January 31, 2009

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Back Cover Copy:
Bound by blood, addicted to danger, they'll enter the darkest - and most erotic - place of all.

A warrior trained in bullets and blades, Renata cannot be bested by any man - vampire or mortal. But her most powerful weapon is her extraordinary psychic ability - a gift both rare and deadly. Now a stranger threatens her hard-won independence - a golden-haired vampire who lures her into a realm of darkness and pleasure beyond imagining.

A combat-loving adrenaline junkie, Nikolai dispenses his own justice to enemies of the Breed - and his latest quarry is a ruthless assassin. One woman stands in his way: the seductive, cool-as-ice bodyguard, Renata. But Renata's powers are put to the test when a loved one, a child, is threatened and she's forced to turn to Niko for help. As the two join forces, as desire fans the flames of a deeper hunger, Renata's life is under siege by a man who offers the exquisite pleasure of a blood bond - and a passion that could save or doom them both forever...


The battle has intensified...Where the Order was first butting heads with the Rogues, vampires lost to the bloodlust, now it has been thrown into a more complicated battle with significantly higher stakes and an even more ruthless enemy who has been killing Gene One vampires (first generation Breeds) and creating a new army of vampires to take over the world. And in the midst of this intensified battle Nikolai, a member of the Order, is sent to Canada on a mission to warn a specific Gen One, Sergei Yakut, who is on the hit list and secure him as an ally for the Order. But when Yakut refuses to adhere to any warning or request and is betrayed and killed unexpectedly by one of his own it becomes a mission with ultimately a very different outcome than anticipated. A mission that involves not only the capture of Niko by one of the enemies and the abduction of a young Breedmate with an extraordinary talent but also new and unlikely alliances and a blood bonded romance between Niko and Renata, one of Yakut's personal guards.

Renata is sharp, lethal, courageous and stubborn. She lives one day at the time and has learned to be suspicious and depend on her instincts. Her Breedmate ability is to disable Breeds with a mental blast. But this ability is not without consequences on her.
Niko(lai) is cool as ice, nothing seems to bother him and he lives for action. He is protective, compassionate and laid-back but at the same time he's lethal and analytical with an exceptional Breed talent, inherited from his mother.

Wow, Renata was some heroine. She's a true female warrior. Hardened by the far from easy life she's had to lead. Unlike the previous heroines she is right in the center of the action. She's familiar with battle and fighting.
And Niko, I was drawn to his character from the first moment he appeared in the series and I must say I loved the story that Lara Adrian gave him. Not only his romance with perfectly matched Renata, but also the plots, both continuing and new, surrounding his love story.

I can't say this enough but with every book the plots get better and better. It's getting more and more intricate and Lara Adrian keeps adding surprising revelations and new questions to the mix. Both new and familiar/known players enter the battle and are set in place for the future. There are enough hints to where things seem to be going and I stress the word "seem" because with Lara Adrian you never know. Just when you think you have it figured out she throws something new and puzzling at you and you're back wondering what the plot is going to bring next. She has created a world that is expanded with every new book that is released.

I was completely mesmerized by this 5th book in the Midnight Breed series. Lara Adrian hit the right notes with me on everything: the plot, the romance, and the characters. She also manages give each individual book its own uniqueness and still holds on to the continuity of the ongoing plot.
With this book it was like coming home again and reveling in this amazing world of vampire warriors, their mates, their enemies, their allies and their battle to save both their own and the human world.

Lara Adrian’s Midnight Breeds-world can easily compete with the established order of authors in the paranormal, vampire romance genre. She distinguishes herself with an excellent blend of a perfect story arc that continues and gets more elaborate, great characters with depth and believable development and strong romances that appeals to every reader who has a romantic streak.


Quotes:
And deeper still, in a place that was all woman, with needs and wants she hardly dared to examine too closely, she craved a taste of Nikolai. She craved that more than she had a right to.

She could still taste his blood on her tongue, sweet and wild and dark, an electric tingle that spread all through her and lit her up from within.

He had his methods down pat: Deflect with humor. Disarm with nonchalance. Cut and run like hell at the first inkling of his own vulnerability.




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January 21, 2009
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Back Cover:
...The strongest bonds are the ones unseen.
Businesswoman Skylar Ellison is firmly in control of her life. So getting tangled up with a sexy Wyoming cowboy—and conceiving a baby in the parking lot of a honky-tonk—wasn’t in her plan. Since it appears the daddy has taken off for greener pastures, the only thing to do is pull up her bootstraps and carry on alone.
Cattle rancher Kade McKay returns home after a year on the range, and is knocked for a loop when he learns he’s the father of a three-month-old baby girl. When Skylar refuses to marry him, Kade grits his teeth, moves in and plays house by her rules to prove he’s a man in for the long haul.

Despite Skylar’s insistence they are to remain strictly parenting partners, their old passions flare hot as a brush fire, spurring Kade to demand absolute sexual surrender from the headstrong woman. Skylar willingly submits her body to the hot-blooded cowboy but she’s leery of handing Kade the reins to her heart. Can Kade convince Skylar the wicked sex games aren’t a temporary distraction? Or will he have to bust out the ropes to show her he wants to be tied to her…forever?

Warning: this book contains: no holes barred kinky sex scenes, wicked rope play, blunt language, and yowza! lots of hot cowboy nekkidness.


Skylar Ellison ends up pregnant after one encounter with Kade McKay whom she had believed was his twin brother Kane the whole time they were dating. Misunderstandings and tragedies in Kade's family are the cause that Kade only finds out he has a daughter when she's 3 months old already. He doesn't hesitate for a moment and asks Skylar to marry him, but she refuses. When he decides to move in with her to get to know his daughter and be there for her, Skylar can't refuse, but Kade does not only win his daughter's heart, in the process he also makes Skylar realize that despite the misunderstandings in the past he is the right and only man for her.

I loved Skylar and Kade. Even if the book isn't the most intense one up till now, they are my favorite characters so far. Kade is so cute with his daughter Eliza. From the moment he finds out he's a father he is a true hands-on daddy.
Skylar's insecurities and her need to be in control of everything do have a straining effect on the relationship at first. It is understandable though because she has her reasons for wanting control and tempering her past impulsive behavior. Lorelei James' strong character development shows best in Skylar in this book.

A case of mistaken identity, forgetting protection in the throws of passion, a stubborn businesswoman and a tenacious cowboy are the elements of another great book by Lorelei James. It's filled with control-issues, difficult pasts and sibling relationships

Again I truly enjoyed this book in the series. Even though it is very different from the previous books and seems a bit more sedated and less intense, especially in the first half of the book. The strong emotions are still there. The standard sexual themes that were in all previous books weren't all represented in this one.

The sexual play only included bondage and one-on-one in all positions imaginable, but no multiple partners or male action in this installment. This didn't influence my wonderful reading experience with the book because these subjects wouldn't have fitted with the rest of the book and the story of Skylar and Kade.

Lorelei James is not afraid to touch subjects in her book that aren't cut-and-dry simple, and I'm not just talking about sexual subjects. She delves into emotional issues and dilemmas as well. Next to the emotional stuff, she is also able to capture the funny moments in life so I went from laughing-out-loud to teary-eyed numerous times while reading.

As with the other books in this series, the book isn't just about the leading couple. It's about two whole families, the McKays and the Wests, with all their complications, troubles, happy moments and tragedies. And next to the great family dynamics and the main characters' relationship the story is sprinkled with knowledge of rodeo and ranching. Contrary to the book before this one the rodeo theme did appear again, even if it wasn't a big part.

