1-455-55665-6
Release Date: September 30, 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback and E-book
How I Read It: ARC from Publisher
Rating: 3.5 Cups


About The Author
Amanda Scott is the author of over 61 romance novels and the recipient of the Romance Writers of America's prestigious RITA Award.  She lives in Folsom, California, outside of Sacramento.  She is a fourth-generation Californian.
Amanda’s social media

Rafflecopter: a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Tudor Plot: A Cotton Malone Novella by Steve Berry

In this original eBook novella by the New York Times bestselling author of The King’s Deception, globetrotting intelligence agent Cotton Malone is lured into dangerous intrigue surrounding the world’s most famous royals—and uncovers a murderous conspiracy of terrorists and traitors, all born from an ancient tale of Saxon history.
In England to participate in the trial of suspected international terrorists, Justice Department agent Cotton Malone is mysteriously summoned to an audience with the Queen of England. A cryptic call has warned of looming danger to the ailing queen’s son and grandson—the next two heirs in line for the throne. And when the source of that ominous information, a notorious tabloid publisher, dies mysteriously, the royal family has reason to fear a genuine conspiracy. But they also suspect that the enemy lies within—and no one at Buckingham Palace, or even the nation’s own Secret Intelligence Service, can be trusted. Now it’s up to Malone to discover the truth. Matching wits with a power-mad politician and a vicious royal blue blood, he must race against time through the streets of London to the forbidden reaches of Iceland, all to stop a monstrous plot to seize the monarchy—one that stretches back to the time of Arthur.

I purchased The Tudor Plot after read The King's Deception and I’m glad I didn’t read it before because I’m not sure that I would have given The King's Deception a chance and it would have been a shame because TKD was an amazing book.
The Tudor Plot felt a bit weaker, I’m not sure if it was due to it being a novella or if it just wasn’t riveting. The events take place while Cotton Malone is still part of the Magellan Billet and while on assignment in London he is summoned to Buckingham Palace to aid the royal family. It was interesting to see Cotton functioning as part of the Magellan Billet.
Although the book combines history (this one dealing with the myth of King Arthur) and suspense, I found the novel a bit dry. The book just didn’t appeal to me. It could have been that he used a fictional royal family (the queen in the book is Victoria II) but the book didn’t really gel with me.
Overall, I’m glad I read The Tudor Plot after The King's Deception . It wasn’t enough to put me off of Steve Berry, but I think I will pass on the novellas for a while.


  Book Details
Title: The Tudor Plot
Author: Steve Berry
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Format I Read: E-book
Source: Purchased
Rating: 3 Cups


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The Collector by Nora Roberts

From #1 New York Times-bestselling author Nora Roberts comes a novel of a woman who needs nothing, a man who sees everything, and the web of deceit, greed, and danger that brings them together—and could tear them apart . . . 

When professional house-sitter Lila Emerson witnesses a murder/suicide from her current apartment-sitting job, life as she knows it takes a dramatic turn. Suddenly, the woman with no permanent ties finds herself almost wishing for one. . . .

Artist Ashton Archer knows his brother isn’t capable of violence—against himself or others. He recruits Lila, the only eyewitness, to help him uncover what happened. Ash longs to paint her as intensely as he hungers to touch her. But their investigation draws them into a rarified circle where priceless antiques are bought, sold, gambled away, and stolen, where what you possess is who you are, and where what you desire becomes a deadly obsession. . . .

