Thursday, April 28, 2011

Review: Kissed From Beyond (anthology)

Kissed From Beyond by Keta Diablo, Amber Scott, Elise Hepner, and Stacey Kennedy

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to travel back in time, communicate with a lost loved one, find your own genie in a bottle, or talk to a real ghost? If you answered yes to any of these examples, then keep reading!

Kissed From Beyond is an anthology of four sizzling paranormal stories that evolve from one common thread: an antique shop run by Mrs. Higgins. This sweet, little old lady knows every antique in the shop has a story, and she loves matching the right object with the right person.

Cradle of Dreams, A Love Soul Deep, One More Rub, and ‘Til We Meet Again are all different stories, each capturing the reader’s attention by the author’s unique voice and imaginative storyline.

Whether our heroine is traveling back through time to right a wrong from the past, reuniting with the love of her life years after his death, discovering she’s been granted three wishes from a very naughty genie, or communicating with a lost soul and granting him his greatest wish, the emotional connections these heroines make will tug your heartstrings. The amazing, mind-blowing sexual connections will set your pulse racing and your temperature skyrocketing!

Choosing my favorite story was tough. I really liked One Rub More, but I have to say, I loved A Love Soul Deep. When two people love each other so deeply the strength of that bond carries into the hereinafter, there’s no doubt this couple are soul mates.  I experienced Sara’s longing, yearning, and agony of separation. When Crew reappeared in her life, my heart cheered at their reunion. When he made love to her with such fierce devotion, I expected their hot, steamy passion to set off the fire alarm in my house! When Crew burned his memory into her, leaving her part of himself, my soul sighed with completion.

I don’t usually read anthologies. I like time to learn about characters and warm up to them. Kissed From Beyond told me everything I needed to know about these wonderful heroes and heroines—and I warmed up to them in a hurry. If you read this anthology, I bet you will, too!

Rating:  4 Stars

This review originally written for The Romance Reviews.

Direct Link:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Not The Luck of The Irish!

Dear Karma Gods,

I give. You win.

The last 30 days have been the most physically painful, frustrating, and irritating I've ever suffered. In case you've forgotten the list of punishing incidents you imposed, let me remind you in the hopes you'll decide I've paid my dues for whatever transgression I committed and move on.

1.   Developed excruciating pain in my right shoulder. (Thought it was dislocated.) Could not move my right arm for two weeks. Diagnosis: Tendonitis in my shoulder. Treatment: Sit on couch and take lots of Rx drugs and drool.
2.   Every USB port on laptop stopped working (in the middle of edits, I might add).
3.   Video driver on laptop disappeared (in the middle of edits I might add).
4.   Steno machine stopped working (made it impossible to perform day job).
5.   Court Reporting software disappeared (made it impossible to perform day job).
6.   Key Card malfunctioned and door shocked me. Made my hair stand on end and discolored key card (maintenance fixed door later).
7.   Car blinker bulb burned out.
8.   Car brake light burned out after fixing blinker light between auto supply store parking lot and work
parking lot.

Being a generally optimistic person, I don't complain often. So this run of bad luck is highly unusual. (Really?: The delete button on my keyboard just stopped working. *sigh*) Since I have no idea how I incurred the Karma Gods' wrath, I'd like to ask a favor. This bad-luck run seems like it might last awhile, so how about a letter of recommendation?

With my recent history, I'm sure I could get hired on as a chiller at any of the local casinos. After the money I've put out in repair costs this last month, I need a second job. So how 'bout it? Of course, you could give me a break and pick on some other poor schmuck. That idea gets my vote!

Either way, I'm still holding my chin up and looking straight ahead...I'm not going down without a fight!  =D

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Review of Hunter's Moon by FE Heaton

The past, sometimes defined as "time gone by" or the "history of what went before," is something everyone has experienced. For some, however, the scars left from a long ago event last longer than others.

Nicolae is just such a person. He's retreated to a small town in the wilderness of Canada to live in peace and escape the haunting memories of his brutal captivity as a compound werewolf in Europe a century ago.

Many years of patience has earned Nicolae a place of trust among the local timber wolf pack, and he enjoys running across the mountainsides with his fellow animal brethren. During his latest sprint under the moonlight, Nicolae encounters an unusual group of hunters in the wolves' territory.

He scents blood and tracks the hunters' wounded prey. After finding an injured woman, he's startled to discover she's actually a vampire—the species responsible for his own personal nightmares. Though he considers leaving her to die and thereby quenching his thirst for revenge, he saves the vampire to protect the wolves. If humans find any mauled remains, they'll come after the wolves and exterminate them.

Nicolae's decision to help the vampire Tatyana complicates his life. The wolf pack is angered at losing the vampire prey as food, the local werewolf pack feels betrayed because Nicolae's chosen to protect a vampire, and Nicolae's own traitorous heart keeps forgetting Tatyana is a vampire—someone the Law Keepers and his conscience say he should never become attached to. Breaking that law means death.

Talk about your problematic conflict!

The plot for HUNTER'S MOON hits the forest floor running and never lets up. A group of soldiers with an ulterior motive, a werewolf pack bent on protecting their own, and enough romantic sparks to light up the night like the 4th of July keep the reader chasing each twist and turn.

So, let's talk about the characters. Tatyana is such a likeable vampire, with her desire to help others and her very human vulnerability of wanting to be liked. And then there's Nicolae. I love shifters—especially the dark and brooding type. There's just something sexy about an alpha male that loves a woman to distraction, despite his own animal instincts!

Want an action-packed adventure filled with romance? Read HUNTER'S MOON.

Rating: 4 Stars

Review originally written for The Romance Reviews

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Review: Shadow of Guilt by Michael Davis

Are most incidents in our lives random coincidences or do things happen for a reason?
Intersecting paths have Sean Paterson and Detective Christine Sheppy asking themselves this very question.

The book opens with a teenage girl, struggling to survive in a big city. She is running from a dangerous man, trying to protect her young daughter, and looking for the one person who can keep her safe. After months of searching with no luck, one night her past catches up with her.

Sean Paterson rescues a young woman being assaulted, but before he can rush her to the hospital, she extracts a promise from him: protect her daughter. Don’t let them take her. The young girl dies, and Sean vows to keep his pledge. His struggle to uncover the mystery surrounding the girl’s existence brings his own difficult childhood memories to the surface.

Detective Christine Sheppy is called in to investigate a young girl’s murder.  She is temporarily paired with Agent Sean Paterson, and they discover a mutual attraction. Together, they search for information about the girl’s life before her tragic death. Pursuing the truth uncovers connections that force each of them to face the ghosts of their past or destroy their chance for a deep and lasting relationship.

Though some of Sean Paterson’s dialogue felt outdated and somewhat sermonized, I liked his character. He was a man of integrity and wanted to make the world a better place. Confidence and inner strength are sometimes hard-won traits, and Sean definitely earned his. Christine Sheppy portrayed a strong woman that worked hard to have a successful career in a male-dominated environment. The conflict seemed a bit stereotypical but not unheard of, and I admired her spirit and cheered her on.

The plot for Shadow of Guilt came together in a very satisfying way. A tragic death at the beginning will touch your heart and keep you turning the pages to discover who could commit such a crime. The investigation of this murder will have you asking your own questions as the characters follow clues that lead to strands of a larger web of deceit. When the final answers come to light, strong family connections and love provide a foundation for burying the past and looking toward the future.

If you’re looking for an enjoyable read filled with suspense, romance, and a testament to the strength of the human spirit, Shadow of Guilt is the book for you.

Rating:  3 Stars

This review originally written for The Romance Reviews.