I'm still addicted to Lorelei James' writing and with this book she proves again that she can vary with themes, storylines and emotional issues, providing a variation so it never becomes boring or repetitive to read the books back-to-back.


Quotes:
Mercy. She was all curves: hips, ass, thighs, and breasts. He loved women who looked like women and not a skeleton with skin.

Kade kissed her in a brutal show of male possession, of frustration, of absolute pure animal attraction, of a man choosing his mate and marking her his.

“Why are you doing this?”
“Because I can.” He zigzagged his tongue up the column of her throat and blew softly on the wetness just to have her trembling in his arms. “Because you are as temptin’ as sin. Because you’re beautiful. Because this is how I see you. In my head. In the dark. In the flesh. So when I f**k you every way my sex-addled brain can dream up, you’ll know I wasn’t kiddin’ about how hot you can make me burn.”


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January 19, 2009
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Back Cover:
...Ridin’ the edge of lust is fun—until someone falls in love.
Goody-two boots AJ Foster has waited her entire life for her dream cowboy Cord McKay to see her as more than the neighbor girl in pigtails. Now that she’s old enough to stake her claim on him, she’s pulling out all the sexual stops and riding hell-bent for leather—straight for his libido.
Divorced rancher Cord has sworn off all women…until innocent AJ suggests he teach her how to ride bareback—and he realizes she doesn’t mean horses or bulls. Between his responsibilities running his massive ranch, missing his young son and dealing with the sexual shenanigans of his brother and cousins, Cord is more than willing to take AJ up on her offer. On a trial basis.

The fun and games tie them both up in knots. AJ isn’t willing to settle for less than the whole shootin’ match with her western knight. But for Cord, even though the sexy cowgirl sets his blood ablaze, he’s determined to resist her efforts to lasso his battered heart. Sweet, determined AJ has the power to heal—or heel—the gruff cowboy…unless Cord’s pride keeps him from admitting their relationship is more than a simple roll in the hay.

Warning: this book contains: raunchy sex scenes that’ll work you into a lather faster than a winded horse, graphic language, resourceful use of baling twine, ménage a trois, ménage a quatage, and yippee! hot nekkid lovin'.


AJ (Amy Jo) Foster has had a crush on Cord McKay, who is thirteen years her senior, since she was 5 years old. After years of admiring him from the sidelines, watching him get married, father a son, get divorced and babysitting his son, now that AJ is twenty-two she's decided she's waited long enough for him to notice her and she makes a bold move by seducing him into a sexual relationship with her. Cord doesn't know what hits him when AJ makes him a proposition he can't refuse and so they embark on a relationship that ends up way different than he had envisioned.

AJ is a twenty-two-year-old who is wise beyond her years. She has dealt with responsibility at a very young age, being a child of elderly parents. This has always been of great impact on the way she lives her life. Combined with her air of innocence it makes her an intriguing character that's easy to relate to. She is smart-mouthed and has a fiery sense of humor.

Cord is gruff and brooding and has had it with women, after a failed marriage and a non-pleasant divorce. His only preoccupation is his son Ky and he certainly is done with love and women. But AJ blindsides him and before he knows what hit him he's involved with a headstrong and seductive woman he can't get out of his mind.

Like in the previous books there are many secondary characters, mostly former heroes and heroines (Colby/Channing, Carter/Macie and Cash/Gemma) giving peeks into their lives as a couple. There's also a small side story about Kade McKay, he a cousin of this branch of the McKays and the hero of the next book. I've also finished that book but his story starts in this one. And a promising start it is.

The dynamics and relations between the McKay siblings and their cousins are deepened out more in each next installment and this one wasn't different. It is the reason the amount of secondary characters is never bothersome and doesn’t take away the focus from the main couple. Arguments and talks between Cord, Colt, Colby, Kane and Kade are additions to their character developments and their backgrounds. Lorelei James does this in an excellent way, giving the books depth to go along with the hot sex and creating well-rounded characters with an extensive background.

She doesn't back away from heavy themes as alcoholism and escaping into self-sabotaging behavior. There was some less light-hearted stuff going on in this book, such as the death of a secondary character, that gave this book a different but welcome kind of intensity compared to the other books

This is the story of the oldest McKay brother and it was just as good as the previous one that was of the youngest (Carter). Lorelei James offers a totally different story from the previous books still containing all the great elements the other books also had: true emotions, conflicts and hot, explicit love scenes. And of course a nice warm-up for the next book with some enticing scenes.

She is great in combining several plotlines that don't seem to be connected into a coherent overall picture, all the while providing intensity, sexuality and emotions, strengthening the bonds and relations both the romantic and the non-romantic ones. Each next book gives me a look deeper into the dynamics of a family and I'm liking that even more than the scorching sex scenes.

Of course again the ending was marked with what, for me, is becoming a Lorelei James trademark: the heart wrenching emotions, this time with a few tragedies added to it. But ultimately with a happy end that was so romantic it made my heart hurt, but in a very good way.

Even though the sexual themes of male/male action, bondage and mild spanking seem to be recurring in every book, every couple gives them a new and refreshing vibe. James is good at providing unique and independent installments and still keeping it a tight-knit series as a whole. This deserves my praise because the danger of becoming repetitive and the books becoming interchangeable is right around the corner.

I know most addictions are bad, but my addiction to Lorelei James’ books is one I'm not willing to part with. She can keep these books coming for a long time because I'm enjoying them something fierce and I'm not willing to let this habit go yet.


Quotes:
Oh man. Just looking at him made her melt. What would it be like to touch him? Feel that rough skin all over hers?

He took her mouth like he wanted to take her body—a slow build up, then wham! A no-holds-barred, hot, wet, hard swamping of her senses until she couldn’t breathe.

She melted. The feeling of rightness, of inevitability, flowed over as sweetly as it had when she’d been a young girl. But unlike then, she now knew real, true love earned through trial and error was better than any one-sided fairy tale love from afar.


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January 17, 2009
I reviewed this book for ROOB at the request of the author,

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Back Cover:
Long ago, as revenge on a Corwin who stole her son's fiancée, a witch proclaimed an eternal curse that every Corwin male who married for love would be destined to lose his love and his fortune ...
Derek thought he could outsmart the long-standing Corwin curse by breaking up with Gabrielle, his first love— and marrying someone else. Now, divorced and broke, all he has left is his teenage daughter and a healthy respect for ancient sorcery. But then Gabrielle returns, determined to defeat the curse and rekindle their passion. But will her stubborn streak and her unwavering love be the lucky charm Derek so desperately needs?


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The Corwins, the male Corwins to be specific, have been haunted by a centuries-old curse, cast by a spurned woman, ever since they can remember. Derek Corwin is convinced this curse is the cause for his luck being on the downfall, both romantically and financially, now that he is divorced and left almost penniless. After all, hasn't the curse affected all his male forefathers and all his current male relatives?

Gabrielle Donovan, Derek's high school sweetheart and the love of his life he let go for fear of the curse, is convinced there is no curse. It all comes down to the power of suggestion and bad luck and she's determined to prove to Derek that they have a future together that won't be ruined by some non-existing curse.

Derek is honorable, strong and proud. Despite his otherwise rational and sensible look on life, his belief in the curse is something that clashes with that but still, given his personal and family history it's not hard to imagine where his belief and fears come from. His relationship with his 11-year old daughter Holly is heartwarming and genuine. The scenes with her gave me a look into a caring father, willing to put his daughter's needs before his own. The scenes with Gabrielle showed me another Derek, a man any women would fall for willingly, cursed or not.

