Saturday, September 29, 2012

Early Review of A Notorious Countess Confesses (Pennyroyal Green, #7) by Julie Anne Long

Author's Website:

Throughout life we all have to make choices. Some choices are harder to make than others. Some have the capacity to affect us for the rest of our life and change the views others have of us. Some choices will never be forgotten no matter what we do or if we change. That is what Evie Duggan, the Countess of Wareham, is finding out. She was hoping what had happened in London would stay there and she could begin her life anew with a clean slate. Somethings in life, no matter how much we may wish for them, just aren't meant to be. But if she was to be placed into the same situations she had been, and given the opportunity to change her choices, she wouldn't. She made the right choices when she made them. Of that, she had no doubt.

Evie is renowned for her beauty and the scandal that seemed to follow her wherever she roamed. Famed for men dueling over her favors, falling over balconies to catch a glimpse beneath her decolletage, and for her husband winning her hand in a card game, she'd gained quite a notorious reputation over the years. When her husband died shortly after they married, the ton unfairly nicknamed her the Black Widow. With his death, her dreams of leading a respectable married life were dashed. She decided to retire to the earl's country estate which she'd inherited from him and begin again. Gossip, however, has a way of sinking it's teeth in you and following.

Adam Sylvaine, the Vicar of the small town of Pennyroyal Green, knew all about reputations. He was descended from a long line of Everseas who were renowned for being Rogues. Despite his devilishly good looks, he'd done all he could to separate himself from the family reputation by being the best Vicar he could and acting exactly as he should. When Evie Duggan, the Countess of Wareham, comes to town however, he and his beliefs will be put to the test. 

I so enjoyed this book. When I discovered there would be a priest involved in the romance my thoughts drifted to the movie the Thorn Birds. I was not a major fan of that story. I like happy endings. Thankfully, this one had one. 

Evie is a rather complex character. She is the kind of person you can't help liking once you get to know her. She's loyal to a fault, and to her, family comes first. Even before herself. Years ago she and her siblings had been orphaned. She self appointed herself to protect the others, and the trio made their way to London in the hope of improving their lives through the many opportunities of employment the city offered. A large city, however, has a tendency to chew a person up and spit them out. While they all survived, sacrifices had to be made and Evie's was the biggest. 

Adam is a truly fun character, but even he realizes he isn't perfect. Evie fascinates and tempts him. He sees her for who she truly is but even he has trouble dealing with her past profession. A part of him fears she's playing him and is afraid to give in to his attraction for Evie. Plus, any liaison with Evie, innocent or not, could destroy his career as a Vicar, a job he's come to love.

As I started reading, I truly wondered how Miss Long was going to pull a romance off between a former courtesan and a priest. Would it be preachy? Would it offend anyone? While there is a sermon or two included, it truly isn't preachy and has a subtle humor to it in sensitive spots while being delightfully hilarious in others. 

Overall this one gets a 4 1/2 out of 5 roses. A truly wonderful combination of romance, jealousy, humor, fear and wit that left me giggling and grinning. On the Lisarenee romance rating scale this one earns 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:

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

An invitation to a Question and Answer session with the very talented Nalini Singh

PhotobucketEvent for Nothing but Reading Challenges (The Goodreads online book club I'm a moderator for)

Date:September 28, 2012    03:00PM -- September 29, 2012    12:01AM
RSVP by:September 28, 2012    12:01AM 
Venue:Nothing but Reading Challenges (A Goodreads Online Book Club), US
Type:author appearance
Added by:Lisarenee (Seduced By A Book)


Please join our group, Nothing but Reading Challenges, for a Q & A session with the very talented Nalini Singh this Friday, September 28th. We'll start taking questions beginning at 3:00PM Eastern time and Nalini will join us at 5:00PM. To get to the Q&A CLICK HERE 

Books in the Guild Hunter Series:

Books included in the Psy-Changeling Series:

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Glow (Sky Chasers #1) by Amy Kathleen Ryan

  • Title: Glow (Sky Chasers)
  • Classification: Young Adult (Ages 12 and up)
  • Genre: Dystopia
  • Format: Hardcover, 320 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (September 13, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 0312590563
  • Author's Website:

Two ships are racing to a new world. The Empyrean thrives while the New Horizon is slowly dying. Both ships are supposed to be identical, but one has figured out how to successfully keep a fetus viable till birth while the other apparently hasn't, and the females on the New Horizon are no longer able to conceive. Now the New Horizon is requesting assistance from the Empyrean and is asking permission to board, but the ship's captain is refusing. Whatever it is the first ship wants, the captain isn't willing to part with it. When the New Horizon boards the Empyrean without permission and takes all it's young females by force, lies, dark secrets and deception will be revealed.

This book had a lot of potential at the beginning, and caught my attention immediately. Slowly, however, approximately half way in, it started a downward tail spin that it never seemed to be able to pull out of. In a nutshell, I was disappointed.

