Review: The Salisbury Key by Harper Fox

Can love repair a shattered life in time to save the world?

Daniel Logan is on a lonely quest to find out what drove his lover, a wealthy, respected archaeologist, to take his own life. The answer—the elusive “key” for which Jason was desperately searching—lies somewhere on a dangerous and deadly section of Salisbury Plain.

The only way to gain access, though, is to allow an army explosives expert to help him navigate the bomb-riddled military zone. A man he met once more than three years ago, who is even more serious and enigmatic than before.

Lieutenant Rayne has better things to do than risk his life protecting a scientist on an apparent suicide mission. Like get back to Iraq and prove he will never again miss another roadside bomb. Yet as he helps Dan uncover the truth, an attraction neither man is in the mood for springs up against their will. And stirs up the nervous attention of powerfully placed people—military and academic alike.

First in conflict, then in passion, Rayne and Dan are drawn together in a relationship as rocky and complicated as the ancient land they search. Where every step leads them closer to a terrible legacy written in death…

Daniel is a post grad in love with his tutor. His tutor, Jason, is thirty years older than he but he doesn’t care he wants him no matter what. Daniel gets his wish and not only do they make love but they become partners for the next three years…until Jason kills himself.

Daniel is devastated at the loss and doesn’t deal with it well; at first believing that Jason is just away on a trip and then by ignoring the situation. A helper from an unlikely source finally gets Daniels butt in gear and makes him face facts and plan Jason’s funeral.

You see one thing that Jason had always longed for was to be able to dig (as he was an archaeologist) on the Salisbury Plain. He believed that it held “the key” to a discovery that would change thoughts about past civilizations in the past. Not long after Jason dies Daniel gets access to this Plain. Knowing how much it meant to his lover Daniel goes ahead with what Jason would have wanted. He is assigned Lt. Rayne who is a demolition expert to help him in the Plain because there are mines that have not been set off. After some time together and a near death explosion, Rayne is the one that shows at Daniels house and forces him to face facts. But while he’s there the two end up having sex.

Daniel is disgusted with himself and with Rayne. It certainly doesn’t stop him from seeing Rayne again, despite the disgust and disappointment that is pointed his way from his co-workers. With a map that Daniel receives from Jason’s solicitor he and Rayne try to discover what Jason was hiding from his past and what he was now trying to tell him from the grave.

I gotta admit that as much as I liked this book I really had a hard time with it. First of all I really didn’t care for Jason all that much. I think he truly loved Daniel but was controlling in a way that very much bothered me. The fact that Daniel allowed himself to be somewhat molded really didn’t endear him to me much either. I fully understood Daniel’s devastation at Jason’s death but yet…he let Rayne into his life so quickly that it really threw me. Of course Rayne was so good for Daniel and their relationship so sweet that I had a hard time keeping up my ire.

The mystery portion of the book was a bit too easily solved but it was definitely interesting to read. The fact that the mystery brought Rayne and his brother closer together made me happy was done quite well. I loved see the family reunion.

So how do I rate this? I don’t have a clue! I didn’t doubt that Daniel loved Jason but I didn’t see them together for forever. I think I would have liked to have seen the sexual part of Daniel and Rayne’s relationship wait a bit longer but then the story wouldn’t have worked quite the same way, would it have?

IDK – I’m torn.

Though I didn’t care for all parts or characters in the story it made me think about it long after I finished the book…and that’s always a good thing. I really liked Fox’s writing (both in this book and in the one other novella I’ve read of hers) and that amps up the rating as well. I think I’m going to have to go with a “very good” on this one and call it a day. I think you should read it and make your own decisions – let me know what you think after you finish. 

Rating: 4 out of 5

What I Read Last Week


How are you this fine Monday? I’m doing well. It’s been hot like the sun here this past week (it’s gotten as high as 111 F) and it doesn’t look like there’s an end to it so I’m just trying to stay indoors as much as possible.

The kids had a good week as school and they both like their teachers and their classes which is a bonus! Hopefully the teacher love will continue! lol

I still didn’t get a picture of my oldest – she’s always in such a hurry in the mornings that she can’t be bothered to stand still for two second so that dear old mom can click. Soon – I swear I’ll tie her down if I have too. lol
Update: I finally got her picture this morning. You can tell how thrilled she was! lol  
The fam headed to a friends house for a get together this weekend. Judy used to live a few houses down from me for years but then moved to Iowa. She stayed there a year or so and when she moved back she moved about 2 hours away. Much closer than Iowa but still not as close as on the same street! I’ve hardly seen her since she’s been back, which sucks. We went and had a great time on Saturday night. Where she lives is considered living in the country but it’s gorgeous there. Rolling hills and open land and it was lovely. We were on her back deck when we got to see a mama deer and her 2 babies. We went for a walk about an hour or so after I took the picture and we ended up seeing the whole family – mama, daddy and 4 babies – so pretty!  The whole family had a great time and hopefully we'll head there again soon.

I read a bit this week. I’m really behind on my netgalley and Book Binge reading and need to get my butt in gear. There are just too many distractions! lol Also, I know the month isn’t over yet but I realized that I’ve only bought 3 books the whole month and I spent very little money – one book was .99, one was 1.99 and the other 5.95 – bargain! Yay me! I’ve really been trying to read from my TBR and get those books read – it’s not easy holding myself back lol.

So what did I read?

First for the week was One Night in London: The Truth About the Duke by Caroline Linden. This was (kind of) an attached book to the novella I Love the Earl. The story is about a 3rd son who has stood by his father’s side through thick and thin – even when his two older brothers were off doing their own thing. The brothers find out after their father’s death that he may have been a polygamist. He was married before and never actually got a divorce – so will the sons inherit and will Edward’s oldest brother really become a Duke? That’s what starts the story off but not really the whole focus of the book. The focus is on Edward as he tries to quell the horrible (yet true) rumors going around London and helping a woman try to find her niece who has disappeared. I liked the romance quite a lot but I have to say that I was disappointed in not getting more info about the Duke and what exactly happened. So yes, some the truth about the Duke comes out, but not all. It was a cute book and I’ll read the next when it’s released to see if the truth comes out in that book…but I have a feeling we’ll have to wait until book 3 to discover it. 3 out of 5

Next was Jennifer’s Garden by Dianne Venetta. The story about a woman who is trying to get married before her mother dies and is creating a beautiful garden to get married in. But she finds herself doubting her decision to marry Aurelio when she starts falling for the Landscape architect, Jackson. You can read my review here. 3 out of 5

Changeling Moon by Dani Harper was a book I read for the Book Binge. It’s about Connor Macleod who is a changeling aka shapeshifter who is a vet in Alberta, Canada. He ends up saving Zoey’s life one night when she is attacked by a rabid changeling. The story is about their romance as well as keeping Zoey from harm when the wolf comes back to finish what he started. 3 out of 5

Changeling Dream by Dani Harper is the next book in the Changeling series. This book was about James Macleod who survived the shooting that killed his pregnant wife. He turns to a wolf and stays that way for 30 years. Now he’s back in Alberta and learning how to be a human again – but he’s only doing it because he’s so drawn to his brother Connor’s new Vet that he has on staff. He tries to stay away so that he doesn’t put her in danger but eventually the pair come together. I liked this book much more than book one. I love scarred heroes (emotionally scarred) and this one was good. The pair was apart for a lot of the book but it was still really good. 4 out of 5 (also read for The Book Binge)  
Am I the only one that was freaked out by this cover? I thought at first that the woman was turning herself inside out until I realized that she just had her necklace hanging down her back! lol Freaky!

