Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews

Crimson Romance

Crimson Romance
For the best in romance, from sweet to naughty!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sinful by Charlotte Featherstone (ARC)

Publisher: Spice, Imprint of Harlequin
Pages: 360

From the Cover: In Victoria England vice of every kind can be purchased, and Matthew, the Earl of Wallingford, makes certain he avails himself of every possible pleasure. Bored and jaded, he is as well-known for his coldness as for his licentious affairs with beautiful women.

While these numerous dalliances fulfill Matthew's every physical need, they secretly leave him numb and emotionally void. Until one night when he finds himself beaten, eyes bandaged and in the care of a nurse with the voice of an angel - and a gentle touch that soothes the darkness in him and makes him yearn for more.

Yet Jane Rankin is a lowly nurse, considered shy and plain by most. There is no place for her amongst the lords and ladies of the aristocracy - despite Matthew's growing craving for the fire that burns behind her earnest facade. And then there is Matthew's secret. A secret so humiliating and scandalous is could destroy everyone he loves. A sin, he fears, not even the love of a good woman can take away...

***May Contain Spoilers (though I try to avoid all spoilers, beware)***

Lord Matthew Wallingford wants nothing to do with proper society. He's a lost soul, abused and used, and he can only endure when he uses as well, to chase away the demon. He's dirty, sinful, outrageous to society, and that's the way he likes it. No attachments, no strings. If he wants a body, there are plenty available willing to abide his rules. No touching, no bed, and certainly, no words of love. What is love but the confinement that he can't bring himself to endure. He has only seen love once, between Lord Raeburn and Anais, childhood friends turned lovers waiting for the bonds of marriage to claim them. Wallingford has no illusions of marriage for him, he can't begin to imagine himself tied down in the restraining noose of marriage.  Especially with the sins he has committed, he is unfit.

Miss Jane Rankin, lady's companion to one Lady Blackwood who has been shunned herself by society in disgrace for having divorced her vicious husband. Jane has little time for the foolish desires that some call love. She's always been a plain Jane, she has no illusions about herself as well as the knowledge that she rarely draws the attention of a roving male eye. But, she's determined to make the best of her world and of her worth. Working as a nurse at the London College Hospital has given her a purpose as well as a skill to allow her independence when Lady Blackwood is no longer with her. And with Anais as her best friend, she'll get to watch true love from afar.  She realized long ago that no one in improper society would ever greet her as an equal or truly see the person that she is.

Jane's life abruptly changes when a Lord is brought to her hospital after a mad attack. Matthew is injured and ravaged by fever, and only one voice can penetrate his fevered ramblings and desires, only Jane can bring calm to his body. She's like nothing he has ever heard or felt. As he heals, he realizes that he will never fully recovery without the voice of his angel, Jane. But, can the rake that Wallingford is take plain Jane for what she is? Can he become what his angel of mercy needs? Can they accept each for the other, damaged goods and all?

Sinful by Charlotte Featherstone is the telling of Wallingford's story who we met and loved for his disdain in Addicted. Wallingford is a tortured soul with a secret history. He has never felt love, safety, and peace in his life, making him into the maladjusted man that society finds before them.  He hides behind the slick veneer of a wasted life, pleasure bound.  Jane is the daughter of an aristocrat thrown from his house when he tires of her mistress mother. Forced to live on the street, and with the death of her mother, sold as if a possession.  This she cannot live with and this is what brings her into the employment of Lady Blackwood. She hides behind her plain appearance, unable to let the world see her beauty.  When Matthew and Jane discover each other, they bloom together into what could become love. But, Matthew is used to the finer things in life and plain Jane is nothing like what he's had before. Jane has grand expectations for her handsome Lord and she's crushed when Wallingford can't see her true self when it is before his eyes.

Sinful was a very quick read, one that I found impossible to put down. Ms. Featherstone's voice sings from the pages that turn without your knowledge. I was very much looking forward to Wallingford's story with the completion of Addicted, and I was not disappointed.  Thank you Ms. Featherstone for the Sinful breadcrumbs.  It was not at all what I expected it to be, and my heart broke for Wallingford. He is very much the tortured soul, but with a good heart if only the pieces can be put together and healed.  It is fear and disdain that drives Wallingford's destructive behavior.  He finds himself in impossible situations throughout his life that are not of his own making, making the reader love him all the more. This is a beautifully told story and I've found once again another book to add to my keeper's shelf. This book is the continuing story from Addicted, but easily read as a stand alone. If you'd like background information and an introduction to Wallingford as well as a glimpse of Jane, I would read Addicted first. I highly recommend Sinful to lovers of romance, historical or not, in need of well spun story. Warning: Burning hot romance, sensually told, and tugs at your heart strings.

