Naughty Nooner: Captivated by Megan Hart & Tiffany Reisz

Series: Stand-alone

Format: eGalley
Release Date: October 28, 2014
Publisher: Harlequin
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Contemporary Erotica

Double the passion and seduction as New York Times bestselling author Megan Hart and international bestselling author Tiffany Reisz weave two provocative tales about power, bad-boy lovers and secret desires!

LETTING GO by Megan Hart Colleen goes to the same bar every night and orders the same drink: a whiskey, neat. She doesn’t drink it, though. Jesse the bartender notices the beautiful, sad woman who keeps to herself. Until one night when she lets go and lets him in. And after that, Jesse has only one mission–to show her one night is only the beginning.

SEIZE THE NIGHT by Tiffany Reisz
Four years ago, a night of forbidden passion between Remi and Julien, the heirs of two powerful and competitive horse-racing families, led to a feud that is threatening to ruin both farms. Now Remi must find Julien again, but when she does, her need for Julien is just as strong and just as forbidden.

Last week was brutal for me, I don’t know what I was thinking committing to a review or tour stop every day. It eventually caught up with me which explains why it’s Talk Supe Lite this week. Harlequin’s Cosmo Red-Hot Reads, CAPTIVATED, was the perfect interlude with short and sexy hook-up tales by Megan Hart and Tiffany Reisz.  
LETTING GO by Megan Hart: A uptight divorcee, Colleen, hooks up with the single-dad bartender, Jesse, one snowy night. Things quickly got hot and heavy between the two and thanks to their incredible attraction, it eventually turned into something serious albeit Colleen’s protestations. 
My appreciation for one-night-stand-turned-serious borders on the skeptic but it was believable in this case. Jesse is a sweet and sincere guy and I found his crush on Colleen very adorable. It’s Colleen’s backstory, divorced with a verbally abusive ex-husband, that engaged me to this story and had me rooting for her. Compared to her d-bag ex, she’s better off with sweet and attentive Jesse even if it’s just for a short while. MHart managed to get me emotionally connected to the story despite its short length, Letting Go was surprising and satisfying. 
SEIZE THE NIGHT by Tiffany Reisz: Is a short story based on Romeo and Juliet. In case you’re wondering, this isn’t part of her Original Sinners series although the families featured here move in the same circle as Wesley Railey’s, who sadly didn’t make an appearance. This hot read has the same humor and level of sexiness as TReisz popular series albeit being vanilla. Remi and Julien met 4 years ago but their age difference, this caused an uproar between their families which started the infamous rivalry. A fishy race and a ridiculous amount of money that seems to come from nowhere had both scions investigating and what they discovered finally ended their family’s feud and they lived happily ever after.
I liked the backstory between Remi and Julien’s initial rendezvous but the time in-between was a little unbelievable. Anyway, the point of Seize The Night is the hook-up and these two were at it like bunnies! Compared to the previous story, this was smex first romance second, not that I’m complaining, even if Remi and Julien were super vanilla they didn’t lack imagination and I give them A+ for enthusiasm. 
CAPTIVATED was a red hot sexy read that’s for sure, both stories complement each other in that Letting Go has more heart and a bit melodramatic while Seize The Night was light and smexier. MHart and TReisz will satisfy your sexy cravings so if you want to cuddle with something hot tonight make sure you check this sizzling eye candy out.

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Naughty Nooner: Seducing The Groom by Cheryl Holt + Giveaway

Series: Stand-alone

Format: PDF
Release Date: October 30, 2014 
Publisher: Book Baby
Source: Publisher
Genre: Historical Novella

Cheryl Holt celebrates her years as “The Queen of Erotic Romance” with this sexy, yummy, and fun tale of a bride’s seductive antics on her wedding night…

Stephen St. John, Viscount Banbury, is in a bind. His father has cut off his allowance, so he’s had to rein in his decadent habits and split with his beautiful, spoiled mistress whom he can no longer afford. When an American heiress comes to London and dangles her fortune in Stephen’s direction, he sees it as the answer to his prayers. He’ll wed the pretty, delectable heiress, but he won’t let her interfere with his decadent lifestyle. He’s a confirmed bachelor and determined to have a marriage of convenience.

Ellen Foster has traveled to London for the express purpose of buying a titled husband. She’s been husband shopping for months and can’t make up her mind. All the available candidates seem tepid and boring. But when she lays eyes on handsome, dashing Stephen St. John, she knows he’s the one, and with her large fortune as bait, he’s easily snared in her web.

When he suggests a marriage of convenience, she pretends to agree. But she has no intention of living separate lives. She plans to enjoy every delightful, wicked minute that marriage to a rake can provide. With Stephen determined to avoid her, seduction seems the only choice.

Though Stephen doesn’t realize it, Ellen always gets her way, and as she turns their bedchamber into a den of erotic pleasure, poor Stephen doesn’t stand a chance.

I’ve been sneaking historical romances here and there once in a while hoping to incorporate the genre full to my roster. I need to switch it up once in a while and sometimes the more options the better. Which had me jumping on Cheryl Holt’s SEDUCING THE GROOM. It’s a 70-paged novella and perfect for my laid back plans for this week. 
It’s easy for me to imagine SEDUCING THE GROOM as part of a full-length historical romance novel and a part of me wishes that this was longer so we can witness Ellen and Stephen’s love story from beginning to end. CHolt has other and sexier plans though because she jumps right away to their honeymoon. The problem is theirs is an arranged loveless and supposedly sexless marriage, unfortunately Ellen’s already fallen for the handsome aristocrat and is intent on consummating their relationship on their wedding night.  
Novellas are tricky and is a usually hit or miss because at times some aspect of the story suffers so it can fit the length. CHolt though made it simple gave SEDUCING THE GROOM a sense of completion. The characters managed to give us a good snapshot of their backstory, the conflict was well rounded and because the plot posed a simple question, to fluck or not to fluck, the resolution was fairly simple as well. Though SEDUCING THE GROOM did not fully satisfy my craving for a great historical romance, it was enough to whet my appetite and plan for more in the nearest future.
CHAPTER ONE
London, 1815…