Annabelle, the American by Lavinia Kent was my next read. This is book 3 in the Real Duchesses of London series and I’m loving it. The newest cartoon comes out and shows Annabelle’s husband, Thomas, standing with a second family. The story has Thomas revealing secrets and the couple falling in love. The novella’s in this series are all connected so I recommend starting with book 1. This story, like the others had a great little romance in it and it was a great read. 4 out of 5

My Tracy’s TBR Challenge read for the week was Betweens Sinners and Saints by Marie Sexton. This story was about a bartender who had worked at the same place for 10 years. The work included bartending but it also allowed the bartenders to have sex trysts in the back storage room. Levi loved his work and the fact that he was satisfied sexually so many times a weekend. His family HATES his job and his sexual exploits and aren’t afraid to let him know. Levi grew up Mormon and though he loves his family he hates meeting for holidays as they seem to attack him every time. The thought is that they understand that he’s gay but they want him to live a celibate life as acting on his sexual urges is a sin. Levi meets Jaime when he goes for a massage to help a muscle problem he’s been having. Jaime was sexually abused as a child and can’t even stand to be touched. The story revolves around Levi and Jaime falling in love, Jaime coming to terms with his past and also falling in love and Levi’s family pseudo acceptance of Levi’s relationship with Jaime. It was a great book! I really hated the way that Levi’s family treated his homosexuality but it was understandable given their Mormon upbringing. The romance with Levi and Jaime was slow and steady and in my mind that’s exactly how it should have been given Jaime’s past. I definitely recommend this one. 4.5 out of 5

Wild & Steamy by Meljean Brook, Jill Myles and Carolyn Crane was my last read of the week.
Meljean’s story, The Blushing Bounder, was set in the steampunk world of her Iron Seas novels. This was Edward Newberry’s story (you’ll remember he was Mina Wentworth’s constable assistant) and was about him and his wife, who hates him. It takes a murder outside the couple’s flat to get the two together. As usual Meljean’s world was awesome and the romance was good too.
Vixen was Jill Myles’s story about a were-fox who is being protected from hunters by two cat shifters. Miko wants them both but doesn’t want to choose between them. The men, Jeremiah and Sam have no problem working together however. The story was cute – more a happy for now than a true HEA.
Kitten-tiger and the Monk by Carolyn Crane was a story set in her Disillusionist world. Sophia is searching for the Monk so that he can zing her and disillusion her and save her from herself. She can erase peoples memory (only going back a day) and when searching for the Monk runs into her old love who she betrayed and abandoned. The pair have many issues but they still love each other and decide to stay together. Sophia and Robert were messed up, both of them but really they were perfect for each other. Definitely a sign of a good writer when they can make me want an HEA for two people I don’t really care for. lol
The book as a whole 4 out of 5

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:

Happy Reading!

Saturday Song

Here's a fun and very creative video for the song Suddenly I See by KT Tunstall. Enjoy it, I know I do! lol

Review: Jennifer's Garden by Dianne Venetta

In a race against time, cardiologist Jennifer Hamilton is caught between her mother's dying wish and taking the risk of a lifetime with Jackson Montgomery. He's the man hired to complete the landscaping for her new home; the venue for her upcoming wedding. He's everything she never wanted in a man, but his lure pulls strong, putting her career on the line...

Jennifer is getting married to her fiancé Aurelio and she wants nothing more than to get married in a beautiful garden like her parents did. Her mother is dying and she wants to give her this final gift. Unfortunately her backyard is filled with dirt and anthills – not very romantic. She gets a recommendation from a good friend for a fabulous landscaper but when Jackson arrives she’s more than a bit put off by him. You see Jackson had been bartending at her friend’s house just the night before. How can a bartender be any good at landscaping? She’s positive he’s just more of a gardener who mows lawns for a living. She doesn’t need a lowly laborer, she needs the best of the best and Jackson’s unprofessional appearance tells her that he’s not good enough to get the job done the way she wants it. She’s extremely condescending and rude and sends him on his way despite the fact that she’s hard pressed for time in completing the project. You see Jennifer’s mother is dying and she wants her mother to see her get married in her wonderful garden backyard.

Jackson is a pretty easy-going guy but he’s more than a bit pissed at being sent on his way for not being good enough. The lady had sent him on his way without even talking to him about the backyard! His friend Michael who recommended him to Jennifer talks him into doing the job and Michael talks Jennifer into giving Jackson a try.

Jennifer isn’t convinced that he can do the job but decides to go for it since she’s losing time every day. What Jackson does to the backyard and his visions for what the garden will look like are shockingly wonderful. She sees, every time she returns from her cardiology practice, that Jackson has made true headway into turning her backyard into a sanctuary. As the time goes by Jackson and Jennifer become friends and end up talking daily. They become connected in a way that neither of them expected and eventually Jennifer realizes that she can’t marry Aurelio when she’s having these thoughts and feelings about Jackson.

This book was an interesting study in preconceived notions. Jennifer was at first and really throughout a lot of the book, a snob. She looked down on those who were not as elite as herself although she really didn’t think she was that way. She took one look at Jackson and decided that since he had been bartending there was absolutely no way he could be a good landscaper. It was ridiculous. When she received the drawn renditions of what Jackson would do with the backyard she assumed that he had used some sort of template or that someone else had drawn them because there was no way that Jackson could have done it. Frankly I almost stopped reading at this point. Jennifer was a hard nut to crack and I didn’t like her or her thoughts for a lot of the book. She was very fearful of putting her feelings on the line with Jackson but she ended up growing personally during the book so I’m glad I continued reading.

Jackson was a really great guy. He was a bit of a free spirit and very philosophical about life which was a bit off-putting for me at first but he ended up being my favorite character. We didn’t get to hear much from Jackson – mostly his interactions with Jennifer – but what I saw, I really liked.

