Author Archives: Kristin

Review: The Recruit by Monica McCarty

The Recruit
(Highland Guard, #6)
By: Monica McCarty
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Published: Oct. 30, 2012
Genre: Historical Romance
Rating:

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Scotland’s King Robert the Bruce is retaking his kingdom from the invading English. To win, he’ll need all the grit and courage of his elite band of warriors, the Highland Guard, men who fight without fear and love without limits.
 
Fiery, aggressive, and bold, Kenneth Sutherland is a true champion—skilled with any weapon and driven to win. Now Kenneth is ready for his greatest challenge: joining Robert the Bruce’s secret army to fight among the elite. Kenneth’s best chance to attain that honor is by winning the Highland Games. Focused and prepared for victory, he is caught off guard by a lovely wisp of a woman—and a stolen moment of wicked seduction. Her innocent arousal and her shameless hunger fire his blood. He will win his place in the guard—and in Mary of Mar’s bed.

The ruggedly handsome hero-in-the-making stirs a heart that should know better. Mary vows that her surrender will be sport only—no promises, no heartbreak, just one night of incredible passion. Nothing, she swears, will persuade her to give up her hard-wrought independence and put her fate in the hands of another powerful man. But with every gentle touch and heart-pounding kiss, Kenneth makes her want more. Now Mary wants his heart. But is this determined champion willing to surrender everything for love?

 

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Review: On Dublin Street by Samantha Young

On Dublin Street
By: Samantha Young
Publisher: Penguin Group
Published: Oct. 17, 2012
Genre: New Adult
Rating:
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Jocelyn Butler has been hiding from her past for years. But all her secrets are about to be laid bare…

Four years ago, Jocelyn left her tragic past behind in the States and started over in Scotland, burying her grief, ignoring her demons, and forging ahead without attachments. Her solitary life is working well—until she moves into a new apartment on Dublin Street where she meets a man who shakes her carefully guarded world to its core.

Braden Carmichael is used to getting what he wants, and he’s determined to get Jocelyn into his bed. Knowing how skittish she is about entering a relationship, Braden proposes an arrangement that will satisfy their intense attraction without any strings attached.

But after an intrigued Jocelyn accepts, she realizes that Braden won’t be satisfied with just mind-blowing passion. The stubborn Scotsman is intent on truly knowing her… down to the very soul.

 

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Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Perks of Being a Wallflower 
By: Stephen Chbosky
Publisher: Pocket Books
Published: Feb. 1, 1999
Genre: Fiction
Rating:
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 Standing on the fringes of life… offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor.

This haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion marks the stunning debut of a provocative new voice in contemporary fiction: The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

This is the story of what it’s like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie’s letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite.

Through Charlie, Stephen Chbosky has created a deeply affecting coming-of-age story, a powerful novel that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller coaster days known as growing up.

 

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Excerpt: The Tragedy of Knowledge by Rachael Wade

Today is a special day. Not only do we have the wonderful Rachael Wade joining us today to share an excerpt from the final installment of the Resistance Trilogy, The Tragedy of Knowledge, but it’s also the release day of TOK! In celebration of the new release, Rachael is also offering one lucky reader the chance to win all three books in the Resistance Trilogy!

The Tragedy of Knowledge
(Resistance Trilogy, #3)
By: Rachael Wade
Publisher: Rabbit Hole Press
Published: Oct. 25, 2012
Genre: Paranormal Romance

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The Battle Comes Home.

After arranging a hopeful but risky alliance during their visit to the Amaranthian realm, Camille, Gavin, and the resistance don’t have much time to recover from their failed mission. Forced to create a new strategy to achieve their goal, they embark on a different mission—one that possibly holds the missing key to their quest for victory, and their deadliest one yet.

As they attempt round two to restore peace and freedom for their kind, they must rely on help from the living, the bayous, and beyond to decipher allies from enemies, good magic from bad, and whether the source claiming to lead the way to their destiny can be trusted. Racing against the clock to solve the mystery of their fate, they find the battle has come right to their doorstep, and this time, everyone must pay a price.

 
Excerpt

***SPOILER ALERT: This excerpt includes spoilers from The Gates, book 2 of the series. If you haven’t read book 2 yet, you can pick it up here.*** 

“All right. Look,” he said. “I’m going to come at you again from the same angle—when you’re not expecting it—and I want you to deflect my strike this time. All it takes is one stab of this silver, and you’re instantly slowed down, do you understand? It can mean the difference between living and dying. One strike will make it easier for your attacker to land another strike, and then another. Each one making you weaker. Which means seconds until you’re completely incapacitated. Then they can do whatever the hell they want to you. Think of it as paralyzing venom.”

