Thursday, January 31, 2013

Seduction of a Highland Warrior (Highland Warriors, #3) by Sue-Ellen Welfonder

  • Title: Seduction of a Highland Warrior (The Highland Warriors)
  • Classification: Adult Fiction
  • Genre: Historical Romance
  • Format: Paperback; 432 pages
  • Publisher: Forever (January 29, 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 0446561797
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446561792
  • Author's Website:

King Robert III ordered a trial by combat/battle to the death, to decide which three clans would reside in the land now held by the Mackintosh, Cameron, and MacDonald clans. After the combat, the King declared a truce between the remaining clans, and, if not upheld, the clan(s) causing trouble would be severely punished and banished to Hebridean Isle. A fate none wanted. 

That was the day three young woman decided to take matters into their own hands to ensure the peace endured. Lady Catriona, Lady Isobel, and Lady Marjory were each from different clans, and they made a pact to marry into another. It was their hope that by intermarrying, they could tie the clans together by blood, thereby, uniting them. Each woman picked a potential husband. Isobel had picked Kendrew Mackintosh to be her husband and had successfully won him. Likewise Lady Cationa had sought out and won the affections of James Cameron. Only Lady Marjory has yet to win her suit for Alsdair MacDonald.

Just before the trial by combat, Lady Isobel's brother, James, went to the Makers of Dreams hoping to find out the outcome of the battle before it took place. Instead, he been given a prophecy, "Peace will be had when innocents pay the price of blood and gold covers the glen."

Now it's Magory's turn to try to win her man, but could a prophecy yet unfulfilled signify that a union between her and Alsdair is ill fated and could break the delicate balance of peace which exists amongst the clans? Is she destined for her own happily ever after? 


This is the third book of the Highland Warriors trilogy. If you haven't read the first two books of the series, I recommend that you do. It would let you have a better understanding of the characters and events involved in this book. I personally feel you'd enjoy this book more by reading the two previous books in the series.

This books starts off with Alsdair having been away from the Glen of Many Legends for a year with no word. He thought he could quell his feelings for Marjory, but once he sees her again he realizes he was wrong. He and her brother are sworn enemies. To attempt a relationship with her could end very badly for all involved. It could invoke a war and bring about the King's wrath.

Marjory isn't positive of Alsdair's feelings for her. Anyone who see the two within eyesight of one another, however, would have no doubts about who either of them favors. That includes Majory's brother who is determined to prevent a union between the two from ever happening. With encouragement from her sister-in-law, Marjory attempts to seduce Alsdair and win her man. Before she gets very far, however, she has a dream that is so life like that when she awakens she can still smell the smoke. She worries it might be a warning about her future. For Majory has in her possession an amber necklace laced with gemstones that, according to legend, could aid the owner aid in times of trouble. Gifted to her by her sister-in-law, the necklace was once part of a collection which had been handed down through the generations by the MacDonald clan. It's said the amber gemstones had been a gift from Manannan Mac Lir, the mighty god of sea and wind. If the dream proves true, then her life may be in jeopardy. Before the dream could play out in it's entirety, she awoke. Could it be a sign her fate was not set in stone?

Overall, I gave this one a 4 out of 5 roses. I absolutely adore all the legends and lore Ms. Welfonder created for this series. I enjoyed how Alsdair attempts to try to do the right thing and leave Marjory alone, but she won't let him. I giggled at the advice Isobel was giving Marjory on how to go about seducing Alsdair. This was a very fun read. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one gets a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.

Order of Series:

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Release Day Review of Shadowkiller (Nightwatcher #3) by Wendy Corsi Staub

  • Title: Shadowkiller
  • Classification: Adult Fiction
  • Genre: Murder Mystery
  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (January 29, 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 0062070320
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062070326
Author's Website:

Ten years ago she disappeared. Her coworkers had been killed when the hijackers crashed their plane into the twin towers. The floor she had worked on was one of the first to be hit. She'd had a gut feeling that day that something bad was going to happen, and so she'd skipped work. She'd used the tragedy to mask her escape into obscurity. She'd left behind her old life and the husband who had told her just that morning he was leaving her. She'd never looked back until she'd seen the news report where she realized her former husband had married the woman who lived across the hall from them. The woman who had been Carrie's original reason for moving to New York. The woman whom eleven years earlier she'd planned to seek retribution from. A plan she would resurrect and put back into motion...


This was the third book in the Nightwatcher series. A series that has been following Allison Taylor MacKenna. I haven't read the first two books, but man, this poor woman is like a serial killer magnet. After narrowly escaping both the Nightwatcher and another serial killer, she's once again the object of a killer's attention. I didn't feel lost by not reading the first two books, but I am curious now what happened in them. While in this book we know who wants Allison dead, we don't know exactly why until the pieces start to slowly fall into place. While I guessed what the link was between Allison and Carrie, I couldn't wait to get the big picture of all the events which lead up to the suspenseful ending.

