Review: With a Twist trilogy

Since these three short novellas are all interrelated, I’m going to do my written review of them as a whole. Given that they are written by three different people, I will also rank each book.

The trilogy follows three best friends who own a martini bar named With a Twist. They’ve been tasked by a gypsy to find love by midnight on Valentine’s Day or lose all the success they’ve gained with their bar. Each book focuses on one of the friends.

First up is Jasmine, who has long lusted after artist Jake, but he’s never seemed to be interested in more than a friendship. However, a long sojourn in Italy makes the heart grow fonder and he returns to win Jasmine’s heart. This story was not my favorite, basically because I didn’t enjoy Ms. Fox’s writing style as much as the other two authors. There was a lot of back story at the beginning that didn’t hold my interest. As the first of the trilogy, she did perhaps have more set up to do, but it still felt longer than it needed to be before we got to the action. Once we did, the action is mostly hot sex (this was probably the steamiest of the trio) and then Jake getting stuck in a snowstorm that threatens that he won’t make it back by Valentine’s Day so Jasmine can confess her love in person. This was perhaps the thinnest premise of the three books to build tension. If faced with losing my business due to a gypsy prediction, I would’ve just spilled the beans on the phone.

Second comes Daisy, who has been drifting along in life. There’s a little confusion about who is really the man for her, as she has two pursuers (and some other complications which you can read the story to find out 🙂 ). I liked this story the most, as both the hero and heroine had compelling emotional and circumstantial issues to deal with. They seemed to fit together really well and had the most chemistry. There were some spicy sex scenes in this book too.

Third comes Rose, who has pined after Jasmine’s cousin Max since high school. He’s been globetrotting since then, and she hasn’t seen him in a decade. So when he shows up to visit Jasmine, she arranges an excuse for him to stay at Rose’s place. This was the tamest of the books, sex-scene wise, but there were more sweet moments between the two as they work out their past, present, and future.

Overall, this was a pretty enjoyable trilogy. There are a number of typos (especially in Ms. Quinn’s book), but not so many that it was terribly distracting. There were a few small continuity errors, although this is mainly because we see a few moments appear in different books, so therefore from a different woman’s POV. This actually was a nice touch for the most part. I only found one error that couldn’t be waved away with this reason, and that’s in Ms. Quinn’s book when Daisy says she was a transplant to San Diego in high school, whereas the other books say the three woman met in elementary school. (Unless maybe they are all transplants, but there is nothing to suggest that’s the case and a few details that make it seem not the case.)

As a whole, I’d give the trilogy 3.5 cat kisses. Individually, I’d give book one 3 cat kisses, book two 4 cat kisses, and book three 3.5 cat kisses.

3.5 cats


 

From the sexy, martini-inspired “Love With a Twist” Valentine Romance Collection by award-winning and Amazon bestselling author Calista Fox, New York Times bestselling author Erin Quinn and USA Today bestselling author Mary Leo:

A prophecy whispered in Jasmine Rosso’s ear by a gypsy fortuneteller in San Diego’s Seaport Village leads her to a sizzling night with sexy blown-glass artist Jake Hartnett. But the clock’s running out on the time allotted to fulfill the prophecy, and if Jasmine doesn’t make a true love connection with Jake before midnight on Valentine’s Day, she’ll lose everything she’s worked so hard to achieve this past year…including the trendy martini bar and bistro, With a Twist, that she owns with her two best friends.

Worst of all, she’ll lose Jake—the only man she’s ever wanted.


Fate may have served up the wrong man, but for Daisy L’Amore, love comes with a twist.
Daisy L’Amore is faced with impossible choices. A prophecy given a year ago has Daisy and her two best friends racing the clock to find love before midnight on Valentine’s Day or they will lose everything they’ve worked for, including With a Twist, the martini bar and bistro the three of them own. A crystal heart and a gypsy’s words guide them, but love has a way of making its own rules, and Daisy is afraid to break them.

Romeo Corazón is shaking up Daisy’s world, but will the transformation he brings to her life be the downfall of everything she values? Or will falling in love with the wrong man make everything right?

 


When a gypsy’s prediction begins to come true, Rose Cupido dismisses it as a coincidence, but when a past estranged boyfriend shows up reminding her of the love she once felt for him, Rose can’t help wondering if that gypsy had true magical powers.

Review: The Three Fates of Ryan Love

The Three Fates of Ryan Love is the second in Erin Quinn’s series about the Beyond. When a mysterious woman shows up outside Ryan’s bar with a warning that he’s about to die in an explosion if he doesn’t flee with her, he ends up running despite his doubts. As the two navigate their attraction for each other and the fate that faces them, they must decide how much to trust each other.

