Sunday, July 27, 2014

Bout of Books 11

Bout of Books 11
That's right, my little darlings, it's almost that time again! Time to get our read on with Bout of Books! And, you guessed it, I will be participating! Go forth and sign up on the Bout of Books blog! You won't regret it!

For those that don't know what Bout of Books is... here you go:
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 18th and runs through Sunday, August 24th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 11 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
[As a reminder, you can also add your goals to your official sign-up post - but that IS NOT required.]

RtP Week in Review (07/27/14)

Reading the Paranormal's Week in Review
Bookish Delights
Check it out!
  • Seriously Series weekly update:
    • Series started in 2014: 10/18 (+1 since last week)
    • Series started before 2014: 5/18 (+1 since last week)
    • Series rereads: 7/9 (+0 since last week)

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Pia Saves the Day by Thea Harrison [Review]

Pia Saves the Day by Thea Harrison
Pia Saves the Day (Elder Races #6.6) by Thea Harrison
Format: ebook
Source: provided through NetGalley
Date read: June 3, 2014

Elder Races
1. Dragon Bound
2. Storm's Heart
3. Serpent's Kiss
3.5. True Colors
4. Oracle's Moon
4.5. Natural Evil
4.6. Devil's Gate
4.7. Hunter's Season
5. Lord's Fall
5.5. The Wicked
6. Kinked
6.5. Dragos Takes a Holiday
6.6. Pia Saves the Day - Paperback | Kindle
6.7. Peanut Goes to School
7. Night's Honor

Thea Harrison
| Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
In the latest story of the Elder Races, two mates face their deadliest challenge yet—each other…

Pia and Dragos’s magical young son Liam (the Peanut), is growing at an unprecedented rate, and if that isn’t enough, he is also exhibiting new, and unpredictable, magical gifts. To protect him, the concerned parents decide to move to upstate New York.

Both Dragos and Pia relish the idea of leaving behind the city. They finally have the space to indulge their Wyr side, and Liam can grow in safety. It’s a breath of fresh air—literally—but their idyllic situation is shattered when Dragos is injured in a freak accident.

Stripped of his memory and bereft of Pia’s taming influence, there’s nothing holding back Dragos’s darkest side. And in order to restore her family and save her mate, Pia must confront the most powerful menace in Elder Races history.

It’s going to take more than a penny to fix this…
Thoughts on Pia Saves the Day: I've adored Pia and Dragos since their first book. Their relationship has been one of the cornerstone romances of this series and this book tossed that relationship on its ear and shook things up a bit. I'll freely admit I got a little teary while reading it. Pia's desperation and desire to help Dragos got to me. I JUST WANT THOSE TWO TO BE HAPPY!

Dragos's memory loss is both dangerous and heartbreaking. As a powerful Wyr, he could do a lot of damage to innocents without realizing who he's hurting. As Pia's mate, his inability to remember her shatters her. Yet, she has to remain strong for both him and for those who look to them as their leaders. *sniffle* Seriously, her situation slayed me.

We get to see plenty of familiar faces and watch Dragos reconstruct so many of the people and moments we've experienced with him since Pia first stole that penny. Not going to lie, I love revisiting this family and am incredibly excited to read Peanut's story.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Craving Red by Rosalind Scarlett [Review]
Craving Red by Rosalind Scarlett
Format: ebook
Source: free Kindle download 03/27/14
Date read: April 10, 2014

Erotic Kingdom
1. Craving Red - Kindle

Rosalind Scarlett
| Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
The primal wolf in him craved her as he had craved nothing before.  She would give up the only life she had ever known for him.

It is the night of the snow moon. Sweden, 1790.

Maiden Kaia is days away from being married to the handsome Leif when her mother suddenly becomes gravely ill. Desperate to save his wife, her father sends his only daughter to the village on his horse to obtain help for her beloved mother.

But Kaia will not be returning home.

Out on the path, wolves emerge from the trees, surrounding her and spooking her horse. Fainting in sheer terror, the next thing Kaia knows, she is being dragged through the snow back to their lair. Shivering cold, half naked and bound, she startles awakes to the feel of warm breath blowing out over her body.

The following day, she realises she sees no wolves around, but does see several other women there. Noticing they are all pregnant, Kaia fears her fate. Her fears are validated when one of them complacently informs her that her initiation is imminent. The moment her scent is ripe, she is to be mated by all males of the pack.

Still worse than that is the struggle she is having with herself upon being presented with so much blatant man flesh walking about, leaving Kaia flustered with the responses of her body which are swiftly summoning forth to betray her. And then, she feels herself drawn to one in particular, Dane, the youngest member of the pack. But she swears she will not allow herself to fall for one of them.

Will Kaia ever escape this primitive place to see her family again? And if she does, will she be able to suppress the primal need she feels awakening in her? Worse yet, will she want to?
Thoughts on Craving Red: I can say with certainty that Rosalind Scarlett is very good at bringing erotic elements into her stories. As if being caged and displayed for the entire pack isn't enough, Kaia also has to deal with having her desire stirred by Dane. Oh, and knowing she's little more than a walking womb for the bulk of the pack.

Which, you know, kinda sucks.

I'm a little torn on both Kaia and Dane. Fearful for her life, Kaia often sits back and accepts what's happening to her. Dane has intensely possessive feelings for her, but until things get really bad, he fights them simply because she's meant for the pack, not for him alone.

I really do understand why both characters acted as they did, but it was tough watching both of them give in so easily. Until, that is, Dane snaps and takes matters into his own hands. Not that way, you pervs.

