New Book Reviews and Translated Chapters


Hi Everyone,

I have to apologize for life being so slack lately.  Things are a little hectic in real life but please know that I am still working away on the various stories with the intention of updating as regularly as I possibly can.  Plus that original series is still cooking, even though I am not getting the kind of writing time I would dearly like.

I’ve read some great books lately so check out my Goodreads reviews.
Fantasy Lover (Dark-Hunter companion novel)Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don’t know why it took me so long to read Sherrilyn Kenyon but I am so glad I did. I love the magic, the history, the setting, the hot, hot hero. There were tears and laughter, tension (sexual and otherwise). There were mythological beings, other realms, classical literature and a large helping of kink. Julian of Macedon makes one hot love-slave and Dr Grace Alexander proves to be the only woman in centuries that could be a match for him or his curse. There are delightful side characters who I hope I will encounter again. What’s more, the writing is fabulous and the pace is perfect. I’m guessing she knows that but I just thought I should repeat it anyway.

View all my reviews

 

 

 

New Chapters – yes more than one! – are now posted for both

Dedicándose a Elliot

and

Hingabe an Elliot

Check the side menus.

Thanks for your continued support and feedback.

Sasha xxx

The Stars Have Aligned


Two amazing things happened today that indicate that the fates are working with the universe in interesting and dynamic ways to create a perfect world.  The first is that Amazon have launched (finally) a New Adult category.

New Adult on Amazon

And….

Jane Harvey-Berrick’s latest New Adult novel went on sale.

Dangerous to Know & LoveDangerous to Know & Love by Jane Harvey-Berrick

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jane has done it again. This is a really simple love story between two characters who are feisty and fun. There are great complications and challenges for damaged and lonely Daniel and sassy but sensitive Lisanne that come from their friends and families and the judgements that people unintentionally make. There are communication problems and misunderstandings but underlying all if this is a really solid and growing love based on friendship and trust. Jane takes us on a wonderful emotional journey, creating pithy dialogue that will make you laugh and gut-wrenching moments that will make you cry. There are a lot of books that I love but Jane creates stories that wrap around me and make me want to climb inside reading until the bitter end. I was really looking forward to this one and she didn’t disappoint. And just in case you are wavering, Daniel is a Harley-riding musician with tats, piercings, leather and a heart of gold. What are you waiting for?

She included one of my favorite songs too, by Australian band Crowded House which all Kiwis know is really a NZ band that we let them claim.  But Neil Finn is all ours!


View all my reviews

And since it all happened on Eurovision weekend, my life is truly complete. 🙂

Buy Dangerous to Know & Love on Amazon.com

 

50 Shades of A Stranger


Awesome post. Includes interview with Christna Lauren – Beautiful Bastard. Fabulous Michelle, love your work.

Your honest opinion please


Today I am stepping onto the other side of the review process.  Oooh, things are not so hot over here either!

I am feeling a case of the guilts over a book review that I committed to write.  As you may have guessed one of my regular haunts is GoodReads which I love for staying up to date with new offerings and reconnecting with my old favourites.  As part of my contribution to the platform as a resource for readers and writers I am trying to write reviews as often as I can.  It is good for the growth of the site and the bank of knowledge it offers to the world but it is good for me as a writer and reader to deconstruct what I read and really begin to think about what it is that I like or don’t like about a book.

politicalhumor.about.com

The downside is that you can’t like everything.  In a recent review on this site I promoted a book that I actually think is really well written but felt I could only give it three stars.  For my money it was missing the genre in which it was being promoted and that is difficult because it was one of those great reads that falls between genres. I tried to be honest about my own reaction to it as a reader and not as a literary work and to be constructive about this beyond ‘it wasn’t for me’ or ‘I just didn’t like it’ (rolls eyes, twirls hair, pouts lips).

