Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews

Crimson Romance

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

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bound by Fate, The Bound Series, Book 2 by Amanda Cummings

Publisher:  Red Rose Publishing
Pages:  60

From the Cover:

Can magic and reality work together or will they be dealt a fate worse than death?

In the world of Aldar, Lucan leads a group of warriors to battle the Conjurer that threatened Tavis and Amber in Bound by Magic. With the eminent approach of the coming battle, Lucan and Kira discover something shocking about themselves and their relationship.

Fate has given them a gift. Will Lucan embrace Kira and his fate? Or continue to deny what is in his heart?

Lucan, Tavis' brother and warrior, meets his match is the form, Kira.  She's his perfect match if only he can admit it, to himself and her.  Kira knows she and Lucan fit together like no one she's been with before, if she can only convince him of the truth.  But before Lucan or Kira can see the truth, the Conjurers who are trying to steal the magic of Aldar which would lead to it's death and effectively bottling the Earth realm magic, have to be dealt with first.  The Chosen Ones have to be protected, fate has to be answered to, love will have to wait.

Bound by Fate by Amanda Cummings was fast paced, loads of action, and a good romance to boot once Lucan comes to his senses.  Aldar has Chosen Ones that allow two individuals to harness the excess magic from the Earth and release it to Aldar to keep it alive and magically bound.  Lucan and Kira are two Aldarians that when they come together, Soulmate bound, can produce a Chosen One.  Lucan only can admit the truth when Kira is almost snatched away.

Bound by Fate is a quick, easy read sensually told.  The romance is beyond red hot, especially for the few short pages in which the story is told.  Amy (aka Romance Book Wyrm) tells a good story that heats up the pages.  I recommend it to readers who enjoy a sensual paranormal romance, and I hope to see a few more stories in the series. 

I purchased this ebook on Amazon for my own enjoyment.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Shadow of the Vampire by Meagan Hatfield

Publisher:  HQN, Harlequin Enterprises
Pages:  368

(Release Date:  July 1, 2010)

From the Cover:

Even vampires should never sleep with the enemy.

Vampire princess Alexia Feodorovna has been undead for 125 years, so it's been a while since any man has made her pulse race. Until Declan Black. One look at his bronzed body and a fire like no other consumes her. Then she discovers that he's a dragon lord come to take revenge on the vamps who killed his parents. And claim a crystal said to imbue its owner with incredible powers.

Alexia is ordered to torture and kill the dragon lord. Yet with each reckless encounter, she finds herself consumed by his fiery passion. A passion Declan battles, as well. Will he be able to resist the fire of lust she kindles within him and keep revenge in his heart? Or will he risk everything to quench the burning desire and claim the vampire as his own?

******may contain spoilers******

Alexia has two days to wait for her ascension, Queen of the horde, if she survives.  Her mother and the current Queen, Queen Catija, has been unwell.  She has let her lover and adviser, Lotharus, run her life, her kingdom, and now, when Alexia ascends to the throne, they will marry.  But what Catija doesn't know is that Lotharus has other plans.  He's tired of taking orders from females, lowly creatures not fit to lead let alone command him, and, if the Queen continues to drink his elixir, she won't live to see the wedding and Alexia her ascension.  Lotharus has found the Dark Prince's journals, they say he went mad .... maybe from imbibing in the life blood of his victims and other vampires, a practice Lotharus plans to revive.

Declan Black will be claimed the next King, Dragon Lord, by the council.  His parents were brutally and savagely murdered after days of being tortured when they attempted to take the crystal that has been prophesied to allow the holder to rule over them all.  Dragons and Vampires have long been enemies, but recently the horde has been more vicious, corrupt, and murderous.  He can't believe they have take his parents, he longs for the blood of his enemies to flow through his fingers.  But there is one more thing he has to do before he can rightfully accept the King's throne.  He must finish what his parents attempted.  He must claim the crystal, before the vampires can make use of it.

