Beginning January 1, 2013

Stop by the new site and take a look around.

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Holiday Break and a contest!

The Long and the Short of it is closed for the holidays. Why?

Because we're growing! On January 4th we will include under its umbrella not only romance (LASR)and erotic romance (WC) sites, but also a Young Adult / Middle Grade fiction site.

We're very excited about beginning to promote the YA/MG genre and hope you'll join us in our launch of the Aurora site for YA/MG fiction. Click here to check out the new Aurora site.

Be sure and check out the reviews and interviews on the new site, and if you have any ideas about what types of things you'd like to see, let us know. We have high hopes for expanding into a few other areas at some point in the future. Let us know what you think.

In order to give us time to finish the preparations for that launch and to give us a much needed break from the daily chores associated with owning an incredibly busy website, we're "closed" for the Christmas holidays. But WAIT! Before you think nothing will be going on here, for the next two weeks you have the chance to hear from some authors who have agreed to guest blog here. AND.. yes, there is more (just like Ginsu Knives!): We're giving stuff away to people who comment on the blogs. WHAT prizes, you ask?

We're giving away two prize packages to two randomly drawn lucky winners (one to a commenter on the LASR guest blog, and one to a commenter on the WC guest blog).

Each Prize Package includes:
  • A hardback copy of "The Christmas Secret" by Donna VanLiere
    (leave a comment on the review, and earn an additional entry!)

  • A LASR/WC ceramic coffee mug

  • A PDF copy of "Now That We've Found You" by Marianne Arkins

  • A $10 Amazon.com Gift Certificate



  • And remember: beginning January 4, check our guest blogs on every Monday and Wednesday for new guest blogs (if you want to make sure you remember, why don't you follow the blog?). Beginning 1/4/10, comments on the guest blogs earn you an entry into our weekly contest. We hope you enjoy this new feature.

    Friday, December 18, 2009

    The Masquerade by Kristi Ahlers



    The Masquerade by Kristi Ahlers
    Publisher: Champagne Books
    Genre: Historical
    Length: Full
    Heat: Hot
    Rating: 3 Books
    Reviewed by Ivy

    Arianne Deveraux travels to Paris, France in 1788. At her first masque ball, she literally runs into a dark stranger whose touch sets her heart to pounding and her mouth to run amok. Arianne eventually returns home to the family plantation outside of New Orleans, her time in France a cherished memory. She never forgets the man who gave her, her first taste of passion—a man named Julian.

    Julian Chièvres, Marquis of Amien is tired of his aristocratic existence. The world is changing around him and he knows there is little he can do but survive. When the revolution sweeps his country he escapes to the new world. He has no idea fate has brought him once again into contact with his petite fairy. Will he be able to accept the gift that destiny has given him or will guilt at surviving keep him from his heart’s desire?

    When Arianna meets the disguised Julian Chièvres at her first Parisian masquerade, she has no idea her scandalous moonlight kiss is only the beginning of her obsession with her future husband. After the couple is reunited in New Orleans, their marriage seems doomed from the start thanks to a vengeful ex-suitor and Julian’s obligation to return to France to rescue aristocrats from the Terror.

    The Masquerade starts with a bang, catapulting two intensely attracted strangers into an erotic fairytale romance. However, I felt the relationship developed too quickly, and lamented the lack of emotional development beyond the physical attraction.

    Arianna is young and innocent. Julian bears those titillating Mr. Darcy-esque qualities of passion and aloofness. I felt that initial romantic interludes could have been somewhat tempered, (as well as their descriptive services), and did not find our virginal heroine’s initial response to her first intimate experiences to be quite believable. At times the characters seemed to respond or act out of character, and some of the friends and shadowed family members in the background, for me, never quite developed at all.

    Despite my lack of connection with the characters, the historical detail in The Masquerade works. I enjoyed the detail woven into the prose. It does not lecture, but casts a subtle reflection of the time period that is strong enough to be believable, and actually quite pleasant. Unfortunately, there was some lax attention to dialogue, which goes in and out of the era, and often feels forced or cliché.

    Ms. Ahlers plots a credible storyline with romance, action, and a villain black enough to make you retch. I appreciated her skill using the couples’ nemesis to maintain a steady force in moving the story forward. Her strength in conjuring up a creative story offset where the novel fell short for me. Personally, I feel that more attention to the development of characters and dialogue would make for (even) stronger fiction writing. Her writing has merit and shows potential for drawing in a readership as her talent grows.