So where do I begin? Glow did something that can make or break a series, it delved into religion. Religion is always a touchy subject, and in this book I felt things went a little awry. The spaceships were divided into two groups of people. One ship, the New Horizon, is full of religious fanatics and the other, the Empyrean, is filled mostly with nonbelievers. Let me just say I hate it when books make religious people out to be bad guys bordering on the evil. That was the first thing that got my dander up with this book. Secondly, Kieran, one of the main characters, is one of the few believers on the Empyrean, and he hears the voice of God. This makes me a little nervous in a book because now it sounds as though religion will play a major role in the series, and that makes me a little leery because I have to wonder what lesson is this series going to try to teach? Thirdly, they make people in authority and the majority of adults out to be bad guys. While sometimes adults can't be trusted and do bad things, the leadership of each of the ships and a majority of the adults appear to be corrupt. Fourthly, (and these are not in any particular order I'm just writing them down as they occur to me) we have sexually abused girls which just makes my skin crawl because of the way it was portrayed in the book. Granted they didn't show a rape taking place and they didn't go into depth about what transpired, but it is implied that rape of young girls (in their early teens) was a common practice on one of the ships. So while the reading level for this one states it begins at age 12, I felt it truly wasn't suited to such a young audience. Maybe 15 and up or higher?

The world building in the book was pretty good. The ship has different areas which produce their own food and anything else the occupants of the space craft might needed. All residents have specific jobs that they are assigned, which keeps the ship functioning efficiently and ensures there is enough food, clothing, etc. for its occupants. I liked how the author went into detail as to why the people on the New Horizon, who had to slow down their ship thereby eliminating the gravity on the ship, were weak. You can tell the author did a little research and I was impressed by this. There have been articles that discuss how zero gravity can affect people and weakness is a major side effect.

As for the main characters I initially liked Waverly, but later, after a bad experience, she just lost all of her appeal. She's in a relationship and, rather than confide in her boyfriend/potential fiance, *SPOILER ALERT* she believes the lies of a boy who attempted to murder said boyfriend. A boy who is vying for Waverly's affections. Seriously? I don't care how young or naive a person is this just struck me as one of the DUMBEST things a character has ever done in a book. *END OF SPOILER*

Kiernan is the other main character. He's likable and was the captain's favorite and his protegee. When the ship is attacked by the people on the New Horizon, he has to take over control of the ship while the adults try to fix what those on the New Horizon sabotaged. Kiernan is the character who hears God's voice and attempts to introduce religion to the Empyrean. This could be a brilliant move or the death blow to the series. From what I saw in this book, I'm leaning toward the latter.

Overall, I'm giving this book a 1 out of 5 roses. Plenty of controversy and things for a book club to discuss in this one, but the majority of those who read this one with me weren't impressed. It started out very promising, but I just didn't connect with the story and ended up being very disappointed.

Notes to keep you in the know:
To learn more about how zero gravity affects people check out this article:

Order of the Series:

Friday, September 21, 2012

Early Review of Sin With a Scoundrel: (The Husband Hunters Club, #4) by Sara Bennett

Author's Website:
Notes: I read the ARC of this books so some of the quotes may change.

"You're a dear girl, Tina, but really, you are such an innocent. And innocents are a dead bore." 

Miss Clementina Smythe (aka Tina) was positive she knew who her perfect match was. She'd known him her whole life, and he was her brother's best friend. The only problem was she had to convince Lord Horace Gilfoyle that she was the perfect woman for him. He saw her as more of a little sister than as a woman he'd marry. Plus, he was having too much fun being a bachelor to even consider settling down. When Tina discovered that her father had lost the family fortune, and it was only a matter of time before the family had to sell off all it possessions, she decided the time for waiting for Horace to notice her was over and drastic measures were needed. She would employ the services of one of London's most notorious rakes, Richard Eversham. A man who used his expertise at seducing woman to advise other gentlemen on how to win the hand of the lady of their choosing. Her thought was if he could teach men how to win the woman of their desires, then surely he must be able help her capture the heart of the man of her dreams, couldn't he?

Richard Eversham isn't what he appears. Acting the part of a rake works to his advantage because he secretly works as a spy for a secret government group known as the Guardians. He uses his notoriously bad reputation as a guise to put those he wishes to glean information from at ease. No one would suspect the man with a notoriously bad reputation of having any honor. When Miss Smythe knocks on his door, he can hardly believe his luck. He immediately realizes he can use her to gain information  about Lord Gilfoyle whom the Guardians suspect is the leader of group who set about causing dissension among the laboring classes which resulted in riots and bouts of lawbreaking. The man, called the Captain, is also believed to have killed Richard's brother who was getting too close to uncovering the Captain's identity.

     "Before I agree you must be very certain of what you're asking me, Miss Smythe," he said quietly. "You wish me to teach you to be a woman of the world. You do not want to appear as an innocent. In short, you require that I teach you the art of seduction by, eh, seducing you, at least verbally if not physically? Is that correct? Is that what you want? Are you entirely certain?"
     From his lips it sounded improper. Risqué.
     But Tina had made up her mind this was what she must do if she ever wanted to marry her childhood sweetheart, so she said firmly, "Yes, that is what I want, Mr. Eversham."