I just don’t like it

This latest book has a lot less going for it than the work cited above.  There are some real issues with it and I couldn’t with all good faith give it more than two stars.  But this author is a newly minted one.  She is learning the ropes and quite honestly has potential because the idea is great.  In fact, it is dangerously close to where I have been heading in one of my stories so this is going to seem disturbing when I finally get to that point but I will honestly say up front here, on this date, with my hand on my heart, that I thought of my storyline over a month ago and I read her book this morning!

That aside, as a recently and often rejected writer, I get frustrated at the review process when I either get a rejection without any critique at all or a rejection where the critique is so obscure that it gives me nothing to work on.  The ones that give me hope tell me the good aspects of my work and then make sensible and actionable suggestions as to what I can either do to improve the work or improve my skills.  Couched in the language of ‘don’t give up’, these are the ones that give me some hope that I am not completely wasting my time.  Of course, since the passion is an obsession it would be pointless for them to tell me not to continue, I am not sure I could stop even if they wanted me to, but you get what I mean.

In the end, this is the best advice for any writer.  Of course, it doesn’t mention reading and I would add in the mantra that to be a better writer you should be applying the 3:1 rule.  For every hour you spend writing, you should be spending three hours reading, and reading a range of genres.

So I posted this review for this particular author this morning.  I want to contact her personally if I can to give her some encouragement. Please tell me, am I being too harsh? Am I supporting her enough to be the type of writer that I think she could be in the future?

You'll Be Safe Here (Promises, Prayers & Secrets Series, Book 1)You’ll Be Safe Here by Kristine Pierce

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is a fantastic idea that has been poorly executed. The plot is really good and I can see that what is essentially a novella, could become a great novel but this version of the story is underdone. There is very little in the way of character development and for me this is a key element that is missing. The author sets up the dynamic but fails to really explore the motivations through either the first person narrative or the back stories. The action leaps around too much. I felt like I was being dumped in the middle of each scene without any of the requisite build up to get there. The book needs some heavy editing. Tenses are all over the place and there are a lot of spelling and grammatical errors. More attention could be paid to crafting of sentences to eliminate word repetition and to really shape some of the linking elements that are absent between scenes. Having said all of that, the central idea is really good and the characters could be fabulous. I would love to see someone work with the author to reshape this into the really great story that it has the potential to be.

View all my reviews

 

Shayla Black: Wicked Lovers Series


About this author edit data Shayla Black (aka Shelley Bradley) is the national bestselling author of 25+ sizzling contemporary, erotic, paranormal, and historical romances for multiple print and electronic publishers. She lives in Texas with her husband, munchkin, and one very spoiled cat. In her “free” time, she enjoys reality TV, reading and listening to an eclectic blend of music. Shayla has won or placed in over a dozen writing contests, including Passionate Ink’s Passionate Plume, Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence, and the National Reader’s Choice Awards. Romantic Times has awarded her Top Picks, a KISS Hero Award and a nomination for Best Erotic Romance of 2007. A writing risk-taker, Shayla enjoys tackling writing challenges with every book.

For a couple of months now, I have been recommending the Wicked Lovers series to anyone who wanted to listen.  So in another push for an author, whose work I adore and never expected to, I offer a round of reviews for Shayla Black.

I never expected to read let alone enjoy reading books with menage in them but Shelley Bradley not only writes the hottest sex scenes, she makes you believe in the relationships over the sex.  The emotional stories are engrossing, the thriller crime plots are engaging and the characters are strong, sensual and likeable.  If you love the genre, do yourself a favor and read these.

Wicked Ties (Wicked Lovers, #1)Wicked Ties by Shayla Black

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Believe it or not, this was one of the last of the Wicked Lovers series that I read but having done that I didn’t have any problem with falling for Jack as a hero. He agrees to be interviewed by LA talk-show host, Morgan, for a feature on the world of BDSM. Only Morgan is being stalked and Jack being the wonderful southern alpha that he is, takes her under his protection. Through Jack and Morgan we meet a few characters who will come back in later books. There is a delightful tension in the way their relationship develops and a much stronger take on submission. The setting for their hideout adds to the plot, along with some quirky side-characters.