    Lover Enslaved by Jodi Redford



    Lover Enslaved by Jodi Redford
    Publisher: Samhain Publishing
    Genre: Contemporary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
    Length: Full
    Heat: Spicy
    Rating: 4 Books
    Reviewed by Fern

    Sometimes love is the only prize worth stealing…

    Thieves of Aurion, Book 1

    Mara Sheppard has no love for the Fae, but to free her brother from prison, she’ll do whatever the treacherous Queen Nalia asks. Even kidnap Dashael Rhyder, a womanizing thief.

    She should have known the deal would go sour.

    It’s almost too easy to bait and trap Dashael. Resisting his potent Fae allure isn’t. Especially since Nalia’s unexpected demand for a missing magical rune means Mara will have to hold strong far longer than she’d planned.

    Dashael’s best shot at escaping? Seduce her. If he can survive a few dozen of his closest enemies out for blood and the queen’s scheme to make him her personal stud…he might just make it.

    Then his game of seduction trips over a snag named Mara, and he falls. Hard. For a commitment-phobic thief, love might as well be a prison sentence. Yet the idea of losing her makes him miserable.

    Mara can’t deny that her enemy has stolen her heart. But their love is about to be tested by a lifetime of secrets. The risk may not be worth it. Especially if a life together means death for one of them.

    Lover Enslaved is one of those stories that are impossible to summarize. The blurb provides insight, but doesn’t come close to going into the depth of the material or the meat of the characters. Jodi Redford has combined elements of fantasy, suspense, humor and romance; crafting an amazing story that engages the reader and keeps them turning the pages.

    As the story begins with our heroine, Mara, you know it’s going to be good. She’s staking out the target she’s been sent to bring in to save her brother–the uber-gorgeous fae thief, Dashael Rhyder, aka Dash. The moment they meet, sparks fly and passions ignite. The attraction that exists between them is enhanced by brilliant dialogue that will keep you in stitches. Ms. Redford has a way with words, and there was more than one occasion when I let a giggle loose and got a curious stare from my husband while enjoying this story. Mara wants Dash, but if she doesn’t want the Queen that controls her brother’s fate to kill him, she can’t touch him. Of course, Dash is absolutely irresistible, meaning each time he strides onto the page you wither and melt right along with Mara. I thought the supporting cast was great, and many of the secondary themes were intriguing. But in the end, it all came down to the mouth-watering Dash and oh-so sensuous and kick-ass Mara.

    The writing/premise/characters are wonderful, which is important when you’re reading something this length. I loved the world in which magic, fae, and mystical creatures exist. The entire work has an urban fantasy kind of feel, but with darker–yet oddly comical–undertones. I was pleased with the balance, as you are never allowed to go too far into any one element. The focus, as always, remained on the prize. Can Mara rescue her brother? Will Dash gain his freedom? And, of course, will they get their happily ever after?

    Fantasy fans will adore this book. If you’re looking for a story to escape with for a few hours, Lover Enslaved will fit the ticket nicely. Be sure to put this delightful gem on your TBR lists.

    Breakfast in Bed by Robin Kaye



    Breakfast in Bed by Robin Kaye
    Publisher: Sourcebooks
    Genre: Contemporary
    Length: Full (361 pages)
    Heat: Spicy
    Rating: 4.5 Books
    Reviewed by Hibiscus

    Rich, the epitome of "anti-domestic," can't cook to save his life, and his idea of cleaning his apartment is to invite his mother over. But he's ready to settle down, and he can't stop thinking about the ex-girlfriend who got away. When he notices that his soon-to-be-married friends cooked and cleaned their way into their women's hearts, he asks his friend Becca to help transform him into a nurturing man to win back his ex.

    Rich is the only guy who's taken the time to know Becca for herself. She decides she'll give him the makeover he's asking for, though she'll be damned if she's going to turn him into a domestic god for another woman. She wants Rich for herself, but how can she convince him that her kitchen and her bedroom are the only domestic locales he desires?

    Robin Kaye continues her Domestic Gods Series with Annabelle Ronaldi’s best friend Becca Larson and a serious twist in her domestic gods in the form of Rich Ronaldi, who may be a god but isn’t a domestic one.

    Ms. Kaye’s humor shines from the start when Becca, Miss prim-and-proper-ice-princess, takes her baseball bat and confronts the Sicilian version of a Greek god, Rich in the shower. Things then become like an old time romantic comedy with both characters living in one apartment.

