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Review: Enchanting the Beast by Kathryne Kennedy

April 23rd, 2014 @ 12:01 am
Posted by Kelly under Review Tags: Enchanting the Beast, Historical, Kathryne Kennedy, Paranormal Romance, Review, The Relics of Merlin

Enchanting the Beast CoverTitleEnchanting the Beast

AuthorKathryne Kennedy

Genre: Historical/Paranormal Romance

Series: The Relics of Merlin (Book #3)

Publication Date: April 1, 2014

Format: Paperback, 352 Pages

ISBN-10: 1402269889 (Sourcebooks)

ISBN-13: 978-1402269882 (Sourcebooks)

Reviewed by: Kelly

Synopsis:

Dark Things Lurk in Grimspell Castle Sir Nicodemus Wulfson is haunted by memories of murder—and ghosts. He brings in a ghost-hunter in the form of celebrated spiritualist Lady Philomena Radcliff, and promptly, all hell breaks loose. Is Philomena a threat to his already suffering family? Or can Nico trust his burgeoning attraction to her?

Is it Him She Should Fear? Lady Philomena has resigned herself to a life of spinsterhood performing séances for the aristocracy—until she meets sexy young werewolf Sir Nico. She agrees to try ridding his castle of its increasingly restless spirits. But there are more mysteries within Grimspell Castle than even Nico is aware of, and when a local girl turns up dead, Phil wonders if she’s risking her life as well as her heart.

Quick & Dirty: Enchanting the Beast is an interesting and highly enjoyable combination of fantasy, mystery and paranormal romance. Despite being the third book in the series, it can be read as a stand-alone thanks to Kennedy’s exceptional worldbuilding.

Opening Sentence: Lady Philomena Radcliff closed her eyes and called to the spirit of the late Lord Stanhope.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Lady Philomena Radcliff’s ability to both see and speak with the dead does little for her social life, but it pays the bills. Hired to perform séances at lavish parties hosted by the most elite magical families in London, Phil isn’t above using parlor tricks to make her clients happy and keep the invitations – and money – rolling in. After all, though her gift is very real, it’s not like communicating with the dearly departed is an exact science. Not every ghost responds to Phil’s requests, while others respond more…enthusiastically…than she likes. Luckily, she has a spirit-guide named Tup and a shape-shifting orphan named Sarah to help her when things get dangerous. Too bad neither Tup nor Sarah can protect her from an instant attraction to Sir Nicodemus Wulfson, the much younger baronet of Grimspell Castle – and her new client.

As a shape-shifter, Nico is immune to the nobility’s magic and can see through the illusion created by any spell. His first encounter with the older, but still lively and beautiful, ghost-hunter leaves him skeptical of both her abilities and the existence of ghosts, but Nico is desperate. His ailing brother, Royden, is convinced that something has angered the ghosts of Grimspell Castle. Nico hopes Phil’s presence will be enough to put Royden’s fears to rest and help him recover his health.

The ghosts aren’t the only things haunting Grimspell though. Turns out that something murdered Nico’s former fiancée, something that eyewitnesses describe as a giant black wolf. The fact that Nico’s wolf-form is brown doesn’t stop the townspeople from coming for his blood when another local girl turns up dead though. Declaring his innocence and leading the hunt to bring the real killer to justice, Nico also sets out to prove to Phil that his deepening feelings aren’t fleeting. When a chance encounter convinces Phil that the murders are tied to the haunting at Grimspell Castle, she races to find the proof she needs to save Nico and his family from a fate worse than death.

The magical world Kennedy created for Enchanting the Beast is unlike anything I’ve read before. Basically, Merlin is the trunk of the magical family tree that became English nobility. The hierarchy and titles corresponds with the magical Merlin gift an offspring inherits: Kings and Queens are those who’ve inherited the most of Merlin’s magical capabilities and can perform comprehensive magical feats whereas Dukes have only inherited the ability to change matter and so on.

At the bottom of the magical barrel are the baronets, shape-shifters that are both man and animal. While they are considered Merlin’s greatest enchantment, baronets are immune to all other forms of magic – making them both feared and despised by the majority of their magical cousins. That is, until it was discovered that the baronets were the only ones capable of finding the thirteen magical relics Merlin hid before pulling a disappearing act. The fact that the relics held power beyond anything that anyone had inherited made them the Holy Grail for noblemen (and women) looking to up their position in the world and baronets suddenly found themselves in a position of power. Which is how Nico, a baronet, is also the lord of a large estate bestowed on his family by Prince Albert as payment for their magic-sniffing services.

