* 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

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

ARC Review: Fair Game by Patricia Briggs + Giveaway (On the Prowl Anthology)

Fair Game 
(Alpha & Omega #3)
by Patricia Briggs

What happens when a werewolf is forced to kill others of his kind without any sort of break? What toll does it take on the werewolf and subsequently his mate? These questions are asked in FAIR GAME, the third and highly anticipated book in the Alpha & Omega series by Patricia Briggs.

FAIR GAME starts out with a low point between Anna and Charles’ relationship. Anna feels detached from her mate, Charles. Her father-in-law, Bran, is now making Charles hunt out-of-control werewolves without any sort of break. Whenever Charles comes home to Anna after these assignments, he is devoid of any emotion and love and this is when Anna starts to believe that his continued killing is now taking a toll on her mate. She approaches Bran and tries to reason with him, telling him that Charles will lose himself completely if he doesn’t stop this. However, as Alpha, Bran has limited people to turn to with such an important and dangerous task. In an effort to give Charles a small break, he sends Anna and Charles, as her guard to Boston where they will be working with the FBI and Cantrip to catch a killer.

Since Charles has been on edge lately, he keeps himself away from Anna to protect her from himself. But because of this, their relationship is strained. Anna wants her loving mate back, but Charles wants to keep his distance for fear of hurting her. For most part of this book, Anna and Charles work their way through the ups and downs of this strain. However, they still do a great job of working together on this case. Brother Wolf also makes many appearances that eventually help them get back to where they are meant to be relationship wise.

The romance isn’t as pronounced in this book because of the strain in their relationship. However, there are really heartbreaking moments that are simply too sweet not to share:
“She had taught him that to be brave, you have to fear losing something. I am afraid I will lose her. That they will take her from me – or that I will drive her away when she sees what I really am.”
“People as old and powerful as he should never be given someone to love.
For Anna he would destroy the world.”
Briggs opens up this book with an amazing prologue that introduces a new character named Leslie who plays a big role throughout the book. As a FBI agent who helps Anna and Charles, I found that I instantly liked her. The same can be said for Issac, an Alpha in the area. What I liked about this book was the fact that Briggs isn’t afraid to create a diverse ethnic cast. It’s always refreshing when you read about that in novels.

FAIR GAME makes me remember all the things I loved about this series: the perfect match between Charles and Anna, some mystery, and enough action to keep a girl like me happy. I only wish there were more pages!

*ARC provided by publisher

Purchase Links: Amazon

Penguin is graciously giving away a SIGNED copy of the On the Prowl Anthology, featuring the Patricia Briggs' novella that started this series!
To enter, please:
1. Be a follower
2. Fill out the form below

Heat Up Your Summer: Sinful Sirens Giveaway Hop - Sign Up NOW!

Blog hop runs from 12:01 AM May15th through to 11:59 PM May 20th, 2012.

Are you a Sinful Siren?

We know you are! So come and join us at Under the Covers and Guilty Pleasures for our Sinful Sirens blog hop. This summer we want to heat things up until the only way we can cool down is with a dip in the ocean. Entice other sirens by sharing some of your favorite scorching hot reads!

To sign up:
1. Add your information to the Linky List at the end of this post.
2. Grab the hop badge code (above) and add it the side panel of your blog.

To participate:
1. Make a blog post announcing your giveaway before right before the hop starts (by 12:01am May 18).
2. Make sure you indicate whether your giveaway is international, US/Canada or US only clearly on the giveaway post you make.
3. Make sure the blog hop badge (above) is also on that post.
4. Please keep extra entries to a minimum of 5. No daily entries.
5. Include the linky list to participating blogs on your post (you will receive this code by email closer to the start of the hop). Or at least, add a link to this post which contains the list of participants.


That’s it!

At the beginning of the hop we will be visiting all blogs and if we find the post is not up or it's not easy to find, your entry will be deleted from the list.

Sound good? Interested in joining?


Add your linky below! Enter your blog name along with whether your giveaway is US, US/CA, Int.
Ex: Under the Covers (Int.) Make sure you enter a valid email address.