The writing in the book was very good and I would definitely read more from this author in the future.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Review: A Solid Core of Alpha by Amy Lane

In an act of heroism and self-sacrifice, Anderson Rawn's sister saved him from the destruction of their tiny mining colony, but her actions condemned the thirteen-year-old to ten years of crushing loneliness on the hyperspace journey to a new home. Using electronics and desperation, Anderson creates a family to keep him company, but family isn't always a blessing.

When Anderson finally arrives, C.J. Poulson greets him with curiosity and awe, because anyone who can survive a holocaust and reinvent holo-science is going to be a legend and right up C.J.'s alley. But the more C.J. investigates how Anderson endured the last ten years, the deeper he is drawn into a truly dangerous fantasy, one that offers the key to Anderson's salvation—and his destruction.

In spite of his best intentions, C.J. can’t resist the terribly seductive Anderson. Their attraction threatens to destroy them, because the heart of a man who can survive the destruction of his people and retain his sense of self holds a solid core of alpha male that will not be denied.

Anderson Rawn and his older sister are exploring the escape shuttles in their small mining colony when a deadly meteor shower hits. His sister goes to help his family but instead of succeeding the only thing that happens is that she remotely activates the shuttle to get him off of the planet. Twelve years old, alone, devastated from the loss of his family and friends and apparently in hyperspace for the next ten years Anderson keeps himself busy by reading everything he can get his hands on. When that’s completed he moves on to the holo-deck where he decides to make some friends, literally. He ends up making himself kind of a new family made up of the holo-friends he has created. He transforms most of the ship into a holo-deck with homes, a school and much, much more. He makes the holograms self-sufficient and semi-sentient – it’s truly amazing.

When Anderson hits the age of 16 the health and hygiene folders are opened on the computers and a whole new world is opened to him and his two closest friends, Kate & Bobby. Kate and Bobby end up being intimately involved but Anderson isn’t interested in Kate…more like Bobby. But Bobby only has eyes for Kate. Anderson is so very lonely and his friends decide to create a companion for him. They have some aborted attempts at the companion but finally come up with Aaron aka Alpha. He seems great at first but after a few years he becomes abusive toward Anderson. Anderson feels that deleting holograms is akin to murder so he keeps Alpha around with the thought that whatever Alpha dishes out, Anderson deserves.

Eleven years pass and the shuttle finally comes to a space station. CJ Poulson, his sister Cassidy and her husband attempt to make Anderson as comfortable as possible but they truly have no idea what the long term effects of all that time in space has done to Anderson’s mind. After watching the tapes of Anderson’s life they start to get to know him better and realize that each hologram is a small part of Anderson himself and the different parts of his personality.

CJ and Cassidy are both amazed and horrified at what Anderson’s life has been like, but this doesn’t stop CJ from seeing the wonderful soul that lies beneath the timid surface of Anderson Rawn. CJ knows that getting involved with Anderson is a horrible idea – probably the worst he’s ever had – but he can’t seem to stop himself from loving Anderson as deeply as he’s ever loved.

When Anderson reaches the breaking point in his mind he’s taken planetside to try and figure out a way to live among other people, deal with the psychological issues he’s having and possible live a normal life…with CJ.

I love Amy Lane’s books. I love her writing, her characters – they all just grab me in some way and they don’t let go. I do not, normally, like sci-fi so when I saw this book come out I have to admit to pausing for a moment before clicking the "yes, I'll take it" button. It had Amy’s name on it so how could I go wrong, right? Right! Sci-fi or not Amy Lane brought it one more time.

This book is incredible. It’s premise is so far from anything I’ve ever read in the romance genre but I really ended up liking the book a whole darned lot.

Anderson – that poor little boy…and eventually that poor man! What he went through watching his colony disintegrate would have been traumatic for anyone but then being in space by himself for over 10 freaking years. I just wanted to crawl through the pages and give him a hug on multiple occasions. The man he becomes is truly a miracle in my opinion. What he lived through on the shuttle and the trauma that he suffered with Alpha would have made anyone else crumble into a little ball and stay that way. Anderson wanted to, that’s for sure, but he had CJ, Cassidy and eventually Jensen (his head shrink) pulling him back to real life and letting him realize that there are people, real people (not holograms), that were there for him and that loved him.  It also says so much about Anderson and his character that he had the strength in himself to recognize the issues and deal with them. 

It wasn’t always easy reading this story because of some of the subject matter but it was oh, so good. Whether you like sci-fi books or not this is definitely one that is not to be missed.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

How cool is this?  Chris from Stumbling Over Chaos is having a giveaway for this exact book!  Go here to enter to win! Contest runs until Sept. 6 at 7pm
Chris is also giving away a copy of Amy Lane's September 2 release, Clear Water, and that contest will run until Sept. 1 at 7:00pm.  Go here to enter.

What I Read Last Week

It’s Back to School time! Can you believe it’s already time for my kids to go back to school? I can’t. Where the heck did the summer go? I have no idea! The kids, however, were rip roaring and ready to go. They don’t like the homework but they wanted to see all their friends and my youngest LOVES going to school – she’s so academic. I love that but wonder where she got that…definitely not from me. lol Here’s my youngest on the first day of school starting 4th grade – ZOMG 4th grade!

She’s so cute!

My oldest started the day after and since we had an ant problem when we woke up that day (no, there was nothing they could get at but there were a damn lot of them nonetheless!) so we had to rush to get her to school and I didn’t take a picture. I know, I suck. I will get one this week though – she’s grown so much and she’s adorable so I have to share. :)

I’m loving my Kindle. Thanks to all who helped with the info from last week, it was extremely helpful. My print books are suffering though. The Kindle’s so fast that I haven’t been reading that many print books and they’re staring forlornly at me whenever I walk into the office at home and I hear them sniffle and whisper *read us, read us, don’t you love us anymore?*. It’s very sad.

