Tuesday, April 27, 2010

To Seduce A Sinner by Elizabeth Hoyt~~DIK Reading Challenge

For years, Melisande Fleming has loved Lord Vale from afar . . . watching him seduce a succession of lovers, and once, catching a glimpse of heartbreaking depths beneath his roguish veneer. When he’s jilted on his wedding day, she boldly offers to be his.
Vale gladly weds Melisande, if only to produce an heir. But he’s pleasantly surprised: A shy and proper Lady by day, she’s a wanton at night, giving him her body—though not her heart.
Determined to learn her secrets, this sinner starts to woo his seductive new wife—while hiding the nightmares from his soldiering days in the Colonies that still haunt him. Yet when a deadly betrayal from the past threatens to tear them apart, Lord Vale must bare his soul to the woman he married...or risk losing her forever.

My Thoughts:
My only regret is waiting so long to read the second book in the Four Soldiers series. I really do believe that allowing so much time to lapse between book one, To Taste Temptation, and To Seduce A Sinner caused me to have an awful time in the beginning. I kept trying to remember how the hero and heroine fit into the last story, what Jasper and Samuel had figured out about Spinners Fall, etc. Once I realized that Melisande was Emmeline's (heroine from TTT) friend and that Jasper was indeed the former fiancee to Emmeline I let everything else go. I figured it would come to me as I read deeper into the story. I am happy to say that most of it did come back.

Melisande has been in love with Lord Vale, Jasper, from afar for years. It almost broke her when her best friend became engaged to him and she did not have the courage to do anything more than stand idly by and watch the love of her life slip through her fingers. Now she must go and watch him wed someone else, only this time the young lady practically leaves Jasper at the altar. Melisande finds the courage to approach Jasper and ask him to marry her. Jasper knows that he should remember who she is, he knows that she is Emmeline's friend, but can't remember her name. Sad really because Melisande was showing more courage than some men standing in front of a firing squad.

Both Melisande and Jasper have secrets that they wish to keep. Melisande is so in love with Jasper but she is afraid that if she allows him to know of her true feelings he will hurt in the end, when he finally gets his heir and turns away from her. Jasper is dealing with his demons from Spinner's Fall and is still on the hunt for the traitor who gave their location to the French.  Neither realize that these secrets are going to be the very things that bring them closer together and ultimately bind them together in a very strong love.

I love how Ms. Hoyt always includes bits of a fairy tale at the beginning of each chapter. I believe she has done this with every one of her books that I have read. The fairy tale always lends a little something extra to the story.

Another awesome book by Ms. Hoyt... and this time I won't wait so long before reading the next book in the series!

Rating 4.5 stars

Monday, April 26, 2010

Contest Winner

I used Random.org to randomize the list of entries. 

And the Winner is:


I loved this anthology so much that I want to share my copy with another lucky person. So I ran the randomizer a second time, after removing Christina's name.

And the Winner of my gently used copy is:


The winners have until midnight (Eastern time) Wednesday, April 28 to email me and claim their prize. If I have not heard from the winner by that time, I will use the randomizer to pick another winner.

I must say thank you to everyone that stopped by and entered!!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Full Exposure by Tracy Wolff

Closing herself off to a traumatic past, photographer Serena Macafee likes sex with no strings attached. No commitment. Just pure pleasure. Her new subject, sculptor Kevin Riley, is the perfect man to fulfill her hottest fantasies. Where better than the torrid wetlands of Baton Rouge where Riley works-and plays? But as their affair heats up, so do Serena’s intimate feelings for Kevin. And as her guard breaks down, her fears are aroused.

She’s opening herself up to emotions she never wanted, and making herself vulnerable to a past she thought she’d escaped. One that has followed her to the sweltering southern bayou, exposing her to the twisted fantasies of someone in the shadows, and to dangers beyond her control.

