Review: Black Wings by Christina Henry

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Excorting souls into the afterlife leaves Maddy little time for socializing-until devilishly handsome Gabriel Angeloscurro agrees to rent the empty apartment in her building. But when demons start appearing on Maddy's front lawn, she realizes there's more to her new tenant than meets the eye.

Finally an urban fantasy novel that is the way I like them. I nearly gave up on them after some disapointments in the last few months but Black Wings reminded  me why I love this genre. It has a great world-building, a funny and witty heroine and a  sidekick made of perfect. And yes, it also has a sexy hero- that was absolutely the icing on the top.

Black Wings is about Madeline "Maddy" Black, an agent of death. Her job is to deliver the souls of the newly deceased to the door that leads to the afterlife. She inherited that job from her mom and to say she's happy would be an overstatement. How satisfying can a job be if it doesn't pay for food or anything at all? She's a loner and not at all as socialized as she wished to be. Her independance isn't her choice but she does what she has to in order to survive. She has a wonderful sense of humor and made me snort more than once.
But with the arrival of Gabriel her whole life is turned upside down. Luckily Maddy is a strong woman and handles all these rather bad news very well. She tries to keep it together and most of the time she does. Although I loved how some things made her lose her temper.

Gabriel is a rather mysterious character at first. Everything about him seems to be a bit "shadowy" and all my inner alarm bells started to scream. Yes it seems that those are my hot guy detectors. While the story progresses we get a better view of him as a person and I have to say I'm in love. His story made my heart bleed and I really would love to see him getting a well deserved HEA. Gabriel develops into Maddy's connection to the new world she's faced with, like a guide who shows her how to act and what to say, or even more important what NOT to say. ;) He really does his best to help her survive it.

And I have to tell you about Beezle, Maddy's gargoyle sidekick and probably her only real friend in this world. He is her roommate but actually more like her supernatural mini-dad. He's a protective little fellow and can really show some mean temper when he thinks that Maddy gets herself in too much trouble. But on the other hand he has a popcorn and chocolate addiction and is really decorative so I totally forgave him everything else. ;)

Black Wings is set in a rather complex world based on Christian mythology. I have to admit all my knowledge about this is taken out of other fiction novels so I'm probably more than under-qualified to judge the correctness. That's why I won't even try to do that. I was very intrigued by everything but at some points I was a bit swamped with information. After 3/4 of the book I even had to ask a friend if I missed something. Perhaps a glossary would have helped keeping track of the mythological and political structure of this world.

I really liked the plot though. It is full of twists and surprising turns and will keep you glued to the pages. It made me nearly break my brain when I tried to figure it out. The story has a great structure and I already know I need to read more.

Black Wings is a wonderful debut novel. It showed me why I love urban fantasy-  wonderful world-building, witty and funny convos and a sexy guy who leads through the story. I can't wait to get my hands on Black Night, book 2 in this series.

To learn more about Christina and her books please visit her website here

P.S. I also interviewed Christina at Book Lovers Inc here and there's a giveaway too (US/Can only). 

Read other reviews @Goodreads, buy the book @Book Depository


Review: The Company of Fools by Annemarie Hartnett

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Kate Doucette’s trying to get her life together. She’s working full time at Mike MacNab’s bar, going to school, and she just kicked out her Do-Nothing boyfriend. Things are looking up but with the construction going on in the bar, her money trouble's looming over her, and her personal life in the toilet, Kate’s on a ledge and Mike is there to talk her down. One night she wants more than a pep talk; Kate asks her charming and handsome boss to spend a weekend in bed with her.

What could be a bigger stress-reliever than two days of bedroom Olympics with a guy who’s as hot for her as she is for him? The only problem is that he wants more than a weekend and it seems like he wants to fix her life for her. She adores Mike, but the last thing she needs is another headache in the form of Mr. Fixit.

This was my first Annmarie Hartnett novel but it will definitely not be my last. The Company of Fools is a witty, funny and wonderful sexy read. I can't say enough how much I enjoyed this book. Ms Hartnett took me completely by surprise with her incredible humour and the admirable sensuality she puts into her sex scenes. But lets start at the beginning.

Our heroine Kate is really something special. She's a young and open girl working in a bar besides trying to get her Master's degree. She's loving her job at the bar, her collegues are nice and she really enjoys the atmosphere, most of the time. But Kate knows she wants more in her life. She wants to reach her goals and she wants to do it on her own, no matter how hard it is. She loves her independance but she also loves to have fun, the dirty kind. *wink* I loved her humor and her wit. That one would be a great friend to have. It probably never gets boring with her.