The book is segregated into three parts, some of which happens simultaneously. In one section, we get the murderer's point of view. We get into her head and witness first hand the plotting and execution of her plan. We get bits and pieces of scattered memories as the story toggles between the present and the past, and we slowly learn the connection between the two woman and the events that led up to the hate and rage that fills the killer. I almost felt the title should have been the anatomy of a serial murderer, because we got such a close look at the thought process that went behind the murderer's plan. We see what makes her tick, and how she justifies it all in her head.

The second section follows what is going on in  the lives of the killer's potential victims, Mack and Allison. It brings us up to speed with where they are, what they're doing, and what their plans are. We get a little insight into how they've been coping with the events which transpired the previous year which put the them all in danger and killed their neighbor.

The third section has us following the detectives assigned to the case. It allows us to witness how the detectives use all the little pieces of information they find and collect to solve the crime and catch the killer. We also see the impact a murder can have on the friends and family of the victims. Additionally, we get insight as to how the crimes affect the detectives and spurs their desire to catch and stop the killer.

Overall this one gets a 3 1/2 out of 5 roses. Plenty of action, drama, and suspense in this one. In some ways, the book reminded me a little of a brain teaser where I tried to piece together a puzzle before all the parts were provided and before time was up (the end).

Order of  the series:

Early Review of The Lass Wore Black by Karen Ranney

  • Title: The Lass Wore Black
  • Classification: Adult Fiction
  • Genre: Historical Romance
  • Format: Paperback; 384 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (January 29, 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 0062027808
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062027801
  • Author's Website:

Catriona was one of the most beautiful woman in all of London. She was being courted by a Duke, and everything she ever wanted seemed to be possible and within her grasp. Then, in an instant, tragedy struck and everything changed. While on her way home, something broke through the windows of her carriage shattering not only the glass but Catriona's face as the shards did their damage. As the carriage overturned, her leg and arm were crushed and broken within the wreckage. In a matter of moments, the beauty she had always relied upon to carry her through was taken from her, leaving her with scars that even her sister flinched at. Told she was lucky for surviving, she wasn't sure she totally agreed with that. Perhaps this was God's way of punishing her for her selfishness and past sins. She definitely hadn't been a saint. Unsure how to cope, she retreated from the world wearing only black as it mirrored her mood. Without her looks Catriona was just a shell of her former self. Her sister had always been the smart one and she'd always been the pretty one. Now she didn't know who or what she was, perhaps the monster the mirror suggested? Abandoning hope, she lost her appetite, refused to eat, and contemplated taking her life. That was when her aunt Dina stepped in and asked a friend for guidance and help.

Doctor Mark Thorburn had known Catriona before the accident although she most certainly never noticed him. He'd done an apprenticeship with her father years ago. He had been one of his favorite mentors and perhaps out of his fondness for him, or his curiosity of the young beautiful woman who had been his daughter, he decided to go above and beyond the call of duty. Realizing she refused to see any more doctors, he opted to pose as a footman who was assigned to stay with her until she ate her meals. What he never could have of imagined when he started his deceitful little plan, was that they would be just what the other needed.


This is the sequel to A Scandalous Scot. Catriona was the scandalous sister to Jean MacDonald. Not happy with being reduced to a maid after they're father was hanged for performing a mercy killing on his terminally ill wife, Catriona had an affair with a married man hoping he'd whisk her away. Her soon to be brother-in-law disapproved of the liaison and gave her a choice between being respectable or being someone's mistress. If she chose the former, he'd sponsor her debut into society where she'd have a chance at having a real relationship. Faced with the choices she chose wisely and decided to reform her scandalous ways. With the help of her aunt Dina, she learned how to interact and mingle with members of the ton. Everything she ever wanted seemed within reach when the 'accident' occurred.

Some people think bad things don't happen to good people. If something bad happens, they believe you must have done something to deserve it. But that's not the way the world works. Life has a way of just happening--whether it is good or bad. It's how you react to the bad, however, that truly defines you.

When Mark first started masquerading as a footman he found a woman not only scarred on the outside, but on the inside as well. She had no idea how to reinvent herself. No clue who she really was when separated from her looks. She'd had hopes and aspirations of becoming a wife and mother. Now she doubted if she'd ever attract a male's attention ever again. She kept her face hidden fearing she'd scare children and attract stares. Ironically, now she wouldn't attract them for her beauty, but for her disfigurement.

Mark is a well respected doctor who is a member of the peerage, but if he had to pick between being a peer and a physician, medicine would win out. He loves his work and trying to come up with new ways of helping his patients. He administers to both the less fortunate and the wealthy. While a lot of people like him, he doesn't have much of a social life. He has a tendency to throw himself into his work. As he gets to know Catriona, and sees how she slowly starts to put the pieces of her shattered life back together again, he sees the real Catriona who was buried beneath the spoiled facade she had worn.

Some of my favorite lines/quotes:

- "The world is prejudiced against a great many things," he said. "the trick is to ignore what you can and endure the rest."
  "So says and extraordinarily handsome man."

- "Of all the people in the world I might pity, I think I'd label you last. You're a fighter, Catriona, and one of the most stubborn, obstinate, and hard-headed people I've ever had the privilege to meet. You stand your ground regardless of where you are or what circumstance you're facing."

"I see your beauty, " he said again. "Perhaps one day you will, too."

-  'Passion could bind two people more ably than chains.'

