Review: Bonds of Justice by Nalini Singh

Format: E-bookbondsofjustice
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Psy-Changeling, #8
Publisher: Berkley
Hero: Max Shannon
Heroine: Sophia Russo
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: July 6, 2010
Started On: September 10, 2013
Finished On: September 13, 2013

Bonds of Justice by Nalini Singh is the 8th book in the Psy-Changeling series. This series has come a long way and Nalini Singh has certainly managed to keep up the momentum and the pace of each of the stories in the series which is one reason why the entire set is so coveted by its legions of fans.

Bonds of Justice is the story of J Psy Sophia Russo, who at the tender age of 8 hadn’t been given much of a choice; to either become a J Psy or die. J Psy’s tend to have the shortest lifespan in comparison to either types of Psy in the fact that they have one of the most demanding sort of jobs on their minds and shields that is an essential makeup of Psy. J Psys are brought into retrieve memories of the most vicious criminals who need to remain behind bars for the rest of their life for the safety of the rest of the society. Sophia has always known that the time would come when one day she would have to give in to the fractured state of her shields which would mean her death, to be forgotten along with all the others just like herself.

Detective Max Shannon is one of the best detectives in New York Enforcement, a position that makes one of the most formidable Councilors of Psy, Nikita Duncan request for his services along with that of Sophia for a case of apparent suicides that has struck those closest to her. Already working on retrieving the memories of a psychopathic killer, a case on which Max is the lead the detective, Sophia knows that the fascination that she has harbored for Max just might be her undoing and bring death the inevitable death she is ready to face much closer than before.

Sophia is a scarred heroine if ever there was one. The horrors of her childhood, along with her abandonment issues together with that destructive career she leads makes her a disaster waiting to happen. The fact that the most innocent of touches may render her insane is a fact that hinders the burgeoning feelings that grow between Max and Sophia much more rapidly than either of them envisions. But Max is not a man to give up and neither is Sophia ready to do so on her cop, the only person who for the first time in her life is there for her, no questions asked.

Max is not a man who has led a charmed existence either. Having never known love from the woman who had given him life, Max carries a scar that has never properly healed in his heart ever since he was a child. Sophia and Max are two broken halves that make up a pretty darned fantastic whole and that is one aspect of the story that worked very well for me.

It is the makeup of the Psy along with the politics that governs their world that makes these stories so fascinating to sink oneself into. The NetMind itself is almost palpable in its reality, the treachery that is always a part of the powerful group of Councilors that oversees the affairs of the entire Psy a captivating aspect of every single one of these novels. Nikita is one of the most formidable Councilors, whose daughter Sascha becomes one of the first to defect from the PsyNet which causes the ripple effect that began the the sequence of events that seems to be the undoing of  the world of Psy. Bonds of Justice gives the readers insight into the worlds inhabited by Nikita and the rest of the Councilors, for all intents and purpose who have nothing but attaining power on their minds.

I found myself entirely way too fascinated with Kaleb’s character and Nikita’s too, a side of her that was revealed in this story that I would never have thought possible for a woman like her. While Max and Sophia juggle two cases that demands equal attention and focus from them, neither of them can ignore the heat, the oh so much heat that exists between them. It is almost as if the heat between them might result in them going up in a cloud of smoke; yes it was really that hot.

The villains provided the extra chills that managed to keep me hooked onto the suspense aspect of the story together with the romance and the politics that as always provided an unbeatable combination.

Recommended for fans of urban-fantasy/paranormal romances & fans of Nalini Singh.

Final Verdict: The intriguing insight into the Psy politics alone is reason enough to buy this! Recommended.

Favorite Quotes

Max felt Sophia’s hand tighten on his, wanted only to bend his head even farther and put his mouth on the unsteady beat of her pulse, suck hard. The possessive urge, the violent need to claim her to the core was a gnawing ache in his gut. He wanted the world to know she was his—make certain no one would dare lay a finger on her.

Shivering from the sensation, from the near-painful pleasure of the contact, she stood on tiptoe, trying to get closer. A raw male chuckle.
And then Max kissed her.
This was no brush, no teasing taste. He took her mouth with the contained intensity she could feel thrumming beneath her fingers, his muscles taut, his entire body held barely in check. And she realized he was savagely angry, a tiger no longer on the leash.

He felt it the instant she reacted, modified his stroke to what brought her the most pleasure, lifting himself off her enough that he could stroke downward to rub at the sensitive entrance to her body as well.
She was wet, slick. He couldn’t resist the temptation to dip his finger within. That was all it took.
A choked scream. Her body arching bowstring tight.

He could almost feel the vibrating tension in her, every tendon held taut. “I know who you are,” he said, holding her gaze. “I’m not going to be scared away because of your ‘imperfections.’ ”
A sheen of wet in her eyes, turning the midnight iridescent.
“We fit, you and I,” he whispered looking into that haunting gaze. “Two broken pieces making a whole.” It wasn’t the most romantic of statements, but it was torn from his soul. “I am not losing you.”