This book has a unique paranormal world filled with demons, goddesses, reapers, seers and more. Despite reading this book prior to reading the first book (The Five Deaths of Roxanne Love) in the series, I was able to fill in the gaps enough to follow the story and understand the world. The attraction between Ryan and Sabelle sizzles and the sex scenes are well-written to move the story forward and not just tantalize.

The story felt a little unbalanced to me. The first half spent a lot more time focused on Ryan and Sabelle’s growing relationship, but I didn’t feel like that much actually happened. There was a lot of soul searching and back story, and I just didn’t feel all that engaged by the looming danger in the story (as I did in the first book, which I went back and read directly after finishing this one). This could have been partly due to not having read the first book and therefore not having as complete a view of the world. The action in the last half of the book kept me riveted, though. I also thought that the “three fates” in this book weren’t as integral to the plot as the “five deaths” were in book one.

Perhaps obviously since I picked up the first book, I enjoyed this book. I give it four cat kisses. And as a bonus, I’d give the first book 4.5 cat kisses. Oh, and I love the titles!

4 cats


An oracle unexpectedly transforms her destiny when she alters the fate of the man she loves in this thrilling second novel from award-winning romance author Erin Quinn’s captivating new series.

Will love be their salvation . . .

When Ryan Love discovers the mysterious Sabelle alone and terrified in his parking lot, he has no idea that helping the beautiful woman will be tempting fate. She says she’s an oracle from the Beyond, which seems crazy. But within moments of meeting her, Ryan’s entire life goes up in flames. He doesn’t know what to believe, but one thing is clear—now both their lives are in danger.

. . . or their downfall?

For years, Sabelle has guided Ryan’s fate. But by breaking the rules to save his life, she sets off a chain reaction with deadly consequences.  Now she’s hunted by her enemy, her future and her heart in Ryan’s hands. In the dangerous race to restore order, Ryan discovers he cannot live without Sabelle, his seductive and devoted prophet. But can he protect her from the dark forces closing in—or will he die trying?

About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Erin Quinn writes dark paranormal romance for the thinking reader. Her books have been called “riveting,” “brilliantly plotted” and “beautifully written” and have won, placed or showed in numerous awards. Go to www.erinquinnbooks.com for more information.  Look for The Three Fates of Ryan Love in January 2015 from Pocket Books.

Review: Amelia Grey’s latest historical a winner

I’ve got one more review in my queue before my break, and this one was an all around pleasure…

The Duke in My Bed is a lovely historical romance. I really enjoyed Bray and Louisa’s story. There are some surprising twists and turns, and the main characters’ growth on their path to love is generally well-paced and believable. A few times I wanted them to get on with it, but not so often that I ever felt truly annoyed. The secondary characters, especially Louisa’s sisters, add depth to the story.

This the first book I’ve read by Ms. Grey and I will certainly be looking up more. The Duke in My Bed releases at the end of December. If you like historicals, go preorder it now. I give this book 4.5 cat kisses.

4.5 cats


Amazon

From bestselling author Amelia Grey comes The Duke in My Bed, a wickedly romantic tale of one reckless bachelor, five unwed sisters, and a wildly unconventional game of love…

HERE COMES THE GROOM

As a notorious member of the Heirs’ Club, Bray Drakestone can’t resist a challenge from one of his well-heeled colleagues—especially when it involves money and horses. But the friendly wager takes an unexpected and deadly turn. Bray is forced to agree to marry one of his challenger’s five sisters—sight unseen. Now gamblers all over London are placing bets on whether Bray will actually go through with it…

THERE GOES THE BRIDE

Miss Louisa Prim, the eldest sister, doesn’t care a whit what the reckless rogue at the Heirs’ Club promised her brother—she has no intention of marrying the future Duke of Drakestone. Bray, however, sees her rejection as another challenge. He bets that the fiery Miss Prim will not only agree to marry him, she will propose to him! With four sisters behind her, Louisa knows she can’t lose. But why does her opponent have to be a divinely handsome scoundrel? And so sweetly, irresistibly seductive…

About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Amelia Grey read her first romance book when she was thirteen. She’s been a devoted reader of love stories ever since.

Amelia has been happily married to her high school sweetheart for over thirty-five years and she lives on the beautiful gulf coast of Northwest Florida.

With more than twenty-five books published, she is a two-time winner of the prestigious Booksellers Best Award. She’s also won the Aspen Gold, and the Golden Quill Awards. Writing as Gloria Dale Skinner, she won the coveted Romantic Times Award for Love and Laughter and the Maggie Award. Amelia’s books have been published in Europe, Indonesia, Turkey, Russia, and Japan.