    What I really enjoyed was the fact that in this story our god, Rich, may have looked like one but he could not do anything even remotely domestic. Unfortunately, he also had some previous playboy problems that led him to relocate at Columbia University. His ultimate tenure hinges on being a proper professor in a stable relationship. When his semi-girlfriend leaves him on the same day the ultimatum is laid down, Rich turns to the only person available who can help him get back his girl, Becca.

    I have to warn you to keep a box of tissues handy. I know I needed them as I was laughing so hard; I had tears rolling down my cheeks throughout Rich’s domestication duties. When you read about the grilled cheese, remember, you were warned.

    Becca was perfect as a teacher to Rich. She knew what she wanted – Rich and she taught him everything he needed to know to get his girl – her. I was only upset with Becca when she lost faith in her herself and believed the worst about Rich. I could understand her feelings but I wanted things to be happy and smooth throughout the story.

    We still have the rich multitude of characters that add so much to the storyline and keep the plot continually moving. Breakfast in Bed would not have been the fantastic read it was if not for the likes of Annabelle and Mike, Henry and Wayne, and especially Tripod.

    Breakfast in Bed is another fascinating look at the Ronaldi family and their friends that provided me with hours of enjoyment. I can’t wait to see who the next god Ms. Kaye decides to grace with their own book.

    Thursday, December 17, 2009

    Getting Lucky by Carolyn Brown



    Getting Lucky by Carolyn Brown
    Publisher: Sourcebooks, Inc.
    Genre: Contemporary
    Length: Full (393 pages)
    Heat: Spicy
    Rating: 4.5 Books
    Reviewed by Tiger Lily

    Single mom Julie Donavan is looking for a place to start over. What she finds after buying a small house on five acres is nothing short of a nightmare.

    Single dad "Lucky Griffin" Luckadeau has been crossing horns with his elderly neighbor for years. But when his daughter, Annie, decides she wants the new little girl who lives on the feuding property to be her friend, or better yet her sister, the sparks fly.

    These two stubborn hotheads, who irritate each other beyond endurance, refuse to admit that it's fate that brought them together. And running from the inevitable is only going to bring a double dose of misery.

    She’s been burned in love by lies. He’s been burned in relationships by loveless women. What happens when they end up thrown together by fate? She’ll get a run for her money. As for Griffin, he’s Getting Lucky.

    Ms. Brown writes witty characters that stay with the reader long after the novel ends. You want to see them fight, laugh, love, and succeed in their lives. You feel a part of the story as well. You can almost smell the hay, corn, and live stock. The details set the mood for the story.

    I liked the two little girls and the white streak in their dark hair. It made the little girls memorable. Lizzy belongs to Griffin. Annie belongs to Julie, but darned if anyone can tell them apart. Griffin made a great hero because, despite his unlucky streak with women, he’s got a kind heart. When he took care of Chuck, it was really touching. Although I thought he and Julie fought each other a bit too much at first, I liked the way their love affair heated up. The arguing was heated coupling and that was very real. You know people who argue hard and love even harder.

    If you want a fun story with a western flair, then you have to read Getting Lucky. You won’t want to miss these human and loveable characters.

    Hearts' Reunion by Judith Leger



    Hearts' Reunion by Judith Leger
    Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
    Genre: Paranormal
    Length: Short (126 pages)
    Heat: Spicy
    Rating: 4.5 Books
    Reviewed by Fennel

    After attending her great grandmother’s funeral, Sabre Nichols assumes she’ll stay a week at the old homestead on Witch Mountain and then return to her job as a paranormal researcher. But strange events on the mountain wreak havoc with her plans. Even her late Granny’s tenant seems to hide something eerie behind his brilliant blue gaze...

    Micah McGregor seems so familiar to Sabre, and he definitely gets her heart racing. But can she trust him to help find the source of the spectral activities? Or will he believe the tales of her witch heritage? If she puts her faith in Micah, she may find answers... and lose her heart.

    One of the biggest changes in life is death, and Hearts' Reunion begins with Granny’s, Cassie May Porter, death. That’s the first time Sabre [Bre] Nichols sets eyes on Micah MacGregor. And so begins a series of events that takes Micah and Bre on a journey of discovery. On the way they both have lessons to learn, prejudices to ditch and danger to overcome.

