Saturday, 27 October 2012

Zane by Kimberly Lewis

Zane (The McKades of Texas, #1)Zane by Kimberly Lewis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Though I do not generally read westerns, I love cowboys, and this book was a nice change for me from my usual. Zane is a fun, entertaining story. Though the plot was predictable, I enjoyed the way Kimberly Lewis told the story. She was able to bring her characters to life in such a way that they were believable, likeable, and the cowboys were sexy as hell. Lewis was able to bring out individual personalities, and you felt like you got to know each character. Lewis made the romance fun and believable, if not a bit quick. I also loved the sibling rivalry between Zane and Luke; they were really fun together. I am so looking forward to read Luke's and Norah's stories.

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Monday, 22 October 2012

Zane by Kimberly Lewis

TITLE:  Zane

Kimberly Lewis

The McKades of Texas #1

GENRE: Western Contemporary Romance

PAGES: 259

PUBLISHED: August 2012


Kellan Anderson is in hillbilly hell – or at least that’s what it feels like. After enduring endless accounts of abuse from her now ex-boyfriend, Kellan makes a run for her life and finds herself in cowboy country. Leaving her fancy clothes and expensive lifestyle behind her, she trades in her high heels for cowboy boots and changes her name to Andi Ford. With her painful past threatening to catch up with her, hiding out in this small town seems easy enough – until one blonde hair, blue eyed cowboy steps in the picture.

Zane McKade has sworn off women, determining that they are all liars and cheats – including the new waitress at the local bar. After a rather unpleasant first encounter with the beautiful brunette, Zane’s radar is set to high as he believes this woman is not who she claims to be. When his intimidation methods fail to break through Andi’s barrier he decides to turn on the charm to get her to tell the truth. But Zane’s plan begins to backfire as the more time he spends charming Andi, the more he finds himself breaking his own rules and falling for her.



My rating:
4 of 5 stars

Though I do not generally read westerns, I love cowboys, and this book was a nice change for me from my usual. Zane is a fun, entertaining story. Though the plot was predictable, I enjoyed the way Kimberly Lewis told the story. She was able to bring her characters to life in such a way that they were believable, likeable, and the cowboys were sexy as hell. Lewis was able to bring out individual personalities, and you felt like you got to know each character. Lewis made the romance fun and believable, if not a bit quick. I also loved the sibling rivalry between Zane and Luke; they were really fun together. I am so looking forward to read Luke's and Norah's stories.

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Q: When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
A: Well I’ve always loved writing. When I was a child I used to make up my own stories and “publish” them. I’d use a regular old spiral notebook, write the story down and illustrate it. Then I’d take it to school and my wonderful librarian would read it to our class during story time. I love that woman and miss her dearly. Writing took a backseat when I hit middle school and I didn’t get that itch to start writing again until a few years ago. When the whole Twilight craze happened I was like, “Oh I can totally write something in that genre.” Needless to say, it didn’t happen. I couldn’t get into and threw away what I had come up with—which was completely horrible, lol. When a friend of mine loaned me one of her contemporary western romances I fell in love and knew that that’s what I wanted to write. So I did and when people responded well to the story I decided to take this writing thing seriously. That happened last year when I published my first novel and I haven’t looked back since.

Q: Tell us a little about your main characters, Kellan and Zane.

A: Kellan is a city girl who makes an unexpected transition to country life. She’s completely oblivious to life outside of city limits with her only knowledge of country living being from things that she’s heard of.

Zane is from the country—born and raised—and doesn’t really have a lot of patience with Kellan when they first meet.

The two of them both have their trouble pasts and that’s what keeps them from really getting to know one another in the beginning. But once they realize that they’re not so different, well... You’ll just have to read the book to find out:-)

Q: How would you describe your writing style?

A: I’d probably describe it as casual. I try not to be too serious with my writing and keep things light. I always read books to escape my daily life and that’s what I try to bring to my readers. There are no deep messages in my novels or things that make you ponder life’s biggest questions. I just want people to have fun, be entertained, and enjoy reading the characters’ love story.

Q: How has your environment/upbringing colored your writing?
A: I am a country girl—born and raised. So naturally my writing revolves around that country lifestyle. Write what you know, right?

Q: What do you do to unwind and relax?
A: Anything involving peace and quiet relaxes me:-) But to be specific, I love lounging on the sofa in my comfy clothes, reading a good book or watching one of my favorite movies. Horseback riding is one of my all time favorite things to do. It may not sound like a “relaxing” time but I find it extremely relaxing. With nothing but the sound of nature and the slow rhythm from your horse—it’s enough to put you in a tranquil state.

Q: Do you have any hidden talents?
A: I’m a pretty good artist. Just to name a few of things I can do: sketch, paint, computer art, and cake decorating.

Q: Are you working on anything new?
A: Right now I’m working on the second book in my “McKades of Texas” series. This book revolves around Norah (Zane’s younger sister) and her love interest Chase.

