I love to read. Started blog, Cocktails and Books, to share my love of books.

The Fever and the Fury

The Fever and the Fury - Stephanie Draven Phaedra and Luke were a strange couple. She's killing him or drive him to madness if he continues to refuse to atone for his sins. He's in hiding from the government after leaking sensitive military secrets that are damaging. You'd think there'd be a tad bit of animosity on his part towards Phaedra where he wouldn't even think of hopping into bed with her. But apparently, he can toss those feelings aside when it means feeding his overwhelming sex drive.

While the sex is hot (especially for a virigin! Holy hell!!), I craved a little bit more...something. I can't put my finger on exactly what that something is those. We have the backstory of why Luke's on the run, so maybe to a little history on exactly what a Phoenix is would have helped. Maybe a little more on this group of furies Athena has. But I know there is only so much you can put into a story when it's hovering around 120 pages.

That said, it was a quick read that kept you entertained. You have a hot military guy, on the run, who can see past the sadistic wench who keeps trying to kill to sleep with her. That's always a huge plus!

Bond With Me

Bond with Me  - Anne Marsh I commented in the Cocktail Society Book Club post for this book that I've had this sitting in my Kindle library waiting to be read since the summer. I think when I got it it was one of the Kindle free reads. As I said in my comment, I should receive a thousand feather soft lashes for letting this book sit unread for so long!!

Although I'm not a huge fan over angel books (whether their fallen or otherwise) this one had me hooked from the very beginning. Brends and his brother of Fallen are gritty and have developed an IDGAF attitude since their shove from grace three thousand years before. It's that grittiness and their unabashed desire to rid humans of a piece of their souls, little by little, that draw you into their world.

Brends Duranov uses his sexual drawn to get what he wants. No woman or man can deny him when he turns the charm on. And while he hasn't bonded with anyone is several years, he's not above doing it when it gets him what he this case Mischka Baran.

Mischka doesn't fall for Brends charms, even though she is incredibly attracted to him. She has a strict rule of staying away from anything paranormal. But she's willing to use Brends to aide her in finding her missing cousin who had threatened to bond with a Fallen.

A lot happens in this book, so you need to make sure you're paying attention. Not only do we have the spectacular romantic dance between Brends and Mischka, but we have the romance and bonding of Mischka's cousin Pell with Dathan and the discovering of the Fallen's salvation. In addition, there is the supposed rogue Fallen who's gone off on a killing spree, but we soon find there is much more to those deaths than a crazy Fallen.

If you've been on the fence about Angels, definitely pick up this book. It's grittiness will have you devouring it and desperate for the next book in the series, His Dark Bond (which releases in February).

Cruising Toward Love (BookStrand Publishing Romance)

Cruising Toward Love - Christi Barth When I first started reading this, I thought kept trying to figure out how we were going to be cruising towards love between Zoe and Nate. There was so much going on around the wedding that never happened and Zoe's hate of Nate and the townspeople's inability to leave Zoe's love life alone that I was beginning to wonder if we were ever going to get to the cruise ship. Once we did get to the cruise ship, I realized this little vacation Nate and Zoe were on was going to be less than relaxing...which was sometimes entertaining and other times leaving me wishing they'd taken a shorter cruise!

The romance between Zoe and Nate was cute. High school sweethearts who's break up lead to misunderstandings, broken hearts and longing over the past ten years. Their inability to truly communicate with each other was a bit irritating at times. I mean, Nate blows into town and honestly thought Zoe would have any hard feelings about the way he left her. No matter how noble your reasons are, there is going to be fall out. It was as if these two thought it was better to ignore what happened or assume the other knows how the other feels rather than saying anything.

New friends, Callie and Reed have their own little romance, that was cute and had a little more meat to it (as it dealt with Reed's PTSD from his stint as an embedded photographer in Afghanistan). It was refreshing to see how Callie could see through Reed and help him deal with his PTSD and not feel as if he was a broken man.

The treasure hunt mystery was ok, but it lost it's believability at the end.

