R: Review of Power Shift by Cassandra Carr

Power Shift is a novella about a married couple in a relationship rut after twelve years. Cissy decides to shake things up and take a more dominant role in their love life.

This was a pretty good read. There just aren’t enough books about long-term relationships. I enjoyed the tension between the psychological and physical reactions of the characters as they explored a whole new world of sexual games. At times, the details about the research they both do feels a little technical, but in some ways I liked that they were both being practical about their sexual explorations. It showed how serious they were—Cissy especially—about saving their marriage.

My biggest criticism of Power Shift is that the ending felt very abrupt. I wanted to read more of their story as they continued to work on their marital problems and rebuild their relationship both in and out of bed. As it was left, I wondered if they’d really be able to work everything out after their promising initial steps. For that reason, I have to give this novella 4 cat kisses.

4 cats


Sometimes a wife has to go to extreme measures to save her marriage.

When Cissy Holden doesn’t feel appreciated, she takes matters into her own hands and introduces her wayward husband Len to a new way of life wherein she makes the decisions–and the rules. Will Len give up control or has Cissy just made the biggest mistake of her life?

NOTE: Previously released by another publisher as Unexpected Top.

Buy Links:

About the Author

Cassandra Carr is a multi-award winning romance and action adventure writer. When not working, she enjoys watching hockey, Arrow, and a select few other shows, or hanging out online. Cassandra’s books have won numerous “Best Book Of” awards and her novella Power Shift was nominated in the E-book Erotic Romance category of RT’s Reviewers’ Choice 2013 Awards.

She thinks the best part of being a writer is penning stories about love, adventure, and sex while most others struggle with commutes, micro-managing bosses and cranky co-workers. There isn’t enough money in the world that would entice her to join Corporate America again. She and her muse are sublimely happy doing their own thing.

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Review: Penemuae by Lea Barrymire

Penemuae involves Watchers, Nephilim, and humans that are a bit more than human. It follows the fated-mate trope of many a paranormal romance; this time around it’s Watcher (think sort of fallen angel) Penemuae and human Evelyn (who happens to be one of the few humans who can see Watchers and Nephilim).

There are some funny moments and great lines in this book. One of my favorites was Evelyn’s description of Pen’s scent as “trees and summertime wrapped in cinnamon toast.” There is also some nice interplay between the Watchers.

Despite a good premise, this book falls a bit flat on execution. Grammar mistakes, a dire need for commas, and typos abound, all of which undermined the story for me. I found many of the dialogue sequences featuring more than two characters difficult to follow. It wasn’t always apparent who was talking, and I had to take my best guess. Also, there were a few times during four-way conversations where two of the characters seemed to be talking as if the rest of the characters disappeared for a few moments.

The connection between Pen and Evelyn wasn’t that strong for me. I felt I was being told they were attracted to each other and falling in love rather than being shown much evidence (perhaps too much reliance on the fated-mate trope). Most of their conversations included other characters and were world building in dialogue form (which is a fine way to world build but doesn’t really build rapport between characters). Evelyn’s discovery of the hidden world of Watchers and her role to play in it was a much more compelling story line than the supposed love story.

This book reads quickly and has many entertaining moments, but I just couldn’t love it because I didn’t get to know the characters well enough to fall in love with them. I give it three cat kisses.

3 cats


 

EXCERPT:

MAKE SURE YOU FOLLOW THE WHOLE TOUR TO GET THE REST OF CHAPTER 1, A PIECE AT A TIME  www.facebook.com/nkauthorservices

Evelyn and Jessica had met in high school and become fast friends. They’d attended nursing school together and were both hired by Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia right after graduation. They were constantly being mixed up by co-workers. Their blonde hair, blue eyes and vivacious personalities were so similar they joked about being twins, separated at birth.

While they were nearly identical in looks, they completely differed in philosophies on life. Evelyn strove to help others whenever she could, softer in heart and soul. Jess had seen evil from a young age, experienced abuse at the hands of her parents and had become harder in heart to deal with the betrayal. She loved strongly and held onto anyone she cared for, but if you hurt her she’d strike back before walking away. Their personalities worked well together, balancing each other out.

