The Naughty Vixen

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Archive for the category “Book Review”

Teach Me by Ella Sheridan

“I think we’ve determined I’m not the easing-in type…”

cover55084-mediumTitle:  Teach Me

Series:  Southern Nights Book #1

Author:  Ella Sheridan

Rating: A-

Blurb:   A woman determined to heal…

Shy researcher Jess Kingston spent the last eight weeks recovering from her ex-boyfriend’s brutal attack. Body healed, she’s ready to put her life back together—except her ex isn’t ready to let go. She won’t cower in a corner while Brit tortures her, but she’s powerless to fight back.

A man determined to resist…

Ex-military security specialist Conlan James avoids commitment like the plague. His job, his Harley, and the occasional one-night stand are all he needs, until the day he rescues Jess from a tense situation and realizes he can’t get her off his mind. He can teach her to protect herself, but protecting his heart is another matter.

A madman determined to win…

As the deadly game of cat-and-mouse with Brit heats up, so does the hunger between Con and Jess. Safety might be found in numbers, but in bed, all bets are off—and the wrong move could lead to heartbreak. Or death.

Thoughts:  When you first start this book, it seems as if it’s going to be in vain – I mean, we have Conlan who is so resistant to commitment, and Jess who has been so victimized. It’s obvious Conlan is attracted…he’s even going out of his way to put himself in her path, yet he keeps resisting the attraction between them. Fortunately, it doesn’t take long for things to come to head – and even less for Conlan to realize that fighting his feelings is futile.

The further things progress in this story, the more I enjoyed it. I loved the chemistry between Jess and Conlan and the way things gradually progress in their relationship – and the way Conlan is willing to risk everything and put everything on the line to protect her. The ending was what surprised me most though – but I think that is what keeps it from being as predictable as most of the others books out there.

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Howl by Brittney Dussault

“They say you have the power to see the truth, just by touching someone.  Go on, touch me.”

Howl-CoverTitle:  Howl

Author:  Brittney Dussault

Rate: C

After an archeology expedition gone wrong, Lis Santiago is assigned a desk job at The Library, an underground archive dedicated to the history and study of supernatural creatures. Run by humans, the joke about The Library is that it’s operated by people who know everything about magic… except how to use it. Lis is no exception, and after three years, she’s finally accepted her new, albeit lackluster, career. 
Then a request is made: Supernatural creatures in the area have gone missing, and the Alpha from the local werewolf pack wants a Librarian to aid in the investigation. But he doesn’t want just any Librarian, he wants Lis. Accepting means time away from her desk, but it also means having to be paired up with old partner Jonas Highet, who left her waiting for him in Italy five years ago. This isn’t the reunion she had in mind, but when the Alpha calls, it’s hard to say no.
Lis quickly wishes she had.
The Alpha already has a suspect, he just needs Lis to convict him… even if there’s no proof he’s guilty. But the Alpha’s sister thinks her brother’s scapegoat- a wolf named Mickey Kaiser- is innocent, and she wants Lis to prove it.
Caught between a pair of siblings known for their cunning ways, Lis is going to have to find out what’s so special about Mickey Kaiser, while simultaneously keeping Jonas from killing the man. And just when Lis starts dreaming about her desk job, the first body is found.
It’s unlike anything Lis has seen before.

Thoughts:  The premise behind this book is a good one –  I loved the sheer idea behind it.  Yet I found this book a continual source of frustration as it constantly left this feeling that you were missing something – I felt like I had jumped a few books into a series with a bunch of background history missing, allusions to character relationships and intimacies that I’d lost out on, and yet that was not the case since this is the first book in the series.  But that feeling lingered all throughout the book, and really tainted the whole experience for me.

Things like The Library – that I thought would play such a huge role – really didn’t feature as much as I thought they would in the scope the story, some things are brought up within the story and are just not mentioned again and you are left to wonder why they were even mentioned at all – and still other details  you left wondering why they aren’t explained in so much more depth as they were so pertinent to the story.  Just a lot of inconsistencies.   I also never really felt connected to the characters…you read the story, but never got fully enveloped within it.

I like – and still like – the idea of it more than the actual execution of it.

Excerpt:  “H-hi,” Lis said, because when in the presence of such delectable, smug attractiveness, she found it difficult to communicate like a normal, grown-ass woman. She figured everyone had their vices.

