* Jacquelyn Frank: Author Override | UTC Reviews
* Skye Warren: Author Override
* Narrator Lorelei King: Interview
* Stephanie Tyler: Interview
* Carolyn Crane: Author Override | UTC Review
* J.T. Geissinger: Interview | UTC Review
* Men and Women of the Military Giveaway Hop
* Keri Arthur: Interview | UTC Reviews

Saturday, 31 December 2011

December 2011 Monthly Recap

Another year has gone by.  Are you girls ready for 2012??  We are very happy at UTC that you've been with us in 2011 as we started our blog and have continued to support us.  We hope that we keep bringing you content that you enjoy in 2012 and always feel free to drop us a line and let us know how we are doing or what you'd like to see.  We love hearing from you and we love your comments!  So keep them coming!  So thank you!

Now, here's a recap of interviews and guest posts this month:
* Mary Abshire: Guest Post
* Zoe Archer: Interview
* Amanda Bonilla: Guest Post
* Thea Harrison: Guest Post
* Larissa Ione: Interview
* Alexandra Ivy: Guest Post
* Teresa Medeiros: Interview
* Carrie Ann Ryan: Guest Post
* Jill Shalvis: Guest Post
* Cherise Sinclair: Guest Post
* J.D. Tyler: Interview
* Christine Young: Guest Post

Thank you so much to all the wonderful authors for stopping by and we want to especially thank our Author of the Month, Larissa Ione and Gena Showalter for being such a wonderful author and being game with all the requests we gave her!  You rock!

Reading on the Dark Side
Bring Me Home For Christmas is our Holiday special.  We wanted to give you some help with your holiday reading.  Click here

Love Is In The Air Blog Hop
We are hosting our very own giveaway blog hop for Valentine's day.  If you have a blog and you'd like to host a giveaway for this hop, please be sure to sign up for it here.

UTC Best of 2011 Awards
The year is over and we are listing the best and worst of what we read in 2011:

* Suzanne and Annie's Picks
* Francesca and Angela's Picks

Mind Spill
What do you think we want from Santa?  Dear Santa... I Want It All!  Some of our wonderful authors this month wrote their letters to Santa, as well as their characters.  Click here

Demon Fight Club
The Lords of the Underworld were battling the Demonica demons in some unique categories and the results are in:
Most likely to bring you breakfast in bed
Lore vs Lucien
And the winner is: Lucien with 58% of the votes!

Most likely to be on the cover of GQ
Eidolon vs Paris
And the winner is: Eidolon with 55% of the votes!

I would turn bi for...
Sin vs Anya
And the winner is: Sin with 55% of the votes!

Most likely to gut you where you stand
Shade vs Maddox
And the winner is: Shade with 57% of the votes!

Most likely to give you the best one night stand of your life
Wraith vs William
And the winner is: Wraith with 75% of the votes!

If you want to check out this fun post, click here.

Cover Art
We want to thank Trish aka Pickyme for letting us use her beautiful artwork of Harvester (Lords of Deliverance) in our December cover.  Make sure you visit her blog, and follow her on Facebook, she does AMAZING work!
Happy New Year!!!

Review: Shadow Heir by Richelle Mead

2.5 Feathers
Shadow Heir
by Richelle Mead
(Dark Swan # 4)

It is with great sadness that I write this review.  Richelle Mead has beeen and, the events in this book aside, still is one of my favorite authors.  I have seen her end two wonderful series now and she has done so masterfully.  When I picked up Shadow Heir I was under the impression that this was the last Dark Swan novel, so I was expecting nothing less from her.

I was already going in with bitterness about certain things.  #1 Kiyo - Throughout the series Ms. Mead has managed to get me to actually hate the Kitsune with a passion *pulls out her Kiyo voodoo doll and stabs his head repeatedly* and I was prepared to only hate him more in this book, there was no going back for me on that.  Well, I wasn't disappointed on that!  He's still a slimy piece of crap, a rat bastard, and it's infuriating to see Eugenie having to work with him when all I want is for her to stand up to him and get some retribution for all he's done to her.  That didn't happen.  Until the end, he still sticks it to her and she just stands there with her mouth open in shock.  Oh by the way, I am writing this as a spoiler free review so maybe some of the things I say may sound a bit weird, you'll understand when you read the book.

Bitterness# 2 - Eugenie.  Yes I went in already feeling sort of hate for the heroine.  This has been slowly developing throughout the series and well, she didn't get any better in this book.  She sits around moping and doing the whole woe-is-me routine.  Get a grip, stop being so selfish and so stupid!  Stop listening to the dumb Kitsune and start appreciating the REAL man you have by your side!!  If not, I'll help Volusian kill you myself! *which I felt like doing repeatedly throughout this book*.

Now onto a better review of this book.