Several of her books have been featured in Doubleday and Rhapsody Book Clubs.

You can follow Amelia on Facebook at or email her at AmeliaGrey@comcast.net to be added to her newsletter and contest list.

Tour Organizer: N K Author Services

Review: The Capture blends sweet and erotic aspects of long-term love

The Capture is the latest Invitation to Eden story. It also happens to be part of Erika Wilde’s Marriage Diaries series, which follows Jillian and Dean as they rekindle their passion after twenty years of marriage. This story has some smoking hot scenes, like all the Invitation to Eden stories. There is a nice balance between playing out the couple’s sexual fantasy and seeing them as themselves. This is a quick read that is as sweet as it is erotic. I give it 4 cat kisses.

4 cats

You can also check out my reviews of some earlier offerings in the series here.

There isn’t much that Jillian Noble can resist when it comes to her sexy, gorgeous husband, Dean.  She’s become very independent in her daily life, but privately, behind closed doors, Jillian finds she loves submitting to her husband’s more dominant, erotic demands.

When Dean surprises her with an Invitation to Eden and promises to fulfill one of her secret fantasies, she can’t wait to find out what’s in store.  While on the mysterious island, she’s auctioned off to a rogue pirate and imprisoned as his slave. What he commands of her is shocking, but there is no denying this dark, forbidden stranger, or the exquisite pleasure that comes with her ultimate surrender.

Amazon

About the Author

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Erika Wilde (aka Janelle Denison) is the USA Today bestselling author of over 50 contemporary romances for multiple print publishers.

So, why the new pen name?

As Janelle Denison I’ve always written sexy books, but lately my writing has taken on more erotic elements that I wanted to keep separate for readers because not everyone likes their reading material on the spicier, kinkier side of romance. However, please be assured that even as Erika Wilde, you will still get an emotionally layered story with characters you’ll care about and fall in love with. That is always my goal, whether I’m writing straight contemporary romances, or more erotically charged stories.

Currently, I’m working on The Marriage Diaries and making sure that Dean and Jillian enjoy exploring the more erotic side to their marriage. The series will be on-going, with no foreseeable ending as of right now, for as long as readers want to be voyeurs to Dean and Jillian’s sizzling new relationship.

I’m also planning a spin-off series in the future, featuring the hot military men that work security for Dean at Noble and Associates. Sign up to receive my newsletter for updates and news!

Review: Black Widow Witch imaginative urban fantasy

Black Widow Witch by A.J. Locke is the story of Malachi, a cursed witch sent to Earth; her former witch lover Knave; and human cop Julian. The story builds a complex world where cursed witches are mistrusted and often abused by human cops (Julian is an exception to that rule) and witches both cursed and still living in the Aeverneath plot against the powerful witch Queen.

This urban fantasy moves at a quick pace, the characters are well-drawn and engaging, and the foreshadowing enough to let the reader guess at what’s coming without being completely obvious. The only thing that threw me a bit was the ending. A lot of loose threads are there, and I’m hoping that means a sequel is in the works. With that hope alive, I give this book 4 cat kisses.

4 cats


A deadly curse, a dangerous assassin, and one shot to save everyone she loves…

Malachi Erami can’t fall in love. After she’s caught with Knave, the witch Queen’s favorite lover, she’s cursed to savagely butcher any man she falls for. Exiled to live among humans, Malachi runs a bar that serves magic-laced drinks, but since her curse labels her high risk, she’s also closely monitored. Julian Vira is her latest babysitter, but he’s also the first man since Knave that she’s been attracted to. Good-looking and nonjudgmental of her horrible curse? Yeah, he’s hard to resist.

But when Malachi finds a body behind her bar, she knows she’s in trouble. If the Witches Control Council gets wind of it, she’ll be accused of murder and sent to her death. And when her friends start getting framed for murder, she realizes she’s not the only target. Malachi and Julian dig into the evidence to clear her name, but the closer they get to answers, the closer the curse comes to taking over. So when Malachi uncovers a plot to kill the witch Queen, she finds herself suddenly recruited into service, with the promise of having her curse lifted and a reunion with Knave as well. But if she fails, Knave will die. And she and Julian might not live long enough to see that happen.

About the Author

A.J. Locke is an author and artist, originally from Trinidad, now residing in New York City. Black Widow Witch is her second published novel, and other than writing she enjoys reading, drawing, painting, graphic design, and watching too much television.
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