Gabrielle is a delightful heroine. She's feisty, stubborn and filled with a healthy zest for life but she also knows when to back down and let reason slip into the equation. She is loyal and compassionate. She has tried to forget Derek and move on but deep inside she knows she can't forget the only man she has ever loved and she owes it to both of them to give their love a second chance.

Both Derek and Gabrielle are wonderful characters. The romance between them is hot. The attraction between them is sensual and unmistakable. The love scenes are spine tingling and there's no other way to describe them than that they're red-hot!

The secondary cast was quite extensive but more in description and background than in actual participating in the storyline. Most secondary characters were to create a background for Gabrielle and Derek. There were a few who had a bigger part in the plot, such as Sharon (Gabrielle's best friend) and her fiancé Richard. They had a small secondary storyline that very smoothly and fluently connected with the main plot in the end. Another important role was reserved for Derek's daughter Holly, a great 11 year-old with normal pre-teen issues. When tension would run up between Gabrielle and Derek or when the storyline would get intense, her character always offered a happy and bubbly accent to serve as a distraction. I loved Holly!

This first book in the LUCKY trilogy has whetted my appetite for more of the Corwin men and this curse they think they have to conquer. I enjoyed every minute of reading this book. It was fun, emotional, charming and down-to-earth. Carly Phillips writing style is easy to read, smooth and fast-paced. I finished the book before I knew it and that was also because I just couldn't put it away. Every time I did, I wanted to go right back to Derek and Gabrielle and find out how they would conquer the curse.

Throughout the book I was wondering how Gabrielle was going to make Derek put the curse aside because as determined as Gabrielle was to do so, Derek was just as fixed on shielding their love and protecting her from the Corwin curse. But in the end the solution to it was brought in a realistic, satisfying and believable way.
I liked how Carly Phillips set up the plot and imbedded themes as power of suggestion, manipulation and hunger for power into it. It was an excellent mix of characters, plot and romance that fitted very well together.

The romance was heartwarming and genuine. The characters were easy to relate to and identify with. The plot was suspenseful, well paced and believable. The love scenes were luscious and sultry. It was the combination of this all that made this book a noteworthy contemporary romance for me. One I will treasure on my bookshelves and now I am dying to read how Derek's cousins, Mike and Jason, are going to deal with the curse and the women who are going to break it.

All things put together Carly Phillips has provided a book, and hopefully a trilogy that entertains, endears and arouses. What more could you wish for in a contemporary romance? I would say not a thing, because my needs were all met and satisfied in a perfect and gratifying read.


Quote:
In her dreams, he was always the boy she'd lost. But now she was facing the man -a sexy man wearing nothing but short black boxers.


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January 13, 2009
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Back Cover:
...Workin’ up a hot, sticky sweat is pure pleasure with a hard-ridin’ cowboy…or two.

Struggling stock contractor Gemma Jansen swallows her pride and tracks down circuit rider Cash Big Crow to offer him a job managing her ranch. Cash agrees on one condition: theirs won’t be strictly a working relationship. She’s the boss during the day, but once she’s corralled in the bedroom, Cash calls the shots. Despite concerns about their age difference, Gemma consents. Cash suspects the sexy widow hides an untapped wild streak. He intends to loosen her tightly held reins of control—even if he has to break out his horsewhip to do it.

But Cash is in for a surprise. Gemma proves a rough and ready participant in any leather-n-lace game Cash dreams up. Between riding herd on his wayward daughter, Macie, and rowdy cowboy Carter McKay doggin’ Macie’s every boot step, Cash struggles to hide his true feelings for Gemma – except this time, Gemma’s grabbed the bull by the horns and she’s playing for keeps. Summer’s going to be a hot one at the Bar 9.

Warning: this book contains: explicit sex nine ways ‘til Sunday – including ménage a trois, inventive use of ropes, naughty girls getting spanked, stubborn men getting hog-tied, graphic language and whoo-wee! hot nekkid cowboy action.


After her husband's death Gemma Jansen has been trying to continue his rodeo-stock contracting business but with the ol' boy mentality on the rodeo circuit it's hard for a woman so she decides to concentrate on managing her ranch. She needs a foreman on the ranch and decides to ask Cash Big Crow for the job.
Cash has always had a thing for Gemma but she turned him down a year ago when he tried to explore the attraction between them. Now he seizes the opportunity and he agrees to be Gemma's foreman on the condition that it will be more than a working relationship.
Cash and his daughter Macie Honeycutt had plans to spend the summer traveling together but now with the job on Gemma's ranch he has to change their plans. Macie decides to spend the summer there too and she meets Carter McKay, the youngest McKay brother and the sparks fly from the moment they lay eyes on each other. It turns out to be a summer that will change four lives in ways they never could have imagined.

Gemma is a widow who's sensible, independent and knows what she wants in life. She has a bit of complex about her age and that leads to insecurity sometimes but still she's no lady to mess with. She knows Cash is the man for her but she lets unimportant things get in the way, and discovers things aren't so complicated when she lets go of her inhibitions.
Cash is a bit more complicated than Gemma. He has a strained relationship with his daughter because of his absence when she was growing up. To compensate he is very protective of Macie now and that creates even more tension between them. He's bossy and bold but when it comes to Gemma he hides his true feelings behind sexual dominance, in fear of her rejection.

Macie is something else. She is headstrong, smart-mouthed and feisty. She grew up with her mother because who had nothing good to say about her father and the non-existent relationship with her father has had a lot of impact on her self-esteem and her relationships with men. She is distant with them, never letting down her guard.
Carter seems a sweet-talking, laid-back kind of guy but beneath that exterior is a very complex man. He has always felt the misfit of the McKay and underfoot at the family ranch for being different. He didn't have ranching aspirations but went to college to get a degree in art. He is the artist of the McKay family and as with many artists he has the artistic temper to go with it. He may seem different than his brothers but deep down the McKay blood runs deep and wild when it comes to sex and sensuality.

Colby and Channing from book 1 show up and it was nice seeing them again. But there were also some less important but no less intriguing secondary characters such as the McKay sister Keely and Jack Donohue who's Carter's best friend. Trevor from book one had an important role in Cash and Gemma's story and he too is fleshed out some more. I can't wait to get his full story.
With two couples and this many supporting characters you would think things could get too crowded but this wasn't the case. The two stories had to be told in one book because of the connections between the main characters and the secondary cast complemented them just perfectly.

In this book there are 2 main couples. The lives of these 4 characters are entwined and therefore the book consists of two individual love stories that are linked together by familial and working relations. One story is that of Gemma and Cash. The other is that of Cash's daughter Macie and Gemma's part-time ranch hand Carter. Both relationships are laced with complications, complexes and insecurities. But the sexual attraction is also very strong. It was amazing to read the different nuances in the love scenes between Gemma/Cash and Macie/Carter.
Lorelei James managed to capture the difference between sexuality at a later, more mature stage in life and sexuality in the prime of your life, young and still without too many emotional hang-ups. The dynamics between Carter and Macie were very different from those between Gemma and Cash and still both couples had an intense emotional romance spiced with hot and kinky love scenes.

Lorelei James writes characters that are fleshed out extensively, creating a foundation for the reader to get to know them thoroughly and in doing so, having no trouble relating to them and sympathizing with them. Little by little you get to know their life stories, their background and you understand their decisions they have made and are making. In this book all four main characters start out with their guards way up because of different reasons and bit by bit they open up to the ones they care about. It builds and builds towards an ending that was heartbreaking for both couples but all their conflicts get resolved and they come out of it stronger and happier. The writing is both emotional and playful containing quick-witted bantering that alternates with deep emotional outbursts.