“Well, good night then, Lord Banbury.”
“Good night.”
Stephen St. John, Viscount Banbury, eventually to be Earl of Stafford if his recalcitrant, impossible father ever dropped dead, glared at the interloper who’d now been his wife for all of ten hours. The silence extended; the farewell grew awkward.
What repartee, precisely, was a man supposed to express at a time such as this? Sleep well? Pleasant dreams? See you in the morning? Or how about more aptly, What was I thinking, marrying a woman I don’t know? Have I gone mad?
Nothing seemed appropriate. Astoundingly, he blushed, his cheeks heating with an embarrassing dose of discomfort.
The wedding guests were gone, the house had been tidied by what was left of his domestic staff, and he’d been about to leave too, when he’d stumbled upon her floating down the stairs. She was scarcely dressed, clad in a diaphanous green negligee and robe that hardly covered anything that ought to be covered. Apparently, as she’d concluded that he was already off to his merrymaking, she’d believed herself to be alone in the massive, drafty domicile. Unable to sleep, she’d descended to fetch a relaxing refreshment.
Her hair was blond, the shade of ripened wheat. It was unbound and hanging down her back to brush her bottom, and he was gravely troubled by the display. She was much too forward and assured, prancing about in her nightwear before an unfamiliar man, yet she didn’t appear perturbed.
Yes, he was her husband, but nevertheless, they were strangers.
Even though he hadn’t meant to, he evaluated her graceful figure. He was only human! He couldn’t be expected to avoid looking at what was flaunted in plain sight.
She was much too shapely, and he squirmed uneasily and inspected the floor, only to be confronted by her feet.
Her toenails were painted red! The splash of bright crimson in the dull salon seemed immoderately sexy, out of place, incongruous and irreconcilable with the individual he pictured her to be.
Ordinarily, he was an urbane, sophisticated fellow, renowned and lauded for his aplomb, his polish and poise and, most particularly, for his way with the ladies. Yet with his new bride, he’d been transformed into a bungling, gauche oaf.
From the moment earlier in the day, when she’d waltzed into the parlor, promptly at eleven, he’d behaved like an ass. Throughout the abbreviated ceremony, then the afternoon of toasting and celebration, and the interminable meal that had wrapped up the festivities, he’d constantly tripped over himself, saying the wrong thing, doing the wrong thing, and generally making a fool of himself.
She likely presumed that she’d wed a moronic buffoon.
He was dawdling in the doorway, acting like a simpleton, powerless to depart, but incapable of maintaining any sort of intelligent conversation. 
“Don’t let me keep you,” she obligingly said. Showing him her back, she strolled to the other side of the room, where surprisingly, she helped herself to a stout glass of brandy.
During the excessive, protracted gala, he’d covertly watched her. When his rowdy, wild friends had still been in attendance, she’d had naught to drink. While she’d ceaselessly had a beverage in her hand, he’d never seen her take so much as a sip. So why now?
He was used to consorting with a rather decadent type of lady, so he normally wouldn’t have heeded whether she’d imbibed or not. Usually, he paid no heed to what a female did or didn’t do. But it bothered him to discover that she was so nonplussed by events that she could blithely delight in a nightcap.
“Enjoy your…revelry,” she added. “I’m sure it will be mostentertaining.”
From the beginning, he’d recognized that she had a husky, come-hither voice. When she talked, she always sounded as though she were on the verge of mentioning an indecent proposition. Thus, it was difficult to focus on the content of her speech, because the words kept getting lost in the sensual timbre of any utterance.
Narrowing his gaze, he studied her rounded behind, trying to deduce if she was mocking him with her flip adieu. Was she jesting? Was she serious?
She had to be joking. She had to be!
Though she’d readily and freely yielded to his ultimatum that theirs would be a marriage of convenience, how could she blandly acquiesce to his rushing out to cavort with others on their wedding night? Had she no feelings in the matter? Was she genuinely unconcerned about where he went or what he did? What woman—what wife!—could be so tolerant, so unmoved? What kind of person was she?
There was the crux of his problem. He had no idea.

CHERYL HOLT is a New York Times, USA Today, and Amazon “Top 100” bestselling author of over thirty-five novels.

She’s also a lawyer and mom, and at age forty, with two babies at home, she started a new career as a commercial fiction writer. She’d hoped to be a suspense novelist, but couldn’t sell any of her manuscripts, so she ended up taking a detour into romance where she was stunned to discover that she has a knack for writing some of the world’s greatest love stories.

Her books have been released to wide acclaim, and she has won or been nominated for many national awards. She is considered to be one of the masters of the romance genre. For many years, she was hailed as “The Queen of Erotic Romance” as well as “The International Queen of Villains.” She is particularly proud to have been named “Best Storyteller of the Year” by the trade magazine Romantic Times BOOK Reviews.

She lives and writes in Hollywood, California, and she loves to hear from fans.

Follow Cheryl
Website | Goodreads | Facebook | @theCherylHolt

Suped Up Feature: The Sword of Souls by Ellie Di Julio

The Sword of Souls
Forgotten Relics 2
Ellie Di Julio
October 28, 2014
Urban Fantasy
Second chance at life? Check.
Ultra-rare magic powers? Check.
Badass new job? Check.
Saved world from evil goddess? Not so check.
Cora Riley assumed when she joined the FBI’s Supernatural Cases Division that she’d be dismantling Otherworld treachery alongside Jack Alexander, the storied Agent 97 who guided her through the underworld. Instead, she’s filing reports for Sofi Strella, a smart-mouthed agent ten years her junior.
When Jack finally does make contact, it’s not for sidestepper training, a quiet drink, or even an apology; it’s to investigate a magical narcotic that’s boosting supernatural belief to dangerous levels.
The case leads to the realm of Faerie, where Jack encounters an old flame and an even older enemy, both demanding his allegiance. As he battles the entanglements of his past, Cora continues the mission, ultimately facing the eerily-familiar Queen Mab, who wields a legendary blade in the name of Eris, the mad goddess of chaos.
Novel Cinematography: The Movie in Your Mind



You probably don’t think about it much, but I’d bet all the money in my couch cushions that you think a book’s something to hear, not something to watch. When you’re reading, you hear a voice in your head, right? You’re not seeing anything besides words on a page.