I received this book for review from the publisher, Spice, Harlequin and Net Galley. All opinions stated are my own.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker by Leanna Renee Hieber

Publisher:  Leisure Books / Imprint of Dorchester Publishing
Pages:  324

From the Cover:  What fortune awaited sweet, timid Percy Parker at Athens Academy? Hidden in the dark heart of Victorian London, the Romanesque school was dreadfully imposing, a veritable fortress, and little could Percy guess what lay inside. She had never met its powerful and mysterious Professor Alexi Rychman, knew nothing of the growing shadows, of the Ripper and other supernatural terrors against which his coterie stood guard. She saw simply that she was different, haunted, with her snow white hair, pearlescent skin and uncanny gift. This arched stone doorway was a portal to a new life, to an education far from what could be had at a convent-and it was an invitation to an intimate yet dangerous dance at the threshold of life and death... 

Six were called to soothe the spirits, six were called to protect the humans, and to them will come a seventh, the Balance.  The Healer, The Intuition, The Artist, The Heart, The Memory, The Power......  all await the Balance yet to come......

Alexi Rychman has been looking for the fulfillment of the Prophecy for two long decades, and as yet, his Goddess has not returned.  There is to be signs of her arrival, and London is thick with them, but not the most important of all....The portal to the other side, the doorway has yet to appear.

Rebecca Thompson, Headmistress of the Athens Academy has long sought the attention of Alexi, dear friend and confidante.  But to no avail, he only has eyes for his reluctant mistress, their missing Goddess.  The Grand Work has become a replacement for love and desire.  Her heart is squirreled away, begging for release.  All the Guard, all six have dedicated their lives to the Grand Work, but when is enough enough?

Miss Percy Parker, the ghostly visage of a young woman, sometimes mistaken for the spirits that dance on the Earth arrives at Athens from the Reverend Mother's care, hoping to find a place to belong.  Before long, Alexi finds himself drawn to this ghost girl, Persephone, holding the name of his long ago Goddess.  But can this wisp of a girl, a see through visage of a woman, be his Goddess returned?

 The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker is a mythical journey of the lightness of being, a Gothic Victorian romance wonderfully told with beautiful words and detail, the voicing excellent. I fell in love with the storytelling and the characters, each for their own reason.  The story starts with the calling of the guard.  Six young people are possessed as the Guard, to learn the truth, wait for a sign, prevent the unthinkable; Hades' reign on Earth.  Without the six, the seventh would be lost or the foretold story claims.  The seventh is the fulfillment of the Prophecy on Earth.  The seventh is the return of the Goddess stolen by Hades, her Phoenix lover burned to dust and the Muses scattered.  Alexi, our masterful hero, must find the missing Goddess, but he has so little to go on, mysterious missives.  The one thing he does know is that with the finding of the Goddess, his true love will be returned to him.  Percy Parker, our wistful heroine, is like the Earthbound ghosts that seek her guidance and counsel.  She has always been different, but it's always been the ghostly shade of her skin and eyes that have held her apart, making her different.  The one thing that neither Alexi or Percy knows is that others roam the Earth release from the bowels of Hades in search of the missing Goddess, and her ultimate destruction, and with her, the Balance that holds the Earth, Good versus Evil for domination. 

Strangely Beautiful is a strangely wonderful retelling of the Greek mythology of old.  The Goddess Persephone and her lover, The Phoenix, torn apart and put asunder by the wrath of Hades, God of the Underworld along with the evilness of the Gorgon, the serpent headed she-demon sent by her Master to destroy the Balance, and effectively, the Goddess.  Strangely Beautiful retells the story with new twists and turns capturing the wonderment, the emotions, and dread of the unknown.  More than once I cried for poor Percy and more than once I wanted to shake the Guard, especially Rebecca who was blinded by what she wanted to see and have instead of what was before her eyes.  But it was such a long hard journey to take for all of the Guard, that I had to forgive her, and the other Guards, too long searching for what could not be found.  Strangely Beautiful pulls at the emotions of the reader, struck deep to their core.  I was left wanting more, needing to see the further journey.  I highly recommend this book to lovers of romance, paranormal, urban fantasy, those who love mythology and fantasy.  Strangely Beautiful is another book that has gained a spot on my keeper shelf to be re-read again and again.  As soon as I finished the story, I was immediately drawn back to read it once more through, yes, the story was that good. The best description is a bewitching story in an alluring rendition.  With each reading, something new will be found and that's what makes it special.  If you haven't begun to follow Persephone's journey, now is the time to let your adventure begin.  Book Two, The Darkly Luminous Fight For Persephone Parker will be released April 27, 2010. Watch for it, as well as the next two books in the series yet to come.

