16 Apr 2014

Review: Tall, Tatted and Tempting by Tammy Falkner

Title: Tall, Tatted and Tempting (The Reed Brothers #1)
Author: Tammy Falkner
Date of publication: 17 June 2013
Genre: Romance, New Adult, Disabilities
Author's links: Website / Facebook / Goodreads
Purchase links: Amazon / B&N / Kobo / Smashwords
Free at the time of publication, except at B&N

My rating: 3 Stars


Synopsis

She’s locked up tight. But he might be the key.

Logan Reed is tall, tatted and tempting.
Kit’s a woman with a mean right hook and a secret.

Kit wants a tattoo, but Logan sees more than she intends to share in the drawing of the tat she wants. He sees her in ways no one ever has.

Logan’s not disabled; but he hasn’t spoken in eight years. He hasn’t needed to.
Until he meets Kit.

Logan doesn’t know everything about Kit. Kit doesn’t know anything about herself, until she has to sacrifice all she ever wanted to save what’s most important to him.

Review

This book features a hero which disability (he can't hear and hasn't spoken for 8 years), and I'm always curious about such stories. Furthermore, the book was free on Amazon, so I decided to give it a try.  

I expected more focus on hero's disability and how he copes with life and love despite it, but what I got is a nice, albeit fairly typical NA romantic story.

I enjoyed the writing and all the characters were quite likable as well. Still, I felt the story lacked depth. Early on we learn that the heroine, Kit (Emily) also has learning issues - she is dyslexic and it's a big impediment for her. It seems a bit unrealistic to me how her parents being, so rich and successful, just thought she was stupid and didn't really help her deal better with her learning disability.

The hero, Logan, was just swoony - a tortured and sexy tattoo artist. He is deaf but he is not speaking by his own choice. Soon after he meets Kit, though, he opens up to her and starts talking but only to her. Part of the reason was how difficult it was for her to read his notes, yet he kept his silence around everybody else, including his four brothers and it didn't feel right to me. They all had learned sign language for him, yet he didn't make the slightest effort to talk with them.

The story follows the romance between Logan and Kit while the disabilities of the characters were played down. This said, I really enjoyed the interaction between them, how they communicated with one another. Logan's brothers were great supporting characters. Their own stories and their active role in Logan and Kit's lives added richness to the story. 

Matt's illness and the decision of Kit to help him was admirable and an act only a strong, compassion person could do. It set in motion the events leading to the resolution of the main conflict in the story.

The ending was a bit rushed and the conflict between Kit and her parents was far too easily resolved. The book has a happy end, though the story of Logan and Kit continues in the next book of the series, Smart, Sexy and Secretive.

Overall, it's a nice, NA romance - with some angst, some sexy times and a generally feel-good vibe.

15 Apr 2014

Teaser Tuesday 55


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Here are the rules:


• Grab your current read 
• Open to a random page 
• Share two (2) or a few more “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page


I'm currently reading the Psy-Changeling series by Nalini Singh, trying to catch up with the action before the release of book 12, Shield of Winter on June 3. This paranormal romance series is quickly becoming one of my favourites. I am on book 5, Hostage to Pleasure, now and here is my teaser from it:

...With him, she spoke only the truth. But, as she had learned in the twenty-six years of her life, truth was a tool. It should never simply be said. No, it had to be bent, twisted, colored, until it became a weapon.

Synopsis

Separated from her son and forced to create a neural implant that will mean the effective enslavement of her psychically gifted race, Ashaya Aleine is the perfect Psy--cool, calm, emotionless...at least on the surface. Inside, she's fighting a desperate battle to save her son and escape the vicious cold of the PsyNet. Yet when escape comes, it leads not to safety, but to the lethal danger of a sniper's embrace.

DarkRiver sniper Dorian Christensen lost his sister to a Psy killer. Though he lacks the changeling ability to shift into animal form, his leopard lives within. And that leopard's rage at the brutal loss is a clawing darkness that hungers for vengeance. Falling for a Psy has never been on Dorian's agenda. But charged with protecting Ashaya and her son, he discovers that passion has a way of changing the rules...