UTC Insider: March 2012

If you've been following us for a little while you may be aware that all of us at UTC are a wee bit obsessed with the Black Dagger Brotherhood.  In a maybe stalkerish sorta way.  And finally in March we get our long awaited yearly fix.  Yes, the rest of the world will cease to exist for us from the moment Lover Reborn is released and we will probably sleep, eat and breathe Tohr for however many hours it takes to finish it.

Author of the Month
To share our excitement with all of you, we have decided to make the extremely talented J.R. Ward our author of the month.  Even though we cannot bring you an actual interview with her we will have plenty of little BDB surprises throughout the month.

Author Appearances
We have a month packed full of awesome authors!  Some of the hottest releases for the month of March will be making an appearance at UTC.  Here's who you can expect to see:

Sinful Sirens Giveaway Hop
We are kicking off the Sinful Sirens Giveaway Hop sign ups.  We are hosting this giveaway hop with the lovely ladies at Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews to heat things up this summer.  Bloggers and authors are welcomed to join!  Click here to add your site to the list.

Reading on the Dark Side
We had to do it.  And we had a great time putting this together.  Our special feature this month will be all about the Black Dagger Brotherhood.  Fans and newbies alike, we guarantee you will fall in love with the brothers.  This will come closer to the release date.

Battle of the Covers
We are going back to USA vs UK!  Who will win?  Yes, this one is for the Black Dagger Brotherhood as well!

Hottie of the Week
We will be featuring our second Hottie of the Week interview this month, so be sure to watch out for our Moanday posts so you don't miss it. ;)

Dirty Little Secret # 37


Dirty Little Secret is a weekly meme hosted by us at Under the Covers. Every Thursday we get to know other bloggers and our readers more intimately by asking them a question hoping to reveal their dirty little secrets.  We hope that you will all join us!

To participate in the meme all you need to do is:

1. Be a follower of Under the Covers.
2. Create a post in your blog taking the meme image (code above) and copy instructions.
3. Answer the question we propose! This can be done in any way you like, post a video, write a post etc.
4. Then add your link below.

Non-bloggers: We want to hear from you as well!!!  Let us know your answer in the comments!

We hope you join us and let us know your Dirty Little Secrets!

This week's question:
Which author introduced you to urban fantasy or paranormal romance?

Our Answer:

Annie: I read lots of Gothic Horror and Classic romances before I started reading YA *ducks* and then I found Lover Enshrined randomly and fell in love with Ward and paranormal romance. My first urban fantasy read was from Richelle Mead. I loved her YA series and wanted more of her stuff. And now I'm a pnr/uf junkie.

Francesca: My first urban fantasy author was Anne Rice.  You could say she's urban fantasy right???  I read everything she ever wrote.  But what kicked into gear my obsession recently was Charlaine Harris with the Southern Vampire series and then Kim Harrison with The Hollows.  After Urban Fantasy I moved on to Paranormal Romance, but to tell you the truth I don't remember who was my first author to transition from Urban Fantasy to Paranormal Romance.

Suzanne: Where to begin! Hmmm, I started off with Fantasy and that lead to a recommendation for Ilona Andrews Kate Daniel series and Karen Chance's Cassie Palmer series which I LOVED and now have crazy obsessions with! Before that the only vampire books I had ever read had been Dracula. The UF lead me to PNR and I think my first one was a Sherrilyn Kenyon book, Dragonswarn, then I was totally addicted to all things that go bump in the night!

Angela: I've got to admit, I hated to read.  But what peaked my interest in reading are the twilight books *shrugs*.  Then A friend recommended J. R. Ward's BDB books and I loooved it! I read each book in about 2-3 days, one after the next.  And for someone who hated to read, that was a miracle.  That series is what started my obsession to PNR. I never went back to YA since. *wipes tears of happiness*

Now it's your turn!

And The Winners Are...

A Scandalous Affair has come to an end (mostly) and here are the winners!!