Q: What book are you reading now?
A: Well I’m not currently reading anything at the moment but I just did finish reading “Family Ties” by Krista Kedrick. It’s a contemporary western romance (because those are my favs!) and I thoroughly enjoyed it.


In November of 2011, author Kimberly Lewis stepped into the writing world with her first original western contemporary romance novel, When the Heart Falls.

Born and raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, this country girl at heart caught the creative bug at an early age, doing everything from drawing to writing short stories.

After the birth of her son, Kimberly found the inspiration to pick up a pen, or in this case a laptop, and began writing her first novel. Since then she has continued to write and credits her husband, Rob, and her wonderfully crazy family, who with their love and joking demeanor provide her with the ideas that inspire her novels.
In her spare time she enjoys reading, horseback riding, and spending time with her amazing family. 






Sunday, 14 October 2012

Mobster's Girl by Amy Rachiele

Mobster's GirlMobster's Girl by Amy Rachiele
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book. I only wish it had been a bit longer. It seemed that just when things started getting exciting, there was the end. Although the characters might be a bit cliché (shy, pretty 'good girl' versus handsome 'bad boy'), it works for the story. I love Megan and Antonio and the circumstances surrounding their relationship. They've known of each other their entire lives but have been kept at a distance.

This is a classic story of star-crossed lovers, which I immensely enjoyed. The author is a great storyteller, going back and forth between Megan's and Antonio's points of view. With this style, we get to see a bit of both of their worlds. The author kept enough of the story back to keep us guessing but told us enough that we wanted to know more.

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The Future of Our Past by Kahlen Aymes

The Future of Our Past (The Remembrance Trilogy, #1)The Future of Our Past by Kahlen Aymes
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book has so many good reviews, and I had been looking forward to reading it for a while. But, I had a really hard time getting into the story. It's not that it was bad or badly written, I think it was just too sickly sweet and sappy for me. The "I'm so scared where this is going," "I love you more,", No, I love you more," and "I miss you so much" lines got old really, really fast. What the story came down to was a lot of missing each other, saying I've loved you forever but was scared to tell you, and then ultimately sex and more sex. The story really just needed…a story.

I also had a hard time connecting with the characters. I did not find myself caring for them or caring about their lives. Ultimately if the author would have killed them all off at the end, it would have been fine with me. In the end, the book was okay. If you are into sap and sex and no real storyline, read it.

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Saturday, 13 October 2012

The Art of Submission by Ella Dominguez

The Art of Submission (Book 1)The Art of Submission by Ella Dominguez
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have conflicted feelings about this book. The story was excellent, and based on that alone I would have given the book 5 stars. It was fun, playful, kinky, and definitely sexy. So why the mixed feelings…??

Here is what I loved:
1) Dylan – Dylan is your typical rich, sexy, smart alpha male. He was great. I love how his character was written. He liked control of everything, but at times his alter ego got the better of him, making him say and do things he regretted. I do wish we could have gotten a little more into his past. It's hinted on, but there were no details. However, the way this book ended (don't worry, no cliffhangers) made me highly suspicious there is going to be a second book possibly dealing more with Dylan's past. Yay!

2) Dylan's POV – The book was broken up into Dylan's POV and Isa's POV, switching every other chapter. Dylan's parts were pretty much awesome. I loved being in his head and I thought the author did a great job writing him.

3) The story – I really enjoyed the story. When I first started reading I was worried this was going to be a FSoG re-write, but it most definitely wasn't. The story was wealthy alpha male meets shy, somewhat inexperienced female (though not the way too overused I'm a Virgin and Don't Know What a Dick Is type of female, thank God) thrown together with some kinky sex, but that's where the comparisons ended. The story line was original and very well thought out.

Here is what I did not love:
1) Isa - Isabel's self-depreciation got old very quickly. I did like the few times she stood up for herself and took control of herself (and Dylan), but the whole I'm not good enough, I'm not pretty enough character is…I don't have a word at the moment, but I hated it. She was also very immature at times.

2) Isa's POV – First, I did not like having to go back and re-read the same scene as the point of view changed. The actual change was not the problem, as it was done well and it was made clear who was speaking each time. It was more of having to read the same thing from two different perspectives. When switching views, it would have been better to pick up where the last one left off rather than going back through and re-doing the same scene all over again. It was redundant and ultimately did not add anything new or useful to the story. Additionally, rather than stick to the 1st person POV, Isa's portions of the book were more of a stream of consciousness, which was not very fun to read and it did not flow well. Ultimately, I would have loved the book better if Isa's parts would have just been left out completely and we would have only had Dylan's story. About 70% into the book Isa's story finally became different from Dylan's and it was not quite as tedious after that.

3) The dialogue – There were many times in the book where Dylan and Isa would be having a conversation and only part of it would be dialogued out for us. Meaning the dialogues seemed incomplete, as part of it was written as thoughts and we were just supposed to assume it was spoken out loud, so really it looked to us as the reader like Isa/Dylan was reading the other one's mind and it got very confusing. Make any sense? That's hard to explain. This could be easily fixed with a few strategically placed quotation marks to denote conversation.

