Friday, December 30, 2011

Review: Her Dark Knight by Sharon Cullen


Her Dark Knight by: Sharon Cullen
Cost: Galley from Carina Press
(Carina Press, 11/28/11, 84,000 words)


Blurb:

Madelaine Alexander is on a mission. When her boss sends her to the hottest nightclub in town to meet with the owner, she won't be deterred, even if that means standing in line for fifty-eight minutes in torturous heels while she'd rather be home in her pj's with a bowl of popcorn.

A Knight of the Templar, Christien Chevalier was given immortality along with the responsibility of protecting the treasure of the Templars. He's been unwavering in his task for centuries until his one true love-who died seven hundred years ago-shows up in his club, demanding his attention.

Christien couldn't protect Madelaine when they first fell in love. She was married to a lord and he was simply a knight. Now, through some unknown miracle, she stands before him again and they have a second chance. But Christien fears that Madelaine is being used as a pawn in a dangerous game, a game of good versus evil that could affect all of mankind...

Review:
I am so glad I was able to get this book to review. I really enjoyed it and thought the way the author told the story was very interesting. The story of Christien's first love from seven hundred years ago was blended together with the discovery of his new love after living without for centuries. Both love stories are intense and my heart ached for what Christien and Madelaine had to go through in all the years they suffered. The book goes back and forth between both stories with flashbacks and dreams and it feels like you are alternating between two stories. One a historical romance and the other a mystery / paranormal romance. Reading this book was like being able to enjoy both genres.
   
Sexual Content: m/f


At A Glance:
1= Could not finish the book
2= A struggle to read to the finish
3=Meh. Average with all the elements I like in a book but nothing notable
4= I ended it with a smile on my face
5=Excellent. I want to read everything this author has ever written and when I
finish all the books on my wishlist I will reread it.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

2012 Erotic Reading Challenge


 2012 Erotic Reading Challenge Hosted by Getting Naughty Between The Stacks


For this challenge you can read any erotic title of your choosing in any sub-genre. 
As long as it's hot it's in. 
You can choose one of four levels...

Dipping your toe- Five books
Topless- Ten Books
Bye Bye Bottoms- Fifteen Books
Skinny Dipping- Twenty Books

Of course you're totally welcome to read more if you want.
Ok the Challenge runs from January 1, 2012 - December 31, 2012
You can start the challenge anytime during the year.
Pick your level, dip your toe in or go for it all and skinny dip. 

Rules:
  • Sign up click here to be taken to the sign up page.
  • Books can be short stories, novella's, novels, anthologies or whatever. They can be print, audio, and/or ebook format. You're also welcome to use the books from other challenges. 
  • Bloggers when you've completed the challenge go to The Erotic Reading Challenge page(that's this page) and link to your wrap up post.
  • If you're not a blogger when you've completed your challenge just email me your challenge level, book list, and a short bit saying something about each book, so I know you read them. E-mail: nmreviews@gmail.com  Please put Erotic Reading Challenge in the subject so I don't accidentally delete you.
  • At the end of the year, I'll take all participants who linked/emailed their completed challenge and enter them for a prize yet to be determined. I can say it will be naughty and erotic.


I am going to go Topless- Ten Books. 

2012 Why Buy The Cow? Challenge

 2012 Why Buy The Cow? Challenge Hosted by The Unread Reader

Welcome to the Why Buy the Cow? Reading Challenge 2012! This reading challenge was previously called the Show Me the FREE RC, but this year, I have a co-host, Kelly from Reading the Paranormal, and we decided to shake things up a bit.

Quick FYI: This is not a library books, books you've won, or ARCs reading challenge. There are already plenty reading challenges for those specific type of books. You can find them here: A Novel Challenge.

This reading challenge has been developed specifically for FREE and LEGAL downloaded books. As many of you with e-readers know, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and a few other site periodically offer FREE books for your e-reading devices.

The aim of this challenge is to grab and read those FREE and LEGAL downloads!

Since getting my Kindle, I've downloaded 300 Free books from Amazon, but sadly, I've only read a handful. Kelly, my new sidekick, has read over 100 Free books! Even though I failed my own RC miserably, Kelly has inspired me to renew my determination to get those FREE books off my TBR, and we want you to join us!