“I’ll leave you to your charts. Have fun tonight and I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”

Jess pulled her in for a tight hug, a signature of the rougher woman. Evelyn soaked in the embrace and smiled. The reminder for the next day had a shot of enthusiasm burning some of the exhaustion away. The first Saturday of each month was their day together. Both made sure to have it off and never made other plans. They’d spend the entire day doing whatever together, reaffirming their friendship, hanging out and usually ending with buckets of ice cream being washed down with bottles of wine.

“I can’t wait until tomorrow.” Evelyn stepped back. “What’s the plan anyway? This month is yours, right?”

Blurb

Therefore shall they never find peace…

The temptations of love and lust brought the two hundred Watchers together. When they decided earthly possessions were more important than divine instruction, they were bound to each other, and the Earth, forever as punishment.

The Watchers can feel change coming…

After three thousand years, and more heartache than Watcher General Penemuae can remember, all he wants is an end. Exhausted in heart and soul, he lives to fight the Nephilim and atone for his disgrace, his only objective to rid the Earth of evil. Until the day he meets her. Evelyn, the human woman who shouldn’t have survived, who can see things she shouldn’t, who makes him want things he’s sworn not to desire again.

Face to face with evil, Evelyn finally has to accept there is more on earth than mere humans when she becomes the target of an immortal malevolence. Saved by an avenging angel with eyes dark as night and remorse to match, she finds herself in the middle of a fight she may not survive.

Amazon

About the Author

Lea lives in Western New York with her hubby, three children, and miscellaneous critters. Before the rug rats, she lived a life of adventure, following her husband all over Europe with the US military. She’s slept in a car outside Paris, drove six hours just to see tulips in the Netherlands, and knocked ash from her shoes at Pompeii. Now she spends her time in life’s adventures at soccer games, PTA meetings and school plays.

Lea has loved reading from a very young age, spending many sleepless nights devouring books. Science fiction and paranormal were her favorite genres to read as a teenager, and that love bled into her adult life. She started writing during a bout of insomnia, to fill time, and found it filled a creative void. Now she communes regularly with the characters in her head and tries not to laugh out loud when they say something funny.

When Lea isn’t reading, writing or corralling kids, she enjoys watching movies and sciencey shows, or just kicking back and listening to some music.

She loves hearing from readers. Find her hanging out on the web at:

Review: Sliding into Second by Ella Jade

I’ve read several of Ms. Jade’s book, and Sliding into Second is another good, entertaining read. This novella features sports reporter Sage and second baseman Nic. They were high school sweethearts who lost track of each other, only to be reunited through their jobs years later. Having never gotten over each other, they embark on a physical reconnection that turns to more.

As with pretty much all novellas, this one has moments where events are told, not shown, as well as gaps in time. These things are almost always necessary to keep to the shorter format when telling a complicated love story. Still, Ms. Jade does a good job of making the reader care about the characters and understand their motivations. The characters are far from one-note. The sex scenes are well done and often helped move the story forward–the hallmark of a good sex scene in my mind.

If you like sports stories and tender romance mixed with hot sex, then give Sliding into Second a try. I give this novella 4 cat kisses.

4 cats


Jilted once before, now it’s her turn to level the playing field.

Hotshot sports reporter Sage Millan has been busy making a name for herself in the male dominated world of baseball. She’s just landed her dream job, and her first assignment is covering the newly crowned World Series champions, The Kingston Crushers. This is the opportunity of a lifetime. The only problem…her ex-boyfriend, and the only man she’s ever loved, is the team’s second baseman. Things ended badly between them, and she’s not sure she can put those demons to rest.

Professional baseball player Nicolas Cordova is having the time of his life. His team has just won the World Series, and with the victory comes more fame, women, and exposure than he ever could have imagined. But things are about to change for the sexy, charismatic athlete. He never expected his ex-girlfriend to walk back into his life, much less the locker room.