 Tall, dark, and handsome with an emphasis on the tall, dark, and handsome, the leather clad babe standing before her was good looking enough she could almost forget he was a werewolf detective. But while the wolves might call themselves detectives, she knew they only did one thing- hunt. She, like always, was not on the menu.

“I’m guessing you’re my partner?” she said when her brain started working again.  The man ran his eyes over her body in a way that made her both shiver and roll her eyes.

He scrunched his nose in distaste and she scoffed.

“The day I ask you for sartorial advice, Highet,” she snapped as she marched over to her bedroom, “is the day hell freezes over.”

“Better dress warm, then.”

Jonas Highet looked like sin, had a voice that was a temptation all on its own, and to top it all off, he knew it. In Lis’ experience, there was nothing more dangerous than an attractive man who knew he was attractive. Even more so, one who knew how to use his beauty to his advantage. It seemed to be a talent all werewolves possessed.

“I swear,” Lis muttered under her breath as she changed out of her pantsuit and into something a little more suitable to a night spent running after a werewolf who couldn’t deduce worth shit.

“Tick tock,” said Jonas. “The Alpha is expecting us.”

Lis sneered before grabbing her jacket from him, not having bothered to close the screen to her bedroom because Jonas had seen her naked enough times over the years and had only shown a level of interest that could be classified as clinical. Actually, no. Lis was pretty sure she’d seen doctors more attentive than the werewolf now following her out of her apartment.

“For the record,” Jonas said as he trailed after her, “I didn’t request to be your partner.”

Lis stopped halfway down a step and looked up at him.

“Good thing we got that out of the way.”

If she hadn’t known it already, his statement had confirmed it: It was going to be a long night.

 

 

 

Dirty Deeds by Lorelei James

“Nah.  Let’s walk around.  See what screams ‘ride me’.”  Nathan clamped his teeth together against the urge to shout, Pick me! Pick me!

cover54425-mediumTitle:  Dirty Deeds

Author:  Lorelei James

Rate: C

When good, clean fun just isn’t an option.  Just once, good girl Tate Cross wants to experience a red-hot, no-strings-attached affair. She’s temporarily left her graphic artist position in Denver to settle her aunt’s estate in Spearfish, South Dakota, but the city won’t let her sell the property until the landscaping is up to snuff. The Native American landscape contractor her friend highly recommends looks like he can meet all her needs, in the flowerbed and out. Nathan LeBeau believes few women look at the Native American man beneath the filthy work clothes and hard hat. When Tate offers to trade art lessons for dirt work, the tempting subtext is as plain as the lettering on the side of Nathan’s truck. But in truth, he’s tired of relationships based solely on sex. His goal of proving he’s not completely hopeless in matters of the heart is second only to his dream of expanding his business.  It figures. Tate wants no-holds-barred sex right about the time the one-time Casanova wants a good old-fashioned romance. Bring on the battle of wills!  This book has been previously published.  Warning: A reformed bad boy who wants a taste of real love, and a good girl who wants just one taste of the wild side—and she’s willing to drive a hard bargain to get what she wants.

Thoughts:  With Lorelei James being the author – and a title like Dirty Deeds! – I really wanted to like this book, but it just didn’t come together for me in this instance.  It was just a bit unbelievable overall for me.  My major disconnect with the book though was the constant emphasis on the Nathan’s heritage and the fact that he is Native American – it just did not seem important to the story for me.  It almost seemed like the author couldn’t decide if she wanted to make discrimination into an integral part of the story or not, so instead it sort of just…wavered.  I found it disturbing to the storyline, and I know Lorelei James and her talent – she is capable of so much more with her writing!  These characters were just difficult to connect with, period.  Not one of Lorelei’s best works.

Geek Bearing Gifts by Milly Taiden

“Did you know…That your eyes are the color of smooth milk chocolate and as bright as a thousand stars?”

91oM86+0ZJL._SL1500_Title:  Geek Bearing Gifts

Author:  Milly Taiden

Rate: B

Nita Islas wants to find love. She’s tired of the superficial relationships and is ready to give true romance a try. She uses the Paranormal Dating Agency and hopes they can help her where all others have failed. What she didn’t expect was to find her date flat on his back in nothing more than a towel.
Ky Stone has been in love with curvy and funny Nita since they were in High School. When she moved away, she took his heart with her. Then one day Ky wakes up to find her leaning over him. He’s sure he’s died and gone to heaven. He has no idea what she’s doing there, but he’s sure as hell not letting her leave.
Fate, meddling family and the PDA have brought them together again. The chemistry between them is explosive. But there’s problems with Ky’s neighboring clan and he’s keeping secrets from Nita. He needs to find a way to open up to her or lies and unexpected danger could tear them apart…forever. 