    Judith Leger weaves a menacing thread of animated carvings, ancestors with attitude and personal designs on Bre’s future. On top of the loss of a loved one you’d think Bre had enough to cope with, but no, ghosts from the past help her battle evil intent in the present on to come to terms with what she really wants to do with her life.

    Bre is no superwoman and that, in my book, makes her more believable. She has a timetable and has no intention of diverting from it, but, as the saying goes… the best laid plans…

    Micah resents the absentee grand daughter and has every intention of making his opinion of her known at the first opportunity. What he’s not prepared for is the red-hot attraction that flows between them when their glances connect over Cassie May Porter’s grave.

    He epitomises the strong silent hero who’s not prepared to give any quarter to those he believes are in the wrong, and if he has his way, he’s not about to change.

    Is it possible for these two wonderful people to overcome their obstinacy and accept their destiny? You'll have to read this lovely book to find out.

    Obsessive, Compulsive and Published by Evie Alexis



    Obsessive, Compulsive and Published by Evie Alexis
    Publisher: Class Act Books
    Genre: Contemporary
    Length: Full (289 pages)
    Heat: Sensual
    Rating: 5 Books
    Reviewed by Cholla

    Erika Seals is back, and as in The Obsessive Compulsive Romance Novelist, nothing comes easy for this heroine. The sequel presents a more (hopefully) mature Erika, who finally gets her novel published! Everyone seems pleased, except her father, who is embarrassed of his daughter’s talent. But Erika has more than her father’s approval and story publication to worry about. She has also gone back to school and is enrolled in the same class with her arch enemy, Maricela. Elliot’s parents, also Erika’s landlords, come up from sunny Florida to visit, each outing the young people take them on proving more disastrous than the last. Then there is Elliot himself, forced to make a decision that could end the lovers’ relationship. The circumstances read from a page of Erika’s romance novel, but she remains powerless to script the ending.

    We all have our flaws, but how many of us can laugh at them? Erika Seals sure can. After all, people have been laughing at her all her life, she might as well join in. Being saddled with obsessive-compulsive disorder as well as several other minor issues, each day for Erika is a definite challenge. From making breakfast to getting to work on time. Her only source of support is her boyfriend, Elliot, who not only knows her but also takes her just as she is.

    Erika is a true heroine for the next generation. She’s far from perfect and she knows it all too well. Accepting of her debilitating issues, Erika puts her best foot forward and embraces them, refusing to allow them to control her any more than they already do.

    Elliot, Erika’s devoted boyfriend, is a real hero. He’s not a super sex symbol nor is he an arrogant alpha male. He’s just your boy-next-door who takes Erika as she is, OCD and all. Elliot has a kind heart and takes Erika’s moods and issues as they come, good or ill. Supportive, understanding and proactive, Elliot is the kind of man every woman needs in their corner.

    An amusing and touching rollercoaster ride through the life of a woman suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder and the man that loves her, faults and all. If you are in need of an uplifting story sure to warm your heart and make you laugh until you cry, Obsessive, Compulsive and Published is sure to fill that bill.

    Fixation by Mia Cherish & Jacqueline Quaid



    Fixation by Mia Cherish & Jacqueline Quaid
    Publisher: Devine Destinies
    Genre: Paranormal
    Length: Full (176 pgs)
    Heat: Hot
    Rating: 4.5 Books
    Reviewed by Snapdragon

    Malcolm Blackmon had nothing against vampires. He just wasn’t sure he wanted to be one. A crime scene gone bad and mortal injury forced the Australian transplant into a hasty decision, accepting a vampire friend’s adoption. His new family welcomed him with promises of a wonderful life free of his responsibilities as an undercover cop. Early retirement, no money worries and pretty donors catering to his appetites for blood and pleasure? Not bad. Hunting down New Orleans criminal low-life for blood and sport… He’d get used to it.

    He’d manage all right if he could just get past Emily Kagan. Mistaken for his donor when Malcolm first rose, her lush dancer’s body filled his arms while her sweet kisses and sweeter blood flooded Malcolm’s senses. Since then, nothing has smelled, tasted or felt the same. His vampire family warns him his fixation is a danger—Emily’s taste has been amplified in his memories due to the stress of his first hunger when he rose. But it’s so much more to Malcolm. His spirit lingers with Emily during the day, flirting, seducing, protecting. Loving. Can Malcolm control his vampirism and keep nice with his family while the family patriarch researches more of Emily’s unique origins and the wonderful connection Malcolm is destined to share with the love he never found in life?