Here is how it works:

  • Should you choose to participate in this challenge, your goal is to read at least twelve (12) legally obtained FREE e-books. While twelve is the minimum there is no maximum limit.
  • Anyone can join. You don't have to be a blogger, and you don't have to live in the United States. 
  • Any E-Reader will work for this challenge, including: iPad, Kindle, Nook, Kobo, Sony Reader, enTourage. 
  • Please Note: If you don't have an e-reading device, you can still join in with Amazon's Free Kindle Reading Apps which you can download for your iPhone, iPad, Mac, PC, Blackberry and more.
  • The challenge runs from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012. You can join at anytime.
  • e-books in ANY genre count for this challenge as long as it was FREE at the time that you downloaded it.
  • Every month in 2012, I will make a post for the Why Buy the Cow? Reading Challenge 2012 so you can link your reviews.  Based on participation, monthly link ups may be combined.
  • Those that link their reviews will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a different prize each month, such as an Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift Card, a bookmark, or a GelaSkins for your e-Reader.

Challenge Guidelines:
  • If you have a blog, create a post announcing your participation in the challenge. Please include a link back to this post.
  • Non bloggers: participate by linking up your profile URL from the site you plan to post your reviews on such as Goodreads, Shelfari, LibraryThing, Amazon, or Barnes & Noble.
  • When you post your book review, you MUST reveal how you obtained the free & legal download. Please make your source clear.
  • You can list your books in advance or list them as you read them.
  • Crossovers to other reading challenges is acceptable, but ARCs/galley e-books DO NOT count. Again, this is a Reading Challenge to read as many of the FREE e-books legally offered for your e-reader. To get started, check out the Top 100 Free books on Amazon, or the Free e-books on Barnes & Noble.
  • Any linked reviews that do not meet the guidelines will not be entered into the monthly drawing for the prize of the month.

Levels:
Coupon Clipper: 12 Books
Penny Pincher: 24 Books
Super Saver: 30+ Books
Please visit this post to sign up for the challenge: Why Buy the Cow? Reading Challenge 2012!

Places where you can legally grab some free e-books:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Smashwords
All Romance eBooks: offers random freebie books throughout the year (signing up for the newsletter to get updates)
Pocket After Dark: offers free online reads that change monthly and/or bi-monthly
Sony's Reader Store: occasionally pops up with free books that aren't available at Amazon or B&N
Harlequin: offers Freebie Friday
Sourcebooks: offers monthly freebies
Books on the Knob pulls freebies from around the web in different genres for reader consumption 



-I am going to go for the Penny Pincher: 24 Books level.

2012 Audio Book Challenge

2012 Audio Book Challenge 
Hosted by  
Teresa's Reading Corner

Challenge Guidelines:
Levels
  • Flirting-Listen to 6 Audio Books
  • Going Steady- Listen to 12 Audio Books
  • Lover- Listen to 25 Audio Books
  • Married-Listen to +++  Audio Books
There will be a monthly link up so that we can share what we’ve listened to and make suggestions to each other. Along with that monthly link up there will be a special monthly challenge so make sure you stop by each month!
 
I know I listen to at least one book a month so I'll give "Going Steady" a try.

2012 New Author Challenge


2012 New Author Challenge 
Hosted by  
Literary Escapism

Challenge Guidelines:

  1. The challenge will run from January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012.
  2. Since this is an author challenge, there is no restriction on choosing your novels. They can definitely be from other challenges. However, the authors must be new to you and, preferably from novels.  Anthologies are a great way to try someone new, but only a third of your new authors can be from anthologies.
  3. I want this to be an easy challenge, so you can pick to do either 15, 25 or 50 new authors.  It all depends on how fast you read and how adventurous you want to be.  For me, I want to say I’m going to do another 50 new authors, but with two kids, I didn’t made my goal in 2011, so I’m going to be smarter and say 25.  If you reach your goal halfway through the year, don’t stop.  Any new author you try can be added to Mr. Linky.  We all want to know about your new experience.
  4. After reading your new author, write your review and then come back here and add your link to Mr. Linky.  Make sure you include your name and the author, but adding the title is completely up to you.
  5. Bloggers or Non-Bloggers alike are welcome. You don’t have to have a site to participate. You can link up via Facebook, GoodReads or even Amazon if you’d like.

I plan to start with 15.


2012 Paranormal Romance Challenge

2012 Paranormal Romance Challenge 
Hosted by  
Bitten by Paranormal Romance

Challenge Guidelines:
  1. Read 20 paranormal romance books from Jan - Dec 2012
  2. Books must be more than 40,000 word count
  3. No novellas, Urban Fantasy, or YA. Erotic is okay.
  4. Review all 20 books and when finished go to linky with post and comment.