Shadow of the Vampire by Meagan Hatfield is an excellently told tale of an unusual vampire/shifter love story.  The vampires used to be rule by a mad Dark Prince, but since his overthrow hundreds of years ago, the horde has been calm, grown happy, that is until Catija ascends to the throne.  The old Queen was kind, ruling with a stern, but gentle hand.  Catija has shown bloodthirstiness and her name is more than a little feared.  Lotharus is a new breed of evil and he has become the Queens closest adviser, but he suspects Catija has figured out his dastardly plan.  Lotharus is everything evil, he's brutal, malignant, where he soul once lived, vileness has taken it's place and he's one of the ancients, hard to defeat.  He has outlived his usefulness, and when Alexia ascends to the throne, she'd love to see him receive just what he needs, a long overdue death.  He is very deserving.  Declan is captured by Alexia, and Lotharus demands he be tortured to death as he had his parents, the Dragons have stolen the ancient scrolls and he wants them back.  Dragons are extremely powerful creatures, but with one weakness, silver.  And silver is what the vampires use to torture and kill the creatures.  When Declan sees Alexia, he'd like nothing better than to take her in his claws and rips her to pieces, but everytime she comes near, another passion grips him instead.  The vampires slaughtered his parents, and now, they're going to slaughter him too, he knows it, the silver piercing his body won't let him forget.  But Alexia does the unexpected.  She tries to help Declan.  Can there be more than what he can see to this little vampire?

Shadow of the Vampire is a darkly told paranormal romance/urban fantasy.  Alexia doesn't know what to do.  She knows that Lotharus would like nothing better than to control the horde, massacre everyone he considers his enemy.  And now the Dragon Lord is making Alexia's own body a treacherous place to be, he's the enemy, and all she wants to do is comfort him.  Declan knows that the next time Alexia sneaks into the dungeon, he should kill her, end her life like his parents have been murdered.  But the little vampire wiggles under his scales, and now he can't shake the feel of her body against his.  Shadow of the Vampire is an erotically told little tale with loads of fighting and excitement, legends of the vampire horde, and an intricately woven world between the two societies that I'd like to get to know better.  There is graphic violence and sexuality, so if this bothers you, pick something else to read.  If you enjoy a darkly erotic romance/fantasy as much as I do, I highly recommend Shadow of the Vampire.  It's a quick little read that hooked me immediately and keeps the reader engage within the story, and it has a great cliffhanger ending.  You see, Declan sends of his Dragons in search of.....  Well, it would be kind of unfair to tell you.  You'll just have to pick it up and read to find out.  It's not at all what you expect and it may change all of their lives.

I received this book for review from Harlequin Enterprises and Net Galley.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bound by Magic, The Bound Series, Book 1 by Amanda Cummings

Publisher:  Red Rose Publishing
Pages:  80

From the Cover:

Can magic and reality work together or will they be dealt a fate worse than death? Two worlds held together by magic, the Earth realm and the realm of Aldar.

Amber Moyer is a Chosen from our world. As the time draws near Samhain, Tavis, from Aldar, seeks her out in dreams. They are soul mates. Together they sustain his realm with the life giving magic of the Earth realm.

But there is evil that seeks Aldar. Will Tavis and Amber be able to overcome the evil? Or suffer the same fate as Amber's mother so many years ago?

Amber's been having a strange week, and the dreams, so erotic as is the mystery man who inhabits them.  She longs to know his name and for the completion she knows only he can provide.  As for the mystery man, an Aldarian, he awaits for the time to draw near, where he and his Chosen one can complete their binding, and become one, Soulmates.  Only things aren't as peaceful as the Aldarians believe them to be.  The Conjures are afoot and waiting for the binding as well....

Bound by Magic by Amanda Cummings is a novella full of eroticism and magic.  Amber has been waiting for something to happen in her life, for her whole life, she just doesn't know what or when it will happen.  But she starting to live for her dreams and the mystery man that fills them.  Tavis, the mystery man, is from a parallel realm where Earth bound magic is funneled.  To keep the balance in both worlds, the magic needs to be evenly meated out.  Without the Chosen ones finding each other, Aldar would cease to exist and the magic of the Earth would devastate itself.  Together, Tavis and Amber can help their worlds and love each other.

