Weekly Wrap-Up

This week at Smexy…..

A review – Immortal Craving by Kendra Leigh Castle (paranormal)
A review – An Affair to Dismember by Elise Sax (contemporary)B+ review – How to Misbehave by Ruthie Knox (contemporary novella)
B+ review – That Scandalous Summer by Meredith Duran (historical)
B review – Big Bad Bite by Jessie Lane (paranormal)
B review – Down to Me and Up to You by M. Leighton (contemporary)
C+ review – Holding out for a Hero anthology (paranormal)
C- review – The Temptation of Your Touch by Teresa Medeiros (historical)

A Wicked Peek into the Future with Kit Rocha
Guest Author Heidi Cullinan
Smexy’s Top Ten

News From Mandi: I read and adored Confidence Tricks by Tamara Morgan. It’s about two con artist/thieves and it’s funny and really sexy and I just enjoyed the heck out of it. May also read it and she had some different views so we are going to joint review it . I believe it releases in two weeks.

If You Stay by Courtney Cole has a hero that is an asshole – a pretty well done one. He uses drugs and just could care less about life….until he meets the heroine. He decides to change, or at least try to change. This book has a very strong first half. It’s gritty and the author holds nothing back. Not sure I loved some things in the second half…but this author has a nice voice. I’ll be reviewing it soon.

I got a peek at Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs and I really enjoyed this one. The last couple have been boring and slow to me, but this one brings back what I like about this series. And – we get two full chapters of Adam’s point of view. That right there is exciting. We get lots of Ben and Kyle in this one too. It’s good. Reviewing coming early next month.

Beer and Groping in Las Vegas by Angela Quarles is about two people who go on a blind date that is set up by a djinn. It had cute moments but I wanted them to be more suspicious of this djinn person, It’s only 40 some pages and I think it needed more time to unfold. Review coming soon.

Game for Marriage by Karen Erickson features a football hero, but unfortunately the set-up – he must marry to save his reputation or he will be kicked off the team, made me roll my eyes. And the heroine who pretend marries him made me roll my eyes too. I wasn’t a huge fan of this one. Review coming soon.

I really didn’t like A Duke Never Yields by Juliana Grey either. It had a paranormal aspect – what what? And the end was just horrible. It made me really frustrated. I’ll be reviewing this coming soon too.

News From Helyce: Just when I thought nothing could get worse, after a particularly horrendous week, I got off the train after work working late last night, got in my car and attempted to start it. Nothing. I mean nada…not even click click click…yup dead battery. I had to wait nearly 40 minutes for my husband to rescue me. Yup, all my Friday Night plan out the window. I came home, chugged two glasses of Chardonnay, and went to bed. Yea, I’m a wild woman!

As for reading, in anticipation of all things Nalini Singh, and to get caught up on some of her past releases,  I finally read Archangel’s Storm last week. I simply loved it! Jason has been one of those characters, always there, but like he’s depicted in the book, just a slight shadow. I also thought Mahiya was perfect mate for him. I think I would have liked a bit more from Jason…yes he’s that calm cool and collected type of guy, but I’d have like a bit more insight to his youth, especially when he first arrived at the Refuge after the tragedy of his childhood. I loved the twist at the end and can’t wait to see what comes of it. Because I wasn’t satisfied in the least, because one always wants more Nalini at the end of a story, I picked up Angel’s Flight from my TBR. These four shorts, a couple I had read before in other anthologies, were very enjoyable. My favorite of them was the final story, Angels’ Dance, which featured Galen and Jessemy and took place 400 years in the past, not long after Raphael had been made Cadre. I loved seeing glimpses of some of Raphael’s 7 before they were truly the 7-A young Aodhan and Jason, Dmitri and of course the beautiful Illium. Galen and Jessamy were a delight as Jessamy overcomes her shyness because of her damaged wing and allows Galen to give her not only the gift of flight, but love. So beautifully done.