Overall, I gave this one 4 out of 5 roses. Plenty of action, suspense and romance in this one. I liked the patience Mark displayed with Catriona. I loved how he slowly brought her back among the living and gave her hope for the future. I loved how he saw the woman beneath the shattered shell and realized it wasn't just the accident that had affected her but the deaths of her parents, especially her father's that had affected her too. On the Lisa Renee Romance Rating Scale, this one gets a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.

Reading order of the books:

Early Review of Sex and the Single Fireman (The Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel, #3) by Jennifer Bernard

  • Title: Sex and the Single Fireman: A Bachelor Firemen Novel
    • Classification: Adult Fiction
  • Genre: Contemporary Romance
  • Format: Paperback; 384 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (January 29, 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 006208898X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062088987
  • Author's Website:
  • Notes: Quotes will need to be checked against the final copy as I read the eARC.

The odds were against it. The chances of it happening were next to null. But on that Thanksgiving Day the seemingly remote happened. They met...
She glanced to her left. In the lane next to her, a black-haired, black-eyed giant of a man in a black Jeep aimed a ferocious scowl her way. He pointed to the cell phone at his ear and then at her radio, then back and forth a few times.

"Excuse me?" Sabina said sweetly, though he had no chance of hearing her over the blaring radio. "If you think I'm going to turn my radio down so you can talk on your cell phone while driving, forget it. That's illegal, you know. Not to mention dangerous."
He yelled, "Can you please turn that down!" in a deep, gravelly voice like that of a battlefield commander sending his troops into the line of fire.
While the first time wasn't the charm, the second time almost was before she got cold feet and left him hot, bothered, naked and waiting in a hotel room...
"I shouldn't even be thinking about it. But I am. We're two single adults alone on Thanksgiving. And I'm very attracted to you. Extremely so. It's throwing me for a loop, honestly." He smiled ruefully. Between the groove in his cheek and the desire in his eyes, Sabina felt herself melt.
Would the third time be lucky?
Suddenly she remembered the nature of the big happening today. The new training officer was starting.

He was rumored to be a total hard-ass. They'd been told they'd mind him at lineup.

She rushed to her locker, grabbed her uniform, ran to the female dorm area, and changed in record time. From the kitchen she heard a deep, unfamiliar voice. Tightening her belt she dashed down the corridor. Maybe she could sneak in a at the back of the crowd. Maybe the new training office would never notice her. Maybe...

She skidded to a halt next to Vader, pinned to the spot by a pair of smoldering back eyes glaring at her from what seemed impossible height. 

"You're in trouble now," whispered Vader out of the corner of his mouth.

He had no idea.
As Luck would have it, the new training officer was the guy she'd left naked and wanting in Reno. Do you suppose she could just blame it all on Reno?


This is the third book of The Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel series. The series got it's name from a curse..."According to firehouse legend, Virgil Rush, a volunteer fireman from the 1850's, had been heartbroken when Constancia B. Sidwell, his mail order bride, had run off with a robber on her way West. The other firemen, always quick to tease, tormented him so much he laid a curse on the town vowing that the firemen of San Gabriel would have as much trouble finding love as he had. Ever since then, the firehouse had possessed an unusually high number of bachelors."

Most people love holidays. They look forward to them. They celebrate with friends and family and have a great time. Others, however, dread them and find them to be depressing, lonely, and a trial to get through. Such is the case for Sabina Jones, it's Thanksgiving and for the umpteenth time she's made her yearly pilgrimage to Reno. It had been 13 years since she'd heard from her mother. 13 years she had spent Thanksgiving alone. Thirteen is always a bad number.

Sabina is a San Gabriel firefighter who works hard and has earned the respect, trust and friendship of her fellow firefighters. They fondly refer to her as 'Two'  being that she is only the second female firefighter the station has ever had. She's self imposed a strict policy to never to date another firefighter so as to not break up the rapport she has with them. She went to Reno in an attempt to escape from Thanksgiving. A time when memories of her mother and past were at their worst. At the time, She never could have guessed  that in a couple of days her world would be turned upside down. her past was about to come back to haunt her. A past she tried to bury 13 years ago and put behind her. A secret about herself she's never disclosed to her fellow colleagues.

Rick Roman was traveling across country to start a his new job and start fresh. He had lost his wife in the chaos of 9/11 and had finally decided to leave the ghosts behind and attempt to start a new life with his son out in California. Part of the reason they'd picked California was due to his son's love of baseball and his wish play it year-round. He'd been hired by the San Gabriel Fire Department to try to curb the publicity associated with the fire house's alleged curse. Little did he know that the woman who was driving him crazy would cause him so much trouble.

Overall, this one gets a 4 out of 5 roses. I am becoming a huge fan of Ms. Bernand's books. They always put me in a good mood and leave me awaiting the next one. They are full of fun, charm, and wickedly hilarious circumstances that make you grin. I'm shelving this one under my Pick-Me-Up shelf. If you're looking for a book to lift your spirits, you may want to try this one. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one got a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.