Goodreads Synopsis

She didn’t know what she wanted until he made her beg for it…

Morgan O’Malley has seen a lot of kinky things as the hostess of a cable sex talk show. But she’s never met a man like Jack Cole before. A self-proclaimed dominant, he’s as alpha as a male can get–and good for Morgan to have around when an obsessed stalker ratchets up his attempts to get to her.

Though Jack is a bodyguard, Morgan feels anything but safe in his presence. Because slowly and seductively, Jack is bringing her deepest fantasies to the surface. And when he bends her to his will, what’s more shocking than her surrender is how much she enjoys it–and starts to crave his masterful touch. A willing player in Jack’s games, Morgan knows that his motives aren’t pure, but she has no idea how personal they are.

Decadent (Wicked Lovers, #2)Decadent by Shayla Black

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Kimber is a real tomboy who is trying on her sensuality for size. By rights she should be in a world of trouble when she seeks out Deke and Luc to train her for a relationship with rock star Jesse McCall. But whereas Jesse was only playing at the lifestyle, Deke and Luc live it. Luckily for Kimber her initiation is in the right hands. I loved the relationship between Deke and Luc. Deke might be all alpha but he has some very deep insecurities and it is with the help of Luc and Kimber than he begins to move past these. Kimber is written so well in terms of her coming of age story. She makes mistakes but she is brave and determined when it comes to her men. Luc is an alpha in beta clothing. He cooks, he cleans, he keeps house and he wants the white picket fence and babies but he has a few insecurities of his own. These characters had great depth and the sex was off the charts, hot!

Goodreads Synopsis

Two men are better than one…

How can a virgin seeking happily-ever-after with a hot pop star who has a penchant for threesomes win her fantasy man? Kimber Edgington desperately needs a plan to convince Jesse McCall, who’s been her friend and secret crush since they spent a summer together as teenagers, that they are meant for each other. But all the tabloid stories about his sexual escapades make her feel oh-so inadequate.

Determined to prove she’s woman enough for Jesse, Kimber turns to bodyguard Deke Trenton for sexual education. Bold and brash, Deke warns Kimber that playing with him is playing with fire. But he can’t bear to imagine the innocent beauty in someone else’s arms. So Deke and his super-sexy friend, Luc, take Kimber under their wings and dangerously close to the edge of ecstasy. Though she’s saved herself for Jesse, Kimber soon learns, he’s not the man adept at stoking her aching, endless need. That’s Deke, and he can’t resist when Kimber begs for more–and more.

View all my reviews

Delicious (Wicked Lovers, #3)Delicious by Shayla Black

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is such a great story. Alyssa and Luc have prior that he is trying to forgive and she can’t forget. Alyssa also has come from a background that could have seen her confined but she is smart and hard-working and determined not be labelled or pigeon-holed. She recruits Luc to assist her with her latest business venture, a restaurant and that is when things get hot. Luc still wants the perfect life and family but he is also afraid of his wilder side. Alyssa is smart and sexy and the only woman who could handle what he has to give. She is also being pursued by someone else. It is such a great set up with these characters. Luc wants to be a beta male but deep down he is alpha through and through in the bedroom. It makes for a wild ride.

Goodreads Synopsis

He can’t control his desire.

Luc Traverson’s entire future is planned out—but there is one very sexy obstacle in his path: Alyssa Devereaux . She’s a former exotic dancer turned strip club owner and restaurateur. Recently, Alyssa and Luc shared one night of wild abandon that left Luc terrified by his loss of self-control—and Alyssa desperate for more.

And that’s just the way she wants it.