That said, this story would’ve received a high rating even if the magical elements weren’t so unique thanks to the seriously smokin’ romance and Sherlock Holmes-esque mystery. Nico is literally the ultimate alpha male and his pursuit of Phil is nothing less than swoon-worthy. Phil’s “live and let live” attitude made her a very likeable character and I certainly became invested in her happiness – something that wasn’t a given because of the mystery surrounding the haunting at Grimspell Castle. Honestly, I had some inkling of who was behind both the murders and why the castle ghosts were up in arms, but the connection between the two actually surprised me.

Overall, this story really impressed me and I don’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone who enjoys a paranormal mystery with some heat.

Notable Scene:

“Sir Nicodemus.” Her voice was low, so husky with promise that he didn’t dare breathe. “I would like to forget, for just a moment, that I am forty and you are seven and twenty. I would like to be kissed in the moonlight, with straw in my hair and hayfairies dancing over fields of waving grass. Do you think you could retract your promise to be a gentleman?”

Nico let out a breath.

“Just for this moment, of course,” she added.

Of course. Nico put his hand under her chin and stroked the firm line of her jaw with his thumb. He gently turned her face toward him, the wolf retreating so that he felt an unusual warmth flow through him as he lowered his mouth to hers. Her lips tasted sweet; she smelled of crushed hay and roses. Nico stroked his lips over hers, her mouth trembling beneath his. Something twisted inside his chest and he kept his touch light, his mouth relaxed and undemanding. He couldn’t remember ever bestowing such a tender kiss upon someone. He had never wanted to.

The Relics of Merlin Series:

1. Enchanting the Lady

2. Double Enchantment

3. Enchanting the Beast

4. Everlasting Enchantment

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FTC Advisory: Sourcebooks Casablanca provided me with a copy of Enchanting the Beast. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Teaser Tour: Burning Dawn by Gena Showalter

April 22nd, 2014 @ 12:02 am
Posted by Kristie under Blog Tour Tags: Angels of the Dark Series, Burning Dawn, Gena Showalter, Paranormal Romance

Gena Showalter 2Next Tuesday, Burning Dawn, the third novel in Gena Showalter’s Angels of the Dark series will be released. Today we have an amazing quote from Burning Dawn to tease you until you can pick up your copy.

A huge thanks to Harlequin for today’s giveaway. One lucky winner will win a signed and personalized copy of Burning Dawn by Gena Showalter! Open to US addresses only.

About Gena

Gena Showalter is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author whose books have appeared in Cosmopolitan and Seventeen magazines, as well as Entertainment Weekly.  Her novel Red Handed has been optioned by Sony Television.  Critics have called her books “sizzling page-turners” and “utterly spellbinding stories,” while Showalter herself has been called “a star on the rise.”  Her mix of humor, danger and wickedly hot sex provides wildly sensual page-turners sure to enthrall.

You can visit Gena around the web here: Website | Twitter | Facebook

Harlequin: Twitter | Facebook

Want to read more from Gena Showalter?

The Darkest Night The Darkest Kiss The Darkest Pleasure The Darkest Whisper The Darkest Passion The Darkest Lie The Darkest SecretThe Darkest Surrender  (Lor...The Darkest Seduction (Lord...The Darkest Craving (Lords ...Awaken Me Darkly Enslave Me Sweetly Savor Me Slowly Seduce the Darkness Ecstasy in Darkness Dark Taste of RaptureHeart of the Dragon Jewel of Atlantis The Nymph King The Vampire's Bride The Amazon's CurseIntertwined Unraveled TwistedAlice in Zombieland Through the Zombie Glass The Queen of Zombie HeartsWicked Nights Beauty Awakened Burning DawnPlaying with Fire Twice as HotThe Stone Prince The Pleasure SlaveLast Kiss Goodnight Black and BlueRed Handed Blacklisted

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Follow the rest of the tour for more steamy quotes:

April 21: Fantasy Book Addict

April 23: Vampire Book Club

April 24: Paranormal Romance Blog

April 25: Paranormal Cravings

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contest

This contest is provided by Harlequin

One lucky winner will win a signed and personalized copy of Burning Dawn

Burning Dawn

Available April 29, 2014 from Harlequin

About this Book:

New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter returns with a sizzling Angels of the Dark tale about a winged warrior renowned for his ruthlessness, and the woman who becomes his obsession…

A tormented past has left Thane with an insatiable need for violence, making him the most dangerous assassin in the skies. He lives by a single code: no mercy. And as he unleashes his fury on his most recent captor, he learns no battle could have prepared him for the slave he rescues from his enemy’s clutches—a beauty who stokes the fires of his darkest desires.