Donna Grant's giveaway:
Wins a print copy of Shadow Highlander.

Carrie Lofty's giveaway:
Danielle @ Romance Book Junkies
Win a copy of Flawless

Shelley Bradley's giveaway:
Erin F
Wins a signed print copy, book of choice from Shayla Black's or Shelley Bradley's backlist.

Laura Hunsaker's giveaway:
Samantha (The ParaNormal Romance Party)
Wins an ebook copy of Highland Destiny.

Elizabeth Amber's giveaway:
Diane (Di)
Wins a signed print copy of Bastian.

Vicky Dreiling's giveaway:
Kitt (Paperback Dolls)
Wins an ARC of How to Ravish a Rake.

Laura Lee Guhrke's giveaway:
Wins a print copy of both Wedding of the Season and Scandal of the Year.
Isobel Carr's giveaway:
Mary @ Sweeping Me
Wins a print copy of the book of choice from Isobel's backlist.

Courtney Milan's giveaway:
Pam B
Wins a print copy of all 3 Turner Books, Unveiled, Unclaimed and Unraveled.
Colleen Gleason's giveaway:
Michelle (Shellya)
Wins her book of choice from backlist (except Gardella's) either print or ebook.

Ashley March's giveaway:
Wins a print copy of Romancing the Countess.
Linda (thumbelinda)
Wins an ebook copy of The Sinning Hour.

Winners were chosen through random.org.  Emails will be sent shortly.  You will have 72 hours to claim your prize (by just responding to the email you get from us)

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Interview and Giveaway with Amanda Scott!

Holla Maidens! It's almost the end of A Scandalous Affair. But fear not, we have another great author hanging out with us today. Please help us welcome historical romance author, Amanda Scott! Amanda writes very historically accurate love stories, so make sure you check out her books here.

Thank you for participating in A SCANDALOUS AFFAIR and welcome to Under the Covers! Can you tell us a bit about your Scottish Knights Trilogy?

Highland Hero (Forever, October 2011) is book 2 in my Scottish Knights trilogy. Book 1 was Highland Master, the story of Fin Cameron and the lady Catriona Mackintosh [Forever, February 2011] and Book 3 will be Highland Lover [coming from Forever the first of April 2012]. These three stories take place in early fifteenth-century Scotland at a time when the third person in line for the Scottish throne was absolutely determined to rule Scotland. The heir to the throne was a reckless, womanizing profligate, and the second in line was a seven-year-old boy. The three heroes are close friends, all knights, who studied together under the Bishop of St. Andrews and became members of a secret brotherhood that he formed, but they never knew each other’s full names at St. Andrews. They will do whatever they must to support the rightful heir in his battle against the murderous efforts of his wicked uncle to seize Scotland’s throne. Each knight also has a particular skill at which he is either Scotland’s champion or one of the best in Scotland.

Highland Hero is your latest release. Give us a little teaser for what's in store for Hawk and Marsi.

In Highland Hero, Sir Ivor Mackintosh of Clan Chattan is the finest archer in Scotland and a member of the (fictional) secret brotherhood of St. Andrews. He was known during his school days there only as “Hawk.” The King of Scots asks him to transport his 7-year-old son, in secrecy, across Scotland to the safety of St. Andrews and the guardianship of its powerful bishop. The King wants to keep Jamie out of the clutches of his wicked uncle, the ambitious and ruthless Duke of Albany. Jamie is second in line for the throne (and later James I of Scotland). But little does the King know that in the course of trying to fulfill his mission, Ivor will also have to deal with another member of the royal family, who will use her feminine wiles and her gift for telling a tall tale to throw obstacles in his path. Not that she means to…such things just happen.