That said, the sex was raw and wild. Kaia's initiation into the pack doesn't skimp on the details. However, I'm starting to fall out of like with themes of forced consent. Yes, Kaia goes along with what happens and she willingly engages in several of the activities, but she's doing it to stay alive and with some of the things that happen, she's NOT a willing participant at all.

BUT (there's always a but...) the romance between Kaia and Dane is sweet. I'm sure her parents won't see it that way seeing as how she kinda missed the boat with bringing her ill mother's medicine back, but I stand by what I said. Kaia and Dane were sweet.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Mina Wentworth and the Invisible City by Meljean Brook [Review]
Mina Wentworth and the Invisible City (Iron Seas #1.5) by Meljean Brook
Format: ebook
Source: purchased
Date read: March 25, 2014

Iron Seas novellas
0.4. The Blushing Bounder
0.5. Here There Be Monsters
1.5. Mina Wentworth and the Invisible City - Kindle
2.5. Tethered
3.4. Wrecked (review at On a Book Bender)
3.5. Salvage

Meljean Brook
| Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Eight months after The Iron Duke, can their marriage survive a new danger?

After Mina is called in to investigate the murder of an aristocratic bounder, her husband Rhys—known to the world as the Iron Duke—must overcome his fear for his new bride before his need to protect her tears them apart. But when she invites him to join her at the murder scene, a search for a mysterious killing machine puts her in more danger than ever before…a danger that leads straight back to Rhys.
Thoughts on Mina Wentworth and the Invisible City: Every book I read in this series -- no matter if it's a novella or full-length novel -- makes me want MOAR set in this world. I also end up wanting to go back and reread everything from the beginning. That's some damn fine writing, if you ask me.

This time around, we get to see Rhys struggling to rein in his protective instincts every time Mina gets called to work. While her job can be dangerous, he's well aware that she's able to take care of herself, but his fear that he'll lose her is still a punch to the gut every time she steps out the door. It's sweetly endearing. Especially since he's trying so hard NOT to be possessive and demanding about what she does.

I like a man who's aware of his flaws and tries his hardest to work around them.

Mina has her own set of fears. She worries that Rhys isn't as invested in their marriage as she is. She worries that she's smothering her young charge Anne with her caring. She does all this while balancing her police work and the hatred that some still hold toward her for being of Horde descent.

Honestly, whenever Mina and Rhys come together, it's fierce and desperate and so, so loving. I'm drawing hearts around them as a couple in my head.

This story seriously hit the spot. And, yes, I most definitely want more. Good thing I have a few waiting in the pipeline, huh?

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Entwined by Kristen Callihan [Review]
Entwined (Darkest London #3.5) by Kristen Callihan
Format: ebook
Source: purchased
Date read: March 25, 2014

Darkest London
0.5. Ember
1. Firelight (review at On a Book Bender)
2. Moonglow (review at On a Book Bender)
3. Winterblaze (review at On a Book Bender)
3.5. Entwined - Kindle
4. Shadowdance
5. Evernight

Kristen Callihan
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon |

Synopsis (Goodreads):
Eamon Evernight has always lived in his older brother's shadow. While his brother is fair of hair and lithe in body, Eamon sparks fear with his fiery locks and massive frame-and rumors of a mysterious power. But when his brother has the good fortune to be betrothed to a beautiful stranger, it's Eamon's help-and quick wit and romantic heart--that he needs. Eamon agrees to write the noble lady...a generous offer that will forever leave him a changed man.

Lady Luella Jane Moran has no interest in an arranged marriage and tries valiantly to dissuade her betrothed from afar. Though her own letters plainly state her case, the words her husband-to-be writes her leave her aching for his touch. Will Lu give in to the desire the missives have kindled within her? Or will desire turn cold when she discovers their true author?
Thoughts on Entwined: Holy moly, I liked this one! The endearingly awkward wedding night sealed the deal for me. Well, that and the big, burly Eamon. Because I'm a sucker for a guy who's tormented and haunted by things in his past.

I adored that their courtship took place through letters. It was sweet and romantic and sadly touching that they could be themselves nowhere else but in the words they wrote to each other. Throw in a little deception to spice things up and this courtship becomes downright heartbreaking as it continues.

Although part of the Darkest London series, this book can easily be read as a stand alone. You get to see the paranormal side of this world (and some hints on what's to come), but the bulk of the story is simply about a man and a woman who have to find their way through some sticky romantic issues. Like lying about who they are.

Man, I love this series. It's so ridiculously fun to fall into!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Top Off Tuesday - *points*

I've decided to join Felicia, Christi and Amanda for their gratuitous shirtless covers on Tuesdays. Because nothing says Tuesday like flashing some skin! Hop over to Felicia's blog to see who else is participating!

Hello, tats and muscles!
Hammer's Fall (The Breakers' Bad Boys #1) by Laurie Roma
Jared “Hammer” Caufield is a former Army Ranger and retired professional MMA champion that had to give up his fighting career due to a knee injury. He is a bad boy through and through, but that doesn’t stop him from craving the sweet little bakery owner, even though he knows she is too good for him…

Bakery owner, Kalista Redford, is a woman who has had a difficult past. She has always struggled with her self-esteem, and her last breakup hasn’t done anything to help improve her opinion of herself. When Kalista finds herself pursued by the dark and dangerous man she has secretly dreamed about, will she be able to follow her heart or will past insecurities threaten to ruin her chance at true love?