Order of series:

How to Misbehave (Novella) by Ruthie Knox

  • Title: How to Misbehave (Novella)
  • Classification: Adult Fiction
  • Genre: Contemporary Romance
  • File Size: 909 KB
  • Print Length: 121 pages
  • Publisher: Loveswept (January 28, 2013)
  • Sold by: Random House Digital, Inc.
  • Author's Website:
  • Notes: Quotes will need to be checked against the final copy as I read the eARC.
She was waiting to lock up the community center when the sirens started to go off. They were the only two left. As they meandered down the stairs to the shelter of the basement to wait out the threat of a tornado, she felt a little apprehensive. She'd been harboring a crush on the guy since the day they'd met. She'd been warned he was nothing but bad news and to stay far away from him because he was nothing but trouble.

After spending time together in a darkened basement talking about this and that. He began to tease her...
"So you used to be Catholic, and your're sort of a Nazzie. What does that make you now?

"A great disappointment to my mother?"

"Ah, you're nothing but trouble these days, huh?"

She snorted, still inspecting her toes. "Hardly. But I don't go to mass twice a week, and I'm not married yet, so she's not sure what to do with me anymore."

"That does sound disreputable--working seven to five, driving that little yellow car around, doing lines of cocaine in the bathroom."

Her head snapped up.

"What, no cocaine?" he asked.

"I don't even drink."(...)

He needed to stop playing with her, but by the time her wide brown eyes finished meandering their way up his legs, past his crotch, and over his chest, he was feeling so bulletproof, he couldn't resist. "Honey, somebody's got to teach you how to misbehave. You're doing it all wrong."
That's when the lights went out in the room and another one started lighting up within Amber's brain. She wanted to misbehave. And she wanted to misbehave with him.


According to Ms. Knox in the Author's note, this is the first of a series of novels and novellas about the Clark Siblings--Amber, Caleb, and Katie and their adventures finding love. In How to Misbehave, we are introduced to Amber, a typical girl-next-door type. For most of her life she's played the part of a good girl, but something about Tony, the guy she's stuck in the community center's basement riding out a storm with, brings out the bad girl side of her nature. But what girl in her right mind wouldn't be tempted by a good looking guy who can pull off the bad boy look with style? I mean after all, opposites attract.

Tony Mazzara is a nice guy wrapped in a bad boy facade. Not only do others believe he's bad news, but Tony himself believes it of himself. He'd never been good at school and dropped out before he graduated. He doesn't really have plans for the future as he lives in the moment. But when she looks at him he feels like he could do anything--be who she wants. While he'll never be a saint, something in her brings out the good guy buried within him. Will he be the one to show her how to misbehave? Will she be able to reform him? You'll have to read to find out. My lips are sealed.

Overall this one gets a 4 out of 5 roses. A very fun, lighthearted and enjoyable Novella (aka short story). It had a steamy love scene and didn't feel rushed. If you've never tried one of Ruthie's books, this would be a great way for you to sample her writing. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one earned a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Early Review of One Good Earl Deserves a Lover (The First Rule of Scoundrels, #2) by Sarah MacLean

  • Title: One Good Earl Deserves a Lover (The First Rule of Scoundrels)
  • Classification: Adult Fiction
  • Genre: Historical Romance
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (January 29, 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 0062068539
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062068538
  • Author's Website:
  • Notes: Quotes will need to be checked against the final copy as I read an ARC.

Lady Philippa Marbury was by all accounts considered odd. Smarter than the average debutante, she attacked life in a scientific manner. So when she became betrothed to a man who was her intellectual polar opposite, it was only natural for her to evaluate the institution of marriage and gather all the information she could to ensure the happiest and most satisfying of relationships. That resulted in her seeking out someone who was an expert in a field she had no expertise in--the art of copulation...

     "I selected you, Mr. Cross. Quite carefully. I have a very specific, very clear, very time-sensitive plan. And it requires a research associate."
     A research associate?
     He didn't care. He didn't.
     "What research?"
     Her hands came together tightly clasped. "You are quite legendary, sir."
     The words sent a chill through him.
     "Everyone talks about you. They say you are an expert in the critical aspects of ruination."
     He gritted his teeth, hating her words, and feigned disinterest. "Do they?" 
     She nodded happily and ticked items on her fingers quickly as she spoke, "Indeed. Gaming, spirits, pugilism, and--" She stopped. "And--"
     Her cheeks were awash in red, and he wanted her to consider the rest. To hear its absurdity. To stop this madness.
     She righted herself, spine straight. He would have wagered everything he had on her not replying.
     He would have lost.
     "And coitus." The word was soft, and came on a firm exhale, as though she'd finally said what she'd come to say. Which couldn't be possible. Surely he'd misheard her. Surely his body was responding incorrectly to her.
     Before he could ask her to repeat herself, she took another breath and continued. "That's the bit at which you are purported to be the most proficient. And, honestly, that's the bit I require."


This is the second book in The First Rule of Scoundrels series. If you haven't read the first book of the series, don't worry. You won't feel like you've missed anything, but if you love Ms. MacLean's books as much as I do, you'll want to read it anyway.