My Thoughts: 

You know me, I am a cover junkie... buying books just because of the cover. I had not heard of Tracy Wolff before stopping by Lea's blog last week and finding Tracy Wolff's awesome post on covers. She didn't talk a whole lot about Full Exposure in the post other than to mention the cover and let us know that she didn't have a whole lot to do with this cover. I guess I should really say that the blurb wasn't included. I went to Amazon.com to find out more and there wasn't a blurb there either, so I did what I should have done in the beginning... I checked out her website. I read only the blurb for Full Exposure, headed back over to Amazon and had to make a really hard choice. Order the print book with the awesome cover and wait 4 days for it to arrive, or order the Kindle version and start reading immediately. My need for instant gratification won out. I ordered the Kindle version and I am only kicking myself because I really wanted to see this cover and for $6.00 it could have been mine. I still may go back and buy it, because lets face it Amazon has a really good deal on it right now and I can purchase another book I want for another $6.00 but then I am going to want to add more books because these two books qualify for the super shipping savings. I'm off track. Full Exposure certainly is a good enough book to warrant me purchasing twice!!!

We have all read and loved the stories of a tortured hero, Full Exposure is the story of a tortured heroine. Sebrina has been through one of the most tragic, devastating, horrifying... there is just not a word that I can come up with to describe the events that took place in her young life without actually telling the heart wrenching story. Which I will not do, I really think that would be considered a spoiler!! Creating a mask to hide behind and a shell to live in she has learned to keep emotionally distant from everyone. She likes the "No Strings attached" concept in her relationships. When her agent sends her to the bayou to photograph Kevin Riley, a recluse and temperamental sculptor, she starts experiencing feelings that she has held in check for 10 years.

Kevin's got the body of a God and Sabrina is lusting after him at every turn. He however is showing no signs of going up in smoke, actually shows no interest in her at all. Kevin's control is slipping. He can't concentrate on his work, which could be very dangerous as he does play with fire. Then it happens, Sabrina is so caught up in the heat of her body that she doesn't realize Kevin has turned and now he sees just how not oblivious Sabrina is to him. She knows that getting involved with this artist will be a disaster for her. He will never let her keep this casual.

Full Exposure was smokin' hot! The Louisiana summer heat had nothing in comparison to the fire that Kevin and Sabrina put off. Ms. Wolff did a superb job creating a world that you could connect to and be a part of. I mean you could honestly feel the heat coming through the book. There is suspense as Sabrina's past creeps back up and she finds that she has a stalker who won't stop and threatens her very sanity. And I can't complain about the romance side of it either. Kevin pushes the boundaries that Sabrina set many years before, makes her open up and face those fears, and the whole time he is right there to sooth the bumps and bruises. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Full Exposure, had a very hard time putting it down. I will definitely be ordering the rest of Ms Wolff's books!!

Rating: 4.5

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

More Than Words Vol. 6 Review and Giveaway

Contest is now closed!
I received an email shortly before I went on vacation asking if I would be interested in reading and reviewing and the possibility of me holding a give away here on my blog for More Than Words Vol.6. I am not a reader of anthologies, for some reason I just can't seem to make myself enjoy them. But after reading a little bit about the history of the program that put this book, and several others, into the hands of like minded romance readers there was absolutely no way that I was going to turn down this opportunity.

More Than Words is a program that Harlequin started to bring "awareness of worthy causes that are a concern to women." There are women all over the world who are doing something that is bringing about some sort of change and lend a helping hand in this world, real life heroines. Each year Harlequin holds a contest to find worthy women so that they can share their stories with us, the readers.  For more information on this program please visit   More Than Words.

In More Than Words Vol. 6 we are introduced to five women, their programs, and the stories that they inspired five authors to write.

Katherine Chon, who with the help of her friend Derek Ellerman, who established the Polaris Project, named for the North Star which guided slaves to freedom. The Polaris Project came about after Ms. Chon found that slavery was alive and well still today. This is an entirely different type of slavery than what we learned about in our US History classes. Today we are facing human trafficking, where young people are lured away from family and friends and forced into prostitution. There is a definite dark side to the stories of the women who have come out of this dreadful situation.

Inspired by Katherine Chon's story and organization Joan Johnston wrote Almost Lost, the story of a thirteen year old girl who reports her best friend missing. Joan Johnston does a wonderful job in writing this story informing us of this real problem and giving us insight into what happens to young ladies that are caught in human trafficking without having the story become too dark. Of course there is a romance that starts blossoming, this is after all a romance anthology, but the romance does not overshadow the importance and ultimate goal of the novella.

Rhonda Clemons and the Zoe Institute: The Zoe Institute is "a faith based, long term support agency for single women and their children." The program came about after the death of Rhonda Clemons' husband. She was trying to raise four children on her own, however she had a lot of support. She wondered about all of the women in the world who found themselves in her position without the support and means that were available to her. Zoe Institute provides help to women who come from all walks of life, lending emotional and physical support. They provide safe houses, counseling, food, gas vouchers, etc.