Speaking of Kindle’s…a bunch of us in my family all chipped in for my mom’s b-day and bought her a Kindle! I think she likes it – not sure she’s had all that much time to play with it but hopefully she’s loving hers as much as I’m loving mine. :)

This weekend we had what we called a Back to School Bash here at the church and we had a HUGE double slip and slide. The kids absolutely loved it and had such a fun time. Here’s a picture of the slide and then one of my two girls racing each other. Looks like fun! (No I didn’t get in)

On to what I read this past week:

I started off with Second Chance at the Sugar Shack by Candis Terry. I really, really liked this story about a woman coming back to her home town for her mother’s funeral and then staying on to help her father at the family bakery. She left town 10 years earlier without saying a word to anyone and there are many hard feelings between her and her old beau as well as the argument that her and her mother never resolved. This was a great contemporary (with a little bit of ghost thrown in) and I definitely recommend it. You can read my review here. 4.5 out of 5

My Tracy’s TBR Challenge read for the week was Slow Bloom by Anah Crow and Dianne Fox. This m/m novel is the story of Ricky Talbot who is a 18 almost 19 year old boy who is taking care of his neighbor’s lawn for the summer. His neighbor, Jack Corson, and Ricky have a sexual experience one day and they think that’s all it will be until Ricky contacts Jack to help him out when he gets beat up at a bar one night. The two start what ends up being a two year relationship that is sometimes long distance as Ricky returns to college. I was a little perplexed at the age difference in this story at first since Jack is 48 and Ricky is 18 (and since Jack is described as much older it was odd – I swear I thought they were going to say he was 60! lol) Anyway, as the story moves on I had no issue with the age difference. Ricky is extremely intelligent and mature and it helps the relationship work. It’s tender and loving and I really enjoyed the book. 4.25 out of 5

My next read was a short erotic m/m called What’s A Boy to Do by Diane Adams. This is a very cute story about Tyler who has a boyfriend, Jake, but yet is in love with his roommate, Z. Z can’t decide whether he’s gay or not or actually wants to be with Tyler but it doesn’t stop him from sleeping with Tyler whenever he’s between girlfriends. I tried not to let that part bother me as the story was so short. One day Z starts coming on to Tyler when Jake is there and soon all both Z and Jake are having their way with Tyler. It was a short but great sex scene. I would love to read more about all three of these men in a longer format. 4 out of 5

Next up was Scandal of the Year by Olivia Drake. James has been told that the people who he thinks are his cousins are imposters. If they are then he would stand to inherit. He decides to pose as a footman to gain info on the family but instead ends up acting like a prince from a foreign country for the daughter of his cousins so that she can marry a duke. The pair end up falling in love but what happens when James reveals who he is and the reasons he’s there? This was cute but I had some issues with it. Mainly that James playing part upon part was a bit much. I never did see James and Blythe as all that in love and I didn’t care for the end all that much. 3 out of 5 
(read for The Book Binge)

My next read was A Solid Core of Alpha by Amy Lane. I’ll be posting my review this week so keep your eyes open for that.

Short story, Stormchild by Vivian Arend, was also cute. A travelling doctor and the woman he meets and has a passionate night with find that they’re more than compatible. I liked the story but it didn’t really have an end. I can only assume that the story continues in the next book. 3 out of 5

Last on the list was Midnight by Ellen Connor. This is book 2 in the Dark Age series and it was good. I didn’t care for it as much as I did book 1 but it was still very good. This has Chris Welsh from book 1 travelling (approx. 4 years after book 1 ended) when he runs into a settlement called Valle de Bravo which is run by Rosa Cortez. He doesn’t plan on staying but he ends up being the resident doctor. Chris and Rosa tap dance around each other but eventually succumb to their attraction. The problem comes when outsiders come to take over the town and Chris turns out to be someone he never would have dreamed of. And is it just me or does the guy on the cover of this book look like Ryan Seacrest? lol 3.75 out of 5 (read for The Book Binge)

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:

Happy Reading!

Saturday Song

I was reading something this week - an excerpt, I think - and one of the sentences was, "What have I got to do to make him want me?"  Well it's not exactly like the old 1976 Elton John song but the words were close enough to make me think of his song Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word.  Since then I've kind of had the song rolling around in my head so I thought I'd share it today.  Hope you like Elton as much as I do.  Have a great day!

Review: Lord of the Vampires by Gena Showalter

Once upon a time…the Blood Sorcerer vanquished the kingdom of Elden. To save their children, the queen scattered them to safety and the king filled them with a need for vengeance. Only a magical timepiece connects the four royal heirs…and time is running out.

Nicolai the Vampire is renowned for his virility, but in a cruel twist of fate “The Dark Seducer” has become a sex slave in the kingdom of Delfina—stripped of his precious timepiece and his memory. All that remains is a primal need for freedom, revenge—and the only woman who can help him.

When the wanton vampire summons Jane Parker, she is helpless to obey. She's drawn to his dark sexuality and into his magical realm. But for this human, all is not a fairy tale. For saving Nicolai could mean losing the only man she's ever craved...

Our story begins with the small but informative story of the four royal children of Elden. Nicolai, Dayn, Micah and Breena were all sent to safety by their witch mother when the Blood Sorcerer invaded Elden and she lay dying. The father sent a spell to the four children at the same time and infused each one of them with the need for vengeance. Because the spells were sent at the same time, and Nicolai, the hero of this book, was having sex at the time, he ended up at a slave auction in the kingdom of Delfina. The princesses of Delfina knew who he was and cruelly took him to be their own sex slave – suppressing his memories of who he is and where he came from.

Nicolai somehow contacts Jane, a human in an alternate realm and creates a spell for her to come to his realm and free him. He truly believes that he will leave Jane floundering in Delfina if it means his freedom but when it comes down to it he realizes that he cares for Jane and that he cannot leave her.

The pair survive trials and tribulations while trying to be free of the evil of Delfina and in the meantime they fall in love. Nicolai is getting his memories back, thanks to Jane’s blood and he knows he wants her with him always. But Jane was cursed by a vampire a couple of years ago to fall in love and be apart from her love always. How will the pair stay together?

This is the first book in the Royal House of Shadows series and it was an interesting start to the series.  From what I understand each story is a twist on a fairy tale - this one being Alice in Wonderland.

While I liked the bit of background we got on Nicolai I never felt like I got enough. He remembered who he was but the story was focused more on the love story than on the vengeance. Which wasn’t bad – just a little frustrating. I can only assume that the four children will need to come together to seek vengeance on the Blood Sorcerer.

The love story itself was decent. It had the soul mate feel to it and knowing that this is the person you need to be with kind of thing. They both felt the pull so the relationship really had no problem with one pulling away, etc. The couple endured quite a bit in their short time together and that brought them closer together.

Again, while I would have liked more background and more info about what Nicolai did about the Blood Sorcerer I thought it was good introduction to everything. I’m looking forward to reading the next three books in the series - that are all written by different authors.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

The next books will be:
Lord of the Vampires - August 23
Lord of Rage by Jill Monroe - September 20
Lord of the Wolfyn by Jessica Andersen - October 18
Lord of the Abyss by Nalini Singh - November 22

Review: Second Chance at the Sugar Shack by Candis Terry

Kate Silver’s back in town, and her dead mother just won’t leave her alone.

Kate usually spends her days dressing Hollywood A-listers, but after her estranged mother dies she finds herself elbow-deep in flour in her parents’ Deer Lick, Montana. She thought she’d left small-town life far, far behind, but it seems there are a few loose ends.