That slow, slumberous heat flamed, burned, but she took a step forward, lowered the zipper and then—taking a deep breath—pushed down both the jeans and her panties. Leaning forward to pull them off her feet, she could barely hear anything through the thunder of her heartbeat. Max didn’t say a word until she straightened back to her full height. But then he spoke . . . and she melted.

She swallowed as his fingers went to his jeans, as he undid the snaps and peeled the denim down his legs, along with his briefs. Her eyes were riveted to the thick length of his erection . . . to the hand he clasped around it. He stroked once, and her body arched. She couldn’t explain it, didn’t understand it, but the sight of him stroking his own flesh was the most erotic thing she’d ever seen. “Max.” A shuddering plea.

Shaking, she wrapped her other leg around him. The sudden act opened her up, made him slide inside faster than before.
They both cried out, and Max froze above her. “Sophie?”
She ran her teeth up the line of his throat. “Yes.” Always, yes for this man.

Her panties were torn off her, his fingers urgent as he tested her slickness. Lifting a leg, she wrapped it around his hip. He swore, lowered the zipper on his pants, and then the hot, hard heat of him was thrusting into her, pinning her against the wall. She cried out, holding on, holding him tight.

Purchase Links: Amazon | BookDepo | B&N | iTunes


Review: Skin Heat by Ava Gray

Format: E-bookskinheat
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Paranormal Romantic Suspense
Series: Skin, #3
Publisher: Berkley
Hero: Zeke Noble
Heroine: Geneva Harper
Sensuality: 4
Date of Publication: January 4, 2011
Started On: August 9, 2013
Finished On: August 19, 2013

After more than a year’s hiatus since I read the 2nd book in this 4 book series by Ava Gray, I finally managed to delve into Skin Heat, the 3rd book in this delectable series featuring Zeke Nobel, a hero from the wrong side of town and Geneva Harper, the only daughter of the richest family in the town of Harper Creek.

Zeke is a changed man after his escape from those that had held him under captivity and tortured him until he had thought that he wouldn’t be able to carry on. Given his family history, Zeke is a man who keeps to himself and that alone forces himself to shoulder his burdens all alone and take one step at a time to bring at least some semblance to normalcy into his life.

Neva is the owner of Paws & Claws, a veterinarian, defiantly standing tall and proud in her quest to be true to what she wants in life and not what her parents want her to be. Though her choice of a career drives a wedge between her and her parents, Neva refuses to give up the one thing that gives her happiness.

When Zeke comes knocking on her clinic’s door looking for work, this marks the beginning of a relationship that grows slowly amidst a lot of misgivings on both Zeke and Neva’s part. Zeke because though he has yearned for Neva more than half of his life, knows deep down inside that Harpers and Nobles will never mix believes that he is not good enough for the likes of a woman who is as wonderful as Neva. Neva feels that being Zeke’s boss, she should not be the one who cannot keep her thoughts from straying into more sinful ventures when it comes to Zeke.

But the time Zeke and Neva spends together finally pushes their frayed control to the edge until the break brings with it a passion that refuses to be denied, no matter what. But then, there is a darkness that seems to hunt Neva, a killer on the loose whose victims bear a striking resemblance to her, with the web of danger around her closing in until it all comes down to who will win; her or the killer.

Though my memory might be faulty, Skin Heat seemed to deviate a bit from its usual pace and setup and seemed to offer a story that was a bit laid back when compared to the rest of 2 books in the series. Even then, Skin Heat is a book that invoked a lot of mixed reactions from me. The biggest one of which was related to the villain, who definitely turned out to be a surprise. His background and the life he had led as a child was one that haunted me while reading and I believe it is still haunting me even as I write the review. There is this hint of something almost desperate in his last thoughts before succumbing to death, a fact that I don’t think I will get over anytime soon.

Zeke makes for a heartbreaking hero. I loved him. Oh my god, how I loved the broken but yet strong man he is. There is a fire that burns in his soul that refuses to be tamped down though life hasn’t been all that great to him. And when the bastards who held him captive and tortured him for days changes something fundamental inside of him that renders him almost completely helpless if you judge the world through the modern standards people have to live up to, simply put it just broke my heart to read about him. Ava Gray did a marvelous job out of creating Zeke, and she has achieved what she set out to do, especially given the fact that I wouldn’t be able to forget him soon, if ever!

For more than half the story and beyond I thought that Neva would never be able to earn my wholehearted approval as she always seemed to be hesitating and reserving a piece of herself when it came to Zeke. But when push came to shove, she stepped up beautifully and replaced all that lingering doubt with love for the way she accepts Zeke and loves him and accepts him for who she is.

A review of Skin Heat would not be complete without mentioning the very interesting ABI agent Emil Hebert whose happily ever after I would definitely love to read!

Recommended for fans of the Skin series, fans of Ava Gray and fans of romantic suspense with a dash of paranormal in the mix.