Have you ever been tempted to do something even though it was against your better judgement? Something you feel compelled to do because you feel you've run out of other options? That the dilemma Tina's found herself in. Even as she got up the gumption to do what most would deem the unthinkable and jump in feet first, she still had her doubts as to whether what she was doing was the right thing. If society got wind of her meetings with Mr. Eversham she would be ruined. I, however, admired her determination to go after what she wanted, and Richard Eversham did as well. I loved some of the advice Richard gave her such as to pretend to no longer be interested in Horace, but in every other male in his presence. It put a smile on my face as some of the things Richard attempted to teach her when it came to the art of flirtation starting affecting him.

Richard is a very loyal and secretive person. He has vowed to put his life on hold until he finds his brother's killer. Richard's quest definitely causes friction between him and Tina once she finds out what he's been up to. Tina has known Horace her whole life, and when she discovers Richard believes he killed his brother, she is positive he's got the wrong man. When Richard's feelings for Tina start to grow into something more than he'd ever imagined, he comes to the realization if he keeps his vow he may loose Tina.

The mystery of who the Captain was kept me guessing. Toward the end I did suspect who he might be, but wasn't one hundred percent sure. The drama created when Tina's life was put in danger, after she see the face of one of the Captain's men and he realizes she's overheard his conversation with another, was a nice touch.

Overall I gave this one 4 out of 5 roses. I truly enjoyed the story. Yes, I felt like asking, "What are you thinking?", but I do so love watching a character do all the wrong things and have everything turn out right. Plus, it was fun seeing Richard fall for Tina and vice versa. I loved how Tina matured as the story progressed. When she sets out to win Horace she was rather naive and had the impression you could fall in love with practically anyone at any time. Later, when she realizes she has feelings for Richard, she sees the error in her previous thoughts. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one earned a FAN rating--the temperature in the room seems to have suddenly gone up a couple of degrees and a fan would be nice.

Order of series:

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Dangerous Liaison with Detective Lewis (The Gentlemen of Scotland Yard, #2) by Jillian Stone

Author's Website:


     "One can never be sure, this early in an investigation, but a pattern may be developing. Two captains of industry dead in less than a week. Rather peculiar." A ray of light passed through the cabin, enough for Rafe to notice the sunrise over a block of terrace homes. Zeno's mouth formed a thin, grim line. "Melville doesn't believe in coincidence when it come to murder."...
     "I take it you surmise Greyville-Nugent's most unfortunate death by threshing machine was not accidental?"
     "Taken together, these two murders may indicate a macabre scheme at work. One with a touch of grotesque wit--some sort of mad poetic justice."

Raphael Lewis (aka Rafe) is a Scotland yard detective who five years ago called off his engagement to Francine Greyville-Nugent the night of their betrothal ball. Breaking the betrothal had been one of the hardest things he'd ever done. He had given her no explanation and left her father to tell her the news. Now he's been asked to guard his former best friend and fiance because she may be the next target of a mad man. Suffice it to say the upcoming reunion would not be a pleasant or welcomed one.

Francine (aka Fanny) Greyville-Nugent's heart was broken five years ago when Rafe had broken off their engagement. She had no clue what events had transpired for him to do so. Just moments before he left he'd been attentive and flirtatious. His own family had disowned him as a result of the broken engagement. Now on the eve of her father's funeral, the louse had the gall to show his face. She'd missed her best friend, the man she had once thought to be her soul mate, but she didn't think she could ever forgive him.

     "I want you gone from my house this instant. Get out Rafe."
     "I'm afraid you will have to put up with me, like it or no." A kind of husky burr had crept back into his speech. "I will not bargain when it comes to your life, Fanny. If you do not cooperate with Scotland Yard, you'll be jailed for your own safety."

Until he can safely get her under the care of Scotland Yard, she'd be his captive audience. With a unknown murder on the loose, he'd get his chance to try to regain what they'd once lost.

This was a fun book that had a unique style to it. It takes place in the Victorian era and incorporates technology which didn't exist at the time, but holds true to the design style of the time period in which said invention is integrated into. So this one had a bit of a Steampunk feel to it.

Fanny is a fun character, who is a bit of a bluestocking and determined not make things easy for Detective Lewis. He broke her heart with no explanation, and she's not likely to forget that. She lost not only her fiance that day, but her best friend. She's smart, resourceful, and will slowly worm out of Rafe what happened all those years ago.

Rafe is a very likable sort. He's smart, honorable, and, despite what he did to Fanny, loyal. He made a big mistake six years ago and tried to rectify it, but in doing so he ended up hurting the one person he never would have wished to--Fanny. During the course of the book he'll attempt to win back, if nothing else, her friendship. It's obvious, however, from the very beginning that these two belong together.