If you're looking for a quick weekend or beach read, this is definitely one for you.

His Dark Bond

His Dark Bond - Anne Marsh Anne Marsh has created a world of Fallen Angels in M-City that I can only describe as having an equivalent to the residents of Caldwell, NY. If you are looking for angelic men who only do good deeds, these men are not for you. These Fallen are men who fight their inner beasts on a daily basis, while policing those that have given into their inner beast. They conduct heated sexual encounters with any number of women (or men) who line up to have a favor granted in return for the feeding off their soul. All this while holding onto hope that their true salvation is out there...a soul mate.

In this second installment to the Fallen series, our focus is on the Fallen leader, Zer. He's clinging to the edge and certain he's about to turn rouge. He's ready for the end as soon as he can ensure his brothers have their soul mates and salvation. He doesn't think he deserve any of this, even when he kidnaps genetic researcher, Nessa St. James, and can't take his eyes off her. Zer is harsh, but that harshness is generally aimed at himself.

Nessa St. James thinks she's nothing more than the research that she conducts. With the threat of that research being taken away from her, she fears her identity will be gone to. She fights Zer tooth and nail as he insists she needs to bond with one of his brothers in order to ensure her safety. Despite her constant need to fight with Zer, she's also incredibly attracted to him but also positive he doesn't want her because she is a nothing.

With Nessa and Zer doubting anyone could ever want them, is it any surprise that they would be perfect for each other?

This series will suck you immediately. Even with all the details around the methods Nessa uses when researching DNA (and it's descriptive) you still devour the pages wanting to find out what happens next. Anne Marsh is now an author that will be on my must buy list.


Reclaimed - Diane Alberts I have read some interesting takes on the whole paranormal world in the past two week. Reclaimed has another interesting spin on the world of vampires, shifts, ghosts, etc.

Isaac and Elijah, twin brothers from the mid eighteen hundred England, were transformed from their human life by Elijah's betrothed, Louisa, after she discovered him with Issac's fiancee. Neither of them knew that Louisa was a vampire, but soon found themselves immersed in that world. Elijah, as a true vampire and Isaac as an Enforcer.

Enforcers, while bitten by a vampire, do not change. They remain somewhat human, but immortal. The Enforcers job is to protect humans from the paranormal baddies and have the ability to shift into whatever form the current baddie is. Pretty handy, except when one of those evil beings you have sworn to hunt is your bad stabbing, financee seducing brother.

Enter the American, Sabrina. She buys a house in England and leaves her family behind in California to start a new life. She starts having weird dreams about a Greek God-like man who she's pretty sure would never have any ounce of interest in her. But she's suddenly meeting the man and still having weird dreams about him and finding herself right in the middle of paranormal jealousy gone awry.

There were times when this story had me well within it's grip and I couldn't wait to turn the page. But then there were other times when I thought some of the story dragged on. While I loved the intrigue with the evil Louisa and her plot to force the brothers to relive history, the amount of time it took to get there dragged the story on. I could have done without the sister's visit. While nice to see the relationship between the two, it did nothing to move the story along.

For anyone who hasn't read a paranormal story before, this would definitely be a good book to sink your teeth into.

Claws and Effect: A Diaries of an Urban Panther Novel

Claws and Effect  - Amanda Arista Dear reviewer,

Please be sure to read book 1 in the series before delving into book 2.

This was a very entertaining, fast paced read that, once I got passed the fact that I was missing certain pieces of the story from not reading the first book, had me flipping pages furiously to see what happened next.

Violet Jordan finds herself having to outwit would be assassins around every corner, train a "new" panther on what to expect from the next couple of months, figure out what to do with the pack of dogs that are turning to her for help, get her movie script edits turned in on time and find some time with her knight in shining armor, Chaz when he's not out saving everyone else. Needless to say, a lot happens in this story and to dear Violet. But Violet is make of some pretty strong stuff and no matter what is thrown at her, she seems to be able to handle it like it's nobody's business.