But I challenge that. To me, novels are a visual medium.

When I’m working on a book, I have a specific mental picture of what’s happening during each scene. A little movie, if you will. I know what each character looks like, the details of the environment, the colors and textures and emotions. There are specific actions, phrases, and weather. I can see it all in my mind’s eye as if it were real.

It’s my job as an author to choose the best combination of words to get that same picture to appear in your head as you read. I have to transcode visuals into words so that you can turn them back into pictures again. If I’m very good (or very lucky), what you end up seeing in your mind is the same as what I see in mine.

This shared vision concept became super important when I wrote my latest book, The Sword of Souls. There’s an entire chapter devoted to a complicated fight scene that’s interspersed with a tense emotional scene, split into three perspectives. It’s the culmination of several plot threads and, instead of telling them separately, I chose to interweave them, much like a TV show or movie cuts between simultaneous events to increase tension and investment.

Without using cinematic principles to guide my writing, the chapter might’ve gone something like this:

Cora holds her sword and waits for an attack.
At the same time, Sofi and her team of dwarves are walking across the other side of the field.
Sofi takes a music box out of her pocket and buries it in the ground, covering it with honeyed cream. It plays “Over the Rainbow” when she steps on it.

Instead, I replayed the movie in my mind hundreds to times to find the right balance of imagery and information to ensure that you see what I see.

Cora grins and crouches down, choking up on her sword like a baseball bat. She hasn’t had SCD sword training yet, but it’s a pretty simple principle. She’ll learn as she goes.

On the west side of the field, Sofi’s taking advantage of the noise Cora’s detachment is making. Her team of dwarves formed their reflective shield wall before they reached the gravel edge of the field, and now they’re proceeding relentlessly forward.

She darts ahead into the rye, staying low while fishing in her field kit with both hands for her faerie bait. She stomps down moldy stalks, then dumps the pocket-sized music box onto the flattened circle and squeezes the entire bottle of honeyed cream over it. A soggy rendition of “Over the Rainbow” tinkles out when she pokes it on with the toe of her shoe.

See what a huge difference the details make? How you can watch the movie as it unfolds?

Books are so much more than ink on paper, my friends. They’re a ticket to a rich visual world, the result of written cinematography that begins with a scene in a writer’s mind and ends with a movie in yours.

Ellie Di Julio is a nomadic writer currently living in Hamilton, Ontario with her Robert Downey, Jr. lookalike husband and their two cats. Between nerd activities like playing Final Fantasy IX or watching Top Gear, she enthusiastically destroys the kitchen and tries to figure out what it’s all about, when you really get down to it. She also writes urban fantasy novels and short stories riddled with pop culture references, peculiar memories, and sexy secret agents.

Follow Ellie
Website | Patreon | @EllieDiJulio | Facebook | Goodreads

Suped Up Feature! Cherished by Lexi Blake + Giveaway

Cherished_highres (1) 

Series: Masters and Mercenaries
Release Date: 28th October 2014
Genre: Erotic Fiction

A doctor living a double life
By day, Dr. Will Daley is one of Dallas’s most eligible bachelors, but every night he dons his leathers as one of Sanctum’s most desired Doms. He’s sworn off looking for a long-term relationship but is captivated by the club’s newest member, Bridget Slaten, even though they couldn’t be more different. She comes from a world of privilege and he was raised in poverty. When he discovers she needs a date to her sister’s wedding, he makes certain he’s literally the only man for the job.
A woman no longer willing to live in the shadows
For most of her life, Bridget hid herself behind her laptop. She can write romantic, sensuous lives for her characters but not herself. Having Master Will as her date to the wedding is a thrilling prospect but he has a special request. He wants her to accept two weeks of his services as a Dom, a lover, and expert in BDSM, and that is an offer she can’t refuse. Their sexual chemistry is undeniable, but it’s in the tender moments that Bridget realizes she’s falling for a man who might never trust her with his heart.
A love strong enough to cherish
Together in paradise for a week, Will realizes he can’t imagine his life without Bridget.  As the wedding approaches, ghosts from their past come back to haunt them and threaten to ruin the peace they’ve found. With everything exposed, they will have to risk it all to claim the love that can set them both free.
“I thought you were staying for dinner.” He moved in, taking up all the space. This close, she could see that he had a five-o’clock shadow across his perfect jaw. She was a sucker for a square jaw. Damn it. Even his ears were hot. She kind of wanted to lick them to see if he was ticklish there.

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“I think that’s a bad idea.”

“Because I’m not looking for anything serious?” Will asked. “Does everything have to be serious? Do you go into every relationship looking to get married?”

“No. I don’t think about getting married much.” Her parents’ marriage was so bad she often couldn’t stomach the idea. “But I’m getting too old to do the one-night stand thing.”

He moved in closer and she nearly forgot to breathe. He smelled so good. Clean and masculine. Sandalwood. He’d likely washed with it. All over. A vision of him soaping that body made her mouth water. “I didn’t say anything about one-night stands. I said maybe you shouldn’t take every relationship so seriously. Bridget, I want to spend time with you.”

And her nipples were hard. Yeah, they wanted to spend time with him, but her brain was still in charge. “My sister’s getting married in Hawaii.”