As Scotland Yard suspected, someone is targeting leaders of industry and innovation. As Fanny has vowed to continue on with her father's work, she's become a target. Shortly after her father's funeral, Fanny and Detective Lewis are dodging bullets and running for their lives attempting to make their way to London where Fanny can be put in protective custody until the culprit(s) is/are caught. Whoever is after Fanny, has a fairly expansive and well organized group of followers that seem to be able to cover great distances. Unfortunately, due to the time period, the only way to get in touch with Scotland Yard to request backup is to use the telegraph services which are far and few between. So Fanny and Rafe will begin a journey that will bring them closer together and force the two to come face to face with the past and deal with what happened so long ago.

Overall I gave this one 3 out of 5 roses. It is a fast paced, fun read with a slightly dramatic flair and whose cover I think truly captures the spirit of the book. I liked watching Rafe and Fanny reignite their feelings for each other while on the run. Neither had ever truly gotten over the other. The mystery of who and why someone was attempting to eliminate those who could bring about technological advances was also a fun aspect to the story. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale this one earns a FAN Rating--the temperature in the room seems to have suddenly gone up a couple of degrees and a fan would be nice.

Order of Series:

Coming November 27, 2010:

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Room by Emma Donoghue

Title: Room: A Novel
  • Classification: Adult Fiction
  • Genre: Realistic Fiction
  • Format: Paperback, 384 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (September 25, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 0316223239
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316223232
  • Author's Website:

     "Do I still have a Grandma and Grandpa and Uncle Paul?"
     "Yeah," says Ma, she smiles a bit...
     "Can they come here sometime for real?"
     "I wish they could," she says. "I pray for it so hard, every night."...
     "They're wishing it too,"she says, "but they don't know where I am."
     "You're in Room with me."
     "But they don't know where it is, and they don't know about you at all."
     That's weird."They could look on Dora's Map, and when they come I could pop out at them for a surprise."
     Ma nearly laughs but not quite. "Room's not on any map."...
     “We’re like people in a book, and he won’t let anybody else read it.”  
   "He thinks we're things that belong to him, because Room does."

How do you tell a five year old child that the place he's lived in for his entire life is just a sliver of what truly exists? That there is an outside world beyond the 11 x 11 foot room you live in? How do you tell him you were abducted years before he was born and the man who visits in the middle of the night and brings your groceries and supplies is your abductor? How do you explain you need to escape, and he'll need to help? 

In Room, told through the perspective of five year old Jack, his mother attempts to do just that.  

This was such a heart-wrenching tale that truly touches your soul because you know things like this happen in real life. Case in point, Jaycee Lee Dugard, Natascha Kampusch, and Elizabeth Smart were all victims of similar crimes. It's truly horrible to think there are people out there who would do something like this to another human being, but I admire each of these woman for going on with their lives and hope nothing but the best for them in the future. If anyone deserves the best or a happy ending, they do after all they had to endure.

There are many things I liked about this book. I liked how the book was told from Jack's perspective. It made the whole situation easier to take in because while Jack is smart and sees things, he doesn't quite comprehend what's happening. It gives you a slightly blurred view that softens some of the harsher more blunt edges of what you see.

I liked how the author incorporated Dora the Explorer, the TV show, into the story making Jack's understanding of things a little easier. How could you make a 5 year old whose never had to share anything understand what stealing is? Swiper, the cartoon fox who swipes/steals things, helps Jack comprehend what his mother is telling him. Old Nick, the name they call their abductor, stole his mom like Swiper steals things. Jack makes the connections on his own, and in doing so, you realize just how intelligent he truly is. You can't help but be moved by this scared yet brave little boy.

I loved how the author went beyond the point of where the rescue takes place, and continued the tale a bit farther, letting us know you don't get saved and everything is magically fine. Somethings things take time to heal and may never heal completely. I liked how they showed his mother had issues and needed to cope with everything. There is no way a person could come out of that kind of experience unaffected. Which brings me to the one thing I disliked about the book, not only was Jack's mother affected by the events which transpired, but so was Jack. He saw his mother abused, he saw his mother depressed, he saved his mother more than once and no one thought to put the poor child into counseling? No matter how resilient a child can be, I very much doubt he was unaffected. I was a little miffed this wasn't addressed in the book. Additionally, his whole world had expanded from three people and an 11x11 foot room to an infinitely larger place. To adjust from being in such a controlled environment to one that seems to have no boundaries could not be easy. I think he'd be a bit overwhelmed and could have used someone to discuss how he felt.

Overall I gave the book 4 out of 5 roses. I thought the book was well written, and I liked the uniqueness of the story being told from Jack's point of view. At times the author gave Jack an understanding of things that seemed beyond his years, but I chalked it up to how sometimes kids can surprise you. I got emotionally attached to Jack and his mom and loved the way Jack's mother attempted to do what she could to ensure he had as normal a life as one could in such a wretched environment. Not only was Jack something special, but so was his mom who would have done anything she could to keep him safe. A dark yet emotionally moving tale about survival and perseverance. I'll end this review with one of my favorite quotes and one of my favorite scenes:

- 'In the world I notice persons are nearly always stressed and have no time...In Room me and Ma had time for everything. I guess the time gets spread very thin like butter over all the world, the roads and houses and playgrounds and stores, so there's only a little smear of time on each place, then everyone has to hurry on to the next bit.'