The Great Gatsby Read-a-long

I am joining a read-a-long hosted by Unputdownables that begins today. It should be fun. I'm pretty sure I'm one of the few who have never read it and since it's been on my to-be-read list forever I thought it would be a good way to start the new year. 

Here are the details for joining up:


 

The Great Gatsby Read-a-Long :: Starting Post

Schedule:

Beginning Thursday, December 29th and ending Friday, January 27th.
READING SCHEDULE:
Week #/ dates :: Place in which to STOP
Week One/ December 29- January 5 :: page 45
Week Two/ January 6- 12 :: page 90
Week Three/ January 13- 19 :: page 135
Week Four/ January 20- 27 :: page 180 (The End)
POSTING SCHEDULE:
Post #/ date post should be up on blog:
Start up Post/ Today!
Week One/ January 6th
Week Two/ January 13th
Week Three/ January 20th
Week Four/ January 27th (Final Review)
** Please don’t forget to come to this blog each Friday and share your thoughts in the comments section of the weekly Read-a-Long discussion (see below for more information).**

How it Works:

  1. Each week, on Friday, share your thoughts about the previous week’s reading. If you are stuck on what to comment about, you can respond to my post or others’ comments. Regardless, you MUST check in each week, even if to say you are behind in the reading (two weeks without a response and you will be taken off of the list — see below for details on why). *please refrain from posting ahead, even if you have read ahead, as to not spoil the book for others*
  2. Feel free to post reviews of the each week’s reading on your own blog (if you are a blogger), and to visit each other’s links. If I, or other readers, have extra time we will gladly try to visit your blog if you also leave a link to your post about this book. However, please make sure to share your thoughts here on this blog, as this is where the main conversation will be happening.
  3. As these Read-a-Longs grow, so do the amount of people who participate – yay, all the more fun! However, this means more work for me. As you know – if you have been absent from discussion for two weeks, you will be removed from the list. However, *NEW GUIDELINE*,in order to get back on the list, you need to a.) Have missed no more than two weeks of discussion, b.) Let me know you would like to be on the list again, and c.) consistently be part of the discussion for the next two weeks after requesting to be put back on the list. Am I trying to be mean? Absolutely not! I LOVE having you all read a long, but it really is so much work to keep track of who’s still reading, and to keep taking names off and putting them back on the list. Consistency not only helps me, but is good for the group as we do tend to get to know each other and rely on the conversation to keep us reading. (Plus, at the end of the year I tally those who have done read-a-longs and they get a little something from me, so it is important for me to keep track.)




Monday, December 12, 2011

Review: No Holds Barred by Callie Croix

No Holds Barred by: Callie Croix
Cost: Galley from Carina Press
(Carina Press, 2011, 17,000 words)


Blurb:
During a playful talk about fantasies, Caitlin’s fiancĂ© offers to give her a threesome—with his best friend, Liam, who’s coming to spend the weekend. At first Cait is shocked that Nathan could entertain the thought of sharing her with another man, but once he’s planted the idea her imagination runs wild, leaving her deeply aroused—yet still unsure about what the implications could be for her and Nate’s relationship.
Nathan’s watched Cait struggle to hide her attraction to Liam for years. He knows she’s nervous, but he also knows that by making her most intimate fantasies come true he can bring her to heights of pleasure she’s only imagined, and strengthen their bond. There’s only one way to help her overcome her inhibitions—by planning a night of ecstasy she’ll never forget…



Review:
This short novella was a refreshingly honest and delightfully erotic story about Nathan and Callie's first time inviting another to join them in some bedroom play. Though they never technically made it to the bedroom. Cait is apprehensive when Nathan mentions inviting their mutual friend, Liam, to join them, but Nathan knows how much she would enjoy the experience and is able to ease her into the situation.
I like how the author wasn't afraid to show the reasons why Callie would feel apprehensive about this situation. A lot of times I feel like most authors gloss over the details (especially with short stories) that would have to be dealt with in real life. Callie Croix did a wonderful job of being realistic while still keeping it sexy. If you like dominant, alpha males with some menage mixed in then you'll enjoy this.