Final Verdict: Skin Heat is a novel that has a haunting quality to it, and that alone is a testament to Ava Gray’s remarkable talent.

Favorite Quotes

“Take me,” she whispered.
A shudder rolled through him. He pounced on her. That was the only word for it. In one graceful leap he had her in his arms. He ripped his own shirt off her back, tore the fabric with his hands. A low growl escaped him as he buried his face in the curve of her neck. This time he used his teeth on her, not hard enough to break the skin, but fierce animal nips that made her want to fall back and give him her throat.

He entered her in one fierce thrust. Hard. Fast. His hands hurt a little, but it was a pain that made her lift up higher to push back against him. Her field of vision went white with the pleasure sparking through her. His low grunts of pleasure woke an answering atavistic need in her. Nothing mattered, nothing but this.

Neva came in a cascade of heat. Moaning, she swept a hand beneath and wet her fingers, riding them as she flicked her clit to another orgasm. Then she eased it outward and encircled his throbbing shaft. Squeezed.
“Mine,” she whispered. “I marked you. You smell like me.”
He gave a possessive growl and went with a raw groan, spurting hot from her hand all over her thigh.

Her contractions drove him over. His whole body tightened and he urged himself into her over and over, trying to imprint himself on her. Nobody else for you, ever. Only me. Just mine. Love you. Mine. The words melted into a kaleidoscope of cascading colors and feelings. He wrapped his arms around her while they both trembled. Tingles spilled through him, lighting him up from base of spine to base of skull. He’d never known anything like it.

“Spread for me.”
She almost came at his white-hot instruction and rose on her tiptoes, quivering from head to toe in anticipation. Zeke sank himself home in one long thrust; a satisfied growl tore free as he pumped into her, rough and hard. Neva tried to support herself on her arms, but they trembled. She couldn’t think, only feel.

Her whole body felt flushed and hungry. “Now? Please, now.”
His reply came when he hitched her up and sank into her. Neva locked her ankles behind his back, gloriously full. He made her feel soft and small and so cherished. She rolled her hips, tightening her muscles on his cock. Zeke moaned. He gripped her hips and thrust in long, deep strokes.
“Oh. More.”
“Mine,” he whispered.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks


Review: Blaze of Memory by Nalini Singh

Format: E-bookblazeofmemory.jpg
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Psy-Changeling, #7
Publisher: Berkley
Hero: Devraj Santos
Heroine: Ekaterina Haas (Katya Haas)
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: November 3, 2009
Started On: August 5, 2013
Finished On: August 7, 2013

Nothing is stronger than the will of the human heart.

How anyone could have NOT LOVED the 7th book in the Psy-Changeling series is beyond me. I have seen well above 4 star average rating for almost every book or should I say all the books that I have read to date in this series on Goodreads. But Blaze of Memory has a 3.97 stars average rating which made me wonder whether Nalini had fallen short of the mark when she aimed to bring the story of Devraj Santos and Katya Haas to her fans. But in the end, it just went to show that relying completely on ratings to lead your way can sometimes backfire on you as I loved every single inch of this book and then some and wanted a little bit more being the greedy and voracious fan of the series that I am!

Devraj Santos (Dev) is the director of the Shine Foundation that seeks out the Forgotten, the generation of the first defectors from PsyNet when the protocol of Silence had first been put into place. The Shine Foundation seeks out kids who have “gifts” that they do not know how they ended up with, continually at danger if the Council were ever to find out their existence and move to eradicate them for the fear of loss of control as the most lethal race in the world. However recent events seem to have put cracks in the picture perfect world of the emotionless Psy as presented to the rest of the world and it is a continuing thread in all the books how the PsyNet seems to be slowly disintegrating and turning onto itself which makes for interesting reading in itself.

When Dev finds an utterly broken woman left on his doorstep for him to find, a female Psy who doesn’t remember who she is and how she got there though Dev knows that she might end up being the worst kind of threat to him and his foundation, he cannot help the protective instincts that surges forth with every single minute he spends in her company.

Katya Haas is a woman who has been violated in the worst manner possible and left to fulfill her destiny or die a slow and painful death which would strip her of even the little bit of tattered dignity that she has left. The one thing that Katya realizes from the onset is that the flawless Psy conditioning that should make her immune to the delicious appeal that Dev is on her senses has been effectively broken down and that she is no match for the chain of emotions that kickstarts deep inside of her when Dev is around.

Though trust is an element that is missing between Dev and Katya, the need that each rouses in the other is one that neither can turn their backs on. And as Katya tries to unravel the literally kicking time-bomb she is, Dev finds his heart, body and soul totally enamored by the enemy who could be his utter and complete destruction as the Psy Councilor playing puppet master to Katya wants.

Blaze of Memory proved to be nothing short of a fantastic read, the only thing I missed being the epilogue that Ms. Singh always tucks in at the end of each novel. But the Petrokov Family Archives which was presented throughout the story in the form of letters served to be an interesting facet into seeing how the Silence Protocol came about from someone who had witnessed it firsthand. And there was this bit towards the end of the story where Katya beseeches Dev to go visit his father which proved to be quite the emotion wrangling scene.