The boy she once loved, Deputy Matt Ryan, is single and sexy and still has a thing for her...and handcuffs.

Her mother, who won’t follow the white light, is determined to give maternal advice from beyond the grave.

And somehow Kate’s three-day stay has, well...extended. She never planned to fill her mother’s pie-baking shoes—she prefers her Choos, thank you very much. But with the help of a certain man in uniform, Kate quickly learns that sometimes second chances are all the more sweet.

Ten years ago Kate had an argument with her mother that led to tears, name-calling and eventually, Kate leaving home without telling anyone. She’s spent the last 10 years in LA – the last 3 of those 10 being a stylist to the stars – but now she’s back in Deer Lick, Montana for her mother’s funeral. She had seen her mother and father and her siblings during the last 10 years but never in Deer Lick. Now she’s back and having to face some people that are none to happy with her.

One of those people are Matt Ryan. Kate and Matt had dated in high school and beyond but when Kate left she broke Matt’s heart. Sure she had told herself that he would be fine but were either of them really over the other? No Matt’s in her face every time she turns around – even though he’s telling her to stay away from him. Kate’s forced to stay in Deer Lick to help her father at the family bakery, The Sugar Shack, when her siblings decide that she’s the only one who can. She’s trying to make the best of a bad situation, do some good for the town and keep her LA business afloat. But what she wants most to do is be warm and cozy with Matt. How can they do that when they have so many issues – both past and present – to work out?

Matt had some serious issues but when it was all boiled down and his uber-stubborness was put aside we found that he was just hurt from Kate leaving and the fact that he had never stopped loving her. He was a changed man – a man who had come from a broken home and had become a man who was important in his town. He wanted to run for sheriff and keeping his hometown safe was incredibly important to him. I very much admired him for his ambition even though his thoughts about how he was going to get to the point he wanted didn’t always make sense to me.

Kate was a great strong character. She worked her way up to being a great stylist in LA but when she thought about what she wanted in life – and was away from the glitz and glamour of LA – she realized that she was lonely. She didn’t have many friends and really what was making all that money for when you really didn’t have anyone in your life to come home to? What she did in and for the town while she was there was just fantastic. It showed that she really cared about the people of Deer Lick as well as her family.

Kate’s family…Her siblings did piss me off a bit, I must say. They planned, behind her back that she would be the one to stay behind in Deer Lick to help their father at The Sugar Shack. Now when things were explained I knew that it made sense but I didn’t like the fact that they assumed that their jobs were more important than Kate’s. I also didn’t care for the fact that they knew several truly important bits of information, and had for 10 years, that they didn’t bother sharing with Kate. It was almost like she wasn’t really part of the family, only I knew that wasn’t the case.

There was a ghostly element to this story that I didn’t expect and that was that Kate would get mini visits from her mother when she was driving her mother’s old Buick. At first I have to admit to rolling my eyes but the scenes with Kate and her mother were so very touching that a few brought tears to my eyes. Yes, Tracy=sap. lol

Honestly this book was unexpectedly delightful. I had a read a few reviews of it and it was enough to interest me but I really had no idea that I would like it quite as much as I did. It was sweet, funny, romantic and well writtem. I’ll definitely be reading the next books in this series about Kate’s siblings.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

TBR Challenge Review: On These Silken Sheets by Sabrina Darby

This months TBR Challenge was Steamy reads (Erotic romance, erotica, something spicy!) and when I saw that I knew exactly which book I'd pull off of my shelves. I bought this one a while back (as I've met Sabrina at our So Cal blogger get-togethers) but I found I need to be in a certain mood for erotica. This was definitely steamy and was just the perfect book for this challenge.

What happens in Harridan House stays in Harridan House.

It is Regency London's most exclusive after-hours club, catering to the erotic fantasies of randy lords and inquisitive ladies, each discreetly masked to guard every delicious indiscretion. Under the proprietorship of the notorious Madame Rouge, virgins, rakes, bachelors, and courtesans intimately mingle, free of the suffocating moral rules and restraints imposed upon them by good society.

Harridan House: where forbidden pleasures always take place on silken sheets.

When I picked up the book I wasn't sure what to expect. It's actually a book with four historical erotic romance stories that all intertwine in some fashion.

Part I – Against the Wall

This was, I think, my favorite of all the stories. Carolina has witnessed, when she was just 12 years old, Lord Henry Bosworth tupping one of the maids at her fathers house when he was a guest. He saw her and after he sent the maid off they had a conversation. To say she was smitten from that time forward would be putting it mildly. Now she's 18 and in her first season when she finds herself in a library at a ball when Henry walks in with a woman. He notices her once again and send the other woman on her way. Henry and Carolina end up having a tryst there in the library and Henry is shocked when he finds out who she really is. It doesn't stop him, however, from seeking her out at her house time and again. Henry knows that Carolina is on the marriage market but doesn't think too much about it until he figures out that Carolina might be carrying his child.

This was a sexy, hot story that had me turning pages as fast as I could. I loved Henry and Carolina together and of course wanted them together forever. Sure Henry was that age old character who only wants one woman but has no clue that he's in love with her until the last dog bark, but it worked really well in this story.

We're introduced to Harridan House in a rather roundabout way in this story because it's a place that Carolina's father loves to frequent and at one point Henry takes Carolina on a tour of the house to view all of it's debauchery.

Part II – The Education of Lord Oakley

Lord Oakley was to marry Carolina from our first story but she jilts him for the man she loves – how dare she? Oakley had never heard of Harridan House but it was reported that Carolina had been seen there. He goes with his acquaintance, Sir Robert George, to check it all out but is a bit overwhelmed by it all...until he sees a goddess. He believes her to be dressed as Ampitrite, Poseidon's wife, and is immediately drawn to her.

Amphitrite is actually Maggie who is the widow of a barrister and cousin to Diana Blount who owns and runs Harridan House – though most know Diana as Madame Rouge. Maggie is visiting the house to see what all the talk is about when she meets Oakley. She too is visually smitten and the pair begin a sexual relationship but only when previously arranged and always with their masks on.

On night at a ball Maggie recognizes her lover and finds out who he really is. She makes a move to entice him into a relationship and eventually it works – but only after Amphitrite ends her trysts with Oakley.

Oakley eventually realizes he loves Maggie but it practically takes an anvil dropping on his head for him to figure out that Maggie and Amphitrite are the same woman. Really? Her eyes, her voice, her body, the sounds she makes when you have sex with her – none of this set off the old recognition meter in your head? *sigh* Men can be so dense sometimes! lol  Despite Oakley's ignorance it was a lovely story also filled with steamy sex as well as romance.