Thoughts:  There were things I really liked about this book, but some things that really just didn’t work for me.  I love the whole ‘crush’ angle of the story, with Ky knowing that Nita was the one for him since they were teens.  What didn’t work for me?  The fact that she had a crush on Ky too, but yet doesn’t connect this Ty with the Ty of the past.  I mean, it doesn’t even cross her mind at all (not even a hint of, “Could this be…?  No, it can’t be!”)  Some things also just seemed thrown in to add conflict, but it was half-hearted.  Rival clan sneaking onto the bear clans land….fights and violence….repeat.  It just seemed there could have been a whole lot more to this story.  On all levels.

This would not be one of my favorites of Taiden’s work.  I loved the idea of it, but it just never came to fruition.  It was short, underdeveloped, and just left me wanting a whole lot more from this story.

Excerpt:  “So you see, I want a man that will be interested in me as a person. Not just for sex. Not for money, which I don’t have. Not for whatever he might think he can get out of me. I want to be wanted for the woman inside. And I sure as hell want to be wanted sexually too.”

Mrs. Wilder cocked her head to the side, staring at her with her soulful eyes. “Darling, there are many sides to you. Your beauty, your body, your wit, your abilities at work. What do you want to focus on if anything in particular?”

She leaned back on the sofa, the seat dipping under her butt. The leather squeaked with the weight of her body. “I want more than sex. Don’t get me wrong, sex is great.”

Mrs. Wilder snorted, her eyes turned bright with amusement. Her lips twisted in a smirk and a

small dimple showed on her right cheek. She appeared even younger when she smiled. “Sex is amazing when done correctly. Especially if he can figure out how to be all alpha and make your legs shake.”

Oh, damn! She choked on the cookie she’d taken a bite of, chocolate spewing from her lips with each cough. She picked up a napkin and tried to clear her throat. Mrs. Wilder was a freak.

Promo image 2 GBG

 

Trace of Magic by Diana Pharaoh Francis

“You know, ever since I met you, I can’t seem to keep my own clothes on.  Why is that?”

cover52037-mediumTitle:  Trace of Magic

Series: The Diamond City Magic Novels Book #1

Author:  Diana Pharaoh Francis

Rate: A

Even the most powerful tracers can’t track you if the magical trace you leave behind is too old. But I can track almost anything, even dead trace. That makes me a unicorn, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, and the Lock Ness Monster all rolled into one. In a word, I am unique. A very special snowflake. And if anyone ever finds out, I’ll be dead or a slave to one of the Tyet criminal factions.
Riley Hollis has quietly traced kidnapped children and quietly tipped the cops to their whereabouts one too many times. Now she’s on the radar of Detective Clay Price, a cop in the pocket of a powerful magic Tyet faction. When he blackmails her into doing a dangerous trace for him, Riley will have to break every rule that keeps her safe. Or become a Tyet pawn in a deadly, magical war. 

Thoughts:  Trace of Magic starts off what has become one of my new favorite urban fantasy series – and this book definitely leaves you wanting more!  I can’t wait to get more from these characters and this whole intriguing world.  In this alternate, magical universe, we have a world full of magical abilities, intrigue, subterfuge, deception, greed, etc. – and with Riley herself not even sure of the full scale of her powers, I can’t wait to see where things go with this series.  For book one in a new series, it is really off to a strong start, and this is the most excited I have been about a new author in urban fantasy in awhile.

For those wanting to get a feel for her works, I see the book similar to those along the lines of  the Realm Walker series by Kathleen Collins and perhaps the Cassie Palmer series by Karen Chance – if you enjoy those, I think this one might be right up your alley…:)  There are definitely moments where it reminds me a bit of Kim Harrison’s Hollow’s series (although this series is definitely not on that scale yet)….particularly when it comes to Riley’s creative uses for magic.  I think this series really has a lot of potential….and Riley really has the potential to became a huge female character that those long-lasting type series are made out of.  I can’t wait to see what the next book brings!