Ultimately, if Isa's parts of the book weren't in there I probably would have rated it 5 stars. As such, I have been going between 3 and 4 just for these things mentioned above. I ultimately decided on 4 because I loved Dylan so much and the story itself was great. Holy long reviews. (You'd get that little joke if you've read the book.)

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Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Red by Kate Kinsey

RedRed by Kate Kinsey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The author of 'Red' promises us a story that is well written, a story that doesn't just have kinky sex but an actual plot, and a story written by someone who knows what she's talking about when it comes to the kinky world of BDSM. I have to say, she delivered. This book is an erotic thriller. There's not a lot of romance, but an incredible murder mystery divulging into the world of BDSM that will leave you guessing until the very end and then leave you shocked. Talk about twists you won't see coming.

The author is great at building up tension and anticipation in her writing. The story itself is dark, complex, and violent, but she is able to throw in humor relief, mainly through Hanson's partner, Griggs, that keeps it on the edge of becoming too dark. I just had to mention Griggs because I like him :)

So who my favorite character? Hard to say. Gina is a strong female character and isn't afraid of what she wants. She is sexy and confident. Hanson is pretty much the opposite of Gina. It's interesting how their characters come together so well, but they do. I love how the author was able to portray her characters as real people with real lives, worries, and desires. She was able to use them to bring dimension to the story and give it purpose. All of the characters are believable.

As for the erotica/BDSM aspect – This is not erotic romance. If you open this book looking for that, you'll be disappointed. However, keep reading. The BDSM is successfully woven into the storyline rather than just being a side story as it is in so many other erotica books, and rather than just throw us into the world of BDSM assuming we know everything about it, the author gives us a roadmap to guide us in the form of Detective Hanson. He knows next to nothing about BDSM, and as things are explained to him, they are also explained to the reader.

Here are my only two grievances with the book: One, the first few chapters seemed a bit muddled to me. You were kind of thrown into the middle of things, and it was a bit hard to follow. However, it quickly came together nicely into create a wonderful story. Second, the quotes at the beginning of each and every chapter I found unnecessary and annoying and would have rather had them not there. Because of these two things I have been hovering between 4 and 5 stars. However, I ultimately decided that my small qualms weren't enough to knock off a star. Overall this story was sexual, violent, suspenseful, and complex. Read it.

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Saturday, 6 October 2012

Quinn Checks In by L.H. Thomson

Title:  Quinn Checks In

Author:  L.H. Thomson

Series: Liam Quinn Mysteries

Genre: Hard-boiled mystery

Publication Date:  April 4, 2012 

Pages:  200

Available From:  Amazon

Liam Quinn is back in his hometown Philly after three years in the pen for forgery. Now the ex-boxer, ex-art student has been given a chance to make amends by working as an insurance investigator, restoring a little of his family's pride and getting another chance at the woman of his dreams. But a gallery heist isn't what it seems, and pretty soon, Quinn is running out of people to trust. The biggest mobster in town, a sweetheart named "Vin The Shin," is calling him out; a steady string of lowlifes want his head, and the local police think he's hiding something. But hey, when trouble comes knocking? That's when Quinn Checks In.

Warning: this novel contains strong language and violence.


Excerpt from "Quinn Checks In":

From Chapter One:

IN ART, THE ARC OF A CURVE can be a beautiful and important thing. In Art Deco, for example, the consistency of its curves gives each design a sense of cleanliness and function, of uniformity.

When I was an art forger, a perfect curve was one of my best friends.

So believe me when I say that the arc of the pool cue slicing through the air towards my head was a thing of beauty, a mighty cut that in that split second, with Boston’s classic rocker "Smoking" cranking on the jukebox in the corner, made me wonder why the giant biker swinging it had opted for a life of vice and violence, instead of baseball.

My name is Liam Quinn, and I’ve been a fighter most of my life. One of the blessings of two decades of boxing has been a sort of athletic sixth sense. Some pros call it being "in the zone", that split second where your adrenalin peaks, your instincts take over, and everything just seems to slow…



I ducked, dropping between the two tree-trunk arms around my chest, and the pool cue
continued its arc. If he’d swung with a tighter reach, instead of stepping into it so directly, he’d have come up short and gone over my head while still missing his enormous bald-and-goateed companion.

But then it wouldn’t have been perfect.

Instead, the cue smashed into his buddy’s temple with a hollow clack, like a brick dropped on hard cement. 


 About L.H. Thomson:
A 20-year veteran newspaper reporter and editor, L.H. Thomson has written seven novels. When he’s not writing strange newspaper and web columns about the impacts of neuroscience on sociology or the losing ways of his beloved Toronto FC, he lives in Edmonton, Canada with his wife Lori – a quality assurance manager for a major utility company who helped develop the Liam Quinn character – and their six adopted pets, who didn’t make the process any easier at all.


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