What was most intriguing to me was Violet's interaction with the dogs: Tucker, Tyler, Nash and Shadow. Not knowing completely what happened in the first story, I've figured out they were not the nicest bunch of men/dogs and Violet had every right to hate them. But instead, she saw how lost these men were without their pack leader and put her personally feelings aside to help them. What she did gave the men confidence and pride and all of them (including Violet) a sense of family that was missing with them before.

The ending to the story kind of threw me, because I was expecting some kind of resolution to the Causes attempt to manipulate Violet into doing what they wanted. Instead, it seems we need to wait for Book 3 to see what the outcome of Violet's interaction with the Cause. I almost feel that the sub-plot involving Spencer in the Veil will play into whatever is going on with the Cause, but that is something we'll have to wait to see what happens.

If you enjoy your shifter storylines with intrigue and some levity, this one is definitely a book you should grab.

Snowy Fate

Snowy Fate - Marissa Dobson This was a very quick read, but with just a few pages, Marissa Dobson is able to get to the heart of this story.

Aspyn Layton has been traumatized by the whole in her heart when her beloved father left when she was five. Now that both her mother and father have passed, she's feeling lonely and questioning her ability to be loved when her parents couldn't even it do it.

Enter Damon Andrews. Damon had been staying with Aspyn's father for the remaining few months of his life, building his home and waiting for his mate. When he comes home to the Layton mountain cabin and walks in to find Aspyn there, he knows he's found his mate. The only problem, Aspyn doesn't know her family secret and Damon knows that he needs to convince her to read her father's journal before they two of them can move on.

While I would have enjoyed this delving a bit more into Damon and Aspyn's budding relationship and how her change effects it, it was satisfying.

Twice Upon a Time (Lovers' Leap)

Twice Upon a Time - Olivia Cunning Reece and Lara are jumping through time trying to escape Reece's partner, Carl, with the aide of an ancient medallion which they have half of. As they jump through time every three days, they help a couple work through whatever issue is keeping them apart. In this installment of the series, Reece and Lara spend quite a bit of the book in a Mediterranean harem where a Governor's wife is in jeopardy because of a jealous first wife. After Lara and Reece are able to convince the Governor of his wife's treachery, they jump to ancient Japan to a Samurai camp where they must help a samurai and the woman determined to kill him work out their differences.

If you're a person who doesn't mind f/f/m/m sex in your books, than you'll have no issues with Reece and Lara's jump into the Mediterranean harem they find themselves in at the beginning of Twice Upon a Time. While the relationship between the Governor, his wife and their servants was crucial to what was happening in that particular storyline, it was the relationship between Reece and Laura that had your focus as it was tested because of what was happening with the individuals in whose bodies they are currently inhabiting. Jealousy and trust were facets to their relationship that were tested and which ate at Reece.

But it's when they jump to Japan that I feel they were really tested. Hana, the woman who wants to kill the samurai as an act of revenge for her brother's death, has trust issues. Trust in the samurai who intrigues her, even when she wants to kill him. Trust in the other men in the camp. And trust in herself to stick with her plan. It's that lack of trust and Lara's comments about how she could never be in a relationship with a man she doesn't trust that causes turmoil for Reece. He's been lying about what really happened to Laura and realizes their entire "new" relationship is built off that lie.

I loved the prologue as it gave us a little more insight into what happened that caused Laura to die. I would have liked more information into why Reece did what he did and what is so awful in his past that he's afraid to reveal it. I'm hoping we get more of that as we leap into the next book, which appears to take place on a pirate ship (fun!!).


Faceoff - Kelly Jamieson Seeing as yesterday was hockey's version of the Super Bowl, with the Winter Classic (even though I'm a Blackhawks fan, I did have to cheer on the NY Rangers with fellow Rochester, NY native, Ryan Callahan), I thought it appropriate to read a hockey story. And this one did not disappoint!