Part III – Roses are Rouge

This is the story of Madame Rouge aka Diana Blount whose very elderly husband had left Harridan House to her in his will. Her deceased husband was a very sexual man and not always in a good way. He had taught Diana all the depravity of sex and apparently wanted her to continue after this death. Diana takes great care to cover her identity so that her reputation in society is not harmed. But Jason Blount – a relative of her husbands who inherited her husbands title knows about her and the house and disapproves greatly.

Jason is at sixes and sevens with Diana. He's wanted her from the moment he saw her but he hates that she runs the House. The pair eventually work out their differences enough to spend time together after the season while in Brighton. Diana even starts to think that maybe she can have a normal life...and one with Jason. One horrible event with an opium high friend has Diana returning to London thinking that she can never have a normal life. But what is Diana's life and how exactly can she live it without Jason in it.

My second favorite story in the book this was very erotic but had less actual sex involved. It was the verbal erotica between Jason and Diana that was so enticing. I felt horrible for Diana after the incident in Brighton and the fact that it had an effect on the relationship between her and Jason but it made the story that much better.

Part IV – A Maid for the Taking

The final story in the book was about a lady's maid who worked for Madame Rouge at Harridan House, Lucy. When Diana wasn't around Lucy would dress like Madame Rouge and play the part – per Diana's request. The strictest rule for Lucy was to take no lovers from the House under the guise of Madame Rouge. Lucy is breaks this rule with Sir Robert George and they become lovers.

Robert finds out in a strange way that Lucy isn't actually the real Madame Rouge but he still wants the woman. He makes her his mistress and ends up spending more time with Lucy at her house than he does his own. He considers, quite seriously, taking a wife but he can't seem to get Lucy off of his mind.

This was a cute story that I knew would end in a love match but I found it highly unlikely. Lucy, after all, was a maid. I liked the way that Robert worked it all out in his head but this was the least reality based story of the bunch.

Overall I liked the book. I thought the stories were done quite well for being as short as they were and it hit the spot in the erotic department. I also loved that as bold and steamy all of the stories were they were also quite heavy on the romance – which we all know I love.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

What I Read Last Week

Greetings on another lovely Monday!

My hubby got back from his trip to Sturgis on Friday and it’s business as usual today and back to work for him. The poor guy did not want to go in. I don’t blame him at all. He had a great time on his trip so that was nice.

My Squee for the week: I inherited a Kindle! No, no one died and left it to me in their will but Nikki (of So Cal Blogger fame) got a new Kindle plus she has a NookColor and other gadgets so she gave me her “old” Kindle! Is that awesome or what? I think it is. There are a lot of things that I love about my Astak EZreader like all of the many, many file formats it accepts and the removable sd card that makes creating separate folders for each author a wiz…but the Kindle is so damned fast! I created folders or “collections” as they’re called on the Kindle but the books still stay in the main directory even though they’re in the collection…which makes many pages to have to go through to find what I need.
I took some time this weekend and reformatted a ton of books to go on the reader (most originated in epub or pdf so I changed them to mobi) and they looked great on the Kindle. I re-downloaded all of my netgalley books straight to the Kindle and that was really nice although I have to say the formatting wasn’t quite as up to par as I thought it would be. I purchased my first book from Amazon (Wild and Steamy by Brook, Crane and Myles for only .99) and it was uber easy and super fast which I loved. I don’t know how much I’ll be buying straight from Amazon but if I do it will definitely satisfy my instant gratification need. lol
Any of you out there with Kindles I’d love to know any tips and tricks you’ve discovered.

I got a bit more reading in this week than last:

First up was The Strongest Shape by Tessa Cárdenas. This was good m/m/m story that I really enjoyed. You can read my review here. 3.75 out of 5

Next up was a free read by Sloan Parker called Swept Away. This was a short story about 2 men who had been together for 15 years and every year they spend their anniversary the same way. Between jobs and stress the two men, Eddie and Mike, have been too tired to spend any quality time together but Mike decides to change things up a bit and give Eddie a trip he’ll never forget. This was a very sweet story and quite romantic. 4 out of 5

My next read was The Perfect Play by Jaci Burton. This is book 1 in the Play by Play series and it was a good one. The story is about NFL quarterback Mick Riley who is chasing event planner Tara Lincoln and she’s definitely avoiding him after their hot and steamy night of sex. Mick wants to date her and Tara wants to build her business and take care of her 14 year old son. The chase is worth the read and the revelations about both Tara and Mick were eye-opening. I did have a couple issues with Tara and her jumping to conclusions but overall a good book that’s worth the read. 4 out of 5 (A Book Binge read)

Next was another free read from Sloan Parker called A Lesson in Truth. David is in love with his advisor who is 15 years older than he. They’ve been best friends and David thought he and Michael were moving on to the next level but when Michael says it has to end David takes things the wrong way. This was great sexy little short story that had romance as well. Good stuff. 4 out of 5

My next read was When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James. I haven’t read but a couple of James’ books but I’ve really liked what I’ve read. This one was a great retelling of beauty and the best with a, dare I say, crotchety young doctor and the woman who tames him. You can read my review here. 4.5 out of 5

Crying for the Moon by Sarah Madison was my next read. The story was about a vampire, Alex, who is trying to get away from the typical vampire life. There are things that a vampire can do to extend his life but they take his soul and he wants no part of it. He moves to the mountains and hangs with his werewolf friends. He meets his neighbor, Tate, and though he tries to discourage the friendship it, along with romance, blooms despite his attempts to stave it off. It was a good story about friendship and love. 3 out of 5

My Tracy’s TBR Challenge read for the week, On These Silken Sheets by Sabrina Darby, is actually the book I read for my monthly TBR Challenge I’ll post my review of this book on Wednesday.

Last on the list for the week was Anna Doubles Down by Missy Martine. This was a novella that I read for The Book Binge about a girl who visits a ghost town with her friend and ends up time travelling to 1871. She is ends up in a saloon with 2 beautiful men who are more than willing to keep her forever. But Anna thinks she’s only there to save the town from losing its mill in a fire and then she’ll head back. She doesn’t plan on falling in love with 2 men but that’s exactly what happens. This was a cute book that was short and sweet. The two men, Zeke and Beau were together for 10 years before Anna showed up. After reading so much m/m I wondered why they’d want a woman in the mix but they did and it worked for them. 3 out of 5

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
Never Cry Wolf by Cynthia Eden
The Chase by Erin McCarthy

Happy Reading!

And the Winner is...

The winner of Karen Mercury's latest release, A Good Prospect, is:


Congratulations! I'll get that book right out to you!

Saturday Song

It feels like a rocking Saturday to me here in sunny Southern California.  Here's The Art of Dying with Die Trying for your rockin pleasure.  Enjoy!