As said, with RODE HARD, PUT UP WET you get two-for-one. They both formed the primary storyline instead of one being the main love story and the other the secondary romance. I loved it. It was an intricate, layered erotic romance, focusing not only on the romantic and sexual relationships but also on a complicated and strained father/daughter relationship and the struggles of a family member who feels left out and underfoot because he’s different from his brothers. It's about true romance, passionate love and hot bed play, though the bed seems to be optional in Lorelei James' work.

In this book there isn't much information about rodeo but plenty of ranching and art. There's more information and background on the McKay siblings of which there are 6. Five brothers (Cord, Colby, Colt, Cameron and Carter) and a baby sister Keely. They all have their specific personalities and quirks and now that I've got two of them down I can't wait for the other four to follow.

Lorelei James is an artist within the erotica genre. With this second book of the Rough Riders she again gave me the perfect mix of what I want erotica: sex and emotions. Her books are so much more than a few raunchy love scenes linked together by a love story. They are intense romances and interpersonal relationships, laced with some delicious and explicit sex scenes.
Emotional and intense scenes that provide in depth exploration of the character and their backgrounds are alternated with flaming sex scenes in which themes as male/male action, mild spanking and threesomes aren't left untouched and they are as tasteful as they are hot.


Quotes:
The way he was looking at her made her feel like she’d suddenly developed a case of sunstroke. No man ever acted like he wanted to crawl inside her head, mark her soul his and claim her body as his own.

When he stood in front of her, he curled his hands around her head and slanted his mouth over hers. He kissed her like she was air, like she was food, like she was everything. Damn him.


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January 10, 2009
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Back Cover:
Wulfson of Trevelyn, trusted knight of William the Conqueror, has never met a man he could not master. But in the tempestuous young widow Tarian of Trent, known as the Lady Warrior, Wulf may finally have met his match. Ordered by the king to eliminate her traitorous bloodline, Wulf captures the lady but hesitates to execute his orders, falling captive himself to her seductive dark beauty.

To Lady Tarian’s dismay, neither her fighting spirit nor her wiles are sufficient to bend Wulfson completely to her will. As she and Wulfson try to stay one step ahead of the angered King, Tarian vows she will not be the loser in their passionate battle, but her own desire for this overpowering stranger threatens not only her body, and her heart, but both of their lives.


King William the Conqueror wants Tarian Godwinson dead and sends his Blood Swords, led by Wulfson of Trevelyn, to kill her in order to protect his kingdom from future threats. When Wulfson arrives at her stronghold, she's been held captive by her dead husband's uncle who is forcing her to marry him for selfish and inappropriate reasons. Wulfson is utterly intrigued by the little lady warrior and soon he is torn between his loyalty and duty to his king and his feelings for the only woman who has ever made him feel and think twice about his given orders.

Because of her heritage Tarian has learned at a young age to fend for herself both in the figurative sense as well as literally with a sword. When in a fight for her life she's left a widow, the vultures start to circle her. There a people who want her safe because of her bloodline, there are people who want her dead because of her bloodline and there are people who plain want her. Tarian soon discovers the motive for the Blood Swords being in her castle and Wulfson's order to kill her. She tries to use her wits to escape her faith, by trapping Wulfson but her plan backfires when she finds herself at his mercy and at the mercy of her powerful feelings for him.

Tarian is known as the lady warrior. She wields a sword like any man can and has stood by her former king and uncle in many battles against the Normans. She used to her hoyden life and no one has cared enough for her to keep her from it. She is willful, strong and proud. She relies only on herself, her nurse Edie and the captain of her guard Gareth. She's also resilient and tenacious. Whatever resistance or misfortune she encounters, she faces it with her clever thinking and her honed battle skills.

Wulfson is the captain of William's private guard, the Blood Swords. He is a seasoned warrior, capable of enduring battle and torture. He is commanding and merciless and up to his encounter with Tarian, he is cold and jaded. No woman ever had the ability to make him turn his head before, or care about her well-being.

There is an abundance in secondary characters, some of which have a bigger role than others. The most important roles are for the people surrounding Tarian, even though the Blood Swords also have a commanding presence in the story. I also got a little glimpse of Rohan, the hero of book 1, who was conveniently present to give Wulf some pointers on how to recognize the love of his life. There was one very irritating secondary character in the form of Tarian's deceased husband's uncle Rangor of Lerwick. He was the proverbial insect you keep swatting at, but refuses to die or go away.

Karin Tabke has once again thrown me in the medieval era with another compelling and rich read. This time in the midst of the intriguing schemes of the Normans, Saxons and Welsh, with a splendid combination of romance and history. She is very consequent in the use of language and very thorough in the historical details. This creates a realistic historical vibe without taking away the reading pace or the intensity of the romance. She not only gave me lifelike historical fiction, but she also gave me a wonderful, heartrending love story that was very unique compared to other Norman/Saxon love stories I have read.

And Karin Tabke knows her love scenes. They are pretty hot and explicit but still they match the rest of the book and the time-period perfectly. They were a true addition to the whole, completing the romance and fitting in with the historical plot. The chemistry between Wulf and Tarian is there from the beginning, but she builds up the tension gradually both sexually and emotionally. They grow into their relationship and deal with the dilemmas they have to face in giving into the feelings between them. This all without losing the traits of their personalities that make them who they are.

I liked this book even more than I did MASTER OF SURRENDER and I think that's partly because of Tarian's character. She is the driving force of this book, taking every situation in stride and making decisions to save herself even if they don't make her happy. She never takes the easy way out and fights for her freedom. The combination of her with Wulf in my opinion was a stronger one than the one of Rohan and Isabel. Also, partly because the plot arc in MASTER OF TORMENT is just that bit more conflicted to make it a rather troublesome journey and we all know satisfaction is better when the effort, to get to it, is greater.

Even when you are very familiar with medieval history, be it from non-fiction or from other historical romance novels, in this second installment of the Blood Sword Legacy series Karin Tabke has provided a refreshing read. It's a rich, action-filled and fast-paced story full of historical details, a story of loyalty, alliances and betrayal. It's also a love story between two adversaries that's full of dilemma and difficulty, laced with the longing for freedom and independence.

And so another member of William the Conqueror’s elite death squad meets his match in battle and love. I enjoyed it immensely and am anxiously awaiting the next Blood Sword to meet his match.


Quotes:
He made her body sizzle and burn as his fingers and lips tortured her flesh. He pushed her to a place she had never imagined, and though she felt as if she stood on the edge of a precipice and wanted to jump off and fly with the eagles, she hung there suspended by wild intense longing.

Wulf to Tarian: "Methinks you are but a hissing kitten with only sharp claws to do her bidding. You will find we Norman dogs digest kittens to break the fast.


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January 9, 2009
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...One lucky woman…three sexy cowboys…she’s in for the ride of her life!..

Channing Kinkaid itches for a change; a wild western adventure with an untamed man. Determined to shed her inhibitions and embrace the steamier, seamier side of life, she sets her sights on hooking up with a real chaps-and-spurs-wearing cowboy. Enter Colby McKay—bull rider, saddle bronc buster and calf roper. From the moment he sets lust-filled eyes on the sweet and fiery Channing, he knows he’s found the woman who’s up to the challenge of cutting loose. What rough and rowdy cowboy could resist a no-holds-barred sexual romp with a sassy young thing starring as his personal buckle bunny?