    Fixation is a vampire tale with a different approach, outstanding characters, and a nicely unpredictable plot.

    Accepted wisdom of vampire lore is never challenged, so you might think you can guess where this story is heading. However, anyone can sympathize with Malcolm’s initial plight and decision.

    And he is, from the first, an oddly compassionate vampire. That later events will cause him to bring dismay even to his vampire mentors is not precisely his fault, although they do try to warn him. Malcolm is a divinely romantic character not merely because of his looks or appeal – but because he so firmly seems to believe in love. After all, his undeniable attraction to Emily has to be more than a mere accident… It’s more of who she is, and further, he believes that she would know him and feel the same way, if they should meet again. The authors manage to convey such a tender aura around this man. He values his friends, his mentoring vampires are caring and concerned, and they have codes for behavior, etc.

    In sharp contrast, descriptions of vampires – and Malcolm in particular – are poignantly visualized, graphic and almost violent; utterly believable. This, couple with the involved friendship really introduces a level of the unexpected, throughout.

    This is very well written and readable; fans of vampires won’t be disappointed, and if you haven’t been lured into the realm yet yourself, this might just be the book to start out with.

    Wednesday, December 16, 2009

    ForEvver by Susanne Marie Knight



    ForEvver by Susanne Marie Knight
    Publisher: Awe-Struck Publishing
    Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Sci-Fi/Fantasy
    Length: Full (160 pages)
    Heat: Sensual
    Rating: 4.5 Books
    Reviewed by Orchid

    In the year 2102, ambitious Jason Maverick is lead attorney for the richest man in the solar system, Reid Evver. Although Reid is only ten years older than Jason, he has everything Jason has ever desired. Except for now. Now Reid wants to acquire a wife. And not just any wife; Flavia Gracchus is a drab Moon native who doesn’t want to visit Earth almost as much as Jason doesn’t want to escort her around to see the sights. But Flavia is Jason’s new assignment. He has no choice but to follow Reid’s dictates and try to convince her that marriage to Reid would be a dream come true. The more Jason is in Flavia’s company, the more he is convinced that if she marries Reid, it would not be a dream but a nightmare. There’s something strange about Reid’s assistant, Victoria Talbot, and Rosealine Broussard, the old woman who insists she is Reid’s wife. Then there’s the peculiar abduction attempts on Flavia, plotted by Reid’s nemesis, Enrico ViDucchi. And there is Reid Evver himself. Is he really as young as he says? Amidst the exotic locales of Greater Paris, Maui, and New Tri-Metropolis, Jason discovers true love with his Moon Miss. Now he must convince her that his womanizing ways are over and that she is the only girl for him. He also must make sure time runs out for Reid Evver and his murderous schemes.

    ForEvver – the title – says it all. Reid Evver is one of the wealthiest men on Earth and is also the founder of the Luna ForEvver Rejuvenation Facility at Tychotown on the Moon. Reid always seems to glow with health and youth which begs the question does ForEvver mean something else or is it just coincidence.

    Reid decides it’s time he married and produced children. But not just any children, he wants the best possible genetic mating he can get. To this end he chooses Flavia Gracchus, a therapist at the Moon Facility. Flavia, completely ignorant of the real reason for her journey, acts as courier for Reid by taking a fragile package to him on Earth. She meets Jason Maverick, Reid’s corporate lawyer, who becomes her tour guide and bodyguard as she agrees to Reid’s request that she take a month to familiarize herself with Earth.

    Flavia is an innocent who longs to go home to the Moon. She gradually becomes suspicious of why she is here on Earth. Jason, who knows the secret behind Flavia’s visit, is attracted to her. He knows it can go no further and tries to keep her safe for Reid Evver. Two attractive people thrown together by the orders of the boss — can they really keep their emotions under control?

    ForEvver had a mixture of intrigue, adventure and romance. It was a very entertaining book and a pleasant read. The threads of the book intertwined perfectly and the only reason I didn’t give it top rating was because I felt part of the story hadn’t been resolved at the end. However, this didn’t spoil the story, just left the query of why was this mentioned???

    I enjoyed reading this book and originally picked it because I was intrigued by the title. I immediately thought spelling mistake, but I was wrong. The title fit the book perfectly. A nice play on words. Well done Ms Knight, definitely a book to snuggle up with.