13 Apr 2014

Review: Visions of Heat by Nalini Singh

Title: Visions of Heat (Psy-Changeling #2)
Author: Nalini Singh
Date of publication: 6 March 2007
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Shapeshifters

Author's links:
Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads

Purchase links: Amazon / B&N / Ibooks 

My rating: 5 stars



Synopsis

Used to cold silence, Faith NightStar is suddenly being tormented by dark visions of blood and murder. A bad sign for anyone, but worse for Faith, an F-Psy with the highly sought after ability to predict the future. Then the visions show her something even more dangerous - aching need...exquisite pleasure. But so powerful is her sight, so fragile the state of her mind, that the very emotions she yearns to embrace could be the end of her.

Changeling Vaughn D'Angelo can take the form of either man or jaguar, but it is his animal side that is overwhelmingly drawn to Faith. The jaguar's instinct is to claim this woman it finds so utterly fascinating and the man has no argument. But while Vaughn craves sensation and hungers to pleasure Faith in every way, desire is a danger that could snap the last threads of her sanity. And there are Psy who need Faith's sight for their own purposes. They must keep her silenced - and keep her from Vaughn.

Review

I liked this book even more than the first one in the series. Faith and Vaughn were great characters on their own and they were perfect together. 

Ms Singh continues to build the world of the Psy and the Changelings. The Changeling men are just yummy, though it's to be expected since they have all the positive features of their animals - strength and agility, heightened sexuality. They love to touch, to pet and to cuddle and at the same time they are loyal, possessive and protective of Pack and their mate.  How can a girl not love them :)

I also love the idea of the mating - forever type of love, no cheating, no breaking of the bond, mutual love and respect. In terms of romance, it's as perfect as it can get. All this is couple of scorching hot sexual chemistry.

Vaughn was all animal changeling and more since he is jaguar in the Pack of panthers. He is a bit of an outsider and that makes him just extra special. His animal is stronger than in most of the other changelings and his connection with a Psy like Faith who literally can't stand to be touched was really intriguing. 

This said, it's the Psy that are unique and they make this shapeshifters series really amazing. Ms Singh creates a multifaceted Psy world and she keep adding details to it with every new book in the series. The Psy we have met so far are all different and I find them really interesting - from the members of the Psy Council to Sascha and Faith, even Faith's father - they are all very well developed as characters and have their own strong presence in the series. The different combination of abilities every Psy possesses make them unique and intriguing characters. 

I absolutely loved Vaughn but Faith was more even more amazing. She changed so much in this book, her journey form someone who can't bear to be touch to being mated to a highly sensual jaguar was truly remarkable. 

Their romance was great - slow-building, even tender (as much as Vaughn can be gentle) and at the same time passionate and all-encompassing. It was the focus of the story but it also worked well with  mystery/suspense plot. 

I strongly recommend this series to all lovers of paranormal romance. I can't wait to continue with the next book in the series, Caressed by Ice, where we move to the other changeling pack - the wolfs of ShadowDance.

My review of Slave to Sensation


11 Apr 2014

Review: Hard Time by Cara McKenna


Title: Hard Time
Author: Cara McKenna
Date of publication: 15 April 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotica 

Author's links: Website / Twitter / Tumblr / Goodreads

Purchase links: Amazon / B&N / iTunesKobo

My rating: 4 Stars


Synopsis

In this all-new novel from the author of Unbound, a woman with a rocky past finds romance in the last place she’d ever expect...

Annie Goodhouse doesn’t need to be warned about bad boys; good sense and an abusive ex have given her plenty of reasons to play it safe. But when she steps into her new role as outreach librarian for Cousins Correctional Facility, no amount of good sense can keep her mind—or eyes—off inmate Eric Collier.

Eric doesn’t claim to be innocent of the crime that landed him in prison. In fact, he’d do it again if that’s what it took to keep his family safe. Loyalty and force are what he knows. But meeting Annie makes him want to know more.

When Eric begins courting Annie through letters, they embark on a reckless, secret romance—a forbidden fantasy that neither imagines could ever be real…until early parole for Eric changes everything, and forces them both to face a past they can’t forget, and a desire they can’t deny.

Review

This is my third book by Cara McKenna and to describe it I'm borrowing the definition given to her books by another reviewer - smart erotica, adding romance, since this one was all about romance plus great sexual chemistry.

It's easy to turn the main premise of this story of a love affair between a librarian and prisoner into a cliched version of a shy, sexually repressed woman and a bold, domineering, aggressive prisoner. I'm glad to say that it's nothing like this.

It's a complex story of love, lust and what it means to be with someone, to accept them for who they are and to share freely all your dreams and desires.