- We step in Door and it's all wrong. Smaller than Room and emptier and it smells weird...
  "I don't think this is it," I whisper to Ma.
  "Yeah, it is."
  Our voices don't sound like us. "Has it got shrunk?"
  "No, it was always like this."...
  I guess this really was Room one time. "But not anymore," I tell Ma.
  "It's not Room now."
  "You think so?" She sniffs. "It used to smell even staler. The door's open now, of course.
  Maybe that's it. "Maybe it's not Room if Door's open."
  Ma does a tiny smile. "Do you--?" She clears her throat. "Would you like the door closed for a minute?"

Notes to keep you in the know:
Natascha Kampusch, who was held in a cellar for 8 years by a man until she finally escaped. Here's a link to an article about her ordeal. It's not for the faint of heart because the Natascha goes into detail about her imprisonment:

Here's an article about Jaycee Lee Dugard who was held for 18 years and had two children by her abductor before she was finally rescued:

Here's an article about Elizabeth Smart, who was stolen from her bedroom and held for 9 months:

Monday, September 10, 2012

Early Review of Turn to Darkness: A Novella (Offspring 5.6) by Jaime Rush

  • Title: Turn to Darkness: A Novella
  • Classification: Adult Fiction
  • Genre: Paranormal Romance
  • Format: Paperback, 208 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Impulse (October 9, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 006221814X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062218148
Author Website:
Notes: I got a free eBook copy of the book via Edelweiss from the publisher.

Twenty three years ago beings from another dimension, Surfacia, walked among us. They infiltrated the city of Las Vegas and were fruitful and multiplied. Now, years later, after a murder that held signs of being committed by one of their own, they're back in an attempt to clean up the mess that was left behind. They want to ensure that what happened in Vegas stays in Vegas and never gets out. This is one secret they want to make sure is dead and buried before they leave again. They're looking for their offspring and they'll leave no survivors.

Six years ago Shea Baker had a life altering experience of the bad variety which left her only a sliver of the person she'd once been. She'd been raped and no one seemed to care or believe her, not even her mom. She'd left home and was living on the streets when Tucker found her and took her in. That's when she first found out she wasn't fully human. She was something more. Her father had come from another dimension and she and others like her were the offspring of those beings who had crossed dimensions. That is how she'd inherited her ability to move objects with her mind. Shea wasn't the only one of their kind that Tuck had found, there were several others who had all ended up living together.  

Now, at age twenty two, she's turned her life around and owns a successful landscaping company. She's moved out and is attempting to stand on her own to feet and to get away from two of the men who were both vying for her attention. One she holds a mutual attraction for, while the other she feels nothing but friendship toward. Additionally a third, unknown man, is stalking her. When her stalker turns up dead, the police find a disturbing letter addressed to her which leads them to her door. The past is about to come back to haunt her in more ways than one. Luckily for her, history won't be repeating itself. But her stalker's murder will set off a series of events that will once again change her life leaving Shea and those like her fighting for their lives. 


This was a great example of how a novella should be written. Usually I'm disappointed when I read novellas because the end seems rushed. Well, leave it to an author whose last name is Rush to not rush the ending. How ironic. *giggle* This one grabbed my attention from the first page and held it. There's plenty of action, drama and romance. It's definitely a novella worth buying.  

Shea Baker is wary of men. She dresses modestly in baggy shirts, baggy pants, and baseball caps in an attempt to stay under the male radar. Unfortunately, an accidental encounter with one of her former house mates made her go from a blip on his radar to the front and center of it. In Turn to Darkness, she'll be forced to come to grips with her past and the feelings she's experiencing for Greer. Additionally, she and her friends will end up on the radar of those from the other dimension. They don't want the population to know they exists, so they've sent a team to seek and destroy any and all of their offspring, hence the series name of Offspring.

Greer was a fun character. He's also one of the offspring of the men who came from Surfacia. He holds Darkness and decided long ago not let himself get emotionally attached to a woman because of it. He's sees Shea as someone whom he wouldn't have to hide his origins from and could build a lasting relationship with. I enjoyed watching him try to convince her to take a chance on him. I really loved the way he handled her when he found out what had happened to her in the past.

Why is the book entitled Turn to Darkness? Well, Darkness is a power, somewhat similar to, yet different from dark magic that some of those from Surfacia and their descendants can tap into. It allows individuals who possess it to be able to morph into black beasts of their choosing. They also can move around in a dark mist form not unlike a genie. If one is not careful, it can control the individual using it. Hence, I believe that is where the books name comes from. One of those who possess Darkness, will 'turn' to it.