I wish the whole first 50% of this book would've been written in two chapters!  Seriously I considered putting this as one of my few ever DNF books.  Why? It is tediously boring, nothing happens, there's hardly any supernatural activity, nothing!  Eugenie goes on fishing dates and I felt like I was reading a depressing women's fiction book instead of an urban fantasy.

Once there's something that starts happening, it is not to follow the storyline that we were dealing with from the beginning but a completely randomly thrown in storyline that takes over the rest of the book and really doesn't do anything to close the series, this was more like another adventure of Eugenie, the moron Queen!  So I thought, perhaps, this could've been resolved faster so we would've seen something more in respect to an ending to the series.

Volusian - this storyline does deal in a small way with Volusian.  I have to say I love the little guy!  He is my favorite character in this series, apart from the all-perfect Dorian.  We learn about his past, Eugenie has to go to his homeland and she couldn't accomplish what she needs without his help.  So he gets closure and I really liked that part!

Dorian - I can't tell you enough how much Eugenie doesn't deserve this man.  First of all, with Dorian what you see is what you get.  You know he's sneaky and that he wants also what's in his best interest, but in this book he put Eugenie above anything and everything.  My heart breaks thinking of the fact that for the most part, she only uses him when it's convenient and this didn't change.
What wouldn't I do for you? *tear*
And I think this pretty much brings me to the ending.  OK, let me back up for the last 15%.  Everything you thought, was wrong, everything that we believed should've been one way was another.  In the last 15% of this book seems like all the loose ends that should've been tied throughout the series started rapidly weaving together.  That's all I can say about that without giving stuff away.  Just shock after shock.

Now for the actual ending.  What.The.Hell.Was.That?????  How can Ms. Mead end a series like that?  Actually, it doesn't surprise me just because I've known all along that Eugenie is a selfish bitch!  So we couldn't really expect more from her right?  But I don't see how that can be an ending.  No I cannot.  Sorry.  Very disappointing.

So why the 2.5 feathers if this is still very well written?  50% of the book was too slow, then from 60% on it was just ok.  Too many issues where left unanswered.  And you cannot end a series with those last few pages without expecting the reader to want to ring Eugenie's stupid neck! It is with great sadness I write this.

Purchase Links: Amazon

ARC Review: All I Want Is You by Sherrill Bodine

All I Want Is You
by Sherrill Bodine

Enemy lover storylines usually work well for me.  Something about all that hate can really bring up some passion.  Now I normally don't go for books with this much fluff, but sometimes you are just in the mood for that and I picked up this in one of those moods.

Venus is the owner of a vintage boutique.  She is also the daughter of the ex-accountant for the Clayworth stores.  Her father worked for the Clayworths since forever and one day he was fired, not too nicely, for hiding and stealing money.  She has now made it her mission to clean her father's name and prove his innocence.  Not only to get him his job back, but to make him feel better about himself.

She has always had a hate-hate relationship with Connor Clayworth, who now runs the store.  So she sets her sights on him to find out what happened with this father.  Her idea is that while in throws of passion he will spill all his secrets.  But she wasn't expecting that plot to backfire when he ends up being really nice, and actually being attracted to her. 

There is one more story in this book.  A lost pendant reappears.  Is it a copy or the true pendant stolen from Clayworth stores many years ago?  Connor and Venus will be right in the sights of the thief and they have to draw him out to discover who committed the crime.

I actually did enjoy this book, so if you are feeling in the mood for this type of story, and yes there is steam, then give this book a go!

*ARC provided  by publisher

Purchase Links: Amazon

And The Winner Is...

Amanda Bonilla giveaway:

Lisa Richards

We will be emailing winner shortly. You have 3 days to claim your prize (just respond to email). You have random.org to thank for your win :)

Friday, 30 December 2011

UTC Best of 2011 Awards (Francesca and Angela's picks)


Best New Release

by J.R. Ward

Envy was such an amazing book. It was emotional, it had a lot of action, more than one storyline and all interesting. We got to see some of the old characters and we met my future husband Veck.

 Best New to Me Book

Smooth Talking Stranger
by Lisa Kleypas

I could really nominate anything by Lisa Kleypas in this category since I just started reading her this year but Jack, oh Jack, he stole my heart!  This whole series is beautifully written, emotional and engaging.

Best New Series

Play-by-Play Series
by Jaci Burton

Jaci Burton's Play by Play series because it got me to like and read sports romance. The covers are drool-worthy and the books are sexy as hell while also having a sweet and good story.

Favorite Heroine

Georgina Kincaid
by Richelle Mead

I want to take Georgina out for drinks! She's amazing, that's just all there is to it.  I was sad to see this series come to an end but I definitely enjoyed every bit of it!