One of the things I love about books is that you can live vicariously through the characters in them. This is one of those books. I love it when a character does something I would never ever dare to do and it turns up all sunny skies, roses and happy endings. I mean, haven't you ever wanted to do something a little reckless, totally out of character, and totally not what society would deem respectable? Well, this is one such book where the main character does and I had such a fun time reading it that my kids kept asking me what I laughing about to which I repeatedly replied, "Oh, nothing." 

Lady Philippa 'Pippa' Marbury was a fun character who took her experiments and research very seriously. She's truly doing this because she honestly wants the best marriage she can have. That is what makes this story so delectably delicious and fun. I did say she was considered odd, right? Well, Lady Phillipa had everything very well thought out except for one little item she couldn't have foreseen. The man she selected, who was rumored to be able to get a woman out of her clothes without ever raising a hand, had taken a self imposed vow of celibacy and had been celibate for the past 6 years. In all those years, however, no one had tempted him like the bespectacled young woman who made him such an indecent proposal. 

Cross in a part owner of a gambling club called the Fallen Angel. He's also a man bearing a heavy burden. Years ago something happened that he couldn't forgive himself for. He'd been young, foolish, selfish, and unreliable and had bowed out of a commitment which resulted in tragic consequences. He'd vowed never to be as reckless or selfish as he'd once been. When Pippa comes to him with her proposal he is shocked, surprised, and taken totally unaware. He's never met a woman like her. She amuses and attracts him, with her tenacity, spirit, stubbornness, and cluelessness as to how inappropriate such a liaison would be. Besides his self imposed celibacy, Pippa is the sister-in-law of one of his business partners so he's in a doubly uncomfortable position. She may be the one temptation he can't resist and prove to be his downfall.

Overall, I gave this one 5 out of 5 roses. It was funny, engaging and steamy with a dose of suspense added in to the mix for good measure. I loved how before anything could change, Cross had to come to terms with his past and Pippa had to come to terms with her feelings which Cross confronts her with head on. I liked how this seemingly mismatched couple had so much in common even though on the surface you'd never believe it. Additionally, I loved how Cross truly saw Pippa for the woman she was. I've always loved Ms. MacLean's books and she didn't disappoint. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, I'm giving this one a SHOWER rating--a cold shower is necessary (need I say more?). Some books should come with a warning - make sure your significant other is handy or your shower is in working order. lol

Order of series:

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Fatal Circle (Persephone Alcmedi #3) by Linda Robertson

  • Title: Fatal Circle (Persephone Alcmedi, Book 3)
  • Classification: Adult Fiction
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy
  • Format: Paperback; 368 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books (June 29, 2010)
  • ISBN-10: 1439156808
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439156803
  • Author's Website:

    "Be warned, sweet Persephone: the others have taken to plotting. And while I would do naught that would earn my master's wrath, the others seek only to dispense with their binding by any means. Thou art precious to him, else he would not have entered thy circle. This hath not occurred to my counterparts, sweet Persephone, but it will," she said gravely. "I beseech thee to take precautions and protect thyself." (from Hallowed Circle)

Aquula had warned Persephone that fairies bound to Menessos were unhappy and looking for a way to strike out and free themselves from Menesso. Aquula had been right and in order to get to Persephone they had kidnapped Beverly, Persephone's foster daughter. The confrontation hadn't ended well...

     "You killed a fairy on these grounds," Ludovika said.
     "An act of war," Celeste murmured.
     "It was not my intention to start a war," I said firmly. "I was ending the threat they posed to Beverly. " My eyes went to the girl sleeping on the cot.
     "It was inevitable," Xerxandrea said.
     "The fairies will retaliate," Jeanine said. (from Hallowed Circle)

But the coven aren't the only ones being threatened by what Persephone did...

    "To kill any fairy royalty is punishable by torture and death."
    "Torture and death?" Cerebrosus was bound to Menessos. He was a royal and I killed him! "Oh, hell." My gut went so cold.


Still loving the twists in this series and the fact the author explores each of the worlds within the world she has created. She started off Vicious Circle getting our feet wet and introducing us to a world where witches, vampires and fairies exist. In Hallowed Circle, we got a closer look at how the coven works and a little of its political structuring. Now, in Fatal Circle, we get to a closer look at the world of the vampires and, more specifically, Menessos, the vampire who leads them. Additionally, we get an up close and personal view of his inner sanctum and how positioning works within. 

In Fatal CircleXerxandrea and Menessos theorize one of the coven's Elders or someone in a position of power must have leaked information to the fairies. They  devise a plan to keep Persephone and those she cares for safe. She'll become Menessos' Erus Veneficus, otherwise known as Master's Witch. She'll have to live in Menessos' court and everyone will think she is Menessos' servant instead of the other way around. This will make the fairies believe Menessos commanded the killing which will put the blame on him and as he already has earned their disfavor, it's not as big a deal. Johnny, who is Persephone's protector and lover, is not pleased. Menessos has made his feelings for Persephone known and that's got Johnny's dander up. Add it the fact werewolves and vampires don't get along and you have an interesting situation brewing.

Besides getting to know Menessos a little better, we also learn more about Johnny. We know years ago he woke up as a werewolf with no memories of his previous life, sporting tattoos pretty much from head to toe knowing he needed to find and protect the Lustrata. Now we'll finally find out more about his tattoos, and get a hint as to what might have happened to him all those years ago.