    The Return by Jan Bowles



    The Return by Jan Bowles
    Publisher: BookStrand
    Genre: Contemporary
    Length: Short (147 pages)
    Heat: Spicy
    Rating: 4 Books
    Reviewed by Edelweiss

    Whilst on assignment in Iraq, English TV presenter and journalist Robert Tremayne is captured by Islamic Jihadists and held hostage. His soul mate, Marielle, can barely come to terms with her loss but tries to move on with her life.

    Two years later Robert is discovered alive. Marielle is overjoyed, but her life has changed beyond all recognition, and the man she loved is now very different. His time in Iraq has left him cold, emotionless and detached. There's much to tell, and each wants desperately to return to the way things once were.

    With the past always there to come between them, will they be able to recapture their lost love? Will they ever be happy again?

    In Jan Bowles’ The Return, two former lovers grapple with a past strewn with betrayal, misfortune, and bad judgments. Robert is a renown journalist and author who is captured and killed in Iraq by the Islamic Jihad. Marielle, his lover and soul mate, is shattered and listlessly accepts solace from his best friend. But hold on. Two years later, Robert is found alive and is rescued by US Special Forces. He returns only to discover that Marielle has married his best friend and is a mother to boot. Robert’s happy homecoming is thus transformed to bitterness, and much of the book is devoted to how he and Marielle deal with his vitriolic sense of betrayal in the wake of some startling turn of events.

    It is hard to describe much of this story without giving away important plot elements. We start with a lot of pent up mysteries and tension. These are mostly released in the early chapters, but only in a way that generates a new plot reality and higher suspense about how this book will turn out. Equally captivating are the characters. Marielle is complex. She feels defensive about her past decisions and by additional secrets that Robert doesn’t want to hear. Robert is ruled by his bitterness, and it sometimes drives him to a cruel fury. Although this makes him hard to like for much of the story, he captivates, making us powerless to turn away from his antics, his suffering, or the changes he undergoes as the story progresses. Some of the middle scenes border on chaos: the characters alternately hurting each other, then responding to passions they cannot deny. Although these scenes are unsettling—they punish and set back chances of reconciliation—they come across as genuine, in a real world sense, and they add to the story’s suspense. It is only a very jagged line of events that eventually leads upward, one strewn with more landmines from the past, but the denouement is well worth the read.

    This book is not without flaws. Although the compact prose is a strength, flowing with exceptional energy, better would have been proper use of commas, many of which are missing. The interrupted love scene on page 26 shows a comic misunderstanding of the male sex drive which, once fully aroused, is not easily deterred or, in this instance, simply cancelled. And the book extends about ten pages past the story’s true denouement. Good editing would have cut that ten pages to the two needed to tie up loose ends.

    But these are minor quibbles. The Return is a complex tale that brims with high plot tension and suspense. Plus it ultimately becomes a beautiful love story, one the reader will not soon forget.

    Devil's Cub by Georgette Heyer



    Devil's Cub by Georgette Heyer
    Publisher: Sourcebooks
    Genre: Historical
    Length: Full (310 pages)
    Heat: Sensual
    Rating: 5 Books
    Reviewed by Camellia

    Like father, like son…
    Dominic Alistair, Marquis of Vidal and fiery son of the notorious Duke of Avon, has established a rakish reputation that rivals his father's, living a life of excess and indulgence. Banished to the Continent after wounding his opponent in a duel, Vidal schemes to abduct the silly aristocrat bent on seducing him into marriage and make her his mistress instead. In his rush, however, he seems to have taken the wrong woman…

    A young lady of remarkable fortitude…Determined to save her sister from ruin, virtuous Mary Challoner intercepts the Marquis's advances and throws herself into his path, hoping Vidal will release her upon realizing his error. But as the two become irrevocably entangled, Mary's reputation and future lie in the hands of a devilish rake, who finds her more fascinating every day…

    The world of DEVIL’S CUB teems with taboos, and temptations, sparkles with wit, and borders on the farcical at times, as the characters all scheme to get what they want. The chases in France are not to be missed—incomparable.

    Men bent on partaking of all the vices available and mothers bent on marrying their daughters off to the man with the best title and most money regardless of his morals make DEVIL’S CUB a bubbling cauldron of maneuvering, machination, and mayhem.

    Dominic Alistair, Marquis of Vidal, flaunts his outrageous behavior with an air of invincibility. His fiery temper and caustic remarks are well known but few know how quickly he yields to his mother’s wishes or how he abides by his father’s judgment in important matters. His ability with pistols is legendary and his exploits with willing women are unsurpassed. His reputation rivals that of his father’s during the Duke of Avon’s rakish days—days before Leonie came into his life.