Oh, her brain was a traitor, too.
He loomed over her, his body inches away. His lips curled up in the sexiest grin. “Really? That sounds like fun. When is that happening?”
He was going to kiss her. His lips were going to touch hers and she had the sudden and deep fear that she wouldn’t be the same afterward. Still, she couldn’t quite seem to move, couldn’t get the will worked up to step back. She only managed to run her tongue across her lips to make sure they weren’t bone dry. “Soon. Next week.”
He sighed, his hands finding her shoulders. “Oh, I guess you’re going to be out of town then. I was hoping to see you while I was on vacation next week.”
She was mesmerized by his eyes. This close, she could see how green they were. His hands moved to her neck. “You could come with me. I need a date.”
Now she was kind of happy everyone else had turned her down. It seemed right to ask him, good to be here with him.
There was the sound of a phone ringing.
He shook his head as his hands sank into her hair. The way he was taking his time did something for her. The men she’d been with before had all just gone for it and would likely have already been pawing her boobs by now, but Will was moving with languid seduction. It was like a dance. “You need a date?”
The only thing pulling her out of the sensual haze was that stupid phone. Who had a landline these days? “I do. Shouldn’t you get that?”
His nose touched hers as his fingers ran along her scalp, sending pleasurable shivers through her body. “Don’t worry about it. The hospital requires I keep a house phone. And a pager. And a cell. If it’s really important, they’ll page me. This is more fun than answering the phone, don’t you think? Bridget, you know I won’t be able to keep my hands off you if we go to Hawaii together.”
She didn’t want him to. She was fairly certain she was going to fall into bed with him in the next ten minutes. Maybe he was right. Maybe she took everything too seriously and she should have some fun for once in her life. Maybe she could handle it. “Will?”
His mouth hovered right over hers, and there was no way to mistake the satisfaction coming off him. He wanted her. God, he really wanted her. “Yes, Bridget?”
“Do you want to come to Hawaii with me? We could have fun.”

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Lexi Blake
NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog in the world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.
Her first novel, Their Virgin Captive: Masters of Ménage, Book 1, was a collaboration with New York Times bestselling author Shayla Black. There are four more books available in the series: Their Virgin’s Secret, Their Virgin Concubine, Their Virgin Princess and Their Virgin Hostage. The next book in the series, Their Virgin Secretary, is coming to Amazon this April.
In addition to the Masters of Ménage series, she is the author of the Masters and Mercenaries series. The first five novels, The Dom Who Loved Me, The Men with the Golden Cuffs, A Dom is Forever, On Her Master’s Secret Service, and Love and Let Die are available now, along with a novella titled Sanctum. The sixth novel, Dungeon Royale, is coming in February of 2014 along with two new novellas, Unconditional, releasing in January of 2014 and Dungeon Games, coming in May of 2014.
In 2013, Lexi also began releasing her urban fantasy series, Thieves. The first two books, Steal the Light and Steal the Day are available now on Amazon. Book 3 in the series, Steal the Moon, is coming in January of 2014.

Sign up for Lexi’s free Newsletter
 For more information about her books, her appearances and her wacky life visit her Facebook or her website.

Other Books in The Masters & Mercenaries Series
The Dom Who Loved Me (Masters & Mercenaries Book 1)
eBook: Amazon | Nook | iTunes | Kobo | Smashwords | All Romance                                 
Print Book: Amazon | B&N
The Men In The Golden Cuffs (Masters & Mercenaries Book 2)
Amazon | Nook | iTunes | Kobo | Smashwords | All Romance                                             
Print Book: Amazon | B&N
A Dom Is Forever (Masters & Mercenaries Book  3)
Amazon | Nook | iTunes | Kobo | Smashwords | All Romance                                           
Print Book: Amazon | B&N
On Her Master’s Secret Service (Masters & Mercenaries Book 4)
Amazon | Barnes&Noble | iTunes | Kobo | Smashwords | All Romance                               
Print Book: Amazon | Barnes&Noble
Sanctum (Masters & Mercenaries Book 4.5)                                                                       
All Romance | Amazon | B&N
Love And Let Die (Masters & Mercenaries Book 5)
Amazon | ARe | B&N | iTunes | Kobo | Smashwords                                                               
Print Book: Amazon
Unconditional (Masters & Mercenaries Book 5.5)
Amazon | Kobo | ARe | Smashwords | B&N | iTunes
Print book: Amazon
Dungeon Royale (Masters & Mercenaries Book 6)
Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo | ARe | Smashwords                                                               
Print Book: Amazon
1001 Dark Nights  (Masters & Mercenaries Book 6.5)                                                    Amazon 

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Steampunk Sundays: A Study In Silks by Emma Jane Halloway

Series: The Baskerville Affair 1

Format: eGalley
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Del Rey
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Genre: Adult Steampunk

BLURB:Evelina Cooper, niece of Sherlock Holmes, is ready for her first London Season – except for a murderer, missing automatons, a sorcerer, and a talking mouse. In a Victorian era ruled by a ruthless steam baron council, mechanical power is the real monarch, and sorcery the demon enemy of the empire. Evelina has secretly mastered a coveted weapon – magic that can run machines. Should she trust the handsome, clever rake who speeds her breath, or the dashing trick rider who would dare anything she would ask?

QUOTABLE QUOTES:
Finding a proper husband is rather like selecting a hound, They all have more bark than bite, my girl. One day you’ll look across the breakfast table and realize the only option left is obedience training. Grandma Holmes

Independence doesn’t come easily, not when one has enjoyed the privileges of rank. Tobias Roth

He turned to Holmes, “You’re nothing but a busybody with a chemistry set.” Holmes gave a slow blink, “Indeed. And I now how to make an admirable stink.”

Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock put me in the mood to finally tackle Emma Jane Halloway’s A STUDY IN SILKS which has been sitting in my ereader gathering virtual dust, for over a year now. Picking up this series is daunting because it’s a chunky one with each book averaging at 530+ pages. It’s packed with all sorts of things ranging from the trivial, like balls, courtship and aristocratic intrigue, to the more serious types like murder and conspiracies. EJHalloway spared no detail and took her time in introducing the characters, the world they live in, and the conflicts and overlapping entanglements they find themselves in. The Baskerville Affair is one of those epic series where each character is carefully placed and every event has already been determined. It’s just a matter of allowing them to settle in their respective places and witness how it’ll all play out. 