Bound by Magic is a quick little read full of erotic moments and sensual magic, but also the imagery used within the story creates an erotic tone, leaving the reader to anticipate what the story provides.  If you like a quick little sensual read where the characters heat up the pages, try Bound by Magic, I can highly recommend it.  And if you're familiar with the blog, Romance Book Wyrm, then you already know the author and what a great storyteller she is.  Here's hoping Amy writes a few more of these magical little tales.

I pick up this book on Amazon for my own enjoyment.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Hard Magic, Book One: Paranormal Scene Investigations by Laura Anne Gilman

Publisher:  Luna, Harlequin Enterprises
Pages:  336

From the Cover:

Welcome to P.U.P.I.—Private, Unaffiliated, Paranormal Investigations
A handpicked team trained to solve crimes the regular police can't touch—crimes of magic.

My name's Bonnie Torres. Recent college grad, magic user and severely unemployed. Until I got a call out of nowhere to interview for a job I hadn't applied for. It smelled fishy, but the brutal truth was I needed the work—so off I went.

Two days later I'm a PUPI—me and Nick, Sharon, Nifty and Pietr. Five twentysomethings, thrown into an entirely new career in forensic magic.

The first job we get is a doozy: proving that the deaths of two Talents were murder, not suicide. Worse, there are high-profile people who want us to close up shop and go away. We're sniffing out things they'd rather keep buried.

Looks as if this job is gonna get interesting. The only problem is, we're making it up as we go along….

Bonita Torres is Council, well, so sort.  Her mentor, J, is council. He father, Zaki, was Lonejack, that is before someone killed him. She's a Talent and a recent college grad.  Now, after college, J is still providing her money, a place to live, even her clothes.  She needs a job in the worst way.

When she gets an odd message suggesting she come to an address somewhere in the middle of New York City, at an address she didn't send a resume, it peaks her curiosity.  When J suggests she not go, that seals the deal, she has to see what's going on.

The Guys introduce the kiddies to forensic magic, to go where Council and Lonejack won't, to solve crimes that until now were unsolvable.  When Ms. Reybeorn comes into their offices, hoping to solve the death of her parents, PUPI is ready for it's first client.

Hard Magic by Laura Anne Gilman is urban fantasy that provides excitement, plenty of action, and a whole new way to use magic.  Bonnie, Nick, Pietr, Nifty, and Sharon arrive at a mysterious address to find a dead body.  Only the body isn't as dead as it appears to be.  With their abilities, and with Ian Stosser and Ben Venec as their teachers, PUPI is born.  Forensic magic investigations, crimes committed by and with the use of magic, Talents killing Talents.  Which is what they'll investigate with their first client, Ms. Reybeorn.  Everyone assumes her parents committed suicide, but it's just too neat, too easy.  When PUPI looks into the suspicious case, more is revealed than they ever thought to find.

Hard Magic was exciting, fun, interesting, and the characters were appealing.  Each of the twentysomethings have problems that single them out of the other Talents, they're different for some reason.  Nifty is a jock, but he doesn't want to end up with a broken body and no future.  Pietr is hardly ever noticed, because he tends to vanish.  Nick is a computer geek, but magic and electronics don't go well together.  Sharon can read people, from the inside out.  And Bonnie, she's detail oriented, like, she can remember every detail, the perfect investigator.  This book was just good fun.  I enjoyed it immensely.  The only niggle I could possibly find is the lack of a satisfying romance.  Bonnie talks about romantic involvements, even suggests romance, but it's left to the readers imagination, and I wanted more.  But maybe that something for the next book, after all the series is just starting.  I enjoyed this book so much, and if you don't mind the lack of romance, it's an excellent urban fantasy thriller, I highly recommend it.  Laura Anne Gilman is a new author for me, but I will be reading the next book in the series, Pack of Lies (available February 2011), and looking into her backlist.