Favorite Hero
Logan Edgington
Belong To Me 
by Shayla Black
Logan.Logan.Logan!!!!! I am so in love with this man. He's a perfect Dom yet he's still loving and playful and caring.  Did you miss our interview with him earlier this year?  Click here

Best Cover
Dark Taste of Rapture
by Gena Showalter

Just no words to describe how much I love this cover. The guy is deliciously yummy, the color scheme is to die for, the graphics on it are perfect. It just makes you want to buy this book!

Fugliest Cover
Friendly Fire
by Megan Hart

Friendly Fire by Megan Hart deserves this award for the OLD cover of this short story. Thank God this was reissued under a delicious new cover or I would've missed out on a hot little story.

Heroine on Hit List
 Allie Watson
by Kristina Douglas

Allie Watson is just Too Stupid To Live. There, that's it. Oh you mean you want an example? She dies because her high heel gets stuck on the road and she stumbles in front of a bus. She needs a dash of common sense and some survival skills.

Hero on Hit List

Midnight Sins
by Lora Leigh

Rafe because of his lack of brains. He let so much shit happen to him and keep him away from the heroine when if he would've just grown a pair of balls would've been avoided.
 Favorite Sex Scene
Never Enough
by Lauren Dane

There are really too many to choose from but I'm going with this book and maybe the jacuzzi scene. Lets just say this book was hot! 

Best New Release
by J.R. Ward

Fifty Shades of Grey
by E.L. James

There are so many to choose from that I have rated 5stars and above. However, if I just look back, these ones just stick out the most! I remember I could not shut up about these two books.

 Best New to Me Book

Simple Need Series
by Lissa Matthews

These books definitely were the start of my readings into a new genre. This introduced me to a completely new world of foreplay. It was definitely memorable to me; from positions to toys to body piercing and tattoos. Recommended by the Leather Lust herself.

Best New Series

Donovan Brothers Brewery
by Victorial Dahl

This trilogy was awesome and another series that kept me up. It was light, funny, sexy and made me teary eyed. Thank you Fran for this recommendation, Jaime will forever be in my Harem. LOL

Favorite Heroine

Cat from Night Huntress Series
by Jeaniene Frost

She is just a kick ass, pretty, bow to no one kind of heroine! Not much can compare to this hot chick. She just continuously shows how strong she is in all the books in this series. If there is one heroine I’d like to be, it’s definitely her.

Favorite Hero
Christian Grey
Fifty Shades Series
by E.L. James

This guy is hot, powerful, rich, alpha, romantic and boy, does he know how to play!!! Another hero who showed me new toys. LOL

Best Cover
Rock Hard
by Olivia Cunning

Well, I’m not sure if this is the Best Cover, but it’s pretty damn hot

Fugliest Cover
Carnal Ecstasy
by Lissa Matthews

Now, this is not 2011 release but I did read it this year. …this guy izzzzz FUGLY!!! It was hard reading this book as the cover model kept popping up in my head, not pretty.
Heroine on Hit List

MacNamara's Lady
by N.J. Walters

Now I don’t particularly hate this girl but she annoyed me with her constant reference to her skin color. She was self-conscious and had low self-esteem that sometimes was inappropriate and unnecessary. *shrugs* I don’t know she erked me. But the book was good. =)

Hero on Hit List
So I'm looking at the books I've read this year and no hero made this list. I've been fortunate to have gotten good recommendations from my friends. :) I love all of them. I know, I'm easy!

Favorite Sex Scene
Pillow Talk
by Maya Banks

This is the hardest to pick. Out of all of the books, I have read this year I think 80/85 had good Sex scenes. LOL, I know, I’m pretty easy. However, the book that got me to change my undies several times…and note that it’s a short story is Pillow Talk By Maya Banks. The book was off the top with multiple….scenes. *fanning self*

UTC Best of 2011 Awards (Suzanne and Annie's picks)

Best New Release of 2011

Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews
(Kate Daniels # 5)

Such a hard choice, there have been so many great new books out this year, but Magic Slays was fantastic, I can't get enough of Kate and Curran.

Best New-To-Me Book

Lords of the Fading Lands by C.L. Wilson
(Tairen Soul # 1)

I have always loved fantasy and this book, and this series infact, bland two of my favourite genres, fantasy and romance.

Best New Series

Brides of the Kindred series by Evangeline Andersen

Loved this series! I was lucky that so many of them came out in the same year! It started off some Star Trekesque fantasies let me tell you...!

Favourite Heroine

Justine from The Disillusionist Trilogy
by Carolyn Crane

Quirky and funny, I loved her! I can't wait to read the last book in the trilogy.

Favourite Hero

Francis Rohan from Ruthless by Anne Stuart

What a hard, hard decision! There are so many amazing heroes roaming around! To make it easier I excluded all those that have been in my harem for a while and looked at the new additions, and Francis Rohan, from the Wicked House of Rohan was so deliciously menacing and gorgeous, my favourite new bad boy on the block!