To celebrate Miss Percy Parker's continuing story, Ms. Hieber is having a fun book giveaway, several wonderful books to be had.  For more information on her contest, click here.

The book trailer tells the story to perfection, I love it.

(Release Date: April 27, 2010)
Publisher: Leisure Books / Imprint of Dorchester Publishing
Pages: 320

To read excerpts from Book Two, click here to go to Ms. Hieber's blog.

Here's at peek at the awesome book trailer for Book Two, I can't wait to see how the story continues!

To pre-order The Darkly Luminous Fight For Persephone Parker go to:  here, here, or here.

I received this book from the author, Leanna Renee Hieber, for review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Remember that Book I was Telling you about....Mind Games by Carolyn Crane


If you'd like to win a copy of the dynamic book, head over to Lea's @ Closetwriter.  She's has a great review up and .... wait for it ..... She giving away TWO (yay!) brand spanking new copies of Mind Games by Carolyn Crane!!!

I can't wait to get a copy, and what's better than winning a copy?  So, head on over and enter to win.  Contest ends March 22, 2010 (one day before the official release date).  Good Luck, I've already entered!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Drop by S.J. Edwards (Cassandra Cade) [ARC]

Publisher:  Crescent Moon Press
Pages:  302

From the Cover:  Lighthouse Inc. has traveled through time for thousands of years, hand picking employees to create a preferred timeline, known as the LPT. Lighthouse believes this careful planning will avert a cataclysmic disaster for humankind. But there are those who think otherwise and will stop at nothing to thwart its mission.

Darius the Assassin, a time trekking Dropper from the Crusades, teams up with feisty Tracker, Nicki Stone, from the present day. Together, they attempt to neutralize the rogue Dropper before the fabric of time is ultimately destroyed.

The battle for an alternate destiny rages as Darius, Nicki, and their nemesis William square off not only against each other and the very institution that keeps time intact... but most of all, themselves.

Nicki grew up with the Lighthouse, the security and wealth it provided.  She was one of the orphans, what happens when two Droppers come together and ignite.  Their lives are too complicated, too unsure to let children into the equation.  So, she became a Tracker, a soul to keep the Dropper anchored and grounded into the real world.

Darius is a age old Dropper, 1000 years old, born of the time of Persia, royalty by birth and an assassin by nature.  He was just what the Lighthouse needed to keep the LPT (Lighthouse Preferred Timeline) going in the right direction.  He was good at his job, happy in his own way until he meets Nicki, a force to be reckoned with all by herself.

Darius' life long friend and comrade, William, has come to realize that Dropping was no longer for him.  The Lighthouse with all their prophecies are wrong.  The world would be a better place left in God's hands rather than Man's.  But can he right the wrongs created by him and his follow Droppers?  Some will think that he's lost his mind, but others will recognize the truth.  If only he can convince Petra, his Tracker, that his way is the right way.

Drop by S.J. Edward/Cassandra Cade is a grippingly fast read, pages spun for me as I devoured the book.  Time travel has saved the Earth from it's devastating future, somewhere in the year 2800.  Humanity has been deformed by it's excesses and only the Lighthouse can fixed the carelessness of the past.  Our hero, Darius has lived several lifetimes scooped up from the sands of ancient Persia to save the New World.  William, his friend and fellow Crusader, remained at his side and both are brought to the future to avert what will be into what should be.  Darius handles his exposure well, but William begins to show cracks of an overused Dropper.  Our heroine, Nicolette, has lived her life for the Lighthouse, her fate has already been written in the Archives and only destiny is left to be had.  When fate brings Darius and Nicolette together, only destiny knows if these two will remain as one.  What no one is counting on is the dastardly William and his ability to charm, worm, and work his way into the mix.  Now, no one can predict what the future will hold, not only for Darius and Nic, but the rest of the world as well.