Sir Ivor’s heroine is Lady Marsaili “Marsi” Drummond Cargill, a niece of the late Queen Annabella’s and therefore Jamie’s cousin, who decides to use Ivor (unbeknownst to him) to help her avoid an undesirable marriage. Marsi therefore decides to accompany the willing Jamie as a nursery maid, thereby deceiving Ivor (EE-ver), who has a legendary temper and loathes deception (or thinks he does until…but that would be telling). The inspiration for this plot came from a Scottish bard’s tale, which also resulted in Ivor’s being named Ivor (meaning archer) and his having become the finest archer in Scotland. Imagine my astonishment when my research into Mackintosh history revealed that Ivor was a name quite common in that clan at the time! The first chapter of Highland Hero is posted on my website at www.amandascottauthor.com.

What is it about Scotland and its history that appeals to you? 

Scotland has fascinated me for as long as I’ve known it existed. My ancestors on both sides came from Scotland, the first ones in the mid-to late 18th century. They settled in New York, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, then Arkansas, the Northwest Territory, and Missouri, and later moved west to California. One great-great-great grandfather, Judge Andrew Scott, was the first “Supreme” Court justice in Arkansas. His brother was the first senator from Missouri and named the state of Arkansas…oh, and in a fit of nepotism, appointed his younger brother the first judge for the “Post of Arkansas,” which is pretty much all there was then. Judge Andrew served a number of terms, fought and won at least two duels (one of them against another judge over a card game), and lived a wonderfully colorful life. I have a copy of a letter that he wrote to his wife then to open in the event of his death. My mother was a Douglas, my father a Scott, and we also have Logans, Jamisons, Fergusons, and a host of other clans in the various lines. My paternal grandfather loved family history and told me stories culled from ours from the time I was small, so writing about Scotland came naturally to me. I began with the 16th century but moved back to the medieval period and am now moving forward again. I’ve written books set in the English Regency and Victorian periods and in Wales, as well as the Scottish Historicals I’m writing now – 57 books to date, plus the just-finished manuscript for The Laird’s Choice, Book 1 in my next trilogy (Forever, Winter 2012). I have a Master’s Degree in History, and my field is Britain with an emphasis on England and Scotland. Most of my Scottish ancestors hail from the Borders (Scott, Douglas, Logan), and the rest are Jamisons from Clan Gunn and Orkney. I tell people I have horse thieves (reivers) hanging from every branch of the family tree.

What are five things you can't live without?

Books, family ties, the mountains, a cat, and open spaces that are safe to walk

Do you have a writing process? Do you have to listen to music, have complete silence, write only on a full moon?

I definitely don’t wait for a full moon. I write every day, often all day, and at the end of a book usually into the wee hours. In summers, I write in a cabin in the High Sierras with no land-line, no Web, no road, no sewer, and no electricity. The most efficient way to reach it is by water. I do have a solar panel there for the computer and a good deal of company from jays, squirrels, and the occasional neighbor who drops in for a sip of something (or I drop in on one of them). I love it there. I do have a family, and the rest of the year, I have an office in my home, and yes, it has music available when I want it. However, I do best when I can concentrate, and then I turn into a hermit and evict even the cat (or especially the cat, since he likes to edit what I write whenever I turn my back for a moment or two). Also, I’m very organized in the way I approach a book. I do detailed outlines before I begin to write, although I usually know what the first chapter will be before I finish the outline, and I’ll write that, so they can use it as a teaser chapter in whatever book I’ve just finished.

What are you reading right now?

I’m never reading just one book. At the moment I’m reading Full Black by Brad Thor, Only Yours by Susan Mallery, Photoshop Elements 10 for Dummies, and a history of Clan Colquhoun by an author whose name I don’t recall offhand.

Who is your favourite author and what is it about their work that resonates with you?

I don’t have a favorite author. I read constantly, voraciously, probably four or five books a week if you count research. I read everything, from political, legal, and medical thrillers to romance, mysteries, science fiction, and more literary books, even plays and poetry, as well as Scottish history. Some of my favorite authors are Jan Westcott, Lee Child, Brad Thor, Roberta Gellis, Janet Evanovich, Tess Gerritson, Emily Dickenson, Stephen J Cannell, Alex Kava, Sir Walter Scott, Charles Dickens, James Grippando, Jane Austen, Vince Flynn, John Sandford, Lisa Scottoline, Stuart Woods, Kate Wilhelm, Thomas Perry, Steve Berry, Dana Stabenow, Robert Crais, Harlan Coben, Robert B. Parker, Daniel Silva, Elizabeth Peters, Greg Iles, Kay Hooper, Catherine Coulter, Deborah Crombie, John Nance…I could go on, but these are the first ones that come to mind, so you probably get the idea.