Fulfilling a promise, Luc is the guest chef for Alyssa’s restaurant debut. The sight of her makes Luc wild, so how can he survive a week without letting loose and ravaging her—especially when she’s begging for it? Luc’s desire for her explodes when he realizes he isn’t the only man desperate to have her. But one of the others is deadly. And that’s not the end of Alyssa’s secrets…which are as dark and mysterious and enticing as her fantasies.

View all my reviews

Surrender to Me (Wicked Lovers, #4)Surrender to Me by Shayla Black

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this story. Kata and Hunter end up in a relationship that neither of them wanted but nor can they resist. There is passion and tension and heartache throughout along with a major threat to Kata’s physical well-being. Along the way she learns what it means to submit and he falls in love while learning to forge a future with her that is not dominated by the past. There are beautiful tender moments and a really hot sensual scenes that leave you reeling. We also get to find out more about the back story of the Edgington family and their very troubled past. Overriding everything is a passion that Hunter can’t and won’t deny for this strong tempestuous woman. Every woman should be loved like this.

“Coming deep inside her while staring even deeper into her eyes, he’d known for the first time in his life what it was to feel something beyond desire. No way was he letting her walk out of his life without a fight.”

Goodreads Synopsis

A secret fantasy.

Hunter had everything until a bullet put his career as a Navy SEAL on hold. Restless and uncertain about his future, he accepts an intriguing proposition: share an acquaintance’s girlfriend and fulfill her fantasy of a ménage. It should have been just a night of sexual adventure between three consenting adults. But Kata is like no other girl Hunter has ever met. By turns audacious and sexy, then vulnerable and aloof, she’s a heartbreaker he’s determined to master. But he needs more than one night. And he wants to do it alone.

An uncontrollable obsession.

Kata never expected to leave her comfortable relationship and explore something so dangerously forbidden with a stranger. Hard as she tries to resist, the guilty pleasure overwhelms her, and she surrenders herself, inch by inch, to the hardcore man who wants her for himself. Consumed by blazing desire, they’re soon threatened by the shadows of the past. And now to keep Kata safe, Hunter makes her a bold proposition of his own. Saying yes will destroy her heart. But saying no could cost Kata her life.

View all my reviews

Belong To Me (Wicked Lovers, #5)Belong To Me by Shayla Black

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was my introduction to Shayla Black and what an introduction it was. I had resisted menage up until this point, I really didn’t think it was my thing. Shayla Black had me reconsidering my relationship to it as a reader. She is a really great writer, the plots move along and the characters are sublime. I loved the back stories of Logan and Tara that created such great tension as he tries to prepare her to go undercover in a sex ring. The relationship with Xavier was just enough to give me a taste of what Shayla Black’s writing is all about. Even though this is number 5 in the series, it is still a good entree into the Wicked Lovers series.

Goodreads Synopsis

She’s undercover and in over her head…When FBI analyst Tara Jacobs’ fellow agent and best friend goes missing while investigating a sex ring, Tara goes undercover as a submissive in a Dallas BDSM club called Dominion. But no man can top a woman with Tara’s moxie convincingly enough—until an edgy, dangerous Dom takes control of the scene and sets her heart racing with a single, commanding glance. Too bad he’s also the man who stole her innocence years ago—and the one to whom she will never submit.
He’s got everything under control…until he falls for her again.

Navy SEAL Logan Edgington once left the woman he loved to save her life. He knows Tara will never forgive him, but he has no doubt that he possesses the knowledge to master her fears and the strength to guide her through an unfamiliar world of pleasure and pain. He alone can protect her on a dangerous mission that reveals both wicked depravities and terrible secrets. Logan relishes the exquisite torture of holding her again, feeling her uninhibited response. No matter how much Tara insists their fling will end after this mission, he’s determined that she will be his again—and this time, he’ll never let her go.