Drop is a very quick fun read, lots of action, and a sweet steamy romance between two forbidden lovers, the Tracker and her Dropper.  This book is character driven, told in the first-person POV of several different characters, each telling their side of the story.  The speaking voices of the characters are well defined both by mood and style.  I quickly became engrossed in the story.  It's one of those books, that when you're not reading, you're left wondering about what's happening.  As the plot begins to unfold, no one can see what the ending will hold.  This is the first of The Drop Saga, and I personally can't wait to see where this author will lead us in the future.  I recommend this book for lovers of Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy or Paranormal Romance, all can be had in one book.  I had a blast reading it.  For a taste of the fun or to order the book, click here.

I received this book from Crescent Moon Press.  All opinions expressed are my own. 

Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday Morning Mystery Meme: Play "Trapped in a Restaurant Meme Game" with Carolyn Crane To Win!

Lea @ Closetwriter has a new meme posted from Carolyn Crane's newest contest, check it out.

Trapped in a Restaurant Meme
(please go to for more information and details) 

1. In MIND GAMES, hypochondriac heroine Justine Jones can’t figure out why tortured mastermind Sterling Packard never sets foot outside the Mongolian Delites restaurant. What if you were somehow trapped in a restaurant, what sort of restaurant would you prefer?

See, I'm kind of a chicken when it comes trying different foods.  I'm an all American girl, and I like a nice hearty meal and not always a healthy one.... though I do try to keep it carb lite and low sugar..... but if I was stuck in a restaurant with little hope of escaping, it would have to be Steak/Ribs for me.  I love a good steak and the messy goodness of ribs.

2. What if you won the fancy $100 dinner to a restaurant of your choice, and you could dine with any character from any book, movie, or history. Who would you choose?

Hmmm..... some many to chose from.... So many from history I could choose.... I love to get some pointers from authors.... and the characters!!  I loved to learn what makes some of them tick, books or movies.

I'd guess I'll go with John Hughes.  I loved his movies from the 80's.  He just recently passed away, but I would have loved an opportunity to speak with him.  He captured what it was like for all of us average people out there trying to exist with humor, a whimsical presence that engaged the viewer even when the subject matter was serious or not.

3. Choose three characters to dine with for a lively dinner party (you can define lively however you want).

Ivy Tamwood from Kim Harrison's The Hollow Series:  I'd love to get to know Ivy.  She's snarky, willowy, aloof, powerful, kick-ass, and she'd bring Brimstone, the much maligned vampiric wonder product that cures many ills and apparently tastes good in cookies (besides, she could give me the inside scoop on Rachel Morgan, Jenks, Kisten, Ceri, and Al)

Jean Claude from LKH's Anita Blake Vampire Hunter Series.  He gets off on tasting without actually eating and he enjoys it so much.  Besides, he's a tasty treat all by himself.  Dessert please.  And more scoop on the lovely shape shifting/blood drinking characters.  Yum!  (though not sure Ivy and Jean Claude would see eye to eye)

Harry Dresden of Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files.  He's close, Chicago is in my home state, and he has a vampire brother, Thomas, who dines on the energy of his prey, but only a little.  He is a wizard and detective by profession which I find is too cool.  Love to pick his brain, discover some of his secrets.  And besides, I think he would find Ivy's personality intriguing.

Thanks for the fun meme Carolyn!!!  I waiting patiently to pick up a copy of Mind Games...(if you haven't checked it out, WHAT are you waiting for?)  Here's another peek at the blurb:

(Release Date:  March 23, 2010)

While the citizens of Midcity are being terrorized by paranormal crime, Justine Jones is battling the paralyzing hypochondria that’s ruining her life. She’d do anything to break free. 

She gets her chance when Packard, a handsome mastermind with strange powers, peers into her soul and invites her to join his psychological hit squad, the disillusionists.

The disillusionists are hired by crime victims. The team zings their fears and anxieties into criminals; the result is a total collapse.

At first, Justine enjoys being part of the glamorous, thrilling world of neurotic vigilantes who battle Midcity’s depraved and paranormal criminals, though as a crimefighter, she’s far more like Monk than Anita Blake.
She also enjoys the unexpected affection that blossoms between her and Packard. But little by little, Justine begins to uncover strange secrets: like why Packard hasn’t set foot outside the Mongolian Delites restaurant for eight years. And the truth about the disillusionists. Soon their affection is destroyed in an angry inferno.

