Saturday, August 24, 2013

Review: Beneath the Surface

Beneath the Surfaceā€¸ (Reluctance, #1)Beneath the Surface‏ (Reluctance #1) by 

Beneath the Surface is the first book in a new series that I am very interested to read more about.

Kyran Reese is a CEO by day and by night secretly a bare knuckle fighter. Rich and under pressure to make his retired father's company succeed with(out) the help of his younger brother, Kyran is a tyrant to his employees and demands perfection from everyone around him. Dale (yes that's a female) Porter is looking to start over after finding her long time boyfriend and best friend from childhood in bed together. She starts her new job as the other Mr. Reese's assistant, but encounters Kyran instead, and sparks fly.

Kyran is always focused, and as soon as he meets Dale, he is in a constant state of confusion and anger because she takes his focus away with her beauty, vanilla scent, and no-nonsense approach to him. He sends grown men scurrying away from him in fear, yet Dale has no problem standing up to him. Dale's brother works at the bar where Kyran fights, and his secret is out. They can't deny their attraction and decide to enter into a no-strings attached relationship.

The meat of the story here is great, and I really am interested in the other stories that can be told here-Kyran's brother, Taylor, or even some of the other fighters at the bar. Kyran was a real piece of work who went through a believable and sweet change because of his relationship with Dale. The sex scenes were hot and passionate-clandestine office hook ups, stolen moments, and spicy innuendo as well as overt alpha demands peppered this erotic story. There were minor edit issues, and sometimes the movement of the story itself could come off clunky, but this was an ARC and they could have fixed those flow issues in the final edit. Dale was an interesting character because it seemed like she was set up to be a mousy shrinking violet, yet she was kind of a ballsy, mouthy badass. I liked her a lot-she was honest, upfront, and understood what her feelings and boundaries were.

A hot, sometimes intense good read. 3.5 stars.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Review: Unscrupulous

This is book 2 in Avery Aster's Manhattanites series, and focuses on successful woman-about-town Taddy Brill.

Taddy is truly self made- as a red-head, she brands herself and her company in everything red. She emancipated herself from her wealthy parents at age 15 and besides her friends (especially bestie Lex Easton) she has been alone.  Enter mega wealthy Warner Truman. Warner married an older woman as a very young man, and 2 years previously she died from cancer. Having recently gotten back in the dating game, he fell victim to a money hungry con artist who tried to sleep with his brother. He is ready for real love and when he meets the mysterious Red at his exclusive club, he knows that he could possibly have found it.

After a misunderstanding, Taddy aka Red and Warner aka Big Daddy part ways without knowing who the other really is, or that they have offices across the street from each other in Manhattan, for months. However, circumstances prevail again, and the two are brought back together. Now, Warner just has to convince Taddy that he is the real deal, and Taddy has to learn to accept love.

This book was a surprise in that it ended up being such a sweet romance. Warner knew what he wanted from the start, and it was Taddy. Taddy had so much family baggage and abandonment issues, it was hard for her to not only admit her feelings for Warner, but to trust him and herself. However, this pair had a ton of chemistry, and their sex scenes scorched the pages! Warner is built like a football player and is apparently hung like a porn star. (Speaking of porn stars, there are plenty of jaw dropping have-to-read-to-believe moments!) There are a lot of secrets in Manhattan, and apparently a lot of love, too. Very strong entry in this series, I'm excited to read what comes next.

Monday, August 19, 2013

True Blood Recap: Life Matters and Radioactive (Season Finale!)

I had a bye week last week-I was on vacation. The great part about that was I invited myself to a TB watching party with my friends. The bad part was it was a boring-ass episode. I can sum it up in two sentence fragments:
Drunk vampire escape
Terry funeral

See? Not very exciting. Now on to the season finale!

Drunk on fairy blood and oh-so-happy, the vamp-camp vampires have retired to Bill's mansion and are fornicating, doing the Charleston, playing volleyball, and making Target runs for more toys. Alcide and Sookie take a walk through the cemetary post funeral, and come upon the drunk daylight vamps.

Sookie tells Alcide to take a hike, she needs to go check on her brother. Alcide growls but relents.Violet and Jason have apparently gotten very chummy indeed, and Jason is all about belonging to her. She told him she was going to make him beg for it! After meeting Sookie, Violet tells her a sister of Jason's is a sister of hers.
Uh, she's European.-Jason

While everyone else is partying, Bill is looking like this:

He has realized that although he is fully healed, his powers have been taken away. Apparently, all his awesome has been taken away too, because he immediately starts feeling bad for Sookie for pushing her to marry Warlow. (It's not like it was to save several other lives or anything.) He confesses to Jess that he feels bad, and she suggests they save Sookie once again.

Eric took off after the escape, and of course, Pam takes off after him, leaving Willa in Tara's charge. Tara was pissed, but that's like saying Tara woke up this morning. Duh.

Meanwhile, Sookie goes to visit Warlow who has been preparing for their ceremony.
He decorated a Maypole, too! Unfortunately, Sookie told him she just wanted to date for a while. Then shit got real, and Ike Turner showed up.