Leading the cast is Evelina Cooper, Sherlock Holme’s niece, who was raised in the circus because her mother made the mistake of falling in love with the wrong person. After calling in favors and pulling strings, Evelina is in her first Season, got introduced to Queen Victoria, hobnobbing with aristocrats, and getting courted by one of the ton‘s most eligible bachelor, Tobias Roth, the brother of her BFF, Imogen, whose estate Evelina is currently crashing in. But it’s not all tea parties and petticoats for Evelina, a maid was just murdered in the Bancroft house and being Evelina, she can’t help but investigate calling in her Uncle Sherlock for assistance to which they discovered a very intricate conspiracy with Lord Bancroft, Tobias’ father, right smack in the middle of it, leaving Evelina torn between justice and loyalty.
That just skims the surface and a poor piss summation of events so I’m sorry for that.

Moving forward… Evelina, the heroine of A STUDY IN SILKS and the one holding this tale together. At this point, Evelina is in a place where she’s approaching a new chapter in her life and has yet to acclimate. She carried the novel well, she’s smart and engaging, can be vulnerable and conceited, a realistic girl in the center of a fanciful tale. I like her but I have yet to love her. She’s tenacious, fearless, and very loyal but she can also be very irritating sometimes. But like I said, Evelina is in the cusp of something and it’s interesting where she’ll find herself in the coming book and how she’s going to navigate the world of these snobbish aristocrats as an outsider. 

There’s a love triangle and Evelina’s approach and behavior towards it is what annoyed me. So there’s the handsome, Tobias, then there’s, Circus Nick, who grew up with Evelina and has been carrying a torch for her all this time. Evelina is strongly attracted to Tobias but since they belong to different classes, it’s going to be a scandal and it’s a big no-no during this time. At the same time, she still feels loyal to Nick and still somewhat attracted to him however Evelina doesn’t want that life anymore and has set her sights to something better aka Tobias. I can’t blame her for wanting more, she should want something better for herslef, I just wasn’t a fan of her passive-aggressive behavior towards Tobias and how she’s snobbed Nick. The good news is EJHalloway is aware of this flaw and didn’t inflate it, through Sherlock Holmes’ character, s/he basically said that Evelina is way in over her head about her two suitors and should ground herself. Amen! 
The rest of the characters were engaging and their side stories added depth to A STUDY IN SILKS, fleshing out the world even more. All of them are interconnected somehow making the web a sticky one and very intriguing to figure out. The supernatural factor is magical and deadly. There are the cute devas, mechanical animals that houses elemental spirits, cursed artifacts, black magic, and all sorts of accouterments in between rounding up this Steampunk adventure. 
The best part is there is a villain, Dr. Magnus, who is a very cunning formidable foe, and there are antagonists such as Lord Bancroft who dislikes Evelina, and the Barons who are bent on monopolizing England and its citizens regardless of the cost. So the conflicts are layered and all tangled up I don’t know how Evelina is going to untangle the mess without getting tripped.
I love EJHalloway’s writing style, her Victorian world even with the Steampunk elements, the historical part felt very authentic from the dialogue down to the rules of society, nuances that some authors deem unimportant, failing to realize that vibing this era is crucial in this genre. I love that The Baskerville Affair has an immense world and all encompassing one making it a riveting tale that not only focuses on the mysteries but extends to mundane relationships and the human aspect of the story. I’m definitely glad I finally started this. So I apologize for the ramble, I’ll leave it at I LOVE A STUDY IN SILKS and I hope some of you will check it out sooner than later.

The game is still afoot. It might be limping, but it’s not finished yet.

Suped Up: Last Light by M. Pierce

Last Light | Night Owl Trilogy 2
ARC | From the Author
St. Martin’s Press | October 28, 2014 
Erotica
Matt Sky is missing. After a solo ascent of Longs Peak that left only a large blood stain, tatters of climbing clothing, and the tracks of an animal in the snow, he is presumed dead.

Hannah Catalano is guarding a secret…
Tensions rise, secrets grow bigger, and passions run deeper in the highly anticipated second book in the Night Owl Trilogy.

“Let’s not live like other people. Let’s not be like other couples.”

Where do I start? There’s so many things that I want to share about LAST LIGHT by M. Pierce but I don’t want to bore you with the details nor do I want to give out spoilers so I’ll do my best to focus on the highlights and let you discover and experience Night Owl 2 for yourself.

Technicalities.
I must say, M. Pierce the author is one clever mofo. He plotted this series from beginning to end in all aspects starting with the layout of the series down to the marketing. 
I interviewed this turtle last year he said that the series is metafiction. After reading Night Owl I thought M. Pierce is so cocky to present “himself” this way through his character, writing himself in the story thereby blurring the lines between reality and fiction. In hindsight, it is pure marketing genius. I think curiosity is the most harmless reaction he has from his readers at this point because I’m sure half (or more) of us are already in love with him and we all want to know if art is imitating life at this point. So hat’s off to you, Sir, you just turned yourself into a sex symbol and I look forward to hearing about what your fandom is going to look like after this.
Last Light
Night Owl lured us with its glorious cliches and Matt & Hannah’s impassioned and consuming love affair. Now that we’re in deep, M. Pierce is giving us the real deal as LAST LIGHT is nothing like Night Owl plot-wise. Lies, deception, scheming, these just skims the surface of LAST LIGHT. Artists are infamous for their eccentricity and Matthew Sky is no different. He frustrated me to no end in this one and I can only be glad that he’s Hannah’s pill to swallow because I don’t think I’d be able to stand the dude let alone forgive him for his “good intentions”. Matthew is definitely a different kind of broken but just as addicting, he can be one manipulative, selfish person and if not for his creative genius, he doesn’t have a lot of redeeming qualities at this point.  His brother, Seth, though is more up my alley and I hope we see more of this rocker and yummier Sky sibling in the next book. 
Hannah Catalano is the most improved in this equation, Pierce fleshed her out real well in this installment and showed us why Matt is madly and desperately in love with her. At one point I thought she’ll still continue to be a 2-D cliche (her words, not mine) and I’m glad she didn’t meet that expectation and showed Matt that she’s not blinded by her love for him. Hannah gave a good portrayal of a conflicted woman in love. I don’t agree with a few of her decisions, won’t cross some of the lines that she did, but she’s Matt’s Hannah and its her loyalty and faithfulness to him that won me over in the end.