What's up next for Amanda Scott? What should readers be looking out for?

That would be the third and last book in my Scottish Knights trilogy, the aforementioned Highland Lover [Forever April 2012]. Its hero is Sir Jacob “Jake” Maxwell, who appeared as a boy in King of Storms, much of which takes place on a ship that the then eight-year-old Jake’s father captains until the hero “borrows” it with Jake and his father aboard. [Forever, August 2007]. Now grown, Jake is a knight of the realm and captain of his own galley, the Sea Wolf. To introduce a fictional secondary character from an earlier series as the hero of a new one is a first for me. But Jake’s background eminently qualified him to become a member of the St. Andrews brotherhood established (fictionally) by Bishop Walter Traill, which connects the 3 heroes in the trilogy.

My next trilogy, Lairds of the Loch, is in the works, too. The first book, The Laird’s Choice, is already finished, as I also mentioned above, and I’m currently working on Book 2. The three books in that trilogy will have heroes from clans on or near Loch Lomond, an area that connects the Highland with the Lowlands. Most clans there, but not all, are considered Highland clans.

The loch’s north and west banks are Highland, its south and southeastern areas generally Lowland. But clans in the latter areas often controlled lands on Highland shores too. The heroine of Book 1, Lady Andrena MacFarlan, is based on the Roman warrior-huntress Camilla who was close to Diana, Roman goddess of the hunt. Andrena also has a few extraordinary skills of her own. She can “read” people’s emotions and demeanors with extraordinary accuracy—people, that is, except for the hero, Magnus Mòr Galbraith (“Mag), who is a veritable giant and warrior with a mind of his own. Andrena’s father, Andrew Dubh MacFarlan, is trying to win back land stolen from him by a villainous cousin. Meantime, the lone estate that he still holds, Tùr Meiloach, (meaning “small tower guarded by giants”) does seem to be guarded by particularly fierce birds and beasts as well as aggressively treacherous landscape. The three sisters share an emotional bond so strong that each knows when one of the others is in trouble. To win back his lands, Andrew Dubh wants to marry his daughters to warriors from powerful clans, who will help him defeat his cousin. Meantime, the villains are plotting to bring down the King of Scots, who has recently returned from nineteen years of English captivity.

As book 1 opens, Andrena realizes that intruders have trespassed onto her family’s land and goes out into the woods beyond the tower walls to investigate, keeping herself well concealed. Meantime, the unarmed, nearly exhausted Mag is escaping from three of the villains, so…

Highland Lover will come out in April (which in publisher-speak means near the end of March), so look for its first chapter on my website in the next week or two.

The Laird’s Choice (Book 1 of Lairds of the Loch) will be out in the late fall, 2012, or early winter.

Can't wait! Thanks for chatting with us!

Amanda is graciously giving away THREE winners their choice from HIGHLAND HERO OR HIGHLAND LOVER (will be released in April).

To enter, please:
1. Be a follower
2. Fill out the form below

Mind Spill: Leap Year, Women Take Control!

Leap Year: Women take Control!

Every four years we have to slow ourselves down and add an extra day to our calendar so we can get ourselves back in line with Mother Nature.The 29th of February, our leap day though is more then just an extra day in our diaries, it has been a tradition for hundreds of years for women in the British Isles to take control and reverse the usual roles, get down on bended knee to propose marriage to her man. If the man dare refuses her a fine can be levied from a kiss to a new silk dress.