Overall I gave this one 5 out of 5 roses. I've been wanting to try one of Jaime's books for a while and this was a great introduction to her Offspring series. I definitely will be reading more of her books. Ms. Rush created a fun and unique world for her characters. I'm interesting in finding out more about the workings of Darkness and the people of Surfacia. I look forward to finding out how Tucker came to know about his other dimension DNA, and how a group of individuals who possess that DNA but knew nothing of their fathers banded together. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one gets a STEAM--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:

Please note that Bitten by Cupid is an anthology which contains a Offspring novella and The Darkness Within and Turn to Darkness are both novellas.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Visions of Heat (Psy-Changeling, #2) by Nalini Singh

  • Title: Visions of Heat
  • Classification: Adult Fiction
  • Genre: Paranormal Romance
  • Format:  Paperback, 352 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Sensation (March 6, 2007)
  • ISBN-10: 042521575X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425215753
  • Author's Website:
  • Notes: Second time reading so I could post a review.

The number one cause of cause of death for F-Psy before Silence, the process implemented to essentially silence the emotions of a Psy.

     'At first, it had been nothing more than a vague foreshadowing. A darkness that pushed at her mind. She'd thought it might herald an oncoming vision--a market crash or a sudden business failure--but day after day, that darkness had grown to crushing proportions without showing her anything concrete. And she'd felt. Though she'd never before felt anything, in those dreams she'd been drenched in fear, suffocating by the weight of terror....
     Last night had been different. Last night, she hadn't woken as the hands closed about her throat. No matter how hard she'd tried, she hadn't been able to break free of the horror, hadn't been able to anchor herself in reality.
     Last night, she'd died.'

Faith Nightstar is the crème de la crème of the F-Psy, a group of Psy who can Foresee the future. Since Silence was first instigated, the gift of foreseeing has been swayed from predictions of things such as catastrophic events, murders, etc which could potentially be used to save lives, toward making financial and economic predictions which are useful for creating revenue. Faith has exceeded the expectation for an F-Psy bringing in more profit at age 24 then most F-Psy do in a lifetime. She has made billions of dollars with her predictions and she is never wrong. As you can imagine, her services are a highly sought after commodity.

Recently, however, she's started having night terrors which have her believing she might be on the verge of  mental breakdown. Flaws, such as mental illness, are not tolerated in the Psy world. While most flawed Psy would be rehabilitated, a process of sweeping the brain clean via a psychic brainwipe which renders the recipient a shell of their former self, F-Psy aren't so lucky. Their brains would be used for scientific research because no one knows exactly what it is that makes them tick. Being smart enough to realize that discussing what she is experiencing with her fellow Psy could bring about a fate worse than death, she seeks out the advice from the only person she feels can give her an unbiased and honest opinion, Sascha Duncan. Sascha is the only Psy Faith knows to have ever defected from the PsyNet and broken Protocol (aka Silence). She may be Faith's only hope.

Vaughn D'angelo is a sentinel for the DarkRiver Changelings. When he was out for a run in Jaguar form he came across a compound on the edge of Changeling territory outside of Tahoe that caught his attention. It appeared to be a residence that was being highly guarded by Psy. Noting it strange for a single individual to be so highly guarded and to live so close to Changeling territory, he made a note to keep an eye on it.

Little did Vaughn or Faith know their lives were about to become entangled and visions of heat would start thawing an individual some would say is as cold as ice.

I am loving this series. Can anyone say obsessed? lol What I love, is that the world Nalini creates incorporates such a detailed environment right down to the government, politics, and policies of the Psy ruling council. It also delves into the hierarchy and structure within the Changeling Packs. It's paranormal romance so smartly written it's like getting a full course meal instead of just the dessert and every single bit is mouthwatering, leaving you wanting for more and thinking you'll never get enough. *sigh*

This is one of those series that blurs the edges between paranormal romance and urban fantasy. Because everything takes place around San Francisco and the surrounding areas going as far as the Sierra Nevada mountains, it quite easily could be labeled urban fantasy. It's got a grittiness and edge of UF, but the romance definitely has more of a paranormal feel to it. Perhaps a new term should be coined for books that blur the line between the two sub-genres such as a Paranormal Fantasy or Urban Paranormal?

The Psy are a race of people who hold usually one of many different designations of psychic abilities. Abilities are rated on a gradient scale with 0 being the lowest and 10 being the highest. Here is the list of the main Psy abilities I've compiled so far:
M-Psy = Medic; Healers; The ability to look inside the body and the physical causes of illness.
E-Psy = Empath; The ability to feel other's emotions and sometimes alter them.
F-Psy = Foreseers; the ability to Foretell the future.
Tk-Psy = Telekinetic; The ability to move objects without touch using only one's mind (Teleportation is possible for some).
Tp-Psy = Telepathy; The ability to silently communicate via the mind. Some can only 'transmit' images while others can do so on a conversational level.
Ps-Psy = Psychometry; The ability to learn the history and facts (such as the maker) of an object through touch.