Intrigued by Channing’s bold proposition of horsing around on the road, Colby impulsively sweetens the deal; sexual escapades not only in his bed, but in the bedrolls of his rodeo traveling partners, Trevor and Edgard. Although Channing’s secretly longed to be the sole focus of more than one man’s passions, Colby’s demand for complete submission behind closed doors will test her willful nature. Can Channing give up total control? Especially when not all is as it seems with the sexy trio? Or will the cowboys have to break out the bullropes and piggin’ string to break in this headstrong filly?

Warning: This title contains the following: lots of explicit sex, going strong long after the cows come home, graphic language that’d make your mama blush, light bondage with bullropes, ménage a trois, and – yee-haw! – hot nekkid cowboy man-love.


When Channing Kinkaid finds out the rodeo cowboy she run away with is married, she leaves him and takes up the offer of the intriguing Colby McKay, the "king" of the rodeo circuit, to join him and his buddies, also known as the bad boys of the circuit, for a week as their buckle bunny.
For Channing a secret dream comes true when she goes on a trip to fulfill her every sexual fantasy but she does not only that, she also finds her true self, and love and a future with Colby McKay. For Colby the trip is an eye-opener too; for the first time in his life he wants to commit to one woman, and one woman only: Channing Kinkaid.

Channing is sassy, self-reliant and a spitfire. She is adventurous, rebellious and headstrong. But she's also yearning for acceptance, to belong somewhere. She has always felt unaccepted by her parents and her environment. Even when she tried to please them at the expense of her own happiness. She never had the feeling she fit in.
Colby is a true cowboy, smooth, charming and a sweet-talker. But he's also direct and dominant, both in and out of bed. His sudden strong feelings towards Channing take him by surprise and he doesn't handle admitting to them quite that subtle.
The chemistry between Colby and Channing is off the scale. It's clear from the beginning that there's more between them than just a romp in the hay, so to speak.

If you're not into explicit erotica that contains subjects as threesomes, male-on-male action and bondage this book is not for you. I found it hot and steamy, keeping the sexual tension at a high throughout the whole book. It never died down and kept me in a continued state of sensual bliss and for me it al worked and clicked together. The erotic steaminess and the genuine emotions between not only the main characters but also between important secondary characters were blended together in a smooth and fluent way. Lorelei James manages to make the scenes (both erotic and other) very intense but playful at the same time. It definitely isn't dime-a-dozen erotica.

It's a layered, steamy erotic romance with enough depth and emotion to it to enthrall and entice me. It kept drawing my attention to it every moment I stopped reading until I read the very last satisfying word. The combination of hot sex, genuine feelings and conflicts, humor, rodeo-action and multiple little storylines hinting at future stories was one that hit the mark with me. Even the male-on-male action did something to me. It was my first taste of it and I wasn’t expecting it but Lorelei James brought it in a very tasteful and functional way, easing me into the accepting and embracing it fully. Not that I'm rushing out now to buy gay romance but within this story it worked for me.
All elements blended together perfectly. There wasn't a single moment where the erotica took over. It matched flawlessly with the story around it. The emotions were build up throughout the story to a peak at the end that was just heart wrenching, bringing tears to my eyes, seeing the struggles of two people who love each other but are afraid to make the jump of putting their hearts in each others' hands.

Lorelei James took me on a tour of the Wild West through Oklahoma, Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming and on the way I learned a lot about rodeo, stock and cowboys. She did the nearly impossible here, making me read about cowboys and I can honestly say her writing is the only reason I'm letting western-themed books on to my reading list. Anyone who knows me, and my preferences in regard to romance, knows that that is the one theme that has never made it to my collection. Now thanks to Lorelei James' red-hot Rough Riders I've found me some cowboys to keep.

With LONG HARD RIDE Lorelei James delivers a story that is as graphic as it is emotional. It is fiercely erotic and at the same time it has the depth I look for in the books I read. To sum it up: This is unadulterated erotica with the best to offer in terms of both emotional romance and scorching sex scenes.


Quotes:
“I like your fire. A woman like you could burn a man up. And I’d enjoy every hot second as I went down in flames.”

Colby kissed her, not like he wanted to devour her, but with pureness. Gentleness. With his heart and soul wide open. (...) She drank him in and filled him back up, sharing, drowning in everything they freely gave to each other.


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January 5, 2009
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He's an ex-cop. She's an ex-wife. And they're both out for revenge on the same man....

When pampered former cheerleader Feenie Malone takes a job writing fluff pieces for her South Texas paper, she has no idea she's about to stumble into a juicy news story that could launch her career -- if it doesn't get her killed first. Almost as soon as she breaks out her press pass, she crosses paths with Marco Juarez, the macho PI obsessed with solving his sister's murder. The information he has might be the perfect lead -- but his dangerously sexy looks could be a deadly distraction.

Juarez has zero patience for reporters, especially mouthy blond ones. But with the evidence pointing to Feenie's ex-husband, Marco thinks she could be useful. Confident he can keep her on a tight leash, he lets her in on his investigation. He quickly discovers he's underestimated his new partner, as well as the danger they both face. Now he must protect her -- to the very last breath...


A cheating ex-husband and a disappeared, murdered sister seem to be two things that have nothing in common. This changes when the journalist ex-wife and the former detective turned PI brother join forces to get to the bottom of what is going on. Marco Juarez and Feenie Malone soon find out that their problems are linked in a way they couldn't have dreamed up. In their search for the truth, they fall in love and it's a long road to closure and happiness.

Marco is a typical ex-cop. He is rugged, determined, purposeful and a bit bossy. The loss of his sister has left him full of guilt towards her and the rest of his family, which is why he dugs his heels into the investigation of her disappearance and doesn’t let go until he has found answers and exacted his revenge. He has this protective streak that is heartwarming.

Feenie may appear the proverbial dumb and naive blond at first glance but that's just outer appearance. She is smart and has her mouth ready. Her appearance hides an intelligent woman who won't let misfortune get her down. She has an impulsive, defiant streak that could drive any man crazy.

My first encounter with Laura Griffin's work was last year through an ARC for ROOB (THREAD OF FEAR). I liked that book so much that it led me into buying all of Laura Griffin's available books immediately. ONE LAST BREATH has proved that I won't regret that decision for a second. The focus is again on the suspense and the romance is imbedded into the story in a very subtle way. Griffin has a way of writing such compelling suspense with a carefully set up plot that I don't miss the explicit love scenes I do need in other romance novels. This doesn't mean that there aren't any romantic scenes in the book, there are a few and they are great. The romance and attraction between Feenie and Marco is genuine and has a very realistic feel to it. It doesn't feel forced in any way. It's there; it's just not the focal point of the book. Anything else wouldn't fit the total package and vibe of the book. The book is about the suspense and the romance is a nice added bonus.

I love Griffin's writing. It's extensive without taking away suspense or pace. It's descriptive without being repetitive. She describes procedures, action sequences, fights, weapons and other elements that go with romantic suspense without getting to technical and still gave me the feeling I had knowledge of what she was writing about.

Her writing has a way of pulling you into the story, unable to let it go. You become invested in the characters and the plot, wanting everything to work out in the end both romantically and plot wise. In this book she wrote a suspense-plot that was set up in a way that had me wondering what the outcome would be, who was behind everything and what their motives were. Secondary to the amazing suspense story is the romance between her characters. You become involved in the main couple' life. They are everyday people, with everyday problems. You follow them from discovering their feelings for each other, through the acting on those feelings, to the acceptance and acknowledgement of their mutual love. This all against a background formed by the nail biting suspense-plot that is put together excellently.