We think this is a fabulous tradition (especially the silk dress part) and has us thinking of all those spunky heroines that have gone out and chased what they wanted rather then waiting for her hero to come rescue her. Be it grabbing a first kiss like Cally from Nine Rules to Break when Romancing a Rake to Evie from The Devil in Winter who has a proposition for one of our favourite rakes Sebastian St. Vincent. As much as we love our heroes to come on their white horses, sexy motorbikes and black escalades, sometimes a heroine has got to get some seducing done herself!

Other books that we have loved where the heroine goes and gets her man:

What books have you loved where the heroine takes control? 

Review: The Wicked House of Rohan by Anne Stuart

The Wicked House of Rohan
by Anne Stuart
(House of Rohan Prequel)

Wow! I admit to reading this prequel after I had already read the four books that have been published in this series. *Read between the lines = I hope that there are more books to come in this series*

The Heavenly Host is just an idea. A group of horny and worthless men that have made a group with the idea of having all kinds of kinky fuckery and sacrifices and rituals.

One of them is the gorgeous male specimen, Alistair Rohan.

They bring to his home the first sacrificial lamb to their festivities. Yes, I mean a woman. One down on her luck at the moment who thought she was getting a job not being used for sex. They are in Venice, she needs money to return home to England.

But Kathleen Strong is shocked to find Alistair there. Her brother's friend and childhood crush. And now she's been offered to him to have sex with?

I thought this story was very well written. As usual with this series (and if you read this in order, like you should, you wouldn't know) it's a bit dark and gritty and maybe not your typical declaration of love eternal from the first page. And that's one of the things I love about this author.

However, the story was a bit short, even though satisfying, I wanted more! 

Purchase Links: Amazon

Review: A Perfect Blood by Kim Harrison

A Perfect Blood
by Kim Harrison
(The Hollows # 10)

Every year seems like the wait gets longer for these books.  After the massive success of Pale Demon (at least with me) I couldn't wait to get my paws on this baby.  I was literally giddy when it was released and made sure to clear my schedule to read it.  But then after I started it, that enthusiasm seemed to fade a bit.  Why?  Not that it was bad but the first half of the book was very slow and didn't have any of the elements that I've come to love.

Don't get me wrong, I actually like Rachel.  But a Hollows book without either Trent or Al, and a good amount of Jenks is just not as entertaining.  As much as I want to like just Rachel.  She starts off without her powers because she is still wearing the charm Trent gave her.  So this actually makes her quite useless.  She is called in to assist in an investigation where a human group is trying to exterminate the supernatural population by kidnapping (and killing) people that are carriers for the Rosewood syndrome.

But Rachel, as a carrier AND officially a demon, is the perfect target for HAPA.  They are trying to make demons to use their blood, Rachel is already one.  Of course, the fact that she can't tap into her powers leads her to being captured and used.  And this is where she sees the light!  And this is where it all gets better.

A few things I absolutely loved about this book.   

Jenks.  I love that little pixie, I wish I could take him home with me and have him following me around!  He's still always there for Rachel, calls her on her shit, and would risk anything for her and the mission.  That aside from having some really funny one-liners, especially all his new and improved Tinkerbell comments!   

Trent.  Ohhh please Ms Harrison put me out of my misery!  This book was oooooooozing Trent/Rachel chemistry.  They are so perfect for each other.  I have been on that bandwagon from book one when Trent turned Rachel into a rat and put her in a cage.  Yes, call me crazy, but I knew then that I wanted these two together.  And it's all coming together finally.  But I don't know if I can handle one more book of all this chemistry and sexual tension and innuendos without some action.  I should've counted how many times Rachel thought about their kiss in this book.  Nevertheless, we see a side of Trent that I can't wait to see more of.  Businessman aside, he's just as adventurous as Rachel!

Kisten.   Even though he's obviously not in the book he was brought up so many times I could actually start tearing up!

Al.  I missed him so much in this book.  He barely makes an appearance, but my favorite part has to be when he's changing his appearance to act silly for the girls.  Who would've thought Al could actually be cute around kids!