Review: When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James

Miss Linnet Berry Thrynne is a Beauty . . . Naturally, she's betrothed to a Beast.

Piers Yelverton, Earl of Marchant, lives in a castle in Wales where, it is rumored, his bad temper flays everyone he crosses. And rumor also has it that a wound has left the earl immune to the charms of any woman.

Linnet is not just any woman.

She is more than merely lovely: her wit and charm brought a prince to his knees. She estimates the earl will fall madly in love—in just two weeks.

Yet Linnet has no idea of the danger posed to her own heart by a man who may never love her in return.

If she decides to be very wicked indeed . . . what price will she pay for taming his wild heart?

Linnet Thrynne has been compromised. Not only compromised, but she’s carrying a child…or the whole of the Ton believes. She actually only kissed the guy but her reputation is gone, gone, gone. Her family is determined to take care of the situation for her much to her dismay. Linnet’s father and aunt come up with a plan. She will be offered in marriage to a Duke who is determined to keep his bloodline going but unfortunately his son has told him that he’s “incapable” aka impotent. Since Linnet is supposedly pregnant with a duke’s baby and that duke has royal blood he’s all over the match.

Piers Yelverton is in Wales. He is a doctor and uses his castle as a hospital to treat patients. He has a crappy bedside manner and isn’t afraid to tell someone when they’re dying. He figures why beat around the bush, they’re gonna know sooner or later, right? lol Piers has some emotional baggage to say the least mostly to do with his father who was, at one time, an opium addict. He wants nothing to do with his father or anyone that his father chooses to be his bride. When his father shows up with Linnet he knows that there’s no way he’ll be marrying her no matter what his father says. Linnet, however, has her charms – and though they’re not the ones she’s used to using with other aristocrats her sharp tongue and refusal to back down from Piers’s demands start to show her in a different light. One that’s very appealing to Piers.

The pair start a relationship but Piers is still determined to stay unmarried – for his own various reasons. But what happens to Piers’s thoughts when it comes down to losing Linnet forever?

This was one of those books that I really didn’t expect to like. Even though I’d seen a few of my friends giving it high marks it’s really hard for me to like a hero that’s portrayed as an ass. But I read it anyway and I’m so glad that I did.

When I first started the book and read the circumstances around Linnet, her supposed pregnancy and her family’s solution to the problem I was floored. I was kind of saying to myself – wait…she’s not pregnant but everyone thinks she is so you want her to now go and seduce the guy who supposedly got her pregnant so you can then marry her off? What. The. Fuck? I couldn’t quite wrap my head around that one but luckily Linnet knew it was a completely asinine thing to do so she fooled them into thinking that she had done it when she really hadn’t.

Then Linnet gets to Wales and even though Piers had been described as a beast (because of his lack of personality) she was still shocked and dismayed at Piers live and in person. This was the man she was to marry? But Linnet wasn’t one to give up and didn’t back down from Piers and his tirades. In fact it got to the point where she was very much enjoying their bantering and looked forward to it. The two were actually quite the pair and I loved reading their conversations as I just never knew what I was going to get next.

Though the book had the humor and arguing/bantering there was also its fair share of romance but in a non-traditional sense. I actually loved that about this book because we got to see Piers be exactly who he was and still falling in love. He wasn’t a hero that magically became a loving, tender man just because he fell in love. If anything he became more determined not to be that type of mealy mouthed person. Piers definitely isn’t the typical hero but I liked him all the more for it. Linnet was perfect for him. Sure she was a beauty but that wasn’t the focus of the story of Piers’s love for her. Frankly that right there made me want to start the book all over again once I finished (ok, I didn’t but I wanted to! lol)

A well written book with great characters & a great romance – what more could I ask for?

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Review: The Strongest Shape by Tessa Cardenas

After his boyfriend breaks up with him, fashion photographer Caleb Moss finds himself alone in Los Angeles looking for work and friends. He finds both in a group of aspiring musicians, who offer help through their connections. But while building a strong friendship with Scott and Chris, a startling sexual tension flares to life among the three men, and Caleb is afraid the new friendships will fall apart.

It won't be easy for Caleb, trying to find his way when Scott and Chris invite him into their relationship. They face criticism from their friends, but they'll struggle to stay together because they have discovered a three-fold love.

This story centers around 3 men, Caleb, Scott and Chris. Caleb is a fashion photographer who followed his boyfriend out to California from New York and then got dumped. He meets Jason who introduces him to Scott. Scott is dating Chris but Chris is on tour (Scott and Chris are both singer/songwriters) and Caleb is warned to not get too chummy with Scott as Chris will be extremely jealous.

When Chris gets home, however, he’s not jealous and the trio become friends. Caleb finds himself liking both men but he doesn’t want to set Chris’s jealousy off so he avoids the couple for a couple of weeks. Chris and Scott go looking for him and bring him back into their fold. They want to be closer friends, in fact, they both like Caleb and want to be a trio instead of a pair. Caleb isn’t sure it will work but he decides to go for it. The trio have their work cut out for them but it’s the work that makes the book…work.

This story really has one main focus and that is the relationship between these 3 men and all of its quirks. Chris and his possessiveness, Caleb and his insecurities and Scott and his devil may care attitude. I really like that aspect of the book as we got to see in depth stuff about the men. How they dealt with letting their friends know about the relationship, as well as their parents, or not. I loved how the men stuck together through thick and thin. Yes, Caleb had to have his breathing time and his space at some points but it was good.

Were there things about the story that I would have liked to have seen? Of course. I would have loved to have known more about the men and their jobs. We know that Chris and Scott are singer/songwriters but not to what level. Near the end Caleb mentions something about what would happen if they were ever signed so I assumed they weren’t at that level. Yet, Chris was on tour at one point and recordings were mentioned. It was a bit confusing for me and I either wanted to know more…or less. lol

One of the things I wish for in most of the books I read is more communication! In this story the guys were horrible at it – especially Chris and Caleb – and didn’t want to be “girly” and share their feelings. If you can’t share them with the ones you love who can you share them with? Of course the non-communication fed into Caleb’s doubts about his place in the relationship but I very much liked how the men worked it out.

Overall it was a good book. I’m not usually a fan of m/m/m stories but this one definitely worked for me.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

What I Read Last Week

Hello there!

So I’m back on my regular work schedule! As much as I loved getting off early I love this schedule so much more. I can get up a little earlier, have time to stop for coffee and read a little before work and still not have to get up at the butt crack of dawn. Yes, I have to work later in the day but it just works for me. I’m just a happier person this way. :)

My hubby is gone again – off to his yearly Sturgis trek. He left last Wednesday and I expect him home sometime between the 11th-13th. Don’t you love how he really pinned that arrival time down for me? lol Men! This means, of course, that I’m a single mama right now. The girls have been really good. This past Friday we went with some friends to a Jethawks game – they’re a (relatively) local minor league baseball team. They lost but they had a great fireworks show after the game and overall we just had a really fun time.