LAST LIGHT is a superb sequel, not only do I love the story, the technique and writing style, this installment confirms that M. Pierce is not “one of those writers” but someone whose career you’ll want to follow. I especially enjoyed how he poked fun at the flaws of Night Owl, clearly Pierce managed to take the constructive from the criticisms and used it to his advantage. He also included us bloggers in this tempestuous tale through one of the new characters, Melanie, showing that our sphere is an integral part of a book’s success and maybe an homage to us? I don’t know but I appreciate the inclusion, it was very thoughtful of him to do so. Finally LAST LIGHT is worth reading and it’s the one that will make a fan of you yet (in case you’re not quite there), if you’re following the series, you should should get to this soon, pre-order the darn thing as waiting is ill advised.
STALK M. PIERCE!

Bought, Borrowed & Bagged #123 + Avengers: Age of Ultron

BB&B (Bought, Borrowed and Bagged) is a weekly meme, inspired my The Story Siren and Pop Culture Junkie, where we share with you the books that we have bought, borrowed or bagged (won or gifted) plus a recap of the previous week’s reviews, upcoming reviews, on going events and book movie or television news. 

BB&B is an homage Barron’s Books & Baubles from Karen Marie Moning’s smash hit series, Fever. 

Bagged
from publishers, authors and tour organizers
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Big & Small

Thank God the trailer was leaked otherwise it would’ve been a long ass wait!
AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON hits theaters 5.1.15
Last Week’s Reviews
Upcoming Reviews
signed print copy of INSIDIOUS
ends 10.29
win 1 of 2 digital copies of THE YOUNGER GODS
ends 11.1
swag bag
ends 11.3
book bonanza from The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House
ends 11.8
Check out these other fabulous blogs that participate in 
Bought, Borrowed & Bagged:

NOTE: There’s a new linky created for this year and please note that you have to use your LABEL links (i.e. book haul) on the form below NOT the post link.

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Liked It: Liulf by Victoria Danann + Giveaway

Series: New Scotia Pack 1

Format: Mobi
Release Date: October 18, 2014
Publisher: Andromeda LLC dba 7th House

Source: Author
Recommended By: Literati Author Services, Inc.

Genre: PNR | Sci-Fi | Historical

WHEN HE COULDN’T FIND HER IN HIS WORLD, HE WENT ELSEWHERE.

First of a series of three novellas about the Brothers Cu Ahlee.

USA TODAY Bestselling author, Victoria Danann, wrote this series as a follow up, based on Moonlight, Best Vampire~Shifter Novel of 2013.

For a thousand years the highlander werewolves of Scotia have enjoyed the protection of the fae monarchy, but the straining population has forced them to adapt or die. Or move. Liulf has spent centuries waiting for a true mating while others settled for comfortable compatibility. When he emerged as the new alpha, little did he know he’d find her when he leads his pack to a new world.

Werewolves, fae, highlanders, and a novella? Say no more, I want to get my hands on LIULF by Victoria Danann stat! I’ve been craving for good historical romance novels lately and as this has paranormal elements to it, it’s a win-win for me. Plus that sexy dude in a kilt didn’t hurt either, in fact it made joining the virtual book tour a no-brainer. Like come on, when there’s men in plaids involved, it’s almost always a guarantee that it’s going to be one hell of a partayy!! *waggles eyebrows*
So LIULF is the first of Nova Scotia Pack which is a spin-off of VDanann’s other series. I liked the Nova Scotia Pack‘s werewolf myth, it follows the archetype where they’re very primal, feral, savage, and feared in their realm and not the trained puppies we sometimes come across in this genre. I mean the wolves here are not adorable at all and cute is the last thing you want to use to describe them. I also liked how the story is rooted in a bargain with the fae in exchange for protection and the whole angle about crossing realms was very magical. 
The pace is quick and the intent straightforward, move to the new realm and rebuild. The conflict didn’t have anything to do with pack politics rather it was about which female gets Liulf. I like the direct approach but the world building suffered a little as well as the character development. Like I said, LIULF is supposedly a historical Highlander story but it lacked landscape although I did appreciate how the characters talk with an “accent” if you know what I mean, made it easy to visualize all of them. Then there’s the time traveling aspect which was vague, I wish it was expounded on more as opposed to some simple abracadabra. I also felt like there was no character development, Liulf is a new Alpha and it’s been said that he’s hot and all but aside from his good looks and position in the pack, I didn’t really get the sense that he’s a good catch or what kind of a leader he is. The plot IMO is too big to be contained in 78 pages, it’s almost like squeezing in my fat ass in a pair of size zero jeans. Not happening. 
LIULF had a lot of potential, I liked the premise and the story it intended to give us. It’s a good start though I wish there was more pages to accommodate the story better, more room to explore and illustrate the story. I hope the next one is better drawn and fleshed out and hopefully I get my fill of that yummy highland werewolf fantasy that was promised.
Liulf squatted on the castle parapet with his back to the sound of the ocean crashing against Girnigoe’s black craig cliffs. If he let himself think about the damp cold or the January wind that tried to penetrate flesh and bone, he’d start to shiver in a way that would rack his whole body…. So he’d learned to focus on other things. Looking east, over the land he loved, he felt a sense of pride and history. And memory. In his slightly less than four hundred years, he’d covered every inch of pack territory in wolf form and much of it in biped form as well. He knew he was blessed with good things, but that didn’t fill the underlying emptiness that he couldn’t quite pinpoint. Lack of purpose maybe. There wasn’t much satisfaction in guarding a border without an aggressor.
That very day a wolf had said it was easy for Liulf to make reckless choices because he didn’t have a mate. Liulf had kept his face passive, but inside the words had stung. It wasn’t as if he could control destiny. What Lycan didn’t want to find his mate? Well, perhaps Conn would prefer to be a bachelor wolf forever.
It was true that Liulf could have settled for a bitch who was merely compatible, as most did. But he hadn’t because he knew there was more. There was mating that was, well, magical. He wouldn’t say so out loud because his brothers would never stop razzing him if he did. But he lived with a constant yearning that never subsided, spoken or not.
All the carousing in the world wouldn’t take the edge off his desire. And he should know. All he had to do was keep from cursing the Fates until they saw fit to gift him with the one. The one he knew was out there.