The group dynamic is changing.  Rachel is more and more comfortable with the fact that she's a demon, she does curses, she does black magic.  It is powerful, and it's her responsibility to protect that power.  I am anxious to see where the next book takes us.  However, I do hope there is an end to this series in sight.  Even though I love it, I don't want this all to get dragged along.  *sigh*  Now another year-long wait ahead of us!

Favorite quotes:
“Some nasty bitch of a woman from the coven of moral and ethical standards tried to fry Rache" the pixy said apparently proud of it. "I pixed the Tink-blasted dildo, and Rache's black-arts boyfriend blew her right out the front door. Bam!” 

“Oh, I'm sorry. Did I interrupt some sort of dominance foreplay?”
"Tink loves a duck. What have you been doing? Sitting on your thumb and spinning?" 

Purchase Links: Amazon

February 2012 Monthly Wrap Up

Many thanks to those of you who visited us during the month of February! Thank you for making A SCANDALOUS AFFAIR  a hit!

We would like to thank the many historical romance authors who participated in A SCANDALOUS AFFAIR:
Donna Grant
Carrie Lofty
Shelley Bradley aka Shayla Black
Laura Hunsaker
Jennifer Haymore
Elizabeth Amber
Vicky Drieling
Shiloh Walker
Laura Lee Guhrke
Isobel Carr
Courtney Milan
Colleen Gleason
Ashley March
Pamela Clare
Amanda Scott

Reading on the Dark Side:
In case you missed it, you can see our casting for Lisa Kleypas' Wallflowers series here.

Battle of the Covers: Most Cheesiest Cover!
This month we did something a little different and ask you guys to pick your favourite cheesy romance novel covers...

And the winner of that is...

Blog Hops:
This month we hosted two blog hops! Thank you to all the blogs who participated and Lisa's Divas for hosting with us!

And The Winners Are...

Shiloh Walker Curves and Qs Tour:
Book winner: Karen
Author will be in touch with you directly!

Corsets, Kisses and Kleypas Blog Hop:
Sienny (Smile_1773)

Winners were chosen through random.org.  Emails will be sent shortly.  You will have 72 hours to claim your prize (by just responding to the email you get from us)

Reviews: Guns and Roses Anthology

Guns and Roses
by Lori Armstrong, Allison Brennan, Josie Brown, Toni McGee Causey, Sylvia Day, Laura Griffin, Lorelei James, Sophie Littlefield, Roxanne St. Claire and Karin Tabke

Let me start out by saying that I have not read less than half of the authors in this anthology before picking this up, so I was very excited to get to sample some new authors!  This anthology is more on the mystery side than the romantic suspense, even though there is a romantic undertone to all the stories.  Just don't go in expecting a lot of hot and heavy action.  I'm giving the anthology in general a rating of 3 stars but there were some stories that stood out, which make this anthology 100% worthwhile.  So lets break it down.

Pick Your Poison by Roxanne St. Claire - 3 Stars
The story was cute.  I see it's part of the Bullet Catchers series, which is a security firm basically.  They are hired to serve as bodyguards to a politician but then get fired when they actually do their job on what seems to be a false alarm.  Benjamin Youngblood is the agent that had followed a hunch and lost the client so he gets fired.  In order to get his job back he wants to prove that he was right and keeps digging into the case.  Then he stumbles across Callie Parrish and the pieces start to fall into place, now all he has to do is get the proof.  This was pretty good until the ending then it got a little silly.  But still very entertaining read.

Nightfall by Laura Griffin - 3 Stars
This story was extremely short.  When it comes to stories that short is really hard to form an opinion on how good they are, especially when you don't already know the characters from somewhere else.    Basically Holly is at the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong vehicle.  She is mistaken for a drug trafficking player and crashes her van loaded with flowers that she was supposed to deliver for a wedding.  Now she's in the middle of an investigation and she doesn't even know it.  I had a few eye-rolling moments with this story, especially when she gets rescued by a perfect stranger and when he leaves her alone at his house, she thinks its ok for her to "borrow" his car to make her flower delivery.