    Mary Challoner, educated, intelligent, and not given to airs, despairs of her mother and sister Sophie’s scheme to make an advantageous marriage for Sophie who flaunts her beauty as she foolishly tries to out maneuver Dominic. Mary’s efforts to save her sister from ruin and to teach the high-handed Marquis a lesson makes herself a target for his fiery temper and gets her into a peck of trouble. She is trapped but picks her battles, uses her intelligence, and gains the grudging respect of Dominic who has never had a relationship with a woman that could carry on an intelligent and interesting conversation, could see logic, and was not forever flirting.

    The many secondary characters add spice and variety to the main ingredients that make up the bubbling cauldron of DEVIL’S CUB. Each of them, so expertly developed by Ms. Heyer, plays distinct roles in moving the plot along.

    Georgette Heyer’s story is a joy to read. It transports one to another time and teases the senses with exquisite description, compelling action, and captivating characters. The plot, an intricate maze, comes to a beautiful climax and leaves the reader SO SATISFIED.

    Tuesday, December 15, 2009

    A Page From The Past by Cindy Davis



    A Page From The Past by Cindy Davis
    Publisher: Champagne Books
    Genre: Mystery/Suspense
    Length: Full (270 pages)
    Heat: Sweet
    Rating: 5 Books
    Reviewed by Fennel

    The first warning is swift and to the point, but bookstore owners Glenn and Lindsay Reade don’t ‘get it’ until their lives are threatened a second time. All they’ve done is read a young girl’s diary and attempt to locate the owner. Just because the journal describes the girl’s rape and subsequent murder of the rapist is no reason for anyone to want them dead, is it? The book is obviously more than forty years old. Who in the tiny Berkshire town of Paris, Massachusetts could still care?

    But someone does. And that someone is willing to kidnap and murder to protect their long buried secret.

    In six words Cindy Davis grabs her reader’s attention in a death defying situation. “Our van sailed over the embankment …”

    Lindsay Reade tells of how the acquisition of forty year old diary sets off a train of events that start with a bang; the bang of one vehicle hitting another and sending it flying off the road.

    Lindsay and her husband Glenn are looking forward to going through their latest haul of second-hand books when they arrive home when their world turns upside down. Who ran them off the road and why? Was it an accident or not?

    Ms. Davis sets up and awesome cast of small town characters who all come under scrutiny. Is a neighbour’s concern genuine, or a desire to find out how much progress Lindsay and Glenn are making in their investigation to the reason for their ‘accident’.

    And who is the mysterious woman Lindsay employs to work in their book store? Author Cindy Davis will keep you guessing, and just when you think you have the plot sussed she throws in another curve.

    All through the traumatic events that follow, the friendship, love and trust between husband and wife shines through. While evil shatters their comfortable world and threatens their existence they are there for each other. Their love and devotion for each other weaves through all the mayhem.

    For anyone who enjoys murder, mystery and suspense this is a book for you. Once you pick it up, you’ll find it hard to put down again, so make sure you give yourself plenty of ‘me’ time and enjoy the way Cindy Davis unfolds her plots and her characters capture your imagination.

    Angel And The Lawman by Barbara W. Starmer



    Angel And The Lawman by Barbara W. Starmer
    Publisher: BookStrand
    Genre: Historical
    Length: Full (271 pages)
    Heat: Spicy
    Rating: 4.5 Books
    Reviewed by Camellia

    Young Alexandra O'Shay travels from Ireland to America, venturing into the wild west. A chance encounter with a mysterious man in black casts doubt over her decision to come to America, but a train robbery brings them together in ways neither expected.

    With a reputation for honesty and a fast gun, Marshal James Black takes on a new challenge and a new attitude toward women. Alexandra is not only beautiful, but a survivor, and that intrigues him more than he likes. Relationships have proven fatal in the past. Will this be any different?

    To be his strength not his weakness is Alexandra’s deep desire as she works to build a life that she hopes and prays will be shared with Marshal James Black.

    Alexandra O’Shay Wild gave up being a pretty little doll of a girl at age four and began the struggle to survive in Ireland where some would kill for a bag of potatoes. After immigrating to America with her mother, she works long and hard until her mother’s death and then until all the debts were paid.

    Now, she’s on her way to find her father and to build a new life. Noticeably pretty, capable, and intelligent, she handles dangerous situations with aplomb. After her father’s death, she sets in to reestablish the hotel that he had owned. She puts down roots in the rip, roaring Oklahoma City.