I received this book for review for the publisher, Harlequin Enterprises, and Net Galley.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Black Legacy by Juliana Stone

Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Pages: 35

From the Cover: Frankie Black is a woman in need of a mission. For a Black Opal—a warrior woman who shifts backward or forward through time in order to, well, save the world—the last six months of downtime have left her bored. Restless. And with a feeling that something is about to hit the fan.

Finally, an assignment: save the life of Dekkar James, an infamous rock god living three hundred years in the past. Tattooed, ruggedly handsome and perfectly imperfect, one look at him and it’s as if her sleeping body springs to life.

One minute Dekkar is having the most mind-blowing sex of his life. The next, goons are breaking down his door, and he’s on the run with a woman who turns from lover to warrior in the blink of an eye.

Dealing with the New Order, operatives who manipulate time without regard for the consequences, is nothing new for Frankie. But this time their tactics have a more personal edge—they’ve found a way to seek out the Opals’ predestined mates.

Unless she can save Dekkar’s life, her future will be the first casualty in a battle for the fate of humankind.

Frankie Black can feel something coming, deep in her soul, what it is or when it's coming, she can't tell but it will be soon. As one of the warrior women fighting for what's right and good, The New Order has become a pain trying to shift their operatives through to kill their targets before the Black Opal sisters can save them.

Frankie's next target is a rock star god from the 21st century, if she can get there to save him. Dekkar James is everything she could hope for, imperfectly perfect, hard bodied and emerald green eyed. He's just what she needs. Only one problem, targets are strictly forbidden fruit.

Dekkar James is used to having anything and everything he wants, what else can a rock star god except? And when Frankie pops into his life, he must have her. But can he hear the truth? Can he survive the reality?

Black Legacy by Juliana Stone  is a hot little paranormal romance that was fast, fun, and poured excitement out of the few short pages. Frankie and Dekkar are a perfectly mismatched pair, and it serves to make Frankie's heart sing.  What she doesn't know is the Dekkar has to be saved, it can be no other way.

Ms. Stone is a new author to me, but this won't be the last of her books that I pick up. This is the first book Ms. Stone has published with Samhain Publishing, but I hope it isn't the last. I'll be patiently waiting for the continuing story and the next release.

Lea @ closetwriter has an excellent review here.

Ms. Stone's continuing story of the Jaguar Warrior Series, Book One, His Darkest Hunger (publisher:  Avon / Harper Collins)

(Release Date:  March 30, 2010)
The next in the series, His Darkest Embrace (Book Two) will be released October 26, 2010.  Book Three (His Darkest Salvation) and Book Four to be announced soon.

I bought this short story for my own enjoyment. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Monday, June 14, 2010

If Only This Wasn't Real Life......If Only It Wasn't MY Life As told to Dottie Taylor

Chapter One, My Life

To quote Jessica Simpson:  "These boots are made for walkin' and that's just what they'll do.  One of these days these boots are gonna to walk all over you."

This is how I feel, at least today anyway.  I feel like I've been walked on, kicked about, and stomped hard just for good measure.  This is the day my boyfriend told me "I don't wanna be mean, but uh.... I don't think we should date anymore.... " as I'm walking into football cheerleading tryouts.  With the judges sitting six feet away from me as tears threaten to streak down my face, leaving rivulets of mascara in their place.  I wanna puke.

What the heck!  Three weeks before prom and he doesn't want to be mean?  Can you think of a meaner thing to do?  Especially as I'm walking into tryouts?  And guess why.  No sooner did he break up with me, and he's sitting on the school bus, touching tonsils with my now evil nemesis, Kelly.  To make matters worse, if they can actually get worse, everyone on the bus starts texting me, "OMG!!!  Aren't you dating Dan?"  Twenty-five text messages in ten minutes.  Now what do I say.  I ignore most of the texts, except from my best friend Emmie, who I immediately text back with a gigantic "NO!!!"  And can you believe just a week ago Kelly asked me to help make the Cheer Squad?  And I did.  Now, I have to stare at her through every one of the basketball games next season.  This is too unreal.

Not that Dan cares, he and Kelly, and everyone else on the bus is off on a week long trip.  The reward for being part of the Singer Showcase Performers.  I should have known better than to become involved with a Drama King.  I should have known that he was schizophrenic from the start.