And then we have Mike, the successful bar owner and lady killer.  He's an entertainer and adventurer  at heart- you really don't notice that he's already 40. People like to be around him, especially the women seem to flog around him as if he's made of chocolate and after reading a bit about him I can really understand that. *swoon* He isn't someone who just works, he's taking everything seriously and wants to excel at what he's doing. He seems to always want to evolve- to get better at what he does or start something new as soon as the old thing is working on it's own. He's also a fixer and he wants to make every thing right for the people he cares about- including Kate. But as you can imagine she doesn't take it lightly to be "fixed".

When Kate decides to change their relationship from boss-employee to friends with benefits she didn't see what she stumbles into. She was sure that he would be  a good lay but never in her life would she have imagined what she got and belive me I didn't either. That guy has, as he stated himself in this book, way better toys than she has. Just WOW and O_O, but in a good way.  They seemed perfect for each other : they actually really like each other, had great convos, made each other smile and they fit each other perfectly in bed.

But both are really temperamental and mostly speak before they start to think. I really like that because I can be like that from time to time with BF too. They just stumbeled from one discussion into the next and it really broke my heart to see them driven apart by their own stubborness.

The Company of Fools is such a wonderful read. I loved the characters, the pace was perfect and the sex was intoxicating. I don't think I can say one bad thing about it- this novel is an absolute keeper. Ms Hartnett is definitely an author I will keep my eyes open for- I'm already craving more.

To learn more about Annemarie and her books please visit her website here.

And be sure to come back on Monday November 29th because I will be interviewing her and she already told me there will be a giveaway. *g*

Read other reviews @goodreads. Buy the book at @LooseID


Review: Salome at Sunrise by Inez Kelley

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Bryton Haruk sets out on a suicide mission to stop the bloodthirsty Skullmen from terrorizing the war-weary Land of Eldwyn. Consumed by guilt over the death of his wife, Bryton seeks revenge and reunion in the afterlife with his lost love. His purpose is determined, his bravery unmatched, until the queen casts a spell to save Bryton from himself.

Salome is that spell. A bird-shifter, she can harness the earth’s breeze and take the form of a beautiful, innocent woman. Her challenge is to harness Bryton’s pain and guide him to peace. She entrances and irritates him, tempting Bryton from his mission. Even as he gives in to the passion between them, Bryton insists on mounting a solo attack on the brigands’ compound, and Salome fears her love won’t be enough to save him

Salome at Sunrise is the second book in a romantic fantasy series but I noticed that after I already started the novel. Usually I really hate to read books out of order, it's one of those OCDs you just can't shed, but Salome at Sunrise drew me in nonetheless. At times I noticed that this has to be a book in a series and I felt like I missed some of the good stuff in the first book (btw it's Myla by Moonlight) but I never felt left behind or as if I missed any vital information.

Salome at Sunrise is set in a wonderful fantasy world full of magical creatures and with an overal medieval touch. Ms Kelley introduces her world on the go. We learn more with every step our hero takes and I loved to discover her world full of magic.

This novel is all about Bryton. He's on a journey of vengence. He tries to bring justice to his wife's murderer and he will give all his wit and might to reach this goal. He is obsessed with this cause and can't see anything else. Even when Salome is send his way he won't falter. He's stubborn as hell and just won't see reason. He was quite infuriating at times. I would have loved to just kick him where it hurts most even though he was kind of sweet and sexy at times but still he made me angry more than once.

Salome is a spell send to Bryton by Myla, the queen of Eldwyn. She is a peacemaker and the only reason for her existence is bringing peace to Bryton's soul. She has the ability to shift into any bird she wants. She's a timid and shy girl but she can show her claws if she feels the need to do so. She is an innocent, she has nearly no knowledge about how this world works. Even daily chores like cooking are something new and exciting for her. She's a kind and loving person who sets everything before her own needs and wishes. A truly selfless person. She's also able to feel what Bryton feels and so she senses every turmoil or struggle he lives through. Soon she loses her heart to this dark and brooding man who seems to push her away at every chance he gets.

It was so cute to watch Salome learn how to live in this world. Even more entertaing was to watch Bryton and Salome fight and struggle. There are moments even the shy spell Salome loses her cool and her potty mouth is something you should keep your eyes open for. *wink* The romance between these two developes in small little steps but the chemistry is there from the start. I was fascinated by those two and their friendship, love and adoration captivated me. It felt so pristine and pure.

The pace of this story is perfect. I loved how we slowly venture to the final fight- the one thing we all knew would come. The only thing I can critizise is that the solution at the end was a bit too easy for my taste but I can't really begrudge them their HEA. These two deserve it.

Salome at Sunrise is a real pageturner. The world building is perfectly done and Ms Kelley's writing is instantly compelling. You will devour page after page without noticing how much you already read. Highly recommended fantasy romance!

To learn more about Inez and her books please visit her website here.
Read other reviews @Goodreads. Buy the book @Carina Press.