Dev might not be a shapeshifter, but he has his own set of skills that makes him just as lethal. Dev is just as finely honed as any sentinel in the DarkRiver or lieutenant in the SnowDancer pack of Changelings. His intensity and hardness both being features required of him with the job he had undertaken as the Director of a foundation that needs to make decisions that impacts the lives of so many people under his care. His salvation from letting the coldness totally rule over his emotions comes in the form of Katya, a woman he thinks to be broken in every fundamental way possible but surprises and amazes him with the strength she displays given the room to flourish.

Katya is the sort of heroine that any reader would fall in love with. Nalini has an innate talent in creating heroines who are tough, strong and yet with a core of femininity and vulnerability inside of them that makes them human and that much appealing. I felt for Katya with every single cell in my being, her immense strength in defying a master of mental combat one that had me enthralled and in awe by the time I was done.

The scenes of passion between Katya and Dev are scorching hot; Nalini certainly knows how to ratchet up the heat-o-meter when it comes to sizzling scenes of heated love making between her characters. The last couple of chapters are so intense that I felt like chewing my nails out in agitation and the tangle of hot emotions that coursed through me to see Dev and Katya nearly lose the precious and beautiful love that they had found with each other. If you are hesitating on picking up this wonderful wonderful book because of the slightly lower ratings when compared with the other books in the series, don’t. Blaze of Memory is just as spectacular and just as lethal on the senses.

Final Verdict: Like an inferno that rages out of control, Blaze of Memory is just as vivid and beautiful in its wildness. Definitely recommended!

Favorite Quotes

Life, electric in its fury…a kiss that demanded her participation.
Shuddering in surrender, she drowned in the scent of him. Wild and exotic. Dark and male.
A man who’d snarled at her, caged her… fed her.
“Dev.” Spoken against his lips, she was so loath to break contact.
His mouth took hers again before she could say anything more, his teeth sinking into her lower lip.

“I don’t understand,” she murmured, lifting her fingertips to touch kiss-swollen lips, “how my race could’ve ever given up such exquisite sensation.”
His cock pushed against the zipper of his pants, the metal threatening to turn him into a eunuch. “Katya.”
As a warning, it had no effect. Dropping her hand from her lips, she clenched it over her navel, as if soothing some inward ache. “I feel so … hungry, so hot, as if my skin is about to burst.”
He shuddered, voice lost.

Hands on her hips. Warm. A little rough. Perfect. She sucked in a breath, and when he lifted her, it was instinct to wrap her legs around his waist. He moved her until she—“Dev!” she screamed into his mouth as his still-covered cock pushed into her softness, parting her with possessive heat, the thin cotton of her panties no barrier.
His thumb smoothed over the crease of her thigh, inciting her to move impatiently . . . but that only rubbed her clitoris against him, further tightening the fist that was her body.

She couldn’t stop the strangely fluid movements of her body—part of her knew what to do, how to do it. “More,” she ordered, nipping at his ear.
“You’re too tight.”
Groaning, he slid a second finger inside her and pumped once.
Twice. Pleasure and pain, a stretching ecstasy. Her arousal peaked, hovered there, waiting, waiting… His thumb brushed her clitoris.
Everything exploded.

“Katya,” he said against her ear, trying to draw breath, to not lose himself completely.
Her fingers thrust into his hair. “You feel so good.”
The simple statement, made in that erotically husky voice, stole what small fragments of control he’d had left. Putting one hand on her hip, he pinned her in place as he began to stroke in and out in a hard, steady rhythm that had her clawing at him.

He lifted her with a display of strength that stole her breath. “Legs around my waist.” It was a clipped order.
She obeyed immediately. He rewarded her by sliding into her in a single hard thrust. Her scream echoed off the walls as pleasure short-circuited her body. His hands gripped her bottom, holding her tightly in place as he moved in and out. She clawed at his shoulders, feeling herself hanging on the precipice.
“God damn it!” Dev’s body went taut against her and she knew he’d lost every bit of his steely control.
That was all it took.
Electricity rocked through her, as wild and as hot as the man who held her pinned to the wall in helpless surrender.

She tried to pull away, but only because it amplified the sensations. Dev knew. He used his body to hold her in place, even as his lips insisted she return every kiss, every little bite, every breath.
She gave him all she had.
And still he asked for more.
Melting, she ran the back of one foot over his calf, urging him closer. Her reward was the release of her hands, as his own slid down her back, pulling her up. Instinct had her putting her legs around him in a shockingly intimate embrace, the hottest part of her pressed to the hardest part of him.