I rush home to tell my mom that she just wasted three hundred dollars on a prom dress I'm never going to wear.  Even if I get another date, this was the dress I was going to wear with Dan.  And now Dan has dumped me.  I can never look at the dress again and not think of him.  I wonder what the return policy is on prom dress?  Well, anyway, Mom's gonna kill me.

As I crash through the front door, I scream "Mom, I'm not going to prom!"  Then I burst into tears, if you cry, moms hardly ever scream back at you.

Except for my mom.  "What do you mean 'you're not going to prom'?  You know how much that dress cost?  What happened?"  So, I tell her the whole awful story down to Kelly and Dan giving each other throat exams on the school bus and the hundreds of text messages I've received.  And how I can't go back to school, not with everyone watching Dan and Kelly trying to swallow each other faces.  We'll have to move to some place far, far away, preferably, another galaxy.  The humiliation will be intense.

"Well, honey, maybe someone else will ask you?"  Three weeks before flipping prom....she's delusional.  And the dress....I can't bring myself to look at the dress, much less wear it.  Ever.

(check back for the continuing story)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Cold Victory by Fiona Jayde

Publisher: Loose Id LLC
Pages:  104 (Novella)

From the Cover: 

Intergalactic warfare has not been kind to humans. Convicted pilot Zoya Scott has the chance to avenge her family, redeem an act of desperation with that of sacrifice. She’ll end this war if she betrays the man whose touch burns through her soul, the man whose ship and crew she must destroy. The man who is her bloodmate.
Commander Galen Stark never expected the convicted pilot on his ship to be anything more then a good looking inconvenience. A small brush of their hands grips him with vicious lust, a need he can’t control. She is his bloodmate – a biological reaction burning through his veins.

Except she carries an explosive. And Stark may have to give the order to destroy them all.

Zoya Scott has seen her share of war.  When her small colony is ignored and left to be invaded, she has to watch her sister and young nephew died, and for what, did it stop the war?  Then, when she tries to right the wrong committed, help those who can't help themselves, she's convict of stealing. Now, she's being controlled by the one thing she has come to hate.

Commander Galen Stark is desperate for pilots, he has to take the green pilots without any real training under the belts.  When he's forced to accept the convicted pilot, Zoya Scott, it's the last thing he needs.  His ship is being held together with patches, he has a real shortage of supplies and ammunition, and now an undisciplined convict pilot, can his luck get any better?

But when Galen brushes against Zoya, his blood sings, his body demands hers, Bloodmates.  Zoya never thought to make a Bloodmate connection, and it's so not what she needs, a DNA complication.  Bloodmates always know one another and the connection never lies.

Heat Warning Level:  Back away from the flames, sure to get singed.

Cold Victory by Fiona Jayde is an exciting paranormal/scifi fantasy romance that rocks through and through.  While the title of the book, Cold Victory, gives the reader an opportunity to understand the psyche of the heroine Zoya (she has to remain detached, unfeeling, cold if she going to complete her mission), but the story within the pages is anything but cool.  It is bound in strong emotions.  While our hero, powerful alpha male Commander Galen Stark, isn't looking for any more complications in his life, he hasn't counted on the red-headed beauty who is assigned to his faltering ship either.  From the moment his fingertips touches hers, he longs to see the lush red hair unbound and heat burning in her eyes.  If only they weren't in a fight for their lives.  Zoya, our fiesty heroine, is being asked to complete a mission that goes against just about everything she believes in, but maybe the deaths of a few can bring an end of the killing of the many, bring an end to the Godless war, and relieve her suffering and guilt she feels at letting her family die.  She isn't counting on making a Bloodmate connection with the one man she has to use if her mission is to succeed.  Cold Victory is also about what happens when war drives people to the brink.  A war that was started by an unknown enemy with an unknown cause that won't end until one side can no longer annihilate the other.  Something has to be done to stop it.