While Faith and Sascha are both Psy, the two are very different. Sascha, an empath, has been in touch with her emotions for years, but learned how to hide and shield them from others. During that time she felt flawed and isolated. Faith, on the other hand, never felt much of anything and until she began waking up from dark and disturbing visions she was, for all intents and purposes, the perfect Psy. Unlike Sascha, when Faith gets too much sensory stimulation it puts her mind into sensory overload which can cause her to have seizures.

In the beginning, Faith's personality reminded me a bit of the character Dr. Temperance "Bones" Brennan in the early episodes of the TV show 'Bones'. She's very serious and doesn't show a lot of emotion, but you know they're there. Vaughn made me smile because he seemed both fascinated and bewildered by Faith all at once. It's always fun to see a man like that with a woman. It loved watching these two tangle and seeing Faith slowly awaken like sleeping beauty from her cold Silent state.

To make matters more complicated, the Psy council is looking to replace Enrique. Faith, Gia Khan, and Kaleb Krychek are all in the running for the position. That puts Faith on the Psy Council's radar at a truly inconvenient time. She needs to tread carefully because those who esteem to be on the council are usually ruthless and will do anything, even kill to get the coveted spot. Ironically, the lust for power is one desire that has eluded all the conditioning of Silence.

As the story progresses, we learn Faith's night terrors are actually an extension of her F-Psy abilities and are visions of things that may happen in the future. We also learn that in her first vision, the one that had Faith worried she was going insane, she foresaw the death of her sister. In the Psy world, what you don't know can get you or someone you love killed. Faith with the help of Vaughn and the DarkRiver pack, will attempt to track down her sister's killer before he strikes again. Additionally, we also get a better idea of what the PsyNet and PsyMind are and how they function.

Some of my favorite moments and lines:
-  "I've never scared anyone by threatening to kiss them before," he commented.

-  "The Psy have a way of training away powers they don't like. The cat in him was fascinated by the beauty of her skin. It was so rich and and luscious he almost thought it might taste of cream.
   "You can't train away foresight."
   "No, but maybe you can channel it." This came from Sascha. "Tell a child something often enough and she starts to believe it."

-  "If I'm not tied down. I can't trust myself." It was an offhand comment that hid his very real frustration. To be close enough to touch, but be barred from doing so, caused excruciating pain. 
   "Then let's tie you down."
   Cat and man both went absolutely motionless. "What?"
   Her cheeks held the faintest hits of pink. "Maybe it would help me, too, if I knew I  could walk away at any time. The backlash from the conditioning might not be as bad."
   "Tie me down?" he asked again. (Sidenote: I laughed so hard at his surprise. Too funny. lol)

Why is the book entitled Visions of Heat? Well, I'm not one hundred percent sure, but I think it has to do with this little snippet which happens as Vaughn manages to pull her out of the middle of one of her visions:
     "Don't let go." Her voice was a rasp. "Don't let go or I'll fall back in."
     Vaughn tightened his hold, worried by the look in Faith's eyes. There was something unfocused about them, as if she wasn't fully awake, "Talk to me Faith."
     She kept breathing those jerky ragged breaths and then, to his surprise, reached out to put her hands flat against his bare chest. Her touch was pure heat when he'd expected coolness. It burned and the jaguar wanted more. "Don't let me fall back in. Please Vaughn. Please."

   Overall, this one gets a 5 out of 5 roses. A very smart, fun, addictive, sexy and seductive series. What more can a girl want? This is paranormal romance at it's best and a total and utter Series Seduction for me. Yep! It's that good. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one earns 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:

Grand Prize Winners of Romancing the Hop

After over 9,000 comments our Romance Hop has some grand prize winners!!

Grand Prize Winners:

Kindle Fire Winner:
Laurie Goudge
(from It's the Journey that Counts's Blog)

$130 Amazon Gift Card:
(from Carrie Ann Ryan's Blog)

Swag Pack:
 (from Dana Delamar's Blog)

The grand prize winners have already been notified and have their prizes or the prizes are on their way!

Carrie Ann Ryan

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Winner of a romance book of their choice (Romancing the Hop)

Winner of a romance book of their choice worth up to $10.00 is:



Thank you to everyone who entered.  

Monday, September 3, 2012

Most Anticipated New Releases of September 2012

The following list is comprised of books my friends, family, and I are most looking forward to reading in September. It also consists of books by popular authors and others I've heard a lot of hype about. I am not flawless and sometimes I'll accidentally leave one or more books off the list that I shouldn't. Let me know if one of your favorites is missing. Sometimes my search techniques just don't work as well as I wish they did.

If you'd like to read a book's description, just click on the title and you'll magically be transported to Amazon where you can see it and decide whether to buy it or not. Remember a book a day keeps the boredom at bay! Happy reading.