“Katya, baby, stop.” It was a groan. “I can’t hold on if you do that.”
She raised her lips to his again, infusing her kiss with every ounce of passion in her. Shuddering, Dev gripped her hard on one hip. “I sure hope you’re ready, sweetheart.”
“Yes, yes!” Crying out as her body stretched around the hard thrust of his entry, she wrapped both legs around his waist. And then she let him lead.
He took her on a ride that eclipsed anything they’d ever before done. Wild, untamed, and vividly physical, they danced. The last thing Katya remembered was seeing Dev’s eyes shimmer gold.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | Diesel


Review: Branded by Fire by Nalini Singh

Format: E-bookbrandedbyfire
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Psy-Changeling, #6
Publisher: Berkley
Hero: Riley Aedan Kincaid
Heroine: Mélisande Smith
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: July 7, 2009
Started On: August 3, 2013
Finished On: August 4, 2013

I’m slowly but certainly making my way through the breathtaking Psy/Changeling series that is all kinds of wonderful that I don’t think I have the sort of words required to adequately describe what each of these stories have meant to me.

The sixth book brings to the table by far the hottest book in the series which might have something to do with the fact that both characters are equally strong and dominant in their respective packs.

Riley Aedan Kincaid (Riley) is the most senior lieutenant of the SnowDancer wolf changeling pack. “The Wall” as his Alpha calls him; Riley is strong, steadfast and oh so patient that he gives off the vibe that nothing pierces through that stoic armor of his.

Mélisande Smith or Mercy is a powerful female sentinel in the DarkRiver leopard pack. Mercy is the dominant sort; female sentinels being that much harder to find a mate for because of the irrevocable fight for dominance that takes place.

Mercy might be slowly going insane with the desire that unfurls in her belly to be possessed by Riley, a Wolf of all people and though her leopard might growl at the thought, it also cannot help but purr in utter boneless satisfaction when Riley is done with her.

Though it irks Mercy like nothing else to think of herself going down the road of utter domesticity which is definitely not her, that alone tells Mercy that Riley is not the man for her apart from so many other tidbits of importance when a leopard and wolf might mate for life. However, even that doesn’t seem to stop both of them from seeking each other out and burning the sheets up every time they get together. And though both of them are of the mind that their getting together is temporary, emotional intimacy starts to breed and the walls of protection each has built around themselves start to crumble.

When one of their own is kidnapped that kickstarts a chain of events that seems to escalate in violence and the need to kill, both Riley and Mercy have their hands full trying to outsmart whoever it is that is targeting too many places at once, lending the phrase ‘danger closing in on them’ a whole new meaning. Amidst fighting the mating bond that beckons and continues to grow stronger day by day, Mercy and Riley must find a middle ground within which they can be with each other or forever lose a vital piece of themselves if otherwise.

As I said earlier, Branded by Fire is the hottest book yet in the series. Riley and Mercy start their dance right from the beginning of the story, their entwined past since the Alliance between SnowDancer and DarkRiver lending credibility to the connection that exists between them. Riley is so hot, well, I don’t know which of the heroes has NOT been hot, but man, Riley gives the term losing control a whole new load of deliciousness.

Mercy is the equally endearing, and I just loved how she reveals that tender side of hers when it comes to Riley. It is a testament to Nalini Singh’s talent to be able to write such a dominant female character that doesn’t get into a pissing contest with her mate over every little thing.

Branded by Fire delves quite deeply into the relationship between the sexier than sin Alpha of SnowDancer Hawke and Sienna who drives him crazy enough to commit murder. As usual, the Psy and its Councillors with their own agendas lurks in the background, giving the series the edge that has made it one of its kind.

Recommended for fans of the series and fans of paranormal romances. If you aren’t reading Nalini Singh, you are doing yourself a grave injustice as a reader!

Final Verdict: Scorching hot installment in the series; Nalini Singh continues to prove why she is is a force to be reckoned with!

Favorite Quotes

“Now,” she ordered as they broke apart, her body close to vibrating with ever-tightening need.
“No.” He slid down her body and suddenly her dress pants and panties were gone. She felt the kiss of claws against the insides of her thighs and knew it had been on purpose. No pain, not even a real touch. Just a hint.
Just enough to remind her cat that he could take her.

She moved with him, kissing him back, running her hands over his body and nipping at him just because. He kept her pinned to the earth as he took her, as if he knew just how damn much she needed a good, hard ride. When she orgasmed, it was with a sharp cry, a lush clenching around the thick heat of him, and a burst of starlight behind her eyes.

He pulled her down to sheathe him. She could’ve resisted. She didn’t.
Instead, she moved above him in a sinuous curve of fire and gold, her beauty bathed in sunshine. The fire fractured minutes later. And Riley’s wolf could do nothing but watch her as pleasure gripped him tight, then broke him wide open.

She began to slide one hand down his body. He caught it, brought it back up to his shoulders. Pulling his head up, she pointed to her lips. It wasn’t a hard order to follow. And her kiss . . . oh, but her kiss. All heat and lush, seductive pleasure. It was a promise, that kiss, a promise of a slow ride to oblivion.

“So, staid Riley Kincaid has a kinky secret.” She moved on his fingers, relishing the building tightness in her body, the sheer pleasure on his face. “Do you have a whip?”
“With you, it might come in handy.” His fingers slid inside her.
And she came.
Just like that.