I also like the way Griffin connects her books to each other. In THREAD OF FEAR she prepared me for the next book of that series with some strategic and subtle scenes between the secondary characters who are the heroine and the hero of that next book. In ONE LAST BREATH she does the same with two secondary characters. I must admit that I have knowledge beforehand of who the next book’s main characters are because I already have it on my bookshelves, but even if I didn't know, the sparks flying between them in this book are a good indication. Needless to say I'm anxious to start in the next book, ONE WRONG STEP, soon.

Laura Griffin is definitely doing a great job of making her books indispensable on my bookshelves, giving me suspense that is so good I don't miss the heavy romance. For me her writing is the ultimate crimes-show episode poured into a book!


Quote:
Her nerves threatened to bubble over, so she sat on the edge of the bed and tried to get a grip. He watched her watching him take of his boots and jeans. It occurred to her that she should be doing something right now, something sensual and alluring, but her mind drew a complete blank. All she could do was stare at him and feel her blood rush.


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January 4, 2009
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It's hell to be a dragon enslaved. Arys, a powerful silver dragon in human form, is bound to a witch who uses his magic and his body to pleasure her in every way imaginable. When Arys spies Naida, a young woman just coming into her powers, watching Arys performing erotic acts with the witch, he knows that Naida is the key to his freedom.
First he must convince Naida she's his true mate and that the power of their sexual play, and her love, will release him.


There isn't much to tell about the content of this story. Silver dragon Arys enslaved by a witch who holds his true name and therefore can compel him to do her bidding, the witch Clymenestra. This time when he's summoned from Dragonspace to provide her his blood for a spell, he encounters a maiden whose blood is also needed for the spell, Naida. Soon Arys knows that Naida is his life mate, the only one who can free him from his enslavement.

This extremely short novella is definitely set in the same world as Allyson James' books in the Here Be Dragons series and it loosely follows the same concept but that is where the comparison ends.
Significant differences in language use, eroticism and time period set this novella apart from the full-length books. The writing to me was less fluent and the use of language was understandably less modern because it took place in an undisclosed time period in the past and not in our modern day world. There is no real plot except for Clymenestra trying to steal Arys' power and Arys wanting to get out of his enslavement.

This story was much more erotic and that's not surprising considering the publisher is Ellora's Cave. The love scenes are very explicit and because of the lack of room for world building or character development and the fact that the love scenes take up most of the 32 pages the story counts, the eroticism is the focal point of the story.

I would not recommend this novella as a first encounter with Allyson James' work. Since I've read more of her work I have other books to compare it to, and it doesn't come close to the high quality, perfectly set up world of Dragons or the wonderful intriguing world of the Shareem. I read the story because it's set in the world of the Here Be Dragons series and would only tell people to read it in order to do the same but not to have a first taste of Allyson James' writing and definitely not if you're not open to erotica.


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January 1, 2009
DECEMBER
All Jacked Up (Lorelei James, ebk)
Shoulda Been a Cowboy (Lorelei James, ebk)
Highland Scoundrel (Monica McCarty)
Strong, Silent Type (Lorelei James, novella)
Turn it On (Vivian Arends, eARC)
The Darkest Angel (Gena Showalter, novella)
Luke (Cheyenne McCray)
The Billionaire's Bride of Innocence (Miranda Lee, cat)
Cavelli's Lost Heir (Lynn Raye Harris, cat., won ARC)
Crux (Moira Rogers, ebk, req.)
Lead Me On (Victoria Dahl, ARC)
Undercover (Lauren Dane)

NOVEMBER
Untraceable (Laura Griffin, req. ROOB)
Force of Nature (Kristina Cook, cat., ARC)
The Viking's Captive Princess (Michelle Styles, req. ROOB)
Hard to Hold (Stephanie Tyler, won ARC)
Taming the Beast (Heather Grothaus, ARC ROOB)

OCTOBER
Slave to Sensation (Nalini Singh)
Lucky Break (Carly Phillips)
Double Play (Jill Shalvis)
The Billionaire's Bride of Vengeance (Miranda Lee, cat)
Private Property (Leah Braemel, ebk)
Slow Hands (Leslie Kelly, cat)
Nobody's Baby But Mine (Susan E. Phillips)
Skin Game (Ava Gray, won ARC)

SEPTEMBER
Dark Lover (Brenda Joyce)
The Billionaire's Bride of Convenience (Miranda Lee, cat)
Silent Blade (Ilona Andrews, ebk)
Damned by Blood (Evie Byrne, ebk)
Highland Obsession (Dawn Halliday, req)
Virtually Hers (Gennita Low, eARC)
Sweet Seduction (Maya Banks, eARC)
Sweet Persuasion (Maya Banks)
Sweet Surrender (Maya Banks)
Royal's Bride (Kat Martin, req. ROOB)
Remembering Ashby (Heather Long, ebk)
The Darkest Whisper (Gena Showalter)
The Christmas Clock (Kat Martin, ARC ROOB)

AUGUST 
Lord of the Fading Lands (C.L. Wilson, rc09)
Branded As Trouble (Lorelei James, ebk)
To Romance a Charming Rogue (Nicole Jordan)
The Darkest Prison (Gena Showalter, ebk)
Speed Dating (Nancy Warren, ebk)
Lucky Streak (Carly Phillips)
Master of Craving (Karin Tabke) 

  JULY
Wolf Tales (Kate Douglas, rc09)
Start Me Up (Victoria Dahl)
Laid Bare (Lauren Dane, eARC)
Drawn in Blood (Andrea Kane, ARC ROOB)
Twisted (Andrea Kane)
Miss Firecracker (Lorelei James, ebk)

JUNE
Dark Magic (Cheyenne McCray)
Dear Sir, I'm Yours (Joely Sue Burkhart, ebk)
Don't Tell (Karen Rose)
Knock Me Off My Feet (Susan Donovan, rc09)
Atlantis Unleashed (Alyssa Day)
Ashes of Midnight (Lara Adrian)
The Wicked West (Victoria Dahl, ebk)

MAY
Whisper No Lies (Cindy Gerard)
To Beguile a Beast (Elizabeth Hoyt)
Called by Blood (Evie Byrne, ebk)
Primal Desires (Susan Sizemore, rc09)
Bound by Blood (Evie Byrne, ebk)
The Legend of the Werestag (Tessa Dare, ebk)
So Still the Night (Kim Lenox)
Talk Me Down (Victoria Dahl)
Lover Avenged (J.R. Ward)

APRIL
One Wrong Step (Laura Griffin)
The Naked Baron (Sally MacKenzie)
In the Flesh (Livia Dare, ARC ROOB)
Dream Warrior (Sherrilyn Kenyon)
The Naked Laird (Sally MacKenzie, novella)
The Unsung Hero (Suzanne Brockmann, rc09)
Not Quite a Husband (Sherry Thomas, ARC ROOB)
Never Dare a Duke (Gayle Callen)
The Amazon's Curse (Gena Showalter, ebk)
The Vampire's Bride (Gena Showalter)

MARCH
Highland Outlaw (Monica McCarty)
Dark Victory (Brenda Joyce)
Reno's Chance (Lora Leigh, novella)
Erotic Research (Mari Carr, ebk)
Immortals: The Reckoning (Ashley/Nash/Popp, ant)
Shadow of the Moon (Sherrilyn Kenyon, novella)
Impoverished Miss, Convenient Wife (Michelle Styles, ARC ROOB)
For the Love of Pete (Julia Harper)

