RERUN Review: Undead and Unwed by MaryJanice Davidson

RERUN Review: Undead and Unwed by MaryJanice DavidsonUndead and Unwed Series: Undead #1
Published by Berkley March 2, 2004
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 255
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Amazon US
Goodreads

It'a been a helluva week for Betsy Taylor. First, she loses her job. Then, to top things off, she's killed in a car accident. But what really bites (besides waking up in the morgue dressed in a pink suit and cheap shoes courtesy of her stepmother) is that she can't seem to stay dead. Every night she rises with a horrible craving for blood. She's not taking too well to a liquid diet.

Worst of all, her new friends have the ridiculous idea that Betsy is the prophesied vampire queen, and they want her help in overthrowing the most obnoxious, power-hungry vampire in five centuries - a badly dressed Bela Lugosi wannabe, natch. Frankly, Betsy couldn't care less about vamp politics, but they have a powerful weapon of persuasion: designer shoes. How can any self-respecting girl say no? But a collection of Ferragamos isn't the only temptation for Betsy. It's just a lot safer than the scrumptious Sinclair - a seductive bloodsucker whose sexy gaze seems as dangerous as a stake through the heart...

RERUN Reviews features reviews by Debbie, previously published on Keep Calm & Read Romance or Talk Supe — and reviews by Ali previously published on GingerRead Reviews.

 

Jimmy Choo, Prada, Ferragamo and Minolo Blahnik’s, OH MY! Mary Janice Davidson is speaking in my language, Shoes!

Undead and Unwed is a story about Elizabeth ‘Betsy’ Taylor, a smart-mouthed thirty year old secretary with a penchant for shoes. And not just any off the rack shoes, but fine designer shoes. Girlfriend is not the type to be caught wearing BOGO finds from Payless. To say that Betsy has had the single most horrible week would be an understatement. She turns thirty, gets laid off on her birthday, is ran over by a Pontiac Azteck, and to top everything off, she wakes up ‘undead’ in a coffin wearing a hideous polyester pink suit and cheap Payless shoes. THE HORROR!

Not long after her rebirth, a group of vampires discover her and reveal that she is the prophesied ‘Queen of the Undead’. She admittedly refuses to be involved in vampire politics and tries to live her ‘normal’ life. Unfortunately, the creepy and menacing current vampire ruler isn’t having any of it and drags Betsy into the thick of a brewing battle between two vampire groups. As if things couldn’t get any more complicated, the other group trying to lure Betsy is lead by the utterly sexy, delicious and arrogant Eric Sinclair, whom she would like to strangle when she’s not thinking about humping him.

Filed under the paranormal romance section, Undead and Unwed more of a cross between chick lit and paranormal with a little romance. There were quite a few laugh out loud moments from our heroine and her growing shoe collection would make any shoe lover seethe with envy. The other vampires and humans that surround Betsy are as hilarious and likeable as our heroine. My favorites being her human best friend, Jessica and gay roommate, Marc.

Undead and Unwed is definitely not your ‘typical’ Vampire novel, which I liked. There were times when Betsy herself laughed at how some of the Vampires she’d met fit perfectly into the cliche. The novel was definitely entertaining and a quick read. So if you are wanting to stray away from the normal dark and brooding vampire novels, then I recommend you give this book a try.

 

 


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Review: Reaper’s Fire by Joanna Wylde

Review: Reaper’s Fire by Joanna WyldeReaper's Fire by Joanna Wylde
Published by Berkley August 9, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Also by this author: Reaper's Property
Amazon US
Goodreads

The club comes first.

I’ve lived by those words my whole life—assumed I’d die by them, too, and I never had a problem with that. My Reaper brothers took my back and I took theirs and it was enough. Then I met her. Tinker Garrett. She’s beautiful, she’s loyal, and she works so damned hard it scares me sometimes . . . She deserves a good man—one better than me. I can’t take her yet because the club still needs me. There’s another woman, another job, another fight just ahead.

Now she’ll learn I’ve been lying to her all along. None of it’s real. Not my name, not my job, not even the clothes I wear. She thinks I’m nice. She pretends we’re just friends, that I’ve still got a soul . . . Mine’s been dead for years. Now I’m on fire for this woman, and a man can only burn for so long before he destroys everything around him.

I’m coming for you, Tinker.

Soon.

Tinker just may be my favorite Wylde heroine yet!  She’s amazingly adorable and takes family and friendship very seriously.