Robyn Carr wrote Sheltering Hearts to help bring about an awareness to the Zoe Institute. In this novella you meet Dory, a single mother with two young children. She escaped an abusive marriage and now throws herself  into her children, working at the grocery store, and the support group that her and a few other women started. The support group is modeled after another group that helped Dory several years before in Oklahoma.
This story is close to my heart. While I didn't suffer through an abusive relationship, I was a single mother for several years. Without the support of my family, I really don't know where my daughter and I would have ended up. I count myself as one of the fortunate women who unfortunately made a few bad decisions in my early years of adulthood.

Barbara Huston and Partners in care Maryland: This program, the brain child of Barbara Huston, started in the kitchen. It is a volunteer service where people can bank their time, kind of a "I scratch your back you scratch mine." Someone who has perfect vision may sit and read with someone with less than perfect, and when that person needs a ride to the doctor another member of the group will step up and take him/her. The program was devised to the older generation stay in their homes without feeling like a burden to their loved ones and without living in fear that they won't be able to afford to pay someone to come in and do the little things that they can no longer do.

In Safely Home by Christina Skye Sara Winslow travels to Sedona, Arizona to find her sister Hannah. Hannah is a free spirit, flitting from place to place on a whim, but she would never needlessly worry Sara. Sara finds the house empty, a cafe full of well meaning but very curious neighbors, and one sexy  Deputy Sheriff who has her thinking relationship. In the midst of trying to figure out the disappearance of her sister, Sara runs across a log with names, DOBs, and jobs needing to be done. It seems that Sara has finally found a worthy cause to settle herself into.

Unfortunately life got in the way of my reading over the weekend and I didn't finish the last two stories. I am expecting that the last two novellas will be just as heart warming and touching.

Lara Tavares and Sky's The Limit Youth Organization: It wasn't that long ago that it was not common to have a computer at home. I had a little experience with them in high school, nothing major... learning to type only. It was only ten years ago that my stepdad brought the first computer home and I had my first taste of the internet. Now it seems like a foreign concept not to have access to my computer and internet on a daily basis. My son was playing games on it at two years old, and would probably be lost without it now at the grand old age of seven. So hearing that there are children that don't have access to do school projects just seems so unreal to me. Don't get me wrong I do know that there are countries where the poverty level is so great that there is no surprise, but for us in the United States and Canada?!!

Lara Tavares has made it her mission to close the digital divide in Canada. She is the founder and CEO of Sky's The Limit Youth Organization. The organization purchases refurbished computers and distributes them to students in under-resourced communities. Not only does the organization provide the computers but it also teaches the students how to use the computers.

Roni Lomeli and Shoes that Fit: Shoes that Fit is a charitable organization that provides school shoes for children in need. I hear my husbands stories about his childhood and think "Wow, as bad as it got, I never had to tape my shoes together." and I can't imagine either one of my children having to either. Unfortunately that is what some children are faced with each year. Their shoes are either falling apart, too small, hand me downs from an older sibling who might just be the opposite sex.

It is pretty cool how the organization works. It is much like a secret Santa that you would see at your kid's school. You find a tag that has a boy or girl on it with their shoe sizes. Often times the child that you are purchasing for will not be at your school. Once you purchase the shoes you take them back up to the school and drop them off. They are then given to the child in need, but in private so that the child does not feel bad about it.

Harlequin is offering up More Than Words Vol 6 to one lucky winner. All you have to do is leave a comment here and I will use a randomizer to draw a name. The contest is open until Monday April 26. The contest is open to U.S and Canada only.

Please take a moment to stop by More Than Words website to learn more about this wonderful program, the winners of this years (and previous years) contest and the programs they have started. All proceeds from the sales of the book go directly back into the charity program. And if you know a lady that is taking strides to better her community maybe you could take the time to nominate her for next year!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My Lady Captor by Hannah Howell

Lady Sorcha Hay is devastated to learn that English soldiers are holding her young brother captive. Penniless, the only way she can pay for his freedom is by taking a hostage for ransom herself. Her captive--a wounded knight plucked from the battlefield--is furious to be imprisoned by a woman. But nothing will stop Sorcha from keeping Sir Ruari Kerr enslaved, even as the sight of his bronzed body sets her mind reeling and her senses afire..