“Gavin. I got it. We’ve been over this.” I pulled my hair tighter in the ponytail and wrapped it with an elastic tie, positioning myself in front of him again, knees bent, arms up, stance ready.
“Then get it together. I need you focused.”
“Did I mention I really don’t like your bossy side?”
“Did I mention I really hate that you don’t do as you’re told?”
He met my stance with an amused grin, rubbing his hands over his shoulders to push up his sleeves. My gaze caught the movement, zoning in on his defined arms. I swallowed, and managed, “Do as I’m told?”
“Uh huh.” He shuffled closer with slow, easy steps. “Out here, I’m not your husband. I’m not your lover. I’m your trainer. It’s my responsibility to show you how to defend yourself. And it’s your job to listen.”
“I am listening. You just make it difficult … to stay focused.”
“Oh, yeah?” He reached out and brushed a strand of hair from my forehead, letting his fingers trail slowly over my skin while he peered down at me, licking his lips. “Why do I make it difficult for you to stay focused, love? Are you having a hard time keeping up?” Pushing the hair back behind my ear, he leaned in farther, grazing his nose against my cheek, smirking when he heard me exhale a low, shaky breath.
Damn him. “You know why.”
“Do I?” His grin widened.
“You do. And I won’t give you the satisfaction of hearing it come out of my mouth.”
“Cam,” he dragged his lips across my cheekbone to the base of my ear, “I can feel it, too. You don’t have to say it, because I’m in tune with your body like never before. We’re on the same level now. All that pent-up energy, trying to claw its way out of you …” Nipping my earlobe, he let out a low chuckle and skimmed his hand underneath the hem of my shirt, tracing the waistband of my jeans with rough, teasing fingers. My entire body came alive at his touch, blood singing, knees quaking, mouth watering. His scent was divine and his lips called to me like some wicked, elemental magic.
He knew exactly what he was doing. The bastard.
More than willing to play along, I inhaled a sharp breath and reciprocated, dragging my fingers down his torso, then back up, stopping just above his navel. His mouth still near the base of my ear, his breath hitched against my skin at the contact. Encouraged, I headed south again, rubbing and teasing, feeling him grow beneath my fingers, tilting my head to the side to expose my neck. He moaned and grazed his teeth over my shoulder and down to my collarbone, dropping his blade to the ground with a loud thud.
“You make me crazy. Do you know that?” He gripped my hips and pressed me against him. “Do you feel what you do to me?”
“It’s too intense,” I whispered, my voice breathy. I was already panting when he moved to the other side of my neck, nudging my head to tilt it in the opposite direction.
“I warned you. You had a taste back in Amaranth, right after you changed.” He started on the buttons of my shirt.
“But the pull is even harder to fight now. When you touch me … I have no self-restraint. Sometimes I feel like … like I can’t handle all the extra energy. Like I’ll detonate if I don’t act.”
“That’s part of the fun.”
“Gav … we’re in an open field.”
“Hasn’t stopped you yet.” He popped two more buttons. “I know you want me. Just relax and let me make you feel good, baby. That panic lessens when you give it an outlet.”
Shutting my eyes tight, I leaned up on tiptoe and wrapped my arms around his neck to kiss him hard, then released him and slowly sashayed in the other direction, challenging him from underneath coy lashes, the need to run singing in my veins. “Fine. And I know you want me, but you’ll have to catch me first.”
His mouth fell open and his brows raised, a surprised smile pulling at the corner of his lips; he was ready to take the bait. I surged forward into a turbo-charged sprint, clear across the field toward the woods ahead, feeling him feet behind me, fast on my trail. I blew through the edge of the brush and into the thick marsh, lifting off my feet into flight, deeper and deeper into the bayou.

 

 

Rachael Wade is the Amazon #1 bestselling author of the paranormal romance series, The Resistance Trilogy, and the contemporary romance, Preservation. When she’s not writing, she’s busy learning French, watching too many movies, and learning how to protect wildlife and stop animal cruelty.

For more information on Rachael, check out her website.

You can also find her on Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.

Review: The Charmed by Christine Wenrick

The Charmed
(The Charmed, #1)
By: Christine Wenrick
Publisher: Red Treehouse Publishing
Published: Aug. 29, 2012
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Rating:

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Olivia Ann Greyson sees only one future for herself—to compose and perform the music she has loved since she was a child. But that future changes in an instant when a commuter train taking her to the city crashes and is attacked by, unbelievably, a coven of vampires! As the rabid creatures feed their thirst on the surviving passengers, Olivia is spared from an unthinkable fate because of the intervention of another vampire—Caleb Wolfe, a figure from her past who, for reasons he doesn’t understand himself, would do anything to protect her.
After one familiar touch, Olivia recognizes the man behind the vampire. Soon love, and a powerful supernatural connection, begins to grow between them. But with that connection Olivia starts to notice starling changes happening within herself, and violent events make it clear that the vampire coven which wanted her the night of the train crash won’t stop until they have her.
Time is running out for Olivia and Caleb to discover why all this is happening. And the answers they find may painfully tear their new love apart.