Reaper’s Fire is the sixth book in the Reaper’s MC series. If you’ve made it this far, you know a few things.

1 – You should have a decent idea of where the story line heads.

2 – You already know Wylde has a wicked talent at balancing drama, humor, humanity and steamy romance.

3 – You’ll already be planning on one clicking this baby and you don’t really need me to try to sell it to you. So, I’ll widdle my thoughts down to these:

While Reaper’s Fire starts off fairly sad, Wylde eases it with cute and quirky humor. Especially between Gage and Tinker. Their flirting and growing attachment made me smile (I’m a huge sucker for some good flirting). As did the interactions between Tinker and her friends. They were very human and very fun.

My only issue with Reaper’s Fire is that some issues were left unresolved. I imagine it’s because they will play a role in future books, so I’m not all together bummed by this. It really makes me look forward to the next book, but at the same time…I was ready to see a certain someone go down.

So, maybe this isn’t my favorite of all the Reaper’s book, but it has my favorite heroine. I’ll take that as a huge win!

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Review: His Royal Secret by Lilah Pace

Review: His Royal Secret by Lilah PaceHis Royal Secret by Lilah Pace
Series: His Royal Secret #1
Published by Berkley July 19, 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Also by this author: Asking For It
Amazon US
Goodreads

James, the handsome, cosmopolitan Prince of Wales, is used to being in the public eye. But he's keeping a king-sized secret...James, next in line for the throne, is gay.

He’s been able to hide his sexual orientation with the help of his best friend and beard, Lady Cassandra. Sometimes he feels like a coward for not coming out, but he daren’t risk losing the crown. If he did, the succession would fall on his deeply troubled younger sister, Princess Amelia. To protect her, James is willing to live a lie.

While on holiday, he meets Benjamin Dahan—a rugged international reporter with a globe-trotting, unattached life—who catches far more than James's eye. And when Ben is transferred to London, it seems fate may finally be smiling on James.

But what began as a torrid fling grows into something far more intimate and powerful. Soon James will have decide who he is, what he wants from life and love, and what he’s willing to sacrifice for the truth...

I was pretty excited to see a new title pop up from the elusive Lilah Pace. It being a male/male romance in a British royalty setting only made it more appealing.

Prince James is a closeted gay man. He’s next in line for the thrown, second only to an ailing king. Gay marriage is new to the country and unheard of in the royal family. Great Britain has many political ties to countries who still very much look down upon homosexuals, and if he forfeits the crown – it would go to his younger sister who has far more deep seeded issues.  James does not have the freedom of living his life with the freedom he craves.

Ben, a respected journalist, doesn’t do relationships. He’s not looking for the ties that bind, he’s looking for the next exiting place to set down his suitcase for a few years. An unexpected encounter with the Prince starts a relationship that benefits them both.  No ties, no expectations of a future. Just clandestine sexual encounters for mutual fulfillment.

Until those pesky things called feelings get in the way, as they do.  But love or not, it’s not a simple thing for the Prince to come out…or stay closeted.

All of that sounds like it could be exiting, yes? I agree. Except the book really wasn’t all that exciting. It keeps a slow and steady pace from start to finish. There were a few well placed, steamy sex scenes – but those weren’t even enough to keep my nose buried in the book.

If you, like me, were a big fan of the Asking for It series, I’d caution you not to expect His Royal Secret to be as explicit. It’s not. In fact, there is quite a bit of more fade to black scenes. I don’t oppose those, so that’s not where my lack of interest stems. I actually think those worked well with the type of people James and Ben are.  Neither of them is all that explicit of a character. 

I think my issues with the book come more from the lack of emotion from either James or Ben. James is in an impossible situation but he felt very two dimensional throughout it all. And Ben, well, he’s got some mysterious ex-lover that seems to cause him strife but it too lacked depth.

This one just wasn’t my cup of tea.

About Lilah Pace

Lilah Pace is a pseudonym for a New York Times bestselling author, so she can’t give away too much about herself here, but she has lived everywhere from Italy to the United Kingdom before putting down roots in the American South.

She’s addicted to Diet Coke, loves her dog, and daydreams about several British movie stars (though usually no more than two at a time).

And while it took her a long while to get up the courage to write books, now she hopes she’ll never stop.