FEBRUARY
Christmas Heat (Lora Leigh, novella)
Rough, Raw and Ready (Lorelei James, ebk) 
Highland Warrior (Monica McCarty)
Whisper of Warning (Laura Griffin, ARC ROOB)
Zack (Cheyenne McCray)
Shameless (Lora Leigh, ebk)

JANUARY
Dragonmagic (Allyson James, ebk)
One Last Breath (Laura Griffin)
Long Hard Ride (Lorelei James, ebk)
Master of Torment (Karin Tabke)
Rode Hard Put up Wet (Lorelei James, ebk)
Any Given Doomsday (Lori Handeland, req. ROOB)
Cowgirl Up and Ride (Lorelei James, ebk)
The Club (Sharon Page, ARC ROOB)
Tied Up, Tied Down (Lorelei James, ebk)
Veil of Midnight (Lara Adrian)
Embraced (Lora Leigh, ebk)
No Regrets (Shannon K. Butcher)

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2008 has been a truly crazy year in the personal department. It started with the aftermath of a very stressful end of 2007, with stress at the job; colleagues’ personal problems had its reflections on my well-being and to top it of a respiratory problem that had its nasty effects on my total health.
So to say the least 2008 didn't start very well for me. In May another blow came when I was told that my employment contract at my work of that time wouldn't be continued in 2009. Luckily they warned me well in time for me to start looking for a new job and that's exactly what I started doing in June. Vacation time made it difficult to find vacancies and I was starting to feel the pressure of not finding a job on time. I saw myself standing in the unemployment lines, holding my hand up for money. But I believe in karma and know deep down that when you do good things and try attribute to the world in a positive way, good things will happen to you too and things will work out satisfactory. And behold, in September I was invited to a job interview at an international organization and at the end of October I left my the old job and mid November I started at my current job where I'm having the time of my life and I'm actually grateful to my old boss for letting me go and forcing me to find another job. I now have a job that pays better in an international environment, that is closer to home and less stressful and that is a welcome challenge!

Fortunately contrary to my problematic professional life, my private life regarding family and friends has been great in 2008. My husband, friends and family really pulled me through the rough patches in the health and work departments. In January we celebrated the first birthday of my goddaughter. In May we went to Berlin with friends of ours and we had a blast! In August I had celebrated my 5-year wedding anniversary at the wedding of one of my best friends (my goddaughter's mother) and we had a wonderful day. My own birthday was celebrated twice, once with family and once with a very enjoyable High Tea together with my ROOB-girlfriends. Throughout the year we had wonderful dinners and days with friends and family, enjoying each other’s company, we had nephews and nieces on sleepovers that were both fun and frustrating (especially frustrating when your 5-year old nephew wakes you up at 3AM, 4AM, 5AM and 6AM). Still all these happy occasions certainly helped me get through the year.

But there was also the love and support from my other half. My husband is the one who is there for me through all my tantrums, tears and impatient raving and ranting about anything and everything and he is the one to show me that there are always brighter sides to all problems. His positivity and support is something I treasure and love him for. He is truly my rock through thick and thin. Even if he doesn’t understand my book addiction and doesn't share my passion for reading. I forgive him for that because even if he doesn't share it he doesn't restrict or impede me in any way *wicked grin*

But I've also come to know three amazing friends through my passion for romance novels: Ash, DM and Leontine! They are my partners in the book addiction because they understand the craving and they can relate to what books do to me. But they are also always there for me when I need to vent about anything in my personal life. We laugh, we have fun, we have serious talks and I think I've even cried with them. They were pillars of support during 2008 and I hope we'll have as much (preferably more!!) fun in the coming year. Thanks girls!!

And while my personal life was troublesome in 2008, the book addicted Pearl flourished! Honestly and thankfully the books really were a big help in escaping from reality now and then and leaving my troubles behind for a few enjoyable hours, hiding in wonderful stories of action, magic, suspense and emotions. Of course there were months were reading had to take the backseat, or when the readers' block kicked in, but overall 2008 was a great reading year. With lots of diversity as you can see in the overview 2008 post.

Disappointments were kept at a low because the only real ones I had were:
*Alyssa Day's third book, ATLANTIS UNLEASHED, in the Warriors of Poseidon Series was pushed forward to 2009
*Lisa Valdez’ PATIENCE still hasn't been released, there was some rumor that it would come beginning of 2009 but this news has already been overhauled, so still no PATIENCE
*J.R. Ward's LOVER ENSHRINED...This was the only book were my expectations really weren't met. Considering that I read and reviewed 100 books in 2008 the rate of one book that disappointed is not bad at all!!

I just typed that I read 100 books this past year, this includes ARCs and requested reviews but for detailed numbers check the overview. It seems quite a lot, but it's nothing compared to the number of books I bought this year. I can tell you that the term triple doesn't come close. I think -and this is a rough estimation since I don't have the time to check it in detail- I bought between 400 and 500 books (Mass Market Paperbacks, Trade Size Paperbacks, Hardcovers and E-books) this year from various sellers i.e. online European bookstores, eBay, online US bookstores and secondhand in Holland on various websites.

The consequence of all this buying inevitably lead to shortage of space in my bookcases so I also sold quite a few books too: close to 100 books were sold through various channels: Dutch selling websites and forums.
In 2009 there will be more added to this number since these past few days I have again stood before my bookcases with my wish list for 2009 in hand and my critical eye has spotted some books of which I know I am not going to grab them to read some time soon (they will always be overruled by others) so I will try to provide someone with them who will give them the attention they deserve.

2008 was also a year of new discoveries and firsts in various areas of my bookreading life.
I discovered the romantic suspense genre with authors like Cherry Adair, Lucy Monroe, Shannon McKenna and Cindy Gerard.
I found out that this is a genre that appeals greatly to me because of the combination of romance and suspense. They give me the feeling I also find when watching some of my crime-involved television programs. Consequence of this discovery was a buying spree of everything and anything in the romantic suspense genre that sounded somewhat appealing, creating an immense to-be-read-list...

Another discovery were the e-books. Well not actually discovery because I had already known about e-books and even bought some digital stories in 2007 but in 2008 I actually started reading them and this lead to an actual discovery: a way to read them other than behind the computer. One of the ROOB-forum members mentioned that she read her e-books on the handheld game console NINTENDO DS. Since this gadget was available in our home (thanks to a husband in the gaming industry) I decided to give it a try and in the last days of 2008 I read the first e-book on the DS and liked this way of reading e-books a lot better than behind the computer! And this also opens possibilities for taking a lot more books with me on holidays than before.