Overall, I gave this one 4 out of 5 roses. Plenty of action, drama, and mayhem in this one. Plus, Menessos makes the ultimate sacrifice. I kind of like the guy even though he's as scary, devious and menacing as they come. Can't wait to see what Robertson will pull out of her hat next. She has a couple of loose ends in this one that I can't wait to see tied up in the books to come. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale this one gets a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.

Order of the series:

Monday, January 21, 2013

Giveaway of Immortal Craving by Kendra Leigh Castle

Immortal Craving (Dark Dynasties #4)
To see my review CLICK HERE

The last-and most lethal-of his kind . . .

Wild, uncontrollable, and powerful, the lion-shifting Rakshasa were hunted down by vicious rival vampires who feared their dark, magical abilities. Somehow one survived, and now, after centuries of hiding, Tasmin Singh reemerges as fierce and fearless as ever at the door of the Lilim queen, seeking answers . . . and sanctuary.

The human best friend to a vampire queen, Bay Harper traded her quiet, comfortable life for a world filled with immortal assassins, warring werewolves . . . and this hauntingly sexy shifter. Only Bay's gentle touch can subdue Tasmin's inner demons, even as he brings out a passion and sensuality she never imagined she could feel. But when a bloody struggle threatens to tear them apart, can Bay risk everything on her faith in him-or will his dark side be stronger than even their all-consuming desire?

I'm giving away to three winners one copy of Immortal Craving by Kendra Leigh Castle. 

Rules for eligibility:

Only residents of the US who are 18 or older are eligible.

Please make sure to leave your email address so I may get in contact with you to get your mailing address. **No P.O. Boxes, please**. Books will be sent directly from the publisher.

Become a follower of my blog, if you aren't already. (Required)

Winner will be randomly chosen. Giveaway ends January 28th, midnight eastern time. Only one prize per person and per address. Winners will be posted on my blog and notified by email. Winners will have 48 hours to respond before another winner will be selected.  Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Early Review of Immortal Craving (Dark Dynasties, #4) by Kendra Leigh Castle

Genre: Paranormal Romance
  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Forever (January 29, 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 145551165X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455511655
  • Author's Website:
    Notes: I read the ARC of the book, so I'll need to check quotes against the final version.

In a cave in India a vampire from an ancient line thought to be extinct rises...

'When the first rays of dim light touched his skin, Tasmin, drew his hand back with a startled hiss. Bright pain sent a shock up his arm, and he clutched his hand to his chest, confused.

He had built up his tolerance well over the century he had lived, able to withstand even the brightest rays of the sun for extended periods of time if he wished. It was a gift of his line, one of many. He hadn't been burned since he was a fledgling, young and untried. Even if he had slept for a year, it should not feel like this.

Suspicion, rife with horror bloomed slowly as he held his hand before him in the darkness, saw skin so ashen it was as though he had been drained of blood and covered in dust. A corpse. Smoke coiled lazily from the place where the light had touched.

And he knew. To sleep so long, to become this dead and wraith like thing...

It had not been a year.

It had been centuries.'

After awakening and adjusting to a strange new world, he sought out the enemy of his enemy...  

"I came here because I seek answers. The queen of the Lilim will know those who can find them. Of this I am certain."

Bay's eyebrows rose at the cryptic response There was something off about about him, something she couldn't even put her finger on that went beyond the obvious weirdness. Sadly, it didn't make him any less fascinating to her.

"Well, Tasmin, you, um, would have done better just waiting until nightfall and knocking on Lily's door. Whoever told you where to find me could have told you where to find her." She tilted her head at him. "Why didn't you just go there?"...

"The sun is still high. I had some time. And I wondered what sort of mortal would be considered such a friend to a powerful queen. I'm still not sure whether your relationship means I should expect to find her wise, or a reckless fool."

Things are about to be shaken up and get interesting.


This is the fourth book of the Dark Dynasties series. If you haven't read the previous books, I highly recommend you do. Everything seems to build upon what happens in the previous books and you'll not want to miss a moment. Political alliances are formed and broken. There is a never ending struggle for power where one Dynasty, lead by a ruthless leader, is willing to do anything to be in control. Amongst the political back drop, a new 'reborn' dynasty with ancient roots is beginning to enter the political arena--The Lilim. For some they offer hope for change while for others they pose a threat.

In Immortal Craving, we are introduced to a new character, Tasmin Singh, a vampire with the ability to shape shift into a lion. *sigh* I confess to having a soft spot for shape shifting lions. I think it all stems from watching The Chronicles of  Narnia movies and wishing I could take a ride on the back of Aslan like the kids did. Asleep for hundreds of years, Tasmin awakens to find himself, the last of his proud and powerful line, the Rakshasa. He's looking for answers as to what happened to him and his people, hoping against hope that others of his line were saved as he was, and coming to terms with all the changes in the world.

As he searches for answers, he realizes more may have changed than he first suspected. He fears whatever happened to him all those years ago may have done more than make him pull a Rip Van Winkle. He tends to have blackouts, "coming to" with large periods of time missing from his memory. As people and animals start turning up dead, with clues suggesting a lion is involved, Tasmin has to come to terms with the frightening possibility that he may very well be the culprit, and something may have been done to him when he was put to sleep. What he discovers is something truly to be feared.