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Review: Mine by HelenKay Dimon

Review: Mine by HelenKay DimonMine by HelenKay Dimon
Published by Berkley October 6th 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Amazon US
Goodreads

Praised for her “hot and bold”(Kirkus Reviews) romances of erotic intrigue, the author of Only and Mercy now delivers her most daring novel yet…

She doesn’t depend on anyone for anything. He intends to make her his completely.

Natalie Udall thought her position at the CIA was secure—until protecting her team earned her an armed escort into certain danger. Natalie can’t stand the idea of being secreted away in a cabin in the middle of nowhere, especially since it means sharing close quarters with the controlling bodyguard enlisted to keep her alive.

Gabe MacIntosh joined the military to support his son, trained as a sniper and dealt with death on a regular basis. Now retired and operating a security firm, his first assignment is to protect a CIA agent on the run. She’s strong willed and difficult—and all Gabe can think about is exerting his domination and stripping her of every expectation she has.

Natalie has no intention of giving in to Gabe’s straightforward demands of dominant sex with no attachments—even though the very idea of giving up control thrills her like nothing ever has…

This will be quick a review… This is a first time author for me and unfortunately I don’t think I will be picking up another title from her any time soon.

I saw the cover and read the sypnosis and thought it was a perfect title to try out seeing as I was in the mood for some good EROTICA, I mean what else are you supposed to read in the fall.

There were a few things that factored as to why me and this book were just not seeing eye to eye the first reason being that I didn’t find it very erotic, yes some parts were very hot, but nothing that made me tremble with need. This book is narrated in the third person and generally I love that but I wasn’t able to gauge the characters essence of who they were, it was almost monotone.

Natalie and Gabe seemed to be at a constant battle between one another for authority and I wanted them to cave and give in a little more to the need that they were both seeking in one another. Natalie was a bit too head strong for my liking and Gabe had major potential seeing as he was an ex-sniper in the service but his character was a bit washed out with irritating surrounding issues. And really Gabe’s son may have been my favorite subject in this book, I’m sad I didn’t like this more because I really wanted too! So all in all I have to say this book wasn’t for me specifically but with time I’ll possibly try a title from her again, because I’m no quitter… (most of the time!)

 

 

 


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Review: Last Hope by Jessica Clare & Jen Frederick

Review: Last Hope by Jessica Clare & Jen FrederickLast Hope (Hitman, #4) by Jessica Clare, Jen Frederick
Series: Hitman
Published by Berkley September 29, 2015
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Amazon US
Goodreads

In the explosive new Hitman novel from the bestselling authors of Last Kiss and Last Hit a jungle mercenary and a female target find love on the run...

Mendoza: I grew up in the slums and lost everything I loved to poverty, illness, and death. I had only one skill to leverage myself out of my circumstances—violence. Being hired out as a mercenary hitman brought me money and built an empire. I’m the king, owner of an entire island, leader and protector of people. But I’m alone, and alone I must remain—because of my terrible scars and secret shame. My next job: Bring down a rival hiding in the Amazon. Find my target. Destroy it. But then, I meet her.

Ava: Ok, I’ll admit it. I’m famous for having bad luck. Karma hates me, and when the day job got ugly, I figured I could use a vacation. I should have known that bad luck tends to cling. So there’s no way I’m surprised that my plane was shot out of the sky. That I survived a crash-landing was a sweet twist. My jungle rescuer isn’t so bad either.  Hot, sexy, dangerous—Mendoza’s just what the libido ordered. The thing is, he says I wasn’t some unlucky part of a larger plot. In fact, I was the target. So what does he know that I don’t know? I guess I’m going to find out. If I have to be on the run with someone, I could do much worse than Mendoza. Now if I could only get the stubborn man to touch me…

This is my first title by the writing duo that is Jessica Clare and Jen Frederick, and although this is the fourth book in the series I was able to read with clarity and did not feel lost at any point in the story without having read the first three books.

I was hooked pretty early on and found myself laughing more than intended I’m sure, but also there were some tender moments with a few what the actual fuck faces on my end.

You’re an animal. A curse. you should have died in the womb. You are my cross, my penance.

Rafael Mendoza is a mercenary hitman and the best at what he does, but this brooding man did have a tortured past and I couldn’t help but feel for him in more ways than one. From the outside he seems nothing less than confident and the man you would want to be stranded in the Amazon with, consequently enough Ava is the lucky damsel in distress who gets just that. These two are brought together from the result of the most unlikely of situations but their chemistry radiates off the pages!