 

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Review: Beginning Again by Peggy Bird

Beginning Again
By: Peggy Bird
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Published: June 4, 2012
Genre: Romance
Rating
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When Liz Fairchild’s husband leaves her for a younger man, she decides it’s time to start over. So she sells her house, takes her generous community property settlement and opens an art gallery in the Pearl District in Portland, Oregon. A little sweat equity, some interesting art to exhibit and assistance from a surprising source and she’d ready to open.
Enter Collins, an up and coming sculptor who also happens to be younger, sexy and determined to bulldoze his way into Liz’s gallery, her life and her bedroom. He succeeds on all levels. His art is a hit in her gallery; his “to do” list for the bedroom eye-opening and his attention to her like nothing she’s ever seen.

But something isn’t quite right. He disappears for hours at a time, returning from “business” looking unhappy and acting withdrawn. What’s he keeping from Liz? Is it another woman? Another gallery? A family?

 

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Sunday Wrap-Up #4

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Review: Blood Promise by Richelle Mead

Blood Promise 
(Vampire Academy, #4)
By: Richelle Mead
Publisher: Razorbill
Published: Aug 25, 2009
Genre: YA
Rating:
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Rose Hathaway’s life will never be the same.

The recent attack on St. Vladimir’s Academy devastated the entire Moroi world. Many are dead. And, for the few victims carried off by Strigoi, their fates are even worse. A rare tattoo now adorns Rose’s neck, a mark that says she’s killed far too many Strigoi to count. But only one victim matters . . . Dimitri Belikov. Rose must now choose one of two very different paths: honoring her life’s vow to protect Lissa—her best friend and the last surviving Dragomir princess—or, dropping out of the Academy to strike out on her own and hunt down the man she loves. She’ll have to go to the ends of the earth to find Dimitri and keep the promise he begged her to make. But the question is, when the time comes, will he want to be saved?

Now, with everything at stake—and worlds away from St. Vladimir’s and her unguarded, vulnerable, and newly rebellious best friend—can Rose find the strength to destroy Dimitri? Or, will she sacrifice herself for a chance at eternal love?

 

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Review: The Hawk by Monica McCarty

The Hawk
(Highland Guard, #2)
By: Monica McCarty
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Published: Aug. 31, 2010
Genre: Historical Romance
Rating:

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Handpicked by Robert the Bruce to help him in his quest to free Scotland from English rule, the elite warriors of the Highland Guard face their darkest days. When Bruce is forced to flee, his bid for freedom rests on the shoulders of one extraordinary warrior.
Erik MacSorley is a brilliant seafarer who has never encountered a wind he could not harness or a woman he could not win—until he drags a wet, half-naked nursemaid out of the waters off the Irish coast. Ellie’s ordinary appearance belies the truth: She is in fact Lady Elyne de Burgh, the spirited daughter of the most powerful noble in Ireland. Worse, this irresistible woman is determined to prove herself immune to Erik’s charms—a challenge he cannot resist.

Her captor may look every inch a rugged warrior, but Ellie vows that it will take more than a wickedly suggestive caress to impress her. Yet Erik will sweep away Ellie’s resistance with a desire that resonates deep within her heart. Still, he is a man driven by loyalty, and she is a woman with secrets that could jeopardize Bruce’s chance to reclaim his throne. As the battle for king and country sounds across the shores, will Ellie’s love be enough to finally tame the legend known as the Hawk?

 

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Review: Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs

 

Cry Wolf
(Alpha & Omega, #1)
By: Patricia Briggs
Publisher: Ace
Published: July 29, 2008
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Rating:
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Anna never knew werewolves existed, until the night she survived a violent attack… and became one herself. After three years at the bottom of the pack, she’d learned to keep her head down and never, ever trust dominant males. Then Charles Cornick, the enforcer- and son- of the leader of the North American werewolves, came into her life.

Charles insists that not only is Anna his mate, but she is also a rare and valued Omega wolf. And it is Anna’s inner strength and calming presence that will prove invaluable as she and Charles go on the hunt in search of a rogue werewolf- a creature bound in magic so dark that it could threaten all of the pack.

 

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