Nikki and I were talking this past week when we had lunch and we were talking about ereaders, etc. I think I may have come up with the A-#1 gadget for lazy people i.e. me. A remote control page turner for my ereader! Seriously! Either a plug in/tether or a remote that I can hold in my hand so that if I’m laying a certain way or have my arms crossed I don’t have to uncross my arms in order to push the button on the ereader to turn the page. What? Too lazy? Oh come on!  You know you'd love it too!

Work this week was a tad strange with my boss gone. I have a interim boss but it kind of still feels like my other boss is just on vacation. The week was crazy busy so there wasn’t a whole lot of time to think about things though so that was nice. :)

Being a single mama cut into my reading time as there aren’t two parents to tag team. lol So here’s what I read this past week:

First up was Prisoner of Love by Samantha Kane. I hate to say that this was my Tracy’s TBR Challenge read for the week because I hate to think that I bought it and let it sit so long…but I did. *sigh* This was Very, Wolf and Michael’s story and it was a good one. Kane really knows how to rock the historical ménage. You can read my review here. 4 out of 5

My next read was Never Cry Wolf by Cynthia Eden for The Book Binge. This is book four in the Night Watch series but it’s the first one I’ve read. It was the story of bad ass alpha Lucas and Sarah who is a charmer (literally) who is seeking sanctuary with Lucas’s pack. But Sarah’s got quite a few hidden secrets despite that she’s spilled the beans about the war that’s about to be started against Lucas’s pack. This was a good story though I got frustrated with Sarah more than a few times. I loved Lucas and his pack – great pack dynamics. 4 out of 5

Next up was The Many Sins of Lord Cameron by Jennifer Ashley. Oh those Mackenzie brothers. They are pretty messed up yet I love them so much. They had such a crappy childhood and they’re so very dysfunctional but yet I can’t help but pull for them. This was Cameron’s story (obviously). Ainsley Douglas is a thief as far as Cameron is concerned. He caught her in his rooms and later found out what she stole but that was 6 years ago. He wanted to bed her then but she stayed faithful to her husband and wouldn’t sleep with him. Cameron wants nothing more, now that Ainsley’s husband is dead, to bed her. But is that all he wants? Ainsley works for the queen and is rarely let out of her sight but is allowed to attend a house party at Cameron’s brother Hart’s house so that she can try and retrieve some love letters that the queen doesn’t want anyone seeing or knowing about. Cameron and Ainsley become more than enamored with each other but Cameron has so, so, so very many issues from his first marriage to work out that Ainsley’s just not sure she can ever break through them. I really liked this book A LOT. I wanted Ainsley and Cameron together in the worst way and my heart just hurt when I read about Cameron’s marriage to his psycho first wife. Just a great story – definitely recommended. 4.5 out of 5

Last for the week was Serpent’s Kiss by Thea Harrison. I know this doesn’t come out until October - it's book 3 in the Elder Races series - but when Holly let me read the ARC I just couldn’t let it sit there unread! lol This was the story of the Wyr Rune. He’s a gryphon and made a bargain with the uber powerful vampire, Carling, in the previous book. In this story he’s keeping that promise/bargain but he also decides to help Carling in her quest to not fade away as so many extremely old vamps do. There’s a whole lot more to it but I don’t want to give it all away. This was definitely a slower read for me than the others but still very good. I loved Rune and I loved Rune and Carling together – just a great pairing. 4.25 out of 5

I know, you’re all saying what? That’s it?  Yep - that's what happens when my hubby leaves me! lol  More this week, I swear. :)

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:

Happy Reading!

Saturday Song

What have I been doing this week?  Playing Rock Band that's what.  I should be the best damned drummer around after all I've played but alas, I still suck. lol Ok, I don't completely suck but I'm not all that good either.  :)  When I'm beat out by my 9 year old it's a bit embarrassing. This is one of the songs that my 9 year old loves to play over and over.  Luckily for me (and for her, I guess) I do this one well.  Here's Garbage singing I Think I'm Paranoid from their 1998 album Version 2.0.

M/m Series Recommendation: Utopia X Series by KZ Snow

The last time the bloggers got together Renee, Judith and I were at Renee’s house chatting and Renee and I started talking about author KZ Snow. Have you read this one? Have you read that one? (You know how it goes when you start talking about books!). Anyway, when I mentioned Snow’s Utopia X series and she said she hadn’t read it I immediately started extolling its many virtues. lol I was thinking about this series last night for a reason or two so thought I’d bring it to the attention of those who’ve not read it before.

Book 1: Looking for Some Touch

This was the story of Pablo who is a male prostitute in a futuristic time. He has a bad experience with john and decides to try to get a job with a coven of three Alterationists. The three men aren't really who they say they are - but it's all good. Especially for Pablo and one of the men, Win who have a strange and wonderful attraction to each other. This is mainly the story of Pablo and Win but it does give you some insight into the other coven members, Tole and Zee. 4.25 out of 5

Book 2: Seeking Something Wicked

Utopia X: Seeking Something Wicked is more or less Tole's story. He's troubled by the relationship between Win and Pablo and ends up finding solace in the most unlikely place - in a vampire's arms. Ridley is a vamp who ends up being in the right place at the right time for Tole and they start an affair. When trouble starts and Ridley gets taken, Tole is all about finding him and bringing him back. This was another good story in the series and I really liked Ridley a lot. 4 out of 5

Book 3: Exploring Savage Places

Book 3 in the Utopia X series is by far my favorite so far. Utopia X: Exploring Savage Places has Zee, of the Coven of Three, going to Pleasureplex to find out if there are shady dealings going on. Zee has pretty much been dumped by his current lover and is anxious to get the heck out of dodge for a while. Meanwhile Ridley from book 2 (that luscious vamp) has decided to leave town because he feels that his life as a vamp is hurting Tole too much and he can't bear to hurt the man he loves. This story has so much more going on than what I've said but I don't want to give too much away. This book had my chest aching for the pain the men were feeling and then smiling widely by the end. 4.5 out of 5

Book 4: Finding Utopia

When checking my blog for my thoughts on this one I realized I didn’t put a blurb out but I did a review which you can read here. But this book was just as good as the others ended the series so wonderfully. 4.25 out of 5

If you haven’t read these books before I hope you take the time to do so soon. They’re wonderful and definitely worth taking the time to read. 

Snow has other books that are amazing as well but I’ll have to cover another series on another day. :)