With her dark mane and soft curves, Sorcha is everything Ruari has ever desired in a woman. As she tends to his wounds, Ruari fights the intense attraction that ignites at her very touch. But he can't afford to lose his heart to his tempting captor. For when he's finally rescued by his men, Sorcha will pay dearly for her treachery--and loving her could put both their lives in peril...

My Thoughts:

It seems that I have been reading a lot of New To Me authors lately. I have not been disappointed in any of them and Hannah Howell has definitely lived up to the expectations that I have created of late in reading these NTM authors.
My Lady Captor was exceptionally good. I enjoyed that Sorcha was such a strong woman, and was ultimately leading her clan while everyone waited for her brother, Dougal, to finally mature enough to use the brain God gave him. When Sorcha finds out that Dougal has been taken captive by the English her only option is to hold Rauri Kerr and his cousin Beatham for ransom. Sorcha has a strong attraction towards Rauri but knows that nothing can come of it, she is a landless and dowerless woman of high birth and his pride in being taken captive by a woman will not allow them to ever form a match. The two must come to terms with this and offer only the passions that rise whenever they are near.

My Lady Captor was humorous, sexy and passionate. The constant bickering and kidnapping between the clans mixed in with some unhappy spirits made for a really fun read. I have definitely found another HR author to put on my list of must haves.

Rating 5

The Magic Knot by Helen Scott Taylor


What woman wouldn't be attracted to Niall O'Connor's soft Irish brogue and dark good looks? But Rosenwyn Tremain must find her father, and she isn't going to let a sexy, stubborn Irishman and his motorcycle distract her. Rose's intuition tells her he's hiding something, a secret even the cards cannot divine. Her tarot deck always reads true, but how can one man represent both Justice and Betrayal?


Magic. Niall's body tingles with it when he finds the woman snooping in his room. Rosenwyn might believe she's a no-nonsense accountant, but her essence whispers to him of ancient fairy magic that enslaves even as it seduces. Her heritage could endanger those he'd die to protect, but her powers and her passion, if properly awakened, might be the only thing that can save both their families, vanquish a fairy queen bent on revenge, and fulfill a prophecy that will bind their hearts together with... THE MAGIC KNOT

My Thoughts:

All I could remember when I finally purchased this book was that I wanted to read it. I didn't know anything more about it than that. I didn't read the back of the book and I hadn't read any reviews on it. I have seen the author on a few blogs, and all I can remember from those interviews are Fairies and that the author has a quiz on her website that will tell you whether you are Earth, Fire, Water, or Air. So needless to say I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I finally started reading The Magic Knot last week.

Rosenwyn has no idea who she really is. She does not think too fondly of her mother, who always criticized  her for being too plain. Now that her mother is dead and she has a promising career Rosenwyn is headed to the one place her mother always said to never go, Cornwall. She is determined to finish the business of telling Michael O'Connor that he is in default of his loan and the bank is going to take the company so that she can move on to her other agenda... finding her father.

Niall O'Connor has a way with money, which is good for him because he is going to need to bail his brother out once again to keep the nosy Rosenwyn from delving to far into the business and digging up information that is better left alone.  He is also using his "Midas touch" to pay one creepy little man to provide the much needed protection spell to keep his brother and sister hidden from an vindictive Fairy Queen.

Rosenwyn has buried her past so deep that she does not remember that she is not a normal human being but a Cornish pixie. Her father wants her only to finish the job he started years ago with her mother. She unknowingly creates a very strong bond between her and Niall when she runs across his magic knot. Now Niall must keep her safe which means trying to keep her from finding out who her father really is.

The Magic Knot was an excellent story filled with all sorts of mystical people. It was a great start for a new series, and the second book (Phoenix Charm)  is available now.

I loved learning about the pixies, leprechauns, and Night walkers. The bond that is created between Niall and Rose is kind of reminiscent of the bond that you will find in the couples from the Black Dagger Brotherhood, however there is no comparison in the stories. Rose is such a strong willed woman and Niall is of course just as strong and stubborn. He will not allow himself to get close or allow another person to get close to him for fear of the danger he puts the people around him in, and a deep emotional scar. A sweet romance!!
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