Sunday, January 31, 2016

Review: One Sizzling Night by Jo Leigh

I've read two other books by this author, and loved both of them, so I was looking forward to reading this book. But this one didn't really work for me.

I never felt any sort of strong connection to the characters. I didn't find the story line involving their jobs - the security firm and art theft and all that - to be very interesting. The relationship between the characters felt forced and their sex a bit more athletic than what I consider to be sexy. They were both these amazing people always trying to impress each other with their strength and abilities. I guess I just didn't like them very much and grew tired of reading about how skilled and talented they were. Also, it felt like it took me forever to read this because I didn't care much about the story.

Overall, kind of a disappointing read.

I received a copy of this via NetGalley.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Review: Project Virgin by Megan Crane

Project Virgin is a very quick, very hot, sexy read. Initially I didn't find the description of the book all that interesting, but Megan Crane, when writing as Caitlin Crews has written some of my favorite romance reads, so I decided to give it a try. Very glad I did.

I feel like this is the story Fifty Shades tried to be, or should have been. Wait, no. I hate it when people compare things to Fifty Shades because I'm not a big fan of that book and it gets way too much attention. I feel certain that the people who like it are people who haven't had a lot of prior exposure to good, sexy romance novels. When I learn that people like it, I always feel obligated to provide them with a list of better, hotter romance novels. Let me try this again.

This is how hot sex between an inexperienced, young woman and successful, powerful man should be written. Better? Maybe. I'm not usually a fan of this type of story. Big power imbalances make me uncomfortable. But this isn't so much a "billionaire story" - he's not crazy wealthy, but rather a very successful attorney at the law firm and he has connections at nice clubs and restaurants and a great view of San Francisco from his bedroom. Also, I get the impression that the woman in this story is just a few years away from being as successful and powerful as the man who has caught her interest.

Scottie is only a year out of law school, and a few hours out of a long, sexless engagement to a jerk. She's on her way to a deposition with Damon Patrick, one of the top attorneys where she works. He's sort of her boss - but not technically. On their way out of the office, he comments on the absence of her engagement ring. Then, much to her horror, while in the car, he happens to read a text message she's sending to a friend - and in doing so, discovers she's still a virgin. This results in some awkward conversation and confessions, that resume
at dinner, after their work day is over.

Scottie decides she's ready to make some changes, and Damon is happy to help her out.

What I especially liked about this story is that Scottie is smart, self-aware and completely in control of what she's doing. She's not being pressured into anything because she's ashamed or embarrassed. She's making a mature, adult decision and going after what she wants. She realizes she's spent too much of her life living in a way that someone else wanted. And I know Damon is supposed to be a "bad boy" as the cover describes this book as a "bad boy short" but he seems like a pretty nice guy. He's not being a creep and having to convince her of what she wants or needs. The only "bad" thing about him is that he has a lot prior sexual experience (which is sort of good thing in this case, you want a guy who knows what he's doing) and he's not romancing her, or trying to convince her he's in love with her to get her in bed. They both enter into this with a clear objective, and they're being very honest with each other.

I liked this story a lot. Can easily be read in one sitting. I think it's probably less than a hundred pages. But it doesn't feel too short. This isn't a grand romance, it focuses on one night with a few hints as to where that one night might lead.

This was exactly what I needed to read to balance out my previous read, the heavy nonfiction story about World War II.

I received a copy of this via NetGalley.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Review: Captivating the Witch by Michele Hauf

I loved Captivating the Witch. Easily one of my favorites from this author - though I have quite a few favorites from her. According to my Goodreads stats, this is the nineteenth book I've ready by Michele Hauf and I'm going to guess that I've liked all of them, loved most of them. But as I said, this one stands out as a favorite.

What I liked most about the book are the two main characters.

Edamite Thrash is a demon who doesn't trust witches. He describes himself as an evil overlord, and others consider him to the be the leader of a demon mafia, but the truth is, he's taken on the responsibility of watching over the demons of Paris, and doing his best to keep the peace. Ed has made brief appearances in other books in the Beautiful Creatures world, as he's a half brother to Kir (Enchanting the Wolf) and Blyss (Moonlight and Diamonds). He had a rough upbringing and a difficult relationship with his parents. But clearly, despite being a demon and his sometimes questionable decisions - providing essentials for others - he's a very good guy.

Tamatha Bellerose is a witch who spends most of her time in the archives, surrounded by books. She'd like very much to study a demon and one day, late at night on her way home from work she literally runs into Edamite. It's an awkward encounter and after a strange mixture of a hostility and attraction, they go their separate ways.

Ed is trying to figure out why a coven of zombie witches are killing demons in Paris. He sends his minions (yes, he has minions) to bring him the most powerful witch in Paris, they return with Tamatha. The attraction between the two is still there, confusing to both of them, but undeniable. Also, they need each other for business purposes.

I really enjoyed their story, and seeing how they grew to like each other more and more and how their relationship went from something they intended to be fun and casual to something much deeper. These are two very serious, passionate people, with rough pasts that make falling in love difficult.

I also liked the setting - Paris - and all the magic and spell working in the story. When I go too long without reading a paranormal book, I am reminded of how much I love this kind of setting and world. Hauf creates some of the best paranormal atmospheres, I can easily visualize the magic swirling around the Paris streets she describes so well. Her characters live in a world filled with both light and dark magic, and a wide assortment of powerful creatures, in this case witches with a variety of skills and a demon who can transform into a unkindness of ravens.

Besides the very hot romance in the story, the investigation Ed is conducting provides an interesting story line which adds a few more complications to his and Tamatha's relationship.

Overall, really a great book. Highly recommend if you're a fan of paranormal romance.

I received a review copy via NetGalley.