Cold Victory was anything but cold.  From the moment the hero and heroine encounter each other, the pages heat up, and not only do the characters bring heat to the story, but find themselves inexplicably drawn together beyond their ability to stop, even when they know the situation may lead to their own deaths.  Galen is such a strong figure, but not opposed to sharing his strength and gaining strength from Zoya, they fit together perfectly.  Fiona Jayde is a new author for me, but this won't be the last on her stories that I pick up.  I love finding new authors, especially ones who capture my attention completely.  Cold Victory was a very quick, intense read that I found difficult to put down, read in one sitting.  I recommend it for readers who like some red-hot romance and space fantasy readers, well worth your time.

I bought this book for my own enjoy, hope you will too.  All opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Out of Sight, Court of Angels, Book Three by Stella Cameron

Publisher: Mira/Harlequin Enterprises
Pages: 400

From the Cover:

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.

Driven by hatred for the Millets, a killing force has attacked New Orleans. The evil Embran race has no conscience and intends to terrorize the city into submission. Sykes and Poppy must set aside old distrust and use their bonded talents to save their families, themselves - and New Orleans.

Poppy Fortune has a lot to make up for.  First she almost sabotaged the burgeon romance between her brother, Ben, and his new wife, Willow.  Even after their bonding, she still didn't believe Willow had the power to match Ben's.  She tried to make amends, but it's an impossible sin to forgive, at least in her mind.

Sykes, Willow's older brother and Ben's best friend, has been a thorn in Poppy's side.  He shows her disdain for her misdeeds, but there's more to his emotions than meets the eye.  At the first brush of their hands, electricity erupts, grabbing Poppy's attention.

Sykes remembers Poppy from years of growing up along side the Fortunes, Ben's troublesome little sister.  But, now Sykes has had his fill of Millet problems, Millet destinies, and Millet's mentor, Jude, who brought the Millet curse to Sykes shoulders.  Now, all Sykes wants is to find a woman he can be himself with, he wants what others have found.  Poppy brings a new realization into his life.  She's all grown up and enticing as ever.

Out of Sight by Stella Cameron continues the Court of Angels Series.  Sykes is the oldest of the Millet children, now abandoned by their parents who are searching for the answer to the curse the Millet's have endured and having left Uncle Pascal in place as the lead of the family, a position that should have been Sykes by all rights.  He's the oldest child in the family, but he's also the only one cursed, Jude Millet's curse of the dark hair and blue eyes, all the other Millets have the legendary red hair.  Sykes thinks the curse is nonsense and so does Pascal, if the truth is known, and Pascal would like nothing better than to turn the reins of the burgeoning family over to Sykes capable hands. Pascal has his own problems to contend with, including a night of indiscretion in his wayward youth.  But, the Embran, the creatures that would like to take over in this realm, also have to be dealt with, and it will take all the families working together to overcome the formidable foe.  The Embran who are gradually disseminating and infecting their host bodies.  It is only through finding the Harmony that the families can defeat the Embran, and only Sykes has the ability that they need.

Out of Sight was another exceptional read from Stella Cameron who combines mystery, mayhem, psychic ability and a sensual romance all together in one book.  This is Poppy and Sykes' story.  Sykes, the long suffering true head of the Millet family and our enduring hero, and Poppy, the youngest of the Fortunes, deceived by her brothers into thinking she has the least of abilities and our heroine in this tale.  Sykes has been searching for someone to complete his life and he really doesn't give Poppy a second look as the young sister of his best friend, Ben.  But while Sykes has been searching, Poppy has grown up and come into her own.  Now, he's having trouble denying the attraction and sparks that flow between their bodies.  The question is, if Sykes takes the course laid before him by Millet mentor, Jude, will he ever find anyone else to fill the niche Poppy so completely fills?  Will he ever locate the keys that will open the Harmony?  And will the Embran take over New Orleans in the process?

Out of Sight was an excellent read and I'll be looking for more from Stella Cameron.  If you enjoy a little magical psychic ability with your mayhem and a sensual romance to boot, check the Court of Angels Series.  Excellent paranormal romance/fantasy reading to be enjoyed by all.

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

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