Things become more complicated when Justine falls for her most dangerous target, a dashing crime boss with a penchant for opera and paranoia about brain hemorrhages. Is he a ruthless criminal or her soulmate? How will she keep Midcity from sliding into a bloodbath?  


Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Blogger Returns And With A New Look!

Some of you may remember our little blogger buddy, Hilda @ The Dip-Files.  Well, she's back with a vengeance and a whole new look courtesy of our sweet blogger buddy, Lea @ Closetwriter.  Everyone needs to stop by and let her know we haven't forgotten her.  She's been away for a little while by no choice of her own, but she's back!  She's feeling a little lonely, and we don't want that to happen now do we?  Check out her new look, I like it.  And if you get a chance, stop and show Lea some love to, she did a great job on Hilda's new look!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Undercover Alien by Barbara Romo

Publisher:  Crescent Moon Press
Pages:  272
From the Cover:  "Tell me, Mr. Smith, when did you first suspect you had been abducted by aliens?"

It's just another day on the job for Hannah Morgan, professional ufologist. Fiercely protective of those who entrust her with their secrets, she has no patience for a rich playboy who says he wants to help, then treats the study of UFOs like a joke. Other women might fall for a gorgeous man who sets off sparks with just a touch - literally - but not her. Nope.
Gideon Cyrus might be wearing a cap with dancing green men on it, but he takes extraterrestrials very seriously. After all, he is an alien. Not that he can prove it at the moment - his latest attempt to use his maturing Olam powers only blew up his microwave - but the time is coming when he'll demonstrate his worth not only to his beloved adopted planet, but to one stubborn, fascinating ufologist.


Hannah Morgan is an ufologist, seeking out individuals who have been abducted by aliens, or so they say.  She treats them respect and a caring nature, even if she is a scientist needing concrete evidence to prove once and for all that aliens to exist.  Sometimes, the evidence seems sound, especially when abductees  have injuries left from the curious examinations.  Even when they're terrified it will happen again, even when it may have happened to her own father.

Gideon Cyrus is one of the said aliens, an Olam to be exact.  One of the superbeings of the universe, but they are prohibited from interfering in what's happening to the Earthers, besides, an alien race of supreme strength and intelligence would never harm one of the lesser species would they?  The N'weretil (the little gray men) have been granted license to oversee the Human race on Earth, because if left to their own devices, humanity might wipe itself out completely. 

Gideon must find a way to save his Earthen home, if the N'weretil are allow to take over, what will happen to free will?  Humanity will not be able to live under the yoke of an alien race.  They'd rather die first, and they will.  He devices a plan to expose the alien conspiracy but to make it work, he'll need the help of an ufologist, and so into his life walks Hannah Morgan.

Undercover Alien by Barbara Romo was a quick fun read with a stubborn heroine and magnetic hero.  Hannah has had a rough time of it. Her would be ex-fiance used her to get a story for his trashing tabloid paper.  Now she hopes to shield her father from others just like Stuart.  Gideon has lived his entire life in the lap of luxury, when you're a superbeing with an extra long life, finding ways to make money as well as spending it and being entertained becomes a way of life. When Joshua, Gideon's mentor, brings news that the N'weretil will soon take possession of the Earth, he finds a purpose for his life.  He can't let humanity die, and die they will if they fight the N'weretil.  When he finds Hannah, she's unbelieving of his story, a skeptic at best, until she has to believe her own eyes. But can they save Earth, humanity, and what will the cost be?

Undercover Alien was an excellent tale that lovers of science fiction, fantasy, and paranormal romance will love.  Our hard headed heroine meets her match in the equally stubborn alien.  There are fun supporting characters like Brost, a miniature aquamarine alien life form with eyes to match that keeps Gideon on his toes.  Scary aliens taking the form of the N'weretil, who will stoop to any length to get what they want, control of the Human race.  If you like action adventure, pick this book up, it's one mishap to the next in the fight to save humanity.  If you like steamy romance, hot heroes, and heroines coming to value their own self worth, try this story.  It's all to be found in this book.  I hope to learn more of the Olams as well as Hannah and Gideon in the books yet to come.  I'll certainly be looking forward to Prodigal Alien, the second book in Ms. Romo's Alien Series.  I love the images this title creates.  Undercover Alien is an excellent book to lose yourself.  I truly enjoyed the ride.  If you'd like to order this book in print or ebook format, click here or at Amazon here.