Kyla is an overachieving, overworked lawyer trying to make partner at her law firm. She sacrifices everything, even outings with her family, in order to prove to the old boys network that she's worthy of partner. But maternal guilt and resentment of her treatment at work have her throwing her suitcase together and driving to the families lakeside cottage for a week vacation with her family and their cloth family friends, the neighbors the Hellers.

Kyla has thought of all the Heller brothers as an extension of her family, with the exception of Tag. He was her teenage crush that went no where. But seeing him again has stirred up all those teenage feelings and hormones into a woman's lust filled cravings of a boy who has grown into a seriously hot man. Kyla fights her feelings, while sneaking peeks at Tag, but keeps reminding herself that her life is her job and making partner and messing around with Tag won't get her anywhere.

Tag, burned by women who only see him as a hockey player and the size of his wallet, has the same reaction to Kyla. But he doesn't get serious with women anymore and he's afraid Kyla's brother would beat the crap out of him for even touching their sister. But Tag's not as good as Kyla in fighting his feelings for her and convinces Kyla that a week long fling isn't such a bad idea.

Kyla and Tag are hot together. She doesn't shy away from his kinky bag of tricks (literally) and sees Tag the man. Tag shows Kyla how to have fun, both inside and outside of the tent, and what's been missing in her life as she wastes away inside the four walls of her law firm. Despite their vows that this week together was just a fling, you can see how each of them fight their feelings for each other and that when the week ends, neither of them are going to be happy.

The story was enjoyable and a way to escape to those summer months where you long to be lazy and to let loose.

In the Service of the King

In the Service of the King - Laura Kaye What's this? A vampire resistant to drink from a proffered's vain for fear of finding out she's his mate? A vampire who lost his previous mate and child during a vicious attack on his vampire clan? Sounds like a tortured vampire to me and just the sort of vampire I love.

This was another interesting twist on a vampire story. With vampires needing to drink from a human proffered (a virgin woman around the age of 20) every three months to maintain their immortality. Vampires can determine if they are to be mated with the woman while drinking from her and having sex with her. Vampires, who are all male, seem to look forward to this, but Kael doesn't. He doesn't want to have to worry about losing his mate again. He's spent the past 300 years doing the absolute basics of the proffering ceremony to get by. But the minute he sees Shayla everything changes. He battles himself between wanting to find out more about the alluring woman and sticking with this 300 year old plan.

Shayla has been raised to be a proffered female. She raced through high school and four years of college to ensure that she had everything done before her 20th year. She's loved the idea of Kael, the Vampire King and couldn't wait for her turn in hopes that she would be the one that finally won him over. Things don't go well with Kael and she can't figure out if it's her, being the freaky girl with two different colored eyes who was always picked on or if it was something with him.

Kael needs to let go of the past in order to move on. What bothered me a bit with him was his unwillingness to move forward until he was reminded that his warriors looked up to him. Seems to me, if he was that taken by Shayla, he would have done all of this for her instead of his men. I was also bothered a bit by how easily Shayla forgave Kael, but seeing as she's been in love with her image of him for so long, I could see how she would do that.

Another short read for me, but amazingly written by Laura Kaye (as if she wouldn't) with wonderful characters that I've come to look for in her books. It will have you wishing there were a few hundred more pages by the time you are done!

From This Moment On: The Sullivans, Book 2

From This Moment On: The Sullivans, Book 2 - Bella Andre Marcus Sullivan, oldest brother of the Sullivan family, is the caregiver of the family. It's been his role since his father died when he was a teenager. He's taken care of his mother and his seven brothers/sisters to ensure they are all happy. The only person he hasn't really taken care of was himself. He found a woman who he though fit his mold of the perfect wife/mother, but never stopped to consider if that was really what he wanted until he discovered her cheating on him. From that moment, Marcus' life took a complete turn from where he thought it was going. Marcus can be a stubborn ass and often speaks/acts without completely thinking things through (which tends to have somewhat disastrous results), but he still at his heart is that person who wants to take care of everyone he loves, including a sensitive pop star.