She came on his tongue the first time, hot and wild. And when he shifted her limp form back down his body, coaxing her into sitting up enough to take him inside, she was a scalding silken glove, one made for him alone. He didn’t last long.
The last thing he remembered was his cat licking over the mark she’d made.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks



Review: Take Me Under by Rhyannon Byrd

Format: E-booktakemeunder.jpg
Read with: Kindle for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Series: Dangerous Tides, #1
Publisher: Berkley
Hero: Ben Hudson
Heroine: Reese Monroe
Sensuality: 4.9
Date of Publication: June 4, 2013
Started On: July 20, 2013
Finished On: July 22, 2013

34 year old Ben Hudson is the new sheriff of the idyllic holiday beach town of Moss Beach, Florida. Having given up his position as a homicide detective in Miami due to circumstances that had unfolded during his last investigation, Ben moves to town to take things at a more sedately pace. Ben has a reputation for working hard and playing that much harder and is never afraid of going after what he wants. The only thing that scares the bejeesus out of his is emotional entanglements of any sort.

Newly divorced 28 year old Reese Monroe moves to Moss Beach aiming to kickstart her life in a whole new direction. Her marriage to a cheating scoundrel has pretty much dented her ego and eroded her sense of self esteem and the need to escape from the mess her life had become motivates the move more than anything else.

Ben has hungered for Reese ever since the night he laid his eyes on Reese three years back. He has bided his time, always knowing deep inside that if and whenever Reese becomes free from the clutches of her good for nothing husband, he would definitely make his move and leave them both with the scorching imprint of how good things could be with them between the sheets.

Told from both Ben and Reese’s points of view in third person, Take Me Under takes place in its entirety in Moss Beach, Florida.

The connection between Ben and Reese sizzles right from the onset, a very much wary Reese who has no idea of how much of a starring role she has played in the sexy sheriff’s fantasies a little bit taken aback by the zeal with which Ben pursues her. And when it comes to light that Reese has a stalker who might have made his way to her new hometown on her heels, there is no stopping the protective instinct that surges forth in Ben and he becomes more of a force to be reckoned with which means for Reese there really is no turning back.

Rhyannon Byrd is very talented in the style with which she effortlessly blends the erotic and downright dirty sex into whatever genre of romance she works on. It has been while since she has published a contemporary romance and Take Me Under was a novel that I had been very much in anticipation for ever since she announced its release. Though it didn’t live up to all my expectations, Take Me Under proved to be a hot and panty-melting read with a dirty talking hero tossed into the mix.

Ben seemed to be a bit overwhelming to me; and I believe this just might be the first time I’m saying that about a hero, especially someone who looks like Christian Bale of all people. Forceful in his nature, Ben is a man from whom a woman can’t hide, either during the moments of passion or otherwise. And Ben is greedy enough to want everything Reese can give, although he might not be ready for the overwhelming riot of emotions that blindsides him as much as the passion between them does. The only thing that Ben is more afraid of than anything else is opening up the raw wounds that has festered for far too long inside of him.

Reese knows exactly what she is getting into when she says yes to getting down and dirty with Ben, and she goes onto show it in more ways than one, which actually seems to do a pretty good job of annoying Ben out of his stance on no messy emotional entanglements. It was quite amusing to see Ben in a role that he has never found himself in before as he reluctantly comes to the conclusion that without Reese by his side, he might just as well not exist.

I’m pretty much looking forward to Alex’s story, which seems to be in the works if the ending was anything to judge the next book in the series by. Alex certainly looks to be a hero who would be worth all the heartache he would put a reader through before embracing his own happily ever after.

Recommended for fans of Rhyannon Byrd and erotic contemporary romantic suspense.

Final Verdict: Raw & explicit, Take Me Under is a good debut for the Dangerous Tides series.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo


Review: Mine to Possess by Nalini Singh

Format: E-bookminetopossess
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Psy-Changeling, #4
Publisher: Berkley
Hero: Clay Bennett
Heroine: Talin McKade
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: February 5, 2008
Started On: July 10, 2013
Finished On: July 11, 2013

Clay Bennett, a leopard shifter and one of the sentinels of the powerful DarkRiver leopard pack in San Francisco is a changeling constantly at war with his two selves; the human and leopard halves that fight for dominance and co-existence. The barely controlled fury inside of him is a living being, a result of his past that constantly puts him on the edge, making him vulnerable to going rogue, if he were to let his leopard half win the battle of wills.

28 year old Talin McKade is a woman who lives with a mix of guilt and self-loathing that is almost palpable. A victim of child abuse and the state entrusted in taking care of children like herself, its not surprising that Talin grows up to become a social worker, her kids and protecting them at all and any cost her sole purpose in life until danger comes calling.