Sexual Content: m/f/m


At A Glance:
1= Could not finish the book
2= A struggle to read to the finish
3=Meh. Average with all the elements I like in a book but nothing notable
4= I ended it with a smile on my face
5=Excellent. I want to read everything this author has ever written and when I
finish all the books on my wishlist I will reread it.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday: Lover Reborn


"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases.
My pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection for this week is:



Lover Reborn
by J.R. Ward
March 27, 2012

Tohrment, the Brother who had it all, but lost everything to the enemy, is destined for a second chance at love and life. But will the past and his bitterness hold him back?







CAUTION! Use extreme caution after obtaining the above item.
Side effects may include: Dizziness, chills, difficulty breathing, heart palpitations, hallucinations, and insomnia.
*snicker*
Hmmmm...I wonder if that would fly as an excuse to call in sick when it comes out.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Free Finds

Current free finds of books with favorable reviews found at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Click the title for link.

Amazon:


Dark Warrior by Lenora Wolfe

Barnes and Noble:





Saturday, December 3, 2011

Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins




The Hunger Games by: Suzanne Collins
(Scholastic Press 2010, 384 pg)
Cost: Free, ebookfling.com


Blurb:

Katniss is a 16-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used be the United States. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, "The Hunger Games." The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. When Kat's sister is chosen by lottery, Kat steps up to go in her place.

Review:
It took me a while to get around to reading this book but I really wanted to get it done before the movie comes out along with all the spoilers on the story line. 
I enjoyed the book. It was great. Of course I was expecting that after practically everyone I know asking me if I have read it yet and suffering through their shocked exclamations after they found out I hadn't. The general public reads one book and suddenly they become book snobs. (I kid, I kid)
As young adult books go, this one hit all the right spots. It was charming in its innocence, with a dash of rebellion on the side. A budding romance keeps the reader wondering and the action scenes were exciting but not too graphic. The story reminds me of a book I read a long, long time ago by Stephen King's alter ego, Richard Bachman, called The Long Walk. The two books have a very similar theme, though I read The Long Walk at an impressionable age which probably accounts for why I'm not as impressed with Suzanne Collins book. It seems The Hunger Games is making quite an impression for a younger generation today based on the popularity of the book. Whatever gets kids reading I applaud.
I'll eventually get around to reading the other two books in the series. Eventually. But at least for now I can scratch that title off my 'read-it-because-everyone-else-has' list and move on.


At A Glance:
1= Could not finish the book
2= A struggle to read to the finish
3=Meh. Average with all the elements I like in a book but nothing notable
4= I ended it with a smile on my face
5=Excellent. I want to read everything this author has ever written and when I finish all the books on my wishlist I will reread it.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Friday's News and Notables

What a fabulous notebook


.
The WHOLE book on a poster. I WANT. Or maybe A Christmas Carol, or The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.


What with the recent Penguin drama and the uncertain future of digital lending China may have the right idea for inexpensive reading.

And finally...Literary Review's Bad Sex in Literature Award short list.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Quickie Review: Bloodlust by Larissa Ione




Bloodlust by: Larissa Ione
Cost: Free, Barnes & Noble


Blurb:

Sometimes, you don't need romance…
Sir Brynn of Lochland has a serious problem. He's been captured by an evil vampire queen who wants to use him as her newest blood slave. But Brynn doesn't have a submissive bone in his body, and he intends to fight her every step of the way.
Can Brynn's willpower remain intact when pitted against Sorla's superior vampire strength, seductive skills, and underhanded cruelty, or will she ultimately take possession of both his mind…and body?
* * * CONTENT WARNING: This is a VERY graphic erotic horror/fantasy novella. Expect blood, sex, some M/M content, and bad, bad words.


Review:
I was happy this one was so short. I don't think I would have finished it otherwise. I have no complaint about the way this was written, it was the content that disturbed me. And I'd like to note that I have enjoyed other titles by this author but this one was so graphic it wasn't really my cup of tea. It was more on the horror side than erotic. 



On a side note I was amused to find the reviews below on the author's website for this book:

"I'm sure it's good, but no way am I going to read it." — Larissa's mom
"It's not the worst thing I've ever read." — New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Tyler



Sexual Content: f/m, m/m


At A Glance:
1= Could not finish the book
2= A struggle to read to the finish
3=Meh. Average with all the elements I like in a book but nothing notable
4= I ended it with a smile on my face
5=Excellent. I want to read everything this author has ever written and when I finish all the books on my wishlist I will reread it.