 

 

Ava is used as a mule by some equally threatening men and she must follow their demands to save her best friend and try to come out of this unruly situation alive at the very least.  Now Ava was some what of a predictable heroine but I did enjoy her spunk and willingness to stay above water… And she was pretty funny!

Like I mentioned I was hooked, but up until about I’d say 67% I’m guessing since I was reading a paperback, the story fell a tad short for me. I get that Mendoza and his team are the bread and butter of all contracted killers but it all seemed too easy for them. Clare and Frederick built up a major transaction which in my opinion would be the climax of the book but I was hoping for more action seeing as this was the ultimate showdown, but as quick as it started it was over.  Also, the ending was a little rushed and I would have liked a little more insight from Rafe, but even with these little hiccups I still very much enjoyed this book!  Jessica Clare and Jen Frederick are definitely authors I will pick titles up from again, their writing is very cohesive and entertaining!

 

 

Miss Tiffany - Transparent

 

 

About Jen Frederick

My name is Jen Frederick and I live in Iowa with my husband, daughter, and very large dog. I really want a cat though. I keep telling my husband that I won’t be a real writer until I have a cat. I didn’t realize I wanted to be a fiction writer until a few years ago. At the encouragement of a few friends, I turned a NANO manuscript into a real book and I’ve been publishing ever since.

In my downtime, I love to read, craft, and cook. I used to sew for my daughter until she developed a taste for ready made garments. Now the sewing machine is stored away but someday I home to pull it out again.

The best part of writing is interacting with other readers. I love to share what I’m reading and I love to hear what has moved you. Don’t hesitate to contact me at any time!

About Jessica Clare

This is a pen name for Jill Myles.

Jill Myles has been an incurable romantic since childhood. She reads all the ‘naughty parts’ of books first, looks for a dirty joke in just about everything, and thinks to this day that the Little House on the Prairie books should have been steamier.

After devouring hundreds of paperback romances, mythology books, and archaeological tomes, she decided to write a few books of her own – stories with a wild adventure, sharp banter, and lots of super-sexy situations. She prefers her heroes alpha and half-dressed, her heroines witty, and she loves nothing more than watching them overcome adversity to fall into bed together.


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Review: Asking For It by Lilah Pace

Review: Asking For It by Lilah PaceAsking For It by Lilah Pace
Series: Asking For It #1
Published by Berkley June 2, 2015
Genres: Dark Romance, Erotica
Pages: 336
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Also in this series: Begging For It
Also by this author: Begging For It
Amazon US | Amazon UK | iTunes
Goodreads

“This is who I am. This is what I want. Now I need a man dangerous enough to give it to me.”

Graduate student Vivienne Charles is afraid of her own desires—ashamed to admit that she fantasizes about being taken by force, by a man who will claim her completely and without mercy. When the magnetic, mysterious Jonah Marks learns her secret, he makes an offer that stuns her: they will remain near-strangers to each other, and meet in secret so that he can fulfill her fantasy.

Their arrangement is twisted. The sex is incredible. And—despite their attempts to stay apart—soon their emotions are bound together as tightly as the rope around Vivienne’s wrists. But the secrets in their pasts threaten to turn their affair even darker...

Reader Advisory: Asking for It deals explicitly with fantasies of non-consensual sex. Readers sensitive to portrayals of non-consensual sex should be advised.

Asking For It pushes the boundaries of twisted and dark erotica by seating the reader soundly in the middle of sexual uncomfortableness, hopeful romanticism and psychological curiosities.
 
Vivienne Charles is perhaps the most interesting character I’ve read all year.  The path that leads to her fantasies and how those fantasies rule such a major part of her life, was beyond intriguing. She doesn’t want to think the things she does, she certainly doesn’t want her body to respond to those thoughts with so much passion. She lives in secret, trusting people with such dark desires isn’t easy.
 
Jonah understands Vivienne’s plight. He has some depraved wants of his own. The difference between Vivienne and Jonah is that Asking for It is written in Vivienne’s point of view. So, we get to understand where her desires stem from. Maybe understand is too strong of a word. Regardless, we don’t get that with Jonah. He’s a mystery for a good portion of the book.  But no less interesting and appealing.
 
When the secrets all begin to unravel and the emotions taking place outside of the fantasy play, hit…that’s when it becomes all the more heartbreaking.
 