Publisher: Putnum | Genre: Suspense  | Source: Publisher | Rating: 4 Cups

Challenge Read For: Reading Through Nora Roberts 

Lila Emerson is a professional house-sitter and the author of YA paranormal fiction who likes to spy on her neighbors and make up interesting lives for those she’s spying on. Her latest job in Chelsea has some pretty interesting people to watch until she witnesses a murder.
Ashton Archer knows that while his bother may have been a screw up, he wouldn’t have murdered his girlfriend or killed himself however getting the police to believe that is another story. When he enlists that help of Lila, he’s determined to prove his brother was murder although he never imagined where his search would lead him.
I liked Lila. She was a fun, interesting heroine always prepared—almost a little too prepared—for whatever was thrown at her. (Due to the unending list of items in her handbag, I am seriously wondering if she and Mary Poppins share a carpetbag.) Although because of the way she was raised—her father being in the military and constantly moving from place to place—she was leery about staying in one place or getting attached and I could understand how that affected her choices and actions. When it came to the crime solving aspect, she was very logical.
Ash is an artist and I loved the way his artistic side comes through his character. The description the author added about his paintings truly brought them to life and had me longing to see them. He is also the de facto head of his rather large and complex family so it was no surprise that he was an alpha male. His take charge and be persuasive demeanor worked well for this book and I loved the way Lila wasn’t afraid to push the limits or go against him.
Lila and Ash had amazing chemistry. Their relationship blossomed throughout the story as Lila learned to trust and allow Ash in. It wasn’t all about sex—although there was plenty of that too—but rather the developing relationship.
The secondary characters—Julie and Luke—were amazing and well fleshed out. I loved that they had a history; it made the story so much more interesting.
The suspense aspect was great. I also enjoyed the fact the item they were searching for was something completely different from the norm. It was a mixture of mystery and suspense and kept me reading from the first page until the last. The villain of the book was intriguing as well. Her character was very different from the norm. Not only was she a wacko she was a klepto and it was intriguing to see what she would take next.
While I loved this book, I felt that some things were overly described. I could have been done without so much description of the book Lila was writing. I also felt that the way Lila and Julie became friends was a little out there. And the ending felt a little rushed. The book could have easily been another 100 or so pages.
Overall, The Collector was amazing. I enjoyed the mystery and suspense as well as the blossoming relationship between Lila and Ash. Plus, it had tones of Rear Window which I loved.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Book Snob Confessions: Reading Through Nora Roberts and Second Chance Reads

Hello My Lovelies!
Welcome to another edition of Book Snob Confessions!
Have you ever had a bad experience with a book for one reason or another then completely avoided the author’s work?
Years ago, I read my first Nora Roberts book and for some reason the book just didn’t catch my attention. I can’t even remember the title of the book or what it was about but something made me decide that I wasn’t going to read her books again.
I’m not even sure it was the book I had a problem with seeing as I read it when I was in the processing of moving and settling into my new house. It could have been the situation—the mad rush of moving, cleaning, clearing, and settling in—that made me have a bad reaction to book.
Whatever reason it was, it made me turn my nose up when I passed by a Nora Roberts novel. I’m pretty sure the poorly done Lifetime book-to-movie adaptations didn’t help my book snobbery, Lifetime rarely catches my eye as it is.
Although something changed at the beginning of the year. When I passed by the display for Dark Witch at Barnes & Noble at the start of the year, the book caught my eye. And before I knew it, I was standing at the register with a chai tea latte in one hand and Dark Witch—yes a Nora Roberts novel—in the other.
Surprised my lovelies? I know I was but the book looked so intriguing. The cover, the blurb, the concept it called to me. Perhaps the book weaved its magic on me. Whatever the reason, it was in my hand and I was ecstatic to be purchasing it.
I hadn’t expected to like it, but I knew I wanted to read it and before I finished the prologue, I was hooked. I couldn’t get enough and ended up returning to B&N and buying her Born In trilogy.
While I haven’t started the Born In trilogy, I have read and enjoyed several Nora Roberts titles.
 So, I have decided to give Nora Roberts another go and have created a sort of personal reading challenge I am calling ‘Reading Through Nora Roberts’.  I plan to start out reading through Nora Roberts’ backlist. I’ve also decided to start another personal reading challenge called ‘Second Chance Reads’ where I will give authors that I have book-snubbed another go.
Have you ever committed an act of book-snobbery in the past? Have a favorite novel by Nora Roberts? I would love to hear which one you loved. Planning to give the author another try? Why not join in on the Second Chance reads?