Ms McKenna creates a beautiful love story, a passionate romance, a realistic novel exploring issues such as abuse, violence and possibility of change.

I'm not a big fan of stories told via letters, but the love/lust letters between Annie and Eric were something else - so passionate, so open and honest, they reveal how two strangers can get to know more about each other than anyone else knows about them all through the exchange of words on paper without any physical contact.

The unique positions of Annie and Eric make their romance a curious mix of impossible love and unrequited passion allowing them both to be completely uninhibited and to indulge in their deepest secrets and fantasies.

Around the middle of the story reality came crashing in and things changed dramatically. Annie and Eric were given a chance too act on their attraction but at the same time they were faced with a whole new set of issues. After one abusive relationship year ago, Annie had great difficulties accepting the violence in Eric. He was always gentle and caring with her, responsive to her wishes, yet his repentance about the violent act that led him to jail and his determination to resort to violence again if necessary put a strain on their relationship.

This is where my issues with the plot come out. I feel like they went in circles in their disputes, Annie was appalled at the violence Eric was capable of, he was adamant in not sharing the reasons behind his behaviour. They went on and on without anyone of them changing their position.

I didn't particularly like the plotline with Eric's family. The issue with his sister was far too easily resolved. I also felt the ending was lacking. I would have also loved to see her family's reaction to him. It would have been nice to see Annie and Eric actually trying to work things out as a couple - they have so many obstacles to overcome.

The love scenes were hot, hot, hot. They completely unraveled me with their honesty, openness. He was adoringly shy, always trying to please her, deriving his pleasure from hers, in a way he was the perfect lover. Annie was adventurous, excited to explore, to try new things, rediscovering passion and pleasure.

Ms McKenna has created amazing characters - he was a delightful combination of shy and considerate, a perfect gentleman, yet ready to do violence for the person he loves/cares about - he had a strong sense of loyalty, justice. His writing disability, his care for his plants came in sharp contrast with his readiness to resort to violence for his loved ones. 

Annie was quite interesting, as well - she was strong enough to get away from an abusive relationship, strong enough to cope with the prisoners, she trusted Eric despite her fear of violence, she was willing to face his family, her family, to stand by him. 

Overall this book explores some complex issues in the lives of realistic characters involved in a true romance with great sexual chemistry. Despite some issues I had with the plot, it's another winner for Ms McKenna which I can recommend.My reviews of some of other books by Cara McKenna:

9 Apr 2014

Mini Review: Whisper of Sin by Nalini Singh

Title: Whisper of Sin (Psy-Changeling # 0.6)
Author: Nalini Singh
Date of publication: 25 Feb 2014
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Shapeshifters, Novella

Author's links: 

My rating: 4 Stars



Synopsis

San Francisco is under threat from a violent gang…a gang that has no idea who they’re challenging. The DarkRiver pack of leopard changelings has already claimed the city as their territory, and they will fight with wild fury to protect its residents. Emmett, a lethally trained leopard soldier, isn’t about to let outsiders muscle in on his home ground—especially when they target a human named Ria.

Emmett has one word for the smart stranger with her curvy body and tough spirit: mine.

Possessive, dominant, unyielding in his demands and desires, Emmett is unlike anyone Ria has ever before met. But while the sexy leopard changeling makes her body ignite, his kisses molten and his touch addicting, she’s no pushover and she has a few demands of her own. This leopard has met his match

Review

I loved this little novella on Ria (Lucas' human assistant) and Emmett (a leopard changeling). I've only read the first two novels in the Psy-Changeling series so far and I was greatly impressed. 

The focus in this book is on the humans (Ria and her family) and we get to see just glimpses of the changeling world (Emmett's parents, Lucas, Dorian, Nate and Tamsyn all make an appearance). I do miss the Psy in this novella, since I find their race fascinating and they are only briefly mentioned as part of the general world building. 

Both Ria and Emmett are wonderful characters. She seems fragile on the outside, but in reality she has a quiet strength that holds her family together. Emmett is the typical strong, possessive, protective changeling, yet he respects Ria's strength and loves her for it. Their relationship develops really fast but since it's a paranormal romance I don't mind the instalust/love. 

Chronologically, this book comes before book 1, Slave to Sensation (my review), so it's a suitable read even for readers who still haven't started this series. As for the fans of the series, I'm sure they will love Ria and Emmett's story. It has all the brilliance of Ms Singh's writing - well-developed characters, intriguing plot and detailed world building.

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