September 3, 2012 - Zoo by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge 
September 4, 2012 - Archangel's Storm (Guild Hunter) by Nalini Singh
September 4, 2012 - Beneath A Blood Red Moon by Heather Graham
September 4, 2012 - Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr
September 4, 2012 - Deep Blue (Sinclair Sisters) by Kat Martin
September 4, 2012 - Forbidden (Hqn) by Nicola Cornick
September 4, 2012 - Found: The Secrets of Crittenden County, Book Three by Shelley Shepard Gray 
September 4, 2012 - Guardian (Berkley Sensation) by Catherine Mann
September 4, 2012 - How to Drive a Dragon Crazy (Dragon Kin) by G.A. Aiken
September 4, 2012 - In Rides Trouble: Black Knights Inc. by Julie Ann Walker
September 4, 2012 - The Lost Night (A Rainshadow Novel) by Jayne Castle
September 4, 2012 - The Marriage Bargain (Marriage to a Billionaire) by Jennifer Probst
September 4, 2012 - No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden by Mark Owen and Kevin Maurer
September 4, 2012 - Outpost (Razorland #2) by Ann Aguirre
September 4, 2012 - Playing to Win (A Play-by-Play Novel) by Jaci Burton
September 4, 2012 - Riveted (A Novel of the Iron Seas) by Meljean Brook
September 4, 2012 - Sweet Shadows (Sweet Venom) by Tera Lynn Childs
September 4, 2012 - A Tale of Two Vampires: A Dark Ones Novel by Katie MacAlister
September 4, 2012 - Tiger's Destiny (Book 4 in the Tiger's Curse Series) by Colleen Houck
September 4, 2012 - Tiger's Claw: A Novel by Dale Brown
September 4, 2012 - The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom
September 4, 2012 - The Tombs (A Fargo Adventure) by Thomas Perry and Clive Cussler
September 4, 2012 - When You Give a Duke a Diamond (Jewels of the Ton) by Shana Galen
September 5, 2012 - Mortality by Christopher Hitchens
September 11, 2012 - The Blinding Knife (Lightbringer) by Brent Weeks
September 11, 2012 - Delusion in Death by J.D. Robb
September 11, 2012 - Frozen Heat (Nikki Heat, Book 4) by Richard Castle
September 11, 2012 - Hidden: A Firelight Novel by Sophie Jordan
September 11, 2012 - Robert B. Parker's Fool Me Twice (A Jesse Stone Novel) by Robert B. Parker and Michael Brandman
September 11, 2012 - Those We Love Most by Lee Woodruff
September 11, 2012 -  Tilt by Ellen Hopkins
September 11, 2012 - A Wanted Man: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child
September 18, 2012 - The Crown of Embers (Girl of Fire and Thorns) by Rae Carson
September 18, 2012 - The Curse (Beladors) by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love
September 18, 2012 - How to Capture a Countess (Duchess Diaries) by Karen Hawkins
September 18, 2012 - Last Vamp Standing by Kristin Miller
September 18, 2012 - Low Pressure by Sandra Brown
September 18, 2012 - The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
September 18, 2012 - Seconds Away: A Mickey Bolitar Novel by Harlan Coben
September 18, 2012 - Severe Clear (Stone Barrington) by Stuart Woods
September 18, 2012 - Winter of the World: Book Two of the Century Trilogy by Ken Follett
September 24, 2012 - Confessions of a Murder Suspect by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro
September 25, 2012 - Alice in Zombieland (White Rabbit Chronicles) by Gena Showalter
September 25, 2012 - Dearly, Beloved by Lia Habel
September 25, 2012 - Dodger by Terry Pratchett
September 25, 2012 - All Summer Long (Fool's Gold) by Susan Mallery
September 25, 2012 - How a Lady Weds a Rogue: A Falcon Club Novel by Katharine Ashe
September 25, 2012 - The Lady Risks All by Stephanie Laurens
September 25, 2012 - Lord of Temptation (Lost Lords of Pembrook) by Lorraine Heath
September 25, 2012 - My Scandalous Viscount (Inferno Club) by Gaelen Foley
September 25, 2012 - Never Seduce a Scot: The Montgomerys and Armstrongs by Maya Banks
September 25, 2012 - An Outlaw's Christmas (Mckettricks) by Linda Lael Miller
September 25, 2012 - A Perfect Blood (The Hollows) by Kim Harrison
September 25, 2012 - Rapture: A Novel of the Fallen Angels by J.R. Ward
September 25, 2012 - Run the Risk (Hqn) by Lori Foster
September 25, 2012 - Rules to Catch a Devilish Duke by Suzanne Enoch
September 25, 2012 - Sacrifice the Wicked: A Dark Mission Novel by Karina Cooper
September 25, 2012 - Something Witchy This Way Comes: A Jolie Wilkins Novel by H. P. Mallory
September 25, 2012 - Seven Nights in a Rogue's Bed (Sons of Sin) by Anna Campbell
September 25, 2012 - The Talisman: A Novel by Peter Straub and Stephen King
September 25, 2012 - The Undead In My Bed by Katie MacAlister and Jessica Sims
September 25, 2012 - When the Duchess Said Yes (Wylder Sisters) by Isabella Bradford
September 27, 2012 - The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
September 27, 2012 - The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
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