Elin Vale has her own deep-rooted scars, and her attraction to the exquisite warrior who freed her challenges her every boundary. But Thane’s unwavering determination to protect her means she must face her greatest fears—and enter a world in which passion is power, and victory means breathtaking surrender.

Click HERE to read an excerpt

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Cover Reveal: Tempting the Bodyguard by Jennifer L. Armentrout

April 22nd, 2014 @ 12:01 am
Posted by Kelly under Taking Cover Tags: Contemporary Romance, Gamble Brothers Series, J. Lynn, Jennifer L. Armentrout, Tempting the Bodyguard

Jennifer L. ArmentroutDark Faerie Tales is excited to participate in the cover reveal for the newest Gamble Brothers novel Tempting the Bodyguard by Jennifer L. Armentrout writing as J. Lynn! The 3rd novel in the Gamble Brothers series will be released on May 12, 2014 from Entangled Publishing.

About Jennifer:

# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer Armentrout lives in Martinsburg, West Virginia. All the rumors you’ve heard about her state aren’t true. When she’s not hard at work writing. she spends her time reading, working out, watching really bad zombie movies, pretending to write, and hanging out with her husband and her Jack Russell, Loki.

Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent most of her time writing short stories….which explains her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes young adult paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary romance. She is published with Spencer Hill Press, Entangled Teen and Brazen, Disney/Hyperion and Harlequin Teen.

She also writes adult and New Adult romance under the name J. Lynn. She is published by Entangled Brazen and HarperCollins.

You can visit Jennifer around the web here: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Want to read more from Jennifer L. Armentrout?

Wait for You (Wait for You,...Trust in Me (Wait for You, ...Be with Me (Wait for You, #2)Tempting the Best Man Tempting the Player FrigidUnchainedObsidian Onyx Opal OriginHalf-Blood Pure Deity Apollyon SentinelWhite Hot Kiss Stone Cold TouchThe Return

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Tempting the Bodyguard cover.jpg

Available May 12, 2014 from Entangled Publishing

About the Book:

A sexy category romance from Entangled’s Brazen imprint…

He can protect her from everyone except himself.

Alana Gore is in danger. A take-no-prisoners publicist, her way with people has   made her more than a few enemies over the years, but a creepy stalker is an entirely different matter. She needs a bodyguard, and the only man she can ask is not only ridiculously hot, but reputed to have taste for women that goes beyond adventurous.

Chandler Gamble has one rule: don’t protect anyone you want to screw. But with Alana, he’s caught between his job and his increasingly hard libido. On one hand, Alana needs his help. On the other, Chandler wants nothing more than to take the hot volcano of a woman in hand. To make her writhe in pleasure, until she’s at his complete mercy.

She needs protection. He needs satisfaction. And the moment the line is crossed, all hell will break loose…

Pre-Order From

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Review: Teach Me a Lesson by Jasmine Haynes

April 21st, 2014 @ 12:02 am
Posted by Kelly under Review Tags: BDSM, Contemporary, Erotic Romance, Jasmine Haynes, Review, Teach Me a Lesson

Teach Me a Lesson CoverTitleTeach Me a Lesson

AuthorJasmine Haynes

Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance

Series: N/A

Publication Date: April 1, 2014

Format: Paperback, 320 Pages

ISBN-10: 0425266249 (Berkley/Penguin)

ISBN-13: 978-0425266243 (Berkley/Penguin)

Reviewed by: Kelly

Synopsis:

Do what you have to do, Principal. I deserve it…

High school guidance counselor by day, sex therapist by night, Charlotte Moore’s passion is people—whether helping students with the realities of life or helping their parents with the fantasies. Enter Principal Lance Hutton, the perfect subject for Charlotte’s method in recharging the sex drive—and it’s going to take some discipline. Considering this hot older man is her boss, it makes sense that he dole out the punishment. Besides, Charlotte’s begging for it.

But when Charlotte’s after-school extracurricular activities are made public, it threatens her job, her reputation, and the career of the man she’s falling head over heels in love with. Now, if this town wants a scandal, Charlotte and Lance are ready to give them one—and a lesson in bad behavior they’ll never forget.

Quick & Dirty: Teach Me a Lesson truly surprised me. Expecting a simple erotic read, Haynes instead delivered an emotionally complicated story about the benefits and costs of venturing into the BDSM world.