Best Sex Scene
Archangel's Blade by Nalini Singh

One of my favourite books this year, and definitely one of the most sensual, the whole book is filled with sexual tension so thick you could cut it with a knife, so when it does finally happen, it was explosive.

Best Cover

Boneshaker by Cherie Priest 

I love this cover! I love the sepia tones; the heroic stance the whole effect of the book. I even bought a top cos it looked very similar to this cover! LOVE IT! Luckily the inside was as good as the outside too.

Fugliest Cover

Ecstasy Untamed by Pamela Palmer

I haven't actually read this book, but whenever I see it I just laugh! What is with the weird strolling around in pink mist?! It is a crime to Paul Marron!

Heroine on Hit List

Ana from Fifty Shades of Grey

I know people loved this book this year, I did as well, well apart from Ana who drove me a little nuts.

Hero on Hit List

Dev from Blaze of Memory
by Nalini Singh

Psy-Changeling is one of my favourite series, but this book was a little bit of a let down, mainly because I didn't like Dev. At. All. He crossed the line from alpha to bully and I hate that.

Best New Release of 2011

Archangel`s Blade by Nalini Singh

If I could marry an author, I would marry Nalini Singh. Her writing is exquisite and ARCHANGEL’S BLADE is a prime example of her mastery with words. In fact, all of Singh’s book she released this year have been fantastic reads. I’ll be honest, Dmitri wasn’t my favourite of the Seven before I started his book, but that quickly changed within the first few paragraphs. This book was simply perfect!

Best New-To-Me Book

The Dark Highlander by Karen Marie Moning
Books three to seven are all fantastic, but Daegus stole my heart and left me to bleed after I finished reading this book. For days after, I experienced withdrawals because I WANTED MORE, DAMNIT! KMM may be popular because of her Fever series, but don’t be mistaken. She is a FANTASTIC romance writer. This book was to die for.

Best New Series
Lucky Harbor series by Jill Shalvis

There’s something about a small town romance that I love. What’s even better about this series are the people who live in it. Shalvis creates the most memorable and lovable characters that you can’t help but get excited when love worms its way into their lives. It couldn’t have happened to better characters! HEAD OVER HEELS, the third book in the series is one of my favourites of this year!

Favourite Heroine

Kate from the Kate Daniels series
by Ilona Andrews

This was an easy pick. Thanks to much nagging from Suzanne, I finally got around to reading Kate Daniels. *shakes head* I should have known better... This series shot straight to the top of my favourite UF series. I love Kate’s humor and strength and the fact that she keeps Curran on his toes! She matches him well, making them equals and one of my favourite couples EVER!

Favourite Hero

Roarke from In Death series
by J.D. Robb

This was a tough one for me. There are SO many great heroes out there. But I’ll go with Roarke from the In Death series. I don’t know how Robb does it, but with each subsequent instalment of this series, I want Roarke more and more. JUDGMENT IN DEATH is one of my favourite books because Roarke bares his territorial side and seeing the possessive beast emerge makes me want Roarke for my own. Power, wealth, and mystery, Roarke has it all.
Best Sex Scene

Belong to Me by Shayla Black

Logan is the ultimate Dom – the perfect balance of dominance and tenderness. He has the ability to make you surrender wholly, bring you to a shattering peak and keep you begging for more. This is definitely a blood-pumping read! Black infuses passionate lovemaking with raw, dirty mating that is so hot, you’ll require frequent breaks...

Best Cover

Breaking Point by Pamela Clare 

I am not ashamed to admit this. I slept next to this book because I could then tell Pamela Clare that I slept with Jed Hill. Just look at this cover! It’s SOFA KING GORGEOUS!

Fugliest Cover
Ice Water in Hell
by Carol Lynne
I haven’t actually read this book. But I saw the cover and thought, “Wow! That’s ugly!” and promptly added it to my TBR pile. The book cannot be as bad as the cover. There’s just no way.

Heroine on Hit List

Shiarra Westnest from H&W Investigations
by Jess Haines

There were countless times in the first few pages of this book where Shiarra is warned by multiple parties that something bad is heading her way and yet she completely ignores this to go to vacation with her boyfriend! Here’s a lesson that Shia needs to learn – You’re human. And when supernatural creatures are tell you that shit is coming your way. You listen.

Hero on Hit List

Ray Stavrakis from Dark Sins and Desert Sands
by Stephanie Draven

While the book is OK, I thought the hero, Ray Stavrakis was a complete a-hole. He was just not likeable or relatable at all. The I-will-kill-you vibe didn’t sit well with me.

Come back tomorrow for the second part of the UTC Best of 2011 Awards!