In the authors department there were many, many new discoveries and first reads but the ones that stuck by me and who I wish mention in the closing of my review of 2008.
*Lora Leigh
I had her books for a while on my shelves before I started reading them and I was sucked in by an anthology story of her Breeds series in April 2008. This one novella led to me buying the whole series and reading them all (with the exception of the last novella that came out). I also made a start with her Bound Hearts series and both series entice and intrigue me to distraction. Her way of writing is so intensely emotional and compelling, she is and will stay an auto-buy so in the meanwhile I've collected almost all of her series and they will follow the same path as the Breeds, they will be all read in the near future.
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*Shannon McKenna
With her books it's quite similar to Lora Leigh. I had her books on the shelves for over a year and started reading the first one in March 2008 and I was hooked. In her books the emotional intensity in the characters went through the roof and an added bonus were the nail biting suspense with bad guys who make your skin crawl and the top-notch love scenes. Another auto-buy-all-that-I-can-get-my-hands-on!
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*Anna Windsor
She made her debut this year with her back-to-back Dark Crescent Sisterhood Trilogy and found in me a lifetime admirer. What she does in terms of world building, plot writing and characters is nothing short of amazing. I rated her trilogy with 2 5-stars and 1 4,5 stars and nominated her for a ROOB Shooting Star Award. I guess this says enough about what her writing does with me. I hope she will continue the series so I can enjoy her world again soon
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For 2009 I'm looking forward to a lot of things:
First in January the bookmarket in Rotterdam. I don't think I will be harvesting books as I did the first two times I went to it but I have a list ready of books I would like to find there.
And of course I'm looking forward to the new releases of the list of authors you'll find below. Only looking at the list I KNOW my wallet is having a heartattack because I don't have all the authors, whose new releases I want, listed and some of those who are listed have multiple releases in 2009.

Authors whose releases I'm looking forward to:
Lora Leigh, Cheyenne McCray, Monica McCarty, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Nicole Jordan, Caroline Linden, JoAnn Ross, Allison Brennan, Cindy Gerard, Gena Showalter, J.R. Ward, Laura Griffin, Nalini Singh, Jami Alden, Sally MacKenzie, Sydney Croft, Lara Adrian, Susan Mallery, Jessica Trapp, Lucy Monroe, Carly Phillips, Jasmine Haynes, Alyssa Day, Kate Douglas, Tara Janzen, Stephanie Tyler, Jeaniene Frost, Gaelen Foley, Kathryn Smith, Roxanne St. Claire, Brenda Joyce, Shayla Black, Kim Lenox.

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I close this post by taking the opportunity to wish everyone a Happy, Healthy, Prosperous, Loving and Bookfilled 2009!

Love,
Pearl
Books of 2008 in numbers
ARCs: 9 - Requested Reviews: 2
Ebooks: 7 - Anthologies: 2
Paranormal: 25 - Historical: 23 - Erotica/Erotic Romance: 22 - Romantic Suspense: 16 - Contemporary: 9 - Fantasy/Paranormal: 4

The first book of 2008 was MIDNIGHT AWAKENING by Lara Adrian and the last book of 2008 was THE DRAGON MASTER by Allyson James

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NOTE: ARC's and requested reviews for ROOB and anthologies are mentioned separately and included in the count of the genre the books were in. The number is not counted in the totals of the months.

JANUARY(6)
1 ARC (Showalter)
3 paranormal (Showalter, Adrian, Kenyon)
1 historical (MacGregor)
1 contemporary (Monroe)
1 romantic suspense (Monroe)

FEBRUARY(6)
2 historical (McCarty)
1 contemporary (Harper)
2 paranormal/fantasy (Johnson)
1 romantic suspense (Adair)

MARCH(10)
2 paranormal (2 McCray)
5 historical (2 Jordan, 3 P Quinn)
1 contemporary (Showalter)
1 erotica (Amber)
1 romantic suspense (McKenna)

APRIL(7)
2 romantic suspense (2 McKenna)
3 paranormal (ShowalterEB, Adrian, anthology)
1 anthology (SHIFTER)
1 ARC (MacKenzie)
2 historical (MacKenzie, Jordan)

MAY(9)
3 paranormal (Kenyon,anthology, Showalter)
1 romantic suspense (McCray)
3 historical (2 Cole, Hoyt)
1 anthology (NO REST FOR THE WITCHES)
1 ARC (Showalter)
1 erotica (LeighEB)
1 contemporary (McKenna)

JUNE(10)
6 erotica (3 LeighEB, 3 Leigh)
2 paranormal (Ward, Showalter)
1 ARC (Martin)
1 science fiction (Martin)
1 historical (Hughes)

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JULY(12)
2 ARC (Showalter, Tabke)
3 paranormal (Showalter, McCray, Windsor)
4 historical (Tabke, 2 Foley, Petersen)
2 romantic suspense (McKenna, Gerard)
3 erotica (3 Leigh)

AUGUST(11)
4 erotica (3 Leigh, Amber)
1 romantic suspense (McKenna)
3 contemporary (3 Banks)
1 historical (Pickens)
2 paranormal (Windsor, Kenyon)

SEPTEMBER(8)
2 historical (Callen, P Quinn)
1 requested review (HenionEB)
1 romantic suspense (HenionEB)
2 paranormal ( Ashley, Windsor)
2 paranormal/fantasy (2 Johnson)
1 erotica (LeighEB)

OCTOBER(8)
3 romantic suspense (McKenna, Gerard, Griffin)
2 ARC (Gerard, Griffin)
1 erotica (Leigh)
2 paranormal (Joyce, Nash)
2 contemporary (Bradley, Smythe)

NOVEMBER(6)
1 paranormal (Lenox)
2 erotica (Dean, Leigh)
1 requested review (Dean)
2 romantic suspense (Gerard, Robb)
1 historical (Styles)
1 ARC (Styles)

DECEMBER(8)
3 paranormal (Popp, Kenyon, AJames)
1 romantic suspense (McKenna)
1 historical (Hoyt)
3 erotica (Leigh,LJamesEB, Dean)


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Nice to meet you!

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Pearl
Netherlands
39, married to my real life romance hero, addicted to TV shows, reading romance novels and Twitter. I'm a chronic (e)book hoarder and my absolute favorite genres within romance fiction are contemporary romance and romantic suspense, but I don't shy away from historical, paranormal or erotic romance either. Even the occasional (urban) fantasy romance, futuristic and sci fi romance may make it to my Mount TBR. This is my corner of the world wide web where I let you know what books I'm hoarding, reading and reviewing.
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GR Reading Challenge

2011 Reading Challenge

Pearl has read 10 books toward her goal of 50 books.
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On My TBR Shelf

  • Unforgivable - Laura Griffin
  • Snapped - Laura Griffin
  • Darkness at Dawn - Elizabeth Jennings
  • Sizzle and Burn - Alexis Grant
  • No Mercy - Lori Armstrong
  • Animal Magnetism - Jill Shalvis
  • Crazy for Love - Victoria Dahl
  • Kink - Saskia Walker/Sasha White
  • So Sensitive - Anne Rainey
  • Dark Taste of Rapture - Gena Showalter
  • The Darkest Secret - Gena Showalter
  • Vampire in Atlantis - Alyssa Day
  • Vampire Dragon - Annette Blair
  • Captive Spirit - Anna Windsor
  • Chosen by Blood - Virna DePaul
  • Rebel - Zoe Archer
  • Stranger - Zoe Archer
  • A Taste of Desire - Beverley Kendall
  • Mistress by Midnight - Maggie Robinson
  • To Desire a Devil - Elizabeth Hoyt
  • To Tame a Dangerous Lord - Nicole Jordan

In My Mailbox

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Digital TBR Next

  • Driven - Jayne Rylon (reread)
  • Shifting Gears - Jayne Rylon
  • Beg Me - Shiloh Walker
  • Tempt Me - Shiloh Walker
  • Jazz Baby - Lorelie Brown
  • Playboy Prankster - Pamela Britton
  • Just Like That - Erin Nicholas
  • Sweet Inspiration - Penny Watson
  • Breathe - Donna Alward
  • My Gigolo - Molly Burkhart
  • Scent of Persuason - Nikki Duncan

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