These days Sage is smarter, more mature, and doesn’t plan on being played a second time. Her appearance stirs old memories for Nic. She’s the one he let get away in the name of his career. He vows he can be the man she needs this time around. Will that be enough to mend her broken heart?

Content Warning: contains explicit sex and adult content

Available now for a limited time release price of .99 cents…

Beachwalk Press

Excerpt

“I’ll admit I’ve had many women in the past, and I can’t apologize for living. But as the years went by, my feelings for you were always someplace deep in my heart. I know that’s why I can’t settle down. Why I can’t find the peace I’ve been searching for. It doesn’t exist without you.”

“How can you say things like that? You don’t even know the woman I’ve become. I’m not that girl who relied on you, the one who would’ve followed you anywhere. I’m not her anymore, Nic. I can’t ever be her again.”

“Maybe I’m not asking for her.” He leaned closer to her face. “Maybe I want to know the woman you are today. I want another shot at this.”

“No,” she whispered.

“If you remember anything about me, I have a hard time with that word.” He tipped her chin, focusing on her lips. “I am going to kiss you. Right here and right now.”

Her knees buckled as a cool tremor swept through her. She wanted to say no. It was the only logical word to mutter, but her heart didn’t want her to say it. Her body wasn’t on board with turning him down either. The warmth that built in her stomach had moved lower, and now all she could think about was his lips on hers.

“It doesn’t sound like you’re asking,” she breathed out.

“I’m not.”

Before she could say anything else, his mouth was on hers, eager, but slow and soft. His stubble grazed along her chin as he tilted his head and deepened their bond. The sound throughout the crowded lobby seemed to fade into the background, and soon, all she could hear was her heart pumping loud between her ears. Why did he have to be such a freakin’ good kisser?

After the incredibly long connection, he pulled away, but not before stopping to kiss the bottom corner of her mouth like he used to.

“I’ve waited a long time to do that,” he said. “It was worth every lonely minute.”

“I… Nic…” She’d always had the gift of words. It was what she did for a living, but in that moment, all of her thoughts were jumbled and senseless.

“It’s okay.” He grinned as he stroked her cheek. “Let’s get something to eat and maybe figure this out. Whatever this is.”

“No.” She ran her hands along his strong chest, resting them on his shoulders.

“Don’t over analyze this, baby.” He glanced down at her hands on his body. “Let’s just go with it.”

“That’s what I’m trying to tell you.” She took a breath and continued before she lost her nerve. “Take me upstairs to your room. I know how we can figure this out.”

“What are you asking?” He placed his hand on the small of her back, drawing her closer to him. “You need to be real clear.”

“I want to go upstairs with you.”

“That’s not why I kissed you.”

“Isn’t it?” She smirked. “We’re adults now, Nicky. Let’s settle this like adults.”

“I’m not looking to settle anything. That usually means it’s over, and we’re nowhere near over.” He motioned for Joe. “I’ll take care of the bar tab and then we’ll get dinner.”

“No.” She draped her arms around his neck, intoxicated by the idea of being so close to him again. He may be older now, and may have lost those boyish looks, but the man he had become suited him and drove her wild with need.

“What did I tell you about that word?”

“I can guarantee I won’t be using it once we’re in your bedroom.” She ran her tongue along her top lip. “I’m going to the ladies room. When I come out, if you’re not by the elevators waiting for me, I’ll know that kiss was nothing more than the heat of the moment and we can go on with our lives.”

“Sage?”

“Shh.” She pressed her lips to his. “Now who’s over analyzing?” She reached for her purse and coat hanging on the back of the stool. “I’ll see you in a few minutes.” I hope.

This is book 2 in the Kingston Heat Series but both books stand alone and can be read in either order.

WARNING… Pax will steal your heart

Will the bad-boy pitcher strike out when it comes to love?