MY NOTE ON LIULF:
A snippet from an early review says: “This is a wonderful off shoot of that series (Knights of Black Swan). In MOONLIGHT, we learned that wolf shifters were having a rough time. Humans were spreading into their lands and using high powered weapons to kill them in wolf form. Towns and cities were destroying the wild areas.”

This couldn’t be more timely since we learned just 2 weeks ago that the planet has lost HALF of its wildlife in just the past 40 years. Certainly the wildness of werewolves is a metaphor for that part of us that longs for the call of Pan.

USA Today Bestselling Author
2013 Winner in the categories of:
• BEST PARANORMAL ROMANCE SERIES – Knights of Black Swan
• BEST PARANORMAL ROMANCE NOVEL (GENERAL) – A Summoner’s Tale
• BEST PARNORMAL ROMANCE NOVEL (Vampires & Shifters) – Moonlight

My early work (eight-years-old) would be called fan fiction today. I began by writing my version of Bobbsey Twins novels on legal pads that my dad brought home from the office. As an only child – in the days before children became little electronic receivers – there was often not much to do other than seek amusement in my own head.

Childhood fantasies involved being the only girl (for some odd reason) at a ranch for wayward boys. Yes. I do realize this sounds vaguely familiar. T hose fantasies were supported by real life events because the boys included me in the afternoon neighborhood games whether it was cowboy/Indians or G.I. Joe.

When I left the Bobbsey Twins behind I didn’t write again until I was married with children and in my mid-twenties. I completed a paranormal romance and gave it to my spouse to read. After hearing his criticisms I didn’t write again for decades. At the time I didn’t understand that he’s the absolute farthest thing from my audience.

It turned out to be a blessing because during that time that I didn’t write, I lived an extremely full life. I traveled a lot, raised a family, got an education (I have an M.A. in Psychology.) and explored my compulsion to be a spiritual seeker. The fantasies were a constant companion throughout. The faces and names of the characters changed as I matured, but they remained a source of comfort. They helped me through hellraising teenagers and three near-death scares.

By the time I started writing again, I had something to say. I write cross-genre with uniquely fresh perspectives on paranormal creatures, characters, and themes. Add a dash of scifi and a flourish of fantasy to enough humor to make you laugh out loud and enough steam to make you squirm in your chair. My heroines are independent femmes with flaws and minds of their own whether they are aliens, witches, demonologists, psychics, or past life therapists. My heroes are hot and hunky, but they also have brains, character, and good manners – usually – whether they be elves, demons, berserkers, werewolves, or vampires.

If you’re interested in me personally, I am also a classically trained musician who defected to Classic Rock. This is Roadhouse, the very best in Classic Rock, taken near The Last Concert Cafe, Houston Texas, 2011. I’m the utility player which means I play rhythm guitar, keyboards, sing back ups and a few leads. I authored and illustrated Seasons of the Witch calendars and planners for fifteen years. I live in T he Woodlands, Texas, which is why I sometimes joke about being the witch in the woods. Married. Four children. One very smart, mostly black German Shepherd dog.

Stalk Victoria
Website | Facebook | Goodreads Fan Group | @vdanann | Pinterest

Liked It: Lincoln Ladies by Suzy Duffy + Giveaway

Series: New England Trilogy 3

Format: eGalley
Release Date: October 30, 2014
Publisher: The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Women’s Literature | Contemporary

Kate Kavanagh is happy raising her daughter and focusing on work, but when the girl moves to New York for a fantastic job and ends up moving in with her philandering father, things get complicated.

Her best friend, Madeline Stein, has been a career girl all her life. As a single mom, her job defines her, so when she loses it, Maddy needs to find something or someone else to make her forties fun.

Portia Kavanagh hits New York with a bang, but she’s so hungry for adventure she bites off more of the Big Apple than planned. Portia retreats to what she thinks is the sanctuary of her father’s home and soon discovers she’s not the only one in the family with an overactive appetite.

Kate and Maddy find themselves leaving their lovely hometown of Lincoln, outside Boston, for the fertile and romantic hills of Tuscany. However, blue skies, rich wine, and charming Italians bring the women a whole new world that they have to maneuver with the grace and style of a Lincoln Lady. Portia’s high-octane life in Manhattan comes at a price, too. Out of the millions of men she could have, she chooses the only one she’s meant to avoid. Her quandary: Has she made a mistake of epic proportions or found the one in a million?

This is a story of three fantastic women on a journey of self-discovery. With more ups and downs than a Florentine fairground, the ladies survive love, loss, and fresh pasta by laughing at life and using a doggie bag. There are lots of thrills and spills along the way, but in the end it’s all about friendship, attitude, and walking off that fabulous food. Come on an adventure and enjoy the ride with the lovely Lincoln Ladies.