Nicola, aka pop sensation Nico, has trust issues and is tired of living her life as her on-stage persona rather than herself. When she sets her site on Marcus in a club, she figures she'll have a one night stand and act like everything thinks she should. But what we realize is that Nicola is not some hardened woman who can sleep with someone without an emotional connection. And no matter how hard she tries to fight it, she starts forming an emotional connection with Marcus, which leads to her being hurt (pretty badly at times) by the one man she wants to trust.

If you thought Chase and Chloe were hot in Sullivan #1, prepare to be hosed down from the flames that fly off Marcus and Nicola. It's always those stuffy suit types that will shock the hell out of you in the bedroom and Marcus will not disappoint.

Bella Andre has created wonderful characters in this new series that will suck you into their story from the very first paragraph.

The Look of Love (Chase & Chloe): The Sullivans

The Look of Love  - Bella Andre I'd heard a lot about this series and had bought this book a few months ago. Unfortunately, it sat on my Nook app just waiting for me to find the time to read it. After reading it, this is one of those times where I'd like to slap myself for not reading this sooner.

Bella Andre has created a family of wickedly handsome men and gorgeous women in the Sullivan's. This first installment has middle son Chase falling for a woman he finds stranded on the side of the road during a rainstorm in Napa.

Chase, a photographer who has seen and had his share of beautiful woman, instantly falls in love with Chloe. What was refreshing was the fact that he wasn't afraid of his feelings and falling for someone so fast and so hard. Chase was one of those men that mortal women dream about because everything he did centered around Chloe. He was even willing to let Chloe go, knowing it would kill him, in order to ensure that she healed and came back to him.

Chloe is a woman who has been jaded by an abusive ex-husband. She determined to never feel like she needs to depend on another man and to make it on her own. When she meets Chase, she's on the side of the road with a wrecked car and no way to get in touch with anyone to help her. For Chloe, this was the worst possible scenario. To make matters worse, her body and her mind were in a constant struggle with what to do with Chase. She was wildly attracted to him, but her mind was telling her to run as far away as possible. She has a hard time reconciling what she wants now and in the future against what kind of life she had in the past. Until she deals with her past, she's unable to deal with Chase except in bed.

In bed (or the tub, the kitchen, etc) these two are scorching HOT! From the minute these two meet each other, we were treated to some very erotic moments between a bit of voyeurism, the hours the spent in Chloe's bed and their foray into breakfast sex. You'll be spraying yourself with some water to cool off with these two.

An excellent start to the Sullivan series (there are eight Sullivan kids, so we'll be lucky enough to spend quite a bit of time with this family). This is definitely a book and series you'll want to pick up.

Can't Help Falling In Love: The Sullivans

Can't Help Falling In Love  - Bella Andre Megan Harris is a woman who avoid risks. Since her first husband died in a plane crash, leaving her to raise their toddler daughter, she does what she can to ensure she and her daughter won't have to deal with that type of heartache again. Unfortunately, she can't control everything and she and her daughter are caught in a horrible apartment fire hiding in the bathtub.

Enter Gabe Sullivan, firefighter extraordinaire.

Gabe has always had a fascination with fire, so firefighting is the perfect fit for him. He never loses his cool in a fire, but when he rescued Megan and Summer during their apartment fire he was bound to break his rule of never dating a fire victim.

Megan and Gabe are perfect for each other, even if they fight their instant attraction for each other. Megan doesn't want to put hers and her daughter's hearts at risk on an adrenaline junkie who might not come home and Gabe doesn't want to be with someone who only sees him as her rescuer. But when the two of them stop fighting each other, they find that what they feel for each is much deeper and much stronger than anything they felt before.

Their road to happiness would have been much easier if Megan was able to let go of her past hurt earlier, but you can see how already losing one husband in a senseless accident would make one gun shy. The problem was, she wasn't really seeing past Gabe's job to the man who was responsible at work and would never purposefully jeopardize himself. Once she was able to do that, she was able to fully open herself to this wonderful man.