For review, I read Caleb by Emma Lang. This is book three in Ms. Lang’s Circle 8 series featuring the Graham family and their trials and tribulations as they navigate life on the ranch following the horrific death of their parents. This installment takes place several years after the last book and features Caleb who has moved off the ranch and is now a Texas Ranger. When he’s sent to remove a squatter from some land that had reverted to the Republic of Texas, he was in no way prepared for the woman he meets.  This one started off a bit slow for me, but once Caleb and Rory meet-craziness ensues as these two battle each other in a humorous way. Then things get serious and one of the story lines set up in book one comes into play once again.

I read two m/m romances that were pretty good. First, I picked up Something New Under the Sun by L.A. Witt. This story came highly recommended by Ann at UTC Book Blog and though I usually shy away from m/m stories with a paranormal flair, I couldn’t resist reading this after she told me about it.  I enjoyed it. The world is futuristic while feeling a bit post apocolyptic at the same time. But I loved the characters and the science fiction based story was very cool. Review to come. After that I read Dirty Laundry by Heidi Cullinan. I haven’t read much of Ms. Cullinan’s book, but what I’ve read I’ve devoured and loved. I enjoyed this one too, but had to get over a few bdsm related issues I had with the story. In the end, I did come to love Adam and Denver-that review should be up soon too.

Lastly, I read an arc of Wolf Nip by Vivian Arend. I simply love her shifters and this short is no exception. From her Granite Lake Wolves series, we get the story of Tessa and Mark who we met in the previous book. In this one, we get a wolf and cat pairing that is really well done in just a little over 100 pages. I loved it. Review to come.

As for my weekend reading, I’m not sure yet. I’ve started Blood Oranges by Caitlin R. Kiernan, but I’m really struggling with it’s first person prose. I feel like I’m being yelled it and I’m only a few pages in. Not sure how it’s going to go. I’d like to read the new Charlotte Stein, but we’ll see how it goes.  And on Sunday, I will be watching the San Francisco 49ers bloody the Ravens. (I love you Mandi!)

Tori’s News: One Last Chance by Shelby Gates is a romance contemporary about second chances. A short, fast read though heroine annoys.

Pole Dance by J.A. Hornbuckle is coined a romantic suspense though it failed on that level. Very similar to Kristen Ashley’s Sweet Dreams and Knight. Enjoyable.

Kristan Higgins The Best Man starts off her new Blue Heron series with tons of laughs and an enjoyable small town romance.

Love and Relatively by Rachael Wade is a new adult romance. An emotional, angst filled romance with a coming of age feel. Fast read but the drama wears on you.

Raspberry Crush by Jill Winters by is a cute second chance romantic contemporary. Enjoyable H/H but the minor mystery drags the story down.

L. Marie. Adeline’s erotic contemporary, S.E.C.R.E.T., is a novel about female empowerment and coming into your own. This is NOT a romance and readers will be surprised by the bold moves Ms. Adeline makes. Review to come.

A Whisper To Scream by Lauren Hammond is a YA romance about a sociopathic high schooler finding love. An interesting premise that develops well with personable characters. Ignore the cover.

Aaron by J.P. Barnaby is a heartbreaking m/m about a young man who is struggling to regain his life after a violent and brutal attack. Well plotted with a commendable realistic cast and some truly heartbreaking scenes.

Ethan, Who Loved Carter by Ryan Loveless is a sweet m/m where two men with different disabilities struggle to have a relationship amongst the turmoil of everyday life. You will cry. That is all.

Cloud Walking by A. Meredith Walters is a sweet, romantic novella that gives us Daniel and Rachel POV from Find You In The Dark.

I am currently reading Chloe Neill’s House Rules and Birthdays For The Dead by Stuart MacBride.


  1. Helyce says

    Hey Tori, I really the book Aaron too. So emotional and the characters so perfect for each other. I’ve not been able to get into her Lost Boy series, but this one was great.

    I use enjoy a lot too…We should construct a list of appropriate words to describe our reading material and make sure we vary their use.


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