View all my reviews

Mine to Hold (Wicked Lovers, # 6)Mine to Hold by Shayla Black

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After indulging in the Wicked Lovers books and being introduced to Tyler Murphy in the earlier stories I really didn’t expect to like him so much. He even starts this story as the potential target of an intervention for his man whore ways. But when in the midst of all of this Delaney turns up on his doorstep and asks him to look after the child he never knew existed while she fights for her life we immediately get why he has commitment issues. It is what he does next that will rock your world as a reader. It certainly did mine. Once again, the sexual relationship is off the charts but the emotional journey is so amazing, even in the face of a dangerous adversary and a desperate situation. Delaney and Tyler have the fight of their lives to deal with and the way that the emotional relationship is drawn together is breathtakingly good.

Goodreads Synopsis

A friend’s duty.
Tyler Murphy was an LAPD detective, single and happy—until a near-fatal tragedy crippled his friend, fellow detective Eric Catalano. While Tyler supported Eric, he also became a shoulder for Eric’s wife, Delaney, to lean on. But with one naughty suggestion from Eric, a drunken night with Delaney spilled into erotic abandon. Before it was over, Tyler saw his best friend’s wife as a woman and yearned for more. When Eric struggled to deal with the aftermath, Delaney begged Tyler to leave. Crushed, he fled to Louisiana, hoping to escape his longing for the one woman he could never have again…and unaware of what he’d left behind.

A lover’s desire.

After two years of living with regret, Tyler finds Delaney on his doorstep, her husband having abandoned her long ago. She’s protecting a shocking secret and desperately needs refuge from a stalker determined to see her dead. As they fight to stay alive and catch the killer, they struggle to resolve the guilt of their past pleasures. But they can’t deny that what was once a spark is now a flame burning out of control. To possess Delaney—body and soul—Tyler must heal her pain and thwart the evil that’s a mere breath behind her.

 View all my reviews

The Nightlife Series By Travis Luedke Blog Tour


The Nightlife: New YorkThe Nightlife: New York by Travis Luedke

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This story has all the right elements and is a great premise for a different, harder and more aggressive paranormal love story. There is great tension in what appears to be a very one sided adult relationship lived in the seedier side of New York night life. It is also something of a coming of age story for Aaron who finds himself in a bloodlust relationship with the enigmatic Michelle.

What doesn’t ring true for me is the development of their emotional bond. Not that the tension of being a bloodslave isn’t a great element to the story but the depth of the emotional transition that I wanted just didn’t come through for me. For significant sections of the book I felt nothing for Michelle as a heroine and yet she had a great backstory. Aaron grows as a complex hero throughout the story but the ease with which he engages other sexual encounters makes his claims to one eternal love for Michelle a little difficult to believe.

I am hoping that there is more to these two as the series progresses because they have great promise in what is really an engaging and well constructed narrative.  However, if you like your paranormal romance with a little edge then this is a good example of how to do it.  Definitely worth reading.

Synopsis:

Vampires, strippers, escorts, night clubs, gangs, pimps and corrupt cops, the Nightlife of New York is never boring.

Is she a beautiful blond guardian angel as he imagined, or something else entirely? When Michelle saves Aaron’s life she shares the benefits of her blood (after getting him shot accidentally). He awakes a changed man, living in a purgatory of eternal night, never to see the sunrise again.

Michelle drags Aaron through a hardcore learning curve of vampiric slavery. Forced to adapt to servitude, Aaron is subject to her authority of compulsion. She orders him around like a puppet on a string, a dog on a very short leash. First things first, he must learn to feed properly without creating bloodslaves (humans addicted to the powerful drug-like effect of their venomous bite).

And then she puts him to work-a male escort in the sex trade-same as Michelle. Aaron walks a tightrope of strictly controlled feeding regiments and intensely erotic sexual adventures while catering to the neurotic control-freak tendencies of his new master. It’s do or die, Michelle vows to eliminate him if he proves too difficult to control. The real kicker-amidst all these shocking and degrading adjustments, Aaron finds he’s falling in love.