Bay has a good heart and likes to help people. She may be a little too trusting, but that just adds to her charm. Not one to pass by someone in need (even if that someone is a vampire), she finds herself wanting to help Tasmin. What disturbs her the most is how attracted she finds herself to him. He's not the first vampire she's been around, and she's been asked out by several vampires in Lily's dynasty, but she's never been tempted by any of them before.  

Feeling a little lost and alone, Tasmin is drawn to, Bay, the woman who showed him kindness and wasn't afraid of him when she should have been. Her being the best friend of the Queen of the Lilim and a mortal should warn him off from her. But something about Bay draws him in and is irresistible. But a relationship between the two might just lead to both their downfalls.  

Why is the book called Immortal Craving? Well, I'll try not to give anything away, but Tasmin who is 'immortal' has a 'craving' or hunger that can't be easily satisfied. I know that's a little vague, but if I said any more I'd be spoiling you (as in letting loose a huge spoiler).

Overall, I gave this one 4 1/2 out of 5 roses. I enjoyed the action and drama, the internal struggle Tasmin experienced, and the romance that sprouted between Bay and Tasmin. I loved both Bay and Tasmin and the way the ending played out. If you've followed the series so far you'll want to get your hands on this one fast because after this book, everything changes. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one scores a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed. If you haven't started the series, mark my words, you'll be asking yourself why you didn't listen to me sooner and read it. This is one of my favorite new series and I've been thoroughly and utterly seduced by it. :)

Order of Series:

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Hallowed Circle (Persephone Alcmedi, Book 2) by Linda Robertson

  • Title: Hallowed Circle (Persephone Alcmedi, Book 2)
  • Classification: Adult Fiction
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy
  • Format: Paperback; 384 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; Original edition (December 29, 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 1439156786
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439156780
Author's Website:

"There are legends...aren't there always?" Nana said quietly, the croak of her voice softer than usual. Legends about the beginning of time, the ending of it. Every  culture, every religion has their stories about it--ours is no different. And there are always secret societies, keepers of knowledge hidden from the general populace. There are enemies. There are heroes. The pendulum of power swings." Her focus sharpened on me, and I felt it like a cold blade at my throat. Nana stubbed out her cigarette in the ashtray. "She who can maintain the balance despite the swinging is the Lustrata."  (Vicious Circle page 197)

With Vivian's disappearance, the Cleveland Coven is now looking for a new high priestess. Much to her dismay, Persephone has been nominated by Lydia Whitmore for the position. Told she needs to come to the Coven to formally denounce her candidacy, Persephone goes in to do just that. All her intentions go out the door, however, as she realizes she doesn't like the woman who appears to be the most likely to move up to the next level of competition--Hunter Hopewell. Hoping she can knock her out of the running before the next round which will have more competitors joining the winners from their area, she accepts the nomination. If her mark from Menessos, a master vampire, is revealed, however, she could pay a hefty price...

     "You'll be Bindspoken." Nana went on, "and they'll put your name under the Faded Shroud!"...
     "What's  Bindspoken?" Erik asked. "And that shroud thing?"
     Glad for something else to concentrate one, I said. "If your name is put under the Faded Shroud, WEC will no longer recognize you as a witch. No membership, no benefits, no voting on witch issues, no attending rituals. You're not 'recognized' by them ever again, and you're denied the right to perform magic for others. Not even to read their cards. It forces you to be a solitary, but ignores you while you go on about your life. No big deal if you are already a solitary. 'Bindspoken,' however, is like imprisoning your witch abilities. They bind your power.  Kind of like hardening and sealing the aura until it's a wall, so that you're effectively severed--magically speaking--from the universe." 

As Nana points out,"The Lustrata cannot be beaten in a priestess Eximium. When Seph finally decides to share that she is the  Lustrata with the council, they'll scoff."


I am truly loving this series. In Vicious Circle, Persephone learned she was the Lustrata, a person prophesied to bring balance to the world. In Hallowed Circle, she's not yet prepared to make the announcement of what she is to the coven because she doesn't know what being the Lustrata entails. She's had a lot thrust upon her and seems to be growing into her role while starting to slowly accept her fate. She is also learning more about what being the Lustrata involves and what is expected of her.

With Persephone's nomination for high priestess, we get a closer look at the political structure of the Cleveland Coven. I love the idea of the Eximium which is a sort of competition between witches of whom the victor, in this particular instance, will become the next high priestess of the Cleveland Coven. I enjoyed the tests they came up with for the competitors. The Eximium was fun, informative, and interesting.

Persephone's love interest, Johnny, is on my must be watched carefully list. Toward the end of the last book I wasn't particularly happy with him. He's supposed to be the Lustrata's protector and while he did seem to look out for her, I didn't like how he put Nana's, Beverly's and even Persephone's lives in danger. He may not have done it on purpose, but he truly didn't think things through. He let his hate of Menessos cloud his judgement. In this book, I still questioned if he is the right guy for Persephone. To me he's a little rough around the edges and if I were Persephone I'm not sure I'd fully trust him. I fear he could let her down as I'm not convinced they have the same agendas. As the book progressed, however, he started to grow on me, but there is so much unknown about him which makes me both leery yet interested in his story. Hopefully, we'll soon learn more about him.