Above Reproach by Allison Brennan - 3.5 Stars
Now this story I liked a lot better.  There's a lot less romance and it's a grittier story.  Not all the fluff and humor.  A serial rapist is escalating his game and has now killed his first victim.  Selena Black is the detective that has been after this guy for a while and she KNOWS who it is.  Except he's a highly respected member of the community.  She makes mistakes that can cost them the investigation and her past comes poking its little ugly head as well.  But all I could think of after I finished this story was that I wouldn't mind reading more about her and her surgeon boyfriend, Gabriel, because he seems dangerous and dirty, and I would love to know what happens next!

Dead Flowers by Lori Armstrong - 4.5 Stars
I am kicking myself in the butt right now for not starting to read the Julie Collins series sooner.  I have no clue where this short story falls in the timeline but I can say that Julie is my kind of heroine.  Kick ass and headstrong.  I mean, she starts off the story by describing how much she hates Valentine's Day, she can drink and she even watches Myth Busters!  I gotta know more about this PI!  She's struggling with following up on a couple of PI cases where she's dealing with cheaters and drawing comparisons with her own relationship, and thinking her boyfriend is cheating on her.  I kept going back and forth between wanting him to be found guilty so she could get it on with her PI partner, or wanting it all to have a sweet ending.  And I won't tell you which way it goes.  I will be reading the rest of her books hopefully soon because I love Julie!

Blood and Roses by Sylvia Day - 3.5 Stars
This was the hottest story of the bunch, and even though it wasn't very long I think the story was developed very well.  Anastasia goes back to her hometown following up on a lead for her job as an insurance investigator.  See, some major jewels were stolen and she knows her mother was the mastermind behind the heist.  Of course being back in town somehow translated into being back in Jake Monroe's bed.  He's a cop, she comes from a family of thieves.  Even though she mostly tries to do good, sometimes she lets things go.  And this is why she thought they could never work as a couple.  Jake though has no plans of letting her walk out of his life again.

Rebel Rose by Karin Tabke - 3 Stars
I started out this story thinking I would love it.  I have read this author before, in this genre, as short stories, and loved them all.  This one fell a bit flat though.  There's been a murder at a frat house party and Detective Cash Cantrell is called in to investigate.  The murder is very similar to a case years ago.  He only has the victim's friend to help in the investigation.  And he's attracted to her.  Not only there's an age difference, but he's black and she's white.  As much as he wants to fight what's going on between them she is helping with the investigation.  The mystery or suspense was ok but the rest fizzled out for me.

A Punishing Night by Sophie Littlefield - 3 Stars
Going back to college stories, there's a dead body, male in an all female dorm.  Joe Bashir is going back as a detective in the case after having dropped out of this same college a while back.  I was scared there would be another cop-college girl romantic interest in this book so I was happy to see it wasn't.  While Joe is investigating, his knowledge of school rituals from before comes into play, even though he was originally called in due to his heritage and language skills.  Muslim hate crimes rendered Joe's dad pretty much an invalid, affected his own life and now have again shown up in this case.  The romance in this story doesn't even come into play until the end of the story but it was a nice addition.

The Housewife Assassin's Bloody Valentine by Josie Brown - No Rating
I couldn't get into this story and stopped about halfway through.

King of Hearts by Lorelei James - 4 Stars
This is a Rough Riders short story.  A bad day in the life of Cam McKay as a cop.  He's called in to the scene of a murder/suicide on Valentine's Day.  He went to school with the husband.  They seemed like such a happy couple just days before.  Cam has to deal with the parents, the investigation, and the fact that the reason why this all might've happened is because the husband never recovered mentally after coming back from war.  A lot of the issues hit home for Cam.  But at the end of the day when he gets to go home, the love of his family pulls him through.

Bobbie Faye's Whacked-Out, No-Good, Really Sucky, Hot Mess of a Wedding by Toni McGee Causey - 3 Stars
I can just let that title speak for itself! LOL This story was funny and a bit whacky but it was enjoyable if you like your heroines a bit eccentric, who can't go anywhere without a gun, even their own wedding, and who almost everyone is scared of.

*Review copy provided by author

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