Shy music teacher Sophia Ballis has sworn off men. After a bad experience with a college jock she decided it was better to be alone than to get burned again. She focused on her education and now her new job at a local private school.

Professional baseball pitcher Paxton Hughes is a player both on and off the field. He’s signed to the Kingston Crushers to bring home the coveted championship title. Nothing can get in his way. Serious relationships don’t mix with a life on the road and he never loses focus on the game. One-night stands are his specialty for a reason.

While out jogging one spring morning, the two collide, setting their course in motion. Pax is immediately drawn to the unassuming beauty. Sophia is aware of his reputation and decides one night of meaningless sex with the attractive Texas charmer is just what she needs to get over her self-imposed dry spell. Pax has more than a one-night stand on his mind, but will his bad-boy persona and demanding schedule ruin any chances of a happily ever after?

Content Warning: contains explicit sex and adult content

Amazon/Beachwalk Press

About the Author

Ella Jade has been writing for as long as she can remember. As a child, she often had a notebook and pen with her, and now as an adult, the laptop is never far. The plots and dialogue have always played out in her head, but she never knew what to do with them. That all changed when she discovered the eBook industry. She started penning novels at a rapid pace and now she can’t be stopped.

Ella resides in New Jersey with her husband and two boys. When she’s not chasing after her kids, she’s busy creating sexy, domineering men and the strong women who know how to challenge them in and out of the bedroom.  She hopes you’ll get lost in her words.

She loves connecting with readers. You can find her here…

FB/Twitter/Website

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: Old West fun in Much Ado about Miners

Jacquie Rogers brings a bit of humor and love to the Old West in Much Ado about Miners. This is the story of Iris and Kade, who knew each other as teenagers and are brought together later in life.

There was much I really enjoyed about this book. The characters had big personalities–most notably a yellow cat who steals almost every scene he’s in. [And if you know me, you know I love cats in stories. If you haven’t figured that out, look at what I use in place of stars to rank the books I review. ;)] Both Kade and Iris were such likable characters that it was easy to root for them.

The only difficulty I had with this story is that at times I felt like either Kade’s or Iris’ wacky plans seemed to change and I didn’t follow why or how exactly. It just suddenly was, and I was left wondering if I missed something, which could’ve been the case a time or two, but it was enough that I doubted it was just my faulty brain.

And once, the cat was called by the dog’s name. Them there are fightin’ words in my book. 😉

Overall, this was a fun book. I give it a solid 3.5 cat kisses.

3.5 cats


The third novel in the Hearts of Owyhee western romance series!

Cupid’s bullet…

Hired gun Kade McKinnon interrupts a bank holdup and is shot by the teller, Iris Gardner, whose victims have a tendency to be the next groom in town.  Will he be the groom this time?

Cupid’s bow…

Iris Gardner, a smart, independent bank clerk, fell in love with Kade when she was too young to know better.  So when he walks back into her life and her bank, it’s only fitting that she shoots him … by accident, of course.

Cupid’s blindfold…

Kade doesn’t know Iris’s company is the one who hired him to escort a bullion shipment, and Iris doesn’t know Kade owns the security company, but they both know robbers are on their trail.  Which is more likely to be stolen—the silver, or his heart?

$2.99 Amazon

Amazon CA

Amazon UK

Books by Jacquie Rogers

Hearts of Owyhee series (western historical romance)

  • #1: Much Ado About Madams
  • #2: Much Ado About Marshals
  • #3: Much Ado About Miners
  • #4: Much Ado About Mavericks

About the Author

I’m a former software designer, campaign manager, deli clerk, and cow milker, but always a bookworm. Reading is my passion—westerns, fantasies, historicals of any era, all with a splash of humor and a dash of romance.

While I’m a country girl by birth, I currently live in suburbia with my very patient husband where we’re humble servants of The Cat Annie.  I don’t think you can ever take the country out of a girl’s heart, though, which is why my stories often take place in Idaho where I grew up. (Hearts of Owyhee series and some of my short stories, too.)

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