I received this book in PDF format from Crescent Moon Press. All opinions expressed are my own.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Close Contact, Book Two of An Alien Affairs Novel

Publisher:  Eos, Imprint of Harper Collins
Pages:  336

(Release Date:  May 25, 2010)

From the Cover:  She's the perfect lover-and the perfect weapon-but she doesn't know it yet

GEPs just want to have fun. . .

A Genetically Engineered Person and self-proclaimed "party girl," Echo Adams loves her diplomatic job entertaining alien bigwigs for the Galactic Federation. But the Bureau of Alien Affairs has discovered she's much more than she thinks-that a rogue scientist endowed her with skills and psi abilities dwarfing those of common GEPs. And suddenly Echo's luxury life is over, replaced with a far more dangerous one: a special agent expected to not only chase bad guys, but eliminate them.
Echo's hates being stuck on Madrea-a planet of technophobes off limits to Federation visitors-hunting for a stolen quartz crystal with a powerful alien lifeform embedded inside. She despises the Bureau's restrictive rules-especially the one warning her away from the dangerously seductive Commander of the King's Forces. And if she doesn't learn how to use her alleged super-psi powers soon, her partying days-in fact all of her days-will be over for good.

Inside Cover Blurb: 
"You are a pretty one," he murmured. Then his voice hardened. "Too pretty to be such a good liar." Before I could blink twice, he had my skirt up and my knife in his hand, the tip pressed against my throat.
"Helpless females like you're pretending to be do not carry such weapons. Now I'll have the truth."

The Alien Affairs' instructors drilled us to react to a threat first and think later. With no conscious
decision on my part, my training took over and I was moving before he finished speaking. My left hand
went over his arm and slammed it downward. The move shifted the knife from my throat and numbed his muscles so he loosed his grip. I caught the knife and swung it up in an underhand arc. Suddenly I stopped. Both Reynard and I stood frozen in place, staring down at the knife pressed to his stomach, him in surprise,
me in horror. It's one think to theoretically practice killing a human during training. It's another thing
entirely to realize you'd almost done it for real, and involuntarily at that. Especially when the human in
question was one I'd been lusting after not a second before.

This is the second book in An Alien Affairs Novel by Katherine Allred.  The first in the series, Close Encounters, was a blast!  I can't wait to try this one! 

Monday, March 8, 2010

A Review In The Works....Coming Soon

Sinful by Charlotte Featherston
Publisher:  Spice/Harlequin

Many of my followers may remember my review of Addicted by Charlotte Featherstone, the story moved me, made me love the characters, and it gained a spot on my keepers shelf.  Recently, I was offered an opportunity to read Wallingford's story in Sinful.  Well, I didn't question the opportunity, and I'm so glad that I took the time to enjoy another keeper.  The book doesn't release until May, so I'll be posting my review closer to the begin of April, but I wanted to post the cover art.  It's beautifully done and complements the story told in the pages.  Charlotte once again holds nothing back and gives a stellar performance, the reader receives a wonderful story.  I can't wait to share it with you.  Please come back to get a taste of what is to be Sinful.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Out of Mind, Court of Angels, Book 2 by Stella Cameron (ARC)

Publisher:  Mira, Imprint of Harlequin
Pages: 400

(Release Date:  March 30, 2010)

From the Cover: Willow Millet longs to deny her family's exceptional gifts—paranormal talents known to few, shared by even fewer. Benedict Fortune is one such—a connection that should have strengthened the undeniable bond between him and Willow. But her self-doubt has driven them apart.

Married instead to her business, Willow's concierge we-can-do-anything service is thriving until it is hit by a string of bizarre and fatal accidents—every victim a client. Now her livelihood depends on two enigmatic socialites and their notoriously decadent parties. In this anything-goes atmosphere, Willow and Ben are thrown together again and their need for each other is as strong as ever, but they are challenged at every turn….

For dark forces are stalking Willow—coveting her gift as a means of cheating death…and ruling New Orleans forever. 

Willow Millet is the only Millet who is 'normal', that is she doesn't have all the paranormal powers of her family.  She's happy running her little personal care service, Mean' n' Green Concierge, you need it, we can get it done is her mantra.  She's always been completely normal, instead of the oddness that the rest of the family makes use of from time to time.  Sometimes she knows things, feels things, but everyone can do that, she's just particularly sensitive to the feelings of others.  Right?