Can he maintain and keep a sliver of his humanity intact? Innocence is a luxury few can afford in the decadent nightlife of New York. In a world where sex, blood, and power over women is so readily accessible, Aaron struggles against the predatory instincts deeply rooted in his new psyche. He must find his way quickly, practicing rigid self-control, or risk the consequences of Michelle’s wrath.

View all my reviews


Enter To Win


The Nightlife Paris cover art poll

1. Coffee, Books & Lipgloss – Review 2. Simply Sensational Book Fanatics – Review
3. The Boyfriend Bookmark – Review 4. The Book Diaries – Review
5. Crystal’s Random Thoughts – Promo 6. Manhattan Reader – Review
7. Nette’s Bookshelf Reviews – Review 8. Romance is in the Air – Promo
9. Kindred Dreamheart – Promo 10. The Fantastical World of Wonders – Promo
11. K is for Kechell – Review 12. A Bookish Escape – Review
13. Ethereal Book Reviews – Review 14. For the Love of Writing… – Promo
15. Inner Goddess – Review 16. Forest of Drago – Review
17. Tome Tender – Promo 18. A.R. Von DreamZ of Dragons – Promo
19. Debra Wattes – Promo 20. Layla Moon – Review
21. C.M.Brown – Review 22. BlookGirl – Review
23. Laura’s Review Bookshelf – Review 24. Kirstin Pulioff – Review
25. OlgaNM – Promo 26. Share My Destiny – Review
27. Galericulate – Review 28. Pamela Foreman, Published Author – Review
29. Read-Love-Blog – Promo 30. A Daydreamer’s Thoughts – Review
31. Rachel Tsoumbakos – Review 32. Tugce’nin Kitapli?Ÿi – Review
33. Teen Blurb – Review 34. Fifty Shades of Tribute – Review
35. Writers on the Wharf – Review 36. My Super Book Blog – Review
37. Bookmarks, Spoilers and Happily Ever After – Review 38. Drunken Space Penguin – Review
39. TwoGirlsReading – Review 40. Pezz Rambles – Promo
41. Orchard book club – Review 42. Sparkly Knickers – Review
43. Mandy – Review 44. Hardcover Therapy – Review
45. Erzabet’s Enchantments – Review 46. Booksessed Bec – Review
47. Italian Brat’s Obsessions – Promo

Book Review: On Dublin St – Samantha Young


On Dublin Street (On Dublin Street, #1)On Dublin Street by Samantha Young

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Braden and Joss take a while to get their act together but when they do it is one of the most beautiful relationships I have ever encountered. They are hot together from the outset as they journey through a friends-with-benefits relationship into something more.

Braden is the type of romantic hero that works. He is smart, successful and committed to the people he loves. However, he extends this love even though he has reason not to trust. Joss is dealing with her own personal hell that leaves her feeling disconnected and with major trust issues of her own. They connect when Joss moves in with Braden’s sister and it is their shared love for her that becomes the lynch pin in their relationship.

The dialogue and characters are wonderful. There are bright moments of humor and some intense emotional scenes that will just blow your mind. This book is a must read for the genre.

Goodreads Summary:

Jocelyn Butler has been hiding from her past for years. But all her secrets are about to be laid bare…

Four years ago, Jocelyn left her tragic past behind in the States and started over in Scotland, burying her grief, ignoring her demons, and forging ahead without attachments. Her solitary life is working well—until she moves into a new apartment on Dublin Street where she meets a man who shakes her carefully guarded world to its core.

Braden Carmichael is used to getting what he wants, and he’s determined to get Jocelyn into his bed. Knowing how skittish she is about entering a relationship, Braden proposes an arrangement that will satisfy their intense attraction without any strings attached.

But after an intrigued Jocelyn accepts, she realizes that Braden won’t be satisfied with just mind-blowing passion. The stubborn Scotsman is intent on truly knowing her… down to the very soul.

View all my reviews