Bill gets Jason and Violet to get Adeline and Andy to help save Sook. Locked and loaded, they meet up at the cemetery. Adeline doesn't know how to use her fae powers, but instinct kicks in when Violet scares the shit out of her. Warlow was thisclose to draining Sookie, but she was rescued just in time. Bill and Warlow have a good fight, but it's regular Bill again and zzzzzzz.

At the Stackhouse house (hah!) Adeline hides in the vamp room, and Violet gives Sookie blood so she can heal. Warlow ditches Bill and heads to Sookie's house. Jason, Andy, and Violet try to stop Warlow, but between his vamp powers and his fae powers, he is lethal. Bill almosts stakes him in the back, but...oops...without his Billith powers he can't enter the house.
Good thing Sookie decides to hide in the bathroom! Niall swoops in from the other plane in an assist, with Jason staking Warlow in the heart. Done and done!

As everyone relaxes with the crisis(?) averted, the Billith daylight powers wear off. On our continent, no big deal it's after dark. If you happen to be in Sweden reading a book buck naked in the snow on top of a mountain in a lawn chair in the middle of the day, you might be fucked.

Bill is on the TV spilling his guts about Billith, taking out the Governor, and explaining the Hep V outbreak that has apparently created some crazed and powerful vamps.

Sookie is on the couch watching, and eventually Alcide looking too damn delicious (and with a haircut, thank GOD) tells her it's time to come to bed. Rwar.

Jason and Violet are still together. Violet is still not giving up the goodies - she did warn him - and for his pennance, Jason has been going downtown every day, sometimes several times a day. Rwar.

Mayor Sam Merlotte (I know, right?) has hatched a plan that he shares with the community at church. Healthy vamps need blood, healthy humans need protection. Come to a mixer at Bellefluer's Bar and Grill (I know, right? Go Arlene!) and find a new friend!
I see you LaLa!
For some reason, Sookie was dressed like this:
Anyway, at the mixer, there seemed to be some mild success in finding matches for donors/protection. Lettie Mae decided to bury the hatchet with Tara, and apologized for the terrible way she raised Tara. She talked about forgetting to feed her for days at a time...and offered to feed her now. Tara took her up on the offer.

Jess travels to to Andy's house. He greets her properly:
She promises she doesn't want blood, she just wants to offer protection for the family to make up for what she did to his other daughters. He accepts, and shuts the door in her face. Jessica stands sentry.

Alcide and Sookie decide to take a hike from the mixer. Bill cuts them off, and offers his protection to Sookie. She tells him she is all good with her big, bad, werewolf. Bill disagrees, and tell Alcide that glowing eyes or not, they are going to need more protection than that. Then they both smell it...a band of Hep-V vamps has smelled the fresh blood gathered at the mixer and they start approaching.

Cut to black and this starts playing:

Radioactive! See what they did there?

Anyway, TB is always good with the cliffhangers. A new age with vamp vs vamp, and where are Eric and Pam?? Are they alive?? They better be if they want me to tune in next season. Ha!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Book Review: Elite

Elite Elite (Eagle Elite #1) by 

When I started reading this book, I didn't think I was going to like it-I didn't have an immediate connection to Trace, and when she arrived at the Eagle Elite University, it felt like high school and not college to me.

However, I decided to stick it out, and my opinion completely turned around!

Don't get me wrong, there were still some things that weren't perfect-hastily explained connections and unnecessary cruelty from teens old enough to know better.

This book was like an onion with many layers peeled off, and even more layers to be revealed in the series.
Trace is coming into her own at EEU, with the Elite crew in close proximity. Her relationships and her world as she knew it is completely changed forever, and the journey through the dramatic, exciting, and romantic adventures in this book keep you turning the page. I loved the mafia aspect, and the enemies to friends trope is a fave if it is done well. The university has a great cast of characters, and I suspect we will be reading a lot more about them.  This is a great world the author has created and when she releases more books from this series, I'm in!

Friday, August 9, 2013

ARC Review: Beyond Pain

Guess what lucky lady won an eARC of Beyond Pain from Kit Rocha?

I fell in love with this dystopian erotica series in Beyond Shame, and have been fangirling ever since.
Beyond Pain did not disappoint!

Beyond Pain (Beyond, #3)

Beyond Pain (Beyond #3) by 

Beyond Pain focuses on the relationship between Six, a former captive of a sadistic Sector 3 leader, and Bren, the stoic O'Kane who rescued her. Six has stuck to Bren like glue since coming to Sector 4, and Bren has shown her that the O'Kane's are the real deal- male or female, if you want to work, you get a job. If you want sex, you find a willing partner. If you want to be an O'Kane, you bust your ass, learn to trust and accept your new family, and maybe you will be offered a chance to ink up.

Brendan has been treating Six with kid gloves. He has always known they were going to happen, he just wanted to make sure he didn't push her beyond her limits, and let her set the pace. As they are put on the job to clean up Sector 3, both of them have dark pasts to confront, and choices to make.