Ben Fortunes has watched Willow grow up from childhood through the awkwardness of teen years, and now as a beautiful young woman, denying what and who she is.  He has come to love her, has known it could be no one other than her to complete him, but she sent him away.  Only Ben knows that he can never let Willow go, the Bond between them can never be severed, but also can never be fulfilled until Willow recognizes who and what she is.

But, now there's another force to be reckoned with.  A strong force that has been haunting the Millet family for a century, and finally it has found a home within the Millets, unknown to them, and it's the same force that tried to take Marley Millet.  The Embran, creatures of the dark and far away place, are determined that New Orleans will be theirs, one way or another, and the Millets are the only thing standing in their way.

Out of Mind by Stella Cameron is the second book in the Court of Angels Series.  It's a very quick read, twisting and turning to lead the reader along the treacherous path that finds the Embran and what they desire.  Somehow in their battle against the Millets, the Embran have become stricken.  Instead of the immortality that has always been theirs, they are starting to weaken and even to die.  Only the Millets hold the secret to how to reverse the curse, their legend.  The Millets only problem is they haven't figured out the legend either.  Jude, their Mentor and the original member to bring the curse of the Embran to the family, has been trying to guide them, but there is only so much a spirit can do.  Marley and Gray's story from the first book, Out of Body, tells the beginning of the battle between Light and Dark, Millet against Embran.  Book Two, Out of Mind continues the story with Willow and Ben's story.  Willow is in denial about who she is, and she just strong enough to hide from herself.  Marley and Sykes will have no part of it, as sister and brother, they know what she's hiding.  Ben, long suffering lover, also knows that she hiding what and who she truly is.  But until she's ready to admit to herself what is obvious to others, they can never be Bonded and both will continue to suffer.  It takes the evil influence of the Embran to force Willow to see.

Out of Mind is twisting urban fantasy/paranormal romance that kept me flipping through the pages.  It was a quick, fun read and I didn't want to put it down.  Although, it's was the second book in the series, I had no trouble picking this one up and reading out of order.  I would usually recommend reading the series in order, but it's not necessary to enjoy this book.  If you enjoy urban fantasy or paranormal romance with a touch of seduction and a sexy heart pounding romance, then this is the book for you.  I enjoyed the story immensely and I'll be going back to read Out of Body, Book One (released March 1, 2010), and the following book, Out of Sight, Book Three (Sykes and Poppy's story) which is set to be release on April 27, 2010.  I can't wait to see where this story goes. 

(Release Date:  March 1, 2010)

Born of an ancient family of clairvoyants, Marley Millet finds that her psychic gift is both unsettling and incredibly dangerous. She never wants to "travel" again - but the choice is not hers to make.

After glimpsing the fates of two missing New Orleans jazz singers, Marley knows she has no choice and must speak up before more women disappear. Flinty cop-turned-writer Gray Fisher, who interviewed both chanteuses before they vanished, takes a special interest in Marley's incredible story - and in Marley.

Scouring the wild clubs of the French Quarter, Marley and Gray make an unlikely and uneasy team. But their determination is matched only by the heat between them.and the evil they have uncovered. 

(Release Date:  April 27, 2010)

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Stella Cameron brings readers a sexy, supernatural new trilogy.Psychic master talent Sykes Millet can vanish at will, read minds and control others with hypnosis. What Sykes cannot do is escape his destiny--an ancient curse foretelling the misery his dark beauty may bring to everyone he loves. Poppy Fortune knows all too well the burden of having paranormal talent. The supernatural world has fractured her entire family – now it's keeping at bay the one man she wants more than life. Sykes and Poppy must set aside old distrust and use their bonded talents to save their families, themselves and New Orleans from the evil Embran race who threaten to terrorize the city into submission. 
I received this book from Mira/Harlequin for review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Flash Fiction for "Every Now And Then I Gotta Flash Someone"...... (LOL)

I cracked up when I saw this post and I had to participate, lol.  The object of the flash is to have a murder take place in a cathedral, sacrilegious I know, even irreverent, but I couldn't resist.  My flash has a twist though, you all know how I love urban fantasy, right?  Wellll.......  Here's my twist on Murder in a Cathedral flash.

The Price of Immortality

The old woman looked upon the red star. Surrounded by a circle. All five points of the star met the circle. Maybe it was blood, or not.  In some places, it was still wet, dripping down the wall. Who the hell'd do something like this?