And ladies....Gabe is one hot man. For me, Gabe is now tied with Chase as the hottest Sullivan brother. He's funny, thoughtful, a fireman (hello!!) and sexy as hell. Who wouldn't love a man like that.

A fantastic story about two people burned in the past but learning that you can't paint everyone with the same broad brush stroke.

Blood of Anteros (The Vampire Agápe Series #1) (Volume 1)

Blood of Anteros (Vampire Agápe, #1) - Georgia Cates This was an interesting twist on a vampire tale. Vampires who have a God chosen soul mate who will return that vampire's humanity while being the vampires biggest weakness. An awesome premise and to have this story introduced by a vampire who hates what he is was a perfect start to the Vampire Agape series.

Curry Brennan was turned against his will by a sadistic woman who wanted nothing more than to own him. Own him she did for 139 years until one fateful eclipse released Curry from their bond. Curry is an introverted man who has done his best to keep to himself for most of his existence. But when he finds himself renting an apartment from the family that now owns the home he built in Mississippi, he can't help but be drawn in by their Southern hospitality and their granddaughter, Chansey Leclaire. Curry knows nothing about agapes or their special meaning to a vampire when he fights the draw to Chansey, but he soon finds out that the will of the Gods is much more than any mere mortal or vampire can fight.

What makes this a great story is the fact that it's told in Curry's point of view. He's a man..err vampire, who truly hates what he is and that hatred has shaped who he is. While he claims to have accepted what he is, you can tell that he really hasn't and that makes his choices when it comes to Chansey heartbreaking.

I'm not very fond of the ending to this story as it leaves you hanging for the next book. It was kind of like being privy to a conversation and suddenly having the door slammed in your face. But I won't hold that against the book, because I did enjoy it and will cross my fingers that Georgia Cates has something wonderful in store for us in the next installment to this series that gives us the continuation of Curry and Chansey's story.

Her Long Hot Surrender [Raw Texas Heat 3] (Siren Publishing Menage Everlasting)

Her Long Hot Surrender [Raw Texas Heat 3] (Siren Publishing Menage Everlasting) - Kayla Knight Look for review on Romancing the Book

Head Over Heels (A Lucky Harbor Novel)

Head Over Heels  - Jill Shalvis I haven't found a Jill Shalvis book that I haven't instantly fallen in love with the characters in the book. This Lucky Harbor series is no exception, but out of the three books in the series I have to say that this one is my favorite so far.

Chloe spent the majority of her life living in the moment and leaving for her next adventure whenever the whim hit her. It was the only lifestyle she knew, until her mother died and she started up the B & B with her sisters in Lucky Harbor. For the first time in her life, Chloe has a reason to set down roots and start to build a life in one town. Opening a day spa at the B & B is the first step, which is able to do with ease. The next is a little harder for Chloe and that's admitting that she loves and needs her sisters. She was raised around people who threw out "I love you" like it was nothing, but Chloe knew those 3 words had a deeper meaning and was adamant she wouldn't use them unless she truly meant them. Chloe coming to terms with her feelings towards her sisters and being able to say "I love you" were some of the funniest and heartwarming parts of the story.

Sawyer is a complex man. Left by his mother at a young age, he rebelled in his teenaged years choosing a life of petty crimes and drinking. When his out of control ways lead to him being sent to juvie, he straightened his life out. Unfortunately, he went the complete opposite direction of his youth to a man who walked the line and never deviated from it. He went out of this way to do what he thought he needed to do to make reparations to the town, his father and even a bit to an old friend for his misspent youth. The one person he didn't forgive was himself. It took living on the edge Chloe to knock Sawyer from that line and make him realize that despite what he may have done when he was younger, people love him for the man he is now and he should too.

Despite their differences, Chloe and Sawyer fit together like puzzle pieces. She loosens him up (the drunken painting party is one of my favorite scenes in the book) and he, while sometime very bossy with her, is always there behind her to catch her no matter what.

As with any Jill Shalvis novel, you will alternate between laughing out loud and grabbing for a tissue to wipe at those pesky escape tears, but you will always close the book with a smile on your face.

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