Talin is forced to seek out the help of the one Changeling who terrifies her and the one man she knows would never turn her away in her hour of need. Desperate to find the killer(s) behind the abduction and murder of street kids who are hers, Talin finds herself coming face to face with the one man who had been her past and undeniably her future all in one. But the fury that lurks close to the surface inside of Clay after a 10 year separation is not one to be tamed easily, his beast not ready to accept certain facts together with Talin’s ultimate fear of him that comes close to driving Clay to the edge and beyond. Will Talin & Clay be able to find a way to heal & move on & at the same time find a killer in a race against a ticking clock?

Mine to Possess is the 4th novel in Nalini Singh’s fascinating PsyChangeling series. Mostly set in San Francisco, the story is told from both Talin & Clay’s points of view.

When I first started on the PsyChangeling series a year or so back, the one thing that drew me in as I am guessing with all the fans of this delectable and heart thumping series is the fascinating world building that happens and continues to grow and change with every story. Words simply cannot describe just how awe-inspiring it is to wade through a world of limitless possibilities, a world that I bet Nalini must live in constantly if the way these stories grab the reader by their souls and doesn’t let up is any indication to the fact!

The brief hiatus in my continuation of the series certainly seemed to have whetted my appetite for more and like a Changeling requiring touch and contact of its pack to survive, I found myself plagued with the need to completely lose myself in the compelling and sensuous story that unfolded. I let my senses soak in the world, the palpable feelings of a love so beautiful and vivid that it took my breathe away.

Clay is one of the darkest heroes in the series, made so by the fact that his beast is one that refuses to be tamed, his need to let it roam free understandable given the fact he had lived half of his life forcing himself to ignore that side of him completely. And now that his Talin, yes his Talin is back, there is nothing Clay wouldn’t do, even if it means unleashing all that glorious fury with murderous intent on anyone who dares take her away from him.

One of the best bits about the Changeling world is the concept of how they seem to thrive in the little and yet meaningful touches that is integral and much needed for their survival. Unlike the Psy stripped of their emotions, Changelings are directly the opposite, and one can’t help but feel the need to be petted and stroked, especially by the likes of someone like Clay who actually purrs under the touch of his mate Talin.

The backstory and end of Talin and Clay’s shared history is one mired in violence, and the life Talin had led till now one of half existence. It is inside the warm circle of Clay’s possessive embrace that Talin starts to let go of the fear and accept the fact that with Clay lies her future. I absolutely reveled in how Clay seduces Talin to give in & in turn how Talin has the ability to bring the powerful sentinel to his very knees.

The point in picking up a Nalini Singh novel is that you don’t just end up reading a highly sensuous romance between a dominant alpha male and his mate for life. Rather, it gives you a world so beautifully complex to indulge in that the fascination with what Nalini does with her characters and the story doesn’t ever abate! If there’s one thing that can be said about Nalini and her PsyChangeling series is that once you are in, there’s no going back – period!

To see the picture perfect world the Psy seem to think they have created and the nefarious ends to which their powerful Council is willing to go to keep their stronghold on the power they wield is another mind grappling asset of the story. With their world being stripped away and their fatal flaws being exposed layer by layer, there’s nothing one can do but sit back and watch the ultimate destruction of a race that thought that Silence of emotions is the best way to lead a healthy life.

Recommended for fans of paranormal romances with multifaceted characters and four dimensional world building that is ethereal in its beauty and complexity. There’s none that can compare to what Nalini delivers with this series.

Final Verdict: With each book in the series, Nalini Singh draws the reader deeper into her world of Psy-Changeling and resistance to the effect is a futile endeavour at best!

Favorite Quotes

She was unquestionably small, but not fragile, not easily breakable. There was strength in the straight line of her spine, but also a softness that promised a cushion for a hard male body. The woman had curves. Lush, sweet, curves. Her butt filled out the seat of her jeans perfectly, arousing the deeply sexual instincts of both man and cat. He wanted to bite, to shape, to pet.

The kiss he brushed over her lips caught her breath, blew her confusion to shreds. His skin was a little rough, his mouth pure demand…and his kiss so right it hurt.

He purred into her mouth.
Nipples shocked into sudden pleasure by the vibration, she pulled back. “You purr?”
His smile was pure cat. “Only for you.”

“Bully.” It was a gasp.
That clever, clever tongue was doing things to her she had never believed possible. She found herself pressing closer, begging him with her body, her thighs tight around him, her heels digging into his back. Then he bit her.
She made a sharp, shocked sound before the world exploded around her. The pleasure was so raw, so rich, so acute, it blasted through her body with the strength of a supernova, leaving her quivering in its wake.

“Move,” she said, voice husky. “Please move.”
He nuzzled at her throat, caught her lips in a kiss. “Ready?”
She looked into his eyes and nodded. “Ready.”
The last thing she remembered thinking was that she had never seen a more beautiful man in her life. A moment later, pleasure crashed through her like thunder and Clay became her world, her universe, her reason for being.