The Second Chance Hero by Jeannie Moon

“It’s more.  With him it could be more.  I just know it.”

cover52799-mediumTitle:  The Second Chance Hero

Author:  Jeannie Moon

Series: Forever Love #4

Rate:  A

The eternal bachelor finally finds his match—if he can get her attention…
After her fiancé dies in her arms in Afghanistan, combat nurse Kim Torres decides to get as far away from men and the war as she can. Now a nanny to a little girl, she’s trying to date again, but her heart just isn’t in it. Not even for a man as sexy as Owen Kent…
When Major Owen Kent returns from his deployment with the Marines in Afghanistan, he discovers how much things have really changed. The billionaire CIO’s friends are settling down and having families—things a serial dater like Owen doesn’t expect to do. But he’s also not expecting his friend Harper’s new nanny to be the woman who stole his heart half a world away. Kim may want nothing to do with Owen, but he’s not about to surrender without a fight.

ThoughtsFate is the word of the day when it comes to this book.  Owen is fascinated by the young nurse who falls apart in his arms after the world as she knows it falls apart around her after a tragedy in Afghanistan.  After going to check on her a few weeks later – only to find her gone – he figures it wasn’t meant to be.  But when his friend asks him to pick up her nanny after she has a flat tire, he’s stunned when it turns out to be the very nurse he was so intrigued by!  He’s surprised, however, that she doesn’t recognize him.  Owen’s happy to take these little circumstances as a nudge by fate and give them a chance – but can he convince Kim to do the same?

Talk about a sweet romance!  I absolutely fell in love with this book!  I love the witty banter between these characters, the chemistry between them, and just the whole falling-in-love story.  The ending was also a bit surprising….but to find out why you’ll have to pick this little treasure up for yourself…:)  It is beautifully told by the author, and just an amazingly sweet read.  This was my first book by the author, but I can say it will definitely not be the last!  It is also completely a stand alone novel.

 

 

Ritual Magic by Eileen Wilks

Feelings are not always a guide to truth, and guilt is an indulgence you cannot afford. It clouds the mind.”

81VANeQxSxL._SL1500_Title:  Ritual Magic (World of the Lupi Book #10)

Author:  Eileen Wilks

Rate:  C

In Eileen Wilks’s new Novel of the Lupi, FBI agent Lily Yu is about to confront a power even darker than magic…On her 57th birthday, Lily’s mother suddenly loses all memory beyond the age of twelve. Lily knows her mother was attacked by something more than magic. More . . . and darker.
When Lily and Rule discover that others suffered the same, mysterious loss—at the same time on the same night—their investigation into the darkness begins. Joining them is someone Lily never thought she’d see again: Al Drummond, who once tried to destroy her. He also happens to be dead. But the mysterious attacks were caused by a power strong enough to affect matters beyond the world of the living.
With some victims losing years of memory and others their lives, Lily must discover what on earth—or beyond—connects them. 

Thoughts:  To be honest, I dragged my heels when it came to getting this book….and then dragged them some more when it came to actually reading it.  I absolutely loved this series in the beginning, but it has become one of those series that has started to lose its spark for me.  Part of me feverently hoped that this would be the book that sets it back on track….and yet another dreaded it because I feared it would be the final straw for me with the series.  Unfortunately, it seems to be the latter for me.

With most other series, it usually comes down to just the whole plotline/story just not living up to the spectacular standards set by the previous books.  What makes this series a bit odd for me is instead it seems to be a loss of the integral part of the characters – now, in the tenth book, I honestly have forgotten why I loved these characters so much.  It doesn’t even seem like I am even reading about the same people anymore.  And that is truly a sad state of affairs since the characters used to be so vibrant.  The story is still a good one – but I miss the connection that used to exist for these characters – for example, Lily and Rule could almost be strangers they seem so different from who they used to be.  Not to mention their real, true interactions are few and far between.  It’s almost like now that they are together romantically, the author doesn’t know how to write them anymore.

I doubt I can handle reading another book in this series – it just reminds me of what is missing from those amazing books in the beginning.

 

 

The Witch With No Name by Kim Harrison

“I like beginnings better than endings.”

91ZrOoT+vXL._SL1500_Title:  The Witch With No Name

Author:  Kim Harrison

Rate: A+

It’s Rachel Morgan’s ultimate adventure . . . and anything can happen in this final book in the New York Times bestselling Hollows series.