Overall I gave this one 4 out of 5 roses. I look forward to seeing where Robertson goes with the series. I definitely am enjoying everything so far. While I'm still not a hundred percent convinced that Johnny is the right man for Persephone, the chemistry between the two is undeniable. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one gets a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.

Order of the series:

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Vicious Circle (Persephone Alcmedi, #1) by Linda Robertson

  • Title: Vicious Circle (Persephone Alcmedi, Book 1)
  • Classification: Adult Fiction
  • Genre: Urban Fantasy
  • Format:  Paperback; 384 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books (June 30, 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 1439154287
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439154281
Author's Website:

"The flower sprouts up from the ground when the sun and the rain give the seeds cause to grow. In the right environment, the stem will grow strong and produce a bud that will bloom when the time is right. A rose is a rose, Persephone, and a lily is a lily. They do not chose what color they are or what their petals will look like; they are what their roots have made them. And they can be nothing else."   

Woman Found Dead
Authorities suspect cult involvement

Persephone 'Seph' Alcmedi had just gotten off the phone when she noticed the headlines on the day's paper. Oddly enough Vivian Diamond, the Cleveland coven's high priestess, had just set up a meeting with her citing Lorrie Kordell, the woman who the newspaper reported as being found murdered, had recommended her. Perhaps that should have tipped her off, perhaps she have suspected something was wrong, but she had no idea her life was about to change. No idea that these two events would change her life and bring her closer to her destiny. A destiny she knew nothing about.

"Obviously you know about Lorrie's death?" she said.

"Yes. I smoothed the fringe on the velvet bag.

"I know who did it."

My head snapped up. I hadn't expected that."...."You have to go to the police."

 "I can't." She opened a drawer and pulled a tissue from a pocket pack. She dabbed her perfectly lined blue eyes. "Look, If I start butting into police business, the police will start butting into coven business. I know how the game works, and my coven is far too important to me."...."Oh, please!" She threw the soiled tissue into a wastebasket. Then she started to laugh. "You think I asked you here to read my cards?"

My knee started bouncing again. "That is what I'm best known for among witches." A coldness was forming in my stomach that had nothing to do with the iced mocha. "Ms. Diamond, I'm not into gossip. If you don't want your cards read, them I don't see what any of his has to do with me."

Vivian accessed me, her blue eyes icy. "Lorrie told me how you helped her last year. Help her again."..."The murderer needs to be stopped immediately and permanently."

"And you want me to stop him 'immediately and permanently'?"



This was such a fun book and every time I thought I knew what was coming there was a twist. Persephone is a witch who has decided to live outside the bindings of a coven. Known as a solitary, she's led a pretty low key life never really doing anything out of the ordinary. She writes a weekly column for a newspaper about and for werewolves. She also kennels werewolves during the full moon in her cellar to ensure their safety and the safety of those around them. It also helps her earn some extra bucks. Werewolves, witches, and vampires are known to be in the world, but they still aren't fully accepted by all. Some believe them all to be evil and the police typically try to stay out of all conflicts that deal with the supernatural society. That includes solving and investigating their deaths. Even if the evidence is plain to see, as in the case of Lorrie's murder, they will look the other way and claim there was nothing to investigate. 

When Persephone is approached to kill Lorrie's killer, she immediately says no. She has no formal training, she doesn't see herself as a murderer nor does she wish to be, and what happened previously when she'd helped Lorrie had been an accident. As Vivian starts to sweeten the deal, however, Persephone is tempted not only by her wish for justice, but by what she could do with the money Vivian is offering. Persephone doesn't earn a lot and she's just taken in her elderly grandmother.

Upon investigating the man whom Vivian's pointing her finger at, she discovers she may have put herself and everyone she loves at risk. The friend she asked to investigate the man who's name Vivian had given her, finds out he's a powerful vampire and they don't typically like unsolicited attention. When the friend she asked to help her ends up in a car accident that was by no means an accident she knows she's in big trouble. She incorporates the help of some of the werewolves she kennels who have become her friends and her grandmother who proves to be a big help. If you think you have any idea how this one will end, trust me, you'll totally get it wrong. 

Johnny is one of the werewolves who helps Persephone out. He's been trying to get her to go out with him since they first met. He's always flirting and throwing double entendres at her. There's also something about him which makes him different from the other werewolves she kennels. As the story progresses the two grow closer and Persephone, or Red as Johnny calls her (he insists she's the little Red riding hood to his Big Bad Wolf), starts to warm to his advances.

Overall, I gave this one 5 out of 5 roses. It's a fun, unpredictable, and a slightly addictive series. I've just finished the third book and decided I should start writing reviews before the story lines between them start to blur, but I am so wanting to find out what happens in the next book. I loved all the twists and turns. The romance in this one is just starting to be stirred in this book so there is no Lisarenee Romance Rating for this one, but the next book will have one.   

Order of the series:
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