“Sweet Jesus, I gotta wash that crap off. It's gonna take all day and I ain't even gettin paid. Stupid kids breakin into the church again.” She bent her stout body almost in half, wrapping her swollen fingers around the bucket handle to begin her trudge to the basement spigot. She hated the basement, engulfed in pitch darkness with a single cord hung from the middle of the large room, the only light.

She arrived at the end of the steep staircase and fumbled across the room, bumping her ancient shins into boxes, causing her to curse aloud. Just her and the damn mice down this musty old basement anyway, the priest was long gone by this time relaxing in that nice little house of his, she thought. She pulled the cord bringing light to the dark.

Exhausted from the exertion, she rubbed at her shins and then made her way to the spigot.

As she bent down to start the flow, the light dimmed back to darkness. She cursed loudly, dropping the bucket with a thud. She walked back toward the middle of the room, stumbling to fall on her knees and slicing them open.  She felt trickles of blood beginning to leak onto her support hose as her fingers slid across a gathering pool of wetness.

“Holy Mother of God!” She exclaimed, the pool surrounded everywhere her fingers could touch. She groped for the pull cord above her head, pulling it completely loose as the light splashed around her, revealing the inverted form of Father Frank suspended above her not two feet away, throat slit.


Kate gingerly stepped into the church, a lapsed catholic at best, an agnostic at worst. She'd grown up with the church, but she and God had had a falling out.

“What the hell happened boys?” She slipped the booties on over her shoes. It was sure to be an awful mess, no sense ruining another pair of shoes.

“Lou, we just got here ourselves, what's it look like?” Barney glanced at his lieutenant, shrugging.

“Aw, crap, not another one.”  Kate's second scene in one day with a pentagram painted in blood. Shit, what the hell was going? “This used to be the quiet part of town.” She muttered, turning away. “Show me the priest.”

“Down there Lou, the techs aren't done, it's a freaking mess.  He's still strung up just like he was found.”

“Great.  The janitor found him?” She glanced down the steps.

“That's what she said.”

“Where's she now?”

“Tough old bird, sittin over there.” Barney motioned with his head, pointing to the old woman smoking a filterless Camel, spitting pieces of tobacco.

“Hope they finish before parishioners start showing up.” Kate moved to the old woman.

“Mrs. …” She started.

“Maude, just Maude.”

“Okay, Maude, tell me from the beginning.”

Maude wearily started her story again.


Five murders now, all in sanctuaries, all priests with pentagrams, the last two with Latin, “blood of my blood.” What the hell was that suppose to mean? Kate looked over her file covered desk. She rubbed her forehead, Captain Mack had started chewing on Tums as well as her ass. Serial was being whispered.

“Lou, we just got a call, suspicious activity over at St. Pete's, Father Brian called it.”

“Let's roll Barney. Maybe we'll catch this bastard before he can slice and dice the good Father.”


St. Pete's was two blocks away, they could run faster than drive. This asshole was starting on churches close to home.

Kate and Barney burst through to the rectory, Father Brian, no where in sight. Shit, were they too late?

They crept toward the nave, guns drawn, looking down at the tile, blood spray. Shit.

“Freeze!” Kate bawled out. She couldn't believe her eyes. Before her stood a single man, knife to the priest's throat, catching the blood that poured from the wound in the Holy Chalice as the color drain away from the priest's body along with his life. The man drank thirstily from the Chalice.

“Oh Hell No! Freaking Vampire!” Barney trained his gun on the man.

“Drop the knife and step away!” Kate yelled out again, enraged.

Slowly, the man shifted his eyes to Kate's.

“Detective, so glad you could join me.” The bastard looked her right in the eye.

Before Kate could blink Barney's gun clattered to the floor along with his body as blood pumped between his groping fingers, the knife resting against her own throat.

“I've left you enough clues.” He ran a caressing thumb across her throat.

“You can't be here, this is sacred holy ground.”

“Do you believe everything you see in movies?”

I used to, she thought, as the knife pricked her throat.

“Who the Hell are you? Why are you doing this?” Panic swept Kate's body as unconsciousness tried to drag her away.

A chuckle met her ears. “Damien, my sweet Lieutenant.”


Kate awoke to crickets, parched. She felt Damien's presence surrounding her. He came up behind her, caressing her with his thoughts as well as his hands. “The night is young as is the hunger for the hunt.”

Kate would have fought against the thirst but it was useless. Life or death, it was all too strange, the hunter and the hunted were now one in the same.

© Dottie Taylor

Well, that's my entry, be it as it may.  Murder in a Cathedral with a twist.

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