Check Out My Other Book Snob Confessions:

1.     The Ick Factor


Monday, September 1, 2014

Night Diver by Elizabeth Lowell

New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Lowell plunges into the adventurous and deadly world of underwater treasure hunters in a heart-stopping tale that superbly combines atmosphere, action, romance, and suspense.
After a family tragedy, Kate Donnelly left the Caribbean behind forever. But a series of bad management decisions has left her family’s diving and marine recovery business drowning in red ink. Now her brother pleads with her to come back to the island nation of St Vincent. Without Kate’s financial expertise, the iconic treasure-hunting enterprise started by her grandfather will go under. Unable to say no to the little family she has left, Kate heads back to the beautiful and terrifying ocean that still haunts her nightmares.
Holden Cameron was addicted to the adrenaline rush of active duty—including narrowly surviving an underwater explosives accident. The last thing the former British military diver wants is to babysit a family of thieves on a tropical island—even if they are the world-famous Diving Donnellys. But in his new civilian job, Holden must investigate the suspicious activity surrounding a Donnelly dive to recover treasure from the ancient wreck of a pirate ship.
When equipment, treasure, and even divers begin to disappear, Kate and Holden form an uneasy alliance to uncover the truth. But the deeper they plummet into the mystery, the closer they come to each other. Soon they are sharing their deepest fears and darkest secrets—and a combustible chemistry too hot to ignore.
Read an Excerpt


“Let the lover be disgraceful, crazy, absentminded. Someone sober will worry about things going badly. Let the lover be. ” -Rumi
Kate is trying to save her family’s maritime salvage company while coping with the fact she witnessed mother being lost at sea and her father dying at her feet. The author conveyed Kate’s struggle brilliantly. I could feel her trepidation at having to return to her grandfather’s dive ship, yet her character wasn’t a simpering woman and I liked that.
Holden was sent there with two purposes: Catch the thief and shut down the dive. He was suspicious of everyone, Kate included, which was interesting considering he was attracted to Kate from the start. Although Holden was a very insightful, almost philosophical, character I didn’t feel as though I got to know him as well as I did Kate.
While the sexual chemistry practically exploded from the pages since the first meeting of Holden and Kate, they didn’t automatically jump into bed with each other, which I liked. Seeing as they didn’t trust each other at the beginning of the novel, their relationship built up as they gained each other’s trust.
The mystery aspect of the novel was there fairly early on. It was obvious that Holden was there with the purpose of seeking out the person who was nicking artifacts from the dive and even though the mystery kept my attention, the actual suspense part of the novel only came in during the last 50 or so pages.
I enjoyed how well researched the author was when it came to the actual process of the dive and recovery process. Having seen this process before, I paid close attention to the way the author handled it and it was one of the things that drew me in even more.
Although I was over the moon and was up until the wee hours of morning reading the novel, there were still a few things that I wasn’t so thrilled about. While the fact this novel relied only on the POV’s of Holden and Kate worked wonders with the romance aspect, it was a little lacking when it came to the suspense/mystery parts. I would have liked to have seen things from the full range of characters POV’s but the novel still worked as it was, it just came off more of a full on romance rather than a suspense/mystery.
Holden’s character could have been fleshed-out a little more. I felt as though I only received a sampling of who he was. There could have been more suspense mixed through the plot. I would have also liked to have seen some sort of conflict between Kate and Holden. While I enjoyed the HEA, it almost felt too perfect.
Overall, I enjoyed this novel. Sunken treasure, romance, murder, and mystery what’s not to love? I am very pleased that I purchased this book. I cannot wait to read more from this author.
Why did I purchase this book? The title, Night Diver, called me over, the blurb made me buy it.
What movie would I compare this book to?  Fool’s Gold
What I drank while reading Night Diver? Jamaican Rum tea

Book Details
Title: Night Diver
Publisher: Wm Morrow
ISBN-13: 978-0062132826
Pub Date: April 2014
Format I read: Hardcover $26.99
How I Read It: Purchased
Rating: 4.5 Cups