Rachel Morgan has come a long way from her early days as an inexperienced bounty hunter. She’s faced vampires and werewolves, banshees, witches, and soul-eating demons. She’s crossed worlds, channeled gods, and accepted her place as a day-walking demon. She’s lost friends and lovers and family, and an old enemy has unexpectedly become something much more.

But power demands responsibility, and world-changers must always pay a price. Rachel has known that this day would come—and now it is here.

To save Ivy’s soul and the rest of the living vampires, to keep the demonic ever after and our own world from destruction, Rachel Morgan will risk everything. . . .

Thoughts:  OMG…that quote is so true, and definitely applies to this book!  Beginnings are better….because seeing this series come to an end really SUCKS.  On an epic scale.  From cracking open that very first book and getting caught up in the chaotic world that is Rachel Morgan’s, I have been addicted to this series.  Every book was a must read – and every one was simply amazing.  This one was certainly not an exception.  Classic Hollows material, with a classy, perfectly fitted ending….it was nothing short of brilliant.  Though I definitely want to cry at the end of such an amazing series of books – I will miss these characters dearly!

 

 

Darkness by Laurann Dohner

“I want you so bad sometimes I have to fight myself not to take you.”

51cJbMJPwPLTitle:  Darkness

Author:  Laurann Dohner

Series: New Species Series # 12

Rate:  A

Kat’s boss wants dirt on the NSO. She is sent to Homeland undercover but everything goes wrong as soon as she enters the front gates. She is arrested by a big, powerful, sexy New Species but she is not frightened. He turns her on and things heat up fast between them. Now, she just hopes he doesn’t break her heart.

Darkness admires Kat’s courage but he cannot trust anything she says. He hasn’t been with a female for years because he knows he is too damaged. He is not mate material, despite his desire to possess her in every way. Darkness fears losing control—the one thing that defines his life. He doesn’t think he can tear down the protective walls he’s built, even for her.

ThoughtsAs always, this was a great addition  to the New Species series – and I love Laurann Dohner!  No matter what she writes it is amazing.  With that being said, i have to admit that Darkness was a bit different than what I was expecting.  For me, it was similar to a lot of the other titles – that’s not a bad thing, but I wanted a little more.  This one doesn’t stand out as one of the top ones in the series, but it’s not bad either – it’s an okay title in an amazing series.

Personally, I can’t wait to get one featuring a female species – I can’t wait to see that interesting twist!  And it might liven the series back up.  This one has me hoping that the series is not starting to go a little stale – and I sincerely hope that is not the case as this is my favorite series right now.  But it has been known to happen (especially when it comes to series that go on for this long).  I guess we’ll see when Smiley comes out in a few weeks!

 

 

Perfect Stranger by KB Alan

“No, sir.  Just you.  Just your orders.  And your touch.”

cover52758-mediumTitle:  Perfect Stranger

Author:  KB Alan

Rate: B

Dana goes into the BDSM club not quite sure what she needs in order to move forward with her life. When she discovers the club is hosting a charity auction, she makes a desperate plan. If she can secure one of the men being auctioned, maybe she can find the peace that she’s been looking for. A stranger with no expectations—it just might work.

Eric agrees to be part of the club’s annual charity auction because he’s between subs at the moment, and it’s for a good cause. He’s a Dom used to knowing what a sub needs in a scene with him and how best to provide it. But what happens when the thing a sub needs most is for Eric to drop to his knees at her feet?

This is a SHORT story (approximately 13k words)

Thoughts:  This is a sexy little short story about a women trying to get back into the BDSM scene after her former Dom dies.  She honestly planned to re-enter the scene slowly, but after her eyes lock onto Eric at a charity auction, she can’t help but bid on him!  But what is she going to do with him not that she has two hours in his company – and the playroom of her choice to play in?

It’s always a bit iffy with these short stories for me – sometimes they feel incomplete, sometimes rushed, etc.  I enjoyed this one – however, it did feel a bit like someone just took out a few chapters of a full length novel and said, “Here you go!”  I wanted more – which is a good thing…:) The negative part?  It just seemed a bit incomplete to me.  I also didn’t feel a complete connection to the characters because of the length.  Additionally, considering the characters just met, it felt a bit unrealistic that Dana would confide so much into Eric.

All in all, it was good story and a good read – particularly if you’re looking for a quick read.  I would be very interested to see what the author can do with a full-length novel.  This was my first book by this author, but I will be looking for more by the author…:)

This is 2.5 in the Perfect Fit series and is preceded by Perfect Formation and Perfect Alignment.

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