Review: One Four All by Julia Rachel Barrett

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Lira Pakan, heir to the Throne of Zhinshu, has vanished. Her zealots gather along the border with the neighboring state of Khubuk, awaiting the outcome of her father's pleas to the World Court.

Captain Tanner Kepp serves in the elite Special Forces of Khubuk. When the captain is ordered to choose two men to accompany him to Land's End, an isolated compound on the maritime border between Khubuk and Zinshu, the last thing he expects to find is the missing princess.

Captain Kepp, Arms Master Cer Watso and Sergeant Redda Till realize they must rescue her and avert all out war.

The princess, however, has other plans. These men can be more than her rescuers. According to the law of Zhinshu, she must choose three men as consorts. Her people say: "one to guard the right hand, one to guard the left hand, and one to guard the back, always."

When Julia told me she wrote her first menage I was immediately sure I had to read it. Julia's novels are always hot so I imagined a menage with THREE men would be scorching hot. And I was right.

One Four All feels like a contemporary fantasy novel. It's set in a kind of parallel universe. They seem to have the same technology we have but their religious and moral views are different from ours. Why fantasy? Because we have a princess and a king and those always stand for fantasy in my eyes. Yes I'm full of prejudices. I loved how this world was build up. Not through one big info dump but more through the story-telling We learn everything on the way- with a little tidbit here and there.

The story starts with 3 soldiers on the edge of diving into a war with the neighboring country, Zhinshu. But out of nowhere they get send away on a different mission. They should guard the wife of an "important" politician and they aren't really happy about this development at all. When they arrive at the mansion this changes nearly immediately. They can feel that something is not the way it should be. And when they lay their eyes on Lira for the first time they know that she's not there out of her free will. I loved that Kepp, Red and Wat were all so different in character. They all have their own appeal but I have to admit I had an extra soft spot for Red. He was funny and he won my heart ASAP.

Lira is the heir of the crown of Zhinshu.  She got kidnapped by this crazy politician and he wants her to bear his children. He's not really happy about her being so complicated and denying him but luckily that's the way it works. She can't get pregnant if she's forced to have sex so he has to bring her to do it willingly. Not easy because Lira is a strong woman and even under threats and ransom she won't back down and give herself to him. She suffers through every torture he throws her way but her iron will never diminish. But she is relived when she first meets our three heroes because she can feel deep inside that they will be her rescue. She is a wonderful character, strong and made for being a queen. She knows her way around people and she knows how to defend herself. She's comfortable with herself and it shows in her actions. I really liked that girl.

The sex in this book is hot. Oh my this novel is made for a cold night at home. As you can imagine three guys and a woman is much and I have to admit at some points a bit too much for me. It was always sexy as hell but at some moments I thought it would be better with one guy less. See I'm not that greedy. But I still enjoyed it though.

The story itself is full of twists and turns and definitely has some actions. Onces or twice I sat straight on my couch and just couldn't read fast enough to see what would happen next. I always love how Julia makes her characters interact. It feels like real people would talk to each other and it always reminds me of talking to her. Her books are as she is, you just have to like them.

One Four All is a highly erotic and heartfelt story.The story will draw you in and the characters will make you smile more than once. Recommended for all erotica and menage lovers.

To learn more about Julia and her books please visit her website here. She has a great blog there too. You don't want to miss that.

Other reviews @goodreads, but the book @BookStrand


Mini Review: Moonlight Madness by Megan Hart

Thursday, November 4, 2010

"One Night Only!" When Rhea's offered the bargain of a lifetime on a unique fur coat, she doesn't know it will change her life forever. Short erotic fiction by the author of best-selling novels Dirty, Broken, No Greater Pleasure and more!

When you need something entertaining for your break at work this is the story for you. Moonlight Madness is an intiguing story with many aspects that caught my attention. First we have the mystery of the the fur coat store with an unbelievable Moonlight-Sale no woman could resist- spooky salesman included. We have an amazing hot dancefloor scene and yes we visit a bedroom too. This story mixes an fascinating story, wonderful characters, smex and horror. Yep I would have never thought that this would work, even less in such a sexy short read but at the end I was really looking like this O_O and one or two ewwwws escaped my mouth.
The characters are fascinating and I could relate to the heroine. Her struggles are something every woman knows from time to time and it makes you highly sympatic to her. When we meet the hero Ted my heart melted into a puddle of goo. I love when men appreciate a woman like this. Very nice.
The story has a great pace and the plot is appropriate for the length.

Moonlight Madness was perfect as a Halloween read but it's also a nice thrill for your short reading break. And I'm not sure I mentioned enough that it's hot.

To learn more about Megan and her books please visit her website here.

Read other reviews @goodreads. Buy the book @smashwords only $0.99



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