Suzy Duffy’s New England Trilogy is like the smarter, way tolerable, and just as entertaining version of The Real Housewives franchise (which is my guiltiest pleasure btw). The blueprint is there’s a couple of middle aged housewives who are facing the proverbial fork in the road. One is usually a stay-at-home wife while, then there’s the best friend who is corporate powerhouse, then the of-age daughter(s) who is going through life changes that can be challenging to cope with. All three books are women’s stories which we can all relate to in some ways. 
LINCOLN LADIES is similar to the previous books and the most romantic installment yet. It may follow the formula but I find the ladies more daring and less accepting of their lots in life than the previous ones. My only critique is that it was too formulaic to the point where it became predictable and I felt like I didn’t really get anything “new” in comparison to the previous two books. 
But despite that, I still enjoyed LINCOLN LADIES, Kate, Maddy, and Portia’s lives and journeys were very relatable to me. I also like to mention that this novel is inspired by the movie, Under The Tuscan Sun (one of my favorite movie of all time!). Kate and Maddy saw the movie and decided to take a trip to Italy where they found love, friendships, and some sort of an awakening. Getting out of one’s comfort zone is one of the predominant themes in this book and SDuffy illustrated it really well. 
I don’t know if there’s going to be a spin-off based on the ending, I sure hope there is. I certainly won’t miss it!

Suzy Duffy is an international and #1 best-selling author. She writes laugh-out-loud, life-affirming stories about women from five to ninety-five. (Sometimes she writes about men too, but only for comedic purposes, and pets—if they’re funny.) Her debut US novel, Wellesley Wives became an instant best seller, won numerous awards and critical acclaim, and is due to be published in Norwegian, September 2013. She was a guest speaker at the Sydney Writer’s Festival.

Newton Neighbors, her second US novel, will be published September 2013.

Other than this, Suzy was a national radio DJ and television presenter in Ireland before she started writing. She has also been an interpreter in the United Nations, Geneva, a water ski instructor in Crete, and a corn cutter in the south of France—from which she was fired!

She gives 10% of her royalties to WWW.FOBH.ORG because she believes in serendipity. (A serendipitist?) She plans to write a book a year for the next forty years, and then she’ll have a rethink.

Link up with Suzy

A Shot of YA: Secret Lies by Amy Dunne

Series: Stand-alone

Format: PDF
Release Date: December 16, 2013
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Source: Author
Excerpt here
Recommended by: Livia of Butterfly-O-Meter Books
Genre: Contemporary MYA – LGBT

Would you face your biggest fear, to save the one you love?

Nicola Jackson escapes from her abuser, only to realize she has no one to turn to and nowhere to go. In a twist of fate, she accidentally bumps into Jenny O’Connor, the most popular girl at school. They strike up an unlikely friendship. As their trust in each other develops, they share their darkest secrets, and their relationship blossoms into a secret romance.

Jenny loves Nicola, but she is fearful that if their secret relationship is discovered, she might lose her family, friends, and her seemingly perfect life.

Nicola confronts her abuser and blackmails him to leave for good, but things go terrifyingly wrong. Jenny is left with a life-changing dilemma: should she face her fear and accept who she is, or let Nicola take the blame and pretend their relationship never happened?

I went to an all-girls private school and witnessed first hand some of the things that Jenny O’Connor and Nicola Jackson experienced in SECRET LIES from the standpoint of exploring one’s sexuality. Let me clarify that a bit in case some of you get green, I mean I had friends who are gay and I saw them struggle with the semantics, go through heartbreaks, work out their confusions, and hide it from their parents during this time. Now my friends might not have been bullied or considered freaks in our school but some of my friends’ parents sure would have a conniption if they found out that their darling daughter’s having scissor fantasies with her alleged “bestfriend”. These coupled with adolescence, peer pressure, and keeping up with school can be a challenging on its own and comparing them with Jenny and Nicola, my friends had it easy somewhat. 

She [Jenny] was the girl every girl every guy in school fantasized about being with and the girl every other girls desperately longed to be… But she sacrificed a lot for her popularity, more than she dared to admit, and the idea of her friends and others discovering it was aa an act terrified.

Being gay is just the tip of the iceberg in SECRET LIES, Amy Dunne created this perfect storm for her MC’s. Aside from the bullying thanks to ignorance, there’s also a multitude of issues plaguing both Jenny and Nic. Jenny may be the prettiest and most popular kid in school but she has a dark secret of her own, when things get too intense, Jenny cuts herself. On top of this, she drinks, smokes, and medicates herself with the occasional marijuana to cope. Nic is an outsider, a loner, and a victim of physical and verbal abuse thanks to her mother’s good-for-nothing boyfriend. Nic’s back is like a portrait of nightmare, riddled with scars ranging from cigarette burns to various proofs of injury. Jenny and Nic’s personal stories were raw and very emphatic, it was quite easy to put oneself in either of their shoes and imagine what they’re feeling or thinking as they try to survive this phase in their lives. 
And maybe I’m in denial or simply naive because I can’t help but be overwhelmed and sometimes shake my head in disbelief over how some people can be so vile as exemplified by the secondary characters! I mean just because someone is different from you doesn’t make them a freak! Like who made these people the epitome of perfections?! And I still don’t understand how someone can physically beat a defenseless person to a pulp just because you don’t like their existence? I know SECRET LIES happens in real life, some situations are even more brutal and even fatal, still it’s a tough pill to swallow, fiction or otherwise. 
Jenny and Nic’s story might not be for everyone but it’s still a story worth knowing. I like the way their relationship developed even if it was quite fast. I think the reason why it didn’t come across as insta-love was because it started innocent and real tender, their passion was more protective than insistent and imposing. I liked the realness of SECRET LIES and I recommend it to readers who are fond of reading books riddled with social issues.

Amy was raised in Derbyshire, England. She attended Keele University and graduated in 2007 with a BSc in philosophy and psychology. After graduating, she worked for a while with vulnerable young people until she moved on to deliver training and educational courses. She is currently in the process of setting up her own speech writing business aptly named, Gift of the Gab. She and her lovely partner Lou celebrated their Civil Partnership at the start of this year. They share a love of Dolly Parton and live with their two gorgeous cats and very naughty puppy.

Follow Amy
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