As usual, Kit Rocha knows how to write a hot, compelling story. The O'Kanes work hard and party even harder. The hedonistic girl-power/alpha male atmosphere in Sector 4 is a direct reflection of Dallas O'Kane himself-we get to check in on him and his queen, Lex, which is always entertaining. We are also introduced to Sector 3's extremely underground tech genius, Noah, who has a connection to one of the newest O'Kanes, Emma. The love triangle between Rachel, Cruz, and Ace gets interesting! 

Six and Bren have a powerful dynamic that is typical of the O'Kane way-strong men who want a strong woman by their sides. He trains with her every day, teaching her how to fight in the cage, and by extension, teaching her how to trust him and the O'Kane way. Their story is passionate, emotional, and most of all, hot-absolutely what I have come to expect from a Kit Rocha novel.

Between Eden, the Sectors, the Farms, and beyond in the wilderness, this series has so many places to go. I will keep reading as long as Kit Rocha keeps writing!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

Monday, August 5, 2013

True Blood Recap: Dead Meat

This episode made me feel so many things:

 When the episode opens, Eric is grieving over his sister's...remains. Bill came up empty handed with no Warlow, so Eric is pissed, especially when he finds out the reason-Sookie is hiding him. Eric and Bill have a pissing contest and although Bill is obviously stronger, Eric is smarter. They part ways like tween frenemies.

Alcide is confronted by his spiteful and power hungry booty call. She wants to challenge him for pack master, and tells him outright she will win because Alcide won't kill her. Turns out she was right, albeit with an ass whipping to recover from. Alcide leaves the pack (yay!) and returns Nicole and her mother to Sam.
Ugh. Bet it's not the last we see of her.

Jason is figuring life out, belonging to Violet and all now. She sets him straight-he belongs to her, now and forever. I don't know who she is or how old she is, but even Pam isn't fucking with her.

Sookie approaches Warlow with Bill's plan to help the other vamps. Warlow agrees, but only if Sookie turns and marries him. He has been waiting for 6000 years after all. Sookie laments not having a man in her life who only wants to go on a date. She leaves Warlow to ponder this decision...but Eric is waiting in the graveyard, trying to find a way to get to Warlow.

Jessica and James are basking in their post bow-chicka glow, and that comes to a close as they finally get busted by guards. Meanwhile, Pam has had a successful visit with the doc as he sends her to gen pop.

Steve Newlin, everyone's favorite douche, sidles up to James in gen pop. Being a nice guy, James can't watch Steve drink the tainted TB in front of him, and warns him not to drink it. This will end well!

Nicole and her mother bunk at Sam's. Mama still doesn't know her little Nicole has been hooking up with the very mature Sam. She heads off to bed and Sam and Nicole grab a private moment before he inhales her scent deeply, then sends her to bed as well.
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At the bar, Alcide and Sam drink heavily, and we find out that whatever Sam smells, Alcide does, too. The plot thickens!

Sookie goes to visit Bill and give him an update on the Warlow situation. Bill doesn't want an update, he wants results. As usual, Sookie's self importance takes front seat. She throws out that Warlow wants to turn her and marry her, and expects Bill to capitulate to her. He tells her he doesn't care-in fact, maybe it will be better for everyone if she does. She tells him to fuck off. He tells her she better make a decision quick.
Awkwardly, that decision was to go to Sam, look longingly into his eyes, and offers him a chance at a relationship when they just discussed his new gf Nicole. Sam basically responds with, What the actual fuck?, which is what we were all thinking. He tells her forget it, Nicole is pregnant, so new even she doesn't know it yet. Of course, Sookie starts being Sookie and Sam tells her to butt out. More like butthurt.
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Steve Newlin spills the beans about why some vamps arent drinking the blood. He gets himself and James put in the sun room. Idiot.

Arlene finds out from LaLa that Terry took out life insurance for 2 million dollars. She doesnt want the money, she wants justice. Andy convinces her to let Terry's final wishes to be carried out. She agrees, but she is also going toe to toe with the society Belfluers about the kind of funeral Terry would want. (Remember when Bill was dating that Belfluer who was his cousin, then he dumped her?)

After whining at her parents' graves, Sookie decides to accept Warlow's proposal. She contacts Bill, then dresses up like the corpse bride. Only problem is, when they get to Warlow, he has been drained. Guess Eric found a way in after all. And he was a busy man! He also fed on Andy's daughter, but he let her go.

Sarah Newlin is slowly unhinging. Well, maybe not so slowly, but she is getting sloppy. When confronted by the angry and ass kicking scientist who created True Blood, she has the mother of all catfights with her, and bashes the woman in the head with her own shoe. Once again, what the actual fuck?
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Meanwhile, all the vamps who refuse to drink TB have been put into the room to meet the sun, just like Bill's vision.

Welcome back to the light, Alcide!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

ARC Review-Love Gone Mad: A Thriller?

I just finished this ARC, and it just missed the mark for me. My full review is below.