    Marshal James Black exudes power and animal lust. He appreciates a pretty woman and is not afraid to show it. However, he knows it is dangerous for one to be associated with him because she might be used by his enemies to get to him. After his meeting Alexandra on the train, he wishes things could be different because her indomitable spirit, her determination, and self-sufficiency along with her Irish beauty, temper, and humor touch a spot in his heart that has not been touched before.

    He is in Oklahoma City to make it a safe place for honest, hardworking people to live. It is a task that will not be easy. Deadly with his guns and lethal with dynamite, he plies his trade with nerves of steel, knowing the life expectancy of a “clean” lawman is short.

    The primary antagonist, along with his powerful connections, challenges the marshal and Alexandra with dangers that reach all the way from Boston and San Francisco to Oklahoma City.

    Barbara Starmer weaves a fascinating plot full of suspense, mystery, and treachery that grabs the reader’s attention. Among the life-threatening happenings, she weaves in a love that blooms like a rose among the thorns. Her strong heroine and her hero that makes the heart throb make ANGEL AND THE LAWMAN not only a thrilling suspense story but also a redemptive love story that satisfies the heart.

    Mistletoe Rules by Stacey Joy Netzel



    Mistletoe Rules by Stacey Joy Netzel
    Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
    Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
    Length: Full (300 pages)
    Heat: Sensual
    Rating: Best Book
    Reviewed by Water Lily

    Christmas recipe for love—combine a matchmaking Santa, lots of mistletoe, one iron-clad rule, fated hearts; mix and stir. The Riley siblings don’t stand a chance.

    Mistletoe Mischief: Christmas in July at the zoo is the last place single parents Eric Riley and Marissa Wilder expect to find love. Thanks to some mistletoe mischief in the form of their two young daughters and Santa, they discover Mistletoe Rules were not made to be broken.

    Mistletoe Magic: Major Mark Riley plays Court Jester to Janelle Walsh's Snow Queen at the Christmas Parade and is instantly captivated by the cute redhead whose grandpa just happens to be Santa. When Mark learns she's the tenant he evicted from his newly purchased property, it's going to take a little bit of Santa's mistletoe magic to save their romance.

    Mistletoe Match-up: When Lisa Riley comes home for Mark's Christmas Eve wedding, her high school rivalry with Janelle's cousin, Derek Walsh, picks up right where it left off, only this time Derek's got the upper hand. Santa bides his time as they battle it out because he's waited a whole year for this mistletoe match-up.

    I smiled my way through this book.

    The three short stories revolve around the three Riley siblings and the family’s Mistletoe Rules—you can’t refuse to kiss when caught beneath mistletoe. No matter who is caught or who you’re caught with, mommies, daddies, little girls...toads.

    Mistletoe Mischief, Eric Riley and Marissa Wilder’s story, takes place during a Christmas in July outing at the zoo. Ms. Netzel did a wonderful job showing the conflict that separates these two unhappily divorced, single parents and how fate, and Santa Butch, bring them together. Eric’s daughter, Reese, and Marissa’s Heather were delightful, but my favorite secondary character was Santa Butch. He’s funny, jolly and can’t stop meddling. He (and the Rules) shows up in all three stories.

    Mistletoe Magic starts at a Christmas parade. Mark Riley’s car breaks down and he’s rescued by “elf extraordinaire” Janelle Walsh (Santa Butch’s granddaughter) and her team of horses. He has recently returned to town and just closed on a resort he plans to remodel. All he needs to do is evict the old “animal rights nutcase” currently living at the property. Little does he know that nutcase is the very attractive elf he’s been hitting on. Instant conflict. The resolution was a pleasant surprise. Of course, Santa Butch plays a pivotal part.

    Mistletoe Match-up is Lisa’s story. The youngest Riley child arrives late to Mark and Janelle’s Christmas Eve wedding in what Janelle’s cousin, Derek, considers “typical Lisa” form. In high school beat out Derek to become the valedictorian, class president, spelling bee champ...you name it. Even now, she’s everyone’s darling. She’s beautiful, she’s talented, she’s perfect, she’s...living a lie.

    Each story has a clearly-defined nicely-developed plot and distinct, well-rounded characters. This is the best e-book I’ve read in a while and an absolutely delightful Christmas treat.

    Grab this one to de-stress during the holiday rush.