Asking for It is not a standalone, but I’m thankful for that. I don’t think the issues these two have, with themselves and each other, would be easily tidied up in one book.  The life and times of Vivienne and Jonah is, at best, bone jarring.  That shit takes time to mend.
 
I had a hard time setting this story down to live my own life. I was so curious as to how any real, sustainable relationship could come out of something so deeply personal and terrifying.  Asking for It is a strange mix of sadness, tenderness, tragedy and sexuality – told by a tender hand.
 Miss Ali - Transparent

About Lilah Pace

Lilah Pace is a pseudonym for a New York Times bestselling author, so she can’t give away too much about herself here, but she has lived everywhere from Italy to the United Kingdom before putting down roots in the American South.

She’s addicted to Diet Coke, loves her dog, and daydreams about several British movie stars (though usually no more than two at a time).

And while it took her a long while to get up the courage to write books, now she hopes she’ll never stop.


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Review: Beautiful Secret by Christina Lauren

Review: Beautiful Secret by Christina LaurenBeautiful Secret by Christina Lauren
Series: Beautiful Bastard #4
Published by Berkley April 14, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 401
Format: ARC
Source: Copy for Honest Review
Also by this author: The House
Goodreads

AN UPTIGHT BRITISH EXECUTIVE. AN ADVENTUROUS AMERICAN NEWBIE. A SEXY INTERNATIONAL SCANDAL IN THE MAKING.

New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author Christina Lauren’s Beautiful and Wild Seasons series hook up in Beautiful Secret for an erotic intercontinental romp that celebrates the best of both worlds!

When Ruby Miller’s boss announces he’s sending her on an extended business trip to New York City, she’s shocked. As one of the best and brightest young engineers in London, she knows she’s professionally up to the task. The part that’s throwing her is where she’ll be spending a month up close and personal working alongside—and staying in a hotel with—Niall Stella, her firm’s top urban planning executive and The Hottest Man Alive. Despite her ongoing crush, Ruby is certain Niall barely knows she’s alive…until their flirty overnight flight makes him sit up and take notice.

Not one for letting loose and breaking rules, recently divorced Niall would describe himself as hopeless when it comes to women. But even he knows outgoing California-girl Ruby is a breath of fresh air. Once she makes it her mission to help the sexy Brit loosen his tie, there’s no turning back. Thousands of miles from London, it’s easy for the lovers to play pretend. But when the trip is over, will the relationship they’ve built up fall down?

Beautiful Secret is so my kind of romance! Give me awkward geekiness all day long, which is exactly what Christina Lauren did with Niall and Ruby.
 
This is not a conventional romance. This also isn’t a typical Christina Lauren book.  You won’t be getting a cookie cutter story line here. You still get the signature sense of humor and characters with a
certain uniqueness about them, but it is a departure from what
contemporary romance has come to be. 
 
Niall is extremely old fashioned in many ways and very closed off.  Ruby is much more sexually experienced and outgoing but still very nervous and timid at times with her long time crush. 
 
I immediately loved Ruby. Her brain is a place I would love to spend some quality time in. It’s quick and quirky and reminds me of schoolgirl days in how playful it could be.
 
Niall, gotta say…confused and frustrated the hell out of me through most of the book. But I still absolutely adored him. He’s completely oblivious to, well, most everything. He has no clue how to act around a woman and he screws that up. A lot.
 
While the beginnings of their sexual relationship gave me pause, I eventually began to find it endearing and sweet. Neither wants to push too hard or too fast, yet they can’t deny the attraction they find have with each other. I can see how some readers could be turning up their noses to how this relationship plays out, but I enjoyed the unconventional aspect of it. 
 
Beautiful Secret is a testimony to muddling your way through new relationships in the hopes that love might take hold.
 
If you are a fan of Christina Lauren, you will undoubtedly find something you love about Beautiful Secret.  I found many things!

 

About Christina Lauren

NEW YORK TIMES, USA TODAY AND #1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHORS
Christina Lauren is the combined pen name of long-time writing partners/besties/soulmates/brain-twins Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. The coauthor duo writes both Young Adult and Adult Fiction, and together has produced eleven New York Times bestselling novels including Beautiful Bastard, Beautiful Stranger, Beautiful Player, Sweet Filthy Boy and Dirty Rowdy Thing. Their books have been translated into 25+ languages. (Some of these books have kissing. Some of these books have A LOT of kissing.)


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