He came to her, laying his head on her thigh. She should have berated him for choosing to end the argument this way but what she did was stroke him. “Beautiful,” she whispered, sinking her hand into the black and gold fir. “Magnificent.” Petting words, because while he was big and tough, he was also hers to love, hers to adore.
Green eyes caught hers, a gleam of smug pride in their depths.
“Vain,” she added.
He growled, bared his teeth. And still she stroked him. Her mate. Her everything.

“You’re not angry anymore?” It came out hesitant, searching.
“How can I be angry with the other half of my soul?” he asked, his tone so tender it tore little pieces out of her heart. “I have a temper, baby, and I know I fucking brood. But even if I act pissed, even if I snarl, it doesn’t mean I love you any less. Your soul shines, Tally, and I’m so damn glad it shines for me.”

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo





Review: Tempting the Bride by Sherry Thomas

Format: E-booktemptingthebride
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Fitzhugh Trilogy #3
Publisher: Berkley
Hero: David Hillsborough, Viscount Hastings
Heroine: Helena Fitzhugh
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: October 2, 2012
Started On: December 14, 2012
Finished On: December 18, 2012

For someone who doesn’t read much of historical romances, Sherry Thomas is one author I’d always continue to make an exception for. Its because of the way she brings her characters to life and makes me fall irrevocably in love with the way she spins a web that continues to enchant me until I turn the very last page, all the while mourning the fact that the story couldn’t have gone on for just a little bit longer that will always have me going back for more.

The third and final book in the Fitzhugh trilogy is the story of Helena Fitzhugh, the youngest of the trio and the one who is considered to be the most ‘unconventional’ and ‘wild’ from the siblings. Viscount Hastings is the thorn in Helena’s side so to say from the tender young age in which they come across each other. Hastings who had fallen head over heels in love with Helena had always hidden behind a wall of obnoxious behavior, just so that Helena would never ever find out the depth of his feelings towards the only woman he has ever loved.

When Helena finds herself in a bit of a situation, which would be putting it mildly, it is Hastings that strides to her rescue which in turn forces her to accept his hand in marriage; not to save herself, but rather to save the shame that it would bring to her brother and sister if she were to do otherwise. Angered and frustrated beyond belief at the turn of events, not to mention the fact that a staggering kiss between her and Hastings that had shaken her to the depths of her very soul continues to taunt her, it would be an understatement to say that Helena does everything she can to show that she would not accept being married to Hastings that easily.

But as fate would have it, through a twisted turn of events, Hastings finds himself with a once in a lifetime opportunity to show Helena the side of him that he has kept hidden from her for far too long, the side of him that yearns to love Helena like there is no tomorrow and make up for his despicable behavior of the past. Though Hastings knows that his past could catch up with him at any moment, the answering glow in Helena’s eyes makes the temptation to carry on an irresistible one. And when the inevitable truth comes knocking on their door, it is only the memories of the new side of Hastings that Helena gets to see and remembers that saves the day for both of them in the end.

Its a thing of impossibility to read a novel by Sherry Thomas and not be invested in the outcome of the story and its characters. Likewise, Tempting the Bride had me salivating over Hastings and the effortless ease with which he seduces the very headstrong Helena. And the plus side was that unlike the previous story, the tables were turned in this one such that it is the hero that has been in love with the heroine for far too long, and it was the vulnerable side of Hastings that I fell in love with, time and yet again as I read along.

Helena is a heroine of one of a kind. She is the type of heroine who dares to cross the boundaries and tests society’s patience during an era when females who were anything less than demure were barely tolerated. And because she stays true to her character, I loved her and the layers of her character that continued to unfold throughout the story.

Though I felt again that the ending was a tad rushed in this story as well, I would still recommend Tempting the Bride for historical romance lovers because missing out on Sherry Thomas’ incredible writing is not something I would ever recommend. 

Favorite Quotes

Not all opportunities are created equal. Some are nothing but steps leading down toward catastrophe.

Their eyes met. Without hesitation he kissed her. His weight was solid. His hair—she didn’t know when her fingers had plunged into his hair—was cool and soft. And the hunger in his kiss…contrary to everything she knew, he made her feel as if he’d never kissed anyone before and never wanted to kiss anyone else.

This time he could no longer hold back his tears. And with them came words that he’d never been able to say to her his entire life. “I love you, Helena. I have always loved you. Wake up and let me prove it to you.”

He meant to do it properly, start slow and soft, and only gradually build toward the wildness that had always characterized their kisses. But the moment he touched his lips to hers, she locked one arm behind his neck, and all thoughts of leisure and gentleness leaped out the window.
He devoured her. And she, her tongue mobile and eager, devoured him in return. He pulled her out of her chair and pushed her against the edge of the vanity. She grabbed his hair and moaned, a sound of stark hunger—and it was all he could do not to push up her nightgown and sink into her then and there.

At her incendiary words, he drove deeper—far deeper—into her, unable to help himself.
“So,” she said, her fingers on his cheek, “now I’ve made you mine.”
He took her fingers in hand and kissed them one by one. “You made me yours long ago, but now you finally claimed me.”

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