Opening Sentence: “He wants me to have sex with other men.”

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

As a sex therapist, Charlotte Moore’s dedication to helping her clients overcome sexual issues includes practicing what she preaches. So it’s no surprise when Charlotte decides she owes it to her clients to discover the benefits of certain BDSM acts after her best friend’s glowing recommendations. The only problem is finding a guy willing to play along with a simple, no-strings-attached teacher/student role-playing arrangement.

Enter Lance Hutton, the authoritarian principal of the local high school where Charlotte also works as a part-time guidance counselor. After all, Lance may be attractive but he’s certainly not the type of guy Charlotte normally goes for. He’s ten years older – a serious relationship deal-breaker for Charlotte. She’s fiercely independent and used to the one being in control and her experiences have proven that younger guys are more than willing to let her take the reins in the relationship. But the sexual encounters with Lance quickly morph into a complex dominant/submissive relationship that leaves both of them fighting for control.

Things get even more complicated between the two when Charlotte begins working with a troubled girl at the school. The girl’s ties to one of Charlotte’s clients from her private practice – a client who was seeing Charlotte in secret and who’s married to one of the most powerful men on the school board – puts both Lance and Charlotte’s careers on the line and stresses their relationship to the breaking point.

Teach Me a Lesson is a new level of insta-lust. Charlotte and Lance’s relationship went from barely speaking in the three years she’d worked at the school, to noticing each other sexually one afternoon, to their first sexual encounter that same day, to dominant/submissive roles two days later, to love. But the quick acceleration surprisingly increased my enjoyment of the story. Their relationship sizzled because of the instantaneous nature. Asking her no-nonsense boss for a spanking after catching him looking at her cleavage was a big risk for Charlotte. As was Lance’s quick and enthusiastic response in locking the classroom door despite his rule of never getting involved with an employee or messing around while at work. The rush of stepping outside their normal, responsible roles and subsequent addiction to the thrill of possible discovery wouldn’t have been possible if either of them had thought too long about the consequences in the beginning.

Lance and Charlotte’s sexual encounters are extremely mild as far as the world of BDSM stories – mainly role-playing and spanking – but the issue of control is still a driving force in their story. Haynes does a wonderful job translating Charlotte’s angst over the need to be in control versus the desire to be controlled. Charlotte is determined to maintain her independence and exercise her free will without having to answer to Lance outside of the bedroom (or car, or classroom or…well you get the drift). She’s the one imposing the limits on their relationship, yet she’s also bothered when Lance doesn’t show her preferential treatment when the crap hits the fan. Lance has difficulties letting go of his dominant role outside of their sexcapades. He often uses sex as a weapon to get what he wants and his inability to keep their private lives separate from their work is more than a little unsettling. Honestly, it was disturbing to go from concern over a young girl with self-esteem issues to commanding Charlotte to strip and bend over for a spanking in the same paragraph. It also perfectly highlights what I assume is an issue for a new dominant – the inability to let go of that persona when in the “real world.”

The weakest aspect of the story is the solution to the issue at the school. It’s clear Haynes didn’t put as much thought into the resolution as the rest of the story and it definitely doesn’t do her characters justice. Despite this lapse, I recommend Teach Me a Lesson to anyone who enjoys a well-written contemporary romance featuring mild BDSM scenes.

Notable Scene:

“Not even once.” She was smiling again. The Cleopatra smile. The one that brought Julius Caesar and Marc Antony to their knees before her. “But I’ve been thinking,” she said in a singularly innocent, angelic voice.

“About what?” he was compelled to ask.

“That maybe I missed out by never being spanked.”

Her brilliant green gaze mesmerized him. “Corporal punishment like spanking has been deemed to damage a child’s psyche,” he advised her.

Oh, that smile. Soon he’d be on his knees, too.

“But I’m not a child, Principal Hutton.”

“No, you most certainly are not.”

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FTC Advisory: Berkley/Penguin provided me with a copy of Teach Me a Lesson. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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Book Talk: Books that Deserve More Recognition

April 21st, 2014 @ 12:01 am
Posted by Kaitlin under Book Talk Tags: A.G. Howard, Book Talk, Dan Wells, Emily Rodda, Partials, Splintered, The Key to rondo, Young Adult

Kaitlin talks about three different books she thinks deserves more recognition. Let us know in the comments what books you think deserve more recognition. Also, make sure to subscribe to our YouTube account here so you don’t miss any of our videos.

Books Featured:

  

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